Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Halloween kitty

Edgar is so spooky, isn't he? I think he needs a cauldron.

Truly, there is much Halloween disappointment going on at our house today. Poor Beebs is sick with a fever and can't wear her witch costume to school and participate in the Halloween parade and party. I wish she didn't have to learn the "life is not always fair" lesson today...

We had a really great weekend visiting with my mother and sister. We so seldom get visitors out here that it makes it extra special when we do. It was kind of a last minute trip too, so we didn't have any grand ideas about what we should be doing. It allowed me to introduce them to the wonderful midwest tradition of grilling brats and having a beer. (My sister is the one with the curls.)

Carving a Barbie house

We got them up in the attic too. Mom is an architect and Lizzie is an engineer, so it would have been foolish to have them over our house without asking them to inspect the this-and-thats of our house renovation. Everything looks OK, but I don't really ever want to try to convert the attic into a liveable space, no matter how nice it would be. It's just too much.

Peter, Peter ...

Sometimes when your grandma is an architect, you make doll house jack o lanterns instead of scary face jack o lanterns. It was a really big hit with Beebs, who especially liked making witch Barbie scoop out the muck herself and then eat it.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Complete recap

I got some good mail this week and the sun finally shone on Farmer City today so I could take some photos and share. As you can see above, the bird ATC swap was a big success. I love my cards and I want to figure out some good way to store/display them. A big thanks to Jaci, Veronica, Barbara, Selena, Lori, and Stephanie!

My September blocks from Su finally reaching me after a long journey through the bowels of the US Postal system. They are just so smooth and crisp and even (yup like the snow), and I'm sure Su must be one expert quilter. I sent the ones below to her in return.This week was nuts, just nuts. Work was crazy busy and unpleasant, I felt sick, and this blog, which is usually my place for peaceful creativity, was anything but calm. Debate is stressful, at least for me.

Amy Butler blogged back on the Belle Chrysanthemum post, and that has been quieter since. I'm glad about that. I'm glad she did. Thank you, Amy.

My mom and sister are here from afar (New Jersey and California respectfully) so I'm off to go visit with them while I still can.

Much love,

Friday, October 27, 2006

Redwork quilt WIP: camel

Camel comes to you from the pages of Dear Zoo. We've always laughed at him being "too grumpy". Camel is not the only literary character to make his way into this quilt. There are more...

I have so much to post about, but with the fall and the rainy weather, I can't get a decent photo of any of it! Maybe it will happen this weekend.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Busy Hands, Busy Minds

Elie and I were both recently impressed when kits we bought (enamel repair and photo emulsion) came with high tech stirring devices. Behold the popsicle sticks. Intentional junk in the background.
In other happy hand news, Beebs and I got a surprise--my dad randomly sent us a box full of vintage plastic bracelets. What fun! I like the really wide red one the best.

There's been a lot of activity over at this old post. Boing Boing did an article about fabric copyright, specifically Heather Ross and copyright and fabric use, and it's stirred up discussion on the subject again. Kim of Dioramarama wrote a really good article on Whipup, which got linked in the comments by jixichick back over here. Whew! If that doesn't sound like a he-said, she-said, I don't know what does.

I didn't know about Amy Butler's limited use policy at the time I posted the vintage look-alike, so it feels a little bit odd to be a part of this conversation. At the same time, I'm glad we're talking about it, glad that the designers have made it clear that it's fine if we crafters use their fabric. Hopefully no other designers will think that's a good idea. I've learned something new about the fabric industry--vintage fabrics are bought by designers for reuse all the time--although I do think it's extra odd to be finicky about use in this case. (If you didn't create it, how can you say who can use it?) I think I get part of where the fabric designers are coming from--they don't like their names associated with things they haven't approved of--fabric thongs or otherwise. It seems like, generally, one of the downsides of success is losing control of your name.

I'll just add my name to the list of people going hmmmm.....

Friday, October 20, 2006

Redwork quilt block-by-block: Unicorn

It's week two and so far I'm sticking with it. This is the unicorn block, made when unicorns were the biggest thing ever in the world of the Beebs. They are still pretty cool, but are no longer an obsession.

When you were small, did you like unicorns? I didn't really, at least not the fancy ones. I might have been the opposite of a horse girl.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Around here we love dresses but hate tights, and I personally hate the thought of cold legs. Back in ye olde days you could have some pantaloons to keep you legs warm (and covered). I've been wanting these for the Beebs since she started walking--they're comfy and soft and sweet-- and I finally did them. I kinda wanted to make the kind that don't gather up at the bottom, but she wanted these traditional ones. Of course I see the obvious flaw. The next pair will be brown-- with red edging maybe. These white ones are sure to be a mess after they get played in a bit.
little girl.  big chair.  pantaloons.

I don't wear skirts regularly in the winter because I really don't like the way the wind blows up them. Seriously, you might as well not be wearing a bottom. And I don't think I've ever found a pair of tights that were actually comfortable, and I'm OK with that. It makes the spring skirts even better. Sometimes I would really like to embrace the old time underwear thing and have a few warm layers of skirts and pantaloons. I think in modern times you would call adult pantaloons "pajamas". Not a great look. Too much of the campus, wearing-my-pyjamas-to-class thing. I bet I could rig up some cuter. Maybe like this? Hers are thermals rolled up, but you get the idea.

Daisy the cat has bloomers.And she doesn't appreciate it when you post pictures of them on the internet.This post at soulemama got me today. How cute are they nursing? And the cat? And you can't tell either. Oh, I miss that. It makes me so happy and so sad.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Suitable Patchwork Pillow

Whipash again, and oh my, the accessory. It's so hard. There are just too many things that could be accessories. But as my mother says, Which really needs more accessories, your self or your house? The house, by far.

So here you have a little pillow. It will sit on 1960s wing chairs from my mother-in-law, that is, after I reupholster them. Right now those chairs are half torn up in the Rantoul Community Center.

Yesterday at the Bloomington Third Sunday Market I picked up a whole bunch of tailor's fabric samples for 10 cents a piece. They are so pretty and of such good quality that I only wish I had more yardage. I guess it's a good thing I like patchwork. In this pillow, the gold and gray colors are woven silk, and the blue is a wool tweed. I backed it in some extra gray velvet from the chairs.

It's sitting in my car. It was way to dark and rainy to get pictures anywhere else.


Friday, October 13, 2006

The redwork quilt block by block: Sheep

Remember the redwork quilt I though I'd finish in June? It is nowhere near done, but I'm working on it. Some. I've decided to post a new block from that quilt each W.I.P. Friday so that maybe it will give me a little motivation. You know, just to remind me that the project still exists.

Here you have a sheep.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Redwork bird cards

I really just love these. Kleas is hosting a bird-themed ATC swap and these are my contribution. I drew the birdies, then did them in redwork on white cotton and stitched them to cards.

Audubon would not be impressed with my accuracy but they're real cute. (Wish I had better pics. It was a stormy October morning and I had to get these out. No light) Here are crow, finch, and mourning dove:
Birds for Kleas' ATC swap

And here are dodo, barn owl, and kestrel:
Birds for Kleas' ATC swap

I knew squat about ATCs (artist trading cards) before this and was a bit hesitant to join. After all, it has "artist" in the name, and that's not an identity I give myself exactly. What if the recipient didn't find them arty enough? Too much craft in the art? But gosh I do love making stuff and little birds and a challenge. Plus the host is a wonderful art crafter so I figured I'd be OK.

Now on to thinking about whiplash...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Kool Aid dyed yarn: red & aqua

We finally gave Kool Aid dyeing a try. Wow, is it fun. I think it's a project that both Beebs and I would be happy to do every weekend. It's a containable amount of fun mess with usable results. It doesn't get better than that! I used berry lemonade and tropical punch to get red and aqua. My friend Karen showed me her results in the same flavors, and they were perfect. BTW, did you know that there was a red and aqua swap? A color combination so fun, it gets its own swap. I plan on making a hat for me with the red and aqua and a hat for Beebs with the one she tye-dyed using the two colors.
We're off to the area orchard to get some apples, pumpkins, and my favorite--cider doughnuts!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

One hand warmer

The other hand is still colder. I am pleased to share my first hand warmer! I liked this project a lot because it was quick and soft and useful. I'm guessing that it will only take me a week to get the other one done--yea.

I also took the picture with my new smaller, more lightweight digital camera. I really like it a lot and it's pretty amazing what you can get for not too much. Plus, it's cute. It's one of these from Kodak, but boy am I a little peeved at Kodak. When you have a mac, you shoud be able to simply plug your camera into your computer via usb and it should work. The lovely folks at Kodak feel that I need to install their Easy Share software before I can get any pics from my camera to my computer, never mind that I don't need their software because I use iPhoto. Tech support claims that there's a camera connection only option, but then it wasn't really there. I really don't like to be forced to install uneeded software. There.In case you forgot all about him, remember the kitty who broke down my screen? Yeah, well we've been "fostering" him for 2 months. We're hoping that I can convince my stepfather to drive him back to Jersey to go live with my mother in law when he comes out here for my stepbrother's naval graduation at the end of the month. Anyone else think it's weird that the navy trains recruits in a totally inland state? The cat (Charlie) is making himself totally comfortable. Please don't do the math on the number of cats in my house. It's totaly embarassing. But Mo, I still supportive of your cat-wanting thoughts!