Friday, August 29, 2008

Autumn Birds

Hello! The weekends creeping up on us and so is Autumn! We've already got the wonderful Fall breeze here and even a few trees have begun to change color. I've been making sets of these Autumn birds for custom orders with some vintage fabric I've collected. Maybe I'll find some time to make some seasonal potholders with these patterns.

This coming month promises to be very busy with Mr. Jake's 25th birthday to kick it off and lovely visitors from a far. Tomorrow my parents and Jake's mama will be coming down and we have a day trip planned to Montreal. I can't wait as it will be my first trip to Canada and we're hoping to find some crepes and perhaps an art museum. Have a good weekend everyone! I'll check in again soon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Adventures in Seam Ripping and Swearing like a Sailor

I had great noble goals yesterday of making myself a wallet. It seemed relatively simple to make a pattern for the fold over kind with a slot for money and slots for cards. Of course I had to make it a little more time consuming by making it quilted, but I was really happy with how it was turning out. Of course, it couldn't be that simple...

Here's the machine quilting part which was actually a lot of fun.

I didn't run into any problems until I was sewing the last two pieces together... It's hard to tell here but there was some serious bulkiness from the layers when I turned it right side out. I foolishly used interfacing wanting to make it as sturdy as possible, but with all the fabric layers from the added pocket and card slots, it was just too thick... not to mention I used a light weight corduroy for the interior. I wouldn't stay closed on its own and when held shut, the inner pocket stuck out awkwardly above the outside of the wallet. I had intended to sew around the outer edges to secure the inner seams, but it was just too thick so the raw edges were left showing inside the wallet.

So after a day of making the pattern and sewing it, I took it apart again, one stitch at a time... I tried to thin out some of the interfacing in places where it was causing difficulties and I lowered the inside part which ended up causing another problem... raw edges showing on the outer part. Ah! So.. I took it apart again. And it's still apart as there's still more I have to seam rip before attempting to fix it. I don't want any of the raw edges to be showing so I'm re-sewing both the back and front separately and then I'm going to sew them together again. If that doesn't work... it's a lost cause and I'll have to start again using thinner material and with some adjustments to the pattern.

I'm sure this was way more than anyone wanted to hear about making a wallet, but it was such a huge disappoint when I thought I had planned it out fairly well. And when you spend your whole day working on something that you end up taking apart, it's more than a little frustrating. Jake had to listen to all the cursing and feet stamping that went along with this frustration. I know there's some lesson to be learned in this, but mostly it just reminded me how much I hate having to use a seam ripper.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Paint Sample Hearts and Fall Scarves

I hope you all saw the bright big beautiful full moon last night. She was singing a lonesome song but it was altogether inspiring.

Look what came in the mail the other day! New art supplies! Hooo-ray! I got some new sketchbooks just like my old sketchbooks that I filled up but in different colors...lavender, green and blue, pretty as a picture! I originally found them at the RISD art store when we lived in Providence and was so sad to not be able to get them anymore. But I went on a vision quest, and low and behold, I found them online! They are quite lovely... my dream sketchbooks, smooth and versatile and the little ones are great for carrying along in your pocket. I also invested in some casein paints. I'm so excited to try them out. From what I've seen of them they have a similar quality to gouache but with the added bonus of being able to work on surfaces like wood and canvas. I'm just hoping they're not too frustrating, but it'll be good to experiment again .

And here's what I've been up to while watching the shop... crocheting some new fall scarves in some very soft cotton yarn. They're very simple, but I love looking at all the bright colors together.

Before I go, here is another little exercise in color... figuring out what to do with all the extra paint sample cards left over from painting our new place. They make lovely little Swedish heart decorations. Maybe I'll make some more, but I haven't decided yet.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gumtree Canoe

Sickness has made us both a little slow and useless these days. There's been a definite lack of crafting and arting and a lot of curling up in sweaters (yes, our house is actually kind of cold!) and reading books and some impromptu snoozing. This afternoon we did something adventurous and escaped outdoors for some fresh air. It's amazing what a little air can do for a foggy head. Unfortunately, after we enjoyed some time laying out on a picnic blanket in the sun, we were reminded of all the outdoor chores that have been waiting for us, like this field of grass you see Jake laying in.

(note our hobo blanket... found at fleamarket... made from old pants!)

With all the rain and a broken lawn mower before that, our lawn quickly grew and grew and grew some more... On top of that we have ten cords of wood that we have slowly but surely been stacking and trying to find a place for. Ten chords is a boat load! But it was good to tackle some of it... especially the lawn which has been gnawing at our conscience. And it also gave me a chance to pick some flowers and tomatoes. Salad tonight!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Handkerchief and Old Box

These last few days thoughts of the holidays seem to be popping in my head. I don't know why at the end summer I always jump so far ahead to winter festivities. These are some little things found and gathered... a rock from our river, a wildflower from my sweetheart, and a handkerchief from my grandma sitting on an old chest I just painted green. I keep thinking of lining the inside with pretty paper and hiding handmade presents in it. I'd really love to make all of my Christmas gifts this year, and that takes a bit of forethought. I'm also thinking about maybe painting some animals or a fun folksy design on the box. Right now we use it as a coffee table, but it could have oh so many wonderful purposes.

We're off to our weekly trip to the grocery store... we have to take the long way because one of the major roads is out from the flooding last week. But that's ok... we'll poke around in town and go to the bookstores. Working from home, it's definitely our bit of sanity for the week to go out to Middlebury and enjoy the little shops. Off I go!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Introductions and Whatnot

Hello! I'm starting this blog to share with you my artwork and crafts and other things that I find joy in, and also as a way to motivate me to do more of the things I love! I now live in the north country and run a country store with my true love, Jake, and we both spend our days making things. We hope to someday own a castle (small cottage in the woods) made of ginger bread... or maybe just wood I suppose, being that we get a lot of snow up here.

Ten Odd Things:

1) This blog is named after our kitties "Indian" name.
2) Our kitty is named after a land turtle (Terrapin).
3) Our back yard is a mountain and our front yard is a river.
4) It's 8-8-08. (and it's also my Grandpa's 75th birthday)
5) Jake is playing a round ukulele.
6) I love fresh basil to unreasonable amounts. (Jake too)
7) We've been having torrential down pours and flooding all week.
8) We have a three pound block of cheese in the fridge. (thank you visitors!)
9) Our porch is bright green. (very bright green)
10) I wish it was Christmas so we can have rice pudding.