Happy Friday + Randomness

holidayplantsHappy Friday! I’ve been pretty under the weather these past few days and I was surprised by how unfamiliar illness feels. The last time I was this sick was back in April, when my mom was visiting and unfortunately caught the flu and then passed it onto me.

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I’m all puffy everywhere and not the most lovely sight to behold. I had plans of showing you my many, many Linden sweatshirts today, but trust me, it’s a public service that I’m not assaulting you with my mug and swollen bod. The flora is pretty though, right?

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Although I’m not feeling my level best at this moment, I’m pleased with how relatively healthy I’ve been throughout the year. Sadly, I can’t say the same for everyone in my family, but we’ve made major headway and are confident that improvement is inevitable. I’ve been deeply involved in a care-taking role and it’s part of the reason my online presence has been a lot quieter this year. We’ve had a tough few months. At the same time, I’ve had a much needed resetting of priorities because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from life, it’s that the same lessons seem to rear their heads repeatedly until I fully absorb them.

Anyway. I just wanted to pop in and say “have a wonderful weekend!” I love this time of year with all the glittering, shimmering, magical lights. As December wraps itself up in a flurry of holiday gifts and year-end merriment, I try to sneak away to sit and reflect for a few hours. 12 months! How quickly it all goes by. I relish writing down the major events of every month, reaching far into the recesses of my mind, occasionally flipping through the calendar and journals from the year. It’s my comforting ritual. Speaking of which, I just might go do that now.

Haiku by K:

The days are shorter
Bundle up well for the cold
And enjoy your break

 

 

 

Happy Friday + Randomness + New Look Patterns

Happy Friday! I am deep, deep into edits for the next book and have come up for brief air. Wait, let me change that. I should be deep, deep into edits but as usual, I’m finding ways to put off the necessary task at hand. However, I’m getting close to finishing up, and as long as I submit everything by Halloween, I’m good to go.

That’s K’s unicorn drawing for me that I keep in my journal these days. I like that even its flatulence is rainbow-shaped. Dreaming and imagining are important. Believing in the intangible and supposedly impossible is also important.

So I am believing that I WILL complete K’s unicorn costume (so close) and my edits and a few other projects. If anyone will be in the Pierce County area tomorrow, I’ll be doing a short presentation at the DIY Fest through the Pierce County Library System at 11:30am. Sounds like it’ll be a lot of fun!

Aside from random blog posts, another favorite pastime (read: procrastination) is to plan all the marvelous things I’ll sew when I finally have this mythical, abundance of unicorn-like time.

I was picking up something from JoAnn’s the other day and was pleasantly surprised by the rebranding that New Look seems to be going through, at least for women’s wear. More neutral, a bit more chic. And then I saw them — tween patterns!

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I grabbed a few, along with three patterns for myself. With my dodgy memory, I’m already starting to forget which ones K wanted me to make for her, so we’ll use this space as my record-keeping method. As far as I can remember, the only New Look pattern I’ve sewn is 6648, which I talked about here and here. The New Look brand is under the umbrella of Simplicity — I wonder what the difference is? Maybe they’re easier to make?

Anyhow, here are the ones K liked:

New Look 6241 // View B

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New Look 6297 // Views A, C + D

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New Look 6320 // View A

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New Look 6338 // All of them

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New Look 6487 // Views B and C (She hates view A, which is the one I would have made had I not known…)

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“Please start with 6338 and 6297,” she said in her matter-of-fact, efficient way. She even agreed to get rid of some of her existing clothes so I’ll sew more clothes. Sounds like a fair deal to me.

For myself:

New Look 6482 // Views A, B + D

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New Look 6449 // Views A, B + C

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New Look 6414 // Views A + B

newlook6414Ahhhhhh, imaginary sewing continues to be my happy place. Alright, I’ll be back next week and until then, have a spectacular weekend!

Happy Halloween!
Our resident unicorn
is beside herself 

P.S. Furoku members! I’m shooting to get #20 to you by November 1st, but I might need a couple of extra days…thank you!!

Happy Friday + Giveaway! [CLOSED]

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Happy Friday, my friends! I’m becoming comfortable with my new routines. I like posting just once a week, and maybe in a few months, the urge to post more will surface but for now, this feels just right. K’s school time has shifted significantly this year, which means that we have to wake up almost 2 hours earlier and that’s been a major adjustment. 5 weeks in, however, I’m starting to enjoy the early kick-off each weekday. I have books to work on for the foreseeable future and with each completed deadline, my body tells me I need major downtime. I’ve learned to respect that instead of powering through. Right now is my downtime, and I’m puttering around, taking it easy. It’s nice.

I’ve also been slowly plugging away at purging all our belongings. For example, we had this monstrously huge old microwave that we barely used and one day I thought, “what if we got rid of it?” Unfortunately, K seems to have an intrinsic hoarding instinct and vociferously argued against it. “How are we going to heat up the soup dumpling from Trader Joe’s that I love so much??” she keened.

We came up with a compromise. I proposed putting it in the basement and if we managed 30 days without using it, we would donate it.

40 days passed and we didn’t notice the lack of a microwave at all. I melt my butter in a cute, tiny saucepan. We steam those beloved TJ soup dumplings in a pot. I reheat leftovers on the stovetop or in the oven. They taste better that way anyway.

Once the behemoth microwave was gone (and yes, we donated it), our kitchen felt so much more spacious. It’s wonderful. I like my basement quarantine method.

The one thing I have a hard time letting go of is books. I haven’t officially counted all the books in my house, but I’m pretty certain that it would take me a minimum of 30 years to read them all.  It doesn’t help that amazing books keep luring me to buy more (I also check out way too many from libraries). But I’ve had to come to terms with the sheer ridiculousness of my book stash. Our house is simply too small to accommodate them all and I thought about applying my basement quarantine method, but clearly, that won’t work since I can’t possibly read hundreds of books in 30 days. I also tried the Marie Kondo method, but wouldn’t you know it, they all spark joy. So in a rather haphazard, there’s-a-method-to-my-madness way, I am attempting to tackle the issue.

Which leads me to my giveaway today. I have a copy of  The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees, she of the wonderful blog Into Mind, that I would love to pass onto you. I actually have the digital version of The Curated Closet as well, because I definitely want to read it and it’s beautifully done. I haven’t gone completely nuts-o so I don’t have a digital version for every physical book I own, but I thought this would be a fun giveaway and I am reducing the analog possession. That works for me.

Since I haven’t actually read the book yet, I can’t in good conscience give a review, but it looks like there are tons of helpful reviews out there already. I’m drawn, of course, to the chapter about the closet detox though I have to admit that my clothing situation is shockingly sparse these days.

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More on my whole clothing situation later. To enter the giveaway, any comment will do as per usual. And perhaps you’d like to share what your favorite apparel item for fall is? I myself LOVE boots. And big, chunky scarves. Yep, very much my uniform for autumn. I’ll leave the giveaway open until next Friday, October 21st. Good luck!

Minimalistic
That’s what I’m striving to be
Need lots of practice

Have a fantastic weekend, all! There’s a storm brewing in Seattle, and I intend to stay cozy. M’s parents are in town right now, and we’ll need to find some good rainy day activities!

 

P.S. [UPDATE]: The winner of the giveaway is Tammy!

 

 

A quick pop-in and a change of heart towards knitting

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Hello! I didn’t mean to stay away for 3 weeks, but life has a way of creating a vortex of activities that then turn into more activities…but enough with the excuses.

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I am, in fact, still in retreat mode and haven’t really been online much. Instead, I’ve been spending more time making things and it’s been restorative. I have to say: knitters, I finally get it. After years and years of balking at the craft, citing inane things such as “I can’t seem to count!” or “I just don’t have the patience,” I thoroughly and utterly fell in love with it these past few weeks.

What am I making? I have no idea. I’m just knitting and purling and seeing where the stitches take me, but I find the process so profoundly meditative and calming (and so portable!), I keep reaching for this little project of mine whenever I have a few moments to spare. One of the surprising parts of publishing Sewing Happiness was meeting many women who came to my readings or emailed me telling me how familiar my story was, how they found healing through making things too. Most of them, I noticed, were knitters and so I became curious. I dug out two skeins of Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino in slate — yarn that I’ve been hoarding for roughly 8 years for a “special project someday”.

The actual project I’m working on is unremarkable, but I’m glad I finally used the yarn, and when I ran out, I added some cream-colored wool I got from Seattle Recreative, the craft thrift store and art center I’ve mentioned before. Knitting has been lovely and so very soothing, just what I’ve been needing.

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My mom is in town right now, and it’s always such a treat. I don’t cook at all while she’s here because she whips up things like this in a nanosecond:

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Yes, that’s a lot of sashimi. She makes every day a party.

I hope we don’t die of mercury poisoning, but oh, the sushi rolls we inhaled were divine.

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Summer is ending and K starts fifth grade next week. I have some fun sewing to share soon, but as I said, I’m still in cocoon mode and can’t guarantee regular posting for some time yet. We are going away for a few days to one of the small islands nearby this afternoon, and I hope it’s rejuvenating. More soon. I miss you, but this time away has done me wonders.

P.S. Furoku members, #18 will be heading your way by the end of the week!

 

Gone on Vacation

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Good morning! I am actually still here. In Seattle. Or rather, as I write this we are preparing for an overnight “trip” to a suburb for the last of K’s birthday celebration. We will stay in the new-ish McMenamins Anderson School, which should be quite the experience. It’s possible that we’ve gone a tad bonkers for our only child’s 10th birthday, but…well, I don’t feel too bad about it. We only live once and who cares what other people think, right? I have a feeling she’s going to remember her 10th bday with great fondness.

So the vacation is more of a mental one and I’m taking the next week or so off from this space to rejigger my noggin. I have to admit full defeat, my friends, because the hard life stuff has been like one of those trick birthday candles. I keep blowing and blowing, expecting the flame to extinguish, but no. There it is, popping right up again. Now that I’ve crossed off the last big thing for the summer with this final birthday celebration, I am a listless, amoeba-like mass, floating in a tide pool of exhaustion.

I must rest.

Have a wonderful week (or so), and see you back here in a few! xo

P.S. The image above is one I took when we went on a real deal vacation to Michigan. We roasted hot dogs and s’mores on the beach and the placid waters made for a lovely backdrop. Later, the sunset was gasp-inducingly gorgeous!