Monday, March 29, 2010

Pillowcase apron

Here it is! I made this apron on Friday afternoon out of two worn out pillowcases. The design is inspired by an apron I talked about in this post. Isn't it cute? (Sorry about the smudgy mirror pictures!) Below are instructions for how to make one for you! If they are not clear please tell me in the comments so I can explain it better. It's really pretty simple.

What you need:
2 pillowcases (small ones if you have them)
A few hours

Start with two pillowcases. I used king sized ones, but I think it would have worked better with small ones.

First, we are going to work on the waistband.
Set one of your pillowcases aside. The other one you're going to cut down both sides to open it up into one big piece. (The two ends of this piece had been the opening of the pillowcase.)

Next you are going to cut that piece lengthwise down the middle to get two long strips.

Cut one of these strips in half. Sew one of the half pieces to the long strip. You may want to cut off the hem of one side of the long piece before sewing your half piece to that side. I don't have any pictures of this step because I messed it up and only later realized that this is what I should have done, so tell me if these instructions are unclear. : )  

Fold this in half lengthwise and try it on! (Don't sew it in half yet.) This is what your waistband will look like.
At this point you want to hem one long edge of your waistband piece.

Next, cut your second pillowcase down the sides, to open it up into one big piece. The same as the first thing you did with the first pillowcase. Hem one long side of this piece.
Pin the ends onto the middle part of your waistband piece, out as far as you want your apron to come. You may want to measure, I just guessed.  Make sure you are pinning it right sides together. The unfinished edge of your apron piece should match up with the finished edge of your waistband.
Next you find the middle of your apron piece and the middle of your waistband piece and pin them together.
It should look something like this now.
I am using this pleating technique, so if you need more pictures for this part, look at the link.
Basically just keep finding the middles of each section and pinning them together until the pins are pretty close together, maybe a couple of inches apart. 
(Hint: If you can, try to put the middle seam into one of the pleats so that it doesn't show as much. I didn't do this, and it looks okay, but it would be better if you couldn't see the seam down the middle of the apron.)
Now you want to sew the pleats onto the waistband the way you've pinned them, taking out the pins and folding over the pleats towards yourself as you go along.  
It might be a good idea to make sure you have bobbin thread before you sew the pleats. I did almost the whole thing before I realized it wasn't actually sewing.

It should look like this when you're finished.
The last step is to fold down the waistband in half so it covers the wrong side of the pleats, fold it under to make a nice edge and sew it.

And there you have it! What I love about this apron is that it looks stylish, but the only thing it cost me was one afternoon. The pillowcases were dingy ones we didn't use anymore. They made awful pillowcases, but as an apron they work. I can feel comfortable wiping my hands on it because I know it is made out of recycled fabric that nobody wanted.

Let me know if you make this apron! I want to see what you guys can come up with. I think it would look really cute with two different pillowcases in coordinating fabric.

I will not be posting anything tomorrow, I'm afraid. I just found out in speech class that I have to give my persuasive speech on Wednesday, and I am not ready. I will be busy working on that tomorrow.

Good luck making your own pillowcase aprons!



Another giveaway! Check it out:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Psalm 32:7

Verse of the week:

Psalm 32:7
You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.

When I first read this verse, it was early in the morning and the birds outside were singing.

Maybe this verse is meant figuratively and literally. He really does surround us with songs of deliverance. After all, shouldn't the song of the birds remind us of our deliverance?

Matthew 10:29-31
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

The God who knows everything, down to the tiniest details of creation, cares deeply about you!
The birds sing His praises every day. We just need to learn to listen.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

5 things to do on a rainy Saturday

1. Rent the first season of your favorite show and snuggle in to watch it with your siblings or a friend. A miniseries like Pride and Prejudice or Wives and Daughters is always a good option. Mint oreos and hot tea are a must.

2. Create an elaborate treasure hunt or mystery game. I usually make up a character first and dress up in a costume and then go to the other kids for help. Last time I was a girl whose great-grandfather had been a pirate and had left a trail of clues to his treasure. We put a sign on the living room door and it became the antique mall. The computer room became a law office and the kitchen was a restaurant. If anyone is interested I will post all the clues and surrounding story sometime.

3. Get out your camera and make a movie! Do costumes and makeup and come up with a basic plot, then start filming. The sillier it turns out the better. My brother Kevin and I once made a movie about identical twins. One of the twins showed up unexpectedly and caused trouble for his brother, pretending to be him and messing everything up. Kevin played both of them (the only two characters in the movie) and just put on a different jacket when he was the other twin.

4. Play pictionary telephone. Here's how you play:
Everyone needs several small pieces of paper. Sit in a circle around a table.
First, eveyone writes a phrase down on a piece of paper. Ex. "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."
When everyone is ready, pass all the papers one space to your left.
Now everyone looks at the phrase on their new paper, and draws a picture of what it says. For the example above, you could draw a sad person, who then makes lemonade and is smiling at the end.
Then when everyone has drawn a picture, you pass the phrase and the picture to the left. (The original phrase should be covered up so the person can only see the picture.)
Now everyone has to look at the picture, and write a phrase of what it looks like. Ex. "Lemonade makes people happy."
Continue this process until the stack of papers gets back to the person who wrote the original phrase. Then everyone takes turns looking at the progression of their message and laughing at the pictures.

5. Play dress up. My sisters and I like to get out a huge pile of dress up clothes and let each other pick out the outfits we will wear. They especially like to pick out my costume and make it really silly. Letting them do your makeup is very scary but has some fun results. : )

Hope you enjoy these suggestions! Let me know which you like the best.
What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy Saturday?


Friday, March 26, 2010


I made the apron this afternoon! It is not perfect, but I like it a lot. I will be posting pictures and instructions on Monday. The beautiful thing about this apron is how much it cost me to make: $0!
So come back Monday to see a picture and find out how to make one for yourself!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Let's go fly a kite!

Mary Poppins- I love that movie.
I had a fantastic day today! It was so windy on my way to school this afternoon and so much warmer out than it has been that I decided today should be a park day. On my way home I stopped and bought a kite, a frisbee and a giant bottle of bubbles, then went home and got the kids for a picnic.
The kite was amazing. Usually I have to run with it and coax it up into the air, but this one went straight up and the only trouble I had was unwinding the string fast enough. It had a picture of a gecko on it and we decided to name it Hugo, just because I thought it was funny. Hugo the gecko.
After awhile some of the other kids at the playground drifted over to watch us fly it and I let them have a turn. There were several children I didn't know who took turns playing with it. It was really fun to watch them, because some of them said they had never had a kite before.
Along with flying our kite, we also made a short movie (it didn't have much of a plot), spun each other really fast on the merry-go-round and climbed on a big rope structure they have there.
It was a lovely afternoon, and I think we will do it again soon. It didn't cost very much either, (the kite was only $6) which makes it a nice option for when you want something fun to do on the spur of the moment.


P.S. I haven't been sticking to my posting schedule exactly. Today was supposed to be "character inspiration" day, which can mean fashion or anything inspiring about them. I may be posting something like that tomorrow. : )

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Today is Wednesday: fashion day!
I was looking around on and was inspired by this apron:
Here is a link to the page.
Yes, that's an apron. It wraps around the back and ties in front. There's a pattern to download for it on the site, but I hate using patterns. They just take too much precision and patience for me. : )
So I am thinking about making this apron without any pattern. I think it would be easy enough. I found this tutorial for making pleats that I could use. I always thought pleats were really difficult, but this makes it look easy.
In fact, this pleat-making tutorial is inspiring me to finish making a Civil War skirt I started on last year. I spent forever painstakingly measuring and marking where the pleats should go, and then it still just wasn't working right. Plus it took me forever to sew all those pleats individually. I never thought of sewing the pleats directly onto the waistband! (And this shows how much I know about sewing... pleats are apparently almost always done directly into the waistband!)
Anyway, if I find time this week I will make this apron (or maybe a Civil War costume) and post pictures!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Work of His Hands

Wasn't it a beautiful day? Ever since Sunday when I posted the verse of the week I have been noticing the sky. It really does proclaim the work of His hands. It is just simply amazing.

Have you ever really looked at the sky? Think about it. It is always such a beautiful color, and it is always changing. Today it was almost periwinkle. God didn't have to give us the blessing of color. He could have just as easily made everything black and white and we wouldn't have known the difference.

What if sight didn't exist at all? What if we had been born into a world of darkness and never knew that there was another diminsion we weren't experiencing? And all of your friends and families grew up the same way, never knowing what the world looks like? Imagine that.
Now imagine suddenly being able to see. Suddenly you are in a different world and there is more than you ever could have imagined. Things your brain simply couldn't comprehend before because it hadn't experienced them.
I think that is what heaven will be like for us. There are probably other colors and senses we can't possibly imagine with our minds here on Earth. Isn't that exciting?


This is my thirtieth post, and I have ten followers! I'm so happy, thank you everyone for reading! I promise when I get twenty followers I will host an event or a contest, something really fun. If you like my blog tell your friends so we can get there faster. : )


Check out this contest on Ruffles and Stuff!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Just stop and think

Last week's verse:
Ephesians 2:4-5

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

I was inspired this week by this video by Francis Chan. I love this guy's enthusiasm and excitement for God and his creation. So get yourself a cup of tea and Just Stop and Think.

Verse of the week:
Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

The sky today was so blue! Think about this verse this week as the weather finally turns nice. Soon it will be warm enough to linger outside at night and see the stars instead of rushing into the warm house.


Saturday, March 20, 2010


Today is the first day of spring, but it doesn't really feel like it. It started snowing last night and hasn't stopped. We still had our tea parties and pretended it was nice outside. I wore a skirt and high heels, which wasn't a very smart choice because they got snow in them.

The tea table at the library.

Blueberry tea!
The yellow ribbon and buttons were for a craft we did. They had little glue dots for the buttons and we stuck them on the ribbon in a pattern we liked then tied it around our wrists with a big bow. It was so simple, but it looks really pretty.

This is at my sister's house now for our second tea party. It's a big bowl of chopped cucumbers for the cucumber salad. We found this recipe online and it turned out to be really yummy.

2 cups chopped cucumbers
3 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
add lots of dill and a little salt

We ate ours on rye cocktail bread, but it was good on normal white bread too.
(I don't remember where we got the recipe, sorry!)

My sweet sister, Ashley.

Besides the cucumber sandwiches, we had mint oreos, mini banana muffins and blueberry muffins, and lots of different kinds of tea. After tea we watched The Importance of Being Earnest. Our friend hadn't seen it before, so it was fun to watch it again with her. I love that movie.

Here are some pictures I took the other day for my character inspiration post. I found an actual quote from the book and based a modern outfit on that description.

Inspired by Rose from Eight Cousins:
...a pretty Gabrielle dress, of a soft warm shade of brown, coming to the tops of a trim pair of boots with low heels. A seal-skin sack, cap, and mittens, with a glimpse of scarlet at the throat, and the pretty curls tied up with a bright velvet of the same colour, completed the external adornment, making her look like a robin redbreast—wintry, yet warm. ~Eight Cousins, Chapter 18


Hello again

I know I haven't posted anything today or yesterday, but I promise I have a good long post planned for tomorrow, one with lots of pictures. : )

I had a fantastic day today, by the way. Thinking about it now, though, I'm not sure what made it seem so great, because it was just a normal day. The weather was nice, and I guess that put me in a good mood. : )
I played dress up with my two little sisters and a friend, and later went to see a movie with my brother. We had a great time. Afterwards he and I ran to the grocery store for a few things and we bought a doughnut apiece for the ride home. They turned out to be pretty stale, but it was still fun.

Tomorrow I am taking my sisters and their friend to two tea parties. The first one is at the library where I work, and the second one we are having at my older sister's house. I am supposed to bring cucumber sandwiches, but I'm not sure how to make them. Suggestions, anyone?


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fashion Inspiration: Saint Patrick's day

Faded Glory
Well, today was supposed to be fashion inspiration day. I actually had an elaborate post I was working on about recreating an expensive Anthropology outfit for under one eighth of the price, but then the photo collage maker I was using stopped working, and I can't use the picture from the Anthropology website like I planned. So that post will have to wait. : (
Instead, here are a few green things I like in honor of Saint Patrick's day.
Above: "The Clover Dress", $98 (Left) and "The Daisy Dress", $78 (Right) both from

Above: "The Bella Swing Dress", $98 (Left), and "The Gretel Dress", $74 (Right), both from

The Red Dress Shoppe is really amazing, they have some nice vintage reproductions. It is expensive, but if you wait they sometimes put things on sale for resonable prices.
And that's all I have for you! I'm terribly sorry about such a short post. Once I figure out what I'm doing it will get better.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Eight Cousins

I just finished re-reading Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott. It’s one of those books that I can come back to after six months or maybe a year and enjoy reading it just as much as the first time. I’m sure I have read it at least three times, and every time I read it, new things jump out at me.

Eight cousins is the story of Rose, an orphan who goes to live on ‘aunt hill’, so named because of her six aunts who all live there near each other. She also has eight cousins, all boys, and most of the stories are about Rose’ friendship with them and the adventures and trials they have. Her guardian is Uncle Alec, a single man who had been a sailor for years, which makes me wonder where he got his knowledge of how to raise children! He is extremely wise and teaches Rose to be a modest and thoughtful young lady.

One thing I noticed reading it this time was a mystery about Uncle Alec’s relationship to Rose’ deceased mother.

"As he spoke, Dr. Alec turned his back abruptly and affected to be examining the pictures again; but the aunts understood how dear the child was to the solitary man who had loved her mother years ago, and who now found his happiness in cherishing the little Rose who was so like her."

How could I have not noticed this before! Uncle Alec was in love with Rose’ mother? Did she love him back? Why did she marry his brother? This brings a whole new meaning to the passage at the beginning when Rose first meets Uncle Alec.

He says,

"It is my fault that I am a stranger to you, when I want to be your best friend. That is one of my mistakes, and I never repented it more deeply than I do now. Your father and I had a trouble once, and I thought I could never forgive him; so I kept away for years. Thank God, we made it all up the last time I saw him, and he told me then, that if he was forced to leave her he should bequeath his little girl to me as a token of his love. I can't fill his place, but I shall try to be a father to her; and if she learns to love me half as well as she did the good one she has lost, I shall be a proud and happy man."

This makes me think that what they quarreled over was the fact that they were in love with the same woman. There is a whole story there that is just hinted at in this one. I wish Louisa May Alcott had left us more clues than that. I want to know what happened between them.

If I’m right about this, it changes the story for me. Uncle Alec is not just a two-dimensional character. He is the hero of a tragic story with a bittersweet ending. He lost the woman he loved to his brother, and spent years alone at sea. Now he gets a second chance when he forgives his brother and cares for Rose as his own daughter. Rose is named for her mother, and it mentions in the book that she ‘…inherits her mother’s sensitive nature.’

I think someone should write a prequel about Uncle Alec’s story.


Monday, March 15, 2010

T-shirt cardigans

So here's what happened; I was in town running an errand on Saturday, and decided to stop in at Wal-Mart just to look around and maybe get a few things. I am so glad I did! The first thing I saw in the women's section was about five or six racks of clothes on sale for $1 each. I am pretty sure I squealed. I can't even find things for that price at thrift stores, let alone new!
Most of them were too small for me, but I filled a cart with clothes for my little sister, and now she has a new Spring wardrobe, which she really needed.
The only things I could find for me were long sleeved shirts and one turtleneck, which I hate. For some reason long sleeved shirts just don't fit me very well. I never wear them, but I couldn't pass up such a good deal, so I bought them and refashioned them into casual cardigans!

By "refashion" I mean I cut a line straight up the middle. I also cut off about an inch of the collar at an angle on this one. I like it a lot, it's really comfortable.

The next one is a slightly different shirt. It was already a v-necked shirt so I didn't have to fix the collar on this one. I just cut a line up the middle and I was able to wear it to work today. This one I like to wear pinned at the top. I am planning on sewing on a ribbon tie or something so I don't have to use a safety pin.
This one was the turtleneck, so it is a little thicker. I don't like this one as much, the color is so bright! I probably will just wear this around the house. You can't really see in this picture, but I have it closed in front with two giant safety pins, maybe three inches long. They are amazingly handy and convenient but they look like a fashion statement. I love my giant safety pins.
Here is a closer picture of the top. Because it was a turtleneck, I just cut straight up through the middle and now it looks like a big collar.
Lastly here is one of the ones I made for my little sister. Some of the shirts I bought her were too low cut, but they make adorable little cardigans! I used another giant safety pin to close it at the top, but I will probably add a ribbon tie later.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to recently. Sorry about the awful pictures, I couldn't find the camera so I had to use my webcam!
Coming up tomorrow... probably a post about Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Eph. 2:4-5

Ephesians 2:4-5 (New International Version)

4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

I am going to start posting a Bible verse or passage on Sundays, and trying to memorize it and think about it throughout the week. I haven't memorized as much scripture as I would like to, and I am hoping this will help me remember to apply the verses to my everyday life. I would encourage all my readers to memorize them with me, it could be fun. If enough people are interested, we could eventually have sort of an online Bible study. I don't know, just a thought. : )



I got my first award! Thank you Bess, you are awesome.
-Award Rules-
1. List 8 stories or books you'd like to live in.
2. List 8 other bloggers who deserve this award.
3. Comment on their blogs & let them know you've awarded them!
This could be difficult. Hmm... eight books I want to live in.
1. Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
2. Emma by Jane Austen
3. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
4. Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
5. An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott
6. Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
7. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (Can that count as one book?)
8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Wow, three books by Louisa May Alcott. I'm a little in love with all of her books right now. I'm in the middle of reading Eight Cousins again, and I will probably be doing a post about it on Tuesday.
Now for bloggers to award... I don't have any! Isn't that sad? I would award my sister, but I can't seem to find her blog.
How about this, anyone who reads this post is awarded, and you can comment on my blog and tell me. It's sort of backwards, but it works.
I will be putting up a real post in a little bit, I was just really excited about this!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

10 things

I stole this idea from Bess, who has an awesome blog I just found out about.

10 things you might not know about me

1. I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do
2. I was born in Texas, but only lived there for two weeks. I've never been back since.
3. Jane is not my first name. : )
4. I collect pretty aprons from the antique mall and hang them on my bedroom wall.
5. I have two cats, Macy and Joey.
6. I have completed NaNoWriMo two years in a row.
7. I work at the library, shelving books. I'm a library ninja. : )
8. One of my favorite movies is That Thing You Do. I once watched it three times in a row when I was sick.
9. Last year I wrote a murder mystery party for my brother's birthday.
10. I named my laptop "Maude" after L.M. Montgomery.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Journal entry

We are required to keep a "personal reflection" journal in my English class. This is one of my entries, lightly edited for coherency. If I rambled a little I apologize. : )
Can art really be considered beautiful if it is not also truthful? I can see both sides of this question. Lies are ugly things, so can a lie ever really be beautiful?

Truth and beauty are synonymous. The things we think of as beautiful are also reflecting truth.

Great art and literature reflect the truth of humanity. When we really love a book, it is because the characters behave in a way that is consistent with what we know of the world. The characters are realistic and true to life.

Even when the settings are imaginary, the people behave as you would expect them to. There are universal truths about the way people react when happy or sad or startled, so even when it is an alien startling the character, the reaction is the same. Truth is what makes literature beautiful.

The same concept carries over into art. The most beautiful paintings are the ones that show us something about life that we know is true. That is why it is possible for the subject matter of a painting to be false while the painting itself is a beautiful expression of truth.

For example, there are some historical paintings depicting the heroic battle scenes of war that are completely false. Maybe that glorious charge into battle never happened, and the artist conveniently left out the gruesome details of battle. While it may not have happened exactly the way it is shown, I believe it is still true. The universal feelings of national pride and selflessness and heroism are the real truths that inspired great paintings of war.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm back

I have decided to start blogging again. I like it even if I don't have any readers. I can't promise anything much, and I probably won't post every day, but I will post soon.