Tuesday, September 1, 2009

OMG...I made a quilt!!

I made a quilt! My very first one! I am so happy with how it came out and already have another similar top pieced for another one. In fact, I've already been to the quilt shop to buy fabric for another quilt. Um....I guess this is a little addicting, but oh so much fun. I was so nervous about the actual quilting part, but it was a breeze especially when you aren't a perfectionist about it. I really like a handmade quilt to look, well, handmade. Little errors really do add to its charm and beauty. This is for a friend's new baby. I sure hope she likes it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I see a purple(ish) quilt in my future

Whenever I ask Katya what her favorite color is, she'll reply with purple. At first, the thought totally made me cringe; I'm just not used to looking at purple and for the longest time could not think of purple without thinking of lavender. Well, now I am embarking on a quilt for her inspired by this lovely quilt and I have started looking at purple in a whole new way. I love the darker plum shades and am feeling optimisitic about the possibilities.
I am finishing my first (small) quilt right now. I am in love with the process and am hoping that I can get inspired to make quite a few before the year is out.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I just love this little family of mine.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Where have you been, little bear?

The blackberry bushes up the street are a required daily stop for my kids. Sometimes my son needs to check several times a day to "just see" if there are any more ripe ones. I am so glad they can experience sunwarmed, fresh-from-the-vine blackberries. If only it weren't for the thorns, they would certainly pick every last berry on the bush.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I have been drooling over the stuff made by Wovenplay ever since I discovered them about a year ago. In general, I think it's nuts to spend that kind of money on children's anything, but you can just tell that these items are beautifully made and I'm actually contemplating getting a cape for Katya's birthday (but now that I'm looking, it might be harder to find than I thought). They are spectacular. I've thought about trying to recreate it, but then I realize that I'd only fail. I have a friend who tried on a Prada skirt that was on sale for a mere $350 (marked down from $800), so she went home a spent an untold amount of time trying to recreate it. After obsessing for far too long, she admitted, "I should have just bought the damn skirt." I think a lot about the cost of things and how we often expect things to be so much cheaper than is reasonable, especially for handmade items. In any case, I'd really love to win this skirt on one of my favorite blogs. Pick me, pick me, pick me......

Monday, July 27, 2009

flowers, flowers, flowers...and a dress

So, I started making these fabric flowers on Saturday and just can't stop. I found the tutorial here, but have since made some changes such as the one below. I have no idea what to do with all these flowers but they will make nice little gifts as hair clips or pins. Maybe I'll sell them on etsy? Or at a craft fair in the fall? In any case, I cannot stop and wish I could make them all day long.

And I made myself this dress for an anniversary dinner (13 years!!) with Andrei. I followed Kwik Sew Pattern 3521, which I've used before, but had forgotten that I cannot install an invisible zipper on my machine since I need to buy a special invisible zipper foot for my Brother. Zippers get me every time. I just hate them and would love to have a home ec teacher living next door for these kinds of things. Darts are pretty much a pain in the neck as well. I do like the dress and will try it yet again! I'm excited that I'll be taking a sewing class this semester and am especially looking forward to next semester when Tailoring is offered. Lately, I'm completely inspired by this blog. Aren't her clothes lovely?

I have such problems working out spacing issues with blogger. I'm thinking of switching because it causes me so much grief.

Friday, June 12, 2009

a good week

It was a great week....
What's better than some boys sloshing around in a creek?

Today I was lucky enough to receive some really good mail.
The Sugar City team put together a beautiful quarterly. I am truly inspired by their projects and hope to start on some of them soon.

And an adorable doll dress from Susannah at art nest. What a beautiful little dress with incredible details like bias binding on the armholes and neck. Just lovely!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


A friend brought over an enormous collection of vintage thread she found at an estate sale. They are all so beautiful that I cannot imagine actually sewing with them. I love the wooden spools. The kids had fun stacking them up while I was taking pictures of the thread (which they didn't find strange at all!).

I'm off to sew jester costumes with yards and yards of polyester knit; really gross stuff but entirely appropriate for these costumes (to be worn on stage for a couple of minutes or so). I *might* share them here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A summer dress

My little girl hates wearing pants, so I've been forced (hee, hee) to make her a summer wardrobe of dresses. I love making clothes for children; they always fit and get tons of compliments. As a mother's day present to myself, I bought the latest issue of Sew Hip just for this popover dress pattern. It really was the easiest dress I've ever made and I'm oh-so-happy with how it turned out. I mean, it took me about an hour and I'm a pretty slow sewer. Oliver + S have done it again!
On the other hand, I generally don't enjoy making clothes for myself because, in my experience, they never fit and somehow always look really handmade (not in a good way!). Despite this, I decided (on the same mother's day splurge) to buy myself this dress pattern because it seemed easy enough and the perfect pullover summer dress. I've made it halfway through and so far, so good, but I'll let you know.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

May Day

I know, I know...it's almost June and I'm just now posting pictures of the lovely little May Day celebration we had with our Waldorf homeschool group. It truly was a perfect May afternoon. I did make the little gingham apron dress Katya's wearing last year from this pattern. Need to make her another one as this one's getting short. I'm actually looking forward to summer (I don't usually) and I hope to post some more sewing projects I've been working on tomorrow (but that's not a promise!).

Saturday, May 16, 2009


A few weeks ago, Jan celebrated his seventh birthday with three separate celebrations:

I cannot believe that I've enjoyed seven years with this little elf. I remember so clearly when I first saw my tiny baby boy. He had a sparkle in his eyes that I will always see in him. I am forever trying to keep up with him. Now, more than ever, I appreciate his morning snuggles where he manages to roll up his long body so it fits in my lap. We both need that morning ritual as his days take him on adventures with friends far away from me. I love remembering for just a few moments each day that he was once my littlest goose and a tiny part of him will always be needing a squeeze from his mama.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A pink balloon and Easter dress

I would love to have more time to spend improving my photography skills. Oh, how I just adore so many of the photographs I see on other people's blogs. I could easily imagine how the below picture could be a gorgeous shot. It will remain a goal of mine to take great pictures someday....

This linen dress above was made from the Flower Girl Dress from Weekend Sewing, which is by far the easiest dress I've ever sewn and enormously popular with my girl. I added a fabric flower from this tutorial. Ever so easy and fun to make.
Easter did not come and go without a new dress for Katya, but nothing for myself and I felt more than a tad sad when I realized that my son's dressy shirt was noticibly short in the sleeves. I vow to make them matching (but not overly matchy....I'm in love with these) outfits for mother's day (only a week away!) because, quite honestly, I cannot imagine a better present for me than seeing my little guy in a tie. I'm sure there will need to be a bribe of some sort to get him to wear it.
Anyway, the Easter dress below was from this Oliver and S pattern. As usual, it was a pleasure to make. I always learn so much from these patterns. They are so well thought out and engineered and I think they are well worth their hefty price.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Simple Skirts GIVEAWAY!!!!

Simple Skirts GIVEAWAY!!!!

These skirts are just gorgeous. As I explore my personal sense of style, I've discovered that although I do love all the beautiful prints out there, I really do prefer simple solids in my wardrobe and my children's. I find them endlessly elegant and versatile. So, I'd love to win one of these skirts for Katya...maybe I could pull off some for myself!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Jan lost his first tooth today! I was so excited for him and then so sad when he told me he swallowed it with a bite of bread. I just wanted spend some time examining this teeny tiny tooth. Oh well, there will be others....to think that I've been looking at this little tooth since he was just a wee baby. I did not even have the chance to make him a cute toothfairy pillow (locked out of my sewing room...long story), but I'm sure he won't mind a bit.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Baking bread

When I was pregnant with my first child, I imagined all the things we would do together. High on my list was lots of art and baking projects at the kitchen table. Somehow, once my son was born, none of those things happened at all until recently. I became overly worried about the mess and the frustration and he was not at all interested in the kinds of projects I was. In retrospect, I cannot believe that I let go of that dream so easily. Since we started homeschooling, I've become closer to the kind of parent I want to be. Not to say that I did not thoroughly enjoy babyhood (I'm still suffering from a severe case of baby fever), but I've so enjoyed the more focused activities with my kids as they get older. I ordered this book and was inspired to give bread baking a try. I was excited to discover that bread making is indeed transformative. My children love it. The book has wonderful recipes that are simple and failproof (in our experience) along with traditional read aloud stories about bread. We've actually even broken out in song during the kneeding process! I love sharing this activity with them. I cannot wait for our next loaf!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

And just like that...

She turns four! Somehow this birthday hit me harder than most. She just woke up acting more grown up. As a stay-at-home mom, I've tried so hard to savor the good stuff, but I find it so difficult to remember how fast it really goes while bogged down in the ridiculous household challenges of the moment. I'm going through a period of extreme baby lust and actively contemplating a third baby especially after reading this post. Becoming a mother has certainly been in so many ways the beginning of me. I'm so lucky to be participating in this journey with my children.

And I even came up with a nifty party favor idea. I've always struggled with party favors as they are generally crappy little toys that break immediately and go directly to a landfill (in my house anyway), so I decided to do cds of Katya's favorite songs. I know this is not a new idea (and is, in fact, an infringement of copyright. Please don't turn me in!), but at least I hope they will be enjoyed by recipients for a while before being tossed into the trash. I realized Friday night that I had no cd cases, so I sewed up these little interfaced fabric envelopes from my enormous pile of scraps.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Patchwork angst

I have major performance anxiety when attempting anything patchwork. Don't know what it is....I guess it's because I don't know what it will look like until it's all done. What if I don't like it? I'm planning to make a couple of quilts in the very near future (my first attempt), so I thought I'd start with this scarf to get warmed up. At first, I didn't like it, not at all, but then I wore it yesterday and got a ton of compliments (I'm such a sucker for praise). I do like the pattern, very easy to put together. I'll keep trying.....

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Hearts

I love Valentine's Day, mostly for its simplicity: a card, some candy, maybe a glass of champagne, and especially its color scheme. I just love red, be it big blocks of red or little splashes of it. I love to add a dash of it to whatever I'm sewing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I made something!!

Inspired by this skirt I saw. I still like the other one better, but it was a fun and quick thing to make. We're going to DC in February and would love to make my son a fleece pea coat and cannot find a pea coat pattern ANYWHERE. I guess I'll have to make something up myself. I might do something kimono-like because I won't have to worry about a collar. But the question remains...why are there so few cute patterns for boys? Boys are cute too!

Friday, January 2, 2009

A few of my favorite things…..

Happy New Year! I am looking forward to a year filled with lots of personal growth. I’d really like to improve my photography skills which will probably mean (I hope) lots of photos on this blog.