Monday, November 24, 2008

Sewing Projects

The background.

I grew up watching my mother sew. She made a good bit of our clothes growing up, especially church type clothes. I hated it! During my teenage years, she would frequently suggest that I learn how to sew. However, this was not even a small desire of mine. I could do the basics: sew on a button, hem a pair of pants. What more did I need to do? I certainly did not want to make my own clothes, much less anyone else's. So I passed.

Well, back in June or July of this year, 2008, I decided it was time for a new hobby and sewing sounded quite fun. Over the years, I have grown to love homemade items and desire to be more efficient with my purchases/consumptions so I thought sewing may be a great way to do this. Basically, I wanted the ability to create very unique apparel and gifts.

I called my mother and asked if I could use her machine for a while in order to give sewing a try. She had no problem with that as it was tucked away under her house, obviously not being used. She gave me a brief lesson on how to operate the machine and I left her house with the machine in tow hoping I could teach myself to sew. And I must say, I picked up on sewing much faster than I anticipated and I absolutely love it!

The blessing.

Sewing has really been a great creative outlet for me. For a few years now, I have pushed my creative desires/hobbies to the side. I stopped taking pictures on a regular basis, I listened to less of my preferred music (folk & singer/songwriter type stuff, I guess you could say) and more to mainstream crap (though not all is crap), I quit watching indy type films which I love, and more. Why? Well, a lot of reasons: time, school, work, relationships, rose colored glasses, etc. It is very unfortunate that I let my creativity and my hobbies fall away, but I am so glad that I am once again nurturing this side of myself. I must say, it is stronger than it ever was before. And I am loving it!

The projects.

My first project was a dress. It turned out much better than expected though not perfect by any means. I still have some work to do on it so I do not yet have any photographs of it.

The following photos are from more recent projects.

This is an apron I made from scrap pieces of fabric. (I apologize for the poor picture quality). I had actually cut the fabric for a skirt I was going to make. However, I decided that I did not like the fabric for this particular skirt so I started playing around with different ideas for the material and settled on an apron. I started just piecing the apron together with no pattern and no set design in mind, which was a little scary but I had nothing to lose. I was merely making it for the sake of making something, anything, as I desperately wanted a sewing project.

I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

Since Jessica is having a baby in the near future, I had a great excuse for making some gifts. I made 4 burp cloths and 6 bibs. After Christmas, I plan to make a small play quilt with the remaining fabric.

The material I used is Woodland Friends, designed by Kate Honarvar for Timeless Treasures Fabrics. I just love the material. Jessica and Brian are very active in the outdoors and I thought this would be a great fabric for thier little Logan. But, when I learned of Brian's fascination with owls I definitely couldn't resist this fabric. (I had originally purchased some Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar fabrics for their gift, but my machine broke days before the shower so I had to put the gift on hold. Blessing in disguise I quickly realized.)

I have decided to make all my Christmas gifts this year so I will post pictures from those in late December!


My cousin Joanna linked me in her blog, asking that I post the fourth picture in my fourth picture file on my computer. I also have to list four things about this photo.

1. This is from a camping trip in Unicoi County this past Memorial Day (there were about 10 or so of us).

2. We traveled quite a ways down old logging roads to find our campsite...quite fun...and a little unnerving at times.

3. Around midnight, some people from a group camping close by came to our campsite, quite drunk and loud. By this time I was already in the tent asleep. Waking up to strange voices, made me quite uncomfortable. All I could think of was a gun fight...haha...a bit dramatic I know, but I was half asleep, we were in the middle of nowhere and drunk individuals are quite unpredictable. Thankfully no guns were displayed and they left after about 30 minutes or so.

4. This fire got quite large during the course of the night as one of the guys with us just kept piling logs on...and is amazing that some of the trees above us didnt get a little scorched.

I will also link some people to create a similar post if they so desire: Danielle, Emily, Jessica

Friday, November 21, 2008

Great Lyrics

Lyrics from I Came Here To Hear the Music

Artist: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

I came to hear the music
I came to hear the sound
The music, God knows it brings me down
A long, long road
From now to then
I know your song, sing it again

'Cause there's so many things I don't believe I understand
How the days turn into weeks, turn into months
The years become a moment in the ever-changing sand
Did God make time to keep it all from happening at once?
All at once...

I came to love the music before I came to be
To know the music before it came to me
A long, long time ago, I don't know when
We sang a song
Along with the wind

And there's so many things I don't believe I'll understand
Why the days turn into weeks, turn into months
And the years become a moment in the ever-changing sand
Yes, God made time to keep it all from happening at once
All at once...

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I decided to post some pictures I have taken over the years. Most of these are from my travels in 2004 to Nicaragua and Jamaica. The rest were taken around my apartment and Greeneville. Sadly, I haven't been as active in capturing images as I used to be, however, I am working hard to change this.


This shot took me a while to capture. Each time I was close to getting it, the girl would move her arm. Thankfully, she held the position just long enough for me to snap a shot. It was not posed at all, in fact, they had no idea I was photographing them at that time.


There are so many photos from this trip that I love. I have included only a small handful. I may post more in the future. (Please note that none of these pictures were staged. All were taken as people were naturally, with no direction.)

This little girl was adorable. I love her eyes.

One of the girls I was with had just given out some gum, she is holding a pack in her hands. The kids went crazy over the gum. It really made me appreciate all that we have here in the states.

This little girl was amazing. Her looks were so sincere. It is as if you could see directly into her soul. Probably one of my favorite pictures of all time.

I love this photo as well. Pure joy!

Cool shot.

This girl was dancing for us at an orphange we visited. I will post more from this in the near future.

As you can see, I love photographing people. I especially love close-ups of faces. I have many of those that will have to come at a later date. You can truly see so much about a person through their eyes. I love capturing just a little of that.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My Name is Laura and I am a Sentimentalist

Ok, well, I have been experiencing problems when it comes to blogging about last weekend for some reason even though so many wonderful things happened but here goes. Warning: This is all over the place.

I had the great opportunity to travel to Charlotte to take part in a baby shower for a wonderful childhood friend, Jessica. It was a great day and the shower was wonderful.

Going back to the Charlotte area for this type of event brought back so many fond memories and proved to me that I truly am quite the sentimentalist. I had the great opportunity of seeing many people from my childhood: my old preacher's wife, a classmate and cousin of Jessica's, and most importantly Jessica's family (aunts, grandmothers, parents and brother). All was great until I completely lost it though when I saw Jessica's younger brother Benjamin for the first time in probably 10 years (things were still great afterward, just a little unnerving for me for the rest of the day).

So here's the story:

Someone entered the house, so I turned around to see who came in. I didn't recognize the young man so I turned back around to watch the gift opening. A few moments later, I heard Patti (Jessica's Mom) say something about Benjamin coming in.

I quickly turned around again and asked the person next to me if the young man that just entered was Benjamin. When they responded with 'Yes', tears immediately filled my eyes (as they still do when I am typing this). I couldn't believe that the little boy I knew was no longer little. I quickly left the room for fear of making an even bigger spectacle of my emotional self.

By the time I made it the few short steps to the nursery I was nearly weeping. Patti and Rachel followed me in to make sure I was okay. I was but I couldn't even grasp why I was such a basket-case.

Actually, I am still not exactly sure why I am so torn up about Benjamin growing up as my younger brother Kevin is less than one month younger than him and I am not nearly as upset about him growing up.

Anyway, Patti called Benjamin into the room to meet this crazy 25 year old girl in tears because he is a teenager. I can still see his face: completely confused and uncomfortable with the whole situation. I must admit, I was too. He did vaguely remember me, well, my name more than anything. Once I gathered my composure, things were better. Although, I did apologize to Benjamin numerous times, ensuring him that I am usually not like this. (Really I am not). I truly felt so bad that he had to endure that.

The drive home later that evening was not much easier as I cried on and off the whole way (190 miles). I was in a great state of reflection, which is not a good place for an already emotional person with a predilection for sentimentalism. I think the problem is that so much time has passed since I have seen anyone other than Jessica and so much has happened.

Jessica and I have been friends since we were three years old (we are 25 now). We were, for the most part, inseparable as children, constantly coming up with schemes to go to one another's house, talking on the phone if we couldn't do that. There are so many wonderful memories I could share but I will not at this time. Well except this one as it's my favorite:

I am not sure what age we began developing this idea but we were convinced that we were sisters, twins actually. We believed that we were separated at birth and Dolly Parton was of course our birth mother. I mean who else would it possibly be??? (oh the imaginations of children!)

Since we were so close, her family was my family. In fact, I was closer to her grandparents growing up than I was to my own as they lived nearby and mine did not. Sadly, everything changed after our seventh grade year. While at youth camp in the summer of 1996, I recieved a phone call from my parents stating that my dad had accepted a job in Tennessee. Initially, I was quite excited about the news and if I remember correctly I did not handle myself well. Shortly after camp (a matter of weeks I believe), my dad and I moved so that I could begin the school year in Tennessee. This move greatly changed my life and my greatest friendship.

Looking back on it, I know that God had His hand on my life and on my family. We have had our fair share of problems but they have only made us stronger.

My family was torn apart as a result of adultry and selfishness. However, the trial only served to strengthen the relationships between my mother, my siblings and myself. The five of us are now a closer family than we ever were before and for that I am truly thankful.

We have lost loved ones but these losses would have meant much less had we not had the opportunity to develop the relationships in the first place. The move to Tennessee gave me the opportunity to develop a close relationship with my granny, my hero. During the nine years before her death, I developed a deep love and admiration for Granny and I am forever changed as a result.

Friendships have forever changed. Jessica and I are not as close as we were. Thankfully, we have managed to remain friends and despite all the time that has past, and the miles that separate us, when we are together, it is as if no time has passed at all. That my friends is the sign of true friendship. And somehow, I have been blessed with not only one great friend for a lifetime but two. I would have never met Veronica had I not moved to Tennessee. She too has been such a blessing in my life and I can't imagine it without her.

Though I wish some things would have never changed, that friendships would be as strong today as they were 13 years ago, I am thankful that the friendships still exist and that they continue to bless my life. But most of all, I am thankful for where I have been, where I am and where I am going.

There you have it. Many thoughts on my life, all scattered about in a bit of reflection. And all quite sentimental.

Monday, November 03, 2008


So, I have not done well blogging thus far. However, I have many topics taking up space in my already cluttered head. So, stayed tuned as there is much more to come in the next few days. This is so exciting, I finally am starting to get my desires for writing back, oh how I have missed this!