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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Nesting

I haven't been posting much lately. We are kind in full swing of summer, lots of outings and playdates... But as we are also mentally and emotionally preparing for welcoming another baby into the home, there is also lots to do to get the house back in order.
I've been sewing, too, lots of projects for my bee, a few more dresses from the springy swing top pattern that I modified, a few scrappy quilttops, and lots of furniture building and painting as I am nesting...
This morning we also discovered someone else had been nesting - in the lattice over our window (that we installed to overgrow the memories of men crawling through it to rob us a few years ago...) I thought the bird had been merely scoping out my fruit tree, turns out she had different plans... Plans that hatched this week.
It feels very sweet that as I've been telling friends that "I'm nesting" this week, that I'd get this visual. And then to see new life where there was only pain is also quite dear. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Quoted

I was just informed tonight by an acquaintance (a neighborhood mom I know from a playgroup) that I'd been quoted in this magazine (which has been on my coffee table for a month). "Cloth Paper Scissors" is a really inspirational mag for me - it's all about collage and textile arts... So of course i love it. But though I'd read much of this and carried it around with me for weeks, I'd had no idea that my little quip was included in print. Funny.
The quote was just an emailed answer to the question: what art supplies do you travel with? ... But it still is fun to see your name all glossy...

Giant yoyos

Months ago (I can't find it now) I posted a pic of an amazing Anthropologie quilt made of giant yoyos. Here is my own humble beginning... Shown with my toesies for scale.

Just some afternoon painting

I bought some canvases for the kids and I to paint ... And today we got to work... Z made the tree and hedgehog (with a small amount of help from momma), Mimi did the "doggie in the forest" and I made the mushroom.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Going to camp

The kids are having a great time with a week of day-camp at our local park. (ok, it's not walking distance to the hood where we live, but it's close enough that it's part of our daily life... And my bet is that this park is one of the best in the entire Los Angeles park district.)
Today is "under the sea" dress up day for Z... (he chose a penguin)... And Mimi has sports dress up day tomorrow.
I, for one, have enjoyed my first ever week where both kids had an activity for 5 hours together that left me with free time. I've spent the week doing work on the house, getting new big kid furniture and desks setup, setting up organizational things and "spring-cleaning" in summer.
I now see what things could look like in a few years when I actually will have chunks of time free... But that may be a little further off than it looks... We are praying and preparing to attempt another go at foster care again in a few weeks. (pray for us!)

Fruit Cocktail Tree

Today we went out and picked the last of the summer's treats from the fruit cocktail tree. It was a battle with the birds for yummy territory, and they got away with a lot, but I believe this bowl proves we won.
(I realize i haven't been posting as regularly lately... Chalk it up to the fact that I'm "doing the summer thing" - driving the kids all over and in my off time, I'm doing small organizational house projects. We are getting ready to step back into foster care *PRAY FOR US!* and I believe I might be nesting a little)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Quilt - Made for baby Cade



My pal, Christy, gets lots of love here for being a fun and talented creative pal to me... This week was the baby shower for her long-awaited precious little "snowflake" baby. 
Since Christy is one of my sewing pals who has recently taken on quilting, like me, she had to be the recipient of a special baby quilt, right? 
I had a lot of fun making this for her... 





Baby quilt for Cade

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I make mistakes - free charms

Hey. I make a lot of mistakes. The ones that are the biggest bummer is when I make a mistake while hand stamping a sterling silver charm. It feels like throwing money away. And though I've been making these for over 4 years now, I still make mistakes.
I'd love to get rid of these. Do you know anyone who wants one? Know someone with one of these names?
Send me an email and I'll send it to you.
In case you can't read the names in the pics, they are: ELIA, GRACE, BLAKE, ANDREW, HOPE, BRODY, NOAH, and SIENNA.
Just be warned, they aren't my top quality or I'd sell them...

Just desserts - bee happy quilting bee

I love being a part of a quilting bee. Every month I get a homework assignment that challenges me creatively. Each month I get my package in the mail from my bee partners and I have a small amount of creative panic (the good, deadline kind... Deadlines motivate me... In my corporate design days they were my best creative motivation.) I'm always nervous also that i will have the worst square in a quilt and the motivation to not let the gal of the month down also really inspires me to think through what I'm making.
This months' squares are for Lori, a very creative and vibrant artist who is a really inspiring person to follow on flickr (link later). She's also super nice. So I loved getting such a creative assignment, using these yummy Anna Maria Horner GoodFolks fabrics... And I did my best to make some yummy treats for her Just Desserts quilt.
I used a little appliqué, a lot of piecing and fussy cutting, and as much color as possible. (I cant wait to see the other squares for the quilt... So far I've seen one and it's amazing! What a quilt this will be...)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Vintage Corelle

I was taught growing up to not like Corelle. My mom has a funny lip curl she does when she doesn't like something and Corelle dishes are one of those things deemed worthy of a lip curl.
Still, as I thought about the cute, but very PLASTIC and not so healthy melamine plates we were using for the kids, I knew I didn't want to use them for long. And even though i have to handwash everything, and never microwave plastic, i eventually found the melamine flaking one day and threw out the whole lot.
I went onto eBay that night and bought a bunch of different vintage Corelle dishes in different "clashing" patterns (um, they're from the 70s, everything was brown, orange and yellow... They all match)
Corelle is great. The kids can drop it and it doesn't break like my nice dishes do. You can microwave it, cook it, freeze it and even lose it (it's cheap). And hey... It's got that vintage flair, which I happen to think is nothing to snarl at.... (mom).
... My patterns shown are Indian Summer and Butterfly Gold ...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bee sampler

So as I've been settling back into life on the ground, making friends with my sewing machine again, I've been catching up on my quilting bee squares that I've been behind on... And while I was doing research on those, i realized that all the partners in my bee are making a quilt-along sampler - where each months blocks get sent to the gal whose they are, but then they make one out of their own fabrics to keep as a reminder of the year. At first I thought that was too much extra work, but then I realized that i would love a keepsake of this experience, so today I decided to catch up on the previous 4 months' blocks. I picked fabrics I knew I would never otherwise use - that's kind of a fun game for me.. (can i use a bunch of fabrics I don't love and make something I do love?)... And here we go.

The next question that i have to figure out is once I run out of these scraps, what will the next blocks bs made of that will coordinate? For me, these are fun challenges that stretch my creative muscles. (and they're great at "busting my stash"!)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Green quilt done

Well, it only took a few months and getting packed on 2 separate vacations to make it to completion, but this green quilt is finally complete. I'm really pleased with it. I actually still love the color palette and don't feel "done" there yet, so we may have a partner quilt in our future. Who's future? I don't know... I still haven't parted with even one of these.

Mimi sewed this on her own

videoShe made the purse, using handstitching and the machine (all by herself) and she even made the video.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Coco In Love goes to Sweet Home Chicago

This may not be a completely "Chicago-style" pic to anyone else, but to me it is highly sentimental and perfectly captures a feel and memory. We took the pic standing right in front of the first place we ever lived in Chicago... A greystone 2-flat in Logan Square. And now you can finally get a good glimpse of my favorite side of my second fave skirt.

Sore throat

All of this travel has left me hanging onto my health by a thread. Last night instead of spending the night sewing, I made myself a spot of "throat coat" tea and spent the evening writing and resting.
This weekend is another family reunion , which leaves me still unable to get settled back into my happy creative patterns until next week. *I really miss my machines!* (though I am planning on bringing the nearly-finished green quilt and it's binding to work on over the weekend). I just hope that i can fight off this impending cold...

Friday, July 2, 2010

What to wear with Libby Dibby skirts?

I get asked this question a lot....
"What do you suggest I wear with a Libby Dibby skirt?"
So I figured I'd post a few ideas and suggestions.... I tend usually to pick slim fitting t-shirts with a nice neckline and some form of detail that draws the eye upward.  With the a-line skirt, this ends up giving a really classic hourglass look as the eye travels. There are days that I actually tuck the ribbons from my skirt into the waistband, and others that I wear them out - depending on the shirt I'm wearing.

My favorite look with the skirts is a slimmer top, tank, fitted sweater... it keeps everything from looking too boxy. I'm not really a shirt tucked in girl ever, though I've seen lots of gals pull it off with my skirts. It doesn't really work for my shape - I'm the type constantly trying to camouflage my tummy weight, so I keep it more loose around the waist.  You can see a lot of my favorite types of shirts with the skirts in the pictures of skirts page here on the blog, but here are a few pics that really show the shirts that I wear.

I also have been seeing some nice tops lately in Anthropologie, the Athleta catalog. I've complimented a few gals lately and been informed they bought their cute tops at Target (haven't seen them there myself, though).  My new favorite brand is Velvet. I made it to a sample sale of theirs a few months ago and have been wearing their tops well with my skirts this season. Plus, their tees wash beautifully, have great silohuettes and vibrant colors.

As far as shoes go, in the summer my skirts get paired with sandals, wedges, flip-flops and even my Croc flats.  In the winter, I love them with tall skinny boots.
I hope all this helps answer some of those questions!

I need your advice!

Ever feel creatively stuck? I do... (well sometimes, rarely...) Anyhow, here's where I'm stuck right now. My bathroom is boring. Grey tile, black tile and dingy white walls. You can see the green and white curtains I made, and even the cute Amy Butler towels my sister gave me recently... And at some point, someone started to strip the wood, but not all of it.
I think the mirror and trim want a high gloss coat of paint, but I can't figure out which color... (Black? White? Accent?) and I really want that upper portion of the wall to be something. (I've toyed with a damask stencil type design, or stripes, but am just stumped because I can't decide on colors or pattern.)
Do you know of any examples of those kinds of paint jobs? I need some inspiration... If you do, post a link to it in the comments section. I really would love to hear some opinions - even if I don't use them, they're sure to spark something.... Thoughts?

Apricot harvest

It's a little sad when your apricot harvest can fit into a teacup. But sadly, the birds have used our vacation as a time to steal. I've found apricots with one "bite" out of them scattered around the tree. Insert Griswoldian muttering here. ($&@*#!)
We have a fabulous city fruit tree called a "fruit cocktail tree" which is a beautiful Frankenstein of fruit branches grafted into one another so that we've got plums, nectarines, apricots and peaches all growing on the same tree. (our neighbors have a citrus fruit cocktail tree... Grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes). They're perfect for small city yards. So far the peaches seem to be growing the most prolifically... I'll have my eyes out for those evil birds... (my fear of birds strikes again). In the meantime, enjoy my amazing harvest. (wink)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Contrite Spirit

The day we spent walking through Big Bear Lake city was "one of those days" as a mom where I felt like I was destining my kids for a life of therapy on my account. When I saw this statuette in a gallery we walked through, I began to cry. Fortunately, she was a price I could afford to spend to bring her home.
It is a limited edition copy of a carving made by (I'll find her name...). It's is called, "The Contrite Heart". It refers to a verse in the Bible that is great at reminding me even on my worst days that God won't reject me... It goes, "the sacrifices of God are a broken heart and a contrite spirit.- These, oh God, you will not despise." Psalm 51:17
This beautiful woman is a sweet reminder of a God who will pick me to be with, even when no one else would do that by choice.

Profile charms

Just some new pics of the sterling profile charms.

Camp project - rANsoM LetTeRs

Today's project for Camp Mommakiddo is ransom style letters. (yes, it is on our to-do list) Mimi made a welcome sign for a visiting cousin.

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