Thursday, July 30, 2009

Two Henrys

First, I'll start with Henry my neighbor down the street. Here's what I know about him: he's widowed, he's in his 60s? (if he's older, he doesn't look his age) He's an artist of many sorts. He and I always wave to each other when I drive down the street. He knows about Hip Stitch and always asks "how's the hippn' stichn' going?" I'm trying to get him into the store one of these days.
So today, my husband Dan calls me and says there's a piece of furniture out on the curb in front of Henry's house, with a free sign on it. Now this is HUGE, because Dan really doesn't support my bringing any more furniture into the house (there was a time when I was a regular at yard sales and thrift stores, scoring great deals and refinishing/recovering furniture)
So he picks it up, and he and I love it! Here's the before....a new coat of paint is in order.
So bear with me, there's more to this story. Tonight at dinner, the doorbell rings, and it's Henry, here to tell us he has yet another piece we can have, one that he thinks will be perfect on a wall at my 'hippn' stitchn'', for thread and other notions. As he walks off from our porch, he does a little Michael Jackson moon dance - quite a good rendition, to be honest with you. I just really like that Henry.

And here's the other Henry - desparately in need of an updated picture, as he's now plump and has more hair and long limbs and smiles and coos. He's now a regular at the store, and not always happy about being there, but we're all glad he is!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Feeling thankful for stress reducers

I'm dog-tired. I spent the morning painting a classroom for a friend, and though I love painting and it was fun putting color on walls, my body aches. I'm also feeling a bit stressed about various junk that will eventually sort itself out, but the stress is there nonetheless.
So, tonight I sewed - cheap therapy. I made this patchwork tote, from Sew Simple magazine. I had all the scraps around my house, so I was able to piece it together. I lined it with duck cloth, to give it extra body and sturdiness. I just love it!
My other stress reducer? My husband is in the other room, playing the piano. It's his stress reducer, too, I think. He plays lively tunes, and classical music. Once in a while my ear will recognize a song, but mostly I don't and I just relax and listen.
So for today, I'll put down in my gratitude journal (I don't have an actual one yet, Oprah - only in my mind...) I'm grateful for the ability to sew, and my piano-playing husband.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Can't get enough of these lounge pants!

Look at this pair made by Ellen, whose due in comfy are these for a pregnant mama?

Ellen chose fabric in Amy Butler's Lotus collection - so gorgeous! I wish I had sewn for myself when I was pregnant - I just didn't think at that time in my life that there were comfy clothes I could make without doing a maternity outfit from a pattern, which I had no desire to attempt. Now I can enjoy seeing others make such adorable clothes!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What we've been sewing

Jane & I each made lounge pants - hers were a bit too short, so she chose a remnant from the lounge to lengthen them. We've been lounging around all evening in them!Here are Claire's Smarty Pants - she sewed a good portion of the pants - I did the detail work - belt loops, pockets. It's the Bermuda Shorts version of the pattern. There were just one or two confusing parts in the directions, but I was able to get around it and get them made. I think we'll be making more of these for school and play.
I realize I don't have a good knack for photography - something I'll try to work on in the future. I look at my photos and realize that I have household junk in the background, dead grass spots (see above). I need to consult with Dagmar on this, who has a great talent for candid shots!
Speaking of photography, look at the beautiful pictures these gals took of our fabrics on adorable kids - oh my gosh, they're talented!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

After -
Today as we prepared to hike out. Here's me & Jenn looking at our beautiful view once more:
Our campsite:

Well, this trek was just fabulous - the scenery, the peacefulness, the kids playing and time with family far outweighed my nervousness about taking this on.....and yes, I survived my biggest fear (no need to go over that yet again!)

Here's my brother-in-law's sewing project - waterproof, tear proof drawstring bags made from Fed Ex bags. He's quite an avid backpacker, and in doing various research on the internet, came up with a tutorial for these, got out my sister-in-law's sewing machine, and went to work! He said he'd come by the store sometime and give us a lesson in this project.

Sewing's NOT just for chicks!

I'm off to take a dose of Ibuprofen and enjoy my comfy mattress once again.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Off into the wildnerness


Good Lord, what have I gotten myself into?!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Grumblings and other maladies

It's hot. Even for me, who loves the heat and loves to step out of an air-conditioned room into the 90 plus temperatures.

Our oven isn't working. The range is, but no oven. So I've been dragging the toaster oven in when I need to bake and setting it up on the counter. Tonight my girls and I made chocolate chip cookie dough, then split it in thirds and each added our own ingredients. I added: chocolate chips. They added: honey, peanut butter, blueberries, almond extract, peanuts, shortening, and possibly other ingredients that I didn't see go in.....we took turns popping them into the toaster oven, and voila - dinner for 3. Yep. It's now 10:30 and I'm eating cookies and finishing off the bottle of Chianti. (I can't drink more than a glass and 1/2, so don't have visions of me passed out on the sofa with drool coming out of the corner of my mouth. I'm just a lightweight)
It's hot - did I say that? The swamp cooler just doesn't seem to be taking the edge off these days.
I acquired a basket for my bike, from my uncle. I'm thrilled - I hope now to ride to the store more often, and throw in my projects that I couldn't haul while riding otherwise. I made a custom-sized crate/basket cover from Laura Gunn's free tutorial. I just love it! I told a few people I'll next be getting a little dog to ride in the basket, and maybe a giant parrot to sit on my shoulder while I ride through the neighborhood (no offense to the man-about-town who rides around NE ABQ on his bicycle (tricycle?) with a zoo full of animals about him.)

The girls and I rode to the store tonight so they could pick out fabric for pants - I'm making Claire the Little Smarty Pants - Bermuda Shorts version. Jane wants lounge pants - not too wide-legged, though. I love it when they are in the mood for some hand-made they get older they don't as often want them. So I'm taking their interest and running with it!

My family (and I) leave Friday to backpack for 2 nights with my brother-in-law and our niece Jenn and her family. I haven't backpacked since college, when I went w/my then boyfriend, in the Grand Tetons. But I digress. I'm a bit nervous - we car camp often, where there's a cooler on hand, and an outhouse, and a source of water. Let me just be frank - I dread most having to poo in a hole in the ground. There, I've said it. I'll take an outhouse swarming with flies anyday - it's just this whole inhumane thing about digging a hole and doing your business and then burying it. INHUMANE, I said! And on that note, I bid you goodnight, and happy sewing, and enjoy your flush toilets this weekend.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Is my wife at Hip Stitch?!

We had our 1st call from a husband looking for his wife on Saturday. I just love that he'd think to call Hip Stitch to find her! Who is she? Why Delia, of course - one of our very favorite people (I know I say that about a lot of you, but it's true) Delia 1st came to our store a few months back. She's one of those people who just lights up a room when she walks in. Delia doesn't just enter a room - she glides in, she dances in, she just makes an entrance. And it's not a showy "look at me" entrance. She just radiates happiness and joy. We're blessed to know her. So John, you can call the store anytime looking for her (by the way, she showed up about an hour after he called!)

I made another pair of Wide Leg Lounge Pants yesterday - I had been wearing my other pair waaay to much. I took a picture, but then left the camera at the store today. That and the Cabo Halter, will be posted soon. I loved making the halter so much that I'm going to offer a class for it in August, if anyone else would like to join me in making another!
I had a little class last week for two 9 yr. old girls to make lounge pants. They were so adorable! (the pants and the girls) Here's a picture I took w/my cell phone camera, so it's not great quality:

My girl Jane made a Tie Skirt - she got the idea/inspiration at the Offcenter Arts' Fiber Fanfare Fashion Show - that's a mouthful! One of the artists there creates outfits and purses from men's ties.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Back from Girl Scout camp with my daughter and her troop....1st order of business - laundry. We went for 3 nights, outside of Cuba (got to see some hippies in town for the Rainbow Gathering - what an experience that was for a group of 9 yr. old girls!)
All in all, a great time - we rode horses, learned archery, ate more than our share of s'mores, hiked to some breathtaking views of New Mexico, and came home dirty, smelly and full of great memories.
Then, on to our anniversary party! Thursday at the store we had goodies to eat all day long (homemade cookies brought in by Julie and scones from scratch from Peg), giveaways, pick-your-own-discount, and loads of fun. We just keep pinching ourselves that we've been here one whole year!
Customer Katherine came in yesterday wearing her newly-made rainhat and matching tote bag, out of Anna Maria Horner's laminated fabric (which we can't get any more of...) Here's a picture of them - so cute!

Today is the 4th of July - a day off from selling fabric and sewing - no wait, I did sew this morning. I made the Cabo Halter - pictures to come. I love it, but forgot to check Amy Butler's website for pattern corrections before cutting fabric, and lo and behold, didn't have enough. Her website called for 1/4 yd. more than what was on the pattern, so I ended up having to cut almost 7/8 yd. more - ARGH. Live and learn.

Heather and I and about 20 of my husband's side of the family (he's one of 7 - there are no small gatherings) gathered last night at the Isotopes game for the 3rd of July fireworks. Such a fun night - seated around us were Hip Stitch customers, Trader Joe's shoppers (Heather remembers all the faces she encounters), and gals who hadn't yet been to the store but told us they've heard all about Hip Stitch. It made us feel so good about what our little store is all about....a gathering space on so many levels. Speaking of which, the planning is in place for a gathering to remember Heather and Stephanie - date to be announced soon...

And finally, Robyn's latest post had me laughing out loud last night. I want some of Dee Dee's Frito Pie, but can't help but wonder who she is and what's that all about?!