Sunday, February 21, 2010

Did I tell you about the day I walked into the local art gallery last month and spied a lovely hat in the items for sale? I was taken by it so I tried it on. It fit perfectly. I wore it about the gallery while I looked at the most recent painting show, pondering whether I should buy it. Did I really NEED another hat??? I even went in the bathroom to see how I looked in it. Rather cute, I thought, if I do say so myself.

So I took it off to check the dangling little price tag and noticed it was marked ........

"$xx - hand felted tea cozy"

Uhm. Oh. So. That's a first for me. I've worn tiaras, crowns, hats, dogs, even starfish on my head. But this was my first time in public with a tea cozy atop my brain.

Fast forward to Valentine's Day. Hubby's gift to me -

The tea cozy hat! I love it.

"Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on." ~Billy Connolly

Yes, but what about a woman?

See the hole in the back? I thought it was for putting a ponytail through. I know, go ahead and laugh. I tried some of my tea pots under it and it actually doesn't work well as a tea cozy at all. Too tight in girth, the hole is too high up to be an use, to hard to take off. So, hat it is. I'm going to sew up the hole.

And all that brown and green behind you? Now under a foot of snow again. So I'll have more opportunity to wear it before the cold weather is gone for the season. Now I just need a purple sweater or jacket to go with it!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My card reader died recently. That's actually good news since I wasn't sure why my photos wouldn't upload. I was worried it was the actual USB port. It wasn't. Whew. Knock on wood.

So now, photos can be uploaded once more and all is right with the world. Well, at least with this tiny section of the world.

This last weekend was a big family gathering. I had all my kids and all my grandkids together. Except the teen. Who forgot to get the time off work to attend. Total bummer. I rarely get a chance to take pictures of everyone in one picture. Still, I got some great pics of almost everyone. Had a lovely time. I'll post pics of all the cute peeples, big and small, on Beach Treasure, maybe later tonight.

But here's a pic what I made for the shower. (Just a small gift. I'm practical. I'm waiting to see what they don't get from everyone else so I can fill in the gaps later.) I know it looks like just pieces of folded flannel but au contraire, these are big thick receiving blankets. Which my son had to ask "What are receiving blankets? Why do we need receiving blankets?" Oh dear. Well, I'm sure they'll learn fast! Some fabrics I chose just because they were cute, some because it matches Sam and Ashley - like their love of playing Guitar Hero, Sam's golfing, and if you know Sam, I had to get the dollar print.

I made a stack of receiving blankets for Joli when she was a baby and when she outgrew her need for them, Lisa cut them up and made them all into a flannel cuddle quilt for her. (although apparently Joli's daddy cuddles in it the most.) I told Ashley we could do the same thing with these blankets.

And I remembered to take a photo of the napkins I made for them for Yule. Looks like a few were in the laundry. I used some of my favorite Kaffe Fassatt fat quarters to make them. They have no idea how special that makes them, but the colors and style were perfect for their kitchen and they are really enjoying them. I'm trying to embrace the art of using my favorite prints instead of hoarding them for "someday" or "something special". I've discovered it's far more pleasurable to get them out there in the world where the fabric is used, by me, or someone who is special to me.

Napkins.... receiving blankets.... hey, don't laugh - yes, I'm really talented at making large, useful, pretty, hemmed fabric squares.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Even with my busy schedule the last few weeks, I still managed to visit hundreds of new bloggers in this year's One World One Heart blogging activities. I was mainly just along for the ride, enjoying the travel, the sites, visiting old blogging friends and acquaintances that have gotten lost in the swirl of my schedule, and finding new kindred spirits to add to my blogging community.

I didn't enter that many giveaways. I decided to only enter those that jumped up and down and wiggled their noses at me. No matter how cute or useful or clever a givewaway was, if it was something I didn't need or already had or knew I would probably smile at and then set aside forgotten, it wasn't meant for me. I won a darling little red art box the first year I participated in OWOH and I still have it sitting on my nightstand holding wee things several years later. I wanted everyone's gifts to find their perfect homes and to be enjoyed as much as I enjoyed my little gift.

Rambling aside - I have many useful and artful gifted items in my home. Every time I see or use one of them, I am reminded of how it was given to me and I feel a little poof of that original energy, the care and love that was part of the gift. The odd thing is that some things I remember the WHO of it very clearly, the person who gifted me, the WHEN, the WHY, WHERE I was when I received it. Other items I don't remember ANY of those details! And yet, here's the thing, I still feel that *ping* of a warm hug even when the specifics somehow got lost in the black hole that is my brain's filing system.

As frustrating as it is (I wish I DID remember all the details all the time) it makes one ponder the power of gifting in general, even the secret, unnamed gifting of Pay it Forward or RAOK's or the randomness of winning a OWOH giveaway. It reminds me that every action carries with it an energy, good or bad, that I am responsible for creating. It encourages me to make sure that all my actions count, not just the big ones I get credit for, but the little, everyday ones that only I know I chose to give or withhold. Like a smile for the grumpy cashier or letting the car in front of me merge before the light changes. Those are a type of gift giving (and receiving) too.

So, humble as my giveaway may be, I hope the receiver feels that love *ping*.

And the winner is.......

Jasmine, of The Life and Times of a Magickal Mama!

Well coolios! I suspect the faeries had something to do with this..... hmmm faeries? Jasmine just happens to be a faery friend in real life, so I think I can predict with 99.99999% certainty that she will appreciate the fae magick of the wee charm! Jasmine, send me your mailing address backchannel.

Two wee faeries - my granddaughter Adorable Joli and Jasmine's daughter Beautiful Kiana.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Just a quick note to OWOH folk. Rough week. This week I've dealt with electrical outages, finding a plumber, an unexpected pet crisis and sad kitty story, and finally a weekend full of travel and family. That last bit has been lovely. But I won't even be back home 'til some time tomorrow, so I definitely won't be posting about the givewaway until Monday. That means it's fine for last minute visitors to comment, you have until 8 a.m. PST on Monday, February 15 to enter for a chance to win.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Got lots to say but it's not gonna be tonight. Or rather, what you're gonna get tonight will be rambling and incoherent since it's really late and I'm determined to get this post up before I stumble off to bed.

I put photos from the Good Faerie Ball up on Beach Treasure. I'll remind you of the link at the end of the post. I saved a couple of close up pics, of a more crafty nature, to share here.

This is my friend Katie's wonderful copper Steampunk wings. (sorry 'bout the low light, I hate flashing folks) I love that they turned out like Katydid wings that Katie did. Hah! (If you're not familiar with the term Steampunk, first of all, what rock have you been hiding under, and secondly, Goggle "Steampunk" or better yet "Steampunk fashion" and you'll have more links to visit that you can carry home in your brass grommetted, driver begoggled, steam engined time machine.)

More copper Steampunk wings created and modeled by the lovely Mackenzie.

That's it for the wing pics but the copper aspect, being the best conductor wire around, segues nicely into what I want to talk about next - electricity.

The kind that flows into our households and power our days and, in my case, much of my nights. Or rather, the kind that's supposed to flow into our households. Two nights ago for reasons known only to the Household Gods, electricity stopped flowing to about half of our house. Suddenly I had no sewing machine, no space heaters, no bedside lamps, no microwave, no popcorn maker, no cordless phone, no music, no tv in the back bedroom, and last but not least, no espresso maker.

I did a few rounds of arguing with the circuit breakers and quickly reached the end of my working knowledge of currents and amps and all live and dangerous wiring. It took a couple of days before we found a local electrician and late this afternoon were, at a gratefully reasonable (knock on wood) out of pocket expense, fully re-electrified.

But while the power was out.... half the power was out..... I quite unexpectedly learned how deeply grooved were many of my daily rituals and routines. Not being able to read in bed, being forced to read at night on the couch and THEN go to bed, was surprisingly upsetting! No lattes was annoying. No microwave meant teaching my son about this old fashioned way of heating food - called an "oven".

The irony was that I'd spent most of the week after coming back from the faerie balls trying to push myself through some sticky inertia of unknown origin and into the studio. I'd finally managed to do so and was happily sewing away, when the breakers popped and the studio lost all power, my hardwon momentum coming to a screeching halt.

It wasn't until early this morning that something I said out loud, can't remember what now, suddenly laid the two struggles - getting the energy back to full capacity in my house and getting my creativity back to full capacity in my life - side by side in my brain. A lightbulb went off in my head. (Obviously it was in my head, duh, the ones in my house weren't WORKING!) There's a connection here, said one of the voices in my head.

Another voice piped in "Yeah a connection............ but what is it?"

Eventually everyone up there inside my skull started adding info and offering suggestions. Over the last week I'd been talking a lot to people (people outside my head) about focus. About channeling creativity. About making choices. On and on I went, talking to people on the phone, over a cup of coffee, inside the circus tent of my own mind. I bet you can come up with many of the same analogies - electricity flows, creativity flows. Circuit breakers, creative blocks. Plugging in to new ideas, plugging in the new CD player. Electricity can be channeled through wires or just poured out in an electrical storm. Creativity can be channeled into a specific goal or frittered away in unproductive (albeit pleasant) ways.

At one point I thought maybe I had it. By cutting off many of my electrical options,the message was specifically about how I should be limiting my creative options, in order to focus. And yes, that's the gist of what I've been trying to do, channel, focus my creativity. But if that was the message, you'd think the universe would have cut off the wiring to my internet connection and the big ass television in front of the comfy couch, and not cut the wiring to my studio. Not quite right.

Even when it's not the middle of the night, I haven't figured out the specifics of the "aha" feeling I get about the connection between creativity and electricity. I don't think I even care. What excited me was the idea of thinking of creativity in a new way. It makes me feel incredibly cheerful and optimistic to think of it not as something inside me, but as an independent force, a living current out there in the world.

Something about.... it's not me, it's my equipment. Like, the movie isn't lousy, the cable reception is lousy. The song isn't wrong, the radio receiver isn't strong enough to pick up a good signal. My ideas aren't weak, my.... well, my focus, to come back to the word, isn't set up properly. When I think about fixing my focus as a technical problem, instead of as a muse or an emotional or a life problem, it sounds a lot easier (and more objective) fix.

Okay, that's it. End of incoherent babbling. I tried to reread that last sentence and could barely make it from capitalized first word to the.... sentences stop at that little dot at the end, right?

Oh yeah, I was gonna remind you - faery photos at Beach Treasure.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

I'm finally getting my ONE WORLD ONE HEART post up, right under the wire. I kept thinking I'd rally and do something more clever but it's time to accept my limitations, mostly time limitations at the moment, and move on. I know it's late but I just couldn't pass up the party, I've met such lovely bloggers each year and each year a few lovely new friends have found me.


This year's theme is a "Magic Carpet Ride" - a travel method I've not really given a lot of thought to before now, although I'm sure it will soon seep into some of my new ideas and obssessions.

But really, I'm more of a broom rider.

Sometimes I flutter about by wing.

It would be nice to have some Floo Powder handy from time to time. Or even be able to beam about like the Star Trek crew.

Most of the time, however, I rely on my own two feet and a good sturdy pair of shoes.

It might take me awhile to get places but I don't miss so much along the way.

Since I wasn't able to participate earlier primarily because I was off dancing and dining with my beautiful faery friends, I wanted my giveaway to be faery related this year. It's a small offering, but a heartfelt one.

A wee faery charm. It's just ONE charm. There are two charms shown in the photo so you can see both sides of it. There will, undoubtedly, be something else or two included in the package for the lucky winner. Not sure what yet. But if I wait to post until I know, time will run out on the party! I'll dig and toss about and I'm sure I'll find something a true faery soul will oooh and ahhhh about.

For a chance to have this little charm winging it's way to you, all you have to do is leave a comment here on this post that will link back to your blog so that I can contact you.

Don't forget to come back and visit again after you recover from your magic trip 'round the globe. I'll still be here, puttering and fluttering, and hopefully getting more blog posts up then I have lately. I've got lots of faery pics to share both here and over on my every day blog, Beach Treasure, where I am also participating in OWOH and there is another chance to win a faery gift.

2/15/10 Update: ****This year's OWOH winner has been announced**** But please click on my main link and come on in for a visit!