Friday, November 30, 2007

Sunny Bunny

I down loaded the pictures from Thanksgiving and there were these of Sio's bunny whose name is Sunny. She was adopted from a shelter and is neutered and litter trained. She is in her carrying box before Sio took her out; Siobhan brought her over to visit grandma when we were both having dinner over there. She is the cutest bunny I've ever seen.

Simply Quilts Inspiration and Haunted Apt

Carla and Siobhan make fun of me because I get up at 6:45 am to make sure I don't miss Simply Quilts on HGTV. I don't care, I am taping all the shows because there's a lot of good tips, even if I don't always like the projects. This mornings show though was an inspiration and something I want to try in the very near future. The person who was the guest took a lot of different fabrics (she said you could use as few as 14 but as many as you want; one of the examples had over 70) and cut them into 1 1/2" strips and then sewed the strips back into a large piece of fabric. She kept color families together so the there were waves of color across the fabric; blues, yellows and purples in the example she was making. She then made a large ( I think it was 9", but I'd have to back and check) set of templates for a Drunkards Path. She cut the L-shaped pieces out of both the pieced and non-pieced fabrics, and did the same with the circle pieces. It all went back together looking very very cool. She said she usually starts with a focus fabric and then pulls in all the different fabrics that go with it. One piece was a Christmas wall hanging, and the focus was a poinsettia print. She also has cut out a poinsettia here and there and then appliqued them randomly back on the quilt top. I am really excited about this because she used a ton of batiks and mottled fabrics, so the possibility of using hand dyed fabrics for part of the piece is intriguing to me. I have a show tomorrow and I have some things to do for it but if I have some time later today I am going to pull out the dyes and play around with them. I could make a small piece, like a cushion cover for an experiment.

I made this sweet little pouch which I listed in my Etsy store but I hope it doesn't sell; I love the fabric so much and I only had a small piece of it, less than a 1/4 yd. I inherited it from a friend who had to downsize her stash dramatically a couple of years ago and I got a lot of her fabric. I also made a little wristlet purse too. I like it too, but the little pouch is so much cuter. I have no idea what I would use it for, which is why I listed it right away, but if I think of something I will unlist it.
John and I went to Chris and Richards to watch football last night, and a buddy of Chris' from work was there. Somehow or other we started talking about the apt. and Chris insists both the apt. and the bar are haunted. His buddy, who has lived in Lombard his whole life says it is, too. Chris said things get moved around quite a bit and even with his own sleepwalking habits (he has been walking in his sleep for years and has been known to do a fair amount of moving of objects himself), there are things that go missing or are moved even when there is no way he could have done it. Plus he doesn't sleepwalk in Punkys Bar, when he goes down there he's always awake. He said you can feel the ghost sometimes. I know Carla said she thought the place has a ghost. The building is pretty old; I would say that it was built in the early 1900's or late 1800's. I noticed a historical plaque at the other end but I couldn't see the date in the dark as we drove past. I'm going to look this weekend if we go over there. According to Chris' buddy, the upstairs apt was a tattoo parlor in the 60's and maybe early 70's. The bar has been a bar for 40 or 50 years, although it wasn't always called Punkys. Rich had said he thought the whole place was some sort of boarding house at one point, but Chris' friend said he heard it was a half-way house. Anyway, my curiosity is up now and I want to find out as much about the building as I can. it's possible that one end is newer than the other, both Punkys and the cleaners next door is faced with a different stone than the other end of the block, although the apt. is brick like the other end, so maybe the different stone is just a facing put on over the brick. Chris said the cellar is made with those old stone blocks they used to use, and the woodwork in the apt certainly seems to be a style from the late 1800's or possibly a little later. Pat at work belongs to the Lombard historical Society and I'm going to see if she can help me dig up some info.

I sold a Christmas stocking on Etsy the day before yesterday, it was my first sale in over a week.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Patchwork Belt

I saw a belt kind of like this and thought I could make one. It actually was really easy, and took less than an hour. I used 4 different prints, all from the same fabric collection, and then a dark brown on the back. It fastens with the end threaded thru 2 D rings. I could have used an interfacing with a bit more body, and I will on the next one. These could make some really nice presents, or I could make half a dozen for the last craft show.

I can't find the embroidered stocking anywhere. I was almost done with the embroidery and it just disappeared. I had it at work, but I'm sure I brought it home. I really want to find it and finish it. It's been gone since this past Tuesday.

We had a really nice Thanksgiving over at Richard and Chris' house. Siobhan was really interested in learning how to make Thanksgiving like mom does, especially the stuffing. It really is the greatest stuffing ever. The guys watched football, and the Star Wars; Irene had never seen it so she watched it too, and we stayed til it was over.

I finally found some shoes today at Shoe Carnival. They always have buy 1 pair get the second for half off, so I got gym shoes and some cute strappy dress shoes that are kind of on wedges. They had a pair of loafers I liked, plus some really nice heels that were pretty high but not skinny; I might go back for those next week.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas Table Runner

I stopped work on the stockings to make this table runner for my mom. She wanted one for her coffee table, and this one should be ok. It measures 45" x 16", and is made with strips of leftover Christmas fabrics from other projects. I did a quilt as you go so it went really fast. If she doesn't like it then maybe it will do for the mantle here.

I'm almost done with the partridge embroidery, I wanted to get it finished over the weekend but I worked on Saturday and then we had errands yesterday, plus John and I went out for a bit. We hadn't been to a casino in at least 6 months, probably more like 8 so we went and played video poker and had a lot of fun. We played 1 coin at a time and made the money last for awhile. Anyway, I'll finish the embroidery today and maybe make the stocking too.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Partridge in a Pear Tree

I bought the Aunt Martha's Holiday Transfers at work yesterday, and decided to do an embroidered stocking with this motif. I am using some of the vintage linen I got from Joanie to embroider it on. I took the picture with my two possible fabric choices for the cuff, but the green isn't showing up too well. It's the same as the red. I might do some beading on the cuff, too. I'll probably do the back of the stocking either in the cuff fabric or maybe just muslin. I'm going to line it in muslin too.

Joan was in China and she bought back a silkworn cocoon (dead, of course), and some unspun silk for us. Melissa called last night and I told her about it; I am waiting til she gets in to try and spin it. I have a lightweight drop spindle that she said would be good.

I think I am going to start baking this weekend while the guys are watching football. I'll make them chili or something easy for dinner. Sio wants cranberry bars so I might make those, and then maybe something that will freeze well.

It's pretty cold today and I confess I'm listening to some Christmas music even though it's really still a bit early. It just goes well with the stocking.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Vintage Stocking

I have been holding onto this piece of vintage fabric for about 6 years waiting for the right Christmas project to hit me over the head. Well here it is, a stocking that I trimmed with vintage lace. And I still have enough fabric to make another stocking and at least 1 pillow!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Where Have All the Prophets Gone?

Thanks to Jimmy for reminding me about the Bob Dylan song "Masters of War". It's a truly great song that resonates now as much as it did in 1963 when it was written. Pearl Jam has done a great cover, which Jimmy also brought to my attention: Anyway, as I said in my post yesterday we had some really good discussion over coffee and it was nice to have Siobhan there to add a little light from a younger generation. I know what she thinks about a lot of these issues because we've discussed it, but there seems to be a dichotomy between what she feels and what she can do about it. I think she sincerely cares about what's going on in the world around her; she sees the suffering and the hopelessness that is a real part of a lot of peoples lives, but I think she believes that she can't do anything about it. I know while she doesn't have a lot of sympathy for US soldiers that are fighting and dying in Iraq (she thinks they should have known better than to join the Army or whatever, a point I disagree with , but we'll leave that for some other time), she definitely feels for the innocent Iraqi's who never wanted us there in the first place and are now part of the death toll because of it. And not just the war, she has really strong feelings that to be able to withstand the coming energy crisis, as well as a lot of the other problems that will be her lot in her lifetime; in spite of the pity she might feel for others; she has to make sure that she and those she cares about make it, and if that means other people die well so be it. She knows that recycling and switching light bulbs and driving hybrids is not enough to save life as we know it. Anyway, it's not so much about the common good as a survival instinct is what I'm hearing. Which leads me back to the original point of "Masters of War". I have always wondered why there doesn't seem to be a poet who speaks to and for this generation on the issues that matter to them. The last band that I can think of besides Pearl Jam who brought attention to and tried to get people to act on issues was U2. There doesn't seem to be a political voice for this generation. I can't believe that they are so selfish that they just don't care enough, although I have to say that Siobhan believes that's the reason. Do all of them see their futures as a fight for survival in the mass of problems that preceding generations have left them, and that's all that matters? Is it so hopeless that there aren't even any prophets for this generation? Or are they being lulled into silence by other things before they gain their voices to speak out? Like the media; TV and advertising and all the other trash that's thrown at everyone everyday? Or is it because the end of the world truly is coming, and there are no prophets to speak because there is nothing to speak of? Have we as a race really lost our shot at repentance and reparation? I don't want to believe that. I prefer to think that it's something peculiar to this generation, and that it will pass and change into something better. As things change, as the media is silenced, as the structures fall apart, as the center comes undone those voices will awaken and there will be the leaders of the future as there was of the past. I don't know what I believe in anymore, but if there is some power out there I pray that it lets that be true.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Crocheted Medallion Scarf

Siobhan and I had a lot of fun visiting Carla and Jimmy in Evanston. After some lively breakfast discussion we went shopping for the day and had lunch. I didn't find shoes, which is what I was looking for, but Sio and I both bought some vintage buttons, and I bought a couple more hankies to add to the ones I am collecting for a quilt. We had lunch at a Thai restaurant that was very good, although Sio wasn't all that happy; she wanted Indian buffet. It was still a lot of fun. We went in a boutique-y womens clothes store, where there were some really nice skirts; once I drop a few more pounds I may go back and buy at least one; there were two that I really liked. There was also a scarf made from crocheted circle medallions. The yarn was wool, and there were a couple of different color schemes; one had 6 or so blue/grey/teal colors, the other was warmer. I don't remember exactly what the colors were except I know there was a gold and brick red. The ends were fringed; it was a very nice scarf. I made up a few circles using some yarn I had here; I think it's Red Heart TLC. I am using an ombre for the large medallions and a light brown for the connecting ones. It's actually quite easy, and I think I am going to order 5 or 6 different colored wools from Knit Picks and make a wool one. I like the blue/teal/grey color combo, so I might use those colors. Something with plum might be nice, too.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Vintage Zebra's

I have been going through my fabric stash, looking for fabrics that would make nice purses, and I came across this bit of vintage fabric that I don't remember ever seeing before; that being the case I certainly don't remember where I got it. I suppose it came in some vintage fabric pack that I got on E-bay. I wish I knew because I'd try and get more. The piece is only 9"x10". I really think it's cute and I need to figure out what to do with it.

A lady came in the store yesterday and she was making these little embellished wrist purses. She uses beads for her embellishments, pads them lightly, and lines them. She was using cording for her wrist straps. I asked her what she was charging and she said $25. I have a little clutch I want to finish this morning before I go to Carla's, but then I am going to pick out a fabric or two and some beads and see what I come up with. I have tons of vintage scraps I could use; these little bags were only 6"x7" or so, maybe a bit bigger but only an inch. I can embellish them at Carla's this evening, or at mom's this afternoon.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Another Etsy Sale and Christmas Stocking

According to Melissa, Pisces careers are supposed to be on the upswing this month so maybe that's why I had another sale on Etsy. This time it was the random patch skirt I made earlier this year. I got $60 for it, so I made more at home then I did at work.

I made a very retro looking stocking today and listed it, too. I wanted to make two of them, but I didn't have enough fusible fleece for the interlining. It turned out pretty nice; I hope it sells quickly.

Siobhan spent the afternoon and part of the evening here and made a bag for herself. This is only about the third time she's sewn anything; she needed help but she did pretty well on her own for most of it. I was ok with her sewing, too; I didn't need to do shots or have a nervous breakdown which is a huge improvement. It's funny, but I seemd to be ok with Melissa sewing; I don't know why I get so crazy when Sio does.
We might go up to Evanston and spend the night on Thursday, and then come home on Friday when John gets off. We haven't talked to Carla about it yet; I am going to call her tomorrow.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Soul Connection and NIN

The thing about Nine Inch Nails is that I don't like a whole lot of Trent Reznor, however the couple of dozen songs I do like I more than like; I feel a connection on some really deep level. With some bands I feel that connection with it's just the music, and with a lot of bands it's just the lyrics, but it's rare for them all to come together in the same soul scarring way that songs like Head Like A Hole, Closer, Wish and Every Day is Exactly the Same do. I tend to forget how long they've actually been around; Pretty Hate Machine was released in 1989, and ever since I first heard that album, NIN has become a part of that bit of music that touches some part of me that is real. There is so much music out there that is just so much worthless bullshit that history has no place for, but I believe that NIN touches that dark place that exists in everyone, and will be around for a long time because of it. At least that's the way it is with me. And most of life is not sweetness and light, it's dark and deep and a lot of times really shitty, but still worth every minute.
Plus, even the love songs are not really love songs, and yet they are more so than what I would consider typical love songs. I have always been one to say that the reason to run as far and fast as possible from ones soul mate is that if you have that much of a connection with one person, you'll loose yourself in that deep darkness that is the well of someone else to the exclusion of who you are and what the rest of the world is. All the classic cases did; Heathcliff and Cathy in Wuthering Heights are the couple that come to mind; Marion Zimmer Bradley portrayed Uther and Igraine that way; I'm sure there are others that I'm just not remembering right now. Anyway, NIN love songs show the depth and the loosing of self in the other. And while I believe that love at that depth is possible, and some people experience it, at the same time it's destructive and very, very scary.

Another bag

I sold the little clutch from last week. I listed it and it sold in about 6 hours. I have another one cut out in a different fabric, plus I bought some more of the oriental print I used, too. I made a large granny bag yesterday that I listed this morning, there is a picture of it here. I am going to try and list something everyday, at least til mid-December.

Sio and Chris went to an animae convention over the weekend so I watched bunny and Albert. She called me twice a day to make sure bunny was eating and Albert was ok. I haven't heard from her yet today, but I expect to before too long; I'm sure she's anxious to see them.

John took off a bit early yesterday and we went to Chris and Richards to watch foot ball. It was a nice afternoon; with the way John's been working I never see Chris anymore.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Craft Show

We did the show last Saturday, I only made $18.50, and the space was $15. It was fun hanging out though.

I sold a bag on Etsy Sunday, for $30 so that was nice. I am trying to list something every couple of days so I can keep my store looking nice. I also made this cute wristlet bag which I listed. I made 12 tissue covers on Monday, and a cosmetic bag yesterday. I quilted a pretty big piece of black cotton so I don't have to quilt a piece every time I make a cosmetic bag. I am sewing for the craft show this Saturday, too. I sold all the Christmas ornaments I had, so I am making a few more. If I hadn't already committed, I wouldn't even bother with this show.