Sunday, October 29, 2006

Still Standing

...but with a seriously sore backside. The day at p-fest was okay, not a hugely successful sales day, but I didn't lose any money, either, so that's okay. Some wins, some losses. Some lessons learned: first and foremost, don't set up an entire booth by yourself at 6am when you're in the throes of PMS. (Why haven't I read that rule in any magazine or book about being a successful crafter?!) I was grumpy for the 1st couple of hours because I was bone-cold and was being bombarded by really horrible Christian music. Not that I have a problem with it in general, but this was a recorded children's choir being blasted through the speakers. Think "I'm in the Lord's Arm-eeee! Yessss! I'm in the Lord's Arm-eee!"

Anyhow, I met some really sweet people who were so enthusiastic about my work. It's the best when that happens. I also set up next to the coolest guy. He's been painting portraits since 30 years before I was born. He does these amazing quick pastel portraits of kids with all kinds of crazy colors. A little Degas-ish.

Also, a ton of my friends came out to see me. Work friends and internet friends. Angela dropped by with her crew, and lots of "celebrity" sightings--I know that in the grand scheme of Nashville and country music stars, local news people are not really celebrities, but they have to be on their best behavior because you never know who knows them.

So I cleaned a lot tonight--trying to get my life a little back on track. I sold a ton of bags, but have a few things left, so I'll be posting them on etsy as soon as I can get my pal Wendy to model them for me. I also got quite a few orders for bags, wallets, and floorcloths. I'll get right to work on them. But first, Fall Festival Fun Night is on tap for Tuesday. I'm not into huge crowds of scarily and scantily clad people at bars on Halloween, so instead we're having chili, potato soup, and carving punkins at my place while I had out candy to all of 4 trick or treaters.

Now that I'm a little less driven to sew bags and boxes and pouches, I'll work on more eloquent blog entries as opposed to the quick "I'm tired and nuts".

Still tired and nuts, but with the sore muscles of a girl whose show is over, if only for a little while.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 10:25 PM :: (2) comments

Friday, October 27, 2006

Punkinfest, here I come!

I know I should take some photos of all my work, but my wrist hurts, and besides, I want to motivate all of you to come out and see me tomorrow from 10-5. I'll be in the inner circle of main street's roundabout. Right next to the What's In Store booth. I promise, promise, promise to take good photos of the booth and any fun costumes on the kiddies.

It's going to be a great day. Lelan say so. and Franklin is a super cute little "main street" town.

If nothing else, come out to the festival, then go to Stitcher's Garden. That woman has more fabric per square centimeter than I've ever seen. I have to take a little brown paper bag in when I go because I feel the need to hyperventilate from the sensory overload.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 2:00 PM :: (0) comments

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sharing my Obsessions in Lieu of Actual Photos

I went to take a photo of my newly quilted chair, and lo and behold, no juice in the camera batteries. So, I'm going to share a couple of cool things I've been looking at online. We'll try the chair again tomorrow.


Craft magazine
It's new on newsstands--at Borders, Joann, Barnes & Noble, and one of the editors, Natalie Zee does a couple of great podcast interviews. One at Craftsanity and another at Craftypod

My favorite? How to make Hard Apple Cider. It includes buying a garbage disposal from Home Depot for apple pulverization.


The Holiday Ornament Swap! After all this Punkinfest mess is over, I'm going to be cranking out some ornaments for the big old swap. I already have my plans for my own ornament, but can't start until after Saturday. I can't wait to do some sewing for my own self.

Join up if you wish, maybe we can trade ornaments!

Posted by Beth Howard @ 11:42 AM :: (1) comments

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Modeling through the pain

It finally happened. I sewed through my finger. I had the free motion foot attached, and was really struggling with a wayward purse. At first I just thought that I punctured the nail on the top of my finger, then I thought "hmm. where is that blood coming from?" Oh yeah, it was coming from the exit wound. Oops. So I called my mommy, who assured me that needles can't carry much bacteria, and an hour later it didn't even really hurt. No harm no foul, I guess.

I haven't even told you guys about my class last Saturday at the aRThOUSE. It was great. I had about 7 students, and we rubbed, and rubbed and rubbed. Paper, that is. We transferred family pics, and my favorite: old photos which have nothing to do with me. Here are a couple of mine. Clearly, I have not yet rubbed enough. I think it has something to do with the kind of gel medium we used. Last time, we used regular gloss medium, and this time I accidentally used the slo-dri kind. Hmm. Luckily, my students didn't get too mad at me for all the labor-intensive stuff. I brought chocolate to bribe them. I endorse emotional eating at any opportunity.

And here is my favorite creation of the day. How very autumnal, right? Love it! I may have to make a bag or two with this same fabric combo. Does anyone know if cordoroy frays? Maybe some green cord flowers or leaves? I'm spinning around and around with ideas, and can't get nearly enough done. Happy Wednesday!

Posted by Beth Howard @ 9:56 AM :: (0) comments

Hello my little bloggy friends!

Okay, so I'm sitting in bed with my laptop, and I'm so tired that I actually nodded off while waiting for my image to load in Blogger. Wow. While I refuse to be one of those people who continually apologize for not posting, I 5 a little sorry. But not much. I'm busy. Deal with it. You know what? I lost my nice about 2 weeks ago, and it's not coming back any time soon. That said, i'm so happy that you're all out there returning and checking to see what I'm up to.

Moving on. This here's a pic of all the stuff I'm taking to the festival for sale this weekend. Well, except for the paintings, the floorcloths, and the wall/art quilts and the lap quilts. I'm just trying to blanket the entire quilted items market. I've been making mostly little --and VERY BIG--bags of one sort or another. I just can't bear to make anything more than once, and it's really killing my productivity. But I must soldier on! More bags to sew! More denim to wash! I spent the evening tonight sewing this gigantor denim bag with a very cute lining, and when I went to get ready for bed, I had a series of blue streaks down my face. I was really befuddled until I saw my Smurf hands. Ahahaha, how funny would it be if I HAD SMURF HANDS?? I'm six-freakin'-feet tall. And very pale, but not blue. I really need to go. This is devolving quickly.

If you have a chance, come out and see me in Franklin, Tennessee this Saturday. I'll be in the inner circle around the town square.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 12:46 AM :: (0) comments

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Amy Butler has ME in Stitches

I can't tell you people enough about how much I LOVE Amy Butler's In Stitches book. It has great projects and directions.

I made these 2 cd boxes. What is it about organizational stuff that I'm so drawn to? (My mother is in my ear saying it's because I'm such a mess, I just want to think that I could possible BUY something to make me magically organized.) It went pretty well. The second box went quickly--less than an hour. And I have some great ideas for making it all my own.

This is the next monster that I want to tackle. First, I need to find a good zipper pull clasp like that one.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:50 AM :: (0) comments

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Selling out to acrylic paint

Here's another painting that I'm taking with me to the booth at Pumpkinfest. I'm coming to the realization that people would rather buy a painting than an art quilt. That's fine. I'll keep making my art quilts, but if the paintings pay the bill, then so be it. I can do them pretty quickly, and honestly, It's nice to get an idea and color out there without futzing with fabric. Example: "oh, I need the sky to be bluer...let me go dye some more bluer fabric and wait for it to set, rinse it, dry and then 24 hours later it's ready to add to the quilt." That is my usual M.O. Anything that's a pain in the @$$, I'll sign up for it. I'm jus' sayin' that sometimes it's nice to do something FAST. What? So try me in front of the craft jury. See if I care.


Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:45 AM :: (2) comments

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Oh so precious

I know that from time to time, I am just a little obsessive. Seriously. But this has really gone too far. I carried this bag around with me ALL DAY yesterday, shamelessly calling impromptu Show & Tell sessions with my co-workers who were trying It's like a child who gets a favorite toy and must take it EVERYWHERE for a certain amount of time. Well. I'm leaving it home today. (I'll miss you, my little bread bag)

I toiled over Amy Butler's In Stitches book and 5 hours later have this little beauty. I added a couple of details myself. All in all, it was a great set of directions. And let me tell you: This girl does NOT read directions (or destructions as I usually call them) I think the next bag will go faster, and i have some plans to customize. Overall, I highly recommend this book. I've now made 3 projects out of it, and am a better sewist for it. Very informative and practical. Go out and get it (or get it on Amazon, which will save you at least $10.) Happy Tuesday!

Posted by Beth Howard @ 9:03 AM :: (1) comments

Monday, October 16, 2006

Just biding my time

and stalling...

I've been crafting like mad, and have many things to show you. Unfortunately, it's rainy here today and can't take great photos. (I refuse to take a photo with flash. Simply hate it.) So here's what you get for now. Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to take better shots.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 1:27 PM :: (1) comments

Monday, October 09, 2006

Painting with Friends

I've finally completed my commission painting. it's of the last mountain in the Appalachian Trail in Maine. I did it for a co-worker whose 10th wedding anniversary is coming up. According to legend, he carried the ring with him the entire time they were on the trail, then proposed at the end. I'm not sure if my sources are correct, but it's a great story none-the-less.

I realize that this is supposed to be a blog about sewing, so I promise the next post will be about sewing. I'm running around in circles to say the least lately. My fab friend Julia was in town for the weekend to see John Mayer (OMG!!! He is indescribable!!) and Sheryl Crow. Here's hoping I can pull off a completely leather outfit and a "stop draggin' my heart around" duet with Keith Urban when I'm 44. Wait, i can't do either of those things now! Well, a girl can dream. i can tell you that much.

Now my middle sis and her friends are here for a few days on their break from med school. They're going the fall tourist route and going to the Jack Daniels' Distillery, which is about 1.5 hours from here. It's my favorite fall activiity. A beautiful drive and a great country town. Love it there. Let's all take a field trip!

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 11:50 PM :: (1) comments

Thursday, October 05, 2006

WHy I love living in Nashville

First of all, Noshville has fabulous food. My crazy boyfriend ordered the "we dare ya" meat wad sandwich. He ate it and promptyl was sorry. He says true happiness is a stomach chock full of meat.

Second, I love walking in Nashville's Parks. This is Centennial, home of the only full-scale replica of the parthenon, a beautiful lake, and a 1-mile walking loop. It's my new favorite place.

And third, Nashville is the best place to catch any artist you've ever loved. All the tours come here. I'm going to see Sheryl Crow and John Mayer on Sunday with the greatest friend who is coming in from St. Louis just to see me. Ok, so after Sunday I will have seen Sheryl (who, by the way went to MIZZOU just like me. oh yeah.) twice in 10 months. I'm not mad about that.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 9:30 PM :: (0) comments

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Why do I love this?

I'm not sure why, but i LURV this wallet. I made it over the weekend, with (mostly) Denyse Schmidt fabrics. As previously mentioned, Jason nearly had to pry it from my hands because I was staring at it and petting it. Who needs a dog? Well, Jason needs a dog. That's who. He routinely says in a very childlike --let's be honest--baby voice "everybody's got a puppy but ME!"

Anyway. I just winged (wung? wang? whatever) it and sewed this thing together. And so it is. I'm probably forgetting some pertinent information, but I'm zoned out and tired. Nighty-night!


Posted by Beth Howard @ 11:27 PM :: (2) comments

Monday, October 02, 2006

Starting Over Again...and Again

This is a story of heartbreak. And of resurrection. I'm doing a commission painting for this super cool guy I work with. This above is the image that he gave me to work from. Below are the sad attempts I had at the practice canvas. I thought before I paint it big (24 x 48!!) I'd try it small. Not so much. I had several moments of despair, and in the end, in a fit of rage, I smeared paint over it with a dowel rod straight from a can of paint left over from my dining room. It's name is "Swampwater" (appetizing, no?) I'm pretty happy about the way it turned out, after all that. Oy, the pain of an artist!! I didn't even take a photo of every single re-paint. I started from scratch no less than 4 times. I think I'm going to attempt the larger canvas soon.

p.s. I'm blushing over Angela's gushing blog about my class over the weekend. Thanks, Ang!

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:30 PM :: (0) comments

Sunday, October 01, 2006

1 down, 2 to go

My first class at the aRThOUSE went swimmingly. At least, from my point of view. I hope everyone feels like they got their money's worth. We gelled, and fused, and rubbed and...I'm talking about the collage stuff. What were you thinking?.... Yeah, and even though everyone decided it's not their favorite thing to endlessly rub paper off the back of images, I think we all went home with at the very least some images on fabric that they can incorporate into something mahvelous at a later date. Chelle even got a head start on an actual piece o' art! The next class is oct. 21st. Sign up! It is a great experience. If nothing else, how fun to spend a few hours gabbing and rummaging though someone else's scraps of fabric and imagery?

I've been busy busy busy this weekend. I cleaned the house (sort of) taught a class, went to the TACA art festival at Centennial TWICE, imagined, designed, and produced a quilted wallet. Ohmygush, it's sooooo cute. I'll post the pics tomorrow. Jason had to pry it out of my hands because I just held it and looked at it during at least 2 episodes of Grey's Anatomy this afternoon. I also painted 2 small paintings. More on those later, too.

Now to read my creepy Ghost Hunters book before I go to bed. It's about the history of paranormal study, and how some really smart and legitimate people like Mark Twain had experiences with spirits. It's really freaking me out. And i love it.


Posted by Beth Howard @ 11:12 PM :: (1) comments