The Reason I Clean

comingsoonchina1Coming this weekend: gorgeous vintage china.

Hello Friday afternoon: also known as the moment where I power clean my little house so I can spend the weekend in the studio. I actually have this weekend off (the first in months!) and I intend to make the most of it.  I have plans! Lots of sewing and organizing and hopefully a few new listings in the store. I’m getting excited just thinking about it. It’s been so long since I’ve spent an entire weekend in studio. 

But until then, it’s back to cleaning so I can make a new mess tomorrow! Which is the real reason I clean. 

Happy Friday — what are your plans for the weekend? 

Letting Go


vintage fabric at Mireio

 Vintage pillowcases I’ve collected for crafting. But there is more yardage and vintage fabric in the store too. Check it out! 


How do you know it’s time to destash? Time to sort through all of things (or ideas?) you’ve been hoarding? What makes it OK for you to let go of something. . . to give it away, or list it on ebay, or donate it to goodwill? 

I’ve been struggling with this for a couple of weeks now. After making a concerted effort to get into the studio more (which means you’ll find more listings at Mireio, Yay!) I’m feeling so overwhelmed just walking through the door.  Staring at the unorganized mounds of fabric debris from previous creative bursts, I’m starting to dread the necessary clean-up. Folding fabric, odd shaped fabric at that, is for the birds, friends. Not fun.

Beyond my laziness there is something deeper gnawing at me.  I’m realizing that no matter how amazing the fabric is, I’m not finding any inspiration in it. Apparently, my muse is not a hoarder! She likes new and fresh and often shiny things in the corner.  And maybe she is right! Because, when I catalog what I have… um, some of this stuff I’ve been hoarding for years. Waiting for just the right idea or project: ideas and projects that never materialize.  At what point can I admit to myself that I’m never going to do anything with a particular piece of fabric beyond admire it? 

Wow. That sentence was hard to type! 

So, I’m starting to sort through this disasterpiece of a stash. Setting aside fabric for friends who quilt and craft, creating a pile of “What the heck was I thinking?” for goodwill, and at the urging of a few friends on Facebook I’m creating small craft packs of fabric and listing them in the store.

I’m trying to keep those fabric packs generous for the price (since shipping is so high on heavy fabric!). And I’m crossing my fingers that not only will all this excess fabric  find its way to someone who can use it. . .  but that in the process of letting go, I can find my way to making once again. 


Test Run: A Mother’s Day Project


A Mother’s Day Project

With much trepidation, I pressed the “submit” button on an order of silk scarves. I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea: spending so much money on a single art project. What if it didn’t work? What if it did work, but required more time than we have? What if it created a giant mess and instead of making lovely gifts for Mom on Mother’s Day, I sent home a passel of children stained and marked? “Here, Mom. . . for Mother’s Day I made you more laundry to do!”  

We’re a small church. A Mini-church if you will (a mini-church in a huge building and oh the stories!) — so my Sunday School class consists of children ages 5-13. On the one hand, I love it. Our conversations are varied. There is a balance between older kid and younger kid energy. I think it’s a great opportunity for siblings to interact: a chance for older children to assume leadership roles. 

But on the other hand, it drives me crazy. Finding projects that a 13 year old boy would want to do that a 5 year old can do. . . means lots of hours on the internet researching. I don’t even watch TV any more. I listen to it: while I dig through my online resources, looking for the right projects. I’m constantly pinning ideas for the future: my eyes always searching for just the right thing that will speak to every kid the ultimate truth I want them to glean: YOU ARE LOVED… and isn’t Sunday School cool?!

So, when I stumbled on a tutorial for dyeing silk using sharpie markers and rubbing alcohol I immediately pinned the idea. Hello Mother’s Day! (and um, hello gift that any mom would WANT!) And then I researched every tutorial out there on the subject. And then I asked a friend who dyes things for a living for help. You know, just to make sure. Could we do this in 50 minutes? What kind of silk should I order? Do you think I’m crazy to try this??

For me, these projects not only serve to reinforce the message. . . and give the kids opportunities to learn by doing (instead of just talking at them!)– these projects serve as a ministry opportunity beyond the message. Public schools are cutting art programs as funds dwindle. Time to do those projects has been greatly diminished with the ever growing perception that our children are falling behind the world in the areas of math and reading. So, out goes the play. Out goes the paint. In comes more testing. 

Which makes me ask the question, “If the Church is to speak to the needs of people today. . . well, what are those needs?” In the case of children, I would strongly suggest those needs include playing and creating. If I can, once a week, provide an opportunity to do so and tell them all the same that they are LOVED LOVED LOVED just as they are — it’s a no brainer, right? Challenges aside, it’s worth the effort if these children (be it 15 on a good day or 3 on a quiet day) can learn and explore and create!

The above photo is a test run. Geo wanted to try and I figured, why not? If the 16 year old can do it and love it, then it’s golden. Right? The project has ticked off all my boxes so far — I’m crossing my fingers on the rest. I’ll post photos and tips next week after we do the project on Sunday. But in the meantime, I thought you’d like a sneak peek into what constitutes my creative process these days. 

Win Win Achoo

Remember this? Yeah, me neither. It’s been that long. At this rate, I project the house will be finished in 2015.


We’re calling it “The Pink Room”. Not that it’s really pink, but in comparison to everything in this house: oh it’s pink alright! It’s a lovely, cheerful room that doesn’t scream, “HI I’M TAKING PROZAC TO GET THROUGH THIS MISERABLE GREY WINTER.” Ahem. No, the room whispers quietly. Even to the teenager, who likes to hang out there because the color is “soothing.” 

The room is nearly done, in no small thanks to IZ, who gave me the day off on Monday to paint. I was lamenting my fate, not wanting to report back to work after a weekend of Youth work, and he said, “Then take the day to paint. Finish your room.”

That’s a deal worth taking, no? I’m hoping to take photos soon. However, painted hardly means decorated. And I’m still trying to decide how to deal with the left-over sofa. Oh, did I mention this room is filled with left-over furniture? It’s a mishmash, but I have a plan, maybe? So, photos shortly.

Of course, I painted on Monday and then promptly got sick. I love, love working with youth. But I’m no fan of the Petrie dish my classroom appears to be. I had a youth worker whisper to me during service on Sunday, “I can’t help in Sunday School this week, I’m sick”. And with one whiff of a cough-drop coated breath, I knew I would be too, shortly. For those wondering what fate smells like, let me tell you: minty. 

So, now I’m hopped up on cold meds and rambling. But my room is painted and I’m married to the nicest guy on the planet who took pity on my Monday morning wails of “I really don’t want to go to work today.”  Win-win. . . achoo! 


Shop Update: New Liberty of London

Pretty new buckwheat hull pillows in fabulous Liberty of London fabric. 


Handsome has settled into studio life rather well. He sings and plays and, in what I suspect is evidence of his genius, has figured out how to remove the top to his water bowl so he can play in it. Oh, and he loves the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. Brilliant bird. 

Yes, we’re calling the budgie Handsome. I know, but honestly, nothing else seemed to fit. And there’s something about seeing your adorable husband lean over the cage and sweet talk to a budgie, “Hey Handsome, hello friend,” that kinda seals the deal. 

I’ve been sewing up a storm (there’s more coming!) and trying to balance all the yard work calling me. Good weather does this to me. That, and $10 peonies at Costco! I haven’t bought any yet, but they have me standing in my yard and saying, “There? Maybe there?” I almost have IZ talked into creating new beds along the front fence line under the pretense that it would mean less yard for him to mow. Heh. I’m wily.  I’m telling you, peonies are yard crack!

But I have managed to come inside and to the sound of bird song (Handsome loves to sing in his food bowl!) work on the new Liberty of London fabrics. Sew, Wende, Sew!


Lavender sachets in the prettiest Liberty of London fabric.


I’m swooning over here. Liberty of London fabric is so beautiful. Photographs never do it justice. And I’m seriously wishing I’d ordered enough yardage to make something for ME. There are new pillows in store (I’m slowly adding them) and lavender sachets. I’m working on eye pillows with flax seed and more lavender sachets this week. I’m hoping by the end of the week to be finished with the Liberty shop update! So, stay tuned.

Just a note on this update: most of these items are limited or one of a kind. I am not adding huge lines of Liberty, instead focusing on more unique listings. 

Ok, back to the machine and the song bird and maybe a run to the pet store for more toys. I mean, the pet store is just across the street from those $10 peonies. And Handsome could use a new peony toy.