painting around the table

I came home from the store the other day with a new orchid.

my new orchid

I do so love to have a blooming orchid on my kitchen table, but seeing how I am incapable of getting them to rebloom it has been a long time since I’ve had one.  I decided to remedy that with $15 and an impulse buy at Costco.  Much easier than monitoring humidity, seasonal temperatures etc. etc.

Yesterday I sat down with a scrap piece of watercolor paper and my little box of paints and painted.

painting together

It wasn’t long until I had company.

adding to the sky

We all felt so happy– it’s so easy for me to forget that I love to paint and that I don’t need total solitude to do it.  My kids LOVE to sit and watch me.  They love to paint along side of me.

I painted!

It’s a habit I need to create.

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?


cat bird


It makes me smile to walk down to the back of my yard in the evenings and hear my cat bird friend sing his heart out. One day he even sat on the fence, looked me in the eye, and told me everything he knew. I could hardly bring myself to breathe.

It has been beautiful beyond description outside. It has been dry by Ohio standards, but the lack of humidity makes the air so fresh I just want to lie in the grass and breathe it in through every pore. My kids are dirty from head to toe. My trees are well climbed, the sandbox well dug.

Thank you summer.

(I am having frustrations with our new scanner. With our ancient one, my drawings scanned in exactly as they were. This new one is fuzzy, the color’s off… Oh well.)



I caught Logan playing Leap-Pad, so he held still enough for me to draw his head. I need to keep practicing so that I can capture the posture of their little bodies as they play…

I’m totally loving Amanda’s sketchbook drawings of the little girl growing in her tummy, and as I sit here typing with the laptop in my lap it is jumping all over the place because of the little legs and arms in mine.

I am officially huge now. I got a babysitter for the afternoon so that I could run errands unhindered by out-of-the-womb children. I went three places. At each of them someone asked me when I’m due, accompanied with something like “It looks like it could be any minute!” I do make a very conscious effort not to waddle. Brenna even knows about it and when she is with me out in public will drop back behind me every so often to analyze my walk. She usually has very encouraging things to say–that I’m walking perfectly normal. I wonder if her coaching would have helped thwart comments today?

Probably not.

Oh, and for the record, I’m not due ’til March.