Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Random Acts of Affection...

My true story:  Yesterday, I texted the message "Love You" to several contacts in my phone. Many people didn't respond until later last night; many others not at all. One of my sisters even called to ask if I was just "testing" my phone's texting options. :) The most popular reason I heard for not responding right away was fear that I had done something harmful to myself and had texted as a final goodbye. My point is to encourage you to tell those you care about just how much they matter. Don't be surprised by the negative responses as many people are caught off guard by the words "love you", "miss you", "you're a valuable asset", etc.

Take a moment and think of the last time you told someone just how much you truly enjoy having them in your life. Sharing your true feelings should not be embarassing and, in fact, can be very refreshing. Random acts of affection... do it soon, before the opportunity never arises again or suddenly gets taken away. Come back to the blog and tell me how it went, what reactions did you receive, how did it feel, would you do it again?

“Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.”

“Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.”   ~  Kahlil Gibran

Monday, October 25, 2010

I've generated a new offering at All fabric in stock is available as a fat quarter, as well as, still being sold by the yard. I realized that sometimes  buyers may want to work on a smaller project that will let you explore what can be done with smaller bits of fabric. Smaller quantities of a print are perfect for adding a splash of texture or color to home decor, as well.

Many blessings are given to the artists who specialize in making patchwork quilts, especially. I paid attention to the feedback of browsers, not buyers, who felt like a yard of one ethnic print was just a bit much for the projects they were attempting. Also, remember that new pieces are added just about every week. Actually, a f ew pieces will be added sometime this week.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ahhh, To Be a Kid Again

"You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
 Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth." 
 — William W. Purkey

My children do things that are so inspiring. As we were leaving a restaurant today the oldest decided to dance. I'm sure for no one in particular, but herself. This time several people who were on their way to their seats stopped to watch. She continued and seemed very unphased by her captivated audience. When she decided she was done she kindly said excuse me and scurried through the crowd towards the door. Her younger sister, her third biggest cheerleader, clapped her hands off. I remember apologizing for the hold up. An elderly lady said she enjoyed the show and that she didn't mind waiting. After buckling everyone in, but before cranking up the car I got to thinking in an emotional kind of way for several different reasons:
  •  kids can be so fearless - she did pliés, arabesques and twirls as if she was the only one in the room
  •  kids can be so nonjudgemental - she didn't care that one man impatiently broke through the crowd to get to his seat. In fact, she twirled out of his way. And she always speaks or acknowledges random people. Even if it's just to ask them how their day is going. The other day in the dentist's office she noticed a lady staring in our direction. After stating very loudly, "the lady is staring at us", she waved hello and broke the ice for us (two very grown parents). The lady and I chatted the rest of the time we were waiting to be seen.
  • kids can take a cue from no one, but themselves - nobody had to tell her when to begin dancing; she just did because she felt like it
  • kids sometimes can't control their emotions - she danced like the joy in her heart was overflowing and laughed the entire time
  • kids randomly say "I love you" - she did just that, as she does quite often... after I buckled her in. Then the youngest chimed in saying "no crying, Mommy"
When I finish growing up, I hope I'm like her in so many ways. I never thought that I would be so inspired by a 3 year old, but honestly I am. Take a moment to comment below on how a child has inspired or influenced you lately?

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances but they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth making

I hope you dance, I hope you dance
- Lee Ann Womack

Disclaimer: Of course, no two children are alike. They all tend to have their own personality. Take notice of your child's spirit starting today.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Get on Board

What efforts have you made to support the handmade community, and promote the importance of buying handmade goods? Please provide a reason(s) why one should buy or sell handmade. Remember to number each response...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I think it's really over...

I guess this is another reason to truly believe that summer is really over. I know that it was a mere 50-something degrees when I got out of the house this morning (in Florida... N. Florida, but come on!). Honestly, I'm still not ready for the fall weather. It's beautiful outside this time of year, but I have a great dislike for temps below 70 degrees. To add to my sadness, I was in the yard for approximately an hour around midday and only saw one butterfly... how disappointing.

Proudly, we cultivated 51 okra since mid-August. That's alot! I didn't say we were trying to set up shop at the local farmer's market. It was a start; to say it was our first attempt. At least, every weekend we were able to have a side of okra for dinner. We'll do better next year. I, also, noticed that we have two bell peppers to pluck. We better get them before the morning frost does.

Zingiber Zerumbet!?

What is this interesting plant you ask? It's a pinecone ginger and it can grow to about 6-7 ft tall with long narrow leaves arranging oppositely along the stem. Ours tend to bloom starting mid to late summer, separate stalks grow out of the ground with green cone-shaped bracts that resemble pinecones. The cone turns red over a couple of weeks and then small creamy yellow flowers appear on the cone. From afar, the flowers actually look like tiny butterflies resting.
The Pinecone Ginger is an easy-to-grow pass-along plant that will make a large clump from a single rhizome in a couple of years. It grows easily, provided sufficient moisture and fertile soil. Just ask my neighbors. As a "hi, I just moved to the neighborhood gift" we gave lots of rhizomes away. Several years later, most of us now have too much of this stuff growing everywhere. I've been living here for 5 years (time sure does fly) and we have an abundance of Shampoo Ginger every year. One year my mom and I even threw a bucketful in the trash, but to no avail. Don't misunderstand me, it's not necessarily a nuisance. Just have a plan when you plant it. In other words, make sure that where you plant it is where you really want it to be... year after year or until you remove every rhizome in sight. For from one rhizome grows a bouquet of pinecones. Again, it makes an excellent fast-growing landscape plant for tropical effect, and the cone shaped flowers are long-lasting and useful for cut flower arrangements.

Last year, I realized that all along I have been growing a very essential plant.  It is a plant of many uses.  It really is used as a shampoo in Asia and Hawaii, and as an ingredient in several commercial shampoos sold around the world. Actually, chances are if the cosmetic product you're using has ginger listed as an ingredient, it's probably an extraction from the pinecone ginger. Traditionally, shampoo ginger was used as medicine for sprains, indigestion and other ailments. The root was ground with a stone mortar and pestle, and the pulp was placed in a cloth and loosely bound around the injured area. To ease a stomach ache, the ground and strained root material was mixed with water and drunk. For a toothache or a cavity, it was cooked, softened and pressed into the hollow and left for as long as was needed. These are all pics of my latest 'harvest' (actually, taken today). The last pic shows me actually squeezing a cone. I love to use this to wash my locs as its naturally sudsy and smells great, too. It, also, soothed my sunburn last summer and occasionally I tend to use it as a pre-body wash.

I had a ball...

I didn't think that I would have so much fun attending a baby shower. I believe the biggest reason I did was because it has been a while since I attended a function without the family. I not only enjoyed the opportunity to mingle with other adult ladies, but the food was great, too. Food that I didn't have to prepare, although I did offer my assistance as I was the first guest to arrive.

The purpose of the shower was to congratulate one of my former student's on the upcoming arrival of her first child. Of course, my gift was handmade by (myself) Kameli Shae. For some reason, I love making bib and burpee sets. I love functional items for children. BB sets can be used for as long as you think your child needs to be shielded from the constant mess they'll make when eating. Unless, they're like one of mine, who decided that from about nine months she was never going to wear a bib. That girl would constantly snatch it from around her neck. 

Well, They've already chosen a name for the baby boy, so this time I was able to personalize the sets with his initial ('e'). I love the animal print the best. It's a new fabric by David Miller called "Oh Boy! Zoo Animals". He has several new prints available this season. Lately, I've been more inspired to pursue another masters in Textile Design, but I'll save the details for another post. These are for sale at log on for more info.