Thursday, April 17, 2014

Judah is here!

I know I have not updated this blog in over a month! Eventually, I will blog more again, but right now, I've been taking a back seat to blogging, and focusing on my THREE children THREE and under, who take up ALLLLL my sweet and precious time, in wonderful ways! I just want to announce that I am no longer pregnant (yay!) and we have a beautiful addition to our family!

 7lbs 2oz, 20 1/4''
Grateful to God for this sweet blessing boy!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Photography E-Book Giveaway! ***Closed***

***This Giveaway is now closed! The winner is Stacey via!!! Comment number 37!***

Well, hello, folks! I'm exactly 1 week from delivering our 2nd son, Judah! Can you believe it!? While I haven't been on the front page of blogosphere (by choice) lately, I have been practicing some skills.... photography skills where and when I can. I have a long way to go, but today, I have a SWEET giveaway to offer you from LBG Studio! It's Vanessa's Photography for Bloggers E-book!

Now, whether you have a blog or whether you are wanting to just improve your skills, you could definitely gain valuable knowledge from her book! I felt like I had researched so much on my own, but reading through her book, I was able to "make it click" (photography pun) in my head! Now, I'm shooting in manual mode 90% of the time, and I hope that keeps growing!

"Whether you need better product shots for your blog/shop, want to show off your latest recipe, or want those “wow” photos of your kids in the outfits you made for your next blog post; this e-book is for you! Learn how to get great photos of your creations within your own home without having to break the bank. In this 42 page e-book, I share with you lots of tips and tricks including how to improve composition, how to better utilize available light, how to create interesting backdrops, getting the most from your camera, and more! This e-book contains lots of before/after images including “pull backs” which will give you a behind the scenes glimpse of my tips and tricks in action. Suitable for all skill levels and camera types {point & shoot/DSLR}." -Vanessa {LBG studio}

Here are a few images of my own as I have been practicing, that are straight out of the camera, with very minor fine tuning, that I have been happy with after reading this book!

Mostly, family photos...
But a few for the blog, too, of course!

Anyways, I know I have a ways to go to be anything close to professional, but I loved reading this e-book and then working on my skills and I love growing as an "amateur" photographer!

To enter, simply enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below before 12am on 3/16/14! And a big thanks to Vanessa for giving me and (hopefully) YOU her amazing book! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sweetheart Dress for B

Well, hello! Happy Valentine's Day!!! I have enjoyed my blog break, and will continue to take it slow, as I finish up this 3rd trimester and enter newborn frenzy fun in less than 6 weeks! I sewed B her 2nd hand-made dress ever yesterday, while we were snowed in here in SC! TWO whole days home with the husband afforded me some leisurely sewing and I am SO glad! I've missed it! In the last couple weeks, I've sat down at my sewing machine on at least two different occasions, fiddled around, and then got up, and went to bed! LOL! At least I know my priorities!
In all honestly, I have been secretly working on my dslr MANUAL skills. I have a great ebook giveaway on the horizon for you all! But, before we talk about that, let's discuss this dress for little Miss B!

I used the Sweetheart Pattern by Very Shannon (LuvintheMommyhood), which is obviously perfect for Valentine's Day, due to the adorable heart cut out on the back of the dress!
At first I was SO bummed that it only came in sizes 2T - 6T, but after hearing that it can be hard to get on/off, I decided to give it a try and size down slightly for B (who is more 12 - 18 months size). I actually wish I had not taken 1/2'' off the bodice folds, because I think the 2T bodice would have been easier to get on/off! If you sew this, I recommend going up a size in the bodice, for sure! I also took off 2'' off the width of the skirt rectangle you cut out and took 3'' off the length of the skirt in order to size down for B (based on her measurements). I think leaving the 2T bodice would have been the way to go, since B is growing quickly! SO... if you want to make this for a 1 year old that you know will grow, then I would take that route!
I decided to forego a button and try a ribbon tie, which I thought would be fun! I also added ribbon to the waist, since my fabric choice of a light denim, was rather plain otherwise. To add the ribbon, I simply fed it through the back bodice and pinned, before I sewed around the heart cut out (while your back bodice pieces are right sides together (top two photos below). Then, when you cut from the neckline down to the center of the heart, you have sewn in your ribbon ties.
I also used the wrong side of my denim heart that I cut out from the back and put it on the center front. I topstitched around it twice and thought the frayed look would be cute with denim. It may be a little heart overload, but she's a cute baby! She can pull it off!
I lined it with a simple pink rose fabric (which I forgot to take a photo of with my dslr)! Here is my instagram photo of it.
Follow me at vanessadbs! 

It's simple and sweet and allowed me to truly enjoy sewing today! I enjoyed making B a little Valentine's Day dress! I hope you have a great V Day! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

All That I Have Sewn - 2013

Looking back at all that I have sewn in 2013, I really feel like I had a great year making lots of fun things for our family! I started this blog as a means to remember what I have sewn and chronicle my progress! So now, I'd like to share my year in review, you know... before my little blog break! hahaha! I really did mean for this post to go out before the last one!

For Micaiah, I sewed less than last year. There is good reason. He's started to get pickier about what I make. I noticed a lot of times, I would make him something and he would NOT want to wear it, already at 3. See that cute striped sweater with the cute deer pocket... NOPE! The color blocked shorts? They were too "bulky". The belt... well, we did wear that some, but not as much as you would think, because he doesn't really need a belt. The cute deer hoodie? The zipper broke and I just haven't gotten around to fixing it. What in the world was I thinking with that last red chevron pants? NO idea. They are ridiculous and lame. NOT going to make him wear those! In fact, can we name that the weirdest item I have sewn to date, ever?! haha! 
 Plus, I got a girl to sew for! That was pretty exciting! I stretched my sewing skills to include sewing a few of B's first dresses.
I really enjoyed sewing for B! I also sewed a little for my niece, Naomi!

I always love some selfish sewing! In fact, I'd really like to fine tune my women's sewing this next year, so I know I will be making more once my body is back to "normal" to come!

 Then, there were the random items that I sewed that didn't fit into one particular category! 
 Bags, gifts, nursing covers (yet to write a tute for), shower curtains, and bracelets are among the random category!

 And a few DIY projects made the blog. My updated laundry/utility room, refinishing a table as a wedding gift for my brother and his wife, and adding some chalkboard fabric to our toddler table, which allows me to wipe it clean and creativity!
 In my head, I have several DIY projects on the 2014 list: repaint kitchen cabinets and kitchen (update hardware), possibly sprucing up our master bathroom, make some pillows for our bedroom.

But then again, I'm having a newborn in less than 11 weeks. I probably won't get anything "done". And that's okay. I think keeping a human alive counts for something!

All in all, I give God the ultimate glory for allowing me the skill to make all of these things for those I love. I love spending the time creating for my family and for others as gifts. I did a lot of embroidery projects this last year, but I don't tend to blog those since they aren't quite so "creative" as completely sewn outfits and such!

 I would love to fine tune my sewing and amp up DIY projects in the house this next year! I guess you could say those are my "resolutions". Just don't hold me to any of that! hahaha!


Sunday, January 5, 2014

No Blog Voice

In many ways, I feel as if I've lost my "blog voice" for the time being here on DBS. When it comes to sewing, primarily, not really when it comes to my family blog where I seem to post a lot about my foster care journey. I just don't have the passion to write and post, as I used to about sewing, a still serious love in my life.

What started as a tiny creative outlet for me to document my sewing progress, turned into something a lot bigger, more time consuming, and eventually I was posting not only on my own blog, but guest posting freely for others, pattern testing, offering sewing classes on the side, doing reviews and having advertising opportunities, which also got me my first Creative Contributing Author paid "gig" on The Sewing Rabbit 2013 Creative Team this past year, which was a growing experience altogether. I also started working in a sewing store... it was like sewing overload and I tend to be a pendulum that swings back and forth between extremes, unable to really find a good balance.

I think along the way this last year I went through spurts where I wanted others to notice what I was doing. I mean, who doesn't love a "WOW! You MADE that!?" type of compliment!

It's just that I knew my blog couldn't be my identity. And I fell into the trap of trying to make it something that brought me satisfaction. Believe me, I am not into making my own little "Vanessa Kingdom" in blog world.

At times it became an idol in my life. I wanted MY own name to be made great. I wanted MY stuff to be better than others, to be featured, so that others would say "Oh, look at her! She's super cool!"

Or something lame like that.

I remember praying about it, and I heard loud and clear at one point to, "Just stop!" 

Wait... God are you really saying to completely stop or just take a tiny break? What exactly does STOP mean? Stop it altogether or stop making it an idol? Stop obsessing? What!?

So I did take a small break at the time, but I still had blog commitments that I was wrapped up in that I felt like I had to follow through on, that I had already committed to from fun blog friends. It took the rest of the year to completely de-blog-ify my life to where I had zero blog stress on my calendar.

So now, that's where I am. Blog stress FREE! And in many ways, I don't have a voice. Or at least not in the same ways. Honestly, maybe I should start blogging about why you "shouldn't" blog!
I've been really trying to focus on getting ready for this 2nd sweet baby boy due in March! Sewing has been on the back burner for now! It's so funny how with Cai my desire to create came blossoming out, but with this baby, I've been passionate about "de-stressing", "de-cluttering" the house, not starting anything new, working on finding quiet, and finding balance!

In the mean time, you can always follow me on Instagram {vanessadbs} or my family blog, because in this busy season with young kids, fostering, and being 3 months away from having Judah, our 2nd baby, I seem to have enough to say regarding that crazy fun.

And I'm sure I will be doing some sewing soon enough... hopefully, I can get around to blogging, but if not, I'm resting in the grace that I don't necessarily have to! Thank you for always reading. I am not saying "good-bye", but a break for now is in order. I know that there's a season for everything under the sun.