Alina Sewing and Design

Proof is in the Pudding (or Pictures)

Ohhhhh my have we some projects coming soon! Just to prove it…

Mmm, I love me a man with a chain saw (^that man, specifically).

So lots of tutorials, pictures, laughs and tears to share with you soon! This weekend, I’m off to Oklahoma for my first bridal shower. WOO! I’ve heard my Nana has a Kitchenaid mixer waiting for me…but shhhh! don’t tell! (Hi Nana….you’re probably reading this…I love you! Thanks for the Kitchenaid!)

100 Days of Wedding, a To-Do List and a Barn Sale!

Umbrellas, we have SO much going on behind the scenes over here! Between wedding planning, searching for our first house together, Cowboy’s clinical rotations and med school schedule, being in two different cities (read: traveling every weekend one direction or the other), working on a client room (details coming soon!!), planning moves, and actually executing the wedding plans…I feel like I can barely catch my breath! Fortunately, we have been able to knock some major to-do items off of the list. To give you an idea, in the past month we have:

  • Ordered wedding bands
  • Had my wedding dress altered
  • Taken care of all bridesmaid and groomsmen attire (it’s all here and final alterations are being made!)
  • Found and signed the lease agreement on our first house together (I move in FIVE weeks!!!)–SO excited about this one.
  • Cowboy finished his surgery rotation and has started his internal medicine rotation
  • Had my engagement ring sized
  • Bought the materials for about six different projects…and are about half-finished with several of them.
  • And about twelve other things I either won’t mention or am forgetting.
  • Did I mention I work full-time? And I’m traveling every weekend?
Thanks to the gracious and wonderful people around me, I have two different showers coming up in the next two weekends (in two different states!). After that, I have one weekend to pack and then I start moving the first weekend of October. Ummm…that’s in THREE weeks! Since we have both our house and my apartment for the whole month of October, I essentially have a few weekends to move things back and forth. Which means…I don’t have a free, unplanned weekend until October 22! (Which is only EIGHT weeks before the wedding…oh me, oh my!)

By the way, today is 100 days until the wedding…which means tomorrow breaks the 100-day mark and I have a feeling everything is going to FLY by after that. That means excited, busier-than-ever, hustling Alina! If you only see but a blur of me within the next 99 days, please forgive me! I’m doing my best to wear 16 hats at once. 🙂

In other news, I plan on making an appearance at the Hesston Barn Sale on October 1 (more traveling, lol!). If you’re in the area, be sure to check it out!

The Story Behind My Yellow Umbrella

You know those songs that just make you want to dance around, kiss someone (someone you know…) and take up a diet of lollipops? (No? Just me? Anybody…?) For me today, it’s this:

Anyway, while you dance, I thought I would share the story of MYU. I get a lot of questions like, “Do you even own a yellow umbrella??” or “Why an umbrella? And why is it yellow?”
No, I do not own a yellow umbrella…that question is easy, so I thought I’d get it out of the way. 🙂
My Yellow Umbrella started as something much, much different than it is today. It actually started out as The Case for Creativity, in which I planned on writing posts about creative marketing strategies (original post here…I was completely right when I said, “and possibly evolve into something entirely different”!). It actually wasn’t known as My Yellow Umbrella until two months later. This blog was spurred on by my upcoming college graduation, a senior portfolio class and the ability to have a web site link on my résumé. That’s why sometimes you’ll see “you might also like…” links to posts that are COMPLETELY unrelated to anything I write about these days. I’ve thought about removing them or hiding them, but part of the reason I run this blog is for myself…to remember, to document and to be able to look back and see progress or lessons I’ve learned. For this reason, they are still (and will remain) public. 
However, after graduation the posts tapered off…since I was no longer job-hunting, I simply wasn’t interested in continuing to post about those topics. All ceased until I realized, on September 11, 2010, that I missed having a creative outlet. I work in an advertising agency all day every day and, while I’m often given opportunities to be creative, my primary job functions include analyzing data and optimizing campaigns. And further…not the kind of creative opportunities I crave. (I seriously doubt they would let me turn one of the tables into a tufted ottoman.) So, I started posting again. Then, something really fun happened…I started creating and DIY-ing and writing and evolving into this person who felt empowered by starting, creating and finishing projects. A year ago, I’m 1,000% sure I would be planning my wedding from a completely different mindset. My tastes, opinions, thoughts, ideas and creativity have all evolved into something I wasn’t planning or expecting. It just…happened.

So, nearly one year into what MYU is today and I’m more excited than ever to see where it will go. I am so blown away by the fact that’s it’s grown by 130 google readers in the last two months alone (I really got stuck at 35 readers for a looooooong time–which was TOTALLY fine by me! 35 people interested in what I have to say is a lot in my book.)

So here’s to wherever MYU goes (or doesn’t)…for me, this is my creative outlet and I just love it for what it is.

Oh, and the name? Partially my stepmom and partially me. I wanted “umbrella” to be in the name because I wanted it to personify something that covered many topics, ideas and discussions. My stepmom actually suggested “yellow.” Our last name begins with a “y” and we often spell it out to people saying, “It’s a ‘Y’ like ‘yellow’…” So, “My Yellow Umbrella” was born.

Happy Monday, all. Go dance, enjoy the day you’ve been blessed with, create something and enjoy Mister Sandman!

Mason Jar…as a Blender?!

Awhile back, I saw this. I promptly ran to my stash of mason jars and then ran to the kitchen to pull out my blender. I unscrewed the blade from the bottom of the blender jar and screwed it onto the mason jar, just to see if it fit. It DID. *cue happy Alina dance* 
I HAD to make something with this new discovery (just to see if it worked, you know…). Since I didn’t have a whole lot on hand, I combined some ice cubes, chocolate syrup and half & half (I was even out of milk!). I screwed the blade on really well.
The size of your blade should match the lip of your jar exactly…otherwise, it’s not the right size of jar! A word to the wise…your mason jar is going to be a lot lighter than your jar’s regular jar, so hold it down really, really, really well. (I learned this the hard way…) Also, don’t overfill your jar–you’ll only want to fill it to about 2/3 full.

And there you have a personal serving size of smoothie, shake, whatever! Who needs a magic bullet?

This ended up tasting just like a frozen hot chocolate, by the way. Mmm!

Has anyone else discovered this amazing idea??

All of the things I want to do with a Mason jar

I’ve been collecting bookoos and and bookoos of mason jars for the wedding. I go weekly to clean out the three thrift stores closest to me. Add that stockpile plus my time on Pinterest, and what you have is a million things I want to do with what I already have on hand! So, since I will need to at least wait to do these projects, I thought I’d share a few that I love. (Click on photos for links!)

1. I want to paint the insides all sorts of fun colors. Ohh, what about an ombre collection??

More insides painted…sigh…

2. I want to frost them. Seriously…how cool are these?
3. I want to make a matchbox

4. I want to make terrariums

5. I want to make lanterns with them (…and hang them from trees over a table, too!)

6. I want to light them and put them everywhere (actually, I am doing this for the wedding. I found this picture a long time ago and it inspired a lot!)

7. Did I mention I want to make terrariums?

8. I want to drink iced coffee from them (OK, so technically I could do this many times over right now…)

9. I want to make cupakes in jars (and about a dozen other desserts!)

10. I want to use the jars to display photos
I can think of more, but I’ll stop at ten. Technically I could use my mason jars for some of these now, but some I have to wait on. I’m almost certain I’m going to go mason jar crazy right after the wedding. 🙂
Cowboy grew up drinking out of mason jars (another reason we’re using them for the wedding). What’s your favorite use for a mason jar?

MYU Gets a Facelift

Do you ever put off a project for months and months until eventually you’re in a place where should becomes need? Well, that’s been the mexican standoff between myself and the state of My Yellow Umbrella’s brand and look for the last six months.
For over 40 hours a week, I live and breathe advertising, branding and marketing. I’ve bought and analyzed both traditional and interactive media over the past few years (and plan on continuing). Every single hour of every workday, I analyze client campaigns and make recommendations on how to optimize, grow and give health to these campaigns. Yet, my very own brand was left behind. Here’s how it looked yesterday:
Cute, but not cutting it.
There are a few factors to consider when expressing why MYU needed an update:
  1. When I originally designed it, I was in college. Enough said.
  2. That was several years ago. Enough said!
  3. When I originally started this blog, it was about something completely different. It started as a project for school and a web site for my I’m-a-college-student-with-no-experience résumé. I published posts about social media, content management systems and guerilla marketing. All good things…but completely different than what we’ve evolved into. Only last year did I begin to start posting (after an extended hiatus) again. And when I did? Nothing about social media or a CMS.
  4. The old layout wasn’t good for much more than putting blog posts in vertical order. The sidebar was limiting, messy-looking and hard to navigate.
MYU has evolved into something I didn’t plan for, but have fallen in love with. I love the community of bloggers I never knew existed. I love being able to share projects and see what others have done. To say the least, this is my creative outlet.
So, to leave it unkempt, outdated, and hard to navigate was really a mean-hearted thing to do! 😉 With that, I introduce you to the new look of My Yellow Umbrella. Cleaner, a little more grown-up, modernized, but [hopefully] still fun.
Let’s get this show on the road!


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