Thrifty Cabinet

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I had been looking for a cabinet to put in the foyer.  My budget was next to nothing so I sought out yard sales, thrift stores, and bargain back rooms looking for just the right piece.  While working at the church yard sale, this little end table caught my eye.  I was charmed by the scalloped front and the drawer was just what I needed to corral hats and gloves.  For $6, it was worth an attempt to update.

As it sat in my garage awaiting it’s rebirth, I contemplated colors.  The sad stain and faded top screamed for color.  I finally settled on a pure red that adds a pop of color to a boring corner.  It was destined to hold the house phone and I thought a bit of chalkboard paint would make the top a handy notepad.  I spray painted the handles a matching black.  I just need to find a basket for the cubby and this remake is done!

Modesty Part 1

I made my daughter her last bikini when she was 10.  She was an early bloomer and it wasn’t until I saw her on the beach in that adorable suit that I realized what I had done.  Her beautiful, newly curved body was on exhibit for all to see.  As a mom, I had made a mistake.  Thankfully it was one quickly fixed at such a young age.  When we got home from the beach, I sat her down and we discussed her “new” body and how a bikini may not be the best bathing suit option.  Her body would be a gift to be cherished by her husband some day.  Ultimately it will be her decision how she decides to dress (or not dress as the current culture would have it).  She is now 14 and I still struggle with modesty as a concept.  It is not just a bikini, a skirt length, or a neckline.  It is an attitude, a relationship, a personal decision.  There is no black and white only varying shades of gray and a million opinions through which to wade.  We fail when we get caught in legalism, feminism, or collectivism.

As women we try to define what is modest and what is not.  We stare with judging eyes at all the barely dressed teens that grace the hallways of our church.  Do we rejoice in their presence or cringe at their appearance?  Do we laugh at the homeschoolers (I am one!) with their dowdy clothes and denim skirts as being out of fashion and out of touch with reality?  Truly aren’t we just trying to figure out who is right and who is wrong.

So who is right? Looking for the right answer in scripture is a good place to begin because at the heart of the modesty debate is pleasing God with our bodies.  According to Deuteronomy 22:5 we all became immodest when Coco Channel opted to wear pants. “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.”  According to John 7:24, our appearance doesn’t matter but only our hearts. “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgement.”  1 Timothy 2:9-10 addresses specifics of modesty.  ”I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.”  I think this passage in Timothy gives us the best advice on modesty.  Dress in a way that is appropriate for a woman who professes faith in God.  As Christians we are called to be set apart.  ”For it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16  How we act, how we dress, what we say, and what we do is to be different.  We are to be holy.  Does a long skirt and a turtle neck make us holy?  Does wearing current fashion trends make us un-holy? That is legalism.  God cares about our hearts and our motives.  Our faith in God and our desire to please God should shine through us like a brilliant light.  People should notice that we are different, set apart.

What it all comes down to is our intent.  Why do we wear the clothes we wear?  Do we like the color, like the fit, like the fabric?  Are we dressing to draw attention?  Are we dressing to impress others?  Are we dressing to please God or ourselves and others? This is where our definition of modesty needs to start.  God made us beautiful.  Our clothing should enhance our natural God given beauty not distract from it or degrade it.  Society today accepts short shorts, short skirts, skimpy bikinis, low cut tops, low waist pants, and bare bellies.  When you wrap a gift, do you leave large parts exposed or do you make sure everything is covered?  If we leave our bodies uncovered for all to see, what are we saving?  We are giving it all away for free.  The attention a half naked teenage girl attracts is not positive.  Men are not looking at her body and thinking about her faith.  She is set apart but not in a holy way.

As a mom, it is my job to teach my girls to be set apart because of their faith.  It is their father’s job to tell them what is immodest.  As their dad, he is the eyes of all men.  If our men were honest, they would admit that they don’t want to see our girls this way.  They want to see their true beauty, not their body.  Let your light shine.  Be set apart.  Dress for God and not for others.

 

Always Learning

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As a homeschool parent, I have the opportunity to expose my girls to lots of different learning opportunities.  I wish I could have known in high school that I love sewing and art.  I would have chosen a different major in college.  I don’t regret my past however because it is the reason I am where I am today.  The best part about learning new things, is that I get to learn right along with them!  It is exciting to see them light up when they learn something new.  One of the biggest things I want to teach my girls is to love learning and always continue learning.

We have taken glass blowing, cake decorating, pottery, and now block printing.  While glass blowing was a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed making beads, block printing really ignited my fire to create.  In addition, block printing is much more applicable to sewing since printing on fabric is a lot of fun.

So Sew

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When I was in high school Chemistry I had a teacher that answered all of my suggestions for a science project with “so?”.  It was so frustrating that I dropped honors Chemistry.  Maybe it was sign…SEW not SO! Over twenty years later, my daughter is taking chemistry and loving every minute.  We are all gifted in different ways and chemistry was not one of my strengths.  If only I’d known then what I know now I may have taken a different path.  My heart and my joy is sewing.  I love seeing children excited about sewing.  I love teaching them how to create.  I love coming up with projects that teach beginning sewing, but also produce a delightful finished product.  These monogrammed pillows are just that sort of project.  I used them to teach sewing machine control.  As the kids continued to stitch around and around their letter, they quickly became more confident in turns and curves.  Finishing the pillow teaches the concept of right sides together and seam allowances. They all learned how to take needle  and thread in hand and close a hole.  I hope to get a tutorial for the pillow together this week!

New Blogging Home

IMG_1836I have tried various blogging setups and I am hopeful that this one will meet all my varied needs.  I am an avid seamster and love to share my tutorials and projects but all other blogs could not handle pictures.  Blogger was tedious and massacred my well thought out posts.  Tumblr was fine but also did not meet my needs.  Hubs, being the IT wiz that he is advised me to try WordPress.  So far so good.  I am excited to share my projects and ideas.  Right now, I am deep into my 3rd annual Sewing Camp for girls.  It begins next week.  There is nothing quite like sharing my passion for sewing with young ladies.

Above: Hand embroidered slip for a dear friend.  It was part of a Christening Ensemble that I have been eager to share with the world now that the baby has been christened!