Little the ocean. Ocean, this is little pea.

20 AG doll aprons had to made the day before we left for our excursion I was working so hard so that our family could enjoy a little R&R.

...and loads of inventory for shows.  Come find this purse Sept 26-28 at the Tuttle Mall in Dublin, OH at a center kiosk.

If you are also a mompreneuer like me, you know that there really are very little days off.  I work at the university 3 days a week and then 4 days a week, into the wee wee hours, I'm sewing, designing, sketching, blogging, filling orders and on and on and on...

So, I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to go to the coast for some rest and fun.  AND I didn't even bring my sewing machine with me, can you believe it?!  A true break.  So rare.  I'll share more later from our little trip

I love this photo because if you look way out in the distance you can see the gardener with our two peas out in the water.

but here's some evening photos of our littlest pea meeting the ocean.

Sand...a whole new texture we haven't explored before.

The sun is almost the reflection in the water

Work hard to play hard...

I'm having one of those months.  One of those months in which I am literally chained to my sewing machine.  I'm not sure I could possibly show you the shear amount of STUFF coming out of the Two Peas studio lately.  It's a lot. Like a bazillion key fobs and wristlets and bags and t-shirts.  Ohhh, t-shirts.  Which is what I really need to be doing right now.  I have 3 shows coming up AND we have some serious fun planned for this weekend.  I have GOT to have everything done and out the door so I can relax a bit.  I can not wait!  Seriously.  Can. Not. Wait.  Somebody.  Unplug.  My.  Iron.  I'm just about done!

I said I shared with you some of the other little outfits I had made for my girls for school and here's a few.

3 tiered skirt in Anna Maria Horner Good Folks.  I love this print!

This peas request was for a "Rock Star" shirt.

The skirt and pants pattern is Simplicity 4206, Sewing Pattern for Dummies.  And let me tell you, it is seriously extremely easy, very few instructions / steps and really quick.  I think they turned out cute.  I added the ruffle to the bottom of the pants and I added bias tape to the hem of the skirt.  But if you want an easy quick pattern, this is it!  Loved it.

Wish I had more time to share all of the other goodies going on here but I just don't!

I will leave you with a fun quick tutorial though!  I started teaching my series of sewing classes, my very own Two Peas Sewing Bee...and one of the projects we made was a lanyard.

So's what you need:  key ring and lobster claw clip to hold a key and your id badge.  I found these in the jewelery supply section of JoAnn Fabrics.

Great for teachers, nurses - anybody who needs a lanyard!  And so easy!

Cut one strip of fabric 2" x 32".  Now, if you want it longer - add a few inches to the length, maybe 34" or 36".  Press wrong sides together in half.  Then open it back up.  Press wrong sides together each half to the center creating your own piece of bias tape.  Again, press.  Make sense?

Sew down each side of this strip.  Then add your key ring to one end and your clip to the other end.  You want to make sure your strap is straight and then fold your ends over your hardware towards the center about 1 inch.  Bring your ends together, lining up your raw edges of each end so that they are even.  Your raw edges are now folded to the inside.  Sew, following your side seams, down each seam, across just above your raw edges so that you have sewn a square and completely encased your hardware and hidden your raw edges.  That's it!  That's all there is to making a cute little lanyard!  So easy, start to finish, 15 minutes!

OK...I SO have to get back to my machine and work on shirts!  Have fun making lanyards!



I want to be like Oprah

OK... it's not that I'm a big Oprah fan or anything but what I mean by that is her philanthropy.  I've often thought, selfishly so, how cool would it be to have that kind of money to give away?  She changes so many lives with her charities yet she receives so much in the pleasure of being able to do so.  The old saying, "it's better to give than to receive" - it's so true, isn't it? Made this long ago for my friend Jen who LOVES cherries!

I think it's that way with handmade things too.  I mean, selfishly, I love LOVE LOOVVEE to give handmade gifts and love to make things for my business because I put so much effort into the design and creation of each item.  I LOVE it when someone receives it and they are just thrilled with it.  I get so much out of giving and making for people that it is quite an addiction.  Is that selfish?  Sometimes I think it is.  Do you feel this way too about creating for others?  It feels so good - it's such a joy, isn't it?

But this morning, on my way to work, I was listening to the radio - I typically listen to our local christian station, 104.9 the river, and started thinking about this whole philanthropy thing.  As the mother of 3, my ride in to work is typically the ONLY time I am ever alone.  I enjoy these rides to and from work because it gives me a chance to just think.

For my business, I have always said I wanted to do it in such a way that my business becomes a blessing.  Now, I know, in business - it should be all about business and forget any emotion.  Donald Trump didn't build an empire thinking what "good things" he could do for the world, just how to make himself a buck.   But come on ladies, don't we all want to feel like what we do somehow makes a difference?  Touches a life?  Leaves a legacy?  How can I do that in this industry?  In my day job, it's rather simple.  I work in higher education, I work in the environmental field and I get great satisfaction out of working with students to create these amazing futures that help to build a sustainable environment for us all.  Love it.  But how do I do that in other facets of my business life?

The Two Peas charity projectIn the past several summers, the two peas have used my scraps to cover journals and sold them at our local coffeehouse.  They got to keep $1 from each book they sold and donate the other $4 to a charity.  One year it was our local Children's Hospital, one year to a friend of theirs for her walk for JDRF and the other year it was St. Judes.  I loved these projects.  They learned so much from creating and giving and they learned how good it feels to give.

Lately, it seems like we have had our attention drawn to all kinds of kids and families who are in need.  We have a local boy, same age as the two peas, just diagnosed in August with Osteosarcoma.  I was sent a link for this little one who was shaken by his day care provider at 5 months of age.  A family from our twins club has been caring for their twins who came much too early, they have been in the hospital since their birth last November.  One of them got to come home about a month ago, the other is still in the NICU, spending almost the entire first year of life in the hospital.  Last week, I was asked to participate in a charity event for dEBra which is an organization for children with fragile skin.  I was thinking of these children as I was driving in this morning and saying prayers for them.

Not the best photo of me from my best angle but there's the prayer quilt for our pea

to outside the womb

But for the grace of God, I have three healthy children.  I am very blessed that I do not know the heartache and rollercoasters that go along with a sick child.  Not really.  When my littlest pea was in her 22nd week during my pregnancy, I was told she had markers for Downs Syndrome.  They wanted to do more testing but I refused.  I couldn't change it, nobody could change it.  We would love her no matter what the outcome.  She was added to our church prayer list and our pastor brought over a prayer quilt someone had made for her.  This quilt was at church and each person tied a knot on the quilt and said a prayer for her.  My hubby, the gardener, laid this quilt over me while I was in labor and it brought me immense peace to know that those "prayers" were on our little girl.  As soon as she was out, I asked if she was ok.  Our doctor said, "She is perfect.  Absolutely perfect.  I don't think she has downs".  It wasn't until her 2 month checkup when I tearily asked our doctor if she was really ok that she told me, I could stop worrying.  She was really doing just great and really was perfect.  What a blessing.

And so as I'm thinking about these kids, their families, my business I felt like God was telling me that if I wanted to add philanthropy to what I do that this was it.  As our business grows, I hope to be able to do more and more, but to start, I'm so excited to tell you that 5% of each trunk show will go to our local childrens hospital.

If you host a trunk show and you have a childrens charity, I will gladly work with you to donate your show's proceeds to your charity of choice, like JDRF or others for kids.  I feel like this is the time.  Even when we have such a "tight belt" at home, I feel like even this little bit can be such a big wonderful thing.  Especially now.  I encourage you to think about what "little bit" you can do too at this time.  If we all have just $5 or $10 to spare this month, share it with a charity because right now, they are being hit so hard with losses in income.  And they do so much good for those who are hurting.  But for the grace of God, I have three healthy children.  What little bit I can do, I will do and I hope you will join me in doing so.

Found these tanks at Old Navy and added the ruffles on to make a dress.  Turned out so cute!

Of course, I wanted to also share with you some of the excitement of the past week.  Back to school and wow, we were all excited.

Boo!  New shirts for Halloween!

The two peas really love school and our littlest pea surely enjoys having some time with just Mom or Dad.  The two peas were very excited to have me make them some back to school outfits.  I had a lot of fun making them.  I was like a little fairy...made the outfits after they went to bed and hung them in their room to see when they woke up.  They were so excited which is such a good feeling for me to know that their favorite outfits are something that I made.  See, that selfishness again.  I love making things for my girls!  Just love it!  I have a couple more I'll share with you later.

Hope your back to school week went well.  Did you make anything new?  Do share!

September is a super busy month.  I have two trunk shows - including the one charity event, and branching out to a kiosk at the Tuttle Mall the last weekend of the month.  I'll be quite busy and so I might be MIA a bit from the blog this month.  Keep in touch though!

Thanks for all your comments this last month.  I promised that our August giveaway winner would get a stash of fabric for making a pillowcase (how are you all doing on those by the way?) and KimH...thanks so much, you'll be receiving that stash soon.  The two peas are getting quite accustomed to pulling names out of a hat and think its fun to do each month!

I haven't yet decided what to do for about a back to school themed giveaway?  We gave our new teachers a lanyard and key fob and so I think we'll make that our giveaway this month.  Keep the comments coming in.  I love to hear from you!

Have a great week everyone!



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?



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