Pattern Challenge Update!!

I’m back!! 

Oh wow, you guys, what an amazing trip!!  It is surreal to me that I am back home and that this trip is behind me.  My husband and I had such an adventure and we loved every minute of it!  Someday soon I will sit down and tell you more about it, but I need to build up the energy for that first!  I’ll tell you this:  there was much fabric shopping involved!  Although I didn’t buy much (we only brough a backpack each for the entire trip), I certainly enjoyed exploring Europe’s fabric stores and seeing what was trendy over there.  I took tons of pictures of the fabric stores and I can’t wait to share them with you!  It is good to be back!

On another note, the Pattern Challenge is going strong with 32 official members on Flickr (and 75 photos of finished garments!).  I thought it prudent to show you a sample of the amazing things we are making for this challenge!!  I am continually impressed by the talent for garmet-making that I am seeing on this group!  It has definitely given me tons of inspiration to get back to sewing now that I’m home.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading the pattern reviews and I have bookmarked several patterns that I want to try.  So, without further ado, here is a sample of some of the things you can find on the Flickr Pattern Challenge Group.  Enjoy!

Burda 7661 by Kari of Handmade Mommy.  Pattern Review here.

Coffee Date Dress by Sue Loves Sew.  Pattern Review here.

Japanese Beginner Dress and Tunic Book #18 by Liesl Made.  Pattern Review here.

Smock Top from The Galloping Horse.  Pattern Review here.

5191 McCalls from Sew Bee It.  Pattern Review here.

Simplicity 2593 by Kristie in the Clouds.  Pattern Review here.

Mendocino Sundress by Unfinished Projects.  Pattern Review here.

Amy Butler’s Cabo Halter by Smiles of a Summer Night.  Pattern Review here.

Alabama Stitchbook’s T-shirt Corset by And So I Sew.  Pattern Review here.

Simplicity 8018 by Lemon Cadet.  Pattern Review here.

Modkid’s Frida Dress by Sewing the Stress Away.  Blogged here

Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress by Piccoli Piselli.  Pattern Review here.

Simplicity 2593 by Sew Loves Sew.  Pattern Review here (the top is made from a Liberty for Target scarf!!)

So there you have it!  Are you thoroughly inspired?  I sure am!  And this is just some of the action going on in our Flickr group, so check it out!  It’s not too late the join in the fun!  Just let me know if you’re interested in joining the challenge and see the instructions here, we’d love to have you!!


Europe Itinerary

A couple people emailed me that they were interested in our itinerary for Europe.  Here’s a map which shows where we’re going and in what order:

And for fun, here’s some pictures, found on Flick, of our destinations:

1.  London

2.  Venice

3.  Florence

4.  Cinque Terre (La Spezia)

5.  Rome

6.  Copenhagen

Bon Voyage!

Merry Christmas!

We have had a beautiful Christmas season, filled with apple cider, cozy fires, savory soups and, of course, tons of snow!  We are going strong with about 14 inches of lovely snow!  Our house looks so cozy covered in a soft, white blanket.

Our House in the Snow

Our House in the Snow

On Saturday, my hubby decided he wanted to build a legit igloo.  So along with my cousins, we geared up in our warmest weather-proof clothes and worked for hours straight to achieve this:

The igloo in all its glory

The igloo in all its glory

My cousin and I worked for about 4 hours on the igloo, and we finally got tired out.  But Levi and my cousin’s hub kept working until 10 p.m. that night!  It turned out pretty awesome though, so definitely worth it.  That thing is definitely not going anywhere too!  I can see us celebrating Valentine’s Day inside that igloo :).  It’s about 5 ft. tall and probably 8 ft. across.  Amazing!

Last thing I’ll post for today, I’ve been getting into making pies.  This was my most recent creation, and I think it turned out quite perfect.  It sure was delicious too!

Homemade apple pie

Homemade apple pie

"Fancy" lattice work

"Fancy" lattice work

I hope everyone has a Christ-filled Christmas.  Stay warm and enjoy those you love the most!  Merry Christmas!

One Year!

Happy One-Year to us! August 3rd was our anniversary and we had a wonderful, adventure-packed weekend. But first, since I have been so delinquent in my blogging, I will start way back a couple weeks ago when Levi and I decided to have a picnic at Richmond Beach. I made the most delicious dinner (probably one of my favorites so far!) of chicken satays and this awesome cold sesame noodle dish. We barbecued the satays on our grill and then quickly packed everything up and headed to the beach.

For the cooking enthusiasts among us, here are the recipes. You MUST try them! So delicious!! (click the links below for recipes):

Chicken Satays
Peanut Sauce (for the satays)
Soba Noodles with Toasted Sesame Seed Sauce

Last week we nannied my cousins two youngest daughters, Iona (3) and Amie Kate (2). Oh, they are the CUTEST little ones! We stayed over at my aunt and uncles house in Bellevue for the week and had to endure such terrible things as Puppet Shows:

And Story Time:

Oh! If only I could quit my job and make a living out of playing with these two lumps of pure sugar! They were just too much fun, and I am missing them terribly already. I should mention that Iona and Amie Kate are Scottish babes, born and bred in the land of Haggis and bagpipes. They are a little too young for accents, but my favorite thing ever is that Iona says “pardon” if she didn’t hear you! Can you imagine an American kid saying “pardon?” It got me every time!

So, after saying goodbye to our surrogate babies, that weekend Levi and I got to pamper and spoil ourselves. On Friday night we stayed at my aunt and uncles condo downtown. Here was our view:

Then, on Saturday night, we got all gussied up and went to Canlis Restaurant for dinner. Oh my was that amazing!

At Canlis we got to sit at Table One, which is a major privilege! It is their most requested table because it is where Peter Canlis, the founder of Canlis, used to sit every night he dined there. It had a clear view of both beautiful Lake Union and also the honored guests, which meant Peter could see each one of his happy diners from there!

That night we stayed at Willows Lodge which is a beautiful hotel in Woodinville. The next day (Sunday) we went wine tasting at Chateau Ste. Michelle which was divine! However, we were unaware that there was a huge jazz festival going on right in the winery on that day. It was packed! It was still wonderful though, and we had a lovely picnic right on the lawn there. That night we went back home and ate our Anniversary Wedding Cake, which yes, we froze for a year! It was soooooo good! I don’t know how it could have still tasted so good, but it was amazing!

As for crafting, it has definitely slowed down since I started working three weeks ago, but I do have some things to show you! First, I made this cute shirt about a month ago (shame on me for not posting sooner!). Sorry for the weird photo, apparently this is the only one I have and I am too lazy to go try it on again:

Then there was a new addition to our family! My new SERGER!

She’s so pretty and she is really a trooper! For those of you who know about sergers, my favorite thing about her is that she does Cover Stitch (look at the bottom of your tshirts and sleeves, the double straight stitch with a serge on the back is Cover Stitch) which most sergers don’t even do. I am so excited! I made Levi this tshirt last night, but it is a little too tight on him:

I really hope to post more later, but now that I am working full-time it might be a little harder! For those who don’t know, I now work for Childhaven, a nonprofit company on Capital Hill that works with abused and neglected children. I am an Administrative Assistant and I love it! Check out the company:

My family comes next week! I can’t wait! And, my best friend Hannah gets married next Friday…crazy! Things are going to get even more crazy than they already are! I’ll try to keep up…!

Welcome Back…!

We’re home! I realize that some of you might not have known that we ever left, but Levi and I made a last minute decision to go to California to visit my sister and brother-in-law and their 4 1/2 month old daughter, Madelyn. We left July 5th and just got back on Saturday. We had an amazing trip that included a good dose of beach time, shopping time, sewing/crafting, watching the Bachelorette finale, relaxation, video games, surfing and playing with adorable Maddie. I’m well overdue for posting some pictures, so here it goes…be prepared for lots of pictures and not too many explanations!

First, I have to mention that my absolutely amazing grandpa, Fred Clifton, passed away just one month shy of his 94th birthday. My mom and I were with him when he passed, and although it was an extremely difficult and painful experience for both of us, we feel truly blessed that the Lord allowed us to be there with him when he went. He was more than ready and I can only now imagine him overjoyed at meeting his Savior and being reunited with his wife of over 60 years. Here is the last picture I have with grandpa, taken just 2 weeks before he died:

He was always smiling like that, and would never let you go without a cheesy joke or two. I miss him already but I am so glad that he will never again have to endure pain or sorrow and that his life has now been made complete in Christ.

Grandpa’s favorite day of the year was July 4th, on which every year we would head out to my grandpa and grandma’s house on Angle Lake. This year, although he was gone, we did not let this tradition pass. We gathered many friends and family and enjoyed a wonderful 4th of July celebration.

We left the next morning for California! It was so great to see my sister and to get to play with Maddie again. She’s getting so big!

How cute is my hubby??

Here’s little Maddie in the sweater I knit for her…so cute!

The boys went surfing, it was Levi’s first time and he was definitely a natural.

Ow ow!

I know that picture is blurry, but I had to show you the look Maddie gets whenever she sees her daddy. So precious!!

We went swimming and took Maddie, who incidentally is an amazing surfer!

My sister and I went back to the Solvang fabric store again and got some more $1/yard fabric. Together, Kate and I made this fun summer dress out of some blue/white seersucker we purchased. I love how it turned out, and Kate and I had so much fun sewing together! We decided that Levi and I need to move to Cali so Kate and I can start our own clothing company called “Kate and Sarah’s Clothing Company” (we thought that a super creative name would be the best way to go).

We wanted to find buttons that had a sort of sailor look, so we got these nautical navy blue buttons.

Finally, Levi and I have something very important to announce to you all….

WE GOT IPHONES! Here’s my new baby:

That’s all for now. I will be crafting this week so I will post later. I’ll leave you with the beautiful fabric that I have lined up for my next projects:

Lots has happened…

…including: Levi’s beard just died, literally, like one minute ago. That’s not to say that it really resembled anything close to a beard. As Levi’s brother put it, it looked like he dipped his chin in some miracle grow and the result was a hideous showing of scruffy hairs all in one central area. And he had those nasty little patches of hair around his cheeks. It needed to happen, guys. Don’t even be sad.

Next, I graduated! Hurray! Here is the picture you have all been waiting for:

Those gowns are so unflattering! Not to mention the square “caps” they make you wear. Aren’t we supposed to be celebrated on this day? Celebrated, NOT humiliated. I had a wonderful graduation party last weekend and it was so fun to celebrate with some of my family and friends, although I really missed having my parents there.

I’ve been working on some crafty fun projects lately. First, I decided to make a cake stand inspired by this blog . I went to Value Village and found a silver platter and a silver candlestick with grapes on it and after epoxying them together, I got this result:

This was such a fun project! I am excited to make more of these! This one became a graduation gift for my wonderful sister Emily (check out her blog!). I have in mind a white china cake stand for my next one.

Next, I made some baby bibs for two soon-to-be best friend babies (one born, one on his way):

I love this sock monkey oilcloth. These bibs are super simple (well, if I knew how to do binding correctly the one would have turned out a lot better!) and I just drafted the pattern from a bib I found at the fabric store. I like the idea of having a pocket on the bib, to catch runaway food scraps.

I tried a new recipe I found on epicurious that turned out quite yummy. It’s called Garbanzo Bean Soup With Saffron, but it should be called tomato, butternut squash and potato soup with garbanzo beans because these three ingredients pretty much made up the bulk of the soup.

I added some leek to the soup, which I found for a good price at Trader Joes. TJs also has butternut squash all chopped and ready to go in small bags which was perfect for making this soup incredibly hastle-free.

I love garbanzo beans (or chickpeas, same thing), they are such a subtle flavor but they are also incredibly versatile. I add them to my couscous, make hummus or serve them with a spicy dish like Chicken Tagine.

It turned out tasting really nice, but it has a subtle flavor so I upped the garlic and seasonings a bit. I served it with an Indian Naan bread (also found at TJs). Levi had to work late that night so I brought it to him at work in a pink lunchbox. He appreciated that (both the pink lunchbox and the dinner).

Here we are last week, almost to our one year anniversary (it’s on August 3rd). It’s so crazy to think that we haven’t even been married for a year yet. Marriage is so wonderful and such a blessing. We are excited for two of our best friends to get married within this next year! Yay for Hannah and Chris and Kelley and Gregg!

Gentleman…put down your razerblades…

No, not you, Ladies, you can keep yours.

My husband is embarking on a beard growing contest…with himself. Pretty exciting, right? We’ll update you on this much like a gestating woman would update you on her growing baby bump: once a week. Trust me though, this will be much more interesting than a typical mans beard growing attempts. Why, you might ask? Well, because my husband might possibly, maybe be unable to grow a beard. Here he is at almost one week:

Look at that adorable little baby bump!!!
And here, possibly more entertaining, is the side view:

You can almost see the little heartbeat pitter-pattering in his belly…how precious! Check back often to see how this all unfolds!