11 Feb


Last week I did a little purging. I’m half way through getting four boxes of reject photos down to two — or maybe even one. I also bit the bullet and emptied a box of fabric. All my army uniforms for cutting up had been in a pile on the top of my drawers of fabric, but now they have a box of their very own. So what did I do with the fabric originally in teh box?


I packed it up and sent it to Iraq as part of IBOL3, a pet project of my husband’s (and an ever growing group of like-minded people).


IBOL Guy is looking to collect 500 large flat rate boxes of sewing supplies (and maybe some knitting stuff too) for a special ice-breaker type project with local Iraqi army and federal police units.

If you are interested in participating (and I hope you are), head on over to the IBOL website for more details.

25 Aug

It’s Ba-ack!

Yes, IBOL is back! Hubby is still here in Hawaii for the time being, but a lady named Nahed, who is part of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in the same area IBOL Guy was assigned to a year ago, is taking the reins for IBOL II.

IBOL II, like the original IBOL project last year, is intended to be a short-duration project. And like last time, it’s intended to surge fabric and sewing (and knitting!) materials into Salah ad Din, in northern Iraq (where I was last year, too). The general premise is the same. Willing contributors can send a flat-rate box of sewing / quilting / knitting supplies, all bundled up. Once it’s there, someone will open the box, pull out the fully-contained bundle, and hand it off (with others) for distribution in the SaD area. The stated intent of this operation is to put sewing and quilting and knitting supplies into the hands of two types of recipients: locals who desperately need such things, and local sewing co-ops and other small businesses who have received grants or loans (typically to purchase sewing machines, rent space, etc)

Here’s the most important thing: Packages for IBOL 2.1 (because I hope there will be a 2.2 and a 2.3!) need to be in the mail not later than 01 October (that’s a Friday). Do you think you can do that? In the mail, not later than 01 October. That’s just over a month from now.

So, head on over to the official IBOL II web site and get all the pertinent details, then get to de-stashing! I’ll show my box as soon as I get it all packed up — right now it’s just a pile on the floor. 😉

06 Dec

Nifty Art Swap

A few weeks ago, my blog friend Tia invited me to join an art swap. It works like a chain letter where I send a piece of art to the person who invited Tia and then invite six more creative friends to participate. They each send a piece of art to Tia, and their friends in turn, each send a piece to me. Participants are supposed to receive 36 small pieces of art in all. I knew I wouldn’t be quite that that lucky, but it did look like a fun way to meet other crafty people, and with each person only needing to make one small gift, it seemed very do-able.

Here’s what I sent out:

Lilikoi Mushroom

A mushroom pin cushion made with my Lilikoi fabric in yellow.

And here’s what I’ve received:

Nifty Art Swap

Well worth participating, I thought. Up front is a gouache painting (postcard) from mixed media artist and author  Melanie Testa, and a stitched and presumably monoprinted fabric artist’s trading card (ACEO) from textile artist Marlis Egger. These two will definitely be worked into my wall of blue art. The middle row is, left to right, a quilted “paper cloth” bookmark from  Cindy Green (who was very perceptive in thinking that I might be missing a bit of fall color here in the tropics), a mixed media angel from Connie Akers, a wool and ric rac pincushion from Tonya Littman (who creates some pretty amazing pictorial art quilts), and a mini, mini art quilt from Susan Schrott (who I think is very clever for using images of her large artwork to make little pieces to trade and gift). Finally, in the back is a textile “sketch” from Natalya Aikens, who wasn’t supposed to send me anything, but got carried away!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated. It’s been great fun to make these creative introductions.

17 Mar

Sonya’s Mushroom Swap

I don’t participate in many swaps, but this one looked too fun to pass up. Sonya asked everyone to make five 3-D mushrooms and send them to her. She (and a few helpers) then mixed them all up and sent each participant a box with five assorted ‘shrooms. It’s been great fun to see all the creations via the Flickr group, and to finally get my own box in the mail.

I sent out this:

And received these in return:

From left to right they are: Bolete (and the mushroom notebook at the far right) from Rane, “Emmaline” from Cathy Gaubert, Toadstool from Vanessa, Sluggy Mushroom from feathergirl36, and a mischievous looking blue ‘shroom from Theresa.

The kids and I were so excited to open the box and see which five we got. Now, they (the mushrooms, not the kids) are happily ensconced in my collection. Here’s the mushroom room Chez la Flamme (click to check it out closer):

… and zoom in closer on the insanity (also clickable):

There’s a few more on a vertical shelf on the wall to the left, but I’ve posted that before.

06 Mar

Pre-Swap Swappiness

Deborah found a cute mushroom swap she thought I’d like. I convinced her that she should participate too (mwahaha!). To add to the fun, we decided to do a little private swap as well. I sent her a mushroom man, mushroom chocolates, and a pincushion, of course.

She sent me a beautiful mixed media mushroom and a wonderful package of cool papers, tags, ribbon, cards and vintage hankies — all in red and white! I’m liking this swap thing.

Mixed Media Mushroom by Deborah Boschert (photo by Deborah too)

Oh, and speaking of swaps, I sent Anika a pincushion, since she asked so nicely and is a fellow islander, and she returned the favor with this cute watercolor which is now hanging in my daughter’s room with her fairy collection.

“Tapio” by Anika Nui (photo by Anika too)

Remember the wonderful ribbons Nic sent? I returned that favor with chocolate covered macadamia nuts (which her hubby nearly absconded with) and a silky, spotty, sequined, and beaded Bali-inspired ‘shroom.

I’m enjoying all this creative art sharing. I can’t wait to see which mushrooms I receive in my official mushroom swap package.