Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fabric collage

A couple years after my grandma died, my grandpa was preparing to move out of the house that they had lived in for the past 30ish years.  On my last visit to that house (seriously, I can hardly think of it without crying) I was able to gather up lots of sentimental things, including a couple bags of fabric and yarn from Grandma's impressive sewing stash.  The stuff has been packed away in my garage for about five years, and the other day I had the urge to dig it out. 
Some day I'd like to make a crazy quilt from all these mismatched fabrics, but that day is not today. I've had the image below saved for a long time, and it was the perfect inspiration.  I can't find the page for this exact picture, but you can visit the Hula Seventy blog here to see more of her awesome paper collages.
I cut out a bunch of small fabric samples, and then I painted a 12x12 canvas in shades of blue and green.
Unfortunately, when I laid out the fabrics, they looked all wrong on the variegated blue canvas.  So I painted another one with a simple orange background
The orange really worked better with the '70s vibe I was getting from the fabrics.  I also made a long braid with some bright pink yarn and hot glued that to the outside edge.  I mean, if we're going '70s, let's throw orange and pink together and go all out, right?  Here's the finished product.
I used Mod Podge to attach the fabrics, with varying results.  The thinnest ones, for example, became kind of see-through.  Oh well.  I still love it.
Finally, I'll add that I have a small amount of the black and white tiger print bedsheet that my grandma made into a button-up shirt for my grandpa.  (Are you picturing it, cousins?  The Olan Mills photo with Grandpa in that marvelous tiger shirt?  I know you are.)  I will make a project with that someday too, when I've dreamed up something worthy of the material.

Monday, February 11, 2013

May I suggest...

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight?  Last week I made Pioneer Woman's recipe for beans.  I had forgotten how much I love that dinner, because you throw the stuff into a pot, walk away, and a couple hours later, it's ready.  I usually make corn pancakes from the Jiffy boxed mix to go with it.

Then, because I hadn't yet put my PW cookbook away a coule days later, I decided to make cinnamon rolls.  (I don't make the maple frosting; instead I just mix some butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar, then thin it with a little milk.  It's imprecise but has turned out well every time I've tried it.)

This morning, after getting online to look up "just one quick thing," I'm pulling myself out of a 90 minute wormhole of searching design blogs, craft blogs, and images of art, collage, and fabrics.  I've got a box full of old fabrics and yarn that I'm itching to turn into something awesome.  Update to follow.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I don't usually decorate for Valentine's Day, but the kids seem to appreciate it, and it made a fun project for Alec and me to work on together.  We took a huge piece of paper Matt had brought home from the recycling bin at work and painted it in different reds & pinks.  We used an empty toilet paper roll dipped in white paint for the circles.
Once the paint was dry, we drew as many hearts as we could squeeze on the page, cut them out, and stuck them onto the wall with removable sticky tack.
Painting is so satisfying to me.  In fact, I had a hard time letting Alec do much of it, since I had a vision of the end result that I wanted.  It's probably not doing much for my kids' creative development to work wih a mom who is sort of a control freak.
We call it an installation.  It feels very sophisticated that way.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Three long months to go

I have no intention of making this a pregnancy/new baby blog.  In fact, I’m consciously trying to make it as kid-free as possible, just to have something separate from my mom life.  But please allow me a moment to complain.  This baby that I’m cooking up has exactly three more months until his or her due date.  Yesterday I went to to show the boys what our little one looks like.  I read something along the lines of, “As you transition into your third trimester, you may notice new symptoms.  In addition to back pain, you may start to have leg cramps, which can be worse at night.” 
When I read that I thought to myself, “Oh, right, the leg cramps.  Those are the worst.”  And then what do you think woke me up at 5:00 this morning?  A massive, blindingly painful leg cramp. 
Oh, babycenter, I suddenly have a newfound respect for your accuracy.  Now, where's the section on looking fantastic when you are hugely pregnant?  I think wearing that amazing dress, plus hanging out with Jack Black, would make me feel a little better about my assorted aches and pains.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Swept away by a book

I just finished reading The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey.  It's a re-telling of Jane Eyre, set in 1950s/1960s Scotland, and I liked it, but not as much as the original. 

When Matt and I did our European backpacking trip in 2001, I found a paperback copy of Jane Eyre on a bookshelf in our Swiss hostel.  I had never read it before, and I was so captivated that I stayed up late for three nights in a row, reading in my twin bed by the light of a dim bulb. 

The bookshelf had a sign that said, "take a book, leave a book", but I didn't have any book to trade, so I was determined to finish it before we moved on to another city.  I had maybe 50 pages to go when we had to leave, so I sadly left the book behind and waited another week or two before we were back home in the States and I could get it from the library.

I'm one who easily falls asleep if I settle in to bed with a book, but there are a few books that I've stayed up late to read:
Harry Potter series
Twilight series (I know.  Shut up.)
The Help
Rules of Civility

Any books that have swept you away?  Or do you always stay up late to read?