Friday, March 29, 2019

Smitten all things

I dropped two thank you letters in the post office's mailbox this morning. It was a short and fresh walk for me. Did you know the flower buds in neighbors' yard are coming up? The blooming season is here because S' allergy has started; that poor kid! She has been remembering her allergy spray before she heads out in the morning. After dropped the mail, unlike walking back home. I walked to the coffee shop that's just right around the corner and ordered a cup of coffee for myself, what a treat!  Then I waited for the pedestrian signal turns green then crossed the street; sipping the coffee in my hand (all at the same time) and watched the traffic that fast pass on the other side.

It is rarely that people say hello on the streets around here. Everyone seems take their steps as quick as they can; catch the bus, catch the last two seconds of traffic light to pass the street; walking with full hands of grocery bags. As I was sipping through the coffee and passing by a gas station that is renovating now; a gentleman looked at me in eyes and said to me, good morning, just one coffee? I said yeah, just one this time! next time I will bring two! He said, have a great day! I replied take care now! Then another gentleman walked toward me and I said Good morning and he replied, a good day to you! When I got home I realized that I was smiling all the way home! Gosh that does make me feel good for the simple courtesy in life.

So, I decided to make a cross body bag this week for myself, it has been awhile! I have been thinking a smaller version of cross body bag that I can put the planner, the wallet, and a small coin pouch when I am on a quick grocery and errand runs. I knew the bag needs to be simple, so I can access it easily and it needs to be light enough to carry, sometimes carrying bags of grocery home can be a heavy duty job for me these days. I added on the adjustable straps this time, which is really benefits; it allows me to carry as a cross body bag or over my shoulder as shoulder tote.  I added the the Travel Outbound Bag inside for organizing all the bits and bobs that I am taking with.  It is just perfect for what I need! I will do the test drive tomorrow and see how I like it and what needs to be improve.

After the ceiling leak, I've been looking for a floor lamp replacement and have my eye on this as a replacement, but in reality the space we have is not allow to set a tripod style floor lamp. So it has been add on to "save for later" cart for now. As much as I know that I'll never buy it, but it is just nice to have it "save" in the cart and think of someday that we might be able to have it around. I'll be heading out tomorrow to the hardware store to pick one that's similar to what we had before and it would be nice that I can turn few more pages before bedtime again.

One of most exciting news for the week is the quarter inch mark wooden labels have arrived (hundred cheers)! It has been years that I have trouble to decide on labeling the patchwork pouches that I created. I have listed out many ideas for the labels, but just haven't found the one.  I am so pleased with these maple wooden tags that engraved with the name and they smell so wood- good! I am in process adding them on to the penny square pouches and others as well.  The wooden tags correspond so well with the patchwork piece and it just adds special touch to it.

I am also smitten by the hundreds of penny squares and in the process of turning them into mini patchwork pieces. Lots seam open pressing time ahead of me, but will be labor of love work to be happening here! In between time, I have pick up S' 13th birthday quilt making. It has been sitting around for last two years. I am actually behind all the birthday quilt making since last birthday quilt.  I have had hard time to push through this quilt for some reason and now I am ready to push through the process and hope to have it ready before the sweet sixteen arrives.

The weather forecast is showing more cloudy days ahead of us next few days and possible rain, too. Julie texted me this morning that the lake we used to go swimming in Iowa is thawing this week. I don't look forward to the summer since the apartment gets up to 90 degree inside and it gets real humid in the city, but hey more ice cream! I can't say no, right!


Saturday, March 23, 2019

be hold

It took me awhile (over a year) to finish this floral appliqué piece. It has been hanging round with the patchwork piles all this time. This week was the week that I knew that I could put it all together! The timing was just right for it and it feels so accomplished after it is finished!  Sometimes, it is hard for me to go back to the older projects, I am guessing the motivation is slightly off and the compassion of the project is fade out a bit. I've always love hand works; stitch, hand quilting, embroidery.  It still speaks so true to my heart these days. I love spending hours in a patchwork piece, big and small. Something delicate, something detail, and something special as always!

I have been working on a new logo and banner for the blog. The new idea is simplify the logo and bring less colors with it. It will take another few weeks to upload the drawings into the computer and work on the designs.  I very much enjoy this part of the design work, where I can put my ideas in one place and play with colors and layouts.  So don't be surprise next time when you pop in to visit.  You should land in the right home, but just change of the door colors. :)

Did you know that blogger is no longer sending me your comments via email? I have just realized that last week. So, I basically miss out the many of your comments. This week, I have became a mad lady and try to refresh my own blog page on the phone screen when I am on it, just to check if you left me a message.  Thank you for not forgetting about us! It is something that felt so incredible and sweet that you still come by and continually to support big and small moments with us. So, I have read all your comments by yesterday! Thank You!! 

This week has been a long-short-long-long week for me. As I have been preparing a career open house and made it to the first round of interview and there's a little glitch happened while I was waiting for the second round interview. So, I decided to walk away the possible opportunity.  I was sad and just sad! I can't tell you that actual feeling for being down, but I keep my chin up and believe for the future opportunity that awaits for me. I always thought a good night sleep would ease out the black holes, but I actually really need a down time; alone and reflect, I though I could just laugh out and be alright the next day, but it was not as easy as I hope this time. And yes! I am all better now! I ate ice cream! A big bowl of chocolate and raspberry flavor and they tasted weird together, but all that sugar just maybe what I needed (laugh)! I am in hope to drive myself the meaning and purpose from what I do everyday. Concisely knowing myself and how could I be better. It is not easy, but it gets easy as I see it and admit it!

Now, I will be looking again and the waiting time is going to be the most challenging phrase. I am secretly happy that I'll be here, but also wondering when is the next opportunity. Maybe the time will tell.  In the meantime, I'll be crafting and keep on writing and will you be here? I hope so!


Friday, March 15, 2019

story teller

The windows are open since this morning. It feels so so so fresh and nice just to have the windows open. The apartment just smells so spring today! Although the air feels damp and I need to bring the dehumidifier to the studio and give it a few hours run. It always helps to bring down the extra humidity the fabrics actually need. I have been working on these A sidewalk pouches last few days. It is such a perfect pouch to work with during the oddly schedule week. I was able to pick up and leave stitches as I go.  I love added extra leather pull on them this time! It makes them triple sweet! :)

It is always nice around this time of the year that things are less busy and we are so ready for spring to come. Perhaps this long winter has just been too long for us; living in a small space and trying to stretch out, sometimes it does feel intense.  I've gone through storage room twice and put together few bags for donations and next would be the kitchen. Less is more! Perhaps living in a small space isn't too bad after all. We really have been paying more attentions to what we bring home and how we live with limited storage and space now. Sometimes, I think of the garage that I used to have where boxes lived and roller skates stay.

It's been a long week for me! Maybe it is the daylight saving that effects my sleeping hour. But I am loving that extra one hour daylight before the dark arrives. That extra hour daylight just enough to finish last row of hand quilting before the night kicks in.  Getting back to studio and being productive feels so great! Picking up the routine is probably the most challenge these days. There are interruptions, there are downtimes, and there are endless life events, but these are good to have around, so it makes life run!

This week, I met with my friend in Central Park for a good walk and talk. I shared with her how I have felt that I might have rush through my last 10 years. I have never though about it until I talked about it.  I looked back the last 10 years. It felt so quick and so long at the same time. I was feeling so sick in my mid-30's right after graduate school; it was a sense of lost direction. That soon brought me into depression where life was really hard to face and things were moving slowly. It took some time to gain that energy and optimistic back. I am thankful to the family supports and friendships that I received and brought me back on track again.

I think it is alright to say that I wasn't all that happy and felt accomplished in my 30's. It was a try and fail time for me.  I feel I was running against with the air and trying to catch up the next freshest air if I could! I know that sound so oddly I said that, but I think I was afraid that I miss something! and I was a younger mother, had more energy. I've always prepared and ready to get going! I know, so tiring! 

Look back the graduate school time, there were so little sleep time! I've always curious and adventure about life and always felt lonely because I didn't really know where to ask for advises and take a break.  It was stubborn and challenge!  Friends would  look at me and said that I was so brave and so strong, but I think I was pretending that I was able for all! I had more edges than I though I might! It takes time to let that edges smooth out some and gain some wise strings. Now, I don't really remember how in the world that I made it through the grad school and watched my solo exhibition went up and took down! Packed everything and moved again! 

When I really learn to slow down with myself was probably the end of 2017 where everything was falling into the place and the contentment of settling down in east coast finally arrived. I spend my commute time reading news and books,even listening to some musics that I like. I never really have the time to pick up these readings for myself last 10 years. It feels fulfilling that I am actually knowing the news around and reading books; sometimes, I tear for the stories. how silly is that?

Now I feel comfortable telling myself that it is alright to be in bed at 9 because my body really needs to just be there! It is alright to tell everyone that I am tired, so they can do the dishes and pick up the laundry when it's done. It is right I don't need to be the last one in bed anymore because I am always the first one now. Yes, how nice!  I can't really follow up with my teen these days because she has her little something that she likes to be alone. 

I really love where I am now! I learn more about myself and knowing how to be with myself. I know that I am still not really satisfy with my career, but I know it will take the right placement and time to come. I'll still need to push myself more on that.  I need to balance the rush and slow me all together, so I am not outweigh any of two. The life pattern that I am follow these days is generous and gentle. It allows me to be slow down and really take a step a time.

And maybe without last rush through 10 years, I wouldn't be where I am now! I am thankful to be here! Yes, last fall I turned 40 and really, it feels a sense of calm and mature. I plan to take steady steps for the next 10 years. I might not be here 10 years later, but surely I am here now!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

patchwork stitches

What comes in mind for sewing after a long break? It would be the small and tiny patchwork stitches. I can't think of a better way to get my hands back to the needles and threads.  My dear friend Carol has been sending me her scraps each time when she forwards the mail to me. It always is a treat and a surprise to find little scraps pieces that she tucked inside the envelope. I found myself so tickled by  these scraps. It feels so good to turn these scraps into something cute and sweet.

A few weeks back, in an early morning, I found out that the ceiling above the studio was leaking! and the water was overall the sewing table, cutting mats, and floor. It was something that I didn't see would be coming (screaming). ! I had to called the landlord to come fix and that went a bit drama for two weeks. Thank goodness, they finally decided to take down the partial of the ceiling and patch with a clean board. Before they arrived, I jumped right in the studio, move all fabrics, sewing supplies, books, handmade gifts and boxes out to the living room. I loss a floor lamp and a floor mat from the leaking issue and a design board that I had placed on the table.

While waiting for repair ( two weeks), we stayed in the living room and that felt quiet content for some reason, We joked that we would just need a studio for the future place, since everything fits, but it was cold to stay in the living room and the noise coming from near by highway was difficult at night time to fell asleep. Soon after the ceiling paint was dry and I cleaned every corner till dust free (yay). Then I take the time to move everything back in. I had refold all the fabrics ( got to love this job) and trying to fit them back to where they were before. I have realized that there are so many fabrics that I have forgot about.  It was a real good visit with fabrics! They tell me, come sew with us more! :)  and Yes, I was totally wiped out by the end of the day!

Has it been a long winter for you and me? I don't mind the winter, but it has been feeling a gray winter for this year. I've spend the night time knitting and finished one side of the leg warmer and still need to finish the other side, but I've ran out of the yarn! I am feeling stuck, what should I do? I though of going to the yarn store and match the yarn out or take the knitting stitches apart. I still can't make the call. Maybe I should wait till the spring arrives and hop on the bus to the yarn store.

While I am writing, the sunlight from the studio window is getting dimmer. I particularly love this time of the day where I can see the apartments near by me have lights turn on. People are home from their hard working day, I am sure they are making conversations and preparing their dinners. Just what I am going for next, preparing dinner and getting the apartment light up!

The daylight saving is coming this weekend! I'll miss that extra hour sleep, but for sure, I can't wait for more daylight during the day!


Sunday, March 3, 2019


After my last trip, I am ready to settle in a little bit longer and catching up "things". I guess just a lot of sewing and promises that I made, but never be able to fulfill. and no more time changes and jet lag . So here I go...

Between now and then...

My S graduated from middle school and is a busy freshman in high school now. She is busy because she said so! Moving to N.Y. was a big culture shock for her and much more. It was a handful 3 years and she is coming her way around this place and everything nicely! She is almost as tall as I am and talks real fast if she wants to and just like every typical teens these days!  She continues out seeking her own path as we talk over the table and there is no need rush for any firm plan, and just take one step a day.

It would be so ideal that time can pause or slow down a little. I am not so ready for my girl to take her big step in a few years. It will be oddly without the chatterbox around for sure. S and I have took a trip back to Iowa last summer. It was a much needed trip that we both so look forward to. We drove around the city and to small towns; went to our favorite bakery. We met our friends for coffee and soaking up as much as possible. Yes, to the sweet corns and pork chop and the homemade meals that we were spoiled to. Nothing like blue sky, corn fileds, donut holes and friendship all at once!

As I prepared for my last oversea trip, there were a lot in my mind that felt brain jam! I don't even know if brain jam makes sense to you! It was alike a pile of list to check off, but have no idea where to start. And yes! I was able to pull everything together the very last minutes. I was baking in the morning before the flight took off at 10p.m.  Nothing like some special handmade gifts! All the gifts were much loved and well received!  I was able to double up the cookie recipe and put them in the jars for S. I told her, before these cookies are gone, I should be able to come home to fill them up again.

Home sweet home! I have finally really throughly understand what it real means!  It was nearly midnight, but when I exit out the airport lobby gate, I saw my girl waving hard at me and that is my home! When I got back to the apartment and saw the cookie jars had few cookies left  and I started the Christmas baking right away. mom, you are  the best! 

That took a good 6 weeks for turning around the jet lag this time. Partly being sick in the cold winter days and partly I was just exhausted. Home is the same; laundry, making meals, tidy up space, dress in cozy flannel pjs for days, a bit hand sewing and listening to my chatter box at 3:25p.m. when the door knob turns. Hey, mom did you know..... (and tea is ready,snacks on the table and I get to visit with the teen before she calls it off).  And all quiet again till the dinner time, I've pick up a few knitting stitches here and there...

Thank you for all the heart warming welcome come back messages! I can't believe that you all are staying around and checking in. It is amazing how this space have reach out so many of you and have been so supportive in this journey.

With all that... I am really miss the little space of mine here!