Saturday, February 26, 2011

on snail mail

I ordered this package of d-rings and miscellaneous
handbag hardware from an etsy shop in Thailand
on the last day of January. Two weeks later, I had 
about lost hope of ever receiving it. At that point, I 
realized that I'm accustomed to getting things in the mail 
within a few days of ordering them! In fact, I sometimes 
receive an order the next day -- before I even start 
looking forward to it coming! This brought to mind 
the good ol' days, where anything ordered would take 
6-8 weeks to arrive. SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS!!! 
That's forty-two to fifty-six days of anticipation.
Do you remember checking the mailbox every day for
weeks on end? And then finally getting what you've been
waiting for? I kind of miss that rhythm of life. 

At least we still have rebates.  

Monday, February 21, 2011

in case you were wondering

I know this every year when I finally toss my dead poinsettia.
Happy New Year!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

my latest collection

Yep -- you guessed it! This is my collection of dead plants.
Well, the ones at the top are dead, anyway. 
Most of the plants toward the bottom are just hibernating.
In fact, many of them got trimmed back this morning
in preparation for the new spring growth that will
kick in any day now. And I tell you, I am looking forward
to it! As for these potted wonders, however, it's back
to the seed packet. I hope I can get inspired and motivated
before it's too hot to think. I guess I have a few days yet....

Don't let the "green" ground cover fool you -- that's just the dead
mesquite leaves that suddenly, simultaneously decided to let go on Wednesday,
covering our cars as well as the whole yard in a dense blanket of crunchiness.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

the owl bag is finished!

 Ashton and I have completed the Night Owl Bag!
The picture below shows it complete with its blue 
corduroy straps. The bag is quite roomy.

It was a good starter sewing project for her, since
it has lots of long, straight seems to practice on.
As it is a gift for a friend, Ashton was certain it 
would need a label inside. I quite agreed.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

failed (er... "repurposed") freezer paper stencil

I was inspired by Handmade Mommy to make a 
stenciled bag for a friend's birthday recently, since I 
had just bought the largest roll of freezer paper I've
ever seen. I followed the suggested tutorial to a T,
cutting the business logo out of freezer paper, ironing
it onto my duck cloth, and filling in the shape with 
fabric paint. However, when I came back the next
morning and peeled the freezer paper template off,
the shape was all globby around the edges.
Since it was a last-minute gift idea (no time to re-stencil), I cut the
birdy out and tried to sew it on as an unfinished-edge applique.
This clearly wasn't going to be sturdy enough to hold up on a bag
that got any use at all, so I cut out the square, left the black threads
hanging off the edges, and made it the gift tag for another gift altogether.
I wish I had snapped a picture of it, because it turned out to be
an uncommonly groovy gift tag. As for freezer paper stencils,
I suspect the problem may have been my fabric. I would like to
try this whole thing again with a less course fabric -- maybe knit
(like the tutorial) or muslin. As for the Merdeka birdy, perhaps
I'll give the bag a go again later and just stick with handpainting!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

latest reading

My husband recently asked me to read a book for pleasure.
Not a book-for-pleasure-learning-how-to-make-something-new,
but simply something to fall into and enjoy with no other end product
in mind. I wasn't sure where to start -- the last time I read a piece
of fiction was over five years ago, when I was in the hospital with a
freshly born Elliott. I happily finished out the final Harry Potter book
while he slept and people waited on me hand and foot.

Fortunately, Ashton's been deep into the world of Percy Jackson,
having read several of them multiple times. So I decided to pick up 
book one and have quite enjoyed the read. While the tone
of the book is decidedly middle school angst, the ideas unfold
in surprising ways and the story is engaging and fun to follow.
I had a hard time putting it down sometimes, and I'm on to book two!
I've been a big N.T. Wright fan for some time now.
I used to listen to his lectures while I painted (follow this link
and scroll down to "Wright Audio/Video" for a selection of 
audio links to peruse), resonating with his ideas about the 
kingdom of God and subsequently speaking to myself in 
what I pretended was a superb British accent. 

I've never read his books, however, as they seem 
generally enormous and specifically academic in nature.
They are often written at least in part as a response to 
some other scholar with whom I am completely unfamiliar.
This book, while it references the work of other scholars,
is very straightforward and is a storehouse of Wright's 
intense studies about the Bible, Jewish thought at the time
it was written, and the historical context in general.

Further, I'm considering memorizing the book of Romans,
since Ephesians is starting to solidify. But I have spent 
much of my life avoiding this particular book of the Bible, 
and I thought I would like to become acquainted with it first.
In this particular tome, I started with the Introduction to 
Epistolary Literature, which was very informative, and 
I'm heading into the section on Romans now. Here goes!