The Story of a School Counselor

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It’s National School Counselor Week.  This is the week where School Counselors, like myself, inform people about our positions.  It’s a time to advocate for our profession and let people know what we really do.  To start of this week, I want to tell you how I came to be a School Counselor.

I remember in 3rd grade deciding that I wanted to be an art teacher.  I loved to draw and create things.  When I was in middle school, I used to paint my nails nightly.  It wasn’t just a solid color- I made designs.  When the Yankees were playing, I painted jerseys on my nails with the numbers of my favorite players.  I made faces and shapes and all kinds of things.  After middle school I still wanted to be an art teacher.  Art and music were my “thing”.  I was in the marching band and happily played my flute or piccolo.

I got to high school and took Studio Art and loved it.  When I went to see my guidance counselor to schedule my classes for the next semester, she killed my dream.  She said she wasn’t going to let me waste my brain on art and would not register me for the classes I wanted. She was supposed to guide me- she was the guidance counselor after all.  So I changed my focus and joined the outdoor club.  And I saw the movie Erin Brokovich so then I decided I wanted to be an environmental lawyer.

Science is not my thing.  If only someone had told me that when I was in High School.  I passed my chemistry exam by one point.  I did not do well in science classes.  But, I had a brain that I shouldn’t waste, according to the guidance counselor.  So I went off to college with a science major.

It was in college that I realized science wasn’t my thing.  So I transferred back home and picked Environmental Planning as a degree.  I’m still not sure what that was, but I was guided that way when I registered to attend.

One semester of that and I switched to Psychology.  While working on that degree, I decided I wanted to teach.  But I was in school in NY and you can’t get a teaching license with an undergraduate degree in Psychology.  That led me to researching other career paths that I could take.  I stumbled upon School Counseling and it just fit with what I dreamed of doing.

Notice I said “School” and not “Guidance”.  I am a School Counselor.  And my path to this career started with a Guidance Counselor.

My first venture as a strike-off seamstress!

I am so excited that I was chosen to be a strike-off seamstress for Blithe Fabrics!

I LOVE fabric- but you already know that, right? Ha ha!  When I saw the prints she was offering in the next round, and that she was looking for some guest strike-off seamstresses, I HAD to apply!

We are HUGE fans of The Greatest Showman and my daughter is actually singing one of the songs with her class for their upcoming music concert, so she was SUPER excited when I told her I was chosen!

What is a strike-off seamstress?  It’s a seamstress who is sent fabric to sew into something fun so people can see what it looks like as an item, and not just an image of what’s on the fabric.  I’ve ordered fabric based on pictures by strike-off seamstresses before.

As soon as I found out I was chosen, I started thinking about what I would sew.  She sent me a fat half of each of the two fabrics.  My goal was to use every last inch of the fabrics 🙂

I started with something for Annabelle.  She chose this print and wanted a peplum style shirt to wear.  She also prefers short sleeves so that was easy to accommodate.  This pattern is the Sailor Dress from Ellie and Mac (affiliate link) and she LOVES it!  It’s so perfect for The Greatest Showman print!

For me, I decided to colorblock the top and make the Stardust pattern from Halla Patterns.  I added a peplum skirt to mine and also made it sleeveless.

The day we went out to take these pictures was SUPER cold!  The day before it was in the 50’s of course!  But I am happy with how they turned out and we both LOVE our shirts.

I had some scraps left over and I laid them all out and sat looking at them for a bit.  Then I realized I saw some good square shaped sizes so I made some fabric coasters.  I also had enough of the one to make a coffee cozy, so I did that too.

I was pretty excited with how much I was able to get out of 2 fat halves of fabric!  And it’s beautiful fabric!

The pre-order is open until January 31st and you can find it here: Blithe Fabrics

Disclaimer:  I was sent this fabric to sew for promotional purposes, but I honestly LOVE it!

This post contains affiliate links which means I may make money if you purchase patterns through my link.

Sewing with Stitch Upon a Time

When I started sewing, I was using the patterns you can buy at the store.  And I had A LOT of help from my mother in law with them.  And then I discovered PDF patterns- thank you Pinterest 🙂 The first one I tried was part of a sew-a-long and it was the Stitch Upon a Time Women’s Copenhagen Harbor Board Shorts.  They were a challenge for me as a beginner, but because it was part of a sew-a-long, I was able to ask questions, post pictures of my troubles, and get many answers.

I LOVED the ease of these patterns and shortly after making the shorts, I bought the Brazi Bra and Dress pattern from Stitch Upon a Time.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this pattern!

I started with it by making a bathing suit.  It was perfect!  I did learn that the cups I sewed into the top were not the right color 🙂 For the bottoms, I used the Scrundlewear Pattern from Stitch Upon a Time.

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Of course I had to make the girls suits too, and they have a matching girls pattern called Aurora Crop Top and Dress, and also matching Kids Scrundlewear. I lengthened their tops so they wouldn’t be bikinis.  I learned with this one that the pink fabric bleeds.  No matter how many times you wash it, it bleeds….

Of course I had to try it out as a dress too.  And I had tickets to the Carolina Opry with my older daughter so I made us matching dresses:

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The next year when I was going to the Carolina Opry with my husband, I made another one:

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When I was cutting it, I had all intentions of doing a normal front, but I cut the cross front version so I just went with it 🙂

I’ve used it for a few sports bras, but the other day I made a new bathing suit and it turned out perfect!

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It is VERY hard to get a good picture in a waterpark 🙂

I had the kids pose with me and asked them to look like they were saying “mom mom mom mom…”

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It was so comfy, and to avoid the cups showing through, I improvised.  I sewed it all completely shut.  Then I cut slits in the lining and slipped the cups in that way 🙂  They stayed put and it’s just like a bathing suit I bought at a store.

I have already started cutting a few more bathing suits and will be making more dresses for summer.

Stitch Upon a Time has a lot of GOOD patterns!  I love the Spoxy Top and Dress too! It was the perfect top for this outfit I wore A LOT this summer!

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And this was my first one I made that the birds at Parrot Mountain LOVED!

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I’m so grateful that I stumbled upon the Stitch Upon a Time sew-a-long when I did!  It really got me going into sewing clothes for my girls and I.

I definitely recommend checking out their patterns and joining their online community on Facebook!

 

New Girls Classic Tee Pattern

Love Notions has released a new Girls Classic Tee for sizes 2T-16.  I was lucky enough to test this pattern and now Evelyn has a few new shirts!  The shirt is a relaxed fit and you can choose v-neck or scoop neck and 3 different sleeve lengths.  Since we are in spring, I did all short sleeve to ensure she would wear them.  I’ll start with some long sleeve when it gets colder.

As with any pattern tests, there were revisions along the way and that just means I sewed up a few versions of it.  Evelyn is good at telling me how well things fit and she loves to pick out what fabric we are using for the next one. She also loves to make grumpy or funny faces for pictures 🙂

She will always give me a nice smile photo, but has to throw in some silly ones too.  And she loves to fully test out the comfort of the pattern while doing one of her favorite things- flips!

I can’t forget Annabelle 🙂  I usually sew up one in her size too, if I have time, and she is loving this one:

I’m really glad this one goes up to 16 so I can keep making Annabelle a modest girls shirt, even when she continues to grow 🙂

I recommend this pattern for beginners because it is very easy to sew up.  Buy the pattern, print it out and let me know if you have questions!  I love to help people!

Family Vacation Time

It’s summer.  Which means I’m not working.  Well…I’ve gone in for some meetings, and I am doing some reading and planning over the summer…but, essentially, I am on summer break.

We totally take advantage of my time off and travel.  We spent 5 days in Minnesota- hiking to different waterfalls and being unplugged for the most part.  There was no wi-fi!  And we had a blast!

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We stayed in this cute little cabin and there weren’t many people around.  It was really quiet. Of course I made these 4th of July outfits for us with some panels I found at Smoogie Fabric and Design.  My dress is the Taffy from Petite Stitchery & Co and the girls are wearing Cascade Tee’s from New Horizons

We brought our big bubble wands and bubble mixture to have some fun!  The girls love these bubbles and they are really awesome!  We won the wands and some mix at a school function and then I found a recipe to make some for ourselves once that ran out.

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My favorite waterfall was Gooseberry Falls.  The hike there was easy, and the falls were so amazing!  You could get super close to them!

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My other favorite hike was to Split Rock Lighthouse.

I love lighthouses.  And waterfalls.  And my family.  So this trip was pretty amazing!

I had packed a few fun things to do, since we didn’t have technology to relax with after a tiring day of hiking and exploring.  One thing was the “Oreo Challenge”.  I managed to find a gluten free version for myself so I could participate.  We put the cookie on our forehead and you have to get it in your mouth with just moving your face.  It was a lot of laughs!  We videoed it and laughed so hard when we watched!  The girls asked to do it every night, and they want to do it even not on vacation!

Next up is our 3 week adventure to the Smokey Mountains, Myrtle Beach and then Buffalo, NY!

 

Snapdragon Skirt- New Pattern!

Pickle Toes Patterns has released a new skirt pattern- the Snapdragon! (affiliate link)  And it’s a SUPER easy and quick sew!  I am usually a knit girl, but I decided to try testing a pattern that involved using woven material, and I’m glad I did!

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And so is she!  We ventured to Joanne Fabrics to pick out something she would wear and then I paired it with some knit for a waistband.  It took her awhile to pick the kitties, she really wanted soccer balls, but she has never played soccer…so we went with kitties.

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When it was time to take pictures, I brought her mirror to the kitchen and offered chocolate.  So she put on a little modeling show for me 🙂

What do I love about the Snapdragon skirt?

  1. It was very easy to cut!  Just measure the fabric and cut two rectangles at once! The pattern contains measurements, not pages you have to tape together and cut.
  2. You can choose a knit waistband, or elastic.
  3. I can use up all the cute woven I’ve bought over the last two years because I thought it was so cute!
  4. This is a perfect skirt to pair with leggings!

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I need to make Annabelle one- or ten- of these to go over the leggings she loves to wear every day 🙂  I also need to make more of the Polliwog leggings (affiliate link) which I tested just recently also.   They come in shorts length too, so my plan is to make a bunch of those for going under these skirts for the spring and summer.

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Check out all the other patterns on the Pickle Toes Patterns website.  (affiliate link) I have also sewn up an Adorabelle and Safari Tank from them and look forward to trying even more!

(This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase patterns through these links, I will make a commission)

 

Vivax top and dress pattern

I was chosen to test another pattern!  This time, it was for Annabelle.  The pattern is called the Vivax top and dress and you can find it here: Vivax Top and Dress

I was assigned the dress length, with the collar neck, and long 3-piece sleeves.  Annabelle is not a big fan of long sleeves, so I promised her I would chop them to short sleeves if she wants, once testing was over.  She hasn’t asked me to do that yet, but that may come once it warms up outside.

I was a little intimidated by the pockets on this pattern, but they turned out better than I expected! My kids love when I make things with pockets!  I don’t blame them, I like pockets too.

When I started, I cut out the pattern on a black fabric, and then realized it would not photograph well, so I let her choose something more bright 🙂

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She loves unicorns, so I shouldn’t have been surprised! I showed her the dress when it was done at night, and she decided to wear it to school the next day, so I guess she liked it.  And I peeked at her outfits for the upcoming week, and it’s in the pile- that means it’s a winner!

I found the unicorn fabric at Joanne Fabrics, and the white is a double brushed poly that I ordered from So Sew English in a bundle with some other fabric.  She loves the feel of the double brushed poly, and it brightened it up even more.

I really like the length of this dress, especially for a girl who wants to wear leggings every day!

Details about the pattern:

  • It comes in 3 languages- English, Dutch and French
  • It ranges in size from 12 months to 14
  • It can be top or dress length
  • Two neck options- collar or round neck
  • Sleeves: short, half sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, 2 piece long sleeve, 3 piece long sleeve

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I had her pose outside our school for pictures since the brick wall is a better background than my kitchen wall 🙂 Good thing we get there early, I’m not sure if she would let me do this if her friends were around!