Category Archives: sewing

spring awakening

Spring here does not explode in a brilliant burst of colorful blooms.  For us that comes much later.  No, spring on our mountain, in the woods, emerges slowly.  It is a subtle, moody, almost brooding affair.

The world exists mostly in shades of grey and worn, dull, weathered brown, bringing the details that in other seasons go unnoticed into sharp relief.  The bright green of lichen and flecks of moss, emerging from a long snow covered branch.As the world warms, we slacken our brisk pace, stopping to take in all the minute details.Details: Lichen and Moss- machine and hand embroidery on wool felt with a gunmetal grey base, hung on an adjustable leather cord.

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The snow melts and as it recedes the creeks swell up over rocks and ledges, only to come cascading back down.

Details: “Cascade”- Hand embroidery, applique and needle felting on and with wool felt and cotton velour, with an antique bronze base and fixed 28″ leather cord.

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These ferns are evergreen.  You see them in the spring, sprawled in great rings, pressed flat to the ground where the snow of months past held them fast.  It is still early yet, but after a time the fiddleheads will start appearing, poking their way out of the mud and slowly unfurling their delicate fronds.Details: “Unfurl”- Hand embroidery on wool felt with vintage cotton ric rac accents and vintage button closure.

♦ ♦ ♦

All three were inspired by our woodland walks and all three are now available for purchase through our shop.

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Spring Headwraps for the Shop!

Looking for last minute gifts?  Now in the shop, a collection of headbands and headscarves for little girls, with Easter baskets in mind….

Color-grown organic cotton in both long and medium length styles, in sizes from baby through adult.

Child sized in a pretty spring green daisy print.

Darling bunnies with vintage ric rac trim for that special baby or toddler in your life.

And a fun floral headband.

There are still many lovely spring treats in the shop, with more appearing everyday.

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Just in time for Easter…

Our Spring Celebrations collection is going live today!  We’re stocking the shop with everything you need for a beautiful and unique hand-crafted Easter and/or Equinox celebration.

   I’ve been having fun making these little hand embroidered pendants.  They remind me of sweet fancifully decorated eggs.  Each one is on a ribbon long enough that it can be worn as a necklace.  They are also perfect for decorating an egg tree, nature table, basket or just about anywhere!

Just click the title above each set to see the listing!

Little Lamb:

It’s hard to say for certain, but she may just be my favorite.  The colors are softer in person, more muted and delicate.

Bird’s Nest:

This one has a great textural quality. And the color combination ended up being just gorgeous.

Ladybugs:Inspired by the one I found climbing my bedroom curtain.  The first of the season.  Spring is coming folks!

Small Rainbow Pendant:

So cheerful and bright!

And the large Rainbow:

Just beginning to peek out from behind some needle felted clouds.

One little Frolicking Bunny:

In fun girly colors with polka dot ribbon ties.

And the Chick:

The kids say he looks rather disgruntled, but that’s just a part of his charm.  I say he’s all the cuter for it.  And several of them have claimed him as their favorite, so I can only assume that they concur.

There are going to be so many wonderfully tempting treasures added to the shop over the next couple of days!  Do stop by and check it out!  And be sure to order soon so that we can make certain all the loveliness arrives on time!

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Week in the Life, Sunday

Him: knitting

Her: making a friendship bracelet

I have paint colors swirling through my mind.  Our favorite paint company is going out of business and I frantically (before it all sold out!) picked out colors for our next several projects.  It’s just arrived and I’m amusing myself by painting a swatch a day so I can see each color in place.  Today’s selection is “Delicate Peach”.

We had tuna salad for breakfast, which contained “Q-mummers” (cucumbers), one of my favorite baby words at the moment.

This is what life really looks like here right now!  Always food in progress, always dishes in progress, clothes drying, the latest projects unceremoniously scooped from the dinning room table and dumped on the ironing board- which never seems to get put away, boxes of next-size and season up kids’ clothes sitting about, waiting for me to finish sorting them, people everywhere; hectic, cluttered and full.

Goodies in progress for the shop.  One of the things keeping my hands so full of late.

I managed to leave the house wearing all clothing I like!  Of course, we don’t have a full-length mirror, so photos of myself are uhm, educational.

A day of gathering supplies: for the shop, for upcoming birthdays, for home improvement projects.

He wants to sew himself a shirt.

Out past nap time, poor little love!

Back home with our bounty for the beef and veggie stew that simmered in the crockpot the whole time we were away.

Iain secretly bought Mairi Rose the tiny sewing kit she had been coveting.  So sweet.

Beautiful fabrics, each one intended for something different, looking very comfortably harmonious all together.

Stopped in at Goodwill, hoping to find a bunch of mugs and bowls.  We’ve broken so many lately.  All it yielded was a single specimen to add to my collection of random, mismatched, floral pottery mugs.  And this little enamelware bowl!

Which I quietly packed away, along side a tiny 25-cent pot.  One to serve Seraphina’s birthday treats in and one as a gift to add to her kitchen set.  Three dollars well spent (including the mug).

Later in the evening our dear neighbor stopped round with a gift.  And inside…

Just what I was needing!

Homeschooling these days takes place at all hours, on all days.  The older boys are preparing for an important presentation.

Complete with very stylish pointers!

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More Shop Goodies….

The Mama Collaborative shop is now open for business!  Just in case I haven’t sparked your interest with my last couple posts….

How about some adorable toddler tote bags?

Reversible baby smocks in darling prints?

What say you to gorgeous wool art bracelets?

Handwoven organic cotton washcloths anyone?

Patchwork bibs and burpcloths?

Head scarves in pretty prints?

Hand embroidered fabric covered buttons?

Vintage inspired patchwork potholders?

Or perhaps some adorned with Sashiko stitching?

More yarn?  Seriously, who could say no to more yarn?!?

And so much more!  We’re working to get our listings live for you this morning.  All told, I think we should have around 70 items out there, so stop by and have a look around!

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Mama Collaborative

I am so excited, pleased, honored and proud to be announcing the grand opening of Mama Collaborative!

A couple of months ago I was invited to join a group of extremely talented and creative mother-artisans in a virtual community of support.  Together we’ve quietly been working behind the scenes in preparation for our shop opening on March 1st!

I have to tell you, all week I’ve been watching drafts of listings piling up and I am just gobsmacked.  The beauty created by these women is mind boggling.

For our first stocking we had kind of a loose spring theme.  If you are looking for little toys to slip into Easter baskets, fresh accessories to wear for an Equinox celebration, decorations for your nature table or supplies for you spring crafting, look no further!

Email Address:  

*A note to gmail users: with the new gmail layout the newsletter may be delivered under your “promotional” tab.  You can drag it to your inbox so that future newsletters, full of crafty goodness, will be delivered directly to your inbox.  

You can also help us to get the word out by liking us on Facebook and following us on Instagram.  And please do stop by our shop on Tuesday, March 1st and see what all the fuss is about!

And now let me introduce you to my partners!  I suspect you’ll recognize a couple of them as some of your favorite bloggers…

Kim: I am a homeschooling mama to one, a writer, nature lover, dreamer, foodie, lover of all things handmade, and a creative doer. I am happy to be here with these other inspiring mamas. Kim blogs at www.motheringwithmindfulness.com

Melanie: Home school mama to five in New England. We spend our days together creating all sorts of things, attempting to garden, reading good books,and observing the natural world, where we draw much inspiration. www.ourashgrove.blogspot.com

Tonya: So happy to be working with these other women to share our creative pursuits. As a mom of seven children, I find joy and beauty in the daily ordinary of raising a family, keeping up with our homestead dreams, and helping to run a family business. Tonya blogs at http://www.naturalearthfarm.net/blog

Jules: Hello, I’m Jules and I’m delighted to be with these inspiring women. I am a mama, a wife, and a shepherd who loves all things woolly. We are raising our three kids on a farm in BC, trying to make as much of our own food, clothing, and furniture. www.alittlecraftynest.com

Kris: I am a mama to four and farmer’s wife who loves all things handmade. We live on a small farmstead in Vermont where we attempt to grow most of our food and raise veggies, milk, eggs, meats and maple for our community. http://www.oldgatesfarm.com/

Elizabeth: Mama to three unschooled boys :: Tiny house living :: Off grid homesteader :: Lover of wool :: Maker of natural goods :: blogs at http://www.thesittingtree.net/

Taisa: I am a mama to three, living in a cabin in the mountains where we homeschool, make stuff and grow a weedy little garden. I am delighted to be joining these amazing, creative mamas in this collaborative. http://heartfullearning.com/

Kirsten: http://littlepennycress.blogspot.com/

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A Giant 10th Birthday Post

When I promised extra posting this week, I did not anticipate the wind storm that took out our internet access.  Sorry about that!

Sweater first? “Reversible Revelation” in Wool of the Andes Superwash, color: “Brass Heather”.  As the name implies, it is, in fact, reversible.  There is no right side.  Each has it’s own distinctive look:

This seemed like an excellent idea for a kid who often can’t be bothered with paying attention to what way his clothes go on.  At least for my benefit anyway, since he doesn’t really care if it’s inside out or not.  Hey, he’ll happily walk around wearing just one shoe, while I look on cringing.

The waitress at the college town, hipster, juice bar made a fuss about his “fashionable” ensemble; mama-made pants and sweater, topped with his spiffy hand-me-down brown cord blazer.  Dapper.

Food: This year we decorated gingerbread houses, instead of his usual gingerbread men. Autoimmune Friendly Gingerbread with Creamy Maple Frosting, made fancy with dried fruit and what we call “Yam Creamies”, which I’ll talk more about some other time.  We’re still on the intro diet and not supposed to be consuming sweets, but I made an exception for his birthday (and ended up with several people up half the night with belly aches as a consequence.  such is life.)

And now, the big, top secret project!  It pretty much all worked out as planned. In under three hours, while he was at said juice bar, followed by the music shop with my dad, this space…

became this…

The only part that didn’t quite work out was the light fixture.  I accidentally ordered a plug-in fixture when I meant to get one to wire in.  There are no outlets in that hallway.  But otherwise, somewhat miraculously, everything came together exactly as I had planned.

Both a space to work and create as well as a place to read and relax, plus extra storage besides, was asking a lot out of this petite 38″ x 66″ space.  The window seat has a hinged lid, with lots of storage space underneath, to help lighten the load in Iain’s attic bedroom (hence the boxes in the “before” photo).  I tried to work with what we had as much as possible.  The valence-hung on a rod my neighbor was getting rid of- and the divider curtain were both made from fabric I had on hand.  One of the pillow covers was fashioned from an old work shirt of Steve’s.  My sister painted those sweet pandas several years ago.  I’ve just been waiting for the right place to hang them in this house.  I love how the painting perfectly picks up the colors from all the pillows.  I’m ashamed to say it was an afterthought that just happened to work out brilliantly.

We managed to frame the window seat and build the stool with scraps of lumber from the basement.  We adjusted Ana White’s X-Bench plans to fit the space and finished it with some leftover General Finishes Milk Paint in “Persian Blue”.  It tucks all the way under the $20 cleaned up Craig’s List desk to save space.  A couple of old items refreshed by mingling with a few new accessories and just like that, he has his very own cozy nook crafted out of an area that was previously unused space.  Pretty nifty, that!

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Sewing Pattern Giveaway: Leotards and Swimsuits

Hello, hello!  We have been sssoooo busy.  The snow is receding, our trees are all tapped, and we are up checking for lambs several times a day.  Could spring really be coming?

I will be posting more this week.  I will, I will.  We’ll have a right good catch up.  I have such exciting news!  But until then, anyone want some sewing patterns?
I’m getting real about which patterns I’m actually going to use in the future and these didn’t make the cut.  My local fabric store was giving away out of print patterns and I must have gotten greedy.  The truth is I only ever use the same leotard pattern over and over again.  I don’t really need these.  They are all leotard or swimsuit patterns.  Five are girls sizes 4-7, one is a woman’s XS-XL.  Some of the envelopes are a little beat up, but all of the patterns are complete and unused.  Send me an email (upper right corner there) or leave a comment if you are interested!  There will be more patterns of various sorts coming soon!
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A 7th Birthday and a 16th Birthday

Considering the clues and untangling his way through his birthday gift treasure hunt.

“Happy birthday to YOU!”

That handsome young man up there, could that really by my little son??  The one I used to carry about in a star covered sling and tickle and kiss and cuddle?  Can it really be that same boy, who when I hugged him last night, swept me off my feet and carried me across the kitchen?

And goodness gracious, that sweet girl of mine in morning glory blue!  I’ve been wanting to make one of those dresses for years now.  I don’t know why I waited so long?  The pattern is Caesia made in Swish DK, “Twilight”.  Now that’s my kind of princess dress!

If I don’t mention Iain’s sweater can we just pretend that everything went well and that you don’t notice anything, uhm, askew?  This sweater was coming along absolutely beautifully.  I was so excited about it!  The very last thing I had to do was the shaping around the collar.  I walked away from it for a while and couldn’t for the life of me figure out where I was when I picked it up again.  There were days of knitting and ripping and nothing looking right.  Then when I did figure it out things kept going wrong with the shaping.  Nothing would lay as it should.  The cables looked strange.  His birthday loomed ever closer.  I was stressed and not sleeping and feeling like my brain was going to explode and come oozing out my ear.  It got to the point where I couldn’t bear to think about it for a moment longer and I switched to nice, simple, soothing ribbing.  ahhh…  I was so feed up with the whole thing that I couldn’t even be bothered to do it exactly the same on both sides.  The asymmetrical look is in, right?  Yeah, I meant to do that.  Well, actually I did mean to do it, but only because I was at my wit’s end!

The pattern is #732 by Bergere de France made in Comfy Worsted, “Planetarium”.  Even tracking down the pattern was an ordeal.  Alas, after all of that, it’s too short. (!!!)  It fits very nicely across the chest, which I was worried about.  And the sleeves are fine.  Probably because I was so worried about those that I added a couple of extra inches in length.  I added a bit of length to the body as well, but clearly not enough.  I blame the 4 1/4″ that he grew in the last year.  He will get some wear out of it, just not nearly as much as I had hoped. boo.

I finally finished Mairi’s quilt, started several years ago.  I couldn’t figure out a way to discretely do the hand-quilting on Iain’s without him noticing (it’s huge), and I really wanted it to be a surprise.  So I gave him the completed quilt top, along with batting and backing.

I know, it’s such a cliché, so much so that even saying so is a cliché, but I really can’t believe how big these two loves of mine are getting and how very quickly it’s all going! My heart is full of joy and yet aching all at once.

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