February 25, 2010

Big Girl Bed

Birdcage Lamp handmade by Me
When I was pregnant with Marley, making sure she had a decidedly modern nursery with an uber-chic zebra wood crib, low, horizontal lines, bold, bright colors, and handmade touches was an obsession of mine. Her room quickly became the most lavished upon spot in the house - and definitely the best designed. With eco-friendly paint, vintage nursery rhyme illustrations, a handmade lamp I made for her, and that perfect crib -- it should have been the room we all spent most of our time in. But when we brought our Honeyplum home (named so for that sweet face and that lovely jaundiced color), there was no way I was parting with her. It seemed unnatural while I was nursing my newborn lass with an unstoppable appetite even to separate us with a co-sleeper. And once her appetite gained some normalcy, and I was no longer able to breastfeed, well...she was just so dang cute and snuggly. I promised Jeff we'd try the co-sleeper once she was bigger, thinking six months would be forever away. Six months came and went like a flash in the pan; we tried the co-sleeper for a night or two, but even the arm's reach distance was more than I could stand.

Fast forward through two moves, two coasts, three states, and just over a year. It's been impossible, even if I had been ready before now, to transition Marley to a crib with so many moves. Sleeping with my twenty month old daughter doesn't feel as natural as it used to. The three of us in a queen size bed makes for some truly uncomfortable sleeping arrangements - and lately, I've been waking up with my face smothered in her feet and still falling off the edge of the bed. I finally decided enough is enough, I need some sleep! Over the past couple of weeks, while at friends on play dates, I've made a point of taking Marley to her friends' rooms and asking about their "big girl beds". This worked very well to pique Marley's curiosity, and she even asked if she could get in her best friend, Ella's big girl bed, recently. I think that build-up helped when I decided this was the morning, and could tell her that tonight, Daddy was going to build her 'big girl bed'. She got very excited, and kept saying 'Ella! Emily! Robert!' her friends' names whose big kid beds she had seen and we'd discussed. I was so impressed with her memory and acknowledgement.

Despite her excitement, I had been reading a lot of books (as you all know I tend to do) about the issue of family beds, transitioning, and particularly attempting this matter with toddler. I expected that we would be in this for the long haul. She was not going to go to sleep in her big girl bed without blood, sweat, and tears - and it could take days, weeks,....god forbid, months. But none of the books could have prepared me for how well adjusted my little girl would be. None of the forum boards, pediatricians, and cautionary tales prepared me for how quickly she would lay down in her little bed, tell me not to sing the 'Go To Sleep Little Baby' song I'd sung for her since she was a newborn, she wanted the new hit "ABC" thank you very much, and drift off to sleep. Just like that. In her big girl bed. A big girl. No one warned me that the tears I should anticipate would be my own. I am so glad that we had our time together in our family bed...and that I will always have the fond memories of my sweet baby girl, snuggled up warm beside me.

February 23, 2010

Been Gone For A While

Wow. It's been awhile. Resolutions are hard to keep - and blogging three to five times per week is no exception.  Some of you just make it look so dang easy. The past several days or so, I've been a bit down - and I've been debating whether or not to share that with you - but it was getting to look like it would be an even longer hiatus if I didn't...so here's my sob story, and then we (I) can move on:

I have epilepsy. It's not so bad, really. Actually, it's been a very very long time since it's even affected me at all. So long in fact, that I recently convinced myself that perhaps my epilepsy magically went away. Thursday morning I was reminded to the tune of a grand mahl seizure and a thirty minute black-out that alas, my epilepsy did not go away. In fact, the medication I had been so good about taking (except for the past six weeks) had been keeping me from having lots and lots of these seizures it turns out. I have been spending my days bouncing between self-pity and kicking myself for not taking my medicine. I am ever thankful that I wasn't seriously injured, and that my daughter didn't see it happen - I think that would have really freaked her out.

My last complaint is that the doctor has advised against driving for three months. Seriously?! Talk about paying for your mistakes!

Okay, I am done with the complaining, self-pity, and disappearing acts. It is now time for me to step back up to the world of the living, healthy, happy, snarky, positive, and crafty. Tomorrow, I will return with something fun.

Thanks for reading my rant/whine - I had to get it out.

February 13, 2010

Miss You

Hello everyone! I haven't got a lot of time right now - I'm busy with listing some new goodies in the shop, and then will be spending the day with Marley. I just wanted you all to know (and perhaps this is too much information), that I've been missing you all, and thinking of so many things I want to share. 

For instance, I finished one of my WIP projects: a custom eye pillow for my pregnant and lovely friend, Jen. I created a custom herbal blend specifically for the needs of expecting women. If you need to feel light as a feather these days, take a look and treat yourself. At $18 USD, it's an uplifting remedy you can afford.

Also, I've been spending a lot of time this week working on my constant WIP: me. I'm constantly trying to better myself, it's been especially pertinent to me since becoming a mother. I want so much for Marley to grow up happy, healthy, and balanced - and without a huge therapist bill. Who knows how much influence any of us really have as parents towards that end - but it is one of my biggest goals in life. 

One of the most useful tools I've found recently, amongst MANY others which I hope to share with you, is the book,"Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline" by Becky A. Bailey

I found this book on super-mom Amanda Soule Blake's blog, Soule Mama. Most modern books about discipline emphasize gentle and loving discipline as a means of teaching, not punishing. This is easy enough to achieve on good days. But when everything is hectic, you're in the midst of crazy PMS, and your toddler just climbed the bookcase for the tenth time today - it can be really really difficult. So I'm sharing this book with you because it is different then most, in that it emphasizes the need for parents to FIRST gain self-control, and learn to view the world from a loving view; and THEN tackle positive discipline. Three days in and it's already working for me - in every area. And that is why I love it - it's helping me become a better person, not just a better parent. 

I hate to evangelize, but I seriously think I'd like to share some of what I've learned over the next few days. And if you're expecting - or struggling in this area - take a gander at this book. It's really good news.

February 9, 2010

Antique Notions

bag of notions - $11 USD
It's no secret that one of my favorite pastimes is antiquing - and thrifting - and estate sales. I was indoctrinated to the world of once-loved belongings by my fabulous Grandma, Josephine. Grandma and I used to spend a lot of time together in my childhood - and there were a lot of amazing weekend afternoons spent at local antique malls, antique expo shows, and garage sales - whether shopping or selling. Even now, I feel like I'm with my Grandma when antiquing; and that feeling of being an explorer who has stumbled upon some ancient treasure still excites me.

As you may well know, antiquing can sometimes be a let down. You scour the cluttered shelves, tabletops, and cubbies for that special something that truly reminds you of something - even if you don't know what. You are overcome with a desire to own that something - again, perhaps. And then you look at the price tag. Sometimes, you get really lucky; but more often than not, the wind is blown out of your sails - and the piece is replaced to it's dusty shelves. You walk away from the antique store forlorn, knowing that little gem will collect dust for years to come.

Okay, so maybe it's not that dramatic or woeful for you. In fact, if it was so depressing, why would we ever go back? But I'm sure you've experienced that feeling on some scale - and had to walk away from said treasure trove empty-handed. But you don't have to leave all of the antiquities behind, to age and wither. Some antiques are truly affordable - and will fulfill that empty little spot inside every shopper. My personal favorite is antique linens and notions. Yesterday, in a belated birthday celebration just for me - I headed off to a town full of antique stores. And, my friends - I definitely scored well in the fabric department! Here are a few of the fabulous fat quarters I found - all for a dollar or less:

Seriously the cutest Eskimos I've ever seen!
Is it art? or is it just fabric? Amazing!
incredibly sweet baby dress - $1 USD!!

February 6, 2010

Blue Screen of Death

Hello friends.

I have to apologize to those of you who signed up for the Valentine's Mix CD - I will send it, but unfortunately, the other day my computer took it's last breath. I can only hope that all of my data can be retrieved - and as soon as order is restored - I will burn and mail you all a belated Valentine.

This is what I wish my computer looked like upon it's tragic and early demise:

Somehow, it seems it would have been more fitting.

And so, I may be offline more than I wish - Jeff and I are sharing one computer now, and it's in his office, which I don't LOVE spending time in...I'm thinking I will use this time wisely and stop procrastinating on the many projects that are WIP or just swimming around my head. Life offline = Life productive. That's the goal anyways! 


February 3, 2010

Personal Style: Colors

So you all know I've been trying on style again lately. It hasn't been an easy task to take on, particularly in the dead of winter. I love love love color, so getting revved up with gray skies and drizzly weather is challenging to say the least. But the other day, the gray in the sky let up a little, and the snow's been melting off by 11am; and simultaneously my style has poked its way back into my life, like a little crocus popping up through the snow. Based on my earlier notes, I've established that I love layers, hiding my waistline, and vintage details. I think today's look embraces these loves, with a healthy dose of vibrance to beat the winter doldrums:

I'm wearing a sliver waxed linen mini dress from my days of Urban Outfitter lust, a purple striped cardigan (I wear this sweater more than I care to admit) from my recent desperate Gap moment, fuschia skinny jeans, vintage red floral scarf, and topaz rhinestone flower brooch found second-hand at Goodwill, my favorite funky socks (gotta love RVCA), and some cheap red buckle flats. I feel so good about this outfit - I feel like I'm somehow contemporary without being trendy - and the best part of all is that I've found new ways to work my wardrobe.

Here's a hilarious outtake from the photo shoot, which Jeff so sweetly helped me with. This was his idea:

February 1, 2010

Don't Forget

                                        Sparklethot's Ribbons Don't Forget Ring
Just a reminder: I'll be mailing out Valentine's Mixtape CDs to any blog readers who want one. Just leave a comment here with your email so I can contact you for your mailing address. 


Filament I

Filament II

Took out the paints yesterday. I am so happy with the results - best part about it - I never worry about what I make when I paint. Everything I paint comes from the play of water, brush, paint, paper, and music.