Creating is Healing

A sweet friend who is a great inspiration told me today that “creating is healing,” and I know she is right.

My mind has been overflowing with emotions of every type lately and designing & creating helps me focus keeps me calm.  Fixes things.

I’m asked constantly how I have time to create.  I make time because it is important to me.

Sometimes it just takes a half hour, even on the busiest of days when there is laundry to do, kids take here and there, appointments and phone calls to make.  If I can spend 30 minutes finishing up a project, getting a design down on paper, it makes all the difference. Some women shop, have a glass of wine or do yoga to recharge, I’m happy just stitching up a pillow! (Maybe a moscato next to my sewing machine…..)

I delivered lots of new work to a sale I’ve been a part of for the past few years and love so much.  “Homegirl” Gina Bishop has a stunning sale on her beautiful property in Hudson, Ohio.

Besserina for Homegirl 2014

I have two events this fall that I am so excited about.  It will make this summer a busy one, but since keeping busy creating is what’s keeping me sane…what the heck!

Besserina Pillow Collage

Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio is in September and I cannot wait.  I love the energy there and meeting so many talented makers & customers!

Best of all, October brings A Day in the Country! I have been dreaming of starting a show like this for years and my aunt and I decided to jump in head first and just make it happen!   A Handmade & Vintage Market at our favorite county fairgrounds with some of the most talented makers & fun vintage vendors we know! I am so excited to offer creative workshops & demonstrations to our guests and an amazing bluegrass band will be playing live music! We still have openings for vendors so if you are local to NE Ohio or would like to make the trip here we would love to have you!

seeking vendors print postcard

I made a few of these Farm Tub Ottomans for Country Living the last time I was there and they found homes pretty quickly! I’m so excited to offer them again.  My patient husband has been kind enough to help me with the dirty work of making it strong and durable. I’ve been on the hunt for vintage tubs everywhere!  I’ll have a couple available at Homegirl, and a bunch made up for the shows in the fall as well.

ottoman collage

Layering Curtains

After sharing how I made slipcovers,  some of you asked about my curtains in this photo…

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The outer panels are made of off white muslin.  They are 50″ wide with a wide ruffle sewn into the inside hem.  The center panel is my Anthropologie inspired Ruffled Curtain.  You can find the tutorial here.

anthropologie curtains tutorial

I still love these curtains so much!

Our baby boy {Part 1 of our Cleft Journey}

Its been 4 months since the birth of our fifth child.  Our sweet little baby boy. He is the light of this house.

Constantly loved upon.

Our baby was born with cleft lip and palate, which we found out about at my 20th week of pregnancy.

When I found out, I was crushed.  Hysterical actually.  Scared to death.  How would he eat? What would he look like? What would others think? Where would he have surgery? How many surgeries?

One worry after another.  This went on for months.

Eventually this faded.  I stopped thinking so much about the cleft, and wondering more about how much hair he would have, what color eyes.  Actually at this point we didn’t even know he was a boy, we didn’t find out until birth.  This was amazing in itself…we have 4 daughters and when my husband told me we had a boy…oh my, we were so excited.  I had a C Section, so I wasn’t able to see him right away.  I could hear him screaming, and my husband was pacing around the operating room, grinning ear to ear.  I asked him, “how bad is it?”

He looked at me and said, “when you see him, it is not even going to matter.”

He was right.

Our baby boy was perfect.

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Later this month, he will have his first surgery to repair his lip and nose.

All of those questions I had were answered so quickly after birth.  He nursed from a special bottle made specifically for babies with cleft palate.  I squeeze the bottle to help him out because he cannot create a suction as a non cleft baby would.  We tried breastfeeding, but I ended up pumping for these 4 months.  What do others think? Well, quite honestly, we don’t care.  We think his is gorgeous.  We are lucky enough to have an excellent surgical team within 1/2 hour of our home. He has one more surgery later this year to correct his palate, after that, it will depend on his development.  We will do whatever needs to be done for him, love and cherish him through it all.

I’ve taken hundreds of pictures of him.  Recorded video of his first smile and the first time he ate rice cereal (straight out his nose! :)

Truth be told, I will miss his little cleft.  This was the face we fell in love with.  His big smile brings tears to my eyes.

 My life has been so very full lately.  Very full of blessings and happiness, but also full of disappointment & uncertainty.

But this baby boy, who is so precious and content.  Who sleeps all night long and loves his big sisters, even when they put headbands on him and take his picture.  He has given us so much hope, just when we needed it.

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My first attempt at slipcovers {success!}

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                                                       We’ve had this couch and chair for years.  They are a dark floral tapestry, quite dated, but comfortable.                                                                                                            I’ve always kept a slipcover on them, but they just never looked right, because I could never find one that fit properly since they were so oversized.                          The cover would hike up in the back, or tear a bit at the seams when I’d put it back on after washing.                                                                                                               We tossed around the idea of purchasing an Ikea Ektorp this year,  but on a whim I decided to make custom slipcovers for our existing set.  It was a huge job.         I had never made slipcovers before, and I didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on fabric.  I ended up purchasing cotton canvas drop cloths, used for painting.  They were around $20 each and I used 4 of them to cover the chair and couch.  I washed them before using, so they would soften up and to make sure they wouldn’t shrink with future washings.

Before I could start, I needed to fix the cushions.  The cushions in the back were actually permanently attached to the back of the sofa.  They were also ripped and stuffing was puffing out.  One of my kids took a pair of scissors to the arm of the chair so some suturing needed done there too.  I used a seam ripper to detach the back cushions, shoved 2 new pillows into each one to add some extra fluff, and stitched them back up.

 I also needed to cover the entire back where the cushions were attached.

Then I just started cutting fabric to fit each section and pinning them on.

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The most difficult places were those that had 3 pieces of fabric coming together in a corner.

I would just pin a few sections at a time, take it to the sewing machine and stitch, then fit it…over and over again!

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And here is what it looks like on a normal day, when the girls are playing.

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