I asked Faith if she would be willing to be a guest on my blog due to the nature of her business. Faith’s sews, crochets, and creates upcycled products from thrifted and donated goods. Her makes range from sustainable scrunchies to shirt-sleeve pants to crochet crowns to satchel bags. She also offers alterations and repairs in her home studio.Faith is a genius when it comes to making something both practical and beautiful out of something that would otherwise be thrown away. Her passions for educating and caring for our planet are apparent in her work, and I learned so much about upcycling and reducing waste from my conversation with her.
A few weeks ago, Carson and I sat down to talk about our goals for the next few years. We have some big dreams of investing in a rental property of some kind to use as passive income to save for Lincoln’s future—whether trade school or college or something else that the Lord calls him to. I remember sitting in our swivel rockers one evening after Lincoln went to bed, and I told Carson that I needed a new, very specific goal to save for—given I already have about eight that I’m trying to juggle. We are nearing the end of our major renovations on this house—there is still a lot to be done, but I often have a desire to move on to the next big thing.
Instagram has its downsides, but it is also a place where I have had the opportunity to make connections and form friendships with people I would otherwise probably never meet. Kerith O’Sail and I found each other through my shop, Elsie James Clothing. I’m not really sure if I found her or she found me, but regardless-I am so grateful for the connection! Kerith’s account focuses on how to implement Montessori principles at home from pregnancy through childhood. She is passionate about respectful parenting, sustainable living, and childhood development. She is an incredibly innovative and creative person who has a lot of ideas for how to get started with Montessori with natural resources or items you may already have it home. If you are interested in learning more about Montessori but are intimidated or unsure where to start, this post is for you!
When I was a kid, my great-grandpa would write poems for us on our birthday. He was incredibly witty and thoughtful and put a lot of time into writing them. I’m not much of a poet, but I do share his love for putting pen to paper–or fingers to keyboard in this case–to turn thoughts into the written word. My baby boy is two today! So although this is slightly different from my other blog posts I have decided to share my Letter for Lincoln: Year 2, on this space
I am someone who craves routine and stability but struggles with staying committed to a timeline. I am easily distracted and am currently balancing a lot of different plates, and so it is easy for me to jump from one task to the next without fully completing either of them. This often leaves me feeling frustrated and unaccomplished at the end of the day. It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but sometimes I watch routine videos on Youtube to help me get ideas, but they usually leave me feeling even more discouraged about my own lack of structure.
Today is the day, friends! At 12 pm CST, I am officially relaunching my handmade clothing shop–Elsie James Clothing. For those of you who have been following along for some time, you probably know most of the story behind my brand. But if you’re new, I wanted to provided a brief synopsis of the who, what, where, when, why, and how of this passion project of mine.
Last year, I remember staring at closet overflowing with clothing that I didn’t like and didn’t wear. I had just given birth to my son a few months prior, and a lot of the clothes that I had worn before no longer fit well or were nursing friendly. We were also several months into covid, and I found myself living in oversized shirts with holes and stained sweats with pilling fabric. I didn’t feel put together or confident and even though I really wasn’t going anywhere, I wanted to feel not only comfortable but also classy in the clothing that I owned.
I had the privilege of “meeting” Fausthyara via Instagram a little over a year ago. She is someone who I look up to in so many ways–as a follower of Jesus, as a mom, and as a person in general! Fausthyara and I got connected because of our mutual love for small shops. She has a lot of experience as a brand rep for several handmade clothing shops, including my own. She is an incredibly talented photographer and has an eye for design and pairing pieces of clothing together–both old and new.
Well over a year ago, my husband and I started trying for a second baby. I got pregnant easily with Lincoln as well as with the baby I was pregnant with and miscarried before him. I innocently thought, we’ll try, I’ll conceive this month, and we will have a little sibling for Linc in approximately 9 months.
And here I am, over 12 months in–I honestly lost count–dreading another negative test. I know that this amount of time is short to some and long to others. I hesitate to write any of this because I do have a child earth side and we haven’t been trying as long as many, but a friend recently taught me that our pain is valid and our stories are worth telling even if they are not the same as someone else’s.
So this post won’t apply to all of my readers, but cloth diapering our son is one of the main ways that our family has chosen to live life more sustainably. I never planned on cloth diapering and honestly was disgusted at the thought, but our doula mentioned the benefits to us (less waste, saving money, gentle on baby skin) shortly before our son was born, and now I would never turn back! Our doula and several other women helped me get started because initially it can be quite overwhelming! There is so much information and so many opinions out there, but we finally found a system that worked well for our family. I’ve gotten questions from friends or even strangers about why we chose to cloth diaper, what our routine is, and if it’s as disgusting as it seems. Although I know cloth diapering is not for every family, if you are even a little bit interested, I highly recommend doing some research and giving it a try–especially if your family is looking for ways to reduce waste.