A little Bread and Wine with that needlework? (and giveaway winner)

Hello! Hello! How is your January going? I've done just a little sewing. I'm so thrilled with it and can't wait to finish, but my house is filled to the brim with people I love and I've been kind of running an endless circuit from stove to sink to laundry room. And around and around. The noise level is way higher than is our norm. Noise makes me a little nuts. So I ducked out this morning to a place where I could find a London Fog made with almond milk, an internet connection, and some groceries when I'm finished letting my fingers have their say on the keyboard. Yep. I left home to write in a grocery store because it's lots easier to concentrate here:-).


Those sweet Sleepover Pajamas are just as darling as I'd hoped. I've had to switch up the fabric a bit in order to have enough and it's taken some very careful cutting, which definitely slows things. Ruffling such nice, plush flannel is sort of tedious and I'll held my breath when I first asked my machine to conquer those layers, but she came through like the true friend she is and all is well in dear flannel ruffle land. I'm only slightly further along than these pictures depict, but I am ever hopeful for weekend sewing.


I'm reading Bread and Wine by Shauna Neiquist. I cannot adequately express how very much I love this book. I hesitated to buy it. I can't eat wheat (or many other grains). I didn't want that title taunting me and I didn't want to read lots of essays about people dipping crusty, hot loaves into fruity, heady olive oil. But I took a chance and I'm so glad I did. I began with the essay, "What My Mother Taught Me." Just beautiful. So often, the Internet makes a woman feel like everyone is thirty-something, cute, and hip and there is nothing after that. Shauna writes so movingly of her mother and how much she values her mother precisely for her wisdom and experience. And her mother reminds me, "the best is yet to come."

After that, I read about a scary hospital experience after her son was born. In that one, I was struck by her father. This woman is teaching me how an extended family grows together! It's really very beautiful and during this wearying holiday season of transition after transition, her perspective offers me hope and a reason to persevere.

As for the whole gluten thing, she's got that covered, too. Her husband cannot tolerate gluten and Shauna writes movingly and compassionately about their experiences. Shauna Niequist has a lovely knack for making her readers feel understood and nurtured and I'm very grateful for her words.

It was great to hear from so many of you last week. I learned two things: (1) You care very deeply about conquering perfectionism and managing your time online in order to be fully present for your families. You want the message in Hands Free Mama . (2) If I bribe you with a great giveaway, I can get you to tell me all about your sewing and reading. Point noted. Stay tuned for more great book giveaways this year.


needle and thREAD


What have you been sewing lately? Or are you embroidering? Pulling a needle with thread through lovely fabric to make life more beautiful somehow? Would you share with us just a single photo and a brief description of what you're up to? Would you talk sewing and books with us? I'd love that so much. Tell me about it in the comments or leave a link to your blog. I'll be happy to come by and visit!

You can get your own needle & thREAD button here in your choice of several happy colors.


The winner of Hands Free Mama  is Stephanie K, who said, 

Oh lovely giveaway!

My sewing resolution is to try to make a few items this year. I've been on hiatus for, oh, 6ish years or so. Babies, homeschooling, housekeeping, life in general keeps pushing it out of the way! I hope to make a few tops from a pattern from Sew Liberated and to make at least a dress or two for my three daughters :) Oliver + S pattern I think!

I have a ton of books on my reading list this year. But I think I'm most looking forward to the release of Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full by Gloria Furman. I loved her first book!

Thanks for the book recommendation Stephanie! I'm planning to read the first book while I wait for the second. Send me your address and I"ll get your copy of Hands Free Mama out to you!