Sunday, July 21, 2013

Book news: I lived through the first round of editing

It's good to have a friend like Emily who will talk you down from the stress cloud you've created for yourself by saying really nice and true things like, "Nobody will ever notice that except for you." Because these are the things you need to hear when you finish the first major edit of your book.

Yipes! That's right, friends, I did it. My publisher sent me a Word doc of my entire book to read through (and fix) and, by golly, I did it. And, after going through that experience, I would like to tell you something. You are so welcome for the billions of pictures in this book. Because I just had to read through the whole thing without any pictures in it and it might have been the most boring thing ever. (Uhh... but don't tell anyone I said that. You're not supposed to say that about your own book.) Every now and then I'd have to look up the picture that went with a particular step so I could make sure everything would mesh together the right way and each time I did it was like a breath of fresh air. "Oh yeah!" I'd say to myself, "There are pictures!" I am fully confident that it is going to be completely un-boring by the time it gets in your hands. And that all of the materials will be listed for each of the projects... whoops! Editing is boring, but also the bomb. Thank goodness I have lots of good editors on my side. I owe them a lot a lot a lot a lot.

Working on this edit of the book (picture-less though it was) was also fun because it got me totally re-pumped about my book. By the time I finished sending in my entire manuscript and all the photographs a few months ago I was completely burned out and ready to just not think about my book for a while. Pregnancy sickness was the perfect vacation opportunity for doing just that. I laid on the couch and watched movies and read Harry Potter and played games on my ipod and slept so, so much. I know it sounds crazy after all the work and heart I had put into my book while developing and writing it, but, once I stepped away for a few months, I kind of kept forgetting about it all together. Every now and then someone would ask how my book was coming and it was a poke in the brain every time. I wrote a book? Oh yeah, I wrote a book. "It's going well!" :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's Pre-K and Preschool Prep Time: what to prep and where to stock up on a budget

I know it's only mid July and I don't want to freak you out, but, let's be real, now is the time to start thinking about prepping and stocking for school. How do I know this? Because the Target dollar section already has their school stuff out.

It may seems silly, but that really is my high sign. Have you shopped the school stuff in the Target dollar section before? Because you should. That stuff is money. And I'm not even being paid to say this. Although I should. (I'll be waiting by the phone, Target.) Now through the actual start of school is when I buy all of our crayons, paints, glue sticks, etc. for the entire year. Because why on earth would you pay $2.50 for a box of crayons when you can pay 50 cents instead? So let's talk about it.

Pre-K and preschool can include a wide range of ages and abilities (and, therefore, supplies and prep). My daughter was very verbal early on, so we started doing some "preschool" things with her even before she was a year old. (Don't judge. We're not crazy people, she just likes this stuff.) But now she's almost 4 and we're still in the preschool phase. So as you read through these suggestions, keep your own child(ren) in mind. You'll know what level they're at, what they'll be into, and what you're up for tackling together.

Up until last fall, all of my daughter's preschool experiences were here at home. You can read about what our routine was like then in this post:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The right that's right for you

This is one of my favorite poems. I came across it as a child and I've carried it around with me in the back of my mind wherever I go. "I feel that this is right for me, I know that this is wrong." That's something I've been thinking about a lot today. For the past couple of days, really. What's right for me.

Some things are right for everybody. Being nice. Giving thanks. A good belly laugh. And some things are wrong for everyone. Killing people. Gossiping. Eating too many cookies. But there are a lot of little things, personal things, that may be right for one person and wrong for another.

Case in point: blogs. I've known many a wonderful blogger over the years who have eventually walked away from their blogs for a variety of reasons. It may be that it takes up too much of their time or even simply that they've lost interest. I miss those blogs, but I understand where those bloggers were coming from when they made their decision to walk away. And quite often enough I've thought long and hard about my blog. Is this really the best way I could be spending my time? Is this right for me?

For so many of my friends--online and in my neighborhood--the answer is a clear and imposing no. Blogging isn't right for them. Maybe just not in this season of their lives, maybe not ever. But for me, over and over again, the answer about whether blogging is right for me, if it's worth the time I spend on it, is a calm and peaceful yes. I need the time to write, to think, and to share. I need your collaboration and support. And every once in a while I have the opportunity to share things that really will make a difference in someone else's life. And that is a blessing indeed.


Oh baby! (secret pregnancy pinterest board... revealed!)

Oh pinterest. How we all love you and can never go back. It was made for crafty brains that need to save ideas and add them to a million different categories. Right? Okay maybe that's just what I do. But while we're on the topic, seriously, when am I going to be able to pin the same thing to multiple boards at once? This organizer needs options. Alright, alright, end of rant.

Aaaaanyway, wanna know a secret? When we first found out that we're expecting baby number two I went a little crazy thinking of all the things I'm going to make for this baby (and for my pregnant self). But of course I couldn't go pinning every baby thing out there or people would catch on. Even if no one else did, I knew for sure my sister Polly would notice. So I did what anyone would do under such circumstances. I created a secret pin board. And then I went crazy pinning every baby and pregnancy related thing out there. :)

But now that I've already spilled the beans and my belly is already sticking out unreasonably far for only being 12 1/2 weeks pregnant, it's time to share all the goods I've been finding. And so I give you:

Saturday, July 13, 2013

It's time to blog again

It's time to blog again.

I've let myself take an unplanned, but much needed break while I recovered from working so hard to send everything in for my book and then taking it easy while I was so sick from early pregnancy. But the worst of the sickness seems to be over (fingers crossed) and soon my book writing duties will be too. So it's time to get back to blogging. But mostly? Because I've really missed it.

I admit that I love Instagram more than I ever thought I could love social media (confession: I hate social media) because it's so easy and pretty and fun. I've connected with so many funny, awesome women who are fellow crafters and bloggers and moms and that's rewarding and uplifting. But it's hard to find yourself and really grow in anything that's instant. I can't say everything I need to say with so few words. I can't share all I want to share in one picture. It's time to blog again.

Coming soon are the projects I finished and photographed back before I got sick. And more exciting news on the book. And lots of baby stuff to be sure. And, hello, I've been making a million cards lately. (What?)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Fabric Store Faves -- Your favorite independent fabric stores

I love independent fabric stores. The variety of fabric is often better than the big fabric stores and they always seem to be staffed by the nicest people around. Recently I asked you on Facebook and Instagram (follow me @theredkitchenkatie) what your favorite local (to you) independent fabric stores are and you shared so many great ones that I compiled a little list!

Have another favorite you'd like to add? Just leave a comment on this post with the name of the shop, the city/state or country it's located in, and (if possible) their website. I'll add new suggestions to the list as they come in.

Whether you're looking for a fun fabric shop to visit on vacation or perhaps even just a new shop to visit in your hometown, this list will help you find what you're looking for. Click below to see the list!