Thursday, May 24, 2012

Being a Mother...

Is really hard sometimes. I never wish I wasn't a mother but sometimes I dream about having a live-in-nanny! When you become a mother you shouldn't give up on your personal dreams or stop having interests outside the home, almost every one knows that. But, some of those dreams are going to come to a slow crawl and your interests outside the home are going to become a bit more hit or miss. Sometimes you find out what you thought you wanted (a summer home and yacht) wasn't really what you wanted at all (nine hours of sleep in a row and a steak dinner you can eat with out being interrupted).

It's okay to change and it's okay for the things we love and work for to change too. The most amazing thing is when you realize despite all the hardships and changes that you wouldn't change it or go back. And sometimes your kids show you how blessed you are to be part of their lives in the first place.

As soon as I became a mother I was all over Mother's Day. I mean it's like a mini birthday you share with other women. Sweet!! (I'm a little ashamed to admit any day I get a present is an exciting day to me). And, because of my kids' age, the responsibility of making my mother's day great has always been left up to Brian (who is very good at btw). Until this year...

My oldest, my SuperH gave me a mother's day that reminded me why being a mother is so worth it (I've always known it but it's nice to get reminders). They had a mother's day tea at his school. I wore a dress and he seemed pretty excited. When we got there I found out he had made me a bracelet, a place mat, a flower, and they preformed a song for us. All the other mom's talked about how it was suppose to have been a surprise but their kids couldn't stop talking about it. SuperH had never said a word, made me wonder if he wasn't into it like the other kids, even though he kept holding my hand and giving me kisses and asking me, days before, if I was going to wear a dress (and a month and counting after if I'm going to wear the bracelet).

Then we came home and Brian asked how it went. Then he told me that SuperH has been telling him about this Mother's Day tea for months. Every day on the way home from school filling Brian in on what they were working on next. "He was so excited" Brian told me. So I learned to things First my Kid is more awesome then the other kids because he took secret keeping seriously, second he loves me and was excited to make me feel special.

I did feel special. And when he's making me crazy the way only a five year old can do, I remember he's the best five year old and I'm glad it's him making me crazy and not someone else.

This is us after planting some plants they had grown for us
Neither one of us knows what they are...

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Sorbetto Parade!

I thought you might be interested in how you can take one pattern and make it into several different looks. This is the Sorbetto shirt pattern, free, from Colette Patterns

The first batch I'm going to show you are from my dear friend and sewing enthusiast Jen. She is really amazing people. If she decides to learn how to do something she is an expert before I have time to make a batch of cookies! She has two little girls (can you imagine having two people that will wear pink and flowers!) and is one of my best friends.

Jen made these three shirts into nursing tops. The purple shirt is made from a knit and has an inverted pleat rather then a box pleat. The floral tops are lined with flannel so as to be a bit warmer and detach at the shoulder. The cuter then cute baby is wearing a coordinating cape and also has several matching bibs in the fabrics (Gaaaaaahhhhh Sooooo Cuuuuute).

 The yellow floral top has an inverted pleat instead of a box pleat and was finished with bias tape made by Jen. She also added sleeves. AND (this will blow your mind) it is made from two thrifted pillow cases!!!!

The next sorbets are from my sewing machine. The floral sorbetto was the first one any of us had made. I added piping to the neck line and to the inverted pleat along with a few vintage buttons. I also added sleeves because I don't love the tops of my arms. I wish I had made the sleeves a bit bigger for comfort.

That's my dad. He totally rocks and is awesome and taught me how to marvel at nature and see God in trees and stuff. I love my dad so much it makes me crazy!

The next sorbetto we have is one I made from a dress that was stupid. I loved the fabric and it's light as air, perfect for summer. I added vintage lace and vintage buttons. I also added fluttery cap sleeves (with lace). I don't have two daughters so I have to lace-ify my own clothes.

Lastly we have a Sorbetto that I made for my sister for Christmas. She's not modeling it because it's lingerie and she's a nice girl. I also made bloomers to match using the fabric from the bias tape. I did an inverted pleat to make it more flowy and finished the inside with ribbon.

So there you have it seven different shirts from one pattern (and a free one at that). For me it's great to stretch my brain and play with my creativity making different things from one base pattern. It's also great because you can change it to meet your needs (nursing mother, hot summer weather...). Hope you enjoyed our parade!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Dress.

I decided to be frugal and use a pattern I already had to make one of the dresses on my "summer list". I used the peony pattern (my Easter dress) again but did it in a very vintage looking cotton and added pockets and nixed the cumber bun and bought a red belt instead (I had to return it for a smaller belt later). I wanted to create a dress I could wear during the week in my regular life, so it needed to be cool for summer and washable.

Love the vintage inspired cherry fabric. Good one JoAnn's

I happily sewed along very quickly as I had just made this up for Easter and then I tried it on... Oh. My. Word. It was awful! The neckline was so huge I looked like I was in Queen Elizabeth's (the first) Court, or that my head had been shrunk by an evil voodoo doctor. I cried. Then I cut a new neckline and finished it with bias tape, AND... Had a huge bubble in my back. The dress would have fit Quasimodo perfect. I cried again. Then I did some last minute "hail mary" stuff with the shoulders put it away and tried it on in the morning AND... It fit!!! Not only did it fit but it totally had a 1940's silhouette that I adore. I have no idea why the dress worked for Easter and not for Mother's Day. Maybe it had something to do with the different fabrics but I probably won't be making up this pattern again. Love the two I ended up with though.

The second time I wore the dress I threw on an apron to get ready for lunch without thinking much about it. When I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror I thought "Wow I look like I stepped out of a Time Life photo." The pose on the right is my "Homemakers for Victory" pose.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Baby.

You'll have to indulge me for a minute. My husband tells me that my baby is no longer a baby. To which I scoff, to which he points to various evidences that he is correct. One evidence is that Conster is now sleeping in a regular twin size bed.

So this bedding is pretty cute. Which I'm
sure explains why there were only two left in the
My husband can be such a jerk, and I keep warning him that should he persist in his assertions that my baby is no longer a baby we may end up with another actual baby. He would like to know how I'll accomplish that without his consent. But seriously, we work for a church there are babies everywhere I'm sure I could russell up one somehow. Just kidding about stealing a baby! But, if you know anyone that's giving one away...

Those piggers kill me!

So Conster's big boy bed. We were blessed to get this bunk bed (SuperH will be joining his brother when school is out and I'll be getting a bonafide sewing room! Hoorah!!) from a couple in our church for a steal (there I go talking about stealing again!) and my mom paid for his mattress and new bedding set (try finding cute boy bedding I dare you!). Let me just say for the record that Conster is ECSTATIC! He loves that he's no longer a baby (so they say). I don't. I do love that moving him from a toddler bed to a regular bed made him look sort of tiny again.

Someday I'd like to get paid big bucks
to design cute stuff for boys. There seems
to be a real hole in the market.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Festival of Faith And Writing.

I want to be a writer. Or maybe I am a writer? I get confused. I do write; I blog, obviously, I write bible study lesson plans, I write stories for the on-line publication BC Current (well I wrote two stories for them), and I am oh so slowly working on a novel. Kind of. I mean I am sort of working on it I just take super long breaks from working on it and fret about it. I fret about the novel a lot, it's sort of embarrassing. So I struggle with this: I do write, I love to write, but I don't want to be one of those "I'm-a-writer-who-doesn't-really-write-and-I'm-so-deep poser people." I'm not sure if those people are real but it's a real issue in my brain.
My friends Susie and Amelia. They both have book deals
and they match the painting behind them.

My Heather! Also I wore something
made-by-me every day.

I know one thing for sure. If I am a writer, or am going to be a writer (maybe I should say if I'm going to be a published-payed writer) I am going to have to work harder. I spend a lot of time putting it off (the laundry's not going to do itself people). But, that's not really the truth. I put it off because I'm a tad bit lazy and I'm a lot bit scared. It's the age old "scared to fail", "scared of rejection", "scared to try", problem.
At our Bed and Breakfast, Peaches.

So I decided to go be inspired and I took my sister Heather (a way talented writer btw) to the Festival of Faith in Writing, with the great expectation of being overwhelmed, confused, and discouraged. It was FABULOUS! So worth the money!!!!! As I was freaking out to my best friend about the trip (I get nervous when I don't know what to expect, I'm sort of a worst case scenario person) she said "What do you want to get out of this?" and I said "Well, I want to be inspired and mostly I just want to spend quality time with my sister." to which she responded "I think you can do that. You are a grown up, just do what you want." (This last comment was because I was freaking out that there was no lunch break). My Megan is so smart!

She's always dresses cute.
The Wisteria plant at this place blew our minds.
What happened was just what I wanted plus a lot. Heather and I never get to spend very much alone time together now that we're married blah blah blah. So to have three days of just talking was amazing! We stayed up too late, ate great food and were able to go on and on about our shared love of writing. We also heard some incredible speakers, founds great books, were inspired, saw a family of ducks and a baby squirrel (squeeee). We were lost a lot, saw old friends (we've known them for a long time they're not old) met new people, and talked to an agent (a real life agent that was a human and seemed nice and owns dogs)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was so great! Instead of seeing all those people and thinking "we can't all get published" I thought "Hey if they can do it then so can I!" and to have someone I love right beside me telling me I can do it made a big difference too. It brought up some good questions about where I'm headed (which has lead to "office hours" so I don't have excuses to keep putting it off). This festival isn't cheap (to me) but it's every other year and I think so totally worth it! I am going back and I'm dragging Heather along and in twenty years her and I will be there as speakers (okay maybe not but it's not out of the question).

So here's to working hard (or harder at least) and not giving up our dreams, and being brave!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Little Youth Sunday.

Four times a year there are five sundays in the month. For those of you that don't know my husband is a youth minister. We LOVE it! Love working with the students, love all the fun things we get to do, love love love love it. On those fifth sundays our church has youth sunday. Basically means Brian preaches and the students are as involved in the behind and in-front scenes as possible. I'm a little musical (played the trumpet since fifth grade which I'm sure you can guess come is sooooo handy) so I help organize and lead the worship.

Even though this happens only four times a year it still catches me by surprise. After every sunday I say "next time I will be way more organized. Next time I will plan this out a month in advance." And I'm still caught off guard. Every. Single. Time. My students are so amazing that it always pulls together and ends up being wonderful. I am very blessed.

This month was no different, in that I was not as organized as I would like and in that the students were wonderful. It was different in that Brian and I were dealing with a family emergency and I had just gotten back from the "Festival of Faith and Writing" (have I not blogged about that yet? Gasp, I must!) So I was extra spent, my tank was running on the proverbial empty.

Imagine my surprise when during our "dress rehearsal" saturday I found myself experiencing music in a totally new way. I've talked about magic before. How I can't put into words; what I feel inside, a pulsing power that I have no idea how to unleash. And I'm not sure how to talk about it now (with out sounding crazy any way) but this blog is about more then sewing, it's about my quirky, wacky, sometimes frustrating life. I want it to be true and real.

So here it is. While we were rehearsing the song "Better is One Day." I think my heart left my body and just sort of soared away. "Better is one day in your courts, better is one day in your house, then thousands elsewhere." I could feel the music filling me up from the inside until it started leaking out of my tear ducts.  I felt it shoot out of my fingers and blast through my chest. I imagined that the song was making it's way out of the church, down Riverside Drive, out of the county and on it's way to all the hurting people I love so much. I imagined that the song drifted in through my in-laws windows. It was lavender and soft. I saw it wrap itself around my nephews and niece and comfort their hearts. I wanted it to wash over my mother-in-law and father-in-law and strengthen their spirits. I felt like the song had the magic to reach all the way to Ohio and beyond. Maybe it could whisper into the heart that needs to change. Maybe it could give them the courage to change their lives no matter how hard. Maybe it could show someone how to trust again. I do feel like we're connected in ways that have nothing to do with Facebook and Twitter. I felt like this was one of those ways.

I couldn't really even get through the song. I felt so exhausted and so tired but I also felt something else. I felt magic.