{blessings from above}

Back when I was still doing home trunk shows, I was introduced to a sweet girl who has since become a dear friend.  We get together and lunch and “LOFT” as we call it which means – eat and shop over at the LOFT clearance racks.  Her husband used to play in our worship band at church and is very talented.  And she and her husband had been trying to have a baby.  And at a show, back in Autumn 2009, she ordered a baby quilt and all kinds of baby things from me.  But no baby at that time.  It was for her hope chest.

Usually, when I sew, the door is open and kids come in and play while I stitch away.  That day, the day I was sewing up her order and making her baby quilt, I shut the door.  As I cut the fabric, I prayed.  Every time my fingers brushed against the fabric, I prayed.  As I ironed, I prayed.  As I sewed, I prayed.  I asked that God would please bless this family with a baby.  I prayed that the blanket I was making would soon be wrapped around a sweet baby, a gift from God.  I prayed, and prayed, and prayed with every touch of the fabric, with every stitch for my friend to please have the baby she so dreamed of.

A couple of weeks ago, those prayers were answered.

When I saw the preview photos on Britt’s page, I lost it.  I mean, tears of joy, can’t see the screen, bawling my eyes out lost it.  There, on that quilt I made and prayed over so intensely, lay a sweet blessing from above.  The answer to a prayer.  A perfect baby boy.  My friends baby boy.   I could not be happier for the proud parents.  Thank you GOD for You are good all the time.

xoxo,

Trish

 

Cure for the winter blues

This was taken the day Little Sprout came home from the hospital...

Truth be told, Little Sprout is weaning from breastfeeding.

I’m one of those “green” momma’s that believes that nursing her really helps to boost her immune system and has gotten her through our awful cold and flu season.  The babe has only had 2 nasty little colds to speak of.  Even with her sisters having had strep throat again and again, and whooping cough.  Sprout has stayed really quite healthy.  I had the same experience with my twins who I nursed until 20 months. They also stayed really healthy when they were so little.  Once they are bigger, bring on the germs.  I always thought the bigger they are the better they can handle being sick as opposed to when they are so tiny.

And so we’ve held on and kept at it as long as we could to give Little Sprout all the good stuff she needed to stay healthy.  And now we are winding down.  Which I believe has my hormones in a bit of an uproar.

Hence why my posts have been a bit “crazy” lately.  I call it the “winter blues” or “postpartum” um, 22 months later but whatever.  I’m trying to work through it and being honest about feeling “blue” I think is perfectly ok.

I didn’t even know what it was as we started to wean down to one feeding in January.  Why was I feeling so tired?  Depressed?  Weepy?  Turns out that postpartum depression does occur when you are weaning from breastfeeding.  Who knew?  Now I know it’s not in my head and I’m not crazy.  Or weak.

For some reason, as women, we have to be it all, not be weak, go, go, go, be all things to all people, never complain, never sit down, never stop and smile through it all and keep our kids and husbands happy.  I admitted to my husband the other day as I was crying while ironing that I was in fact, probably a bit depressed and hormonal.  To which he snickered and said some typical man kind of response.  I think it was like, “No kidding?  That’s a surprise” or something like that.  He’s seen me cry on my way to work, cry when I get home, cry while I’m reading blogs, cry while I’m cooking dinner…and when I can’t quite put a finger one why the heck I’m crying…well, this is why I’ve adopted the mantra lately, “hormones suck”.

I have nothing to cry about.  So, I’ve decided to slow down a bit to enjoy my family more and more.  Sleep more.  Make sure I get my vitamins.  Eat better.  Enjoy every moment more.  I think it will help me get past this shift.  It’s weird to feel generally happy yet depressed at the same time.  To feel happy yet cry for no reason.  Have you experienced this?  If so, it’s ok.  Make sure there are no little ears around and say it with me.  “Hormones suck”.

I have so much to look forward to.

Like what you ask?

Well…I have two new patterns I’m working on that I hope to have done before April.  The Madison bag and an apron.

On the blog this month I’ll be recapping a how to on our Jr. Ranger party, a tutorial for a really basic and simple softie, and I’ll share my valentines storage box instructions.

I have two magazine articles I’m working on for submission.

I have a fun set of Jr. bridesmaid dresses to make for a wedding in New Orleans.

My birthday is…this month! (on the 24th actually!)  I have a really cool giveaway I’ll be doing (Something fun from Patty Young for your iphone! and something from me)

LOST is in it’s final season and I’m totally loving it.  Seriously.  LOVE.

Spring break is coming up this month and we are going swimming with the two peas and sprout.

And my Pocket Full of Posies projects series is currently being featured in Sew Hip magazine…I’m in the current March/April issue – issue 14. In the next two issues 15 and 16, you’ll find an apron pattern and a wristlet pattern.  All based on the pocket from the apron – same pattern, 3 very different projects.  Here’s a sneak peek at the flower banner from the current issue.

Hard to see? Well...you'll have to run out and grab the March/April issue of Sew Hip for a close up look and all the instructions! :>)

Thanks for sticking with me.  I think it’s really important to support one another.  I think many of us have experienced this at one point or another in our lives and it’s always so hard to admit.  But, me saying it out loud to my friends, my family, here on the blog – has helped me to see it and focus on making it better rather than to continue to let it suck me down a black hole.

And mostly, I write this blog and print the posts out for my girls to read someday.  I never want them to think they have to be perfect.  I want them to always know it’s ok to be less than perfect, to admit it, and to ask for help and support.

This week – my focus was on Sprout.  Here’s what made me smile…

Nakedness running down the hall to the bath...BEGGING to get in the "bubba"

Cute little wrinkly toes in the tub...

I'm pretty sure she thinks that's a toothbrush...but she "swam" in the tub for 40 minutes!

This is MY cure for the winter blues.  Simple pleasures not lost in the clutter.  Hope you are well…see you soon!

xoxo,

Trish

Matthew 11:28-29
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
(thank you for the reminder Beki)

Um, hello? Why didn’t you tell me how easy this was?

Little Sprout loves her new sheet - for the day

I just want to know why you never told me how easy this was?  Seriously!

Little Sprout has this problem.  She’s a tummy sleeper.  And about every other day, she wakes up with the front of her wet and she’s has to take a bath and I have to change her bedding.  So, I need a fair number of sheets for her mattress to keep up.

I was shopping in town for fabric that was on sale on Super Bowl Sunday.  This Anna Maria Horner flannel is so soft and pretty.  I love it!

Have you made a crib sheet before?  I twitter friend recommended this tutorial.  Literally, a 2 yard cut of fabric and some elastic…30-45 minutes later, you have a crib sheet!

Honestly, all it requires is cutting out 8″x8″ squares from each corner, sew those together, hem the whole sheet, sew on elastic in corners.  I couldn’t believe how simple it was.  Or how cute too!

such a busy reader...

and as I type this, she's doing the same thing that she is doing in the photo, dancing...always dancing!

And we are also working on the Two Peas birthday.  On the 20th, my little twins will be turning 9.  We are having a Jr. Ranger Birthday Party at Dad’s park in the Ranger Station…with all the critters on display, toads and snakes and turtles.  We are going on a treasure hunt hike in the snow, making little beaded owls to hang on their field bags I’m making everyone, and going to see and touch and learn about the animals on display there.  Should be fun…here’s a sneak peek of the invites we made up with our scraps…

our last single digit birthday...makes me kind of sad.

How to keep a baby somewhat clean 101

Was this a class you registered for back in college?  Yeah, me either.  It’s one of those technical skill things you can’t learn in a book but must experience in real life, right?

Yep…so this is pretty much my mess maker, Little Sprout.

Back when our messes were smaller...note the clean tray.

I had made a bunch of cute little bibs for her to wear back in the early days.  Loved these.  They caught what little drops fell as we fed her and they were so cute.  If I do say so myself.  This one is my favorite.

A whole brood of birdies...

But that was then and this is now.

and again...note the tray. Explosive.

Little Sprout can no longer make do with those little cute fabric bibs.  We’ve moved on to industrial strength coverage here.  Attempting to utilize everything we’ve learned to date from our “How to keep a baby somewhat clean 101″ course.

Who can resist the new oilcloths that are out?  I fell in love with the Amy Butler LOVE collection of oilcloths but ouch!  They are pricey.  I decided I could afford a quarter yard of two different prints.  They are 54” so you get a little more which is good.

I doubled up the oilcloth so that the laminated side was exposed both front and back.  I worried that if the cotton back got stained it wouldn’t stay looking nice.  I don’t know if this is actually necessary though.  I didn’t know much about the oilcloths but a Twitter friend shared this link with me.  I found it to be FULL of great information.

You can wash laminated cotton.  Who knew?  So I think the double up was overkill.  I mean, you could single layer the bib and throw it in the washing machine if needed.  But with the double sided, all I do is wipe and hang to dry.

Anyway, I traced an old bib and added like 15 feet of length to it.  Just kidding.  Sort of.  I mean, check out the mess this girl makes.

Little Miss Independant

and ambidextrous

I made the bib wide and quite long.  It is long enough to actually lay down in her lap.  I layed the two pieces wrong sides together so the laminated cotton was facing out on both sides.  Then I made my own bias tape and sewed it on.  Added some velcro at the neck.  Done.  Super simple.

A few notes.  I found that it’s sticky.  You need a teflon foot to sew with.  I used one but it was still sticky.  I found this link that suggests using painters tape.  I think that would have done the trick for sure.  I also found that it can wrinkle kind of easily so you just have to be careful with it.

I ordered mine from Quilthome.com.  They carefully packaged it, rolling it and putting bubble wrap with it so it arrived in beautiful condition.

Thinking I’d be thrifty, I did not put a pocket on it.  Did you know the pocket is great for catching things like soup and yogurt that wee ones insist on feeding themselves as it dribbles all down the front?  So bib #2 WILL have a pocket.

I might even add an extra little tie under the arms to run around the back.  Just because.   While she typically dances in her seat, shakes her head wildly and giggles a lot – her bib gets out of place.  I think an extra strap may help to keep it down without me having to constantly adjust it.

You see how big I made this...oh we need every inch of coverage for this girl

and as much as I love this girl I love this LOVE fabric!

I would love to actually do a table cloth with this fabric but it’s like almost $20 a yard.  Too rich for us for a tablecloth.

Have you used the laminated cottons before?  What did you make and what suggestions do you have?

xoxo,

Trish

{Bad blogger, baaaddd!}

I know, I know…I’ve gotten behind.  I’ll blog more later…I promise.

The girls are in swim team which is very time consuming with practice in the morning and the evening and quite frankly, they are just home.  Enough said…right?  I mean, I’m making full out fancy lunches to keep them fueled for practice and really, my only “me” time for sewing, which is really for everybody else as I’m working on orders, is during nap time.  Of which, I am blessed to say that around 2pm, the baby, AND the twins AND the hubby are all usually asleep for a good hour or so.

My little apprentice helping me with my Sew Serendipity pattern

My little apprentice helping me with my Sew Serendipity pattern

I’m doing trunk shows again this summer and I’m making a new top to wear to these shows.  I got this pattern from Sew Serendipity and I picked out 3 fabrics from Amy Butlers Daisy Chain line to go with it.  I’ll share when I get it done…you can see the baby is my little helper, reading at such an early age and helping me to figure out button holes.  yuck, right?!

And I did get a slew of those notebook covers done for my girls teachers just in time for the last day of school.

Notebook covers

Notebook covers

I have a handful of new bag designs I’m working on.  A hobo bag that my friend said it looked like the snap flap on it was a maxi pad – oh thanks Renee : ) SOOOO I’ll be reworking that little design into something um, a little more pleasing of a shape.

Also trying out new ideas for backpacks.  Had a vision last night of how to put a zipper top on it but it would actually be on the front panel…hmm, gonna try that one out tomorrow.  Cross my fingers it works.

When I get a bit more time, I’ll post more and share more.  Hope the start of your summer is going well.  Keep in touch and don’t forget our monthly giveaways!  Set of market bags this month from recycled fabrics – Go Green!

xoxo, Trish

{i love the gardener}

The view from the back end of our garden looking down our sledding hill into the pasture

The view from the back end of our garden looking down our sledding hill into the pasture

I love the gardener.   I can say that because I do, truly, madly, deeply. The gardener, my husband, has been working hard lately at making sure we have a wonderful harvest this summer and fall. He has planted a variety of delicious vegetables for us and we can’t wait to enjoy them.

Food is one of those things that is really important to us. That sounds strange because, duh, like isn’t food important to everyone? What I mean is food quality. How food sustains us. Nourishes us. Takes care of us.

Maybe we’ve talked about this before but it’s been on my mind again lately. Food. On both sides of our family, we have a high rate of cancer. Not a good family history to have. I have always been pretty conscientious about what I feed us meaning trying to eat whole foods.

Our sugar snaps are already getting big!  Can't wait!

Our sugar snaps are already getting big! Can't wait!

Fresh foods that I can identify. You know what I mean? Honestly, my husband and I are a lot more “junk food junkies” than I probably care to admit but we’ve been so careful with our children and what we feed them. I have tried to feed my kids quick crummy foods once in awhile out of convenience and dog-gone it if they’ll have nothing to do with it! They love sugar of course – ice cream, etc but they would so rather eat ice cream with strawberries on top rather than chocolate any day.

There is comfort in knowing that they know where their food comes from. They know the cows across the street are beef cows and they know the difference between black angus and jerseys. They know that local foods are better for the environment because they travel less distance, use less energy in getting from farm to our table. They know that fresh whole foods will make them strong and keep them healthy.

I was reading some reviews for a book from Mariel Hemingway called Mariels Kitchen. It looks like a great cookbook. She talks about how her husband was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and that with a strict diet he went into remission. Now, I don’t know that we can say that diet alone can “cure” cancer but it makes sense that the garbage we ingest can trigger things to go awry in our bodies. I think we’ve all read about girls going into puberty at early ages and finger pointing at hormones in our meat and dairy products or plastics. Doesn’t it make sense that the fewer chemicals, antibiotics and hormones we ingest – the purer the foods we eat, just keeps us healthier, right?

And so it’s something that is important to our family.  Seems like in our family, you are born with that passion for good food. We had some corn on the cob the other night and cut some off the cob to serve the baby.

MMM! Corn on the cob!

MMM! Corn on the cob!

She would have nothing to do with it! She just kept pointing at the girls who were eating their corn. So, I handed her an entire cob and with the widest mouth she just took a huge crunchy bite of corn! It was so funny! How did she know how to eat it? She loved it!

Tonight, neighbors next to the park where my husband is a park ranger called us at home because they had something for him to pick up. My husband came walking in the door with a HUGE heaping mound of organic strawberries. Unbelievable! Everybody dug in instantly, including the baby who couldn’t stop screaming for more!

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know that I am relishing my twins being on swim team right now. An hour and 15 minutes of free time for me 3 times a week. I LOVE IT! I just sit pool side and read, chat with new friends, and read blogs on my iphone. I NEVER, EVER, ever never, never ever, get free time like that. 7 days a week, 18 hours a day usually, I’m doing something for someone, cleaning, cooking, changing diapers, nursing a baby, taking care of kids with homework and bath time and cleaning up toy rooms, and running a business, and being a landlord, and oh my gosh, the list goes on and on and on. And it’s no different than any of you, right? We all do it. Over schedule, over commit, multi-task til the cows come home. So swim team is the greatest blessing ever! And my girls are loving it.

I am rambling aren’t I? The whole reason I brought up swim team was actually because I’m reading a book called “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. She relates her families move from Arizona to Virginia and their foray into feeding their family with local foods as much as they can. It’s a great read and I very highly recommend it!

Sewing? Oh yes, plenty of that going on always. I have some new designs I’ll share with you next post. A new backpack that I STILL have not perfected (how in the heck do you attach the zipper placket to the gusset and not have any seams show?), a hobo bag, and a few other gems. I have trunk shows booked already for June, July and August. And I’m getting some great feedback and encouraging words from some of these textile mills. I’m very hopeful that I’ll have my own fabric line soon. Oh, so very, very hopeful. It can’t come a day too soon for our little family!

Always very thankful and in awe of God’s grace in our lives. Surrounded by miracles all around us. Ain’t it grand?

Xoxo, Trish

Off we go….

This little new design will be holding my portfolio for me at Quilt Market.  I'm still working out the kinks on it so expect to see this bag for sale sometime next month with a bit more angle to the sides.  Love it though!  What do you think?  I think I'll call her "Charlie".

This little new design will be holding my portfolio for me at Quilt Market. The fabrics are from Anna Maria Horners Garden Party and also Heather Bailey Pop Garden. I'm still working out the kinks on it so expect to see this bag for sale sometime next month with a bit more angle to the sides. Love it though! What do you think? I think I'll call her "Charlie".

OK, so I have barely touched my sewing machine in the last couple of weeks.  I have had meeting after meeting with my design team about my portfolio.  Picking out colors and getting things just so…so…so, I have to confess.  I don’t know what I’m doing.  This whole, “trying to be a textile designer” thing has my stomach in such knots.  I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.  It’s all one big guess.  I drew up some sketches, my wonderful girls – Sonya and Melinda (you girls ROCK!) managed this whole project, digitized my designs, and made me look way cool on paper.  Never in a million years could I have accomplished any of this without them.  And for as much as I have prayed about this process, about the path I am on – I have to believe I’m moving in the right direction.  Melinda goes to my church and we started chatting about this months ago and it has snowballed from there.  I just see God working in so many aspects of this journey and it’s pretty darn amazing.  Whatever happens, happens.  I have faith that I’ll be just where God wants me to be, what is best for our family.  But…I could sure use some prayers.  When I say my stomach has been in knots I mean like morning sickness anxiety crazy blah magnified like 20 times.  My heart is pounding the minute I wake up because I’m thinking about what I have to do that day for deadlines and orders and getting things out so I can make it to Quilt Market.  Very stressful.  Although, Thursday night before market, Carla (my husbands way wonderful Aunt who has been one of “the” buyers for a HUGE retailer for the last 25 years – she’s been so supportive and calming for me) will be arriving early at our hotel and plan on a nice long relaxing meal out.  Rarely do I go anywhere without kids so I’m kind of looking forward to just a little night out.

This all started with Joan.  My friend Joan said, “you ought to do home parties” for my purse sales.  So she hosted a party for me at her house.  It went well and so it grew from there.  Then she introduced me to Jodi.  Jodi is another graphic designer guru who created my logo.  If you like my branding look, that is all thanks to Jodi.  She has this way of crawling in my head and getting just the right thing.  She designed my sewing pattern covers that will be out late this year.  She’s awesome.  Then there is Suann – from Bows and Blossoms, who said I should look into this site and that site for website designs and hosting.  Saved me a ton of money (hopefully, I’ll be launching the new site in the next week or two).  And there is Jill, one of my “best” customers who is turned into a great friend who shares retail therapy with me.  Barb who keeps me sane and lets my use her computer because “we only have dial up” at our house.  Crazy!  And Kris who helped push my business further too – and just has been a wonderful friend.  There have been so many wonderful people, friends, collegues and my sweet family – along the way that have helped push me along the path.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I love you guys – I am so grateful and incredibly blessed.  No matter what happens, I got friends and in the end, that’s all that matters.  :>)  Ahhh…ok enough mush mush.

Adult tee

Adult tee

adult tee

adult tee

caterpillar onesie

caterpillar onesie

little birdie onesie

little birdie onesie

Just a few more shirt designs…the little onesies are $12.  Not up on etsy yet but eventually.  Email me if you’re interested at twopeasinapoddesigns@gmail.com.  I HEART the little caterpillar one.  My girls are big on worms and the like so this is their favorite.

I’ll hopefully have some positive things to report when I get back from Quilt Market.  I leave on Thursday.  I won’t post again until after I get back.  Wish me luck!  I could sure use it.  I’ll try to keep everyone posted on Twitter!

xoxoxo, Trish

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