Thursday, August 27, 2009

if I can manage it.....

how do you write a pattern you say? well quite frankly, I haven't a clue.
After the week of elation after getting a book deal was over, reality sunk in. Sure, I have way too many beautiful project books to look at in my studio, and you'd think whipping up a pattern of my own would be a cinch. The only problem is that I have never actually done any of them. I am one of those "buy it because you like that color on that word on page 10", or "oh I must use that funny looking stitch on that one doll in the back of the book, so I better buy it before I forget that" type of people. I love buying books to inspire me, but the thought of actually following a book pattern was a bit overwhelming.
I am a self taught fiber artist, which basically came about after one day noticing that if I turned a couple of dials to zero on my mum's old machine, I could draw with thread. Through many a trial and error, I came up with a method that worked for me. Patterns were never drawn up, but rather every piece made on a "let it go where it takes you" type of approach. Being asked to draw up some patterns and write out some instructions was a scary proposition, and soon sent me on a whirlwind of trips to the bookstore and library in an attempt to figure it all out.

Looking back, I made the process much bigger than it really had to be. I panicked, insecurities set in, and many a night ensued of pure doubt that I could accomplish this project. I finally had to just take a deep breath and remind myself that I could do it. If I broke it up into smaller steps, then maybe it wouldn't be such a scary adventure. By just simply writing it down as I would understand it really helped get the ball rolling. Instead of using books as the "how-to" to get things started, they soon took on the role of being a reference guide. If I didn't quite know how to explain a certain step, the reference guides enabled me to take the information I needed and move on. They guided me through the process, and also taught me some new information on the way. After a couple of patterns were "hashed" out, I started to see the rhythm. A rhythm that not only allowed me to express myself as an artist, but also a rhythm that allowed me to do it with confidence. I had the work, but now I have the words to go with it.
I did it. I am proud...and if I can manage to do this, maybe you can too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

glamour shot take number 300

should be simple. take a picture of yourself so your readers have a bit of an idea of what you even look like. After failing desperately at it myself, I handed the camera over to my 6 year old and told him to give it a go. I think it turned out pretty well, don't you think? (I must say, he did a great job with the can barely see my one tea stained tooth that tells me I need to cut way back on the stuff)
I am so proud of him, that I almost feel guilty revealing what the background is all about. Nothing artsy i'm afraid....just a mother's way of trying to get her famous photographer to stop using potty language. For every potty word, the guy loses a nickel........desperate times call for desperate measures....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

mark your calendars.....

about time, right? I am afraid I have neglected my poor little shop, and thought it best to announce a realistic day to hopefully stock it full of goodies. Look for a collection of people, animals, houses, and hopefully some new little surprises as well!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

as summer nears the end....

Their little bodies are has been a summer packed with visits here and there, and we are all looking forward to winding down a bit before the new school season rears it's head. On the contrary, I have to pick up the pace work wise as the fall will undoubtedly bring a flurry of projects my way. With the book entering it's next phase (whew!), I can now start to work on some ideas for fabric designs and hopefully update the shop as well. (about time, right?) It may not seem like much, but the three mornings a week without both kids (the eldest starts going all day) will make a big difference in actually getting anything done in daylight hours, and thus help me keep up with things a bit better (fingers crossed). Any ideas on what you would like to see on some mummysam fabric????? Seriously......your ideas have always helped jump start my projects:)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


We are nearing the end of a long trip to see family. The neverending New York rain must have managed to follow us all the way to the drought-ridden midwest, as we greeted grandma's house with two more days of pouring rain.

After many a moment in the car of one bored brother using the other as a means of entertainment, (poke. poke. poke...."hey! stop it stop it stop it stop it" "what? I didn't do anything. I was trying to reach that book" poke. poke. poke. ) we ventured out to the beach for some much needed space. Two lattes greeted two very relaxed parents, as we were finally able to stretch out some legs and enjoy the sun's return.

It was a trip to see all the family, and with that came many return visits to the car as we headed back and forth between nana's house and grandma's, with a few stops in between to see the cousins.

Family portraits started becoming a bit of a "challenge", as two little souls started to wear out a bit. They have had a full week of daily adventures, and now it is time to get their little bodies ready for the journey back home.

Let's just hope this time they will at least sleep a few minutes in between the inevitable poking that will ensue.....I think when we get back we will be trading our newly purchased vehicle for a slightly "wider" one. There are only so many poking incidents a mum can endure :)

p.s. my return will hopefully signal a return to the shop posting (finally!), so look for an update to come in early September! anything you would all like to see?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"it's for research"....

I will admit it....once the book deal became official, then I gave myself the green light to use, "it's for research" as a necessary explanation for a sudden increase in trips to the bookstore. After all, how am I supposed to write this future Nobel Prize piece without the proper preparations?
What began as a few books scattered at the base of my feet soon turned into a 40" tall wobbly skyscraper of materials. (And how do I always find myself needing the book second from the bottom? Better yet, there is the fact that the books are actually resting against a organizational skills are still in need of some adjusting.)

Diving into these books, both new and old, has allowed me to go from a place of complete insecurity about thinking I could even do a book to a more confident writer who is getting so anxious to share it with all of you. Many a late night has been spent spreading these books all over the floor, with particular pages either dog-eared or secured open with the weight of anything that will keep them open (coffee cups and monster trucks work very well). They are laid out, ready to visit as I go back and forth between sewing, writing, and drawing. And as the book continues to find it's way, so will more and more books start filling the remaining spaces on the floor.

As much I would like to state that I will eventually move the pile of books into a proper place, those who know me can confidently say that will never happen....but I do know that when my own book is finished, I won't be putting it second to the bottom.