Category Archives: Homemaking

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!

 

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!

My Breakfast Salad Smoothie

The other day on Instagram, I posted this little tip:
smoothie_addins

On the weekends, I pre-prep my dry smoothie add-ins. I put them in small Ball jars and then when I’m making my daily breakfast smoothie in the morning, all I have to do is drop in the pre-measured dried goods, add the raw, pershiable ingredients, blend and go. It doesn’t sound like much, but shaving off five minutes here and there means I can get a workout in before I go to work so that I’m extra energized and ready for the day. For me, that’s worth the extra time I spend preparing for the week on Sunday.

smoothieThis smoothie has become my go-to breakfast these days. I find that when I pair this smoothie with a piece of toast that’s slathered with some avocado, it sustains me until my mid-morning snack. I call it a salad smoothie since I use it to pack in some veggies. The nutty, chocolate flavors in this beverage are so dominant, they easily disguise the veggie flavor and allow me to pack it with raw goodness. I’m not really a fruit smoothie girl anyway – I’ll take a salad-filled chocolate smoothie any day!

Breakfast Salad Smoothie

Makes one 16 oz smoothie

*It should be noted that I have a Vitamix. I say that because it allows me to blend the heck out of otherwise hard to pulverize ingredients like flax seeds and kale stems. If you don’t have a very powerful blender, I’d make adjustments so that you don’t end up with a chunky morning beverage.

Dry ingredients (pre-packed the weekend before):

1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 Tablespoon flax seeds
1 Tablespoon unsweetened, dried coconut flakes
2 Teaspoons maca powder (a Seattle Seedling reader mentioned that this can make the smoothie a bit spicy for his liking and I agree that it does add a bit of a kick. I like that added dimension and the health benefits that come with the root so I add it in.)

Raw ingredients:

1 cup almond milk
1/2 banana
1 teaspoon almond butter
1 Tablespoon (or to taste) agave
2 or 3 pitted dates
1 generous handful of greens (kale, beet greens, spinach, lettuce*, carrots)
a scoop of ice (about a cup)

Add the dry and raw ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth. Drink, enjoy, repeat.

* Got some veggies that are a little too wilty for your salad bowl, but not quite ready for the compost pile? Save them for your smoothies! Your belly and your taste buds will never know the difference!