Freshly Laundered Linen

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There’s something about freshly washed linen that’s a mood booster. I’m talking about plain fabric here, and not fitted sheets or shams. Rumpled and textured and oh-so-soft, when I look at these, I pretend I live in the French countryside in a charming villa painted a dusty bleu-grey, overlooking fields of lavender. I can practically hear a baby goat bleating nearby.

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I have plans for these beauties. But because I’ve noticed that I categorically avoid making the things I declare as part of my plans (rather, it seems to take me longer to execute when I declare anything on the blog), I’m going to keep mum until I have something to show. But isn’t it nice just to look at the luscious linen? Doesn’t it make you want to toss the pile into a handwoven laundry basket and head outside to clip them to a clothesline (wooden pegs, of course) and watch them gently flap in the wind? No? Is it, in fact, making you shake your head that I obviously have nothing to say and am filling up the space with nonsense?

Deadlines, people. I’m currently translating a Japanese craft book and I have to have it completed by next Tuesday. Whenever I’m in deadline mode, I need to let off some steam by adding something here. Makes me feel productive. More soon. Promise.

In the meantime, I am dying to get my hands on these metallic linens from Purl Soho. Anyone sewn with these yet? I want every color, but so pricey!

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the white and indigo linens are from District Fabric – at $8 per yard for 100% linen, it was a very good deal. The yarn-dyed pink cotton linen lawn (I know!) was from Miss Matatabi. I can’t remember where I got the other ones (here, probably), but they’re gorgeous.

Happy Friday + Randomness

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Happy Friday! Whenever my mom visits, she’s a little wistful that she’s unable to paint in Seattle. I get it — she doesn’t have her usual supplies, her routine is completely disrupted and most of all, she says she doesn’t feel like she has a space of her own, mentally or physically. Still, she’s an artist through and through so when a watercolor set happens to be lying around, she’ll whip up a painting like the one above while chatting to K. This kind of painting doesn’t count for her though; it’s just distracted doodling and not the sort of focused art-making she does in her own home.

She’s been back in Los Angeles for a month now happily painting away, but I’ve been thinking about that sense of space, the need for routine and grounding to make things. My daily habits are completely out of whack these days and the house is in need of yet another purging. For someone who relishes minimalism and is always trying to tidy up, why is it that my house is perpetually in a state of mayhem? I’m almost done reading this book (love it), and I sometimes wonder if I’m just destined to read one decluttering book after another while I watch piles grow like weeds in my house. Maybe the very nature of crafting is incompatible with keeping an orderly home. Or maybe I’m just making excuses.

Anyway, these are my thoughts as I head into another weekend. M has been on an epic solo journey on his bike (his idea of fun), so I’ve been single mothering it for the week and that might also explain the mess. He’s supposed to be back in a day or two, and I’m looking forward to that. It’s quiet without him. He’s our main source of jokes and liveliness, and though K and I have a lovely time together, we miss him.

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These were the outfits
for week three of Me-Made-May
Handmade every day!

 

Here’s a rough sketch I drew in my notebook today, trying to recollect all the outfits from the week.

Day 13: Romper

Day 14: Striped Renfrew + Black Gingers

Day 15: Blue and Silver Gingham Tova

Day 16: Black knit top +Black Gingers

Day 17: Nani Iro Free Way Top

Day 18: Indigo French Sailor Top

Day 19: Stripey Batwing Knit Top + Indigo Gingers

My Ginger jeans are getting a whole lotta wear, and it’s obvious that I need to make more because the pockets refuse to lay flat with the current two pairs I have and this limits the number of tops I can wear with them. But first, some more purging/cleaning….

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

 

 

It goes too fast

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This is K when she was just a little over 18 months back in 2008. Last night, we had dinner at a friend’s house and I watched K and her two buddies play and eat and argue and reconcile and laugh hysterically. She’s known them since birth and nearly 10 years later, they’re still the best of friends. They used to be so small, they all fit snugly in a basket:

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I had mentioned in a post a while back that I wish I had a photo of the very first top that I sewed for her, and I found it while I was browsing through my forgotten Flickr account this weekend:

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I called it the “Girl, Interrupted” top because it bears a striking resemblance to a hospital gown, of the sort worn in a psychiatric ward. It was, to be quite frank, an eyesore.

I self-drafted the whole thing but couldn’t figure out how to sew the back, so I fudged a sort of tie-back design. The concept of coordinating thread was foreign to me and none of the seam allowances were finished — you probably can’t see them very well, but the stitches are helter-skelter.

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I loved making it, though. I miss that daring sense of adventure I had, that bring-it-on attitude. I even gathered the sleeves! Now that my sewing skills have improved, I repeatedly find that I’m a lot harder on myself or have this self-imposed need to deliver more complicated or higher quality garments. This need stymies me and I’m tempted to avoid sewing altogether.

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And it turns out I’ve been lying about not knitting, because I have evidence of having made K several sweaters. Like this droopy hooded one up there. And this burgundy kimono sweater. How did I forget?

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Clearly, she wasn’t all that excited about that burgundy one.

As I observed the pre-teen kids last night, showing early signs of awkward adolescence, I wanted to grab time by the shoulders and command it to stop. Stop. You’re going too fast. 

I don’t see my 9-year-old guffaw with abandon as much; she’s so much more aware of how others are perceiving her.

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I often bypass capturing hilarious moments of sweetness now that I get so caught up in my to-do lists (or even worse: checking how other people are capturing hilariously sweet moments on social media).

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It’s not just time I need to tell to stop. I want to pause, to pay attention. I want to take in the good, the bad, the ugly, the miraculous. Because 10 years — it’s a blip. I went through hundreds of baby photos in my Flickr account and the memories! Carting her around in every baby carrier known to man all over Seattle, teaching her the alphabet, scrubbing her bottom in that behemoth plastic contraption I fitted into our tub each night. If I’m not careful, I’ll forget to be curious, to be willing to experiment, to savor the fleetingness of it all. Note to self: be careful.

babyk6P.S. The Indigo prints giveaway winners are Manda, Eva and Katharina. Congrats! I ordered quite a few of the teas recommended, and I’m excited the try them out!

Happy Friday + Radomness

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Happy Friday! I’m going strong with Me-Made-May, though I do combine handmade items with the few store-bought clothes I still own.

Here’s a round up of week 2-ish:

Day 6: Renfrew Bamboo Top (worn with RTW yoga pants)

Day 7: Black Simplicity 2365 Tunic + Black Gingers

Day 8: Moss Green Linen Jacket (I wore the same outfit but with me-made jeans) + Indigo Gingers

Day 9: Self-drafted knit dress (shown above – this was yet another prototype for the dress included in my book and the photo is from at least a year ago)

Day 10: Indigo Simplicity 0403/2147 top + Indigo Gingers

Day 11: Lace + Geometric Knit Tank + RTW boyfriend jeans

Day 12: Navy and Black Stripey Tee + RTW shorts

I whipped up a little sketch, just because:

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In other news, we’re in month four of the carless life, and I think we’ve found a pretty decent groove. Mostly it’s a combo of walking and taking the bus with the occasional Car2Go. Uber, for some reason, didn’t work that great for me because the app was ridiculously slow on my phone, though M uses it sometimes. M and I are talking about the dreaded car hunt in a month or two (not my favorite activity), but for now the weather’s been so amazing in Seattle, I’m thoroughly enjoying walking everywhere.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!

Ahhh, I’m so ready
for Saturday and Sunday
with zero events*

*It’s so lovely to have a few breather weekends without events – I have a few coming up towards the end of the month and in June so I’m going to relax as though I’m a carefree retiree for the next couple of days!

P.S. Thank you for all the wonderful tea recommendations for the giveaway post! I love them!

 

Happy Friday + Randomness

 

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Happy Friday! I’ve been a bit obsessed with this new series of illustrations I created for the Art Walk at Drygoods (I’m typing this before the actual event so I don’t know if anyone will end up showing up, but just having the chance to participate was awesome. Thank you, Keli!). Over the years of experimenting with different kinds of illustrations, I’ve decided that painting anthropomorphic animals is at the top of the favorites list. I mean, a foxy seamstress, a wise quilter, a big-horned knitter and an elephant tailor — I want to keep adding to the series! Perhaps I can include spinning, weaving, scrapbooking, gardening…so many options! I will definitely be updating my etsy shop with these and more on that later.

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On the Me-Made-May front, I’ve completely neglected taking photos, but I have been wearing something handmade every day. Here’s what I’ve donned to date:

Day 1: Gathered Linen TopIndigo Gingers

Day 2: Knit Tank Dress (not yet shared on the blog; it’s one of the prototypes I sewed for Sewing Happiness, which I wore to the Little K launch party last year. Below is a photo from when I first made the prototype a couple of years ago, and it was a sweltering, humid day when I shot this with a remote):

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Day 3: Yozora Nani Iro Tank + Black Gingers

Day 4: Yoga Pants (also from my book and not yet shared on the blog)

Day 5: Skippy Dress

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K got attacked by a swarm of mosquitos while playing frisbee in our front yard with friends the other night. Her legs look like something out of a horror movie, and she’s amplifying the effect with haphazardly applied gauze tape. Lucky for us, one of our neighbors and dearest friends is a dermatologist, so she happened to have some effective meds at the ready. We hope the bites will be all better before she heads out on her very first overnight trip without parents (meaning me and M — there will be an accompanying adult) this weekend. She’s going on a Portland extravaganza trip for her friend’s birthday and it sounds like it’s going to be all kinds of amazing. Portlanders, if you see a girl with mummy legs at Slappy Cakes, that’s K.

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Quite a few events coming up! I’m off to go prepare, and I hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful weekend.

Lovely Mother’s Day
to all you Mamas out there
You are important