Thursday, July 29, 2010

Apron in an Afternoon

Our summer has been filled with the sounds of wedding bells and I have been making aprons as wedding gifts. It is fun to find fabric to match the bride's personality. I also love to pair an apron with baking/cooking items from the couples' registry.
Pretty Pillowcase Apron

I was inspired to make pretty pillowcase aprons after receiving this apron as a gift from my sister. She is so creative; she found this pillowcase at a thriftstore and used coordinating fabric for the pockets and straps. I adore it!

Here's how to make this simple apron in an afternoon:

1. Find a good-looking pillowcase (I found mine at a thrift store) and coordinating fabric for the pocket(s) and ties. Wash and iron.

2. Hold it up to yourself and decide how you want the top to the look. I wanted the top to be thinner and curve out at the waist. Fold the pillowcase in half and cut the curve.

3. Make the waistband, 2 ties, and neckstrap: Cut four pieces of the coordinating fabric to the desired length and width. I cut 4 pieces of the same measurement (21'' x 6''). Start with the waistband; the waistband length has to be at least as long as the fullest part of the pillowcase. Press in half matching the long sides, wrong sides together. Stitch 1/4'' seam down the length of the fabric. Turn right side out and press. Topstich around 3 sides if desired. One short side can remain unfinished for the ties, both short sides can remain unfinished for the neckstrap and waistband. Repeat these steps to make two waist ties and one neckstrap.

4. Attach the waistband: Use pins to secure the waistband to the fullest part of the pillowcase.

5. Fold under the raw edges of the waistband. Press with an iron.

6. Attach the waist ties: Make a small pleat in each tie. Put the unfinished edge (pleat side) between the waistband fold. Topstitch 1/8'' to attach ties to waistband.

7. Attach the neckstrap: try on the apron. Pin the neck strap in place. You'll want to leave enough room for the apron to easily pull on and off. Tuck the unfinished edges of the neckstrap into the top of the apron. Stitch across entire top of apron. Stitch across the entire bottom of the apron also.

8. Make and Attach a pocket: I chose a simple square pocket to match the pattern of this fabric. You can make the pockets any shape or size. Sometimes adding embellishments like lace is a fun addition.

9. Try on that fabulous new apron! You may want to whip up one of these for yourself!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

They Will Not Go Naked into the Night

The body is not a prison
it is a temple
not a cage from which the soul escapes
but a holy place built
for sanctification, redemption

on that Day
bone and ash will rise
from graveyards and cisterns saints
swirling upward like smoke
re-creation of fingers, palm, wrist
glowing gloriously in light
toe by toe, a foot, a leg
dancing as they rise
a people resurrected

lips sealed from life’s last kiss
open to holy, holy, holy
for they did not feel
the sting of death.

written: Spring 2007

Louis Prosper

drove with us in a van
to New Orleans
a displaced person
from Katrina,
overalls every day
white beard
black skin
eyes that actually twinkled
said he felt closest to the Lord
fishin’ in the Bayou
said it made him feel
small, could hear nothing
but water against wood
could hear
God’s voice;
he loved Louisiana

loved his mama and papa
his neighborhood

when the storm started
said that God wanted
him to stay
so he waited
for water to kick down
everything that wasn’t
nailed down
floated by his thighs
overalls heavy
weight of the water,
he remembered his wood boat
got in, started rowing

hands waving from rooftops
families sinking slowly
he paddled groups of two, three
the nearby levy,
took twenty minutes for the old man
to get back there
get more
saving sisters and brothers
with the wooden boat
just one oar
Louis Prosper said he felt
closest to the Lord in water

written: Spring 2007

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why Bodies?

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1

Why does Paul tell us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice? Why not our minds, our hearts, our souls? Christianity isn't just a "mind religion" or a "heart religion" as John Piper would put it. God wants all of us. Bodies are important to God. I have a body to give bodily evidence that Jesus is my treasure. I was so helped by listening to the sermon "Present Your Bodies as Living Sacrifice"
. My body is more than just skin and hair stretched over muscles. I am a vessel of mercy. God cares how I use my hands and feet and tongue. God cares so much that He came to live in flesh:

though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:6-7

He can empathize with us! I am so thankful for a God who can relate to me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I love aprons...

Don't you just love aprons? So many patterns, and pockets, and variations. Aprons make cooking more fun! I made this apron for my sister-in-law Britta. I got the idea for the apron from a book called A is for Apron. I didn't have to time to make a copy of the pattern from the book so my wonderful husband helped me sketch the pattern for the Lorelei apron onto tissue paper. It worked really well! It was my first time using bias tape to finish the edges. I actually attempted to make my own continuous bias tape but that was more difficult than expected. Because of the time crunch I made a quick run to JoAnn for pre-made bias. I hope to conquer the continous bias sometime this summer :). I really love the fabric for this apron. Britta is a big fan of blue and I am a sucker for floral prints. I got all of my material from Crafty Planet (link below); it is my favorite fabric store in Minneapolis.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Born Again

Hairpins hold her together
her cheeks are decorated with
chandelier earrings,
she walks with quiet shoes
and smiles with no sound;
you can smell the soap
on her skin
so smooth with the
sprinkle of freckles.

It hardly happens but
I’ve seen her
flesh disturbed,
blue mascara dripping
from brown eyes,
nails polish picked
and picked until a small
sparkle of pink is left
on the thumb;

Blonde hairs stuck
to the back of her neck
as she lays on my pillow
about how she has fallen apart
and can’t keep it
we talk about

written: Spring 2007

Last Night in Delhi

Hotel Shiva hid amongst street vendors,
street sweepers, and street children
bulbs burnt out looked like otel Siva
between the bank sign
and a tailor shop, we nearly missed it
walked in with water marks on pants
no notice, it was monsoon season
blue fluorescent lighting in the lobby
the front desk littered with petals and small cakes—
an offering to Lord Ganesh
the smell of sandalwood incense followed us
up the stairs to our room
no air conditioning
hotter in there than the Indian sun
relentless, suffocating
the bell boy said he’d get it fixed

took a bucket bath but
it didn’t matter
my hair was always the same—
slicked back in a sweaty bun
you said I looked beautiful

we met Sarah from church at the McDonalds
took two auto-rickshaws to get there
the chicken sandwiches were the same
and they had chocolate dipped ice cream cones
we smiled silently as we licked the salt off our fingers
I don’t even like McDonalds

all of the girls got their noses pierced
left nostril, no questions asked
he used a stone to sharpen the point of the stud
he sterilized it all with alcohol
you made sure
a pop of tissue, a clench of teeth
we all had a sparkle now with red around it
a sweet souvenir from India

back at our room
you opened the door
the heat poured out,
covered us like a quilt in summer,
you muttered something under your breath
as you went down the stairs
he switched it back on before you lost your temper
said the power went out

Remember that room?
psychedelic plastic conch shells covered the lights and
shone on cracked walls that could not be covered by paint,
the bathroom window would not shut so
you propped open a book while I bathed
so no one would peek
the sheets and comforter had strange stains and holes,
and these beds were harder than before
but this was not the worst

Remember that smell?
at first we thought it was coming from outside
sewage seeping in from under the window
but no, not even the toilet, not even in the bathroom
after sniffing around for a few we found it—
the bed
I gagged I took in such a deep breath
It smelt like sour milk, but not the kind we were used to—
buffalo milk, the kind used in chai
a mixture of that and urine, and something else unfamiliar
we tried to cover it up with cologne, with two more sheets,
with an extra blanket, but it persevered
and would not let us sleep
I was about to cry when
you made me laugh

you made a joke about how we could breathe
if we had extra long straws that would touch the ceiling
that way we could catch fresh breaths and plug our noses
we laughed so hard my stomach hurt
I had tears in my eyes

I woke up several times from my cheek resting
too long on the pillow and the stench
shaking me from my dreams
but I would look at you
with your face toward the ceiling
your hands folded peacefully on your stomach and
I would smile and fall back asleep

written: June 17, 2009

Where I'm From

I am from grandma’s cross-stitch framed in hallways,
clipped coupons and clean countertops.
I am from old country music on the stereo every Sunday
after church, after big breakfasts.

I am from hanging potted plants,
family pictures by the fence
antique rose hydrangeas and
daylilies in spring.
I am from a porch full of
painting toe nails, waiting for dates,
laughing on the phone,
crying when she died.

I am from St. Pius X, Schmige’s Junkyard, and the
original 3,2,1 Video.
I am from dipped cones at the DQ.

I am from great grandma Elsie’s
handmade dolls and polka.
I am from Bearcat’s float plane,
diving off the dock, and
water so clear you can see the bottom.

I am from Aunt Robyne’s real ghost stories
and dad’s biker brothers,
Harleys and long hair
and Uncle Rick’s rock band.
I am from honest to God, no things count, and
rock, paper, scissors

I am from strong coffee
and Butch’s carmel rolls at family reunions.
I am from grandma’s Christmas cut-outs and
counting on mom’s apple crisp in fall.

I’m from a closet filled with half finished scrapbooks,
boxes of eighth grade notes, plastic gold trophies, and
on a lonely hanger is that navy dress I wore to too
many funerals of friends.

I am from sweet dreams, tuck me ins,
and never go to bed angry.
I am from bedtime prayers, night lights,
and never too old for hugs and kisses.


Greetings Family and Friends,

I have officially started my own blog! It is definitely a work in progress. Over the past week I have been getting my feet wet in the blogging world; I'm slowly learning about gadgets, template designs, and other tools. I am excited to share my heart and my collections with you. I hope to post poems, sewing tutorials, thrift store finds, recipes, and other things I love. Thanks for stopping by!