{ Eat This book: my thoughts, half way through }

dimanche 19 juillet 2015

 I began reading the Bible on January first, after my friend Rachel and I had decided we would follow a reading plan through the year and do it together.
The idea of making a serious reading of the Bible and to get to know the word of God had been on my mind for about a year until we exchanged emails that led to that decision.

Now we are more than half way through, and not only am I enjoying it, I am changed by the experience. And, of course, I can't help but share with you this experience.
I thought I would give you a few toughts and maybe some tips, in case you feel led to do this kind of reading.


We are following Blackhawk Church's plan. We like it because everyday you read a few chapters as  well as a psalm. There are also many resources offered online by the church to help you through your journey.

Tips:
#1: Invest in a Study Bible, if you can afford it : for a first timer like myself it is a life saver! Rachel offered me this edition at the beginning of the year and I LOVE it!
I also listen to the 5 minutes videos that are made to go with the reading plan and are really helpful to grasp the overall meaning of each book. 
You can also use Apps that offer access to different translations and different commentaries on the Bible. 


#2: Find a reading partner, or 2 or 3!!  First of all because in the midst of life, work and domestic chores, it can be easy to "forget" about your daily reading or to let it fall to the bottom of a long "To Do" list. With Rachel, we regularly exchange emails about where we are at, and what thoughts and prayers arise from our reading. If I had been alone doing the reading plan, I probably would have quit after 2 months or so.


#3: MAKE time, don't wait to have the time to read!! it does not take long: you don't need a whole hour everyday. Rachel says sometimes she only needs 15 minutes. As for me, as it is the first time that I actually read he Bible, I need more time:I like to take notes and write down whatever I take from the passages. The amount of time I need everyday is between 20 and 35 minutes.
You may say  that you do not have 30 minutes?? well MAKE time! that is what I do: I don't watch tv anymore, and sometimes instead of reading a novel before sleep I do my daily reading!
Trust me: it is life changing and totally worth the investment!




#4: Go beyond the simple reading: create an inner dialogue with the text:
When I read the chapters I often ask myself :
- How does this chapter apply to me?
- What truth am I learning ?
- What am I learning about God's character?
- Is there any type of behavior or character issues  I am taught to avoid/ to embrace ?

Finally, when I have time, I use the reading of the psalm as a prayer to close my reading.
By going through these kind of questions,  I find that I go beyong the simple reading and actually can apply these ancient truths to my own daily life.
I also learn to grow in my relationship with God, as I can see, again and again, how trustworthy and faithful He is.



 How reading the Bible in a year has changed me so far:

#1 I truly feel the love of God, I trust in His unfailing love and faithfulness. Therefore, I don't feel the need for others approval as much as I used to. Don't get me wrong, I am not a saint, and I still crave attention sometimes. But I don't let others define me: I am defined by my relationship with God and by His love for me. I used to get really stessed if I didn't blog twice a week, or if I didn't get any comments on my blog. But, strangely, I don't feel that way anymore. I do things that fullfil and make me happy. I do things because I think they create beauty and add peace to the world, not to impress anyone. And that is a big step forward!

#2 : I don't have to do things in  my own strength: I can reach for Him and know He is here, with me.Therefore I feel stronger and less prone to stress and anxiety. And even when I am, it doesn't lead to excessive crisis.

# 3: I am more thankful, praising and thanking God for the small things, the daily beauties.

#4: I am more tolerant and I am more inclined to help others and to listen to them in a proper way.

#5: I know that I am a mess, full of imperfections. But I am loved and I CAN love thanks to God's grace.

Actually, I could go on forever! the transformation is quite radical. I don't know if it is visible on the outside, but I feel how radical it is on the inside. I still have a long way to go in faith, but the journey really is amazing and it brings so much joy!

 If ever you have been brave enough to reach the end of this long post, well: thank you! If you have tried this kind of reading, please do share your experience or questions with me! I would love to hear!



{ A whimsical Antalya dress }

lundi 13 juillet 2015

Yes, people! it is finally summer! finally!
I feel like this year has been a long, very long monday! 
But finally since last week I have been able to enjoy life and my family. 
After a year in which I felt all I was saying to the kids was something along the line of :" Hurry up! put your shoes / coat / trousers... on!!! " or "hurry up ! go get a shower! " I can finally ENJOY them!
I get to see them walk, and dance! I get to watch them swim and I can alctually take time to cuddle and answer their tousand questions. 
I am so grateful for these moments and I feel myself again! 
That said, I also had the time to go back to my much missed sewing machine and I got to sew the Antalya dress I had been dreaming of for weeks!! 



{ ISHI dress pattern tour }

jeudi 18 juin 2015

Meeting An from Straight Grain in Paris last April was delightful. And when she asked me to take part in her much anticipated Ishi pattern release tour, of course, I joined happily. I had seen sneek peaks of the dress on her blog and thought it was a pattern my girl would love: princess seams and big pockets are bound to make little girls happy! 

When we were in Paris I found the perfect combination of 3 fabrics with my Ishi in mind: I found the floral and pink neon stripes at the Petit Pan shop and what I believe to be silk lawn at La droguerie. 
I was so happy because , really, the 3 are a perfect match!


The dress is a very easy sew. The only tricky part is the princess seams, but An takes you through it with tips and tricks.
However, I would not be able to tell you how long it could take on average to make this dress: the last few weeks have been quite nightmarish for me, with so much work and 2 displaced vertebraes! so I really took this dress one seam at a time: and it took me a whole 3 weeks to complete. But I would say that it took about 3 hours maximum to make it altogether!!


I thought this very special dress needed a little accessory: I made a headband in 15 minutes to make a cute outfit.



Because my girl is so thin , I cut a size 6 in all widths and added 2  3/4 inches  to all hemlines following Julie from our chez nous advice (yes there are some real conversations happening on Instagram! if you have not joined that amazing community, I can only encourage you to join us in the fun!!) .
 The fit is perfect that way!


The head band is reversible: the other side is made out of the neon stripped fabric. 


The result is amazing: we all love this very special dress here: the fabric is extremely beautiful and precious and the cut of the dress is something quite unusual too. 

One more happy sewer and one more happy girl in this world! thanks An for inviting me to be part of this tour!
Today you can also check out Kelly's version on her blog here. 


{ The panda Rowan Tee and a bit of life }

mercredi 27 mai 2015

Real life has been taking over in the last week or so.
Work and rehearsals for my kids circus performances and, well , you know, marking worksheets, household chores, ....... well: LIFE!!


The whole thing left me quite exhausted.
And there is one lesson I learnt in the midst: never cut a pattern when you are that tired! 
I was making this cool Rowan Tee for my girl, because I needed some creative time.
I felt really tired but I thought I really needed to cut and sew!
I realized when I was almost finished that I had cut the sleeves wrong and that they were not symetrical at all!



It was one of these "argh" moments when I could beat myself up for messing up  such a cool fabric and such an awesome pattern.


I was really really unhappy with myself! I had no more fabric, and there was just NO WAY I would undo all these serged seams! NO WAY!!

But in the end the girl loved it so much and did not even notice the sleeves.
Plus all my friends on Instagram were so kind to me and did their best to make me feel better: I came to accept the idea that it was a "beautiful mess"!


The Panda fabric was gifted to us for our Paris sew Social event by Alles fuer selbermacher. I love it so much.
The pattern is the same Rowan tee by titchy Threads. I cut in 6 and added length to meet the 8th length.



We went for a long walk by the lake on sunday , the kids rode their bikes and I couldn't have been happier! I had long forgotten my failure.

That boy loves his new big bike: check out this face!!



 The kid's Circus performances at our local theater was beautiful: here is the girl before the "première": so excited!



She got to play a fun part in one of the interludes:


Drawing seems so much easier and convenient in times of long working hours. It is so much easier in the evenings  to pull out a pen and draw than to have to match seams perfectly!
I did find some time to do some quick drawing in my sketchbook:

a flock of birds

And learning to draw feathers:



Playing and experimenting with watercolor:

 



and finally dreaming of some hot weather through cactus!! they still need  color though!


We have 6 weeks to go until summer break.
I truly cannot wait!


{ More Paris sewing: the R-OAR-wan Tee }

lundi 18 mai 2015

When I was in Paris, I met the über cute Laura of Titchy Threads. She is the sweetest lady and such a talented pattern designer. 
When we came back, she offered us a pattern of our choice in her shop and I went for the Rowan Tee knowing that it would be a staple I would like to re-use many times. 

The pattern: I chose this pattern because it comes with many options and I love that! 
You can add long sleeves, a hood, pockets, ... value for money let me tell you!!
It is also great both for girls and boys.
I love that the explanations come with photos and many very clear diagrams. 
I also love that you can select which size you want to print. 
It is a great pattern and the cut is perfect. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a cool top for their kid:) 




The sizing:
I was really frustrated when spring finally sprung here, to find out that most of the clothes I made last spring-summer were already too small for my little boy. 
So I decided that I would cut and size his clothes on the larger side this year.
For this tee, his measurements for chest and waist put him in a size 4, but his height in a size 6. So, just as I did for his latest Ottobre trousers, I simply cut in size 6 and it is perfect. 


The fabric:
Between this fabric and I, well, it was love at first sight! true love! I am so glad I got so much of it ! I can actually make another hoody version of this tee with long sleeves for him for this autumn!
it is so soft and we all reckon here that those tigers are the coolest on earth!!
It was gifted by our Paris sponsor NOSH. Thank you NOSH!


Yes it is knit, and yes, I know some of you are very scared by knits!! but I must admit I used my serger to make it. 
What I find is not so nice on my regular machine when I sew knits is the hems: because I am too lazy to put a double-needle to sew the hems, I usually use the lightening stitch which I also use for all the other seams. BUT it sometimes creates waves on my hems! 
However this patterns solves the problem : the cuffed hems!! yay! no more wavy hems.  I am pretty sure that you could sew this on any regular machine and have great results, especially if you make the cuffed hem options. My opinion.


The boy is so happy with this tee. When he first put it on he just prawled in the garden roaring like a tiger!


Love him!

{ Sewing with fabric from Paris: a pair of Ottobre trousers }

mardi 12 mai 2015


The fabric:
This is the first item I have sewn with some of my Paris fabric. 
I am crazy about the fabric: it is a gorgeous linen I bought from La Droguerie. It is light enough for summer clothes and has this gorgeous stone gray I love. 

Un nouveau pantacourt pour Max, avec un tissu en lin acheté à la Droguerie à Paris. 

{ A scrapbook layout and a few thoughts on motherhood }

dimanche 10 mai 2015


It is not Mother's day in France, but I know it is in many other parts of the world.
On instagram I see beautiful photos and thoughts on motherhood and I am always touched by these testimonies.
So I thought it was the prefect timing to post this layout I made before going to Paris. It documents a photo from my 37th birthday, back in december. 


The layout:
I am using April's kit from Hip Kit Club. 
I used a lot of Amy Tan's papers and embellies and the grid paper is Elle's Studio, if I am not mistaken. 
Somehow, it took me ages to make this layout. I think the colors in the photos did not make it easy for me. But I am happy with the end result and the fact that I was able to incorporate a long journaling. 



On motherhood: 
I love being a mother to these 2 beautiful kids.
A lot of the time I feel like a failure, when they fight or winge about the smallest thing.
But most of the time, I look at them and I am overwhelmed with pride and joy. They have inherited my taste for crafts and my love of stories. They are kind and sympathetic to those who suffers.


Failures...
There are things that still don't come easy to me: I am not always very patient and I really suck at doing my girl's hair! first because it is thick, curly and wild. Second, .... well... because I suck at it!!

and success!
So yesterday with the help of Pinterest (thank God for Pinterest!)  I managed this totally imperfect "Twisted french Braid" (why "french"???) . It worked and my girl and I were so happy! I felt so proud of myself, like I was finally a "proper" girl's mum!!


So I was inspired to document this moment of utter joy and pride! and for once I thought I might try drawing rather than scrapbooking! I used Micron pens and I love the result.


Learning:
I am a learner and a crafter. The two combined together results in an addiction to classes of any kind!! I learnt to quilt by taking a class on Craftsy! Really! the best class ever by the way, taught by Camille Roskelley.
Right now I am totally addicted to learning to paint with watercolors and also with pens. I am taking 3 different classes and loving it! there are all available on Creativebug:
Two of them are taught by Lisa Condgon. I fell in love with her work as soon as I saw the classes and now I am following her blog and work. The third is the watercolor class and I love  it.


As a kid, I used to draw all the time. But as I grew up I kind of started to think that drawing was not a serious matter for an adult woman, mother and teacher. But now, I really feel this urge to make time and explore the possiblilities.

As my children are growing up, I am able to find more time for myself and my crafts. And I like that they know that Mama needs her creative time in order to be a happy mama! especially my girl: I like to model for her that a woman needs some time to herself from time to time.
 I usually take this creative time in the evening, when all the rest is done and when I am not too exhausted from my day at work. I love that in the morning, when they wake up, the first thing they like to do is run to my studio to see what Mama has been going up too the previous night!













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