What I’m Lovin’ in September

Perhaps we should call these “when Jordan remembers to post” posts instead of “monthly” 😉 I’m behind again, but here are a few things I’ve been lovin’ this September!

1. A big announcement!

I announced last month on social media, but have been delayed in announcing here {I blame it on the fact that my energy was completely zapped for that first trimester 😉 } – we’re expecting a baby girl in January! It’s our first baby and though the journey has been nerve-wracking, we’re thrilled.

PS: I made those booties {using the same pattern I used for the booties in this post} with some coveted Liberty of London fabric.

2.  hey, girl podcast

I am loving this podcast so.so.so much! I saw Laura Miller post about her interview on the hey, girl podcast and immediately downloaded it to listen to at the gym the following morning {look for episode 15 to hear Laura’s story}. Obviously it did not disappoint because I have now binge listened to the entire first season. If you have ever (or do currently) struggle with anxiety, depression, balancing self-care and life demands, etc. hey, girl is for you! With every episode, I feel like they are speaking directly to me. I love hearing about other women’s journeys.

3. Taking time for myself

With a baby on the way, I’m trying hard to slow.down. This was a good reminder.

4. Mr. Bunny is done!

When I started Mr. Bunny at QuiltCon in the spring, I didn’t know exactly what adventures were ahead of him. After sharing him with my quilt guild, they suggested submitting him in the upcoming two-color challenge [since he’s only one color: green]. The challenge entries will be displayed in an exhibit at our local library in the coming weeks.

This was my first wall-hanging and once he’s completed his time at the library, he’ll be hanging in a very special little girl’s nursery 🙂

5. This quote…

I saw this on Facebook and it hit me. Sometimes my anxiety can take over and make everything feel like an emergency. Truth is…it’s not! I’m trying to take this to heart.

I’m hoping to have more makes to share with you soon – I’m finally feeling more energetic and have been getting back to my sewing machine. I even took a free motion quilting workshop with my local guild last weekend – the wishbone pattern was my favorite!

One thing I whipped up recently was a changing pad – I didn’t take a picture, but here’s one I made previously. These are so easy to whip up as gifts – I used the tutorial in this post from Sew In Love {a great post to check out if you have any baby sewing to do!}.

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

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What I’m Lovin’ this summer

Oops. I missed June’s what I’m lovin’ post so I’m combining it with July for a post packed full of summer lovin’!

Did you just start singing “Summer Nights” from Grease? Me too…

Ok now that we’ve got our singing out of the way, read on to see what I’ve been lovin’ this summer!

1. Kimberly of Straight Stitch Designs just released this free swing dress pattern that made it onto my summer sewing list!

I whipped up a version before vacation. I had to take it in a few inches after I finished but once I did I fell in love! I hemmed it [which I should not have & I don’t think Kimberly does] which made it too short for work but I’ve been wearing it steadily on the weekends 😉

I really like the gathers on the back – they add such a sweet touch. And the neckline is the same from her Montlake Tee pattern which I love!

2. This post with 3 Reasons Kids Should Never Open Gifts During Their Birthday Party. The author raises some really interesting points. I think this concept goes beyond children’s birthdays and could extend to baby/wedding/engagement showers too. I always feel so incredibly awkward opening gifts in front of people and I’ve been on the other end of that – feeling insecure about the gift I brought as the recipient opens all of the other far more fabulous gifts.

3. This beautiful post from Little Lamb Studio appropriately titled How Sewing Helped Me Find a Home in my Body.

The more I sewed for myself, the more time I spent unfazed by trends or the fast fashion market, the more myself I felt when I looked in the mirror. I would look at myself and see a girl whose clothes fit, a girl who could express herself, and a girl who had a million possibilities.” – Mary Ethel

Abby Glassenberg shared the article in her newsletter and my heart just exploded as I read it. Mary Ethel is a lovely writer and so perfectly captures why sewing your own garments can be so life changing.

4. becoming minimalist’s post To Declutter Any Room, Ask These Two Questions.

We just relocated my sewing room and in the process I gained work space but lost some storage. I knew I had a lot of sewing stuff but there’s nothing like moving it around to realize how very much I’ve collected (even since our recent move..). It was embarrassing! I started to pare down the fabric & sewing stuff during the transition. It was so tough!

Luckily I have a friend who appreciates fabric hand-me-downs so I was able to send some of my excess to a loving home.

I feel like I do a pretty decent job avoiding hoarder status in most aspects of our home, but when it comes to sewing and crafting I can’t say the same. After the first round of “paring down” [and filling 10 bags with fabric & other sewing/crafting supplies for donation], I put these 2 questions into practice. Very helpful!

5. This article about Toddler Grandma Style is so perfect. I found the post linked in Seamstress Erin‘s newsletter and loved it!

I feel like Toddler Grandma might accurately represent my style and certainly after reading the articledo feel like it “set me free”!

6. This Vegan Chilaquiles Recipe is super tasty and easy to prepare. A nice summer recipe!

We got tomatillos in our CSA basket early in July and I whipped up this recipe. I’ve never had chilaquiles and didn’t know what to expect. Upon tasting, the Hubs proclaimed they’re basically soggy chips but actually really delicious! This recipe will likely be on repeat this summer especially if the tomatillos keep coming through our CSA!

PS: CSA is “Community Supported Agriculture” – basically you buy a “share” from a local farmer to receive weekly boxes or baskets throughout the season. If you have the option in your area, give it a try! It’s a great opportunity to support a local farmer while receiving high quality, in-season produce. It’s also a great way to add variety to your diet – last year our farmer grew Jerusalem Artichokes which I had never even heard of. With a quick google I found an easy recipe & discovered I really liked them!

Find more information about CSAs here!

7. Homemade salsa

PSA: Trader Joe’s sells unsalted tortilla chips & they’re delicious!

Summer + homemade salsa go together, right? We got a giant bunch of teeny tomatoes (differing varieties, but cherry-sized) with our CSA recently and I used them to make this salsa recipe. Delicious!

I hope you’re all having a lovely summer! xoxo

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

What I’m Lovin’ in May

Read on to hear all about what I’ve been lovin’ this month!

1. Me-Made-May

Have you noticed? The recaps have basically taken over the blog this month! 😉

In case you missed them, you can read my #MMMay17 recaps here: Week 1, Week 2Week 3 – stay tuned for Week 4!

2. Avocado Dye

Somehow I ran across the photo below from Ute on Instagram and fell head over heels for the hues created by Avocado dye.

Top to bottom: cotton gauze, linen, raw silk, raw silk 2x, stretch cotton. {source}

Ute recommends Rebecca Desnos’ eBook and I’ve since found a few other sources:

Have you ever used natural dyes? What was your experience like? Any tips?

My friend Shanika uses natural dyes quite often so I’m hoping maybe I can talk her into holding my hand for some avocado dyeing 😉

3. Trailer Stash Fabrics visited my local quilt guild!

A vintage trailer full of fabric, sewing notions & patterns is my idea of heaven. Gina and her trailer visited the Devine Quilters of SC (a local guild I’m a member of) for our May meeting. I purchased a new pattern and 3 colorways of Essex Linen along with some other sewing goodies – stay tuned for my Me-Made-May Week 4 recap to see what I got 😉

I wish I had more photos of the inside of the trailer – it was fabulous! You can read all about Trailer Stash Fabric here and follow along on Instagram here.

4. The ability to “hide” old embarrassing Instagram posts

I was an early adopter of Instagram so there are some photos from way back when that don’t necessarily mesh with my aesthetic now. I haven’t put this into practice yet {so if you want to see those embarrassing photos, better go search now 😉 }, but I’m planning to!

If you want to learn how to hide photos from your profile on Instagram without losing them forever, check out this post from Refinery 29.

5. The Hubs

He’s pretty cool! And this week we celebrated our 5th anniversary!

Five years later, I still don’t regret not having a wedding {read more about that in this post}. I know some people love all the pomp and circumstance [I’m lookin’ at you Mr. President!], but the idea of everyone staring at us during such an intimate moment makes my skin crawl.

Instead we’ve invested in experiences together. Traveling with your partner to a totally unfamiliar place is something I strongly recommend. Better yet, go somewhere that you can’t rely on your phone’s GPS to bail you out {like that time we got off the plane in London and the Hubs thought I had researched how we’d get from the airport to our airbnb…HAHAHA. Seriously not funny at the time, but it taught us a lot about we’d navigate tough situations together}.

low quality vacation selfie because formal photos are not our thing 😉

We’ve got a trip back to Canada planned next month so follow along on Instagram for road-trip photos!

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

What I’m Lovin’ in April

This month’s list crosses a wide variety of topics – I hope you enjoy 😉

1. Making Facebook more pleasant

Like [probably] everyone else, I try to limit the time I spend aimlessly scrolling {see, I haven’t forgotten my New Moon intentions!}. However, because I run social media accounts for several groups/organizations including my office {where I’m known as the “Twitter Guru” ha!}, it’s important that I stay plugged in most of the time. The best solution for me is to ensure I am using the platforms efficiently.

Earlier this month, I found an article titled How to Customize Your Facebook News Feed to Maximize Your Productivity in the latest Buffer newsletter and put the tips into practice. I’m happy to report I’m loving the results.

I learned how to…

  • set my Facebook News Feed to show posts chronologically rather than just by popularity {I wish I knew how to do this for Instagram…}.
  • ask Facebook to show less posts like one currently in view if I don’t care for the topic.
  • “hide” that obnoxious 3rd cousin whose posts are really annoying without him finding out.

2. Smiling with people who matter to me

becoming minimalist shared this quote on Facebook the day the Hubs and I set off on our way to visit his family {perfect timing!}. I always love roadtrips together – no matter the distance – because of the time we get to share with just the 2 of us.

Spring is always a little crazy for us. Lacrosse season picks up in spring and the Hubs is coaching on weekday afternoons…along with his own hockey games sprinkled in, I often only get a few hours during the weekdays to see him. Having his undivided attention [even while stuck in a car] is something I don’t take for granted 🙂

3. Free Patterns

I found Passion and Pins via Maker Style‘s Monthly Edit newsletter then stumbled across her post: Sewing the Trends with Free Patterns.

Usually I find myself browsing free pattern lists feeling totally uninspired. As Anna Maria Horner said about a free pattern during one of her workshops I took “You get what you pay for” which is often how I feel with those.

BUT not with Katie’s list! The patterns she found for Spring/Summer 2017 are lovely!

4. Maker Style’s Monthly Edit newsletter

I mentioned it above and wanted to circle back so I can tell you how great it is. I have been loving listening to the Maker Style podcast while I sew so it’s no surprise that I love Rachel’s newsletter too. I thought I had signed up for it until I saw her post on IG and realized I hadn’t so I hopped on over immediately and am glad I’m in the know now!

Rachel gives shout-outs in the newsletter to fellow makers. I always love seeing patterns “in action” so finding other sewists making styles I am interested in keeps me inspired and I appreciate Rachel gathering them up to share!

You can read all about the Monthly Edit here and sign up!

5. Visual lines your clothes draw

My gosh! This post from Feathers Flights about why she half-tucks her shirts created a major a-ha! moment. I don’t often wear separates, but when I do I often find myself feeling so frumpy [aka: even-shorter-than-usual] if my shirt is un-tucked. I usually opt for the full-tuck {because I’m 90}, but I’ll definitely be trying the half-tuck out!

If you often take pictures of yourself modeling clothes, you will want to check out Heather’s post!

6. Me Made May {sign up here!}

For a few years now, I’ve been following along and admiring everyone’s Me-Made-May posts on Instagram and contemplating participating. Well, I’m excited to say I’m officially signed up!

Here’s the challenge I’ve made for myself:

I, Jordan Slice-Metcalfe, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavor to wear, use, or accessorize with at least one thing I’ve made with my own two hands each day for the duration of May 2017.

My pledge isn’t as creative as some of the ideas Zoe suggested, but I really love seeing the daily posts from everyone else and I wanted to stick with something I knew I could handle 😉

If you want to see my daily posts in May, follow me on Instagram!

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

What I’m Lovin’ in March

Maybe you realized {or you didn’t? #NoHurtFeelings} I’m behind on my What I’m Lovin’ monthly posts. So, as a treat (to both of us 😉 ) I’ve combined January, February, and March for a big batch of all of the things I’ve been enjoying that I hope you will too!

1. QuiltCon

I bet you know this by now! I had such an amazing time at QuiltCon in February! You can read all about my experience in this post and go on a virtual quilt tour with me here and here.

2. Thug Kitchen Cookbook

My mother-in-law got me this cookbook for Christmas and it has not disappointed! The pages are filled with hilariously written recipes and tips embellished with some very flavorful language {the kind I often use when cooking – because let’s be honest – cooking is not a talent of mine}.

My favorite recipe so far is for the To-Go Breakfast Bars [in progress in the photo below] – they are surprisingly easy to make and quite tasty! For the past few months they have been my “go-to” for sharing {I took a batch to QuiltCon to share with my guild and took a batch to work after my grandfather passed away to thank my colleagues for being so supportive – the bars were a hit with both groups!}

We also made the cauliflower “wings” and root vegetable fries which were also delicious.

For the past few years I’ve been making their Hoppin’ John recipe on New Year’s Day so it was no surprise the recipes in the cookbook have been packed with flavor! If you aren’t sure about the cookbook, browse the recipes on the website and try a few. You won’t turn back!

3. Colette’s post about organizing sewing patterns {here}

I found this post so helpful! My current system involves 3-ring binders & plastic page-protectors to house the pattern & instructions. This works great for PDF patterns whose instructions print on regular size paper (I tuck the folded freezer-paper-traced pattern pieces behind the instructions in the sleeve), but doesn’t hold vintage or printed indie patterns very well (too much space around them causes them to slide out too easily). The comic-book-storage sounds like a much better fit for those!

Once I find the perfect organization solution, I’ll share it with you 😉

4. Shoreline Boatneck

If I could just get away with wearing my Shoreline Boatneck every day, I’d consider it. I hoped to have another one sewn up by now, but I’ve been distracted…

5. Paper Tigers

Earlier this month, the Nickelodeon Theater hosted a free screening of Paper Tigers with a panel discussion that included the Superintendent of the district in which I work. The documentary was enlightening. It is definitely a must-see for anyone working in education, serving youth, raising/loving children, etc. {anyone & everyone}. It has started a really interesting dialogue locally that I hope continues and grows.

You can view the trailer below and find where to watch Paper Tigers here.

Paper Tigers Trailer – KPJR Films from KPJR FILMS LLC on Vimeo.

6. My paper-pieced Bunny

I finally dusted off my homework from QuiltCon {see how the bunny started in this post} and finished my Bunny block! I have big plans for him so stay tuned 😉

The bunny is from Violet Craft‘s Forest Abstractions quilt.

7. New beginnings with the New Moon

This week I went to a New Moon Circle hosted by a dear friend.

It was so refreshing, rejuvenating, and inspiring. We gathered, we meditated, we journaled, we shared, and we laughed. It was beautiful.

I have looked back at my journal from that night and boiled my intentions for the next month into 3 over-simplified mantras.

I have felt very scatterbrained lately. I’ve found myself jumping from project-to-project [at home and at work] – becoming very easily distracted by easier/quicker/shinier projects.

This month I want to SLOW DOWN {less multitasking}, FOCUS on one project at a time {giving whatever it may be all of the effort it deserves}, and BE PRESENT in the moment {less scrolling, less distraction}.

*If you’re local {or not! Penny shares great resources}, follow Earthstar Radiance on Facebook – Penny’s meditation classes are the 2nd Wednesday of every month & the New Moon Circle is around the time of the New Moon 😉

8. Our nephew is here!

L to R: on his birth day! > from his first full #SliceSisters day > that time my sister let me wear him > with the Hubs on the day he was born 🙂

To say I’m a doting aunt is probably an understatement. I won’t bore you with all the details and I’m trying to restrain myself from flooding Instagram with baby pics {now I understand why parents post so many pictures of their littles} but it sure is tough! He, my sister and her husband are all adjusting to being a family of 3 beautifully. I’m so thrilled to watch that and treasure the moments I get to be part of it.

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

What I’m Lovin’ in December

The Hubs’ family from England came to visit for 3 weeks around Thanksgiving which is my excuse for missing what I’m lovin’ in November – but I do apologize! Hopefully this fun list will make up for it!

december

1. Challenging myself

While I have made it nearly 3 years without sewing a garment that required closures, I’m working hard to challenge myself to build my skill set to avoid stagnation {but isn’t stagnation so comfortable sometimes?!}

I’m currently working on a Darling Ranges dress that [obviously] includes a button closure. It’s cut and partially sewn. I’m hoping to finish it up in the last few days of my Winter Break so stay tuned!

darling-ranges

2. Knitting

Thanks to my friend Shanika for the support and encouragement (and many tips), I am making some progress on the shawl kit I purchased recently from an amazing local yarn shop, Copious Fibers.

first-color

3. Ugly Sweater Block

I ran across this paper-pieced pattern on Instagram and fell.in.love.! I found some hot pink cat fabric (the cats are wearing gold bow ties which screamed “pick me!”) in the remnant bin at JoAnn’s that I knew would make the purrrfect “Crazy Cat Lady Ugly Sweater Block.”

sweater-block

I turned it into a zip pouch {see it here} for my quilt guild’s annual holiday party Dirty Santa swap.

If you’re looking for some entertainment, browse the #UglySweaterBlock hashtag on Instagram to see all of the blocks others made – they’re hilarious!

4. This roll-up changing pad (DIY)

baby-mat-1

The mat is super-duper easy to sew and apparently it’s quite useful! I found the tutorial in a post full of practical baby shower gifts HERE via Sew in Love.

I made this gift last minute for the Hubs’ coworker so I used scrap quilting cotton that a friend’s mom donated to my stash and some double fold elastic I had on hand. I’m always excited when I can make a dent in my stash to create something handy.

baby-mat-2

5. Crafty Feast

As always, my sister and I had such a blast at Crafty Feast! It’s our favorite holiday market. We love the chance to support local makers and stock up on holiday gifts.

6. Self-Created Podcast

podcast

My friend Shanika launched a podcast with her friend Jernell and I am loving listening in on their conversations! They really balance each other and share some great tips {their Skin Care Episode has me wondering I haven’t invested in a good eye cream yet…}

As I finish this post, I’m launching Episode 3 so I can hear all their tips for self-care just in time for the new year!

You can find all of the Self-Created Podcast episodes HERE on SoundCloud & follow them on Instagram & Facebook for sneak peeks.

7. Resolutions

I’m not really great about setting [or sticking to] resolutions, but here’s one I think I will attempt to embrace 😉

long-walks

What are some of your resolutions for 2017? I’d love to hear them!

What I’m Lovin’ in October

My very favorite month is coming to a close, but no hard feelings – we’re just closer to my favorite holiday: Christmas!

Keep reading for the short list of what I’ve been lovin’ this month…

october

1. This beautiful reminder…

october

What colors have you revealed this month?

2. Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream at Sweet Cream Company

Part of me didn’t want to share this in fear that they would run out of this delicious treat. My Mom, sister, both Hubses and I visited Sweet Cream after my birthday dinner {at my very favorite taco place, Cantina 76} to discover that they had Pumpkin Cheesecake ice cream! It was the best thing I’ve tasted since the pumpkin spice cookies Kathy brought to our last sew-in.

ice-cream

L to R: Pumpkin Cheesecake, Coffee, and Black Sesame Ginger

Sweet Cream is a locally owned ice cream shop with the most interesting flavors imaginable. You can follow them on Instagram so you’re up-to-date on their latest flavors, but be warned: you will experience mouth-watering and serious cravings.

If you’re not local to Columbia, SC – they ship! But you should still experience the sweet shop in person so add the Sweet Cream Company to your “must try” list when you visit 😉

3. Progress on my <> Quilt

Our office was closed for a few days as Hurricane Matthew approached and I got a serious craving to start a quilt {it’s hard to predict when it’s going to hit! 😉 }

quilt-1

I dusted off my Handmade Style book {let’s be honest: there’s no dust on that book. It’s in constant rotation in my sewing room!} and picked out the <> Quilt. It’s made from big blocks which I thought would be a great idea so it would come together quickly {patience is not a virtue I have}.

I’m making it entirely from fabric I have on-hand so each set of “<>” will be different {you can peak at the pair for the middle row here}.

quilt

First set of <> down, 2 more to go!

4. Wrapping bird nest necklaces

It’s been a while since I’ve made a batch of the bird nest necklaces…I’d forgotten how soothing wire wrapping can be!

necklaces

I used to make the nests all the time {so often I sold my extras at the Soda City market for a while} until I started sewing heavily and got too exhausted from pedaling my handmade goods {shout-out to all my handmade hustlers out there: selling your goods is no.joke. – it’s far more stressful than most realize}.

A few weeks ago I got a request that energized me. An organization that is near and dear to my heart recently re-branded and their new logo is a nest. Thus, the bird nest necklaces were a great accessory for their team!

If you have mama birds on your holiday list and are in need of a necklace, let me know – I’d be happy to chat with you about a custom order.

5. Maker Style Podcast

I love listening to podcasts all.the.time – while I sew, while I cook, while I eat my lunch

I’ve shared a few of my favorites before, but the Maker Style podcast is my favorite as of late!

maker-style-podcast

{Click the image to read all the details about the podcast via The Wild Stich}

I discovered this podcast when Indie Sew posted about Allie’s interview on Instagram. I immediately found the Maker Style podcast in iTunes and started listening.

The interviews are great! I really appreciate that Rachel posts all the details in the show notes. If you hear about a new pattern you haven’t heard of yet or want to learn more about the sewing genius she’s interviewing, you can find it all linked on the website.

6. Blueberry Mascarpone French Toast at Drip on Main

This post is turning out to be more like #ConfessionsOfAFatKid…

french-toast

It’s no secret that I love Drip. Last weekend the Hubs and I wandered in for a quiet Sunday brunch to discover that the Blueberry Mascarpone French Toast was still on the menu. DELISH! But hurry in because the menu is changing soon {although I have yet to be let down by any of their menu changes}

7. Palmetto MQG Quilt Block Challenge

We just wrapped up Month #2 of the block challenge for the Palmetto Modern Quilter’s Guild. This month we made Plus blocks.

plus-block

See last month’s block in this post.

8. It’s my birthday month!

Hurricane Matthew’s approach caused our district to be shut down for 3 days prior to my birthday. He totally rained on my parade/plan to take my birthday off (#sewcation)! But no worries – I spent those 3 HURRICAtion days soaking up all that is wonderful: I spent a full day with my sister and spent the other two catching up on the blog (did you notice the extra posts this month?!) and sewing!

birthday-seams

Big thank you to everyone who took the time to reach out to me on my birthday. It meant the world to me!

Hope you are all enjoying beautiful fall weather and soaking up time with family and friends. Until next month ❤ – Jordan

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}