Wednesday, August 31, 2011

four years

Wedding Anniversary Card

I pulled back the curtain and was swept away by the softest breeze, grey hovered around, faint storms lingered in the distance and Moon River serenaded the air.  I closed my eyes and etched in my mind everything about this moment.  A magical little morsel of goodness just for me.

On my father’s arm, I walked to meet a man who was standing in front of the most beautiful red barn.

The minister forgot to instruct the guests to sit down, they stood for the longest time. We wondered just how long it would take until they got a clue. A fly was feasting on our communion bread, we tried not to laugh too loudly, as Ernie prayed.  We pretended to sign the marriage license, with our best man and matron of honor, except we only needed one signature, no one ever knew until now.

It was wonderful.

I’d marry him all over, even without the guests, the food, the music, the parasols, the twinkling lights, the dress… all the details that made it so special.

I’d stand in front of that barn holding his hand and promise him my forever, I absolutely would.

Four years.  Happy Anniversary my love.

{Card available here}

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

skipping rocks


Upon arrival, he took one look around and set to work, all these rocks in dire need of a swim. He watched as daddy scoured the beach for the perfectly smooth rocks that would dance across the lake, and for hours, a rite of passage into boyhood, skipping rocks.  He settled just a few feet from our blanket, showing bits of independence, while knowing we were still so close. 

I’ve seen it before, that look on his face, the engulfing alive that sweeps over him as he takes in the breeze floating off the water, but we saw him connect in a new way.` His soul was well and overflowing.  Being months away from turning three, he couldn’t put it in words, but they often fail to describe how one connects to his maker.  It was as if he just sensed it, the way his eyes searched the shoreline, the way he watched the clouds paint shadows around the bay, ushering in the night.  That childlike wonder. We felt it too, that’s why we crave the water, it’s where we feel the closest to God. But to witness this in our boy, it takes my breath away.

As he “skipped” rocks, fellow beach goers would pause to watch,  smiles would wipe across their faces along with a glimmer in their eyes, full of  memories.  A quick glance down the water’s edge showed a dozen others doing the same.  This repetitious, calming act that seemed to bring out the best in people.  I wonder if they were connecting too.  At one point, I noticed a group of boys, ranging from age two to fifty.  All of them trying to be the best rock skipper in the bunch. Even the youngest, with every throw his whole body moved, he was trying so hard. The older ones appeared to be more relaxed, but if you really watched, the same eager look appeared in all their faces. IMG_0675

Childlike wonder is a treasure never to be lost.

Monday, August 29, 2011

at the water’s edge

We’re better at the water’s edge.

I’ve known this for a long time, but this weekend, I saw it in the most captivating, beautiful way.  I’m still composing words that will do justice to this truth.

For now, this.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Announcing Furthermore Creative!


We just launched our newest project, a collaboration between husband and wife, Furthermore Creative is your solution to the so-so greeting cards.  After years of searching and searching tirelessly for a good card that we didn’t already give each other, we finally set out to make our own.  We are proud of all these designs and would give them to each other in a heart beat.

The drawings are done and editing by that talented husband of mine, the rest we do together. We will be adding new designs frequently.

Our inspiration is simple, our love.

We hope that you visit the shop and then feel free to make us famous.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Sewing Report/ LLTSA Bucket Hat (Almost)

I don’t know if this really counts as the Oliver + S bucket hat, but it is… minus the brim, insert my own brim, trim, and vintage buttons.  I like to break rules after all. Isn’t the point of a sew-a-long to see how everyone makes the same pattern with their own spin?  It reminds me of an old solider cap.  I know your favorite part is the Thomas pajamas, and the run around the room and under the table while mommy takes pictures concept. It came so naturally to him. Enjoy.
This blanket was made for a very special little boy who is about to become a big brother to twins!  I can’t wait to see how it looks in his new room, once his lovely mama sends me photos.
And sometimes the best way to end something is…
the end.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New in Shop- Postcards

My paper collage prints are now available in postcards!  They are fun, quirky, and unique. When I designed the originals, I used acrylic paint, charcoal, pages from old newsprint, and craft paper. Then we did a little digital touch up for the finished look.  I am so fond of this series, because it was one of the creative moments that just happened, those are the best kind. 
They are available in sets of 3 (one of each design) or 9 (three of each design). 
I love postcards and a little handwritten note.  I know I’m not the only one, there’s just something about snail mail, when you normally expect bills and junk, a friendly little card is such a surprise.
You can find them here in the shop.
And remember this sneak peek that I mentioned… be looking for the announcement this week.

Friday, August 19, 2011

within a child

Daily, I watch in wonder this child growing into an adventurous explorer.  It wasn’t too long ago that he wouldn’t finish his meal if his hands got dirty. Now, he can be found on all fours searching through the dirt.  He found this little opening in the bushes and slowly realized he could crawl in and hide, as he went in deeper, he kept looking back at me smiling.  We collected rocks, sticks, and leaves, which we pressed between wax paper later that day.  I watched him as I sat on the bench, listening to Edith Piaf and holding my little girl who loves the sunshine and breeze and French music, she told me so.
I love how he points in the air and exclaims, Wind!  How he chases the bugs down the sidewalk.  How he says hello and goodbye to everyone we see.  I love the delight in his eyes when he’s running in the grass. How he declared all the letters he knows. How he can distinguish between the sounds of a truck, car, motorcycle, or train. 
Picasso said that, “Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain one once he grows up.”  I think the same goes for adventurers, explorers, being friendly to strangers, finding wonder in the everyday, believing that you can climb a very tall tree when you are small.
I never want to be the kind of mother to squelch that spirit, the world will try hard enough. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

stories from the park

We were playing in our ‘secret garden’ after delivering some friendly packages to the post office.  The sun warmed us and painted dozen of shadows across the earth.  My little boy was on hands and knees peering into a flowerbed, hunting for rocks and sticks and other important discoveries.  Happily playing on the blanket near us, the girl is content in the fresh air. 
A man enters the park, much to our surprise, I guess we aren’t the only ones who go beyond the wrought iron gates of this magical little place.  He finds a bench and pulls out his cigarette.  Then, he starts chatting with the boy explorer as if they were old friends, “What are you finding there, buddy?”  He holds up a rock and shows it to him and then a stick and an acorn and a leaf. We chat a little bit about the fresh air and how nice this park is.  I mention how it’s perfect for me, not having to worry about the lake, marina, and parking lot that surround the other park in town.
Which led him to a tale about the time he took his four year old son to a giant sledding hill and he was so scared the whole way down.  At the bottom of the hill, he was yelling, “Jump off, jump off Danny!”  He did and was soon met by his dad to calm his nerves.  It was a few years later before they returned, and then he loved it.
“Yeah, we lost him way too early though, Danny liked to drive really fast.  It was a month before his eighteenth birthday and he liked to run from the cops. We sure do miss him.”
“I'm sorry, that’s terrible.” I said, not really knowing what to say.  “Was he your only child?”
“Oh no, I have three boys, well three boys now.” He said, “but I guess, Danny’s just getting to do all the things he loves now, and we’ll see him again someday.”
“Yes, so, really you still have four, he’s just not with you here right now.” I replied, not really sure if I thought that one through, but it felt okay to say.
“Yeah, you’re right, he’s with us in spirit, and one day, we’ll be together.  Can you imagine it, a place with no pain or suffering? It must be pretty amazing, huh?”  He said and then got up to head back across the street
I paused and smiled, “absolutely.”
He left after wishing us a wonderful day and I stood there, as my son said, good- bye towards him.

People everywhere are walking this earth full of stories. Stories full of happiness, courage, love, sadness, loss, and hope.  It’s beautiful.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

oliver + s bucket hat (LTTS Sew-a-long #1)

Yesterday, my Little Things to Sew book from Oliver + S  arrived at my door, thanks to the delivery man
and guess what happened today…
The clouds parted, the stars aligned and the kids both took a nice long nap. Glory!
Good thing because, I was shoulder deep in the it-has-been-too-long-since-i-made-anything blues, so today was just what I needed.  Coldplay and the thunderstorms helped too.
The fabric for side one is this muted, soft, fall-ish  print. It’s cute, but woodsy and whimsical, perfect for a little girl about to enjoy her first fall, isn’t fall the greatest?  The reverse is a lovely green, richer than the photos show.  To remedy a problem area  add a little something extra, I hot glued a small Velcro round and did the same to a simple brown felt bow.  This one is a size small and it fits her well, with room to grow.
The pattern called for a blind stich by hand to add the cap for the reverse side, but umm, I didn’t do that, I folded under the edge and pinned it like crazy, then I sewed from the front side, so that the threads would match, brown on front, white underneath.  It looks like an intentional top stitch and I think it was way easier… and faster.
I’m going to make one for my hat-loving boy next, so he won’t steal this one from his baby sis. 
I can’t wait to make the rest of the projects from this book and to see everyone else’s finished hats, see who’s sewing along here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

a scoop of thankful

  • cool breezy mornings
  • espresso
  • weekend dinner with friends, complete with pots de crème and coffee
  • lazy weekends of movies
  • a stack of fabric waiting for me
  • a few sneaky leaves changing into their fall attire
  • quiet moments before the kids wake up, something I want to be  better at doing.
  • new books coming in the mail
  • exciting new products coming to the shop very soon
  • a heaping plate of homemade coconut shrimp
  • a giant pot of homemade meatballs


what about you?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

one summer morning

The clear blue sky and 70 degrees beckoned us to come play.  So I loaded up the stroller and we accepted the invitation.  A stop into Starbucks for a coffee, which poured over with every bump in the sidewalk, clearly the designer never pushed a stroller with a coffee in the cup holder.  In this little beach town that we call home, our Starbucks is 100% business meeting all the time.  I almost feel out of place in there with my double stroller and kids, the people who shallowly grin at you and are probably thinking, two kids, oh my, quelle nightmare! 
But honestly, I never feel out of place in a coffee shop, not even snobby meeting people can mess that up. Perhaps, they could use a little sugar & fat in those sugar-free, fat-free lattes.
Someone once called this place a yuppie lake town, they were right, but I do prefer this to gunshots and gangs.  High end shops and restaurants line the shores of the lake, the waters sparkle the most radiant blue, the community takes pride in their extensive landscaping of benches and flowers anywhere there is space.  Boats pour out of the marinas all day long, gliding across the water, soaking in the summer.  It’s a nice place.
Just a few blocks down is Caribou Coffee, I know, how I suffer.  The outdoor tables are filled with the retired, older crowd and young people laughing and meeting friends. Bikers stop in for a cool drink.  Ladies with their silly tiny dogs get together with their friends and their silly pets. They probably buy tiny cappuccinos for them too.The vibe is so different there. They prefer their coffee with fresh air, sunshine dancing, and water. I understand. I prefer everything with fresh air and water.
Down the street and around the corner is the post office, our next destination.  People rarely smile there, rushing in and out.  But, we take our time, we like it that way.  We notice the boats and the bikes and the dogs. We look for sprawling shadows on the sidewalk telling a mysterious story.  We watch the butterflies flutter through the flower beds.  And the coffee spills with each bump (I should have gotten a bigger cup). 
Across from the post office is a lovely little park, pleasantly titled, the Post Office Park, a place for neighbors and community.  Sadly, though, as I’ve said before, I have never seen anyone else there.  It’s fenced in, quiet, and shaded and we are frequent visitors. Today, we stopped in and played soccer with fallen crab apples, collected sticks and leaves. And for a few moments, someone watched the bees ever so closely (maybe too close) as they collected pollen.  He answered their buzzing with his own, as if they were having the best conversation. 
A beautiful older lady noticed the park and entered through the patina green iron arch, she smiled a genuine smile and her ruffled collar moved in the breeze, her diamonds sparkled in the sun.  She watched Hudson playing with found objects and peeked into the stroller to see the baby.  Then she hesitantly asked if they were twins, I laughed and said, “Oh no. Six months and nearly three.”  Another glance towards my baby just to be sure I wasn’t teasing and she said, in the sweetest way, “Oh well, I never had kids, I guess I’m silly about knowing things like that.”  I assured her that someone else had wondered the same thing three days ago.  She watched the kids for a second longer and wished us a nice day. We did the same.  I felt a little sad for her.  She had kind eyes, they sparkled like her jewels.
For the next hour, as the post office goers rushed along,  we got lost in the dancing leaves of the trees, providing us with shade and a quiet swishing song.  I laid on the grass next to my girl and inhaled this intoxicating summery day.  We listened to She & Him on my phone. Harper tried to eat the grass, Hudson tried to drink my coffee.  We played more crab apple soccer.  It felt like we were hiding in this magical glass globe, we could see out to the busy world, but no one could see into this lovely place where time is still…
but only because they never stopped to look.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Sewing Report

A sweater for my boy, made from an old sweaters.  I added wool patches the the elbows, I love elbow patches, they’re so cute old man. The collar is this faux-turtleneck/scarf ordeal with Velcro.  I get such satisfaction out of designing things for boys, it’s just different than cute little dresses for girls, do you know what I mean?  Some of my favorite pieces have been for him, like this jacket.  Maybe, I just love outerwear, and by maybe, I mean I absolutely do.  Is a sweater technically outerwear?

I love this pillow, late one night I felt the unquenchable urge to sew, and that’s how it happened. It adds so much color and fun to our living room.  I couldn’t resist the free as birds fabric from cloud 9, paired with a red linen and yellow lace.  The reserve side is plain, because I could only buy a few birds, sadly not all of them. I now want to redo all the pillows into fun, mix-matched designs, I don’t even know how I’ve had matching pillows for this long.  I apologize for that boringness. I should know better.

I bought some fabric for dresses, but it turns out it’s not fabulous dress-making material –literally. I also have cute coat patterns that I’ve been dying to make for that baby girl of mine, who I caught doing a downward dog this morning.  I’m very disappointed in her behavior.

Speaking of sewing, that talented Jessica is hosting an Oliver + S Little things to Sew-a-long.  Each month, we are making one project out of the book.  I’m excited to start.

There is it, the sewing report.

Monday, August 8, 2011

fall asleep smiling

Yesterday was the kind of day that you fall asleep smiling.  We slept in, visited a new donut shop and enjoyed maple glazed bacon long johns.  Truthfully, I don’t know how I lived 27 years with bacon-less donuts.  Then we visited the farmer’s market, where we found radiant purple “red” onions and plump, scrumptious tomatoes. On one corner, a man played his accordion, down a little ways, a smooth summery sound came from a saxophone, isn't open air music magical?

It was a perfect 79 degrees, free of humidity, sunny and sweet, ideal for an evening at the beach. 
After basking the sun,  splashing in the water, seeing the rays flicker and dance creating a show of yellow and 100 shades of blue, watching my husband and son happily playing in the sand and my baby cooing and laughing in the breezy fresh air…
Any more goodness might be overkill, but think Sleepless in Seattle, coffee, brie, and apples.
I wish this kind of good day for you.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


My six-week old baby and I were flying home from the best reunion ever, she was snug and sound asleep, wrapped up next to my chest. I stood there in my planned out travel outfit, stylish yet decently comfortable with my coffee in my hand.  I looked down the corridor and saw her, frantic, frenzied, in sweats and a large tee-shirt.  Her hair pulled back  and her eyes full of desperation.  On one hip, a chubby little baby, stripped down to the diaper, wailing.  In her other arm, a diaper bag, a soiled outfit, and an umbrella stroller trying to keep up.  For a moment, I wanted to raise my eyebrows, but my heart spoke louder and I wanted to help.

There is a lady who lives in our building, I often hear her escaping outside for a cigarette.  Mother of two year old twins, long-term fiancé to man who prematurely moves around with a walker and thus is not employed.  Neither of them work, and their disputes and door slamming can be heard from across the building and up the stairs.  I hate that I have to breathe in her addiction as I approach my front door.  But, as she sits numbingly looking forward, I know my attempts to avoid eye contact would make her feel even more invisible, so I try to remember a smile. 

I was talking with a friend about how she is so cautious to ever discuss her parenting decisions with family, because of the waves of negative feedback that often follow.  This morning I read an article from a blogger that I enjoy about her own thoughts on motherhood, the comments were  an onslaught of judgment, hateful, spiteful, and ungracious words. 

As women, mothers, wives, heck, as people, we are constantly battling something: for our marriages, families, finances, faith, careers, hopes, dreams, that impossible customer service department, and even our sanity. Why must we battle each other too? 

How powerful would it be, if instead of our opinions, our judgments, our scowls…

we tried grace.

To the one with the screaming child in the grocery store, because that was probably you yesterday.  To the one who dares to show a bit of vulnerability, by saying, hey today is rough.. To the lady whose fashion choices are forlorn, because every last bit of her soul might also be. And yes,  even to the one who doesn’t parent like you do.

Whether you think you are saving the planet or your wallet with your cloth diapers or happily keep target in business with disposables, whether you stand by this parenting book or that one, whether you choose to work outside of the home because of preference or necessity, whether vaccinations are helpful or hurtful, public school or home school or un-school, it goes on and on.  It seems that once you decide what is best for your child or even yourself, you must then defend your decisions to anyone in sight.

If we stopped fighting against each other, won’t we have more energy to be better for ourselves, our families, or jobs?  If we offered grace, we could save each other from one less struggle, opposition, or frustration.

And wouldn’t that make a huge difference?

I suppose this might apply to people without children too, but I could be wrong.

Friday, August 5, 2011

inherently boy

“Hey baby, come look at this tree,” I said to him.

“Up?” he asked.  He reached down in his knees and lunged up and when that didn’t work, he tried harder. A few more times and he was frustrated. Then he stretched his arms and high as they could go and jumped all of two inches off the ground, surely this would work. 

I watched in amazement, the power of childhood, a world free of impossibilities.

Here’s the best part, he’s never climbed a tree, but deep inside his little boy heart, he must have known that trees are for climbing.

And then he found a big stick.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

DIY: textured, spiced, painted poetry wall art

Recently, I posted this photo of the new art piece in our living room.  I actually decided to take some photos of the process, which is strange for me, because I don’t normally think that way. So, here’s my little contribution to the creative world today.  This is very precise and scientific method.
The story goes, I had been dreaming of a large canvas for ages, but never desire to shell out the money for one, I blame diapers.  But, one day my sister brings this one from my mom’s house. My mom is always getting rid of things, and she thinks that I want everything she is purging. I do not.  Canvases are the exception.  VHS tapes are not. 
1. Gather old book pages from a book you no longer want, or one you bought for art purposes OR if you just happen to have one that some guy bought you years ago as gift, because he liked you but not enough to really, actually be in a relationship. HA.  Use that.
2. In a dish mix water and a spice that you think would make a cool color.  I used turmeric, because I have it and I don’t really know what to use it for, except for art projects. So add a few tablespoons to the water and stir, stir, stir. 
3. Soak pages in the water for about 30 seconds each and then spread them out to dry.  You’ll have to take them all back up again, so don’t spend much time thinking about placement.  I don’t know how long they take to dry, because it was like an oven in my house this day thanks to the burning fire in the sky.
4. You could totally skip this step, but I think it adds a fun texture and it’s interesting.
5. NOT PICTURED- Cover the canvas with a layer of modge podge.
6.Arrange pages as you desire, then enlist an artist apprentice for the next step.
7. Mix some brown/yellow water color paint with some water, so it’s really runny and let small child have the best time ever.
8. Take paper towel/ news paper and dab the wet paint in various spots to create an aged/texture look.
9. Let it dry.
10. NOT Pictured-  When dry, apply another layer of modge podge to seal the pages. It’s boring, but the right thing to do.
11. More drying. more boring.
(At this point, I stopped taking pictures.)

13. Take white paint (or whatever color you desire) and casually paint the canvas, we’re going for the messy look here, which might be hard for some of you, but you really want the words to show through in various parts.
14. Ugh. let. it. dry.
15. Lastly, you can do whatever you want next, paint, chalk, pastels, fabric, strawberries- like Jude in across the universe… ANYTHING.  I chose to write a poem with a sharpie, because this much writing would be hard to do with paint.  I used this poem by e.e. cummings.  It’s always been one of my favorites.  I wrote it very quickly and haphazardly, because I wanted it to look that way.  Imperfection is perfection.
Voila. Textured. Spiced. Painted. Art.

If you ever decide to have so much fun doing anything like this, please let me know. I’d love to see it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

inspiration trio

1 episode of Project Runway. //photo


this adorable blog //photo


SALE Rosemont Sweater

this breathtaking shop //photo

In the last week, these three things have overwhelmed me with inspiration to sew and design.  Just a warning…


What has been inspiring you?

file under:



my heart.

P.S. Yes, she totally spit up all over his shirt.