Archive for May, 2011

Today.

Memorial Day.

When I was a child, it was just another day off. One day closer to summer vacation.

But since, it’s turned into a wonderfully sacred day of remembering those in my life who aren’t with me any more, and who have lived remarkable lives…the kind I want to be known for living. Every year,  we arrive at the cemetery early…as the sun is rising in the east behind the mountains. Every year I look forward to the quiet, the green grass, the sun streaming across the flower covered lawns. I get to be silent, remember and look back.  But somehow, each year on this morning, I find myself looking forward; renewing myself to living the life I was born to live. Being more of the person that those who have since gone on have inspired me to be.

Today I’m thinking about renewal. Mornings. Isn’t is interesting? Mourning= Morning. There are a lot of people I miss, but each one has inspired me to take a little courage and live more fully.

And I’m thankful.

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The Best Babysitter: Or how my children are not deprived because their mother is a working artist.

 

So I texted my husband this afternoon with the usual: “Hey Hot Boy. See you soon. PS: Can you take over when you get home from work? Deadlines.”

“Sure. No Biggie”

“Oh, and can you do dinner & bedtime? xoxoxo?”

“You got it.”

My husband is a school teacher, and is always home before dinner, which is so nice! He leaves at the break of dawn however, and so I’m hardly alive to even mention the usual reminders.

But he is so good about coming home and playing with the kids for an hour while I play catch up in the studio. I work at night when the kids go to bed, and I don’t do the late-nighter thing very well (although that’s what usually happens.)

So…..

Let me preface this by saying that the past few times I asked him to watch the kids and have him make dinner and do bedtime, this is what happened:

He ended up going to the thrift store and purchasing an original 1970′s-ish Clip Clop for the back patio. He started small.

And then it was the tree swing, complete with climbing 50 feet into our backyard locust and sawing down branches while the kids waited for their cue to yell, “TIMBER!!”

Then it was the teeter-totter that was built in the empty space in our deck supports made with a palette, a left over fence board, and some cut up branches from said tree swing.

Most of the time, it’s working on a new project in the garden. Which is always a huge hit.

And then last week, it was a zip line from our mostly-dead cherry tree at the top of the hill, to a locust beneath.

Remember: this is all in response to “Can you watch the kids, make dinner and put them to bed?”

And today’s babysitting activity?

Oh, you know. Just building a platform for them to zip from. No biggie.

Just some power tools that he always seems to have in his back pocket. I mean, don’t you?

Some oh-so-coveted-snacks for the Princess to keep her occupied away from said power tools.

And Voila! A safe place for feet with nothing fancy…but left overs in the garage after building the booth for Quilt Market.

And one…..

….two…

…three…

….Oh, ya….

So there you go. All my worrying that having to work on my “art” while the kids are with Dad somedays is all in vain. They got so excited this afternoon…and when they get excited, they get super cuddly.

But you know, who’s taking all these pictures? Me. How am I supposed to get any work done when they get to have all the fun? I still don’t know.

Pretty soon our backyard will be Disneyland made from scraps around the yard. Just you watch. Man…if I stopped designing in the afternoons, these kids would have a pretty boring back yard.

Actually, no. Instead, the new tree platform would just have curtains, floor pillows, and be painted turquoise. Hmm……

 

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Baby Stitches

Hello!

Sorry for the gap in posts…I’m still here. I’ve been fighting off some kind of nasty bug that’s keeping me from doing anything more than the absolutely necessary (like reading Divergent and taking too many pictures of my soon to graduate from Kindergarten baby).

But I’ve wanted to post this picture for a while. The other week while I was getting ready for market, Addie came into my office, and announced (fully dressed for the part) that she wanted to be an artist, a sewer and a mom when she grew up. And then she asked if she could work with me.

This happens a lot. I work mostly at night, but for the past while, I’ve had to squeeze in what I can during the day. And more often than not, Addie wants to be there right by my side. Stitching is so easy for her to do!  It keeps her busy for a long time. Just a hoop, a full skein of embroidery floss and a large dull tip needle (like a darning needle). With no agenda, she just goes in and out, and soon finds herself making a picture. Even Ian, 5, is into it.

Do you let your kids embroider? It’s a great little pass time that is easy to let them learn on their own, and it’s super non-messy:) I dont’ have a picture of my kids embroidery, but all you need is to get them started with a good knotted strand, and let them at it. If you can teach them to go “in” on the same side they went “out” they are pretty great on their own!

And more about stitching: Many of you have asked about when my new stitching patterns will be available. The patterns (iron-ons and PDF’s) will be available at the end of June. If you are interested in wholesale, you can pre-order by emailing me. More info coming soon!

 

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Time to make some changes

Ok. This post has some mixed feelings involved. I have always been a split personality when it comes to cleaning house: I LOVE throwing things away and getting rid of junk. But there is part of me that does like to hold onto the sentimental value in stuff. Especially when it represents a lot of work, time and energy. Most of these prints hold a place in my heart because they marked a beginning….

But here’s the deal:

I’m a real person with a real house, and a real family. Just this year, we brought our shop back into the house, and while it’s been wonderful to have things in my hands again, I am realizing (like I do every day of my life) that I can’t (nor do I want to) do it all.

Raising three small children, keeping up an (old) house and (big) yard, running a shop out of the basement, designing fabric and books and still having a totally awesome relationship with my very amazing husband is no small task. And most days, I’m ready to crash and call it a night by 7pm.

Part of living the lifestyle like we do includes change. Constant change. There isn’t a week that goes by where my husband and I don’t talk about how things are going, how we can do better, and how we can get to the ultimate lifestyle we crave, while enjoying it in the process. And honestly, it’s weekly that we make changes. Mostly small ones like: Let’s try making 3 meals all at once and freezing them so we have 2 nights with no cooking. Or, Let’s make a weekly family activity on a weekday, so Saturday mornings the kids can be with Dad while Mom works. Etc. But nothing ever stays constant, because our family is always changing. But ultimately, our goal of getting to where we want to be is the same. And one of those ways is by cutting back.

One of the ways we’re cutting back, is by getting rid of A LOT of prints in the shop. Since these are hand printed, and a lot of time goes into the printing of these Fine Art Prints, we are cutting about 50% of my designs to 1) reduce the amount of printing involved, and 2) make room for more designs and more illustration work behind the scenes. At the end of the day, I’m an illustrator. And though we need the paycheck coming in from our little corner shop, the time to create new work is sacred. And that’s always the most important thing for me to protect (after my family of course!)

So, the shop is OPEN! But if you see a design that you love in the above images, it will be gone May 31st! Please notice that some designs (the family tree, and the Read with Me prints for instance) come in multiple colors….what I am doing is reducing the options and keeping just one or two. So no…the family tree is still available. Just in the color that sells the most.

Contact me with questions, but use this list as a reference!

Parting is such sweet sorrow….but man it feels good:)

xoxo

sarah

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Iron ons, Fabric and Etsy stuff.

Hello! 3 days back now from Market, and I’m still catching my breath. Mostly because I came home to a very enthusiastic head cold and pink eye infection. Horray for me. But it does feel good to have an excuse to move a little slower than I have been. I had forgotten what that feels like!

I’ve been getting a lot of questions as to when the embroidery patterns will be ready (I released 8 at market, which I have yet to still show you all!). Fabric and Embroidery patterns will be shipping in  about 4-6 weeks. (But I won’t be selling the fabric…. I’ll be making a list of all the stores where you can find it).  And the embroidery patterns you will be able to get directly from me, which I’ll be talking about more of in the coming weeks. These patterns are going to be iron on transfers, which I am SO excited about. Saves so much work, and eliminates so much of the fuss.

But would you still be interested in downloadable PDF’s? Please let me know. At this point, I’m only going to be offering the iron-ons, but if you’d like the PDF to be an option, let it be known in the comments below…or send me an email.  I’m on the fence about that one still.

And…the ETSY shop will be opening on Friday, but again, Embroidery patterns won’t fully be released until next month.

Ok. Back to caring for this nasty head cold. Those pillows are looking comfy, aren’t they?

Cheers!

xo

sarah

PS: EDIT: These iron-on transfers will get 7 transfers out of them….some of you have been concerned that it wouldn’t be worth the shipping. But, I promise you it will! But good to know of your interest in the PDF’s.

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Quilt Market Spring 2011

I just walked in the door from an AMAZING weekend at Quilt Market! Wow.Wow, wow, wow. We had such an amazing response, and it was so great to launch this collection in real life.

First though, I have to give credit to my amazing husband who built this amazing set, nd who was basically my right hand man through this whole thing. And Lindsey who was such an amazing assistant through the getting ready for market days and through the weekend! And for my parents who flew out to watch my kids. And Sandi who kept me sane when my feet hurt too much. And the list goes on and on and on….

So, in the beginning, the space looked like this.

And then with a little work, it turned into this:

Ok. A lot of work! But oh so worth it. CHILDREN AT PLAY, my first collection with Michael Miller fabrics, made for such a cheery booth.

Here. I’ll take you through a walking tour.

Flowers from my Aunt’s Flower shop.

{Skirt pattern is by MODKID found here}

Adorable outfit made by Liz of Cotton and Curls (LOVE the tie!!!)

(Shorts pattern in an Oliver & S Classic)

Me with my family tree panel, which I’ll post more of later.

And since my fabric came in 6 days before market…SIX DAYS to sew up an entire trade show booth? Yikes! I grabbed quite a bit of help: pillows and quilts and clothing made by my mother-in-law, Amy, Holly and Susan, Gina, Maryanne, LizTricia and Hannah. I couldn’t have put this together without you!

Michael Miller’s booth was amazing as usual. They are always coming up with fun themes for market, and this one was “Super Hero’s” They even go as far as dressing up for the part-super capes and all!

Michael Miller has two locations: one in CA and the other in Manhattan. So when they get together, it’s always a blast. They even found an old red telephone booth in NYC that they ripped off the pavement and brought to Salt Lake City. How’s that for dedication to a theme! So dedicated they won an award.

And it was super nice to be next to my dear friend Sandi’s booth. She always puts on a fantastic show.

I did try and a little social time in…not much. It’s go-go-go at market, which I loved. But it was so great to visit for a minute or two with friends I’ve made along the way who are just as crazy as I am. Crazy, meaning who share the same drive and work just as hard and yet care so much for their young families. And it was so wonderful to meet so many of you! There are so many amazing fabric stores all over the country! I especially loved visiting with people from Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Norway, The Netherlands and Italy. What a treat!

All in all, it was a fantastic show. So glad to have met so many of you, and to have had such a great response with Children At Play! I can’t wait to show you more fabric projects more ‘inside’ scoop on the collection!

Oh! And P.S: The ETSY shop is going to stay closed a little bit longer! Children at Play had a fantastic response, and we’re needing to get a bit more organized now that we’ve come home. Stay tuned for more details….

 

 

16/05Family
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Introducing Children at Play

 

 

It’s finally here! What I have had to keep a secret for 4 months now is my first offering to the wonderful world of textiles!

Children at Play is the name of the collection, and there are 4 groups…separated into colors but also into themes. And if you count, there are 52 pieces in all! Yes! Fifty Two! I think it’s the biggest collection Michael Miller Fabrics has every done. But it’s been SO wonderful to create and put together. With such a big group, I’ll have to introduce it to you bit by bit so you can really get to know each piece and each collection properly. But for now, are you ok with an overall look?

I won’t talk about it too much now, other than to say I am so happy with this collection! It was inspired by my own feelings of childhood, as well as my own children’s. Simple play, creative play…the kind of play that requires imagination and no agenda. So while this collection has a very classic feel, there is a lot of whimsicality in the color and design as well.

There is so much to tell and share about these pieces. It’s been a labor of love, and I really want to take you into the story of the collection. But I’ll spread that out over time.  In the mean time, I’m sewing away and designing away as I get ready to debut these at the International Quilt Market in SLC, UT.

Spread the word, and come and visit! I’m booth #437 by the Michael Miller Fabrics Party Booth.

Love to you all!

xoxo

sarah

PS: CHILDREN AT PLAY is expected to ship at the end of the month. Depending on where the store is located, they should be stocked by mid-July!

UPDATE: Children at Play is in it’s second wave of printing! The first wave sold out, so if you’re local shop hasn’t ordered yet, it should arrive in August.

9/05FABRIC
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Yes it does.

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. I’m really lucky, because I’m going to get breakfast in bed from my 3 littles. I get to go to church. I will be with my family, and my children will make me love notes. My husband will write me love notes. My kids won’t fight and it will be a perfect day. I might even get a nap.

Once a year we get spoiled, right?

Well, it’s something I’ve been thinking about lately, and something I think about every Mother’s Day. I actually don’t feel much different on Mother’s Day because I (for the most part, and on most good days) feel so priveledged to be a mom every.single.day. My children give me kisses and hugs and thank you’s. And when I wake up at the crack of dawn from their pitter-patter footsteps, I put aside the fatigue because I would rather have those little alarm clocks than none at all.

I could go on and on about motherhood, how grateful I am to be what I am, and how I wish all women could feel this way about their mothering. But what I will say, is that my friend Melanie Burke pointed me to this site created by our local news channel (which she designed.) It’s geared to help women feel empowered (rather than disabled) by their own mothering. How cool is that? The local news station supporting women by saying this:

Popular culture promises that by recognizing and focusing on our own needs, we will find empowerment.  In reality it creates a culture of comparison, distraction and discontent, none of which lead to empowerment.  The act of mothering … caring for, teaching, and nurturing, has just the opposite effect.  It emboldens us with confidence, contentment and purpose.

Sometimes I feel like the world around me (except for my church, my neighborhood, the blogging world I participate in and my friends and family) has forgotten this primal need women have to nurture and to give. And how that is a central part of our character.

I am just super proud that the media hasn’t forgotten that notion entirely. If you are in Utah, KSL is having a Motherhood Matters week. But you don’t have to be from Utah to Participate. There is a 10 day Motherhood Challenge here. A Giveaway Site Here. And more information here.

What about you? Do you let motherhood empower you?

 

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