Saturday, August 29, 2009


May I introduce Madelaine. She is standing guard in our family room, and I just can't take my eyes off her. I have wanted a vintage dress form for ages. Not that I actually sew clothes that often anymore, but I love the dress form's shape and life size presence. I spotted Madelaine on ebay and fell in love. Not only did she look flawless and had all parts intact, but she was made the year I was born! After some intense bidding, possibly involving a little too much money, she became mine.

I think she is even more gracious in person. The linen covered bodice is slightly worn in places, but that only adds to her charm. I wish she could tell me her story. Where has she been? What beautiful clothes was created with her help? There are traces of threads and fabric stuck in her iron wheels, so I know she has been used for real.

Her measurements are 35, 29, 38, and while our chest circumference is almost identical, I am sad to report that my waist and hip measurements are a few inches larger. I look at her and realize that since she has the figure I wish for, she may be the motivation I need to get back into shape.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

to dos

My friend Mike doesn't do to-do lists. He is convinced that his former obsession with list making was one of the reasons his first marriage failed. My lovely husband keeps a long list of chores and projects on the computer, adding and deleting things as they come up or get done. He is perfectly content with his system.

I am always in to-do-list limbo. I am compelled to jot things down as I think of them, but these notes are scattered all over the house. If I am lucky enough to find them I will consolidate them into one list. Sometimes they get organized under random heading such as URGENT, BY MONDAY, LATER. But honestly, once a list is complete I rarely go back to check it. The longer the list, the more stress it induces. I don't like stress. Therefore I still keep my most pressing to-dos filed away in my brain, panic is never far away...

What is your relationship with to-do-lists? Do you add a recently completed task to the list, just to be able to cross it off? Do you use color codes? How do you organize your life? I would love some guidance and constructive advice on how to not let task lists overtake my life.

Check out my line drying post on the garden blog. I am in love with my clothes line and want to share that love with everyone. A special thanks to Jessica, who wrote so sweetly about inleaf and my work on her blog yesterday.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I am working on an art quilt, that requires a large image of the Queen Ann's lace seedpod. Rather than going through the expense of creating a screen for the printing, I had the fabric done through spoonflower, an online digital custom fabric printer. I choose their new organic cotton sateen as a base, and in a few easy steps I uploaded my image, sized it, chose my colors, and picked a repeat pattern that worked for the large format. I am thrilled with the result and the possibilities this printing method brings. Next I think I will design a small scale pattern that I can use for purse linings. I can also imagine additional large leaf images, and practical things like custom fabric labels. The options are endless, and the spoonflower site is easy to use even for non computer savvy customers. The prices range from $18 - $32 per yard, and they currently have three different base fabrics to choose from. They also have an inspirational and informative blog, weekly fabric contests, and an etsy store where a selection of their customers' fabrics are available for sale.

Thank you for the nice comments I received on my last two posts. I truly appreciate your encouragement and kindness. I have some belated thanks to pass along. Thank you Alysia of blue hour design for featuring my apron on your blog. Alysia is a talented jewelry designer, make sure to check out her etsy shop. Merci beaucoup Nat for your post about inleaf and my work! Last but not least thanks to Hayley of Ruby Wren Boutique, who used my queen ann's lace pillow as a starting point for her colour scheme finds post.

Monday, August 10, 2009

blogging reflections take two

My pondering about blogging continues. Right after my last post I learned that my friend Leah Hennen is discontinuing her blog More Ways to Waste Time. She will leave many sad souls behind. Leah is a stylish decorator, and expert ebay treasure hunter, and she has compiled the most amazing list of galleries, stores, and museums to visit, mainly on the west coast, but also online and abroad. Leah you and your stories will be missed.

This past weekend our local paper ran an associated press story about blogging, focusing on Julie Powell's writings about cooking her way through Julia Child's recipes in Mastering the art of French cooking. Her blog led to two books and now a movie Julie & Julia. The article discusses what a makes a blog successful and how success is measured. Of course this varies from blogger to blogger, for some it is number of visits, for others the amount of comments, and sometimes it is all about self expression. The key still seems to be passion for the topic you write about. If your heart is there it will resonate with others.

While visiting miss Molly's blog, I learned about the nie nie dialogues, written by Stephanie Nielsen. Almost a year ago she and her husband Christian, was in a plane crash that nearly took their lives. Stephanie was a devoted blogger before the accident, and now continues to share her thoughts about her burn injury recovery, her adorable children, her love for her husband, and living a life that is no longer what it used to be. Her writing is warm, funny, engaging, heart wrenching, and very inspirational. This is blogging in its most powerful way. I encourage you to visit the nie nie dialogues, and to support the Nielsen family in any way you can.

It is time to put my blogging anxieties to rest. I truly love what I do, and my life is rich and fulfilled in so many ways. With that in mind I will follow my heart and continue my musings about work, life, nature, creative people, and all the beauty that surround us.

Friday, August 7, 2009

blogging blues

Why? How interesting is it really for others to learn about my likes, dislikes, work tidbits, and habits? Is the world always as beautiful and perfect as I want it to appear in my blog? Is it just self promoting hoopla?

The meaning of blogging is a huge subject and I know that there are no simple answers. After a year plus of doing this I still feel like I am struggling to find my voice and purpose. I wish that blogging was more effortless. I always labor with my writing, even when I know what I want to say. I feel stressed if I don't post often enough, and even more stressed when I can't keep up with the many blogs that I love to read. The pressure is of course internal, nobody ever leaves comments like "nice blog, but you should post more often..."

Despite the difficulties I know I am hooked. Blogging has brought me tremendous joy and connected me with the most wonderful people. I can't imagine not blogging. But I want to do it better and differently, in a way that is truly mine and not just mimicking something else.

I will snap out of my blogging doldrums, do some thinking, and figure out which path to take. In the meantime I want to celebrate a few of my favorite blogger friends, all of them have a clear voice of their own. Visits to their blogs always makes my heart sing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

bundles of joy

I am a sucker for vintage fabrics. Remnants (or even better yardage) of cotton prints from the 50's or the 60's makes me weak in the knees. I spend lots of time tracking these treasures down, and sometimes end up in an online bidding war that forces me to pay way to much for a piece of orange floral print. By now I have stacks piled up in my studio, but there is always room for more...

When my friend Jenny Mitchell of Frecklewonder started offering some of her fabric remnants in her shop I knew I was in luck. I love these prints. They are delightful and whimsical, just waiting to line a purse or partake in my next quilting project.

Jenny's store is a treasure trove for many other things as well. She specializes in vintage clothing, shoes, household items, and children's books, mixed up with some of her own hand crafted work. Her Frecklewonder blog was my inspiration when I first started blogging. She is a skilled photographer and writes about children, work, and daily activities with a great sense of humor and life affirming spunk. To top it all off, her equally wonderful husband Matt is my web guru, who has helped me with my website for ages and never tires of my silly questions about order reports, RedCloth, and slices.

Here are a few of the items currently in the Frecklewonder shop. If you see something you like, hurry over because these finds never last very long.

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