On being content with less.

I mentioned the trip to Paris I’m taking this year in the last post. We’ve had to cut our spending budget down by quite a bit to be able to afford our already frugal trip. I’ve been taking practically any photography job I can get. I’ve also been weeding through our belongings to try and see what we really need and use. Then tossing or selling what falls by the wayside. 

When I started in this whole new frame of mind, I thought it was going to majorly blow. But you know what? It’s not that bad. I kind of like it even. It’s very different from how I was when I first bought the house. Heck even buying the house was the tiniest bit of keeping up with the Jones’. I’m glad I did, because it’s turning out to be a very sound investment all the same. There’s lots of stuff we could be improving in the house with the money were spending on this trip. Were in need of a new deck, and some other repairs. And I would love new floors throughout the house, or maybe even a new bathroom. You know what though? None of those things are going to need to be done. Sure the some deck boards definitely need replaced, but the whole deck replacement can wait. I’ll just keep it clean and fix what I can in the meantime. Travelling and experience are important to me, so I’m making sacrifices to do it. 

I’ve decided that I’m not buying anything for the house unless it’s perfect, and something I plan on using forever. There’s no more of this phase one, or placeholder malarkey. You end up wasting money and adding to landfills that way. So while I still plan on blogging about the house, I don’t think it will be to the kind of materialistic extent it was over the past few years. 

As far as sewing goes, I seem to be doing far more mending than actual sewing. But now that the holidays are officially over, I’ll have much more time to get down to some wardrobe building. I have a few travel pieces I’d like to start working on, like a capsule wardrobe, soon. I’m heading to Joann’s armed with some birthday gift cards to see if I can get all the fabric I need to start. 

I put in my passport application earlier in the month. Something I’ve put off doing for far too long. I was always afraid it would be too expensive and a hassle. Granted the fees are expensive, but worth it. We bought our travel packs as well last week. Isn’t it funny how something as small as a backpack can get you so excited. I’m already seeing all the places beyond Paris we’ll take these guys. 

It’s also my 25th birthday today! I’m excited to say the goal from here on out is going to be experiences vs. things. I’d like to embrace a new minimalism in my life. A simplicity that will help facilitate everything I want to do, and everywhere I want to go. 

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Danish Oil on Brasilla

So I know I’ve been a bad blogger, but for good reasons! I’ve been pinching pennies for a trip to europe this year! In fact I’ve even been selling some stuff that doesn’t fit very well in my house anymore. The brasilla commodes are one of those things. They were one of my first purchases for the house at 30$ for the pair. While they worked that first year I haven’t really been able to find a place for them since then. I decided to give them a little love and sell them to a dealer. Enter danish oil. For those of you who don’t know, this stuff is the bomb.com. Like the easiest way to refresh wood, especially mid century wood.  Get ready for the easiest tutorial of all time.

I cleaned and scraped off a bit of white paint that had gotten on one of the commodes. To be honest they were looking kind of rough. 

See, not the best looking top ever. I mean it’s not horrible, but we can do better. So I picked up a small bottle of danish oil and some lint free rags for about 10 bucks. 

Now brace yourself, here’s where it gets complicated. I poured a generous amount right on the top of the commode, took my lint free cloth, and rubbed it in. I coated it fairly generously, waited a half hour, then did it again. After another hour I took a clean dry cloth and removed any oil that didn’t get absorbed into the wood (which wasn’t a lot). And then… you’re done. Look at how pretty these babies are now! 

 


They’re still not perfect, but good enough for me to sell them to a dealer for 400$ (which is way under what they’re worth, but I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of finding someone willing to pay that like the dealer will.) Have you ever used danish oil? Or better yet what are you’re favorite ways to make a bit of money on the side to fundraise for yourself? 

Sewing Goals

In 2013 I made a lot of dresses, and that’s about it. Of those dresses I wore only a few more than once, and even fewer than that made it intact threw the wash. May I present the survivors of this years sewing.

  • This year I intend to sew things that fill more gaps in my wardrobe. Separates are a must, pants in particular. I also have very little in the way of non jersey tops, so some blouses are in order. And since I work in a professional environment why not throw in a vintage suit, the kind I’m always waxing poetic on.
  • 2014 will also be the year I focus on fit, and drafting for correct fit. I’m going to buy a whole bolt of muslin and actually make toiles this year. Yes it’s tedious, and doubles the amount of work for a garment. I’ve had so many things I’ve made this year just fit so awful that it needs to be done. I’d say for every project I post three never saw the light of day. 
  • This is also the year I spend more on high quality fabric. My last project of 2013 which you will never see what made out of some really horrible broadcloth. Never again! 

Do you have any sewing goals for this next year? 

A Very Crafty Christmas

So my family knows me well, or at least knows the link to my amazon wishlist. Can I share all my awesome craft related gifts with you guys? 

First up my largest gift! I got a real, non duct tape dress form. It’s the Drizt My double dress form to be exact. I like it so far, but I have yet to drape anything on it. I’m thinking about buying some dress pads and padding her out to match me a bit more. She’s also got a hem marker! I’ve never used one am I’m pretty stoked to have more even hems. 

A beautiful set of french curves. Some Chaco Pen Liners (which are my new favorite marking tool!). A pair of Gingher pinking shears, I’ll admit I’ve never actually owned any pinking shears. This pair seems glorious though! And a very space age looking gingher seam ripper (two actually!).

This very Technical book which I have been lusting after. I’d like to start drafting some of my own patterns in the coming year. Wish me luck! 

My brand new, heavy duty, old fashioned iron! This thing is a beast and I love it. Also my first Tailors ham and seam roll, which I’ve already used to death. How I lived without them I’ll never know. 

Did you guys get anything crafty for Christmas?

Happy New Year!

So how many of you will be writing 2013 still for the next couple of months? I know I will. I know I haven’t been very present on the blog recently. I’ve got the same excuses as everyone else I suppose. The holidays, family, stomach flu. But don’t worry, I’m not abandoning it yet! Now that things have slowed down a bit again around these parts I’ve got some free time. I also got some very nice sewing related Christmas presents I need to put to go use! As far as my new years goals go, I have a few!

  • Blog more regularly.
  • Take more personal photos with my “good” camera.
  • Continue eating well and working out.
  • Investing more time and effort into my personal appearance.
  • Be more creative.
  • Read More. (I’ve already got a bit of a head start on this one! in the past three months I’ve read three books a month. I’d like to at least stick with that.)
  • Be more content in what I have, and take better care of the things I own.
  • Write more. (I participated, and failed in nanowrimo this year, but I enjoyed getting back into writing fiction. I also like the story I started enough to finish it!)
  • Work on my weekly 2014 scrapbook.

All of these seem well within reason, so I have high hopes to at least do well with most of them! What are some of your new years resolutions?