Monday, November 28, 2011

A Big Giant Flop

Well I did it - technically!
I got brave and did some sewing on what was to be a cute new blouse. It turned out really cute . . . except for two things . . . .1. It doesn't fit - so I guess those patterns that claim they're easy to sew and easy to fit really only work if you actually read the instructions about choosing the right size. It was actually really simple to sew, but the fit part . . . well I sure do need a little work on picking the right size. It fits well except through the chest area. There . . . not so well.

2. It turns out that it is really ok that it doesn't fit because even though the material is really cute, it is incredibly noisy! Every little rustle or movement makes me think about George Costanza's pants in that great old episode of Seinfeld. It would have driven me crazy to wear it and hear it all day long. Guess I need to "listen" to the fabric before I buy it.

Oh well - next projects are up to the top of the list and have been started. More to follow.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Some Anthropolgie Inspiration - Necklaces

Finally, I took some time to sit down and be crafty this weekend. It felt good!!!

I had spied these necklaces over on the Anthropologie website a few months back and have been looking for just the right beads to make my own. I'm totally amazed by the prices for these - I do know that it is difficult to find beads that I like as much as theirs, but I think my inspiration pieces work just fine.

First up - Anthropologie's Long Link necklace - original price $298.

And here is my version - yes, it is a really, really bad picture. And I switched the metal from silver up to antique brass. But I thought it went well with the bronzite beads that I chose. (And a quick "true confession" - I am wearing my ever-so-lovely house cleaning shirt for these pictures. It goes just wonderfully with jewelry, doesn't it!) I decided to add some additional short strands of chain just to help set the bottom half of the necklace off, since it is all the same color tones.And here is Anthropologie's Gumball necklace - price $258. When I first saw this necklace, it was not "on" a real person - just in this picture. I didn't catch the actual potential in it until I saw the same necklace on another website with someone actually wearing it. Then I knew I had to make my own.
Here is my version - once again, a really bad picture (indoors at night, in my house cleaning shirt). But I do love this necklace! I can't wait to wear it for real, with a really nice blouse and my hair done nicely (not in a ponytail). This is a fun one and super easy to make. Again the trick is finding the right beads. I am working on another project that I hope to have done soon. And I have my next few projects all lined up, ready to go - can't wait. I'm done traveling for a few weeks and can hopefully get moving on making some progress on my Christmas lists.
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Not for a lack of ideas . . .

. . . just a lack of energy. I've always got a list of craft projects a mile long, but I've been working some long hours lately. Add a lovely cold and a sick family on top of it, and my projects are just sitting there, staring at me . . . incomplete. But that's ok. Tomorrow will come. And now that I look at them, all but one of these projects requires a trip back to the store to get a few more supplies - how is it with the craft room FULL (OVER FLOWING) with stuff that I still need something else?

Anyway - here is a peek along with a reminder to myself about what I need to stop for so I can complete them . . . maybe this week.

#1 - look, an actual pattern. I haven't sewn a clothing item for myself for a very long time. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one. I need another 15" of this fabric, if it is still at the store - or I'll take plain black of the same type of fabric.

Here is another pile of fabric that I'm thinking about making a dressy jacket with. I tend to where a lot of browns and this only adds to my closet full of browns, but it was too pretty to pass by. I'm more than a little nervous about this one, but the pattern instructions look pretty simple. Surprisingly I think I have everything I need for this one.A little bit of a blurry picture, but I need some bronze chain and jump rings. I feel another Anthropologie knock-off coming.Oh, wait - I feel yet another Anthropologie knock-off coming on too. I need some gold-tone chain for this one. Think bubblegum!And, yes - note the shades of brown appearing again and again. I can't seem to stop myself. Ok - caffeine, saying "no", and eating right are the plans for the week. Let's see what I can accomplish. None of these projects is even on my Christmas to-do list. I'd better get working!

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Book Review - My Mama Had a Dancing Heart

One of the things we love at our house is children's books. Of course with a daddy who is an elementary school teacher and a mom who is also an educator and loves books, it is kind of a given that every bookshelf in our house is overflowing. Of all the things we spoil our children with, we never feel guilty about buying books for them.

One of the books we recently read is called "My Mama Had a Dancing Heart", by Libba Moore Gray.

The Publisher's Weekly review from describes this book as:

"a girl's remembrance of her mother, who welcomed each season with boundless enthusiasm and bade her daughter to do the same: "Bless the world/ it feels like/ a tip-tapping/ song-singing/ finger-snapping/ kind of day. / Let's celebrate." The two danced barefoot in the spring rain, ran through the summer surf with balloons and kites tied to their wrists, performed a "leaf-kicking/ leg-lifting/ hand-clapping/ hello autumn ballet," and lay on the ground to make snow angels in winter. Shifting to the present tense, the girl-now a ballerina-notes how these memories serve as inspiration as she leaps across the stage. Gray has crafted a genuinely affectionate, personal tribute to someone who embraced life wholeheartedly."

When my husband read this book to the boys for the first time a few nights ago, son #1 cried. He is my sensitive one who wears his emotions on his sleeve. But son #2's understanding of the book really touched me yesterday. Son #2 says that he's going to be a doctor when he grows up (wonder where he gets that prompting from?). He picked up a play stethoscope last night and came over to me and held it up to my chest. After listening carefully for a minute, he put it down and said - Mommy your heart sounds like it is dancing".

Indeed, I hope that is true!
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