Thursday, March 29, 2012

another weakness revealed

Okay, so I don't have any stitching to share today. I spent a good part of last week plugging along on a project followed by another couple of evenings tearing it all back out. *sigh* It happens.
Meanwhile I have distracted myself here and there with the hefty Dick Blick catalog that arrived in the mail. I don't think I have mentioned this but I have been a lifelong fan of Dick Blick and also, for a short stint, a Dick Blick employee. As you might imagine that was quite a dangerous job and it's amazing I ever brought home a dime of my paycheck. While I skimmed the pages of the catalog I was delighted to find so many products I had never seen before and would LOVE to get my hands on. I thought I'd share a few today but I SWEAR Dick Blick and I do NOT have some sort of weird agreement - I'm sure you can get this stuff lots of places.
First is this 'task board' from the paper section. This stuff sounds amazing! You can sand it, make 'invisible joints' use any glue or paint with it - and get this - you can either get it wet or use steam to bend it or make it pliable and as it dries it regains it's rigidity. Oh the play potential!

Next up is this line of specialty foamcore cutters. I was especially drawn to the circle cutter which would be perfect for cutting out inserts to put on the back of an embroidery hoop. That is something I would never try to do freehand.

I had never heard of "Montana" brand products but check out these cool paint markers they make

They come pre-filled or you can buy empty ones and fill however you choose. The barrel is clear so you know how much is left and they can be used on paper, plastic, glass, metal or concrete. Also by Montana is a line of spray paints that have changeable caps for creating different effects. Sweet!

And this last one wins the "Why didn't I think of that" award. The rotating easel. Holy smokes it's brilliant.

So those are just a few of the many many things that caught my eye and sparked my imagination. I told Vince that looking at art supplies like that just makes me want to lock myself in a room with a couple thousand dollars worth of new 'toys' and he can just slide a sandwich or two under the door once in a while. Who knows when I would ever come out.

But... I won't do that I promise. I seem to be short the thousands of dollars AND the lock for the door. Oh well, a girl can dream, right?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

let the sun shine in

Hola everyone. Stopping by today to share my new pattern set which is finally ready to go. Take a peek at "Stitches Del Sol"
Something about the dead of Winter will inspire you to create something with the brightest of the bright colors, as many flowers as you can squeeze in and a nod to a location so warm and delightful that you almost ache to go there. In this case I was dreaming of Mexico.
I did a lot of pouring over images of embroidered dresses, painted wooden animals and bold woven fabrics. It all confirmed a love that began way back in high school and college Spanish classes and still goes strong today.
There is a little bit of everything here - a seamless surface pattern, a border design and three embellished animals. I loved stitching these up but honestly, I thought arthritis was creeping in as I was finishing up. We're talking a LOT of stitches. My hands are still in recovery - I think I need a vacation - to sunny Mexico!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

the green tide rolls in

So yesterday after hosting a sleepover (which was quite successful I might add) we decided we would just hop downtown real quick and catch the St. Patrick's Day parade. No big deal, right?
 A few other people had the same idea. O'Migosh! I can't remember the last time I attended an event so densely populated (says the introvert with an aversion to big crowds). It was really fun and there were blocks and blocks of quality people watching - if you like that kind of thing. And most importantly, we did not lose our four year old who likes to stop and pick up every green feather or sparkly thing that might have been found on the ground. Who also, I might add, does not like to hold a grown up's hand and will loudly protest such indignities to anyone who will listen. Had he escaped us we would have been forced to ask people to help us find a 'little boy in a green shirt' hmmm....
So, even though it stopped us from enjoying the unbelievable weather - we opted to watch from the skyway. Being a part of such a large celebration was a great way to spend the afternoon but I admit to being totally exhausted by the end of the day. I fell asleep on the couch twice and even forgot to have a celebratory drink to mark the occasion. *sigh* what would my Irish ancestors say?

Friday, March 16, 2012

ran into myself at the fabric store

 So there I was in the fabric store...
on page 117 specifically. And look who is there too - my friend Nicole of Follow the White Bunny (hi Nicole!). I was contacted about this right when it was the height of the holiday madness when March seemed like a million years away. Now here we are and there we are.
There is a lot to love in this issue of Simply Handmade - an interview with Aki Takada from Oktak (love that shop!) plus a number of fabulous tutorials. Personally, I like the small square shape of this magazine as well.
So there is my little spot in the sun and I must now get back to tidying up the house. We have a sleepover on the agenda for the evening - pretty exciting, eh? The sleepovers we have had in the past have all been with cousins and this is the first with a friend from school. Someone in this family sure is growing up, don't you think? Wish us luck!

Monday, March 12, 2012

my younger man catches up

I meant to get a post done yesterday before the birthday fun began but it just didn't happen. We got swept up celebrating Vince's birthday. He catches up with me every year after my 6 month stint as the oldest family member. And yes, this is an old photo from when Adam was just a wee one, but I thought it was cute.
How unfair to have an hour of your birthday taken from you in the Daylight Savings Time nonsense, right? Oh well, I think what he lost in time he made up for in weather as we had a gorgeous 67 degree sunny day. I mean, that's pretty much perfect in my book. It gave us a chance to have a glimpse into what the warmer days in this new house will bring - open windows, kids running in and out, tree climbing and the smell of the grill heating up. Awesome. All of that was completely out of my control yet I think it was what made the day so special for Vince. I couldn't have planned a better celebration.

Friday, March 9, 2012

still here

No, I'm not still brooding about my blog comment spam, I promise. I am just in one of those phases where my brain is going in a hundred different directions is all. I am slowly slowly slowly working my way through a new pattern set. I have been stitching up examples (I love that part) and here is the color scheme:

Not my usual palette I know but I actually am loving it. It reminds a little of my fiesta ware which always makes me happy of course.
Additionally there has been a case of the 'blahs' running through our household. It might be due in part to the fact that at least one person in our family has been sick everyday for the past three weeks. Nothing major and no doctor's visits or anything like that - just the late season ick I guess. It has made us a little cranky.
What we really need is some GREEN! I did drag the family to a garden center last weekend just to smell the dirt and dream. I know I felt better after that and I hope everyone else did too. I especially swooned over the display of tiny little fairy worlds that you can create with various ground covers, ferns and mosses. Have you seen these? They sell little houses, furniture and more that you can add to your tiny world (of course) but I promise I didn't whip out a credit card (although I wanted to). I may have to look into the possibilities a little more because I could totally get into that.
Anyway, don't give up on me folks, I promise to get my blogging act together!

Friday, March 2, 2012

you know what takes a lot of nerve?

Using a a post like my last one to toss in a little bit of sneeky advertising for your obnoxious chain clothing store. As Amy Poehler and Seth Myers would say... "Really??? Really??" I just read through a comment (which has since been deleted) and clicked on the name of the person commenting only to be directed to the obnoxious chain clothing store's website. I won't even give it the satisfaction of disclosing it's name. Wow...I mean wow, that really sucks.