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my apologies as i’m back for just one more cop out post before i hope to return to cultivating this space a little more generously in the near future. i know i have missed so many comments and failed to respond in a timely manner–so embarrassing and i promise i will be a better blogger soon. just this saturday, i worked my last shift of my full time job that felt like it was not so slowly killing me. maybe my last shift ever as an adult acute care rn, who knows?! it was a wild, wild ride and i will definitely miss my wonderful coworkers, but it was 100% the right decision on both personal and professional levels, and a long and tenuous journey to even reach that decision. but that’s very much it’s own story not at all related to camping capes–we’ll see if it ever finds its way to this old blog.

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all that’s just to say i’m hoping to be more present here in the coming weeks as i ease back into more creative projects i’m excited to share (not sure yet what they even are, it’s been so long since i had the flow going!). i started leafing through inspiration and sketching a bit on what i hope will be my next big endeavor, and am formulating some lists of outstanding projects (wedding gifts, baby gifts, etc.) that have been pushed aside in these last months of doing nothing but working and surviving. however, i’m very grateful for the experience of working full time again, because it reminded me the importance of slooooooooooowing down. i’m just a super industrious person by nature, and if i’m not working, that energy gets funneled somewhere, like running a one man business while taking care of two toddlers and a puppy, and working at the kids’ school. people often ask me how i get so much done, and i’ve always wondered how other people don’t get more done. now i understand it’s because I NEVER SIT STILL.

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i have a high rate of productivity and function well with a baseline level of stress. but working in an energy zapping, incredibly high stress job for 13 hours at a time, you come home from that and you really can’t do much but put your kids to bed, shove some food in your face, and zone out on the couch for half an hour before you get up in 8 hours to do it all again. it broke up so many of my rigorous routines–running every day, nope. always a project on the needles, not for months. sewing three hours a day, not a chance. while i had far less time overall, i noticed a slow trickle back of things i used to enjoy so much filling in those small gaps of free time to help me unwind, like being updated on current events because i actually read news again. i’ve even been able to read a little fiction! i relished the time i spent with the kids more because i could be more fully focused on them rather than resenting their constant demands detracting from my works in progress calling to me from my totally inefficient business. i’m a driven and productive person–that’s never going to change. however, i really do appreciate some valuable lessons i want to take with me from this entire experience that i think have been quite poignant in my ongoing quest for balance. i really didn’t feel stressed out before, but being removed from the situation for a bit, i can acknowledge it’s kinda nice not to have constant deadlines, and to do things just for fun.

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anyway, that’s enough about that–camping capes! the only craft related things i’ve done in the past few months have been these guest posts for oliver + s. the idea was born of a desire to get myself and the kids immersed in nature as often as possible this summer. pretty much anytime i had more than 2 days off consecutively, we packed up the car to explore yet another wondrous place. i have loved these trips for so many reasons, not least of all because of how much they allowed me to connect with the kids. totally isolated from everything and everyone, we returned to a simpler way of living and doing everything together. it’s a great way to reset.

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photoi made these capes before a projected trip to tahoe for beach coverups as it gets quite chilly there in a hurry when the sun starts to set. of course, in the midst of the worst drought on record, the two days we were supposed to go, torrential downpours moved through the area, so we switched at the last minute and headed for big basin. the kids had an awesome time exploring all the hollowed out trees (“caves”) around the site.  the next day we headed down to santa cruz to hit up harts and the beach. the kids picked out some fabrics for back to school outfits that i’ll possibly get done within their first month of going back to school–remains to be seen.

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in all honesty, the capes are a total hit. well, eli loved hers for about 10 seconds, and then said, MOM, i said i wanted RED, like FUSCIA.  in reality, she had no idea i was making the capes and so expressed no color preference.  reese, on the other hand, is completely smitten.  he’s into anything with pockets, but the horse on the back took it to a whole new level.  he has a peculiar fascination with horses, peculiar because it developed prior to him ever being exposed to the animal in person, on film, or in print.  he’s not a big fan of domesticated animals and has until recently been a fairly easily spooked kid.  one would think that such a gigantic, powerful, and sometimes unpredictable animal wouldn’t be a first choice as a favorite for his personality type, but the communion runs so deep he often takes on horse like characteristics.  he frequently responds to spoken words by neighing, generally gallops from point a to point b, and about 25% of the time enters an alternate reality where he completely becomes a horse and will only answer to the name “sorrel.”

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riding a horse, of course

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anyhow, putting a horse on the back of his cape made it a total slam dunk. he requests to wear it all the time, and when he’s not wearing it, he uses it as a blanket. i gave him the horse cut out from the stencil i made, and it was the most precious gift he has ever received. “thank you mom, oh thank you so much.  i love you!” he carefully colored it in and carried it around until it eventually disintegrated. i just love that kid.

so, the capes get a thumbs up, and because of the performance fabric, i think they’ll make great cooler weather coverups in the winter here, which will hopefully be drizzly. they have definitely rolled around quite a bit in the dirt and look no worse for wear.  performance fabrics are made for kids, i’m telling you.  you can read all the details on how to make your own camping capes over at oliver + s.  that’s it for now–see you again soon(er).

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