Spring Pink and Gray | Fashion

Did you all get a taste of spring last week? We certainly did. I thoroughly enjoyed the several days of beautiful, 60-degree weather. My siblings and I took full advantage of the warmth and enjoyed walks and outside playtime. Some of us even pulled out short sleeves.

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This gray knit shirt is one of my new favorites. It’s super comfortable and the three-quarter sleeve is just perfect for the almost-warm weather.

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I love how the pink scarf adds some color to the outfit while the denim skirt keeps it casual.

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Bethany and I were wearing coordinating stripes and colors so we had to get a picture together.

Outfit details:
Top: free
Scarf: borrowed
Skirt: eBay: I don’t recall the price

KBRMinistrieslinkAlso, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a year’s subscription to The King’s Blooming Rose. And, to be doubly clear, if you shared the post or picture on any type of social media, be sure to leave an additional comment with your name and the link to your post.

The King’s Blooming Rose | Review and Giveaway

The King's Blooming Rose Giveaway

Last year, I was introduced to the delightful magazine, The King’s Blooming Rose. Edited and published by homeschool graduate, Sarah Bryant, The King’s Blooming Rose “offers quarterly encouragement to Christian girls.” KBR encourages young ladies to “become delightful cornerstones at home, under the guidance of their parents according to Titus 2 and Proverbs 31.” Each issue features themes such as abiding in Christ, contentment, femininity, and Scripture memory.

My sisters and I were gifted with a year’s subscription by a sweet friend and we have thoroughly enjoyed each issue. In fact, we’ve loved it so much that we ordered all the back issues. So, to celebrate 100 posts on The Blue Tree House, I want to give away a year’s subscription to one of my readers.

To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment with your first and last name. You can enter additional times by

1) Pinning the top picture
2) Sharing on Google+
3) Sharing on Facebook
4) Sharing on Twitter
5) Sharing on your blog

Leave an additional comment for each entry with your name and a link, if possible.

Giveaway closes Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 12 P.M. CDT. Winner will be announced Friday, March 27.

How to Alter a Formal Dress

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In October of 2013, I had the privilege of standing as a bridesmaid in my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding. We ordered the bridesmaid dresses from an online company using our measurements. Unfortunately, when my dress arrived, it had several issues. The waist was too snug and I couldn’t take a deep breath. The lining of the dress was too small and caused the overlay to bunch up. We did not have time to reorder the dress so I headed for my seam ripper.

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To make the waist measurement larger, I began by finding the largest amount of seam allowance. Usually it will be in the side seams or along the zipper. I had a large seam allowance by my zipper.

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Carefully begin ripping the stitches out on both sides of your zipper. The material of formal dresses can be delicate so take your time. I stopped ripping just past the ruched waistband.

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Look at all that extra fabric. It was like finding gold! [grin] Next, I started reinstalling the invisible zipper. Here’s my favorite tutorial on installing invisible zippers. Sew the zipper to the bodice first.

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Hand sew the lining to the zipper using a whipstitch. Hand sewing the lining in fixed my problem of the bunched overlay.

Repeat the entire process on the other side. Carefully steam the dress.

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The finished product–you can see where I let it out. After I steamed it, it looked much better.

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This is the best picture I could find of the back of my dress while it was on me.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Formal pictures (the 1st and last) courtesy of JN Photography.

Knitting Block by Block | Book Review

 

As a novice knitter, I was excited to see a knitting book available for review on Blogging for Books. While the book isn’t specifically written for beginners, the instructions are clearly written. With lovely, easy-to-read patterns, Knitting Block by Block by Nicky Epstein would be an excellent addition to the knitter’s library. It comes with 150 block patterns for creating a variety of beautiful projects.

The book also includes projects using the blocks you create. I’m looking forward to trying projects like the Crossed Cable Cuffs and the One-Block Toys. You’ll also find projects for afghans, scarves, bags, sweaters and more.

Disclaimer: Blogging for Books sent me this book in exchange for my honest and thoughtful review.

 

 

hand in Hand | Book Review

The books that I have read by Randy Alcorn have been an encouragement in my Christian walk. When I discovered that he had published a new one, I eagerly ordered it. In hand in Hand, Mr. Alcorn examines the perplexing questions and debate over reconciling God’s sovereignty and human choice. He endeavors to look at the issue from all of Scripture instead of select verses.

hand in Hand is basically a shorter version of If God is Good but has a heavier emphasis on explaining the Calvinistic and Arminian positions of God’s sovereignty and human free will. Randy Alcorn is a Calvinist but does provide a fair overview of the various positions. This theological book includes a liberal amount of diagrams and references as he attempts to explain how the seemingly opposing positions actually work together.

I would not recommend this book to just anyone. It is definitely not an easy read. If you’re looking for a good book on the topic God’s sovereignty, I’d recommend If God is Good by Randy Alcorn. The terms and language used are much more down-to-earth. If you do choose to read hand in Hand, be prepared to learn some new words and definitions.

Disclaimer: Blogging for Books sent me this book in exchange for my honest and thoughtful review.

January Update | Personal

You may have wondered where I’ve been for the past month and a half. I took an unexpected but completely necessary sabbatical from blogging. It has been an exciting, sweet, busy, sad, and special time for me. I am definitely looking forward to posting more often now and have several ideas simmering.

Here are a few photos from the last month or so.

I had a delightful Thanksgiving break and was able to spend it with one of my best friends. Hannah and I talked for hours and hours and hours. [grin]

December started off with a most exciting event. I had the privilege of attending my first birth as a doula. Little Rachel was born at 2:47 a.m. on December 1st. IMG_8895 For our family picture this year, we went with a jewel-tone theme. The younger kiddos really look tall in this picture!

My grandfather, Pop Criswell, went Home to be with the Lord after 2 1/2 weeks in the hospital. It was an incredibly sad but sweet time. Our Christmas Day was a special time as we stood around his bed and sang his favorite hymns and Christmas carols. God called him Home January 1, 2015.  His funeral was a beautiful, victorious, God-honoring service. Over 70 preachers and preacher boys sang “Faithful Men” for his funeral. Please pray for my grandmother as she adjusts to life without her husband of 62 years. She has been an incredible example through this entire time. She is a beautiful living illustration of the Proverbs 31 wife.