Archive for the 'Collaboration' Category

Bad at Finishing

This has been a slow year for me, creatively, with lots of stalled projects and unfinished business. Today, though, I am showing off two things just completed, and only with the help of others!

One year ago I saw my Aunt Lois, who came to Salt Lake City for my dad’s memorial service. I don’t get to see Lois very often, but when I do, I am always impressed by the way her engineering mind interprets and deconstructs art. She has taught me many new skills over the years.

Lois, like many women in our family, cannot bear to have idle hands, so she brought with her the ingredients and tools for assembling these soft, 3D fabric magic cubes. I flipped for them, and marveled at how she figured it out. I later looked up a model, so that I could understand it more fully. Instructions for building one made from wooden blocks can be found here. She gave me an assembled cube with bright fabrics pinned to the foam blocks, and all I had to do was stitch up the seams.  I am embarrassed at how long it took me to finish, but my kid and all visitors are delighted with the finished product! Thanks Aunt Lois!

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Two years ago, I went into a tiny yarn shop in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. It was near closing time and I rushed to choose the best yarn in the place. I bought an expensive skein of Tilli Thomas Flurries named Chocolate Cherry, a supersoft deep brown merino with bright cherry red beads, with the intention of making a purse. I visited a fabric shop in Panama City Beach and purchased a red-on-crimson koi print for lining and a chocolate brown zipper. I knitted a rectangle, coaxed all the beads to the knit side, watched a youtube video on making lined wallets, sewed the zipper to the lining (incorrectly), and …. stopped. There is sat, in the quilt shop plastic bag for two years. My mind could not fathom what I’d done wrong or how to fix it.

A few days ago I showed it to my new friend Daniela, who knew how to fix it, and was willing to pick out the stitches for me. I took the dog for a walk, had an epiphany about how it should have been sewn, and came home to a completed purse!

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Finally, here is a new embroidered purse my mom made for me! Perfectly timed, too, since I just wore out my everyday purse while camping. It’s still unfinished; my mom only secured one end of the strap, so that I could adjust it to my size and sew it in. I’ll finish in the next day or two, because I need it!

Stripey Monster Redux (and a Pretty Sweet Trade)

Kelly and Adam made me this gorgeous two-piece nut bowl set. I requested it as a special piece after I saw this pistachio dish and wanted something handmade.

Kelly offered up a trade, so I knit this Stripey Monster Mama and Baby set for her boys.

The true colors are closer to red-violet and a peacock teal. The pattern is by Rebecca Danger, and you can see the set I made nearly 2 years ago for the Boogedy Here.

Here are the Boogedy and his friends S. and S. at the pottery studio!

Pinkish Pasta

My friend Paige and I got together last week at her house to make fresh beet pasta (recipe from Martha Stewart).

The beet puree was gorgeous, though if I did it again I would use the juicer to make pulp that is finer and drier.

The dough was pretty. The baby was TRYING to be helpful. We wore old clothes so we wouldn’t get stained.

But in the end the dough was too soft, stretchy, and sticky and we used a bunch of flour to keep them from reforming into a mass.

I thought the noodles looked like hookworms.

Neither of us took pictures of them cooked up. I thought they were UGLY when cooked, having changed from Sunset Violet to something like this reddish pinkish brownish bag . A whole lot of work for something vaguely unappealing.

Stirrings-Mantel Display

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I have really enjoyed my Stirrings Collaboration with new friend Jen from Painted Fish Studio, in which we’ve been looking for signs of spring. We’ve both known all along that spring comes sooner to Salt Lake City than to the midwest. So just as I’m thinking of wrapping up my contributions to the project, I’m looking forward to seeing more photos from her warming  climate.

In a time of year when I might have been discouraged or gloomy about the grayness of late winter, or the dampness of very early spring, instead I was encouraged to notice, to observe a quickening, to hope for small signs, and to share the sweet burgeoning of spring.  To me it has felt like a long, delicious season, when some around me are still complaining about the crispness at mid-morning.

Salt Lake’s spring is in full force, now. In bloom, in leaf, in music. From here, summer is so close at hand, a rapid ascent into often triple-digit clay oven conditions. Life is rampant and the birdsong is worth waking up for.

I want to thank Jen for co-publishing with me, and I hope to show you more of her thoughts and photos as winter withdraws from her neighborhood. I hope she feels spring as luxuriously as I have this year!

P.S. The flowers above sit on our new mantel, now installed in the great room, atop oiled floors and freshly painted buttery yellow walls.

We turned on the gas flame to test it and immediately turned it off: the season for that has passed. Something to look forward to in 6 months!

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Stirrings: A letter from Jen

Jen, my springtime collaborator at Painted Fish Studio is finally feeling the warmth in the Midwest. Check out her tulips.

Florida Sunshine Quilt

Several weeks ago my nephew Josh and I helped my mom lay out a quilt on the floor of the clubhouse at her apartment complex. This is an “Orange Peel” quilt, and my mom spent many years of her childhood in Florida, so she named it “Florida Sunshine”.

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On Easter we took photos of the finished (GORGEOUS!) product. She wanted me to show it off here. I dare you to find a brighter quilt.

Front:

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Back:

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Detail:

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Here we are, Team Florida Sunshine:

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Stirrings–Chubby Robin

Jen,

I’m sorry I’ve been out of the loop on our spring collaboration.

I hurt my back (it didn’t actually impair my ability to look for spring OR lift a camera);

I got a vicious head-cold (almost went to the doctor after coughing up brown goo–I feel better now);

My baby got a lighter version of the cold (a slight fever and a lot of clinginess);

My dog and I went to stay with friends while Zach painted the great room, living room, entryway, upstairs landing, and stairs (the dog went on two walks a day–something he hasn’t gotten to do since the baby came);

then my battery died in my camera.

But finally the stars aligned and I happened to have the camera with me, fully charged, when I spotted the chubbiest robin I’ve ever seen. I wish I had a telephoto lens but, even blurry, I’m sure you can tell that this robin is well fed this year. Despite prolonged storms and bluster, spring is HERE.

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