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December 2008

looking back on 2008

2008 - looking back

1. baby1, 2. 18 weeks, 3. studio!, 4. bird watching from the studio 2, 5. florida beach, 6. countdown to goodbye day 3, 7. countdown to goodbye day 7, 8. the flood, 9. last day of school, 10. sarah p. duke gardens, 11. Emmeline Apron for Tie One On Polka Dots, 12. roatan honduras, 13. urique, 14. Gaby and Victor jumping rope, 15. simple holidays :: studio mug, 16. the calico kitty, 17. books in bike basket, 18. durham homes 082, 19. simplicity 3835, 20. building the petronas towers 3

The year began in hibernation. Such are the winters of northern Mexico - spent in the one heated room of our adobe home.

But hibernation has its way bringing about change. Gestating, shall we say. Like the wild bear, we find ourselves preparing to bring forth new life come Spring. 

From Mexico and Montessori to North Carolina, grad school, and book writing, 2008 has been a year of changes. Thank you for being here through it all. May the coming year bring you and yours a healthy dose of love and laughter. Here's to the changes of 2009!

Happy New Year,

Meg, Patrick, and Baby Boy


Who said the weather outside is frightful? I just marvel at the little wonders one can find while walking slowly through snow-touched woods.

snow crystals while snowshoeing 1

snow crystals while snowshoeing 2
We made it to my parents' home in the mountains of northern California, past the airport debacles of Chicago and Las Vegas, to be greeted by the sweet smell of my childhood home - pine needles and crisp air. A tour of the property on snowshoes was the only item on the day's itenerary, the highlight of which was refreshing ourselves with handfuls of mountain-purified water directly from the bubbling natural spring.

the calico kitty

Oh - and this little kitty. You see, I knew this year would not find me making by hand all of my Christmas gifts. Time was in desperately short supply - I relied on Etsy for almost all of our gift-giving. But this kitty doll idea kept popping into my head ... I knew my two and four-year old nieces would go bonkers over these. I kitty-fied the Wee Wonderfuls Kit, Chloe and Louise doll pattern, found a hand built doll bunk bed and double doll chair on Etsy, and then proceeded to go all out. I just couldn't stop myself. Two woolen kitties, two doll quilts and bedding sets, three outfits for each, and two felt "pet fish" in a tiny beta fish bowl later, these girls are going to have one heck of a Christmas morning.

More photos later when I have everything set up under the tree!

If you don't hear from me for a bit, assume that we are enjoying the incoming snow storm and are most likely without electricity. The perfect combination, if you ask me. Sigh. Winter is so wonderful.

simple holidays :: from the studio

simple holidays :: red and white notions

That was one crazy week.
-My first book deadline called for me to send off about half of my finished projects for cover and promotional photo shoots. Everything was done and in the mail yesterday - a nice feeling, to say the least.
-Baby boy started bouncing around his house this week! He must like music, because ...
-I've had three, three-hour choir rehearsals and two performances this week. Last one is today at four at the Duke Chapel, for anyone interested. I'll be that lazy, noticeably pregnant lady who gets to sit in a chair while her fellow chorus members sweat it out on the stands.
-My holiday traditions swap package is boxed and ready to go on Monday. (Yes, you heard me ... I missed my own deadline. Gasp! But, then again, that was silly of me to assume that I was superwoman and could manage a book deadline and a swap deadline on the same day. (One day late, Melissa - but I'm sure you'll love it!)
-I took some time to write my Congressperson and Senators, letting them know about the risk to independent, natural toy makers if the Consumer Safety Improvement Act goes into effect without modifications. Thanks to Kirsten for letting me know. I've put a button on my side bar that you can click on for more information. Read up on the debate on Etsy, as well. I'm totally horrified at the thought of Etsians being put out of business by this. I'm also scared of the implications for Montessori schools and parents nation-wide. I, for one, do not want plastic, factory-made, Chinese toys to be the only ones that I can provide my son. I want to continue to shop at Etsy and Michael Olaf.

simple holidays :: studio mug

Despite it all, there were still moments of peace amidst the whirring of the sewing machine.

simple holidays :: messy studio

And lest you all think that my studio maintains its stateliness during all of this craziness, here's proof otherwise.

simple holidays :: studio tree

A little bit of cheer from my "searching for the simple in the midst of the frantic" house to yours!

oh boy!


So. Incredible. I just had to share baby's first photo shoot with you!

baby face

Everything looks normal. Here he is using the placenta as a pillow ...

baby legs

And here, he has his legs straight up and crossed at the ankles! I wouldn't be surprised if his elbows are splayed out with his head resting on his hands. A little character? Most certainly so.

simple holidays :: 1

emmeline apron ornaments
Emmeline Apron Ornaments

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Ours was spent in Florida with my in-laws. With the exception of those days away, I have been putting up a holiday decoration here, preparing a swap package there, but the days have mostly consisted of doing the things that must be done to meet my first book deadline. Yikes. There's so much to be done.

While I'm trying not to let the pace of things get to me and just enjoy the many hours on end spent in my studio (a lovely place, by the way - I can't complain) I need to take a step back somehow. Since I can't add hours to the day at this point, I have to be a bit more quiet here on the blog front.

I'm sure many of you feel the same pull for "quiet" as you do what you can to make your holidays special before traveling, hosting dinner, or preparing the house for guests. If you would like, join me at the Flickr group Simple Holidays ::

:: to relish the special moments amidst the chaos
:: to honor handmade holidays
:: to remember that holidays aren't about buying and receiving
:: to highlight the details of the season that are often overlooked

I'll be letting the photographs do the speaking in the meantime. I'll be back here with words once my deadline is met!