Thursday, March 31, 2011

even my coffee is tired.


People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one.  -Leo J. Burke

It’s not that I don’t sleep at night, because both of my kids have always been really good sleepers, I can’t even complain.  Sometimes, I even take naps. NAPS! Also spelled, heaven.  I probably get more sleep than most people who have new babies, it’s just that I think my slumbering hours are broken. defective. ERROR. All 7-8 hours seem to be showing signs of malfunction, because hello, I’m freaking out of my mind tired. 

How exactly does this happen?  How do the demands of ones day begin to snatch away the energy gained in beautiful, recharging sleep deeming them ineffective?

Is it changing one too many diapers? Is it saying, “Don’t climb on your baby sister!” 34 times a day instead of 33? Is it trying to serve that third meal to the ever picky, food-hating toddler? Two would be fine, but three? Three’s a killer.  I would say yes, to all of the above. 

Sleep thieves. Darling parasites of sanity. Robbers of energy,  of the cutest variety and their names start with H. I mean, I’m just crazy about them, but seriously, they are professionals, always on their A game.  Kids.

The other day, I sent a text to the husband saying, “Your children have been keeping me super busy today, which is rather inconvenient since I’m not even awake.” He texted back that he was sleeping too. Yesterday morning I informed my two year old and my two month old that we would be switching roles today.  I was the one who would play, watch movies, have my meals prepared, fall asleep whenever I wanted, wake up demanding something, play for a while, and then at my leisure, fall back asleep.  Much to my dismay, they didn’t buy it.  They didn’t even consider it for one second.  How rude.

Ok. Well.  Whatever the point of all this was, I can’t be sure… Another day is starting and I hope this coffee is strong.  Although, I’m worried that even my coffee is tired.

The end.



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I wish I had a fabric orchard.

If I did, I’d go out and pick a few yards of these lovely prints.City of London in Gray

City of London in Gray.

You had me at cities in gray.

Map of Paris in Blue

Maps of Paris in Blue

You know I love maps.  Oh, and maybe Paris, too.

Grove in Straw

Grove in straw

Something about this one, I love. Well, everything.

Venice in Pink

Venice in pink

Apparently I have a thing for cities.


If you had a magical orchard full of things that didn’t actually grow in orchards, what would it be?

Monday, March 28, 2011

The H & H Weekly #8

This feature has pretty much become my version of a baby book. I love that, since the actual baby books I bought are in some box in one of the closets. I kept up with the little boy’s for like two weeks and then… nothing.  Personally, baby books feel too much like scrapbooking to me and please don’t hate me for this, but I’m not a scrap booker.

The mister informed me that when little h turned 2 months old that she would instantly become a daddy’s girl and I would no longer be her favorite.  Watching them together is possibly the sweetest thing in the world.

Big H is starting to help me in the kitchen.  He poured the chocolate chips into the bowl and enjoyed his first taste of cookie dough.  I think it changed his life.  Then his hands got dirty and he didn’t like that.  So, I washed them off and he reached for another bite. Silly.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

little h and the doll hunt


  Hey, guess what?  Sometimes babies cry.  It’s true, in case you wondered if mine was of the non-crying variety, here’s proof.  The good thing about babies is that they can even be cute when they are crying.  Adults don’t have that ability.

So, here’s little h crying, because I really don’t know why.  I found this doll in a box of my old baby doll clothes, maybe she didn’t like it or she was probably crying for some other reason.  I’m still searching for the perfect baby doll for her.  This is no easy task, let’s face it… most dolls are creepy. CREEPY MC Creepster.  Those dolls that cry and talk and stuff, well, we sure don’t need any more noise around here from fake babies, our noise quota is filled daily by real ones.  Then those silly fancy dolls that sit on shelves and stare at you, umm, not a fan. They remind me of an episode of hoarders. 

I really did love playing with dolls when I was little and I’m sure little h will too, but man, finding the right one is tough.

One of my favorite little girls in the world, we’ll call her Katy, has this doll that she loves.  This doll is so loved that she has been affectionately covered decorated with permanent marker.  Here’s the best part, as in the very best, one of the funniest things you’ll ever read, right now… she named her doll, Josharoni.  Yes, Josharoni, after her two favorite things in the whole world, her cousin Joshua and macaroni… Josharoni.  If that doesn’t make your day, I can’t help you.  Anyways, that was a year ago, I hope Josharoni and Katy are doing well, I miss them.

Here’s another story about dolls.  But, this one is not funny and it will not be the best thing you hear all day.  It might give you nightmares.  When the mister took me on our very first date, we visited the gorgeous Huntington Botanical Gardens and Museum in San Marino, California. We walked around, took pictures, looked at rare first editions of books, sat under a willow tree, and played in the children’s garden. One of our stops was a tea room.  It was delightful.  It was so adorable watching that boy nervous as can be, experience his first tea time, trying to impress me… I mean, he must have really liked me to do that. 

We were having the most splendid time when this large group of people filed into the room.  They were eccentric to say the least, wearing capes and long lace gloves. And to my great dismay, they were all holding dolls.  HAUNTING, horrifying gothic dolls. Nightmare dolls. These creepsters were having a creepy tea party with their dolls.  I still remember catching a glimpse of one of those little porcelain faces and I regret it to this day.  I wish I lived in a world where this story was made up, but it’s real.  Now you know my apprehension towards certain dolls.

Another time I was happily strolling through an antique store and in the corner of the room, I spotted an aquarium filled with doll heads.  Eeeek. I’m sorry to plant that visual in your head. 

When I was three, I got this doll and named her Katie.  I still have her tucked away  in my closest.  She has been through a lot, her head fell off a few times and her hair is quite a tangled mess now, but she was a good doll, poor ugly Katie.

When I was nine, I got Samantha, from this little known company called American Girl, you’ve probably never heard of it.  This was back when there were only five different dolls to choose from, not 103.  I liked her too, but a few years later, I became more interested in such things as clothes and boys. She’s in a box in the closet, hanging out with Katie.

Well, like I said, I’m still looking for the right doll for my little girl and when I see it I will know.  She’s only two months old, so we still have time.  No reason to rush into a decision that will be a huge mistake.  A girl’s first doll is a big deal.

So, tell me, did you have a favorite doll?  Did you ever witness a creepy doll tea party?  Reminisce with me.

Friday, March 25, 2011

maker of art. not seller.

It’s been far too long since I’ve made any new art.  I moved, then was super sick(pregnant), then super pregnant and then had a baby, and now my time is in high demand from these two kiddos. Plus, I have this blog, which I really enjoy. This leaves my etsy shop  rather neglected, collecting virtual dust.
Here’s the thing.
I love making art…. BUT
I don’t enjoy trying to sell it.  I’m not a marketer.  I’m not a seller.  I just like creating things.  I like sewing. I like painting. I like designing. I like knitting.  But I really don’t like trying to tell other people why they need what I make.  If you love it and you want it, you would know.  No clever arrangement of words could convince you of this. Truthfully, if you have to be convinced that you want something, you don’t really want it at all.  In a perfect world, I would hire someone to market and sell my art, but that’s not going to happen any time soon, unless they would accept compensation in coffee and baked goods.
The idea of spending my limited free time spreading the word about my work, across the endless trails of social networking makes me feel crazy, and not in a good way. It actually makes me less creative, when I’m trying to be something that I really know I’m not.  And as an artist it is important to be aware of the obstacles that block your creative flow and get them out of the way.
The creative journey is ever changing.  Not everything you stumble across is meant to be a permanent part of your craft.  A few years ago, when I had my little boy, I started making these cute little giraffe toys.  Originally, they were going to be gifts, then I thought, I could sell these and I did, for a while.  But, if I just wanted to sew up the same thing in different color combinations time after time, I could find a job in a sweatshop.  I designed some postcards, which was super fun, but when I got caught up in thinking about selling them on a larger scale, I stopped coming up with good designs.  In the winters, I knit and sell scarves, but when the knitting turns into how fast can I do this, how many can I make… I stop enjoying it, plus it hurts my fingers.  And that brings me to my art.  
I’ve written many times about why I create, I am an artist.  I believe that a piece of art can move you, it can inspire you, it can refresh you and it can help you connect to your maker, the grandest artist, God.  Art is a way of life.  Years ago, Banana Republic used this line in their ad campaign, Finding the art in everyday.  It’s my motto.  It’s how I see the world, as a masterpiece created to inspire, challenge, and encourage us.  This is what makes me feel the most alive.  Trying to be a seller of art causes me to feel the opposite.
I’ve considered closing my etsy shop before, but always stalled at the idea that it couldn’t hurt to just keep it open.  I would say, if I sold something, great, if not, okay.  But, I don’t want to do anything half-heartedly, that’s the worst.  The shop has become just that.  As if, I must keep up the façade that I am actually interested in selling, branding, marketing, and such.  Would I just love to bring in some income because of my art? SURE. Yes. OF COURSE.  But, I think it’s time to let this part go.
How do I know it’s the right time to close up shop?  Well, in the past two days that I have been considering/battling this idea, I have felt more inspired than I have in ages.  AGES.  I almost feel the ideas swirling around in my head.  I’ve started seeing things in an artistic way again. You know, when an idea makes something flutter inside your soul… when you see an image that floods you with a refreshing breath of air.  That’s the kind of stuff that is happening again and I’ve missed that.
I’ve heard this saying several different ways, sometimes you have to let go of the good to make room for the best.  That’s where I am now.  I could keep up the little shop drudgingly, or I could let it go and discover what is next for my art.  I’m choosing the latter and risking, well, hardly anything.  (Except I’ll be a blogger without an etsy shop. Gasp.) I would rather be an artist who actually makes art.
Thanks for your support of my little online shop, it does mean the world to me.  I’m keeping it open until the end of March, in case you want to purchase a print or original painting.  I’d be happy to send it your way.
What about you friends, have you ever had to let something go, to make room for something better, in a creative sense?  Are you scared to make the cut?  What have you go to lose? What could you gain?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

2 Months old


And you never saw this...
OH, you also didn’t see this, but I can finally share since it has arrived in the mailboxes of family and friends, the birth announcement, (minus her full name/birthday/weight/height)
introducing our little lady…
I just love her.


Little glimpses of my days. Tiny moments to treasure.  Everyday goodness. So much goodness.  From phone1

Memory is the treasure house of the mind wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved.

John Fuller

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Charleston Part 3- The City

Dreaming of Charleston today, as the ground that was finally free of snow for the first time since November is once again covered.  Overnight.  Oh, Minnesota, you’re on thin ice (pun intended).  In attempts to save myself from sinking into serious, snow-covered despair, here’s some more Charleston for you.


al fresco dining at Monza


beautiful storefronts


IMG_7531 IMG_7544

coffee shop courtyards

IMG_7571 IMG_7578

the ocean

IMG_7639IMG_7658 IMG_7662IMG_7666 IMG_7673

Strolling through parks and breathtaking little streets, filled with the most beautiful homes.

Sigh, I’m not sure that this made me feel better or not, oh well.  Do you have a city that stole your heart in just one visit? I’d love to hear about it.

sewing: more “pillowcase” dresses

Remember my post about the teeny, tiny dress that I made.  Well, I printed the pattern at 75% and the turnout is much better and could fit a real human baby.

I’m using this pattern for the dresses.
And these fabrics (click on image for link.)
Architectural in Sky Poppy Bouquet in Gray Vintage Catalog in Rose

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Charleston Part 2- The Coffee

I probably don’t even have to write a single word on this post, because you know my affection for coffee.  After all, coffee is my love language.  One of the things I anticipated the most on our little reunion trip was the coffee dates.  In college, these happened daily.  Sometimes we had hours to spare, sometimes, we’d fly to Starbucks on Friday afternoons with 15 minutes until our next class for a latte.  Occasionally, we walked in late, but you need priorities. 

In Charleston, we visited the most incredible coffee spot called Hope and Union.  The décor was simple, bright, and cheery. We all gathered around a family sized table with benches, drinking iced coffee served in mason jars. The perfect way to kick off our trip.

IMG_7496  IMG_7497

I just love this photo.  Even little lady knows a perfect coffee date when she sees one.  I’m so proud.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Charleston Part 1- The Friends

A week ago, I was sitting in the company of six of the most spectacular friends that a girl can have.  Our trip to Charleston was nothing short of perfect, except for the part where we had to say goodbye.  I don’t even want to talk about it, because it was intense.  But, now I’m going to talk about it. It was horrible.  To me, it felt as awful as it did the day after our college graduation when our celebrations turned into a brutal reality that we were saying goodbye and parting ways into the big scary world, which none of us suddenly wanted to face.  That’s pretty much how I felt when we all stood around in circle, after lunch on Monday afternoon, wearing our sunglasses to hide the tears that streamed down all of our faces.
It was just so wonderful to spend two and half days together again, just being us.  Words can hardly describe the feeling of being surrounded by friends who know you more than anyone, the ones who became your family, the ones who journeyed with you into the scary world of post-child-almost-adult-college-adult-life, the ones who were in your wedding, and the ones you feel so far away from, too often. 
This post isn’t supposed to drive anyone into a frenzy of tears (good thing you can’t see me right now), it’s just that when you find friends like these and you get to spend time with them, it’s a gift and a treasure.
We did what we do best, we laughed, we laughed to the point of tears, we enjoyed leisurely coffee dates, we noticed beauty, inspiration, and perfection where it existed.  We reminisced and talked about boys and (now) husbands and kids. We bought pashminas and shared accessories.  We wore breakfast jewelry and got ready in the bathroom together.  We took photos, literally hundreds of them.  There was al fresco dining, shopping, a visit to the ocean, sunset watching, staying up way too late, and having the most fun possible.
I am so blessed to know these girls and I can’t imagine not having them in my life...  Charleston 2011 was perfection.
Up next:  Charleston Part 2: The Coffee

The H & H Weekly 6 and 7

It appears that I missed a couple weeks, but it’s not like I wasn’t traveling the country or enjoying tons of family visits… so obviously, I have no good excuse.  I’m sure by now you are experiencing a serious H and H deficiency and I apologize. Silly life getting in the way of blogging.

P.S. Did you know that having two kids is a serious job?  You probably didn’t know.

So, here’s a look back at week 6 with my little H’s.

IMG_7397We bravely went where millions have gone before… a visit to the Mall of America, also known as the most insane place in the world. Also known as crazy, insanity land.  Also known as a place we never wish to return.  But we met Woody. So that’s cool.


This lovely is smiling like it’s her job, which it pretty much is.  Her other job is to be really cute, eat, sleep, and fill endless diapers.  What a tough little life.  But, seriously, most lovely smile ever.



Week 7

This one spent the weekend with the daddy, while us girls were out of town.  He visited the children’s museum and from what I hear, he’s a big fan.




This little lady had a big week.  First flight on a airplane.  First time meeting all her aunties.  First visit to the ocean. Experiencing the warm spring air of Charleston, the feeling of the warm sunshine and the cool breeze (read: NOT FREEZING, BITTER WIND) on her face.  She kicked her little bare feet in delight in her stroller, as we took in the lovely city and the beautiful weather.  Literally, summer existed for the first time in her life and I know she was a little sad to come home to snow.  But she missed her daddy and brother very much and is happy to be home and not so busy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I don't hate Charleston

Oh Charleston.  Thank you for the most amazing trip, filled with sunshine, iced coffee served in mason jars, patio lunches, beer ketchup,  long strolls, endless laughter, incredible moments turned instant memories with some of my dearest on this planet.  I fell in love with you, the beautiful, inspiring, lovely city that you are… I miss you already.  Minnesota has nothing on you.
… except my two boys, which is pretty huge.
I’ll be back soon with many stories and photos, but right now we have back to back visits from family, and I’m still soaking in all the goodness from the past few days.
And… I’m still in denial that I can’t wear my flip flops and sundresses. I don’t want to talk about it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

for the love… it’s snowing again, but the good news is…

Tomorrow I am boarding a plane with the little Harpster and heading south.  First destination North Carolina, where I shall meet up with some of my favorites and get to see three of the coolest little boys.   Then, we load up a rockin’ minivan and head to Charleston to meet three more lovelies for an unforgettable weekend of college friend reunion ultimate amazing extravaganza fun.

I’m quite certain that these ladies are some of the most amazing people ever created and I know that my college adventure would never have been the same without them.  Oh, the golden years.  Were they really so long ago?  Where have all the cowboys gone? It’s always been you,  Summer.  Oops, sorry.  And now we’re all grown up and spread out across the country… and that my readers, is a travesty.   A serious travesty. No wonder the world is falling apart.


I’m still in shock that this trip is actually happening, I mean, we’ve tried to plan a lot of trips, but this time we did more than try.  We planned it.  We booked.  We planned.  We dreamed. We schemed.  We sent approx. 1,000 group e-mails.  We convinced husbands to watch the little boys.  Plane tickets were purchased.  Menus were planned.  T-shirts were mentioned and never made.  Way to go, us.  

Friends Thanksgiving 2006 039

I don’t think this trip could come at a better time, because…

It’s snowing again. 


However, two members of the family are not as excited about our little trip as we are, but I know they will have fun doing boy stuff.  They are best friends.  I hope they survive without us…. I hope we survive without them.

I’ll be back to blogging next week. 

P.S. winter, be gone when I get home. OR ELSE.