Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How to Make an Easy Appliqué Owl.

These are some practice ones I made, in preparation for a quilt I'm making. I have very, very limited sewing experience- I just made this up as I went. Luckily it worked! Enjoy. :)

First, you need to make a pattern. I drew mine by hand, but I'm sure one could find something off the internet.
Here's mine. Made with a pink Sharpie, and just on ordinary everyday lined paper. Nothing fancy needed.

This is how close they are- not perfect, but pretty close. :)

I found a honeybun with some crazy material I liked, and if you know what a honeybun is then you already know that the fabric comes pre- cut into strips. No extra cutting or measuring needed. Just be sure to use the back of the fabric for tracing, and realize that your owl will be a mirror image of your pattern when right side up, unless you flip the pattern over.

Next you simply trace it, I used just an ordinary pen.

Here's that mirror image. This is your base piece for the applique. Everything else- eyes, beak, whatever- gets sewn on top of this piece.

Next is the wing. I cut out the wing slightly in my pattern, just so I could get the basic shape of it without having to draw another pattern. Again, make sure your pattern is facing the same way you cut the base piece or it will be backwards.

Simply place it on...

No pinning necessary!

Then place the eyes (I picked out fabric that had these eye shapes already in it, I just cut them out, but you could make yours however), and beak.

This applique is small enough that I didn't need to pin anything, the fabric just stays in place when I sew it. Lucky me, I know.

Add some details, like feathers or some funky stitches, and that's it! All done.

Now you're ready to experiment with whatever interesting shapes you can find on material, such as the wings on the owls shown above.

**NOTE: Unless a special backing is applied or an actual quilting appliqué stitch is used for all details and all around the owl, these will fray over time. I'm sticking this nifty backing on mine to prevent it, but it's just something to keep in mind.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A little note of encouragement

So tonight I was invited to 5 different places at once. My dad says to me, "well... if you time it just right, how many can you hit?" Haha. Love my dad.

Anyway, I go to the one that asked me first, because it's polite. And because I kind of had to, it was sort of a club meeting/ summer social for the Classics club at ASU.

We were supposed to watch Gladiator or 300, or something at least Classics related, but instead somehow we ended up watching Life of Bryan. I want my time back, it was so incredibly offensive. Granted, parts of it were hysterical, but on the whole it made me really uncomfortable.

And it hit me: yep, this is why I usually don't go places.

College kids. Tonight, conversation centered around drinking stories, racial jokes, and things like Harry Potter (which I haven't read btw) and movies I, you guessed it, haven't seen. Not to mention the whole conversation on music, where I hadn't heard a single song they were talking about, and therefore had absolutely nothing to contribute to the discussion.

So I don't have any drinking stories, because the only alcohol I've ever had was one sip of wine at Christmas two years ago (with my mom's permission, she was right there), and 4 sips of kosher wine this year at Passover, because, you know, that's part of it (Passover). But seriously folks, that's it. I don't turn 21 until December, and even when I do I'm not going to drink very much, if at all. I just don't like what it does to people.

I don't have any bad jokes either, because I don't think about things like that. Lascivious references were passed back and forth like 4th graders trading pokemon cards, and I had no clue as to what they were from. Most sexual innuendos I was totally in the dark on. I had no comment on the latest ribald movie.

Can you say... awkward?

I just don't have much to talk to people about. So I sit there quietly and uncomfortably, because I'm pretty much the only one not getting things and not laughing, and it's just awkward. I can't help it! I am who I am, and I'm not ashamed of it, but I feel bad for making others uncomfortable. They don't quite know what to make of me.

Oh well. I guess this is where I say I am what I am: totally naive about things.

But you know what?

It's ok.

That's right- it's ok.

I mean really, what am I supposed to do- go educate myself about these things so I can "fit in?" Read all the trendy magazines, watch the trendy movies, drink the beer, compromise my reputation? I don't think so. There's a reason I haven't done it already, and I'm not about to start.

The truth is, I'm glad I still have my innocence. And even though I know people snicker at me and totally, totally make fun of me behind my back... I'd rather that than be called a hypocrite. Because that's just it... I practice what I preach. Am I perfect? HA, certainly not. It's a process, I can tell you that. But I'm still a person of integrity, still a person of my word, and still following God. Because of my relationship with Him, I can't do those things. My conscience just won't let me.

Is it easy? Heck no. Who wants to be made fun of? Who wants to be alone a lot? Who wants to be known as the girl you can go to for answers on a test, but rarely anything else? Exactly.

It is hard sometimes. Ok, maybe more than sometimes.

But all things in life worth having are, I suppose.

I guess I just want to encourage those few out there like me that it is ok, and that you're not alone. People won't remember a ton about you, but they will remember how you live. And more importantly, God sees too and will reward you for making choices that please Him. He values your innocence! It's really a gift in disguise; when I get married someday- if I do- I won't have anything polluting my marriage. I won't have any baggage. I won't have any regrets! How awesome is that? Well, it is awesome, and completely worth paying the price for.

So for those of you out there making fun of me, I get it. I soooo get it, believe me I know I'm incredibly out of the loop of most of what's going on. But it's ok. I forgive you.

One day you'll understand.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

All the Single Ladies

So what's in the water lately??

Every time I turn around, people are getting married. Like I'll be on Facebook and think, "now who the heck is... OH! THEY GOT MARRIED!"

But it's like every other post on my home page!


I know it's a direct result of the area I live in, and even though on one level I get it, I still think it's a little crazy. I don't think there is, but it's almost like there's some sort of competition to see who can marry the fastest or something, and it makes me a little uncomfortable. Not that there's anything wrong with marriage, even at 18- 20, but whoa people, slowwwwww dowwwwn. To be called an old maid or to be treated like there's something wrong with you at 22 or 23 is CRAZY. Just sayin'.


What I really wanted to write about is letter writing.

Yes, the good old- fashioned practice of a hand- written note on nice stationary... remember those? ;)

One of my dearest friends recently sent me a letter, and I have yet to get back to her. Here's my problem:

I. Can't. Choose. The. Stationary.

I know, I know- that is a completely POINTLESS and STUPID problem, but it's nevertheless true. Here's what goes running through my head:

"Wow! That was so sweet of her!!! I'll write her back today. *goes to desk* Hmmm. Should I use this one, or make her one? Maybe I could use my water color postcards, and paint her something. No, I want to write more than that. Wait. I could use stamps, stamps will work! No... I don't want it to look completely dumb, because other than thank- yous I have owl and kid stamps. Ehhhh... Here! I can totally use these!!! Oh wait.... no I can't, I've had these since grade school, and she deserves something a little more sophisticated than bunnies at a tea party. We are not in 1st grade anymore. AHA!!! These look cute! Oh, darn, why do they have to be invitations?!"

And on and and it goes. I know people, I need help. I think I'm going to just go get some new stationary tomorrow, because I feel awful for not having written her back yet. Oy!