slow by hand

well it seems as if we are living in intense times, no? here we are, people. dig it.

it’s good to be alive & oh my, my heart is full of gratitude and kindness and love and sadness and i feel open to all of it and to laughter, too. that giant container we call the heart can sure hold a lot of stuff at once.

photo-59anyway. the other day i managed to steal away a couple of hours and i made a little embroidered uterus for a gynecologist friend. this is my first embroidery project ever, & i’m pretty stoked on the soul of the whole thing, this sewing up a picture from your mind situation. the mistakey nature of this piece makes me smile, because it looks pretty much exactly like the way i feel freedom. can anyone think up other uterine puns? (i didn’t think up that one myself.) maybe i’ll do a series. that would be very portland.

other things i’d like to make: the woodsy association… cute insanity!! and… ooh la la, i’m totally getting down with some bûche de noël action on xmas eve!

wishing you all a happy, warm, slow christmas, with something in your hands to make and something in your heart to love.

xoxo

 

 

gradations.

this yarn smells like lanolin. it smells like cabin in the woods in the white mountains, late falltime. it feels coarsely soothing, if you can imagine that… scratchy, but you want it on your skin anyway. i don’t think i’ve ever enjoyed working with a yarn so much as this. i mean, just look at it, what a beauty. i’m in love with the kaleidoscopic scene it unfurls, and it’s so right for autumn, for this time in my life full of little changes, one bleeding to the next, peeling things back and watching the newness underneath take shape, tiny step and step and step, then something bigger, brighter, starts to show its face.

xo

a quilt for a little.

hey y’all! some dear friends of mine are having a baby boy, which is nothing remarkable in and of itself, but which is indeed actually remarkable because these people are going to make great parents, exceptional ones! their little one is lucky. 

when a & m got married a few years back, they eloped (because hello, they are awesome), and i don’t think i ever sent them a wedding gift, so i wanted to do something extra special to welcome their little one. i came upon blue is bleu’s triangle quilt on pinterest and really loved it, so i pretty much just copy-catted the design.  

i’ve gone back and forth about the colors/ pattern combos i chose (should i get all faux-british and bloggy up in here and call them “colours”? ha.), but in the end am mostly happy with the outcome. i’ve made two quilts before, only one of which i machine quilted. this one is closer to technically perfect than the last, and unlike the last one doesn’t have any unintended puckery areas on the backing. i attribute this win to dropping down my feeder foot, and (most importantly) to setting my machine at half-speed. sewing at maniacal speed is not the best when quilting. i learned my lesson: slow down.

i backed the quilt in a soft brown flannel, to add to the insulation factor & keep it from sliding around. (stick to that baby, quilt!). before i sent it off, i tied it up all pretty like with a rogue crochet item i had floating around in my knitting bag. because life is in the details, folks.

there are many many details and projects and adventures in my corner, friends, and i have pretty much dropped the ball on blogging. but the rains rolled in just yesterday, and they are here for winter, and i have plans of inhabiting this space, i really do. i miss it here. have a fantastic weekend!

xo

soft and stone

oh, dear. i’ve found new channel for my obsessive tendencies, and it’s dangerous(ly fun)! the first time i saw margaret oomen’s crochet stones, i fell in love. the other day, i wondered if there was a pattern out in the world somewhere, since i’m not yet skilled enough to crochet intuitively, but really wanted to make some. magically, there is, over at the purl bee, where everything is cute and rainbows and unicorns all of the time! i loved reading margaret’s words about her process and the energy behind the materials she uses (repurposed thread, yeah!). i used her tutorial as a jumping off point, and think these will offer me the chance to learn a lot of new skills/become better at reading patterns in the crochet department. there are a million free doily patterns on ravelry and i’m going to jump in.

these here are a gift for some lovely friends. as you can see, they’re irregular and flawed, but that works. speaking of flawed, it sure looks as though my front porch needs a coat of paint. why? why must i be responsible for things like painting the porch? why can’t i just wade around in rivers all day finding stones and then, at night, make clothes for them? it isn’t fair.

xo

thrilling!

i have been renting a sweet little office for the last several years, and many times over those years i have silently promised myself that someday i would make cushions for the window seat. the cushions, however, have taken a backseat (har, har) to other projects time and time again. but, folks, their time has come. cushions made, and they are worth the wait. the comfort and the pretty’s been achieved, and i am stoked! 

i’ve made bias tape and piping once before, ten years ago when i was living in new mexico, and my landlady and i reupholstered a chair together. (she incorporated me into said project mainly, i am guessing, because piping isn’t the absolute most fun thing in the world to make.) bias tape and piping are time-consuming when you are slowpoke about sewing, i can attest. but, i can also attest they are worth it in the end, when your final item is completely dripping with awesome. (continuous bias tape tutorial here on the collette blog  //  piping tutorial here at sew mama sew.) being a slow sewer has its advantages, though… there are plenty of episodes of toddlers and tiaras to be seen, plenty of inner terror to cultivate while watching and sewing. the yin and the yang, friends… just pretend you’re conducting sociological research and call it good.
you might need to let go of your über-perfectionist tendencies, and learn to be okay with a wonky seam or two. they’ll happen.what else will happen is your seat on this seat, feeling glad. when you’re sitting in a window seat, all is right with the world. it’s true.

xo, emily

basker.

if there’s a slice of sunshine to be found, she finds it. always. enjoy whatever morsels of warmth and light you can take for yourself, is her motto. sunshine, a game of string, some love, dog kisses, lap time, and three square meals a day: these are the keys to a happy cat life.

she told me the windowsill was just fine as-is, all skinny and un-softed, but it didn’t look too comfortable. i worried she was just being polite, as she tends to be. so i built her a little shelf for the princess bed.

& you know what? she says she likes it fine, thank you… she says yes, this is the perfect basking place for the sweetest kitty in the world (which is how she refers to herself when she is being modest).

i’ve been working on lots of little projects around here, but i’ve been soaking up summer while i can, too, so documentation is in the back seat, right next to an empty slurpee cup, in a pile of sand. we are heading into the woods today, to the secret magical place on the creek, with friends and family (this time, i won’t forget a tent!) but i’ll be back next week, with some good things to show you. stay cool friends, and get yourselves some vitamin d while it’s easy to come by. frida says she’d like that for you, and who can argue with her?

xo

black and blue, take two.

last week, at the berry patch (third visit this year), i picked marionberries the size of my thumb, and a big bucket of blues, and ran home to make the pie i wrote about last year. i was impatient to get it into the oven, and didn’t even wash the berries first. but they’re organic, so… i think it’s alright. (isn’t it?) don’t call the health department; the evidence has left the building.
we have a child living in this little house for a while, people. she’s great, but it turns out that a 12 year old girl can pretty much do a pie in with great efficiency, so another will be made shortly (& after bedtime).the pie is a marker of time, i guess; looks to be nearly a year since i started this blog. so much has happened in one year, big things, small things. the hard and the soft. most things don’t go down as easy as pie, but i’ll tell you one thing: i am happy, so happy, to be alive, stained fingers and all, to roll out one more crust and feed the ones i love, to have ones to love, to have enough of everything and then some. at least two slices worth of life, i’d say. thanks for hanging in, folks. i like you.

xo

 

once again.

like most good things, it starts outdoors… making jam, that is. it starts with friends, with a drive to the country island just outside the city, with waxy cardboard boxes and wagons and acres of farmland to walk through.

you will be thinking only of where you are just then, and who you’re with, and what you love, which is most of all this instant.

the making is for later, with barefoot kinfolk in a steamy kitchen, stirring, sipping minty tea with muddled fruit.

summer. summer summer summer! here we are.

i’ve saved it in those jars, for proof.

xo

for toothbrushes, etc.

i don’t enjoy the term “toiletry bag,” maybe because i don’t want to be reminded of toilet anything while i’m brushing my teeth. what do you all call these things? please do share, i’m looking for alternative suggestions. “dopp kit” seems too manly, but i’m not a big “cosmetics” lady, either.

my last bag for toothbrushes, etc. was also handmade, gifted to me by my housemother in pau, france while i was studying abroad. i can’t remember her name, which is driving me crazy. i do remember she was beautiful, she loved camembert cheese, and men, she wore chanel perfume and plunging necklines. her daughter, nathalie, was rebellious and wonderful. i have a memory bubbling up involving a roundabout, high speeds, a small grey fiat. karaoke. a soccer team. her mother made me a toiletry bag.

i made this bag out of leftover cloth i had lying around, and think it’s pretty rad. [portland crafters: there are currently hell of zippers over at scrap (mostly giant jackety ones). ten for two bucks!] i’ve been sewing a lot. but the sun is out, now. off to the garden.

xo