4 Years and Counting…

Hey blog, I think I’ve missed you.  Thank you for capturing memories from a great year and a season that was oozing in fragility due to the quickness of it all.  I’m grateful.

Love, Stephanie


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in this moment


… things feel calm.  And it wasn’t until this moment that I realized it’s been a while.  Like maybe a LOOOOOOOOOONG while.  We’ve been swept up in a whirlwind of


and with that has come the hand of God’s goodness.  And His swiftness.  You know how when God moves it can feel like you were just caught up in a cyclone of movement and the aftermath is all the pieces falling into place? It’s so good.  But I feel it can also leave you stunned.  Maybe I feel stunned.

Anyway, back tracking for a moment :: we’ve finally formally announced that we are moving to Australia.  The details of how God has been answering prayers is enough for another post.  But it has been happening quick.  And in the midst of the excitement and awe and also TO DO lists that are starting to form in our heads, we noticed a pretty significant tic in one of the boys.  And so our head’s started to spin.  And on top of all this is the regular hurrah of preschool and homeschool and life with four kids.  And as of today I’m 52 days into 80 Day Obsession.   Needless to say, it’s been enough to keep my mind running at a decent pace and to keep the Google searches endless.

But somewhere, somehow, this afternoon as we finished school and I swept up the box of cheerios that had been innocently dumped on the floor by a toddler, I decided to make tea.  And this led me to the school room to finish grading.  And for this split second, things felt calm and I could hear myself thinking.  Emotions welled that I have potentially been suppressing.  And I had the urge to write.

I said no at first, I have my grading in front of me.  But then I decided to follow the urge.

I don’t have the bandwidth needed to write about all my thoughts right now, but here are the highlights:

  1. I’m going to miss this house and all it offers.  I’m so thankful for how God has been aligning the pieces for us to leave and keep this house at the same time, but I will miss living here.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not so full and thankful for what surrounds me!
  2. There will never be enough time for me to cover in school everything I dream of covering.  The world is so chock-full of things to learn and I get overly excited and ambitious.
  3. John 14:27
  4. When eating in an intentional and calorie deficient way, it’s amazing how much one snack can lift my spirits.

And for the moment, I think that sums it up.

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to write

I’ve had this desire to write thoughts down and it continues to grow each year.  But I’m an over-thinker and an over-communicator and that and writing and mom-hood just do not go well together.  But again, it is a new year.  And again, I have another child.  Four now to be exact.  And my life runs at an all time busy and that, for some ridiculously cruel reason, makes me feel all time lazy.  I love this blog and the moments of life it has captured (oh how I wish it actually contained more) — but, strangely enough, I did not feel LAZY back then and I spent many days knitting and binge watching TV while the twins played on the living room floor.  Now I homeschool, and feed people, and attempt to keep my house from daily imploding and if, and when, all those little feet are tucked in under the covers of their beds I decide to, *gasp*, sit down and not clean (which let’s be honest, this is what I choose most days), I feel like thE laziest person I know.  Because this house.  This house that is bigger; a bigger blessing and a bigger responsibility and a bigger mess.  Ahem, that mess.  (Ahem, I’m aware of the fragmented sentences.) It houses my bigger family but comes with BIG. TIME. CHORES.  So tonight I’m flying solo, the husband is on the train home, my wine glass is full and I take 10 minutes to write (this use to take me like, uhhh, at least 4 hours to write and read and then re-write), and I will post because it is a start of something I want to do.  And then I will clean; mainly because I’m at a point where my sanity relies on it.

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Holiday Deer Napkin

It has again been a month since I have posted!  Sometimes I feel as though my life is just FULL of good intentions that have a hard time becoming reality — this blog is no exception.

But to cut to the chase, I have a new tutorial!  The Holiday Deer Napkin …

Around my home I have started working on projects for the holidays.  This was today’s!

I chose the “deer” design in an attempt to have a Thanksgiving & Christmas relevant napkin.   We will try to pass it as a buck, it is hunting season after all, during Thanksgiving and as a reindeer during the Christmas season.

If you want to make your own set, you will need to get your hands on some cloth napkins.  I happened to find mine at Target on sale ($1.75 per set of 4) a few months back!  They measure roughly 18in x 18in and I find them a great size!

You will also need some fabric for your deer appliques, beads, embroidery floss, no-sew iron on adhesive, needle and thread, a sewing machine (optional), a computer & printer (to print the pattern for the applique), and an iron.

I started off by washing, drying, ironing, and folding all my napkins so I could determine accurate placement of the deer.  If you want to fold you napkins like I did here is how …

Notice I made a point to hide the Room Essentials tag on the inside fold.

I then traced 12 deer profiles (I am making 12 napkins total) onto a no-sew iron-on adhesive.

Here is the pattern for the deer applique ( it is in the form of a word document):

Holiday Deer Napkin – Applique Pattern

Make sure when tracing your deer profiles you trace the mirror image!

Following the instructions for your no-sew iron-on adhesive, attach the adhesive to your fabric.

And then cut all your deer profiles out!

Again, following the directions for your you n0-sew iron-on adhesive, remove the paper backings from you deer profiles/appliques and iron them on to your napkins.

(On my first napkin, I centered the deer applique on the napkin.  But I realized it may be best to off-center the applique slightly left to account for the antlers that are added later.)

With my sewing machine set to–what I consider–standard top stitch settings…

I sewed a top stitch around the deer applique with grey thread.

You could also get a similar look embroidering a straight stitch around the applique, but using the machine was a time saving maneuver.

Next, I set out my beads and embroidery floss to get an idea of how to lay out the remaining embellishments.  And I took a picture! Once all the beads fall off the napkin and you have to sew them on, it is hard to mentally recall the visual!

And then I sewed on the antlers …

… alternating beads and straight stitch.

As you can see I used ordinary thread, and not embroidery floss, for the antlers.

Lastly, embroider the body design and nose on the deer using 3 strands of embroidery floss.

I used multiple straight stitches to create the nose.

And a split stitch to create the body design.  I copied the design from the book Doodle Stitching.

That’s it! One holiday napkin created!

I am playing with the idea of creating the body embroidery in grey and red as well…

What do you think?

(If you have any feedback or questions please let me know!  If you make some napkins yourself I would LOVE to see what you come up with!)

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What I’ve Been Up To…

Today has been one of those sleeping-in-rainy-day sort of days, and I thought it would be a good day for an update.

By this time, you have already seen glimpses of a lot of the things I have been working on.

To start with, there were the first few bag tags I made …

Followed by the 5 tags to launch my Etsy store, The Golden Heel …

And with the first purchase from The Golden Heel came my exploration into packaging/gift bags….

Then with excitement I finished a bathrobe for my friend’s little girl ….

And threw in an additional bag tag just for fun…

I started and finished knitting a Christmas stocking for Gabe …

I will be lining it with a Christmas fabric I picked up at Hancock fabrics.  And I will also be making another for his brother.

You can find the pattern on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/spindleknitters-stockings

I then got started on my first kitted felting project.  It was a pair of fingerless mittens that I adore.  I listed them on Etsy and they quickly sold to my dear Aunt!

I am now in the process of two more pairs.

And just today I finished another new project.

A checkbook cover…

I was debating what to do with it–keep it, sell it, etc–but I packaged it up as a surprise gift instead!

OH! And how can I forget the purple hats!  You already saw the finished project but I will include them again and check it off my list…

And the big project I tackled for church.  Easily the most fabric I have ever sewn with at one time…

Lastly, before this heat wave struck, I made a few long sleeved shirts for the boys.  Hopefully we will be circulating them into our wardrobe again soon!

A few of Gabe modeling…

And a few photos of Nolan just to even things out.

“HONK!” yelled the dump …

He saw a puddle and he tried to swerve!

Up at a gallop ran the big brown horse …

All together – one, two, three … one last push and the trucks were free!

Beep! Beep! Beep!

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New Etsy Listing!

Wool Felted Fingerless Mittens


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Insecure Creativity & Lessons Learned

Ok, ok, I know I haven’t listed a whole lot in my Etsy shop.  The process of starting it and working on creating inventory has had a learning curve associated with it.  And somewhere between creating the store, making new things, and trying to come up with more inventory I have been hit by a wave of insecurity.

Yesterday it came somewhere between taking pictures of a few items-non Etsy related-and packaging them to send.

This insecurity stuff has a tendency to creep up in the weirdest moments.  And for whatever the reasons are that trigger it, I am trying to learn from them…

Lesson #1:  Packaging matters … and it should match the style of the item inside.

I put together a gift package for my friend and was completely bummed when the packaging I picked just didn’t look right with the gift.  In an attempt to not over think things, I left the gift wrapped in the packaging as was.  I know she will appreciate it, but in the future I will think this through better.

Lesson #2:  Read the rules ahead of time…

I packaged my purple hats for the Period of Purple Crying campaign and only after everything was sealed did I stumble upon the guidelines.  Turns out I was supposed to stay away from “pom poms”.  I actually opened the package  and debated cutting off the pom poms I had sewn, but once I pulled on them and realized they were secure and were far too large for any child to choke on, I decided to leave them as is.  I have no idea what will happen to the hats once they arrive, but I am crossing my fingers.

When I continued looking at pictures and related blogs and seeing all the newborn hat patterns, I only started to doubt myself more.

In the end I gave myself a pep talk and reminded myself of why I chose the patterns I did – 1) they will stay on a baby’s head, 2) they are replicas of the hats that were given to my boys when they were born.

I tried hard not to let these things get me down and breed more insecurity.  And with that mindset, I worked on more merchandise for The Golden Heel today.

So how about a sneak peak?

I started my first felted knitting project.  They are fingerless mitts.  When I sat down to work on some embellishment I was reminded of another lesson.

Lesson #3:  Contrast matters … especially when speaking of embellishment

I am really liking how these fingerless mittens are turning out, but in a perfect world the deer would stand out a tiny bit more.

And then I worked on this…

A gnome bag …

I’m not sure where this guy will end up, but he was a fun project.

Just like my children, naps came in twos today and that helped me get a bit more done than usual-ahem-creatively that is.  Insecurities and all I am happy.

Sending joy your way!

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