Processing Pain With Patchwork Quilts

2015 will be a year Eric and I will always remember. It’s a memorable one because we made it through. It was our first year of marriage and we made it through all the ups and downs that 2015 threw our way. We were pretty sure of it when we married each other, but now we know, without a doubt, that we can weather any storm.

IMG_65852015 was the year my mother-in-law lost her battle with cancer. It was the year when my brother-in-law unexpectedly made his journey too, just three short months after mom. 2015 was the year when we found out we were going to be parents only to learn that 2015 was not the right time after all. We’ve experienced three of those losses this year. I had my third miscarriage just last week at 11 weeks pregnant. We heard a heartbeat at 8 weeks and when we went back for our follow-up appointment, the heartbeat was gone. To say that my heart is heavy would be an understatement. The sadness I feel is palpable.

In the midst of all this sadness, during this time of emotional transformation, I’m finding ways to bring myself peace. The incredible outpouring of love and support from our family and friends wraps me up like a blanket and gives me hope for brighter times ahead. Through all of the loss, we’ve also had an amazing abundance of encouragement, friendship, and love. My gratitude for our community abounds.

IMG_6421I’m also finding consolation in unexpected places. It turns out, my sewing machine brings me solace. My mama knew her way around a sewing machine and thankfully, she passed her sewing skills on to me. I often think of my mom when I sew. When my mother-in-law passed away this summer, she left me an incredible gift – her sewing machine. So now, when I sit down at that sewing machine, I feel like I connect with my grandma, my mama, and my mother-in-law. I can feel all of my mamas’ spirits with me.

IMG_6450Like in September, when I sat down at my sewing machine to piece together my very first quilt, I imagined the joy they’d get out of seeing my patches. I shared my newly sewn quilts with anyone who would humor me, but wished so badly that I could show them to my moms. They would have loved them as much as I do. Pouring my love into vibrantly colored baby quilts has become the most ironic and comforting grief therapy. I sit at my sewing machine, surrounded by colors and patterns, and piece together quilts for future babies of friends I love. I think of my moms and wish I could talk to them, cry with them, lean on them. But because I can’t, I sew. I sew and I process the feelings that come over me as I navigate the journey of potentially becoming a mom, a journey that is nothing like I expected. I process my feelings of disappointment, sadness, attachment, and hope with every stitch.

IMG_2228As I thought about what would happen to my outlet when I finish the last quilt I have to make for a friend, I decided my quilting therapy doesn’t have to end. It can be a way to serve. I decided that I will sew these whimsical quilts I love, these quilts that heal my heart and bring me joy, and will donate them to places where they can bring children joy.

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.  – Radindranath Tagore

Seattle Children’s Hospital immediately comes to mind, but if you know of an organization or place where my quilts could bring some little ones comfort and joy, please let me know!

* Fox Quilt Pattern by Elizabeth Hartman

New Spring Garden Tool Belts Up For Grabs!

Toolbelts_lscp016I had to share the newest set of tool belts I made that are now on Etsy. These fabrics are so adorable!

Toolbelts_lscp008Pinwheels! A polka dot version and a triangular version! Pinwheels belong in the garden, don’t they? So fun!

Toolbelts_lscp006And then there’s this, which I’m calling the “Urban Forest” tool belt. I think it just screams northwest life! Technically though, the name of the fabric was called “From My Trip to Tokyo.” This fabric with the orange ribbon just pop!

Toolbelts_lscp003When I was wandering around the fabric store, I just couldn’t pass up this modern floral number. Pink peony tool belt? Um, yes, please! I think this one has Mother’s Day all over it!

Toolbelts_lscp011And then there was the pixilated bees. Yes, those are bees. Made out of hearts. Are you kidding me with this? So perfect! It needed to be transformed into a tool belt!

Toolbelts_lscp009I’m planning a special trip to Bolt in the very near future where I will be adding all kinds of fun fabrics to my collection. I see many more fun garden tool belts in our future! Stay tuned!

 

Gardening with Kapha in Mind

FullSizeRenderEarlier this month, Nicole and I teamed up to host an amazingly full class of students eager to learn more about how to love up their bodies and gardens during Kapha season. I wanted to make sure you were in the know too! I asked Nicole a couple questions so you can get the goodness too and she was gracious enough to share. So, here you go!

So Nic, what is Ayurveda anyway? Give me the elevator speech.

I’m so glad you asked! Ayurveda is known as “the Science of Life.” I like to say that it’s the sister science of yoga where we learn what to eat, drink and do during all of those hours of the day that we’re not on our yoga mat. In Ayurveda, each person is considered a unique blend of the 3 doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha).  Once you know your dosha (body type), you’re able to adjust your diet and lifestyle for optimal balance and happiness.

edit-150I love that – the sister science of yoga! So there’s seasons, huh? Like in the garden, so what season are we in now?

Yes! In Ayurveda, there are 3 seasons which correspond with the 3 doshas. Right now we’re in kapha season, which is dominated by the elements earth and water. We can see this in the garden when the ground feels heavy, wet, dense and cold. Those same qualities are governing what’s happening in our bodies. To find balance, we add the opposite qualities (warm, light, energizing) to our diet and routines.

Yep, earth and water. Sounds about right. What can you tell me about kapha season (the beginner’s version)?

During kapha season, it’s very common to experience congestion in the nose, throat and chest. Mucus can be thought of as a kapha symptom (earth + water) because it’s wet, heavy and sticky. Gross, right? By eating a kapha-pacifying diet we can eliminate excess water and reduce that nasty congestion naturally.

Luckily, we get to enjoy more sunshine during kapha season. The earth quality of kapha season helps us feel more grounded and peaceful than during the blustery autumn. As plants start sprouting, we get the chance to clean our internal house and prepare for the bounty of spring and summer!

spinachWhat are the top three ways I can support my body during this season?

Great questions!

First, sip ginger tea with honey. Ginger is a powerful herb that sparks agni (our digestive fire). Drinking ginger tea about 30 minutes before your meal helps your body better digest and absorb the nutrients from the food. The honey tastes sweet, and it has a beneficial “scraping” quality once it’s digested. The combination of ginger and honey helps the body prepare for optimal digestion and scrape away the gunk!

Second, choose kapha-pacifying foods like leafy greens (arugula, spinach, watercress and kale), celery, asparagus, parsley, radishes, sprouts, and onions. Favor warming spices like garlic, wasabi, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom and turmeric.

Third, try using a neti-pot to clear out nasal congestion and potential irritants. If you’ve never tried it before, here’s a quick 4-minute video tutorial.

nettlesNettles are awesome for congestion too! And it’s nettle season! Remember this video tutorial I shot? Note to self…don’t harvest nettles in a skirt. Geesh! Is there anything else I should know?

I love to connect and answer questions! Find me at nicoleperriella.com or on Instagram @ayurvedanicole.

You can join our next Ayurveda class too! It’s not too late! Click here to learn more!

*Yoga photo of Nicole by Lisa Lancaster

Dye your Easter Eggs with Veggies!

IMG_3615Last year, I dyed Easter eggs. Not for any kiddos we had running around. Nope, just dyed them for the pure joy of it, all by myself. I do things like that sometimes. It helped that my sister-in-law is the brains behind the Glob Colors Natural Easter Egg Kit. I just had to try it out for myself. Since it’s that time again, I thought I’d share the Easter egg post again! Check it out!