Walking in Venice.

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Sometimes, when the days seem to all mesh together and you know doing something totally different is in order… you drive over to Venice in the morning for a long walk.

You walk with the dog, walk with the baby, walk with your sunglasses on. You walk with your hair blowing in the ocean’s breeze, as it’s soaking up the scent of sunshine and coconut oil and salt.

You walk by shop owners setting up their tee shirts and sunglasses stands, and henna artists are sitting in what’s left of the morning shade, ready for a full day of work.

You walk men passing out CD’s (uhhh, no thanks) and hear the sound of skateboarders grinding up ahead. You walk past the smell hot dogs cooking and whooooooooo, a biker speeds by.

Oh, and hello little blue lifeguard stand.

I can always tell the locals from the tourists. The locals are bundled up during the morning hours (or anytime it’s below 68*), chilled by the breeze that whips around them. (Kinda makes me giggle. They don’t know what cold really feels like.) The tourists look quite the opposite, wearing flip flops and short shorts and tanks, trying to soak up the warmth as if they can bottle it and bring it back home.

One of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles is how many different places there are to walk, but no matter where I go I can usually always see the ocean, the mountains, or the cityscape. And always the gorgeous flowers. Growing up in Michigan we didn’t have these kinds of views, so walking in Venice is a real treat.

I need to drive over there more often. Venice is just a few miles from where we live, but walking their beach front is so refreshing…

Little lessons of inspiring moments…

As I type this out I’m sitting underneath a tall tree. This tree has fresh green leaves extending from the branch, reaching up towards the sky… the seemingly endless blue sky. I love sitting here to write, it’s like a little escape from the chaos of motherhood that exists just on the other side of our front door ;) During naptime I can sometimes sneak away to our porch, and so today I do. I soak up the beauty of this tall tree and think of the other moments of beauty that often sneak by because they are petite. Petite like the tiny pink buds growing off the fresh green leaves from the tree I’m sitting under, similar to this tree (below) we see on our daily walks through the neighborhood…

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Last week I finally pushed through a huge creative roadblock, one I’ve been stuck behind for months. No matter how often I tried to push through it I couldn’t; I tried over and over and over again. I felt frustrated, unsure how to get past this uncreative period, but possibly the biggest difficulty for me was feeling like I didn’t know who I was anymore. It felt so unlike me to be stuck for this long. This roadblock was the longest I’d ever experienced, and while I was trying to welcome the new woman I had become after giving birth, I was having a hard time accepting this uncreative version of me. I finally cried out to God (for real, there were tears) and a few hours later I heard Him answer me. I then sat down to sew and finally felt a sense of peace wash over me. It’s like God wanted me to go back to the basics: don’t rush it, enjoy the journey, and don’t be afraid to seek help when you’re unsure. The roadblock had moved and look what was created…

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…my very first cross-body bag. (The fabric is from The Fabric Store in Los Angeles.) And do you want to know what I love the most about this story, more than the bag itself? The smile that’s on my face. You know what I’m talking about here, right?

When you finally climb out from the depths of a creative rut you emerge with glory smeared on your face. Glory be to God.

(Also noteworthy: Maxwell is missing a shoe and the peach tunic I’m wearing is really a sleep-shirt. From Target. You’re welcome.)

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In my attempt to climb out of my creative rut I was committed to seeking beauty anywhere I could, and suddenly I found myself noticing the beauty that exists in the shadows. Even in the brightest of daylight there are shadows to be found. But, what I also found myself noticing is the detail of the beauty in those shadows.

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This journey through motherhood has lead me down some difficult paths (mentioned above). I’ve spent months trying to figure out the new me, which has been hard because at first I didn’t think anything about me had changed. Soon enough, though, I realized everything changes once you give birth — even if you can’t physically see it. Maggie, remember the detail of the beauty in those shadows.

So in the shadow below you can see I’m wearing my baby. For 10 months I carried Maxwell in my belly, and now at 10 months old I’m still carrying him around. Love.

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Two of my favorite pastimes: nail polish and cookie baking. I’ve always been a nail polish girl, but this baking thing is a new one for me.

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During the quiet moments of the day, in between stirring the batter and waiting for the timer to ring, my mind is silenced. I think I heard angels singing, it was so quiet.

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I said to myself:

Just stop and pull out your baking supplies. Get the flour down and the chocolate chips. Preheat the oven and  buckle the little one in his highchair. Rest your mind and allow the repetitiveness of baking clear out the cobwebs.

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This heart friend. She flew to Los Angeles last week for business and we were able to sneak away for a few hours to catch up on life. And it was wonderful :)

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Something else I’ve been able to capture?

Southern California sunsets…

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And then there are those few random photos that are inspiring to me just by themselves.

Second day blonde curls revived by a spray bottle of water (for real)…

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Purchasing new fabric for my brand new shop (squeeeeal, it’s really happening!)…

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Bible reading in the morning while Max plays at my feet…

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And one of the new double ruffle headbands inside the Gussy shop

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I’m so so so looking forward to sharing with you my new venture. If you’d like, you can follow along on Instagram or Facebook for sneak peeks of our progress :) Well, in a nutshell that’s been my life these last couple of weeks.

Little lessons of inspiring moments. Yes, please.

The Fabric Store // Los Angeles

I was recently invited to visit The Fabric Store, a new fabric shop in Los Angeles. It’d be silly to turn down an opportunity involving fabric, so Maxwell and I accepted the invitation and drove over. One thing I’ve learned about balancing mamahood + work is that babies looooove fabric and craft stores (just watch their eyes light up). It’s pretty magical.

Venturing out to explore new fabrics, weaves and studying how color has been arranged is totally my happy place. Actually, we were out shopping last weekend and I saw a piece of clothing made from a really pretty pink tweed and already I was envisioning it sewn into something else. I guess that’s how you know you’re a seamstress, right? ;)

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While I was shopping for new fabrics to take home I couldn’t help but take some photos along the way…

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Succulents on a big, wooden work table? Amazing.

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The floor of The Fabric Store was pretty amazing, too. Tile from the various businesses, spanning however many dozens of years, could be seen. It was a fun pop of color and quirk, if you ask me :)

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It wasn’t hard to notice that the bolts were arranged by color story. The pinks, yellows and grays were my favorite — but are you surprised?

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My happy boy, my little charmer… I can’t believe how much he’s grown since we were here!

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I have a fun collection of new fabrics that I’ve been saving for a special project. It was fun to browse through The Fabric Store’s collection — I seriously think I walked the store five times — and pick out a couple yards of my favorite designs. I picked out something super fun, something traditional to my style and something a bit neutral.

And I can’t wait to share!

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Thank you The Fabric Store for the new fabrics. Your new shop is absolutely gorgeous and inspiring! xoxo