Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A little bit of this and that

The days have been so much cooler, and the rain is finally here.  That wonderful cooler rain that we have been waiting for.  That stay in all day and bake and sew and play all day rain.  It has been amazing to watch Liam play lately.  We were playing with his kitchen things, and I noticed that when I gave him a bowl to pass to bear, he blew on an apple before gently shoving into bear's face.  He blew on bear's food.  Like I blow on his food.  Oh my heart! He is changing so much on a day to day basis.  The way that he plays is changing.  He enjoys playing with others.  He will happily pound on his hammer and peg toy for a few seconds before coming to find me at the table where I am trying to get a few stitches in and handing his hammer to me.  Mommy's turn, he says to me in his Liam language. And oh how he can talk in his language! He communicates so much with his little pointer finger and his sounds that will soon take the shape of words.  Da da da da Daa Dee.... he says throughout the house.  Ross smiles and answers, "yes son?" And then they sit and have a conversation.

My sewing machine has been busy lately. So busy that I think it runs out of steam and that's when I have problems.  So back to hand sewing it is to give it a bit of a break.  Right now I am working on a little mini quilt for Liam's play corner.  The animal block designs are from this book  and they were so charming to stitch up! They are so life like. I love the way that the eyes are designed, it really gives those little animals so much personality! I will take more pictures of them when the project is completed.  Right now I'm having so much fun hand quilting it during those few precious moments during the day.  Nap time.  What a wonderful time.  Lately my sister has got me hooked on a book series called Lunar, and a Master Piece theater show Poldark.  She's a librarian and she knows all the good stuff.  Fairytale spin offs and period dramas.  Just our cup of tea. It has taken me eight good nap times to finish the first season of Poldark.  If you haven't watched it, I seriously recommend it.  The story line is so beautiful and the setting so inspiring.  So much beautiful linen in that show! I want to sew everything with linen nowadays.

Liam has been busy in the creating process himself. Painting is what this little boy loves.  Painting on paper, on his body, everywhere.  His creations are actually starting to really come along.  He sits and creates for longer stretches of time instead of swiping his hand across the page once and then moving on.  We made a paper streamer kite one afternoon and he has been flying it around the house.  He is excellent at creating messes as well. Oh the messes that boy can do with food! But give him a cookie, and I must say he eats the entire thing so nicely.  Hardly any big clumps are left.  He had his first cookie this weekend.  He now points to our cookie container regularly and says, "Ai, ai, ai..." which I have translated to mean, "I want one".  How can I do anything but smile and break him off half a cookie.  Oh my stars this little boy has my heart wrapped around his little pointing finger.

I have a pile of fabric and patterns and a list all made for winter clothes for Liam.  That is, until my dad sent us a whole box of pants and jackets.  And surprise surprise, Ross' mom dropped off an entire bag of clothes shortly after that.  What a blessing to have grandparents that love him so! This little boy I must say has more clothes than I do! Now I am feeling a bit torn.  Do I create just to create even though we have an abundance of clothes to see him through the winter?  Decisions. Decisions.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Story Rocks

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up" ~ Pablo Pacasso 

Oh how true those words are. Drawing is never something I really took too.  Making pictures were never something I thought I excelled at. I think I delighted more in crocheting as a child then I did doing art projects. But there is something so delightful about drawing and painting.  Motherhood, I am learning, is giving me an amazing opportunity to rediscover the joy of crafting in different mediums as I create things for Liam.

Story rocks have been on my inspiration board for a long while.  All of those white rocks that Liam and I have been gathering at the beach were always gathered in my mind for this sole purpose.  Story rocks.  Inspired from this book .

I started our set with six little rocks to begin with. Originally intended to teach a bible story to a children's workshop for the children at church during fall break, but these rocks really have an amazing ability to be anything and everything we want in so many different stories.  That's the beauty of it.  As we add more story rocks to our collection, the number of stories we are able to tell are limitless.

The process that I used to make them was very simple.  I cleaned my rocks really well and then set them to dry.  Then I sketched what I wanted my pictures to look like in a sketch book and then traced them onto the rocks in pencil.  I used acrylic paints to paint them and then I outlined them with a sharpie.  The sharpie really came in handy when doing the eyes.  I chose to leave the mouth off on the other little people after I did the baby because I didn't want to limit them to the single emotion of being happy by adding smiles.

Overall I am really happy with the end results and I am looking forward to doing more.  I am really trying to overcome my fearful thoughts of "I can't draw" and am working towards the joy that comes in just making pictures.

Happy Thursday everybody! Aloha.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


There are so many newly started projects on my table right now that my head is spinning from all of it. I have so many ideas that are just taking over and my pile of WIPs are now starting to stack at an alarming rate.  I notice that it is the projects that I am the most excited about that get finished. So I try to roll with whatever my hands want to work on. Eventually things get finished.  I am just not one of those finish one project and then start another kind of crafters.  And I'm ok with that. Because crafting time is very precious and I want to make sure that I am working on something that I love at that moment verses something that I feel obligated to do.  I am also trying something new and trying to fully focus my attention on the task at hand.  That means closing the book I am also trying to read.  Or closing my computer as I try to read other blogs.  Focus. Focus. Focus.

But I digress.

Let me get to the point of this whole post.  My I spy quilt.  This little I spy quilt came together so easily as a top. But quilting it seemed more than my little machine wanted to do. In my head I wanted to quilt it with intersecting lines going the other way, but my machine had other ideas. So after a week of trying and seam ripping, quilting and seam ripping, quilting -  you get the idea right? Well, I gave up and submitted. The binding went on without a hitch so I figured that the quilt was trying to tell me what it wanted to be.

Scrappy is becoming my favorite way to do projects. New fabric is always exciting, but scrappy is where the heart lies in my opinion. Scrappy to me carries the heart. It holds all the love of previous projects given to other loved ones.  A scrappy quilt to me, absorbs all of that love into one tangible project.  In this project I see fabric from my dad's quilt, my son's burp rags, fabric from my first quilt ever made for Ross' brother's son.  So many fabrics. So many faces. So many memories.  It's beautiful - the way that textile holds such tangible emotion. All that is left to do is the binding and the label, and then this little quilt will be ready for my friend's son. His birthday is in December. That gives me plenty of time. If you know anything about me, I have issues about getting things out in the mail. So I'm crossing my fingers that that horrible habit will break and I will send it on time!

What are you working on? Are you like me with too many started WIPs? Or do you tend to finish one thing before moving onto another? I'd like to know how you craft if you feel so inclined to share!


Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Early Sunday Mornings

There is a chill to the air. And rain - glorious cool to the touch rain. The summer heat and humidity are becoming a memory and I am ready to welcome the cooler weather that the wet season will bring. In the early mornings it is still dark when I slip out of bed to turn on the light in the kitchen, turn on the coffee maker, make a cup of creamy goodness. As soon as that first warm sip hits my lips it's like there is an explosion of fabric and thread and patterns at the kitchen table. These early morning moments are so precious.  When dreams are still fresh and the feeling of thread going into fabric helps to settle me into the rhythm of the day. A reminder - we can only do one stitch at a time. One breath at a time. And then the little pitter patter of unsteady feet echo down the hallway. Yes, this little boy can get down from bed all by himself now. And yes my heart still tingles at that realization.  Soon - he will stand at the end of the hallway looking for me. And when he finds me his smile will warm my heart. His little arms will reach out for me and I will scoop him up into my arms and we will go about opening up the house for the day. The doors and the windows. Looking for any birds that might be visiting within our eyesight. After a few kisses he will have a few moments of independent play while I go about putting my projects away and getting the table ready for breakfast. Quilts need to be folded from last night's cuddles during a movie. It is quilt season in the island. Early Sunday Mornings are the best in my opinion.  

Thursday, September 17, 2015

In the Kitchen: Rest

The kitchen has been quiet this week. Ross was sick with the flu all last week so I have been on my own with Liam. I didn't realize how much of a team we were until he was unable to flow with the natural rhythm of the family. I learn to appreciate him more and more during moments like this. I recall all that he does -  those moments that as soon as he is home he drops what he is doing to play with Liam. The way that they share a popsicle for an afternoon treat. The way those moments of play and treats add up to minutes of time when my mind can wander and create and dream. When he gives Liam a bath so that I can have a shower uninterrupted.  All those little moments of the day - how much he gives. How much I am learning to appreciate.  After a whole week of soups and teas - easy things in the kitchen like sandwiches have been all we want to eat. And those meals we are finding are very satisfying indeed. Less time spent in the kitchen has meant more moments for us to rest and recover and reconnect.  I am looking forward to our family rhythm getting back to its usual pace - where I am able to spend more time in the kitchen. Especially since the cooler weather is starting to come. I dream of baking breads and soups and chilies and every good yummy and soul satisfying thing. But for now, a sandwich and a coffee - yes please.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I spy with my little eye....

There is a new project on my sewing table. A little I-spy play quilt for a special little boy. When I lived on Oahu finishing up my Masters, I lived with an old childhood family friend, in a little house five minutes from the beach. This friend of mine taught me how to love the water. How to go to it to heal stress and hurt. There are so many precious memories that I have living there with her.  Late night jam sessions where we would sing down the moon. Going for long drives around the island.  Cooking and eating and laughing and living. Good times. Her little boy turns one in December, so that leaves me plenty of time for this project. Which is good since my machine seems to be really giving me a problem lately. It pieces fine but starts to get temperamental when I quilt on it. I would hand quilt it, but I know this friend of mine. This quilt needs to be sturdy and not too precious. Functional. So I made a little play quilt, with scraps from projects I made for my own little boy, from projects for other loved ones, and some new fabric from the stash.  One hundred 5" squares. Ten by ten. This project actually sewed up pretty fast. I finished piecing the top and basted it all in one evening. The quilting would have been quicker if my machine was feeling up to it. A lovely simple project. I have a feeling that all of the kids in my life might be getting one of these. Don't you love that go to present? Happy Sewing everybody! 

Linking up with WIP Wednesday with Freshly Pieced .

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

For the love of the water

The ocean is such a large part of our life.  It surrounds us everywhere we are. We see it from our living room windows, we drive next to it when we go anywhere on this beautiful island of ours. Liam is still scared of the water, but in time I believe he will begin to venture out into it... he will learn to hear the crashing of the waves as something soothing instead of something to fear. We bring a little bit of the ocean back home with us. A rock here. A shell there. To remind us of how beautiful it is - how we enjoy our time there and how much we want to return. I started a little cross stitch from this delightful book of ocean animals on a piece of thrifted linen. This pattern is so nice because the motifs are small, perfect for that small pocket of time during naps.

Aloha everybody. I hope your week is filled with beautiful things, people, and moments.