When Sara Lawson – yes! the gal who designs some of those gorgeous fabrics for Art Gallery!! – contacted me and asked if I would like to be apart of her Dress Up Party, I was delighted! Seriously. I rarely get asked to participate in fun little online sewing gatherings (and even then, sometimes I have to say no because of stuff like time….) and so this time I definitely jumped at the chance. My mom and sis had put in for some handmade wearables and well, though I do indulge a good amount of unselfish sewing, it had been too long since I was actually able to sew something for myself and feel really really good about it.


Since this is my first post since a nice blogging hiatus, I thought I could give you the link for my review of this Kwik Sew skirt and vintage Simplicity t-shirt (click here for those) and also offer some updates as to what I’ve been up to and mind blowing words of wisdom. OK, actually the words of wisdom might have to wait until I actually have wisdom, but at least I can fill you in on my whereabouts these days. Being the inquisitive (yet reclusive, go figure) creature that I am, I’m always curious when others in the blogging community take extended leaves of absence and what they are up to now. So you know, fame being all in my own mind of course, I naturally thought you would be curious! Ha ha! Those of you who’ve read me for a long time know that this last year and a half has been pretty rough. Owning a brick and mortar shop was hard work!  And then we closed it up and tried a sewing parlor and then closed that up too. We’ve moved an entire store into a tiny, yet rather uppity, storage facility. I thought that closing my brick and mortar business would be easy and that I could go right back to being me after it was all over, but I’m sure you know that’s not how life works. It’s kind of like going away to college/university that first year. You can never really go home again because home and you are now so different from when you left – or so was my experience. I am glad to have the burden of being a brick and mortar shop owner lifted, but by the same token, it doesn’t erase anything I’ve been through. Not a bad thing, mind you. Just a life lesson I’m being taught again. I’ve had to re-enter the workforce and have been working more than full-time since about March-ish. It’s been kind of brutal (because I’m a big lazy slob that loves to sleep in, take naps and do nothing but guzzle Dr. Pepper – OK, not really, but that sounds like the life for me!). Anyway, I’ve finally settled into some regular schedules and time frames. AFS online shop will heading off in some new directions – more on that to come this year!

Anyhow, long story short, I haven’t been sewing much of anything lately and I’ve been working tons. Now I’m just trying to balance myself, my time and my ambitions. Back to that balancing/juggling act again. When I feel out of whack, I know it’s because I’m not balanced. I’m putting way too much time into one thing and not enough into other areas of my life. What about you? How do you balance your life?

This Memorial Day weekend – for those of us here in the U.S. – I’ve bee able to scratch out some time for sewing a little more of something for myself. Here comes a linen dress for summer – more on that soon. Hip Hip Hooray!


21 thoughts on “parasol

  1. Greetings Miss Sunni – You will never believe this but this is my very first comment ever made on a blog to anyone so I’m not sure if you’ll even get this post. What rattled me out of the blogging bushes, you wonder? Your Dress Up Party post I received this morning. Love your style! I love the skirt you created. Where did you find the fabric used? Stretchy polka dot (I lust over all things polka dot). Hugs to you, my dear. Hope I’m not breaking any blogging etiquette. If so, please let me know so I don’t embarrass myself again. Haha.

    1. Oh no, you are definitely not breaking any blogging etiquette!! I thank you for your comment! Stretchy polka dot fabric came from very old shop stock at my brick and mortar store (which is now closed up). I too am an avid polka dotted crazy person and this was just perfection in fabric! I really wish I could get some more, but unfortunately my supplier for this particular fabric sold out pretty quickly. So sorry!

  2. Very lovely Sunni. The balance you spoke of is a difficult one to keep in correct order. My husband and I have experienced a complete upheaval in our lives this past year and at the age of 58, I am working a physically and mentally demanding job as opposed to being a homemaker with a quieter lifestyle. I am often too tired to sew when I do have time off. I may not be sewing much these days, but it gives me great pleasure to see the beautiful creations you’ve been working on. I will still say we are very blessed, hard work and all. Thanks for sharing and keeping up the inspiration. —Debby

    1. You are right Debby! We are blessed to live in a country where, at least, there is work! My life is getting a little better, hard work and all! Thanks so much for your comment.

  3. You were right – we were curious. I’m glad to hear you’ve had some time for sewing: I totally understand what you’re saying about being unbalanced, and no time for sewing definitely does that to me (although so can TOO much sewing).

    Glad to hear you’re doing well, look forward to what you both do with the store, and hope we get to see you more!

  4. Welcome back, sounds like you have had enough experience to write a book. Your posts are always so interesting and informative, I hope you you will have the time and desire in the future to continue the blog.

  5. Yes, I was curious. Thanks for indulging us readers.

    Balance is something I’m really struggling with right now. I think it’s a problem that resonates with most people – even folks who seem balanced on the outside often don’t feel it on the inside. I’m looking forward to more posts, when you find the time;-)

  6. I am always interested when a blogger friend comes back from hiatus! I’ve wondered how you’ve been. So sorry that this year’s been such a bitch – but I promise, in time you will look back on this phase of your life with so much perspective. And whenever the times are tough, you know they’re about to shift and improve. It’s the cycle of things.

  7. Sunni – Nice to have you back! Balance is so tricky, yet so essential to having a life I enjoy. If I sew too much, I feel out of touch with friends and family, if I don’t sew enough, my frustrated creative side turns me into a grinch. But when everything gels, I hum like my sweet little Bernina! It sounds like you’re finding that sweet spot right now, between things you should do, and thing you enjoy….Cheers!

  8. Work/life balance? No such thing; life is work. Good work, hopefully.

    And it does get better, cause mostly we always aim for the better, walk into the light, get the Dr Pepper … and when we mess up, we can forgive and try again tomorrow.

    And you made it through this; be proud of that. It counts.

  9. gorgeous skirt and styling – as always – and love the yellow jewellery, it really pops. best of luck with finding the balance that works for you. years ago, i used do art workshops which brought in little money, then i went working full time to save for stuff (house) and did and some time later i made the big and best decision to work part time and could persue my own stuff in the rest, and its working well. i had to cut back on stuff (holidays) but its a lot simpler and works well for me. best of luck with your endeavours, you have accumulated a lot of experience which will stand to you for many a thing, and a lot of talent to show!

  10. I’ve missed you Sunni! And glad to see you’re dipping back into the sewing pool. (ha!…summer joke)

    Sometimes when we take a path in life that we later regret (for whatever reason) it’s the journey that becomes the greater lesson rather than the destination. There’s been a few times in my life where I look back and go “I’ll never do THAT again! Lesson learned!” (like that time I got married in Reno…don’t ask) and then draw from those experiences to guide us in the future. Without getting too philosophical, I’ve been through some really tough times in my life and then later I happened to meet someone or be presented with a situation where had I not gone through what I did years earlier, I wouldn’t be able to provide the needed support or make an informed important decision. You just never know. The learning experiences God presents us with are for many reasons: to make us stronger, wiser, and better able to cope with things in the future. But one thing is for sure, when you’re feeling off balance, it’s good to reach back to the basics where you feel stable and secure. Then when you are ready, reach out and give it another whirl! God bless!

  11. Hi Sunni! You and I traded a couple quick emails about work/life balance when I was inquiring about a product several months ago. I run the family business and I swear, sometimes I just can’t stand the lack of balance. I’ve been completely out of whack for four months or so. It’s so hard to take steps to find balance again when you have that pressure to be the person others rely on. I’m really proud of you for committing to your own needs, and to being clear that your blog is actual work that offers value to readers and that you deserve compensation for your work on it. Hope all will be well with you and nice to see you back. Looking forward to making some purchases from the store again! Best to you!

  12. Aww man, that is tough! I agree that someday you’ll probably look back and be glad you had these experiences and learned all that you did, but that doesn’t make it easier or more fun when it’s happening.

    As for balance, my aunt sent me 10 lessons from radio programs on Design Sponge not long ago, and #1 was: “There is no perfect balance, life and work are always a series of back and forth adjustments.” That was a good reminder for me that it’s not like you find a secret formula and then everything magically stays balanced, you always have to keep working on it. There are times when I know I just need to focus on work, but most of the time, I try to make the things I really want to do a priority as well.

  13. I’m guilty of disappearing myself so I just wanted to pop in and say hello and thank you for updating. I always want to know someone’s at least still breathing. 🙂 The added details are appreciated. Things will improve or at least balance out eventually. Ups and downs, cycles, etc. This thing called life is not always easy.

  14. Hi Sunni! Glad to see your post again. The skirt looks lovely on you. Thank you for sharing about your shop situation. I can’t imagine what hard works you put into both having online and brick and motor shop. I run my online shop and take bridal orders but still work elsewhere because at this point I can’t bear the thought of ups and downs in work flow and income. I hope I can come up with a way to balance it (maybe ecourse or pattern, so once you set it up its there kind of products) in the future!

  15. So glad you’re finding the time to share on your blog again. I love your craftsmanship and attention to detail. Best of luck movin forward.

  16. Hello everyone! Thank you so much for your insightful and encouraging comments on this post – they were very much needed and appreciated! Thank you!

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