Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall and I Are Friends Again.

Our yard is an odd collection of all these things that previous tenants have left in it. We have a bag of Quik-Crete that lost its wrapper and became a bag-shaped concrete statue many moons ago. We have ceramic rocks, and strange pagoda sculptures and spoon windchimes that are so tangled they are incapable of chiming. I heart it.Can anyone tell me why the geranium that was dying ALL SUMMER, (dead, I thought,) became alive again when it got chilly? It's had no help from me, that's for sure. He's just perfect, isn't he? Other than all the nipping and knocking-over-of-fragile-and-liquid-filled-things? Mmhm.

Thanks for all the kind comments on the quilt! And since a few of you have asked, the video I posted a while back is located here, and I eventually plan on doing another one that is more demo and less... me mumbling? Yeah, that's it. Har.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blue Tower Quilt

I think I finished this quilt in July or August, but I only gave it to its recipient this past Sunday, so it has been sitting in the shadows for lo these many months. Don't put baby in the corner!, or something like that, I am bad at movie quotes. And I don't even know what that one is really even referring to, so... (Don't ever join my team on a movie trivia game. I will have seen most of the movies, but remember nothing about them. It is a skill.) ANYWAY. Quilt! I have to say, I really love the way this one turned out. I had a general color palette, and so Brian and I went to a fabric store and he helped me pick out these prints. We wanted it to be fairly subtle, so it would have a blend-y effect, and I think it was fairly successful. Anyway, on with the photos!Oh, and PS, I am part of the new papernstitch exhibit opening today!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Photoshop is my happy place. (New things are happening, I will show you soon!)

And, I am so glad that so many of you love the same stuff I do. We can all hang out and you can come over and we will make s'mores and build a fort to sleep in. Which, by the way, I saw Where the Wild Things Are like everyone else, and yes, it is beautiful and amazing.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Stuff I Like, and Have Thought About Too Much.

Ok, so I missed... the rest of the week. In my defense, I started writing this post on Thursday, but posts with links make me sleepy, and so, uh... yeah. Consider yourselves lucky, because I spent Wednesday - Friday being grumpy and unfit for human consumption. I'm good now, though! The sun came out, and today's high is in the 70's, so much rejoicing is in order! All smiles and happy faces here, except for the problem of my feet being freezing from the beginning of October until halfway through May. But whatever. There are things! That I love! I will talk about them now!-Raisin Bran Crunch. So, Brian has always loved this, and encouraged me to eat it, but up until a couple weeks ago, I had always insisted that regular old Raisin Bran was good enough for me. See, one of my most annoying traits is that, when introduced to something new that will replace something I am used to, I ALWAYS resist. I think of a million reasons why the new thing probably isn't better, or why the way I do it suits me just fine. This can go on for years (Ask my husband. Or my mother, probably.), until, for some reason, I try the new thing. And it always AMAZES me. Which is REALLY annoying if you are the person who has tried to convince me all along. So I'm like, "OH, Man! How can this be so much better than Raisin Bran! How is it POSSIBLE!? I have been WASTING MY LIFE up until now with INFERIOR CEREAL! How could I not have KNOWN???"
And Brian is sitting next to me on the couch, wanting to kill me. But seriously, RBC is awesome. And yes, I am abbreviating the name of cereal. Deal with it.

-Somewhat obsessed with this quilt festivalright now.

-Hulu. Honestly, the internet is SO GOOD. I watch hulu whilst drawing, ironing, whatever random task that would be better accomplished with something happy in the background. Favorite show I knew nothing about? Green Wing. Look it up, you will thank me for it. (Or not, I don't know how great my taste is...)

-The RVA girls are amazing, and I can't believe I wasn't reading all of their blogs long ago. (Well, other than Rachel's, who's mad quilting and home decor I have loved for a while.)-The toddler Tony Clifton Halloween costume I am making for friends of ours son. Is it not the best costume idea, ever?

-Coupons at JoAnn. And awesome sales. I recently bought 70 yards of interfacing for about $27. I had been buying it a little bit at a time, for SO MUCH MORE than that. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, friends.

-MPIX for printing photos. This is where I do my prints, and their metallic paper is absolutely beautiful. Also, if you're located in the midwest, you usually get your stuff in 2-3 days, which is great. If you do a large order on the metallic paper though, download their printer color profiles, as the metallic paper can do somewhat funny things to color.

-Spoonflower. Yeah, I know I have gushed about it several times before, but I'm still so amazed by it. Getting to play "fabric designer" is so much fun! And without this service, I would have never known how much I love it, and never know how awesome it is to get a big stack of delicious fabric that came out of my own brain. (Not literally. HA! Me funny!)-Office supplies. I am getting more organized as far as my shipping is concerned, both supply-wise and aesthetically, and there are very few things that are more fun to browse through than office/packing/shipping supplies. The possibilities! The bulk quantities! The many delightful kinds of permanent markers that I will never, ever need!

-Good smelling hand soap. It makes you feel so much better than the disgusting neon pink stuff. At the high end of the spectrum (read: soaps I have never purchased, but enjoy using) my favorite is Cucina hand soap, I think the Ginger and Sicilian Lemon is the one I like best. More realistically, price-wise, Mrs. Meyers Geranium soap is awesome, and Bath & Body Works Midnight Pomegranate is great, too. Most of the time, though, I am all about Softsoap's Pomegranate & Mango, or Dial's Clean and SOft, both of which I think are under $2 at Target. Have I thought about this too much? Hmmm.-Old pillow cases. Recently, I have been itching for more of these, not only to use on our bed, but to make some throw pillows for the couch. Fall makes me want to make throw pillows, why is this? Does anyone else have this sickness? Can it be cured by anything other than making throw pillows? Also, what are the best pillowforms to use? I'm not a huge fan of the ones they sell in craft stores, but don't really want t buy enough batting to stuff my own. I'm thinking it might be easiest to just buy cheap WalMart pillows and then put cases over them?-Jelly Rolls. The fabric kind. Especially if they are reproduction prints, because I LOVE them, but can never justify buying a ton of yardage of them, and mostly use them for small patchwork projects, anyway. I recently got one of American Jane's "Recess" line, and I can't wait to use it. Though, in all likelyhood, that will not happen for a year or so. I'll say it is because I have a very involved planning process, but that is a lie, I am just slow.-The tags I made for my bags (Spoonflowered, of course.) I think it's hilarious when anything I make looks "real", and these tags make me very happy.

I think that's it for now. Enjoy the day! Oh, and, I seriously will send a mix CD to anyone who wants one, just email me your address, and I will send you some of my "Car Singing Greatest Hits (2009)".

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My iPod Knows Me Better Than Most People I Know.

Ok. Day two of things-that-are-awesome-despite-crummy-weather! And apparently scratch moving to Merry Olde England off the list of things to do. Months of this? Nope. No.

Singing in the car is one of the most important things in my life, SERIOUSLY. If I could not do this, I would probably go Dexter and have human body parts hidden under my lawn. The best thing about learning to drive was not being able to get independently from point A to point B, but having unlimited time to sing in the car. Because, I love singing, but I do not do it in front of other people (with one exception, which will be discussed later,) and so having that precious time in the car when I can just go CRAZY is amazing. I do sometimes sing in the house when I am home alone, but as we've always been apartment dwellers, there is always the possibility of being HEARD, which is terrifying, because I GO ALL OUT. Knowing that you are singing completely for yourself frees you from caring about the fact that you cannot hit half the notes in the song, you are squeaking like a rabid mouse, and you're not saying all the words correctly. (You know the fast part of the song you mumble through. You know it.) So I sing in the car, and I sing loud, and I only stop at red lights, because, it is somewhat embarrassing to realize someone is watching you emote to the pavement in front of you. (One time I had my window open and didn't realize that two women in a convertible had pulled up next to me, and finally noticed them and stopped singing. They laughed, and said that they only wished they still enjoyed life that much. Which is sad, for both of us.)

So, anyway, this is a necessary thing for me, and the only thing better (well, there are several things better, but,) is having someone to sing in the car with you. THIS is not an easy thing. It requires an obscene amount of trust, and knowing someone who loves the same songs as you. It doesn't happen often in life, so if you have someone who you can unabashedly sing with, keep them on your Christmas list. Also, I am firmly of the mind that this is something we should teach children. At this point in my life, I can't imagine not loving to sing, but I know that this is probably in large part due to the fact that my mother is a car-singer, and so I grew up with it. People! Sing with your kids, and teach them the songs you love!

And so, on to the next thing I love, which is my iPod. Because, I have established that it does, in fact, have a soul, and that soul loves me and can read my mind. Unless I am really obsessed with one album (currently: Avett Brothers "Four Thieves Gone") I have it on shuffle mode all the time, and IT GETS ME! Like, yesterday, a song by X band came on, and I was like, oh, well, I like this song, but I wish it would play that other song I like, [press next arrow] and what plays? AGH!! And I have several HUNDRED songs just by that specific band on my iPod. It knows! It loves me! And then, not 30 minutes later, it did the same thing again. How? I do not know. Magic? Probably. It is a genius machine.

Music is powerful stuff, people. For me, there is really nothing else that can change my mindset faster. Songs can make my day, they can make my week or month. Just remembering a stupid lyric can get me through an unpleasant situation. I know that it doesn't take much to affect me emotionally, but I think it works this way for everyone. Sing in the car, people. Ask nice and I will send you a mix cd, too.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall = Killing Me.

These fabrics are 1/6th of the way to quilt-ness by now. Am I going to talk about them? No. Today's post is far more annoying than that.

The weather-folk of Kansas City have declared that we will not see yellow sunlight again until Sunday. This is pretty much them saying, "Hey, Lauren, are you ready to be mildly irritated for the next six days? Ha-Cha!" So. Last night working on the new quilt something went wrong, not a big thing, just one of those minor miscalculations that throws off the flow of the whole thing- you know the feeling? And despite the fact that the mistakes have been mostly corrected and there is an easy solution for the rest of it, I still feel like the project has become less fun. Does this happen to you guys? Generally, this is how projects end up in the cardboard box of "unfinished business", which has yet to have anything resurrected from it. Why do these tiny little setbacks sometimes throw us off so much? Whiny, my friends, and the forecast says I will be like that until Sunday.

SO, in order to combat my natural tendencies right now, I am going to make a list of good things. Things that, despite the white sky outside, still make me smile. I'll do this all week, because, seriously, I'm going to need it all week. And today's fabulous thing is:

QT iced tea. Ok, so I don't do coffee, and I'm off soda, so 80% of the time I am a water person, but I love me a giant sippy cup of iced tea that I did not have to make. When Brian and I go out on the weekends, our first stop is usually for giant teas. Unsweetened, of course. Really, my devotion to this is somewhat sad, but it truly can put me in a better mood. Also, the Quik Trip cups are how I stopped drinking soda. You know those obnoxious people who talk about how they "don't even like soda anymore"? Yeah, I hate that, and I am totally one of them now. I realized that only about 50% of the reason I liked Coke was because of the taste, and 50% was because I loved drinking things out of giant cups with straws, so I started drinking water out of giant cups with straws, and Voila! I love it when I can fool my own brain. I hope it isn't reading this.

Anyway, where are we going with this? Tomorrow, some other ridiculous thing that I love! (I promise they will get better than gas station iced tea. Really.)

(Also, thank you so much to everyone who commented on the last couple of posts. Even I thought they have been convoluted and hard to read, so thanks for wading through, and for your support! You = awesome.)

Monday, October 5, 2009

This Post Has Many Words.

A word post! I have to say, I avoid being text-heavy on the blog as much as possible, because I am a) lazy, b) type slowly, and c) hate to proof read anything longer than four sentences. But, I've had a bunch of stuff swirling around in my head over the weekend, so I am going to go ahead and bloggity blog blog it. Because my husband has heard it all before.
It has been difficult lately to get back to my "personal" projects. More so than ever, when I am sewing, or designing, or whatever, I feel like the end product MUST justify the expenses incurred in the making. This is understandable, but I feel like I have gotten to this invisible line, and once I cross it, I will be greeted with things like Tax ID's and spreadsheets. Because while I have always loved having an etsy as a place to possibly make a few extra bucks, I have never really considered it any sort of business. It has always felt to me like a larger craftster, but sometimes people give you money. But now, I am staring to THINK SERIOUSLY, which is frightening and strange, and I am getting excited about spreadsheets. Do you guys know what I am talking about here? Have you gone over tthis of the line?
I think it feels so strange because there are the natural doubts that come with really trying to put yourself out there, not only as someone who creates, but as someone who makes a "product". I feel safe thinking of myself as someone who sells things occasionally on the side, versus someone is actively pursuing "the dream". I'm scared of "the dream". Terrified, really, and for no good reason other than I am scared to have other people know I am trying and then fail. So, I'll just jump on in and say it, I have a plan. (Kindof.) I think in terms of branding and marketing. (Vaguely.) I am putting together the spreadsheet. I am tentatively stepping over the line (Sheesh, get a new metaphor, why don't ya?) and declaring my intent to get legit. 2 legit 2 quit. (Yeah, I had to. It was getting a little too "thinky" for my liking.)
SO now that that has been said, I am also declaring my intent to trying to get back to a good balance of working on the things I want to do just for me. Because, really, those are the projects that this blog is supposed to be about. It is my blog, and it's supposed to be about me me me. Which is not to say that the things I produce for sale aren't about me too, (They are. Everything is about me.) but it becomes too ridiculous to document all of them, when we can leave it at, "I make totebags." I have about a million projects in my head that I can't wait to try, and I'm going to get back to them, for reals.
Ok, so, new topic, I use more parenthesis than what is ever acceptable. If we were charged for using parenthesis, I would have to put my parenthesis expenditures on the Discover. Have you ever wondered what 50 yards of cotton webbing looks like? It looks like this, and it is AWESOME, and it only costs $35. Getting massive rolls of supplies makes my hard to pitter-pat.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bicycles, Apologies.

Ok, just first let me say that I am really tired of writing these posts about things that I am selling. It just feels a little cheap, honestly, since it has been pretty much the only posting I have done lately, so I apologize for that. There are good reasons for it (I've actually been productive, I actually don't have any more money,) but they are all lame, so thank you if you have stuck with me through this. I blog because I like to blog, not because I want to schlep crap, and so I have been feeling almost abusive, hurling all this STUFF at you, and I'm going to try and calm it down from now on. So. Bike fabric, rah-rah! I really am enthusiastic about it, I just don't have the energy to do another blogmercial. I really appreciate you wonderful people who take time to read this, and I don't want you to feel like I'm a walking commercial for the Lauren Hunt Machine. It's not what I'm about. I am about Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and complaining, and taking cat photos, and making fun of celebrities, and watching too much hulu, and always being cold. This post has gotten a little heavy, what with all words and such, so I will cut it off now. Thanks for showing up, guys, I couldn't do this without you.