Thursday, April 24, 2014

In Print

 One of my favorite sewing events is taking place right now and I am joining the top sewing frenzy with this little number. It's not a departure, but since I always avoid large scale prints, it certainly felt like one.

As a teenager I had a number of random jobs. Some were for fun like my stint as a floral assistant. My job at a local bakery shaped my life more than I could have imagined, and I had taken it on a whim. But no job proved to be more interesting than my career at Joann's fabrics- that's right, I was a Joann's team member. We had a tumultuous relationship, but I spent two years cutting fabric, organizing shelves and ringing people up as it was a great way to look at fabric most of the day while getting paid for it.
If you have ever been to a Joann's you can imagine what my co workers were like; most of them close or past retirement age who enjoyed the same perks as I did. There were some really extraordinarily nice ladies who I had the opportunity to meet, and then there were some that were on the other end of the nice spectrum. One woman in particular, we will call her Patty, always found a way to offer up a back handed compliment or wickedly snide remark all while wearing a sugary smile. After an afternoon of stocking new seasonal inventory I decided I had fallen love with a large scale print that I can, to this day, imagine vividly. I took it up to the cutting table and before I could tell Patty the yardage I wanted she told me that I would look terrible in the skirt I had envisioned making. When I asked her why, fully expecting something about the colorway and my skin tone, she rolled her eyes and replied with a disparaging tone "Because you are too short".  At 5'1" I am fully aware of my small frame and have heard an array of comments about the matter throughout my life, but I had never heard someone my grandma's age tell me that information in such mean spirited tone. I should have gotten it anyways, but instead put it back, and avoided all large prints for well over a decade.

Until I saw this print recently at Joann's- the colors and abstract floral were too enticing, and although I could hear Patty's voice in my head when I took the bolt to the cutting table, I decided to grab it anyways. I made this little drapey cardigan with bit of a kimono style as it wasn't the normal stretchy knits I choose for this pattern, and I let it go looser and airier. I used this old standby that I always find to be an easy and successful pattern.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Time Management

1. Daffodils & bunnies everywhere

2. Trying to hold Campbell's cans at the MoMA

3. A new tank for Ori, without a sew along spark

I've been reclaiming my time and putting our days back together around a less daunting work week. While working I mostly gave up the fringe extras and sleep. I would go to work in the middle of the night and be done by noon, and then still be able to wade through my day filled with pick ups, drop offs, activities, meet ups, dinner, and clean up. I never felt like I was approaching anything full force, and all of my creative endeavors felt muted. It was frustrating and disheartening, but I am excited to have time back in my control, and have been reshaping our days with the realization that these moments are precious placed in my mind.

So if you are reading this, brace yourself; posting might be limitless.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

kcw & Miniature Anorak

Another kcw has come and gone and what do I have to show for it? Oh, just a little anorak jacket that Phia has been rocking. It is my interpretation of the "mini-me"project- definitely a piece I would love in my size and made from the left overs from this blazer of last year. The pictures of Phia were interesting to pick through- I find her to be the definition of my "mini-me"; just as goofy and ornery as I was at that age.

The jacket was made from a pattern drafted a while ago, with cinching at the waist and a new shape of pockets. The big rounded collar is my favorite part and I even included a flap to eventually attach a collar to- a girl can dream.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friendly Reminders: kcw & ikat capris

After seeing project after awesome project filling up my instagram feed earlier this week, I realized that kcw is going on and I had to join. These little ikat capris were made with a Michael Miller print that I had been longing to use. What should have taken one or two hours start to finish ended up taking a little longer when I cut one too many back left legs and had to rig together another piece with scraps- the woes of directional fabric. And then after that I had to take a lunch break to eat a box of girl scout cookies, but that is another story. Regardless, I made these by adding an inch to the sides of pants pattern I know works for my daughter, and then finished these babies up with a slick elastic waistband and inset ties. The ties even come out of button holes- I know, very exciting.
I finished these up whilst listening to these songs- the first was introduced to me by a sweet friend recently. Makes me smile when it pops up on my playlist.

Ane Brun - Do You Remember
Oren Lavie - Her Morning Elegance
Stereolab - The Black Arts 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Special Deliveries

I've been snipping strings on some pretty special little gifts lately. After a major baby boom in my circle of friends I made some time to put together and send off little care packages to the lovely new mommas. Having babies is tough work, and I just wanted to extend love to some special ladies who just made the world a more beautiful place with their sweet little additions. And I have to admit I get choked up when I see adorable pictures of the babes enjoying bibs and blankets- the sweetest thank you I could ask for.

1. chenille lined bibs & blankets
2. Burt's Bees - any cream with shea or honey
3. Darjeeling tea
4. chocolate bark 
5. almond tuille
6. drapey cardigan

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

That Kind of Mom: Start the day off right

This is just a little theme I want to start up regarding motherhood improvements; ideas I am trying to adopt to be a better, more together mom as well as things I realize I need to revisit. 
More and more I realize how fulfilling it is to start the day early and accomplish daily tasks before the sun comes up. While some of that notion might be a sugar coated fantasy, I do feel a little more awesome when I start my day earlier. For the past few months I haven't been setting the alarm earlier than 6:30, possibly to counter all those times I rolled out of bed at two in the morning (or night) to go be a baker. Well, the time for change is now. I am taking up the early wake up to encourage morning time productivity, with an occasional Saturday off when permitting.

What time do you lovely people wake up? Any ways you have found to make it easier?

And because I couldn't get this song out of my head after writing this: The Postal Service - Sleeping In

Friday, March 28, 2014

Trails Quilt

Just celebrating the fact that this is the first quilt that was made start to finish in the last two years over here. It started as a long envisioned project that became the real deal after waiting on fabric for another quilt. And I am excited about its completion- a few months back quilting seemed like something I would never really have time to indulge in as cutting, piecing, pressing, quilting and binding can take some time. But this big quilt represents a return to my former creative indulgences and a big departure as far as where I want my designs to be. This is a bolder piece, and is inspired by trails, blazes, and journeys; things that take time to see clearly and take shape.

...and it is up in my shop here

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March Forth

1. Ori's favorite lunch

2. The kids cleaned up their desk without asking

3. A beautiful snowy day spent biking

It is exciting to remember that things are always in motion around here. The past five years have been  a journey, through moves and changes and emotions. Today five years ago I was going full force through a sad spell after the deaths of three special people in my life. It pulled me into a long depression and it took time to realize this, like years. After a lot accepting, healing, and growing I feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is shining through. Finding peace through day to day sights and the happiness brimming from those I love- that is the part of my life that this little blog documented and those are the moments that helped me move through all of the hurt.