Saturday, February 28, 2009

time out... for mama

I sure do love my little munchkins.
But they definitely know how to wear their mama out.

I'm home alone on this fine Saturday.
The house is quiet...
no music today...
just the sound of birds chirping...
and an occasional airplane passing overhead.
(even the dog is off for his grooming so there aren't monotonous episodes of barking whenever the wind blows - which, seriously, is all it takes to get this mutt all riled up)

Daddy has taken the boys out for a day of fun.
He misses them (long hours at work this week)
as much as I miss my silence.

It's a day for catching up.
It's a day for recuperation.
A day to make my ears stop ringing.
A day to reconnect with my projects.
(Maybe even a long bubble bath)

Friday, February 27, 2009

finder's keepers

Beautiful bumpy lemmons hanging on our side of the fence.

(said in manner of seagulls on Finding Nemo)

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Can you believe I finally made a quilt with some of my fabric? I think it's been over two years since I first started making fabric and promised myself I'd make a quilt. (see it in the Etsy shop) This has become a pattern with me - ideas that take entirely too long for me to get around to developing. At least I've finally learned to jot these concepts down in the "Idea List" I keep in my iPod notes. The ideas, you see, often strike me when I'm working out. What is it they say about exercise and endorphins? Whatever it is, it gets my creative juices flowing. Unfortunately, when I hop off the elliptical there are little boys with questions, breakfast dishes to clear, laundry to fold, beds to make and little tummies to feed, so I never can just sit down and get to it with the creative ideas. Thank God for my idea list.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

craft day

A week ago I had a great time at a craft day with a couple old friends from High School. That's right, I said High School. I've been living in the city I grew up in for over five years now, but it's the magic of the internet that has reconnected me with people from what feels like another lifetime. (thank you Facebook!) In the days of High School I didn't think anyone enjoyed making things like I did. I thought I was the only one who spent Saturday nights making hook and loop rugs. Didn't think anyone painted ceramic ornaments every Christmas like I did. Did they even know how to use a sewing machine? In fact, crafting and sewing were kind of my dirty little secret. I thought everyone would think I was dorky if they knew I loved to decoupage. They'd think I was a nerd if they knew about my needlepoint. (Yeah, I wasn't exactly the most confident 16-year old) In fact it wasn't until I was home with my first child and I began to discover other people online who liked to craft that I stopped hiding from my crafting and making obsession. (So I guess this didn't exactly make me the most confident 30-year old either!)

You can imagine my surprise when a Facebook friend/former High School friend sent me a message asking if I'd like to get together to do a project that was on the Martha Stewart Show (Baby Wooden Blocks). Yes yes yes! We had such a nice time. I was SHOCKED when I got in the car to go home and discovered we'd been chatting and crafting for SIX HOURS! I didn't look at the clock once, so I was convinced that the clock in the car must be off. It wasn't. This project was so much fun and so satisfying to do. It's amazing how a few simple steps can transform wood and paper into something that looks retro, yet polished. My friends made blocks for their children and as a gift for a baby shower.

I knew I'd like to make something to sell on Etsy, so I wanted to do something different. (Crafters' Code of Ethics - use the idea, but don't sell the same thing and create competition for the very person who gave you the idea) So I brought along some wood pieces to decorate and create this mobile. I was happy to discover that the sanding and painting technique that Ashley Steele (of demonstrated on Martha worked just as well on fabric as it did on paper. And, like I said, it's just so satisfying to make something look so unique in just a few simple steps.

I hope there will be more crafting afternoons in the future. It's so much more fun to work with friends than tucked away in my craft room (hiding out from the kids).

Wood Mobile on OUToftheBOX.etsy !

Friday, February 13, 2009

Handmade Help - Victorian Bushfire Appeal

It's hard to imagine the devastation created by the Victorian bushfires in Australia and what victims of the fire must be going through. I came across Handmade Help - an organization that is raising money for victims of the fire. I'm always inspired by such efforts because it is coordinated by people like me - people who don't have the time and money to do it all themselves. I would like to think that someday I too can pull people together to have a real impact... strength in numbers, as they say. I decided to do my small little part to help and am participating the the Handmade Help auction. It's incredible to see people donating their handmade items to raise money for such a good cause. I encourage everyone to help by either bidding on some of the handmade auctions, listing your own items for sale, or just making a donation.

I listed one of my silkscreened linen pillows on Ebay and hope it can generate a significant auction amount so I can send it off to the Red Cross. If you've ever thought about buying one of my pillows, now is your chance to get one and contribute to a good cause at the same time. (I'll also mention that there are only a few of this design left! If you want a set, you are welcome to purchase the one I've listed on Ebay as well as one I've listed in my Etsy shop and proceeds from BOTH will be donated) All proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross. If you don't want a pillow - my feelings aren't hurt - but please consider making a donation: Australian Red Cross.

Like I said, I often think about what I can do to help those around me. Just open the newspaper and it certainly isn't difficult to find people in need. I find myself wishing I had Bill Gates-sized money so I could go out there and start charities and reach out to people in need. But when I see things like Handmade Help I am reminded that it's just an excuse to say I don't have a lot of money. It doesn't take money. It takes time. It takes dedication. Maybe someday soon I'll find my cause. There's no better time than the present. It's a time of change and I'd like to know that I am somehow, some little way, part of that change.

Monday, February 09, 2009

itch to rearrange

We had a nice, rainy weekend. Being inside so much gave me the itch to rearrange and organize. (it doesn't take much for me to want to switch things up) I love how a rearranged room feels so new. You would think this would have been a good weekend for catching up with some sewing, but this bib set (in the Etsy Shop) was actually something I finished up last week. I don't know where Saturday and Sunday went. I had good intentions of sitting down at my work table, but it just didn't happen. There was catching up with family, dinner with friends, a very long bubble bath and the aforementioned rearranging of furniture. Before we knew it, Monday morning was here. I hate how that happens.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


I've totally done myself in. Looking at the picture of chocolate chip (with toasted almonds!) cookies in my last post is making me crave them. I baked up a batch and quickly packaged them up for the husband to take off to work before I could inhale them the other night. Now I want one. I might be making a trip to the grocery store for ingredients tomorrow... don't know how I can resist. Screw you Weight Watchers!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

good thing

Chocolate chip cookies packaged in CD/DVD sleeves -
the best Good Thing ever!
(I love how they make the cookie look completely perfectly round)