Highlights of the Week

This week things have been a little crazy.

I finished a batch of 10 dresses for Art Star.

And had my leg peed on by a little boy still working on aiming while sitting down.

I started working with Minkee again - a fabric that drives me nuts but gives me the softest blankies ever.

I sent O on his first real school fieldtrip, riding the train downtown to the American Institute of Architects to see an exhibit on 'Constructing Play' - and didn't chaperone.  A huge step for me.

And I Registered for a summer weekend of sewing with Heather Ross.  I think I'm a little starstruck, feeling like I've been e-mailing with a celebrity.  But really, a whole weekend in the mountains of Vermont?  Sewing with the designer of some of my favorite fabrics??  You can see bits and pieces here (her pattern) and here (her fabric).  Love, love, love her stuff.

And it's already the weekend again.  The creamy (camel) and polka dot blanket is for a baby shower we're going to Saturday night.  The whole 'gender neutral' dilemma.  I like the way it turned out.  And the flannel?  The new Amy Butler flannel - Let me tell you:  Not ALL flannel is created equal.  This is the softest, softest flannel I have worked with yet.  Yum.

The Golden Sneaker Award

It's funny what kids get so excited about.

This week, E is the "Golden Sneaker Award" winner.  This means that it is her turn to bring home this old pair of "teenager sized" sneakers, spraypainted gold.  Really, it means she's 'Kid of the Week' in her Kindergarten class.  But to her?  She's won the lottery.

As skeeved out as The Dad and I am about where these shoes have been, E wears them proudly.  Until Friday, when she returns them, and the next child gets a turn.

Oh to be 5 again.

Spring? A Pile of Park Slope Makes It Feel Closer!

You get one nice day around here and it feels like Spring is coming.  And then I remember that it is indeed only the middle of January.

Still, I am starting to prepare for this year's Art Star Craft Bazaar (May 15th and 16th), in an effort to not feel the need to cram for inventory at the end.

I got a great kick start today with this fabulous collection of Park Slope.  I've loved this fabric before, in a different colorway, and was so excited to walk away with a whole pile of it this morning.  A matter of being in the right place at the right time - as the quilt shop owner was putting it on sale.  Hooray!

And on top of that pile?  My astroturf pocketbook.  One of the best Christmas presents ever from The Dad.

Hoping For Rain: The Oliver + S School Days Coat

I had the great fortune last Saturday of taking a sewing class at Cloth and Bobbin with Leisl Gibson, the designer behind the Oliver + S patterns.  So much fun - and a fabulous pattern!  One of the more challenging I've done, made more challenging with Laminated Cotton - but how cool that I could actually sew E a raincoat - under the tutelage of the designer?!

I had actually been eyeing a different Kaffe Fassett laminate and was showing it to E online (I've learned it's sometimes better to consult her ahead of time since she is a child of definite opinions) and she pointed to this one - immediately smitten.  "But mom, it will look like the roses are growing all over me in the rain!"  I folded, still not in love with it myself.  But I tell you, with each stitch it grew on me.  And by the end, I loved it as much as she did.

It's lined with some super soft Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton (in caramel) which almost shimmers.  Luckily I bought more yardage than I needed - she has already requested a nightgown out of it, too.

I'm already planning a wool coat for O for the fall....  (After these pajamas for both and this dress for E...) 
And there are even more new patterns coming out in the Spring...

A Peek into E's Room

 I know I've said before that I would show some pictures of E's room.  I've shown you O's, but E's never seems to be clean enough to take pictures of!  We did some major purging in there this weekend.  She was all for it.  It just seemed that it was impossible to get it clean and organized because there was just. too. much. stuff.  Way too much dress up, too many dolls, stuff just ended up all over the floor and the room wasn't very often inviting for play.

Sunday, she filled three laundry baskets of debris to be stored away upstairs for awhile (and hopefully some soon after to be passed on or discarded).  What a difference it has made!  She played in there almost all day today.  And it was so easy to clean up tonight before bed.

Her room is definitely still a work in progress - and is definitely in need of a fresh coat of paint (minus the orange!) this spring.  We're getting there, though.  Slowly but surely.

The Need to Be Outside

 Things are finally warming up a bit around here.  It feels like it has been below freezing since we returned on the 4th.  The kids were getting a little stircrazy so we took a quick hour run-around at the local arboretum after school on Wednesday.

I love that even though we live in the city we are surrounded by green space.  We don't have to go very far to walk in the woods, but we've also got a fabulous arboretum close by that is perfect with kids.

When we lived in Minnesota, there was a great one about 45 minutes away.  It was affiliated with the U of M and was also a great combination of trails and free space for kids to explore.  It is so important, I think, for kids to have this opportunity on a regular basis and I was excited to find one nearby when we moved here.  (Probably not) coincidentally, this one is also affiliated with a large university.

While they don't quite know their own way around there yet, E is starting to read the signs and both kids have their favorite spots to visit.  The grounds are not huge, but large enough that the kids still seem to find something new each time we visit.  I look forward to spending more time there as the weather warms up!

Some Productive Studio Time

 It always amazes me how much more productive I feel - in general - when I get a couple quiet hours in the studio.

I love this Modern Home print by Michael Miller.

It's such a big print, though.  This dress doesn't quite do what I wanted it to.
I have another idea, though.
And a full day in the studio on Friday.

Stay tuned!

The Fabric Covered Head Board - Take Two

A little over a year ago, The Dad built E a bed.  He did it over a weekend while I was away with the kids and surprised ALL of us with a great fabric covered headboard.  Unfortunately, we didn't get any great pictures of it.  I did at least get this:

It's a little hidden behind the pillows and multitude of stuffed animals, but it is there.  Pink batiked and embroidered fabric, taken from my stash, over a layer of cotton quilt batting and a piece of plywood.

I was very impressed.

Fast forward a year or so.  We have inherited a set of nice maple bunk beds and are setting those up for E, passing on her low dad-made platform bed to O.

Now, O is not really a pink swirly little kind of guy (unless he's running around in E's leotard and tutu).  I pulled a couple pieces of fabric from my stash for him to choose from (strongly discouraging his preference for the yellow flannel with monkeys) and ended up with this:

 So fun and so easy.  We actually did this one right over the other layers.  All done with fabric and a staple gun.  I think it took me longer to iron the fabric than to actually attach it!

Happy New Year

So, I didn't really mean to be gone for that long.  Our holidays ended up being a little more eventful than we had planned.  We hosted my whole family (I'm the oldest of 5) here for Christmas - the first time we have all been together in almost 5 years.

Christmas was immediately followed by an awful stomach bug ripping it's way through our house.  I think I washed every single sheet and towel we own at least twice.

And then we packed (while doing all that laundry) for our trip to Florida.  Did I mention we were driving?  A drive that ended up taking a day longer than planned and included my first ride in an ambulance and a visit to an incredibly rural emergency room in South Carolina (think "Oh, we don't have cabs in this county...") (Everything's fine.)

Then 15 people in a beach house (though right on the beach - beautiful).
Four nights and four new tires later we were on the AutoTrain home.

So here we are...  Did I say eventful?

Amid that whirlwind of chaos, we had a moment of quiet (before the "Please, Please can I have another mint.  Can I have a mint.  Can I HAVE a MINT!? that echoed through the end of the service) when we had the kids baptized.  In the presence of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and even great-grandparents on New Years Day.  A fabulous way to begin the new year.

So, here's to New Beginnings, Community, Simplicity, and Peace.