Tuesday, February 23, 2010
In my two years of selling my handmade creations on Etsy, I've encountered many different and interesting people. Occasionally, I have had the opportunity to touch their lives.
A young woman contacted me through Etsy, saying she was local and wanted to talk to me about a custom job. She had seen in my Fisheye Shop that I make all kinds of bags out of reused and upcycled materials, and had a special bag in mind as a gift for her mother.
Her father, who had recently passed away, had been a guy known for his colorful neckties. She had saved a box of his ties because they were such a special remembrance of him. What she had in mind was for me to make a tote bag for the mom highlighting some of the ties in a stylish way. She gave me specifications on size and shape, but left the design up to me.
I had a nice piece of charcoal pinstripe in my stash, so that is what I decided to use for a base. Using several of the ties in a cohesive color scheme, I made a design that is not at first recognized as neckties. Once I got going, I started to feel good that I would have some part in the healing of this family's loss. I sewed a secret heart inside the bag, for the woman to see each time she opened it.
With the leftover ends cut from the ties, I made a small clutch to go with the tote or for the daughter, herself, to keep.
This is the kind of work I really enjoy. If I make something unique and it is special to someone else, that's what it's all about.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Home renovation can be a bit like an archeological dig. You make discoveries about past life in the region as you remove the layers built up over time. Here's what we've been discovering about our house.
Sometime around the 1930s the owners decided to spiff up the kitchen with this pinky-peach paper decorated with little patterns in tan or gold. It gave the room a real lift after 30 years of use. Those folks were looking for a soothing mood in the kitchen.
Around 1955-1960, the family that lived here chose this trendy paper with "early American" motifs, in the up-to-date colors of turquoise, salmon and olive green. This time we got a homey warm feel.
Late 60s or early 70s, it seems there was a shift to the earthy, Asian style of this paper covered in ferns on a bamboo lattice. And of course there was orange! A hippie chic tone!
Then we have the look that welcomed us when we moved in. This paper needs no introduction - its mauve and grey tones are quintessential 1980s. It's had a good run -- time to say goodbye!
I almost wish we were planning wallpaper in our design, just to carry on the tradition!
Friday, February 19, 2010
Dawn to dusk, we are covered in dust.
When the moon comes up and sleep we must
We lay our heads on sheets of dust.
We wipe and sweep and make a fuss,
But the world seems filled with more, more dust.
The latest phase of our old house renovation is defined by dust. We have started on the kitchen redo, which began with removing a wall - a 100 year old plaster wall - a 9 1/2 foot tall wall, a wall that wanted to crumble to bits. That is a lot of dust!
Then we moved on to the ceiling, drywall over plaster - two big layers for more fun!
Stay tuned for more about the kitchen! I have to go sweep now.