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!

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?

 

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