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Posts Tagged ‘irenedesign’

Our weekend revolved not only around the Easter Celebration but also the celebration of a good friend’s wedding.  Besides the obvious importance-of-marriage highlights, my top ones include

Taking lots of pictures (I love family photos!)

The band.  Seriously, this bluegrass band was amazing.  They led the party all night at the reception (we square danced!) then back at the Inn (yes, I laid in bed listening to them play until 2am), and then on Easter morning the cellist played right outside of our window to welcome the morning. 
(that is a cello, right?!)


Sunrise on Easter Morning

Hiking at the Natural Bridge State Park in Eastern Kentucky

We really had a great weekend full of friends (we did go up for a wedding!), great food (our friends are farmers!), laughing, fresh mountain air, and enough dancing and hiking to make my calves ache again this morning.

To top it all off, we had an Easter morning celebration that included singing Down in the River to Pray and Amazing Grace, a message about the significance of the historical ressurrection of a man named Jesus, and reading a poem by Mary Karr.  We sat out on picnic tables over-looking a cliff and had nothing but our voices–no instruments, microphones, slide projectors, anything.  It was serene and beautiful, perfect to reflect on the significance of what we were celebrating.

Descending Theology: The Resurrection

by Mary Karr

From the far star points of his pinned extremities,
cold inched in—black ice and squid ink—
till the hung flesh was empty.
Lonely in that void even for pain,
he missed his splintered feet,
the human stare buried in his face.
He ached for two hands made of meat
he could reach to the end of.
In the corpse’s core, the stone fist
of his heart began to bang
on the stiff chest’s door, and breath spilled
back into that battered shape. Now
it’s your limbs he comes to fill, as warm water
shatters at birth, rivering every way.

Descending Theology: The Resurrection

by Mary Karr

From the far star points of his pinned extremities,

cold inched in—black ice and squid ink—

till the hung flesh was empty.

Lonely in that void even for pain,

he missed his splintered feet,

the human stare buried in his face.

He ached for two hands made of meat

he could reach to the end of.

In the corpse’s core, the stone fist

of his heart began to bang

on the stiff chest’s door, and breath spilled

back into that battered shape. Now

it’s your limbs he comes to fill, as warm water

shatters at birth, rivering every way.

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Hi Friends!  It’s been a busy week around here with work, dinner guests, and of course Spring!  It’s difficult to be motivated to sit in front of the computer when I could be soaking up some vitamin D.

This is what I want to be doing right now!

Pretty Birdie’s Tumeric Dress on Etsy

The busy-ness continues: dinner with a friend tonight, a custom order to finish, a ring bearer’s pillow to sew, a wedding to attend (I still need a dress!), dress shopping, and of course Resurrection Sunday (aka Easter) to celebrate.  whew!

If you do not see much of me between now and Monday, please rest assured that I will make it up next week!

If you really miss me, head on over to Quest for Real Food and see some of the changes that are already taking place.

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I distinctly remember a day–just last week–when there were no flowers in sight.  Now they are everywhere.  I may have mentioned it once or twice, but let me just emphasize that

I
love
Spring.

I love the longer days, the bounty of color after a long winter of brown, gray, and white, the birds singing, the fresh foods that will soon be arriving on my table…the list goes on.

Speaking of fresh foods. I have a little surprise for you. No, it’s not a puppy. Or a cheesecake.  But it does involve food, me, and you (yes, you.)  On Monday I will tell you what it is.

Until then I will be enjoying the sunshine if it chooses to come back, but definitely the flowers and the birds and quite possibly even a little time to get creative between now and then.

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from tonebastianse on flickr

There are times when I set the auto focus on my camera but it goes in and out of focus attempting to determine where or what the object of focus is.  Sometimes I need to make a few adjustments before the camera can actual focus itself on the composition of the photo.

That is how I feel right now. Term 1 of Indie Business 2.0 has come to a close, and my brain and heart seem to be going in and out, trying to determine where or what the object of my focus is.

Do I focus online or locally? Craft shows or consignment?  Produce singular items or multiples?  Children’s clothing or home décor?  Blogging or personal networking?  Do I stick with Irene Design or think up something catchy and slightly more original?  Am I a hobbyist or a business entrepreneur in the making?

Do you all know what it means to DTR?  (Define the Relationship).  Back in my college days (I went to a Christian liberal arts school and loved it by the way), when a couple started to get serious about actually being a couple—or when one person wanted to let the other person know that they weren’t really into taking that next step—one would approach the other and hold a DTR chat.  The relationship was defined, boundaries were set, and usually within a few hours everyone at the school knew what the outcome had been.  It was a big deal.

I need to hold a DTR with myself.  That’s half of why I took this course—to determine what I even needed to discuss!

The reality is, as much as I push against this, choices must be made. I cannot have it all; boundaries and limitations must be set.  As I continue trying to determine where and what my focus is, my immediate reaction is against any kind of binary either/or.  I want it all! But this is reality.  I have just a few hours a week that I am able to devote to Irene Design, and that limitation must be kept in view or focus will never be achieved!

These questions do not mean that I am not enjoying the course or getting anything out of it.  To the contrary, this is exactly what I wanted!  I needed a little nudge, some adjustments, to get me to a point of being able to really focus on what matters.

How do you keep your focus, especially when it seems difficult?

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What: Reversible Mary Jane baby shoes, Size 0-18 Months
Designer: SweetPeaPattern
Price: $4.50
Pattern Type: Electronic, Adobe PDF
Sewing Level: Intermediate (just over Beginner)
Can you sell items made from the pattern? YES.

A few weeks ago I was browsing baby dresses and patterns on Etsy and came across this pattern for reversible Mary Janes with three strap options from SweetPeaPattern.  I will admit that this was a bit of an impulse buy, but from the listing I thought these little shoes would be a great little project to use up some of the many fat quarters and other fabric scraps I have overflowing my boxes in the sewing room.

The pattern came to me via email within several hours.  I have come to appreciate pdf patterns on several levels.  I like that there is no middle-man; I receive the pattern directly from the person who made it.  That usually translates into a decent priced pattern for me, and more profit made for the designer.  I have also found that pdf patterns are usually a labor of love: the photos are in color, the details are clearly laid out, and if something is not easily understood, the designer is usually readily available to answer questions.

After receiving the pattern, I printed it out and cut the pieces for a 6-9 month shoe with ribbon ties.  The pattern comes with lots of pictures and does not assume that the sewist knows more than s/he actually does.  Given the method of sewing the pieces together, it would have been very easy to make the directions more difficult than needed, but instead there were very clearly written directions and pictures to answer questions left by the instructions.  There are even little side notes and tips to make sure your shoes don’t pucker or cave.

All in all it took me about 70 minutes to make one pair of shoes.  I am so pleased with the outcome, even on the first try.  My daughter is nearly 7 months old, and I would have been fine using the 3-6 month pattern for her.  I think these will not actually fit well for another month.  She does love the shoes though and enjoys playing with the ribbons!

Did I mention yet that these are reversible?  I love that these can be made with complimenting fabrics, and both fabrics can be used as the liner or the actual shoes!!  The other good thing with this is that all of the seams are encased so there are no unsightly raw edges.

I have not made the other two versions of this shoe yet, but I plan to do so soon.  Once you make one pair, I think it will be easy to make the others without a  great deal of additional effort.

One more note to make, SweetPeaPatterns not only offers these sweet little Mary Janes but also has some loafers for little boys, kimono style shoes, seamless slippers, ballet style shoes and a pattern for car seat strap covers.

Want to buy the pattern? Visit SweetPeaPattern shop

Want to buy some already made shoes? Contact irenedesign@ymail[dot]com

Irene Design was not paid to conduct this review and is not supported by SweetPeaPattern.  Sewing Pattern Photos come from and belong to SweetPeaPattern.


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Every time I go to the grocery store, I am assaulted in the floral department.  I love flowers, especially fresh cut flowers on my table.  I can usually pass by unharmed, but not today.  Today it was a cold, gray, almost-spring day, and I could not resist the bright sunshine yellow ranunculas smiling up at me.  I picked up one bunch (I did resist the second.  and third.) and went happily on my way.


When I got home I played around with our camera and then iPhoto and these are two of my favorites.  Which one is your favorite?

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Did you know I have owned the same umbrella for just a few months shy of ten years?  It’s true.  My French teacher gave me a beautiful umbrella just before I headed off to live in France for a year.  She knew how much it rained there!

One of the first exercises we did for the Indie Biz 2.0 course was to design our “business umbrella”.  In short, this umbrella is the theme under which all of my products and services fall.  So for me, “combining function and beauty” is  what I want to be the common thread that runs through all of my work.  Under the umbrella of function and beauty rests not only the products I already have but those I want to include at some point.

This concept of having a business umbrella has helped me not only bring some definition to what I want as I move forward with Irene Design, but it has also liberated me from the idea that I should only “do one thing and do it well.”  That model just doesn’t work for me; I like to explore far too much to just do one thing.

Along with sewing, I would love to incorporate photography as I get a little better.  At some point, I may bring in some paintings as well.  This umbrella is big enough to fit all of that but strong enough to keep some sort of consistency even with the variety.

The umbrella exercise has also been a great reference point.  I had some free time tonight and was able to look at that before deciding what to make.  Rather than starting one of the many random projects I have though about over the week, I was able to pick one that I knew fit within the umbrella.

I am hoping that this will help me to stay somewhat focused rather than having fifteen projects going at once that do not really fit together.  It’s fine to have some variety, but I really want to keep it well within the reaches of my umbrella.

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