Dreaming big – Permanent Riot is now on etsy!

When Ben went to Washington DC on business a few months ago, he brought our daughter back a shirt with an image of a rocket ship on it, and in big bold neon letters the words “I DREAM BIG”. I loved that shirt and couldn’t stop looking at it. It made me so excited for our kids’ futures, for all that they might dream about and work for and do. It also made me realize that there were a lot of my own dreams (both big and small) that I had been putting off for one reason or another.

I want my kids to see the world as being full of endless possibilities, I want them to believe that they should put their hearts and souls into the things that they love, and that no dream is too big. I don’t want them to get hung up on fears and worries and doubts. I want them to put those things aside and push forward, even if it means setting foot into the unknown. And even with all of these big hopes for my kids, I’ve somehow let myself get hung up in fear and worry and doubt. For years now I’ve been thinking of opening an etsy shop to sell the things that I make, but I’ve always been worried. What if nobody comes? What if nothing sells? What if I TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY EMBARRASS MYSELF?! That’s the big one. That if I open a shop and it fails I will have embarrassed myself. How silly is that? I want to make sure that my kids know that failure is just a step on the pathway to success (or that success really is a journey and not a destination? does this post have enough motivational cliches yet?) so I’ve finally decided to lead by example and do something I’ve always wanted to do…

And so begins my etsy shop, Permanent Riot.

For now I’ve stocked it with watercolor paintings and hand-painted ceramics because I’m on a total and complete painting kick. In the future I might sell crocheted doodads or childrens’ clothing or who knows what. My goal is to have a creative outlet and a way to give a good home to the things that I can’t help making. I love that now that I’m past the scary unknown phase it’s given me a reason to get up and paint in the morning. My shop has only been open for a few days and I’ve already painted more in those few days than I had in several months prior. I love having a reason to create.

Permanent Riot - made by Katy Regnier - a shop on Etsy

I started out with just simple ombre quotations but have been more and more excited about getting back into detailed paintings, something I haven’t done in years. I can’t wait to make more of these.

Original watercolor painting - "piaf" sparrow by Katy Regnier - Permanent Riot on etsy

Here’s to a new adventure and a brand new shop. I hope you’ll come and check it out!

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Dreaming big – Permanent Riot is now on etsy!

Coordinating cousin dresses {sewing projects}

This year for Christmas I got the idea to make all of the little girls in the family (cousins on both sides – that’s 5 all together) coordinating dresses. Aren’t they ridiculously adorable? (one is not pictured if you’re wondering whether or not I know how to count)

Coordinating little girls dresses - sewing projects at Permanent Riot

I called this post “coordinating cousin dresses” but another title could very well have been “the dresses that almost weren’t” or “how to pull an all nighter the day before flying”. I don’t know why but this is always (always) the schedule when thinking up Christmas presents – about a month before I get an idea for what I might like to make. I spend a few days thinking about the idea and deciding if I do really want to make it. Next I move into research mode – googling like a crazy person looking for patterns, blog posts, ideas and inspiration. Even if it’s an idea that I’m sure I have dreamed up on my own, I still google to see if anyone else has done it (and how). This phase is the longest. I can easily waste away several weeks on blog surfing, pinning and thinking. I spend SO much time in fact that I wake up one day and realize that it’s one week before Christmas and I have done absolutely nothing. Next comes my frantic trip to the fabric store where I wander aimlessly and make a total wild guess as to how much fabric (or yarn, or other supplies as the case may be) I will need to complete the project. Because (of course) during my “planning weeks” all I really did was mindlessly click links and not actually make any decisions, so I haven’t *really* decided what exactly I’m making or how much material it will take. The rest of the week is spent frantically crafting and hoping and crossing everything that I don’t run out at the end (because obviously the last sewing is being done at 2am when more fabric cannot be acquired). Thank goodness that this one came together at the end, I would have hated to show up to our family Christmas empty handed.

Coordinating little girls dresses - sewing projects at Permanent Riot

The best part of this whole giant sewing bonanza is that all of the girls actually really liked their dresses (hooray!!). I think the fact that they’re cotton and roomy makes them super comfy (I didn’t get to try one on… obviously… but they look pretty cozy to me). Amelia has been wearing hers often, pretty much as soon as I wash and hang it up in her closet she puts it back on. That kind of reaction is definitely what I’m looking for when I start sewing and it’s what keeps me coming back for more.

Amelia’s and Edith’s dresses were the first two that I tackled and both of them followed online tutorials that I found – Amelia’s is the adorable Leah tunic from Craftiness is not Optional and Edith’s is the Black Bird tunic from Schwin and Schwin lengthened to make a dress.

Coordinating little girls dresses - sewing projects at Permanent Riot

Both of the tutorials were relatively straightforward and easy to follow, I loved that the Black Bird tunic had a printable pattern, when you’re in a hurry sometimes it’s nice to just be able to follow cutting lines rather than drafting your own pattern. If I were making it again I would probably make a few changes to the construction – somehow having the raw top edge of the skirt piece encased in the neck would be nice and I would also probably add a little facing to the armholes only because I think it looks a bit cleaner. Both of those probably would have added time to the project (which I didn’t have) and the dress as is worked well so I’m happy with how it turned out. Edith especially loves her pocket!

Coordinating little girls dresses - sewing projects at Permanent Riot

The Leah tunic isn’t a pattern but rather a tutorial on how to draft your own pattern and construct the dress from the pieces you’ve drafted. I will say that I totally (100%, I should have taken a picture of how terrible it was) botched the sleeve shape on the first go-around. Luckily I was able to save it, but it was a bit trickier than I’d imagined. Amelia loves (LOVES) this dress and I do too, it reminds me of one of the dresses that the little girls in the cozy book might wear, and I want to make her a hundred more of them. I will say that I am not a huge fan of bias binding the armholes, I’m just not very good at it and I think my dresses look cleaner when they are lined (at least on the bodice) so I might try that next time and see how it turns out. I know that it’s a cooler dress if it’s unlined (better for summer) but with my wobbly sewing I feel like the bias tape gives away the fact that I am not an expert seamstress.

Coordinating little girls dresses - sewing projects at Permanent Riot

Once I got done with the first two dresses I realized that I really didn’t have time to mess around finding and following more patterns, as cute as they may be, so the last ones were just simple lined bodices with a split back and button closure, with pleated full skirts. No pattern, just tracing of t-shirts in the correct sizes and a big rectangle for the skirt. Not having a 15 month old to model for me, I definitely underestimated the length of the littlest dress (it’s much more of a tunic) but aside from that slip-up I think they turned out just as well as I could have hoped for. And all done in time to open for Christmas. Hooray! I consider it a sewing success.

Coordinating cousin dresses {sewing projects}

2013 Skies – an instagram project 365

Happy New Year! We made it to 2014, can you believe it?! And here to prove it is an ENTIRE YEAR’S worth of instagram sky photos!

#365daysofsky by @katyregnier - an instagram project 365 by Katy Regnier photography on Permanent Riot

I don’t think I quite knew what I was getting myself into when I started this project, I was hoping to take one picture of the sky every day for a year, but instead I’ve gotten totally and completely hooked on sky-watching! If only you could see my phone’s camera roll – chock full to the brim (seriously, I keep getting that “your device storage is full” warming but can’t stand the thought of deleting them) with pictures of the sky, I typically take between 5-10 a day, depending on how interesting the clouds are… some days I’ve been known to take 20 or more.

I’ve also decided not to end my project with the new year, but to keep going indefinitely. I am way too addicted to quit now! One minor change I’m making to my project this year is to add a new hashtag, #krdailysky to each of my posts on instagram. This year a few people joined in throughout the year and while my #365daysofsky hashtag was unused when I started, it’s getting kind of hard to pick out my own skies from the handful of regular posters these days. I’m so excited that the daily sky has caught on, but I want to make sure my own are still searchable. I actually have a few more ideas floating around that I’m starting to work on, so keep an eye out for those, but in the meantime let’s celebrate the beauty that is an entire year of sky … wishing you a very happy new year as well!

2013 Skies – an instagram project 365