Saturday, April 29, 2006

Springtime and flowers....

I have been spending a lot of time in the yard over the last two weeks... doing a bit of weeding, planting and pruning. Things are looking so bright and flowery! Here are some of the flowers that I have been enjoying...

Miss Elsie's house all duded-up for the summer....

... we planted her pots a few days ago.
The yard and flower beds look really great through June and then everything starts to slide downhill. I have quite a few beautiful dahlias that start to flower in July, but the yard just doesn't have the same wow factor as May and June. I need to do some research and find out what I can plant that will give me some mid-summer punch. Maybe I should plant cosmos seeds where ever there is any soil peeking out. They grow easily from seed and bloom in a whole range of colors...hmmm.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Has it really been a week since my last post??

The sun comes out, and I disappear to my back yard. I just love spring and planting things!
Wednesday was cloudy and cool all day so we did spend the day inside sewing. I made this outfit for Elsie.

I've been promising to make her some new clothes and just can't seem to find the energy or the time. The top and pant are from a Burda pattern. Burda has way cooler clothes for kids than McCalls or Butterick. Sometimes home sewing patterns can look.. well... homemade... as in "yes, I made this myself". Rather than "That is such a cool outfit! Where did you get it?". I usually strive for the latter comment. Another awesomely inspiring kid's pattern resource is Ottobre Design. Each magazine comes with all the patterns for every garment shown. I bought a subscription last year. Unfortunately, I haven't sewn anything yet, but the spring issue has some amazing things. Maybe this weekend I'll whip up a few more things for Elsie.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

My crafty self...

I have been in touch with my Back Tack partner who is heading out at the crack of dawn to some amazing Quilt Show/Flea Market in Arkansas. At her request, I have posted things on my site to help her get to know me a little better... actually I should have done this months ago.... it was a very inspiring exercise.
After spending an hour in my studio, I was able to locate some of my stash to photograph. I have come to the conclusion that I am better at aquiring vintage goodies than using them in projects. I firmly believe that some raw materials need to age until the right project comes along, but I think I need to get moving!
Here is a tiny sampling of my treasures:
I started to hunt for old heat transfers a few years ago. Sometimes they are priced a little too high for my taste, but I was able to get a good deal on this stack. The pillow case was embroidered by my Great Aunt Ruth. She always made these for every family member for big events- high school graduation, marriage, etc. I aspire to embroider as well as she did... and she did it right up until the end while she was sitting in her chair with her oxygen.

I love, love vintage hankys. I use them for some of my children's skirts. Every once in a while a come across these scene or single image ones. I love the graphic style. This one is done by Pat Prichard, but I also have several by Tammis Keefe.

These fabrics were an amazing score at a city wide yard sale in my hometown in Idaho. I think I paid $2 a yard and the woman was VERY generous at estimating yardage. These will eventually be curtains in the house.

Assorted goodies... you can never have too much vintage ric rac or seam binding. The old colors are way better than that interesting primary polyester junk in the fabric stores.

My favorite purchase ever! I was looking for a vintage paisley for three years and found this one shoved in a trunk at a flea market. It does have some moth holes which is acceptable considering it is from the late 1800's. The laces on top of it are fine, fine cotton. One of the cards says made in France.

Detail of the lace.... so delicate... I'm saving it for a special project

This little project has made me realize that I really need to go through everything and press it and group it, so when I start a project I can find things! Maybe I'll sew a little something up for Miss Elsie this afternoon. We've had a long dry spell, and I'm getting inspired to creat a little something.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Trying to get crafty again...

I went into my studio yesterday morning trying to dig it out from under the piles and piles of stuff. There sat a very imposing stack of mending, alterations, and repairs. I forced myself to get through everything, so I could clear one of my work tables. I think the Back Tack project is going to be good for me... as far as getting things cleaned out and me back on track. After all the mending, I didn't have time to photograph my stash of vintage goodies (project for tomorrow), but I did come across this fabulous apron that I bought last year. It has so much amazing open work for such a simple, humble piece of clothing....

Continuing on in the orange theme, here are a couple of shots from Portland Nursery from this morning....

It was such a gorgeous morning that I decided to swing by the nursery and pick up a few plants for the hanging pots on our front porch. The colors and plants are so inspiring there and arranged in such a lush manor that it's almost like being on a tropical vacation. Did I mention Portland Nursery is within walking distance of our house? Good thing the jogging stroller doesn't have a lot of room in it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Back Tack III

I just received my Back Tack partner info today. I'm so excited that I got in! But then I realized that my blog hasn't had a crafty post since I don't know when. So I will be scrambling around this morning to take some pictures of my various projects to give my partner an idea of myself. Currently my blog just shows the house projects... not very fun, although I supposed you could craft a softie out of left over junk from the basement... not very soft though.

Monday, April 17, 2006

sick, sick, sick....

I'm recovering from a terrible cold. I spent the entire weekend in bed. The spouse took Miss Elsie to a birthday party on Saturday and to his family's Easter brunch on Sunday, while I stayed home and tried to breathe through my nose. Posting will be a bit infrequent this week while I try to catch up on some housework and finish recovering.
I will leave you with this picture of our little ballerina enjoying dance class....

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Wonderful weekend of activities

The wonderful activities started on Thursday with my friend Michelle Rajotte's open studio...

Michelle designs a line of jewlery called La Picosa. She and her husband bought a 1960's house last year and spent most of the winter remodeling, painting, and fixing. It looks AMAZING... almost makes me want to move... almost. She has this gorgeous studio space in the daylight basement. The first Thursday of every month she open her studio for shopping and socializing. She makes a mean pot of coffee!

Friday morning Miss Elsie and myself headed to the park with another mom and little girl from the neighborhood. The girls had fun and the moms were able to get some exercise. It was a gorgeous day... you would almost think it's done raining and spring has arrived.... NOT. That's Portland for you.

Saturday morning we headed to the Peter Rabbit Breakfast in West Linn. My friend Kerry's children attend a co-op preschool and this is the school's fund raiser. Elsie rode in a firetruck and police car... complete with sirens!! Her Daddy willingly accompanied her, telling everyone that this was the first time he had ridden in the front seat of a police car. Great...

That afternoon myself and my friend Suzan went to Crafty Wonderland! Any crafters in Portland should go to this once a month event at the Doug Fir. Some amazing talent was there including Portland blogger/crafter Little Birds. She makes the most darling little stuffed animals. There were jewlery makers, painters, collage artists, clothes, screen printed tees for adults and kids (lots of kids stuff), cards, and PDX Super Crafty, who puts the whole thing on, have a DIY table set up to teach you a craft! So much fun and so inspiring... maybe I'll finally get around to doing some crafting this week. This was supposed to be a crafting blog, but instead it's become a basement remodel blog. Will keep you posted.

For now I'll leave you with a picture of Miss Elsie painting easter eggs.....

... note the lips pursed in concentration.

Friday, April 07, 2006

New additions...

We will soon be a family of four instead of three. I am 14 weeks pregnant and due the first week of October. I spent most of February in the throes of morning/all-day sickness. The nausea started at 7am and would last to around 7pm, but eventually it stopped. Then the extreme exhaustion kicked in. For awhile I was going to bed at 8:30pm and getting up at 7am! Nothing like 10-1/2 hours of sleep to make a girl feel rested. The food aversions were challenging this time around. If I ate anything with garlic, I felt like I had the stomach flu for 6 hours. Things seem to be balancing out now, and I have more energy and can eat anything.

So, of course, the house projects need to be kicked into high gear. I want everything done by early September, so we are not still in construction/painting projects during the delivery. I'll have to keep you posted on that one. We are hauling another load of stuff to Goodwill this weekend and maybe some things to the Rebuilding Center (house recycling place that is incredibly addictive- they have EVERYTHING!). That should take care of the final pile. Our contractor is coming next week to assess the situation. Yippee!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Scratch one off the List!

I have mostly finished the back porch. I have one small corner of the floor to touch up, but here is the result of a week's worth of work....

Now our three cats have a glamorous litter box room that is far easier to clean and far less smelly. My seedlings will be moving out there this week too. My tomato plants are 6" high already!

The window guy was here the morning to measure for new windows in the basement, AND we also had him measure all the windows in the house that we are thinking of replacing. We are hoping to replace a few upstairs this summer and do the rest next year. Then all the windows will be able to open! All of the windows except two are original to the house circa 1921. Right now there are three large ones that have solid storm windows on the outside and no screens.... so they remain closed all the hot summer. But the Great Window Upgrade is a project for next summer....

Monday, April 03, 2006

Basement Progress

After a crazy Sunday morning of cleaning, we have made tremendous progress in the basement. Not to mention, just gidding rid of broken things or strange junk.
Here is the before:

... and here is the current state of things...

The quantity of stuff has been greatly reduced. The items worth keeping have been stored properly in the storage section of the basement. The window guy is supposed to call this week to come and take measurements. Hopefully by next week there will be some plans laid for ripping and tearing!