Tuesday, February 23, 2010

faux sun

As I was driving to work this morning, out over the Palouse I saw the strangest thing. The sun was coming up over the hills, and there were very few clouds. There was a ring around the sun, but only visible in this cloud. And then, the really weird thing was that there was this big yellow glowing spot that was NOT THE SUN, but a reflection of the sun. Have you ever seen such a thing? Luckily I had my camera; this shot is not edited at all. The rainbow colors of the ring don't show up as well as I'd hoped, but this is exactly what the fake sun looked like:

Also, per my post below, if anyone reading this blog wants to contribute anything for the auction (which directly benefits Casting for Recovery), we'd love the help! Whether you sew handbags or throw pottery or, you know, you might happen to own a timeshare in Hawaii that you can't use this year! :) Please leave a comment if you have something to contribute (or ideas!). Thanks!

Dear god (and Al Gore) thank you for the internet. And smarty-pants coworkers. Amen.

I showed the photo above to a coworker and he said he'd seen a recent story in the paper about this exact thing. Check it: Sun Dog.

Mark your calendars for the Hillbilly Gatherin'!

My family hosts this C-RAZY party each year with a hillbilly theme wherein we all dress up like hillbillies (we ARE hillbillies, so we can make fun of them. Much like Rush Limbaugh using the word "retard." Oh my, did I just say that?) Anyway, there is music, dancing, and a pig roasting on the spit. People bring outrageous foods to share (last year there was something called "Swamp Lizard Cheese Loaf") and there are hilarious and highly embarrassing games. And maybe some drinking. I can't even tell you how much fun it is.

The party is held at this cool old barn in Hidden Springs, the very Pleansantville- like community my mom and sister live in near Boise. My sister Jodi, who started this whole thing (and has a blog called The Hidden Springs Hillbillies), decorated the barn with utinsils, bras, "big girl panties" and beer cans hanging from laundry lines.

Oh dear. This picture so disturbs me. Look at that thing!! It's hideous! And then there's the pig. Hahahhaaa! That's my awesome brother-in-law Ival. He likes meat.

This is my brother, the ultimate hillbilly. He was not in costume; this is his "party hat" which he wears to weddings, funerals, parties and because, what the hell, it's always a good day to wear a top-hat. I love him.

My mom, my brother and me.

The guy in the hat, and the girl in the denim dress below? Complete strangers who showed up at the party. Apparently they'd been walking by the barn MONTHS prior and they met my aforementioned brother-in-law who can talk the paint off a car. He of course invited them to the party, and not only did they remember and come, but they pretended it was their "wedding day"! They were SO funny. I think she had a fake pistol in her garter and her bouquet was dead flowers and dandelions. They brought their friends and some "moonshine".

This was their "wedding cake"! I can't tell you how much we all loved that the totally got the spirit of the party and just made themselves welcome. They were the hit of the party, for sure.

The party itself, aside from being crazy fun, is a benefit for Casting for Recovery, a non-profit organization that hosts breast-cancer survivors for a weekend of support, camaraderie and fly-fishing lessons. My sister was able to participate a couple of years ago and it was an incredible experience for her. The retreat is FREE for the women, so obviously Casting for Recovery needs all the help they can get. Last year, with NO promotion and just asking people to put a few buck in a jar, the party raised over $1500. This year we're adding a live auction!
We've got all kinds of fun things to auction, including two 2-night vacations at Red Horse Mountain Ranch here in N. Idaho. Oh my god that is one of my favorite places on the planet and when I contacted them to donate, they did not hesitate to do so. I love them. Gorgeous setting, so many things to do, knowledgeable and awesome young "wranglers", great food, a beautiful lodge and just really wonderful people. I've been three times now, and every time I leave feeling so blissed out and counting the days until we can go back. It is so worth every penny.

My little contribution to the auction is this apron. I learned something AMAZING making this apron and that is? PATTERNS ARE USEFUL. I've attempted several full-aprons in my lifetime, each time thinking "Pattern? I don't need no stinking pattern!" Because how hard can it be to make an apron, for crying out loud. But strangely, NOT ONE of the previously attempted aprons came out as anything other than now-unfinished-projects taking up space in my sewing room. But this! A pattern! With pieces and instructions! It's a miracle! I'm quite pleased with how it turned out and again, I might have a hard time parting with it. But I will, because it's for a good cause. In fact, I'm going to make a couple more to donate. Because who doesn't love a sassy apron to wear while drinking a Cosmo and whipping up some nutritious food for your darling and hardworking husband, right? Don't forget your pearls and kitten heels!

This year the party is May 15th. EVERYONE is invited, and you don't have to live in Boise to come! We have people coming from all over the place, including a couple friends of my sister's who are flying up from Nashville!

We ask for a $20 donation which goes straight to Casting for Recovery, and OF COURSE Hillbilly attire is required! I'm already plotting on my outfit...

YEEEEHAAWWW! We'll see ya there!!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Holy crap. This has become the world's most BOOORING blog. I'm just not feeling bloggy lately.

I guess now that I have another creative outlet, I don't feel the need to verbally vomit all over the internet so regularly. Sewing is probably much safer for me anyway; this way nobody gets hurt. Aside from me getting intimate with my seam-ripper, of course.

So what have I been doing? Well, here are some Rocket/Robot jammies I made for my friend Jennifer's little boy. I'd sent her a text message showing her the fabric I selected, and ever since that day, sweet Aiden has been asking, every time they get in the car, "Are we going to get my pajamas now?"

And I made this tunic for myself. I love it, and after some initial swearing over the sleeves, it was extremely easy to make. I plan to make several others; I think this may be my uniform for spring. I like it because I don't have to suck my stomach in. And really, that is the main criteria for clothing for me lately. Stop eating Ben & Jerry's every night? Hell no! I'll just buy/make bigger clothes.
And then my dear friend Julie asked me to make a purse/tote style bag for her; she entrusted me to select the design and the fabric. Knowing that she loves the same colors as I do, I found the perfect fabric. She lives in the coast range of Oregon, in a home surrounded by mountains and the most lovely flora and fauna. She loves to garden and their property is covered in native plants, trees, gorgeous flowering bushes with a creek nearby. Check out the fern-like swirls, the little mushrooms and (ack!) the bunny hiding against the blue tree:
It is, quite possibly, my favorite thing I've ever made. If I didn't love her so much I would totally keep this for myself. It's even reversible! I hope she loves it. I am definitely going to make more of these to sell on etsy (and one to keep, of course!)

**All these fabrics were purchased from my new best friend/stalking victim Ari of Buttercuppity. She has a darling store here in Spokane, and she sells on etsy too. She is an absolute doll and we need to help her business thrive. I'm certainly doing my part! :)
Next up: more fascinating pictures of sewing projects. :)
Working on an adorable apron which will be auctioned off at the Hillbilly Games in May.

Monday, February 8, 2010

::do re mi handmade::

I have a few items in my etsy shop, if you want to see what it's going to look like! Will have lots more inventory in the next couple of weeks.

I have 2 custom orders already! Whooohoo!

Monday, February 1, 2010

life with an animal lover

I think I've mentioned before that my daughter loves loves LOVES Animal Planet. She especially loves watching the animal rescue shows (you know the ones, where they show the dogs or cats or horses all emmaciated and/or neglected and horribly abused). I think she has a stomach of steel, because none it phases her in the slightest. Her theory is that it's not gross, because the animals are being helped. There is a happy ending to the pain and suffering. This is how I know she will make a good Vet, if she continues on her current course of action. Me, I get queasy at the first sign of blood. In fact, she'll often warn me "Mom, you probably don't want to come in here, it's gross."

Anyway, yesterday we were watching a bit of Animal Planet, a show called Man Eaters, about big cats that well, eat people. (This was ironic as we started our Sunday with a trip to Urgent Care for a cat-bite! Yay!) So, we're watching the show and there's a story about a woman in California who was out hiking with friends when she decided to go back to the car by herself. She turned back and shortly thereafter came upon a Mtn. Lion standing on the trail. A split second later he jumped on her, latched onto her face (!) and brought her to the ground. The re-enactment shows how her friends heard her screams and came running to her aid. The 3 men tried everything to get the cat off her: screaming, kicking it, throwing rocks at it...until finally one of them remembered that he had a fishing knife. This was the only thing that got the cat to release its grip. As they are telling this story, they are showing photos from the hospital; this woman was horribly mauled and lost one of her eyes. The photos were gruesome. There was also a brief flash of the Mtn. Lion which had stumbled off and died from the knife wounds. Back to the scenes of the woman recovering in the hospital, bandaged up but crying from the traumatic memory of the brutal attack. Anna began crying and I thought "Oh my god, I probably shouldn't let her watch this." So I said "Oh honey, look! She survived! Her friends saved her and now she's fine! She's so lucky!"

And she said "That's not why I'm crying!! WHY DID THEY KILL THAT MOUNTAIN LION??!!!"

Sigh. And this is how I know she'll be a VET and not a doctor. I should have known; this was a kid who insisted on being a Mountain Lion for Halloween when she was 5.