23 November 2016

No buy day vs. black Friday madness

The day after Thanksgiving has become completely crazy. 


People are trampling, beating, cutting, pepper spraying and killing one another-for stuff. 

It's all just stuff! 
As Americans our homes are full of stuff, over flowing with stuff, junk, trinkets, things, moments from everywhere. Our closets are jam packed and over flowing. 
We have a show about people who have too much stuff, they even have a special name for them-Hoarders. 
But, what about "normal people" who have too much stuff, but it's all put away and organized neatly?

Who are these people fighting over things at stores and hurting others? 
I can't even believe that we as a society have gotten bad enough that we can't even stop to help someone who is clearly having a heart attack or trapped in a car in a lake. 
It's IDIOCRARCY! (side note: amazing movie made in the early 2000's. I see it happening all around us.)
 People have lost the sense that God gave them! 

So what is the answer? 

  1.  Realize that there is nothing that you can buy that will make you (or anyone else) happy. 
  2. Know when enough is enough. 
  3. Value people over things.

This video shows the real cost of Black Friday and our wasteful ways. At the end of this post I will post some alternatives you can start this year. 

For this year on Black Friday I refuse to be a part of the madness, craziness or traffic. I don't want to stand in line to get a 90" TV for $200 if there is a chance that I will die over it, or someone else will. 
I do not need another TV. We have one that works just fine. (This is just an example. There is nothing that I need this badly, that I would even CONSIDER putting someone else at risk for it.) 

As a Christian, why would I ever want to do this? Why would I trade who God has made me to be for a TV, or a 90% off discount? (again, example.) 
God made me to love people, to lead them to Him. To the only freedom that we can ever know. 
How can I do that if I am bashing them over the head one day and then greeting them in church a few days later? What does that say to the unbeliever? It says that I'm a hypocrite. That I only say that I care about people. That's not what I want people to think of me and it's definitely not what I want people to see when they look at Jesus. 
Jesus said, 'put down your cross and follow me.' 
Put it down. Put down the discounted TV, put down your sorrow and loneliness that you think can only be filled up by material goods. 
Seek the one that made you. He waits for you. 

"Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?  
If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels.”
                   -Mark 8:34-38 (The Message Translation) 

This year, lets spend the time with our family,  friends and people. Make it a day to buy nothing. Focus on what is important to you. If you think that things are important you are going to go shopping no matter what.  But, just ponder these words in your heart. 
That thing that you just have to have, will it save you or make you free?

Buying things isn't wrong. We are all human and have needs. Even Jesus, when he was on Earth had needs. Just keep them in their proper place. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas!

Want to make a difference?

  1. Sponser a child who has nothing. Give them food, education and the chance to grow up healthy. For $38 a month you can give a child a better life. 
  2. Learn more about zero waste.
  3. Invite someone to your Thanksgiving that you know can't go home to their family this year or will be alone. It is a hard time of year and no one should have to be alone. 
  4. Come up with a shopping-free tradition for your family this year. 

14 November 2016

Zero Waste-October

I feel like I've maintained everything really well so this will be the last of these I do an update for ZW.  Which is probably why I didn't think about doing it before now.

We are working through some bottles in the bathroom, but we are not bringing anything new that has trash in it or packaged in trash so I feel I can finish that up by the end of the year. I've also noticed that my hair has gotten healthier and I have no actual need for conditioner. It is available in bulk at the co-op I shop at, but I just use what I have as a monthly conditioning and it has lasted almost 2 years.
I've been taking a lot of things to the thrift store that we don't use or need anymore. It's freeing up space in the house and in my mind. It's really strange how peaceful you can be when you actually give yourself space in your own home.

If you have any questions about this process let me know I'd be happy to answer them for you.

Goal #1-Switch every family member over to using reusable bags

Goal Obtained. 

Goal #2- Stop using the plastic bags in the produce section.

Goal Obtained. 

Goal #3 Stop junk from coming into the house

Will this ever happen? Junk mail is still coming, but less of it and I am not buying as much. DH hardly brings anything in-he never was the problem...

Goal #4 Compost all paper that does come into the house.

Goal Obtained. 

Goal #5 Shop at the Co-op in town for bulk items

Goal Obtained. 

Goal #6 Switch to "ReUsies" instead of plastic storage bags. 

Goal Obtained.

Goal #7 Stop using disposable head razors.

No Change.

Goal #8 Get more serious about composting.

Goal Obtained.

 Goal #9 Switch to using handkerchiefs instead of tissue.

No Change.
I am composting the tissues I am using.
Trying to finish up the boxes that are left in the house. Seriously, we don't even use them that often. We are still on the same box in November that were were on in April.

Goal #10 Stop my trash service.

In July, we got a smaller trash can. We are saving $5 a month. 
In November, we switched trash companies (same service, less cost)

Still not feasible yet.
This may never be feasible for use because I cannot find a drop off recycle place in our area.
But, we are sending less and less to the landfill. :)

Goal #11 Make our own bread from scratch. 

DH's bread!! I'm doing sourdough.

Goal #12 Replace freezer bags with jars.

No change

I am using less bags and I'm considering giving what I have left to a friend.

Goal #13 Compost cat poop in a separate area

Goal Obtained.

Total we sent out 1 bag for recycling and 1 bag for the landfill. We are getting better at this ZW stuff.

11 November 2016

Adaline velvet dress-part 2--pattern selection

Well, the cruise came and went and I didn't get this finished. I didn't even have time to finish start the muslin for it. I am still going to work on this, but zero waste change and getting my garden in this past spring and summer were/are just more of a priority at the moment life got in the way. (I started this as soon as I got back from the cruise, but honestly, I was a little bummed at myself for not having time to do it. We had a great time and then I forgot about it for awhile.)
Sewing and quilting is more of a winter activity for me anyways. 

Now that it is getting colder, I'm really thinking about finishing this up. Also, holiday parties are coming and how awesome would it be to rock this dress at a Christmas or New Year's party? 
Oh yeah, DH better start planning to take me somewhere AWESOME!!

In case you haven't read the first part of this on going series. It's here.

This is part 2 of the making of 'The age of Adeline' Wine Velvet party dress. I posted pictures of the original dress in the previous post, if you need to refer back, I provided a link above. 
This took quite awhile to do and in the end, I already had everything I needed...go figure. *eye roll at self*

I looked through current pattern books at the store and nothing jumped out at me. Blah, I'm hating the new styles coming out right now. Retro all the way! 
So, I dug through my pattern stash and found 2 that I can frankenpattern together to make the dress.

First up is a 1970's era empire waist dress. This is practically perfect. It already has darts in the bottom where I need them, but I think I'm just going to use the puff sleeves and the skirt part on this one. I would have to redraw the entire bodice if I used this whole thing. 
This is a better picture of the one I'm talking about above. Aren't those sleeves perfect?

This pattern top is perfect for this application. I'm really only looking at version 'A/B' here and he gathering at the collar could be very easily changed to a couple darts (who wants to try and gather velvet? Because this dress requires actual velvet, not stretch velvet. 

Here is a closer shot of version 'A.' Do you see what I mean? It will be easy to slash the front to make that low dip and change the gathers to a dart or a tuck even. (It's really hard to tell from the movie and pictures whether it is a tuck or a dart, so I suppose it's up to my own interpretation here.) Since I don't need anything but the top-that's all I'm looking for in the pattern department. 

The same thing goes for the back. There is really only the one picture of the back and it's a long ways away in the shot that you cannot see where the zipper placement is in the dress. I'm thinking it should go in the back over the bum for ease of dressing. Which would put zipper in the back and a hook and eye in the front making this a difficult dress to get on and off really. But, I want it to look seamless once I have it on my body. I think part of the all of the dress is wondering how it's made and how she even got it on. Right? Or is that just me?

Looking at that plunge Im nervous. I dont have an adequite bra for that and I dont think my girls would do in a sewn in bra, but maybe...boob tape?
So I'm looking into that still. I'm willing to take suggestions here too. (hint, hint) 

I will not be able to complete this in the original time frame as I had hoped. I have been working on baby quilts for some people and obviously the cruise is over.  So, I have to put aside my plans for a fancy dress...for now. Once it is completed I can wear it for years. (assuming that I can keep my shape after having children) *crosses fingers*

We are trying to have a baby now, so it might not be the best time for me to be working on a fancy dress anyways. I still wanted to do an update on my thoughts for the dress. I am going to work on it, but don't expect this to be done quickly. I have a few other things on the sewing table that need to be finished up before this really gets underway. 
But, having a solid plan for it makes me feel that much better. 

Have you ever frankenpatterned something like this? What do you think of this massive project? Are you excited to see it finished?  As far as I know nobody else has made one yet (or at least it's not online anyways.) So, I'm really excited to make it perfect and perfectly tailored to my shape. 

Next up for part 3 is the making of the muslin. 

09 November 2016

Are you the Luke 13 woman too?

Yeah, I know...you cringed when you read that. Wait, who? What woman? Is she important? What was her name again...?

Do you remember the woman in Luke 13?
No? Neither did I. I had always read over it thinking it wasn't important...because, yeah I'll be honest, I wanted to get to the good stuff. But, this IS the good stuff. 

I mean here is this woman who had probably been in the synagogue for a long time. The rabbis know her, they have seen her every week, maybe every day. Yet, no one had healed her or been able yet. 
Then there is the woman in Luke 8 who just touched Jesus' clothing(look her up later. Powerful stuff!) 
Doesn't really seem like a big deal at first. But...then I went to a women's retreat this past weekend. WOW!! I feel like these stories were explained to me in terms I could understand. And it was SO powerful in my life. I'll explain(a bit.) 

You see...I'm the secret keeper. No, it's not an official title. Some of you may know what I mean and I hurt for you, I pray the healing power of Jesus name over you. 
The secret keeper isn't told (usually) to keep it. They just do, they feel unworthy, unimportant and sometimes even unloved. Have you ever felt that way? I've always heard we all feel like this, so I thought it wasn't a big deal. *HINT* I was wrong. Really wrong. You see, Jesus cares for us-deeply, passionately and honestly. It's a love that we cannot understand. We just aren't wired to understand it. (Ephesians 3:19)

Sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself a bit here.  

10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 11 And there was a woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” 13 And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.” 15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger, and lead it away to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?” 17 As he said this, all his adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.
-Luke 13:10-17 

Did you get that? Cause just reading it, I admit...I didn't get it. 

It seems like I was focusing on the wrong part of the story. He's telling these guys that they are hypocrites because they do work and unbind their animals on the sabbath, yet they cannot even see that this woman is worthy of the same treatment.  Yet, I didn't see it. 

She has probably been in the church/synagogue a long time. Jesus says 'She's one of ours, a daughter of Abraham.' She's been bent over for EIGHTEEN YEARS!! Can you imagine? The Bible doesn't say exactly how she was bent over, but she may have been looking at the floor for years. Maybe she heard about this Jesus and was there like the woman in Luke 8. Maybe it was just chance. Maybe she had nowhere else to go having spent all her money on healers and physicans.   Maybe she knew all the feet and voices that passed her by, never seeing a kind face look her way. These are a lot of maybes, but we really don't know and it's not for us to know. But, it does say that she had an infirmity, some translations say demon. 
Satan wants to bend us over ourselves. So that we cannot do God's kingdom work. 

Are you bound and bent over? Does satan have you fooled into thinking that you can't be healed? That you aren't worthy? That you don't matter? That nobody loves you and you aren't important to anyone??


Don't listen to Him. 

I was bent over thinking it was my fault, that I somehow was to blame for someone else's abuse. 
I'm not. 
That I was some how responsible for someone's actions toward me. 
I'm not. 
 I was fooled and tricked and bent over myself with hatred, guilt, shame and regret. I don't have the power to change the past (There are a few things I'd like to fix in my life...) But, Jesus has the power, and wants to, heal us for the future. He wants to give us a future and a hope.
I'm not claiming that for my future anymore. 

See, Jesus, in His mercy calls this woman by name. We don't know it, but He does. We don't need to know everything. We just need to let him do a healing work in us. Maybe it's physical, maybe it's spiritual, or maybe, like mine, it's emotional. These chains keep us from seeing Jesus' face. 
When this woman is healed the very first thing that she sees is Jesus face. How amazing is that? Can you imagine? I can't even. I mean, you are bent over for 18 years! Nobody has healed you, then this man calls you over to him by your name. And heals you, just like that. And you look up into his sweet, sweet face. We need to seek His face. 
All things are for the Glory of the one who made us. All things are for the Glory of God, The most high, He who is worthy to be praised, He who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 
He cares deeply about YOU!

In the same way he calls this woman by name. He calls you, He wants to know you, wants you to come to Him. But, He always lets us choose. 

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.
-Ephesians 3:19

Versions stated in this post are Revised Standard Version. I encourage you to read more than one translation and find one that makes sense to you. Read your Bible and check that these things I say (or anyone says) about Jesus are true. Don't just believe something because someone tells you to believe. Investigate, pray, read, and speak to Our Father. He longs to hear from you. He longs to know you. He longs to have a relationship with you. If you don't know what this means. I will be glad to talk to you or find someone that you know in your community to speak with about Jesus. 

He loves us, Oh how He loves us. How He loves us ALL.