Monday, January 31, 2011

simply the sweet life

Well now here we are on a Monday morning. Just like that. Good grief. What happened to last week? 

I guess I was so busy getting ready for CHA that the days slipped past me.

Here's what I have for you today: 

Please click on over to Simply the Sweet Life magazine and check out the Valentine's ideas in the Winter issue. One of which comes from little ol' moi.

Also, here are some pics from Margie's booth at CHA.  They aren't grand photos. The lighting in the convention center was crappy.  But you'll get the general idea.

The little masterpiece below was made by Jen Jensen.  I like to call her "The Desert Rose" because she lives in a very small town in Southern Utah. She's like a little hidden treasure.

I created a kite for the booth using Margie's "Jubilee" line of papers.

I stitched the paper together to form a patchwork that looked like fabric.

The tail wrapped around the wall. I used everything from muffin cups to tickets on a roll in the tail.

My good friend Jen Vu tagged along with me for the weekend. We had such a fun time together. She also created the most amazing bird cage using the "Vintage Whimsy" line.  I didn't get a usable photo of her project but it was a site to behold.

Friday, January 28, 2011

less schmaltz

I'm off to what I hope will be a very inspiring and creative weekend.  I love to meet and talk with other designer type people.  It makes me feel just a little less crazy.

Here's the computer wallpaper I made for February. Much better than January if you ask me. I'm done with calendars on my wall paper.  Too cluttered. Too schmaltzy. Predictable.  Now wouldn't you agree?

Feel free to download and use it.  Think of me every time you turn on your computer. It's my Valentine to you. I love you, my readers. Truly. You feed my ego.

All three of you.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

no one is having sex with the rooster

The Rooster has lost faith in love.

I spoke to him on the phone the other day.

He said, "I think I just might be a heartless bastard."

"Hummm." I sighed tentatively.  Remiss to comment on this.

"I mean, I've never been head over heels in love with anyone. I don't know if I'm capable of loving anyone in that way.  I want to.  It's just...missing."

The Rooster wants to be married, but The Rooster is afraid. He is afraid of choosing the wrong person. He's a cautious person. He's the kind of person who lists pros and cons when buying laundry detergent.

I don't have any good advice for him per se.  Just because I found the love of my life doesn't mean I know how to do it. I don't know how you know. How do you really know when you've found the one?

I do know the right person makes you feel whole. You honestly believe that if that person's heart quit beating, yours would cease as well. I know that when you are with the right person, you can feel very rich living at poverty standards.  The happiness in life is richer because they are there, by your side.  The sorrow is more bearable because they are there.  Life and time have taught me these truths.

I believe in love.  Long lasting, time weathered, passionate love.  I believe I will love my husband more tomorrow than I do today.  All the fights, celebrations, mourning, working and playing add another strand to strengthen the cable that holds our hearts together.

Are we just lucky?  We must be because I don't know any secrets.

So Brother-

Believe in the unbelievable. It exists. That's my best advice.

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.  -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This is sappy. I love it.


Remember this Seinfeld episode?

FRANK: Let me understand, you got the hen, the chicken and the rooster. The

rooster goes with the chicken. So, who's having sex with the hen?

GEORGE: Why don't we talk about it another time.

FRANK: But you see my point here? You only hear of a hen, a rooster and a

chicken. Something's missing!

MRS. ROSS: Something's missing all right.

MR. ROSS: They're all chickens. The rooster has sex with all of them.

FRANK: That's perverse.

P.S. No one is having sex with The Rooster.  He's looking for his true companion.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

a kitchy wreath

I leave early Friday morning to drive up to Los Angeles to help Margie set up her booth for CHA.  This is her second year designing her own paper and so it is really exciting to see how people flock to her booth and drool over her products.

She really is an amazing designer.

Anyway, I made a few decor items for the booth.  I thought I'd share one with you.  I used the papers from Margie's "Kitch" line to create this wreath.

It is large. Probably thirty or so inches across.  I really wanted to capture the feel of the paper which is, well, kitchy. So I dug out some of my vintage hankies and old pop tops.  I made carnations (the kitchiest flower around) out of muffin cups. And as I always say, everything is better with pom poms.  Oh Lordy yes.

The overall theme of Margie's booth this year is going to be very festive so I wanted to stick with that and make this wreath seem like a party on the wall.

Don't those polk-a-dots just give you a happy feeling deep down in your soul?  If you will be at CHA I hope I get to say hi. I will be at the show on Saturday, but then I must come home and take care of all my little chickies.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

the perfect storm

In my former life I read books. 

I read book after book, practically inhaling each page. Over time the stories have come together, sometimes overlapping, pieced together in my memory to form a haphazard version of a literary quilt. 

Looking back, I can see that there was a franticness about the way I read. As if I subconsciously knew what was to come.

What came were babies.  Two babies. Ten months apart.  A virtual whirlwind of diapers and formula and onesies and bottles.  This storm I live in is beautiful. Somedays I marvel at it's magnitude. Somedays I cower. 

I find, lately,  that my literary quilt is getting holes.  Parts of stories are gone. Names of characters and dates and places are eroding.

I think it is time to patch things up. I think I will pick up a book.

I should have done it sooner. The best way to weather a storm is with a good book and a comfy quilt.

Monday, January 24, 2011

a lofty goal

Hi there. 

I'm happy today. 

My goal is to stay happy all week. This is a lofty goal for a girl like me. A girl with a full nest and much flitting to get done.

Here's some things that tend to make me a happy bird:

* clean sheets * pebble ice and Nehi peach soda * paint on my hands * milky baby breath * nautical antiquities *  old pawn jewelry * vintage Asian art  * petrichor* * pantone color books * accordion music * striped tights * peonies * cowboy boots * belly laughs *

I recently did this collage.  It's called "The Date".  I used Margie Romney-Aslett's new papers.  They will be available in stores mid-March. You can get a sneak peak of her entire line at CHA this weekend. If you are going, pop by her booth and say hi.

It is an original piece. 24"X 24" and one and a quarter inch deep. It is available to purchase here.  I think it would go great in a little girl's room.

Smartly dressed mice? That makes me happy too.

* petrichor- n. (pronounced /ˈpɛtrɨkər/; from Greek petros "stone" + ichor the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology) is the name of the scent of rain on dry earth

The random number picker chose comment #44 who happens to be Leslie from Texas. I happen to know Leslie and I know that she has a delightful little blog where she features lovely things almost everyday.  

And now, my dear netternuts, raise your glass to a happy week. If I can do it, so can you.

Friday, January 21, 2011

a heart"felt" valentine

I gotta be honest. Wooly week has been a little, well, hairy.  I would love for my life to be organized and inspired and all that good stuff, but my children have decided it will be otherwise.  It's really quite scary how these little people rule my life.

I have many more wool projects I would like to share, but a week really isn't that much time to get everything in.  I plan on posting my wool craft ideas every now and then, when my time allows. Or I guess I should say, when my children allow.

Here's a little Valentine idea for your sweety.  Embroidered felt slippers.  I paired them with some of my other favorite things- chocolate, a good read, pink lemonade and a vintage hanky.

You don't need much felt to make these slippers.  The pattern I used called for a double layer of felt, but if I make them again, I will just use a single layer of thicker felt.

I altered the pattern a little by cutting a notch in the top. I also cut my slippers a little more roomy in the toe so that they had a clog look to them and added pom pom to the back because, please, pom poms are always a must.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

you've got balls

A year or so ago, I saw this wreath on Pickles blog.  I was smitten and I set out to make my own.  I ordered all the roving I would need to make it. I started making the balls. I made about ten and said screw it, this is taking forever. I decided to buy the felt balls already made. Then I found out how much the wreath would end up costing me and I decided to bag the whole idea.

I still want a felted ball wreath, but I'm not willing to do the work or pay someone else to do the work.  I will just have to admire Pickles.

So now I have an unused supply of felt roving. But it has been fun to play with. I've made some jewelry pieces like the earrings I am giving away. (If you haven't entered to win them you have until Sunday. Enter on Tuesday's post.)  I bought several books on felting little animals and such. I haven't done this yet but I plan to.

I bought some felting needles and I'm just waiting for a free afternoon (haha) to try my hand at felting a rabbit or a penguin. A penguin with a red bow tie would make a very sweet Valentine no?

I thought about posting a tutorial on how to make felt balls, but to tell you the truth, I ran out of time and there are many tutorials already online.  This one is really good, if you can stand to listen to her monotone voice.

If you are interested in learning more about this craft, you should check out my friend Emily Falconbridge's blog. She does beautiful work with wool and she sometimes teaches online courses.

P.S. If you want a good laugh, go to Etsy and look at all the things people are needle felting. Some of it is cree-peeee.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

wenig Überzieher

This just in: 

Apparently sheep rustling is on the rise in Great Britain. People stealing sheep. Can you believe that?  I guess, just like all the other problems in the world, they are blaming it on globalization. I mean what does that really mean anyway? Globalization. Why do they have to be so fancy? Can't they just say lamb costs too much so criminal folk are nipping them off the country side and selling them on the black market? That is what's really happening.  Let's speak plain English here. The Queen's English, if you will.

So I was thinking about this phenomenon and I was wondering about the sheep.  What must it be like for these animals? Out grazing one minute. In the back of a truck, bouncing around, the next.  And some of these sheep are pedigreed mind you. These aren't all low brow,  country folk sheep.  

Me thinks it might feel a bit like the train to Auschwitz.

"Where are they taking us dear?" A ewe might say.

"Well Edna, I'm sure I have no idea. I mean this is simply preposterous! Absolutely uncivil."

"I hadn't a chance to gather my things! Oh what about the babies Love? Who will feed the babies? "

"We'll get it sorted soon enough. Surely there has been some kind of mistake. A paper work blunder or something of that type.  Don't fret darling. "

Sad really. The fate of those pedigreed sheep.  Well all the sheep for that matter.  

I am calling for a moratorium on eating lamb until this crime wave passes.  I don't eat lamb so it shouldn't be hard.

Now back to the regularly scheduled program of Wooly Week.

I saw this wool jacket on a blog I love. The author of the blog and maker of the jacket is Maren of Die Andere Seite. 

Have you ever seen anything so sweet in your whole entire life? Really. I die.  And I wanted one for my doll Amelie.

So I wrote Maren and pleaded my case. I wrote my letter and then I used google to translate it. She was so kind and agreed to make Amelie her own wenig Überzieher,  little overcoat, and asked if I could just write in English because the translation was strange.  Sometimes I do the dumbest things.  And people are still nice to me. I like it when that happens.

Here's Amelie's coat. It's a little too big. I think she will wear it next Fall. I love it dearly.  The sewing is ridiculously perfect.  Maren is a gifted artist.

And here's more of Maren's handicraft.  Pop on over to her blog. Maybe she will make you a coat too. But not like mine Amelie's.  No, hers is special.

Photos are also by Maren

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

these boots

Every once in a while, a purchase comes along, so fundamental, so useful to your well being as a human, you can hardly believe your good fortune.  Thus it is with with my Target boots.

I bought these boots for $35 dollars. Yes. You read that right. Thirty-five. They were on sale from fifty. They are real leather. I love them from the bottom of my heart.

But, and not to speak ill of my wonder boots because they are the consummate perfection of foot wear, the pinnacle of comfort, but, they are just a wee bit plain.

And you know me.

Baubles make everything better, even boots. (Wow that's a mouthful.)  

Here's the "how to" on my boot embellishments:

You will need:
A round of leather or thick felt.
Felt flowers and leafs.
Felted balls.
A darning needle.
A metal clip.

Using the darning needle, run the yarn through the center of each felted ball and tie off the end.

Snip a slit in the leather round. Slide the upper prongs of the clip through the back of the round and glue down with hot glue.

Arrange your felt flowers. I bought my felt flowers to save time, but you can make your own. There's like a kabillion tutorials online showing you how.  Google it.

Glue down your yarn with the felted balls first. Then start hot glueing your arrangement onto the round on top of the clip and yarn.

Supa supa easy. And you can clip your little arrangement onto a headband or necklace or even your purse. We are nothing if not versatile around here. But if you want to be on the cutting edge of fashion, you will join me in my boot embellishment revolution.

Long live the Target boot.

And now... to a give away.

Leave a comment, just one.  Make sure I have a way to contact you. The winner will be announced on Monday.

Monday, January 17, 2011

needle night

Welcome to Suaviloquy's Wooly Week!  Every day this week I will be posting crafts and ideas using wool yarn, felt and roving.

There will be a give away. There will be guest posts. There will be much fun to be had.

So, without much ado, here is Monday's post:

I've wanted to throw this party for ages now.  So many of my friends knit, crochet, embroider or quilt.  Why not use our crafts as an excuse to get together?  I'm going to make soup and rolls.  There will most definitely be chocolate involved.

To make the invitations I used grid paper.  I punched on the cross lines and used it as a template on my card.  I marked where each hole should go and then I used the same hole punch on the card itself.  I used twine from The Twinery, which I think makes the best twine available.  I cross stitched the grid on the card.

I used a rubber stamp above my stitching.  

I used Photoshop to make a smaller card to go on the inside with all the important information. I added a few stitches to this card for good measure.

I'll let you know how the party goes. How can it not be fabulous?