I went to a “free” demo on silkscreening by Jacquard. I say “free” because I knew I would probably end up purchasing something, and indeed I have. I purchased some iDye in emerald and Color Magnet (it makes the dye more vibrant where it is painted).

I had a piece of cotton, I’d previously painted and some stretchy silks I purchased intending to dye. After the cotton’s first layer of embellishment, I wasn’t sure if over-dyeing it was going to be too much, but decided to take the chance. I didn’t use any of the color magnet product on the cotton.

Here’s the before for the silks (the yellow is the Color Magnet):

Here’s the before for the cotton (painted with fabric paint):

The after is coming on Wednesday!

As you’ve noticed, a few of my creative endeavors haven’t been as polished as I hoped. I’m realizing that regardless of the final product, the process and obstacles faced on the journey definitely have a lot of merit.

In The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis said, “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” I’ve paraphrased that to, “if you can’t learn from your pleasure, you will have to learn from your pain.” I think about the minor fender bender that I got into right after I got my driver’s license and how much that taught about checking my rear view mirror as opposed to lessons learned in driver’s education classes, or the time I was caught gossiping about a person and how terrible I felt and how that taught me to hold my tongue and consider the other person before saying anything about someone not present.

Likewise, sometimes if I have an idea that I’m not acting on, it can idealize into something unrealistic. In my head the perfect outcome appears, but in reality there are almost always hang ups. Amiright?

Anyone else feel this way?

It doesn’t come naturally, but I think I’m starting to like the motto that done is better than perfect. At least with the done, I’m living and trying and experimenting and definitely making a lot of mistakes along the way.

 

Colorful, repurposed, and practical–dress shirt to shopping bag. Also, easily made during a naptime!

Real Life Moment: These are already wrinkling, so maybe not the best use for this material, but fun nonetheless.

Who knew trying to keep my hair out of my eyes during my morning workouts was going to be such a struggle. I haven’t tried the skinnier elastics in a while, but in the past they slipped off my head right away. After consulting Pinterest, I tried a few ideas. The pictures don’t look so bad, but in real life they band is quite overwhelming.

I’m also working on woven shirt draft. I have tons of ideas to re-make with various embellishments (lace, zippers), sleeves, and stylelines.

Real Life Moment: When will I learn to make an actual muslin instead of finding a fabric that I could “use” if the muslin fits the first time, which it never does and probably never should? Adding french seams to the mix certifies my insanity!

And I saved the best for last. This is from April! I made an insanely colorful fabric into a fun, dressy skirt. I didn’t use a pattern, just two rectangles that I pleated and pinned until I had the correct front and back width, then inserted into an interfaced waistband. I added a closure in one of the side pockets. Easy, peasy. The only complaint is it is the fabric’s weight causes it to slide down!

We went to a work function for Eric so it was a lot of fun to make and wear!

The supplies:

The outcomes:

Real Life Moment: I’m not in love with any of them, but it has been an interesting journey in creativity. I’m sure new iterations are coming. I hope my mom has lots of readers she needs chains for!

Game

Eric wrote this and a lot of people could relate. Can you?

Here’s a new game. It’s called “Meth or Parenthood”:

  • You are eating your dinner off the top of a toilet while someone next to you bathes.
  • Urine is on your clothes, but it’s just a little, so why both changing?
  • You just ate something that was previously in someone else’s mouth.
  • Wrestling a naked person for whatever reason.
  • The person next to you laughs hysterically, then screams at you, then wants you to tickle them.
  • Feeding the cat 3 times in 10 minutes because you keep forgetting if you fed them.

You can read more from Eric at his blog here. Be forewarned he blogs less consistently than I do!

(They are all parenting, in case you were wondering!)

Best Toy Ever

So, I love finding unconventional toys. I think our little man loves finding them even more. A current obsession is anything that spins. He loves the garden flags that spin, fans, gears, pinwheels, etc.

We were recently gifted this salad spinner and it has been used in way more “experiments” than for drying lettuces!

Thankfully, no cameras were harmed in this experiment. I always say “Will it spin?” along the lines of Blendtec’s “Will it blend?”

Real Life Moment: This is a real lifesaver to distract little man while cooking or prepping food!

Going Green

You know those toddler or baby shirts that read, “I’m why we can’t have nice things?” I need one for my cats. I have been wanting some plants inside for a long while now, but one of my cats insists on eating things. And certain plants ingested by kitties can be really dangerous.

Thankfully, Scotch has grown out of his plant-eating phase and I’m thrilled to have more greens inside our home.

These are Pathos, Ivy, and String of Pearls planted in little ikea jars.

They are also in our self-sustaining AquaFarm with our new fish Smaug (he’s a dragon beta fish) and 3 snails. It is pretty cool!

 

Real Life Moment: Flashback to this cat/plant disaster!

For the first time in a long time, there are not any terrible things going on in our family life. I’m definitely getting my wish for a “boring” life. Yay! I’ll take it.

But man, for me, having a kid throws everything off. Don’t get me wrong, I love him to bits. But prior to kiddom, I had a fairly reliable method for planning and executing things pretty well. Now, naptime comes and all I want to do is nap too. Or if I’m being totally transparent zone out on Pinterest or Instagram. And then, bedtime comes and I know I have to get my own bum to bed or I’ll be hurting in the morning when the monkey decides 4am is the time to be up for the day. He’s slowly learning to play by himself for longer stretches, but really when he’s awake, I want to play with him too!

Add to that work and weekends full of hubby work and well, I am realizing that I don’t have that much extra time. I suppose I could sacrifice more sleep, but that is pretty non-negotiable, when it can be helped.

I have been sketching and scheming, and writing and being silly, and relaxing and snoozing too. But in shorter bursts and with longer breaks between. Being my own worst critic, I feel like I should be doing more, but on those rare chances I blow through my to do list I really don’t feel any more accomplished. I guess that is part of growing up and learning by living. Interesting.

I chuckle now when I think of the early 20s version of myself. I thought I was pretty damn mature. I’m learning maturity happens with time and life experience, and can’t really be sped up too much.

Slightly related, a friend shared this and it really resonated with Eric and I. We can totally apply it to ourselves and possibly the little man in the future.

Have your routines shifted lately?

 

I’ve been back on the coffee bandwagon lately. Usually decaf and over ice. My husband noticed and found this great gadget for our anniversary. Happy 10 Years, honey!

It is a vacuum coffee maker.

Here are some shots of the process. There were a few extra steps to prep as this was our first time using the machine.

Here’s a video of the brewing. This is a similar machine, but not mine. My video was terribly shaky and didn’t want to cooperate in the uploading process. Cool, hun? And the coffee tastes great too!

How do you like your coffee? Or are you more of a tea person?

Real Life Moment: I am known to make a half a pot of coffee and drink out of it for the next few days until I drink it all instead of brewing fresh each day. Clearly, I’m not a coffee snob.

I love August and Back to School. I’m not heading back, and neither is my little, but we are definitely going full steam. To keep on top of all of our playdates and other appointments, I picked up a cheap-o (under $5) planner and decided to embellish it to make it a little more special.

Unfortunately, you can’t upgrade cheap paper, but I did my best to make it my own.

I wrapped the monthly calendar pages with washi tape to help me flip to them faster.

I decorated the cover with a white oil-based Sharpie pen that I learned about through the ever innovating and creatively inspiring Alisa Burke.

Real Life Moment: There is a reason that you are supposed to recap the pen while you shake it. Thankfully, I caught the several blobs of ink while they were still wet and managed to wipe them off my computer and other targets with baby wipes before they did permanent coloring changes. Oops!

Here are some images.

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