progress

Another blogger wrote that if their blog was particularly interesting and full one week, you could assume that her house was a disaster. I feel the same way, but after over a week of no blogging, my house is still a disaster. Hmm... Here are a couple things I did get done...

I redesigned my design site and added a favicon (the tiny "m" to the left of the address bar). Cute, right?

I got my hair cut (actually, I cut my hair myself, then got a professional to fix it). Can you tell in the above picture? Bangs are BACK. Oh, and more than six inches are gone. I also got a cavity filled (ick). And renewed my registration. AND got my emissions tested.

And hm, there's more than that. Either way, crafting will be higher on the list in coming weeks because of a certain little lady who is almost two years old... oh my.

I found this quote yesterday at what felt like the perfect time:

Take your needle, my child,
and work at your pattern —
it will come out a rose by and by.
Life is like that . . . one stitch
at a time, taken patiently.

~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Yes, I am making progress, one stitch at a time.

trying...

All of this makes me a little nervous. I have never been good at putting myself out there. (I know, I know, I have a blog... that I... put out there.) Fear of rejection is, I'm sure, a hurdle for most. What if I spell something wrong on my blog? What if no one reads it? What if people do read it and think what's the point?

Well, here I am. Putting myself out there. Because that's what I would want Fiona to do.

I recently read NurtureShock. What a revelation! The authors' take on the inverse power of praise spoke so much to my experience growing up. As a kid and teenager, I would never want to prove someone wrong who thought I was [insert positive adjective here.] So, I wouldn't try so that any potential failure could be blamed on lack of effort. Not all the time, but sometimes, when I felt vulnerable.

So, here goes, world. I'm trying. I'm trying to make the blog interesting, I'm trying to take pretty pictures, I'm trying to make nice things, but most of all, I'm trying to be a good mother. I'm trying really hard. This is for you, Fiona. Please, my dear, don't ever be too scared to try. Whoever you really are is good enough.

fiona's montessori basket

Being Fiona's first teacher is a lot of pressure, but what I'm realizing is that the most natural thing to do is often the right thing to do. Putting together this little basket of goodies took about ten minutes. I just gathered objects I already had in my home, put them in a basket, and sat Fiona down next to it! There is nothing sweeter than watching my little girl play enthusiastically with a piece of lace. I love thinking of all the babies before her who also played with Mama's wooden spoon.

I was spurred into action by Finnian's treasure basket, but I am also a Montessori kid myself with a shelf full of references I inherited from my Montessori-certified dad.

Fiona's basket has pieces of felt, jersey, two types of lace, a small corduroy bag, a wooden spoon, a metal spoon, and a glass jar of sesame seeds.

Who needs toys that blink lights, play music, vibrate and spin? Not my baby, she has a bit of felt to keep her occupied. And when the basket of goodies loses it's luster, we go for a walk.

6 months old and eating bananas!

Fiona was very curious when it came to the bananas, but I wouldn't say she was exactly hungry. Either way, she had a great time and LOVES her new highchair! So, the first family party I've thrown as a mother was a success. That's some kind of milestone, right? I think I kinda like this being a mom thing.

I really love the ideas in The Creative Family, by Amanda Blake Soule of SouleMama. Her thoughts about creating special family traditions for holidays and birthdays really inspired me. The handmade felt crown and bunting (shown in yesterday's post) are both based on projects found in her book.

little clutch

I made this clutch as a gift for my friend Lulu. (whose very chic NYC apartment you'll see tomorrow!) It's based on the clutch in Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. I added a ruffle and made the button loop out of fabric rather than elastic to make it more formal. The fabric was purchased from Purl Soho. The designer is Alexander Henry. According to the ladies at Purl, it may be out of print. Good thing I bought like a zillion yards.

twenty-six!

I turned twenty-six on Friday. It was a day filled with family, friends, walks, books and overeating... all my favorite things! A special shout-out to my mom, since she had a little something to do with the whole me being born thing. This is my first birthday with my little girl and I can really say I have never felt so whole and full (and not just from the food). What a wonderful life I have.

The cards above were made by the two special guys in my life: Elijah and... Clinton Portis? Can someone tell my husband that he's been replaced by a much richer man? Thanks.

(Books above: Feeding the Whole Family, by Cynthia Lair, Blogging for Bliss, by Tara Frey, Handmade Home, by Amanda Blake Soule, It Sucked and Then I Cried, by Heather B. Armstrong, Handmade Nation, by Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl, That's Why We Don't Eat Animals, by Ruby Roth and Mothering Magazine)