We painted the kids rooms 4 months ago. We ripped out their floors 4 months ago. We put in one room of floors 3 months ago…but we never had time to paint and reassemble the bunk beds, or floor the second bedroom. This year, like most, has been really full. But I’m realizing (because I’m pregnant and actually on “pelvic rest”) how much Kenneth and I are a total team. We get so much done when we are working on projects together! But this year, he’s been pulling 80 hour weeks, and I’m unable to move around very well. Hmmmm. Tricky.
See, I think and feel SO much more clearly when my spaces aren’t cluttered, and the house is in order. Not perfect order. I’m NOT a neat freak by any means. But the truth is, we’ve been under a lot of clutter because I’ve had to been on “pelvic rest” and I’ve not been able to do things like assemble and paint bunk beds. And it’s something that’s obviously second to making a baby, but not having beds for your 3 children gets to you after a while! It’s something really only a woman can understand. When you have all three kids camping out in a small room with no floor space because the mattresses are sprawled out in a room the size of 3 mattresses, it’s cute for the first couple weeks. But 4 months, and pretty soon you have a bunch of kids and a mommy that just need a bit more space.
And we are starting to get there. I’m excited to show you the progress in the next few weeks. It’s been quite the transformation. And the kids are really involved with which art piece of mine they want where…and are even giving me ideas for what they want me to make next. I love hearing their ideas. So clever.
And with this new space, I’ve been inspired and will be showing you some new art prints this week as well! I can’t wait! They coordinate with my up and coming fabric line that I’ll be sharing with you at the end of this month, and I’m tickled.
Something that’s really hard to articulate, is the dilemma of the mother-artist that lives in a constant ebb and flow of creativity and order. For me, when life is out of order, I’m not very creative. But on the flip side, when I’m crazy creative, things get out of order. You’d think I’d have this all figured out by now. But something about not having order in my home these past couple months with rooms under construction, being on partial bed rest, and managing on my own most of the week, I’ve found that I’ve been less creative than I normally am. Any of you fall into this boat? And maybe it’s the nesting, or maybe it’s just me….but something about starting a room from scratch and reorganizing my home makes all the juicy creativity flow again. I could be odd, but I bet I’ll find a soul mate reading this and saying…..”Um…Yes. That’sexactly the way it is.”
But on a good note, I actually got cooperative, happy children for Easter pictures right before church. Like 3 minutes before church. Score! I haven’t always been so lucky:) Actually, I’ve never been that lucky. Happy kids. That’s what I live for. And 3 faces in focus:) Eek! Soon to be 4! I can’t wait.
But really….I’ll be posting lot of new things this week. New art, originals, sewn items, and a sale! So stay tuned:)
It takes a lot for me to get genuinely excited about things. Well, genuinely excited about the outcome of a studio related project. I do what I do because it’s what I do! And so to see unexpected little surprises always gets me.
Are you a MODCLOTH shopper? I am. Especially in the spring. Such awesome stuff.
So when I saw that this skirt was going to be available soon at MODCLOTH….I was so excited!! And then when I saw that it already has 426 likes and it’s not even available yet….I thought it would be the respectable thing to let you know. So you can grab one first:) In case you want to, that is. It makes me SO happy to see my fabric designs on grown-up people. So darling, right?
I have no idea when it’s going to be available, but you can sign up to get notified. I’m sure I’ll post on Facebook when it’s up and ready, so check there too.
Happy Easter weekend everyone!!
So, it seems like forever that people who know this man have been asking for his recipes. He’s the type that comes home from a stressful day at work, and needs to be creative in the kitchen for therapy (I don’t mind this kind of therapy!) He’s mostly resigned to getting crazy on the weekends, and for years we’ve called him The Weekend Gourmet. I’ve tempted him to share here on the blog, write them down on index cards, you name it. But when this man cooks, he just cooks. He’s not in it for anything else. But he’s finally convinced to share his secrets. I posted on Facebook and Instagram to see if you’d be interested, and after a few hundred “YES!!!” responses, I think he’s in.
So, every so often, Kenneth will be sharing some delicious yummy dishes.
Today, with Easter in a few days, it’s a special traditional recipe. A little manly and great for the spring.
Ok! Take over Chef!
Russian Shashlik: The Reshatoff family version
Let me begin by saying that I have never celebrated a single Easter without eating Shashlik. And if 80 years from now I’m in a hospital on a feeding tube I will still sneak out on Easter to fire up the grill. It’s that good. Most cultures have a version of skewered meat but because of my Russian roots this has been and will always be my favorite. My Grandpa Reshatoff taught me how to make this when I was old enough to see over the counter, and I’ve made it every year since. Your turn to find out why:)
1 Leg of lamb (deboned unless you’ve done this before. Costco is where I get mine)
1-2 Large yellow onions, or any sweet onion, Diced.
2-3 Lemons, just the juice.
3-4 Tablespoons Olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
2 Teaspoons of salt (or more to taste)
2 Minced cloves of garlic (Optional, but I like it in)
- Trim most of the fat from the lamb and wash and dry it.
- Cube the meat into 1 ½ inch cubes
- Place everything listed above in a large mixing bowl and give it a good stir. Get your hands in there. This is no job for a wimpy spoon.
- Put everything in a gallon zip bag and put in the fridge overnight.
- Pull bag out an hour before you grill
- Fire up your grill to HOT. 500+ degrees. We’re not baking, we’re grilling! The meat is in small pieces and you want to cook it fast or it will get dry.
- Put the meat on skewers with a little space between each piece so it will brown on all sides. Traditional shashlik is done on large metal skewers right over the coals with no grill, but if you don’t have 3 foot spears like me you can put them on smaller skewers and do it on the grill. Just coat the grill with cooking spray or and oil soaked cloth first to prevent sticking (don’t spray the grill when its on the coals. Can you say ‘fireball’?)
- Depending on the heat cook for about 5 minutes and then rotate until browned (maybe a little black if my mother-in-love is coming. She likes it burned) on all sides.
- When they’re brown (10-12 minutes over high heat) Use a knife to check if they’re pink (not red) in the center. Leave them on if you want them more done but remember, they’re going to cook more when you pull them off.
- Get a thick metal or ceramic pot (crock pot works nice, not plugged in). Pull the meat off the skewers and put them right in the pot and PUT THE LID ON! (Imagine my Russian Grandfather yelling at you). If you don’t they’ll dry out and be lamb jerky. No good.
- Try to time this as close to your eating time as possible. You want to pull it off the grill and let it sit in the pot for 5-10 minutes as everyone sits down.
- Add a little more salt and pepper to taste if you want and dig in.
- We serve this over rice pilaf, a great big green salad and Easter Bread, another Russian Easter favorite.
So are you in? If so, I’d love to have you comment below and say hello! Tell us if you’ve done lamb for Easter, and if you end up trying this, share your thoughts!
I love weekends. My husband’s work hours have been crazy the past few months, so weekends come with so much anticipation. Soon, his hours will go back to normal, and he’ll be home during daylight hours again. Ooooh, I can’t wait. We try and do mostly fun things to make up for lost time, but lately, my pregnancy has been getting harder, and this weekend was spend mostly catching up on house and yard work. It’s going to be a rough road ahead, I think. I’ve got a few things going on in my body, that when combined, make standing up for more than and hour really difficult. I’m only half way, but since none of my babies have made it past 37 weeks, I’m making sure to be extra cautious.
I’ll keep you posted on how things go! But I’m trying to keep extra realistic expectations. It’s amazing how much you can do while sitting though. I’m determined to get really creative:)
And speaking of Instagram….it makes me think of food…..and all the cooking that Kenneth still manages to do on the weekends. He used to cook all the time, but with his schedule, it’s mostly just the weekend now. I think I’ve convinced him to share recipes here on this space, so stay tuned for what I think will be an awesome addition to the blog. He’s really so dang talented, and I think he’s finally convinced that other people need in on his secrets:)
Hello my friends, how are you?
Sometimes writing and sharing can be so yummy and great…and other times, I wonder about all of you out there….I think about you and wish I knew more of who you are. I mean, writing to you and hearing from you in writing is great and all….but I really do prefer the one on one, you know? It’s the lovely irony with connecting through online devises…we are able to share more than ever and support like never before….but sometimes I just wish I could just have you all over for a big brunch and chatting. But I’m not an event planner either, so well….there we go.
Anyways. That’s what I’m thinking about right now.
So, Fabric. I can’t believe it was almost two years ago since I designed my first collection of fabric. And while I’ve managed to only do one a year since, I’m working on presenting my THIRD….and I’m baffled with how time flies. And how you are all still sewing with Children at Play. It makes me happy to see sweet pictures like this. Man. If I had a dress like that when I was a girl….
So, yes. Third fabric line coming soon. Can’t tell you much about it except that it will be shipping in May. And That’s coming sooner than you know it!
So much love gets put into the fabric….it’s such an intense process, and takes so much focus and thought. So when I see your projects, made with the same love, intention and energy, it just makes it feel all worth it. Thank you so much for sharing as much as you do! These pics were taken from Safflower Photography, and Miranda is the one that sent me the link on Facebook with her and her two kids….how adorable to see the WHOLE family decked out in the same fabric. Makes me smile.
Have a lovely weekend friends!
See you monday,
Addie wanted to sew and stitch some kind of Easter pillow, and so we spent some time this weekend making it together. She is so crafty and artsy, it’s so fun to finally have a buddy in all this. She’s at that age where she can really learn how to do it herself!
So I drew up an idea, and then she drew up her idea….and we met in the middle. I wanted to sew up a big colorful egg, she wanted a bunny, so we made a bunny holding a big colorful egg.
The best part about these projects is that they can be turned into anything. Wall art, pillows, you name it.
And of course, bunny needed a scarf. So we started there.
The best part is that I got a little helper to work the pedal underneath. Go team!
Then I grabbed some random fabrics from my stash, and sewed strips together (You might recognize some new fabric of mine you haven’t seen yet…coming in the spring! hush, hush:)
Then I used the egg template and pinned it to the sewn scraps. I cute about 1/4 inch around the template, ironed down the edges, and pinned onto the bunny design. Sewing it down in a perfect oval isn’t my specialty. But hey. It’s a darn cute egg, ya?
And then we stitched and stitched! It’s a super fast little job.
But when I got to the tail, I just knew it needed some texture. The kids would love a little cotton tail.
So, yarn pom pom’s it was.
Stitch it onto the little tail, and you’ve got yourself a little cottontail bunny holding a really awesome egg, and ready to be made into something special.
I’ve made the Bunny template for you, so all you have to do it trace it onto some fabric. You can decide what you want to stitch, or what you want to sew on. So many variations!
Have fun! I’d love to see your pictures. Don’t forget to share on my embroidery FLICKR page, or on Facebook...or wherever you like to follow me around:) And if you like this, don’t forget to share on Pinterest!
(just hover over any picture, and it’s an easy share)
Happy Spring everyone! And happy making!!
Do you feel it?
Do you love the changing of the season?
Ohmygoshohmygosh. I’m raising my hand super high.
I’m so ready to shed off winter for good. And I’m starting to see and feel color again. I like winter. I really do. Especially here when there is lots of white snow, and we get winter light warming us in the library, and the winter animals that come out….But I’m kinda-sorta-officially done.
Give me flowers and give me color.
This illustration came to my head this week, and I had to put it on paper.
I’m still in the throws of catch up mode here at home. On all fronts: making books and making my laundry room (closet) look like it wasn’t attacked by some alien explosion. But I’ve snuck in rearranging furniture, planning out new plants to put in the yard, and thinking about new art for the walls. And stitching and eating fresh greens…..
And stocking up on more band-aides and ice packs again cause little knees and feet aren’t used to all this excitement.
I’m starting to feel like me again:)
This print is available here in the shop.
PS: I almost forgot to mention! Today is big birthday for my darling, amazingly efficient assistent Ann who runs the shop. She really deserves a big high 5 for everything she does. We’ve had a lot of hiccups this year with some transitions happening behind the scenes, and I couldn’t run this machine without her. Say Happy Birthday! And Cha-cha-cha:)
Hugs and kisses for spring!
Ooooooh. I love weekends.Especially today, because it’s really feeling like Spring is here! And this week, looking back, there has been some really diverse and special online action that I wanted to share with you! Mostly cause I think you’d really be interested. I don’t share a lot of what happens out there in the web here in this space, but this week really caught my eye.
Not just the fabric, but she used the free templates I offered, a few Blog Tour patterns, you name it. It’s adorable! And she’s giving away a free Sarah Jane print. You for sure want to sign up! I haven’t had a giveaway in a while (hmmmmm….that could be fun!) but there is a small pool that I’d love to see beef up a bit to show support for this incredibly creative space. And you could get a free print out of it! Horray!
Click here to enter the giveaway! Ends in 4 days.
2) AUCTION FOR CANCER RESEARCH
Next up is this amazing story of a mom and her daughter Charlotte who has been battling the trial of terminal brain cancer. Diagnosed at 3 months, she was given 3 months to live. But she’s now over 2 years old, and such a fighter! This mom has been making quilts to auction off in order to raise funds for the Brain Cancer Research at Duke University, which is where she is treated. This quilt is already sold (darn!) but she’s posting a quilt a week, and all funds go to support the people who are helping Charlotte, and other children with Cancer, fight the fight.
This part of her post brought tears to my eyes. Her whole room is decked out in Children at Play fabric, and she tells her little girl:
“Charlotte, right now, you’re the one riding the pink elephant…”
“But one day, baby, you’ll be the little girl who is waving the flags with both arms up.”
How sweet is this little champ? Love this sweet angel.
Click here to check out her amazing quilts.
And here to visit the post about her darling Children at Play room.
3) News Feature on Art for Kid’s Rooms
This week also, my 3 Chairs Print was featured in a Canadian news station in Toronto, City Line, where they were talking about art for kid’s rooms that keep things interesting and creative. It’s a great post! Check it out. Lots of great art to inspire your children when they are daydreaming in their room. You can see the blog post here. Thanks City Line!
And lastly, remember this DIY project from, oh, maybe 5 years ago? It feels like yesterday that I had my toddlers on my lap making this project to keep them entertained on one of those crazy “mommy” days. I needed to do something with ALL the art they loved to make, and this seemed like the perfect solution. These templates have been circling the web for ages, but Country Living Magazine picked up this idea and shared it this week with their online readers! It’s making me nostalgic. But regardless, it’s a great little DIY. Click here to see the other ways to feature your kids art, and click here to download the templates for the project!
Wasn’t that fun? I love what I do, but getting such diverse feedback….from art prints on a news station to supporting a toddler with cancer to sharing how to be creative with your kids….and decking out a new nursery….I sometimes take a step back and just feel so blessed to interact with some really amazing people and meet so many of you who are able to use my art to share the love even more. Thank you!
I hope you all have a lovely weekend! I have a lot of projects that I want to share with you….stuff you can make, and create with….so stay tuned!
And Happy St. Pat’s! We’re corned beef and cabbage people…but just once a year:)