Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On My Cutting Table

Just wanted to show a peek at some of what I'm working on this week.  Saturday I was in the big city so I got to go to Joann's and get a few things.  There was a sale, so I got like six yards of fabric for $27, but I had a gift card so it was only like $2.  I liked the grey fabric with the flowers and tree prints.
Fabric Haul from Joann's
The other two prints are great for lining fabrics.  The purple fabric has little bunnies on it, and the white has birds.  The white one has already been cut into also.

The pattern and melon colored swiss dot fabric has been sitting in my office sense before I went to the U.P.  I was supposed to have it sewn before I left, but instead it got washed and dried and that was about it. 
Shirt in Progress
But today is the day it is going to get cut into.  I have some awesome bird fabric to use too, but I wanted to do a wearable muslin first to be sure I liked the fit and length and all that jazz.  I really want to get them both made before summer is done.  The pattern is Butterick B6024.  I'm thinking of doing View C.  Plus, then I can still wear it with cardigans in the fall.

Anyhow... do any of you have any projects that need to be finished before summer?  Wisconsin summer is done mid September  so I better get on it.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Musical Mondays- Modest Mouse's "Float On"

This week's Musical Monday is a bit of a throw back.  I remember buying this CD from the BMG Music Club.  Remember that?  It was the one where you had to reply each month or they'd send you the featured selection?  It came out in 2004 which means it's been around for ten years!  When did I get so old?  I could swear it was from just a couple years ago.

Anyways, take a listen:

Remember Modest Mouse?  Remember this song? It's a don't fret, everything is going to work out okay, just be chill song.  Sometimes we need a little audible reminder of that.  P.S.- I did check out what some people thought was happening to the sheep in this video.  Some thought they were slaughtered, and they get to "float on" to sheepy heaven in the end, but someone pointed out that near the end of the video, someone is looking out the barn at the sheep still outside so the sheep inside must live.  I'll go with that idea.  :)  Anyway, don't over think about the sheep and just listen to the words. :)

So head over to My So Called Chaos and see what everyone else is listening to.  And if you're a blogger, why don't you link up to Musical Mondays?  It's a lot of fun!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Local Flavors Swap Sign Up

Hey guess what time it is! Sign up time for Chaotic Goddess' Local Flavors swap!  Last year's Local Flavors swap was the first Chaotic Goddess swap I had ever participated in, and I must admit, I didn't get the concept 100%.  My partner was Beth from Living a Goddess Life and she sent me a great box and she just rolled with what I had sent her.  :)  So, I'm looking forward to doing it 100% right this time around.

Basically, the goal is to give people a taste of your local flavor and send them a package with at least five items that are local to your state or area.  Your partner will do the same for you.

So, here's the deal.  Sign ups are open until July 28.  If you blog and want to join up, just click the picture and register.  Once you're accepted, you post a post saying your participating (like this) and then just wait to find out who your partner is.  I've met a lot of great bloggers through these swaps and they're always so much fun so if you're even thinking about it, just go for it!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Musical Mondays- Jenny Lewis' "Just One of the Guys"

As soon as I saw the video for this song last week, I knew it was destined for Musical Monday.  Jenny Lewis (who was also the lead singer for Rilo Kiley) enlists Kristen Stewart, Anne Hathaway, and Brie Larson.  I'm not a big K-Stewart fan, but I do think Anne Hathaway is pretty awesome, and all three ladies do a great job in this video.

Read the comments on Facebook and you'll read everything from people saying it's a feminist self pity anthem, to how women should just have babies, to how hot Kristen Stewart is and how sucky they think the song is.  You can draw your own conclusions from the song, but to me, it's a song about trying to fit in, when all your friends seem to be procreating.  I know sometimes it feels like you're the only chick not having a baby.  I'm 31, and unfortunately (for my mother and her dreams of grandma-hood) having a baby isn't in the plans right now.

It seems like every day on Facebook I have friends with babies posting "things people without kids should never say to parents" and baby-less friends posting "annoying things friends with kids do".  Has it always been like this is or is the internet breeding this new "frenemy" type animosity between those with children and childless?  I don't know, but they certainly are two different social groups, both with pros and cons, and most of us have to function in both because we have friends with and without children.

So to all my childless friends- don't let anyone make you feel like you have to have a baby just because you're a girl, or you're a certain age, or you've been in a stable relationship for x amount of years.  And if you're trying to have a baby but not having any success, remember your worth as a woman is not measured by being able to push a watermelon sized human out of your uterus.  But honestly, if you dream of holding a little baby of your very own, I wish you nothing but success and happiness.

And don't forget to head over to My So Called Chaos for Musical Mondays and see what everyone else is listening to!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Few Favorites July 20

Another week in the books. Summer seems to be flying. I wish winter would be so kind.  It's our town's carnival this weekend.  They call it the Northland Mardi Gras, but it has nothing to do with Lent and doesn't start on a Tuesday.  There's no beads, but there is a parade.  It's the highlight of summer here.  People who have moved away come back home every summer for Mardi Gras.

Anyways, I have a unique medley of favorites this week.

1.  Good thing to remember.  Life gets frustrating at times and some days, it feels like the best choice is to just go to bed and start over in the morning.  So, remember this next time your day is not going your way.  Tomorrow is a chance at a new start.
2.  I don't know how to embroider, but I want to learn some day. And I think this Queen Anne's Lace pattern would be perfect to start with.  The pattern is free at Posie.
3.  By Hand London has the cutest tank top pattern.  This is the Polly Top and you can get it for free!  If I get some other projects finished, I may attempt one of these this summer.
4.  And finally, who doesn't love a good peanut butter cookie recipe?  This one is from Lou Lou Girls.  I made them last week and they are super soft and chewy and pretty much perfect in every way a cookie should be.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Craftsy Flash Sale

Just wanted to pop in to tell you guys that Craftsy is having a Flash Sale this weekend! 


Here's some of the sale classes that are on my wishlist:

Crafty Crochet Embellishments  On Sale for $9.99 (Regularly $19.99)
Learn to crochet flowers and leaves along with applying motifs to things like pillowcases and towels.  I'm a sucker for crochet flowers, but have yet to learn how to make them.

Homemade Italian Pasta  On Sale for $19.99 (Regularly $39.99)
Learn to make homemade pastas?  Who wouldn't want to learn.  If I had the pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer I would totally be signing up for this.

Mixed Media Essentials: Color Design and Texture  On Sale for $19.99 (Regularly $29.99)
Mixed media is something that intrigues me, but I never know where to begin.  This class teaches several different techniques, and it looks like they break it down enough that even a beginner like me could take it.

And of course, Craftsy has more than 30 free classes you can check out.  Learn to make pizza, birthday cards, zipper pouches, and everything in between.

Note:  All links in this post are affiliate links, but I would never endorse something I don't believe in or wouldn't use myself. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What's Holding You Back?

Ever since I got back from my Upper Peninsula adventure in Michigan, I've been restless.  Little annoyances and inconveniences have been hugely off putting, and changes that I would normally just roll with have me on the verge of tears, especially this week.  There's been changes going on at work and people have been needing to be flexible and it feels like I'm the only one giving.  It's not so much that I mind giving a little, I mind feeling like I don't have a choice in the matter.  That makes me feel taken advantage of and used.

So last week, when I was reading my blog feed, I came across a post from Delightful Tacky called "What's Keeping You From Achieving Your Dream?" She talked about how need for approval causes her to stall out once she gets that approval, and not achieve her full potential, and she asked others to write what's holding them back from achieving there dreams.  It felt like it was wrote for exactly were I am and I knew I needed to do this.

So here goes....

First off, I'm not sure what my goals are.  I have lots of dreams- run a bakery, work from home, move to the Upper Peninsula, travel, make my own cheese, but quitting my day job would definitely be at the top of that list.

What's holding me back?  Number one answer would be money.  We have a house payment, people.  And living in rural Wisconsin pretty much necessitates you have a car to get around in, so there's upkeep for that, there's groceries, there's electric, heat, cell phone, internet, and all sorts of other random bills that seem to be always coming in.  We've cut back a lot, but it's not feasible for me to quit my job.

Number two answer would be my husband.  He doesn't really want to move to a smaller house or move for that matter.  So, sometimes I feel like I'm just stuck here where we are, for better or worse.

Number three would be me.  I tend to try to tell people want they want to hear and I don't like rocking the boat.  I don't want to be too honest and let my guard down with very many people, because they might not like what they see and it might create a conflict of some kind.  Even with my blog here, there's things I want to write about, but then change my mind, because I don't want to stir things up or offend anyone.

So what can I do?  Well, number one and two are pretty much out of my control.  I mean, unless I get a second job or somehow convince my husband to pull up stakes and try something new.  But, for now those are pretty much on the back burner.  So, that leaves number three, and at the risk of being a little too cheesy, motivational speaker sounding, that's the only one I can change.  And once I realized that, I felt a little better about everything.  So that's what I'm going to work on.  Being a little more real to the people I interact with on a daily basis, and not being so afraid to say something when someone asks me for my opinion and it's different than theirs.  I need to speak up more and more eloquently when I feel taken advantage of or like someone is manipulating me or just asking my opinion of something.  I have other things I need to work on, but I think that will be a good first step.

But what about you?  What holds you back from achieving your dreams.  And be sure to check out the link up at Delightfully Tacky to see a bunch of other bloggers thoughts on this.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Musical Mondays- Andrew Bird's Pulaski at Night

Here's a song that pretty much how much I'm feeling right now.  The music has this beautiful, sad quality to it, thanks to the violin and bass, and his voice is just as haunting.  It's not exactly a sad song, but it's not really upbeat neither.  Or maybe his voice is kind of sad but the music is upbeat?

This is pretty much how I'm feeling right now.  It's nice out, it's summer.  The weather doesn't get much better than it is right now, but my mood is about the same as it was when we were 2/3 of the way through winter.  Down, slightly melancholic, and ready for a change, even though the yard is full of birds, my flower beds are in bloom, and summer is in full swing.

So, that's talk for another day.  In the meantime, enjoy Andrew Bird's "Pulaski at Night".  I love the violin in this song.  There's some live versions on YouTube that are pretty good too.  And don't be surprised if you end up hitting repeat when it's done.

And of course, don't forget to head over to Miss Angie's and check out what everyone else is listening to on Musical Mondays, and if you blog, find out how you can link up.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Finishes- Sewing Up My Stash

My sewing has been neglected lately.  My sewing room was a mess, and it was just feeling claustrophobic in there.  I cleaned and took down my sewing table, deciding to make my desk do double duty instead and write and sew at it.  I also rearranged the furniture.  I find a lot of times just rearranging the furniture is enough to get some creativity flowing.

Over the long holiday weekend, I was able to actual get some sewing done, and best of all everything came from my stash.  Granted when you have a large stash to choose from, it's not that hard, but it still feels good to use up what you have.

First, I made a couple lavender sachets.  These are super easy.  You just cut two five inch squares, so all the way up three of the sides, part of the way on fourth, and then flip right side out, stuff, and zip across the top (and bottom for a little symmetry).  I did add a little lavender essential oil to the lavender to freshen it up.  Then I stored the finished projects in a sealed bag to keep them fresh.

L to R- Vintage Sheet, vintage flour sack, and a smidge of fabric
that was left from a fat quarter bundle I had bought at my local quilt shop.
Then I made two reusable grocery bags.  These are one of my go to projects.  I love this pattern from Michelle's Patterns.  They're super easy to make, practical, and fun.

Some Kona Bay fabric with a red polka dot interior.

The exterior of this bag is some of the first fabric I ever bought.  It's a Kona Bay print from my local fabric shop and the inside is from Joann's.

It's not very colorful, but I like the print.
This fabric has been in my stash for a while to.  I bought it on Ebay over a year ago.  It has a kind of art nouveau vibe to it and the lining is blue and white seersucker.  I love using it for a neutral in lots of projects.

A close up of the print.
Finally, I found this great link to 40 Free Bag Tutorials.  There was a link for a sling blade from Crap I've Made.  It take two yards of fabric, involves one pattern piece (which you cut out four times- two from your lining fabric and two from your exterior).  It's reversible, no interfacing, no zippers, no snaps.  Easy peasey.

Here's my first stab at it.
I made one out of some 1930s feedsack reprint fabric and the inside is lined in a light blue chambray looking fabric. I did decide to topstitch the opening and strap just to give it a more finished look.  I liked the proportions of the bag an such, so I decided to cut into some of the fabric I really liked and whip myself up one.

So, I found some tree fabric I've had sense Christmas, that I really liked, but I never really knew what to make out of it.  Then I picked some purple fabric that I originally bought for a dress, but for various reasons it was never cut into for that.  It's a nice quality fabric, with a sheen to it.  Fancy, but not too fancy.  So, I got to work making bag number two.

Tree Bag
 Here's a close up of the fabric.
Love it!  I see more of this pattern in my future!

It's been fun to get back into sewing and fun to use up some of my stash.  How about you?  Have you been doing any sewing?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

We Have a Winner!

Thanks to all of you who stopped by and said hi and gave me a book or movie recommendation.  I've added a lot of them to my Amazon and Bookmooch wishlists.  And congratulations to Julie H!  She has been contacted and already replied so her prize pack will be going in the mail tomorrow!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Musical Mondays- Valerie Plame

Last week I talked about how my musical tastes seems to go in literal seasons.  But, there are several artists I can listen to any time.  You can play their albums no matter the time of year or your mood and they seem to fit.  That's the way I feel about Florence + The Machine, Neko Case, The Avett Brothers, and especially The Decemberists.

They seem to have songs for my every mood.  (And trust me, some days there's a lot of them.)  One of my favorite Decemberist's song is "Valerie Plame".  It's a hard to get a hold of because it was one of the singles on their "Always the Bridesmaid" set of three records.  It's my favorite out of the three.  And really, who else but The Decemberists get away with releasing a love song of sorts to the CIA operative who had her cover blown by Scooter Libbey.  And if you don't remember this whole fiasco, no worries, you will still get the song stuck in your head.

Want to see what everyone else is checking out this week?  Be sure to go to My So Called Chaos' Musical Mondays link up and check it out.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Few Favorites- July 6

Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend off, and if you're one of the unfortunate souls who had to work, I feel your pain.  It's been a great weekend off here and now I'm trying to mental prepare myself to be back to work at 7am tomorrow, after spending the nights staying up late sewing or reading and the days trying new recipes.

I do have some favorites for you this week.   I just stumbled across these things will going through my Bloglovin feed, or browsing online.  Hope they give you a little inspiration.

1.  I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds pretty simple.  Mae from Purista guest posted on Delightfully Tacky with this great recipe for Cold Brew Coffee.  It's more a method, because she makes some recommendations on how to mix up your coffee, but leaves it up to you.  I bought some coffee beans at the grocery store yesterday so this is on today's agenda.  Iced coffee with vanilla almond milk to take to work.  Sounds delicious!

2. Yao Cheng Design's Etsy shop is filled with beautiful watercolors!  I love this one called Forest in Indigo and Green.  She also has florals, pastoral scenes, some geometric designs, even some tea towels featuring her work.  It makes me wish I had learned how to paint.
3.  This smocking tutorial from Sew Mama Sew is too cute!  i love the shape of this summer top and the smocking is cute without looking old.  I have a friend with a little one.... 

4.  This fabric is right up my alley.  It's called Budquette in Nightfall by Emmy Grace.  And I found it on Dragonfly Fabrics.  I love the dark background on this one, and the flowers look like they are out of pastels.  Remember pastels in school?  Those waxy, chalk things.   Kind of like crayons only better?  I want to get a box of those now and play.  And sew some bags out of this fabric.  And maybe a nice summery shirt for me.

Finally, just want to remind you all that my BLOGIVERSARY GIVEAWAY is still going on for a few more days.  Follow the link to be taken to the Rafflecopter form.  You can win some great prizes!  A tote bag, pouch, and infinitey scarf all made by me, as well as a bracelet, some Scentsy melts, Aura Cacia bubble bath and more!  Be sure to enter.