February 28, 2010

Project Runway Sunday

Several months ago, a chic and trendy not-just-fabric shop opened here in Fairfield! It's called Make & Mingle and is co-owned by three wonderfully creative women, Alexcia, Karen and Natalie. Their shop is colorful and inspiring with craft project ideas everywhere. There are embellishments galore and even funky furniture to lounge around on while you dream up your next creation. It's an all-round super hip space and they'll even host craft parties!

Today, my girlfriends, Casey and Amy, and I went to Make & Mingle for a really fun workshop with Maya Luz, one of the incredibly talented contestants from this season's Project Runway!! Anyone watching along? Do you love her or what?! And no, she wouldn't tell me who wins (as much as I tried to pry for even a smidgen of a clue. She did smirk though, which made me wonder if it could be her? hmmm).

Maya showed us how to make a clutch handbag out of old clothes that we were asked to bring in. Hers looked very cool (um, to give you an idea of how mine turned out...when I brought it home and showed it to my husband, he put it right on his head. If I were on Project Runway, they'd have to rename it "Project Runaway" so maybe I'll show you next time). But having fun is what it's all about, and here are Amy and Casey having a great time:
Maya was nice enough to show me her sketchbook and to share a bit about the concepts for her new clothing and accessories collection. I really love looking at artist's sketchbooks—that's where it all begins. And there's something about those initial marks on a piece of paper that contain all the energy for what's to come. It's like inspiration made visible, an idea made concrete, which sets things in motion. Beginnings are such an exciting part of the creative process and it was obvious that Maya was well on her way! Such talent!

And as if things couldn't get better, ya know who else was at the workshop??? YA, Ms. Sis Boom herself! Now Jennifer, we're supposed to be making handbags, not uh...fancy summer dresses!
Seriously though, it was such a wonderful joy to meet Jennifer Paganelli. She is so nice and so much fun and we totally clicked from the moment we met. She showed me some beautiful quilts that Nancy Geany had made from Jennifer's new line So St. Croix — which is just gorgeous. If you haven't seen it, you should check it out. She's giving away 5 yards of it (in 1 yard increments) on her blog. Head on over and leave her a comment. I did! Nancy was with us today too and it's a good thing we had a project to do, otherwise I think all we would've done is talk and laugh!

It was a great day and thanks to Make & Mingle, not only did we make new handbags (or in my case a new hat), we also made new friends. What could be better than that? I wish Maya much success as she follows her dreams!!

Me, Maya & Jennifer

February 24, 2010

Paper Magician

A couple weeks ago, I went to an amazing show at the Museum of Arts and Design (aka: MAD) in New York City . The show was called "Slash: Paper Under The Knife" and featured 52 artists from all over the world who use only paper (and maybe some glue) to make elaborate sculptures, wall murals, and installations. Some of the cut pieces were so intricately detailed and lace-like it was hard to believe a person's hands actually made each of the teenie (and i mean teenie) and precise cuts. Kind of hard to describe exactly how staggering and incredible it was...and the photos on MAD's website do not quite capture the awe i felt while staring at them with my jaw hanging open in astonishment.

But...Peter Callesen's photos do. He's a paper magician. I think you'll agree. He uses only single sheets of paper to create...well...go see for yourself (i highly recommend checking out the "A4 Papercut" section. "Snowballs" is one of my favorites). You'll never look at a piece of paper in the same way again. Here's just one of his creations to give you the gist:
photo is ©Peter Callesan
See what i mean? A. single. piece. of. paper. W.O.W.

February 23, 2010


...Verna is 20% off all in-stock (they're carrying the whole line!) over at QuiltHome.com. Use coupon code verna20 at checkout (coupon expires at 11:59pm PST on Sunday February 28th). Oh, and only one coupon can be used per order. This was supposed to be a "newsletter only" special, but Heidi at Quilt Home suggested I share it with you. How nice is she?! Quantities may be limited...so click on over soon (or now)!

February 22, 2010

Hope Springs Eternal

I've always loved the sentiment in that proverbial expression, but had no idea where it came from. Maybe you already know or maybe you've wondered about it, too (or maybe not)? With things like this, I'm sometimes reluctant to ask anyone thinking for sure that they'll look at me with a surprised "how can you not know that" face. Do you know the one I'm talking about?

So anyway, I looked it up. And in case you were wondering, "hope springs eternal" comes from a poem called "An Essay on Man" by the English poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744). Pope first published it anonymously because he wasn't so sure about how it'd be received by his readers (maybe I'll keep this in mind for future fabric lines *wink*). Interesting..

Then, I got to thinking and maybe the expression should be "spring hopes eternal"? Because look at these little cuties I spotted in our garden over the weekend:

These mighty little snowdrops and crocuses have pushed their way up through frozen ground and melting snow. A bit of hope that Spring is on its way! The signs are out there (if you lie on your stomach, squinch one eye shut and look really closely).

February 14, 2010

Ultimate Funk-Buster


This cutie handmade Valentine was sent from my sweet aunt. What a great idea huh? I love it!
(and her)
And these are for you! xo

February 13, 2010

Funk-Buster #4

Sharing some fun with a new friend.

Let me elaborate...

Back in January, i gave away some fabric. I had asked people to leave an inspirational quote on my blog to be entered in to the drawing. Every time a new one popped up i'd eagerly read it and then, being the curious type, i'd click on the name to see where the person was from. It's amazing to be a part of a community that spreads so far and wide. Thanks to the internet, we have a chance to cross paths. But i digress..

One day, this quote came in. It was from Joyce.

No legacy is so rich as honesty
- William Shakespeare

Clicked on her name...Cleveland...then I saw that she has a blog...so i went to her blog...fun! This was her blog entry the day i visited. It was so touching that i wanted to celebrate too!

So i left her a comment.
She sent me her address.
i mailed her daughter Sarah a little something.

And then just yesterday, i got a note from Joyce that led me to her latest blog entry.

I was so surprised and left teary-eyed after watching her heart-warming video.

So i just wanted to share this with you and to say that this was an invaluable reminder to me that if an opportunity arises where you can do something kind for someone...do it.

Thank you Sarah and Joyce, for giving me the wonderful chance to know you. (Sarah has a blog, too! why not stop by and say hi)

February 9, 2010

Funk-Buster #3

It's so cold out today and they're predicting lots of snow for tomorrow (we'll see). The big blizzard missed us last weekend and i wonder if our local weather people felt kind of left out — which could explain their hyper-excited forecasts for significant accumulation this time around. Of course like all weather people, they conveniently don't commit to their predictions and leave us with an "iffy" report at best. Notice words like "possible" and "chance of". However...

During the summer when I was 14, I set off for quite an adventure. I signed on with a teen tour group for a month-long bike trip from Portland, Oregon through the redwood forests of northern California, down the coastal highway all the way to San Francisco. Sounds like a lot of fun, doesn't it? Well, it would have been had I not fallen off my bike on the third day and broken my collar bone. Disappointing for sure. But why am I telling you this? Because unlike the weather people, I am incredibly accurate with my ability to predict rain within 24 hours. My collar bone will have a solitary ache and I'll know to pack an umbrella the next day. Crazy, huh? Just curious, would this be considered a superpower? Too bad it doesn't work for snow, too. Or picking lotto numbers.

Getting back on track: February Funk-Buster #3 — at this time of year, I always dream about going to some extravagant spa to melt away the winter blahs in a bath of exotic sea salts or a luxurious, revitalizing lavender luminescence massage treatment (you can basically put any sublime adjective in there and i'd be happy..try substituting "divine", "indulgent", "radiant", "purifying" etc. etc.). But I only get so far as making a glass of what I like to call, "Spa Water", and maybe taking a bubble bath.

Recipe for Spa Water: 1 orange slice, 1 lemon slice, 3 cucumber slices, a lot of imagination. Combine all in a glass of water and get ready to be swept away. Refill (often).

February 4, 2010

This should interesting...

My husband and I love to garden, but right now, the ground is rock. solid. frozen. You can imagine how excited were were when Pete's sister sent this to him for his birthday:

Fun! We'll be growing our own Smurf village! Stay tuned.

PS: Can't believe i actually pulled these out after so many years. I sometimes joke with hubby that my bag of Smurfs is part of our retirement fund (if only.) Guess I'm trying to justify the dust they collect on the shelf in our basement. Anyone else spend your hard-earned allowance on these? Come on, admit it. If not Smurfs, did you collect other things? I'll tell you about one of my other collections (my favorite one) in another post : )

One more thing...

How could i forget!? Also this week, Vickie of Spun Sugar Quilts shared her "Skinny Verna" recipe on the Moda Bake Shop for another really *fun* and very *simple* table topper! Yippeee! *wink*

Catching Up

Whew, so much to share this week. First off, i'm tickled silly that Verna yardage is now shipping! So despite what Punxsutawney Phil said, Spring is coming early! Yippee! The Jolly Jabber asked me to share some thoughts about my first fabric line hitting the shops. Hard to put into words, really..but you can read more here. Hmm, just realized I use the word "Yippee!" a lot (with varying number of "ee"s and "!!!"s). What can i say? I get excited. On that note...

...thank you all so much for loading my inbox with wonderful notes of encouragement, kind thoughts, and inspired creative visions. It's an immeasurable joy for me to be able to share what I do with you (with help from the amazing Moda, of course)! I never realized that quilters are secretly spreading an epidemic of happiness. All I have to say about that is...count me in!

Which is why, when I learned that the Fat Quarter Shop had picked:

for the:

I signed up immediately! One look at the incredibly talented group of designers who were contributing their block designs, and that pretty much did it for me! I mean look at this list:

You can read more about the Block of the Month here (and even get a sneak peek of one of the blocks!). Mind you, I'm really new to all of this, have only a general idea of how it works, and my sewing skills...well...they're improving. So why not head over to FQS to sign up — and then let me know you'll be doing it too so when I need help, I'll know who I can turn to! And if you don't participate, this adorable quilt kit is also available:

(this one uses the super fun panel! How can you resist!?)

And just this morning, I saw that another cuuute Verna quilt recipe is on the Moda Bake Shop! It's called "Easy as Cake" (amen, thank you Konda). When I clicked on the link to Moose on the Porch Quilts, it dawned on me that 1) I've only seen a moose in the road, but one on the porch? Wow! and 2) I actually have one of Konda's books! Simply Charming is on my desk rightthisveryminute. I guess it's fair to say that the words "easy" and "simple" are incredibly appealing to me. As are "fast" and "fun" (in case you're looking for a book title for beginning quilters).

So what all this amounts to is that each day is full of surprises and I'm grateful for each one of them and each one of you.