Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out With the Old, In With the New Year

Hello my pretties.
I am sitting here waiting on 2014 to roll into my time zone and reflecting on what the last year has brought me and taught me.

I have grown so much in the last year. I have even handed down much of my clothes. I either physically or emotionally grew out of them. Some of which I had since high school haha. For those of you who don't know... I am 27 so I have loved some of those clothes a long time. But making the move has helped push me in the direction of making more of my clothes. And in 5 more months I will actually have the time to get serious.

This year I made these patterns:

I got three new tattoos

I cut my hair shorter and with a ton of layers this year. I have worn my hair long and simple since I was 10. I have cut my own hair since I was 15 but always the same way. This time I challenged myself and was so happy at the outcome. And now I can do better wet sets for a more mature, vintage look.

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I started my new job 2 weeks ago and I am settling in nicely s a coder. That will keep my brain busy when school ends =) It is what I am going to school for after all.

My resolution for 2013 was to exercise and accessorize more often. I did great for exercising the first half of the year and accessorizing the last half... however I didn't do good the whole year with both

In 2014 I hope to continue growing into my own. I will be graduated from school in May and then I can really focus on my sewing and crafting. My New Year's Resolution for 2014 is to wear all my shoes more. I buy so many shoes because I love them. I justify it because I cannot make them. But then I wear them once (if that) and put them in my closet to gather dust. They are all too pretty to leave cooped up. And I need to get my monies worth. (I hope to do a post showing off what I have to inspire me to wear them all more)

I will blog as much as I can between now and the beginning of my last semester.
I already got the fabric for my graduation dress.

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I spent my day with my loved ones at my first football game ever: the 80th annual Sunbowl. (Post to follow about the game). We then finished off 2013 with a proper meal of BBQ at the Stateline restaurant. I made a football skirt for today (again, post to follow).

I wish you nothing but the best in the New Year!
Hope to see you around!

Love you all!
Lily Bean


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Friday, December 27, 2013

Pot Roast and My First Cheesecake

Hello there. As promised, I have a few recipes to share.
Tis the season to be a hungry-hungry hippo after all hahaha

Both of the following recipes come straight from the book I told you about in this post.

I want to start with the cheesecake... who doesn't love dessert first?

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Easy Cheesecake
2 (8oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 9in ready graham cracker piecrust
1 can pie filling of your choice (optional)

Preheat oven to 350degrees

Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and eggs in a bowl. Pour into piecrust. Bake for 40 mins. Cool and serve with any pie filling.

What I changed: Nothing. Just be sure you beat the ingredients well and until smooth and fluffy.

Next time: I want to eat more haha

Did I like it: I seriously loved it!!

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Slow Cooker Roast Beef
4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 onions, sliced
1 (3-4lb) chuck roast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp seasoned salt

Place half of the potatoes and onions in slow cooker. Place roast on top of veggies and add remaining potatoes and onions on top.

Pour 1/2 cup water over meat and veggies and cover. Cook on low for 10-12 hrs or on high for 5-6 hrs.

What I changed: I added and extra potato for a total of 5. I also used more that just 1/2 tsp garlic powder and seasoned salt. I rubbed the seasonings in to each side of the roast before placing in the slow cooker. I also had to add 2 extra coffee mugs full of water because 1/2 a cup wasn't nearly enough (possibly because I have a large oval slow cooker??)

Next time: I want to add carrots and maybe even celery

Did I like it: I sure did! I loooooove pot roast!

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Lily Bean
Hungry-hungry hippo

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas! (Simplicity 1797 View C)

Merry Christmas my lovelies!!
(I know, I know... I am a day late. Better late than never, I always say)

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, full of love and happiness.
I had a pretty good one myself.

Christmas Eve-Eve and Christmas Eve were both full of baking and spreading Christmas cheer. In between all of that, I managed to finish my Christmas dress.

Simplicity 1797 in View C, without the bow in the center waist

I love how it all came together!!
I made sure to add red and green details to really bring out the Christmas in it

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The back neckline is a low V-neck

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I didn't have any trouble with this pattern at all. It was simple to follow and turned out great!

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Now for some Christmas pictures...
with my Thea

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with my Penny

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I got this beautiful Bettie Page purse from Santee Clause.
I just love the red bow details!
I also got an Ariel coin purse perfect to tote my lipstick in.
I must have been a very good girl!

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In the evening, my sister-from-another-mister came over and we played games with the kids before going down to see a local light show.
The light show was awesome! The lights danced to some Christmas songs from the Transiberian Orchestra and they managed to squeeze in "What Does the Fox Say" and somehow make it all work haha
They gave free pictures with Santa, hot chocolate, and cookies while you wait.
The property is beautiful and it was so lovely to be able to tour the yard to see all the decorations.

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It was the perfect ending to a wonderful Christmas Day!!
Now to get ready for a New Year!
Lily Bean

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Friday, December 20, 2013

I just want to sew and cook and bake and sew!

Hello my lovelies!
Only 5 days left until Christmas!! I am starting to feel the excitement building!
All gifts are wrapped and sitting by the tree

But I don't have my Christmas dress sewn up yet!!
Oh no!!
I started testing a pattern yesterday but realized I didn't like the way it will fit my two fabric options...

So I just picked 2 more patterns and start cut one tonight.

In fact, I picked 7 patterns to hope to get through before school starts again

Oh shoot! I still need to pick fabric to make my graduation dress
so I have 8 items to get through then haha

I only have 4 weeks left of break
This week has gone so fast! Going through all the education at work (because of my promotion to coder) has been exhausting. Thankfully I only have a few classes left.

I snapped some pictures of my sewing plans... Here they are. Wish me luck in time management haha

Simplicity 1797 View C
This is the dress I am now working on for Christmas
(could not figure out why the image would not rotate, sorry)

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McCall's M6699
I want this one for Christmas Eve or day if I can finish 2 dresses in the next few days.
I plan on getting some grey for the contrast

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McCall's M6534
I have been wanting to make a Hello Kitty dress for a while. I found this fabric in the remnants bin one day but it is only a yard. It will be perfect for this style dress.  I will use the fuschia on the skirt of the dress.

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M6407 View A
I think this flannel will make an adorable little jacket. I want to make the collar solid pink.

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M6681 View A
I have been wanting to make this cute little hoodie for a while. In fact, it has been cut for months. I hope to make it before it gets hot =P

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I want to make a few flannel skirts. Especially now that I have riding boots =)

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New Look A6184 View E
This is the dress I cut and started prepping last night. I will finish it, but it is on the back burner since it is no longer the pattern I want for Christmas.

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Also, since I am on break, I will be cooking as much as I can too. I haven't spent real time in the kitchen in a while and I sure do miss it. The other day at Barnes and Noble I found an awesome recipe book and want to use these recipes for any meal or dessert I cook up while on break.
Click here. I added a link to the book.

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I have already picked a few recipes to try out. I will share them with you here as I try them. I will also rate them on flavor and simplicity.

Well, off I go to try and keep this momentum.

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Lily Bean
Winter Berry Faerie

Monday, December 16, 2013

Winter Break and a Short Dress (McCall's M6559 View C)

Anybody still there? I was much busier than I expected these last 3 months. 
Just before I disappeared I had finished a short jersey knit dress (McCall's M6559 in View C)

I never did have a chance to post the pictures, so here you go:

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I love that I can wear it in the summer as is...

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...or in the winter with tights, a cardigan, and boots

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The above picture brings me to my next order of business

I missed a post for 6 months

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and 7 months

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So i have 5 weeks off before beginning my last semester EVER
I have a lot to accomplish in these 5 weeks
some christmas gift sewing, my christmas dress, my graduation dress, and anything else i can manage to squeeze in

But the most important thing I will be doing this during these 5 weeks off school is learning my new position at work.
I was promoted to Coder!!! yeeeaaaahh!!!
20 people applied and I was the only one who passed the test. and I not only passed, but passed with 100% correct!

what a great way to start the new year!

Glad to be back and hope to get lots of posts in before my 5 weeks of freedom are up.
Lily Bean

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

8 More Months...

Hello my lovelies!
Well, I had big plans to sew last weekend... HAD
but then I got sick =(
It rained for days here and it was perfect time to get some sewing in. When my  Thursday class was cancelled due to minor flooding around town I started cutting out some patterns. I was ready to sew the whole weekend long.
My plans changed when I started to feel awful Friday. I slept all day, all night, and most of Saturday. I then had to use Sunday to play catch up on all my chores and prepping for school clinicals. So I have not sewn any of it
My schedule should not be so bad this semester with clinicals as it was before. But I need to adjust to it before I can see if I can keep sewing or need to shelf my Singer until Winter break.
I will keep you posted =)
I just dropped by to say that, as of yesterday,
8 more months!!!!!
Lily Bean
study bug

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I cut my hair... but this time with style

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Hello my pretties.
As I have mentioned before, I always do my own hair. I have been cutting my own hair since I was old enough to use anything sharper than safety scissors. Some cuts better than others, and some on more appropriate days than others.
On the night before my Nino Bobby's wedding where I was the flower girl: not the best idea a 6 year old has ever had. Thankfully my mom was able to curl my hair to hide the imperfections.
My mom had a vintage doll head toy that she had brought from my grandma's house so I could play and style the long blonde hair... VINTAGE...
I was proud of the bob I gave her, as for my mom... not so much.
When I was 15 my parents enrolled me in Cosmetology school and I was happy as a clam. I never did graduate but I completed half the hours, so I learned plenty.
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 I have only had 3 or 4 professional cuts my whole life. Other than that, it has been all me. I  usually play it safe when cutting my own hair since I am not behind myself and I am standing instead of sitting (posture can be an issue). I keep my hair fairly long and sometimes layer the front. You have probably seen my "Bettie Bangs" pop up every Fall and stay until late winter. That about sums up my "styling" when I cut my own hair.

I have been getting pretty bored with my hair lately. I decided no Bettie Bangs this year because then my hair will be at strange lengths for grad. I also have not been able to add the fun colors I usually do due to my clinical rotation at a hospital for school.
For someone who is accustomed to changing her hair at any given thought, this has been very hard. I can't see my hair exactly the same month after month. I just can't.

These are the most recent pictures showing how my hair was prior to my cut. It was all one length in the back with only a bit of layering in the front. I was in desperate need of a trim.

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I have been watching a ton of vintage movies because September is "Sundays with Hitch" on Turner Classic Movies. I decided I need more than just a trim. I needed a real style. A proper cut that will hold whatever I am in the mood for, retro or modern.
I was scared of the idea for at least a week.
Then last Sunday after I had finished everything I needed to prepare for my week ahead, bathed the dogs, and done my chores; I realized I had a little extra time left over for the night. So when I got in the shower I left my shears on the bathroom sink, ready to work magic when I got out.
While in the shower I thought up how I was going to cut my hair and decided I wouldn't go back on it. I had the courage and my shears ready so I went right to it.
Instead of sticking to my usual, safe trim: I went for it. I was scared I would ruin it but figured it would grow back anyway haha.
I cut shorter than usual. Anyone who knows me knows that hair that doesn't touch my back bra strap may as well be a bob. For someone who usually has hair to her lower back, this is short haha
I also added a TON of layers all over my head. Not just the front this time.

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So now my hair has more volume, holds my natural waves better, and will hold curl better (when it isn't raining cats and dogs outside).
I love it!
I feel more grown up and feel much more like brushing my hair now.
You can't have a proper cut and always leave in a messy bun, right.

Lily Bean
one very proud beauty school dropout

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My First Maxi Dress (McCall's M6559 View D) and a Fun Apron (Simpicity Sew Simple A2011)

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 Hey there guys and dolls.
As you may have noticed, maxi dresses have been in style lately. I have wanted one so, so bad but have always felt like I was too tall standing at 5'1.
Well, after seeing so many of my friends tall and short rocking the maxi look, I decided I could too. I knew with the right dress I wouldn't feel like a child playing in my mom's pajamas hahaha. So when McCall's patterns went on sale I made a point to get a few maxi dresses.
This is the first one I made
McCall's M6559 View D 

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I am very proud of how well I matched my stripes on the side seam

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I have fallen in love with this pattern and think I will make one more tomorrow (if time permits). It was so easy! I think this is a great dress for someone who is new to sewing with knits (like myself). I managed my side seams perfectly bit I did stretch my hem seams out a bit. Any tips from you seasoned sewers?

This is the first "form fitting" dress I have sewn and I think I did a great job of blending the sizes needed. It helped me gain some confidence with adjusting pattern sizing for my body. Maybe I will be ready to make a form fitting dress in cotton weave soon... maybe haha
And a photo shoot would not be complete without a puppy in a picture hahaha. Here is my Theadora exploring my new dress.

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I also made a new apron last week.
My first time using a pattern to make one.
I used Simplicity Sew Simple A2011
I chose the unicorns and rainbows as my main fabric and baby pink gingham for the details. I did not have enough matching ric rac in my stash and couldn't decide which shade of pink I liked better... so I used both to line my pockets.

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I got a few shots with the apron on as well
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 I adore it and love the "bib" pocket!
I can't wait for the Fall/Winter days of baking
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 I am so over the summer right now and ready to get some use out of my new apron!
Lily Bean
(p.s. School started last week but I am trying to use every waking moment to sew before things kick into gear for the semester)