Monday, March 29, 2010

Keeping Warm

Today it is blustery; rain is bouncing off of the pavement and bending the daffodils.  It's hard to believe that it was sunny and 70 degrees just a few days ago.  Ahh, spring. 

Last week I made sun tea on my porch in this lovely glass pitcher that I've had forever.  To keep the bits of undesireables out of my tea, I used a vintage hankie, weighted with binder clips, draped over the mouth.  Just seeing it made me happy. 
And look at this fun little tomboy billfold that I made! It just makes me smile; I love the little owls!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Domestic Bliss

One of the things about the change of the season is that I get very domestic.  I just want to do things like bake bread, wash windows, and make things tidy.  Today, when Bronwyn gets home from school, we're going to go for a bike ride and then it's to the garden to plant our peas and lettuces.  I soak the peas overnight in water to help the sprout break through the outer shell more easily.  Aren't they so pretty in the jar?  The green peas are the sugar snap variety, and the brown peas are a fragrant, climbing flowering variety. 

I can't wait to get my clothesline fixed!  I plan to place it next to the blooming peas so that I can start bringing the blossom-filled sunshin-ey air into my home.  Maybe this weekend my sweet husband will help me out in this regard.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I've Been Waiting For You

Welcome, Spring!  We had such a lovely weekend, and much of it was spent outside to celebrate the Spring Equinox.  Today's post is short (and all this week will be sketchy, too) because Bronwyn has short days at school.  Lots to get done while she's away!

I leave you with this sweet Pinnie that I made for Bronwyn recently.  I made it from a heavier, home decor weight fabric that was designed by the talented Anna Maria Horner.  These two prints are from her Drawing Room line.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Baby Time

Here at home, the Rufous hummingbirds (shown left) arrived yesterday, back from their winter vacation. It was so fun to see them at the feeder. They are so pretty! Of course we still have the Anna's hummer, too (below). We're so lucky!


And lots of new projects are swirling! I just finished a sweet messenger for my friend and fellow Etsian, Angela of Rhymes With Luck. She's going to be having a baby later this year and so this will be her diaper bag when the time comes to use it this way. Nothing like new babies to bring out my desire to create new accessories!

This bag was made from a lovely linen/cotton blend fabric that is imported from Japan. It is designed by Etsuko Furuya for Kokka. The line is called echino ni-co. Isn't it so fun? It makes me want to go out and get a Vespa scooter! Even though this fabric is super expensive, I still think that the joy of working with it makes it worthwhile.

 The Inside of the bag and the front panel are made from fabric designed by Joel Dewberry (his Ginseng line). 

Happy Friday, Friends!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hello Sunshine

It's Wednesday already, how did that happen??  Lately I've been waking up and feeling behind before I even get out of bed.  I think this means I'm over-committed, over-ambitious, or disorganized (and most probably a combination of all three).  Actually, come to think of it, I feel like this every Spring and every Autumn, the two busiest times for the gardener. I realized this morning that I haven't spoken to my Mom in a long time (two months?), which is simply not acceptable (I know you're reading this, Mom.  I really do love you!). 

So.  I think it might be time to make lists again (but not here, that would be so boring for you!).

I was visiting my dear neighbor yesterday and noticed that her clematis was in full, fragrant bloom.  This is a small blossomed Clematis. It is quite delicate, and ever so gorgeous.  I stole a little stem from the winding vine and brought it home for this teeny vase that another friend, Kathy O'Shea of KoJo Pottery made.  It's perfect and really looks sweet in my small bathroom.

And in BCharmer news, I've had a recent run on production of Tomboy wallets.  These are so fun for me to make!  I leave you with this very spring-inspired wallet.  I like it that although it is warm and sunny, it is also soft and "cool,"  just like spring. 

It is available in both my Artfire and Etsy shops.

The fabric that I used is  from Heather Bailey's "Nicey Janey" line, which I'm finding is one of my new favorites (I'm so fickle).

Happy Wednesday, Friends!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Getting it Ready

In February we had such nice weather that it was all I could do to restrain myself from planting my whole garden.  Now, of course, the climate is back that of  a more typical spring; chilly and rainy.  Still, Bronwyn and I found a few sunbreaks today to celebrate in.  We sorted our vegetable seeds and started some indoors for our warmer weather garden.  Bronwyn really enjoyed pressing the seeds into the soil.  I helped her at first, but she soon got the hang of it herself!

It's amazing to me how such a simple act of planting seeds brings so much hope and promise in my life. 

As we were finishing, dark storm clouds loomed and we packed everything up quickly in order to avoid the heavy downpour that was about to follow.  Minutes later we were inside, making tea and feeling so satisfied for having "accomplished" this simple task.  Suddenly even the rain didn't seem so bad.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Art of Connecting

Nowadays, it seems like everyone is part of a virtual social network.  I both love this and hate it.  Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, MySpace and on and on and on.... these sites are amazing.  They allow me to connect with friends past, present and future.  Some of my most treasured relationships are with people that I have never actually seen or whose voices I have never heard.  I love it that the world now feels like my neighborhood.  My friend in Budapest Hungary makes the most amazing jewelry, and takes stunning photographs.  I have several friends in Australia who are painters and creators extraordinaire!  And then there are all of the people right here in my home country that I can keep up with whenever I log on. 

The house that I live in was purchased from a dear 99 year old woman, Esther, who would have a glass of wine every afternoon with her behind the fence neighbor, Edna.  The two of them, no doubt, would talk about this and that, would complain about their husbands, and would just sit in the silence that is understood by friends, and enjoy the moment.  When we moved into the house, Edna came over and gave us her key to the house, and I was struck by the relationship that she and Esther had shared.  In some ways, social networking online expands on this idea and has the potential to open it up to a richer experience, but I also find that it allows for less intimacy that one would find with a "face to face" friendship. There is something about the banality of a day to day friendship that makes the whole thing more vulnerable, less scripted, and therefore more meaningful somehow.  Don't get me wrong: I'm not trying to diminish my true online friendships: NO!  But sometimes, when I've posted my blog update, checked my facebook page, and tweeted my latest piece of business, I think, "There, I'm all caught up with my friends."  But am I?  How long has it been since I picked up the phone to get together with someone that I love right here in my neighborhood?  I am feeling the need to nurture my "touchable" friendships, and I encourage everyone to hug a friend today!
Nevertheless, in honor of one of my online connections, I want to share with you this fancy Tomboy wallet that I made.  I belong to a fun group of women on Flickr (an online network for sharing photographs) who swap fabrics.  I saw this fun Japanese print depicting Alice in Wonderland with the Queen and Rabbit and wanted it with a white hot want!  Luckily I had some fabric that was desireable, and the trade was made.  It took me some time to find just the right stripe: I didn't want to use a stark white in the stripe since the rest of the fabric is unbleached linen, so when I saw this more natural off white and deeper red, I was overjoyed.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Stray Projects

No school for Bronwyn today means less time for sewing and more time for playing with my girl.  Today's post is just a quickie to show you these custom belts that I made for a friend.  The fabric on the first is Heather Ross' lovely and whimsical banana seat bicycles and the second fabric is from Joel Dewberry's "Deer Valley" line.  Incidentally, Heather Ross also designed the gnomes featured on my receiving blanket in yesterday's post.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Things

One of Bronwyn's classmates just became a big sister.  I am friends with her Mom, and I wanted to make something special for the new baby boy.  I didn't really know what to make, but then I saw this sweet fabric by Heather Ross and knew.  A receiving blanket! 

The gnome fabric is a very silky, high thread count cotton.  It is unbelievably soft.  I backed it with a soft, unbleached flannel, and bound it with a snappy orange stripe.  I rounded the corners by tracing around a lid that I had in the cupboard.  It came out great, don't you think?
And yesterday, I forgot a critical part of honoring my blog award: to bestow the award on othe bloggers that I admire.  So here it goes:  I am giving the award to: Jen Khuns of the Cosmic Blue Monkey, Julia Moore, The Mayberry Sparrow, Sew Katie Did, Picciolo, Myrtle & Eunice, and Daisy Janie.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Today I am finding myself a little overwhelmed.  Well actually, I find myself feeling that way quite a bit.  The sad part is that in being overwhelmed, I buckle down to only the most critical tasks at hand, which means that I end up neglecting some important and beloved activities, such as my blog.  You are, dear reader, probably used to this from me by now.  Fits and starts seems to be my M.O. when it comes to "extra-curricular" activities. 

A couple of days ago, I got a note from a friend, amazing artist and fellow blogger, Kristina of Inaluxe, that she's nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award. 

Wow, the guilt of being such a poor blogger really sets in now!  Although I feel completely undeserving, it really makes me feel loved to know that you are willing to stick with me through my unpredictable posting.  Thank-You, Kristina!  Part of the "rules" of receiving this award include listing 7 things about onesself that others might find interesting.  Since I was lucky enough to get this award about a year ago, You will be able to know 14 things about me.  Whether they are interesting are not, I will leave up to you.  To find out the first seven, you can go to the original post here.   I did a little bit of research on the Kreativ Blog award, and found out that it originated in Norway from a blogger here.  And in this research, I came across a writer who suggested that recipients make their own logo for the Kreativ Blog Award, to honor their creativity.  I thought that was a nice idea, so I have also done that.

In catch up work, I have made some more pinnafores for Bronwyn.  It's really feeling like spring now, and all of the pinnies that I had made before were more "fall" and "winter" in their aesthetic.  So here are two that I have pictures of to show you.  I can't tell you how happy I am with these little garments.  They fit her well, and they really work to keep her shirts dry.  And the fact that they don't look like bibs is just the sweetest icing on the proverbial cake!
And those seven things?  Let's have a go:

1) Creatively, I am most productive at night.  I think this has more to do with when I can find the house quiet than anything else, but there it is.

2) I love to drink tea, but I find that I don't want to do without my hearty mug of coffee every morning.

3.) I got my college degree in Marine Biology with a minor in Botany.  I then went on to the University of Washington in Seattle to study scientific illustration.

4.) I make friends with my whole heart, but I never have the time to give them the attention that they deserve.

5.) Exercise makes me feel like a whole person.  Flossing my teeth empowers me.

6.) I used to be an avid SCUBA diver, now I am too busy.

7.) I am a Sudoku nerd.