Sunday, June 28, 2009

Finding My Rhythm

Boy, I am having a struggle finding the time for the little things that I used to do when Bronwyn was in school! I miss you, blog! But I am enjoying doing things with my girl during the day. We rode the bike down to the farmer's market this weekend and marveled at the ginormous lettuces and succulent carrots! And we've been eating cauliflower and greens from our own garden, which is very satisfying. Last night I picked sweet pea blossoms and put them in the kitchen window. Then later, while I was washing up, the breeze came in through the window and wafted the sweetest perfume of happiness over me. So even if my life seems disjointed at the moment, there's always a reminder that it's all going to be allright.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Being Happy

Good morning my dear readers. I was reading through my favorite blogs this morning, and found this amazing video that I must share. It's about 5 minutes long and well worth the listen. I hope you find happiness today and every day, my friends. The narrative is written and read by Mipham, a Tibetan Buddhist Lama and marathon runner. His website (if you want to learn more) is here

Monday, June 22, 2009


It has arrived in its official capacity:


I always have mixed feelings about this: Summer is such a beauty in it's chaos: The abundance of the garden, the overtly sexual flowers, the heat, the frantic schedule of fun and the cramming of time. I'm sad because the summer solstice represents the last of the waxing of daylight. And I'm so glad that I don't have to keep this pace all of the time! So I resign myself to just enjoying the moment for what it is.

Here are some shots of my yard that I took just a few minutes ago. The top flower is called "Red Hot Poker" and it is a favorite of the hummingbirds and honeybees right now. The collage represents (from left to right and top to bottom): Ocean Spray (a native), Tiger Lily, and Italian Plum (I need to thin these!).

Happy Solstice, Everyone!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


My friends and neighbors had their baby today and named her Henrietta Polka-Dot. So sweet. I haven't met her yet, but I wore this peony all day, so it is for her.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Shifting Gears

I am in a serious bit of transition right now. Bronwyn's last days of school were last week, and I had a lot of work to finish up. But of course, my best laid plans were foiled because Little Miss B got sick and threw up at school. So she missed the last couple of days. Poor her. Poor me. Now it's officially summer vacation, which means no more breaks for Mama! I don't mean to complain; I love my little girl like the sun, I just hate having to multi task quite so much (I think it's bad for your soul), but my to do pile doesn't seem to take a break. Oh well; I'll make sure we all brush our teeth and won't worry so much if the floors aren't clean.

Bronwyn and I went to a summer picnic at one of her classmates homes the other day and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Above is a picture of Bronwyn at the end of the visit; just a little pooped out, but still so beautiful!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Another Zippie!

I belong to a group on Flickr that does fabric swapping and I recently participated with a lovely woman who sent me some extra little scraps with the main fabric she traded with me. I decided to make another little pencil case with it and look! Isn't it so cute? It's a japanese linen/cotton blend fabric with little turtles all over it. I decided that even though the turtles are slow, they DO win the race in the end. Therefore, I added a little orange racing stripe to make them appear faster! Image isn't everything, but it doesn't hurt either, right?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Virtual Housecleaning and a GIVEAWAY!

I'm trying something new: First off, here's a new look for my blog. I'm sorry if you feel a little discombobulated; I do, too! But I think this format provides a less cluttered look for everything. I might change my mind tomorrow, though. I'm fickle like that.

Second, I've found another online marketplace to sell my wares. This is a super cool site called Artfire, and I think I might like it even better than Etsy *GASP* We'll see; I'm still just starting out. But one thing that I really like about artfire is that I can let people buy my work directly from my blog! Pretty cool, huh? See the little list off to the side there? You can actually click on one of those pictures and buy the product right here. Not that you're here to shop, but shucks, you never know! Also, it is cheaper for me to have a presence on artfire, which I really appreciate. What remains to be seen, however, is if I will actually make sales there. If I don't then all of those fancy whiz-woo's and gadgets don't mean a thing. I do really like Etsy's aesthetic; it's very clean and easy to navigate. I find Artfire a little bit jumble-y to look at.Third: I have my work up on Paper n' Stitch's platform again. Paper n' Stitch offers a great deal to us sellers each time we subscribe to sell: Whoever gets the most "hearts" wins a cash prize and a free month on the site. Normally I don't go in for these types of contests because I hate to put pressure on my good fans. But it's cash and free promotional space, both of which I could really use right now. So here's the deal: I'm going to do a giveaway of a custom little card wallet AND a headband in exchange for your hearts on PNS. Here's how it works: you log on to Paper n' Stich and go to my shop there. Give me a heart (the heart is right next to my picture with a plus sign in it; click on it and the number will go up by one). Come back here to the blog and leave me a comment, which will be your entry to win the wallet and headband. The deadline for submission is July 15. I will announce the winner on July 16th, and that winner will be able to choose from my giant assortment of fabric for the creation of a wallet and a headband (or choose one that is ready made). Now if this is all too much work, and it's giving you a headache just thinking about it, don't worry! I know you love me (you do, right?) and so it's not mandatory to play this game to stay in my good graces. It's all just for fun, and maybe a little extra along the way.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Little Game

I've been tagged by a dear friend, and I'm in the mood to share, so here's the quiz Q & A:

Four things I am looking forward to:

Bronwyn's first words
Ripe tomatoes and fresh basil from my garden
A new studio space
regular sleep

Four things that I did yesterday:

Cut 45 yards of fabric
made a baby bonnet
played guitar and sang to Bronwyn and Brian
washed dishes

Four things I wish I could do:

Put an end to world suffering
Find a cure for Bronwyn (working hard on this now).
Stay in balance

Four TV Shows that I watch:
Well, I don't watch a lot of shows, but here are some that I enjoy every now and then:

Boston Legal
The Carol Burnett Show
Cirque Du Soliel

Four Places I would like to Travel:

Hungary (to visit my good friend Judit)

Four Places that I have Lived:

Mazatlan, Mexico
Lummi Island, WA
Bellingham, WA
San Juan Island, WA

I'm tagging my friend Judit, and Victoria, but you only have to play when/if the mood strikes!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Baby Bonnets

My dear friend, Suzanne, is such an inspiration to me when it comes to life philosophy. She's a fellow seamstress, and so of course we have that connection (she was my partner in fabric shopping crime the other day). She's also a lover of a simple and sophisticated aesthetic, which often harkens back to an earlier time. We have recently been discussing bonnets, and specifically how practical and lovely they are. Children love them, and they keep the sun out of faces and off of necks. Her new baby boy wears one, and he looks positively adorable in it! I have a neighbor who is expecting her second baby any day now, and so I decided that I would make a bonnet for her newborn. It is all cotton, and is reversible. The simple side is a tea dyed muslin, while the reverse is a super high thread count cotton with funny little gnomes. It has the softest hand! This bonnet is designed to be worn by either gender.

While I was on the bandwagon, I made one specifically for a girl. I made it from a natural linen, and lined it with a crisp cotton shirting in blossom pink. The linen side features a lovely knit lace, while the reverse is accented with the cotton stripe, which is also used to tie it under the chin. Aren't they sweet?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Time to Re-Group

I'm tired this morning. Bronwyn has been getting a molar and it's keeping her up at night. This morning at 3:00, I could hear her fussing and so I went in and laid down next to her. She gave me the sweetest smile and snuggled in. That moment is so precious. It's full of love and warmth, and normalcy. It makes me feel so great to know that I can provide such comfort. We read a chapter from Charlotte's Web (almost done now), and then dozed.

Today is overcast. Perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee and clearing my studio. I need to make room for all of my new fabric, and I've just finished another wedding project. I have a ritual studio cleanse after each project so that I can start the next with an organized mind. Pictured are the bags that I made for the aforementioned wedding. I actually used a commercial pattern that I found. It was just the perfect little bag and I didn't need to make any revisions at all. Plus, the pattern pieces were so few and simple that I didn't need to read the directions, which is where my trouble usually begins with commercial patterns.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Next Day

I'm still talking about my amazing weekend. On Saturday, I had my first manicure. It feels strange to say that; almost like I'm making a confession: "Forgive me Gods of Cool, for I am really a Girly-Girl." The story is that one of the para-educators at Bronwyn's school also runs a small business out of her home studio giving manicures and pedicures. She is a lovely Vietnamese woman who has a special place in her heart for Bronwyn (which means that she has a special place in my heart). She invited me to come for an evening of pampering, and I DID! It was such a nice way to relax. If you're local, go check out her studio: It's called Kim's Nails in Olympia, WA. You won't be sorry!

The next day, one of my dear friends and I traveled to Chehalis to Sister's Fabric Shop, land of more than 10,000 bolts of delicious-ness. I bought so much fabric that they told me I could shop by appointment if I wanted to. Welcome to celebrity status of fabric buying, Colleen! I'm a little embarrassed, but LOOK at the fabric I got! But boy oh boy, I need to get to work to make some money back!

Monday, June 8, 2009

It's a Smaller (and more cozy) World

WOW. I had a phenomenal weekend. And it started on Friday afternoon! I will have to tell you about it in seperate posts so that I can give each part its proper attention. On Friay, I got the most amazing package in the mail, all the way from Hungary where my friend Judit lives. Now, I've never actually met Judit, but over the course of about a year, we have been part of the Mutual Admiration Club. She's an artist on Etsy, and has been very inspiring to me with her creations and the way she uses light in her photographs. And guess what? She's also an amazing, intelligent, beautiful person too! I love it when art and life are both reflected in the same way.

About a month or two ago, I had sent Judit a little package of fabric scraps that I thought she would enjoy. She showed me some love on her blog, and then she went on and sent me the most enjoyable and very generous package of items in return. In it, I found two beautiful magnets for my refrigerator which depict scenes that Judit has captured through her amazing photography.

She sent me the vinyard and the rannunculus flowers, which are both stunning in person.

Included in her package was this AMAZING necklace, which is made in part with some of the fabric that I sent her! I love it so much!

Judit also went further and included Bronwyn in her gift giving. Her friend and neighbor, Irisz is also a very talented Illustrator and is a seller on Etsy as well. I can hardly wait to frame this print and hang it in Bronwyn's room! Thank-You, Judit. You are part of my chosen community of friends, and it is so lovely to know you!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fun Crafting

After I finished the wedding clutches and got them mailed off, I felt like I needed to do a small project just for fun. This helps me get back into the swing of things before my next job. It's kind of like a pallette cleanser for the crafty part of my brain. Anyhow, I've been wanting to make a boxy pencil case for a long time, and I got the perfect linen/cotton fabric to try it out with. Now I know I could go out and get a pattern for this; lots of people make them. But I'm trying to keep my brain fit ,and research says that undivided, concentrated attention does wonders for this. And what better way is there to stave off dementia than to make my own pattern? So I started out, and made a few mistakes, but LOOK! Isn't it cute?

And I've decided to bake some bread today. It has been unusually scorching outside recently, and this morning it is cool enough to consider turning the oven on. So I'm waiting for the first rise:

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Well, I finally finished that custom clutch that I was talking about. It is made from 100% dupioni silk in ivory and moss green. I hand stitched it in a dusty rose cotton quilting thread. I made a silk peony flower pin that can either be worn or pinned to the clutch.

I'm also learning how to use the macro function on my camera. It's FUN!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Making Chores Fun

As you probably know by now, I love to hang laundry on the clothesline, and so I bought myself a gift: a new clothespin bag. I stumbled upon this great creator on Flickr, where I saw some pictures of her handmade clothespin bags. I sent her a note and asked if she sold them or patterns to make them: as it turns out, she's also an Etsy seller! I decided that it was time to retire my old, worn out bag.

The new one arrived today, and was so nicely packaged I felt like a rock star. It makes such a difference to me when sellers treat me like a valued person! Anyhow, Mary Kay has a really nice shop on Etsy called Geneva Designs, which you can check out here. All of her clothespin bags are fabulous: it was tough to choose between them, but I really liked the retro feel of this one, and I'm a sucker for striped binding and polka dots, so this one won out. I love the fact that I can put my portable phone (or cell phone) in one of the pockets. I'm often outside in the garden or hanging clothes up while Bronwyn is in school, and I need to be available in case the school needs me.

Anyhow, it feels nice to talk about another artist for a change. I was starting to bore myself!

Happy summer, friends!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fun Weekend

Bronwyn and I met my Mom and her two adopted daughters at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle yesterday. We had a blast! I was really happy that the entire grounds were wheelchair accessible, and for the most part, Bronwyn got some great veiws of the animals and their habitats. I felt a little sad for the gorillas and the Jaguar because, even though the zoo does an excellent job with the animal's health and environment, these are animals who, in general, have a sad history. But I still really felt honored to be in there presence. The emerald python pictured above had just shed its skin. It was looking pretty beautiful! The gorillas below were napping together when we first arrived at their habitat. They are both females, and I think that the one on the right is the mother to most of the gorillas there. She had such a beautiful face and was very calm in her demeanor. I could have stayed there all day.