Friday, June 25, 2010

a happy day in oak park

Today was spent strolling through Oak Park, popping into my favorite boutiques, meeting my pal Anita for coffee and generally just getting inspired. We made our way from downtown Oak Park to the Harrison Arts District (where I used to live and walk around daily... Where I first bought the vintage skirt that inspired Libby Dibby!)... And we waltzed into Bead In Hand... Which is a treasure of a bead store. I used to walk past the store so often that I finally started buying beads, unable to resist... Which led to selling jewelry, which led to leaving my corporate textile design job, and when I was selling jewelry, I traded necklaces for sewignlessons from an OP friend here who taught me how to make the skirts... Yada yada... And here we are.
Anita was adorable and wore her Libby Dibby skirt to meet today and I loved it when she got stopped on the street by a girl who complimented her on it. (it felt so anonymous and unsolicited!)...
I also was the recipient of this fabulous little beaded heart that she made for me... Oh how I love it! Oh how I love friends. Sigh. I'm happy.

Momma daughter crafting

This morning I was showing Mimi and her pals (who are hosting us in Chicago) a little lesson on vintage yoyos. I showed them how I brought a little pile of them on my trip to sketch... Here is the Design Director working on a flower she saw on one of the yoyos.
The other pic is a book I picked up at the American Girl store yesterday full of great re-purposed crafts right up our alley. Can't wait to do those as projects...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Guerilla Knitting

I've heard and read about "guerilla knitting" and "Urban Inoffensive Graffitti"... But I've not seen the knitted lampposts for myself until just now. We just happened to be driving by the Art Institute and right outside the window was this happy "graffiti".  I have to say that I love Chicago for loving (and leaving) stuff like this.
Another amazing happy accident was yesterday when we were driving downtown and we paused under the el tracks to let j out for a quick errand and as I looked to the left I was staring right into the doorway to the School of Art Institute of Chicago...where I studied (and worked on a certificate in painting) while i lived and worked in Chicago. It was that doorway I walked through to study and learn in my collage class... And also my art journaling class... When I found I loved mixed media and collage more than painting, I nervously approached my advisors... And in true artsy "Art Institute" style - they informed me I was still painting... Just with different materials... And they were perfectly fine with me as I embroidered paper and wove magazines together supported by bamboo frames... And basically laid the groundwork for what I'd be doing these days...
Kind of reminds me of last year's happy excursion to my textile design studio in Florence, Italy.
I love the journey. And I love revisiting the landmarks, too.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Camera app jokes

We spent the other day walking through an adorable town in NJ with J and his cousins... A few of the more artistically inclined were snapping artsy photos of everything they saw ... One of the guys started a joke about taking pictures of everything making the ugly artsy. He stopped and pointed his camera phone at this mess of wires as a joke. I did too and then showed him what fun even the wierdest pic can be when subjected to the iPhone apps. (I used camerabag and tiltshiftgenerator)
All these are the same exact picture.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rock pets

One of our "Camp Mommakid" projects in the mountains was making these silly rock pets from random items in Mimi's art bin and rocks we found on our walks. The more we made, the funnier they got.

Coco in Love goes to Jersey

I'm not a Jersey girl, but the Worth family has roots in rural (beautiful) New Jersey. On our trip to visit them this week, we've gotten some nice pics of my #2 favorite Libby Dibby skirt. (#1 is Out & About) Gotta say, I love those big dots..

Caramel latte, anyone?

As we've been traveling around this summer, it's been a goal of mine to get some decent pics of some of the skirt patterns we haven't photographed yet. Last week, we were at Big Bear Lake in the SoCal mountains and got these pics of Caramel Latte. 

(still to come: Coco In Love - as she travels along the East Coast and into the Midwest)

Happy Father's Day!

It's Father's Day today... And I have to celebrate the two men in my life who've been so amazing as fathers... My Dad and my husband... 

My dad is an artist and designer... A passionate man whose creative spirit and imagination have shaped so much of my vantage points. He also taught me about hard work and taking time out for quiet. The
world has lot of silly humor for me, largely because I was raised by a man who saw that side of things.

Then I married the man we call "Captain Fun"... A gentle spirited, patient and creative man who accepts me and my quirkiness as delightful. He is talented and thoughtful and his even outlook on life has broughtnso much peace and joy to my life. I feel our kids were blessed beyond compare when they were given such an amazing daddy.
 (I wrote about him on designing moms this week -

(oh, and a shout-out to my father in law who fathered such a great guy.)
Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Quilting on vacation

We found it funny that as we walked into the quilt shop in one of the small towns we've vacationed in this summer that we were not only not greeted, but we were completely ignored. The irony of the fact was that I brought quilts to sew (not just one, but two) on vacation... Apparently, I don't look the part of a quilt shop shopper. ;)
One is now finished and the kiddos have turned it over and made it into a neighborhood for their cars, complete with pine cone trees.

The other is getting its quilting completed... An easy project with minimal thinking and much relaxing.

Collage artist

We are currently on vacation in the mountains... (Big Bear Lake) at the lovely vacation house of some generous friends. On a jaunt into town yesterday, I went into a little gallery of handmade art - and fell in love with the mixed media paintings by A. Breunig. The symbols and imagery are ones I constantly fall back on in my work... Trees, roots, words, houses... I especially love the "home" one.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Catalogue love

You know how much I love using my junk mail catalogues for collages... There are times, though, when a catalogue is just too beautiful to cut into (usually it's Anthropologie...) ... Times when I wish I could
just sit inside the photography. I admit, it's not the clothes in the catalogue I salivate over, it's the overall tone, the experience, the sense. Sure, I love spending my money at said store, but I have to say- I don't think the catalogue itself has ever introduced me to an item I later bought... But the mood? Yes... I love the mood. This last one was too much for me to cut up. I just wanted to sit inside it. So I did. I began journaling on top of the images ... Words on top of the lovely... And I've drawn on some of the other
pictures... This one happens to be a drawing reproduction of a vintage fabric pattern from one of my yoyos.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Arizona pretty

Just a little reminder for you and me that somewhere out there - there is a space of place that is always quiet, always beautiful and always untamed.
I love those reminders.

I should have been packing

There are so many things one should do before catching a flight in the morning... Sewing quilts isn't probably one of them, but I'm me and that's how it is. After making 16 squares for my spiderweb quilt, I
noticed that nowhere was there any leopard print. ("funny... My purse, current journal, iPhone cover, new clogs, and current fave Libby Dibby skirt are have leopard print, it's kind of funny to not have ANY in the quilt.") so last night, I remedied that... And also made a "mini-quilt" to exchange as part of next Monday's Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild meeting. I didn't exactly make a "quilt" - technically speaking- it's not got any batting or backing... But I tried to make something someone would enjoy getting in a trade. (at least I would like to get this! We shall see)
Now I'm off for the weekend by myself to a special retreat where I simply get to rest, see old friends and meditate. Headed to Chicago...
After Mimi's kindergarten graduation this morning, I drive myself to the airport and go on my first trip alone in many years.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hollywood goes to Cabo

We had to take advantage of the scenery in Cabo to get some good pics
of the Hollywood skirt in paradise.
I love having a photographer for a husband.
(oh yeah, these were taken right outside our room.)

sunhat sewing, anyone?

I think I need one of these before our next few vacations begin... We've got a lot of travel planned this summer and I am a girl who is always wearing a big hat. Want to sew one with me?
Here's how.... if you make one, send me a pic! I'm thinking Libby Dibby scraps would work GREAT for these!
How to Make a One-Pattern-Piece Reversible Sunhat - CraftStylish

Bubble Tea

I finally have decided on a replacement for Sweet Tea...
Introducing.... "Bubble Tea!"
Available on my etsy site starting next week.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Vacationland - I wish.

I know. I haven't written in a while.

After vacation, I got a killer sinus infection and can hardly keep my left eye open from the pain, so there's not much sewing or doing anything creative as I'm hobbling along towards the end of the school year!
Mimi's kindergarten graduation is the highlight of this week...

can you stand how cute this pic is?
here are a few other happy pics from Cabo.

We took along my Hollywood skirt to get a few fun pics of it in Vacationland, so those will be coming soon...

now off to do post-vacation laundry as a Cyclops.



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