Friday, December 24, 2010

'Twas the Day of the Night Before Christmas




A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away;
While quite unselfish, it grows small.
 
~ Eva K. Logue
 
 




I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season, and embracing this time of peace ... hopefully we can bring it with us into the approaching year, and into all of our relationships.
 
xoxo

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Soft Words Butter No Parsnips ...

Or is it turnips ... wait that's blood from a turnip, and then there's something about cabbage too, but that wasn't in my stew so it really doesn't matter anyway!

Yesterday I was in full winter mode.  The air was still and cold, the sky was a watercolor wash of silver, and my faux logs were "crackling" behind the glass front of my gas fireplace, and these little guys peeking out at me.

We'll discuss these rascals first.  The more I browse the web, the more I see people re purposing their belongings into practical creations, or whimsical little gifts, and one of the themes that's really striking me lately is little woodland creatures, which has been in fad now for a handful of years and can be seen anywhere from t-shirts to fridge magnets to graphic design to probably the most obvious of all - stuffed animals.  Whenever I see a new person cropping up out there with their take on stylized critters I get a little - jealous isn't the right word - I just feel this pull to try it for myself.  And here's where I struggle, see I'm not exactly "creative" in this way, at least it's very difficult for me yet I save all sorts of old clothes, and bits of fabric because I'm a sentimental like that.  It's not at all unusual to find a sweater from high school days in my closet, or trinkets from childhood tucked here and there.  I always think I'm going to wear them again, or maybe just for the beach, or hey I could make something out of that some day!  Ten years later I'm asking myself when exactly was "some day" going to get here?  With that thought out came the scissors and rotary cutter, some scraps of felt, buttons, and embroidery thread, not to forget the stuffing, and this is what we end up with!

Both of these little guys were made out of one sweater sleeve, just sew across, stuff, and pull some thread through the knitted ribs about 1/2" from the opening, cinch, and tie off the drawstring and you've got yourself a little body.  For the heads I just sort of eye-balled it, and made a sort of "hood" that with a little stuffing tucked in there slips right down over the gathered end of the body, and just stitch it in place by hand.  I didn't follow a pattern, and I didn't create a pattern for these either because there was something almost zen about just going for it, and doing something in "fresh brain" mode - that's what I call it when I've never done something before.  Doing something in this way puts you 100% in the moment, and requires you to be completely aware, and present, you know otherwise it would be just another mindless go-through-the-motions sort of activity that can leave you with lotsa neat stuff, but nothing you're really connected with.  This, I think, is where the difference between homemade, and handmade lies. 

I really want to encourage anyone out there who hasn't tried this and wants to, to go ahead and just start snipping, and laying things out, and jump in already.  And if sewing isn't your thing, or woodland creatures aren't your cup, then do that thing you've been putting off trying, I assure you once you've finished it will not have been as difficult as you made it out to be in your mind.  By not following another pattern, or mimicking a picture from Google I ran the risk of making something terribly ugly, but I went for it, and ended up with something completely mine, and made out of something I loved enough to hang onto for many years, and if I say so myself, I think they turned out pretty cute!

Now for the stew!

Something else I created in "fresh brain" and had no idea how it would turn out - incidentally it's amazing!  So here's what I did:

2 lbs. Stew beef
4 parsnips
2 turnips
4 carrots
2 celery stalks
3 potatoes
1 large yellow onion
14 oz corn
14 oz black beans
14 oz pinto beans
4 cups of water
4-ish tablespoons of olive oil split up
1 pint of beer
2-3 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

*Spices*
Salt and Pepper to taste
heavy pinch of Basil, and Oregano each
4 good shakes of Cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon of Cumin

Pull out your slow cooker, and get your peeled, and chopped parsnips, turnips, and potatoes in there with 2 Tbs olive oil, and your garlic, and crank it to "high" while your stew meat is browning over medium heat - now here I used a few more drizzles of olive oil because I cut the fat off my stew meat (I don't care what it does to the broth I really can't bite down on squishy fat in my stew).  I also salt and pepper my meat while it's cooking to bring out the flavor.

Grab your carrots, celery, and onion and chop into nice little bite size bits you don't want to have to unhinge your jaw just to get a good bite!  Toss into slow cooker, and add all 4 cups of water.

Time for beans!  The awesome thing about slow cookers is that you can use canned beans or dried beans whichever you prefer, just get 'em all rinsed and in the pot - in a couple of hours it's all the same anyway!

Add beef, butter (again because I cut the fat off and still want that savory yum-factor), Worcestershire sauce, and beer of your choice, and all of your spices - get out your trusty wooden spoon, give it a swirl, plunk the lid down, and go relax (Add your corn to the pot about 30 minutes before eating, mushy corn is such a downer)!  Your stew will be ready in a couple of hours when your root veggies have turned from crisp white-ish colors to a soft translucent.

If you have a favorite dinner roll or biscuit, have a batch baking at the same time, it smells amazing, and who doesn't love having something to dunk in excellent broth?!  Once it's all finished, grab your biscuit, stew, and sink into a big comfy chair with a glass of something delicious (my "delicious" was red, and plentiful!) perfect for a frosty winter day, in my opinion!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The (not so) New Addition to My Household

Meet Coco (the German Shepherd, black and yellow Labrador mix).  Why yes, I know the "a" is missing, and if you saw her little, black collar you'd know she's both classy, and fabulous, and deserving of the name beyond just her yummy, chocolaty color!

She was not a birthday present, but she arrived the very same weekend, and we've been spending a lot of time together, and since then as you can see, I've had very little time, well, for anything really - blogging included.  Between running after this fuzzy, little (and I use that term loosely) baby, and the new college aged neighbors upstairs (which is a whole other story, and the reason I'm awake and writing at 4:30 A.M.), I'm absolutely depleted, and exhausted.  

Looking after a new puppy is a lot like taking care of a baby, you know if babies were born with shark's teeth, and had endless amounts of romping energy (to the point where I'm beginning to search for a hidden solar panel somewhere on her back since she is MORE energized after a long walk than before it), and of course if infants weighed in at 20 pounds by 10 weeks old ... oh yeah, and babies wear diapers - enough said.  I have to say though, potty training has gone easier than anticipated, and she already runs to the door when it's time ... for the most part.  She's borderline genius, and going to grow up to be an amazing dog, she will already sit, and lie down on command - next will be "shake" and some leash etiquette since our peaceful walks have turned into a thrilling game of tug-of-war. 

But somewhere between the potty accidents, chasing my cat (whom she ADORES), drinking my bathwater, and the latest discovery of "boinging" the coil doorstop, fetching me everything in the house, or doing that weird German Shepherd sneak that I've dubbed the "Coco creep" there are moments like this...and let me tell you, she is a Class A snuggler, which is great since snuggling is taken very seriously 'round these parts.  She also loves early morning Who's the Boss mini-marathons, which also works out great since I could listen to Tony Danza exclaim "Sa-MAN-da!" on endless rotation.  Ay-oh, Oh-ay!

Well I'm off, and back to bed for an hour before she wakes up again and demands breakfast and a very chilly morning walk!
xoxo

 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ain't it Good to Know?

(For those of you who clicked the link, I've always loved that song!)

I've been thinking about it a lot lately ... the word "friend" what it means, how we use it, what role these characters play in our lives, and what they can do for us.  I think my definition of the word is a little less traditional than others', and what my friend does for me is a little unorthodox, but I think we'd all be in a better place if our friends, and we as friends were a little less like the norm.  

Firstly, I think "friend" is the most important label you can place on a person (you know, if you're into that kind of thing!).  You can have your lover, your mother, sister, child, etc., but these people become so much more important, and integral in your growth, and life once they become your friend on top of what they already are to you.  I say this, because all of the tags I just listed can become your biggest hindrance in life if they are committed to just blowing smoke, er, in your face.  They can keep you from growing up, and reaching your true potential if all they do is remind you of how "fabulous" you think you are.  

My friend is honest.  My friend is not phony.  My friend will never kiss me li'l bum.  My friend will never tell me I'm perfect, because my friend knows better.  My friend holds up my mirror, and makes me look at myself, and not just to primp and get my lip gloss on straight!  My friend makes me look at my real self, and sometimes I don't like what I see, and sometimes we don't speak because of it!  My friend challenges me (especially the part of me that sometimes hates admitting that!).  My friend makes me stand on my own.  My friend does not coddle me, and will be the first to let me know when I'm being a jackass.  My friend never stands with me when I'm wrong.  My friend gets under my skin, and twists, and turns until I can't stand anymore, and want to rip my outer layer off just to get the little bugger out!  That's okay, I don't mind a good soul scrubbin' every now and again, but my friend will never do this for me.  My friend hands me the scrub brush, and says "Git ta woiyk!"  My friend never cracks the whip, it's my job to find where I need the discipline, and dish it out for myself.  My friend makes me stronger, not by rallying the troops, or circling the wagons, or screaming the loudest on my behalf.  My friend shoves me out on stage under the burning spotlight, because my friend knows I can do it.  My friend believes in me, why else would my friend go to all this trouble?  

The fact that my friend keeps doing this for me is what unconditional means to me.  It does not mean I get to act any ol' way, and I will be accepted no matter what kind of pain, or nonsense I create for myself and others.  One could look back to that paragraph and think, well there sure seems to be a lot of conditions in there!  I don't see that.  I see someone who has never given up on me, and that, I will tell you, is very rare. 

It's good to know I've got a friend.  I only hope I can be as good to my friend in return. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Let's Learn Something Today!

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
- Mark Twain
The rain has been pouring non-stop all night, and it sounds magnificent!  I love a good rainy day, not a misty-can't-make-up-my-mind-if-it's-actually-gonna-rain type of day, but a true rainy day -- the kind with the drops big enough to soak you with just a couple of their friends.  The rain has brought with it the beginning of another school season for many little children this week, and with that I thought I'd play teacher for a minute, and lay out some instructions for a little project that results in flirty, fluttery, and fabulous flowers (too much?).  Apparently I'll be teaching a side lesson on alliteration, and the abuse of it too!

Ok, so here's where we're going with this.  Once they're finished you can decide to make them into
hair pins, lapel pins, gift decorations, whatever!  You can sew buttons, beads, or a series of french knots in the centers for little spots of pollen, or think of something wild I haven't come up with, there's really no messing these up -- and even if you think you have, just start over!  They're so easy, and quick to make you won't even care.

So, where do we begin?  What you need is a good (cheap) synthetic fabric.  Synthetics melt, and curl when heat is applied, and that's what you're after for this project.  I used some organza scraps I've been lugging around for ages that I really dislike sewing with.  It ravels, and slips under my sewing machine's presser foot, and wrinkles like nobody's business, so while this isn't the first time I've considered burning it, at least this time I could burn it AND make something out of it at the same time! 

Now that you've got your fabric picked out, you need to begin cutting your circles.  We're not looking for perfection here, just something round-ish.  I begin with about a 4 inch circle and work down in size with each one until I have around 4 or 5 circles cut out. 

Like this, except with fewer wrinkles because you're going to remember to run an iron over your fabric first, right?  It gives a much nicer result, depending on the look you're going for, a crinkly bohemian flower could be very adorable, and romantic looking in that dried bouquet-keepsake sort of way -- play around, that's what this is for!  Alright, you've got your circles, so now what?  Get out your candle and light it.  It doesn't matter what kind, though I don't think I'd use a taper candle with its flame all exposed for this.  I opted for something shorter that sits low in a holder to control the flame a little more ... I don't think you're going to want a flame to be whipping all around while you're trying to stick a piece of synthetic fabric in it, but hey, some of us like a little more excitement than others!
I like to work from largest to smallest when melting the circles.  Of course you have less control over the larger pieces, so starting with a smaller one your first time might be a good idea until you know how the fabric acts with the flame.  For best results you want to gently approach the flame from the side with the edge of the fabric.  I work near the low part of the flame, while hotter, I find it more reliable since there is less movement there.  Also this isn't about cramming fabric directly into the fire.  Bring the circle close to the candle and move it slowly toward the flame, since it is giving off heat you're going to see it start melting before you even touch it to the fire.  That's what you're shooting for!  If your fabric catches fire you're lookin' at scorch marks, and hard plastic beads of melted fabric, and that's not our goal here.  Once you're all nice and melty, it's time to stack your petals and stitch them in place. 

There are a couple of ways to do this.  1. You can stack all your petals and sew them together, stitch
your "pollen" in, and attach a bobby pin, or pin back to the back of your flower, or 2. You can get a little advanced and "hide" your work for a more effortless looking flower.  If you opt for #2, stitch your "pollen" of choice into the smallest petal first, then attach your pin, clasp (whatever) to the center back of the largest petal.  Once those are in place, stack your petals and begin stitching them together.  To hide your thread, start from the front side of the largest petal sending your needle down at an angle avoiding the pin you've sewn in place.  Pull your thread through, and on the way back up (through all petals this time), angle your needle so that you are entering the fabric under the pin thus hiding your thread for a clean finish.  Continue with this method, doing the same on the top side of the smallest petal so your stitches are hidden under your "pollen" as well.  Stitch until secure, and you're all done! 

If this is your first time "hiding" your stitches, it can be a little tricky, but I think it's worth knowing, and comes in handy for other projects and sewing situations.  Just practice it a couple of times, and you'll be all set! 

Good luck!  And no, this won't be on the test.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I'd Like to Introduce You to

My Production Coordinator.  Now, it is my firm belief that all pets belong to a union
which adheres strictly to the code that it is their purpose in life to make their owners big, fat liars!  Just as I was explaining how our manufacturing facility is allergen-free, and the Production Coordinator never goes near the garments I come to find this...

Mama's Li'l Helper strikes again, thank you kiki!  I guess she wasn't wild about my design, and decided to make a few changes.  I suppose I'll forgive her, production coordinators rarely get to flex their creative muscles, and it looks like she just couldn't help herself.  Needless to say, we'll be keeping this prototype for the archives.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Out to Pasture?

Okay, okay it's that time of year again ... Labor Day, and how many of us are actually sending our whites to the big color farm in the sky?  Granted, around this time the ol' girl is looking a little long in the tooth, but I don't think it's glue factory time just yet.  And now for the shock, and scandal I tell you: I believe in winter white!  I also believe in stiff white shirts to match the crisp fall air.  I believe in crunchy leaves under a bright white sneaker with jeans and a cozy sweater.  I believe in ALL colors ALL the time.  I'm a mood dresser, not a trend/fad/tell me what I should like from your glossy magazine dresser.  And quite honestly I don't think I'm alone here. 

It feels to me that there is a shift happening out there.  People are tired of the same old assembly line junk that everyone else has, that the prestigious few tell us we should want, and definitely need if we don't already have it ... but don't forget you'll be throwing it out next season when you're told it's "over"!  We're sick of being told what to do.  Our rights are being mutilated before our eyes, blatant abuses of power are being thrust upon us under the guise of course that "they" know what's best for us (um, by the people for the people? Not so much), as the whole world seemingly creeps closer and closer toward a universal police state ... Fashion Police, do you see where I'm going with this?  You don't actually exist, and we don't need the "threat" of you hanging over our heads anymore.  There are more important things happening out there than what color I'm wearing after which day on the calendar.  If it makes me happy, what's the problem?  And really, shouldn't that be what we're all striving for, sharing and spreading happiness -- accepting one another and each of our quirks instead of regurgitating a lot of rigid and antiquated rules about something as silly as fashion? 

Silly as fashion? 

Yes, fashion IS silly, the whole nature of it is!  We're picking out decoration and coverings for our
bodies, we're not curing cancer in the closet in the morning ... and if you are, may I say that's amazing!  Enjoy it, it's meant to be fun!  The ones taking it so seriously are either trying to get rich off you, or doing some kind of Wild Kingdom ram dance before they butt heads and one can be declared a winner.  And for them I say, please do us all a favor by getting back on your high horse, ride it to your ivory tower, and lock yourself in, because the rest of us are having a blast ... and you know what they say about party poopers! 

What's my final word?  My name is Stormy, and I believe in winter white.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's AliiiVe!!!!

Well, it's live anyway.  What's that, you ask?  The little etsy shop that almost wasn't, that is!  I've still got some work to do, but it's up and running, and it's been a long time coming. 


So that's why I've been a little quiet lately, but I'm pleased to announce that I made my deadline, summer procrastination and all!

xoxo

Monday, August 30, 2010

Oh Make Me Over

Frankenstein is finally finished ... well for now at least, knowing the way I change my mind!  Why Frankenstein?  I admit, the name's still a work in progress, but I thought it fit today just thinking about scavenging for all her parts ... chicken wire from Dad's shop, a birdbath (or was it a feeder?) base from his wife, and countless other secret ingredients including a trip to the mistint counter at Lowe's.  Besides the fact that it's taken me months to get used to seeing her lurking in my dark house during a trip to the kitchen for some water in the middle of the night, and never mind the fact that my cat is terrified of her, but I think that had more to do with a laser pointer mishap (sorry kiki). 

For those of you entertaining the idea of someday ever creating your own mannequin, don't.  Or if you do, I urge you not to do it the hard way like I did, and take a lesson from this cookie she knows what she's talking about.  If only I'd found her instructions at the beginning of my chicken wire mannequin affair instead of in the middle of it.  Perhaps once I psychologically recover I'll give it a try and make another one, but I'll not start holding my breath anytime soon, I actually want to be alive long enough to see this one get some use!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Talking Leaves

That was a name I coined for a color in college, it was a Native American themed project, and I thought both the people and the name had a certain mystery about them.  I love the thought of leaves suspended high above us, with something to say about everything like thousands of little busy bodies whom never let even the smallest details slip their attention, or passing along important messages as the wind carries them to the appropriate ears. 

My leaves are certainly talking today, they've been good company all morning as I'm elbow deep in
projects.  I see the heavy limbs dip so they can peek in through the window at me to see what I'm up to, and bounce back up to the dark gray sky to pass along the news.  Somewhere along the way they mentioned to me that it was Fall now, though I knew it a week ago that the weather would not be waiting for the calendar to catch up ... it never really does around here.  But just in case I wasn't ready to believe the leaves swaying to and fro while others danced around twirling like my niece in a princess dress til the cold moist grass tickled their toes I saw Tommy (the squirrel, and yes I name everything) run by with some non-perishables for his pantry, and it hit me, not like a ton of bricks or anything.  Fall is something I ease into like a hot bath, it just envelopes me completely. 

There's something exciting to me about that first bite of crisp air that lets you know something more is going on than meets the eye.  I've been flirting with the rich colors of the season, and day dreaming of wrapping up in the warm woollen camel colored coats we'll be seeing everywhere soon.  And this year like many before it sends thoughts through my head of crackling leaves underfoot, ivy covered brick, age stained book pages, tweed jackets with leather elbow patches, beaver fur coats, pennants, Oxford bags, and new beginnings.  Autumn to me has always been more about new beginnings than Spring ... the acorn has to fall in order for something to be sprouting come springtime.  Even though everything seems to be coming to life, something had to be planning the arrival beforehand. 

Well it's back to work with me, I just had to take a break before tantrums ensued ... I have that problem when I'm working on intricate things that require a new definition of tedium, there's something that would be so soothing in the sound of breaking glass when I've been going at it too long.  I chose this instead, and no clean up required!

xoxo

Saturday, August 21, 2010

They're Here!


My order from Moo, that is, and I couldn't be more excited!  Okay, I admit, I don't have a ceiling on my excitement level, but still, this ranks somewhere near wherever the top would be.  What great icing on my blogiversary cake, to boot!

Two years ago, today, I was dreaming up a new path to take.  I had no idea exactly what the path looked like, but fragments I was cooking up in my mind started looking right.
And I knew if I exhaled, and closed my eyes that when I opened them I would see more clearly the

direction I was supposed to be going.  I admit, at first it felt very selfish.  It was the first time in a very long while that I was making decisions based solely on what I felt I needed, and my best interest, and not the interests of others.  Which, truthfully, is still a struggle for me sometimes, but we all have a responsibility to ourselves to be true to what we feel inside, and to be honest with ourselves first and foremost otherwise we're of no use to anyone else.

So, I think I'll leave it there for now.  It's been a strange year, and I feel miles from where it started, but in a good way, and I'm definitely enjoying the trajectory, and I'm excited to find what's around the next corner.  Here's to year three!

xoxo

P.S. I totally recommend Moo for your printing needs!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Lookie What I'VE Got!

I love peas!  I don't like them frozen, cooked, split, whirled, or any other way besides fresh out of the pod.  So that's why I decided to grow them up my trellis on my patio ... well that, and because after watching Food Inc. (an absolute must watch) and thinking about the state of produce in America and how it's ripened by spraying all sorts of terrifying chemicals on them, I'm a little nervous buying any from my neighborhood supermarket.

So, that's it for now, just a little peek at my bebe snow peas.  They're pretty cute.

xoxo

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tonight I Took a Bath With Walt Whitman

And I paused long enough to be reminded how wonderful it is to be a woman.
I Sing the Body Electric (5)

This is the female form,
A divine nimbus exhales from it from head to foot,
It attracts with fierce undeniable attraction,
I am drawn by its breath as if I were no more than a helpless
     vapor, all falls aside but myself and it,
Books, art, religion, time, the visible and solid earth, and what
     was expected of heaven or fear'd of hell, are now consumed,
Mad filaments, ungovernable shoots play out of it, the response
     likewise ungovernable,
Hair, bosom, hips, bend of legs, negligent falling hands all
     diffused, mine too diffused,
Ebb stung by the flow and flow stung by the ebb, love-flesh
     swelling and deliciously aching,
Limitless limpid jets of love hot and enormous, quivering jelly
     of love, white-blow and delirious juice,
Bridegroom night of love working surely and softly into the
     prostrate dawn,
Undulating into the willing and yielding day,
Lost in the cleave of the clasping and sweet-flesh'd day.

This the nucleus--after the child is born of woman, man is born
     of woman,
This the bath of birth, this the merge of small and large, and
     the outlet again.

Be not ashamed women, your privilege encloses the rest, and is
     the exit of the rest,
You are the gates of the body, and you are the gates of the soul.

The female contains all qualities and tempers them,
She is in her place and moves with perfect balance,
She is all things duly veil'd, she is both passive and active,
She is to conceive daughters as well as sons, and sons as well
     as daughters.

As I see my soul reflected in Nature,
As I see through the mist, One with inexpressible completeness,
     sanity, beauty,
See the bent head and arms folded over the breast, the Female
     I see.

***
What a lovely description of what is encapsulated within the feminine.  I feel I'm the luckiest person on Earth to have been born a girl.  I believe I am the divine manifested in the female form ... correction: I believe we are all the divine manifested in form with the true essence not recognizing separateness.  We are all one, we are all made up of the same parts, the ones we see, and the ones invisible to us.  We originate from the place where nothing, and everything matters simultaneously, but not any of the things that we have come to pollute our daily lives with.  We are not our errands, we are not our tweets, our fancy phones that do everything to keep us "connected" by disconnecting us completely from what is actually life; the living, the wholeness.

I heard once that the only secret regret of a Scorpio woman is that she wasn't born a male.  I hardly think so, and am willing to bet that has never been uttered by any such female even in her inner most thoughts.  Well, I do find myself envying the male physical strength when I find myself pit up against a rather menacing pickle jar.  I wonder what it's like to inhabit a body where things are done with such ease sometimes.  Don't get me wrong, I make out just fine with my little rubber jar opener, but still, can't I marvel at the male form and its design and what makes it different from mine while I celebrate all that is female?  Are we still playing into the battle of the sexes, am I still expected to hate men?  Isn't that getting a little old?  Is my other option to play the Marilyn, and be thrilled to live in a man's world as long as I get to be a woman in it?  I see that didn't work out too well for her.  Can't we just accept that there would be no one without the other?  Realizing that we are necessary to each other, not just in an obvious way, but just for balance's sake even?  Are we ready to see that the society we allow ourselves to exist in which houses the battle, and the pseudo feminism, and abuses against each other is all just part of the illusion?  And that we can change it at any time?  We play into it time and again.  It's a very sad state of affairs, in my opinion, because I believe our true essence is so much greater than all of this.  All of the things we see in this shallow existence that we believe in, and buy into on a daily basis, the ways we treat each other, the roles we plaster each group with, and the roles we willingly play; the choices and decisions we make everyday is what is keeping us trapped, and blinded from what we truly are, and are capable of.  I believe it can all be different (the eternal optimist wrapped in a sarcastic, glitter lip-gloss wearing package), but we have to be willing to put down the distractions long enough to embrace what is. 

I hear women who are actually sad when they have daughters, knowing that she will face all the heartaches her fore mothers experienced, our cycles are called curses, and we're taught in a puritanical society (that contradicts itself by over sexualizing children, but who's counting?) that what's under our skirts is dirty, ugly, and basically to be ignored ... you know, until a man wants it.  Are you kidding me?  If that's what being a woman is, then no thank you.  I don't fit in your brand of "real world", my feet will go on dancing through the existence I'll continue to create for myself  (hey, if it's gonna be an illusion, it may as well be fabulous!).  As long as we have physical bodies I want to live in a place where instead of focusing on the heartaches, we are taught to love and appreciate the depth of a woman's heart, and the constant renewal / rebirth she is capable of.  A place where we are not expected to be ashamed of what makes us female, and a place where we do not need to "learn" what it is to be a woman from anyone else but our own inner voice, essence, divine guidance, whatever you want to call it, or whatever you believe it is.  The truth is, we're born with it.  It's always there in the vibrations of the Earth that trickle up through your body, and the gentle sway of the moon as she does her work, in that place where nothing, and everything matters all at once -where you are energy, and I am energy, and the space between is energy - where we are nothing as we know it, and everything as we don't, and we are all one.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Things I Do While Waiting for Papier Mâché to Dry...

I totally pinched this idea from, well I can't remember now, but I do remember seeing glittered
clothes pins somewhere, and since no one's pictures satisfied my curiosity I decided I had to try it for myself.  I did learn, however, that putting a coat of corresponding paint on the top side of the pin pre-glitter makes a huge difference in the overall appearance.  I wasn't really in the mood to go through the process just to have mangy looking pins in the end.  I'd really like to find a clear coat to spray over the top that keeps the glitter from dusting off, but also keeps the integrity of the sparkle intact (yes, I just said integrity of the sparkle).

So what are these for then, since you can't exactly use them in your closet with them leaving behind glitter?  Well, they're for a message board ... just as soon as I spray paint the chicken wire, build, and paint the frame, attach the two, and affix with a hanging mechanism.  Anyway, it seemed like a good project to have on the back burner for those times when you're waiting for other projects to hurry up and DRY!

Let's see ... took some night pics.  I'm particularly proud of this little guy, he started off as a cutting this year, and has turned out to be the fluffiest geranium on my patio.  I finally figured out this whole cutting situation, you know after killing each one I tried to start last year.

Last, but not least I got my frame put together for doing up some batches of hand made recycled paper.  I've heard frame building is a lot like character building, only different.  All I can say is, god, I hope not.  I put together, took apart, put together, took apart, and finally put it back together and it's still a bit rickety in the end.  Maybe it's more like character building than I thought.

xoxo

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Little Birdie Told Me


How charming is this little guy?  I love his little feet, and how he looks very plain from far away, but if you get close enough you can see his glittery, golden feathers. 

I remember getting to touch a hummingbird once as a child, on vacation with my parents.  A little guy had taken a wrong turn and found himself stuck on a window sill, high above a gift shop with a very flustered gift shop owner trying to catch him.  My dad simply climbed the ladder, put his hat over the tiny bird, and collected him into his hands.  You know, because catching a hummingbird is so easy. 

Once outside, he opened up a little peephole in his hands and let me spy on the little bird.  I remember it sizing me up with one tiny eyeball, as I extended a finger to stroke the silky feathers of its head.  And then, after a few moments he was gone. 

When I think of my childhood, I can't help but think of hummingbirds.  Every summer my mother put a feeder out, and I could watch, and listen to them from the open bay window.  When it was too cold the birds would move on, and the feeder would come down.  The delicate glass birds twinkling from the mirror of my mother's little sports car made the chilly months seem shorter, if even just the slightest bit.

It is said for many people, the hummingbird is the creature that opens the heart.  What a lovely thought.  Sams, and Carson go on to say:

When we assume hummingbird consciousness, our life becomes a wonderland of sensuous delights. We live for beauty, delighting in flowers, aromas, fine mist, and delicate tastes.

When it becomes our totem, the hummingbird teaches us to laugh and enjoy the creation, to appreciate the magic of being alive, and the truth of beauty.

Hummingbirds awaken us to the beauty of the present moment. As they dance the four quarters of embodied existence, they bring us medicine to solve the riddle of duality. They also awaken us to the medicinal properties of plants.

I guess Mother Nature never ceases to bring us lessons, even from the smallest of teachers.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hey Daddy-O

It's been awhile since I've posted ... I admit I've been very distracted lately.  Though I will say, I've always had a difficult time staying on task during the summer months.  Summer was always a time to be free.  No schedules, no clocks, no constraints.  Funny how the older we get those things change the fastest, but I still feel part of me holding onto what I held so sacred about this time of year.  I hope I never let that part of myself go. 

So here I am, and there are my boys up at the top ... our daddies.  It turned out to be quite an ambush, as we unloaded and took over the kitchen so our hostess could see daylight, and play with us as well!  I think it turned out even if it was winter-cold in the middle of June.  We made the best of it, and I learned a new game that apparently goes by the names of ladder golf, bolo toss, and the decided favorite of the day, hillbilly horseshoes ... which by the way, my dad totally slayed at since he spent most of his adult life throwing cables to the decks of ships from the docks below.  He can put a ball attached to a string / yarn / rope / cable anywhere he wants, so he kind of had an advantage!

Overall, it was a really good weekend.  It's always nice to get to change your pace a little, relax, and enjoy the people you're with.  I think Dad had a nice time as well, but then again he's always been a sucker for good munchies, and a present now and then, and I don't think the brand new flannel disappointed.  There are a few subtle signs of approval to watch for ... the weight test which is administered by a gentle shake of the garment, followed by a little squeeze of the hand, and then the silence, and after a few moments a very quiet "that's a pretty shirt".  Not very many people describe plaid, flannel, button front shirts as pretty, but he does, and that's what makes it so much fun taking the time to pick out just the right one.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lowest Tide of the Year!

It was an amazingly sunny (much needed) day, with a stunning -3.5 tide Sunday, and thankfully my brother reminded me. Ok, that's not exactly the right word, I knew it was this month, but somewhere along the way I managed to get the dates all switched around, and was thoughtfully corrected.  I'm so glad I was, 'cause these guys come out ...


... And I just love them, aren't they wonderful?  The picture really doesn't do them justice.  In person not only are they enormous, but their juicy, berry preserves colors are almost unreal!  I could probably, very easily, sit and stare at them all day if it were possible, all the while talking to them in an overly animated, high pitch referencing them as "babies!" and looking VERY insane.  I can hardly care if my cool blows out the bottom of the image-thermometer in the presence of such delightfully charming critters ... I dare you to not feel the slightest baby-talk urge when you see them.  I promise it will be there, and you will have to choke back irritating tones you never knew your voice was capable of!

I didn't come across too many other types of sea life ... life being the key word.  There aren't any spectacularly deep tide pools on this stretch of Puget Sound along Redondo Beach, WA.  It's just a pretty low-key place, with a subtle strip of sand and rocks, unless of course you're into SCUBA, that's a whole other story apparently.  Anyway, when the tide goes out, most of the action is under the piers, clinging to the pilings.  Unless your idea of "action" is countless dead crabs that got left behind as the tide rolled out, pieces of jellyfish, and tiny cockles cooking in the shallow water.

It was still nice to see all the people enjoying themselves in the sunshine amidst all of the, uhm,
abundant death.  That's nature, I suppose, taking the good with the bad, depending on your definition of bad, of course.  Even though it's a natural part of life, there was something still slightly macabre about it all.  With that in mind I had to swing back by the gang involved in what appeared to be a rather nail-biting game of Twister, on my way toward home.

I find it slightly humorous that on the lowest tide of the year I still managed to drench my pants to the knees in salt water.  Though I think those who know me won't be surprised in the least.  When it comes to the beach, I believe I will always be like a 5 year old with water to my knees, and somehow always managing to get sand in my hair!

xoxo

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rise Above

(*Edit* It's no longer a few days past the birth of my niece.  It's no longer May for that matter, but sometimes you have to wait for the right time ... a baby chick doesn't just hatch any ol' time, and I guess this just needed a little more time in the nest.)


I'm baking this morning in the pre-sunrise hours because I can't sleep, and that's what I do when I'm unsettled inside, which believe me is a better option than some of the other ideas I've considered! The women in my family are strange creatures, we each have a respective "thing" we do when we're sad, angry, frustrated, and unsure of what to do next, perhaps it clears our heads and gives us a moment to sort what's important. For one it's yard work, another is cleaning (aka scrubbin'), for another it may be bills or paperwork of some sort. The funny thing is that they are each productive, and a type of sorting in a very obvious and physical sense clearly reflecting the work that needs to be done on the inside or on a more spiritual / emotional level. Believe me, I've had a couple record breaking arguments with my sister ... her house has never been so spotless! It's fairly safe to ask when you see counter tops full of goodies to munch on, or a spotless house, or a lawn you can eat off of or a desk as neat as a pin, "So who have you been upset with?"

On Mother's Day this last Sunday I became an Auntie (again) to a most charming little girl, and she's been causing me to reflect on recent events, and on myself, and on life in general, I suppose. Perhaps that's the nature of a brand new, shiny life - an absolute clean slate. Maybe it's each child's job to shake the rest of us awake, and out of our illusory lives that each of us creates for ourselves, and exist in, and challenge us to ask ourselves what on earth are we all doing, and what's it all for? Okay, maybe that's a little on the lofty side, I mean that's quite a job if you ask me, and I'm not so sure that babies are designed to carry burdens quite that large, but it's funny how not only do they do it, but they pull it off so effortlessly, you know, between naps and all that cooing. The other question she leaves me with is what is her "thing" going to be when she's unsettled inside, make no mistake, if she's one of us - she'll have one!

So with the smell of banana bread wafting through my kitchen, this very early morning I am brought back to the title of this post. What does it mean to "rise above" or to be the "bigger person," and when is it time to do it? It's funny, we use these terms in times of conflict resolution, but have you ever noticed the tone in which they're said? Somewhere between rising above, and being the bigger person there is a very slippery slope that most certainly will make you neither. Who hasn't heard someone say "Well, I'M going to riiiise above, and be the BIGGER PERSON!" in that oh-so-haughty tone that quite clearly tattles on you that you have neither risen above, nor have you become the bigger person ... except maybe your fat head? So really, what do they mean? To me, rising above doesn't mean inflating yourself, and acting too cool for the situation you're in, that's just more of the problem, not the solution, but is so often what tends to happen. I think it means to humble yourself, and then elevate your thinking to a place of self respect, and respect of others, and out of a situation that was not good for either person to be in, and to look for a remedy for what has gone wrong. I think being the bigger person is not about being, or seeing yourself as better than anyone else, rather, it is more about trying to become a better, more loving, kinder, and more understanding version of yourself so you find yourself in fewer conflicts to begin with (hopefully!).

Why is it that these things are always so much easier said than done? Why am I not better at practicing what I preach? What barriers are we putting up in our lives to keep us from living a more whole existence? Why do we work so hard at having shallow relationships with people? Is it because if we keep them at arm's length then we are less likely to get hurt? Funny (or rather sad) thing is, it doesn't work. I look around and see hurt, angry, and offended walled off people all over this world. I'll tell you what it is succeeding at, it's keeping the genuine love people feel for us on the outside of our fortresses, and robbing us of the experience we were built to feel. So wait a minute, the bad is still getting in despite our efforts, and the real love never gets through? What part of this is actually working for us? And why are some of us so desperate to keep it that way? Why can't I answer all of my own questions?

When did we all become so entitled? Why is it that the very basic things we desire (if not come to demand, which is part of a larger problem altogether in my opinion) from people, whether it be acceptance, what we perceive as love, understanding, and kindness, are the very things we are sometimes incapable of supplying? The law of attraction, or karma, or whatever you want to call it says that what we put out is what we get back. If that's the case then how can it be any surprise when we refuse to provide the exact things we so strongly want given to us, when they don't come back to us? Is it because we've become intoxicated by our own self importance that instead of creating a reciprocal existence we have begun to crave these things in a ravenous, if not perverse sort of way? When it comes to these things that are perfectly natural to want to achieve in our lives have we just become prize hogs at the trough, shoving one another out of the way so we can have it all, and leaving little or none for anyone else?

Selfishness wears many hats. It's not just about the obvious, and overt "taking" of things tangible or emotional, or the "stealing of one's thunder / sunshine / spotlight" (whichever "ism" you prefer). It's also about not extending ourselves, and passing on to others what is bestowed upon us. It's also about thinking you're more important than those around you, and that comes in many forms; when we don't listen, when we speak over the top of others, when we're too busy thinking of what we're going to say next to be bothered to hear what anyone else is saying in this moment, when we're too caught up in ourselves to operate in mutual respect among other things of course.

So if it truly is better to give than it is to receive, and it gives us such a wholly fulfilled feeling in our hearts, then why is it that we've become so accustomed to crowding around with our empty, grubby little hands outstretched looking for what we think is our share of (fill in the blank)?  Would it not be better to give completely without any emotional strings attached, and trust that the universe (or whatever you believe in) will provide what you need in return?  This isn't to suggest I believe in complacency, and that we should live blindly and just "trust in the Lord, God, Universe, Karma, Garden Gnome, Whatever" to direct our lives in a way we perceive a leaf floating aimlessly in a river.  Who knows, maybe the leaf leaped from the tree it was on to take the ride of its life, and it's not doing anything aimless at all!  What I simply mean is, maybe Gandhi was onto something with his whole "...be the change you wish to see..." business.  None of us know who we may inspire just by doing something differently, or the goodness in another that is sparked by a simple act of kindness.  Most importantly, perhaps, at the end of it all we may just inspire ourselves.


**************************************************************


I have to say, just before publishing this after sitting on it for so long, that I know I speak in cliche, and use adages, and quotes quite often.  Before I come off like a smug (let's go with) twit who throws around the words of others in a sad attempt at making her own point I'd like to admit, well, quite honestly, the things I'm talking about aren't all that new in themselves are they?  There's nothing cutting edge going on here.  I'm just a girl trying to find my own answers to things human kind has struggled with for generations, and probably since the beginning of our known history.  With that in mind, why not use old, and oftentimes familiar phrases?  An adage wouldn't be an adage, or a cliche wouldn't be a cliche if there wasn't actually something there worth repeating (ad nauseam) until they become what they now are.  People wouldn't be quoted if somewhere along the way there wasn't any truth to what they were saying.  Though, for me personally, so often we're out there in life tossing words all around us, and using some of these very popular sayings, but something is getting lost ... pretty soon the real meaning begins to be rubbed off because they are spoken out of habit, and I like to be able to sit down and break them apart, and get back to the true sentiment ... or rather, pop the hood, and kick the tires ... to see what's really there.  Most importantly, they mean something to me, or they are something that I feel I could really use some help with in learning myself, or reminders to help me get myself back on the track I feel I need to be on.  We are all a constant work in progress, and not least of all me.  So no, I am not sitting high on a throne somewhere, or deep in a meditation cave being phony, and admiring my own "perfection" whilst spewing tidy snippets like a box of stale, discount store fortune cookies. Just thought I'd mention it! ; )

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 873432

Into my procrastination, well it feels that long anyway. So what did I do to be productive?

Took a walk on the beach.

And took a rock, which you're not exactly supposed to do along this stretch of beach, but I did anyway (shhhh!). I don't think the beach minds though.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Today was Beautiful!

It really was ... or maybe I've just become accustomed to the many shades of grey Western Washington has to offer in the late Winter / early Spring, and that's what made today "extra" beautiful. The sun was shining, thirsty hummingbirds were dipping, and diving around my eaves, a faint smell of briquettes ready to grill up something wonderful, I'm certain, weather that was oddly warmer than it appeared, with just the tiniest breeze ... with all of that information swirling around my dusty, cob-webbed, winter brain ... well there was only one thing to do. Would it be too cold? Too windy ... somehow miserable? I had to chance it, I just couldn't wait ANY longer!

Today was the first day of the season my toes got to splash around in Puget Sound (and yes, it was just as glorious as I knew it would be ... even better actually!). You don't understand, even though I LOVE Fall and Winter, and practically beg the gods for snow beginning the day after my birthday, and ending sometime (ok, yesterday), I wait, no, yearn for this day to come after endless days of soggy all-run-into-the-same-day last of the Winter days. The day that's finally warm enough for me to splash around in some salty water - rolled up pants, and seashell hunting hunch required! Puppies were digging, birds were, well, doing whatever it is birds do (they always remind me of the ladies who lunch set - watch them!), babies were discovering splashes that stones create in the waves when daddies throw them, and mommies take pictures, clams were sending up their little geysers letting me know I was stepping too close, gentle waves lapping at my ankles, and looking out to forever there were endless sparkles on the water, like a perfect sea of blue/grey/green (glasz) glitter stretching to islands covered in fluffy green trees, and the snow capped mountains of the peninsula beyond that.

Hibernation completed.

Today was a good day.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Immortal Beloved

Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us - I can live only wholly with you or not at all - Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits - Yes, unhappily it must be so - You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never - Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. And yet my life in V is now a wretched life - Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men - At my age I need a steady, quiet life - can that be so in our connection? My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day - therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once - Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together - Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell. Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.

ever thine

ever mine

ever ours


If you've never been loved like this, I suggest you stop what you're doing, and go find it ... NOW! Go ... shoo! It's the perfect day, you never know what may happen!

Happy Valentine's Day

XOXO

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ratatouille

For me and, er, you-ille? This was my first try, and let me tell you it was a lot easier than my King Kong sized zucchini I've become accustomed to), so I had to triple up the zucchini each time it was its turn to be layered into the dish. As it turned out, it was kind of convenient to have them bite-sized, so you won't find me complaining. Another thing that pleases me about this dish is that it basically looks the same cooked as it does before it goes into the oven, which excites me and makes me feel like I'm doing something good for my body, instead of pumping it full of chemicals ... now if I could just be assured that my veggies haven't been genetically altered, I'd be set!
first lasagna from scratch (notice there are no pictures of it). I must say, French peasants were on to something with this dish, I don't think anything easier to make has ever tasted more delicious! Two of my favorite things: Little effort required, big payoff. The only thing that disappointed me was that I had to use microscopic, store-bought zucchini (as opposed to the

I totally recommend trying this to everyone. This was my first ratatouille to make, and eat, and my first time doing anything with an eggplant ... so I'm not exactly sure how it was supposed to turn out or taste like, but I love it so I figure I'm off to a good start!



Ratatouille

Ingredients:

1 bell pepper
1 eggplant
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes
2 0r 3 zucchinis
herbs ( I used basil, and parsley)
1 cup tomato puree or can of stewed tomatoes
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven to 375*

Fill bottom of basic 10" baking dish with tomato puree or stewed tomatoes. Add garlic, chopped onion, and 1 Tbs of olive oil, salt & pepper (don't be shy).

Slice up your veggies into thin slices, and begin layering on top of tomato sauce in the baking dish, alternating your veggies, and working in concentric circles. Once they're all snuggled in, drizzle with 1 Tbs of olive oil, salt & pepper once more, and add your spices.

Cover with parchment paper, and bake for 45-55 minutes. You want your veggies to be soft, and relaxed enough to release their juices, not soggy, limp and stringy, nor do you want them to start browning. 45 minutes worked perfectly for me ... then again, my oven is possessed, so you're kinda on your own here!

Serve while hot, or even cold in the summer, on rice, potatoes, by itself, or with a meat. It really is one of the most versatile dishes I've ever come across.

Bon appétit!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Round Two

The sizing, and gauge are both coming along a bit easier now (far fewer brain explosions). I thought I'd post the progress ... and why not? Three posts in three days -- February's so short anyway why not make it 28?! We'll see how that goes, blogging promises always seem to turn into subtle suggestions in my mind.

Next up on deck: Mannequin. I just cut out the pattern tonight, I'm crossing my fingers that I can actually turn this thing out. Tomorrow will be chicken wire day, thanks to a little bundle my dad let me pinch from his barn. Hopefully the shaping won't take too long, and I can get started on the paper mache, and finally get rid of the excess newspaper around here before I'm featured on the next episode of Hoarders! Ok, slight exaggeration, but still, I'll be thrilled to get some of these things that have found their way to my "Project Holding Pattern" finally buttoned up. Completion is a good thing!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Come Snuggle Mama!

Ok, so I've been getting teased for at least a week ... THEN my dad calls, and tells me that he's seen my commercial ...




Apparently this is "me" except I wouldn't be inviting the raccoon in by accident.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Seems Like Just Yesterday...

... Do you really want me to finish such a silly little joke ('cause I will)? Or would you rather I just said, February is such a lovely month! All the shiny, muted, frosty, glittery pinks and reds in every store and shop window, how could anyone have a bad mood in February?! I think if February had a texture, it would feel like a giant (pink, of course) marshmallow. Anyway, I was so smitten with February in January that every time I devoted some time to making something it turned out at least slightly reflecting how I was aching for this fabulous little month.
It started off sneakily enough ... just a hot-pink button on "something I was trying out" -- you know, those projects you're just not so sure about, but you'll go ahead with it anyway. I think I've heard just about every negative comment ever posted about eyelash yarn, and how "serious" knitters wouldn't dream of knitting anything with it ... fair enough, I guess I'm not a serious knitter then! I can see how it wouldn't be every one's taste, but I like fashion, writing, music, art--pretty much everything with a little tongue in cheek attitude. Besides, I think we'd all be a little bit better off with a dash of whimsy in our lives now and then, and if that comes in the form of a "fun fur" knitted collar peeking up from the inside of your coat in late winter/early spring, then so be it (for me personally, this wouldn't even be the most ridiculous thing I've worn this week)!

My yearning for February started becoming slightly more obvious with my next creation. This is the one I've been working over and over again in my mind, trying to figure out just how i wanted it to look, and how I'd make it look that way ... instead of a rumpled mess thrown on the floor in frustration! To my delight, I think it totally worked out! I tried a
little search for fabric fortune cookie instructions, but nothing was really giving me the look I knew I wanted, so I just shook it off like a puppy after a bath, and made up my own as I went. Which, I think, is more fun anyway (after my brain stops exploding, at least).
I am absolutely in love with my little fortune cookie pin cushions ... I think they are so sweet, and I can't wait until I have an excuse to use them. I think they would be so perfect for for projects that have you draping on a dress form. Need a pin? Oh, here's some stuck right into the little cookie dangling from your finger by its hot-pink, satin "fortune". I have a thing for fortune cookies anyway, I mean, a dessert that tells you the future too?! What's better than that? Nothing, except maybe one you can keep your sewing pins in, of course. These little guys just completely charm me in every way, I can't help it, I LOVE them!

And then somewhere while all of this was going on, I decided the dictionary needed a new picture next to "tedious" and this is what I came up with: Why yes, those are toothpicks I'm using as knitting needles. I must be a crafting masochist!  I won't be happy until my fingers are officially tied in knots around themselves. In my defense, it's not like I was knitting a scarf or something. I just wanted to see, first of all, if it could be done, and all I really wanted to do was a couple of little patches that I can easily use along the way in another project somehow. So it's not like it was a complete waste of time ... just a partial one!

They are cute though, just look at the tiny leetle knits! Cute enough to do it again? The jury's still out on that one, I've already done it twice, and I'm not sure I've fully recovered. So what kept me from ripping off my clothes and screaming toward the heavens, you ask? My huge, clown-size-17 needles ... even though I was using them to learn how to knit a hat (brain explosion #2) I think they saved my sanity even if ever so slightly. Every couple of rows with the toothpicks I'd have to take a break, and use the big needles so as not to whip myself into a full fledged panic attack sitting right there. Here's a peek at what went down ... there's a big fuzzy pom pom nesting right on top of the blue and green guy.


It was my first time making one of those as well ... yeah it was a success, I mean as far as fuzzy pom poms go. I'm still trying to get this sizing and gauge business down, but until I learn I guess it's a pretty good thing that I also happen to love ridiculous, technicolor hats too! So that's what I've been up to lately, whilst dreaming of February, I hope the streak continues all through the month, and I can polish a few new found skills, and maybe discover a couple more while I'm at it.

Happy February!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Spring in the Dead of Winter?!

If you live in the PNW you've noticed we've had an unusually mild winter. I had snow in my
neighborhood for 5 minutes, as it melted upon landing. That being said, we have had our share of soggy, rain soaked days (nothing new there I suppose!) and just as I was hunkering down for a chilly, windy, wet, and gray January, it suddenly turned into Spring! I can't really complain because it's gorgeous, but I don't do too well with change, especially when it comes "early" (according to me). I feel a little robbed. Someone took my dark, cozy winter from me in mid January, and replaced it with weather that would be considered unusually beautiful even in March. However when I look outside and I'm met with such a lovely sunrise, instead of continuously lightening shades of gray, I can't help but feel at least a little bit transformed by the sight of what looks like a paint box has been thrown across the sky showing you a completely different color wash in each direction you look. I find myself no longer mourning the cold, dark, snowy winter I'd wished so hard for.
I find most of my creative inspiration in the colder, moodier months of Fall and Winter. They allow you to play with rich colors, and textures, and afford you a multitude of layers to manipulate and piece together to build something unexpected, but this last week I've found myself more motivated, and unusually inspired by all of the warmth in the air, and the color explosion outside.
 I've been able to finish up old projects, get a good start on others, and even create a few new things ... with my little helper by my side of course. Here she is inspecting her work on the seams on the back of the denim quilt top, before we trimmed all the fluff off ... though I will say she totally bailed on me when it came time to press the seams open (I think she thinks the iron is hissing at her).
I have a few other projects to post, but I've yet to take any pictures of them ... one I am VERY excited about. I've been trying to work out instructions in my mind for ages over it, and last night I finally nailed it. I LOVE when something works out just exactly the way you see it in your head.

xoxo

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's a Windy January Kind of Day

And finally time to see if we can make something out of this.
I'd been lugging what seemed like a million pairs of jeans with me from place to place, picking up more in each location for ages ... until about three years ago when I decided to cut the million pairs of jeans into an obnoxious amount of 8 inch squares.

Hopefully by the next blustery, soggy day I'll have something new (/old) to bundle up in.

Oh yeah, and happy 2010!

xoxo