STILL Hacked

launchpartyprep

It doesn’t look like much is happening with the ole blog these past few weeks, but under the hood, it’s getting outfitted with some impressive security measures and tensile armor. Or something. I don’t know, when the husband starts to emit sounds that include words like “sql” and “SSH keys” my ear flaps involuntarily close up.

Unfortunately, the tinkering that’s going on means that even though I’ve tried to add new posts, the blog keeps reverting back to the Happy Friday/going to Vancouver one. It’s very likely that this will happen again, so I’m keeping this short and just letting you know that the issue is getting addressed. He says he’s almost got it all cleaned up. Who knows? Maybe at some point I’ll be able to go on at length about the lovely launch party for Sewing Happiness (check out the cute book trailer that Sasquatch Books made) at Drygoods and the myriad of upcoming events: Bainbridge Island! Queen Anne! Seattle Japanese Garden! Central Public Library!

Stay tuned.

Happy Friday + Randomness

vancouver-sketch

Happy Friday! So, we’re getting out of town and heading to Vancouver next week! K’s friend is visiting from Guatemala and on the spur-of-the-moment, we booked tickets for Amtrak plus an Air BNB, and off we go on an all-girls’ trip to Canada. One senior citizen, one middle-aged mama and two tweens. This should be interesting. We’re all about the same age mentally, so it’s going to be a blast. Due to the crazy number of things going on, we can only stay for a couple of days which means we won’t be able to hit the Harrison Hot Springs, but the place we’re staying in (Yaletown) has a pool and sauna. Fabulous.

We’ll explore Granville and fabric stores and if anyone has recommendations/suggestions, I’d love to hear! We’re looking for some good restaurants in or near downtown.

With travel and party/launch prep, etc. I’m scaling back a little and will post on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next couple of weeks, but I’ll do my best to make them extra fun posts. Happy, happy weekend everyone!

The house elves won’t stop
‘Lectric crisis and the like*
How to appease them?

*We are now experiencing electrical problemos and I keep finding baffling new ways in which the house can fall apart and other oddness. Who knew that bees would be in our lighting fixtures? I’m ready for a vacation!

Happy Friday + Randomness

2016-easter1

Happy Friday! On Wednesday, K went over a friend’s house to paint some eggs. She made the one above for me — isn’t it perfectly neutral? What can I say, the girl knows her Mama. The pre-Easter party was hosted by K’s friend’s grandmother, and at pick-up time I was politely half-listening as I gathered stray socks and zipped up bags when she told me that she had prepared seven dozen eggs for the girls. Seven dozen eggs?

It turns out that she saves the shells every time she makes an omelet or bakes cookies or poaches up Eggs Benedicts throughout the year, washing them out and stockpiling them until Easter. “My mother did the same thing, and I painted eggs like these as a child,” she said. Her mother upheld this tradition for 81 years with kids, grandkids and great grandkids!

2016-easter2

The egg shells are filled with jelly beans and bits of tissue paper, and hearing the backstory makes them all the more endearing.

In my family, my mom boiled a dozen eggs, and using pens and acrylic paint, my brothers and I spent hours drawing and painting intricate designs on them. They took so long that we each completed two or three at most. I tried to do the same last year and promptly dropped all the eggs I was working on. A steady hand and a gentle yet firm grip are required, none of which I possess, it seems.

Anyway! Happy Easter weekend to you all! We’re gearing up for an egg hunt bonanza followed by a hearty outdoor brunch. It’s our own annual tradition we’ve created with our neighbors, and it’s going to be loads and loads of fun! Let’s hope it doesn’t rain…

Haiku by K (she loves coming up with them):

They have hidden eggs
Filled with candy and money*
I will find them first

*Our neighbors must be overly generous — I’ve never stuffed the plastic eggs with money.

 

P.S. The winner of the giveaway is Amy M, congrats!!

Happy Friday + Randomness

amish-quilt1

Happy Friday! The weather’s been glorious in Seattle these past few days — azure skies, bright sunshine, a proliferation of blooms nodding in the slight breeze, the works. I’ve been wandering from coffee shop to coffee shop, ticking things off of my list, composing emails, making plans, walking, walking, walking.

Last weekend we had a lot going on that required zooming around the city, so I rented a car for a couple of days, and it’s amazing how a few weeks without a vehicle will make you appreciate the seemingly inconsequential things that we never noticed as car owners. Like heating vents on a chilly day. Or the vast space available in the trunk for groceries (boot to you non-Americans).

At this point, anarchy is brewing in my household since I’m the only one clutching to the carless lifestyle. “But we’re getting so much exercise!” I’ll chirp, and the eye-rolling is so violent, I fear that their pupils may get stuck in the back of their heads. We’re crossing into our second month without a car, and yes, it’s inconvenient sometimes, but man, I love it.

Maybe I’m Amish, and I just didn’t realize it? I make all of my clothes, and the garments may very well pass muster in an Amish community. I’m becoming increasingly suspicious of technology and the negative impacts, though I can’t deny the overwhelming benefits as well. Before you know it, I’ll be sporting a hat and a scraggly beard and will refuse to be photographed. On a slightly related note, the images you see are of a handmade quilt that M’s dad received from an Amish family, which he passed onto us. K loves it and uses it as her bedspread. I discovered that it’s challenging to get decent shots of a quilt.

amish-quilt2

Anyway, my persuasion tactics are flailing and pretty soon, I might have to cave. Sigh. For now, I think I’ll go take a walk to think about this whilst wearing my homespun clothes. Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

This time, I’m actually including a haiku from K*:

It is blue and white
I like to snuggle up tight
in the starry night

Isn’t she so good? I told her to make it about her quilt and she kindly (and quickly) obliged.

*I meant to include a haiku by K last week, then forgot to ask her for one.

 

Happy Friday + Randomness

photo-setup

Happy Friday! Have you ever wondered how I set-up my shots whenever I share my me-made-clothes? You probably haven’t, but just in case…I place a mirror on a chair in the spot where I’ll be standing, and set the focus using my reflection. I then use a remote that has this awesome ability to shoot consecutively non-stop with a single push of a button. This is the brand I use, which was a bit of an investment, but it has given me zero problems these last two years, which was not the case with my first cheap-o remote. Sometimes I forget to switch my lens focus functionality to manual…this is when the lens tries to automatically focus as I’m moving about, resulting in my many, many (oh so many) blurry photos. My photo sessions usually last five minutes. Easy-peasy.

I’m in awe of the folks who scout out cool locations and have beautiful backgrounds, but you know what? This works for me, and it’s about the clothes and process for me anyway.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that tension between wanting to up my game and sticking with what is tried and true. I would love to create those gorgeous shots with palm fronds framing my outfit or a panoramic seashore backdrop with windswept waves or whatever, but the reality is that I squeeze in my sewing and photo-taking between running a small yet demanding household and attempting to make a career out of creating books and products and who-knows-what-else my brain is trying to concoct. I sew to learn and not to shoot highly produced photos (though that would be lovely too, and maybe down the line it will be possible for me to do so). In fact, because I’ve never put that much pressure on myself to have top notch photography, it’s the reason I’ve been able to sustain the blog for as long as I have. “This is the best that I can do given my current situation” and “Incremental progress” are my mottos.

A friend said to me once, “I wish I could start a blog, but everyone in my field is so critical.” I found that so curious. “But you’re not like that,” I said. It stands to reason that yes, there are critical people, but as my nearly four years of blogging has proven, there are far more kind people than critical ones. I’m a firm believer in reciprocation — if you put good energy out there, it’s nearly impossible not to get good energy back. It’s easy to find reasons to delay starting. What I’ve heard over and over is that folks seem afraid to start [sewing, painting, writing, a business, etc.] because they’re not sure they’re up to snuff. Of course I get it, and I’ve been annoyingly vocal about how I never feel up to snuff. That first step is always the hardest, but when taken, it’s like the unfurling of a surprise ball. Have you ever had one of those? It’s usually a long strip of crepe paper rolled up into a ball with prizes embedded between layers. The prizes are usually kitchy things like plastic toys or a sticker or maybe a piece of gum. The point is that it’s fun to see them plop out as you unwind the ball. I’ve had so many prizes these last three plus years!

Anyway, those are some random thoughts on a Friday. Have a delightful weekend, all!