Monday, March 10, 2014

Chasing Rainbows

Monday, March 10, 2014
You may have seen this embroidery project I posted last week.  I just love all the colors and how happy it makes me.  But, it does more than just add color to my creative space.  I wanted it to serve as a reminder to me of what is really important to me.

Motherhood is definitely thankless, difficult, challenging, gross, exhausting, did I say thankless?  It absorbs all of who you are and what you do.  You feel like you are slowly (or not so slowly) disappearing into nothingness covered in throw up and baby slobber.

As I felt myself slipping away, I would grab at things to try to hold onto a bit of myself.  This blog, sewing, creating a business.  They are dreams of mine.  And I felt that by giving them time and energy, they would help me hold on to my identity.  They would give me "credit" in the eyes of society and in my own mind.

But every time these endeavors started to gain some steam, just when I thought I was going to really catch hold of one of them, I would feel the pull of my family, of my home, calling me back.

I will have time for chasing dreams and catching rainbows.  There will be days ahead when following ambitions will not detract from my efforts as a mother.

But today, I feel the need to immerse myself in the abyss of Motherhood.  There is teaching to be done, skills to pass on, scrapes to kiss and dreams bigger than my own to encourage and support.

I truly believe that motherhood is meant to change us.  It refines us into something greater than what we started out as.  Much as precious metal has to be purified- motherhood is the heat that purges us of weakness and flaws.  But you can't just sit by the fire to gain those benefits.  You have to jump into it, with both feet- and stay a while.  It's intense- in every sense of the word- but it is also glorious and magnificent and the results are precious and rare.

I'm refining my pot of gold right now.  It's inside of me, and in my children and it's the greatest work I will ever do.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

B is for Button

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I love buttons.  I love the colors, textures, shapes and styles.  There is just something about them that makes me happy.  Today, I'm going to show you how to make this easy button monogram.

This one was made using a mixture of new and vintage buttons.  I made it for my baby and used buttons collected from her grandmother and great- grandmothers.  I think that makes it pretty special.

Are you ready to make your own?

Button Monogram Tutorial

letter stencil and tape
disappearing ink pen or light pencil
needle and thread
embroidery hoop (optional)
First, you will need to draw or print the letter of your choice on a regular piece of paper.  The thinner the paper the better.  Tape the paper to a window or light box.

Next, place your fabric over the stencil and trace your letter.  If your letter has a lot of detail, you will want to use a disappearing ink pen so you can remove it after you are finished.  If it's a simple shape, you can probably get away with just lightly marking it with pencil.  Once it's traced, back the monogram with felt, I just cut the felt the same size as the fabric.  Place both the fabric and felt into an embroidery hoop.  This is optional, but I find it easier to keep the tension in the fabric.

Finally, you will want to audition some of your buttons, especially in the smaller detail areas to make sure they are a good fit.  I love the look of a variety of shades and sizes, but it's entirely up to you.  You can start with the outline, or just work top to bottom.  Just fill in the entire shape and you're done!  Then you can frame it or leave it in the hoop.
In this shot you can see how I've stacked the buttons to cover all of the white space in the monogram.  This gives it a fun look with more dimension, but you can also keep them on one level.
This project shows how it looks with all the buttons on one level.  This embroidery art is a fun way to use up lots of buttons.
Here's how it looks straight on.  I think I made up this sentiment, but if you know it's from somewhere specific, please let me know.  You never know when things stick in your brain without you realizing it. :)

This post is part of a month long series hosted by Steph from Crafting in the Rain.  She's covering the A-Z's of crafting in honor of March being National Craft Month.  There are some amazing projects in this series, you can check them out by following the links below.  Each week she'll unveil the next installment in the series, you won't want to miss out!  I'll say farewell so you can go browse around all the goodness!


A is for Antlers || Grey Luster Girl
B is for Button || Ameroonie Designs

C is for Copper pipe vase || Crafting in the Rain
D is for Doily wreath || The Creative Mom
E is for Embroidered hoop || Flamingo Toes
F is for Flower gears || Sowdering About in Seattle
G is for Glitter || Ginger Snap Crafts

Linked up to seven thirty three's inspire me Wednesday link party, the creative exchange at the happy scraps

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sieze the day

Monday, March 3, 2014
Sorry for the horrible phone picture.  It was one of those moments you knew wouldn't last, so you just snap away hoping it will work well enough to keep the memory close to your heart.

This is my Grandpa and my baby.  I was chatting with my Grandma in the other room and looked in and saw that she had climbed right up in his lap and was sitting with him as he chatted with my Aunt on the phone.  For a youngster who tends to be shy around anyone but me, this was about as sweet as it gets.

As hard as it is to realize, my grandparents are aging right before my eyes.  My Grandpa, who could do anything, has lost the zip in his step.  And my Grandma, who is one of the best cooks I've ever known, can't remember things very well.

It's difficult to watch at times.  Age does terrible things.  But I am so grateful that my children have the chance to know them.  To catch glimpses of the amazing people they are.  To treasure up memories today so that when they are gone, they will live on in the hearts of these young people who love them. 

A few weeks ago, my parents invited their children and my grandparents to gather at their home.  We were given the opportunity to ask my grandparents about their lives.  The great-grandkids all had questions for them and we spent a couple of hours soaking up their memories.  It was wonderful.  There is so much to be learned from the lives of those who have gone before us.  So much we can gain from their experiences.  I hope the lessons they have taught us will never be forgotten.

So, I have a challenge for you today-
  Sieze Today!  
Make that phone call you keep thinking you should.  Write the letter you keep putting off.  Gather up a memory and write it down for those who will come after you.  Do something today that matters- even if it's just telling someone you love them.  You don't know how many tomorrows you have, but you for sure have today- so make the most of it!


p.s. I'd love to hear what you choose to do, leave it in the comments and perhaps we can inspire each other.
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