Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mother's Day is coming

Easter, Spring Break, Mother's Day, Teacher Appreciation Week.  They are ALL jammed together this year! And to be honest, those are not relaxing days, though they seem like they might be.

Here's what I want this year.
One of my favorite places to volunteer around here is a home for homeless pregnant women in Venice Beach called HARVEST HOME. Truth be told, since we've had the baby around, I don't get over there much - fostering adds about 12-16 hours of "other" stuff into your week besides the mama stuff, so my time is highly precious.

If I had more time, I'd be over at Harvest Home, doing what I've done in the past... hosting craft nights, teaching classes on how to wear your baby in a sling, having get togethers - I love doing that for moms and my heart goes out to the moms who are on their own in such a hard place as Los Angeles.

This year I haven't been over there. but I just got an email from HH that shows a way I can help, even across the city.  They've made their sweet logo into a pendant that is a mother/child heart pendant in sterling silver. Though we all know that I'm not short on pendants, I love jewelry and I love Harvest Home and for a donation, we all can have this precious heart as a memory of their sweet moms and babies and our own journeys as moms as well.
Here's where you too can get one. (click the link)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My neighbor models a new skirt pattern

Oh this skirt is so pretty, but the large print is a little heavyweight- even for me, so I'm not sure it's going to make it as one of my regulars... Still I have 2 mediums whipped up. (lemme know if you want one of them, I may keep the other) My adorable friend, Chrissy, who lives across the street, modeled it in my living room today while our kids played. The dark brown scrolly design is especially nice and needs to find a permanent partner, don't you think? (what do you think?)
... I think it's getting to be skirt weather and I always end up sewing new clothes in May... Yippee! I'm in the mood...

Finding new art to love at Bergamot Station

Bergamot Station is one of my favorite places to spend an hour alone in LA. It always ends with a trip to the cafe for the BEST mint lemonade on the planet and starts with a short jaunt through 5 or 6 galleries. When the kids were really little, I remember taking them in their double stroller into 1 or 2 of the galleries and just trying to see a little tiny bit of art for myself.
Today I decided I'd go through galleries until I found something that was upbeat that really made me happy. I finally found it at the Ruth Bachofner Gallery in Michel Alexis pieces. Oh how I loved these! They are breathtaking... The quilter in me loves the patchwork choppiness and pieced nature... The fine artist in me was loving the fabric and paint, cut paper and hand drawn portions... The poet in me loved reading that the artist started these based on a poetic text that is now all but missing and only hinted at by the huge cursive style swoops of enlarged text traipsing through the enormous canvases.
These are also gritty and aged feeling, something I also treasure. I love that yellowed tint.
I could definitely see these influencing some of my own ideas someday.

Spring Day in Santa Monica Sunshine

I had a dr appt this am. Which meant I had a reason to be in Santa Monica without kids. I've desperately needed a mental health day, life's been inordinately stressful lately and even sewing has become exhausting. Most of my evenings have been spent curled up with books on my couch under my orange quilt as I try to use a little escapism.
But today is gorgeous. And i am wearing a new skirt made by a fellow LA skirt designer (whom I haven't met yet) - check her out at "Made with Love by Hannah".... I can't not be happy wearing this skirt! My two favorite colors and polka dots AND funny little mushrooms!
All designer skirts should make people feel this good. I often hear my skirts do the same for people and that makes me so happy.
So do sunshine and silence.
Wishing you some of the same....
Xoxo--- libby

Monday, April 25, 2011

Beanbag SALE

Just in time for Mother's Day... I've decided to have a sale on my beanbag doorstops. A few years ago these were the Mother's Day gifts for all the mommas in our family.... and they're still in use in every home.

They're inexpensive, cute and perfectly useful.... So here's the sale.
If you buy 3, you get one free.
Just buy them in my Etsy shop and after the 3 you've bought, in the comments section, tell me which one you want for free. If you buy 3 and forget, I'll assume you wanted one for free and will contact you....
This sale will go from today, April 25-May 1... so don't forget!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Crafts and arts.

I've been taking a college level Collage course at Art Center this semester. It's taken me a while to figure out what I was going to do...I mean, my paper collages are fun, but my professor has been pressuring me to employ more techniques and one of the reasons I took the class was to try and bring together a marriage between my sewing and collage. I spent the first 12 weeks working on another series of painted textiles which may show up here someday, but currently I hate them and haven't been able to bring them to a place where I like them.... So not yet.
But these have happened in the last 3 weeks and I am loving them. They are starting as either family photos or random copies of my kids' artwork. This is just 5 of the 10 I am working on as I explore the concept of what it means to be a foster family. I've embroidered the kids' faces or artwork, or even an encouraging text message from J to me from our journey with Ace... Remember that nervous breakdown? Oy.... Where was I? Oh yeah, I'm embroidering these onto fabric and gauze and then turning them into weird mini quilts. In my mind I want them to look timeless, not current... Maybe a little aged and quirky- like something that you would find in your grandma's attic and wonder about. A series that together tells a story of a family that loves even when it hurts. They're not finished yet, I'm deciding on binding still... But they do make me happy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

sharing my quilt top at LAMQG

0404_24 by n.ramirez
0404_24, a photo by n.ramirez on Flickr.
Here's a fun photo of my quilt top from a little further away! I brought it to the LAMQG meeting the other night, especially to show the girls who work at Sew Modern (where we have our meetings) what happened after they helped me pick out the rockin awesome fabrics to go with those quirky squares.
Our amazing guild photographer, Nichole, got this pic.
Going to the guild meetings is really funny for me. Every month I get so excited to go, I know that I will leave inspired and more passionate than ever about quilting. And every month it's also one of those things where I have to face my insecurities and feelings of inadequacy. The guild is so encouraging to everyone who does show and tell... and being in two bees with women from the guild has helped me to make some friends there, but it's so funny how I seem to break out into a cold sweat every time that I show something I made. I am utterly stunned at what people in my guild are making. Even if it's not all my taste - the actual skill we're looking at is mind-boggling. I would say that I am probably in the 30-40% range if we were ranking skill level... just to give you an idea. (and I'm not exaggerating)
I ended the evening, kind of weedling my way into a conversation with some other folks as they discussed what "modern quilting" is... Which is funny, because since I grew up around so much mid-century modern design, modern art and then worked in an industry for 6 years making "modern" textiles - my personal style is rarely what falls in the "modern" category...
I really encourage you to click on this pic and ride it to the flickr group that it is in... To see the breadth of what the Modern Quilt Guild covers is simply amazing.

ps. helping me hold the quilt is one of our amazingly talented male guild members, Craig... He's from the same hometown as me and we've laughed about how two Palos Verdes kids ended up meeting each other in a Los Angeles quilt guild.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

642 things to draw

Some days are less creative than others. I recently bought this book with the idea that simply drawing is good for the soul. It's turned Into an awesome family sketchbook... Sketches take 5 minutes to do and are so calming...

Even if I'm drawing a rolling pin, cereal or knitting needles... It does something good inside me to sit  and draw... Especially on a day that seems less creative than I'd like.
Z's drawing here was under the caption "feelings" - so he decided to draw what he thinks are "dog feelings" by facial expressions.

Mimi's page said "Olympics" - so she drew Dorothy Hammill, figure skating in an arena... Now we just have to get Daddy on board...



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