Monday, September 29, 2008

The blues

Can you tell how I'm feeling today?

It's a chilly, overcast day here. I'm low on sleep, feeling a bit out of sorts, and well, a little blue. Painting usually helps me feel better, but the toddlers are so busy that it's not practical for me to spend any time with that pursuit. I think I'll go sew a few hearts. That will help.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Adventures in mommying take 554

Saturday night I experienced a new adventure in mommying. My youngest, the terrific two-year old, decided to sample some wild berries. We had been outside, taking a leisurely stroll through the woods and stopped by our garden to pick some tomatoes. While hubby and I were putting the tomatoes in the wagon, we looked up to see said terrific two-year old (TTYO) stuffing his mouth with purple berries. I yelped "NOOOO" and leapt over to him, squashing plants in the process, and tried to pry them out of his mouth. He was at the same time, trying to stuff more in. So, not knowing what he had eaten or how many, I scooped him up and ran inside with a plant sample. Hubby and I were on dueling computers, frantically trying to identify this plant and its berries. We kept coming up with a variety of nightshade, striking terror in my heart, but couldn't identify which one. Not wanting to risk spending too much time on it, I wisked TTYO and the plant sample to the ER, using my finest former-Chicago-commuter driving/speeding/passing skills in the process.

I should mention, that all the while, TTYO was completely calm and was perfectly content going out for a drive.

At the ER they checked his vitals and tried also to identify the plant. With the help of poison control and the internet, they determined that the type of nightshade that he had eaten was not the deadly nightshade (whew!). Given the length of time that had passed since he had ingested the berries, it was clear that he was going to be just fine. He was offered some stickers and a stuffed animal (although he asked for a horse instead), and we were on our way home.

Hubby did identify the plant as the Eastern Black Nightshade and it is not as toxic as some of its relatives. The green fruits are more toxic than the ripe ones, and TTYO would have had to have eaten 20 or so to get sick. Nevertheless, if you see this common plant in your yard, you may want to remove it if you have kiddos that eat anything and everything, just as a precaution.

TTYO is just fine. Mom has 17 new grey hairs.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A new road

I've been wanting to try my hand at wet-felting scarves for quite some time. I've gathered the rovings, pictured my pieces in my head (no, I don't keep a sketchbook, just ask my old prof. Used to drive her crazy), and just waited for the right time. That time came last night and although my first attempt had some flaws, I'm downright tickled with it.

My inspiration has been the calico-like patterns of the fall leaves. My friends and I used to go on a road trip to Devil's Lake in WI hiking each fall and sit on the bluffs admiring the foliage. It looked like someone had thrown a quilt over the rolling hills, and I loved it.

I attempted to capture this feeling with the scarf and it is a mish-mosh of a fall colored calico. Sure, this one has some holes and my technique needs some tweaking, but I must admit I really like it, holes and all. It was a road worth traveling and one I'm sure to be trying again soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vintage button bouquets in action

As a crafter, I think there are few things more satisfying than knowing that one of your objects has been appreciated. Sure, the creating is fun, the sense of accomplishment when you complete a project is great, but knowing that you've made someone happy is just the best. I was lucky enough to feel that surge of satisfaction today when I received an email from one of my customers for whom I had created wedding bouquets and bouttonieres out of vintage buttons. She was sweet enough to send me photos of my work "in action" and I just had to share them with you.

The couple had chosen ivory, pool blue, and yellow as their colors and the end result is such a happy combo. How can you help but smile when you see it?

Here you see the bridesmaids' and the bride's bouquets. The bride had chosen a mix of ivory with touches of her accent colors, and mostly yellow with touches of blue and ivory for the bridesmaids.

The bridesmaids each carried a bouquet of 12 stems while the bride's bouquet had 28.

The groom and his groomsmen each had coordinating bouttonieres with reclaimed tan leather leaves.

Thank you, Carlee and Ryan, for allowing me to be a part of your special day. Congratulations!

*All photographs courtesy - Drew Wilson

Saturday, September 06, 2008


The weather has turned here in Minnesota. The skies are blue, the air is crisp, and those horrific bugs we're known for, the ones that make me spew multiple hyphenated curse words, are thinning out. This is my time of year. I wish it would last longer, but I'll take what we're offered.

This weather turns my attention to the colors I love, those natural and deep, bright and strong, not the pale and hopeful colors of spring, but the mature colors of fall. I could roll in mossy green and chocolate brown, wrap myself in burnt orange, and eat deep red for breakfast with a little golden yellow on the side.

It's no wonder that my crafting has turned towards these colors, and I'm delighted to see similar color choices from others I admire. I'll be sharing some of these delights in the next few days. I hope you'll find them as inspiring as I do.


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