Using a Sewing Machine | First Impressions & Commentary on Creativity

I got a sewing machine for my 19th birthday on the 22nd of September.



What did you think when you saw that? Because I definitely get how that sounds.

I told you, I’m basically 65 in my soul.

And I’m completely unashamed about that.


Here’s my new baby, a Brother JX 2517. Unfortunately they don’t have a name yet, but I’m feeling Denise. Maybe Marta? Hmm, gimme suggestions please! I honestly chose this machine based on the abundance of good reviews (and the ease of use for beginners stated within said reviews).

I’ve gotten into fabrics over the past few years, ever since I’ve gone reusable for a lot of my household goods! I figured this was a natural progression, making my own everything (within reason).

I also knew that there may be a strong learning curve with using a machine, no matter how user friendly a machine is reported to be.

I had used a sewing machine a total of maybe two times before getting my own. Each of those times, someone else set up, threaded, wound, (etc.) everything for me.

However, I am happy to report that I watched threading instruction videos (for both the upper thread and the winding and threading of the bobbin) I was able to easily thread my machine with no issue at all.

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do so without help, as most people say that’s the most difficult part of using a sewing machine. Maybe this style of machine is more simplified than those models, but I was surprised at how big of a deal it wasn’t!

The first thing I made with my sewing machine, some double sided face cloths. They have microfiber on one side and flat cotton on the other. Useful for learning how to deal with toweling AND straight lines.

In terms of materials, I mostly have been using scraps. Old fabric napkins no one uses, used up old towels, even stretchy tshirts.

However, a few weeks ago, when I was anticipating getting a sewing machine, I decided to go and pick up a bit of fabric from my local Hellmart. And it was so fun, let me tell you.

As someone who is obsessed with patterns, designs, and textures, buying fabric in real life is so pleasing for my aesthetic and my need to feel things.

The fabric I got! Some prepackaged quilting fat quarters, a yard of that gorgeous DOTD Sugar Skulls cotton, and two yards each plain flannel and black anti-pill fleece. (Also featuring some food for a friend’s puppers underneath!)

As you can see, I am thoroughly enjoying the things surrounding the action of actually sewing. Sewing itself is a bit better than okay. There hasn’t been a lot wrong with the experience. It’s cool to make things!

I never truly thought of myself as a creative being. I enjoy being analytical, learning new information, and presenting that information. My specialty is United States History.

However, there’s an issue with having that as a hobby. There really is nothing physical to represent that. That changes when you have a hobby that creates physical objects. You can quantify how much you’ve done by looking at what you’ve fabricated with your own two hands.

There’s something so incredibly rewarding in that sense. And as someone who, for some reason unbeknownst to me, enjoys praise and validation from others, it does a hell of a lot for my confidence.


On a lighter note, I’m very much not a fan of certain parts. It can be super boring. Pinning, tracing and cutting fabric, clipping edges and turning and poking out seams, it’s just so boring!

But I guess that comes with the action of sewing with a machine. And any annoyances I have with the sewing prep are definitely overridden by the fun I have while actually sewing and having the final product. And I think that is the moral of the whole experience, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to learn it. ❤️

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Mascara 101 | Application: Stationary Wand + Blinking vs Brushing Upwards

There seems to be two schools of thought when applying mascara to the upper lashes.

  • Pulling the wand upwards through your lashes (with possible wiggling at the base to provide extra darkness before brushing through the length of your lashes).


  • Keeping the wand stationary at the base of your lash line, and blinking your lashes through the product against the wand.

The Difference Is…

Completely up to personal preference, as well as the look you’re attempting to achieve with your lashes.

I recently discovered the difference and it actually fascinated me, and changed a misconception that I had in place for years.


My lashes are definitely okay. They are medium to long and fairly dark. I have medium / dark brown hair, so that already gives me a bit of an advantage to those who have light or blonde hair in terms of lashes. I can more easily use darker colored mascaras and have it look natural. But, I do struggle with maintaining curls as my lashes prefer to direct downwards like a pointed roof. I think that type might be more useful in keeping things out of my eyeballs, but definitely is not my desired look when I actually want to put makeup on. I use waterproof mascaras purely because I have particularly watery eyes in general AND I cry. A lot. Regardless of the related emotions, I’m always crying. So waterproof mascara is a must have for me.


I always curl my lashes with my beloved BH Cosmetics eyelash curler. This has inclined me to use the first method of moving the brush through my lashes, as I can visually see the extent of my lashes. However, I am not a fan of clumped lashes. I would prefer long thinner darkened lashes over clumped “voluminous” short insect leg lashes. And I find that often when I am using the brush through method, I am much more likely to end up with clumpy lashes.


I recently, however, discovered the blink through method for myself. I had occasionally seen people applying mascara this way, and it always seemed uncomfortable. But, realistically, anything going that close to my eyeball is going to be uncomfortable. So I figured it was worth giving it a try to see if I liked the effect.

And to be real, I really have liked the look of it! A lot!

The blinking through helps deal with excess product, prevents clumping, and makes my lashes truly feel long and look dark.

As I have semi hooded lids, I struggled with accidentally tapping my eyelids with the mascara wands when having to manually lift the wand through my lashes. Somehow, magically, I don’t struggle with mascara smudging in areas where I don’t want it with the blink through method. I think it has something to do with the curvature of my lashes after I curl them.

I believe that it keep the wand from having to go through up towards my lid as I’m blinking down, AND keeps my lashes from tapping the lower lash line with wet just applied mascara before I can get my eyes open again.

If you have pin straight lashes and don’t curl them, I think you may struggle with the blinking method. If you curl your lashes and have never tried the blinking method, I highly suggest it, even if to just try it and see if you like the effect. You may be pleasantly surprised, like I was.


My go to mascara routine is combining two different mascaras. They are my favourite mascara formulas of all time, but they just weren’t the most realistic for my original routine, and I was rarely satisfied by the outcome. However, now that I’ve discovered the magic of the blinking method, they are both working even better for me, and I am really enjoying the look of my lashes now.



Maybelline’s Full and Soft Waterproof is a great naturalistic mascara. The standard natural bristle wand is nice for both separation and adding a bit of texture. I love the way it makes my lashes feel, and it is a nice everyday mascara. It lays down a nice base layer for days when I want a little more, and helps maintain the natural look and feel.



Maybelline’s the Rocket Waterproof has a rubber bristle wand. This is a truly volumizing formula, but I love it more and more for the design of the separation on the wand between the bristles. This is an awesome topper mascara to finish off your lashes. It separates the lashes, while building coats effortlessly.


Overall, like all makeup, mascara is an incredibly personal thing. Your preferences will be king for you. But, like all makeup, it can be wiped away. You can try again tomorrow.

Always know that makeup is inherently creative. Like art, there are no rules. You should always wear your makeup the way you enjoy it, and don’t let anyone shame you for it.

Have an open mind to your makeup application! It can be so easy to get in a rut with what “works”, and you may never be able to open your mind to the possibilities.

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