Monday, November 16, 2009

Blog Feature

I just wanted to post real quickly to bring your attention to another blog.  French Revelation wrote a post featuring two jewelry shops on Etsy, and mine is one of them. :)  You can read the post here:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We Feel Fine

A self-portrait that I took back in 2006 as part of a 365 day portrait project is being published in a book coming out in December. Even though I'm just one of thousands who are getting their pictures published in the same book, I'm really excited. :)

Yesterday they published a an online excerpt to their website, found here. The page with my picture doesn't appear to be on one of the pages that is clickable, though. I get a free copy of the book since one of my pictures is in it, which I will get in December. Yeah, I'm one of a large number, but still, I guess this means that soon I'll be a published photographer. :)

And, in case you were curious, here is my picture that will be in the book:

The title of the picture is "grumpy", but it's in the section of the book about being sick as I wrote about how I was grumpy because I tried to do a picture challenge of taking a picture of yourself upside down and didn't come out with anything good and ended up making myself feel sick in the process.  Hehe.  I had really long hair then, but I've had it cut a couple of times since then, including recently enough that right now it's slightly shorter than shoulder length.

I really enjoyed doing that project, and I like going back and seeing all the pictures I took and what I wrote about them each day.  This one is by no means the best of the bunch (nor is it the worst), but it's the one that caught their eye for their book when they did a search of "I feel".  I have been thinking about compiling all my self-portraits from that year into a book (for myself, I don't know that there would be much interest in that beyond me and my family), but so far haven't.  I've also tried starting a second year of self-portraits several times (and part of my latest attempt is here in this blog under the tag "365days" from when I first started writing in this blog), but so far have not stayed through for another full year.  I do still take random self-portraits sometimes though, just for fun.  :)

Anyway, I can't wait to get my copy of the book.  It looks like it'll be a fun one to look through!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are

My "Wild About You" marble magnets are in an Etsy treasury! This is the first time, that I'm aware of, that something in my shop has been included in a treasury, so this was a nice surprise. :) The treasury, called Where The Wild Things Are, can be found here. It expires in a couple of days, so after it's gone, if you still want to see the listing for the magnets, you can click here .

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On a roll

I wrote not too long ago about some sewing I did, including a knitting needle roll I'd made for myself. I am happy with it, except that I wish that the top folded down more on the knitting needles. This one would be better for short knitting needles (which I don't have) or crochet hooks (although it may be a little big for those).

I decided to make a second one for the friend who renewed my interest in knitting a few years ago and, for hers, make it long enough to cover longer knitting needles the way I wish mine did. I made a mistake in measuring the fabric (I didn't follow the "measure twice, cut once rule) so I didn't have enough in the right size/shape to line it with the same fabric. This turned into a happy accident as I had some solid color fabric that coordinated nicely with the print and, with my 7 year old adding her expert opinion, we picked the one that would look best with the fabric.

Here are pictures of the finished result:

I was really happy with how it looked when I was finished with it. I'm going to make another one for myself making it with a longer top like this one so it folds over the needles more. I think I'll use the one I have now for my crochet hooks even if it will be a little big for them. I have more of the purple batik fabric, but I'll probably use a different purple for the next one. So many purples, so little time. ;)

I did add a ribbon to her roll and mine, but the ribbon isn't pictured. Getting the ribbons sewn on was another adventure. I originally decided to just hand-sew them so I wouldn't have to get the machine out. After experimenting with that on my roll, I decided to use my sewing machine for her ribbon so it'd be neater, but mainly because pushing a needle through all that fabric and a ribbon was...challenging, to say the least.

This should be a simple job, right? Well, for most people, it probably would be. But I ended up in a fight with my machine to get it to sew right. Turns out, when I threaded the machine, the thread fell out of one of the little nooks and crannies the thread has to go through, but this wasn't obvious to the casual observer (me), so it took me several tries to figure out why it just kept knotting up instead of sewing actual stitches.

I have to say, I'm definitely enjoying sewing. I have a bunch of strips of fabric I cut out years ago (when I was pregnant with my 7 year old) to hand quilt a table runner. Needless to say, that project didn't get very far, but now I want to sort through the strips, figure out where I was, and then machine sew the pieces together. Since it's all strips and cutting into squares, it should go really fast on a machine. :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween is what?

Halloween is over, houses are full of excess Halloween candy, gathered by trick-or-treaters, leftover from handing it out to costumed kids or, in many cases, both. The jack-o-lanterns are starting to look a little less fun and a little more scary as they dry out, the ghosts, witches, spiders and orange lights are being packed away and we're looking ahead to the next holiday....Christmas, right?

Not quite. Without getting into the long list of winter holidays that happen in December, at least here in the U.S., there's still at least one more in November, Thanksgiving. It seems like Thanksgiving is getting to be less about giving thanks and more about another milestone in the seems-quicker-every-year journey to the Christmas/holiday season. After dinner is prime time for figuring out your plan of attack for Black Friday (if you aren't already out shopping), so named because that is the day of the year when all the stores books go from being in the red to in the black. I think the name conjures up feelings of dread, especially after having experienced a few Black Fridays both as a shopper and as a cashier in a large department store.

I have to admit, I'm guilty of glossing over Thanksgiving. It's never been a favorite holiday of mine. Turkey is not my favorite food in the world, I'm not a fan of football (thankfully, haha, neither is anyone else in my immediate family), and parades aren't really my thing either. I do really enjoy getting together with family, though celebrating with my family and then my husband's family in the same day does get a little exhausting (again thankfully, in the past couple of years, our families have celebrated on different days which has made the holiday last a little longer and be more pleasant because there isn't the rush from one big meal to another without really getting to spend much time with either).

I think Thanksgiving needs to make a come-back though. Not necessarily to celebrate the roots of the holiday so much as to take the time to say "Thanks" and truly feel gratitude for all the gifts and blessings in our lives. Maybe instead of celebrating with a huge meal that is generally made by only one person who is over-worked and exhausted by the time dinner is on the table, have a Thanksgiving potluck where everyone brings a dish and shares the work, and then show appreciation for everything that has been brought to the table. During dinner, express gratitude for all the good in your life (yes, I know sometimes it's harder to see than others, but there's always something, if you look). Instead of scouring ads for Black Friday after dinner, maybe have a huge "thank you card" writing party to send to people who couldn't make it to dinner but who make your life better in some way. Or, make a phone call (or ten).

Those are just ideas I thought of off the top of my head. I'm sure others can come up with even more ideas on how to take the holiday back and bring more gratitude into our lives.

I've been meaning to start (again) a gratitude journal. I think today may be the day. I've got one from when I did this a few years ago and it only lasted about a month, so the journal has plenty of blank pages in it. I think I'll use one of these tags below for a bookmark and maybe glue another to the front of the book, both as reminders for what it's for. I think my first entry for today will be that I'm thankful for sunny days, like what we have this morning. This time of year especially, those start to get pretty rare. What do you have to be thankful for today?

Purple Scalloped Oval Thanks Tags
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