Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reenie's Remains Journal

I am taking an online class, taught by the magnificent Mary Ann Moss called

Today I completed the cover, which I am fantastically, exuberantly excited about.
I took a kajillion pics, but only posted a few here... the rest are in my flickr.
I will narrate for you...

Here are the fabric pieces, all sorted out and chosen ( I spared you that step),
with some of my handspun foozles to go along.

Sewing in process... the bird embroidery came from my gram's crazy (OCD) stash... and I love how the edges are all yellowing with tape marks, so I let them show.

Mary Ann, I put this pic in for you,
because I cannot work without help from one of my babies, same for you it seems...
This is Rufus, helping me choose yarn placement.

I couched the handspun strands by running zigzags over them willy nilly.
I love the line and texture the yarns add.
Some of the yarn foozles were beaded.

I created loops from the handspun all over for fun.

Here it is all finished and closed. I still need to decide on a closure of some sort...
There is a vinyl pocket sewn to the flap, I put a pic of my rascals in it to show it is a pocket.

This is the back... with the bird embroidery. See the vinyl pocket? I put a moo card in it to show where the pocket is. I just cut up some of those vinyl bag thingys that pillow cases and such come in. Friends now save them for me, which is good as I don't buy a lot of things that come packaged that way and the vinyl gets upcycled!
Plus it is stronger than transparencies or page protectors.
Detail of vinyl pocket with moo card...

On the inside cover flap I used vinyl to make some pen and marker holders.
I put a piece of old denim on the back of the printed fabric before sewing the vinyl down to give it some stability to help hold the weight of the pens.

On the other side of the liner I sewed a denim pocket and again secured it to the back of the fabric with a piece of denim.

I was thinking this pocket can hold Petunia, my beloved Storm.

Finished book is 9x12... so I have to re-figure my pages before making them.
I prefer working in a larger book and know if I made the recommended size I will not use it.
Go big or go home I say! haha.

I am looking forward to getting my pages sewn together... I have started to select book pages and such and was surprised how much larger format paper and books I have to use! YAY for hoarding.... haha.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fear of Failure? a reenierant

(Sorry no pics this post... I am on the wrong computer to do so.)

I rode with Paul today. He is always on the road for work, and my inlaws are here visiting from PA, so I stowed away in his car with coffee and knitting for some talky time with my man. We drove from home to Kent, WA (about a 2 hr. drive) all around there, then home again-in a snow storm. blech.
To the point...

One topic we seemed to talk about a lot today was a fear of failure.
(Sparked by this blog post by Igor Kheifets~ )
We tend to not be very swayed by the potential to fail and have failed, more than succeeded, with many things. We are not afraid to make fearless decisions. It makes most of our family and some of our friends crazy, but I love this about us.

I realize that not everyone is like this.
What is it that causes people to be afraid to fail? To feel the need to keep structure and control tight and expectations of outcomes clearly defined?
Is it how we raise our children? Our culture? ("failure is not an option")
How the school system works?
We feed them so much structure, to veer away from that structured path brings inevitable failure, right?

Well, I know that is not true, our path is most definitely not one of "traditional" structure.
We homeschool our girls and now that they are getting older, I see how our no-fear-of-failure approach has affected them and I gotta say, I am very proud of the kind and adventurous people they are turning into.
We call it passion-based-learning and have our own form of structure. Of course we follow the basic math curriculum, and read everything in sight, but other than that, they are free to explore and research what they choose.

Failure is an enormous part of learning what works. It's how we find our passions, and our weaknesses. Our children need to be allowed to fail. To get wrong answers, to create things that do not 'work'. These failures help them figure out how to make things work and how to problem solve.
I remember when Eve learned to sew. She got her very own sewing machine for Christmas when she was 9? and away she went. Of course I cringed at the mess, and the risk of her sewing herself (which she never did), and the oddities that she created. But yesterday she sat at that machine and pieced together a shoulder bag that you would never find a 'pattern' for.
No fear!

A bit over two years ago we were presented with an opportunity to move across the country. Those of you who follow my blog are probably sick of hearing about it, but it was a huge and very hard decision for us. A decision we did not take lightly. What if we moved 3,000 miles from everything we knew and loved and FAILED? gasp!
We made a list of the worst that would happen... and decided to go for it. If the job did not pan out, we could always move back east. We would be out money and a lot of time and emotional turmoil, but so what? To us that was better than always wondering what if.... so here we are, and I still feel it has been the best big decision we have made so far.

food for thought.
How do you approach fear of failure?
Is there something you would love to try but are afraid you may fail? Big or small.
What is the worst that would happen if you DO fail? Is that 'worst thing' really all that bad?

Now I will apply this to creativity, specifically to knitting.
I have met many knitters who are afraid of making a mistake and having to frog (rip out) hours of progress. This is all part of the process though, learning what works and what does not.
A great metaphor for life.
Sometimes our decisions need to be frogged, but can always be re-knit.

Reenie out.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Merry~

Happy Holidays!
I wanted to post one last time before I snuggle in with my girls and family for some holiday time.

Now matter how you celebrate, have a wonderful holiday!

Here are shots of us trying to get a holiday picture of my bad girls. They amuse themselves, can you tell?
and the money shot.
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I have a serious crush...

Here she is....

I am swooning in happy crushdom right now and never thought I would have my OWN awesome easel.
(insert hazy dream sequence)... Remembering back in art school, wishing some day I could afford my very-own-big-awesome easel....
and now I have one. (kee heehee)
Bought for me for Xmas by my favorite person, the tall, handsome, delicious Paul.
I got to pick her out, because, you know, it is a personal thing.

She has not told me her name yet-- once she does I will let you know. She is an "H frame" easel, so most likely her name will begin with an H.

See her big paint tray?
And she is leggy and tall... she extends to 94 inches! Which is way higher than my ceiling, but I can roll her outside... because she has casters! (sigh)
AND get this.... she lays horizontally, in case I want to make out with her. hee hee.
love love love love love

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What the Huh?

What the Huh?
That sums it up.
The days are zipping past, full of running around and holiday prep.

Here are some shots of the living room. I painted it. again.
The girls were adamant about getting a shade darker than I had planned, so I gave in.
It's a spruce (blueish) green, and I love it!

You can see more of the previous wall color here.
Which was to be a light acidy green, but really looked yellow.
This new spruce green really unifies my furniture and items, plus it brings the green of our amazing evergreens inside!

Here is our tree, still needing some more paper houses, but overall complete.
Here is the ugo chandelier, which got taken apart and bathed. I added the elves yesterday.
LOVE the elves and am considering keeping them up there year-round.

Tilly came back for a visit with two of her now grown babies. We have not seen them for months.
Eve got some fantastic shots of them eating their noms.

Off to snuggle my babies and eat some noms too.

Monday, December 7, 2009

100th Monkey Show~

The show was a blast...
Not a huge turnout but not a total bust either. It's always really good for me to do shows, even if they are not so profitable. It really motivates me to get organized and step things up a bit. Plus exposure never hurts.

Here are shots taken by my photographer, Eve.
The girls were getting squirrelly by the end of the show, so Paul modeled some hats to entertain them. I am sure he will be thrilled to have them in the blog. teehee

Aurelie Hat

Aurelie knit up pretty fast and turned out beautifully!
I used my Personality ribbed hat pattern.
After the hat was knit I took some time to tack the corners of the lace pieces to the hat, being careful to allow them room to stretch when the hat is put on.
They were cute hanging loose as they were plied into the yarn, sewing them down was an aesthetic thing for me.
Here is a shot of the yarn before knitting....
It was inspired by a shabby-chic blog that I follow. I was thinking victorian and vintage and girly.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Random Chaos Hat!

After only 3 froggings (rip outs)! argh.

The yarn finally decided to become a ribbed personality hat.
The coils demanded accentuation so I made the coiled stitches really (really) loose
and then pulled them to the front.

First few attempts were to make it a garter stitch edge, then just a stockinette stitch, similar to the Hippie Skull Hugger Hat, but the coils looked deflated and frustrated, so I kept trying.

I think the ribs help the colors changes to pop a bit more and the coils just glow, well, they glow because they are acid green, but you know what I mean.

I love it.

It is ob-nox-ious. This yarn was spun purely for the color combo.

No pics of the yarn before knitting (oops).
Well there is sort of a picture Here.
The yarn was originally called "Monster Mash" and was in a trunk show that was sent to some yarn shops around Halloween. BUT the colors are great for any time of the year and just make me so very happy.

"Random Chaos" is going with me to the Twilight Sale. (link) on Dec. 5th.

If it comes home with me I will put it in the Handmade Magic Gallery to sell.