Slowing down (or trying to)

These past couple of weeks have been a lot busier than I had expected. Isn't that always the case? We had a sick toddler, visitors, a conference to attend, a presentation to give, a poster to prepare, and an interview -- all amidst the routines, chores, and stuff of the everyday. I can't say it's been bad, because it hasn't. It's just filled up our days in ways I hadn't foreseen and left me with little time for any sort of crafting.

So this week, along with catching up on my magazine subscriptions, cleaning, and email (not necessarily in that order), I've been trying to slow down and return to our usual day to day routine. As much as the Monkey enjoyed having his grandparents caring for him while I attended my conference, I think he's welcoming the return to our everyday life. All of a sudden, it's like he's my little shadow, not happy unless he's right there by my side, holding my hand or the mop or the mixing spoon or whatever I might be holding at the time. It's nice. It makes things go slower than I'd like sometimes, but I just remind myself that he won't be this age forever. In fact, he probably won't even want to hang out with me in a few years, so I have to enjoy it while I can.

I still have some things left to do on my to do list, but it's significantly shorter and feels much more manageable. And in between getting all those things checked off, I'll make sure to squeeze in some sewing time. After all, I have a treasure bag to finish and a little boy who is anxious to collect more rocks.



The poor Monkey came down with a nasty cold over the weekend... I'd never seen him this sad and miserable before, but I guess we were due to have a bad cold before it officially warmed up around here. Of course, he caught it at the worst possible time (but really, is there ever a good time for a cold?). I have the opportunity to present some of the (lesser known) work I did while in graduate school at a conference in a couple of weeks, and I need all the time I can get to prepare my talk. I had all these grand plans for getting all sorts of things done over the last 3 days, but instead, I've spent countless hours holding a sleeping toddler because he can't seem to sleep on his own. Poor thing. I'm just bracing myself for when Mikey and I catch it, which is pretty much inevitable since the Monkey can't seem to figure out what "cover your mouth!" means.

He is feeling a little better today, and is (thankfully!) napping in his crib as I type this.

I have lots to catch up on today, but of course decided to take a little detour and share a few things that I'm loving today:
4. Soulemama's mushroom shirt for her littlest guy

Hope you enjoy these as much as I did!
Off to work before the Monkey wakes up...


Trying something new

Being on a strict quilting budget means loving and using even the tiniest of scraps of even those fabrics you wouldn't normally be crazy about. After finishing Baby Oliver's quilt, I found myself with a lot of little strips of pastel fabric that I just couldn't get rid of. And, to be honest, I really didn't want to hold on to them and let them take up valuable space in my tiny sewing space, either. I did a little brainstorming and finally decided to use them to start a string quilt of sorts.

I really don't have a master plan for this quilt, and have no idea how big it will end up being. I am hoping that I will be able to keep working on it, little by little, and will have a queen sized top by the end of the year. If nothing else, I figure I'll have an interesting quilt top with bits and pieces of all the projects I hope to complete in 2010.

I'm foundation piecing this baby on 6 1/4" muslin squares, which gives it a nice weight. I had read about foundation piecing with paper and was about to give it a shot when I realized that I am easily distracted... and something as simple as having to tear paper off the back of a zillion blocks might be enough to lose interest in completing this quilt.

We've been having way too much fun with my Mom here to do any sewing, so these are the only blocks I've pieced so far. I can't wait to see how it turns out!


Five years

Photo by Fred Thomas, EPPro Studio

Today we are celebrating five years of marriage, and it doesn't seem possible that it's already been five years since that magical night we said "I do". Since then, we've had many ups and downs and everything in between, always with a good dose of laughter and lots of love. I feel so fortunate, and couldn't ask for a better partner in life.

Wishing you all a wonderful Easter weekend!


March Project: Birthday Banner

Like I said before, I didn't get to finish my 2nd version of March's project: the birthday banner in Alicia Paulson's book Stitched in Time. My first run at it was a cute little banner for the little guy I threw a baby shower for a couple of weeks back. I chose the fabrics below to make a name banner for him, and hung it over our mantle, right next to where gifts were placed as guests entered our home.

Of course, I didn't get a single picture of the shower, so I didn't get a picture of the banner hanging over all the baby gifts. Trust me, it looked so cute.

Luckily, the new Mom took a break from cuddling with her new little guy and playing with her adorable little girl to snap up this picture of the banner:

From the very first time I looked through this book, I knew that I wanted to make this project. For whatever reason, it wasn't an easy project for me to dive into... I think the thought of having to cut out all those letters just seemed daunting. However, once I got started, it went so quickly that it only took an hour or so of actual hands-on time to finish.

It's almost like the hardest part was getting motivated to get started.

Once I made one from start to finish, I knew it wouldn't take long to stitch one up for our own family... to take out every birthday and start a new tradition. I got as far as stenciling the letters to the cut pieces of fabric, but haven't actually assembled it and won't until Mom heads home next week.

It was nice to get to browse through this book again, and admire the beautiful pictures and the anecdotes peppered throughout it. It's so lovely, the kind of book that makes you want to curl up with a nice cup of coffee, browsing, making a list of supplies to get at the fabric store... Might just have to do that this week...