Friday, April 29, 2011

Little girl, little dress... a small moment in a day.

I love the motion in this picture. It captures the extremes of day, the extremes of this little girl.

Our Mango is 19+ months. She is saying more and more words each day. She loves having a bag to tote to the car and to have her "phone", which is an old calculator. Using it to talk to her Daddy while he is at work and saying "Yes, yes, uh-huh, noooooo" just like she hears us. Mango is a part of the hustle and bustle in the house... always asking for a book to read, or a pencil and paper to draw with. She has been looking at my nails lately and frowning when she thinks that they are too long. (Where does this come from??) She falls right in to the scrum when the brothers wrestle. I don't know how she escapes the smack-down, but she does. Last night she spent an amazing amount of time, energy, and laughter running around the computer chair in her diaper and bloomer "shorts". She kept going and going and going. The energizer bunny must be modeled off a little girl. I bet that is why it is pink.
This dress was my Pattern Pact finish for March, but it was finished in April...such is the life right now. It is a dress from Handmade Beginings that I tricked out "jessica" style and added the little goosey apron instead of the inset fabric panel. To be honest, it took me so long because "gathering" freaks me out. I would like to say that Anna Maria gave good hints and once I got "over" myself, it went together SO EASY! Score 2 for AMH!! She writes an awesome pattern... if you can just get over your own fear-bots.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I am sick... sick... sick...

I have a head cold the size of.... what is really big?? Infinity... and then seeing all of these beautiful things is going to make my brain explode. It is. I swear.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Having a bit of fun on the straight and narrow...

My little bunny nuggets are coming along nicely. I like wearing them as fattie finger puppets, so maybe when these are done I will have to make some slimmer ones and have a little show. I didn't understand the ear instructions very well, so I ended up making a 6 stitch I-cord... so easy and so fun to knit!
I have been working on my EMQG bee quilt. There still are some blocks out there in the universe, but it has been a fun exercise in piecing and playing with fabric. I CAN still piece with some amount of precision---this is perhaps not the best picture, BUT the seams do match up! Sometimes a nice 1/4 seam is a fun way to play too.
Here are all the blocks, not in their final spots, but up on the wall to inspire me! Last week I was making free-pieced churn dash blocks for this group.
The view out the sewing window today is BEAUTIFUL!!! I heart SUNSHINE and pretty spring flowers. Happy Easter! (Wait-- until you see the dress I made for Mango-- SEW cute!)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Balance... precarious, necessary...

There-- I finished something for me today! These are my Hoop Up #1 swap embroideries all hooped up and hung. I added a few hoops of the Mendocino inspiration fabric and no, I never did finish my piece for this round. Actually these were all sitting in my craft room, stacked in a neat pile, but not able to be looked at. They are truly lovely. (the stitch artists are here, here, here, and here.) I want to make a quilt, but that is not on the priority list at the moment. So they are hung and enjoyed. Thanks guys for your beautiful work.

I am so sick of my kids having colds. I realize that this sounds really grumpy but last week the Mango and Brownie were ailing and this week Blondie has been knocked down by the same virus. The snot, the sad eyes, the whining, the hot brows... I am alternately overwhelmed with love and repulsion. Normally, I am not TOO in to the "lala" of astrology, but I am a Libra and I find that I am CONSTANTLY seeking a balance point between two opposites-- embracing and repelling, action and contemplation, fullness and emptiness-- I long to have the middle ground, but with this active family I find myself at the extremes many times. I just wish that I didn't find the juggling so frustrating.

To deal, I will knit these bunnies---Bunny fun time, they are called nuggets and they are so cute. Tomorrow will be better, maybe there will be less snot and sneezing. Hopefully.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Love those swaps!

I looked up at these three tree yesterday (in the sunshine!! Woo-hoo!) and was just struck by how different their life cycle is. They are all looking quite different, yet they all are trees in the same yard. I am sure there is something deeper there, but I have kids to get fed and picked up from school. So it goes sometimes...
This here is my main reason for getting a post out today... it is sooooo pretty, so pretty in the sun, so pretty hanging in my yard. (I am going to use these blue pea trellis-es this year!!)
I had been getting nervous... I haven't had a bad swap yet, but everyone else had been getting theirs!! But then this beauty had to travel all the way from England from the wonderful Mandy. I love it and I love all of the wonderful treats that she sent. I am in love with the blue and green "tufted tweets"--I don't think that I have every seen it in person. The colors are so pretty together. The little wooden doll is in blues and greens too and so cute. The quilt is in a beautiful assortment of Kaffe prints (love those) a few of them I don't have, so now I can look at them as much as I please! Got to love those swaps almost as much as sunshine!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Winner!

I will dispense with all the "What happened to this past week??"-- I just don't know, life is busy and I haven't even been having time for T.V. Blondie picked his winner, courtesy of Mango's Easter hat-- Kristin you are the proud new owner of my vanity vehicle "101 Patchwork Projects". I will get that off to you this very week!

I have been baking a lot lately-- I will post pics soon... but I am forgetting to slash the tops of my loaves sometimes and they are looking like crazy weird mushroom tops. Grrrrr.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Happy Friday!!

I thought it was my DQS #10 package, but it was so heavy...
Wait... What is it? I am PUBLISHED!
There is my little toothy friend!

Last year when I was starting this, I saw a submissions request on the Quilting Arts website. Doing the EMQG freaked me out so immensely that I thought, "Might as well submit SOMETHING, the worst they can do is not accept it... but I will still have the stuff that I made! And if they do take it, that will be one thing checked off my 'life list'."


I just finished going through the magazine... it is a fattie! SO many things to make and do (and not just mine!) I did cry when I saw my tooth pillow. I wasn't sure what the format for the patterns was going to be (how much space for each project etc.) BUT they put in the part I wrote about my childhood tooth pillow and that slayed me. My stuff (and everyone else's too!) looks beautiful. The creative team at Quilting Arts did a fantastic job. (I have a feeling that some of these projects are going to turn up at my house as part of my Pattern Pact!) I am so happy with my first foray in to the publishing world!

I just happen to have an extra copy... would you like it to come to your house? You could cover yourself in patchwork projects! What if you gave me a comment... yes, how about you tell me one thing that is on your life list that TOTALLY freaks you out, but it is there.... something that you want to do before you leave the planet. AND then I will do a random/pull a name out of a hat type thing next Friday (then we can have 2 Happy Fridays, right?) Let's say enter by 4/15/11 @ noon PST! (Tax day!) If you want to blog about it yourself, or follow me that is great, but to be honest I am just glad you are here today and I am here today and that we are having our Happy Friday together.

Have the best weekend, I am going to float on these good feelings for at least 2 more days!

Monday, April 04, 2011

PNCA workshop with Lizzy House!

Can I say now that I went to Art School?? It was only for a long weekend, but I did... I went to Art School, to learn about some art, to DO some ART.
I don't know what I was expecting, what I wanted out of the time in Portland... Time to myself, away from motherly and daughterly responsibilities, a break from cancer, to hang out with my soon to be Pharmacist sister (Pharmasister?), to learn to silkscreen. Those were REALLY my expectations. What I received was VASTLY larger that these things. I don't really understand the magnitude of what happened in my brain, but I know that I am not the same person I was. There are still tears when I think of it, but I do know that I need to dream bigger.

To DREAM really, really BIG.

I have been trying for so many years to fit inside of this box-- it is reeel reeel cozy in here, I know all of the dimensions of it. I have decked it out very nicely with limits involving who I am, what I am capable of doing, and who I most definitely am NOT. It is comfortable but so very small.
My box is kept small because I can control that. I know that. I don't like to fail. That is so BAD. I don't like to get messy or to do things that I am not good at, and all this fits nicely in my little box.
So how to you get good at something unless you try it?

Like you have an ABSOLUTELY great time making something and it is total crap. What then? Is that failing? What you produced is U-G-L-Y-- like REALLY bad, BUT the process was enchanting? What is to be done with that? Did you waste your time? Is that failure?
What if the next morning, you wake up and you find that you are thinking in new ways, getting new ideas... feeling REALLY jazzed about the opportunity to make something that is NOT going to be perfect? What then?
You can just decide to stop thinking about the end product and begin to really get in to the "ride"... how ever long this crazy ride is going to last, what if you just go?
I did, I do, and I am...
I am here, at home-- there are LOT'S of home-y things that I have to take care of here (like really A LOT.) But in my head, I am still there. The ride hasn't ended. I still can see the possibility that is available to me if I just stop trying to see the end product.
If I can just keep the voice of fear at bay-- the voice that has haunted me my whole life saying "keep it small Jessica, think about what the effort is going to merit in the end. Are the rewards going to outweigh the energy output? What if you try as hard as you can and you just fail, like it is all for nothing?"
"What if you just FAIL and it is all for NOTHING?"
What I understand now is that I have found my self, who I really am, in the PROCESS,
and no matter what my end product is, if the ink smudges, if the fabric rips, if I have to tear out the seams, if nobody wants to read what I have to write...
That is just OK with me. I still am where I need to be at this moment because I am doing the learning/designing/growing/making that I need to do. There is no fear for me in that. I am dreaming bigger.
I do want to thank Lizzy for the great experience, I have never spent 3 days in a row on ART before. It blew my mind. She is so open with her knowledge and is a great teacher. You all need to learn what she has to teach, I'm tellin' you!