Back at it, and in full swing! The year in review…

A year ago, I was just thinking about updating this blog and just getting back into the swing of things after having a baby.  It feels like a lifetime ago, it’s really wild!  I can’t think of another year where there have been so many changes, and time flew so quickly – yet thinking back to a year ago and it feels like it was so.long.ago.  Weird.  I guess welcome to parenthood…?  Or just welcome to the crazy busy life of the Dardinski household.  I’m thinking that it really is just us – we have done a LOT this past year.

About a year ago, we got flooded out of our house due to construction and spent 4 months in a beautiful place on Rings Island in Salisbury where my sewing business came to life.  In the house construction/reconstruction world, we basically reconstructed our downstairs apartment, built a new kitchen, 2 new baths, a 2nd to 3rd floor stair, a new exterior deck and 1st to 2nd floor stair, all new heating, electrical and plumbing… it’s crazy.  Yeah, that’s pretty much enough to keep anyone busy in a year!  But no – we can’t stop there – my husband, Alex, has a new job (same company, different job).  I left one job, started a new business (Honeyflower!), kept a consulting business with my old company and then also got a new part time consulting job!  We’ve made dozens of new friends (being new parents and all) and reconnected with many old friends as well.  I know we did tons of fun things too – just hard to recall now, a year later.  Just being new parents is a pretty amazing thing, I know everyone says your life will change after having kids, well – they were right!  And after all that has happened tragically so close to home (Boston) in the last couple of weeks, I have to say I feel luckier than ever to have such an amazing community and family that we are a part of.  We LOVE where we live, love our friends and family. That is enough in the world.  Truly.

But Honeyflower.  Wow, Honeyflower has come a loooong way this past year.  I think we had just decided on the name “Honeyflower” right around this time last year.  Alex and I spent many hours putting words together and finally came up with the beloved name that is Honeyflower.  And now I feel like I actually know what I’m doing!  My first Newburyport Farmer’s Market  of this season happened seamlessly, and such a great turnout!  It was awesome to see so many familiar faces from last year, and so excited to see me there again!  It was a great feeling, being recognized.  And all my hard work over the winter of building inventory and new product, and perfecting old designs really paid off.  I couldn’t be happier with the outcome!  And the online side of my business chugs away, slowly but surely. Etsy is a great place to keep product moving when I’m not at the market, but it’s tedious enough that I still don’t have all my product online (even though I should!!).  The e-commerce site is great, but doesn’t have any built in marketing so it’s just a great place to showcase product and product photos.  And the photo part is really what my business needs help with.  That will be a big focus of what I need to do over the next year is build my photo inventory and improve the quality of my photos on both Etsy and my other e-commerce site.  Photos are hard, and so important!

Overall, I’m thrilled with the progress.  I still hope to do more, but I have to say, life comes first.  I don’t want to miss a beat with my lil’ 15 1/2 month old – he comes first.  It’s all about how much time you can create within an already busy schedule.  I keep trying, and chipping away at the immense tasks ahead.  But I’m thrilled with the way the last year has gone.  And that’s the most important thing.  Yay!

So – a little sharing – here’s an update on my little guy, all grown up at the age of 15 1/2 months:


I hope you all are happy, healthy and enjoying the spring days.


The move and other news

Sure enough, a couple of days after getting a new start at this blog, and deciding to quit my job after over 9 years – we had a major mishap at the house, which – long story short, led to us moving out of our house (a nearly 20 room house) for the summer.  Major water damage during a renovation project was the cause.  For the last 2 weeks I’ve been on overdrive, singlehandedly managing to find 5 month old baby, dog, and family a new home (if you want the full story, call me). And finally we are settled into a furnished condo on the other side of the river from our home.  We are calling it our summer house.  It’s pretty darn nice, I have to say. And I had to move my studio, in the midst of trying to prep all my inventory for my first Farmer’s Market date at the end of June.  Just a wee bit of stress… !  But – my ‘new’ studio overlooks the river, and has a deck, a bathroom and a bed, in case I need a nap during my stressful sewing days. Ha!  At least I’m back up and running, working on production for my much anticipated debut.  I must say I’m a bit nervous – about whether I’m making the right product, whether my sewing is a standard worthy of sale… the list could go on and on – but I’ll spare you.

Here’s a little glimpse into what I’ve been up to, in all the chaos.

Here’s our new view (yes, that’s our deck):

Here’s the view of our poor house:

Here’s my ‘new’ temporary studio:

And if you want these quilts, come to the Newburyport Farmer’s Market on June 24th:



Oh, and of course – baby Finn – he sits up all on his own now (at least for a few minutes here and there). Absolutely LOVE him.  He’s also my product tester, tried and true!


Ok, folks – more to come, LOTS of new creations and patterns to share.  Time to sign off for tonight.  Have a great week!


Overwhelmed mind = neglect

I have not forgotten about this blog – in fact I have more to share than ever before!  But I’ve been a little mentally overwhelmed and really unable to break into small ‘posts’ the updates I’ve meant to make.  Not to mention, I’ve been putting of THIS post until the long-awaited arrival of my new iPhone 4S, which will enable me to easily post better photos – a problem that I’ve need to solve for a while.  But it’s overdue, so you’re getting it anyway, with or without the new iPhone.  Humph.  So just to give you and idea of the posts that will be trickling in over the next couple months, here’s where I’m at:

  • I got married!  And it was a DIY wedding – so I’ll share some of the various ideas we used for design, and chat about the wedding planning related to a number of issues that arose.
  • We are having a baby!  I’ll share the various items I’ve been sewing & knitting in the studio for this little guy.
  • We are moving downstairs, and doing a major house renovation! So – redecorating photos will be abound.
  • That means my studio is also moving, to a much bigger space.  Uh oh – will I ever move back upstairs?
  • Lots of other adventures, trips, etc. happening on this end.  Photos aplenty.
So – I’ll gather my thoughts, and be back very soon with plenty more photos, crafty, outdoorsy and wedding-y, and lots of ideas for new projects!

Extended Franconia Ridge Traverse

When Hurricane Earl threatened to bring rain over Labor Day weekend, we modified our plans to stick closer to home.  Original plan was to head north to the Bigelow Range by Flagstaff Lake in Maine.  But we put that off until the following weekend and came up with a last minute plan for a day trip over the long weekend.  We had many unfinished projects that needed to get done at home anyway, so it made sense to stay close.  Plus, I wanted to try out my new sewing machine that Alex got me for my birthday!!  More on that later….

So, Alex and I hatched up an idea to hike the Franconia Ridge – as suggested by Mel on this hike from earlier this summer.  The plan was this:

Hike up the Flume Trail to Franconia Ridge Trail, over Flume, to Liberty, Little Haystack, Lincoln, Lafayette and down the Bridal Path for a total of ~14 miles.  We stashed our bikes at the Lafayette Campground so we could ride (downhill) on the bike path along Route 93 back to the car after our hike.

We left Newburyport at 8AM, and got on the trail at 11AM on the nose.  The weather was mild, and humid at the bottom.  The Flume Trail started out very gradually, but after a couple of miles, the trail started getting very vertical.  The loose scree turned to slabs of rock that you had to use your rock climbing skills to get up and over.  Once we topped out onto the Franconia Ridge Trail, we were rewarded with views of the ridge from Mount Flume.  The wind picked up a bit, and temps were a little cooler.  At Flume, we ran in to a solo hiker looking to do the same trail as us, so she joined us for the rest of the day until we reached Galehead Hut.  From Flume, you drop down quite a bit and then head back up Liberty.  Once you get to Little Haystack, you pretty much have unencumbered views of the ridge and above tree-line views until you duck back into the woods after Galehead hut on the Bridal Path.  The Franconia Ridge Loop is extremely popular, and on the holiday weekend, there was a significant amount of traffic on the trail.  We were shocked by what some people were wearing for clothing and footwear.  Unbelievable how unprepared some people can be for those kind of unpredictable conditions.  While we were on the ridge, the weather shifted, and the showers that were threatening started moving in.  It started raining heavily on top of Lafayette, so we speed hiked down to the hut.  It was then that I broke my toe as I mentioned earlier today, by jamming my foot after sliding off a wet rock.   Oooww!  But it didn’t slow me down until we got home.  We ran down the Bridal Path after waiting out the rest of the rain at Galehead Hut.  We had a lot of fun passing all the Canadians and teenagers in soggy jeans and cotton t-shirts.  We made it out before dark, grabbed our bikes, and cruised the last 2 miles (all downhill) back to the car.  What a great ending to an incredible day.  We hit the Woodstock Inn for local craft brew and yummy food and drove home with time to watch a movie and veg on the couch.  Again, I must say how great New England is – having amazing mountains less than 2 hours away to play in.

You can see the pictures from our hike on Facebook here.