Custom Quilts, Sewing, Mommyhood and general silliness

Archive for the ‘Deep Thoughts’ Category

What I’ve learned about life from the gym…

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Warning…this post has almost nothing to do with quilting or sewing directly…but it has a lot to do with life lessons.

About 6 weeks ago, I begged my husband to join the local gym. It isn’t a national chain, but local to the bay area. It’s the nicest gym I’ve every been to. On top of the general workout gear, cardio machines, classes offered and personal training, they offer an amazing childcare center; a spa for manicures, pedicures, haircuts/color, etc; a cafe with coffee, sandwiches, smoothies and a lot more; a pool with hot tub; and a bar…that’s right…a bar. I can work out, shower, and then go have a beer or a glass of wine with the hubster all in the same place. It’s like a mini-date that we’ve already paid for at the beginning of the month. And the kids love to go, so I have no problem dropping them off for the full two and a half hours allowed :)

So here are some of the things I’ve learned from the gym in these first 6 weeks:

1) No one is really watching. No one really cares how you look or how much weight you can lift…because they are too busy lifting their own weights, or checking themselves out in the mirror. (I should probably mention that this isn’t a meat market gym…people are probably checking you out there).

2) This apparently applies to the locker room too. I’ve never seen so many naked people just doing their own thing (I haven’t been to any nudist events…so maybe my perspective would be a bit different otherwise). No body is checking out stretch marks or boobs or muscle tone. Everybody is just doing their thing, getting ready for the day.

3) The more you get into a class, the more fun you will have. Go ahead…grunt when you lift that weight…give a little woot woot when the instructor asks if you can feel it. Putting all you can of yourself into something really does give you a whole lot in return.

4) It’s ok to try something new…and fail. Try that new class…try a heavier weight…you might like it/lift it…you might hate it/drop it like its hot…but at least you tried it.

5) Showering without interruption is priceless when you have small kids. I pretty much knew this one before we joined the gym…but now I get to test the theory a lot more often.

6) I really like fruit-infused water. Not really a life lesson, but it ties into lesson 4…try something new…you might like it.

Be back soon with more sewing/quilting goodness.

Cheers,

Liz

 

My Top 3 Reasons to Attend Craftcation in 2014

Get your tickets here

Get your tickets here

I was lucky enough to attend Craftcation this past weekend in sunny Ventura, CA. **Huge shout out to the hubster for taking over my job for 4 days while I attended. Not only were all three kids still alive and healthy, but he even did laundry and kept the house clean-ish. So kudos to him. Did I mention he now has a cold and feels deathly ill…**

So what is Craftcation exactly? Here’s what their twitter profile succinctly states:

“Craftcation is an indie business & DIY workshop conference. This three-day event is a retreat to inspire, network and build upon the independent craft business.”

Craftcation is Awesome…but let me tell you my top 3 reasons to attend:

1)      Connections, networking, awesome people. Everyone at this conference has something to share, something to give—even you. I think I finally get why people go to Star Trek Conventions…because it’s a weekend spent around “your” people. If you dig crafts and dig indy biz…then these are your people…let the crazy out.

The organizers told us to bring a lot of business cards…they were right. You hand them out like crazy. You also get them like crazy. I met so many wonderful, crafty people. And I get to continue these friendships online after the party ends. Plus you might just meet someone in your own neighborhood that you didn’t know existed before.

2)      Genuine, Real advice from Genuine Real experts. I am an introverted person by nature, so confrontation and asking for advice—basically talking to people—can be daunting. I can do it. It just takes a lot of pep talking and deep breaths. However, this conference has such an open, supportive environment that it feels safe to talk to these experts. It feels safe to start-up conversations because everyone is so open, genuine and supportive. Also, the advice gets personal—specific to you—not just canned answers you could read in a book.

3)      Open for all. It doesn’t matter where you are in your business. You may not even have a business (I’ll go ahead and raise my hand here). But if you have a dream of a business, there are people to help you, encourage you, and generally kick your butt in gear (I’m looking at you Tiffany Han). **In all seriousness, Tiffany Han rocked my socks…if you need a supportive kick in the pants to get going, she’s your life coach.**

If you are even remotely interested in this wonderful event, click over to their website and check it out. And if you are still questioning if this is for you, here are some questions they suggest to help you figure it out:

have you ever thought to yourself…

  • i have a great idea for a business but i don’t know how to start.
  • i want to turn my passion into my full-time job
  • i have a successful business and i’m ready to take it to the next level but i’m not sure how
  • i want to connect with people in my field but i don’t have the time or opportunity to make it happen
  • i’d love to learn something new and better myself/my business at the same time
  • i want new ideas to make my business more successful and inspire me

if you want to start, maintain or grown your indie business or take a break from your routine and learn something new while networking with fellow crafters…then craftcation is for you!

I sincerely hope I see you there next year!

Cheers,

Liz

Hi.

Hi.

It’s been really quiet here on the blog…because life offline has been CRAZY. Here’s the rundown:

Mr. Aaron Patrick made his entrance mid June. Yes, I might have been walking thru target while in labor…and I might have given birth 3 hrs after checking out. He is the most challenging baby of my three kids. He has the most devilishly handsome smile ever. He hates to be left out of anything. He loves food and hates to wait for it to be prepared. But he’s healthy and chubby and seems to like us. I think we will keep him.

We moved. Found a great place. The weather is beautiful. Couldn’t really ask for more out of a roof over our heads.

Sarah started kindergarten. My baby, my firstborn, has started her school career. Part of me still can’t believe it.

Lots of firsts: Sarah is reading now…everything…every sign we pass, every piece of text that flashes on the tv…everything; Aaron is crawling…nothing is safe anymore; and Sarah has lost her first tooth.

Bryan is a major character. He’s started the lovable habit of saying inappropriate words like “butt” hoping to get a reaction. He has taken to wearing some 3D glasses he got at a movie and button up collared shirts, so he can look like daddy.

I’ve managed to fit in a fair bit of sewing. I’ll post some pics in the coming weeks.

Otherwise, life has been crazy busy good. Sorry for the silence, but life has been full and I needed to be there instead of here.

And on another HUGE note…you’ll never guess where I am…Craftcation in Ventura, CA. My hotel room looks out over the ocean (turn 90 degrees and you see hwy 101, but lets focus on the positives here people). Having a great time and learning a lot! The people are pretty awesome too!

Here’s hoping I become a regular around here again…

Cheers,
Liz

Instagram newbie

So I came over to the dark side (or is it the light side) and got an iPhone and iPad at Christmastime. I immediately started downloading all these cool apps…

fastforward to today and I finally got my instagram account set up…I am sooo L.A.M.E. sometimes. Still trying to figure it out and get pics posted more frequently. Oh yeah…and somehow get those photos posted here on the blog and maybe print some of them out (I really need help!).

Speaking of photos…holy goodness I feel like I haven’t taken any photos this year. I was actually starting to get quite worried that I hadn’t documented ANY of this year. Then I realized…the majority are on my iPhone. WHEW! Praise Jesus! I always have my phone with me. And they are so easy to just upload quick to facebook and message to family. Two clicks and they are off…shared with everyone. Now to work on getting them off my phone and onto the hard drive.

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memory lane

hi!

I’ll spare you the details of the last few months…

I thought I would show you the first quilt I ever completed. It has a little history:

I learned to sew from a collective effort by my mom and my mom’s mom (my Grandma). We never really made any blankets or quilts. We mostly stuck to clothing and the occasional pillow. After my Grandma passed away, my mom inherited all her stash of fabric. My Grandma started quilting towards the end of her life. She was completely self-taught (to my knowledge). And since she didn’t really want for anything, people would gift her yards and yards of fabric. She saved her scraps in bags and made little blocks for a future scrap quilt. Fast forward a few years…I found a stack of these blocks sitting in her stash. Fresh from my first few quilting classes, I furiously laid them out and assembled this quilt top. It was the first quilt I completed.

The best part is that most of the fabrics in this quilt top came from something my Grandma had sewn for someone in our family. There are fabrics from dresses and shirts, vests and tops…all made by her.

Each time I look at it, it takes me down memory lane. Also makes me smile

got me thinking

I have been reading Camille Roskelley’s blog Simplify for a while now.  I love the styling she uses.  The turquoise with red.  I think she has delicious quilt designs, fabric and she just seems like a really nice gal.  She’s giving away a copy of her book and some goodies on her blog…you should go enter!

But in that specific post she talked about her 3 goals that she set out for herself.  She calls them unrealistic, but with her talent, it is obvious she would succeed.  But it got me thinking about my goals.  And how I think I’m a bit all over the place when it comes to aspirations.  And if you have 50 different goals in 50 different subjects…odds are you aren’t going to succeed at any of them.  So I guess I need to do a little pondering and maybe focus my goals a little.  Like maybe down to 25 :)

I kid, but in all seriousness, I really need to sit down with pen to paper and flesh out some goals.  You know…in all my spare time…

status update

So proud of his tower

For the most part, we’ve stuck to the “less TV for the kids” rule.  Man, has it been tough!  I didn’t realize how much I was relying on it to keep from having to deal with my kids.  That is really hard to admit, but that is what it boils down to.  We caved on the weekend, but I don’t feel as bad about that because it’s the weekend…and I veg out during the weekend any chance I get.  We also had a birthday party, so we were a little busy.  I will say that during the week I’ve cut the kids back by at least 40%.  The hard part is finding other activities to channel that time into. 

One thing I gave a lot of thought to this weekend was the idea of perfection.  It is so easy to look at others’ lives and think they have it all figured out…that they have all their ducks in a row and never make mistakes or get mad or get frazzled.  I think moms do this a lot.  It becomes too easy to have a playdate with someone for 2 hrs and come away thinking we know everything about the other person.  But in reflecting on my meetings with other moms of all different walks of life, it is the ones who let their mistakes show with whom I feel the most connected.  Those women who either choose to “let it all hang out” (figuratively speaking here folks) or do so by nature…those women make me feel the most at ease.  Those women are a calming influence because they let me know that I too can come as I am…imperfect.

So on that note, I think I’ll stay in PJs all day tomorrow…and I might just take a nap with the kids…or spend an obscene amount of time on Facebook essentially wasting an entire 2 hrs…

hope my husband isn’t reading this…