Archive for the ‘PERSONAL & FAMILY’ Category

3 months

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It’s hard to believe that I was in the hospital giving birth 3 months ago. Meeting him for the first time was so magical, and it honestly surprises me EVERY single time with how fast time flies by.

I’m just barely getting my Thank You cards out, I got my first hair trim in months  2 weeks ago, and started my list of unfinished projects from before my pregnancy. Those first 3 months are buckle-down-baby mode for me. I’ve always had rather needy newborns, and I’m kinda grateful. It forces me to slow down and really take the time and focus I need to introduce ourselves. We’re buddies for life now:)

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He’s really starting to get socially aware, and this is always a favorite stage….especially for the kids. It makes it so much easier to put him down and make dinner, and put the kids in charge of making him laugh for 20 minutes. It’s completely adorable.

 

We are back from Quilt Market now, and man! He was AMAZING! I’m just downloading pictures now from Market, as well as for my newest fabric line to show you!! This week I’ll be trickling in lots of eye candy. I can’t wait to show you:)

But he’s just as much eye candy as anything, right? My best and most creative creation. Everything else takes a back seat.

See you tomorrow for more!

 

 

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Balance = Priorities

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Hi there stranger! How are you?

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(Side blurb: Do you love that blanket? Thanks Sew Sara for making it! It’s our favorite!)

Not really sure how 2 weeks have gone by since my last post.

Oh, wait. Yes I do. It’s called 4 kids, a newborn and Quilt Market Prep:)

It’s also called real life.

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I’ve been thinking about the word BALANCE lately….in terms of WORK-LIFE-BALANCE…..and I feel like there has been a lot of talk about what that really is. Some say, It’s bogus. It doesn’t exist. Other’s say it’s all about hiring out what you can’t handle well. It’s so many things.

I’m here to say that it’s none of those. It’s not even about Balance.

Let’s just scrap that word, shall we? 

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It’s called PRIORITIES. 

I started working from home when I had 2 toddlers. Gosh. That sounds like a dream now. It was so nuts at the time, but I laugh at how hard I thought it was, now that I’m juggling 4 and twice as much work. Funny how you look back and realize how much stronger you’ve become, right?

I felt like I had BALANCE written on my forehead. It was my quest. I worked during naptime, and bedtime. I tried to find that daily dance we are all trying to get just right.

I worked myself to the ground.

But the fact of the matter is, there isn’t any “Just Right” rhythm. Because it changes too frequently. You find a play date schedule to give yourself work time, and then the stomach flu hits the family, and you are out of commission for a week. You finally get the bedtime routine down, but one child starts teething. You set up a space to work with the kids playing at your feet, only to realize that they prefer to be in a different spot in the house.

Any of this sound familiar?

I don’t know about you, but I feel like the world seems to demand some sort of superwoman these days.

Like that work-life-balance means able to do it all, and if we just try harder, those balls will stop dropping.

I’m here to redefine the status quo a little here.

I have often spoken to groups of women about my tree pose analogy.

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Any yogis here? When you are in tree pose, you are balancing on one foot. For a long time. You can stay here forever it seems….IF you keep your foot moving.

Have you ever paid attention to your foot when you are balancing? Is it rigid and stiff? Or is it constantly shifting? Your foot is constantly shifting around it’s CENTER to maintain harmony.

They way you achieve balance, is by constantly  moving from one thing to the next, but always rotating around your center core of beliefs.

When you have your priorities in line, when you are focused on what are THE most important things in your life, you are free to shift from this thing to that, because you ALWAYS rotating around your center.

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And these are my center:)

I have a very cute center, don’t you think? :)

Sometimes those shifts move minute by minute, and they look like my day was today….going from this task to that task, getting it all done.

Sometimes those shifts come in seasons. With babies demanding more of one side of me, and slowly shifting back to more of a work routine.

That’s the point though. That you are constantly cycling and making things work based on the needs of what’s most central to your being.

So really, there is no need to keep up with any kind of “expectation” or “outside pressures.” The guide is there…already inside you…and it’s your job to find out how to keep swinging…but never shifting your core. Your center. Your purpose.

It might seem so simple…to straight forward. But once I realized that there wasn’t a magic pill or a step-by-step guide to achieving balance in my life, it dawned on me that it’s really not even about that at all.

No schedule will give you balance.

Rather, you set what’s most important, and you work in the rest by shifting as you go.

When I was in junior high, my sunday school teacher brought a bunch of rocks to church. Some were pebbles, and the rest were large. We had to fit them all in a mason jar. And he promised us that they would all fit.

We all tried, and failed.

Then, he showed us how.

He put the large rocks in first, and then sprinkled in the pebbles, and they all fell into place around the large rocks. And it all fit.

When you have your priorities set, all the other things fall into place.

None of this frantically trying to get it all done. Trust that it will all fit. Trust that all the “busy” will settle around the “core.”

This is a shift in thinking maybe, from the “get it all done, and perfectly, and you’ll be balanced” mentality. But it works.

My quest, is just to never have any regrets. Game on.

 

 

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33

Do your Thing.

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Right around this time of year, I get one part sentimental, and another part thoughtful. 6 years ago next month, I launched my little ETSY shop in hopes of “finding” my career in design. It’s a journey I talk about here. Like in this post, this post or this post. But before you go post surfing (sounds like a sport?) stick with me. I am often asked in interviews about what led to what, and how I began designing fabric, or how I broke into book illustration without an agent, etc. etc. etc. And there is, yes, a journey.

But I saw this quote yesterday on the www and it sums up pretty much what I believe in in terms of going where you need to go, and landing what it is you are meant to land. I really can’t say it any better, unless God and divinity was mentioned somewhere in there.

I look back to the timid, shy but naively excited Sarah Jane 6 years ago, who needed to find a way to pay the bills, and I look today at her and see that she still sometimes wonders how it’s all going to work out. With 4 kids now, and with even more of a desire to keep the train going, I often sit there and think “Should I be working harder in this area? Or this area?” or thoughts like “Maybe I should be trying harder to reach out to this contact person, or that contact person.” And often, like anyone who runs a business, it can be at the expense of just making beautiful art!

But I am reminded, like I was at the very beginning, that when you have a calling to make beautiful things, keep making them. Don’t stop so that you can chase up the wrong ladder. Instead, build the ladder, and those opportunities will climb up to you.

Doors will open naturally when you are truly doing your thing.

And that’s what’s happened to me. I’ve had my fair share of blood sweat and tears (literally) and I truly believe that when you keep moving in the direction that you were born to move in, those things in your life that you need to support you, will come.

Have you experienced that?

It’s pretty awesome.

And right now in my life, with that sweet baby taking up most of everything I’ve got, I sometimes feel like time is standing still….or rushing past me fast…I can’t tell. I’ve said no to opportunities that have come that just didn’t work out because I wasn’t ready, and I’ve felt ready for opportunities that just don’t seem to be coming. The answer really lies in naming your priorities and staying true to them. And the right things just work out.

It’s all rather wonderful. Everyone has their own unique story of becoming. I’m glad I get to share mine with you in a little small way.

I’ll be sharing more posts about my journey, and my business this week and next, as I enter into 6 years of being Sarah Jane Studios! Wow. What a trip.

If you have any questions, or topics you’ve always wanted to talk about or find out, comment below and I’ll do my best to integrate it into the conversation. With so many people, especially women, crafting out a career from their art and their motherhood, it’s such an important conversation to be a part of.

Cheers!

xo

sarah

 

 

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19

School Lunch Notes part 2

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Remember the Printable Lunch notes from last year? My kids loved them, and I’m finally making more!

I’m a diligent lunch note maker. Are you? I grew up with my mom always sneaking in little reminders, happy quotes, funny one-liners and just plain “I love you’s.”

It always set my day right.

And now with my own kids, I’m always drawing on my kids napkins, making sweet little hello’s, and I thought I’d make them available to you too!

This is a FREE download. I’ve included the printable from last year as well in case ya missed it.

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click here to download

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click here to download

Enjoy!

Happy Lunch making!

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16

back in the studio

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The maternity leave that I took 5 weeks before baby and 3 weeks after has been an incredible break. It wasn’t exactly planned, so I’m throwing myself back into deadlines and projects that were left very unfinished.

Good news is, I’m back. And it feels good.

But of course, as soon as I opened up the studio again, dust balls and everything, Addie was just as excited to get back too. But I think what she was most excited to get back, was her mom again. While I’ve been “home” all this time, I’ve not really been myself with my body & and baby demanding so much of me. And she was anxious to be with her normal mom again:)

But I had a whole day planned, and instead we ended up sewing together….her way!

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Addie has been begging me to show her how to use the sewing machine so she could learn to make her own doll, and I’ve put it off (like every other project) because of my laid up pregnancy situation.

And it had been way over due for so long, we tackled it right then and there.

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She had drawn up a pattern (which I politely mentioned might not really look like she wanted it to in the final stages) but she insisted! A good lesson in pattern making, I thought. Ginormous arms? Hmmm. Slanted head? We’d make it work.

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And after a few minor and major surgeries (the white thread over-correcting some things can’t be seen via an iphone picture, but you get the idea) we had a doll!

She’s so proud. And I am too.

I’m so lucky I get to share my studio with little awesome people.

Sometimes I overlook how important it is for me to stop and do projects that my kids direct. I have so many projects going on all the time, that often my projects get labeled as “more important.”

The trick is in doing both. And that’s the studio space that feels just right.

 

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12

back in the swing of things

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Hi there!

I’m typing in my PJ’s at 9 am hoping to crawl back in bed and actually sleep but knowing that I won’t ever really get any today:)

And that’s OK. Cause this little guy is so worth it. Babymoon is over, and he’s awake more, and trying to get used to this body of his, and most of that “figuring out” for him happens in the wee hours in the morning. It’s a party. Put aside the fact that I’m functioning on no sleep, it really is magical…those quiet moments at night with only the two of us awake. I’m not saying I’d choose this over sleep, but for what I have to stay up for, it is kinda magical.  I mean just look at this guy! I get him all to myself.

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So far, the transition between 3 and 4 kids has been rather seamless. Three kids was a huge adjustment for me. All the sudden, there were more kids than adults. That was a trip. Like, not enough laps, not enough arms…. But I think after 3, it’s just crazy all together, so nothing really phases me any more. I’m feeling like a seasoned parent I think. It makes me sound old, but it really is true. My first two babies were super fussy and colicky, and Anders is starting to fall into that category. Not 100% yet, but he’s definitely needing extra TLC. And for my first two, I was thrown into a whirlwind over it. This time, I’ve been so calm and easy going about it all. Funny how much energy goes into worrying at being a first time mom. This time around we’re smooth sailing.

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I hope you don’t mind all these pictures. He’s only little once, and I can’t get over how much he’s changed just in these past 3 weeks! And now that we are over the recovery stage, I’m finding myself so ready to get back into being here on the blog more, sharing what’s going on, etc. Things are still happening! Like, Quilt Market in 2 months (new fabric anyone??) and new patterns and art. And lots of really exciting collaborations and projects. I’ve not been super active here on the blog, but I have a feeling I’ll be here more. With how much is going on in the studio, as well as how much more creativity it back in my brain now that I’m not pregnant any more. Anyone else get like that? Super dry and non-creative during pregnancy? It’s like all my creativity went to making a baby. And now that he’s out, I’m back to my old self again. It’s good to be back.

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So come and visit more, I’ve got a schedule full of posts that have been waiting to happen for a while now. Work is cranking away, new designs and DIY’s coming, and new fabric coming soon!

But my best creation this year? You’re looking right at him:)

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17

Let me introduce you….

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So, I’m not really sure how 2 weeks has gone by since Anders made his appearance. How does time fly like that? My goodness. I’m missing those earliest moments with him already!

As I’ve mentioned before, my pregnancy  was on the difficult side to say the least.  It was just one thing after another. And it never seemed to let up. First the morning sickness that kept me in the bathroom most mornings and nights, and then the pre-term labor contractions that put me on partial bed rest starting about 20 weeks.  Then came the Symphasis Pubis Disorder which is a premature separation of the pubic bone that put me on total bed rest mostly due to the pain factor. I had excruciating pain and my movement was very limited for the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy that physical therapy couldn’t even fix. I used electric carts at the grocery store for the first time, and I found a new empathy for anyone who has ever needed a wheelchair.  I won’t lie and say I was tough girl. I tried, but this pregnancy got me on my knees a lot. Trying to keep it all together and be a mom to my 3 others, and still illustrate and design at the same time was so incredibly challenging. My kids were troopers and my husband was a rockstar. We made it through! Every day was a mountain, and I can honestly say it stretched in ways I never planned on. No pun intended.

I don’t say that to vent or complain at all. I say that because when my water finally broke at 5:04 am August 1st, I felt like I’d won the Boston Marathon.

It felt like Christmas morning. I just started crying.

All my worries and fears and discomforts were put aside, and he was finally coming! A calm trip to the hospital, a peaceful start and a beautiful delivery.  He spent a bit of time in the NICU, but everything was as it should be. I just burst into tears with joy that first moment I saw him, grateful for him, and grateful that the two of us made the rough and hard journey together. It was all finally all worth it.

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There really isn’t anything that can describe those first few moments holding a baby. Those first few hours are so magical. The smell. The sounds. I’d have a million of ‘em if it didn’t mean pregnancy and college tuition for each one:) And teenage years.

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Having my kids be old enough to really appreciate everything about Anders has been so awesome. They just dote  on him. All. Day. Long. And while 4 feels like a circus right now, it’s amazing how much easier this phase is with older kids who can do things like grab me a blanket from across the room, or help a sister to the potty. Circus, but happy circus.

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Thank you for all your lovely well wishes and sweet notes. It’s been wonderful to hibernate with this little guy for the past 2 weeks and life is starting to get back in gear just a tad. We’re all still in Babymoon phase, and there is definitely a slower pace around the house. But school is starting, new projects are rolling in and life is moving us forward. This time with 4 kids in tow! It’s amazing.

IMG_8294 IMG_8344 I hope you don’t mind lots of pictures, because I can’t stop capturing this little guy. You’ll be seeing lots of him I’m sure:)

So, say hello to Anders. He’ll be saying Hello right back.

Glad you are introduced.

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He is here.

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My heart is bursting in a million pieces. He’s perfect and we are well. We’ve had a few hiccups, and so more pictures and details will come in time. We are resting and enjoying heaven at home and soaking up every miracle minute of him.

Love to you all! More soon…..

 

 

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