Made By Rae Patterns, Sewing

Loominous Cleo

I was lucky to have the chance to test Rae Hoekstra‘s new skirt pattern the Cleo. I have had so many skirt ideas but didn’t have a pattern I loved so I had been waiting for this one for some time. I have loved all the checked and striped versions that Rae has made and when I saw this beautiful fabric from the Loominous line by Anna Maria Horner, I knew it would be perfect. I love the stripey, checked feeling of the fabric and the different patterns within patterns that are going on in the weave. I have also been loving yellow and blue lately.img_5226The biggest decision for me when thinking about skirts is the length. The floral skirt below is the unhemmed View B that I sewed as a pattern tester and I think it is just about the right length. Rae subsequently added several inches to View B for the final Cleo pattern but since most of my height is in my torso, I am happy with the shorter length. I made my Loominous Cleo 1.5 inches longer than my test skirt to allow for the hem. I ended up finishing the hem with a facing so I probably didn’t need the extra inch.
img_4234I loved this contrasting yellow woven fabric from the same fabric line (Loominous 2) and decided to use it on the inside of the waistband and to face the hem. It gave the waistband a bit more structure to construct it this way. In cutting the pattern pieces, I decided to cut the main skirt pieces perpendicular to the grain to have the stripes feel more horizontal than vertical. I cut the waist band with the grain in order to give it some contrast (also possibly more slimming? Hard to tell.) I am really happy with the way it turned out. Waistband in process below.
img_5203Inside of waistband close-up with under stitching seen below.
img_5199I cut the pockets with the grain because that made the best use of the fabric I had left after cutting the main pieces. One could also cut contrasting pockets but I only had a half a yard of the yellow.img_5213I under stitched along the seam where the pockets are sewn to the skirt. img_5215I love the juxtaposition of the shapes and stripes.
img_5210I finished my seams with a simple zig zag stitch. I bought a serger this fall but haven’t yet had the time to figure it out. One of my 2017 goals!
img_5216Picture of the inside of the waistband after inserting elastic below. This was a quick skirt in a day sew.
img_5221Hem facing being sewn below. I use the seam line as a visual guide when I fold up the hem facing. I used 3 inch strips.
img_5220The 3 inch strips enable me to sew my hems using the edge of the metal plate on my sewing machine as a visual guide to line up the bottom edge of the skirt.  img_5223Hem facing below.img_5224 I added a label as an afterthought right next to the side seam-I had already sewn the rest of the waistband when I thought to do it- because the colors match pretty well. This is the inside of the skirt after being washed and not ironed so a bit wrinkled. 
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I was on my way out the door to work but I had my husband take a couple of pictures.  I had washed the skirt and it is a bit rumpled but you can get a feel for the fit. That is a Gemma tank that I am wearing with it which is a great combination for summer.img_5246-1I  took the pictures with ankle high boots but switched boots after I saw the pictures. I decided that I like the skirt with taller boots or sandals given the length of the skirt. img_5257I probably will make the skirt an inch shorter next time but I am overall very happy with it. It will be perfect for spring and summer months. I have plans for several more Cleo’s in this voile, this lawn and this chambray and have this great fabric by April Rhodes cut out and ready to sew. I sewed a Medium although my measurements put me between a Medium and a Large. The skirt is relatively full and I am happy with the fit. I didn’t make any other adjustments other than sewing it in a shorter length. The fabric is from The Cloth Pocket, which is a wonderful store to visit in person or online. I basically want to buy everything they stock. I highly recommend this pattern and can’t wait to make more!

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Uncategorized

Nursebean Reads: February 2017

I have been doing more sewing, less reading but loved the new book from Laurie Frankel which I found through Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Anne Bogel-she is right- don’t read anything about it just pick up the book and read it. I loved the writing and the characters and the author’s very personal viewpoint on the subject matter. After reading the book, I read the Modern Love piece she wrote about her own experience which is worth a read but read the book first. I also really appreciated Deep Work-another MMD recommendation- and am currently working on implementing some of the suggestions into my life. I listened to a great audio version of Persuasion and finally finished Gilead which I had started and never finished many times. I loved it but I think I loved Lila more. A big goal for me this year is to read more classics and more books I already own so I am glad to be making progress on those fronts. What are you reading and loving?

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Made By Rae Patterns, Ruby Dress Pattern, Sewing

Snowversary 2017

FullSizeRender (14).jpgIt is hard to believe that it was only two years ago that I sewed my first me-made garment, a Made By Rae Washi dress. Since that time I have sewn so many Washi dresses for myself, my daughter, my sister and my mom as well as many other dresses, tops, pants and now skirts.

This week we had a storm in the Northeast. It wasn’t enough to cause a huge disruption in our lives-we didn’t lose power or have trees down and because we knew the storm was coming I planned ahead to stay home and take a vacation day from work since clinic was closed and our patients were rescheduled. It was the perfect snow day.

I took advantage of the day to do a little sewing. I have had two plaid flannel Pearl shifts cut out since before Christmas, one for my daughter and one for me. The only tricky part of this pattern is inserting the zipper so inserted the zipper on the purple Pearl destined for my daughter  (I only had to unpick it once)fullsizerender-15 and then, since I had already loaded the machine with a deep teal thread, I decided to sew a up the teal double gauze Ruby blouse that I cut out last July (!)img_5117I tend to cut projects out way before I actually sew them, often because I want to use the fabric for more than one project. It works best for me if I lay out the pattern pieces for both projects  at the same time so I can be sure to cut the pattern pieces in such a way as to have enough for both projects. In this case, I had used the teal for the pockets and waist facing for my Fringe Luna Pants so I cut the Ruby pieces at the same time. I had originally thought I would sew it last summer but then Rae released the Gemma Tank pattern and Gemma Madness ensued.

I made my first double gauze Ruby last summer, a plum version. I have been wearing that blouse more now in the winter than I did last summer-it is one of my most-worn me-made garments. See below after many washes and wears.fullsizerender-8 I made it using Rae’s sausage technique for lining the bodice. See this post about a favorite Ruby Dress for a detailed illustration with links. Both the bodice lining (a floral lawn that is one of my favorite fabrics) and the pink double gauze fabrics are from Cotton and Steel. It is the perfect layering piece under a cardigan and I tend to wear it with an olive green or grey cardigan with dark jeans. Add a necklace and it is a comfortable, flattering look for winter on those work days when I don’t see patients and am just catching up on paperwork. I have probably worn my pink Ruby over 20 times since I made it last summer. It just gets softer and softer and I can wear it right out of the dryer-no need to iron. I originally purchased the teal fabric online on sale from Fabric.com. It is also Cotton and Steel double gauze and it is called Indigo. I actually thought it was going to be navy which I thought would be a great basic and when it came in the mail, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the teal as much as the navy but then I thought of how great it would be with my mustard cardigan. So when I had an unexpected snow day this week, I decided sewing up this Ruby would be the perfect way to spend it.

The Ruby Blouse by Made by Rae is a relatively simple sewing project but lining the bodice elevates it to a more polished garment and makes it more fun because you can choose a fun fabric to use for the lining which only requires a fat quarter of fabric. I looked through my ever-growing stash and found a fat quarter of a beautiful floral quilting cotton from the Cotton and Steel Cat Lady collection. No cats in sight on this fabric, at least that I could see, but I love the colors and how it works with the teal. fullsizerender-13I have used the sausage technique so many times on my many Washi dresses and Ruby dresses and blouses that I didn’t need to refer to the videos but they are awesome.img_5125I did look back at the videos briefly to remind me how to do the bias binding on the lower armholes. I use a 1.5 inch strip rather than 1.25 inches. I do find that part a bit tricky with double gauze but a couple of hand stitches on the inside of the blouse fixed the areas that my machine stitching missed. Before sewing the sausage I generally topstitch around the neck. I used matching thread.fullsizerender-12 I machine wash my garments and it seems as though that extra stitching gives the neckline a bit more stability and strength. img_5149The sausage technique leaves two seams on the inside of the blouse that require hand stitching. I actually enjoy hand stitching so I enjoyed this part of the project. I was able to sew the entire blouse in an afternoon and wear it to work the next day without rushing or cutting corners. It is sometimes very relaxing to just enjoy the process and make something beautiful without worrying about how long it takes. img_5143I even had time to make home-made soup for dinner after I finished sewing. I often make what I call “refrigerator soup” where I look in the refrigerator and see what I have and make it into soup. A couple of weeks ago, I had half a butternut squash, a sweet potato and some carrots and I ended up making soup with some sautéed onions, chicken broth, fresh ginger and a little curry for seasoning. It was fantastic so today I made it on purpose. “Vitamin A Soup” below. I think the bright orange and yellow color speaks to me in the dark days of winter. fullsizerender-9I have been drawn to oranges and yellows all winter. I have made several Isla Dresses in these colors and am very partial to this one below which I recently wore to NYC for a birthday celebration with my mother with whom I share a birthday. What are the odds of that?fullsizerender-11I am also loving this book which coincidentally has an orange cover and have this fabric on order from my favorite fabric shop with plans to make this skirt. So many things to look forward to on this snow day! Winter has its consolations. Finished Ruby blouse below. I know it will be worn and worn. I highly recommend this pattern in double gauze. It is worth the bit of extra effort. fullsizerender-16

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Made By Rae Patterns, Sewing

Pearl Necklace Isla Top

I have just completed a month of sewing knits and I am feeling much more confident in my ability to sew a knit garment successfully. I love the Isla Pattern from Made By Rae as evidenced by all the Isla dresses I have sewn. I was not as happy about the fit with the tops because of my long torso or as my Dad used to say, it just didn’t seem to suit my style of beauty, at least when I made it with the same adjustments I made to my Isla dresses. But after giving it some thought,  I felt I owed it to the pattern to give it another chance adjusting the bodice to have it hit at my natural waist and see if I liked that version better.

I am 5’9″ and all my height is in my torso. I wear  inseam 31-32 for my jeans.  I took a picture with a measuring tape for anyone out there with this body type planning to make this pattern (wearing another Isla dress I recently sewed). From the bottom of my neck to my natural waist is 16 inches. I had previously had my daughter take pictures of me wearing my Isla dresses with my hands at my waist and using that as a guide, I added 4 inches in length to the Medium bodice which I had already added an inch to so 5 inches in total.img_5008I also added a bit of width and smoothed out the curve on the side to see if it would help with the riding up of the top that I had with the others I have made.  Here is the front.img_4999Here is the bodice as sewn.img_5003I cut the ruffle using the regular medium cutting line because I had added so much to the length of the bodice that I didn’t want it to end up as a tunic but I wasn’t sure if I would like the top with such a disparity between the bodice and the ruffle. I think it is cutest when they are more in balance size-wise but I figured the only way to find out was to try it. Luckily, this fabric was easy to work with, gathered easily and the whole project took only a couple of hours start to finish. I took pictures of the finished bodice prior to attaching the ruffle with the measuring tape to show the length.img_5005And a second picture to remind me that I took a picture of the back not the front of the bodice. I use these pictures as a reference when I make a pattern a second time. It is easier for me to remember adjustments I made than writing them down.img_5007And here are the photos of the finished garment. as worn. Somewhat forced smile because my daughter is saying: Smile, Stand up Straight, Shoulders back, Belly in. I thought I had lined up my pearl necklaces when I cut the ruffle but as you can see, I have a bit of a diagonal thing going on here which was not intentional. It is a little more tricky to line up the circles with the knit than the woven which I used to make a Washi dress that I love and wear all the time in Spring and Summer.img_5022I also had an issue with the hem rolling up which I don’t seem to have with the dress version-thinking maybe it is the lighter weight of the fabric piece. Side view.img_5029Backimg_5033So overall I would say that for my body, I am happier with the Isla as a dress. In fact I may end up cutting off the ruffle and adding the dress length skirt to this and make it into a dress for myself or my daughter at some point.  The top is so cute on many people but I don’t think that it works for me well enough to continue to make it. I love the dresses and will wear them all the time I am sure. As for tops, I have so many to choose from after my summer of Gemma Madness. In fact, today, I wore this beauty in Macrame fabric which you can learn more about here.img_5016Now it is back to woven fabric and on to the Cleo skirt pattern which was released today. Can you believe how beautiful this one is?

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Sewing

Sewing with Knits 102: An Isla Capsule Wardrobe

I have been sewing many versions of the Isla Pattern by Made By Rae since it was released. This is my first real success with sewing knits, partly because the pattern is pretty easy to follow and incorporates pretty foolproof techniques and partly because I gathered up the collective wisdom of the sewing community and put their tips to work. Link here to my first post which contains the aforementioned wisdom and links.

I tend to make multiples of the same pattern. It usually takes a couple of tries to get it right.  Then, once I master the pattern, it is much easier to sew the second and third versions-I have all the pattern pieces, supplies and machine settings all ready to go, so it seems like the efficient thing to do. In the case of the Isla Pattern, I knew that I wanted to sew a couple more versions after being very happy with my first one. I planned to make  two dresses and two tops, one each in yellow and blue.img_4685I ordered the fabric and efficiently I thought, cut out the pattern pieces in an evening.img_4692 I used the adjustments that I made to my first version which added an inch to the bodice length.  img_4684I chose 2 yellow/mustard fabrics, one for a top and one for a dress and a second two blue fabrics with the same plan.img_4695 I also wanted a neutral top so I decided to sew one in a cream color. I like patterns that evoke stripes without being completely traditional and I loved this fabric from Art Gallery Knits which I thought would be perfect, so I sewed it first.  img_4451It is a really soft nice feeling knit and it sewed up beautifully. I added an inch to the length of the ruffle as well. Here is the finished top. Cute, right? I was happy with how nicely the stripes worked with the neck and arm bands.img_4944Then I tried it on and I was not thrilled. I have a very long torso and so even after adding the extra inch, this hit me way above my natural waist. It didn’t bother me with the dress because it draped nicely but the top didn’t work as well for my shape. Here are some pictures. It’s not terrible but not great and when I wear it, it feels as though it keeps riding up which doesn’t happen with my dress versions. I just didn’t think about the fact that the torso adjustment might be different for the top vs the dress. So for those of you with long torsos, take heed!

If you had told me years ago that I would willingly post less than flattering pictures of myself, I wouldn’t have believed it. For a long time, I stayed out of most pictures, often because I was taking the pictures but also because I was way too worried about taking an unflattering picture. I have to say that being over 50 and being a nurse really changed my point of view. Just having a healthy body feels like a gift. And I so appreciate other sewing pals posting real-life pictures that help me decide if a pattern is right for me. I also love what Allison writes here. It is a must read for all moms. Anyway back to the pictures. Not terrible but not great. img_4985The side view  shows that I probably could have used another 2 or 3 inches. img_4990Backimg_4981Sometimes being too efficient ends up being a problem because I now had already cut out all my pattern pieces and I knew that those that had been destined for tops would not end up being garments I loved. So I ended up buying another yard each of the two fabrics I had intended for tops. I used the bodice pieces I had already cut and cut the dress length skirt pieces out of the extra yard and have saved the top length skirt pieces for another project. So now I have 2 blue dresses and 2 mustard dresses. With leggings, boots and a cardigan, I am all set for the week. Just to show you how long my waist is, I had my daughter take pictures of my first Isla, which has one inch added to the bodice length and one of the second batch of Islas that has 2 inches added to the bodice length with me putting my hands at my natural waist.img_4960Yes that is really where my waist is. Here is version two with 2 inches added to the bodice.img_4954I can’t actually say I like one better than the other. I think that they are both fine. Word to the wise, make sure whatever you add to the bodice, you subtract from the skirt so you end up with the right length. I think the Isla is most flattering above the knee. I actually am not sure that adding the extra length to the bodice really makes a difference for the dress. I know that some people don’t like the high waist style but I find it skims right over my midsection which I like. I think if I try the top again, I will add enough to the bodice to actually have it hit my waist. That would be a lot of inches.

Here is another top version that I made from fabric in my stash. This is a slightly heavier weight cotton and I think it drapes well.  This isn’t long enough either but its cute! img_4549I haven’t hemmed it and I am not sure if I will because I need the length. Here it is on. I love the fun print. I think the top would be fine a bit longer.img_4606Sewing this many versions gave me the chance to figure out which techniques I prefer for the arm and neck bands. I ended up following Rae’s directions for the arm bands but stretched a bit more as I sewed. I don’t pin. img_4613I ended up using about 1 inch less than the band as cut. This gave me a nice fit. I sewed a narrow zig zag along the seam.img_4615This gives it a nice finish. I used a double needle for one of my tops and I don’t think I love it that much more than the zig zag, which is so much quicker. img_4616For the neckband, I tried the technique in the pattern which has you sew just one shoulder and then add the neck band and then join the second shoulder and neck band as a unit. I found for me that I ended up with a bit of bulk so I used Erin’s approach but started with the neck band cut the length specified in the pattern and then stretched a bit more than the pattern would have you do because I had gaping with my first Isla and I generally have to do a hollow chest adjustment with my other MBR tops. I ended up using about 1-1.5 inches less than the neckband length specified in the pattern but it worked for me. Here are the finished dresses. All the fabric is from Hawthorne Threads which has a great selection of knits. img_4940

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img_4697-1And as worn and in action (whirlwind photo sessions with my husband was more like dress as modern art.)img_4727The wrinkles in the shoulders above are due to my poor posture, not the pattern. Growing up my dad used to tell me to put my shoulders back and now my daughter does. img_4933This one might be my favorite. It was supposed to be a top with jeans because I thought the bunnies might be too childlike but it makes a great dress. img_4970Just be careful when you cut out the neck band to not cut the bunnies in half as I did at first. I cut a new neckband when I noticed my mistake.img_4611This pattern is a quick sew that makes a flattering, comfortable, cute dress that doesn’t need ironing and looks great under a labcoat. What could be better?img_4558I think I have now gotten sewing with knits out of my system for a while and am ready to take the walking foot off the machine, switch the needles and get ready to sew with wovens again. There is a great new skirt pattern that is just about to be released and I can’t wait. Here is the version I sewed when I tested the pattern. img_4234 I have some beautiful fabrics lined up to sew a couple of versions, just in time for spring. But in the meantime, my Isla capsule wardrobe will be just the thing to get me through the winter.

 

 

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Reading and Books

Nursebean Reads: January 2017

I am currently engrossed in this book which I was inspired to read by listening to Mel talk about it in this episode of the WSIRN podcast. It is so, so good. Even better, I am reading it while away for the weekend in the Berkshires in a house with a working fireplace-my idea of heaven. Read Mel’s post on how to take a reading weekend vacation for inspiration. And if you aren’t listening to this podcast yet, you should. I never miss an episode. They are always fun but the one with Mel was especially fun. I added several great books to my to-be-read list, discovered a new blogger and have new recipes to try. Bonus!

Recent books read include this one which is the MMD book club pick for this month. I loved it. I loved the story, the characters and their relationship, the sense of place, the writing-I loved it all. I am now off to find other titles by this author who I had never heard of before reading this book although she is a well-known author.

I also finished this book which our book group read last year. I loved the ending and the way she wove the stories together. An amazing debut novel.

I am alternating reading about vampires with reading these two non-fiction books.
I love both writers and I need something less scary to read before bed.

I am listening to this book on audio. Perfect for the commute.And I recently picked up this stack of books from the library. They are mostly inspired by Anne’s suggestions although I have wanted to read the Snow Child since this favorite blogger recommended it several years ago. Anne’s recent post about great winter reads sent me to the library for that one and two others.  A Manual for Cleaning Women is our current book club read. So many titles, not enough time! What are you reading this winter?

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About Me, unplugged

Nursebean Unplugged: Welcoming 2017

I am not someone who chooses a word for my year, although I respect the thought that many give to this and I learn from their choices. I did have some plans/goals/intentions for my new year and most of them revolved around health-daily yoga, less sugar, etc. On January 1, 2017, I worked a day shift at the hospital and walked out into sunshine-a rare thing because this time of the year it is usually dark when I leave work. So I decided to start my year with a walk on the beach. I am so lucky to live within driving distance of Long Island Sound. I love the late afternoon light. It is truly the golden hour.

In 2016, I made a resolution to have unplugged Sundays. What this meant for me was that I did not sign up to work any shifts at the hospital on a Sunday and I tried to stay off social media. The work part of this was actually a big shift for me. For almost ten years, I have worked 6-7 days a week which was a financial necessity. This has been challenging and so making the commitment to keep this day free was a huge positive shift. Working Sundays kept me away from regular church going which I missed and in 2016 I was able to return to this which truly fed my soul-for me it is my weekly re-set button. I had thought that my unplugged Sundays would enable me to sew more, read more and do more of the things that I enjoy, and it did. But what I didn’t appreciate until I was actually living these days and documenting them (I posted a weekly picture on instagram with the hashtag #myunpluggedsundays) is how much keeping the day totally unscheduled and unplanned and having time to just think and be spontaneous would be healing for me and would inspire new ideas. This was probably the best part of keeping this commitment to myself. This and having weekly early morning quiet time to read.

2017 started off so beautifully. I was still pondering my resolutions and had jotted down some ideas. I wanted to take time each day for yoga since I have neglected my physical body amid work and other priorities. So after my beach walk I came home and did Day 1 of Yoga with Adrienne’s Yoga Revolution series. I did about half of her 30 Days of Yoga earlier in the year and loved it. We had a nice family dinner with my husband and the three children who were home for the holidays and I went to bed feeling excited for a day off on January 2nd and the time and space to start the new year right. And then life happened as it so often does. I got up and went for a short walk and started to feel worse and worse and went home, went straight to bed and stayed there for 2 days with fever, chills, sweats, nausea. My daughter was sick as well.

I had to laugh. Whenever I try to strongly impose my will on life, life pushes back and reminds me that I am not in charge. A bit of a spiritual re-adjustment. But interestingly what this next week of not avoiding sugar, (all we could do was drink ginger ale), not doing yoga (ha!) and not doing all those things on my to do list (take down the tree, finish some sewing projects, write my new years resolutions) did for me is to give me time to think. And what I thought about is that the best thing that my 2016 unplugged Sunday project did for me is to help me see that creating space in my life for thinking, creating, following my spontaneous idea in the moment-whether it be to take a walk, cook a nice dinner, sew up an unplanned project-was way more valuable than I had realized. The phrase “create space” is something that many yoga teachers I have studied with use and in 2016, I learned that it is something that I need to be intentional about because I reap tremendous benefits when I do it. In 2016, I got some ideas for writing pieces, one of which is going to be published next month, that came to me as I went on a spontaneous walk after church. I made connections about relationships, my own life’s goals, ways I want to grow. Life is so full of great ideas, images, content that is coming at us from all directions. I love it all. I love the books I read, the bloggers I follow, the photographs and amazing projects and ideas I see on instagram and the great conversations I have at work and at home but I know now that I also need quiet. I need space to think. Even when I don’t think I do. So in 2017, my resolution will be to Create Space for myself in a systematic way by scheduling it into my week. These are some ideas I am going to try out to make this happen.

I am going to continue to keep Sundays unplugged from work, media and plans whenever possible. In 2016, I did this for about 6 months straight and then work got busy and I ended up going in most Sundays to catch up on paperwork. Part of the challenge to keeping Sundays unplugged for me is to be more time efficient during the week so that all the paperwork gets done and I don’t have to go in on a Sunday. This also applies to other chores, errands etc. I try to get them done on the weekdays so I don’t have to do them on Sunday. I have found that this is really worth doing. I should mention that this blogger who I follow religiously recently talked about the concept of a monthly think day on her podcast. I think many of us are trying to figure this out.

I am going to try to have a Quiet Hour each evening before I go to bed to read, write, think. I have trouble sleeping and I have found that if I get into a big conversation with a family member as I am getting tired, it works against my ability to fall asleep. I also am going to try to keep that hour free from media. I also plan to read this book to see if I can gain some insights into improving my focus. It was recommended by this book whisperer who I have written about so many times before and whose podcast I listen to religiously.

I am going to try to do yoga daily and do some form of physical activity outdoors most days. I need to get outside and I need to make that a priority.

I am going to try to find time to write a couple of times a week. What that looks like for me could be blog posts, handwritten letters to people who live far away from me, maybe another piece for publication. When my children were little and we spent summers in Maine, I started a weekly letter writing night. I was inspired by a book I read. It might have been this one by Elizabeth Berg but I am not sure. Each Tuesday evening after dinner, each child wrote one letter to a family member and one letter to a friend and could write more if they chose. I made it fun by buying a bunch of postcards and other pretty stationary which I kept in a box. This was before email was a big thing and in any event we were intentionally screen-free all summer. They could walk the stamped mail over to our big mailbox at the end of the driveway and were very happy when they got mail back. It was one of the things I did as a parent that I am so glad I did, along with family dinners, quiet reading before bed and nature walks/hikes. So much of the time you are a parent to young children, you are trying so hard to do all the things right and it isn’t for years in many cases that you can look back and think about what really made a difference. Letter writing night was definitely one of those for me.

Other goals/intentions: to finish some unfinished sewing projects, to write another piece for possible publication, to eat more healthfully, to read books recommended to me by my daughters, to make zucchini noodles (!) with the spiralizer my daughter got me for Christmas.

Things I am excited for in 2017: trips already planned (tickets purchased!) to see my daughter and son who live in other states, a planned long weekend away with my husband for the first time since we were married almost nine years ago (omg), a planned road trip to see my brother this spring, sewing, reading, life.

I love a new beginning and today, on January 7th, as I watch beautiful snow fall on a rare Saturday when I am not at work, I am full of hope. What are you excited for in 2017?img_4479-1

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