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imagine childhood.

Amanda Blake Soule, or Soule Mama, is doing a little giveaway for Imagine Childhood.  Which reminds me that I have some weaving to catch up on!  Back in December when I was thoroughly and completely pregnant, my family decided we wouldn’t do a grand Christmas (lots of presents and all), because the little one would be our grand Christmas.  We basically made known the 1-2 things we wanted for Christmas, put each of our names in a knitted hat, and picked a name at random.  My mom picked me.  And what were the two things I wanted?

The Beka Weaving Frame AND The Potholder Loom from Imagine Childhood.

the beka weaving frame

Since I was a child, something I’ve always wanted to do was shear sheep, card the wool, and finally handspin my own yarn.  Back in college I almost purchased an antique spinning wheel!  Crazy, but true.

I live vicariously through Farm Mama — she continually inspires me to try my hand in the whole making-my-own-yarn process.  One of these days I’m going to march myself over to Sharp’s Farm and just ask them if I can help shear sheep.  Kathy, the owner, is a real nice lady, so I think she just might let me.  [She might look at me funny first, but then I think she’ll let me.]  : )  Twas a complete bummer I missed the Sheep + Wool Festival that my county hosts every year, but there’s always next year.

I’m using the Beka Weaving Frame to build my way up to the Beginner’s Weaving Loom for dish towels, rags, and things of that nature.  When we lived in Southern Illinois, Greg and I would frequent the home of an older couple, who were previously hippies, who lived out in the country in a sustainable home made of cedar built by the wife’s parents.  It had a very natural, earthy, crunchy, lived-in feel to it.  I love that feel.  We always loved going there for their peaceful company and simple suppers.  The wife, such an interesting lady, had a great, large, stand alone wooden loom in her airy bedroom that took up a large portion of her room.  I just loved looking at her projects and crafted items.  Inspiring.  Inspiring.  Inspiring, to say the very least.

Greg says if ever a sheep shearing conference occurs in Ireland, he’d let me go — what are the chances of a sheep shearing conference in Ireland?  Lord, please bring it to pass.

the potholder loom

If I win the giveaway, I want to get the following for Dhara.

hardwood construction blocks

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DIY bottle yard stakes.

Here are the directions for the DIY bottle yard stakes that I whipped up for Vicky of The City Cradle.

summer garden party – the invites.

It feels good to have things crossed off the list.  The invites have been sealed, addressed, stamped and mailed off to each respective gal and her mama!  I decided to go with People St. Clair, an Etsy shop specializing in papery goods, for the birthday invites.  I went with them specifically for the feeling of whimsy and delight I get every time I look at their cards, the cost was a plus too — 10 (5×7 cardstock) cards + envelopes for $15!

The card I chose, ‘Madeline’, reminds me of what an invite to a Jane Austen party would resemble — beautiful script, beautiful paper, and hints of femininity.  I love the mustard font color and mix of script and plain fonts.  Natasha, who works for People St. Clair, helped me design the card just the way I liked.  I worded it in a playful manner and added a darling quote by Emily Dickinson about prairies and bees and revery.

Thank you Natasha + People St. Clair for a beautiful invite!

DIY sewing kit.

Lately I’ve been dreaming of having my own studio space.  A place I can call my own to design and craft to my heart’s content.  A place where I can organize my piles of Anna Maria Horner and Amy Butler fabrics, sewing notions, and pattern books on neat and tidy shelves.  A place where my sewing machines and serger can have permanent residence, instead of having to be moved to and fro.

Until that beautiful day, I’ve set up shop in my parent’s basement.  I also set up a small station in our bedroom for quick sewing projects — on a small vintage table that is painted blue — we found this table on the side of the road and welcomed it into our home to stay a while, or forever.  Above the table is a cork board for the things that inspire — postcards, love letters, stamps, photos of future projects.  Under the table is an old wooden wine crate filled with fabric.  Lately I’ve been on an assembly line bib craze.  [My sweet Dhara is a drool machine.  My sister and I joke that she should have been named Julie.  Then we could nickname her ‘Drooley Julie.’  How fitting would that be?  What’s funny is that we still call her that.]

I recently began looking for something to organize my sewing tools, so that I could neatly place them on my blue table.  I was perusing Etsy one day, and came across a sewing kit I loved.  It was made of an old mason jar, and it was filled with the most simplest everyday sewing tools.  The idea looked simply delightful and easy enough to create.  So create I did.  Here are the DIY instructions for a simple vintage styled sewing kit.  Note: For a simpler version, instead of using the antique Ball mason jars with zinc lids, you can use a current Ball canning jar.  The current jars, which you can get at Walmart, have lids that come in two pieces.  This way you don’t have to cut into a zinc lid.  Although, I do love the blue glass of my antique jar. : )

summer garden party – the to do list.

Below is a to-do list for the garden party next month.  I’ll cross things off as I get them done, and perhaps blog about my findings.  While I do want this party to be pretty and natural with earthily wonderful details and all, I do need to be realistic — which means having a realistic budget.  After brainstorming, and scavenging, I found that I can use alot of my own pieces for decor and serving ware.  But some things do need to be purchased, whether by checking out the local thrift/antique shops, yard sailing, or a great sale.

Garden Party To-Do List:

purchase whimsical invitations [from People St. Clair, 10 count for $15]

purchase 10-12 white paper lanterns [from Paper Lantern Store, 6 (12 inch) + 6 (20 inch) for $23]

sew handmade cloth napkins

find a fun project for mom + daughter, and make/purchase supplies

sew handmade bunting

purchase supplies for red velvet cupcakes in a jar [glass jars, baker’s twine, wooden spoons] [8 oz. glass jars from Walmart, 12 count for $8.  baker’s twine from Parcel + Paper, variety pack for $11.  wooden spoons from Greenware, 100 count for $6.49]

birthday cupcakes in place of birthday cake [georgetown cupcakes]

find a cupcake stand [from Crate + Barrel, used giftcard]

find pretty plates [from Crate + Barrel, used giftcard]

packet of seeds per guest w/ small potted plant per guest [terra cotta clay pots from Michael’s, for .89 cents each]

wildflowers [poppies, lavender, wild blue indigo, cornflower, daises, queen anne’s lace, blue sage]

vintage styled paper straws [from My Sweet Life, 25 count for $3]

sew a birthday gift for dhara — a handmade cloth doll

decor of my own: ironrod chandelier, polish serving plates, doilies, vintage tablecloths + dish towels, vases, hanging glass lanterns, farm house table (seats 12-14), chairs, fabric covered chairs, table for lemonade, cake stands, anthropologie plates + teacups, framed photos of our dear dhara

more inspiration for the inspired mind…

summer garden party – the idea.

As someone who grew up in a very large circle of family and friends, I’ve never had the chance to pull together the quaint shindig that’s been brewing in my mind for years.  It’s hard, especially in Indian culture, because you are required to invite everyone you know!  I’ve learned that the more people there are, the less personal a party becomes.  Now some parties require that everyone you know attend.  For example, our wedding.

I tried pulling together something that slightly resembled a well thought out and quaint gathering at our fall wedding, but there is only so much you can do with a guest list of 350 people.  However, I did what I could considering the amount of people present.  And a lovely day it was.  Whimsical wedding stationary designed by a friend, fall wildflowers, Potbelly cookie favors packaged in parchment paper, fall apples in red and green as place settings, a photo guest book depicting the 5 years we’d known each other, framed photos of our parents on their wedding day, etc.

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But, now it’s my turn.

My little girlybean will be turning 6 months on June 25th, and in celebration of her half birthday, Greg and I are throwing her a summer garden party with a small group of her girl counterparts, and their mamas.  Of course she won’t remember a lick of it, but I foresee it becoming a quaint tradition she’ll grow to love.

Let’s see if I can pull this thing together the way I see it in my mind!  And to help me organize my thoughts, I turn to something I’ve been keeping for a long time now — a “CREATE” folder on my desktop.  In this folder are photos I’ve gathered along the years of things I would like to sew, knit, craft, construct and create.  This folder gives me ideas when I need them most, because these are the things that inspire me and the colors, textures, mediums that I find beautiful.  My perfect party entails the warmth, delicate light, pretty linens, natural ambiance, and freshness found in these photos:

I have exactly 1 month to get everything done!  Next up, my summer garden party to-do list.

stop motion.

stop-motion (also known as stop-action or frame-by-frame) is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own.  The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence.”  (wikied)

My brother, Josh, showed me this music video by Oren Lavie, called “Her Morning Elegance.”  It’s done in stop motion format — very cool idea.  Josh is a film major and also doing a project in stop motion.  To do his project, he borrowed a camera bag full of camera goodies I got off of ebay for $90.  The bag has an old Canon AE-1 35mm camera, a telephoto lens, filters, and other neat pieces of equipment for old school camera fun.  He dropped off two rolls of film today to get developed.  It’s so weird that I developed film at one point in my life — and lots of it!

first beach.

Thanks to Greg’s mom who got these neato “30 plates” with Greg’s baby picture on them for his surprise party.  She always comes up with such great ideas!

[photo plates, from hallmarkparty.com.]

zuma.

Back in March when I told my sister that I was having a baby, she screamed with surprise, and then she cried.  She was so happy.  Almost immediately, well probably in that same week, she told me that she did not want to be called “Becky Aunty.”  Rather, she said she would like to be called “Zuma.”  The following products were designed by the one and only Becky Kurikeshu, also known as Zuma. 

IMGP3687IMGP3679IMGP3716

get excited.

I’m in the mood to create something.  Greg and I are talking about crafting a baby armoir…nothing fancy, just functional.  All we need are two ingredients: a wood scrapyard + time.

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