I have this funky 70s condiment-serving set that's gold with green daisies on top. It doesn't show too well in the photo above, but I just love it. Makes me giddy. The lid has a spoon-notch that doubles as a handy scissors-holder -- as I've opted to store thread and buttons inside instead of mustard or pickles. Though I guess you could store your scissors in mustard.
And not that my blog needs any more photos of strawberries -- or pincushions even for that matter -- but strawberry pincushions are what I've been photographing today, so strawberries it is. In truth, I'm entirely surprised how popular the strawberry pincushion kits have been over at the HB store. Definitely in the top 10. In response to the excitement for ready-to-go strawberry supplies, we've added two new colors. Now there are kits for velveteen strawberries in deep red, bright pink, and soft pink, and wool-blend strawberries in bright red (photographed above) -- covering the full gamut.
School kicked back in yesterday. Elijah seems glad for the increase in activity. Summer can get long. I've heard it said that childhood is 'long days, but short years.' I understand that sentiment more and more. Such short years.
I'm regularly asked how I fit it all in - design work, motherhood, church, friendships, family, fun. I can't say I do fit it all in. But what I do successfully manage comes as a result of regularly re-assessing my priorities. Not on a weekly basis, or even a daily basis, but every 20 minutes or so. And often a peanut butter sandwich or the next chapter of Inkheart overrules pressing business matters for a time. I'm in business to serve the needs of my family. I've chosen to do what I love so I can be happy at work, and hopefully brighten the world in some small way while I go about my thing.
Time away from my children is a tangible thing I don't take lightly. To repair the balance at times -- in the world at large, if not in my own home -- I focus my business on projects that will help knit us to our children/families/friends through the work of our hands, and on materials that will inspire us to do so. In my experience, those quiet times of creativity, with long stretches of time (or frequent spurts) spent thinking of and truly loving the ones we're creating for, are full of sweetness and provide meaningful attachments. In my life it's true -- even if the sentiment is not always returned -- in sewing pajamas for the kids, in making a blanket for a friend, helping a neighbor move, or designing a wedding dress for a girl at church, I've loved these people through the process. And the process of creating has opened my heart toward them. The blankets, dolls and toys I've kept from my childhood are all items that one or both of my parents made for me. I know they were thinking sweetly of me when they made them. I love that. Charlotte plays with my childhood doll bed every day.
When my workload weighs a little on the heavy side, I think of other moms out there who have found the time that day to go the extra mile, perhaps making a blanket for their son or teaching their daughter to make bread -- or maybe just finding more patience, more snuggle time, more laughter. The simple things that make life beautiful. It's true, they're precious, short years.
No, I don't always fit it all in, but I certainly try to fit in the important stuff as much as possible.
I'm clearly still feeling sappy. Oh me. To lighten things up, Here's a list of fun tidbits I've been meaning to mention:
- The talented Vivian Love did a three-part blog series on the quilting of my Pop Garden sample quilt. It's fascinating to see the techniques involved -- and she did an immaculate job!! (I'll post photos soon). (Links to parts 1,2,3 are in Vivian's sidebar under her photo)
- My new scrapbook collection has made Creating Keepsakes' Latest & Greatest list.
- And it's been featured in this month's Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion as well.
- Trash Ties have been featured on Project Runway Australia - click here (about 8.5 minutes in). Several long red Trash Ties in one hairstyle. Avant garde!
- There's a Project Runway Australia! How cool is that? And you can watch it on YouTube.
- Tara's getting married! (We could use your help -- stay tuned.)
- We're having a new patio put in - it should be done before the weather gets nice (!!)
- Bobbin refuses to budge when she's on a leash. Not for treats, not for water, not for a song & dance. Any advice? Pixel will, of course, do anything for a treat.
- The Pop Garden & Bijoux photo group on Flickr is all set up. Take a peek. And share your projects too -- I love to see what you're up to.
- And join the new HB Paper Crafts group while you're at it. I'll add Flickr badges to my sidebar as soon as possible -- next week hopefully.
- There's also a great Paper Crafts inspiration page here.
- Today's 8-8-08. That's kinda fun. (My son certainly thinks so.)
- Tuesday's my birthday. I've got big plans : )
- Lists are the best. I feel so much more caught up now.