Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

foggy head, foggy weather

I woke up yesterday to weather that matched the way I felt. I think I'm battling some form of flu. I have everything but a fever; headache, body aches, respiratory issues, cough, tired, etc. I had been sick for a few days but hadn't admitted it to myself since there were lots of hours to work until I could have a day off on Tuesday. I called in sick on Monday. Couldn't even really talk then so I know shouting out numbers at the cutting counter would not have happened, let alone trying to sort out and troubleshoot people's sewing and crafting issues

There's a little peninsula over there, it's obscured by the fog, though.

The Bay is very pretty even covered in fog. These pics were taken shortly after noon yesterday since that's about the time I woke up. Since then it's been a steady intake of vitamin C, store brand Zicam equivalent zinc remedy, chicken soup and the magic concoction of equal parts honey, lemon juice concentrate and whiskey that is a hot toddy.

I feel a lot better than I did Monday. I can actually talk. The only lingering issues so far are cough, some chest congestion and milder body aches than I've had in a while. I'm thinking it's a good thing I'm only scheduled for 6 hours today. Tomorrow is another day off.

This was about a week ago. Corey's mom's housemate brought back the shepherd when she found it on a trip home to PA. She named it Gypsy and when they visited the vet found out the poor thing was pregnant on top of being ridiculously malnourished. She looked like a dead dog walking when she was brought here. A couple weeks of as much good dog food as she wanted, several walks a day and vet prescribed meds did wonders.Gypsy still looks really thin in this pic, but it's a lot better than when she first arrived. She was taken back to the farm in PA this past weekend when said housemate visited home again, but did not come back as she went into labor just before the trip back.

Not much has been happening on the crafting/creating front since I have been sick. I did, however, make up a quick pair of bloomers to wear under a skirt the other day when I forgot to do the laundry so I would have pants to wear to work. No pics because I was in a hurry when I made them (finished just in time to leave for work) and right now they are in the washing machine.

I did find out this morning, though, that Joy Tanner will be having a sale in her etsy shop on November 14 at 10am EST. I said I was not going to be spending money on any gifts this season and making them all myself instead, but just look at those pots. I'm particularly fond of this pair of tumblers. So much gorgeous texture and subtle color variance. *swoon* There is a decent variety in her shop's sale section as it is, but she says she will be adding a whole lot more to it on Saturday.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

currently in love with: makeshift blog

Artist Natalie Purschwitz is currently on Day 58 of a venture to wear only items she has made. While I am not ambitious enough to make my own handmade, aluminum shanked shoes, I would at some point like to be able to go at least 2 weeks wearing only natural fiber clothing I have made myself. I have been tossing around the idea of making my own undergarments and socks for quite a while now and, really, there is no good reason for me not to have at least tried making my own stockings by now.

I love this outfit. Lately I have been thinking about what I used to really enjoy doing when I was growing up and thinking maybe I missed the target a bit getting a music degree instead of pursuing something more art-based. The off-kilter-ness of some of her things look similar to a few I used to draw when I had notebooks full of clothing ideas. I think I may have an actual need for a shrug/cape similar to this. And the skirt is great, too. She makes things for her boutique, Hunt & Gather, in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The price tags are way out of my league, not to mention also that the items in question are not available in my size, but maybe I can whip up something inspired by the above outfit using fabrics I already have? We'll see. I probably have enough going on already with the wedding quilt and 2009 handmade chain-letter gifts to finish up.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

wedding quilt update (8)

This is what I have done on the quilt so far. It's about 39 inches by 95 and I plan on making it square shaped.

Yay pink wrench!

I'm incorporating some patches I've collected over the years. All of them will be relating to some aspect of my relationship with my sister and our family.

I stuffed the underside of it so it would be puffy. I like it!

Some crocheted doo-dads are being added for embellishment and the "tails" couched into place by hand.

This one is made with red J&P Coats embroidery floss. I'm not sure that company exists anymore or if they even make embroidery floss if they do exist, but I have quite a few skeins of their floss.

I also made my first screen print! I chose a crow/raven image because they mate for life. I know in Cherokee heritage they are considered ill omens/harbingers of death but I have had some profound experiences throughout my life with these gorgeous and often misunderstood creatures.

Clearer image of the resultant print itself.

These are along the edge of a piece of canvas I dyed in a bucket back here.

I am not very happy with the color right now for what I intend to use this cloth for so it will be going through some sort of weathering/dying/distressing until I get it looking more like something I would actually wear. If she will have it, it will be turned into a shawl/lap blanket for someone I should have made it a point to hang out with more when I was still in STL.

I feel badly not having posted in so long. I haven't been working on the quilt for lack of space right now because I can't have the sewing machine in the house proper anymore. Long story. I tried explaining that I could attempt to make money (and probably be fairly successful at it, especially if I could find a local boutique or two to commission them with) making small, themed quilt art to help support the household, but did not get anything positive from the topic. So I will move my computer and set up the sewing machine on my desk for a while and see how that works with having to move things around depending if I'm using the sewing machine or computer. I don't have very high hopes for it working out, but I need to get some stuff done. We're actually planning on moving stuff around between the current bedroom and TV room, thus making the TV room the TV/bedroom and the current bedroom the socializing/working room. The socializing/working room also has the birds in it so it will be the room that gets heated.

Once we have everything moved around, there will be space enough to put in a table so that I can actually have a space to sew/paint/create and not be taking up any room in "shared" spaces or inconveniencing anyone who would have to look at a sewing machine or fabric. Walking around Ikea yesterday (a pretty neat place to get some well-designed things, even on a tiny budget) I fount that they sell legs for tables all by themselves. They also have a "Handyman's Corner" in the As-Is section of the store. Everything in the Handyman's Corner is 1/2 off the marked price (usually $3-$10) and tere were some decent sized pieces of wood laminate and other things I could assemble into a right nice craft space using a hammer and nails.

Monday, September 21, 2009


That was my morning battlecry one day not so long ago. Right before RAAAA CURTAINS and after OMG BIRD WHY ARE YOU SO LOUD TODAY. Cranky old man Bird decided we didn't get to sleep past 7am, but I still love him in all his half naked fluffiness and I got a lot done. Going through your day with a battlecry to shout whenever you feel like it is a great way to make the day more fun and entertaining. I highly recommend it, even if your battlecry is only RAAAA LAUNDRY or RAAAA GROCERIES.

I do work at a bookstore now, and as such get a nice discount on anything I buy from the store or order. But let's face it, I'm probably not going to get so much use out of the books to warrant purchasing them and having them around all the time. I freecycled a LOT of books when we moved to MD from MO recently. Milkcrates full. I liked them, but I just did not need them around all the time and moving them with us was not an option. Moving with a 16 foot truck gave us a chance, and some real motivation, to put our possessions into perspective of what we really needed or wanted and what we didn't. I know the books are now being used and enjoyed by other people, but I could have saved myself a pretty piece of change if I had just used the library more or borrowed from friends.

I came home with awesome loot from the local library "raid", 6 books in total though I really wanted to bring home more than that. This library seems to be pretty hip in the realm of craft books, which was where I spent my time after locating the Gabriel García Marquez books. This gives me hope that they will also have some of the homesteading and green/off the grid living books I've been wanting to read for a while. Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts, Linen, Wool, Cotton, Patchwork Style, and Socks from the Toe Up were some that I thought about checking out, but in the end I came home with these:

Operation RAAAAA LIBRARY loot from the bottom up:

Experimental Textiles has some very inspiring photos of textile art and I plan to try to work some more of the things I've seen here into my sister's wedding quilt, which I will be working on more today and posting updates about.

Paper Yarn was picked up on whim at the last minute as I thought maybe it would have some information about making my own yarn using paper. No such luck on that front, but it does have some visually interesting and creative uses for a product I thought was just for making pretty additions to gift wrapped packages.

I brought home Crochet Me because it has some great project ideas inside. It does have patterns, but most of what's inside is not written with adjustments to accommodate a plus sized body and I don't really want to spend a lot of time fiddling with fit and drape right now. I just wanted it for the ideas, like felted messenger bags worked in color block with cutouts to showcase the colors, pretty lace thigh highs tied up with ribbon, a tapestry crochet (something I haven't learned yet) circle rug, and some interesting jewelery made using thread and the tiniest of hooks.

Kids Learn to Knit
was also picked up on a whim. I've been asking people to show me how to knit off and on for years, but none of it seems to stick. The same was true of crochet and I finally learned that by looking at pictures on the Internet (spell check reminds me once again that Internet is a proper noun and I realize that yes it is, but I don't agree with having to capitalize the I all the time) so I figured a children's book about learning to knit would be just me speed. This book has photos of finished and in-progress objects, but the instructions are given in the simplest English and accompanied by illustrations instead of photos, which I find indescribably easier to understand. Plus, the little illustrated birds and mice helping you learn are just so darned cute!

I also got two fiction works by Gabriel García Marquez including One Hundred Years of Solitude and Collected Stories. I wanted to get one of them published in Spanish so I could practice my reading and comprehension, but once I got to the library I forgot to ask if they had either in the original Spanish as I got distracted by the many shelves of craft books.

RAAAA CURTAINS was also a successful endeavor as you can see below. That's the dining room in the house proper. The window with a partly open curtain has a view out into the bay, albeit along the side of the house with its unkempt flower beds, instead of the neighbor's house.

These were the curtains that I started way back here.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

wedding quilt update (7)

Been doing some more embroidering on some pieces of the quilt.

Right this moment I am totally in love with the red and turquoise combination. It's on a couple of very different pieces already.

I searched around for the one that had a bleached image of a slotted spoon on it because I had embroidered Hey Good Lookin' Whatcha Got Cookin' on it, but I haven't been able to find it yet.

I think I am going to start doing a weekly post about the wedding quilt and my progress on it. This will also serve as a little more motivation to do something measurable with it every week.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Man, Seagulls are Dicks

I had a nice little distraction this afternoon. A gull came up to the apartment window, harassed the parrots for a few minutes, turned over some dishes (looking for something to eat?) and then proceeded to walk up and down the sidewalk a few times, looking like he was the owner of everything. The only gull experience I've had is that they all congregate in the field for easy eats when we tilled, disced or mowed the fields back home. My conservation biologist friend informs me that gulls are the dicks of the bird kingdom. After what I witnesses this afternoon, I definitely believe her.

What could that be making all that awful noise and making the birds so angry? Is that a duck? I can't quite see the head but it's got webbed feet and is kind of fat.

No, it's no duck. It's a... seagull!? Why is it antagonizing the parrots while I'm standing right here in front of the window?

Looking awfully satisfied with himself, walking up and down the sidewalk bobbing his head and generally appearing as if he was the boss of everything.

Mr. Gull sauntering away to the back yard (and subsequently the Bay) after harassing the parrots and upending some dishes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Mosaic, ocean-inspired handmade style

I've never really experienced anything like living near the ocean like this. Well, we're not actually on the ocean but rather the Chesapeake Bay. I think it's safe to say I'm drawing some creative inspiration from my new surroundings.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


We are now relocated and (mostly) all moved in. Job hunting has been in full swing for a while. Corey has landed a position at a Borders with possible management potential, but all I've gotten so far is that no one's hiring until mid-September. I am really loving being here by the bay, though. I've been fighting with the internet/computer all day in order to get these pics posted. I have been doing some sewing and embroidering, nut I seem to have not taken any pics of those so I'll have to do so and update you on that later. In the meantime, here's some fun things about our new home.

There is a head on a pike at the end of our pier. It was left here by the previous inhabitants of the house. I am told they were a couple of young college guys who had parties a lot.

A really gross, big dead carp washed up onto the pier one afternoon. Being the landlocked people that we are (with the exception of V, Corey's mom, who grew up on the bay) we pulled it out and put it in the trash. Nice neighbor, M, who has lived in the house he's in for his entire life, told us the next time it happens that we should toss it off the end of the pier so the crabs can eat it instead of it stinking up the whole neighborhood for almost a week.

This is the house, taken from a chair at the end of the pier. This place is pretty awesome.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Short post with no pics. Sorry. Ran out of internet time at the mall we visited. All arrived safely in new home by the sea. Pics forthcoming. :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

We pick up the moving truck today and then the real fun starts

We've been preoccupied with packing stuff into boxes and giving things away for the last week or so. And before that we were in Arkansas visiting with family for the 4th. I got a good deal of work done on assembling the quilt while I was there and did quite a bit of embroidery on quilt strips/pieces as well.

I don't have any pictures to post right now because they are all on Corey's laptop. I made one piece with fireworks explosions embroidered onto it along with the year, 2009. I also embroidered "Hey good lookin' Whatcha got cookin'?" onto one of the bleached pieces I had used a kitchen spoon on. I fell asleep by the river working on that fireworks piece and you can kind of see the back of it in this pic that my aunt K took. Swimming in that cold, spring-fed river was tiring.

I learned that I need to invest in a tripod if I want to take good pictures of fireworks. I just shake too much no matter what. the photos I ended up with remind of very bright, multi-colored chrysanthemums.

Friday, June 26, 2009

So we're moving...

Corey and I have both decided that we really need to use and/or get rid of a lot of the "stuff" we have accumulated over the last few years. I have a lot of things that I really do not have much use for and would really rather not drag across the country with me. As a result, I will be drastically reducing my fabric stash by whatever means necessary. Mostly I will be making quilt tops and then sending them to my parents to make into quilts for me. Mom doesn't mind making quilt sandwiches and tying the layers together; she does not like making the actual quilt tops themselves. This morning most of my fabric stash looked like this:
That is all of the fabric out of the back/storage room. That does not include the 2 totes' worth of fabric that is still under my bed. I am working on getting it all washed and dried and ready to cut and use. Everything in the pile above was sorted by fabric type and use and now look like this:

Cotton knits and things I'm using on Dez and Mike's quilt.

Silks, satins and brocades on the left. Box with huge piece of floral cotton off-frame at top. Stack of poly/cotton blends on left side of fridge, pile of cotton/silk in center of fridge, stack/pile of cotton and cotton prints to right.

Tote of tulle (and burlap rice bag). This will be used in making frilly aprons. Dez requested a frilly apron and by golly she will be getting a frilly apron alright!

Laundry tote of silks and poly-blends, pile of 18+ yards shiny textured fabric Dez will soon have curtains made from, box of leather and fur scraps/remnants.

I also have a big bag of t-shirt type cotton knit. That will be part of what stays in the stash I think. Still haven't decided exactly what will stay with me for sure as I will need to go through all of what I still have under my bed to make decisions regarding the final cut. I know there some silks and

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dye Job or wedding quilt update (5)

I used one box of Rit brand "Wine" color dye today. The fabric below used to be very bright pastel blues and greens. I didn't like it at all, but it was a nice cotton blend so we'll see how it looks once it's done.

Piece of what was VERY white, fine, woven, curtain-type fabric; which should end up being a delightful light pink color.

Dress in dye bucket. Will post before/after shots once I turn it into an apron.

Fabrics as well as some quilt strips hanging to drip. Once everything stops dripping I will throw it all in the washer on a spin cycle and then into the dryer to set the dye more.
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