Sunday, May 24, 2009

Opera In The Garden

exaltation for a slug

Intense preparation...

Sweet introduction...(notice the Mason jar, within resides the exalted one)

Swelling emotion...(cue violins)


Melancholic end...


Friday, May 22, 2009

Wondermommy's New Scantly Clad Pattern!

Today Melissa from Wondermommy has launched her new E Book 'Scantly Clad' in her web shop!
As I mentioned before, Melissa chose me, along with a couple of other very talented folks, to be a pattern tester for this before she put it up for sale. What a great honor and joy.

I had a great time sewing up the Skantly Clad Pattern. Everything came together beautifully with the thorough instructions. Easy enough for a beginner, with endless possibility and variations for the advanced seamstress. The clothes fit well and look great! I will most definitely use this pattern again and again. Melissa has created a real winner!

I have to say that being a part of this process was a great experience for me. To help a fellow creative mom realize her vision while creating awesome clothes was a blast.

Congratulations Melissa! and thank you for having me be a part of fun.

So, go get your Scantly Clad Pattern at or at Wondermommy's Etsy Shop

Go on, make your own!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Strange Love

This is Lola.

I heard you gasp.
Once at her breathtaking beauty, and again as you thought, Wait a minute, that's Lola?!
I encourage you to click on the photos for a larger view - all the better to really witness her glory.
Yes. This, is the original Lola.

The other evening a dear friend rang me up for a sip in her garden. It was lovely and balmy, a perfect glow after a bluebird day. It has become a tradition on such days, that this friend and I meet for a spell in the garden with the cats and the trickle splash music of the pond. It is a seasonal pleasure, happily indulged. I roused Lola from her winter's rest and rode swiftly (if somewhat rustily) over to her house for a sweet evening of catching up in good company.
As I was riding along the backstreets, wind whistling through my helmet, I thought it might be high time y'all met.

A few years back, when I was trying to give a name to these things I make and do; I was enjoying a nice bicycle ride, just me and Lola The Super Nova (She's actually a Schwinn Collegiate) - and it came to me. The first logo was a stylized rendition of the lovely Lola. So, there's the story.

For the story of Lola herself, we must go back another couple of years. Lola was given to me by my brilliant husband one Valentine's Day. I was completely done for and madly in love (with both the bicycle and that man of mine). The antlers on the basket - I found in an abandoned homestead in Wyoming. And for you bird enthusiasts, that is a chickadee perching there on the edge. She has a green bell to match her enthusiastic green paint. She has chrome fenders, a little dented but, still shiny. Oh, how I adore this bicycle.
The naming of this bicycle is a different story, for another time.

There is often a story behind the things we love so. I thought I would start up a semi-regular article on this blog called Strange Love, all about the things I love for some strange reason. A little bit photo essay, a little bit rambling and a whole lot of strange love. I am going to try to coerce you to play along. If you want to join in, let me know...or just post on your blog about something you adore - some trinket from the past, a moment in time, a silly bottle cap - whatever. Tell the story and send me a link. What is your Strange Love?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunshine On My Shoulder

We have been having glorious weather these days. It is beginning to feel like Summer, stirring up visions of trips to the beach, music in the park and Strawberry Jam! I don't know how long it will last but, I fully intend to enjoy it. Fortunately our basement has dried out and the only lingering reminder is a slight paranoia around doing the laundry (our old fashioned plumbing was the cause of the trouble).

I have finished a few of my many projects.

Here is the Teachers Tote that was meant to be a gift for Teacher Appreciation Week, now an end of the year appreciation gift. Fortunately teacher Joyce knows nothing of this little blog so it will seem as though that is how I intended it all along. I love the vintage tea towel yardage I used, quite cheery.

I will be posting later this week about my pattern testing for Wondermommy, a great experience.

In all the upheaval of this past week I forgot to mention our newest chick chick. She is an Ameraucana (they lay green eggs, Sam I am!). I have named her Suki. Here are the dears recovering from flood rescue.

The large red one is Fran, though I have taken to calling her Francine. She is obviously older than the other two and so seems more the apron wearing, rolling pin carrying, mother hen type. Yes, let's hope she is indeed a she. The quintessential yellow chick is Tweet Tweet, she's a little like Baby Spice - blond, cute and a little ditzy. I am still learning about Suki. They are all doing well.

Well, I'm off to plant the rest of the vegetable starts we picked up yesterday, the garden and the coop are coming along nicely.

I thought I would leave you with a great link with all sorts of free patterns and tutorials for bags. Go on, check it out and make your own tote bag! It's a great beginning project and if you aren't a beginner, you know you can still use another tote bag. Why, they come in handy for all sorts of things...
Grocery Shopping
Trips to the Library
Beach Gear
Hauling a load of chick chick meal
School Bags
Carrying sundries in your bicycle basket
Toy Bag for the kiddies
They make great gifts
and on and on and on
Find it all here

Friday, May 15, 2009

Lola Nova 101

Well, I've hit my 101st post. I was going to strike up an impromptu parade with marching band, confetti and maybe some of those little cars the Shriners drive but, something else came up.

I have to thank all of the lovely folks that I have met through this webby rambling spot. You have encouraged, inspired and motivated me more than you could know. So, thanks, thanks a lot.

I was going to write a long winded sappy post to go along with this momentous occasion but, as I said, something else came up.

I have been so very busy crafting away these days and most of my current projects are due to this here blog-a-ma-boo. Unfortunately, I can't show any of these projects, I can however, give a sneak peek.

This is very exciting! I have been chosen for the honor of pattern tester by Melissa at Wondermommy. She is about to launch an incredible E Book Pattern and needed some stitchers to work up some samples. I am so pleased to be part of this. Thank you Melissa! Let me tell you, she has a winner, this pattern is awesome!

Here are some other previews of things in the works.
There's this...

and this...

I would show you more and tell you more but...
something has come up...the water.
The water's 1 foot high and risin'
My basement flooded...and if i can keep moving I might be able to keep from weeping, it has been a rough week.
The chick chicks got soaked. Don't worry they are fine.
The rest of my basement (where my sewing area is) with all our stuff (which is now on our back deck) is wet, wet, wet.

I'll have to get back to you later.
Many thanks for all the love.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In Memoriam

Yesterday, one of our wee chick chicks succumbed to one of the great mysteries that sometimes befall baby animals. I fretted and fussed when I noticed her listless behavior, her disinterest in water and food and how she had dropped her wings. Oh, dear little Irma, I knew then you were not long for this world. We could not help ourselves, we grew hopelessly attached to every one of our 3 babies and we found ourselves in the thick of a deep sorrow.

Irma was named after one of my favorite '60s soul singers, Irma Thomas. She recorded a brilliant rendition of Time Is On My Side. Sadly, for this Irma, it appears it was not.

We will return to our urban farm store to replenish the brood and begin again.

So, alas though we hardly knew ye, you were cared for little chick chick.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day, I certainly did.
It began with Mr. Nova whipping up a batch of his famous and entirely too delicious Belgian Waffles. Yes, my man is known around here for being a somewhat mad late night baker, lucky me. You should taste his coffee cake, it's heavenly!

After breakfast we packed up a picnic lunch and headed out on an adventure. We drove to Sauvie Island and headed out on the Warrior Rock Trail. A perfect day for a walk in the woods, partly cloudy with sun breaks dappling through the trees. The trail is next to the beach where we saw some Sturgeon fisher folk and sailboats gliding past. There were views of the mountains covered in snow and a cacophony of bird song in the air. It was just the thing, quite needed - to be out in the green with my dearest ones. The only disaster was when I came upon a snake (no, that was not the disaster), I picked it up to show my girl and after a good inspection, I let it free to go on it's merry way. Well, you'd have thought the sky was falling what with the amount of wailing let loose by my girl. "He was my best friend, I love him, GET ME MY SQUIRMY!!!!" If she chooses, she will make an excellent actress someday. Soon, the fit fizzled and she decided it was time to search for bears. It was entirely wonderful.

On the way home I spied one of these for sale
1974 International Airstream in good condition for a bargain price. It was then my turn to wail and fit and say, "It's my best friend, I love it, GET ME MY TRAILER!!!!!" Even at a bargain it's not in the budget. My fit lasted a little longer than my girls but, it finally settled into a quiet melancholy that is still felt today. I will have to tell you the story of my own Airstream someday, it's lost to me now and I occassionally pine for it.

Later in the day, I was given the gift of a cool couple of hours to myself. Being much inspired lately by the extremely clever Tif at Dottie Angel, I've been spending some time reading her gorgeous blog, usually with bits of drool at the corners of my mouth. She creates magical things with a vintage vibe and writes a most entertaining and thoughtful blog. Check out her Etsy shop. Due to this inspiration, A-Thrifting I did go. It has been ages since I've been able to thrift, it was once a passion born from necessity. Most of the stores close to me are full of rubbish but, I did manage to pick up a couple of wicked cool mid-70's embroidery books, vintage sheets for summer dress making and some great books for the kidlet.

As a final note, the chick chicks are in smashing form. The first day and night I fretted like a nervous new mama, checking them constantly. Now we have found a more reasonable rhythm and routine. Irma is the biggest and least frighty. Fran is a wing flapper and yodel cheeps in a most amazing way. Tweet Tweet is aptly named for she tweets quite a lot. They are all sweet little gals (I hope).

Goodness this was a long post, so much news. There is more to share but, I'd best get to the making, many projects await. Have a great week.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


The baby chicks have arrived! Oh goodness aren't they sweet? Excuse the dark photo, I did not want to blind our new babies with a flash. We picked out our chicks at Urban Farm Store and set them up in a cozy spot in the basement. It is hard for my girl to leave them be and not harass them with cuddles but, she seems to understand that they need their rest. We each got to name one.

Fran = Rhode Island Red
Tweet Tweet = Buff Orpington
Irma = Gold Laced Wyandotte

Now, we have 6 weeks to finish the coop and watch our little ones grow. Be sure I will keep you all updated on their new lives with our family. Hurray Chickens!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


This week the Lilacs are in full bloom around here. They don't last too long but boy are they lovely!

This week is also Teacher Appreciation Week and I am just now getting to the making of an appreciation gift for my girl's teacher.

Our gal spends two hours twice a week in a preschool run through our Parks and Rec. It has been fantastic! Teacher Joyce is brilliant, I just can't say enough good things about her. She has shown such a great compassion and willingness to work one on one with our girl while keeping us informed and included.

So, to teacher Joyce and all the wonderful teachers out there, much appreciation and thanks for helping our little ones grow and bloom.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


When it comes to my craft, I have an almost Shaker like philosophy, “Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.” With that said, I have a difficult time making art for the sake of Art. I have struggled with this for many years. I remember my pottery teacher telling me to go beyond convention and function, 'be abstract,' he told me, 'push past the norm.' Good advice, and while I did try, in the end I came home with many lovely, yet functional, bowls and cups.

Certainly this is in part due to insecurity and the audacity I believe it would take to call myself an artist. So, I color inside the lines of form + function with an occasional foray to the outer limits of creativity. Whilst not everything I make or create is necessary, it generally has some usefulness. I am proud of this. Still, I do think that pushing beyond that and challenging ones self, facing fears and reaching for greater creativity, is also useful.

All this preamble just to tell you that I start a photography class tonight, goodness!

While photography certainly has purpose and function, I find it also exists of itself. I can take a photograph that is purely artistic (to my sensibilities) and let go of some of my controlled observations. It is one way I intend to look outside of myself, find inspiration and hopefully have some Art to hang on my wall.

Wish me luck.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Back On The Make

Happy May Day!

I have finally returned to my creative space after what has felt like a long absence. Life just gets busy and days rush by. I don't have any creative revelations for you, just a humble set of napkins. Sometimes it is good to keep it simple.
I used some pre-cut squares I found in my scrap box and hemmed them, then a rubber stamp with fabric paint for the little sparrows on unbleached muslin. I think they are kinda sweet, and who can't use a few more napkins?

I hope you all are able to celebrate Spring today!