Amy Butler at the Bloomsbury Loft

Look at the smile on my face. Does that say it all or what?! I have other photos of myself with this big of a smile. My college graduation. My wedding day. The birth of my children. And this. Ranks right up there :>)

Amy Butler has been a huge inspiration to me over the last several years. She lives about 30 minutes from my home and I first read about her in Country Living magazine and then found that ebay was loaded with handmade items utilizing her fabrics and I was enthralled with the colors and designs. She is really the reason why the sewing industry is where it is today and she has brought it to a whole other level that is bringing in new and younger sewers every day. She is just a class act all the way, in every way.

She was at a meet and greet event at the Bloomsbury Loft last night. Check out these sweet little treats they served – I brought these home for my girls. cookies I think I was one of the first ones there for at least 20 minutes or so and I had the wonderful opportunity to actually have a nice long conversation with her about my aspirations, the business, her history and how she got started…it was really wonderful. She was generous in her time and advice, warm, sincere, and very gracious. I was so excited to go and meet her and I was not disappointed. She offered to help me out as I prepare to hopefully go to the Spring Quilt Market and I left there feeling truly energized that I CAN achieve success in this business. I loved hearing her tell her story about bookhow she got started because it really made me believe in myself – that this dream is really achievable. I purchased one of her books, Little Stitches for Little Ones, and she signed it for me. Thank you Amy, it was such a pleasure.

About 5 am this morning, after I crawled back in bed after nursing the baby, my husband rolled over and put his head on my hip and said, “Are you still excited?”. I said, “Yes!”. He said I wiggled all night long and just laughed at me. I wasn’t dreaming about the evening I had just had but I was actually dreaming about my 3 girls. Nature and nurture.

My one pea, who is such an amazing creative artist. She picks up bottle caps from the sidewalk and general junk all over the place and then makes little sculptures and works of art. She amazes me in the depth of her imagination and what she pulls together. One day, she got into my beads (I used to make jewelry) and when I found her with all my expensive findings, she showed me that she had made the most beautiful pair of earrings to give to my mother. I couldn’t be mad at her. I couldn’t believe that a 6 year old could find all of those things and put them together the way she did with no instruction or help. And the other peas, she’s got such raw natural talent. She can look at a thumbnail picture from one of her magazines and recreate it and every detail in large scale perfectly. Wonderful artwork. And then I watch the baby and I am amazed at her dexterity at just 9 months. The way that she uses her index finger and thumb to delicately manipulate and pick up objects, wow. She has spent most of her life in my sewing studio either playing in the room or sitting on my lap while I’m at my machine. I think she will actually be the most amazing artist of us all. I just see it in her eyes.

And that’s why I was wiggling in my sleep. Because I have felt led to where I am today. Because I feel that nature and nurture in myself from what I can just naturally do and what I have been taught by my grandparents, great aunt, mother, father and teachers. Because I have always been encouraged in my art and crafting even when I didn’t want to do it. Because at this time in my life, this feels right. Because when I think about my girls and the talents that they have already, I know that artistic ability is both nature and nurture. They have watched me and also their amazing Aunt (who shares her talent with the kids and takes them to museums and draws with them. check her out here and here and here) and yet they have incredible talent that they were just born with. And so my dreams last night were of my future and all I could see was my 3 girls succeeding far more than I ever will.

But this just feels right. I had been feeling paralyzed. I had been praying for guidance. But I woke today feeling energized, and encouraged, and I feel hopeful. And ready. I am really ready to try.

Today, my kids were off school and we went to COSI, our local science museum. They love this place! In one of the exhibit areas, there was a needlepoint on the wall. It said, “HOPE. 1) A wish or desire accompanied by confident expectations of its fulfillment 2) to have confidence 3) Trust. Reliance.” I love this. And so I will. Hope.

I have a busy week ahead of me with my twins birthday coming up and a party this Saturday. I have 6 more aprons sets to make for their party just yet and tonight one peas said she wants a “sleuth kit”. They love mysteries and love the mystery in the Kit Kittredge and Nancy Drew movies. So any ideas? How do I make a “sleuth kit”? Seriously need some help on this one. A compass? A magnifying glass? Notepad and pencil of course. My husband being in law enforcement said he’d bring home some crime scene tape and might have a few other things he could come up with but…I need some ideas here! What would you put in it? And I only have a few more days to come up with this…kit. Which requires, you guessed it, a very specific bag to hold it all in. More sewing!

Update on my friend and her husband after undergoing some complications from his surgery, is now home and doing better. Thanks for your prayers…his one hour surgery turned quite complicated and we are so glad that he is now on the mend.

I’ll be back late next week with photos from the birthday girls shindig! They are so excited to have all their friends over and play and cook with their dolls. Do you get the feeling that I like it too? Still a kid at heart I guess!