A Few of My Favorite Things- SoulPeaces

“Expect more. Pay less.”

I think Walmart’s slogan is very telling. As Americans we want more for less. No, not just want. As Walmart has instructed we expect more. We constantly seek out the cheapest bargain and flock to sales. It’s not bad to want to use your money wisely, but more often than not it seems we are wanting to stretch our money to get more than we need. I’m trying little by little to change my attitude towards the things I buy. This quote keeps popping up on Pinterest:

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” -William Morris

I love that and am slowly trying to live it. But, there is just one more thing I want to add to it. “As often as possible buy handmade.”

As an artist myself I believe in supporting artists. I believe in buying things that are unique and have the special touch of the person who dreamed them up. One of my goals in life is to not buy anymore jewelry that isn’t handmade by a real, live, I know their name person. I don’t wear a ton of jewelry and enjoy having a few pieces that I wear over and over so it’s not a huge sacrifice to pass on all the trendy cheaper pieces.

So I want to tell you about one of my favorite jewelry shops on etsy. Soul Peaces is the shop of Heather Lecy-Martin. You can read more about her and her inspiration here. Heather’s jewelry has a rough, imperfect look that I just love. Last year when I turned 30 I was done having kids 🙂 so I set out to get myself a necklace with the boys names. I ordered the Circle of My Life Necklace from SoulPeaces and I loved it. It’s my go to necklace and I rarely put on any other. A year later Norah is here and I didn’t want to wear a necklace with just the boys names on it so I contacted Heather about adding a name. I just received it back and I’m so happy to be able to wear my favorite necklace again.

I know the fact that the names are off center might bother some, but I rather like it. Parenting seems pretty off center most days so I just find it to be very fitting. Anyway, it wasn’t a mistake, just the result of adding to an already created piece.

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I’m extremely pleased with the quality of the necklace and Heather only charged me the shipping to add Norah’s name.Image

Here are a few more of my favorites from her shop.

This Meet Me at the Birch Family Tree necklace was a close second when I was choosing mine.

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I didn’t think I liked brass, but these Brass leaf Artisan Earrings are just stunning. The tiny dots give them such a special handmade touch. And I really think the brass has a warmth without being, well, gold, ya know? Perfect for fall. The same thing is available in silver here.

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This locket is so on my wish list, but I’m not sure what pictures I would use.

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What do you think? Is this stuff beautiful or what? Would you consider buying less so that you could support an artist?

Honestly it’s very affordable. It’s more expensive than buying on sale at Kohls, but these are the sort of pieces that last and don’t go out of style.

*FYI* I did not receive any compensation for writing this post and Heather did not ask me to write it. I don’t know her personally. I simply wanted to spread the word about a great artist.

light

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This was one of my favorite spots in our old house. It’s just a stretch of wall in the hallway, but I always loved the way the light came in that window. I mentioned earlier in the week that there is just one window in this basement. The upstairs doesn’t have much light either. It’s just a fairly dark house. I really enjoy nap time because I turn off the overhead fluorescents and leave on a lamp or two. It’s dark, but the light that is on is warm. It’s funny how much light can affect a person and, at least for me, inspiration. I’m hoping that one of these days it will get cooler out and we can go for more walks. While this house is completely devoid of inspiration, the woods around us are full of it.

 

Glimpse

Currently hanging on the wallImage

Left to Right: the bottom of a finished tote bag (fabric is Heather Bailey), a mock up for something fun I’m working on for Norah to wear this winter and maybe a few to sell as well, the bottom of a baby gown (fabric is organic cotton from Monaluna’s Fox Hollow)

sorry for the terrible lighting/picture quality. there is one window in this basement. one. aggh.

alpaca

On Sunday we headed over to Fall Creek Falls for the 35th annual Mountaineer Folk Festival. We’d never even heard of it before, but a friend posted on Facebook that he’d be playing on one of the stages and it seemed like a fun enough outing. It was definitely the most successful outing we’ve had as a family of 5! We got a lot of stares with our double stroller and baby in a wrap… a lot of sweet smiles paired with that look in the eyes that gives away what they are really thinking: “They are crazy.” Yeah, we ARE crazy, but sometimes crazy has to get out of the house!

The music was great. We only watched one set, The Mockingbirds, because when you have 3 under 4 you move on to the next thing BEFORE they get stir crazy. It was so much fun to watch them enjoying the music… one of those moments where your kids enjoyment increases your own.

There were tons of food booths and I’m only sad that I didn’t manage to get some homemade ice cream.

And there were a ton of craft booths as well. I did not manage to take any photos at the event. Sorry. But, I did take some shots of my favorite purchase from my favorite booth of the day.

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It’s alpaca roving for felting! Which of course means it’s time to get out my felting stash from over 4 years ago! Felting just seems so appropriate this time of year. And, am I ever excited about this time of year. It’s been 4 years since we’ve had a fall. This will be the kids’ first. I absolutely cannot wait for the temps to drop and the leaves to fall. Bring on the soups! Hopefully I will get to felting some of this stuff soon, but let’s face it, it might be a few months! I’m pretty backed up on sewing projects right now and for some reason I have trouble getting things done these days. It could have something to do with the toes in that picture! Here’s the rest of the photo shoot.

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What? Alpaca doesn’t make you want to do head stands?Image

And, I have to tell you about the booth where I bought this gorgeous stuff. They had it set up to show the entire process of felting and spinning. There were two alpacas, the comb, a tray where you could felt a little yourself, and a spinning wheel. How cool is that? I loved that the kids got to see that, since I stick to just the felting part of the process. I am super excited to let Jude in on the felting fun whenever I do get around to it. It’s such a kid friendly activity.

In case you are in the market for some alpaca for felting or spinning or goods made from alpaca, here’s the info.

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A Tale of Two Fabrics

I know you’ve been really worried since my last post. You don’t recall? Well let me refresh your memory. I had those two fabrics that I had planned for months to use together and ended up with too separate pieces that do not go together at all, though they each wonderful on their own. Now you remember. Well, let the fretting cease, because I did in fact managed to make something that I love that places those two fabrics delightfully together!Image

You may recall the baby gown I made for Norah. Well, this gown is the next and I think final step in my process to create a great baby gown. I did some tweaking and changing based on having actually used the other one.

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I love the tie at the bottom as opposed to the elastic that gowns sometimes have. My first never could wear a gown because he wriggled so much it all ended up around his waist. Tying the bottom closed prevents that.

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The velcro closure was fine, but not my favorite. Still, I needed something easy to get on and off of baby. This gown has two buttons and that is it! Well there is a piece of elastic hiding in there to keep things in place and still allow for easy on and off, but the buttons are all you have to mess with.

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And no, this little beauty is not for Norah. That girl is growing like the prettiest weed you’ve ever seen. This one will be for sale along with a few others at the Autumn Street Fair in October.

Oliver+S Class Picnic Blouse and Shorts

I don’t love following patterns. For me part of the fun is in the designing. I love thinking through it in my head, how all the pieces will come together, how to avoid exposed seams and so forth. But, sometimes I follow patterns anyway. It sometimes is a much faster way of getting what you want than starting from scratch. When I do go the pattern route, assuming it’s a good pattern, I usually learn something or at least improve a skill.

I’ve been reading about Oliver+S patterns on various blogs for some time. Everyone seems to love them so when I saw some on sale a while back I bought a couple. When I finally got around to using one of the patterns it lived up to it’s reputation. I made the class picnic blouse and shorts, but instead of an outfit I ended up with two stand alone pieces.

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I sewed the top first and planned to incorporate some of the yellow fabric used on the shorts. I’ve been wanting to use those two fabrics together for months. Once I got going on the blouse I felt it was a better idea to just do the top as written for the first go. I already had the fabric for the shorts cut out so I went ahead with them, but I don’t think the end products work well together. It’s not a huge problem. The top could go with any number of different bottoms and the shorts will look cute with a white top. Or maybe I’ll sew matching pieces for them each. They won’t fit Norah till next summer so I’ve got some time.

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I had trouble photographing these. They’re made for an actual three dimensional person so they don’t lay flat very well, but I’ve seen lots of pics of them being worn on other blogs so I’m trusting they’re gonna work.

What do you think… should I pair the shorts with a white top or maybe make a white top that incorporates some of that yellow ochre fabric?