Can Misadventures Be Marvelous?

The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter lacks misadventures and pretty much anything marvelous. It should really be named the Boring, Lackluster Life of Ingrid Winters-almost divorcee, sad attempt of a teacher and a not-so-great mother.

This book was torture to read. Not at first because I kept hoping it would turn around. I had hope that the adventure would start or at least Ingrid would grow somewhat of a back bone and stop messing up her life. When I finally had to accept that this was just how the book was and it was NEVER going to turn around and become the fun book I thought it would be is when the torture started and continued until the VERY LAST PAGE. Why Ingrid why? Why do you let your husband treat you like crap? Why are you so neurotic? Why are you such a lackluster mother? Why do you allow yourself to be bullied at a job you so obviously hate?

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This story represents I feel like most women out there in the world minus the “adventure” to Russia to complete an agreement that no one really understands and doesn’t actually benefit any of the professors at the school. They think if they get this next great thing in the status quo their lives will become greater and more fulfilled. We feel we have to work harder so we can afford the bigger house that we just MUST have because it will make our lives that much happier.

This step will make us a better mother because don’t our children deserve the very best? And isn’t it much easier to spend money on a house that we can’t afford than to invest our time in another person or our children? This book shows how we let the “alpha” people walk over us even if they don’t really know best because we decide that it is easier to give in then fight or talk louder over them and allow ourselves to be heard…isn’t this really how Trump became president?

You don’t have to take my word on this book…I feel like when  I went on Goodreads people either absolutely LOVED it or really HATED it like me. I didn’t buy this book because it called to me but as a place holder between the Mistborn series because it was offered as a Kindle First to me from amazon.
Read it if you dare 😉

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As and end note…after my trip to Emerald City Comicon I may have bought too many books haha…

A Wonder Woman In The Making

 

(I was told I looked like WonderWoman a few times today so I thought I would roll with it haha)

Another wonderful Tilly and the Buttons pattern! This time not from Tilly and the Buttons book but the Arielle pattern from her website-though I actually bought this one through the website Modcloth where she also sells her patterns. I’ve loved this pattern since it was released and was so excited to finally give it a chance.

What I did: like all of Tilly’s patterns the instructions are just fabulous and come in a great little booklet with pictures. I traced the pattern on wax paper as has become my habit and then cut the traced pattern and cut out the fabric from there.It’s my least favorite but most helpful step.Chalked out all my darts and seams a little after. It makes the pattern more manageable to use and it is preferable to preserve the pattern for future use.

What did I use: a fantastic stretch denim with gold metallic polk-a-dots from Joanns along with gold metallic thread, and plastic gold shell buttons that I’ve had for ages from the button bin at Ben Franklins Craft Store.
…What did I try to use? a beautiful white fabric with gold polk-a-dots that I tried to use as the lining in the skirt. I even sewed in the fabric to the skirt before trying it on and realizing the denim had quite a bit of stretch and the lining didn’t-making it so the skirt didn’t fit in the smaller size I had cut for a more form fitted look.

Lessons learned and how I altered the pattern: use a fabric with stretch as a liner! Also do not use metallic thread no matter how pretty it looks and how much it matches the skirt fabric. That S.O.B thread snapped on me constantly no matter how I played with the tension.

I didn’t alter the pattern too much. Shortened it a tad but hell I’m a short gal so that’s standard for me. I also did the decorative gold stitching on the outside(that doesn’t show at all in the pictures well)  which also worked double in keeping the inner edge of the facing down flat.

All in all, I’ve worn the skirt several times now and absolutely love it. I can’t wait to make it in all kinds of different fabrics and in the future lining it with the right kinds of fabric. Maybe a wool with a silk lining next time…

Can Glass Ceilings Shatter?

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If scifi dystopian future met Romeo and Juliet it would feel a lot like The Breaking Light by Heather Hansen. The book is set in an off word colony that was once used for mining for the Earth before breaking off contact about a hundred years ago and becoming a society ruled by the founding families. The founding families are those that financially supported the company in its first stages of moving off world and now they rule it by controlling the drug trade. That is the best way to control the masses isn’t it? Hold their life saving medications hostage with high costs and forcing them to work low wage jobs? But I’m getting a tad off topic to our actual world in the United States…

Anyways, the story introduces a society where contact with the sun is reserved for the elite and to have any sort of tan or even just not having a vitamin D deficiency is considered a luxury. I imagined the new planet as kind of an indoor mall or one of those sky scraper buildings you see in large cities. the top floors have large glass windows and so does the roof and the lower you go the less light is available. Especially since you aren’t supposed to spend too much time in the outside air. I don’t know if that is an accurate description of the worlds layers but it’s how I imagined it while reading. Now to tie in the main characters: Arden and Dade. Arden is a sassy, street smart, beautiful teenager who helps rule one of the major gangs in the lower levels. Dade is exceptionally handsome(aren’t they always in YA novels?), smart and wants to change the world…oh yeah and he is the son of one of the major founding families big players.

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This is a book about love, loyalty, gangs, drug trade, and class war. The book covers a lot of topics. What do you do if the choices you are forced to make you know are ethically wrong but right for the protection and health of your family? Is it better to have a dramatic whirl-wind kind of love or an arranged marriage with a mutually respected partner and best friend who you know you could accomplish great things with? How long do you allow love and a sense of loyalty to your family to control the decisions in your life?

I was able to read this as a Kindle First edition it isn’t officially released until April first. Even though it has that typical Young Adult romance novel feel I really liked it. I associated it with the same vibes as Ann Agguire and anyone who knows me(or reads this blog) knows I absolutely love her. It’s a fast paced read with I thought the beginnings of a voice on the current drug trade hidden in a Young Adult trilogy with of course a lot of instant-love romance pulled in. The second book isn’t going to be released until December 5th 2017-I liked it so much I checked last night because I wanted to buy the second.

I’ll leave you with this really cute photo of Echo running in the snow.

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No Pattern Needed I Guess…

This post is about two fun projects I made this last summer that it took me this long to write about. The first is a simple tank top I made with some funky faux silk fabric from Joann’s.

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This tank top took about a half hour to an hour to make and all I did was trace an existing tank top I owned to create my own pattern. I tried to use a looser fitting tank because the faux silk fabric has pretty much no stretch what-so-ever. Then I just used some pink lace that I already had in my fabric stash and isn’t at all visible in my pictures because I wore my hair down in all of them haha. But regardless… for the straps I just measured a different tank top and cut away. Everything stitched up pretty simply and easily. I have it untucked in my pictures but I also love to have it tucked into my high waisted retro style jeans from Modcloth.

The next project is a bag that I LOVED from Hedgehog Fibers but couldn’t justify spending the money on the bag and shipping because it ships from overseas. mb_transparent_bag_square_web_1

Isn’t it just fabulous??? I loved it. Love Hedgehog Fibers website! And love their yarn. But yarn I cannot make but this bag I knew I could.

 

So what did I do? Went to Joann’s with a coupon of course! I bought a yard of clear, thick gauged vinyl just to be safe. I didn’t use the whole yard and now about half of it is sitting rolled up in the craft area of my garage but I like to be safe then sorry when it comes to sewing. I measured out and planned my whole pattern on paper. Then I traced the pattern onto the vinyl with sharpie and cut it out with scissors.

The trick with sewing with vinyl is to use tape instead of pins to hold the pieces together so it doesn’t move when sewing. The other trick that I found online is to use tape on the bottom of your regular ol’ sewing foot. They sell special ones online but I don’t really think it’s necessary… good old scotch tape is cheaper and does the trick just as well.

So how do you think I did???

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I used colored thread because I liked the visible look with the clear bag but that’s just a style opinion. It also doesn’t have the cool grommets on the Hedgehog Fibers bag but I saved myself like $30 so to me that’s a fair trade haha.

So there was my two “recent” patternless sewing projects! Overall I’d say they were pretty damn successful don’t you think? 🙂

When The Change Drops…

I’m going to be honest…when I first started this book I complained A LOT. It took about one hundred and fifty pages for me to start liking it and those pages took about five days to get through because since I wasn’t liking the book I kept falling asleep while reading it. Good for my brain probably but not good for reading progress. After I got past the point where I hated the book I actually started to really like it and then by the end I loved it. Causing me to race to the book store to get the second and third in the trilogy to have them not have the second book! So now I’m patiently waiting on Amazon to bring deliver them to my doorstep haha.

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What did I have to complain about you might ask? Well character development of course. The book is very environment focused. So you hear a lot about the buildings, the plant life(or lack there-of), a lot about walls and desolate wasteland. I was tired of the reader being expected to bond with the main character instantly because they’re “broken”. I don’t care that they’ve had bad things happen to them. It isn’t going to make me instantly connect with them as a character if they are poorly written. At first I thought this was the case with this book and was so disappointed because I’d heard such fantastic things about the author.

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In the end I grew to like the characters and even maybe get slightly attached …but still not to the point where I cared whether they lived or died. But maybe George R.R Martin has just got me used to not caring about the characters with his unpredictability.

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The book is focused on two tiers of people. There is the nobility, merchants etc…the higher ups and then there are the Skaa who are no if, ands, or buts about it slaves. The higher tiers of people believe they are superior to the skaa in every way even in their breeding. It is banned to have any half children and if a noble man has sex with a skaa female he must kill her immediately that night. Half children are hunted down because only nobility are allowed to be mistborn or have allomancy powers. Everything changes when Kel comes into the picture and wants to flip the switch on the way society is set up but to do that he has to kill the Lord Ruler who has essentially infinite power an has lived and ruled for a thousand years. To me he was the physical manifestation of peoples racism, fear and intolerance. Ken though he represented hope and goodness was not all that good though. He killed without remorse and did anything to achieve his goal as you’ll find when you read the book.
All in all…
Story writing: Great.
Story concept: Fabulous. I loved the way the magic existed in this world and how people controlled it through burning metals and throwing coins to Pull and Push.
Characters: totally grew on me even if it wasn’t love at first sight.
Moral of the story: don’t judge a book by its first hundred plus pages because now I’ll be starting the second book in the next few days.

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Plaid to Meet You Mimi

Another one from Tilly and the Buttons fabulous book. I decided to expand my skills-or at least try to-and give the Mimi blouse a try. Funny story to go with the name of the pattern…my younger brother used to call me Mimi when we were both younger…if I’m remembering correctly because he couldn’t pronounce Shelby and it just kind of stuck. Of course I hated it because that’s how all nicknames that stick are like. I had forgotten about it completely until I went to write this post actually, funny what the mind dredges up in unexpected times.

As true of all Tilly’s patterns I’ve attempted the directions were very clear and concise with lots of helpful pictures to talk me though all the steps. The top is a loose fitting button up blouse. There is a gathered yoke in the front and the back with pleated sleeves for another nice detailed touch.

What I used: a plaid fabric from Joanns for a nice drape and to give it a fall/winter feel and glass blue vintage buttons from my stash I’ve hoarded for about 7 years.

Things I struggled with: the collar. Especially the interfacing in the back…I accidentally chopped it a bit too short so it kept threatening to stick up in the back. I also had a hard time keeping the gathers on the back yoke even. I had to unpick it twice to straighten things because it drove me crazy otherwise haha.

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Things I would change: I would definitely go down a size because even though it’s meant to be loose fitting I think its too loose. I’m also torn because I would like to say I’d make it a bit longer fit wise but if I wear it tucked into my skirt the length wouldn’t matter anyways.

I loved the pattern though and it was first experience making button holes on my machine. It was also my first time making that kind of collar and it was certainly a learning experience but I can’t wait to make this pattern again in a thinner fabric!!

 

 

#2017MakeNine

This post might be a *tad* bit late…but that’s honestly pretty true to my character. I make timelines and I like to push them. So here is a post I wasn’t even sure I would do because it seemed a little too much like New Years Resolutions which I don’t participate in because I never stick to them.

Plus it is *really* hard to narrow things down to nine projects but I guess it’s not like I can’t make more than nine projects…

So here’s the first two(both patterns I bought at Joanns on sale). I feel like a really good challenge is making pants and I love a good retro look. Plus I have to wear slacks to work if I’m not wearing a dress and if I can make myself feel like I am wearing pjs and work that’s always a win in my book. The Simplicity 8259 is another pattern I’ve had sitting on my shelf waiting to be made and is definitely out of my comfort zone with all the details around the collar and bust.

 

Secondly. lets talk about Tilly and the Buttons. I think she is just fabulous and thats why her patterns make up a third of my MakeNine. Her tutorials are clear and precise with a lot of instructional photos involved in all the steps. Thats why the Zadie dress with knit fabrics makes one of the tops slots, the Bettine because I’ve been wanting to make that style of dress for quite a while now and the Rosa shirt because who doesn’t need a good classic button up.

The next two are Colette Patterns and I actually already own the Walden coat pattern(which can be for a male or female despite the male model). I envision the Walden as a beautiful pink wool-a very Shelby style coat. The Dahlia I’m imagining in a plaid very much like the dresses in the movie Hidden Figures.

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I just bought Gertie’s Ultimate Dress book and I already own the Butterick B6354 because I like literally all those individual pieces or the set together but with less blue Hawaiian print. The image on the very right is her Faux Sarong Dress which includes a strapless bodice, a pencil skirt and a lot of structuring. The one on the left is the Emerald Faille Party Dress(it is actually emerald in the pictures in the book but of course I love it in pink).

I guess I have a long year of sewing ahead of me…better get busy now 😉

 

Does Eve-ry Good Story Need An Alien Bad Guy?

 

img_2229Do you like catty school girl drama but also like ass kicking aliens? If you do then Eve the Awakening is for you.

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Imagine this: it’s in the future(I don’t know what year but everything is almost the same) but there are some people who are born with enhanced abilities…kinda X-Men meets vampires(in modern vampire stories style powers). They’re super smart, fast, and can move things with their minds(and of course can go out in the sun 😉 ), of course because people are petty and society sucks we are going to persecute them instead of attempting to appreciate these people with really cool enhanced abilities. Now imagine there are weird aliens from outer space who try to hunt and dissect these people with abilities: this is pretty much the story of Eve.

 

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(This is from Tumblr and I thought it was just too funny not to share…)

Eve’s life is a tragic one and it frames the beginning of the whole story. When she is accepted into this great University on a scholarship it’s her dream come true and the fresh start she desperately wants. Of course the best laid plans often go awry starting with students starting to be attacked and dissected by the alien creatures. Will Eve chose to keep her head down and her powers secret or will her conscience get the better of her when push comes to shove and help others like her?

I didn’t go into the book with high hopes because it was slammed by Goodread reviews and when I started reading it I felt like 547 pages was WAY too long to tell a story of a teen girl with powers. But I was wrong…very, very wrong. The book was fantastic and I was disappointed when I finished it because I enjoyed it that much. Go to the store and buy this book, you won’t be disappointed.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!!!

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Don’t Slip On Me

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This was one of the first dresses I made this last summer and one of my favorites because it is just so silly and ridiculous that I smile every time I put it on. I found the fabric years ago…at least five I want to say(does that make me have hoarder status?). I knew I wanted to save it for a good project but was unsure of what until I came across Tilly’s book.

The Megan dress was the first dress I attempted from the book but decided to omit the sleeves and add bias binding to the arm holes instead. The construction was fairly basic. I just traced the pattern onto wax paper, cut, ironed, and sewed it together following Tilly’s fabulous instructions. I had a bit of trouble with the back zipper but nothing noticeable. The dress is also a tad too short if I bed over not at the knees haha but that’s pretty manageable.

Echo of course had to check out what was going on and sniff my shoe….

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I’ve made this pattern quite a few times and once now as a top for comic con in Portland at the beginning of September.  I just shortened the skirt part of the pattern to create a flared top and retraced the pattern but squared the neckline(well eventually first a tried a v-neck). I found great stormtrooper fabric at Joanns and then just edged everything in red bias binding to give it a more finished look.

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And there we have it my first experiments with Tilly and the Buttons book: Love at First Stitch!!!!

 

Me, Myself and Why Are These Books So Amusing?

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A friend recently gave me the book Me, Myself and Why. Her and her mom are both avid readers and realized they had two copies of this book and decided to be completely awesome and give me a copy. Now this is book is by the same author as the Queen Betsy books, MaryJanice Davidson, so if you like her writing style from those you will instantly love this book too. Its humorous, completely ridiculous, and the character will totally have bad taste in men(it’s like a given).

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Me, Myself and Why is not really supernatural like her other books I’ve read so far. It more delves into what the human psyche will do to protect itself and how that can lead to powers that appear more of a tall tale almost up there with vampire and werewolves than real life. Unlike most books, I like the take this one has on what people would call mental health issues. I don’t want to say what each character has because it might give away part of the book, but in most stories this would be a murder mystery where Candence was the murderer instead of working to solve the murders.

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In this book there’s a psychopath going around killing people in threes and Candence Jones has to figure out who it is and how to stop them before it’s too late and the people she really cares about get hurt. Lucky for her she isn’t your average girl and works for the “unconventional” part of the FBI with people with unusual skills. If you feel like a cattily written, action, romance(ish) novels I recommend this book. Hopefully it will keep you guessing till the very end.

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I’ll leave you with a grainy snapchat photo of Echo’s newest obsession…sniffing my books very intensely, enjoy! 🙂