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.

 

Sun hats are back! Must really be spring…

The first Newburyport Farmer’s Market of the season is coming up on April 14, just 2 1/2 weeks away! So excited that Honeyflower is participating in that event again this year. I had such great success (and fun) last year – I’m hoping this year will be equally as fun. I’ve been busily gearing up for the market, trying to generate a backstock of inventory so I can free up some of my time between markets for new projects and other activities.

Getting to the other news though, I have lots of new merchandise this season! Tons of new fabrics in great colors and patterns, including more PINK this year! I heard a lot of feedback from you all that my color ranges were distinctly lacking in that wonderful girly color we all love. Well, you won’t be disappointed by the colors available this season.

I know many of you will be happy to know that I’ve restocked (and redesigned) the reversible sun hats you all adored last year, and this year they are in 3 sizes (18″, 19″, 20″) and lots of great colors and patterns! (Think elephants, turtles, bikes, sea greens, magentas, oranges, blues…!) New features include REVERSIBLE straps with a velcro under-the-chin closure. The rough side of the velcro faces away from your baby’s soft skin so there should be no irritation from the strap. Straps are made out of a soft cotton twill, and can easily be tucked away for those ‘cooperative’ babies who don’t mind wearing hats. I’ll be showing sneak peaks of other new merchandise over the next 2 1/2 weeks, so stay tuned…!

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You can see in the 2 photos below that by using a buttonhole, you can reverse the strap for use on both sides!

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As I’m sure you all feel similarly, I can’t say enough how happy I am that Spring has arrived. Although it was a great winter filled with firsts with our little one, it was long and grueling weather-wise – more-so than usual! I am thrilled to see my daffodils starting to make their way up out of the ground and the snow to finally melt completely off the ground. I hope you all are enjoying the tiny taste of Spring we’ve had these last couple of days and here’s hoping we’ll get a beautiful, warm and sunny April. (Hoping I don’t jinx us by saying that!)

Enjoy your day!

I won’t be *that* mom anymore…

I don’t know about you, but I always seem to be ‘that’ mom that is forgetting stuff.  Like, for example – the first visit to the pediatrician’s office when Finn was 4 days old.  We showed up, they stripped him down naked, weighed him and then Alex and I looked at each other realizing our predicament.  The thought hadn’t even crossed our minds until that moment to actually bring the diaper bag WITH us.  It was fully packed and sitting nicely at home, us clueless about its purpose.  But at that moment, it dawned on us.  Diaper bags are for moments like these!  Wow, genius.  The second visit we did manage to get the diaper bag to the car, but sadly it did not make it to the office and the doctors and nurses got quite a kick out of our naiveté.  It didn’t stop there for me.  I always seemed to be running late, which meant Finn (who was born New Year’s Day) was constantly underdressed during his winter outings.  His jacket was often unzipped (mine was too) and I’d be sprinting into La Leche meetings an hour late, with a screaming, hungry baby and all the other moms would have their babies on their backs (or tummies -imagine that!) cooing and purring on their cute little play mats, or nursing contentedly while Finn gagged on his milk.  I was lucky to remember a burp cloth.  And my baby spits up ALL the time.  Yet still there never seems to be a cloth available when I need it.  Despite the fact that I make the darn things by the 100’s  (exaggeration).  But I persevered and still left the house mostly every day with my little boy, for walks in the woods, trips to Walmart (of all places (!!), but it was close and had baby supplies that I desperately needed, and heck – it was an outing, right?), and walks in the park with the dog.  I can’t even tell you how many blow outs, forgotten diapers, jackets, burp cloths that occurred on those outings, but it’s the effort that counts.

And Finn is now almost 6 months and I am STILL that mom.  Like last week, for example.  I am rushing to meet our little playgroup at the park, and grabbing things, throwing them in the stroller, my purse, which is jammed full of toys, diapers, wipes, wallet, phone.  I manage to get a water bottle, strap the baby in, tie the dog’s leash to my waist (I do manage to grab a poop bag for the dog!) and rush out the door.  The second I get to the park and meet up with the other half dozen moms who are kindly waiting for me, I notice Finn has a giant wet spot on his pants.  And it’s not just drool.  The poor kid had a massive blowout from the time it took to get from the house to the park (approximately 10 minutes).  And then it dawns on me, I do not have a change of clothes.  I picked them up before I left the house, but they never made it into the bag.  So, I change Finn’s diaper and start to load him in the stroller without anything but a diaper and fortunately one of the other mom’s offers me a clean change of clothes for the baby.  I swear I’m the only one that manages to forget these things!  Fortunately my mom friends are some seriously together ladies so I can count on them in those moments.  But I’d really like to not be THAT mom anymore.  So … I think I’ve solved my problem.  At least the remembering most of the baby supplies part.  The late/rushing part I think will perpetually be a problem for me.  One of those, I try to do too much in a day things, I think.

This here is a changing pad, and it carries diapers, wipes and a change of clothes – and a few other things, I would imagine, if you crammed them in the pockets.  The little elastic around the button means that it will stretch really nicely.  And I can just grab it, throw it in the stroller and GO, or just leave it there, novel!  Check it out:

I’m pretty happy about this little thing.  Really hoping it makes life a little easier.  I said to Alex the other day – you know – I make all these cool baby items, yet never make any for myself!  Well, I took care of that, didn’t I?

In other news, prep for the market on Sunday is going awesome.  I took a vacation day from work today (only 2 more days at my job!!) to get some work done.  I’ve taken 3 breaks since 9AM – twice to pump and once to eat.  It’s an extremely hot day out so I don’t feel too guilty not getting outside today.  Finn went to daycare – I needed to focus 100% of my energy on finishing up my work.  I’m close, I just need to do the quilting on 2 quilts and the binding.  That should be pretty doable by Sunday.

I made a bunch of wet bags this afternoon – loving the fabric.

But before I finished these guys, I had a major pinning mistake.  Guess that’s what late night pinning will get you.  Had to redo it all (glad I noticed after the first one!):

But my stash is growing, yay!  Almost there.  Super excited about Sunday – regardless of whether I sell anything or not.  At least I’ll have a good inventory!

Enjoy the rest of your week all, hope you have fun plans for the weekend!  If you’re in Newburyport, stop in for a visit on Sunday.

Rainbow block baby quilt and puppy

During the last finishing stages on my mom’s birthday quilt, my friend Ida in Minnesota had a baby girl.  She didn’t find out the gender, so I was waiting until the baby was born to make something.  When I found out it was a girl, well – I had a great project in mind.  Based on the same quilt pattern from this past summer, but with a few modifications, including wider sashing strips and a minky backing.  (which by the way, is a pain in the arse).  It also dawned on me that my dear friend had gotten married almost a year ago, and I had not sent her a present.  Bad friend, yes I know.  So, that meant another project to come between finishing my mom’s quilt.

Here’s the Rainbow Block baby quilt:

Doing the minky back was really tough because the fabric slips around like crazy!  I think next time I’d just do flannel.  But it came out so nice and soft, perfect for a newborn.

And for the wedding present…

I received my first ever layer cake and first ever batik fabric as a Christmas present this year, and I had been messing around with ideas for the fabric and seeing what looked good with what.   I thought that I may make placemats with it but as soon as I had my friend in mind, the project began to take shape, and sure enough – at the end of the day there was a gorgeous table runner.  I LOVE the way it came out.  Here’s a close up of the gorgeous fabric:

And the final piece:

I really have been enjoying (as you can tell) grouping fabric by color and sewing in a rainbow like order.  It is really pleasing to look at.  Plus, when you are dealing with reds, greens, blues, pinks and purples, grouping them really shows off each individual color and fabric print.  More-so I think, than if they are contrasting.  But  I suppose it depends on what you are looking for!  I backed it with a black kona cotton.  I’ll post a pattern later for those interested.  I am quite happy with the way it turned out.  If only I can get it out in the mail sometime this week!

And then Mesa the pup helped me finish mom’s quilt.

Very helpful, don’t you think?  I’ll post the final pics of this quilt very very soon.

New addition

On April 17 at 3:20AM, Lucy JoMeree Walton was born into this world – 7 lbs 4 oz, and now I’m an aunt!  It actually feels different!  It’s kind of like that feeling of having a surprise waiting for you out there.  I absolutely cannot wait to meet her.  I’ve never really been one for babies – in fact, they are pretty scary to me!  But Lucy is different.  It’s strange, I guess the only thing I can think is that it’s because she’s actually related to me, my flesh and blood.  My brother’s little baby girl!  I’m so happy for them.  And my parents are in Flagstaff visiting- enjoying the experience with them, which I am thrilled about.  I’m so glad that they are there to see the birth of their first grandchild.  It’s hard having family so far away, so this means a lot.  I am envious of everyone out there!  I didn’t really think I’d be so interested in being a part of this little one’s life, but here I am, just wanting to meet her, to see what she’s like, what she looks like, who she looks like …. Sigh.  Just going to have to wait until June.  Here’s a picture, courtesy of Joshua Walton (thanks!):

Look at her!!!  Is she not ridiculously cute??  Sigh.  Actually makes it seem possible that someday I may do the same thing.

In other news – I’ve been busy busy busy crafting, but just not too particularly interested in documenting it.  Primarily because, my photos suck.  And that’s 95% of the interest of reading a blog is looking at beautiful pictures.  I’m not really sure what to do about it – I obviously wasn’t blessed with the photographer’s eye and don’t have a huge desire to take the time to go to a class… what to do, what to do ….

But here’s a quick glimpse of some of the things I’ve been up to (regardless of photo quality!):

Bat shawl for a friend, Noro yarn.  LOVE IT!

100 year old cedar tree, milled into lumber for Pa.

Daffies in my garden (a month earlier than last year!!)

Spring pillows.  With help from Alex.  Fun project. Lily helping …

Picnic blanket for a dear friend’s wedding gift.  All vintage fabric.

Purr helping me quilt.  Yeah… helping, that’s it!

Mmmmm…. greens.  YUM!

Have a great week!