Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Four Simple Goals

It's November--I can't believe it! It seems like just yesterday it was June. And now I'm here.

I was inspired by this post on the A Beautiful Mess blog to create four simple goals for the end of 2013. While posting them November 1 was my goal, November 5 isn't that bad. So here we go.

1. Practice yoga three times a week.
When I decide to do it I really do love yoga. With two grad classes this 8-week session it is going to be tough to accomplish, but I think I can do it.

2. Create bi-weekly meal plans.
While I love to cook I am the worst at planning meals. In an effort to help our budget I want to start getting into the habit of meal planning. I did a pretty good job this week, so hopefully that will continue!

3. Start at least two new holiday traditions for just me and the hubby.
I made the mistake of having kind of a Scrooge-like attitude about the holidays, especially Christmas, last year. Though I want to blame the retail hours hubby had I know I can't. And I shouldn't. So to make up for last year I want to start some new traditions as we get ready to enter into 2014.

4. Finish two sewing projects by the end of 2013.
This goal can definitely be accomplished--I have THREE projects in my queue, and one of them has to be finished before Christmas.

I have no idea what my "rewards" will be for meeting each goal (the original goals post says they can be big or small) but I am excited to start this week. I'm also going to go out on a limb and say I may or may not be retiring my 25-before-25 list. Looking at it now there are a lot of things that can't happen on that list. This list of goals is much more reachable though.

Do you have any plans to make some simple goals before 2014? It will be here before we know it!

Happy November,

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The best is yet to come...

I promise!

So I've been MIA for three months now. Life has just been so crazy lately, and I'm sure you can relate in one way or another. Between July and now I've traveled to Guatemala (such an eye-opening experience), ran my first (and probably not my last) 5K,  started MBA classes again (just finished one, and the hubby and I start TWO more next week) and just enjoyed a lot of time with family and friends.

Now I am on to cleaning my craft space (the second bedroom in our apartment looks like a tornado whipped through it) and planning more projects. I am hoping to finish another Laurel and a couple of Scout Woven Tees (I just purchased the pattern yesterday) within the next month and a half. If it is anything I say I need more of, it's dresses and tops!

I'll be back soon. Until then, here are a few pictures from my trip to tide you over until next time:

Our view from the center we stayed at.
We visited a local village, and the views were just breathtaking.
I had the opportunity to share one of my favorite loves (CRAFTING!) with the kids in Patzun.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Life Lately: Checking In

It's been awhile.

I haven't posted in over a month.

So much for blogging everyday, right?

The past month and a half or so has been hard. To be honest, my heart just wasn't in keeping up with everything--and I mean everything. I've been in a bit of a funk to say the least, and I'm hoping to get back to normal soon. While I haven't gotten around to completing the Pencil Skirt Challenge, or anything really, I did have a lot of exciting life events take place.

 Remember my 25 before 25 list? Well, I have officially crossed off three things on the list!

First, I made a dress I love, which I blogged about here.

Then I celebrated my hubby's birthday in a big way. I surprised him with all of his friends/family at the Pirates game that took place on his birthday. Before the game I took him to Primanti's, his favorite comic book store and a few other places to try and distract him. It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I got to share his 25th birthday with him.

And I finally got to see the Pacific Coast! I was traveling out to California for a conference, and luckily the hubs got to go with me. It was such a nice trip, and I really, really enjoyed being on the West Coast. Even though traffic was pretty awful!

I am hoping to continue to blog more often than not. I unfortunately have nothing to post about regarding the Pencil Skirt Challenge. In the midst of the last month's craziness I just haven't had the time, fabric or energy to devote to completing the challenge. However, I might be posting a fun tutorial soon.

Next week will be pretty quiet around here though because I'm traveling to GUATEMALA! I have the honor of helping lead a mission trip down there with the university I work at. I'm extremely excited, and I hope to take some great pictures to document my trip.

Hopefully all is well where you are!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Floral Laurel in Action

It's been CRAZY here in PA--I really don't know how I finished my first dress/blogged about it last week. Between mother's day, my mom's birthday and my husband's 25th it was a miracle I made it through to say the least. I do have good news though: I celebrated my husband's birthday in a big way, and I can mark that off my 25 before 25 list! More on that surprise in a future post--I promise.

For now, here's my Floral Laurel in action. I wore it to a wedding this past Friday, and it was SO comfortable! Of course there were little things that I knew about that made the dress not so perfect, but that's okay. My husband was so adorable and kept telling our friends that I made it. I wish I would have made him a matching solid tie, but he looked handsome as always.

Coming up next: my ideas/inspiration for the Pencil Skirt Challenge!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Super Sunday: a Floral Laurel

I [finally] have a new project to share! Yes, a finished project. One that will help me with my 2013 Bucket List. I made a floral Laurel! It is definitely not perfect--but it is definitely wearable and I love it. My first dress since 4-H? Check!

The pattern is wonderful. It is easy to understand, and it is perfect for beginners who need to learn how to assemble sleeves and install an invisible zipper. I've definitely fallen in love with it.

The fabric is beautiful, but it is not something that I recommend working with something less silky for your first go around. I used a silk shantung I got online and it frayed like a beast. Not what you want for your first project.

Here is my result:

I belted it against my husband's recommendation, but he really just doesn't understand the green belt vs. a black one. The belt helps define my waist, and the thin belt doesn't make the fabric bulk up. Perfect.

As far as the dress not being perfect, the finishings of the sleeves, neckline and the hem of the dress wasn't done perfectly. I also have to hand-stitch the end of the zipper because it is kind of wonky.

Overall I love it, and I am so glad that it is complete! I'll be wearing it to a wedding this Friday (hence the 2013 Bucket List comment). I'll hopefully have some pictures of it in action next weekend. :)

More things to come. Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

RIP Black & White Challenge Project

So there are still about 30 min left for the Black & White Challenge as I type this. I had about two hours or so to go when I sat down to see if I could salvage my project before the deadline. I thought I succeeded. I was wrong.

Doesn't look so bad, right? Well, I got to the end and found out that the sleeves just do not work. They don't fit, and I couldn't even take a picture that wasn't embarrassing to prove it. **Sigh**

Just a quick rewind: I blogged about my fabric and pattern here. I always have these visions in my head regarding what I want something to look like, and then the finished product happens and it just doesn't come together. Kind of like on the blog Pinterest fails. If that makes any sense at all.

I learned a lot from this project, even though it is unfinished:
  • I need to have more patience. Goodness gracious do I need patience.
  • Working on my pattern cutting/prepping skills will help me succeed in future projects. Again: PATIENCE.
  • Silk Shantung or whatever that lace-like fabric is made from is awful. Not for beginners, folks. Not for beginners.
Hopefully during the next challenge I won't be cutting it so close and there will be a completed and modeled garment to show.

I'll be linking everyone else's projects soon. For now--I'm going to bed!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Life Lately: Stocking Up

Life lately has been crazy to say the least. Crazy good, though. It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks at work, and then I spent two weekends in a row at my parents' house. Both weekends were full of card making, DIY projects and me stocking up my stashes. Now all I have to do is organize it all! I've stocked up mostly on fabric and my weakness: paper.

This week I will be cleaning up my bedroom and organizing my craft/sewing space with a possible reveal this weekend. Hopefully that all will lead up to me finishing my project for the Black & White Challenge and the Laurel contest. They both end next week.

Life lately in photos:

My weekend DIY: a new tray to add a pop of color to our coffee table. I'm a horrible DIYer though...I didn't take a "before" picture!
My mom and I spent Saturday with a trip to Hollo's Paper Craft in New Brunswick, Ohio. So. Much. Cardstock.

A thank you card I made while at my parents' house.

I'm also stocked up on fabric! Between an online deal AND a trip to Jomar in Philadelphia, Pa., I have no excuse to not work on more sewing projects.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Life Lately: April Edition

So I haven't been awful and posting, but I'm still not doing a good job and keeping an up-to-date blog on my life. It's been harder right now because I haven't been doing much as far as sewing or crafting. I started my Black & White Challenge project, and I'm kind of stuck in a rut. The neck binding is giving me a headache even though I keep telling myself I'm a beginner. I've been busy elsewhere though. Here's some proof:


Sorry for the poor photos and weird photo layout. Blogger and I are not friends right now.

On Saturday I made a Peanut Butter Pie for Easter--only 6 points per slice! I got the recipe over at Skinnytaste, one of my favorite WW blogs. It was definitely less stressful to know what I was eating for dessert and how many points it was (event though I've had a bad food week). I also went for a run on Saturday because it was FINALLY sunny outside! I don't know if it's been doom and gloom where you are, but it has been so drab here.

I've been getting into some extra reading for work as you can see. I totally recommend buying at least one book that is in your field to help you personal/professional growth outside of your job. Or, just a book about something that really interests you! 

My Laurel pattern came in the mail last week and I am in the process of measuring and cutting out the pattern. I bought some fabric online (which I hope to show you tomorrow--it should finally be here) to build my stash, and there is a pretty little number I am planning to use for my first Laurel. But BEFORE that I'm actually going to make a muslin! I have some old bedsheets that will work just fine to make sure I have everything just right before I slice into my final fabric. We'll see how that goes!

I'll be traveling for work next week so I am hoping to get a lot done before then. Hopefully I'll have something to show for my non-blogging habits soon. Maybe I'll even show you guys my terrible top that I am trying (too) hard to perfect.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thoughtful Tuesday

Oh hey there. Haven't been back in awhile. Sorry. My apartment is a complete WRECK which means my "sewing" room is even more wrecked. But today will be a day of muslin making and assembling, so that is good news!

I titled this post "Thoughtful Tuesday" and I really don't know why. Probably because I like alliterations. In all seriousness though I though of a brilliant idea today--brilliant in my mind at least.

Remember that time I said those really mean things about people looking at the pattern books during the pattern sale at Joann's? Yeah, me too. Not cool, Victoria, not cool. Well I came up a solution to this problem should it ever happen again. It is kind of obvious and I wished I would have thought of it sooner, but it could solve all of my problems on a busy Saturday sale day at Joann's, Hobby Lobby, etc.

I made a sewing stack in my Evernote account (if you don't use Evernote you should check it out) and my plan is to organize inspiration photos, patterns I do have, notions I have, fabric I have, etc. all into one place. In addition, I've made a list of patterns I would like to buy. Not all at once obviously--I think it is insane to pay $10+ for a commercial pattern when there are .99 cent sales happening all the time. But I made a note in my "Patterns to Buy" notebook that included all of numbers to the McCall's, Simplicity, Butterick, Burda Style and Vogue patterns that have caught my eye online lately. The best part about this idea is that I have the Evernote app on my phone, so the next time I spot a pattern sale I can be ready and not have to go through the pattern books at all! Genius, right?

Okay so it isn't earth shattering, but it is a step in the right direction. I scolded myself after posting that rant because it wasn't very nice at all. And now I have a solution to my problem! I've also been able to clip all the awesome patterns I have found for independent designers like Colette, Megan Nielson, Victory Patterns, etc. so I know which ones I would like to take a stab at next.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Getting Ahead Of Myself

So on Tuesday night I got all of my pieces cut out for my Black & White Challenge project. I thought I was going to sew it up yesterday (I read the directions and it doesn't seem like it will take too long.), but the hubby and I ended up running some errands. We did not get back to the apartment until after 10 p.m. and I was bushed. I told myself I'd work on it after work today. Enter the 2.5 hour grocery trip--without a list because I left it on the table. It actually was not as bad as it sounds, but I got home and ended up baking cookies and making ice cream for my man. Wife of the year award? I'll take it! (Just kidding. That was out of the goodness of my heart because he is too good to me!) Now I am telling myself that I will get it done tomorrow, but am realizing as I type that I made plans.

At any rate, I will be up on Saturday to work on this project because it is in my queue. In the mean time I have ordered the newest pattern from Colette Patterns, the Laurel, for my next project. I am excited to say the least! My vision for this pattern is to make a dress for a May wedding, but I don't have any fabric. I decided to poke around online. I found that the Fashion Fabrics Club has free shipping for orders $50-plus. I ended up coming away with a nice little stash for projects I would like to complete before the start of the summer. Plus, there is a little contest going on to show off the Laurel. My goal is to enter the contest with at least one variation.

Did anyone else order the Laurel pattern and are you planning on entering the contest? Let me know--I'd love to see what you come up with!

    Friday, March 15, 2013

    Friday Faves

    Happy Friday! I'm starting a new "series" if you will called Friday Faves. Nothing earth shattering or different, but I'm hoping it will motivate me to blog more. This will just include some favorite moments of the week or whatever is current in my life. Interested? Read on, my friend, read on!
    1. Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars from 86 Lemons via Pinterest. First of all, can I tell you all how much I love Pinterest? I'm sure you do too, but seriously. I love being able to search for things and create curated lists. It's fabulous. ANYWYAY, these bars are a little steep at 8 points per bar (IF you cut them into 16 squares from your 8 x 8 pan) and they are pretty tiny for a breakfast bar. BUT they are 100% homemade and unprocessed. And they keep me full in the morning! Check out the recipe--you can add and take away things that you personally like--and give it a try. It's been a great grab-and-go staple to have with my coffee this week.

    2. Organization. I had the opportunity to organize my stamping/card making materials this week (even though my craft area is still trashed) and I came up with the perfect solution to my pile of clear stamps that I use with stamping blocks. I had some small envelopes left over from our wedding that we couldn't use. I had no idea how to use them, and then it hit me: put stamps in them! The stamping on the front of each envelope corresponds with the stamps inside them. Now they are all in one place instead of in an unorganized pile.

    3. Continuous weight-loss. One item on my 25 before 25 list is to lose 25 pounds. Being the sweet person she is, Diane from Vintage Zest pointed out that it's not about the numbers on the scale but how you treat your body. So true! One thing I've really come to terms with, especially after putting that on my list, is the fact that I haven't been treating my body very well over the past 3-4 years. I'm grateful that my doctor didn't find any major problems at my check-up last December, but he did tell me that I was overweight (in a very nice way, of course). I tried to make excuses. I tried to blame my thyroid (family history). But guess what? It tested clean. So it was up to me to start making changes, and after starting WW last month I have slowly started to see a decline in my weight. The most important part is that I feel better. Even with (what I think) is a measly weight loss number for four weeks, I feel it. And it's awesome.

    That's all I have for this Friday Faves! I hope to take some great pictures over the weekend from the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival and I hope to cut out my pieces for the Black & White Challenge. And I have another project I started and never finished that I will be revamping. It's a full weekend, as always!

    Thursday, March 14, 2013

    Goodbye, Google Reader

    If you are like me, you catch up on a lot of your favorite blogs via Google Reader. It's a great way to stay up-to-date and gather inspiration. I haven't been a huge Google Reader user until I started this blog and discovered the online world of sewing bloggers. However, once I did I was hooked. Unfortunately I went to my Reader feed this morning, like I do every morning when I sign into my Gmail, and I got this message: Google Reader will not be available after July 1, 2013. Not cool, Google, not cool.

    The first thought that came into my mind was "what am I going to do?" I don't have any of the blogs I follow really written down anywhere else, so I was almost panicking (which I realize is kind of ridiculous). But then I remember a free app that I downloaded in January to get my feed on my phone: feedly. This is not a sponsored post. Really, I just want to make sure that Google Reader users like me know that there are alternative, almost better, options. There's a great article on the feedly blog about making the transition from Google Reader to feedly.

    feedly has different views, one of which has a magazine-like feel to it, and the best part? If you sign-up and sync to feedly with Google before July 1 you are good to go. No downloading your subscriptions or importing them to another site. It will (hopefully) be a very smooth transition.

    So if you are looking for an alternative to Google Reader I would highly recommended checking out feedly before July 1. They also have a free iPad and iPhone app for iOS, and it is a great way to keep up with your favorite blogs and news on the go. Additionally, I use Flipboard for my iPad to get all of my social media, blogs and news in one place when I feel like flipping through it all at once.

    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Black & White Challenge: Pattern and Fabric

    Over the weekend the hubs and I went up to my parents' house to visit since it is pretty rare that he has an entire weekend off. Luckily this past weekend was one of those rare ones. My parents live about one and a half to two hours away (depends on who is driving-ha!), so needless to say it is hard to make the trip up with our schedules.

    On Saturday my mom and I traveled across the PA line into Ohio so I could weigh-in at Weight Watchers. (Side Note: I've been trying doing Weight Watchers at Work, but while I was traveling I missed the meeting. I'm pretty serious about it, especially since it is coming out of my paycheck, so I found a place to do my weekly check-in.) After that pit stop we had breakfast and geared up for some shopping. Tuesday Morning, Hobby Lobby, the Mall, Joann's, Ulta...it was a full day. But I love shopping with my mom--we work so well together. We can be shopping together or go our separate ways and meet up in the middle. It's perfect.

    My initial plan was to buy fabric and possibly a pattern at Hobby Lobby for the Black & White Challenge. Unfortunately I didn't see anything I liked there, and there was no pattern sale. My mom was looking for yarn and didn't find anything either! Except we both did walk away with the same embossing folder that was under $5. You can't beat that.

    I figured I would try my luck at Joann's since they were having a coupon commotion this weekend. (Spoiler Alert: Of course everything I ended up buying was on sale and I couldn't even use a single coupon, but I still got some good deals.) I ended up finding this really pretty black/white "fake lace" fabric on clearance for $6 a yard.

    There was also a Butterick pattern sale going on (5 for $5), but they only had two books available to look at. I went to grab a book by a grandmother like woman and politely asked if I could look at it. She flat out closed what she was looking at and said "no." Um, OKAY. The other book was being hoarded too, so I waited. And waited. And I finally got to look at the book, write down five patterns I liked, and then I couldn't get to them because one of the ladies must have chosen 20 patterns to get out of the drawers. And she wasn't even really looking for them--I could tell she was going through each of the rows. They're numbered for a reason! |END RANT|

    Sorry about that! It was just really frustrating. I actually ended up scrapping the Butterick patterns I found because I wasn't completely in love with them--I just wanted them because they were a dollar. The pattern that I ended up buying for the Black & White Challenge is New Look 6148:

    It seems like a very versatile pattern, and depending on how I like it I might do a few variations. For example, you could make the yolk part of the shirt a pretty lace or eyelet.

    For the challenge I'll be going with look E. The clearance fabric I purchased will be the top portion of the shirt, and I have a black poplin for the bottom half. I decided to go with a shirt because I am always in need of new shirts to wear. Seriously, if you entered my apartment before the end of the day or in the morning you would hear me crying to my husband about how I have nothing to wear. Which is ridiculous, but that is a tale for another day.

    That's what's on my sewing agenda! Nothing too fancy, but I am excited to cut out the pattern ASAP. I do have some grocery shopping and cleaning to do after work, but I'm hoping to get everything cut out tomorrow or Thursday. I'm going to the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival with my mom and godmother on Saturday, and I am going to try to not buy any yarn while I'm there. Here's why:

    Yeah. (Please ignore my closet mess. This reminds me those garbage bags are full of clothes I need to donate.) I know that may look crazy to you non-knitters. That's why I told myself no more yarn unless I'm making a specific project for someone. But my needles yearn for something nice and new! AHHHH! At least it's color-coded. In all seriousness if you are looking for yarn (color, etc.) to start out with to see if you like knitting let me know. Even if you'd like yarn if you knit already let me know. I'd be happy to send some your way!

    There will be a few new things coming up...if you are reading this on the actual blog you may have seen that I did a little revamp for my header and nav bar. I added a "daily bliss" button that I hope will motivate me to start taking my camera out more. I don't know why it intimidates me so much.

    Monday, March 11, 2013

    Finally: My First Sorbetto!

    Happy Monday! I can't believe we are into the second week of March already. I also can't believe that I've been so late on my promises. Sorry! I know I said I'd post over a week ago. But fear not, the wait is over. I'm here to show you my first try at the Sorbetto top. It was my first PDF pattern, and it was much easier than I expected! I always psych myself out when I attempt to try something unfamiliar. This pattern had a center front pleat, bias tape edging, etc.--all new to me.

    Okay, okay I won't make you wait any longer. Here are my photos:

    Not bad for my first shirt ever and my second wearable garment since my 4-H days, right? I must say, I love this pattern. It's very simple and I can tell the difference in a more customized fit. The only thing I didn't love was the length. It's hard to tell from the pictures (sorry, I'm still working out the kinks to all of this!), but it sits just at the waistline of my jeans. I have a longer torso, and my personal preference lies with shirts that hit just below my belt line but above my pockets. But who knows I could have a totally distorted idea of what looks good on me and what does not. I plan to pair the top with a skirt for work, as it will look great tucked in!

    I cut out a size 10 for this pattern and tried to lengthen it just a tad, but I didn't add enough for my taste. There's always next time. But the pattern truly is simple and easy to follow. I plan to make more for sure! I might even try making my own bias tape to match like the pattern suggests. The options are endless!

    So that is it for my Monday. I'm playing around with a few design elements of the blog this week, and I will also be unveiling my project for the Black & White Challenge that I talked about in this post. I found some fabric and a pattern over the weekend, and I will be starting soon!

    Until next time (I promise it won't be as long as the last)!

    Friday, March 8, 2013

    Still MIA...

    But I promise I'll be back. I thought it would be easier to do both of my new posts on my iPad and did not bring my camera on my recent trip. Oops!

    A preview of my work trip excitement accompanies this post via my iPhone. Lots of exciting things are coming! :)

    Friday, March 1, 2013

    Friday Fun: Sewing Facebook Group and a Sorbetto Preview!

    About a week ago, Diane of Vintage Zest reached out to me about being part of a group for new sewing bloggers who were new to the whole sewing world. I literally jumped at the chance. None of my friends from home sew, and my mom is almost two hours away. Needless to say, I loved the idea of having a way to contact other beginners with questions/experiences/etc. Enter Stitch Once, Rip Twice.
     The idea is to all choose a project/trend/etc. that will allow us to share our results and any issues we have along the way. (If you are interested in joining let me know. We can invite you ASAP!) I am just so excited to be part of a group that will help me stay motivated to start/finish projects.

    Group members:
    Diane of Vintage Zest
    Kristin of Sew Classic
    Rachel of Layer, Stitch, Repeat.
    Sabrina of Sweet French Toast
    Tiffany of Tiffany's Notions and Knits
    Victoria (me) of Very Blissful

    Our first project will be different takes on a Spring 2013 trend: black and white.

    I'm super excited, but I have no idea what I'll be doing! I'll have to make a Pinterest inspiration board for this challenge soon. There are so many possibilities!

    Although I am very excited to get this underway, living in a small town is proving to be difficult. There are no fabric stores within 30 minutes, so I unfortunately won't be looking for fabric (and maybe a pattern depending if there is a sale) until next weekend.

    Speaking of fabric, below is a preview of the fabric I used for my FINISHED Sorbetto pattern! Yes, I said finished. I will hopefully post a full review with pictures tomorrow. Lots to discuss!

    The fabric looks a little purpley, but I promise its a royal blue. More on all that jazz tomorrow or Sunday. Tonight I am heading to Pittsburgh to celebrate a friend's birthday and have a bridesmaid pow wow for my other friend's shower in April. I'm really excited, and I hope to have some pictures to accompany a new post series. 

    Who else has fun weekend plans?


    Monday, February 25, 2013

    Weekend Recap

    My recap isn't much of a recap...more of a hey, I'm still here--and there will be something interesting coming soon.

    While this weekend wasn't full of sewing/project planning like I expected, it was full to the brim with busy errands, family and friends. Unfortunately I came down with something on Saturday morning and after a late night I was down for the count all day on Sunday. Plus the hubs woke up with a fever today, and I'm still stuffy. We make quite the pair!

    I'm not posting this as an excuse as to why I didn't get anything done...but it truly is why I'm still a little behind. But there is good news--and a light at the end of this long tunnel! I have major plans for the coming weeks. Seriously.

    They include:
    • Blog overhaul -- I'd just like to play around with the design and such. That's ongoing, obviously.
    • A Spotted Sorbetto -- last week I picked up some very pretty fabric to make a Sorbetto top with. This will be a first for me!
    • I'm also going to attempt the envelope clutch sew a long from see kate sew before I leave for my work trip next week.
    • A few possible refashions with two items from my closet cleanse that I didn't want to give up.
    • And more!
    Speaking of my work trip--I'll hopefully be taking my camera with me to document my travels. I'm still trying to get more comfortable with getting the big honking thing out and not looking like a crazy person. I know I shouldn't care, and I really want to start documenting my life and sharing it on my blog. 

    Anyway that's it for me! I'll hopefully be getting a lot done over the next two days. Hope your week is great wherever you are! :)

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

    A Pittsburgh birthday and some card making

    I had such an awesome birthday with my husband last Thursday! He truly spoiled me. We spent the day in Pittsburgh. Here was our view from dinner:                                                                                                    
    Day View
    Night View

    Is that not awesome or what? Great view, great food--so much fun. Doesn't hurt to have your birthday on Valentine's Day. ;)

    As much as I have wanted to update the blog this week it has been hard. With my night class for our MBA program (almost done with our third class--it flies by!), working, cooking, cleaning...it's been nonstop.

    Tonight I finally got to sit down and make a card for my dad for his birthday on Sunday. We are celebrating my birthday with my family tomorrow since we couldn't see them last week. I get to eat sushi--I'm very excited.

    I've been making my own cards every now and then for awhile now. I get it from my mom who totally spoils me and enables my need to buy every paper product in sight! Two Christmases ago she got me a Cricut and this past Christmas I got a Big Kick embossing beast. They are two of my tools that truly help make great cards even though I don't get around to it as much as I like.

    Here's the card I made for my dad (pretty simple, but so is he--in a good way):

    This card has the trifecta of cardmaking techniques: die-cutting, embossing and stamping. I know, too much.

    I also wanted to give a glimpse of wear I craft as well as sew. Sorry in advance for the blurry photo:

    Like most of our furniture, the desk was a hand-me-down from my parents' house. It works, but it is way too small of all of my stuff. I won't even mention what my sewing machine is sitting on--it's so embarrassing!

    I'm excited to one day have a house with my own specific place to organize all of my sewing and crafting supplies. Two of the necessities I will be looking for in our first home is a space for me and a man-cave for the hubs. Super important.

    Well, that's about it. Sorry for the kind of long and kind of lame update. Hopefully I'll have a list of weekend plans that involve sewing!

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

    25 before 25 and a NEW NAME

    You may (or may not) have noticed that my blog has a new name: very blissful. I changed it on a whim because I am so indecisive  and I wasn't feeling scraps & scones. When I think about what I want this blog to develop into--I want to be able to transition into a number of different things. Sewing, crafting, knitting, DIY, family, photos, etc...so here we are. Feel free to let me know your thoughts! I have a lot in store for this little gem on the web.

    Also, I turn 24 in two days. How crazy is that? Crazy to me. I know it is not like I am turning 30 or 40 (great milestones I will point out) or even 50 like my madre in May, but still. I can't believe I am turning 24 and NEXT YEAR I'll be 25!

    To start a new type of tradition and inspired by Elsie at A Beautiful Mess, I've created a 25 before 25 list to try and tackle in the next year. It is my hope that this will give me something new to blog about every once in awhile...plus it would be so cool to say I did most of these things before my 25th birthday in 2014! So without any further babbling...

     photo 25before25_zps5fafc7a1.jpg
    1. Travel to the Pacific Coast
    2. See Ben Folds live
    3. Find my style
    4. Make a dress I love
    5. Adopt a dog/puppy
    6. Celebrate Hubby's 25th in a big way
    7. Reorganize everything
    8. Write more
    9. Create my own tutorial(s)
    10. Visit Laura in NYC
    11. Go to Mood in NYC
    12. Start and keep an inspiration journal
    13. Explore Pittsburgh
    14. Blog every day
    15. Volunteer
    16. Learn my camera/Take more pictures
    17. Design a line of cards
    18. Start a monthly boardgame night
    19. Go on more dates
    20. Create monthly meal plans/budgets
    21. Read at least 10 new books
    22. Send birthday cards this year
    23. Make (sew) something completely different/out of my comfort zone!
    24. Run a 5k
    25. Lose 25 lbs. 

    So that's it! I can not believe I made a list this long to attempt over the next year...wow! Some of them will be super easy, but I think there are a few that might not happen. And I am totally okay with that!

    I will be updating on this list as I go along! Is there anything I should add/switch/take off?

    Monday, February 4, 2013

    Happy February!

    Can you believe it is the first week of February already? I sure can't! How crazy is that?! Here's what I have planned for the upcoming month:

     25 before 25 
    Well, for those (probably all) of you who may not know, I am a Valentine's Day baby. Yup, I'll be turning the big 2-4 next Thursday! I'm really excited to celebrate another year of life, and since I have one more year until I celebrate a "big" birthday (I think 25 is big...the hubs is turning 25 this year and I'm going to try to go all out) I am planning on doing a 25 before 25 list. I've seen the "24 before 25" and the one number less than lists, but I want to do 25 before 25. I'm not sure that I will get to all of them...but I am definitely going to try!

     Getting on a schedule 
    It's been so hard to keep up with posts and what not with work, life and the grad class we've been taking. Plus, I've been super picky about what project I want to start and what type of fabric I want to use/buy/where I want to buy it. So I haven't started ANYTHING yet. I have a day off from work tomorrow and so does the hubs, so I might talk him into letting me go to Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's to stock up on some supplies! But I promise--I will eventually post more and have a schedule like all you other fancy bloggers out there.

    Stay tuned, because to celebrate my birthday I'll be posting my list and maybe a Valentine's project of some sort!

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    Muslin Musings

    Making a muslin is a foreign concept to me--I don't know if it is because I never learned about this technique or if I simply overlooked the idea of creating one. After purchasing and receiving The Colette Sewing Handbook last week I'm almost convinced I need to start making muslins for future projects.

    The Colette Sewing Handbook by Sarai Mitnick of Colette Patterns
    I purchased my copy of the book on Amazon, and so far I have learned so much just by reading through the book. Plus it comes with some patterns to try your skills out on--I'm thinking about making the scalloped hem skirt first and then the dress that is featured on the cover as my first dress back in the saddle.

    But back to the idea of a muslin. It seemed silly to me at first, what with my impatient nature and all. Personally when I come up with a project I want to wear it before I even start to sew. Silly, I know. However, look what happened to my mess of a navy dress (RIP).  The fit was horrendous and it wasn't as if I had the skills to alter it in anyway. Enter the idea of muslin making.

    My body is all wonky with sizing, so getting the right fit is ideal. Again I think back to how I plan to create dresses for the 2013 wedding season and I don't want to haphazardly create a garment and not have it fit. 

    In the Sewing Handbook, it mentions you can utilize any cheap fabric (there is an actual "muslin" fabric apparently), but Sarai suggests collecting vintage bed sheets and what not. This triggered me to think back to the old king size bed sheets we have from before I moved in. They are the worst, and I never planned on ever using them again (I don't know why we still have them now that I think about it). 

    So I am pretty sure I will be making two muslins (not wearable) for the skirt I mentioned as well as my first dress. That way when I go to find the fabric for both I can have an idea of fit and the like.

    Do you make a muslin? Is it worth it?