Thursday, March 24, 2016

Capturing My Grief

Well, I've been hiding out away from my blog so that I can raise my family.   I am back now, with a new blog name and hopes to share more of my creative life with you and to connect with more of you!

In 2012, we had our second son, Cole.  He's 3 now, big brother to Alexander, who we lost at 17 weeks gestation last June.  It's been a hard journey, and I'm so grateful for the friends who have stuck by my side.  Pain and sadness still seeps thru me, and I am constantly learning how to just deal with it.  It's hard to connect with people in difficult times, but inside their heart, those who have lost still ache for support from others.  My story is heard not only thru words, but in the art I create.  Throughout all of my journey, my sewing machines have kept my heart in check.

During my recovery, which is still ongoing, I had the opportunity to make and create some beautiful works of art.

A woman in Australia, named Carly Marie lost her son and has been an avid supporter in the baby loss community.  Her devotion to healing, love, and nurturing was perilous in my survival.  Her project Capture Your Grief opened my heart to so many aspects of grief.  Each day during October, a new theme occurs, with an opportunity to take and share pics of what is meaningful to us.  I chose to quilt these themes. 

 We began with the sunrise.

This one is about intention.  Setting your mind to make something happen.  Push through. Seek the light through the darkness and walk with it.

Empathy.  To hold space for those who need your being with them.  Not to heal, or cure or solve problems, but to sit and allow time and space to hold still.  To allow vulnerability.

 This represented each of the 3 pregnancies I've lost.  One at 8 weeks, another at 7, and Alexander at 17 weeks.

I wasn't able to complete the month, as with each new quilt, whirlwind of emotions would flood my mind, leaving me in a much worse state of mind.  It didn't heal me at the time and was extremely difficult to endure.  Looking back there are no regrets in the art I've created. Like peeling the scab from a wound, it hurts and exposes your body to more agony, with the hope of new skin forming, protecting ourselves once again.

I hope to share more of my creations with you all as time will allow!

Thanks for listening!
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Capturing the Season's Best

I've been busy tending to my garden and putting up some lovely produce.  Home preserving means that you get exactly what you want; nothing more, nothing less.  This is from my own garden and local orchards and farms.

This is my favorite local Farmers Market.  (Morgan's Grove Market)  Not only do we get produce, but handmade goods as well!

 My own garden. Swiss Chard, butternut squash, cucumbers, carrots, beets, zucchini, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and LOTS of dill!  Coriander has gone to seed and has been dried and stored.  Another small garden near my deck has more herbs, celery and more cucumbers.

 First canning of the season: japanese cucumber refrigerator pickles.  (from the Shepherdstown Farmers Market)

 My first successful beets! Last years were skinny and mostly greens.  I added phosphorus to the soil before planting, after researching and realizing my soil lacks it.  It's all been a lot of living-and-learning! ;)

One of my favorite breakfasts!  Scrambled eggs with beet greens and basil.

 Vanilla peaches and vanilla Peach Butter

 Zucchini fries!  Flour, egg wash, then dusted in cornmeal and rice cereal (not the baby food kind!)

 Roasted Corn Salsa and Peach Nectar.  The salsa is the best I've made and I'm looking forward to making some daiquiris with this nectar!

What are your favorite home canning recipes?

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Protect Yo Kindle Befo it Wrecks Itself

So my dad turned a big 8-0 last month.  A few of us pitched in and got him a Kindle Fire.  My dad loves to read and he was so excited to get this!

I wanted to make a case for him, that was like no other.

A pocket for notes, a stylus pocket, leather and elastic holders on the edges.  It closes with a braided elastic cord, that can be replaced as it gets stretched out with use.  The cord also connects to the tab on the left side, acting as a brace.

This is a design that I made up, with inspiration from a few different cases I saw on the internet.

Leather scraps were used for the outer, and a beautiful bird print lines it.  The stiff-ness comes from a book cover, trashed by my son over the past few months.

It ain't easy, working with leather.  Kind of a one-shot-deal.  Once you punch holes in that sucker with your needle, it's there forever.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rolling out the Greens

Over the weekend, I made some Canneloni.  I used up the rest of a bag of fresh baby spinach for the fresh pasta, and filled it with a roasted butternut squash, carrot & cheese filling.

I guess the green color just made it too weird, because I was the only one enjoying this dish.

I had a great little sous chef, though!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

DIY Pattern Weights

Pattern weights are awesome.  I never knew how they were made until recently.  I had originally thought people painstakingly wrapped fabric around the edges of the washer, thru the inside, like wrapping a hula hoop w/ tape.  What the hell are they?  Well, they're small weighted pieces you can place on top of your pattern paper when cutting.  They are really useful for rotary cut items and are so much faster than pins.

Here's how I made mine.

I went to Home Depot and looked for the largest washers I could find.  It might take a while to find these, so ask someone if you can't find the big ones.

Cut out circles of fabric.  I'm not really quite sure how big these circles are.  I used flannel to give light padding and to make it a little more non-skid.  Just trace around your washers, giving enough seam for the width of the radius.  This gives enough room for the fabric to wrap around the edges and meet in the middle.  Doesn't make much sense, me trying to explain it, so hopefully the pics will help.

Hand-sew a running stitch all the way around the edges.  Place the washer in the center and pull the thread tightly.  

 I ended up stitching thru close to the original stitching line, reinforcing it before I knotted.

You can use more than one washer, or mix 2 washers of different sizes.

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