Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Cold...

So, Friday was pretty busy then on Saturday when I intended posting the final installment of the von Trapp series I caught a cold. My colds are always like the month of March. In like a lion out like a lamb. 

For the past few days I've been dealing with a sore throat, headaches, congestion, dizzyness, a low fever, and I've used 5 boxes of tissues so far! My voice is just about non-existent. I should be starting be on the mend now, By now you may have guessed that there won't be any post tomorrow either. I plan on getting back on schedule this Friday, July 4th. Check back then for a post that will include a little more enthusiasm than this one. *cough, sniffle*


Here are a couple of little paintings I did last week. If you follow my instagram you may have already seen these. They're part of a bigger project I think. Still rolling that idea around in my mind but there hasn't been much room to roll it lately with all this congestion.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday Cables || I Dyed...a Vest

Months ago I wore a vest once and then it got bleach on it in the laundry. I figured I would try dyeing it to see if that would cover the spots. Of course I forgot to take any before pictures as usually. The before was about a khaki colored tan and the bleach spots were white.  I had never used dye so I didn't know what to expect and hoped for the best.
Here we go:
I used the old fashioned stuff...

...and a GIANT pot. I opted for the stovetop method over the sink and washing machine methods.

Next, soak the fabric in hot water. I thought this would make a cool shot but it wasn't really.

Finally, stir....for 30 minutes. Or stir for 15 minutes because you think the color is dark enough now and you're tired of stirring.

 End result vest is now brown and bleach spots are a khaki colored tan. Well, it was worth a try. I'm still not giving up on this vest yet. It just my take me another few months to figure out what to do next.

I almost forgot today's blessing! I got the WHOLE day off! My first one in about a week and a half and it's on a blog posting day! 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

1 Maxi 3 Days || Day 3

The final day of the 1 Maxi 3 Days event hosted by Ashley from Bramblewood Fashion!  

I wore way more solid black on top than I had originally planned to with this skirt. However, during this challenge I realized I own a while lot more solid black tops than I thought I did! 

I wanted to wear my skirt today with my shirt tucked in because it has a nice waist band and I rarely wear my tops tucked into anything. There was a breeze when I went to take photos outside so my shirt looks a little shorter than where it actually fell when I was inside. Anyway, still not a fan of the tucked in shirt. I don't know why,  I have just never really liked it.


Top: thrift store, restyled by me :) 
Skirt: Family Dollar
Shoes: Payless


Thanks to all who have read and commented the past few days! It's so much fun reading what you have to say!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

1 Maxi 3 Days || Day 2

Today I sort of had it in mind to wear my skirt as a dress even though I pulled out a shirt when I was putting the outfit together. The elastic on this skirt fits so well that I didn't feel like I needed a tank top underneath and the cardigan made it unnecessary as well, so it was a strapless "dress." I was actually surprised at how much I liked the look! I would never have tried it if I hadn't take part in Ashely's challenge from her blog, http://www.bramblewoodfashion.com.


Skirt: Family Dollar
Belt: Charlotte Russe
Cardigan: gift
Shoes: I got them so long ago that I can't remember!!


Friday, June 20, 2014

Versatile Blogger Award || Triple Threat

A blessing today...being nominated for another blog award and being able to sit down and make THREE new posts today! Hence the title. (Sorry for the overload today...but it sure was fun! ;) )

Thank you so much to Ireland from Ireland Rhea for nominating me for this award

1. I'm eating supper as I type this
2. My middle name came from one of my great grandmothers.
3. I just ate banana chips this week after about 7 years of not eating banana.
4. I love reading books that the musicals I watch were based off of.
5. I feel cold most of the time no matter what the weather is like.
6. I have lived in three different states.
7. I've read through the entire Bible one and half times.

I would like to nominate all my readers for this award! I appreciate each and every one of you! If you have a blog, please leave a link to your blog in the comments! If not, feel free to comment with 7 random facts about yourself if you like! :)


1 Maxi 3 Days || Day 1

I bought this knit, houndstooth maxi at, believe it or not, Family Dollar. They actually had quite a few different styles last time I was there so I had a pretty hard time choosing. The wide waistband makes this skirt incredibly comfortable and the length is perfect for a taller person. I can wear the waistband at my natural waist and the skirt still brushes the tops of my feet!



Yesterday, (it wouldn't have been practical to wear a maxi skirt to work today) I wore one of the most comfortable outfits ever! The black shirt I'm wearing was purchased at TJ Maxx a couple of years ago, the pink tank top is from Target, and the shoes are from Payless. 

I didn't put much thought into this ensemble and hadn't ever worn it before. I just grabbed the skirt out of my closet and the black t-shirt happened to be at the from of my dresser drawer. The tank top is one that I often wear with the shirt. This is definitely something I will wear again it is SO comfortable!



Favorite Things Friday || Something Good: Von Trapp Series Part 3

So far In this series I've written about my, hmm, appreciation I guess, of the German language and about my own personal history involving The Sound of Music. This week I think I'll go back about thirty or forty years for last weeks post and talk about the 1965 film of The Sound of Music and how it came to exist.

A lot of people who have seen The Sound of Music film know that it was based off of the 1959 Broadway musical of the same name. There are differences between the two, many of which I mentioned in my four part review of NBC’s recent telecast of The Sound of Music Live starring Carrie Underwood.

The major difference is song order. Mainly, My Favorite Things and Lonely Goatherd. In the play Reverend Mother sings My Favorite Things with Maria before she leaves for the von Trapps and Maria sings Lonely Goatherd to the children during the Thunderstorm. There are also a couple of songs from the Broadway show that were not included in the film and a couple of songs included in the film that were not in the play. The songs from the film are I Have Confidence and Something Good. 

Oscar Hammerstein died in 1960, about 4 years before film production began. When they scored (placed the songs in) the film there were a couple of spots where it was felt new songs were needed so Richard Rodgers wrote both the music and lyrics for I Have Confidence and Something Good. 

In 1956, nine years before the film and three before the play, a German studio released Die Trapp Familie followed by Die Trapp Familie in Amerika (1958) which is the original work based on Maria von Trapp's book The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. The German films cover events in the von Trapps lives from Maria leaving the abbey, similar to the 1965 film, and then all the way up through the family leaving Austria, being detained on Ellis Island, and up to purchasing a house in Vermont.  I have only seen the very condensed American version of the film, dubbed in English and entitled The Trapp Family. This was actually the film Mary Martin had seen when she approached Rodgers and Hammerstein with the idea of making a musical play about the lives of the von Trapp Family Singers.




Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tuesday Cables || Sew-Bots

Let's see, a blessing today was getting a extra shift at work. Work may not be the most thrilling place to be, but it's always nice to be able to put a little extra money in the bank. :) --and I wouldn't have found out about the adorable twill fabric!

I think I might start  each blog that way from now on. Sort of counting my blessings and sort of just a happy thought or nice thing that has happened that day or sometime during the week. 

Now, I know, I'm late again. It is the wee small hours of Wednesday where I am and I am just posting for Tuesday now. I'm going to meet my nephew for the first time soon and he is almost 1 already! Wow that year flew by!! I'm trying to buy a few things that he might need when he's here that can't easily be brought on a plane. I already bought some sippy cups. Well, I'm sure you could bring those on a plane but it not like every kid travels with his own personal supply of sippy cups. Today I bought and sewed a pattern for a travel high chair!

Yesterday (Monday) when I was at work I saw the pattern for a travel high chair and it didn't take much fabric and was really easy to sew. I put it back because it said it should be made from duck cloth, light denim, or twill. I couldn't think of any of those fabrics off the top of my head that would actually make it cute. Actually, I wasn't even sure we had any twill. Ha, not good that I don't know what is in stock!  Today a woman brought a few bolts of fabric up to the cutting counter and one was an adorable kid's twill fabric that had owls wearing baseball caps on it! When I finished cutting her fabric I brought the twill bolt back to see what else there was and saw the robot print. I grabbed the bolt, which had just enough for the pattern left on it, and found the pattern again and happily made my purchase after I punched out.

The pattern was a breeze to sew. It's just one pattern piece and you only have to cut three pieces total. Technically it should take just a couple of hours to complete, but I am a master at getting distracted. During one distracted moment I started singing a song from the Harvey Girls, which I hadn't watched in ages so I finally put in my Harvey Girls DVD and got down to business on the travel high chair...after I took a picture of my TV screen.

I can't get enough of this robot fabric!!

Now, you'll have to use your imagination for this last picture. Unfortunately I didn't have an adorable baby model on hand  so I used a shirt. You get the picture though, right?


I'm so excited for my nephew to use this when he's here! 



Monday, June 16, 2014

Favorite Things Friday || Do - Re - Mi...or, um, Me?: Von Trapp Series Part 2

have been having trouble deciding how exactly  to approach this second part. So, we'll see how this turns out.

Let me take you back in time, not to January 26, 1905 when a baby named Maria Kutschera was born, not to Salzburg, Austria in "The Last Golden Days of the 30s” where director Robert Wise transports people every time they watch his film. Let me take you to the early 90s in my grandmother's living room. I sat on her blue carpet and stared at the television as scenes of the Austrian Alps panned across the screen and birds chirped. My three year old self was mesmerized for the full two and a half hours! 

By age four I was so in love with the movie that my family decided to go camping in Stowe, Vermont and visit the Trapp Family Lodge gift shop while we were there. That was when I found out the von Trapps were a real family. I didn't know much about this real family. I assumed it was the family from the movie. Of course I didn't know what Austria was either, so I assumed they filmed the movie in Vermont. While looking out my car window at the mountains, trees, and streams I announced from my booster seat, "I can see where they made the start of the movie!" I still remember my parents laughing! 

My supposedly childhood obsession went so far that I argued with my mother to let me wear a gray (and pink) jumper dress to get family pictures taken because I thought it looked like the sailor outfits that the children wear in the movie!

Well, after four I turned five, and was "practically a lady." Still watching the movie whenever I visited my grandmother. During the wedding scene I would rush to the guest bedroom and grab a vase of plastic daisies for my bouquet and placed the doily they sat on onto the top of my head. 

Age six I tried to read Maria by Maria von Trapp. It was too difficult for me to understand then, but I think I finally read it through around age 12. I received as gifts over the years a Maria von Trapp Barbie, the cassette tape soundtrack, and years later the CD. In the course of about 10 years I got the two video cassette version of the movie twice, after losing one of the tape from each set I was given the  digitally remastered film on one cassette tape. Later on the picture started to jump on the concert scene because the tape was getting so worn out. In 2005 I bought the 40th Anniversary DVD. Not to mention the the vinyl record soundtrack and numerous books and biographies I have all relating to the film!


Eventually I finally turned "Sixteen Going on Seventeen." It seemed like I had waited forever for that to happen. It was so memorable when it finally did. I was in the chorus of the play play Hello Dolly at my high school and hadn't been feeling well all day. I rested on a couch in the green room while the overture started and debated whether or not I should go on stage. At the last minute I rushed out and found my mark in the dark just as the curtain was opening! I had a headache and the lights only made it worse. Plus, I was sweating way more than what the stage lights usually made me sweat. I made it to the intermission and went home. I had a fever and the next morning I woke up with pink eye! Such a gross but memorable sixteenth birthday! 

Sometime in 2008 I had a pretty exciting day pertaining my Sound of Music fandom. I actually got to meet Julie Andrews! I went to Boston because she was going to be doing a book signing of her autobiography. I purchased the book, found the room where the book signing would be held and then was told I needed to have a ticket and they had already given away all three hundred. I was so disappointed and my mother was annoyed that they failed to mention that detail on the website. 

We struck up a conversation with another girl in the same situation as me and somehow we found out that two books could be signed per ticket. Normally I'm pretty shy and quiet but I started weaving back and forth between bookshelves calling out, "Is anyone getting just one book signed?" I found two women who were friends, each had a ticket and just one book! I asked if I could run and get the girl I'd been talking to and share a ticket with her. They were more than happy to share a ticket with us!!! 

I waited in line as it slowly moved closer and closer to the table where Julie Andrews was signing each book. Finally I was there. I had no idea what to say. Suddenly I heard myself telling Julie Andrews that I saw the Sound of Music for the first time at age three. She said, "Three?!" I also mentioned that I wanted to major in Musical Theatre in college. Then, I asked if I could give her a hug. (I had sort of made this deal with myself a few years before that whenever I was able to meet any classic film, or music stars that I would ask for a hug.) Julie Andrews replied with, "Well, I have all these people..." So I quickly asked, "could I shake your hand then." She smiled and put her hand out. Then she leaned back in her chair and looked at the man standing beside her and asked, "Doesn't she look like Annie Hathaway?" I covered my hand with my mouth in surprise and said, "A lot of people have told me that!" She smiled and that was it, we were moved on through the line. It was such a fun moment!

Well, I guess that's it for my personal Sound of Music related stories. Sorry it took a couple of days to get this post up. I had expected to post it yesterday but was a little preoccupied with a stray kitten that decided to visit on Saturday. We took her in for the night and brought her to the shelter today. She is such a beautiful cat!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday Cables || Asymmetrical Ruffle Button Down Shirt Tutorial

Well, that was a mouthful of a title. I wasn't too sure what I'd be posting today, but I had made this shirt before from a tutorial I found probably four or five years ago and can't seem to locate now. I've been looking for a black button down shirt and couldn't find one in a style I liked so I thought it would be fun to write out my own tutorial for this shirt refashion! (If anyone stumbles across the original tutorial I'd love to know so I can link it here.)

First, of course, start out with a plainly styled button down shirt. I just bought this one, specifically for this tutorial, at a thrift store today for $2.99. It had gathering under the bust, but it worked out alright, so there is a little leeway with design.

1. Try your shirt on and mark about half an inch longer than where you want the sleeve to end. Button all buttons and fold the shirt in half matching up the shoulder seams. Pin in place if necessary. Cut sleeves.
2. Next, cut the cuffs and seams from the sleeves you just cut off. 

3.Lay sleeves flat, you should have two pieces of fabric that now look like the top photo.
4. Cut off the narrower side of the fabric. You won't need this.
You should now have a 2 fairly square pieces of fabric. The edges can be a little rough because you won't be able to tell one you make the ruffles.

5.Cut your fabric squares into strips approximately 1.5 inch wide. You will probably end up with one strip at the end that tapers to a point. You won't need that one and probably won't end up needing all of the strips you cut either.

6. Baste strips and gather as you go along. Be sure not to gather strips too tightly. Leave enough room for adjusting the ruffles later on. 
7.When joining strips overlap about a quarter of an inch and be sure at least one basting stitch goes through the overlap.

To give you an idea of how tightly to gather, my fabric strips were about 12 inches long. When I gathered them it took 3 strips to make a 9 inch ruffle. I used 3 strips for the ruffle closest to the buttons, 2 strips for the middle ruffle, and 1.5 strips for the shortest ruffle.
8. Lay the ruffles on your shirt so you can decide how much you want to stagger them or how far apart you want to place them. It's okay if the tops are a little staggered too.

9. Pin ruffles to shirt, making sure to untwist them as you pin, and try on shirt with collar down to be sure that the collar covers the top of the ruffles in the way you would like it to look.
10. Sew a straight stitch down the center of each ruffle.

11. Trim the longer frays. You may have to trim them after the first couple of washes as well.
12. Hem sleeves and then you have finished your shirt!

The sun set while I was refashioning my shirt, so here is the lovely finished product brought to you by a bright camera flash. Note to self: make sure to button ALL the buttons next time. I only missed one. After the first three buttons the rest the button placket is hidden.

Happy sewing! :)








Friday, June 6, 2014

Favorite Things Friday || Deutsch: Von Trapp Series Part 1

Welcome to a new series to be oh so appropriately posted on Fridays for this month! (I know, my last series was about The Sound of Music play. This is fairly different. It really is one of my favorite things!

 Last week, in the comments I was dubbed a Sound of Music nerd. I take that as a compliment. I saw the movie for the first time when I was about three years old. I have seen the Sound of Music probably hundreds, if not thousands, of times since then, and watched it twice last month. I even got to meet Julie Andrews once! My interest delves much further than the film. I have quite a few of the books written by Maria von Trapp. I also have a book by Agathe von Trapp (The eldest daughter of the 7). Well, anyway, you get the idea. 

While I'm not exactly starting at the very beginning with this post, I'll be starting with a relatively general subject. The German language. No, I don't speak it fluently, though I would love to! What I have learned is mainly from von Trapp related things. From "fräulein" and "auf wiedersehen" in  the Sound of Music to portions of the poem Der Lindenbaum which is sung in Die Trapp Familie, the 1956 German movie that the Broadway play was based on. Of course, I learned Silent Night in German too!

Other German words I know I have learned from a 1912 book I have called "Writing and Speaking German by Paul R. Pope. I'm sure some elements of the language have changed in the past 100 years, but I don't plan on visiting any German seeking countries and trying what I've taught myself anytime soon. I just love the sound of the language. In fact, I wanted to take German in high school but all they offered was French, Spanish, and Latin. I took three years of French then one year of Latin. I sort of wish I had taken four years of Latin. Anyway...

These old books are little treasures on my shelf. The two others, Storm's in St. Jürgen (Storm is the authors last name) and Fulda's Unter Vier Augen, Benedix's  Der Prozess published in 1901 and 1902, respectively. Storm's is, I think, a famous poem and the other book is a couple of plays. The books were used for a German course. There is a German to English glossary in the back of each. Even though I can only understand a few words on each page, there are many words I can make out the pronunciation of, even if I'm not sure what they actually mean. The printing is so pretty. I hope to learn a little more German someday, but for now it's nice to have these old books to look at in my spare time.



What languages do you speak? 
Have you ever been inspired to learn something new because of a favorite book or movie?







Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tuesday Cables || T Minus Costume Time

Thank you to Paige of Sunday Best and All The Rest for thinking up the "Tuesday Cables" name! I really liked all of the suggestions! I  knew wanted something craft themed since Tuesdays are technically supposed to be my little summary of what I've been up to crafting-wise during the week. I wrote down all of the suggestions I received in the  comments and had my mother circle her three favorites. Once it was narrowed down the just three, I chose my favorite from those. Tuesday Cables reminds me of both knitting and old fashioned telegrams. I thought it fit pretty well. :)

Now, for my fun little story:
My boss at the library, aka the Children's Room Librarian, called me up about 5:00 last night and explained that she had thought that costumes were all squared away for school visits for the Summer Reading Program. (There was some miscommunication and some of us thought we weren't wearing costumes to the school visit this year.) she asked if I had anything medieval looking in my closet. I couldn't thing of anything so I quickly Googled medieval dress while she described how we could put together some sort of Robin Hood thing with green felt and leggings. Meanwhile, I saw a dress on Google images and said, "I still have my prom dress. I could go to JoAnn Fabrics and buy some tulle and make drapey sleeves."She asked if I could finished it by the next day. I said, "Yeah."

I grabbed the dress, hanger and all, out of my closet and carried it into the store. I found some matching tulle, sateen, bought some poster board, and one of those bouquet holder things. I had some ribbon and elastic left over from other projects. I eyeballed measurements and ended up with what you see here. Not bad, if I do say so myself, for just over three hours of work on short notice. I thoroughly enjoyed that challenge! I would gauge the success on the fact that a little girl at the school asked if I lived in a real castle! That was adorable!

Other no so last minute dress making will be happening soon. I won a 1958 Party Dress pattern Sense and Sensibility patterns a few months ago via the Boyer Family Singers blog. Today, I went to the closing sale of a craft store and bought a tropical print rayon fabric. I got nearly 7 yards for $4.12. The fabric isn't exactly what I had in mind for the dress, but I think it will be pretty fun. We shall see.


In other news...I've been trying to use my camera more. I used to take pictures quite often and got out of the habit when my camera broke. The new one I bought isn't the latest and greatest, but it's better than the one I had, and even has a macro setting which I've been attempting to experiment with when I see bugs. Everybody loves a good close up of a bug, right? Here's a baby grasshopper that I found on my dog after she came in from enjoying the beautiful weather and rolling in the grass. For comparison, that's my thumbnail in the lower portion of the second picture.


Hope you have all had a lovely beginning to your week! Thanks for reading and remember to check back on Friday! :)