Autumn is my favorite season. I think I write that sentence in a blog post every year around this time. My reasons change a bit each year, but my love of the season is mostly about boots, food — butternut squash, brussels sprouts, warm apple cider — and the free pass to snuggle indoors. #hyggelife
As a human person who wants nothing more than to read under a quilt by the fire without worrying about ice dams on my roof, I never want autumn to end.
As a small business owner, autumn is something entirely different. It’s when THE HOLIDAYS are meant to be start. No, not Halloween or Thanksgiving. Autumn marks the beginning of Christmas and Hanukkah and gift-buying and gift-giving (my favorite part). So instead of wrapping myself like a book-loving burrito by the fire, I’m supposed to be thinking of snowmen, gift wrap, and eggnog.
And each year, I rebel against The Holidays coming so soon — even as a business person — because my human-burrito side just wants all the autumn all the time! And if I can’t have it all the time, can I just have it during autumn? Pleeeease!
This year, the answer is no. No I can’t. pen&thimble is starting The Holidays “early” this year. Which is really just “on time” with all the other shops. Holiday items have been made and photographed and are just waiting for me to finish one last bite of an apple to be listed on my Etsy shop.
This year, I’m offering a gift wrapping option too! Bright hand-stamped (by me) stars and a gift note wrapped in twine. It’s already designed and photographed and waiting to go live as an option soon! But first I’m going to slide on my boots and crunch up some leaves and maybe start a fire in my fireplace and read a bit.
Post Update: Holiday Items have rolled into the shop. Gift wrapping option coming soon!
Poison Ivy isn’t the only thing I’ve gotten into this summer! I’ve also been sewing my heart out! (See what I’ve been working on at gillianstitches)
But I haven’t been cooped up in the studio! No… I’m out in the backyard, on the deck while the girls splash in the paddling pool, long car rides across 5 states, at the breakfast table, even in bed watching Netflix! This summer, I have taken sewing away from the machine and to… well, everywhere else!
English Paper Piecing
I’m working on a giant English Paper Piecing (EPP) project. For those who don’t know it is a technique of sewing quilts by hand using paper backing to stabilize your fabric and thus making your fabric easier to piece together.
We took a long car trip across 5 states and 1100 miles with our two kids under 5 years-old. They had Netflix downloads, my husband had the wheel, and I had hand embroidery (I had the best deal of everyone).
Since I was cooped up in a car, I decided to stitch up some nature with these garden boxes. It was so fun to stitch and when I didn’t know what to do with an empty box, I took suggestions on Instagram! Stuck in a car collaborating with other creatives — it was heaven!
Do you like to get your craft on in the summer? What do you like to do? Tell me in the comments below!
Want To Stitch With Me?
Have you ever wanted to pick up a portable craft like embroidery or EPP to keep your hands busy while you schlep the little ones here and there? Let’s make a little crafty mom club! I’d love to help you get started! First, follow me on Instagram @gillianstitches and send me a message letting me know that you want to stitch with me!
Moms, fellow-handmakers, family members tend to have the same question for me… How do I get it all done? The mom-ing of two girls (4 and 2 years-old) and the making and running my business. The answer is a two-parter.
Part One: I don’t.I don’t even try. You know how you vacuum every week? Mop a few times a week? Make those adorable plates for lunch with food art? I don’t do that. I do enough to keep the house clean and free of bugs. Beyond that, I’m okay with the odd dust bunny or smudge on the wall. I’m the queen of doing what my husband would consider two loads of laundry in one. Dump it all in. Press the buttons. Sew. Make snacks. Fold. Haha! One and done! Easy peasy!
Part Two: With a two-year old in my lap. I do it all with her in my lap. I eat breakfast with her in my lap. I work with her in my lap. (BTW, She says “hiiieeee”. She’s sitting on my lap right now as I write this.) I eat lunch with her in my lap. She takes a nap–you guessed it — in my lap! I fold those huge loads of laundry while she’s in my lap (or in the basket). 🙂 I eat dinner with her in my lap.
Haha! While that is no exaggeration, she does leave my lap sometimes. When that happens, I grab a quick run on the treadmill, cut and iron fabric, or run around with her! It’s a good life guys. I’m super grateful that I get to stay home with my girls and play with them, listen to their stories and songs, console them, and design and sew my heart out.
It is never lost on me that I get to enjoy my two passions every day– mom-ing and making!
How do YOU get it all done? What does “getting it all done” mean to you? Tell me below in the comments or come over to the pen&thimble Facebook page to discuss!