Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rag Rug with Love

Ok, anybody who has known me for a while, knows that I HATE (yes strong word) to get rid of things. I don't like to think of myself as a packrat. I do hate clutter. But I don't like throwing anything away if I think that it has another life somewhere else.
A beginning pile of fabric cut into 2 inch wide strips before being sewn together end to end.

This was the very beginning. Before I knew what I was getting myself into.
Handme downs are awesome. But now that my child-bearing days are over I have a bunch of clothes that I can't necessarily give to other people.
Before the braids got a chance to make to the rug,the kids got a hold of them and wrapped up my head.
Braided rug. Braid head.
 It's one thing to give your own child the older siblings old shirt with the stains, but another family's stains don't work as good when you are passing along clothes. Nor do soccer jersey t-shirts. 
Here are some of the many rolls that I have created to braid, braid braid.

And it's pretty easy to fold right up and put away when I'm not doing it.
(Though I really like seeing it out.)
Sooooooo, in the spirit of reusing, I've been working on a braided rag rug made entirely out of old clothes that might not have had another life, except as well... a rag. Stains are hidden. Holes are avoided and Floors are covered.

You can see the braided strap that has yet to be attached.The fabric was connected in No order. Everything was completely random.

It's still growing. And growing. It has definitely been a labor of love.
I could tell you a story about each one of the materials in here. Who wore it. Where it came from. How long it's been there. What stains where on the shirt. How soft it was.

"Our" farm

It's not really our farm. But I still like to call it that. Less than two miles from our home, even shorter as the bird flies is the farm that we go to, to pick up our CSA allotment. The site that we go to is a small portion of the larger farmer that rests a few more miles south in Albuquerque's South Valley. I'm not as versed with it other than when Tigo and I went to the bee keeping class last year.
 The drive into the farm is really quite picturesque. There is all an Inn. What I am told is a nice, high end Inn for travelers and conferences. But small enough and quaint enough, to house and comfort weary travelers.

The view is to die for.

The charm is complete.

Yes we came just in time for a gigantic 16lb baby goat to be born!
Can you say, Ouch.
Just ignore my Ghostbuster comment I made to Azalea as we watched...
And here is Christine, who I absolutely adore. She is a kick-ass homeschooling mama that raises all these sweet animals on the farm. Started out as a little 4H project with her kids and she has really run with it. Knows just about all related to goats, chickens, pigs, and the such.
And can I say that her older son graduated from home high school at 14 this spring and is now enrolled in the local college. Son 2 is on the same track.

How can you not love baby goats. Fresh out of the oven. So sweet.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Not gonna kick the bucket any time soon...

Recently, a friend's mother in law passed away after a short (few months) battle with cancer. I asked how her husband was doing and she seemed to think he was fine. He processes things internally, goes through an inner dialogue and moves on and is fine. I hope he is, but almost 15 years after my mother's early death, I'm still not over it.  But I am glad I am not over.  I hope I'm never over the fact that my mom is gone and that her death has left me forever changed.
Partially checked off the bucket list. Still need to come back in 5 years to raft the Colorado with the kids!
There are a lot of things about my life and the way I act that I state as a product of her death. Somethings I'm working on, like courage to take opportunities and the ability to know when they are handed to me and when I have to create them on my own. Regardless of whether or not her death is the reason, I constantly use it as a reminder to myself that we are all mortal and I have to make the best of what's around. Some days are bettter than others.

If I am to pass along into the next life at the same timing, (which I'm not planning) that means that I have 10 years to go. And I have a bucket list of things that I want to accomplish before. This is always changing in priority, but mostly just growing as there is so much out there.

Of course there are on going goals, like raise my kids to be mindful, caring citizens of the planet. That will never be checked off the list. It will be ongoing until the end of time. Only their great great grand children and their actions will account for that. There are things though, that I can check off and completed and here are some of them....
Painted desert. Amazing.

This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that I want to enjoy in my lifetime as a reminder to be aware of my health. Want to enter? Head over to to get the details.

1. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
2. Spend a year in El Salvador on Elmer's family's farm
3.Create and live in a completely sustainable, affordable, off the grid home in an urban area
4.Start my own sewing business
5.Learn to cook healthier meals that my kids will eat (should this really be a bucket list item? geez, I'm that bad!)
6.Write a book
7.Be at least tri-lingual enough to be able to communicate in both Spanish and French with native speakers that don't speak English.
8. Hike the Appalachian trail in one shot.
9. Travel to Tibet
10. Be a foster parent
11. Be able to grow 75% of my food (meat included)
12. Watch my grandchildren get married
13.Travel through India
14. Create art everyday
15.Learn to surf

I think I could go on. It's such a good motivator to put the ideas down. First steps in getting them accomplished!

So as I look back over this. I think about the "check".  I wanted to say that I checked the Painted Desert off my list. But, I didn't like the thought of that. Made me feel like I didn't need to go back. Kind of want to go back. But at least I've been. Totally worth it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Skirting the issue

Ok, so sorry to do it this way, but I'm looking for some feed back on the skirts I've been making.

I've been sewing off and on since high school, and have  just been making gifts and things for my kids. I'm ready to move on and make more, but need it to be the right thing.

Please be brutally honest, I'd really rather have honest feedback and do the right thing than to have nice comments and do the wrong thing.

Please let me know if your daughter would wear these. How old is she?
Would you ever purchase something like this? (I'm not asking you to buy it, just whether or not you would.) How much would you pay for it? Honestly. (overpricing is no good, nor is underpricing for that matter) How much do you think it should sell for, if anything?Is there something that you see that you like, or DON'T like? Also, do you shop on ever?

These particular skirts are made from up-cylced materials with appliqued designs. There is a two inch elastic waist band.

I've got lots of other stuff, but depending on feedback I'd like to start here.
(also, I'm just learning to take pictures of this stuff, so it doesn't come out so good)
I've put the measurements of the waist and length down. The waist measurement is when it is Not stretched out. These babies give quite a bit. Allowing a lot of years of wear and growth.

Thank you, thank you, thank you in advance!!

18" waist, 12" length
Upcycled from a thin cotton sweater

Waist is 19", length 11"
So I said they are appliqued, but this one isn't. The center stripes are sewn in seperating the skirt.

The purple material is a polyester breathable material.

19" waist, 10"length
Cotton blend with heart applique

20"waist, 13" length
More of a spring summer look than fall. But it's a cotton blend with lemon applique.

Closer view of the waist band

21"waist, 14.5"length
Tried a little different technique with the top. Only the very top red blend portion contains the  2" elastic

Saturday, November 5, 2011

El Malpais

Sometimes things work out so smoothly. It just takes a little while for it to fall into place.
Oh, if only I were refering to our house being sold. Not so lucky on that front. On the other hand traveling 90 miles out of town into the desert can be quite refreshing.
Can you believe how blue that sky is? Geez
Lisa asked last minute if Tigo and I wanted to go camping with her and Attie, and the stars aligned just right that I could get away. With just one child and spend some nice time with nothing to look at but beautifulness and sweet boy exploring the desert.
It's hard to tell from this picture just how big it is, but that is a Massive arch carved out in the rock. It is pretty incredible. I had no idea they were there like that. Not nearby at least.
So after checking out the arch we head over to the bluffs to play around. Do a little boulder hopping and check out the eternal view of vast unoccupied desert.
Interestingly enough, there was water on top of the bluffs. I think it had rained the day before, but because the temperature has been so cool  it hadn't evaporated yet.

 But it was pretty cool for the boys to play in and check out while they discovered the different rock formations.
The boys found a USGS marker that let us know that we were above sea level. Good thing, as we weren't sure. But of course, at one time this area was in fact below the sea. That time was before the USGS was created though.  Later at the BLM visitor center, we did find out that it was located at 6666ft. Albuquerque is at 5000ft.
The black rock below was from the now extinct Mt. Johnson volcano that blew it's top thousands of years ago. These are some of the lava fields that have been left behind New Mexico is filled with crazy lava fields like these. White sands and black rocks. Crazy.
That is Mt. Johnson behind the boys on the horizon.
El Malpais. The bad country. The bad lands. 
There is a lot of that here. Land carved by wind and sand. Only a little water.
Small creveses left behind. Breaking rock and water left hidden for the smallest creatures to survive.
We found a nice litte spot between the the brush at the bottom of a nice hill. A hill the boys went up and down.
 While they did that, Lisa and I cracked open a bottle of wine and went to watch the sun set.
After the sun was gone, we had a little fire. Roasted some dogs, had some s'mores and relaxed under a milllion gazillion stars.
The sliver of moon set orange on the horizon and allowed us to peer into the darkest abyss. The milky way looked like a cloud in the sky it was filled to it's peak with more stars that you could imagine. It was almost difficult to pick out constillations, there were so many stars in between them all.
We watched satelites drift through the stars. And watched probably 15 shooting stars. Or more.
And it got cold. Our sleeping bags were nice and cozy, but any exposed skin froze.
And it's not a great shot, but we saw a tarantula crawling along as we cleaned up our site in the morning.

Tigo and I went for a little hike, just the two of us. Saw coyote scat and deer tracks. Wonder who got to eat and who got away.
Great way to spend a very relaxing, but not quite long enough 24hrs!