Monday, January 23, 2012

Sweater Makeover! :)

Hello, everyone! Today I'm linking up with Kirsteen's Make-it Monday!


A few weeks ago, I received this lovely-colored sweater from a friend:

Now, I realize that there are a variety of arm sizes in the world, but the size of the cuff made it nigh-impossible for any of the girls in our family to fit the sleeve onto the upper arm. A true dilemma, since the sleeves were a bit shorter that 3/4 length!

So I cut off the binding, re-hemmed the sleeves...

(Yes, most people would have tried to choose a thread that matched...but I like pink!)
 Added lace to the sleeves and bottom edge, and made some lacy flowers!

Ta-dah! (Unfortunately, this is the only pic I have for you, as my camera battery just died. :)

That, my friends, is what I worked on this week. Thus ends my first experimentation with cutting up + sewing store-bought clothes! :D

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Resolve in 2012

Photo Credit
 Resolutions. Everyone makes them. Whether it's an exercise plan that begins religiously on the first of every year, a commitment to read certain books within the month, or a quiet, mental purpose - in the words of Princess Victoria - to "be good," people are constantly resolving to think better, to act better, to be better. Yet, despite the commonality of this routine, one somehow feels more official when sitting down to write in large letters across a blank sheet, "2012 New Year's Resolutions". What will you do with the next 366 days of your life? Plans relating to fitness and finances are perhaps the easiest and most predictable - eat less, save more - they bestow a sense of accomplishment by being clearly quantifiable, easily achievable (with a little discipline! :), and yielding more-or-less immediate results, which monitor the level of commitment to the cause.

But how does one make resolutions in regard to relationships? Parents, brothers, sisters, friends - it is surely far more necessary to have a plan for growing and sharpening these bonds than it is for growing a bank account; yet, too often, goals in these areas are either scantily constructed, or skipped over altogether. Year after year, if relationships even cross one's mind during the planning process, their goals are vaguely confined to "get to know whats-her-name," or "spend more time with so-and-so." Why? Why is it that the most important aspects of life are the ones for which the least intentional plans are laid?

Photo Credit

How laughable it would be to resolve to "loose weight" with no specified intention of altering exercise or diet. How much more so to indistinctly purpose to "have a more sharpening relationship with Jane" but leave out the "how-to"! Yet we do it - the difficulty being in the obscurity of the gauge. We do not receive a bank statement each month, informing us that we're running low in the "quality time" account. We possess no mirror-on-the-wall to reflect a face pimpled with impatience. We cannot step on a scale and see that self-centeredness is beginning to weigh heavy in our interactions with those we love. Relationships are simply not measured in gifts, emails, or hugs. No, the gauge of our efforts lies much deeper, measured only through the looking-glass of Scripture. We must not let this stop us, but how then should we proceed?

Carefully, purposefully - we must stand and defy the tendency to simply drift through days and years, haphazardly "chilling" with friends when we're bored, or cooking with siblings when the fancy strikes. Each interaction should be deliberate: planned and designed to glorify and honor our King. Most importantly, the ultimate relationship we must resolve upon is that treasured gift between our Savior and ourselves. C.S. Lewis well understood how to build and strengthen relationships when he wrote:

"When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. Insofar as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed, but increased."
Yes, specific resolutions can be made with regard to relationships, and the "how-to" resides in the diligent seeking of God. With the blessing of His Holy Spirit to lead us, we are without excuse if we fail to purposefully build our relationships this year. My prayer for 2012 is to be intentional with every interaction. From spending time with my Savior each day to giving the random five minutes here-and-there to help the Twinkles with knitting, I want to see and plan this growth with the eyes of my King. After all, we know that resolutions are there for a greater good than depriving us of chocolate. They had better be.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Watch-It Wednesday: Easy as ABC

Hieroglyphics made easy - conveniently set to music for easy remembrance! :p

Have a simple Wednesday!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Watch-It Wednesday: The Justice of King Charles II

Methinks there were, perhaps, some moral flaws in this gentleman?

Have a laughing Wednesday - tell a good joke!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dancing in the New year

"All of which came together in preparation for..."

A ball.

A couple weeks ago, the following invitation was sent to several dear family friends:

The Honor of Your Presence
is requested
At a New Year’s Regency Ball
to be held at
The Coder Manor
January One, Twenty-Twelve
5:30 pm

Dinner will be served at 8:30

This was the first ball we've ever been to, hosted, or planned. I admit to being a bit stressed out last week, trying to make sure everything was in place and ready - but it was totally worth it! We danced, and danced, and ate, and danced, and talked, and danced and had an absolutely lovely, grand time! Unfortunately, I have only a few pictures from the evening (I've realized that tends to happen when you're the hostess), but Emily, Lauren, and Lynnae all have shared pictures on their blogs, so pop on over for a wee visit! :)

The dress I made for the event, and the first Regency gown
I've ever made that I was completely happy with! :)

The lanterns the guests arrived to (my awesome dad's idea! :) Please excuse the blur...

Even the Littles danced! Maddy especially enjoyed herself.
Dancing 'Comical Fellow'

Aren't the outfits wonderful??

Some of the lovely gowns...

An adorable sis-and-bro couple :)

Maddy and her Prince :)

One of the belles of the ball!


The meal and some mingling! :)

The whole gang minus Mrs. C (taking the picture)

It was such a lovely ball! Good friends, good music, good dancing - what could be more perfect? I am definitely planning another one! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Getting Ready

In our family, the week after Christmas is traditionally a week of relaxation, recuperation, and reorganization. This year - or, rather, last year :) - we decided to try something new, and followed Christmas with a crazy week of planning, preparation, and anticipation.

The Twinkles helped me make pomanders:

Which resulted in these:

Gracie did some major paper-cutting:

Which resulted in these:

Which were then hung around an (unusually) empty great room:

The Littles filled 30 paper bags with tea light candles:

Which resulted in this:

All of which came together in preparation for... (to be continued tomorrow)