Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fall patterns!

Does anyone get super excited when any one of the major pattern companies puts their new season of patterns up online?? Or stalk the sites daily just to check if the Fall lines are out yet?? I DO! I loooooove looking at the brand new designs! I'm liking a few that are already out and am anticipating the latest from the late-comers. But, first, I wanted to share this top I made before my big trip:

It's McCall's 6359 and I used a rayon knit I found on major clearance at JoAnn:
 The racerback is my favorite part of this pattern:
I shortened it quite a bit to make it less of a tunic. It's not my favorite top, but I love that it's light and easy to wear, does not require a cami (cause it's too hot for that!) and I do like the back a lot. I would like to try the other view on the pattern, but it includes a built-in shelf bra. I can't pull that off (nor can most women!) and I wouldn't really know how to omit it. Oh, well.

On to the Fall patterns!!!

Several bloggers have already said hilarious things about the ridiculous styling and positioning of the models in Vogue's new patterns! So weird!! It's hard to even see past the awkward poses to the lines of the garments! So I'll post the pictures of the gals standing normal :)

I really like Vogue 1315:
It's a simple, but interesting long sleeved knit dress. I can see this worn with skinny jeans, or made a bit longer and worn alone. I like it. The pockets are cool, the neckline finishing is different and I think it would a good casual dress for my everyday.

I don't know if I'll actually buy 1317, because I'm not sure I'd have much occasion to wear it, but I think this dress is very classy and has that Mad Men vibe that is so in right now. The only way I would use it would probably be for a Christmas dress, but even then, I don't know how comfortable it looks and I like to be very comfortable in my clothes, even the structured ones.

Vogue 8829 is one I looked right over twice, and can you blame me? Look at this awful fabric choice!!!
 EEK! But, look at this version, where you can actually see the waistline seam:
Much cuter. The other views are all nicer than the mock-up. This pattern has potential. Bad call, Vogue, on the crazy shiny green fabric, though.

Some Simplicity patterns are out too. 1755 is the only one I like (other than some of the costume patterns!)
 That plaid and green version is hideous, but the gold dress is stunning!!! I don't know how much sense it makes in the colder months, though, so for me it might become a summer pattern--unless we suddenly get invited to several formal events where shoulder-baring would be normal ;)

I must be in a Fall sewing mood now, because here's my haul from Denver Fabrics last weekend:

I can see a color palette emerging! And I'm liking it a lot.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

K for Kelby

Someone left a mean comment on my second Mongolia post--anonymously, of course. I started to get offended and delete it, but then I decided the comment is just petty and uninformed and well, I got a bit giggly over it after awhile. So I'm gonna leave it there and let it roll off my back, without trying to defend myself over something so dumb. I think there's plenty of forums on the web for people to argue with each other, and I'd like to keep this blog a happy place, if that's okay with all of you ;)

On to what I've been sewing!!

I started a quilt for Kelby quite awhile ago, but since his birthday is coming up in a few weeks, I got busy! I want to finish it and cover him with it while he's sleeping so he'll wake up to it on his birthday. He has seen the progress, of course, but it will still be a surprise :)

I finished all the blocks this week and bought the sashing fabric today (a great medium color denim!)
 I think this block is my favorite:
 And, I had to make a K for Kelby block!
The gals at Denver Fabrics who were helping me choose a denim were making me feel mighty good about these :)

Besides the denim, I got some great fabrics today! I have plans for each of them, but they're in the wash now, so that post will have to wait a day or two.

Think I'll go make some positive and encouraging anonymous comments on some random blogs. Ha!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ni Hao

That's Chinese for hello :) But you probably knew that from Ni Hao, Kai Lan, if you have small children... and cable.

There are some people in this world who have that certain "look" and somehow magically blend in, wherever they go. Dark hair and eyes, they can look Asian, Latino, Middle Eastern, European, anything. Our family, with blond hair and blue eyes? Well, we are definitely NOT the blending in type. In China, where foreigners are scarce, we stood out like sore thumbs. My sister and I constantly got stopped and asked to take pictures with Chinese people. The funniest was when they tried to sneak pictures with their phones! There was no anonymity, especially adding that we had maps open and our noses in a guidebook whenever we were out. We quickly formed a routine: to borrow my Mom's words, "get lost, eat, repeat". That pretty much summed it up when we were on our own! Thankfully we had a tour guide for the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Ming Tombs and the Temple of Heaven. We learned so much from her!

Enjoy my favorite photos from Beijing!

Bikes everywhere!!
We rode this guy's rickshaw to a restaurant that we thought was right around the corner. After an hour's ride, several stops for directions and many phone call by this guy to the restaurant later, we found out--it was closed. This happened a lot, actually. A bunch of stuff that must have opened before the Olympics, must not have been in it for the long haul. Like the Starbucks at the Great Wall, for example.
A view of the Hutong district outside our hotel, from our hotel room window:
At the temple of Heaven. They used these big cauldrons to burn sacrifices:
The Forbidden City. Super crowded!

A highlight for me was definitely the Great Wall (despite the let-down about the Starbucks, haha!)
Jana and I climbed up the steps for an hour and got super high up there. It was SO fun and we were really sweaty, but that did not stop people from wanting our picture, inviting family members to come, hurry up and get a picture with the white people and from getting in my face with a video camera. SO weird.
Mom discovered this beautiful place while we were climbing. It was so peaceful.
And this is my favorite pic I got of the three of us...

Annnnnd, finally, on the last day, after being lost a few times, look what we stumbled upon...

It was not the same, in case you're wondering. But, while China does tea like no one else, they are terrible at coffee, so for the first bigger-than-a-shot-glass coffee I'd had in a week, it sufficed ;)

My first text to Casey on my arrival in the U.S. was, "Ah, back to the land of coffee and personal space." It's good to be home! But, I am SO thankful for the opportunity to have traveled! To Asia, of all places! I got to see and experience what most Americans never get to and I am forever changed. Thanks to my Mom and Dad for the trip of a lifetime.

I am so excited to get back to my sewing, homemaking, daily-life-happenings style of blogging! I've made a dress and two shirts that I haven't shared yet, I'm working on a quilt for Kelby and I got some pretty cool souvenirs that my fellow textile lovers will definitely want to see :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More Mongolia

It's so hard to choose favorites! But here they are, the rest of my favorite photos from my time in Mongolia:

This is a shrine at an active Buddhist monastery we visited. Although the architecture is beautiful, as a Christian, it was hard to forget that the majority of Mongolia practices Buddhism and thus worships a false God. It's difficult to see people literally praying to idols and not feel compelled to pray for them as they pray, but to the One True God who truly does heal.

The monastery was FILLED with pigeons. Scary, crazy pigeons! To me, anyway ;) This lady sits outside and sells bags of seed. I snapped this pic before she started yelling at me.

Luckily, we were visiting Monolia during Naadam, their Summer holiday, which meant we got to see some seriously COOL stuff going on around the city!! The following photos are in the square, where there was a fashion show and people dressed in traditional costume. So cool.
Mongolian women are suuuuuuuuper pretty.

The view from my parents' apartment:

Another Buddhist shrine off the side of the road. People leave scarves, money, and mementos and ask for healing.
The beautiful Mongolian countryside:

My sis and I...

If you'd like to see alllllll my Mongolia photos, you can visit the whole set on Flickr. Some were my Mom's, just to give credit where credit is due ;)

Tomorrow, I'll start on China! I have some pretty humorous tales to tell. Seriously. Funny stuff.

Monday, July 23, 2012

home again!

I have returned! My trip to Asia was amazing. Up until landing in San Franciso, where a security guard took a look at my passport, noticed I live in Aurora, CO and asked if I'd heard the news. More on that later. I have so much to share about my trip, but it will have to be in doses, to prevent a post that takes hours to write and hours to read, ha!

I'm so glad I brought my big camera. Yes, it added bulk to my carry on backpack, but it wasn't really that much of a pain to carry around and I sure did get some great pics with it. I only brought my fixed lens, since it's a lot lighter than my big lens with a zoom. Having no zoom allowed for extra creativity--or that's how I chose to look at it ;)

I'll start with a few faves from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Enjoy!

The camel ride was a highlight. A funny thing about Mongolia is that peeing is acceptable--anywhere. We constantly saw people peeing on the side of the road, kids peeing into puddles, etc... We pulled up to some camels for a ride and couldn't see a person around. My sister, said, "he's probably off peeing somewhere" and we all laughed, "hahaha". Then I looked around and sure enough, there he was, peeing into the grass several yards away. Ha!

My favorite pic of my sister, for sure:

Another highlight was getting to see my Dad's world, at Wagner Asia. So fun to see his world and see him in the environment that he loves!
My Dad as Chinggis Khan, hahahaha!
Speaking of Chinggis, (yes it's Chinggis, not Ghengis, contrary to Western belief ;), as he is Mongolia's national hero, we just had to climb his statue. It is HUGE. Crazy huge. We entered the horse's rear, went up a lot of stairs, got cozy with a lot of Mongolians, and crawled out of his crotch for a view of the countryside. Yep.
Annnnnd... a guy peeing. Didn't see him there 'til after I snapped the picture. Betcha he didn't know he'd end up on the Internet, hahahahahaha! 

I'll share some more tomorrow! It will probably take me all week to post my faves. After that, I'll share links to my Flickr sets, so those who want to see all the pics (and there are a lot) can do so :) 

Back to the shooting in my hometown. I don't have any well-compiled thoughts just yet, but just to please ask for prayer. There were many people of strong faith in God in that theater and that is no accident. The good news about God's mercy, His love and His providence is busy spreading throughout our community after this tragedy. Here are a few wonderful posts for you to read!

My friend Marie and a few of her teenage kids were there that night and she wrote a post on her blog that has spread like wildfire (praise the Lord!) Such a testimony to God's mercy. 

Just this morning, I read this miraculous story. And the testimonies continue! 

I have a friend from church who's cousin is in the hospital in rough shape, along with so many others. 

The mother in critical condition who hasn't yet been told that her 6-year-old daughter was killed is especially on my heart. Please pray for those recovering and those who were not hurt, but were there and witnessed this horrific event--emotional healing for them. Colorado has had too many of these tragic shootings and we just really need your prayers!