{ Je tisse... // weaving my summer days }

mercredi 12 août 2015

Oui! je sais ce que vous vous dites:" N'en a-t-elle pas assez ? Ne peut-elle donc se satisfaire de la couture, du scrap et du dessin??" 
Et bien non!! Parce que je suis une apprentie pour la vie, ou DE la vie plutôt! J'aime apprendre et j'aime découvrir et tout ce qui peut me permettre d 'exprimer ma créativité, je l'acceuille à bras ouverts! 
Alors quand, au hasard de mes ballades sur la toile j'ai découvert le "weaving", ou "tissage" à la main, je n'ai pas pu résister. Comment ne pas aimer cette technique qui combine couleurs, motifs et belles matières??!!

You all know that I am a learner. Learning and growing and experimenting make me happy. I never have enough ways to express my creativity. 
This year, I joined Creativebug, a platform of DIY classes varied and of great quality.  Perfect for people like me!!
And along the way I found this weaving class by Annabel Wrigley. I watched it many times before deciding to get started.
Annabel teaches you how to make your own loom, but I am way to impatient for that and I found many places online (yes! even in France:!) where I could get a loom for a reasonable price. And so I did! And a lot of different yummy colored yarns!!

Alors me voilà lancée dans l'aventure. J'ai trouvé un métier à tisser sur "Jeux de mailles" mais  on peut en trouver aussi sur Butinette ou sur Arrowshop.com.
 On peut aussi fabriquer son propre métier à tisser mais je suis bien trop impatience pour cela!!
J'ai suivi un cours sur Creativebug, une plateforme de cours DIY en ligne d'excellente qualité.  Malheureusement il vous faut maitriser l'anglais. 

 C'est un travail hyper relaxant et qui laisse vraiment place à la créativité. Je suis sous le charme!

Weaving is amazingly relaxing and I am in heaven when I can play with colors, design and nice textures!! SO here is to another adventure!

 Alors voici donc une nouvelle aventure, qui sera menée en parallèle avec mes autres aventures créatives!! et voici mon premier tissage fini. Celui-ci est pour mon studio!

{ A Ponderosa dress and a bit of summer...}

lundi 3 août 2015

I have the feeling that Blandine's summer wardrobe is pretty full! So now I have started preparing her autumn / back to school outfits. 
I was really attracted by the Ponderosa Dress by Elegance and Elephants, it has been in my library for a long time now. 
I also have decided that my fabric stash being full to the brim, I didn't need to buy more fabric and would have to use what I have on hand (which is only awesome stuff of course!!) . 

So I went for a combination of mustard jersey and this gorgeous french fabric called "Tatouée pour la journée" / "Tatooed for the day" by Aime comme Marie. I think I got it from Cousette last year. 

I love the design of the dress: I think it is so so clever.
But I regret how the top part is cut around the shoulders and armholes. Although I cut an 8 for my girl who is just under an 8 in heigth and way under in terms of hip and chest, the dress is really on the tiny side. It is not something I encountered when sewing other patterns by E&E, for instance the Hemlock tee. So I don't know, maybe I did something wrong while sewing. 

I want to do another version of this dress, because I really love that  look. But I will probably cut in size 9 and make the armholes a little wider. 
Because the the dress was a bit too short, I did not hem any parts: I just used my serger foot on my machine and stitched around the hems, leaving them pretty raw for a more sporty look. 

The construction of the dress is very easy. I did not even use my serger. It is a quick and easy sew, perfect for summer sewing!

 I made an infinity scarf with the same mustard jersey to go with it.
 Oh! this girl! she will soon be nine and I still can't get over it! She is a very special girl, but we are working on softening her character on a daily basis. It is not an easy task, but we are making progress and God has given her a good heart and a creative spirit. 

As for daily life:
we are still enjoying the slow rhythm of summer, one month in our break.
This week-end she made these legwarmers for her brother's teddy while I was napping!!

Which make for a happy brother!!

These two are ALWAYS together and they play continually, pretend games or fun songs! Blandine spends a lot of time bossying her little brother around:) 

I actually have to force them to go get some quiet time, each of them in their own room. They need this time, otherwise they end up getting on each others nerves!

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen that I keep on trying to learn to draw! I am enjoying watercolor and capturing daily beauties. I have come to realize that most of the creative things I do tend to come down to just this: I love capturing the beauty in the mondain, may it be through scrapbooking, drawing or painting. It is a way of expressing my gratitude for the small things that make life good!

{ 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.

#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!

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