Tag: crafting

{this moment}

{this moment}

{this moment}
5-28-2010 iphone 109
a photo~an extraordinary moment~no words~pause~savor~remember...

another thoughtful idea from soulemama

{this moment}

{this moment}

{this moment}

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a photo~an extraordinary moment~no words~pause~savor~remember...

another thoughtful idea from soulemama

hunkered down

hunkered down

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we have been hunkered down since thursday night. lots of snow and no real reason to leave the house.

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yesterday morning we made maya's yummy popover's. we made them today too. i have a feeling there is going to be a request tomorrow too.

helen decided that she didn't want maple syrup on her snow today. she thought that she would make chocolate ice cream instead.

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we spent most of the weekend reading harry potter and the half blood prince. we finished tonight. movie tomorrow.

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tonight as we finished harry potter my sweet girl and i worked on completing some beads that we started for our martin luther king day in event. we actually were able to get so many done in a short time, we are getting really fast at them. we have had so much practice now. i wish that i had kept track of how many bracelets that we have made and sold to raise funds for making strides against breast cancer. i think that it has been 2 or 3 years now. hoping to get some out on etsy soon.

here are some photos from our snowstorm earlier in the weekend.

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books to inspire creativity

we spend so much time at the library and on-line looking for new books. as i have mentioned before we love to read. lately we have been looking at books to help us find new things to create and some of our favorite books from the past. here are a few.

joseph had a little overcoat by simms tabak

our dear friends gave this book to helen for her 2nd or 3rd birthday. it has beautiful, colorful illustrations that make you want to find all the colored pencils and print intensive magazines and collage all day. the story also reminds to continue to of my favorite lessons to share.

the quiltmaker's gift by jeff brumbeau and gail de marcken

also a christmas gift when she was very small. this book has beautiful illustrations a great story of a woman who makes the most beautiful quilts for those in need and how a king in his desire for the one possession that he cannot acquire learns where true happiness comes from.

the paper princess by elisa kleven

we found this book at the library it was our first introduction to elisa kleven. we have given this book for countless gifts. we love the illustrations and collage. the story is very sweet to. a girl creates a doll out of paper and it flies away and the paper princess tries through her adventures to return to the girl who created her.

the apple doll also by elisa kleven

story about a little girl who makes a doll out of an apple to come with her on her first day of school. the kids at school make fun of her, but in the end they all learn how to make the doll. very sweet story. directions to make the doll included.

the wheat doll by alison l. randall ; illustrated by bill farnsworth

we found this book at the library. sweet story about a pioneer girl that loses her best friend, a doll made from wheat in a storm. the mud near where she lost the doll begins to sprout wheat, she cares for the wheat and makes another doll. we read this over the summer and plan to use some of the cedar chip stash that we have from the addition to make a doll. we have also been wanting to make some sachets for valentine's day (given that the moth's think my sweaters are the tastiest in the house) the cedar just smells so yummy and looks so pretty most of it was from the plainer so it is shaved post to follow soon.

plaidypus lost by janet stevens and susan stevens crummel

this is one of those books that we read endlessly when helen was very small and i did not mind. the cadence still continues in my head whenever i hear platypus. this story was one of the reasons that i really wanted to take the create a character class from marisa haedike creator of creative thursday last year at the squam art workshop. we have wanted to create a sweet "plaidpus" from a few of the many plaid shirts that belonged to my father-in-law who helen sadly never had the chance to meet, but shares a birthday with.

mirabelle by astrid lindgren and pija lindenbaum

i feel so redundant but here is another great book about doll, this one grows from a seed (scary that the seed came to the little girl from a stranger when her parents were not home, i have always altered this while reading the book).

quick crochet huge hooks by sally harding - i have been taking this book out of the library every few months for over a year; i really want to make the rag rug out of fulled (the word used for repurposed wool sweaters that have been "felted" per my class at squam last year with the amazing betz white). i have been putting off the rug because i wanted to make it round and i was having trouble finding a book with good instructions on how to crochet in the round...i think that i finally found a few...details in another post. i decided to try to just crochet a rectangle or square rug for the first try.

a few cooking books too.

sweet pea loves her historic american girl dolls...i try not to do things that are typically so commercially driven, but i have found these dolls have much to offer in peaking greater interest in handmade and history. we now have molly from 1944 and kirsten from 1854, she is also fond of felicity from 1774. we have been getting many books from the library and the bookstore on these three characters. the most fun i think are the cookbooks, they offer recipes and history of how these girls would have cooked, what they would have cooked and how the family would share in the meal together.

last week we made a recipe from felicity's cookbook: a peek at dining in the past with meals you can cook today (american girls pastimes) we made almond tarts. it was fun to make, we both think that the recipe would be better with almond paste instead of the chopped almonds. also overload on the butter and i am typically with julia child when it comes to butter.

for christmas helen received molly's cooking studio. i think that we are going to try the applesauce cupcakes, the victory garden soup and the nut and raisin bread which seems similar to a recipe that my mother made at christmas time when i was a kid. she backed them in coffee cans then wrapped them in colored cellophane. i just always remembered how tasty they were and how pretty they looked.

she also received salad people by mollie katzen for her birthday and we did not have a kitchen at the time and now we do so we need to start some recipes from there. we have tried the recipe for chewy energy circles a few years ago when she took a food science course. they are quite yummy.

sun bread another book by elisa kleven i think that santa brought this book a year ago, but we did not have an oven, there were many gray days last winter when i thought a little sunshine bread would brighten up our day...we will be trying this on the next gray day. recipe for bread included.

one last book for today is everything on a waffle by polly horvath.

this is about a girl named primrose whose parents are lost at sea and everyone thinks that they have perished but primrose is certain they are trying to return to her. she befriends a women who owns the local restaurant called the girl in the swing (is that the greatest name for a restaurant) and she serves all of her meals on a waffle. very fun story with recipes interspersed in the story.

soulemama had a great post a few days ago about books her family loves to read in the winter, i am going to be spending some time looking them up tonight and i am sure having some that i cannot find at my library transferred over.

successful raspberry essence stand for breast cancer

successful raspberry essence stand for breast cancer

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sweet pea came up with a recipe for "raspberry essence" a few weeks ago and we decided to use it for our making strides for breast cancer "lemonade stand" this year at the park avenue festival. it was a really big hit. we used local homegrown raspberries and juiced and strained them with some filtered water and a touch of sugar. delicious, fresh and refreshing. so different too.

MS stand 2009

we also brought the bracelets to sell. we only sold a few of those but no worries we are having our making strides kickoff breakfast for the local walk on thursday morning when all the team leaders get together to be inspired to raised lots for research to FIND THE CURE. the event is mc'd by one of our very dynamic local newscasters and a personal friend of helen's (she is so proud of this), ginny ryan. we are so inspired every year.

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my sunshine spoke at this event 2 years ago to over 500 people when she was 5. originally she did not want to speak, she was going to let me do the talking, not really my dream but anything for the cause. once we were up there, she was drunk with the power to hold the attention of so many and to bring them all to adoring response. it was a challenge to remove her from the microphone.

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last year she did not speak but ginny let everyone know that she was selling her bracelets and asked her to stand on her chair so that everyone could see that for the past 3 years helen had raised over $2500. per year and they could do it too. i was so proud. helen was so thrilled just to be able to stand on the chair and to have everyone give her an unbelievable round of applause was almost more than she could stand!

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i am hoping to get the bracelets out on etsy soon. i will include a link as soon as they are posted.

fabric looking for a future / freecycle

fabric looking for a future / freecycle

7-14-2009 fabric stash

i have had this fabric that i received from a wonderful woman who works at our local interior design center. for a while she was listing fabric and wallpaper samples on our local freecycle. i have been a lapsed freecycle member lately, so i don't know when the last time was that she listed but i love freecycle.

corning glass museum

corning glass museum

7-13-2009 cmog logo

my sister was in town and we all took a day trip down to the corning museum of glass with my dad and steopmom.

so much to see. sweetpea took a sand blasting class. nothing like having 5 adults watching a 7 year olds every move to make her feel totally the center of the world. some days it seems sad for her to be an only child, today i don't think that she was minding it much!


we love dioramas. this one was showing how they used to have a round furnace and all the glass blowers would stand around the outside and work around the furnace. this picture doesn't really capture it. still very cool.

creating at squam

creating at squam

the path to class

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felting class

my first class was felting with another new creative friend and house mate betz white she has 2 books that you need to check out.

Warm Fuzzies: 30 Sweet Felted Projects
Sewing Green: 25 Projects Made with Repurposed & Organic Materials

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my felted project in process

i wish that i had taken more pictures in this class. everyone made very unique things. i was really feeling challenged with my design and my sewing skills. with so much support in this class i pushed on and ended up with a nearly finished bag, nothing short of a miracle. one of the big goals is to complete projects. this was the only class that i did not do some initial prep for.

creative characters

i did get to take one of mirsa's classes. yippee! as soon as i signed up for this class we started to discussing what types of charcters i could make. i asked helen if she would make some drawings that i could use to make some characters. in the end, i used a drawing that my husband and i love very much that she did before i even knew about squam.

meet shy horse.

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this is the pattern that i made from helen's picture in the process of cutting the pieces.

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this is the pattern all cut and pinned and ready to sew. it went just fine. marisa was so encouraging. i so enjoyed my day.

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i stuffed it was some buckwheat that helen loves and sewed it up. i still need to work on the embellishments but shy horse is all together! helen loved her.

i am very excited. i can't wait to make more of these from her drawings. i think that this is going to be something very fun that we can do with her friends too. so much of this project the kids will be able to do. i think they will love picking out the fabric and embellishments.

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here are most of the other creative characters from my class. again incredible creative.

block printing fabric

the last class that i took was block printing with incredible lizzy house

i don't want to seem redundant but she is yet another amazingly creative new fabulous friend from nirvana.

we really clicked. i am just sorry that i missed the first two days with her. but we had fun after that.

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here is lizzy giving us the printing demonstration

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i made blocks from helen's shy horse and another older picture that she had done called "baby bird in a tree"

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here is the take home of my creations from my time at squam.

the second night that i was there when we were visiting in nirvana and sharing some wine i was able to make some bracelets for breast cancer. the other two night that i had left i was so exhausted from creating during the day, eating and the evening events that i didn't have any energy to make more bracelets.

saw - squam art workshops - nirvana

saw - squam art workshops - nirvana


how to even start about this amazing experience. i may need to just share the pictures because the words still have not come after being home for over a week. when i keep starting most of what i say sounds very cliche.

i added a little wine to the mix and here comes the share+++ who cares how cliche it sounds, it was a life changing experience and i made so many incredible friends and enjoyed myself so much i want to share it!

Photo 1

this was my first look at squam in the light of the morning.

i can tell you when we decided that i was going to attend i had so much anxiety about what classes i should take. there were so many that i wanted to take and so little time. i had no idea how many people were going to be trying to register and how many spots there were, i thought i would be lucky if i could get in, let alone get the classes that i wanted. oh the joy to get the note from elizabeth that i was confirmed and had my first choices! yippee!!!

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nirvana - the camp

i feel so fortunate that elizabeth, the creator of this event, put me in the cabin appropriately named nirvana with so many talented and creative women. i loved being in the "vault". i feel so nourished by my nirvana family. i was living with the women that were teaching my classes this was so incredible. they were so fun and so honest and shared so much of themselves as did all of my other wonderful housemates. so many late nights.

i was anxious about attending this workshop. i had no idea what to expect. the photos from the previous retreat can't begin to describe what it was like there. the campus is really expansive and all tucked into the woods and surrounded by water. beautiful everywhere you look.

when i first started college i went in as a studio art major. i had terrible creative anxiety and lack of self-confidence. i can appreciate creativity but it does not come freely to me. i know what i like but cannot readily express what i would like to.

it was extremely overwhelming how talented and creative the attendees were. i knew already that the teachers were but this was very intimidating. that did not last long though because everyone was really so supportive. they would share ideas for my projects and ask for input on their projects. also we were all so happy to be there. everyone was smiling all the time and chatting with everyone else. even if you were not in class with them you said hello to them and chatted in line or when you were looking at all the production on display at the end of the day. it was so exciting to be in such a positive mutually supportive group.

the product that came out at the end of the day was so overwhelming. that these beautiful pieces could be taught and created in such little time was amazing. i wanted to take so many home with me. also wished that i could have taken so many other classes in addition to what i took.

Photo 4

painting a day with my new sweet friend marisa haedike one of the many great classes that i could not fit in my schedule

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printing with botanical designs with another new sweet friend maya donenfeld and another wonderful class i did not attend

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one more wonderful maya class. coffee sack hack, repurposing with burlap missed this one too.

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lauren smith and derek fagerstrom taught wallpaper projects. I couldn't fit this class in either but I bought their book of the same title.


most of the ladies from nirvana. we are missing three. not sure how they escaped. photo from laura nelkin

i need to let you know who all of my new friends are here. i will also add the nirvana ladies that are missing from the photo.

alexandra almeyda, me, kellen meyer, lizzy house, laura nelkin, maggie hollinbeck, betz white, marisa haedike, maya donenfeld, missing - donna collins, andrea mckeen and kristin bonner

missing you all!

i did have some ideas about what i would like to accomplish while i was away from home. i really thought that this would be a time that i could learn about some ways to repurpose material and find new activities that i could share with my daughter.

i had planned on having the evenings to myself to rest and create having quiet time away from the calls of family and house work. i enjoyed my new friends so much that i only slept between 5 and 6 hours a night and enjoyed every minute that i could. i also had plans to set up my blog while i was there so that i could better record the experience and not have to try to remember when i returned home. again there was no time for that.

the time went so quickly. we had three yummy healthy (if you chose) meals each day. you didn't want to miss a meal not because you were necessarily hungry, but it was such a great time to catch up about the classes and visit with your new friends. also at afternoon and evening meals most of the classes would display what they were working for everyone to see.

we were also working off those great meals walking to all of our events and classes. all of my classes were a 15 to 20 minute walk through the woods . i never knew how heavy my sewing machine was until i started carrying it through the woods to class. where else would you go and see someone walking in the woods with a sewing machine. to think that a little over a month ago i didn't even know how to use this machine. you could say that i had a crash course. my mother-in-law actually gave me a lesson almost 2 months ago now. she helped me make some napkins and showed me how to use the machine.

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nirvana dock - finally made it down here on the last day as i was leaving. how can we fit more hours in the day!

the next post is the classes that i did take. i think that i may be blogging about this workshop forever...