Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer Style 4//Sewing India

Hello Dear Readers,

I come to you with the final pictures of my India dress!
I know some of you wanted to see it, and after some wait, I am happy to share.

The dress was made from a long, very large, lounge dress, which I thrifted some time ago for around $6.
I unpicked the entire dress, and then cut out my own pattern pieces.
 I used (a greatly altered version of) this old pattern from the 90's. The main thing I liked was the princess seams and the cap sleeves.

This whole project started over a year ago when I began obsessively browsing traditional Indian clothing websites. 
I just love the fabrics and details on many forms of ethnic clothing.
Indian clothing is no exception.
However, tunic styles do not look very good on me, and even though I would love to own some traditional Indian clothing of various styles (I actually do have some) I wanted something I could wear everyday.
I decided I wanted a regular style dress (i.e. fitted bodice, gathered skirt) with some serious Indian fabric and flare.
After Princess Kate went on her India tour in April (2016) and styled her Anita Dongre dress into a more contemporary style, I was all ready to start sewing.


The only other things I needed for this dress besides the original dress, was some piping, a zipper and some single fold bias tape.
Oh, and a bit of red braid for the hem. ;)

~*~*~*~

This dress should not have taken me so long, but I worked really slow and unusually carefully on it, as it means so much to me.
I was very pleased with both the fit and the final look!

The cap sleeves, the neck detail and even the use of the bias tape as trim and piping were inspired from my online browsing.

The piping is continuous up the front, and then down the back!
The fact that it is not split at the shoulder seams is probably only a detail I will know, but it is, at least, a small matter of pride!

I added a nice gold belt and thought it pulled everything together.
However, the show-stopper of this dress is (as it should be!) the epic border print!
Look at the hem!
Glorious, no?

So anyways, there you go!
I hope you enjoyed it.

I am heading up to church camp this weekend, so this will be my last post for a while!


xoxoxo
Lexi



Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Creativity Lately

Hello Lovely People!
The last 6 months I have compiled some miscellaneous photos of recent projects and artsy stuff,
so it's time to share!

Hope you enjoy!

-Flan
Over the last two years I worked on perfecting the fine art  of "Flan", which is a custard in caramel sauce, commonly served in Mexico.
It is one of those things that can be a bit tricky (until you get your method down), and my family now expects me to make it for family get-togethers! This is one of the two I made for my Padre's birthday in February. I did my own garnish of raspberries and mint!



-Mystery Tea
At the end of March my friend Marie and I helped put on our tea-fundraiser at church. It was a team effort really, we two just put on the entertainment part of it---as Dr. Jane Watson and Sherlockiah Holmes!
We put on a skit and it was wonderful (if slightly crazy at times). We had a bunch of jokes and funny British lines thrown in. My "Watson" outfit came from the theatre I work at, and Marie's plaid "Holmes" dress was thrifted. We brought in sets (from our local homeschool drama play which we both helped put on early that year) and hauled furniture!
(Left, Me---Right Marie)


- Spring Scarf
Sometime during the early spring I found a remnant of semi-sheer floral from a local fabric source. So I fashioned a cute lace scarf. It has a cool design, maybe I'll show the finished thing sometime!


- Refashioned T
My awesome friend Samantha worked at a resort island last summer, and brought me back a cute "Mackinac Island" t-shirt! It was a bit too big, so I remade it! I took the sides in, cut the hem to be curved and added fun "bo-ho" trim. Ta-da!


-Journaling and Prayer Box
My sister went to a missions conference this spring and came home with "love" gifts (a small gift to show you love a person) for everyone. She is pretty awesome! And kindhearted. And maybe generous too? She gave me an owl prayer journal, and also a PRAYER BOX! You write one-liners (or one-worders) about things that are really troubling you, and you give them to the Lord, then close the box and let go!


- Pattern Haul
I hit a $1 pattern sale and stocked up!
Enough said!


- India Dress
In April came the bombshell news about the Royals visit to India! And I was super excited to see Kate's wardrobe! This dress has a very long story, but suffice it to say I was intrigued/inspired by  Kate's use of a traditional garment, turned modern. Here is a sneak peak of my "refashioned"  modern India dress!


- Polka-dot Cards
In late June I gathered with friends for epic card-making!
This is my personal collection called "Polka-dot Fiesta"!
Super cute!


-Redecorating
Also in June we weekend in our old family cabin. It's a mountain cabin, and my mother and I are redecorating (or trying to!) for the first time in 40? or 50? years!
I found that white shabby-chic dresser on the side of the road and it looks great with an old family mirror! (I also thrifted the old lamp!)



-Mending Beanie Boos
This is kinda funny, but I am now a surgeon for stuffed animals.
Six year old Kayla at church apparently knows I sew, so she came to me Sunday with Doggy and Turtle and I am now "vetting" them. Doggy just needed his back sewn. But Turtle had a fin accident and needs reconstruction. ;)


Anyways, in between there has been family mending, flower crown making and a bunch of other stuff.
But this is what I've got for now!
I hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of beauty.

xoxoxo
~Yours Ever Creating~
Lexi



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer Style 3//Secret Garden



“If you look the right way, you can see that the 

whole world is a garden.” 

― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden





“It made her think that it was curious how much nicer a person looked when he smiled. She had not thought of it before.” 

― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden




“There's naught as nice as th' smell o' good clean earth, except th' smell o' fresh growin' things when th' rain falls on 'em.” 

― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden



“As she came closer to him she noticed that there was a clean fresh scent of heather and grass and leaves about him, almost as if he were made of them. She liked it very much and when she looked into his funny face with the red cheeks and round blue eyes she forgot that she had felt shy.” 

― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden

~*~*~*~
Dear People,
If there is ever something I should not wish to hide from you, it is these two things:
1. My never fading fondness for children's literature,
&
2. My never fading fondness for flowers.

Never forget mind you!

*ah*
There is something enchanting about flowers.
My escapades in flower photography started young, but I particularly recall the summer of my 16th year.
It was very fortunate indeed the neighbors did not call the authorities on me for "trespassing". For I was very persistent and sly in getting all the best "shots".
Now a-days I still love taking photos, but the camera quality is better and my social boundaries are more developed.
Now I just hit the back of our church where we have those lovely flowers (pictured above) that set-off the mountain backdrop beautifully. And no one knows but Pastor...
;)

This outfit was made special by my first LIVE flower wreathe. My grandparents were throwing some bouquets away and I managed to save  the good clippings. I am sure my grandfather just wanted to get the trash out, but I could not throw good blooms away. 
The result was that after I came home, I bobby-pinned them into formation.
Easy peasy, and beautiful!


Flower button-up tank//pink tee//denim fitted capris
-thrift stores

I guess you could say it was all second hand, even the flowers!

Anyways, 
I hope this may have brightened you day a bit.

And do not fear,

I have many more flower pictures to share later on!

God Bless You and Keep You,
May He make His face to Smile Upon You!

~Yours ever blooming~
Lexi



Monday, May 23, 2016

Laugh at Yourself//Cat Ears and the Governor


Laurie, Me, Tracey

"Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we shall never cease to be amused"
-Unknown


Friday night I got to meet our Governor.
Very charming woman. So kind and gracious.
She came by our costume shop at the childrens' theatre to rehearse with some of the young people for a special event.
I wore cat ears when I shook her hand. 

~*~*~*~
My boss Tracey and friends Laurie and Alima were there too, of course. 
Alima even had a vintage headscarf under her ears and Laurie and Tracey had their ears decked out as well.  I decked my ears out with colorful daisies.
See, 
when you work in our costume shop for long enough... 
you earn your ears.

For every major show we work, we wear our ears.
These ears distinguish us and the kids know that the "cat ears" are the people who work the costume shop.

And I mean,
com'on people.
When there is whirlwind after whirlwind of things to get sewn, mended, altered and handed out,
you gotta have some fun!
At the end we were wearing not only our ears, but anything else we could find.
At one point I had on ties around my neck (we pre-tie men's ties and wear them so we can quickly hand them to boys who need them done properly), a vintage apron from a pile I had been sorting, and my ears!
Thankfully it wasn't that bad Friday!
When I shook the Governor's hand.

~*~*~*~
It is a truth that I have had to learn to laugh at myself, because well, if I didn't know how to laugh at myself, I'd be completely mortified. 
All the time.

Yes. 

If you are one of the amazingly talented people who always watches other folks get into "ooopses" while you are standing there all dignified,
high five to you!

I will never ever be that way!
This is a little ensemble I came up with late one night after a show back in February.

My beloved sister, who is my total opposite in every way except essentials, told me that one thing she really admired about me was that I can laugh at my mistakes.

Honestly though,
this is more of a skill I have learned over time than a naturally bestowed gift.

Trust me, when your life is MY LIFE, you get plenty of opportunities to practice being amused by the crazy things that JUST HAPPEN.

Prevention or damage control is just not possible.
I've tried.
Things WILL go amiss.
That's just part of being Lexi.

And living life entertained beats curling up in the fetal position and groaning over that time you walked into the wall. Or put the TV remote in your purse. Or texted your dad's work associate a picture of you eating nachos in Civil War attire.
Yeah.
That picture was meant to be sent to my friend Lisa.
Not good.

I am currently proudly keeping a log of 2016's most awkward/embarrassing moments. I have limited myself to one per month.
Needless to say I haven't had trouble so far.
May's moment just got ticked off.

And guess what?
I wasn't really embarrassed by it. 
Seriously, this one wasn't bad. It was kinda cute and the Governor seemed to like our quirky "uniform".
It was fun!

And honestly, I thank God for the ability to laugh.
I laugh at things no one else thinks is funny.
I laugh when I am all alone.
My family sometimes thinks I've lost it.
And sometimes at dance I smile, not a "I'm enjoying this activity" smile, but a "oh man that was such a funny time when..." smile.

And it's GIFT.
Pure gift.
To laugh at yourself.
At your own mishaps

Don't take yourself so seriously.

Cause in  the end,
it's not about you.

And sometimes amusing things  JUST happen.

And when you think,
"Oh man, what a mess I am."

Just remember, you might be the light-hearted example that someone else needs to see.
So get up off the floor, dust yourself off and laugh with your friends.
Cause everyone needs a good chuckle.

And laughter is a Gift.


So put your cheetah ears on.
And smile!

Life's too short not to.

~Yours ever amused~
Lexi

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Week I Gave Up


This was the week.
Or two weeks.
I can't seem to recall.

You see my friends,
it was the time when you have so many things to do,
when everything around is expanding your world, that you GIVE UP.

Yeh. You Give Up.
You give up perfecting. You give up blaming.
You give up controlling and fearing and not trusting.
You give up correcting and excusing. 
You give up on yourself.

And you give into something else.

And you feel your inner person free-fall.

Free-fall as every human must learn to do when they grow up into an adult.

And God be Thanked,

I am His child, and I fell out of my controlling will, 
and surrendered myself to Him.
And let me tell you,
it was surprisingly peaceful on the way down. 

It was indeed the most complete surrender I have ever done.

I really gave up on me.
I gave up trying to change myself.

Aside from repenting when I sinned,
.....and repeating a dozen times a day that,
"Lord, Your face do I seek."

I did zip.

 I let things go.

And...
it was amazing.
I made it through my crazy week(s) just FINE. 

I didn't feel the need to make a list of things to 
"work on."
In return for not forcing myself to "do better"...
what happened?

I did not fall apart.
 I forgave easier.
I could handle more stress---
'Cause I wasn't requiring perfection.
Really, all I did was finally receive God's Grace.
His Love.
His forgiveness.

But it took me drastically giving it all up.
Giving up, and giving into Him.
My long prayers I wrote out meticulously, in order to BE SURE God heard what I meant, and that I didn't miss anything, so that I didn't have to WORRY, cause ya know,
if I misspelled something or didn't word something right, God might not hear the prayer...yeah those went out the window.

I said stuff that sounded so unspiritual like,
"Lord,
It's a beautiful day. Surrender me. Take care of things. I trust you.
Amen"
 

Then I had a mug of tea. Because Jesus would probably want to share some Earl Grey if He was visiting and letting me share my heart with Him. 

And wow! 
How simple is that? 
Can God like really do anything drastically in my life when I leave the power in His hands rather than my words or deeds?

Yes Lexi.
He can.
It's not up to you, you need to relax.

You're His child.

You don't need to perform.
You don't need to get through that spiritual check list.

You trust God.
So Give It Up.

Don't be motivated by guilt or fear.

Turn your face to Jesus.

Those things like service and scripture reading.
They will come.

From an overflowing of His Love.

But right now.

Be still.

You need to break this lifelong cycle you have been in.
So stop it.
Just breathe in His love.

"But won't I mess up?
If I don't constantly double check everything in my life, won't it all spiral into mass chaos?"

You trust in God, Lexi.
You keep messing stuff up WITH YOUR CHECKLIST.
So just stop.

And besides, don't you believe that God is strong enough to get you out of any mess you might get into?
That He is God and you are not?
That you can't save yourself?

So I stopped.
I gave up. All my works.
I gave them up.

I listened to calming music instead.
I murmured the 23rd psalm for devotion and imagined a love bubble around me when I was stressed.

And it was crazy scary.
And there are still times when the guilt monster whispers in my ear.
"You are not doing enough..." 
And I itch to try to earn my position as God's child.

Because it is good and profitable to have seasons of service and long prayers and 
everyone does need scripture poured into their veins. 

But it is not what saves you.

You are a fraud if you think going to church and reading your Bible saves your soul.

When your striving to change yourself keeps God from transforming your heart,

...you need to GIVE UP.

You need to experience what Christ did for you.
That His blood saved you.
Not that thing you once did to help someone.

You need to feel what forgiveness feels like.
What unconditional love looks like.
And you need to trust,
That when we stand still,
He can take care of things.
Verily, verily!

And then, in a bit,
when the seas are calm and you KNOW what it means to be loved by God...

...then will come all the joy and peace.

Not forced change,
but heart transformation.

And you will see the stuff happen in your heart you could never do by your will power.

And He will receive the Glory.

Not you.

And that my friends,
is why I Gave Up this week.

You can pray for me if you want.
I would appreciate that so much.

And thanks.

Yours ever trying to
BE STILL,

Lexi

P.S.
Oh, and by the way. I will mess this thing up.
And try to fix my heart again.
But that's okay.
Because God's grace is sufficient and I am not perfect.
And He will carry us through.


Ephesians 2:8-9(KJV)

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast."

Psalm 46:10 (NASB)


“Cease striving and know that I am God;


I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

*As with any post of this nature I feel led to note that I am not advocating anything like not attending church or doing the things the scripture instructs believers to do. I am saying to put all your trust, and your hope in God alone. Far from making our own way, or rebelling, I am advocating total dependance in the Lord Jesus Christ. Letting go and giving it all up, whatever that may be for you as a Christian. It is my deepest prayer that God will do a great work in my heart as I lay down my works, so that I can truly be a vessel for Him.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

I Want You to Know


Do you know what I love about reading blogs? 
Why I spend time scrolling through my feed each day?

It used to be for various reasons.
I loved to see what people were sewing, I loved to see the things people were recreating.
I was focused on learning new information regarding my hobbies and interests.

Now, I just love reading about the people.
I want the stories.
The truth, the realities.
The prayers, the songs.
The heartcry.
I want to see their baking and their clothes too, but mostly I want to hear their thoughts.
What did you read? Why did that make such an impact on your precious heart?
Tell me about that time when you struggled, how did you come out the way you have?

I love how blogging can allow folks to share their deep spiritual truths with me...
a person they will probably never meet.

Yet please know dear bloggers, your words have an impact on me.

I think about what you have said as I drive to work.
I remember that quote you posted during our Sunday service. I am relieved when I feel something you felt, and I know that I am not alone in this.

I love how you let me see you,
let me know I have fellow sojourners in this thing called life.

I love how I can relate.
How I can relate to you, a writer many thousands of miles away.
And sometimes, 
sometimes I am so moved,
that I pray for you.

Yes, I do.

Your words, they don't have to be perfect.
I appreciate your honesty.
You can write something, and then learn and come back and tell us you have learned something different.
I like it when you tell me your joys.
And I feel your sorrows too.

This thing called life,
it is wonderful to express it in words.
And you dear blogger,
you are BLESSED with that gift.

Not everyone can share as you do.
Not everyone has the courage to stand up and speak truth to the internet.
Or to let others see them honestly.

Especially when our lives aren't perfect.

But you have courage.

And I want you to know,

....that I count you one of my greatest inspirations.

When I am worn out from a long day, when I need to zone out and rest my weary personhood on the couch, I reach for the laptop.
And,
I go to your blog, to read YOUR thoughts.

So, thanks friend. 

Thank you to all my fellow bloggers.

You are truly a light in my life,

May God Bless You and Keep You,
May He make the Sun to Shine upon You

as you write, and share, and learn with the rest of us--on these precious corners we have,
called blogs.


With Gratitude
~Lexi


Friday, May 6, 2016

Summer Style 2// Cinco De Mayo

"Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals in cities and towns across Mexico and the United States."~ History.com

 Hola mi amigas!
Well yesterday was a day which I look forward to every year, and as has been my custom for the last few years, I dressed up for it!
I call this one "Fiesta for Work" and yes, I did go into work like this, which is why it did not get blogged about yesterday!
Can I just say that I love festive colors? I thought my mustard yellow skirt I made back in November looked very nice (minus the bow it used to have.)

My jewelry included a colorful bead bracelet and one of my favorite necklaces featuring stone-cut birds. And although the bracelet is from Ecuador and the necklace is more of a Native American piece, I really liked their bright colors.

My awesome trio of flowers definitely made everything tie in. I love the flower headpieces we wear in Folkloric dance and these colors were so pretty...

I really did a last minute job making it with floral wire, just fast and simple:
 The big bobby pins were reinforced by smaller ones, once the headpiece was installed at the peak of my updo.
You can see it forms a nice "cap" for the crown of a bun. I will want to wear this again for sure.

But the main attraction of this outfit is my embroidered blouse/dress. 
I wish you could see it in person!  It was a gift from my grandmother a few years ago, and I try to wear it on Cinco. Very special.

And so, that is that!
I had a great day, praise the Lord, and ended it with dance practice! (Although I admit I had to sadly change from this grandeur into more athletic clothes.)

I hope you enjoyed this! 
Much love to you!

xoxo
~Yours ever trying to be festive~
Lexi
 
Images by Freepik