Crocheting v. Homework

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A hard day of unproductive work in academia’s eyes. This will come in handy when I’m trekking to classes // Yarn: Joann

There was a clear winner today, no doubt about that.  The impending winter started showing its ugly head with a sun no where to be found, spot showers, and bursts of winds that likened me to Marilyn Monroe as  I walked to Chapter meeting in my Pin Attire dress.

I started this scarf in the morning when I couldn’t peel myself out of bed.

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I spent the night at Heather’s since she’s a Townie (aka someone who is from Kirksville). As soon as I pulled out the yarn to begin this morning, her three-legged cat, Ron, was all about it. That’s him staring me down waiting for his chance to attack.

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Ron finally decided he couldn’t wait any longer and the yarn had to be in his mouth asap.

I finished it when I went to the library foolishly thinking I would get any real work done.

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Thank goodness I finished. Naturally, the library is freezing right about the time heat should be kicking on.

I don’t think there is a good way to explain any crocheting technique in words.  It is very much a craft that requires trial and error, or visuals, or a person next to you who knows what heck they’re doing.  That’s how I learned.  It was finals week last year, and I was grabbing at anything to do that wasn’t studying every chance I got.  Luckily, so was my good friend Heather who more than happily took breaks from Econ to explain to me the way of the loop.

Here are a few links to YouTube tutorials that I found helpful when Heather wasn’t around:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmo2QiOsi-A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWw8DtvnxRg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-CnU0C2WKw

Groovy Jams + Rain= Wet Flower Children

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Maybe you saw my tweet about Groovy Jams.  Maybe you didn’t.  Maybe you wish you had.  Anyhow, you can follow me on twitter here and then you will always know when I’m getting down like its the summer of ’69.

Groovy Jams is my sorority’s fall date party, which is just a fancy way of saying themed party where we coerce boys into dressing up with us and taking silly pictures.  Sort of like this…..

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My roomie, Ally, and her date Josh. He was such a good sport.

This is always one of my favorite nights because I stand by the claim that I should have been born in the psychedelic era that is the 1960’s-70’s.  I would have been so good at it, I just know it.  I always love putting my costume together (and usually my date’s too because I always sometimes micromanage, ok?) since it usually requires a trip around town hitting up all of the thrift stores.  Hidden Treasures is my favorite one, and just so happened to have a few beauties hanging on their racks when I took a gander.

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Look at that awesome crop top that also, somehow, operates as a peasant top. The pattern and fit was perfect for Groovy Jams. It also has a matching maxi skirt that I forewent. I like my mom cut off’s much better. Oh, and that’s my roommate Erin. She’s just like me except she’s a redhead and can’t operate a glue gun. I dressed her too.

The mom jeans I bought that you see as shorts above cost me $2.  I used this tutorial to cut and destroy them, and, in my opinion, they came out pretty well.  You can buy shorts just like these from boutiques or on Etsy for upwards of $30, but you’d be crazy to. $2 and  little elbow grease (those white fray things don’t come easy) got me the same thing.  Thrift stores are great places to look for articles of clothing that can be repurposed into something that is totally new, you just have to keep an open mind and smell beyond the must.  I stumbled across this great website that allows you to enter your zip code and then it spits out a super comprehensive list of thrift stores in your area with links to websites.  Here it is: http://www.thethriftshopper.com/.  Definitely worth checking out.

The second half of my groovy ensemble was a flower headpiece inspired from many a rave picture on Instagram.

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Classic prom pose with Heather the feather sporting her own thrifted outfit. This is the best picture of my headband that I made for the evening using supplies I had in my craft box.

These flower crowns can also run pretty expensive, considering I made this one for less than $5.  Here are a few from Etsy that mine resembles pretty closely.  I literally glued leaves and flowers to an elastic headband.  Boom, done.

Fall has so much more in store for me, and I just can’t wait.

Peace and Progress,

JQ

Red Barn Arts and Crafts Festival + Maxi Skirt

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I cannot express how happy I am this week is finally over.  School was beyond crazy.  It’s getting to the point in the semester where every class starts kicking it into high gear, and syllabus week is just faint memory.  I felt like a chicken with my head cut off running from one obligation to the next, but my handy dandy planner and I got through it.

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Isn’t she beaut? So cool, calm, and collected on the outside. Harboring my chaos on the inside.

With my uber packed school load this week, I wasn’t able to dedicate even a couple hours to attempt the simplest Pinterest endeavor.  I did have a pretty good handle on life by this morning, though, meaning there were only a thousand things I had on my to-do list rather than a million, and I decided to hit up Red Barn Arts and Crafts Festival with my roomies.  The festival happens every year in downtown Kirksville, and is always a great place to find one of kind purchases and do a lot of people watching. Going to Truman can start to feel like living in a bubble that is separate from the town when you’re always in between class buildings, never needing to leave the three blocks surrounding your house, and making Walmart trips at 1 a.m.  I always like when I have the opportunity to see the town and it’s citizens in action and have real interactions with some of them.  When I visited Truman for the first time when I was still in high school, Kirksville immediately reminded me of Stars Hollow, the fictitious town that creates the backdrop for the television show Gilmore Girls, and after being here for three years I still find that to be true, especially on days like today.

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Mallory, one of my roommates, and a sock monkey I fell in love with. I have an unhealthy obsession.

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Wind chimes made of typical kitchen appliances. They were hard to resist.

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The only thing I left the festival with, a spoon ring from Phil’s Phorks.

Today was also the first day that really felt like fall.  Maybe it was the mixture of kettle corn and big, ripe pumpkins combined with the pleasant bite in the air.  Whatever it was, it made me want to unpack all of my sweaters as soon as I could and get outside.  I decided to wear the maxi skirt I made before school started using this tutorial.  It’s so comfy, but a little long.

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Having to model the clothes I make still makes me feel a little wonky, and it doesn’t help that my roommates are the ones behind the camera most of the time.

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Skirt: sewn by me // Sweater: Tj Maxx // Fabric: girlcharlee.com // Pattern: Cotton and Curls

Next week I will definitely be making time to do my own creating.  I’m thinking something for cooler weather.

Peace and Progress,

Jessica

Welcome!

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A few thoughts on what I’m trying to do here…

The first best feeling in the world is making the last stitch on a garment, trying it on, and loving every single imperfection because, even with that hem that went a little haywire, it still fits your awkward boob to waist ratio perfectly unlike most of the dresses at that boutique everyone loves next to Cinnabon.  The second best feeling in the world is when someone asks where you got that great dress that fits your awkward boob to waist ratio and you can reply with, “This old thing?  I made this.”

The more I started learning about sewing, the more I knew I would never stop.  It used to be a hobby that I kept for my trips home because at school I could always use the excuse that I was too busy or lacked the proper equipment.  But thanks to my good friend Megan, who has loaned me her sewing machine for the time being (come on, Christmas!),  and some rearranging in my room, I now have a creative space at school, and life feels so much better.  Sewing has become more than just a hobby for me. It has become a passion, and you don’t let your passions sit around collecting dust in the corner until university sanctioned holidays roll around.

I want to create at least one thing each week.  Whether it be a new top to wear to Chapter meeting, or a scarf that keeps me cute and cozy on those days when Kirksville winter is almost too much to bear, or a new recipe that becomes an instant classic with my roommates, I want to try things, and I want to share my experiences with the people I encounter everyday and with the lovely people feasting their eyes on my chaos.  I will chronicle my creative attempts for you.

Sometimes I will be super successful, like when I debuted the circle skirt, pictured below, that I made over Labor Day weekend using this tutorial. It was a Pin Attire day, so all of us Alpha Gams were rocking our badges and put a little extra effort into getting ready that morning.

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Skirt: sewn by me // Pattern: found at sewcaroline.com // Fabric: Jackman’s

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Alpha Gamma Delta badge worn over my heart.

Sometimes I will not be so successful.  But I will tell you about my time on the struggle bus too, because I’m not an expert seamstress, everything doesn’t always work out the way it was meant too, but there is beauty in the process that’s alway worth noting.  I think that’s called learning, and some people are super into that.

My hope is that you are one of those people, because I am.  My other other hope is that you will learn with me and maybe be inspired to pick up a new skill yourself.  Even if you don’t become the new Laura Ingalls Wilder, the important thing is to try.  Try something, try anything, try everything.  You never know what you could learn about yourself, the people around you, or the world.

If you have any questions or just want to poke around more, I encourage you to check out the About Me and the About this Blog section.

Peace and Progress,

Jessica