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Currently Browsing: She’s Crafty

Fiona’s Room Redesign Take Two

So I have this not good thing about sewing. We all have our things. And sewing is one of mine.

Sewing and I used to be like this. But then several factors helped to make it a thing.

Contemplating the sewing project in the craft room on Shalavee.com

#1 – My husband got me a new machine at some point which was a nice thing but the new machine is so inferior to my hand-me-down thrift store machines of yore. Sigh.

#2 – My son then touched the buttons and knobs at least twice obliterating all tension settings. And now I can never seem to get a decent stitch.

# 3 – My mom likes to sew and thereby proves a theory I have. Women who’s Mom’s sew don’t like it much and women who’s Mom’s never sewed are sewing enthusiasts. (She helped with the chandelier chain covers and recovered pillows for Eamon’s room make over.) It’s a mother daughter punk out thing. If they want you to, you don’t want to.

the bay windows in Fiona's room on shalavee.com

Curtains have yet to be made for Fiona’s room. Remember the first Fiona’s Womb Room post and the three bay windows? I’ve come up with nothing. She naps just fine in the bright daylight so my excuse has been that I just can’t figure out what design I wanted. Until this week.

I was finally helped out of the think box by none other than my Mom. It turned out that the convoluted plans I had to make do with my two thrifted curtain panels were really unnecessary since I in fact did have enough fabric to not have to piece anything together.

Here’s my inspiration pictures for the window treatment for Fiona’s room redesign.

hand gathered roman shade inspiration on shalavee.com

Project Kid Blogger Amanda Kingloff’s DIY baby’s room

 

pink curtain rods above windows on Shalavee.com

From SF Girl By the Bay blog, those pink rods above the bay windows !

Here’s me hard at work today.

Looks like I may be sewing afterall on shalavee.com

I'm sewing these daggone curtains on Shalavee.com

Aerial view f my sewing on Shalvee.com

There was a lot of resistance at first. Excuses that always get in the way are

#1 – the baby was going to be napping and my craft room is next to her room.

#2 – The craft room is cramped for sewing purposes.

#3 – I have to measure. Ugh.

#4 – Tension problems, see above number list. 

Then I just moved the sewing machine and ironing board downstairs to spread out. So now I kinda had to do it. But my brain futilely fought. Irritated with this chore I’d so skillfully managed to put off for these past 2 years, my brain didn’t want to think for several minutes. But I had made a promise to myself that I’d do my darndest to finish by this weekend when my friend comes for dinner. And drove over the toes of my resistance.

Here’s all the cats and children participating.

Mr Crackers is helping me sew on Shalavee.com

I threw Chessie off the fabric like Four times on Shalavee.com

Fiona with my sewing machine pedel on shalavee.com

Mr. Crackers posing on the Thinking Chair with the curtain fabric. Miss Chessie had to be tossed off the table like four times. And Fiona snagged the foot pedal and dragged it and the extension cord around the house.

The painting and these curtains were my breakthrough tasks. Almost there finally. Of course you know, while trying to finish these curtains off with a nice top stitch three inches in from the edge, I ran out of thread and the stitch then got messed up again. But perseverance actually makes you feel better about yourself where giving up does not. Stay tuned for the upcoming results.

 

Friday’s Child is Full of Wow

 

As the week comes to a skidding halt, I wanted to catch you up on all the wonderful creative endeavors which have passed and some yet to come.

On November 3rd, I wrote myself a permission slip to create.  I Instagrammed my crappy cell phone picture.

permission slip from Shalavee.com

The permission slip reads:

“I hereby give myself permission to make art, To prioritize, schedule, and spend time making art. Because I need to make a change in my life.”

I went on to say, “I needed to grant myself permission. And now that I have it, there’s no question that art needs to happen every single day of my life. And that my soul will rise above the troubles I always have when I’m stuck in my think box”.

And so I began to make something daily.

 

My craft table on Shalavee.com

On my to do list were making cards for birthday gals and pen pals. And then people said how great these were and I said I’ll send you one too. So I made more. I am still making them and sending them. I’m attempting to prove that I can step up and create at any moment and that I can justify my Etsy shop with my creations. And I’m giving what I’d like to receive.

Handmade cards on Shalavee.com

I was rather Inspired by my trip to DC to the Smithsonian and meeting Kim Werker, the author of Make It Mighty Ugly.

This was written on the wall in the craft exhibit wing.

You don't Make it with your hands on Shalavee.com

My mind is such a thought labyrinth that unless I have rules to follow around making stuff more often giving me pleasure and hope, then I won’t create and that’s no good. Rules are made to be obeyed. My new rule is to create constantly. So these happened next.

painted leaves  on Shalavee.com

painted leaves on Shalavee.com

I’m still feeling a heartfelt ‘Wow’ for these leaves which were absolutely inspired by something I saw online that blew me away.

I took it and spun it my way. And these in turn inspired some other cards. More on those later.

Moonvine on Harrison Street in Easton, Md on shalavee.com

I also stopped by Moonvine to see Pama. She’s asked me if I would decorate a tree for the Hospice Festival of Trees. So that makes three Christmas trees I’ll have my hands on this year. Next week I’ll be making a proper visit to Moonvine for picture-taking so you can see all the wonderful holiday merchandise she just got in. Shopping locally is so very easy when you have these kind of covetable presents to choose from. FUN.

I'm changing on shalavee.com

I am continuing to live my hope through my creative actions and I’m definitely finding I see life a little differently with this permission finally in place. I loved this little butterfly collage and I think it embodies how I feel these days. Have a lovely fabulous amazing weekend and a wonderful Waterfowl Festival weekend to everyone in Easton, Maryland.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Day Of the Dead Art

Just say yes to more pictorial fun for the Halloween Holiday. For this final day, I thought I’d do a little, or large, tribute to the Day of the Dead. What the heck is it you ask? Here’s an official sounding blurb I copied to explain it.

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a bank holiday. The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the triduum of Allhallowtide: All Hallows’ Eve, Hallowmas, and All Souls’ Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased. And there you go. Let’s look at pictures now, OK?

American Gothic Day of the Dead on Shalavee.com

day of the dead food on Shalavee.com

day of the dead make up on Shalavee.com

day of the dead  dearly departed on Shalavee.com

Mark and Me with the Day of the Dead makeup for halloween while I was pregnant with Fiona on Shalavee.com

Surprise! Bet you didn’t expect to see us. Trick or treat.

Eamon's Day of the dead costume for Halloween 2012 on Shalavee.com

And Eamon too!

black and white day of the dead on Shalavee.com

day of the dead recycling costume on Shalavee.com

dolls for day of the dead on Shalavee.com

Martha Stewart style Day of the Dead party on Shalavee.com

Dolan Geiman, Señorita made with vintage collage on Shalavee.com

dias de los meurtos altar on Shalavee.com

day of the dead pumpkin dias de los meurtos altar on Shalavee.com

day of the dead makeup  on Shalavee.com

pink day of the dead on Shalavee.com

sugar skull wallpaper on Shalavee.com

The wallpaper? Because someone can and did. Hope you enjoyed the picture parade and I leave you and this month of 31 days straight of posts with a crafty video from a  friend Caroline Gravino and her blog Salsa Pie. Light up magnetic sugar skulls!

 

 

I Met Mighty Ugly Author Kim Werker

My last event of this crazy past weekend was on Monday night October 20th in Washington, DC. An author talk and book signing on Craft Activism at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum in the heart of DC next to Chinatown. I was dreading the long trip via car and subway. But I kept reminding myself it would be so worth it and I would be happy I went and here’s why.

Smithsonian map on shalavee.co

I went to meet a woman named Kim Werker who I know from my online world. An incredibly smart creative driven kooky woman who written a book called Make it Mighty Ugly. I can not tell you how much I admire her and am inspired by her work.

Kim Werker's Mighty Ugly Book on Shalavee.com

I got off the Metro at the Chinatown stop. I had mused the idea of grabbing some food there but I was thwarted by some really sweet 20-year-olds working the corner on behalf of an Ebola do-good program. And decided to head for the museum and eat at the café there. chinatown on shalavee.com

cute kids on behalf of ebola at the Chinatown Metro station on Shalavee.com

Chinatown shopping on Shalavee.com

Chinatown shopping on Shalavee.com

Smithsonian American Art Museum on Shalavee.com

In the courtyard at the museum on shalavee.com

Once I’d hit the loo, I then treated myself to a sandwich, bbq chips, and a tea totalling $16.78.

The most expensice chicken salad sandwich at the American Art Museum in DC on Shalavee.com

And after I took the picture of the most expensive cafeteria food ever, I heard a woman talking really loudly behind me. It was Mighty Ugly author Kim Werker. And when I approached her and said I had heard a loud woman…who I knew must be her, she almost apologized for her loudness before she realized it was me, one of her Maryland IG stalkers. And she invited me to sit down and join her and her fellow authors and talkers Betsy and Leanne. I went ahead and made her sign my book and pose for the picture. She’s on the left and I’m on the right.

Hello stalker. But I did give her a gift too. So a little better.

Kim Werker and I at the Smithsonian on Shalavee.com

Kim conceived and created a workshop that challenges people to create. Especially people who say they “could never do that” about making stuff. And her angle is to make it intentionally bad. Mighty Ugly. Because in our journey for perfection, we’ve devalued the importance of our negative experiences. They make us better at being us and yet we avoid them. And we just don’t make anything.

Kim Werker at the Craft Activism talk at the Smithsonian on Shalavee.com

Talking about ugly allows us to be ourselves”, said Kim. Her book and it’s support is exactly what I need now. Calling out the fears and the demons and doing whatever I want anyway. I had bought the book and hadn’t allowed myself to really delve into it until two days earlier. And boy how much it blows my mind to see what an amazing amount of work went into it. Her publishers were perfect for her. They helped her to step up. And made this book a work of art.

Kim was accompanied on this book tour by two other authors whose work as “capital ‘C’ crafters” lead them to interview quantities of people and compile books on craft and related causes and themes. Betsy Greer is a superstar in DC. She has made a career of focusing on craftivism, the altruistic use of crafting to better the world. Her book is called Craftivism : The Art of Craft and Activism.

Leanne Praim at the Creativity and Avtivism talk at the Smithsonian on Shalavee.com

And Leanne Prain, a Canadian and author of the book Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles. Stories that you may not expect to be told and crafters who challenge the dogma on crafts as demure women’s work. Yarn Bombing? So very interesting these three women and their books. This was their last night together at the end of their book tour.

And they each shared their crafting superhero poses.

Betsy's eye of the needle on shalavee.com

Betsy’s was the Eye of the Needle

Kims was the Crochet Hook on Shalavee.com

Kim’s was the Crochet Hook.

Leanne's was the Cross stitch on Shalavee.com

And Leanne’s was the Cross stitch.

They are all extremely smart driven knowledgeable women who have definitely taken knitting, crocheting, and sewing to the next level and I’d say, out of the box and into a totally new arena.

And they are also approachable and lovely.

Book signing at Craftivism talk at the Smithsonian on Shalavee.com

I came away feeling like crafting is really whatever you make of it.

The trick is to make it. And if you are passionate enough, to talk and make workshops and write books about it.

leah tucker's shot of the museum courtyard

Picture of the museum’s courtyard courtesy of Leah Tucker via Instagram

I met Kim and it was a bookend for me as a blogger who considers herself crafty.

And I certainly will be sharing my discoveries as I read her book. And I feel certain it will only make my life a little less ugly.

 

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Paper Chandeliers

I was asked by the Reverend Sue Browning at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Easton, Maryland to spruce up the sanctuary with the idea of celebrating the new Fall season. After a quick perusal of Pinterest, I gathered some images together and made a design plan. Ish. I decided to create circle “chandeliers” which would hang underneath three of the existing candle chandeliers in the space. These were a few of the images I began to obsess over recreating to festoon my hanging circles.

map circle garland from Shalavee.com

Map circle garlands

tissue tassel garland on Shalavee.com

Tissue tassles

flower vertical garlands from Shalavee.com

Vertical Flowers Garlands

And this is what I ended up with.

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

I used pieces of a grapevine wreath for the circle base and only spent a few dollars required to buy paint to spray them white.

The rest of the supplies like tissue paper, crêpe paper, maps from old road atlases, and the brown/kraft paper flowers, plus assorted scraps of paper (recognize Amazon wrapping paper?) were all in my possession. I just knew I’d need them someday.

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

Yes, I have lots of old ribbons too. So I began to produce quantities of the garlands and the poms to use. If I never made another tissue paper pom, it would still never make up for the quantity of pom making I can’t erase from my memory for this project.

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

After mostly pre-assembling the paper chandeliers and wrapping them up in sheets to go, the installation consisted of a giant ladder called a ‘Little Giant’, and an assist from my gal Alyssa Bennett, and about three and a half hours on a Friday night.

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

They make me so very happy.

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

And they made Rev Sue and a bunch of other folks happy too. Aesthetics win. Yay !!!

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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