nature baby.

I absolutely love this store.  It’s based in New Zealand and they make the most softest + all natural wool and merino cotton blankets for little ones.  The cold won’t be so bad this winter…


smith babies.

The husband and I went to the beach this past weekend to see our wonderful family, and because we needed a break from all the hustle + bustle of being east coasters.  We stayed at Greg’s parents’ airy beach home, which is practically on the beach — a 10 minute walk to the beach to be exact.  The gals did some fabric shopping at a nearby quilt shop, and we also did some antiquing, where I picked up 2 really neat fruit crates to put all my fabrics in. 

We also got into baby mode and began looking at childhood photos of Greg and Beth.  Some of the shots were so good that I had to get a copy of them to frame some day when I come across the right frames.  Greg’s mom used an SLR to capture these great photos.  Today’s digital SLR’s don’t even compare to the richness and depth found in these photos.  Photography by my mother-in-law, Sandy Smith.


superhero material.

anna3anna2This little one, called Anna Sue, is what you would call superhero material.  She could probably talk a robber out of thievery, or a bandit out of banditry.  She’s one of a kind — full of wit, spirit, and has a knack for baking cakes (so her Betty Aunty says…).  I think Anna should have her own tv show of some adventurous chatty baking sort.  Kinda like Dora the Explorer, but instead, Anna, Ace Adventurer & Baking Extroardinaire.

baby smith handmade.

So now that I’m home and have tons of time on my hands until Baby Smith makes his/her arrival, I thought it would be cool to work on 9 handmade baby projects for the 9 months of pregnancy.  Consider it 9 unique gifts to Baby Smith from Mama Smith.  To name a few ideas… baby sweaters (delicate homespun cardigans in browns and naturals), vintage-styled quilts, whimsical clothes, organic blankets made on a hand loom, colorful bibs, stuffed animals from my imagination, and peculiar cloth shoes.

A part of me does not want our children to know that clothing stores and toy stores exist.  That way, they have to wear and play with what I make them.  It makes life easier because there are less options to choose from.  I think it also enables kids to think for themselves and design and create at an earlier age because they end up making their own toy creations and inventions.  Not to mention that it also makes life more interesting.  I’ve always wanted to churn my own butter…maybe someday I will.  : )

blueberry hill.

Oilyn, the kids, and myself went to Blueberry Hill for some good old-fashioned blueberry picking.  The blueberries were actually not ready to be picked for another week (a great disappointment for the kids), so we went strawberry picking instead.  Too bad it was the tail end of strawberry season, because we got smaller berries — though, they were still tasty.  I picked about a pound of strawberries and purchased some pre-picked blueberries.

I loved how dedicated and excited the Juan kids were about berry picking.  They told me about all the various fruits they pick during the year — strawberries first, then blueberries, raspberries, and peaches.  After peaches, apples are next in line, but southern Illinois does not grow apples.  I think it’s definitely likely that my kids and I will be making field trips to local farms for fruit picking — a great springtime, summertime, and falltime activity for kids of all ages.  The kids also told me how they like putting their freshly picked blueberries in the freezer and having them frozen.  I tried this when I got home, and they were yummy.  Tasted like blueberry popsicles…only bitesized pieces of goodness.  : )



The ones below are some I picked up at the Carbondale Farmer’s Market.  They are the biggest blueberries I’ve ever seen.


the hannah nightgown.

I’ve recently been getting into garment construction.  I think it would be awesome if I eventually came to the point where I could design and construct my children’s clothes.  I love kids clothes that are fun and whimsical, and sometimes even representative of days of old.  And I don’t mean bonnets and frilly dresses and such, but more the sheer white viole cotton tops for picnics and comfy striped bloomers for racing.  : )

My little cousin, Hannah, celebrated her birthday recently and I mailed her a homemade gift that I worked on with Jan — a knee length summer cotton nightgown with fluttery cap sleeves.  It was turquoise in color with brown polka dots and antique brown metal buttons.  Perfect for those warm summer nights under the covers.


suhan[photo above] Susan + Hannah in tea fields. Niligiri Hills, India. Summer 2005.