Sunday, December 28

interesting facts

Things you've already done: bold
Things you want to do: italize
Things you haven't done and don't want to - leave in plain font

1. started your own blog
2. slept under the stars
3. played in a band
4. visited hawaii
5. watched a meteor shower
6. given more than you can afford to charity
7. been to disneyland/world
8. climbed a mountain
9. held a praying mantis
10. sang a solo
11. bungee jumped
12. visited paris
13. watched a lightning storm at sea
14. taught yourself an art from scratch
15. adopted a child
16. had food poisoning
17. walked to the top of the statue of liberty
18. grown your own vegetables
19. seen the mona lisa in france
20. slept on an overnight train
21. had a pillow fight
22. hitch hiked
23. taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. built a snow fort
25. held a lamb
26. gone skinny dipping
27. run a marathon
28. ridden a gondola in venice
29. seen a total eclipse
30. watched a sunrise and a sunset
31. hit a home run
32. been on a cruise
33. seen niagara falls in person
34. visited the birthplace of your ancestors - Great Britain, Sweden
35. seen an amish community
36. taught yourself a new language
37. had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. seen the leaning tower of pisa in person
39. gone rock climbing
40. seen michelangelo's david in person
41. sung karaoke
42. seen old faithful geyser erupt
43. bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. visited africa
45. walked on a beach by moonlight
46. been transported in an ambulance
47. had your portrait painted
48. gone deep sea fishing
49. seen the sistine chapel in person
50. been to the top of the eiffel tower in paris
51. gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. kissed in the rain
53. played in the mud
54. gone to a drive-in theatre
55. been in a movie
56. visited the great wall of china
57. started a business
58. taken a martial arts class
59. visited russia
60. served at a soup kitchen
61. sold girl scout cookies
62. gone whale watching
63. gotten flowers for no reason
64. donated blood
65. gone sky diving
66. visited a nazi concentration camp
67. bounced a cheque
68. flown in a helicopter
69. saved a favorite childhood toy
70. visited the lincoln memorial
71. eaten caviar
72. pieced a quilt
73. stood in Times Square
74. toured the everglades
75. been fired from a job
76. seen the changing of the guard in london
77. broken a bone
78. been on a speeding motorcycle
79. seen the grand canyon in person
80. published a book
81. visited the vatican
82. bought a brand new car
83. walked in jerusalem
84. had your picture in the newspaper
85. read the entire bible
86. visited the white house
87. killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. had chickenpox
89. saved someone’s life
90. sat on a jury
91. met someone famous
92. joined a book club
93. lost a loved one
94. had a baby
95. seen the alamo in person
96. swum in the great salt lake
97. been involved in a law suit
98. owned a cell phone
99. been stung by a bee

Friday, December 19


Maybe it's just a problem of mis-expectations. Misplaced expectations. Mistaken expectations.

Do I expect too much of my son? I realize he's only verging on 4 - but other times he seems so smart, independent, responsible, helpful - that it makes his really 3 year old moments that much more unbearable.

Do I expect too much of my daughter? She's so easygoing that it's easy to expect her to be able to handle a lot more comings and goings and then I'm surprised when she has a meltdown from exhaustion or hunger. hmmm. Here's your sign. She IS only 8 months old.

Do I expect too much of my husband? We've had a lot of conversations in our 9 years of knowing each other about our idiosyncracies, expectations, childhoods, and dreams for the future. So why do I put unrealistic expectations on him?!! It's not fair to either of us.

Do I expect too much of myself? I can't expect to be a perfect parent to my children, a perfect wife to my husband, a perfect crafty-sewing-business owner. I need to somehow (??!!!) figure out a way to be o.k. with the mistakes I make, and realize that life will go on, and it will go on happily and probably even more peacefully if I just let go of some of my expectations.

I KNOW I don't expect too much of myself on the domestic home-front side of life :-) Just check out the dust bunnies & the dirty dishes piling up on the counter. And oh yeah, we ate dinner out.

And yes I did get over it. Doubt. Shoved that in the corner with the dust bunnies.

Wednesday, December 17


I am surprising myself with my crazy thoughts lately. Nothing tragic or scary, just surprising.

I love my kids. I love being a mom. Not a day goes by where I don't thank the good Lord for the ability to stay home with them.
not a day goes by where I don't think good Lord what am I doing at home with them???!!!!

I am actually thinking maybe 3 kids is not the choice for me. Which is something I never considered.
I am actually thinking that maybe it wouldn't be awful to go to work one or two mornings or afternoons a week.
I am actually thinking what the heck am I doing. Am I really the best parent I can be?

(I'll change my mind in half an hour, don't worry.)

Doubt. It's a powerful thing. Gotta be careful.

Saturday, December 13

almost done...

It's almost Christmas and I'm almost ready! Just a couple last items, and I'll be ready for the big day.

Everything is wrapped.

I am organized.


stripes for sibs

The striped towels were a lucky find.
The monogram for each sibling is in a matching font.
Lucky sibs!

believe this...

Believe in Christmas traditions? This family decided to make a special one this year - 5 matching pajama sets. The flannel pants say "believe" in a variety of fonts, and red tshirts say "believe" in white to match one of the fonts.
I think they'll be cute together on Christmas morning!

Friday, December 5

Christmas Quiz

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper. Environmentally awful, I know - but colorful and cute under the tree.

2. Tree--Real or Artificial? REAL. Love the hunt, (Shawn and I usually find one in the first 5) and love the smell.

3. When do you put Christmas tree up? Try and do it the weekend after Thanksgiving, but it all depends on when we can get the tree, weather, etc. This year it was the Sunday after.

4. When do you take the tree down? Usually after New Year's. We'll see how long it lasts this year - the problem with real trees is the whole drying out/ needle dropping thing. ugh.

5. Like eggnog? Nope!

6. Do you have a nativity scene? Yep- one kinda ugly one piece thing given to me as a wedding present, and a Little People one for the kids to play with. I'd like to eventually get one I like - maybe Willow Tree or something, but haven't splurged yet.

7. Favorite gift received as a child? My open hole flute is memorable, though that wasn't really from childhood. From my younger years... some of my mom's handmade dolls.

8. Hardest person to buy for? My brothers-in-law. ugh. Thank goodness we're not buying for each other this year. What a pain. Love them, just IMPOSSIBLE to shop for.

9. Easiest person to buy for? My kids & nieces. Other than that, my mom I guess.

10. Worst Christmas gift? I won't get into all the awful teacher gifts. OK. Maybe I will. Brass monkey bookends. Seriously a WEIRD choice from a mom who I thought knew me better than that. Either that or the homemade candle that smelled like cigarette smoke.

11. Mail or email a Christmas card? Mail, I'm a sucker for tradition. This year we might just send a picture not even a letter or card. Breaking with tradition. yikes.

12. Favorite Christmas movie? ummmm.... does Little Women count? There's some pretty great scenes at Christmas time.

15. Favorite food to eat on Christmas? Mint chocolate!!!

16. Lights on tree? Yep. White this year, but I'm hoping they die soon so we can get colored.

17. Favorite Christmas Song? to sing, to listen, hmmm... Do I have to pick just one? Dona Nobis Pacem, Joy to the World (if I'm singing with a strong bass), Angels We Have Heard on High, For Unto Us a Child is Born, Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming, All I Want for Christmas is a Real Good Tan, O Holy Night

18. Travel during Christmas or Stay home? STAY HOME! Basically. Luckily my parents live only 15 minutes away so we can go over there after we open our own presents. And the weekend after we are travelling to Michigan.

19. Can you name Santa's reindeer's? Donner, Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Rudolph (thanks to Pottery Barn for the cute dishes to remind me!)

20. Angel or Star on Tree top? Brass lit star

21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Only in the morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The Hippo song. Cold weather. Rude people.

23. Favorite ornament? My Raggedy Ann ornament

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? A trip with JUST my hubby. Wii Music.

Sunday, November 30


check this out

Just a little tidbit I heard from thought-provoking wise man, Keith Olbermann.

Saturday, November 29

more bags!

Christmas is coming and I have a customer giving a bunch of bags for different occasions. Check them out...
I think she's planning to stick a novel and some sunscreen in - then she's ready for a trip to the pool! The flip flops kept walking around the bag.Her little cupcake will be able to pack up all her favorite treats in this sweet bag!

No walking the plank for her little pirate- this bag (complete with monogrammed eye patch!) will help him keep all his treasures together!

How many of you are taking a trip this Christmas? Or do you just need a little something to go back and forth between the car and home? I made this bag for my son's forthcoming adventures. It is ready to be stuffed with crayons, paper, Etch-a-Sketch, pipe cleaners, and other road trip goodies!


I have had an amazing family-filled week.

We drove 15 hours to visit my brother. It was worth every minute. It was so nice to be in his world for once (being a bachelor he usually comes up here). We raked leaves, decorated his Christmas tree with him, went to the zoo, and went to work with him. He works for Habitat for Humanity, so my son can now say he has helped build a house for someone. Not many 3 year olds can say that! And yes, he really did help - he used a cordless drill to help put doorknobs on. There was a lot of finish work to be done, and my brother had to check in with the plumbers, so it was the perfect job!
Then we got home Wednesday night, unpacked, and the next family marathon began. Thanksgiving day at our house, with aunt, uncle, mom, dad, MIL and FIL. Nice day. Good food.
Friday we went to the Children's Museum and the fire station. I feel so blessed that there are so many people who want to be a part of my children's lives. Everyone wants to be with them, interact, teach, challenge, and encourage them. It is so fun to watch.
Saturday my hubby took the kids for the morning and I got some of my orders done. Then we got our Christmas tree and had lunch at Boston Market (yummy mac&cheese!). We go pick it out from a bunch at a local petting zoo kind of place. It's nice ambience and we end up making a donation at the same time. It works out pretty well. Then we left my daughter with my parents and took my son to see STOMP with the in-laws. He is so going to be a drummer someday. He loved it.
Tomorrow is busy crazy too with church, choir practice, Advent party, and our own tree decorating. So much going on, so many people and opportunities to be thankful for.

Now if only I can stay organized enough to make it to 2009...

Monday, November 17


I'm full of ideas and inspirations lately. Too bad I don't have the time to do them all. And that's just in the sewing corner of my world!!! Let alone home decorating, card-making, candy making and any other crafting variety! I have a friend coming over in a few minutes to place Christmas orders, and a phone order that just came in. Too bad there's 3 baskets of laundry calling my name.
However, I have a beautiful long to-do list and inspirations galore. I'm trying to make a lot of my Christmas presents this year, so I've been paying close attention to a variety of bloggers and I look forward to interpreting their fabulous ideas to work well for my recipients.

Here's my thanks for the last week... I've been a slacker. Let's just say thanks to my lovely son for loving his sister, helping me, and generally being a champ the last couple days. Thanks to my daughter for her long nap today and for cracking us up last night with the head-butting game with Conner. Thanks to my hubby for the flowers, keeping the kids busy, and doing his best to put up with 3 year old shenanigans.

Have a creative week...

Tuesday, November 11

fiber filled

No, I'm not talking about prunes (although those did make for an interesting trip to the fabric store this morning with little babe). I'm talking about our house. It now has an extra layer of fiber filling up the attic. Because we have to give the neighbors something to talk about, we went to Menards last night and bought 20 bags of fiber insulation... the blown-in kind. We then came home, had dinner, put the kids to bed, and proceeded to hook it all up and blow it all in. I stood outside shoving the bags of junk into the machine which then sucked its way through the tube into the attic where my husband was (most of the time) standing at the ready. I don't want to think about all the crap I inhaled. My husband had a mask, thank goodness. We both decided we don't EVER want to do this for a living. Luckily, we were done blowing by 10, picked up, showered and in bed by 11. Did I mention it was about 32 degrees last night?! Oh yeah - we were only able to manage the pick up so easily because I drove one truck and hubby drove the other one we're going to be donating soon. Not sure how we would have gotten it all home otherwise. Maybe the bags would have gone in the minivan? I don't know.

Although it was convenient yesterday, I just want to get rid of the old truck. Our driveway looks like a parking lot. ugh. Plus, if we keep it much longer something else is going to go wrong. Greensboro Habitat, here we come. Brace yourselves.

My allotment of thanks recently...
Sunday... thanks for sleeping children and supportive friends.
Monday... thanks for the gift of spontaneity, fleece gloves, and patient neighbors.
Tuesday... thanks for Mod Podge and treasure boxes, Christmas shopping without a 3 year old, yummy soup, candy cane milk to make hot chocolate with, and blogs full of crafty ideas.

Saturday, November 8

all done

Hooray. They liked it. They really really liked it. I donated some items to the craft fair and people bought them... 3 fuzzy cubes and an ornament-adorned onesie. It's always nice for people to buy things you've made. Even better, the money goes to missions.

The end of the show is always kind of a let-down - the shoppers dwindle and I always want to just clean up rather than wait it out. Luckily I was working the booth with two good friends so we sat and chatted the hour away.

Yesterday my thanks have to go to Bob the Builder for ending my son's crazy evening in peace. Thanks also to my lovely Kitchen-Aid for a fun morning of cookie baking. I love snickerdoodles and chocolate crinkles.
Today my thanks go to friends who help pass the time, yummy bake sale goodies, and random strangers who appreciate my talents. A big thanks also goes to my in-laws for a delicious Chinese dinner out, and thanks for the laughter of a crazy dramatic 3 year old.

Thursday, November 6

family traditions

My mom sewed a lot of things for my brother and I to wear, for all four of us as a family, for my doll and I - we were into matching outfits! So, of course I want to encourage other families to join my family tradition... Matching dresses for a 10 month old little girl and her 5 year old sister.
A family with three kids is celebrating Christmas together in matching pajamas. Three pairs of pants, two t-shirts and a onesie.

harvest of the hands

Today my Studio Workshop craft group at church started setting up for our weekend craft show. We have over 20 other vendors, in addition to a "Christmas stuff" table and "Other stuff" table of items we've made throughout the year. The knitting group made lots of goodies too. Lots of amazing handiwork. Of course, we have all sorts of goodies on their way to the bake sale too. I'm so excited for Saturday. Should be a great show! I donated a couple of things, I hope they sell too!

I'm thankful for my mother-in-law picking up my son from preschool so I could eat lunch with my friends (PIZZA! YUM!) and have fun getting everything set up. I'm thankful for my friends. I'm thankful for the chance to raise money for missions.

Wednesday, November 5


Election Day has come and gone. And what a day it was! I was so proud to be able to walk into my polling place with my children and vote for the first black President of the United States. It was important to me that my children be there - that way they can say in their own little way that they helped make history.

So many bloggers don't really want to get into politics at the risk of offending one of their readers. Whatever. Right now this is a private blog anyway. ha. But even if it wasn't, I would be proud to say my thoughts about election day and all the surrounding issues. If you don't like it, then don't read it. Oh well. We're each entitled to our own opinions. There's another blogger I read who is pretty dead set on the other side of the aisle. Good for her. It's America, she's got the right to speak her mind. But she said she felt "dismayed" today. Sorry to be contradictory, but I am EXCITED!!!

Hopefully Obama's Presidency is even half of what it's cracked up to be. Some of my favorite parts of his acceptance speech...

"This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice. So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other...........That's the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we've already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow..........America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves -- if our children should live to see the next century; what progress will we have made? This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment."

And what a moment.

My thanks for today is thanks for a day filled with the promise of a momentous change, the promise of a perfected union. That and some sunshine, leaves, and 2 kids that will grow up in a better America.

Monday, November 3


So many people are putting me in a thankful frame of mind. Whether it's cute Thanksgiving/ November calendars, or just a vow of daily thankfulness, I'm feeling the need to join in. It's often too easy for me to dwell on what is frustrating me, what I WANT but don't have, and other whiny things.
Here's my November thanks so far...
November 1st - thanks for my parents (and especially their house's physical proximity to mine and their ability to take the kids fun places for random periods of time), thanks for the time to sew, thanks for my favorite pizza, thanks for family play time in the evening.
November 2nd - thanks for my husband's hard work in the garage getting ready to park my car in there for the winter, thanks for good friends at my church, thanks for a helpful 3 year old who is eager to carry grape juice and go for a walk with his mom, and thanks for a yummy dinner @ Chili's.
November 3rd - thanks for a beautiful sunny gorgeous day, thanks for animals at the zoo, thanks for my mini-food processor, thanks for an eager, growing, learning 6 month old with a huge grin, thanks for a yummy dinner, and thanks for long naps.
in advance of November 4th - thanks for the right to vote. May the right man be elected!

Friday, October 31

an apple a day

I love sewing. I love crafty stuff. So much so that I sometimes find myself getting resentful when I don't get enough time to do them. I read on Craft Apple that she feels like the old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" applies to her crafting life. I have to agree with her on that. It surprises me to admit that, but it's true. A day without personal creative time is a frustrating day to me. A day with time to be crafty is a day of momentary calm and it usually ends in more of a peaceful state.

My stay-at-home-mom sis-in-law and I were talking recently about kids, hubbies, crafts, and finding time for it all. It's hard to do. It seems like it should be so easy, I mean- my kids DO sleep for heavens sake! When I was younger, my mom told me she would sometimes sew with me on her lap. I thought she was crazy, desperate, and putting my fingers to the test. But yet, I find myself winding bobbins with my son, trying to hem socks while passing out Halloween candy, and staying up late to write a blog and handsew a pillow shut. Most surprisingly of all, I have sewn with my son on my lap. He knows the start/stop button on my embroidery machine. Who'd have guessed???!

Time to go take a bite out of my daily apple. Muncha muncha muncha.

halloween threads

My husband is blasting the spooky music and sounds, my son is screaming at the trick-or-treaters that "we have candy!!!" and my daughter's bedroom is at the front of the house. Thank goodness she can sleep through all the craziness.
Did I mention my son didn't nap? So if someone dares to pass by our house without stopping, he starts bawling because he couldn't give them candy. [later when he was putting his PJs on he started crying because someone came to the door and he couldn't go down and give them candy because he was half-naked.]
And remember how I said I worked SO hard on my daughter's costume? Basically everyone thought she was a dinosaur. aarghh. I thought she was cute.
My husband went in to work last night at midnight, and has had a 2L of Mountain Dew throughout the course of the day. He's exhausted and a little crabby (understandably).

Thankfully I've got a bowl full of chocolate.
Happy Halloween.

Monday, October 27

old threads

I've been doing laundry and it still amazes me that my old college sweatshirt makes it through without falling to shreds. I got the sweatshirt almost exactly 15 years ago so I'd be able to show my freshman pride at the football game. It was so soft and fuzzy I waited as long as I could to wash it because I didn't want to lose it.
Now 15 years later it holds more memories than I can count. It has taken numerous trips across the country, cried with me and laughed with me.
So much I can't let go of.

I go back and forth about replacing the cuffs. Someday I'm sure I will replace them, when I have the courage to sew with knits. And when I have the courage to let go of the past. That's a hard thing for me to do! Right now, I cling to the sweatshirt as a reminder of all the places I've been. And it is a reminder of the work that will be to come.

Need your own little trip down memory lane? Listen to This Shirt by Mary Chapin Carpenter.
And remember a soft spot from your past.

Friday, October 24

my big night out

So here I sit at the local Panera waiting for my friend to show up. My
awesome fabulous hubby came home from work a little early due to a
migraine he had slept off in the parking lot at work. He then said
I've got the kids - you go out tonight. And he hadn't even forgotten
I'm going out tomorrow too for a friends birthday party. How cool is he?

My big night out consists of soup in a bread bowl- perfect for the
rainy cold fall night here. Oh yeah, and a monster size frosted brownie for dessert! Then of course- Joann's. My friend is looking for fabric for a baby quilt and I was happy to join her in browsing. We found an adorable giraffe print for the front and big green polka dots for the back.

Lucky for me - thread was 50% off. And since this was my "big night out" I bought metallic brass thread. Shiny brass. How fun is that.

Thank goodness for thoughtful husbands, good friends, and little indulgent treats.

Monday, October 20


I am constantly trying to find time to do all the things I want to do. Shower, laundry, dishes, motherhood, sleep... I need more hours in the day! My husband and I are a pretty good team, but we get so overwhelmed sometimes. The laundry gets washed but then sits in baskets for a week or two. Thank goodness for Downy Wrinkle Releaser. Dishes pile up because the dishwasher hasn't been emptied yet. We both went a little nuts last night trying to catch up. I ended up driving to Home Depot for parts for my son's Halloween costume, and then we spent our after-the-kids-are-in-bed time trying to catch up and get ready for the week.

Then every once in a while the kids both happen to take simultaneous afternoon naps. (TODAY!) I think I've caught a break, and then someone calls to "chat" for half an hour or more. It's hard not to ignore the phone or be a little annoyed when the other person carries on forever and ever.

Of course I do have a tendency to let myself get lost in blogland too... hee hee.

Just when I think I'm getting ahead, an order comes in. The nature of my business is that it involves making gifts for new babies. Nobody wants to wait a month to give something special, so my life gets busy in the blink of an eye (or in the click of an email). I feel like I've been making progress on my to-do list from the Open House, and then add on 2 hooded towels, 2 onesies, and a towel and my time disappears again.

I wish I could figure out a better routine. I really don't want to have to pay a mother's helper or a babysitter, but I feel like I need a better schedule to my day and to my week. My mom and mother-in-law are wonderful and love to spend time with the kids, but regular scheduling is still an issue. My husband says I'm too much of a planner, but that's just how I am. If nothing else I have kindergarten to look forward to in a couple years!

Monday, October 13


A member of my extended family and I have not always seen eye to eye on things. In fact, she did something hurtful on the day of my wedding, and something hurtful after the death of my grandfather. Things that although small add up to hurt feelings anyway. Because we live far apart and weren't ever really that close, the relationship never really fully healed. Slowly we have rebuilt a few bridges through sharing stories about our sons, a month apart in age. Today I found out that she miscarried. Every pregnancy is a miracle, and even more so for her because she thought she would never be able to conceive. She has adopted two boys and built a wonderful life for herself with an amazing husband by her side (when he's not deployed). Today, my heart breaks for her. This is an unimaginable awful hurt that I wouldn't wish on anyone. God bless her with courage to tackle this hurdle.

On a smaller scale, here's our family's story tonight... My husband was working on a project outside - widening our driveway and adding some gravel. He pinched his finger in the tailgate of his truck and found himself at the ER getting 2 stitches.

There's a lot of mending to be done right now. Relationships, dreams, bodies, souls.

Blest be the tie that binds.

Saturday, October 11


So I finished my daughter's Halloween costume today. Much more effort than I originally planned, but so it goes. Now the "bloomin' garden" is done (except for a tag on the back). It took me way longer because I decided to follow the pattern (!!!!) and put in a lining. That meant more fabric, more cutting, more piecing and a little ripping out of what I'd already done.
All done while my other family members were going crazy. My son wouldn't nap, my husband wanted to work on our driveway (mudpit!) and my daughter wouldn't eat.
Who's idea was it to make this silly thing? oh yeah, mine.
Who would have noticed or cared if my daughter's first Halloween costume was storebought? Probably only me. (OK - maybe my mom and one friend who knows I can sew and would comment about it.)
Why do I put myself through this? Just to be counter-cultural and not buy it off a rack? Maybe a little. But ultimately, I find joy in creating something. Having a vision in my mind and being able to make it happen.

I may have a vision of married life, parental life, my body, my house, my car... but those are often too hard, time-consuming, or expensive to bring to fruition. But sewing...that's something I can do. usually. Maybe even in the course of one crazy afternoon! It might mean ripping out some threads, but I can make it happen. And what a victory it is. I am so proud that what I envisioned has been accomplished. Hooray for me!

Tuesday, October 7

what kind of thread would you be?

My son was helping me wind bobbin thread this morning. He was having so much fun lining up the empty bobbins, pressing the start button, feeling it "tickle" his fingers, and then putting them in my case when they were done. Such a simple easy task and yet so vital to my future sewing projects. We finished off a spool of thread and that empty spool became a new toy. What a fun way to spend my daughter's morning naptime.
It got me to thinking about thread again. Always weaving itself in and out of my life...

I found
this website and I was kind of having fun looking at all the different kinds of thread under the microscope. It made me wish I had my own microscope to check out my stash.
What kind of thread would you be? Would you be a sturdy all-purpose white? Rayon embroidery thread? Glow-in-the-dark? Are you a shimmery metallic ready to snap if the tension gets off? Would you be bobbin thread? Stuck in the bottom, wound tightly? But SO important to the final project? Or are you the bargain basket thread, fraying, splitting, and coming apart? But gosh darn it, getting the job done on a budget.

I see my son as a variegated multi-colored thread. There is so much color brilliance and to him! And he is ALWAYS changing. My daughter is still revealing herself to me. I would call her a bright pink embroidery thread. Gorgeous, eye-catching, and "the icing on the cake".
As for I feel like a nice solid blue all-purpose thread. I got the job done, no fuss or flair, but in my favorite color.

Somedays I feel like a bobbin. Somedays I'm a twisted variegated rayon embroidery thread. Every once in a while I'm that shimmering metallic. Either way I'm trying to weave myself into something special.

Sunday, October 5

why be the thread...

I used to teach and my login was bethteaches. Then I changed internet providers and became a librarian. So I decided to be bethreads. Beth Reads. That has proven to be a discussion point time and time again. When I give my email address over the phone I have to clarify that no my maiden name was not Reeves. I have to explain that I USED to read lots of books - books I could discuss with adults - but now I just read books titled "I Stink", "My Truck is Stuck" and anything starting with "The Very..."
Then a new friend who didn't know I was a librarian in my pre-children-life said, Be Threads? Is that because you like to sew?

And I started thinking how I sometimes feel like I'm hanging by a thread.

So... be the thread. The thread that holds my family together. Sometimes, the communicator between my brother and parents. The one who's "always around" for the kids since my husband works outside the home (in a couple different jobs).

And also how I want to be a thread sometimes - woven into something beautiful, strong, and creative.


First of all - I love to sew. This realization has been a long time coming, because I "couldn't" be my mom. But now that I am a mom, I realize everyday that my mom is a good role model. For a lot of reasons. But we'll save that for another day.

Secondly, I love to bake. Desserts mostly. I just hate to clean up. So I don't do it because I don't want the yucky work afterwards. Let alone my fear of not being able to control myself from eating a half a pan of brownies before the end of naptime.

Thirdly - I LOVE books. My collection resembles that of a small town library. Seriously. I own over 2 thousand children's books. I think. I don't know, I've kind of lost track what with not teaching any more and having books all over in my kids rooms, the playroom, the downstairs "library" room, etc.

My next love - card making paper-crafty colorful fun. The stamps, paints, stickers, scissors, embossing - it takes me back to my childhood and my little sticker collection in the pink Hello Kitty book. Ah. Then when I was in college we hung some white paper on the back of our dorm room door and doodled when we were bored, tired, feeling feisty, procrastinating - whenever the mood struck.

I also love technology. I can't say I'm much of a hardware gal, but give me my iPhone, my Macbook, my digital camera, and I'm good for the afternoon.

Most of all I LOVE being a mom and a wife. Really I do. It's hard to see the forest through the trees sometimes. When the fire pager goes off, the babe is screaming, and the boy is "singing" at the top of his lungs, I have to question my loyalties. Can't I just grab some hot chocolate and retreat to my comfy green chair with my iPod and a good book? I sometimes can't believe that I'm not 21 anymore I guess...

So how in the world can I find time for all the things I love?

hanging by a thread

so. here I am. hanging on by a thread.

Life sometimes seems too overwhelming. Between the impending doom of nuclear holocaust, environmental disasters, and economic crisis, it's hard to find a positive future. Then I wake up the next morning and greet my children.
A 6 month old girl and a 3-1/2 year old boy with an ACTIVE imagination give me a lot to look forward to. Between starting her on rice cereal, sitting her UP to play, and increased waking hours and interest in the world around her, my dear little girl is not nearly the baby she used to be. Then there's my little boy - no longer a toddler, but truly a boy. He is starting preschool, gaining independence (grabbing it by the horns?!) and continually imagining up new adventures that can only be faced with his fire boots pulled on and doggie in hand.
Then my husband comes home from work and I am greeted with a man so in love with me, and so in love with our children. He finds a way to make my evening a little less stressful - a quick run around the block with the kids, a spoon to the food on the stove, whatever it takes.

So, why am I hanging by a thread?! Expectations that are too high. I don't consider myself a perfectionist, but yet here I am - trying to be "that mom", yet buying premade brownie mix. Trying to be "that wife" but hiring a cleaning lady. And trying to be "that business owner" but being terrified of the paperwork and having a product that isn't what my customers want.

Join me on the ride.

Monday, September 29

open house

My first Open House was this weekend. I had a lot of fun getting everything together and planning projects with my customers. It's always exciting to see people's ideas and creativity shine!

Tuesday, September 23

more ruffles!

This t-shirt is adorned with a ruffled ribbon along the bottom edge. A little extra something to brighten up the outfit! I'm going to try this with a fun fabric next time I think, and then applique an initial. So many options with a ruffler. I'm having TOO much fun!

christmas is coming!!!

This charming pajama set was made to help my son celebrate in cozy comfort. Flannel pants and a matching appliqued tee make the wait for Santa easier!

sleeveless and seasonal

This adorable sleeveless dress shows off the cute corduroy print in a simple A-line design. A button - loop closure on the back adds a sweet little detail. What a perfect little winter dress paired with warm tights and a turtleneck.
If only I didn't have to wait two years until my daughter was big enough t0 wear it!

Tuesday, September 9

all dressed up

This adorable onesie has a tie with a novelty print - a perfect golf tie!
I think next time I'm going to play around with the shape of the tie.

Monday, September 8

fancy pants

Minkee has a new purpose - these adorable fancy pants!I'm not sure I love how the ruffle attached, I'm going to have to work on the design!

daisies everywhere

This is my latest addition to the "I wish it was summer all the time so I'm going to keep sewing like it is" collection.

It has everything I love about little girl's summer clothes..... it's sleeveless, floral, cool cotton fabric, and ruffles. It has a loop & button closure in the back.

Saturday, August 30

dots and ruffles

Another cute summer outfit. Can you tell I'm having fun with my ruffler?? You may also notice the diaper cover looks similar to the one on the pink outfit. I just loved the fabric so much I had to use it a couple different times!

x marks the spot for cuteness

This pink top crosses in the back and attaches to the front with two adorable bright buttons.

The pockets are attached with ric rac and match the diaper cover. What a fun playful way to spend the summer.

tools for miss fix-it

Check out this cute outfit for our Little Miss Fix-It. Using a variety of fabrics, the top has an adorable tool/ word print on top and a circular saw blade pattern on the bottom. A ruler-ribbon makes up the trim in between. The diaper cover fabrics are made with yellow and green wood print fabric. There is a "Welcome" fence appliqued on the diaper cover as well. I was even able to find the perfect little wooden buttons.

The first time I used this pattern (years ago) was for a little girl and I used (*gasp*) blue floral fabric. It's long gone and I don't have pictures of it. I just love finding something that's not typical and making it special.

too much fun!

A tutu made from four different kinds of tulle. I think it needs even more poof- but so easy and so much fun!!! The tulle comes on rolls at Hobby Lobby and on the bolt at Joann's. Along with some elastic for the waist, any little girl is ready for a special occasion!

Tuesday, August 26

dragonfly duo

I keep on seeing cute fabrics and fun spring patterns that I've just GOT to try, even though it's getting closer and closer to fall. This is my latest endeavor. It is a two piece outfit- top and skirt- out of light blue cotton with dragonflies all over. I'm kind of a sucker for dragonfly stuff.

Monday, August 11

suburban cowgirl

I guess I'm trying to prep my kids for harvest season or something - I seem to have bandanas on the brain. This onesie dress has the snaps still intact for a diaper cover but the cute skirt and monogram make it her special cowgirl outfit. I tried out my ruffler foot today and I don't know why I haven't been using it before! How easy, how fun - watch for many more ruffles in the future! It made gathering the fabric for this full skirt easy as pie.
This one is made for my niece, a special little cowgirl who actually lives on a farm! The G on the front (the first initial in her name) was taken from some scrap from the skirt - a cute cowgirl pink print.

more monograms

I've been busy at work digitizing some new fonts and trying them out. My favorite was the A with the star - I think it's so cute. I'm not happy with how the square border stitched out though.I love books, and hope my kids pick up my passion.Of course, I've got to put in something really swirly and girly too. I even tried out a fun metallic thread for the edge. I decided that having a special metallic needle really does matter and I'm pleased with how it turned out.This onesie was a special customer request - M on the front, flower on the butt. Cute for your little crawler!
What special shirt can I make for you? Pick a TrueType Font and let me make your one-of-a-kind onesie, t-shirt or sweatshirt!

Saturday, August 2

going on a trip?

This blanket is made of fleece on one side and furry fleece on the other. The pillow and carrying bag are made of the fleece. My son chose the fabric - a future Illini for sure! It will be taken on his first train ride later this summer.

Saturday, July 26

suburban cowboy

My son loves all things farm related. Too bad for him, we live in the middle of Chicago-suburbia. Luckily, he has an uncle who farms just an hour away and he's able to live vicariously. My son loves it when he gets to ride the tractor and combine and see the horses!!

He picked out the fabric for his monogrammed tee shirt - a cowboy/ sheriff print that matches his favorite pajama pants. I picked out the font (Giddyup) and made him the perfect shirt - cowboys and his name.

Monday, July 21

what's your vision?

My specialty embroidery software enables me to do a lot of unique creations. I photograph the fabric and then the embroidery design is digitally added to give me a vision of what the completed product will be.

Check out the real thing!

Sunday, July 20

towels everywhere

This towel was made for a newly baptized baby - the perfect way to dry off, no matter what the occasion.A towel for Teagan - bubbles on the towel to match the bubbles in the bath.Just a couple more fun towel designs I've done for customers recently.

Thursday, July 10

bandana dresses

So here's a quick and easy solution to your growing daughter's fashion needs. It can be worn as a long dress, a short dress, a tunic, a shirt, or even a beach cover up - from year to year, it will be her favorite!With leggings, tights, shorts, or a turtleneck in winter, this is a versatile piece of your daughter's wardrobe.Pick two bandanas or fat quarters, ribbons for the neckline, and any other embellishments you may want.

You will notice buttons, ric rac, pockets, and ruffled ribbon at the hem. Voila, a fashion statement for years to come!