Saturday, December 14, 2013

And the winner is...

     Actually, I am going to take a second here before I announce who the winner is.  And I am going to take that second to say wow!  I am so touched by all of the comments, all of the words of praise for my bibs, all of the stories of messy, drooly, little ones you love, or little ones on their way.  Especially those stories.  I sew and embroider for babies because the ones I know bring so much joy and love into my life.  I love being able to share something I have made with my own creativity and my own hands with the babies I love.  Hearing this outpouring of 125 comments with the stories of the babies you love and how you all wish to share something special and handmade with them, has brought me so much joy.  And it has warmed up this quiet little blogspot of mine and made it feel less lonely.  Like maybe I am actually talking to more than just my loyal readers (aka my family.)  I so want to reply to every one of the comments, and I just might try, so if you are one of those thoughtful and amazing 125 commenters, check back on that post!

     And if you are one of those 125 commenters (or even if you aren't,) follow my blog, I like bloglovin' (It's free on your phone!) but I hear there are lots of other great options, or just bookmark this page and keep checking back here when you have some free time.  Or like me on Facebook. Or follow me on Instagram (gracefunlittlethings).  Or on Pinterest (though it is sometimes a strange mix of things I Pin).  I use all these to show behind the scenes what I am working on, and to show off new creations for my shop, and for my inspiration, and to announce coupon codes and sales and giveaways.  And I will announce this here first- when my Facebook page gets 100 likes I will give all of my followers a coupon code to my shop.  I'm at 85 right now, help me get there!  And I do hope that so many of you who had stories of those you would love to share my bib with will consider going to my shop and picking out just the perfect one for that little baby in your life.  My processing and shipping are quick- order by Wednesday and I will be sure to get it to you in time for Christmas.

     And thank you for stopping by, and checking my blog out, and taking the time to read my rambling. And here it is at last.  The winner (chosen by random number generating website, and then counting up from the first comment) is...

I think I would choose yellow, but it is a hard call because they are both GORGEOUS! I love the fabric. My 9-month old daughter is loving the finger foods but mama is not loving the mess, so that bib would be put to good work immediately!

Amanda, I will email you right now!  If you do not hear from me today, get in touch with me here or through one of my many other links on this page.

In other news...

   The countdown to Christmas is getting serious, and the "to make" list is not shrinking as quickly as it probably should me.  And this is one of those times I (kind of) wish no one in my family read my blog or followed me in the million other ways I can be followed, because seriously (seriously) I am making some awesome things (if I don't say so myself! hahaha!) and I want to show them all to you!

So instead I will show you our tiny christmas tree (10 month old learning to walk who is obsessed with plants of all kinds, means no big tree on the floor, only tiny tree on the table.)

And I will show you Annie helping us untangle the lights.

And Annie's opinion of staying in the house to work on projects when there are perfectly good walks to be taken, dog parks to visit and swings and slides to be played on.
Dog leashes around the neck clearly mean "take me on a walk, now, mama!"

And these paper whites on my desk trying to reach around the corner to the sunlight, so close to opening up, one of my favorite signs that Christmas time is here.         

And once again, I will say thank you- for reading, for commenting, for sharing your stories with me, and for the nice words.  And please come back! I do not write nearly as often as I should, but I am always promising to try harder on that front, and I love having new friends to share my adventures with!

Monday, December 9, 2013

It's Giveaway Day!

     This somehow totally and completely snuck up on me this year! I have been so excited about being a part of Sew, Mama, Sew's bi-annual Giveaway Day, thinking and planning what it is I would like to give away, dreaming of new readers finding my little (recently much neglected) blog.  And then something happened.  I started planning and creating all of the Christmas presents I am making for those I love this year, and completely forgot I am actually trying to run a business here too.  I haven't added new items to the shop (ok, ok, I haven't even sewn those new items, but I did buy some exciting new fabrics.)  I haven't done any blogging- Christmas project tutorials or otherwise.  My Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram pages have been shockingly quiet.  But man, oh man, has my pen been sketching, have my scissors been cutting and has my sewing machine been loudly humming away.

     And in the midst of all this frantic, exciting, love filled creating, Giveaway Day was probably the most forgotten of all of my plans!  So here I am, a few hours into the beginning of giveaway day, just writing my post now.

     For those of you who were already my readers, and didn't find this post through Sew, Mama, Sew, Giveaway Day is actually a week!  Today through Friday, December 13th at 5PM PST.  The way it works is this: You read my post, you get super excited about the amazing Fun Little Thing I am giving away, you leave a comment answering my question.  On Saturday, December 14th I randomly choose a commenter to win the item, I announce the winner here, we get in touch and I put it in the mail before December 20th!

     And for those of you who found me through Sew, Mama, Sew.  Thank you so much for clicking through to check out my blog and my bibs!  Welcome, Welcome!  I am so happy you are here.  If you have a chance, click back through some of my older posts, I have tutorials, new product announcements, sale announcements, and lots of pictures of my beautiful 10 month old daughter and all the adventures we have been up to lately.  I love new followers here and through all my other social media ways to share what I am sewing and what we are doing with our days.

    So enough of the boring details, here is the important part, what on Earth I am actually giving away.

     One lucky winner will get to choose either the pink or yellow Heather Ross Briar Rose Bee Bib!
I will even ship internationally for the first time ever! 

    I am in love with this entire fabric line and have created bibs, aprons, a romper for Annie and maybe one secret Christmas present out of fabrics from this line since its release a few months ago.  And I am particularly obsessed with these little bee ladies, wearing their kerchiefs on their heads, hard at work making me honey for my tea!

So now, here is your chance!  Leave me a comment telling me if you win, if you would like the pink or the yellow bib, and who in your life needs all the help they can get protecting those tiny clothes from drool, first food adventures and leaky sippy cups! And if you do not have a blogger account, please leave your name with your comment so I have a way of finding the winner!

PS I will try really hard to write another post, coming soon, with talk of my first wholesale order, Thanksgiving travel adventures, Annie almost walking, and a few vague, blurry pictures of secret Christmas projects in the works!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Secrets, Secrets

     This time of year is so hard for me in this space (and Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest.)  I am hard at work and excited planning new projects, but I can't show any of them off!  And by the time I can show them off (December 26th) I am more or less over the excitement, and it is too late for tutorials or shop links to be any good to all of you in your holiday planning.  Maybe I should blog some of last year's projects... I will try to get my excitement level up and get back to you all on that one.

    In the meantime, I realize that I have been totally absent here for awhile.  There has been traveling.  Five days in DC for the beautiful wedding of my beautiful cousin!  Lots of walking, sightseeing, eating, catching up and, as always, lots of laughing with lots of cousins, aunts and uncles (and of course, Nanny, Grampy, Auntie Lu, Auntie Em, Uncle Andy and Cousins Jack, Norah and Shelby.)  28 of us, I think, from California, Texas, North Carolina, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Connecticut and of course, Washington, D.C., trying to do as much together as possible in such a short time.

And so many more beautiful moments and shots (all blatantly stolen from the FB pages of Mom, Lucy and Laura!  Thank you photographers!)

There was also the sewing of that penguin outfit.  Taken mostly from this very well written and easy to follow tutorial!  Instead of plain white for the belly I used white with pink polka dots, because, in life, I mean, in sewing, I think that if polka dots are ever an option, they should not be passed up.  Also, the tutorial has a zipper down the back and a little penguin head hat. I chose to make a hood instead, which meant no zipper (oh, darn!)  Having seen Annie "wear" hats, I was pretty sure an attached hood was a much better call.  With the help of a texted picture of a hood pattern and some measurements (from none other than the bunny costume seamstress, herself!) the hood was born.  

    There has also been the small matter of the time change/ travel recovery/ I don't know what on Earth is going on with Annie's naps.  I am going to let my Santa Cruz side show a little here, and say that with the end of Mercury's retrograde (I am not entirely sure how much I am kidding here, I know it is at least a little bit), her nighttime sleep has been amazing the last few days, but the naps are only getting worse.  I am also trying really hard to practice non-attachment to the nap times schedule we were so used to.  Sleeping for an hour or two, twice a day, consistently three hours after last waking up, I could schedule our day.  When we would eat.  When we would do errands and chores.  When we would play around the house or at the park or go to moms group outings.  When I could do sewing or blogging or Facebooking.  The last week and a half there has been no schedule, no long naps, no predictable times. The last two days there have been seven hour stretches of AWAKE, at times slightly grumpy or deliriously goofy.  I am pretty sure the lesson I have to learn here is that, in the words of my very wise big sister, "kids are weird".  Our life can not be so scheduled.  I am trying to roll with it.  Having more success some moments than others.  And I know that we are so, so lucky with the great nighttime sleep, and I am so grateful for that.  And we are so, so lucky with such an amazingly cool little girl to love. And that is really and truly what is important.  

But just sometimes (times when it is 93 degrees outside in mid November and you have a cold and the barking neighbor dog abruptly ends a nap 20 minutes in) I have a few minutes of feeling a little sorry for myself.  

But then, by the miracle of an amazing husband and a second chance at nap time, I have a second to sit and write here and I realize how ridiculous the feeling sorry for myself is. 

So for now, back to working in secret, and wishing I could share my excitement here, who knows how long this quiet moment will last!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Street Fair

     What a weekend!  Saturday was full of more last minute organizing and sewing than I was expecting.  I kept thinking I was on the verge of being done, but then convincing myself there was time for one last project.  In the end the dresses and bloomers were finished, but not the rompers (but they were oh, so close!) Kyle was on snap and paper-cutter duty!  Annie was on being cute and reminding me to take breaks duty!

    And Sunday! Sunday was crazy, and long, and fun, and the best yet FLT sales day!  The fair was only 2 blocks down the street, perfect for my first fair since Annie was born.  We had breakfast, did some crawling and I put her down for a nap, then finished loading the car and left Dad in charge for the day (except when Shelly came to play and Kyle came to help me hang my heavy old windows!)  I love how my new booth set up turned out!

It is always hard to take a good picture of the booth with just my phone.  Bright outside (because in San Diego, sunny and 80 degrees on a mid-October morning is a normal thing) and dark under my tent.  Instagram helped brighten things up a little bit!  Once things started I didn't get another second to take a picture until it was already getting dark!  But here are a few Christmas and clip light lit up close shots!

Aprons, dresses and bloomers on one of my super
cute new/ heavy old windows

Swaddle blankets on the garden trellis, clutches and onesies on the table!

More Onesies on the tomato cage, diaper bags hanging and bibs down low.  

Bibs on the window in front!  

     Throughout the day I spent time talking to friends and neighbors.  Kyle and Annie came to visit three times.  I met lots of nice families.  I made friends in the booths surrounding me.  And I met a woman who runs a store selling goods made by local artists and she wants to sell my bibs and onesies!  And don't worry, I will definitely keep you all updated if anything comes of this!  The fair was packed with people and there was a constant flow of people in and out of my booth.  People who really appreciated the quality of my work and my fabric choices, who couldn't decide which item they were more excited about buying, who wanted to take cards and check out my Etsy shop.  It was so nice!  

    I will be honest though, and say that I could have done without the last two hours of the fair.  All the nice families had gone home for dinner and bed.  Everyone left had had more than a few beers in the beer garden, and if they found their way into my booth, tried to haggle prices with me and let me know in not so kind of ways that they did not agree with my pricing.  My booth also happened to be right across from the bar, which led to about 50 people standing in front of my booth smoking.  Smoking.  In front of a booth full of baby clothes.  Gross.  Gross.  So now everything will be washed and ironed and I hope will be no worse for it.  I hope.  

     By the time I got home, 12 hours after leaving, Annie was asleep and Kyle had thai food waiting.  I got the truck into the alley.  Kyle backed it in through the gate and we left everything for the morning.  I showered off the smoke (gross) and ate yellow curry and pad se ew and eggplant tofu and had one of the last two Firestone 805s hanging out in the fridge.  It was lovely.  

Monday was a day of cleaning up, putting away and organizing.  And today...

Today! Nanny is on her way!  Half an hour till we head to the airport to pick her up!  Everyone was a little too excited to sleep last night and thankfully at least one of those anyones is having a bit of a nap right now.  And I am enjoying a nap not stuffed full of as much sewing as possible.  A nap used for some laundry and a little bit of picking up and time to check in here and share all my excitement with you.  

Oh, and this is happening all of a sudden - 

No big deal, right?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


    I am such a delinquent blogger!  According to my FLT facebook insights, my post views are down 90% from last week!  Bad facebooker!  But I promise I really have been busy, busy, busy actually making and only accidentally keeping it all a secret!

     This time last year I was frantically getting ready for, and promoting, the North Park Craft Mafia Dia de los Muertos Craft Show (which despite my excitement and high hopes, turned out to be an enormous bust).  This year I am getting ready for, and only now remembering to take the time to promote, the Golden Hill Street Fair!  But somehow, magically and amazingly, I am not frantic at all!  I am excited about all the new things I am sewing.  I am excited about my new (and much more beautiful) booth set up.  I am excited to spend the day meeting new people, visiting with friends and sharing what I make (while listening to live music and eating yummy food truck grub!)  And in my excitement I am really working every chance that I get.  Cutting, sewing, embroidering, popping out windows and stapling on chicken wire, photoshopping new business cards, photoshooting new items with my amazing and adorable model in the park.  Life is hard! Ha! How incredibly lucky I am that dressing Annie up and taking pictures in the park is work!

    So yes, I am only now getting to talking about the street fair, but here it is:

Golden Hill Street Fair
Sunday, October 13th
25th St, between B and C
Live Music, Food Trucks, Local Arts and Crafts Vendors, Stone Beer Garden
Kids Play Area, Community Fun
and Fun Little Things

Check out the event facebook page and come visit me!

I know I can count on my Golden Hill crew to check it out, I would love to see ALL my San Diego friends, and you LA people... it's really not that far and the weather should be lovely!

Now for the good stuff I know most of you are really here to see!

Dresses and rompers will be for sale for the first time ever on Sunday, (we will see how many I can get made before then) and they will be coming to the shop shortly after that.  I am so excited about these patterns I designed and the gorgeous fabrics I am working with (bought on my birthday trip to Purl Tustin- Purl Soho's awesome west coast warehouse I only recently, and quite dangerously, learned you could actually shop at!)

Also, it is rainy and chilly and I love it!  Annie has been asking me nonstop if can we make soup and oatmeal bread, and today I can finally say yes!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

If I don't say so myself!

    I love, I mean, LOVE designing patterns!  In the past I have invented patterns for Halloween costumes (which usually involves a lot of poking myself or Kyle with pins,) a diaper bag and a very simple dress for myself (check out the blog tutorial on that one, bad paint drawings and all!) These pattern inventions were all pretty quick and simple, involved a lot of making it up as I went along and had varying levels of success (with the diaper bag definitely being my favorite on the list!)  But this romper I designed... I am really proud of myself and feel super PRO-fessional!

     This was the first time that I feel like I actually designed a real pattern.  I spent weeks, or maybe months, mulling it over in my head, talking about it, thinking about it doing it, but not really about how.  I bought fabric for it (shocking!)  And I waited and thought some more.  Then slowly at first, and like a crazy person over the last few days, I really got my creative brain working.  I drew pictures.  I did math.  I measured outfits that fit Annie now.  I looked at other patterns and online tutorials.  I took a little bit from here and a little bit from there and some other stuff too and changed and combined them to make it just what I really wanted it to be.  To make it mine.  I worked and took breaks and came back with fresh eyes.  I woke up in the night thinking of just the right way to do the snaps.  I had doubts.  I changed and crossed out and redrew.

And then... I turned this mess...

into this!

     Annie really wanted to help show you all how you can do all sorts of wiggly, crazy shenanigans and everything stays just where it should! We love rompers in these learning to crawl days we are having around here!

     I took notes as I worked that maybe only another Virgo could appreciate.  I noted and worked out a few little changes I want to make (to make a bit more room in the bum).  And now I am ready to make more!  What do you think friends, would you like to see rompers in the shop? 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


     Sometimes I have the beginnings of a blog post in my head.  Or maybe, not quite the beginnings, but little pieces, here and there.  And in my head they are just how I feel and what I want to say, when I did not even know I had wanted to say anything in the first place.  And usually I discover these bits and pieces while driving in the car, or on a walk or in some other completely blog inconvenient time and place, but I think to myself, that's ok, it's a good start, and when I get a chance to sit down and think and write, these bits and pieces will be there, and I will be able to place them in an order and a context that makes sense.  And I think, hmmm... I was maybe going to work on that pattern I have been planning during this afternoon's nap, but now I think I will blog, because these little pieces deserve their space and time.

     And then, I have the space and time and the little pieces have gone into hiding.  Or they are hanging out on the edge and do not want to get into an order or a context that makes sense.

     So fine, little pieces, hang out on that edge, I will hit save on that post about how my creative sewing inspiration is changing as the people and babies that I love are getting older and definitely now that I get to spend my days and nights with the baby that I love the most.  That one will have to wait until another day.  You have missed your chance, little pieces.

     And sometimes, I may just be procrastinating taking the first real step on a project I am excited about, but don't really know how to start, and I should just pick up the ruler and tracing paper and scissors and get to work.

Don't judge my handwriting!
What are you procrastinating these days and what super important thing (other than reading my blog) are you doing in the process?

P.S.  Annie has been asleep for an hour and I just realized the Raffi Pandora station is still playing on my phone.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Heart

    We are home, unpacked, catching up on sleep and wishing we were back on the beach.  A week in Ventura with Nanny, Grampy, Auntie Lu, Auntie Em and Uncle Andy, Cousins Jack, Norah and Shelby playing on the beach, in the waves, with rubber duckies, trucks, teethers, a pirate party for my golden birthday, eating and more eating, watching a lot of Ice Age, reading, one hysterical game of catch phrase, a momentous hike, laughing and less sleep for some than for others.  As always, Nanny and Auntie Lu did a much better job of getting amazing pictures than I did.  I actually brought my camera and it sat, turned off, on a shelf behind Annie's Cosleeper the whole week.  Here are the few I managed to catch on my phone.  

Toast and Cheerios!  Even Annie got in on the amazing food this week.
Cousins!  Catching 3 smiles, no screams and no blurry faces is tricky!

Oh, thanks Sister! Excellent footrest!

Enjoying the last sunset of the week.  

Aunties sure are good for naps, but hold tight to those snacks, you never know when they might try to steal your goldfish.  

Lego planes with DP

It's a hard life!

Playing in the waves with Nanny!

Yum!!!! Thanks Cheeky!

Early morning cuddles!  (sorry, Em, its the only one I had of you!)

As soon as Annie realized how far south we had come she tried to turn the car around!
    Now we are searching the city for more fans and a kiddie pool, wishing we were back with the people we love (and where you could just go down the stairs, try to avoid the feisty barnacles and dip your toes in the ocean to bring that body temperature down!) and starting to plot when we can all be together again.  And in the meantime I sure am having a lot of fun with this!  

Happy Birthday to me! Janome HD 1000 and so far I am in love!
I have an amazing husband who knows me so well!