Friday, June 30, 2006

hail storm

hail storm
Originally uploaded by faerytreecreations.
weird weather day abounds here in central maine. we just had the craziest hail storm! and i just had to share these photos!

we've got a crazy cloudy sky to the south, pouring rain to the west and sun to the east! there is still thunder and lightning but no rain.

fabric therapy and vacationy goodness

so yesterday, after the press event in lewiston, i decided to go for a little "fabric therapy" before driving back to work. as i wandered the stacks of fabric bolts my creative energies went spiraling out of control, as my brain suddenly bombarded me with images of quilts and capri's and aprons and dresses and skirts and wall hangings galore; all the things that i could make...if only. if only...if only i had unlimited amounts of money and time, to stash a bit of every bolt of fabric on the shelves; to let the creative juices run rampant and scribble down every idea that each fabric color and design evoked; to sit without consequence and without guilt, at my sewing machine, at my dining room table/design table, with no laundry, no painting, no dishes, no vacuuming, no phones ringing, no work needing to be done...if only.

i had to limit myself to 5 fabrics, as 4 of them will become capri's (which need 2 yards each). this is what i found:

my favorite is the ones that kind of look like roses, but i'm not sure if they're supposed to be poppies. i don't know, but they'll become my sister's capri's. the salmony pink flowered one might too, but i haven't decided yet. the rust w/ gold spirals is definitely mine. the 5th fabric (which blogger wouldn't allow me to download but can be seen on my flickr site) is americana sheep, to appease my love of all things sheep. i think it will become a table runner for my kitchen.

my vacation starts tomorrow. i have a week off to do whatever. i won't be leaving the state, but i will be hanging out at the lake, finishing some projects at home (i'm notorious for starting projects and taking forever to finish them!), my friend juliana and i are going to go on an adventure of old (i hope! when we were younger, we used to just jump in the car and take off for whatever adventure overtook us. i miss those days - sans her car always breaking down - and i'm in great hopes that we will be able to do that again!) and a trip to portland is in order for the first outside FREE concert of the summer from the portland downtown district's alive at 5 concert series in monument square, sponsored by my favorite radio station, WCLZ (which you can listen to on the internet by going to their homepage and clicking the radio stream media player link on the left side menu - they play a great selection of music: pete yorn, damien rice, willie nelson, sarah mclachlan, beth orton, phish, springsteen, concrete blonde, shawn mullins, john hiatt, guster, tom waits, ray lamontagne, kathleen edwards, jack johnson...the list goes on and on, it's very eclectic!). they are hosting the subdudes. i can't wait! and i definitely want to stop in to edith and edna on exchange street, that i originally learned about from the soule mama blog (whom, i have to say, i garner inspiration from each day - i don't know the author of the blog, but her photo's (of all that she creates) spurs my creative process on! many thanks to her!)

my posts may be sporatic next week due to the whole vacationy goodness thing happening, but i promise to take lots of pictures of whatever i end up doing!

have a wonderful, wonder-filled weekend, everyone!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

busy busy busy

well i attempted to post yesterday, but the day got away from me! between filing, email, meetings, etc. etc. i didn't even stop to take a lunch! i did manage a moment or two to read a couple of blogs, but yesterday was just a very busy day!

this morning is much more relaxed; i was able to sleep in and take an extra long walk with the dog. i have an event to attend in lewiston regarding maine's creative economy at 10:00, so i don't have to go into work until later this afternoon.

oh...happy happy news! my boss called me into the inner office yesterday and praised me for the work i was doing (yippee) and said he wants me to be more involved policy wise, that next session my attentions will probably be more focused on legislation rather than on the other things that i'm doing now. "so i think you would really benefit from attending a conference in august" he said, and i'm thinking super boring conference here in maine that i will probably have to drive back and forth too...WRONG!

i get to go to nashville, tennessee!!!!!!!!

how incredibly cool is that? this will be so much fun! 4 days of meetings regarding the environment, energy efficiency and economic development! and the best's all paid for!!!!!! round trip airfare, my hotel room, the conference fees, my meals. i love my job!
oh, btw my ankle is feeling much better. i still have moments where i'm limping, but that's only if i've been sitting too long and it stiffens up or if i've been walking too long without a rest. but the fact that i'm not hobbling is the best part!

anyhoo, i have to get going. i need to be out of this house in less than an hour and on the road (it's 40 minutes to lewiston). but here is a picture of the capri's. i finally remembered to take one!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

smartie pants

so last night, i came home from work and found this waiting for me in my mailbox:

i was so excited! it was a package from the lovely, lovely paula! she sent me a haul of smarties from portugal.

check this out. how cool is this? little boxes of smarties, tubes of smarties, the portugese version of smarties and a very cute ducky postcard with a hello from paula.

paula, you are amazing! thank you so much for my goodies! i do so love them (and i'm sharing them with co-workers today). i'm so happy that you had a chance to check out maine on the internet. and please remember, if you need-want-desire-long for anything from name my dear!

Monday, June 26, 2006

feelin' no pain...well, that's not true

so wednesday night, after a fabulous day off and a wonderful bbq with friends...i sprained my ankle! after the bbq, my friend gave me a couple of plants that she said i should get in the ground that evening, before we got any more rain. so the last thing i planted was lamb's ear, on the little hill in my backyard; as i was coming down the hill in my birkenstocks (not the best thing to be gardening in), the soil came loose and i slide into a three quarter split, then twisted and dug the shovel into the ground to stop me from going into a full split, which made me stretch some ligaments in my right ankle. i had to take the rest of the week off, as i was hobbling everywhere and trying to drive was just not happening.

i didn't even touch my computer, since it's in a spot in my house that isn't very conducive to someone with a gimpy ankle, which stunk because i missed reading everyone's blogs! so i watched t.v. (can i just tell you how boring daytime television is? ugh!) and learned to use my left foot on the sewing machine peddle while my right was propped up to reduce swelling and i made a really cool messenger bag (which i have pictures of, but i haven't downloaded them yet). by saturday, the ankle was feeling better and i was able to sit on the floor in my hall and paint flowers on the wall (again, pictures have yet to be downloaded). i did a couple of daisies, which are okay and i'm very happy with the way the gooseneck loosestrife (if you don't know what they look like, just click the link) came out! they're so easy to paint! i still plan on painting tulips, sunflowers, clemetis trailing up the trellis i had painted on the wall on wednesday, pre-ankle complications! i'm painting flowers that i actually have (or had, as the tulips have gone by) in my garden.

anyhoo, i'm back to work, walking a little slower, ankle's still a little tender and feeling as though i've missed a lot, at work and in the blog world. i've missed my daily must reads and will have many blog posts to read during this lunch hour!

have a great day all and tomorrow i will have pictures!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


lazy hazy crazy days of summer

sweet summer upon us
hot-humid-muggy 5 am walks
scents, sweet and sour, heavy on the air
trying to focus on the sweet, block out the sour...the stink that heat inevitably brings out.

* blooming mock oranges, sweet peonies and peppery scented lupines
* the grass of a dozen neighborhood lawns, quickly mowed before last night's thunder storm rolled in
* morning coffee, wafting thickly through open windows creating heavenly clouds on the sidewalk and a craving for that rich brew

listening to the early morning birdsong and the crunch crunch crunch of uneven broken concrete sidewalks-gravel driveways under my feet and the barking hello's of the neighbor dogs
low lying fog, hanging-dripping in the air before me, moist and sticky
sun peaking over rooftops
"good morning, sunshine"

my morning was so calm and quiet. quite lovely, but very humid. you know it's going to be a bad air quality day when it is that humid, that early in the morning. i took tomorrow off (yippee, summer solstice!) and i'm so excited, but i don't know what i want to do. i've been on the go for the past two weekends and haven't really done much around the house (other than domestic goddess chores); there are a million little things i could do! i think tomorrow may be a puttering day. i love to putter. if i feel ambitious, i may put a dent in the "backyard" and clear out some of the stuff that is piled out there...that's if i feel ambitious. i still have to fix maddie's skirt (haven't given it to her, as it didn't fit the way a wrap skirt should...thankfully she's understanding) and i have a messenger bag pattern calling to me. i've also been thinking of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies every time i walk into my kitchen, so that may be on the menu for the day tomorrow (or tonight when it cools off in the evening...nothing worse than baking in near 90 degree weather!)

Monday, June 19, 2006

almost forgot...the chicken purse

check out the chicken purse that my mother made on etsy! it is super cute and funky! she's made several now.
Mine was an easter present. the bottom half is yellow with bees, the top half is black with sunflowers and bees, and the lining is green with white polka dots. can you guess what the button was shaped like...a sheep :^) and there is a little tiny bee over it's head, sewn on to the flap. (the reason for the sheep is because i love sheep! they're just so darn cute!)

many moths

father's day weekend was fabulous! the sun was shining, it was
in the 70's and there was a perfect breeze blowing across the lake!

sunday morning brought an amazing site...the many moths of damariscotta lake. there were a bunch clinging to the side of the house, the door, the window. they were all different colors: pink, gold, brown, white, grey. and they stayed there all day! my brother found this lunar moth fluttering around under the patio table and my mother didn't want some bird swooping down on it, so we brought him over to the willow cone near the house, wrapped a facecloth on the backside of it and let him cling to that for the day. it was so beautiful! all of the moths were. many of the pictures i took were too blurry to even bother keeping, but i was able to get a few good ones!

well, back to work until wednesday and i'm off on the solstice! whoo-hoo!

have a great day, all!

(oh, btw...the capri's are done! yippee! they fit perfectly and i even made another pair on saturday! i'm wearing a pair today; i'll have to take a pict of them. and i found some great cotton linen called orange dip that is dark orange on the bottom and does a slow fade to an orange sherbert. so very pretty! i think that might become a skirt...not sure yet. gotta dig out the skirt pattern i have somewhere.)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

the spirits of family seamstresses smiling down on me

the skirt is done!!
and the capri's are starting to come together! i'm so excited.
you see, i come from a long line of women who know/knew how to sew and sew well! my mother
quilts and used to make clothes (still does on occasion). my grandmother used to make clothing for my mother and her 5 siblings and my great grandmother (on my dad's side) was an amazing seamstress, it was what she did for a living. and though this creativity runs in my veins from both parent's families, there was no guarantee that i would actually be able to make anything (take my poor sister: the creative bone skipped her and went straight to my brother and myself). i mean, i'm pretty confident in my abilities, for the most part, but there is always a lingering doubt and the knowledge that i'll probably run out of patience, set the project aside and never come back to it! i'm good at that, i recognize it and i'm trying to be more consistent in my finishing of projects.
the skirt was sooooo easy (there are more photos of each on my flickr page, just click on either of the pictures)! it's just a simple wrap skirt, i know, but it was instant gratification! i even embellished the bottom of the skirt with a decorative stitch. now i want to make one for me! i just hope it fits Maddie properly.
and the capri's...the capri's...remember how i said i was leary because it seemed too easy. well upon further reading of the instructions, i realized that if i followed the directions the pants would come out completely wrong and messed up! thankfully, upon further inspection of a pair of capri's turned inside out (that i already own), i was able to figure out how they needed to be cut and stitched for them to come out actually looking like pants! i'm bringing the pattern instructions to my mother to see if she understands them. crazy things!
AND!! this is the best part of today, so far: i get in to work late (because i had a dr's appointment) and i'm telling my co-worker, marcia and my friend, melissa about the sewing projects; marcia says, "well, i think you should just take tomorrow off and spend the day sewing!" and since marcia is keeper of the schedule, she could make that happen for me. i thought about it and asked her, "would you mind?" she just smiled, pulled the friday calendar up on the computer and typed "TIFF OFF" at the top of the day and said, "done, but i want to see you in those capri's on monday morning!". so i have tomorrow off to do nothing but sew! how wonderful is that?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

don't want to work ~ itching to sew

in honor of color week:
this morning's brief thunderstorm that has now given way to bright sun and a muggy feeling. my garden is rejoicing!

sunday is my friend maddie's birthday. every year maddie's birthday springs up and my friends and my normal conversation upon this realization goes something like this:

"oh no, maddie's birthday! it's this week! oh my god, what are you getting her?"
"i don't know what are you getting her?"
"i don't know! i thought her birthday was in july!"

we've come to the conclussion that june 18th really isn't her birthday, that she was supposed to be born july 8th. so this year has been no different! monday rolled around and instant panic set in...maddie's birthday was less than a week away. so i wracked my brain, trying to figure what to get her and yesterday, inspiration set in...i am going to attempt to make her a wrap skirt(thankfully, she doesn't read this)! i have this wonderful cotton sheeting material that feels so soft; it reminds me of the old sheets my mother had when i was a kid, the ones that i used to bury my face in and sniff when they came in off of the clothes line because they smelled so fresh and clean. this is my favorite material, perfect for summer. it just feels so cool against the skin! so i set the fabric into a purple dye bath last night; tonight i will rinse it and bleach stamp it (use bleach gel and a foam stamp or a bleach pen to draw a design on the fabric that will leach the color out of it - very very easy). i'm still deciding on a design.

oh, i started working on one of my pairs of capris last night (the pink ones). they are all cut out and just need to be stitched. the pattern seems very simple! i'm a little seems to be going all too smoothly. hopefully i'll get to finish them this weekend (though maddie's skirt comes first).

okay, must get to work! hope everyone has a fabulous day!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


she's obsessive compulsive about making sure the stove elements are turned off, the toaster and coffee maker are unplugged, doors are locked and the curling iron or blow dryer are put away before she goes to work...if she doesn't do this, it'll nag at her: she'll get halfway to work, turn around to go back to the house and check.

if she can't sleep at night, she sings songs in her head until she falls asleep. normally it's the "once upon a dream" song from sleeping beauty, a random song from the muppet family christmas or "king of the fairies" as done by the irish rovers.

she goes through moments when she can't stand a band or a singer that she once loved and can't understand why she ever like them, because their music just grates on her nerves now. but then she rediscovers them later and can't understand why she didn't like their music. today it's the beatles, but she's rediscovered the stones.

every time she gets in the elevator, she thinks the same thing: "elevator doors don't close as quickly in real life as they do in the movies. if someone where chasing me right now, they would have time to get into the elevator with me, do whatever they were going to do and get out again before these stupid doors actually close!"

when she sleeps at night, she sleeps across the top of the bed, with her back against the pillows and her legs down the length...almost in an "L" position".

when a commercial comes on t.v., she has to mute it or she'll become annoyed.

she loves to putter and organize. it makes her brain feel ordered.

she's not a big fan of noise, crowds or extreme fluxuations in temperature.

she googles everything she doesn't know and then forgets what she just read, but will remember it 5 years from now when it's useless to her.

she feels that life has become pleasant and that things that used to get her so down, now don't. she is able to brush off the bad stuff and focus on the good.

she is definitely a morning person.

she is alone...but doesn't feel lonely.

every day she feels more aware, more able to focus on today rather than wondering what tomorrow will be like. she's beginning to understand what it is like to just "be".

today is quiet and she is happy.

Monday, June 12, 2006

maine's bargain central

the sun finally emerged on sunday, to the delight of many, me especially! i was able to hay the field that my lawn had become. it's not a big lawn but it was definitely becoming a hay field. and the rain pretty well beat the life out of all my yellow irises! but the sun is out and that's all that matters right now.

yesterday was a great day. my aunt, my mother and i went shopping at maine's bargain central, a place called mardens. marden's sells everything under the sun for cheap, cheap, cheap because they do salvage and surplus: furniture, clothes, dishes, luggage, food, tools! now some stuff that marden's gets can be...well...crap, but other stuff is great! my parents have bought brand named couches and recliners there that have last forever and paid very little. the best and most important thing that they carry is fabric! they get all kinds of different fabrics, not all at once, but... like jinny beyer, rjr, hoffman, assorted batiks. normally they are discontinued fabrics or last seasons *new* fabrics. it seems that they often get the fabrics that you see right now in the keepsake quilting catalog when the season ends and new fabrics come in to keepsake quilting. the best part about marden's...many of these fabrics are $2.69, $2.99 or $3.49 a yard! they also had some 108" wide fabric for $5.09 a yard!! love love love this place! marden's is a bargain fabricaholic's dream. my aunt spends at least 2 hours in this store and over $150 every time she visits from maryland. the ladies that work there said that every year they have 2 women from missouri who each bring an extra suitcase when they visit, so they can load up on fabrics at mardens!
so this is what i bought:
the bright colors to the left are the 1930's reproductions that go with the "slave to convection" quilt, i previously mentioned. the ones to the right will be used to make an apron and capris(green w/ blue polka dots for the apron, other two for the capris). to get a better look at these, the trim i'm going to use on the apron and to see the fabrics that i bought to use in my christmas tree angel/fairy toppers go here, here, and here. all told, i bought over 10 yards of fabric and paid about $30! i was so excited! and still am, i've never made capri's or an apron before, but i am bound and determined to make clothing. so many people say that it's easy, i've just been too chicken to try!

i was also able to finish two more fairies that i would love to post the pictures of but blogger won't let me. they are on flickr and etsy, so check them out. the quilt fairy, for my aunt's friend in maryland and the blue celestial fairy to sell on etsy. i love the way they came out! i love creating these fairies; they are so much fun to make!

alright, my lunch break has come to a close. must get back to work! i have a 4th of july letter to draft for the 240th engineer group overseas, someone's resignation from a commission to rescind and postpartum depression legislation to work on. full steam ahead!

Friday, June 09, 2006

rain rain go away

so, surprise surprise, the northeast is getting another rain filled weekend. i'm feeling sloshy; very water-logged and missing my garden. i wave to it each day, through the raindrops, as i leave for work. i miss walks that don't require an umbrella and waterproof boots. i miss capri and sandal weather.

okay, enough lamenting about the weather. because despite the soggy forecast, my aunt and uncle from maryland are coming up, as well as my cousin from massachusetts to look at properties on damariscotta lake where my parents live. i haven't seen them in a while, so this will be fun. hopefully my cousin mike (the dectective with a private investigation business) will bring his sadie with him; she's a big black lab whom my sadie loves to pieces! she's also a very well trained dog and the more time my sadie spends with her, the better...she picks up on the good behavior! and they tire each other out completely, it's wonderful.

so i've never done a five senses friday, yet i love reading everyone elses. i think today is a good time to start.

listening to: a colleague's 1 hit wonders xm satellite station (funky cool old punk funk dance music, one right after the other), the traffic from state street. earlier, the sound of a friend on the phone w/ a boston terrier breeder from indiana confirming addresses and flight times for her families newest canine edition!

is he not the cutest little thing on earth?

seeing: a very short break in the clouds, fog rolling in across the very green mountainous terrain that i can see from my window. i wish i had my camera here to show you what i'm seeing!

smelling: fresh cut grass, the hint of rain in the muggy air, unlit pineapple candle.

tasting: chunky cherry fruit leather, regrettably not my own...yet (but my mother will be making some this weekend! if you would like the recipe, this site has the best one i have seen so far, giving variations and different techniques. very informative!)

feeling: a brief moment of warm sun, a bit of boredom on a slow day and excitement for tonight's excursion to see pbr.

have a wonder-filled weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

another blah rain filled day

blogger is being quite tempermental today. it must know that i'm working on a four day headache and have no patience! the headache will go away when these weird pressure systems stop swamping the northeast!

so i love this picture. i'm a big fan of trees, more especially their roots. i have these two lovely maples in my backyard that i call the "sentinels" (because they are so tall and so old and they kind of create an archway seperating my property from the one behind me); they have the best exposed root system that has grown over rocks, but part of the rock is still exposed. it's very interesting.

this week has gone by fairly quickly (probably due to taking tuesday and half of yesterday as a sick day). i can't wait for friday night. my friend Melissa, her husband Darrell and i will be going to something we've never been to before...the professional bull riders rodeo!

i know it sounds weird, but about 8 months ago, on a dreary boring saturday that was filled with domestic goddess chores, i turned the t.v. on to keep me company while i folded laundry. now i don't have cable, as i refuse to pay for channels that i don't watch, so i have an old rotary antenna that brings in the 5 standard channels (NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS and FOX) very clearly. the only drawback to having so limited of channels is that these stations normally show sports on the weekend (expect for PBS which i normally end up watching), but on this day, even PBS was disappointing. so i left it on NBC and the rodeo; i didn't plan on watching it, but as the day progressed, i found myself mesmerized by these bull riders (and not to mention the fact that many of them were good looking!). laundry was soon forgotten and i sat for a good 2 hours watching this program. so last week, i get this frantic email from mel saying, "PBR is coming to lewiston!" and that was it. we got tickets. i know, strange, since rodeos (in my mind) are right up there with nascar, twangy country music and seeing redneck comedians live. and even though i am going to the rodeo, i won't suddenly develop a love of nascar, the urge to listen to conway twitty or buy tickets for larry the cable guy!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Slates Restaurant and Bakery

this weekend was a washout here in the northeast. you'd think that i would have done loads of indoor creative stuff, but i didn't. i did all the domestic goddess stuff and cleaned out another box of books, cleaned the nonessential stuff off my dining room table. i did continue to work on a quilted wallhanging that has been in progress for about 2 months. it's called, "slave to convection" (as in convection oven), it's of a woman in her kitchen, wearing a green sparkly evening dress, standing by her stove with a pan in hand. she's a modern woman who wants to go out and dance the night away, but is chained to her stove by the convention of marriage and family. it needs a screaming baby in a high chair maybe with toys strewn about. i sat and stared at it on my quilt wall all weekend, trying to figure out what else it needed. the fabrics that will border it are very simple 1930's reproduction fabrics (which i love love love!! so need to buy more of those and make myself an apron). as soon i think to, i'll take some picts and post them of how it looks right now, pre-sewn (i use fusible web on the applique and then stitch it down) and then when (if) i actually get it finished, i'll post those.

so this weekend, despite the rain and the lack of energy to do anything fun, i did make some great muffins, very similar to the ones they serve at my favorite restaurant & bakery, slates. slates serves amazing food (with a menu that changes daily, you can check out their standby menu on their site) in the most eclectic and artistic atmosphere.

the muffins i made were cranberry, orange raspberry muffins, baked with cream cheese centers. can i just say how yummy these are?! i mean mine don't compare to slates but they still rocked! and can i tell you how easy these are to make, oh lord and lady it's amazingly easy....just take your plain old average everday muffin recipe, make up the batter, then take a brick of cream cheese and cut it into 12 squares. pour a little batter on the bottoms of the muffin cups, nestle a square of cream cheese into the center and pour batter around it. pop that puppy in the oven, bake per your recipe and viola! cream cheese centered muffins. yum yum yum! these with a cup of tea or coffee on a sunday morning; they make the day that much better!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

summer: yaaaayyyy!!! and booooo!

summer and i have a love/hate relationship. i love the gardening and the swimming and long walks in the mornings before the day gets too muggy or at night after dark when it has started to cool down. i don't like the annual "trying on of the bathing suit" or the "hmmm, what actually does still fit from last summer?" as the inevitable answer seems to be "nothing". it's very discouraging!

i tried on bathing suits last night and had to bite my tongue from screaming, "oh my god!" in the dressing room. i did not cry, i'm very proud of myself, but i did vow not to put on a bathing suit again...ever! and knowing that won't happen, because i like to swim, i vowed to go to the gym.

there is no reason i shouldn't go to the gym; it's free where i work. i've just been lazy and made excuses. no more excuses!! and no more beating myself up! i'm normally a very positive person, just self-critical (but who isn't, really?). but no more!! every day i will wake up and find as many positive things about myself as i can! because i am beautiful! and, to quote my friend jenn carpenter, "i love me enough for everyone!" (of course her's followed with, "so you can all piss off now!" but that was because we were teasing her).

bring on the summer sun!

sun & moon sculpture by my brother derek