Monday, September 29, 2008

the week in review: september 22-28

Last week was spent prattling about doing anything BUT the paper and yet I HAD to do the paper and I finally turned it in! Go me! The weekend was a nice weekend of doing nothing really. There was reading and grape juice making and exploring.

This week will be spent playing catch up on all that stuff that didn't get done while I thought about writing the paper. What a dork! Today it starts off with a visit to the dentist. AAACK! My poor teeth never get a break. Here's hoping I survive. Happy Almost October folks!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

same old, same old...

It's now down to THE WIRE and I am determined to turn THE PAPER in today (or tomorrow) and I have discovered that I made (yet another) mountain out of a mole hill. Oh but I wouldn't be me if I didn't, right?

See, all I had to do was write the darn thing according to the directions but I forgot that whole directions part and thought I was writing a thesis or something and it grew and grew and became something bigger than it needed to be and I finally reread the samples my professor so nicely gave us way back when and I realized something. I could have written this in my sleep. It is just as she told me. It isn't something HUGE it is something to prove I get the technical aspects of paper writing and you know what? I didn't. I don;t play well with simple instructions. This is probably why I bomb so many tests. I know that the answers on the test reflect what we were told but I don't agree with them so I cannot answer and then I fail. I get this, I know this and I still whack myself over the head for my stubborness. Why can't I just follow instructions? This is why I don't feel comfortable in the real world. I'm not like most who flow around me. I don't fit in with appearances but I know that we are alike under the least enough alike that I am sure we can get along. So that is me in a nutshell. Overthinker stage left...

Seriously though, THE PAPER will be finished this week if not today. I may take a break to bake banana bread or stitch up some needle books or read a magazine because not only do I overthink but I am easily distracted by happy, pretty things. If you catch me online playing marble lines or the like, you have my permission to pinch me (real hard) and disconnect me from the internet. Feel free to catch me noodling about and wag those fingers and get me back on track. For now though, lookie at the prettiness I come up with when I should be writing THE PAPER...At least I know my faults...

Monday, September 22, 2008

the week in review: september 15-21

Last week could be defined as a typical week in my life. It was full of busy-ness, visiting and dark bad brain moments. Like a roller coaster ride I was up, down and all over the place. Ultimately is was all good. Monday...not so good but I schlepped myself to school to be responsible.

Sometimes I set my expectations for myself up way too high. I used to berate and belittle myself when I didn't succeed, now I bake cupcakes, take a nap or watch Gilmore Girls. It's no biggie. A bad day is bad for the day, the next time I wake up it will be better. Thankfully with all the visits and fun thrown in this week there is no more bad brain but there are new eye glasses and piles and piles of works in progress all over the tiny casa. THE PAPER will be finished this week and I can then focus on cleaning and purging and cooking and baking and the making and crafting of all sorts of fun stuff!

Happy Fall everyone!

Friday, September 19, 2008

worker bee, busy bee, study bee

my head is full to the brim with all I have to accomplish and start and do and finish rather than play ostrich I'm gonna dandy myself up, swipe on some lipstick, gather my bundles of notes and papers and books and head to school to work on THE PAPER. See, on Monday, I looked my professor in the eye and told she would have it no later than the end of next week. I have committed...I should be committed. So I'm off to school for four hours where I must, must, must write something substantial. I have many many pages to fill. Then I will hit the market for what we need and some dried beans and rice or something else to put into the candy corn bean bags I'm making for the shop. When driving, one should combine all errands possible as long as they are on the same route so as to conserve gas and keep the car driving to a minimum.

I'm still working in starts and stops on teething bees, dilly bags, matryohska sachets, cozie cozies and other prettiness. The tiny casa is covered in fabric scraps and bits of thread and the scissors drawer has once again emptied itself.

Happy Friday! Here's what teething bee wings look like in stages.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

dreaming a-go-go

I was detained from joining the land of the awake this morning by luscious vintage linens and sweet cool air. Those two ingredients generously mixed with unpaved water flume pathways, hand sewn quilts and cotton candy so pink I wouldn't be surprised if you told me I was on acid, kept me in dreamland long enough to make for a super groggy day. I spent most of the night tossing and turning and pulling the vintage floral sheet off of the mister. Once he finally stumbled into the real world, I gathered up the happy yellow quilt, tucked my smooshable hippo under my left arm and fell into the rabbit hole. My dreams were to extraordinarily vivid, I could smell the popcorn at the summer carnival and the wet pavement near the flume pathways. The story made complete sense while it played out. From the carnival rides that spun beneath picture perfect skies, the old friends and make-believe friends that joined me throughout the dream. to the absurd like the fluffy feathery hen that stood about three feet tall that acted as a guard hen to its flock and our cobblestoned street that kissed the tiny porches of our red and white gingerbread cottage complex. There was music and laughter and games and fisticuffs over the winning and not winning of technicolor vinyl doll houses.

It was a block party of where we would live if we could truly live anywhere and in anyway. We had a garden, a workshop, a cuter than cute cottage. There were wonderfully artsy neighbors, tiny hole in the wall pie palaces and chatty chickens all around. Not a car in sight but candy colored beach cruisers peppered the pathways. There were buckets of flowers and sidewalk chalk at every junction. Art was everywhere as were smiles and laughter. We had a swimming hole, and a tin-can telephone and a pygmy goat named Bernadette. It was a magical, handcrafted, bauble filled place. Not to get all creepy on you but I hope I get to visit again!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Week in Review: September 8-14

It was an odd sort of week with lots of busy-ness, a moment of visiting, a few shenanigans with some crafting, cooking and anxiety sprinkled on top. dilly market bags were added to the shop and three were sold. Whoo-hoo! Halloween wips have been started, a swap wip was finished, flea marketing happened and a new batch of doilies have been washed. Movies were watched, floors were slept, naps were taken and migraines sneaked in. It wasn't a bad week at all, I just hope this weeks feels less anxious to me. I'm not a fan of anxious. A cold is creeping in and I need to do some mad voodoo to get it to go away. Here's to normal life, craftiness and colorful doilies tossed here and there!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


When I was in grade school I was a poster child for perfection. At least appearance-wise. I had long golden blonde hair and this wonky, crooked smile. I could approach anyone and was fearless in my quest for adventure and new friends. I stood up to bullies and protected the underdogs around me. I loved school and schoolwork, I could play for endless hours with almost anyone of any age except of course the older girls who wanted to talk about boys. I was happy and carefree and moody and whiny and always worried that my friends would leave me like my father did. Or, rather, they would go away like my sister did. I don't think I mourned the leaving of my father. As an adult I sometimes think about it and get really pissed off about the whole deal but more on the surface in how it reads in regards to my mother, brother and sister. I was so young I like to think his absence specifically didn't affect me. He wasn't really ever home anyway from what I can remember. I know it did a number on me but I like to keep ny head in the clouds. Anywhoo, that's not what this post is about. This post is about how we evolve and change yet stay the same. You know what I mean?

All through grade school I was this poster child and then puberty hit, I became a teenager in age at least, if not attitude. All my friends around me moved onto more teen-aged things and I was left behind. I wanted to be left behind. All those unknown milestones of being thirteen and older scared the heck out of me. I dug my heels in and was determined to stay a child as long as I could. I refused to conform. I was an outcast anyway since we were a bit poor. I wore chunky, clunky god-awful glasses and was not able to get braces to fix the wonkiness of my teeth. My mom sewed most of my clothes and continued to trick me into liking vintage duds. It was all to get by as I was a welfare kid and she was disabled and couldn't work. I had no idea how dismal it all was and looking back I am newly in awe of her grace, humor and industry. So there I was in junior high lagging behind the valley girls in their esprit de corp and guess jeans. I became the "weird" girl in poodle skirts and saddle shoes or black witchy boots and pleather pants in a vintage three-quarter sleeved jacket with a scarf tied round my neck. While my grade school friends merged further and further away from me with their lockers plastered with pictures of Duran Duran and Depeche Mode, I covered my Pee-chee folders with Oingo Boingo lyrics and drawings of that Selector guy from all the ska bands. My musical tastes were honestly eclectic at best. I listened to everything from Elvis Presley, Harry Chapin, and Paul Simon, to Sparks, They Might Be Giants, The Specials and The Germs. I wore out my Jesus Christ Superstar album and would fall asleep at night to Pink Floyd's The Wall or a bit of Black Sabbath.

In high school, I developed a more bizarre sense of style and did my best to emulate Lucille Ball, Imogene Coco, Cyndi Lauper and Anne Margaret. I skipped around in black oversized Oingo Boingo t-shirts with ripped jeans and knee-high stoner-style mocassin boots or psychedelic mini a-line dresses and bloomers with crimped hair and combat boots. I once carried all my personal goods wrapped up in a bandana tied to a stick a la some sort of old school hobo only to be told the stick was too dangerous. My musical taste became a bit more forgiving and I added R.E.M and some other mainstream bands to my play list but I cheered more for our local bands like Redd Kross, Thelonious Monster, Mary's Danish, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and (L.A.)Guns N Roses. I wanted to study fashion, become an Alvin Ailey dancer, own my own dance club and write children's books.

After school I dabbled in a few college courses where I met the oddball artsy kids that felt like soul mates to me. We would drink coffee at The Pikme-Up or hang out at Bourgeoius Pig or Jabberjaw and shop at Monster or American Rag. We would hit Woolworth's for grilled cheese sandwiches and chocolate malts. It was bliss. I still wanted to do fashion and dance but then I met my first serious boyfriend who introduced Syd Barret and Jimi Hendrix to my musical tastes. As the years trooped forward and my ears opened to the sounds of many more artists I found that I still preferred to cozy up to my old junior high favorites while courting the not-so-mainstream notes the indy folks out there.

Music is such a powerful tool. It can inspire and bring you back to good and bad times. It can make you weep with happiness and bring your blood pressure up in a not so good way (The Smashing Pumpkins does this to me). Music can influence your dress, your day, your smile. As I sit here and think about my fondness for the abynormal girl I have always been I cannot help but giggle at the variety of warbles coming from my tinny computer speakers. While I have been type, type, typing away I have paused to sing along to The Sweet's Ballroom Blitz. I have danced to disco by the Sylvers, crooned along off-key to Baby Don't You Cry and paused to blast World Destruction. Music, it is more valuable than diamonds or gold to me. I have recently discovered the addiction of the iTunes store and have a happy folder of oddball new tunes. If you are interested in my current playlist, gimme a shout cuz I got the fever...Boogie Fever that is.

Monday, September 08, 2008

dilly market bags.....

are in the shop and they look so pretty! Please note that fun and fancy handmade doilies are not so easy to come by so updates will happen as I find usable doilies. Thank you for peeking!

The Week in Review: September 1-7

I am a person who prefers to plan out the what of my weeks or day. That doesn't mean I'm not spontaneous but it does mean that if I encounter something that throws me from my path for the day, the rest of the week generally gets tossed overboard. Last week, I had planned on going to school everyday to work on THE PAPER but I ended up with too much visiting and the dilly doily bags. Oh my goodness! The dilly bags! I love them so much and have a bunch ready for the shop but I am finding it hard to part with them they are so very pretty. So, once I can shake this grogginess from my eyes, clear my head and breathe a bit better (darn congestion) I will venture out to the wee garden to take pictures of the bags I have ready. After that I will post them to the shop but I will update here first. Then, it is off to school for class. The fall semester has officially started. I owe phone calls to many folk who are probably throwing darts at my picture because I won't be calling this week. I have THAT PAPER to work on and much to do and all of this is very important to me. You are too, once this paper is done, I will be somewhat better. At least, I will make plans to see you. I'm not promising any phone calls. I hate the phone! So here ya go, a collage of pics from last week that is mostly dilly bags with some good eats and a tad bit of hiking thrown in. Happy September!

Friday, September 05, 2008

the september bed

September means the end of summer. Here in Los Angeles, that doesn't mean the heat goes away but fall will be here soon. With fall comes the gray skies and school and paper writing and more paper writing. September for me means new plans, new ideas, new routines and of course, a new happily made bed!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

dilly doily bag tutorial

Earlier this summer I whipped up a quick produce bag for my friend SoMany out of a dishtowel. I was planning on adding them to the shop using vintage towels and tablecloths and wanted to make a tester. We had cucumbers and rosemary to share so I went for it. She loved the idea so much that she took it to another level by adding her delightful art. They are quite nifty and I now have my very own made by her. Not wanting to ease in on her parade (a delightful parade!). I thought I would once again try to make some produce bags out of something I had at home. The two things I played with were tulle and doilies. I liked the idea of something somewhat see-thru so that a grocery store clerk could read the code if you were at a supermarket. Since tulle is not my friend I leaned more towards the vintage doilies. After a few tries and takes and takes and tries, here is what I have come up with. I'm not sure if I got pics of every step but here ya go.. Have fun!All ya need is one fun and nifty doily, a smidge of fabric (a fat quarter may work), sewing machine, scissors, pins, thread and ribbon, oooh, and a safety pin.Let's talk about doilies. They come in so many shapes and sizes so there are many ways one could approach this.** I'm going to share with you the easiest way but feel free to play with your supplies. The doily I used was somewhat rectangular with circles appearing twice in the design. I folded it in half to see how it would look and was pleased so carried on.

Lay out your doily and trim your fabric so that its width matched that of the doily. Trim as much as you want off the top for your bag depth preference.

Fold over a hem on the top of your fabric and press with a hot iron. For newbies, make sure your fold goes towards the "wrong" side of the fabric. This will be the casing for your ribbon/drawstring. Stitch it flat and get back to that doily!Place your fabric down on a flat surface with the "right" side facing up and your sewn edge at the top. Place your doily over the fabric at the bottom. Allow for a one to two inch overlap.Pin into place.Make sure your machine is on a zigzag stitch. Not too big and not too small. I had my machine turnedd to stitch size 3.Place your pinned pieces into the machine and stitch away. The doily is slippery, tricky and a little deceitful, so even if you pin there will be some slippage. Make adjustments as you go. If you are brave and feeling it, go for the contour of the doily. If not, stitch straight across. Admire your work!Remove pins and fold the whole she-bang in half with your hemmed casing at the top and rights sides together. Pin into place.Stitch the bottom of the bag first using your zigzag and then curve to the side or use a right angle if ya want. As long as you are stitching on the doily, use a zigzag stitch. Once you get to your fabric, switch to a running stitch. Make sure your needle is in the up position before you do so. Stop stitching just before you reach your casing, back up your stitches so they remain. Remove from machine.

Remove your pins, trim your edges if you need to and turn the whole thing right side out. All you need to do now is find yourself a safety pin to help guide your ribbon through the casing. I cut three times the length as one side of the bag. Knot the ends or add beads and admire your work! Don't forget to take it with you when you hit the grocery store or farmer's market!

**The bag with the yellow bottom was trimmed of its curves on the sides then fold in half like a taco. I then stitched a panel at the top of each side, folded that into a bag shape and stitched up the two sides. Another one, not pictured (but take a peek just below this.) was simply folded in half, taco-wise with a front and back panel added before stitching up the sides. For that one, I stitched along the curves of the doily. It made for a larger bag that sits a bit wonky but looks lovely when full of fruity fun. So go ahead, play!

I did it!

I finally managed to figure out a way to make produce bags out of doilies. yay! The idea has been kicking around the noggin here for a few months now. I'll post a tutorial and update my etsy shop soon! Lookie!

Monday, September 01, 2008

a return to the week in review

I wasn't planning on going back to the week in review but you folks out there keep asking me about it so here ya go. It does tweak the way one lives when you know you will be sharing it with others in an inspirational way. Would anyone really want to look at a photo collage of television watching, schoolwork and floor sweeping? Perhaps. I was on jury duty so I didn't plan much for the week knowing that at any time I may be called in. I couldn't really start any projects that would involve more than one day so I kept close to home. I visited with friends, hung out with some nifty kidlets, walked...a lot and actually did manage a day of jury duty. Here's hoping September is as productive and colorful as August.