Being Mama · books · five things · Jewelry

Five Things

Happy Friday! Happy June! I can’t BELIEVE it’s already June!

We had some fun plans for Memorial Day Weekend, but then BB got a stomach bug and was quarantined for 4 days while Husband and I wore masks and gloves and washed our hands 8000 times and let the kids watch a ridiculous amount of movies in their own rooms so there would be no cross-contamination. #thanksnorovirus

And now next week is the last week of school, so we’re in the thick of end-of-the-year events. Yesterday was “Donuts with Dads” at BG’s preschool (a sweet tradition that involves donuts, of course, and sweet cards and building projects), and last night was an awesome musical put on by BB’s class at school. He completely surprised us all by volunteering at the last minute to take over a part for a child who couldn’t be there. He was the most adorable little frog who turned into a prince, and I couldn’t have been prouder of him.

I have to say, I’m feeling ready for summer break. Not ready as in I have great plans and camps and activities mapped out, but ready for slower-paced days and hanging around and reading and going to the pool and just generally relaxing. (More of my thoughts on summer here.)

As we start the final countdown, here are five things on my mind this week:

1. Not a Perfect Mom, but an Enough Mom. A great read, especially as we often head into summer with BIG expectations of how “lovely” summer should be.

2. This book. I read it in two days – possibly a record for me since having kids. Husband read it in about 5 hours. Science Fiction is something I never read, but the story in this one was so engaging and tender and CRAZY (I’m not going to pretend I even understood everything), I couldn’t put it down. I still can’t stop thinking about it.

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3. This quote. YES!

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bon bon vintage earrings4. These earrings. I feel like I “select[ed] well among old things” when I made these! I fell in love with these old vintage beads – their big round shape, their faceted surface, their disco ball feel. I’m on the hunt for more like this – I want to make these earrings in every color! (I’m adding new pieces to my Etsy shop often – check out other finds here.)

5. Made me laugh. BB and BG loved it, too! There’s nothing better than looking at cute and hilarious animals. I’m bookmarking this to revisit on tough days. Enjoy!

What are you up to this weekend? I’m looking forward to a germ-free weekend where we can do some of the things we planned to do last weekend. We have very little on the calendar, and I couldn’t be happier. Hope your weekend is full of good books, inspiration, and great laughs. Thanks for reading!

creative habit · etsy shop · Jewelry

Doing the Work

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. Not a sad funk or a discouraged funk or it’s-rained-for-three-weeks-and-I-just-need-some-sunshine funk. I’ve been in a busy funk. Which might be a weird thing to say, because when you’re busy, you’re usually moving and active and getting things done and in sort of the opposite of a funk.

I haven’t felt inspired. Inspired to make things or start projects or even write in my journal. I haven’t felt like I had anything to tell. And I haven’t really had space to tell it if I did. It’s been days and days of drop offs and pick ups and baseball and karate and Target and grocery shopping and taking this here and picking that up there. Most days are go-go-go until I crash at the end of the day.

But then I read a couple of things that made a difference.

The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst came on the hold shelf for me at the library. The subtitle is “Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands” – sound familiar? I am not even halfway through it, but I’m loving this book and making so many notes in my journal from what I’m reading. Here’s one:

“The decisions we make dictate the schedules we keep. The schedules we keep determine the lives we live. The lives we live determine how we spend our souls.”

If I just keep going with the errands and the to-dos and the trying to get ahead, I will never find time to do what I love and what my soul needs – making things, writing, and connecting with my people.

Then, as I was reading Shauna Niequist’s Savor devotional on April 25:

“Get up. Create like you’re training for a marathon, methodically, day by day.”

And this:

“Discipline is not antithetical to creativity; it’s vital to it.”

Discipline! Not waiting around for inspiration. Not getting my other tasks done in order to find time to create. Make time to create and DO IT.

So that Tuesday morning, the day of the week where I have the biggest chunk of time to get things done, instead of tackling my to-do list and running here and there trying to squeeze in more productivity, I blocked off my calendar for “create”. I started Pandora, sat down at my workspace, and made stuff for two hours.

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It was awesome. I made some pretty things, I got lots of new ideas, and I felt the funk begin to slide away. Instead of waiting to be inspired to get to work, I got to work and was inspired.

The thing is, this isn’t a new revelation for me. I KNOW this, really. (I did a whole 31 Days Series on it a few years ago.) But when life gets busy (or even just funk-y), I can’t figure out why I’m not doing the things I want to do. I lose focus. I get sidetracked. I forget.

So I made a tiny little life hack: I added “Create” to the calendar on my phone and I set it to repeat. So I will have a reminder that pops up to spend some DISCIPLINED time doing the work I want to do. And I will schedule the other life stuff at other times. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, or even if I have to move it to a different time slot, it’s the beginning of a practice that will help me remember to do things that feed my soul.

And my hope is that by feeding my soul, I will be keeping the funk away, too.

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PS – I’ve added the earrings I made last Tuesday to my shop. Click here to see them in all their rainbow-color-ordered glory!

etsy shop · Jewelry · Style · Tiny Tweaks

Tiny Tweaks: Fringeless (+ New Earrings Listed on Etsy)

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I’m doing a series of posts called “Tiny Tweaks” – simple changes that make a difference – in hopes of crossing things off my to-do list or simply making things a little bit better. 

In anticipation of fall, I’ve been searching for a lightweight, drapey cardigan, something to grab on those days when chilly mornings turn into warm afternoons.

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I found this one at a thrift store.

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I love the color and knit pattern, but I didn’t like the fringe. I thought I could easily remove it to make it just right – still cozy, less boho. My plan was to just chop off the fringe with scissors.

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I realized once I started cutting that the fringe was just the loose ends of knit at the bottom of the sweater, so if I cut them off, it would fray in to a big old frizzy mess.

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Luckily, the fringe was a separate piece of knitting that had been attached with a serger. I have LOTS of experience removing serger threads.

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The serger thread was a different color and texture than the knitted yarn, so I could easily see which threads to cut with my seam ripper.

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Once I made a few cuts, the fringed piece began to separate from the body of the sweater. But it wasn’t quick work. I took my time to make sure I didn’t pull any yarn loose. It took about an hour to remove everything.

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I texted this photo to my friend, Christy, and said, “I’m removing fringe from a sweater. Why do I do these things? And why did both kids immediately say, ‘Can I use this for an invention? Or for my Halloween costume?'” (So far, the costume ideas are a ninja and a black kitty. No fringe needed.)

“Kids are pack rats,” she responded. So true.

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Perfect. Exactly as I imagined, paired with a vintage sleeveless blouse and cut-off shorts.

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And some new earrings! I’ve been playing around with earrings this summer, trying out different shapes and sizes.

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The new circle earrings are listed in my Etsy shop. (Currently available in silver and bronze – more colors coming soon!)