Eye candy therapy

September 22, 2010

Sometimes I spend hours looking at pretty pictures on the Internet. It’s my eye candy, and it makes me feel better, when I need feeling better.

Sometimes the pretty pictures are on fabric store websites, and then I spend money:

It’s better when the pretty pictures are on Flickr, because then it’s free therapy:

1. thrifted fall, 2. journals, 3. 0, 4. couple., 5. Okra, 6. Works canteen, 7. Urban Home swap Fabric Pull 1, 8. June, 9. Maggie, 10. plaits, 11. Mellow Yellow, 12. drying, 13. ruffle hips, 14. New lamp in my stuido, 15. I Like You, 16. Untitled, 17. Untitled, 18. donuts, 19. Pastel Mess, 20. vintage squares, oh my!

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Tender is the night

September 5, 2010

I walked back through the door after giving the dog it’s One Last Chance To Pee before going to bed.

Surprisingly, I found a sleepy Matilda on the couch mumbling, “Remember the things that carry across the water? What are they called?” I had been about to go to bed myself, but she hadn’t eaten well that day and her stomach hurt. so I got her some applesauce and pita chips and hummus. We sat on the couch together, eating in the dimness of the half-lit room.

After she had her fill, she asked me to walk with her back to her bed. Instead of helping her onto her feet lifted her up into my arms. She put her arms around my neck. I carried her to her room. As we got near to the bed I softly told her, with calm joy in my heart, “I can still carry you.”

Matilda is a few months beyond her 7th birthday. My older daughter is almost ten years old. She is a leggy, lanky girl, and recently when she wanted me to carry her somewhere, I realized she didn’t fit anymore, she was too long for me carry. I’d had to put her down.

Matilda murmured, and with the tender sadness parents feel while their children grow older, I said, “I can’t carry Tallulah anymore. But I can still carry you. You still fit.”

I tucked her in, and she returned to her dreams of crossing rivers. Leaving her room I felt thrilled that I would have maybe one more year left in my lifetime that I would have a child of mine in my arms so completely. The first child surprises a parent by suddenly doing something more adultlike than before. Every first time she shows a newly-acquired talent I am startled. I beam proudly. A second child, however, reminds a parent of the expiration dates of tender moments, and the fleet passing of time.

Tonight she reminded me that she will soon not fit in my arms. When that time comes, I will have been moved to another phase of parenting, putting behind the time I could hold my baby in my arms. There will be no more babies, and there must be a word in German to describe this, the sadness upon realization that you will soon never enjoy a particular tenderness again.

Each phase has opened, and sometimes, burned, my heart in its own way. What a strange thing it is, to love and care for someone and be wholly responsible for their sustenance, while teaching them how and when to leave you. Parenting is profoundly, sweetly melancholy sometimes.

No idleness here

September 3, 2010

Nearing the end of Matilda's quilt


So, I’m still unemployable and still living month to month, but I’ve been keeping busy.

Matilda’s quilt continues onward. Twenty-four blocks for a twin-sized quilt for my daughter were machine-pieced, the quilt sandwich was made with lovely cotton batting, and I have quilted by hand 18 of the 24 blocks. I am keeping an eye on fabric sales online to pick up some yardage for the binding which will finish it off.

I have been combing through my belongings and selling them on Ebay. I have also been making things and listing them on Etsy. A shelf behind my couch serves as my staging point for weighing, listing, packaging.

Staging point for ebay and etsy sales

Sewing nook

Blouses-to-be

One corner of the living room serves as my sewing spot. It”s all there, sewing machine, ironing board, iron, yardstick, pitcher for pouring water into the iron, various scissors, cutting mat, a self-made pattern, pink wicker shelves for notions and pretty things. And of course part of my vintage handbag collection. Everything is there except, of course, for the fabric, which is mounting higher and higher in my hall closet and spilling over into stacks in boxes and flat surfaces throughout the house.

Pillowcases and fabric scraps

No longer just a closet, now a fabric closet

Dress #6 and Dress #5

August blouse #1, detail

The sewing keeps me busy, and, by extension, sane.

I have been working all summer on a pattern for My Perfect Dress that will fit my body just right. I finally got it with Dress #5 and Dress #6.

Now I’m taking the pattern-making and machine-sewing skills I have learned from dressmaking, and I’m beginning to sew a line of blouses, in sizes XS all the way to XL. The blouses are vintage-inspired, often using vintage fabric, with 3/4 sleeves, simple accents at collars and cuffs, simple lines, simple to wear. I find that the best way to get good at making something is to make the same thing over and over again. Any boredom arising from this practice is reduced by choosing different fabrics along the way for each one. I taught myself how to knit hats without a pattern with this method a few years back.