Wednesday, July 02, 2014

well helloooooo!

Too bad there isn't a way to hug a blog and tell it how much you've missed seeing it.

I'm still trying to figure out where my life is taking me, but I seem to be being lead down the path of "making" more. I'm not sure what will come of it, but meanwhile, I'm going to keep making things until more is revealed.

As for today, there's been some coffee, some emptying of suitcases and laundry (we have just returned from some travel), some listening of audiobooks and podcasts, and then....there has been The Hand Sewing (yes. Caps. I bow to it.) 

I have totally fallen down into the Alabama Chanin rabbit hole, and I don't expect to climb out of it any time soon because quite frankly, it's enchanting.  I saw a loooovely Chanin inspired sundress a year (or more?) ago and I thought to myself:
a) this is completely unattainable for me and beyond my skillset, and
b) if I start, I might not be able to stop.

Well, I was correct about the latter, but happily incorrect about the former. Since I saw that first dress I have done a couple of other hand sewn projects, and I loved the result plus the actual making. In doing those projects I also learned that imperfections are not so fact, they actually add charm and character...and realizing that let me off the "I need it to be perfect" hook.  

Right now I'm practicing reverse applique on a triangular bandana shaped scarf. I'm not much a wearer of headscarves (and I might just wear it around my neck instead), but I'm treating this project as a fabric swatch, for skills practice, because practice I must. I can totally see garments (like these for example) in my future so I'd rather work out the kinks on a few smaller projects first!

Using Natalie Chanin's first book and the template that came with it, I cut my own felt stencil and then I painted my own fabric (getting happy results with the paint took a few tries and few different paint products).  The stenciled fabric has been placed on top of a backing fabric, and I've hand sewn through both layers around the painted shapes. Then I'm cutting away the fabric centers to reveal the fabric underneath. Some of the paint remains around the edges of the shape, which is part of the design (it adds color to the finished piece).  I used a slightly metallic paint.

You can really make these pieces your own by mixing up the fabric colors to get high or low contrast as well as playing with the paint and thread colors. And then when you're done with choosing all that, you can still add beads and sequins or more embroidery to your project if you want! The sky is the limit. It is feeling very playful to me. 

I'm almost done with this bandana, so today I'm also doing the prep work for the next project (prepping the fabric for stenciling and working on the stencil itself).  Since the crafty bug has definitely bitten me, I'll be back to show you a few things soon, and then we'll see how this all factors into my writing more.
I'm hoping the two are linked.
I miss it here :-)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

the trouble with horses

The trouble with horses is that it's sometimes a challenge to get back on them once you fall off.

I am sorry for disappearing so completely from the blog-o-sphere, my friends. I think some of you are a bit annoyed with me that I didn't make some sort of announcement before taking a hiatus, but believe me when I tell you, it was totally unplanned.

It started with encountering some mechanical issues (which is probably not the correct term. I'm sure "computer-dork user errors" is far more accurate).  I couldn't get posts created easily enough while going back and forth between houses.  This could not have happened at a worse time, because things in my life were beginning to move and shift quite dramatically. Not only did I need to "tell you"...but I need to do some deep thinking and writing and editing in order to tell you.  I got so frustrated with the mechanical issues on the blog, that I resorted to doing all of my emotional processing internally, or out loud with friends in real life (who I am certain are sick to death of hearing about everything). By the time I had either internalized and/or vented, I was either too stuck or too deflated to set pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, as it were.

After a few weeks of not blogging and trying to work through things, I was ready to come back and start writing. I figured MayDay seemed like an appropriate time to "BeginAgain", right along with the coming of DeepSpring....and then April 30th another unexpected and huge dramatic shift happened...and honestly, I haven't been myself.

I'm not even quite sure who I am anymore.

So here I am. About to figure out who I am once again (because we all have to figure out who we are, at least a few times each lifetime...right?)....and I'm going to figure this out right here on this old blog o' mine.

I'm not entirely sure if I will be returning to posting daily, or if I will try posting every few days, or well....who knows what yet....because I am in the process of reinventing myself.   But here are some topics I will be trying to tackle over the next few weeks (or months, depending on how this writing thing goes) in no particular order:

* the death of both grandmothers within an 8 month span
* my leaving teaching dance class
* my last performance with the dance ensemble
* what is next on my artistic horizon, if anything
* the death of my dear friend James (my guy at the convalescent hospital)
* the resulting shift in volunteer commitments
* watching myself begin to move through my son's last year at home before college
* reaching a few landmark-y sort of milestones around being disabled
* reaching a few dreaded personal milestones, and a few (not at all dreaded) relationship milestones
* beginning the process of moving between houses
* let's not forget I am becoming a "woman of a certain age"...
* what it's been like to blog daily then not at all
* what all of the above has to do with how I identify myself, and why it should or shouldn't matter 

As you can see (or I  guess I should say: As I can see) what is happening over here is that I am having something sort of like a mid-life crisis.  Except that I don't view it as a crisis. And I think this sort of thing can happen at any point in anyone's life, so it seems silly to mark it as mid-life just because I'm in my late 40's.   Crisis is far too strong a word. I'm just not good enough with words to find something else to call it (except for a "shift", but I've used that word twice already...see above).  So, I'm not sure what to call it.  But it's something I'm moving through, and it's something that has left me feeling a bit... a bit....well, I don't know what  yet. But I am definitely f-f-f-feeeeeeeling....and it's time to push that through and get a move on.

And that's what I intend to do next.
And I'll keep a record of that right here.

Much love.....

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

spoke too soon

Still some problems with blogger. I posted this Tuesday night via phone before hitting the sack and Wednesday morning I wake up to find it stuck in the system and I have to manually enter it via laptop. It looks like the real solution is going to have to be going back to using a camera and a laptop, but sure was easier snapping a pic on my phone during the day and being able to add it to a post.

Happy lettuces, in the rain.

Monday, March 31, 2014

testing testing

Please let this work,
please let this work,
please let this work...

(snapped on my phone today while in the "Japanese dollar store" earlier today)

Tap tap. This thing on????

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


....I still haven't figured it out. But something is awry with posts containing photos, and that is a big fat problem for me.

Stay tuned.