Friday, January 25, 2013

Ambition is Her Game

So, some bad news everyone: Mattie's gone.  She's no longer with me, and her loyalties might have even been switched over.  I don't know whether to say "TRAITOR!" or "Come back".  She's already set up at my sister's.  My sister has already decided what to make for her first ride with Mattie, and let me tell you- she's ambitious!  No wonder Mattie has given her loyaties away, there's no playing it safe with Lil' Sis.  In her own words, "Go big or go home."  There seemed to be a hint of finality in that statement.  I think she's judging me.  I went simple and quick(ish- not counting french seams).  Oh well, she still loves me, she has to, it's in her contract (that I just made up and she has no idea about).

Ladies (and maybe gentlemen), for her first project, she's sewing with knit.  Yeah, you know, that stretchy material that requires different measurements for cutting and different stitches for sewing and a pain in your neck (literally) if you have to rip any stitches out.  Oh, uh, yeah, it's also the type of material that I usually pass up in favor of something... easier.  

I showed her one of my favorite websites for finding free patterns/tutorials ( and she picked one out (this cute old fashioned sleeper) and got to work. 

  A pattern was made from a currently owned sleeper, the thrift store was visited to find material (best value material- thrift store sheets!) and she actually scored twice with two sheets made out of this soft jersey knit.

  Fabric scissors, pins, thread, sewing machine- ready to go!  Since the sleeper has the old fahion drop-bottom, she's planning on putting this on it:

I told you she's ambitious (I hope Mattie's ready to keep up with Lil' Sis).  But she's also persistent, so I've no doubt that she will not only complete it, but that it'll be the cutest little sleeper on the cutest little nephew.  Speaking of The Neph, my biggest regret this visit was I neglected to get any new pictures of him.  Meaning not one...  Not even on my phone.  I'm seriously sad.  You'll have to excuse me while I go pout now...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Surprise...!

So I love to sew.  I don't think that's a secret.  I started really sewing again about a year ago when I decided to make Miss Niece her favorite princess's dress for Christmas.  She loved it (and still does according to my sister, in fact Little Niece loves it too).  I loved seeing her face light up because of something I had made- even if she didn't know I had made it.  I was hooked.  I needed to make more.  So I started sewing for Miss Niece and Little Niece, and it was always on my mind: what could I make them next that they would always want to wear more than anything else?  I ended up sewing their Easter dresses, Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving outfits and Christmas dresses plus a few little outfits here and there (and my older sis loved the clothes too, bonus!).  With each outfit, I feel my skills improved, I slowed down more so less mistakes had to be ripped out and learned SO much.  It's even gotten to the point where Miss Niece will ask me to sew her anything she wants and Little Niece is starting to follow suit.

Now I have a nephew!  I don't think I've properly introduced him.  Here's The Neph:

He's a cute little squish-able,  huggable, squeezable thing.  I kinda adore him.  And I started sewing for him as well, which meant two firsts- sewing boy clothes and sewing baby clothes.  I've only made him two outfits so far (Thanksgiving and Christmas) but the pants that I made him, my little sister LOVES.  She's mentioned how she wished she had a sewing machine so she could make him lots and lots of pants like the ones I made and possibly learn to make him other clothes.  Well, I thought about getting her one when Target had a machine on sale for like $60/70, but a coyote had just given it's life to destroy my car at the time, so I had no extra moolah if I wanted my car back (a must for working and making moolah).  I've been keeping my eye out for one I could afford since then, but no such luck.  Until this week...

Introducing, for the very first time (besides a quick stint on Craigslist), Matilda!

She's a hip older lady with plenty of kick.  She was playing difficult at first, but with a thorough cleaning job (and a free downloaded user's manual) she's rearing and ready to sew.  In fact, I had to take her for a test ride.  I really like her and I mean I REALLY like her.  I actually wanna keep her, but I feel my other two sewing machines would be jealous (and that might be a little gluttonous of me).  Besides that, she's a surprise.  When I brought Mattie home I told my sister I had a surprise for her, and then proceeded to allow her to play twenty questions without giving her a straight answer.  Yeah, she loves me!  So, SHHHHH!  She still doesn't know.

As I was pondering what to make for Mattie's and my test drive, I decided she needed some hip old lady clothes to accompany her to her new home, so a sewing machine cover it was.  It couldn't be too girly cause tho my sister is definitely a girl, she likes subtle girliness, not over-the-top ruffles and bows or anything like that.  

My version of dressing Mattie- throwing the cover on...

Mattie made me fix and straighten it out...
She likes it, can you tell?  My sister takes care of her things very well, but I wanted to make sure that this could take care of itself, so all edges are finished (for no fraying).  There's a pocket for throwing things in quickly and pulling it back out later (cause who actually puts things away only to get them back out- not me!).  I split the bottom for the cords, so no bent or squished up cords for Mattie.  And check out this corner, I was so happy/impressed with how it makes it look like a little box on top:

A boxy top- that is SO old lady

Happy and free cords

All seams are french seams- absolutely NO raw edges (that took some time to do!)

I'm driving to my sisters house today and can't wait for her and Mattie to get acquainted with one another.  If she ends up not liking Mattie, I'll DEFINITELY offer one of my other (newer) machines and continue to bond with Mattie myself.  Ha!  I only wish...  At least we have these memories together, and maybe my sis will let me use her whenever I visit (which would also mean no more lugging a sewing machine around- two pluses).  

Anyone have a kickin' old lady sewing machine they wanna give away?  I'll give her a good name, home and clothes, promise.  Until next time, sweet Matilda!

Monday, January 21, 2013

A New Kind of Game

Some days I feel like I'm playing at being an adult.  This morning after work I stopped to buy a gallon of milk and after balancing it on my knee while opening my apartment door, I got a goofy grin because I love where I live (and apparently am still in the honeymoon phase).  I made cheese for a particular recipe for dinner and GEEKED out that I had actually done it (no joke, I kept poking it to be sure that's what it actually was).  I got to play with my food since I'm out of cereal and decided to make purple oatmeal with yogurt.  I have all these wonderful clothes that I love and putting them on is like playing dress up every time.  I chat on Facebook with a friend and we make up some completely random story about a frog for no other reason than we can and we're losers cool like that.

Then there's those moments when reality hits and it's not playing grown-up anymore, but finances and responsibilities and your debit card being rejected at 10:37 pm when you're trying to get gas so you can make it to work on time instead of sitting on the side of the road waiting for AAA to bring you a couple gallons that they will charge you $9.58999999/gal for...  That's never happened to you, right? Yeah, me neither...  But it actually did pretend it did happen, so on your ten minute break, instead of snoozing (like every other human on the planet does at 1:50 am), you get on your smart phone (playing grown up or grown up bill...?) and check your bank account telling yourself not to freak cause you just got paid and even tho you neglected to write out a budget this month you're positive you couldn't have blown the whole thing already to see what happened.  What would you find? An overdraft? (nope)  You're identity was stolen (along with your money)? (uh-uh)  Money still there so that gas station is just retarded tripping? (well, yeah)  Five or six holds on your account, two of them being for $0.00...  Wait, what?  How do you get a hold for $0.00?  Seriously, someone help me figure this one out (cause it's Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday and my bank's closed).

So, ok, whatevs...  Life will go on- until tomorrow when I'll call my bank.  There's two more days of work left in my "work week" and then I get to be the awesome kind of grownup- the auntie kind.  Until then, I guess I'll just keep at this playing at being/actually being a grown up thing.  It's definitely keeping life interesting by throwing me for a loop every darn dangum day often.

Cause they're cute, funny, not paying attention and all over the place- like my life- except the cute part, unless I'm wearing make-up, which I'm not...  Ok, bye now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

When In Doubt

I've loved every minute of my move to SD to date, but there have been some moments of doubt.  I know I did the thing I wanted, but was it what God wanted?  I prayed about it for months and was positive that He'd said "Yes," but did I misinterpret a "No" or a "Not now"?  I hadn't let anyone know I was starting to have these doubts.  I wasn't sure myself what the correct answer was, but I knew so many people had put a lot into helping me prepare, move, and settle in that I didn't want to possibly say it might have been for nothing.  Why these doubts when I was so certain before?  Because I didn't have a job!

I don't have a very desirable job skill set (CNA's aren't known for their awesome pay-grade or cool job... duties...), but I have one that is always hiring and easy to get hired if you know what you are doing.  I know, trust me, I know!  I've been a CNA for seven years (two years longer than I swore I'd ever be one!).  I have learned tricks and tips from CNA's of 20+ years and with the love for people that God has given to me, I've always excelled in my work.  I have never been unemployed for more than two weeks.  In fact, usually I've interviewed, hired and started a job within two weeks.  I'm starting my fourth week in SD, with no job.

What a time of learning this has been!  Although I've never been one to worry excessively, I'm simply not patient enough to sit around not working.  I moved to a new (and exciting) area and I am not able to go out exploring as I would like since I have to watch my finances until I start work.  I'm closer to my family but even tho I took one spontaneous trip to visit at the beginning, I can't do it again until I have a set schedule.  I've been applying and inquiring after 4-5 jobs a day.  Not receiving any replies back or scheduling any interviews was causing me to seriously question this move.  Learning to wait upon the Lord (it feels like learning to wait while waiting- does that make sense?) is not easy for me.  I'm not used to waiting for anything.  I go through life very fast and the slow moments are usually because something is requiring a little more time than I anticipated.   Having a full three and a half weeks of waiting may not seem long, but it's definitely a test for me.  It's learning contentment in a new way, it's learning patience again and again and again, it's learning to wait in the Lord, for the Lord, wait while spending my time with Him, it's learning to take these disappointments to my Jesus and leave them piled at His feet, because when I take them all back, I start to doubt my following or His direction.  

I am positive I'm not done learning these lessons. I know I will need reminders quite often of what I've learned from this time.  You know that "chant" said at church sometimes?   "God is good. All the time.  All the time, God is good."  I think it needs a little tweaking.  God is most definitely good, and He is always good all the time, but I've learned that His timing is also always good.  Today I received a job offer from the one interview I had over two weeks ago.  I was slightly discouraged by the interview (it was a group interview, my first!).  They had said they would call with their decision but hadn't yet.  It was the job I wanted, a job that I could learn more from, a medical field I had yet to work in, and I was so disappointed to not have heard back from them.  So God is good, all the time, and God's timing is always good!  I start Monday for orientation and am so excited for this opportunity He's given me.  Once again, God is faithful!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Just Because

So, because I moved, and because I moved closer to family, I've already had multiple chances to see more of my family.  And because I'm still learning and trying to take better pictures, I take lots of pictures.  Also because I'm an obsessed Aunty, I take lots of pictures of my nieces.  Finally, because seeing pictures of my nieces makes me smile, I am now going to overload you with their cuteness.  Just because!


See?  SUPER CUTE, right?  Happiness is most definitely being an Aunty!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Adventures in San Diego!

One week after moving from SacTown to SD, my new roomie and I went exploring Balboa Park.  So.  Much.  Fun.  And so much to do!  In the time we were there, we pretty much traveled the world.  No, really!  We have pictures to prove it.

We went to England:

Yeah, we TOTALLY caught some Olympic action there.  They wanted to give us gold medals for the sport of being awesome, but we politely declined since we couldn't stay for the award ceremony.

We stopped by the Butchart Gardens in British Columbia...

And smelled some flowers...

And admired their beauty...

And pretended to be African monkeys hanging from a flower filled well...  Ok, so that was only me...

We danced with the Kirov (Mariinsky) Ballet...

and the Paris Opera Ballet...  (no, those are not white tights, those are my white legs)

We crashed a flower show in a foreign-Spanish-looking-place.

It took great strength to refrain from bringing back any flowers 'cause they were so pretty!

We found a secret entrance to Wonderland (take that Alice!).

And in Wonderland, we met this super friendly green dragon-snake-thingy.  (Mom, don't freak out, but we brought him home!)

Just in case you were wondering, I'm loving my new home.  I'll have to tell you more later, but right now there's more adventures waiting for me, so off into beautiful 80 degree weather I go!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Big News (but not too big)

Wanna know something?  If you're friends with my older sister, you might already know (she can't keep her honest mouth shut).  I'm moving!  I'm finding that moving is an exciting prospect until it becomes time to start packing.  Then it's not so exciting, rather, it becomes an item on the list of things to avoid.  When cupboards start becoming empty and your apartment starts to show bare walls and floor spaces again, it's back to exciting.  Friends start to talk about the adventure of moving and the realization that these friends won't be near anymore makes moving once again undesirable.  The solution I've come up with is that I need to learn to teleport- then all my stuff could be moved without packing it and finding time or money to visit friends left behind won't be an issue!

ACK!  Sorry, had to kill a spider attempting to sneak across my arm...  ~shudder~

Back to the issue at hand: moving.  I've been wanting to move for years.  Originally, I wanted to move to a cooler climate (i.e.- Washington, i.e.- Seattle, i.e.- I like the Olympic Peninsula too), but my family is growing and I will be an auntie for the third time at the end of September (maybe beginning of October?).  The thought of living so far away while my nieces (and almost-here nephew) are so little is a depressing thought.  All I could think of is Miss Niece and Little Niece calling me "Buggy" when they see me (my little sister's nickname).  They've both done it (goes to show family resemblance is obvious in my family).  Every time I haven't visited for at least five months, I'm back to being the other Bug.  Not cool, especially when I LOVE being an auntie and want to watch them grow up.  Being the unknown aunt is just not acceptable.  So to make this long story short: because my little sister is having a baby, I'm moving south instead of north.  Yes, back to dreaded SoCal I go...  I'll admit, I'm still rather excited.

I'm not moving back to my hometown, not to incredibly hot L.A., or to the desert-I-would-DIE-in-known-as-Palm-Springs-where-most-of-my-siblings-live.  This cold-weather-loving gal is moving to the (I've been told and hope it's true) beachy, same-weather-most-of-the-year area of San Diego.  It is a new adventure that is filled with many perks:
-I get my own room again
-I get my own bathroom for the first time ever
-I get a new roommate/friend
-I will be only two hours away from most of my family (in the desert and L.A. area)
-I will be 30 min away from the beach
-There is a public library about a half-mile away from my new apartment
-The city park is less than a mile away (Big Sis- feel free to bring nieces weekly!)
-There's a Sprout's Farmer's Market store 1.3 miles away
-According to the world wide web, there are farmer's markets every day, all year long, not just seasonally
-San Diego is the second largest city in CA, there's going to be so much to do, see and explore!

The time I've spent here in SacTown has definitely seen me grow.  The people I've met and the things I've been able to do have shaped me into an independent individual who has learned the value of family and friends and how to fight to hold onto faith-based roots.  I am definitely going to miss many people here, yet I am certainly planning to embrace all the opportunities this move will bring.  A new place, new people, new things, same me...  For now.