Monday, September 30, 2013

at the seashore

We went to Virginia Beach on Saturday. We waited so long because they were having the annual Neptune Festival last weekend and we wanted to see the giant sandcastles. We arrived just as the parade was about to start. The kids were loving it, but I knew the vast ocean was just across that street, where the real awe awaited them.

(for you, Dad :)

But the absolute best part of the entire day was catching the kids' first reaction to the ocean. It is now one of my favorite memories ever. They caught a glimpse and just cheered and took off running, with smiles as big as those waves. Can you see the little bits of ocean on the horizon in this pic?

We waded in to the very edge and Kelby fell over with the first wave, ha! But, they all got knocked over at some point. Even though I told them we had no clean clothes (my mistake!) and that it was too cold to actually do any "swimming". The wet clothes didn't get them down, though, they all agreed it was the best day ever.

I almost got knocked over too! And with my camera, eek! Those sneaky waves! Next time, I think I'll bring my other camera, which I'm glad I kept when I upgraded ... just in case. No camera is not an option, though, I'm so glad I took mine and captured these precious memories!!
 I didn't tell Layla to throw up a peace sign in front of a VW van, but it does make this a perfect shot, doesn't it?
 It was very windy! My hair was it's own entity, haha!

 That's a surfer in the background! We watched a couple of them for awhile. Pretty cool. And brave, I would never do that.

 And then on the way home this happened...
A rock flew out of a guy's trailer and hit the windshield. Bummer!! We joked that at least a new windshield is a good way to get the bugs off, hahahaha!

Friday, September 27, 2013

because nobody likes changing serger thread.

I had black thread and stretch needles in my serger, which has dictated my last few sewing projects. I'm not the only one who plans projects based on what color thread is already in the serger, am I?

Today I finished this cute little jacket out of a really soft sweatshirt knit I got at Denver Fabrics before we moved.
 The pattern is Butterick 5926, made for knits and without shoulder pads. I'd had my eyes open for a pattern exactly like this so was thrilled when the early Fall Butterick line came out. I think it may be slightly big for me through the shoulders, but being a jacket, you don't want it tight. It's roomy enough for a bulkier top underneath, which I think will be good. I also really like the cropped sleeve length.
 These cute anchor buttons were in my button bin and were perfect.
That's right, I took the leap and went outside with my tripod, not caring which neighbors would think I was a weirdo. I was tired of finding places inside to take pics, when all I have is white doors to make a decent backdrop.

Before I made the jacket, though, I made a nice little knit dress! I had this soft striped knit and wanted an everyday dress, not a church dress, because I have enough of those. Even though it's still pretty warm here, it's too far into Fall for my super summery dresses. This dress turned out so cute and comfortable!
I actually just used a basic knit top pattern for this. I just cut the bodice short at the waistline, added a gathered skirt and then turned the waist seam allowance down, making a casing for elastic. I LOVE it, I want to make more! I think it could be a date dress or a church dress too, with my wide black belt, my black boots and a colorful necklace.
This is the pattern I used:
I grabbed it because I was looking for a basic tee pattern and it really fits great! I can't wait to try this again, I just need more knit fabrics (more fabric, ha!)  Really you could use any t-shirt or knit tank pattern and turn it into a dress like this. Super easy.

I've been getting friendly with my camera again this week. It sure is getting beautiful here as the leaves change and the weather slowly cools! Kelby has been doing serious boy things in the woods out back.

Needless to say, I wrestled him into a bath last night, against his wishes. Everything he touched was left in a cloud of dirt. I'm still wiping brown handprints off of walls, haha! I think the kids have so much more fun playing here than they did in our neighborhood in Colorado. It wasn't safe there for me to let them play out front without me and there just weren't kids on our street to play with. The freedom they have to play here is such a gift for this season. 

Happy Fall :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

librarian shirt

Thanks for all the encouragement after my post yesterday, both here and on Facebook. Sorry if I seemed whiny. I ran out of my vitamins last week and wrongly assumed I could get more here in town so I had to order them and they should be here today. So in a couple days, I will once again feel better and more energetic about everything!!! There are just hard things about change, but all in all, I am liking it here and doing fine. It's actually nice to have a smaller network for a little while. Life is calmer right now than I'm used to and I really think that's a good thing.

Speaking of change, we found out where we will be moving to in April after Casey's Captain's school and it is ...

wait for it ...

Yep, can you believe that!?!? I'm still in shock just a little myself. But, thrilled. Obviously, haha!  Three years in Honolulu, who wouldn't be thrilled???  

Anyway, having Hawaii in the back of my mind now has me rethinking the Winter sewing I was planning. Won't do much good to move there with a wardrobe of warm clothes. So I'm just making short sleeved things and things that will work now, but also work later. 

My newest top makes me feel like a librarian. In a good way :)
It's sort of a Frankenpattern. I started with McCall's 6793. I was drawn to the neckline and the lace sleeves. The plaid is one of JoAnn's simply silky prints, which I got when the clearance went on clearance. Then I got a half yard of the purple polka dot mesh for the sleeves when I got here. 

However, when I cut out the pattern pieces and realized there were no darts, I knew it would look way too baggy for my liking. I made a quick muslin of the front and back pieces and hated it. So, I pulled out Simplicity 1886, which I've made twice and knew the fit worked for me. I traced the front and back onto pattern paper, then traced the neckline of the McCall's pattern. I used the sleeve from the McCall's pattern also and they fit fine. I really love how it turned out!! The fit is great, I'm so glad I didn't cut into my fabric with those awful dartless pattern pieces! 

I have an easy knit dress to share soon and now there's a cute knit jacket out of black sweatshirt fleece on my cutting table! 

One more gorgeous piece of Hawaii art to share before I sign off. Isn't this beautiful???

Monday, September 23, 2013

on finding inspiration

So far, I am finding my new locale a bit, ummmm, uninspiring. Denver is a really cool place to live and I knew I was spoiled having everything close by, but I'm little homesick for the awesomeness of Denver right now. Although there are cool things to do here, the phrase "it's only an hour or two away" is getting a bit old. I can't drive over an hour to everything. Ya know? Even just Target is five times farther from home than I'm used to, ha!

So Casey the other day said to me, "Well, babe, you just gotta find inspiration in the everyday." He totally said it with purposeful cheeseyness, but I decided he was right. He's so wise ;)

So today I just grabbed my camera and went looking. These are some things that are beautiful to me right now. Some inside our home...

 And then I went outside and found Layla (who just started riding with no training wheels yesterday)!

 This little tree is in our front yard. It's fun to watch the trees change a little each day.

 And this is up the hill in our back yard! It really is beautiful when you narrow in and don't just take in the whole wall of trees ;)

I am feeling better about things now, so you see? It worked ;)  

We do love how many neighborhood kids there are to play with here. It's so different from what we're used to, but it's awesome. Living on post, there are no fences and no crazy drivers and little parks on every street so the kids all just play and play and the moms just send each others' kids home at 6. Quite a lovely little system we have going here. 

Some other things we've noticed about Virginia: 
  • They really love the Redskins. We seriously do not get why everyone here loves a team from the furthest away state possible. They even have a whole isle at Target where they sell Redskins stuff. What??? EDIT: I am now aware that the Redskins are from D.C., which obviously makes a lot more sense, ha! In my defense, it was Casey who was sure they were from Washington state and being the dude, he should know football better than me. (Wait, the Redskins do play football, right??) 
  • Retail and Food service workers are generally much friendlier! In Denver, they're faster ... but here, they're nicer. 
  • They think 80 degrees is a nice cool Fall day. Haha! 
  • There is nothing like moving to the South to remind someone from Colorado (proudly the fittest state in the nation) that not everyone knows what gluten is. And not everyone will get that a bunless burger is not that weird. 
I'm happy to say, having a blog sort of forces me to look at things differently--if it weren't for my wanting to post something here almost daily, I think I'd not even bother looking for the beauty around me when I'm feeling isolated and uninspired. So thanks! :)