This is a changeable time of year - the seasons are moving toward transition (although here in Maryland, summer holds on quite a bit longer than in other places:) ... school starts and my brain (even though I am 34 years past my own schooling) turns to 'new year' thoughts ... my business starts to pick up in intensity as people's minds and creativity turns toward the winter gift-making festivals ... the day length and light levels change dramatically. Lots of the usual cycle of changes going on ... added to that, some very dramatic personal life changes I can see clearly on the near horizon. (sigh) I do not very much like change and I dread it, even though much of the foreseeable change will be good (in the long run).
This year I am coping with an excess of change - real, present AND nearing - by clinging to what I know is constant-but-exciting: my sewing, crafting, creativity. I am working on several projects in tandem at the beginning of September - one for the store (hinted at in the photo above:) that I can't talk about, here, yet; several small ones for myself at home (more later) and some serious house cleaning and rearranging (tiny, baby steps at a time).
I don't tolerate much uncertainty in the usual course of events - I do take my time and deliberate when I have major decisions to make ... and then, once made, the execution is rapid (people who don't know me might think I'm being impulsive:). I am hyper-aware right now of how public this forum really is, even though I usually pretty much feel like I'm talking to myself. :) Much of what is going on in my head cannot be shared here, now, and I cannot even ask for forgiveness for the secrecy ... so I'll talk about what is not secret. :)
My beloved niece, Amy, who lives in KS with her family (and whom I visit every spring via road trip:), has recently become a dealer for a company called 31. Her first month of sales actually featured a second-one-half-price sale on handbags ... so I bought two new purses for myself. I'm rarely so indulgent (only for my sweetheart:), so this is actually fun. One of the bags I'll talk about another time (haven't decided how to 'make it mine', yet) ... the one I want to show off today is plum colored and can be made into a backpack, one shoulder or hand purse. Here are some photos:
See how the corners all have attachment points? There is no reference for size in this photo - the purse is large-ish for me. I had never heard of the company before Amy got interested in it, so I was really pleased to see what good quality this bag is and how well made it is. :) The inside has three pockets (two of them zippered), a really nice label area for you to put your contact info onto, and a large zippered pocket that goes all the way through. Here's the front - look for the zipper that goes around the bottom of the front flap:
I have not done it, yet, but I think I'm going to carry one of my sketchbooks in that back zippered pocket along with some watercolor pencils so I can sit and draw/meditate whenever I want. :)
Plum turns out to be a color I must like as I found a great way to decorate this bag. Several years ago I bought a small kit at the Lancaster (PA) quilt show from Quilter's Fancy to make rose pins. The fabric they are made from is hand-dyed velvet in purple, green and plum. I did create all the rose blossoms but never made or attached the green silk ribbon leaves or the pin backs. Lo and behold, when I took the flowers out, the colors coordinated beautifully with my new purse ... so, while I worked on the sales floor yesterday I finished up the four pins. Photos:
the four rose pins
They feel luscious and I really like the way they turned out. :) Unusual (to me) construction technique, too. :) Here is how three of them look, pinned to my new purse:
I LIKE this! Very 'me'. :) I even like the way the fourth pin looks against the dress I happened to be wearing yesterday:
What can I say? I guess I have consistent taste. :)
Today my friend Barbara B and I did one of our annual holiday sew-ins at the shop. Some holidays are for family, some are for sewing, right? :) I decided to spend some time working on one of my personal projects ... so I started to assemble some of the half-hexagon blocks from African and Aboriginal tribal fabric prints that I have been lazily cutting over the past six months. Of course, I completely forgot to take any photos ... so I'll have to report on it visually at a later date.
I decided that I need to make a bed top that is seven hexagon's wide (8" across hexes) and ten deep. I got one quarter of the top pieced today which I think is a pretty good start. :) This is going to be one of the busiest quilts I've ever made but I _like_ the way it looks so far.
I expect I have enough patches cut out to make at least two queen-sized quilts ... so I decided to make the first one simple and just use a jumbled hexagon layout (that is, entire hexes side-to-side with no sashing or separations). The second one I do will have framed hexes on it, I think, but I just plain did not feel like dealing with the set-in seams on the first one. Easy, pretty, pleasing (see, still running away from stress here:).
Barbara and I sewed from about 10:30 until 5 or so this afternoon, with a break to eat lunch (she ordered in pizza, Skip and I ate chicken breasts in tomato sauce we brought from home). My brain stopped working about 3:30 or so and I put away my half-hexes to sew rows together on my shop-sample-in-progress (grunt work that is straight-forward and no-brainer:). Great day!!
Tomorrow I have to go for my weigh-in (I gained 2.5 pounds while on vacation in Indy so I'm hoping to have dropped those:) ... and Wednesday I have an appointment with the orthopedist to look at my knee (which is getting _much_ worse than it was). Sigh. No end of things to keep track of!