Balance = Priorities

IMG_8870-1 Hi there stranger! How are you?


(Side blurb: Do you love that blanket? Thanks Sew Sara for making it! It's our favorite!)

Not really sure how 2 weeks have gone by since my last post.

Oh, wait. Yes I do. It's called 4 kids, a newborn and Quilt Market Prep:)

It's also called real life.

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I've been thinking about the word BALANCE terms of WORK-LIFE-BALANCE.....and I feel like there has been a lot of talk about what that really is. Some say, It's bogus. It doesn't exist. Other's say it's all about hiring out what you can't handle well. It's so many things.

I'm here to say that it's none of those. It's not even about Balance.

Let's just scrap that word, shall we? 


It's called PRIORITIES. 

I started working from home when I had 2 toddlers. Gosh. That sounds like a dream now. It was so nuts at the time, but I laugh at how hard I thought it was, now that I'm juggling 4 and twice as much work. Funny how you look back and realize how much stronger you've become, right?

I felt like I had BALANCE written on my forehead. It was my quest. I worked during naptime, and bedtime. I tried to find that daily dance we are all trying to get just right.

I worked myself to the ground.

But the fact of the matter is, there isn't any "Just Right" rhythm. Because it changes too frequently. You find a play date schedule to give yourself work time, and then the stomach flu hits the family, and you are out of commission for a week. You finally get the bedtime routine down, but one child starts teething. You set up a space to work with the kids playing at your feet, only to realize that they prefer to be in a different spot in the house.

Any of this sound familiar?

I don't know about you, but I feel like the world seems to demand some sort of superwoman these days.

Like that work-life-balance means able to do it all, and if we just try harder, those balls will stop dropping.

I'm here to redefine the status quo a little here.

I have often spoken to groups of women about my tree pose analogy.

balance = Priorities

Any yogis here? When you are in tree pose, you are balancing on one foot. For a long time. You can stay here forever it seems....IF you keep your foot moving.

Have you ever paid attention to your foot when you are balancing? Is it rigid and stiff? Or is it constantly shifting? Your foot is constantly shifting around it's CENTER to maintain harmony.

They way you achieve balance, is by constantly  moving from one thing to the next, but always rotating around your center core of beliefs.

When you have your priorities in line, when you are focused on what are THE most important things in your life, you are free to shift from this thing to that, because you ALWAYS rotating around your center.



And these are my center:)

I have a very cute center, don't you think? :)

Sometimes those shifts move minute by minute, and they look like my day was today....going from this task to that task, getting it all done.

Sometimes those shifts come in seasons. With babies demanding more of one side of me, and slowly shifting back to more of a work routine.

That's the point though. That you are constantly cycling and making things work based on the needs of what's most central to your being.

So really, there is no need to keep up with any kind of "expectation" or "outside pressures." The guide is there...already inside you...and it's your job to find out how to keep swinging...but never shifting your core. Your center. Your purpose.

It might seem so straight forward. But once I realized that there wasn't a magic pill or a step-by-step guide to achieving balance in my life, it dawned on me that it's really not even about that at all.

No schedule will give you balance.

Rather, you set what's most important, and you work in the rest by shifting as you go.

When I was in junior high, my sunday school teacher brought a bunch of rocks to church. Some were pebbles, and the rest were large. We had to fit them all in a mason jar. And he promised us that they would all fit.

We all tried, and failed.

Then, he showed us how.

He put the large rocks in first, and then sprinkled in the pebbles, and they all fell into place around the large rocks. And it all fit.

When you have your priorities set, all the other things fall into place.

None of this frantically trying to get it all done. Trust that it will all fit. Trust that all the "busy" will settle around the "core."

This is a shift in thinking maybe, from the "get it all done, and perfectly, and you'll be balanced" mentality. But it works.

My quest, is just to never have any regrets. Game on.



back in the studio

IMG_2975 The maternity leave that I took 5 weeks before baby and 3 weeks after has been an incredible break. It wasn't exactly planned, so I'm throwing myself back into deadlines and projects that were left very unfinished.

Good news is, I'm back. And it feels good.

But of course, as soon as I opened up the studio again, dust balls and everything, Addie was just as excited to get back too. But I think what she was most excited to get back, was her mom again. While I've been "home" all this time, I've not really been myself with my body & and baby demanding so much of me. And she was anxious to be with her normal mom again:)

But I had a whole day planned, and instead we ended up sewing together....her way!


Addie has been begging me to show her how to use the sewing machine so she could learn to make her own doll, and I've put it off (like every other project) because of my laid up pregnancy situation.

And it had been way over due for so long, we tackled it right then and there.


She had drawn up a pattern (which I politely mentioned might not really look like she wanted it to in the final stages) but she insisted! A good lesson in pattern making, I thought. Ginormous arms? Hmmm. Slanted head? We'd make it work.


And after a few minor and major surgeries (the white thread over-correcting some things can't be seen via an iphone picture, but you get the idea) we had a doll!

She's so proud. And I am too.

I'm so lucky I get to share my studio with little awesome people.

Sometimes I overlook how important it is for me to stop and do projects that my kids direct. I have so many projects going on all the time, that often my projects get labeled as "more important."

The trick is in doing both. And that's the studio space that feels just right.


back in the swing of things

IMG_8566 Hi there!

I'm typing in my PJ's at 9 am hoping to crawl back in bed and actually sleep but knowing that I won't ever really get any today:)

And that's OK. Cause this little guy is so worth it. Babymoon is over, and he's awake more, and trying to get used to this body of his, and most of that "figuring out" for him happens in the wee hours in the morning. It's a party. Put aside the fact that I'm functioning on no sleep, it really is magical...those quiet moments at night with only the two of us awake. I'm not saying I'd choose this over sleep, but for what I have to stay up for, it is kinda magical.  I mean just look at this guy! I get him all to myself.

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So far, the transition between 3 and 4 kids has been rather seamless. Three kids was a huge adjustment for me. All the sudden, there were more kids than adults. That was a trip. Like, not enough laps, not enough arms.... But I think after 3, it's just crazy all together, so nothing really phases me any more. I'm feeling like a seasoned parent I think. It makes me sound old, but it really is true. My first two babies were super fussy and colicky, and Anders is starting to fall into that category. Not 100% yet, but he's definitely needing extra TLC. And for my first two, I was thrown into a whirlwind over it. This time, I've been so calm and easy going about it all. Funny how much energy goes into worrying at being a first time mom. This time around we're smooth sailing.


I hope you don't mind all these pictures. He's only little once, and I can't get over how much he's changed just in these past 3 weeks! And now that we are over the recovery stage, I'm finding myself so ready to get back into being here on the blog more, sharing what's going on, etc. Things are still happening! Like, Quilt Market in 2 months (new fabric anyone??) and new patterns and art. And lots of really exciting collaborations and projects. I've not been super active here on the blog, but I have a feeling I'll be here more. With how much is going on in the studio, as well as how much more creativity it back in my brain now that I'm not pregnant any more. Anyone else get like that? Super dry and non-creative during pregnancy? It's like all my creativity went to making a baby. And now that he's out, I'm back to my old self again. It's good to be back.

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So come and visit more, I've got a schedule full of posts that have been waiting to happen for a while now. Work is cranking away, new designs and DIY's coming, and new fabric coming soon!

But my best creation this year? You're looking right at him:)

Let me introduce you....

IMG_8285 So, I'm not really sure how 2 weeks has gone by since Anders made his appearance. How does time fly like that? My goodness. I'm missing those earliest moments with him already!

As I've mentioned before, my pregnancy  was on the difficult side to say the least.  It was just one thing after another. And it never seemed to let up. First the morning sickness that kept me in the bathroom most mornings and nights, and then the pre-term labor contractions that put me on partial bed rest starting about 20 weeks.  Then came the Symphasis Pubis Disorder which is a premature separation of the pubic bone that put me on total bed rest mostly due to the pain factor. I had excruciating pain and my movement was very limited for the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy that physical therapy couldn't even fix. I used electric carts at the grocery store for the first time, and I found a new empathy for anyone who has ever needed a wheelchair.  I won't lie and say I was tough girl. I tried, but this pregnancy got me on my knees a lot. Trying to keep it all together and be a mom to my 3 others, and still illustrate and design at the same time was so incredibly challenging. My kids were troopers and my husband was a rockstar. We made it through! Every day was a mountain, and I can honestly say it stretched in ways I never planned on. No pun intended.

I don't say that to vent or complain at all. I say that because when my water finally broke at 5:04 am August 1st, I felt like I'd won the Boston Marathon.

It felt like Christmas morning. I just started crying.

All my worries and fears and discomforts were put aside, and he was finally coming! A calm trip to the hospital, a peaceful start and a beautiful delivery.  He spent a bit of time in the NICU, but everything was as it should be. I just burst into tears with joy that first moment I saw him, grateful for him, and grateful that the two of us made the rough and hard journey together. It was all finally all worth it.

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There really isn't anything that can describe those first few moments holding a baby. Those first few hours are so magical. The smell. The sounds. I'd have a million of 'em if it didn't mean pregnancy and college tuition for each one:) And teenage years.

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Having my kids be old enough to really appreciate everything about Anders has been so awesome. They just dote  on him. All. Day. Long. And while 4 feels like a circus right now, it's amazing how much easier this phase is with older kids who can do things like grab me a blanket from across the room, or help a sister to the potty. Circus, but happy circus.

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Thank you for all your lovely well wishes and sweet notes. It's been wonderful to hibernate with this little guy for the past 2 weeks and life is starting to get back in gear just a tad. We're all still in Babymoon phase, and there is definitely a slower pace around the house. But school is starting, new projects are rolling in and life is moving us forward. This time with 4 kids in tow! It's amazing.

IMG_8294 IMG_8344I hope you don't mind lots of pictures, because I can't stop capturing this little guy. You'll be seeing lots of him I'm sure:)

So, say hello to Anders. He'll be saying Hello right back.

Glad you are introduced.

He is here.

baby announcement My heart is bursting in a million pieces. He's perfect and we are well. We've had a few hiccups, and so more pictures and details will come in time. We are resting and enjoying heaven at home and soaking up every miracle minute of him.

Love to you all! More soon.....



Still here.

june instagram Well, well well. Hello!

No. I haven't had my baby, which is probably what you are thinking since I haven't really been online for 2 weeks. It kinda just happened! Sorry for the unexcused absence, but life is life, right? I'm at the last lap of my pregnancy, trying to cope with deadlines and crazy nesting instincts all while managing my "pelvic rest" pre-term labor stuff. That, and my husband had abdominal surgery 2 weeks ago, and with kids out of school, and a house that we are attempting to renovate, everything else has gone on hold.


And of course, throw designing a new fabric line and other art projects, and let's just say I will be lucky if my kids have clean pj's tonight.

It's a reality check really. When I've done my very best to manage a lot of things in the past, to be reduced down to just the bare basics. It's been good in a lot of ways, but a big challenge too.

I'm going to be posting a bit less for the next little bit I'm sure, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything going on!

So, stick with me! Next week, I have 2 tutorials for you, a sale coming up, and other fun summery treats.

Ohmygosh. And it's over 100 degrees here. I have never minded so much until this summer when I'm already carrying a little furnace. Any suggestions for summer pregnancies? I can't get enough ice water and cool baths.

I hope you are still around? Hello?  Hope I haven't lost ya. But maybe you are busy swimming and vacationing and eating snow cones. I sure hope so!

So come back Monday, and we'll pick up where we left off.

Oh, and if you want more frequent updates of behind the scenes in my world, follow me on Instagram! Insta-blogging really. Love it.

Happy Friday!!



I'm here, I'm here.

IMG_7996 Hi!

How are you?

I feel like this space has been so chalk full of giveaways, specials, new fabric....I haven't even really had a chance to pipe in and share what's going on around here. I know this isn't like my personal family blog or anything, but it just feels off to me to just be posting information all the time. Ya know?

Truth is, that things been a bit slow around here. Eventful, but so many things that I typically do in a day have been put on hold. Book projects, design projects, portrait's been really hard to press pause. Maybe I didn't mention that this year so far, Kenneth has been pulling 80 hour weeks at work, and so I've kinda been playing single mom. Which, when you are on pelvic rest and pregnant and working with 3 kids isn't exactly something I'd wish on anyone. It just basically means it's taken most of my energy on just getting dinner on the table and clean socks for the kids (although, that didn't really even happen consistently!) Thankfully, his crazy work schedule is over, and we're slowly getting back to the tag-team lifestyle that makes our family tick. So many people ask me how I do what I do, and the real answer is I have a best friend who is flexible and is awesome with the domestic stuff around the house when I'm under deadlines. Without that these past 5 months, my hands have been tied. Sometimes you don't realize it until it's gone. Kenneth and I really are a duo deal. And I'm totally ready to get him back.

So, first's my 26 week bump! Last time I checked in, I was 15, and I felt big then. This is baby #4 and I still am surprised when I feel those kicks and butterflies. It's starting to hit me that we'll have 4 buckled in the car now, 4 beds and all the seats at our table will be used up.  It's a miracle. The adjustment will be an adventure for sure, and I am definitely not ready for sleepless nights (I don't do those very well!) But I'm determined to rise up. I love the baby stage. Love it. I love all stages really, but newborns turn our house into a bit of heaven. But last night I was up with a sick child for the better part of the night, and didn't wake up  in time to get my kids out the door and they were late to school. Oh dear. Gonna have to work on that one:)


In other news, Ella (our climber and balancing act girl) fell off the couch last week and broke both the bones in her forearm. My first trip to the ER with a child, and one I'll never forget! It's a good thing it's summer in that she can really only squeeze into tank tops, but when the morning after she woke up from the drugs she asked to go play on the monkey bars at the park, I melted. It will be a long 8 weeks. Any suggestions for toddlers with broken arms in the summer time?

ella cast

She's still not in a full cast yet because it was such a complete break, and her bones are so little. So until then, I'm coming up with really creative indoor activities which is hard when it's warm for the first time in 9 months!

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She broke her dominant arm, so while she's getting used to doing things with the other hand, it's quite darling to watch her try and use her broken one. That's her trying to itch an itch.

And I'm thinking of everyone at Quilt Market right now! Any of you going to be there? I'm not able to travel till the baby comes, so it's odd to have a fabric line out with no booth. If you are going, say HI to the Michael Miller team! It's always SUCH a party there...I just love presenting with them. I will have a few samples that will be there that you can ask to see. Here's a pillow that I think turned out so cute. Super simple to make, and that panel print makes for really fun projects.





So, as I come out of my cave of single-mommy-bed-rest mode, I hope to be more purposeful in so much of what makes me thrive. I'm actually feeling so much better physically and am able to do more (for the time being) and being creative again really makes me feel like a real person again. It's such a part of who I am.  But it's amazing how it can shut off when you get in survival mode.

But looking back, it's the ebb and flow of life that keeps me on my toes and feeling alive. And alive is good.


setting up

room arranging We painted the kids rooms 4 months ago. We ripped out their floors 4 months ago. We put in one room of floors 3 months ago...but we never had time to paint and reassemble the bunk beds, or floor the second bedroom. This year, like most, has been really full. But I'm realizing (because I'm pregnant and actually on "pelvic rest") how much Kenneth and I are a total team. We get so much done when we are working on projects together!  But this year, he's been pulling 80 hour weeks, and I'm unable to move around very well. Hmmmm. Tricky.

See, I think and feel SO much more clearly when my spaces aren't cluttered, and the house is in order.  Not perfect order. I'm NOT a neat freak by any means. But the truth is, we've been under a lot of clutter because I've had to been on "pelvic rest" and I've not been able to do things like assemble and paint bunk beds. And it's something that's obviously second to making a baby, but not having beds for your 3 children gets to you after a while! It's something really only a woman can understand. When you have all three kids camping out in a small room with no floor space because the mattresses are sprawled out in a room the size of 3 mattresses, it's cute for the first couple weeks. But 4 months, and pretty soon you have a bunch of kids and a mommy that just need a bit more space.

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And we are starting to get there. I'm excited to show you the progress in the next few weeks. It's been quite the transformation. And the kids are really involved with which art piece of mine they want where...and are even giving me ideas for what they want me to make next. I love hearing their ideas. So clever.

And with this new space, I've been inspired and will be showing you some new art prints this week as well! I can't wait! They coordinate with my up and coming fabric line that I'll be sharing with you at the end of this month, and I'm tickled.

owl clock

Something that's really hard to articulate, is the dilemma of the mother-artist that lives in a constant ebb and flow of creativity and order. For me, when life is out of order, I'm not very creative. But on the flip side, when I'm crazy creative, things get out of order. You'd think I'd have this all figured out by now. But something about not having order in my home these past couple months with rooms under construction, being on partial bed rest, and managing on my own most of the week, I've found that I've been less creative than I normally am. Any of you fall into this boat? And maybe it's the nesting, or maybe it's just me....but something about starting a room from scratch and reorganizing my home makes all the juicy creativity flow again. I could be odd, but I bet I'll find a soul mate reading this and saying....."Um...Yes. That'sexactly the way it is."


But on a good note, I actually got cooperative, happy children for Easter pictures right before church. Like 3 minutes before church. Score! I haven't always been so lucky:) Actually, I've never been that lucky. Happy kids. That's what I live for. And 3 faces in focus:) Eek! Soon to be 4! I can't wait.

But really....I'll be posting lot of new things this week. New art, originals, sewn items, and a sale! So stay tuned:)