Category Archives: Arty Projects

Antoinette-esque fabric

So recently my kindle arrived (a device which I unbelievably, ecstatically love) and as I have been eyeing etsy kindle covers for weeks, and my kind, dear mother lent me her pricey sewing machine, I decided to give it a whirl.  This brings me back to childhood, of course, where my mother would patiently direct me in how to properly assemble projects and when she wasn’t looking I would (to hell with the planning!) launch straight into the sewing.  Needless to say, patience isn’t one of my foremost virtues, though I have tempered my atrocious sense of immediacy over the years which leads me to the present where I conceived a grand idea of sewing myself a kindle case.  And, if that last sentence is any indication, my terrible use of run on sentences.  But I digress.

I spent hours shopping online for the perfect 18th century fabric.

I skimmed the various how-tos.  Easy peasy.

My mother insists sewing will soon become as simple as tying my shoes blindfolded, but I’m what I like to call a recovering perfectionist (read: crazy).  Not only do I want it done in the next five minutes, I want it done with some level of skill. 

All in all, I’d say the project turned out pretty well except for having to manhandle the layers of cushioning felt.  The fabric I selected is very fun masked cameos with a modern color twist.  Marie Antoinette’s La Belle-Poule coiffure even made an appearance.  Lovely.  I also did get the opportunity to cackle when my husband, who’d been surreptitously listening to me blaspheme while my mother alternately scolded me and harrumphed, to hear that we were just like his father and his father’s brother, two endearing curmudgeons arguing over how to best weld.   Some things never change.

 If you’re interested in the fabric it’s called Tula Pink Parisville Cameo Mist from and comes in four or so colors, among them magenta and green.  I’ll post my fabulous kindle case after the weekend once I put the finishing touches of a velvet ribbon and a flowery button on it, but I’m also thinking this fabric would make some fun pillows for my office.  I’ll get around to that eventually but in the meantime I’d love to see some sample fabrics in any quasi 18th century style.  Have any suggestions?

A creative exercise that tackles clutter

I’m one of those people who keeps magazines eons after I’ve read them.  Without any attention to clutter, I stack them on shelves, throw them in bins, and look forward to flipping through pages sometime in the nascent distance, rediscovering a piece of advice or poignant article I loved and promptly forgot about.  It’s kind of senseless as the world is churning out new and worthy tidbits by the second, but when it comes to the written word, I’m a hoarder.

In the spirit of efficiency I’ve let most of my subscriptions run out (with the exception of The Sun and Writer’s Digest – invaluable).  I’ve stacked the ancient magazines in a tower, scissors at the ready, and as such, gird myself onward. Reader, I invite you to join me.

The How-To

Step 1(the only step!):  Tear out every picture that appeals.  The June 2010 issue of O magazine  had a wonderful  article by Martha Beck about vision boards, essentially assembling a random collage and seeing what the pictures yield.  Have cottage dreams?  A desire to make more money?  A yen for exotic travel?  Well, according to the magic of said boards, accomplishing one’s goals might be as easy as gathering pictures to assemble, view, and forget.  I could throw out words like subconscious and the attraction principle, but I think you get the gist.  I’ll let you know how mine pans out, but in the meantime let’s dive into the best part: examining!

Pseudo Psychoanalysis says:
Hidden Vision 1:  3 hats with hidden faces.   Hmm . . . Add to that 2 pairs of eyes, one vampy lady in a cape, and boy, oh, boy, we have a secret.  I might actually think this if I weren’t me, but the truth of the matter is, I like playing detective.  The heart within the heart is what I’m after, psyche sleuthing being one of the few things I get super excited about.  It is, after all, the number one reason why I write.

Hidden Vision 2:  Ruffled flowers, garden labyrinths, and winding trails in a forest.  Yes, I’ve either read one too many Austen novels or I dream of owning a rambling English estate, probably both.  Either way, I’m a romantic through and through and envision my future filled with such diversions.

Hidden Vision 3:  Little Marie Antoinette, rippling silk gown, purple edibles, and a painted elephant hand signify a sense of opulence.  I’m going to translate this as an innate sensuousness that I strive to maintain in daily life.  I shudder to think myself materialistic, but I will own to liking pretty things.  As my husband can be found quoting me on when asked about my opinion of Indian luxury hotels, “What’s wrong with plush?”

Hidden Vision 4:  Notice Jane Goodall and the chimp (near lady vamp, upper left)?  I wanted to be a primatologist when I was little.  On more than one play date, I imagined trekking through the jungle to make camp and befriend those with the envied skill of swinging from trees.  Still do, actually.  That dream suspended for the next life,  however, I suppose I still have a passion for animal conservation yet to coalesce.  Which reminds me: read Sara Gruen’s Ape House, donate to Ape Trust.  Me, not you.  Unless you really, really want to!

So what do you think?  Is one’s future fill-in-the-blank going to manifest itself merely by once upon a December pinning images onto a vision board?  Why the hell not, right?  If you decide to make one and are willing to share, let me know how it goes!  I might even throw in a free session of Freudian analysis as a grand thank you for reading my blog (note to self: a most undesirable gift, if there ever was one. Renege.)

FYI:  If you’re short on magazine or clipping patience, Oprah has a dream board that can be created online, but you gotta sign up so there is a downside.  Anyways, enjoy!