Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What a nice, busy day

My husband's and my 4th anniversary is on Thursday, and since we were unable to do anything (even afford cards, LOL) last year, we budgetted and he took today, tomorrow and Thursday off of work. Today we planned to make good on our promises to Jeremiah to take him to Dollywood (he loves to ride their train) since we'd been saying we'd go since last Christmas. We got up, got ready, drove the hour it takes us to get there only to discover they were closed today! Aaahhh! It was like a moment out of Nat'l Lampoon's Vacation, when the Griswald's get to Wally World, find it closed and Clark has a slight nervous breakdown. I wanted to get out of the car and kick over their wooden saw-horse parking signs.

We talked for a minute about if we should just go home, but that would have wasted a trip to Pigeon Forge so we simply decided to take Jeremiah to Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg instead. He loves fish; we have a 20gal tank of our own and recently discovered 2 new rosey-barb babies! He was happy about going, but was still sad to miss out on the train ride at Dollywood. We had a lot of fun at the aquarium, there were a lot of neat fish. Hannah especially liked the jelly fish.

After we left we walked down the stip in Gatlinburg to the giant marble ball and then back to car to head back to Pigeon Forge to a small amusement park and go-cart track there. Jeremiah had never ridden go-carts and he had the biggest time! The "amusement" part of the place is basically a handful of little kiddie rides and they had a train! Oh he was so happy he was going to get to ride a train he nearly wet himself!

Then we had dinner and drove home. All in all we spent about as much money as we would have at Dollywood, but we all agreed that we think we had more fun. Tony and I used to drive over and have outtings just like today when we were dating and we talked on the way home that it's neat that we take our kids to do the same type of stuff we liked to do before we had them.

I think we're going to try Dollywood again in about a month once they put up all their Christmas lights and we're going to see if Tony's Mom wants to go with us.

I didn't get a single bit of sewing done, but all that riding in the car gave me time to knit on a baby hat. Got it about a third of the way done. Maybe I can sew a little tomorrow. We're all home and showered and very sleepy, but very happy to have been blessed with a nice, safe day together as a family.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Semi-Solid Themed Bags

So I've branched out a little from my usual scrappy batik bags to bring you semi-solid bags. I got this idea while doing my Think Pink all pink batiks Breast Cancer Awareness bag--which sold quickly. Instead of using batik, however, I've used other regular cotton quilting scraps. This is what I came up with:

Split Personality Psycho Red, White and Black:
This bag can't make up it's mind. One side is all black and white fabrics, with a cute little girly skull and crossbones studded applique. The other is all red scraps, incluing a piece f red Shwe-shwe cloth, sent to me by another quilter from Africa. I lined in with a funky black print with red and white tossed dice. The strap is a black print with yellow oriental dragons with red flames. Very cool; I love this bag, it's done in my absolute favorite colors.

I'm So Blue, I'm Emo:
Done in all dark blues, this bag has one bit of light blue on each side and a light blue "Angel" word applique just to keep it from giving into the dark side entirely. Add in the blue lining, strap, button tab and blue button and you've got one entirely blue bag.

Fun and Bright Bag:
This bag isn't one solid color, but it's entirely out of fun and bright novelty prints. It's got tossed sheep, swimming frogs, smiley face flowers and a whole lot more. Lined with an incredible cow print, it closes with a larg (for litt;e fingers) white button. I kind of had a "going to grandma's" bag in mind so I made it larger than all my other bags. It's big enough for a child's change of clothes and jammies for a quick sleepover, or coloring/story books and favorite toys for a long ride in the car. As a mother of 2 I know how things can get, so it's completely machine washable!

I want to do a couple more semi solid bags, might try a purple and an orange, or green next. However personally I'm in a couple quilt block swaps and I really need to spend my time behind the sewing machine working on those! My hubby is off 3 days this coming week, and while we'll be gone one of those for our anniversary, hopefully I can get some sewing/quilting done while he's here!

Going commercial

I wouldn't say I'm an artist. To me, it would be like saying, "I am a genius." It may be true, but people laugh and scoff when a person clames such a title for themselves. I suppose you're really only ever an artist or a genius if other people say you are. Art is what other people make. I have hobbies. However, my hobbies allow me to creatively express myself, so maybe therein, I am an artist.

I love to quilt. Mostly I love fabric. I love to look at it, smell it, feel it, unfold and refold it and then I like to cut it up into little bits. Unfortunately the only thing you can do with little bits of fabric (unless you're into fiber art mosaics and playing with glue...hey! glue is fun...) is sew them together to make bigger pieces of fabric. I espeically like to sew random bits together to make scrappy quilts. It is a very soothing and relaxing process to me as long as the tension on my machine is correct and I don't run out of bobbin thread.

Now it seems though that I too have taken a love and a passion for something and figured out a way to capitalize on it. It appears Charlie Brown was right when he cried that everything was going commercial. It began back in March when I had been making a large quilt out of lots of batik fabric and had been throwing all my scraps from cutting it out into a seperate container from my "regular" scraps. One of my sisters has a bohemian influence about her and so for her birthday I threw together a tote for her out of some of my batik scraps. In all reality, I think a muse decended because it was incredible! I filled it full of nail polish, make up remover, eyeshadow, etc and instantly something I could have thrown out became an awesome birthday present.

I thought to myself that I enjoyed making the bag, she enjoyed toting the bag, so maybe someone else would enjoy buying a bag. Each quilted bag I make is one of a kind, they all have a kind of personality to them. I sit down with my scraps and just let them tell me which to use, which not to use and then how to quilt them. Some scraps that I originally think I'll use get bypassed for ones I hadn't even considered. They really do take on a mind of their own. Then when both sides of the bag are done and quilted I can decide which fabric to use for the lining, the strap and what kind of button it needs. They are like little quilts in that they speak to me as I work on them and the finished product is always unique and surprising. I love it!

So you're right Charlie Brown, I am yet another retailer, doing something I love and reminding people that "Christmas is coming!" and I'm sure they have a hippy loved one who would just LOVE to tote around their treasures in one of my batik bags.