A sewing machine makes all the difference

My mom and grandmama got me a sewing machine for Christmas.  I was so excited!  Grandmama gave me a quick tutorial on threading it and how to read the book (cuz you HAVE to read the book).

So my first sewing project was inspired by this blog.

I dug out my old button-down shirts that don’t fit me anymore and got busy…

I’ll probably keep one or two, but I think I’ve found another great gift!

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Farewell 2011!

Well if ever there’s been a year that felt like a roller-coaster ride, 2011 would be it.

A year of losses…

A year of gains…

A year of new burdens to bear…

A year of change.

There is no doubt that I exited 2011 a completely different woman, in a completely different season of life and with completely new thought patterns than when I entered it.

I could probably write 10,000 words or more about what all has changed (but if I did that I’d end up with even fewer readers that I have now – so I’m not going to do that).

The one thing that is very obvious to me as 2011 has closed and I step foot in 2012 is that the meaning of the words I use is suddenly very important to me.

I’m super guilty of exaggerating things and I’m even guilty of saying I’m going to do things but never following through on the commitment. And I’ve also been on the other end of the exaggeration or broken commitment, so I know the distrust those types of things cause in relationships with people.

The other thing is that there are so many idioms and cliches in our speech today that you can’t take a lot of things people say literally.  So, between exaggerations, flippantly-made commitments, and idioms – can you really trust what people tell you?

Well, 2011 has certainly given me my fair share (though sometimes I’ve thought it was a very unfair share) of situations that broke my trust in what people I loved told me.  And as I said earlier, I don’t doubt that people’s trust in me has been broken too, but recently it has become important to me that I do not use my words and people’s trust recklessly.

Some of the things that I have been keenly aware of recently is how much we use “absolute” words – like “always” or “never” or “no one” – words that indicate that there are no exceptions to what you are talking about.

Are you sure you ALWAYS think/say/feel that way?

Are you sure you’d NEVER do/say/think that?

Are you sure that NO ONE has ever…..

Are you sure?  Cuz I’m not…. not anymore.  I probably used to be (or at least think I was) sure, but things that I was so sure that always/never happened began to show that they weren’t always/never so.

Something else that I have found myself doing (and almost to a fault, just ask Ken) is clarifying my own words, because I want my words to say what I intend them to mean, without any confusion or ambiguity.

For example, there’s a show on TV (I have no idea what it’s called or what channel it comes on) that has a therapist walking people through overcoming their phobias.  The one we saw part of the other day had 3 people – one with a fear of bats, one with a fear of mice, and one with a fear of roaches.  And Ken made a comment like “I’m not a fan of those things and I don’t like them in my house, but I’m not scared of them.”  And as I’m thinking about what he said and processing whether or not I agree and remembering calling a friend to come kill a roach in my house and me jumping 7 feet across the room when it crawled out of a hole in the wall, I came to a conclusion:

“Those things do not instill fear in me, though to encounter any one of them would startle me.” And then I went into clarification mode to explain how someone would say “that scared me”, but really there is not a fear in them concerning that thing, they were just startled, but people use “scared” and “startled” as the same thing, but they are really not the same thing.

Ken’s response was “Ok, I get it.  I knew what you meant.”

And he’s probably not the only one who has thought that, but I would rather you tell me “ok, I get it” rather than me assume you got it and then you go on thinking that I meant something that I really didn’t mean.

So, with that, you can probably expect blogs from me that follow that clarifying trend.  And I hope you’ll be able to say “ok, I get it”.

Happy New Year!

An Elephant Never Forgets…

An elephant might not forget, but this girl sure does!  And with the commutes I have to make to work, forgetting can be disastrous!

On Pinterest, I discovered that on this blog, the author did a 31-day series during the month of October on organizing different areas of your house.  Now, my life certainly doesn’t allow me time to do one area a day, but I did take a weekend and start on 2 of the rooms that she mentions.  I got 1 and 1/2 of them done.  Here is the project I copied from her…

It’s a “homemade dry-erase” calendar that hangs in my coat closet where I can write things that I need to remember to take with me before I leave the house.

I already had the frame (8.5×11 document frame), the photo paper (background), the clip, the marker, the hanger, and the string.  And I just picked up free paint chips at Wal-Mart.

Because it’s hanging on my coat closet door, it had the tendency to swing and bang around.  So, I went to Dollar General and bought some adhesive velcro.  I adhered a small portion of the velcro to each corner and to the corresponding positions on the door.  It did the trick!  No more swinging and banging.

The only sad thing is that I haven’t had to go anywhere that I needed to remember to bring something with me!  Well, it is the holiday season, the time will come…

Magnetic Make-up Board

Found this project on Pinterest and it made me so excited!

I could completely relate with her feelings of having make-up crowded and unidentifiable in a container and not wanting to mess with it in the mornings.  So, I made a trip to Hobby Lobby (I think Hobby Lobby is making a lot of money thanks to Pinterest!)

The outcome…

It’s so handy!  And it ends up being a motivator on the mornings when I’m like “ugh, I don’t want to get ready!”  It’s there staring at me, so I’ll think “Ok, maybe just some eyeliner so I’ll look alive while I’m at work.” And before I know it, I’m all made-up and ready to sell some drugs! (I’m a pharmacist, don’t freak out)

NOTE: Have you ever had 2 high-power magnets stick together?  They’re pretty stubborn to pull apart.  But have you ever had 1 high-power magnet with hot glue on one side stick to another high-power magnet?  Getting those magnets apart will cause you to have an aneurysm!  Use caution (and lots of open space).

Inspired by Martha Stewart

Ok, now we’re back to Pinterest crafts – and just in time for the holidays.

This project comes to you from Martha Stewart.

I was so proud of how mine turned out… and I even think I one-uped Martha because of the variety of colors and combos I made.

I actually made 9 of them!

(I could only fit 5 of them on the stool).

I think part of what made me so happy about how these turned out is because I had seen some reviews by other people who had intended to make this craft and got upset about the cost of the materials.

So, for all the nay-sayers:  don’t buy buttons from fabric stores for this project!  I got a several packs of multi-sized buttons of different color schemes from Wal-Mart between $1-$5 (depending on how many buttons were in the packs).  The ribbon is from Dollar General.  Not an expensive project to get 9 unique button-wreath ornaments.  Can you say inexpensive Christmas presents?

And for the record: I am not a perfect bow-tier.  I am, however, a decent, bow constructor/gluer.  Yes, that means I folded and glued ribbon to make it look like a tied bow!