Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Day 6, but not really...

This is the sixth post in my 31 day writing challenge and I was seriously thinking of giving up. I mean it's the 14th of October and I'm already a week behind. What's the point, right?

I was listening to a talk on comparison recently, and how it's a doorway to envy,  and thinking it's so easy to look at how well everyone else is doing and how amazing their 31 day series' are and how everyone else seems to be able to communicate so much better and tell their stories every day with such diligence and then wonder what on earth do I think I'm doing trying to put my little whispers out there?

An orphan heart listens to that voice inside and believes that lie, and hides away. It believes that it's not good enough or worthy enough. Procrastination adds its voice to the pity party and convinces that one day you may get it right, when circumstances are in your favour and you're more organized, or you have more time. Because right now, that bully, perfectionism, says; you're a failure and your story doesn't matter anyway if you can't even tell it properly. A heart that doesn't know it's home can believe the voice of fear. And that is exactly what that other bully, fear, is counting on. Being able to bind you up, trip you up and slow you down and ...paralyze you with lies.

But in His Word, the Spirit says this about us...

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭15‬ NIV)

I'm going to choose to believe the love and the words of the Father of my heart. He says I can call him Abba! Which means Daddy. I can call on Him to help!
In the psalms David writes...

Train me, GOD, to walk straight; then I’ll follow your true path. Put me together, one heart and mind; then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear. From the bottom of my heart I thank you, dear Lord; I’ve never kept secret what you’re up to. You’ve always been great toward me—what love! You snatched me from the brink of disaster! God, these bullies have reared their heads! A gang of thugs is after me— and they don’t care a thing about you. But you, O God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit. So look me in the eye and show kindness, give your servant the strength to go on, save your dear, dear child! Make a show of how much you love me so the bullies who hate me will stand there slack-jawed, As you, GOD, gently and powerfully put me back on my feet. (‭Psalm‬ ‭86‬:‭11-17‬ MSG)

So today, I'm back on my feet. Put back on the path of my own race, the one that is chosen for me  by my Father, who doesn't compare me with any other. So I'm bravely coming alongside and not competing , but appreciating the stories of others. I'm not comparing, but rather, learning to share mine. 

To read the other posts in my 31 day series; My story, His story, please go here

Friday, 10 October 2014

Signature Style! PR&P week 4...

Signature Style week is the now famous last week of every season of project run & play...and I'm so chuffed to have sewn along for every week this season! For the first time!
But...because of my tendency to cut it fine ;) I missed linking up to the denim challenge last week...grrr.
So, it got me thinking about how I would define my signature style...and, since I have two beautiful girlies, when I am inspired to create something I usually end up making them both something. I'm featuring the outfits they both got this week...

The clothing I make for my girls always starts with a story in my head! I would say my Signature Style would always have a few if not all of these elements;
  • A theme or an occasion ( such as an up-coming holiday away from home, a birthday, project run &play, etc ;) I have been known to be up all night before we go away on holiday, finishing pretty much a whole wardrobe of clothes, and then sleeping on the journey there while hubby drives!
  • A colour scheme... in this instance I stayed with denim, pink, and a bit of lace.
  • Then I pull out every.piece.of.stash.fabric. looking for the right combinations.
  • I then try to design something unique and challenge myself to try new ideas with the material that ends up inspiring me. I love children's wear and hope to start producing patterns and my own range.
  • Each item should preferably be able to mix and match with something else. I went to town on my youngest's this week!
  • Be comfortable & practical and last but certainly not least...probably the most important...
  • Something they will  wear and hopefully love;)

First up, some pictures...

My eldest daughter's outfit; 


This is the outfit I made for my tween daughter, and it's a total success...she has worn it almost everyday!
For the story about this:

please go here where I share the story behind the heart.

The cool thing about this denim jacket is that it all came from worn jeans...I couldn't find enough of denim in my stash to fit a whole jacket and was contemplating making it sleeve-less when my hubby brought me all the chopped off legs of his denim jeans I had altered into shorts for him. He has an embroidery business and keeps a stash, ahem, left-over material just like me :)

The front and back panels, plus the sleeves and yokes, were all cut strategically placing the seams on the already top-stitched jeans seams! The back pockets of another pair became the modified front pockets you see above, and I even re-used the belt loops and coin pocket on the shorts.
The soft stretch lace top has a high low hem and a pink cotton knit lining, with cap sleeves.
All these patterns were self-drafted.

Now for my youngest's outfit...

 I started out with a pair of modesty shorts out of left-overs of the pink knit I used for my eldest's top.
And then my serger started giving me hassles, so everything that followed became... reversible!
That's how we roll here folks:) I hate using zig zag to finish inside seams, so I had to make another plan...

I had chosen the pink polka dot cotton to go with some light blue stretch denim left-overs, (a plain and a matching embroidered flower one) So I hunted the stash :) and found a pink cotton leopard print. Dots and spots are a good combo, yes?

I had an idea for a skirt with a zip off circle top skirt, so...
The denim skirt is just a simple A-line with a bask that fits flat in front, but is bigger in the back to allow for an elasticated waist. And that's where I made a 'mistake' with the measurements... For the top skirt, I cut a half circle with rounded edges and I had planned for it to meet up, but the open-end zipper I had did not fit end to end so it ended up (ha!) with a gap in front. No problem that a cute bow can't fix! And another happy accident...the zipper can slide on upside down so the reverse leopard print can also be an option. #3skirtsinone:

The top is an awesome pattern I found online from Fiddlehead blog a few years back, called "The Beach Party Top and Dress Pattern". I made a few adjustments to make it reversible with the dots & spots.
The little jacket was self drafted using a bodice that fit her and I cut it out joining the side seams on the pattern so it would be all in one piece on center back fold on the denim, but with back seam on spotty side to be able to get into the inside to make it reversible also. I inserted  little sleeves after lining them with the spots.

I am sooooo happy with how it all turned out and how many different combinations she can make to wear using just these four pieces...Even the 'modesty shorts' can be worn as an option!

Thank you for reading! And... To all you ladies out there that have showcased your sew-along's and of course all the designers at Project Run & Play a huge big Thank You for all the wonderful inspiration!I've enjoyed looking at your creations and I'm looking forward to getting to know you a little better :)

Till next time, be blessed!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Day 5: The Blue Gate

Before the sun comes up, on Sunday the 14th of September, I submit to a call to write. The well of thoughts run deep and full...which ones do I bucket and spill out first? In the quiet, an image comes to mind, and I wonder what would come out if I just described the story in my mind's eye... 
Blue door with heart

I find myself inside the gate. My hand reaches out to touch the weathered wood. I can feel the smooth places between the chippy blue paint and I wonder if this is real. In my mind this gate opens up to a beautiful well-kept garden, ordered, maintained, restrained. Yet very beautiful.
Beds of lush colourful blooms, amidst tall green trees. Canopies of crisp blue sky between puffs of white show off this organised splendour.

Do I want to leave this wild and tangled garden to walk beyond the mass of foliage uncontained? To step onto the manicured lawn and disturb this visual perfection.

Behind me, I hear the melody of falling water, a soft murmuring overflowing the rim of a cracked concrete fountain, drizzling into the clear pool below.

There is a path, slightly overgrown, that has been flattened by my slow barefooted tread. Turning, and purposely reflecting on this image behind me, I still my thoughts to take it in. It's a different kind of beauty. Wildflowers abound peeking through wispy thigh-high grass. The kind I loved to pick and dry in bundles as a child.
Tears well up. Why? This is just a figment of my imagination after all...this...this vision isn't real...Why the sudden emotion? 

The smell of roses, yes, I see them, a thick abundantly flowering hedge. Outgrowing, holding out the fragrant overflow onto a welcoming wooden bench. It beckons to be felt, the warm afternoon glow, and I sit. Breathe. Inhale a sweetness that tastes like rest.

From this vantage point it is easy to see these are two very different gardens separated by a low, dry stone wall, intimating one landowner...Could such dichotomy exist in harmony?

( This is what I found when searching the meaning of dichotomy, this word that popped up in my story;  

  • It is any splitting of a whole into exactly two non-overlapping parts. 
  • It is the partition of a whole into two parts that are: 1. Jointly exhaustive; everything must belong to one part or the other, and, 2. Mutually exclusive; nothing can belong simultaneously to both parts. The two parts thus formed are complements.
  • From the Greek dichotomia; dividing in two from dicha; "in two, asunder" and tome; "a cutting, incision"
  • In theology and philosophy, dichotomy is the belief that humans consist of a soul and a body. )
 This brings to mind the word in Hebrews 4:12 AMP
  For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energising, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analysing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
 I sense that exposing, sifting, analysing and judging going on in my heart and I don't know if I like it.

I'm choosing to sit down on the bench and rest in the process.

In the garden with my Beloved.

This is day 5  of  31 Days; My story, His story.
Ps. I found the picture on Pinterest after this was written. It best depicts the gate I imagined.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Day 4: Heart Stories from The Father's Heart

I believe that God speaks to our hearts. He wants us to know Him and be in a close love relationship with Him. He wants us to really know how much He Loves us!

 During this writing challenge I would also love to share Father Heart stories that others have experienced and to make it easier for me to keep writing , (baby Woodsteps remember), I'll be linking these up on the weekends.

This is a personal testimony by Kim Walker-Smith, a worship leader for Jesus Culture band. Her heart is to see people transformed by experiencing God's love and for this generation to see themselves the way God sees them. She believes that when that happens, hearts are set free.

Hoping you can hear God's heart for you in her story...

This is Day 4 of my; My story, His story  personal writing endeavour going on at Write 31 days. Click on over there to read what the other gazillion writers are inspired to share.

Till next time, be blessed!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Day 3: Come to Me

So, this is day 3 of  My story, His story and I'm learning new skills on this here webspace!

 I've been humming this song now for days...I really believe this is what the Father of our hearts is wanting me to share today... Plus it's my first time embedding a video :) Here goes... Enjoy!

Till next time, be blessed!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Day 2: Love & Denim & Lace ...(a pr&p wannabe)

The denim challenge... Love, love, did I say Love! a denim jacket :) So this was going to be my project for PR&P this week:

But this is the thing...
I'm joining up with the Nester, Myquillyn Smith, who started a writing revolution on her blog every October called the 31 Day Challenge, which in her words, "has grown up and moved out and now has it's very own website!".
Choosing a theme to write about was challenging enough especially just starting out on this blogging adventure, but I'm choosing to share and record my heart stories , so to make it a little easier on myself, I'm going with the flow here :) Baby Woodsteps, people!

Day 2 of  My story, His story :

During worship at our fellowship, these words came up on the overhead screen; "God looks at the heart",
which referred to 1Peter3:4

 Inspiration arose ;)  for the denim challenge. This jacket would be for my tween daughter and how awesome would it be to have a visual reminder to her that although she is beautiful on the outside, her true beauty lies beneath the skin...In the intricately unique and wonderful way she was created by a God who adores her.

After sharing my thoughts with her, she came up with  the idea of a pocket that unzips to reveal a heart! How cool is that!

This jacket will be a part of my signature look for project run & play week 4 since I just missed linking up to the actual denim challenge, so more sewing details will follow soon :)

Till next time, be blessed!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Oh baby! First up-cycling outfit ever! Project Run & Play s10, week 2

I'm so happy to be back for project run & play season 10, week 2!
First a picture...

 The theme for this week was using hand-me-downs (or up-cycled clothing) to make something modern and fashionable for your child to wear. This was a challenge for me as it was the first time I have made a completely new outfit using old/unused clothing. I have only altered clothes too big or too small to make them fit better. So I opened my cupboard to look for some inspiration and on the top shelf I spied a bag with some of my little one's baby clothing I hadn't the heart to give away for sentimental reasons. Hmm! It would be truly 'up'-cycled if I could get it to work together!

 I gathered a few tops in similar colours, a baby hat, and added a strappy top I no longer wear to the mix.
The design had to incorporate lots of little pieces from baby size tops to be able to make something that would fit her now and I didn't want it to look patchworky, so I took an idea from a layer on one of the tops (see below, bottom left pic) & played around with a mock crossover layered effect...trying to fit in the precious little embroidered details.

So far so good! After serging the edges and adding lace and vintage ric-rac to the hems, I layered the front onto a piece of white knit cut from an old t-shirt of mine. In case the top edges showed if the layers lifted, I sewed them down with ric-rac trim to neaten...

The back was cut from a printed onesie, trimmed with lace, then topped with a leftover hem which served as a casing for elastic.

 I carefully removed the binding from my strappy top and re-used it to finish off the armhole, cap-sleeves and neckline. I had an inch left over when done! The shorts fit out of this strappy top perfectly and I re-used the
hem for the shorts hem :) Hearts added from some leftover scraps...

  I wanted to use the brim of the hat on a new one, and found a McCalls slouchy cap pattern perfect for the soft knit. The pattern pieces fit perfectly on all the little sleeves :) And a lovely bonus! I could use the hems once again as the edges. One top had sleeves with a scallop edging which had to feature in the front above the re-covered peak. The little embroidered heart applique covered the join beautifully! A vintage button and some elastic in the back for a snug fit finished it all off.

Except for the cap, all the patterns were self-drafted by trial and fitting on my little snuggly girl. That little embroidered front detail describes her so well! It says, "I like lots of cuddles and kisses xx"

Thank you for looking and reading this much! Whew! I've enjoyed making this and thanks to PR&P am inspired to continue making my girls some 'new' clothes. I'm pretty sure next week will feature my eldest daughter in denim.

Till next time, be blessed!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Lucy in the pool with shades.

We had a little photo shoot at the pool in our Project Run & Play season 10, week 1 outfit. As you can see, little madam loved posing for the camera before having a swim :) So cool in our shades!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Hello! Project Run & Play...Sewing for Peanuts:)

I might just love Project Run & Play a little bit! Ha!
Here's what I made, and then I'll share the story...

  Let's see...10 hours before the linky closed I was sketching ideas for a Lucy inspired costume.

 Who doesn't love the Peanuts characters? Since this first week of season 10 is all about finding inspiration from 80's cartoons, I had been thinking way too long over which character I'd like to choose as my muse should I decide to actually start this blog, design and sew an outfit and then be brave enough to post it ...I really wanted to sew along, having followed the past 4 seasons avidly, and voting each week for my favourites.
 So at the eleventh hour, this is who I came up with...Lucy! The bossy know-it-all but totally lovable little girl in the iconic blue dress. But, instead of a dress I thought I'd make a swimming 'costume' (lovely irony!) incorporating all the little details...

I knew I would have to use material in my stash, and find a creative way to style the outfit, as my little girl was in dreamland already. She will be so excited to see her new cozzie in the morning, I'll have to let her model it and post some more photo's!
This is the fabric I found. Some blue lycra (of course), a bit of white lycra with silver glitter ( if Lucy was a fashionista she would have loved glitter, don't you think?), and a piece of white cotton mesh (which has probably been in my stash since the 80's, ha!), because a girl has to have a cute little cover-up!

The initial sketch got adapted a little after I found the fabric. I didn't want to use only blue, so the peplum became white as did the little scallopy detail around the neck, which kinda mimics the neck flower shaped frill. And here she is...

Including a classic Lucy quote! I had to give a shout out to ol' Charlie Brown too... I found a white towel and added a black velvet ribbon border that I pinned into a zigzag pattern. Here is the back...

Which had to have a bow!The swimsuit pattern was self-drafted using a couple of previously made ones, and for the cover-up I used a vintage Butterick pattern as the base because it had the perfect A-line shape and little puff sleeves!

I love how it turned out, and I can't wait for my little one to try it on!

Until next time...Be blessed!