August 29, 2011

"And pull your hair back from your face."

That was always my mom's advice when I would ask her how an outfit looked. She was and is a firm believer in showing off your face. It's also helpful to note that I wore half of my hair covering my face in my teenage years. Long bangs, too-deep side parts, weird front curls, you name it, it was over one eye. Anyway...

My fall refashion challenge (see previous post!) is going well. Slowly but surely, I'm remaking duds into do-ables. Admittedly, I took a sewing rabbit trail and made a dumpy pair of $4 Target pants into cute cutoff shorts and then dove into transforming one of Anthony's million white tshirts into a feminine, slouchy embellished tee for me. I was actually really happy with the results and will post a pic of it once I wear the outfit again.

On another ambitious note, the 1-15 Infantry Battalion is having a Christmas formal this December. DRESS-UP TIME!!!!!!!!!!!! I do appreciate a grown-up party, and am excited to make my dress this year with the help of a vintage dressform that my brother-in-law and his pretty wife gave me for my birthday. It's ready to go in our front room, adjusted to my generous body proportions.

I burned my already-blind eyes out on Pinterest looking for the spark of an idea as to what I wanted to wear, and I found it. It's gorgeous and I already ordered a lace swatch from Mood Fabrics (NYC, baby!) so that I'm not tempted to abandon this project. See the link below for my inspiration -- it's the bold red lace dress in Erdem's Spring/Summer 2011 collection -- which, by the way, is pure perfection.

And no worries, my modern modest madams, I will add an inch or two to the hem, as I have seem to misplaced my Alexa Chung thighs.

August 18, 2011

Fall Refashion Challenge

I have clothes lying around that I hate. Some are frumpy. Some don't fit right. I purged my closet and drawers a couple of weeks ago, but still manage to find items that need work or need to go.

My friend Caroline (over at Busyland) posted this fall's Pantone palette on her Pinterest. (How's that for alliteration?!) If you're not familiar with the whole Pantone monopoly, it's basically a color company/system that the fashion industry uses to standardize colors. Here we have, then, the trendiest colors for fall... or at the least, what's going to be on the racks this autumn.

In an effort to keep to my fall resolution (wear an outfit everyday), I looked through my clothes-I-hate pile and actually found some colors from the chart. I stylishly showcase them below in my kitchen because, naturally, that's where my clothes wanted to be last night.

Tank top, men's dress shirt, old sundress, frumptastic skirt, tshirt

Bingo! We have Fall Tones # 2,3,5,9 & 10 all right there. My challenge to myself is to refashion each item into something wearable that doesn't look super homemade. This will actually be quite a challenge, since each piece, except for the men's dress shirt, is pretty well worn. This is not a zero-sum game, either. I'm going to buy new fabrics and accessories to help the process along. Wish me luck! Hopefully I'll have at least one piece completed by tomorrow!

August 17, 2011


I wish I had one of those up in a breezy, warm backyard. Mental note for next house.

I'm doing a few things this autumn. Packing, moving across town (somewhere!), reapplying to my grad program (because I haven't taken a course in over a year!), convincing myself to leave Emmy with a sitter so I can do FRG training (booooooo!), and a few other things that I can't remember at the moment. These require a little bit of planning and some elbow grease and a good deal of dread.

Here's my short-term goal for this autumn: Wear an outfit every single day. Coordinating clothes. Workout clothes only count if I'm really working out.

Revolutionary, I know.

The thing is, Anthony is "in the field" quite frequently, sometimes for days on end that turn into consecutive weeks. This means that I don't have to look nice for anybody, much less be seen by anyone other than Emmy on some days. But I need to, for my own mental health. I need to wear a pair of jeans. I need to put on a bracelet. I need to stop wearing that teal blue swimsuit dress cover-up that I bought as a postpartum recovery dress. I need to chuck that pair of almost see-through gray leggings with the hole in the butt. Seriously, when I check the mail in those bad boys, it's a sprint.

I'm not going to go all self-absorbed with it and post a Facebook mobile upload mirror shot every day, but I am going to tell myself that it's important because: a) I never know when Anthony is going to get home early, b) It's good incentive to exercise (real clothes are harder to fit into!), and c) I can feel accomplished about something, anything -- even if the to-do list is a mile long.

August 10, 2011

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out.

Yesterday, I thought that I broke my new space sewing machine. It's computerized and makes bee-boo-bee-boo R2D2 noises.
I totally didn't. I just got overzealous in my stitching and failed to read a certain portion of the manual. I'm not a product salesman for Brother, but I have to say that I really really like this machine. It has 60 built-in stitches (that panel on the right side shows them all), does buttonholes and buttons, and you can even sew without using a foot pedal, although it does come with one. It makes projects scary easy. As in, oh man, I should just buy shares for JoAnn Fabric stores, I'm gonna spend so much money there anyway easy.

Here are two quick projects that I did this week!

Beanbags for Emmy's little friend Ransom. He turned 1 yesterday and we went to his super-cool birthday party to watch him smash cake. I used a different stitch for each letter, purposefully trying to give it a kindergarten-handwriting look. Next time, I would have finished the bottom differently, perhaps with a contrasting thread color, but I wanted to make sure that they wouldn't open and create a choking hazard. If I had planned ahead more, I would've made a quilted, soft cornhole board to go with it!

Boo on the camera flash washing out the richness of this cotton print! These are a gift for my sweet sister-in-law, whose birthday is today. I've still got to get them shipped out to her... darn you long post office lines! Anyway, I digress... they are a stack of 4 reversible placemats, washer/dryer friendly and not crazy large so they take up the whole table (personal pet peeve!). I used a light blue thread in a leaf-pattern embroidered stitch so that the brown side has an eye-catching detail. Hopefully she'll enjoy them in her new house with the pretty blue kitchen.

I'll keep adding in projects as I complete them. Stay tuned for... new, colorful couch pillows, baby tshirts, and apparel experiments for my still-on-standby Etsy shop. Oh yeah, and I'm going to try my hand at quirky, modern quilts, if there's such a thing. Vive la brother! And pray that I don't neglect my child or my nagging need to get back into grad classes :)

August 8, 2011

Birthday Girl

It's my birthday next Tuesday and we're celebrating this weekend. Anthony got me a sweet sewing/embroidery machine (the Brother CS6000i -- say it with your nerd lisp!) and I impatiently ordered and received it already. I'll show you my projects soon. It's pretty much the coolest toy I could ask for. For me, it's on the level of glowing golden suitcase in Pulp Fiction.

I can't help but think about how I felt about Emmy on the day she was born, and it's lovely to know that my mom and dad felt the same way almost 24 years ago.

The last 15 lbs of baby weight aren't budging, but I'm totally going to eat cake.


I hope that I always feel heartbreak like this when I hear the news, because it means that my heart hasn't closed over. I hope that I always pray as fervently for our soldiers as I do now, because God does not despise a broken spirit crying into the carpet. I hope that there are no greater losses than this one in this conflict. I hope that memorial bracelet orders slow to a crawl.

I hope in Jesus's return, and an eternal kingdom of peace.

August 2, 2011

Oh, herro. We are Chinese peoples.

Is it bad that that's (^) what I think when I first see Emmy in the morning? Those chubby cheeks and almond eyes do me in.

Just wanted to share two snapshots (forgive the phone photos) of "vacation", AKA Running Around Like Chickens With Our Necks Cut Off Trying To Stay At Three Houses With A Baby.

This one is of today, a rare quiet day when Daddy is fishing, everyone else is at work and baby just enjoys a good afternoon nap. I love it when she trusts me enough to just put her down with Bunny Fufu, a blanket and she can do the rest.

And here's a grin that means "I'm growing up. Watch me be little while you can."

Every minute of frustration is worth it to let family witness our fat little bundle of crazy.