I often feel as if I don’t have enough free time. In truth, there will never be enough time to learn, do, try, and make all the things that entice me.
As you can tell from the previous month, blogging has been a victim of the time shortage. Obviously, other people aren’t feeling the pinch. I’m so jealous.
In December, Olivia turned 16 years old. As our gift to her, Jessica, Mark, and I transformed her blue sky-with-clouds painted room into the orange room of her dreams.
For years, Olivia has begged us all to allow her to paint her room orange. She shares her room with Alle and Alle wasn’t all that hot for orange. Now Alle’s away at college, Syracuse University no less (Go Orange?!). So in a matter of a few days of frantic painting, bookcase building, and general mayhem, Olivia got her orange room.
It’s difficult to tell what the actual colors are from the photo, but that’s pretty true to life. Depending upon the time of day and the weather, the room is anywhere from a pumpkin color to blazing sunset. Jessye and I decided that we wanted the walls to be graduated shades of orange from ‘a squash orange’ to cream. After the walls were done, we went back and added whiplash curves in shades of orange. The original idea came from a photo of an Art Deco room in Belgium and somehow transformed itself into a cracked-out teenager meets Morocco.
Regardless, Olivia loves it and for whatever reason, being in there is a wonderful experience. I’ll restate my case for the healing power of color, and if it takes an orange room to quell teenage angst, so be it.
When the room was finished, it was just a few days until Christmas. Knitting happened. So did some sewing. One thing I managed to make (several times over — Merry Christmas to you!) is a purse organizer. The pattern/directions I used come from The Giving Flower blog. Easy to make and pretty useful too.
In a purse.
Despite my penchant for bags, I’m not a purse person. You’ll see me with totes, baskets, and backpacks, but rarely with a purse. My coworker Chris was bemoaning the fact that she had to carry the same purse every day because the idea of switching purses struck fear in her heart. “What if I forgot something important in the move?”
This led me to google ‘purse organizers’ and I uncovered a world formerly hidden from me. I like The Giving Flower’s pattern because you can easily customize it to fit the things you can’t live without (my 2 Moleskines, my fountain pen case, my Burt’s Bees, my iphone) and you can roll it up to fit whatever bag you’re carrying. As mine is generally wadded up in the bottom of a larger bag, the next time around, I think I’ll add some elastic that will hold the whole thing together.
We did our completely handmade holiday again this year. It’s hard to imagine celebrating the holiday any other way. No trips to Walmart or the Mall. No debates over the appropriateness of foot baths or hand mixers for Aunt Betty. Our continued appreciation of making all the stuff we give does come with this warning: making your gifts doesn’t necessarily mean spending less money. Anyone who has ever bought Cashmerino Aran knows what I’m talking about.
“It’s better to give than to receive” has been repeated often, sometimes even by me. This year, I scored pretty well, however.
Mark made me a fountain pen that takes my breath away. My photographs of it are lousy, but trust me, it’s a beautiful pen. He made it with art plastic we bought at the NY Pen Show this year.
He also made me a tam blocker. Usually I use one of our Corningware dinner plates. The tams take forever to dry because there is no air movement.
Olivia made me a hand (I have a collection of hands…)
Jessica knitted me a scarf in a leaf lace pattern with beads. Who knew she could knit that well? I certainly didn’t.
Alle made me a poster of this, changing the woman to be dark skinned. Our laundry room has a collection of vintage tin signs and this will be added to our collection.
It’s a lousy picture, but the story cracks me up.
10+ (maybe 14+) years ago, I went through a phase of making teddy bears. I wanted to make a jointed bear our of fur and decided to practice using Debbie Mumm quilting fabric. I made the body, the dress, and the head. I attached all of it except for the head. Then I moved. Then I moved again. Finally, I cleaned. When I came across the bear head, I threw it out. Alle was bereft because she lovingly saved the body (and until that day, the head) hoping against hope that I would someday put it all together. She is nothing if not patient.
For Christmas, I pulled out some of the original fabric (does this provide some insight into my crafty stash of supplies??) and made another bear head. Trust me, it was the last thing she expected, and isn’t that what Christmas is all about?