Thursday, September 28, 2006

music nostalgia

since i cleaned out my room and moved things around, i've been finding old things that i forgot i had - once well loved items that got pushed to the wayside as new things found their way into my life. i took the time to reorganize my cd collection - a strangely diverse group ranging from classical to punk, rock to indie stuff and so on. 2 cd's have resurfaced from this clean&move:

edie brickell & the new bohemians - shooting rubberbands at the stars: i actually had this on tape in high school and played. it. to. death by the time i graduated. so i mourned the loss, got in my old blue buick and went to brunswick, to bull moose music to get it on cd.

i can still sing every word to every song...even after years of not having heard it.

indigo girls - swamp ophelia: this was another tape that i have since replaced with disc. with "shooting rubberbands", it somehow snuck into a collection that was fraught with concrete blonde, ani difranco, the pixies, sleater kinney, L7, the beastie boys, mazie star, the violent femmes etc. etc. so on and so forth.

music has such a way of pulling you back to a certain place, a certain time in your life...a moment made crystal clear just by lyric or guitar lick. it has a way of reminding you of a person or an object, loved or hated, and suddenly those feelings fill you once more.

* cruising around with friends in the middle of a summer night with all the windows rolled down, blasting concrete blonde and howling at the moon.

* coming home late at night from work, sitting on the porch in the dark with stravinsky or vivaldi playing softly, stressed out and crying at how much i hated my job, how the money wasn't worth the long hours and my sanity.

*singing along with joni mitchell while baking in the kitchen of an old apartment in canada and being startled when i realized that the boyfriend i was living with was watching me the whole time - smiling, he told me how much he was in love with me.

the best part is that music can produce imagines and links to things for absolutely no reason! like nick drake's "northern sky" - it makes me think if alaska. alaska? um...okay. i've never been there, never seen it anywhere other than in pictures and on tv or movies, but hearing that song conjures up images of evergreens and snow pack, mist drifting through the trees and the scent of wood smoke. how weird is that? now i'm sure we could pick apart my brain and link alaska to the song a million ways from sunday, but i like blissful ignorance of not thinking too hard on it. northern sky = alaska. i'll keep it that way. simple.

any broad, seemingly unconnected jumps your brain makes between songs and real life? or is it just me?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

a cloudy T for me

really not much has happened this week.

no exciting news, no finished projects to show, no WIPs that you haven't already seen (or that i have pictures of at the moment).

it's really rather sad.

so i'm just going to share with you this picture i took
yesterday as i was heading out to work.

it's a T for me! (albiet a wispy one)

have a great day and maybe i'll have inspired words and pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

early autumn evening walk

dark of night
shadows skulking with luminescent feline eyes
stars peaking through wispy, grey black clouds
orion's constant presence felt
chill autumn breezes gently caress my hair,
floating leaves down from trees up high
warm wood smoke perfumes the air with it's heady scent,
wrapping me in a quilt of familiar comfort
oh, how i've longed for this.

Monday, September 25, 2006

fall fabness

fabulous fall has arrived here in the great state of maine
with it,

a wash out of a weekend

i wanted to go to the common ground fair, but alas, an hour drive coupled with a trek through the woods in gale force winds and pouring rain didn't sound like a whole lot of fun to me. yup, i'm a wimp! i opted for a weekend of mostly staying indoors to finish insulating that room (yay, it's done!!) and rearranging my existing bedroom. i feel so much more organized now! my computer is in a better place with more light, my bed is in a cozy nook under the slant, my chair is by the window (and now a favorite of tallulah, as she can stretch her fat feline body across the top of it while watching the world below from on high!) and there is soooo much more floor space!

also with the arrival of fall, came the arrival of my new coat (yes, like many others i am a coat addict! and all those coat posts cracked me up, because i thought it was just me and i had just ordered this one!):
this little beauty is a 100% boiled wool pea coat, double breasted, with a stand up collar, big buttons and it's the perfect length. i found it online and picked it up for 20% off! it is perfection personified as far as i'm concerned; lightweight and oh so warm. we'll see how it holds up to a maine winter. i just wanted something dressier than my L.L. Bean parka but lighter than my heavy black wool pea coat or my thrifted long blue hooded wool coat with the toggles. ah yes, wool is our friend here in the north!

now i need to rummage through my sweater trunk to see what needs to be purged and if i need to buy any new ones. yet another addiction...sweaters! soft and fuzzy, warm and woolen.
happy weekend highlights
* set up my DSL
* dyed some bonnet fabric
worked on my halloween tree (which i will post pictures of soon)
* i went shopping with my parents
found copious amounts of books from university that i forgot i had. they were packed willy-nilly into boxes and crates. many were required reading for my english classes, many obscure canadian authors that i had never heard of until moving to new brunswick and started studying them. i can't wait to start rereading!
remembered that a week from tomorrow, i will be starting 12 weeks of drawing classes! (soooo can't wait for this either)
talked to my friend andy, who went off to law school a month ago and caught up with all the goings on in his life

tonight, i make no plans. if i get a chance to play with my fabric, then yay! if not, so be it! but i'm in great hopes that i'll get to play!

here's wishing you all as much playtime as you can handle!

Friday, September 22, 2006

i heart ray lamontagne and other friday randomness

i am in love with ray lamontagne. i’ve been listening to his latest till the sun turns black ("be here now", so becoming a favorite!) it is so mellow and dreamy (shades of damien rice?). i have to keep myself from gently swaying to each song when there are other people in the office (it would confirm their suspicions that i’m a little off my rocker). i don’t think my friend melissa and I have really listened to anything else in the last few days!

speaking of mel…the instigator! guess what she talked me into?

yes, i am the proud owner of 10 chickens currently residing at her house with the other 15 that she ordered (and no, the pictures linked to this are not the new chicks but the ones melissa already has). i’m not allowed to get attached to them, though (i personally am not allowing myself to get attached), as they will only be with us until they are plump enough to become dinner. they’re called fryers – a chicken bred to be fast growing and can be taken to the butcher anywhere from 7 to 13 weeks. their meat is very tender and they can be broiled, braised, fried, roasted or grilled – for those of you who are not vegetarians: hungry yet?

i know that some people think it’s a bit of a stretch, a bit barbaric to go from cute little baby chicks to roast chicken dinner in the same thought-line, but those little chickies, cute as they are, will be dinner all winter long for me…and i will be grateful for their sacrifice. blessed be to the baby chicks and the dinners they will provide!

other randomness:

melissa (who’s title should actually be "grand high poobah of the fraternal order of instigators") also asked me if i wanted to do a craft fair with her in december. uh, rock on and yeah! buuuuuuuttttttt, now all i can think is…what am i going to make for this? i know it’s two months away, but if i don’t start making stuff now, i’ll have nothing to sell. so i’m definitely making my fairies/angels and some simple fleece-backed lap quilts. i’m also going to make some very simple earrings, as i've ordered the stuff for them. i'm still thinking of little things and how to display them so they are interesting. i'm going to get my brother the metalsmith to make me a tree (to hang my fairies on) out of rebar. it would look similar to a morning glory vine pole, only the ends will curl around in a swirl and i'll have him solder a star at the top of it.
tomorrow there will be happy birthday celebrations for my friend john who turns 31! (thought it was tonight but i was wrong)
i'm going to attempt to make a plexi glass window on my screen porch (if it works, i will end up making more so that the screen porch will be winter secure!)
i was supposed to do up a dye batch last weekend, but...uh...didn't, so that will be on the list of things i'd like to do...maybe i'll do that up tonight - whoo hoo, fun with dye! yippee!
this has been a very random week - not crazy busy, but no day was discernable from another; it was very blah in many spots. i'm not sure why.
so here's to fun weekends with no blah spots! have a good'n!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

another WIP done!

meet hilda. she's a winsome witch, but a bit flighty!

i finished her the other day and i'm totally in love with her! but despite that love, i've put her on etsy.

she just rocks with her black and purple striped leggings (which i painted), her sparkly star dress and that funky hat! she even has sparkly eye shadow and lips (which you can't see in the pictures). even her broom is homemade (it's a tree branch and hay gathered from the field next to my parents house).

she was so much fun to make, that i've started on another one, only she has black and orange striped leggings. since this sunday is supposed to be rainy, i may take the day to work on her (make her dress and her hat, do her hair, find some broom material...)

anyhoo, had to share!

mail call

so this morning, i got up to walk the dog at the usual time (5:30, ugh) and decided to leave the house by way of the front door rather than the back (like normal) and i'm so glad i did! i found this

waiting for me on my front porch! it was a wonderful package choked full of fun stuff from the amazing and sweet paula! (when i got the mail yesterday, i didn't go out onto the porch, because i grabbed it from the mailbox on the way back from taking sadie for a short walk, then went in the backdoor) i couldn't wait to get back from the morning walk to open this package and see what was inside! i think i hurried the dog along a little more this morning than normal (poor sadie).

so here are the goodies that paula sent me:

beautiful fabric, the best orange buttons, oh so cute cards with bears on them and a portuguese craft magazine that has creative sewing ideas from embroidery and quilting to knitting and crocheting! some of my pictures are a little fuzzy, but by this time it was 6 am, coupled with the lighting in my kitchen not being the best anyway (but you get the idea).

i poured over the magazine while i drank my tea. it is so amazing! and even though it is in portuguese, much of it is self-explanatory what with the very detailed pictures. oh and the patterns!!! there are 3 huge (HUGE) pullouts of patterns. oh my god, they are amazing.

paula, this was so sweet of you! i love everything! thank you thank you thank you! what a great way to start the day...with presents from portugal on the porch (say that 5 times fast).

here's hoping for happy mail for everyone today!


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

dyeing w/ tissue paper how to

i've wanted to do a tutorial for a while and this was a fun and simple project that i attempted over the weekend. it is definitely an outdoor project (which i learned the hard way...and so did my mother's living room carpet).

it's very simple, all you need are 5 things:

1) light colored cloth

2) plastic covered table (i used a garbage bag cut open. don't use newspaper as the print ink will get on the fabric)

3) spray bottle full of water

4) scissors

5) bleeding tissue paper (found it at a local craft supply shop. 20 sheets of 20 colors for $4.99)

simple instruction: set your fabric out flat on your plastic covered table. cut your tissue paper into whatever shapes you wish. spray your fabric with water so it is wet (not damp, wet) and now place your tissue paper. i tried two different sized pieces of fabric: a small and a large. with the large, i did single layers of just strips and squares and layered pieces over in places to see what colors i would get. on the small, i used the left over strips and folded them over twice to see if i would get deeper colors. then lay flat outside. once the tissue paper becomes very dull and mostly dry, peel it off and hang your fabric on the line to fully dry. there, very simple!

this was all experimental and now that i've played, i think i'll try making shapes with the tissue paper. the only bad thing about this project is that i can't wash the fabric. it would strickly have to be for wall hangings that wouldn't be washed. i tried to heat set the fabric, but excess color still ran from it, fading the colors more. i've also seen that you can fabric paint your fabric, put the tissue on it and drying it in the sun for more unique color arrangements (this also makes the colors more bold).

to see the individual pictures, go here.

and i'm having issues with blogger, so the finished projects are in the post below!

i hope you enjoyed and will maybe try this. my next attempt with this will be to try it on card stock, but i'll save that for another weekend!

have a fun filled day, all!

finished product

Friday, September 15, 2006

friday 5...make that 6

a quick friday five (unfortunately no picts) before i head home for the day to start insulating. then i'm taking the weekend off from home projects, heading to my parents and i'm going to play with fabric!

taste: this morning, mel brought blueberry muffins with brown sugar crumbled on top from slate's bakery. yummm!

see: sunny skies and ominous clouds

hear: continuous construction that thankfully stopped early this afternoon.

smell: coffee coffee everywhere! the perils of working in an office...everyone's brewing coffee at all hours of the day. it makes you crave!

touch: beads and buttons and ribbon and paper goods at the local craftstore during my lunch break.

and number six today is the sense of "happy happy fun crafty stuff that i can't wait to try out" (how's that for a sense?): i found bleeding tissue paper to use as a dye for fabric (it's extra bright and will bleed out color when you wet it. if you put it on wet fabric the color will stain through onto the fabric and create a mosaic!)

okay, gotta run! hope you all enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

the busy-ness of this week

this has been such a busy hasn't seemed like it, but i've found it hard to get some internet time! work has been a bit crazy busy and i haven't installed my dsl at home, so i have no home internet access for the moment.

there's nothing stopping me from installing my dsl...well, yes there's called anal retentivity - as in, everything must be perfectly set up right for me to be happy. i've been wanting to rearrange my bedroom and move the desk to a more convenient spot, but part of me wants to wait until the new room is done and just move my bed and dresser and a bookshelf in there. i've come to realize that that is unrealistic, as the insulation isn't in yet and the sheetrock isn't up yet. i think the new bedroom will be an ongoing winter project (well, in regard to getting the sheetrock up, the room painted and the carpet down). so i think i just need to suck it up and move my existing room around. i just haven't been visited by the "moving muse" yet. you know, that muse that strikes you, making you - out of the blue - want to rearrange your entire home? i think my muse may be on vacation still...or she's being overshadowed by the muse that has me painting my kitchen cabinets, thinking about insulation and making fabric fairies (which i have a halloween one almost finished - she is a super cool witch with black and purple striped leggings. she just needs hair, a pointy hat and her broom! i'll post picts when she's done).

but, speaking of kitchen cabinets...they are almost done (a layer of primer and 4 coats of paint later). i need to touch up some areas and then i don't have to think about them again! and i can concentrate on that bedroom.

oh, i have an idea for this wall, rather the wall to the right, without the window - the ucky paneled one. i'm going to paint it pale pink (like the rest of the room - with green trim. i'm really into the girly pink and green thing lately) and then paint a vibrant, hot pink tree (similar to this this but without the birds and ducks and stuff...just the tree), in the corner near the window...maybe some rolling green hills and an inspirational message that i can wake up to every morning. what do you think? any suggestions on a quote?

anyhoo, must get back to work and off of my break!

have a fabulous today!

Monday, September 11, 2006

for the love of all things mini

i've always had this fascination with miniature things, especially little doll house things. so this weekend, as i waited for paint to dry on cabinets and laundry to wash, i was over taken by mini-mode and broke out the fimo, paint, a bit of fabric and bits of wood to create this little scene:

okay, so maybe i do have a little too much time on my hands, some might say i need a hobby...but isn't this a hobby?

i had so much fun making this scene. the little hutch i bought, as well the pumpkins and the little fabric leaves, but i made the hanging mini quilt, the folded mini quilt on the mini quilt rack (which i made out of wooden 2 prong toothpick things, a wooden skewer and some glue). i also made the tea set and "pottery" and the little witch's hat on the top of the hutch.

i have a doll house, the attic, i think...that my mother made for me. it's not too big, and only has 4 rooms but it's cute. i should dig that out. i even made mini furniture in a wood shop class in the 7th grade for it because they looked so cool (and again, the mini-fascination overtook me!). you know, the more i think about it, the more i want to find it. maybe i'll go up there when it gets cool and the wasps and spiders get out of my attic. i could take it out and dress it up for halloween and christmas! is it sad that i'm almost 30 and i want to drag out my old doll house to play with it...well not really play so much as display...yeah, that's it...display.....

anyhoo, i want to recreate this scene (not exactly, but similarly) for my sister and my mother for their houses. i think they'd like it! of course, then i'd have to go over there and change it out for the holidays and seasons...not that they'd mind of course.

well, must go, just thought i'd share my weekend mini creations. have a wonderful monday, all!

Friday, September 08, 2006

the bonnet

this is the "test" bonnet. the inside is a super soft, funky patterned flannel that i absolutely loved!

the outside is a heavy duty twill (that i got for 99 cents a yard! killer bargain) . i didn't add any ribbon since it would be a waste to put it on the test bonnet.

doesn't this seem really small on my head? do i just have a freakishly big head, or is the pattern a touch too small? (lets got with the pattern being small, so i don't get self-conscious).

it just seems really short, but that's how the picture looks. i want it to be almost shoulder length, so i can wear it in the winter. i guess i will be adjusting the pattern for it and trying again, but i think this time i'll try to dye the twill first to see how that works. i do have to say that this was by far and away the easiest pattern i've ever used! i whipped this puppy up in an hour!

(oh, and shari, i didn't forget that i promised to make one for you...i just want to make sure i've perfected the pattern to my liking before i make yours).

anyhoo, happy friday to all. have a fun-filled weekend - my will be spent attacking the kitchen cabinets with paint!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

so i lied

yup, i'm bad. i said i was going to post a pict of the bonnet and you know what? i never took a picture of it.

i was a lazy slug last night after returning home from the dinner party. only 2 of us showed up and it was marvelous! so much better than a whole group of cackling women...and mel planned a wonderful meal of a moroccan-style veggie soup from her soup bible, a green salad with walnuts and dried cranberries, cheese and melon, olive oil and rosemary bread and i brought hummus & pita crisps. oh it was so yummy and followed up with ice cream for desert that teen brought!

it wasn't a late night, but it was when i got home, i sat in the recliner to baby my sadie and flip through the day's mail.

today has been a...well (i hate to admit it, since i am at work, but)...a waste of a day. i have done little to no real work and can't get my head out of the clouds. i'm not saying this is a bad thing, but i just keep thinking up these things that i want to do and none of them are work related. they are art related.

one of the blogs i lovelovelove because it sends me into visual overload is anahata katkin's blog. she is an amazing collagist (is that a word?) and often talks about self discovery and being the person that she wants to be, doing the art that she wants to do, etc. etc. we've all experienced these feelings. one of her...inspirations, i guess you could say is sabrina ward harrison, whom i know has been out there for a while now, but to me and my little sphere of reality, she's new. i just read her story of how she got started and wow! how amazing is she? i mean really...after reading, i delved deep into a "what am i doing - what do i want to be doing - where do i see myself with my art - how is that so many others can make a living doing what they love - am i doing something wrong?", but it wasn't a depressing tortured artist kind of thought process. i've found that since i started blogging and reading others' blogs, that a) i'm not alone and b) if i think about it, i can answer these questions. i'm feeling less wishy-washy these days! and can i tell you how great that feels!?! it's like sighing out a breath you didn't know you were holding.

here's to great revelations, i hope you all indulge!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

construction rant revisited

remember how pretty it looked outside my window at work?

and then how i said that they were starting construction?

well now this is what i have to look at outside my window until they finish in november and then it'll be a parking lot.

they've ripped out all of the flowering crab apple trees and that beautiful little maple! i am very depressed about this! all to put in a parking lot! stupid parking lot - right now it doesn't matter that we need it. they have stripped a small section of beauty from this place.

well, i have to run. tomorrow should be a better post, not so cranky. hopefully i will have a picture of the newly attempted "bonnet" that i made (pattern from amy over at kingpod and angry chicken). but first, i must go home and then off to a dinner party! (wow...sounds frivolous paired with the environmentalist's outrage at trees being ripped out for a parking lot, doesn't it?)

have a lovely lovely, all!

Friday, September 01, 2006

september sun and the summer *to do* list

the sun is shining brightly through my bedroom window, while a cool autumn breeze blows through the trees and little bitty finches play outside on the twig wreath that hangs between my two windows above the porch roof. i can just see them at the corner of the window and jumping about on the roof top. i've never seen them do that before. it's those simple things that bring a smile to my face. it reminds me that i promised to fill their feeders and i haven't! that will be a *to do* before i go shopping!
speaking of *to do*'s, at the beginning of this summer, i created a list of the things i wanted to do (you can see it on the right hand side of this page). looking back over it, i've found that i accomplished just about all of these some degree.

i cleaned my porch and turned it into my own little zen-happy place; i take time everyday to wander through and enjoy my garden; i went swimming and explored; i ripped down that wall and muraled my downstairs hallway; i wrote almost everyday (in my blog - which counts!); my brother taught me how to make my own fire pit and i taught myself how to make capri's and pants; i also dyed fabric, made a quilted wall hanging and a baby blanket, and i currently have 11 fairies in progress; i made many smoothies this summer and bbq'ed with friends a few times; i caught up on some old books and thanks to my friends here and blogger friends, i was introduced to different music.

now that autumn is upon us, i'll be taking more time to bake; i'll be finishing that wall and hopefully that bedroom, as well as painting the kitchen cabinets (now that it's cooler). the fencing and outdoor, backyard, garden sanctuary will have to wait until next year. and if the gas prices continue to drop, road trips will be back on the agenda for fall. there is nothing more peaceful than a drive in the country on a sunny fall day when the leaves start changing!

well, now i must go (i didn't think i'd get a chance to even post today!) - i need to feed the little finches and let sadie out before i head out for a fabric shopping extravaganza with my mother and aunt patricia! yippee!

have a happy day and a wonderful weekend!