Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cards and such

I've been sending out more hand written cards and letters lately - so of course my thoughts turn towards stationery. 

A couple weeks ago I picked up a pack of blank white note cards and envelopes. I came home and started doodling and ended up pretty happy with how some of them have turned out. Here are three of my favorites.

Side note: I have a new fascination with all things sailing and am trying to work up the courage to take sailing lessons this summer.

So - not the most elaborate card-making in the world, but it's relaxing to just doodle away and it's really simple and easy without all the glue and scraps of paper and embellishments in traditional card-making.

I was wandering through an art store the other day and found some stationery I loved and picked it up.  They are note cards in the shape of traditional Russian Nesting dolls - - and I pretty much love all things Russian.  Amazon Link.

And while I'm writing about letters and mail and such - my friend Lauren is hosting a fun giveaway for mail related cute and fun things  - - go check it out  and follow her fun blog and then don't enter the contest cause I want that postcard stamp and the only reason I'm telling you about it is because I get two entries into the contest for doing so. :)  Link

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sewing Projects

Some of these projects are recent and some are just pictures that were in my "sewing" album - -

First up is my first ever sewing projects as far as I can recall -- a nightgown and robe for a Barbie doll. I was still in elementary school I think and Mom probably did most of it  . . but I can remember trying to get the tiny little seams to go under the foot of the sewing machine correctly. I never attempted another doll outfit. I think I took this picture while I was packing everything up to move/store a couple years ago.  Ok - on to things created in the last decade!


 Last fall I got tired of trying to find a purse that was comfortable to war, had enough space for all my junk, and had a long shoulder strap to sling across my body.  Cross-the-body purses make life so much easier when you transport yourself by foot half the time - it's also a lot easier while grocery shopping. Anyway. Couldn't find one, so I made one.  Wandered down to the fabric store to look through patterns early one Saturday morning, bought everything I needed, and then set up camp at the dining room table with my sewing machine and started plugging away for the rest of the day.  I got it mostly finished in one day except for a few finishing touches that I finished up later. Here it is!
Looking inside, lining, pockets, and magnetic snaps!

Next is my first "upcycled" project - created as recently as last week!   I had a sweater that was bit of an odd shape - but I liked the pattern - so I just turned it into a scarf. Not complicated at all - I feel guilty even calling it a sewing project. Cut out some long rectangles of fabric, sew together. voila!

And here is my favorite!   I made this on Sunday.  This was previously a skirt - but I never really wore it for a variety of reasons even though I LOVE the print/color. So, I cut up the back seam, removed the zipper, and cut off the waistband.  Then I pleated the skirt, hemmed the raw edges, and sewed it back onto the waistband and trimmed off the extra waistband material.  The black ribbons are from packaging from a blanket - they were tied around the blanket and I thought they might come in handy one day so I saved them.  I sewed those into the  waistband and ended up with an easy tie. I think it took me two hours total - so simple!  I may go back and add a pocket and a "bib" to it in some nice black material - we'll see.  I probably could have easily cut out a section of the skirt to make a bib and pockets - but I wanted a really full apron. And, yes, for the picture below I did put on pearls specifically to take this photo.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Put my TV in my Closet and Started Living Intentionally

About a month ago I purchased a roku.  It does what it says it does - it streams Internet based video to your television without needing to hook your computer up to your tv. My laptop is old and doesn't play video well and we don't have cable - so the idea of being able to watch hulu or netflix in my room was appealing!

And, that's exactly what I did. I watched hulu in my room. Come to find out, having access to thousands of tv show to watch whenever you want - - not necessarily a good thing! ;-)   I'd turn on something for background noise while I did other more productive things -- but soon found myself sucked into the time-waster that is television.  I finished watching the few shows that I keep in my hulu queue - and went on a search for something else to entertain me - - other prime time TV shows that I had never paid attention to in the past. I suddenly needed to watch all the episodes from season one forward.

Needless to say, my time was getting wasted. And, prime time TV is often anything but "true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise." (Phil 4:8)  If time-wasting wasn't enough -surrounding myself with the glorification of envy, vengeance, lust, and greed was certainly not a beneficial activity.

So, I told my self that I should cut back. That I should not turn on the roku box after I got off work at 11 p.m. and instead, go to sleep. That I should make sure I got other things done first.  And all that talking to myself didn't really do much good.

Then a couple weeks ago the sermon at church was on Matthew 5:27-32. That passage includes these verses
29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

The pastor talked about warning signs in our Christian faith. As if you're driving down a narrow winding mountain road and signs warn you to take the curve carefully - - you can heed the warning signs and make it safely down - - or you can rest confident in your own understanding and speed down the road before flying off the side of the mountain.

The combination of the couple of weeks of me fighting with what I knew I should do (less TV) and what I wanted to do (relax and be entertained), the realization that it was often a harmful activity rather than just simply being a pointless activity, and the sermon that focused on verses instructing us to cut off that which causes me to sin meant that I came home from church and unplugged my TV.  I then put my hulu and netflix accounts on hold - making it a little more complicated than just sticking in a plug in order to watch TV.

And all of this dovetailed with another common thread of my thoughts and prayers lately - living intentionally. Using the 24 hours I get each day with purpose. Not productivity - - but purpose.  So I started a list - things I wanted to do, things I needed to implement into my life, etc. The next day that I had off work I started the morning by wrapping the TV up in bubble wrap and  sticking it in the closet. I rearranged my room and got the sewing machine set up so that it would be easy to use. I put my stationary in arms reach of my desk. I de-cluttered my life a bit - getting rid of things I no longer needed or wanted. 

It's been a good week. I've created things, visited with people, been purposeful about encouraging others, filled my ears with praise, and have gotten more (and better) rest.  I hope to share some more of this on my blog - especially some of my sewing/craft projects and thoughts on the non-visual aspects of intentional living I am trying to implement.