Sunday, January 28, 2007


Todd really likes superheroes. This is a thing that I did not understand before we got married. Really, I didn't even know it. Maybe there were a few clues--he had an old ratty batman bath towel, a superman t-shirt. But that didn't seem at all out of the ordinary.

He's a writer and creative writing professor. I met him during his PhD. To me he was so smart. And literary. Like high horse smart. He knew everything and it seemed to me that he had some kind of "high tastes." And I liked him enough to marry him anyway.

Then soon after we were married a LOT of superhero/comic book movies started coming out. Some of them are not so good (the Hulk) some of them are wonderful (Batman Begins). To me it's been no big deal. But to Todd, it was a really big deal. It was like suddenly, somehow the stuff that he has always really loved is now okay to love publicly.

Plus he made a new friend, another professor in his department, who has a lot of toys in his office. Little lego guys and figurines. And now it was super okay to have superhero toys. So he has some. Gift giving was easy for a while--superhero toys and superhero books (of course the very literary superhero books.)

But after a while that sort of got boring. Maybe not for him, it's hard to tell. But boring for me. So this Christmas I tried to think of something I could MAKE that I knew he would like. And this is what I came up with: superhero pillows.

I looked online and through many of our books and found some great vintage logos and appliqued them onto dark blue french terry. I wanted them to look like someone's mother made them back in the sixties. I think I got it.
Now he's got the pillows in his office.

On a side note, Todd's superhero love isn't totally childish. He has written and presented two papers on the genre of superhero films at international conferences. So, he's keeping it grown up, I guess.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

In My Head

I have lots of thoughts running through my head--that I can't really share here yet. But I can say that I'm excited and hopeful about a possible new opportunity and that my head is spinning with really great ideas. The kind of ideas that I haven't had in so long that I forgot I was capable of them. I'm happy to be thinking this way again.

On another note, the weekend we closed on our house and moved in, I found a piece of upholstery fabric that I felt expressed the mood I wanted for our interior. It had the right colors, and the right feel. But I couldn't figure out just what to make with it. So it has been sitting in my stash for four years. Then as soon as I saw this TV cozy, I knew it would be the perfect thing. Now, many months later, I've finally made it. And I love it. Here's a not so clear picture of it. I'll get some more straight on shots someday. It was fun to "draft" a pattern to fit our large and funky shaped TV. I still need to bind the bottom edge with brown bias binding, but again, I 'll do that someday, I'm sure.

Todd has also been busy. He and some friends/collegues from the university made a movie on Friday. It was for this film festival. They filmed outside for something like 5 hours, in 10 degree weather. Then it got dark and they had to reshoot everything, for continuity. It went much faster the second time. The film is only three minutes long and I think their finished product is fantastic. The best part of it for me was seeing how happy it made Todd to work on something like that. On the crew of 6, he was the writer. But he also helped with every other aspect along the way--and they shot it in our driveway. I just loved seeing him so excited to collaborate with other creative people on such a quick, invigorating project. I'll tell you the results as soon as we find out.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I Can't Believe It

I was picked as one of the winners in this month's Whiplash competition. I really can't believe it. I am so honored. I'm also very humbled. There were quite a few fantastic entries. In fact, I really didn't think I had a shot at winning. As I looked through the entries, I came up with a pretty long list of projects that I was sure would win. So, thank you thank you thank you. I can't believe it.

The prize is a copy of ‘The Crafters Companion’ edited by Anna Torborg and published by Snowbooks. I'm really excited about this. I have been wanting this book since I first heard about it. I can't wait to read it cover to cover and try every project in the book. I'll definitely review it once I have.

Thank you!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Colorful Clutches

Here are a few more of the purses that I made before Christmas. They are my own version of the very popular patchwork purses that have been all over the place recently. They are about 8"x6" and close with a snap.

I had such a fun time making these that I really had a hard time selling them. But fortunately I took a picture, and I have more of all the fabrics that I used. The only difficulty I'll have now is deciding which one to make for myself. Because who needs four patchwork clutches? Well, maybe I do.

On a side note, Todd and Zoë and I have started a picture a day project for 2007. We're posting them at Flickr each Saturday. So far so good. I hope we can keep it up. I can tell that we'll be able to see into each other's lives more, really see what catches our attention and what occupies our time.

Zoë is 4 and we got her a used digital camera on ebay for Christmas. She loves that it's not a toy camera, but a real, grown up camera. I'm excited to see her progress this year. I'm posting the links on the sidebar. Check us out each week.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

New Shoes for Christmas

We had a bit of a sock monkey Christmas at the Petersen house this year. I love the Moda sock monkey fabric so so much and decided to make the traditional Christmas PJs out of the brushed cotton (like fannel). Then I saw these slippers and I knew they would be a hit.

I made a pair of comfy wide-legged pants for Ike and freezer paper stenciled a monkey face onto a long sleeved white t-shirt. I made a hideously poufy-sleeved nightgown for Zoë (which she's sleeping in right now--and has been living in since Christmas) and I made both of them a pair of these slippers.

To make the slippers, I started with this wonderul pattern at Stardust Shoes. The pattern is designed for 6 month olds and my kids are 20 mos and 4 yrs. So I traced their feet (while they were sleeping) then added ease and seam allowance and modified the rest of the pattern pieces to fit. It was pretty simple, actually and quite forgiving. I think if I knew how long these slippers were going to take me, I might not have made them. It was a LOT of hand sewing (4 monkey heads, all hand sewn) and lots of late night TV watching. But I think it's worth it to see those little monkey feet walking all around the house! I am entering these slippers in this months' Whiplash in the gift category.

But the Christmas monkey love didn't end there. My mom also made sock monkeys for the kids, and clothing for the monkeys to wear. Plus she made them each a sock monkey pillowcase for them to store their PJs during the day.

On Christmas morning, right before they opened their presents I was a little worried that perhaps we overdid the monkey stuff. They might not even be INTO monkeys. But I was wrong. They LOVE the monkeys. We're all happy about that.