Friday, July 31, 2009

Collecting Numbers

When J and I were in Italy this summer, we got the idea to collect images of numbers that were sentimental to us for various reasons. Each of these house numbers has a specific significance to us as a family and we plan to make a fun presentation of them as a work of art for our home.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Italian sketches

I treasure the sketches that I did while I was in Italy. They are a far cry from perfect - or even frame-worthy, but they are moments captured - and they are lovely to me. (I've grown a lot... being able to look at drawings for their joy rather than their mistakes.)

I went to scan in this drawing and as I read the opposite page - the journal entry that went with it, I decided to include it - so you could see in my own handwriting how much I enjoyed making this. Just the fact that I am willing to post this less than great sketch makes me feel free... and happy to know that I really do just love making art, not just the outcomes.

My summer reading list.

I haven't really read for pleasure in years. With two munchkins, three moves, a business, 2 blogs, learning how to sew, getting certified for fost/adopt, and various part-time jobs and volunteer stuff... I just haven't read for fun since I was pregnant the first time 5 years ago. (other than the requisite parenting books - Healthy Sleep Habits, Girlfriends' Guide to pregnancy, and lots of other books that seem to have blended together so I can't even remember them)... Though I still remember with great fondness the last book I read before Mimi's birth, a beautiful autobiography of Nelson Mandela.
But this summer has been different. We've travelled. Without the kids. Which means time on airplanes, quiet moments and exposure to bestsellers while walking through the airports - without chasing anyone.
My initial reading began at the end of our Italy trip. During the trip, we spent most of our time doing things... and I actually spent time sketching, when we had down time - that was marvelous.

Anyhow- where was I? Oh yes. Well, I originally brought "Under the Tuscan Sun" to read on the trip, but I left it and my journal, - oh yes, my journal - and my favorite tiny Bible, on the first airplane on the way over... ...never to be heard from again. I'd sewn the cutest little envelope pouch for them all to travel safely in with some of my favorite pens. ARGH. ( I will shed no more tears about this!) ... so that book did not get read. I still haven't replaced any of them. part of me is still grieving them. sigh.
So I picked up "Eat Pray Love" in the airport. Which was compelling, but I didn't agree with any of the author's philosophy. Though her journey was interesting and well documented - I found it was not what I was looking for. I did , however, love that 1/3 of the book was set in Italy... and that made me decide that I needed to prolong my vacation by reading books about Italy and set in Italy.
So I picked up these two gems.... ...both of which were great fun to read and offered mini history lessons about Renaissance Italy. Signora da Vinci and The Glassblower of Murano... Then I got turned onto the Twilight Series. (I know, I've already said too much about them) Suffice it to say, my postings have been sparse, partly because everything other than Twilight has been sparse. I'm in between books 3 & 4 right now, and loving every minute. (Please see this post here, for a perfect representation of my situation, by another blogger) - oh, and there was a brief section in New Moon that also satisfied my Italian urges...

And though summer is almost over... we're looking at a whole new season of life in the fall which might allow for sewing, blogging and reading to co-exist.... Mimi starts kindergarten and Z will be in preschool for 4 days a week. That means time for me! (Though with the fost/adopt possibility, there's not really anything set in stone right now - we could be growing the family in the fall... you'll know for sure if that happens.) Until then, here's my current book list... of things I have either on my nightstand, in my book bag, or in my cart at Amazon.

1. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
2. Under the Tuscan Sun
3. The Time Travelers Wife
4. Common Sense Parenting (required reading for our classes)
5. The Agony and the Ecstasy

phew... I better get on it!... oh... and do YOU have any recommendations for me?

Last post from the wedding.

Amy lives in Thailand and works with several local hilltribes. It was hard for her to have to get married in the States, knowing that many of her friends would not be able to attend the wedding. So she decided that for the reception, it was important that she wore something that was made from their traditional fabrics... When she was at my house a few weeks ago, she pulled out a long piece of this woven fabric and asked me to make a "dancing skirt" out of it.
I totally thought it couldn't be done. I told her so. Amy didn't believe me and let me know it was REALLY important to her. So we came up with this!
We used EVERY single piece of that fabric and based the design on the Mama version of my spinny skirt, but added the drop waist in (to conserve fabric and give more length).
I think it came out really well!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Amy's Wedding highlights

I promised highlights from Amy's wedding when I got the chance and I am in between Twilight books tonight. (it's seriously a sickness right now)... so I'm taking advantage of the time to post photos by J and also by another friend of Amy & Johnny's... (Paul Grdina) that highlight the beautiful couple, the amazing setting, and some of the fun projects that I worked on for the wedding.This, below, was my first EVER attempt at anything floral. I was freaked out to do it. I don't even really arrange flowers in vases, opting more for trees and living things. But Amy's sister, Rachel, and I spent the day before the wedding collecting various weeds, wildflowers and sticks together which we put with some store-bought roses into these bouquets for the bride and all 8 of us attendants. And the bouquets LASTED! I couldn't believe it. I came prepared with an insane amount of raffia and 150 yards of satin ribbon, some floral tape and sticky craft dots, and this is what we ended up with. It was so fun to do these... but no, I am NOT foraying into flora anytime soon.
Amy and I had spent an evening a few weeks earlier perusing through some bridal magazines and we saw a wedding that had a funny fabric banner suspended like a photo booth out in the woods. That really sparked us and we made this for her own (Libby Dibby) version of the concept. What a fun thing this was. They asked everyone to take photos here instead of signing a guest book.J and I just before we laid down on our backs and crashed for a reception nap. as seen here.Oh. And here is a personal highlight. Who is that hot guy behind the huge lens?
the bride and me. we've been BFF for 13 years now!

Monday, July 27, 2009

New sling patterns

Here are two (upper left/bottom right) new sling patterns... Celtic
green and black polka dots... That are now in stock...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Easy birthday gift

Here's an easy birthday gift to have on hand if you (like us) go to lots of birthday parties... I keep a few brand new white towels in stock for this purpose. A little heat'n'bond, some zig zag stitching, and voilĂ !... Personalized towels. (my kids love theirs, and I'm secretly working on some beach towels with the same lettering as their bath towels)
I also like putting a little loop of fabric or ribbon in the middle to make the towels hang easily from hooks.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer romance

I know, I know. I've kind of been MIA. My sewing machine hasn't been touched in weeks. I have a list about 10 topics long that I want to blog about... For here AND Designing Moms... But all this travel has caught up with me. I'm tired. And I have summer fever. I haven't sat down at my computer in a week either (and that means you don't even get to see my first attempts at floral arranging for Amy's wedding... Or any of the other fun projects she and I dreamed up for the amazing wedding.
But alas, I have been hanging out with some old friends... Books!
Something I haven't done in years, really since the kids started being active. I've read some great fun summer reads (lots of mental bubblegum-more on that later) and I've been introduced to EDWARD and BELLA... From the Twilight series. They've escorted me through quite a few sweltering nights when it has been just too hot to think of hanging out with any form of electronic device... Computer, sewing machine, even just to edit photos from our many trips!
I'm loving the books. Dare I admit how much? Will you still love me?
They are just the right balance for me of retelling the classics (Pride & Prejudice, Romeo & Juliet... Talk about great summer romances) and a tiny bit of harmless suspense.
And did I say it's been a hot one? Yikes, it's been hot. My two trips (TWO!!!) alone with J this summer have been my only escape from the air-conditionless heat. But they've been pretty warm on the inside- reminding me how much I love being Mrs. to this Mr.
And that's another reason I haven't been writing so much... Sweet summer romances are the best.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Now that's a wedding....

J and I have been very involved with my pal Amy's wedding today... Now we are at the reception, resting on a hill with full bellies and some rare Oregon sunlight. We've been doing flowers, photography, small coordination tasks and basically every task given to us. (can't wait to show you the awesome pics!) in the meanwhile, we are just gonna take this little nap before the pies come out.
This is our kinda wedding...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Picture perfect

Tomorrow, my best friend, Amy, is getting married here on the beach in
Oregon. I see many amazing pictures in my future.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Eye Pillow Gifts

I don't think I ever posted this, but these were a really fun craft to make. I made them this past spring as a goodbye present for a group of women that I was meeting with for a few weeks as we did a Bible Study together.
The study was of the Bible book "Esther" which is where the quote on the eye pillows came from. They are made from a fun corduroy scrap that I used to make Libby Dibby skirts from on one side and the reverse side is a simple satin. They are filled with a mixture of flax seed and lavender.
The label with the words was a new thing for me. I just love words so much, that it was a great project to try out as I am sure it has many applications. I used basic letter stamps that I had in the deep dark (read: never sees the light of day) recesses of my scrapbooking supplies. (insert sigh of frustration here for my kids' unfinished baby albums) I stamped them with an permanent inkpad that I bought through my favorite weird textile design outlet - Dharma Trading Company. They are a delight to work with and are really really knowledgeable on textile dying, patterning etc. I've been buying from them for about 12 years now.
This took me one night to make all of them and they were a big hit with my friends.
If you want to make some, and I left anything out, feel free to make a comment with any questions.

Stealth inspiration photos.

Or maybe not so stealth, but I love my iphone for making it easier to capture pictures of inspirational things much more discreetly. When we were in Italy, there were so many clothes and women dressed in things I wanted pictures of - and as a tourist, it was easy to not offend - people wouldn't know that I was taking their pic. But here at home, it's nice to be a little discreet.
Regardless, here are some pictures from all over the place of clothing that has inspired me this summer.
Look at this gingerbread house purse... isn't it so fun?
I am not a purple fan, but I did love the drape of the dress and the combination of the mint color with the purple was really striking as we walked down the street in Venice.

Everything in this store looked like something I wanted in a bad way.
It also looked like I'd be paying it off the rest of my life. But someday, (you know, next week, when I return to Venice in my dreams!) I would love to go shopping in this lovely place.
Why can't I get enough patchwork? I think this was in Florence.

This one is my favorite of all the dresses I saw this summer. It's in a shop called "God Save the Queen" in Florence, Italy.

This was on an older woman in Seattle. Maybe that's why I liked it even more. A bold choice and she was no fashionista, but I liked the skirt a lot and I liked her for wearing it.
I don't do white. But I'd love to make this for myself in a different color.

We have a barrette winner!

Okay... as you can see from my attached pic from a "random number selector", comment #6 was chosen as the winner of the Barrette Giveaway. Which means that AMY BLUESTAR is our winner... congratulations, Amy! (please send me an email with your address, so I can ship it out to you)

A Little behind in my game

I guess summer means that more time as a family = less time to blog. I have a list so long about the things that I want to blog about- but we'll have to wait until the stars align for me to get some time to share them.
In the meantime... Today will be the last day to write your comment down for entry into the free barrette giveaway. (This has been fun, I am thinking that in August we need to have a spinny skirt giveaway for school shopping, don't you?
So go ahead, write in your thoughts about the barrettes, and we'll draw a random name tonight!
thanks again, everyone!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Barrettes giveaway

If I put these on etsy, for about $4 each... Would you buy?
They are awesome at staying in hair, even on playful kiddos - and mamas, all day long.
Write your answer below in the comments section. I'll pick a winner at random to receive a free clip.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Quilting night

How could you go wrong when you have champagne, good food and pretty fabric to look at? My quilting group met tonight for our third meeting. This is our table of happiness... My two squares are in the front...

Celebrating Independence Day in Libby Dibby style

We were in Seattle for the 4th and got a down-home small town Washington state parade to enjoy with lots of cousins. Mimi wore one of her spinny skirts and I thought I'd share some of my favorite pics from the day. (you may also recognize the red dress that I added the ruffle to before my trip to Italy.... it's been a staple this summer)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Snoqualmie Falls, WA

Inspired. Again.
I loved my kids expressions when they first saw the waterfalls and I loved watching my husband trying to get the perfect photo. I haven't even seen his shots yet, they're undoubtedly better than mine, but here's what I got.

New iPhones for everyone!

Yes, I did get a new iPhone... And no, this is not it... These are laminated color scans printed off the computer... Perfect for the kids. - and at their request. They feel greatly empowered... No
batteries needed... Oh, and I made two extra in case you come over and want to play with one.



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