Joy Jacket by Chalk and Notch

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The Chalk and Notch Joy Jacket. Wow! What a pattern! I’m not entirely sure what I can say about it that hasn’t already been said. I’ve been anxiously awaiting its release since last October when Gabriela shared a preview on her IG (here). Following her post, I immediately set out to source my ideal fabrics. After a couple months of searching and indecision, I found this rayon/poly blend twill from Style Maker Fabrics. I’ve always been partial to jewel tones and this fabric was practically calling my name. It has a soft, lovely drape and smooth hand. It was fairly easy to work with as compared to a rayon challis and working with it was similar to the difficulty level of working with a lawn or voile. As someone who primarily works with prints, my only issue was differentiating between the right and wrong sides during assembly.

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As mentioned above, I regularly work with prints. While I wanted a solid colored outer shell, I wasn’t about to miss the opportunity to line my Joy with a print. I waffled back and forth between using a bold floral or a simple stripe and eventually decided on this black and white stripe rayon challis from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. Since I plan on regularly wearing this jacket unzipped, I wanted a lining that would be a complement to my somewhat bold wardrobe. I love this lining so much that I also used it to line the sleeves of my Clare Coat. I have nothing but good things to say about this fabric (and that amazing price). The only caveat is that I did have to take a few breaks when cutting the lining pieces because those tiny stripes were a bit hard on the eyes after too much concentration.

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While sourcing fabric was really only made difficult by my indecisiveness, sourcing the hardware  was a bit more difficult. I ordered my zipper from Zipperstop on Etsy (they also have their own website, I just had an Etsy gift card to use). I liked having the option to order a zipper in 1″ increments instead of being forced to buy the standard lengths available through most retailers. Find the specific listing I used here. I believe the color of this zipper is 530 which is not an exact match for this fabric, but certainly close enough.

When it came time to purchase grommets I just picked up these brass Dritz brand ones at my local JoAnn Fabrics. I can’t speak to the durability of these as I’ve only had this jacket for a couple of weeks at this point, but installation was quick and painless. I mean, really? Why did nobody tell me installing grommets was this simple? I would’ve started adding them to projects years ago.

Want to make sourcing hardware simpler? Gabriela will soon be offering a pre-order for hardware kits in several popular colors. I’ll be sure to update you when that’s available.

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Now let’s talk about the making of this jacket:

Since I had completed a Clare Coat one week before tackling the Joy, I wasn’t too nervous about making another piece of lined outerwear. I also have full faith in Gabriela’s drafting and instructions and knew I was in good hands. Don’t let the prospect of a lined jacket intimidate you though, the steps are clear and well written.

Honestly, cutting took me longer than the actual jacket construction. There are quite a few pieces to the Joy Jacket which contributed to the longer cutting time. Due to a bit of (manageable) chronic pain in my right hand, I had to take frequent breaks from cutting and took my time over the course of three evenings.

Once I got going, the jacket came together rather quickly. I did have some trouble with the pockets due to tension issues coupled with late-night sewing mistakes. While cutting took me three evenings, sewing only took two. I’m a very hands-on/visual learner and, because of this, sometimes have difficulty understanding written instructions. Thankfully, the pattern includes helpful diagrams all along the way. If you feel you need more help, Gabriela is also planning a detailed sew along set to begin next month.

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Now that I’ve pretty well said my piece, can I take a minute to mention a few of my lovely sewing friends? Several of us got together and pitched in to rent a photo studio for an hour for these photos. The photos in this post were taken by my friend Kim of Sweet Red Poppy and I really feel like she’s some sort of photo wizard.

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We were also able to get some photos of our Joy Jackets together. The photo below is one of my favorites and will probably end up on my bulletin board in my sewing room. My sewing friends have been a true joy and lifeline over the past year and I feel pretty dang lucky to have them in my life. If you want to read more about their Joy Jackets, read Tiahna’s post here, Tami’s post here, and Rachel’s post here.

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Have you heard enough about the Joy Jacket yet? No? If you haven’t already, Head over to Leslie’s post (here) to read more about this patterns origins. Grab a tissue, you might need it.

Want to win a copy of your own? Leave a comment below about what fabric you’d use for a Joy Jacket. Want an extra entry? Check out my most recent IG post about this jacket and follow the instructions in the caption. Winner will be announced on Saturday the 24th.

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My Son’s Jean Jacket and Tips for Working With Ottobre Patterns

Hello! I hope you’ve had a lovely holiday season. Today I’d like to share something that I made for my rambunctious four year old. You might recall that I made a Hampton Jean Jacket (here) back in October. My son almost immediately requested one of his own asking for “shiny buttons” just like mine. The boy was in luck because I had just a little over a yard of  Cone Mills denim (purchased from Threadbare Fabrics) left over from my jacket. Since my sewing queue was a bit full of Halloween sewing at the time, I promised him  a custom jacket for Christmas. I was able to pull it off just in time as I hammered the jeans buttons in place on Christmas Eve.

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I attempted convincing my son  to select some unique details for his jacket, (a different color of topstitching thread, different embroidery on the back, etc.) but he insisted that it be exactly like mine. I’m soaking in all these moments when he still thinks my style is cool because I’m sure those feelings are somewhat fleeting.

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You may notice, however, that there are a few details that vary from my jacket. These are all small details such as the absence of welt pockets, the jacket front pockets being sewn to the outside instead of the inside, and bias tape on the inside of the collar. These are all differences between Alina’s  Hampton Jean Jacket pattern and the Ottobre pattern used for my son’s jacket.

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Coming across the Ottobre pattern for my son’s jacket involves a bit of serendipity. I had been searching for a children’s jean jacket pattern, but hadn’t quite settled on one when my friend Lisa asked if I would like to have some of her old Ottobre magazines. I said yes and she brought them to our Modern Quilt Guild meeting the next day. I started to flip through them when I saw the back cover for issue 1/2011. This was exactly the pattern for which I had been searching.

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Ottobre is a well-known name in the sewing community so you may have heard of them. Ottobre is a Finnish company specializing in children’s wear patterns. They produce 5 magazines a year containing children’s clothing patterns as well as a special Ottobre Woman issue. In 2017 they also added an Ottobre Family issue bringing their grand total of issues to 7 each year. You can order both subscriptions or individual issues, although I’m not sure how easy it is to come by the older issues. Each issue is jam-packed with fun and stylish patterns. The specific one I’ve used here contains 40 different patterns. As you may have guessed, the sheer volume of patterns included comes with a few drawbacks.

First, in order to fit all the patterns on just a few pieces of paper, they are printed overlapping and on both  sides of each paper (see first photo below). I managed to make tracing bit more manageable by grabbing a permanent marker and my trusty Pattern-Ease (more about that here). I used the permanent marker to outline the correct size pattern pieces (see second photo below). This made tracing a bit easier on my eyes.

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Second, you have to add your own 3/8″ or 1 cm seam allowances. This isn’t a difficult step, just takes a bit of time.

Third, the instructions can be a bit sparse as each pattern only gets half a page of instructions. This specific limitation might be the most intimidating of the three. My recommendation for this is to select a project with techniques you have previously used. In my specific case, this worked out well because I had already made a jean jacket and was familiar with the top stitching, and other details associated with one. I actually used Alina’s Hampton Jean Jacket sewalong to help me clarify and understand some of the Ottobre instructions.

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Overall, these drawbacks added a bit more time to the project, but none of them would keep me from using another Ottobre pattern. The interesting style lines and endless variations on children’s basics mean I will likely turn to them again and again. I also love the fact that Ottobre makes a decent amount of patterns for boys. I’m sometimes discouraged when it comes to sewing for my son because the indie pattern world is largely dominated by patterns for women and girls.

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I’ll leave you with few more notes about my construction process. Every bit of my leftover yard of denim was used to make this jacket. This resulted in a serious game of pattern tetris as I worked to fit each and every piece. Cost-wise this was a relatively inexpensive project (less than $10) as I only purchased buttons and topstitching thread.  I sized up a couple of sizes in the hopes that my son will be able to get lots of wear out of this jacket. Another concession I made was to use mock flat-fell seams in order to save a bit of seam ripping and time.

I thoroughly enjoyed making this jacket as a present for my boy.  I do however, plan to wait a year or two before making another jean jacket because two within few months was a lot of work. Thanks for reading! Did you gift any handmade items this year? What did you make for the holidays?

Itch to Stitch Blog Tour: Hepburn Turtleneck

I’m thrilled today to be part of the Itch to Stitch Love Blog Tour.  Kennis of Itch to Stitch has quite the repertoire of well-drafted patterns under her belt and I’ve enjoyed sewing her patterns in the past (see those here, here, and here).  Recently, Kennis was on vacation and came home to find that her home had been burglarized. Thieves took her computers, machines, and many other things essential to her and her husband’s businesses. This tour came about because the sewing community joined together to support one of our own. Read to the end of the post for information on all the generous sponsors and talented bloggers joining together this week.

When I was invited to join, I searched the website to find inspiration and decide on a project. Upon seeing and buying the Hepburn Turtleneck pattern, I knew I had the perfect fabric/pattern combination.  I purchased this soft striped rayon french terry from Indiesew and it’s been sitting in my stash for months waiting for inspiration to strike.
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Today I’m sharing my Hepburn Turtleneck styled two different ways. It’s been several years since I owned a fitted turtleneck and I wasn’t quite sure how to style it. The first look is a slightly dressed up classic look that I envision wearing for a night out or even to Thanksgiving dinner. I pulled my hair into a low bun, painted on red lipstick, and paired my new top with these denim Lander Pants (more about those here).

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This first look seemed like a simple and natural styling choice. I love the understated elegance of this outfit, but likely won’t dress up quite this much on a regular basis. My second look is a casual one that is less classic and more trendy. When styling this outfit, I pulled my hair into a top knot, applied minimal makeup, grabbed my Rifle Paper Co. Keds, and pulled out my vintage Levi’s 550 jeans.

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These jeans are my literal mom jeans because I took them from my mom’s closet. I’m pretty picky about jeans and only own one pair besides these. My mom wore these jeans when I was younger, and it seems only natural that I would wear them now that I’m a mother. They’re worn to comfortable perfection and have completely sold me on the mom jeans trend. I wasn’t sure how to feel about this outfit until I put it on and realized that it’s likely to become my winter momiform.

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My Hepburn Turtleneck has been worn at every opportunity since it was finished a few days ago. It’s the perfect fit and weight for winter layering and wearing as a transition piece in late fall and early spring. I’m already envisioning new ways to style this top and keep it in constant rotation. How would you style a fitted turtleneck? Which look do you prefer?

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A quick note on sizing: My bust measurement fell between the size 2 and size 4 with my hip measurement being a size 6. I opted to make a size 4 and grade to a 6 at the hips. I’m 5’10” and added 2″ to the body length and 1.5″ to the arm length.

Read below for more inspiration and instructions on entering a couple of great giveaways. 

Your ITS Love bloggers are:

Monday: Sew Sophie Lynn, Merritts Makes, Sewing with Sarah, Sewing with D

Tuesday: Shalini’s Blog, Auschicksews, Rebel and Malice, Sewing Vortex

Wednesday: Replicate Then Deviate, mahlicadesigns, Sewing with D, The Petite Sewist, kreamino

Thursday: Sewing Curves, Creative Counselor, Sew Mariefleur, Fairies, Bubbles & Co, Sewing by Ti

Friday: Harper+Lu, MeMade, On Wednesdays We Sew, Heather Handmade, Bellevi, and visit by mooglii on IG

The ITS Love Tour sponsors have been so generous in support of Kennis of Itch to Stitch that we’ve been able to put together several prize packages to share with you.
First, you may enter our giveaway to win one of three prize packs:

Prize Pack #1 includes:

5 Itch to Stitch patterns

$25GC to Simply By Ti

$50 Raspberry Creek Gift Card

$50 Bella Sunshine gift card

                  Prize Pack #2 includes:

$50 Knit Pop GC

$25 Designer Stitch GC

$25 Chalk and Notch GC

3 patterns of choice from Coffee And Thread

Prize Pack #3 Includes:

$15 Thread & Grain store credit

$25 Maker Mountain Fabrics GC

3 patterns from Halla Patterns

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Your second way to win is to share with us your recent Itch to Stitch creations (made between October and November 2017). Add your creations to our Link Up Party before Nov. 20th for a chance to win one of two prize packs.

LinkUp Prize Pack #1 includes:

5 Itch to Stitch patterns

A $40 value PFRE Sly Fox Fabrics.

$25 Maker Mountain Fabrics GC

$50 Love Notions GC

LinkUp Prize Pack #2 includes:

$25 Stylish Fabric GC & sewing box kit

$25 Chalk and Notch GC

5 patterns from Rad Patterns

Pattern of choice from DG Patterns

Click here to view and add your links.

Matching Loungewear: Brilliant Idea or Fashion Blunder?

Way back in August, my son decided that he wanted to be Spongebob for Halloween and requested that I dress up as Squidward. Part of me was rather proud as I was a Spongebob fan back in the day. In the sixth grade I even got a Spongebob alarm clock for Christmas (It sang the “F.U.N.” song to wake me up and was a real treasure. I’m sure my parents were delighted when it finally broke).  I had spent a few weeks puzzling on how to execute my Squidward costume until I was in Denver and Emily made this Blueprints for Sewing Geodesic Sweatshirt. The wheels in my head started turning and I came up with the idea of a matching mint colored loungewear set.

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Emily’s lovely mauve french terry inspired me to check the Raspberry Creek Fabrics Etsy shop where I found this solid dark mint french terry. I knew that I would use the Geodesic pattern because I already owned it and had been planning to make the longer version eventually (see my cropped version here). I decided to purchase the True Bias Hudson Pants pattern (here) and the two together make a perfect pair.

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I sewed up a size C/D with no alterations in the Geodesic and it all came together rather quickly. My background in quilting is what drew me to the fun geometric lines of the Geodesic and I think it made the construction a little easier as well.

When cutting and sewing the Hudsons, I made a size 10 with the only alteration being an added 4″ in length. I only needed to add 3″ to the length, but I prefer my sweats a little extra long. It probably has something to do with the fact that nearly all rtw sweats are a few inches too short for my legs. Perhaps I’m just making up for years of wearing sweats that look like I’m expecting a flood.

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While I’m satisfied with both pieces individually, I’m still not sure that I’m sold on wearing them together. They kind of remind me of the blush velour sweatsuit I owned in middle school and I’m still trying to decide whether or not that’s a good thing. The comfort level of this outfit is unreal. I have been wearing it around the house all day today. I guess the point of loungewear is actual lounging though, so I will certainly wear these together during those times. My biggest question is whether or not I would wear matching loungewear out and about during everyday activities. How do you feel about matching loungewear? Is it something you would wear? How and where would you wear it?

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Thanks for reading! I’ll leave you with a quick iPhone shot of our Halloween costumes so you can see how I incorporated these matching separates into my Squidward costume.

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Hampton Jean Jacket Blog Tour

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Last month, I had the pleasure of meeting Alina of Alina Design Co. When she mentioned that she was hosting a Hampton Jean Jacket tour, I knew joining was my only option. I’d planned to make a Hampton after seeing Leslie’s version last spring (here). When it comes to sewing, I’m a big fan of deadlines. They keep me motivated, challenged, and accountable. This tour was just the deadline I needed to whip myself into shape and get sewing.

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I selected a lovely indigo denim from Threadbare Fabrics (this one) and chose not to bleach or distress it. I did, however, decide to add my own personal touch. I’ve always been drawn, to embroidery, but haven’t taken much time to practice and wasn’t quite up for anything too complicated. When searching for inspiration, I came across this fabric and knew that’s what I wanted to replicate on my jacket.

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I’ve hand-quilted a few small quilts and pillows before, and used the same supplies and method on my center back piece (minus the batting and backing, of course). I selected two colors of size 5 perle cotton, navy and ecru. The stitching lines are 1/2″ apart, with the stitches being about 1/4″ or less. I didn’t worry too much about the stitches being perfect. I love the uniqueness that these stitches bring to the jacket. That’s the beautiful thing about making your own clothing. Even if one were to make the exact same jacket, with the same details, each jacket would be just as unique as their maker.

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Making this jacket was certainly a labor of love. I lost track of the time I spent working on it, but spent at least 15+ hours. Part of those 15 hours were spent removing wonky top-stitching, and less than stellar buttonholes. Every minute spent with my seam ripper was 100% worth it in the end. My top-stitching still has its quirks, but it’s work of which I can be proud.

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Don’t let the sewing time or details scare you from trying this pattern. I found the drafting to be impeccable, and everything lined up just right. The instructions were also full of detail and I found Alina’s Hampton Sewalong posts (here) to be invaluable when finishing some of the trickier details like the welt pockets. Finishing this jacket made me feel a bit like a superhero. I keep staring at it hanging in my closet, because I can’t believe that I actually made it. It kind of feels like discovering a superpower. Really, I owe my thanks to Alina for making a pattern that pushed my sewing comfort zone and made me feel oddly powerful. I may also owe a bit of thanks to my college sewing teacher, Lu, who taught me how to sew flat fell seams and was always encouraging, despite my obvious lack of skill.

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Just a quick note on sizing: I sewed a size 4, with my only adjustments being 1″ of length to the body of the jacket and 1/2″ of length to the sleeves.

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Now, please take a minute to check out the talented ladies also sharing their jackets this week. Then, once you’ve had your fill of inspiration, get to work on a jacket of your own. Be sure to use coupon code “HAMPTONSFORALL” for 15% off  the pattern (purchase here). Until this one, I haven’t owned a denim jacket since middle school  and am now wondering how I’d gone so long without one. I’m now convinced they’re a closet staple.

Hampton Jean Jacket Fall 2017 Blog Tour
October 9: Helen’s Closet
October 13: Well Fibre

 

A Weekend Retreat and My Driftless Cardigan

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Way back in October of last year, I purchased this gray jersey knit from Suppose and cut out my Driftless Cardigan (find the pattern here). I was clearly getting ahead of myself because I had approximately one billion other deadlines at the time. April came around and I thought to myself, “Life has finally slowed down, I can now finish all of those other projects that I started last fall.” I was wrong. My husband ended up applying for and accepting an amazing new job which meant life was about to get crazy again.

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Meanwhile, I attended a blogger meet up in SLC and Sara and I came up with the idea for a small weekend sewing retreat. I spent the next few weeks stressing about my upcoming move and finally decided to pull the trigger on planning a retreat. This mama needed a break. Sara and I set a date, I got permission to use the family cabin, and we began counting the days.

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The weekend finally arrived and it turned out to be both rejuvenating and productive. My sewing weekend goal was finishing a pile of unfinished projects so that they would no longer clutter my sewing area. Each of my projects were only a few steps away from completion, but had been sitting unfinished for months. Sewing for an entire weekend allowed me to complete a couple of baby quilts, a quilted pillow cover, two simple baby dresses, and my Driftless Cardigan.

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While setting aside time to actually sew this took months; the actual time it took to sew this cardigan was roughly 3 hours. One of those hours was used to hand stitch the neckband. I have loved Grainline Studio patterns for years because of the clean lines and well-executed details. The Driftless Cardigan is a great example of this with its hidden pockets and optional split bottom band. This was completed a month ago and it’s gotten quite a bit of use despite the blazing summer temperatures. It’s perfect for an extra layer at the movie theater (ours is always freezing) or for wearing on chilly evenings.

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A quick note on sizing: I sewed up a size 4 and added 2.5 inches to the length at the lengthen/shorten line. I also added about 1.5 inches to the sleeve length because I like my sleeves extra long.

Special thanks goes to Kim of Sweet Red Poppy for taking these lovely photos.

Blueprints Geodesic and “Letting it Go”

I’ve been admiring the Blueprints for Sewing Geodesic Sweatshirt pattern for quite a while now. I just couldn’t get myself to pull the trigger on buying the PDF version, so I nearly jumped for joy when a printed version was announced. I purchased my pattern the day they arrived at Suppose and couldn’t wait to get started.

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I chose to to make a cropped version for easy layering on cool summer mornings/evenings. The fabric used is an organic cotton interlock made by Cloud 9 fabrics and purchased from Suppose. I would consider it a medium weight which is perfect for this pattern. It’s not quite as bright as the fabrics that I’d usually select, but I’m making a concerted effort to add more neutrals into my wardrobe.

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Let’s talk a bit about my construction process. This sweatshirt was sewn in small snippets of time over the course of about two weeks. The last month has been chaotic to say the least, and I needed a simple stress-free project. When cutting the triangles, I decided to alternate the stripe direction in order to add a bit more interest and eliminate the need for stripe matching.

You may notice that my version has a slightly different layout than the illustration on the pattern cover. Can you spot the difference? Look at this photo and see if you can find it. Found it? My version has the bottom row of triangles upside down. This was a blunder I found only after sewing up the side seams. Whenever I make a sewing mistake, I ask myself three questions: Does this ruin the fit? Can I live with it? Will I still wear it? If the answer to the first question is yes, then I immediately work to remedy the issue. If not, I move on to the other two questions. Often I can justify keeping the mistake if it doesn’t affect the actual fitting of the garment. This was one of  those times.

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Anxiety sometimes tries to get the best of me when I goof up. In order to calm myself, I repeat two phrases:

“Done is Fun”- Alison Faulkner (The Alison Show)

“Let it Go” (Can’t say that one without singing the “Frozen” theme)

These phrases remind me that my errors often aren’t as glaring as they may initially seem. Life is really too short to waste time fixing an error that doesn’t have to be seen as an error. It’s a design decision, right? It is likely that the only people who may notice the error are those who are familiar with the pattern. Overall, I’m happy with the look of my Geodesic and isn’t that what matters in the end?

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These photos were snapped during a short getaway to the cabin. My husband proposed to me in this place and our wedding reception was held on the property. I always leave wishing we could spend just a little more time here. My clothes are a bit wrinkly because my son and I woke up and walked the property while watching the sunrise. By the time my husband was available to help take pictures, I’d spent half the day wearing this outfit. I’ll leave you with a blurry, but lovely self-timer photo snapped during our sunrise walk.

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