Be free-floating, allowing the situation to surround you, and be in it. Take in the full surroundings, including the temperature of the water.
This may bring incredible clarity, presence and focus. This is what is means to be a jellyfish.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Stages of My Little Girl - the story behind the Quilt

This quilt was a project that started about 6 years ago. We had just moved back to the States, moved into a new house, and were trying to rebuild our lives after Hurricane Ivan took most of our material possessions. We were fortunate enough to get some donations to us to help us get settled, and my daughter received some beautiful velvet dresses from generous souls, and being a little girl, these were her most favorite dresses.
But as children do, she quickly grew out of them and reluctantly cleaned out her closet to donate to other girls who were in need.  Her favorite dresses I just could not part with, and the fabric was so nice I decided to keep a couple for the someday I could use them.  They appear in the quilt as the blue flowered velvet squares, the black velvet square with the ribbon, and the black velvet squares with the sparkes on it.

The jeans in the quilt are from the time of no more school uniforms. She loved that she got to pick her school clothes, and she picked the coolest jeans. She wore them until they were 2 inches too short and reluctantly parted with them as well. How could I get rid of these jeans she treasured so much? They represented her new fashion sense, in elementary school, and the first time she could choose what to wear to school.  The squares with the pink triangle suede and the pink leather ties were from her favorite pair.
When she entered middle school, her tastes matured along with her attitude, and animal prints were her new favorite thing. Everything in her room had to be either zebra, tiger, or leopard. I recovered her butterfly chair with a soft furry animal print fabric, and we made a pillow together to match with the same fabric.  Of course saved the extra fabric.  There is a square or two for each of the animals she once saturated her room with. She still likes these prints and loves them in the quilt, but since has broadened her decorating style.

My favorite addition to the quilt is the polka dot fabric.  This is special to us because it is what we used to create the Teddy Bear she designed for her best friend.  She made the pattern for the bear, picked out the fabrics, even the paw print fabric and eye fabric.  We made the bear together, and she gave it to her best friend for her birthday.  I even stitched paw prints in each polks dot square to remind her of the teddy bear she created. She says these are her favorite squares too.

The teddy bear polka dot sqaures are a special part of the quilt for me because it represents a project we worked together on, and it is the project that began the thought of starting a handmade business, where we could create and sell things like these teddy bears together.  After we made this bear, we brainstormed a name for 'our business', and from that day Raige Creations came to life and has grown into what it is today.

And these are my favorite kinds of things to make, the things that have meaning and stories to go with it. There is a story with each square, each fabric had a life before this, and now together they can be used for many more years to come.  It makes the sore fingers, the bleeding pin pricks, the backaches (from having to work on the floor to piece it all together), the broken sewing machine needles, the bent and broken pins, the years of collecting and countless hours creating all worth it. 

The reaction she had when she opened it on Christmas day was so fun too. The first thing she said was, "Hey, those are my jeans!"  That made it all so worth it.  I hope she keeps it forever, but alas, she will probably grow out of this as well, as she matures into a woman with different tastes.  Maybe she will keep it for her little girl....

Monday, December 27, 2010

Music Monday! Winter Wonderland!

We woke up to snow on Christmas morning, and it just kept snowing.  This is what our patio looks like.

And this is the view outside our kitchen window.

Perfect for Christmas, and maybe perfect for the kids winter break from school.
Only one song fits this scenario....Elvis because we are so close to Graceland.

But we are ready for the snow to melt now. Part of the reason we moved further south was to avoid so much snow!  Hopefully it will be all gone before the end of the week and we can enjoy the Mountains without fear of skidding down the hills....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More Handmade Holiday Ideas

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wish List Wednesday - A Handmade Holiday

Handmade creations make any holiday special. But giving handmade gifts brings even more special meaning to the effort. As promised, here are some great handmade gifts for those on your list this year. This is the first of  a series of lists of unique, interesting, handmade items that you can purchase with no fuss. As the shipping deadline fast approaches, hopefully this list will help you get through your shopping list with little stress.

These items can all be purchaes through ArtFire, where you don't need an account to buy. The transaction is quick and easy, and you can even add items to your Amazon Wish List through this site. That way, others can see what you might like for Christmas too!

Great to bring to that Holiday party as part of the Hostess Gift, these Reusable Burlap Bottle Bags, by Catfluff, are sturdy, festive, and affordable.
Reusable Burlap Bottle Bags by Catfluff
This set of holiday cards, by ButterflyCrafts, is a unique way to wish the best for the holidays. Certainly much better than those superstore generic cards.
Walking in a Winter Wonderland, by Butterfly Crafts
Give 'em the moon and the stars with this beautiful pendant. Good gift for the girls that have nearly everything, this is a unique piece of jewelry that you can't find in the mall.
Moon and Stars in Serling, by ExquisiteStudios
Or for the girls who love a vintage feel, these Rose Quartz and Garnet Briolettes hang from a beautiful antique flower post.
Rose Quartz and Garnet Briolette Earrings, by BelleSweet
For the little ones, this adorable lamb would make the best buddy. Upcycled  from a couple of old sweaters, this creature is Cashmere and Wool and cute as, well, a lamb!
Handmade Stuffed Lamb, by WhiteDandelionWorks
With such crazy weather we are having these days, give the gift of warmth and style with this delicate scarf that can be worn even without a coat. It is soft mohair and make of my favorite colors, lilac.

Crochet Mohair Circles Scarf, by Crochet Kiosk
What gift is complete without gift tags? But these tags make the gift even more unique. Such detail and festive colors, these are the perfect way to say to someone they are special.
Christmas Ornamant Gift Tags, by Stitches & Scraps
Who doesn't like a warm cup of tea (or coffe, chai, hot chocolate, Kahlua, etc.) after a long day shopping? This is a festive way to relax with that cup of goodness. This Mug Cozy makes a great gift to go in a gift basket that may have a collection of fine beverages too.
Mug Cozy, by ByCamille

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what wonderful handmade items are available on ArtFire.  So sit back and click away.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Music Monday! Handmade Christmas!

Today there is enough snow on the ground to call it covered, tho only about 1/4 inch. The kids got their first snow day however, because of the bitter cold and black ice "they" said. They were so amused to see barely any snow on the ground and have no school because of the weather. They remember our time in Western New York, when it took 2 feet of snow in 2 hours to cancel school. This is nothing compared to those snow days!

So all this (little bit of) snow makes it feel a bit more like Christmastime to us.  We went downstairs to get out some decorations, and as in years past, I found some of the ornaments the kids have made to give our tree special meaning. This one is one of my favorites, a snowman in the mind of a 1st grader. (He is 12 now!) There is something about the artwork of a child that is so special, and I love that it adorns our tree every year.

Every handmade gift or decoration brings a special meaning to the season, and this week I will be showcasing Handmade goodies that can adorn your tree, your house, or make great gifts for those special people on your list. And this week is the last week to get it shipped without paying extra shipping costs, so make your decisions and shop!

Because today is Music Monday, this song, about Handmade, is perfect to kick off this week of Handmade treasures. Thanks to David Leach, a creative musician and fellow creator, for this great song. So true handmade gifts are so much better....