Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Proud Owner of an Original Picasso

Yes! And it even gets better than that!   I got it free!!   In a drawing!!!

It is an original Picasso Dog, created by Carla Sonheim, for her new book, Drawing Lab.
It's my new favorite activity.

Here's another idea from her book.
And the best news of all is that YOU, TOO, can have original art from Carla if you go to her blog GIVEAWAY.   She is also sponsoring book giveaways through the artists featured in it.
Check it out through the blog link at the left of my page....Good luck.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Meet Lori Vliegen, the Amazing

    I have a new hero and mentor, and although I've never met her in person, she's dear to my heart.    I was introduced to her through her blog, which I "accidentally" stumbled upon,  but since I don't believe in accidents, I just think it was meant to be.    You get a glimpse of her heart and soul by browsing the elegant, eloquent simplicity in her art and message, and when I ordered several things from her Etsy shop, I was touched and amazed by her attention to detail and her generous showering of additional abundant gifts.   Each time I open a package from her, I get a sense of her essential goodness.   (I could go on and on, but you get the picture.)
    I love her work so much, that when I wanted someone to design a logo for a project I'm working on, not only did she heartily agree, I still can't get over the bargain I got for the professional quality.  I'm unveiling the logo now, because I just can't wait until everything is finished to show it off.   Her art is, of course, copyrighted, and my slogan is also, but we hope you'll feel the joy in it all.
Here's the fun part:   When I ordered a new supply of journals from Lori,  I decided to document the care and attention she puts into her packages.   The label:
And here is what came out of the box, all beautifully wrapped with hand made tags:
My new writing/musing/quote journal, a new watercolor portable journal,
and voila!  an extra handmade, mini matchbook-style book with our logo on it. 
 It just doesn't get any better than this.   I'm going to start a little shrine in my house surrounded by my lovingly crafted, heart-centered art from Lori.   She's the best!
Last time I ordered, she tucked in this little easel with the logo on it as a surprise.
   Here are a few other treasures:

Do check out her website and Etsy shop, and browse through her older posts as well.  It's all wonderful.  THANK YOU, LORI.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Garden's Bounty

The organic garden has already been good to us.  We've polished off the radishes, spinach, wintered-over carrots and chard, and fresh bok choy.  In their empty beds, we now have the beans and corn planted.  The tomatoes are setting nicely, the herbs are healthy and bushy.
The old saying is "Peas and New Potatoes on the 4th of July."   We dug our first potatoes yesterday, and they are beautiful.  Not only that, but just lightly steamed they melted in our mouths.  YUM.  The romaine and butter lettuce is full to overflowing in the garden and we can't give it away fast enough.  The onions and garlic are especially good.    How blessed we are.
If you live in the city, please stop by and help us eat our bounty.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

One Hour Placemat Bag

This is one of the fastest projects with a huge satisfaction factor.   The placemat comes with a border and all the edges finished, and could really be completed in a half-hour without the "extras" .....like the pockets and buttons.

Here is a photo of the inside, with the pockets I added.
And turned inside out, you can see the construction.
Just sew up the sides, then fold the side seam down so the center of the seam lines up with the center bottom, stitch across the bottom corners to miter it and voila!  It's done.
The borders were already on the placemat, and make a nice touch to the sides.
And adding the magnetic closure was easy-peasy....just cut two slits with your seam ripper, put the prongs through, add the backing, and pinch the prongs with your pliers.   I added the buttons to cover the magnetic closure.  

One side note:  the pockets are just folded fabric, and don't even need to have the edges finished if you sew them at the same time as the straps.   I ironed the raw edges under before stitching.   You will need to stitch across the bottom of the pocket if you don't want everything to fall out of them. (smile)
The only thing I would change, is that since the bag is somewhat shallow, I might permanently attach a zippered pouch for keys or change.
So much fun for an afternoon. 
p.s.  This isn't any cheaper than buying a Vera Bradley bag, it's just one you can make yourself.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Fireworks Tie-Dye

When school got out, I asked grandson Will, age barely 9, what he wanted to do this summer.  His answer:  "I want to tie-dye a 4th of July shirt."   It just so happens I know how to do that.  (Surprise!)  So yesterday, we had a mini tie-dye party.   Will just couldn't have made a more perfect spiral on his shirt,.  He had so much fun he wanted to keep going, so he made another for his Dad, and one for me, and we dumped some dye on a leftover shirt.   Will's mom had to take over the process for the little ones, but they had definite ideas on what they wanted.   Jonas came up with his own design (as usual), and Sasha wanted "red".  Their other grandparents throw a big 4th of July weekend camp-out, complete with a tents-on-the-lawn-sleepover, fireworks at dusk, a morning parade (beautiful downtown Kaysville), and a pancake breakfast.   The plan is to dress the family in their tie-dye for the parade.  I think they'll be a hit.  Hey, they should be IN the parade.
Champ was quite relieved we didn't tie-dye his fur...it was a close one.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thank you for the comments, the insights, the opinions, and the validation

I appreciate the time and thoughtfulness you all showed in helping me process some cloudy issues.   Every single comment added more depth and dimension to the conversation.  I'm looking into some core issues, and I feel it is valuable to hear from people who haven't known me my whole life, so aren't swayed by previous expectations.   I also appreciate my loved ones who contributed purely because they care. 
One more paradox to consider about this computer age is that in our high-tech world, we isolate ourselves from real people, yet being able to ask complete strangers for opinions does offer objective differences which might not be readily available.   I am deeply touched that you  made an effort to write.  I feel cared for and cared about.   In a dialogue or monologue or conversation, it is hard to "hear" the true intent of a written comment.   Seeing people face to face and feeling the connection does help, but on the other hand, sometimes the computer screen and it's anonymous nature is valuable for processing deep issues.
I hope you know how much I appreciate you.   I am finding a new focus and a clearer intent in my blogging adventures because of you.
All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things shall be well.