Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Happy List #4

Here's what I'm enjoying today.  Happy Monday!

1) Atly classes - I've mentioned these before but I want to mention them again.  I took this class over the weekend and it's got me so excited to try out the techniques and tips taught in the course.  I can't get enough of these and am constantly checking the site to see if they've added new classes.  And if you follow them on Instagram (@atlygrams) they frequently post generous new class discounts so they're extremely affordable.

2) Rain! - Also nothing new, but it rained last night, just as we were thinking we should water the grass again, so thank you Mother Nature for taking care of that for me! And a bonus, the air smelled so perfect last night it was glorious and fall, and crisp, and delicious.  

3) Flowers - I taught at church yesterday and I always like to bring fresh flowers to add somebrightness to the room.  Plus, I get to take them home and enjoy them the rest of the week.  I'm nowhere close to being good at flower arranging but I like this bundle of flowers together, unexpected and fun!

4) Hoarding, just a little - there's something to be said for hanging onto things, as long as they don't literally take over your house or your life of course.  Today Samantha is wearing overalls from the 1980's and her favorite toys in the whole house are the set of little people from my childhood that my mom saved.  She gets these out at least 3 times a day. And having seen Toy Story a million times, I imagine the toys are happy with that also. 

5) Fall!!!! - my favorite season. I can snuggle, work on quilt projects without sweating, take naps with layers and layers of blankets and quilts, wear sweaters, wear scarves, and don't have to shave my legs! Make soup, cinnamon rolls, and drink as much hot chocolate as my body will allow!! It's the most wonderful time of the year.  As an aside, Matthew thinks Halloween lasts the entire month of October and has been counting down the days until September is over and keeping track all on his own! It's so fun to see things again through the eyes of kids.  The best.  

Hope you guys have a great week!! What's getting you going today?

Friday, September 19, 2014

The September Tunic

Wait...I finished something?! Yep I did.  I know!  I'm surprised too! Ha.  

I've had this purple linen-y version of The September Tunic cut out for a while.  It was a quick sew that ended up being pretty fancy, by Abby's expression. 

It was the buttonholes that did me in.  More just my loathing of them, so it sat on my table for a month, at least, all sewn up, until I finally got up the nerve to do the buttonholes this morning. 

I used 7 buttons that Abby picked out and as you can clearly see, I still need all the practice I can get with buttonholes, but I'm happy with it, especially that it's done, being worn and enjoyed.

Abby loves it and immediately asked, "Does this make me a princess now?" So cute.  And of course I said yes.

I think I'll make a dress of this next.  The neckline was a little annoying, but it looks better on her than I imagined.  I was also worried that the pouf of the sleeves wouldn't be evened out by the bottom, but it looks great.  As usual, I worried about nothing.  This kid makes everything I make look extra incredible!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Happy List #3

Well hello! I didn't mean to suddenly abandon this space but it happened again, and it probably won't be the last time.  Things have been busy and busier as usual so I can't complain.  Here's some fun for your Monday:

1) All About That Bass with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots - not only do I LOVE the message in this song, but isn't this version just amazing?! Makes me happy just knowing it exists.  Those guys look like they have sooooo much fun at their jobs, I love it. And you've probably seen it already but watch it again. 

2) Cooking/baking - I've been trying to be better about making thoughtful meals for my family, and while it hasn't gone over that well (the kids haven't liked what I've made so far, but Ben and I have!), I like preparing meals.  It's cleaning up afterwards that I would happily pay someone else to do if were rich.  If you're curious I've made this recipe from Our Best Bites, and chicken and dumplings from this book.  Both were very tasty and made a lot of food.  

3) Making goals - I took some time this morning to make some concrete goals and then some steps to make sure that I get to those goals.  I'm really good at making lists and plans and not making them realistic or solid enough.  I'm trying to work on that.  Having a good pen and notebook is a great way to start! And sometimes Rifle Paper Co. is on Zulily!  Here's my referral code if you haven't already joined.  Great deals, just watch the shipping.

4) Books - I finished a book over the weekend that I'll share soon, but got to wondering about how many books I've read this year because I don't really keep track.  And I have a lot of books that I've bought with good intentions, got distracted and bought other books, and so I have a lot of books sitting around lonely and unread.  I'm trying to fix that for the rest of the year at least. So, I set up an Instagram account just for the books I read.  If that's something you'd be interested in I'm @ladyfacereads

5) Good friends that share advice freely - I still feel like I'm 12 years old but I'll be 27 in a little over 60 days.  I really don't feel like I have my stuff together so having friends that will share advice freely and don't mind when I bother them for it are such a treasure!  I am learning to appreciate friendships more as I "get older".  Having people that understand you just as you are is so important! 

What's been on your radar this week?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

More summer reading

Hey guys!  I've been reading/listening to some books lately.  Here's what I've finished lately.  Check out the #sewandread for more recommendations on Instagram.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen  - I listened to this one on Audible as part of my free 30 days of Kindle Unlimited (yay for being cheap!).  I was thrilled to see that along with the kindle version it came with the Audible version (I've linked to the audiobook here), and I listened to it while I ran, washed dishes, sewed, and it was a wonderful story.  There were some very brief parts I wish weren't included but they were small enough to overlook and didn't color the rest of the book for me.  I liked the reading, and the voices were well done.  This story of a man who worked on a circus is told in two phases of his life, during his time on the circus, and as an old man waiting to go to the circus.  Besides the fact that it made me even more scared to become an old person and watch my body decay as it must, I LOVED the insights, the stories, the narration, it was gorgeous and an incredible telling of a time we don't give much thought to anymore. 

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller - A flu has wiped out nearly everyone, and it is 9 years later.  Those who have survived are tough and hardened.  This story about a man, Hig, his dog and his neighbor, was immensely enjoyable.  It's written as Hig's thoughts, which makes it read differently from other books, and adds an intimacy between narrator and reader that I really loved.  The plot part comes in when Hig, who is a pilot, hears someone on his radio during a routine perimiter check, and it gets him wondering what is outside the perimeter they've established and protected.  I thought this would be a pretty gritty book since it was in the end of humanity category that I'm loving right now, but it was surprisingly tender and sweet in all the right ways.  Not that there wasn't violence, there was, but it wasn't excessive or just for show.  It was handled well.  I loved it.  I can easily imagine reading it again someday. I would also love to see this one as a movie.  If well cast it would be incredible!

Pines by Blake Crouch - Another audio book I downloaded during my free trial of Kindle Unlimited.  The story is interesting and compelling and you're constantly asking yourself what could possibly be going on!  It's intriguing and scary at the same time.  It's about a secret service agent who goes to Wayward Pines, Idaho in search of two other agents who disappeared. There's all these weird things that seem so off, and blatantly not normal, but you're not quite sure how at the same time.  You have to keep listening/reading.  I got a lot of dishes washed and laundry folded while I listened to this one.  This type of story isn't for everyone, but I enjoyed it right through to the end. Definitely entertaining. And there's a sequel!

Wayward by Blake Crouch - The second book in the Wayward Pines trilogy and also listened to on Audible through Kindle Unlimited.  Oh my goodness it was intense. I think I listened to this in a day and a half.  Every chapter is something different that makes you rethink what you thought you knew about the main character, Ethan Burke, and everything that's happened to him.  I don't want to give anything away but in short he investigates a murder that is not what it seems. There's a 3rd book but it's not on Kindle Unlimited so I'll have to actually read it... Ha! Also, I found out that they are turning these books into a series on Fox called Wayward Pines and I'm really excited to see it.  You can see the trailer here and it seems to stay pretty tight with the book so it will give you an indication of what to expect if you read these books.  I'm excited to see what the third one has in store!

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell - I totally judged this one by the cover.  So cute, right? But the inside was actually even better.  Set in the 1980's this story is about two teenagers and their discovery of each other.  It's full of wonderful conversation, and immediately transported me back to some of my high school memories.  This story does deal with some uncomfortable things, specifically an incredibly unsafe and unhealthy home life for one of the characters, so just be aware if that isn't something you want to read.  I thought it was a great read despite the uncomfortable parts, and enjoyed the characters and writing. I wish the ending had been clearer about what happened to certain people in the story but sometimes you just don't know, that's life, and it was consistent to the point of view in which the narrative was written.  

What have you been reading recently??

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Monday Happy List Volume 3...on a Tuesday? Oh well.

Happy Tuesday! I'm in complete denial about how close September is, we've got a back to school meeting on Thursday for the Montessori school the kids are going to this year and I don't want it to happen.  Well I do, you know, it's just the milestone that I'm afraid of.  Ha.

Here's what I've been enjoying this past week:

1) Wanderlust Fabrics - great fabrics, even better service.  I've bothered Angie a few times now and she is THE BEST! Always prompt to reply and quick to accommodate any questions or requests I have, I can't say enough good things!!  Here's a recent purchase.  Such beautiful fabrics.   Big plans for these beauties.

we spent one rainy day trying to pair all the lego heads with bodies. quite a challenge.

2) Rain! - it's been raining here quite a lot and I am LOVING IT!!! It's been such a cool august, I have been able to get away with wearing sweaters and having piles of blankets on the bed to snuggle with, it's wonderful. Not to mention how green everything is, we probably won't have to water our lawn for the rest of the summer!!

tried teaching abby to embroider.  she liked carrying this around by the strings but was actually pretty good at it.

3) Taylor Swift's new song and the video to go with it - Ok, I know everyone and their dog are loving this right now, but count me in!  I like that she's 100% herself all the time, and I really respect that. So talented.  I think she's doing great things.

cookies make me happy

4) New opportunities - I'm really excited about something new for me, and thrilled to have taken a risk to put myself out there.  It's forcing me out of my introverted shy self but in all good ways.  If its quiet the next few weeks it's because I'm busy working on this project and I'm so excited to show you guys when it's done.

today's morning nap

5) Fall sewing plans - I've got big plans for my handmade wardrobe.  I want to make this in this dotted chambray fabrics, this skirt in a yellow/mustardy chambray much like the pattern cover, and this dress in a black and white stripe with the same sleeves and length as the yellow one on the pattern.  I don't think I'll ever make my own pants.  A million points to you if you have. 

What is getting you going this week?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Happy List Volume 2

Happy Monday, it's a brand new week!!

I always see these types of posts on Friday or Saturday and have always thought that the Monday could use the smiles more as the weekend holds a secret glittery joy on it's own, doesn't it?  Mondays are usually the rough dragging days for me, where I could use a list of happiness, could you?

Here's what I've been enjoying this past week:

*Last week was rather heavy.  There was a lot going on in the world that was really intense for a lot of people and I found myself looking inward a lot, and thinking, probably too much, about those things.  This week's list turned out reflecting that mindset a little.  

 1) This truth: I am in charge of what I bring into my home - we confronted this head on this weekend and went through all the toys, clothes, closets, art, and everything else and purged ruthlessly.  Half broken ugly toys were tossed, tons of things were donated, and the rest was organized.  I'm still not quite done putting things back together but I feel so much lighter and Ben and I made a promise that we will be more conscientious about what we bring into our spaces.  I'm in charge of what I bring into my home, my body, my mind, my friendships, etc.  So I should bring in things that fit my goals in each area. Quite empowering I think.  I was reading too much news and it was getting me down, so I......wait for it.....stopped reading so much news!   See?  Boom.  Empowered.

2) The key to parenting strong willed children - don't take it personally.  Abby and I had a hard morning, and I had a realization.  She has to go through whatever she has to go through, has to let it out, but it's not about me.  I'm just the one taking up the air space in which she's thrown out what she's working through.  I also found some inner peace in the idea that I just have to let her (and this applies for each of my kids, and all kids really) be her.  This is the happy medium between being a strict crazy person policeman parent and a no rules everything goes parent.  Making sure they have enough structure and rules to keep them safe, healthy, and happy, and then backing off to let them bounce around to their hearts content. 

3) This little imp turned 1 last week!  She is so much fun and so sweet.  I love this age, it's the best to watch them discover things and see how their personalities bloom! 

4) Leaving the window open when I go to sleep - because when I wake up I can see the sky change as the sun rises, and it's a little breath of peace when I haven't gotten enough sleep, or get woken up earlier than I'd prefer.

5) #sewandread on Instagram - I've recently been turned onto this hashtag, and I love it!  It's so great to get book recommendations from people who's opinions you trust, and who have similar hobbies.  Sewing while listening to audiobooks is my new favorite thing and this hashtag is like a little Instagram book club, without the stress.  It's a wonderfully perfect combination for me.  Right now I'm listening to Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery and it's really fun!  I love this author's writing, and it sounds so good being read.  Absolutely recommend it. 

Do you have anything to recommend to me?  I'm always interested in favorite things!

Hope you all have an awesome week ahead! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

a stroller quilt


I put a stack of fabrics together a while ago that I really liked, cut a random amount of 5" squares from each fabric, made some HST's, and came up with this.  It was a quick and relaxing sew and turned out the perfect size for a little stroller or crib quilt or playmat.  It measures 27.5" x 36".  As you can tell I have a strict Quality Control department that thoroughly tests everything before I list it, haha!  I have another just like it in more feminine colors going through the machine right now.  This one is listed in my Etsy shop LadyFaceMakes.

Thanks for reading!