Monday, October 31, 2005


yesterday i participated in a home show. it was very successful! but there's a good news/bad news component in that felted bags are all but gone. below is a picture of what i'm going to look like until december 3...chained to my sewing machine every evening and all day every saturday and can see the mess and laundry piling up behind me, can't you?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

what a mess...

and i still manage to create in this environment. after december 3 i'll clean up this mess and start to get ready for the holidays. until that time, i will happily create in chaos.

Friday, October 28, 2005

back tack ii-the big reveal...

melissa of two loops, please avert your eyes if you don't want to have the surprise spoiled.

here's a picture of the contents of the "kit" put together to satisfy melissa's secret crafting desire...crewel embroidery.

included are clockwise from top left: tao of tea "refresh", a vintage crewel pillow i unearthed on a not-so-recent thrifting trip, thread for the sublime stitching kit pictured below right, some of my handmade/sewn fabric cards, embroidery scissors inside a scissor keeper i made to match the felted bag, sublime stitching embroidery transfer patterns (i think they're a chinese motif), a vintage little girl dress pattern from my extensive collection (melissa has a toddler daughter), and the much coveted, crewel embroidery kit from wool and hoop!

...and the bag! my newest passion, recycled felted sweater bags. melissa loves earthtones, so i tried to oblige. hope i didn't go overboard with the earthtones?!

i feel like i could have done so much more for poor melissa! i've included things i would want if i were receiving a kit, but then i always think i could do more and should do more. the disease to please afflicts many of us artistic types, doesn't it? i just hope she enjoys it. i liked playing along.

can't wait to see what my secret buddy sends me!


not so confidential note to the woman in michael's yesterday afternoon coercing her five year old daughter that, "she was making halloween not fun:"

i'll tell you what isn't fun--being yelled at about your idea for a costume. if a little kid wants to "junk up" a costume, isn't this the time to do it?

mom, chill out. it's halloween, not a beauty pageant.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

standing on the edge...

she walked into the bathroom and pushed the door closed behind her. from under the sink, she pulled the yellow stool on which were painted the words "to reach the things i couldn't and lots of things i shouldn't." one by one, she lifted her socked feet onto the stool. on tippy toes her fingertips barely reached the edge of the double-sided mirror her mother had hung there. earlier in the day she had watched her mother carefully outline and fill in the shapes of her eyebrows while gazing into the magnifying side of the mirror. she had followed her mother from her parents' bedroom to the door of the bathroom and watched her mother return the mirror to the hook on the back of the door, where it belonged; now nudging the thin metal foot of the mirror minutely higher and finally over the hook, the cool metal frame fell slightly and then was cradled in the crook between her pointer finger and her thumb. she hopped down from the stool and shooshed it back under the sink with her heel. opening the door with one hand, she stopped at the threshold. the tiles were cold under the soles of her socks. she stood as if on the edge of a wide crevasse. her tiny body wobbled back and forth...swaying in an imaginary breeze. holding the mirror out in front of her, she could only see the reflection of the ceiling, she baby stepped down the hallway. she imagined this was what it would feel like if the world turned upside down.

...but she was wrong.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

why, sam, why?

i don't like wal-mart. i've been trying very hard to not use the word "hate", mostly because i believe words are powerful and i have a strong desire to surround myself with the positive forces in life. therefore, i am refraining from using the "h" word when referring to wal-mart, although it is quite tempting. it's not that i don't love a bargain and wal-mart is full of bargains, but when i used to shop there, each time i walked through the doors, i felt like a little bit of my soul was dying.

did you see that tv special about the indian women who sew the track pants for wal-mart? did you see how they work 17 hours per day and still can't afford meat? did you hear the part about how when the owners of the factory asked wal-mart for $.01 more per pair of pants that wal-mart threatened to never use this factory again? and how wal-mart sells these track pants for $12 each after they pay oh, $.33 each to the factory?

this is one of the reasons why i don't like wal-mart. when they claimed to sell only products made in america i didn't dislike them so much. then i just disliked them for overtaking small businesses in rural america and then refusing to pay the workers a decent wage or give them benefits.

someone i used to work with told me to get off my high horse and admire the walton family for running a profitable business that epitomized the american dream. and that statement couldn't have hurt me more than if he punched me in the stomach. it hurt because i know that he was right, in a way. but i had always held the american dream to higher standards than that. apparently, i am naive. lunch yesterday, i went to wal-mart with a friend who wanted to check out their fabric selection. she was looking for blues hockey fabric (don't ask). while we were there she also needed to pick up pictures from the photo processing area. i discreetly wandered around the camera department so she could enter her debit card p.i.n. privately. $79.84 digital camera.

i have been coveting, lusting, strongly desiring, a digital camera for a long time. i NEED one. it's not just that i want one. i NEED one (please note use of all CAPS...i don't like to type in all CAPS...that is how strong the NEED for a digital camera is!) so the good angel on my right shoulder is whispering in my ear, "heidi, do not stoop to the low prices of this greedy conglomerate. you can find an inexpensive digital camera elsewhere...perhaps at the purportedly religiously-owned walgreens store." while the devil on my left shoulder is shouting, "get the damn camera. the indian woman you saw on that tv special didn't sew this camera. grind your liberal axe over something worthwhile!"

just for the wasn't as if the camera was lousy had 3 megapixels and 4.0 optical zoom. why must the universe test my resolve so?

Monday, October 24, 2005


my friend sharon tagged me to list 5 women who have inspired me artistically. so here goes, in no particular order...
  1. martha--come on, she may be a witch, but she is an inspirational one. i've stolen so many ideas from her, i can't even count them all!
  2. karyl--this woman is like the army--she does more before 6 a.m. than most of us do all day. she taught me how to bind a book, and how to fold a box and everything in between.
  3. chris & sharon--these ladies introduced me to the entire world of "art" as i know it. i didn't know nothin' 'bout no embossing powder (why can't i do it over my toaster? or over the burner on my stove?), they gave me my first xyron pen, they've sold me every ink pad i've ever owned and i still cannot leave their FABULOUS store without something in my clutches. i am also lucky to call them my friends.
  4. kate--kate taught me how to properly wire a pearl, how to properly string a bracelet and how to square stitch. she's a dynamo and my role model for artists who are doing it for themselves.
  5. grammie--she taught me how to embroider, sew and quilt and most importantly, how to make fried potatoes. she grew up in the depression and her thrifty ways enabled me to see everyday items as possible art. there's nothing she can't build herself or do cheaper. she was thrift-ing before it was cool. she showed me the value of taking pride in your work. at 84, she's still learning and teaching herself how to do tasks she didn't know how to do before. she's an inventor and an awesome cook. i'm blessed to have learned so much at her knee.

there are so many other women who i have learned so much from and feel inspired by, it was difficult to limit my list to just five. maybe i'll get tagged again and be able to expand my list.

Friday, October 21, 2005


good friends, good times, good from the breast cancer research fundraiser at red lead.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Friday, October 14, 2005


there are people in this life that take the high road when it is so much easier to take the low. my son prefers to take the high road. yesterday he did that very thing. and although it had ramifications that were extremely inconvenient for him, he persisted. i am proud of him. in so many ways he is the adult i hope one day to become.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

time away...

i've decided to take a few days away from my office to reassess, you know all the existential b.s. that people think about after they turn 40!

honestly, i'm not that deep. (i know some of you don't have a difficult time wrapping your mind around that admission.) but there are bunches of projects i want to tackle and complete before the feelings of overwhelm creep in ivy-like and wrap their sneaky tendrils around my spirit. those emotions tend to paralyze me creatively and not spur me on to accomplish more, so i must nip that in the bud.

on another semi-related note...

the reality of planning the saturday monday sale is hitting home. writing two checks for the venue yesterday resulted in a bit of chest tightening, but nothing i didn't anticipate beforehand. kelly accuses me of jumping in with both feet and then realizing i don't know how to tread water. luckily, this time i jumped in with a life preserver! and the water doesn't threaten to go over my head as i have an extensive support network for this undertaking. can't help but feel though, that since i'm responsible for this event, that i have to overachieve, a feat at which i am very accomplished. once again, the support system is there and i must call on it when necessary. i'm not the best at asking for help, so i'm going to try really hard to develop that skill.

on a creativity-related note...

i have had so many ideas floating around in my head that i finally committed them to paper! some of them are: new pearl bracelet/necklace/earring ideas, fabulous back tack ii bag idea (thanks to the new book alter knits), batik ideas ala becky, and more fabric ideas than i can credit properly here. i have my work cut out for me in the next seven days. a week away from the workaday grind will recharge my batteries and get me ahead of the game.

oh, and by the way, go cards!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

iron it out...

last night while i was hanging laundry in the basement, i tripped over the cord for the iron and pulled the iron down, point first, onto my ankle bone. immediately, a bump started to raise and the multi-colored bruising began. i plopped myself on the couch for the remainder of the evening, ate popcorn and watched television. i had every intention of crafting it up, but the ankle that was injured was the one that operated the sewing machine pedal. so no go on the sew.

i've read in a million different places that our bodies manufacture sickness to signal a need for rest. i have not read about our bodies being clutsy on purpose so that we'll slow down.

but you know me...i always have to be different.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

the big reveal...

i'm ready to unveil the double secret project i've been working on and it is (drumroll please!)

the saturday monday sale
saturday, december 3, 2005
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at the monday club
37 south maple
webster groves, missouri

go here for more details and a complete (as of right now) list of artists...more artists are being added every day! please bookmark the site and check back often for more updates. also, please link to the site to get the word out about this unique event!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

red lead fundraiser is TODAY!!!

fronts of two of my atc's for today's breast cancer research fundraiser at red lead
october 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
$10 donation at the door (red lead will match the door donations and make a like donation to the susan g. komen foundation!)
fabulous "kits" at the door for the first 100 attendees
demos begin at 11 a.m.
silent auction for marvelous pieces of art
snacks, fun, friendship and all for a good cause!

...and now the backs!

Friday, October 07, 2005

want ad: must be able to upload...

still can't upload pictures...i'm thinking of bribing other blogger users to upload for me since neither my office computer nor my home computer (that BOTH, once upon a time could upload pictures) are incapable of accomplishing this task...

i was going to show you the fronts and backs of my atc's for the breast cancer fundraiser day at red lead. i could also show you the "greeting" cards i'm making, just for fun. or i could show you the fabulous fabric i'm going to use for my back tack ii projects. but alas and alack, no such luck.

i am almost ready to reveal the details of the BIG project i'm working on. hopefully by monday there will be something to reveal! i can say it will have a website where folks can look for updates on the project...that's not much of a teaser though, is it? i can say we are getting close to the threshhold i wanted to cross before presenting this idea to the world at large. look for more information VERY soon. i am jazzed, but also nervous. but isn't that the way you're supposed to feel before a big change?

Thursday, October 06, 2005


i come up with the most interesting thoughts while i'm showering. it's a very fertile mental time for me, i suppose.

i'm in the throes of developing a big idea, that could turn into a big project involving lots of artists and lots of planning. and all of it came to me while i was in the shower. please wish me well and sanity during this process. thanks to karyl and nancy for their laying of the extensive groundwork and doing so much of the legwork on this project!

i am participating in an odd art show tomorrow at monsanto from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (the art isn't odd, but the time and location are odd). it's on the campus of monsanto. and i guess it's open only to monsanto employees. who knows what sort of turn out there will be? it will be an experience though.

the weather here is finally chilly! yay! yay! yay! i have on a wool skirt, gray tights, a turtleneck and hooded sweater...mmm...toasty warm! i love autumn the very most! i would much rather be cold than hot, chilled than sweaty, wearing leggings than shorts. the white pumpkins flanking my front door no longer look out of place and the yellow-daisy-like mums will not perish in the noon day sun.

this time last year i was battling so many illnesses that i couldn't enjoy much of anything. this year i feel good enough to take on the world and i'm preparing to do so!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

hey you sew and sew...

i've been thoroughly enjoying denyse schmidt's book quilts. i used a technique featured therein to make my atc (artist trading card) donation to the breast cancer fundraiser at red lead. i am also in the process of making a series of note cards with the same technique. for those quilters out there, it is similar to foundation piecing, but instead of a piece of muslin, you use card stock. to me the results are charming, simple, but have a very modern feeling to them. definitely my type of aesthetic. really enjoying the process and that is so satisfying.

per my friend becky's recommendation, i purchased four skeins of yarn from target. the yarn was in their dollar bins and is quite lovely--all eyelash-y in shades of light gold, mauve and blue. in the same spot were bamboo knitting needles. i saw both yarn and needles a few weeks ago and was awaiting becky's thumbs-up before i jumped in and bought them, but as a result only the skinniest and fattest needles were left. i opted for the fattest ones since i tend to be a super-tight knitter. now i have the goods and the desire, but motivation is lagging. i am wont to start another project just to have it languish on my craft table for months (or years. yes, years my dears--i swear i ALWAYS have the best of intentions--ALWAYS!) i suppose it is proper to complete my back tack ii project before undertaking anything new. but when, dear reader, have i ever done what is proper?

which reminds me that today at lunch i am planning a field trip to jackman's fabrics to scope out their amy butler pattern supplies. wish me luck! this is a covert operation.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

still no pics, but other stuff...

it was a quick weekend, wasn't it?

i've come to terms with the challenges of dealing with those in the field of higher education. i rationalize that the difficulties are there to force the student to use their creative problem solving skills. i'm committed to using these stumbling blocks as an opportunity to grow and learn. perhaps the academia are creating "teachable moments."

homecoming #1 was great! the kids ate dinner out (while kelly and i cooled our heels in a nearby used bookstore). the dance was actually fun (i think they were prepared for it to be boring) and after they went to IHOP for a snack. it does my aging ego good to realize that high school dances have not changed that much in the last 25 years. we're now gearing up for homecoming #2.

what's on the horizon seems murky to me these days. i know it's important to have a plan in life, but so often i feel a sincere drift occurring. each january 1st i write a list of goals for the upcoming year, but this year, those were written in the post-surgery manic episode of "everything's okay and now i'm going to take on the world." at the time, i didn't have to wash dishes, fold laundry, make lunches or dinners, vacuum or dust. i read and did art all day--that is, in between naps. these days i am rushing forward and don't know which end of my candle is burning faster. all of this is tempered with the desire to slow WAAAAAY down and watch and notice and document all that nathaniel is becoming. he'll be 16 in a few short months and each birthday marks closer the time he'll leave us and be on his own. having only one child makes the transitions so marked. so along with "watch child grow up" my to-do list says things like "write more" and "make more art" and "read a new book each month" and "clean closets." i love the everyday tasks because they are what ground us as human beings, but i long to live deeper in myself. i yearn to learn all there is to know about emily dickinson or to use every color paint on one piece of art or to finally achieve the ability to meditate.

the question remains, what do i most want to be in this one chance i've been given?