Charlietalk, crumbs, family, ReSew

the unwritten summer

Summer is gone. Jack starts school on Monday.

Summer is gone.

I had lofty plans for the blog this summer. And now, here we are at the end. I’m realizing that my many, many goals went unrealized. For instance…

I had plans to: post about several pieces of pink Depression glass I inherited when my wonderfully sassy Aunt Dawnaline passed away earlier this year. Her home had pink dishes on the walls, pink dishes on the counters, pink dishes in the bathrooms, pink dishes in the cabinets. Did you know that during the Depression, cereal companies put these dishes inside cereal boxes as an incentive to buy? I think they’re beautiful.

Pinkglass1

Pinkglass2
I had plans to: put up this little tutorial for a denim doormat that I thought might turn out kind of fun.

Doormat1

Doormat2

Doormat3

Doormat4

Doormat5

Doormat6

Still in progress.

I had plans to: share a bit about our trip to St. George and Zion, where we had a wonderful week with my brother and his family:

Zion 1

Zion 2

I had plans to: show off this incredible shawl that was given to me as a gift by a friend I hadn’t seen in a very long time—about seven years. She’s this wonderful quilt-book author. Her name is Ursula, and she has a heart of gold. Obviously, she has hands of gold as well.

Shawl1

Shawl2 I lost my breath when I saw this shawl, and fought off tears to save you and I the embarrassment… thank you, Ursula. (And for the gorgeous cupcakes too.) Cold weather can't get here fast enough.

I had plans to: keep up with Jackspeaks and Charlietalks, like this one (rated PG):

Me: “Charlie, I heard that you said, ‘What the hell?’ in front of your cousin.”

Charlie: “Yeah.”

“Well, remember, we talked about that. Those are the kinds of words that aren’t for little boys.”

“I know.”

“Okay then.”

“Can I say ‘What the poop?’”

“No.”

“Can I say “What the pee?’”

“Nope.”

“Can I say, ‘What the penis?’”

“No!”

“Can I say, ‘What the nipples?’”

“Dude, I don’t even know what you mean when you say that. How about you can say, ‘What the heck.’”

Charlie is silent.

Me: “Go on, try it. What the heck?”

Charlie: “Um… what the heck.”

“C’mon, really say it. Say it loud. What the HECK?!?”

“WHAT THE HECK!?!??”

“Yeah!”

“Hmm. Well, I guess. I guess I can say that.”

“Thank you.”

I had plans to: announce that ReSew is now an eBook. You can have all 144 pages on your desktop in less than five minutes. Isn’t that cool? Yay for instant gratification!

Resew ebook

I had plans to: write a post attesting to the fact that sewing connects us globally. Case in point: someone in China linked to a recent tutorial of mine. I used Google Translate to find out what they wrote, hoping it was positive. According to Google, the post says:

The skirt to dress? Have this possible? In the end how to modify it?
We take a look at the WildCards. This site provides good ideas.
Please link to practice page. Another trick is to cut the original T-shirt dress with the upper half.
After reading this demonstration for change clothes. Is not so that we have another new enlightenment?

Google Translate needs some work. (But I was thrilled to see that the post was, indeed, positive. I think.)

But now, at the end of our summer, none of those posts have come to be.

Instead, we’re doing this:

Boxes

We’re moving.

Brett and I have been talking a lot about our family. Brett just noted yesterday that it’s been a full year since we started talking. It’s turned into a pivotal, enlightening discussion about who we’ve been, who we’ve become, and who we want to be. And through so many talks, we decided what is important to us right now:

  • To find a place where our boys can run. And run. And run.
  • To grow a little closer to the earth. All of us.
  • To hear quiet.
  • To see billions of stars at night–instead of scant millions, you know.
  • To smell fresh-cut hay. (Brett’s favorite. It makes him happy.)
  • To produce a freaking HUGE vegetable garden.

So, we imagined a place. We didn’t know where this imaginary place was until just this week. (In fact, when I started this post a while back, I titled it “On a Road to Nowhere.”)

The imaginary place isn’t imaginary anymore. It’s real. And we’re moving there.

I think we may have just turned our year-long talk—our dream, really—into reality.

I am elated. I am scared.

I was recently lamenting at the dinner table about possibly moving Jack from one school to another in the middle of the year. I was afraid for him. I was going on and on and on and on about it.

Suddenly, Jack interrupted me. He said, “Mom, we’re moving. Get over it.”

Oh. Well. That does seem like the easier route. Thanks, my sweet Jacky. Thanks for letting me know you’re game for this adventure, too.

And although we're now moving to a new home, what I’ve learned through this year-long process is that home isn’t where your house is. It’s where the people you love are. For me, it’s where Bretty and Jacky and Charlie-Barley are. Everything else will fall into place. I believe it.

I recently came across this quote (introduced to me via Soulemama). For me, it was the kind of thing that stopped me cold. I read it several times, and then felt a need to print it out and hang it on my design wall. It says:

Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
–Mary Oliver

Wild and precious. Yes. And one. Only one.

What is it you plan to do?

ReSew, sewing, style, thrifted!, tutorials

a wildcards tutorial: the t-skirt

I’ve been playing around with the idea of morphing a t-shirt and skirt into one piece for a while now. I finally tried it. This is the result:

T-skirt12I’ve hung on to this skirt for several years. I love the print but the skirt just didn’t fit me quite right after Jack was born. Bummer. I saved it hoping my body would return to its former shape. No luck.

This turned out to be a pretty easy project. If you’d like to know how it was done, read on!

The TSkirt Tutorial

Here’s what you’ll need:

T-skirt1One lightweight, elastic-waist skirt. Make sure it fits comfortably around your chest and you can take it on and off over your head.

T-skirt2Mine has thin elastic around the waist.

T-skirt3One form-fitting t-shirt. This one has a bit of spandex in it.

You’ll also need thread to match your t-shirt and your skirt. (You might need one more t-shirt to get the job done. Or not. Keep reading, and then decide.)

And that’s all you need.

T-skirt4Put on the t-shirt; then put the skirt on over it, right where you want it to rest around your chest. Safety pin the front; ask a family member or friend to help you safety pin the back. (If you’ve never met your neighbors, now’s a great time to break the ice.)

I am digging the photo above. I never look busty.

T-skirt5Remove the shirt/skirt and pin well so the layers don’t shift. You can make the job easier by placing a large rotary ruler or a book in between the layers (see next photo).

Note: I inherited a “gross” of safety pins from my mom years ago. Sometimes I just want to use them so I can justify keeping them. How much is a gross, anyway? A LOT. Anyway, in the step above, regular straight pins would have worked just fine.

T-skirt6
Use thread that matches your skirt to sew around the bodice, following the existing stitching lines on the skirt waistband. My skirt had two lines of stitching, and I sewed along both of them.

At this point you can either 1) turn the piece inside out and cut away the length of the t-shirt to about 1/2" away from the seam you just sewed, or 2) leave it as is and wear your t-skirt with the full shirt underneath. I had planned to cut away the shirt length, but when I tried the piece on the spandex held in my two-baby stretch a bit. So I kept the entire t-shirt intact.

If you cut away the t-shirt length, congratulations—you have fabric to embellish your t-skirt. If you decide to leave the shirt intact, you’ll need to round up another t-shirt for embellishment. I chose this one:

T-skirt6.5Now, lets add a few details.

There are lots of ways to embellish with the t-shirt fabric or with any skirt fabric you’d like to cut from the length. This was my initial sketch of the project:

T-skirt14I decided that although I like this sketched design in theory, I wasn’t sure I would end up wearing it. So I changed my mind. Be sure to change yours too, if you like. But here’s exactly what I ended up doing.

T-skirt7Just below the skirt’s elastic waist, I sewed a 1" band of t-shirt fabric around the chest. I cut two 1"-wide strips from the width of the t-shirt—one about 1/2" longer than the skirt front, and one about 1/2" longer than the skirt back. No need to measure; just cut strips from the t-shirt, lay them across the front/back widths of the skirt, and cut the strips at least 1/2" longer than that.

Pin the back strip to the back of the skirt. Using a 1/8" seam, sew along the top of the strip. Repeat along the bottom of the strip. The strip should reach past the side seams of your skirt by about 1/4". Pin and sew the front strip to the front of the skirt in the same manner, overlapping and sewing over the back strip at beginning and end.

T-skirt15Sew a tight zigzag stitch to connect the front and back pieces together.

When I tried on the piece again I decided the skirt was a bit too long for me, so I cut away 1 1/2" in length from the bottom. To do that, I measured 1 1/2" from the bottom hem all around the skirt, making dots with a washable marker every two inches or so; then I cut along the dots with scissors. I tried it on and liked the length better.

I added a thick, doubled black border to the bottom of my t-skirt. I cut two 4"-wide strips from the width of the t-shirt—one 1/2" longer than the skirt front, and one 1/2" longer than the skirt back. Again, no need to measure; just cut strips from the t-shirt, lay them across the front/back widths of the skirt, and cut the strips at least 1/2" longer than that. Press the strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and then unfold.

T-skirt8With right sides together, align and pin one long edge of the border along the back of the skirt; sew using a 1/4" seam. Repeat to attach the front border to the front of the skirt, overlapping and sewing over the back border at beginning and end. Press the seam toward the bottom of the skirt.

T-skirt9It should end up looking sort of like this on the outside.

T-skirt10Pin the short sides of the two overlapping borders together, making sure the seam you pin is perpendicular to the border seam you just sewed. Use a tight zigzag stitch to connect the short edges of the borders. Clip any overlapping fabric on the wrong side to 1/4", if needed.

Fold the border to the wrong side of the skirt, using the fold you pressed in earlier as a guide; pin. Change the thread on your machine to match the skirt. Sew the border layer to the bottom of the skirt using a 1/8" seam.

T-skirt16When you’re done, it should look like this on the wrong side of the skirt.

T-skirt17This is how it should look on the outside.

Now, I know I’m not model material. (Reason one: I’m 39. Reason two: I wear glasses. There are more reasons, but I’ll stop at the main two.) At the same time, I love to sew things to wear. When I see what others have sewn to wear, I really like to see the project on a body; it helps me envision what it might look like on me if I make it. I think others who sew might like that too. So, a bit uncomfortably, I asked Bretty to take some pictures of me in my t-skirt.

T-skirt13I wanted to try different backgrounds to get the best picture, so we took pictures in three different places. After a while, I started to get self-conscious. I asked Bretty for inspiration.

T-skirt11Me: “Bretty, I don’t know what to do with my hands.”

Brett: “I dunno. Just do something else. Look in the pot. Imagine that you love the pot.”

Me: “Okay.”

I look down into the pot.

Me: “Oooh, I love the pot!”

Click.

And that’s the end of my t-skirt story.

There are many variations for playing around with this basic idea—as many as there are skirts and t-shirts! If you make one, I would love to see it. You can upload your photos here.

Hope you enjoyed your visit here. For more refashions you can check out my book ReSew. Thanks for stopping by!

quilting, ReSew

I went to Quilt Market and all I got was this lousy photo.

Many of you probably know that Quilt Market–the place where sellers and buyers of all things quilt converge–was in Salt Lake City this past weekend. For me, it was just up the street. I was very lucky to attend courtesy of Martingale & Company, my supernaturally-awesome publisher. (And my soon-to-be full-time employer. Again. Long story. Those guys just can't get rid of me.)

Perhaps it was the people I met–both beloved old friends and new quilting buddies. Perhaps it was the unexpected opportunities that fell into my lap. Perhaps it was the sheer excitement that comes with walking a new Market floor. Perhaps it was dancing with abandon at Market parties not one, but two nights in a row. Whatever the reason, my camera stayed in my purse, fully charged, for the entire four days I was at Market. Except for one photo:

Tile
A tile wall at the Blue Lemon, downtown SLC. Taken during
the packed-to-the-hilt Blogger's Quilt Market Meetup. Congratulations to
this
talented young woman for putting on an incredible, standing-room-only party.

Seriously, of all things, Jenny … the one photo you take at Quilt Market is of a tile wall!?! Yep. Sadly, with all the flurry of seeing and doing and meeting and laughing and twisting my right foot into my boot a teeny-tiny bit differently so it didn't hurt THAT bad and I could keep on walking, I neglected the wonders my camera could have captured. And there certainly were wonders to be captured each day.

Day One: I was introduced to some coworkers of mine who I'd never met in person before. They were warm, funny, interesting, and easy to talk to. Plus, I got to spend time with a woman who I have known, loved, and admired for well over a decade, and hadn't seen in a very long time. (Yes, YOU, Chris Wright from M&C.) I was too busy being in the moment. No photos. Crap!

Day Two: By a stroke of chance, I saw a friend I hadn't seen since Charlie was a baby–Annie Smith of Quilter's Stash. She invited me to talk about ReSew for her round of Quilt Market podcasts. What a treat! Annie is such a natural conversationalist; she makes it easy to forget you are being recorded, and that her many fans will be listening in on your casual chat. And sure enough, I forgot. Just like the camera. Why didn't I take our picture together, Annie? WHY? (You can listen to Annie's podcast with me here.) 

Day Three: I was in the M&C booth waiting for an appointment when who should walk by but Carma Wadley, reporter for the Deseret News. She let me know that the article she'd written about ReSew was going to be published on the front page of the "Family" section of the newspaper on Monday. And sure enough, it was! (Here's the online version.) I spent the afternoon thinking about how proud my dad was going to be when he saw it. The article begins, "Thrifty is nifty — especially the way Jenny Wilding Cardon does it." Hee-hee! Thank you, Carma. I think you're nifty, too. Even nifty enough for a photo. But alas, I forgot again. Dang it!

Day Four: I briefly met with Ellen March, Editor-in-Chief of Sew News and host of the PBS series Sew It All. Ellen invited me to be a guest on her show–we're taping this fall in Golden, Colorado! Why no photo? Well, that's simple–too nervous. Then, that night, I was invited to hit the town with THE. COOLEST. BLOGGERS. AROUND. We ate and laughed and talked and danced to '80s music. No time for photos. Too busy having a great time. But now, I would very much like to kick myself.

I've been to Market many times over the years, but never have I had so much fun. And as I think about it, I understand why I had such a wonderful experience. People–talented, kind, energetic, generous people–reached out to me. And I was surprised. Surprised enough to forget a photo opportunity or two. Or twenty.

Too in the moment. Too chatty. Too excited. Too nervous. Too surprised. Too busy with the fun of it all. And now that it's all said, done, packed up, and back home, I've come to a realization.

Yeah, sure, I'm kicking myself, But really, I wouldn't have wanted it to happen any other way.

crafts, ReSew, sewing, thrifted!

Mark Lipinski is all mine. For twelve minutes.

☆☆☆UPDATE☆☆☆

Well, I did it and I survived–I interviewed with Mark Lipinski! You can listen to the interview here. Just play the 03/30/11 show on the right-hand menu bar. My interview starts at the 1:30 mark.

No matter what kind of creativity you're into, Mark will inform and inspire you with his "Creative Mojo" show. (And take you from giggle to laugh to cackle to involuntarily spraying your Diet Coke.) If you want to know why he called his psychic cohost (yes, you heard me right, psychic cohost) "Pocahontas" during the show I was lucky enough to be on, just listen to the first 5 minutes. But take my advice–do NOT drink Diet Coke while listening.

Thank you Mark, for a fantastically fun 12 minutes!

________________________________________________________

I'm thrilled to have been asked to join Mark for his next podcast of Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski! You can listen to the podcast live here on Wednesday, March 30 at 3:00 p.m. EST (1:00 p.m. MST). You can also catch the recorded version on iTunes (search for Creative Mojo in podcasts after the live broadcast).

Mojo
 I love Mark. He's a prolific talent. He's shaken the world of quilting by its roots. He's rebellious. He thinks outside the box. His energy is fierce and infectious. He shares what's on his mind. He is fearless.

(And that's why I'm a teeny bit scared. Go easy on me, Mark.)

MarkTrue American rebel? Right here, baby.

Hope you'll join Mark and me for talk and tweets about ReSew and the refashion revolution. And whatever else comes to Mark's mind.

Whether I end up bombing or just getting by, I can guarantee that with Mark at the helm it'll be lively–hope you'll drop by for a listen!

ReSew

The ReSew blog tour ends with luv: Luv in the Mommyhood


Welcome to the final day of the

INCREDIBLE

001RESEW1
BLOG TOUR!

Today I'm gonna pile you into my cybercar and cyberdrive you over to the "mommyhood" to meet Shannon, the heart and soul behind Luv in the Mommyhood. Crafty? Check. Inspiring? Check. Addicted to Pyrex? Check! Along with her great tutorials, Shannon has a "weekend wishes" series that will inspire you to live your best weekend, every weekend.

Luvinthemommyhood

Head on over to Shannon's place for a special ReSew Q & A as part of her "Moms in the Mommyhood" feature; then enter for your chance to win a copy of the book!
______________________________________________________________________________

I want to thank all the creative women on the tour who helped get the word out about ReSew. My little book has sprouted her own wings because of you. I am grateful.

Here's one more look at all the hosts from the tour–some of their giveaways are still open, and there are a couple of tutorials to grab too.

If you've been following along but your luck hasn't panned out, you can purchase your own copy of ReSew here.

Thanks everyone for following along–I hope you enjoyed the tour. It has been such fun for me to meet all of you!

______________________________________________________________________________

SEW, MAMA, SEW!
(where you can grab a pdf of my "Elephant Cuddle Cushion" project from ReSew) 

AMY'S CREATIVE SIDE

CRAFTGOSSIP
(giveaway open through Thursday, March 10)

CRAFTY NEST
(giveaway open through Friday, March 11)

I AM MOMMA … HEAR ME ROAR

RESWEATER

THE LONG THREAD
(giveaway open through Saturday, March 5)

V AND CO.

CRAFTING A GREEN WORLD
(funky felted basket tutorial; giveaway open through Wednesday, March 9)

MAKE IT DO
(giveaway open through March 6)

ReSew

The ReSew blog tour, day eleven: Make it Do


Welcome to day ten of the

INCREDIBLE

001RESEW1
BLOG TOUR!

I love the blog we are visiting today. Calli at Make It Do has a philosophy that is close to my heart. She captures it in a quote from Theodore Roosevelt that she features on her front page: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." With tips and advice for not only sewing, but cooking, cleaning, and including your little ones in stay-at-home fun (marshmallow shooters, anyone?), Calli has a gentle way with words and a practical, quiet approach to life that I admire.

Make it do
I hope you'll join Calli today for her review and giveaway of ReSew–I am tickled to hear that she may be raiding her husband's closet soon! Be sure to browse her blog while you're there–she'll inspire you to make your house even more of a home.

ReSew

The ReSew blog tour, day ten: Crafting a Green World


Welcome to day ten of the

INCREDIBLE

001RESEW1
BLOG TOUR!

Today's inventive site is going to give ReSew a run for its money! Kelly at Crafting a Green World will lead you into a innovative world of eco-friendly crafts where recycling, upcycling, and repurposing is revered. If you love "re" anything, you will flip OUT over this site. Once you get there, just try to remember to stop once in awhile to eat and sleep. Seriously. Set a timer or something.

Crafting a green world
I'm sharing a special tutorial over at CAGW today–grab your wool sweater scraps! While you're there, be sure to enter for your chance to win a signed copy of ReSew. Hope you'll join us today; I know you'll fall in love with Kelly's really cool, really green site.