that one time I found my 16th-century doppelgänger at a thrift store
I took a break this week. It was decided last week. I finished up my Etsy shop orders and stuck it in vacation mode and I'm trying to get life in order -- maybe not fully in order -- but you, know, like, decently in order.
To be honest I feel a little lost. I think it's that summertime sadness that Lana Del Ray croons about-- it's the end of summer, and fall is officially almost here, and I'm just not ready. Does anyone else feel that?
So I'm cheering myself up with a few of these awesome links.
- this business series from Ashley at The Shine Project, especially this post
- speaking of biz, a totally affordable small-biz class from Krystina (registration starts next Monday!) honestly, I've taken a few small biz/etsy-type courses in my day, and I always find them to be quite the kick-in-the-pants I need.
Where is the place where you feel like you don’t have to do
anything – where time seems to stand still, where calories don’t count and
napping midday is accepted and even encouraged.
Where is the place where you play cards for hours and it
doesn’t matter who wins (although competitive streaks will appear), where
everything is funny and inside jokes are formed and held.
Where is the place where it’s always sunny and even if it
rains, it feels bright, where feet are dirty, manicures are chipped and you
don’t mind the bug bites that dot your ankles.
Where is the place where you’re outside and you’ll do it
all, try it all – where it feels good to be exhausted from doing everything yet
I think my place has changed over the years. Most recently
it’s at a small house my parents bought and are fixing up on Whidbey Island.
It's just about an hour north from Seattle – the trip includes a ferry ride – but feels worlds away.
My lunch bag has been in dire need of replacement. There's only so long before the endless crumbs, oozes from leaky tupperware and overripe fruit can render a lunch bag useless.
I've been meaning to make a replacement and I finally got around to it after hitting up my favorite Seattle fabric shop for some adorable fabric for the project. I came up with a pretty no-frills design, and guaranteed you can whip this sucker out pretty quickly.
Note: I used laminated cotton, only because I preferred the print... but oil cloth works well, too. It will just be a little thicker. Also, I bought half a yard and maybe you could squeak by perhaps with a third of a yard, but I always err on the side of fabric caution.
Let's get started!
1) Fold the fabric in half and cut out one rectangle measuring 11 inches wide and 12 inches tall. Cut the top opening of the lunch bag on both sides with pinking shears. (This not only looks nice, but it keeps it from fraying. Oil cloth won't fray, but laminated cotton can.)
2) Place the rectangles right side to right side, as seen in the photo above, and stitch with a half-inch seam allowance down the right side, along the bottom and back up the left side, making sure to back-stitch when you start and stop sewing.
3) To add extra depth to the bag, add box corners. Keeping the bag inside out, match the bottom seams to each other on the bottom corner seam, creating a triangle and measure one inch from the top of the triangle. Mark a line. You will stitch along this line.
Do this for both bottom corner seams.
Turn the bag inside out and you'll have nice matching box seams, as seen in the photo above.
4) Cut two 1/2 inch wide, 30 inch-long straps (you could do 1 or even 1 1/2 inch strap if desired.)
Fold the strap in half, and stitch along the open side. Use binder clips or paper clips to keep the strap folded in place as pins don't work well on oil cloth! (This is a pretty no frills way to create straps -- if you want ones that look more "finished," follow this tutorial.)
5) Place the straps about two inches in from the seam, and about an inch and a half down. Stitch onto the bag.
I stitch a square with an "x" through the middle -- down one side, across the bottom, up the other side and across the top and then two diagonal lines through -- for added stability.
This is a really simple tutorial and you could do more with it, by adding a liner or pockets. But as is, it's a cheery option that will carry any lunch in style.
Now what to put in your cute new lunch bag? How about some printable lunch notes? My friend Tori from the Piccoli blog and shop, created an adorable download for you. Go check it out!
I probably win the most awkward kid award. You know you can picture it: Red hair, gangly with knobby knees and pointy elbows, with a tendency to stay up too late reading. You can imagine that when I hit junior high, I desperately no longer wanted to be like myself. And it's taken years for me to finally get back to a place where I am learning to accept and love who I am.
Confession: I read it. And I like it and I think you guys would like it, too. You can snag it on her website and also, in honor of her book being released (yay!) she has an awesome giveaway up on her site, with goodies like an Amazon giftcard, in case after you learn to be more like you, you want to celebrate. :)
Recently I've been watching a lot of HGTV. My mom is an interior designer and she's always telling me about shows I should watch so I finally gave in.
The other reason I'm watching HGTV? The thought that it would give me some solace as the basement remodel stretches into its sixth month.
Yes. Six months. For a basement.
Part of it is that our house is old and all of the electrical and the plumbing needed to be replaced. Then there was a sewer issue. And a dryer vent issue. And another plumbing issue. And some financial stuff issues.
HGTV doesn't show these issues. In a half hour a room is transformed -- in an hour, a whole house. Little snippets. And I get why they don't show the discussions about where we should budget and the minatue of a sewer line replacement -- it's no fun to watch. Before and afters with light-hearted banter, now that's fun.
Yes, the obvious: real life is not HGTV. But now into month six, I realize that while yes -- it would be nice to have our space done -- some things just aren't instant, and that's just part of the richness of life. We just see small moments of life on TV, or even social media, but the back story is always more complicated... like a 6-month-plus renovation.
But I will have to say, we did some major work on our basement this weekend and even moved some furniture in. The 6 months will be capping soon.
happy friday friends. My week has flown by. I'm starting to plan for the holiday line for rouge + whimsy (I know, nuts right?) as well as doing all I can do soak up summer. Plus, I'm loving the possibility of finally finishing our basement this weekend and next week! (Six month remodel-- so not loving it. You can read about some of that here.)
Sometimes a vacation is not in the budget. Sometimes you can't take an entire week off... so sometimes the best vacation ends up just being a staycation.
A few weeks back the husband and I made a point to have a staycation day. Rather than default to our normal days -- me trying to get *all* the things done -- we put our phones away and took some quality time -- just us.
That day, laundry was forgotten. Dishes were left in the sink and we did nothing. We slept in, went for a leisurely run, watched TV (in the middle of the day!) and walked to the beach where I read and watched the sailboats while he dozed on the sunbaked sand.
To be honest, I have a hard time with nothing. I like to hustle. I feel guilty when I'm not checking off a to-do list but let me tell you, ignoring the phone, ignoring the have-tos and should-dos, was glorious. I think exactly what we are called to do sometimes.
All of us have things in our life we need to do-- we have responsibilities and checklists, but sometimes it's so important to throw those to the wayside, leave the phone on the nightstand and check out from the real world for awhile.
I've been wanting to add stripes to the shop for awhile now, but it was a matter of finding the right stripe-- not too thick, not too thin. I usually have ideas in my head of what I want my fabric to be, and sometimes it takes me awhile to find exactly what I'm looking for.
The striped tote bag and crossbody had their first debut at the LA Renegade Craft Fair and sold out so I'm excited to share them with all of you on etsy. Use "launch" for 10% off your order -- today and Friday.
my husband always, sometimes on purpose, makes me laugh
Me: You bought a lot a fish for just tacos!
Husband: I told the fish guy we had four people coming to dinner.
Me: It's just us tonight...
(Husband goes to Pinterest.com.)
Me: You have Pinterest?
Husband: I don't know. (Tries to log in.) Nope.
Me: What were you going to pin?
Husband: I dunno. Can I pin sports stuff?
(Me pouring one salsa container into another, almost spilling it all.)
Husband: You've made a lot of decisions in your life. I don't know that this one was the best one. Here's a napkin for when you spill.
(Husband holds up three sports shirts.)
Husband: Which one is your favorite?
Me: They're all sports shirts.
Husband: They're all different.
Me: What about wearing a solid color t-shirt?
Husband: Then it would be just like wearing fabric. Like, look at my fabric with sleeves.
Husband: Something smells like skunk.
Me: I don't smell it.
(Husband pulls me in for a hug.)
Me: Wait. Are you hugging me just so you can smell me?
Husband: When is the last time you washed your hair?
Husband: OK, I don't think the skunk smell is you.
Husband: Do you know what I was doing for so long?
Husband: I was researching.
Me: Researching what? Husband: When was the first Mariners' game I went to. It was May 9, 1992. They played the Tigers. It was Bat Night. But they lost, 13 to nothing... which is pretty normal.
Admittedly I can be a little behind the trends. Some times I see a trend and I wonder if it's "wait and see if it's it's a real" trend. Other times, I'm just behind.
Case in point. When I started seventh grade, everyone came to school wearing fleece vests -- specifically Old Navy performance fleece vests. (Anyone remember those?) I did not have one, but was able to get one for Christmas... but by that time, no one else was wearing them. And my vest went into the closet.
So a few weeks ago pineapples started popping up everywhere. Not to eat, but on shirts and on desktop backgrounds and table linens.
I'm just now wearing the pineapple trend but I've decided it's no longer seventh grade, so even if we're into mangoes or peaches, I'm still going to rock the pineapple -- especially on this super cute tank. :)
You look gorgeous, you know that? You really do. It's the one time in your life you're wearing false eyelashes and they work. They'll make your eyes pop in your photos.
And your wedding is perfect. Everything looks great. Please don't worry about what others think about your wedding or whether you should have added more personal touches. No one is here to see the decorations. They're here to see you.
You've been waiting for this day for ever. Or so it feels like forever. And the day has finally come -- it's the peak of dating, the big finale, the best day ever!
Actually, stop there. Today, is not the finale. Today is not the peak. It's the beginning. It's one blip on the radar of your life. Sure, it's a special day, a day where you feel good about wearing this much makeup and a really expensive dress, but it is just one piece of your life, and maybe not even the most important piece.
Tomorrow is more important and every day after that. The day you have the worst day at work, and your car breaks down and you get in a fight but you choose to lean in and still love him, and still trust in your relationship -- that is a more important day. Today, on your wedding day, love is easy. Three years from now when you're figuring out a budget together, love is not as glamorous.
This isn't to say that marriage won't be fun or wonderful or that there won't be moments of love. There will be those moments. I know you think you know that guy you're marrying, but you don't. You've just scratched the surface of who he is; you only know a little bit of his hopes and dreams and the very fabric of what makes him the man you love. Each day you have the opportunity to know him more, to support him more, to learn how to love him more.
I know you think you know everything right now. But you're really young. My goodness you're young. I'm not sure how your parents said yes to you getting married... especially because five years from now you're going to be suspicious of anyone knowing what they're doing getting married right out of college. In the next few years you're going to learn a lot about life, and a lot more about love. Good thing you're marrying someone who will help you learn those things
This is a lot to take in right now. It's overwhelming but I just wanted to encourage you today, on your wedding. Five years from now, you're going to look back at your wedding and think back to that day-- a beautiful, momental day, but just one day that begins a much bigger and better journey. Get excited.
Happy five years Evan. Life is pretty great with you.
Some days are really ordinary. Let's just say that. And some days I want fireworks, a big event with laughter and late nights. But instead, it's laundry and traffic and responsibilities ... the same old routine.
I think, whenever possible, it's good to inject special into the everyday. Like eating cake for breakfast or wearing glittery nail polish, or maybe wearing something out of your comfort zone. For me, the injection is a kimono with fringe. This is not my normal uniform. It is loud and bright and makes a statement. And on an ordinary weekday, it's just what the doctor ordered. (Because there should be doctors who prescribe cute clothing... )
There are things that you learn about yourself. One thing I have learned about myself, and perhaps it has finally suck in (can you hear my husband saying finally!?), is that I am (too) quick to say yes.
I say yes without thinking, without hesitation, without consideration. While this makes me agreeable, it can also make me flaky because there are times when I have to replace my yes with a no.
Last week I said yes to teaching kids' camp at my church. And as the week rolled into view, I wondered why I said yes -- it was a good thing to say yes to because I love my church and the work they do -- but I was also prepping for another yes I had already said -- a yes to Renegade Craft Fair the following week.
So my yes was hard. I worked all day, then went to kids' camp held in the evenings, and then came home to sew. And a lot of me regretted my yes.
There's this guilt we have in saying no. And by saying we, I mean me. I feel guilt. So I say yes to dinner, when really I'm tired, or I say yes to an event, when part of me knows I don't have the time to commit fully. Honestly, sometimes it's good to to force yourself to say yes -- we don't live life binge-watching Netflix -- but then there are crucial times when the yes should really be a no.
Here is the thing: when you have your yes be yes-- when you can fully commit with all of you, it is far better than a lackluster yes, a yes where you regret being there, a yes you have to pull back later. Nine times out of ten, I want my yes to be a full commitment.
In the end, I am grateful for my time at kids' camp. I did enjoy each moment, and let's be honest, kindergarten girls are pretty cute. However, it was also slap-in-the-face wake-up call. I need to consider what I say yes to. There are good and beautiful and wonderful opportunities and it is so good to take part in them, but before I step in, I need to consider my answer -- and whether I can make it a full yes.
Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Matthew 5:37
What do you need to say yes to? What's better to say no to?
You know those things that you mean to do? Those things that linger on the to-do list for ages? And each day, you're like, someday. Some day this will be a priority.
Yes, me too.
In fact I have quite the to-do list -- mentally, typed into my phone and scrawled on notepads. Some are important, some not-so-much. Some things have been on there for years. And I'm happy to say I finally checked one item off.
The back story: Our little house has actually quite a big backyard, (big for city limits, that is), and holding center court is an enormous willow tree. The tree guy said it's one the biggest he's ever seen in Seattle. When we bought our house I told the husband that the tree would some day be perfect for a swing.
I kept saying it. We talked about buying one. And then our neighbor made one out of part of fallen tree in his own backyard. The seat is rustic and perfect and of course, it sat on our deck for a few weeks before we finally got around to hanging it this past weekend.
One (fun) item checked off the to-do list. I feel accomplished.
p.s. can we talk about maxi skirts for just one quick second? I left my token maxi skirt in Uganda for Asher, and have been looking for a new staple for awhile. This one has a bit of a swing-y action at the bottom, which makes it quite fun.