Thursday, December 31, 2009

A new start...

I can't believe 2009 is almost over...only hours away from being over. I've put up my two new calendars (Elvis and vintage art) and finished reading through my Bible this year. I think this has probably been the one year in my life that contained the most changes. I turned 18 and became an official "adult," and I voted for the first time. I graduated high school as a homeschooler and started college. My family has been through so much, with each other, other family members, our church, and all sorts of things. And I'm at that point that I feel like I'm at every year on New Year's Eve. Relient K sort of sums it up in their song "I Celebrate the Day":

"Because here is where You're finding me, in the exact same place as New Year's Eve.
And from a lack of my persistency,
We're less than half as close as I want to be."

Every year, I realize that I should be a lot closer to God than I am. It's sort of depressing in a way, but on the other hand, it usually inspires me to do better. This past year, my eyes have been opened to a lot of things, and because of some stuff that has happened, I feel like I've picked up some cynical, sarcastic, and unloving ways. There are so many ways that I need to improve. But don't get me wrong, it has been, overall, a good year. I had to depend on God more than ever before this past summer, when I was stressed, terrified, and confused over what to do with my future. But I made a decision, and although some things are still a little foggy, I know I'm going in the right direction. And that's such a relief.

I don't make technical New Year's resolutions anymore (because it's only that much more depressing when I find myself eating cheesecake instead of walking on the treadmill), but I do always make a few goals to work toward. In 2010, I want to:

-Grow closer to God than I've ever been before.
-Become more like my Savior than I ever thought possible.
-Stop procrastinating and wasting time on things that really don't matter.
-Do my best in school and keep up my A average.
-Make a simple quilt for my bed.
-Sew a dress that fits me perfectly.

"She looks foward to the future with joy." -Proverbs 31:25
Happy New Year, everyone!

This is not my photo. I found it on Google.

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Airy fairy songs and placemats...

I'll give you a little warning now that this may be a long post. And I still won't get to say everything that I want to say. I'll try to make things a little easier by breaking things up instead of hitting you with a blog blizzard all at once. =)

I had a lovely Christmas this year. It was busy, but a lot of fun, full of family and traditions. I got so many awesome gifts, including classic movies, a stack of records (including a 8 record set of Bing Crosby!), candy, an embroidery book, and more. Probably one of my favorite gifts was an "I Love Lucy" steering wheel cover and car sun shade. They're red/pink with the logo and the little stick Lucy and Ricky figures. They're so adorable! Now the Beetle Bug really has some vintage flair. =) I'm actually excited about the warm weather so I can use the visor. My car doesn't have working air right now, and the interior is black, so a sun shade should help a lot this summer.

Now that Christmas is over, I can post pictures of Mom's gift. First is a set of coasters, six in all.

They are reversible...just like the matching placemats:

There are four placemats. I wanted to make six, but there wasn't enough fabric. I cheated with the patchwork print. =) I looks quilted but it's not. They are just cotton, with batting in the middle, and bias tape around the edges.

I also made her four pillows for the couch, but I don't have pictures yet. I made a new skirt this past weekend and new gingham scarf this week. Today I started on my new bag, but didn't finish it yet. Hopefully over the next few days I'll have pictures!

Classic Movies
I got some really great old movies on DVD for Christmas. I got "Top Hat," "The Harvey Girls," "The Three Musketeers," "In the Good Old Summertime," "Sleeping Beauty (50th anniversary)," and a 60's "Peanuts" collection.

The first one I watched was "In the Good Old Summertime." I thought the plot sounded cute, but I mostly chose it first because it's a Judy Garland musical. In case you don't know, it has the same basic plot as "The Shop Around the Corner" and "You've Got Mail." Two rival workers argue with one another, not knowing that they also happen to be penpals, falling in love through their letters. "In the Good Old Summertime" is a musical version, starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson. I absolutely loved it! The songs were great, it had some hilarious parts, the plot is cute, and the ending was so sweet. It gave me chills. This movie features an expensive violin, 99 unsellable harps, Judy Garland's lovely voice, and a scene with her young daughter...can I recommend it enough?

Then there was "The Three Musketeers." I mainly got it because Gene Kelly is in it. It wasn't exactly my favorite classic movie ever. I guess I'm not really into the "adventure" type movies, and apparently I'm not into the plot of that famous story. The sword fights were pretty awesome (think "The Princess Bride"), but other than that, the plot was strange and the acting was a little overboard. It was okay, but not one of my favorites. I couldn't keep the characters straight and who was good and bad and so on.

"The Harvey Girls," on the other hand, was quite good. A Judy Garland musical, again, of course. It's about the chain of restaurants (Harvey Houses) that emerged out west, along with the railroad tracks. It had some very funny moments (Judy Garland with two pistols, going after stolen meat), two songs I loved ("On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" and "It's a Great Big World"), and an interesting historical plot. I wasn't paying as much attention to it as I should have been, though, because I was busy picking out threads on the ends of my scarf to fringe it.

I saw a mention on Natalie's blog about a band called Eisley. It was on a comment, and it grabbed my attention because Ashley said that the members of this band were homeschooled and read C.S. Lewis, and had very unique songs. I checked them out, and I love their music! I bought their CD "Combinations" on iTunes and ordered "Room Noises" from Amazon. Their songs are so unusual and light and, to borrow a phrase from one of the "Dancing with the Stars" judges (I believe it was Bruno), sort of "airy fairy." It reminds me of being in the woods in the summer, fireflies, fairy tales, and quirky, indie movies (or maybe just "Penelope"). Their lyrics don't always make fact, most of the time they don't. But that's okay. The lyrics are completely clean, and the vocals are beautiful...sort of BarlowGirlish. Anyway, I definitely think you guys should check out this band. I've got some of their songs playing here, and you can get a good preview at Amazon or iTunes.

I had really intended to edit my NaNoWriMo "novel" before I had to go back to school. But I don't think I'll have time. It has to be worked on a little and submitted in a few months, so I can get my free paperback copy. At the time, writing it was a huge task. Now I dread reading through it again and picking it apart. Good grief...what a job that will be. Still, I want it to be better than it is now before it's printed.

Well, I don't think I can write anymore tonight. I really need to be getting to bed. I have a lot of stuff I need to do tomorrow, and the later I stay up, the longer I sleep in the morning. =)

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New look...

Just wanted to let everyone know about an update! I've got a cute new layout. I just finished transitioning everything from my blog's Christmas theme. I'm super excited about the site that the new layout came has tons of adorable things. Anyway, I'll do a real post tomorrow. I want to talk a little about my Christmas, and I might have pictures of my new skirt and scarf then. I'm also planning on making my new bag tomorrow, as I got the needed interfacing today. Adding to the list of what to blog about, I want to share about some awesome old movies I've seen recently. But now I need to go to contacts are so dry I think they might shrivel up and fall out at any moment (shrivel. That's a good word-I should use it more often).

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

This is my 100th post! A double celebration!

Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.' That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

I wish every one of my blog readers a very merry Christmas! I hope you all have a wonderful, safe time with your family and friends and make lovely Christmas memories that will never be forgotten. But most of all, remember the true Christmas gift.

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." -Matthew 1:23

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas memories...

I have avoided blogging about Christmas traditions and the like, because I thought I would go overboard with too many details. Anyway, now that Christmas is nearly here, I've been inspired to. =) I'm going to do it in a list, inspired by Natalie's post. This is going to be a strictly Christmas post. So here's what my Christmases have been/are like and what I love about Christmas.

1. On Christmas Eve, we always go to my grandparents' house to open gifts there. We take pizza (usually from Pizza Hut), which is a tradition that got started because the pizza places were pretty much the only food places open on Christmas Eve. Sometimes we'll watch a Christmas movie together, but usually we just eat and open gifts. Then on the way home, my family always drives all around town looking at Christmas lights while we listen to Christmas music on the radio. When we get home, I watch "It's a Wonderful Life," then go to bed. Or, at least, I toss and turn all night. I still struggle with sleeping well Christmas night. I feel like a little kid, waiting for Santa, anxious to get up early, LOL.

2. On Christmas morning, we get up early (well, with the exception of my brother, we always get up early around here) and open presents. Then we go eat lunch with my grandparents and my great-uncle. Granny used to come Christmas morning to visit us, but she passed away nearly two years ago, and it was longer than that since she was able to visit us. We also used to get together sometime around Christmas with my dad's side of the family, but because of some things that happened with my aunts this past year, that won't be happening this year. It's sad when things change.

3. My favorite Christmas song is "I'll Be Home for Christmas." It reminds me of my grandparents. I also love "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen."

4. My family has this CD called "Wranger Cowboy Christmas: Volume 4," with Christmas songs by country stars who were famous when I was growing up. Not Carrie Underwood or Taylor Swift...Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Alabama, etc. It's just this short little CD that I think my dad got free with a pair of jeans at Tractor Supply. According to the case, it's from 1998, and we've been listening to it every year since then. I used to put it on when we opened gifts on Christmas morning. I love this CD and associate the songs with Christmas morning.

5. I can't really pinpoint the best Christmas gift I ever received. Every year, there are a few gifts that really stand out as favorites. Definitely top of the list when I was a kid are my two American Girl dolls (they're in my hope chest now, hopefully for my daughters someday) and an awesome underwater Lego set an aunt gave me. It had a coral reef, a boat, sharks, and a shark cage, and was pretty much the coolest Lego set ever. =) Probably my favorite last Christmas was my Kit-Cat Clock.

6. Every year my mom buys me and my brother each an ornament. So our tree has all sorts of ornaments, old and new, ranging from Pooh to Harry Potter to Elvis to Snoopy.

7. I prefer more small gifts instead of just a couple large ones. And I unwrap presents very slowly. =)

8. I believed in Santa Clause until I was probably 11 or 12. I desperately wanted him to be real. You know how they "track" him on Christmas Eve on the news channels? Well, I thought that he must be real, or they wouldn't do that.

9. When I was younger, my parents had to set a time when I could wake them up on Christmas morning, because I got up so early. I would lay in bed awake until I just couldn't stand it any longer. Then I would sneak downstairs, where "Santa" had left our main gifts unwrapped under the tree. I would check out those presents (but not peek in my stocking. That was strictly off limits), then go wake my younger brother up. Then we would whisper in the living room until Mom and Dad heard us and woke up or it was time for us to wake them up.

10. I get at least two or three calendars for Christmas every year. My mom always gives me one or two, and then other people, who know my interests but aren't sure what to give me, usually do, too. They're always Lucy or Elvis, and I always keep them afterwards because I cut out the pictures and use them in my journal or frame them and hang them up. Crafty, thrifty packrat, that's me. =) Never throw anything might need it someday. These three lovely Elvis pictures came from a calendar I got a few years ago:

11. Probably 80% of my gifts this year (and over the past three or four years) will be vintage or old-fashioned style things. It sounds a little extreme, I know, but that's what I love. And everyone knows it. =) You wouldn't believe the great, unique old things people can dig up for me.

12. I made all but about three of the gifts I'm giving this year. This is the most sewing I've done in such a short period. For gifts this Christmas, here's a running total of what I made: 4 reversible placemats, 6 reversible coasters, 4 pillows, 3 bags/purses, 2 mini-wallets, 1 long mini-wallet, 1 iPod cozy, 1 fleece plush puppy, 2 crayon holders, and 1 mouse cat toy. I believe that's all. I eventually want to get to the point where I make all the gifts I give, and I was almost there this year.

13. I only peeked into a gift one time my whole childhood. I shook, sniffed (yes, sniffed), and listened to nearly ever present, but only once did I actually peek. I don't know what enticed me to look into that wasn't odd shaped. It was a VHS tape of the movie "Madeline." I only knew that because it had a sticker across the top of the box that said the title. I'll always remember that, and I felt so guilty that I never did it again.

So there you are. Many of my Christmas memories. I went a little overboard (I had only intended there to be 10), but that's okay. I'll be back with a short post tomorrow, and then will probably be off for a few days (if I can stay away from Blogger that long). I'm off to watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas." =)

Edit: I just got a sort of early Christmas present- a huge surprise! There's an elderly lady who lives down the road from us, who was a very good friend of my grandma's when they were younger. She's sickly, and a while back, her family was cleaning out some of her house. One of them had mentioned that she had lots of sheet music, because she was a pianist and violinist and even taught music lessons, and they would give it to me if I wanted it. Of course, I said yes, but I didn't hear anything else about it. Then today, she called again, so my parents ran down there and bought home three big boxes full of sheet music! There's original, copies, books, and sheets. Of course, there's some stuff that I probably won't play, and some organ and violin music that I know I won't play, but this is still awesome. There are two books in particular that are awesome, full of oldies sheet music. There's one that has all classical pieces. It was so amazing! I skimmed through the boxes, and already found some great stuff. "Moon River, "Easter Parade," "All I Do Is Dream of You," and a ton of Irving Berlin songs. I'm so excited.

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Elvis bears and owls...

My piano teacher always gives me a little gift for Christmas, and it's usually Elvis related. She's even a bigger Elvis fanatic than I am, and she's the one who first got me interested. This is what she gave me today:

How cool and quirky is that? =) I love the sunglasses and the sideburns.

So today I attempted my first felt owl. Please note that this was not my idea. It came from some felt owls I saw on Etsy (in the picture above). First I drew out half of an owl, so I could cut it out and the sides would be completely equal.

Aw! =)

Then I cut out the pattern pieces. It was too small at first, so then I enlarged it on the printer. The finished product:
Okay, so a little creepy, I admit. The wings sort of make it look like a rocket ship or something. And the eyes are weird...but it's much cuter in person! =)

For now, he's perched up on top of my inspiration/bulletin board.

Right next to my sort of creepy but equally quirky Kit-Cat Clock.

I'll be back tomorrow with a more Christmasy post, I hope.

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Repairs and damask...

So today I finished all of my Christmas sewing, which is a huge relief. This is the most sewing I've ever done in such a short time, I think.

Part of my brother's girlfriend's gift.

A wallet/pouch thing. It's made like my mini-wallets, only longer. This is the first time I made one like this, and I really like the size of it.

The fabric is really pretty. It's a damask print, but it's not black and white like the picture seems to show. It's dark brown and a light pink. I see a lot of damask clutches/wallets on Etsy, and I really like them. They seem so elegant. The inside is dark brown fake suede. The fabrics were leftover from my vintage style purse.

I decided to do some Etsy-style photos. =)

Next was a cell phone/iPod cozy. It's very simple.

I made it to fit the measurements of her phone, but her iPod will fit, too (a little more loosely). It's way too big for my iPod, but I have one of the shorter, older Nanos.

I couldn't resist one more picture of the puppy. I recycled a ribbon from my newest pajama set to tie around her neck. It was adorable I had to take one last picture before I wrapped it!

Okay, so this is a coat of my brother's that he loves. He was wearing the night of his car accident the other week. Since his shoulder was hurting, the rescue crew cut it off of him. It had a slash from the zipper at the very top all the way down one sleeve. It was a really expensive hoodie, and the next day, he brought it up to my room and asked if I could fix it. I honestly didn't think I could, but I wanted to try. Here's what it looked like.

The edges were all jagged. I started by using a overcasting stitch over all the rough edges. Then I pinned the sleeve together and attempted to sew it back together. Here's what it looked like all together again:

I'm pretty happy with it. I tried my best to match up the squares, and from a distance, you can't even see the seam. If you look closely, though, you can see it come from the zipper up to the shoulder and down the sleeve (the left side of the picture). Still, I at least made it wearable for him again. I actually like to try repairing store-bought items. I like to see how they're put together. I had to sew up a hole in the lining of a bag for a family friend, and it made me feel better to see the inside of that bag and see that it wasn't perfect. =) Anyway, I didn't tell Cody I fixed it. I wrapped up this hoodie and put it under the Christmas tree. Me and my brother don't get each other any gifts, so I figured if he sees this in its big box, it'll make him a little nervous. =)

Well, if anything can motivate me to write a post, it's sewing. I'm finished with my Christmas sewing, but I've got four more projects I want to do before I have to go back to school. A scarf, a skirt, a cute bag, and a few of those little owls. And maybe an iPod cozy of my own. =)

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Christmas busyness!

I can't believe Christmas is almost here! I feel slightly unprepared. I really should be finishing up my sewing or wrapping or something. But instead, I'm trolling blogs.

My glorious sewing day yesterday didn't go so swell. Saturday was one of those sewing days where I'm on a roll and nearly everything goes right. Yesterday was a sewing day when everything went wrong. I just couldn't get going. My seams kept ripping. I ran out of fabric. Good grief, Charlie Brown.

I've watched "White Christmas," "Holiday Inn," and "The Santa Clause" this week. All three are great Christmas movies. I already wrote about "Holiday Inn" a while back. "White Christmas" is an equally lovely movie, with dear Bing Crosby. It's slightly more serious than "Holiday Inn," with a wartime theme woven in. I always get teary-eyed during the last scenes. And at the beginning, when Bing is singing "White Christmas" to the troops overseas. I grew up on "The Santa Clause," a hilarious, modern Christmas classic. It has an interesting plot, sad moments, and laugh until you cry moments. And the little boy who plays Charlie is soo cute. Okay, so he's like 23 now, but he was such a cute little boy. =)

I realize that this is a pretty crummy blog post. I can't seem to think of anything to write about. I want to write about Christmas traditions and stuff, but I have some other stuff I need to be doing (like making my brother's girlfriend's gift! And finishing the wrapping! And getting in my last few days' worth of Christmas music! And trying to make a couple of these adorable owls!), so I feel guilty for sitting at the computer. Forgive me, and I'll be back later with (hopefully) a real post.

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow, snow, snow! And more Christmas sewing...

Okay. I'll admit it. The weathermen were right. Completely right and accurate. It snowed pretty much nonstop from about 3:00 or 4:00 pm yesterday afternoon well into late this morning. We have nearly 10 inches, probably. I realize I've been having a photo overload on a lot of posts lately, but here I go again.

The wind was blowing the snowflakes everywhere, so not even the Beetle Bug could escape under the shelter (that's my brother's handprint and writing on it. He's so jealous of my car).

I love snow. I usually go out and play in it, sledding and building snowmen. But not today. I restrained myself and stayed inside, because I still had a lot of sewing to do. And I got a lot through. Now all I have left is a couple of small projects for my brother's girlfriend's gifts. Today I made gifts for two special girls. They're the daughters of a close family friend, but they live several hours away. They'll be spending Christmas with their dad and stepmom here, though, so I wanted to make them something. For those of you who aren't interested in sewing, I'm sorry that this might be boring to you. But I do this for those who do like to sew. When I visit a blog with sewing projects on it, I love to see a lot of pictures. =) So bear with me.

This one is for the oldest daughter. She's thirteen or fourteen. It's the lovely Buttercup bag pattern, which I have used numerous times. You can't really tell from the first picture, but it has a top part and five pleats across each side. It's a really cute, easy bag to make. This is enlarged, though, because the original pattern is tiny.

The inside (with a divided pocket and magnetic snap closure...yes, I realize the stripes don't line up. I'm not so good at that yet):

Matching mini wallet/pouch:

This one is for the younger daughter. She's a few years younger than her sister. Her bag is slightly smaller, because I figure she has a little less stuff to tote around. =) I wanted to put a magnetic snap in hers, too, instead of velcro, but I realized I only had one left.

I think this flowery fabric is adorable. I got it on clearance a while back in Hobby Lobby.

I'm so slow that these took most of the day. In an attempt to hurry, I actually caused a setback that took about 30 minutes to fix. What happened? I ironed a piece of interfacing to my iron. Yes, I put the glue side facing up. First time I've ever done it. Then I spend half an hour waiting for it to cool down and then scraping off the glue with a wet rag. My iron has never been so clean as it is now. But that's okay. The day was so much fun, and my iPod and the Christmas radio station kept me company. I have missed sewing so much during school. Let me go on a cheesy sewing rant for a minute, okay? I love the sound of my sewing machine. I love my purple disappearing ink marker. I love the smell of a hot iron. I love stacks of fabric and pattern pieces with pin holes punched in them. I love checking a project off my list. In short, I love sewing. Whatever did I do before I discovered it? I feel about sewing like I do about classic movies, Gene Kelly, journaling, "I Love Lucy," and Sinatra's voice...what did I ever do without them? The things that I love become so deeply embedded in my heart that I can hardly imagine my life without them.

And since church services have been canceled tomorrow due to the snow, I get to have another glorious day of sewing. =)
Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)