Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A rose for you.

Oh, thus thy beauty,
Loveliest on earth to me,
Dark with no sorrow, shines
And burns, with thee.

- excerpt from "When The Rose Is Faded" by Walter de la Mare

There's something so enchanting about the way a rose dies. The way the velvety edges of its petals darken and curl, their dewy softness overpowered by the slow creep of age. But a rose's beauty is not diminished by death. Even after the tragic death nod, and the fragrance of fallen petals is swept away, the memory of their loveliness lingers.

A little satin, a little fire and an antique button capture what I think is the perfect moment in the life of a rose. Plus these are even heart shaped. I made these pins/hair clips for all the woman and girls in my family with one extra to giveaway for Valentine's Day.

Trace and cut. I cut double of the smallest heart and then cut half down even smaller.

My inner pyro was absolutely delighted with the evening's festivities.

Because I didn't know yet what the centerpiece of the heart would be, I sewed the layers of petals together while I thought about it. Jon suggested metal arrows but I was never able to find any.

And then I discovered Button Button in downtown Vancouver. The owner buys button collections at estate sales and the like and has collected a trove of vintage and antique buttons. The store is a joy to look through (and buy from). Every drawer, and there are a lot, is filled with button treasure. It reminded me of how fun it was to go through my own Grandmother's button box. The owner taught me the difference between vintage (pre 1930) and antique (pre 1903) buttons. Of the sixteen buttons I chose, a few are antique and the rest are vintage. You can tell by looking at the shank on the back of the button. In this case the metal shanks are antique and the molded plastic is vintage.

Isn't it too much fun to imagine how these buttons were used?

For packaging, I lined a white jewelry box with black satin. "Black, like your soul." Jon said. He finds it funny that I think black goes hand and hand with Valentine's Day. To me, nothing says 'I love you' better than metallic lettered sentiment on black cardstock. Well, maybe black lingerie. Zing.

Happy Valentine's Day ladies!

If you want a chance to be chosen as the lucky lady, or guy, who gets the extra heart shaped rose, tell me about the most creative Valentine you ever gave or received. You have until Thursday at 6pm when I will chose at random from all the entries. Leave your story in the comments below.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

For Marie('s daughter)

Today is my sister's birthday. Happy Birthday Marie!

I thought about Marie a lot today. This is her first birthday as a new momma. In a few years, that will mean her daughter will bring her breakfast in bed. And on the homemade card she receives there will be a stick figure drawing of a pretty woman holding a little girl's hand. And there will probably be lots of flowers and hearts drawn around the border. And the card will say Hppy Berthday Mommy! And she will think it is the most wonderful present anyone has ever given her. And she will be right.

But her sweet baby girl has to get bigger first. So Marie will spend her birthday in the hospital, watching over her daughter, knowing this is the most wonderful present anyone has ever given her. And she will be right.

In honor of Marie's birthday, today my new friend Lisa and I got together and had a sewing party for Marie's new baby. We made preemie smocks using a pattern I found here. These are actually for 3-7 lb babies, so she will have to grow into them, but I tried to make them extra cute as an incentive. With the leftover fabric we made rick rack rimmed blankets, the perfect size for a preemie. The smock with no blanket was made from the extra fabric that Audrey and her grandma used to make a blanket this past summer.

(Thank you to Kymy at for sharing her pattern, to Sarah P. for teaching me how to make a rick rack blanket, and to Lisa B. for hanging out and sewing with me today.)

Happy Birthday Marie!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chocolate inspired good works

"Aren't phantoms dark and scary like dementors?" Audrey asked. "Sometimes," I replied, "but not this phantom."  "This phantom is pink and squishy." "But if you're lucky The Valentine Phantom will still suck your face," Jon quipped.  He's always been pretty quick with the double entendre.

It's February!  And, true to tradition, The Valentine Phantom stopped by.  Maybe it's a sign of the times but The Phantom's acts of service routine has become more user friendly.  Actually more user generated. 

This year if we want a treat from The Phantom's goodie jar, then we need to recognize the good deeds going on in the family.  Tonight when I noticed Audrey willfully and cheerfully volunteering to clean up after dinner, I gave her a treat from the jar.  Ulterior motives aside, it was nice to have kids falling over themselves to be helpful.

I bet The Valentine Phantom hopes this new way helps us see all the good that goes on in our family.  A chocolate inspired eye-opening.

So, go on. Do something nice for someone else.  And when you notice another's good deeds, be grateful for their goodness. Maybe even give them a chocolate.

Did someone do something nice for you today?