Monday, February 28, 2011

notes from the outer edge of the galaxy

real beauty
i have a bad habit of drinking too many caffeinated beverages during the day and into the evening. if i keep the coffee confined to before about 4 p.m. and only drink one cup of tea in the evening, i can sleep. but often, i do not abide by my own rules and so i'm up late. and i actually like it that way, what can i say? last night was oscar night, so it meant i could stay awake for a bit of the red carpet (the show didn't start til 3 a.m. here, and it wasn't THAT bad).

there was a time in my life when i'd always seen all of the films nominated for best picture. i could recognize the stars on the red carpet and i had opinions about who should win (i was almost never right about who actually did win). i'm no longer that person. i had heard of black swan but not seen it. and hadn't even heard of many of the other films, let alone the actors and actresses involved. (slight digression here: why is the word actress still ok but we can't use seamstress?)

so i watched the red carpet coverage on TV2 film (they apparently had a live feed from what i think was ABC - i was a little sad not to see joan rivers' catty assessment, but those rights apparently weren't bought in denmark). since i knew so little, it was a bit like watching from another planet. or at the very least like being from another planet.

and from that perspective, it's a strange spectacle. rail thin women with tightly stretched faces and plumped up lips in beautiful but ultimately unwearable-looking uncomfortable dresses walking down a red bit of cloth, cameras snapping away. stopped here and there by mannequin-like presenters who ask vapid, empty questions about how they're feeing and how their peers might be feeling. aside from being somewhat pleasing to the eye (that red archival valentino anne hathaway wore was stunning), it all seemed like much ado about nothing. peacocks on parade, empty of meaning and genuineness and well, reality.

i do realize it's not meant to be real and it is on another level entirely, somewhere up in the clouds, where mere mortals never tread. but the whole spectacle of it is odd - especially the "reporters" there on the scene, grabbing the stars for a quick but formulaic chat - try to make "news" out of something that is, as yet, in its pre-ceremony state, not news. pretending to care about feelings, but mostly caring about who designed the dress and jewelry and in many instances, clearly more about the "reporter" getting to pose for the cameras with someone they'd otherwise never even get close to.

what is with the obsession reporters have with feelings? "how do you feel? "how do the best actress nominees feel?" "how does your dog feel?" "is your dog wearing versace?" "what were you thinking getting an orange dress?" "don't you have a stylist?" "does your stylist hate you?" ok, granted, those last few questions were the ones i asked in my head.

i blame CNN for this. or rather the whole concept of 24 hour news. it gives us this odd pantomime that we must be subjected to before the news actually happens. the build up, the feelings, the empty interviews - because you can't have content when nothing has actually happened yet. but you still have to fill air time. and apparently they take "air" seriously and fill it with a whole lot of hot air.

it all leaves me feeling quite fortunate to be residing on a remote planet these days.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

slow sunday

a lazy day. sleeping in. spending most of the day in pajamas. needle felting.

watching movies with sabin.  little miss sunshine, eternal sunshine of a spotless mind, juno. films you can watch over and over.

losing myself in the magical alchemy of needle felting. there's nothing like it.

if you like this bowl, you'll find it here.

february is almost over. it's been grey and dreary and i won't be sad to see it go. i like march. even if it can be changeable and unpredictable. it's my birthday month, so i guess that fits.

and speaking of birthdays, i'm thinking about self-presenting myself this or one of these.

hoping your weekend was everything you needed.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

hypothetically speaking...

if your husband paid 11,000DKK (more than $2000) for a pile of wood that looked like this?

but also this (and included those big metal roof plate thingies - 9 of them)..

would you feel justified in adding to your fabric stash?

as you may have guessed, this actually happened to me.

Friday, February 25, 2011


accidental ring

i accidentally bought this ring in manila back in november. the kind of accidental purchase akin to a sausage consumed in a train station. it was there next to the cash register, i was paying anyway, so i accidentally bought it. the purchase filled an awkward moment at the cash register, where one is otherwise just waiting. and i've been wearing it all day, just for fun.  and fun it was.

* * *

it's friday evening. i love fridays. we don't eat dinner so much as graze on a series of snacks...salty almonds, pork rinds (with a bit of pinoy kurat), tasty bites of salty prima donna cheese, slices of spicy chorizo. maybe a loaf of freshly baked bread slathered in butter with a sprinkle of flaky salt. it's casual, comfortable. probably my favorite meal of the week.

* * *

i didn't do that well on finish friday. i did one garland, put finery on a couple of birds and promptly made the scarf i said i wasn't going to make - tho' the version i made was my own and i didn't really follow the directions (when do i ever?). on the bright side, it's lovely (see the background of the photo above) and soft and i've worn it all day. but how could it not be great when it's made of anna maria horner's beautiful flannel.

* * *

i feel at times starved for women friends...someone to hang out with and tell secrets. i haven't found that here. yet. i think just the laughter would do me good. but women are often hard on one another. so perhaps i'll stick with the blogosphere. tho' women can be hard on one another there too.

* * *

i'm also starved for a room of my own...a space to create, where i don't clutter up the dining table and where i can leave things out, so i don't spend so much time arranging and getting ready and more time making. more time finishing on friday...

* * *

it feels like things are beginning to happen. i don't know exactly where they're leading, but they are beginning. and beginnings are exciting and wonderful, but also scary. but i think i like that.

* * *

i'm ready for february to be over. it seems like the longest february in the history of februaries. and it's the shortest month, which is quite ironic. i won't be sad to see it go. i long for sunshine and buds and snowdrops and crocus. they'll be here soon, won't they?

* * *

happy weekend, one and all!

finishing friday

if you hang around here at all, you know that i've been on a creative roll of late. this week alone, i sewed two dresses for myself, made my first batch of stitched up photos, mended a couple of sabin's shirts, made bread twice, and worked on adding finery to some clarity birds. our dining table is so covered with projects that we can't actually use it.  so i have declared today (and every friday henceforth) to be finishing friday.

i'm doing a handmade market april 9 together with jude and elizabeth, so it's important that i have some finished products to sell at the market. somehow i just don't think people will be keen on buying half-finished works in progress. so today, i will not start any new project, not even this, which is very tempting. especially because it's still really cold outside.

i have no less than 3 quilts to finish and one of them (the sherbet cupcake quilt) you didn't even know about because i hadn't shown it here yet. so, i've been busy. busy starting things and not so busy finishing them.

i leave you with one more shot of the basket of unfinished garlands, tea cozies and clarity birds, just to remind myself that i need to get to work...

* * *

i'm enjoying the photos here
and also the photos here and here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

stitched up photos

a limited selection of stitched up photos are now available in my big cartel shop! they are one-of-a-kind, totally unique and there will never be another one like them (can i say it any other way?). they're a professional photo, not just one i printed myself and feature fun stitching and fabrics. the titles are done on cute woodgrain on my dymo junior, which adds a very whimsical touch (as if aliens weren't whimsical enough).  they're signed and dated and mounted with archival tape on high quality passepartout - ready for you to frame (size 5x7"/13cm x18cm)! so get them while they last!

i will be doing more batches of these as well as cards in the very near future.

sorry for all the exclamation points, but i'm rather excited about these. they're just so much fun!

intersections 5: weaving meaning

a few more shots from the film swap with shokoofeh. see the others i've shared here.

i'm still finding magic in these shots, i think they're probably some of the most amazing photography i've ever done. and to think of how unintentional the magic is feels profound. i feel there's something so deep about them, so deep that it defies words, but definitely doesn't defy meaning. and meaning without words is an interesting thing to consider...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

big-ass ships

have you seen the news? the new maersk line triple-E: the largest, most efficient ship in the world

and they've ordered ten of these babies. and if they're claiming it holds 18,000 containers, it probably holds more like 23,000. exciting stuff and a good sign that someone's starting to order ships again!

an agreement among girls

in a bubble
it seems that in the 4th grade, there is a lot of focus on the social competencies of the girls. any signs of mean girlness are being nipped in the bud. and it can only be a good thing.  i don't think our child is one of the mean girls, but it can be hard to tell.  today, the girls in her class all drafted and signed the following agreement. it's a bit of a 4th grade girl manifesto...

being a girl in grade 4

we know that we feel best and most comfortable and happiest among the girls in our classroom when...

  ~ everyone can play together, across all lines
~ everyone can play together and be good friends
~ nobody is teased or pushed out
~ nobody is ignored
~ an agreement is an agreement
~ we are careful about too many groups
~ we don't talk behind people's backs or gossip about one another, 
but speak properly and directly to one another.
~ we don't send dumb SMSes that can easily be misunderstood

agreement entered into by the girls of grade 4, february 22, 2011:

~ everyone can play together
~ nobody will sit alone when we play, without being asked if they want to join in
~ everyone must be active and try to participate in the play
~ we have to listen carefully to what is said when we make agreements and speak to one another
~ we have to say no with care
~ we will try not to say no during school hours
~ make proper playdates after school and be open to those who come and ask
~ be very careful about playdates (write them in a calendar)
~ take care not to double book playdates
~ teachers can and should talk to the girls about who we will play with and what we will play

* * *

although encouraging fourth graders to keep their appointments written in a calendar worries me slightly, after the tales i recently heard of bullying in the classrooms of the suburbs of chicago, i am very happy that the school takes such a strong stance on bullying. there's nothing worse than mean girls, unless it's mean girls with a packed calendar. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

the water is definitely heating up...

so, tell me what you think...matted & framed or cards?

out to dry

aliens among us

daring herring

alien invasion

the water heater of creativity

last week, i had the opportunity to discuss the mysteries of creativity for an entire afternoon. and i got to pick the brain of a very creative person. who hates to be called that. because there's so much pressure in it, isn't there? and while you can generally be creative, you often don't really have that much control over it. much of what we discussed was about creativity and creative people's place in business and i'll be writing about that elsewhere. but something he said stuck in my head...he said he felt that creativity was like the hot water tap. when you turn on cold water, it's always there, but when you turn on hot, it's there, but eventually it runs out and has to be replenished.

from the great jacabunny photoshoot - by sabin
but the difficulty is in finding one's own inner water heater, isn't it? what is it that recharges you? i watch sabin, who seems to be able to be endlessly and spontaneously creative, all the time. she sees the creative potential in everything around her...from the box the veggies come in to some bits of fabric scraps, to simply taking 1335 (not kidding) photos of our growing kit lane jacabob collection. and she seemingly never needs to stop and recharge.

my inner water heater functions best when i have a change of scenery. i can get very bogged down if i remain in the same physical space for too long. even if that space is home, which is filled with people and cats and bunnies and things i love.  i don't need to go far, i just need to get out. and get new impulses, see new things, eat new food, breathe new air.  last week's winter holiday was just what i needed.

a new work in progress
i can always tell that the hot water of creativity will flow again when i wake up with pictures in my head of things i want to create, or when i can scarcely fall asleep because so many exciting ideas are going through my mind. these last two photos are a hint of the picture that was in my head when i awoke yesterday.

the space ships are coming!
i'm looking for a way to combine the things i and fabric. there are many, many pretty pictures out there now that everyone has a digital camera, so it's difficult to stand out from the crowd on etsy or big cartel. i think sometimes that the pictures are too pretty in their glossy perfection once you've had them printed, so i wanted to break the integrity of the photo down a little bit. i'm still working on it, but i'll back back later to show you what i mean...i've got to keep going while the water's still hot.

Monday, February 21, 2011

sunday sewing (plus a little on monday)

it's cold outside and i'm feeling a need for spring, so i got out fabrics old and new and traced off several patterns from my latest japanese pattern book acquisition. i hadn't made anything for myself since last year at precisely this time, so i traced off two dresses and got everything all cut out.

lila helped
 the cat was very helpful when i was trying to cut out the pieces.

i chose a rather upholstery-weight, rich and beautiful, jewel-toned fabric that i bought several years ago for the dress (see mom, it IS ok to buy fabric with no purpose in mind - the purpose will come). it's super simple and will look great with a pair of bright tights and some fab heels i bought in manila - as soon as the snow melts.

i'm going to adjust the pattern for finishing the armholes and i have yet to hem it, but here it is so far. i'm madly in love with this fabric.  and i love the rather retro a-line style.

with the tunic dress, i got a bit fancy and made a patchwork fabric for the bottom part - using the wonderful mid-century modern reprints from the victoria & albert museum collection. i hope to wear it at the market that i'll be selling handmade goods at (with elizabeth and jude) in sønderborg april 9. because you should wear handmade when you're selling it, right?

it can be a little bit difficult to find your way at first, but this tutorial really helps and because the drawings are so good, you'll soon be sewing merrily along even if you don't know japanese. i usually make one size bigger than i think i should because the japanese patterns tend to run small, but i have to say that i wish i'd made the large and not the extra large, especially on the dress below. so if you should be tempted to acquire this everyday clothing book too, just go ahead and make it in your regular size, as the sizes are much more generous than they usually are. i maybe would have realized that if i'd measured, but instead, i decided to just wing it.

here's the patchwork dress in its finished state:

it looks less like scrubs on top when you actually have it on, i assure you.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

sunset on another vinterferie

this was tonight's actual sunset.

sabin remarked today that she couldn't believe she already had to go back to school tomorrow. the week of winter holiday went by so quickly. we spent four days of it in copenhagen and a few days relaxing at home. but holidays have a way of going too fast. the weekend was sunny, but very cold, so tho' we keep being lured outside by the sunshine, we quickly found our way back inside to warm pots of tea and freshly-baked bread and rich dishes of veal parmesan.

a week of fun with friends, good food, new experiences and a bit of sleeping in and relaxing and sewing and wearing pajamas all day long - it was just what we needed. and although it would be nice if it went on and on, i think we're all recharged and ready to jump into a new week.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

if i were (revisited)...

i did this exercise in "if i were..." about a year ago and i though it would be fun to see how many of my answers matched what i said then....

if i were a month i’d be september

if i were a day i’d be friday the thirteenth

if i were a time of day i’d be midnight

if i were a font i’d be garamond

if i were a sea animal i’d be a dolphin

if i were a direction i’d be left

if i were a piece of furniture i’d be arne jakobsen's egg

if i were a liquid i’d be a crisp south african chenin blanc

if i were a gemstone i’d be a garnet

if i were a tree i’d be a birch

if i were a tool i’d be a crowbar

if i were a flower i’d be a lilac

if i were an element of weather i’d be a thunderstorm

if i were a musical instrument i’d be a a saxophone

if i were a colour i’d be teal

if i were an emotion i’d be unsettled

if i were a fruit i’d be a papaya

if i were a sound i’d be loud

if i were an element i’d be fire

if i were a car i’d be a vintage mustang

if i were a food i’d be a very spicy curry

if i were a place i’d be a prairie

if i were material i’d be linen

if i were a taste i’d be chili

if i were a scent i’d be lilac

if i were a body part i’d be an eye

if i were a song i’d be sung by Sheryl Crow

if i were a bird i’d be a nightengale

if i were a gift i’d be something you'd never of dream of re-gifting

if i were a city i’d be seattle

if i were a door i wouldn't have a lock

if i were a pair of shoes i’d be converse all stars

if i were a poem i’d be ithaca by cavafy

i guess we grow and change, because not that many of my answers are the same...

what would happen if you were....come on, you know you want to play along!

quietly zen saturday

from yesterday's jacabunny photoshoot
it's saturday morning, the laundry is underway, the dishes done, the living room is rearranged. the bird feeder is full and the birds are swarming it. bunnies and kitties are fed. there's a fresh pot of tea steeping.

tho' the t.v. is tuned to discovery travel & living in the other room and i keep hearing that ad for the show about women who didn't know they were pregnant 'til they were giving birth (really?! really?!) and the constant click of the camera as sabin stages a photoshoot with our kit lane jacabunnies (apparently the 472 pictures she took yesterday weren't enough), it feels quiet and calm around here.

i have a strong suspicion that the cat, in her catch-and-release program, has released a mouse under the shelf just to the right of my desk. she's spending an inordinate amount of time swiping a paw under there and she doesn't usually do that.

but i'm feeling quite zen about the whole thing.  calm and settled.

it's good to be home after a few whirlwind days in copenhagen with bloggy goddess gwen (you may remember her from woman on the verge and not really) and her kids. we had so much fun and so much food and we all bought legwarmers.

i feel a bit of time out of the house always settles me down. i need experiences that are outside the norm in order to appreciate those that are the norm. like a steaming cup of tea and a calm saturday morning.

Friday, February 18, 2011

streets of copenhagen - how i love thee

tho' it was a grey, cold day, the streets of copenhagen still looked very fetching.

"my new home"

fabulous old specs on an optician

converse love

the window of the jackpot store.
i love the dark blue that's in for spring.
but can totally do without all the peach that i saw (but didn't photograph).

part two on købmagergade

the store i will have some day will be a bit like this.

my kinda shop - colorful!


love the simplicity of those houses
happy weekend, one and all...hope you can find a little beauty, even if it's grey and cold where you are!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

be back soon

it's the winter holiday and we've had visitors...but i'll be back soon, with much to tell...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

fiber love

i got the most wonderful collection of felting fibers on etsy and i just had to share this goodness with you. half of my collecting of beautiful soft, colorful crafting supplies is about photographing them and just enjoying gazing upon them. sabin and i, after stumbling onto kit lane's beautiful felt creations, have been felting quite a bit lately (i will have to photograph and show you the felt hammer and nail sabin made for her father for his birthday). so when i found the moxie mix fiber collection on etsy, i ordered it up. and i can tell you, it's one of my most delightful etsy finds in a long time. if you like to felt (or spin), make haste to art club on etsy. you will definitely be inspired.

high quality.
fabulous colors.
what more can you ask?
look at these luscious locks!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

12 hearts - 12 years

12 hearts - one for every year
12 years ago today, husband became husband. not a day goes by when i don't think, "that boy is a keeper." it's also his birthday. clever that, then he can never forget our anniversary. right now, as my anniversary present, he's putting in a new gas stove arrangement for me. we'll be able to cook his birthday burgers (yes, that's what he wanted) on the new burners later today. i got him some real wellies - neither are very romantic presents, i guess, but it has been 12 years - we have less to prove and more knowledge of what would make the other one happy. so a stove and wellies it is. the sun is shining and it's shaping up to be a good day.