making mondays

October 9th, 2007


Inspired by good + happy day’s week of organized activities, I declared Monday “making day.” I’m afraid it stops there though–I just don’t have the follow through for everyday to have a planned activity. But I always wanted to be that mom that lets her kids go crazy with art, screw the mess. But then I became a mom. And it involves a lot of mess: dirty dishes, dirty laundry, dirty diapers, dirty hands, dirty faces. So much of everyday is cleaning babies and things that it’s hard to start something that you know will make yet another mess. My daughter just turned 2 and she needs some more art making in her life and I need to say screw the mess a little more. So this morning we made potato prints: she watched as I cut the shapes out of the potatoes (“star! star!”), dipped them in the paints, and kind of got the hang of stamping, but somehow painting the potatoes was more fun, as was painting her arm and her hands and her belly, but really it wasn’t more than soap and water couldn’t handle. And there you go. Art.

If you’d like to join in Making Mondays (or any day really) do! Comment and tell me what you and your littles make together. Or make a date for next Monday.



October 8th, 2007

I’m still posting about past projects, while I try to make this blog better. That will probably have to wait until the tech support I’m married to has time, which is always in short supply. There are new projects in the works, but progress is slow with two babies in my charge. This little banner was made for one of those babies. When I was pregnant with my second child, my friends threw me a lovely baby shower. Along with many unexpected and beautiful gifts, they all brought a little swatch of fabric to be made into a banner. My good friends, who planned it all, didn’t have sewing machines, so I offered to put it together. They gave me the templates–three different size triangles–and I cut and arranged the fabrics and sewed them to this big ol’ blue rickrack they picked out.  Nothing fancy, but the various sizes make it a little different and big rickrack is always awesome.  I really like that the fabric came from all different closets and bookshelves and boxes (why is it everyone has a little stash of fabric, even if they don’t sew?), that it’s a mix of new and old, and that it came together so well.  It makes me incredibly happy every time I look at it. We moved to this town when my daughter was very small and I didn’t know anyone. Now I am surrounded by a group of very generous and very talented women. I am too lucky.


October 3rd, 2007

work table

Yet another stellar picture.  And another good excuse:  I sew in the basement.  As I sew down there, I like to think there are others like me toiling away in the crappy light, with the washing machine going, on cold cement floors, in the damp, musty air,  with ducts.  Sometimes I do a little patchwork piece and think the prints I’ve chosen to combine are inspired and avant-garde and oh so right and then I go upstairs into the light of day and it’s crap.  The bookshelf that holds my fabric used to hold old paint and old car oil and god knows what else.  It’s been there so long it’s painted to the floor many times over.   But it’s my space and I love it.   So I say stand up for your low light and drop ceilings.  Studios, craft rooms, whatever you call them, they don’t have to be beautifully painted and artfully decorated (though god willing, someday we will all have one that is).  Beautiful things can come out of strange places.

The picture above was taken from above for Ms. Hyenia-in-Petticoats call for a bird’s eye view of worktables.  Jack Sprat and his round wife that I mentioned before are there waiting to be finished. As is a little clutch from this tutorial (if you were my best friend in high school do not click on that link).  And one of the many acorns I made (using these clever instructions) for a baby shower this past weekend.  The centerpiece was a vase of long branches hung with a dozen acorns.  It turned out so nicely I think I have to make more for my mantle.

embroidery class

October 3rd, 2007

emboidery project

One thing this brief stint of blogging has taught me: I cannot take a flippin picture. Obviously I took this little beauty at night, but there is a reason. I was cramming for the final. The lovely ladies over at Crafty Daisies taught an embroidery class for beginners (embroidery 101, if you will) in a series of posts on their blog. I tried embroidery once before and loved it, so I was thrilled about the class. And I read every post, but somehow never got around to the actual stitching part. So in true procrastinator fashion, I did it all the night before. All I can say is thank god for the stem stitch. I thought because I was doing all the homework at once I would actually combine all the homework into one big project. Turns out this was a better idea in my head. I took all the elements of the homework designs and made a strange birthday party in the garden where the little snail spoils everything. Or at least that’s what it became.

I learned quite a bit. Like, embroidery is drawing with texture. Which is really a bizarre thing to do and something I’m excited to experiment with. And separating embroidery thread is a pain in the ass. Is there a trick? Am I missing something? And the biggest lesson, embroidery takes a lot longer than you think it will, so start early.

hickety pickety

October 2nd, 2007

hickety pickety my black hen

she lays eggs for gentlemen

gentlemen come everyday

to see what my black hen doth lay.

hickety pickety

This is the first of a series I hope to do. Obviously it’s based on the nursery rhyme “Hickety Pickety.” Though I recently discovered that there are two more lines: Sometimes nine, Sometimes ten; Hickety Pickety my black hen. So I guess some eggs are in order. I’ve always liked nursery rhymes, but now that I say it, it sounds strange. My mother would read to me all the time when I was little–from the big, black and white checked Mother Goose book. And because my sisters are much older they had babies when I was the perfect babysitting age and so I read to my nieces and nephews from the same book. And then came high school and college and cigarettes and boys and I forgot completely. But having kids made me remember how lovely those short, little verses can be. They aren’t as intricately constructed as Lewis Carroll’s books and poems, though he did have his way with some (queen of hearts, tweedledum & dee), but the language is still silly and bizarre. And they haven’t been boobified by disney like the fairy tales and really they couldn’t be–some are strangely violent. They are an odd mix of drinking songs and counting rhymes passed down orally. Which I think is fantastic.Jack Sprat and his wife are in the works, but as of this moment are headless.