Friday, June 26, 2009

in control

Two reasons.
Two reasons why my fingers haven't touched my sewing machine all week...

Today is the first morning we're not rushing off to swim lessons or summer school. Today is the first morning that little boys let me sit down at the computer - my window to the outside world - for a moment with my morning coffee. Still waiting for my laptop to be repaired, so till then I've got to sneak into my workroom to use the desktop. And I'm sure little boys have rigged up a silent alarm that I trigger whenever I come in here. I usually can't make it 2 minutes before I've got little boys hovering around me asking, "what you doing, Mommy?" and pulling supplies off the shelves and wanting paper and pens and glue for very special projects that they insist require no supervision. I've got adorable little Aloha shirts all cut and ready to be sewn for our quickly approaching trip to Hawaii. (yay!) And I want to sew some cloth bags for organizing our packing - yeah, like that's really going to happen. (bags to separate 2-year old clothes from 5-year old clothes and mommy intimates from daddy undies... good idea though, don't you think?) And I want to silkscreen. I want to silkscreen!!! (yeah, like that's REALLY going to happen) I guess I just hope that I still want to do all this stuff once these little boys grow up a bit and give me some time to do it all. Because I'm certainly not finding the time to do any of it now. No sir-eee bob. Speaking of Bob, you know you've completely given in to the little ones in your life when you start to find Spongebob funny. Found myself re-enacting a scene from Spongebob for the husband last night. When he gave me that look (head tilt, concerned eyes - "are you okay?") I realized that I should probably be trying to spend more time reading a newspaper instead. Yes, I am a grown up. Yes, yes, yes. I am in control. Yes. (just keep on saying it)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I have become THAT person - the one who must have everything written down in ONE place or else her entire world will just crumble into a million little pieces. Sure, back in my working days I had day planners and calendars and... shoot, what were they called? Ah yes, PDAs. ("Personal Digital Assistant" - if only it were all that- that name makes it sounds so all-encompassing, like that just by owning one your entire life will be magically organized and orderd as if you were suddenly Marth Stewart) But once I started the stay-at-home-mom gig, I got lazy and there just didn't seem to be that much I needed to pencil in anymore. I'd occasionally scribble something on the Hawaiian calendar we hang by the microwave, every once and a while I'd update an address in Outlook - but that's about it. Then the Summer of '09 hit. We've got summer school, swim lessons for two boys, my own work deadlines, vacations and birthday parties galor. I quickly snatched up one of the pocket calendars that wasn't quite up to perfection for the OUToftheBOX Etsy shop last Christmas and began using it myself. It has helped tremendously! I was a signature away from signing a check for the youngest son's swim lessons before I realized they were in conflict with oldest's son's already-paid-for swim lessons when I saw the problem in my handy dandy little pocket calendar. And yes, maybe I should be methodically inputting all this stuff in a PalmPiolot or a PDA or Blackberry. But there's something about the scribble on paper - while it helps to keep my head from spinning, it also feels strangely wonderful to fill up those days. I'm here this day, there that, busy celebrating this then and dedicated to him, her or them on a week from this, that or next Saturday. Clear as day. And, paper won't crash. (filling up sketchbooks is equally as satisfying to me)

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Yes, another pair of felt booties. But what I'm trying to show off here is the photograph. With the new Nikon, I'm able to get so much more clarity - love how this shot came out. The weather here has been strange. It hasn't been the typical "june gloom". Woke up this morning and the ground outside was actually damp - those clouds DID look darker and like they were threatening rain yesterday! Gloom is just that - gloomy stuff in the sky that blocks out the sun - but not rain clouds, not the appearance of a brewing storm. Whatever this is, I hope it disappears by July. I'm ready for a bright and sunny summer.

I've been doing a lot of sketching lately and wanting to get back into silk screening. I love the yardage I've been having printed up at Spoonflower, but I'd like to start having some silk screened linen to sew with. While doing some googling to find a tutorial on silk screening a repeat pattern I came across a wonderful blog by Michelle SaintOnge called Print Cut Sew!. The series on screen printing registration is exactly what I was looking for. And, once again, I am so thankful for the wonderful world wide web.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


patchwork bibSome random pictures of some of the latest things added to the OUToftheBOX Etsy Shop. Finally got a new order of fabric that I had printed from photographed and listed. Working on some new things, but it sure isn't easy finding the time!

There's something about this time of year that will always make me feel like all I really should be doing is heading on over to the beach. It's summertime - no worries, just sit back and let my legs get some color. Of course, now I slather myself in SPF100 and carefully inspect all those fabric printed from spoonflower.comfreckles acquired from years and years of sun-burned shoulders. School is out for the 5-year old and he'll be starting Kindergarten in the fall. (Yikes! How did that happen?) I want it to be a fun summer. I want us to have adventures - take the train downtown, picnic at the beach, explore the zoo, maybe even brave the summer crowds at Legoland. At the same time, there's a lot I want to do, creatively. So I realize I've got a lot of balancing to do - finding that right balance of focus on activities with the kids and creative projects that help me feel accomplished in my art + craft. I've been losing it a little too much the past week. hand-stitched wool felt baby bootiesStruggling with that balance and losing patience with the fact that two little boys quite often don't want me to have anything other than them to focus on. And yesterday, it occurred to me that the solution to my frustration might exist right here - within me - and I just need to acquire the right tools for unlocking the patience and understanding that make a good mother. So I picked up some books:

I'm hoping these readings will help me approach each day with an appreciation for what I have - to stop beating myself up because I didn't have a chance to list something new on Etsy, to enjoy this moment with my two growing boys, to create some wonderful memories for my family, to do what I can when I can and be absolutely content with that. I often don't give myself credit for all that I am able to accomplish in a day. My instinct is to, instead, look at all that I did NOT get done. And that's simply just got to change or else I'm patchwork bibgoing to drive myself crazy. Just breath. Going to close my eyes, breath and find that balance.

AND, I've got to get these seedlings planted! Garden Update: everything has sprouted and many are quite honestly threatening to kick the bucket unless I give their roots some room to grow. I hope to go pick up some supplies and start building these raised beds from Sunset Magazine. Must get to it! But... first... breath.