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Friday, January 31, 2014

14 Days of Pampering for Valentine's Day and Great Ideas- Part 1

It's almost Valentine's Day, and it's time to pamper yourself, whether you have a man in your life or not!  This is for you.  With the new year well on it's way, lets get in gear and start a beauty regiment for the next 14 days.  If you have little ones, involve them too.  I'll give you a few cute ideas later.

Okay, are you ready!! The first day, today, we will be taking inventory with ourselves.  Take a pad of paper, a mirror,  a calendar and something to write with.  That's all you need for the first day.  Stand in front of the mirror and examine your hair.  You might need to color your hair and get it cut .  Maybe your hair feels dry.  Write it on your pad of paper.  Next look at your hands and feet.  Most likely you'll need a fresh coat of nail polish on both your hands and feet just before Valentine's Day.  I could use a pedicure to get those heels nice and smooth!  Our hands always take a beaten with sewing, crafting, doing the dishes, cleaning and so much more.  You will then be looking at your face and take note of what you see.  Is your skin dry, oily or do you have combination skin?  Have you been working hard and not getting enough sleep, so you notice dark circles under your eyes.  Write it down on your pad of paper. Take one more look in the mirror and say, "I'm beautiful!" Write it on a your pad of paper! I'm beautiful!!! I deserved to be pampered!!!

Each day I have shared a tip or two on how you can pamper yourself for Valentine's Day.  Okay, ladies, you know that we don't need an excuse to make ourselves feel beautiful and to be good to ourselves, but it sure is great to have one!  

Most of these pampering ideas will be DIY.  I can't cut my own hair so for that I will leave it up to my hair dresser.  Some of your days will be different then mine.  Just remember to swap it with another day. 

Don't get sad, if your man is away, your single, or you feel like you don't have the money to spend.  Maybe you feel like you have no reason to pamper yourself.  That is simply not true.  When you do meet that special someone, I would think you would be attractive   You deserve it!!  If money is tight, most of these ideas are DIY with items we already have at home.  Besides, you don't have to do them all.  Pick and choose what works for you!!!

Get some of your girlfriends together and have them over.  Plan a movie night, a pot luck dinner, game night or maybe just have wine with the girls and enjoy a few appetizers with your friends.   If it's just you and the kids, bake cookies.  Make cards for the Grandparents.  If you're alone that night make plans to going shopping, or buy some pretty fabric to make some pajamas!!

Day 2    Today and everyday lotion up. In the morning after you
              shower and before you hit the sack.  Target your face, 
              neck, hands/arms,  legs and feet.  We want our skin to be
              soft! I use a different lotion for my face then I do for my

Day3      Schedule your hair appointment to have it colored and cut
               for whatever day works for you.  I color my own hair but,
               I do need it cut by someone, so this will take two
               different days.  Also, make an appointment with yourself
               to do your nails and pedicure.  Mark it on your calendar!
               Don't forget to lotion up twice a day!!!  

Day 4     Drink more water!  Add at least  2-8 ounces of water to
               your day.  I find it hard to drink water so I make a light 
               tea in the evening before bed.  A light tea means I dunk
               my tea bag 3-4 times in my cup of hot water just enough
               to give the water some color.  Do this everyday!! It's 
               important to hydrate the skin!!! Lotion up!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Join Some Communities!

Hello Fellow Readers!

I need to continue to stay focused and accountable for the things I write and what better way then to blog about it. May this inspire and encourage you to climb up those steps into those list of goals you've made for your own personal growth.  If you haven't, why not get a pen and some paper and jot down a few things you'd like to get started on and see through in the next couple of weeks, month or even year.  

Back in December I wrote a blog, I Can Do All Things, which I should have named,  I Can Do All Things And So Can You!  But I didn't and I can't cry over spilled milk. Carry on, Nina! No looking back only ahead to what's next.

That first goal on my list was to grow my blog my joining a few blogger communities and by studying other sites which I have been doing.  There's a lot of really great sites out there.  Great support  too.  A few of the Communities in Blogger I've joined that are supportive and have great feed back are: 

Sewing For Children

The Newbie Blogger

Recipe Sharing Community

Check out all the communities that you are interested in and make sure you #1 and comment!  Help and answer any questions you know the answer to.  We want to make others feel welcome and not   alone, because we all matter!  (Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31)  Support one another is key! 

Also, during the month of January I've been trying to fix my blog, make it look better (it's not there yet), reading up on adding widgets, etc. Boy, does it take time to learn how to do all that stuff.  I'm not very computer savvy so it takes me just a wee longer to accomplish.  I want you to know that I'm such a new blogger and by encouraging you, it also encourages me to press forward to the goal that is before me.  

It's okay to cry, to fall, and to get frustrated.  Maybe, some of you have been blogging for a while and you're tried and have run out of ideas.  Join some new communities and be refreshed. Deep down in our hearts we all have a desire to produce a great blog, take great pictures, and dish out fabulous material.  There are so many of us out there that are in the same boat.  You are not alone!!  

Remember you can only take one step at a time!!! 



Thursday, January 9, 2014

What's in the Bag and Making Bias Tape

Thanks for stopping by because this week it was time for me to pull out one of my patterns I had purchased while on sale at JoAnn's Fabric Store.   I chose Simplicity #2381.  I really liked  4 out of the 5 bags featured on the front envelope and decided to make View D first.

Here's the finished bag.  I love the way it turned out. The pattern called for a light interfacing, and a package of 1/2 inch bias tape (also known as binding).  Most packages contain 3-4 yards (but I used about 5 yards on this bag). I wanted the bag to have more body so, what's in the bag! Instead of light interfacing, I used a light cotton batting (batting is used for quilts).   Don't use thick batting unless you quilt the fabric before you cut the pattern pieces out.  Otherwise,  your bag will not turn out correctly.

I located the center front by folding the pattern pieces in half.  Marking center with sewing pins. Then I quilted the two layers together (front fabric and batting) by sewing on the center bag front.  Next,  I lined up the pressor foot with the first line and kept using each line has a guide for the next sewn line. I did come across extra bulk when matching some of the seams especially along the binding areas. Also,  I decided to make my own bias tape  because I wanted a coordinating fabric and nothing I had seen was available to match my bag.

I made my own bias tape and below are two ways to make it.

1. Strip Method~

Take a strip of fabric.  The example here is 7" by the length of the fabric.

Fold your fabric over.

Cut on that folded line.  Remember this is your 45 degree line. Cut out your strips to desired width.
Here you have your cut strips.
Place right sides together and sew 1/4" seam allowance to create your strips.

2. Continuous  Bias Tape
The second method  and the method I prefer.~ A fabric needs to be made in to a square of your desired fabric and cut from corner to corner. (For the bag above,  I made my square 20" and  had about 7 yards of bias tape.)  Fabric is right side up.   I placed a pin on the top and bottom of the square because it makes it easier to understand placement of fabric when your moving it around.  Take the bottom triangle

and place it above the other triangle where pins meet. The fabric is still right side up.

Fold over top piece (right sides together) and sew a 1/4" seam.

Press seams open and place fabric wrong side up.  Draw 1/4" seam allowance lines at top and bottom.  Measure out desired width and draw lines. (For this project, I cut the strips 2" wide.)   Place a pin on the first line drawn (top) and place a pin on the second line drawn (bottom).

Match pins with right sides of fabric together and sew.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Take your scissors and cut on drawn lines. You will now have a continuous strip. 

To finish the bias tape I like to press my strips in half with an iron and then guide it through the bias maker tool (these tools come in different sizes).  If you don't have a bias tool, don't worry.  
All you have to do is fold your strip in half, press.  Open up pressed seam and press raw edges toward center fold line. When using your iron be careful.  Your fingers tend to feel the heat of the iron especially when using stream to really get a nice crisp fold.
How to Determine the width of your bias tape:

The way I determine the width of by double bias tape is very simple:

Width needed for project  X  4 = width of cut strips

For this bag I needed
1/2" double bias tape X  4 = 2" (width of cut strips) 

I hope you have enjoyed me sharing this project along with some tips on how to make your own bias tape.  You don't have to follow the pattern exact.  If you have any questions, please ask. Thanks!