A Pillow for a Baby Cowboy

One of my pledge sisters from back in our days at Oklahoma State University (Kappa Alpha Theta love!) is having a little one - very soon!  Another of our sweet pledge sisters, Boz, suggested we all send her gifts for Baby Caleb, which she compiled altogether into one big package - a shower in a box!

I've made baby shoes before, but those were all for girl babies, so I wanted to make something a little bit different this time.  Since our alma mater's colors are orange and black, I knew I wanted to start with that.

First, I made a bunch of 2 inch strips from my two fabrics.
I sewed those strips together, and then slice them up in 2-inch strips going in the opposite direction.  I rearranged the strips to get a quilt pattern:
I sewed all those rows up too, and voila!  I'm not even going to pretend all my squares matched up in the end, but hey - that is why I make clothes and not quilts.

Then I printed off a cute but manly font with his name (I used The Only Exception, which I downloaded from dafont.com):
 I cut out all the letters...
 and traced his name onto some chambray.
Then I cut on the inside of my tracing (so I didn't get any marker lines), and pinned it to my quilting.  This was going to be the front of my pillow.
I sewed all the way around all the edges of the name, and then went back and sewed around where the holes would be in the a, e, and b.
 I cut out a piece of chambray in the same size as the quilting, and sewed that to the quilting piece all the way around, leaving a 4-inch piece open for the stuffing.  Then I stuffed it full!
 I sewed up the open edge...
 And, here it is!  A personalized little pillow for Baby Caleb.
I love the contrast of the chambray backing with the orange, black, and white quilting.  I hope this little boy grows up to be a Cowboy (or even a cowboy!), but even if he doesn't, I know very well that he will be loved to the greatest degree by his parents.
Congrats, Skyler and Chris!


Weekend: Discoveries

1.  There is a Blockbuster Express in our grocery store.  It's $1 more than Redbox, but it is definitely better than nothing!

2.  I would vote for George Clooney for president.  Though probably not if that scandal gets out...

3.  You can play Taboo online.  WHAT.  We played with friends on Friday night!  It has a timer and it keeps score for you!  You have to verbally buzz people though.  Not that it's a problem to do so.

4.  I love the view from our roof almost as much as the view from our windows.

5.  When I get obsessed with something, I get really obsessed with it.  (Watched no less than 7 episodes of Downton Abbey between Friday and Sunday, and threw in a few fan-made YouTube vids for good measure)

6.  My camera no longer wants to focus.  It's my own fault, as I once let it fall off the ironing board (what was it doing there?!), and it's never been the same since.  Good thing a birthday is coming up...

7.  I love the way this man wants to build things for our home.

8.  Monday always gets here a little too soon--have you noticed?


My Newest Late Night Obsession

Watch it.
Live it.
Love it.
Lose sleep over it.
Thank the person who got you to watch it even though you resisted it (Thanks, sister!).
Watch it again.


Another Refashion: Making It Big(ger)

Last weekend when I was in Philly with Heidi, I was supposed to be helping her clean out her closet for her move.  You know how I love a good closet purge!  Although Heidi is tiny and I am tall, there were a few things she tossed into her donation pile that I had to swipe and bring home for myself.  One of them was this blouse:
It kind of looks like it fits me in this picture, but the reality is that the midriff was way too tight.  When I wore it to the office on Tuesday, there was the dreaded gaping between the buttons and just an all-around feeling of not being able to breathe as much as I would normally like.  Since I like to be able to take a good, deep breath once in awhile without living in fear of a gape, I knew something must be done.

I just adore the crazy little print on this blouse, so I wanted to keep it as much as possible.  But how to make something bigger?  There's only one thing you can do:  Add more fabric.  Which is exactly what I did, right down the middle!  I grabbed some black knit I had in my stash, and in two easy steps, this blouse was transformed:
And became this:
I don't know if you can tell, but I am totally taking deep breaths in that picture!

Also, this:
Thanks, Heidi, for your donation to my refashioned closet!


Primary Colors

One of my favorite things to find when I visit my Etsy account is that I've been featured in a Treasury! Here are three treasuries Dottie Adele garments have been a part of recently - they just so happen to be gorgeous collections of blue, yellow, and red.  Click on the links below if you see anything you like!


Welcome Back, Mon!

It was a very long 9 days without Scott here.  He has returned just in time:  I have eaten all the leftovers in the fridge, watched all my TV shows (some more than once...), and started talking to myself for lack of human interaction.  But finally, (finally!), the man of the house has returned from Jamaica, where he was cleaning the local children's teeth and curing them of their dental ailments (poor guy had to go from 87 degrees and scuba diving and return to 30 degrees and a couple inches of snow).

Also, I found this thing in his suitcase:
...I should send him all over the world just to see what souvenirs he will bring back for me.

Welcome back, Scott, and welcome to your new home, weird carved wooden skull man!


Weekend: Chilly in Philly

Not pictured:  feast at Chili's, Lifetime movies, brownies, closet sorting, Facebooking people we went to elementary school with, brownies, snow, saying good-bye until next August, and brownies.  Heidi wrote about all those fun things here.


On Women Being Friends with Women

Last night I watched Monday's episode of The Bachelor (I know, I know, I can't believe I can wait two entire days before watching either!).  However, as I watched, I felt a little bit sickened.

At the cocktail party before the rose ceremony, the group of girls were surprised with an outside woman who wanted a chance to date Ben too.  We watched as all these women lost their minds and proceeded to insult and tear down the new girl.  Among many other things, she was called "uglier in person," "a loser," "leftovers," and one woman even said, "At least her thighs are bigger than mine."

My heart aches to hear those things coming from women's mouths in reference to other women.  Daughters of God saying those things about other Daughters.

I feel convicted to say this:  we are all on the same team.

1 Peter tells us to love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.  Romans tells us to hate what is evil and to cling to what is good.  Colossians tells us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience and to put on love, which binds all these virtues together in perfect unity.  Hebrews tells us to encourage one another day after day.

Proverbs tells us the kind of woman that we should strive to be: 
"A good woman is hard to find,
   and worth far more than diamonds.
She always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
   and she always says it kindly.
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
   The woman to be admired and praised
   is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God." 
(excerpts from Proverbs 31, The Message)

We are all striving to be the best woman (daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend, wife, mother) we can possibly be - the one God intends us to be.  We're all women.  Let's be on the same team, pushing each other toward the same goals, instead of enemies, tearing each other down.  Let's not say, "Your thighs are fatter than mine;" let's say, "That color looks great on you!"  Let's encourage each other daily in our efforts to become that ideal woman.  Let's love each other deeply and lift each other up.  Let's cling to what is good and show each other what that is.  Let's be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, patient, and loving to each other as we strive to reflect God's image of us. 

Who would have thought I would have been reminded and humbled by and broken by all these things while laying on the couch, eating chocolate-covered pretzels, watching a reality dating show.  I needed the reminder.  God works in mysterious ways <--- understatement.


Guest Post: Refashion

Yesterday I had a tutorial up over on Little Somethings by Lo Hood.  It involved taking this turtleneck (leftover from my 10x10 Closet Purge):

And making it into these three new (better) pieces: Photobucket

You can find the entire tutorial here!


Books I Read Over the Holidays

Book Club Pick:
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
This book is brilliant.  I was a little nervous before I read it, to be perfectly honest.  The word "lolita" has become part of our regular vernacular to describe a sexually (ahem) advanced young girl, so I knew the basis of what this book would be about:  an older man and his (ahem) relationship with a child.  And while, yes, that is the plot of this book in the fewest words possible, it is not simply a disturbing tale of a sick man.  It is also humorous and heartbreaking and surprising and terrifying and frustrating and witty.  Told from the point of view of Humbert Humbert, who falls deeply and madly in love with 12-year-old Lolita herself, the writing alone - its completely beautiful syntax and clever plays-on-words - is worth the read.

Young Adult Pick:
L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad
This book, by great contrast with the previous one, has absolutely, atrociously, unbelievably horrible writing.  I don't think I'm kidding when I say it is probably written on a 5th grade reading level.  Ugh.  However, as an unashamed fan of reality television in almost all of its forms, I did genuinely enjoy reading this (ahem) fictional account of a girl named Jane who moves to LA and is cast on a reality show.  It is quite clearly a retelling, in large part, of Lauren's experiences on Laguna Beach and The Hills (our heroine even has a crush on a guy named Braden...uh, pretty dang similar to Brody...), and I found it really interesting to read about it from the angle of the person who actually starred on the show.  This is obviously a super quick read that requires no extra thought - maybe save it for a plane, a beach, or a pool!

Classic Pick:
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
I've wanted to read this book ever since the characters on Gossip Girl performed a play based on it.  Yep, it isn't my English degree that leads me to read classic American literature, but a teenage TV show.  In the end, though, I don't care what led me to read it because I adored this book!  Set in New York high society at the end of the 19th century, it follows Newland Archer and his struggle between his duty to tradition and conventionality, and his desire to break out of his societal prison.  There are two women in his life - one that represents each side of his struggle - and his decision between the two tortures him.  I was truly surprised to find my heart aching for this character up until the very last word.  A really beautiful (and occasionally very humorous!) classic American tale.

P.S. Books I read in October, August, July, June, May, April, last winter


Dottie Adele: New in the Shop!

Just added in Dottie Adele:  This navy wool pleated A-line skirt!
I just adore this skirt!  (I did not, however, adore the cold, dreary, windy weather I found atop the roof when I went to take this picture!)

So what makes this skirt special?  Besides this gorgeous midnight blue color and the flirty little pleats, there is an inch-wide inset of black lace along the bottom hem!  It's a sexy little detail to an otherwise perfectly sweet little skirt.  Could be perfect for a Valentine's Day date night!
 Hope everyone is having a great (though cold) weekend!


What's Coming Up

In 12 hours:  the end of Friday the 13th (the first of three this year!).  Hopefully we will have all survived with no major mishaps or unluckiness!

In 1 day and 8 hours:  Miss America pageant!  Fun fact:  My cousin Becki won the title of Miss Kansas in 2009 and competed in Miss America!  It was incredibly exciting seeing her on TV.  (Yes, she is talented AND beautiful).

In 1 week:  my last visit to Philly before the Walkers move on to warmer climates (Phoenix, AZ)

In 23 days:  my next book club meeting.  It's probably time to start reading both the books we plan on discussing...

In 1 month and 4 days:  Off to Denver to see alllllll of our best friends!

In approximately 2 monthsBachelor finale!  I already can't stand the wait.  P.S.  I started playing fantasy Bachelor following these rules.  It adds a whole other element of fun to watching!  Plus two of my girls were the 1-on-1 dates this week AND got kissing, so I racked up the points!

In 1 month and 27 days:  I'll turn 27.  When I was a teenager, I thought 27 was the age when you really had your life together.  Now I know it's the age when you still like young adult television shows and sometimes feed your husband cereal for dinner.

In 2 months and 4 days:  These two crazies, Julie (my former roommate) and Catherine (my favorite mama!), come to visit!  We all met when we studied abroad in England (this is them posing on some Stonehenge rocks.  You should have seen them trying to get up there).

In 11 months and 24 days:  Blue Ivy Carter will turn 1 year old.  Who cares, she's already on the Billboard charts.

In 1 year and 5 months:  our time in NYC will end.  It's coming up faster than I would like!

In 40ish years:  retirement