Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A special little treat from doe-c-doe

OOoooooooOoooh y'all. I got the most awesome thing in the mail this week. Straight from doe-c-doe herself, it's one of her gorgeously hand-embroidered quilt pieces. And it. is. s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g.

Here's a little back story: I've followed doe-c-doe's blog for ages. I can't remember exactly when I stumbled upon it, but I'm thinking it was from one of her projects she posted in the Flickr embroidery group. I've been absolutely hooked ever since, and she is at the top of my must-read blog list. Her photography is gorgeous, her projects are pristine and her aesthetic is just ... peachy keen. I'm consistenly floored by her perfect stictches (which, let me tell you - having seen them up close now ... holy smokes are they perfect!) and I've loved watching her projects evolve on her blog.

Some of my favorite doe-c-doe projects are the following:

She also has the most incredible luck with thrifting that I've ever seen, and her dog is insanely cute (and appreantly very tolerant of being made to wear things like bonnets, aprons and ... mustaches?)

But more than anything, I've found that in my occasional correspondence with "g" (as she signs all her emails) is that she is incredibly sweet, kind and very sincere - some of my favorite qualities in a person.

A few months ago, she announced that some of her fabric/paper/embroidery vintage sewing pattern collages were being made available in her etsy shop. About 30 seconds after reading that post, I forwarded the link for the collage I coveted to my husband with a not-so-subtle "Gee, I'd *love* this for Christmas" message. A few days later, I noticed the collage had sold, and thought he'd taken the hint.


He hadn't - someone else had purchased the piece.

Later, after I commented on Niku's picture of her doe-c-doe purchase, apparently Niku tipped doe-c-doe off to my coveting of her work. The next thing I know, I have a very sweet Flickr mail from doe-c-doe requesting my choice of emrboidered image and my shipping address so she could send me something. I sent a picture of my favorite embroidery scissors and - viola! - soon arrived a gorgeous quilt circle with the scissors perfectly stitched right in the middle.

I was floored! The piece is so gorgeous, and it was such a generous gift. I feel totally underserving and just hope that the good karma will go back to doe-c-doe ten fold. Head on over to her blog and let her know how utterly rad she is, and be sure to check her etsy shop for some additional priceless pieces. Tell her Average Jane sent you. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

'Cause Sometimes Love is Lame

The first Valentine's Day between my husband and I came early in our relationship - just a month or so after we started dating. We were still deep in the giddy stage of things - enough so that he actually went to a florist to get bags of rose petals ("Careful, those can stain the bed sheets," the clerk warned him ... ) and he assembled a gorgeous basket with a dozen long-stem roses and a bottle of port hidden beneath the loose rose petals (sorry, clerk, we weren't to the "bedsheets" phase of our relationship yet)

As fabulous as that Valentine's Day was (along with the basket, he took me out for a fancy schmancy dinner) I have to admit it created a pretty tough act to follow. Subsequent Valentine's Days have been pretty low key, and honestly - I don't think we've even gotten cards for each other in years. (though he can make a mean chocolate-covered strawberry, my fave) I wouldn't say my heart has gone totally black on V-Day, but it is shriveling a little bit and I have a deep appreciation for crafts that celebrate the cynical side of this mass-commercialized love fest.

Which is why I'm thrilled to be one of the judges for the second annual Dabbled Black Heart Anti-Valentines Day Contest, hosted by Dot. (and my fellow hosts are the beyond awesome Diane and Alice - hurrah!)

Here's the low-down from her web site:
The Rules:
Quite Simple: The theme is anti-valentines. Something a bit darker/creepier than you average valentine project--or however you interpret "Anti-Valentine". Illustrations or any sort of food or craft project welcome. Tutorials and How-to's are encouraged! Simply create your offering, and either post the link to it as a comment on this post (if you don't mind others seeing it), or email it to me at holiday[at]Dabbled[dot]org (if you prefer secrecy!)- please put "Black Heart Contest" in the header of your email. And show off your stuff on flickr by adding it to the dabbled group pool.

You can enter more than once, but only 1 of your entries can win (i.e. the same person can't win 1st and 2nd place)

The Time Frame:

Entries must be received by 11:oo PM Eastern US time on Feb 12.
You can read about the prizes, and grab a cool graphic for your blog over on the Dabbled web site.

Also be sure to check out the gallery of last year's entries and winners. I particularly like this embroidered tea towel with a quote from Mae West from Peggradyart

Friday, January 9, 2009

But what about my street cred!?

You know I'm crafty, but did you know I'm hard-core crafty? I represent with the best of 'em. Put me in a crowd of crafters showing off their craft battle wounds and I'll rock hard. ("here's where I heat embossed my finger!" "this is where I jabbed a knitting needle into my thigh!" "this is from the time I snipped my plastic canvas and a piece flew into my eye!" )

A few years ago, a friend I don't get to see much was pregnant and we had a last-minute opportunity to go out to a movie with some friends. I decided to whip up a little customized burp cloth action that afternoon before we got together. As I was applique-ing a little birdie, my embroidery needle got stuck in the thick fabric. Being the hard-core crafter that I am, I grabbed that sucker with my front teeth and pulled like the dickens!

The needle finally gave and came through the fabric, but not before I'd chipped a chunk out of my front tooth. It looked wonky, but it became my greatest battle scar of all, and every time I'd run my tounge over the jagged spot, I was reminded of my undying dedication to craft.

I had my regular check up at the dentist yesterday, and though I've had this same tooth "injury" for years, they just now noticed it and before I could even think twice, the dentist had a drill-type tool in my mouth and was filing away at my precious war wound! Some smoky smell (yikes) and crunched facial expressions later, the notch in the tooth was all but gone. They offered to fill in the last bit with some kind of compoud something-or-other, but I declined.


Looks like I'll need to have a little "accident" with my woodburning tool this afternoon....

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Oh how I heart you

(have you missed me?*)

Jennifer Perkins just tipped me off to a cool project from Fred Flare. Valentine's Day can be such a sore spot for folks, right? I mean, unless you are giddy-crazy-in-new-love Valentine's Day can be kind of a drag. (or is it just me?) This project will help pump some fun back into your Valentine's Day.

From Fred Flare:

Okay, so I had this weird idea?? I was thinking about how much I wish we had some rad handmade valentines to feature online & in our new store. And then I thought, well, I know SO many supertalentented people I’ll just ask you all to make something special for us!

And then I thought, how AMAZING would it be if we could get lots of people to handmake one-of-a-kind valentines & then donate the proceeds from the sales of these valentines to a good cause? Sounds like fun, right? I do hope you’ll join me in getting crafty to benefit Elder Craftsmen, an organization based here in NYC that brings craft workshops to local senior citizens.
Well that just sounds dandy to me! Head on over to their site for all the details on how to participate. Get a move on - the deadline is January 15!

Sorry for the unintended hiatus from posting. I've been getting all kinds of healthy over the last couple of months, and have been spending more time at the gym than on the computer. Never fear, now that the kids are back in school and I've got my gym routine down pat, things will be back to normal around here soon. :)