Chapter Books for the Younger Kids: Revised.

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A couple years back, I created a list of chapter books that were suitable for very small children to have read to them. We are big readers in our house!  If you were to come over right now, you’d see bookshelves everywhere. And we could use more….there are books on the couch, the coffee table, the kids’ beds, and even on the kitchen counter.

My husband started reading chapter books to the kids when they were as young as age 3. But we found it difficult to find advanced books that were suitable for children who weren’t even in kindergarten yet!

So, we visited with our librarian, asked other parents, and put together a list.

And it was so helpful for so many! We had over 110 comments of other parents pitching in their ideas. It’s been a long while, but we thought we’d put that list in a single printable PDF  for you to bring with you to the library:

click here to download

 

It’s a 5 page document full of awesome titles. It’s been so helpful to have on hand!

With the weather a little dreary and cold here, our “library” room is getting used quite a lot.

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With the weather a little dreary and cold here, our “library” room is getting used quite a lot.

Thanks for all your input, and happy reading!!

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365 Sketches

 

 

 

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The interesting thing about drawing is that it requires a lot of what I don’t seem to have a lot of right now:

1. Two hands. You only need to draw with one, but the other hand steadies your paper. Something I’d never thought of before I had children.

2. A pencil. Preferably one that doesn’t get stolen from the child you are sitting with.

3. Creativity. Well, yes folks. It takes a wandering mind to go places that create magic. The places where I can put feelings onto paper. My mind wanders plenty….but lately it’s because I’m drifting off to sleep while making pancakes. Not exactly productive.

4. Time. As much as I like to draw stick figures, I just don’t get a thrill out of it. Sketching something doesn’t take hours, but it does take longer than 2 minutes…and if I had that in my day I’d take a shower instead:)

But, all that being said, I don’t feel human without putting to paper how I feel about my children, childhood and what I see in my head. It’s amazing that with all the sleep deprivation right now (yes he’s almost 6 months and yes he’s still making a zombie out of me!) There are still hints of life in my right brain. It’s not where I want it to be, and that’s OK because baby making is #1 on my list of my best creations. But I’ve decided to try and sketch as much as I can. Make myself even. It’s like exercise (which I’m lousy at)…it requires blocking out bits of time and making it happen. At least with 4 kids at home.  9eefc6387ecd11e39e3c1216422729ed_8 a725f68a826d11e3b0fe1213113368a2_8 3e28d3727ed111e39b8a125d06582ab4_8  

And with being in the middle of creative deadlines right now, sketching keeps my brain from thinking there isn’t anything in there. When you are only getting 4-5 hours of sleep in 2-3 intervals, there really isn’t much in there:) It helps me realize that maybe I actually do think about more than just what I’m making (or not making) for dinner.

So, 365 Drawings…I’m ready for you. It might take me 3 years, but I’m determined to put pencil to paper more. It’s my magic time.

PS: You can keep up with my INSTAGRAM drawings here.

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Wee Wander Firefly Border Quilt

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With the WEE WANDER fabric collection hitting stores this week, I’m so excited to start the Wee Wander Blog Tour!

Each Tuesday, I’ll be featuring a FREE pattern and/or tutorial for you to create your very own Wee Wander inspired project.

Some of the projects are from my Quilt Market Booth. And some projects are completely new!

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For our very first project, I’m featuring the Wee Wander Firefly Border Quilt. Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter put this pattern together with me. I just love the small patchwork around this nighttime scene. This border print, like my other border prints, runs along the selvedge, with a mirror image on the other side with a big tall night sky between! There is so much to work with this print! If you look closely, you can see how I embroidered a little bit around some of the stars.

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Here’s an example of what the print looks like selvedge to selvedge so you can see how it works. I love that is leaves so much of the sky so you can really use large sections of it!

The full PDF Pattern is available below:

click here to download

Have fun! And as always, I love to see your projects! Please feel free to share them on my PINTEREST BOARD and send an email to info@sarahjanestudios.com to receive an invite to post! Happy Sewing!

 

More Patterns and tutorials are coming weekly! Dresses, decor, quilts….stay tuned!

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Speaking to at Quilt Bliss

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In less than 2 weeks, I’ll be a keynote speaker at my first ever sewing conference. I’ve spoken to sewers before, but never for a 90 minute presentation. And I’m so excited! (And nervous…but who wouldn’t be!)

Quilt Bliss is taking place in Timber Moose Lodge  (biggest private log cabin in the USA) and is sure to be an amazing retreat with plenty of inspiration, R&R and rejuvenation!

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Individual classes are sold out, but day passes are still available.

Will you be attending Quilt Bliss? I’d love to know if you are! I’ll be sure to share all about it when it’s through!

See you there! xoxo

 

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Coastal Living

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I was browsing through Instagram the other night, and someone I follow posted about this feature in Coastal Living Magazine featuring my Nautical Map Fabric! Funny how we hear through the grapevine now-a-days.

I snatched up an issue, and I love this feature!

And while I honestly wish I was showing you this issue because that was really me on the front cover and living coastal, I thought this feature was pretty swell!

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BLUE MAP BLOG

Did you know that I have oversized prints of my Nautical map? I love it. It’s in my sons’ bedroom now, and it’s a favorite of mine. 

 

Thanks Coastal Living!

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Wee Wander is coming

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It’s coming, it’s coming!! Have you ordered your fabric yet? Wee Wander is shipping to stores this week!

I’m getting antsy just thinking about it!

I’ve provided a list of all of our vendors, both online and brick and mortar, and you can check in with them about when they will be getting their order in.

Many stores have a pre-order option, so check into that as well.

I’ve got lots of great posts planned, so stay tuned! I can’t wait to see what you create!

 

xo

Sarah

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Year of Change

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These two ADORABLE twin baby boys are new additions to the Sarah Jane Team. But they are unfortuneatly the reason that we will be giving Ann, my studio manager of 3 years, some time away from the Studio for the near future.

Many of you have emailed Ann, or worked with Ann. She has been my right hand! She has taken care of all my customer service, wholesale accounts, emails, printing and shipping, sponsors and so much more!! She’s basically managed the studio to the point where I don’t have to even think about things like keeping up inventory and keeping the books….something I learned very early on that I needed to delegate or I’d never draw again!  But after Ann’s very high risk pregnancy (she was on strict bedrest in the hospital for 5 weeks! I can’t even imagine!!) she delivered two adorable baby boys 10 weeks early and is needed at home so she can care for them 24/7. Darren and Jason were each a healthy 4 + pounds, and Mommy and Babies are doing well.

I’m going to miss Ann so much! Running a business takes such a team effort, and I’ve been so blessed to have her.

 

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Emily was my first graduate, then Ann, and now you’ll be getting to know Allie.

 

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Allie just graduated from BYU here in Utah, and will be taking over for Ann! I can’t wait for you to “meet” her. She’ll be the one you’ll talk with if you ever have a question about your order, sponsoring here on the blog, or any other question about the Studio. She’s also going to be running the printing and shipping which is now back in our home studio! We’ve spent the past week setting up shop and it’s been tons of fun (mostly because Allie is tons of fun!) and she’s also the one to play with the Ella and Anders when I need to throw in some studio time in the day.  Go Team!

The studio was out of house for the past 3+ years, and this will be the first time it’s been in my home for a while. I’m excited to be close to the shop again!

So, Thank you Ann for all you’ve done! And say “hello” to Allie! I’m really excited to see the new changes here at Sarah Jane! I wouldn’t be here without an amazing team!

Back to setting up shop….

xo

Sarah

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BE BRAVE

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I’ve been thinking about what my Word of the Year will be. It’s taken me a while, because last year was a challenging one for me, and I’ve felt such a fresh start to this one, and there are so many thing I’m wrapping my head around.

Life with 4 (very intensely alive and soulful) children and all that brings, striving to build my little business and see it bless my family more as well as more of the world, keeping creatively sharp and passionate despite the fullness of life, staying a good friend and staying aware of and serving the people around me, and learning to over come personal challenges all with the beauty of no sleep.

My husband found some old home videos on Christmas, and one night we pulled out the tape (yes a tape) of me and Kenneth backpacking through Europe in 2004. We’d been infertile for 3 years, and I was at my end of all the emotions that go along with that. I was tired and scared of turning into a worrisome twenty-something. I had stopped really “living.”

We had saved money for an infertility surgery that we weren’t sure if insurance would cover. And we wouldn’t find out until after the surgery. That took all my faith. And that’s another story. But in the end, insurance paid for it!

So, what did we do? Did we put it in savings? Did we put it aside?

Nope.

We grabbed plane tickets and back packed through Europe for 5 weeks. We had a plan, but we left so much to chance. We had to release and relive, and that’s just what we did.

We stayed with an old Italian man we met at the train station on the Italian Coast who couldn’t speak english, but had a great view; We wandered through the sheep filled countryside in Wales and got lost until we found a bed and breakfast we could afford.  We landed in a small town outside of Venice at midnight in the rain, and knocked on doors until we found an open room (that one was a little scary). We took a 3 hour train that we didn’t have tickets for (we got on the wrong train) and played cards in the dining car to avoid the ticket master (thanks Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby for that one).

All in all, I was fearless. I’d been so beaten down and disheartened from not being able to get pregnant, and I felt like I could handle anything.

Then the kids came. And we were witnessing miracles.

But something happened to my mother-heart.

I loved so much, that I started to worry just as much. I started watching every step. I would put on the alerts that only a mother can have. I would sleep with one eye and one ear open. I was always on the watch it seemed. And slowly, but surely, I’ve become just that. I’ve forgotten how to let go, and be BRAVE.

I’m not talking about the kind of BRAVE that you put on to mother children. That’s the BRAVEST of all the BRAVES!

I’m talking about the kind of BRAVE that it takes to break free from habits, try new ways, leave your comfort zone, and trust.

The kind BRAVE that makes you fearless. Willing to let go and soar.

I’ve grown up since those careless summer days in France, but I’ve also forgotten how to let go.

And that’s hard to do when you are responsible for little people.

But it’s my new goal. It’s my new road.

Sara Bareilles’ song BRAVE has been on repeat, and I’ve been pumped up ready for this new year. 2014 is my year. I feel it.

BE BRAVE. 

You are welcome to download this and use it for your personal use. It’s my motto this year.

Yours?

xo

Sarah

 

 

 

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