How cool is it to arrive home from vacation to fun, surprise mail treats? Very, very cool, I tell you. I got this package from the incredibly sweet and thoughtful Jes of Sweetpeas. She knew just how to get to my heart with these vintage knitting and crochet patterns.
And then look at this! A vintage, embroidered crib cover! I was squealing with delight when I opened it.
This package totally made my day! Such sweetness--from a fellow Maine girl, no less. Thanks so much, Jes!!
Thanks to all of you for your wonderful well wishes and welcome home's! We had a marvelous time at camp, and have all come back feeling much lighter. For those of you that asked, the beautiful log cabin that we stayed at is the one my parents have been building--all from trees on their lot, cut, milled and built themselves. Amazing work, and so, so beautiful. It's on a wooded 40 acre lot on a very remote lake--we usually go up there for a week without seeing another person. This week was full of kayaking, sailing in that super fun "homemade" sailboat, great bass fishing from Calvin, and visiting with family. If only the location weren't so remote, I'd spend so much more of our summer there!
We arrived home in time for Calvin to discover that our blueberry bushes had completely gone wild! Yay!! Blueberry season in Maine!! And it looks like a really good crop this year, too. So...blueberry pancakes for breakfast today, and let's see...blueberry crisp for dessert! Yum!!
And waiting for me in the mailbox upon arriving home was this lovely vintage fabric I bought on Ebay. I had planned to use this as a new diaper bag, but the print is a bit bigger than I thought, so that might need to be rethought. I uploaded this image into the Flickr vintage fabric group that Hillary started. It's taken me forever to get the time to figure out Flickr, and I still don't think I've explored it fully, but atleast I've started!
Now that we're unpacked from camp and are in the final weeks of baby preparation, I need to get crafting for baby! On the (very optimistic) agenda are finishing the baby quilt I started ages ago, making some cloth pads for mama and burp cloths and bibs for babe, sewing a new baby carrier like this one, and finish knitting the Wild Stripes baby blanket. I'm afraid that this list means that I won't get around to a sock monkey or more sadly for me, a pink lemonade apron. Instead, I'll have to live vicariously through all of the wonderful submissions I see popping up everywhere in blogland!!
So, what does one do with one hour left to go before vacation departure, when all the bags are packed and ready to go? Double check the lists? Clean the house? Go after those dust bunnies? Goodness, no. Why, make a bag of course!
I kept it simple so I could show off my new favorite vintage burlap fabric find. This will be our new library tote---super strong enough for that huge pile of 20 picture books that I always seem to be schleping back and forth to our library.
Okay, this time I'm really leaving. Without my sewing machine. See you all next week!
This week our dishwasher broke, the phone line was down for two days, our basement flooded (creating approximately 30 loads of moldy laundry) and I had way too many (real--not the fake ones!) contractions for this early in the pregnancy. I know it's all small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, but at 32 weeks pregnant in the middle of summer, I'm feeling unbelievably hot, cranky, and overwhelmed by life and all that I need to "do" right now.
So....just in the nick of time before I crumble and take my whole family down with me, we're headed off to my family's cabin in the woods tomorrow for a week. Ah...
I feel so behind on everything--If I owe you an email, I'm sorry! I think I got all my packages out, but if I didn't, sorry for that too! I'll "see" you all in a week (I'll be so missing all the blog check ins!)--I expect to come back fully rejuvinated and with a serious shift in my attitude. Have a great week, everyone!
Updated to add: I just had to share that the phone repairperson just left here. Wanna know the reason my phone lines were down for days? A DUST BUNNY in one of the jacks shorted the whole house's phone line. Yup, I'm being destroyed by dust bunnies. So, anyone that's ever asked me how I get all that I do done with two little ones....well, there's your answer! I live with dust bunnies!
I knew I couldn't just sit with my new vintage fabric for too long, so these skirts eeked their way to the top of the crafting list this week. I'm digging my serger for making clothes--wow. And Bravo for the rolled hem!
I think I like this one so much because I can wear my orange shoes with it! And Amy is totally right--this fabric is calling out for a matching bag, don't you think?
Updated to add: Sorry for the lack of details! To make the skirt, I traced the shape of a bought skirt (actually, the skirt in yesterday's post!) onto the fabric, cutting two pieces. Then serged those together at the sides, and added an elastic waist. Then I used the rolled hem on my serger for the bottom hem. And voila--a simple skirt! Hope that helps someone!
Sorry, are you sick of my belly yet? Only a few more weeks, I promise. Here's a picture of the henna I did this weekend. At a gathering with some friends we did a little henna, and since I'm always the one giving the henna, I was sure to bring home some extra to do later. This is the result--not bad, I think, considering I was alone with the boys.
More Self Portrait bloggers here.
Look what arrived in my mailbox! This beautiful print, from Katey at One Good Bumblebee. She had a wonderful sale last week on her gorgeous prints, and I just couldn't resist. I love this one so much--the birdhouse, the deer, and the colors are so rich. Now, as soon as I can get motivated to frame this (and my Camilla print too), I'll have some lovely new art on the walls--Yeah!! A Kingpod creation is coming next I hope (dusty has stolen my heart), just as soon as I can stop spending all my Paypal money before it gets high enough (please tell me I'm not the only fool who can't even hold onto $20 without spending it!).
After a month of being busy on Saturday mornings, I finally had this weekend free enough to hit a few yard sales. I was thrilled at the stash of vintage fabric I found at one sale. There was so much more that I left behind, and of course, being the greedy gal that I am, I'm so regretting not getting MORE! But here's what I did come home with, and most pieces are quite large-between 1 and 3 yards.
I love all these kitchen-y themed prints. I would LOVE to use the blue one on the right for curtains, but I don't think I have enough.
The black and white mod one on the left might be my favorite of all. I don't know what I'll dare to use it on!
One of these needs to be a skirt, I think.
This one's wild--it's a burlap sort of fabric.
And of course, lots of ribbon!
Some wonderful vintage hats and gloves for dress up.
And two needlecraft magazines from 1933. So wonderful to look at! They each have needlework transfers included, too.
That was so much fun!!
Here's where I'm at with the super Mama socks I posted about awhile back. Almost one whole sock. This is about the point where I usually lose interest in sock knitting, and I'm afraid it's starting to happen again. A bad sign is that I've purchased yarn for the "next" project, and just might jump ahead....
The Wild Stripes baby blanket from the most recent Knitty. I was feeling completely color challenged when ordering, and really like the colors it was designed in, so I ordered exactly that yarn. Besides, I've been wanting an excuse to try out Knitpicks and see if my yarn snobbish doubts about it are true. The yarn arrived today and I've already cast on! I've only got a few weeks left to get this baby blanket done....can I do it? It is sportweight, with fabric backing. Oy. Guess I'll be putting those socks down for a bit.
I know, not terribly exciting in the creative department, but can you fake excitement for my sake anyway? These are the summer PJ shorts that I just made for the boys--they're all made from old shirts of mine (good thing I can't throw anything away!). I'm psyched at this discovery for lots of reasons--I've had such a hard time finding jersey that I like for kids clothes, but this is perfect! And with my friend the serger, it took about 8 minutes per pair. I figured out after the first pair that if I cut the shirt just right, I could use the bottom hem for the shorts hem too! Woo hoo. (And yes, I'm fully aware now that there are far too many stripes in my wardrobe. Thanks for telling me.)
And I just have to share this creation of Calvin's. Do any of you run into the same problem that happens here? That the downside of making lots of things for my kids is that they truly believe (at the tender age of 4), that Mama really CAN make anything. Like shoes. Calvin's been asking me to make him shoes for about a year. I woke up to these last week:
Apparently he got some early morning inspiration about how to make his own shoes from paper, and with a little help from Papa, made a pair for himself and even a pair for his brother. They wore them all day.
I'm cleaning out my yarn stash and hoping to pass along some yarn to a new home. Here's Salt Peanuts from the Interweave Knits Spring 2004 issue. This is the yarn called for in that pattern. 18 skeins of Muench Bergamo 100% wool. 66 yards/skein. Color: Heather Grey. (I believe this was enough to make the 36" chest size with some leftover). Two skeins have been rolled into balls, the rest are still in the bag.
I can't remember what I paid for this, I think it was over $100 orginally, but I'd let it go for $50, including shipping to the US, needs to be paid via paypal. I believe this yarn is discontinued. Email me at ssoule(at)maine.rr.com if you're interested. I can also send a copy of the pattern if you need it.
These PJ's for Ezra were the latest chunk taken out of my Munki Munki fabric stash. It's slowly dwindling, and I'm very sad. I heard rumors that they were going to do some designs for Free Spirit Fabrics. Does anyone know? I'm anxiously waiting. In the meantime though, I'm happy to keep working with what I've got left and it looks like Ezra's happy with that deal too.
My BackTack packaged arrived all the way from Singapore! Such goodness, check out the beautiful cake (that I've wanted to make forever, but haven't done yet--this one is so well made!), two sweet bags full of goodness, and some yummy teas and treats (missing from the photo, because they lasted all of two seconds).
And inside bag #2 was this lovely Paton's baby yarn. Thank you so much, Back Tack partner!! But I'm totally stumped...I cannot figure out who it's from. The note had a name, but no web address. And the fabric isn't in the Flickr gallery anywhere. I've obsessively gone through the BackTack list of participants to no avail. This is killing me! Speak up, please-- I must know who you are!
A day late, here's my Self Portrait Tuesday. Almost 30 weeks, in my favorite tank shirt. More wonderful Self Portrait bloggers found here.
Yup, almost 30 weeks. It's feeling frighteningly close, considering both my boys were born at 36 weeks. And especially considering the huge list of things I still need to do before the birth. You know, little things like COME UP WITH A NAME, find the baby clothes and diapers, get a new car seat, prepare for the homebirth. All that important stuff. And then there's the stuff I want to get done--the quilt, the baby blanket, the gifts for my boys, the fall PJ's, and all those Solstice gifts. This might be a good time to practice the art of letting go, which I'm not so fabulous at. I am however, feeling physically wonderful, albiet a wee bit tired and slightly cranky in the heat. And I totally credit that good health this time around to my fabulous acupuncturist, who I've been seeing perhaps more than I see my husband, and have given my kids college fund away to. But, oh, so worth it to feel good.
May I introduce Miss Fiona Henrietta? She's just recently arrived to us in Maine, all the way from Australia, and she's adjusting quite nicely to the vast weather change, as you can see. She was part of a bag swap that I did with the wonderfully talented Fiona of Hop Skip Jump, and I couldn't be happier! She's simply adorable, and so beautifully made. Ezra's a big fan, too, and we're currently in discussions over WHO she belongs with--me or him. Her name comes from her creator, obviously, and with a Henrietta added on from Calvin (yes, that would be after Henrietta the pussycat from Mr. Rogers!).
Thanks so much Fiona!!! I'm in love!
(I think it was the 4 hour long car ride trying to entertain two antsy and not sleeping babes that's got my head full of nursery rhymes tonight.) We had a wonderful few days deep in the woods--Days full of sun, kayaking with Papa ('cause Mama's life jacket doesn't fit over her belly!), swimming in the lake, snuggles in the hammock, and nighttime campfires complete with s'mores (Amy, I found organic marshmallows, and they're yummy!). Heavenly. And even better is knowing that at the end of the month, we'll be back there again for a full week's vacation. Yeah! I was a total slacker about pictures this weekend, but here's what I managed to scrounge from my camera (that's my baby sis with Calvin):
As soon as I get all this gear unpacked and laundry put away, I've got lots of craft related posts to catch up on this week, and oh--wait till you see what wonderful treats arrived in the mail! I've been browsing around a bit already and saw that the Tie One On gallery is up, and the July theme's been announced--Pink Lemonade! Scruptious! And Loobylu's announced the next MOS theme--Sock Monkeys! So much crafting fun all over the place. I hope this baby waits long enough for me to get some crafting done.
One more thing. I lied. I said I wasn't selling any more bags, but inevitably, after a few days in the woods, I come home motivated to get rid of "stuff". So out they must go! I'll be listing a bakers dozen or so later in the week.
See anyone in this photo? That's right, absolutely no one. Ah...sweet bliss. We're headed "Downeast" to my parents' camp for a few days for some peace and quiet, fun and play in the water.
I hope everyone has a lovely holiday weekend! And if it's not a holiday where you are, well, I still hope your weekend is lovely. "See" you all early next week.
Greetings! I'm Amanda Blake Soule - mother of five, author of three books on family creativity, and editor-in-chief of Taproot Magazine. I live with my family in old farmhouse in Western Maine where we raise animals, grow vegetables and make lots of things. I write about it all here on the blog. Thank you for visiting!