Monthly Archives: June 2014

Waters Wears: Reconstructed Men’s Tee

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Here’s the men’s t-shirt that I mentioned altering in my last post. It’s a men’s size medium, and I cut off about 9 inches from the bottom, with the shape curving down on the sides, which is called a “sharkbite” hem, I believe, and rolled up the sleeves and tacked them in place with a bit of hidden sewing. Pretty simple, and although I like the over all look, I wish I’d left the shirt just an inch or so longer. It’s meant to be a crop top but my belly just showed off a little too much for my liking when it was worn with these shorts (which I didn’t have before I cut the shirt), and adding an inch of length wouldn’t bother me any. I think this crop top would look great over high-waisted skirts or just thrown over a dress as well. Since it’s a men’s shirt, the shoulders look a little broad in comparison with the new bottom hem to me, but I think it looks alright when on.

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Though they didn’t look it in real life, these shorts looked much shorter to me in this set of pictures. This made me a bit uncomfortable, and I like my shorts longer, anyway, so I checked the cuffed hem to see if they could be unfolded, and they could a little bit! I used a seam ripper to break where the cuffs were sewn in place and unfolded them, which gave me around almost an inch more of added length. I have another pair seen here that look about the same length as these did to me, and they don’t look as revealing, so I’m not sure what made the difference. My only guess is material. These high-waisted shorts are made of a more stretchy material, while the other shorts are closer to traditional denim.

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I wore this outfit out to eat with Tanner and a couple of his friends. My throat is still recovering from being sick, but I was able to eat pizza, real, solid food for the first time in about four days! That was nice, and I didn’t realize how hungry I was until I started eating, haha. I can usually make it through two, maybe three pieces of a small pizza on my own but I probably could have eaten this whole pizza if I hadn’t stopped myself.

Anyway, my only issue with this outfit after lengthening the shorts is that the shorts aren’t quite as high-waisted as I’d like in order to wear them with this crop top without showing off more of my belly than I want every time I barely move my arms. But now I know, at least! :)

Hope you guys are having a good week!

Shorts: Rue 21
Shirt: Fruit Of The Loom men’s four pack, altered
Shoes: Faded Glory
Necklace: vintage Avon; it was my grandmother’s

Sickness And Chain Rings

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No outfit post today – though I’ll hopefully get one up later this week – because last week I got super sick with the same thing my husband had the week before, and was still recovering this weekend. This means I didn’t get much done last week in the way of crochet or crafting of any kind, although I did make a few easier things and play around with some Tunisian crochet when I had spurts non-dizziness.

It was hard not being able to do anything creative while I was sick, so – again, when I wasn’t too dizzy – I spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking at inspiring clothing, crochet, and items since I couldn’t make much of my own. One thing I saw was a picture of the rings from this tutorial, and I thought hey, that wouldn’t be too hard to try, I could probably manage, and looked over at the bit of jewelry chain I had lying on my desk. Very simple to make, and there’s a lot you could do with this idea as far as adding embellishments, using different types of chain, etc., but it is a little weird having a ring that isn’t a solid round shape. It feels like I could lose the ring easily. Still worth a try, though!

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I was also able to do a bit of t-shirt recon on a men’s t-shirt from a four pack I bought, but that might show up in an outfit post soon. We’ll see.

Being sick is no fun, guys. I hope you and your families are all feeling well!

Yarn Storage and Pattern Tests

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For YEARS I’ve wanted glass front storage for my yarn, so that I can see all the colors but it’s all protected from the cats, mice (I lived in front of a cow pasture growing up so mice and rats were common, and one day I had an unfortunate, stressful event involving two adorable little mice and my entire yarn stash, not cool), and anything else. A few weeks ago I got this cabinet from my Nana just for that purpose and man, does it make such a difference! I love being able to see all my yarn, it helps me see types and colors I had forgotten about or not been so inclined to use, and to know what I’m running low on or out of so that I can be more efficient when I buy new yarn.

crop top yarn storage

After a few weeks of struggle with patterns failing and just not working, I was reminded of one of my favorite yarn/stitch/hook size combinations and utilized it in a new way in a fringe crop top and this experiment above. I wanted to try changing hook sizes to create a waist, and while this top turned out okay, I think the method would work better for what I want using smaller hooks than what I used (or maybe increasing the width of the waist, since what really bothers me is how the stitches stretch out when the top is worn, and I’d like a more solid look), although I do like the colors in this top and the general idea. I’m not sure I’ll make more exactly like this one, though.

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The cabinet has also become Phoe-bug’s favorite new nap spot for now. She’s even up there sleeping at this moment.

Anyway, hope you’re having a good week. God bless ya’!

Waters Wears: Grey Days

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Is it a stretch to compare the last couple weeks with an outfit? Haha. Weather wise, we’ve had crazy mini rainstorms off and on – literally, the sky will fall out one minute, then it will be sunny and clear, then a few moments later we’re back to storming again. Tanner and I have both been battling various sicknesses and some other struggles over this time. I personally feel like I’ve been in a fog of tiredness the past few months or so, whether related to constant allergy battles or not, I don’t know. But, and here comes the analogy, just like the grey dress, though grey, it’s by far not ugly, and these grey days aren’t all bad. The rain, although aiding in the issue of grass and weed growth in our garden, has also helped veggies start growing, and we’ve found ourselves with an abundance of squash and others on the way. And though we’ve been sick, I’ve enjoyed time with Tanner alone, just the two of us. That’s why I really wound up loving this outfit, the pops of color in the necklace and shoes against a pretty, albeit grey, background.

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This dress was given to me by my good friend and cousin, Elise, who helped with these pictures a while back, along with some other clothing. I plan on going through these clothes with my sister-in-law, Mae, and as this was actually the dress Elise wore in Mae’s wedding, it feels like it should end up with Mae should she want it. I just happened to find it in my closet and pull it out on a day I felt like wearing a dress or skirt that was comfy and light for the hot summer weather.

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The best friend, Kelsey, was around when these pictures were taken, and she always seems to bring out the silly in me. This was another pop of color; Kelsey and I don’t get to see each other as often as we used to, so getting to hang out with her for a day was really nice.

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Dress: Speechless (several years old)
Shoes: Call It Spring
Necklace: made by me

Waters Wears: Brown and Blue

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Here’s the skirt I mentioned in my last post. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, although I meant for it to be a bit longer. I’m really into wearing stuff high-waisted lately, and the cool thing about these skirts I’ve been making is that while the elastic in the waistband is cut to fit the waist, it’s strong and stretchy enough that it can be worn and any level between waist and hips. As such, however, I think the skirt needs to be just a tad bit longer so that it’s a little more comfortable to wear (at least personally) at waist level. I am wearing my trusty cut off leggings/shorts under this skirt, though, as I almost always do with skirts and dresses.

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This skirt has a bit of evenly spaced increasing in every other row of the first five rows, as a method experiment for fitting over hips. I wanted a subtle flair on the bottom so starting just a few rows before the color change there are also several rows of evenly spaced increases. This wound up giving pretty much the effect I wanted, which is cool, and it also makes the skirt really fun to spin and twirl around in. :)

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This weekend was not a normal weekend, as plans got changed and cancelled for various reasons, so maybe a bit of boredom or just being stuck in the house, or maybe just a desire to make something else, led me to making the vest/tank, whatever you want to call it, below.

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It’s a really simple top done in my favorite stitch and texture combo – Caron Simply Soft with triple crochet using an N-9.00mm hook (whoa, crochet nerd alert? Yes, yes I think so. But that’s just how it is :P)

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And also, yay fringe!!! Not everyone’s cup of tea, I know. But I love it.

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I think this top would look great over a dress.

This top was surprisingly hard to get decent pictures of, but I did have fun slowing down the shutter speed and catching some cool, albeit grainy, spinning pictures.

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(How cool is the fringe in this one?)

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Since we wound up going almost nowhere this weekend, I don’t really feel comfortable saying I wore these for much. I did wear the skirt out to get groceries with Tanner, but that was only for maybe an hour and a half tops, and I wouldn’t have worn it if I hadn’t made it, promised I’d wear it, and wanted to attempt that. haha. I didn’t really realize how silly it was to wear the skirt out for that short of an amount of time until it was already done. Oh well, I will probably wear these in the future for more involved occasions.

I hope you all had a beautiful weekend, and God bless you through this week.

Navy Blue Tanktop: Faded Glory (old, but you can find plenty similar at Wal-Mart)
Crochet skirt: made by me
Grey Tanktop: No Boundaries
Crochet Fringe Top: made by me
Shorts: Beta House
Shoes: Faded Glory

A Crochet Skirt To Relieve A Design Slump

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If you’re someone who designs patterns or things, or owns a handmade business, you may understand what I’m talking about. Sometimes you get in a slump and things just seem like they’re not working.

Actually writing down my patterns and being serious about documenting sizing, yarn type, hook size, etc is new for me, and up until the past few weeks had been going fairly well. But last week I worked on a crochet top pattern the whole week only to find on Friday that I realized I didn’t care about this pattern and knew it wouldn’t be something I’d want to make over and over. Commence frogging and a restart. This time I tried I tried a different style top I’d had in mind, and while I still like the idea I was iffy about whether the way I was constructing the top was the best way to go about it. Maybe I was just second-guessing myself since the project before was such a bust, maybe there really is a better method, I don’t know. But either way I did something I’d tried not to do since getting serious about writing down my patterns, I decided to set the project aside and work on something a bit more mindless, just for a break.

I pulled out the beginnings of what was meant to be a pair of shorts, but I’d wound up not liking the shape so had decided I’d make it into a skirt someday, and began to finish it. So far I’m liking it, and the shape is different from other skirts I’ve made in the past, so it will be fun to see how it wears once finished. It’s been nice to work on something where I’m not having to write down every little detail, but I’m still learning about shaping this style of dress, better ways of joining yarn, etc. so this little excursion from more “serious work” isn’t useless. As my method seems to go, I tend to make a pattern without documenting details, but working out the general idea and shaping, doing problem solving and trying to make something I’d personally like to wear, then if I really like it and think it would be something I’d enjoy making over and over again (which is really a make or break it for me when it comes to making items to sell, which I do from time to time) I’ll set out to make it again, this time improving the pattern and writing down stitch counts, changes, construction notes, etc.

Anyway, I’ve been filled with relief getting to work on this skirt after feeling really bummed out and unsure about the past couple projects. It’s just been a nice stress relief. I’m really excited to see how this skirt turns out. If it goes well, I’ll probably wear it in an upcoming outfit post! I guess I just got a little down on myself since things weren’t going well with designing lately, even to the point where I was doubting all my designs and whether I was even good or people would actually like them, even though I knew things weren’t really as bad as they felt. But I’m feeling hopeful again, so I guess maybe working on this skirt was just what I needed to do.

Do you ever go through a slump like this in your designing or running your business?

God bless and I hope you have a beautiful day!

Garden 2014: Blooms

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We’ve had a few blooms pop up these past few weeks! It was like right after I took the last pictures, haha. Blueberries are looking good and I’m so ready for them to be ready, to freeze them (my favorite way to eat them) and try them out in different recipes.

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All our squash plants, except that sad little one at the corner that I’m not quite ready to give up on yet, are looking great. These pictures were taken last Friday, and since then we have even more baby squash growing. Exciting!

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The majority of our pepper plants are looking, and growing, great. I can’t wait until these peppers are ready to try them out.

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The cantaloupe (muskmelon) plants are finally blooming now, too, so we’ll see how that goes. We weren’t sure they were looking that great, but the blooms seem to indicate they’ve been doing fine.

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Cucumber are looking good, too. Again, there’s one plant that doesn’t seem to be growing well at the end, but it’s actually looking alright. So we’ll see what happens with that. They’ve got their little curly bits growing now, but I wasn’t able to get a good picture. Maybe next time. We’re going to have to start training them to grow toward the edge of the bed soon, the stems are getting so long.

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We caged all the tomatoes. They’re supposed to be staked, but until we get stakes we’ve just secured them in a few places to the cage. Hopefully we can get some stakes soon.

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Mae’s garden areas are looking great, too. Little wildflowers have started to sprout in the little bed beside the house, and since these pictures were taken several of the verbena have bloomed and it’s been quite lovely. The above two pictures are of her sunflowers and morning glories. Growing well and getting tall.

As far as other plants, we’re still waiting and watching the okra, and the strawberries are continuing to do well. However, we need to put straw down as the strawberries are laying in the dirt as they grow and we’d like to fix that. Also, since this is soil taken directly from a farm, we’ve started to see little bits of grass sprout up, so we’re hoping laying some hay down will help alleviate that, too.

As life goes, myself and a few of my friends have been having various struggles. I know we can’t be the only ones, so I’m hoping and praying that us, and you, if you are in a similar place, can let go of fear and trust in God’s power and love. Though we feel at times abandoned or frustrated, we know His love is faithful more than any human love can be. Just, maybe that’s a little encouragement for you from someone who’s still trudging through fear and darkness herself. God bless, and I hope you have a beautiful day!

Waters Wears: Zebra Gum Skirt (Plus Day To Night Outfit)

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I received this skirt from my sister-in-law after a closet clean out. Although it reminds me of traditional Mexican dresses (probably because of the rich, bright colors) my friend, Kelsey, said it made her think of “Zebra Gum,” a staple from both our childhoods, which was apparently commonly called that by us 90s kids even though the real name is Fruit Stripe.

I wore this outfit to church and out for lunch afterward in the morning with my husband, but switched the skirt and shoes out for something more comfortable for a trip to the movies later that night with friends. I decided to get pictures of both the outfits since I had time, so you could see the transition.

Morning –

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I think Mae said she got this skirt from a shop on a trip to San Francisco, but I’m not sure if I’m remembering correctly. The tag had a website listed, but the website doesn’t exist anymore, so that’s sad. If I find out more about this dress or its makers I’ll be sure to update.

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I think the bright colors make me happy.

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I made these bracelets a while back and I’ve worn them here before. Though the blue doesn’t match the blues in the skirt, I thought it still looked nice with this outfit. The ring is from Forever 21, a few years back. It’s a favorite of mine, I love that it’s a double ring but delicate, with a hummingbird and flowers. It’s also nice because the band sizes allow me to wear it on several fingers, so it’s a little more versatile.

Evening –

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I switched out the skirt for these shorts, which I’m still digging. I think they, along with the bright red shirt give this outfit a retro look, although the tie-front and boat shoes probably help.

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My friend Elise, who helped me take these pictures a while back, made me try this on while on a trip to our local Factory Connection. Before I put it on I didn’t really like, it, but once I saw it on I actually liked it a lot. Paisley’s kind of my favorite print so that probably helped. :) I think it looks great over bold colored tanks like this one, but would probably also be nice for a little extra coverage over a sleeveless dress.

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These shoes were a gift to me from Kelsey’s father before I went on a trip to Europe a couple years ago. They’ve accompanied me on adventures in Germany, gotten utterly soaked while treading through puddles (some more like small ponds) and pouring rain in Paris. They’re a bit worn and dirty, but I haven’t bothered to clean them. They’re a nice reminder of those memories.

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Dragon-baby. Full name Blue Eyes White Dragon. If you get the reference gold star for you. :) He slept on the bed while I took these outfit pictures and was fixated on the blinking light of the camera while I grabbed a picture with him.

zebra gum skirt

Hope you had a beautiful Sunday!

A church sign I saw last night that said “Jesus Christ’s love casts out fear,” at a moment of prayer about this very thing, reminded me of this verse: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” – 1 John 4:18 It is a thing I have been struggling with lately, and looking over these outfits, being reminded of the day they were taken and all its thoughts and events, compelled me to share this here.

Skirt: Unknown at the moment
Button-up/Tie-front: Poetry
Tank Top: No Boundaries
Shorts: Beta House
Wedges: Dr. Scholl’s
Flats: Call It Spring
Bracelets: made by me
Ring: Forever 21 (old)

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