I LOVE to read – about sewing that is!!

There is a big beautiful world of sewing bloggers out there that only keeps growing. I keep adding more favorites to my list (see my ‘I like to read‘ page). interestingly enough most of these ladies started a web log for the same reasons – to document their growing portfolio of self made clothes mostly for their little girls who’s birth sparked the fire of DIY in them. My story is the same. I had this beautiful Singer sewing machine since Christmas of 2005, two years prior to my daughter’s birth.

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I used it mainly to make pillow cases :-). That’s all I knew how to do. In 2007 I was expecting my first daughter and that summer before her birth the sewing fire in me got a new spark. I went fabric shopping at JoAnn’s and made all her bedding.  All pink!! 🙂 It would have been too easy (& expensive!) to go to Pottery Barn Kids and buy their bassinet & bedding. This special girl needed something one-of-a-kind.

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But it wasn’t until the spring of 2008 when I discovered this precious little sewing book that I had found my passion.

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Making children’s clothing, especially skirts and dresses!! I love every single page in this book and have sewn many many things from it. The below night dress I have altered many times into tops, dresses and tunics.

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I have a feeling that if I ever ventured into pattern making, I’d make this my first! Hello 2015! 🙂

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Anyway, ever since that discovery at Barnes & Noble in beautiful Newport Beach I have added several other sewing books to my growing library.

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Little did I know then what a huge online world of free patterns and tutorials there was!! So, now my online library of blogs that I read on a daily basis is getting long!

Here are some of my latest finds:

These ladies aren’t just inspiring me to sew more for myself and kids but also take better pictures! That is my priority number one for the rest of the year. I have just sold my first Canon Rebel XS (below) that I owned for many years.

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Now I am shopping around for an upgrade and waiting for a sale. The Canon Rebel series comes highly recommended but this time around I need a better lens. So far I am looking at spending $600 with basis lens. The superior lens runs another another $200. With the imminent move overseas (18 days to go but who’s counting?!) But imagine the gorgeous pictures I could be taking on our journey!!! Plus the same camera in Germany is over 600 Euro!! So, getting this purchase out of the way will be wise.

This time I am going to do my due diligence on how to maximize the camera’s many functions and in addition equip myself with a photo processing program. I am determined to make photography my next passion! Thank you ladies of the sewing blogesphere for all the inspiration.

Love,

Yasemin

P.S. Looking at the above pictures I am sure you agree: I NEED A NEW CAMERA & better photography skills. Yikes!

Reading, Sewing and a year older!

I love how reading blogs takes you all over the world. You get to peek into other mom’s lifes. See how they live with their children, how they create … I love looking through their lenses. They take breath-taking pictures. It’s so interesting to see how winter is so different in different parts of the county. From snow storms to beach days, from fog to rain to dry, sunny Texas-like weather. It’s all happening this month in the blogesphere. It’s gorgeous. I also enjoy seeing the cozy, candy-lit homes of European bloggers. I keep adding to my blogroll everyday. (See full list here.) What’s great is how supportive bloggers are of eachother. Today I’ve discovered Rosy Little Things on Probably Actuallys blog. I love the foggy winter pictures of Oregon with all the beautiful hand-knit baby sweaters & the floral print Alicia’s little girl is wearing. So beautiful. I’ve also been reading Whitney Deal’s blog: Darling Dexter ever since I saw it mentioned on Oliver+S. Again beautiful pictures & really exceptional eye for kid’s clothes. Again on the Oliver + S blog I’ve come across My Cakies last month. I love bloggers from California. You and Mie is another new favorite of mine from Cali! Their pictures remind me of my home of 7 years… Oh California dreamin’… I miss the beach SO MUCH!!! In other news, yesterday was my birthday.  I gave myself a little break from everything. I slowed down. It was perfect! Outside it was cold cold cold and grey! I can handle the cold with blue skies but that deary grey makes me just want to cuddle up on the couch … Naturally we couldn’t go to the park in the morning. But half way through the morning it dawned on me that this is exactly what I needed. Once the baby was napping I realized how great the gift of quite is. I could actually THINK! I could BREATHE deeply. So nice for a change. Even after the older kids came home from school we took it easy. I can’t remember the last time we build these block towers together …

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All of us. Priceless! We are on-the-go and active way too often. It’s the simple quite that I am enjoying these days. I hope that’s not a sign of me getting old – or is it? 🙂 I don’t feel old. Actually, I feel very energetic & healthy! Thank goodness for that. This is me last year on my birthday:

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Seda took this picture of me when we were feeding the ducks after school. It was a cool but sunny and bright day last year. This year’s pic is taken inside. In our cozy living room in front of the fireplace.

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I just love how Seda takes pictures. It’s and art really. Not everyone can do it. I love her patience with it too. Taking better pictures is on my list of improvements this year. First I’d like to trade in my old Canon for a newer model. And then I am going to READ the manual!! I hear that there are a few simple steps like shutter speed etc. that can improve the quality of the picture dramatically. More research to be done here still! Anyway, I better head over to my sewing table and hop onto the turn-a-t-shirt-into-a-dress train that I am on this week. 🙂 After all baby has just under another hour of sleep left … Have fun, stay healthy! Love, Yasemin photo 3 (23) photo 1 (27) P.S. These piles of new solid tees are awaiting me today. One is for Seda in size 7-8 y and the other is for Stella in 24 m. I purchased them all at the Children’s Place Outlet for less than $4 each! Score!! They are super soft & long-sleeved. I usually cut the sleeves to 3/4 length which I prefer. My original idea inspired by this post was to turn the girl’s old tees into dresses but let’s be honest: Who wants to spend time & use beautiful new fabric to turn and old t-shirt into a dress? I prefer these crisp – not too expensive – ones. At least the precious time I spent in my sewing room will be well worth it afterwards. Plus the baby’s worn t-shirts and onesies are so gross from food stains … Yuck! … January 27th: Update Here’s one of the many t-shirt dresses coming out of the oven these days :-): LibertyDressWithCollar I considered keeping it simple – at first – but went with a collar and fabric covered button addition in the end. TshirtDressLiberty   Well, my muse liked the details and can’t wait to wear it. As you can probably see I haven’t even hemmed it yet. Just wanted to get the picture out of the way while the weather was pleasant. This has truly been a roller-coaster-winter. SedaNewLibertyDress

This week in pictures

I’ve been following blogs from overseas for a while now. One thing that I notice that they all do is a post about their typical day / week in pictures. Not too much text. Just simple captions. No lengthy tutorials, descriptions, paragraphs, just pictures. They mostly use Instagram as a means to communicate with their followers on a regular basis and do post online weekly, bi-monthly or some even just one a month. They also do a lot of guest blogging. Hmmm? That has me thinking …

I use Instagram as well (mosbyfamily). I love how you can edit the pics there. You get a glimpse. Love that. Even the most mundane things look cool on Instagram. Like this selfie Stella took of her shoes! She used some filter… don’t ask me… I didn’t do it! 🙂

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I’ve been trying to remember to take pictures of things we do on a daily  basis. Most of us have a certain routine that we do (with small exceptions – of course). For us this week was sort of busy but only once the older kids came home from school. My mornings with the baby were pretty relaxed & nothing out of the ordinary. The weather was pleasant. A little too cool for the park early in the morning, a little too windy later on but still we could keep our routine going this week.

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Stella and I took many walks and realized how brown all the grass around us has gotten, how bare the trees are but how beautiful the winter sky still is and so bright & blue!

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I am glad she discovered the camera app on my phone. Usually she calls people or just deletes my apps which can be very frustrating for me. She is also getting better at giving me my phone back once we are ready to get back in the car or whenever I feel like she’s wipes her little finger across my screen enough. Also, today is her 16 months birthday!! (Pictured here in the new bubble-skirt-dress that I am making for both girls this week. I got the inspiration to turn a simple tee into a dress here.)

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I can only snap a really quick pic before she reaches for my phone! 🙂 It’s too funny!!

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She is getting so fast on her feet now & so talkative too. We even noticed she likes to imitate the songs on the radio. Super out of tune. No wonder. She got that from me :-). Sorry Butch!

Oh, have I shown you my newest fabric treasures? What a steal these were and how cute are the polka dots!!!

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I purchased only very little of each  but I already know I am going back for more of the top one (thin denim with tiny white dots). I can turn another t-shirt into a dress adding the denim. Oh, my girls would love that!

All in all, a very nice week for our family.

Happy weekend everyone!

Yasemin

P.S. I’ve updated my list of daily online reading here. I’ve come across new European bloggers that I LOVE!

 

 

 

A week in review

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Sometimes when I look back at our week I am in disbelief of all the action around here. This week feels like a typical crazy busy week in December: Frequent visits to the post office, shopping for the perfect gifts, wrapping gifts, printing pictures, eating holiday spiced goodies, receiving pretty packages from family in Germany … This all happened this week and it’s only the first week of November!

First off, the children received a huge box in the mail from my sister-in-law, Julia.

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Although it was meant as a late birthday package it felt more like Christmas to us. With temperatures dipping and the evenings getting longer we turned on the fire place and had a gift opening ceremony in front of it! I wanted to be sure that we enjoyed every inch of gift wrap and every pretty bow and detail that my sister-in-law had lovingly put together for us.

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My sister-in-law is the best. She always puts so much thought and love into her gifts. Each kid got an absolutely age appropriate and fun gift that appealed to their interest at the moment. She always knows and understands. A mom herself she is also a preschool teacher. For me she is the PERFECT mom. Patient, knowledgeable, kind. I just love her. The way she is able to spoil my children from such a long distance is a talent on its own. I  feel so fortunate to have her in our family.

But back to the package. It contained not only the treats my kids like but also an educational book for each child which is perfect since my two older ones are taking Germany lessons at the moment. The baby got this cute picture book. She sent Seda a friendship bracelet kit and Isaiah a paper airplane set. She couldn’t have picked better gifts for them! Oh, she even thought about me. She knows how much I love these crunchy chocolate covered rice crispy squares called: Nippon! Yumm! And it is no secret that I LOVE tea! She sent me this Yogi-tea called: Gluecks Tee (Happy Tea). And happy I was as I brewed a cup of this delicious herbal blend of organic cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, orange peels & hops. Ahhhhh…

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This tea is perfect to get you in the Holiday spirit. It’s also ideal to warm you up after a walk in the cold, wet fall weather. The baby and I have been taking morning walks rain or shine. Coming back inside to a hot cup of tea is instant HAPPINESS! Thank you my dear Julia! You are a gem within our family! We love you so much!

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In other news, I have spent every free minute this week trying to finish these rows for my final class this Sunday. Boy oh boy! I could have never imagined how tedious quilt-making would be. The measuring, cutting, sewing, pressing, remeasuring, RIPPING SEAMS! and finally sewing it back together!!!

Here is how far I’ve gotten as of last night.

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Of course, I should be sewing right now while baby naps but I felt like writing instead. Oh well, sometimes it’s best to step away from a project of this magnitude in order to see the wood for the trees. Instead of trees it’s: Tilt-a-Whirl, Candy Cane Triangles, Rick Racks, Half Square Triangles and don’t even get me started on those Flying Geese! Although they are my favorite once finished they are a lot of work! You mark a diagonal line on the wrong side of each 2.5″ square, position the marked square on a rectangle, stitch on the line, trim seams to 1/4″, walk over to your ironing board, press open and repeat on the adjacent corner … Now you have only made ONE! You have to make 16! of these to yield 32.5″!!! This is seriously a test for my patience!

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Enough of quilt-making. This morning the baby and I drove to Trader Joe’s to get some grocery shopping done. I had skipped last week so you can imagine how long my wish list shopping list was … There are a few things there that no other store sells. For example: COOKIE BUTTER! Like it says on the label: All you have to do is taste it to understand! 🙂

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While there, I was also to purchase my daughter’s coaches gift. Tomorrow will be her last game of the season. We never get them anything as a team but I like to show them our gratitude with a little something sweet. Last season we gave them gift cards to our local cupcake store. Cupcakes make great gifts but who can say no to Belgian chocolates? I also loved the packaging. Hope they’ll like them, too.

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Oh, and while there I bought my all-time favorite Christmas cookie from Germany. Sugar glazed gingerbread cookies. They are not your average gingerbread cookie. To me they taste more like a pumpkin-spiced muffin! So lecker! 🙂photo 1 (2)That’s how great Trader Joe’s is! They are stocked for the holidays with the best from around the world. Perfect for gift giving and enjoying yourself!

While at Trader Joe’s I couldn’t help but stop by Half Priced Books. They emailed coupons for 20%, 30% & 40% off this week. I already took advantage of the 40% coupon on Tuesday and purchased this book:

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Today, I couldn’t find another craft/sewing book and instead got started on my Christmas shopping 2013 ! And this is what I used my 30% coupon for:

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Good for Seda! She loves to make things and loves Fancy Nancy. She is sort of a Fancy Nancy herself.

Now, I have exactly five minutes left to ‘tackle’ these Flying Geese before my baby decides she has given her mommy enough of a break napped long enough.

Of to another fun-filled, productive weekend!

Love,

Yasemin