a little bit of my dream come true

Ever since I got the sewing bug while I was pregnant with Brenna and in my last days of art school I’ve thought it would be fun to design fabric.  Then I became a quilter, discovered designers like Amy Butler and Anna Maria Horner (who also has 6 kids) and have thought over and over, “I could do that….. if I could just figure out how to do that.”

Well, I decided this is the year that I will learn to be a fabric designer.  I got myself some books

my school books

which have helped me immensely.  I learn by reading.  If I can read about how to do something in a book, then I can do it, but reading directions on the computer, experimenting by trial and error– they just don’t do it for me.  Kim Kight’s Field Guide to Fabric Design is fantastic.  All the tutorials for digital design are for Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, but since those aren’t quite in the budget I’m having to translate things into GIMP and Inkscape, which are free.  I also got a vector drawing app for my iPad call iDraw and a stylus so I can draw right on my iPad.  It’s like a glorified sketchbook, though I have been using my real sketchbook a lot too.


And then there’s Spoonflower.  I’ve known about it since it first started in 2008 or 2009 and signed up as soon as it wasn’t just by invitation only, but have never figured out how to make designs until now.  And look!

first spoonflower fabric

My first test swatches came in the mail!!!  My designs are printed on real fabric!!!

first spoonflower fabric

Anyone remember the story I told about Ian coming downstairs one morning and telling me, “Mom, we’re going to get a girl baby and her name is going to be Eva and she is going to be zero and she will have a pink shirt that is a dress”?  Well, he further described that pink shirt that is a dress as having blue butterflies on it and a skirt that is blue with pink butterflies.  I’ve been on the look out for pink shirts with blue butterflies, pink fabric with blue butterflies, blue fabric with pink butterflies.  None.  I guess I’ll have to make some.

first spoonflower fabric

And I can!!  How fun is that?


a new year

views from my basement

views from my basement

views from my basement

views from my basement

(So, these pictures are completely unrelated to what I’ve written here today, but they sure make me smile.  I love that my basement is Thor’s motorcycle course.  I love that Ian has all his clothes on backwards.  I just love it so much I can hardly stand it.)

It’s the end of the first day of the year and I feel like I need to just sit and write something. 2011 was good. I grew a baby, fell deeper in love with my husband, watched my children grow into more of themselves. I feel privileged to be here to witness it all.

I’m also feeling like there is more growing I need to do, like I’ve been in a state of stagnation, like I need to push a little deeper and grow into more of myself. I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions (generally because I’m horribly inconsistent and not super good at following through on things) but I do believe there is power in putting things in writing so I’m just going to make a list of things I want for this new year.

  • I want to read more– to have meaningful things to think about.
  • There are three things I want to do just about every day– scripture study, yoga, and writing.
  • I want to design fabric.
  • I want to feel like I’m using my time just as God would have me use it– to end each day with no regrets.
  • I want to stop comparing myself to others.
  • I want to stop worrying about what others think of me.
  • I want to feel confident that the relationship I have with each of my children is just what it should be. I want to feel confident that there is no doubt in their minds how much I love them.
  • I want to organize and decorate my home with beauty and intention– filling it with things that are beautiful, meaningful, and useful.
  • I want to be a source of inspiration for someone- to somehow make another’s life better by something I say or do.

I’m sure I could go on. There is always so much room for improvement. I have t his mantra I often repeat to myself

Be content and reach.

Be happy with the place you’re at, but always, always keep trying to be better.

How about you? What do you want for the new year?


homemade paint

Have I mentioned that my 2 littlest boys are like little tiger cubs– constantly chasing and pouncing and wrestling each other?  Running and squealing and slamming doors?  As happy as I am that they love each other so much, it is exhausting trying to keep them from doing real damage to people and property, and the hugging and kissing of bonked heads, fat lips, and squished fingers is near constant.

homemade paint

We spend lots of time outside.  They wade for hours in their little inflatable pool on our back deck where I can watch them from the comfort of my air conditioned kitchen.  But everyday I’ve tried to have some mom-made activity to keep them calm and absorbed for an hour or so.  Lately that’s been painting.  Usually with watercolors,

homemade paint

but they use them up so fast (it’s all about the process for them, not the finished product) that I decided to try making some paint the other day instead.

homemade paint

I used the recipe found over at Small Things.  It made a lot of paint!  I’ve got four 8 ounce jelly jars of it in my fridge.

homemade paint

It’s at the ready so I can have an hour or so of peace…

until clean up, at least.

pretty is important

portrait of a pregnant mom

Ian: Mom, do you know what would be prettier than what you’re wearing right now?

Me: What?

Ian: A dress for preg-a-nant moms with lots of pink hearts on it.  It could have some green hearts because you think green is pretty.  That would be really pretty , Mom.  I really like you to be really pretty.