Monday, February 23, 2009

Little Birdie Giveaway!

Well, it's finally here! This little birdie is very sweet- made from little bits of recycled fabric, recycled buttons, and a stick I found while on one of my many walks. It is handsewn. If you would like this birdie to be all yours just leave a comment telling me what friendly things you're doing for the environment, and then create a post on your blog with a link to ReLove Projects. Make sure your comment has some way for me to get back to you- either through email or your blog. Pretty easy, right? Monday, March 9 at about 1pm I'm going to put the commenter's names in a hat and draw one lucky winner.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Free People Blog and an Ingenious Dog

Hurrah! Free People Blog displayed a photo of my swap item and even said, "I really love the stuffed bird from recycled fabrics". What an honor!
My give-away birdie mobile is in the works and should be posted and up for grabs soon.... Sorry to string you along. My dog keeps breaking into my studio and chewing up the sticks I was planning on using! She's quite ingenious, this Rosie. And maddening. I couldn't figure out how she was getting in, and I'm still not sure if I've solved the mystery. I think she was scaling the shelf that separated the living room from my studio with the help of an ottoman that we'd pushed aside. I moved the ottoman, we'll see if there are any other trespasses!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pay it forward

I'm playing with a little paying: This was posted over at Team Huish:
Here's how it works-the first 3 people to leave a comment on this post will receive a gift from me. What it will be and when it will arrive is a total surprise! The catch is that you must participate as well. Before you leave your comment here, write up a pay it forward post on your blog to keep the fun going. Then come back, let me know you're going to play, and sit back and anticipate the arrival of your gift! Remember that only the first 3 comments will receive a gift from me, so be quick!- please email me with your address too.
I really wanted to play but I didn't totally understand. I think I get it now- I post the same thing, about sending 3 someones a surprise, but only after they agree to send 3 someones something (and those 3 someones first send 3 someones something...)
So here it is! Be sure to post your 'Pay it forward' blog first (or very shortly after), because I want to be sure that the chain of goodness is carried on, then comment here. First three players will get a special creation made by me! After you comment I'll email you for your address.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Free People Valentines' Swap

I signed up for another swap through the Free People blog. It is always a good way to keep me creative, look for new inspiration, and try out some ideas. This year I was partnered with a gal named Jessie Huish, who is a photographer in Utah. Her blog is really cool (aren't those lights amazing!?). She said she liked birds and dark, rich colors so I made this:

Check the next post because I'm making a bird mobile to give away! (Hopefully it'll be up in just a few days.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I love this dog

Even when she sleeps on my projects while I'm trying to work on them!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

All things Moroccan

Anyone who knows me well knows that I've had a fascination with Morocco for a long time. It all started when I was in high school and my family went out to eat at a Moroccan restaurant called Mataam Fez (which, sadly, is now a luxury condo building). Upon entering it was a different world. Everyone removed their shoes before they were allowed into the dining area. The dining area had dim lighting, seating on the floor surrounded by pillows and poufs, and all food was eaten by hand. And the food- ahhhh, the food. It started out with bread that wasn't quite like "normal" bread. It was thick and hearty but still moist and tasty. Lentil soup, B'stella Pastry, Cous Cous, and Vegetables M'hammer were just some of the amazing dishes. Always at the end they served peppermint tea which was very expertly poured while balancing cups on knees, elbows, the back of a hand held as far below the teapot as possible. I loved the smells, the atmosphere, and mostly the sense of being transported somewhere so different than anything else I'd ever experienced. The above photo was taken in Mataam Fez, with a belly dancer. It really doesn't do the place justice. There was fabric draped on the ceiling, on the walls, and carpets and pillows covering the floor. There were cutouts in the plaster, tiles, and a big basket full of the delicious bread.

Anyway, I'm telling you about this to bring you to today, and my discovery of Moroccan Wedding Blankets. I first discovered them at My Marrakesh. A woman named Maryam writes about her adventures in Morocco, creating a guesthouse, and her "bemused tales". I visited her site from time to time when I was feeling cooped up in Colorado's winter (which actually this year has been really sunny and warm. Kind of concerning.) One evening while I was visiting, the sidebar called out to me, showing some Moroccan goodies for sale. Especially intriguing were some sparkly sequiny blankets. I clicked on the photos and it said things about the size and how it was made from wool, and that each sequin was hand sewn. I wanted to know more. So, what do I do? I enter it in a google search of course! All I found were different blogs leading me back to Maryam. Which made me more curious. What were these blankets about? How could I get one? I searched Maryam's site, and decided that I needed to email her. Suddenly I was very shy. I felt a funny sense of being star struck. But, I did it. I emailed her. I was inexplicably nervous hitting the send button. And a day later, I received a response- a warm, detailed, information-rich response. It made Moroccan Wedding Blankets all the more beautiful and magical! Here is some of the information she shared with me:

"All blankets are hand loomed sheep's wool with cotton bushy fringe. All sequins are painstakingly added one by one by hand. Blankets were made in homes for Berber brides and are thought to be instilled with "baraka". Baraka is a positive power with many meanings in Morocco, and is a source of creative inspiration. In the case of carpets and weavings, the religious faith of the weaver and her belief in the supernatural are inextricably connected with the objects she produces. The loom itself remains the ultimate symbol of magical protection. It is looked upon as a living thing and is treated as such. If the weaver takes care in remembering the number and combination of threads to produce a design, the finished textile will be imbued with talismanic power and contain baraka, acting as a "power shield" against the evil eye."

This to me is amazing. I've always felt that everything I make has a little piece of me...

Here is a photo of the blanket I'm in the process of buying. Maryam has been great to work with- very kind and flexible and honest. Here is a link to some other things (including more wedding blankets!) she is selling.

"Quick" quilt

While reorganizing my studio I discovered so many pairs of jeans. It's about time I use all the material for something, right? So I started making a quilt. It's not a 4-H creation, there is no way I'd ever enter it in a competition- I haven't ironed a single seam, cut any sort of pattern out, or given any thought to the order. I just sewed. And sewed. Then I decided to add a whole floral scene from all the Tshirts I've stored away. After racing through sewing the jeans together I'm now hand stitching all the flowers and leaves and dots on... This is what I do- I think that I'll just make a quick project, finish it in a few days, but then I get sucked in by all my elaborate ideas. Everything always turns out much better in the end if I ride the waves of my imagination, but it sure takes a lot longer to finish!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

If you give a mouse a cookie

My story is a lot like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Do you know that one? It's really very charming. It is a whole chain reaction of what happens when you give a mouse a cookie- then he'll ask for a glass of milk- then he'll need a straw to drink his milk with- and so on with the mouse being led to another thing that he needs or wants to do. Only my story starts with: If you show me Design Sponge then I'll want to see Sneak Peeks. When I see one, I want to see all of them. After I see such amazing inspiration I decide that I want to reorganize my home and make it a little cooler. It seemed like everyone organized their books by color, and I loved how it looked, so I did it too! I moved furniture, recycled old magazines, and bought some paint.