Beach

We took our first trip to the beach with our little man recently a few months ago! He loved the beach so much he bawled in the car on the way home. I loved it too. Slowing down to chase pigeons, run sand through our fingers, enjoy some snacks near the water, and try to jump over the waves was such a treat.

 

Garage Saleing

We’ve been on a garage saleing kick lately. We venture out on Saturday mornings, just after breakfast and wander the streets. Sometimes we stop and follow the signs posted at intersections (or even ones I saw earlier on my run), sometimes we follow where Eric’s garage saleing apps lead us. We rarely have anything in particular we are looking for, but it is so fun to wander.

We’ve come upon a lot of junk and a few gems. We’ve found lots of train tracks and train cars and various other toys for our little man. Eric is now the proud owner and daily user of two typewriters: a Corona Style Series 1 (1939) and Royal Quiet Delux (1953).

I love our lazy mornings and our family time.

Olliblocks

I won a free ticket to Alt for Everyone in May. It is essentially an onlining blogging conference. It was a lot of fun, and informative, though a lot to take in in a short time! I also got a cute goodie bag like if I were to attend the conference in real life. One of the fun inclusions was Olliblocks.

I liked that it made me get my hands messy to “build” them, but without too much work. Our little man likes them too!

 

Colors

I love colors. I don’t know where I picked these crayon up. I have a hunch it was Paris a long time ago. It has been far too long since I’ve been there. I am pretty sure they are Japanese and believe me I am obsessed with Japanese things. From their Pattern Magic books, to other various and equally amazing pattern books*, to their sewing notions, to their pens, even to Hello Kitty and the Sanrio store that was a vacation must visit on our family ski trips when I was a kiddo. These crayons are no different.

You color like a crayon (these are a bit “drier” than a normal crayon). Then use the water brush to add water as needed.

I needed a quick creative vent one naptime, so these are what I came up with. Enjoy!

*When possible, I like to link to the original sources I’ve found for items. It shares other blogs and gives credit where credit is due. None of these are affiliate in nature.

I then hung them up on my cork inspiration board. They weren’t dry so some dripping is happening, but I like it. Here’s a few glances at other inspiration up there right now too.

Things shift with the seasons, so I thought I’d share a few of the things I am currently really loving. None of these are affiliate links, just things I’m really into at the moment.

My alarm clock–I have this one, but I didn’t spend $600 on it–that’s ludicrous! It lights up brighter over the course of 30 minutes, then a sound (birds chirping or the radio) comes on. It is glorious. I’m not jolted awake and am usually up after at most 15 minutes. Makes requiring an alarm much, much more enjoyable.

Lifting weights–I used to enjoy Group Power at my gym, but have started lifting weights on my own. It is so fun and I love my little, but growing, muscles! This new found pleasure is made possible by the above alarm clock and a willing, but oh so not a morning person, hubby that can get up with the little one if he’s up before I get home.

I’m on my second bottle of this sugar free pumpkin spice coffee syrup. It is divine! I pour my day old brewed coffee in a cup with ice and add some syrup–delicious. Sometimes I even blend it to make a slushy drink. Yum-o!

Instagram–love the inspiration I get from other’s photos/ideas/thoughts. Though, I definitely find myself not posting much because my photos/ideas/thoughts don’t seem curated enough.

What are you currently loving?

 

 

Well, after much trepidation, I dyed the fabric. I started with the “less precious” (read expensive!) cotton. I dumped the dye in a container and measured out half to use for my small piece of cotton and the other half for my silks. I used a kitchen scale. To the cotton, I added 1/2 cup (half the amount for the packet size) salt. After the dyeing, I set it to the side to dye the silks. To the silks I added 1/6 cup vinegar.

Nothing was difficult, but it was a bit time intensive (lots of timers set to stay on schedule, etc.) and if you have small kiddos, I wouldn’t recommend it without other parental help around just in case.

I put them in the washer to agitate adjusting the cycle a few times to hit the 50-60 minute sweet spot suggested on the package.

Here are the results!

I wasn’t too sure when I started the cotton, so it may have not been agitated for the recommended 50-60 minutes. It came out a bit lighter green than I wanted. So I was super careful to watch the washer for the silks. They agitated for 60 minutes and I still wanted them darker, so I left them in the water (and added the wet cotton) for another hour or so (not agitated), then finished the wash. After the dyeing I ran both fabrics through the wash with detergent and hung them to dry. They aren’t as dark as I was hoping for, but lovely. Now what to make!

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!

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