Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Design Ugh But I Am Still Fabulous

design ~ ugh 2

Pop into Watch Me Create today for more on the "Design ~ Ugh" behind these pendants.

Cindy thinks I am fabulous though. LOL. THANKS CINDY!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Party In Da Hooowsa


EEEEKKKKKK!!! SHE. IS. SIX!! I can't believe it. My baby, my little boo, my last child is already SIX!! Okay, okay, so six isn't that old, but she was only yesterday that she was five. She is getting big too fast, I tell ya.

Yesterday she had her first big kid birthday party. As a rule, we don't do parties until kindergarten, and then, you can't invite more friends then the age you are turning. Lauren picked five friends and had a ball of a time. Waiting is so hard. Especially when the party starts at 1pm and at 1:01 no one was there yet. LOL.

party ~ waiting

I totally caved and couldn't wait to give Lauren her special Momma-made gift. It was the perfect outfit for the day!! She loves it. It is all a little too big, but that is okay, at the rate she is growing, it'll be just right in no time.

Ya know how I told you she would be so excited to have a "photo shoot"? LOL, well she has officially gotten to the age where every photo is of her smashing one cheek into one shoulder. It took tons of coaxing to get her to do something other then the cheek to shoulder thing. LOL. I have at least two dozen photos on my computer of exactly that pose.

lauren 6 bday

We have a super fun day of favorites ahead of us. We are packing goodie bags for the kids at school. And out to lunch with Daddy for Chinese Chicken (her favorite is General Tso's). Oh and presents afternoon, talk about it being hard to wait. Then Daddy is going to make homemade chicken fingers for dinner. Too. Much. Fun.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Kitchen Art


I decided that the mirror in the kitchen just wasn't cuttin' it. And since falling in love with the poster at the antique mall, I have been hunting for some vintage posters for my walls. I found them in an etsy shop and they are perfect!!

One is covered in cooking terms and I think barbaque is my favorite. The other is all about the calorie content of food!! Wild huh?


LOL, I am getting worried about running out of things to blog about while finishing up the book. I hate that I can't tell you guys stuff!! Oh well. Gotta get back to work.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Shhh-ing


I hope you readers are good at keeping secrets. I am revealing more of Lauren's birthday goodies. Isn't this outfit cute?!? This pattern is from Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside The Lines. It is called The Jane Austen Dress. I knit most of it back in February, but it wasn't until last week that I finally sewed the skirt onto the bodice. An interesting experience, I'm telling ya. I don't think I like sewing fabric to hand knits.

I love making my Lornie Doon goodies. She gets so excited and can't stand the suspense. We had a fun outing for this present. We went fabric shopping with my friend Lindsey and her daughter Laurelle (who will also be getting this dress as a birthday gift). Both girls picked the fabric they wanted for their "special project". They have no idea what it was going to become, just that there was going to be knitting and fabric involved.


I case the shrug on yesterday afternoon. I was rather intimidated by it. I have never done "cable" stitches before. I had it in my head that it would be hard. Lindsey assured me I could handle it and as you can see... I can! I will be knitting away today trying to get the shrug done. I think it can get done by Monday. Won't it be fun on Monday to see here all dressed up. And wait till I tell her I want to take her picture. My girl is such a diva... and loves "photo shoots".

thrifted hat1

That Saturday thrifting trip I told ya about also had me finding this sweet hat. I don't know much about old hats, so I have no idea when it could have been made. But I loved the soft minty green color. And it was only $5. I had to grab it and add it to Lauren's dress up repertoire. Okay, okay, I'll admit it. I gave her the hat early. She has worn it to school everyday this week. I don't think she realizes it is a dress up hat. To her it is a fashion statement. She is a crazy dresser. She is almost always in layers... skirts with jeans are a must... she is a hot blooded little creature, so tee shirts are a staple too... even in the snow. LOL. Just crazy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Something Sweet


This week of blogging seems to be turning into a review of last week, lol. Monday I talked about Saturday, Tuesday I blogged about Sunday, and today, its about Friday. I am finding I have lots of "bare" spots on the walls of my house. And I am keeping them like that on purpose. I don't want to put stuff up just for the sake of putting it up.

I want to wait and hang things I really love. (I know if I hang something I won't take it down!) Friday, I decided to do a quick painting for a spot in my room. I bought a large canvas a while back and it was perfect for this spot. It is about 8 x24in.


I blended lots of shades of blue for the background, then made petals from the pages of an old book. I watercolored each petal, then Mod Podged them. I think it turned out rather sweet. It took less then an hour to make and it is a wonderful pop of teal on my wall. I am still getting used to seeing it hang there, though. Hmmm... I wonder if there is another spot I should hang it?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Don't Make Me Stippel You

lauren's birthday quilt

It's DONE!! Lauren's birthday quilt, for Oh, Fransson Quilt Along, is DONE!! Yoo HOO!! And with time to spare (her birthday isn't until Monday). You can find a whole set of photos from the project HERE in my Flickr Gallery. I just ran up to her room and popped it on her bed while she was outside waiting for the bus. LOL, I like being sneaky. I will have to hide my blog from here until Monday. Shhh.... don't tell her. She thinks this is for me to keep warm in my studio with.

This was such a fun project. I have never machine quilted before. I have made plenty of quilt facings by machining pieces together, but I usually hand the quilt sandwich off to my Mom for hand quilting. I just don't have the patience for hand quilting. Lindsey was awesome, and lent me her sewing machine that has a free motion presser foot so I was able to quilt it all myself!!

I wasn't sure if I would "stitch the ditch" or "stippel". Eventually, stippeling won out. And Oh.My.Stars. is stippeling fun. It is basically a giant squiggle line. I started in the center and worked my way out to the corners. It took about 5 hours on Sunday to get all the stippeling done. I drove Ron nuts... I stippeled all the way through the Syracuse Orangeman's basketball game. LOL. I just couldn't stop!!

I think I am going to make a quilt for each kid's birthday this year. Next up will be Andrew's in July!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Little More Thrifting


I had a weekend full of doing this and that. Saturday was the fullest day. I did studio stuff, some thrifting, a ton of yard work and fell asleep by 7:30. LOL. The thrifting was by far the highlight of Saturday.

Bonnie and I went to an "antique show and sale" that turned out to be more show then sale with $600 primitive step stools and $1000 water buckets. I was so bummed out by the lack of a good find, that on my way home, I stopped at the antique mall to attempt to not go home empty handed.

The poster above is what I didn't buy. I am lusting after this in a HUGE way. I want it, I can't stop thinking about it, but at $575, Ron says I can't have it. From what research I have been able to do, the poster is circa 1918 and part of a series of 30. It is BIG and measures 40 x 36in, plus the frame. I have just the right spot in the house for it too. I am tempted to buy a large canvas and recreate it for myself. Hmmm... we'll see. Maybe it will get marke down someday.


So rather than buy a big honker vintage poster, I settled on this sweet little cake tin for $10. Lovely. I like the rustiness of it, I love the pattern and the colors a wonderful too.


It sits on the bottom shelf of this bookcase I got for $40 a few weeks ago. I have wanted a bookcase just like this since buying our new house. I am so very happy to have it. I put it in my bedroom. We haven't have "nick knacks" in years. Hello... kids destroy nick knacks. It is fun to get to discover new bits and bobs to fill my house with.


Like this set of coasters in a round little box. This darling pop of yellow in now in my living room. *sigh* I love little yellow things.

You know, I have been thinking. Once the deadline is met for the book, and the estate sale/garage sale season gets in full swing... maybe I'll open an etsy shop to offer up the goodies I find to you all. You know, kinda like a side job thing. I love finding deals and a lot of you don't have the kind of sales we do up here, so it would be a win/win situation. Oh well, we'll see.

Friday, March 20, 2009

2 Cameras


I had a little bored-with-nothing-to-do-for-an-hour time yesterday. You know, it is the kind of time where it isn't enough time to justify starting a project, but it is more time then you need to do something else. I have been wanting to try this little photo experiment for a while. The light was just right, so here is what I did.


There is an amazing art retreat at Squam Lake in New Hampshire. Someday I will make my way there. *sigh* Anyway, one day, weeks ago, as I lusted after all the classes I would love to take, I came across the class called Through The View Finder, taught by Andrea Jenkins. I found the idea of taking a photo through the viewfinder of another camera such a unique idea. I knew I would want to try it.

living room corner

I love the look of old timey vintage photos and this turned into a really fun experiment. I don't know if I did it quite right, but I am gonna keep trying... when I get another little window of nothing-to-do-time. And by the way... you thought it was hard to take a picture of yourself while holding the camera out in front of you... try balancing two cameras, lining up the windows just so, and then pressing the button without messing upthe line up. lol. It is dang hard to do!!

There are more photos on Flickr!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pucker Up


Sometimes I really like my kids. LOL. Most days, they have me quietly meditating to myself things like "he is just upset because he isn't getting his way, he is just upset because he isn't getting his way... be the adult, don't get mad, be the adult, don't get mad." Or, "take a deep breath... take a deep breath... she is only 5, she'll learn". They have me counting the hours until bed time ( or the days til the next therapy appointment when we can get some more advice on how to handle rotten situations ).

Then there are days like yesterday. It was a stressful couple of hours shortly after the bus arrived delivering my little terrors, I mean darlings, home. There were meltdowns and fits. There were arguments and tears.

But then...

There was a hula-hoop competition. Lauren and Andrew playing on the deck, together, no fighting, showing each other cool things a hula-hoop can do. Then they wandered into the woods and brought me back a little handful of flowers. I got to sit quietly and knit by the window, listening to there little kid conversations. (according to Andrew, you can't possibly know the future unless, of course, you had a time machine which is practically impossible... all his words, lol) And I got to cover my eyes, pretend I didn't see the fist full of flowers as they were coming inside, and get a few hugs and kisses.

And how perfectly my little glass of snow caps match what I was knitting on. The top is for the spring/summer, it is called "Pucker". The yarn is Seduce in the color Absinthe. I can't wait to get it done, and maybe I can wear it while doing some hula-hooping of my own.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One Month And Counting

Just Picked

In exactly one month from today, I have a deadline. It is the deadline for the rest of my book! Did you know it was coming up so fast? When I signed the contract back in October, the details were to have at least half the book and half the completed projects turned in by a certain date in January. Then, the second half and the rest of the projects are due by April. Man the past 6 months have flown by.

It all still seems a little unreal to me, ya know. I tell people "oh, yeah, I am writing a book," and they are all like "wow, that's cool". But as many times as I say it, it doesn't really seem real. I guess it won't be really real until I see it on the shelf at Barnes & Noble and I have an idea for book number two, lol.

There are lots of exciting (to me) things going on in the background of book writing Kerryland. For one, I was talking to my acquisitions editor last week (or was it the week before) and she told me lots of goodies. Here is a quick run down... I am going to Ft.Collins CO the week of May 18th to do a photo shoot of the step by step making of each project for the book. (I can't wait to blog about my hotel room, lol) I will be there at least 3 days, and hey, if you are in CO and wanna plan dinner or something, send me an email. Also, they have a set schedule for my book, beyond my deadlines. Cover art is due in July, which means I will have a title in May. EEEKKK!! I don't know if I have told you this or not, but they have a "title" meeting for every book. A bunch of editors sit in a room and hash out title ideas. I have submitted what I want it to be, but it still isn't definite. Now, we have a set schedule because.... I have an editor!! I am not going to reveal who she is just yet, because we haven't actually gotten to chat with each. But, I will give you a hint. You may recognize her from your email inbox if you get "daily" updates from my publisher. Hmmm.... can you figure it out?

Okay, so a big deadline like this means a few things. I am going to end up going into shhh shhh mode here on the blog. I won't be able to show you things. But as I did in January, I will show you a few of the artists I am working with and I want to share with you some of the AWESOME online retailers that have been supporting things. And um, I am sure there was something else... but it seems to have slipped my mind.

That happens a lot lately, things slipping my mind. I saw on some show, can't remember which one (LOL, big surprise there, LOL), that said your memory peaks at 22 and it is all down hill from there. I used to have a wicked good memory, now it is crappy crapola. I can't remember if I have done something 5 minutes after I have done it. I can't remember I wanted to do something as I am doing it. It is that whole starring at an open cabinet and not knowing that I was going it get a glass of water. Why was I getting a glass again? Oh yeah, water. ugh.

Anywho... sorry to be all over the board today. But that is my brain right now. All-over-the-place. I was able to focus long enough to make this sweet little goodie yesterday. A sort "ode to spring". I am calling it "Freshly Picked". It is light and fresh, just right for this time of year, don'tcha think?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No Boots

sunny enough to put boots away

Gotta love the first days of the spring that it is warm and sunny enough to put your boots away. LOL, no jacket either.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Beady Day


I am headed to my website to load up a fresh batch of Bead Box beads. It is an update that is long past due. I haven't had beads for y'all in ages. I wish I had more, but we'll just ease back into things. There are four sets of beads, and the two buttons I previewed on Watch Me Create last week.

I am lovin' the golden tone of this yellow. I am not a "gold" person. I don't own any, I don't wear any.... but this is delicious. It looks lovely with oxidized silver. The necklace I shared yesterday has a mixture of metal finishes. Did you notice? There is some bright silver, and a mix of oxidized with in the chained area. Who says a piece has to be all bright or all oxidized? Why not mix it up a bit? I played with a newish shape. It is kinda like a disc/barrel/rolo/spacer thingy. I love it. I want to make a whole necklace of just them.

I wanted to pause for a second and thank everyone, again, for the comments and emails on about my "encountering reactance". I so appreciate your support. I am so happy to have you all here behind me no matter what. And you know, more then anything, I am mad at myself. I shouldn't let anything, anything, get it the way of doing what I love to do. Don't worry... I think I was being a little dramatic. Awakening to my spoiled behavior doesn't mean that I won't be creative in other ways. I just need to better prioritize. If I want to knit or sew or paint, I can, and I will, but I need to make time for working too. (check out Kelly Rae's post HERE, timely don't ya think? I am sure that is what I was trying to get across on Friday.)

Anyway... Lauren's birthday quilt is coming along nicely, and I cast on a new top for the spring and summer that I am loving. All that is for another day... today is a beady day!! Go get yourself some goodies!!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunny Yellow


It is a very rare thing to find a Sunday post here on the blog. I couldn't wait till tomorrow though. I had a freaking awesome hollow making day on the torch yesterday. This being in the studio everyday thing has really had it's benefits. I am lovin' it.

I am at a total loss for what to name this new creation. When I came up from the studio with it on, it made Ron say "wow". I am thinking "Sunshine Daisies" but that is kinda corny. I can't help it though. Every time I see something yellow the phrase "sunshine, daisies, bottom, mellow, turn this stupid fat rat yellow" from Harry Potter runs through my head. Something needs to be named that so I can stop having that stuck in my head, LOL.

Okay, so this piece might end up being submitted to something special. There is an exhibit coming to the Memorial Art Gallery called Glass Wear. While the show is running, glass artist from The Gallery Store will be having trunk shows at the museum. (more info on my trunk show at a later date). The Gallery Council is asking that the trunk show artists donate a piece to be auctioned to benefit the museum. The aution pieces will be on display during the Glass Wear exhibit up through the night of the Glass Gala on May 1st. I have been told that you'll be able to bid online too!! How cool is that?!? I wanted to design something wowie and zowie that could hold it's own with the types of pieces that will be on display in the exhibit. This might just be "the one". Ron is thinking it is just too good to give away... I would love to hear your thoughts!!

OH!! I almost forgot... there is gonna be a Bead Box Update tomorrow!! Stay Tuned!!


Friday, March 13, 2009

Encountering Reactance

The other day, I gave you a little snippet of the things I wanted to talk about this week. One of them was "reactance". I have been writing this post in my head for more then a week... ever since learning about this word. I think to myself that I will start this post one way or another, but it keeps changing. Anyway, I can feel a long babbling post coming on, so grab some coffee and settle in.

Last week, that day Lindsey and I conspired to take a fabric road trip and I learned about the quilt-along, Lindsey asked me something. I was complaining about some work I had to do and she asked "do you even enjoy making beads anymore? because it doesn't seem like it." That kinda took me off guard. Do I still enjoy making beads? That led to a talk about a few of the things I have been feeling lately.

First, this whole "state of the economy" crap is getting to me. Ron works in a corporate setting that just isn't stable. Any given day, he could come home early having been laid off. It is no way to go through life. It just sucks. What sucks worse though, is being an artist on the receiving end of that. Ron has never pressured me about anything, and he is extremely supportive of what I do. Lately though, he is giving me little nudges. Not in a bad way, but in a "don't ya wanna go make beads, you are gonna be the one supporting us if I loose my job"... and "is there any way you can kick things up a notch?" And this all started about six months ago when the company he works for announced they were laying off 5% of their work force.

So, one of things we agreed to was that if someone asks me to do something, I don't say no. For a long time, when I was asked to do custom orders, I politely declined, but now, I take them as they come. Custom orders have always been a struggle for me on so many levels. For one, I feel like the uniqueness of my work is one of the reasons it sells so well. People know that when they buy my beads or they buy my jewelry, they are getting something that is one of a kind. Never two the same. That is really important to me and if I opened myself up to taking orders, I don't know that I could keep things as individually unique as I do. For two, I have never been an assembly line thinker. It drives me mad. Think about it, in the past 6 years that I have been doing what I do, how easy could it be to have a website that shows a set of beads with an order button? I would have an endless supply of work. But I would go insane. I. Just. Can't. Do. That. For me, what I do is not about the money and I feel like the minute it becomes about making money, my work will suffer and my customers will see through me in a heartbeat.

To my rambling and sarcastic comments of "I just don't wanna do what people tell me I have to", Lindsey said "that is reactance". She explained that my creative freedom is being threatened so I am rebelling against the threat. And that right there has been stuck in the fore front of my thoughts since I heard it.

My creative freedom is being threatened.

The idea of that has caused a flurry of other ideas. First, and the thing nagging me the most, is how dare I act like such a little brat? Really, am I 31 or 3? Acting out and rebelling against what really is a responsibility shouldn't be an option. I am not an individual, I am part of a family of five. I need to be a contributor to this family. How could I let this go on for so long? By allowing myself to wallow in a subconscious rebellion, I am not only chancing losing everything I have worked so hard for over the past six years, I am also allowing a horrible insecurity creep in too. See, over the past few months, as I have been knitting instead of beading, sewing instead of beading, and painting instead of beading, I have felt my confidence in my beads falter. If I make beads, will everyone still think they are cool? Will they even sell? Why risk it?

Now maybe I have been good at hiding all this. Maybe you are thinking, Kerry where is this coming from? But I tell you, it has been sitting with me, worrying me, for a long time now. Now that I have a "label", so to speak, I can work through it in a more deliberate way. And the more I have talked about it this past week, with friends and with family, the more I have been able to process it. As I said in the start of this post, I have been writing this in my head for more then a week, and what I want to convey changes all the time. So much so, that I almost decided not to write this after all. Then I thought, no, I need to get this out.

So, here is my new plan. I am going to "fake it till I make it", lol. It is some advice Lori Greenberg gave me once. She gave it to me about a different situation, but I think it applies here. I feel like I need to pull my head outta the sand and get back to work. I can't keep hiding behind other projects. And I'll tell you the answer I gave Lindsey to the question "do you still enjoy making beads?" Yes, yes, yes, I do. When I sit at my torch, I have a sense of calm and all is right with my little world. It is getting myself to go sit down and do it that has been the problem. I. Need. To. Make. Beads. Even if I don't want to. I need to fake that it's what I want to be doing, until it is what I want to be doing. Ideas don't make themselves, so if I am feeling like I don't have any, then I need to work through that, not start knitting another sweater. Enough avoiding. I need to act my age.

I have spent time in my studio everyday this week. And that is my new pledge to myself. I will spend time in the studio. Everyday. I will regain my waning confidence. I will show myself that there is a reason I took the leap I did all those years ago and that I will not lose this. You know, for months now, I have felt like I have been floating. Like I have been treading water in between two places. (I think I have said that before) I have tried kicking my feet and swimming in one direction or another now and then over these past few months, but I was doing so blind. I feel now like the sun is rising over the water where I am treading and although it is still a little hazy, I can see a bit better what I want to kick towards.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sneak Peak At WMC


Later today on Watch Me Create, I will have a post about the inspiration behind these new beads.

There are plenty more where these came from. I am having so much fun with these colors. The yellow is a bright golden, sunny yellow and it is made even warmer with the neutral grays. When you see what else I am cookin' up, I think you are gonna love 'em as much as I do. These are going to look wonderful with oxidized wire. Yum.

And, um, looking at this gigantic photo of these relatively small beads is making them look weird. They really are delightful in my hands. I don't think blowing up a bead 500% is the best thing to do sometimes, lol.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

February In March


It's finished! Yoo hoo!! Actally, I finished in Saturday night, but I had to make the buttons. Tuesday was the first day it was all done and ready to wear. Excuse the dreary March lighting. I was hoping for just one sunny day to venture outside for some pictures, but alas, it is really really rainy and no sun is expected for a few days, at least.

When I showed this last week (or was it the week before) I thought I was weeks away from finishing it. But I am quite proud to say, my knitting has really improved. I am a little speed demon. The rows that were taking me 30-40mins back in July, only took me 15-20mins now. I wouldn't have let this snooze so long had I known I had so little left to do on it.

For those that like to knit... on Ravelry, this pattern has been made 4600+ times!! It is a FREE pattern and it is called "February Lady Sweater". I used a cotton called Four Seasons from a local yarn store. And had I it to do over, I would have waited to order yarn online. I was impatient and wanted to start right-that-minute, so I had to go with what was in the store that had enough yardage. I really really really wish I had waited and ordered yarn in another color. Not that I don't love red, it's just... I don't think it is the best for my skin tone. I wish I had done it in gray.

Check out the button bling it is sporting!!


It took a few tried to get the button color right. Which means, I have a spare set of buttons that will be headed to the Bead Box soon. I am also working on beads in an absolutely lovely color combo. More on that coming soon!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Slippery Little Sucker

Slippery Sucker

Look what I made yesterday. I have been playing with buttons since needing to make some for sweaters. I had this one on my desk and I thought... "hey, it could be a bracelet." I slipped some cording through the holes, added some beads to trap everything, and just tied the tassels in a knot after slipping it on.

I wore it all day to test it out. Would the bead break when I whacked it on the dryer after changing over a load of laundry? Nope. Would the tassels annoy me when I was driving? Nope. Did I like the colors? Yep.

I only found one problem. The cording is slippery. The knot doesn't like to stay knotted. It never came off, or completely untied. It just loosened up enough that the bracelet would slip and spin around my wrist. That made for a lot of playing and fiddling while wearing it, which y'all know I love. I love when my jewelry can keep my occupied while waiting for the fella at the cash register to ring up my order.

But what about you? What do you think? Should this go back to the drawing board? Is there another kind of cording that is colorful, yet non-slip? Maybe I should do it up in wire? It wouldn't have the versatility of sizing that this has but, it would look cool. Hmmm... all good things to think on.

Slipper Sucker Button Close Up

Monday, March 09, 2009

Weekend Road Trip


Raise your hand if you would drive an hour and a half just to go to a fabric store?

OH OH OH... ME ME... I would I would...

Don't look at me like I am crazy. I already got enough of that from my Mom, sister, and husband. "Your going all the way to Buffalo... for fabric?" they said. "Yeah," was my reply. It was so worth every minute of the rainy gray thruway drive. And besides, I had great company for the trip so it went by in the blink of an eye.


Last week, Lindsey was over visiting (and doing grading, she is a professor, did you know?) while I was making my fabulous "toTaLlY TwiStEd" bunting for the studio. She popped open her laptop and showed me a "quilt-a-long". She was thinking of going along with OH, Fransson! and making this as her daughter's quilt for a big girl bed that will soon be making it's way to her little lady's room just in time for her 4th birthday. Laurelle (Lindsey's girl) and Lauren (my girl) have birthdays just a few days apart.

The quilt is a fabulous design. I love it!! Lindsey and I plotted and schemed and decided that the road trip we wanted to take to a fabric store in Buffalo NY, http://www.forfabric.com/, was long past due. The store is fantastic. It is the only place in a hundred miles that carries all our favorite designers. Anna Maria Horner, Heather Bailey, Heather Ross, Amy Butler, Joel Dewberry, Alexander Henry and more. I can't tell you how incredibly cool it is to see so many of our favorites... in person... in our actual hands. Really, too cool. No photo online can compare to seeing the colors in person and feeling all that cottonie goodness.


I wasn't planning on making a quilt, but I couldn't drive across the state without a project. That would have been a bad thing. I would have randomly bought tons of fabric and done serious damage to our credit card. So, Lindsey and I are doing the quilt along together. Both our girls will be getting these as birthday quilts (lol, actually we are doing a couple of the same handmade gifts for them... you'll see what I mean in a few weeks when I show you more). And I must say, she is doing most of the work. She did all the math to figure out how to turn this into a twin size quilt. She knows all the sizes of everything we need. And I feel like I am just going along for the ride. I am blissfully complying and thankful for her patience as I ask her a million questions that I am being too lazy to figure out on my own. *sigh*

I think it is neat to watch the two of us when we are in a fabric store. Our styles (and thus our daughters' tastes) are totally reflected in what we pick and they couldn't be more different. Lindsey's quilt has a lot of Amy Butler's fabrics. Soft greens, blues, a little yellow and a touch of soft lavender with some browns. So calm and sweet. I was pulling all the intense colors I could find and ended up with rich purple, hot pink, poppin' turquoise, gray and ivory. Lots of tone on tone and strong geometric designs mixed with fancy flourishes. So vibrant and lush.


I can't tell you how inspiring this trip was. In more ways then one too. I am freaking loving the looks of gray on gray with ivory right now. And hot pink... love hot pink, with purple, red, and orange of all things. I know you are thinking that you have heard me mention these colors before... but I am telling you... it is different in my head this time. I can see a lot of this coming to life in glass. If only the colors dancing in my mind matched the rods on my desk. *double sigh* My glass colors seem so dull compared to them. Lindsey seems to think I should play with http://www.spoonflower.com/ and design some fabrics to offer for sale. Kinda pricey at $18 p/yard but hey, you never know.

Okay... so that was our road trip. It is going to be fun blogging about this quilt coming together. All the fabric needs to be washed and ironed before it makes it's proper blog debut. I have lots of other things to tell you about too. I finished my February Lady Sweater for one. I am suffering from "reactance", which is a serious talk we have to have for two. And huh, I know there was something else. Oh, well... it'll come to me.

What did you do this weekend?


Friday, March 06, 2009

Save A Puppy?

Remember a few weeks ago when I showed y'all a picture of my Mom's English Bulldog, Gerty? Well, my Mom just found out this afternoon that one of the pups is sick.

This is La-La (Lauren named her), she is 6 weeks old and is suffering from a heart murmur and hernia in her belly. Mom found this out at a vet check today. The vet says she is a fighter and doesn't want us to give up on her. The vet plans to do an ultrasound on La-La's heart in two weeks and thinks, with surgery, that she could have 5-6years in her.

Mom has decided not to put La-La to sleep and wants to give her free to a loving home that would be willing to get her the surgery she needs. La-La's brother and sisters sold for $2500 and these little ones have all their papers.

Anyway, I told my Mom I would post about her here and see if any of you might want to offer La-La a home. Zing me an email. I would be happy to answer any questions and give you Mom's email too.

Update: It looks like La-La has found a home!! She will be going to a couple that resently lost their family dog in a snow blow accident. She will have lots of love!! Thanks to everyone for wanting to help. You are all so greatly appreciated!!

A Little Sumthin Sumthin

Custom Cupcake Bangle

Isn't this cute? I had an order recently for one of my Cupcake Bangles. This was for a very petite wrist. I love these bangles!! They look great no matter what your size. I loved getting to pull out all my colors. Ahh... if I ever get some proper beading time in the future, I gotta do some more brights.

Lauren has come down with what ever it was that Jacob had earlier in the week. She has it worse then he did though, poor thing. Sore throat, high fever, thick congestion, and this is weird, she keeps getting bloody noses. I am sure if I take her into the pediatrician I will be told it is viral, but the bloody nose thing is throwing me for a loop. So, she needs to be seen. Wish me luck, and a healthier weekend.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

A New Studio Accessory

Totally Twisted banner in the studio

Yesterday I got creative in the studio in a different way then usual. I have been seeing what I call word-banner-flag-things all over the crafty blog web.

Here are a few I have seen:
Kelly Rae Roberts
JC Handmade
Beauty That Moves
Soule Mama

I knew I had to make one for the studio. "Totally Twisted" is what I call my 5 hour intro to wire class, and it is what I am hoping (fingers crossed, please, please, please) will be the title of my book. It is such a cool phrase (that I thunk up myself thankyouverymuch), I love it. It is mine all mine. Hey, maybe I better put a "Tm" after it? LOL.

It is an easy enough project to make and I threw together a quick tutorial for y'all. I don't know how anyone else makes these, and I am far from a master seamstress. I just winged it. I think these would be fun with an inspiration word like "bliss" or "create". I like mixing fabrics and colors and upper/lower case letters, but it would look just as cool if it was all the same fabric with the same text running across. I don't know exactly how much fabric I used. I did it a "stash buster" project just using up what I had around the house. (A while back, I bought an Anna Maria Horner Scrap Bag and it would be prefect for this.)

Without Further Ado..

Kab's Very Own Fabric Word Banner Flag Thingy

Banner tutorial step1

Step 1: You are basically going to make a bunch of little pouches. Straight line stitching people, nothing fancy. I made a plan ahead of time and knew I would need 14 flags for the letters in my words. You can do them assembly line style or one at a time. (I did 'em one at a timeand it too HOURS because my rotary cutter was about as sharp as a butter knife.) Cut three pieces of fabric (sizes to cut are on the photo above).

Banner tutorial step2

Step 2: With right sides together, sew together the two smaller pieces. This will be your "front". For the most part, all my letters are made on solid colors. This example has a patterned piece... if you want a pattern, make sure it is a light color and subtle so it is easier to paint and see the letter later on. Okay, the seam allowance is 1/4in (the outside edge of my presser foot). Be a good sewer girl and press your seams with an iron when you are done.

Banner tutorial step3

Step 3: Again, with right sides together, sew the front piece to the back piece. You only need to sew it on three sides, leave the top open. When you are done, flip it right side out and press it.

Banner tutorial step4

Step 4: You could leave the flag as is at this point, but I decided to add a little extra work for myself, um, I mean detail, by doing some top stitching. It is all machine done. I just went around the outside edge with a straight stitch then zigzagged the place where the two pieces were sewn earlier. This really is a stash buster project. I didn't worry about matching my thread to my bobbin. I ended up using whatever was in the machine... when my bobbin ran out, I just grabbed another half used one. Now I have three empty bobbins ready to be wound the next time I sew instead of 3 half full ones in colors I don't use very often.

Banner tutorial step5

Step 5: Keep on making the flags until you have as many as you need. I laid them out at I went so I could see how the colors were mixing. Have fun, move things around.

Banner tutorial step6

Step 6: Okay, I kinda skipped a step here, but well talk about the two steps shown in this photo. First, you need to sew the flags into some bias tape. Had it been a perfect studio day, I would have found two packages of black double fold bias tape in my stash, alas it was only a sorta good day. So, I ended up with being lucky enough just to find two packs of bias tape at all. Fold the tape in half to find the center and pin your center flap into the fold of the tape. Space the rest evenly along the tape and just sew a straight line down the bias tape.

Step 7: Now you can paint your letters!! I just used some acrylic paints I had in the studio. This isn't something that will be washed or played with so I didn't worry about using fabric paints. I just hand painted on the letters. Now, I bet you are thinking "Kerry, why didn't you paint the letters first, then sew them into the bias tape?" Well, if I did, there would be a chance I wasn't paying close enough attention and I would mix up the order of letters, then I would have to get out my seem ripper and destroy my bias tape. Just do it this way, it works. And ya know what is good about plain old acrylics? They dry in about 20mins!!



Hang it and enjoy!!

Besure to let me know if you bust up your fabric stash and give this a try. And remember, I just threw this together so typos and grammar errors are not my fault. Well, actually, they are my fault... I typed 'em... but hey, it is a free tutorial. Beggers can't be choosers.

Have fun!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009



Pretty pretty, huh? I love getting fresh batches of glass and I love it even more when it gets delivered on sunny days. This is about 25 pounds of glass... all the colors I have been missing. Can anyone guess how much this cost? Initially the bill was $540 (with the glass, bead release and some button mandrels) but quantity discounts made it $338. Sweet!! Free shipping too. I heart www.heritageglass.com.

I feel the gears turning and the ideas working around in my head. This package arriving yesterday got me motivated enough to organize it and put it all away. Hopefully, I can find some more motivation from somewhere around here to get up and actually use some of the stuff. I have orders to fill.... and beads that need making.