Wednesday, December 30, 2009

little universe

I went out into the garden the other day to check on things. I haven't been out there much in the past few weeks, what with all the Christmas hoopla and preparations and such. So I was kind of timid about going out there. I was sure that after weeks of neglect everything would be brown and dead. But I was wrong! Everything was green. Mother Nature took care of everything with all of that much needed rain. Even the brown spots in the lawn are gone now and it's even about time to bust out the mower. God bless the rain!

Lettuce is bountiful even in December!

Then I found myself with a thought that I always get when I'm out there- and then quickly forget until the next time. Being outside makes me happy. When I'm out there I'm not stressed, I'm not moody. Being outside, poking around at weeds and watering the bamboo is extremely satisfying and fulfilling. "I need to do this EVERY day," I tell myself. And then I forget. Until the next time. So I'm saying it here and I'm saying it loud- Get yourself outside EVERYDAY!

The Gingko tree has lost it's leaves for winter.

When I'm in the garden, I'm often inspired as well. I see a leaf or a flower that I want to sketch. I plan plots and imagine things I'll build to make the garden more intimate. I think about color. I promise myself I'll start some seedlings. Grow some roots! I'm very drawn to the notion of establishing roots. We've been in this house for over 6 years now and I'm finally feeling like we're establishing some roots. This is OUR home. Undoubtedly! There's the oak tree growing in the front yard that started as a seedling collected from the canyon behind my childhood home. A swing for the kids in the tree, the bench given to me by my husband for my birthday and the plumeria trees that started as cuttings from my Grandmother's plumerias. We're settling in. And that feels nice.

The Nasturtium seeds I scattered are finally growing.

And so as we begin a new year, I immediately start to think about this house- my little universe. I think I'm going to be spending a lot of time right here in 2010. I don't feel the push to go anywhere. I want to tend to my garden, do repairs and renovations around the house and work on my projects here in my "Craft Cave". (Snoop Dog was on Martha a couple weeks ago and he talked about his "Man Cave". I have a "Craft Cave"- and with shelves piled nearly to the ceiling it really does feel like a cave when I'm sitting at my table. I LOVE being in here!) And so I roll out my resolutions for Twenty-Ten...

1. Garden every day.
2. Sketch/Sew/Craft every day - keep my mind focused on creativity.
3. Cook from scratch - Whole foods - Sign up for an organic produce delivery.
4. Avoid negativity. Don't allow myself to get stressed out over things I can't control.
5. Write & illustrate the childrens' book that has been brewing in my head. This is the year!

Mostly, I want more focus in 2010. Keep my mind healthy (gardening), my body healthy (whole food living) and my soul healthy (replace negativity with creativity) so I can FOCUS on what's really important: my family, my designs and my little universe.

Happy New Year
to you & your family
in your little universe,
wherever that may be.

patchwork year

Wow, that was quick. Christmas gone, January a couple days away. Wasn't Halloween just yesterday? It was a busy couple of weeks- sewing lots of handmade gifts, baking, decking the halls and all. I finally dug my work area out from piles of fabric, wrapping paper and boxes. Actually got to sit down at the sewing machine yesterday to work on some new things. I have a pile of onesies that I purchased eons ago with intentions to silkscreen or embellish with applique. Finally getting around to that now...

I did some quilting for the holidays. I love matching up fabrics. Now that my fabric stash is organized by color it's much easier to do. Maybe it's going to be a patchwork year. This onesie is another way of blending different prints together. I'm pleased with how it turned out and am anxious to do some more. I picked up some WONDERFUL prints at Maisonette last week. I currently have my half yard of Echino "Quiet Yard" hanging in the workspace. It's almost too beautiful to use!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

some etsy picks

I've been doing a lot of Etsy browsing this week- searching for that perfect gift, getting inspiration for projects to come in the new year and updating my shop for some last minute shoppers. (This is a good week for making purchases! Next week will work too, but it's starting to push it in terms of shipping time... so start shopping now!)

There are so many wonderful things on Etsy, so I've decided to put together a little gift guide with some wonderful picks. So many to choose from, so maybe I'll continue this again in the days to come. For this edition, I've picked a lot of holiday inspired items. Additionally, there are some great stocking stuffer ideas as well. This reminds me of the year I made Christmas stockings for everyone and filled them with goodies as their gift. I might have to do that again next year. Stocking stuffers are so much fun to buy! But it helps to spend an entire year shopping for those- stocking stuffers aren't things you head to the mall in search of; rather, you pick them up here and there as you find them. Yeah, maybe that's my plan for next year.

First is a wonderful pouch for your iPod or iPhone from downstairsDesigns. I love that it even has a place for your ATM/Credit Cards. When you head out for a walk, this is all you need! Wouldn't these lovely knitted candy canes look so festive on a package wrapped in brown paper and tied with string? Made by BadAmyKnits, they're the perfect example of a Handmade Holiday. I love all of the things from HeyYoYo, but this cupcake container is the best. It reminds me of the sack lunches I used to take to First Grade. "Holiday Tree" is a precious sketch by Etsy artist naokosstoop. Love the wood grain and can imagine pulling it out every year to dress the house in the holiday spirit. This Eames inspired recycled wood business card holder by andrewsreclaimed would make a perfect stocking stuffer. And, finally, how about this vintage red and ivory ribbon? It's too special for gift wrapping, but this ribbon from SugaredSongBird would be perfect for making bows on a vintage inspired wreath or tree.

I hope you enjoyed these items as much as I did when I stumbled across them. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 07, 2009

baking is in order

Oh Boy! The Holiday Season is here!
And it's actually raining here in parched Southern California. What a treat.

Are you making it a Handmade Holiday? I'm trying. Busy making some last minute things for the Etsy shop... like these elves. (I've also got a great pocket calendar, so check that out if you're looking for some teacher gifts) Come back soon for photos of my amigurumi animal parade! It's so satisfying to crochet these cute little guys. Making a couple zoos for some special little ones.

Meanwhile, I think I'll try to make the beautiful pop-up tree that was made on Martha last week. I've already folded up one of the magazine Christmas trees featured. Love the way it turned out. And on a wet day like today, though, I think some baking is in order.
Happy Holidays!