Why I like Mondays

Off for a picnic #aachen #germany #wurmtal #summer

We had a super lovely weekend. It started in a way on Thursday when I pushed through an insurmountable wall of cranky fighting unhappy kiddos and managed to pack a picnic and get everyone in the car. We picked up Jared and went to the forest. It was like day and night. An easy dinner at a tree stump picnic table, playing chase and hide and seek, picking wild blackberries.

Wild blackberries! #wurmtal #aachen #germany #summer #berries

Friday sort of flew by. I tried a new technique with Griffin. Instead of heading out after taking Bird to school we just played here. He took a snooze around noon and was able to make it to the evening without as much drama. Phew! I can only take so much. Last week was punctuated with it and I was tired of being on that rollercoaster. Jared and I were able to have a lovely evening watching a movie with prosecco and popcorn. We've been reading the Harry Potter series books (yes, aren't we the last to do so!) and it's so exciting to watch the movies again.

Popcorn, prosecco, and Potter :) We finally are reading the HP series and it's so fun to watch the movies again.

And I was able to get going on an illustration that will eventually be a printed tea towel. It feels really great to be moving along on a simple project that won't take weeks and weeks to complete. I had to start somewhere and this seems like a good place. Afterward if all goes well with Spoonflower printing, stocking my shop, etc., I'd love to put together a tea towel calendar for 2013. Good idea??

I was able to chip away a bit more despite the million distractions tonight. #illustration #drawing

Off to pick up Bird!

Oh! Yes, quickly, why I like Mondays: I'm fresh from the weekend usually which is great, but also because Monday has become my STUDIO NIGHT. Jared gets both kiddos to bed and I can get started on work early and without distraction. It has quickly become my favorite night of the week :o)

Can't wait to share more about all that.

Hugs from Germany,

Ps: Here are some sunny shots from the morning.

It's lovely at the park #aachen #germany #yellow #flowers #shoes

My neighbors grow gorgeous stripey dahlias. #flowers #dahlia #aachen #germany #summer

Off to school, no training wheels or help from mom! #biggirl #bike

Bird is riding her bike all by herself!!! I'm so proud of her :o) :o)


Summer Backyard

Two weekends ago I had friends over to help me celebrate my birthday. It was sooo much fun that I want to do it regularly - without the birthday part :o) We ate rum cake and drank two types of sangria. I set out a table of supplies and a couple of crafty project ideas: tiny felt strawberries and needle felted flowers.

A couple of strawberries were sewn and stuffed but there was mostly a lot of furious felting going on. Possibly a few drops of blood from the accidental looking up to answer a question (never take your eyes off the needle). Thinking about it, maybe it's not safe to mix needle felting with sangria but it sure was fun.

Summer Backyard

Summer Backyard

I also got to set the yard up all pretty which has been such a joy this summer. The garden has been amazing & I can't stop checking out all the new blooming flowers and fruits/veg. Every morning when Jared drives off Bird tells me it's time to look for sugar snap peas (in her cutest 3yo version of the words) and then we move on to strawberries, then tomatoes. Then we ogle at the corn and talk about the growing melons and ripening figs.

Summer Backyard

Summer Backyard

Summer Backyard

Summer Backyard

It's so fun to share this space we've been working on and nurturing for nearly 6 years now. My studio is still pretty rough around the edges but we can't justify working on it with full focus till we get a few other things done on the house. Plus, with a 4mth old and a 3yo it's been more than difficult to get time to myself out there. So for now it will have unpainted baseboards, leaky old windows, lots of entrances for spiders (and hopefully nothing larger than that), and mediocre lighting. Frankly, I don't care what it looks like really - I just want some time to get working and stocking my shop again. I have SO many ideas...bursting at the seams.

Summer Backyard

Have to mention, of the friends who were over the other night...some fabulous blogs, sites, and projects they are involved in. My lovely friend Klay has partnered with Anna Maria Horner and is selling her plushes in Anna's shop. They are made with an assortment of AMH's fabrics and they are incredibly cute and meticulously sewn. They would be perfect in a living room as much as they would in a kid's room. Here's Klay's post about the news and here is Anna Maria Horner's "Visiting Artists" shop page. And this is Klay's shop. I'm so excited for Klay!

My friends Wendy and Laura also came and they are both talented crafty ladies. Wendy used to work in a high tech job (same company as Jared, that's how we met) and has since left and is now, hopefully, going to be making and selling more of her beautiful things. Wendy's blog site is here and shop is here. You will love her design aesthetic - I totally admire her clean and modern design sense.

Laura is an illustrator here in San Jose. I can't even remember how we met at this point but I just enjoy her company so much and think she's such fun to be around. Her illustration work is so light hearted, colorful, and energetic. She's been working on building a licensing career and I think she's doing an amazing job. Her blog site is here and her main (fancy!) site and shop is here. She posted about the evening over here too :o)

Have you attended an evening of crafting and hanging with friends? What kind of projects did you work on? Have any advice to share? I think it's such a great time - I definitely recommend it. It's the perfect opportunity to share a new skill or just connect with creative friends. I wasn't sure what crafty project to offer and looked online a little for ideas but didn't find much. In the end, I just thought about what I like to work on and possibly what others might be interested in.

The two glasses of wine I had tonight have made my brain a little (more) mushy...I'm just happy to be finally getting this posted after 2 days of attempts. Such is life these days :o) Hope you're having a lovely week.

Hugs, Devon

Leah Evans Textiles

"Googling" is just amazing. You never know what you'll find right? In my quest to find things related to a certain key word I'm exploring for a fabric collection I stumbled upon the work of Leah Evans.

To say her textile pieces are detailed and worthy of getting completely lost in is an understatement. I can't get enough of these amazing pieces. I really wish I could see some of these in person, and run my fingers over all the hours of stitch work. My favorites (photos from here):

And some detail shots (photos also from here)

The odd thing is that I feel like I've met her before?? Did she go to RISD? She certainly knows textiles - I knew a couple of Leahs in our department but who knows. I would love to hang out with her for an afternoon and learn more about her process.

Happily sweating in the studio with 2 kids napping,