I’m slowly emerging from one of the craziest months of my business. I had this idea that I would finish up my big project and relax this week. But . . . that didn’t happen.

But I did make time Thursday night to watch Project Runway! Thursday was also Max’s birthday, so I snuck about an hour on Wednesday to make this little pillow for him, so he could wake up with it Thursday morning
He’s had this not-very-cuddly brown pillow I made a long time ago in his bed for the past few months. It’s got icky glue patches (where the embellishments fell off) and doesn’t exactly say sweet slumber. I asked him if maybe I could make him a special soft pillow instead, and he was all about it.

So I rooted through my stash and found a scrap of some ultra soft green stretch veloury stuff. My pillow form was 16 inches, so I cut two pieces, front and back, 17-inches by 17-inches. I used a scrap left from the Clifford quilt to make the letters of his name. To prevent the velour stuff from stretching when I appliqued, I applied some lightweight fusible interfacing on the back. Then, I did a simple machine applique (a blanket stitch) around the letters. Not my best work ever, but a good last minute gift for a 3-year-old.
I decided to do a zipper close (following the method I talk about here), stitched up the sides, inserted the pillow form, and the Max pillow was done! I put the pillow onto his bed after he was already asleep Wed night so that he could wake up with it the morning of his birthday. He loved the pillow, although the wooden train cars, Busytown cards, and set of kid-size tools were probably the bigger hit. He also loved the toybox that my father-in-law made (which matches the table that my husband built that I blogged about last week).
Next up on the list is a new backpack, since he starts preschool in September. I’m going to use the penguin backpack pattern from Oliver & S’s Little Things to Sew. Have you seen this book? It’s unbelievably adorable!

And eventually, I’ll get around to sewing some girly wonderfulness for Georgia. Her first birthday is coming up in about a month. I mean, seriously, look at this face!
In other news, I should have some exciting news to share about Sew Retro soon (I need to make sure all the details are confirmed first). And, on the copywriting side of my business, my new web site is just about to launch (it will be the same domain as my original site, judiketteler.com, and I’m getting rid of jkcopywriting.com). I’m way excited about the design and some of the new aspects of my writing business.

More on that later . . .
The wife is always the last the know. Isn’t that the way it usually goes? Sure, there are signs. Receipts. Strange behaviors you can’t explain. Faraway glances. That’s right. My husband has been hiding something from me. For six years, he kept the secret so well-hidden. But now it’s out.

That’s right, my husband has mad woodworking skills! And he never told me!

I mean, yes, there was the occasional home repair project he seemed just a little too proficient at. And he’s a master at putting together Ikea furniture. But I never suspected this. .

Can you believe he up and made this completely adorable table for the kids? (Not the chairs; they are from the neighbor and have been collecting dust in our basement for two years) And he painted it, and the chairs to match! (My suggestion on the colors—they coordinate with the toy box that my father-in-law made and painted for Max, which he’ll get on his 3rd birthday in a few weeks).

Anyway, here is how it started:

Allen: I think maybe I want to build something.

Me: Okay, do you know how to build things?

Allen: I’ll figure it out. What should I build?

Me: How about building a little art/activity table for the kids, since we’ve been looking for them at flea markets and haven’t found what we want?

Allen: Okay. I’ll build that.

A few conversations with his dad, some borrowing of tools, and three days later, I come home from a day-long meeting, and the table is done.

But wait, there is more! After he built the table, he wanted another project. He decided to build a giant shelf to organize the awful, messy, cluttered, downright scary part of the unfinished side or the basement. He decided that on like Wednesday and by Friday, it was done.
It’s a monster. I really couldn’t even get a good picture of it. Please do not look at the total mess that is the unfinished side of our basement. This is why we need a giant shelf to organize it. Apparently, he has a vision for the basement of everything in perfect order, with its own place. Sounds beautiful to me!

This morning, he said: “I need another project.” Is there a sweeter sound in the world?

I think it’s time for me to get out the secret list I’ve been keeping in the event that my husband turns out to have crazy woodworking skills that I knew nothing about!

Anyway, the kids love the table. Max has already built elaborate cities on it with his blocks. And seriously, is there anything cuter than the way kids’ feet dangle off chairs?
I can’t wait to post about whatever his next project is (since I seem to have no time to do my own projects—my crazy deadline is almost over though!)
Right now, my life feels like one massive countdown to one massive deadline. I keep looking wistfully at my sewing machine and all of the projects I want to do (and write about!). But until I get out from under (in just a few weeks), I can't do anything else. It's not a bad place to be (a deadline means work!), but it is hard to have such a singular focus.

So here is me, pressing on, once again . . .