Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I'm still here!! Life around our place looks pretty typical with the addition of our second baby. I'm still in milk-stained sweatpants and eating crackers dipped in ketchup, with my non-dexterous hand, while standing at the counter, wearing an infant, and gulping down handfuls of Bach's Rescue Remedy until my husband walks through the door. 

My three-year-old is still acting like a freak, coping with having to share mommy and not being the center of attention, running around in backwards clothes, or naked, while getting a deplorable amount of Netflix parenting (Clifford! Now available streaming!!), and occasionally having half a hamburger bun and pickles as a balanced meal. 

naked with hands in pants, ratty hair, and crabby
Still, the ship is afloat and I'm getting decent patches of sleep. All in all, Huck is a very easy baby and the hubby and I agree: It's still easier than the first time.  Now that you're up to speed, I'm determined to talk about something OTHER than babies and boobies today! I am having a burst of creative inspiration while juggling this phase of extreme parenting. I experienced this after the birth of my first child, as well. In fact, I started my Etsy shop shortly after her birth.

As I mentioned in my New Years post, I'm itching to try something NEW in my create-o-sphere (what's the fun of having a blawg if you can't make up words?) and I've decided to dust off the old sewing machine and actually learn how to use more than one setting. 

I've been hugely attracted to textile arts of all sorts over the last few years and I'm going to try my hand at some quilting, and some new crafts for the shop. This week I'll be featuring some plans for upcoming products.  I've always wanted to try and make handbags, but felt my sewing skills were not up to par. Well, dag nabbit, I'm going to learn! Some inspiration images: 

The above bag is absolute perfection. I'm hoping to make something in this vein, inspired by my favorite Etsy shop, LaTouchables. The creator, Dawn, is a master--I won't pretend to be in the same category, but this is the aesthetic I am aiming for. Artisanal. one-of-a-kind pieces with texture and color. More from LaTouchables:

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and this shop inspires me over and over.

I love the use of re-purposed materials, specialty trims, and other bits and bobs, pieced together to create something wonderful. I employ those same principles at One Man's Trash and I'm planning to put my own little creative spin on this idea. 

Some others from Etsy that caught my eye. (all can be sourced to their shops here).

This one's crazy but inspired nonetheless. 

Since, I don't have large patches of time to sit down at the sewing machine just yet (on the hunt for PT daycare for Rubes) I've been busy putting little swatches together from my collection, hand-dyeing scraps of textiles, and sketching ideas when I get a spare minute or two. For years I've been hoarding old shirts, jeans, upholstery samples, salvaged trims, and thrift-store gems to do SOMETHING with. Most people's closets are full of clothing. Mine is full of raw materials. It's time. 

Some of my scraps in the dye bath (Rit dye, vinegar, mason jar, done). All photos by me. 

Drying in the sunroom. 

I love the effect of hand-dyed material. Its imperfect, painterly, and you don't have to be precious about it to get an interesting result. Here's a thrift store piece I loved but wasn't crazy about the Green Bay Packers colors:

Yum. (I kept half green)

Like all of my creations, the first one is always the hardest and takes the longest. Stay tuned for my first bag design coming soon (I hope!). Right now daily showers are a lofty goal. 


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