Tuesday, May 29, 2012

a litte project and a blog award

Hello people of the internet!

I have twin neighbors who recieved 4 baby doll dresses for Christmas from their grandmother. They were meant for their American Girl dolls, but they are for 12-18 month old babies, so they don't fit. Mahre and Kiera (the twins) asked if I would alter the dresses for them, and I agreed because I haven't sewn in a while. :/ Here's what the dresses looked like before:

Much too big, right? Here's how it looked after:

 Much better, don't you think? I think it's adorable, and it looks super cute with a pair of summer sandals. Sorry there weren't any detail pictures, the mom came to pick up the dresses as I was finishing the last dress.

On another exciting note, I got the "Your blog is great!" award from Phoebe! I feel really honored because I've never gotten a blog award before. It's so nice to know that what you love to do is appreciated!

So, here are the rules:

1. Put a link to who gave you the award.
2. Put the award on your post.
3. Choose 5 blogs to receive the award.
4. Let them know you awarded them.
5. Make sure to post this set of rules in your post!

So, I give the award to.....

Great job, girls! I think your blogs are great!

Love, Lena

Monday, May 28, 2012

alice in wonderland

It was nice on Saturday, so I had a little fun. ;)

Alice missed her friend the Mad Hatter, so she dropped in for a little tea party.

He was very excited to see her!

The Rabbit, always late, managed to slip in just before the photoshoot. ;)

Just had to show off Liss-- I mean, the Hatter's buns.

Twistiness! I feel so proud.

Love, Lena

Saturday, May 19, 2012

hunger games: a reveiw, pros, and cons

I've seen some ill-informed and opinionated posts about the Hunger Games book series by Suzanne Collins and the accompanying movie, and I felt that the blogging world should be a little better informed. I have read all three books in the series and watched the movie (all quite recently) and enjoyed them. I'll start with an overview of the book. Then I'll move on to the moral benefits of the story plot, how you can be negatively affected by the series, general arguments, and my personal opinion on the book. This is going to be a very long post, so bear with me. 

*SPOILER ALERT!* The endings to all three books are given in this review. If you have not finished the series, do NOT read the overview!  If you are not planning to read the series, read the overview before reading the rest of the post.

The Hunger Games book series is about a futuristic America which is under a dictatorship. There have been many wars and the USA is finally divided into 13 sections which are called "districts" and a Capitol. Each district mass produces something that benefits the entire country. 74 years previously, District 13 tried to overthrow the Capitol and its dictatorship. Because of this, the Capitol completely obliterates District 13 and vows for this situation to never happen again. In order to keep the population in its place, every year one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen to battle to the death against 22 other children from the other districts. There is only one winner, and he/she gets eternal glory in their district. The Hunger Games are treated like a holiday in the Capitol. People exchange gifts and the Games are watched on television like an in-home movie theater. It is a source of entertainment for the Capitol. As for the districts, this is a time of great sorrow for the families of the children who must compete.
For the 74th annual Hunger Games, Primrose Everdeen (12) is chosen to compete in the arena for District 12. Fearing for her sister's life, Katniss, her older sister (16), volunteers to fight in her place. Peeta Mellark (16) is the chosen boy. The Hunger Games arena is a forest, which is an ideal situation for Katniss who hunts regulary in her local forest. The Hunger Games are brutal, forcing young teenagers to kill each other. In the middle of the Games, the gamemaker announces that there can be two winners, a boy and a girl pair from each district. Peeta and Katniss make it through to the end, when the gamemaker then decides that there can only be one winner. Katniss and Peeta can't live without each other, so they start to eat poisonous berries. The gamemakers intervene, and both are considered the victor. 
The 75th annual Hunger Games is special, and the previous victors from each district must compete in the Games. No new children are chosen. Peeta and Katniss are traumatized from their previous encounter in the arena, and are terrified about whether they will make it through this time. In the middle of the Games, the arena is sabotaged by an anti-Capitol association and they try to take Peeta and Katniss away for safety. Katniss is taken, but Peeta is left behind accidentally. 
In the third book, Katniss is taken to District 13, which is still up and running, but underground. They are fighting to overthrow the Capitol (because of its dictatorship system). In the end, they prevail and President Snow and the Capitol are overthrown. 

Positive elements
Because this is a future fiction book, I think there is a good moral to the story. It just goes to show that our warring and bad choices can affect our future government and personal situations. 
As for Katniss, she risked her life to save her sister. That is a great sacrifice. As much as we would like to say that we would make a sacrifice like that, I think many of us can use such an example in our lives. 
The districts had no way of knowing what life was like before the Hunger Games. They were essentially powerless to do anything about thier dictatorship government. By entering in the Hunger Games, Katniss experienced firsthand the cruelness of the world and knew that something needed to be done about it. This also reflects on our lives. We often don't realize that something is so terribly wrong until we experience it first hand (i.e.: bullying). This shows us as people that when something isn't right, we need to look into it and see what we can do to prevent it. 
The extreme poverty in some of the districts is disturbing, and shows that we need to help the less fortunate. 

Negative elements
 My mom had a really hard time reading the books. As a mother, it was hard for her to process teenagers killing other teenagers and being traumatized. It is really hard to read about massacres like this, and if you are a sensitive person this could give you nightmares. The extreme poverty of some districts can also open our eyes to what's going on around us and make us feel uncomfortable. The way that the Capitol treats the Hunger Games like a fun holiday can also ingrain fear into our minds about reality television. These are all valid reasons not to read the series.

 General aruguments
Many people have been making these points online, and I want to give additional information on them.
Why are children fighting to the death and not adults? It's so cruel!
--Yes. It is absolutely cruel, but this is the way this government works. Teenagers/children are the ones chosen to fight to the death because it plays on the emotions of the population. If it was adults fighting, there would not have been as much of an emotional impact on the adults and perhaps would have tried to overthrow the government anyway. Knowing that their children would be in danger if they tried to fight kept them in their place.
Parents should be monitoring what their children watch and read the reviews! This is horrible for children to watch!
--As for parents monitoring what their children watch, I totally agree with this! But what parents let thier children watch are their business, not ours. I can tell you, my mom read lots of reviews and read all three books before she let my younger sister and I watch the movie. My parents are extremely careful with what we watch. 
Suzanne Collins should have let all the tributes stay alive, instead of just Katniss and Peeta. 
--Death is a part of life, and is doesn't matter what a book says, nothing is going to change that. Do you really think people would read books if everyone always lived happily ever after? Do you think Katniss would have seen the cruelty of the government if everyone lived? No. So there's your answer. 

My personal opinion
I think that this is a well written series that is fun to read and has a good moral to boot. It is worth reading, but not something to get over excited about. I think the hype that everyone has about the Hunger Games is a little bit much (it's just a book series), but everyone is entitled to their opinions. 

In conclusion, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I just wanted everyone to be well informed about the Hunger Games series before making rash opinions without having a true basis for these opinions. This post was not a personal jab at ANYONE, so do not feel offended. Other than the paragraph about my personal opinion, this post was meant to be neutral and objective. If you find that the overview or negative and positive elements were too opinionated, let me know how so and I will do my best to correct it. 

In your comments below, please be careful to express your opinion without being offensive.


Love, Lena

Friday, May 18, 2012

easy american flag headband

So, I know you are going to think this is weird, but I come up with all my best ideas in the shower. Anyways.... I have national day at school next week, and I'm supposed to dress in American clothes and colors. Well, I'm a naughty American and have absolutely NO AMERICAN ANYTHING. It's sad. So I thought I would make an American flag headband to go with my red polka-dot skirt and blue shirt!

For materials, you will need a small American flag, red (or white or blue) thread, and 21 inches of elastic or a pre-made elastic headband.

Next, remove the flag from the stick. The staples came right out of the wood for me, so it shouldn't be too hard. Then fold the flag in half lengthwise and pin.

Stitch around all four sides about 1/4" from the edge. Set the flag aside.

Now take your elastic and pin it in a circle. Make sure that there is about 1" between the ends. It's clearer if you look at the picture. :}

Zig-zag stitch several times through the elastic so it's nice and strong.

Now lay your elastic across the flag lengthwise and pin. Make sure that it's straight and stitch. Backstitching near the edges will reinforce it.

Voila! You have your American flag headband, ready for national day or the 4th of July!

(Sorry, I had to pixelate my face. And my hair is a mess. :P)

So, I hope you find this tutorial easy to follow and fun to do!

If you have any questions, leave a comment below or drop a line above!

Love, Lena

Thursday, May 17, 2012

vintage love

So I thought I was into vintage clothing. Then I discovered Modcloth, and I was like, WOW. Now I'm REALLY into vintage clothing. I've browsed all morning (and part of the afternoon) and found my favorite dresses:

Unfortunately, none of these dresses are in my price range. $60 - $150 dresses are a little much, but one can dream, right? Well, not when none of the dresses fit her slim XS size figure. And the shop doesn't carry XS. Boo.

Oh well. Do you like vintage dresse and clothing? Let me know in a comment below or drop a line above!

Love, Lena

Friday, May 11, 2012


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! You can imagine my excitement when I opened my blog and found not 29 but 30 followers on my blog. I love you, Saiorse Downs {as a bloggy friend}! I just want to thank all of you for your dedication and lovely comments. As for Jeneca and Carolyn, you've been here since my first Picasa days until now. Big smilies for you guys for always being with me!

As for my lack of photo in this post, here's a picture of the lovely camera that I will own someday. After about 30 more babysitting jobs and a lot of sewing after I open an Etsy shop:

Oh, and another thing: is the whole giant photos thing bothering you? If so, I'll start making them smaller. :)

Drop me a comment below, or drop a line above!

Love, Lena

Thursday, May 10, 2012

springiness love

Don't you just love those days when you wear a skirt on the day it's cold and jeans on the day it's warm? Yeah, welcome to my world. We had gorgeous weather, so I decided to to a little bit of photography.

I made this skirt for a friend of Bella's for her birthday out of scrap fabric I wanted to get rid of (because I'm not really a fan of pink hearts). That's where the love comes in. <3

Love, Lena

Monday, May 7, 2012


I realized that I have been blogging a lot lately, so I just wanted to commend myself for doing so. It was becoming a chore a couple of months ago, and now I'm blogging practically every day. Yay me! As long as you all aren't sick of me yet, I think I'll continue to do so. :)

Now for the updates.

I noticed a few non-post-related comments floating around, so  I made a page at the top where you can ask me questions or give compliments. If I get 10 questions, I'll make an FAQ page.

As for my Blogoversary giveaway, that's over! If you didn't download the books already, I'm very sorry. I did warn you that they would be up for a week, and that week is up. I will be starting up an Etsy shop either this summer or autumn, so it's likely that I will put the Hogwarts acceptance letter with envelope and the textbooks up so you can buy them from me. Here's a sneak peek as to what I'll start out with in my Etsy shop this fall:

 Also (as Willow so aptly noticed), I have joined AGC! I'm really excited because this is my first time and I've wanted to enter for a VERY long time. I entered Emily and this is her headshot:

That's all for now!

Love, Lena

Saturday, May 5, 2012

drip drop

You will never know a joy like taking a raindrop photo with a point-and-shoot until you take a raindrop photo with a point-and-shoot.

Proudest moment ever. I captured a falling raindrop. Squee!

Love, Lena