Un-mask

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Happy Halloween Be Happy Peeps!!  I’m currently on vacay mode out here in the Pacific Northwest and I’m lovin every inspirational minute of it!  The landscape, the people…even the cold weather, hehe!  We arrived here without an itinerary (which I highly recommend btw) and still managed to visit some great places here: Pike Place Market, Vancouver, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Victoria BC, and afternoon tea at The Empress Hotel!  And yesterday, I was able to carve out some real face time with one of my favorite Canadian bloggers….Sandra Harris of Raincoast Creative Salon.

We met up at Matchstick Coffee Roasters in Vancouver, and not only was their coffee and interior design great, but so was the company…

I rarely have the time to meet with all my blog friends, cuz you’re all scattered throughout the world and in different time zones…but when I get the chance, I enjoy every minute of it!

With all our online and social friendships, I think it’s so crucial to unmask and make offline connections away from the computer.  You can’t hide behind a screen, a tweet or edit your posts or pics in real time…you are 100% “you.”  And I’m tellin ya!!….your face value is worth a lot!!

So this Halloween, let’s unmask our online selves and make real life connections!

Have a safe Halloween everyone!  Enjoy all those treats!

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This will is the last Be Happy Linkup I’ll be hosting for the month of October and I wanna thank Boss Lady Erin for letting me lead the happy crew this month!  I had a “happy” time!  JOIN the linkup and Be Happy y’all!

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Friendships

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Have you ever observed children and their socializing habits?  How they make friends…Who they’re friends with…How they nurture their friendships?

Annalise is at an age where there is still an innocence and lack of pretense.  She makes friends with anyone, everywhere she goes.  Doesn’t care where a person came from, what class they’re in, or how old they are.  She’s friendly with everyone, and at ease with those she meets.

When we brought her to her school’s annual Halloween party last friday, I was in awe watching her interact w/ her friends.  And it got me thinking about my friendships and how adults make connections.  Why are we seriously so judgmental of others?!

Maybe it’s time to take a cue from the lil’ ones and make new friends!  Yea?!  YESS!

Sometimes, it’s not the adults who are the teachers…but the lil’ ones teaching us very valuable life lessons….

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It’s Thursday, one of my favorite days… Be Happy Link Up days!  So get happy + link up w/ me and the rest of the Be Happy Crew….



Change Is Good…

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Laid Off Mom will be 2 years old this November, and while I’m beaming w/ pride that I’ve been able to put my heart and soul into this blog…it’s time to re-focus and move on.  I talk up a good game about following your heart and listening to your instincts, so now it’s time to take action!

Within the next month, I’ll be changing my blog name and all corresponding social media accounts.  The http://laidoffmom.com domain name will still exist…it’ll just be redirected to a new domain w/ the new blog name – which I’m still trying to narrow down btw.  Everything will basically be the same, just with a shiny new name!  It’s gonna take some work, so bear with me while I get it all squared away!

There’s also gonna be a huge shift in content w/ the blog changes.  I’m putting all my energy and passion into apparel design, patternmaking and sewing posts/tutorials!—You guys know me…this is where my heart is the happiest =)

I have been going back and forth about these changes.  I was scared I was gonna lose you guys, and that I’d have to start back at square one.  But you know what?…I’m not starting over, and I’m def not gonna lose you guys!  I’m just adapting into a more awesome me!  Laid Off Mom, while in the beginning, represented me….it does NOT represent who I am…now.  I have to be honest (and y’all have to also!) w/ myself and follow my dreams.

I’ll be posting updates here, of the changes, and I’ll still be creating posts every now and then.  I’m not leaving guys….I’m evolving =)  Thank you all so much for sticking by me and watching me grow.  I love you all soo much, and I’m excited for this new endeavor!

Never be afraid of change my friends.

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be-happy-bannerIt’s Thursday, one of my favorite days… Be Happy Link Up days!  So get happy + link up w/ me and the rest of the Be Happy Crew….


Wide Awake

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Remember how I told you I was getting back together with my first love…apparel design?  Well, I’ve kept my word and I’ve been toiling away behind the scenes on my lil’ children’s line.  I made the samples, graded the patterns, and cut the patterns for each size that I’m offering.  If you’re familiar with the apparel industry, you know how difficult it is to do all this by yourself…let alone by hand.  But you know what….as difficult as this process was, I was extremely happy and grateful that I was working towards a vision…my vision.

I’ll be working on cutting the fabric and sewing the final products starting today.  I’ll do a post on the progress soon!  I can’t even begin to tell you how extremely thrilled I am for this line.  I’m seriously jumping for joy everyday!  And it’s all because I took the time to listen to the cues in my heart and the people around me.  Everyone believed in my design and sewing skills…but for the longest time, I didn’t.  It’s mind blowing how wide awake and refreshed I feel right now.

Listen to your heart….always.

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be-happy-bannerIt’s Thursday, one of my favorite days… Be Happy Link Up days!  So get happy + link up w/ me and the rest of the Be Happy Crew….


Costume Sketches

I was thinking I’d get a break from costumes this year because we’ll be out of town the week of halloween, but I totally forgot about the parties the week before!  The hubby has an awesome halloween party they throw at work every year.  They go all out…carnival rides, face painting, food, activities…the kids (and the big kids hehe) love it!  And at school they’re having a monster mash next friday that the girls wanna go to also.  So, no relaxing for this mama this halloween! haha  Here are my preliminary sketches of the girls’ costumes…

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Annalise is into all things My Lil’ Pony.  Namely this pony, “Twilight Sparkle.”  And since she’s still my girly girl, I’m making her a lil’ dress with a fun bolero to match.  Mia is all of a sudden into the new Disney princes, “Sofia the First.”  And I don’t know how that happened…cuz she doesn’t even watch it! haha!  I was hoping that I could convince her to just use the Cinderella dress I made a few years ago, but her lil’ heart was set on Sofia!….mehhhh.

So I’m starting the patterns today, and if I can swing it…I’m hoping to sew parts of the bodices also.  I’ll keep you guys updated on the progress.  Wish me luck!

* Check out the girls’ costume from last year here.

Happy Pattern Weight DIY

laidoffmom_patternweights1When drafting, grading or cutting patterns, weights can help hold your patterns in place.  They serve as an extra hand and are a definite MUST for any sewer/designer!

But since most of the pattern weights out there are pretty boring to look at, let’s make some bright, happy ones, yeah?!

[ supplies ]

laidoffmom_supplieslightweight cotton/cotton blend fabric (1/8 yd. per color), washi/masking tape, pins, needle + thread, 110 lb. cardstock, fabric scissors,  rice or beans,  inkjet printer (not shown)

[ step one ]

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laidoffmom_tape2Cut a piece of fabric approximately 9 x 4.5 in. and tape to cardstock.  Make sure to secure both the top and bottom of the fabric to eliminate movement as it goes through the printer.  Then place cardstock on the feed tray of your printer.

[ step two ]

laidoffmom_printed_fabric Print the desired pattern/happy text directly on your fabric.  YESS!!  You can print on fabric!  But only on lightweight cotton/cotton blend textiles.  Anything thicker or with more texture, will jam your printer.  Ink is not washable.

Choose from the following FREE pdf files:

Design/Live Your Dream, Sew Happy/Love, You Got This/Always, Smile/You, Blank (not text)

Use one text file per weight cube, and the blank template to create 4 sides w/out text.  That gives you 6 pattern pieces per cube.  Make 4 pattern weights to get various affirmation phrases.

*I printed mine on fabric with subtle or tiny prints so that the text is visble.  If you’re unsure, go safe and print on solid fabric.

[ step three ]

laidoffmom_cutCut out printed pieces, making sure to cut on the solid line and not the dotted line.

[ step four ]

laidoffmom_sewnsidesPin and sew the pattern weight, starting with the sides first.  Then sew the bottom…finishing w/ the top.

* Remember to leave one side open on the top, so that you can pour the desired material into your pattern weight.  I used brown rice.  You can use beans, or any material that is heavy enough for your weights.

[ step five ]

laidoffmom_riceTurn pattern weight over so that all the side seams are inside the cube, and the front of the fabric is facing out.  Then fill with rice, or other desired material.

[ step six ]

laidoffmom_sew_openingPin the weight shut and hand sew.  I used a basic stitch, but a blind stitch is perfect too!

laidoffmom_stitchMy stitches were fairly small (less than 1/8″).  You want a tight stitch so that the rice will not spill out.

[ step seven ]

Repeat until you’ve downloaded all 5 templates and you’ve made 4 different happy pattern weights….

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Don’t Fight The Feeling

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It’s October, so I’ll be hosting the Be Happy Linkup for Erin this month!! Yay!!  And as a bonus today, I’m answering some fun, happy questions w/ Alyssa over at All Things Beautiful!  So grab some coffee and get yer reading on, loves!!

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Up until I had my a-ha moment last month, I realized I was trying to live other people’s dreams.  I wanted to open a shop for handmade home goods at one point, and then for a period of time…it was stationery + then most recently, I had envisioned a shop full of party supplies.  I thought I had it all figured out, but my passion/excitement for these things died down all too quickly!  Yes, I could do all these things if I wanted to, but would I have fun running these businesses in the long run…the answer was always “no.”

I wanted to find something that I would be all too happy to wake up early for…to spend long nights with…something that would make me smile ear to ear despite all the hard work.  And the answer was staring me in the face everyday….I just chose to turn a blind eye toward it.

Did you guys know that I have been wanting to design clothes since I was a lil’ girl?  When I was seven, my family wasn’t very well off and my sister and I had to share one barbie doll.  My mom wasn’t able to afford different outfits for our barbie either, so I had to be very resourceful if I wanted her to look good!  So I came up with the idea to make dresses for our barbie from socks that were missing their pairs.  We’d get use out of those socks, and I knew how to hand sew at a very early age.  I would cut and sew the socks and create dresses, tops, and even pants for our dolls!  Looking back, the outfits were horrendous! haha!…but the imagination and the passion…it was budding at such a young age.

So when I made that peter pan collar top recently, I felt like that fire in me began to ignite again.  The minute my hands started sketching to the moment I finished my first sample…I felt like my heart was trembling.  I didn’t feel like I was stressed, despite the effort + hours it took…I felt enlightened.

For some reason, I was fighting my love for apparel design…but you know what guys?!…I’m done fighting!  Done second guessing myself!  I’m now working on a small children’s line offering coming this month!  (And when I say small…I mean like 1 top, and maybe a dress or vest, and a limited amount of sizes! ha!)  Everything will be handmade by me, from start to finish, so y’all know there’s quality written all over it!  I’m so excited about this new direction, and I can’t believe I chose NOT to listen to my heart for so long.

Do what you love you guys!!….Don’t ever fight the feeling!

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be-happy-bannerIt’s Thursday, one of my favorite days… Be Happy Link Up days!  So get happy + link up w/ me and the rest of the Be Happy Crew….



Superhero Cape DIY

laidoffmom_capes2As much as our girls are into all things pink and princess-y, they do like to get down with their superheroes!  Here’s a fairly easy how to, on a cape for your lil’ superhero this Halloween…

[ supplies ]  velcro tabs, pencil, paper scissors, measuring tape, fabric scissors, ruler, fabric, your child’s crew neck tee (in their current size) + pattern paper

laidoffmom_supplies* fabric yardage may vary, but to give you an idea…I used 1 1/4 yds of 50 in. width fabric for my 6 yr. old’s cape that was 27 in. in length.

[ step one ]  Trace from the back neckline to the tip of the shoulder.  You only need to do half of the neckline.

laidoffmom_trace_backneckline[ step two ]  Measure the desired cape length and extend center back and shoulder tip accordingly.  You should have a pattern that looks something like this…

laidoffmom_backpattern[step three ]  Draw in seam allowances (1/2 in.), then curve the shoulder tip.laidoffmom_curve_shoulder[ step four ]  Trace back pattern onto a new piece of pattern paper and set aside for a minute.laidoffmom_traceback[ step five ]  Pin back pattern onto wrong side of fabric (making sure you pin on the fold) and cut.laidoffmom_pinback[ step six ]  Grab the back pattern you traced earlier and place tee on the pattern and trace the front neckline (in red) onto the pattern.laidoffmom_trace_front[ step seven ]  Extend center front 1 in, creating a 1 in. square tab w/ seam allowances.  This is where your velcro closure will go.laidoffmom_extend_cf[ step eight ]  Trace the side seam + hem from the back pattern and draw style lines for front of cape and create pattern w/ 1/2 in. seam allowances.  Keep same cape length as the back pattern.  I gave the front part of the cape a 6 in. width.  You should have a pattern similar to this…laidoffmom_front_pattern[ step nine ]  Cut out front pattern on fabric, pin front and back pieces together (fronts together) then sew.laidoffmom_pin[ step ten ]  For finishing, iron seams then sew.laidoffmom_iron_seams[ step eleven ]  Configure velcro placement and sew into place.  Make sure to put the rough side on the bottom of the closure, so it doesn’t bother the kids w/ the itchies!laidoffmom_velcroThen watch ‘em FLY!laidoffmom_flyI’ve got a cute lil’ video of the girls playing w/ their capes…STOP BY later today to check it out!!

* I used a lot of intermediate/advanced sewing/pattern making terms…if you are confused, or need anything cleared up, let me know!

 

Let’s Do This!

laidoffmom_katespade_2011Happpeeeee Monday loves!!  Do you see what I see?  Go ahead, take a look around the site for a bit…I’ll wait…..

I’ve made changes to the menu bar above and the corresponding pages.  There’s new info about the site, some fun stuff to pin and NEW advertising info!  I’ve been re-vamping the site a bit!

So go check out my lil’ blurbs and if you want a lil’ home on my sidebar, let’s do this!!  (at my discretion of course! )  I’m also offering different marketing/pr options also.  So if you’re interested in something other than ad space on the sidebar, let’s talk!

I’ve also done a bit of soul searching and I’ve decided to design and sew apparel again!  I feel like I avoided design so that I could try different creative avenues, but it keeps calling me back.  It’s something that I’m soo daymmm good at and it keeps my heart extremely happy!  So I’m changing the focus of Laid Off Mom!  From now on, the majority of my posts will have an emphasis on apparel design, sewing and fashion.  I’ll still have fun crafts and yummy recipes, but they’re gonna come in second to my first love.

I’m extremely happy and excited about this new direction, and I hope you all are too!  Let’s do this!!

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