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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Dusting off my Pattern Making Skills

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I have a tunic that I love.  You can dress it up or dress it down.  Wear it with leggings or skinny jeans.  I bought fabric over a year ago to make my own version of it.  I decided it was time to roll up my sleeves and dust off my pattern making skills.  I used the tunic to make a rough pattern and adjusted as I went.  The only issue I ran into was that I did not have enough of the polka dot fabric to prepare true bias cut binding at the armholes and neckline, so it is cut cross grain and isn’t as soft as I had hoped.  Overall I am happy with the end result and ready to make another one!

the inspiration

the original inspiration

tools of the trade

tools of the trade

copying the original

using the original to make the rough pattern


pattern taking shape


getting the pleats aligned at the front

fabric choices

the fabrics


yes, that is a Brother Project Runway sewing machine

test assembly

Test fit to make sure it is balanced and fits

frt detail

detail of the front bodice

end product

completed tunic with tee and necklace – throw on some leggings or skinny jeans and voila!


A new way to wear an old scarf

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I am really drawn to scarves.  I buy many of them and wear them infrequently.  I find that I never know what to do with the long ends – knotting them can make the scarf seem too bulky and sometimes the ends just get in the way.  I pinned this a few weeks ago and thought I’d give it a try.  I think I found a new way to jazz up those old scarves in my closet.

original pin

original scarf

My Turn

starting scarf

step 1

step 2

step 3


A coastal excursion

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Yesterday I went to the Oregon Coast with my friend Dana and her adorable dog Dodger.  We hiked the Cape Falcon trail south of Cannon Beach.  The weather was surprisingly wonderful.  After our hike we took Dodger to the beach for the first time.  If you have never seen the total and complete joy on the face of a dog at the beach, I suggest you borrow a furry friend and head to the coast now.  It’s good for the soul.

Photo Montage

filtered light trunk

fallen tree

daisy downhill

mossy detail

tree lined coast

mossy goosepen

cape scene

bark detail

beach stones

large beach rocks

Dana and Dodger

Dodger (aka Happiest dog in the world) with Dana

Renaissance Woman? Or too distracted to commit to one hobby?

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Photography.  Mixed Media.  Sewing.  Cooking.  Drawing.  Crafting.  Jewelry.  Home Decor.  Writing.

Sometimes I find that I have so many hobbies that I can become overwhelmed and instead of doing any of it, I simply do none of it.  I have so many ideas and so many projects in work that it will take me another 20 years to complete all of them.  I know many of my creative friends who feel the same way.  That’s where the blog has come into the picture.  This actually motivates me to start working on some things.  They don’t have to be monumental, earth-shattering projects.  Something that makes me smile or feel a sense of accomplishment will do.  So I ask you – am I a modern day Renaissance Woman, or simply too distracted to commit to one hobby?

beach tree

Photography – Oregon Coast

wedding card

Mixed Media- torn paper wedding card

sitting cushion

Sewing – sitting cushion

turkey plantain salad

Cooking- turkey, onion, plantain, avocado on a bed of cabbage with cilantro lime dressing


Drawing – pencil drawing of hands

button art

Crafting- button art

black bib necklace

Jewelry – felt, beaded, sequin bib necklace


Home Decor – stripped, stained, painted, and refinished dresser

new blog

Writing – my blog

Life through a different lens….

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I love photography.  I always looked forward to my photography classes in college.  In fact, I thought about changing majors to Photography at one point.  I like to try to find beauty in things that maybe are not always the most obvious.  That being said, I also love to take photos of beautiful things too.  Here are some of my latest photos that have caught my eye and inspired me.

spike detailode to the cat Shanghaishadow rocksgreen barkwired covered building in Shanghaiclouds descend


Let’s talk about food…

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I like to cook.  And I LOVE to bake.  On rare occasions I will roll up my sleeves and create a delectable treat from scratch.  On most occasions, I find a way to take shortcuts and add something special to dress it up.  Hopefully this inspires you to do the same.  When you add a little something to a box mix or easy recipe, I find that people respond in such positive ways.  They won’t believe that you used a box because you added a bit of your creativity to it.  Experiment – some will turn out deliciously (like adding butterscotch chips to milk chocolate mix) and others maybe just so-so (like adding mint chips to dark chocolate mix).  We’ll start with my favorite go-to dessert:  Caramel Salted Brownies.

salted caramel brownies

The original Cooking Light Caramel Salted Brownie Recipe

If you click on the link above, Cooking Light will take you through some slightly time consuming steps to make the brownies from scratch.  For the same impact with less exertion, I start with box brownies.  You can use any kind you like – double chocolate, dark chocolate, truffle chocolate, Gluten Free – you name it!  I make the box brownies and then skip to the topping section.  It is a 2-step process, but it is definitely WORTH IT.  I have never received so many compliments as I have for these brownies.

  • Topping:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons evaporated fat-free milk, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  1. To prepare topping, melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons milk; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and powdered sugar; stir with a whisk until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over cooled brownies. Let stand 20 minutes or until set.
  2. 4. Combine 2 tablespoons milk and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH for 45 seconds or until melted, stirring after 20 seconds. Stir just until smooth; drizzle over caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt; let stand until set. Cut into squares.

my brownies

My Caramel Salted Brownies (flanked by peanut butter blondies and chocolate walnut brownies)

Feminize that slouchy tee

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A few months ago I pinned this idea to my Fashion board thinking I’d alter several tees before summer began.  Well, summer is almost over and I finally completed the first one.  It was really easy – I’m not sure what took me so long!  I find that most of the cool graphic tees come in men’s sizes.  This is a great way to find the perfect graphic and alter the shirt to suit your girlish style.


Original t-shirt post in Pinterest

t-shirt repurpose

And here is my take on the tee:

before teeafter teeme in the tee

Wall Art

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As someone who enjoys scouring magazines and pulling out inspirational things, I am totally addicted to Pinterest.  It is my virtual collage of inspiration.  I regularly pin things that I’m sure some day I’ll actually make.  After several months of pinning, I realized that other than the Good Thoughts Jar, I hadn’t worked on any projects.  I woke up last weekend and decided that I was going to start working on projects, not just dream about doing them.  My first project was inspired by a pin using wooden embroidery hoops and stretched fabric.


I’m currently living in an apartment with the standard beige colored walls.  I have no headboard on my bed because the space is quite small.  I decided to take inspiration from this pin and make a “Virtual Headboard” out of the fabric and hoops.  Being the detailed oriented person that I am, I also needed to embellish them – plain old fabric just wouldn’t do.  I took the color inspiration from my comforter and ran with it from there.  I painted the hoops a chocolate brown to match my decor and used fabric, felt, metal brads, ric-rac, ribbon, and beads.  Voila!  The finished results along with detailed views.  It makes me happy every time I walk through the bedroom.

Virtual headboard.jpg

Completed wall art.jpg

painting the hoops.jpgpink braddedbeaded and embroideredturquoise, brads, and beadspulls the colors togetherfloral and beadsfelt/fabric flowers and ric-raca trio of hoops

Good Thoughts Jar

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The pin that started it all….


I discovered this idea on Pinterest around Christmastime.  I thought it was a wonderful way to celebrate gratitude throughout the year.  The idea is that at the end of each day, you write down one good thought from the day.  Some days I find that I have too many thoughts and it is difficult to choose just one.  Other days, I struggle to find one good thought to add to the jar.  Despite this, I have added a good thought every day for the past 8 months.  On December 31st, I will read through all of the good thoughts to remind me what a wonderful life I actually lead.  No matter what is going on in my life at that time, I will have 365 reasons to be grateful. 


My Good Thoughts Jar as of August- 4 months to go!