mama and baby...

i've added my first mama and baby pair to my shop today. although it's a few days before, this is to kick of my month of charity donation. for the entire month of november i will donate 20% of the proceeds from my shop to the march of dimes. i will be making a special series of mama and baby animals, including the turtles above, cats, birds, and so on. i will donate 50% of the proceeds from this series. november is a great month to give thanks for all we have. i'm so grateful for my sweet little sidney, who was born 7 weeks early. she is now a very strong and healthy 3 year old thanks in large part to the wonderful care she received after she was born. the march of dimes works to improve the health of pregnant women, to research prematurity, and to support those grieving from a loss. i hope to raise a little money through my work to help contribute to this. i also hope my mama and baby series will be a way to honor this special bond we have to our little ones.

this is in thanks for my two beautiful children jack henry and sidney, and in remembrance of my little angel, reece.

important cause...

if you have a moment please read this post by katy, where she is helping spread the news about a terrible situation in the congo, effecting humans and gorillas. it's heartbreaking to read about people who are doing such good in the world, having such terrible things happening to them. you can help though... check out katy's post for more info or go to you can read about the current situation there, and make a donation to help. thanks!

im so vintage...

katy has a great post showing off some of some of our mom's goodies in her vintage shop. i love to buy vintage items... although in new york it can get really expensive. my mom, laura, is lucky to live somewhere that has great auctions. she puts a lot of work into attending these auctions, picking over many, many items to find the hidden gems, and making them available to everyone in her shop, imsovintage. this makes it possible for everyone to have access to these lovely items, no matter where you live or your how busy your schedule may be. let's not let all these beautiful and useful pieces end up in the trash! buying vintage is a great way to save these treasures from the past, help reduce waste, and wasteful consumption. i think they make unique holiday gifts as well!

front page...

i made a treasury a few days ago based on my saturday shopping list and it made it to the front page today! it's funny because i checked in on it right before it expired and all my pictures had been moved around, and some swapped out... i could not figure out what had happened? i moved things back, and then when it was put on the front page after it expired i saw that all the pics were moved around and a few things swapped again. so i guess etsy did it in the first place. anyway, congrats to all who made it there!

and the winner is...

the winner* of my first ever giveaway is.... bad day ben designs!! congrats:) bad day ben designs didn't share what they will be doing for halloween (maybe you'll come back and tell us? or maybe it's secret!), but we did get lot's of great stories to read. when i asked you to share i didin't realize how interesting it is to get a little peek into everyone's lives. it was so much fun, i'll have to do it again next month for thanksgiving!

for halloween, we usually have a little family party for my daughter's birthday. then we usually go trick or treating... in nyc you don't really trick or treat at people's houses though, you usually go to business's instead (some people like to sit on their stoops and hand out candy too though). so we walk up and down one of the main avenues and the kids go in all the stores to get candy (which is funny for me having grown up in the suburbs). they also have a little halloween parade in our neighborhood, for the kids to march down the street in their costumes. we usually don't make it very far before the kids are ready to fall asleep! we also have our annual halloween party on the weekend. we get together with friends and family (we have some coming from out of town this year and we'll have a full house!) i wish i could invite all my friends here too... but i promise to share some pictures!! happy halloween everyone!

* i used to pick the winner, by the way.


just a reminder that the giveaway is ending today. i'll pick a winner tomorrow morning, so make sure you post below if you want to enter!! i love reading your stories!

woolen trees and other goodies...

i've started working on the winter series for my shop. it's really nice to do something new. i've been getting antsy because my shop seemed to be doing so well, and then suddenly slowed way down. i start obsessing over why, and keep over checking in for no reason... anybody else do this? ugh. so, i'm trying to take a step back and start creating some new items. these few pieces i have so far are really fun! i'm happy with the way the new toadstool came out. this fabric is so lovely to work with (the white wool) and i need to order a some more. i am using it for a special project i'm working on, and also for a bunch of mini pumpkins i made for a wedding...

i am currently working on a pattern for a deer, as well as some other winter animals. we'll see how they come out. the trees were inspired by stephanie congdon barnes. she used to sell similar trees, but has the pattern available here. i made my own pattern, and mine are hand rather than machine sewn. the great thing about an abstract form like this, is you can really make it your own. stephanie started a flickr group for people to show off all the unique variations on the soft tree form. if you are motivated, you should try it out yourself... not feeling so crafty?... perhaps you'll consider adding some of mine to your seasonal display:)

** by the way, i got the pretty little tea light and candle holder from buzz handmade! they smell so good, and i also got a beautiful beeswax santa candle. i'm in love with beeswax candles!**

saturday shopping list no. 9

warm autumn glow... that is what inspired my list this week. i'm really enjoying reading all your halloween stories for the giveaway! it inspired me to put together a little halloweenish shopping list this week. halloween is extra special around here, because it is the day my daughter sidney was born! when i was growing up, i was actually afraid of halloween and could never make it very far trick-or-treating before getting a tummy ache. it used to drive my sister crazy to have to go home early. now halloween is a lovely holiday we share with family and friends. we throw a party each year, and i really enjoy decorating the house (we go crazy!), seeing all the children in their costumes, and the happy look on everyone's faces. i'm looking forward to it this year too! i hope your halloween is wonderful as well.

1) hey babydoll... little satin dress, by sohomode
2) billie candle holder, made by jeanpelle
3) felted pumpkin handpuppet, from burchanddaughters
4) needle felted pumpkin, from winsomehollow
5) changing seasons, 8x10 glossy print, from paintingprints
6) happy pinwheel quilt, orange and white, by heididevlin
7) gingerneckwarmer, by urbanknit (i bought one of these for my husband... beautiful!)
8) handcrafted pumpkin squash soup taureen and matching bowls, by charmy
9) titan goldencanary art glass paperweight, from bouquet

please visit fancy picnic for more in the shopping sereies... and also katy's list!

giveaway, giveaway, giveaway...

well, i know i don't have that many readers on my blog, but i do think all of you are great! i've decided to have a little giveaway. i'm offering one of my acorn and leaves ornament as a little thank you to my readers. all you have to do is leave a comment with your email. in your comment, if you could tell me what you usually do for halloween, that would be great! that's all, pretty easy right? i'll choose someone randomly next monday. these ornaments are really quite lovely, if i do say so myself. they would make a wonderful little display in your home for fall... they look nice hanging from a pumpkin, or door knob. they make a sweet gift, and would look lovely on a thanksgiving table. you can go check out the listing for them here, and tell me if you have a preference for color of ribbon or acorn (the different options are all shown there), or even if you'd like the edges embroidered. thanks and good luck!!

p.s.- it's open to everyone, no matter where you live:)

some new friends...

some new friends. they have been keeping me busy the last few weeks. i'm happy with them all, and have a few new ones to add. i'm feeling the need to start something new though.

march of dimes...

so for the month of november, i've decided to donate a portion of the profits from my store to the march of dimes. the march of dimes does much to raise awareness and support research to help end death from premature births. after losing my son reece, i was fortunate to discover the cause... a rare autoimmune disorder that causes my blood to clot during pregnancy. without medical assistance, reece couldn't make it past the 26th week of pregnancy. with my second son, jack henry i was able to take blood thinners and use prenatal testing to help me have a healthier pregnancy and happy outcome. with my third child, sidney, unfortunately , my condition caused preeclampsia. as a result of this, sidney was born 7 weeks early. she spent several weeks in the hospital hooked up to machines and just learning how to live outside the womb. after finally coming home, she contracted rsv and had to go back into the hospital. this was a very difficult time but we are so lucky to have had wonderful hospitals and doctors to care for her. she is now a very healthy and strong (nearly!) 3 year old. all my children are such blessings... and after seeing so many parents going through the trauma of having a premature baby, some much less fortunate than us, i want to try to do something to give back. this is only a little step but that is how every great journey must start. i will let you know more details coming soon.

i just want to add, that i think pregnancy is a normal and beautiful part of life. i am a huge advocate for allowing pregnancy and childbirth to be as natural and intervention free as possible. although my intention when i had children was to have as natural a birth as possible, this wasn't an option for me. i was frustrated that everything had to become so medicalized- i longed to find some kind of healthy in between. i came the closest to what i wanted with jack henry's birth.. and i'm grateful that i could experience a more natural, and completely drug free birth. it was a beautiful experience. i am proud of all threee of my birth's, though, and learned from them that i have courage and strength i never knew was there.

i've also had to learn that in life we have to let go of our expectations many times, and work with what we have. i've really had to learn to adapt and do the best i can with what i am given because nothing ever turns out exactly like we expect it to! i'm so thankful for my children and i want to help others experience the joy i have been given.

in remembrance...

today is a very special day... i am remembering my little reece thomas, who was stillborn on this day, seven years ago. i carry you with me through each day, and i'm so grateful for the many ways you have touched my life. you were such a special gift, and i love you always.

this beautiful pendant, above is one made by birth designs on etsy. it can be so difficult to find meaningful ways to remember little ones who share this world so briefly but stay with us forever. one of my most treasured gifts was my son's birth stone given to me by a special friend who also lost her little girl. i know it can be especially hard to reach out to those in pain, but the most important thing you can do for them is to let them know you'll never forget.

much love to all those who have lost a little one, and many blessings to everyone on this day.


front page...

one of my own treasuries made it to the front page saturday! that was a first for me. luckily both katy and mom were in it. many things sold from it too! it was exciting to see it there.

winter woolen bunny...

this little bunny, made from a beautiful plaid cashmere just bounced into the shop today.

brooklyn indie market...

just popping in to remind you i will be at the brooklyn indie market tomorrow from 11-6pm. for those of you who are local i hope you can come by and say hello! it's located on smith and union streets. i will be outside in one of the kiosks, with katy from winsome hollow, and sonia, from willowpixie. i'll be drinking lot's of coffee and hoping it's not to cold... brrr.

i also wanted to share a recent story from the new york times, my mother-in-law passed on to me. it's an interesting article about unschooling... which i am a strong proponent of. my son jack henry goes to a democratic free school, which adheres to the same philosophy, allowing children the freedom to choose their own paths for learning. if we didn't send him there, we would most likely unschool him instead. it was a little dismaying to read many of the comments after the article though. many people are so fearful of change and difference. kyle and i discussed it for a long time yesterday, and it was a good reminder to be thankful for the choice we have to send him to the brooklyn free school, where they work so hard to make a space where children can thrive and difference is embraced.

i'd like to share this message they recently sent to parents from the school:

"Here are some of the things that the BFS staff feel are important aspects of the school:

* Children are people and deserve to be treated with respect
* Students are not forced to participate in any activity beyond the basic requirements of the school.
* The basic requirements of the school are that students attend the weekly democratic meeting, go to other mandatory meetings, finish daily community responsibilities (clean up).
* Staff, students, interns and volunteers all have a vote on deciding school policy
* Students are encouraged and helped to pursue their interests
* Students are responsible for cleaning up after themselves
* Students are given clear boundaries- based off of rules created by the democratic meeting, permissions their parents have granted, common sense and a constant precedence for health and safety
* Rewards and Punishments are not used to influence behavior
* Explanations are always given for choices made
* Children are respected as individuals
* Students are helped talk through disagreements and conflicts with staff, siblings and friends
* Choices (good and bad) have consequences and the best consequences are natural
* Staff and students share their passions and interests with each other (and recognize that others might not be as excited as they are!)
* Staff try to make learning relevant in order to take down barriers between life and learning
* Staff and students read to each other and talk about books, magazines, articles they love and find interesting
* Staff acknowledges and respects that everyone's academic experience and goals are different
* We let children know that we love them
* We emphasize and work on sharing"

hope to see you tomorrow!


no shopping list this week...

water landscape, photograph, metallic paper, 8x8- valcox

sorry not to participate this week. i'm drowning in work, and my husband has taken the kids off on an adventure so i've got to get down to it. happy weekend all!

favorite artists...

i thought i would start a new series of posts sharing some of my favorite artists, or new (at least to me) finds. i am amazed by those who are able to create beautiful embroidery work, especially by hand. my friend sonia creates such work, and her ability and patience is inspiring. i was looking through stitch spectacular today, which is a blog that "recognizes the exploration of new frontiers in creative hand embroidery". dorie millerson is just one of the amazing artists whose work i discovered there. she is an artist and educator living in toronto, and i find her textile pieces absolutely stunning. millerson writes that her "work is concerned with the themes of attachment and memory", and that "(s)he has been experimenting with an embroidery process called needlepoint lace... that it allows her to literally draw with thread." i would love to see her work in person.


i was lucky enough to be featured on the cookie magazine nesting blog. that one is sold... as are all my pumpkins, actually. i am working on a large order of them for a wedding, plus i want to make a few for my craft fair on the 18th.

exciting day...

look what came in the mail today from noelle at xenotees! so nicely made and great colors... my kids were really excited:) they made me read all the collective names of animals listed... there are over 100!


i wanted to let everyone know that my sister katy (winsome hollow) is participating in a very large giveaway going on over at unconditional love. there are many packages to choose from, but if you want a chance to win one of katy's beautiful trees (see it in the middle there?), you can leave a comment here, saying it's your favorite. unconditional love is the blog of jessica jane, who has two great shops on etsy, the lovely jessica jane and also one of my personal favorites, petite house.

blue bird of happiness...

i'm so busy trying to finish up some special orders, making things for craft shows, getting ready for halloween, while thinking about what to make for winter... but needed to take a little break to make something different. i was inspired by this beautiful blue cashmere to make another bird. i thought it might add a little cheeriness to darkening autumn days. it's working for me so far! it's a really soft fabric to the touch and so lovely to look at. i added a pretty vintage floral that i splurged on at the brooklyn general store recently (and will be included in a new line of wool and vintage fabric animals). i'm not sure the pictures capture the bird well... still something i am exploring. oh well, off to do more work now. tweet tweet... hope you enjoy!

saturday shopping list no. 8

one of my favorite things to indulge in is ceramics and pottery. sadly, with two little children, my collection is looking, well... a little cracked these days. maybe it's time to start replacing some old chipped favorites with some new lovely finds...

1) green stripe soup bowl, made by campanaceramics
2) small semi matte cream 3-way server, flow series, by juditavill
3) camper vessel, made by paigerussell
4) set of three bud vases, from bigggirlco
5) vintage white ceramic bird, at dandeliongirl
6) tiny stoneware bottles, made by sarapaloma
7) bubble robot- bud vase, made by 5pmstudio
8) vintage japanese coasters, at berdandbe
9) little friends in bottle green, by the runnybunny

check out fancypicnic for more! also go visit my sister, katy, at winsome hollow... she's participating this week too.

brooklyn children's museum...

since jack henry was born, one of the best things i have discovered i like to do is visit children's museums. when i was young, there was a small one in the town my grandmother lived in, and when i visited we would sometimes go. i was a little old for them at that point... it felt more for my younger sister and cousins. now as an adult, i think i'm just the right age to enjoy them! it really brings out the playful kid in me... especially if it's a good one. last summer, i was able to take my own children to that same children's museum near my grandmother in lexington, which has been remodeled and is even better. my two favorites are probably still the boston children's museum (amazing!) and the children's museum of denver, as well.

the brooklyn children's museum was one of the originals... but until very recently reflected that! it was getting a little dusty and out-dated, although their collection of memorabilia was very sweet. well they have kept that originial nostalgic feeling and incorporated it nicely into a beautiful and modern new space. after a very long renovation (boy was i impatient) it finally reopened this month. we took the children on tuesday when jack henry had the day off school. it was a great experience, and we all can't wait to go back and explore some more!