Friday, January 29, 2010

earth: I miss you.

Somehow I managed to snag two treasuries in one day! (click here for the second one.)

It's cold where I live and I miss being outside; I miss the earth.
I miss wriggling my toes through the drass,
running my hands over the leaves
and eating swiss chard right from the garden.

Valentine Humbug

New Treasury! (click here)
All the marketing buzz these days is about valentines day, and this is one holiday that I'm just not that excited about. Maybe it's because it's all sweet and cutesey and that just makes me want to loose my cookies. It seems a little ingenuine to me to wait until the pre-determined date to say I Love You. And no, I'm not buying my children special valentines day gifts. Just because the marketers would like me to. So there.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I’ve gotten derailed.

Rather than slogging on and persevering (as is my nature) I’m going to admit that I’m derailed and start in another direction.
See, I made something for my shop which I thought should be framed but the frames are turning out to suck up a lot of time that I’d just rather spend doing actual creative work. So, adios frames! I have a new plan to frame these guys in the embroidery hoop, which, now that I’ve let go of the frame idea (isn’t it hard to let go sometimes?), I’m realizing might just suit them better. Less stiff, formal, more playful which is what I was going for with the stitching as well. I hope to have the final work done on them this coming weekend to show you. Things are just so busy these days on the homefront – good busy, but busy nonetheless.

And here’s a thought: when you price things for sale do you take into account all of the time spent in development? Do you count all the hours spent on projects that don’t work out, all the tweaking that needs to happen before you have finished that first prototype? The time lost that could have been used making other, more saleable things? Hopefully when people buy handmade people think about the artist, and not just the price. I mean, that’s the point of buying handmade, right?

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Just a short post today to show you something I made over the Christmas holidays.

I used a plain T-shirt from daughter's drawer and the sleeve of another shirt that we knew she wasn't going to wear again. Well, obviously. 'Cause now it's armless on one side.

I used a water soluble marker to draw the numbers on the shirt, stitched around the outside of the lines and then cut out the numbers. (it's important to remember to not stitch right on your marker lines). And that's it. Really.

Ailsa's learning to recognize her numbers by sight and only really has trouble with 6,7,8 now, so I thought this would be a fun way for her to remember what those numbers look like. I don't know if it's working but she's wearing this shirt almost every day now, and always with the little blue undershirt underneath. Because that's what undershirts are for, you know.

For a more adult version of this check out the tutorial at Hope Studios. I think I need to make one of these for myself.... how do I make it office worthy?
Also, the thread I used is the most beautiful in my stash. It's silk from here (go to her artfire store). It's lovely stuff to stitch with and the colors are magnificent.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Perhaps you can help me.

If you're not reading this in a feed reader, you'll notice some new gadgets on the right hand side. One of them is tags and I've spent a little time going back through the posts and tagging them with relevant descriptors. I'm trying to figure out what you readers might be interested in, and how to categorize the posts. My old blog had approximately a million tags with one post each, and that's what I'm trying to avoid by planning ahead. Yes, planning ahead, shocking, I know.

I'm also trying to figure out how to get an etsy mini up there so if anyone knows anything about that I'd be really grateful for the advice.

I've got my ipod on shuffle today. Like the whole thing. I just listened to Monty Python and now we're on to Mozart. Before that was Diana Krall and ocean waves. I wonder how long it will be before we get to Feist and Yael Naem. This is exactly how my brain is running today. Must be a chinook coming.

eye candy

I just loved this piece and had to show you.

Lovely, isn't it? It's a sampler stitched by the very talented Corinne at so september (visit her blog). What do I love about it? It's a sampler, but it's not traditional. Sometimes all those band samplers make me yawn, no matter how marvelous the stitches are. My eye just keeps going round and round on this piece, the textures, the color, the design. delightful.

Monday, January 11, 2010

On turning 2.

We celebrated a certain little someone's 2nd birthday just before Christmas, and I've got pictures to prove it!

2 is such a lovely age. 2 is about becoming a little kid and leaving babyhood behind. 2 is about figuring out how to stand your ground and make your older sister share, 2 is about getting better at telling other people what you want, and getting it, darn it! 2 is about giving - wet uncoordinated kisses, unending treats to doggies, and stickers and cookies to whoever will take them. And the favourite sidekick when you're 2:


Here's the crown I promised to show you. Handmade out of felted wool sweaters, of course (is there any other material?) I thought leaves appropriate since this little one loves to spend every minute she can get out of doors. She is my biggest garden helper, and I love that about her.

Of course they got a little bit silly at the party and dolled it all up. Never too many accessories, right? I love this picture. I can just imagine what she'll look like grown up when I look at this picture. I can see her graduating high school when I look at this picture. ok, maybe minus the extra silly hats.

Ahhhh... 2. I love you 2. I want to cup you in my hands and keep you forever.

Friday, January 8, 2010


New treasury today. (here) It's all about perspective.

I was thinking about this because my sister's having a baby. I remember the first few weeks after my first was born. We were having a hard time. We were immersed in the turmoil of new-babyness, feeling more like sinking than treading water. She was having trouble nursing, I was coming to terms with having a birth that didn't go the way I wanted it to, along with worries about the baby's weight gain and hip displasia, on top of the normal not knowing what the heck we were doing, having no where to turn for advice and lack of sleep. It was overwhelming to say the least. And looking back, I'm sure we knew we'd get through it, but it sure didn't feel like it at the time. What a huge lesson in perspective that whole thing was. Of course, we'd be just fine, but it was hard to see past the moment you were directly in just trying to cope with it all. That's perspective.

Lest my sister see this and worry about what her first few days will be like, I have to say she has a lot more going for her than we did - a midwife, for starters, who will be there for her every step of the way. And our second baby wasn't nearly as dramatic. She slid into the fabric of our daily lives like it was meant to be. And that's perspective. Looking from a distance and seeing how this moment fits within the context of a long string of moments that make up your story.

Somehow I managed to forget to get a pic. of the last treasury... Ummmm... oops.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pattern and Texture Inspire

New treasury here. I wish I could have thougth of a better title, but sometimes simple is better than overworked.

I was inspired by the delicate patterns on a dragonfly wing. Nature has so many ways of organizing herself, I could just stare/gaze forever.

Have you seen the new movie Avatar? It is a beautiful movie to look at. The storyline, on the other hand, is a bit predictable, but I'll leave the review to the critics. There is one scene where the matriarch - I wish I could remember what they called her - was leading everyone in a chant and she was wearing the most amazing white shawl that looked like the veins of a leaf - I wish I could find a picture because it was gorgeous and is the other part of what I was thinking about when I made this treasury.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

This IS happily ever after.

It's been wonderful to cruise around blogland this morning and see all the super-secret Christmas projects that everyone's been working on. And in retrospect I'm feeling a little bad I don't have more to show you. Truth is I didn't do a lot of Christmas making this year. And it's the happiest one yet. So, here's the story.

I grew up in the 80's. As a girl in the 80's we were constantly told we could do anything we wanted. We could be astronauts, presidents, scientists, whatever we wanted. There was also the, I think, unspoken message that we could be everything at the same time - have a successful career, kids, hobbies, travel.... But you know what? You can't. You just can't do it all. I'd love to sew my children clothes and have a big vegetable garden and homeschool my kids and volunteer but I know I don't have energy for everything. Either you try and become stressed out or you pick and choose very carefully which projects get your energy. My family needs me to work and I'm pretty lucky to have a really good job, so that gets a lot of my energy. But rather than try to do it all at home, too, we have a nanny, who, as well as taking care of the kids during the day, does more than her fair share of the cleaning and laundry in our house. It saves our sanity. After work its all about family. You will rarely find any of us going out after supper on a weeknight. That's family time and it's precious. I only see my kids 4 or so hours a day during the week, so I don't trade that time for anything. So, lesson #1: You can't do it all.

I've spent a lot of time trying to come to terms with the fact that I can't have it all, but you know what, once I let go of that need to have someone else's perfect life I became sooo much happier. Lesson #2: Quit comparing yourself to others. You'll be much happier.

Lesson #3: Enjoy Every Moment. I am watching my daughter yawn and marvelling at the rows of little white teeth. And as she sits beside me saying "hab a supper" I marvel at how well she pieces together words to communicate these days even though I know that it means I'll soon have to interrupt what I'm doing to tend to her needs. Beauty is all around you if only you open your eyes. THIS IS happily ever after.

So, back to Christmas. I didn't step into a mall once this year. Not once. About 1/3 of our Christmas gifts were bought on etsy. Online is quick and easy, and there's some really cool stuff out there that you just wouldn't find at a mall. Another 1/3 was bought on a massive one day trip by my husband in December. Usually we both take a day off work and take one day and get it all done but this year he was on his own. And he did splendidly. In a blizzard that closed highways. Several more items were picked up my me on my lunch hours at stores within walking distance from my office. I did make a couple of ornaments and one special Christmas gift. And it was the most relaxing, joyful stressfree Christmas ever. So, I feel pretty content about not making all of our Christmas gifts this year even though I really would love to have done it. I just don't need to do everything anymore.

Pictures to come in a following post, I promise. We had a big 2 year old birthday on the 23rd and I have been working on some personal projects that I can't wait to show you...just need to get out to the garage with some frames and spray paint...