Sunday, January 30, 2011

'Ta Da!'...It was fun, it was hard, I learned a lot...or the trouble with photographing an eclipse

and on with the reveal...
You'll just have to believe me when I say that this looks different in person...and by 'different', I mean better. This little art quilt is a trick and a half to photograph. I just couldn't seem to capture it's 'trueness'.

I'm calling it, Eclipse.

a patch of antique kimono silk, that was patched itself - long ago by distant hands.

When I see it hanging on the wall, it makes me smile and jump ahead in my mind to the next one, and the next one after that; for that is how much I really and absolutely like it. There is a good heaping helping of the 'journey over the destination' appeal here.

the print was made using a hand-cut stencil and detail masking with custom mixed fabric inks.

It was meant to be primitive, simple, and an experiment just to see if it might work, this long mulled over idea of mine. Oh yes, next time there will be less impatience, more care and a few different choices but, there will indeed be a next time.
What I learned for the future was:
1. A less loosely woven fabric for large prints would be much better, making for considerably less shifty infuriation, seeping inks, and nasty cursings.
2. Use fresh inks - I used some that were a bit past their prime and paid for it.
3. My embroidery skills need a little polishing up.

Oh, I do like it though, so does the engineer by the way. And I'm just going to pretend that the smaller wonky embroidered circle is not driving me batty! (I pulled out the stitches twice and on my third go it was still askew - so I figured it was best left to it's heartbreaking honesty.)

Well, that's all I've got for today. I think for my next unveiling, I might go for something a little less nerve wracking, a safe recipe perhaps...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Maverick Craftwork

I started a project that is a wee bit outside the norm for me. I usually make things that are useful in some way, as opposed to "just because it's awesome". There is something downright practical about me and making. That doesn't mean I don't get carried away and color outside the lines from time to time. I have ideas and they swim around in my mind occasionally making a big splash. Well, it was about time I paid attention and did something about it. I went maverick!

Not only did I go maverick but, I went multi-medium! I haven't been overly cautious, I have not plotted it all out down to the last detail, and I have let the piece guide me along. There have been messes, mistakes, wonk, and an undoing or two. Guess what, I'm loving it!

It's almost finished, I think. I'll be sure and show you when it's done. For now, I am just going to enjoy this new found freedom of expression.

Have a maverick day my friends!

Monday, January 24, 2011

little bits

Little bits of vintage goodness.

This weekend was a wild ride, uppers...downers...turn-arounders. There was a small break in the weather, some troubling news, a baby-sitting swap with the neighbors, a difficult 3rd verse, and a tiny bit of vomit. There was also a 'Mad Men' themed company party for which, I broke out the red lipstick for the first time in years.

When this morning rolled in, it brought fog and a slightly unsettled feeling within me. After school drop off, I bravely faced the grocery market and fulfilled my duty as the keeper of the food. Coming home, I was thinking of some recent inspiration I came across here, and oh my goodness here, and definitely here. It occurred to me that I was in desperate need of some therapy. Fraulein Pfaff was waiting stoically in the studio, knowing I couldn't stay away.

I started gathering up little bits of vintage goodness...some received from lovely blog friends, some from sweet grannies, and some found on treasure hunts. Then it begins to happen, cutting and stitching and all the rest fades away. Yet, all the recent events, the inspiration from here, there, the buffet line at a Mad Men party, my longing for a bit of sunshine, the afternoon adventures of "Fleeto the Rabbit and his Horse with no Name"...all the little bits of life go into the dress I'm making.

By the time I have clipped my last thread, the sun is out, it's time for school pick up and I feel much better.

And now it's time to introduce you to a little something that Pony Girl calls, 'Rock N' Roll Modeling'!

Oh Yeah!

and check out her very first pair of Doc Martins, picked up for a song at the local thrift...with super cool miss matched laces, sweet!

Friday, January 21, 2011


all images from here

The continuing rain and dark days have just about done my head in, that's what I get for living in the Pacific Northwest. Just so you know, I wouldn't want to live any where else but, there are days...

Even though it's raining, there is a little sunshine in my heart today. Yesterday, I got to see an old friend after many years of having lost touch. Despite the 12 years of being apart, and the many stories necessary to catch up, it was like we simply picked up where we left off.

Have you ever met someone, and right away you just know you're gonna be friends for a long time?

Last week I had been watching something on TV that made me think of my friend. Even though I had tried before in vain to find him, I thought I'd give it another go. Thanks to the tricky ways of the internet, this time I got lucky. Lo and behold, he was going to be in town in a few days and he was coming to see me!

We were flat-mates once upon a time, one of the best room mates I ever had. We got along famously and had a blast together. He called me 'Chicken' and I called him 'Freak', though they sound a bit iffy as nicknames, they truly were terms of endearment. After we left our house to each move in with our boyfriends (which ended poorly for both of us), we lost touch.

Turns out, he lives only a couple of hours away! We got to hang out and we talked straight through the couple of hours we had, laughing for much of it. As we hugged goodbye - we promised to never, ever lose touch again. It takes a special sort of friendship to bridge that gap of time and life and still be as comfortable and happy together. I am feeling most fortunate to have found my friend again, I almost don't mind the rain.

May your weekend be blessed with friends!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


First, I have to thank all of you lovelies for the sweet comments and all the encouragement you left for me on my last post. I feel so immensely grateful to have such wonderful readers with such kind hearts. You make me feel as though I could do anything!

As I mentioned, my stitching has slowed to an almost standstill. I do have one little bit of making to show. A pair of dungarees for Pony Girl. Made from the Farbenmix pattern, Berit. I love this pattern as they go together quickly and have a bit of interest to the piecing. I kept this pair on the simple side - since the denim I used was of heavy weight and too much embellishing would have made them even heavier.

I tried to get the girl to model them for pictures because they are much more charming that way, instead of laying on the table all flat and kidless. She would have none of it though.

In other stitch related news; I received the sweetest bundle from Denise of A Bun Can Dance. We had a little scrap swap between ourselves and across an ocean. What a wonderful package arrived at my door, with some special vintage pieces to boot! The lovely fabrics have me pondering and wanting to sew.

And now in completely unrelated but noteworthy news...
A little while ago I received an email from Sandy of Sandy and the 1000 Paper Cranes. Sandy is on a mission! To fold 1000 paper cranes, to write affirming, positive words on their wings, and release them into the world for people to find.
This is a pretty great idea so I thought I would spread the word. If you want to read about her project click here. You too can join in by making your own cranes and setting them free. How awesome is that?

Well, that's it for today. Have a swell one!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Today there is rain again, the morning is heavy with darkness, and we are out of cat food. Still...this morning there is good coffee, the ladies are laying again after a long egg-less spell, my family is safe, and I am happy.

Here in the first blush of a new year, I haven't yet found a moment to really consider the days that lay before me. There's a lot of living in the moment going on around here. I've been reading others words for the coming year, goals and resolutions that resonate with me in some way or another. As much as I love list making - oh I really do you know - I haven't made an actual 2011 list. I think I might just roll with it this year and make it up as I go along. I do know that I want to be brave.

It's funny what being brave used to mean to me, compared to what it means now. When I was young, being brave was driving cross country in a car barely held together with duct tape and radio wires - or a yearly solo wilderness camping trip - or moving to an unknown city at the drop of a hat - or jumping off of tall bridges into icy cold rivers - or first kisses. Being brave is something altogether different now, and harder too I think.

I can imagine you reading this, perhaps thinking that my reflections on life are all well and good but, 'didn't she say something about a secret?' You don't miss a trick do you?
Some of you have been visiting long enough to know that I have a passion for music, and that I indeed make music myself. My stitching has slowed down to make way for another sort of crafting. I've taken on a secret project (soon to be much less secret)...and I want to make sure that I say this in the coolest possible way...

This weekend we had the first rehearsal for the new album.

And by 'the new album', I mean the only album. In the spirit of bravery, and to truly live in the moment, I am going to be recording a bare bones album with the help of some wonderful musicians who are getting paid in homemade cookies and beer. All my own material - made to sound gobs better with the talent of afore mentioned musicians. I'm a bit a-flutter about it, excited and nervous, even though it may just end up gifties for unsuspecting family and friends. It is indeed a Brave New Year!

To the sweet reader who sent me a note guessing that I was pregnant, I do hope you are not too disappointed.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Well Hello

I'm back. After a number of issues with blogger, my camera, and a bit of overextending myself...I think I have put things to right again. I've gotten a little off track and so I'm starting fresh.

Remember my little "Self Portrait Challenge"? It's on again! These were taken in the first days of the new year. The first good look at myself of 2011.

I had just dyed my hair a shade called 'Egyptian Plum'. When I told the Engineer over the phone he thought I had said 'Egyptian Slum', to which he replied, "That sounds awful!" So, now I am the mom at school pick up wearing what may or may not be pajama pants, and hair the color of an exotic Slum...which, if you're curious, is vaguely purple.

How about you, wouldn't you like to capture yourself on the precipice of a new year?

I'm off to see what I've been missing out there in blogland. I'll be back next week, with crafty bits and possibly to share a little secret I've been keeping.

Have a grand weekend!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Excuse me

Experiencing technical difficulties.
Will return once this business is sorted out.
Until then, all the best to you!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

10 in 10 for 10 - Day 6

In My Room - The Beach Boys
There's a world where I can go
and tell my secrets to
In my room
In my room

In this world I lock out
all my worries and my fears
In my room
In my room

Do my dreaming and my scheming lie awake and pray
Do my crying and my sighing laugh at yesterday

Now it's dark and I'm alone
but I won't be afraid
In my room
In my room

Friday, January 7, 2011


Time Out!
2 posts in one day?
I simply had to share this!
A new show is premiering Jan. 21 on the Independent Film Channel called Portlandia. A comedy show - loving and lampooning the city I live in, I can't wait. Until then, I leave you with this hilarious clip, because it is awesome!

If you are having trouble viewing the video try clicking this

10 in 10 for 10 - Day 5

click the pic...amazing mural!

As I headed out to run my errands, I grabbed my camera unsure of what I would find today. Then I saw that someone had yarn bombed a telephone pole near where I parked my car, perfect!
All of my shots are taken on one street close to where I live, this one street is full of amazing and colorful murals and art work. "Street Art" if you will. It may not be to everyone's taste but, I truly believe that Community Art is vital, meaningful, and necessary to the fabric of our communities. A vibrant expression of the energy and spirit of our neighborhoods. By the people, for the people.

Also playing along:
Little House in Paradise
Loess Is More(stay tuned!)
Fledge - flying is easy
Flaming Nora
Handmade - Homegrown
Mad Crafty Mama

Thursday, January 6, 2011

10 in 10 for 10 - x 2

Days 3 and 4 rolled into one...

Yesterday I never got out to take my ten. It was raining, pouring, the old man was snoring, and I had a date with some denim and the 'Fraulein' for some stitchery. So today I decided to double the flavor, double the fun and take 20 in 20.

I have to say these are the first I really like. I just focused on color, shape and texture and I think they are pretty ok.

click on the pic for a good look-see

Now for the second 10...

Just don't tell Pony Girl that I went to the park without her.

This is fun, wanna see who else is playing along?
Fledge - flying is easy
Flaming Nora
Handmade - Homegrown
Mad Crafty Mama

I know another one or two who might be joining in soon, I'll keep you posted. Thanks so much to Nancy for putting this into motion!

P.S. I did fix my settings before I went out to take the shots but, I did not touch a thing once I started my photo shoot - nor did I edit after.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Making my list

As we swing into this bright and shiny new year, I am still making my list. My list of goals and hopes and dreams I guess. What wonders will this year hold, what adventures? I am going to be brave this year, I am going to do new things.

Like learn a new craft/art.

...and spend some time with an old flame.

What is on your list?

I will be back later today with my day 3 of 10.10.10 - that is if the rain lets up just a little.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

10 in 10 for 10 - Day 2

I wasn't sure I'd make it today, struck down as I was with a nasty cold. I thought I had it licked but, in the middle of the night it sneaked up on me and took me down.
Todays photos may not be so inspired but, I am pretty chuffed that I got the shots. Thanks go to The Engineer for his help and support.

I will hopefully be back tomorrow with a little less fog in the brain.

Monday, January 3, 2011

10 in 10 for 10 - Day One

Happy New Year!

In the words of Spongebob Squarepants, "I'm Ready!"

I am considering this Monday to be my official New Year's Day. Engineer back at work, the small one back to school - both of them none to pleased about it. I so enjoyed having my family around, spending relaxed time with them. When they are present, I find it hard to do anything else but just hang out together.

And though it has been so nice, I am feeling ready to get back to a little routine as well as a little adventure. One of the things on my 2011 "To Do" list, is to get out more...I mean to spend time out there in the city I love, to bring my camera and capture some Portland heart and soul. So, when I saw my friend Nancy, of Fledge had started a meme called "10 in 10 for 10", I thought it a great way to get myself into the thick of it right away.

Nancy writes:
"Today, I thought up a meme (which, in my head, I pronounce "Me-Me", because I can, because it's my head). 10-10-10. Ten photos. Ten minutes. Ten days. It's intended to exercise my mindfulness and stretch my photographic eye. No time to fidget with settings (which I cannot, because I cracked the LCD display on the back of my camera. Perfect.). No time to stage anything. No photo editing.

Just walk/see/shoot/look/post."

Here is the original post Nancy has extended an open invitation if you would like to play along!

So, with my top photo being 1, here are the other 9. I have to tell you that not fiddling with settings and skipping photo editing is hard for me. Not to mention it was freezing out and my hands went numb completely in the 10 minutes I was out shooting. I did see a whole world of "Possibility"!

Still, what a great experiment! To get out and look and shoot and see things a little differently.

I have lots to tell in this new year and I promise I will get to it all soon. I hope your first days of the new year are treating you well!