Five Things

Happy Friday!

It’s been an interesting week around here. Husband was out of town for work twice, and the remaining 3 of us had 4 illnesses by Thursday. I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say we are hobbling toward the weekend. So much for getting back on the sewing/jewelry bandwagon. Here are a few things on my mind this week:

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1. Outdoor Fabric. After getting the new mattress for the daybed last weekend, I put an old twin sheet on it temporarily while I decide how I really want to decorate it. In addition to a mattress cover, I’m thinking about curtains and pillows and reupholstering the chairs that go with our patio set. So many possibilities! I’m flooding my Pinterest Outdoors board with ideas. (One morning this week, I woke up to the sound of rain. I made coffee and started breakfast and headed out back. Sitting on the porch, sipping coffee, listening to the rain was about as close to a perfect moment as I can imagine.)

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2. Jewelry. Here’s what my workshop looks like right now. Pretty pieces that are supposed to inspire me to sit down and make something piled next to a box of to-do’s, of loose ends – outgrown pjs and school papers and a broken refrigerator handle. I feel like all I’m accomplishing are little tasks to cross of my list. I was texting with a friend last week, and she said she was sitting at her beading table for a few minutes and that it was lovely. “That’s what I should be doing,” I texted back. “It shouldn’t be a ‘should’,” she replied. So true. I think I’ve been putting creativity on my to-do list, but it never seems urgent, so I never get to it. It’s time to reframe it. Making things is Important, not Urgent, and I need to carve out time to just enjoy the process, and to not worry about finishing something to cross off my list.

3. I just loved this.

4. This was a funny, interesting read.

5. And these cracked me up. Especially the last one.

This weekend, BB has choir practices and performances, but in between, I think I’m going to take some time to sit down in my workshop and just play. I’m really looking forward to it. What are you up to this weekend?

Five Things

Happy Friday!

It’s been almost one week since the big fundraiser, and life around here has felt so quiet. I know there are busy days on the horizon, but for now, I’m savoring quiet mornings with coffee and books, little people in PJs until lunchtime, and afternoons spent outside until dinner.

In the midst of the calm, here are a few things on my mind this week:

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1. This book. I finished it Wednesday night, and I immediately wanted clean out ALL THE THINGS. For some reason, the china cabinet called to me first. The author says you have to start with clothes, and Husband (who hasn’t read the book) said we should start in the den. I’m hoping my motivation remains strong without re-reading because it’s a library book, and I waited almost two months to get it. I feel like purchasing it would defeat the purpose. I’ll let you know how it goes.

2. Speaking of cleaning out closets, this was a great read on balance.

3. Outdoor daybeds. I finally found one on Craigslist for a steal! Now I need to find a relatively cheap mattress and decide what color covering I want for it on our back porch. And pillows! Oh, the possibilities. Can’t wait to sit out here this spring and read. Or nap. Definitely see some back porch naps in my future.

billy joel

4. A ranking of all of Billy Joel’s songs. Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits Volume I and Volume II sounds like high school for me, even though the songs came out quite a few years before that. I remember listening to “Only the Good Die Young” on my Sony Discman that was attached to my car with a cassette attached to a cord (remember those?) on the way to play practice and dance rehearsals. I saw him in concert when I was 15, where he closed with “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant”. “She’s Got a Way About Her” is still one of the prettiest songs I know. I loved Movin’ Out. And honestly, while I don’t know many of the songs on this list, the ones I do always make me smile. Isn’t that what pop music is all about, really?

5. This made me laugh. Electric Youth perfume. Totally guilty.

What are you up to this weekend? We’ve got lots of fun things on the calendar that will keep us busy. Hoping for a little downtime for reading – I’ve got no less than 7 library books checked out. Also hoping to add a few new jewelry pieces to my Etsy shop. Hope your weekend is full of calm and quiet and respite and making good memories.

 

Is It Spring Yet?

 

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Hello! I’m back!

I had a feeling that I would be slowing down on projects in February, but I thought I would sew SOMETHING in the midst of all the Bunco planning. Nope. February was a whirlwind of donation collections, ticket sales, event planning, people coordinating, and more trips to the Dollar Store than I could possibly count. It was SO MUCH FUN, but it was SO much work, too. The big event was this past Friday night, and we had a great turn out and raised money for our beloved preschool. I am so grateful to be part of such an amazing community of families, and I am glad that I have the opportunity to give back in this way.

On Saturday morning after the big event, Husband took the kids to get an oil change and get breakfast at McDonalds, a rare treat. I slept until 7:30 and then had the house to myself for a few hours. I thought I would start sewing, but instead I made myself an omelette and took my coffee back to bed to read. It was glorious. The perfect way to unwind after a busy week month.

When Monday afternoon rolled around, BB was off at school, BG was napping, and I had a couple of free hours with nothing to do. I immediately got out my sewing machine.

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I found this vintage dress over Christmas. While we were in Tennessee visiting family, Husband’s grandmother and I decided to hit up the one estate sale happening during the break. We drove out to Elizabethton, but there wasn’t really much to be found, especially since I would have to pack anything I got for the flight home.

(I have two memories of Elizabethton. The first, from my childhood: My brother lived in Elizabethton when he was in college at ETSU. He used to tell people that he lived on the “outskirts of Johnson City” – he seemed embarrassed to say he lived in Carter County. We went to visit one time, and he took us to this little Italian restaurant that he called a “dive” – first time I had ever heard that term. He warned us that the waitresses there would sit down with you and smoke a cigarette while they took your order. Husband’s grandmother and I drove past the restaurant on our excursion. It looked exactly the same as it did 20+ years ago.

And now, a new memory of Elizabethton:  While driving around this trip, trying to find a thrift store, we saw a woman not much younger than Husband’s grandmother walking down the road in full camo with a shotgun flung over one shoulder and what I can only assume was “breakfast” thrown over the other.)

We never found the thrift store, so we headed to Johnson City.

vintage tennessee dress

First, let me tell you, thrift store prices vary widely from area to area. At the Goodwill I went to in Tennessee, I found clothes for BG for $1.79 – a bright pink vintage Health-Tex corduroy skirt. (A skirt I probably owned at some point, honestly – it looked so familiar.  Do you remember Health-Tex? I remember having mix-and-match Health-Tex outfits.) This vintage dress in perfect condition was less than $7.

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I loved the creamy color and the light, flowy, sheerness of the fabric.

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I loved the little gathered shoulders.

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I even liked the little pearl buttons and the secretary tie neckline.

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I didn’t love the ruffled cuffs on the sleeves.

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Or the frumpy length.

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I started by taking the sleeves apart.

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There was some old, stretched out elastic in the cuffs of the sleeves that needed to be replaced, so I tried to carefully remove the ruffles, but I realized I could use my small, sharp scissors to just cut the ruffles away from the hem and then seam rip the hem apart. Once the ruffle was gone, I sewed a little casing and threaded new elastic through on each sleeve.

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When it was time to shorten the hem, I tried a couple of different ideas before realizing that using my trusty scarf-hem technique would be the easiest. I am not very good with sheer, silky fabrics, and this technique covers a multitude of sewing sins.

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When I found this dress at the thrift store in December, I thought that it would be great in the spring and that I could make it work in the winter months. Little did I know I wouldn’t even get around to it until spring – well, at least spring-like weather in Northern California.

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When I went outside to snap photos, I was met with the fragrance of these flowers blooming on the bushes beside our house. They are so pretty and delicate and sweet. I wanted to stay outside all afternoon.

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Here I’m checking out the bees buzzing by my ear, making sure I don’t get too close. (I know, if your back East, the last thing you want to hear about are the flowers and bees. Sorry.)

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Clearly it is still winter, as I am still very, very pale.

DSC_0073Love the way the hem turned out – the stitched double fold adds a little bit of structure to the hem that makes it look really pretty.

DSC_0173And here’s what I was envisioning when I bought the dress – warm layers for winter.

DSC_0194Alas, we haven’t had much of a winter, anyway.

sheer vintage dress

Won’t be long until it’s really spring.

 

 

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