showering babies: the in's & out's

so details details details...

invitations: by miss andrea.  i spent a good chunk of time trying to talk andrea into going into business.  she is incredibly talented & creative.  she can basically do it all.  give her something to go with and she will run wild.  lucky for us this sweet girl is also my cousin's roommate and helped so much to make the shower special.  much like the frame cutouts she made as decoration & as a gift {seen here} she also made individual ones for the invites.  each one was hand crafted and unique.  so perfect.

andy was also responsible for hand-drawing the tags attached to the favors.  steph & andy hand-dipped about a billion animal crackers half-way in chocolate.  they were delicious.  i know you're thinking...it's too simple.  but i'm telling you..i wanted to steal everyone's favors and eat them all myself.  i didn't.  but i wanted to.  i would definitely recommend this little treat! and tell me those tags aren't darling!

i was responsible for a fabric bunting for the buffet table & a mini bunting for our library crate.  it was my first attempt at anything like this and let's just say that it was interesting.  the mini bunting was a piece of cake.  a few snips here & there and ta-da!  perfect.

i used a few different shades of linen fabric and a cream cotton binding for the top.  i've seen people use all kinds of things but that seemed to be the most simple place to start.  i first cut a template to trace on thick paper. 
then used that paper template to trace onto my fabric.  at the time i wasn't worrying about pen marks because i thought i was doing two-ply flags.
so... i cut two layers of each triangle but only to find that when i tried to stitch the tops of the flag it was really difficult for me to keep them lined up. i ditched that idea quickly and went with a one-ply flag in both the big & mini versions. hopefully no one noticed that they were a bit thinner. my next attempt i'll try and iron that out.
here's my cream binding.  it was thin but perfect.  i saw online that other people sometimes use fun fabric for this but i don't have the slightest clue how to make my own binding out of fabric so that will have to be another lesson for another day.
{the finished product}
my other main responsibility was 'finish the sentence cards' stolen inspired by ashley ann {here}.  they basically were little notecards made from cardstock {printed at home} that began sentences that could be completed with advise from party-goers.  {when i comes to dirt..., when he brings home his first girlfriend..., when you send him off to school...} we hope these love notes will serve as sweet reminders to sarah & josh of thoughts from loved ones for many years to come.
i stitched a strip of fabric across the bottom of the card with the widest stitch i could find on my machine. i secured the first stitches and last stitches and everything in between i just ran as usual, just bunching, pleating the fabric as i went along. my strips of fabric were about an inch wide and i think they turned out so sweetly. not to brag, promise anyone could do this. i know sometimes people on blogs say that & i never believe them. that's not true of this blog. if i tell you it's easy that means it really is. i am not a master-crafter.

my only other sewing venture was to provide a rice bag {homemade heating pad} as a game gift.  i didn't take a picture but i had to share something i learned!  a fat quarter {those squares premade for quilting} are basically the perfect size for making one of these little wonders.  no need to guess, measure, cut, or trim.  it is just as simple as folding it in half.  fat quarters cost about $1 at walmart.  cheaaaapness!  i just had to share that little tip.

momma steph made pom pom jungle flowers for the centerpieces.  aren't they precious!?  made of pipe cleaner and tissue paper these little guys were inexpensive and cheery.  exactly what each table needed.  we also alternated chex mix & assorted nuts between tables and had a dessert dish filled with m&m's in our theme colors of course {hint: i just took out the red & blue ones...ta da...jungle m&m's}.

and i feel the need to highlight these cuties once more.  i didn't get to participate in the cupcake decorating party but it must have been a blast.  they turned out so well!  just a warning...i did hear that they were time consuming little devils {but how can you resist those faces?} i also heard that it was difficult to get the icing to cooperate on top of icing.  their inventive solution was to ice the vanilla wafers whenever possible.

i'll drag this out just one post further...games, hostesses & family pics to come.
oh sweet showers.  the blessing of babes!

we are really blessed.

things are wild around here.  wild i tell you.

i really did want to share details from sarah's sweet shower but have been overwhelmed with to do's, the work, the fun, the parties, the sickies and more.

i'm committing to post about it this week though. there i said it.

this weekend was fantastic and not-so-grand.  after a week at work that nearly ran me ragged i was blessed to have such a fun friday in the works.  leadership with such an amazing group of people and many new faces.  it was so awesome to welcome them into our little family.  after worshipping, praying & visiting together we parted ways.  i ran errands in preparation for what would come next!  a bundle of students came over to the house.  all kinds of fellas & ladies.  its was perfect.  our house starts to feel "full" really quickly & it definitely felt full.  i like that.  they all mingled together, the girls sang hairspray songs & the joked about boy things in the kitchen.

one humorous anecdote:  i was wearing a danville h.s. football hoodie & a student who had never been to our home before asked if my boyfriend plays for danville.  he was serious.  and i am nearly 25.  hmm.  the rest of our lafayette friends got a big kick out of it because of course they knew us well and this young fella must have thought that my parents were out of town rather than us actually owning a home.

after a few hours of blissful hanging out we headed off to the world's largest water balloon fight at uk.  yes, how fun is that?  definitely one of those things that doesn't happen everyday and you've just gotta fill up your car with friends & head out to join.  ben & i really enjoyed that time with our h.s. friends & with our co-leaders.  here's a video of our time.  we're on the right, surely you can't find us...
{video idea stolen from my dear friend anne who was also at the 'fight'}


dripping wet we hung out for a bit at the field and then headed back to the house.  some more mixed company hanging out.  benny's brother chris & our sweet friends, morgan & joy stopped by for a visit too.  i LOVED this.  how fun to see so many people we love in one day.

ps.  i'm pretty sure our neighbors hate us.


after the boys got the boot it was time for a slumber party.  yes you heard me correctly.  i'm getting pretty rickety to stay up until nearly 4 a.m. but i made it.  laughing, junk food, silent library, a tiny bit of rest, cinnamon rolls & hair trains rounded out our time together.  perfectly perfect.  i love those girls so much & i want nothing more than i want them to know Christ & to understand the huge love He has for them.

saturday afternoon to sunday afternoon weren't worth mentioning.  i was terribly ill & was basically immobile for 24 hours.  it was awful.  i'll spare you the details.

after i was miraculously healed {literally} i was honored to hear my husband speak to l.h.s. kids about Jesus...about how God sees people, how Jesus did ministry, how to love people well & our mission together at the school.  i was so encouraged to see some of them really catch a vision for what could happen at their school.  really care if their friends hear the good news.  really want to lay down their life. it was awesome.  i wish there was a picture i could share of that.

.hope all is well in your home too.

August Rain

I'm so disappointed in the August weather this year. It's rained so much! 

Since I can't find my Talula boyfriend blazers anywhere I settled on wearing this comfy American Eagle one for a Sunday shopping trip with Opheliac.  It's still not the same when you are craving something though. Wednesday JP and I are starting to move into our new place and I can't wait to open up all of my boxes. I'm getting excited. It almost feels like christmas! I get to rediscover all my clothes again. haha. 

Sunday Opheliac and I were in search of Dr. Marten boots. We did find some, but they were unisex. My feet are way to narrow to pull off unisex shoes. I ended up finding some Dr. Marten inspired boots at Spring, but I'm taking them back. I realized that they tie up funny when I don't have thick socks on. The narrow foot problem again. So the search continues. I really want to get some fun rockerish boots soon because JP is having his first show with a new band in a few weeks! I have no idea what their sound is like yet, but I am so excited to see him play again! 
(jeggings - H&M, t-shirt, TNA, blazer - American Eagle, scarf - thirfted, 
boots - Chinese Laundry via Winners)

Photos by Opheliac
Tadaaa!

Transformation of a chair


This chair needed a new coat to match the new room.

My guide to second hand shopping.

Photo via Tumblr, source unknown?

Charity or thrift shopping can be a pain in my arse but it's honestly worth it for a good bargain, so I'm offering these tips so your arse stays as pain free as possible. It's certainly isn't for the fashionably lazy, you can't click and drag items into a trolley and you'll definitely struggle finding a specific item in mind (Although you can find the Oxfam online shop here). But for majority of charity shoppers it's the thrill of finding something unexpected and better yet, cheap. If you're the DIY kind I'd be taken back if you've never snuck a look before, interpreting the possible use of a item is a good skill and makes for unique clothing.

Finding charity shops is relatively easy, there’s plenty on the high street and in busy areas. If you're unaware of your city's shops then use Google shopping map to check out the ones in your area. There’s a myth that wealthier areas give up designer clothes in bundles into the nearest charity shops, this is definitely not true for every city! I’ve noticed this never occurs in working class cities like mine but when I’ve visited more middle class dominated cities there’s more quality items to be had.

However the location can make a big difference to the amount of stock, for example the charity shops in and around town are more likely to be restocked soon. People will be dropping in their old stuff and walking a small distance away to replace them, whereas the more distant charity shops may be less updated they will have less traffic. However it's much easy to hunt near the central part of your area so you can simply pop next door if your first search fails you.

Shops display and organize their stock in different ways, some shops organize by size and type of clothing. Others display by colour and gender. Either way be sure to look through every rack and properly admire an item before putting it back, if in doubt keep it on your arm until you can try it on. Often I’ve put things in a basket I liked a few minutes ago but once I’ve gotten over the initial rush I don’t want it anymore, but better safe than sorry and you can always put it back.

Some charity shops have a special vintage section which is the most looked at and a curse. Anything good there is snapped up as soon as possible so if you want vintage ask when they're restocking but look around anyway a few items could have slipped past. However if you do find a designer item or a potential vintage item you could buy and resell it for profit.

You should try on everything before buying, it might not fit or look as good as you thought. Charity shops generally don't offer returns. I would be surprised if a shop doesn’t have a changing room but if you’re aware of a shop that doesn’t have one you could wear a slip underneath, tights, leggings, shorts, a loose skirt, anything that covers you comfortably. Taking your measurements beforehand and taking a tape measurer with you is a good idea.

Call me negative but people don't just give their stuff away for the sake of being a good person, sometimes it's because the item has a nasty flaw such as a stain. Check for stains and tiny holes by holding the items towards the light, look for missing buttons, loose threads and deciding if you could take on this project yourself. But true to yourself and leave it for someone else if it'll only fester in your wardrobe.  

Don't buy something you can't fix or can't be tailored, you're doing this to save money remember? Items that are a size or two too big are easy to take in but any more than that or you're wasting your time, it'll probably lose it's shape and if it's printed it won't look right afterwards. Items can be taken out if there's spare fabric, check the inside before trying. Sleeves can be removed, skirts and dresses can be hemmed, t-shirts into vests, you get the idea.

Extra tips:
  • Go on a regular basis and get to know the router, sometimes if the staffs are friendly enough they'll point out stuff they'd think you might like. Like any other sale you should get there early and avoid the rush, everything is much more organized than and easier to find items.
  • Remember to bring a spare bag as most shops charge for them and it's best to let them keep it for others who actually need it.
  • Have your money in no more than ten pound notes and change is preferred, more shops now have a pin machine though.
  • Bring Hand Sanitizer or baby wipes and if you're asthmatic make sure to bring your inhaler because some items are dusty. Avoid fabrics that grip dirt, for example velvet would be covered but jeans could easily brush it off.
  • You can buy cheap shirts for the sake of buttons and the rags for spare fabric.

Elusive Blazer

I've been feeling sick the last couple of days. I can't tell if I'm actually sick or just extremely exhausted from a busy work week and lack of sleep. There have also been some forest fires and the smokes is really bothering my eyes and throat. All I've done today is nap on and off. I tried to go shoe shopping but instantly regretted it. I was just way too tired to try on shoes.


These photos are from my first attempt with a tripod at taking outfit shots way back in May. 
I have searched high and low for this blazer, but cannot find it anywhere amongst my stuff. I loved this blazer so much that I actually bought two of it. black and grey. Only a few more days until JP and I are in our new place and hopefully I will find my blazer then! I am so excited for Wednesday!! I will finally have a closet again. 

(blazer - Talula, scarf - American Eagle, tights - Gap, boots - Chinese Laundry via Winners,
 ring - Ardene, nail polish - OPI)

Girly Moses Basket

How girly is this Moses Basket, I love decorating these with lots of lace and frills.

I wish I was making them when my girls were babies so snug and cozy.

Well now I have grandchildren to make them for.

belated but necessary...


yesterday was another 'first day of school' for my benny.  he wouldn't let me take a picture of him when he came home with his backpack on {even though i begged}.  he still looked this cute though.  i wish you could have seen it. and yes, i will continue to post this picture every semester until ben graduates.  you can't make me stop.

benny,
i'm so proud of you, your committment & hard work!  enjoy the time you have around campus in this gorgeous weather.  i wish i was wandering around UK with you all fall.  i.l.y.

My daughter's Moses Basket

Today I finished my daughter's Moses Basket and as you can see not a piece of lace in sight.

Most of my customers love lots of lace, flowers and ribbons but not my eldest who lives in France.

She wants it to be as plain as can be, sorry Yess the bows are staying.

I found printed material with black contours which is good to stimulate the newborn’s vision.

Yesterday I booked my ticket and will be traveling soon to Holland, Germany and France to get some fresh air and I hope lots of rain, here in Dubai it is still hot and humid, I am the only one there with a smile in the rain!

I shall take lots of photos and share my travel with you.

Rockin to the Beat

So this is what I wore to the BEP concert on Sunday. It was such a crazy day weather wise!!! There was yet another flash hail storm. There was so much hail that it looked like it snowed!!! Around 7pm the sun came out blazing for the first time that day and melted all the hail. I still wore my raincoat and boots to the concert though because I was afraid that we'd come out of the arena and it would be pouring! fortunately it was a lovely evening.
(dress, tights, cardigan - Joe Fresh Style: dress altered by Sheryl Sewsbelt - Rewind Consignment
boots - Chinese Laundry via Winners,  feather earrings - Millicent Designs, by Miranda of Pieces from Audrey 
necklace - custom made in India)

Photos by Opheliac

I'm just finding out new ways with Picasa and having fun.
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Malta

A pesar de la imagen que dieron el otro día en la televisión, Malta es más que fiesta y mar. Quizá eso es lo que busque mucha gente, y desde luego hay paisajes maravillosos, que no sólo están en las ciudades super-pobladas y llenos de turistas, sino que se encuentran en todo su litoral.

Aunque por un error de planificación no pude ver todo lo que me habría gustado, me quedé con alguna estampa que merece la pena.

Paisajes increíbles

como en Dingli

paisaje



Ventana azul

Ciudades marrones



Callejuelas



Faroles

Barcos, de muchos tipos


Luzzus

o simplemente tradicionales

Dghajsa

Historia y arqueológica

en templos megalíticos

Templo neolítico

Aguas cristalinas

Para bañarse o admirar mientras se navega

Aguas cristalinas

Religiosidad


Catedral

y fuera de las iglesias

Religiosidad

También ha habido sus peros fundamentalmente por la masificación turística, pero al fin y al cabo, es lo que tiene viajar en verano.