Monday, August 31, 2009

30 days of happiness :: new dresses

so i've said it before and i'll probably say it again, making a new design thrills are a few of my latest...two of which are headed for Crunchy Granola Baby and one that was mailed out today to a lovely customer in I'm off to dream up some more!

more Eiffel Tower!

Maddie must be watching "America's Top Model"!

my "creative space" ...can we call it that? or should we just call it my mess? with a dress and hat made out of the softest double gauze that I ordered all the way from Japan from danslalune, a seller on Etsy.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

30 days of happiness :: discovering new blogs

I love the spiderweb like connections that you make while looking at other people's blogs...reading their blog lists, clicking on one, then reading THEIR blog list and clicking on one that looks intriguing and so on. This is how I got to my newest blog obsession, Helena Halme. I read Belgian Waffle (which is clever and ridiculously funny and sometimes heartbreaking ) every day which led me to Mrs. Trefusis takes a taxi (amazing writing...v. v. funny) which led me to HER.....helena halme...and her installment story of how she met and fell in love with her husband...sigh...I'm in blog love.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

30 days of happiness :: Rainy days

love this cool, rainy weather...making beef stew, enjoying a glass of wine...hanging out with my husband and kids... Happy Saturday!

Friday, August 28, 2009

30 days of happiness - to market we go

First Light Farm - Such a beautiful display every week!

Here in Salem we have something new this summer...a Farmer's Market! Thursday afternoons have become my most looked forward to time of the week. Not only because of the gorgeous produce and baked goods and soaps and coffee, these are all wonderful don't get me wrong, but what makes Farmer's Market Thursday so wonderful is seeing so many friends every week. The mom's chat, the kids play and it's just a nice relaxing way to spend an hour or two.

Here is Lilykins enjoying her very first lollipop...clearly, she LOVED it!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

30 days of Happiness making

I've been thinking all morning about what I would write today. Time for a blog post...time to start sewing again after a couple of days off. All of these "shoulds" keep crowding my mind. I've been having quite a conversation with myself lately...constant inner dialogue is a sometimes very unwelcome companion. I am wary of getting to the point I was at a few years ago when I was making handbags...I had a certain degree of success, but it wasn't good. I was making the same thing over and over...soul deadening, sweatshop, assembly line sewing. But as I was sewing this morning (my lovely Mia watched Lily while I spent an hour working) it all became very clear to me. What I LOVE about sewing and knitting and making things in general is figuring it out. I love to picture something in my mind and then figure out a way to create it. Taking a ball of yarn and making loops with it in a certain way to create a whole new item, a piece of fabric! is pure magic to me. Starting with a piece of fabric and figuring out how this flat, one dimensional material will look in three dimensions as a garment and then making it, is pure joy! So, I've decided that each item of clothing I make for my Etsy store or for sale privately will be unique. Perhaps there will be a common theme for some, but in general, each piece of clothing will be a little different. I want to be excited about each item of clothing I make. I want to be happy in what I do.

Speaking of happiness, Bluebirdbaby is really onto something...she has started her 30 days of happiness and I have decided to join in!

Today, this makes me happy...

Balls of string that become cozy fabric

and this makes me smile....
That little red sweater from a lazy day a couple of weeks now a completed sweater.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Learn to Sew

Autumn 2009 Sewing Class Schedule

Basic Sewing Classes – Beginner to Intermediate LevelTuesday Evenings 7:30-9:30

Class size is limited to 4

This series of classes will introduce, or re-introduce you to the basics of machine and hand sewing, reading a pattern, cutting out from a pattern. You can choose your project – some possibilities are a reversible toddler/child jacket, an apron, simple dress, tote bag or pillows. If you choose a smaller project you can possibly complete two projects during the 4 week course. Please contact me by phone or email before the first class meeting so I can give you a materials list for your chosen work.

$65 per 4 week session

First Session: 9/15, 9/22, 9/29 & 10/6

Second Session: 10/13, 10/20, 10/27 & 11/3

Sunday Afternoon Workshops –Sunday Afternoons 1:00-5:00pm

Join me for tea and an afternoon workshop and learn something new to bring your sewing to a new level. All of the workshops will teach you how to make beautiful handmade items that are perfect for gift giving...the holidays are just around the corner!– All sewing levels welcome :) Afternoon tea will be served.

$40 per workshop

9/13Zipper workshop learn to insert a zipper and make a zipped make-up bag (these make great gifts!)

Materials needed: ½ yard fabric,thread, zipper will be provided

9/27 – Bias Binding Learn the “bias tube” method of making bias binding. We will explore the many different uses for bias binding (samples will be shown) and by the end of the afternoon you willhave made a teapot cosy or simple small handbag.

Materials needed: ½ yard fabric for bias binding and ½ yard contrasting fabric for cosy or handbag, thread. Interfacing will be provided

10/11 – Tote Bag make a tote bag from start to finish-complete with pocket and magnetic snap

Materials needed: ½ yard outer fabric and ½ yard contrasting lining fabric,thread. Snap and interfacing provided.

10/25- Soft Baby Blocks Learn to make beautiful toy blocks for your little one or to give as gifts. You can use new materials or recycle baby blankets to create a keepsake.

Materials needed: ½ yard of two contrasting fabrics or blankets to recycle and cotton or polyester batting

***Please bring your sewing machine if you have one...if you don't , not to worry, just let me know and I can provide one for your use.

Call or email me to reserve your spot!!! tel. 978-771-9032

Thursday, August 20, 2009

beach baby

The dog days of summer are here...kind of hard to deal with since we have just been plunged into them here in the lead up to it...just cool and rainy and then all of a sudden BLAZING hot and humid...but, I'm trying, really, I am. Yesterday morning I put Lily on my bike at 6:45 AM (while it was still a little cool) and we rode down to Winter Island. We played on the beach for a bit, watched the hermit crabs in the shallow pools and just had a nice quiet moment. I'm always so glad when I make the time to just be with my babe.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Both sides of the Rocket Ship Reversible Coat

So, boys stuff....that's what I'm trying to do...but since it's hot as ------(insert your own explicative) out I am having a very difficult time remaining focused...all I want to do is lay in front of the air conditioner and read (The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman)...alas....I've got a whiny toddler, one ennui afflicted teen and another who's having a midteen life crisis....summer fun!!! Well, all is not difficult... off to the beach early today before it gets too hot to even be outside.

poor Lily....forced to model a wool bonnet on a 95 degree wonder she's whiny!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

green and new black?

this is why I keep sewing...because every once in a while a project comes out exactly how I envisioned it.... green and gray is officially my new favorite color combination...should I try to make a grown up version of this coat for myself? I think I shall....

Willie and Henrietta Giveaway!!!!!

Willie and Henrietta is a lovely blog that features all kinds of products for babies and children...GORGEOUS things (as Edina Monsoon would say) from clothes to playsets to skin care products. So, when they contacted me to ask if they could feature my Etsy store and post an item for a giveaway, I was thrilled, naturally!!! Today's the big day! If you would like a chance to win the "Little Dear" dress go here leave a comment and you will be entered!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Creative Space

what's going on....well, what should be going on...I'm throwing in the towel today and taking the afternoon off !

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Childhood Redux - The Salem Willows

When I was little, growing up in Malden, my family would pack up the car with a grill, tons of food, the dog and usually my best friend Jean, to make our annual summer pilgrimage to The Salem Willows. We would leave super early, this had a dual purpose - the first was to allow time for the inevitable "getting lost" (I don't think we ever got there by the same route twice) and the second reason was so we could get the best spot - a picnic table under a tree, next to the ocean. Oh how we LOVED going to the Willows! It was such a treat! Perfect place for little kids. It is a park filled with gently rolling grassy hills, and huge old willow trees set beside the beautiful rocky coast of New England. Even better, for kids, is the added bonus of a row of old fashioned arcades and ice cream and pizza stands. Remember the movie "Big" with the "Zoltan" fortune telling machine? Well they had, and still have "Zoltan", not to mention a machine that would press your penny with the Declaration of Independence and a beautiful old carousel and the best popcorn ever and a concoction called a "Chop Suey" Sandwich. Back in the day there were rides like the "Tilta-Whirl" and a mini rollercoaster. Three beaches just perfect for exploring and swimming just make it all add up to wonderful! And, it was kind of "spooky"! Salem is famous for its witchcraft trials of the 1600's and my friend Jean and I knew all about this and would wander all around the park imagining that it was the setting for all kinds of scary and thrilling deeds...ahhh!!! so much fun!!! Now, 30 odd years later, I live in Salem, in fact, I can walk to the Willows any time I want. Last Sunday morning, as Mike and I were taking a walk by ourselves(what a rare and awesome thing!) and we were passing through the Willows, It struck me that every year I say to myself that we should do the pilgrimage again, and we never do....and time is fleeting. So, this morning my parents got up crazy early for their retired selves and drove to our house at 8AM, we packed up the cars and headed down the getting lost this time;). We set up in the most beautiful spot and fired up the grill. As the grill heated up we drank coffee and ate luscious coffee cake bars that my Dad made (he's an incredible baker). Then my Mom worked her magic and made what for me is THE TASTE of The Willows of my childhood, Egg, sausage and cheese english muffin sandwiches. As my parents say ,they are not Egg McMuffins but Egg MAC Muffins (my parent's last name is MacDonald) and they are scrumptious! We had a fabulous morning. The sun was shining and the breeze was blowing and we were all together and it was just so perfect. I am so happy that we made it happen and here's to many more perfect days with the people I love most in this world.

Three generations :)

A thing of beauty!

Papa and his girl!

Mike and his sunshine!

My babies :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Now that it's summer.....

all I can think of is I put the air conditioner on full blast, poured myself a cup of tea and I'm sewing wool coats...

Navy blue wool and gorgeous gray fabric with pale, pale aqua polka dots

This is the other photos don't do the polka dot fabric justice , it is really, really lovely...

.....reversible and of course the whole thing is machine washable....practical luxury soon to be for sale on my Etsy store :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009


So, I did some sewing this week...quite a lot actually...10 dresses for a local store. This is quite a feat for me, since having Lily I have been much less productive, sometimes maddeningly so. But, back to my old groove I went this week, with a day off for good behavior, and it feels good! I also got my first Etsy sale this week as well, so, it appears that maybe this sewing of children's clothes thing may actually work out after all :) My dresses will be for sale at Crunchy Granola Baby here in Salem, MA, and this weekend they are having a great sale to mark their 3 year anniversary! Congratulations Jennie! If you haven't been to CGB or visited their website you really should...Jennie has fabulous baby stuff and her store also offers classes and workshops and playgroups. Such a great resource for parents and their babies!

Some pics of the dresses below and I will also put a couple of the designs up for sale on Etsy. Have a great weekend everyone!

Little Deer

Parisian Baby