handmade for woman and home

spillymade blog

Handmade for Woman and Home
                                                       

                                                      

Posts in family
Right Now
 Instagram Best Nine 2016

Instagram Best Nine 2016

It's been a while. Checking in to share my Instagram Best Nine of 2016, the posts that received the most likes over the past year. It turns out that these images are some of my favorites too. It seems the moments and achievements that touch us most deeply are the things that speak to others about ourselves the most deeply too. Over the past year I started doing some block printing and hand dying, I had a couple of awesome vacations with beautiful vistas and tasty cocktails, I took a stab or two at building daily creative habits, my kids grew (and I have the pics to prove it!). And two things will forever be so: 1) I am a sucker for pics of my kids from our annual Christmas Tree Trek (especially with silly faces and Santa hats) and 2) my husband sure knows how to light a tree... he's always the most popular guy on the block this time of year.

For anyone reading, I wish you a Happy New Year and leave you with a list of thoughts on where I am in my life right now, Taking Stock inspired by Pip of Meet Me At Mike's. Make your own list, it's fun and harder than you'd think...

Making : lists
Cooking : Enchiladas
Drinking : coffee and wine, what else is there?
Reading: In The Company of Women by Grace Bonney
Trawling: Hot for Food Blog and Lauren Toyota... I'm not vegan, but she's inspirational.
Wanting: a new couch
Looking: forward
Deciding: on my "one little word" 
Wishing: people find peace
Enjoying: twinkly lights
Waiting: to speak
Liking: fresh flowers
Wondering: how to get it all done
Loving: my old dog
Pondering: a cleanse and a better fitness plan
Listening: to old vinyl with N
Considering: classes and workshops... for me!
Buying: groceries... really, it never seems to end
Watching: family movies with the kids
Hoping: it all works out
Marvelling: at the freedom of birds
Cringing: when I think ahead to January 20
Needing: nothing
Questioning: my direction
Smelling: geranium
Wearing: my Blundstones almost every day!
Noticing: friends who seem to have it together
Knowing: that they probably really don't
Thinking: about classes and workshops
Admiring: creative people
Getting: rid of extra stuff, making room for the Holiday haul
Bookmarking: One Little Word
Disliking: the tween years
Opening: Holiday cards
Closing: the year
Feeling: a little stuck
Hearing: my own voice
Celebrating: new beginnings
Pretending: that I am not a procrastinator
Embracing: my babies who aren't babies anymore

Natural Beauty & Announcements
Shadows & Bike Tracks
Shadows & Bike Tracks

We are currently on our annual vacation to Crested Butte, Colorado and I must say that due to some massive rainfall (sorry fellow Californians!), Mother Nature is in rare form. Yes, it is ALWAYS beautiful here! This is our twelfth year in Crested Butte and we have yet to be dissappointed, but this year is by far the most spectacular when it comes to just all out beauty. Our schedule usually gets us here just as the wildflowers are wilting. This time, however, I am constantly finding myself in awe of the variety of flowers and colors I find at every turn. Each day I hike with the dog along the same trail, and each day a new  scene draws my eye - new varieties of wildflowers waving in the wind, clouds of every shape and color imaginable, critters peeking out of bushes and scuttling along the trails, mountain reflections like paintings on the lake. I could go on and on... it really is amazing. Here are just a few highlights...

Sunny Flowers
Sunny Flowers
Courageous Caterpillar
Courageous Caterpillar
Mount Crested Butte Reflection
Mount Crested Butte Reflection
CB at Sundown
CB at Sundown
Real Mountains (looking like a painting)
Real Mountains (looking like a painting)
Morning Hike at Peanut Lake
Morning Hike at Peanut Lake

In light of all the beauty and relaxation, however, there is still work to be done. So... keep your eyes peeled here or on the Sewing Classes page of my website. The Fall sewing schedule should be up in the next day or so. I am revamping the format a bit with Monday and Tuesday classes running longer sessions focused primarily on the beginning sewist. Wednesday classes will be completely new and improved featuring Wednesday Workshops, one-time three hour classes focusing on one project each time for the experienced sewist. These will be one-off classes where students will complete a specific, pre-planned project in one three-hour class. Stay tuned for more information!

Pillows, Pouches & A Little Happy New Year

Currently on my work table are a few new pillow covers for our living room. I must say I have searched high and low for pillow inspiration, but nothing is really grabbing me. Since we lack a decent fabric store here in Marin, there is really nowhere I can go to lay out bolts of options and hope for one of those great Aha! moments. After many days procrastinating a drive to Berkeley, I gave up and decided to go local to a little shop in Mill Valley that has a decent but small selection of quality cottons. There I found this lovely plum floral print from Art Gallery Fabrics' Paradise Collection. pillows in progress 2

It really is pretty, especially paired with the solid linen/rayon blend I picked up from Joann's that is a miraculously perfect match. However, I have to say I am still not satisfied and I already know I will continue to be on the lookout for the perfect fabric and inspiration for the next batch of pillows. I really just couldn't live with the previous pillows for a minute longer. I had hoped to finish these before our little New Year's Eve party and when I didn't get it done, I seriously considered hiding the old ones in the closet. Far too dingy to bother showing a picture of here, they have truly worn out their welcome in the Spilly household. As I continue my search for the perfect pillow, these will have to do. Photos of the completed pillows will follow...

pillows in progress

In other news, I whipped up some cute little zipper pouches for the special ladies in my life for our family Christmas Eve gift exchange.

Christmas zip pouches

They came out really nicely. I made them slightly bigger than the ones currently in my shop. I realized a while back that the ones I have had for sale up until now weren't quite the perfect size for carrying makeup which usually is the purpose of this sort of bag. They are just a bit longer taking into account the length of the average makeup brush, mascara, or lip & eye liner pencil. That said, "the ladies" loved them and future pieces for the shop will be updated accordingly to maximize their functionality.

Christmas zip pouches 3

Finally, for whoever might be reading this, I want to wish you a Happy New Year! The Holidays whirled through my life this year like a tornado taking with them my ability to think straight and, most certainly, my ability to write down or take note of a single thing. I am not one to make long lists of resolutions, but if you check back here you might just find a list of things I hope to accomplish over time and a list of things I am proud to have accomplished in 2011. For now, however, I wish everyone a year of peace, health and comfort  in 2012.

Tis' the Season ...

Hello folks! Well, December is upon us. I must say I am ill prepared for this Holiday Season. Many plans are made and moving forward, but no matter what I do to stay ahead, it seems I cannot get to that point where I can sit back and take a full breath of air. I have simply resigned myself to the idea that I will not be able to relax until January 4 when the kids return to school after the break. Until then it’s all making, selling, cleaning, decorating, feeding, eating and shopping. The purpose of this post then is to make my list and check it twice (lucky you, you get to help!). The list of what’s happened, what’s happening and a few items that are likely to not happen at all (but it’s nice to dream).

What Has Happened?

  • Marin Handmade had its inaugural event way back in October. What a fun event that was! Heather and I are so proud of how it turned out and we are already talking about what and when the next event might be along with our co-organizers Robin Stelling and Creek Van Houten.
  • Halloween went off without a hitch. One Kitty Cat and one Werewolf semi-homemade as requested.

Halloween 2011

  • New items are posted in my shop for the first time in a long time. Seriously, I hit a wall sometime back and have had the hardest time getting to the other side, but I am finally making some progress in sewing, photographing and posting. Whew!
  • Gianna turned 5!!
  • Thanksgiving was lovely if a bit less festive as we were missing part of our usual family party. The food all turned out perfect and we spent the rest of the weekend hanging out with Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Stacey.

with Grandpa & Aunt Stacey

  •  For quite some time now I have been hiking with Bear 3 or 4 mornings a week. I am loving it!
  • Gerald, our elf, has returned for the season. He is carefully watching over the kids and is already being used as a threat (lovely!)… “You should stop fighting. Gerald is watching.” Such great parenting skills we have.
  • The Advent Calendar is up and ready for action.
  • The boxes of decorations are down from the attic and awaiting the arrival of the tree this Sunday. Always a fun time meeting our friends in Freestone, picking a fresh tree at Santa’s Christmas Tree Farm and refueling with lunch at the Union Hotel. The rest of the day is spent untangling lights, rearranging the mantle and making sure the kids put the ornaments where I want them.
  • The Mr., usually wonderful man that he is, has adorned our massive maple tree on the front lawn with lights, lots of lights. Funny, he was a total scrooge before we had kids and now I have to beg him to stop decorating. It looks beautiful though - in a haphazard, Dr. Seuss-y sort of way. Gotta love a guy who can make you and the kids smile from time to time!

What is Going to Happen (or should have happened already...)?

  • This Saturday I will be at the Petaluma Craft Mafia’s Holiday Ho Ho Ho Down selling my bags. I’ve never done this show before, but I am imagining the crowd will be pretty fun.
  • Next Saturday I will be at the Fairfax Holiday Craft Fair. I did this fair last year and had a great time. So happy to be asked back again!
  • I’ve decided to make some quilted camera straps. I know there are lots of people on Etsy and other places doing this, but I love them and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while so I decided to just go for it.
  • I am adding a few other bits and bobs to my line up as well. Stay tuned…
  • Still thinking about starting up a program to teach sewing to kids and adults. I think there is a lot of interest in my area. It’s just a matter of me getting off my butt and doing it.
  • I still owe my mother a Christmas list for my kids. Sorry Ma!
  • I still don’t have a real Christmas list for myself of what to give the kids or anyone else.
  • I would love to get my house really, really clean AND get a new living room rug ASAP…

And the online housekeeping… It seems that I spoke too soon in my last post. I was so excited that I got my banners to work and all, that I just went ahead and deleted my old blog. Well, in my excitement I forgot I had one more step to take. The second I hit “delete” all the links to my old photos were gone because apparently they were still living in my old blog. So, if you go back into an old post here you might find there is no picture where there once was one. I am working on that, but I have to manually go back and find each photo in my files and upload it new into each post. Fun! Anyway, bear with me please. I am clearly not technologically inclined but I am doing my best. Happy Holidays! More to come...