Saturday, November 29, 2008

a good name

There was one more project I decided to finish during my week off, and I admit it had been sitting around for over 3 years. I started the "Sadie" embroidery when she was just a baby. I think part of the hold up was actually knowing what I was going to make, but after finishing the potholders I was eager to use more binding tape. Jay wasn't so keen on the country look of the little quilt, but Sadie was pretty pleased with it. She and I decided together to hang it above her bed and that seemed impetus enough to finally stick her butterflies on the wall (I found them at Polka Dot Kids gave them to her last Christmas). I think it makes a cute little vignette above her bed, and furthers my obsession with combining as many pinks/reds/purples as I can in her room. So far there isn't a single shade that hasn't worked. Seriously.

Now on to holiday gifts - which will have to stay secret until after the giving happens. As it is I'm trying to do some sleuth knitting in Jay's company...though the guy is clever enough to figure it out. Well, maybe.

Friday, November 21, 2008

double dose

Potholders did the trick, not to mention pulling together a pretty yummy soup. I may not be completely free of my thoughts, but it was a relaxing week and I spent a lot of time puttering around in my studio/half-a-bedroom workspace. These potholders were such a snap to finish, I don't know why I waited so long! I remembered reading on Soulemama about using the casing tape tool, and wow, does it ever work. These bound edges were easy and are so much better than how I used to do them. And talk about practical - we have used these potholders every single day since...mainly as mini placements, but hey, that's what practical is.

I have had an intense craving for the vegetarian hot and sour soup that Indochine makes, but being at home, I had no desire to travel close to the office to pick some up. So, I looked around and tried a slightly modifed version of this recipe. At least I have figured out the secret to what makes the Indochine soup special - it's Vietnamese, and not the Chinese version that Google has been showing me in many of my past searches (well, I can't really blame Google, I was just fairly daft about it). I just love that it has tomatoes and pineapple and a clear tamarind-flavoured broth, but I didn't have broccoli at home so I'm missing a bit of green in mine. In the end it was a decent soup, but no where near what Indochine serves. Hmm, I guess I still have the craving, and just talking about it is making me hungry.

Damn it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

momentary block

Today I found my first white (not gray, but completely and utterly white) hair. At 34 maybe I'm lucky to have made it this far without some sign of graying, and I'm not really complaining. There's just something about finding it that has thrown my thoughts into chaos this afternoon. Luckily I'm at home by myself, starting a week of R&R from work, so I can indulge the thoughts as long as I keep busy. (Pause to mention that Jay's alarm clock just went off for no good reason, at 3:59pm. Is that a sign I should stop this post? Wake up? Hmmm.)

The photo above is of a fantastic set of blocks that I was given last year, and it seemed fitting to show it today because my mind is blocking out ideas and philosophies trying to make sense of a pattern or at least a clear direction. Even when these blocks are haphazardly organized, they are stunning to look at because the design, fonts and colours are just sublime. Luckily my ideas and thoughts are all positive and I'm trying my best to keep them that way. It has been a very busy year at work and I've had many responsibilities added to my plate and some days I just wonder if I'm happy with that direction. Most often I will say yes, but there are those moments when I feel nostalgic for the artist I wanted to be, or the designer, the teacher, the something else I may have become if paying off my education and then providing for my family hadn't become my M.O. But as soon as I put those words onto the screen, I feel I need to scream out, I know I am very, very lucky to have a job in a creative field surrounded by people who make going to work a joy.

We're allowed these weak moments, right? Perhaps I'll blame it all on the single white hair falling onto my forehead, and drag myself upstairs to finish some potholders I started about 6 months ago. Completing a project is surely the best medicine I know.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

butterfly magic

I heart Hallowe'en. I also heart taking the day off work to help Sadie with her costume and walk her to JK. Jay and I both walked her there and back, and man, do I ever wish I could do that more often. The fact that it was 19 degrees outside was a nice bonus too.

As for the costume, Sadie changed her mind Hallowe'en morning, so we no longer had to figure out the Cat-Princess-Bunny idea (not that I was against it!). A butterfly was fairly straightforward, and she was game for making her hair into antennae. I used fairly thin gauge wire, and it held her braids up for 9 hours, making it a surefire costume hit. And what a difference one year made - last year Sadie screamed at masks and only visited one house, but at age 4, she wasn't scared of anything and wanted to walk up to every house for her share of candy. We finally convinced her to help us hand out candy which she took very seriously, giving us a break from being alone on the porch.

It was a great night. Did I mention I heart Hallowe'en?