Friday, January 23, 2009

Sewing for a birthday

There is something so sweet about knowing a little one for their entire lifetime. Watching them grow is a joy and a wonder. We are headed to a six year old's birthday party tomorrow. This little girl and mine have known each other since they were just about 3 months old. (It took me that long to get out of the house to meet up with another mom!) What a blessing that I did. These girls share just as many interests as their mommies do. They are also very different (in amazing ways) which makes it such a lovely wonder to watch both girls develop.

I made this pair of pants and I hope she likes them. It's always a crap shoot at this age. I have to say, that if she doesn't wear them, I wish I could. Maybe if I lost a few more pounds?! This is my all time favorite girl fabric. I think it's the bold pattern. Apples and pears with a little rick rack thrown in... perfect, if you ask me. Now we'll have to see what the six year old contingent thinks tomorrow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

We're all about owls around here

This household is pretty obsessed with owls. We have several in our "yard." We go out and listen to them at night. There's many a morning when we cuddle in our bed and listen to them in the morning before dawn. It feels special, like we're watched over and kept somehow, safe. My oldest can tell you all kinds of info on these feathered friends, should you be interested. Last year at her birthday party, we had the extraordinary surprise of having a real live owl with a handler. So... when I saw this fabric, I had to snatch it up, right? This pattern is a freebie at grand revival design, just click here. It was super fast to make, but definitely a bit on the small side. The generous person who shared this pattern says that it fits her daughter who is a 5 or 6. I would probably call it more of a size 4, maybe 5. If you have an almost 3 yr. old, I almost think you could make do with the dimensions and just make the elastic in the waist tighter. It would only add flounce to the skirt. What little girl doesn't love that?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our Inaugaration day party

Well we woke up to black ice this morning in our parts and schools are cancelled. Now we are experiencing a five day, rather than a four day weekend. So... we're talking about how we're going to celebrate the inauguration of our new president today. It looks like it will be some crafting, some baking, a tea party, more than a few sibling squabbles (I'm sure), and a new game which consists of getting ready for a storm. Funny, my kids. They actually frantically talk about "battening down the hatches" and run around getting hats, quilts, and setting up supplies for a long haul. I'm not sure where this came from, but anyway...

My oldest drew a picture of Barak Obama that she wants to send to him, but I'm not sure I can part with. I could only show you part of it here because she wrote our family's names all over it. It's extraordinary though. Of course, it has her favorite animals in it... horses, dolphins, and bees (because we're all about bees around here, but more on that later.) Even as I write this, my natives are getting restless. We may have to brave the temps in the twenties and go out for a walk yet.
Addendum to the post...
We skipped the tea, but did do lunch on a blanket in front of the t.v. to watch the inauguration. It was pretty spectacular to hear a two year old chant, "Obama, Obama." My big girl was all about the pink coat Sasha wore, and loved looking at all of the people. I cried when he talked about choosing hope over fear. It's been a good day for one spent in the house.

A chance to win a super cute dress!

Over at Jump up and Down she's giving away this super cute dress. Click here and you, too, can have a chance at winning something really sweet. The dress is one that she made from Sandi Henderson's Claire pattern. I think I may have just discovered a new pattern for a birthday dress that will be perfect my big girl. What fun!

Monday, January 19, 2009

It feels like a party

What an amazing time in history this is! It is one of the few occasions when I wish we had cable t.v. Right now, Martin Luther King's entire speech is being broadcast on CNN. I hadn't thought about it, but I've never heard the entire speech and apparently it is quite a rare event. I plan to borrow a friend's taped copy. The discussions that MLK day and the inauguration have generated around our house are energizing. Our almost 6 year old has a very keen sense of what is fair and what is not. We have been talking lots about Barak Obama, but today she wanted to understand more about why Martin Luther King Jr. is so famous. We talked about racism and the blatant discrimination that has been a part of our country's recent history, using 6 year old language. We also talked about the fact that some folks still treat others differently based on their skin color, and how unfair this is. There was so much more I wanted to teach her and tell her about, but I know those moments will present themselves as she gets older. I am thrilled that my children are a part of this period in our country's history. Until now, the most remarkable part in her United States history has been a war waged by our country ever since she was born.

This extended weekend has allowed some extra crafting time.... so nice. We cut up some really far gone oranges to use as stamps and then roamed the house looking for other items. She found a toilet paper roll (paper gone) and I found a thread spool (thread gone). We could have cut some potatoes, but really, we had all we needed for spectacular art.

This reminds me, I've meant to post a link for "Kid's Craft Weekly." I tell everyone I know about it because it's a free subscription, and just wonderful. Really! Click here and take a looksy. At the bottom of the page is a place to sign up your email... no paper. I've never gotten any unwanted mail from this site and it's a monthly inspiration for me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January's gift

January, I think, is no easy time for folks. Right now feels especially stark as we continually hear about friends being laid off or their businesses suffering. Each day my husband and I remind ourselves to count our blessings. Plus, the days lack the light that we need to thrive. Then there's the holidays which can zap any mama... I don't care how organized or zen you are. There are incredible highs and lows to all that excitement. So I've found myself in a state of constant reflection since things have slowed down. That's difficult for me. I'd rather be achieving, creating new work, getting things done, shining... you know, sparkling and zipping along. But instead, I feel like curling up. Like a cat, I don't want to be bothered. I just watched this clip and it felt like a dam had been blown to pieces in my soul. Is it too much to want it all? I keep thinking about a quote from the clip... "if you have the urge to be creative then it's imperative that you express it."

I have needed to create ever since I was very young. I think that I also got the message at some time in my youth that one needed to earn a responsible living and that artists lack direction. It's interesting because as I'm closing in on forty, I know AND accept something about myself that I did not before. Creating, makes me happy. Period. It is what I dream about doing. I want to create works both written and visual. Making bags is fine, a bread and butter kind of thing that allows me to afford materials so that I can create. I don't dream of doing social work, or selling more bags. I want to be a good mother, a good partner, a good friend, but I also want to create and I want it to be my job to do that, and I want to continue loving it, and be successful at it. Really... do you think that too much to ask from this universe?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Getting Inspired

For me, January has always seemed like the month for the germination of ideas. I like hunkering down, so it's hard for me to get on the computer and post. I'd rather be curled up on the sofa knitting if I have a free chance, thinking about this and that. I'm reading some good books right now, making some doll clothes for my girl, finishing up a sweater, flipping through seed catalogs for the vegetable garden, and making some bees' wax candles. But the new projects and pathways for my life are always evolving in my mind. They're kind of like seeds waiting to be planted. The ground is fallow for now, but after a little rest break (and finishing up a few projects), I'll be ready to go.

Thanks to a quick visit to my friend at Olliekate, I found out about this lovely collection of tutorials at The Long Thread. Go check it out... you simply won't believe it. She did such a nice job of putting together a lengthy AND organized list of tutorials. My bookmarked favorites is not this well put together. There's some good stuff so prepare to be inspired.