Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Free-Style Handmade Skirt

     I picked up this great book from Barnes and Noble this past summer entitled Free-Style Handmade Bags and Skirts.  I was trying to find simple patterns that I could use repeatedly and that didn't cost me $6 a piece.  I also wanted to have the ability to play around with the patterns a bit and "do my own thing".  When I found this book, I saw that it contained dozens of simple but adorable skirt patterns as well as patterns for purses and bags.  They were easy to follow and basic enough that I could make multiple skirts from each pattern without it looking like I had gone out and bought one skirt in every color the store supplied (I hate that).   The skirts are not so simple that they are boring, however.  There are so many different styles. Some more complex than others, but all are very doable if you are familiar with sewing basics.
     For my first try, I started with the A-line with pleats. So, so, SOOOOO simple! It called for an invisible zipper, which I love, and it could be altered to my hearts content.  I added a lining because the material was rather thin. I'm not exactly sure why I did this, but I also only put pleats in the front instead of in the front and back. 
    I love the final result and can't wait for my next skirt.  (I already have the fabric!) This was definitely money well spent.  I am constatly trying to find cute skirts that are simple, and now I can just make them. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Steal of a Deal

I snagged these amazing vintage-style boxes from a discount store in our area last weekend.  If you've been following my blog (or just visited it once), you might have seen the huge steamer trunks that I'm crazy about.  Well, I've settled for a couple of little brothers that are considerably less expensive but have just the same look.  I found them at Ollie's, our local discount store that sells overstock from other stores.  Although it's not a place at which I make a habit of shopping, I sometimes find great deals there on things I really love.  These boxes being a couple of those things I LOVE, I just had to show them off a little.  Here they are!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Memories of 9/11

    It's amazing to me that when I talk to some of my younger students about 9/11, they have almost no memory of it.  They were too young to remember the fear and uncertainty of that day.  Although I wish that it had never happened, I am thankful that I can remember when it did. 

     It was the week of our school's annual school camp, and we were up in the mountains enjoying ourselves and having a great time.  Early on the morning of the eleventh, we were making our way to the chow hall when I kept overhearing talk of something terrible happening in New York.  The adults were talking in hushed tones and being the carefree, unconcerned eleventh grader that I was, I just figured that they were talking about some incident that happened decades ago.  Then that horrible loudspeaker above the chow hall enterance began to pump out media headlines of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center.  None of us could believe what we were hearing. Immediately, we all began to panic.  The first thing that came to my mind was that America was under attack.  Were they coming for us way up here in the mountains?!! As much as they could, our teachers and counselors began to try to calm us down, but there was little they could do.  Several of the men that were volunteering at the camp were in the military and had to rush to report to base. What was going to happen?  What were we going to do?  Are we safe?  We were all just a bunch of kids stuck up in the mountains of Washington with no contact with the outside world and no mom or dad to tell us that everything was going to be okay.
     We were somewhat successful with our attempt to enjoy the rest of the week.  Our teachers did their best to create a positive atmosphere within the camp, but I think all of us just wanted to go home.  I know I did.  I wanted to see my dad, and I wanted to be in my own house with my own things surrounded by what was familiar to me. With so much uncertainty, I longed for the things of which I WAS sure.

     The weeks end eventually came, and we all went home to find out how things had progressed.  What we found was not encouraging.  Our nation was at war.  Our loved ones who were serving in the military would have to leave us to fight.  The enemy had attacked us in our own Land.  What we never thought possible had become a realitiy. 

     Here we are, almost a decade later, and still we are fighting the same fight.  I never want to forget how I felt on that day when the Twin Towers fell.  I want to rememer the sacrifice that so many have made and the liberty that we must all fight to keep. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Picture Perfect?

The walls in my house laugh at me....  No, I'm not going crazy, but I do have just about the most obnoxiously large and defiant walls ever to be built by man.  Painted a beautfiul, relaxing neutral tan, they should be inspiring me with their warmth and clean palette. Instead, all I see is how tall (two story walls in my living room) and how extremely long they all are. They are waiting for me to muster enough courage to attmept to hang something upon them.  Whether it be a mirror or a framed picture or a sconce, they know that even after the fourteenth time I've hammered and pulled out the same nail, what I've hung will still be about 1/4" too low.  And that's when they laugh. I stand, I stare, and I suffer through idea after idea, hoping that I won't have to spend hours on HGTV's website to deal with the dilemma.  Needless to say, I am more than a little relieved and very excited when I come up with something I absolutely love! When it's not a collage of plates or a wall art transfer, I know I've hit the jackpot. 

My living room has been the project that I've most wanted to tackle in our gorgeous home.  It's the first room you enter when coming through the door, and I wanted it to draw you in and say, "relax!" It's getting there. I knew I needed some great artwork and an amazing color palette to set the mood.  I loved the idea of a turn-of-the-century feel with warm reds, yellows, rusty oranges, and deep greens.  Very comfy and very vintage. All this in the attempt to beat my walls at their own game.

I found these vintage travel posters online and fell in love with the colors.  The pictures make you feel like you're on your way to some exotic location.

I'm happy with how the mantle turned out.  It makes me smile. My parents bought us this poster during out last trip to Seattle.  Love, love, love!  Thanks, Dad and Mom!!!

Postcard pictures from IKEA.  I thought they were fun and colorful.  The frames really make them pop.
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