Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Roses are Free bag

Take a piece of tinsel and put it on the tree
Cut a slab of melon and pretend that you still love me
Carve out a pumpkin and rely on your destiny
Get in your car and cruise the land of the brave and free

But don't forget to understand exactly what you put on the tree
Don't believe the florist when he tells you that the roses are free
Take a wrinkled raisin, and do with it what you will
Push it into third if you know you're gonna climb a hill
Eat plenty of lasagna 'til you know that you've had your fill
Resist all the urges that make you wanna go out and kill

But don't forget to understand exactly what you put on the tree
Don't believe the florist when he tells you that the roses are free

Throw that pumpkin at the tree
Unless you think that pumpkin holds your destiny
Cast it off into the sea
Bake that pie and eat it with me
Throw that pumpkin at the tree
Unless you think that pumpkin holds your destiny
Cast it off into the sea
Bake that pie and eat it with me

one of my favorite cover songs that Phish performs on a consistent basis, this song has the ability to make me smile even on the saddest of days. (yay to the guys from Ween for writing such an amazing song) to me, it's a song about wading through life, trying to make the right choices and if things don't work out then scrap it and try again. it symbolizes the fluidity of life and the paths we choose but remains optimistic that as long as you remember who you truly are, then you can remain authentic.

so, on this day, the 5th anniversary of the day my daughter died, i listen and smile through the tears, knowing life will continue and i'll have days filled with happiness, others filled with sorrow. i'll be confronted with serious decisions and required to make tough choices as to which path to follow, but that's kind of the whole point to life, isn't it?

finished this bag last night. it's a smaller version of my Stella Blue bag, measuring 11" tall by 10" wide with 2 straps (as opposed to the SB bag which has 1 long strap). 2 roomy interior pockets allow ample space for stashing your phone and other small items. the fabric used is from the Amy Butler Love line, with bliss bouquet used as the interior lining and straps

youtube showing the band practicing and playing Roses are Free

Sunday, October 24, 2010

it's a banner day

well, what do ya think?
yay or nay on the new design?

started out playing around with just the banner at the top, trying to figure out how to create my own. after some fiddling around i ended up downloading a free program called inkscape. played around with it all afternoon while watching football and finally feel as though i have a working knowledge of the software, although i'm certain that i have MUCH more to learn.

once the banner was done, it was time to decide on a new color scheme. after about a dozen different trials, i finally decided to go with this one. i like the fiery feeling it conveys and think it will be be a good fit for fall (and maybe beyond)!

mums picked from the front yard a few days ago...

Friday, October 22, 2010

it only took me 3 yrs!

ok, so maybe i shouldn't be as happy that it took 3 yrs, but in my defense, i did start a few months after my youngest son was born and perhaps it was a little bit more ambitious of a project than i originally thought.

this is how it started out:

i had made baby quilts for the other boys when they were little, generally finishing around their first birthdays, but these were fairly small quilts and i realized that by the time they were 3 that they had outgrown them. this played into my thinking when i started designing the quilt for Ashton. keeping this in mind, i decided to make his bigger, not quite a twin size, but something that he could cuddle up in into his childhood.

i love star motifs and piecing stars for quilts is a pretty easy thing to do, so i set to work cutting and assembling stars in 3 different sizes from fabric and some of his old baby outfits and came up with a way to arrange them into a rectangle. (graph paper is a wonderful thing)

piecing the quilt top actually went quickly and i was done with most of it in about a month, working on it bit by little bit when i could find the time in the evenings. (disclaimer: i'm a machine quilter, if i don't have to sew something by hand, i'm surely not going to)

found a cute backing fabric and made the quilt sandwich, then things became tricky. this monster was twice as big as anything else i had ever finished and discouragement set in. next thing i know, i'm folding it up and shoving it in the laundry room on the pile of unfinished projects.

rummaging through the forgotten pile, it jumped out at me 2 months ago. guiltily, i pulled it back into my craft room and assessed the situation. i needed to rip out some of the quilting and there were bunches of fabric but all in all, it wasn't too bad.

finished it up 2 weeks ago and while i'm not ecstatic with the color choices (it really needs some freaking red) at least i can say it's done and on his bed most nights.

(picture shows it on our queen size bed because the pattern of his sheets was wickedly competing with it)

baking mama kinda day

some days i feel like sewing
some days i feel like knitting
some days i feel doing nothing at all
most days though, i feel like BAKING!

there's something so magical about combining flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla (plus random other things) to create a cute and yummy treat. forget about being healthy, never mind saturated fat, who cares if real sugar isn't great for ya and simply ENJOY a little bit of sweetness. now i'm not talking about eating a half dozen cookies or half a cake yourself in one sitting, but i hate how baked goods get a bad reputation. maybe it's just because some of my earliest memories involve baking with my mom and grammy, but i find spending a few hours in my kitchen soothes my soul and makes me smile :)

so, for my friends out there going to the Phish show tonight and anybody else who appreciates a goodie, i hope you find something sweet to eat today.

Friday, October 8, 2010

ticker-tape parade

what are we celebrating?

how are we gonna celebrate?


having never actually been to a ticker-tape parade, i can only guess at how much fun it would be to watch the millions of little paper pieces floating down all around me as the crowd cheers. (of course, the mom in me thinks about how all that clean-up would not be oh so much fun, but that's beside the point)

capturing the feeling in a doll size quilt turned out to be almost as enjoyable and much easier to keep neat. i came across the pattern
for this project at Sew, Mama, Sew yesterday while drinking my morning coffee. had to wait until the afternoon to start going through my scraps pile and picking out fabric. about 3 hours later (not consecutive, still had to take breaks for kid stuff and dinner) i was clipping all the threads and sewing on the binding, just as the boys were getting ready for bed. finished hand-stitching the binding this afternoon after i returned home from oldest son's school walk-a-thon.

it was a beautiful day to go outside and take some photos, here's a few:

i'm a little anxious as to how all the little pieces are going to fray once it's washed, but that might just add to the charm!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

artsy ADD

ok, so that 5 day break from knitting gave me time to play around with some other projects last week. some were old favorites, like making quilted purses and others were new, like scrabble tile pendents.

but before i began any projects i decided to play with fabric:

i like to grab a bunch of fabric and lay it out all over the living room floor, making either a color circle or, in this case, a horseshoe. most of these were fat quarters, but a few were a full yard. deciding to go with 2 distinct colorways, i eliminated a bunch of the fabric and set to work cutting out first 3" strips, then slicing them to make 3" squares.

next i grab the flannel design board and start playing with the squares:

when i finally decide on a design i like, i start strip piecing the squares, first in groups of 2, then 4 to a row, and finally the rows together to make a large sewn section:

now i just need to decide what fabric i want to use for the lining and straps. shouldn't take me but a few hours before these 2 purses are done.

the 2nd project i worked on last week involved making scrabble tile pendents. i came across a picture of some while flitting around the webz a few weeks ago and decided that seemed like they would be fun and simple. i found making them to be very therapeutic. not only can i make a bunch of them at a time, they're also super cute!

first layer, glued on with medium matte gel
after that dries i go over the image and edges with mod podge:

next i put on a first layer of glass effects:

then comes another layer of glass effects. these ones are still drying:

once they're all completely dry, i will attach a bail on the back of each tile and thread it on a ribbon necklace.

i think these vastly different projects healed my funk of messed up knitting, reminding me that sometimes its important to let the creativity flow through a different medium. thank goodness for artsy ADD!