Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's Here!

Navin R. Johnson: The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!

Harry Hartounian: Boy, I wish I could get that excited about nothing.

Navin R. Johnson: Nothing? Are you kidding? Page 73 - Johnson, Navin R.! I'm somebody now! Millions of people look at this book everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity - your name in print - that makes people. I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now.

- The Jerk, 1979

O.K. so it's not the phone book but, I am quite excited about some pretty big news...

Yes, that's right! I took time off from my blog (and yours) to have time to put all the pieces into place to open my Etsy Shop! I spent the last few days rearranging the furniture and getting the sign painted, so that everything would be ready for today, when I officially open the doors and welcome you all into my cozy store.

I am starting small, with a select assortment of goods that will be added to regularly (I'd like you to imagine a newborn fawn learning how to use her spindly legs to walk in the meadow for the first time).
***I'll let you in on a little secret...I'm working on some home wares just now that will be making their debut in the shop later, sshhh.***

I would like to thank all of you lovelies who have been so encouraging and supportive of me and this endeavor so, THANKS!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Right after this short break

found by the roadside

Looking at the picture of those suitcases in my last post, made me a bit wistful and I swore I could hear the call of the sea on the breeze. I found myself longing to lounge under a quilt by the fire - in my wholesome shack near the water's edge, whilst looking out of the picture window at the tumbling ocean. Oh my friends, it was a powerful longing indeed.

So, I packed my travel case and rolled down the road to the coast. To breathe in the briny air and be lulled to sleep by the waves. I must ramble the curly ribbon of highway singing at top volume to the likes of Otis, Irma, and Tanya Tucker. I will think of you.

Ok, that is how I would like you all to think of me while a take a short break. In reality, I will be quite busy trying to make all the ends meet somewhere in the the middle.

Lola needs a time out.

Only for the briefest of moments though, I will be back mid-week next. I have so much to catch you up on, all sorts of clever goings on. In the meanwhile, please take good care of your lovely selves.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Testing One's Mettle

There has been a whisper in the blog wind.. that wile gal Dottie Angel, has sallied up "a challenge of the utmost kind." When first I read of it, I thought, 'Smashing idea, I'm in!' Still, I hesitated. My Irish great grandmother, Lulu Mulligan's voice came in, "Aw now, do you not think you've enough challenges already child? For pity's sake, just look atcha." While I have been feeling a little challenged of late, I have decided at last to hitch my wagon to Dottie's and join in.

In case you aren't feeling click happy and just want me to get to the point, here is the challenge: To buy only handcrafted or second hand goods for my home and closet for an entire year.
There are exceptions allowed. The first two exceptions set forth by Ms. Angel
1: undies and tights
2: gifts (received)
Perfectly understandable.
The next two exceptions are my own
3: Thread for sewing, printer ink (though we do use a DIY refill kit at home), and necessary items of that sort. Whilst this might be a given that I need not call attention to, I do generally feel that the devil is in the details.
4: Parts. Parts for the things that may start falling apart and need fixing may be bought brand new.

What does this challenge mean? It means that I continue doing things much the way I have been, but in a much more mindful way. It will be interesting to really pay attention to and be made aware of the little items that end up in the shopping basket. Needs versus wants and the like. Make and mend shall be my mantra.

I will ignore the death rattle of 'Mr. Suds' and believe that my boots will carry me through another winter. I think I can.
My start date is retroactive to Sept. 20th 2009 since I have lived well within the challenge guidelines from that day.

And, if any of you think your up for the challenge, just pop on over to Dottie Angel and sign up!

A little side note here - Since I do make my own cleaning products already, if anyone has some extra lavender oil they would like to send my way...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Time to Chop Wood

Last week I got up to none of my usual craftiness, what with the 'little miss' starting up preschool again (2 hours 3 times a week) and my man gone on a most manly adventure (hiking to a secret lake in the wilderness with a pal), I've been all a-spin, hands full, feet a-flutter and plum tuckered out.
Well, now that fall is falling, my fingers are beginning to jump - waiting to tackle some 'handi-work'.

Time for embroidery. An art I would very much like to become more adept at. I have worked the blanket stitch to all it's ends and there are so many lovely stitches I have yet to grasp.

A few years ago, I had a brief fling with yarn and hook known as 'The Crochet Affair of 2006'. It was over just as it had begun, impetuously tossed aside and nearly forgotten. Lately, I have been seeing so many lovely specimens of crochet - that I am considering giving my old fling a ring and suggest we get together over tea. Perhaps when we meet, we can discuss where it all went wrong, attempt a reconciliation and try again. I am cautiously hopeful.

What are your fall into winter plans?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Vintage Violet

I spent a better portion of yesterday whipping the basement into shape. Not the corner where my sewing machine and accoutrement have refuge, but the rest of it. The part where the laundry, sports gear, beer making supplies (not even out of the box in 3 years mind you), camping flotsam, canning shelves, bags intended for donation, the pair of groovy vintage boots I keep meaning to take to the cobbler, a gifted Mexican hammock, my craft books, his engineering books, Belgian waffle maker, clumps of hanging garlic and shallots, a 40 gal. bin filled with baking flour (all sorts), extra chick-chick feed, the detritus of my former life in boxes, delicate things put up when Lil' Hurricane Nova was born - learned to crawl - began to walk - started to climb - turned into a rock star of the utmost kind, power tools, old paint, vacuum cleaner, furnace, water heater, lumber, travel cases, fire wood, and 327 spiders share 290 square feet of raw discord. It had gone way beyond the pale. Whew! Lord, let's hope I've got that out of my system! I have the occasional bent for a tangent; I can 'run on' a bit.

Where was I? Oh yes, change of seasons, freaking out..er, I mean tidying up, sorting piles to purge and what not. In the midst of my dusty labor, I came across my box of old photos. I have a small tip to share with you – when one has limited time and a serious goal to accomplish (such as cleaning up one’s basement), it is not wise to open a neatly closed up box from the past. I’m not suggesting anything akin to the whole Pandora debacle; still, it is bound to be trouble of the most distracting sort, leading to a significant divergence from the task at hand.

And so…apropos of nothing - but for vanity and a case of rusty nostalgia, I present to you a glimpse into my past. Just file it under ‘getting to know you’.

I chose these photos for the fashion. A devout fan of the vintage from way back. The black and white photo shows a 1950's 'Ladies Lunch' dress, red and white silk screened fabric with hundreds of tiny hand sewn silver sequins. The shoes don't look like much and weren't vintage, but rather the most perfect pair of Italian boys oxfords, outlandishly expensive (a gift) and possibly one of my most loved pairs of all time.
In the color photo I am sporting an early 1960's Harley Davidson motorcycle jacket, a 50's petti and some righteous vintage cowboy boots. The Buddy Holly glasses are fakes by the way. Loving those poses!
I may immediately regret my decision to post these as I don't care to share many pics of myself, but for whatever reason, here you are.

Oh, and of course, I hinted at some gossip last post. No, it's not the big news but, I have set myself a real deadline for my grand Etsy Experiment. Regardless of whether I have 3 items or 10, I have given myself until September 30th to open shop. I mean it! I will keep you all abreast of the situation.

Have the greatest of weekends!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oh My Darlin'

Oh my darlin'

Oh My Darlin' Clementine Skirt from Lola Nova.

As the last of the light begins to seep from the sky, a barefoot girl in braids runs pell-mell through the woods. She 'whoops' and 'hollers'; she leaps after dragon flies, and sings a song her mama taught her (she changes the words). She hops and twirls in her skirt of many colors. She spies a spider and and exclaims, "Oh, he's so beautiful, he's my best friend!" Just then, her mama shouts from the garden yonder, "Clementine, come here a minute and try this on for me, I want to take some pictures!" Suddenly, the brown eyed girl bursts out from the leaves - scattering the chickens with a squawk and a huff. "No thank you," she says sweetly, then turns on her heels singing back into the trees.

Original design and pattern from Lola Nova. Girls size 6. This makes item #3 completed for the 'Etsy Experiment'.
...and oh, on that topic, I have a wee bit of gossip for you! I'm afraid it's going to have to wait 'till next time though, I'm a woman pressed for time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mama Needs a Brand New Bag

Do you see this beautiful piece of vintage fabric? Gorgeous isn't it? It's not quite a barkcloth, but similar. This is from my mother's collection, in absolute pristine condition. The story goes like this; my mother entrusted this fabric to my care in order that I should make her a bag. Once the commission was complete, I was to keep some of this beauty stuff for myself, very generous thanks mom. I believe the bargain was struck well over a year ago and still, no bag. Oh woe indeed, I am a neglectful daughter of the most confounding sort. Considering that my mother (who reads this blog regularly - Hi Mom!) has been contributing to my fabric collection on a regular basis for years. She has nearly single handedly supplied me with a vintage fabric stash that is the envy of all my chums.

I'm not quite sure what the hold up has been. Of course I want it to be perfect, of course I don't want to mess up her 'favorite piece of fabric ever', and well...to be completely honest, sometimes I am easily distracted.

So, this is my current mission; to create a bag of the loveliest kind. A bag worthy of this stellar fabric and of my stellar Mom. I think I can, I think I can...
Thank you mom for being so terribly patient and for enabling my fabric addiction. I love you lots!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Making History

My Creative Space

Seasonal changes often spur me on to organize, rearrange, move the furniture and generally cause the other inhabitants of the cottage to shake their heads in consternation. Today, I set about taking on the daunting task of going through my ribbons, trims and lacy bits. These things were all crammed and confused in the bottom drawer of my old dresser in the studio, making it quite a pickle indeed. I began sorting and untangling, overcome by the ungovernable task - I was just on the verge of throwing in the tea towel and calling it an exercise in futility. It was then I came across a small tattered unmarked box. Hmmmm, 'what's this?' I wonder. Inside was a length of lovely hand crocheted lace in spotless cream. A small note accompanied it, written in that sweet old fashioned ladies penmanship. The lace was a little Christmas gift to my grandmother, Harriet, from an old friend. "It's just a bit of crocheted lace to fit a 42 inch pillow case," the note rhymed. The note was dated 1947.

I remember, just after my grandmother died, my mother and I spent a harrowing week going through my grandparents house, sorting decades of stuff that she had accumulated. While much of the questionable items went into a garage sale, there were precious things given to family. I was happy to take home all the vintage lace trims I could find. Oh, how I love the vintage!

So, as I was doing my own sorting, I thought about my grandmother and her friends, my great grandmothers and their friends - coming across more antique lace, hand tatted intricacies, unfinished crochet and other little pieces of the past. I imagined their hands moving in rhythm, creating... making history. I carefully washed some of the stained pieces and hung them on the line to dry. As I did so, I was thinking - I am touching my history, generations of women from my family have made these beautiful things with their hands. Certainly, there are some bits that I have picked up from garage sales or second hand shops; I thought about those unknown women as well, how I am now connected to them, albeit in this tiny way, to their history.

It is no wonder to me, that we seem to be experiencing a renaissance of the handmade. In a world of disconnect, of automated options, of self-serve, of the disposable...there is a need to connect. When I receive something handmade, I feel connected to the maker. I can imagine the time and care (the heart and soul) that went into it's making.

In the back corner of the drawer, crumpled and stained with age, is an old 'Red Rose' flour sack. Inside there is an unfinished blouse, also yellowed and stained. It was made by my great grandmother, possibly 100 years ago. I never met her, I don't know much about her but, I can imagine her. She is sitting in a room, needle at hand, working the thread through the fabric. She does beautiful work. She sews from necessity still, she takes pride. She has looked up for a moment and pricks her finger, staining the collar. The blouse gets put aside, forgotten. Somehow this discarded or forgotten remnant has made it's way to me, has remained when so much has been lost. I love it, it connects me to her and to myself.

Now, at the end of the day, the ribbons remain all 'a-tangle', the trims are staging a coup, and little 'organizing' has been accomplished. I tell you what though, 'I've lace on the line under the last of the summer sunshine' and I needed this more than I can tell you. I feel humbled and tired and so good. I needed reminding and maybe a little whisper from the past. I needed to connect.

Now, go connect with the creative souls over here!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The wheels in my mind keep on turning

The weather is changing, we have had some rain and cooler temps these days. My wee summer toes are bucking closed in shoes and I am not quite ready for fall. Along with the incoming season I am having a heck of a time keeping my head straight. So many ideas keep popping into my mind that I am waking up a few times a night to sketch or jot down a note. Of course when they come - they seem absolutely brilliant but, by the time I am doing the laundry or making dinner, it hits me, "Nope, no good at all!" I say to the stir fry, "It'll never work."

I am working on things for the much hinted at Etsy endeavor, not nearly where I want to be. I look around my studio and think, 'Is that all there is?'...'then let's keep dancing.' Above is a photo of a little Day Of The Dead piece I have been messing about with. I have some more embroidery and beading to add. At first, I thought I would make a few postcard size pieces, now I'm wondering if I should work it into a larger piece. I don't know.

My schedule is about to change and my studio time will be less. I may have to take up night time coffee drinking to kick up the pace. What I should be doing is filling my freezer with stews and soups, you know, gathering for the coming winter. Ah well.

Today's odd little post was brought to you by the misty shivers that are creeping in from outdoors. Oh, just a few more days of sun please, then I promise I'll be good.

Monday, September 7, 2009

We Got A Groovy Thing

Photo 2002

Today is our anniversary, Mr. Nova and I celebrate our 6th year of wedded goodness.

We had planned a joyous backyard BBQ for yesterday with all our friends and family (the very same back yard in which we were married), alas the rain poured and the wind howled. BBQ canceled, instead we had a lovely inside dinner with family. Today, it's a lazy day with just our little family of three, so nice. We are hoping for a volunteer baby sitter for this evening, so that Mr. Nova and I can have the rare and elusive date. Keeping fingers crossed.

It has not always been easy, but it has always been good.
To my sweet: I love you madly. Thank you for the best 6 years of my life!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Creative Space

My creative space today is shared with the wee one. Not being able to settle on just one art project, we decided to go all out. We are having a grand time of it!

More creative spaces here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Whatcha Wearing Wednesday... and a thank you

So, the smallish one has decided to get in on the WWW fun.
One sateen cape/curtain
One satin princess dress by Lola Nova
One Tulle puffy skirt by Lola Nova
Puddle Boots (on the wrong feet) handed down
Purple and White Dahlia hair embellishment from the garden

To all of you who stopped by via the creative spaces on kootoyoo, thank you for dropping in and leaving a note about my creative space. It was lovely to hear from all of you and I am looking forward to exploring your creative spaces as well.

To all of you dear folks who helped me through my silly goose identity crisis concerning the name game, I thank you! It's awfully nice of you all to let me ramble and use this place as a sounding board. And yes, I have fully embraced Lola Nova as the one true name. I also thank you for not laughing and pointing (at least not so I could hear or see), though I am pretty sure one of you rolled your eyes dramatically.
You all are tops!

I will be back with news from the studio soon.