Friday, August 22, 2008

"2 people call this a favorite"

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

What's this blog about?

We planted the seeds for these sunflowers together and now they are taller than she is!

Becoming a mother awakened in me a drive to be creative. Having worked outside the home for many years, it has taken--is still taking--me some time to find meaning and fulfillment in domestic life. But recently I found myself sharing with someone--somewhat bashfully--that I actually enjoy being a "homemaker". In trying to create warm, safe, vibrant, educational, healthy, joyful, verdant surroundings for my daughter, I've come to appreciate the domestic arts--cooking, sewing, gardening, reading, singing, teaching, learning,playing.

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.

Thank you for visiting! I hope you'll leave comments to share your own experiences, too.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Meet Steve

Steve sunbathes

Steve officially "arrived" last night when I affixed his tail and stitched up the hole for his stuffing. (I tried to make that procedure as painless as possible, but I may have heard some grumbles from him when I temporarily used his belly as a pin cushion during a sewing break.) Steve is the first soft toy I've created. It was a harrowing journey (sandwiching in all those limbs was a challenge!), but I am pleased with the result and am excited about creating some Friends-of-Steve with my fabric stash.

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.

Noodlebug has taken a shine to Steve, so, unfortunately, I think I'm going to have to replace his pretty vintage button eyes with felt circles for safety. The buttons came from a recent trip to an antique store in Santa Rosa's Railroad Square:

Friday, August 1, 2008

Gems from the garden

So glad to be back on line with a brand new computer! I have much to share but the hour is late. However, I just had to post these gems from the garden.

When I saw these photos of our morning glories, the first word that came to mind was "celestial".

Speaking of celestial (sort of), our cosmos are blooming, too. Several new projects and thrift store finds to be posted soon!