Thursday, March 31, 2011

random reflections

~ who knew jason mraz blogged. or was so deep?

~ my sister seems to think i'm in need of a joyologist. i think what i really need is a week of steady sunshine.

~ last night i dreamed i was a jackie kennedy-esque (in her bouvier years) girl reporter, armed with an iPhone instead of a bulky greyflex (tho' in my dream it was a brownie).

~ i'm amused by this.

~ and these are just so cool.

~ (why are all the bloggy people i stalk like in south africa?)

~ i had the most wonderful, intense conversation on tuesday about living life intensely and passionately and in a most engaged manner. i'm still processing it and trying to write it. but i think in a way i'm not ready to let go of it yet. because often once i write something, it means letting it go and it doesn't haunt me or resonate through my thoughts anymore in the same way. so i'm having trouble making the words come.

~ a juice of carrot, apple, orange and ginger, fresh from the juicer will do more for a headache than 2 ibuprofen.

~ sabin is convinced there's the ghost of an old man in the house. she heard him cough and he closed the door to her bedroom (which currently lacks a doorknob, so she had to climb out her window). i swear i thought i heard him snoring the other evening. but so far, that's the only sign of him i'm seen or heard. as for sabin, she's not afraid at all, but very matter-of-fact about the whole thing.

~ i've exchanged MOO cards with a couple of friends lately and they totally make me happy. what is it about those colorful little half-sized bits of card that is so joyful? is it that they're unique because they're made of one's own photos? colorful? what is it? i think it's got something to do with the size, tho' pia sent regular business card-sized ones as well and they made me equally happy. in any case, i do love MOO.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

a spring manifesto

pentax ME super - kodak 800
tara wrote a spring manifesto and that seemed like a good thing...

~ plant things.
~ be more aware of the moon.
~ dare.
~ worry less and do more.
~ eat lunch in the garden.
~ learn to crochet.
~ build.
~ banish negativity.
~ use the stash.
~ do something scary at least once a week (includes phone calls and taking shots only on film).
~ help husband with the garden house.
~ acquire a goat.
~ and more bunnies.
~ shoot film.
~ get in touch with my inner viking.
~ dress up. for no reason.

this is starting to sound a whole lot like resolutions and we know i'm not so keen on those, but i want spring to be full of growth and writing is the new praying, so consider this a prayer of sorts.

wordless wednesday: made by hand

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


some days are better than others. 

clouds don't help.

one can feel overwhelmed by responsibilities and expectations.
especially one's own.
but also those of loved ones.

and one can wonder if that light
at the end of the tunnel
is indeed an oncoming train.

independence is both elating and scary.

scary right now.
when it's grey.

there's only one thing to be done...
push though it.

in dreams,
when it feels like falling,
is often when you take off and fly.

Monday, March 28, 2011

new friends

nubby & bunnykins
solskin & samba - jacabunny versions of our real bunnies
as you know, we have a bit of an...ahem...addiction to kit lane's delightful little bobbaloos. for the longest time, the only ones in her shop were special orders reserved for others. this finally got to us and so we ordered the little darlings that you see above. first came nubby and bunnykins. sabin wanted bunnykins to be bright pink, but we told kit to choose the color of the jacabunny - i think color-wise it's my favorite one of our now 10-strong collection.

i kept thinking about that i'd like to see some that were the colors of our real bunnies - samba & solskin, and so i sent some photos to kit and she came up with the beautifully detailed darlings just above...perfect down to the little white spot and brownish-paws that samba has in real life. thank you kit, they're just wonderful!

we're going to try to restrain ourselves for awhile, but you never know.

scenes from a weekend

couchsurfing baby sleeps in the garden.
i so wish they'd had these when sabin was a baby.
those are some BIG rabbits.
barn kitty woody stands guard over solskin the bunny.
lunch in the sunshine - stenbiderrøgn (a spring caviar) on toast w/a bit of creme fraiche and red onion.
still on a high after a lovely weekend. we had the most delightful couchsurfer at our house and our youngest couchsurfer ever (just 3 months). we were so happy they stayed an extra day. if you haven't tried couchsurfing - either yourself, or as a host, i can highly recommend it. it's basically that you let interesting people stay at your house for free. and it made me realize, once again, that meeting new people and getting to know them, even just a little bit, is good for the soul.

happy monday!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

life is too short...

brownie, earn your keep.

life is too short... keep apologizing for this house.

...not to make all of the cameras earn their keep. wait for the light to be perfect. 

...and harsh midday light has its purposes. miss it all hiding behind a camera. not be open to new people and experiences.

...for negative thoughts. spend any of it not being creative.

...not to hang your baby in a tree to sleep.

...not to drink pastis in the sunshine. take every shot in both digital and film. 

and that's what i learned this weekend.

thank you, C.

Friday, March 25, 2011

things about my mom

mom & me in copenhagen - september 2008
~ when my mom turned 60, she declared that since she had always wanted a motorcycle, she was finally getting one. and so she did. she got her motorcycle license and bought a cute little honda rebel. she'd been threatening to do so for years, to the point where i used to have nightmares that i had to leave one of my horses home from a horse show to make room for her motorcycle in the horse trailer.

~ she recently sported the coolest green bobbed wig on st. patrick's day. if i had that wig, i'd wear it every day.

~ she sews like a professional. the cover she recently made for my kitchen-aid is absolutely perfect.

~ she's the repairwoman at our house...if something needs hammering, nailing, screwing, it's mom who does it.  as my sister says, "mom is such a boy."

~ she's a pretty good shot. i remember when i was a kid, going around to trap shooting tournaments with her. and that she often outshot the boys.

~ she's a very good cook. and a truly stellar baker.

~ she loves a corny joke.

~ she's funny.

~ she can back a horsetrailer like nobody's business.

~ she can sing.

~ she has an eye for horses. and a bargain antique.

~ today is her birthday and i hope she has a great day and that dad takes her out for a nice dinner (hint, hint).

happy birthday, mom! if i was there, i'd have made you some red velvet cupcakes!

friday happinesses

apparently, husband has been giving orders from his tractor since at least 1970.
and that totally makes me smile.

the child brought home her friend's trousers for me to mend.
and that totally makes me smile.

her friend's mom was pretty embarrassed about the whole thing.
but we laughed and laughed.
and that was great.

red velvet cupcakes for breakfast.

a new, beautiful, gauzy lavender scarf from here.

the impending arrival of a couchsurfer who has been an artist-in-residence somewhere in denmark for the past month.

attended a pirate play at sabin's school last evening.
sabin sewed costumes for it.
and has learned how to use an overlock machine.
must find one at a flea market and have her teach me.

our veggie box will come and be full of exciting ingredients for dinner.

plans to plant an apple orchard this weekend.
and to finish the alley of oak trees leading down to the lake.
they're about knee-high right now, so it will be awhile before we can take a stroll down the majestic lane.
but we can wait.

much-needed, soul-baring conversation with a friend.

the weekend stretching ahead, promising time together, the hope that is planting things, sewing projects and delicious, healthy food.

happy weekend, one and all.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

is negativity just another word for parenting?

it's very hard to be negative in the face of a delightfully cheery bouquet of surprise flowers from a good friend. but i've been pondering negativity of late. mostly because i feel i was recently wrongfully accused of it. and generally speaking, i think i'm a fairly positive person, tho' i will grant that it is hardest to see oneself, so i may not be a good judge. i can be dragged into negativity by my work environment. and i can feel negative.  i have been known to be cynical for comic effect. but generally, i feel myself as a positive person. so it rocked my world a little bit to have my negativity cited as the reason that one of husband's daughters hasn't been here on the agreed weekends for the past few times. and here, i thought she had to work...

i've written before about the challenges of step-parenting - especially when, like me, you intentionally do not take on the step-mother role, thinking that your husband's children from a previous marriage already have a mother of their own and do not need another one. but it's a delicate balance. and sometimes i think that in my desire not to be mother, i end up a bit aloof and cold. which is different than negative, in my view.

but i can also see how a lack of warmth might end up seeming negative. especially when there is a streak of disapproval in me towards the teenager in question. but you see, when i'm awakened at 4:30 a.m. by loud voices and laughter and go out to look and find said teenager on a video chat on her little sister's computer in her little sister's room, while her little sister sleeps, i'm probably not going to be a particularly happy or positive person. so if i'm deemed negative for putting my foot down about such behavior, then so be it.  and if i think it's a bit ridiculous to stay away for a month because you can't take being reprimanded for your thoughtless behavior, then, yes, call me negative. and perhaps even call me parental, which is another thing i'm not keen on.

part of growing up is taking the consequences of one's actions. so i'll accept that i could be deemed to be negative. but i think i also, as an adult, have a right and a duty to draw the line as to what behavior is acceptable at our house and what's not. even if it makes me unpopular.

i guess as long as there are teenagers humans, there will be negative moments in a home. and that's probably just part of life.  so thank odin for good friends who send you flowers that can put you right back in a positive frame of mind.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

bitter lemons

like many people, perhaps even most people, when i went to university, i took out student loans in order to pay for my studies. eventually, the day came when i stopped gathering degrees (that took awhile) and the student loans, sadly, entered the repayment phase. by that time, i lived in another country.  and it took a good eight months to consolidate the various loans from the various universities i had attended and to convince the good student loan administrators that not only were other countries but yes, sometimes people, even american people, will choose to live in them. and in those said countries, it might be much more efficient to do a regular bank transfer, as opposed to writing a check (which was a very archaic and unused system in a good portion of the world, even already in the mid-noughties).

the whole way along, i had dutifully kept all of the various interested parties informed of my address and contact details. and i had all of the paperwork on all of the loans with me, so i am absolutely certain that, after a stack of letters half a foot high, they were all eventually consolidated into one monthly payment which i continue to dutifully make to this day (it's set up with my bank to transfer automatically), a good five years on. but, as i said, it took awhile to convince these amero-centric folks that i lived abroad and that i needed an account to which to transfer the payments.

during the time that took, some (but strangely not all) of the loans entered default and must have ended up on a list of defaulted student loans. however, those loans are all part of the consolidated package i succeeded, in the end, in arranging and they are no longer defaulted.

then, 2009 comes and the crisis takes hold in earnest.  and suddenly, my parents begin to receive letters addressed to me (tho' never with my correct name) and plaguing phone calls, asking for me. leaving cryptic messages about student loans, but never going so far as to state any amounts or even lenders on said loans, nor what universities they were from. the letters are quite clever - they look very official and while they don't actually claim to be sallie mae, the official federal student loan consolidation folks, they imply that they are working on sallie mae's behalf.  which i know that they are not, because i can see my own records and check on my loan repayment status via the real sallie mae.

so it seems that there are lot of unscrupulous companies out there, who somehow got their hands on some very old information - both address/phone-wise and default-status-wise and they are actually trying to scare my aging parents into, i can only guess, giving them money! all of these companies - which have different names and which have their supposed vice presidents call and talk to my mom, seem to be based in wilmington, delaware. leaving me to think that must be the place that's sucking all of the happiness out of the universe (and here i thought it was the thai airlines lounge in the airport in manila).

what kind of desperate scam artists would do that? prey on someone's elderly parents - trying to scare them - with veiled threats of how much trouble their daughter is in.  even the letters are extremely vague - referencing "your loans" and although they have arbitrary amounts listed as well, absolutely none of the loan numbers or amounts match any of my records. plus, there's the fact that all of my student loans are consolidated and in repayment.

i can only guess that i'm not the only person out there who this is happening to, and i can only hope that other people's parents are as resistent to the threats as mine have been. i guess it's an indicator of how desperate times are that unscrupulous people resort to such tactics. and sadly, i fear it also means that they work, because the letters and phone calls continue to come, badgering my parents. simply because way back when i took out student loans, my permanent address was at their home. and as soon as one of them is told they are on a do not call list, the company name changes to a new P.O. box in wilmington, delaware and the calls resume.

and it seems that the only thing i can do about it is apologize to my parents that they have to endure it and assure them that all of my loans are, in fact, consolidated and being repaid.  i don't know what else can be done...there are a lot of websites out there, with similar complaints - i even read of a canadian woman who had never had a student loan in the US in her life being badgered by these companies. but anyway, i thought i'd write about it here, because bringing the issue into the open can maybe help a little bit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

hello thirty-fourteen

happy valentine's day!!
happy birthday to me
i always think that perhaps this year i'll make one of those know the ones, where you declare all of the things you want to do before your next birthday. but again this year, i think i'll pass. i have a lot of balls in the air at the moment. i need to be open and adaptable to be able to catch even some of them. if i'm focused on a specific list, i might miss.

i mused a bit on this last year, when we were about to embark on this huge change...moving to the countryside, changing jobs, moving across the country. but i still believe it. which isn't to say that i don't believe in setting goals, i just don't believe that goals always hold over the course of an entire year, especially not personal, private goals. and that if you're too focused on them, you might miss something, some golden opportunity. and frankly, i'm too old to miss any opportunities. so i'm going to keep my eyes open and i'm going to enjoy being thirty-fourteen.

Monday, March 21, 2011

macbook airs have feelings too

the macbook air was a bit jealous of the iPad's case.

so i made one for him too.
or is my macbook air a she?
now i'm not sure.
in any case,
it's one well-dressed computer.

i love sewing with leather. 
it talks to you much more than fabric does.

and you really have to listen.

seeking balance

dear balance,

please come and hang out with me, i need to spend some time with you.

i've got all kinds of beginnings going on and not a clear picture of where they will take me. quite a lot of fear seems to accompany all these beginnings, even if it comes hand and hand with excitement and happiness. there's also a lot of pressure. and at times i feel that i will burst into a zillion pieces just thinking about it.

so i paint feather stones, trying to find you, balance. the light and the heavy together in one place. in a size that fits perfectly in my hand. reminding me that it is possible to hold balance, even if only for a moment.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

in this together

we spent a good part of the weekend, including all day friday, loading this container and another one like it, with the wood husband bought a few weeks ago. hours and hours of lifting and moving and in the process getting to know the boards. and it made me realize that physical labor is good for the soul. after a long, dark, cold winter, without a whole lot of physical activity, it feels good to stretch unused muscles and to feel tired in the way that only physical labor can make you feel tired.

but mostly, i noticed this most amazing feeling that we're really in this project together. watching husband's capacity for hard work is awe-inspiring. the division of labor at our house is that he builds and fixes and i cook, keep more or less on top of the laundry and sew stuff. i get a lot of ideas for things i'd like to have built and he builds them. but helping him with "his" side of things made me realize, for one, the enormity of the project we've undertaken, but mostly, that i love doing this with him...dreaming and quite literally building our dreams. there's really nothing like it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

leather iPad case

i made a leather case for our iPad today (we still have only the original one - but we love it!).

i've had this cream-colored leather for awhile and have wanted to make this. i kept seeing pictures of it in my head.

so today i decided it was time to make it at long last. i listened to the leather itself, cutting as little as possible, wanting it to retain its organic shape.

i love it. and it was actually super simple (if you don't count the panic attack where i briefly broke my sewing machine trying to sew with thick leather thread). i'm still going to decorate the flap somehow, but that will no doubt be the next thing to appear in my head.  i was so excited, i just had to share.  next up, one for my macbook air.

what will you make today?

cloud 9 - nature walk (available here if you're in scandinavia)

i'm thinking a plus quilt

beautiful materials at hand. sketches sketched. refreshed from a day of physical labor yesterday. i'm ready to create.

Friday, March 18, 2011

loving friday

loving today.
loving soft braids.
loving this blog.
(you can see they're related.)
still hanging out here an awful lot.
and still pretty jazzed about this.
but mostly, loving that it's friday.

happy weekend, one and all!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

rock on

it was a banner day for mail at our house. this beautiful little stone - entitled one bright morning - arrived from far away alaska. i've been stalking admiring amy komar's artistinthearctic shop on etsy for awhile now and with my birthday approaching, i decided to treat myself. she's got loads of wonderful painted stones in her shop and i can tell you that they are magical in person. check out her blog as well to see what's she working on and for glimpses of the beautiful alaska nature where she lives.

by amy komar - artist in the arctic
i showed sabin amy's shop last evening on etsy and sabin immediately wanted to paint some stones. we both had to try out amy's dotted painting technique and i was totally blown away at sabin's results. i am seriously in awe of her ability to just begin and not overthink everything. she has an amazing feel and is completely in tune with her muses.

this is my favorite of the stones she did last evening...she painted the heart and had intended to paint more, but she looked at it with the one and she said, "i think it's done, mom." i seriously hope she never loses that childlike ability to just be one with her art.

these fishies were a close second. she was actually painting the white one and she said, "mom, i don't know what this is." and i said i thought it was a fish, tho' it could also be a tooth if you tip it up the other way. and since sabin has a couple of loose teeth at the moment, it may have been an artistic manifestation of those pesky molars. but i love it as a fish.

she did another little heart...with dots coming out of it, a bit like the stitching i once did. so sweet.

the embroidered-looking one on the top left is the closest sabin came to imitating amy's work. somehow she intuitively went in her own direction, picking up the influence of the dots of paint, but going off on her own. i found it utterly magical to watch it.

here in my stone basket is the last one sabin did especially for me, right there beside amy's lovely petite little stone and a couple of margie's, the beautiful stone spudballoo had made for blog camp 2.0,  a few of my own and the feather i bought from geninne once upon a time. it's my basket of zen, right here beside my desk.

nature has its way

photo credit new york times
you know how i adore photos of ships, but this one made my blood run cold. imagine you were in that building right there beside the bulbous bow and you look out and you see said bulbous bow and it crosses your mind that that's not quite normal and that something must be dreadfully wrong (someone call the P&I club!!). it's clear that this rather large bulk carrier was simply picked up by the tsunami and placed up on the quay at a port in japan. and that's quite chilling.

the whole thing is chilling. and i haven't really found the words to write about it, but that doesn't mean the earthquake tragedy and its aftermath in japan haven't been on my mind. it seems to me a reminder that nature will win out. we may think we control it and order it, but it will have its way. and there won't be anything we can do about it. except maybe hope we'd built our nuclear power plant with different, more tsunami-proof technology. and if anyone would have done that, you would have thought it would be the japanese - they're the very embodiment of technology and order, aren't they? but nature will win out. every time.

and i continue to struggle to find the right words. and i continue to think about the people of japan.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

bee charmer has arrived!

i am most pleased to announce the arrival of my new little venture - bee charmer!

it's an online shop that i - after shedding only a modicum of blood, sweat and tears -  built using the wonderful someammo platform (still in beta) that i learned about through the equally wonderful heather moore. what's great (for me and for local customers) is that the shop is in danish kroner!

my fabulous friend mik (who you may remember from this post) created this sweet little matryoshka bee logo for me. (thank you heaps!!!)

nature walk

bee charmer is currently carrying organic fabrics by cloud9. i have the nature walk line in stock, available as yardage. and heather moore's gorgeous cut out & keep line is coming in april.  i am also working like crazy at getting some handmade items featuring these fabrics into the shop. and i will, of course, make custom quilts and other handmade items using these 100% certified organic fabrics!

this shop is aimed at my geographical area - denmark for sure, but also sweden, norway, finland and germany.

cut out & keep
with quilts and other handmade goodness made from these fabrics, i am, of course, willing to ship elsewhere, just email me and we can sort out what you want and i can list it on big cartel or etsy, which i'm using for handmade items for an international audience.

i hope you'll check out my little shop! i will, of course, let you all know here when i have some completed items available, using these gorgeous and environmentally-friendly fabrics!

this has been brewing for awhile now and i'm so excited to be able to share it at last!!

it definitely feels like a new season is beginning.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

thank you for the conversation

i have now closed the comments on the it's hard to be original post below.  this conversation clearly struck a chord with makers and etsyians around the world - some who commented, some who emailed and many who visited silently. tho' i was simply blogging because i had something on my mind and i was trying to work it out (which is why i blog at all), i am surprised at the conversation that started. most of it fruitful.

it's clear that this is an issue that means a lot to a lot of people. i think it's difficult as independent artisans to protect our ideas and our creative endeavors and it seems we won't always be able to do so. we can only hope that the community around this handmade culture will foster an ethic and a set of norms and behaviors that mean that people do the right thing in giving credit to others for their ideas where credit is due. having the conversation we've had here is an important step in fostering that environment.  and for that, i thank all of you.

Monday, March 14, 2011

you shall be assimilated or let them eat bacon

i've mentioned the trials and tribulations crimes and misdemeanors antics of the danish integration ministry several times of late. when we last left our vikings heroes losers they had just kicked out the dolores umbridge toadlike minister known as birte rønn hornbæk and appointed søren pind, who was best known for his saturday morning radio call-in advice show performances.

mr. pind, never one to shy away from the limelight in his designer glasses and overly bushy eyebrows, immediately began talking about how his ministry wasn't going to focus so much on integration as assimilation. and thus we stepped into an episode of star trek: the next generation and there was no cute picard as lucretius of borg in sight. "resistance is futile, you shall be assimilated." and so it got me thinking about what being assimilated might mean. and what the implications of assimilation are, if you carry them out to their logical conclusion...

some of my fellow foreigners and i joked about it on facebook, saying we'd have to learn things like how to run over people with your grocery cart and never even THINK about apologizing. and how to master looking right through people as if they don't exist and never chatting with a stranger anywhere, but especially not in line at the grocery store.

but then i realized that to truly stamp out anything not danish would change things around here very dramatically. for example, since the danes don't make cars, i imagine we'd have to get rid of those. as for sushi and pizza and kebab - forget it, it's all gotta go. no italian scooters to replace our missing cars. and no beer, since that's not a danish invention either. i'm thinking pretty much all we'd have left would be bacon.

dang, i wish they'd hurry up and call an election so we could get rid of this increasingly unfunny joke of a government. but at least we have bacon.

lightening up

just to lighten things up a bit, for your perusal, the first issue of b.a.h. from bookhou:

so much inspiration and goodness. makes me wish i lived in toronto.

birds of a feather

everyone looks better with a hat

i took a little walk out in the yard this morning. it was foggy out there and very still, but the balmy (it's supposed to reach 10°C today!) air was filled with joyous bird song of all sorts and the odd call of some geese from down on our lake. i stood there, breathing in the fresh air and all of that bird song and i pondered the controversy i stirred up yesterday.

i had a few pangs because in some sense it wasn't actually any of my business. it wasn't my art being copied, so why should i care? but the fact of it is that i did care. and i found as the day progressed yesterday, that i cared a lot. i couldn't get it off my mind. and it's not only because copies devalue the original and i felt it affected the stones i'd purchased from margie. in fact, that was actually the least of it.

i think what bothered me most was that margie seems to me to be one of the biggest-hearted, most giving, down-to-earth creative souls out there...the way she shares her process, her thinking, her insights, her life and her craft are all acts of a giving and kind person who is engaged in what she does. for this to happen to her seemed so unfair. to someone so truly an artist and a craftsperson. you could accept it more easily if it happened to someone whose work didn't seem so unique or who didn't share it in the same giving, warm spirit. in fact, i saw some bloggy controversy a couple of years ago over those wooden mustaches on a stick that i didn't feel badly about in the same way because it didn't seem to be THAT special of an object. but what margie makes is special - her missing pieces stones and her merfish - they're really unique. so to copy them for sale so blatantly and unapologetically (as it turns out), is simply so disheartening.

but what is heartening is the way that margie's community rallied around her. i can't actually find any community rallying about renee (or shall we call her pell?) (and i spent quite some time looking before i wrote this). so although one could become disillusioned in all this and feel hesitant about sharing one's process and creativity online, it is also very powerful to think of how many people support margie in this - and her right to defend her creative, intellectual property. and although there are many people out there crocheting stones, these designs are so distinctively hers and they're very clearly being copied.

when i first saw one of the impostor stones on the etsy front page, i actually thought that someone was reselling margie's stones. they are so distinctive, they call her immediately to mind. and then when i looked closer and realized it wasn't margie's stones at all and further found that there were also merfish in the shop, i was shocked!  and what's strange is that it would seem to be totally unnecessary. renee is obviously very talented at crochet and has some sweet little animals and such in her shop. so why steal margie's ideas?

so while i still don't understand it, nor her refusal to admit copying and just stop it (please see the comments on the post below for proof of this), i am heartened to see the crafting community rally together around an artist and a person like margie. that is another testament to the way in which she has shared her creativity and built her reputation via her blog and flickr and her etsy shop. it seems that birds of a feather do flock together. and if that makes us followers, so be it. there's a big difference between support and bullying and between what's right and what's wrong.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

it's hard to be original

with all of the amazing goodness that's out there online - on blogs, on flickr - and now gathered in one spot on pinterest, i guess it's no wonder that you come across people who are copying good ideas and passing them off as their own. it's hard to be original and it's hard to know where one's influences come from.

for example, i know there are loads of people making birds that are similar to my clarity birds. i practiced by making the spool bird pattern and then, once i knew it well (including its shortcomings), modified it and made an improved version. but i realize i'm not alone in this. i'm also not alone in making quilts and i haven't come with any designs (yet) that are my own. i'd like to think that what i make is unique because it comes from my own particular hands and with all the quilts and all the fabric in the world, there's room for everyone's interpretation of quilting.

even the feather stones i paint were inspired by the work of others - we see things, they inspire us, but the ones produced by my hand on stones i carefully selected on a beach walk are an expression of my creativity. even if i was inspired by someone else. and i've always been careful to give credit where credit is due.

stones which i purchased from margie's resurrection fern etsy shop
but sometimes, you come across something that is so blatantly a copy of something truly unique and lovely that an artist is making and you shake your head. because there's no defending such blatant disregard for the creativity of others. i'm talking about the lovely, unique and amazing stones created by margie of resurrection fern. they are real one-of-a-kind originals. something completely uniquely margie. and which should not, like a fabric bird or a quilt, be copied. however, they are being copied, for profit. blatantly and without credit - down to the styling in the photos and the whole stated philosophy of loving nature behind them. and you can see it for yourself here. but be warned, if you know margie's work, you will find it just disgusting.

i think it is really sad. the internet has given us all such a forum for sharing our creativity and enjoying the creativity of others, but it also apparently has opened the doors to such copycats. next thing you know, someone will be copying kit lane's fabulous little jacabunnies. and the thought of that really makes me sick.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

shag ~ marry ~ kill

have a heart

it's been a really long time since i played shag ~ marry ~ kill, but since last evening, when we were watching live from bremen (a sort of danish equivalent to saturday night live, only on friday night), and i realized that lasse rimmer was on my list (read: shag), i've been pondering that list once again.  because we all have a list, don't we? but we don't always say it out loud.

the beauty of this game is that it's all your head, you'll most likely never be asked to prove it, but it is deliciously fun to think about.  you make a list of known people and you simply say whether you would shag, marry or kill them.
  1. anne hathaway ~ shag (she's just so adorable)
  2. robert downey, jr. ~ shag + marry
  3. charlie sheen ~ kill
  4. colin firth ~ shag (obviously)
  5. meryl streep ~ marry (i could hang out with meryl)
  6. michelle obama ~ marry
  7. william shatner (as denny crane) ~ SHAG (would so not have thought i'd say this)
  8. james spader ~ SHAG (i'm into boston legal, what can i say?)
  9. that ridiculous kate woman who had 8 kids and is on that kate + 8 show on discovery travel & living ~ kill (obviously)
  10. muammar gaddafi ~ kill (again, obviously)
usually, there are lots of old guys on my list (letterman, harrison ford), but strangely, they don't come to mind this evening. 

come on, play along! :-) it's a bit of harmless fun.

Friday, March 11, 2011

finishing friday - take 3

as per usual on finishing friday, i had to start something totally new. in this case, i invented a chai cake (to be blogged soon on domestic sensualist). i got the idea watching that stupid ultimate cake off show and then went searching for a recipe, but didn't find one that i thought sounded that great, so i made one up myself.

chai cake batter - yummy
after i got that out of my system, i sat down to finish this french press cover. i am happy to say that i did, in fact, finish it! :-) finally- i finished something on finishing friday!

this cover should keep the coffee toasty warm if you don't drink it all in the first go. and it's tall enough to fit even when the plunger is still up. i'm pretty pleased, even if i do say so myself. especially with the quilting - i love how it turned out.

and these pretty little squares are set to be tea cozies. i'm still working hard towards that market april 9.

i've set up a little reward system for myself....i get to start on a new project every time i finish one of the old ones. there are some lovely fabrics just waiting for me to cut into them!!

happy weekend, one and all!