Sunday, May 27, 2012

Class of 2012

Just a quick shout-out to the Mid-East THEA homeschool graduates!  Congrats to you all and God bless you as you start this new chapter of your lives!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm back!!!! Almost....

Have I mentioned that May is crazy????

Well, it is! Between birthdays (Happy Birthday Mama, Mollie, Jimmy, Carter, and Papaw!!!), Mother's Day, graduations, recitals, and just life in general, I can't seem to get much accomplished. Each time we finish cleaning up after one party another one is immediately in the works. Hence, my silence here. :)

I'm not complaining, though. We've been having loads of fun! It's like having a month long family get-together. Everyone seems to be either at our house or congregated somewhere close by each week. It gets a little crazy at times, but fun!

However, in the midst of all the chaos, we decided we needed a little break, so we dropped everything and ran for the hills.

Literally. ;)

We just got back from a four day camping trip. It was heavenly! No cell phones, no internet, no connection with the outside world whatsoever.

Between lounging by the fire, biking the trails, cooking outdoors, living up-close and personal with the squirrels, chipmunks, snails, mosquitoes, and bears, and weathering the regular downpours, we had a very lovely vacation.

It's great to be home, though! Indoor plumbing and electric refrigeration are wonderful things.

We've got one more big weekend party to go and things will start getting back to normal again. In other words, I'm back....almost! So, now that I have made that little announcement, I've got a million pictures to sort through, edit, and burn to multiple discs, a yard to mow and a house to get ready and a big hungry family to help cook for!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

my dad is the awesome-est!!!

Today, the day before her birthday, my mom awoke to find, not one, not two, but NINE DOZEN ROSES in the kitchen.

Yes, you read that right!  108 roses.  We counted 'em!

I don't think I've ever seen her that dumbfounded before!  Sarah and I were rather speechless ourselves!  We spent all morning arranging them and now we have huge bouquets of roses scattered around the house!  I love it!  :D

Oh yeah, my Dad is the greatest!

Monday, May 7, 2012

for the love of clothes

Have you noticed that modest/feminine clothing seem to be "in" right now?  I am absolutely loving it!!!!!  Long, flowing skirts and soft feminine colors have always captivated me and now my favorite look is actually filling the mall and walking down the sidewalk.  How exciting!!!!


I have always had such a hard time finding acceptable clothing with which to properly cover my person.  Everything is either skin tight, low cut, or incredibly short.  Not having the figure of a super model doesn't help matters any either.  Can anyone else relate? 

Of course, being able to make my own clothes has really come in handy over the years, but it sure is nice to see more and more ready-made, "modernly modest" clothes hanging on store racks. 

And it's just so lovely!   I suppose what amazes me the most is how popular this look has become.  Everyone is wearing it!  It's quite a refreshing change after my years of lamenting over the fashion industry.

One of the many perks of being able to sew is that I don't always have to buy from a retail store.  I can just copy my favorites and add my own personal touch.  Of course, you don't get the whole "shopping experience" that way, which I do enjoy, so I try to do a little of both!

Incidentally, it has been much too long since I sat down and made something for myself.  I might have to push some other things aside and take some time to indulge in my love of filling my closet.  ;)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

babysitting, two dresses, a photo shoot, and some tea

This has been a crazy week!  (That is pronounced kuh-RAY-zee).  Crazy, but fun, since I've been doing all of the things that I enjoy.  That is, everything except for blogging.  I just haven't had the time to sit down and write!  But now, I am giving my sewing machine and camera a much deserved break so allow me to plunge right in and start at the beginning.

The biggest priority this week was the dress for my Grandmother that I mentioned in an earlier post.  It had to be finished by Friday night, and guess when I put on the finishing touches?  You guessed it!  Friday night.  :D

I love how it turned out!  She picked out the fabric, gave me a store bought outfit to use as a pattern and let me go!  You can't see it very well, but the dress and cuffs have red, blue, and brown-ish stars on them.  Grammy is very patriotic! I also managed to find some really cute star buttons to match. 

Isn't she lovely?  :)

While I was in the middle of working on this dress, we drove down to Alabama to see my sister, Kim.  I don't know if I've mentioned this yet, but she's expecting!  I'm super excited!  I will be getting another nephew, Robert Luke, in August.  I'm considering it a late birthday present.  :D

Anyway, Sarah and I got to watch the girls while Mama took Kim to have some tests run.  We really had a good time.  I brought my sewing along and I had a pretty interesting time trying to cut out Grammy's blouse and watch a movie at the same time.  I ended up just laughing on cue so they would think that I was paying attention, but don't tell them I said so!

I got to have a really good laugh when Haley picked up one of the unattached sleeves, cocked her head to one side and said, "Now how in the world does this work?"

Sewing.  It's a mysterious art.

My second big project this week was rather last minute.  Sarah's friend, Hannah, just had her sixteenth birthday and we were planning on having a formal photo shoot of the two of them to celebrate.  The dress that she found for the occasion was *ahem* backless, except, of course, for a few ribbons running from one side to the other.  She had already bought the necessary fabric, so I filled in the "hole" and made a train to hang down the back and hide the evidence.  I also made a little halter strap to go around her neck.

It turned out really good considering that it was last minute!

We really had a lot of fun taking pictures.  Hannah's sister, Leah, and I were the photographers accompanied by Gilbert and Knightley. 

(Yes, we named our cameras.  Hers is after Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables and mine is after Mr. Knightley in Emma. Don't ask us why, that's just the way it :)

Of course, for every picture there were several outtakes, like this one. 
I never could figure out what was so funny...

Leah and Gilbert. ;)

Love these girls!

Now we come to yesterday afternoon which was the Ladies' Tea at our church.  It was really a wonderful time and a great end to my busy week.  There were ten tables in all and each hostess decorated her table in any way she liked.  The result was stunning.  Very diverse, but reflective of each personality and interests.

 My table.  I was so excited to get to pull my china out of
my hope chest and actually use it!

Here are a few pictures of some of the other tables.  The ladies really did a wonderful job!

 All of the ladies really had a wonderful time fellowshipping and enjoying the
games, singing, and the guest speaker.

 And the food was excellent too!

So, now you know why the blog has been rather silent this week!  I'm looking forward to things calming down just a little bit.  But only a very little bit!  May is the busiest month of the year in our family.  I like to refer to it as "May Madness".  With five birthdays, Mother's Day, recitals, graduations, etc. things can get a little crazy around here, but we shall prevail!!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

sew french

I love french seams. Absolutely love them! They're just so perfect in every way! I even prefer them over serged seams because they look so much cleaner.

When I was a novice seamstress (or "sewist" as I've heard some people say) I used to stare at french seams wondering how in the world such perfection was attained. This, of course, was before I learned that the world will not stop turning if you take a seam ripper to a store-bought garment to see how they're put together. ***Gasp*** So, I had to try to figure things out from the outside, not an easy task if you aren't quite sure of yourself. Some of the things that I came up with were so far out there that I finally gave up all hope of learning how to make those perfectly perfect french seams.

It took many years and many many many projects to finally become comfortable with sewing and to learn how to do things like french seams without flipping out. Just like anything, sewing and garment structure takes a while to figure out so if you're just starting to play with that sewing machine you've had in the closet for ages, don't worry! It will get easier eventually!

French seams are a wonderful thing to use if you don't have a serger or even if you have one, but it is *ahem* temperamental. I don't recommend trying this on curved seams for a while. Just stick with straight seams until you get the hang of it.

How to Sew a French Seam

Note:  I don't use pins unless I absolutely have to because it takes so much time to put them in and take them out.  If you aren't comfortable going without pins, by all means, use them!

With wrong sides together (backwards, I know, but stick with me here!) Stitch seam at 1/2 your seam allowance.
       -I gave myself 1 inch seam allowance so my first seam was 1/2 inch from the edge. 

Trim away excess.  Be careful to not get to close to your seam!

Iron flat.

Now, put right sides together and iron.
        -Raw edge will be on the inside.

Now, with right sides together, stitch at 1/2 your seam allowance making a little pocket around your raw edge.
       -You have now used all of your seam allowance.

Iron flat.

On the wrong side, stitch down the edge of flap.

Now you have a perfect french seam with a nice finish on the wrong side.  No more raveling!

See how easy that was????