Thursday, July 30, 2009

Flowers and A Shout Out

fresh flowers, originally uploaded by stitchingpink.

I'm pretty pleased with this arrangement. The snapdragons are from the farm where we have our CSA membership and the hydrangeas are from outside my front door. Snapdragons are my absolute favorite and this color in particular makes me very happy. I had to search through rows of flowers to find them - clearly they make other people happy too. And the hydrangea - well I have my friend Tania to thank for those. A few years back she went up to Connecticut to get a few plants for the spring holidays and offered to buy them for anyone who was interested. I bought two - kept one for myself which I later planted outside the front door and the other for my brother and sister-in-law which they nearly killed. I'm nursing it back to health determined that it will someday be as big as mine. Each year it sports more blooms as if to say "You can't kill me!"

And a shout out to my friend Candace who is in Salt Lake City right now. There's an article about SLC in this month's BUST - I promise I will visit next year!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grommet Love/Grommet Hate

Summer Tote

I meant to post a pic of this sooo long ago but honestly I completely forgot about it. Oops. I love the bag and so do a lot of the employees and patrons of the shop but for some reason there are like 6 kits left (out of 9.) I seem to be having bad kit karma. Not sure why. My next one is going to be awesome (I hope) and will hopefully break my bad streak.

The pattern is from Stitch magazine and the fabric is Heather Bailey, of course. To be honest, I think that I was drawn to this bag because of the grommets. There are 8 total which means a lot of hammer use - an awesome way to work out pent up aggression. Not that I have any pent up aggression.... Anyway, I got a bit nervous because the anvil got stuck in one of them but fortunately it released. Now if some quilters would just buy the kit, I could take this bag home and carry some yarn or some other project around in it.

After I made this bag, I became so enthralled with grommets that I decided to use them in another bag I was making for a friend's 40th birthday. This time I wasn't so lucky. For the bag I used some "vintage" Amy Butler (circa 2006.) Cute fabric though a bit more bold than her latest designs. Anyway, after putting it together, I proceeded downstairs to the garage, grommets and hammer in hand. I got everything ready and inserted the grommets as instructed on the back of the box. A few whacks later I was ready to see the completed grommet but when I went to pull out the grommet tool thingy it was stuck. Horror of horrors. I pulled, tugged, banged from the other end but it would not budge one bit. At the time I was upset but mildly amused. Reminded me of Winnie the Pooh getting stuck in Rabbit's front door after eating too much honey but in this case, depriving the tool of food wasn't going to help. For some insane reason I decided to try again with another tool set and again, the whole thing got stuck. At this point I was really getting frustrated. I went upstairs, got my rotary cutter, whacked the top off and left the mutilated bag and the stuck grommets on the cutting table until I could stomach it again. A few days later, I decided to just put handles on the bag the regular way. My friend was none the wiser.

I look at my grommet collection every now and then, briefly considering that I should try them again. But for now, I'm a bit grommet shy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What I've Been Doing

I have not written for a while. I've been busy with life and the blog has taken a back seat. I think about it often, wondering if its still out there and if anyone is reading it. The problem is that although I sew ALL the time, I do other things too. Things that I want to write about. Things that keep me busy and distracted and engaged. So in no particular order, here is what I have been doing:

Recovering from my triathlon. It was incredibly hard - aside from childbirth, the hardest thing I have ever done. The swim was cancelled because of too many CFUs in the river (don't ask) so instead I had to run/bike/run and it was beyond horrible. I cried. I would have quit except that Lucy was standing outside the transition area with a sign that said "Go Mommy Go". I wiped my tears, changed into my running shoes and hobbled another 3 miles to the finish line where Lucy stood, cheering me on. I cried some more. And I plan to do it again next year.

Reading. A lot. Crossing to Safety. Julie and Julia. A Homemade Life. Anne of Green Gables. Plus The New Yorker, Wall Street and Times (to remove the bad taste that the Wall Street Journal leaves).

Sewing. I have gotten kind of addicted to those coffee cozies and now my friends have put in "orders" as in Me: "Can I borrow a couple of bucks for coffee." Friend: "Sure, just pay me back me a cozy." Not a bad system really. And I'm also addicted to smocked summer dresses after seeing Heather Ross on MSL. The free pattern is great - do have it printed at Kinkos. So easy and worth the 5 or 6 bucks. Finally there's the Amy Butler bag that will (eventually) be a kit. I cut out all of the many many fabric pieces as well as the ridiculous number of interfacing pieces. I just need to fuse and sew and sew and sew. It will be a great bag and probably a fun class.

What else? Just life. My mother and father got divorced so my mom is cleaning out the house to sell it. Very strange actually. I guess that life moves on but I'm not ready for her to move, for some other family to live in the house, sleep in my room. I try not to think about it but my mom calls daily to see if I want this or that, should she sell the bolts of Ralph Lauren fabric or do I want them? And your toys, should we keep those? Do you want some china? My response is often to just sell it all and move on but move on.

But I'm no dummy - I am keeping the Rowan yarn and Liberty fabric.