Monday, February 21, 2011

The Birthday Cake and it's sad fate.

Happy Birthday to my Best Boy, CHAD! If I'm grace, he's my Jack. Keeps me laughing! Keeps me smiling! And we have both missed each other's birthdays for about the last three years! So sad. So this year, I was so excited because Chad was having a fun party with Karaoke and fun times all around! And plenty of drinking, even though I'd be knockin back the shots of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider and Apple Juice. :) Ha. Anyway, As official best friend, I decided I was going to make the cake! 

Now last March I made rainbow cupcakes and chad LOVED THEM! And he asked me to either make them for his birthday or for a pride-week-party. So when he told me he was having a party for his birthday I claimed the right of cake making. 

 So as I started making the cake (ALL DAY SATURDAY) and went through SO MUCH food coloring, I decided to finish it Sunday after church before I headed up to Logan for the party. It rained all Saturday night, which melted all the snow (which was awesome) but about seven o'clock at night, I looked outside and there were flakes as BIG AS MY FACE! Okay maybe not that big, but they were HUGE! But the problem, was by morning, this is what we had:
And This:

 And this:
A foot of snow! And it was still snowing after church. Now, for those of you who have driven to Logan from Ogden know how scary Sardine Canyon can be. I've had friends get in really bad accidents through Sardine, and you also know that driving through Sardine Canyon in a snow storm is NOT an option unless you're in an Army issued HumVee or a Snowcat! And in my little subaru, I decided it was much too dangerous. So once again, I had to miss my boy's birthday party. And i was sad. 
It didn't stop me from enjoying some cake. Even without Chad! So I had my own birthday party for Chad at my house. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHADDY! Thanks for the five years of amazing friendship!
Maybe we'll be together for my birthday this year! Your cake was tasty. And super pretty. And the gayest thing I've ever baked. :) 

Baking Soda & Vinegar

This is what happens when my Nieces get together. And when my sisters egg them on and get involved.
Aren't cousins and sisters so much fun!?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

One Project Down! New Sunday Dress

So the first thing I made on my new sewing machine was something I felt I really needed: A new sunday dress! I love Wal-Mart's $1 a yard fabric table. They took it away for a long time, but this last summer and fall they brought it back, and I spent a lot of time taking detours to Wal-Marts to stock up! I may not have much in terms of food storage, but if there's a disaster, I'll be dressed very snazzy. 
So I took some of my dollar-a-yard fabric and made myself a new dress!

I used a vogue pattern for the basic form and made a few changes! One thing I did that I love is the piping! I added piping to the edges, the sleeves, the waist, and above the pleating on the skirt. I also found these adorable matching buttons and put them on the front.

I think it turned out fantastic! I was very happy with it, and got many many compliments on it! I did something while sewing this dress that I don't normally do while sewing. I took my time. I'm a speed sewer. I can whip out a costume way fast, but with this, it took some time. I didn't have a deadline, and I wasn't hurrying. I worked on it a few hours here and a few hours there. And it turned out clean, and very professional looking! I was very proud of it!

And I love the sleeves with the faux cuffs and the piping. The piping just gives it a great detail and keeps the lines clean and sharp. I'm kind of addicted to the piping, not gonna lie. I'll have to be careful not to put it on everything I make so I don't get sick of it and I don't have a million dresses with piping. :)
So here goes
Fabric: $4
Piping: $6
Zipper $2
Buttons: $1.50
So my new dress cost me a grand total of $13.50! Doesn't get much better than that! I love finishing a project, because it makes me excited to start a new one. And I love the feeling of finishing a project. Actually finishing it. The zipper, the hem, everything. not having to be safety pinned into it (like my prom dress, seriously! or so many costumes.) It's so complete and wonderful! 
Oh yeah...
And I LOVE my new sewing machine. It's like working with a dream. :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My New Arrival! And Upcoming Projects!

The hardest thing about school, for me anyway, is the time. It takes up probably 70% of my time, work takes about another 10% and sleep takes about a 10%. That only leaves ten percent for showering, driving, (not eating, since I do that while I study or work) and doing things i WANT to do. Like sewing. 

It's especially hard right now, because Shawn just helped me buy this:
 The Viking Emerald 203. I have wanted this machine for quite awhile now. I LOVE it! It's an amazing machine with lots of feet and capabilites and stitches! I finally feel like I have a machine to fit my needs as a costumer! I wish I could have had this machine last year when I was working on Midsummer's! Would have made things so easy! 

But I am desperately using any spare time I have to work on projects. And I have a few lined up! 
First of all, Since I've gained quite some weight I desperately need some Sunday dresses and skirts that I can wear to church. I'm kinda getting sick of the few that fit me. I also intend to use This exposed Zipper technique on one or more of my dresses. I loved it when Seth Aaron did it on Project runway and I intend to use it! I also need to construct a new temple dress since I don't fit into mine anymore. And I just can't get myself to rent the white muumuus they have in the temple. 

Other project:

My sister, Celena is pregnant. And I'm praying like crazy it's a girl. I don't know why. I guess it's just been a while since we had a niece born. And I found these Fabrics and want so desperately to make her little girl a quilt! Isn't that the cutest fabric!? If she doesn't have a girl (sigh) I found some adorable Whale Fabric that I'll make my new nephew.  But let's cross our fingers that it's a girl!!!!

And my last project includes this:

 I LOVE BATIK FABRIC! When I was in Sri Lanka there was tons of Batik (kinda where it originated from, although many cultures and countries have made designs and techniques their own) ANYWHO! I have wanted to make myself a batik quilt for a long time now. And I LOVE these Peacock colors. I'm really into them right now.  And I want to make myself a pretty quilt out of them. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Children of India: Sponsorship!

I know a lot of you don't have time or money to volunteer in India with Risingstar outreach. Even those of you who would love nothing more, but there IS something you can do to help. Each child that attends Rising Star Outreach's school can't do so for free. We rely on volunteers to sponsor children to attend the school. So as a sponsor, what are you paying for?
Many children of leprosy-afflicted parents living within a colony do not
actually have Leprosy themselves. As a family unit, however, they are rejected from society due to a lingering stigma around the disease. Thus, they are often unable to acquire adequate employment as adults and the vicious cycle of begging is perpetuated. Within a Leprosy colony conditions are often dire; children face challenges of limited fresh water and healthy food, inadequate medical care, and terrible hygiene. Sometimes they are taken out and used as beggars on the streets. As a result, the children grow up living lives of filthiness, sickness, and deprivation, with little reason to hope for anything better in their futures.

Rising Star offers a life-altering opportunity to these children. At their parent's request, a child is placed within a Rising Star home where they receive the life necessities that they would otherwise go without. This placement greatly increases the chances of not contracting leprosy and allows us to help create a promising future for each child.

A glimpse into a Rising Star home reveals a clean and cheerful sanctuary, staffed by loving caregivers and volunteers committed to the well-being and growth of the children. The children are provided daily educational activities, developmental activities, and the opportunity to simply "play"-a rare luxury for a child of the Leprosy colonies. They are also afforded an opportunity to learn personal and group responsibility. Most importantly, they are hugged and encouraged, giving them a new sense of self-worth. 

It goes without saying that most of these children arrive at Rising Star severely malnourished. We provide healthy meals three times daily, as well as nutritious snacks, as outlined by a professional dietician. The quality and abundance of the food makes a huge difference in the well-being of each child, both physically and emotionally.
Rising Star Outreach provides for all the children's medical and dental care, including vaccinations and bi yearly check ups. In addition, we teach the children hygiene skills that greatly improve their overall health. Most of the children have never received basic vaccinations and typically arrive already in developing stages of several different debilitating diseases. For example, in one of our toddler homes (housing 30 children), several had the beginning stages of leprosy and several more had TB. Almost all had parasites, scabies, lice, and various skin diseases. Catching these diseases in their initial stages and providing treatment early saves much suffering, deformities, and in some cases, their lives.

Education elevates a Leprosy Colony child from mere survival to being able to create opportunities for both himself and others. The Rising Star school recognizes that many of these children crave learning but have been denied the opportunity. While public schooling in India is a possibility, most colony children are not in a position to take full advantage of it. Some are even taken out daily to beg. When they do attend school, they often drop out early due to the disrespect and disdain received from both teachers and students.
The Rising Star school provides a warm, inviting environment where curiosity is encouraged. Within the school, a child is taught among other things, English. English is the chosen language of businesses within India and is a great stepping-stone to attaining a good job when the child is grown. Knowing English can mean a 400-500% difference in salary for the average Indian. Computer literacy and skills are also taught. A child leaves Rising Star well equipped to survive and excel in India's fast-growing economy.

As a part of a small "family", as well as the larger Rising Star home community, the children are guided in developing relationships. Instead of sitting on a corner as a beggar, or being shunned by a stigma they can't understand, they learn to develop friendships and self-respect. They learn to work together for the good of society and to contribute their special talents to that end. They work individually at times, but more often in groups. Thus, they are able to experience achievement on a group level and consistently learn about their own intrinsic worth and potential.
While Rising Star Outreach is not affiliated with any specific religion, each child is taught that they were created by a loving God who loves them and cares about them. They are taught to pray and develop their characters in accordance with principles of kindness, honesty, and service. The children are taught also to respect all religions.
Me with Mohan Kumar, the little boy I sponsor!
He's so little here! I can't wait to go back and see him!
As one of our Rising Star Outreach sponsors, you agree to support this child as he or she grows up. In so doing, you contribute financially to their care, education and development. You also agree to support them emotionally and to continually encourage them through quarterly communication. In turn, the child you sponsor will keep you updated on their lives through quarterly communication as well.
While your child is very young, it will be difficult for them to understand the concept of a sponsor. However, as they grow up they will be taught about the family or families who are making it possible for them to be at Rising Star. By the time they reach the age of 18, when your sponsorship finishes, they will know you well and understand the great opportunity you have provided for them to rise above the colonies.
You and your family will slowly become known to your child, and they to you, as the child grows up. As they do, it will be with an awareness of the kindness of strangers. From your example they will learn a sense of responsibility for taking care of others that will hopefully be perpetuated as they go out into the world and attempt to make a difference in the lives of others who need it.
Sponsoring a child in India will have an impact on you and on your own family as well. We encourage you to place a photo of the child you sponsor in a prominent place in your home, and make sure that your own children know and understand the decision your family has made to help this Indian child. You will find that the blessings that come from your kindness will have far-reaching effects in the lives of those you love.
We invite you to participate with two other caring families to help give a child the opportunity to come to the children's homes and attend the Peery School. Unlike most charities that provide schooling alone for needy children, Rising Star Outreach provides complete care of the child - in addition to their schooling needs. This is necessary because of the unusual circumstances of children in leprosy colonies. The monthly costs for each child are much higher than most other charities. We wish this opportunity to be available to all interested people; therefore, we combine sponsors to equal the needed monthly amount for each child.
The cost to sponsor a child at Rising Star Outreach is $30 per month. This can be paid on a monthly, semi-annual, and annual basis. 
You can visit rising star's website to set up a payment plan for sponsorship! It also gives information on how to contact your child and keep in touch with them! I hope you take this into your heart and think about it!


Missing Katie and Damon: A tribute to Tie-Dye

So last night (Groundhog day) My friends Katie and Damon who are fantastic and quirky and wonderful had a tie-dying party. Katie was my roommate my second year at Snow College and her husband attended there after us. But they are awesome. Anyway. They had a tie-dying party, but since they live out in Nowhere faraway land in Spanish Fork, I couldn't go to said party for 2 reasons: gas money and i needed to study. Well I bought a white hoodie because I thought I'd be able to go to the party, and I really wanted to dye it. So I found some dye I had laying around from other costumes I'd dyed before. 

The white hoodie. (It's from Old Navy, super soft, super comfy, and on sale right now.
They have other great colors as well)
Tie it UP! You can kinda control the way your patterns will look. Lines? Folds? Circles? SQUARES? You can do it! Just THINK about it, you'll be surprised how cool it will turn out.

Put the Blue and the Purple in buckets of Boiling Hot Water. Don't put the Dye Fixative (if you choose to use it) in the dye. Wait, but I took this picture and it showed it all. Tulip has brighter color dyes, but I like Rit. I just trust Rit dye more.)
Dye your garment! You can tie it with tons of stuff, twine, thread, ribbon, rubberbands, etc. I prefer rubberbands because they're sturdy and tend to control the binding a little more. And my mom does a paper route, so i have a pretty good supply.

I ran water over this to get the dye out as much as I could, which wasn't much. :\  But I also soaked it banded up in hot water with the dye fixative.

I let the shirt soak in the dye for about an hour while i read a chapter in my history class.  Then I cut off all the rubberbands. Taking them off one by one just takes forever and your fingers will lose feeling. :) But here's a view of the front

And A view of the back!

Then I soaked it in the water with fixative without the rubberbands. The only thing I don't like about doing this is that it seems to  bleed jsut a little. I don't know if I'll do this step next time.
After this step I taook it out of the fix bath (yes like photography) and I ran it under hot water in the tub for about 5 minutes, then cold water for another 5. Then I put it in the dryer.

Finished! I wore it to school. The front was Okay, BUT

The back turned out way neato!

Anyway! Try tie-dying something! Look for white clothes when you go out. Shirts! Pajama/work out pants! Socks! Hoodies! Fabric that you can sew into something else! Cotton fabrics work the best btw.
Have a great day! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Current Obsessions

So it's been a while since I posted one of my "current obsessions" posts. But here you go! I usually only do 5, but this time I had 7 I wanted to talk about! Enjoy!

My new bangs. My friend, Jen, is amazing with hair. I've never met anyone who has done my hair and never disappointed me. Even when I feel a little anxiety or apprehension as the process goes on I always tell myself to shut up and trust Jen, because she knows what she's doing. Anyway, I have been letting my super short hair grow out and right now it's at the length of my chin. I hadn't gotten it cut for over 6 months and Jen decided to give me short fringe bangs. At first I was like...what? um...okay I guess..then she did it and I LOVED IT! Totally fashioned after Audrey's Breakfast at Tiffany's bangs! I'll try to post a pic sometime.

For Christmas I finally received something I've wanted for years: CS5 editing suite! It's amazing and I am finally able to do everything I've been trying to do with Photoshop 7 for years. I feel so uninhibited and free with my photo editing and design! Celena even sat down and showed me to use brushes! (I admit, I had never known anything about brushes!) and I LOVE IT! So fun!

Chuck. This show is SO FANTASTIC! I get it in my netflix, so I only get one disc every three or four days, so it's not too interfering with my school work, but I just LOVE IT! Chuck is ADORABLE and charming! And now I love Zachary Levi in Tangled even more now! He's so clever! And I love Adam Baldwin since he was in Firefly! And he's perfect as Casey. Anyway, Love Chuck. Reminds me of something that would happen to Russell.

My new Chucks. I hate getting new Chucks. I love my old broken in chucks and have since I can remember. Also, I haven't bought a new pair of chucks in YEARS because I don't want to appear as one of those girls who wears them now because their trendy. But my black chucks have been worn out for a few years now and I hvae been putting off buying a new pair. But then I found these at Christmas and Santa got them for me. I loved them, because their SPARKLY! (You know how much I love Sparkle!) But they're awesome because it's like I'm just wearing black chucks but then as I move, oh wait...THEY SPARKLE! I love em.

Running. I've been running lately, and while I in the past have HATED running, it feels great to spend 12 hours at school, pent up all that anger and frustration, then go to the gym and run a few miles. while I'm doing it I keep thinking, "wow. I hate this so much. I'm going to die!" and I feel like Homer in the above picture. And there's all these pretty skinny girls and totally athletic boys breezing by me without breaking a sweat, going 4 laps for my every one. But after I do about 2 miles I'm very proud of myself. (And very hopeful that the weight will start coming off soon.)

Love this website. Cutest fabric ever. And I know you probably wouldn't think so, but they are very affordable compared to other websites with quilting fabrics. Check out the whale fabrics. i am going to make a quilt from it. Someday. When I'm not spending hours on homework. :(

The Walking Dead was a TV show that premiered in October about a Zombie apocalypse. Now, believe me, this show is NOT for everyone. It has gory zombie death, gory human death. But let me tell you what I love about this show that you don't get in my favorite zombie movies including Zombieland, 28 Days Later, and Shawn of the Dead. Since this show was on TV it isn't chuck full of the F word. Now I admit (with much chagrin since my mother will be reading this) that the F word doesn't bother me when it's used once in a while in movies or plays. Just doesn't. One of my "liberal artistic downfalls" (yeah liberal) I guess. Anyway, Zombie movies tend to be FULL of them to the point where it's distracting. Also, I LOVE the characters like I have never loved characters in a zombie movie before. Amusingly even a member of the bishopric in my YSA ward loves it too! Anyway, I finally watched it, and had really been wanting to, and love it. If you like Zombie movies, or even just really intense stuff, watch it. It's not on DVD yet, so you'll have to download it. Rumors are that there will be another season this October, this time with about 16 episodes instead of the 6. I hope so. I really want more. That was NOT a closured ending for such an intense season. They have to have more.

Anyway, those are my obsessions as of late!