Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

I'm such a fabric hoarder. I keep everything: teeny, tiny scraps, old accessories, even old clothes thinking that someday I'll "upcycle" them into something fun and new. My goal is to visit the fabric store as little as possible. Instead, I want to find everything I need for a project in something I already have. It's a big dream and most of the time, it doesn't happen. I tend to look past what I have in favor of something "just perfect" which means more money spent and fewer things reused..

I found this article on CNN today (I'm a total CNN.com junkie) all about the company PFNC, who decided an impoverished communities could benefit from someone creating inexpensive but functional housing. Check it out here.

So basically, this is amazing! I'm completely inspired by the thinking....it's such a simple solution for such a great need. And while most people wouldn't find a shipping crate home "just perfect," I think the purpose it serves is much greater. I'm just in awe of the brilliance.

For more info visit their website: www.pfnc.net

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Favorite Sewing Buddy




That's Tallulah.
She's in it for the yarn.

6 Things About Me...For Better or Worse.

Yay! Sarah Stelmok has challenged me to a fun blog game in which I get to tell 6 terribly interesting and very likely, random things about me. And Sarah has set the bar pretty high as you can tell by clicking on her name.

So here it goes:

1. I don't like bacon. I know, I know...most people find this appalling. However, I hate the smell and it makes me feel so gross deep down inside. Ug. Sometimes I like the way it tastes...but that's usually if it's combined with some form of egg (because egg is the perfect food.)

2. I play the ukulele. Not well or anything, but I'm trying. My hope is that someday I can whip it out a my hypothetical children's birthday parties and embarrass the be-jujuice out of them. So Awesome.

3. I was not built for a real job/the modern working world. I would have done much better in a hunting and gathering society because I am an AMAZING gatherer...middle management material even.

4. I heart shoes. I heart them to a fault. This is not particularly interesting but it's true. I have shoes I bought because with no intention of ever wearing. I just really like to look at them. My favorite pair is a little black pair of kitten heels...maybe a 1/2 inch heel height with super pointy toes in an Asian inspired satin print. They totally rule and are impossible to walk in. Someday I will think, "I could have retired 5 years earlier if I hadn't bought so many shoes."

5. Tequilla and I have a relationship slightly mirroring that of an abusive couple. I need to preface this with the fact that I am a social drinker but try to stay away from tequilla on the occasions that I do partake. But this is how it goes down after I've had a few drinks:
"That" Girl/Guy: Hey everyone, gather round....Let's do Tequilla shots!
Meghan: Oh no, I couldn't. Tequilla and I are over! Why would I go back? The last time I was with him I ended up with all these bruises and crying my eyes out for reasons I can't remember. There is no way I will ever be with that scumbag again.
"That" Girl/Guy: No, Meghan, don't worry, it'll be different this time. He's changed.
Meghan: Well, maybe he didn't mean it. PASS THE SALT!!
And End Scene
(Stay Tuned for the Mexican Honeymoon Episode Coming This March!)
6. I'm an Auntie....Grin grin grin grin.

So now I get to pass the joy to 6 other bloggers! My magic finger chooses (really there's not much of a choice because I only know 5 people with blogs. So sad...):
1. Bridget Meadows, my darling sister who's a little preoccupied right now but I'm sure will get around to it.
2. Danny Bob Archibald, my brother who is currently in Cameroon training to be a Peace Corps volunteer and may not ever get around to doing this.
The directions are:
1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog entry
3. Write six random things about yourself
4. Pass it on
5. Alert the bloggers you've chosen
6. Tell me when you're done, because I wanna read 'em!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Under Da Sea, Under Da Sea!

So last year, for my fiance's niece's birthday, I made her a mermaid dolly. It was very very cute, 18" tall and covered with sweet little details like shells in her hair and a little pearl necklace. What I didn't think about is that Eliza (the niece) was turning a year old. I have a long way to go to understanding "child safe."

So this year, I wanted to send her something she could actually play with. Her entire room is decorated with mermaid goodies and I wanted to continue the theme. So after getting inspiration from a Twitter pal and this book, I tried a new project that is completely playable and 2yr old safe.

I call it a Mermaid Garden. All of the pieces are crafted from fleece and felt....such wonderful materials because they don't fray and hold such a great shape!!! Also, I feel like whenever I have a vision and try to carry it out with real fabric, it never works. Felt always ends up looking just like I imagine.
The Mermaid Garden includes a house, 2 Mermaids, a Mr. Crab, a Mrs. Fish, a Mr. Octopus and a little garden that has coral, a sandcastle and a star fish. All of the pieces are movable and don't have little bits to break off or be dangerous. There's the mat itself (a piece of fleece with waves stitched on via machine, the entire piece backed with felt and top stitched around the edges).

The house turned out okay. It's interfaced so the walls are stiff, but can still be moved around and knocked over and hopefully withstand the abuse a 2 year old can dish out. I only stitched down the back side of the roof so Eliza can open the house from the top and put the Mermaids in....that or she can send them through the front door.
On the roof, I added a little rick rack and some Russian netting to help tie it in with the ocean theme....really I just wanted to see how hard it would be to create a felt house. I will do it differently next time.

I did package it in a coordinating fleece pouch to help keep all the characters together. I think I probably had more fun making it than she'll have playing with it!



The Classic College Admissions Essay Answered...Sort of.

"If you could have dinner with 5 people, alive or dead, who would they be and why?"

I found a college entrance essay that I had written about 10 years ago. Back then, in my 17 year old brain, I thought my answer was brilliant. I picked the following: Shakespeare, Anne Frank, Gandhi, Rosa Parks and Abraham Lincoln. I then went on to say something about diversity and understanding that people from all backgrounds together would make for a great dinner and the sharing of ideas from such different perspectives would be "rewarding." Yes, I actually referred to the thought of having dinner with Gandhi as being "rewarding."

So I was thinking that now, in my 27 year old brain, what would I change? Who would I invite to a dinner party and more importantly, what would we eat? Had I been the same person then that I have now become, this would have been my list:

Emily Post: First, the party would be at her house seeing as she was the consummate hostess. Yes, some of her ideas are antiquated and based on a patriarchal society that views women as domestic beings of possession. However she got a few things right in regard to social graces. More than anything, she knew how to be kind and treat others (and yourself) with respect. I would love to see Emily Post in a modern world take on the etiquette of email and Internet dating. How fantastic would that be? And who wouldn't want to kick it at Emily's house? I can guarantee the food would be impeccable.

Tim Gunn: That's right, Project Runway's own. Not just for pop culture sake and the fact he's too fabulous for words, but also because I think my entire life philosophy has become "Make it work." And not just when it comes to crafting. My entire life I'm going to be confronted with issues. Something I've done or created and there's no going back and undoing it...so what's a girl to do? That's right, "make it work" and "carry on". Otherwise, I know I'd better be prepared for a serious ass reaming from Nina. That woman could pick out an unfinished hem faster than you can say "auf Wiedersehen."

Barbie: Do her calf muscles just hurt so much after walking around on tip toes all the time? Really I would like to meet Barbie because a) she and Tim would get along FAMOUSLY and b) is there anything she HASN'T done? Hello!! Career ADD! We're talking about a role model for girls everywhere...shouldn't we all want to have dinner with her?

My Child at Age 27: Taking the fun out of the uncertainty of life? Nah...more like making sure the bugger was taught and adheres to good table manners. Just kidding. But really, I would like to see that they make it to 27. I think it would make me, as a "someday" mother, relax and enjoy bringing them up instead of constantly worrying what has popped up on the most recent recall list. It would also save them the embarrassment of being sent outdoors everyday in a head to toe Nerf suit.

William Shakespeare: Mr. Shakespeare still stands out in my mind as being someone I would like to talk to. He was by no means a man to hold in the highest regard as far as character, but rather a person who has created works so influential and withstanding, I want to know how he did it. What was his process? And please Mr. Shakespeare, give me a reading. A sonnet, a snipet from Midsummer, the back of a Cheerios box....anything.

So that's it...I wish I could have been honest at 17 and said who I really wanted to have dinner with. I wish I hadn't taken my youth so seriously because perhaps I would be more inclined to take my adulthood seriously. Regardless, you are who you are and at 27, I'm really glad I've started to figure that out.

Fall Preview: The Bunny Jean Collection

I like to make myself sound as if I own and create things for my very lucrative crafting business...don't judge me. So in honor of my very first niece about to make her debut (not kidding, she's being born right now), I thought I'd post some pictures of my favorite things I've created just for her.

This is the blanket I made when I heard we had our very first niece/nephew on her/his way! I've never attempted to make a quilt in my life and it needed to be very gender neutral. Seeing how my sister hearts sock monkeys (she has a problem...seriously), this print made a fabulous blankie. I had no quilt batting around so the two layers of fabric have a layer of fleece in the middle. It actually worked out quite well! The corners were totally jacked however, and my sis's mother in law, an amazing quilter, fixed them for me.

It's a girl! As soon as I found out, this was what I decided to create. While not the most practical of baby gifts, it is going to make a cute picture. And it was so quick to put together...a little tulle and a onesie and it's girly girl heaven! The pic is dark, but you get the idea.

Pink skulls for a baby? Why not! Besides, Daddy is a rocker, so if nothing else, he'll appreciate it.


My family is originally from New Zealand so the baby is a "kiwi half breed." This is a little onesie I stitched together so she'd know her roots! This is a great and super easy project. Again, take a plain ol' onesie and cut out a fun shape. I backed the pieces with interfacing and hand stitched them on. I started with a machine and ended up with a bloody mess, so hand stitching, for me at least, was definitely the way to go. I also made matching burp cloths for a perfect little set.


I'm sure there will be more to come. Again, I'm just so excited about having a little person to create things for!

Please share any thoughts or ideas you may have for baby gifts...one can only go so far making onesies.


PS: She has ARRIVED! Darcy Jean, weighing in at 7lbs .5oz!!


Hello Dahlin!

I have tried to write and keep up with blogs before. In general, I fail miserably. Why do I think this time will be different? Well...I don't really. But I'm always interested in sharing ideas and inspiration with the crafting community and those of us who wouldn't really consider ourselves to have much skill but still love to make interesting things. And I appreciate feedback, especially if someone has shortcuts or new ideas they would care to share.

So who knows...maybe I'll turn over a new leaf or maybe someone will virtually trip over this lone post 10 months from now and think "well that was a great idea for a blog...but she's obviously a giant slacker." And they would be right.