The creative and spiritual journey of a (textile) recycler. . .

I have thought about starting a blog for a long time now. I just couldn’t seem to get started. I thought. . what would I say, what would I do and really . . . . . who would care.

Last year I had the great fortune to witness a ‘happening’. As a spouse at a reunion (I know, groan) I was both an observer and participant. This reunion was attended by some of the most creative and talented people on the face of the planet. Really, no exaggeration! But many were holding onto life long insecurities. They didn’t think they were talented enough and embarrassed to perform in front of each other for fear of . . who knows . . . finger pointing, whispers, laughter, ridicule of some sort for sure. Once it was revealed that many shared the same feelings, the healing began. And I was the lucky one. I got to witness it all and benefit as well.

So, the message is that we all think we are not good enough compared to someone else, but we are. Don’t let your fears and insecurities stop you. We can’t measure our own success by someone else’s talents.

This revelation and the kindness / support of strangers has propelled my creative journey to a place I had given up ever getting to. Tho I thought my creative juices were dried up forever, they have merely been reawakened. Many thanks to all involved in my process, including in-part . . Victoria B, Mrs. W., Charles Mc., Claudia H, Mary B, Cindy G, Sandy B, Traci B., Kat C, and my IAA family. So, thank you. I dedicate this blog to all of you!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Life gets in the way, again

Over the years I have had periods, some quite long, of not posting. I merely explained it as 'life got in the way'. I've always thought that it wasn't anyone's business and who would want to read about it anyway ... We all have problems. Only thru Aimee and Artsyville did I start listing what was really going on .... the things that keep me from being creative. Sometimes it's my own health issues that take me out of the game for extended periods of time. But, it's usually that someone is ill and needs constant attention. I'm glad that I have the ability to take care of others when they most need it. I did it for my mom and my aunt and for friends as well. I consider it an honor to be allowed to share someone's precious time when they know it is so limited. I'll have time for myself later.

Well, after the last full week in the hospital and release, we went back to the ER about 14 hours later and are still there. Admitted for the third time now in as many weeks. I know the ER and staff throughout the hospital by name now. They are great and doing what they can ... but, It is not looking good at the moment and as much as I am burning and yearning to doing something creative .... anything, someone needs me more. So ... life gets in the way again. Life is in the balance. It's very delicate right now. We are preparing for the worse... just in case it comes sooner than we ever thought it would. It's not easy.. and it may take me off my blog for a while again. I am just taking it day by day.....

Friday, October 26, 2012

Flea Market Friday

Holy cow! It's 11:44 on Friday evening and I just realized that it WAS Friday and not just any Friday.... Flea Market Friday! 

I didn't do anything I should have today. I was all about 'Pops'. Brought him home from the hospital today. It was a challenge and a bit sketchy for a while. He was out of it and not doing so well  . . .  till a posse of favorite nieces came to visit. It was the ultimate perk-up.. love those gals. . .

So, hopefully I can get a pass on Friday and post it another day. If YOU did better than me with time management, please share your flea market finds or redos below.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

List it Tuesday :)

I'm really getting into 'List it Tuesday'... that Aimee... what she started .... I love that girl :) 

So today's theme is "what I love about where I live". Ok, I can do that, but I'm limiting myself to 5: 

* I live less than one block from my small downtown. I can walk to cool stores, cool events, and talk to cool people, too!

* I love the feel of the city. It's like a mini big city but still has that small town feel. The streets are actual tree lined city blocks where you can walk, talk to neighbors, hang out. Reminds me of my childhood in the city before things began to fall apart. 

* My city is filled with creative and talented, artistic and musical residents. There's a plethora of quality handmade goods found in mom & pop shops for artists, art fairs, and galleries. Truly no need to ever step into a mall again!

* Easy expressway access. Within 20 minutes, we can be in the big city, the countryside or another country altogether! Being right off of 3 main expressways can get us into the next state in an hour. And (yum) less than a 15 min drive to a variety of farmers markets any day of the week.

* The architecture here is fab! You'll find everything from little bungalows to huge Tudor style homes. I particularly love the old stone houses like you see in magazines. The yards have big trees, gorgeous colorful flowers, wonderful gardens and walkways. 

my street in spring

Bonus post-
** and ding, ding, ding. . . there are always lots of garage sales :)
I will be starting Flea Market Friday this week on my blog. You are all welcome to join in! I know that you love them as much as I do and I also know that you find fabulous things, then give them your personal touch.... so let's see what you are up to.

To join in on Artsyville Aimee's 'List it Tuesday', go to: 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Say something nice

Well, by now you know that just days apart, my aunt passed away, my friend passed away and I have been at the hospital day and night for at least a week now. 

It's funny how things happen and what effects us (or doesn't). In the emergency room, a patient laying on a stretcher sat up and complimented my hair cut as I walked by. I laughed and told her she must be in the ER for bad eye sight. We shared a few words and laughs, I said thanks and kept going. It was getting pretty harried in my room and I really needed to be there. Doctors in and out, nurses furiously doing what they had to, everyone trying to assess the situation and put together a plan of action... But, that exchange it put a little pep in my step during a very intense day and night. I didn't leave the hospital that night till after midnight.

Then the next day the parking lot attendant made a friendly comment, then the next day a hospital secretary and so on each day. Every time, those kinds words helped get me to the next phase of the day.. so I guess the moral of the story is, no matter what we are going through, just take a second to smile or say a kind word to someone. Even though they look like their day is going great, it may not be. Your kindness can have a huge impact that you may never even know about... but do it anyway. It will put a little pep in your step, too. . .

Thank you to all of you who posted comments or contacted me directly with kinds words and prayers. It means a lot and is greatly appreciated....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Another passing

Well, it’s not ‘List it Tuesday' any more, it actually Wednesday now ... but the need has arisen for another list ... there’s been another passing.

My junior high and high school friend has passed ... too young, too soon...drawn her last breath ... Some of us knew it was coming, but it’s still hard to hear that the final breath has been drawn.. It’s so final ... no chance to say what you wanted or forgot to or even needed to say ... no do-overs... too late.

Those of us that knew it was coming have been helping each other, knowing the end was drawing near... It’s still hard tho... and how ironic that this week is the anniversary of my own moms passing... so, every year at the same time, I will reflect on memories of my mom, her sister and now my friend... sigh...

I’ll think of my friend often. What a great gal.. Here are 5 things I’ll always remember about her:

She had ...
  . . . an infectious laugh that just drew you in
  . . . a bright smile that shined like a bright beacon of light
  . . . a mischievous twinkle in her eye that made you giggle
  . . . a spirit and capacity for love and compassion that paled to others
  . . . and a zest for life that could not be attained by anyone else

Good night and rest in peace sweetie...we’ll talk about you, laugh and share crazy memories of things that teenagers did when they thought they wouldn’t get caught or just didn’t know any better.... I’ll think of you and love you always. . .

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

List it Tuesday !

Well, I'm just a big, fat liar. I said I wouldn't bore anyone any more with my lists... but here I am again. I have spend days now in the emergency room and hospital with a beloved family member. My aunt's passing was a momentary side step in between. So here I am again ... at the hospital, sitting, waiting, talking, hand holding, laughing and being the mouthpiece and protector for someone who can't really do it themself and sitting and waiting some more.

So the contents of my list for 'List it Tuesday' today have changed a bit from what it would have been originally.... here it goes:

I am a sucker for:

- Compassionate, empathetic and competent medical staff

- Fabric, fabric, fabric and more fabric...(no surprise there, eh)

- Odd color combinations

- Texture... fabric, rust, metal, twisted paper, rice paper, yarns, threads, shredded stuff, texture in pattern too ....

- Flea markets and other peoples junk! (smile)

Get well loved one...

To join the list making club, go to:

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Memories & thanks with love

It's Saturday . . .  not 'List it Tuesday' . . . . but sometimes ya just have to be a rebel. 

Through tears, here's an impromptu list of 5 reasons why
I love my aunt who just passed away:

she kick started my love of all things fabric

she let me play in her 'wall of scraps', let me take lots home :)
and encouraged me to make something wonderful

she let me know from the time I was a very little girl,
that I could sew and be creative and it was ok

though sometimes it was difficult,
she always told me the truth when asked

starting at early childhood we always had a special bond
of understanding and respect

ok, just one more:
she always hugged and kissed me like she loved me
with everything she had 

Thank you Auntie ... Love you too. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

List it Tuesday

Well, it's 'List it Tuesday' again. For sure I will not be making and posting a new list each week. I know what you're thinking, whew! Well, that works both ways... I don't want to make them every week and I'm sure you don't want to read them either .... but, here's one more, just for today.

After spending the weekend at the American Sewing Expo (ASE), I think this new list makes sense:

* I will love, treasure and USE the new treats I bought
- in a timely fashion *

* I will post some of my successes and failures *

*  I will think outside of the box to make some really cool things with my new goodies *

* No UFOs!
(a quilters term meaning unfinished objects *

* I will start filling my piggy bank now
for the next the ASE in 2013 *

on display at Expo, quilter unknown

Get inspired to make your own lists. Check out:

American Sewing Expo 2012

Wow! What a weekend ... The American Sewing Expo (ASE) was amazing. I ran in to so many friends - old and new, made lots of new ones, worked for a few vendors, worked the fashion show stage as always and made so so so many wonderful connections. I highly recommend that each and every one of you try to get there next year. Whether you make garments, quilts, crafts or all of the above, I guarantee that you will find something new and exciting to try. Here are few reasons why .....

I spent Friday morning working with Janet from Felt on the Fly. Oh yah! This is not just any felt folks ... this is pure merino wool felt ... machine/hand washable and dry cleanable.


It feels so yummy. It's soft and pliable. Did I mention that it comes in 99 colors?

When you cut into it, the edges are crisp and sharp.... and let's talk about needling. Not like bugging someone, but putting the needle into the felt. It's like cutting butter....oh so smooth.

This is a make n'take that a lady started at the Expo. She took some petal shapes and a leaf and hand stitched them down just to see how easy it was. She kept repeating how wonderful it was to sew thru! 

Then I saw Luveta. She's always smiling, has a wonderful outlook and southern accent that just draws you in. She has been the Junk Jean lady since long before I started going to the Expo. She saw my recycled jean vest and loved it ...  and I loved her grommets!

She loves to put grommets on shirts and jackets to jazz them up. They really look great. I think you could use them for so many other things too. I installed 2 for someone and they really and truly went together with just a light push of the finger tips .... no hammers, no tools... Yeah Luveta!

I love anything bright, colorful and ethnic .... Akonye Kena fit the bill. I also love baskets. In fact, I have a bunch of these. You can fit anything and everything in them ... I keep sewing projects in them and little boxes of bits ... like little buttons, trims, itty bitty beads, etc. He also carries African fabrics, beads, batik panels and more, more, more....

Who says business is all serious? Here the proprietor of Akonye Kena shows off his name tag .... he is known as Princess Cranky Pants. I don't know why. He's a delight!

I wonder if the big basket full of sour candies has anything to do with it??? Just a theory.

One of the many exhibits was goodies made in the 'Out of the Box' challenge. Here are just a few items...

Stay tuned for sew much more ... part 2 coming up ...