Once Upon A Time

Slowly... Very Slowly... I am getting the kids' rooms put back together. We separated them a little over a month ago when The Dad moved into the 'home office' to work fulltime. Eliminated the playroom and moved the kids into their own rooms, adding their toys to their sleepspace which fortunately has worked out so far.

So, back before we actually moved them, I began picturing the room redo(s). I picked up these wooden letters for E's room. I actually bought them once, back when we lived in Minneapolis, to do the kids' names but returned them after a little more thought.

I knew I wanted to use them, but wasn't sure how. And then began to thin of a storybook theme-y thing for E's room. Ahhh... I knew what I wanted.

Today, I finally got them up on her wall.
We've got some fabulous arches in the architecture of our house.

The canopy is not permanent. We've been experimenting with it a bit. I think that in the end we may actually move it outside, though E is insistent that it go over her bed. We'll see.

Summer Camp

For the last week and a half, I have been 'TeacherMama', as E has dubbed me. I have been co-running a camp at E (and now O's) nursery school. A camp for 3-5 year olds. Up to 24 of them. And 2-3 rotating co-oping parents at a time.
Our day begins at 730am when my kids and I head out the door for the 40 minute walk to the school.

The camp day runs from 845am to 1pm. And then we clean up and walk home again. Usually with O falling asleep about two blocks in.
I had forgotten how much I love working with kids. And their parents. The individual interactions, the group process, the planning and preparing and problem solving.

I go to bed exhausted and wake up still weary, but the walk energizes me. And by the time I reach the woods (the last couple minutes of the walk to school are through the woods - how cool is that?!!) I am ready.
So I haven't been on the computer much lately. And haven't been sewing at all. But boy are we having fun. And boy is my reservoir being refilled.

Purchases Made and Planned

I made two Etsy purchases in the last 24 hours and can't wait to have them in my hands. I've been eyeing both for what seems like forever:
First, the Pirate Cupcake shirt from Dogbone Art.
And a matching apron for co-oping at O's pre-school in the fall.

Then, one of the By Order of the Management prints from John W Golden. He's got a whole series of these signs, some of which have been featured in the Land of Nod catalog. This one will be perfect on the wall in O's new room.
We have also been shopping for a new 'grown up' couch forever. Our first really nice furniture purchase ever. We've had our eye on a great leather one from Room and Board that I, unfortunately, cannot copy and paste a picture of. But I think it's the one we're going with so will hopefully have pictures of it (in the new den) in a couple weeks! We drooled (and still do) over a lot of R and B furniture while we lived in Minneapolis but had neither the money nor the space. Now that we have a little bit more of both, we're ready to take the plunge.

The Dad even went to the Flagship store while he was out there a couple weeks ago to 'test-sit' their sofas since he seems to be incredibly particular about how it should feel when he sits down (and lies down - since he insists it be a fabulous nap-couch as well).

We do not take spending decisions lightly around here and have gone as far as taping out the footprint of the said couch on our den floor to make sure it will fit comfortably in the room!

It's okay, you can laugh at us. It's funny, we haven't even measured the doorway or stairwell to see if we can get it up there (the den is now on the 3rd floor of our narrow house) but we know it will sit well in the room!

We are planners, to varying degrees. But it suits us and has served us very well!

The Nursery School Graduation Dress

E graduated from nursery school today. I whipped up this little 'pillowcase dress' for the occasion. With matching head scarf.
One of my fastest projects yet. Out of some hoarded Heather Ross Mendocino fabrics. I love how it turned out and hope to make a couple more for the summer.

To save time, I used store-bought bias tape for the arm holes. I would actually like to make my own next time. I even have a little bias-tape-maker. Opened, but yet to be used. Oh the possibilities.
As I tried it on her along the way to check measurements (let me just see how long the ribbon should be... Here, now try it on and let me see how long the hem should be...), O asked when his pants would be finished... The pants that haven't been started yet... Oh... I did say that once I finished the craft show I would start on their summer wardrobes, right? Time to get to work!

The Studio Clean-Up

The Dad took the kids out Saturday morning - rummage sale, state park, strawberry picking... Fun little adventure.
I stayed home and finally got on top of my studio. In a mad rush to pack everything up for Art Star, bins had been emptied, scraps had been scattered - I couldn't walk through the room, let alone sit at the table to get some work done.
I am happy to say it is almost finished. I say almost because I still have a couple fun things to hang, my fleece is still in a rubbermaid bin, and I haven't figured out a way to store my patterns yet. Any ideas? I have a couple, but haven't actually tried them all the way yet.
I'm really looking forward to getting back to work. For me, there's nothing more inspiring than a clean, organized, put together room.

Shop Update (or Not)

I had hoped for a shop update this morning, but the weather hasn't quite cooperated. Hopefully the sun will come out and I will be able to get some good pictures. In the meantime, I am finally putting my studio back together (both my floor and tabletop seemed to have disappeared over the last week) and am anxiously awaiting delivery of some great new fabric and some more snaps. My stock was definitely low by the beginning of Art Star.

Stay Tuned!

Ruminating - With Some Random Recent Pictures

How nice would it be to be five again.
To have a new best friend every week. To eat popsicles for breakfast. And wear princess dresses wherever and whenever you wanted.
To wish for toys. And crawl up onto your mama's lap whenever you felt unsure or afraid.

To be told when you had to go to bed, what you had to eat, and where you had to go. To be nagged not to pick your nose, not to kick your brother, and to sit up the right way in your seat.
I'm preparing to work at a camp for pre-schoolers in a little over a week. I ordered craft supplies today. And magnifying glasses. And color paddles.

I'm teaching E old camp songs and prepping the kids for what it will be like when I am the teacher and not just their mama.
I am excited. And already exhausted. But most of all, I think, I am remembering how much fun and how much work it is to be 4. Or 5. Or 3. When so much is still new and everything is an opportunity. When the littlest thing can make you laugh and someone looking at you the wrong way can hurt your feelings.
I need that reminder sometimes. When I get tired and my kids get whiny. When I don't want my clothes pulled on or my face touched - just for a minute.

It is hard to be a little kid. And I am so incredibly lucky.

The Buzz Cut

With the approach of summer, comes O's first 'buzz cut'. Honestly, I tired of dropping $20 a pop each time at the local children's 'hair salon'. So instead, I dropped $10 at Target and decided to try it myself.

Hair cutting with clippers, for me anyways, has a very. big. learning curve.

I am an instructions reader. I had the booklet in front of me as I prepared to cut. I had the length-gauge-guide-thingy on the clippers. I took the guide off to oil the blades as instructed. And then I started to cut. Without putting the guide back on. Yup, clippers to scalp. Ummm, whoops.

Luckily, his hair grows very quickly.

E sprinkled the clumps of hair around the yard for the birds to collect and add to their nests. It's all about recycling, right?

Will I do it again? Probably. But I think I'll leave it a little longer.
Without the bald patch.

Art Star Craft Bazaar Recap

Art Star Craft Bazaar is done, but it really feels like a beginning. Not only did I have a fabulous time, it was also a huge success. I exceeded my sales goal, ran out of business cards, and found a couple new places to consign my dresses. I also perused the booths of some amazing artists and crafters and was able to spend the weekend hanging out with my youngest sister who traveled here all the way from LA to help me out. Thanks!!

As much as I would like to pretend that I get to take a little vacation now, there is even more to do since I can no longer use the excuse of having to sew every minute for the show. The house is in total disarray, having been left in the middle of switching rooms around for The Dad's move to working at home.

First, though, I need to buy some more fabric. My stock is low and my shop needs to be restocked. I'm wondering if it's possible to list a new Reversible Roundabout each week for the next month or so...

Hmmm... I'm thinking Sock Monkeys. And little birds in cages. Some fun retro kids...

Stay tuned!