« December 2008 | Main | February 2009 »

morning, noon and night :: 1


Scenes from yesterday - morning, afternoon, and night.

For the next month (give or take a little) I am going to be stepping away from the writing of this blog. Instead, I will share three photos a day representing morning, afternoon and evening scenes from the previous day in my life. My hope is that a thousand words are shared through these little glimpses.

I'm an extremely slow blogger, I think I've shared that here before. An average post (a few photos and a couple of paragraphs) can take me over an hour to put together, conservatively speaking. Isn't that crazy? I made a deal with myself to take my work at home self a little more seriously this year. To use my time when Emily is at school to it's fullest. Very often I use time during her school day for housekeeping, errands, cooking, things like that... I will do a little 'work' here and there. I find that I mostly use weekend time, and worse, summer time to work and prepare for market days. But I've switched it all around.

I notice that when Emily is home if I am 'working' it's kind of an energy drain for her. She can get that totally bored look on her face and I have mama guilt as big as the moon. It just seems like not the best scenario. However, if I am bustling around the house with apron strings tied, bread rising, bed making, vacuum running, the pulse of the family and home is entirely different. Furthermore, Emily is usually inspired to join in on the homemaking, tidying and dusting right alongside me.

 So, when she is at school I am focusing more on my work role, and when she is at home I am focusing more on my mama role. Just a little swap that feels right. I started doing this a few weeks ago and it has been soooo nice.

The Farmer's Market starts in June, which will be here before I know it - life is so speedy that way. This year I have made a quiet little promise to myself to be prepared for that, to actually have an inventory once the season rolls around, such an amazing concept. Inventory can sound like such a dull, uncreative word but it doesn't need to be. I actually feel very inspired lately (which makes it hard to step away from the blog), I figure why not use that energy while it's hot? The winter months are the perfect time to cozy up with my crafty self and feel prepared as the summer rolls in bringing regular market days with it. It will be nice to just take off on a Saturday hike or trip to the beach without feeling like I shouldn't because the market is the next day and I need to prepare more. I bet some of you know that feeling. Last year during the winter we were homeschooling so this sort of work day for me was not in the cards. I'm looking forward to it, to get ahead and give myself some breathing room to chill more during the summer months.

I've stocked myself up pretty nicely with supplies to get started on this - my fabric shelves are organized and full, my notebook has pages of ideas. Now to remain focused and do the work... I know this shift on the blog for the next several weeks will only fuel my inspiration. Slowing down and taking notice of the day to day subtleties in life can be some of the best inspiration out there.

How about one more example of the days to come?  

I've been testing the waters a little... this feels so perfect for me right now.

I do hope you enjoy the ride as well.

i know what i want to be when i grow up!


A Fat Quarter Sampler Pack Creator. That's a job title, isn't it? Recently I went down to our local fabric shop and I (for once) was not the girl who chose fourteen different bolts of fabric from the shelves, carted them up to the poor soul waiting for me at the counter asking her to "please cut me 1/4 yard of each." I feel like I ask in practically a whisper every time. I bet one, two or ninety of you know what I'm talking about. We are not the customers who head to the counter with two bolts and say "three yards of each please." No, we have to be complicated.

On this day, I was the much loved customer who found the most beautiful fat quarter sampler pack on the shelf, fell in love with every bit of it's contents, picked it up, walked to the counter, and completed my transaction in sixty seconds flat. I didn't even know I was capable of such a speedy fabric store experience.

I'm finally getting to spend some time and play around with my new bundle of fabric. After it was all washed, I went straight to work cutting it up into various small sizes. From now on I should just be called Patchwork Girl. I can easily lose hours of time arranging tiny little pieces of pretty fabric. There is a color and pattern balance that needs to be felt before the sewing can begin, for me anyway. I'll move squares here and there, swap them out with this one or that one... and then all of a sudden it's just plain as day don't change a thing sew this baby up!! I must look like the mad scientist of patchwork when I'm working. So, I'm having a blast, and there will be an update in the shop. Maybe you will see something that your Valentine might like to know about... my Valentine says "please just email me the links those etsy things you love..."  We're practical that way.

The update will likely be staggered over the next few days, so please stop back and have a look at what I've been up to.

And don't forget the giveaway tomorrow! I probably won't get to post it until midday, but it will run through the weekend so you have plenty of time. Tell your friends!

Finally... thank you thank you thank you for all of the treehouse love yesterday. And I hear ya ladies on the little side business venture for Adam, I do indeed. Anything's possible...

One Amazing Gift

There seemed to be a great deal of handmade holiday energy around our home this year. More than ever before. Emily is another year older and is just about the fastest knitter I have ever seen, which balances me out quite nicely. I am indeed the slowest. She knit hat after hat for friends and family members on her list, I was mighty proud of her.

Adam was a busy, crafty guy (he will not think it's cute that I called him crafty) this year as well. He had the gift of time that normally does not exist for him. Moving through this holiday season facing and dealing with unemployment left him with a very different schedule than he is used to. In between resume submitting, headhunter shoulder shrugging, sparse interviewing, and quite frankly - just a whole bunch of waiting for the phone to ring or the inbox to offer something... yes, in between all of that, there were pockets of time. Time that was so well used when he would head down to his workshop and get lost in his own craft, his own meditation.

Made of materials found around our tiny property, infused with lots of old school Metallica and Godsmack energy (his studio playlist is so different from mine), and mostly - delivered with love for his girl. She is quite happy with her new tree house as you can imagine. Her fairy dolls and Squirrily... Her handmade yarn dude/best friend, he couldn't be photographed because he is at school with Emily. Day and night, he is always by her side... they are also happy, which is the real seal of approval. 

Where Crafty Things Happen


I promised to show you my sewing area ages ago... then I kept messing it up over and over (especially through the holidays!) so was not to keen on taking pictures. We had some friends over this weekend who we haven't seen in far too long, they've never even been to this house! Well, I figured I should tidy things up a bit - this is as good as my workspace gets I suppose. I'm not really happy with these shots, something about them doesn't 'feel' like this room feels. I'm not sure why. Maybe all the fresh snow outside is making the light feel blue-ish. It didn't feel that way standing in it, but my camera thought so.

Anyway, this really is a great room to work in, it overlooks the deck and the backyard so I can work and watch Emily and her friends playing at the same time. It can be a delicate thing working from home, demanding tremendous discipline and balance, which I have just admitted to myself recently.

It's not the most glamorous of spaces, but it really works for how I work, which is important and can make all the difference . My favorite part of this set up is the way things are arranged to create sort of a room within a room. It feels cozy and personal. The overall room that I'm in is huge so this is a way that helps define the crafty zone.

Of course, the windows are great too. I feel like no matter where in the house I've had my little set-up, I try very hard to place my sewing machine in front of a window, it makes me happy and motivated - especially when it's raining. Having defined spaces is helpful too; sewing, writing, cutting, fabric storage, notion/supply storage, etc. Oh! One hugely important detail for me is to be able to access my cutting area  from more than one side - I can't say enough about the ease of this arrangement. The two baskets on the top shelf are both overflowing with scraps - I think I need a scrap intervention, soon.

Okay, so I've shown you the jungle (that photo by the way, is how this whole room truly feels, which I love), I've shown you my sewing space, soon I will show you another section of this same room where Mayberries Vintage resides. I like checking out other peoples spaces, perhaps just one tiny detail inspires me or gives me a new idea I hope you feel the same way.

 Thanks for stopping by, things are probably about to get really messy now...

Ready to Begin Again


Things have slowly returned to a familiar rhythm in our home with school underway once again. I loved having an extended break this year, the holidays fell just right on the calendar. We were able to slow down, dig in a little deeper with whatever project, book, conversation, visit or recipe was in front of us. I noticed the same pace going on in the blogs that I read as well, with your families. People everywhere were just laying low, enjoying a little self nurturing in the quietest of ways. It's been interesting to watch as most people did not seem to be traveling to warm, sunny destinations where a laid back and relaxing time are the obvious flavors of the day. Most people seemed to stay right at home, or close to home visiting extended family. The term staycation was tossed around a lot over the summer, but I really felt people gave that newfangled word it's truest definition over the holidays.

I guess it made me realize how much as a country and as a global community we needed to take a break, relax and exhale. The world needed a staycation. It was good to pause from the economy, the job market, politicians, housing market... all of that and more. The work of life will still be there, and most of us are getting back to it right now. But once in a while to collectively pull back and slow down, finding a balance between time with loved ones, and time alone as well. These are the moments that give us the tools needed to regain perspective and align priorities - providing fresh energy and restored faith as we re-enter this game of life.

It makes me think there should be a planetary vacation once a year. Similar to how some factories shut down annually to clean and tune up  the machines and equipment. Like that, but for people. A factory shut down for the earth and all it's inhabitants, once a year, imagine that.

Handmade, Simple Simple Simple

Good morning! Have you heard the news? I'm cleaning out the studio and making way for new designs and fresh inventory for the new year! So... I'm having a $10 sale in the shop on my vintage fabric zipper pouches. If you buy three or more there is free shipping too!



Remember when those little handmade books were floating around blogland?  Have you made them by the truckload too? In our home there have been countless made, used and given away. For me, they are the ice cream of children's crafts. Anytime things are getting a little hairy around the house, whip up a little stack of these (have the kids do it with you, by themselves, or maybe they just pick out the cover -depending on their age), and you have just created a great deal a happy/occupied child time. We keep pre-made books on hand in a basket with our craft supplies, but there is something about taking the ten minutes to create a fresh supply that sparks inspiration in little ones.

I don't think I've mentioned this here yet, I work part time in the after school childcare program at Emily's school. We keep a supply of these books on hand in our classroom, but when the supply runs low, and I bring in my sewing machine to make a new batch with the kids... well, it's a very exciting time. I think what I love the best is that they all have such different ideas of what should go in their books. We have seen books of fantasy prehistoric animals, poetry, recipes, stories, fairies, leaf drawings, cars... it's really something.

These little books were a logical part of the smaller gifts we gave over the holidays, a Hanukkah gift for Emily's best friend, a Christmas gift for a two year old cousin. A few other additions were added. I made the books for our little cousin quite small, she loved holding them in her tiny, two-year-old hands and went straight to 'work' coloring and drawing on all the fresh, new pages. We had to persuade her to move on to open her other gifts. A simple idea, inspiring limitless imagination.

The paper used for the covers is Amy Butler Scrapbook Paper. The crayon roll tutorial from Sew Mama Sew.

ps ~ Stop by The Simple Green Frugal Co-op today, we're heading down to my basement!