Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bustle Bottom

The past couple of months I have scoured the internet looking for a tutorial on how to bustle.  I know, I know, bustling is for the ladies of the 1800's who rode side saddle, didn't show their ankles and slapped rude men with their quirts.  *sigh*  But I have this weakness you see...

And finally, FINALLY I found the little jewel of a tutorial, rough as it was, lurking on the pages of one of my favorite blogs.

I was completely smitten.  I still am.  And I am going to be going bustle crazy.   Anyone want to join?  I tweaked the tutorial to make this my own version and I'm selling these puppies in all sorts of colors and sizes.
Because every girl needs a good bustle.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The silence is deafening

But I'm still here!  And yes, I did get a little sewing done over the past few weeks.  Not as much as I would have liked, but I did.  I managed to sew little man some pj's!  My first set, ever.  And I think he liked them.  I know I did! 
I really wanted to a spin-off of these in pink for lil lady.  But, I have to find the right pink striped fabric.

So, for now, my little pirate is sailing the blankety seas of his bed, alone. 
I think he can handle it.  He's pretty tough.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ponies, snow and babies. OH my!

Today was a breath of fresh air.  Winter has been coming in with harsh gusts and sleet and snow, but today mother nature smiled and rolled back the skies to give us such a pleasant day. 
And I shared it with sassy Ms. S and her cute little bro baby B.

Now, with babies, it's tricky.  They have their "days".  I managed to wiggle around baby B's day and catch a few cute shots.

When you get shots like these, it makes living in the middle of nowhere worth it.
Because somewhere beyond the soybeans and corn...there is something to do

Friday, December 10, 2010

'Tis the season...

It's here.
Christmas.  And before I could begin to decide what I would do for my family...tsk, tsk

But thank God for the internet, right?  Came across the cutest idea and thought to myself, "self, you have to do this!"  It only took me about an hour because I decided to sew everything instead of hand-stitch.  I would recommend hand-stiching if you want to give it a more rustic look.  I simply made my top stitch longer on my machine...not too much of a difference but it's there.

I love them.  And I think my mom and sisters will, too.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jersey Frills

It's been too long.  So much is happening, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy.  There are a lot of blogs that inspire me.  I could, unfortunately, spend hours on the computer filtering through other people's creativity wishing that it had been me who thought of their genius manifested.  *sigh*  But alas...
So I've resorted to looking and learning and then putting together different colors and patterns that might be a stretch for me.  Sometimes, it's hard to visualize different textures, patterns or colors together.  With this skirt, I took the leap.

My little girl rocked this skirt.  I love it.  And I WILL be making more...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Runner's Block

I think today was one of my worst runs, yet.  Why, at every hill, was I wanting to just "give up"?  I was miserable with my thoughts.  My brain was nagging, telling me that it was just "too hard".  It took everything to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I didn't stop, I didn't walk, I couldn't.  Stopping, or walking, would have been defeat.  I don't want to slide down that's so hard to get back up.  I figure that if I can just push myself through these sloggish periods in my running experience, then I am on my way to doing "more than I thought I could".  Make sense?  Right now, I'm at a standstill in my running progress. I have only been able to run 6.5 miles due to time constraints.  Husband gets home from school, dinner is on the table, I dash off to run...making sure that I'm not gone too long because he needs to do homework, the sun is setting and there are no street lamps out here.  Fooey.  

So, how am I ever going to run a marathon if I can't even bust the 7 mile mark??  I'm getting discouraged...I won't stop, though.  Running has sort of grown on me...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Round and round

...Makes a circle.  And in my case, a circle skirt.  I was so excited to try this new tutorial (it seems like I'm starting to get braver in my attempts to freestyle sew).  Now, I'm no good at math, numbers or any of that, so it took me three times of reading (two times fast, one time slow) until I felt like I could definitely do this.
I cut the pattern.

Picked my material. (I had a mind to add a few embellishments but decided I should probably master the skirt first.)

And set to cutting and sewing...

It all came together SO easily!  It honestly took me all of thirty-five minutes.  That is, until I realized I had made a grave mistake.  Somehow I had missed one small step...thus, turning my cute little skirt into nothing more than a Halloween cape for a small dog.

BACK to square one.  Arg!  I had missed the small detail of folding my fabric over TWICE.  It's all in the details, all in the details...
So, I decided to make another one.  I couldn't let my mistake dictate to my sense of accomplishment.

Voila!  Much better, different fabric and def not a doggy cape.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I took two shirts...

And made these

Sorry Miley Cyrus, but your shirts were cut up and made into the most fantastic little ruched leggings for my two year old. 

They took me a long while to make.  First, because this was something I'd never done before and second, because I messed up!  In retrospect, these were just about the easiest things I've ever made.  Just wish I wasn't such a bumble-muffin.

The part that got me was the ruching!  Believe it or not.  It should have been the easiest step in the whole process, since it's just one little stitch about four inches long...but I sewed it on my leg seam instead of NEXT to it.  So, the elastic didn't bunch up.  Very frustrating.  I spent the better part of an hour ripping stitches.  *sigh*

My little girl is rockin' these like a pro.  Thank you Miley Cyrus for your clearance t-shirts....they went to a good cause.

If you would like to make these, too, just click HERE.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

These pants...

Finding it easier to sew these things.  I'm diggin' it.  For real.  And my boy models them like he's a pro.  The above photo was his choice of posture.  You handsome little devil, you.

But there's always a swing in his step, so that pose didn't last too long.

I made these at 10 o'clock last night.  It was fun.  The kids were still awake so I would shuttle up and down the basement steps to take quick measurements and fittings.

I love this type of sewing.  Quick and focused with great results!  Unfortunately, I get distracted so I will go whole days without sewing.  It's hard to dedicate enough time to hobby.

I made these particular pants out of a linen that just so happened to be on sale.  Sadly, I know that winter will not be kind to these pants.  So, in order for him to get a decent amount of wearing time, I will have to make him wear tights.  Yes, he will be wearing those warm, woolly things under these suckers.
These are so much fun.  Be on the look out for more.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I was only .2 short

It could have been six miles.  I could have run six tonight.  But it didn't happen, because the route I picked was just shy those last two tenths.  And my god, this run was a bear.  I had been gearing up for it all week long.  I was excited.  Focused.  Determined.This was to be my first attempt at running into town from our place. 
But when I started my run my shoes were too tight.  My legs were so stiff.  
I waited a little over two miles before I decided to stop and re-tie, hoping maybe they would loosen themselves.  But no.  Then, I figured that if I got my shoes straightened out the rest of my run would pan out.  My legs have never felt so much like lead in my whole life.  I was trudging through my run.  My mind was fuzzy and unfocused and I felt so disappointed in myself.   There was a mile where I went into my "run zone".  I totally go blank in the head and sort of forget that I'm running.  But most of the way I was arguing with myself.  Can't really remember what about, but I was.  There were a few tough spots that I had to talk myself through.  "You can make this hill, don't stop, don't stop."  Yeah, I'm a little nuts like that.
But I ran it.  I finished.  I conquered a hill that I have been so afraid to run.  I made good time.  I felt great after the run and my body was telling me that I could have kept going.

 In spite of everything, I promised myself that just because this run was so different and mentally challenging it wouldn't stop me from making another go at my run into town.  These are the runs that make you better.  If you can slog through them, and overcome your mind, you can make it to your goal mileage.  And my goal mileage is 26.2.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Feeling a little down and inspired -- all at the same time.  Watched a documentary today called Spirit of the Marathon.  Wow.  All types of people run, big ones, small ones, tall ones, short ones.  So that means I can, too!  And I think I will.
So much training and so much time.  I want to train but I have very little time.  This morning I got up at 6.  Rolled out of bed, walked into the kitchen, felt the chill of the autumn morning and turned tail.  Back to my bed.  But it took all of five minutes before I was back out of bed and in the kitchen drumming up some breakfast.  The burn of the run is too tempting to resist.  Plus, I'm training myself to push past my mental blocks.  Push past what my mind says is just "too hard".  Please.  I totally made myself breakfast and an hour later shot out to pound the pavement.

One egg, a piece of toast and a spoon full of peanut butter. Breakfast of champions.  For sure.
I am a hearty, hearty breakfast eater so I was a little nervous at how my body would react to such a poor excuse for my morning fuel.  I felt great.  It held me all the way through until lunch time.  6:15am until 1pm.  That is pretty good for this insatiable eater.  And I ran five miles.

Oh, and I leave you all with a photo of a field that inspires my jog in the early or the late evening hours(when ever I'm lucky enough to get my run).  The end of my street overlooks this.
Beautiful fall colors this time of year...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Talk to me, sweet pea...

You know, I am not a professional by any stretch of the imagination, but one of the things I have learned through the years of my photography is this:  Let your subjects be themselves.
Big Sis A and little Sis J

Little firecrackers

I had a blast doing this shoot today.  I haven't had one for a while so it felt nice to let my creativity be my guide.

Sometimes I feel like there is more inside of me waiting to come out, but it's stuck.

Today was no exception.  There was this niggling feeling in the back of my mind that I should be doing more, more, more with this beautiful family.  Eventually, I just stopped thinking and let my intuition take over...

What I loved most about this shoot was the fluidity of their family dynamic.  They just moved together and created such perfect shots for me.

There are some things you just couldn't pose, even if you wanted to...

Big Sis A has such a twinkle in her eyes at all times.  She's the ring leader but lil J is definitely the co-pilot.  No back seat for this babe.

But they work together so well.  Like Yin & Yang I tell ya.

And their mom, M...well, she is a tigress but is content to be soft spoken.  She has a sweet air about her and a pleasant voice.

Truth be told -- this didn't feel like a photoshoot at all, but a still recording of special, personal moments between a mother and her babies.

And I would totally do this again.  It's part of what makes me tick.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My own shirt

This is first shirt I've ever made for myself.  It was a lot of fun.  Frustrating but fun.  I managed to find the most amazing little sewing book via Dana, who inspired me to start this fun journey of sewing.  It's called Sew U Home Stretch.  If you're a beginner sewer, get it!  I made sure to read all of the introductory chapters.  She shows you how to cut your fabric (working with knits, jersey and such like), care for your fabric, gives you tips on how to get the most from your fabric.  And in the very back she gives you patterns!  You can create your own dresses, shirts, skirts, sweaters, hoodies...It's just plain awesome.  

So, here I am.  Slightly embarrassed at the sight of Larry in a towel flaws but happy I kept going until I finished my project.

This was one of the shirt patterns she offered.  Now, my sleeves turned out a little more "bell-ish" than I had wanted, but the pattern called for and extra 11in, I had to measure it out and make sure I didn't botch the length too badly.  Length not botched but the width was.

I found the fabric on my new fav fabric site, since I don't have any material stores close by it's mostly internet shopping for me, and I just fell in love with the little bubbles on this material.  And after this shirt, I have officially decided to buy a double needle so I can top stitch my next shirt or dress or sweater...or whatever.

So much easier than having to line up my second stitch with my first without getting all crazy.  Ya think?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hoodies and Tulle

I'm obsessed with hoodies.  They are insanely easy to make and you can do so much with them.  By "so much" I mean adding, embellishing and playing with different ways to construct the hoodie.  Here is a hoodie I made for little Ms. R.  My baby girl.
Baby girl was more than happy to cheese for me camera.  Stinker.

Embellishing is harder than it looks.  I had a mental image and tried to execute it as best I could.  I don't know.  The tulle gave it the edge I was wanting, but I wish it had been more "professional" looking.

I think the most important part is I tried.  I also combined two different patterns for this hoodie.  And it worked!  Trial and error can be hurtful or profitable.  In this case, I totally lucked out.

Now, I tried my hand at making a hoodie for Mr. Cy and that was disastrously huge.  I fiddled with different colors and a patterned material.  *sigh*  Should I post it?  So embarrassed at how huge it is.

Friday, September 24, 2010


That is to say -- 5k.  And I'm running it.  Well, I'm jogging really fast.  Ok, yes, I am, in fact, going to run the whole 3.2 miles.  With a smile on my face and Pumas on my feet.  I have worked so hard.  Among all the other hobbies I have, running has become a rather large blip on my radar.  Actually, it's more like a category 3.  Being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) does take a lot out of me so that's why I have to put something back into my self.  Even if I am running at 10:30 at night, because that's the only time I have...I'm going to do it.  (and I have done it!)  Finding the strength to train and run is very fulfilling.  And my next race is going to be even more challenging. 

We live in a very small town in Central Pennsylvania.  And after this race, I truly believe I can sing the words, "take me home country roads" and it actually be applicable.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Flat Front Pants

And once I get REALLY good I'm going to add those stinkin' pockets.   Flat front pockets for my flat front pants!

Got a little sewing crazy last night and started this project around 11pm.  After browsing the internet I finally found a tutorial that was comprehensive enough for this novice.  

Very cute.

A little long.  But that's because I used the wrong set of pants to cut the pattern from.  Uhg.

He didn't seem to mind, though.

I tried to be creative and chose a contrasting thread.

It worked.

Practice, practice, practice.  Although, I must say that this was one of my funnest projects to date.  Why?  Because from start to finish it was all me.  I traced his pants, cut the pattern out of old Christmas wrapping paper, picked my practice fabric, chose the thread.  I did it all on my own.  Felt kinda good to be brave.  Two hours and 1am later....I was done.  And my poor son will never know that I was measuring his little waist while he slept.  Yes, I'm such a desperate seamstress.