Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Come see me at the September Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show!

Yay! It's almost here! The Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show is just a few weeks away and I've been a rather busy little bee sewing up a storm of wonderful goodies for you to come shop. I'll be selling a wide variety of handmade goodies, perfect for giving as gifts to everyone on your list this year from the youngest child on up to your favorite grandpa. :)

Several of the items I'll be selling are projects from my new book Simple Sewing: 30 Fast and Easy Projects for Beginners, which comes out in November of this year. So not only can you shop the items, you'll get a major sneak peek at many of the fun projects in my book!

I'll also be selling some of the vintage trims I've been hoarding saving for something special, lots of fun and simple handmade cards, some fun vintage treasures, and lots more!

I also love that part of the proceeds will be going to Local Matters, a local community group that helps raise community gardens and promote good health. During the school year we get to see some of the folks from Local Matters at Olivia's preschool selling local veggies and letting the kids and families at the school try out delicious dishes made from their produce. Last year our family spent a day working in one of their beautiful vegetable gardens here in Columbus and it was such a wonderful experience. The Local Matters staff are really genuinely good, kind people striving to make a difference right here in their own community.

So mark your calendars for September 21! It's going to be a party and support a great cause too! See you there!

Pssst! Want to see some of the goodies I've been making to sell at the show? Follow me on Instagram (@theredkitchenkatie) and check out the hashtag #avantgardecraftshow for a sneak peek!

Friday, August 23, 2013

I've forgotten how to spend nap time

So, this weird thing happened. Olivia has started taking naps again. Not every single day, but often enough that it's totally throwing me off. By the end of the school year in May she had completely done away with naps all together and, believe it or not, I much prefer our lives without nap time. She plays hard all day, goes to bed early, and Bryan and I have the evenings to ourselves. It's rather luxurious. But this past week or so summer has just been wearing on this sweet girl and she has needed her naps.

It took me a while to realize that naps were the answer because she hasn't needed naps for so long now. But when she had full-blown crazy tantrums two days in a row, that little red flag went off in my brain and I realized she was in serious need of more sleep. For better or worse, I genuinely haven't been all that anxious about having a second child, but when she sat in the corner throwing a wild tantrum for the second day in a row I felt my growing belly and thought to myself, "Wait, we're having another one?" Needless to say, Olivia went down for a nap today. She's in fact still down for her nap as I'm writing this. Only there's just this one tiny problem. Uhh... I've forgotten how to spend nap time.

How do I know?

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Survived My First Bike Ride

So, last week Bryan bought a bike off Craigslist for $50. He's been riding it around and really enjoying it and talking up how buff and fit he's going to get biking everywhere. We had been talking about eventually getting a bike for me and a kid bike trailer for Olivia and the baby to ride in, but I was thinking we'd get those things maybe sometime next spring or summer. I am, after all, pregnant right now.

I admit I was also harboring some fears about me maybe trying to ride a bike and falling over and getting hurt and stuff. This was probably because the last time I rode a bike was when my friend Lauren and I rode bikes once in college and it didn't go so well. We didn't even get very far, but I was wobbly and practically falling over the whole time. It was rather pathetic. And the last time I had ridden a bike before that was in grade school. Yeah.

But then this morning we went over to a local bike shop so I could figure out what kind of bike would fit me well and, ya know, see if I could even ride one without falling on my face. We talked to the guy at the bike shop and decided a basic lightweight bike was going to be best for what I wanted to do (which was just ride around town and be able to pull a kid bike trailer). He let me take the bike out for a spin in the parking lot and, much to my surprise, I was instantly in love. It was so easy! And fun! And I didn't fall over once!

When we got home I looked up bikes on Craigslist and was lucky enough to find one in good, working condition for only $35. I also found a kid bike trailer in really good condition for only $50. We picked them both up, got a helmet and bike lock for me, and suddenly we were a bike riding family. Woot.

For those who are curious,

Back to School Mega Sale -- 50% off your entire order from the shop!

Hey friends! We're still gearing up for the new school year at our house, but I know some of you have already stared. So crazy! I've secretly always loved back to school season since it means fun new school supplies, new friends, and a fresh start.

To kick off this year's season of fresh starts, I'm offering a coupon code (good through 8/25/13) for 50% off your entire order from the shop! Start this school year off in style with fun new flashcards and other educational tools to use with your kiddos.

Here's the coupon code...

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Rich and Famous and The Gender of Our Baby

"I wish everybody could get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of so they would know that's not the answer." -Jim Carrey

Someone shared that quote today in a talk at church and I loved it so much. Ever since Bryan and I sold most of our earthly possessions and moved across the country a little over two years ago, we've been focusing a lot on getting more out of life by living with less. It's something we talk about a lot.

Another of my favorite quotes shared at church today was from President Monson's recent General Conference talk where he counseled, "plan your life with purpose [...] regardless of your age." Life planning is also something we talk about a lot. Bryan has two more years of optometry school left, which means we have two more years to figure out where we might want to live after graduation. We still have no idea, but I think there's a lot of value in the conversations we have about what kind of weather we prefer, how close we want to live to Bryan's work and our kids' schools and the grocery store, how we want to save our money to pay off our student loans and start saving for a home and college and mission funds. What state (or, for that matter, what end of the country) we'll live in five years from now is a total mystery to me right now. But I feel like all of our conversations about the future are comforting in a different way. We're on the same page, we're planning for a happy, meaningful life together as a couple and as a family. And that is something I'm really deeply grateful for.

Anyway, I really meant for this to be more of a weekly update about what's going on in our lives, so on to that...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Come help me help you get 20% off a pre-order on my book!

Hey Friends! My book Simple Sewing: 30 Fast and Easy Projects for Beginners will be out this fall and is already up for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! Woot! But wait! There's more!

My publisher, Cedar Fort, is holding a contest on their Facebook page right now. Each of their authors has been invited to comment about their books on the contest post and the author who gets the most "likes" on their comment to this post will win a discount code so all of their lovely readers and follower can order (or in my case, pre-order) the book for 20% off!

If you'd like to help me win--and, really, by extension, help yourself save some sweet moolah--click HERE to view the post on Facebook. Once you're there, be sure to like MY COMMENT, not just the post itself.

If I win I'll be sure to post the code here, on Facebook, and on Instagram for all of you to use on your pre-orders!

Thanks for love! I hope I win so I can pass the love back on to you with a sweet discount code! I've never won a popularity contest in my entire life, so, no pressure or anything, but this would be kind of a big deal for me. :) Whoop whoop!

Update: Hooray! We won! More details and a fancy new 20% off code to come...

Monday, August 12, 2013

Opacity -- 12 Free Printable Card Designs to Make & Share

So, sometimes I make things, take tutorial pictures, etc. and then get sidetracked by something else and forget to actually post them. This line of printable cards was kind of one of those things. I designed them back in April of 2012 (I know) and am now finally getting around to posting them. As my mother in law likes to say, sometimes projects have to cure for a while before they're ready. Now that these have cured on my hard drive for over a year, I think they're finally ready to share. :)

I'm calling this series "Opacity" and offering it free to the world. The link to view and print the PDF with all 12 designs is included at the bottom of the post.

I hope you'll enjoy printing these and sharing them with friends. Personal, handwritten notes are one of my favorite things to give and receive. There's just something about writing something down by hand that makes it extra special. Don't you think?

Browse all 12 designs below...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cake for breakfast

The other day I was on the phone with my 5 year old niece who's currently living in Germany. She told me that all they ever eat is ice cream and cake and pie. Knowing my sister-in-law and her wild ways, this is probably true. So I celebrated by eating cake for breakfast. What a happy way to start the day.

Unfortunately, that was a couple weeks ago. This morning for breakfast I had some pain meds, a prenatal vitamin, and a weird assortment of foods that are easy to chew on only the right side of my mouth. Long story short, I went in for a root canal on Friday and have been enjoying such fine cuisine as go-gurt and squeezy applesauce ever since. Someday I'll be able to eat real food again. Though, in all fairness, I'm already feeling much better than I was on Friday, or even yesterday. So hope is on the horizon.

Some of you may have noticed that I was going on and on about how I am going to get back to blogging... and then left you all by your lonesome for the rest of July. I blame this mostly on the fact that Bryan took over the computer when he was studying for finals and that, once he finished all of his finals, we skipped town and went to visit family in Virginia. And since writing blog posts from my ipod is no bueno, you got left high and dry. Please accept my apologies. Such is the life of a somewhat lazy blogger.

That being said, I really am (at least in my head if not in actuality) back to blogging. And I've been thinking about what that means for me specifically. I'm really looking forward to sharing more tutorials with you again, but, realistically, that will probably need to wait until Olivia goes back to preschool in a few weeks. In the mean time, and throughout, ya know, however long, I've been thinking a lot about how much I just want to share random stuff with you without all the pomp and circumstance of "an official blog post" (dun dun dun). Mostly cuz you guys are nice and I just like talking to you and telling you stuff. Talking at people is, after all, one of my favorite past times.

For the past few months my mother in law has been really good about sending out a weekly email to her children and children-in-law and it's been a really fun, casual way to connect as a family. Often many of us will hit the reply-all so we can keep in touch about all the random little everyday things going on in our lives. There's something really nice about it. And it was in thinking about that that I realized part of what I've been missing most about blogging, which is just talking about life in general. So while I can't promise some profound lesson or a great new crafty tutorial with each new post, I can promise a dose of regular life in the Lewis home. Or at least regular life in my head. :) I don't know yet if these kind of updates will be a daily, weekly, or just sort of a random thing every now and then. My plan is to just go with it and see how it evolves.

Admittedly, this post already feels like too many words and not enough pictures, but I spent so long telling you I was going to tell you stuff and not actually telling you stuff, so here's a random update on our lives right now.