Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back to work

We enjoyed our little staycation, and now it's time to [reluctantly] get back to work. We homeschool year-round, so it's also time for back to school.

For school, I whipped up a bunch of zipper pouches for the kids, using both new and reclaimed fabrics, mostly scraps. Each child received a bunch of new pens and pencils, and a box of crayons, most of which are already missing. (What do they do with them, eat them? Seriously!)

I have gone back to work in my shop, as well. I'm working slowly, but I'm enjoying it. I constructed this messenger bag from 100% reclaimed materials. It's a smaller messenger, about 9" square, and patterned after this one I made. I think I'm going to stick with this size, as opposed to the larger ones.

My favorite part? The map print fabric for the lining (once a men's shirt.)

And of course, the usual eco tote, also constructed from 100% reclaimed fabrics. . . .

More totes and bags are on the cutting table -- I'm getting ready for Etsy's Christmas in July Sale. Should be fun! Now, back to the grind stone. . . .

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I think I love West Texas

When you think of west Texas, you may picture cacti, dusty pastures, mesquite trees and oil rigs. That's what I pictured, when I heard we were moving out here last November. And I wasn't wrong. West Texas does have all of those things -- but there is so much more.

I realized this arid region has its own beauty, and maybe you have to look a bit harder, or a bit closer, to find it. But it's here, and it's amazing.

I was first pleasantly surprised by its amazing sunsets. . . .

Then its clear blue skies and warm winds. . . .

All the little owls, road runners, horned toads that elude my camera. . . they're like little gifts I'm surprised with each day.

We also discovered that there are many letterboxes hidden out here. We paid a visit to the Odessa Meteor Crater last week, and found one hidden there!

The actual crater isn't what most people would expect to find, but I found it very peaceful, relaxing and so ancient. I'm looking forward to going back out there and spending a bit more time. . . maybe even without the Monkeys.

Last week, we also made a short trip to Monahans Sandhills State Park with some of our extended family, to play on the dunes and (again) letterbox.

It's really a unique and fun place to visit, and we're all looking forward to going again very soon.

We also travelled a couple of hours southwest to Balmorhea, nestled in the foothills of the Davis Mountains. (Watch the video at the Balmorhea link!)

Balmorhea is the home of San Solomon Springs, a crystal clear artesian spring that pumps out millions of gallons of cold, fresh water per day. There is so much water, that after irrigating the town and all of the nearby farms and fields, it still provides more than enough water to fill and replenish the 3.5 million gallon pool we swam in! It's truly beautiful, and feels like a place far removed from the dusty desert where we live.

Monkey 7 is pictured above, with the pool in the background (just behind the picnickers under the trees.) Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the water, or the Monkeys in the water, because of this Monkey. . . .

Yes, that is Owen, wallowing in the dirt. He hated the water. At least, he hated it until 10 minutes before we had to leave, and then he wailed because we were leaving. Never a dull moment with this child!

We plan to visit Balmorhea again this summer, at least once, and then venture up to the Davis Mountain State Park for a day or so. I can hardly wait!

So although I do miss the trees, hills and streams of north central Texas, I am enjoying all the hidden treasures of west Texas. I'll keep you posted on more finds. . . .
Happy Father's Day to my wonderful Dad, and to my sweet husband! I love you both so much!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Catrina pincushion tutorial

The tutorial. . . .

I've included the basic instructions for the catrina pincushion on Craftster.  I apologize in advance if it's not easy to follow. It was originally designed for my own thought process, and I wasn't really planning on anyone else using it. You know? So it may not be of any real use. ???

The pattern. . . .

You can download the free pattern HERE.  It's also linked at the Craftster location, too.

Good luck, and enjoy!

So this the end. . . .

This really is the last Catrina pincushion I'll be making. I definitely like her better than this one or this one, the two previous versions.

Still loving the french knots. . . .

. . . and my favorite Viva Frida fabric!

This Last Catrina also has some exciting news to share. . . .

This little lady was chosen as a June Featured Project on Craftster! Hooray! (A huge THANKS to all you awesome craftsters that "rocked" this!)

Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Busy, and not

Lately, we've been busy, but not. We haven't traveled, scurried, bustled or hurried. But we have sewn, baked, constructed, planted. I love that right now, our lives are peacefully chaotic. I don't feel rushed, but I am happily exhausted by the end of the day. Here are a few photos of some of our projects. . . .

Some sewing. . . .

These totes are finally listed in my shop. Finally.

Some embroidery. . . .

This is just a sneak peek. :) I'll post the finished project (plus pattern!) later this week.

Some construction. . . .



OK, we do have trim on the doorway now, so it looks even better! All that's needed is paint, and our new door will be complete. I'll try to remember to post a photo when we're finished. (A very special thanks to our very special person that helped us with this complex task!)

A few more quiet plans for this week: planting and weeding our garden that is woefully overgrown already; landscaping; painting (the new door and doorway!) and maybe, hopefully, lots more sewing.

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