Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument

When I was out in San Diego last month, I spent a day wandering around Cabrillo National Monument. Truthfully, I was just expecting to spend an hour or two at the most looking around, but it turned into a full day’s excursion.

Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument

I spent the morning wandering down the bayside trail and taking in all the coastal sage brush (which smells amazing, by the way), and it was during this walk that I was inspired to create this pattern.

Cabrillo National Monument

Untitled

Cabrillo National Monument

In the afternoon, I wandered over to the Pacific side of the point, where there are trails leading down the cliffs where you can explore huge tidal pools and watch the waves crash against the shore. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’d had a chance to sit back and just watch the ocean roll in and out.

Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument

52 Patterns in 2015: Week 13

In the Pines

Wow, I made it past the first quarter of the year, and have also caught up with myself despite work being super crazy right now. *high fives* I’m also, because I can resist a good creative challenge, embarking on a short term making project this month. I’ll be aiming to make something every day in April, and am in good company with some new friends I made taking Design Carve Print. We were inspired by fellow classmate Meihgan O’Toole who is currently 1/4 of the way through a year of making (and who also has an amazing podcast). So this pattern satisfies both my #52patterns2015 and #monthofmaking projects in one swoop.

I’m calling this one In the Pines, and am having tons of fun playing around with different color combos for it. As a doodle, it actually just a little reflecting mountain made of linework pine trees, but I love the it feel it takes on as a pattern.

In the Pines

In the Pines

52 Patterns in 2015: Week 12

Cabrillo Week 12
I’m pretty behind this week. I usually try to have my pattern out by Wednesday, but I was just super busy. With all of the things that have been suddenly thrust into my schedule, I know this project is going to move down on the priority list. Still, I love making patterns, and I’m not going to give this project up. It may be a little more sporadic, but I want to keep it going. It’s fun and has pushed me to explore my creativity.

These motifs came from a trip I took the Cabrillo National Monument last week (more on that trip in another post). I spent hours taking photos of plants around the park and have spent my few spare minutes this week drawing up sketches. I also used one of my photos to make the color palette. Since I’m on the road, I’ve been using the Adobe Shape app on my phone to vectorize my sketches. I find it gives them a bit of a different look, more angular than vectoring in AI, but I’m happy with the result.
Cabrillo Week 12
I definitely want to tweak this guy a little more, but I think it’s off to good start, and I hope you like it.

When Life Gets in the Way

Sunset

I had some big ambitions for this year. One of them was to really focus on becoming a better seamstress and to really dive in and start making my clothes instead of just collecting patterns and stashing fabrics. I even announced that I’d be playing along with this year’s integration of Wardrobe Architect. Then January turned into February, and I’ve blinked and we’re halfway through March. I’ve reminded myself a hundred times to sit down and go through the worksheets again and write some posts about my practices for honing a small, functional wardrobe, but as you can see, it hasn’t happened.
I also had big plans for Nash and Russo as a business. After getting sidelined last year in favor of taking care of Cubby, I felt newly invigorated to start designing, creating, and selling my wares. I spent those less physically productive months doing research, sourcing materials, reading business books, and really thinking about how I want this whole operation to look and feel. I am so excited to really make a proper go of it, but it seems that’s going to have to wait a bit longer.

Sometimes, many times, we start off with these plans, and then life simply just gets in the way. Late in January my regular job presented me with a long term opportunity. One that would involve a lot of travel over the next year, but take my career in a direction I longed hoped it could go. So, I took it, and since then my life has been turned on its ear. Lots running around, lots of travel (I wrote most of this post on a plane), and eventually this will culminate in several months away from home. It took me a few weeks to really adjust to the idea. I thought I would still be able to fit in those other plans, and I started to feel guilty that I couldn’t muster up the time to sit down at my sewing machine or start printing fabric or a hundred other things I felt that I should be doing in order to stay on track. It was tough, stressful, and not at all how I wanted it.

Then I realized, I am on track, just a different one. I’ve had to rearrange so much of my life in order to accommodate this new adventure, but more importantly, I’ve had to realize that getting ready to go should be my focus, not trying to go down other paths when I don’t have the time or energy to focus on them properly. It would just lead to more frustration. That’s not to say I’m totally giving up my other plans, but I’m scaling them back. It’s unlikely I’ll reopen my Etsy shop or move to another e-commerce platform any time this year, and that bums me out, but I know if I’m going to do it, I want to do it right. The same goes for Wardrobe Architect, I still hope to make a couple of garments, but if I don’t, I’m okay with that too. I’m going to be spending most of days in uniform anyway, so I really don’t need the clothes.

Life gets in the way, it always gets in the way. My mom loves to say “Man makes plans and God laughs.” Insert whichever diety or unknown universal force you prefer into that quote, but it’s true. You plan, you prepare, you get knocked into a different direction. In fact, I had hoped to deploy when I finished my initial training with the Navy 5 years ago, I got pregnant instead. Thinking about it that way, I’m just finally getting to that plan, and so it’s ok to scale back the other things. I think the important thing has been learning to let things go without guilt or reservation. To realize that I’m never going to fit everything in, I’m never going to get everything done, and that doesn’t make me less of a person to say “no” or “not right now”. In some ways, I like always being hungry for more.

52 Patterns in 2015: Week 11

Double Crosser wk 11
I’m turning back to one of my favorite motifs. Hand drawn plus signs/crosses. I have a lot going on in life right now. Lots of changes and moves and a hell of a lot of traveling happening right now. With everything in such flux, going for a simpler motif just made sense.  It feels right.

In this color way (let’s call it Sunrise), which was derived from a photo of mountains, I see this design on pillows or bedding, but I’m excited to change up the colors to work for skirts or dresses.

So here she is, folks, the Double Crosses in Sunrise. I hope you like it.
Double Crosser wk 11

The Roundup

Block Print Canvas

Wow, what a week it’s been. The weather has been nice, the Bears have been pleasant, I have had time to sit down and actually use my sewing machine (say what?). Of course, this burst of nice weather and higher productivity has made me realize, that no matter what, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. There were so many projects I wanted to tackle, but I’m happy to have completed just one. The fabric above I hand printed using the skills I learned in Design, Carve, Print, and it’s now happily residing inside of a tote bag that I made yesterday and will tell you more about soon.

A fascinating read about Goga Ashkenazi and her journey at the helm of Vionnet.

Deleted scenes from Doctor Who. #1 is a tearjerker.

36 ways you’re messing up your child. Guilty of everything.

Are you a stuff manager? You should quit.

How great are these clogs? They’re made in San Francisco!

I love a delicious pun.

Have a great weekend!

xo, S.

52 Patterns in 2015: Week 10

Ahoy There Week 10
Ahoy, there! It seems that winter has done and about face and is retreating rapidly into every storm drain and backyard stream it can find. And while I enjoyed it last week, I can’t say I’m sorry to see it go. It’s been great to take the bears outside and enjoy some fresh air.

Ahoy There Week 10

I know I’ve mentioned before that you’re not likely to see florals from me anytime soon, and even with the change of weather that’s probably still true. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that for me, when it comes to spring, I love a bold nautical. Stripes are my favorite, second only to heather grey as a wardrobe must have. As soon as I added the anchors (from week 1) to this cream and navy stripe, I immediately saw it as a canvas clutch. To this end, I’ve got a test swatch of it en route to me in the coming weeks and I can’t wait to experiment. When I’m able to make it (and this secondary color way below!) available for purchase in my shop, I hope you will too.
Ahoy There in Red Stripe