Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sharing Stories in Social Media, Things to Print, and Coming Soon.

I love Instagram. To me, it's by far the best social media thinger there is, because, PICTURES! I love them! Peoples' daily lives! I love to spy on them! Publicly sanctioned voyeurism at it's best, or, uhm, second best. (After blogs, of course.)
And most of instagram is purely fluff- mundane and silly and funny, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, because that's a big part of what relationships are made of. (Pretty much all of my instagramming falls into the categories: dumb jokes, cat photos) But sometimes there are pictures and notes that go beyond the fluff; people who share parts of their life that might not be easy, or funny, or pleasant-- who make themselves genuinely vulnerable, (and not in an obscure-song-lyric-pity-request on Facebook kinda way.) Sometimes social-media-blurbs do penetrate the surface level of engagement we chide them for being. And for lack of better words: that's really cool.

What I'm slowly getting around to is this story: I know a girl named Hope. A few weeks ago, her grandmother passed away. Here's what she wrote accompanying a photo of she and her grandmother:

This amazing woman died this morning at 94 years old. A constant comfort and inspiration, I'm gonna miss her so much until I see her again. Her last words were when I asked her for a Bible verse. She barely opened her eyes and said (in whispers) "thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee." -Isaiah 26:3. Then she said "I love you." Now she is with her earthly husband and her Heavenly Father. "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Psalm 16:11

Which, yeah, made me cry. Even though I'd never met her. Granted, it's not super difficult to make me cry, but still. And it also inspired me to draw a little something for Hope, a visual reminder-- not that she would need it to remember her grandmother, but maybe to reassure her in difficult times.
 And, so, I instagrammed it, to show Hope, and because that's what people do. A few people were seemed interested in it, and so I've made a free printable 8x10 version of it-- you can find it on the "free printies" tab at the top of the page, or just follow this link. 
It's a PDF that contains both the black/white and gray versions; make sure to print it with page scaling set to "none" so it prints at 8x10 and not smaller. (If you're asked for a password in order to print it, it's "print", minus the quotation marks.)
Anyway, it's just a little thing-- but print and enjoy, I hope you can use it.

By the way, since I've been SNOWED IN FOR THE PAST WEEK, I've been working on a tutorial! Nothing exciting, but after making a zillion tea-towels, I've learned a few things the hard way, and really had trouble finding the answers to some of my questions on the interwebs. Hopefully I can help at least a few people out by shedding some light on the little tricks I've discovered. So, coming soon: 

"How to Make Tea Towels, with No Pinning and Hardly Any Ironing!"
Which includes the sub-tutorial:

 "Using a 6mm Hemmer Foot on Medium Weight Wovens, Without Going Insane and/or Throwing Your Sewing Machine Out the Window!"
 So, stay tuned? Or something like that? Yeah...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What's Floating My Boat + Free Tea Towels

Note: When I got this book and wrote this post, I never connected it with Arajane's post about finding the same book at the Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction! I think it's HILARIOUS, because I remember loving the quilts at the time, but my swiss-cheese-brain never connected them when I found the book. I'm starting to think Arajane and I have a bit of hive-mind going on... take a look at her post for photos of more great quilts!
I'm not going to get into the whole existential discussion of what "modern quilting" is, because thinking too hard bores me and hurts my mind-grapes, but I have noticed that as I am exposed to more of the Quilt Canon, my affections are falling increasingly towards the traditional side of the tracks.
Which isn't to say that I don't love the colors and geometry and innovation of what we call Modern is, because I DO! But I keep finding that the quilts that truly rock my socks tend to be old-school. Like, pre-1900. They are HAMAZING.
I happened to pick up a book at Half-Price Books the other day, and started flipping through it despite its kinda naasty cover, Treasury of American Quilts, by Cyril L. Nelson and Carter Houck. By the time my brief flip-through was over, my head had exploded like, 7 times. Quilters: I highly suggest that you find this book and buy it, or at least check it out from the library. Ladies knew how to QUILT back in the day.
I can imagine that it isn't for everyone, and a few of these do ride the line between amazeballs and vomit, but I'm just so deeply impressed with the skills and imagination and design sense and freedom that I see in these quilts. I see a lot of great quilts, all the time, but these just seem somehow beyond what can be made with an electrically powered sewing machine in a house with modern plumbing with Netflix streaming in the background. They took so much of one's lifetime to complete, and many of them were probably made in community with other quilters. 
I've got nothing against technology, and I'm not trying to say that modern conveniences make quilts less authentic; but to me there's just something in these that make it seem like they have something more.

Aaaaanyway, I'mma stop myself before I get too fluffy and sentimental. What was that about free tea towels, you say?
Well, it is 2013, and I've still got some 2013 Quilt Love Tea Towel Calendars sitting on my shelf, and I would like to send them to good homes. So, while they last, you get one FREE with any order from my etsy store of two 8" x 10" prints, OR one 11"x 17" print. Bam. Adopt one today, they are almost as cute as kittens. (Not really. Kittens are ADORABLE.) The shop announcement will let you know when they run out, and I'll try to mention it here, too. 
Note: Don't put the tea towel in your cart when you check out, there is no coupon code that will take the cost off-- just buy the prints and I will automatically send you the calendar!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Where I Live, In Bits and Pieces. (Part 2)

(It wasn't planned, but I kinda love that the map in our hallway matches two of the paint colors off of that hallway. My preferred color palette is pretty obvious, I guess.)
(All of our couches are always covered with Baxter and Rufus fuzz. It's like furry lichen on the rocky tundra of our furniture.)
 (We have many books. This is but the tip of the iceburg.)
(So, I'm thinking about starting to scan some of the illustrations from the vintage kids' books I've collected, and maybe putting them up on a second blog? Because, I am SO good at putting together blog posts. But it would be nice to share the little treasures that I've hunted around thrift stores and estate sales for, and I think there are probably at least a few other people who might enjoy them. What do you think?)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Where I Live, In Bits and Pieces. (Part 1)

When I was in college, I would walk around with a camera, constantly taking pictures of, pretty much, nothing. Shadows. Doorknobs. Carpet. I did it everywhere I went, but most of the photos I took were taken where I lived at the time, my parents' house.
Now, part of this was because I liked playing with cameras, and part of it was the fact that I was a photo major, and had to turn in a stack of contact sheets at the end of the week, but the largest part was that I've always just loved taking pictures of Random Stuff. Great masterpieces, they are not; but I love those photos, because they remind me of that specific period of time, and the day-to-day details of it.
I've really gotten away from taking those kind of pictures in the last two years- they aren't necessary, and being a semi-functional adult requires dropping a lot of the unnecessary.
But now we live in our first Real house, like Real people, with Real things, and even though I've been a pretty epic fail (at least time-wise) at interior decorating, I do want a record of how we live and how it will change. This is the first place I've live since my parents' house that wasn't just temporary. So I've reconciled myself with how slow each room's development is, because I'm not really in a hurry.
And every room is so far from what I imagine the finished will be; you might have noticed how very close and cropped these photos are. But it's cool. HGTV isn't stopping by anytime soon.
 And yes: It's still Christmas at my house. Deal.