Monday, March 31, 2008

What I woke up to this Morning

Note to self: Never leave cat treats in reach of cat.

Bad Kitty.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Modesty in the Christian Woman

After some sweet requests for a post on modesty, I have been trying to write this post in my head for several days. First, I would like to begin by saying that any modesty in my life is truly a testimony to the Lord changing hearts and having everlasting patience to bring His children to sanctification. Before I became a Christian, I had absolutely no thought about modesty. My only concern was what looked pretty and popular. I look back on so many of my choices with sadness and shame, but I remember that Godly sorrow leadeth to repentance. Which is a Good Thing. Even after I became a Christian, I didn't really understand modesty. It took many years, and many godly young women in my life to help me to follow the Lord's leading in this area. I think the biggest struggle was that I saw modesty as being unattractive. I saw young ladies not dressing feminine at all, and that was my picture of a modest woman! Well, I certainly didn't want any part of that. Thanks be to God, He led me, through a series of funny coincidences, to Ladies Against Feminism. Wow! What a great website. That is when I really *got* modesty finally. (I'm a slow learner!) And even now, every day, I learn more about what being modest is really about. So this is definitely not a "how to" post from a girl who "is completely there". This is just my testimony about my own personal journey, and the Lord's sweet forgiveness and lovingkindness towards me.
Believe this... it was a long journey. It involved a lot of struggle. It still does sometimes! Oh, that sinful nature. It does creep up on you! I had to throw out quite a bit of my clothing. I had friends and family members who slowly noticed the change, and began to think I'd gone completely out of my mind. But if someone asks me why "I wear skirts all the time" or why "I've changed the way I dress so much", what a great opportunity to tell them about the Hope that I have! And how my Saviour has changed my heart and my life!
Here's a little bit of the nitty gritty, so to speak. Some call "rules" legalistic. Now I'm not saying that being modest will save your soul. No sirree, it will bring you no salvation, and no joy, without accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. So don't call me legalistic, thank you :)
I stick to "elbows to freckle to bottoms of kneecaps". Turns out I have a wonderful freckle a few inches below my collarbone smack in the middle of my chest. I think this was God's way of giving me a marker :) Also, OF COURSE, if you can see the outlines of your body or the contours of every feminine curve, it doesn't matter that it's a different color because your wearing clothing over it. So yes... I think skirts are more modest than pants. ( Eeek! Now people will really think I'm crazy! ) But also I believe there are times and places for looser pants (loose scrubs or along those lines) or a cute above-the-knees dress over jeans. I do have my trendy days....
My own personal thought? Err on the side of caution. When it comes to Judgement Day, I would much rather hear, "You were a little more modest than you needed to be," than "You led many men into sin by your appearance." Once again, this has been such a long road for me. By Grace the Lord has showed me and led me gently to where I am today. Never think that you can't change. Never think you've gone too far to return to modesty. Remember what the Lord says about the greater debter? May I love more for my forgiveness. For without that, I would be the greatest sinner of them all.
Now about my sweet hubby... He said he might guest post about this subject! But he is a very busy man, being the wonderful provider he is. So it might be a while before he does! I can say though, how unbelievably hard it would be to uphold standards of modesty if your husband did not support it. What a tragedy that would be. Praise God my hubby loves the fact that I save my feminine form for his eyes only.
Hear are some of the things that helped change my heart, my point of view, and just plain encourage me:
The Secret Garden, by Mrs. Jennie Chancey
Ladies Against Feminism Modesty Section
A Return to Modesty, by Wendy Shalit
Getting Used to Dresses
My favorite article about modesty, by Mrs. Jennie Chancey
If anyone has a question... or wants to add their own standards or a great link, please let me know!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Dress

The best laid plans... sometimes don't turn out like we thought they would! I had great plans for a Regency drawstring Easter dress made with some embroidered linen that I had gotten on sale in the winter. I cut out the pattern, laid out the fabric, and well... inspiration was no where in sight! As a gal who usually has to talk herself out of a new project, this was truly strange. I blame it on the fact that I've been really more into 50's dresses lately. So I decided to dig in the back of the ol' closet and see what I could find! Sure enough, I had a lovely dress from Target, worn only once to a bridal shower, which after seeing the pictures of myself in the dress, I had made up my mind to never be seen in again :) I'm sure we all have moments like that! Hee hee. After some puzzling, I decided to give the dress another try... this time with some proper undergarments. After some tweaks, a petticoat, and a sweater added, it fit like a dream and finally gave me the proper silhouette!

Here is a peak at the petticoat. I used eyelet that was from my momma's stash... passed down from my great grandmother's stash! I was terrified to use it, but momma assured me that someone really should finally use it, and my mema would be happy for it to be put to use :) I also wore one of my mema's handkerchiefs in my hair. I felt just delightfully vintage!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Making your own Magnets

Today I was wonderfully inspired at the craft store. I happened upon some scrapbooking stickers that matched our kitchen and breakfast room *exactly*! I can only assume that the companies' artists must know each other... or be the same sweet gal. So I stood on the sticker aisle, puzzling over how I could possibly incorporate these stickers into my kitchen...

Of course, some of the stickers would have to be thrown away... the ones with the silly catch phrases on them. I've never been one for silly phrases.


Ah! Magnets! I didn't have any matching magnets for my kitchen theme. I found a wonderful selection of magnet paper that is scissors friendly.

All you must do is trace the shape onto the paper, cut it out very carefully, and then peel off the sticky backing from the magnet paper. I bought the kind that was picture sized since it was most cost effective, and I had lots left over, so I'll put it away for future inspiration I think.

Now my fridge coordinates quite well!

Also, the Easter dress plans have been "revised". I'll post when I'm done! :)

I hope everyone had a blessed Good Friday.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why World's Best Cat Litter should actually be called...

World's Worst Cat Litter.

Maybe I was taken in by the fact that it was "natural" and "good for the environment". But mostly I was excited about the claim that it wouldn't track (yay! No more crunchy kitty litter on the bathroom floor!) and that it wouldn't poof. Supposedly also it would not be smelly... and it was flushable! Well, I was sold. I bought a bag, joyfully pondering my new litter, picturing myself happily flushing away.

Two weeks later, the honeymoon is over. World's Best is actually World's Worst. Here I list my grievances, to protect other cat owners from wasting money, and also to make myself feel the whole experience wasn't for naught.

1) Not track-able... should read... "Less track-able" at best.
2) Flushable. Sounds good at first. Really what this means is, "You used to clean your litter box every 2 to 3 days. Now you'll get to clean it 3 to 4 times PER day!"
3) Stinky. This should be on the box. Now... I'm not just talking about odor control. The actual litter, sans kitty surprises, is seriously stinky.
4) Your cat will hate it, and strike against the litter box. Enough said.

Alright, now I feel better.

And tomorrow, I'm going back to my old friend Fresh Step. I guess the "Fragrance Free" kind will have to be the most natural we go...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Girls Really Living

This weekend I had the wonderful blessing of helping out with a new 12-13 year olds bible study. It was so much fun- first we learned about how our God is a Jealous God for us and wants to be first in our hearts, minds, and souls. Then we learned about how to spend time with the Lord and enrich our daily walk with Him. And of course, this was followed by some lovely fellowship and craft time! Everyone made a journal (including myself) :) to take home and use for journaling during quiet times. I was so inspired by these young ladies, and so blessed to be involved in the day. Here are some fun pictures of our group at "work"!

Explaining the craft...

Alright everyone, let's get started!

Carefully trace the journal shape onto the scrapbook paper, cut, and glue away!

One of our lovely hostesses, and another sweet helper.

Putting on the finishing touches.

Everybody hold up your journal and smile!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Vintage Fifties Housecoat

I've been watching Anna over at Pleasant View Schoolhouse sew beautiful things for a while now. I absolutely adore her vintage fashions. And I love her housecoats:


Inspired yet?

Want one for yourself now?

Here's where you start checking ebay for a pattern of your own...

Just in case you didn't guess it yet, I bought a pattern :)

I can just see it in flannel polka dots.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

For Women Only

If you are a boy... stop reading now. I have no idea why any male would read my blog, but on the .001% chance that one accidentally happens upon this blog, here's your warning.

Really. No boys allowed. Don't worry girls, its completely G rated for you- but no boys allowed.

Last warning.

Okay, Ladies! I was trying to decide whether or not to post about this. My momma thought I was a "little crazy" for this... and hubby thought I was "alot crazy". Lol. So I'll try to do this as tastefully as possible. As a girl who definitely wants to cloth diaper, I find this much along the same lines. If I'm not willing to put those nasty chemicals up against my, Lord willing, future babies' bums, why would I put them on me? Not to mention the fact that this will save money and save the environment :) I found this website that sells women's "monthly supplies" that are chemical free and reusable. But WOW! Those prices! Gasp! That was never gonna happen. So I tried my hand at making my own and found this tutorial that helped me figure out the logistics.

First I took some lilac flannel from the ol' stash that I bought a year or so ago. I would have loved to use a fun print like on the Glad Rags website, but I couldn't justify going out to buy something that I already had... hmph. :)

I traced the shape of some of my own "products" and added wings. I then used this as a template for the rest of the project.

I needed Ari's help, of course.

For the actual pads, make the bottom piece larger so when you put it all together, there is an overlap flap. I zig zagged the edges twice since I read it would add too much bulk to sew the outside and turn it inside out. A serger would have been great to have, but this worked just fine. Mine aren't very pretty... but that doesn't bother me!

Then I cut 2 flannel squares out, zig zagged them together, and did a little free form quilting (Ha!) Here you see my sad attempt at a heart. Wow. Terrible.

This you tri-fold to make an insert.

And of course, you must sew a snap on the flaps to make everything stay in place. After working on these all morning, I will say, hand sewing on snaps is the most, ahem, patience trying part of the whole ordeal.

For a pantyliner, just don't leave the back open- and only use the 2 layers of flannel.

Since I used stash flannel that I think cost me 2 dollars, and stash snaps that were gifted to me... this was literally a no -to extremely low- cost project!

I know this is a pretty personal subject, but I never would have thought about it before- so I had to share the inspiration.

Saving exposure to chemicals? Great!

Saving money? Fantastic!

Saving the environment at the same time? Fabulous.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Hubby's Homemade Bagels

A little dough making...

A little boiling...

A little baking...

Mmmm, homemade bagels! I think next time we'll try them with whole wheat flour, and maybe some blueberries... I don't think we'll ever go back to store bought!

Who says cooking can't be fun? :)

Made by Lena