Monday, June 29, 2009

Embroidery

I'm no pro at hand embroidery, but a customer asked me to embroider her daughter's name on the quilt I'm making for her. Of course, it is a darling name that I've never heard before and LOVE... I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I think I used "back stitch" - but I could be wrong. The last time I studied embroidery was in the 5'th grade when I was earning my sewing patch for Girl Scouts. More pictures when the quilt is finished!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

New Name

As you can see, I've changed the name of my blog. This just sounded better - Junie None Designs is the name of my shop, and this here blog is about much more than the shop. More adventures to come...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Harvest!!!

Yesterday thinning out the carrot patch turned into a very exciting harvest and healthy snack time. Moses was increasingly thrilled with each little uprooting. So was his mommy. This harvest is so much more than a bunch of free carrots - it is victory over the outside world.

We've lived here for 9 years (!) and every single year I have planted a garden. Every single year my garden has been thwarted by nature. One would think that a farm would be the perfect place to grow things, but it seems that the "outside world" is just too uncontrolled up here. Bunnies hop through, birds dig up seeds before they even sprout, gophers literally pull entire plants below ground, random freezing weather kills early shoots, stupid dogs poop on things...

Before this year, my most successful garden was last year's "anger garden." Seven years of frustrated efforts had made me absolutely determined to grow my own produce. I had Brett reinforce the beds with gopher wire under the compost and sprouted all my seeds indoors until they were way too big to fit in their tiny containers. Then I transplanted them. And they got eaten. Overnight. All of them. I immediately planted more seeds in my sprouting pots - I had sort of expected a failed first attempt, but this time I was going to beat nature. When the second batch was ready, I transplanted my precious seedlings, placed a "beer trap" for the snails (didn't work, so I won't go into details), and allowed my dad to spread some sort of granular poison around the outside of the plant beds to deter other pests (who cared if the produce itself became toxic - I just wanted it to grow). The next morning the plants were all gone. I briefly considered placing some sort of hidden video camera in a nearby bush to figure out what was going wrong. Was someone playing a practical joke on me? Was there a rabbit hiding in the underbrush laughing at me?

Beginning to lose hope (and experiencing a sense of urgency as the first waves of pregnancy nausea began to wash over me), I planted almost all of my remaining seeds in the sprouting pots, waited, watered, fumed, transplanted, and, you guessed it. They were gone within 24 hours. In a rage I stood over my stupid empty garden beds and hurled the crumpled up OSH bag containing the remaining seeds into the dirt. After uttering a few choice phrases, I stormed into the house, lay down on the couch, and stayed there for 3 months choking down saltines as I (and the rest of my family) survived the dreaded first trimester.

When the fog of sickness began to clear, I dragged my pasty body outdoors and discovered, with some confusion, that those few seeds I had dashed to the ground in despair had sprouted. One measley tomato plant was straggling out of the earth next to a solitary onion. Around the outside of one of the beds was a bunch of cilantro and two lettuce plants. One the other side of the fence a stoic corn stalk was sprouting out of the sand box. It seemed that my fourth "attempt" at planting a garden had worked - all the seeds needed were a good dose of rage and a healthy serving of neglect. I deemed it my anger garden and I loved it - our tomatoes weren't ripe until November and there was only enough remaining produce for one salad, but the victory was sweet.

So imagine my glee this year when I go outside every day and am surrounded by successfully growing vegetables. We put wire over and under every single seed and sprout. I planted 4 times more seeds than I even expected to grow. I replanted seeds as fast as the animals dragged them off, and it seems that this year they finally gave up. I finally beat the outside world, and I plan on eating salad every day to celebrate. Yes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The need to make

Last night I had the need to make something. Something different, something NOT for the shop, something I could just sit and make without wondering if it will sell, what I should charge for it, how I should ship it... Something that could just be made without regard to how (or if) it will be used. So I pulled out my scrap drawer and started cutting. Of course I made something small - I love making small things. I don't know why.
After piecing it together I decided it needed a word on it, and since I picture this on Moses' little rocking chair where he sits to read books, this is what I came up with:

It isn't perfect, which would usually prompt me to (environmentalists don't read this part!) throw it away, but this time I like it anyways. The process of creating was worth the end result - a slightly lumpy, strange sized, bossy pillow. It was fun! And Moses was delighted this morning when he saw it and learned it is "for only us."
I have a ton of ideas swirling around in my head for new products for the shop (would you buy a small bossy pillow?) but not enough time to sit and plow through perfecting a prototype for any of them. Sleep is still too valuable for me to stay up all night ripping out stitches! Hopefully as life continues to settle into a routine I'll get to that. But for now, fabric just arrived for a custom blanket, and another batch of bibs is in the works. And I have a 3 year old to read to! :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Half Birthday

Last year we decided that since Moses' birthday is just one week before Christmas, we would celebrate his half birthday with a very small family party and perhaps one gift every year. It's really no fun to get ALL of your yearly presents in a one week period - by June a guy can be itching for some new toys. :)

So of course, I was totally unprepared for his half birthday this year. I realized the date around 3 pm and was lucky to have a chocolate cake mix in the cupboard. I threw together a half cake - put some batter in one cake round, cut the finished result in half, slapped some strawberry jam in the middle, and voila:
(I'm afraid this picture is not very appealing - it was taken in the mad rush to get the cake finished and dinner on the table while holding a fussy baby.) Then of course there were three and a half candles to blow out (just pushed one really far down into the cake...), and we had a party. It wasn't much, but Moses got a kick out of it. That should get us through to December. :)

PS - I can't believe I didn't do a Father's Day post! Shame on me - it was wonderful, Brett is wonderful... I hope yours was wonderful too.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Because I have better things to do than fold laundry

Well, the sun is setting on another Friday, and my house is a mess. Why, you ask? As you can see, something important came up.
Luckily, no valuable silliness time was wasted pursuing other less important activities such as folding laundry or running the vacuum cleaner. Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stack O' Minis

A recent custom order for a boy - themed mini security blanket has led to a nice stack of boy themed minis waiting to be photographed for the shop. I originally made just one, but my husband told me that turquoise with big red polka dots was not manly enough, so I promptly made one with boats and am finishing another with cowboys.

I still like the red polka dots one best. But maybe that's because I'm a girl. :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Productivity - it feels good.

I've been having a burst of actually-getting-stuff-done as far as the shop goes. Here are a few blankets I've just finished up - they've been in the "in progress" drawer for a while...

I love turning a pile of fabric into something useful and beautiful! It feels so good and is totally therapeutic for me. I hope you are all having a productive week as well!

Monday, June 8, 2009

NOOOOOOO!!!!!

I've been looking forward to sewing all day. Both boys are in bed, hubby has a ton of paperwork to do, So You Think You Can Dance isn't on... the perfect scenario for me to get in a few hours of guilt-free sewing. But then this happened. And it's my last one. So sad.

Summer Plans

Yes, I have lots of summer plans. Plans of things to make for the shop, improvements to make to the house, organization plans... I'm really good at planning. :) Maybe not so great at actually executing. BUT this summer I definitely plan to make jam. Lots of it. It looks like we're going to have a huge apricot crop, and since I'm the only one around here who likes apricots (besides the birds), I'm going to make myself a lifetime supply of apricot jam. Keep growing little guys!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Congratulations Michael!

Last weekend my youngest brother graduated from high school. How weird! I was nine when he was born and totally remember giving him bottles, putting him to bed with silly songs I would make up ... He was the person I practiced on before having my own kids, and now he's a man. Sheesh.
It was a fun day and we are all super proud of him. His graduation was the unofficial kick-off of a very socially busy summer for us - lots of weddings, bridal showers, and birthday parties to go to. I'm definitely looking forward to lots of fun times with great people.

***Note to self: It is not advisable to wear a strapless dress to ANY event during which you will be holding a wiggly baby. Enough said.