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September 2010

August 2010

i made something! (amidst chaos)

Okay, so I know I promised you a pattern preview on Monday. Monday ended up being crazy, as was Sunday and Saturday and Friday. You see, we discovered that the summer-in-the-South-humidity was being soaked up by all of those cardboard boxes that contain my pattern pieces and we had to move the entire Sew Liberated stock from the garage into my basement. Which means, of course, that I spent the entire weekend with a basement that looked like it threw up all over the place. Um. That wasn't the prettiest sentence I've ever composed. But I can't think of any other way to describe it. So I spent the weekend cleaning up the basement's tossed cookies. Did I mention that I'm not quite in the nesting phase yet? It wasn't as exhilarating as my future, more pregnant self will imagine. At least it's done! And we're having a yard sale with some friends towards the end of September. Nothing like a good purge! (Okay, enough with the throw-up talk. On to cute babies and sewing. Thank you for letting me vent.)

open open open

So. Cuteness. These baby pants? LOVE them. They're Rae's awesome new design, and they're specifically designed with the cloth-diapered baby in mind. They fit Finn like a charm. I did size up due to his poofy Mother-Ease diapers. He's actually quite average-sized in weight and height, but you add that diaper and a wool soaker, and the boy gains a lot in circumference!

walking the rails

The clever rear panel and optional cuff bands make for a great opportunity to mix-and-match fabric. For these pants, I used a hemp-twill blend in two different neutral colors, thinking that they would serve as a great pair of dress-up pants for a wedding we're attending in a few weeks. I've cut out two more pairs - a gray striped linen with gray dot accents, and a white linen with black stripes.

walking the rails 2

AND ... you actually ARE getting a new pattern sneak-peek! That little cap he's wearing? Yep. In sizes 6 months - 8 years. We're not fully ready to do an official announcement and put it up for pre-sale yet (see above excuse) but it's off for it's second round of testing now! Soon, mamas of boys, very, very soon!

room for bending The end!

first painting

first painting on canvas 2

It was a success. I'm not sure who enjoyed the experience more - the toddler, the mama, or the grandparents watching from the wings. One thing's for certain - Finn certainly didn't notice all of the excitable adults around him, ooohing and ahhing and snapping around 2,431 photos. He was too interested in the paint to even care. Perfect.

first painting on canvas 1

Here's what I did to prepare the scene:

  • Made sure the washing station was ready to go.
  • Laid cardboard on the floor to act as a provisional drop cloth.
  • Placed a 16" x 20" canvas on top of the cardboard (bought this with a 40% off coupon at Michael's).
  • Set some cardboard atop his little table, and placed it right next to the working space on the floor.
  • On the edge of his table, I placed three colors of washable tempera paint in the most perfect little painting snail. Wait ... let me explain. It's a little snail-shaped metal bowl-thingy that has teaspoon-sized depressions for holding just the right amount of paint. I should have gotten a picture of that, but I was too busy photographing the artist to think of it. I think I found it at Montessori Services about five years ago or so.
  • Placed two paint brushes of different sizes and a natural sponge next to the paint.

a whole body experience

I think a key to this project's success was that I set everything up before Finn arrived on scene. He happened to be playing in the sandbox in the backyard with his Papa, but something like this could just as easily be thrown together during nap time. In fact, that's my plan once Patrick starts up school again on Monday and we get back into a regular schedule. Finn naps, wakes up and has a snack, then heads out to the porch for some art exploration.

why paint with just a brush

first painting

And who said that painting was just for the hands? (Check out this post from way back when.) Getting the feet involved only enhanced the final product. In truth, I was crossing my fingers for a few footprints and toe smudges.

I plan on hanging his first painting in our art space, which is why I chose to have him paint directly on canvas. Future paintings will likely happen on paper and other cheaper surfaces, but the canvas was certainly worth it.

washing off the paint

Of course, the clean-up was just as fun as the painting!

yogurt beards and other things

yogurt beard

Where to begin? Three weeks is such a long time in Blogland, but such a short time in motherhood. It seems like I was just here, jotting down some thoughts. I turned my back for what seemed like a second, and it's been nearly a month! Anyways ... I'm back, and finally feeling pretty good. I'm still tired, but I wonder if that's due to the pregnancy or simply mothering a toddler. I'm guessing a bit of both.

But we do have a bit of catching up to do now, don't we? Here's a quick recap of the last few weeks:

  • Patrick went to Mexico for a week to attend the wedding of our good friends. Finn and I were planning to go, but ended up staying at home because I just didn't feel well enough to travel. It was fun, though, to hear about everyone through Patrick, and I'm also loving this video that they recently released that's all about the Montessori school where I taught. It's in Spanish, but you can get a great sense of the school just by watching. 
  • Of course, Patrick's absence meant that I was solo-parenting Finn while not feeling too hot myself. Finn was really delightful, but at the end of it, I was wiped out.
  • My dear husband returned home from Mexico not feeling too hot himself. Finn was like, "What? Daddy's here, but he's a super-boring Daddy who only eats broth and who doesn't chase me around like a wild animal."  Mama was equally dismayed.
  • Mima and Papa came to visit. I didn't have to clean or cook or lift a finger because my parents are so helpful.
  • I designed a new pattern, which will be unveiled in a week! We're putting the finishing touches on it right now.

There you go. It wasn't a particularly glamorous blogging vacation, but I do feel fortunate to be starting my second trimester with a hardy stomach, a bit more energy, lots of ideas, and an itching to get back into some creative endeavors.

See you soon!