On vacation with my family this week, I brought along one new onesie to embroider but finished it in a few days... so I decided to stitch up a few worn-out ones from my one-year-old's wardrobe! (Alliteration accidental.) The above is so worn & stretched, it inevitably gives my little one that ever so manly "off-the-shoulder" look. The design was inspired by a vintage pattern. I changed the lettering and added some brown curls to match the wearer's.
Here's another one I "refreshed" with embroidery, inspired by the intended wearer's love of the ABC's (& first name of course).
And finally, the new onesie I brought along to embroider. Just a doodle of mine. Too small (and possibly too girly according to some) to fit my own boys but definitely inspired by them both.
Got inspired by some vintage (discontinued Vogart) patterns I saw on flickr & made these to bring as a gift for my lovely sister-in-law and hostess! Her old vacation house was decorated in a very cozy, charming, folksy style with touches of both Americana and original whimsy, so I thought these would suit the style of her new vacation house (which we were visiting for the first time)... but her new house is actually completely modern, sleek, & minimalist! Oh well! Being the gracious person she is, she said they'd be perfect anyway! The veggies don't seem abashed in the least, so I won't be either.
Lately I've thoroughly enjoyed several books written for tweens and teens. Most are what I guess is called the fantasy genre, but in addition to having very imaginative settings and inventive and exciting plots, they have very sensitively and evocatively written characters who deal with the "ordinary" emotional issues of adolescence despite their extraordinary circumstances. Even with 3 decades of distance from my own adolescence, I became wholly absorbed in their struggles and even felt I learned some wisdom from them! Here are some favorites:
1. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. This immediately engaging, surprising story is a whole new take on the dangers of being different. The fantasy elements are quite original and unexpected, and resonate quite powerfully with metaphorical meaning. I can't wait for the promised sequel!
2. Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan. This is the first book in a series (actually 2 series, with 5 in the first and 3 so far in the "sequel" series, The Gods of Olympus) and they are ALL terrific! Told in first-person narrative by a relatable teen boy hero who actually becomes a Hero (i.e. saves the world and that sort of thing), these stories are written with humor and sophistication and breathe fascinating life into Greek Mythology, a canonical subject that helps form the basis of western civilization... so you feel you're gaining an appreciation for your cultural heritage even as you're being thrillingly entertained!
3. Camille and And Both Were Young by Madeleine L'Engle. Less well-known than her A Wrinkle in Time series, this pair of books about girls on the brink of adolescence are almost painfully accurate in their rendering of the moments of hopeless yearning, dread, and disillusionment that can strike when parents aren't there (emotionally or otherwise) for children and seemingly overwhelming social hurdles loom large.
If anyone reading this is an insomniac, I want to share with you the fantastic solution my friend Naomi taught me that has virtually eliminated my insomnia: audiobooks. I download them on my mp3 player (a sansa clip that cost $45 and is conveniently tiny), put in my earbuds, set the sleep timer to automatically shut off power in 20 minutes, and invariably doze off before the machine does. Something about having the distraction from my own racing thoughts that a book provides, while lying down with my eyes closed (as opposed to sitting up with the light on to read a physical book, which always just kept me awake), makes it super-soporific for me. If you have a library card and your local library has a website equipped for it (most do), you can download audiobooks for free! I do it on: ebooks.nypl.org. They have a great selection.
We spent the first two weeks of July staying with friends in California. They live on a horse farm in a gorgeous area called Hidden Valley. Their home is decorated with incredible warmth and whimsy so I was hesitant to give a thank-you gift that presumed to add to the decor, but couldn't resist making them this sampler since it so perfectly expresses how we felt about their home! You know how certain really awesome people can make you feel just comfortable and relaxed and happy being around them and just being yourself? Yeah. That's what these friends are like. Wish we didn't have to fly across the country to spend time with them... but it's always worth it!
I made this pillow for my parents' 45th anniversary last week. I liked the family tree I came across on Etsy made by Blue Leaf Boutique, but wanted to make my parents' names central and also incorporate their parents' names as the roots, so I made my own version. I added the bluebird of happiness for variety and cheer. I am thrilled it turned out so well... it's the thought that counts but I also wanted it to be presentable!
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