Thursday, April 30, 2009

Working with Quality

I just had the excellent fortune to find this LUSH dupioni shantug silk on sale and so I stocked up! I get the shivers when I touch it; it's that good.
I've been feeling a deep need to do some hand work. I rummaged and found some yummy scraps to work with and made this sunny flower that will soon become a brooch. My plan is to use some of this new silk to make more brooches in a more luxe style.

Today I will plant the remaining spring crop in my garden. HOORAY!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Where has the time gone? Sadly, much of it has been spent on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and the many many other networking sites out here in the cloud. I think I'm reaching my technology LIMIT! Of course these tools can be beneficial for connecting with friends and promoting my business but I have a tendency to get BOGGED DOWN with the minutia of tweets from strangers and following people that I have nothing in common with. SO, I've decided to scale back a bit. I enjoy my blog and reading other people's blogs, so that is going to stay a priority. And I've discovered the absolute joy of using to create a soundtrack for my day. I will be posting a "song of the day" for all of us to enjoy. Or at least that is my intention. I have to be forgiving of my sometimes lofty plans.

Today it is raining and I'm listening to Billie Holiday. It is most definitely spring and the garden is coming alive! It no longer looks like combed dirt, and that is promising. The apple trees are blooming and the birches are fully leafed out. I am finding myself pining for the out of doors and will soon need to move my studio partly outside lest I get NOTHING done otherwise. I will be taking advantage of the inclement weather to get some sewing done today.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Today is Etsy Day! Yes, that's right, Etsy has made it to the big time: it now has its own commemorative day. I'm so proud of Etsy and it's success. To honor it and to celebrate, I'm offering free shipping on purchases made in my shop today. YIPPEE!

I got all of my new bags cut out last night and all of the interfacing, too! The cutting is such a lot of work, but once it's finished things move pretty quickly. I expect another update on my "life of a bag" series soon! And Bronwyn slept last night, so I feel better today; ahhh.....

Here are two new headbands that I sewed up; I'm in LOVE with them.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Just a Little Bit

I don't have much to say today; I'm feeling tired from being up quite a lot with Miss B in the night. Not sure what was going on, I think she's getting her molars and is extra needy. I'm going to be gentle with myself today. I'll leave you with the newest addition to my small card wallet collection.
Tomorrow is "Etsy Day!" Yes, Etsy is becoming quite the phenomenon! Help me celebrate by spreading the word. I'll write a little post tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Happy Earth Day, my Friends! I have been celebrating our Mother for the past week; we've had such glorious weather and I've spent the smallest amount of time possible inside. My garden is starting to POP! Of course you can only tell that if you bend down and look at the dirt from about 3 inches away, but the little sprouts are emerging!! Here: PEAS!
This morning is cool and overcast, and so I'm catching up on some business: attending to the computer. Of course this always leads to some funny side-tracking and getting WAY off course. Today, though, a happy accident: I found a site called "" which allows you to DJ your own soundtrack! HEAVEN for me. So my song for today comes from one of my very favorite singer/songwriters, Patty Griffin. She never fails to give me goosebumps. She wrote this song, "Mary," in honor of her Grandmother, but I found it fitting for today, in honor of our ultimate Mother.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stretching as we Grow

Today I want to share a little personal story of good news and hope for the future. As many of you know, my daughter, Bronwyn, has multiple neurological difficulties including epilepsy. Bronwyn's seizures are of a type that are very difficult to control because they don't always occur in the same region of the brain and because they are triggered by a multitude of things. Since the age of two, Bronwyn has been taking a variety of different medicines to help regulate her brain activity, but she continued to have between 60 and 100 seizures every day!

Last spring, my husband and I learned about new brain research that was being conducted at the Children's Hospital in Texas by Dr. Mary Kay Koening. This research showed that some children, who display symptoms like Bronwyn's, have a genetic disorder that prevents them from being able to break down folic acid, a vitamin critical to the proper development of the brain. This disorder is named Cerebral Folate Deficiency or CFD. The great news is that this is treatable and, if you treat early enough, it is CURABLE! Bronwyn began taking a special form of folic acid that doesn't make her body work to break it down. After she had been taking it for about 5 months, she started to have fewer siezures: about 10 per day! WOW. After 6 months she was having 6 per day. Now it's been a year and sometimes she doesn't have ANY siezures in a day...AND we're begining the process of weaning her off of one of her medicines. I can't tell you how much improvement this has given all of our lives; Bronwyn is not so tired and is gaining weight and learning so much. Brian and I are less tired, too!

Yesterday, I was having Bronwyn do some yoga poses. This is very difficult for her because her muscles don't get the right messages at the right time. She is always wiggling and alternating between having stiff straight muscle tone to having floppy muscle tone. But we were in a sun spot on the floor and good music was on, and the mood was just right. I put Bronwyn in Child's Pose and was massaging her back. And she stayed in that pose! It was amazing! I ran and got the camera, and she was able to hold the pose for a few minutes longer so that I could capture it for her therapist to see. HOORAY Bronwyn, you are my hero! Never give up; NEVER!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Story of a Bag; Part One

When I read other people's blogs, I am most fascinated by their process; be it life or art. So I thought that you might be interested in a part of mine. I am starting work on a new set of bags, so it was natural to begin with that. I wrote earlier about my exciting fabric shopping trip, and so this is the start of the bags that I will make from that.

My awesome Mom came to visit us during our spring break, and she chose fabrics for a bag that I will make for her: they are the top three pictured here in purples and browns. SO BEAUTIFUL! I love you, Mom!

The other , bottom three fabrics will become bags for sale. So here's the first wonderful part of this process (after choosing fabrics): CUTTING! Now this is my least favorite bit. I find it tedious, and I have cut myself before, so that adds to my aversion. However, my amazing husband has helped me out a lot in this department. After I draft a pattern and get it the way that I like it, he turns my paper drawing into masonite board patterns. That way I can use a rotary cutter and cut multiple layers at once. This significantly increases my efficiency, and makes the whole process less laborious. No more pinning, no more smoothing the paper to the fabric, no more cutting into paper by accident, and no more muscle strain from scissoring through too many layers of fabric!

Here are the pattern pieces used for one whole bag. Nifty, eh? I love you, Brian!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the bag!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Dig It

Well, I've got all of the greens planted (chard, lettuces, arugula, beets, etc), and my peas are up! But only just. We had two GLORIOUS days of sunshine and now it's back to reality. Clouds and rain for the rest of the week. That's okay; it's not snowing!

Bronwyn is on spring break and she's sick, so my blog will be fairly neglected this week. But I will be reading your posts as best I can!

The hummingbirds have been mobbing the red flowering currants; I'm going to try and get some good pictures, but we'll see how that goes!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fresh Air

Oh the sun. Blessed sun! I hung our pillowcases on the line yesterday and last night had the best sleep in a long while. There is something so intensely satisfying to me about hanging clothes on the line; I ache for it every year. And then, to iron the linens just makes for a blissful experience; even tea towels take on a new extra special something.
Ahhh.... today I plant in the garden.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Fabric Fun

Today the sun is shining and it is such a welcome respite from the rain, snow, and gale force winds! I went and took a brisk walk around the lake today, and it felt so good to move my body. I'm finding that my back really starts to bother me if I spend too many hours at the sewing machine and computer!

I am enjoying playing with the new fabric that I recently bought. I'm going to make some large messanger/diaper bags with the grey and yellow... and probably with some of the other, too! It's so delicious and makes me excited to create new designs to show off how beautiful it is. I wish I had more time (the artist's lament).

I'm excited to tell you about this great spotlight on Boxie Britches' blog. Check it out, it was really fun to be "interviewed." Every Friday, Melissa features a different artist, and I was asked to participate; of course I said "YES!" Thanks Melissa!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Another Bag!

Finally, I finished the two bags that I've been working on. I sold one, and one remains (but hopefully not for long).

My favorite quilt store, Ruby Street Quiltworks, had an April Fool's Day sale, and so I schemed and planned and arrived today with my fabric budget clutched tightly to me. Amazingly, I didn't go over budget because the sale was so great (buy 2 yards and get one free!). So I got a lot more fabric for bags and scarves and wallets, and... you get the idea. I'm exhausted though! Too many endorphines from all of that great fabric shopping!