Archive for October, 2007

happy halloweeny

Posted in autism, crafting, life in general, PDD-NOS with tags , , , on October 31, 2007 by askthesky

this is sort of cheating, as we did our halloween stuff on sunday, but i wanted to show off the costumes, so we’ll just pretend it’s happening today, m’kay?  greeeaaat. 

introducing, the Owl Family! 

here, i’m teaching my owlets how to say “whoooo”, although in fact i missed smiling with both my owlets in the only photo known to man where they are both looking at the camera AND smiling.  still cute, if you ask me. 

i just used felt (hot glued the faces and the wing stripes, then sewed them to the shirts), and made what sarah described to me in her response to the original post about making some owls, only i adapted it so that zander would wear it.  he wasn’t going for anything near his face, and actually it was only by some great distractionary techniques on my part that he kept it on at all.  oh, i also used a design from an old martha mag that had a pumpkin mask with an owl drawing that seemed good to me as a guide.   

speaking of zander’s sensitivities, we got the news this week that he is on the spectrum for autism.  while it’s a very heavy word, and i’m feeling that weight, i’m focusing on how to get him what he needs, and i really don’t feel crushed or even bogged down by it.  that said, i’m really struggling with the diet that’s become so touted to help with the behaviors associated with the disorder.  i’m not sure i can (or want to) go through with it… please share if you’ve had experience with it or know someone who has. 

so, you know when you’ve been climbing mountains in your life for a while, and then you think you’ve crested the final plateau, only to find the next ridiculous slope stretching up above you?  yeah.  that’s where i’m at, consider this your postcard.  i think though, as in all things, i could focus on the disappointment, or i can (and will) check out the view from here, strap on the harness, and climb on.  come along, please, if you’ve got the stomach for it… and i know you do. 


Posted in bloggin mamas, color love, life in general on October 16, 2007 by askthesky

the pumpkin farm, a photo essay.  note: i don’t know why zander had his tongue sticking out the entire day.  it shall remain a mystery of the pumpkin farm. 

blog action day

Posted in crafting, life in general, musings with tags on October 15, 2007 by askthesky

i often read other craft blogs, and i have many “green” craft blogs in my bloglines feed list.  a recurring theme seems to be the urge to be informed about environmental issues becoming overshadowed by the feelings of doom and hopelessness that sometimes come along with that knowledge.  this is why i loved ‘an inconvenient truth’- the way that they rolled the action items during the ending credits left me with a hopeful heart. 

when i make things, i try to re-use materials i have laying around, to clean out my studio, and to help the earth a bit.  there are so many artists i know who use reclaimed and re-purposed materials in their work.  i realize that small act probably isn’t meaningful to everyone, but to me it is so inspiring- those of us who struggle to make a living at art can’t afford to be wasteful, and really none of us can afford wastefulness- that time is past, and we need to seek out ways to conserve in each area of our lives, art included. 

so in this post, i want to point out some people i know and love who walk this talk.  i’m inspired to do more because of their examples, and i hope you are as well. 

first!  my friend (and fellow mafiosi) jen, who makes the near-world-famous (for good reason) cotton monsters:  (photo borrowed from jen’s blog)

jen uses all recycled clothing and linens to make her monsters, and they couldn’t be cooler. 

my friend supamb, who makes many, many things from materials thrifted and otherwise saved from demise.  she also just gave me a treasure trove of fabric, which has only made me love her more.  Check out her recent post on how to make a lunch bag that mimics a plastic grocery bag without ending up in a landfill.  she also made nearly a whole maternity wardrobe out of some thrifted sheets, including this one, which i think was my favorite. 

and in the department of people i know only from the internet, meet luckybeans, who in addition to inspiring me in the motherhood and dealing with adversity department, is such an excellent sewer/maker of things.  here are a few photos of a kimono she made for her daughter’s birthday party, which had a japanese theme (photos borrowed, with permisson, from her blog):

the sleeves here have been fashioned from pillowcases. 

sew green is another inspiring eco-blog which currently is discussing the quandary of felting items with the washing machine, and using water responsibly in a draught.  i always just use my hands and scalding hot water in the bathtub, as my new (to me) washing machine only has warm and cold settings (?!), and no load size option. 

lastly, we have blair of wise craft.  blair shares my love of using up a much-loved fabric in many projects, as well as gussy-ing up thrifted shirts.  and make sure to check out her “crafting with kids” category- she always has wonderful hands-on simple craft ideas for kids, great for all of us moms who want to spend time cooking and making things with our kiddos.  a recent project i love is this lunch tote, with attached snack bag- i adore the embroidery label on this! 


(photo borrowed from blog, with permission)

blair’s house is also amazing, i love to escape to the pacific northwest craft blogs for a little ambiance-therapy…

so, there’s the wrap up, here’s hoping your as inspired as i have been by these blogs! 

moravian cookies, green tea, and sour grapes

Posted in charm city craft mafia on October 10, 2007 by askthesky

this past Friday, my fellow craft mafiosi and i met in the home of one of our members to jury our upcoming holiday show, Holiday Heap.  it’s a long meeting.  we had about four times as many applicants as we had spots.  each one of our members (and we’re a large group, most other chapters in the country only have a few businesses, while ours includes 14 businesses, a few of which have more than one artist/owner) spent lots of time the few days prior to the meeting visiting websites, reading artists’ statements, and getting a feel for our applicants.  See the paper in this photo?  That’s one of four pages. 

it’s not easy to choose from among so many talented people.  we have to keep in mind the overall makeup of the show (we wouldn’t want to have 30 booths of knitwear, for example), the quality of the artist’s work, the price points, and so much else- it can be mind-boggling.  we don’t always agree, and there are sometimes heated (yet measured) discussions to be had and tough decisions to be made.  needless to say, we can’t accept everyone, and so we don’t.  as in every area of life, some people choose to take this personally, others handle it with grace and professionalism.  i hope that those who fall into the latter category will continue to set the example- coming together with other craftspersons and artists in the spirit of support and camaraderie, realizing that sometimes things don’t work out, and there’s likely a reason that may not be clear at the moment, but might present a great opportunity for growth in the future. 

i’d like to personally thank every artist who shared their work with us and applied for the show.  we’re humbled and so grateful.  i also want to impress upon all my fellow mafia members how wonderful it is to be a part of a group that is so cohesive, so fun, so supportive, so super duper awesome.  i love you guys. 

on with the show…

the loo and the stu…

Posted in 2007 resolutions, color love, crafting, life in general, musings on October 6, 2007 by askthesky

the stu, dio.  first the bathroom, though, which is was remodeled at some point using the “I’d Do Just About ANYthing For A Window Here” school of design.  it’s shaped like a tetris block:


the amount of room in between the tub and the wall here is very narrow- so narrow that when i kneel to wash the kids’ hair, i can’t flatten my feet.  they hit the wall.  but, it has a window!  that’s all that matters! 

and now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the studio!  where all the magic happens! 

it’s really a closet.  and the floor slopes so much that i have to keep my feet firmly planted to avoid careening into the fabric storage boxes when i sit in the chair.  it’s a mess, too, as you can see.  i’m for realism, remember?  soon there will be a tall table for cutting and layout type things, with a smaller table for the sewing machine tucked in next to it.  then there are the boards:

brimming with ideas…

and, here’s the not so pretty part of the room, the storage part.  i got really inspired by sarah’s craft room fabric storage, but i didn’t get enough.  heaven forbid i plan ahead and calculate before going to the store. 

so, yeah, work in progress here.  consider these the ‘before’.  i was thrilled (doesn’t take much) to discover that my little yard sale german hospital cart was great for ribbon storage:

oh, and to give credit where it is due, my mom made those pretty yellow curtains in the year 47 AD.  ok, maybe it was 1979, close enough.  thanks, mom! 

details, details…

Posted in musings on October 3, 2007 by askthesky

I have had email requests for more details about the house, so here you go- at some point this week we’ll also venture upstairs to explore such oddities as the inexplicably tetris-shaped bathroom.  stay tuned! 

for now, kitchen details:

this bowl on the wall is from my nana- it’s the pasta bowl.  in my house, it usually holds linguine and clams. 

the dining/play room:

this is one of my latest embroideries, from the city/country series, which i wonkily “matted” in fabric.  i like the idea, but as usual i was in a hurry.  next time, slowing down, really. 

next, the studio, bedrooms, and bath.  have a great hump day…