Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Look Back

This time last year Mr. B and I had been in our new home for nearly two months. The last year has gone by so quickly, there have been a lot of changes in our lives. It's certainly been an eventful year, challenging, painful, and yet full of growth. Growth in our relationships with each other, our families, and most importantly with the Lord.
I feel like I spend an awful lot of time considering what I'm supposed to be doing. It's hard, always feeling like I'm at the fork of a pathway. One of the most positive things the last year has brought to me was a newfound realization that any sense of control I may ever feel I have doesn't really exist. Everything can be taken from you in an instant, no matter how carefully or rationally you plan. I suppose that may seem terrifying, but to me it was almost a relief. There's no sense in trying to hold onto the reigns of life, because I've never really had them. They're always in God's hands, and really he's much more qualified.
Today while snapping some photos for an Etsy Store I'm toying with putting up, I took a look through the memory card. I found a handful of photos from our move into our first home that I had never uploaded onto our computer. They're sweet memories, for sure, but I know it's not really our home that makes them so special. The journey we're taking in our marriage is what's important. So if next year we're snapping photos of our move out of this home and onto a new chapter, it will be just as special.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why I Learned To Sew

I've been sewing for about six or seven years (!!!) now. Though admittedly, I haven't always been as "into it" as I am now, there really hasn't been an extended period of time where my machine has gone without use.

I remember when I was very little, my mother would occasionally let me attempt to use her machine. No one in my family was very interested in it, and so when I needed help threading or if the machine jammed, there was no one to help me out. I attempted to hand sew some items, but was never very good at it and quickly gave up. It wasn't until my early twenties, when a friend of mine offered to help me alter a dress I had bought, that my interest was sparked once again. I, like I'm sure most others, was absolutely terrified of the sewing machine the first time I used it. I had a hard time controlling the speed while holding the fabric correctly, and I was scared of breaking it or getting a needle through the thumb. After a few tries, I felt a lot more comfortable and continued finished shortening the sleeves and hem of my dress (although not that well).

Not too long after that my friend and I signed up for a basic sewing class at Joann's. This was the first and only sewing class I've attended, but it gave me a lot of the basic knowledge and confidence to keep learning on my own both by watching and doing. Personally, I learn much better by doing and found that Googling anything I needed help with and practicing a few times did the trick.

When it comes down to it, the real reason I learned to sew was because I wanted to be able to alter clothing. Money was a little tight during that time and I wanted to be able to buy thrifted or clearance items that I liked knowing that I could change the size or length if needed. How many times have you passed up something you loved because it was too big or a little outdated? If you can sew, you have a much larger margin of shopping options.

I bought my first sewing book only a little over a year ago, and my first pattern shortly after that. It took me a very long time to gain the confidence to make a piece of clothing from scratch, but since then I've really grown to love it. I'm still a beginner in many, many ways, but I came complete a basic top or dress fairly easily and more complicated pieces with some trial and error. If you've been following this blog for the last year, you've probably seen most of what I've made.

The reason I bring all of this up is because nearly every time I post something I've made or altered, at least one person tells me that they wish they could sew. But you can! It's really no where near as intimidating as we all believe it is for whatever reason (I'm guessing because of the loud machine with the giant needle). Personally, I'd love the opportunity to host a few basic sewing classes and maybe lead a sew-a-long. I've even toyed around with the idea of opening a store, but those are pretty big dreams, and there's already a lot of sources out there to learn a new skill. Sewing is definitely a good one to have under your belt.

So go! Go learn!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Priorities, Priorities

You know what stinks? When you have a handful of things that you "need" to replace in one room, and all of them cost $300+. I mean sure I could just go crazy and get everything now, but I don't really want to, because, well that's obvious right?

So of course all of things are needed for our family room, the room that's just never going to be done. I'm happy that it's livable again, but there are still so many things driving me crazy about it. I just want it all done and I want it done now.

But because I can't get it all done now, I really need to make a decision about what's getting done first. And man it's been hard. The following things (at this point) are still pending in this room:

Hanging trim

New fireplace doors

New sliding or french doors

New carpet

New lighting

I think the easiest decision is putting the fireplace doors at the bottom of the list. Yes they are old, yes they have brass detailing, but it'd be a pretty easy DIY to make it look better until it can be replaced. I've been checking these doors out, but to be honest, I'm not sure I'm a fan of the brushed nickel finish, and I'm not sure I want black doors. So definitely not ready to make that decision anyway.

New lighting is one of those things that really doesn't need to be done, but I'd really like it to be. Making it another pretty easy decision. Right now we have some really terrible tube florescent lights in the family room making it look more like a garage than a living space when they're in use. For now just using lamps is fine but eventually I'd like to change it up.

The trim is something that is obviously not going to be put on hold for long. In fact, we've pretty much already have it ready to hang, but we're kind of waiting to decide if we're replacing the doors or carpet first. Which brings us to...

The carpet in this room DRIVES ME INSANE. I don't know if it's the quality (it seems like really cheap carpet) or the color, but every time I look at it I get annoyed. Why? Why? I'm really pining after a dark grey carpet similar to the above photo.

Lastly, the doors. We currently have a set of sliding doors that lead to our back yard, and we use them a lot. Ramona uses these doors to go outside so they are constantly being opened and  closed. Last winter we had a really bad experience, where the door actually fell off the frame. It took Mr. B about two hours to get it back on. I really don't want that to happen again this year, so getting a new set of doors may be the best thing to do.

Priorities, priorities...