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Friday, April 18, 2014

all I have needed

Hello friends!  I was looking back at some pictures from previous Easters (you can see some here) and thinking about how much I want to be sure to document this one.  It will be Arthur's first Easter with us and we just love sharing new things with him and starting (or continuing) family traditions.  We're resuming our Easter lunch tradition this year and have been in full planning mode this week to work out all the details.  

I've also been in full-on bow tie mode and tearing through my stacks of fabric.  I'm seriously partial to spring and summer ties because I love the bright colors and I love to picture these ties parading around fancy weddings and garden parties, looking cheerful.  I've also got a nice new collection of indigo pocket squares in the shop that I'm fairly smitten with.  

This spring has been a cold one, so far, but we've still managed a few picnics and plenty of sidewalk chalk masterpieces.  Last week there were five little boys decorating my driveway at the same time.  I absolutely loved it.  And we need more chalk.  

We've grilled out a few times, have a few things blooming in the yard, and have put away some of the wintry-est of the winter clothes.  We're easing into spring and I don't mind.  I've been thinking a lot about last spring, also cold, when I barely noticed the weather because we were so caught up preparing for Arthur's arrival. And by "preparing", I mainly mean staring at his picture at least 20 times a day.  Now I kiss his little cheeks at least 20 times a day and I like this spring much better.  

Easter is Steve's favorite holiday and we've had so much fun talking about childhood memories and the kind of memories we want to make for our child.  Easter is also the beginning of a season of celebration at our house that will last right on through the end of May.  I'm celebrating motherhood, another year of life, another year of being married to my favorite person, our first year as a family of three.  And it's not particularly Easter-y, but this old hymn has been in my head this week as I prepare for Easter and the weeks to come- 

Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed thy hand hath provided;
great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

Happy Easter, friends!  I hope you find yourself this Easter with all that you need.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Etsy Pop-up at West Elm

Hi friends!  I really wanted to wow you today with photos of all the ties and pocket squares I've been making this week, but it's super gray here and I could barely get any pictures.  Maybe you can imagine them instead?  

I've been prepping for another Etsy Pop-up event at West Elm this Saturday and am so excited that the day is finally almost here!  The last event I did at West Elm was in November, so I took tons of scarves and felt like it was the perfect kick-off to the holiday season.  This time around, I am debuting my summer bow ties and pocket squares and am excited to help people with their outfits for all the fancy events coming up- weddings, graduations, Easter.  

I know.  I just said "summer bow ties" and you probably looked down to see yourself wearing two sweaters and wool socks.  But summer will come!  And when it does, I'll be ready.  With ties.    

One of the things that I'm most excited about with this summer collection is the fact that most of the items are limited editions.  I found some awesome fabrics and bought as much as I could, but I know I won't be able to get more, so that makes each tie or pocket square seem like a special treasure, instead of a mass-produced accessory.  Not that I'm really mass producing over here, but I did make about 40 ties this week.  

I'd love to see some of you locals at West Elm tomorrow (between 1pm and 6pm), but for everyone else- I'll take pictures!  Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Missing: one formerly consistent blogger

If anyone is still checking my blog, I'm sending you a big internet high-five right now.  I'd say I don't know where the time has gone, but in actuality, I do.  

It's been spent grocery shopping and making dinner and doing laundry.

It's been spent shopping for fabric and developing products and corresponding with clients.

It's been spent making bow ties.  Obviously.

It's been spent playing cars and reading books and snuggling with this guy as much as I can, and then trying to steal a few minutes of time with his dad every evening.  

As a chronic over-achiever, I've had to lower the bar this year.  The combination of life/business/toddler sleep problems/potty training has really thrown me for a loop and the best way, for me, to make it through is to change my definition of a "successful" day.  Lately, if Steve has clean clothes to wear to work, Arthur is not throwing a fit, I don't have any overdue orders, and we have something to eat for dinner (eggs count!), I consider the day a rousing success.  

My attitude towards everything else is very much "I'll do it when I do it" and blogging falls into this increasingly large category (along with mopping, vacuuming, phone calls, tax preparation.... you get the picture.)  I miss showing up here, but I'll still pop in now and again, and I certainly plan to pick up the blogging pace once more when we've moved out of this season of life.  I used to view my blog as a daily journal and then it changed to more of a weekly newsletter.  I'm not quite ready to call it a quarterly report, but we sure seem to be heading in that direction.  

Take heart, friends- spring is almost here!  I'm sure I'll be back as soon as I'm able with pictures of all the blooms in our yard!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

spring bow ties: part 2

Hello friends!  It's been another busy week, but I am determined to share some more of the new spring bow ties with you here on the blog.  They have been in the shop for several weeks now and the leaders are already emerging.  This ombre mint tie has been super popular for spring weddings and I'm rather partial to it myself.  I consider the perfect bow tie fabric one that is subtle and almost-solid from far away, but has some sort of interesting pattern when you see it close up.  Mint was a huge wedding color last year and doesn't appear to be waning in popularity at all, so I was excited to add a new mint tie to my offerings.  

This aqua tie was one of the wild cards for the season.  I love the color and the print is supposed to look like a city street map.  Since my original world map tie is my best seller, I thought it would be fun to offer a different type of map as well.  

Seersucker is such a classic look for spring and summer and it also happens to be lovely to work with.  My goal is to offer ties in every color of seersucker that I can find, so I've been adding two or three new ones each season.  This navy and white makes me think of sailboats and beach vacations and the Fourth of July.  

I usually stick to pretty classic graphic patterns for my ties, but I couldn't resist this navy bird print.  I felt inspired by these shirts I saw in the Boden spring catalog.  Although I never buy anything, I love getting the Boden catalog every season because of the beautiful photography.  In fact, pretty much every catalog that I request is for reasons other than purchasing the items inside.  I dog-ear the pages and cut things out for my bulletin board- they are basically my analog Pinterest.  

If you can believe it, there are still more ties to share!  I'll try to finish up next week with the rest of the collection.  

Friday, February 21, 2014

last weekend, in pictures

Cannoli dessert

Too many cooks

Three's company... four's a crowd

Thank goodness for warm weather

Frozen yogurt stop

An early morning cuddle

It was the kind of week where words and time for blogging were scarce.  Hope yours was full of good things!

Friday, February 14, 2014

a love note

"The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."                        -George Washington Burnap

Hello, friends- happy Valentine's day!  I am having a fantastic one, as I usually do.  Want to know my secret?  It's not receiving flowers or chocolate (although I do respond quite well to chocolate) or fancy dinners.  Every Valentine's day, I have a great day simply because I choose to.  Do you ever do that- just wake up in the morning and decide how you will feel?  I should probably try it more often than I do, but I've found that a big part of enjoying the day is just putting your mind to it.  

We started our day with  heart shaped pancakes and cranberry juice and then Arthur and I made a heart garland for the mantle.  He chose to wear his red fleece today, proving once again that he is a perfect fit for our family.  I thought about how lucky I am to have two Valentines this year- one who woos me by secretly doing all the breakfast dishes, the other who tells me he's proud of me for not throwing my food on the floor (as if anyone in this house ever throws food on the floor). 
I couldn't love anyone more.  

This afternoon we're braving the snowy streets to pick up groceries and thread (the two things we run out of when stuck at home for three days) and then heading back for a cozy night at home.  We're expecting our favorite friends for a visit this weekend- the perfect end to a fun week!  Hope you're feeling loved (and warm) today!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

snow day

It's been snowing for most of the day and I couldn't be more thrilled!  Arthur and I ran some early morning errands today before it started coming down, but were home and cozy by 10 am, ready to spend the day baking cornbread and watching train movies.  It's easy to love snow, living in the south, where it never sticks around long enough to be a bother.  

We're also gearing up for Valentine's day, which I love.  The back door is decorated with hearts and we filled the mantle with red and white.  Our plans include a romantic family dinner by the fireplace and I can't wait to see Arthur's face when he realizes we're eating in the family room.  It's the little things, right? 

There are days in mid-January that I think the month will never end, but February always seems to fly right by.  Case in point: I ordered another sewing machine at the beginning of the month and still haven't tried it out yet!  It's a backup for my main machine and will also be used for leather and waxed canvas and heavier stuff. I'm feeling productive today, so maybe I can get it set up and finish up a few projects!  


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