A life well organized

Pretty little hipster is headed north tomorrow...we will be making a bag like this in my "Two Peas Sewing Bee" sewing class(es). My life? Well organized? I hear people comment to me all the time “I don’t know how you do it?! Work part time, run a business, make all this stuff. You must be so organized”. Far from it.

Since I was a kid, I have never, ever been “well organized”. I wish I was but I’m just not. My Mother used to take pictures of my room and the crazy get ups I’d wear (I was big into thrift store shopping as a kid – the wilder the outfit, the better!) and she would claim she was going to save them to show my children someday. Yep, that day has come and my kids think it’s a good laugh. As I get older, I think I’m better able to accept this about myself. That I’m bound to a life, well, maybe not so organized.

I mean, for years, I have emptied out closets and drawers, bought great little containers, and tried to color code and organize by size. And it works. For awhile. And then, before I know it, I have piles of stuff, just stuff, all over the place. And my kids, well, they are just like me. “Two Peas,” I say, “what IS THIS?”, pointing to a pile of bottle caps, little silk rosettes, ribbon and rubberbands. I’m usually told of the latest craft idea they have and how they need to keep all those things because they have an idea for later. Sound familiar? Holy moly! How many times have I said that one! “But I keep this ginormous bag of scraps honey because I have this great craft idea for later and I NEED them!”. Oh surrre!

I guess this “confession” stems from the sermon I heard in church this past Sunday. It was all about confession and how getting things off our chest will make us feel better and that God still loves us for who we are. So just because I can’t find the Brownie field trip permission slip, again, or maybe I’ve lost track of my work keys because I switch purses so often, again or I let the laundry pile up to the sky – hey, God loves me anyway and there’s SOME solace in that. (ok, I do have some heftier confessions than that but those are between me and the big guy). I mean really, wouldn’t all that organization just stifle my creative thinking anyway?! That’s what I keep telling myself at least. I mean, all that clean space, totally overrated, isn’t it?

Ok, another confession. I do still keep trying for organization. I say, I’ve accepted it yet, I do keep trying. In fact, last week while the two peas were off visiting Grandma, I took a break from my sewing machine and my day job and cleaned house. I mean, finally got piles of stuff put away, swept away the clutter and pretty much sanitized the main living portions of our house. To tell you how bad it had been for so long, the two peas came home and oh’d and ah’d about the clean spaces. And they’ve been home for almost a week now, and they have totally kept up with the clean space idea. They’ve been cleaning up after themselves brilliantly. They even asked me to pick up a few things because “they wanted to keep everything clean”. Ok, ok, ok. I get it. When an 8 year old tells you that, I guess I realize that the clean space helps them too. A clean organized space for them helps them to feel safe, relaxed and calm. It does the same for me. So, if you come to my house, it may not be the most organized. I may not have everything “show ready” but it will be creatively organized and a little bit cleaner than it has been. It works for me. Because let’s face it. A life well organized, well, I’ve made peace with how well I can organize.

On other news fronts, have I mentioned here before how our baby pea has a hair obsession? I mean, sees a stranger walking by with long hair and screams out for them. Of course, they stop and say, “oh, such a cute baby” and she knows she’s got them. She reaches out the arms and of course they say, “oh my! Do you want picked up? May I?”. Hook. Line. Sinker. She’s got ‘em. She’s up and instantly the girl has got her fingers twirling through this strangers long locks. It’s bad. It’s her baby crack. But, slowly she’s transitioning into a new obsession. It’s shoes. I mean, we all knew it was coming. She’s a GIRL, hello?! Of course, she no doubt would love shoes someday I just didn’t think it would happen this early. She’s not particular. Anybody’s shoes. My husbands. Mine. The two peas. Shoes found around at the pool. Flip flops. Heels. She’s not picky. She wants to put on her sun hat, put on a giant pair of shoes and suck her thumb. That’s pretty much a good day for her. A life well organized or cutie patootie days like these? I’ll take the cutie patootie days thank you very much.

Olivia bag in Amy Butler Daisy Chain.  Love the cording detail...don't you?

A few new things heading out of the studio. Making some progress on patterns. Had a product photo shoot yesterday and more to come as I’ve narrowed down my projects to a set of three that I think you’ll enjoy. And so much more on the horizon.

A little Erin McMorris love - her Park Slope fabric line.  Makes a cute dress and these look great with a long sleeve tee and a pair of jeans to get longer seasonal wear!

New designs I’m working on to complete my color stories with my original portfolio and hope to resubmit before the end of the year. So that’s what’s new with us in a nutshell. How about you?

Xoxo,

Trish

**Bloggers Note** Oops, I did it again!  Oh yes, left for work this afternoon and forgot my work keys, again.  Shheeez!

{Homemade is best...and a little easy Mother's Day tutorial}

I painted this a VERY long time ago and it now hangs in my sisters sunroom

OK, so last week when I was visiting family for Easter, I started to notice that everywhere I looked - um, there was stuff I made hanging around. Little paintings, a fabric covered journal, quilts, stockings made from my great grandmothers old raggedy quilt, napkin rings, placemats and of course, purses. I'm really all about this handmade thing - it truly is a wonderful gift when you can give someone something you made by hand (or something someone else made - something unique - you get the idea!)

SO...here's a cool idea for you crafty types for a Mother's Day gift for YOUR Mother - a set of placemats and napkin rings! Seriously, easy project. Here we go:

Materials needed - the obvious, sewing machine, thread, etc you'll need fabric (see below), fusible interfacing and prequilted fabric.

Pick 4 different fabrics (I picked some Amy Butler dots to coordinate with some vintage kitchen prints I found). For each placemat, CUT four 5" x 14.5" panels.

Using 1/4" seams, piece your panels together. Press your seams open. Next, cut a piece of fusible fleece interfacing to fit on the rear of your front panel. Cut it 1/4" smaller all the way around than your front panel. Following the instructions with your interfacing, fuse it to the wrong side of your front panel. This will give your placemat some extra oomph and keep your cotton panel looking crisp - in my opinion.

Once you have your front panel complete, use it as your pattern to cut a solid rear piece from your prequilted cotton fabric. I used a cream color - the same I often use in my purses - sound familiar?

With right sides together, pin and sew with 1/2" seams. Leave an opening for turning. Turn right side out. Top stitch. I also typically add some "steam a seam" to my opening just to make sure it stays shut. That's it kids! Done! Now repeat for the rest of your set of placemats you want to make.

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Napkin rings are loads of fun when you use old buttons. My parents had given me an old tin that belonged to my grandmother full of buttons. I glued some of the pretty and larger ones to magnets and gave those to my family. For the rest, I cut a piece of wide elastic just big enough to fit around my napkins. Then I stitched buttons galore until the elastic was fully covered. I warn you - it takes a lot of buttons to cover one and it actually took me several, several hours to stitch all of these on for 6 rings.

What a great gift set. My Mom still loves hers and I loved seeing them adorn her table last week at Easter. Even my kids were impressed. "Did you make these Momma?" Ah, yeah. Hope that gave you a good handmade gift idea.

The little tie-tote in Patty Youngs Andalucia pattern

A few more dresses and embellished jeans went out this week and a cute little tie tote that my girls gave to their girlfriend for her 8th birthday. These will be finding their way to my etsy site pretty soon.

Embellished recycled jeans

Dress, embellished jeans and matching ponytail holder

Lots of orders being mailed out this week - thanks to my neighbor Barb for helping me cut everything! We need to do that more often because we never did get to our banana split desserts!

Don't forget - just a week or so left on this month and our April giveaway will be done. The two peas will be picking a comment out of a hat and we'll be sending you, the lucky winner, a way cool, patchwork accessory bag with an awesome buckle...I'll share that photo with you later next week.

Keep Spring coming - I'm begging for the sun and warm breezes to start coming every day instead of snow, rain, sun, snow, rain, rain, rain, sun...we just need some SUNNNNN to stay in O-H-I-O for awhile!

xo - Trish

{Our Easter parade...}

Where do I begin?  So much I want to share with you but so little time!  The girls enjoyed a great spring break last week and if you were following me on Twitter you know we headed out to the zoo...in the snow.  I love working at the largest university in the country - gives me a chance to network with loads of people and luckily, one of our alumni board members is a keeper at the Columbus Zoo SO, she was wonderful enough to give my girls a behind the scenes tour.  We got to see exactly what she does to care for the animals and a chance to see a grizzly bear, 2 alaskan brown bears and a cougar very close!  So cool!  No photos to share of that as we were not allowed to take any in the back areas but...check this out!

This is the cafe at the zoo.  See anybody else there?  That's right...when it's 20' windchill and snowing - NOBODY goes to the zoo.  We saw two other people there all day.

Here's the girls in the "jungle" with a researcher!  Ha!  100_27541And some cool looking birds we saw in one of the aviarys...where it was WARM.

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The flamingos were out...

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The manatees and sea turtle at the aquarium section...

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100_2804And so on to Easter...we went to my parents house which was fun.  The girls got these really cool little jackets for their American Girls from the sewing room of the easter bunny, aka The Doll Closet on etsy.  Really cute!100_2798

And they had a blast!  I have to say, they looked BE-AU-TI-FUL in their easter dresses.  They turned out really well, if I do say so myself!  I got the pattern for these from PinkFig.  I used the Lily pattern and had to adjust some because my girls are a size 8 and the pattern only went up to a size 7.  I added some extras on the ruffle, etc.  They LOVED them!  If you are looking for an easy EASY to use pattern line - PinkFig is it!

100_2814100_2812OK, so I never did get them to stand very still for a photo but here's a few portfolio shots...you get the idea!

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And then...I've had quite a few orders for dresses lately.  I have some already listed on my etsy page. But here's a peek at a few..

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And matching ponytail ribbon explosion thingy whatevers on their way to etsy soon...here's a peek at just one of them...

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100_2809Does the baby look happy here?  Poor thing!  Her sisters love her TOO much!  Well, lots of photos, not too much text.  Since Easter (yesterday) one of the peas has been diagnosed with whooping cough.  She doesn't look sick does she?  Exactly why we had no idea...since all she had was a nagging cough.  Our AWESOME doctor caught it and well, things are now quite hectic in our house so I'll be back next week with an entry about handmade stuff!  (I noticed at my Moms, my sisters - dang!  I make a LOT of stuff cuz it's all over their house from paintings to placemats! More on that next week!)

I'll leave you with one last little cutie - my baby's first Easter.  Next week she celebrates her first birthday.  A very special little day.  She was born on April 25th - the same day as my oldest sister.  My oldest sister  died when she was 15 from complications from mono.  My baby being born on her birthday was quite special.

God bless - hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday!  Ciao, xo Trish

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AND DON'T FORGET...post a comment and you'll have a chance at our monthly giveaway!