Thursday, July 16, 2009


I will post more on this later, but to remind myself (often necessary when you have ADD) here are some pics - you can find therunnybunny on Etsy.

Pamela Tang

Another of the endless supply of great Etsy artists.

I love how Pamela Tang uses clean, natural colors, rich with texture, with a special emphasis on my favorites: raw silk and natural linen. She works out of Australia but her Asian influence is quite strong and moody, as evident in her beautiful photos.

Although she seems to be working more on paintings, her quilts have long been one of my favorite things on Etsy. However, her pinafores seem to be doing well and I love them as well.


Monday, June 22, 2009

For the Love of Fabric

More fabrics.

I thought I was done, but it is hard to kick a good habit. I couldn't resist some of the new fabrics out, and now have a beautiful selection at my Etsy site AcmeBabyCo.

Both geometrics and florals, and some cute deer from Jay McCarroll's Woodland Wonderland line to top it off.

I think my new favorite designer nowadays would have to be Anna Marie Horner. Some of her stuff before was cute, but her new line Good Folks is a fabulous variety of rich and somewhat daring colors in designs that range from graphic to strongly geometric, all with a feel of nostalgia. This girl is brimming with talent. She offers not only fabrics, but gorgeous rugs and pillows, patterns and kits, paper goods, even a darling book, and much, much more.

Besides, I think I am a little fascinated as to how she can look 19 years old and appear to have several children whose ages range up to 10 years old. Her blog is gorgeous, too... just like her.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun

The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun

Folding Trees - Flower Week: Tissue Paper Carnations

Folding Trees Flower Week: Tissue Paper Carnations
I can't wait to try these!

The Crafty Crow

The Crafty Crow
For some quick ideas to keep your kids occupied.

Official Martha Stewart Crafts Store - Crafting Essentials, Weddings, Holidays, Kits, Projects

Official Martha Stewart Crafts Store - Crafting Essentials, Weddings, Holidays, Kits, Projects
The geek in me is screaming "Yes! That is SO cool!!" Here is the source for your Martha Stewart craft supplies if you want a better chance of them looking just like they do in the magazine photos. I can't say much about the quality of the products, but I'll bet they are at least halfway decent since she it is the marketing director's name straight on the package. KWIM? Her towels are pretty nice, but at least you know you are getting the right colors with her very own craft supplies.

Well... they had BETTER be the same ones they use in the pictures, damn it!

My First Quilt

I have done it!

I have SO many projects that are partially done that I am just thrilled that I managed to do this one from start to finish within a week! Isabel's encouragement (and her claiming ownership) really helped.

the quilting does take considerable practice, but I am pretty satisfied with my progress and very happy with my machine: JukiTL90E - the quilter's sewing machine, which my husband bought for me because of it's "cottage industrial" claim. A great machine all-around.

I love the finished "quilted" look of the project. I know, it IS a quilt, but the quilting just makes it look so much tidier and like a true quilt. I have done "stitch in the ditch" before (sewing carefully down the seams) but this method (the name eludes me right now) makes it look so much more, well, professional.

I found a great deal of help from tutorials on the web, especially Oh, Fransson!: (Great name, but the way.)

Basically, if you follow the tips, quilting is much easier than previously thought, but, you will cause yourself a lot of trouble if you don't have the tips -- the magic, if you will. It is well-worth the time to read through a good quilting blog, until you feel quite inspired or can't take the anticipation any longer.

Well, not bad if I do say so myself.

The fabrics are Recess from the American Jane line from Moda (the colorful squares), Mary trellis from the Bell Bottoms line by Jennifer Paganelli (the back of the quilt), a very nice Egyptian cotton for the background framing of the squares, and Coriander from Amy Butler's Lotus line.

Friday, May 1, 2009

American Jane Simple Quilt

I have some other squares cut out, but I wanted to go ahead and make use of these beautiful "Recess" squares. I thought they would no nicely with the light and airy look I am trying to create for Isabel's room. I want to go ahead and start teaching myself how to quilt; making use of what was already taught me, plus winging the rest. I guess I have new inspiration from learning the basics on stippling. I already have the batting (I do want to switch to the cotton because I heard it "drapes" much nicer) and tons of fabric sitting around so this is a good way to make use of it. Maybe I will even sell some of these at the Oak Harbor Market this summer. Of course that depends on how well the turn out.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wax The Thread

I love LOVE finding new tips on how to do stuff -- the right way. So when I found this one site, I was really pleased with the simple details and especially the tip on waxing the thread in order to preserve then integrity and strength of the thread as well as prevent knotting. Oh, it really worked. I just happened to have my Nan's little beeswax teddy bear on hand, since she had passed me most of what she had left of sewing things.

I thought it turned out pretty nice. they took about an hour each, but I was quickly getting better and I found it gratifying, although a bit of an overkill. I would probably like to have done each one in 2 minutes with a machine, but I do like the look of the handmade buttonhole.

To Top It Off...

The coordinating fabric.

Isabel loved this and immediately decided she wanted to wear it - glad it was a beautiful and warm day today.

Now, to start quilting... I am rather excited.

I will try to take pics to post progress.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hi My Name is Amy...

And I am addicted to fabric.

It is a good thing I have a little kiddle to dress, otherwise I am not sure what my excuse would be. I know, I already thought of it: I would be an avid quilter. I plan on doing that anyway, but here is my latest little kiddle skirt. I am tickled that Isabel loves skirts so much; they are so easy to make, and take up very little fabric compared to other things. The cost of this skirt was about $10 taking into account shipping, excluding notions and time.

It totally satisfies my want for fabrics.

Next, I am making a 1950s baby "bra" out of the coordinating mushroom fabrics. I may even finish it today, while we wait for the car to come back from the shop.

Damn it! Martha!

Now I want to make these. The think is, though, that they will go perfectly in Isabel's new "circus theme" room, so I guess it is acceptable that I get sucked into one of her crafty ideas. Well, we all know they are not all her idea, and that she is a marketing guru, but I suppose that is fine. But I do feel a bit like a sucker. Sometimes I wonder if crafting is really a waste of time. I have never done a themed room before, or even fully decorated a room for that matter, but I am finding the process a bit fun and rewarding.

So pom poms, here I come.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Holy Carp These Are Cute

Jennifer Murphy is one of those artists that make really great old-looking teddy bears and other animals. Hers are some of the best I have seen; simply yet perfectly detailed. Much like her site, which is well-worth poking around in.

"Holland" Happening

Although I wish there was more than a shoe carver at the street fair, there were some pretty cool "non-Dutch" things at Oak Harbor's annual Scandinavian festival. I probably rolled my eyes at the Guatemalan pan flute people, who are at EVERY event (I do like them, they are just EVERYWHERE), the diversity was nice. Lots of Lumpia and fried noodles, too.

The best part, was seeing Isabel delight in the carnival rides, and her first taste of cotton candy. "I wanna pink one!" You got it! Two rides was enough, as she is scared of even the smallest of roller coasters, and it was plenty fun just walking around. I think I particularly liked checking out the "carnies"; my favorite was the big-bellied old man at the "fishing pond," with a cigarette hanging from his mouth while he shouted in his booming gruff voice, "EVERYONE'S A WINNER!"

That, the old rides I recognize (and some I hate, like the zipper, which seems to be held together by bobby pins), the smells of cotton candy and onion rings and hay, the teens buying wristbands so they can go on every ride fifteen times, and the ladies who are grossly overdressed in their 6" open-toe ankle boots and hot pants.

But seeing it through Isabel's eyes for the first time... priceless.

Teaching Myself Something New

I love learning new things.

What makes this especially gratifying is that I have tried this before and failed miserably. Then, recently, I ran across a great quilting blog and got inspired by the great instructions on "stippling." (A form of free-hand quilting with the machine.) I glossed over it (usually too impatient to read things thoroughly the first time) and decided to try my hand at it; this time the correct way. I think my problem before was that I did not attach the right foot (I think it was the photo attached to the instructions that made the bell go off in my head), use the right thread and adjustments, and go for it. It was amazingly easy.

I think I mentioned I am a little impatient -- this is my main excuse for this not looking better, However, I was so impressed with how easy it was, that I sort of rushed through he job, just to get it done and be amazed that I could hold my very own quilted hot pad. I promised myself I would take more care, so that the stitches were more even and there wouldn't be any sharp corners.

This really is what was holding me up on continuing my learning how to make quilts. Real quilts. I am really ready to start to put together all those little squares I have cut out, a long time ago, in preparing to teach myself this very thing.

I should say, though, that I am not really teaching myself: I should give credit where deserved: to all those great "bloggers" and other people who graciously take the time to post beautiful photos and detailed instruction for all of us to use and enjoy, and otherwise be delighted by.

Finally... Sunshine and a Bit of Warmth

Now it is easy to remember what I like about this area.

As long as we aren't in a housing development, this is one of the most beautiful places on earth. All sorts of colorful singing birds, cows on the way to the grocery store, and some of the most beautiful views anywhere. We were so lucky to get this house - the nicest view I have ever had, hands-down. The rent is so cheap here; an added bonus.

Apparently this place was settled largely by Scandinavian (Dutch) peoples, and so tulips abound. The yards have provided so many surprise treats to delight, from Hellebores (the first to peek), red pink and yellow tulips, and much to my delight, bulbs I can't yet identify. One of my favorite things is creating tiny bouquets out of lawn flowers and other tiny pretties. I can't name the pale purple flowers, although I think it may be something like a pale version of Blue Eyed Grass. If anyone knows, please let me know... it will save me the trouble of wanting to go through my boxes of books that haven't yet been unpacked.

Head Banger

My poor baby has a shiner.

This is not the first time she hit her head, but probably the worse, She has walked into a pole and hit her eyebrow, walked into the edge of a sliding glass door and put a permanent dimple in her check before. But this time we were having a fabulous time at Bowman Bay near the Pass, me kayaking and taking turns watching Isabel and her friend Banjo play in the sunshine, and she fell about 4 feet off a log onto huge rocks. By the time I got to her she was just lying there, not even crying; it scared the bajeebers out of me.

All I wanted to do is hold her. Everyone was asking about her fingers and legs, but I think it was more scary than anything. The worst part was her asking what happened. So, indeed, I drove straight to the E-room in Coupeville. It was a comforting three hours; well-spent knowing that she would be thoroughly checked out. She kept asking where she was, too -- that was a bit freaky.

Well, not much humor in this entry. I think I just have to remind myself that these things happen. You can't prevent everything, so you just count your blessings when it "could have been worse." Besides, we now have an excuse to slack around the house and just watch TV and sew. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I see I am starting to get hits. This means I should probably update my blog with a post newer than 2 months old.

I just haven't had much to say lately.

I have been busy with the move, the kid, selling patterns on Etsy and trying to take about 2 acres of landscaping as well as organize the 4 tons of crap we have. How did being a homemaker get to be so hard? Well, I suppose "2 + 2 doesn't equal 4" explains it. That, and the realization that someone was really upset about an entry I wrote. I had no intention of making them feel bad -- really -- and on top of that I just never thought they would even know it was written. I guess search engines really do the job.

See? ::yawn::

Anyway, I am promising to craft more, take more pictures (my lovely Canon Rebel bit the dust, went "tits up," etc.), and do more searches for cool things. Maybe even stuff that isn't children's clothing, but no promises - I have one really cool clothing site in mind already.

So, here is a beautiful bowl of strawberries - better than being hit in the head with a hamster.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Never again, never again.

I know, I say it when it is the other way around, but this time I mean it: I am never going to move myself. When you have over 14K pounds worth of stuff, it is such a pain in the ass. Keep in mind, that the last time we moved, we had the Navy do it for us, AND.... not only did they break a TON of our stuff (dumping boxes upside down when I asked them to please put it away like they are supposed to), they made us buy them pizza, and afterward the head mover threw up on the lawn. To top it off (like this really needs to be topped off) he swept the pizza vomit off the lawn onto the sidewalk.

Yes, I am willing to take that chance.

Mark did almost all of the physical stuff, but the cleaning of the old house, including painting, minor repairs and such, as well as the organizing and putting away in the new house, is SO much work. Really, we are moving about 3000 square feet into 2600 square feet so the room is not that different, but it is an insane amount of trying to find where to put everything.

On top of that, I can't seem to resist taking out some fabric and a cool new (vintage) pattern to start another dress for Isabel. I have ideas for perhaps selling things at the craft fair up here, and having Isabel sport an entire new wardrobe in our new home - moving always seems a portal for re-inventing oneself. Maybe that is why Mark and I like the concept of moving so much - just not the actual work involved.

But the view - I can stop to look at the view and perhaps forget about it all for a while.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy New Birthday Barack

Why not, Why not watch one of the most important events in my lifetime. Why not cozy up on the couch with the dog, and listen to her fart and snore, and watch this amazing spectacle.

I must admit, I am not that surprised how horrible of a Singer Shakira is. What made me stop in my tracks while watching the inaugural performances, is how amazingly GOOD U2 is - after all these years. I mean, these four dudes from Dublin are freakin' talent - perhaps in their fifties, they got the mojo of rascals in their 20s.

Now, I am a bit tongue-tied, as they bring a real, yes, REAL American eagle on stage. I just don't get that. I hope he takes a big dump. He didn't, but my consolation was watching him try to get the hell out of there and by doing so, give the handler a massive comb-over. Nice.

All humor aside, I am inspired. I am inspired by the numbers of attendees, by the inspiration of others, and by this one man. So many people have been moved by this single man, like no one I have seen in my lifetime. On top of that, I hope it does so much to quash the stereotypes that many have, and bring us together, and keep our cynicism for more important things... like, comb-overs and Shakira.

Monday, January 5, 2009

What's All the Hubbub, Bub?

The most expensive bottle of liquor I have purchased, by far; I thought I would see what the big deal was on tequila. Well, other than a good margarita, of course.

Although this was excellent, I wouldn't mind trying the "cheaper" version. I liked the earthy agave and oaky flavors, but would also like to try the clean less flavorful "silver." The truth of the matter is no matter how good hard alcohol is, I just can't force myself to say that I love the post-swallow burning. Don't get me wrong... this is smooth, nay, smoother than any alcohol I have tasted, but after it goes down, the esophagus does burn as you would expect swallowing alcohol would have it. My opinion is that the lack of initial burn allows you to enjoy the flavor a bit, but I still don't think I will get the hang of savoring neat tequila as a hobby. (So much for being a devout alcoholic.)

I do think I will use the rest of this for some killer margaritas (RIP Three Degos) and maybe shooters after the champagne runs out, if not to just to pull out and impress the stray guest who truly loves the stuff.

Next - back from our trip back from Whistler (or maybe a bottle on the way) will be some of that AMA-zing maple-flavored whiskey, which I can (and have) nursed lovingly by a roaring fire.... Mmmmm... Don't give up on the party-er in me just yet.

Oh wait... to be very candid, what I preferred most about this $60+ bottle of tequila, was the hand-blown and numbered bottled, neatly hand-wrapped wrapped in ribbon and bright yellow tissue, and little bee graphic. I am such an aesthetic-slut.

Good Hearty Winter (Vegan) Lentil Soup

This is one of those things that I make in which I never measure any of the ingredients, and it is always a stellar meal regardless.

I dice everything small before starting.

onion, about 1/2 large
carrots, about 2 very large carrots
celery, 4-5 stalks
oilive oil, 2-3 Tbs
red lentils, about 1 heaping cup, picked through and rinsed
kosher salt, about 1 Tbs, or to taste
cumin, ground, about 1 Tbs
garlic, granulated about 2 tsp, or 1 large fresh crushed clove
water, tap-hot, about 3.5 cups
vegetable stock, 1 packet
lemon, a good wedge per serving

Basically, I just cook the onions in the olive oil until almost translucent, then add the diced carrots and cook another minutes. When the carrots are almost cooked (I test-taste one or two) I then add the celery and mix it all up well.

After the celery has cooked only for about a minute, I add the lentils, salt and cumin, and stir more. I then add the water and vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then immediately turn to a gentle simmer. Simmer all this (and enjoy the wonderful small as it fills up your house), for about 1/2 hour, or until the lentils are mushy and are cooked. Be sure to stir frequently, as the mixture tends to separate the the lentils fall to the bottom.

One thing I really like to do (I did this time with a great reception) is add about 5 or 6 very large sliced mushrooms. Keep in mind, though, that you may want to reduce the water a bit, since the mushrooms will make it a little more "watery."

Be sure to serve with a nice wedge of lemon which should be squeezed on just prior to eating - this brightens up the flavor nicely.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Good Shite.

Nothin' much more to say, but I am off to cement the commitment of my New Year's resolution with some nice champagne glasses.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Good Luck, Bad Luck

This is all about the new year and what it might bring.

Dismissing the zen principle that there is neither good luck or bad luck (i.e., the farmer's son broke his leg and therefore could not be drafted, which turned out to not be the greatest luck, etc.), we thought it couldn't hurt to go get some dim sum and fortune cookies.

So, when we ran into Seattle to visit an old friend to celebrate with an old friend, and none of us liked the idea of running to Dick's for burgers, I came up with the idea of dim sum. I was pleased that it was (surprisingly) my friend's first time, and was sure her two kids (9 and 11) would love it as well; what kid doesn't love picking steaming dumplings from an array of colorful delicacies?

If you are in Seattle, I recommend the House of Hong which serves dim sum until 4:30. Be sure to also check out Kobo at Higo about 2 blocks away; I cannot possibly imagine anyone would be disappointed with this uber-cool art gallery/store. One of the things they had there was little machines that took yen (a coin/exchange right nearby) in exchange for little trinkets; far-cooler than the cheap crap we have in America, they dispense either a anatomically correct body part that can be taken apart and put together, a bust of your favorite composer, a miniature roll of toilet paper (yes, really), or a miniature head with its very own plastic wig. Freakin' cool. (oh, that's right, I blogged about it here.)

So... recommendation number two (after good champagne) is dim sum with friends.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Wowah, You Rook Maaarvelous.

Yeah, I suppose I have some. I normally refuse to make resolutions, under the pretense that the more I am forced to do something, the less-likely I a to do it. However, I feel a bit stronger, a bit more responsible this year. So, I have made a couple resolutions for the new year...

1. Drink more champagne. Seriously. I thought I would get a bottle of champagne but really wanted to forgo the $6 Cook's champagne and spend a little more. Hey, it actually was good - really good. I recommend going either to Trader Joe's, Costco, or some other discount store, so you get more bang for your buck. (Sorry - couldn't resist.) If at all curious, a moderately priced yet decent champagne - the one we tried - is made by Mumm; a particular one (there are many by Mumm) which cost us $28 at Safeway, so I am sure you could pick it up for less than $25 somewhere. I am not sure which exact one it was other than the pic of it here, but this may be partm of the resolution: to learn more about champagnes. What we liked about the champagne was not only the taste, but the "high," which is much better than a simple glass of say, chardonnay; The bubbles do go to your head a bit, and it is a more fun buzz, and seems to hit you quicker. Also, after sharing the entire bottle between he two of us, neither of us had a hint of after-affect in the morning; no more than drinking Martinelli's sparkling cider.

2. I need to think about a second resolution.