31 Dec

It’s Crafturday (3)

Look what Santa brought for the kids!

I love this silly Hawaii themed fabric and decided it would be perfect for little bags for the kids.

Circle Zip Earbud Pouches

Everyone got Circle Zip Earbud Pouches. The tutorial from Dog Under My Desk was easy to follow and I think the pouches are cute and practical. I’m putting a few on my list to make for myself (excellent use for mushroomy fabric methinks) in a few sizes perhaps.

Pleated Zip Pouches

The girls got Pleated Pouches made from the Skip to My Lou tutorial. Again, this was a very nice, easy to follow tutorial. I’d definitely use it again as I think the pouch is quite handsome. One change I would make would be to add a little interfacing to the top band fabric for a little more structure. I also added wooden beads to the zipper pulls.

06 Dec

Inspiration Sun, no, Monday/Tuesday

I’ve been piddling my time away. Getting stuck at the computer and not really accomplishing much, or at least much tangible. So, I’m a day late on Inspiration Sunday, and I’ve got no lines drawn. I wasn’t in a line-y mood today. I’ve been coming up short on the inspiration photo thing too, It’s not that I’m not inspired, it’s just that inspiration is not always in photo format. Sometimes it is, but I don’t have a camera with me. Sometimes it’s there, but I don’t recognize it until later — after I’ve had a chance to digest it, or attach it to something meaningful. Sometimes, the inspiration is just not a tangible thing. It is as often as not, a feeling, or emotion. As I work on my Army Wife Apron series, the inspiration is all about a state of mind. War Sucks was definitely inspired by a feeling.

Anyway, my inspiration this time around was one of those back of the mind ones. Wrapping things in leaves is somewhat common in Hawaii. Laulau is a dish steamed in a leaf wrapper. Offerings in a leafy pouch are left at sacred places. So when I wanted to sew up some samples with the taro themed fabric I designed, I chose a pouch shape rather than a clutch or a tote. Not that my work is sacred like a ho’okupu, but I think it would make a nice gift (makana).

And, on the subject of gifts, my Quilt Mom Gerrie sent me a fun one “just because.”

She visited a wonderful arts festival and thought of me when she saw this glass mushroom (by Kurumi Conley). She sent me some fun fabric too. Yay!

I sent a gift too. My friend Deborah not so recently relocated and I wanted to welcome her to her new home. Obviously a house quilt was in order, but I decided a pillow would be cozier than wall art.

She’s reported that it’s jazzing up a somewhat boring beige couch (as opposed to the boring white couch at my house where I took this picture).

26 Dec

Surprise Gift

I’ve been moderately successful in editing my pottery collection. Enough pieces sold via my blog and eBay to pay for the fees and the postage I underestimated. Most importantly, There are fewer pieces in my house. I will admit that the Franciscan set and the wedding china I listed on Craig’s List were too nice to take to the thrift shop so they got tucked away in the corner of a cabinet. In the end, I’ve probably cut my collection by a quarter to a third, rather than the hoped-for half, but that’s better than nothing. One of the pieces that didn’t sell was the cute squirrel vase. It was also too unique to be tossed aside.

It does however, remind me of my friend V, who has/had a lovely collection of white art pottery and is also pretty crafty. So, I decided to surprise her at Christmas with an art pottery pincushion!

According to her email, she really likes it!

She sent me a pretty awesome gift too. The two fat quarters below are her design, which she printed through Spoonflower. I think they look great and can’t wait to use them (I may even have something that the blue/green one will work in). I’ve been eying Spoonflower for a while and wondered what the quality of the printing was like and how the “hand” of the fabric felt. It’s great! Now I just need to come up with a project that needs my own fabric design.

Other things that have lived up to the hype are Stitch and 3191. My mom got me a subscription to Stitch and if the rest of the issues are as good as this premier one, I’m going to be one happy sewer. The pictures are beautiful and the variety of topics and projects is great.

3191 was a gift from my quilt mom, Gerrie. It is filled with the spare, thoughtful photography of her daughter, Stephanie and Steph’s blogging partner Mav. This is the kind of book I’ll leave out and enjoy a few pages here and there when I have a quiet moment. The last chapter of the book has a month by month “summary” of the photo diptychs and some of the comments from the 3191 blog. This section adds so much to the enjoyment of the book as it brings home, at least to me, how it’s not just about Stephanie and Mav taking pictures, but also about us viewers coming to see them and making those pictures a part of our day.

Thank you everyone for the great gifts given and received.

23 Dec

Thanks!

First the Christmassy stuff. Gerrie sent us a surprise package, and you probably can’t see it well, but in addition to the luscious orangey/red hand dyed fabric and three wrapped presents, there’s chocolate peppermint bark AND Sharfenberger chocolate! Delicious!

Katrin sent us a box too — filled with three varieties of Lebkuchen and Speculatius PLUS cute mushroomy napkins (paper napkins from Germany are the best) and red and white star napkin rings to make our every day cloth napkins more festive.

Thank you both SOOOOOOO much!

Katja and Opa have finished their Christmas baking: a modest four treats (ginger snaps, Toll House Cookies, Lemon Pecan Dainties and fudge) and some are now packed to gift to a modest three neighbors.

OK then. Christmas stuff out of the way, we have an antidote to all the snow in blogland (not that we don’t love all the snowy pictures, we just don’t have any of that here).

At the kids’ insistence, we started at the ├╝ber touristy Dole Plantation and spent over an hour in the maze. Great fun so we didn’t even bother doing anything else there.

Next we continued on up to the North Shore for an OK lunch at Cholos and a quick stop at North Shore Swimwear where I found a perfect bikini (thanks Noni, Tavaner and Megan are my birthday present). Then on to Pupukea Beach where we were pleased to find calm surf so we could scramble over the a’a a bit.

We took the long way home via the Windward side of Oahu because I hadn’t seen much of it yet and took a little detour out to La’ie Point. Awesome. Thanks Jean for telling me about this lesser known point of interest.

View to the left.

View to the right.

From La’ei we continued south past beautiful farm land, beaches and homes. Many were for sale and we just couldn’t understand why anyone would not want to live there. I intended to take us back to our side of the island via Pali Highway and Lookout, but took a wrong turn and ended up on Likelike Highway. Oh well, that gives us an excuse to go out again and take pictures of the dramatic green mountains instead of the beaches I seem to gravitate towards. I need more practice with my new camera too. I seem to unknowingly, or forgetfully, change the settings on it and my colors are all off. My life is not quite as blue as these photos suggest.