Monday, September 29, 2008
In the meantime, I'm so happy to have discovered flickr for sharing our favorite projects. I'm also exploring memberships with Library Thing and Good Reads (still weighing which is best) to record and review our favorite books. Finally, this little foray into blogging has exposed me to the many individuals and families who are sharing their stories, experiences, opinions, and beautiful projects online. What an amazing time we live in to have all these ways to share in the lives of our neighbors near and far. I will continue to be an avid reader in the blogosphere!
Oh, and for those of you who follow EmersonLouWho, worry not. Maintaining that blog is a priority!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
To my five or six loyal readers :) -- Sorry to have been out of touch! We've been traveling and now readjusting to West Coast time.
Here are a couple photos from of our beautiful East Coast adventure. There is no place I'd rather be in September than New England!
Friday, September 5, 2008
Kunde picnic grounds
Thursday, September 4, 2008
The other day I found myself getting wound up about all the things I want to sew compared with the very little time I have to execute a full project. At the same time, almost 2 year old Noodle is becoming very interested in paints, crayons, markers, glue and the like. So, rather than losing sleep over learning new sewing techniques, I've been trying to make nurturing her interest my priority. I recently discovered The Crafty Crow ,a blog with lots of creative ideas and resources. Although trying out new projects will be much fun, just a few crayons, some newsprint, and mumma's undivided attention seem to bring out our little Picasso.
Meanwhile, there's the less romantic side of parenting a toddler and two dogs: a considerable amount of time collecting and disposing of poop. We recycle lots of plastic bags around here for the this purpose. Tired of the old Huggies box that used to hold our bag stash, I decided to stitch up a couple of these bag holders/dispensers. This project was simple, even for this beginner. But if you're looking for a tutorial, Sew Mama Sew has one posted as part of their Sewing for the Home month.
Here's a closeup of the remnant I used.
And here's the full project. (Obviously this jasmine plant will not be its permanent home, but the light was much better here on the deck!) How elegant! (sort of.)
Friday, August 22, 2008
In the "working world" (I mean the "working outside the home" world), we have collaborations, feedback from coworkers and reviews from supervisors to validate our efforts. There are also the fruits of our labors--tangible products, such as a successfully funded grant or a product introduced in the marketplace--to spur us on.
Of course, all of these projects and accomplishments pale in comparison to the literal "fruits of our labor", who grow and change under our care. Nevertheless, many stay at home parents find themselves missing the collegial atmosphere of the workplace and feeling unvalidated, and on some days, just downright unappreciated.
I am grateful for the other mothers--now good friends--in our playgroup who, to a great extent, fill this void. Still, these days I find myself especially gratified by a positive word or comment. Crafting has given me a chance to exercise a part of my brain that's been dormant for many years. When I finally learn a new skill and complete a project it feels nice to know that it's pleasing to someone's eyes besides my own! I recently discovered Flickr, an online "community" where people post their pictures and projects. Here, I've found the work of a lot of other crafting novices and have enjoyed their response to my endeavors. These pillows have been "starred" by two flickr members as "favorites".
This project was inspired by Colorful Stitchery. Kristin Nicholas has such kind voice as an author. Some craft books bring about in me a jaw-clenching anxiety to achieve perfection. Kristin reminds me of how my mom might encourage me to approach a project--for fun!--and her aesthetic is bright, cheerful, and abundantly creative. I've also discovered her blog , which further feeds my fantasy (admittedly much-idealized) of living and working on my own farm. I can just picture our little terrier mix rounding up the sheep...
All this being said, one of my favorite compliments remains: "You are such a good mom." Thanks to all of you who take the time to share that one with me!
Monday, August 18, 2008
After almost two years with my little person, I can see that being a good mother is a lot about being creative and being open to creativity. I have another blog for friends and family that celebrates the magic of my daughter's growth and development. This blog--even if it just becomes a sort of online journal for me--gives me a place to explore what some of these life changes have meant for me and a public forum to share, and hopefully hear others' observations of, some of the beautiful things about being a mother and homemaker.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Steve's pattern--and his name--come from Denyse Schmidt Quilts, which provides a nice introduction to quilting through some fairly simple small projects. Someday, (maybe when Noodle enters preschool!) I will attempt one of the 10 stunning quilt projects also included in the book. I like the vibrant colors and "wonky-on-purpose" look of her designs.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
A Christmas gift from my mom, this book was what inspired me to rev up my new sewing machine and try out some projects, even if I could only muster an hour or two here and there during Noodle's nap time. Finished this project this afternoon. I'm a little embarrassed that I used the exact same embroidery on the pocket as the project that's pictured in the book, but I really love Jansdotter's style and knew that I'd be most satisfied with the end result if I could mimic that little running-stitched swirl!
I found that there was a small error and one omission in the instructions. One was related to the measurement for separating pockets (easy to figure out). The omission was a little trickier. The directions did not specify when and how to finish off the edges of the casing for the straps. A more experienced sewer would have figured out where and when to do this, but I ended up having to hand sew. I am a terrible hand-sewer, so this made me a little grumpy. Otherwise, I was very pleased with the project--especially because the fabric was a 97 cent remnant.
Other reviews of this book mention that it's a bit short on details. Nevertheless, it's very rich in inspiration. The place mats and the polka dot tote bag in the slide show above are both projects from this book as well.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Followed two great tutorials on Sew, Mama, Sew! Learned how to do a simple appliqué, French seams, and had a chance to use this great light-weight canvas from local thrift store. Most of all, it's a project that will truly be useful--It's going to be a book bag for visits to the library with Noodlebug. Very gratifying project and lots of fun for someone pretty new to sewing!