Saturday, December 6, 2014

New Direction

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During my deployment to Afghanistan, I have not blogged very much.  I have simply been busy and it has not been very convenient.  But I have been giving Without Directions some thought and I am going to change it up quite a bit.  When this blog started, it was a family endeavor.  My sister actually had to work hard to convince me to join them.  But, as it turned out, my sisters and mother did not especially enjoy blogging, and I very much did.

Soon, it was only me writing about my adventures in sewing and other crafts.  I no longer want to blog simply about my crafting.  And since I am the only one writing, I thought it would be fun to branch off in another direction.  

My family’s lifestyle and my occupation require frequent moving. We have lived in Washington State, Virginia, Alaska, and Germany. Our philosophy is that we should get to know the region so we plan our vacations around local sights. My husband and I love to travel, so the forced moves actually fit the life we want.
traveling with kids
Molshbach, Germany

I was looking at ways to adjust the blog and I thought this would be a perfect topic to add. It is such a big part of my life and it is natural that I would blog about it. Also, we have learned several lessons about traveling with children and recently it became obvious that others would like to learn these lessons.  Just because you have kids, does not mean you cannot go out and see things.  They can greatly benefit from the travels and it is a great way to have fun as a family.

traveling with kids
 Laurel Falls - Great Smokey Mountains National Park

I will begin to blog about some of the great places we have been. As we lived and moved to these places, we have tried to enjoy all we could. I am going to recap past adventures and weave them into current trips while continuing to make sewing related posts.

traveling with kids
Pisa, Italy
I hope this new turn on the blog will be as much fun as my first couple years writing and sharing here.

If you are interested in hearing more from me, there are a couple ways for you to keep in touch!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Boardwalk Hooded T-shirt

Pin It I simply love this pattern.  It is a Peek-a-boo pattern, the Boardwalk Henley.

pattern review
My ninja boy

I sewed a couple for my son before I left and I see pictures with him wearing them all the time.  So I guess it was as much a hit with him as it was for me.

It comes with options for a hood or plain neckline and for girls, an option for a gathered front to add some femininity.

I made one version that I altered the placket to accommodate a zipper instead of buttons and added black mesh so it has a ninja look.  He LOVED that!

And on another version, I used a woven Star Wars material for the hood.  Because there is a button placket, substituting a woven was not a big deal.

At field day; I know, orange pants?

If you are interested in hearing more from us, there are a couple ways for you to keep in touch!


Saturday, August 30, 2014

How do you be a mom when deployed?

Pin It This week has been hard on me emotionally.  I am in general a cold and calculating person.  That does not mean that I don't have compassion for others, it just means that I am a bit logical and measured in how I display that compassion.

But, when I am feeling stressed or lonely, I get colder.  I find it a lot easier to put my feelings away in a drawer and concentrate on the task at hand.  This is a very handy skill because I can really focus on my work and do a great job.  It also is good when you can't fix the situation except for simply working through it.  I generally find crying and carrying on unproductive and I can solve so many things if I don't get emotional.
Me at NKAIA, Afghanistan

But, there are times when this coping skill is not entirely helpful.  I miss my family like crazy, but I try not to think about them too much because I find it distracting from the task at hand and it does not make these months pass any faster.

But, my husband and kids need me to emotionally engage when I am talking to them and writing them notes.  They need to feel loved and missed.  And in my cold coping, I had not been communicating with them how much I wish I was there with them.  And that became very obvious this week when they needed me and then felt rejected.

My goodbye note before flying away in May.

So how do you be a mom and wife from across the globe?  How do you fit in all the love and caring you can in a 15 minute daily phone call?  I don't know.  But I need to figure something out so they know that I too am aching inside and want to be with them.

If you are interested in hearing more from us, there are a couple ways for you to keep in touch!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pencil Skirt fitting

Pin It This Spring, before I left for Afghanistan, I saw that Simple Simon was hosting pencil skirt sew along.  And it was not just a regular sew along; they were teaching how to draft one your self.  I really did not need to sew something for me, especially since I was leaving in 6 weeks, but I did.  

front of the skirt

It was a great learning experience.  I broke out some brown package paper, ruler, compass and tape measure and went to work.  But, despite my best efforts and trying it on along the way, I still had wrinkling in the front.

back view

I used a metal zipper in the back.  I thought that was fun.  And the fit back there was perfect.

side view

From the side view, you can see the wrinkles a little bit better.  In order to determine what went wrong, I consulted my Vogue sewing book.  It states that wrinkles like that are due to an abnormally large abdomen. hmmmm.  I think we call that left over baby belly in lay woman's terms.  And I really did not think mine was that bad.  But I guess, it is all about proportions.  So next time, I will adjust for that.  Or, while I am here in Afghanistan, maybe I can hit the gym a little harder and when I get home, the skirt may fit perfectly.

Here it is with a coordinating top.  I used the Parisian Top pattern from Go To Patterns.  I will blog about that on another day.

If you are interested in hearing more from us, there are a couple ways for you to keep in touch!

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