31 July 2007

got nothing but flowers for you

dahlias at home

Instead of toiling away as I promised myself this morning, I got distracted by the garden. Taking a cue from Jane at yarnstorm, I decided to gather up the wee orange dahlias that have bloomed. Granted, hers are a larger variety, but these little guys have been bursting like crazy in our little garden all summer. They did extremely well this season. The dinner-plate variety have yet to bloom; I'm not sure if they will. Hey, at least we tried. The stalks are pretty lush and tall, so who knows? They might bloom yet. For now, I have these little beauties to feast my eyes on:

I don't think I have enjoyed or appreciated the color orange as much as I have recently. It's so juicy and vibrant. The color on these little dahlias is so gorgeously intense. I just love 'em. It makes me want to play more with orange in my work. Hmmmm, we'll see....

30 July 2007

so is hiking supposed to be fun?

Mali yawning

Pretty much sums up my sentiments. We are back from the Berkshires, which was fun, albeit exhausting. I have learned one extremely valuable lesson:
When someone suggests a hike and says, "It's only five miles," always ask, "What's the elevation?"
I have learned that a five mile hike can feel like 12 miles if the elevation is as steep as the slopes in the caverns of hell. Seriously, I thought I wasn't going to make it. Yeah, I'm a wuss like that. I'm still hurting. Over the last few days, we did a few hikes through some gorgeous land, including one through Beartown State Forest, which was like a mycologist's dream with its many varied and beautiful mushrooms, like my favorite seen below:

We spent a rainy Saturday at The Clark Museum, where I oohed and ahhed over this painting for probably way too long. It's the Moroccan hexagon tiled floor that killed me. Sargent always makes my heart beat a little faster with joy, and seeing this work in person was wonderful.

Now that we're back from la-la land, it's back to work. While away, I managed to cut pieces for a whole bunch of new softies, but there will be more on that later, I promise. I leave you with this shot of the water:

lake garfield

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....

P.S. - That last hike that proved so difficult for me? Not a bother on Mali, who forged ahead of us all, leading us along the trail like a little scout. I swear, there were times, I felt like I was running to keep up with him. I love my little hiking dog.

25 July 2007

see you later alligator

Hansel the Zaubermaus

In a while, crocodile!

We will be taking a short blogging break around these parts to go spend time with the family. Pray for my sanity, folks. It's also a good time to step away from the computer and actually get some work done, too. September is right around the corner. Gotta get busy-busy (and stop reading Gawker & Jezebel every five minutes).

See you all in a week or so. Meanwhile, please go say hello to these guys, who are all hanging out in ye olde shoppe right now:

For the record, any orders placed between this evening and Sunday will be shipped out on Monday. All orders that have been placed in the last 24 hours will be shipping out shortly. Thanks!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

we're just a battery for hire with the guitar fire

Angus Young, eat your heart out! Thanks to the talented Susan of sulu-design, I am a "Rockin' Girl Blogger:"


Thanks, Susan! So now in turn, I must bestow the honor upon 5 rockin' girl bloggers, which is a tough call because there are thousands of rockin' girl bloggers. Hmmmmmmm, what would Bret Michaels do? Actually, let's not go there. *shudder* Instead, I present to you some (of the many) of my favorite rockin' girl bloggers:

1) Ashley of doggedknits - She is the rockingest, fiercest, coolest girl blogger. She knits, she quilts, she makes gorgeous zakka inspired pouches - what doesn't she do? She is whip-smart and hilarious. In short, she rocks. Big time.

2) Megan of knitting philistine - Witty, clever, and she takes gorgeous photos of fiber. Need we say more about our philistine friend? Well, we could, but go check out her fabulous blog and see for yourself.

3) Liz of Lady Harvatine - I recently started reading Liz's blog as she was my swap partner for the Doll Quilt Swap 2, and I love her projects. We have similar tastes in fabric, and she just wows me with her skill and sense of design.

4) Sarah of Small Fox in a Big World - Sweet, smart, and dare I say it, sassy, Sarah makes me laugh and inspires me with her great attitude and all her productivity.

5) Lisa of Losabia - Last but by no means least, Lisa is a constant source of inspiration as well as an important resource that I turn to for info about quilting. The woman behind the Doll Quilt Swaps rocks big time! Check out her latest gorgeousity!

So TAG, you rock! Also, go check out Roberta's blog (she's the one behind this game of "tag! you rock!").

24 July 2007

i heart eggmoney

Oh. My. Goodgod!!!! Look at the doll quilt I got for the Doll Quilt Swap 2:

It is GORGEOUS! And it is by the super-talented eggmoney, whose work I became familiar with when I first heard all the buzz about this amazing little quilt. I secretly crossed my fingers and wished that the Doll Quilt Gods would make her my partner. When I saw her progress photos in the Doll Quilt Swap pool on Flickr, I saw the greens and pinks and thought that maybe, just maybe, her doll quilt might be for me, being as those two colors seem to play a huge role in my life. I'm very drawn to them both individually and combined:

pink and green comforter

Again, I crossed the fingers tight and wished and wished because my goodness, her quilt is a beauty. How lucky did I get? Tremendously so, my friends. When I saw the package awaiting me yesterday was from eggmoney, I did a happy dance right then and there on the sidewalk. I can't even tell you how overjoyed I was when I opened the package. I think somewhere in the Atlantic, dolphins heard my "Squeeeeeeee!" and thought, "Damn, someone needs to settle down over there." I was that ecstatic.

I am the luckiest swap recipient ever - doll quilt by eggmoney

I could not believe how beautiful this is in person. It is even more gorgeous than in the photos, which is saying quite a lot. Eggmoney's handstitching is just phenomenal:

And her binding job is just... wow! It is perfect! It just blows me away:

I am the luckiest swap recipient ever - doll quilt by eggmoney

And look at the cute cards she enclosed with the quilt:

Thank you so much eggmoney! I heart you! Please have a look at her etsy shop. It is chock full of crafty goodness by this skilled and gifted lady.

23 July 2007

zakka-attack - more pin cushions

More pin cushions will be up in the shop later today. I have one Zaubermaus and four Secret Agent LoveBugs going up, too, but I really couldn't take a decent photo of any of them with the skies so overcast and the light in the apartment so gloomy. I have opted not to spend the time and effort to Photoshop them to the nines when I know it's just not going to work (and I've got a slew of other stuff to get done in the next couple of days before my family comes up). Hence, they will be up in the shop bright and early *ahem, really, I mean it, cross my heart and all* tomorrow morning.

Did anyone watch "Rock of Love" last night? I am not ashamed to admit that after watching the premiere episode over here, I am hooked to this circus of stupidity. I am not really one for watching TV, but this is hysterically funny, particularly for me because well, I used to hang out with some people that totally remind me of a few of the girls on there, like to a very scary degree. (Yeah, I hung out with a motley of characters - judge me not, or go ahead and judge, whatever.) Fortunately, these people are not in my life anymore; there comes a time when you have to be brutally honest with yourself and just admit you're outgrown certain friendships and move on. Watching this show, however, takes me back in a very safe way. And it makes me laugh until it hurts. One of my favorite bloggers ever (non-crafting/knitting) does a recap for VH1 blog, and it is possibly even more hysterical than the show itself. If you loved hair bands in the 80s and have a penchant for cheese, definitely check out this horror-show when you get the chance. It does not disappoint.

Jesus, did I just write a whole paragraph about TV, about a reality show, no less? About a show starring Bret Michaels? Oh boy.... Yeaaaaahhhhhh, ummmmmmmm, I need to get out or something. All the rain and gray must be getting to my brain....

22 July 2007

lining 'em up

Such fun when buttons work well as part of a silly button card composition!

21 July 2007

that kind of day

I got up late, made granola, had it for brunch with Matt, sprinkled it with the juicy raspberries I got on sale last night at Shaw's, sprinkled pure vanilla over that, made tea to make Arnold Palmers with later. I'm making pin cushions while doing laundry, hoping to detail a few more softies later for Monday's shop update. It's that kind of day, and I love it. It more than makes up for the fact that our trip was canceled at the last minute because we both dropped the ball on securing someone to feed the cats. Dang cats. Who am I kidding? We adore them. Look at those paws:


Those were the inspiration for these.

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend.

20 July 2007

eye candy friday - the jackalope edition

Earl - seated

"Many things in this life
ain't what they appear.
Yeah I look like a hare,
but if you stop and you stare
I'm more like a deer."
- Steve Earle & the Supersuckers
Meet Earl. He is one of the latest additions to the shop and also my first Jackalope, which I have only been meaning to make for months now. (Actually, it's been more like a year. Ever since I saw that bizarre "real" Jackalope at some road side souvenir stand/ fireworks store/ convenience store that Matt and I stopped at somewhere in Virginia to get some water when we on our road trip to Atlanta. I was kinda blown away by the very idea. For reals, who the heck thought it would be a great idea to graft some horns onto a rabbit, stuff it, and try to convince people that this was a real creature that they went out and hunted? Seriously, what were they drinking?)

Earl

I loved sewing the little antelope horns for Earl. Attaching them was a different story, however. I do wish I had drawn the pattern out on paper first only because I love the way they came out and would like to replicate that with the next Jackalope. (Or maybe this is a just one shot softie - we'll see.)

Also, added to the shop today were a trio of pocket squirrels and these two Zakka inspired pin cushions:

zakka inspired pin cushion (with tree print)

Can I tell you how much I like these little pin cushions? Sure, they're nothing revolutionary, but they're cute and make my sewing table pretty. Isn't that what Zakka is all about? I have several more of these cut and waiting to be sewn, which is one of things I am working on today. I am hoping to have about a dozen more in the shop by Monday.

Happy Friday folks!

19 July 2007

thanks!

Wow! Thanks for all of your kind and encouraging words regarding the doll quilt. You guys have made me smile big time with all of your comments. I definitely think the wrinkling and crinkling gave it a cute antique-y look, and like I said, I had so much fun making it that I totally loved it in the end.

I have no finished projects to show you all today because I am busily putting the finishing touches on a few things that I hope to be able to share with you tomorrow. I am planning to do another shop update then, so please drop by and have a look.

I leave you with a few of my favorite images on Flickr. I am so incredibly inspired by all of the artwork, crafting, and beautiful photography I see on there by so many talented people. This is just a fraction of what I have as my favorites; there are so many more images. In fact I even added a bunch more stuff this morning (which for some reason wasn't coming up on the mosaic). Hope you like these as much as I do:

1. more from the aquarium, 2. doll hammock, 3. Peachy Keen, 4. ::, 5. Happy Chibi Girl Isidore, 6. DollQuiltFront, 7. antique doll head, 8. old crates, 9. shed, 10. three, is the magic number, 11. Vintage Fabric 12, 12. Ms. D and the JF, 13. Aslog & Esme the Jack Rabbit Love=Creatures for SUPERMAGGIE, 14. entrance, 15. buttons, 16. On our powerwalk...love this gate., 17. The Gucc..., 18. What's left of lunch #10, 19. birds of a feather, 20. bunny week in the shop, 21. arrangements, 22. star handles, 23. through a hole in the fence, 24. Flicca7, 25. McConnell the Jack Rabbit, 26. 6/05/07, 27. sprinkle-fied, 28. group, 29. WAWAYAtaotao#1#2#3, 30. jackalope, 31. ooooh.....spoooooky!, 32. cashmere mushrooms, 33. doll quilt, 34. Untitled, 35. Project Spectrum Ferris Wheel, 36. in the bath

And what are some of your Flickr favorites?

18 July 2007

ta-daaaaaaaaaa!

My doll quilt is ready and set to go out the door for the swap. All I have to do is attach the label, which will hopefully only take me a few minutes. It was hard taking a decent photo of this little number for two huge reasons: a) it has been super-over-cast all morning, which means all we're getting is a pale gray light into the apartment, and b) the quilt kinda turned into a SharPei after I washed it. Why did I wash it when it looked so good before the washing?

Exhibit A: the doll quilt before washing (please excuse the artificial lighting there):

before washing

reverse - before washing

Exhibit B: after being washed:

After I finished the binding last night, which didn't take me long at all and was, as always, a peaceful and even joyful process (as it means I am almost finished), I noticed there were a few errant cat hairs on the doll quilt. Every time I picked them off, they seemed to reappear. Then I noticed the little gray smudge right smack dab in the middle of the reverse side. And then, I saw another teeny smudge on one of the corners. Let me just say here that at this point, I had fallen in love with the quilt. After quilting this puppy, it looked so good, and I was extremely pleased with the results thus far. It was fun to quilt it and unlike any other quilting I have done to date. I felt pretty confident that my partner would love it because I knew that if I saw this on someone else's blog, I would totally love it and want it for myself. However, once I noticed these little blemishes, there was no way I could send it off without a washing or just something so that it didn't look like I had used the doll quilt to wipe down furniture or something equally awful. So I hand-washed it, pressed it to get rid of excess water and threw it in the dryer. I don't know if the dryer part was the wrong and bad element or what. All I know is that it came out of there looking a bit... wrinkly. Which is nice, on one hand, because it makes the quilt look all antiqued and special. In fact, a couple of Hillary's lovely doll quilts are oh-so-beautifully wrinkled, and I was head over heels in love with them when I saw them. Then I got a little scared because there's a fine line between wrinkled and puckered. Please don't tell me this is puckered....

after washing

It looks... puckered....


Anyway, the sad thing is that the photos really don't do the quilt, or the quilting, or even the wrinkling, any justice. I love it. I hope my partner does, too. And in case she doesn't, I am right here, right now offering a guarantee. Swap Partner, if you are not 100% satisfied with this doll quilt, please return it to me and I will make you another one as per your specific request (like, if you would rather have log cabin squares or something more contemporary and artful or just something less wrinkly). I mean it. Because I like this too much to imagine it in the bottom of a box in someone's closet.

I leave you all with the requisite see-through shot:

at least it's pretty when the light shines through it

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, I loved this project....

i love binding

17 July 2007

technical difficulties

I would like to take a moment to apologize to anyone who subscribes to this blog through Bloglines. For some reason that is beyond me, Bloglines takes hours (sometimes even up to a day) to update this site. For instance, the other day I hit the "publish post" button for my softie progress post at approximately one in the afternoon; the post didn't show up on Bloglines until after midnight. Today's earlier post hasn't shown up at all. It does this all the time. ALL the time. I'm beginning to think someone over there hates me. Do I have a malicious ex-boyfriend working there or something? ;)

If anyone has any insight as to why this is happening or how to resolve it, I would so appreciate it. In the meanwhile, please do check in for updates from time to time via another blog reader or visit me directly. Thanks for stopping by, guys!

P.S. - The little plastic lamb in the photo above was included in my latest order from Hello Yarn. Isn't it cute? It totally made my day.

P.P.S. - It is now 12:35 AM, and I am still up because I've been working on something for way too long and doing laundry. Let's see what time this post shows up on Bloglines. I know ultimately, it's no big thing; it's not important. It just irks me a little, that's all.

color week - tuesday - blues & turquoise

blue bowls & ice cream

blue chair & laundry bag

Color week has come full-circle here. It was a lot of fun to participate in this, and I thank Andrea at hula seventy for starting it. It's funny, but I've come to a few probably obvious (although not to me) realizations about color in my life. I have noticed that I love to surround myself with greens and blues, but I am not sure if I can find a purple item in my home. Reds, orange, and yellows are used as accents but never as the main color of any item (except for a set of red and black bedsheets). And for some reason, there are tons of splashes of pink here and there, although I never really think of pink as a color I am particularly fond of (guess I am drawn to it afterall). I'd love to do this again some time soon. Maybe I'll do random color posts from time to time here.

For now, I've got a doll quilt that is awaiting its binding, and believe it or not, I love binding quilts. I love the physical act of doing the binding, and I love the finality of that stage of the process. It makes me do a happy dance and sing a little song while I do it. Photos to come tomorrow.

16 July 2007

color week - monday - yellow

bathroom door

little yellow flowers

hello yarn - closeup


That last photo was taken by Matt. I saw it over his shoulder and asked if he would allow me to post it on here, just because I fell so in love with the colors.

and some progress has been made

If it seems that I am not posting much about softie-making these days, it is only because with all the coming and going, I have about 2 dozen or so projects in the works and no finished items to share. Everything has been so slow-going over here. Softies are suspended mid-construction, and new ones started spontaneously, swiftly, and surreptitiously as the inspiration grabs me only to be stuffed, finished, and detailed a week later. How many WIP photos can I show you without boring the pants off of you? You want to see finished pieces, no? Well, finally, I have some finished pieces to show:

Meet the new mini-manti! Meet Manolo:


And last but not least, Matilda:

I had fun with Matilda's wings, making them longer that the regular mini-mantis' wings and pleating the middle for shaping:

Matilda the mini-mantis

The three new mini-manti are now up at my etsy shop. I also added a few new pocket squirrels. As you can see in the first photo, there are quite a few more softies in the works, just waiting for the details. Those will be added to the shop over the course of the week. I am also finishing up a series of the garden variety partiers, which will also go up shortly (although I cannot promise that those will be finished this week). Thanks for checking it out, and please stay tuned for more softies and a few surprises.

My color week posting for "monday - yellows" will be up later this evening.

15 July 2007