Monday, April 20, 2015

Can I ask you a question?

Or two?

Or 10?

I'd like to start a series of interviews with craft, DIY, handmade bloggers. Yes, you!

Why should you be into this?

Well, I can't promise you anything. I am a new blogger. My audience isn't exactly army-sized.

Honestly, I am interested in interviewing those who would like to do it just for the fun of it. For the joy of sharing what inspires you. For the pleasure of telling your stories.

These interviews would not be a place to pimp your latest giveaway, your sponsors, your link party or the sale in your Etsy shop. I'm not interested in providing a forum for advertising, you see? I want to know more about you and what inspires you. That is all! 

It would help if I find your blog, crafts, stories, and you, inspiring. Sorry, that's the truth!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Petering out

I started this blog with one desire: share my sewing projects with the online community and become an active participant in that community.

It was wonderful. This blog kept my inspired and motivated to keep sewing and trying new things. For that, I'm so grateful.

Life changes come along, however, that take us out of our routines and spin us dizzy for a bit before we recover our footing. I'm in such a change now. It's a good thing, so no worries! I've switched jobs, and my first day is tomorrow. I've only worked for one place before this, and I'm switching to a new industry, too. I'm also working full time for the first time in a year and a half. So changes are coming at me left, right and center. On top of that, I've spent much (too much) of my free time for the last three months browsing real estate listings online. Because I think by the end of the summer, we plan to list our house. Another big change and a huge time suck.

These things can be consuming, I'm sure you know. And so I've been a bad blogger and, worse, I've made little to no time for sewing at all. I think that's a trend that might last a bit, at least through the first months of my job and until we finalize our move.

I think being a blogger means more than just throwing your thoughts into the big ocean of the Internet, hoping only for people to read it and be wowed. It's about community. Responding to comments. Reading other blogs and commenting. Participating in blogging events. Forming relationships. At least, that's what it is to me. There's no way that's going to be happening for me for the foreseeable future. So I'm going to lower the shades, so to speak. I'll be taking an indefinite break from Thar She Sews.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting and befriending me and teaching me so much. If you'd like to stay in touch, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. Or email me at stajahnke dot gmail dot come. I'd love to stay in touch.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Little moments

It's the little moments I want to hold on to.

Seeing Luke in a distance -- so earnest it makes me burst into laughter -- flailing at imaginary butterflies with a blue butterfly net, running so fast in the grass in bare feet, his fine hair blowing in the wind. Catching nothing but the wind. 

Seeing the other one dissolve into giggles the second his feet find their balance in the bounce house. Taking three wobbly steps before a face-plant, which he finds hysterical, cracking up into the red plastic, smearing it with wet baby slobber.

The way J.J. holds his mouth wide open for five seconds before bobbing his head down around a tiny plastic straw, wanting to be sure it makes it in there.

The way Luke grumbles at J.J. when he's frustrated with him, crowding him and grabbing him loosely around the head or body. But never, ever hurting him. 

The way J.J. calls everything Mama. The fridge. A banana. Other people. But mostly, the way he says it to me.

The way Luke falls asleep in the car, one leg tossed over the side of the car seat, his head tucked down onto his shoulder, quiet snores sneaking out from his mouth.  And then the way he denies it so vehemently, "No, Mama, I did NOT sleep in the car. No, no, no." Luke never sleeps in the car. (Except when he does.)

The march upstairs to go wake up Dada around 9 a.m., one following after another, both wearing dinosaur pajamas, me singing a marching song with glee: "Let's go wake up DADA! Let's go wake up DADA!" The way they fall all over him in the bed, and the way he grabs onto them to make sure they don't fall off the bed as they roll over him. Sunlight coming in the windows.

Hold onto the little moments. Aren't they so beautiful?

If you're game, share one in the comments. And Happy Mother's Day to all you moms.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A sewing nook makeover

Earlier this year, I took a little break from sewing. I needed a step away to focus on other things. I've only maybe half-stepped back into making sewing a priority, mainly out of obligation to the other things in my life. The kids and my job and keeping the house from being condemned are all pretty much non-negotiable duties.

But another thing holding me back? The mess that is my sewing nook. How can you feel creative and inspired and excited about spending time on your favorite hobby when the place you do it looks like...(prepare yourself!).... this?

Please, don't call Hoarders. Or Child Protective Services. This is really the only corner that is in total mayhem in my house. I'm not a neat-freak in any sense, but this the place that for some reason gets really out of control and messy. Which leads to total sewing shutdown.

My sewing nook is in a small, L-shaped, ugly corner of my basement. It's lit by a single bare bulb hanging from the ceiling, and it shares real estate with the water shut-off thingy. The only electrical outlet is located in the base of the light-bulb, so my extension cord for my sewing machine, table light and iron hangs in the middle of the space. The third picture down shows the opening in the back left of the corner that goes into my laundry room. I had a bookcase shoved into the opening to close it off and hold all my fabric. It's a hard shape to make cute. But I was also not using the space well. I wasn't making a point to keep things neat. I needed way more organization. The smaller the space, the more important being really organized becomes.

So on Saturday, everything came out of the space. Things were sorted, fabrics were refolded, stuff that didn't belong there was sent to the get-outta-here pile. And then everything went back in.

In progress....

It has to get worse before it gets better, right?

After a few hours of working on it throughout the day, I finally had it reassembled and looking better.

I like to see some of my fabric, so for now, I'm storing a bunch of it here on this bookcase. Along with some notions like fusible fleece and interfacing, and on the bottom shelf, a small box of works-in-progress.

 Here's looking into the nook. I have had the striped rug for about 10 years, since I lived in an apartment. Haven't found a use for it in my house until now! I also bought the painting almost 10 years ago at a coffee shop. It too hasn't had a home in my house for some time. I like how they brighten the corner up!

The table itself is from the 1950s. My mother-in-law wanted to get rid of it a few years ago, and I love it dearly. The chair is from my childhood, so my vintage factor is not bad here, eh?

I'd like to get my threads mounted on the wall. Other than that, I'm happy!

 We bought a new storage unit for inside the laundry room, and it's doing wonders not just for that room, but for creating a nice barrier here. Eventually, when we add more storage options to that room, I might use some of the shelf space there for fabric.

 As part of my cleaning process, I threw away my old sewing cover, which was ugly, stained, misshapen and even cut apart down the middle. Time to make a new one!

 Organized these shelves by getting rid of most everything but the sewing books. I might add some baskets here eventually.

Right now, a lot of my fabric is hiding until the table. It's not ideal, as I worry I'll forget about things if they're so hidden away. And I also won't be as motivated to climb under there to put things away. But it'll do for now.

What do you think? Better?

It's still not a Pinterest-worthy crafting space, that's for sure. And it's not done. But I'm feeling way better about it. Before, just looking over into that corner got my blood boiling. Now, I'm actually drawn in and feeling inspired to go sit and sew.

Does your craft space need some TLC? Go in there and spend 30 minutes tidying up -- it feels so good! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cherry pie birthday cake

Today's my hub's birthday. He's been joking for as long as I've known him -- about 13 years now -- that he thought he'd die when he was 31. It's an unnerving joke, but that's him. It started to bother me a little bit in recent years. What if he was right and somehow knew he'd never make it to 32? It's a ridiculous assumption, but he was so steadfast about it that I couldn't help but get freaked out when he'd bring it up. Luckily, today I can say what was always the case -- that was a load of BS! Today my babe turns 32.

We're planning to celebrate later today with family, pizza and cake. Or rather, cakes, as in, I'm going to make individual chocolate lava cakes later today. We also might go to a local soul food restaurant for lunch, so it's going to be quite the day on the old digestive system.

I thought I'd take the chance to share the cake I made last year. My hubs isn't that big on regular old birthday cake, hence the lava cake plans. What he really loves in cherry pie. I've bought him cherry pies on previous birthdays, but last year I got all creative and made him this.

Why yes, that's a cherry pie cake!

Probably never shared it last year because my photos are a little blurry. Bad lighting will do that! But looking back, I have decided it's blog worthy. Because wow does that ever look like a pie! It's a regular cake mix made in a round pan, topped with a jar of super delicious Michigan-made cherry pie filling and then covered with a fake lattice pie crust top made with slightly-brown tinted frosting.

Around here, adults don't get to blow the candles out on their own anymore. But I think that's OK.

Happy birthday, baby! I love you!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring bag! The Tulip Tote from Sew Serendipity

So, you likey?

I wanted a "spring" bag, something bright and light-weight and just a tad sweet.

I've been hoarding this Joel Dewberry fabric for a year, since my trek to City Craft fabrics in Dallas. There's really no need for that! But I just never knew quite what I wanted to do with it. Then the urge for the new bag hit, and I thought, why not? I'd love to see this fabric on a near daily basis. I flipped through my books looking for the right pattern, and I really wanted to try something from Sew Serendipity, which I got for Christmas. And so, here she is: my Tulip Tote in Joel Dewberry Avairy 2.

Using grommets was only a little bit scary and I love the finished look. I have contemplated a quick tutorial for using them. They're really easy, but it's nice to see someone walk you through it, too. 

Never hurts to "put a bird on it."

I went with only one big pocket inside. I love how there is an owl hidden in this fabric. It's a busy combo inside, I realize. But I still think it plays well together. 

A magnetic closure snaps it shut. 
Me with my new bag -- and my new hairdo! Have never had bangs this heavy. Gotta say, I love them.

Happy weekend!

P.S.: See another finished version of the Tulip Tote here.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Vacation was.... sigh.




I loved seeing my kids tiptoe through the sand, unsteady.


Or plow right into the waves, unafraid.

Loved seeing them discover new things, Like lizards.

 And dolphins

Loved discovering a few things of my own.

Loved time away. To sit and look at the ocean.

To lay around.  And do nada.

Loved getting to "sleep in...." and still catch a beautiful sunrise.

Of course, I loved eating way too much food. Especially of the fried (or beer) variety. So many delicious food choices to ponder!

And there were also very large pirates to pose with. That's important vacation work right there.


And I really loved spending time with family and friends we don't see all the time.

Vacation was great. We even survived two three-hour plane rides with two toddlers. AND we found a giant moustache! Check and check.

I've been back for a bit now. I just caught up on life this weekend. Mostly. (Do you ever really catch up on life once you're got kids sucking up all your time? Nah.) I did start a sewing project over the weekend and it's two straps away from being done. I'll be sharing it shortly. It felt comforting to be snipping threads and muttering curse words in my sewing nook once again.

Vacation's nice. But home is nice, too.