Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow and elephants...

I love Etsy. It's an inspiration. Sometimes it always causes a little bit of envy in my heart. How is it possible for people to be so creative? Gosh, look at this. And this. I pretty much love everything here. And how adorable is this? When I have a house of my own, the walls will be filled with pictures and original artwork (from Etsy...I can't draw or paint), I hope.

I'll warn you now. This is going to be a major post. I haven't been posting as much since school started back, so I don't feel as guilty making a long post. =)

The snow came! I didn't go out in it yesterday...I worked on my health, safety, and nutrition project. Blah. But this morning, it looked so beautiful from my front window as the sun was just coming up. There's a road under there somewhere. I hate snowplows. I guess it comes from when I was in public school, when I hated to see them clearing the roads because I desperately wanted a snow day. Now I just hate the way they ruin the perfect snow. Unless it's an emergency, people can stand to be home for a day or two. =)

So I ventured out. I was planning on going sledding, but we don't have many good spots (unless I wanted to go tramping across the farm, which I didn't particularly). The best sledding hill was on the land that was my grandma's, right across the road a ways, but as it sadly isn't in our family anymore, I don't feel comfortable going over there. Anyway, it wasn't as much as we were expecting. Somewhere between 7 and 8 inches, depending on the spot. The wind blew it everywhere, so it's hard to get an accurate measure.

I love the way the snow sparkles! It's pretty magical.

Sometimes some of the prettiest views are from underneath.

Is that sky gorgeous or what? And I am so glad to see the sun shining.

I stomped around a little in the snow, taking pictures until my legs were numb (I didn't exactly dress very warmly...I was only planning on being out a few minutes) and my camera batteries died. Before I deleted any, I had taken 65 pictures! Good grief. =) I also threw a few snowballs at my mom and dad in our driveway.

So I've been doing a lot of reading this weekend. Reading novels when I should have been doing homework. Because I take a break from homework, saying that I'll only read a chapter. Then, that chapter ends so good that I just have to keep reading. I'm a terrible procrastinator. Remember those four books that came about a week ago? I've read them all. I finished the last one last night.

"Once Again to Zelda," by Marlene Wagman-Geller, was pretty interesting. I loved reading the stories behind some of the dedications. But others were just downright depressing. By the end of it, I was wondering if any famous authors lived a good clean life without having affairs, controversy, or substance addictions.
"Havah," by Tosca Lee, makes you think about the creation story and Adam and Eve. I mean, really think about it, more than just reading it occasionally in the Bible. Sometimes it was a little odd, and by the end, there were so many children, grandchildren, and relatives that I could hardly keep up with who was who. But just think of how it would be to have experienced perfect life in the garden...the way that God intended for life to be. And then to make a mistake and have to live for the rest of your life in this fallen world, a dirty reflection of how things had been. How miserable would that be? Anyway, it was a really thought-provoking book and I liked it a lot.
And then there was "The Magician's Elephant," by Kate DiCamillo, which I read off and on in about 2 hours last night. I loved it. I love children's books anyway, and this semester I'm taking a Children's Literature class where I'm not only encouraged but required to read kid's books. It's so great. =) But this book was sweet, sad, happy, humorous, magical, and perfect for reading on a cold, snowy evening. The characters were amazing and incredibly deep for a children's book, and even in this short little story, you felt as if you knew them. Here are two of my favorite parts:

"As the snow fell, Sister Marie, who sat by the door at the Orphanage of the Sisters of Perpetual Light, dreamed, too. She dreamed that she was flying high over the world, her habit spread out on either side of her like dark wings. She was terribly pleased, because she had always believed that she could fly. And now here she was, doing what she had long suspected she could do, and she could not deny that it was gratifying in the extreme. Sister Marie looked down at the world below her and saw millions and millions of stars and thought, I am not flying over the earth at all. Why, I am flying higher than that. I am flying over the very tops of the stars. I am looking down at the sky. And then she realized that no, no, it was the earth that she was flying over, and that she was looking not at the stars but at the creatures of the world, and that they were all, they were each-beggars, dogs, orphans, kings, elephants, soldiers-emitting pulses of light. The whole of creation glowed. Sister Marie's heart grew large in her chest, and her heart, expanding in such a way, allowed her to fly higher and then higher still-but no matter how high she flew, she never lost sight of the glowing earth below her. "Oh," said Sister Marie out loud in her sleep, in her chair by the door, "how wonderful. Didn't I know it? I did. I did. I knew it all along." -Chapter 15

"There is as much magic in making things disappear as there is in making them appear. More, perhaps. The undoing is almost always more difficult than the doing." -Chapter 18

I was very impressed. Now I'm anxious to read more of Kate DiCamillo's stories. I've read "Because of Winn-Dixie" and loved it, and I've heard nothing but good things about all of her books as well.

Well, if you've lasted this long, I thank you and will end here. =) I have some school stuff I need to do. We didn't have church today, and I'm not used to having so much free time on Sundays. I'm so excited for "Emma" tonight (and "Lost" on Tuesday...and "Survivor" on Thursday! But especially "Emma"). I also want to welcome my two newest followers, Emily and her mom!

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snowflake patrol...

So, here we are, waiting...waiting for the snowstorm that is expected to hit late tonight. Possibly up to a foot before it's over. Around here, we rarely have one good snow a year (it's usually ice), and it's usually at the end of February/beginning of March. We've already had one huge one in another? I can hardly believe it. Still, the sky is completely white and grey, and slightly ominous looking. But no snowflake sightings yet.

I would feel a little more excited if I didn't have a lot of homework to do and projects to work on. I'm hoping for a long weekend. Maybe no classes on Monday or Tuesday? Even better, how about canceling them on Wednesday and Thursday? That would be lovely, as I have tests in three classes spread over those days. I'm sure sledding, hot chocolate, books, and "Emma" on Sunday night would greatly inspire my creativity for the projects for my teaching art, music, and movement class. =)

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Blue skies and first impressions...

I never quite realize how much I love and miss the sunshine until it's gone for days.

I didn't even really care that everything is still wet and soggy.

I had to open my window. I love it when I can open one of my windows-that's perfect weather to me. I sat on my hope chest (which is sort of a window seat) near the window and just enjoyed the moment. The breeze was cool and made my whole room smell fresh. It was lovely.

But then the dark clouds started rolling in again.

Of course I have to mention "Emma." It was awesome (so far)! I just loved it, and I'm so excited for next week. The casting was perfect. This Emma is exactly how I imagined her when I first read the book. Okay, so Mr. Knightley took a while to grow on me, but I think I rather like him. Mr. Woodhouse (Dumbledore without the long hair, beard, and half-moon spectacles! Shocking!), Harriet, Mr. Elton, and Miss Bates were also perfect. And everyone else fit nicely. I'm already thinking that I'm going to be ordering this from Amazon within a month. The music was nice, the scenery beautiful. The whole movie has a bright, high quality, unique look and feel (sort of like 2005 P&P) that I greatly prefer to the slightly drab, faded feel of some of the older Austen adaptations (1995 P&P and Emma). Not to mention it's sparkly and hilarious, just like the novel. My favorite quote so far?

"That man is so full of himself, I'm surprised he can stay on his horse!"

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Enthusiastic about Emma...

Guess what came this week?

New books are pretty much one of the greatest things in the world.

I've been trying to read a little in between homework, whenever I have a few extra minutes. I've finished "Prada & Prejudice," which was pretty cute. I generally stay away from Austen-themed books or spoofs. Well, let me rephrase that. I stay away from the Austen spoofs that are of the vampire/sea monster variety. I've read this one, "Enthusiasm," and "Austenland." I think "Austenland" has been my favorite so far.

I'm working on two of the others right now. Along with "Emma." Speaking of Emma, I'm so excited for part 1 of the new mini-series on PBS tonight!

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Arthur and the hungry bookworm...

I have read so much this weekend. Textbook chapters for class and fiction on my own. I feel sort of like Liesel in "The Book Thief"...hungry for words. Or stories. Or maybe I just love the way a book feels in my hands. I carry one with me at all times (with that huge bag I made, I could probably carry several). My reading sometimes irritates my grandma, who scolds me for always having my nose in a book.

It's been my addiction ever since I was little. Thank goodness my parents read to me when I was little. I loved the Arthur series of picture books, and they let me join the Arthur book club. Every week or two, a new book arrived. It was like having Christmas or a birthday several times a month. Then I loved it when they gave us those thin Scholastic catalogs. And book fairs? Those were the best. All of the other kids spent their lunch money on weird erasers and those little pencil grip things. The racks full of shiny new books were my favorites.

So I just finished reading "The Book Thief." I was so close to the end that I knew I had to finish it tonight. And, wow. This is one of those books that you can't forget...but "unforgettable" isn't the correct word. Maybe "haunting"? It was beautifully written (although I could have done without the profanity), with an interesting plot and fascinating characters. It made me cry because it was so heartbreaking, to think of what conditions other people have had to live through. This book is narrated by Death, and it focuses around a little girl living with her foster parents in Nazi Germany. Her father plays the accordian, her mother has a cardboard face, and they have a Jew hidden in the basement. And that's only part of the story.

I have another new novel on my shelf, also about World War II and the Holocaust. I don't think I can start that one right now. I need something light and frivolous. Like a few chapters of "Emma."

I have a few new books on the way in the mail right now. I'm excited. Sort of like the Arthur book club, only now I'm paying for my own books. =)

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A long week, a little old man, and an Austen fangirl?

I haven't done a real post in quite a while. This is going to be a long one.

Good grief, this has been a long week. I miss my free time in a huge way. It's been tough going back to school this week. Tuesdays and Thursdays are extremely long, with me having to be in town all day, because I have a many-hour break in between my classes. One of those days, Mom comes with me to town and we run errands, and the other, I go to my grandparents'. Anyway, Tuesday was a really hard tough, exhausting day for me. I wasn't too sure about my two "night" classes, because both of those teachers are new. The first one was okay, but the second class was like being in the twilight zone or something (and I'm not referring to vampires, here).

We get in class, and the teacher starts panicking because we have the wrong textbooks. All of us have the same one, completely different from her own. She says, "Okay, let me walk out and come back in," and leaves the classroom. Hint #1 that she's not your average teacher. Believe it or not, she did come back. The class was completely packed, with hardly enough chairs, and including a lot of people I didn't know, which made me uncomfortable. And the teacher...she seemed nice enough, but with an odd sense of humor and a very scattered look about her. She frequently lost her train of thought. Then, in walks this little old man. He looked like this, minus the cane and bow tie.

He sat in front of me. This is not good.
See, I feel this unexplainable pity and sadness for little old people. Even if they give me no reason to feel sorry for them. This man has his book and notebook in a reusuable Walmart bag, and he gets situated, having his notebook and pen ready. He writes the name of the class and the date at the top of his page in big, almost child-like handwriting. It made me want to cry. And all I can think is why is this little old man in a health, safety, and nutrition for children class? And more importantly, why did he have to sit directly in front of me? This is like having an elderly grandparent in your class at school. So for the rest of the class, I cannot focus on anything but that poor little man and how sorry I felt for him. I came home from school that night feeling exhausted, sad, and dreading Thursday.

I prayed and prayed that Thursday would go better, that somehow everything would go much better than it had Tuesday. And as silly and insignificant as this may seem to most people, God answered my prayer. Thursday was a great day. My first two classes went great, and in children's literature class we had a great discussion. When I got to that last class, the teacher was much more relaxed and seemed slightly more organized. Apparently a bunch of people dropped the class, because the class size was much smaller, and I felt much more at ease. And the little old man didn't come back. As terrible as this sounds, I was relieved. Because I know I couldn't have made it through that class with him sitting in front of me. I hope that everything had a happy ending for him, too, and that he changed to a class that he would be more interested in (he said that he had took photography classes before) and with a teacher who he could follow along with (I was having a hard time...I know he was).

I'm not sure why this little old man evoked such a strong sense of pity in me, even more so than usual. Maybe it was because he looked like the man who had lost his wife in "Up." Maybe it was because he didn't have a wedding ring on and I imagined that he was a lonely bachelor or a widower. Maybe it was because I feel uncomfortable and set apart in college most of the time and I could relate to him, because he must have been incredibly brave to come back and take classes with all of us obnoxious teenagers. Whatever it was, he's permenantly stuck in my memory.

Now, on to more pleasant thoughts! On Friday, I did a seriously crazy, time-wasting, once-a-year thing. I watched the BBC version of "Pride and Prejudice," aka the 6 hour one with Colin Firth.

I know that this is the favorite P&P adaptation of most people, especially those Austen purists. I confess that it does stick very closely with the book. And Colin Firth is good-looking. But to me, this movie doesn't even compare with the 2005 version, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. Maybe it's because I had just watched that version, my favorite version, a few days before.

Can I go on a slight fangirl (can "fangirl" refer to Austen books or movies, or does it always have to refer to the Jonas Brothers or Robert Pattinson?) tangent for a moment? Because I adore this movie. It is my favorite "modern" movie, my favorite Austen adaptation, my favorite movie period. It has been since the first time I saw it a few years ago, just after reading "Pride and Prejudice" for the first time. I think this movie beats out the other version a hundred times over. So it's not exactly like the book...this is one time I will compromise. The cast is awesome. Mr. Darcy is handsome. Lizzie Bennet is lively, clever, and fearsome in her dedication to her sister Jane. Mrs. Bennet is obnoxious and shallow, but lovable (the voice of the other Mrs. Bennet grates on my nerves big time). Mr. Bennet loves his family. Jane is sweet and beautiful, and Miss Bingley is vain and selfish. Mr. Collins is self-righteous, loathsome, and a complete goober. The scenery and filming is gorgeous. The buildings are perfect and the colors are amazing. The I listen to the soundtrack on repeat for hours while I do my homework. It's beautiful, inspiring, optimistic, and heartbreaking, all at once. And if I could play the piano like the guy on the soundtrack, I would never leave the keys and my piano bench.

This movie is pretty much perfect. Can I recommend it enough? If you're an Austen fan, a girl who loves chick flicks and happy endings, someone who appreciates odd characters, a lover of Regency romance, or someone who enjoys beautiful piano music...see this movie.

Austen fangirl rant is over. Until I watch the movie again. Which may be very soon. If you're not sick of hearing the words "Jane Austen," head over to Natalie's blog. She's hosting a fun reading of "Emma," with a post on every other Tuesday, starting with this one.

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Can you hear me now?

I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. I've just started school again. It's been a very stressful week, but things have been looking up. I'll post more this weekend! This has been my week, in one photo:

And not in a good book sort of way. In a if-I-have-to-read-one-more-page-of-this-Sociology-textbook-I-will-toss-it-out-my-window sort of way. In a the-teacher-planned-the-semester-around-the-wrong-textbook sort of way. In a the-little-old-man-sitting-in-front-of-me-looks-like-the-little-old-man-in-"Up" sort of way. More on that later.

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

This is where a clever title should go...

Sigh. My last few hours of freedom. Classes start up again tomorrow. It won't be a bad day...just one morning class, with a familiar teacher. Still, I have dearly loved my free time these past few weeks. After church tonight, I'm having one last "hurrah," as they say. I'm going to eat supper and watch my favorite movie, "Pride and Prejudice" (2005 version, thank you very much, with beautiful music, scenery, and that dashing Mr. Darcy) Nothing like a chick flick to cheer one up.

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Books and an Elvis birthday wish...

It seems that everyone has been in a real book craze here lately, myself included, even more so than usual. I guess it's the snow and cold weather that really makes you want to curl up with a good book. I've been reading like a lunatic over the past few weeks because I know I won't have much time when school starts back. I got a few books for Christmas. Plus our local B. Dalton bookstore is going out of business, so everything is 50% off, and I've bought quite a few books from there. Inspired by Natalie and Jenny's most recent posts, I've decided to do a bookish post. I read a lot in 2009, not nearly as much as I wanted to, but a lot. My favorite books that I read last year (as in, I read them for the first time...they didn't necessarily come out in 2009) are: "Jane Eyre," "When God Writes Your Love Story," "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society," "Just Between You and Me," "Paperdoll," and Jenny B. Jones' two "Charmed Life" novels.

I know, I was missing out on "Jane Eyre," by Charlotte Bronte. It sat on my bookshelf for nearly a year before I finally started reading it, and when I started, I could hardly put it down until I finished it. It's a rainy day/thunderstorm/fireside kind of book. It's about a young governess who falls in love with her pupil's guardian, until she discovers a secret he has. Creepy but lovely. Sort of Jane Austen, but darker and different in a way. I blogged about it a little here, when my reaction was very fresh. It's a classic that I should have read a long time ago. Now if I can just get motivated to start "Wuthering Heights."

"When God Writes Your Love Story" really opened my eyes in a lot of ways. It's written by Eric and Leslie Ludy, and I think it's probably one of their best. It's very encouraging and gives insight on a lot of things. I'm reading it again right now.

I had heard about "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society," by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, on either Natalie or Jenny's blog, so when I saw it at Target, I bought it. First of all, you have to take a breath after you say the title. I was reading it before class one day, and the girl who sat next to me asked what I was reading. Rather than recite off the title, I just closed the book and let her read the cover. Anyway, it's one of those really unusual books that sticks with you for a very long time after you've read it. It's about a writer and a literary society in Europe just after World War II. It's very sweet, bittersweet at times, and has so many memorable characters.

"Paperdoll," by Natalie Lloyd, is a nonfiction book. It's a very inspiring book that focuses around the story of the woman at the well. It questions the world's view of beauty and reveals what true beauty is. This book was so encouraging to me, a couple of chapters in particular, and I'm planning on reading it again very soon.

"Just Between You and Me" is a novel by Jenny B. Jones. This was the first book of hers that I ever read, and it was a great introduction. The story is great, but the characters are awesome. Maggie is a cinematographer who, because of her past, has avoided returning to her hometown. When she has to go back, she has to face her biggest fears. Let me say that Jenny B. Jones is hilarious. Her books can have you crying one minute and then laughing through your tears the next. Her characters are so real. They mention celebrities and listen to the Fray. And the romance in this book is great. I have the biggest crush on Conner.

"So Not Happening" and "I'm So Sure" are two books in "A Charmed Life" series (I think the third one releases later this year). In the first book, Bella, a somewhat spoiled (but likable) New York girl, is forced to move with her mother and new stepfamily to a farm in Oklahoma. This is interesting enough in itself, but then Jenny B. Jones throws in embarrassing secrets about the new family and a sinister plot involving the football team. In the second book, Bella's family is featured on a reality TV show, a past boyfriend makes an appearance, and another conspiracy, this time featuring the prom and prom queen competition. I read these books immediately after "Just Between You and Me," which is considered women's fiction, and these are definitely more YA fiction. But still, they are awesome, hilarious books. Jenny B. Jones' plots are wacky, but they somehow are real, and so are the characters, and everything works together into two great books. Did I mention they're really funny? =)

So, those are my favorite books of 2009. As for music, I would say my favorite albums were "Forget and Not Slow Down," by Relient K, and "Hello Hurricane," by Switchfoot. Both are incredibly awesome and worth the wait. I also like the new BarlowGirl, Hawk Nelson, and Skillet CD's. And for what it's worth, some of the best music that I discovered in 2009, although I technically didn't get the CDs until the beginning of this year, is Eisley. I love "Room Noises" and "Combinations."

I got to visit Joann's this morning. I picked up a couple of fabric quarters and some clearance seersucker, plus some really pretty teal knit fabric. I've been feeling adventurous about sewing over the past few days and think that I just might try something with the knit fabric. I never have sewn knits before, because it's a scary thought.
Believe it or not, I had not planned on a massive post today. In fact, I was only going to post a little Elvis birthday tribute. He would have been 75 today (a very strange thought).
Happy Birthday, Elvis. Thanks for the great music and the fascinating life and for helping me realize my love of old things.

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Prairie tales and whimsy...

Today I finished reading one of the books I got for Christmas, "Love Comes Softly," by Janette Oke. I wanted to read it because I've seen all of the movies on Hallmark (and really like the first three or four...the first two especially). It was a pretty good book. The movie seems to be pretty similar to it, except that Missie is a few years younger in the book and the ending is a little less Hollywood in the book (just as dramatic, but in a different sort of way), and a few other little things that were added/left out. The main thing that bothered me was how she wrote their dialogue. Maybe it was realistic, but I found it incredible distracting. I would much rather have read proper English and imagined the country slang/accent.

Then, this afternoon, I watched one of my favorite modern movies. If you haven't noticed, I mostly stick with classic and white or tacky, wonderful Technicolor. And my favorite "modern" movies tend to be Austen adaptations or Pixar. So what is this movie? "Penelope." It is an incredibly cute, funny, unusual movie that, surprisingly, doesn't seem to have caught on hugely. So it's sort of like a wonderful secret. And I'm letting you in on it. =) "Penelope" is a modern fairy tale, sort of like a twisted "Beauty and the Beast." It's about a young girl (you'll never guess her name) who, thanks to some mistakes made by her ancestors and a curse put on her family, is born with a pig-like nose. The curse can only be broken when "one of her kind" (blue bloods, they're called in the other words, rich people from respected families) comes to love her the way she is. The movie follows along as she tries to find that person to break the curse. It stars Christina Ricci and James McAvoy.

It's a great, funny, clean movie (a tiny bit of language...a few mild words) with a cute plot. And that in itself makes it a good. But two things make it absolutely perfect: the sets (particularly her room) and Penelope's clothes. The movie is bright and sparkly, but sort of old-fashioned in a way. Her room is gorgeous. I so want to live there. Sadly, pictures from this movie are hard to find online, so here's the best I can do.

She has a huge room. There are wooden floors and high ceilings. She has terrariums everywhere and a corner with stuffed bookshelves covering the walls. She has a tree (see below) and flowers on her walls and these three window-type things behind her bed that look like the desert). She has a wooden swing in the middle of the room!

Then there are her clothes. Every time I watch this movie, I come away wanting to run off to town and go shopping. I want to dress more quirky and whimsical (those two words describe the movie perfectly)...more Penelope. Her clothes are so unique and feminine. The colors are beautiful. She always wears full, fluffy skirts, never pants (which I like the concept of, but is something I could probably never do. I love my jeans). She wears tights and Mary Janes with little heels. Green Mary Janes. I love green clothes/accessories. The famous scarf and coat she wears a lot (she doesn't have her nose in this picture! What's up with that?):

I love the buttons and lining peeking out from the sleeves. This was probably my favorite outfit, especially the skirt, but it's not a good picture of it.

She does a lot of layering:

Okay. I'm done obsessing over lovely clothes for now. Trust me, just watch the movie. It's so much better than the pictures. Although this one is pretty nice.

Unless we get more than the "dusting" (actual quote) of snow they're predicting, then tomorrow will be a good day containing a visit from grandparents and a trip to the fabric store.

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Vintage-style smiles...

I know I haven't blogged lately, but I've been busy trying to enjoy my last few days before classes start again. I'm not used to having so much free time, and I apparently don't know how to manage it too well. I have a ton of things that I'd like to be doing (starting on a quilt, maybe? or trying a new pattern), but I have been doing nothing but watching the first season of "Gilmore Girls" and eating gross amounts of chocolate/unhealthy foods.

Today and Monday were spent with these two unbelievably funny, adorable girls:

My mom just started keeping little Amelia this week, when her mom went back to work after maternity leave. She's a little over two months old, and these pictures don't do her justice (it's so hard to take baby pictures with the flash off). My heart melts when she coos and smiles.

And then there's Maya, who is nothing but a little goose (a 2 1/2 year old goose). She is completely beautiful and hilarious, and she knows it. I could write a book about the things she tells me.

She absolutely loves the baby and fawns over her like she's the mother. She also loves to clean with the Swiffer Sweeper (you just detach a few of the metal parts to make it her size), repeat words (today it was "negative," or as she said, "eggative"), play with cars and Batman figures, and listen to Elvis. Hey, someone has to keep the understanding of real music alive. =)

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Black and white gingham and pink flowers...

Okay, I've got some pictures of things I've sewn over the past week. First up is this very simple scarf. I've been needing a new scarf, and I was really inspired by this. I had some black and white gingham that someone had given me, so I cut two long rectangles (about 8 inches x 75 inches) and sewed them together along the long edges. Then I turned it inside out and plopped down in front of "The Harvey Girls" and started picking out the crosswise threads to make the edges fray. After about two hours, I gave up, so they're not as fringed as I wanted, but maybe they'll fray some more on their own. So here it is:

I really love it, and it matches with just about anything I wear (and yes, I do wear other colors besides black). Next is my new skirt:

It's McCall pattern 5431. I absolutely love this pattern. Okay, so it's the only skirt pattern I've ever used, but it's awesome. The skirt is really full and flowy, it's the perfect length, it's simple, and it comes with options like pockets or a contrasting band across the bottom. I've made three skirts from this pattern, and I love them! And this one is the best of all three. Everything just went perfectly, and the hemming and zipper was the easiest and best I've done.

You can't tell from this picture, but the background is a pale pink. I love the reminds me of candy or Valentine's Day or something. Forgive the crummy picture. It's really hard to take a picture of yourself wearing a skirt. I'll try to get Mom to take a picture later.
And now, my new, bag. But it's roughly the size of a suitcase. It was so cute in the picture, and it is incredibly cute when it's made. And I'm in love with the fabric. But it's so huge! It's view D of Simplicity pattern 2685.

Close-up of the fabric and pleats. It has about 6 pleats on each side.

It only called for one button, but these adorable little flowers came in a two pack, so I couldn't resist using both.

You can't see it too well, but it has a band around the top, and a little pointed overlay thing where the buttons are:

The inside. Forgive the junk, but when you have a new bag this enormous, you can't help but putting anything you could possibly ever need in it (camera, iPod, umbrella, poncho, ice scraper, first aid kit...). I'm not a pink person, but I love the hot pink lining that matches the main fabric.

At the last minute, I decided to leave out the zipper pocket (you can still see the fading markings). I made this sort of pocket, which I do in most of my bags, because I use it more often. You can drop lip gloss and pens and stuff down in it without having to worry about unzipping anything. I meant to add a magnetic closure, but I completely forgot and then it was too late.

This would be much easier if I had a big mirror...

You really can't tell how big it is.

My goal today was to completely clean my room, even my closet. I told my parents that if they hadn't seen me by tonight, to please come looking. You see, this is what I faced (besides bags and piles of fabric stuffed under my bed):

But I did it! I cleaned everything. That means that I even took the books out of the bookcase instead of merely dusting around them. I even dusted the ceiling fan blades, which is a nightmare because it makes dust bunnies fall from the sky. I organized all of my sewing stuff last night, which was quite a job. And even though it's organized, it still takes up a ton of space. One day (preferably in the not so distant future) I would love to have a sewing room.

So, on this first day of 2010, I accomplished everything I wanted to. Except for walking on the treadmill, and that wasn't exactly too high on the priority list. In fact, I probably burned so many calories cleaning my room this morning that I feel completely justified in going and getting that piece of turtle cheesecake. And possibly watching an episode of "Gilmore Girls."
Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)