My Why

happyIn business and entrepreneurship you hear over and over again, that you should know your ‘why.’ As in, why are you doing what you’re doing? It might just be the most important thing, what everything else stems from. And for me, right now, my making is about happiness. My own as I use my hands to make, and all the cute bits that I love sending out to everyone else. Sometimes it can be as simple as that. Happy Wednesday…

*Image from Dallas Clayton

Inspire Yourself

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The Creativity Club assignment for January was to quote yourself – to listen to what I’ve been thinking and pull something out of that, and then to write it down (or make it somehow), in some lovely way. I thought of so many things over the week, but as it turns out, they were all to do with,

just being okay – with right now, with saying no, with ending things that aren’t working, with the idea of adding more time.

But the one up top there, that’s what I couldn’t get out of my head. It came from a conversation with a friend a few weeks and in what felt like a sort of confession I said, ‘I’m good at being busy, but I don’t think I like it.’

I’ve always done well being in multiple activities with scheduled days, lots to do, and eventually I started taking on other people’s busy-ness too. Then I had kids and that added more to balance. And now, I’m starting to realize the importance of shutting most of it down, of only saying yes when I am so excited about something, of systems that can give me more time, and taking the time back for me. I don’t want it to feel like there are too few hours in the day, and I am Done telling people or feeling like I am too busy…

And so, it seems this assignment became something a bit more for me. I love that.

Podcast Favorites

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I started listening to podcasts a lot earlier this year. I know, I’m very late to the game on this, but music just wasn’t enough for my otherwise silent workdays. And once I got into them I definitely felt like I had been missing out – now there’s one podcast or another on all day while I work, and I just feel like I am being entertained or learning something new the whole time. I can’t quite think of a better arrangement. These are a few of my favorites at the moment, I skip back and forth between them (and others not on this list which I am hesitant to recommend just yet!)

The Good Life Project – This had become my go-to when I’m not quite sure what I’m in the mood for. The guests are really diverse, but always interesting. Plus, there are hundreds of episodes and they all have an amazing audio quality.

The Heatley Cliff – This one was my first real love. Hosted by Amy Foster and Sheryl Zentner, they talk of their favorite things and life at the pretend English manor house…sometimes. There is a lot of British-loving content, knitting, and lady stuff. I just realized that I definitely can’t articulate why I love it so much. If you are interested in this one, I would start from the beginning. If you’re already a fan, they started a new season today…whoop!

After The Jump – Design Sponge’s Grace Bonney hosts this podcast, interviewing artists, makers, and designers. If you are already a fan of Design Sponge, you’ll love this too.

The Lively Show – Jess Lively’s podcast is all about living with intention, with interviews in areas such as blogging, wellness, food, and simplifying. This is one of those shows that has a great variety and keeps me jotting down notes as I listen.

While She Naps – I have mentioned this one on here before, this is Abby Glassenberg’s podcast which is a big draw for any maker, but especially those in textiles, and espeeecially those into soft toy making. Another one that has me writing down suggestions of new things to check out.

The Dinner Party Download – Another of my go-to’s because there are loads of episodes. This one took me a while to get into, but once I got comfortable with the format I could listen to it all day. Good entertainment with a smattering of celebrity…

The Vinyl Cafe – Last but not least, our Canadian favorite (some of us?) is the Vinyl Cafe with Stuart McLean. Music and stories with his ongoing cast of characters. I love this because it’s been on our radio for so many years.

**If you have any podcast suggestions I would love to hear them. Happy LIstening!**

The Monday Goods : Fabric and Patterns!

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There are so many lovely things happening in the world of fabric and patterns, but these are a few of my favorites lately. All of these printed fabrics are by Cotton and Steel – a collaborative effort by several different designers. I just enjoyed their little back story videos and I’m dreaming of so many of these prints on that beautiful cotton-linen. sigh. These kraft looking patterns are the new menswear line Walden from Colette Patterns. If I made a lot of clothing for myself, I would make each of these…so good. The bag and shirtdress patterns are from Grainline studio – where there are other great patterns and a blog that I love, documenting the process. Oh, don’t you just want to sew everything? Happy Monday!

Inspiring People: EEching’s Handmade

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Oh man! I will try to stay coherent while I talk about my love for these dolls by EEching’s Handmade, because if I were to talk to you about them in person it would likely involve a lot of squealing and my eyes going big and waving my hands around, fan girl style. Because this is how you get, it seems, when you are really into something, and tiny handmade plush dolls are entirely my weakness. Okay, ahem. These are lovingly made by Ching, a Malaysian artist, who is a self-taught sewist (she also draws and makes other textile goodies and prints her own packaging. so lovely). I love how these dolls capture her style over and over, though each one is so unique in its details. I have complete respect for the hours it would take to make all these tiny stitches (that little carrot bag!) and what comes across as the artist’s fierce imagination. Swoon, big time.

Check out EEching’s Handmade Facebook page for more behind the scenes photos, and her Etsy shop where you can buy these little lovelies. Thanks Ching, for letting me share your work!

 

Inspiring People: Adatine

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I find these little creatures by Adatine just so charming. Normally I am a big fan of bright colors and patterns, the louder the better – but there is something about the muted colors that come out of natural fabrics and natural dyes that is so comforting. Adatine is the handmade business of two friends in Lithuania, who use traditional textiles like linen, cotton, and wool to create their goods. I love the skinny little legs (once you attempt to sew and turn a tiny little leg, you’ll be in awe of them forever!), the embroidery (that whale!), and the sort of folk art-modern look and feel of these animals. If you think these are great too, Adatine has a shop over here on Etsy – thanks so much Elena and Ieva for letting me share your creations!

The Monday Goods

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From top to bottom, wishing you a happy week…

Does everyone want a guinea pig, or is it just me. still :: Knitted goods, by Lucky Boy Sunday :: These amazing tents! :: This cup, not just for camping :: The Fanfare organic flannel collection by Made By Rae, because seriously, this fabric is so nice. It puts fabric store flannel to shame :: This book, because I read it in two days (! unheard of !) :: Bobo Choses clothing, sheesh, i love it :: Those masks are kind of amazing? :: knitted crown, because I still want one, and still can’t knit :: Donna Wilson turtle 🙂