Monday, February 29, 2016

Lacey Length-A DIY

Hey Folks,
A few days ago I grabbed this cute floral skirt at my local GoodWill thrift store for a few dollars. 

I think it will be great for springtime, but it's a little on the short side. 
I often add lace to the hems of dresses, it is so easy and makes for a cute detail and some added coverage!
This is so simple, it's really not worthy of a tutorial. However I've been meaning to share this method of making skirts longer (and classier!) for awhile. I hope the following will serve more as inspiration to add details to your clothes! It would also be a great first sewing project for people who want to get more comfortable stitching.

So, go thrift a cute skirt and get out your sewing machine!
What you need: skirt or dress, sewing machine, pins, scissors, lace trim
1. Pick out some lace trim that goes well with your fabric. I collect lace from thrift shops and various other places, so I had this mint lace in my stash! It is about 2.5 inches wide.

3. Spread your skirt out, measure the hem, and cut a lace strip that is a few inches longer than the hem circumference. You always can trim down what you don't need, it's harder to add on!

3. Find the center back of your skirt and mark it with a pin.
If you don't have a center back seam, press the side seams together and find the back from there. 

4. Starting at the center back, pin the lace around the hem. 
I placed the straight edge of my lace on top of my hem, but you could place your lace trim under the hem edge as well. You may have overhang lace when you reach the end, I recommend not trimming that quite yet.
NOTE: If your skirt is lined, I would recommend you still attach the lace onto the top layer. The reason being, sometimes linings are cut narrower than the main skirt and the lace will hang better when it is as full as the top layer. 

5. Select a zig-zag stitch on your machine. I like a longer zig zag, that is not too wide. Zig zags are great for attaching trims onto garments. 

6. Starting at the center back, stitch close to edge.

7. At the end, trim down excess lace, but leave about 1/2 an inch to turn under, overlapping the raw edge of the starting edge. 

8. Pivot, and stitch down the overlapping lace edges.

9. Trim all your threads and enjoy! 
Sometimes I will layer different laces on top of each other for longer looks.  You can add darker and lighter laces together, just play around and have fun. 

Here is another example of a lace hem I've done (this one added a good 3-4 inches!):

Here is how everything looked when I put together my outfit for today! Not bad for a thrifted skirt and some vintage lace!

Much love to you,
~Yours Ever Sewing~

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Happy Tag

Apparently one of the bloggers I like to read, Olivia over at Summerof1999 
tagged another awesome blogger I read, Ava at LandofQuiet who tagged me! 
How funny how things get around. I don't think I have ever been tagged in my 8 years of 
blogging, so this is pretty exciting.
So here is a shout-out to happy things. Dwell on the lovely, the pure and admirable.
 I am a believer that many of us have way more beauty in our lives than we realize-

Can I hear an Amen?
*sits down again*

These are things which create an overall pleasant feeling which lingers afterwards. 
Honestly, some of these choices DO NOT make any sense, but take my word---they make me happy. (You will be happy to know I cut War and Peace from my list of Happy Books *cough*....)
....Stick around for my nominations below and enjoy!


Jane Eyre-Across Five Aprils-Sense and Sensibility-Hinds Feet in High Places

Jane Eyre (2011)-Mr. Bean's Holiday-Belle-Up (I know this doesn't make sense, oh well)


Orinoco Flow (aka Sail Away)-Scarborough Faire-I See Fire (I prefer Peter Hollens' version)Lazy Days (by Enya)

My awesome mug collection-Church Camp-Rescued Animals-Biscuits and scones

I tag the following, if you don't care to do it, no worries! 

and Bonnie at Bonnie's Blessings

Much love to you all!

-Yours Ever Learning-
P.S. I need to apologize, there were so many formatting issues with this post, I had to delete and rewrite quite a few times! What was meant to take 15 minutes, took about 2 hours! Oops! Anyways, take care!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Magnificat-God Glory

Psalm 34:3 (KJV)

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
I am not going to lie, it has been a rough week.
Every member of the family has had some sort of trial fall upon them, a sort of pile-up you could say.
All at once.
There were prayers, kleenex and a great many cups of hot cocoa. 
It's been a good week, just in the sense that a lot has been accomplished, but it was neither smooth nor easy sailing. 

Sometimes our work for the glory of God is anything but glorious. 

Truth right there folks....

So, several evenings ago I was extremely relieved to have planned an evening out with an older lady from church. I have been hanging on to some ballet tickets for two weeks, and the performance date had arrived. God really knows what we need before we need it. (I have several other examples of that evident in my life right now). 

Turns out there is a professional Christian ballet company called "Magnificat". Their purpose is to glorify the name of Christ through high-quality dance productions. And. . . they do exactly that.
One of the reasons I bought tickets to this (even in the wake of attending Riverdance ) is from pure amazement of what this company was attempting, and curiosity to see how they would execute it...
What a gift to transform the arts into a pathway to point cross-ward, to Jesus.  
In their ballet about spiritual warfare, inspired by C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters, Ballet Magnificat  blew my mind out of the water!

"Stratagem" is not your typical ballet. 
Infused with the schemes and tactics employed by Satan's forces, this ballet is moving, jarring, and ultimately soul-stirring. I highly doubt anyone could leave without asking a few questions about faith, temptation and personal weaknesses. 
During Act 2 I could not help but thanking the Lord. Here we were, our eyes filled with some heavy, dark concepts, and yet there it was. 
Good will win folks. Reality is, this weakness is temporary. Our hearts will be made perfect one day, our bodies new!
 It came first as a whisper in my heart, then proceeded from my lips. Oh savior. 
My comforter and provider. What have I to offer except my praise?
So yes,
Magnify the Lord, I will.
And as the dancers came back on stage at the end of the ballet, something unexpected happened. 
An echo of my heart. 
A dance of praise, of worship. 
 For the honor of One.
That is why they danced. That is why we all must do whatever we do.
For the Glory and Magnification of God.

Luke 1:46-50

Mary's Song of Praise: The "Magnificat"

 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,

    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.

    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him

    from generation to generation..."

When we focus on the Glory of God, rather than the everyday grit of life, our perspective shifts. Will you join me? 
Refocus, shifting our gaze from the earth, to the Holy?

Love you people so much!
Take care!

-Yours ever learning-


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

10 Tips//Reading The Screwtape Letters

"It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds:in reality our best work is done by keeping things out."
 The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
“Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.” The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Demons, Satan, the underworld and temptation. 
 Maybe if you're like me, you are wary of the topic of spiritual warfare, and if not afraid of the general topic, fearful of going deeper into the thoughts of what that actually looks like. 
I have studied the armor of God, as mentioned in Ephesians 6, more times than I can count. 
Of Satan's battle tactics to war against us: I have thought very little indeed.

"There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased with both errors. . ." 
--- Excerpt from preface 

As I have grown up physically and spiritually, I have recognized the need to learn more on this subject, not to scare myself, but to prepare myself. 
In my congregation we do not overly dwell or talk about the tactics of Satan. This is mostly very good.
I don't think Christians should be overly preoccupied by visions of Satan or his workings. 
Indeed! Rather our focus should be on God. 
However, we can take that too far. Satan, as a created being, is not God's equal, but he is His most ardent foe.

In order to better understand tricky mindsets, temptations, and pitfalls common to Christians, C.S. Lewis's "Screwtape Letters" makes a fascinating read.

Obviously this book is not scripture, and by no means should it be taken as such. It is, however, a powerful look into a viewpoint which is not wholly obvious to us. I am 3/4 of the way through and have so appreciated (even if I have not wholly understood or agreed with everything) the insight Lewis had to offer. This is truly a Christian Classic, and I encourage teen/adult believers to give it a try! Far from weakening your faith, I believe with God's power, it will strengthen it!
Though it is a slender volume, this book can indeed be difficult to get through. 
I have compiled some suggestions that aided me ---and I hope some other readers---get the most out of this gripping read. 

Tips for Reading
"The Screwtape Letters"

1. Go slow and drink tea. Better yet sip some hot cocoa! (When you read the book, you will get the reference, I promise!) This is not a "tear through in one night" book. It might look like it is, but in order to digest the information (as well as comprehend complex ideas), it is a good idea to take your time. I know a lot of us have a boat-load of books to get through during the next 10 months, but this book is special! My friend Samantha warned me about this, and as I sat down to read it, I realized how right she was. 

2. Keep a pad and pencil handy. This is one of those reads that would be helpful to outline or take notes on. Make the most of the time and energy you put into this piece of literature! For me, I had so many lessons I knew I wanted to remember, notes were a must! Some chapters or "letters" may speak to you on a deeper level and you may choose to write up a short summary.
3. Reread certain passages as you feel the need. This a good thing do to. So many profound ideas and realities are tucked into the lest expected places! Don't pass them by!

4. Listen to the audiobook as you read. This is optional, but I found it very helpful! There are several adaptions you can choose from (I hear Focus on the Family does a good one!) but I just listened to a classic narration free on youtube. Audio for Screwtape Letters I still read along, but this narration was so enjoyable and lent Screwtape a personality in a non-disturbing way. 

5. Consult a vocabulary list or dictionary. Again, this helped me. I consider my vocabulary pretty good, but there were a few ones I looked up. Caution-there are whole concepts that if you don't know a key word, you will not be able to grasp it. Vocab list You can just print this list ahead of time and consult as needed! 

6. Find at least 3 applicable life lessons. The "patient", as the tempted human is referred to in this book, deals with situations which we can all learn from. This was penned in 1942 England, and as such has some scenarios that are a bit different than the struggles we face today. But the situations can be easily adapted to very real struggles of our own. From factions within the church, being respectful to parents, church-hopping, bad friends, diluted doctrine, to fear and anxiety, war and marriage, identify things you struggle with!
7. Stop and pray. As you feel led, just surrender stuff to God! 

8. Feel free to laugh. There were times for me when I read passages and felt somber and reflective. However my family thought I was going nuts tonight because of the noises of amusement coming from my room! C.S. Lewis really pokes fun at Satan in this book, and there are times of great hilarity! Just the writing style of old Screwtape to young, impish Wormwood is so comical and fun to read. 
 In my copy there is this quote:
"The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn." -Luther

9. End by compiling scriptures dealing with spiritual warfare. This is going to be my final project. I already have some selected, and plan to add more. This book is not a definite look at how it all happens with the "devils" (as Lewis calls the demons). It is a tool. Enhance your study with the word of God.

10. Remember who WINS. In the end, we know what side wins. It's not even a fair fight! Our God is stronger! He is mighty to save! Revelation is the play-book about how it all goes down.  Satan knows this, he is just trying to go down wrecking as much damage as he can before he has to call it quits. Remember that God will supply you with the wisdom and strength to resist temptation. You only need go and ask him.

James 4:6-8 (KJV)

 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Let us repent and humbly submit to God. Let us draw near to Him, and resist those things in our lives which do not Glorify His Name.

And always, let us pray with thanksgiving! Jesus, the Lamb who was slain, He is our victor!
Praise Him!

Let me know how you are and if you have ever read this book!

Much love, 

~~yours ever learning~~


Monday, February 8, 2016

The Night I Saw Riverdance

On Sunday I sat in my orchestra seat, anxiously awaiting a dream come true . . 

 Hello all! I had such a wonderful, WONDERFUL night at Riverdance!
I cannot believe how blessed my father and I were to get tickets.
 Superbowl fans, I apologize to you, but we were not watching the game on Sunday evening.
 I really hope you enjoyed yourself though. In fact, the Superbowl was the reason we got our tickets. It appears the box office was having a difficult time selling tickets for the 6:30pm showing, so they offered a buy on get one deal to the public. 
I am not going to attempt describing it, words cannot utter how amzaing it was to see live!
All I can say is, if you have an inclination and get the chance to go, make it happen. Scrimp and save. Do what must be done, you will not regret it. 

 The dress I wore has been on my radar since last fall. I saw this dress in the Lauren Conrad collection released for Kohls, but at $70, and no reason to buy it, I held off. 
In January I found it again at my local Kohls, and snagged it for a fraction of the cost. Lauren Conrad is one of my favorite clothing brands. Feminine and detailed, her clothing almost has an enchanted feel.
 (look at the detail even of the tags and inside)

 It was my plan to wear it when I attend ballets, which I see periodical throughout the year. I thought Riverdance would not be a bad excuse to wear it for the first time. 
I figured that people who love dance, would excuse the tulle and velvet worn to see Irish step dancing. I was right, and people were very nice in their compliments.

This is my most favorite garment I have ever owned. It tops anything past, or present, and will have to be the standard someday when I choose or sew my wedding gown.

 Wore my thrifted blue flats and open-work stockings.

 Her detailing is so stunning, the back of this dress still amazes me.
It should be mentioned that I wore my navy cardigan over this dress to the performance, as it is still winter.

I really hope you like my outfit. It is so nice to dress up once in awhile. 

Please tell me how you are! 
Much love,


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Life in Focus-January

"Thy gentleness hath made me great,
 and I would gentle  be,
 Tis love that plans my lot-not fate! 
Lord teach this grace to me. . ."
excerpt from "Mountain of Spices"  ( sequel to "Hinds Feet on High Places)
by missionary Hannah Hurnard,

(The new USPS stamps just released at my local PO are just beautiful! I love the artwork that goes into such simple things)

Hello readers! I had a great begining to 2016,  and by great I mean the Lord has really been teaching me about prayer, gentleness, self-sacrifice and peace during my quiet times. Its so exciting to feel like HE is there growing you and aiding you, helping you along and teaching your heart so many deep things. Half the time I don't feel I can fully comprehend it all, the peace in stress, the prayer in busy times, the gentleness amid so much ungraciousness. But, I know it is His work, not my own striving, that will transform us into Christ-likeness.
January 2016, 
in no particular order, 
see here, beauty. . .

1. Finishing -folkloric practice skirt for my dancing

2. Reading-books to uplift the Spirit

3. Starting-A Civil War dress

4.Writing- Scriptures, prayers, notes, and beautiful quotes

5. Adoring-This blessing

6. Working-sewing, fitting and tweaking costumes at the theatre

7.Attempting-the contact phenomenon for performance purposes

8. Appreciating-relief from dry legs 

9. Squealing- over my dream-come-true with cherries on top , behold-

10.Assembling-Blessing bags for local woman in need

Love you dear readers! It is amazing what happens when you take your lens around and see, just see, the blessings all around.

What was special about your January?

I would love to know-so comment below-
won't you?