Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Someone I forgot...

FIrst of all, thank you for so many lovely comments about the banner. It was such an awesome opportunity to serve by doing something that I already love doing. I don't think I'll be using much purple for a while, though.
My husband reminded me, though, that I left out one very important member of the construction team... Rufus was by my side the whole time, to sit on things that shouldn't be sat on, and walk over things that shouldn't be walked on, and just look downright pathetic. Baxter helped, but at a distance, because he is smarter.
(Forgive the quality, it's an instagram photo, so it's teeeeny. Also, I stole it from my husband, thanks @chomperhead. Also, do you instagram? It's delightful, yo. Let's be friends, I'm @lauren_hunt )

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Largest Thing I've Ever (Kindof) Made.

So.  This story is long, maybe, I think. But here goes.
Last year I was asked by my church (Redeemer Fellowship, holla), to sew Advent decorations for the sanctuary. 
The church is giant and beautiful and 122 years old, and I gleefully accepted, and then realized I had, like, three weeks.

Grand ideas for a massive, glorious, banner were made and then immediately scrapped; and what we ended up with was a 15 yd piece of the fakest polyester dupioni you've ever seen, hemmed on the sides and thrown over a rafter. I called it The Worm. It looked like a worm. A shiny, sparkly, purple worm. It was serviceable but unfortunate, and plans were made to try again this year.

And soooooooooooooo, fast forward to this August, and the wheels begin to turn again. This time, however, there was TIME and SKETCHES and DISCUSSION and MATH. The fuzzy ideas of the previous year came into focus, happily colliding with my newly found love for Korean patch work, pojagi, or, as I call my method, faux-jagi. My friend Alex mentioned in this blog post how she and I had started experimenting with the technique, using this tutorial by Victoria of The Silly BooDilly. 
So I wrote a proposal. And then ordered 6 bolts of shot cotton. And then waited for them to arrive. And then stared at them guiltily whilst I finished a few other projects. And then it began.
And I should say right now, the title of this post is misleading; I did not make this banner. I had so much help from other women in the church, many of whom I had never met before. We talked and we sewed and we cut and they ironed. Oh, how they ironed! Oh, how little I managed to iron! It was truly glorious. I asked them to sew the seams completely randomly, and then sew those pieces together randomly, and so on. There was no deliberating, no second-guessing, we just put it all together and let it happen. I was confident that it would be done-- only because at the end of the day, it wasn't in my hands, (my ridiculous, scattered, faulty hands); but it was guided by, and to the glory of Someone Much Bigger.  It was EXCITING, and it was AMBITIOUS, and it was PRETTY and we were OPTIMISTIC!  Anything, after all, was better than The Worm.
Near the end though, when I was constantly dragging 30 ft. lengths of patchwork around the house, sewing through the night, and seeing purple everywhere I looked, I began to get anxious. It all revolved around one issue: Would there be enough light? The whole point of all the Pojagi piecing was that light would shine through the thick seams to create one giant, glorious, abstract design. If there wasn't enough light, the whole thing would just look like a giant purple sheet. All of the work, all of the Fold-Stitch-Iron-Stitch-Repeat, it would all be INVISIBLE. I was terrified by the thought that it might just end up being The Worm's big brother.

The final day was spent frantically sewing, ironing, binding, and pinning. Brian was drafted and spent most of the day ironing, a service for which I will owe him for the rest of my life. It turns out, friends, that 60 ft. of anything? Is a LOT. I had three 60 ft. sections, each between 1.5 and 2 ft. wide, to sew together. And then bind. Not all of which, of course, managed to happen, but eventually it HAD TO GO UP.  The last half-hour of sewing was not pretty, my friends. But I gathered up my giant pile of banner and wrestled it into the car in a giant heap that I couldn't see over. When we arrived at the church, I spent ten minutes pulling pins out of the unfinished bits, and praying that the height would hide the many (MANY) unfinished edges. I was tired and unbathed and hungry and WEEPY. And then it went up.

Light, dude. Providence.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2012 Overdue Book Calendar, Original Recipe, and, Oh, SALE.

K, Y'all. I'm putting on my affected southern accent, which means BUSINESS. Also, it means ANNOYING. Consider it dropped. Business, yes? Where was I again?

 Oh, yeah, the CALENDAR THINGIE. I've talked about it before, so you might know the drill, but just in case you're new to these parts, I make a thing called the Overdue Book Calendar, the point of which is to record your reading and keep track of library due dates, if applicable. It was inspired by Raych of Books I Done Read, unquestionably the best book-blogger this side of the interwebs.

And, allright, kids, I know what we're all thinking: libraries? What be those? They are AWESOME PLACES, but I know that the WORLD HAS CHANGED. E-readers exist. I know, because I have one, and I lurve it. Talk to me about my kindle, and I will ooze with passion. BUT THIS DOES NOT MEAN, dear friends, THAT THE CALENDAR IS IN VAIN.

Because, c'mon, while e-readers are awesome, they lack some satisfying analog joys. Who doesn't miss pulling out the bookmark, placing the book on the shelf, and feeling a bit smug in your literacy? Our overstocked bookshelves are a visual representation of what makes us tick, and that's something a plastic screen will never be.

THUS!, the blank version of the calendar, allowing for endless customization of its contents. It's a good way to catalog what you've read, and be able to hold it in your hot little hands. Tactility! My friends, we will miss it in the future! Also included are black and white "coloring book" versions of both calendars, great for classroom use.

H'Anyways, I said something about a sale? Yes, indeed I did. I mentioned earlier in the year that I had made an "Elementary" version of the calendar, expanded for use with younger children. Read more about it here. For the next FIVE days, until December 12th, buying ONE of the calendar versions will get you BOTH calendar versions! I'mma break that down for you:

That is access to EIGHT calendars.
 -2012 Overdue Book Calendar
-2012 Overdue Book Calendar, Blank Version
-2012 Overdue Book Calendar, B/W Coloring Book
-2012 Overdue Book Calendar, Blank Version B/W Coloring Book
-2012 Elementary Edition Overdue Book Calendar
-2012 Elementary Edition Overdue Book Calendar, Blank Version
-2012 Elementary Edition Overdue Book Calendar, B/W Coloring Book
-2012 Elementary Edition Overdue Book Calendar, Blank Version B/W Coloring Book

That is 168 PAGES OF CALENDAR. Blood, sweat, and Tears for Fears, I tell you. And how much will it cost you? Four moneys. Thassaright, $4. Am I over-infomercialling? I can't tell. But the point is, it is CHEEEP and a great easy Christmas gift. Ya'll think it over. (Ugh, the accent came back.)

 On the next episode: The Project that Ate My Life (and I loved every minute of it!), and My Weird Christmas Issues. Stay tuned.