Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I get a huge kick out of people's pet peeves. I'm sorry that things bother them, but I think it's funny to think how something that means nothing to one person can be so consuming to another. The wonderful people who run the produce service have developed a pet peeve surrounding their recyclable bags. We customers are supposed to leave the previous delivery bag for our delivery person to pick up when he makes the new delivery. Apparently my peer customers have been wadding up the bags, leaving them dirty, or not putting them out for collection at all. And so one day a few months ago the email list was treated to a request, a plea. A rant.
The next day, I got a shipment with some beautiful apples in my new bag. And by the time I went outside to claim it, one of my furry neighbors had already chewed through the bag to sample the wares. What was I going to do? I was going to be one of those bad customers who lets the reusable bag get ruined. That would make me an enemy of the environment, of local farmers, of good people who had to do business with bad people like me.
So I did the only thing I ever know to do: I made it right by sewing. Specifically, my reusable bag got a green and white polka-dotted patch.
I was soooo pleased with myself that I took this picture. The next time we got a delivery, I wanted to wait outside for the delivery guy to see the beautiful patch and realize how clever and devoted to the environment I was. I imagined that the whole customer list would receive an email about my environmental stewardship and whimsy. I really expected an award.
But to date, my adorable patched bag has been met with a big fat nothing. To my face, anyway. I still imagine that I have brought some joy to someone along the supply chain, or to future customers. And just in case I haven't, know that I am so pleased with the little patch of dots that I have spent several weeks giggling and jumping up and down at the very thought. Sometimes being overly pleased with oneself is thanks enough. I think I'm going to let this be one of those times.
By the way, if you're interested in having your own fresh produce and bag-recycling opportunities, I highly recommend South Mountain Veggies. You can tell them the crazy lady who sewed the patch on the semi-disposable bag sent you.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Amanda, who is a true champion sitter, is also in possession of two bottom teeth. I believe in the world of dental excellence we call those incisors. She is quite a good incisor, having incised my hand and lots of her toys.
Elisa, meanwhile, is a rocket in flight. In slow flight, but flight nonetheless. She has abandonned all baby-like notions of lying on her back and waiting for life to come to her. In the middle of every feeding, she insists on flipping onto her hands and knees and having me administer the bottle like she's a little goat. In the same position, she rocks back and forth constantly, like she's about to launch. The morning after I came back from the Women's Weekend she took four tentative crawl-steps towards me. In spite of my proud shrieks.
Elisa, our docile Baby B, has always been a well-tempered, pleasant baby. She entertains herself on the floor or in her crib with happy coos. When I happen by she melts my heart with her sweet smile, which takes up her whole head.
Amanda, the temperamental Baby A, whom I once or twice called the "squeeky wheel," has become a people person. This week at our twins group, when I had stepped out of the room, Amanda addressed the crowd with a new robot-like growl she has been perfecting. When she got everyone's attention, she beamed. They beamed back. She beamed more. I'm glad her face didn't fall off, but she is my daughter, and we have a tremendous capacity for smiling at people.
As their 9-month birthday nears, it occurs to me that they have been outside the womb for longer than they were inside. They have quadrupled their birth weight and developed robust personalities. I'd go so far as to say that they're people!
Now how in the world did that happen?
Thursday, October 08, 2009
For the one full day and two half days, I missed my children so much it made me nauseated. But the weekend was finite, and apparently even mothers need to recharge their batteries from time to time. In the end, the babies came away from the experience with a little more Daddy time, some new rubber stamps made just for them, and -- in a few days -- their first postcards.
If I do something with my hand-dyed yarn other than just rub it on my face, I'll post a picture here. But if I just snuggle with my new art supply, well, you don't need to see that.
Thanks for inviting me, Lucy. I loved it a real lot.
Monday, September 21, 2009
It also works with product marketing. My Dad was constantly annoyed with my friend Carin and me in sixth grade, when we had one word to summarize what we liked: "cute" things. Dad thought it was the worst selection criterion in the world. Turns out it was the best. We bought a lot of Hello Kitty pencils because of the power of cute.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Amazing, right? Do you know anybody who sews presents for people? Me neither!
So that compelled a photo shoot, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. It's all documented in this slideshow:
Meanwhile, here are another few pictures that needed to be posted.
But last night it all changed for me. When I stepped onto the stoop, I was met with the eighth wonder of the world. A web was forming before my very eyes. The wonder was not the gossamer strands that laced our handrail; it was the spider.
The original fiber artist.
She had anchored the spokes of her net on the awning, the side of the house, the railing, and the porch light. When I showed up she had made about thirty revolutions around the edge of her web. Every revolution produced another sticky circle that linked up with the spokes, and brought her closer to the center. The outside circle might have been thirty inches in diameter. Every time she made a loop, she came about 1/4 of an inch toward the center. And so she looped and looped and looped. From time to time she stopped and reversed directions. Did she lose her place? Get dizzy? Or just decide that the corner she had just left needed some extra strength?
More amazing than the structure was the fact that she was making the materials with her own body. I know the web comes from somewhere within her little exoskeleton, but I really don't know how she does it. I would have assumed it would take longer for her to spin, though. But she raced around the circle, pausing to knit the new strand together with the spokes at the intersections, then racing on to the next spoke. The line just came. I like to think I was this impressive when I was telling jokes and tying knots with a needle in my mouth at my friend Wendy's school. But let's face it: that thread was store-bought.
As I watched her, I agonized that Charlotte and her web would be lost the next time we carelessly came in the door or got our mail. And then I remembered that I'm human, and though I can't make a web, I can do a little to change my environment.
I decided that we would make a place for our artist in residence as long as she would have us. So I put up signs to remind us and alert our visitors to her sometimes-invisible masterpiece.
This morning Charlotte has retreated to take a nap, I think, and let the web do some grocery shopping for her. I hope she knows she has friends here. Maybe later she'll teach me how to spin.
Friday, September 11, 2009
This is not to say that I've finally shed my infertility skin. No; I think that will stay with me forever. And it's not to say that I've forgotten about my loved ones who are still fighting the infertility fight. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is for them that I'm moving my stories to a new forum. There are lots and lots of infertility blogs out there that now show pictures of sweet babies and toddlers, and describe the joys and trials of childrearing for all to see. Sure, they offer hope that infertility can give way to a family. But they also hurt the currently-infertile when they celebrate one more woman who got to have children. That's the way I felt when I used to see them, anyway.
So I'm moving URLs and changing my focus. We'll mark "AchievingConceiving" as "Achieved: Conceived," and bring my photos and fairy tales to roost with the fiber of my being. Turns out, there's a lot of creativity needed to raise two girls, and if you want, a TON of opportunities to sew.
Stay tuned for pictures of babies, of bibs and blankets, and all the other things that go into a creative life. And yes, there will still be pictures of artwork. It will just be a happier medium.
Do you know what color a papaya is? If you said "yes," you're a liar. Or at least mistaken. Why do I say this with such confidence, without even knowing who you are? It's because of something I learned last month. Namely, papayas are many colors.
A darling woman, one of the darlingest I know, got married last week in Ecuador, in a wedding with a "papaya and cream" color scheme. She commissioned this guest book for friends and family to sign, specifying that the cover should be papaya.
I am a Latin Americanist. At least, that's one of the things I have called myself over time. I marched to the paper store confidently, imagining some papaya I ate once in the town at the mouth of the Amazon. It tasted a little like vomit, but at least it was pretty. When I got to the store, I found lots of sweet papers, including some envelopes in a pinkish-orange whose official color name was "papaya." I bought a big sheet of paper that matched the envelopes exactly, then went home.
When I got started on the project, I noticed that the price tag on the paper said, "pumpkin." My confidence waned. How could a pretty tropical fruit look like the thing we carve ghoulish jack-o-lanterns from? I turned to the Internet, which is a great place for worried people to get their confidence shattered. Indeed, I saw a spectrum of papayas that ranged from cool peach to cherry red, not to mention apple green. Not only are papayas different colors on the outside, but each papaya contains several different colors in the inner flesh. There is no "papaya" color. Or rather, there are infinite "papayas."
And that's when it became lucky that the darling bride had hired a quilter to make her book. I pulled out every shade of orange, pink, and yellow that I had stored under my table, and got to work on the papayaest collage my studio had ever seen. And this is the result.
Today marks six days since the wedding took place, and as far as I know, my color choices did not endanger or offend the nuptials one bit.
Okay, that title is misleading. I made this wall-hanging in January, and turned it over to the client the weekend before I had my babies. Not only was I heavily pregnant at the time, but the weight of the 40+ fencing medals was as heavy a burden as I've ever sewn. The result, I think, deserves... well, you know.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Check back in with us in late 2009 for your art-quilting needs!
In the meantime, keep up with our family at www.AchievingConceiving.blogspot.com.