Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...

Today President Elect Obama proved that this statement is true for him and all other African Americans. Unfortunately, my fellow Floridians still believe that there is a segment of our society that is most emphatically NOT equal and that a state constitutional amendment is the best way to ensure that equality is not extended to gays and lesbians. President Elect Obama is right, we as Americans still have a long, hard road ahead of us. That he is hopeful and committed to help bring about the change that is needed is heartening to me. What a shame that after more than 230 years we still cannot claim that we have fully lived up to the promise of our potential as a nation. Let's not sit back on our laurels and forget that this moment is not the culmination of our struggle but rather a battle won. As long as issues of morality can still be legislated and minorities of any kind can still be singled out for exclusion we must still fight. Let's remember that history was made today and can still be made tomorrow. Yes We Can.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream...

... for ice cream! Peppermint ice cream in a Pooh bowl eaten with a pink plastic spoon and decorated with apple oatmeal cookies. I adore peppermint ice cream. It reminds me of my Great Aunt Doris who also adored it. She has been gone a long time now but I can still feel close to her whenever I want simply by eating peppermint ice cream. Somehow it is even more delicious because it isn't available all the time. It can only be gotten leading up to the Holidays. So it also gets me excited because I know that the Yuletide season is imminent. Imminent , you say? Why yes, it is just a scootch more than three months before that wonderful day when you love the whole world and it loves you back. Sparkling lights to illuminate the darkness, nature in your living room all bedecked with lights and ornaments and tinsel. Pretty packages with crinkly paper and bows. All kinds of good food shared with people you love. A jolly old elf, reindeer and magic. What are you wishing for this year? Is it a person, place, or thing? Do you dare to say it out loud, or are you afraid the magic will dissipate into the wind? My Christmas wish is a secret. I only whisper it to myself. Santa knows what it is. I hope he can make it come true.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Is It So Wrong?

Is it really so wrong to love a man just because he brings you things? My mailman brought me this sweet fabric today. I like my mailman. I really like my mailman. It's too bad he only brings me these things after I go to the trouble of ordering and paying for them though. If he really wanted to get on my good side he would surprise me every so often. Typical male, you have to drop a brick on their instep to get them to notice you.

I see this as the lining of a snuggly cranberry wool plaid winter coat for Sophie Alice with matching hood and mittens, of course. Or maybe jammies. How cute would a pair of jammies covered in big-eyed pink bunnies be?

Boy, life is sweet. Don't you think?


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Feathery Goodness

Buttonhole stitching is my thing. Long and short, whipped, slanted, beaded, I can do them all, but I have never attempted the feather stitch before because it looked too complicated. I have always wanted to learn how to do it though. Inspired by Alicia's embroidery industriousness and can-do attitude, I finally took the plunge. This will be a sheet for Sophie Alice's bed. So far I have completed nine of the twenty seven inches across the top of the sheet. When this is finished I will make a pillowcase with the same lace and feather stitch combo. The bottom sheet is completed. No feather stitching on that. I did do really neat mitred corners on the hems though. I wanted a real ticking stripe to make the pillow and mattress from and had settled on a red and white stripe because all I could find was red or blue. I was hoping for a softer colour because I didn't want the stripes to show through the pillowcase fabric. I had gotten a nice salmon pink and white stripe a couple of years ago from a now out of business quilt shop here in town but have since used it all up. Then, when I was browsing at WalMart (I know I shouldn't, but forgive me, aesthetic concerns propel me to the Dark Side) and lo and behold they had a 100% cotton ticking in a soft and beautiful tan and white stripe. All's well that ends well, I say.

In case you're wondering, the Japanese import fabric came from the afore mentioned


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Do Believe In Change

In no little part because of the love and pride I just saw in Bill Clinton's eyes and because of the satisfaction and gratitude I just saw in Michelle Obama's eyes. Hillary Clinton is right, we have a hard road ahead of us. I believe that the only way to begin that change is to have faith in a man who has faith in us. Not a man who has great wealth. Not a man who has great power. A man who has great vision and the optimism that has propelled him to keep up the fight against steep odds. A man who knows what it is like to be a minority in your own country. A man who knows that if you want something you have to earn it. While I may not agree with everything Barack Obama believes, I have faith in his vision and ability to make this country a better place for us and to build the beginnings of a better future for those who will come after us. I believe that a fundamental change in how we see ourselves, our place in this world and the way we deal with our global neighbors is the only way to move forward.

Happy Birthday Gramma and Aunt Doris. I love you and miss you *^_^*

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Circle of Life

I was driving home from the downtown library this afternoon and was stopped at a red light waiting to turn left. Across the street a dove dropped from the sky, landing on the sidewalk on his back. He was frantically trying to right himself and within a very short time, became very still. I watched in horror as I realized what was happening and my mind began to race. Could I navigate traffic in time to reach him? If I did get to him, what could I do? In reality, I was already too late and nothing could be done. I had a good cry, and drove home.
This incident reminded me of another several years ago. My Partner and I were returning from a trip to Cocoa Beach. We drove past a large pasture where a calf had gotten himself onto the wrong side of the fence. He was running alongside the traffic trying to find a break in the fence. I could hear him bleating in fear and it tore at my heart. Another driver stopped and ran after him. I hoped he would be able to catch the animal, calm him, and return him to the pasture. It may have been his keeper, I don't really know. I only know that I was grateful that someone was trying to help.
I have always been way too empathetic. It is very easy for me to put myself in another's shoes and imagine what they are feeling. Human or animal makes no difference. I had nightmares for months after my Grandmother died. I kept imagining what her last moments were like. A similar thing happened when my Partner's Stepfather's Brother-in-Law passed. In this case I felt for his Widow. They had been married 70+ years. I couldn't deal with the pain she must have felt over losing him.
I avoid the news often because of this. Especially "human interest" stories. There is too much suffering in this world. It has taught me that no matter how bad I might imagine my life to be, it is very easy to find someone who is really suffering. I hope that tomorrow is better.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Another Lovely Week

I just finished eating supper on my back porch. It was raining gently and lots of little birds were flitting about in the trees, hiding from the raindrops. A bright scarlet cardinal landed on a branch right in plain view and I watched him shake the rain from his feathers and preen himself.

I never tire of watching nature unfold before me. So much can be learned by just observing animals going about their daily routines. This is what I like about Disney's Animal Kingdom and what I dislike about Sea World. At Disney, all the animals are free to roam about their spacious habitats and come and go as they please. They are provided the space to roam and all have a private place they can retreat to if they so desire. At Sea World the emphasis is on performance. Your interaction with the animals is mainly limited to watching them perform choreographed stunts. Yes, I know that Sea World also does animal rescue and tons of research. I'm not saying they're bad, I'm saying that I don't need the animals to perform for my entertainment. Just doing what they normally do is entertaining enough for me. Have you ever watched a family of lowland gorillas just hanging out one afternoon? Maybe you've seen a family of warthogs digging around in the dirt for some yummy grubs to eat. Of course you've seen a bunch of fruit bats munching on lunch. I'm so grateful that I have a place so close that affords me these kinds of opportunities.

I'm also grateful for the wonderful fabric store where I work. The Sewing Studio is teeming with people who nurture my creativity. Both fellow employees and customers alike. Earlier this week I waited on the mother of Alice Leverett. I met Alice several years ago at Disney's annual Teddy Bear and Doll Weekend at EPCOT. We have kept in touch ever since. She does amazing work. Please check out her website and see for yourself. Yesterday Greg Ortiz came in to buy materials to finish some dolls for an upcoming show. Greg's work is breathtaking. He is also a warm and generous human being. A couple of months ago I waited on a nice young lady named Kelledy who is an up and coming local designer. We started talking and I mentioned that I was a doll's dressmaker and she mentioned that her grandmother was the late Fawn Zeller. You can learn a little more about her here. As well as meeting these wonderful people that I can now call friends, I also work with wonderful people who have been sewing all their lives and together can answer any question you could think of about sewing, quilting, fabric and related arts. To top it all off, the owners of the store, Patty and Mark, are two of the most thoughtful, generous and hard working folks I have ever had the privilege of knowing. They too, are not only my bosses, but also my friends. They have been personally instrumental in helping me to grow as a person and have given me a stable and nurturing environment when the rest of my life seemed a shambles. I look forward to going to work every day for the first time in my life. Need one ask for anything more?


Monday, July 14, 2008

Unfinished Business

This is the prototype for the skirts that are in my Etsy shop. It is going to be for me to keep so I only finished it as far as I needed to to work out the fit and design. That was more than a year ago. I think it's high time I finally finish it so my doll can change out of her only other outfit. I think I'm going to finish it differently than the others but I'm not quite sure how. I'll probably make it up as I go along. That's how I usually do it. Let's see what happens. *^_^*

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Mail Fairy came today...

...and this adorable fabric is what he brought me. Purchased from Etsy seller Modish Vintage. I ordered it on the 9th and it arrived in three days, how's that for great service? I fell in love the minute I laid eyes on it. It has already been washed, dried, lovingly folded and placed in my stash. I even whispered sweet nothings in it's ear! *^_^*

Friday, July 11, 2008


Here are a few of my favourite places on the net.

  • Elsita's blog, I just recently discovered this blog and fell instantly in love. She is a renaissance woman. She paints, draws, papercuts, stitches and writes amazing stories among about a zillion other things. Check out her Etsy store and I'm sure you'll find something that speaks to your heart. I recently bought this incredibly detailed and sensitively drawn paper doll named Kiki. You can read about her here.
  • Made With Love by Hannah. This girl shares my aesthetic. You can never have too many hearts, squirrels or cuckoo clocks. Throw on a little ric-rac and you've created a masterpiece. Don't forget to click on "made with love by Grandma".
  • Speaking of squirrels, if you need fabric that is just too cute for words, check out ReproDepot Fabrics and head straight for the Japanese imports.
  • This BJD is the reason I get out of bed every morning. I have been waiting for her to be available again for 19 months (not that I'm obsessed or anything ;o) When I can finally afford to bring her home she is gonna have the most amazing wardrobe. I have been collecting fabrics, notions and ALOT of ric-rac in preparation for her arrival. I have already chosen her name, Sophie Alice. She will have pink mohair hair like cotton candy and deep magenta eyes. STOP ME! I could talk about her 'til your ears bleed. (BTW - she has pointed ears - she's an Elf!)
  • Last but not least, if you want to know everything about Blythe, go here (check out Blythe Theater) and here. Chances are you'll get hooked too and stay up until 2AM Googling a gazillion websites with pics and cool stuff to buy for this mesmerizingly cool little girl. Here's one to get you started.
That's it for now. I hope you have a Super Saturday! *^_^*

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The View from Here...

My favourite place in my new apartment is my back porch. I can sit here and watch the birds and squirrels play in the trees while the neighbor's children play down below.

In the coming months I hope to share with you a little of what it's like to live here in Central Florida and a lot of what I like to create. I have been a doll collector all my life, but since finding Blythe and Asian ball jointed dolls my collecting has taken a whole new turn. The BJD's have led my fondness for antiques to become a passion for tracking down old linens and laces to transform into new finery for the dolls. I have begun quilting in order to create bedclothes for the vintage and antique doll beds I have found. I also look for tiny teacups and saucers, butter pats and sewing paraphernalia to bring their world to life. I hope you will join me in my quest to find beauty and meaning in life through artistic creation. Welcome *^_^*