Friday, September 27, 2013

color wonders

Here I am at about the halfway point in the pattern making process which is when some of my favorite and least favorite "to-do"s happen.

Stitching up examples is something I really look forward to from the moment I start sketching. Not every pattern designer does this and it's not even entirely necessary - so why bother? Well, like I said, it's fun. I really can't imagine not wanting to see your design come to life in floss. It always takes on a new look at that point and the curiosity would kill me if I didn't give it a go.

Secondly, it gives you a chance to see where improvements might be made in your design. What stitches will work here and which won't? how many strands of floss will work best? and what size is ideal for this design? These are questions that get answered when you stitch up your patterns and I think they are important.

Some of my less loved tasks include choosing colors. These are some of the floss and fabric colors in the running this time around. You can see I have not strayed too far from my comfort zone! Most likely there will be some changes here and there before all is said and done.

So what, you may be wondering, is the theme of this new set? Well, I can't give that away entirely just yet but I will say that that it has a Winter feel, but not necessary a holiday feel. You'll also notice a vintage but modern look too which is something I always strive to create.

When will it make it's premiere? Well, yesterday of course! Oh no, wait, that was my goal but I assure you that did not happen. Can I just say ASAP? I'll be sure to let you know!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

happy surprises

A little happy surprise came my way yesterday and  I am so excited to share it with you all today.
While flipping through the great selection of craft books at Sewtropolis yesterday I came across this lovely volume titled, "Mastering the Art of Embroidery" by Sophie Long. And guess what I found inside...
Mastering the Art of Embroidery
 little 'ol me! Right there in the chapter about applique was my hydrangea
Applique Hydrangea by SeptemberHouse
and my caroler ornament
Applique Holiday Ornament by SeptemberHouse Embroidery
What a happy discovery and how wonderful to be included in such a great resource. This book is quite thick and quite full of detailed instructions for all kinds of embroidery techniques. Also in the mix are my friend Melissa and fellow Minnesotans, Urban Threads - so obviously I'm sitting at the cool kid table on this one, am I right? 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

now we are six

In spite of my best efforts, my boys continue to get older and older including this guy who turned six on Friday. Does this mean that I don't have any 'little kids' anymore? I think so. That is good and bad I suppose. I'm not ready to say goodbye to the abundant amount of sweetness just yet. This is a child who will still run up and hug me and say "I love you mom!!" Yep, I'll never be ready to let that go.

His birthday celebration featured a trip to the arcade at the Mall of America where he was handed more coins than he could hold and was allowed to play any game he was tall enough to see. This was his birthday wish even though it sounds like a birthday dream from way back when I was six, right? He loved it and we all had fun really. It's too bad we don't have a photo of the four of us all lined up at the skee-ball machines. All that embroidery has strengthened my hand I think and let me just tell you, I'm pretty darn good.

There is nothing like the feeling of making your child's birthday wish come true and it's especially awesome when it is one as easy and simple at his was this year. My wish for him is that he will always be the happy, curious, affectionate guy that he is right now at this magic age. Happy Birthday Adam!

Monday, September 9, 2013

it's beginning to look a lot like... Christmas?

I have a little side project to share today. Even though they are predicting record breaking heat here today I have holiday cheer on my brain. Hopefully it will put a wee bit of a chill in the air and bring us down to oh, say, 96 instead of 98 degrees. One can hope, right? 

Anyway, this design was my submission for a Holiday Card Design contest over at PsPrint. Working on this was really fun because I love making holiday themed anything and because I had a chance to do a little more on the graphics end of things than I usually do for the shop. That was good for me.

If you would like to take a peek at the contest or cast a vote stop by the holiday card contest at PsPrint.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

all good things come to an end

Sunflower photo Tamarak Nature Center
Well, Summer, I suppose this is "Good-Bye". You have been a good friend - please come back soon!!
That's kind of how I am feeling these days. I hate to see Summer go but am excited about the Fall at the same time. Did you have a good Summer?
I'm posting a few photos from some little hikes we took here and there over the last three months. My camera stayed home for most of our outdoor adventures this year and I regret that but I did manage to snap a few shots here and there. The top photo is from our Labor Day venture to Tamarak Nature Center (loved that place!) and the lower one is from Minnehaha Falls.
minnehaha falls hike photo
Peter started fifth grade last week so things have already started shifting a bit at home. The BIG change comes Monday when Adam starts kindergarten. I've never been so happy and so sad about something at the same time in my life! It is the weirdest feeling. In a way I feel like I'm losing my job that I have had for ten years which, as you might imagine is a little disorientating. So far I think I have done a fairly good job of stopping the 'second guess machine' in my head from kicking into overdrive: did I use that time with my kids in the best possible way? was I patient enough with them? did I let them watch too much tv? did I hug them enough? - you know, all that. I could really start to tailspin if I allowed myself to do that so I am trying really hard to put the brakes on it from the get go. 

What feels really good is knowing that Adam is totally ready to start school. He could not be more ready, folks, seriously. Because he has a September birthday he is one of the oldest in the class and he has had two years of preschool. Having that kind of confidence in your child's readiness makes a huge difference. I remember having so many doubts when Peter started. He is on the other end of the age scale and is one of the youngest in his class - plus, since he is the first child there was just so much we didn't know. As a result I spent his first week of kindergarten alternately sobbing and biting my fingernails. Whew! I shudder just thinking about it. As a side note - it all turned out fine and he and I are both completely adjusted!

Still, there is a lot of sadness that comes along with this adjustment of course. I feel like the luckiest mom in the world that I was able to spend those years at home with my kids. Those years were: busy, exhausting, difficult... and also... rewarding, fun and magical. And, if I try to write any more about them I will get tears all over my keyboard so this is probably where I should end on that topic - at least until the passage of time gives me a little more distance from it.

So anyway, what does this all mean for me? Well, I will have some uninterrupted blocks of time which is something I haven't had much of in the last ten years. I just cannot even express how much I am looking forward to that and how many hopes I have for how that time might be used. One of those is to spend a little more time here with you all and perhaps even have some better photos to share. Brushing up my camera skills is on my 'to-do' list. I've been mentally constructing the 'to-do' list for years so as you might imagine, it's quite long. There are so many unknowns ahead as well. I'm intrigued and excited about that actually. I am looking forward to solving the mystery.

What is on your Fall 'to-do' list and what changes will the new season be bringing for you?