Made with Moxie

November 23, 2014

Constant Change

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." - Lao Tzu

Go with the flow. Pliable. Roll with the punches. Adaptable. Call it what you want, life is constant change. As soon as we figure out who we are and what we're doing, the table turns and we find ourselves faced with new and uncharted waters. I like to think I am fluid. That change doesn't throw me off balance, but I'm human (despite all my pleas to become a robot.)

This past summer I embarked on a new adventure in going back to school. It was not an sudden choice, but one my family and I had been planning and preparing for for a few years. Alas, it was still a big life change. Gone were my days of being a stay at home mom. I didn't think I would miss it too much, but I do.

Constant Change: Vintage Lacy Bag

I looked forward to this change, being a student. But I forgot what it was like to not know something. Going back to school in an intensive full time program is every stress and time challenge they said it would be...and then some. Some days I just feel so lost. I don't know the answers, I don't know what I'm doing and I'm just a blank. I hate not knowing. I hate not being able. I want so badly to skip forward to the part where I get it. Where I am comfortable. When I can move automatically with confidence.

That day is not today. Or tomorrow. I am in the middle of change. I try hard to just go with it. The harder you struggle against the flow the more likely you are to drown. I try to remind myself that this is a journey, an adventure worth taking. How is this a learning experience? How am I adding to who I am by taking this path? My friends and family remind me that I am okay. That I am doing well and one day will look back on this and think how silly it was that I was to frustrated. But to be honest, some days just end in tears. Tears of exasperation. Tears of inexperience. Tears of feeling awkward and uncoordinated. Defeat. Failure. Self-doubt. I struggle and grasp for branches to save me.

Constant Change: Vintage Lacy Bag

Some days I come home and I am compelled to do something I know how to do. I need to feel like an expert in something to remind myself that I have already journeyed this far. I have climbed many mountains and achieved great heights. I have overcome a bad marriage. I have run successful businesses. I have grown and birthed and so far not yet killed two small human beings. I can cook. I can sew.

Constant Change: Vintage Lacy Bag

Oh, I can sew. I come home, I lay down my books and my burdens, and go into my studio. It is familiar. I know where all my tools are. I know how they all work and their quirks. I press, cut, fold and stitch fabric. It's without deep thought or much effort. I make small projects. I need to take something from start to finish, to create completely, to have that sense of accomplishment. It feels so good. And in those actions I can restore myself. I step back from the edge, regroup, refuel, and set my sights forward again.

Constant Change: Vintage Lacy Bag

Each day that I finish is one day forward. It's one more day of experience in this new adventure. One more day as a seasoned traveler in life. I go to bed knowing I will wake up with clearer eyes. I will lace up my boots and push on, climb higher. I will take deep breaths and float on the river of change. I am not a drowning animal. I am a leaf, floating, twirling, and occasionally taking a tumble.

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." - Lao Tzu

I'm sharing my experience with change as part of a week long series led by Jenya of While She Was Sleeping and Renee of Nearest The Pin called Constant Change. The goal is to bring you inspiration and celebration in the variety of change we all experience in life. Please head over to Renee's blog, Nearest The Pin to meet today's other poster, Suz of SewPony.

This bag I made during a recent bout of doubt. The exterior fabric is a piece of Ikea curtain. The interior and tabs are unknown designer quilt cotton. The lace stripes are scraps my great grandmother had saved and were in the box of her vintage lace that I had just been bequeathed. I also made my Anatomical Skeleton Hoodie with her vintage lace, too.

November 16, 2014

Handbags, Indie Designers, and $20,000

2014 has been a crazy year and it's winding up to go out with a bang. Among many other things going on in life, I'm working up wrapping up the final days of the last Pattern Parcel sale for the year. When we started this idea a year ago we had not idea how big it would grow. It's our seventh sale this year! Our goal is to raise over $20,000 for the charity, Donors Choose, which goes to classrooms in need. Yes, twenty thousand dollars. When I said it to Danny a few months ago he balked a bit, but here we are with 5 days to go and we're so damn close! I'll be on bated breath until the very end. ;)

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Messengers, satchels, hobos, shoulder bags, vintage bags...Pattern Parcel #7 has something for everyone. Never sewn a bag before? Now is your change to try your hand at a new skill. Plus, handbags never make your butt look big and never need a FBA. Trying to keep the budget tight as we head into the holidays? Perfect! You can make a new bag for all the ladies in your life. (Heck, even some for the men.)

Parcel #7 includes:

Barcelona Bag and Wallet by Pat Bravo
Butterfly Sling Purse by Emmaline Patterns
Evelyn Hangbag by ChrisW Designs
Midtown Messenger Bag by Betz White
Betty Bowler by Swoon Sewing Patterns

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Choose a price of $32 or greater for Parcel #7 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! That's just over $5 a pattern. The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the brand new Daphne Bag pattern from Clover & Violet. The Daphne is a slouchy satchel that can be worn cross body or as a shoulder bag. The zip top keeps your gear secure and the internal pockets keep your accessories where you need them. This is a brand new, never been seen before pattern and is an exclusive opportunity for Parcel #7 customers!

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Need some inspiration? Follow the Inspiration Tour!
Parcel #4 Inspiration Tour Schedule:

Friday, November 7 Stitched || Sew Exhausted

Saturday, November 8 Made by Sara ||Oliver's Fancy || Strawberry Patch Ramblings

Sunday, November 9 from a box || Mia's Creations || MOMENTS

Monday, November 10 owen's olivia || While she was sleeping

Tuesday, November 11 Nutta || Radiant Home Studio || La Pantigana

Wednesday, November 12 Sew Fishsticks || Stacy Sews || Stitching Insane || GnomeAngel

Thursday, November 13 Needle and Ted || Patchouli Moon Studio || Sprouting JubeJube || The Crazy Tailor

Friday, November 14 Casa Crafty || A Jennuine Life || 'So, Zo... What do you know?'

Saturday, November 15 Stitches by Laura || Rebekah Sews || Serger Pepper

Sunday, November 16 Blogs Like A Mother || Vicky Myers creations || Blossom Heart Quilts

Monday, November 17 Shanni Loves || So Sew Easy || GYCT Designs || Tiger In A Tornado

Tuesday, November 18 The Nosy Pepper || Keep Calm and Carrion || There & Back || Sewing Sober

Wednesday, November 19 Sew Like My Mom || Knot Sew Normal || Stacy Sews || sewVery

Thursday, November 20 Mimi's Mom || Our Family Four || shades of BOLD || Modern Handcraft

Friday, November 21 Shawnta Sews || Lulu & Celeste || Amanda Rose || Robin's Fabric Nest || House of Pinheiro

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!

October 23, 2014

Sew Geeky: Anatomy Nerd

Do you know the Sew Geeky Series? Kat and Ari started this sewn clothing series to celebrate their geekiness. From Star Wars to 8-bit to classic anime, these amazingly talented ladies take a monthly theme and blow it up. Because everyone has such diverse geekery, October is Sew Geeky Spectacular and I'm here to join in!

Old Bones Anatomy Hoodie: Sew Geeky Spectacular!

I love skeletons. You all know that. No big surprise there. I am not sure when this love affair started exactly. Or even where it came from. As a kid I used to be afraid of a model skeleton in my Nana's basement. His name was Mr. Bones and he was perched on an overhang of her basement stairs. My brothers and I played down there often and I would rush down the stairs for fear that one day Mr. Bones would jump down on me.

Try as I might, I can't seem to recall when my fear of skeletons turned into love. I'm sure it had to do with my changing to public schools and embracing science classes. Biology and the human body have always captivated me. I want to know how it all works. And now, I get to see inside of you. I seriously think it's so freaking cool to look at a person's insides moving around in real time. Like, it's so awesome. You don't even know.

Old Bones Anatomy Hoodie: Sew Geeky Spectacular!

Loving skeletons is all fine and dandy, until Halloween comes around. Don't get me wrong. I love Halloween. It's a most excellent time of year when partnered with Dia de los Muertos to add to my skulls and bones collection. I just find it a bit embarrassing to be swearing skeleton things in late October. I don't want people to think I'm only wearing them for the season. (Which is highly stupid, because, hi, what do I really care?)

In any case, I had this idea twirling around in my head to use some of my great grandmother's vintage lace to make bones. I have just inherited a large box of her lace (along with her treadle Singer!) I wanted just a simple line of vertebrae running down my back. Clean. Architectural almost. Minimalist skeleton.

Old Bones Anatomy Hoodie: Sew Geeky Spectacular!

I sketched out the cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae shapes onto a thin paper then sprayed a temporary adhesive to the back of it. This let me stick the scraps of lace in order to make sure they were aligned right and stayed flat while I sewed them. Next I pinned the paper to the back of my hoodie the appliqued away.

Old Bones Anatomy Hoodie: Sew Geeky Spectacular!

Old Bones Anatomy Hoodie: Sew Geeky Spectacular!

I have to admit to feeling defensive about my Sew Geeky post this time around. Mostly because it's October and I'm not sharing a costume. But this is the month of free for all Sew Geeky Spectacular, and I'm a super geek for science and anatomy. Last month we had a school project to make a life sized replica of the human organs. Most people used a metric ton of modeling clay or crap felt. I just couldn't. I may have drafted patterns for each organ and sewed them all with scraps from my stash. And made a super sweet rib cage that unzips at the sternum.

Old Bones Anatomy Hoodie: Sew Geeky Spectacular!

So here I am. Feeling like an awkward fourteen year old, but so super loving my new skeleton hoodie. Eh, I'm a geek. I'm a nerd. Deal with it. (zips up hoodie and stalks out)