My little elf.

I pulled out the sewing machine last week when the temperature took another little dip. Camilla and I were going to take a walk and I thought “Aha! I’ll just whip up a little hat while she naps.”

Famous last words.

Going for a walk in the fall-ish weather.

I downsized the adorable pattern from this book and used some grey knit I already had. The pattern is made for fleece and, if I were to do it again, I would definitely use that instead.

What's that, mommy? I look pretty darn cute?

You see, it turns out that my beloved sewing machine really dislikes knit. It’s just a little too slippery for the feed dogs and the tension is whacko, so my quick little project turned into a two-hour saga of missed stitches, tension adjustments, machine cleaning, needle changing, and the like. Anyone else had problems like this??

(This photo describes how I felt…)

Hurry up!

It turned out okay in the end, but the ribbons attach in the wrong places and there is no way I’m going to rip out my hard-won seams to fix it. Guess I won’t be working with knits again anytime soon.

Thank you all for the kind words and prayers for my family. I am sad that we won’t be able to go to grandpa’s funeral, but I’m working on a slideshow of his life and home that makes me feel as though I am sending a little bit of me across the miles. I am hoping I can condense many years into a fitting tribute to a man who loved and cared for us very much.

The fourth generation.

Our family lost its fourth generation today.

Four generations.

I am so glad that Camilla got to meet her great-grandfather and that he held her on his lap, even if she will never remember it.

The proud great-grandfather.

I am also grateful for this lovely, lovely woman who took care of him for months and was with him at the end.

Carly.

I am going to borrow from my brother-in-law, for I like to think that I would also have read this at his bedside.

1The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

 2It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.

 3Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

 4Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

 5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

 6Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

 7And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

 8And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

 9No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:

 10And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isaiah 35, King James Version)

A hint of fall.

The temperature dropped to the mid-60s over the weekend, which is some of the coldest air I’ve felt since, like, March. It was heavenly.

Our Sunday outfit.

It also gave me an excuse to break out Camilla’s awesome hand-me-down stripey tights and velour Ralph Lauren dress for church on Sunday.

(There were some shoes, too, but those were kicked off early on.)

Stripey tights!

I wanted to add a darling navy blue and white coat on top, but the babe was pretty toasty warm as it was. We’re back up to 75 today, but hopefully we’ll get enough little cold spells this fall and winter that she’ll get to wear all of her warm clothes at least once.

Ah, the trials of being a Florida baby…

P.S. Thank you for the shop love! I can’t wait to send out all my packages on Friday, especially since so many of them are going to familiar names. :)

Closing time.

It was fun while it lasted, but my time on Etsy has come to an end. Both PaulaGibbs.etsy.com and Paulabirdy.etsy.com are closing, and everything has been marked down at least 50%. (I don’t have all the letters of the alphabet anymore, but there are still plenty if you’re trying to make initials instead of words or names.)

More Alphabirdybet prints!

I know that there are some moms who can raise kids, keep the house clean, cook meals, and run an online shop, but I am not one of them. Even if I get to draw or paint every once in a while, it’s not enough to sustain both my stores. And it’s kind of stressful to know that they’re out there and I need to try to fill them.

Holiday cards.

Soooo, pick up your prints now if you want them! I’ll probably sell off my shipping supplies last (stayflat mailers, clear envelopes, etc.) but if you’re interested in those let me know. I ordered them en masse two years ago and it was a pretty sizeable investment, so I would be happy to help another person miss out on the shipping fees for a 30 lb box of mailers.

The Perfect Chair.

The good news for friends and relatives is that once the Etsy goods are gone, I’ll turn my attention to fun stuff like, say, Christmas presents. (And baby clothes — I am just dying to make Camilla a sweet autumn dress, especially now that the temp has dropped to 65 degrees.) But mostly I need to make sure that I don’t get so wrapped up in what I want to do that I get grumpy when a little baby voice tells me that somebody woke up from her nap after only 10 minutes.

Camilla says, Please buy mommy’s prints so she can give all her attention to me!

One last bassinet pic. 

How can you say no to that face?

Changing time.

Since we’ve switched to cloth, diaper changing has taken longer so I make sure that Camilla’s wee bum has time to completely dry off.

Changing time.

This, in turn, has led to some new discoveries — like feet. Who knew those were down there?

Working hard.

And that they are so good for grabbing?

Touching our toes.

It’s also a good time to practice making our new noises.

Talking.

And sometimes our yawns.

Biiiiiiggggg yawn.

Seriously, though, the foot-grabbing thing cracks me up. It can be a little annoying when I am trying to fasten a diaper, but the look of concentration on her face as she reaches her little hand out and seizes her toes is pure gold. It’s the same look an adult might get when pondering the works of Dostoyevsky or a Bach cello concerto. Being a baby is serious work sometimes.

Being a mama is also serious work, it turns out. All of my attempts to do anything in addition to routine household maintenance have been running aground lately. I have a multi-part art project that I keep spreading all over the kitchen table and putting away again before I get more than a few lines drawn. I also have a new pattern book and a closet shelf full of fabric, Christmas present ideas that I should probably get started on now, and two closed Etsy shops that I would kind of like to re-open before the holiday buying season is upon us. To be honest, I don’t think that Etsy is going to fit very well into my new lifestyle, but it would be nice to sell off my remaining prints and shipping supplies so I don’t have all the stuff sitting around.

Anyone want to spend a little time watching a very cute baby…?

Ode to the bassinet.

I can hardly believe it, but Camilla has almost outgrown her bassinet.

Playing in the bassinet.

The bassinet has, for the past 15 weeks, been the most important piece of furniture in our house. It was a hand-me-down from friends at church which I almost didn’t accept…I mean, a baby is supposed to sleep in a crib, right? (Obviously I hadn’t read any of the attachment parenting books yet!)

But we brought it home anyway because we thought it would be nice to have her in our room. It took us only a few days to realize that, in addition to being a convenient place for her to sleep, the bassinet provided the only surefire way to make Camilla calm down during those early colicky days. Some genius manufacterer put the whole thing on wheels, so when she was really screaming we would swaddle her, set her inside with Sleep Sheep (an ambient noise toy), and push it vigorously back and forth across the floor.

One for each hand.

Before long, her little eyelids would be drooping and the crying would stop. Ahhhh.

The bassinet was rendered even more fun when I was given a toy thingummy (bar? clip?) that goes on top. Now that her coordination is good enough to reach and grab for things, she loves to lie on her back and pull at the toys. Many a meal has been made possible by wheeling the bassinet in the kitchen so Camilla can see both Mommy and Turquoise Cow.

Getting good at grabbing.

But — alas! — I can see that those days are numbered. She has about three inches above her head when her feet are touching the bottom, and I think it’s time to move to the crib after all. Sniff.

Almost too big.

So we are enjoying things while they last, keeping in mind that babies are too busy growing and learning to stay the same for long.

Camilla at (almost) 15 weeks.

I don't know what to call this expression...

Sticking her tongue out.