Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Plaid is rad

It's been a challenge trying to find the time to sew. I should just drop out of school and quit my job so I can be artsy and craftsy all day everyday. Yeah... that sounds like a good plan.

I've been working on that Built by Wendy pattern and it's almost finished but I need to change a few small things. The sleeves came out a little odd and I need to hem it. In the meantime, I've been distracted by some thrift store re-purpose projects. I came across this giant plaid mumu that had potential. When I started to take it apart, I noticed that someone had tried to take it in... several times... so there were three separate lines sewn on either side (and they didn't even go all the way up so it created some pretty funky pocket like things on the outside)- anyway, there was a butt-load of material. I cut off the sleeves (may add some simple ones later) and added in seam pockets- although it's still pretty roomy so I may have to take it in some more. I might make a skirt out of the leftover material from the bottom.

I was apparently in the mood for plaid because I picked up three plaid prints at Goodwill. This one was a homemade dress made with some kind of semi-flowy cotton blend. Maybe rayon? It's extra soft. It had some pretty funky denim cuffs and a matching collar. So far I just took the hem up, ripped out the denim, and altered the sleeves- but I may do more to it later.

And yeah... I'm in my sweats. I thought they made the outfit.... Ok, actually, I was too lazy to "try".

I apologize for my dress form flashing you. I got her for free and she has such an odd shape. At least she does her job.... sort of. I suppose I'll keep her around for a while.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Change of topic

Soo... I've been incredibly obsessed with the world of sewing and crafting lately that it seems all I do is daydream about fabrics and patterns and techniques... which is not a good thing considering I have a government paper due tonight. But because of this obsession I've decided to be one of those people that blogs about my projects. Why you ask? Because I can. Besides... I can think of a total of one person who reads this regularly (Hi Craig!), so I can do what I want ;-)

I've been browsing blogs and have discovered several projects I want to try. Like these: here, here, and here (just to name a few!). I've ordered some pretty fantastic fabric over the last several weeks( like this and this!) and a few patterns including a Japanese pattern book.

This is my current project (above): A Built by Wendy pattern that has been pretty simple so far.
I'm making the center top with a few alterations. It's about 5 inches longer and I'm adding in-seam pockets... hopefully. I'm using a yellow seersucker, since I don't absolutely LOVE the fabric, I figured it was a good start in case I messed up horribly (it's been a while since I have sewn from a pattern).

And for whatever reason, blogger isn't allowing me to place the pictures where I want, and at this point I'm too lazy to figure it out (I have a paper due in a few hours, remember!). Silly silliness.

Well.. hopefully I will finish the top-dress-tunic thing this weekend and I can show it off. To my one or two readers (which, quite frankly, is all I need!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just Live

A whole year has gone by since I last wrote anything. I guess I sometimes feel like my thoughts are too private to share with the world... then I realize there are probably only about 4 people that actually read this =)
However, there are times where I feel like I just need to get my thoughts out there- even if the only person it brings any relief to is myself. I read my last post and I am realizing that I need to strive to feel that changed again. It's easy to settle into a routine and forget about what's really important, but I have been reminded lately of where my importance should lie. God is stretching me- and it can be pretty painful at times- but I just have to thank him for changing my heart for the better. It's so easy for me to feel sorry for myself or to wish things were different but I have been blessed with a major piece of wisdom recently: It truly doesn't matter where I live, what I do, or who I am doing it with- as long as I am pursuing truth and righteousness through the Father. There is absolutely nothing I can do to justify his love for me. He gives it to me freely and openly and with out a single string attached and the more I try to earn it the more frustrated I become. I have been extremely blessed with someone who truly loves me the way that God does, and it's hard for me to accept it at times. When I can learn to accept God's love for what it is- a perfect gift- then maybe I could really accomplish something with my life.

When God is talking to Job in chapter 39 he talks about different animals and how they live their lives:

13 “The wings of the ostrich wave proudly,
but are they the pinions and plumage of love?
14 For she leaves her eggs to the earth
and lets them be warmed on the ground,
15 forgetting that a foot may crush them
and that the wild beast may trample them.
16 She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers;
though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear,
17 because God has made her forget wisdom
and given her no share in understanding.
18 When she rouses herself to flee,
she laughs at the horse and his rider.

It was brought to my attention recently that maybe God talks about these animals to remind us that we have one common goal and that we shouldn't worry about anything else in life. To live with out fear is, ironically, very scary- but if I could accomplish it I could have a fulfilled and peaceful life. If something doesn't go the way we want or expect then it shouldn't matter because we should have the constant joy of knowing what our purpose is. It is better to live simply then to constantly worry about those things in which we can not change. Or even the things we can change, for that matter. I just don't want to look back on my life wishing I had spend less time worrying and more time living.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Where are you going?

A few things have happened to me recently that are changing my perspective on the world. It's so easy for me to feel sad and defeated when I look around me, but it's time I changed my attitude. I'm reading "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller, and he emphasizes the idea of telling a better story. Living a better life. Not just talking about it, or thinking about it, or saying "maybe one day I will....", but actually DOING it. Making it happen. He also talks about the things he did to make his story better. He talks about how in every good story, the main character undergoes some sort of transformation, and that we are all living out a story. It's really inspiring. Read it!

I was also blessed enough to attend the Passion Conference in Atlanta earlier this month. I didn't quite know what I was getting into before I went, but I was completely and utterly blown away by what took place. Over 20,000 God-loving college students from all over the world gathered together to praise God and to actually DO something to make a difference in this world. Over $600,000 was raised for different organizations such as the Not For Sale Campaign, for Children with cleft palettes, small business loans for women in Haiti (before the earthquake) and so much more. Thousands of towels and even more pairs of socks were brought in for the homeless of Atlanta, and lives were transformed. If you think that it's incredible- not only was over $600,000 raised (100,000 over the original goal)- someone in Atlanta heard about what was happening and wrote a check, on the spot, matching what was already raised, bringing the total to over 1 million dollars to help feed hungry children, save women from being sold as sex slaves, and forever change lives. Like I said, it's one thing to talk about something but it's completely another thing to actually do it.

Before that weekend... I was so caught up in my own "problems" (not knowing my future, feeling stuck here, things that are so incredibly small compared to what is going on in the world around me every day)- that I was forgetting about what's important. My life was changed that weekend. Seeing that many young people care so much about what's going on in the world made me realize how incredibly selfish I am. I am wasting the gifts I have. I don't want to sit back and wait for the opportunity to make a difference come to me. I want to put myself out there, to risk failure, to risk heartbreak- in order to make a difference. I don't want to take the easy route anymore. I want to tell a better story. I want to love the world, starting in my community, and working my way out from there. I can't always expect big things to happen, but I have to start small. To remember that every smile, every phone call, every touch counts. Transformation starts from within. It's so easy to get lost in ourselves and forget about those who are truly in need. All it takes is opening our eyes and realize that we CAN make a difference.

And now... seeing how the world is getting involved and actually doing something for the people in Haiti has really confirmed in my heart the path I need to be on. The path to compassion and love. I don't care anymore about which career to choose, or where to live. I mean, those things are important of course- but I believe that as long as I am on the right path the rest will sort of work itself out.

Donald Miller talks about hiking the Inca trail, and how the long and difficult journey made reaching the destination so much more fulfilling than if they had taken the shorter path.

He says:

"The pain made the city more beautiful. The story made us different characters than if we'd showed up at the ending an easier way. It made me think about the hard lives so many people have had, the sacrifices they've endured, and how those people will see heaven differently from those of us who have had easier lives."

The journey truly does define the ending and I don't want to take the easy route anymore.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Where is yours?

What is it about us silly human beings that we tend to base our happiness and our peace off of the people around us? What people think about us, whether or not we are in a relationship, if we have a lot of friends... and so on. I don't want to let what other people think if me define who I am. I'm not trying to say that how we interact with the people around us isn't important... it's very important, but I just think we waste too much energy on letting what other people say or do shape how we view ourselves. I only say all this because it's something I have struggled with for a long time, and I think it's the first time in my life I'm letting go of a lot of it.  I just moved home... I really don't have a lot of friends, I'm not in the place I should be in my life according to the world's opinion, I'm sure not anywhere close to settling down with anyone... and I am finding my own peace through it all. I think it's important to find peace within ourselves rather than within the people we hang out with or the job we have or anything else. Because when those things falter what do you have left? Yourself.

It's been really good for me to dig deeper into myself and find out where my joy lies... and I keep discovering that it doesn't always lie where it should. I've been trying to focus on the simple things, and trying to put my relationship with God first.  I've been spending more time alone with him, opening myself up more. I don't think I ever realize how easy it is to sort of keep God at an arm's length away at all times. He's there when I need him, but that's it. I don't want that kind of relationship with him... I want more than that.

Anyway... I think it's important for us to really take the time to evaluate ourselves and find out what truly gives us joy and peace. Is it what others see in us, or what we see in ourselves?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus"

Paul goes on after this to talk about all the things we need to focus on in order to feel the peace he is talking about here. It's spelled out so plainly, so simply. Then why is it so hard to find this peace in our daily lives? I have been thinking about these verses for days now. Striving to rejoice and let this peace wash over me. There are so many things to worry about, to stress over, to wonder about... but honestly... in the long run, none of it even matters. God hasn't promised me success, or marriage, or riches, or good fortune, or even happiness; all he's promised me is eternal life, and that is enough! I could go through this life with nothing but my faith, and I would have everything I need. It's amazing how I so often forget that. How I convince myself that it's so important that I make all the right decisions and live in all the right places and be with all the right people. That's not how it works. This is probably the first time in my life that I am really and truly trying to listen to God's voice and allow him to just lead me. I don't want to make the decisions anymore. I don't want to try and figure out every step I'm going to take. Since when was I ever in control anyway? I just sometimes like to think that I am. I have NEVER been in control, and I never will be, and as soon as I learn that and live that I will feel that peace that's been promised to me. God is so good, isn't he? Why would I ever live my life in such a way that shows I doubt that? Yet when I worry, that's exactly what I'm doing.

I'm tired of living my life in fear.

Rejoice in the Lord. That's all it takes. Rejoice in every aspect of this life I've been blessed with. If I can find that joy... that pure joy in the Lord, I will have everything I need to make it through this life.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

who, what, where?

Wow... so change sometimes comes about pretty quick. It's hard to tell sometimes when the change is good or maybe not so good. I pray that these decisions I've made over the past few weeks are the best ones I could have. As of April 7th, I will be a Floridian again. I'm not sure how the decision came about... but All I know is I had been thinking about ways to feel more useful here.. to feel busy again (busy in a way other than working all the time). And somehow the idea to move home came up.. and then it was decided. It was all so fast.. still is. If you had asked me three weeks ago, I probably would have said I would never live in Florida again. Funny how things change so quickly. I really miss my family and I think it's about time I spent some real time with them. There isn't much keeping me here except my job. I can't even participate in my old ministries because I have to work full time just to be able to live here. It sort of defeats the purpose. Anyway... it's hard though, because I've really grown to love the people here, especially the ones I work with. It will be hard to say good-bye to my residents, I just feel like it's time to move on. So back home I go for a while. I'll probably get some school out of the way until I figure out for sure what I want to do in life. There really are so many options and I think I need to let God lead me rather than trying to figure it all out. I think the best place for me to do that is home with my family, where I belong (for now, anyway). I'm actually really excited about the thought of being home for a while, considering I had it set in my mind that I would never live at home again. It's all so overwhelming, and I know it will be tough, but I don't plan on falling back and being lazy. I need to stay active and continue seeking ways to serve anywhere I go. I know God will bless this decision.

Anyway... that's the scoop on my life at the moment. Crazy, I know.