Friday, June 26, 2009

A "Wild" 12th Birthday

Sister 1 and Sam
Sister 2
Dilapidated cake. I didn't notice the wonky bottom until just now.
The group we got together.
Grace and OUR best friend. I love her.
We don't look alike in this picture, but there was one on the camera where she could've been my blonde twin.
It was a good time. She received some great presents and spent time with some amazing friends (and one hilariously shy "boyfriend").

Happy birthday, sis!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The simple things

I love quilted coasters. I know they're pretty en vogue in the crafting community, and I'm sure they're on their way out, but there's something about them that melts my heart. They're so simple to make, but they look so tailored.

Right now, I'm at work, putting invoices in numerical order, dreaming about making tens of quilted coasters tonight.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

An Etsy Day

I've been in kind of a funk today. I'm sure it has nothing to do with teaching 16 kids ages 4-6 for 2 1/2 hours Sunday through Thursday, then starting my real job on Thursday morning and working by myself all day Friday.

I overslept today. I woke up at 10:30. That's how I knew my day was shot. I NEVER sleep past 8:30. I've been to parties and gotten back at 4:30 in the morning and I still wake up at 7:00. It's just my nature. I also didn't put in my contacts when I woke up. "Glasses days" are hardly ever good days.

However, my ill mood was lifted around noon when I realized that moping wasn't going to solve anything. So this afternoon, my younger sister and I figured out the guest list and mailed out invitations for her "wild" 12th birthday! It's a jungle-theme, so we bought two sets of invitations: one pink set with leopard edges and zebra in the center and a blue set with blue zebra stripes on the flap and a purple stripe on the overlap. They are too cute. I'm making three skirts for the occasion, too. I'm making my sister and her best friend matching zebra skirts-- Grace's will have yellow fabric underneath and sewn with yellow thread and her friend's, Alex, will have pink fabric and pink thread. My skirt (I love sewing for myself. I get so tired of wearing the same thing as everyone else.) is made from a canvas-like material (but thinner). It's a natural, unbleached color with an eggplant trim and a zebra, a deer, and a bird looking around trees near the bottom. I love it.

That was a huge aside, and after the "invitations" talk, has nothing to do with this post. Since I wasn't really in a social mood, I spent a lot of time online. And since it's Saturday, NO ONE updates their blogs, (How selfish of them!) so I spent most of the day on Etsy.

I had to buy my sister (same one) a present. I plan on making her some things, but she loves ducks. I get that. When I was 12, my friends and I went through this weird "We love monkeys/frogs/ducks" phase. I thought I had seen a tutorial online about how to sew a stuffed rooster. My plan was to take that basic principal, then add felt feet and a bill. I couldn't find it, though. Which led me to Plan B- Etsy, of course.

I was surprised that even Etsy let me down a little bit. I searched for "duck" and "stuffed duck" (I felt a little weird typing that) and "plush duck." I was shown a lot of amigurimi ducks, but only a few sewn ducks. I found one that I liked, so I got it, even though it was a bit pricey.

After I found that, I decided to kill some time. With parties on the brain, I started to think about my own party in a few months. Even though it's in September, I've had the theme picked out since I was 16: when I turn twenty, my theme will be "The Roarin' Twenties." (It just so happens to work out that my mom accidentally bought me a fringed skirt from Urban Outfitters for Christmas). I have everything already: the clothes, the headbands, the boas, and the music. But a basic Etsy search led me to flapperdoodle. I absolutely love her things. I especially love that her biography is pretty similar to mine. She's two years older than I am and loves old movies and replaced Britney Spears with Frank Sinatra years ago.

My FAVORITE:Other gorgeous prints

(All images owned by flapperdoodle. I'm just a fan)
I love that one of her character's names is "Ramona." A few weeks ago, my sister and I were talking about what we were going to name our future children and I said "If it's a girl, Olive and Ramona. If it's a boy, Luc, Landon, or Macon."
This whole post was just a long way of saying, I love the 20's, Etsy, and my family. And even summer, but just a bit!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

VBS is not for the faint of heart

After Mallory left for Honduras, I've been more conscious of my decisions. I've tried to not waste time and I've been attempting to listen more than I talk (it's harder than I thought!).

Sunday kicked off VBS at my church and I'm teaching Pre-K. This is a HUGE test of patience and love. Tonight is the 3rd night, but Sunday we had 13 kids and yesterday we had 15. Fifteen five-year-olds is A LOT, especially when our schedules were so messed up.

Mom and I were really bummed that we were getting so many directions that we couldn't do anything, so the kids missed both music AND crafts. I could tell she was becoming flustered and she could tell I felt like I was in over my head (I can deal with groups only if they involve people who are ages 10 and up. Give me 100 teenagers, and I'm okay. Give me 25 high school sophomores and I will show you a great time. Children, however, are a WHOLE different ballgame). But we both prayed to ourselves and God really came through (as did one kid's grandfather. There was no dealing with that one).

I felt especially guilty when I was pushing Kylie's wheelchair. Kylie is a 5 year old girl who was diagnosed with bone cancer in her femur in October. She's had so many rounds of chemotherapy and even had to have her femur replaced with a steel rod last month. Even after everything she's been through, she was the sweetest kid there. She listened to the stories, she didn't talk out of turn, and she still had fun and laughed and smiled. We were coloring while the other kids were on the playground and I taught her some French words. Her favorite, as is everyone's, was "bleu." It's just so much fun to say! But how on earth can I complain about bruises on my shins and how exhausted I am when sweet Kylie is looking at me and laughing with me? I have no reason to complain or worry. "Consider the sparrows," right?

We're learning about the underground church this week. We emptied out two Sunday school rooms: one for a prison cell where Paul and Brutus the Roman guard stay (Brutus lets us visit Paul for a little bit everyday. He's not really a bad guy deep down) and another for a "cave" so Christians who want to worship can do so without being caught. I know it's meant for children, but SEEING it, even on such a small scale really helped me to understand how MUCH Christians went through just to praise God. Every year, we hear stories about missionaries in other countries and how they have to worship in secret, too. I don't think we get it sometimes. I know I've never appreciated how much they put on the line just to praise God. It makes me feel incredibly guilty for sometimes oversleeping on Sundays.

I love working with children, though. They teach me so many things, both spiritually and artistically. One of the girls kept talking about sunflowers, so I think I'll try to make my sister a sunflower jumper!

Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! --James 3:3-5

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sometimes the truth just smacks you in the head

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. -- Galatians 5: 25

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A little nugget

Dolls with freckles really bother me. I think they remind me too much of the Puzzle Place.

I loved them all except for Ben, the blonde boy. (Skye and KiKi were my favorites.) I think my distaste for him has stayed with me until adulthood. He's more than likely the reason why freckles on NON-LIVING things creep me out.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Just a walking cliché...

Yesterday, I took (okay, dragged) my younger sister to Hancock Fabric because I wanted metallic thread. Unbeknownst to us, Hancock was having a massive sale on summer fabrics, including linen.

Any woman worth her weight in salt has either owned or wanted a pair of linen pants/shorts or a skirt. Any sewer (I don't like the word "seamstress." It sounds like "mistress" + "seam-ripper") who's sewn more than a patch on a hole has worked with or wanted to work with linen. They "ooh" and "ahh" and swoon and faint over how soft it is and how soft it becomes after washing it. They like how versatile it is and how summery it feels.

I am not that sewer. Last April, I bought some linen the color of sunshine to make myself a skirt for Easter. I imagined my finished project to resemble a linen skirt I bought from Old Navy ($3!) five years ago (I still have the darn thing, too. I actually wore it to ICE). Well, didn't. The material pilled in some areas and was too thin in others. It wasn't soft AT ALL. (Then again, I'm a cotton/silk blend kinda gal.) I cut the pattern out, pinned it together, and put it in my pile to "get to" where it still humbly lies.

THIS linen, however, was 50% off--FIVE DOLLARS A YARD! How could I pass that up? It was navy blue and calling my name. "Helloooo, precciiiooooussss. I'm the exxaaaaccccttt shaaaaaddeee ooof bluuuuuue yooouuuu weeerreee loooookiiiiinnngg foooor! Tooouuuucchhhhh mmmeeeee.." So I did.

I'm so glad I did. This linen was 300x better than the first. I took less than half a yard and made my youngest sister a simple skirt with hidden pockets made from a fat quarter of Gaughin's Garden. The entire skirt cost about $3.50 to make. I love it. (She has a funny way of showing appreciation, so I'm not sure if she loves it as much as I do. I DO know that she'd begged me for a week to make her a skirt with pockets, then pitched a fit when I asked her to try the finished project on for size. And after the fit was pitched, she asked me to make her another skirt and a wallet. I think I'll focus on my other sister for a bit to see if SHE's more grateful.)

Again, I wish I had my camera, since I'm pretty proud of my pocket-making abilities (Thanks to a pattern in Weekend Sewing!)

Since I have over half a yard of this delicious fabric left, I think I'll attempt to make this now.

Happy crafting!

PS: How cute are these?!

Monday, June 1, 2009

First weekend

Saturday night, one of my closest friends left for and arrived in Honduras for a six month mission trip. I thought she was leaving next month: Saturday night, I was at a party.

Sunday morning, I realized how much I should be doing and how little I really am. I don't want to waste any more time.

Saturday morning, a very good friend and I went to the Indie Craft Experience in Centennial Olympic Park. We bought presents for people we love and a few things for ourselves, including two delicious cupcakes from Dulce Vegan! I love ICE, because it's just miles of inspiration and good conversations.

So between two days of inspiration (I took my mom and sister on Sunday after church!) and God, I think I can stop wasting time. I'm writing it here, because even if no one reads it, it still solidifies it in my mind. I need to be held accountable to what I promise myself and others.

I will not waste my precious, limited time with trivial, shallow, and stupid activities. I will treat my body like a temple and know that it is an amazing thing. I will spend more time with my family and less time trying to salvage relationships that I shouldn't be in anyway. I will stop undermining God and pretending I know better than He does. I will love with all my heart and try to let things roll off my back. I will continue to be optimistic, but still work hard towards what I want.

Now, I am going to help my sister with her writing. Mom bought her advanced kindergarten books to do during the summer so she won't fall behind when she goes to first grade in August.

(I had pictures, but my camera is on the lam again)

(P.S. Jessica Gonacha was at ICE and I LOVE her art. It's unique, but not too abstract)