Saturday, March 31, 2007

Oh what a night

Oh thank you all for your kind comments and wishes of speedy clean up!! I can't tell you how great it was to take a break from working and reading all the nice things everyone said. We are all strangers in a way, yet we all share commonalities. I love knowing that there are people out there that care, reminding us of the truth and genuine goodness of humanity. Random acts of kindness at it's best!! So thank you!
Ash crashed out on the floor with Nolan (below) and pebbles.

I feel like I am moving, we packed up four rooms, a room at a time, pulling carpet padding then the carpet, and shop vac-ing the floor. Once the first room was dry enough we moved the heavy furniture out of the next room and the boxes in and repeated the process. Whew we are both feeling sore tonight. The washers, dryers, fans and de-humidifier has been running non-stop. Oh the electricity. We are all living on one level which translates to about 900 sq feet. It has been raining for two days so our poor children are stuck inside.

However, children being the blessed creatures that they are find ease and joy in this situation! Everett gets to -like it is an honor bestowed on him- sleep on our floor. He is so proud of this and the twins were ecstatic to be able to sleep on the living room floor. Their bedrooms are filled with the contents of my sewing area and the family room.

The coolest part of all this is the memory the kids will have. It won't be that the their bedroom floors were soaked, nor the that they had to scrap up the glued padding-they turned that into a game or sigh, the books and things we had to throw away -well they may remember some of that. But more importantly they will remember the fun of bringing toys into the living room and sleep there as well. Gotta love it!!!

Friday, March 30, 2007

When it rains it pours....................out of our pipes

No my carpet isn't so clean that it is shining, that would be water that decided to escape from its pipe and sog itself into the entire lower level of our house. The laundry rooms, two bedrooms, a bathroom, and the family room all reside on this level of the house. And of course the back wall of the family room is my sew/crafting area.So I keep my patterns in these two basket bags, all of my patterns and they are wet, soaked, most all are ruined except for the ones from the quilt shop that are in there little stay dry bags. Yeah!! in case you can't hear it "the yeah" I exclaimed is drapped in a touch of sarcasim.

I was so anticipitory for today-it was a half day of work, I was going to come home and snuggle up to my machine and work on a few projects including my pincushion for a swap I am doing. That might have to be done by hand as we have to completly empty the rooms.

As luck would have it it is raining outside so I can't even hang out a wet pile of blankets and other sogged items that the boys consistantly leave-and I ignore- on the floor of the family room.

Things could always be worse and I am grateful that it isn't, so with that I am done whining and am going back to ripping up carpet, sucking up water and salvaging what I can.

Do you think we can return the water to the city for a refund? We may have gotten more then we wanted.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Journaling Then and ........Now

I have kept a journal since elementary school. The first one I remember writing was actually a book of poems. My first poem went like this:

There was an old hen when the clock struck ten,
a little while later someone eat ‘er.

Yes, I know so very Emily Dickenson of me- what can I say I was five. My aunt kept a journal and so did my grandmother. My mother just keeps a date book of sort. My grandmother’s was more of a diary- always including the weather, what she ate that day, and what she did. You would think that I would have a ton of journals; though I have quite a few, I do not have a ton. I am a spurt journaler, there are times when I write compulsively for days and many of my journals cover a year’s time with entries daily or weekly. Then there are times when...well...not so much.

I did write a lot more B.K. (before Kids)- I was going to use the acronym B.M. ( before motherhood) but that might have the possibility to be miss-understood.

In my youth I always wrote tons when I was in emotional distress, it was-(is) sort of a catalyst for clarity. Journaling helped/helps sort of the myriad of confusion that often comes with the said distress. Now mind you there are a few of journals that are well hid- there are some things my children just don’t need to read at a young age. Thankfully being the apprehensive person I have always been, I wrote a lot in code-some I cannot even decipher any more. There are symbols, which represent certain important things. And I must say some of my single years journals are quite cryptic.

There are many times when my memory of events has become distorted with time-can anyone relate to that- you know the fish that grows bigger each time the story is retold. Then I get a reality check when I re-read what really went down on any given event that I recorded.

Now.......My journaling has been altered………….my journals are now both a place to record what I might be feeling or doing and a place to express artistic expression. Altering blank pages make them a happy place to put my words. They become pretty places to write and sometimes the art is all I need to do to express my mood.

These journals hold so many pieces of me: poems, thoughts, turmoil, joy, fear, love- and the feeling that accompanies it-they hold dreams and lists of dreams, resolutions both failed and successful. I have journals just for holidays and family vacations, and most precious are the words recorded after the births of my children. Tender words of hope and love::: words of newborn smells and future worries. They are chronicles of our life, bits and bobs of history that will only matter to us.

Someday my children will read some of these words I have written and know their mother in a new way.

They will know of my unconditional love for them and their father, they will see::I too felt afraid as a new parent and vulnerable and confused as a teen.

Photo albums mark out our memories, journals mark out who we are.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Tidying up

This may be classic homework (my own homework) avoidence but I did some tidying of my space. Nothing exciting but contained. Why is it that when I have things I HAVE to do I only have the desire to do things that I want to do -suddenly inspiration is the only thing I can think of.

Sometimes I even become so overwhelmed with the have-to's that I'd just as soon do nothing at all. Which only makes me feel worse in the end. Blah

The little drawers I found a a garage sale years ago, some of the pulls were missing so I glued on a rerference to what was in each drawer.

I like how these brushes look in this fish bowl- a left over party favor from my daughters birthday a couple of years ago. She gave each of her friends a a fish bowl which they decorated with glass paints and then each recieved a goldfish.

Now back to the regularly scheduled homework!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

When the dog eats your mitten........

Well make a pincushion, of course!

I loved these mittens they were wool and tan and warm and apparently my Pebbles liked them just as much. Although, never did I consider eating them, yummy as I thought they were. (the leather is so tough to chew-know what I mean?) I couldn't possibly just toss the chewed up remanents in garbage......not me....must salvage.....

Hence this pincushion was born. The bottom is the undamaged -thanks for not chewing my cuff Pebbles- cuff, the top is 100% pink wool and the spots are what was left of the leather from the palm of the mitten. Pebbles was also considerate enough not to eat both mittens. She operates on the “one for me one for you” theory. That leaves me with either one cold hand or………… another pincushion. I think I’ll opt for the latter.

Now the question is.... is it a mushroom or as my husband asked....

"is that a muffin?" Butter anyone?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Blooming Thursday

So this has been a tough week and I needed some happy thoughts, what better way to brighten up a girls heart then with tulips?

I actully made this a few weekends back when things were a bit calmer, it still needs a bit of stitchin-I'll post the finished runner later- Now if you can look past the smudge prints on the window look at the sunset peeking through! I did not even know that I captured it until I began this post. Small surprises are often the best ones. Oh, you like the teapot in the above photo? In that case I would love to share its story with you!!! That set was my find of the century!! It is Wedgwood contrasts bone china, the teapot was marked $65, the pitcher $27, and the sugar $31.50. My sister and I had stopped in at this tea shop that was closing last year and I got all three pieces, brand new for $32.00. How great is that, I never find these kinds of deals and I am still excited. Someday I hope to find a few teacups. I am not normally the matchy type, but in honor of the sophisticated little set, well I think is begs for a cup or two, don't you agree?

In the spring kinda mood I also thought to whip up a pear pot holder, I had just one little fat quarter of this fabric (kicking myself in the rear for not getting more!!!) so I have a potholder of a pear but not a pair of pear potholders. Hehe

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Fiber thoughts

This lovely stack of fabric was obtained at last springs International Quilt Market. I was lucky enough to go with my mother-in-law, and we had a great, I mean great!! time. This fabric is the Sonnet Collection by April Cornell (I tried to link to Moda but their web page must be down). Anyway, it has been sitting on my shelf all this time watching me and quietly waiting for me to DO something with it!!. Soon very soon, I promise!!

In other exciting news, that does not include finding my camera-which I have not, Everett not only turned 10 this week he also won first place at the science fair. In our school it is mandatory to participate in the science fair in 5th and 6th grade, but in his grade it is optional. We thought it would be good experience for him for next year and he did so well. The key is the interview with the judges, a slightly nerve wracking experience for a kid. He knew his information and did a good job in the interview! I would recommend the science fair to anyone who has the opportunity to try it. Even to home-schoolers, just the process of how things work and the why, opens a child's mind-there is something very valuable in the simple process of exploring cause and effect.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Happy Birthday

Still no camera but I do have a Birthday boy!!! Which incidentally makes losing the camera seem even worse. The handsome fellow above is Everett and he turned 10 years old today. And yes, he is as sweet as he looks. I cannot even tell you what a blessing this boy is. We are all so very proud of you EV, as a son and as a person.

His birthday is a double blessing because on the day he was born his aunt suffered a brain aneurism and we almost lost her. It took her months of hospitalization to recover but she is healthy today and we are so grateful. Its a day to celebrate!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Mug and Memories

My camera went missing so I cannot show what I have been working on this weekend. Instead, I thought I would share my mug love. These are two of my favorite coffee mugs; I have about five that I prefer to use. I do not know what it is about a special mug for coffee, perhaps it is my love of the stuff, which dictates that something so wonderful must be enjoyed in a certain way.

I love old sewing notions and this needle book always makes me smile. Who knew that stitching in a pretty red hat with your best gals = a Happy Home? It is defiantly the nostalgia of things from days gone by that attract my interest. I think it has a lot to do with my grandma, she passed away many years ago but I still choked up when I think of her. She had long grey hair that she always kept in a neat bun. She wore a housecoat,rubbers over her shoes in the rain, aprons while cooking and never did she leave to go anywhere without a thin scarf around her hair-do. She grew up without a car, without running water, electricity or indoor pluming. The excitement of the summer for her was when the thrashers came to the farm and the celebration after the harvest was complete. She quilted completely by hand and went to many quilting beesShe eventually got a treadle machine which I learned to sew on. Coffee was always on and a sweet treat was close at hand for me or anyone who dropped in (one of my greatest compliments was that I made coffee as good as grandmas). She wrote recipes compulsively and in the morning the local radio station gave out recipes that she would copy them on anything handy. I will have to scan some of these pieces of her to show one day. She always, always had a warm hug for me. I do not think I ever felt safer then in her arms. Oh how I love my grandma.

Alicia of rosylittlethings has posted many beautiful pictures of her afghan in progress. I do not have any idea how even to begin an afghan because I neither knit nor crochet. However, have considered it just to replicate an afghan that my grandma had that is similar to hers. The only difference is that grandma’s had black borders. I feel lucky to have had such wonderful grandparents be such an intrigual part of my growing up. I was only 14 when grandma died and grandpa died a year later.

Hopefully my camera will show itself at sometime, I feel so lost without it.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Bannerized and I thank-you

Okay I have heard about the amazing generosity of the blog community, I have read about it and met some really amazing and talented people. But tonight was the real proof, I randomly checked my e-mail only to find a gift. A gift in e-mail for goodness sake. All wrapped with my favorite things... Rickrack and Ribbons.... A new banner made just for me by Erica out of the blue. Really, it was a just because thing. How sweet and wonderful is that?

Wait there's more... for only $9.95** I will tell you...:: not only did she create it, just because, she also installed it (I am a tad defunct in the know-how of blogland detailing).

So I say, humbly and from the heart thank-you, thank-you!!!

::Let me know what you think::

Just kidding about the $9.95...Hmmmm... I may have seen a few too many infomercials -mental note:::Curb infomercial speak :::

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A change of heart

As a rule, I do not make softies, for much of my parenting career stuffed creatures have been, well a bane to me. They seem to multiply and end up everywhere, and then there was the washing, and the losing of that special one that HAD to found in order for sleep to occur. We all know the importance of a smooth bedtime for everyone concerned. Now, I am not a totally cold mother who would deny her child a beloved stuffed creature for any length of time, sheesh that would mean I would have to say no to big alligator eyes. Not this momma.

However, I have been known to give away those extra ones that really only served as one more thing to move when you make the bed. Then I began to see so many cute handmade softies on so many blogs. I felt a small shift began to transpire within myself. Keep in mind that my "little ones" are not so little anymore, they are 7, 7, 10 and 14. I saw the above lambkin here (this is a great blog) and found him irresistible. That little crafty voice in my head said, aww come on who could it hurt? So I made him and it was so fun and my boys all wanted one of their own and each took turns taking him to school to amaze their friends with their mom's skills. (I am not kidding with that either their friends did not believe them that I made it-how cute is that?) To make a long story short-haha- if I had thought about making these instead of store bought stuffed animals, I am afraid I would have a house full by now.

I have to say to all the crafty women out there who make their children handmade softies...way to go. You are creating a sleeping partner and a friend that was made with love.

The green monster I made for the boys for Christmas, this one is Nolan’s and the big black circle was intended as his eye, however this offended Nolan's sense of order and balance and he insisted this was the face and I forgot the eyes. The pattern is from here there are a many great ideas in this book and they are arranged by the amount of time it takes to make each item. I used fun fur which shedded everywhere while I was sewing it. For a baby gift I made one out of soft fleece and tucked a pouch of lavender in with the stuffing, I made the outside like a cover for pillow enclosing the stuffing so the lavender could be removed for washing. Does that make sense?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My brain hurts....

2(ab) + 5ab – 8ab= 4xy

Algebra, I know that somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I was somewhat capable of using the quadratic formula to simplify an algebraic equation. However, do you think that thought process is making itself available to my adult mind. Math in any form was never my strong suit but I was hopeful when at class last night we started a section on geometry. Oddly enough, for the first time in the four weeks of this class, I had a moment of clarity. I was able to correctly answer a few questions (silent applause rang in my head). Then my professor asked me how I use geometry in my daily life, because I had some basic understanding of its principals. Everything up to this point has been an odd foreign numeric language!! All I could picture was newly ironed fabric stacked up under a ruler about to be cut in the shape of a trapezoid or an isosceles triangle. Only to be re-sewed into a perfect square or rectangle. Granted the dear old mathematician could not relate to that, he was nonetheless grateful for my relating to something in his class.

As for tonight - I am seeking wisdom from a math tutor.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Weekend Accomplishments

The snow finally stopped early Saturday morning, allowing for Everett's basketball tournament and birthday bowling party to go on as planned. We only suffered one cancelled birthday party and a foundation meeting for me. School should resume as normal tomorrow. As for accomplishments......

I covered the bulletin board in my sewing room. I would have preferred to have one from here but have to make do with what I have. I was not planning to do the pockets although now I am glad I did. To make it easier and faster I used wool felt for the pockets. Then put a shelf underneath .

Then to keep in the cuteness of it I be-decked some tacs.
I also finished another tote , the green print is from the quilt shop and the purple is a vintage print I have had for years.
I made this bunny from this book, very fast and easy to make, I may have to do a flock, no a litter, no hmmm what do you call a school of bunnies, no wait thats school of fish. I'll have to look that up. Perfect for Easter baskets and welcoming Spring.
Bunny Foo Foo

The weekend was not entirely spent bonding with my sewing machine, we spent some quality time in the snow and I dragged my cross country skis out from the garage and although it is not as easy to do again as the proverbial bike riding it did come back rather quick...what a great work out.... The boys were a bit dissapointed that they could not "ride" on my skis with me

Friday, March 02, 2007

Two in a row!!!

Wow two craft days I mean snow days in a row!!! I feel so lucky!! One of the perks of working at the same school as my kids, well that and the secret hugs in the hall...shhhhh..The above "pile" is a gift from my wonderful fabric-y sister who happens to manage a quilt shop. I am not sure what to do with it yet, but I have it displayed in my sewing space below as the Flavor of the Week.
Here is a picture of the afore mentioned organization efforts. My son wanted his own room last summer and I had my own sewing/office room, well who could deny his big puppy eyes, so I moved out and into a much smaller space. This meant, of course, shoving my fabric into three drawers. Five months later I organized them and now -I know what I have. Ureka!!
What I learned is that I have too much tan and red, very little purple and yellow, I must remedy this situation so that no color on the great color wheel feels left out.
In my last post I explained how fabric scraps are like a scrapbook of memories. The pic below is the first quilt I made. Okay it is a bit on the bright side, but my daughter was 10 at the time. This is a great way to use up bits and pieces of fabric too, if anyone would like details on the how too let me know.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Are two snow days in a row too much to hope for?

There is no day like a snow day!!

I made this bag with this pattern and yes two of the fabrics are hers and remarkably similar to the pattern picture. What was I saying about being original? Sigh, I LOVE her fabrics what can I say. This was the first Amy Butler pattern I have tried and it was wonderfully easy to follow and a quick project.

Being on a roll I made the Bird Bag below, and I really like how it turned out. I have developed an affinity for anything birdy. I hope to make a few more to sell.
Bird detail
All cinched up

One more makes three, the tote below is made from fabric that I have had for a very long time and would just look at once in a while. I embroidered the pocket using the fabric print as a guide. The fabric is a favorite piece that I had not been able to bring myself to use until now. Don't ask me why I just really like it, I have several pieces that I have an odd attachment for, most of which are from the quilt shop I do occasional samples for. I recently organized my fabric (I will try to post pics of that later) and found it was like looking at a scrapbook of projects past. As I was sorting I would come a cross fabric and remember it was from the first quilt I made or a leftover piece from a wall hanging for a friend. I have pieces that are from my mother-in-law or that we bought together at the International Quilt Festival-How fun was that Judy- Then there are those fabrics that I bought just because. I am at a good point now where I am trying to use what I have. I have decided to make a scrappy quilt using pieces from those "scrapbook" fabrics and will add a piece of this one to that collection.

Hunkered down

This is our grill after last weekends snowy blast and the bottom picture is of a cooler that was innocently taking up space on the deck bench. Now we are all hunkered down for another storm. The kids were so excited to have school cancelled they hugged me as if it was Christmas.

Now that the excitement of the children has settled down, I have to
try to contain my own, as visions of a day well spent in my sewing room, dances in my head. I have decided to try the craft sale weekend thing again. It has been many years since I did one, the last one I believe I had created a myriad of children’s clothes and hats to sell. The sale was mediocre and I really did not want to put myself through that again. Alas, I feel that my skills have improved and perhaps the things I create now will sell better. Or maybe I am just an optimist. The up side of this is I have so much material to work with that the investment will be minimal in supplies I am only investing my time. Can you think of a better way to spend your time then creating things?

The inspiration in blog land is amazing as well. This brings me to another thought I have been mulling over in my crafty little head. I see so many great ideas out there that I want to
adapt and make, but at what point does that become a form of plagiarism? Granted the material and design very, but often times I see the same things on different sites that are like twins of one another.

The next struggle this brings is:at what point do all these ideas just morph in my head and am I kidding myself to think that I am capable of original design? Wow it is so hard for me to express in words exactly what I am trying to say so forgive my awkward writing, the writing like my many projects are works in progress!!GRIN!!

I am off to creation land (hopefully) Have a great day!!


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