Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spring Market Photos

Thought I'd post some of my fave photos from Spring Market in Pittsburgh. I think I mentioned how I have never been to Pittsburgh and found it lovely. One thing I was fascinated with was their penchant for yellow bridges.
We had the opportunity to ride a riverboat at the Moda dinner. I should probably find out what body of water we were on. :)

Here's Jennifer with one of the Blythe dolls her pal, Cara, brought to visit. They had a little photo shoot on the deck with the girls.

So, the reason for the trip... the quilty goodness. These are a few of my faves: the gorgeous Michael Miller booth, McKenna Ryan's quilts that I aspire to make one day, Indygo Junction's funky little Zipper Critters, and the stinkin'-cuteness of Lecien's little bags for babies (free pattern, yay!). I was also totally psyched to see that Anne Sutton of Bunnyhill Designs put my photo with her at market up on her blog. We were saying "hi" to one of my customers at the shop who loves her designs. My customer was totally thrilled! So, that's my trip. It was an experience!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I finally went! Aka: Spring Market in Pittsburgh

I finally, after many years of trying to get there, got to go to the International Quilt Market with the quilt shop I work for. It was amazing and inspiring! Jennifer, of Sweet Liberty, went with us and is a total rock star. She made the trip a blast. We saw and met a whole heap of quilty celebrities... Anne Sutton of Bunnyhill Designs, Sandy Klopp of American Jane, Alex Anderson, Eleanor Burns, Heather Bailey, Amy Butler, Joanne Figueroa of Fig Tree, Sandy Gervais, Lila Tueller, Stacy West of Buttermilk Basin, Barri of Bareroots, and a whole bunch more. Everyone was really kind and generous with their time and thanks.

The booths were amazing. My fave in terms of creativity in their booth design was Lizzie B Cre8ive. Their booth was so fun and they had chocolate chip cookies, so what's not to love? We talked the owner of our shop into some fun, new stuff. I'm probably most psyched about the new Michael Miller lines coming in. Definitely funky and fun.

We had a fun night on Friday at the Moda dinner cruise. It was on a riverboat (thank you Dramamine) and we had some good eats while we sailed alongside Pittsburgh. Which, incidentally, is a kinda cool city. I had never been and was really suprised at how green and pretty it was. I'd like to go back to visit, but my hubby - being crushed by the fact that the Penguins beat the Caps in the playoffs - will hear nothing of that. :) Back to the Moda cruise... the most fun part? Getting to play with Jennifer and Cara's Blythe dolls and being escorted into the whole cool world of their collectors.

I can't even really put into words how inspiring this show was. I don't know if it knocked my socks off in terms of getting to go, for some other different reasons that I don't want to go into, but it was amazing to see the creativity, the inspiration, women (and men) putting themselves out there and sharing their art. Loved it. I'll add some photos soon!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ack! (Or What I've Been Working On.) Belatedly.

How many times can you rip something out before it's ruined? This bag nearly made me cry. Really. It's not even a hard pattern, I know that. I've seen hard bag patterns and this isn't one. It just wouldn't work for me. I had some sorta brain block where I just couldn't get it together. Some nonsense about not sewing the handles inside the lining. :) So, here it is finally done. It's for my MIL's birthday, of course I sewed it the night before in my usual procrastinating manner - and I hope to whoever in the universe is listening that she likes it. And that it doesn't fall apart.

I also worked on some preemie caps for a charity "unswap" they did over at Craftster for an infant loss organization. Again, the old hands wouldn't cooperate so I didn't get as much done as I would have liked. I am proud that I got some done, however, and actually mailed them. I've been wanting to do a project like this forever. They were also my first knitted caps, so yay me. In all seriousness though, I do hope they bless the families who receive them. I am so thankful for the woman who took the time to sew a gown and crochet a little cap and blanket for my little boy when he died. I'll never know who she was, but I thank her for the few things I have that were his.

That's what I'm up to. I should be scrapbooking. I have a commissioned scrapbook to finish by June and I really need to get going. I have to be inspired to sit down and create though. And I have to be not homeschooling, or working, or teaching co-op, or falling over from being tired. :) Inspiration will come, I have faith in it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Time May Change Me

I made a big change in my life tonight. Well, "officially" anyway. I had made the decision awhile ago but finally made it concrete today. Since 2003,I have been running a support group for bereaved parents and found that it was time to change. That I wasn't the voice these moms needed any longer. They need someone newer in their loss, someone who has that ferocity still, who walks on that same brink but has found the path where it is smoother. I still feel their losses tremendously. Each and every new story breaks my heart a little bit more every time I hear one. How much more of my heart is left to break, I wonder? The heart's capacity for all of life's messy emotions must be truly legion.

So, I'm feeling confused, a little sad, and mostly lost. I don't know that it matters to anyone that I won't be there anymore. I hope my son, looking down on me, is not disappointed in his momma. Does he know my heart? Why I chose to move in a different direction? I worry about leading a life of no meaning. I have always had this compulsion that I need to make a difference in the world someway, no matter how small. Over the various years, I have sat at different jobs - ones that a trained monkey could do thanks to my lack of skills - and felt the time wasting away. Like I'm disappointing some higher power that needs me to get my act together and do something real. With my group, even though I did not meet the goals I had for it, I feel that I did. I also know I made the right decision to step down. But, where do I stand now? What life am I impacting? Can it be enough to be that impact in my children's life? What am I teaching them if I'm not giving back myself?

I guess I'm naval-gazing and being whiny. But, I like to think my son died for some higher reason. Though, if someone else said that to me I'd be likely to kick them. :) It's important to me to live a life he would be proud of. To leave a legacy in his name. To be a good mother to him, even in death. I guess I'll see who I am now outside of the bubble I have been existing in, maybe this new girl will have some answers.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas Crazy

For Christmas, I decided to be a crazy person. We had no money, even with me working a second job, so I had to sew. A lot. Did I get done everything I wanted to? Nope, not close. Here are some things I did finish... and please, forgive the photography, I was tired. I didn't get photos of everything, unfortunately. I also did a cool "Here There Be Monsters" stitched piece from Urban Threads, a penguin ornament from a Bad Bird design, BareRoots mini-stockings, a little knitted pouch for our Christmas Child box, and a pair of Pirate towels from designs by Urban Threads.

Quite an interesting array, eh? I've got a family of varied interests! It seems like there was more, but honestly, it's all a blur. Ask my husband about the Christmas money some time. That story will tell you all you need to know about my mental status at Christmas. :)

I also finally started my boys' quilts that I have wanted to do forever. E.'s is a "modified" Turning 20 using a book panel called "Meet the Moonbeamers" and is totally pieced, just needs a border and finishing. N.'s is a paper pieced bug jar quilt that I have literally had for oh, 8 years or so. I got going on it really well, then realized I made a mistake somewhere on the jar lids. Ugh. My friend, Barb, is such a good cheerleader and has gotten me going on these. She's a huge lifesaver (in more than just quilty ways)!

So, that's what I did during December. I had more I wanted to do, but had to accept defeat. I met my goal of everyone getting one thing at least.

Today, while E. did school, I stitched up my mom's birthday present - 2 weeks late. It's a Halloween penny rug by Wooden Spool. I think she'll like it. And yes, it's a Halloween piece for a December birthday - we like Halloween, what can I say. My camera was not liking the woolfelt and kept glaring on it. It's much cuter IRL. Really. :)

I hope to keep on this creativity streak. I've got a scrapbook I was commissioned to do that I really need to get started on. With working retail, hours get cut a lot so I've got a little more time on my hands. My house is a disaster but frankly, it overwhelms me so I'd rather do something creative. I' m no domestic diva that's for sure.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Aliens Have Invaded!

Please say hello to our newest friends... Duopony & Lyle, straight from the book "Invasion of the Plush Monsters". They're the first furry creatures I've made and they came out pretty okay, if I do say! :) I had a bit of a learning curve with the fur, but they didn't take very long to make. Like the fool I am, I tried to sew Lyle on the machine with all my big thick layers of fur, horns, and fleece. Luckily, it occurred to me before I broke my machine that hand sewing would be the proper course of action. Another first was using clear, poly thread. Ah-hem. I have bad eyes.

Speaking of eyes, it's impossible to find good eyes around here. Joann's had 1 set of just brown eyes that worked, but weren't exactly what I wanted. I used buttons for Duopony's eyes instead. And the faux fur choices were slim pickin's. So, we worked with what we found (and was on sale)! I've got one more alien cut and ready to sew. (That sounds weird.) The invasion begins!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chris Cornell Broke My Heart

So, I'm sitting the other night enduring the torture that was "Fashion Rocks" on CBS and wondering why I was doing such a maddening thing to start off with.

I was rewarded (I thought) for my pain by the announcement that Chris Cornell was coming up on the show. This was immediately (ok, embarrassingly) followed by my shrieks of "Chris Cornell's on my TV! Chris Cornell's on my TV" like a lunatic.

Then it started. The Apocalypse itself. I had to get up and look out my window to be sure the planets weren't hurtling towards the Earth as the world ended.

I knew... I knew about Timbaland and Chris. I really wanted to ignore that it was truth. But here, was my Rock God, in a Timbaland - I guess, tribute? - introduced by Tyra friggin' Banks on national TV; sandwiched in between a freaked out Timbaland video spot, One Republic and wait for it.... the Pussycat Dolls. I seriously thought the world was ending.

Chris Cornell has long been my favored rock singer. I do truly love Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) but really, no one has anything on Chris. I squeezed in dismal, concrete, tiny halls to bear witness to his glory during the Soundgarden days. Had my ribs bruised in the mosh pit at Lollapalooza, ages ago when it was still cool, to stand close. I *still* remember the day I heard on the radio that Soundgarden was no more. I blare Audioslave from my car stereo; so proud as a mother to have my 12 y.o. singing along to "Show Me How to Live". No rock singer has his voice, his seemingly easy talent, and his way with lyrics. Did I mention he's beautiful? Okay, that's actually beside the point because his voice is amazing.

And here he was on stage with Timbaland and the - I can't bear to say their name - P.D.'s. On top of it all, he was terrible. His beautiful, soaring voice was mixed so low which was just as well because he sang in a tone that was not much more than a grumble. Not to mention the song was terrible. N. ran in to see what all my fuss was about and he said "That's not very good." So, it was then my duty as a mother to be sure the next day that he knew the real Chris Cornell, not this stranger on the stage. I had to school him in Badmotorfinger and his new favorite song that I mentioned before. He couldn't believe it was the same person.

I understand the need for an artist to stretch their wings; to express themselves in a way that their soul hasn't reached before. I get it. I do. But this? He looked like a deer caught in the headlights of a car certain to bring the end. Either that or it was the glare from the boobs-a-poppin' Pussycat Dolls' mess that threw him off. Either way. Heart. Broken.