Cuteness Overload

‘Overload on Some Cuteness’ by Burrow & Bloom 

The sweetest enamel pins and more adorable things to bring on the happy!


Moon and Clouds – Hard Ename…

$7.5

Pyjamas For Life Enamel Pin …

$7.5

Flying Super Hero Costume Pi…

$95

Turquoise and Gold Crystal R…

$72

Cuterus Acrylic Pin brooch w…

$5

Adult size M Mermaid Tail CR…

$1.99

Comic book enamel pin – lape…

$6.5

PRE-ORDER: PASTEL Planet – E…

$6

Desk Tidy – Wall Pocket – Po…

$10

Gold Tassel Bracelet, Chalce…

$34

pink pearlescent mermaid sea…

$50

Purple Crochet Cactus Pastel…

$24

Unicorn tears enamel pin

$7

Sailor Moon Mini Print

$9.6

Enamel Pin / Lapel Pin – Sle…

$10

Rainbow Crystal Cats Enamel …

$12

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Ch ch ch changes!

Big changes have been happening around here, including where “here” is!

At the beginning of the month we finally moved from our apartment to a charming 1920’s bungalow! My little guy wakes up in the mornings and exclaims, “the sun’s back up! We can go outside now!”

IMG_1048We love playing on our front porch and in our fenced-in back yard! It’s so amazing what difference having an outdoor space makes. On move-in day we had a little picnic lunch in our backyard and marveled how it really is a little slice of heaven.

Fox in the GardenWe even have four raised garden beds! Our new neighbor’s mom stopped by and taught me all about the herbs growing there and how to harvest and dry them; lavender, sage, thyme, mint, and oregano! There are also a couple tomato plants and a little strawberry bush! In the spring we plan to grow lots more veggies as well.

It’s been years since I gardened as a child with my parents and I’m thrilled to have the space to pick it back up again and share it with my son. He loves to play in the yard or water the flowers while I weed, prune, and harvest herbs. Quite therapeutic getting my hands dirty with earth.

We’ve sighted so many wonderful creatures and plants around our new space too. Hummingbirds, butterflies, chipmunks, squirrels, goldfinches, a hawk, and a big green mantis! There are several Rose of Sharon bushes around the house and a lovely vine of purple Morning Glory along the back fence.

It’s also wonderful to have storage space in our basement, along with a washer and dryer of our own. Toting our laundry up a floor to the shared coin laundry room in our apartment building was tiresome. Especially for an introverted perfectionist like me. Who wants to put on make-up just to do laundry?

When our little guy came into our lives, my painting studio/sewing room became his nursery. Now that our house has three bedrooms, I have my studio back! It’s in the back of the house with windows to the side the backyard. So very inspiring to have my own space to create in.

New StudioSince going all out for the Baby Fair in March, I’ve been scaling it back and focusing on my family. Rejuvenating. Now I feel a fresh surge of creative energy and the motivation to keep it going.

IMG_1166Last week it became clear that I had no choice but to leave my job. I was treated very poorly and undoubtedly undervalued, but it has set me free to do what I’ve yearned for for years. I’m now pouring myself into our home, family, and my Etsy business full time. It feels like coming back to life. There have been so many positive signs that this is right path for my life and my family. So much serendipity. I should have some exciting news to share in a few days actually. Can’t wait to share it all with you!

So as I’ve decided to throw perfectionism to the wind you’ll be hearing from me much more in the coming weeks and months. Lots of amazing things to come!

The Hummingbird symbolizes great courage, determination, flexibility and adaptability. This little beauty is only a few ounces in weight, yet has the courage of a lion. Indeed size is of no consequence…The Hummingbird symbolizes the respect of territories, protecting and enforcing your boundaries, the need to be feisty if needed to protect your boundaries and what is yours. [They] remind us that there are times when we have to make a difficult journey to get to the destination of our goal, there will be obstacles, symbolizing the need for endurance and perseverance. Hummingbird challenges you to say “yes I can”, and believe it will be done.

Baby Fair

As some of you know, I recently exhibited my nursing necklaces and toy slings at the Baby Fair in Bloomington, Indiana! It was special event, not only as my first time exhibiting something other than my oil paintings, but also on a more personal note.

After visiting the Baby Fair in 2013 I went into labor with Fox! So they definitely have some super sweet baby mojo!

BABS, the organization hosting the fair, has been such a huge help throughout my adventure into motherhood. We took our childbirth class there, received a lot of comfort and support from the new moms’ group I joined there, and their lactation consultant is a miracle worker who helped us solve our oversupply issues.

Seeing everything come together for the fair, as I gathered display items and decorations, then filled them up with new slings and necklaces, was so very exciting, fulfilling, and motivating. Too much fun to feel like work. I’m loving all the new fabric I’ve ordered from other Etsy shops! (If you can’t seem to find the perfect fabric at a local shop, I highly recommend browsing Etsy)! The Art Gallery Fabrics in particular are so soft and have some seriously adorable and stylish prints. I absolutely love playing with color and pattern! Picking out things I like and putting it all together is so much fun!

My booth at The Baby Fair!

My booth at The Baby Fair!

I never would have done all this just for my Etsy shop. It wouldn’t have seemed like a good use of time that could be spent making more items for the shop and listing them. However it was very motivational in a much more tangible way. So I’m very glad to have had this event to inspire me and provide a sense of accomplishment.

On the day of the Baby Fair I had help from two very amazing women, (who traveled two hours here and back), and my very patient husband! Russ’ mom came to help load everything up, unload it at the convention center, and help with Fox while I set it all up. When he got tired of being at the fair she took him to WonderLab with Russ. His step-mom came to help with my booth during the fair and loading everything up and taking it back to our place when it was over. I honestly don’t see how it would have been possible for me to take part in the Baby Fair if it hadn’t been for their help! I also must say that all the support and encouragement from my mom in Florida has also been key in my being able to follow my dreams. Thank you so very much!!!

It was great fun to get to meet and chat with all the moms and families at the Baby Fair! I’m very grateful for all who stopped by my both. It was an honor to be part of such a wonderful event that helps so many moms and babies. So wonderful to connect with others along this journey of motherhood.

Toy Slings

Love my model

One busy afternoon, as I was sewing nursing necklaces for my Etsy shop, Fox was playing with some wrap scrap fabric. Knowing he would soon need more to do, I grabbed a set of sling rings and made him a quick little no-sew ring sling. He was thrilled by the idea of wearing his own little baby. So I put the sling over his head, guided one arm through, and we put a little stuffed frog in his toy sling. He was floored, bounced up and down, and proudly took off down the hall to take his baby for a walk. The look of pure joy on his face was absolutely and adorably precious!

First Toy Sling

The very first toy sling I threw together for Fox!

Seeing how happy walking around with his baby in his little toy sling gave me an idea. If he loved it so much surely other little people would too. So I started gathering cute fabrics and sewing toy ring slings to sell alongside the nursing necklaces in my Etsy shop. I’ve also begun making toy slings with larger sling rings, for bigger kiddos to carry their babies in too!

Toy Slings with Larg and Small rings

We gave a toy ring sling as a birthday present to one of Fox’ friends and it was absolutely adorable how she got her baby in it right away and bounced up and down, shhhing her baby. It makes my heart so happy to know that there are other little kiddos out there experiencing a joy like my little Fox, joyously carrying their little babies in their own toy slings.

All the toy ring slings I’m making now will be available at the upcoming Baby Fair and more will be up in my Etsy shop soon after the the fair!

Fox Enjoying Toy Slings

Fox Enjoying Toy Slings

Fox Enjoying Toy Slings

All in the Balance

Chugging along like the little engine that could, I’ve been slowly, but surely making progress. Getting more necklaces up in the shop. Sewing diaper bags. Drafting future blog posts. Brainstorming craft fair booth ideas and making lists.

I considered accepting an invitation to display my necklaces at RAW in Indianapolis, but decided against it. Although it sounded like a great opportunity at first, ultimately it didn’t seem like the right audience. Plus having to sell twenty $15 tickets or pay the difference seemed like it would take too much away from time spent creating. Got me thinking about future craft fair possibilities anyway.

 

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Fox and Russ have been super sweet, playing while I sew. I love listening to them. The other night Russ helped Fox draw in his little notebook, delighted by how he expertly held the pen in his tiny hand. Each time he finished a drawing, he’d walk over and hand me the most adorable sheet of scribble I’d ever seen in my life. Oh my heart!

While Russ was at work, Fox helped me sort some craft supplies and gather materials, finding spools of thread and odds-n-ends to play with along the way. We take breaks to play, read, snuggle, and walk Cora.

Balancing productivity with family time is super important to me. They’re a huge part of why I’m doing all this anyway. Russ and I have been trying to do something outside as a family each weekend. We took Fox to the park, where he got to swing and go down a slide for the first time. And we went to the county fair, where he got to see cows and pet an adorable little calf.

 

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Fox is growing so fast. I love simply watching him. Every day he’s more and more toddler/little boy, surprising me with new things he says and does. With the way he does them.

We don’t watch a lot of TV, but we enjoy some Miyazaki movies. The other morning I asked him if he wanted to watch Kiki, Totoro, or Castle and he nodded, “Toto”. Last night we played an adorably funny combination of hide-n-seek, tag, and peekaboo. When I’d say I was coming to get him he’d shake his head and matter-of-factually say ‘no’. So much fun!

 

my-neighbor-totoro-crawling-through-bush-smaller

 

During nap times lately I’ve been reading books on my Kindle app. Enjoying a little escapism in my downtime. I like that I can hold it in one hand while Fox sleeps on me and that it has the option of white letters on a black page, so the brightness doesn’t wake him up.

I read the first book in the Dragonlance Chronicles. Leading to some fun conversations with Russ, who read them years ago but still has an uncanny memory of characters, locations, and plot. It also makes me wish I had time to run one of the d&d campaign modules.

I finally got around to reading Mindy Kaling’s book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without me (And Other Concerns) which has been on my ‘to read’ list since it was released three years ago. (Like I wasn’t busy adjusting to a new town, being pregnant and caring for a baby). Anyway, it’s tiding me over between seasons of The Mindy Project. I absolutely adore her wit! She’s flipping hilarious!

Have you read any good books lately?

In the works

Today I went through my fabric and pulled all I could use for nursing necklaces. I knew I had some, but was delighted to see the bin-full I was able to gather.

Fox enjoyed helping me go through it, snuggling the fabric pile on the floor. How could I resist a snuggle break?

fabric snuggles

As I was gathering supplies, I stumbled upon ways to improve my work space so what I need is close at hand. I got out a lidded box for precut fabric pieces, emptied a small vintage suitcase for my ribbon and beads, and brought out my thread pegboard to hang on the wall above my desk.

I was also able to fine-tune my business card design and get them ordered. Yay, progress!

I called to catch up with my mom, telling her I just needed to buy wooden beads and ribbon and I’d be ready to get cracking on some nursing necklaces. As luck would have it she has boxes and boxes of exactly that in her craft supply stash!

A few years ago she attended an auction at a craft supply store that was going out of business. Being the crafty Girl Scout leader she was, she bid on what she thought was a single shelf of supplies. However, upon winning she discovered it was actually for the entire shelf. Top to bottom. But I digress.

After Fox wakes from the nap he’s currently taking, I’ll be getting the fabric ready for when the beads and ribbon arrive next week. So thrilled to be making headway while still being able to break for naps, nursing, reading, and snuggles with my sweet little guy.

Stoking the Coals

If you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind goes when it wanders.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel

As a little girl I danced and preformed in recitals. I played flute and tenor saxophone throughout middle and high school, continued as Music and Art major in college, and worked in an art gallery while painting and exhibiting my work.

But then it all took a backseat to life. Moving a thousand miles from my hometown and starting a family.

Lately my creative energy has been channeled into my son, but now that he’s getting bigger and spending more time playing on his own I’ve got a fire in my belly to get creating again.

For too long I let doubt, uncertainty, and distraction keep me from going down the path that felt right. Unsure of how to make it happen, I grew complacent, doing what was easy instead of following my heart through uncharted territory.

Yet during this creative down time I’ve cultivated ideas and developed into a new version of myself. I’m eager to explore who I am now and what I’m capable of. I believe I have the power to make the life I want a reality.

I’m itching to put my talents to good use, crafting something beautiful and helpful for moms and others who care for babies and toddlers. Nursing necklaces, diaper bags, wet bags, ring slings…

Lots of new and exciting things have been put in motion and I’m excited to share it along the way.

 

A man without passion is only a latent force, only a possibility, like a stone waiting for the blow from the iron to give forth sparks.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel