Snow and Stuff

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I’ve been on a roll lately, though you wouldn’t be able to tell from my blog because, once again, I’m slacking. Perhaps I shouldn’t say once again. It’s basically been a really long slack fest for the blog. When I signed up for WordPress my goal was only 2 blogs a month, so maybe I’m not doing too horrible if that’s my goal.

Today in NC it was a snow day. Well it was a snow morning that turned into a very slushy gross afternoon, and will turn into an ice skating rink tonight. That’s how it happens in the South ya’ll. But, I really need to let you know that my roll started about 2 weeks ago and today was just an opportunity to keep rolling. I decided to clean up and clean out. I did a little extra decorating, but essentially just made my home neater and cleaner. (There will be another blog post about all the cute stuff I added.) This organization made it easier to work. I’ve been trying to put away projects instead of leaving them all scattered all over my house.

The snow started falling last night and was projected to fall all night long. I was 99.9% positive it would be a snow day and I wouldn’t have work, so I started thinking about what I wanted to work on. I have a few projects going, but one big one that I’ve been a little intimidated by. I knew a snow day would be the kick I needed.

snow 5I woke up at about 7:30 and snuck out of the house before I got Petoddy up. I wanted to explore outside before puppy foot prints covered the yard and before it melted. Here is the gorgeous house I live in covered with a beautiful white blanket. In my dreams this whole house is mine and the entire upstairs is dedicated to sewing/crafts and the downstairs is living quarters and a dance studio. In reality it has 6 apartments and I only get to enjoy a little slice of this beauty.

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I drank coffee. I drank a lot of coffee today. Here are a few of the delightful cups waiting to be washed. It will happen before bed tonight. I needed coffee, courage, a few prayers, and a whole bunch of deep breaths before I could cut. The project I’m working on is a very special one and I don’t want to screw it up. Actually I can’t screw it up because I have very limited materials and I can’t get more if I mess up. My friend Kat is getting married. I’m using her mom’s wedding gown to create an after party dress for her wedding. See…it’s a big freaking deal. I’ve spent the past month, little by little, seam ripping all the details off the dress and stripping it down to a blank canvas. I won’t show you any of the goods. You’ll have to wait until after the wedding for that blog post to happen. It was time…

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I don’t usually use a pattern. I actually don’t really like patterns that much, but I knew I would feel more confident in this particular project using a pattern. I cut out all the pieces today and basted the edges down where the needed to be. Slippery fabric might be the death of me. The pieces I was most worried about were the skirt. They required a lot of fabric and it was like a puzzle trying to figure out where to cut from. Just the 2 pieces for the skirt took me almost all morning. I know that sounds like forever, but I was extremely nervous and working very meticulously.

I usually keep the t.v. on channel 9 because I only have a few channels and that seems to be a pretty basic one. It’s mainly just back ground noise. I had the t.v. on this morning as I was working, but when The View came on, I had to turn it off. I just don’t like it. Basically I’m admitting that I do enjoy Wendy Williams that comes on right before. Don’t judge me too hard. So I headed to my computer for some music. Whatever Pandora station I picked played “Brown Eyed Girl” right after “Sir Duke” and I knew it was going to be a good day. I calmed myself down and worked on the dress and some other stuff too.

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I did some doodling that might potentially be part of a project for my sister and me. And then I decided to go to my job for a little bit. I’m not just lucky to live in this beautiful house, I’m lucky because my job is only 4 blocks away. By about 1 o’clock Petoddy was driving me a little crazy. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to be inside or outside so I took a little break. I went and worked a few hours at the store even though we were closed today.

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After I came home and took Petoddy on a long walk I decided that I didn’t want to cook. I called the Mexican restaurant down the street to check if they were open. I finally changed out of pjs and headed out the door. I’m thankful that Kat made me this awesome scarf for Christmas to keep me warm. I look a little like a lumber jack with a blanket wrapped around my neck in this picture, but I don’t care. I’m sure I’m not the only person who didn’t want to “get ready” for the day today.

After dinner I came home and worked some more. I began sewing the pieces of the dress together. I’m still a little nervous, but I think it’s going to be a-okay. I have finished most of the sewing for the bodice. I still have to cut the lining for the skirt which is almost like being in the same place I started this morning. I’ll get there eventually. The wedding isn’t until May. Keep checking back to see projects as the get finished. I hope everyone had a great snow/slush/ice day! I know I enjoyed the extra time today!

In other news…It’s been just over a year since I started my blog. I just celebrated a year with my dog, and it’s been almost 2 years since I moved into this apartment. Maybe I should continue to make changes in February and March. They seem to be good months for me!

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Fishers of Men

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As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea-for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

Mark 1:16-20

This was the Gospel reading from Liz’s commissioning service. The rest of the blog will fill you in on all the details.

There is a very lovely friend of mine who is the head of youth and family ministry at the church I attend. She recently finished seminary to be an associate minister. After that she was called to our church.

After being called she began to work on her commissioning service. For this particular service she needed to wear a robe and a stole. She ordered her robe, but not a stole. She approached me about making one. Stoles can be quite intricate and quite beautiful, but she wanted to save a little money and have something that was special to her personal ministry.

An associate minister wears a deacon stole. Deacon stoles go across the body kind of like a beauty pageant sash. We met one afternoon and looked at tons of stoles online to get an idea of what she wanted. We stumbled across an idea that would involve the kids of the church. It just so happened to be an idea that I had kind of used before. Here is a link to what I found. I have used freezer paper stencils to paint pillows before and I thought it would be a great idea for this project because it would allow for the youth of the church to be involved in this special project.

I purchased the fabric (white polyester) and then washed and dried it. I used her measurements to make a pattern and then cut it out of the fabric.

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I rolled out the freezer paper to figure out how much I needed. I traced the outline of the stole so the paper would be the same shape.

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I drew on a pattern that was similar to this because it was a stole that we really liked. Her stole needed to be predominately white because of the season of the church.

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I cut out the pattern. This was probably the most difficult part because it was tedious and time consuming. You have to be pretty meticulous so you don’t mess up the pattern and have to start from scratch. After all the pieces were cut out I ironed the pattern to the stole. It creates a stencil.

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There was a parents night out happening at church and it was a perfect event for the kids to do the painting. Here is the set up. I took just a few kids at a time and gave them a circle sponge and a plate with a very small amount of paint. I am a little bit of a control freak about my projects so I might have threatened them a little bit and “strongly encouraged” them to be very very careful. It was difficult for me to have them help. I was pretty sure it was going to be wonderful, but if it had been a disaster I could have just made another one and pretended it was the one they did.

stole 3 stole 2 stole 4 stole 5stole 1

Here are some pictures of us painting at church. Please excuse the messiness of myself in these pictures. I knew I needed to wear paint clothes.

stole 6All the kids that painted stole, signed their name on what would be the lining of the stole. I made it line up so that their names would be right next to her heart.

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I pulled the freezer paper off so all the kids could see the design they had been working on. They were very proud.

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Here is the whole stole laid out so all the parents could see what the kids had been working on while they were out.

After it was dry I put the 2 pieces of the stole together. I laid them out and pinned them together with the outsides facing in. I actually had to add another little piece of fabric where the signatures were because they were showing through the front.  I sewed almost all the way around, but left a little hole. I turned the stole right side out, just like you would with a pillow. To keep the edges nice and flat I top stitched all the way around the edges. This also closed up the hole.

2nd try

Here she is in her robe and stole. I think she looks fantastic! I’m very thankful to know this special lady and have her in my life. And I’m sure the rest of the congregation feels the same way!

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Showing off the kid’s signatures. They landed right near her heart, which is what we were aiming for.

The scripture from Mark is very dear to her. It has played a big role in personal and professional life. I think the project captured   pieces of this scripture and pieces of her ministry. I know she was happy with the finished stole, and so was I. It really felt like this was one of the most important projects I’ve ever made. It was a huge honor to be involved with this.

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