Category Archives: Uncategorized

so this is the new year

There’s this idea, and I’m a devotee, that new years mark an ideal time for new beginnings. For me, January 1 and then the beginning of the school year both fall into that category of “new year, new beginnings”. Largely, I think this is because I am a creature of habit, with a desire and personal need to order things. I like my days bracketed by my morning and evening routines, which are born from, but are not entirely like the FlyLady system.

Now that the children are back in school, I have three days a week, fifteen hours, that are all mine. All mine, if that includes working. I also find that those days easily fill with other activities: preparing for an out of town trip, preparing for a birthday party, readying the house for company. I manage, regularly, to fill the days with an amazing amount of Not Paid Work or even Not Creative Writing. So, even though today is October 17th, with no particular marker on it for launching new things, today I am trying to make sure I get all of my kinds of writing in. So far, I have managed a personal journal entry, some work, and now a blog post. The last is creative writing, and I have a poem I’m working on, which is a phrase I’ve pretty much never uttered aloud ever, but I left my book with the draft in it at home, and I’m out in a random office on the Vanderbilt campus while Wren participates in a education department study.

So, for the writing, I’m aiming for daily. I think that, work aside, fifteen minutes a day of each kind of writing isn’t a terrible way to spend some time, and it would free me from my current repetitive refreshing of facebook, as though anything new has been posted in three minutes that I might miss otherwise.

Look for more new and thrilling content to come! I have several fun sewing and crafty things that have been going on for autumn, I want to learn to menu plan and I may as well walk through that with the world, and I have a new phone, which takes nice photos, so I can share more pictures.

Like this one. In the last week, Husband has done several things of note, but my favorite was probably this green curry, which he made using the cookbook we got from the cooking class we took on our honeymoon in Thailand:
One of the best things we did on our Thailand honeymoon was cooking classes.  Tonight Brett makes green curry with homemade curry paste.

delicious! Spicy! Homemade!


spring fling!

So, here’s the thing: I had this grand ambition of starting off 2011 as a Blogger, which is clearly insane, as I am not a consistent writer in any venue other than my online journal on a private forum. I can’t even seem to write for my JOB on a daily basis, so why I thought starting a blog would be the Best Idea for 2011 Ever is completely beyond me.

However, I am happy that I have a nice place where I can post the projects I’m working on, so as to easily share them on other blogs.

I spent much of last fall sewing on a quilt top, which I have finally finished, and which I’ll photograph soon. Today, however, I started work on a spring table runner as part of the Stumbles & Stitches sew-along. I’m very happy to participate in this particular sewing project as Jenny and Angel have been my biggest inspirations for sewing in the last year or so. They have been incredible reminders that I shouldn’t wait for perfection, but should just take up needle and fabric and try something. To that end, I’ve made a LOT of things in the last year and I have big plans for 2011: sundress for me, dress for Birdie, pants for Eliot, and on and on. The runner project was a nice spot to pause in April from clothes or quilts and try something just because! Table runners I suppose can be functional, but I think of them as just pretty, and it’s fun to make something just to be pretty!

Today was a pretty day to do something pretty, so I opened the window in my beautiful work space to let spring air flow through the room and over me. I’m a bit of a tv junkie, so I streamed last week’s NCIS while I worked.

This doesn’t even begin to show how perfect the day was or the sunlight or to give a sense of the breeze, but this is my space:

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(like my ironing board cover? I used the tutorial from Sewing in No Time, Sunkissed by Moda fabric, which I bought at The Quilting Squares shop, here in Franklin.)

My fabric for the runner:
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I bought the linen at Textile Fabrics on Saturday, when the children were their very best fabric-store selves, I was so surprised & delighted. I’m using Sunkissed scraps from my ironing board cover, Nicey Jane stripe, some fussy cut Anna Maria Horner Little Folks “Village Path” that was in my scrap basket, two colors of Jackie Shapiro’s sweet daisy fabric from several years ago, and a beautiful piece of a vintage sheet, which was the inspiration for all of my other choices. Lavender, green, and a golden yellow together? Pure spring and heaven!

I couldn’t quite get my head around the idea of a zig-zag pattern like the runner that Jenny & Angel featured from Rashida Coleman-Hale’s book, so I went hunting for another pattern that suited my skill level (pure beginner) and interest and ended up with this sweet one from Moda Bake Shop. By the time the children woke from naps, I had finished one NCIS, one Dr. Who, and most of my 2.5″ squares:

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Once nap was over, I found myself irresistibly drawn outside, where I spent two hours debating play structure placement, fixing snacks, and finding habitats for inchworms:
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Perhaps tomorrow, between running, working, and mothering, I’ll finish cutting the triangles.

in the darkroom

I remember the days when being in the darkroom meant spending lunch break in the art class darkroom with Stacey L (who was a fun friend then & is now a great friend and a fun babysitter). She’d process nudey photos of some friend of hers and I’d turn negatives into pictures of things like doorways & piles of rock. I was, see, an artiste.

Then, of course, in college, I spent all of this time in the animation studio with cutouts from magazines & hand-scrawled Elliott Smith lyrics. Me, the animation stand, and collages. Those were my favorite darkroom days: walkman, midnight in the studio, and my heartbreak being reenacted on a small space for small film. Days later, after the film returned, I’d sit in the editing room with Sammy D and we’d cut and splice and tape. Then, of course, I was an auteur.

These days, darkroom time means dragging the laptop into Eliot’s room while he goes to sleep. I browse the internet, update our online banking, and dawdle while he whispers to himself, flops, adjusts his bears, demands additional trips to the bathroom (n.b., according to E, he will “DIE if I don’t PEE.” Uh-huh), and insists on water. I hear him whispering even now. Shortly, I will relinquish the laptop to B so he can do what it is that he does (this week, I think it’s “read end-of-year best-of record lists”), but for now, I am enjoying my quiet darkroom time browsing all of the giveaways posted on Sew Mama Sew, and even entering a few.

My creative time is no longer so much aligned with a dark room, but I do work in a dimly lit space, usually pretty late in the evening, and I’m quite excited by all of the crafty giveaways: some handmade goods, some crafting supplies. After making seven small tote bags this week and starting one of two messenger bags, I’m ready to start thinking to new and different projects, perhaps even one just for me.

Until I wrap up these bags, though, I’ll just sit in this dark room, think back to old days (winter makes me so nostalgic), and look forward to more nights in a quiet space.

coming soon! No! Really!

I just have to get through the rush of Christmas: sewing teacher gifts, sewing other gifts, finishing up the old job, preparing for the new, finding a school for Eliot, traveling to the ILs, and doing some freelance projects.  It’s a blur!  But I’ve been thinking about this for a while & I guess I am as ready as I’ll ever be.


Besides if I treat this like I treat my sewing, I don’t have to be perfect, right?  Just present.  Present with wobbly seam allowances and frequent adjustments.