Wednesday, January 26, 2011

the uncommon craft society.

this looks pretty cool: 

The Uncommon Craft Society of Indianapolis -- 

i definitely can't commit since i'm living in bloomington, but if you're a crafter in the indy area, you should check it out! looks like there aren't too many details about the group yet, but amanda mauer tafflinger (owner and founder of the indieana handicraft exchange & homespun modern handmade) is speaking at the first meeting, and she definitely has a wealth of knowledge if you're interested in selling your wares.

by the way, the IHE will start taking applications for the summer event on february 1. i'm not applying this year, but maybe when i get back into the swing of things, i'll be able to apply for next summer. (i've been dreaming of a new home decor venture.) hopefully i'll at least be able to attend this year for the first time! (i don't even remember why i couldn't go last year...) 

that's all for now!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

craft in america.

i recently subscribed to the Etsy twitter, and i have loved everything that's come across my feed so far. i just found out about a PBS series called Craft in America. the title got me, so i immediately wanted to check it out. fortunately for me (since i don't have a tv) all the episodes are online! in true PBS fashion, it's a documentary-style series with six episodes: Origins, Process, Educators, Memory, Landscape, and Community.

i'm just a few minutes into the first episode, and i already love it. the history, tradition, creativity, self-fulfillment, beauty, and love that go into handmade items are enough to overwhelm me sometimes. craft nerd! i'm excited about watching this series, and maybe you will be, too. enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

my new quilt.

last weekend i went with my family to visit my grandparents (dad's parents) in nappanee, IN. i have posted before about their house and how much i love all of my grandma kate's decor, trinkets, and beautiful handmade everythings. she is so creative and artistic (and productive!), and i can only hope that someday i will be able to make things as beautifully as she can.

while we were there, she allowed us (my brother, sister, and me) to pick out a quilt. she quilts with a group of ladies at church, and over the years she has been making quilts for all of the grandchildren. tyler, trisha, and i were the last three to choose our quilts (we joke that all the cousins got theirs as wedding gifts and ours are "premarital" quilts since we're all single.)

we went to the bedroom where she had quilts lying out on the bed. there were 7 or 8 of them, some unfinished. she allowed us to choose, but before we made our choices, she informed me that my cousin lindsey had seen a certain quilt that "screamed tara" and urged grandma kate to keep it for me. how sweet! without her revealing which one, the quilt i chose (and my heart's only desire) was the very quilt reserved for me. it was meant to be!

here's the whole thing: hand-appliqued petals, machine-assembled squares, and hand-quilted:

unfortunately, i can't keep it on my bed because i don't want gretta to get it dirty. i'm trying to figure out how to display it another way for now. 

the petals were given to grandma kate by a woman whose mother had passed away. she had wanted to create an appliqued quilt, and that's my grandma's favorite kind, so she used the pieces to create this.

almost all of the fabrics are from the 1930s and 1940s. 

it's a little difficult to see in the photos, but each yellow center is padded. squishy!

every flower is different! my grandma named the quilt "sunflower pattern."

the edges are scalloped with perfect precision. everything about this quilt is absolutely perfect to a T. it's beyond impressive.

my quilt is something that will last forever and a gift that i am beyond grateful for. i love that my grandma finds her grandchildren so special that she will put in so much time and effort to give these gifts of love. i want to be like her when i grow up. 

*          *          *

oh! she also gave use these fun little tote bags made of -- wait for it -- recycled plastic bags. what? (that's what i said.) take a look: 

she cut strips of plastic bags and then crocheted them together (i think?) to make this bag. 


then she hand-sewed the lining in to make the bag functional. i love it!

here's a tutorial i found if you want to learn how to make your own recycled plastic bag...bag. ha. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

whatever it was.

my dear friend brittany shared a poem the other day written by em claire, a poet from seattle. i mentioned to brittany that i thought the poem was beautiful, so she shared em claire's web site with me where i found the rest of her work to be equally as wonderful.

this particular poem is my favorite:

i have a dandelion tattoo, and simple as dandelions are, i have a spiritual connection to that image. i take joy in knowing that others may have a similar connection or even just stop to take notice of them being anything besides pesky weeds. 

these words could not have come along at a better time. don't you just love stumbling upon a surprise that was intended for you when you needed it the most and expected it the least? 

i pray that you and i will both take notice of what has opened us to the live to our full potential, to love and cherish our own lives as the gifts they are. (a life well lived / a life well loved) 

Friday, January 14, 2011


i haven't done much with my little business here in a while. school has kept me busy and focused and has allowed me to find other ways to channel my artistic energy into something productive, like graphic design and page design.

over break, though, i was commissioned by my friend laura over at secondhand happenings to create a matching headband set: one for her sister-in-law and one for her baby niece. the only specifications were matching, purple, and headbands, so this is what i came up with:




it's nothing, major, i know. but it was fun to get back into hair treasures for a minute. laura said the headbands were a hit on christmas, so that warms my heart, of course! 

maybe i should make a mama version and baby version of every piece i do from now on. it could become kind of a big deal...

Monday, January 10, 2011

oh-verachieving oh-leven.

i feel the need to put this out into the world so that i am somehow held accountable to the following resolutions for 2011:

1. i will not consume any soda pops. (goodbye, cherry coke. i still love you.)
2. i will keep my apartment in order by: hanging up my clothes or putting them in the hamper, doing the dishes more than once every two weeks, and taking a stand against general apartment-related laziness.
3. i will not consume any food or drink from the j-school vending machine.
4. i will complete a weekly training schedule for at least 12 weeks and run the indianapolis mini marathon in april.
5. i will not purchase take-out or eat food from a restaurant unless i am with friends. fridge and cupboards only.
6. i will be conscious of my calorie intake with the goal of fitting into every garment in my closet by the time i run the mini marathon.
7. i will walk or ride my bike to school every day. no driving and parking.
8. i will get a 4.0 this semester, not a 3.925.

8 is a random number, but those are the ones i care about the most. i am aware that it's a lot to commit to, but i think that all of these goals will contribute to a healthier me, both physically and mentally. i have done all of these things before, so i know i can do them again.

oh-verachieving oh-leven. here we go.

Friday, January 7, 2011

my WOS booties.

my family exchanged gifts the week before christmas. i got an unexpected gift that has turned out to be my favorite thing in the world: slipper booties. (somewhere on the tag it said WOS booties, so now that's what i call them).

they are LUK-EES by Muk Luks, and i think mine came from target, but you can get them from other places on the internets. i have the brown and blue ones.

here's the thing - i know slippers aren't anything new or cool, but i typically hate slippers. i also typically hate socks. i prefer to be barefoot if possible. but my WOS booties let me stretch my little toesies, and they are so fuzzy and soft. they're not bulky like slippers, and they're not restrictive like socks. i'm just really obsessed with them (just ask my sister).

it's the little things, right?

Monday, January 3, 2011

the end of oh-ten.

well, i guess my plan to post more during this winter break didn't come to fruition. i've been too busy doing the following:

1. watching trashy reality shows, including just about everything on VH1, MTV, E!, and Bravo. (ps. have you ever seen the show My Life as Liz? it's more of a quasi-documentary teen drama than a reality show. i fell in love with it during the first season, and the second season is starting soon. hulu!)

2. watching season 1 of Glee. santa brought it to me in my stocking, and i've been enjoying remembering last season's episodes and watching some for the first time.

3. spending time with my family. we had a lovely time in tennessee. it snowed on christmas eve, so we woke up to a white christmas! it was pretty magical. spending time with my brother and sister is something i cherish, and i've been able to do a little bit of that over the past couple weeks, too.

(my cousin jamie, sister trisha, and me on christmas morning)

4. reading for pleasure. i have missed reading over the course of the fall semester -- well, reading material besides scholarly articles and textbooks, as interesting as they may be. i bought some books and started A Widow for One Year by John Irving, but then lauren let me borrow The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon, so i put the other one on hold.

5. working at the coffee shop. i haven't worked as much as i thought i would, but it's ok. it's given me time to relax and make a little money, too.

naps have been abundant. also free food. and noontime sleep-ins. i've been such a lazy bum! i have my priorities, you know.

*          *          *

i used to publish a list of my top 10 albums of the year. i don't do it anymore because it's pretty intimidating, especially because i am often behind when it comes to music. it's expensive to stay on top of things when it comes to music! i have to pick and choose on a budget, but i do my best. 

i guess i'll give it a whirl and share some of my favorite 2010 music with you. i'm not claiming that these are the best -- just ones that i like, and you might, too. in no particular order: 

arcade fire - the suburbs

the national - high violet

ryan adams & the cardinals - III/IV

vampire weekend - contra

husband&wife - proud flesh

band of horses - infinite arms

she & him - volume II

moneybrother - real control

girl talk - all day

hanson - shout it out

local natives - gorilla manor

ra ra riot - the orchard

i'm still trying to hammer down my resolutions. i've committed to too many things to actually succeed, so i need to narrow it down and try to focus. i started off 2011 with a negative attitude, but i know that this year will be another adventure and one in which i will grow and continue to become the person God has created me to be. school starts back up a week from today. whew! 

here's to you, new year. (clink!)