Friday, January 30, 2009

I finished it. This apron took the most work, concentration and time of any I have made so far. It's no sewing masterpiece, believe me, but I'm proud of it anyway. I'm only a novice sewer after all. This was the first time I have ever used piping in a project. It's not what I would call easy, but it's do-able.
Here's a closeup of the front. . .
. . .and of the back.
Thanks go to Travis for his photographic cooperation.
What a guy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This little baby was the beginning of a whole new infatuation for me. I dug it out of a drawer in the kitchen of Our Lady Star of the Sea. We were there to celebrate my grandparents 50th Anniversary. I was helping with the clean-up and didn't want to get too dirty. I was unaware of the transformation that would occur once I put it on. I absolutely fell in love with this apron. I know it probably doesn't look like much to anyone else, but I loved it. Grandma was sure to let me know that I could NOT take it home since it belonged to the church. Now do I look like the kind of girl who would steal from a church?! That was about ten months ago. Since then I have collected several books about aprons, checked out countless others from the library and grown quite a collection of apron patterns. I've made two or three or ten and I'm working on one right now. I feel just like Wesley in The Princess Bride. You know when he comes back as the Dread Pirate Roberts and Fezzig asks him "Why are you wearing that mask? Were you burned by acid, or something like that?" He answers "No, they're just terribly comfortably and I believe everyone will be wearing them in the future." Aprons are terribly comfortable and useful too. Not to mention all the beautiful fabric there is out there to choose from. Aprons also appeal to my love of vintage things. I'm sure that's one of the reasons I was immediately attracted to this church apron. There is just something special about wearing or using or living with something that had a life before it's life on or with you. It's kind of a link to the past and that is something I've always been interested in.

History. It's a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This afternoon I was working on my latest sewing project while Samson was napping. Because I craft downstairs in the basement and he naps on the main floor, I don't turn on the T.V. or radio so I can hear him when he wakes up. Actually, today I had to listen to make sure Julian and Camryn weren't killing each other either since there was no school today. (Usually Camryn comes down with me and works on one of her "projects".) Anyway, having no background noise leaves lots of time to think, and so I was. Scary, I know.

I was wondering why I feel the constant urge to be crafting on something. If I'm not actually doing a craft of some kind, I'm researching one on the Internet or reading a book about one or a magazine or clipping ideas and putting them in my notebook of things to make. When I say "craft" it could be a project of any medium. I like to sew, quilt, scrapbook, build simple wood projects (ok, maybe a 20'x20' studio and a 24'x24' deck and an 8' arbor aren't exactly simple, but I mostly just planned them. Dad headed up the labor and supervision departments), refinish furniture, repurpose things that could have a new life, plant trees, plot out my garden. I daydream about yard sales and thrift stores and flea markets. What wonderful new treasures will I find? Why? Why do I feel this constant urge? When I actually started thinking of why this afternoon, it was a great big DUH moment. Duh, Mandy.

My Mom was always sewing when I was a little girl. She made all kinds of clothes for us, from formal dresses to play clothes and everything in between. I can remember going to the Ric Rack (a fabric store just two blocks down from our house that used to be here in town eons ago) and picking out fabric for our MANY swim suits Mom made for us girls. The lady that owned the store ( I don't know what her name was) always had a corner full of toys for kids to play with while their mother's shopped. Smart lady. The longer the kids are occupied, the more the women can buy!

My Dad was and still is always fabricating something out of metal. (An area I haven't yet explored myself.) One time he built us the coolest covered wagon. You know like they used on the Oregon trail back in the day? He used an old red wagon and fabricated poles that arched over it and used canvas of some kind (I think) to make the cover. Cool right? He made us this "horse" one time too. Basically it was a big metal spring and he welded a big metal cylinder of some kind to it, painted it and strapped a saddle on it. You bounced back and forth. Who thinks of these things? My Dad, that's who.

My Grandpa, my Mom's Dad, built all kinds of stuff. The man was a whiz with wood. My Mom said he built them stilts once when they were little kids, among many other things. When I was little he built the coolest fort for all of us grandkids. He build a wooden kitchen for me and my sisters complete with functional cupboards and sink handles that turned and stove knobs that turned. All wood of course. I wish we still had those. . . He built me a hope chest for my wedding present ten years ago. It has hand carved leaves on the front and a drawer in the bottom. It's gorgeous! He built his house. He built furniture to put in it. Beds, dressers, armoires, shelves, custom built ins, you name it. One time my sister and I went to Mt. St. Helens with him and my Grandma. I remember as we were driving up, you could see the hundreds, probably thousands of trees just laying there that had been blown over when the the mountain blew. I remember him saying that it just killed him to see all that timber wasted there when he could of made so many things from the lumber it would have yielded. I feel your pain Grandpa. I didn't fully get it back then, but I certainly do now.

My Lita, my Dad's Mom, was always quilting. My Lito built quilting poles for her so she could quilt by hand. I remember playing with my sister or cousins under the quilt she was working on, using it as a fort. I want those poles. She doesn't use them anymore and since I don't have anything like them and my Lito made them, they would mean a lot to me. She made baby blankets, twin, full, and queen size quilts. She also crocheted, knitted and tatted. I have dish towels that she crocheted for me hanging from my oven handle right now.

So, the answer to the big DUH question?

It's in my blood.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ok, I'm not sure why I'm starting this blog. It's not like I need ONE more thing to dabble in, but for some reason I feel attracted to this. I'm not promising to be regular in my postings at all, so don't expect much. . . .