Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It's been a huge curve of learning and exploration around here lately.

I attribute it to letting go of the "fear" of what people think.

You know, that thing that holds you back for absolutely no logical reason whatsoever? That one.

My mission in life- every damn day- is to live it as if it's my last. This change in attitude helps me from the most mundane (like bitching about that mountain of laundry I need to deliver to everyone's drawers) to the way a driver may act all crazy on the road. I used to cuss a blue streak and get all worked up. What a shame. What a waste of energy. I don't have time for that nonsense. 

You don't either. 

Translate that to the sewing world: just because you're new to this art form doesn't mean you're not a badass. In a self-empowerment kind of way. Who cares if it isn't perfect? It's done. It's made. Somebody is bound to appreciate the work and time involved. And beyond that, you SHOWED UP.

Ya know?

It's funny, because just this past weekend I did part of a triathlon, on a whim, without prep. I had intended to give support and some friendly company to a friend of mine completing her first Tri ever. I didn't realize the lesson I would end up teaching myself in the process.

No, it wasn't the lesson you think-- aka "you need to run more Natalie"...I mean, yes, I learned that as well. (LOL) But what I'm talking about here goes further than that.

 It's called taking action. Doing it. Showing up when it would be easier not to. 
 Doing what you say you can/will/should/would.

How many things do you "say" you'll get to? 

When the time is right.     ---Right?
Or when you can afford those special shoes / machine / camera, etc.... right?
When you "research it" a little more.

Friends, if there is one thing I've heard from my years being a trauma nurse, it's this:  you will never have enough time.

Now get happy, not sad about this fact. Make it a reason you sign up for those French lessons, or take that piano lesson, or enroll in college to get your degree. Whatever-pick your poison. You don't need anybody but YOU to begin something fresh and new. 

My scrappy bin has been on the floor for a week now. I've made a sizable dent in it! 

Scrappy charm quilt thing, I think...

I had absolutely no idea what I was doing here. Just so you know.

Do life "improv" style.

Mix it up.

Throw away the directions.

Follow your intuition.

Enjoy the process.

That was my formula when I made this quilt design--everybody around me was like "a skull? ? ?Really?" 

(In my head:)  Yes, bitches. Really.

Now it's in a magazine (go buy it please LOL Love Patchwork and Quilting) Issue 26).  haahaha

It's so freeing to let go of society's instruction manual on whatever subject: beauty, fashion, a "good" piece of art, decorating your house, ... ... ... Who really gives a f*$%? I admit, it's taken me 37  1/2 years to finally figure out- I don't. Give. A F*%$.

I gave my 5 year old my Fuji Instax and a pack of film the other day. You should have seen the happiness glow around her for the rest of the night. It made me think-- when do I feel like that? That joy that gives so much energy you can't go to sleep. . . . .
When do YOU feel like that?
What's floating around in the back of that brain yearning to be set free?

My kids wanted a mural in their bedroom. So I said "okay but you have to make it".

Let go of your preconceived notions of "how". 
Train your brain like a child--revel in those small, glorious moments of appreciating what is.

Because in the end, that's all we've ever got.

 Positive energy to you all, friends. See you soon.

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Over- planning kills magic.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

This quilt was the first thing I ever started to piece. The tiny 2 inch squares were cut from whatever scraps I had in my bucket, waiting for me to sew them together. I started that journey three years ago. 

I was almost too embarrassed to actually put it together this summer, because lots of the squares are mis-measured, sewed on wonky, or altogether just "not working". But I took a deep breath and had a Zen moment. They say Buddhist monks aspire to be a beginner, because that is when the mind is most open. So here's to being open. Here's to non-perfection. Here's to the idea that imperfection is beautiful in a world where everything is photo shopped and air brushed. 

This quilt is my personal lesson that practice does improve skill, if you are patient enough to enjoy the journey.

What do you want to do, but haven't begun because of the fear of being a beginner?

We all have moments like this:

On another beginning note, I've teamed up with D & F Studio again to bring a sewing workshop to local kids!
We launch first weekend in November in Freeport, IL. If you're local and interested (or even if you're a BIG kid), sign up now. Check it HERE on FB for more info.

Behind the scenes at Sweat Shop sewing school.

I just want to share the JOY you guys! Sewing makes me so HAPPY!!!!

Or maybe it's the "creating" that does it.  We were meant to be creative humans. Period.

image via

Want more? Read this amazing article.

It's worth the 5 minutes. Seriously.

Love & Peace to you. See you soon!

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

If you don't already subscribe to Seamwork Magazine you really should. If you want to learn to sew your own wardrobe that is. Every month I download the patterns (for free) that I want to sew. I mean, I "want" to sew everything but you know how it is, that "time" thing. 

This month I squealed when I saw the AKITA top- a one piece pattern to sew up in an hour. What could be more perfect?!  I had the perfect peachy voile on hand too, great for these 90 degree days we're feeling up here in Wisconsin. (Gross.)

I think my sweat marks are on display but I don't care. Deal wit' it. 
We are tree huggers here and have no AC.     ;)
(That's what I tell people anyway.)

That moment you think you're cute and then you see what you really look like in ripped jeans. OMG

On a spur of the moment decision I used the last inches of my gold lame binding I had left over from making pillow cases. Sometimes more is more. I love gold! It's never too much. But then, I am a child of the 80's, so if you think this is a tad "Dynasty" just go with it. 

I can't get enough of the gold lame. Ever. 

I'd rock up to the grocery store in this any day.

Back to business. I'm so easily side tracked by gold. 

Sewing the Akita up was super easy. SUPER easy.

I printed, cut the pattern out, taped it together, and then made my top all in 72 minutes. 

Annnndddd I checked Colette headquarters to review the bias tape tutorial, just as a precaution.

I may not look like the Eqyptian Goddess (my daughter's words) pictured on the blog and pattern, (isn't she so gorgeous?!!!)--but I feel smokin' hot in my new top. I think I'll wear it tonight ---

(to the gas station, to get milk).. LOLOLOL. Sssshhhhh

images from Seamwork magazine

 I can't wait to make these trousers! (Also in the same issue.)

So if you want to learn how to sew, even if you're a straight up beginner--get this magazine in your mitts now. I subscribe to the emails too- they are great for useful little tips to help a sewer along.

(And no, I wasn't paid to share this so don't go there ..)

I'm off to sew up some more presents! I'm gettin' a head start on Christmas this year.
If I don't keep everything.

Get sewing! :D

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