Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Happy List Volume 2




Happy Monday, it's a brand new week!!

I always see these types of posts on Friday or Saturday and have always thought that the Monday could use the smiles more as the weekend holds a secret glittery joy on it's own, doesn't it?  Mondays are usually the rough dragging days for me, where I could use a list of happiness, could you?

Here's what I've been enjoying this past week:

*Last week was rather heavy.  There was a lot going on in the world that was really intense for a lot of people and I found myself looking inward a lot, and thinking, probably too much, about those things.  This week's list turned out reflecting that mindset a little.  

 1) This truth: I am in charge of what I bring into my home - we confronted this head on this weekend and went through all the toys, clothes, closets, art, and everything else and purged ruthlessly.  Half broken ugly toys were tossed, tons of things were donated, and the rest was organized.  I'm still not quite done putting things back together but I feel so much lighter and Ben and I made a promise that we will be more conscientious about what we bring into our spaces.  I'm in charge of what I bring into my home, my body, my mind, my friendships, etc.  So I should bring in things that fit my goals in each area. Quite empowering I think.  I was reading too much news and it was getting me down, so I......wait for it.....stopped reading so much news!   See?  Boom.  Empowered.

2) The key to parenting strong willed children - don't take it personally.  Abby and I had a hard morning, and I had a realization.  She has to go through whatever she has to go through, has to let it out, but it's not about me.  I'm just the one taking up the air space in which she's thrown out what she's working through.  I also found some inner peace in the idea that I just have to let her (and this applies for each of my kids, and all kids really) be her.  This is the happy medium between being a strict crazy person policeman parent and a no rules everything goes parent.  Making sure they have enough structure and rules to keep them safe, healthy, and happy, and then backing off to let them bounce around to their hearts content. 

3) This little imp turned 1 last week!  She is so much fun and so sweet.  I love this age, it's the best to watch them discover things and see how their personalities bloom! 

4) Leaving the window open when I go to sleep - because when I wake up I can see the sky change as the sun rises, and it's a little breath of peace when I haven't gotten enough sleep, or get woken up earlier than I'd prefer.

5) #sewandread on Instagram - I've recently been turned onto this hashtag, and I love it!  It's so great to get book recommendations from people who's opinions you trust, and who have similar hobbies.  Sewing while listening to audiobooks is my new favorite thing and this hashtag is like a little Instagram book club, without the stress.  It's a wonderfully perfect combination for me.  Right now I'm listening to Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery and it's really fun!  I love this author's writing, and it sounds so good being read.  Absolutely recommend it. 

Do you have anything to recommend to me?  I'm always interested in favorite things!

Hope you all have an awesome week ahead! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

a stroller quilt

 





I put a stack of fabrics together a while ago that I really liked, cut a random amount of 5" squares from each fabric, made some HST's, and came up with this.  It was a quick and relaxing sew and turned out the perfect size for a little stroller or crib quilt or playmat.  It measures 27.5" x 36".  As you can tell I have a strict Quality Control department that thoroughly tests everything before I list it, haha!  I have another just like it in more feminine colors going through the machine right now.  This one is listed in my Etsy shop LadyFaceMakes.

Thanks for reading! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday happy list volume 1

I always see these types of posts on Friday or Saturday and have always thought that the Monday could use the smiles more as the weekend holds a secret glittery joy on it's own, doesn't it?  Mondays are usually the rough dragging days for me, where I could use a list of happiness, could you?

Here's what I've been enjoying this past week:

1) This song.  Since I saw them perform it on Jimmy Fallon the other night it's been stuck in my head, and that's a good thing!  It reminds me to be true to what I like, to what I want to do.  Listen to it, it's wonderful, especially after not hearing from this group for a while. 

2) Another gorgeous song.  Isn't it just delightful?! Love it.

3) I found that song while I was watching the instructional video to make these little guys.  I should have an adorable well dressed peg doll army soon.

4) This class on Atly.com looks amazing.  I've taken a few classes through Atly before and they're incredibly well done and the instructors are worth the price every time.  This particular class intrigues me because all 3 of our kids are sharing a bedroom right now.  I'm hoping that won't always be the case, but whichever way, I'm really curious about what makes a room more attractive to kids creativity and imagination. 

5) My baby girl turns 1 on Wednesday!!! And yes, she's walking, roaring, and eating everything. All too quickly of course.



Have a great week friends!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

weekending










We spent the end of last week and all weekend at a family reunion in Dingle, Idaho (near Montpelier) and it was so much fun.  We went to Bear Lake, had raspberry milkshakes at LeBeau's (highly recommend) and the kids had an incredible time running all over the place with their cousins.  This tiny town is completely tucked away and incredibly gorgeous.  I'm still recovering from all the fun we had and haven't been doing much besides laundry and sleeping since we got back!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Abby's Meow quilt

Last week I finished Abby's quilt!

I wanted to get this done for her birthday (back in April...) but it just didn't happen, and that's okay.  
I used Aneela Hooey's Meow Quilt pattern and made 12 blocks, using several fabrics from Lizzy House's Catnap collection, mainly for the background and several of the individual blocks. And yes, I need a legit camera.  And to not take pictures of my feet.  Apologies.

It is the perfect size for her little Ikea toddler bed but at the rate she is growing it will be too short way too soon (did I mention she learned to ride her bike without training wheels this week? Yeah.). I backed it in a light pink old flat sheet we had in the linen closet that never got any use.  
I used an Art Gallery Elements (I think?) print in a bright pink to bind it.  And did I tell you what she said when I unceremoniously showed it to her?
She goes, "that's nice mom. But I really actually wanted a giraffe quilt with dark blue on the back." 

Ha!! So anyway, I know she likes it, but her tastes are changing and fast! Next time I won't take so long to get something made for her! The baby LOVES it though so it will absolutely get used a lot, even if not by the intended recipient.  Aren't kids hysterical?!


Thanks for reading!!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

books

I've been trying to read more this year and so far it's going really well.  I seem to be stuck in two themes and all the books I've read recently are either it's the end of the world and society is crumbling stories, or I can't believe you/I did that stories that explore what's next, human nature, or keep a secret from the reader.  I found all of these books to be very clean (save for the very occasional language), and highly recommend them all!! 
Here's what I've finished recently:

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - I picked up this book after seeing it on Instagram.  It was a quick read with such a twist at the end.  The kind of twist that makes you rethink the entire story, it was...yeah, I never saw it coming! The story is about a family that spends their summers on their private island and more specifically about one of the children/teenage girls.  Any more details and I'd be afraid to give something away!

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters - This is the first of The Last Policeman series and it has been on my radar for a while and one day I found it at Costco, yay!  The story is about the end of the world, told by a policeman who has been recently promoted to detective just as an asteroid is on it's way to earth.  The book deals with a crumbling world with 6 months until impact.  People have "gone bucket" and taken their own lives, nothing is logical anymore, and while there is still something of a police force left, a death appears that seems suspicious.  And he investigates it while others see no point. Why bother? I really enjoyed how that question was explored in many ways and quick smart writing.  I loved this story. It was refreshing, interesting, real, and fascinating!

Countdown City by Ben H. Winters - The second book in the trilogy, now there are 3 months until impact and our detective friend is moving on from several things that happened in the first book.  Society is even worse, more dangerous, and there are no explanations for anything.  The police and any defense or protection is up to each person.  This time our detective is investigating a mysterious disappearance and trying to keep an eye on his sister who has gotten herself deep into a conspiracy theory she fully believes in.  The places he goes, things he finds out, and people he meets along the way were fascinating! I loved this one too,  great sequel.  

World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters - The last book in the trilogy and there are now only two weeks left until impact.  Our detective is trying to find his sister, his only remaining family, before impact and the unknown after that.  He follows her deeper into the conspiracy theory she was involved in, using a color system for towns based on their level of danger, searching for her and anything useful.  I will tell you that he finds her, but the things he finds along the way, and afterwards are what make this book special.  An Amish patriarch who has kept the asteroid a secret from his family, a couple with an RV and a flock of chickens, and everyone else.  I loved it.  And I'll tell you one more thing.  I'm sure we all assume that the point of a story like this would be to stop the asteroid, but it isn't!  I loved that the asteroid was unavoidable and dealt with the people.  The story ends with the glow of the asteroid hurtling towards earth.  It was wonderful, the whole thing. SO GOOD! The whole trilogy was amazing.

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak - This was a surprise for me and to be honest I only read a few of them because it was due back at the library before I finished...  I was expecting stories that were predictable, or crude, but for the most part this collection of short stories was far better than I anticipated.  He definitely understands the power and potential of a good story and knows how to create one, even with the most seemingly unimportant, overlooked, and random things.  My favorite was a dating sketch between a woman and a warlord. 

Logo Design Love by David Airey - I read this one almost immediately after taking Melanie Burk's Atly class on Identity and logo design (which you can find by following that link).  The class was amazing, and this book was a great second perspective into a world and career that is really new and really interesting to me.  The information in this book is gold and I already know it will be a valuable resource in any design work I do.  It explains things clearly and concisely, which was important to me.  David Airey is an expert and writes in such a generous and friendly way.  If you're interested in graphic design, you should have this book (I have linked to the edition that I read, but I see that there is another edition that just recently came out with a black cover.  Just something to be aware of).

The Dinner by Herman Koch - (Also a library score) This was another exciting one along the same vein as We Were Liars in that it contains a secret.  The story is set in Amsterdam and is told over the course of one dinner between two couples.  They are having some uncomfortable issues with their children and I'll leave it at that.  Part of the excitement of this story is in wondering what the kids did!  I loved the way this story was told.  The narrator, one of the dads, tells it the way I imagine I would tell something like this.  There are memories, things hidden intentionally that he just doesn't want to share, and feelings remembered.  It is wonderfully interesting to see how they handle this, and how, as the dinner progresses and more is unfolded, how one mistake is dealt with and acknowledged.  It's like they are totally different people by the end of the dinner, unrecognizable from when they started.  As a parent now myself, I thought it was interesting to see how my own feelings developed as I read this story.  I love it when an author is good enough to make me examine my own feelings. 

What are you reading this summer?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Oliver + S Playtime Dresses

As a follow up to my post about the Oliver + S Playtime Leggings, I also made each of the ladies a playtime dress.

For Sam (11 months old now) I made a 12-18 month size.  I shortened the sleeves and hemmed the skirt to where I wanted it. Actually I didn't measure, just ironed an approximately even distance all the way around, folded the raw end into the hem, and stitched it around.  That's how I do hems.  Hope for the best and plow forwards. 

She'll be able to wear it for a while, which I consider a bonus.  It has buttons, which caught me off guard since this is a knit pattern (fabric from Wanderlust fabrics), but the buttonhole making practice was good for me and of course it turned out just fine, it's an Oliver + S pattern!  They always work out.

For Abby's I sewed up the size 5 and it's clearly a little large in the shoulders.  I used the bottom of one of my old shirts that became too short after I disregarded the washing instructions...oops.  It has a bit of a hi-lo hem that I like.
I can also see this one transitioning into a tunic really well when she gets taller, so that's another bonus.  The mustard was from Girl Charlee a while back, and is thicker than is probably ideal for this, or at least for the thin jersey that I used for the skirt, but that's alright.  

There's also cool facing instructions that give the neckline and buttonhole parts some strength, and I found the topstitching templates great as well.  I always learn something new with these patterns and they ALWAYS turn out looking really well done.  

Abby's already worn hers a handful of times since I finished it, so that's a win despite it's imperfections!