The process of sewing a handbag. [video]

Le “Be Dior” sous toutes les coutures by VOGUEPARIS

I’m super drawn to any how-to sewing video, probably because it’s how I learned to sew (along with many, many library books). I love watching other people work, especially when I learn a new technique along the way. It makes my brain go into creative overdrive, which is amazing. This quick video on the process of making the Be Dior handbag is fascinating to me. What do you think of it? Oh, and did you see that petite foot on the sewing machine? I have hearts in my eyes! :)

Want to watch a couple more sewing videos? See the process of sewing a dress and the process of upholstery.

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Dreamy days are the marrow of motherhood.

the fringe hours maggie whitley

Yesterday was a dreamy day. All throughout the day I felt so deeply, genuinely happy, and it all circles back to the choices I made. Here are a few mental notes I made:

After throwing Zack a mini-party at home before he left for work — which included bringing him coffee in bed, making a yummy egg scramble (with onion, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, ham and mozzarella) and a couple of birthday cards¬† — I packed up the crew and went for a long 2-mile walk in our neighborhood. I know this is something the family needs regularly, but it’s so easy to “just do it later”. Except later usually means another day.

I felt the sun shine on my face for a good bit of time. While we were walking I kept thinking about how important it is to exercise regularly. I can easily walk 2, 4, or 6 miles in our neighborhood and my mom has inspired me to make this happen four days/week.

Our friends popped in before lunch and as the kids played (and Bauer chased), my friend Joanna and I got to catch up. I LOVE that she calls me about a recipe or meeting up (instead of texting), but also just as important I love that I feel comfortable welcoming people in our home without first tidying up.

After lunch and the babes were down for their naps I grabbed a big glass of water, a book written by a dear friend, and settled in on the couch. It was pretty warm last week, so the cool air blowing in felt amazing. I know how important it is to rest when everyone in the house is napping (especially when the kids are little), but lately I haven’t felt such a strong need to sleep. I’m out of the newborn fog, the fourth trimester has passed (so bittersweet), and I’m really making it a priority to set aside more time for myself. Not at all because I want to accomplish more, but definitely because I like myself more when I practice self-care.

It’s funny… Like, the interesting version of funny. When I shift my focus of engaging through social media I enjoy my life so much more. When the priority is to live my life and then share what’s been learned, that’s when I’m the happiest. That’s when life feels the easiest, the smoothest, the most fulfilled. It’s been an amazing process, one that started a year ago this month when I wrote Why I deleted you from my iPhone.

My dreams of being a handmade maker aren’t over, and that chapter isn’t closed. I’m so encouraged by that! I very much look forward to what’s next for me in that area, especially for how it’ll bless my family.

Yesterday I felt the sun shining not just on my face, but deep within my heart. I was filled up in every important area of my life, and it’s because I said “yes” to the good, hard, and necessary things all day long (and “no” to everything else). I’m already looking forward to reading more of The Fringe Hours tonight.

And I’m not sure if you noticed, but dreamy days are the marrow of motherhood. They add sparkle to your soul, and they wrap you up like your favorite pair of leggings. Except you can go out in public with it and you’re getting the good kind of stares.

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Happy 30th Birthday, Zack!

zack maggie whitley

kids zack maggie whitley

It’s is a pretty special day for Los Angeles because today we celebrate Zack’s 30th birthday!

Almost 11 years ago I saw a handsome guy walking across campus at Central Michigan University. His smile was so genuine and his personality so upbeat that we needed to go on a date, and ASAP :)

And after almost seven years of marriage, six moves, four cities, three states, two babies and one dog later, dare I say that today he’s an even better version of the man I met back in 2004? I do, for sure.

Zack is such a genuine friend (super thoughtful), an amazing husband (who asks if I want advice or just a listening ear), and great dad to our babies (hello diaper changer, Green Day lullaby-er, and super hero play-er).

Happy Birthday, my love! And just like I’ve been telling you for years now, Inspiration is all around you.

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My latest embroidery hoop project.

So, funny story: A couple of months ago, my mother-in-law Cindy was visiting and we were anticipating our second baby being born (hooray, it’s a girl!). We spent quite a bit of time at home while she was here because I was either super pregnant and desperately uncomfortable, or because I had just given birth (and resting sounded absolutely blissful).

embroidery hoop art maggie whitley

But one afternoon my MIL asked me why one of my embroidery hoops hung on the wall said behave. I looked at her funny, glanced up at the hoop, and let out a little laugh as I told her it actually said be brave.

There’s a running joke with our family, both Zack’s side and mine, that I’m the sassy one in the bunch. I don’t mind asking aloud the hard questions, and I for sure don’t mind adding a little pizazz to the conversation. Basically, I like the keep the mood light while making my neighbor feel welcome to be as they are. It’s not always easy to do, but I enjoy the challenge ;)

embroidery hoop art maggie whitley

But back to my embroidery hoop saying “behave”/”be brave”.

Now, every time I look at the collage of hoops on my wall —¬†they actually say “be love,” “be grace,” and “be brave” — I think of Zack’s mom. Here are the hoops in their glory:

statement wall art maggie whitley

Cindy’s visit with us ended and she flew back to Michigan, but I didn’t want her to forget about our little knee-slapper. So, a few weeks ago I sat down with my embroidery thread and made her her very own BEHAVE hoop. Oh, yes I did! #sassy

embroidery hoop art maggie whitley

embroidery hoop art maggie whitley

And when she called me to tell me she received a package in the mail — even said hello into the phone — I began to laugh. Me laughing made her laugh, and for a good bit of time that’s all we did on the phone together. It was amazing, and a really special moment in our relationship for me.

I love that we have this little joke to fall back on. I love that while she’s really the least-sassiest person I know, she has an embroidery hoop that says “behave”. It’s my secret dream she hangs it in her office so she can think of me while at work ;)

embroidery hoop art maggie whitley

So that’s my latest embroidery hoop project. It was a fun one to make, for sure. I’ve been stitching while I can — in between afternoon naps or while sipping my morning coffee on the weekend. It’s one of my favorite craft projects right now, probably because of the rhythmic sound of the needle hitting the cloth and the pop of color against the neutral backdrop. It’s just the best.

Related: I’ve got a fun sewing project up my sleeve. If you’d like to stay in the loop on what I’ve got going on you can join my email newsletter by clicking here.

Caroline-made zip pouch maggie whitley

Do you stitch, and if so what designs are you working on? I also love to knit (and crochet), and lately I’ve been looking at the basic watercolor set Maxwell has and thinking it would be fun to get a larger palette of colors to play around with.

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