Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pretty Pretty Princess...

I forgot to blog about my sewing projects!  I wanted to sew a costume for my niece Tori, and I saw some pretty yellow fabric at Hancock's the other day so I decided on a Belle dress.  Now, you have to understand that my total count of things successfully sewed was 3 before this dress--a pair of pajama pants, a skirt, and a button up shirt that fits super awkwardly.  A costume was like, way out of my league, but I figured that if it didn't fit quite right, who really cared?  And if worst came to worst, I could hot glue it together, right?  So anyway, I got the costume pattern from JoAnn's and got to work.  I had already done pretty much everything the directions were asking me to do before except a liner for the bodice.  I've never sewn a liner because we weren't that advanced in our beginning sewing class, but I knew I needed to learn, so I figured this was a good time.  

I was nervous the dress would be hideous or wouldn't fit her at all, but it actually turned out great!  Things I learned:

-People are not exaggerating when they tell you slippery fabrics are hard to sew with.  Wow that satin was a nightmare!  I didn't realize how easily it caught and slipped around under the presser foot!
-Simple embellishments like sewing a ribbon around the bodice is going to add a lot of time to your project when you're not that great at sewing even just the basics.
-Tulle is super cheap and easy to sew because you can't really see it, so who cares if you mess up?
-You can't sew a dress for one niece, and not for the other.
Notice jealous little Riley in the top right
corner...that broke my heart.  
Overall, though, it was a blast.  It didn't take as long as I expected, and Tori was adorable as she pretended to be Belle and dance around in her dress for about 2 hours.  Here are some pictures of the process..

I was so excited after I finished the bodice!  

Here's what the dress looked like just according
to the pattern directions (minus the hem).
And here was the finished product once I'd
added some jewels and the ribbon.

And here's Tori in her dress!
Of course, after giving Tori her dress and about breaking into tears at seeing Riley's disappointment in not getting one, I raced to the store to pick a pattern for Riley.  I settled on a much more colorful dress because I have to admit, I was so done with yellow after Tori's.  I wanted something cheaper and quicker for Riley so I found a pattern using mostly Tulle.  I decided I would just pretend it was Sleeping Beauty and call it good :)

Loved the sparkly tulle and cheap costume
satin that worked wayy better than Tori's!

Her sleeves were harder, but so cute!

The belt was actually velcro so it could detach,
 but it's pinned here so it looks awkward...

Final product!  The belt looked a little space warrior princess
so I added a rose made out of the scraps I had left over.

Riley was so adorable in it!!  It was a little small for her, but I knew that was going to happen--
I made a mistake cutting it.  That was a lesson learned--Don't Do That!!!

Life Update May...

So we just left off with graduation, and now we are finally into May!  Before I go on, I don't think I've talked about my church calling yet.  So I was in the primary doing singing time, which I absolutely loved.  I was so impressed with these kids and how musical they were at such young ages!  They helped make our transition into this well-established family ward a lot easier because they were so loving and friendly to me every Sunday :).  Unfortunately, I was released from the Primary about a month ago and my new calling is the Ward Music Chair.  

Basically, what I do now is try to find musical numbers for sacrament meeting every Sunday and get families or groups together and ready to perform.  There are lots of other responsibilities that go along with it like just trying to build up the culture of music in our ward, which I'm excited about, but I sure miss my primary kids.  I sort of cry inside every time I pass the primary room on my way to Relief Society and hear them singing the songs I taught them.  (I just realized I never posted about primary officially, which is sad, but I'm sure I'll be back there at some point in my life, so don't worry...)  But Mother's Day this year helped change my feeling about my calling a little bit.  

The primary kids always perform a Mother's Day song and they were as cute as ever, but I also wanted some young women to perform "Consider the Lilies of the Field"--which I actually wrote about two years ago here--what can I say?  I love this song!  I have always loved this piece and I thought it was appropriate for Mother's Day because it's all about the most perfect example of love from our Savior that we should all be trying to emulate.  Getting the young women to practice with me was more difficult than I thought it would be--their lives are so busy!  But they were very dedicated, and they were excited about getting the harmonies right.  It turned out beautifully and I really felt the Spirit when they were singing.  I was so proud of them and it made me excited about seeing more music in this ward.  

This last weekend we camped up in American Fork Canyon with Annie and Russ.  It was a long, cold, rather miserable trip, but it was still fun.  Lucky Dave has a fantastic tent that kept us warm and dry during the torrential downpour.  We stayed just long enough to do tinfoil dinners one night, and a breakfast casserole in the dutch oven the next morning.  Then we were outta there!  Dave and I got to go fishing the first night for about an hour while we were waiting for the rain to stop and I caught a fish!  But then we didn't really get to go again so it was kind of lame.  Hopefully we can make it up there again sometime soon when the weather forecast isn't predicting a storm...lesson learned--don't plan a camping trip hoping the weather report is wrong!  

You can see just a tiny bit of my fish!!  It was a beautiful rainbow trout!

The breakfast casserole was delicious!

Awesome tent with amazing rain fly.

This is what our campsite was sitting on.  The river!

Happy to be by the fire under the EZ-up and out of the rain...none of us died of carbon Monoxide poisoning luckily.

So I think that sums up May for us.  Maybe I'll be more diligent about posting from here on out.  If not, just know it's because we are finally cracking down and finishing the last of our Thank You cards for our wedding (I know...so late!).  So I guess I'll be back when the thank you's are done :)

Four Short Years...

The morning of graduation felt surreal.  Maybe it was because my convocation was earlier than I ever wake up, or maybe it was because my Young Adult Lit professor lost my final and I knew I still needed to retake it for him (best class ever...not), but whatever it was, I just didn't feel like it was real.  Or maybe I felt like it was real, I just didn't feel like it was a big deal.  Knowing that nothing is really changing--we're staying in the same house in the same ward, I'm starting back up in the fall, Dave's still working and doing his program--sort of took the excitement out of the day for me.  Surprisingly, the emotions I felt were a lot more sadness and sentimentality than excitement.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love school.  I love my professors, love literature, love becoming a better writer and thinker with every class, and just love learning overall.  My last final was an oral discussion with my American Novel professor and 7 other students from the class.  I was almost brought to tears when I was giving my response of what I personally think makes a great novel "great".  I was just so sad to think that I may never take another English class again at BYU.  I may never again have a professor force me to read something as challenging as Moby Dick, and teach me through the process that dedicating my time and my mind to a difficult novel is well worth the rewards.  I guess I'm just grateful I'll be living in Provo for the next 4 years at least where I have BYU's resources at my fingertips.  And I'm grateful for e-mail and professors who care about their students enough to respond to their questions or ideas.

I guess this is the part where I thank BYU for all the years of learning it provided me with.  So thanks BYU.  Thanks for teaching me to decide who I am and stick to it.  Thanks for teaching me that "who I am" will probably change as my life and experiences change--and that's okay.  Thanks for teaching me that I can do anything I put my mind to.  Thanks for helping reinforce my faith in the Gospel through your ridiculous religion classes.  Thanks for teaching me how to read--and I mean really read.  Thanks for teaching me that hard work goes a lot further than pure talent in this world.  Thanks for teaching me that it's more important to be nice than to be smart or the best.  Thanks for teaching me that you can learn from anyone at anytime--often when you least expect to be taught. I guess I just want to say thanks for the past four years, BYU.  You've been great.  Here's to hoping the next two will be just as great.

Life Update for April...

I'm sorry I haven't blogged in like 2 months!  A lot has happened, and we had family staying with us for almost the entire month of April, so we're going to attribute my blogging failure to that :).  So I last left off with my rant about Shakespeare, and it turns out that that ended up being my Senior Thesis.  Obviously it was better and more fully fleshed out.  I actually got an A on it (miracle) and my professor wants me to present it at a few conferences!  I'm stoked about it :).

Dave and I both had finals in April while his dad, mom, and sister stayed with us to see me graduate.  They were all already here for his sister's graduation from Idaho the previous week, and just decided to stay another week for mine!  They were so incredibly helpful the whole time they were here.  Thanks to them we now have a light in our pantry, all of our outlets are tight and actually hold plugs (yay!!!), our living room is all painted, our hallway including door frames is fully painted, all of the ceilings are painted except in the bedrooms, and our baseboards and crown are puttied, caulked, and painted!  It was amazing that while Dave and I were at school and work studying for finals, his family was just slaving away helping us work on our house.

Old carpet...you can't see the duct tape holding the carpet together, but it's there, believe me.  

We also finally got new carpet in our family room and I am absolutely in love with it...The carpet we have in the house right now is pretty horrific.  It's got stains all over it and is basically ripping up where it meets the tile.  You could kind of compare how it feels to walking on the plastic-y side of velcro.  It's pretty not soft on your feet.  Unfortunately, carpet's expensive so we could only swing new carpet in one room, so we chose the family room.  Now I feel like I'm walking on clouds--clean clouds!!  It's been an amazing addition to the room.  That coupled with our new curtains actually makes our house feel like a home.

This was taken using the iPhone's panoramic feature.  The carpet obviously looks better vacuumed, but I took this right after it was put in.

So that was April...next came graduation!!!