Makin' Maxis

You might recall that I have a maxi skirt conundrum... I love them, but have had trouble finding one that isn't way too long, way too expensive, or way too ugly. So, I took matters into my own hands and decided to make my own.

I really love to sew, but I'm not really a pattern kind of girl. I much prefer to come up with my own ideas and figure out how to make them work. But, since maxi skirts are super popular right now, I figured I could probably find a tutorial online {work smarter, not harder... that's what I learned in college!}. 

And, I did! I found this tutorial from Sew Caroline and it's sooo easy! Which is awesome, because I had never sewn knit before and I wanted to start simple. My results: 

Super cute, super simple. I would definitely recommend this tutorial! Especially if you're like me and are a first timer in the knit department.

Though I was definitely satisfied with my results, I wasn't super pleased with how the waist turned out. I really like the idea of having a band around the waist and I didn't love how bunchy mine was with the elastic... so, since I had bought enough fabric for THREE maxi skirts, I thought it would be fun to try making one on my own.

Before I get started, I'll warn you that this is my very first tutorial, so it might not be very good!! :) And if there is anything that is too confusing, please let me know so I can try to make it better {or at least do better next time}, just tell me nicely! Please.

Also, you should seriously try Caroline's version first, because it is definitely less complicated and still super cute. 

Ok, here goes...

Necessary Supplies: 
Sewing machine and thread {obviously}
Enough knit fabric to cover your waist to ankles {as explained in the tutorial mentioned above}. Since I'm short I only needed about a yard, but normal people would need a little more. :) 
Additional knit fabric to go around your waist {you can probably use the excess yardage from the fabric above}
Ball-tipped Needle... trust me on this!

Step 1: 
Wrap your fabric around your waist {like you're using it as a swim suit cover}, but make sure it is even at the bottom {so you don't measure it crooked}. Also, since it's knit, don't pull it too tight.

Step 2: 
Continue wrapping till you get to your bellybutton or to the opposite hip {this will determine how bunchy it is at the top/ flowey at the bottom}. I chose to stop at my bellybutton. 

Pin the fabric at the stopping point and trim away the excess. I trimmed off 6-8 inches.

Step 3: 
Baste the top of the skirt. It doesn't really matter which side you consider the top {unless there is a pattern that should obviously go one way or the other}. 

Also, since knit tends to stretch, make sure that your top is even {this was easy for me to do since I was using a stripe pattern, I simply basted down the first full stripe}.

When you have basted the entire length, you will pull one of the end strings as you carefully bunch the fabric. I didn't get a picture of this, sorry!
{Yes, those are both supposed to say 5... I didn't know how to document this step}
Step 4: 
This is where the waist band comes in... Use another piece of knit fabric {knit is stretchy, so you won't need elastic} and measure it around your waist. Make sure you leave about an inch extra for your seam allowance 

Step 5: 
This is where it might get confusing... I didn't really know how to take pictures of this step. 
Anyway...  Pin the basted end of the fabric {striped} to the top of the waist fabric {gray}, right sides together. This means that once you've sewn the pieces together and flip the waist fabric up, you'll have a clean, hidden seam. 

Does that make any sense at all?!?! Hope so.

{so sorry about the fuzziness here}
This is what it should look like when you have the waist piece finished. Does this picture make it easier to understand?? 
Yikes... I'm bad at this tutorial business. How am I a teacher?! It's easier in person...

{Pardon my nasty apartment carpet...}
Step 6:
Now that you have this long, pretty piece of fabric, the hard part is over! You'll simple fold the fabric lengthwise {again, right sides together} and sew down the side to make a big tube. 

Tip: Since we're not using elastic, I would recommend sewing the waist a little smaller than you would think. I ended up doing a double seam to make it a little bit more snug. 

Step 7 {optional}: Now that your skirt is a skirt, you can either leave the waist band long {so it can be folded-- or go over a pregnant belly} or you can fold it in half and hem the edges. Since I definitely do not have a pregnant belly and I wasn't loving the long band, I decide to hem mine, but honestly, if you know you want to do this from the beginning, I would hem it before you sew up the side {in other words, make this Step 6}.

Also, since I knew this stitch would probably be at least somewhat visible, I did a top stitch so I could make sure it was nice and straight along the waist.

Your reward for making it through this extremely slightly confusing tutorial {if you actually made it through}: A super cute maxi skirt!

I'm not saying this is the best {or easiest} way to make a maxi skirt, but it was fun trying it on my own. And since I was pleased with the results, I thought I'd share with you. :) 

Since I still have fabric for a third skirt I think I'm going to try this tutorial next. It seems a lot like the one I made, but with a thick elastic band! Great idea, right?! I'll let you know how it turns out. 

Let me know if you try making any of these for yourself {even if it's not my version}, I'd love to see what fabrics you chose and how you chose to style it!

Also, if you do happen to make a skirt that is as sheer as the one I made, please wear a slip!! You know, those silky white things? The world will thank you {and you won't have any little old ladies giving you nasty glares}. :)


Wanna go to Santa Fe? Ok. Sweet!

Well, that might not be exactly how the conversation went, but the point is, we took a completely spontaneous trip this weekend! So.Much.Fun!!!

At about 8pm on Friday, Derek threw out the idea of going to Roswell {for a comic book convention} but after a thorough investigation {by myself} it was decided that a 9+ hour drive to an over-hyped town for a comic book convention would not be an ideal adventure. What was decided {again, by myself... Derek was back at work by this point} was that a weekend jaunt to Santa Fe would be superb.

It took me awhile to convince the mister {as in, he wasn't totally sold until we had been there about an hour}, but it was definitely an adventure worth taking! 

Honestly, I think my favorite part was just the spontaneity of it all. We didn't do any touristy research on the place and left home with absolutely no expectations. Although apparently I had been there before, and just forgot {I thought I had been to a different part of NM}. 

Our only plans: explore a new place and have a good time doing it. 

In the end, it did feel a little long for a completely spontaneous adventure {about 8 hours since we took our time "road-trippin' it"}, but definitely full of memories! We even decided we liked road trips so much we might make them a regular Thompson tradition! Which is a good thing because we definitely plan to get one of these guys someday {though probably bigger, and Derek prefers the silver ones}:


Some highlights of the trip:

- Got called Pebbles by a cute, little, old Indian man {geez, how many adjectives do I need?!} at the downtown market. He was so darn cute that it didn't hurt my feelings.

- Got to experience the ultimate tourist destinations: Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. {What, you don't visit grocery stores when you vacation? Weird.} Since I obviously didn't need groceries, my souvenirs were chocolate and LaCroix.  Good enough for me!

- Tried my first savory crepe. Delicious! {I also tried the worst sushi of my life; I literally thought I might get sick. :( I don't know if they have a different way of doing it in New Mexico or what, but it was so bitter. Yuck.}

- Scenic drives with my man. Singing random songs. Pretending we were the real deal {who needs National Geographic when you have 2 Thompsons, an iPhone, and a Cybershot?}

Soooo much beautiful scenery!!!! I forget how pretty our country is, living in SW Kansas... I'm not saying all of Kansas is dull and boring, but the southwest region pretty much is! 

Also, a few things I learned about Derek:

1. He doesn't have quite as much of the impromptu gene that I seem to have. At first I was getting frustrated, but then it just made me laugh to realize how different we are in that way. 

He kept wanting to make a plan, look up restaurant reviews, keep track of the stores we wanted to check out. I, on the other hand wanted to stroll the streets, choose a place to eat based on the curb appeal, and pop in to whatever stores caught my attention. 

2.  He's a pretty good catch {not that I didn't already know that}, but remember how I said one of my highlights was Trader Joe's and Whole Foods? Guess who willingly strolled the grocery store aisles without hesitation? That guy! He did however make some oinking noises at me a time or two, but I guess I kind of deserve that! haha

and 3. For some reason he seems to enjoy taking pictures of me looking at menus. Weird.

I think it's fun that we're still learning so much about each other {and will be for years, I'm sure}! We make a good pair, Mr. Thompson and I. 

Got any summer adventures up your sleeves?


A gift. In a basket

I tend to enjoy giving gifts. Preferably of the handmade kind. 

Haters call it cheap. I call it thoughtful. And awesome.

I mean, anyone can go to the store and and buy a gift. It just feels more special when you make it yourself, ya know? 

Unfortunately, I haven't had time lately to make many gifts {let me tell ya folks, my first year of teaching kicked.my.butt. Thank the Lord that's over!!} Due to my love of hand made gifts and predicted lack of time, I actually even considered making a whole slew of Christmas gifts this summer. 

But lets be honest, that's probably not gonna happen.

Anyway, back to the gift. There's a girl at my church getting married this summer, so of course there was a shower {man I loved my church shower!}. I don't really know the girl that well, but honestly I don't know anyone in GC that well {except my husband. I know him verrry well. But enough about that! ;)} 

So... in an effort to be friendly, I wanted to attend said shower. With a gift. Obviously. 

As I was going through my craft supplies, brainstorming what this gift would entail, I just so happened to find an apron. This apron was once intended to become a Christmas gift, but was never delivered {aprons were my handmade gift of choice a couple years back}. 

Now, if I'm honest, there were reasons said apron was never delivered... the layers were kind of off and it was just missing something. But fear not, it could be salvaged. 

A bit of layer tweaking and a cute bow later, the apron was fixed. 
Normally, for time-crunched Jamie, this apron would be a full-fledged gift, but it's summer break folks! Time is not an issue {hallelujah!}. 

So the pondering continued. And my brain started thinking in gift basket mode {gift baskets were my handmade gift of choice several years back, and I loved making them so much I considered turning it into a career... stay tuned for that}. 

The question is, what goes really great with a cute apron? 
Cookies! duh.

It was obvious that cookies {in a jar} must accompany the basket.
I decided on Cowgirl Cookies {from Bakerella} and Chocolate Lovers Cookies {from here}. I've never had either of these cookies, so hopefully they taste ok... my only judging criteria was that the layers looked pretty together.

But I mean, if the layers look pretty, surely they taste awesome, right?! Right.
Here's a close up of one of the tags, in case you're nosey like me. :)

And why not throw in a rolling pin for good measure? Great idea! 

After stuffing the basket full of goodies I wrapped it in cellophane and tied it off with more twine. But really, the cellophane kind of made it less pretty, so I'll save you from that picture. 

There it is ladies: a gift, in a basket. Make one for your friends! And if you do, send me a picture, I'd love to see how they turn out!


Workin' It Out: Thompson Style

I guess you could say the Thompsons have grown since the wedding. And not in a good way. We really need to get healthier {aka lose. some. weight.}. 

Most people do this by dieting, but that's not really in the cards for us... at least not yet. You see, we really like food. And while I'm all about going on a huge health kick, and eating super healthy, Mr. T is a bit pickier than myself. So we decided to start by getting more active. 

I really wanted to do Couch to 5K, but Derek wasn't super into that idea. He wanted to simply make a habit of doing fun activities more often, like walking the dogs and playing disc golf {he's been really into disc golf lately}. 

So, like the super skilled married people we are {kidding. We're definitely a work in progress!}, we compromised. 

The plan: every other day we head down to the disc golf course and play at least the first 9 holes. And since some of the holes have a pretty long stretch between them, we jog to each new hole. BAM! Compromise.

I've gotta be honest, the only reason I finally agreed to this compromise is because Derek bought me two new discs, and the colors go perfectly with the pink one I've had for awhile! They make me happy, and therefore make me want to play more. 

Aren't they pretty? 

I don't mind disc golf normally, but playing in the Kansas wind is not my definition of fun. I get really annoyed when my throw looks oh-so-pretty and then gets caught by the wind and flies 20 yards in the wrong direction. Sooo frustrating!! 

Plus, our only course is on the community college's campus and has holes along 2 main roads in town, so I always feel slightly embarrassed doin' my thang in front of an audience. 

We also see a lot of these guys... 
Which makes me slightly uncomfortable. I mean, they're not usually yelling like this one here, but today one of them almost ran across my foot. I don't know who was more freaked out, me or the tiny baby prairie dog. We've tried to get pictures a time or two, but those little boogers are quick!

We did, however, get a few pictures of ourselves today {courtesy of Derek's iphone}, but after looking at them, I kind of wish we hadn't! 

Derek is obviously the more skilled player...

Yikes! At least my discs are pretty. :) 

Hope you're enjoying the summer as much as we are! Have a great weekend friends!


An Experiment

I know it's old news, but I really like ombre hair {not to be confused with a Spanish man, which is what my husband thought I was referring to when I said ombre}. 

But only when it's really subtle, kind of like this: 
I actually usually have somewhat ombre-ish hair naturally. The sun is pretty good at bleaching out my tips in the summer, thus resulting in the ombre effect. Anna even found an old picture of me on facebook and told me I had ombre hair before I knew it was cool {what she didn't realize was that I was actually in the process of trendsetting. I'm pretty good at that... I swear I made moccasins cool back in the day, but that's another story.

The problem however, is that I've stopped soaking up the sun as much in my old age and therefore have been lacking my natural ombre coolness. So, I had to take matters into my own hands. 

I'm kind of what you would call a cheapskate frugal, so I wasn't really interested in paying big money for professionally styled ombre {plus, if I'm honest, I don't really trust the hairstylists around here to do it... GC is kind of 10 years behind the times... we're just now thinking cakepops are cool, we'll discover fro-yo and macaroons eventually.}

My solution: Sun In. 
Remember basking in the glory days of summer, making sure to soak your hair in lemon juice or {if you were a high roller}, Sun In itself? No? Ok, I actually never did this either, but I had friends who did. {You know what they say, your strongest memories are mostly made up. You did know they said that, didn't you?}.

Anyway... I bought some Sun In the other day and thus began my experiment. I'm not going to show you how it turned out just yet, because honestly it's not a major difference so far. Right now I would say my hair looks the way it used to look naturally {when the sun bleached the tips} but I'm hoping to get better results. I'll keep track of how many applications I use and the final result and let you know how it turns out {if it's even worth mentioning, that is}. Wish me luck!

Doesn't summer always feel like the best time for experimenting? Hubs in the the process of maybe growing a beard and I might get straight bangs again! Are you in the the process of any fun, summer experiments?



The other night  the hubs and I got to have an impromptu movie night. It was a special treat! He normally works until the wee hours of the morning {except on Saturdays and sometimes Sundays} but when he got off before 11 the other night, we decided to celebrate with Redbox and convenience store candy. 

We're pretty classy folks. 
We had been planning to see the movie In Time for quite some time, but never seemed to find the time to watch it {yes, I did mean to say time that many times... there I go again}. 

Anyway... as we were watching, Derek became increasingly annoyed and thought it was pretty cheesy {because they said the word time A LOT, and the plot was kind of weak} and thus began making repetitive time puns. 

Don't you just hate when people talk during movies? 
I wasn't very appreciative of his timely remarks at first, but by the end I was making a few of my own. 

{via Pinterest}

My point is {yes, I have one} that it would be such a shame if time really were money. To constantly be working as hard as possible just to live another day. 


But isn't that what we kind of do anyway?? Work ourselves silly and forget there's a life worth living outside of careers and bills and schedules and budgets? 

I tell ya what, so far I haven't been too impressed with this whole "real-world/adult" thing, always feeling like my brain's on overtime instead of simply enjoying life. 

I need to slow down and enjoy the simple things. Like impromptu movie nights, convenience store candy, and annoying time puns. And I'm guessing you do too. So, I'll leave you with this...

Tii-iii-iii-ime is on myyyy side, yes it is

You're welcome. You're also welcome for all those cute watches/clocks I found on Pinterest. Love them. 
And speaking of Pinterest, go check out my boards!


So I was just thinking...

If I happened to be of a religion that required long skirts and my hair pulled back, this would totally be my time to shine. I mean, top knots and maxi skirts are super in.


Don't you just love this look??

It can be just as casually cute as it is elegant.

Love it!!

I could probably wear something like this everyday... if I had a maxi skirt, that is. 

Since I'm short {and picky} {and living in the middle of nowhere} I've had a hard time finding one. 
I actually might even try my hand at making one {or ten} this summer. 

I mean, they have to be the simplest creation in the world, right? Right. All I need is a ball-tipped needle and I'm golden! I'll let you know how if it goes down... 



Down in my heart, deep, deep, down in my heart! SPELL IT! Anyone else remember that song? 
No? Ok, nevermind...

I've been thinking a lot about joy lately. What it is, where it comes from, how to get more of it. 

According to Mr. Webster, joy is...
1 a: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.

I must say, my life is pretty good these days. I'm married to my best friend, we live in the same town {which, believe me, after a long-distance relationship is something that shouldn't be taken for granted!}, I have a well-paying job {that is actually in the career I trained for}, I have two adorable dog-children {who can always brighten my day}, and I have many friends and family who love and care for me. 
So, the question is... where is my joy?? Why am I not bouncing off the walls with joy??

My biggest lesson lately: JOY IS A CHOICE. That's right, a deliberate decision. 

It's not something that simply happens. Don't let Mr. Webster fool you folks,  just because all the pieces are falling into place, doesn't automatically qualify you for the joy ride {see what I just did there?}.

Because you know what? I could add a "but..." statement to all of those positives I mentioned above. Statements that would make me feel sorry for myself, and discredit all those blessings the Lord has put in my life. 

I have to decide each day to be grateful for what I have and look past all those not-so-greats. 
And you know what? I haven't been very good at it lately.

I was recently looking for reading plans on YouVersion to help jump-start my Bible reading {something else I haven't been very good at lately} and found the perfect fit: A Jolt of Joy! It's a short plan that's all about, you guessed it: joy. Already, I have been inspired by this reading plan {and I'm only on day 3}, the first day's reading reminded me of this truth: "In His presence is the fullness of joy." Psalm 16:11

Joy is a choice we need to make everyday, but the only way to have true, lasting joy is through a relationship with our Savior. I have so many things to be grateful for, so many reasons to be joyful. 
But I haven't been. That's gotta change! 

Proverbs 31:12


Explanations and Obligations

Well... I might as well introduce myself. That's how a first blog post usually goes, at least. I know this, because I've "started blogging" several times. And, though this isn't my first endeavor in the blogosphere, lets hope it's my last... 
as in, maybe this time I'll keep it up!

My name is Jamie. 
I'm a wife. A mother to two lovable poochies. A teacher. 
A crafter {when I have the time}. 
And, most importantly, a Christ follower. 

As I mentioned before, this isn't the first time I've created a blog.
{you might have seen me here}
I always have good intentions, but it just never seems to stick. Now that I'm married, living far from "home", and embarking on life's many journeys, I really hope to keep this blog more as a memory-keeper than anything else. I want to be able to look back and {laugh, cry, cringe} remember all the {fun, goofy, crazythings we {made, wore, ate} did through our journey together. That's my hope at least. 

The name, you ask? Well, I have long been an admirer of the wife detailed in Proverbs 31; I've wanted to be her for as long as I can remember. Now that I have my chance, I'm striving to live out the woman so vividly described for my husband, future children, and even myself. I know I will never embody her completely, especially with the challenges and changes that have come with living in the modern age, but I also know that it's an adventure worth trying. 

The primary theme of this blog will follow our day-to-day lives and adventures as well as my trial and errors in becoming a "wife of noble character." We have a long journey ahead of us, but I can guarantee it will be fun! 
Join us, won't you?

"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies." Proverbs 31:10, NIV