Two daisyeyes shop specials for the next 48 hours! Great stocking stuffers, teacher gifts or hostess gifts! Get them while supplies last…and did I mention free shipping?
This past weekend was an absolute blur. On Friday I started to complain about all the responsibilities I had for the weekend…even to the point of whining on facebook (I know, I became one of those people). But not long after I did my whining status it hit me like a brick: I can either face this weekend’s obligations with dread and worry and leaded feet OR I can take each event as it comes and look for all the graces. And wow! What a difference it made in the end.
One of the biggest things I had this weekend was a craft market. There were many things about this market that were causing me to worry, the biggest one being that it was indoors. I’ve never set up for an indoor market and I really was just overwhelmed with how to make it all work in this smaller space versus a 10×10 tent.
But every moment of this market was full of so many graces. After hours and hours of rain and more to come, the moment we had to unload it stopped. My booth space gave me plenty of extra room for me to breathe and spread out with good “neighbors”. And it doesn’t fail that every market I’ve done I have absolutely hated the first hour…there are aspects of what I’ve done this year with daisyeyes that have been such a blessing to me, but have pushed me WAAAAAY far out of my comfort zone…I came away surpassing my goal by a landslide. It was a huge blessing in the end. So, so many graces piled upon.
We enjoyed an amazing company party with my husband’s job. I will never be able to reconcile the blessings and generosity of the people that my husband works for. It truly is a gift to be part of their working family.
And yesterday we enjoyed celebrating my daughter’s early 7th birthday.
It was so fun to decorate the house a little and watch some little girls use a needle and thread for the first time! Absolute joy (and a little craziness too!)
We finished out our weekend enjoying some time with the leaders of our church family. It has been amazing to my husband and I how quickly these people have become like family to us.
In the end, this entire weekend filled with parties and responsibilities was a huge reminder to me in how my perspective makes all the difference. I can look at each day as a gift and search for His graces or I can put my head down and get through it. But there are so many things I miss when I don’t keep my eyes open and head up!
If there was ever a month that I feel like just past by in a blur it would be November. I swear I feel like Halloween was last week; not Thanksgiving! Wow.
I’ll start with What I’m Reading…
Currently on my various table-spaces I have
~ The Hobbit (we are big LOTR fans in this house and are eagerly anticipating the next Hobbit movie so I finally had to break down and knock this one out).
~ I am finishing up The King’s Cross by Tim Keller. This hasn’t been the knock-out that I was hoping for, but it has been good. While I’ve listened to many a Keller sermon and even heard him in person once, I’ve never read one of his books.
~ I started Practice Perfect by Doug Lemov and I’m loving it!
In November, I finished reading
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I really enjoyed this book and hope to get a review up sometime soon.
Blind Justice by Anne Perry. I love Anne Perry, but this was not my favorite of hers at all. It was seriously lacking so much that I can’t even write about it.
In the world of movies and T.V...
As a family we watched an old Disney film called In Search of the Castaways. It was hokie and we were hoping it would be somewhat like Swiss Family Treehouse but alas it wasn’t.
my husband and I watched The Impossible. It is the story of the great tsunami in Thailand years ago. It was crazy amazing and while it is hard to watch in places, I highly recommend it. The story alone is so remarkable…and it’s true!
I’m still holding fast to Chicago Fire on T.V. and I’ll always be a loyal Parenthood fan. After such a great Parenthood season last year, I’m a little depressed about this season. It almost seems like they are carrying too many story lines and aren’t really able to wrap any of them up.
On a personal front…
I took the plunge this past month and dyed my hair for the first time in almost 40 years of life. I got some major highlights and I am loving it. Now if only I could afford to maintain it!
I finally painted my dining room/studio and wow what a difference. It’s been the mossy-seafoamy green that I am so crazy tired of and I’m so, so happy to have it done!
And now some crafting...
We have a big birthday coming up in a few weeks and this weekend is my girl’s first “real” friend birthday party. Holiday birthdays are so tough and I’m just praying that we have a few friends show up!
I hosted a guinea pig sewing day with a bunch of girl’s. It was a blast and I look forward to where this might take me in the future with teaching sewing classes.
I have my last craft market of the year this weekend (nothing like a weekend with 3 holiday parties and a market all in one weekend!) I’m hoping to finish out this year strong. It’s been such an amazing year.
Advent started this past Sunday and I finally got around to spending the money on some good candles for an advent centerpiece While we hope to do some readings from this book and this book every day, we are holding ourselves strongly to lighting the candles and reading on Sunday nights.
In the Kitchen…
I broke down in October and purchased this crazy huge e-book bundle. I’ve made a handful of great recipes from the book by Katie Kimbell of Kitchen Stewardship. And for Thanksgiving morning I made this amazing cinnamon roll bread. Super, super easy and so, so yummy!
That’s about all I can manage to think about right now! Hope your November was as amazing and fun as mine was!
I’m linking up with
Leigh Kramer again!
One of my goals for 2014 is to launch something that has been building in my mind and heart for the past 2 years. While I’ve been puttering around with ideas and a website for the past few months, I knew that one thing that had to happen before the end of 2013 was a sewing practice day. There was no way I could start this home-based or brick and mortar sewing school without a little guinea pig action.
I invited some friend’s children and set up three groups to work through and labeled it “guinea pig sewing day.”
The first two groups were made up of six to 9 year olds. Each of these groups worked through a pillowcase project.
These girls worked on some hand sewing and then at the end of class had the chance to sew a few straight seams on the sewing machine. Clearly this was the highlight of the day.
Overall it was a great experience to work through this project with two very different groups. I was able to see where the hiccups would be and where I would need to change and adapt some different parts of the process.
It gave me a good idea of what it takes to prep for these groups and also how long it might take for a group of 3-6 to get through a project.
And even more it let me know how much I could handle on my own!
The last group of the day was made up of a few middle school girls and a lovely high school freshman. They were hilarious and so much fun to work with and truly made me remember why I taught middle school for all those years!
I had both machines set up for their project and it was so much fun to see them working. This group put together totebags from fabric pieces that I had pre-cut.
These girls did such a great job and we had so much fun! It was an super fun way to end a whirlwind of a day.
Overall, it truly confirmed in my heart that this is the direction I want to go next year. While I long to keep going with daisyeyes and etsy in some capacity, I do know that my focus is going to change some. Interested in finding out more? Check out the new website for more information and more pictures…and check back often because it’s a work in progress and changing all the time! The launch date is hopefully somewhere around February 2014.
I used to go crazy with my kiddos birthday parties, but in the years past I’ve really slacked off. This year, I’m getting back into my old groove and having so much fun planning! It helps that I’m finally planning a little girl party, we are doing a theme that I love and I’m also using some activities as a try out for my dreams to come.
We are doing a woodland themed party and I found these awesome invitations at Bunglehouse Designs and I just love how they turned out! I don’t have to mail any of these invitations, so we are going to package them in these cute yellow envelopes I found on etsy. I pinned this cute little “welcome friends” sign a while back and I’m thinking of making a little bit larger version to hang on our front door…more than likely out of felt (go figure). I found this great fat quarter bundle of fabric called Bluebird Park by mono and I think I’m going to make a pennant banner for a little decoration. The long term plan is to paint my chicks bedroom close to this turquoise color so it will make a great addition to her room after the party. I also pinned this owl lantern and I’m hoping I can get my hands on some cheap party lanterns and make a few to hang around the house.
Another idea I pinned was making these great little tree necklaces. I found a seller on etsy and this will be our opening activity for while we are waiting for all the girls to show up. I’m hoping to find some woodland themed rub on stickers to use. After a little dance party, we will make some woodland themed hoops. I’m planning on cutting out each girl’s initials and a mix of flowers and woodland creatures out of felt and then each girl will learn how to stitch them down. They will each leave with a finished 5 inch hoop with a little green twine for hanging.
The minute I saw this tree stump cake I knew that was the one I was going to do. I’m planning on making some little felt toppers much like this seller on etsy. I love these little acorn cookies and some other food ideas I am tossing around are: chocolate covered pretzels, trail mix, fruit flower kabobs, regular pretzels and/or teddy graham bears. The party is in the middle of the afternoon, so I don’t feel the need to have this huge smorgasbord, but I would love to have a variety of some snacky foods for those that aren’t crazy about cake.
I’m not planning on doing any major party favors…it’s a crafting sort of party so each guest is already leaving with a necklace and a hoop, but I do love these little s’more bags so I’m thinking we might at least do these as a final thank you for coming.
So, there you have it. The pictorial plan for the chick’s birthday coming so very soon!
Here’s an update on what I’ve been busy with these last few weeks…
A set of Mo Willem’s pigeon themed items…
clutches (and introducing a new smaller size)
custom onesies for a gift order
new packaging for my advent calendar/christmas countdown sets
color your tree with an initial for everyone in your family
part one of a set of embroidered moleskin journals
Most of these items are only available locally. I will be at the Maryville Farmer’s Market Holly Days tomorrow morning from 9-2 and all of these items will be available there. It is part of the Christmas open house for the town of Maryville. All the local shops are running specials all day.
And then I will be at the Christmas Fair at Fellowship Church in Knoxville in early December. If you aren’t local and see something you can’t get in the shop, just email me or join my facebook page and we can figure out how to get the perfect gift to you!
It’s about this time of year that my list making goes into hyperdrive. Between the holiday markets I am doing for daisyeyes handmade, there is Christmas and before that my daughter’s birthday. My one and only goal this year with all the gift giving is to be insanely intentional and simple.
That said, my first gift purchase was for my daughter’s birthday. She is a tough one to buy for because her attention span is like nil. But, she does love animals and knowing and pondering the toys that she always tends to gravitate to helped me solidify this years major birthday investment. We are doing a woodland themed party and in the spirit of that theme I found the most amazing seller on etsy so I just had to share!
My girl loves to play with little animals, especially those by schleich. We have a fair amount of them floating around our house, but she didn’t really have anything to play with them on. I started researching some play mats and came across the shop SooSun on etsy. She created the most amazing play mat and felted animals that I’ve ever seen!
Here is the mat and set in it’s entirety. It measures about 16×23 and honestly is the perfect size.
We specifically asked for a family of badgers, some hedgehogs, a duo of foxes and owls for the tree. She gifted us with some little ducks for the pond.
Then came something even better! My daughter and I recently finished up reading The Wind in the Willows. I realized that it would be so fun to have Mr. Toad, River Rat and Mr. Mole to play with her set. I couldn’t find a set anywhere, so I decided to go back to this shop and ask if she could make up a set for us. And she did! Aren’t they the cutest!
Here’s hoping for many years of fun to come and an amazing gift to pass on from generation to the next. And check her out!
And as a teaser…check back in the weeks to come as I plan for this little woodland event!
So, since I’ve become incredibly non-existent on the blog as of late, I’ve decided to at least hold myself accountable to one post a month…that is the “what I’m into…” link along series. I discovered it via the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog (which I previously shared and love) and link up with Leigh Kramer who hosts the series.
October has been a crazy month for me. I’ve been covered over with etsy orders; which has been amazing, encouraging and overwhelming. I prepped for one big market in October (another mini-bust) and am prepping now for 2 upcoming holiday markets. We counted the weekends that we had nothing this month and there wasn’t any. Then we counted the weekends in November we had nothing and we don’t stop until Thanksgiving. Whew! I need a vacation!
What I’m Reading…
I flew through a few books this month. Guess that was how I alleviated the stress! I started out the month flying through House of Tides, puttered through Bel Canto, was completely enamored with The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton and now I’m working my way through an Anne Perry mystery novel. I’ve loved her books for years, but this one is taking some time to get into. In the non-fiction world, I started reading Nurture by Nature, finished reading The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan and finally started reading The King’s Cross by Tim Keller.
What I’m Watching…
Fall TV is back in full swing and it’s made up for all the long hours I’ve been in front of my sewing machine or with my hoop. I’m still in love with Parenthood, although this season has seemed to lack a little bit compared to years past. Chicago Fire was one of my favorites last season, but this season has had some things in it that have frustrated me a little bit. I’m trying to love the Michael J Fox show…but I’m not sure I do. I’m caught up on The Paradise from PBS Masterpiece and in the afternoons I’ve been rewatching Little Dorrit from PBS back in 2008. By far the most disturbing thing I’ve watched was The Bletchley Circle. Whew, that one freaked me out a little bit and I watched it in the middle of the day!
In my kitchen…
I’ve pulled a bunch of recipes this off pinterest this month and all of my crock pot ones have been failures. Something about chicken in the crock pot all day does not make this family want to eat supper. I did try another bread recipe, King Arthur’s Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey bread. It made super great toast, but not so great sandwich bread. Back to square one. The newest thing in my kitchen is this..
random fun moments…
The highlight of our month was chasing butterflies up in the mountains. I yanked the kiddos out of school and we journeyed up to the mountains and ran after butterflies hoping to snag a monarch. We do lots of volunteer work with the Tremont Institute in the Smoky Mountains and they are part of the North American monarch project. Basically as the monarchs migrate down to Mexico they are allowed to catch them and tag them. We caught one this year and got to see it tagged. Super cool! It was an amazing day!
on my hoop…
My hoop has been super busy this month. I’ve done more embroideries than I can even remember and I’m still going. A few highlights…
another chanel embroidery with a vintage button necklace
a new “blessing” embroidery for a repeat client…always makes a girl feel good!
How was your October?
I recently discovered the lovely blog called the modern Mrs. Darcy and I’ve become crazy fond of her writing style, but especially her love of books. She’s opened up a whole host of reading material that have seriously rebooted my library wish list.
I came home from the library a few weeks ago armed with a whole stack of books recommended and Bel Canto by Ann Patchett was the first book I grabbed from the said stack. I read a few short reviews on goodreads before I got started and honestly I was a little nervous about it. The reviews were pretty mixed, but I decided to plunge in anyway.
It honestly took me at least 100+ pages to get into the story. I found out after I finished the book that it is loosely based on an actual hostage event that happened in Peru in the ’90s. The story is about a Japanese man who comes to an unnamed South American country for a birthday celebration in his honor. What gets him to come to this event is the opera singer they have invited to sing in his honor. The party turns into a hostage event that goes on and on and on for weeks upon weeks.
Once the characters are all introduced, the story really takes over and it really did suck me in a bit. It is about the relationships that develop between these very unlikely people: wealthy businessmen and politicians with the kidnappers who were jungle raised with literally nothing. The kidnappers become overwhelmed with the running water, televisions and plushness of the mansion they have taken over and the businessmen and politicians find themselves with nothing but time on their hands…something they normally don’t have. It causes these men to realize the things that they have “lost” at home and their love for their families. It causes others to realize what the desires of their hearts truly are. It is really about people letting down and letting go of the fakeness that we tend to put on and they are truly just stripped down to who they really are.
I will warn you the ending is abrupt and hard. There is also an epilogue that I honestly wouldn’t read. I read a review on goodreads where the reviewer wishes that the epilogue wasn’t even included because after the harshness of the ending of the story it seemed really out of place and I agree.
Overall a great book…if you can stick with the first 100 or so pages of character introductions.
my original workhorse
For the past 20 years I have sewn on a Pfaff Tiptronic 6232. I received it as a birthday gift and it was truly the machine I learned to sew on. It has served me well as a hobby machine, but also as a workhorse the last 2 years for my growing etsy shop.
At the time I received it, I think it was a little under $1000, but now it’s honestly not worth much at all. I’ve sewn garments, a bedding set for our first apartment, handbags and lots and lots of velcro! This machine has stitched through pretty much anything I’ve put in it, from thick fabrics to paper! My worst memory with this machine was when I stitched through my finger! All the way through the nail. I remember the machine made this horrible noise and I looked and realized the needle was stuck in me! I really don’t remember much more than running downstairs to show my mom what I had done!
I love this machine and I will never get rid of it. It’s been a super dependable machine for me for nearly 2 decades. Probably the one feature that I’ve loved the most is the ability to move the needle exactly where I want it…left, right, center, just a little to the left or right etc.
The thing I’ve hated most about this machine is the buttonholes. I’ve never made a good buttonhole with this machine!
While I’ve loved my Pfaff, I have heard that the Pfaff company is no longer making machines in Europe anymore. It’s not the same “Pfaff” company that made my machine.
About a month ago I finally brought home a new machine. There were a million reasons why, but mostly I just knew that if I was going to keep on sewing like I was I would need to upgrade. After researching and trying out different brands, I finally settled on a Juki. I chose a Juki for it’s background with industrial sewing. I wasn’t looking for a machine that did all sorts of fancy things or embroidery; I simply wanted a machine that could sew and sew well. I was also excited about the price. I was able to get this machine for $700 with tax and honestly all the machines I had research before that would have the things I was looking for were at least $400-500 more than that. I really think that Juki makes a solid machine for a seamstress who is just looking for a good home sewing machine. It’s got some great bells and whistles, but really the simple ones you might look for.
While this machine has been a little bit of an adjustment from my Pfaff, I’m beginning to really love it. The variety of stitches and honestly even how quiet it is has been awesome. It sews beautifully and my favorite feature right now is the fact that I can see the bobbin and how much I have left!
I’m not crazy about the bobbin winder though. It’s kind of slow I haven’t experimented yet with buttonholes or many of the fancy stitches, but I’m looking forward to it. So far the only thing that drives me nuts about this machine is that I can’t really figure out how to move the needle to different positions – well scratch that I know how to move it to the left side, but it doesn’t seem to have a movement to the right or something like that. There are just times I have loved being able to change my needle position and I do miss that in my old machine. I’m still getting used to the backwards stitching and built in scissors and pushing all the right buttons, but overall I’ve been really pleased. So far I have sewn a little bit on a garment I’ve been slowly working on, sewn a few cape sets and did a whole host of stockings and other items. It’s handled them all with great speed and endurance! (more than I have!)
I’m linking up today with Sew Mama Sew who is hosting a whole blog post on sewing machine reviews. Check it out!