A Book Without a Title

Last night we bound this beautiful book that Josh made… 
and added more precious birds to the front.
From there, we looked through it again…
… and again.  
I really can’t get enough of this amazing book.
Today’s question, what should the title of this book be?  Josh and I are still undecided.

Homemade Accordion Fold Book

This is an accordion-fold book I made for my daughter Monet to help her know her family and how they are all connected to her despite distance. It measures about 20 feet long. If you have a strong scroll finger feel free to check out the whole length of the book. You may also want to turn your computer 90 degrees counter clockwise to get the best effect. I apologize in advance for the seams. -Joshua

Happy Scrolling…

Learning To Be A Master Juggler

“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Most days my heart and ambitions are impossible to ignore.  They control me and responding to them is not a question, rather it’s like a child crying, it can’t be ignored.  Every day for the past month I have followed an ambition and I have followed it well; I have followed it along with being a mother, a wife, and  a teacher.  And because my life is made up of multiple layers, and my mother raised me to be a responsible adult, my other roles always take precedence.  Mentally this is very difficult for me some days, and if we go back to the crying baby analogy, truly it is like a baby is crying and not just any baby but my beloved baby, and to help her I first must run through an obstacle course full of absurd hurtles only to fall through a trap door, finding myself back at the beginning.  Some days are like this and in those days I feel very disheartened.

Other days, days like yesterday, I feel like a master juggler.  I’m able to skillfully and swiftly manage all of my daily duties, never letting a ball drop.  I love these days because I get a perfect taste of all the things I love and at the end of the day there’s something to show for: a nice dinner with my husband, a clean house, a finished sewing project, and quality time spent with my darling daughter.

Here are a few pictures from yesterday…

(Note: Tutorial on how to make this adorable bag will be coming soon)

And so this morning, I sit in bed having started my days work at 5 a.m., playing with my baby girl who should be sleeping, eating a breakfast brought to me by my wonderfully supportive husband, and I wonder, will I be able to juggle it all today?!

(Note:  The quote used in today’s blog entry was shared by my sister-in-law and in the moment I received it, I felt so encouraged.  This quote is what inspired today’s post.  Thanks again Kristi!  I appreciate the support and encouragement I receive from you and Kristin every week.  Often it’s comments like yours that inspire me to keep writing.  Thanks again!)

And Today I’m Going to Sew – More Felting Inspirations

Remember a while back, I wrote about felting?  And then I made that super cute dress for my little girl, from an old, loved sweater of mine?  Well the Mommy side of my life got crazy right after that.  Since then, my baby girl Monet has cut multiple teeth, and has been sick twice.  You can read about our sleepless nights here if you want.  The good news is that Monet is feeling better and with that comes mornings filled with energy and ambition, before I even pour myself a cup of coffee.

This morning I woke up at 5 a.m. and said to my husband, “I’m going to sew today”.  Now in all reality, I don’t know if this will be possible.  The list of things I need to do is long.  I have to drop Monet off at the sitters, go to work, go get Monet from the sitters, run by Piper’s Quilt Shop to drop off the Charley Harper Quilt and get my quilt pattern approved (I know, how exciting, it will be available soon), and then I need to get home and put Monet down for her nap.  And this is where the fate of my sewing ambition is decided.  Will Monet take a nap in her crib?  Or will I need to take her out in the stroller because she refuses to nap inside.  Well, lets just say that I’m feeling lucky today, and my sewing list is an ambitions one…

Project #1:  I want to make a pillow out of some cashmere I felted.  See that little moth hole, I plan to cover it up with a beautiful applique something or other. 
Project #2:  This sweater felted up so beautifully.  Before washing it, I cut off the neck and sleeves.  I’ll need to figure out a way to clean those areas up.  Again, I hope to do some applique on this beauty, and then it will be ready for wearing.  I can just picture it on a little girl with dark hair and eyes.  I could maybe even cut down the middle and make a cardigan.  Hmm, that could be interesting.  
Project #3:  These are some sleeves I cut off a sweater.  I thought I could make gloves or babylegs out of them.  What do you think?  
Project #4:  I’m very excited about this project, and a little scared at the same time.  I want to use some of the felt that felted up pretty thick and make a coin purse out of it.  I’ve never done this before and I’m not even sure I know how.  We’ll see how it turns out.

Project #5: Try Betz White’s Shibori Felting tutorial. You just must check this out. The above image is from artist Jeung-Hwa Park. You can buy her work at Contemporary Craft.  Isn’t it beautiful!

I hope that your day, and my day, allows us an opportunity to do that one thing we always hope to do and rarely have time for.  Would you please share with me what that “thing” is in your world?  
Happy day! 

Our First Giveaway Prize

Congratulations Kristin, on being the first winner of our 10×10 giveaway.  I like what you’ve picked out for yourself.  I’ve had a love affair with this bag from the moment I made it.  I hope you love it too.  

Now keep those comments coming and you too could be the next winner.  

Our First Featured Artist Preview

Josh and I are currently working on a website where we will feature a variety of artists from our blog and then display their work in an online gallery.  Each month, our blog will feature another artist and over time, the online art gallery will grow.  While we are still in the building stages of this venture, we wanted to share our idea with you and give you a sneak peak of our first featured artist…  

Let me introduce to you a very talented and amazing lady; this is Cristin Zimmer.  She is currently pursuing her MFA in sculptural ceramics at the University of Utah.  Cristin has bravely agreed to be the first artist featured on our blog.  This is just a sneak peak of her work.  Next month we will do a detailed Q&A with Cristin, exploring the inspiration behind her work, her favorite artists, and what inspired her to return to school.  And of course, we would love to show you some of her body of work.  For now, mark your calendars for the evening of May 12th. Cristin will be having her master thesis show in Salt Lake at the gallery located inside the University of Utah’s Art and Art History building.  You don’t want to miss this event.  Cristin’s art is unique, expressive and truly one-of-a-kind; it explores the feelings and emotions associated with being a female artist.  For those of you who don’t reside in the Salt Lake City area, no worries, we will be displaying her work online so that you too can be a part of this great event.  

Happy Bees and Spring’s First Flowers

And then today, out of the dead leaves, flowers emerged, and like me the bees were very happy. 

Another Snowy Morning

This morning I was saddened to see that again it had snowed…

but then the sun came out….

and by noon all the snow was melted.
(Note: Don’t you love the rain chains my husband made?)
Way to go sun! Way to melt that snow!
Now Spring, I need to have a talk with you. Could you quit procrastinating and maybe arrive a little early this year?

Embroidery Birds

My quilt top is almost done. I’m currently using embroidery tread to add in the final details of the birds. I had someone tell me that the applique technique I used, while not traditional, was similar to the broderie perse method of applique. Is anyone familiar with this method? I’d love to learn more about it, other than what I can google on the internet.

Originally, when designing this quilt pattern, I wanted to make it appear that the birds were walking off their fabric and fusing with the other fabrics of the quilt. What do you think? Did I succeed?

The First Winner Is…

As our fledgling blog grows, we have received comments from over ten people and are proud to announce the first winner of our 10×10 giveaway. The winner receives a $10 gift certificate to the Artists’ House Sales site as www.theartistshouse.etsy.com. You should also know that there are nine more giveaways to go, so keep those comments coming. For every tenth commenter we will randomly chose the winner of another $10 gift certificate.
And the winner is…
Kristin, author of the blog “Running On.”
In an effort to be completely transparent and to avoid any bad press, such as Toyota is currently getting for trying to grow too quickly and losing sight of quality, I must disclose that Kristin is family. However, she is an in-law and not blood related so it’s almost like she’s just a casual acquaintance right? If anyone disagrees with my logic, thinks Kristin should be disqualified, and/or is offended by the comment I so callously made about in-laws, please leave a comment below and you may be the next winner in our 10×10 giveaway.
Please also remember that we are having a second giveaway of $100 to be awarded by randomly selecting one of our followers once we officially have 100 registered followers of our blog.