Thursday, February 26, 2015


I am working on revamping my blog. Not like just a new header and stuff, which I do probably too often, but a full-on overhaul. Gotta bring the blog up to 2015! I'm excited and also in way over my head, ha! Apparently one must look stupid multiple times to learn anything about the Internet these days. I'm ok with it. I considered waiting until I had everything ready and then having a big unveiling, but let's get real, I'm not that cool. Haha!

I am working through the Blog Design Love 2.0 e-course by A Beautiful Mess and am learning a lot! I'm happy to say it's worth the $45. In case you were waffling ;)  So, bit by bit, you'll see the blog start to change. Hopefully.

Some small, but exciting thing happened in my sewing room over the weekend! For my birthday, Casey bought me a TV for my sewing room, along with a Roku since we don't have cable. It's so nice to have up there! I often listen to music or podcasts while I sew, but I get into certain shows occasionally too. Right now, Murdoch Mysteries is my go-to sewing show! And sometimes Kelby hangs out up there with me and watches Ninja Turtles. I love that cartoon, I admit it.

This is what my space looked like before. I know, a mess.

But then Casey built me a shelf and now it's sooo much nicer! 

The shelf spans the length of the wall too, so I have extra space! I think I might finally snatch some of the cute prints on Etsy I've had my eye on and make my walls happy. 

I love this shot of Kelby and Casey when they were putting up the shelf:
 I put that on Instagram. You can find me on Instagram as nikkischreiner. I love Instagram and I like finding new people to follow! You should also follow Barbiestyle because it's awesome. And Prissy_Pig. I also follow Target! It's weird to follow a store, maybe, but they have the most creative photos! 

If you follow me there, you'll get to see this kind of hilarity from time to time. 

Cheers :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Let's catch up!

Yesterday, I determined to make time today to take pictures of the things I've made over the last few months! And I did it. I thought about stretching these four things into four posts this week, but who am I kidding? If I don't do it now, I might not have time the rest of the week. However, I do feel ready to pick blogging back up on a more regular basis. In all honesty, I was considering giving this up and took a break to see if I missed it enough to keep going. And I really, really did! I've had this blog for nine years! Sheesh. I am considering some changes, though. I am starting to look into things like domain names and branding and coding and ... I think I need a class. Haha.

Moving right along!

I walked into FabricMart last month and couldn't believe it, they had just gotten a gorgeous pile of fabrics from Cotton & Steel. It had been a long time since I made clothing out of quilting cotton, but I couldn't leave these butterflies behind. I envisioned a Summer dress out of it, but I have really drifted away from the fitted bodice/cute, full gathered skirt. I settled on the bodice from New Look 6184. I was nervous about that fitted skirt, though. Straight fitted skirts tend not to work out on me. I'd recently tried Simplicity 1876 and it ended up being a wadder. The bodice was awful (not only did the overlay look super weird, but who wants to wear an entirely interfaced bodice in the heat of summer??) , but the skirt portion was great! I tossed that pattern, but slipped the skirt pieces into the side of my pattern bin. I'm so glad I did that because it turned out great meshing these two patterns together!
 (I swear my legs are not orange, they are reflecting the walls on my lanai!!)
I think it's very flattering and I really love that fabric! I added a vintage crochet trim to the waistline, which really topped it off. I have a ginormous piece of medium-weight denim that I've been wondering what to do with. I think I'd like to take this skirt pattern, add a waistband and turn it into a high-wasted denim skirt, inspired by the one below that I spotted on Pinterest. What do you think?

Next up, I actually made this dress a little while ago, but I wear it so much, it always seemed to be in the laundry when I wanted to take pics and blog about it! I think I need to remember to slip a photo op in on the days when I wear things for real. 

I'm actually pretty sure this rayon, also found at my FabricMart is a Cotton & Steel print too? That company is my fabric style-crush right now, haha! I used Butterick 5784, which I made once before (out of a polyester, what was I thinking??) but this time I left off the shoulder detail. It's so easy to wear, I just love it! I've used this same pattern for a basic striped knit top too and it turned out great. I think this is my tried and true shift dress pattern! (Btw, both necklaces in the above photos are from Stitchfix! Still loving that service so much.)

Third dress: I found this solid rayon at my little quilt store in Kaimuki. I used McCall's 7093, from the new collection and found a piece of this soft cotton lace in my bin for the contrast sleeves. I love it, but it's clearly too short for anything other than a special date night, which is exactly what I made it for ;) 
 The reason it's so short is because it's supposed to be a top! It's soooo long, though, right? I went ahead and wore it on our Valentines date, but I'm going to look for a lace trim that matches the sleeves and add it to the bottom. If I can't find any, I'll go ahead and cut it into a top. Either way, the pattern is a winner and I'll definitely make it again!

Last, but in no way least, because it might be my new favorite thing to wear, I made a flannel shirt. Seems weird, I know, but I'm actually visiting the mainland in a couple weeks, where I might actually get to wear it, and since my fabric stash has dwindled to scrounge-whatever-fabric-I-can because I-have-to-sew-for-my-sanity status, I thought this was a great time to make something out of it. Also, it's not a super thick flannel (but it's SO soft!) so I think I might have more occasion to wear it here than I think. I cannot say enough good things about McCall's 6436. It's too bad the cover photo and drawings are so bland because the possibilities for this pattern are so basic and endless. I already have another version cut out, which will be my fourth version of this pattern! This shirt is sooooo cozy, I just want to wear it all the time.

Speaking of my trip to the mainland, I am SO EXCITED to go fabric shopping!!!! It's not that I have zero options here, I have a few, but you have no idea what a difference sales and coupons make until you have to rely on a fabric store that simply does not offer any and you can only afford one piece of fabric at a time! 

I'm also going to get my hair cut while I'm there. I'm so ready for that. I tried wearing my hair down the other day and it was mistake, it was so hot. It ends up on top of my head every day. I'm ready for a change. 

Have a happy Monday, y'all! For all those super tired of winter right now, I am sincerely sorry for the warm weather photos!!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

A couple of shirt dresses and help me pick a haircut!

It's Friday!! I love Fridays. We don't do school (and judging by all the kids out on the driveway, neither do many other homeschoolers on our street). I try not to make plans on Fridays, unless it's the beach or pool or something equally easy and relaxing. And on Friday nights, we have a fun dinner, put the kids to bed, Casey and I open a bottle of wine and watch a movie or catch up on shows. Right now, it's The Middle. I think that show ties with Last Man Standing as my fave comedy.

Anyway! Since it's Friday and I have no plans and the kids are outside playing, I got to take pics of two out of three dresses I've made recently! (The third is in the laundry, I just can't stop wearing it.)

I ordered this amazing owl rayon challis from I love it so much! Those wise little owls, they just kill me.

The pattern is Vogue 8810, which I made a couple times two Summers ago. Back then I made it in cotton and denim and sized it down to be more fitted. But, I've been pinning a lot of drapier shirt dresses lately and this pattern seemed perfect for this fabric. Here's a close-up of the owls. 
I put this fabric on Instagram after I ordered it and someone notified me that the new Sewaholic pattern used this fabric on one of the sample garments!! I'm glad I snatched it first, I bet it's gone now ;)

Next up, I'd bought this purple linen at my local fabric store and couldn't decide what to do with it. Look up linen dresses on Pinterest and you'll see mostly art-teacher looks or shapeless sacks. Neither of those looks are for me. So I pulled out my patterns and decided on McCall's 6885, although I made so many changes, I'm not sure it's fair to cite the pattern!
 As I mentioned in my last post, I don't love collars, so instead of attaching the collar, I scooped out the neckline and bound with self-made bias tape instead. I also shaped the side seams to my waist. I needed more curve in the back, despite my swayback adjustment, so I added two long darts so the back would be fitted to my body. The pattern does include ties, but I'm not a huge fan, so this was a perfect solution. And, I love a good shirttail hem! I like this dress. The linen is soft and really keeps me cool when it's hot out.

On another note! I have appointment to get a hair cut. In March, so I have awhile. My hair has shifted from pretty curly, to half wavy, have weird. Haha. Dang hormones. Anyway, I've pinned a bunch, I'd love some opinions! I do plan on also getting highlights. My hair's texture doesn't seem to like highlights when it's long, but they work great when it's short! 

Those are my top four! So, super short or semi-short, that is the question. (You can find links to all these cuts on my Style board here. )

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

This and that

I have made some things! I haven't gotten pics of them all yet, but I did of this one. I did a massive clean-out of my closet. Did I already say that here? I think I already had a modestly sized wardrobe, but I was still tired of standing in my closet choosing to wear the same handful of things while the other beautiful and once-loved handmade things were hanging there guilting me. Ha! I pulled it all out and put back only what I really wear. My style has moved on from the fit-and-flare dresses and floral prints. I wear a lot of knits and shorts and the dresses I'm making these days are casual pull-on dresses. Zippers and waistbands are out. I think the climate has something to do with it. Most people here tend to wear workout clothes 24/7. I'm not there, but I do understand the need for loose, moisture wicking fabrics!


I recently read that you should really make a pattern more than once before deciding it's not for you. I took that to heart! I have made McCall's 6702 before, which you can see here. I recently realized that I don't love collared shirts on me. I don't want to say I have a thick neck, but it's not long and elegant either and I feel like collars just cover my whole neck.  The other thing about that first version of this pattern is that I forgot to do a swayback adjustment, so the fit wasn't right in the back. That top didn't make the cut in my closet clean-out. I realized what I really loved about it was that fabric and I know that June Fabrics has more of it, I see it there every time. So out it went.

This version, however, I love! I did the swayback adjustment, I took the time to fit the side seams and I did alter the hem to a style that looks better on me. AND, rather than the collar, I bound the neckline with self-fabric bias tape. And I like it!
 Bra straps, sorry.
 In case you're wondering, that large contraption is my Tower Garden and is one of my favorite things right now!! Here's our baby cucumber plant, although this was last week and it's twice as big now. Did you know you can grow a garden compactly and with no dirt?? It's AMAZING!!!! Can't wait to try the bounty. I planted cucumber, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, three herbs, eggplant, bell peppers, lettuce and I ordered organic seeds for strawberries and mini sweet peppers.
 If you're still scratching you head, here's a video:

So cool!!!!

Here's Kelby pretending to add water. Haha.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Let's get outta the house

Yesterday I took the kids to the zoo. I recently decided that whenever Hawaii starts to feel more difficult and frustrating than Paradise-like, it's time to go down to Waikiki or North Shore or any coast, really and spend some time remembering why it's so amazing here. I know, I know, it's Hawaii and you feel so bad for me. But, you don't know! The traffic, you guys! And the crowds! And attitude to beat all. Anyway, we just needed a day out and I needed some sunshine.

Hawaii has the coolest trees!

 Haha, Layla wasn't loving this.

 His poses. Lol.
His mustaches.
 I spy Natalie:
 I love this picture!! Happy kids.
 We pet the goats. By we, I mean the kids.

 The most ginormous ostrich I have ever seen.
 Rainbow Eucalyptus tree. They're the coolest.
 It was such a good day and my attitude is so much better after getting out yesterday!
I found this pic on my phone just now when I plugged it in to get all 734 photos off it. Eek! Whoops. I took this at Duke's Waikiki with two dear friends. It was such a perfect moment. The sun went down over the ocean, a band was playing the ukelele version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and the weather was perfect. Amazing. I really am a lucky girl to get to live here, it's incredible!! I just need reminded every now and then ;)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!!

I LOVE New Years. Love it.  The craziness of the holidays is past and things are wide open. I know many people see new years goals as a silly thing, but I like to make them and I really do strive to keep them.

We had a crazy year. For realz. We moved to Hawaii, after all. That's crazy for anyone, right!? I will remember 2014 as the year we moved to Hawaii and the year I started doTERRA. I asked the kids what their favorite thing about 2014 was and they all said, "staying at the Hale Koa." Ha! I guess if you have to live in a hotel for five weeks, it better be on Waikiki, amiright? I bonded with my kids in a new way during that time. Casey started work immediately when we got here and the kids and I tooled around town, hit the beach, started Geocaching, walked until our legs were about to collapse and got to know each other in whole new ways, thanks to the absence of our household goods. It was a sweet time for us!

One thing I'm pretty proud of accomplishing last year is a renewed love for playing piano! I played for many years when I was young, but put it aside when I started playing the sax in band in high school and college. Last year in Virginia, I was bored and isolated and a little depressed and I pulled out some books, ordered a couple new ones and started practicing. It has morphed into something I love to do daily and I can really see a lot of improvement! I ordered a Chopin book last year and immediately put it away, it looked so hard. But in recent weeks, I've picked it up again and am able to play a couple of his pieces pretty well with practice!  I recently ordered the piano music from Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightly version) and it is beautiful and so fun to learn. I've been loving listening to piano music too. My favorite person to watch play on YouTube is LangLang. Enjoy:

And now, doTERRA! Oh, my goodness, I can't even believe what is happening with my doTERRA business. I have surprised myself in SO many ways. I never thought of myself as the kind of person who could do this kind of thing. But, I believe in the product and once that happens, it's impossible not to want to share that with others. Also, I have been so blessedly surprised by what God is doing in my heart towards people. My social circle has been a largely Christian bubble for years and while I don't regret that because that's what God had for me for that season, it was starting to bother me and I was praying about it. I was also praying about how to model to my kids an entrepreneurial spirit. DoTERRA was God's answer to those prayers! More people have landed on my doorstep than I ever could have dreamed possible and many of them are prayers projects, put into my life by the Lord and I am so thankful and watching in wonderment what He has in store next.

Which leads me to needing your help! I have a business goal of giving out 100 samples in the month of January. That's a LOT!! So if you've been curious about doTERRA or essential oils or if there's something you've been dying to try or an ailment you've been seeking relief for, let me know and I'll get some oils into your hands ASAP. Shipping's on me! You can email me at penelopey4(at)yahoo(dot)com. 

Moving on, super long post, I know. 

I do have a few goals for the New Year, some great business goals, we have some financial goals, some travel plans and I have some homeschool hopes. I think my only firm "resolution" for now is to read 12 good chapter books out loud to my kids. I think The Miraculous Journey of Edward Trulane will be first! Leave me your faves in the comments and I'll check them out! 

And I think we should go to the beach more. That shouldn't be hard ;)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Vogue 1387

I almost always love Rebecca Taylor's designs. In fact, I've only made a handful of Vogue patterns and I think they've all been Rebecca Taylor.

I mentioned that I recently found where my fabric store here hides the little shelf of rayon prints! This is one I snatched up. A downside of fabric shopping here is that coupons don't exist for fabric stores and things don't go on sale either. Halloween costumes were much pricier to make this year, to say the least! I told Casey to slap me if I ever complain about JoAnn's on the mainland again, haha! But these rayon prints are $5.99, which is pretty great, I think.

I think it turned out nice! I will say, there's gotta be a lot of pins on the pattern envelope model to keep that neckline where it's at. It gapes A LOT! I ended up topstitching the wrap part to keep it in place. I do not do camis here in Hawaii. Even so, the neckline is shifty. But, the top is very comfortable and I feel pretty in it.

On a different topic, I realized in recent months that I have hardly taken any photos with my big camera this whole year. It's partly because iphone tech has gotten so great that I don't always find it necessary to take my camera with me places. But, it's also because my D90 just hasn't been on it's best behavior. It got slightly damaged on our road trip from Virginia to Colorado last Spring and it just hasn't really been the same since, making it not really fun to take pictures. It has a really hard time focusing and the colors come out really off, no matter how I tweek the settings. I really feel like this has contributed to my lack of blogging lately, since part of the fun for me has always been practicing and improving my photography!

So today I pulled out my old D50 and charged it up to try some pictures. They came out so much better. So now I know it's not just me, there really is a problem with the camera! So now, I can't decided if I want to spend the money on repairs or just use my D50 for awhile while I save for an upgrade. I borrowed a friend's spare D200 once and can't get that camera out of my mind. It was lovely. Maybe said friend still has it, doesn't use it, and would consider selling it to me ;)

At any rate, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! Enjoy again this video I posted last year of a song that I could listen to over and over at Christmas time and never be tired of it :)