I made a realization recently. For the past few years (OK, more than a few years–pretty much since I started this little company) I’ve been wishing I could slow things down a bit and not have so many projects going all the time. Sometimes I’ve gotten frustrated because there are so many things I want to do, so many ideas Todd and I have, and there just is not enough time to do them all. I say no to a lot of opportunities and ideas and still often feel like I’m torn in multiple directions. Part of me wishes I could work on just one project at a time the way most people think that creative people work. The way I had always dreamed of working.
My realization had a few components. First, I finally recognized that very few creative people actually have the luxury of time. There will always be a deadline–or, more realistically, multiple deadlines–putting stress on you. Especially if you’re supporting a family like our business does. I also realized that this is very much a life stage. Before I started this business, back when Todd and I were working for other companies and before we had a child, we were busy. But certainly not this busy. Being a wife, a mother, part of a community, and a business owner takes a lot of energy and time. My life is incredibly scheduled and will probably get busier (can it possibly?!) as S gets older and as our parents start to age. But it won’t last forever. I have a feeling you know exactly what I’m talking about, especially if you have kids.
But more importantly, I realized that I don’t want it to slow down right now. Yes, I could take on fewer projects at work. I could design just one line of sewing patterns instead of designing for four different brands. I could stop doing fabric design. I could say no to projects I love, like teaching. But that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun! I really enjoy dreaming up all these styles and designs, I love bringing them to life and working with our little team to make them. And I love wearing different hats.
So instead of feeling overwhelmed, I’m changing my perspective and focusing on embracing the chaos in all its forms. I’ll still have to say no to a lot of things. And sometimes I’ll still wish I could slow things down a bit. S is almost 10, and I often wish I could just stop time and keep her this age.
But since I can’t stop time, I’m taking a different approach. This year S and I started taking violin lessons together. And we’re both taking ballet (but not together) and spending a lot of time at the ballet: New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, whatever strikes our fancy. And we love it! I’ve decided to work on building memories and cramming as much into our time together as I possibly can.
And I’m going to approach the rest of my time the same way: put as much energy as I have into everything I do, because I love what I do. I love my work, I love my hobbies, I love doing things with my family and friends and squeezing just as much into the calendar as possible. There will be days when I’ll crash and not have the energy to do anything at all, but the rest of the time I’m going to give it everything I have.
These photos were taken during one of our very full Saturdays: ballet class, a quick lunch, and a matinee at the ballet with a stop at the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center before the afternoon’s performance. I had never been to this library before, and it’s amazing! Rows and rows of music CDs, more rows and rows of sheet music (we found sheet music by Barry Gibb, heavy metal, you name it), biographies about every performer you could imagine. What a treat!
The dress that S is wearing in these photos (this is what this blog post is actually about, for those of you who are still with me) is made with fabric from Jennifer Sampou’s black and white fabric collection for Robert Kaufman. When I met Jennifer at Quilt Market last fall we immediately hit it off. We have lots in common (including both being FIT graduates as well as both being really, really busy), and it instantly felt to me as though we had known each other for ages.
At Market, Jennifer was embroidering the feathers on one of the fabrics from her collection, and I was so smitten by her work that I decided to do a little embroidery myself. I chose the printed prism from her collection and did some colorful satin stitches on a few facets of the prisms. S chose the floss colors, and we agreed I would make her a Hide-and-Seek Dress. I also selected one of the yarn dyed fabrics from Jennifer’s Studio Stash yarn dye collection, and after I cut out the pieces for the dress I machine stitched rows of colorful threads along some of the grid lines of the fabric. So while this dress is still black and white, it also has some brilliant color if you look closely.
I suppose I could draw some nice conclusion about black and white and brilliant color here, but I think I’ll just leave it at that and let you look at the photos. After all, you’ve read enough already!
The fabric itself? You can see the entire collection here and here. I love the hand. The yarn dye, in particular, is wonderful. It’s substantial in a way that’s difficult to describe. I love a good black and white palette. In the fashion world, black and white is called a palette cleanser because it looks great with everything. And the fabrics are in stores now.
Jennifer is giving away a fat quarter tower of the complete collection on her blog (enter before February 8th). If you’d like to see what other people have done with Jennifer’s fabrics, you can check these posts from her blog tour.
- January 23 JenniferSampou.com, Robert Kaufman Blog
- January 24 Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson-Sew Kind of Wonderful blog
- January 25 Teresa Coates- Fabric Depot
- January 26 Amy Gibson- Stitchery Dickory Dock
- January 27 AnneMarie Chany- Gen X Quilters
- January 28 Casey York- The Studiolo
- January 29 C&T Publishing – Stash Books
- January 30 APQ- All People Quilt
- January 31 Angela Pingel
- February 1 Angela Walters / Janice Zeller Ryan
- February 2 Sarah Sharp
- February 3 Dritz- Make Something
- February 4 Nicole Daksiewicz- Modern Handcraft
- February 6 Christopher Thompson / Natalie Barnes
- February 7 Jennifer Sampou Wrap up
- February 9 Jennifer Sampou Announce Winner.