Wednesday, June 17, 2009

not the end...

...but a new beginning!

I have loved being here with blogger, but I've decided it's time for a change. So this blog will be moving!

Please bookmark our new blog site:

Hope to see you there!

:), Varenia

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


, originally uploaded by varenia.

Piper's favorite way to pass the time with me lately is doing hair. So I thought braid wednesday would be just up her alley. I don't know how creative I'll be able to be with her itty bitty baby hairs, but I'm up for the challenge.

Monday, June 8, 2009

woo hoo!

little mod dress pattern

I finally did it! After many urgings from internet-land, I have completed my first print at home pattern, The Little Mod Dress.

The process was completely foreign to me, and was definitely an amazing learning experience. Who knew how long it took to write instructions?! But now that I've done it, perhaps it's time for a tutorial or two here on the ol' blog.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Have you touched your toes today?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

far far away, work in progress


So, I have another creation in the works. Ever since Far, Far Away arrived at our house, it has been the topic of conversation among the little girls. After finishing Apple's princess and the pea dress, she almost immediately started asking for something with the pink frogs. And Piper slooowly draws the green unicorns off the shelf, oh-so-delicately, wraps herself up in it, and twirls around crying "wheeeee! preeeeetty!"

I searched through my stash for the perfect compimentary fabric to the green unicorns, and the task proved much trickier than I originally thought. Finally, I decided upon a green and blue floral from Jackie Shapiro's (now discontinued) Botanical Pop, one of my all-tiime favorite lines.

I can't wait to finish this creation and see it on! I already have plans for something similar for the shop, and possibly even in other colorways. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

fashion flashback

flashback #2, originally uploaded by varenia.

After hours of recovering photos and files from my old hard drive, I also found some old photos of my father-in-laws from when my husband was a boy. I just looove pictures of him from his childhood, and that mischievous twinkle that permanently resided in his eye!

I really love this shot taken in Honolulu, I believe in either '76 or '77. Richard's legs and socks slay me. (Although the legs still look pretty much the same, darn him.) And look how stylish my mother-in-law was (is.) Love her round-yoke dress, just the picture of 70's glamour. Tres chic!

Monday, June 1, 2009

duck duck goose

Inspired by my birdie girl, who especially loves ducks. I knew as soon as I saw this wonderful fabric by Lizzy House that a dress needed to be made. It'll be in the shop this evening.

Friday, May 29, 2009

thank-you bag

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, the girls and I whipped up a couple of drawstring bags, one for each of Rye's teachers. I was inspired by the bags in Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing, although I did not use the pattern in the book, rather I just cut a couple of rectangles and sewed my own little version together.

Since I only had about an hour parts of the bag turned out a little bit wonky, but perhaps that just adds to it's charm. At least that's what I'm telling myself today.

We stuffed them full of homemade cookies, and notes and drawings from the children, and presented them along with some flowers from the garden. All in all, I think it turned out pretty well. In fact, I'm thinking of sewing up some more little bags just to keep on hand to use for last minute gifts. I always have the intention of giving handmade, but sometimes I just don't have the time. This way, I can still give a little handmade and tuck a store bought item or some yummy baked something inside and voila.

By the way, this was my first time using Heat 'n Bond to applique the initial onto the bag... can I just say I love that stuff? It made the letter look so crisp and neat! I definitely see more applique-ing (is that a word?) in my near future.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

mamas, please read this post

" "Death by hyperthermia" is the official designation. When it happens to young children, the facts are often the same: An otherwise loving and attentive parent one day gets busy, or distracted, or upset, or confused by a change in his or her daily routine, and just... forgets a child is in the car. It happens that way somewhere in the United States 15 to 25 times a year, parceled out through the spring, summer and early fall. The season is almost upon us.

Two decades ago, this was relatively rare. But in the early 1990s, car-safety experts declared that passenger-side front airbags could kill children, and they recommended that child seats be moved to the back of the car; then, for even more safety for the very young, that the baby seats be pivoted to face the rear. If few foresaw the tragic consequence of the lessened visibility of the child . . . well, who can blame them? What kind of person forgets a baby?"
~ The Washington Post, 2009

What kind of person forgets a baby? A person like me. A person like any one of us.

I've heard of these tragedies where parents have accidentally forgotten their children in cars, with horrendous outcomes, but I must admit, there was always a small, tiny portion in the back of my brain protesting: "But I'm a good mother! How can anyone really ever forget about their child?"

Today I found out.

Today was a day like every other school day. I gathered the girls and Jack, and we drove to pick up Rye at kindergarten by 1:30. We were actually running a few minutes late, because Piper was tired and fighting me the whole way. We got Rye, and I noticed Piper was almost asleep, but probably needed a few more minutes so I decided to drive through and get an iced tea and go home. By the time we reached home, both girls and Jack were asleep. The outside temperature felt like mid-80s.

It's not uncommon for some or all of the kids to be asleep when we get home. I usually take them into the house one by one. I got Rye settled inside the house, went back for Apple, who was awake, got her settled inside, and went back for Piper. I knew Piper was exhausted, and that she'd stay asleep, so I immediately took her to her room and put her to bed, and then started helping the older kids get a drink and a snack. I got myself a snack. I started listening to Rye's funny school stories from today. And then I looked around.

It just hit me. Where is Jack?

Immediately, I ran out to the car parked in the driveway. It had already been probably somewhere between 15-20 minutes that we had been home. I have never been more scared.

Jack is okay now. He's safely sleeping and has probably forgotten the whole incident. But I will never forget. I will never forget his red, sweaty face and body, and his almost resigned moans. I can't help but wonder what could have happened if he'd stayed in that car for even 10 more minutes.

There are many articles on the subject, but the reason I like this Washington Post article in particular is that it really shares with us that this is a phenomenom that really can, truly, happen to anyone.

I am taking what happened today to be a wonderful gift, a lesson, urging me and my very busy brood to slow down. I am hoping you will all think about my story, and the infinitely more tragic stories of those who have lost children, as you buckle up your little ones this summer.