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Figuring It Out - Shivaya Naturals

Figuring It Out

December 18, 2009

Have I ever told you that I occasionally suffer from insomnia? It is a nasty little issue that creeps up on me once or twice a month, and on those nights that it hits, there is little or nothing that I can do to keep it at bay.

I used to fight it. I would lay in bed until 2 or 3 in the morning, or just read a book until 4 am. As the years have gone on though, I decided that on those occasions that it rears it’s ugly head, I need to get up and just go with it. I have no explanation as to why it happens, and the next day is a bear, but I don’t lie in bed any more.

Last night was one of those nights. I could feel it come on around 10, and I sat with it to see if it would pass. No such luck. By 11:30, I was in my sewing room, sketch pad in hand, trying to design a new art roll for the kids for the holidays.

I had been thinking of trying something like this for a while, but since I had some extra time, well I thought it would be a worthwhile project.

My thought was to have a roll that carried both their journal, and their pencils. This would allow me the ability to throw it into our back packs when we went hiking, or to a drawing spot.

I like how it came out, but I don’t love it. While I was constructing it, I had a million different thoughts on how I could make it better, and I think that I will try and take those ideas and see what I can do over the weekend. I think that I should have constructed the pocket on the lining prior to sewing it to the main fabric, to ensure that the lines did not end up on the outside. I also need to figure out something different with the ties, those are just not working right.

All in all, it is a good start, but I think that it can be much more functional, and a whole lot neater. As soon as I get it figured out, I will post a tutorial. Hopefully it will be a fun project to start the new year off right.

It isn’t worth it being up until 4 am, but I do have a new project to work with now, and I guess that I will just have to be happy with that.

I will be back tomorrow morning with a list of last minute stocking stuffers and holiday recipes from around the blog world. If you have a project or recipe that you would like to share, shoot me an email.

Happy weekend.

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Julia December 18, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I love it. Ribbon works for the ties on the coloring wraps that I make. I've never though to put the note pad in from the side…Great idea.

I am the sleeper in our family. I wish I could wake with some energy in the middle of the night.

Hugs to you, and cudos….I think you did an awesome job.


lorena December 18, 2009 at 4:12 pm

OMG!!!!! i spent the entire nite last nite trying to figure out how i was going to make the exact same thing for my son!!!!!!!!!! my idea is alittle different – with my spot for the journal being behind the pencils…………i can't wait to make it now and post it so we can compare!!!!!!!!!! i had the same thought about ties – my 6 year old would get frustrated with them so i was trying to figure out what i would do instead……i thought a snap of some sort. i'll have to see what i have lying around.

and fwiw – i think yours look great!!


Meg Evans December 18, 2009 at 4:16 pm

The wrap/roll looks great. I like putting the journal inside, too. Insomnia sucks, doesn't it? Usually mine doesn't appear until I've slept for at least an hour, and then it's toss and turn time. I can't wait to see your last-minute ideas. Hope tonight is restful.


KimmieKusz December 18, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Great idea, I was playing around with the same idea for my crochet hooks, a sketchbook for ideas and a big space for all the wip's. Now I'll just have to wait until you've written a tute….
I love the print on the fabric, very seventies!


Lisa Q December 18, 2009 at 4:33 pm

I've had insomnia before, back in college, so I understand the frustration it brings. So glad you were able to get past it and get something done in the wee hours of the night. You're creativity roll is looking good!


erin December 18, 2009 at 4:48 pm

i have the same issue heather.

and mine is about as frequent as yours. mine usually hits around 2 a.m. and same as you i now get up and go with the flow. i often work/read/knit from 2-4 and then fall asleep on the couch until the sun (or the kids) wake me up.

one thing that really helps me is nettle tea and natural calm (it's powdered magnesium that i add to the tea). a friend recommended it to me and it helps a LOT. (you drink it every night before bed…not just when you are having insomnia). i also add a couple of drops of skullcap tincture on nights when i think i might have trouble sleeping. helps slow my mind down.

anyway…i love what you made.

i was up last night but i just read until i got sleepy and then went back to bed. i wish i had been as productive as you…LOL!



Nina - Tabiboo December 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm

I think it looks wonderful though I know what you mean about liking but not loving a creation. The fabric looks perfect though.

I suffer from the opposite – I could quite happily curl up and go to sleep most afternoons and need at least a good ten hours sleep each night on top of that (always have) but in reality with children and responsibilities it is really quite impossible.

Have a fabulous weekend,

Nina x


kyndale December 18, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Love that fabric! And your project. So sorry to hear that you suffer from insomnia. I suffer too. I figured out though that if I have any kind of chocolate after say 3 in the afternoon, I will have wicked insomnia. I guess it would apply to caffeine in general. So, for a month, I have slept like a baby! Something to think about. I know what it's like to not sleep and have to deal with life the next day!! love, Kyndale


perches December 18, 2009 at 5:38 pm

It's a lovely writing case! The print fabric's colors with the linen-colored fabric, oh so nice. Especially with a Mama-printed notebook tucked inside.


kyndale December 18, 2009 at 5:39 pm

I've also heard that this could be a sign of peri-menopause!?


maeghan December 18, 2009 at 6:13 pm

I love it. So clever!


Chelsea December 18, 2009 at 6:15 pm

AND now you know what doesn't work! You've got a whole week my friend, no worries. (and then I think oh my there is only one week left to finish one man-sized sweater, one baby-sized patchwork soccer ball, a pair of half-finished knitted booty shorts (oh yes I am), a headband, a hat, a wreath, three stockings, and — if I prove to be truly crazy — some soft trees made from thrifted sweaters. Its amazing how much having sick ones in the house can stop the progression of anything and everything else). +Chelsea


Andrea December 18, 2009 at 6:32 pm

I recently learned that any sort of inversion pose (forward bend, rag doll) is good for insomnia. Fortunately, the inability to sleep is rarely an issue for me. 🙂


Stephanie December 18, 2009 at 6:41 pm

What a pretty writting case.. I love the fabric! I'm not one to have any insomnia issues, actually I could sleep through a fire (which is why I have a monitor right next to my head even though my son is in the room right next to ours). But I have to agree with your decision to get out of bed, I mean why just lay there and do nothing, when look at what you can create! Hope you get lots of sleep through Christmas!


nicola December 18, 2009 at 6:46 pm

i love it. i have done a number of rolls and wraps like this and have learned a lot along the way. fusible interfacing makes it sturdier without the bulk of batting and yes, stitching a pocket to an interfaced lining looks really nice once finished. what don't you like about your straps?
lovely fabric! all these pencil style pockets make me smile. i had an eagle creek brand item similar to yours (and others i have made) as a kid. it closed with a fastex buckle. i just passed it to my brother, who loves the rugged outdoor style and keeps a notebook.


Shivayamama December 18, 2009 at 7:07 pm

You know, I have tried that every time, and it does help me to relax through the it, but really hasn't done much for me in terms of getting to sleep. I think that I may have a problem with my thyroid, and sometimes my levels might spike, and the insomnia kicks in. I have been working with some yoga poses that are specifically designed for thyroid issues, and I am hoping that might help as well.
You know what though, I should just get out of bed and so a midnight yoga session, that might be a great way to spend some time.



Ann December 18, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Hi Heather, what a wonderful project and such a great gift that can be packed into the car, rucksack or wherever and off you go.
This last week there has been an amazing programme on TV – Kirstie Allsops Homemade Christmas. What a treasure of ideas and I have just sat open mouthed whilst she made her spedcial Christmas.
One of her recipes were for a Chutney which you can eat straight away. I am making mine this weekend.
Look at my blog for the recipe.


Shivayamama December 18, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Oh girlfriend, are you kidding? You are a rock star. Wow, I thought that I had a long list, but now I feel pretty lazy next to what you are getting done 🙂 I really hope the family feels better soon. My oldest had a year with chronic croup, and it is no fun. Sending healing thoughts your way.



Shivayamama December 18, 2009 at 7:12 pm

That is so interesting, because I just tested for super low progesterone, and I was thinking the same thing. I also have a wicked thyroid problem, and I often wonder if some days my levels spike and I that sets the insomnia off. My mom just gave me the book \”The Silent Passage\”, and I am really interested to learn a bit more about peri-menopause.



Shivayamama December 18, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Ann, what a wonderful site, thank you for sharing that. Oh, and I just saw the mulled wine on your blog. I really having been craving that lately, so thank you for the recipe 🙂


Shivayamama December 18, 2009 at 7:19 pm

I forgot 🙂
May I include a link to your bean soup and spiced hot chocolate tomorrow morning in my list of recipes to make for the holidays?


Shivayamama December 18, 2009 at 7:20 pm

You know, I have wondered if maybe I am having \”hidden\” caffeine somewhere as well. That is something that I should think about. I also know that insomnia is a HUGE part of the gluten issue, so I often wonder if that is a factor.



Shivayamama December 18, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Oh the jealously is just pouring from me 🙂



Shivayamama December 18, 2009 at 7:24 pm

Oh wow, is it terrible that I feel relieved to have a soul sister with this same issue? We sound identical. I use to wake-up around 2 am, but I think that I have gotten to a point where I can feel it coming, so I just let myself stay up and ride it out. I am going to head to the natural food market this afternoon to pick up those teas and herbs. Thank you so much for the suggestion.


Kelly December 18, 2009 at 7:39 pm

I love this – I can't wait to see the final project.

I've been having this issue too lately. I have been laying in bed trying to fall back asleep but it's not working. I think I need to just go with it more.


Shivayamama December 18, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Lorena, that is too much! I can not wait to see yours. That would be really interesting to see the journal in the back. I bet that would work out so well. We will have to do a cross post comparison 🙂
Have a great weekend


Shivayamama December 18, 2009 at 7:47 pm

You know, I just can't figure out what else to do but go with it. It is just such an exhausting battle to do it any other way. I still end up waking up feeling miserable, but at least I have something to show for it 🙂



Shivayamama December 18, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Thanks girl! I would think that as much as you are on your feet at work, that you would have to crash at the end of the day.
I am just trying to figure out how to do the ties, because right now they are attached to the short ends of the wrap, but those get folded into the center of the wrap, and it is making it a bit weird to tie up. I feel like I am missing a way that I could make this all work
Have a great weekend



Brooke December 18, 2009 at 8:11 pm

heather, you are a trooper! Insomnia is something I have (as does many others it seems 🙂 ) but mine I think right now is due to pregnancy… I really should just get up and do something… that would make me feel productive at least!
As for your project: SO CUTE! I was looking at it and trying to help you come up with your solution… I think if you put both ties in the same location, on the very outside of the notebook, you could wrap it around the whole thing and maybe that would work (if that makes any sense!) Hope you get some sleep tonight! Wish I had a REALLY good recipe for you… I do have a granola one that I love…. but I think you already have a good one of those… or granola bars Yum! Haven't made those in a while!


Meryl December 18, 2009 at 8:21 pm

I might have to sit down and put together something like this as a stocking stuffer for me! 🙂


Ivy December 18, 2009 at 8:26 pm

I have been suffering from insomnia some lately too. It will keep me up until about 2 in the morning and then I'll finally fall asleep. I can never make myself get out of bed though — I'm convinced even lying there resting is better than nothing. I'm so impressed you just sketched out the pencil case and made it. I can't wait to get better at sewing so I can get to that level.


Kerry December 18, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Oh Heather, I am so sorry about the insomnia… I suffered terribly throughout most of my last pregnancy. It is no fun. Good for you for using your time productively. I think that the art roll is terrific. I agree that it is wonderful to have a spot for the journal as well as the pencils. What about a small pocket to stick in a feather or leaf that one might find while out drawing in nature (says the woman who doesn't sew very much at all…) I have been sharing some recipes and little crafty stuff all week that might make a good addition to your list. Stop by if you are interested… I've got a little giveaway today too…


Nancy December 18, 2009 at 11:51 pm

I think it's beautiful–I realize you want to improve upon it, but it is so nice just as it is!

Re: insomnia–my suggestion–write down the date on a calendar and see if you can find a pattern–maybe that will give you some guidance. You might not resolve it, but you might have a better understanding of it. I have insomnia once or twice a month myself and it seems to come just a day or two before my cycle starts again. I figured it out only after another friend pointed it out to me.

And I almost forgot, I'd love to see the tutorial if you find the time to pull it together!


Lynn December 19, 2009 at 12:36 am

Oooh, I would love to see a tutorial for this! I've been thinking about making something similar for awhile and have been trying to think thru all the little details (like attaching the pocket to the lining first!), but just haven't gotten a chance to sit down and sketch it out. So…. I can't wait to see what you come up with!


Arianne December 19, 2009 at 3:39 am

It's not too bad Heather! I like the fabric.
Maybe a ribbon to tie it instead? Sorry to hear about the insomnia, I hope tonight's a better night for you!


Jodi December 19, 2009 at 3:49 am

At least you're being productive instead of tossing and turning….I wish I could create like you do. When I'm sleep deprived, I don't function at all.


Julia December 19, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Hey, I emailed you some ideas…and also I have a tutorial for the coloring wraps that I was going to put in our Etsy store as a PFD( but you know me and these technical aspects of tutorials….I'm a mess) I couldn't figure it out at all.

If you are interested, I will email it to you.

Hugs Julia


geek+nerd December 19, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Oh, I am just the same, unbelievable insomnia at least once a month! I can't wait for your stocking stuffer post 🙂 Sounds fun 🙂


Jennifer December 19, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Feel free to bum a few ideas for your art roll project from my journal wrap lists here: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=3
I used a large, long, rectangle and folded up the ends to create all the pockets. It's a simple design and it does have some seams on the outside, but it folds and ties compact and neat. Hope it helps some.

Oh, and feel free to share anything I've posted that you deem fit today!


Tonya December 19, 2009 at 3:09 pm

That is a great idea – I would love to make some of those for my children. When I get home from the library this morning, I will be posting quick gnomes that can be knit up in about 25 minutes using corks as the base.
Warm wishes.


lina December 19, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Oh Heather I'm exaclty the same. I usually have a 3 or 4 night stretch of between 2 – 4 hours sleep before I'm able to break the cycle and it has got worse as I get older. I have also learned not to fight it but just get up and do something instead. Sewing into the wee hours is something I often do too!


lorena December 19, 2009 at 10:35 pm

hey heather – i just posted my attempt at the same roll! i just looked at yours again – your fabric is so much prettier than mine! but then mine is for a 6 year old boy LOL



Amber December 19, 2009 at 9:31 pm

I wish I suffered from insomnia sometimes, I feel I'd craft really well in the quiet of the night.

Lovely little drawing roll, I can see your kids now, sitting under a tree drawing up the plants and animals around them.


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