Tuesday, April 26, 2016

There and Back Again: Our Tale of Minimal Living

So we moved. Again. We're tired and digging our way out of boxes, but we are so. happy. to be here. I'll have plenty to say about our new place in the next few weeks, but for tonight I'm going to catch my breath with a few pics from our time in the rental. With 90% of our stuff in storage for the last three months, we had a fun little taste of the minimalist trend. Here's what did we learn in the process.

Trying to keep my poor plants alive in a sunny window. I think I forgot to pack a green thumb. 

There were a few things here and there we actually had to go out and buy once we realized we really did need them (like hangers. I didn't bring any hangers. Oops.) but for the most part, we didn't really miss all that stuff. I actually enjoyed the "stuff silence." Less clutter = less clutter noise. (Trust me. It's a thing.) Whew. Plus it was the easiest it's ever been for me to keep the house looking decent, keep the dishes washed, and get toys picked up. And if that's not enough reason to want to pare-down permanently, I came across a post by Embracing Simple about 11 Reasons to Own Less Stuff, and I have to say it sounds pretty appealing. Especially since we already found several of the reasons to be true in just the last couple months.

Everything we brought fit in our minivan and my parents cargo van - mattresses, dishes, clothes, bikes, everything. Including a small deep freeze. I had put a lot of good food in there and I wasn't about to lose it, okay? We weren't able to bring any other large furniture, so once we got there we picked up a cheap futon and rug (because good grief that floor was cold in February). I'll be the first to say it - hasty decisions were made. But the price was right and they fit in the van so ding ding we had a winner! We brought a folding table and chairs that could get us by, but my sis-in-law offered us a real table and chairs they weren't using in the interim, plus a coffee table we used as a tv stand.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Moving On

We moved. I spent the few weeks leading it up to it in denial, and refusing to think about it. But now it's done. And here we are. And it's going to be great.

Husband got a new job that moved us from Illinois to Indiana. Which so far as I can tell is exactly the same place. Within a few weeks of the job offer we put most of our earthly possessions in storage, put our house on the market, said goodbye to the home we loved the last five years, and moved a few boxes of necessities into a little duplex we're renting while we look for a permanent place. But I've found, as these days have turned into weeks, that we didn't really say goodbye to our home. We said goodbye to our house. That old, cliche saying is true. Home is where your heart is. And mine is with these boys. So we remember that little house with fondness, but we go on to better things together. And we can't wait to see what comes next!


Here's one last look at the place, all empty and weird.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Long Sleeve Rag Doll Dress

So far this week we've made an adorable rag doll and my favorite doll dress for her. Today we're making another dress that is super simple and super versatile!

This dress (the pink one) is reversible so it's like two dresses in one! It's made from a full length pattern piece so you can save lots of time over adding a separate skirt. It has long long sleeves, but you can shorten them for a different look. You can also cut the skirt shorter and use it backwards like a jacket! So many possibilities in this little guy! Here's what you need:
  • 1/2 yard fabric (get two colors for a reversible dress)
  • thread
  • velcro, snaps, or ribbons
  • the pattern

Start by printing the pattern and cutting out the pieces:
  • 2 dress fronts (one from each fabric)
  • 4 dress backs (two from each fabric)

Monday, March 7, 2016

Rag Doll Dress Tutorial

Every good rag doll needs at least a few outfits. So today we're making my favorite rag doll dress! This dress has a tank-style top with a separate skirt piece so you can make it two-toned like the dress on the right. It's easy for little hands to put on, and cute as can be. If you don't have a doll yet, check out my Rag Doll Pattern, plus my long sleeve doll dress pattern.

Here's what you need to get started on your rag doll wardrobe:
  • 1/2 yard fabric
  • thread
  • velcro (or snaps or ribbons or buttons, but velcro will be easiest for the kids to use on their own)
  • the pattern
Start by printing the pattern and cutting out the following pieces:
  • 2 dress fronts
  • 4 dress backs
  • 1 skirt 7 x 30"