100 day project

today begins the 100 day project on instagram.  there are so many challenges on instagram to choose from and i’m tempted by many of them.  i’ve joined along in a few and while the projects themselves were fun, the best part was joining in the community and sharing.  the 100 day project by definition is “a celebration of process that encourages everyone to participate in 100 days of making”.    it’s not meant to focus on completing projects so much as it is meant to encourage makers to commit to the process every day for 100 days.  last night i spent too much a lot of time browsing through many of the commitments…so inspiring…but also a bit overwhelming!  the majority seem to focus on creating art by way of sketching, drawing, painting and illustrating.

since i don’t draw, unless you are a fan of lopsided stick figures, i have decided to join in, but with a bit of variation.  to spark creativity, appreciation and gratitude i will spend at least 30 minutes every day for the next 100 days engaged in some sort of creative process, and write each day in a gratitude journal.  since my business is a creative one you’d think this would be a simple thing to accomplish.  not always!  there are days that are consumed by my “day job”, some that require paperwork or emails, shipping or research.

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so, 30 minutes minimum per day.  maybe that means knitting socks or baby sweaters (i have a few to make!), sewing (either for myself or others, but NOT for work), maybe some physical activity to spur the creative juices, and it may be as simple as getting outside and enjoying (really noticing) the details of nature.  hey, i may even try my hand at sketching something!  moving deliberately with eyes wide open to the things that normally are taken for granted.  and each day i will write in my gratitude journal, listing at least 3 things that i’m grateful for….from the sound of my windchimes to the wind breeze that is blowing winter away and bringing in spring.  this beautiful journal (a gift from my sister) still has plenty of room left, and georgous handmade paper pages.

i know myself well enough to know that i’ll never keep up with posting each day on instagram, but i will try to make an occasional entry, and some of my days i will share here on the blog. it’s a commitment to self and i invite you to join with me.  100 days…who knows how it may change my outlook and my creative ventures.

join in, and tell me what you plan to do for 100 days.  cook? draw? sew? hike?  it’s the process.

the very bumpy bus ride…or, where have i been?

the last few months have been bumpy.  life has been filled with traffic jams, potholes and even a couple of spike strips thrown in to trip me up.  yep…all car references….it’s who i am…that’s how i roll.

along the route there have also been some major high notes.  times when the engine purred and all cylinders were hitting in rhythm.  so my plan is to just allow those bumpy days (and nights!) to fade away in the rearview mirror and concentrate on the high notes.

after a fairly extremely long hiatus from the blog, the studio and most things creative, i think i’m back on the right road and my mojo is riding shotgun!  in the coming weeks i’ll be sharing the few things that i’ve managed to create since april, a few things that are coming up soon and some highlights from the very best event of the summer…no, the year, the wedding of my middle born son and his (now officially “our”) lovely amy.

yes, the amazing snapdragon studios photographer extraordinaire married my son kyle.  she’s felt like family since they began dating 9 years ago…but it’s official…i have a daughter-in-law….which makes me the mother-in-law and i sincerely hope that i can be one that she’ll cherish as much as i cherish her (and not the one of movie and standup fame!).  picture evidence of said event is not quite ready (meaning i can’t make up my mind which prints to order and am seriously thinking i’ll end up purchasing them all!!), but not to worry…i WILL be sharing them along with my memories of one of the hottest days of the summer (in which the bride never broke a sweat!).

there will be some first time sews to share, new patterns news, a pattern hack or two, and perhaps even a late summer sale….and did i mention some wedding photos?? i think i may have mentioned that wedding in passing.

my road may still be bumpy at times, but right now i feel like cruising….and i hope you’ll come along for the ride!

kim

 

 

rumors of my demise

february was.  it just was.  i was sick.  nothing serious and life threatening, just sick.  the cough that everyone else had came to visit along with a fever….a high fever.  the kind that makes you scared that you might die, and then makes you hope that you will!!  the kind of fever that makes your eyes jiggle, your ears quit working, and leaves you in a puddle on the floor…unable to even crawl to bed.  since it wasn’t really the flu and it wasn’t really a cold, i’m naming it the “flaming crud“.  and that’s what i had.  and while the actual flaming part lasted only a few days, the crud has hung on, and on, and on.

and so instead of working in the studio, i’ve spent a great deal of time curled up in my oversized chair napping (you heard me…napping!!)  no reading, no knitting…just napping.  it’s been a month now and the napping has ended.  energy is beginning to return to something near normal.  the new pattern is now a month behind schedule as well as a few other projects that were scheduled to be released this month.  i haven’t worried about it one bit, so it must all be good.

i sat down over the weekend and made a to-do list, tallied it up and discovered that there were eleventy-seven things on it.  i promptly decided to leave them undone and make an infant romper for a brand new great niece.  i’ll share it as soon as it’s complete.  i think something “fun” is just what the doctor ordered!!

and while I was napping, this happened!!

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Weekending!

We had a fantastic weekend with friends in Cleveland. Here are a few pictures if you’d like to see!

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We are definitely in baby season, although four kids to seven adults was a great ratio for the zoo.

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Jack didn’t want his picture taken with the elephants…

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But Samuel didn’t mind at all.

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Jack perked up considerably for s’ mores at Jen and Steve’s.

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And even more for the train (er… the tuh-WAIN, that is) at the Lodi Outlets on the way home.

It was a wonderful visit and a great weekend. What are you into now that the weather is better?

-Elizabeth

randomly on a monday

i’m a winter girl, i admit it proudly!  i’ve always had a tough time accepting spring and it’s mucky wetness…that is, until the muck is gone and what’s left is fresh green growth and birdsong!  the last several days (with the exception of one dreary rain day) have been pretty glorious around these parts and i’m finding myself thinking spring!  dreading the weeding, edging and mulching but looking forward to the results.  the past week has turned my hillside from this…

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to this…
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not nearly as pretty, but ever so much easier to walk the dogs!!  and soon the green will come…and need to be mowed!
i found these popping up through the snow a few weeks ago.   i’m pretty sure they’re exciting to be bathed in spring sunshine!  and soon their colorful little blooms will bring me excitement too.

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my selfish sewing was sort of a bust!!  i selfishly spent a lot of time working on some new designs, which i love. but i haven’t thrown in the towel on some sewing for me quite yet. this light flocked cotton will eventually become a top, whether in these patterns or another. and i’ve been wanting to make a spring trench for years…maybe this will be that year!!

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and for no other reason than i think it’s beautiful i’m sharing this cake plate. a gift from amy this christmas, i love how the light reflects through it. inspiration.   in a couple of hours it will be holding cinnamon chip scones, hot from the oven…be still my cinnamon loving heart!
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don’t forget our vintage pattern giveaway!! follow us and leave a comment telling about your favorite sewing project. some lucky sewist will receive a bundle of vintage patterns AND a snapdragon studios pattern of their choice. just in time for your own spring sewing!
kim

winter rock

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DSCN5826we have a lovely old theater in the next town over nearby that has been beautifully restored and offers quite a wide range of entertainment for such a small town.  saturday evening my husband and i joined some of my co-workers for a concert.  “get the led out” is a led zeppelin tribute band, and while everyone who has seen them told me that i was in for a treat, i didn’t expect the show i got!  really and truly, there were moments when you could close your eyes and swear that jimmy page and robert plan were on that little stage!  and so we rocked!  ending with “stairway to heaven” and “whole lotta love”.   just what we needed on a cold winter night.  this morning we were greeted with more snow and once again my property becomes a winter wonderland….even that tiny bird nest outside my bedroom window has a “roof” of snow!  added to that…my laundry is done, my house is relatively clean and i got quite a bit of sewing done and you’ve got one great weekend!

kim

bring on the new year!

it’s been a while.

while elizabeth was enjoying the holidays, i’ve had a few other things going on.  not that the holiday wasn’t wonderful….it was!  Christmas day was pure joy…the rushing from one house to another, great food and family.  the days following weren’t exactly what i was expecting.  my father experienced some health problems just a few days after Christmas.  he’s fine now…back home and bored to tears with winter, but for a couple of weeks we needed to pull together as a family and take care of business.  during those weeks (the coldest of the season in these parts), my mother also gave us a scare (let’s just say, the local emergency squad is now on our Christmas card list!) and my sister was hit by the mack truck known as the flu.  loving our parents is easy.  i’m blessed to say that i also LIKE mine!!  i enjoy hanging out with them, i like their friends, i enjoy being together with them.  i discovered something during this past month or so, and that is, no matter what, i will never be as good a daughter to them as they have been parents to me.  blessings abound!!

so….what else have i been up to since finishing up those last minute gifts?  no sewing:(  there were weeks when i didn’t even step foot into my studio!!  i would go to the door and toss things inside, but that was it!  that doesn’t mean my hands weren’t busy though.

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i knit….at the hospital, and late in the evenings at home, knitting let me wind down and gave me a chance to process everything that was going on.  socks are my go-to knitting.  i wear only hand knit socks.  they’re perfectly portable, beautiful and practical.  and there’s a whole lot more yarn just waiting for it’s turn on the needles!!  i cranked out a scarf, a cowl, fingerless mitts and socks, with a sweater in the works.

and i drank coffee….lots of coffee.

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coffee while reading on my nook (best gift ever dear husband!), coffee while knitting, coffee while on the computer!  and see that amazing mug?  another perfect gift, this time from kyle and amy.  it’s a handwarmer mug…you slip your fingers into that wonderful little “sleeve” and you’re toasty warm inside and out.

and there’s been beauty to behold, although i’m told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder!  i’m a winter lover, so the snow is a happy sight for me (in moderation of course!!).

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a lovely bit of frosting on my property.  and a sunset that brings a peaceful end to the day.

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i’ll be back in the studio soon…i’m heading there now!! wonder what suprises await me!! i’ll  let you know what i find.

kim

it’s beginning to look….

i love driving through town and seeing the lit trees lining the streets, the unique and individual ways that people decorate.  i’ve always envied the homes in photos….you know the ones, where everything reflects light, all the ornaments “match” and the entire house seems cohesive.  but then i decorate my own home and realize that i wouldn’t trade the memories that my holiday decorations hold for all the glittery perfection in the world.  my tree still holds construction paper chains made by a now 31 year old.  ornaments that tell the stories of three boys growing up, a few ornaments from a dear grandmother, a favorite aunt, and the hand painted wooden ones that my husband and i painted together during our dating years.

so today i’m sharing little snippets of my holiday…..they’ll never be seen in a magazine, but each one holds a memory.

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the quilted snowman wall hanging…each block was a monthly gift from a secret sister in quilt guild.
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a snowflake…i have three, one from each of the boys during their cub scout years.
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my grandmothers lead figures, including a horse drawn buggy, skiers, sledders and figure skaters.

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my handmade snowmen who grace my hoosier each year…my favorites being the chilly little couple who always sit together happily.
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part of my bay window…a simple cracker jar filled with ornaments reflecting the lights of the garland lining the window.
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and in the corner of my kitchen, standing by the bay window is an alpine tree filled with cardinals, nests and pinecones (marcia…i think of you every time i look at that tree!)

i hope you’re all feeling the brightness of the holiday….share it with everyone you meet.
kim

early case of the fidgety twitches

i’m loathe to admit that i’m getting fidgety about the holidays….already.  not thanksgiving….i love thanksgiving day.  i host, and we don’t eat until evening so i get to spend almost the entire day wearing fleece jammie pants while i cook….one of THE BEST days of the year.  no, it’s “the holidays” that has me feeling a bit twitchy.  by this time of the year i normally have several gifts completed…or at least planned.  but last year i sunk to a new low and gave my sister a box of fabric and hardware with a promise of a new bag….she doesn’t have a new bag yet….sorry sis!  christmas advertisements are on the tv….and the fidgety twitching sets in.

each year sew mama sew does a series they call “handmade holidays”.  every post is a different category….babies, tweens, glamour girls, family…and has a collection of gift projects.  they also share recipes and printables (tags, packaging) in each post.  i’m telling you….it might just be the cure for the fidgety twitches!  at the very least it’s relieving some of the symptoms.

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a bag made from recycled clothing….can you tell this used to be a pleated skirt?  genius!!

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this little cutie was listed under “travel”, but i think it looks a lot better than leaving my phone sitting on top of the canister set to charge!

HH10Outdoor4[1]one word…..adorable!!

HH2Baby5[1]no babies in my world at the moment, but i’m not sure i can resist making these anyway!

HH1Glamour6[1]a book….made into a clutch….wonder if i could find one the right size to hold my nook….a book inside a book…clever.

HH4Printable1[1]printable gift tags….you can also find printable boxes (great for those home baked goodies).

if you’re familiar with sew mama sew, then you know of this goodness.  if not, head over there right now for some relief from the fidgety twitches and a good dose of inspiration.

kim

Something sensational to read on the train

I get a huge kick out of Oscar Wilde.  We discussed The Importance of Being Earnest last night at the book club I help run at the library.  It was the first time I’d read it since high school and it has only gotten funnier with time.  One of the things that struck me this time was the way that diaries were used by the female characters to corroborate their stories and to daydream.

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When I was in middle school I kept a diary pretty faithfully for a couple years (the entries are hilarious now).  I flirted with journaling here and there in high school, and I blogged a bit in college along with starting paper and pen journals, writing in them for a bit and then abandoning them.

My mom is awesome about journaling.  When I was pregnant for Jack she gave me the journals she kept when I was little (she also gave me the notebook she used to keep track of my feedings/ poopings/ general disposition.  She was a lot more organized about that than I was – I think I wrote that stuff down for about two seconds after my boys were born.  My mom kept that stuff going until I was a year old.  Impressive.)

I have a “mother’s journal” that I write in when I remember (flurries here and there with six month breaks in between), but I want to be better about it because it was really special to me to know what my mom was doing and thinking when I was a baby and I would love to be able to share that with my kids.

So I’m asking you – do you keep a diary or journal?  What tips do you have for actually doing it?  Every time I sit down to write it either takes me two hours just to catch up and then I don’t get around to writing what I meant to or I fall into just listing events without ever writing anything interesting.

My favorite journal entries have been the ones where I had a couple uninterrupted hours in which to write.  (My very favorite, about Jack’s birth, was written when he was about a month old and my sister offered to watch him for a few hours so that I could go to the coffee shop and decompress.  Bliss.)  I seldom have that kind of time, so thoughtful journal entries are seldom written.  My aunt had the clever idea of keeping a calendar by each kid’s door and writing a cute thing they did or said on that day’s date, then keeping the calendars as memory books.  Has anybody tried that?  What else has worked for you?  Somebody teach me to journal!

-Elizabeth