Kid purses made by Sophey.
And last but oh not so least... Jesse and Mike's beautiful birdhouses...
But we did it.
We will do it again.
We sold stuff and got a million smiles :)
And the food was awesome ;)
Okay... summer has been super busy the last few weeks. I have taken so many photos and haven't posted, so I'll do lots of photos and not too many words for this post. I hope your summer is as enjoyable as ours has been so far!
flower shopping/flower planting :)
birthday celebrating (three in a week- Mike, Ainsley, Jeff)
church rummage and thrift store sleuthing...
sleepovers and hammock swinging
and last... but so not least...
happy Monday to you!
Hey, I came in from the garden! Most of the garden is in now and most of the flowers are planted. I still "need" to buy more flowers and pots for the front porch, but things are coming together on the outside of the house. The weather is just gorgeous here this spring... it's been in the 80's all week.
Blue skies + 80 degree weather= Kelly Happiness.
But my craft room has been such a mess. When I'm busy on other projects, I tend to just throw stuff in there, shut the door, and wait to get to it "later". But I found a funky old dresser for thirty bucks at the thrift store last week and it spurred me on to get back into the craft room... at least to clean it for starters. Cleaned and rearranged it for eight hours one day this week, and now I can breathe in here again. I really can't work or be creative when the space gets too messy or cluttered. It's one of the few things that makes me feel claustrophobic- messy craft rooms and sleeping bags. Sleeping bags are way worse. (Yup. Girls Camp. Age twelve. Ten girls in a six-person tent and me in a sleeping bag with my nose shoved in the corner. Dogpiled. Sheer Panic at four o'clock in the morning... but that's another story ;)
Anyway... here's to new and improved.
Fabrics are on the metal shelving now... all stacked up and pretty :D
The old shelf they were on before had no back, and my fabrics were always slipping through onto the floor. It was driving me crazy.
In other news...
It was the last day of school today. All three kids are officially out of school now.
YAY! YAY! YAY! (that's from the kids).
And YIPPEE! YIPPEE! YIPPEE! (that's from the mom).
The last two weeks of school just about do us all in...
I'm so glad all the testing, end of year activities, homework, and alarm clocks are done for three months.
We're planning on a seriously fun summer this year. I'm going to work on my business early in the morning and then by the afternoon we'll play and have fun.
In fact, we already started playing a little this week at the pool...
What are your plans for the summer?
I have been lost in a jungle of wild monkeys and gardens lately... but in a good way. This is one of about nine sets of little girl's aprons with matching sock monkey/ clothes I've been working on. I think it's time for a little haute couture for the monkey world... I mean really, how many naked sock monkeys are there running around the world? It's just not right ;) (And then there were all those apron and dress scraps... I couldn't waste those. So I sewed baby balls, headbands, flower barrettes, etc. to match.)
Her name is Poppy (not very creative, I know, but who else could she be?) The poppy fabric came from an estate sale last summer. It looks like it's from the '60s and it reminds me of all the Marimekko fabrics and wallpapers I loved in the '80s. The fabric had been made into curtains. I bought yards of the poppy fabric and a big box of other fabrics for four dollars... love finding stuff like that!
The goal is an Etsy shop again by the beginning of summer. Well stocked and adorable is the plan. I'm also working on stocking a booth for the farmer's market this summer, and the shop I sell too, and I'm working on not feeling overwhemed by all my grand ideas :)
Last week I went hunting for a few display pieces for the farmer's market. I bought everything at my friend Brenda's shop, Just A Bed of Roses. If you're local and you're looking for lovely antiques, she is your "go to" girl.
Isn't it gorgeous? I love it. I also found fabric at a fabric store that matches this perfectly- a small golden gingham print for the display table that reminds me of warm toast and honey... don't ask me why...
The next day I found more yellow gingham at the thrift store- old curtains again. A whopping two dolla. I love the brown and cream cross-stitching pattern along the bottom. Not sure what I'll make out of it yet though... then I went to Hobby Lobby and found this children's vintage reproduction fabric.
That includes sod rolling around here too. Two Saturdays ago Mike rented a sod cutter for the day, and as a family we dug up 7,500 lbs. (!) of sod from our yard and hauled it to the dumps... We needed canes and walkers on Sunday. Oh. My. Gosh. Muscles none of us knew we had hurt for days, but it's looking great. Mike and Jesse built the raised beds, installed weed cover underneath, and hauled load after load of dirt and bark to fill it all in. The sprinkling system is still being rerouted and a drip system is almost ready to go.
Tomorrow, I'm buying the veggies to plant. Tomatoes, squash, broccoli, carrots, melons, herbs, peppers, and whatever else looks intruiging. I layed in bed thinking of vegetables this morning at 5:30 am, wondering if I could make my own salsa with only our homegrown veggies this fall.
(Suburban produce fever? )
The seating spot will include a movable fire pit for now. That area needs to be clear to drive into when we build the waterfall and new deck next year. After that happens, another raised bed will probably go where the seating and firepit are now. Around the edges of the garden will be a white picket fence; it's scheduled to go up next weekend. I'm planting the front outside edges of the fence in cosmos, snapdragons, and whatever else I fall in love with at the garden center. The rounded corner edge will have a birdbath, an ornamental tree, more flowers and a beautiful St. Francis statue Mike gave me for Mother's Day yesterday.
We are all so excited about this project... and I'll keep you posted through the summer.
Aren't you so excited for vegetable slideshows ha,ha!
We are having the most gorgeous spring in Utah this year, and I am so glad after the great, wet, soggy, miserable, flooded April, May, and June of last year. We could not have put a garden in last year, there wasn't a dry day until mid-June. I definately think it's making it all the sweeter this year... and I am on the hunt for an awesome homemade salsa recipe.
I have so many projects in the works right now, my mind is full of ideas. I love spring for that... along with a million other reasons... everything coming back to life- green, blooming, growing... it's the best. All that frozen, stagnant winter brain stuff of mine is over and I have more ideas than I can possibly bring to life as quickly as I want to.
May is my favorite month of the year.
I wanted to have so much finished to show you by now, but I honestly have about twenty sewing projects going at once. Sometimes (yup, like spring) I just work better on lots of things at once- it's some sort of cross-pollination thing... one idea leads and flows into others. And so I go from one to the other project/idea like a bee, almost.
So for now the design for the tea towel I showed a little peak of awhile back is what's finished. I like how it turned out. It's a plain old craft store tea towel that I added appliqued fabrics to, my red crocheted flowers, and some sweet vintage Black-eyed Susan trim found on Etsy. The butterflies are appliqued fabric, the words are written with water-soluble embroidery marker, and back-stitched in three strands of embroidery floss. I love the words... the whole quote is from Romans and goes something like this, "be transformed by the renewing of your minds". It feels like my creative journey over the last four years. It's been very transformative-ish... and sorta butterfly-ish. I stop and land here for a bit and then fly along over there... admiring the beauty of all I find along the way, then posting about it. It's how I've rolled. And you know what?? It's not a bad way to figure yourself out, I've decided... it looks like lots of superficial flitting along, but it's an uncovering too, of sorts, finding all that you love, and then (now) putting it all together. (I went to design school and worked as a designer in many different jobs, but I was always designing what other people wanted me to, not zero-ing in on my own style. I'm thinking now that lots of kid raising had something to do with that delay too! ;)
Wholeness. I have hunted for it for four years. And those four years were pretty rough years at times... a year of watching my Mom slowly die from dementia (I don't know of a more horrific way to die) and another year grieving her death. Deep issues surfaced within my family during my Mom's illness- Dad, sister, brother, myself, and have been the source of heartache too. I was so stressed, my hair even started to fall out for awhile. A few more health problems gave me a scare too in the last couple of years, but most have thankfully been solved.
The first year of this blog I didn't know what it was supposed to be about, or the business I had launched for that matter... blogging and writing did not come easily either. (Putting it out there publicly is really intimidating for me at times). I named it Monarch Post because all I really knew for sure about it was that I was going through a time of personal transformation and the monarch butterfly fit that transformation image perfectly, still does.
But through it all a picture finally presented itself... and... fiiinally, I got it. It was my life... this business was meant to be about my life/our life... whadayaknow- ha, ha! Crafting, children, creativity, gardens, flowers, food, justice, spirit, joy. It feels like a homecoming, a circling back around... a transformation- and it feels really great. It probably sounds silly, but I knew when this little tea towel project was done that I was at the beginning of that wholeness I had searched for... all the little pieces of what I love coming together somehow... so easily, so full-circle moment...finally. It flowed. Things are moving along in a happy direction now. Staying true is hard work though... I read a quote on another blog one gray day, "Keep your face to the sun and you cannot see the clouds" ~ Helen Keller. And that is exactly what it takes to get through the hardest times, I've learned... and also just putting one foot (however freakin' weary) in front of the other. every. single. day. on that journey of keeping your face to the sun. I'm so glad I started to blog and hopefully, blog designer number four will be able to give me a new blog design soon.(Sorry for the long mess here... not my plan). I never kept a journal growing up, but now I can see the value of journaling... it's like a road map of where you've been; looking back and forward leads you along...like the real labyrinth at church I walked during Lent this year... you do eventually get to the center- going forward and backward, backward and forward, as long as you keep putting one foot in front of the other...you cannot, can not fail to get to the center... labyrinths, I learned, were created to symbolize the spiritual journey everyone takes through life. Such a great metaphor for that journey through life, don't you think?
Tomorrow we're digging up sod and planting a kitchen garden in the completely un-landscaped east area of our backyard. Mike and the boys are also digging up the grass along the east fence to eventually be landscaped. This summer it will grow zinnias. We've got plans for plants, trees, and a waterfall in the north-east corner of the yard. And a two-level rock deck project for next summer that will circle under our lovely honey locust tree. I am really looking forward to it all. Oh, and we decided as a family to dive in and craft goods in fabric and wood for the local farmer's market this summer. The kids, Mike and I are really excited to do this too- after all it fits the plan... children, creativity, and joy!
And so anyway, as usual, I'm writing and rambling along in hopes that you find something to take with you too on your creative journey through life. It's the other equal reason for being here at this blog... you know...?? It really, really is :)
Hope your weekend is lovely.
I have nineteen Easter baskets to decorate and sell to All Tucked In this year.
And I have been workin like a factory robot this week...
little wooly yellow daffodils and pink roses.
I am pretty sure I'm insane to do this again.
They are time consuming, but they sell OUT.
and that is a good thing for my little cottage business :)
So there ya go.
I've been watching TED while I work on my iphone and I love it!
TED features over 1,000 20 minute talks from leaders in all sorts of fields.
Smart people who are progressive and visionary thinkers.
And no name calling... Wow. Imagine that.
It's been really good to watch something so positive.
And I feel like my brain gets a workout.
When I'm doing work like today that is just repetitive I feel braindead.
I like to watch tv so it's less tedious, but The View is old
and soap operas are the biggest waste of time ever invented.
what else is there? (Except working dogs on PBS- that was fun to watch this week too.)
So go check it out, if ya want : )
Nice shot of the superhero guy on the tv on my sideboard mirror.
But the baskets are looking sweet, don't you think.
They are thrift store finds for about $1.00 each.
I've been hunting for baskets whenever I hit the thrift stores since January to find the really nice ones, and then I paint them with semi-gloss spary paint
I sprayed them white and pink again this year- they sell the best.
Mike bought Sophey a dozen pink roses for her ballet recital last recital.
He played around with my camera and took photos.
Aren't they pretty?!
And so was the ballerina girl.
She was a bridesmaid for Cinderella's wedding.
This was an elaborate production... an hour and a half of dance segments.
Amazing costumes and creativity.
If you live near Bountiful Utah and need a dance studio, the Creative Arts Academy is wow.
This girl is a dancer... and a performer.
She is shy when she is around large groups of people, but not when she hits the stage.
She loves it.
Have a great weekend everyone!
And a happy St. Patrick's Day.
I forgot it was St Patrick's Day until just now.
Mike and I are going on a hot date to Red Lobster tomorrow night.
I don't think that's very Irish,
so maybe I'll just tell my lobster a nice Irish limmerick and call it good ; )
I found bunches of daffodils in the grocery store the other day.... only $2.99 for a clump of yellow golden sunshine :D I bought three. It's February (we all know what that means) and flowers/daffodils become my new necessity- not a luxury, in my mind anyway. Oh, we need bread and milk to feed the children... nah, just some daffodils for the kitchen table... that's what we really need ; )
They smelled HEAVENLY every time I walked past them for about three days... I wish they lasted longer. They are just maybe my favorite smell in the whole wide world. Right up there with newborn babies slathered in baby lotion... and my husband slathered in Ralph Lauren Polo cologne... (which would bring me right back to why I birthed those babies of ours in the first place, but then that would be a whole 'nother post, and that's just TMI).
WOW on the daffodil smell.
(Good job, God. Thank you. ; )
I worked in my craft room most of the day- between doorbells and running ibuprofen to the school for a kid headache. (The life of the mom.) I finally came up with a very sweet butterfly fabric pattern with black polka dots and appliqued floral fabric wings. I haven't taken a photo yet- I think I'll need to make a few more first.
I also art journalled and that was good.
Sometimes I feel constrained by sewing, and it was very freeing to just doodle around with pens and fabric and paint... haven't done anything like that in so long. I'm always telling myself I'm too busy to just doodle for no reason, but it really does help the creative process along. It's like exercise- I'm too busy for that too I think, but when I exercise I know it helps me in so many ways.
Today, I'm off to hit the thrift stores looking for yellow wool sweaters to make into daffodils for my annual Easter basket-making marathon. I can't find any anywhere. Last week I found these three pinky ones and that was all I could find.
And I am also going to exercise in the mall... yes, the mall... because wiggling, jumping up and down, and sucking in my gut qualifies as exercise ( in my mind) while trying on jeans in a tight dressing room. Right? Of course it does... yuck.
But I need a pair of straight leg jeans for the weekend. Mike and I are going away to San Diego for a three whole days (alone).
And I am so excited.
Have a happy weekend yourself! K.
I feel like I'm always driving lately...
two more Dr appts this week, still working on my bum foot...
kid chaffeuring, ballet ( two nights a week), a baseball tryout, fabric stores, etc.
You know how it goes, I'm sure.
But today I got to drive to a favorite happy place of mine and drop off
my freshly sewn Valentine hearts :D
It's been pretty gray and dismal weather wise lately.
And gray just isn't my favorite color, you know?
But I finished up my hearts and they are cheery.
And so is the sweet children's and mom's shop I sell them at...
But my computer is uploading s.l.o.w.l.y again tonight.
So I will love you and leave you with lots of cheery photos
(and less words).
for a February day.
The white hearts are from a recycled bedspread.
And the flowery ones are made from a thrifted pinecone hill pajama top.
The polka dots and paisley are new fabrics.
The beads were from a vintage necklace.
I took lots of photos, because it was fun : D
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
and now for the shop... stinkin adorable today!
*ALL TUCKED IN*
Are you cheerier now...?
Mission accomplished ;)
It was wonderful to have a day at home ALL day in my studio.
But last weekend was not so wonderful.
Sophey had the stomach flu all Friday night, so major sleep deprivation on my end.
Oh, and a giant snowstorm with Corbyn driving home in it from the other end of Utah.
(Just to throw in a little extra excitement for me.)
And Mike has been in Europe the last two weeks...
so it's been me pulling all the shifts around here for quite awhile.
But today... no sick kids... no Dr appts... no drama...
until homework time, but that's another story.
AND I slept nine hours straight last night!
I had TIME
a fresh mind
and new scissors,
Happy heart day.
I've almost finished seven hanging hearts for Valentine's sales.
When I found this paisley at Hobby Lobby last week I was so excited to use it.
So far I've made hearts, a sock monkey skirt, and dress with it.
They are looking very cute (if I do say so myself :)
I looked at the quote I have glued on my sewing machine today,
and I thought ya... I am so there today.
I sewed a lot of seams
but the day felt seamless
and can I dare say holy?
It really was somehow...
It really was.