Friday, January 29, 2010

Design director designs a quilt

Momma has been making so many quilt tops. I'm exploding with ideas. But worth stopping all of that creative energy is the chance to include a certain little someone. She saw me sketching out my ideas in my journal and promptly went and got her crayons and a pen to design her own quilt. I was so flattered... So of course I was going to stop everything I was doing to make her sketch come to life. Here it is.

The only thing I bought for it was the satin binding - which looks horrible up close... But she loves it, it is her design, and we made it happen.


Mimi got glasses today. Of course, she picked the hot pink ones that most closely resemble momma's glasses. She is thrilled to see clearly "everything looks bigger!" and Z asked for a pair, which we got at the 99cent store and promptly popped the lenses from.... So now we are a fully spectacled family... And a cute one at that (at least the youngest two are!)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

CHA - Craft and Hobby Show

I've been meaning to tell you about last Friday since it was last Friday, and I'm all distracted with being productive. I just wanted to share the fun and wild day I had.
I'm sure you've gathered that I am a big fan of Amy and her Mod Podge Rocks blog. She's so fun and chock full of inspiration each day. Well, she's also super nice and we've been emailing back and forth the past few months. So when I learned she was going to be here in LA for the Craft and Hobby Supershow, I decided to take a little drive down to Anaheim to meet her in person.
That was fun. Glad I went. It was fun to meet her in person and see lot
s of crafty big-wigs... and I also got to pick up some awesome books, a few charm packs of fabric and see some cool demonstrations on neato machine (those were my favorite parts -the machines that were more the raw types of tasks... get the gears going, you know?) Lots of people were trying out new crafts, though the only one that really enticed me was the needle felting... (oh yes!) ... which I have wanted to try for a while now.

Amy and I met up and had a fun time talking - while we were chatting, Lisa, from "Me and My Peeps" (by Plaid) who draws those stick figures of families you see on the back of everyone's cars drew a super cute pic of my kids from a pic I gave her - and then did one of Amy and me that I'll have to post later.
I also picked up this adorable tee from the booth. SEW love it!

The day was awful rainy and it cleared up just in time for me to see a FAB rainbow as I left the show and headed off to my favorite Anaheim haunt (no, not Disneyland, though that is up there on the list) - M&L fabrics. I walked in and took a deep breath of happy before shopping to my heart's content. Wow. I love this store. It's full of designer fabrics and vintage fabrics at the most amazing prices (lots of great stuff even at $1.98 a yard!)... and the sheer breadth of the place is intoxicating. Oh, I love that place. That's why I loved that the double rainbow was just sitting there in the parking lot for me. I totally struck gold.... =) (yes, that gold is the gold square in the new green quilt and the yellow and grey one)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Don't hate me because I am obsessive - another quilt top

a pic of last night's yellow and grey top - out in the sunlight. aiming for better pics soon...

I figure I am entitled to obsess over things every once in a while. If there is one thing to know about my dear husband - it's that he is a PATIENT man. He doesn't worry when I take over the house with my latest obsession - whatever it may be - beading & scrapbooking in years past, painting, collage, decoupage, sewing clothes, quilting, drawing, writing & illustrating a book, making stationery... there are too many hobbies to count. Somehow, J finds the grace to rejoice over each creation with me - however small they are - and he will even allow me to discuss my multitudes of plans with each project.

Our house for the past 5 years has been overcome with fabric. And all this time, I was hoping to get up the nerve to try quilting... stockpiling quilting cotton... and this week I feel like the volcano erupted. I keep sewing the quilt tops, because I am afraid I will lose my motivation and begin to forget my ideas. So for now (while J is working 2 jobs and very busy - out filming THIS tonight), I'm quilting like it might be my life.

At least this is a little more productive than reading Twilight again. Though I am not against that, either.

Tonight's quilt top has a lot of inspiration. In it there are pieces of the fabrics I used for the Design Director and myself and our matching top/dress at Mother's Day last year. There are pieces of one of AJ's blankies. There's some fabric from a shirt J used to wear to work. And there are some vintage fabrics, pieces from a charm pack and even more that I have no idea where they came from. (Have I mentioned that I have a great fabric collection?)
This quilt should be interesting to see where/how it ends up. The yellow square in it just had to be there. Mimi's love for yellow ends up popping up in funny places - I never loved yellow until the design director did... and I now gravitate to it. So that's a little shout out to her inspiration, I guess. (she, by the way, is noticing Momma's frenzy and has been sketching out her own quilt designs that we will work on together). I'm not really a "white" lover... and have literally no white in our house other than tile in the kitchen and bathroom... so it's funny that I've been collecting these white and green fabrics for years. I'll keep you posted on the progress of this. (obviously. can't I keep any secrets?)

No. I can't. That's why I have to tell you about all I love.

Tonight I was loving Craftsanity. I always love Jennifer's podcasts. She's a great interviewer, and gets awesome guests on her show... but tonight was fun to listen to because I sponsored her show! (yay!) I felt like I have received so much inspiration from her over the past few years, that I needed to give back. Well worth it. Tonight's podcast didn't make me cry, like some of them do - but it was really fun to listen to and I enjoyed it a lot. (Thanks, Jennifer!)

another use for scraps

You all know me and scraps.... i simply can't part with them.
The ones that are too small to sew usually get ModPodged to candles and birdhouses and anything else that sits still too long... but what to do with those selvages? or the tiniest strips of the edges that are left over after serging or making a precise cut for quilting?

BOWS! for gift wrap.
I grabbed little handfuls today, wrapped another strand around to make it secure - and CUTE!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Okay, NOW I'm starting to get it... Quilting, that is...

After attending a meeting of the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild last night, something clicked for me. I realized that I've been working on traditional quilts... Trying to identify with something that is totally not me. And so as I talked about it with my carpool partner and fellow MOMS club quilter, Lauren, then came home and discussed it with J... It was bugging me... "why does this seem so hard to fit?" and then this morning, I realized that I've been doing modern quilting for years... I used these techniques when I was a textile designer of modular carpet tiles, and then I used the techniques when I quilted my couches... Duh.
And then this afternoon's rainstorm afforded me the chance to go to town. I cut fabric for three different quilts and by 11.30pm tonight, one entire quilt top is finished. I feel like a light bulb went off in my head! (yay!)
So... Here is tonight's work. It's a "disappearing 9 patch" pattern with both vintage and new fabrics in yellows and greys. Hooray!

Monday, January 25, 2010

rambling about quilting and photography and more

I guess, now that I have finished quilting my second quilt... do I get to call myself a quilter?
Wow. I had no idea this was going to be so fun. Seriously... fun! I mean, everyone in my family is so NOT surprised that I love this. After all, I used to design textiles that were designed on a square format and laying out patchworks was the most fun part of the job!
go figure.

I really love picking out the fabrics and colors, too. Since I've been obsessing on red and brown lately - wearing that combo nearly every day, this was really so fun for me to work on. I actually only bought 1 of the fabrics in the quilt. (Thanks, Tori, for most of the others!) I buy a ton of fabric around here... spent all my Christmas money on new fabric to love... but I also am given a lot by people who know how much I love it, and I am doing my best now to use that and give what I don't use! I've also just learned about Margaret's Hope Chest - from one of my favorite podcasts Craftsanity. (here is the link to that episode) I highly recommend the podcast for a constant source of creative inspiration and encouragement.... Jennifer, who does the interviewing is really a likable person to spend time with in the car.

back to quilting... Here are the pics of my two finished quilts. I've asked J to maybe partner with me a little bit and take some decent photos of the work I'm doing. Might make the blog a little prettier. I can shoot photos, but for him it's a hobby and for me, it's tiresome. (I'm also in talks with a local photographer about getting some new Libby Dibby photography done to update the site... more on that later)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another cowl

It's coo-oooold in our house. Los Angeles houses were not built for any variation in weather... We have a tiny wall heater in our dining room that pretends it can heat the whole house. (it can't) I'm drinking lots of tea, baking, and doing laundry to get more heat... I wear fleece and hats and scarves just doing my stuff around here. But scarves get in the way. And I always need something to do when I finally do sit down and watch tv... I don't watch much, but since we
and a lot of our friends make their living via TV, we have to watch some... ( watch "Life Unexpected" a new show on CW... My friend Reggie is in it. - oh and while you are at it... Watch "Fringe" and "So You Think You Can Dance" too)
---yikes! Tangeant alert!----
Anyhow. I've been using up my scrap yarns to make cowls. This one has 5 different yarns in it. It's ridiculous, but cozy... And this way I don't end up with soup, soap and stitches all over my scarf. Next knitting project is a buttoning scarf/cowl.

Quick! Make that shirt bigger!

If you are a long time reader of my blog, you know that Ze Artiste is a HUGE fan of HS Musical. He signs his name as "Troy" on his preschool homework and frequenty insists on us calling him such. He's memorized the "Getcha Head in the Game" dance (see it here) from start to finish ... Even before we knew he did. He's probably seen HSM 1 & 2 about 10 times each. Honestly, most cartoons are too scary for my kids, so as long movies go... We don't have much we choose from.

Anyhow, my pal Christy, gave Z this (on the left) t-shirt when he turned 3. It was nearly too small then, but he squeezed into it and wore it almost daily until I snuck it away during one laundry round. Today's quickie project for Z, though, was salvaging some favorite old shirts and moving just the logos to some bigger tees. Here you can see the shirt mid transfer.
I also did the same with an odd bulldog tank top that he kept trying to wear in this winter weather. (I put a pic at the bottom of this post.)
To do the whole deal took about 10 minutes for each shirt. When J saw how easy and fun it was, he said, "maybe you could do that with some of my old tees" (I can't believe there's something I could actually CRAFT for him!) I'll keep you posted on how that goes...
1- cut out old design
2- use beacons 3-in-1 (best glue ever) in tiny doses to tack the design on the new shirt correcty.
3- you CAN zigzag stitch it, but for guys shirts a straight stitch looks a little better. Plus, it's fast. No need to hem... T-shirt jersey rolls slightly and looks cool as is.
All done!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Attempting to cook meatloaf

It's so cold and wet. We need the kind of food that sticks today, so I'm making meatloaf (not pictured, because we all know meatloaf is hideous) and cornbread (which IS beautiful)...
But this is a new meatloaf recipe and I am scared it won't turn out well. If you have a good meatloaf recipe, will you post it in the comments section here?

I have a vegan one that I will post that is fabulous.

Update... giveaway...

um... Marisa? winner of the crazy bag? I have no idea how to reach you. If I don't hear from you before Jan 21... the bag will be going to another bloggy pal. Sorry!

Thanks for sharing, Courtney!

So, awesome reader Courtney, sent me some pics of her scrap box onesies... as inspired by the ones she'd seen here. Hooray! I love sharing the wealth (here's the link to that tutorial again)... and I love knowing that those scraps are being put to great use. remember Christy's? and Jill's?

I like how the paisley tie one looks a lot like the one I made for AJ... happy memories in this picture... (sigh)...

Thanks Courtney, for sharing the pictures and remembering how much I love seeing what everyone else is working on. (and thanks for the little postcard shout out in that first pic!)

New Sale Items on Etsy

This week is forecasted to be RAINY RAINY RAINY here in LA. Which means more movies for the kiddos and the chance to actually sit down at the computer during the day and get some sale items uploaded to my etsy shop. For those of you who don't live close enough (or do, but couldn't make it to the awesome Upscale Backyard Sale) - I've listed a number of the SUPER SALE skirts that I had out that beautiful sunny day in November.
These are the last of their kinds... many of them are discontinued patterns - or ones that never really sold. They're up in the shop now. If you've been waiting to snatch up a deal - or use up the last of your Christmas $$$, now's the chance.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Drawing time

Now that The design director is in school all day every day, we don't get art time like we used to. Just now she found a shading tool from my drawing supplies and asked what it was. (yay!) i took a few minutes to show her how fun a plain old pencil can be. (I drew my thumb as I leaned over her and we worked on the shading together.) we got to talk about observing light and dark, shadows, shading...
I love moments like this. She's busy now... Looking at everything a little closer and trying to draw and shade it all.

Friday, January 15, 2010


It feels so helpless to simply sit back and not do something when you hear news of what is happening in Haiti. Today, prompted in part by my daughter's school - and their efforts to raise every penny possible to send to Haiti relief - I've decided to do what I can do.

Remember the collages I did when I was grieving over AJ? I really needed some stability and the image of that mountain was really powerful for me. Today I've decided to make available some postcards and also high quality prints of the mountain collage. We had some of these made up and everyone in the family got them for Christmas, so I know they look great already... they're framed and up in each family member's home...So now on my etsy site, you can find packs of postcards, perfect for sending a little note (these work for men and women, unlike much of my stuff!). You can also find a listing for the archival print on high quality watercolor paper - suitable for framing. If you are interested, I can also get the print made on canvas in various sizes.

All of the profits from the sales of these mountain images will be donated to Red Cross Relief and/or Child Hope International - who are mutual friends of my family and run an orphanage in Port Au Prince, Haiti. They are sending updates via their website, so check them out.
Please please purchase these to help out - and pass on the idea to your friends and neighbors - blog, tweet and share about it - this actually can do something!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

That crazy bag! (We have a winner)


and I have a second surprise. Because so few of you actually entered for the contest... ALL of you win a special surprise in the mail from me. Send me an email with your address to ship something to you and I will send you a special bit of Libby Dibby love!

yay for mail!
I'll stick the image from one of my pal, Tori's cutest cards here to demonstrate how I REALLY feel about mail.
love to you all today!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Goodie bag gift

I always have a small stash of goodie bags on hand to whip up a quick smile gift when I get the urge... Because it's not really the gift that matters as much as the thought that someone thoght of you, right?
Today's little goodie bag is a $1 smell-good hand sanitizer for my carpool partner who is newly pregnant, an awesome mom of two already, and displaced right now because she's having her apartment painted and re-carpeted... Bleh... Not a fun week for her. I hope this will make her feel a little loved today.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I did it! Finished my first quilt!

It took so long to work up the nerve to start my first quilt and there are SO many mistakes, but I did it! Amy was there to snap this funny pic as I stitched the last stitch. It's January 12th and I have something to cross off my list! (besides getting a tattoo)

What's really the best compliment of all is that Z (who is NOT INTO PINK) wanted to lay under it so much that I couldn't get a pic of the quilt without him under it. He even requested its presence in the car as we went to pick up Mimi from dance class after school. Now that is a vote of approval. I guess there is something to be treasured when Mom makes something big enough to wrap around yourself...
I'm now itching to get started on another! I'm thinking that I have to finish my quilting group sampler first, then I'd like to do the Christmas quilt I never got to do over the holidays (tres simple) - and then hmmmmmmmmm.... ooooooooooh. so so fun to think about!

oh. I forgot to tell you that this quilt is made ALL from scraps that I had lying around here. I used pieces of skirts and vintage fabrics I'd collected or used over the past 5 years or so, especially some sentimental pieces that I really have always wanted to save for myself... The backing was free as it was a piece of fabric given to me by a friend last year, and the batting.... well, ahem... I (cough) used a really light fleece blanket that I had bought for this purpose at a discount store last year. Fleece always seems to wash and wear so well that I thought it was a great thing to try for batting since it costs so much less. Just pulled the quilt out of the dryer and it looks perfect. Might be a good option for the interiors... (total cost of quilt... $3.99)


Quilting- for real!

I kid you not, this is exactly where I am right now... With my knitting on the right and my (first!) quilt on the left... I'm sewing up the binding right now after finally working up the nerve to do the sandwich and quilt portion. My bff Amy (of this past summer's wedding)
is sitting across the table, chatting with me as I sew and knit and sew again. (She's in town for 2 days before heading back to Thailand) And yes, my collage and drawing journal is underneath the knitting... In case the mood strikes?
The other journal under the quilt is my personal journal (I fill up about 3-4 a year with daily writing). This one is one I got from Anna Maria Horner's shop...

I swear, they have medication for people like me.

I'll send pics of the quilt when it's done.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Forgot to tell you what J made me

I forgot to tell you about my big present from J for Christmas! Well, he actually did two. One was a bound copy of the first year of our family blog in book form. (he used
The second was this poster print from our Christmas pic, made up of thousands of photos from our year in 2009. He used an online program (will post later!) that made it possible and spent hours working it out just right. Isn't that sweet? When I look at it, I get the real sense of our complete year. I see pics from Italy, artwork I did, school pics, our family trips to Seattle and Arizona, lots of AJ pics and random days at the house. I flood with memories both happy and sad. It's just amazing to see your whole year in one glance. Thanks, J!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Giveaway: Into every life a little weird bag must fall

Well. I'm not really sure how to share this... Because after seeing this bag, you just might lose all respect for me. But it was just so interesting, I had to post it...
To start at the beginning, I love fabric of all kinds (but you knew that already)... And people are constantly donating the most interesting pieces to me... And. Well, I'm always trying to come up
with new ways to combine them... So about a year ago, I was messing with the idea of weaving fabrics and ribbon together and I came up with this weird weaving. When Tif and I were cleaning out the studio a few months ago, she agreed I could keep it if I tried to do something
with it. I agreed and we stuck it in the "to-sew" pile - which remained largely untouced through the holiday prep and celebrating; until tonight.
Tonight, I finished about 10 of those projects... More like a dozen, actually. It felt good. And just as i was deciding to close down for the night, I saw this weird weaving and thought, "okay, let's get this over with!"
So I sewed it into a primitive tote bag. (it's lined) and to cinch it, I used some of the gorgeous satin ribbon left over from Amy's wedding bouquets this summer... I weaved the serious, formal ribbon through the messy, raw piece itself and braided some more pieces for a strap.
And um... I think I like it!
And I'm not kidding, it's weird, but really fun. But I need another bag like I need a hole in the head, so if you are willing to become a blog "follower", pay shipping (around $8-10), and you write a cute comment here as to why you want this bag... I'll pick one person to get it -all theirs...
I'll give you a week from today. ;)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I got a bracelet for Christmas.

I've been wanting to get a tattoo for years, but couldn't find artwork that I could commit to. I'd had a friend once that had a Bible verse tattoed on her wrist as a bracelet. It seemed to me a beautiful way for her to remind herself of something dear to her. A few months ago, I realized how much I needed to be in a constant state of remembering the verses in Romans 8. All
through the AJ situation, I leaned on the verses in Romans 8 - reminding myself that there is nothing that can separate us, me, AJ, my family, my marriage - from the love of God.

In designing the tattoo - I went through hundreds of fonts, found what I was looking for and left it in the artistic hands of a great tattoo artist that my sis and brother in law know. He embellished it to the point that I felt it was more beautiful even than what I'd come up with.
Jay came with me and helped me process the whole event, artwork, commitment and even my ability to describe to others WHY I'd gotten it. I chose these words for their many beautiful layers. For what they mean to me not only in faith, but in my commitments to my own family.

And then I got it. Not really painful, it looks like a filigree bracelet circling my wrist. It took about an hour to finish... and both Jay and I really love it.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love; neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below – there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.(Good News Bible)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January sunset

Seems like every January we have one day where the weather is warm enough for a sunset trek to the beach. This is what really stirs J's soul, so we do what we can to make this happen when we can. Daddy loves taking photos of the kids in the water at sunset, low tide in that low cool winter light. Winter is my favorite time at the beach, so I'm happy to oblige, even more than in the summer.
Tonight promises a great sunset... And these are just my phone pics. Wait till you see his!



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