What I’m Lovin’ in September

Yes, I’m a total slacker. I’ve skipped a few What I’m Lovin’ posts, but I’m trying hard to get back on track! I hope you didn’t miss these super fun lists too much 😉

sept

Here’s the short list of what I’m lovin’ in September:

1. My Day Tripper Top

day tripper

Lately I’ve been really focused on building my handmade wardrobe – and trying to finally tackle some of the patterns in my “to make” pile.

Boy am I glad I tackled the Day Tripper Top because I love it! You can read all about my love for the pattern here.

2. Our shed

shed

We got a shed!

I know, the fact that this is so exciting just goes to show how very old I am. The dogs love it – they think we bought them a giant playhouse. The Hubs loves it – finally somewhere to store his stinky hockey and lacrosse gear that will help quiet my complaints about the smell. And I love it because it has become the new man cave – and the old [indoor] man cave has simply become “The Cave.”

Upon evacuating The Cave of all smelly sports gear, my sister and I promptly painted it purple! It’s my new favorite room.

man cave

3. Making my own veggie dogs

veggie dog

This sounds ludicrous, but it was SO easy! And tasty. And now I know what liquid smoke is.

I followed Brewing Happiness’ recipe for Baked Veggie Dogs and I was so impressed with how quickly these came together! And how many people can say they not only know all of the ingredients in their hot dog, but can pronounce them too?! Very worth it. {Pin the recipe here.}

To go with the theme [of faux “grilling out”], I made this recipe for Extra Crispy Oven Baked French Fries – delightful! {Pin the recipe here.}

4. My first Tank Dress

tank dress

The fabric is a quilting cotton print from Anna Maria Horner that I snagged during Sew Charleston‘s fabric destashing on Instagram. The pattern is the Tank Dress by Sew Caroline – she had a sale last week that I couldn’t deny (you should sign up for her newsletter so you’ll be the first to know when she runs another sale!).

I didn’t alter the pattern at all – I usually shorten them, but I was worried that the curved hemline would make it seem too short. I’m glad I left it as is 🙂

I also opted for the elastic casing in the back and I love how it gives the dress more shape.

5. Seeing others enjoy something I’ve made them

Remember how I made my Mom a Beach Quilt? Well, a few weeks ago she sent me this sweet picture of her enjoying it on the beach:

mom quilt

I’ll treasure this sweet picture forever!

6. Podcasts

Podcasts might be the best thing to happen to me in terms of training (because remember all the other thoughts I have while running?) – podcasts are perfect for long runs!

They are probably the worst thing to happen to everyone around me because after almost every run, I send a billion links to everyone I know telling them they need to listen to this podcast…and this one!

Here are a few of my top picks (click the image to be taken to the podcast’s site for more information):

So Money with Farnoosh Torabi

so_money_logo

My favorite episode so far was with Mrs. Frugalwoods (listen here!).

I loved hearing about how the Frugalwoods stay frugal and focused on their goal of retiring by age 33.

 

 

The Anxiety Podcast

anxiety podcast

I find myself listening to this podcast beyond just the long runs (like on my lunch break, on my way home from work, while sewing). Tim JP Collins shares true strategies you can use to get through stress (I love that I can use what I’m hearing).

This episode about how natural movement can help with anxiety made me want to go for a hike and jump on rocks (you know, that thing that people call “play” which we mistakenly think is only for children 😉 )

 

The Millennial Podcast

millennialLogo

Speaking of quarter-life-induced-stress, I’m also thoroughly enjoying listening to the Millennial Podcast. I so appreciate how totally honest Megan Tan is with sharing her story and her struggle. Start from the beginning to follow her story (go ahead and subscribe because you’ll definitely want to continue to follow her journey!).

 

NPR’s Fresh Air

fresh air

I’m not always near the radio in the evenings so I love catching up on Terry Gross’ interviews on the weekend while sewing.

 

 

NPR’s Story Corps

story corpsThese short insights into other people’s life stories are so powerful.

Most powerful to date: Traffic Stop – listen here.

 

 

 

7. Craft Fairs

You can tell fall is on its way when all the holiday craft fairs start popping up. I love craft fairs (as you should well know from this post) and I love going with my sister!

Earlier this month, we attended Martha’s Market Preview Night and it was so much fun!

martha's market

As my sister said, the floating hat and crooked sign are proof that we had a l-o-n-g week!

And then we went to the Indie Craft Parade in Greenville!

indie craft parade

And then we stumbled upon the Farm Fresh Fair in Fountain Inn – it was literally a giant craft fair on a farm! It was fabulous (despite the heat).

farm fresh

Next up (THIS SATURDAY!): The Thrifted Sisters party – shopping vintage clothes while sipping Loveland Coffee?! Talk about dream selfie date (yes, I’ll be going alone. My sister has something planned with her husband. And my husband will be cheering on the Gamecocks [I don’t allow him to waste his spare ticket on someone who could care less about football…aka me]). If you’re local, you should stop by and shop with me!

thrifted sisters

Follow the gals on Instagram for SNEAK PEEKS! {Click the image to visit their IG account}

And only a few more months until Crafty Feast!

8. It’s National Sewing Month!

So obviously I’m planning to finish the month by sewing all.the.things.! Actually, this weekend I’ll be moving all the goodies from my sewing room into our spare room (aka: “The Cave”) temporarily so that the contractors can come and eliminate the MOLD growing in one of the closets. Why didn’t someone warn me how LAME being an adult is?! #IdRatherBeSewing

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, stay tuned because I may be posting some purge items that will be up for grabs (as I’m not sure what I’ll discover hidden in the nooks and crannies of my craft room). If we’re not Facebook friends, shoot me an email (ejslice@gmail.com) to let me know what kind of gently used (perhaps even UNUSED – who knows!) craft supplies you’re interested in. If I find some, I can send you an email to arrange shipping.

I hope you all had a magnificent September and STAY TUNED because my birthday is next month and I’ve got some super duper fun things planned to celebrate with you!!

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Craft Party 2015 recap

Last Friday may have been the most lovely day I’ve had in quite a while. After taking my little pup, Twitch, for a visit to the vet (who officially deemed him a “senior” – as his mama bear that was tough to hear…especially because he’s the youngest of our 3 black dogs), the loveliness began!

My sister headed downtown to spend the afternoon with me. Where should a vegetarian and a recent adopter of the gluten free lifestyle eat? Good Life Cafe, of course. We walked around Main Street and ended up at the Sweet Cream Company. Like a pair of old bitties, we sat on a bench out front watching the traffic go by as we shared a cup of handcrafted salty peanut ice cream.

me & kt

Sister bliss.

And to top it off, we still had the #CraftParty!

#CraftParty table pic

{Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

Once a year, Etsy “hosts” their Craft Party – describe as “a global celebration of meeting and making” – and that it is!

Last year, I founded the Cola Indie Makers (formerly “Columbia’s Etsy Market Team“) with Emily of Butterfly Vintage in an effort to build awareness of and support for vintage and handmade businesses in Columbia.

me & em

The last picture of me & Emily before she moved to Michigan (ironically on the day of our party!).

We hosted our first Etsy Craft Party last year (read all about last year’s party here) which made this year’s planning seem a wee bit less intimidating.

With Emily en route to Michigan as we speak, it’s just me & Shanika (of Life is Pichey) holding down the Cola Indie Makers group in Columbia. So when it comes to planning events (like this year’s Craft Party), we pull in some of our favorite people like MaryAnn of Life is a Maker Faire to help out.

photobooth 1

Me & MaryAnn in the #CraftParty photobooth (props made by MaryAnn)

As soon as we saw that this year’s theme was paper crafting, we knew we wanted MaryAnn on board. As the owner of MASW Designs, she’s our local paper crafting guru – it’s amazing what she can do with a little cardstock and glue!

I have to give a BIG shout-out to MaryAnn – in addition to lending her knowledge and expertise, MaryAnn generously shared her crafting tools and donated loads of supplies for the event. She even sacrificed her valuable time to help us with planning, securing the venue, making samples for inspiration and easy-to-follow instructions for our attendees. I am so grateful for my friendship with MaryAnn – she keeps me inspired and helps support me when I’m in over my head (like with planning this party!).

sticker

Thank you Etsy for the stickers! {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

The party was loads of fun! The event was held at Grapes & Gallery – a local craft beer, wine bar and paint studio (the perfect location for a craft party!).

grapes & gallery

I can’t wait to return to Grapes & Gallery for some painting!

Grapes & Gallery is such a neat place. In addition to being a traditional paint and pour studio, they have a neat rustic, full service bar and a lounge area downstairs which includes a TV and very comfy couch (aka: a place to send your husband while you paint upstairs…).

G&G bar

The bar at Grapes and Gallery {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

Whether you’re interested in an evening of painting or a fun spot to stop by for a drink with friends, check out Grapes & Gallery – you won’t be disappointed!

Just look for the white storefront on Taylor Street (between Main and Assembly Streets) and you’ll know you’re in the right spot!

G&G

MaryAnn & I ready to welcome everyone to the party!

Keeping with our theme of paper crafting and making your own Happy Mail, we had 3 stations: upstairs we had mini-cards and full-size cards and downstairs we had envelope-making.

mini cards

Attendees embroidering mini-cards {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

I love the size of the mini-cards – they are the perfect size for lunchbox notes if you have little ones or gift tags.

envelopes

Attendees at the envelope-making station downstairs. I love how Taylor captured this moment of pure happiness at the party. This might be my favorite picture from the night! {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

For the envelope station, we upcycled cereal boxes (and maybe a few pizza boxes too 😉 ) to make durable templates that our attendees could trace. MaryAnn brought a stack of old National Geographic magazines and maps to use in addition to the scrapbook paper.

{For more handmade envelope inspiration, check out this post about how I upcycled last year’s calendar to make a lovely set of floral envelopes.}

I love this beautiful picture that Taylor captured of my amazing sister:

kt

I’m so thankful for her. {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

In addition to the FUN crafts, we also had 5 handmade vendors onsite – all of which are based in Columbia, SC:

We also hosted 3 giveaways during the party – resliced donated the last raffle prize of the night:

necklace

this brown bird nest necklace with genuine Amethyst stones

{You can view all the raffle items here}

Speaking of raffles – the Cola Indie Makers are hosting one last raffle on Facebook – enter for a chance to win a 2 inch pillar candle (fragrance of your choice) from J. Cottage Industries! Get all the details here.

Thank you to EVERYONE who attended the Craft Party! We are already looking forward to next year 🙂

party

It was an amazing night of crafting with friends. {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

One last MEGA shout-out goes to this guy:

TK

Taylor of Taylor Kearns Media (and his beautiful bride, Caroline)

Not only was he smart enough to marry my best friend, but Taylor was generous enough to attend our Craft Party and take some amazing photographs to document the event. Taylor is a super talented videographer, photographer and one-man-interview-team (I’ll never forget the time he came to my office to interview my boss and I asked where his crew was and he responded “I’m a one-man-show” and proceeded to set up all of his equipment, proceed with ease through his interview, pack up all his gear, head back to his office, sliced/diced/edited the story and ran it that night on our local station…impressed might be an understatement, but he blew my socks off). Check out his website to hear all about his experience and book him for yourself! Speaking of his experience, browse all of his pictures from the Craft Party in our album on Facebook.

I must admit, it was GREAT weekend! The Craft Party was such a blast and I spent the rest of the weekend enjoying mine & the Hubs’ new routine…

Trail running on Saturday:

trail

Yes, that’s the Hubs running the trail with his lacrosse stick in hand practicing dodging with the trees.

And running the statehouse stairs on Sunday (then cancelling out the calorie burn with coffee & french toast at Drip on Main):

drip

So so so delicious.

Can’t lie: I’m diggin’ our new weekend routine.

Again, thanks to everyone who came out to the Craft Party! We appreciate your support and can’t wait to throw another bash next year! {Follow Cola Indie Makers on Facebook & Instagram so you’ll be the first to know about upcoming events!}

Spring Break, Part 1

One of the perks of working for a school district is that we also get to be off for spring break. Just when the year is starting to speed up, we get a much needed break 🙂 How thoughtful.

While we work in different districts, my sister and I have the same spring break this year (yay!). Our mission was to get together a few days with the mission of sewing clothing.

Day 1

Katie has been wanting a Canny tunic for a while. The pattern is a quick sew (with only 2 pieces) so I offered for us to make it together. We kicked off our week by converting the Canny tunic to a dress!

canny dress

My sister in the Canny as a dress.

Stay tuned – I’ll be blogging about how you can turn the Canny tunic into a dress on AddieK’s blog soon!

I gave my sister some recommendations for my favorite sites to order fabric from and let her pick which to order. She chose a burgundy and black chevron pont de roma knit fabric from Girl Charlee. It’s no surprise that my sister ordered chevron (she loves chevron) and it’s definitely no surprise that she ordered garnet and black (go Gamecocks!).

I have not worked with pont de roma before, but my-oh-my this fabric was so stinkin’ soft I just wanted to pet it! It has a beautiful, easy drape. It’s sturdy, but has a good stretch. For the deal she got on the fabric, I had low expectations, but wow – it was dreamy. Girl Charlee is my go-to for knit fabric – great quality and great prices.

And…later on that evening, I spoke on a “What are they doing now?” career panel hosted by USC’s Arnold School of Public Health. This was my second time speaking on the panel – the first time, the room was so full there were students standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the back. The program has really grown since I graduated! (And obviously the students are still just as curious as we were about what on Earth to do with your degree in public health.)

I love looking out at the wide-eyed, bushy-tailed students – they’re so full of motivation to save the world, but yet scared to death about what the future holds (and for these students, they obviously want to hear it holds a j-o-b). I was one of the first 10 or so students to enroll in the undergrad [public health] program at USC so I always feel like a dinosaur when I talk to current students. Nonetheless, I am so honored and so humbled to be asked to speak on such a panel 🙂

Day 2

I had been intermittently working on my second Noodlehead Envelope Clutch (remember my first?!) since the weekend. While my sister cut pieces for the Canny dress on Monday, I snagged a few minutes to add a few more stitches. I took my time to get all the details right. I even added 6 additional card pockets to the interior (opposite of the zipper & 3 card slots). I wanted it to be a functional wallet that I could throw inside my Noodlehead Super Tote (remember my Super Tote?!) during the work week and pull out as a grab-and-go bag for the weekend and running errands.

My finished Envelope Clutch!

My finished Envelope Clutch!

I know, you’re probably going all heart-eyes over the fabric aren’t you?! I picked up this stunning print while in England over the holidays. I fell madly in love with Cath Kidston while we were there. On Christmas, Jeremy’s Aunt received a London Buses bag from her cousin and my mouth started watering. The print was so whimsical and as Jeremy’s Aunt started telling us all about Cath Kidston’s themed stores (where everything – from wallets to notebooks to luggage – is covered in these novelty patterns), I knew we had to visit the Newcastle location.

The store was such a delight. I wanted to move in and stay there forever, but my Hubs hates to shop (especially for fabric) so I beelined for the corner where they had the fabric stash and picked one to take home with me. While I really liked the oilcloth selection, I decided to go with one of the cotton prints (more of a canvas/home decor weight) because it was familiar and knew I could use it for multiple projects.

envelope clutch 2

How perfect is that sweet little butterfly?!

For the interior and wrist strap (PS: this is my favorite wrist strap tutorial), I used a shimmery gold home decor fabric I had lying around. I wanted to make pink piping for the exterior of the bag, but decided to forgo because I became impatient (le sigh…must get that under control). The pink fabric used for the inside of the zipper pocket and for the card slots was from a pair of medical scrub pants. It matched the fabric perfectly!

envelope clutch 3

I wish you could see how perfectly shimmery the interior is – these pictures don’t do it justice.

I can’t speak highly enough of Noodlehead patterns. Anna is pure genius. The details of the bags may take a bit longer than what you’re used to (if you’re used to sewing basic bags), but they are so worth it! In the end you’ll have a bag that you never get tired of because it is so stinkin’ functional (which is what has happened with my Super Tote which just underwent its first washing because I literally use it daily for work)!

I’ve been eyeballing Anna’s recently released Caravan Tote & Pouch. The bag has a lot of little details that are specifically handy for knitters. While I’m not a knitter, Jeremy’s grandmother is – and while we were in England she was working on knitting my third(!) sweater! To say I love her might be an understatement so obviously I’d like to make her a Caravan Tote.

Stay Tuned

Coming later this week, I’ll share with you the rest of the projects I’m working on! I’m hoping to stay on this super-productive-sewing-kick for the rest of the week! 😉

Thrifted Thursday: Sailor Skirt

A few weeks ago I hit the jackpot while thrifting. I found this super 80s (though I have no idea which decade it’s actually from) sailor dress that was in perfect condition and just screamed “take me home tonight!” So I did.

It's like I'm a life-size version of how my Mom dressed me at age 4.

It’s like I’m a life-size version of how my Mom dressed me at age 4.

I know what you’re thinking: “Jordan, why on earth would you even consider refashioning this dress? It’s like 11 shades of all things perfect!”

Well, friends – here’s my defense:

1. Long dresses are a short girl’s worst nightmare (is it possible for my legs to look shorter?! Oh yes, it is.)

2. My sister’s birthday was fast approaching and I had not even started on that bag I’d promised her (new designs are fun to dream up in your head, but extremely intimidating to actually start so I’d caved to the intimidation…for now). I knew I wanted to make her something special. She loves sailing so obviously she loves anything nautical and THIS was IT.

In addition, my sister had recently started a new job (being that myself, my sister and both our Hubs started new jobs this year, we’ve declared 2014 “The Year of the Slices” – which includes spouses 😉 ). She was transitioning from the classroom to take on the role of a “Reading Coach” at the same school where she’d been planting her roots for the last 5 years. Since she’d be out of the classroom and in meetings a lot more often she’d already started the hunt for more “grown-up” clothes. So I thought: “I can help with this!”

My definition of “grown-up” clothes is a little skewed. Rather than being defined by suits of any kind [I. will. not!] I believe in cardigans. Lots of cardigans! And this was about to be a “just-add-cardigan” outfit!

While trying on this beauty, I realized the back zipper stopped just above the skirt. Meaning: I could easily chop off the bottom and preserve the top without struggling around removing a zipper. Win!

One last chance to truly appreciate this beauty..from the poof sleeves to the square collar with bow embellishment, it's just too stellar.

One last chance to truly appreciate this beauty..from the poof sleeves to the square collar with bow embellishment, it’s just so stellar.

Like any thrifted outfit, I started by washing (because duh) and drying – a recommendation for all fabric you work with. Whether you are chopping cloth off the bolt or refashioning, always wash and dry so that you don’t end up with an outfit for a toddler after it’s first wash.

I used some washi tape to secure the sides of the dress to the door I’d hung it on. It’d probably be better to cut on a flat surface, but I like to bend the rules for my convenience.

Since I’d decided this would make a super easy (did I mention my sister’s birthday was fast approaching?!) elastic waist skirt that would be a perfect gift for my sister, I started by cutting the skirt off just below the gathered top/waist of the original dress.

taped edge

Snip snip!

This pretty much ends my photographed steps – I’m not so great at documenting my visual progress. However, I loosely followed a tutorial I found a while ago that worked for me – it’s this one from Extra Petite.

I adapted this tutorial a little: I omitted the pockets because my sister always complains they make her hips look too big. If you love pockets and have little hips like myself, include them – they’re fun! I also decreased the width a bit because the first skirt I made following the tutorial was a bit too full for me.

Once I had inserted the elastic waist band, I had my husband stretch the skirt to it’s full capacity. Then I went around it and vertically pinned a few places about 6 inches apart. I used those places to stitch vertical lines so that the skirt wouldn’t bunch unevenly at the waist. Bonus: you can’t see the stitches because of how they fall between the bunching.

pinned elastic

Here you can see the pins – they are a bit closer (maybe 3 inches) once the elastic is “un-stretched”

And – tada! – the final product of this simple skirt:

skirt

Makes for a pretty cute skirt, right?!

While it is cute on my door and all, it’s way cuter on my sister!

Excuse the wrinkles (though you probably didn't even notice because of all the cuteness!), I made her try it on as soon as she opened the present!

Excuse the wrinkles (though you probably didn’t even notice because of all the cuteness!), I made her try it on as soon as she opened the present!

Seriously! How cute are these two?!

Seriously! How cute are these two?!

TIP: I have several skirt tutorials pinned on my Seamstress Dreams Pinterest board where I collect all the clothing tutorials I’ll probably never try, but dream about conquering one day. I usually read several tutorials before starting a project like this and combine little pieces from each until I get what I want.

I hope you enjoyed this #ThriftedThursday post!

PS: I’m still working on finishing up the matching top. Keep an eye out for that one – coming soon!

{Catch up on all the Thrifted Thursday posts here.}