Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nothing happens to you, it happens for you...

It's a seemingly subtle difference changing the "to" to "for", but when you give yourself the opportunity to think about it you realize just how life changing that can be.

I've had an interesting life, filled with challenges.  When I was younger, I was pretty angry.  There had been an awful lot of challenges and I simply didn't have the knowledge or support around me to handle the pressure.  So, I was pretty angry.  Let me tell you, it's a lousy way to be.

If you aren't told and don't instinctively know that you are worthy, you think that the things that happen are because you aren't good or good enough in some way.

But, what if we've got it all wrong?  What if the challenges that come your way are gifts?  That everything you experience is on purpose.  That it's expressly because you are good enough that this challenge has arrived.  What if this very challenge that has you feeling so low is just the thing to lift you higher, make you wonderful, make you who you were meant to be?

No really.  I'm serious.  We've been taught to look at things all bass-ackward (word from my Grandpa so he wasn't 'cussing' in front of me).  We've been taught the guilt - if you were better, you wouldn't be dating a cheater, or had your purse stolen, or lost your job.

The truth is that guilt is a soul sucking waste of time.  It doesn't benefit you or anyone around you.  It doesn't heal or lift or warm. It is my sincere hope that everyone reading this will hear this truth:  Guilt has no place in your life.  It is the most destructive emotion because it is wholly and utterly self loathing.

This week, I challenge you to think about your life from a different perspective.  One where you realize that you must be worthy and strong and smart because you've been dealt some interesting life experiences.  Know that you are loved and worthy.  Know that whatever appears in your life is not a punishment or the result of your imperfection.  Know that you were created to be you, warts and all.  God does not make mistakes.  You and your imperfection are just as God intended.

We are not meant to be perfect.  We are meant to be whole. ~ Jane Fonda

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Shake your booties!

My nephew has a new son, just 8 days old.  I can't help but think about my grown babies, when they were newly born.  The smell, the snuggle, the sense of awe.  Ahhh, those are good memories.  I love my babies all the way, fully and completely, and my prayer for Baby Leo is to know that same deep and abiding love.

In honor of the new baby, I made booties.  I found this pattern on the wonderful world wide web and made a pair for the sweet new boy, who was named Leonidas by his parents (God love them).  Knowing they will never find anything with his name on it, I made a little charm for his Mom.  I like charms, hope she does, too.  I included a frog for my Mom, who would have loved the great grandkids as much as she loved her grandkids.

The pattern is fun and easy, so I made a pair for a co-worker who just found out grandchild #2 is on the way.  I skipped the bows on this pair as they overshadowed the toes, which I love!  Isn't this yarn amazing!  It's Lion Brand Jamie Yarn - both booties actually. Totally love the way they stripe.  By the way, I went down in needle size from the pattern, so experiment with the pattern to be sure you'll end up with size you want.

Babies are a miracle. A true and honest miracle we can see and touch. ♥

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Let's Saunter!

I totally snatched this off the web.  I could not locate the rightful creator.  If that is you, please drop me a comment and I'll give credit.  Love the artwork!

Today is World Sauntering Day.  This is the first I've heard of it, but I fully support everything that gives us a chance to appreciate our surroundings.  Enjoy this Wednesday by sauntering a little when dash is the norm.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Rings and things...

I realized I haven't posted a pic of our wedding bands, so here it is.  My husband's family is Irish, Scottish, Welsh and I've always been drawn to anything Irish or Scottish, so choosing these bands was a natural fit.  Mark likes unique and he wanted a wide band.  We went silver since it's our Silver Anniversary.  (The details are a little hard to see, so I'm including a better close up, too.  I had to change from color to grayscale because the color was so funky.  Yes, I'm still learning how to take good pictures.  Oh well, what would life be without growth opportunities?!)

At any rate, it took a while to find the right bands, but these I love more and more.  There really isn't enough room on my finger to comfortably fit my 10th anniversary band, plus it's gold, so I'm going with just the new band.  There are three thistles and three celtic knots that go all the way around the band.

I just love Mark's hands.  They are warm and strong and can fix just about anything.  There's a little roughness to them, which speaks to the fact they are working hands.  I feel more secure, more steady whenever they are holding mine.

So I've been a teensy bit crabby this week.  I can't even say why, though I've been trying to figure it out.  Things happen and I'm super ticked, but I'm grown enough to know it's not the unfinished chores or the looney driver.  The fact remains that I'm in need of an attitude adjustment.  Too bad there isn't a store for that!
"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Happy Wednesday!

Not enough time for a real post, but just wanted to add some love to the web!  Found on Pinterest and made me laugh.  Hope you will, too.  Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Thrifted Sheet becomes "Deconstructed" Nightie

Some time ago I discovered a fitted sheet at the thrift store made of 100% cotton and thought for $3.00 it would make a heck of a lot of nightgowns.

Well, I've finally gotten around to sewing with it.  This is the first one and there is plenty of material left over, so I'm going to make at least one more.

This design I created last year (or maybe the year before) for the express purpose of surviving the oh so enjoyable night sweats that come with being peri-menopausal.  I was not looking for fancy or stylish and this is certainly neither.  What it is though, is perfect for my needs.  Cotton breathes and it also cools, which anything with a man made content doesn't.  The design is loose, which also helps with the cooling.  I intentionally left off any collars, facings, etc.  All that does is add layers and warmth when none is needed.

I started by taking a tank top that I like the fit of and creating a paper pattern from it by tracing around the tank, which I had folded in half along the center.  The center front and center back of the pattern pieces are laid on a fold of fabric so there are only two pieces, no center seams.  Because knit (the fabric of the tank top) stretches and cotton does not, I added one inch to each center seam (extending the neck line and hem and making new center seams.

Next you need to figure out the length you want.  Lots of ways you can do it, but here is what I did: Use a tape measure to measure from shoulder to just above the knee.  Transfer that to the pattern by laying your tape measure on the pattern and drawing a new hem line.  I just made mine straight, skipping the traditional curved hemline.

Next, cut out your pattern pieces - there are two.  I serged this entire nightgown.  Start with the necklines. Then serge the shoulder seams together.  Serge around both arm holes.  Next serge one side seam.  Leave the other one till later.  Serging in this order will enclose as many edges as possible in a serged seam, leaving very few tails to trim.  One note: It is somewhat tricky to serge around curves.  My best advice is to practice.

I added the ruffle because I think it's slightly more feminine and since the thing is so plain, I thought it needed something.  To make the ruffle, I cut a piece of sheeting that was 1 1/2 times the width of the finished nightgown by 3".  I serged one long edge.  Then I adjusted the differential feed on my serger until I got a ruffle I liked on scrap material (use the same material you will be making your finished ruffle with because the weight of the fabric plays greatly into the finished product.  See this very helpful serged ruffle tutorial from Sew, Mama, Sew! which will explain the adjustments to ruffle.  My ruffle is not very full.  If you want a fuller ruffle, it may require more fabric.

Once your ruffle is complete, it's time to serge it onto the hem.  Adjust your machine settings back for standard serging and put the nightgown on the bottom and the ruffle on top - right sides together.  Now this will take some fidgeting and adjusting as you are serging to combine these two pieces.  Oh, important information:  Before starting this step measure your ruffle against the nightgown to make sure your ruffle is long enough.  If it isn't, DO NOT WORRY.  You will just need to make a little more ruffle and serge it to the longer piece.  Guess how I know this...  Anybody, Anybody?!

Once your ruffle is attached, it's time to serge the last side seam.

Using my regular sewing machine, I added some pleats to the front neckline because this sheeting fabric has some body to it, which made the neck stick out rather than lay against my body.  The pleats draw it in so it lays flat.  I also added some clear elastic to the shoulder seams because someone cut the shoulders a little too wide.  The elastic is wonderful for addressing this without having to re-serge!
 That's it.  All done.  I like the serged edges so I left them au naturel.  It's cool, lightweight and comfortable.  Plus the pattern is so simple that making a bunch is easy peasy.  That way there is always a fresh nightie!

Happy Saturday one and all.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Love my home...

As you have probably noticed, I really like where I live.  My home is fun, warm, welcoming and the safest, most loving place I've ever known.  But, the reason it is all of those things is because of the people who live here and visit here.  I found this post this morning with a free downloadable print in a bunch of color combinations that says just that.  It's so great I thought I'd share!  Thank you eighteen25!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Aches and gratitude

Yesterday was a jam-packed day filled with worship, weeding and the grocery.  I awoke this morning with some interesting aches and pains.  The good news is that we are well weeded.  I won't say weed free, because that is never true.

I started this blog on Monday and just rediscovered it.  Oh well.  Life is busy and interesting and full and sometimes I just can't squeeze in the blog.  There's no way I'll be complaining about that, though.

Here is a bacon wrapped meatloaf I made last week.  Isn't it beautiful!  I cooked it a little too long, though and it was dry on the inside.  I also skipped the ketchup I normally use in favor of the bacon and I wonder is that contributed to the dryness as well.  But, it's a stunner and was delicious.  Make your favorite meatloaf recipe, shape it into a loaf and place on a broiler pan, which will allow the grease to drip away from the meatloaf.  Start in the middle and lay strips of bacon along the meatloaf and then tuck the ends under.  When you get to the ends of the meatloaf half a piece will be more than enough.  I put those extra pieces on top as a garnish but in future I think I'll just save them for something else.  The bacon added great flavor and it was crispy, which was really good as well.

Remember the post about dinner and trying to figure out how to make it all work... I've discovered that having a snack at what used to be the dinner time hour and is now the coming home from work time hour, takes the edge off and allows me to enjoy the dinner making process again.  We eat later, but that all seems to work out as it's edging toward summer and the sun is with us much longer.

I actually made this meatloaf and it's twin on a weeknight and we ate it that evening.  Also really happy to be figuring this out.

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

Quick fix for breakouts

Here is my quick fix for breakouts:  toothpaste.  Not the gel type, the plain white paste, mint flavored.  I suspect it has something to do with the mint.  You just dab it on and leave it.  You'll feel the tingling and know it's working.  Once the tingling subsides feel free to wash it off, but you don't need to.  Sometimes I put it on before bed and leave it till morning.  It's up to you.  I notice a difference in the size and painfulness of the breakouts immediately.  Usually one application will suffice, but it might take two.

Give it a try and let me know if it works for you.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Happy Saturday!

We have grandkids visiting today.  The beauty, the absolute beauty of kids is that they are a bright, shining light when you need it.  I'm watching a blond 3 year old cutie push around a yoga ball.  Back and forth between rooms.  She wants to call it Ruby.  I say okay.  Whoops now she is "talking" on the telephone.

In the first 30 minutes we looked at frogs and turtles, fed gold fish in the pond, perused the garden naming all the things planted in there, had a potty stop and made beautiful music on the piano.

Life is good and I'm very thankful for my visitors.

This is the first rose on the climbing rose bush and if you look close you can see the visitor on the lower petal, who I suspect has been eating the leaves like they are candy.