Monday, June 30, 2008

Strawberry Vacation

Mmmmm, the kids and I celebrated their first day of summer vacation by going to the local You-Pick strawberry farm by Mt Pisgah. It's out of town, feels like "the country", at the You Pick farm. PLUS you can smell the ripe strawberries as soon as you step out of the car. The kids picked so heartily this year, we brought home more than I expected. In case you've never picked your own strawberries, I should tell you that you go in the morning before it's too hot out, and are allowed to eat as you pick! They must factor that into the price. And ripe strawberries make a satisfying POP sound when you separate them from the vine. These berries were amazingly large.

I stayed up late to make three batches of jam in my cute vintage jars. Don't you love these? Perfect for freezer jam. They take up room in there, but I LIKE freezer jam because the strawberries are not cooked down, thus retain all possible flavor and color. MMMmm!

I thought the kids would be pleased by the fresh jam for their toast in the morning, but they both complained that I made jam without them. :-)

I took a few days off from the studio in order to have a yard sale. It's great to shed unneeded things, let alone clear the whole storage space. Thanks so much, Adrienne! AND I got ten neighbors to have a yard sale on the same day. I think it's so fun to park and walk to several sales in a row like that. With the price of gas, I noticed many more bicyclers and moped riders.

The kids had a lemonade and cookie stand and made $12.

BUT I missed my creative time in the studio! I'm back tomorrow. Back and badder than ever.......


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Coffee Monsters

I'm thrilled to find my work in this collection along with some artists i've marked in MY FAV's list! Thanks so much!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Meet Your Maker Indie Craft Show!

Here we are at the Meet Your Maker June show, at Midtown Wine bar. It's a GREAT venue and lots of fun. Nice to get out of the studio and sell in person, meet other artists/crafters, and visitors.

Franks and Beans, I was pleased to find out, makes a great living spinning, dying and selling her beautiful yarns. I drooled over them all evening!

You can just see my display in this photo. So lit from the back! I brought my coffee "stand", little bags, and teapot with flowers to go with my teakettle art bags.

One of the best things, was finding my "Hey Banana Breath" chosen to be the ad for the show in the Eugene Weekly. Nice! Thanks so much.

I need to make a nice, big vendor's sign for my table.

Ashly of Bullfight showing off her amazing undies made of recycled tshirts. Ok, I bought one of these undies...... and I'm going to need another. They are so comfortable! Look so cute, I could mow the lawn in them (well the backyard maybe), wear great under clothes, and stay up without squeezing! Love them! You must get some! And I'm certain you need a magnetic moustache for your fridge photos to go with.

My new Tea Kettle art bag. Can be used or displayed. It comes with real lavender sachet disguised as a tea bag, and bean bag weight to hold bag upright if the bag is meant for a shelf display. I have two, and one will go onto my etsy shop tomorrow.

Back side of bag. Backing fabric and inside made of vintage American cotton. Lavender sachet "tea bag" seen here.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Good Deeds and Good Deals

I'll be in this month's Meet Your Maker show on Saturday!  Local friends, please come visit!

On another topic:
My good deed for the day?  
The kids and I spotted a mother duck escorting her NINE tiny ducklings across the supermarket parking lot.  Right across the three lane driveway next to a busy street!  

Why was she there?  Where was her mate?  The only thing we did know is that she was probably making her way to the canal.  We put on our super hero capes and came to her rescue.  Good thing too, with three business driveways to cross, through a parking lot, AND a crow coming after them, they clearly needed our help.  And of course I'm the super mother duck watching the duck family AND my five and eight year olds amongst the cars.  We scared the crow off after a few tries, and hand helped the smallest ducklings up over the curbs.  Mother duck seems to appreciate the help.   We escorted her all the way to the canal.  HOpe she stays there!  

"No Paper or Plastic, please!" Heavenly Market Bags

Fact: one million plastic bags are being consumed on this planet every minute!  Yuck.  

Good news fact:  every cloth bag made has the potential of saving 100's of plastic bags from coming into use.  Buy my market bags, or read on to learn how to make your own.

Check out this scenario:
You have your list, your grocery cart, and are happily shopping.  You reach the produce section and are thinking," Yea it's burrito night, I need some fresh tomatoes and avocado....".  Passing right by that cluster of people pulling plastic bags off the role, you pull out your fav David Bowie concert t-shirt shopping bag and load or produce gently into the soft cotton.  

At the check-out stand, they ask, "Paper or plastic?" and you answer, "Neither, I have my cloth bags" and you hand over three up-cycled t-shirt bags that fit right into the cashier's plastic bag loading slot.  The world stops just for a moment, "NICE...." sighs the cashier, and proceeds to fill your t-shirt tote bags with groceries.

Back at home, you carry the bags in, happy to have that soft cloth in your hands, rather than pinchy plastic or tearing paper.  You unload your fresh produce and roll the bags up, placing them all inside the smallest one, and set the soft parcel on top of the fridge for next trip.  

Up-cycled t-shirt market bags are the way to go!  Washable, sustainable, beautiful!

--MAKE YOUR OWN-- the how-to section--
Today's how-to is a great recycled cotton tote bag called the MorsBag.  It's more than a bag, it's a movement!  Check out this great website:  Morsbag.  You can download the pdf pattern to make yours, OR watch it made in animation directions!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Invisible Arms

My French Press coffee pot cozy made this collection from Oregon artists. I should write that tutoral on using the French press.  Makes amazing coffee at home.  To do list...... 

I'm completely fascinated with purses, bags, and pouches right now.  My studio is amuck with zippers and little squares.  I try NOT to use rulers in the studio, not because I don't like them, but because I like to hand cut.  I like the look of natural lines and curves and made up sizes and shapes.  But for little lined bags?  It's back to the ruler.  Actually, I probably use a ruler more than I think I do.  I probably have an extra set of arms, one that holds the see through ruler, and one that works the circular cutting blade.  THAT's how things get done around here!  Ha, I've figured it out.  While I'm busy playing with fabric, sketching, and thinking up lovely things to make for the inhabitants of the world, my invisible arms actually MAKE the stuff!  Mystery solved.  

Much love to all

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wed Garden Tour

This must be my favorite color of rose! I'm not a big rose grower, but now that I own a house, I can choose to be. It's our second spring as homeowners and we feel more excited than overwhelmed this year. There was so much WORK to be done last year, but now we are able to add "nice" things, not just necessity and clean up stuff.

I went on a garden tour with my mother this week. Music in the Garden, actually, where you get to tour six different gardens, many of which include lovely live music, at your own pace, by following a map. We visited two gardens out of town, with some acreage, and four small, in-town yards. It amazed me what one can do with a little yard! I've enjoyed these garden tours in the past, but it's even more fun when you have your own house to collect ideas for. Although, for me, this tour was more conservative. I like the wild and wacky gardens best.

This is a miniature house put in one of the many garden rooms this property held. I had to bend down to peer in the window. They have a little sitting room in there, but it's used to house the garden furniture during the winter. Miniature mailbox, and watering can and flower beds out front. I really appreciate garden rooms and was surprised that even small yards can have garden rooms AND space for secret gardens, tucked in the corner.

I liked this rustic brickwork and dry "creek". We are thinking about putting in some brick or something for an extended patio (next year!).

Moss took over the bird bath!

Normally, I don't like anything near the "country" look. NOt into rusty things, but this caught my eye. Found it fun and charming, this little mobile garden with gnomes. Is it my fondness for gnomes, or that I have a rusty old wheelbarrow that needs a purpose? That it's a miniature garden? All three, really. Check out the close up below.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Dog Portrait Artist?

I've had some fun making custom Father's Day coffee cozies with dog portraits. It's challenging to make a tiny portrait "drawing". I'm drawing with my machine of course. Challenging because it's very small, so lines need to be rendered simply but capturing the character. Above is Ella, a Golden Doodle! She's so cute. The back of her cuff is all treesie and woodsie. I like how it turned out.

Below is a Weimeraner (I think I've got that spelled wrong). He's on a hot chocolate cup cozy.

Happy Father's day everyone!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Favorite Little Things

I'm excited to introduce Lil Buddha Bags in my etsy store. There will be a bigger, padded style, and a Buddha Tote. They are in gorgeous bright colors with gold accents. You get two different Indian style Buddhas on each bag.

My new little rider. First try without training wheels!

Little pavers I found under the grass while putting in the Buddha Bamboo garden. I love the worn look in the front, stepables garden. I'm installing them as a way to walk through, but also to keep the neighborhood kitties from using the dry soil there as a litter box. The orange cord powers the purple sparkly lights on the entrance.

Small, furry Huntress Spider. See the upside down smiley face on her bottom?? It's so cute, it's hard to be afraid of her, even though she can JUMP!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Time of Year Treasury

How Sweet is this? If you click on the photo, you can see it enlarged, but the individual links are disabled since this is just a screen shot. Thanks so much for putting my Happiness Blooming cozy in this collection! I think the treasury is so much fun because we get to take turns being little curators.

Do you KNOW you can get your daily horoscope at the very bottom of my page. Scroll scroll scroll down and click on your sun sign. I am very proud of choosing colors and installing this thingie, so try to use it once in a while just to make me happy. (NOt that I can tell if anyone uses it or not... but just to say.... lol)

I'll have a "Lil Things" post later today. It's shipping morning and I gotta stay focused. Love to all!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Happy Father's Day coffee cuff! He gets a rugged but cozy and hip coffee cozy complete with mascot. For sale in my ETSY store. Same day shipping.

REally FUN yardsale score! Vintage mushrooms on electric blue. Tiny print.

Ahhhh....... nothing else need be said for this moment captured........

My new hipster camera bag.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the brains behind Bullfight. Check out her screen printeddeliciousness on etsy, and handmade undies!!! Yes, wonderful indeed. Ash, thanks for the recommendation, you buddy bought one from me. Happy sipping!


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Garden Wednesday

Wednesdays is the regular spot for me to get to share some garden photos or a story. We put in a flower bed for sun loving flowers outside my studio, with Jasmin, Clematis, and other goodies. I HOPE we can keep the hens out!

And just around the corner, we added the Buddha Garden - just as I pictured it in my mind! I've always wanted some bamboo. We've been cutting down junk trees in the yard, and I needed something to replace the ash shading that studio window. It took awhile to find some bamboo petite enough. We'll be adding some other planters and collecting some grasses and such.

In the little guy's flower garden. See the shade loving flowers begin to sprout.

Ready for an urban chicken update?

Here are Star and Lacey, just out of their chicken run. They race to the salad bar, which is clover, and gobble a bunch down, before a good dirt bath in the gravel pile, and flipping leaves for bugs. I love the quality of light in this photo. It's been so overcast in Oregon this week, you wouldn't believe this is mid afternoon. The glowing green reminds me of hiking in Ireland.

Lacey is still broody, not laying us eggs and neglecting her friendship with Star. We all sigh....

Here's a funny sight! The brown egg is a regular "large" brown egg from the store. The middle egg is Star's regular egg, and in my hand is a SUPER EGG of Stars!!! Ouch? I haven't cracked it yet. We are taking bets if it's a two yolker or not.

I actually did NO sewing today! I went on an all day bike trip with my older son's class. The weather was cool and dry. We had a lovely day exploring nature, the wetlands, and crusing the bike path.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Grace! I'm sorry! Please forgive me for taking so many photos of the kittens!!! I'll take more of you. You who is such a lovely cat, who's love I never take for granted. Please don't ever hide my camera down behind the grill again. OK? Pretty please??! With kisses on top??....

This is what my cutting table looks like. I'm designing my summer series of coffee cozies.
Strawberry Fields and Hot Chocolate are already in my ETSY store....

Strawberry Fields coffee cozy is a love letter to my strawberry patch making a valiant effort to ripen it's berries in this crazy cold spring weather. My neighbor Melissa is already eating a bowl of strawberries out of her garden each day!! So to encourage mine, I created a tribute cozy.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cuteness Emergency

I was taking photos of all the wonderfulness we were doing in the yard this weekend, and I put my camera down somewhere weird. I guess. Sunday, the kittens went from sleeping companionably next to each other, to sleeping all snoogled up and I searched the house shouting, "Cuteness emergency! I can't find the camera!" But no luck.

Now anyone who sells on Etsy knows how important a camera is! I MUST have it today. I'm finishing my NEW Hot chocolate cup cozies and can not post without the camera. URG!

Dear Readers, please use your artsie mind powers to LOCATE my camera and write to tell me where it's hiding? In the meantime, I'll share a treasury that makes me drool. I just love the colors. If you click the photo, it will get big so you can see it.

I found an AMAZING vintage mushroom cluster piece of fabric at a yard sale this weekend. I'm not sure what I'm going to make it with yet. I just love it! I'd show it to you, but need a little help finding my camera...........

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Kitties - Warning: Disgustingly Cute.....

Here's our new kittens, on their first evening with us. Saffron is the orange fuzzy fellow, and Sage is the 1/2 Siamese. The Cat Rescue people report them to be 8 weeks, but Sage is much bigger. Saffron is still kitten clumsy.

The KIDS had no idea where we were going on Surprise Thursday. Max said she needed to get some cat litter, and we'd have to stop there first. Both kids groaned. We walked in, showed them the cute window of kittens and said, "Surprise! That little kitty is ours, and we just need to pick out an orange fuzzy friend and take them home!" They were so happy. They've only been around older cats, so this was really lovely for them. We petted both fuzzy orange kitties and picked this lil fellow out.

Sage is pretty mellow, and way more aloof. Maybe he came from a wild litter. All his siblings were white with extra toes. He's such a handsome one! His blue eyes are ringed with real lavender. He's very playful but doesn't purr when we pet him. He sleeps near us but not super snugly. He likes Saffron. Max assures me he'll warm up.

Saffron bonded to us right away. He purrs if you even LOOK at him. Loves snuggles and petting and feather toys. So horribly cute. I've always wanted a fuzzy orange kitty. I dont think I've ever picked kittens out. I've always had cats or kittens come to me. This was a real treat for everyone.

What do the big cats think? This says it all. Tonka (left) and Grace (right) are Max's 13 year old cats, who are siblings. They've lived with many other cats and will be fine. Tonka is adjusting quickly, and is already sleeping on the bed with the kittens. Grace gave us her "butt" for a full day, and boycotted the bedroom/bathroom where we are keeping the kitties and where the big cats usually spend most of their time. You can see her body language in the photo as she watches the kittens play on the floor. .......