Friday, January 23, 2015

A couple of shirt dresses and help me pick a haircut!

It's Friday!! I love Fridays. We don't do school (and judging by all the kids out on the driveway, neither do many other homeschoolers on our street). I try not to make plans on Fridays, unless it's the beach or pool or something equally easy and relaxing. And on Friday nights, we have a fun dinner, put the kids to bed, Casey and I open a bottle of wine and watch a movie or catch up on shows. Right now, it's The Middle. I think that show ties with Last Man Standing as my fave comedy.

Anyway! Since it's Friday and I have no plans and the kids are outside playing, I got to take pics of two out of three dresses I've made recently! (The third is in the laundry, I just can't stop wearing it.)

I ordered this amazing owl rayon challis from I love it so much! Those wise little owls, they just kill me.

The pattern is Vogue 8810, which I made a couple times two Summers ago. Back then I made it in cotton and denim and sized it down to be more fitted. But, I've been pinning a lot of drapier shirt dresses lately and this pattern seemed perfect for this fabric. Here's a close-up of the owls. 
I put this fabric on Instagram after I ordered it and someone notified me that the new Sewaholic pattern used this fabric on one of the sample garments!! I'm glad I snatched it first, I bet it's gone now ;)

Next up, I'd bought this purple linen at my local fabric store and couldn't decide what to do with it. Look up linen dresses on Pinterest and you'll see mostly art-teacher looks or shapeless sacks. Neither of those looks are for me. So I pulled out my patterns and decided on McCall's 6885, although I made so many changes, I'm not sure it's fair to cite the pattern!
 As I mentioned in my last post, I don't love collars, so instead of attaching the collar, I scooped out the neckline and bound with self-made bias tape instead. I also shaped the side seams to my waist. I needed more curve in the back, despite my swayback adjustment, so I added two long darts so the back would be fitted to my body. The pattern does include ties, but I'm not a huge fan, so this was a perfect solution. And, I love a good shirttail hem! I like this dress. The linen is soft and really keeps me cool when it's hot out.

On another note! I have appointment to get a hair cut. In March, so I have awhile. My hair has shifted from pretty curly, to half wavy, have weird. Haha. Dang hormones. Anyway, I've pinned a bunch, I'd love some opinions! I do plan on also getting highlights. My hair's texture doesn't seem to like highlights when it's long, but they work great when it's short! 

Those are my top four! So, super short or semi-short, that is the question. (You can find links to all these cuts on my Style board here. )

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

This and that

I have made some things! I haven't gotten pics of them all yet, but I did of this one. I did a massive clean-out of my closet. Did I already say that here? I think I already had a modestly sized wardrobe, but I was still tired of standing in my closet choosing to wear the same handful of things while the other beautiful and once-loved handmade things were hanging there guilting me. Ha! I pulled it all out and put back only what I really wear. My style has moved on from the fit-and-flare dresses and floral prints. I wear a lot of knits and shorts and the dresses I'm making these days are casual pull-on dresses. Zippers and waistbands are out. I think the climate has something to do with it. Most people here tend to wear workout clothes 24/7. I'm not there, but I do understand the need for loose, moisture wicking fabrics!


I recently read that you should really make a pattern more than once before deciding it's not for you. I took that to heart! I have made McCall's 6702 before, which you can see here. I recently realized that I don't love collared shirts on me. I don't want to say I have a thick neck, but it's not long and elegant either and I feel like collars just cover my whole neck.  The other thing about that first version of this pattern is that I forgot to do a swayback adjustment, so the fit wasn't right in the back. That top didn't make the cut in my closet clean-out. I realized what I really loved about it was that fabric and I know that June Fabrics has more of it, I see it there every time. So out it went.

This version, however, I love! I did the swayback adjustment, I took the time to fit the side seams and I did alter the hem to a style that looks better on me. AND, rather than the collar, I bound the neckline with self-fabric bias tape. And I like it!
 Bra straps, sorry.
 In case you're wondering, that large contraption is my Tower Garden and is one of my favorite things right now!! Here's our baby cucumber plant, although this was last week and it's twice as big now. Did you know you can grow a garden compactly and with no dirt?? It's AMAZING!!!! Can't wait to try the bounty. I planted cucumber, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, three herbs, eggplant, bell peppers, lettuce and I ordered organic seeds for strawberries and mini sweet peppers.
 If you're still scratching you head, here's a video:

So cool!!!!

Here's Kelby pretending to add water. Haha.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Let's get outta the house

Yesterday I took the kids to the zoo. I recently decided that whenever Hawaii starts to feel more difficult and frustrating than Paradise-like, it's time to go down to Waikiki or North Shore or any coast, really and spend some time remembering why it's so amazing here. I know, I know, it's Hawaii and you feel so bad for me. But, you don't know! The traffic, you guys! And the crowds! And attitude to beat all. Anyway, we just needed a day out and I needed some sunshine.

Hawaii has the coolest trees!

 Haha, Layla wasn't loving this.

 His poses. Lol.
His mustaches.
 I spy Natalie:
 I love this picture!! Happy kids.
 We pet the goats. By we, I mean the kids.

 The most ginormous ostrich I have ever seen.
 Rainbow Eucalyptus tree. They're the coolest.
 It was such a good day and my attitude is so much better after getting out yesterday!
I found this pic on my phone just now when I plugged it in to get all 734 photos off it. Eek! Whoops. I took this at Duke's Waikiki with two dear friends. It was such a perfect moment. The sun went down over the ocean, a band was playing the ukelele version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and the weather was perfect. Amazing. I really am a lucky girl to get to live here, it's incredible!! I just need reminded every now and then ;)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!!

I LOVE New Years. Love it.  The craziness of the holidays is past and things are wide open. I know many people see new years goals as a silly thing, but I like to make them and I really do strive to keep them.

We had a crazy year. For realz. We moved to Hawaii, after all. That's crazy for anyone, right!? I will remember 2014 as the year we moved to Hawaii and the year I started my business. I asked the kids what their favorite thing about 2014 was and they all said, "staying at the Hale Koa." Ha! I guess if you have to live in a hotel for five weeks, it better be on Waikiki, amiright? I bonded with my kids in a new way during that time. Casey started work immediately when we got here and the kids and I tooled around town, hit the beach, started Geocaching, walked until our legs were about to collapse and got to know each other in whole new ways, thanks to the absence of our household goods. It was a sweet time for us!

One thing I'm pretty proud of accomplishing last year is a renewed love for playing piano! I played for many years when I was young, but put it aside when I started playing the sax in band in high school and college. Last year in Virginia, I was bored and isolated and a little depressed and I pulled out some books, ordered a couple new ones and started practicing. It has morphed into something I love to do daily and I can really see a lot of improvement! I ordered a Chopin book last year and immediately put it away, it looked so hard. But in recent weeks, I've picked it up again and am able to play a couple of his pieces pretty well with practice!  I recently ordered the piano music from Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightly version) and it is beautiful and so fun to learn. I've been loving listening to piano music too. My favorite person to watch play on YouTube is LangLang. Enjoy:

And now, oil! Oh, my goodness, I can't even believe what is happening with my essential oil business. I have surprised myself in SO many ways. I never thought of myself as the kind of person who could do this kind of thing. But, I believe in the product and once that happens, it's impossible not to want to share that with others. Also, I have been so blessedly surprised by what God is doing in my heart towards people. My social circle has been a largely Christian bubble for years and while I don't regret that because that's what God had for me for that season, it was starting to bother me and I was praying about it. I was also praying about how to model to my kids an entrepreneurial spirit. This was God's answer to those prayers! More people have landed on my doorstep than I ever could have dreamed possible and many of them are prayers projects, put into my life by the Lord and I am so thankful and watching in wonderment what He has in store next.

Which leads me to needing your help! I have a business goal of giving out 100 samples in the month of January. That's a LOT!! So if you've been curious about essential oils or if there's something you've been dying to try or an ailment you've been seeking relief for, let me know and I'll get some oils into your hands ASAP. Shipping's on me! You can email me at penelopey4(at)yahoo(dot)com. 

Moving on, super long post, I know. 

I do have a few goals for the New Year, some great business goals, we have some financial goals, some travel plans and I have some homeschool hopes. I think my only firm "resolution" for now is to read 12 good chapter books out loud to my kids. I think The Miraculous Journey of Edward Trulane will be first! Leave me your faves in the comments and I'll check them out! 

And I think we should go to the beach more. That shouldn't be hard ;)