Friday, January 29, 2010

Putting Pep In My Step

For the past two weeks, our family has been fighting a bug. First Bronwyn, then Brian, and now me. I've been feeling tired and a little "blah." But I made a couple of new wallets that really perked me up because they were so sunny and sweet. The first one is a little dedication to the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. I only have enough of this sweet Japanese fabric to make about three wallets, so when they're gone that's it.

The other is made from fabric designed by Kaffe Fassett, and it is nothing if not sunny. It reminds me of those giant jawbreakers that I used to adore as a kid. Each layer was a different color, and I think, a different flavor (although I'm not so sure about that). Both of these wallets are available in my Artfire and Etsy online shops. I'm happier already!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Some Delicious Inspiration

One of my favorite artist friends in the blogosphere is Victoria, from The Silly BooDilly. She recently completed two works of quilting genius that have really inspired me. See them Here and Here. She used a gorgeous array of chambray fabrics (also called shot-cloth) and hand stitching to create her "working quilts". I was so inspired by this that I went out and bought an array of chambray that pleased me, and I hope to do a little hand work on them of my own.

The thing that makes chambray so rich and beautiful is that the warp and weft threads are different colors. When they are woven together, they create a fabric that has subtle changes in color and sheen depending on the light and how you look at it. See for yourself: aren't these divine??

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Moving Along

Just a quick post this morning to give you a peek of what I've been working on. My sweet girl has been sick with a bug, so I haven't gotten much time to sew, but I had a little bag commissioned, and I just finished it. It's made from my newest fabric obsession, "Deer Valley" by Joel Dewberry. I have almost all of the colorways, and I love that it translates nicely in both small and large formats. Here is the simplicity bag that I made. It's small; just big enough to keep you streamlined to the basics (wallets, cell phone, keys, lip balm) but it's big on style. At least I think so!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The First two Songs

Good Morning. I am so happy to say that I have begun work on the quilt! At first I felt daunted; I kept thinking about all of the small pieces that had to come together to make a whole and I was getting bogged down by the big picture. I spent lots of time looking at various quilt patterns, and finally decided to re-invent the wheel, yet again. Those of you who know me know that I struggle with following patterns of any kind: when cooking, I think, "Wouldn't this soup taste amazing with a little ground mustard?" When knitting I think, "I love the drape of this sweater, but wouldn't it be great with a shawl collar instead of a turtleneck?" And on and on and on.... So right out of the gate for this project I decided that I needed to just get started on the sewing and worry about the big picture later. I hope that you quilters aren't cringing too much. Well, it's my first quilt, and therefore a learning project for me. I think I learn more when I have to do it from scratch than if I follow a pattern anyhow. Hopefully it won't be too horrible for the recipient!

I thought about the project that this quilt is for: Kids that have experienced trauma or who are hospitalized with an illness. I wanted the quilt to have a sunny disposition while also be soothing. I wanted the pieces to be large enough that the child could spend a long time looking at it, too, in case they needed a distraction. And I really wanted to incoporate a circular shape because in a circle, no matter what, there is always something right side up. So I made a pattern and started cutting. As I was putting pieces together I thought, "This is a lot like making a mixed tape!" When making a mixed tape, I might have a general idea of the theme, or mood, but I would start with one song, and then find another song that I thought either carried the mood or transitioned to a new mood smoothly. Just like putting pieces of a quilt together, right? So here are my two circles: one in a red, and one in a blue. I will sew the circles onto squares and then put the squares together to make the blanket. I have no idea what color the squares will be; I haven't gotten to that part of the tape yet.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Love and Support

Craft Hope Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time

Good day, my fine friends! Today I wanted to direct your attention to two fabulous shops that have opened up on Etsy to support the people of Haiti: Both shops are donating 100% of their proceeds (minus fees)to Doctors Without Borders in Haiti. The shops contain items from hundreds of different artists on Etsy, so if you're in the market for a unique gift, why not check them out to see if they have something you're interested in? They are: Hearts for Haiti and Craft Hope for Haiti. If you're interested in dontaing items for the shops, that's great, too! I have donated two items to Hearts for Haiti: my Lime blossom small card wallet, and my Nightwing forest headband.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Second Chance

Happy New Year my friends. I have taken a looooonng hiatus from my computer, only checking my e-mail for shop activity. It felt very good and relaxing to untie myself from the screen, but I missed everyone, too. I'm happy to be back, and to be catching up with what everyone has been up to.

What's new for us? Just before the Christmas break, my husband brought home a kitten, approximately 8 weeks old, who had gotten trapped in a shipping container. Who knows how long he had been in there, but he was quite dehydrated and starving, and was probably not long for this life when he was found. For two weeks after Brian brought him home, he did nothing but sleep and eat, and I carried him around in a sling as much as I could to get him used to human touch. Now he's a total whipper-snapper, and is fitting in very nicely with our family. Bronwyn is much entertained by his funny antics, and our other cat, Fiona, although long suffering, is warming up to him nicely. We named him "Second Chance Pickle." The "Pickle" part of his name came from my daughter's good friend Ella Wren, who kindly kitten-sat him while we were on holiday in Montana. She noticed that he had a tendancy to get himself into a pickle! We just call him "Chance." He's such a sweet boy.

Our trip to Montana was lovely and inspiring. We had lots of snow, and otherwise mild weather; just right for walking in. On Christmas day we went out to Kelly Canyon, and I took a little walk at sunset where I was one with the cold air, the snow and the ravens. I fell in love with the climate then, as I never had before. Coming home, it was nice to find our routine again, and I found myself enjoying time with my husband and daughter.

This past weekend, Bronwyn and I went out to the Nisqually River Delta and Wildlife Refuge. We walked around for a couple of hours and saw lots of Bald Eagles, Canada Geese (of course), Blue herons, and a Sea Lion, fishing in the river. The day was damp, but not rainy and it felt good to stretch our legs. I have a never-ending fascination for moss and lichens, and this trip did not dissapoint in that department: It was lush with the tiny greens!

Creatively, I am going to try something I've never done before: make a quilt. My Niece, Abby, just turned 16, and for her birthday, she decided to make 16 quilts for Project Linus, an organization that donates quilts to chilren in hospitals. I thought it would be great to donate one in honor of her 16th birthday, so I pledged to do it. I'm only slightly terrified! Right now, I'm working out the size and fabrics, but I'll be sure to keep you posted on my progress. Oh, and I've had a birthday! I'm now 41 years old. WOW. I'm so glad to have you all in my life; thank-you, and I hope that 2010 brings each of you happiness.