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During these past few months for some reason I can’t get that phrase out of my head. And it’s funny because typically that type of saying would really piss me off, especially if someone dared utter it to me recently. Today for example – I’m in a foul mood, I only shortly ago realized that we WILL NOT, I repeat WILL NOT, CAN YOU SERIOUSLY BELIEVE THAT SHIT?!, be getting the IRS Stimulus Package. Bummer too, because I’d already picked out a couch and matching vacation to go along with our newfound wealth. I fear my mom is on the verge of a heart attack. My brother borrowed ten bucks yesterday and though I’m not surprised, he did not return it this morning (I know where you live Bro!) Are these things that are driving me up 7 walls today silly?  Yes.  But for the love of God, why are you talking to me, can’t you tell I’M ANNOYED?!

Anyway, this is what just happened. I noticed The Bug outside (read this), digging with such thought. He’s got his cars, his two dump trucks, and a spoon. He’s already brought me two flowers and a pretty leaf, which I’ve sat on the front of computer and am now staring at as I type. He smells like a combination of wet dog, dirt, and Doritos. But he is happy. Then I realized that he’s healthy. We have a home and we’re not hungry. We are alive. And there’s sun outside!

Things could always be worse and despite all the issues I seem to be encountering today (or those that pop up any other day) it’s okay. It really is…

I updated The Shop earlier but just with two bags instead of the two bags and one check book cover I’d intended to add. I’ll save that for this weekend (Saturday, to be exact) when I add the bags I plan on making this week to the store. Without further ado (or rambling about things that no doubt are sucking out your happy soul as we speak), the update…


{It Is Okay Bag, $41}


{The Joy Bag, $37}


The rest of the list for today reads as follows:

  • Make paper birds
  • Read – it’s Two Book Tuesday, a new practice for me that entails reading both of the books I pick out at the library every Tuesday morning with The Bug. On deck today: Into the Wild and Under the Banner of Heaven, both by John Krakauer…
  • Head to the park. “I need a sippy/car/toy/leaf/’noder spoon, THE PARK, THEEEEEEEE PARKKKKK,” The Bug keeps repeating.

That sounds glorious, right friends? Should help the mood some, a little sunshine, maybe picking some flowers, listening to the boy go on and on while flapping his hands wildly about how warm it is and how he doesn’t even need a jacket and I swear Mom, just underwear would be fine out here, REALLY!

I’ll pop in tomorrow with inspiration a’plenty. And in the meantime remember, it’s all okay…


Yet another dreary day here (rain, thunder, lightning, and the like) but I’m trying to stay optimistic despite the lack of sun.  The wonderful glorious-ness that is Netflix is dropping a new DVD in the mail for The Bug today and that alone is reason enough to celebrate – no more Polar Express PEOPLE!  Actually, yesterday I realized that via Netflix you can watch a few choice movies on your computer so I distracted the kid with this:

And yeah, he actually watched it!  Astroboy is apparently from the early 80’s (though I’ve never heard of it) and he ended up begging to watch the entire first season.  So much for not having cable, so that the kid’s brain doesn’t rot right out of his head.  Hmph…

Furthermore, we’ve also watched The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Bear about a zillion and a half times (amazingly, STILL better than PE!).  I only wish there was a way to find awesome kid-centered movies from outside the US.  This is apparently from France…or Japan?  Shit, I don’t know.  Anyway, it’s about a little eskimo boy who’s abducted by a polar bear for his wife, because her newborn cub was stillborn.  The boy is raised by the polar bear, until his jerky dad finds him, takes him home, and messes up his life.  The movie also features a shot of animated lady bush too, so it’s status as a kid’s movie is debatable but the kid didn’t seem to notice the girl parts floating up onscreen so I’m letting it go.  Plus, there’s all sorts of vision quests the kid goes on to become a real bear and they’re awesome to me, so it’s even more awesome to watch The Bug digging it…


I did some work yesterday on a custom bag, cleaned our (awfully) tiny house, poked at the floor heater for two hours after it quit working, and stared out at the rain.  And watched A LOT of Astroboy.  And I did this:


New bag and check out that trim!  My neighbor Jessica’s got some left in her shop so you should snap some up to.  I swear it, if there’s a trim out there that describes me perfectly, it’s this one right here…


I did some work in the kitchen too (which should have been work that was devoted to finishing painting the room – seriously, there’ve been bare spots on those tan/white walls for months now!).  There’s an antique store pretty close to us and while it’s mostly primitive shit I could care less about there is one booth that never lets me down, full of vintage tablecloths and towels.  Check it…

That’s one of the towels right there kids.  1981 man, 1981.  I was but a wee glimmer in my parent’s eyes.  On the left is some super quick embroidery (to draw your attention away from the unpainted top of the wall) and on the right are a few of my handmade aprons…


This last little personal bit must be shared…

{This is Zoe…}

Look, here’s the thing: I don’t particularly like kids.  I have one yes, and I love him to tiny little pieces but generally kids give me a weird vibe.  They don’t talk, they only sometimes walk, and they require adults to clean up their shit.  So when it comes to kids there’s really only three I tolerate – The Bug and my two nieces.  This is one of my nieces.  And she is adorable.  So adorable that every time I see her (daily) I squeal with glee and go into convulsions over her cheeks and her toddling about, mumbling while she thinks she’s truly participating in some philosophical discussion.  When Zoe’s around, I turn into my Great Granny, boxing jaws too hard and scaring the poor thing off with my high decibel declarations of love.  Poor thing.  She what it’s like being related to me?


In other news, I sold my first bag…and I’m super happy about that!  Methinks this bodes well for the store.  I’ll be back in a sec with some inspiration I’ve been digging lately so stay tuned friends…

…but not today.  They’re gonna wash away, they’re gonna wash away.

Listening to lots of Purdy lately and loving it still.  Keeps me sewing, you know.  Finished another ‘love’ bag for the opening and as usual I want to keep it.  I’m a little proud of it and I feel kind of like I’m settling into a groove again, which is nice because one starts to feel lame and completely void of creativity when making the same thing that everyone else makes over and over.  But this is original (I think) so I’ll be sticking with this type of stuff, stuff that I would actually carry, stuff that I just happen to love…



I’m surprised that, at least among that special part of blogland reserved for crafters and indie enthusiasts, there’s not more talk of the Sundance Artist Community. I realize of course that while not mass produced it’s not exactly a girl (or guy) sitting in their living room trying to make a go of a hobby but that doesn’t mean that the artisans there aren’t part of this movement.

Most people know of Robert Redford and the independent film festival that he holds yearly in Sundance but I think few know of Redford’s reasoning behind starting the festival and the things and entities that followed: Sundance Resort, Institute, Preserve, and of course, the Sundance Catalog. All of these things, I think, speak to what we as a part of the handcrafted movement strive to accomplish: creating in an inspirational environment and managing to make a living off the things that we make, things that might not be accepted by the mainstream (though this is indeed changing), but goods that harken back to a way to a life that most of us forgot was ever lived. Now we make things not necessarily out of necessity but because it speaks to a background that we all share – at one time, everyone in this country (and the world, for that matter) was united in the goal of just surviving and to do that one had to be self-serving…

I like what Redford says about the catalog and the Artists Community he’s created at Sundance – the goal is really to keep alive those ways of living not because I need to make a quilt so The Bug doesn’t freeze to death this winter (though that’s not a bad idea) but because I can and because it’s these kinds of things that connect me with those who came before:

Supporting and enhancing the role of art in a new age that is seeing old tried and true formulas becoming outdated and outmoded.

The Artist Community at Sundance really seems like a wonderful place and it’s completely awesome to me that someone as well known (and obviously not in need of the funds that all this generates) takes the time to foster these talents in people and put them out there for the benefit of the rest of us. Observe…


{Jeanine Payer New Moon Ring, $239}


{Rosalie Quilt, $375-395}


{Artisan Hammered Flatware, $35}


{Sari Shoulder Bag, $98}


The rest of the catalog can be found here, if you’re so inclined…

{i am sam. i make things.}

This is where I detail the goods I make as I'm making them, the music I'm listening to as I discover it, and the inspiration that I stumble upon when I'm in need of it.
email :: homegrownandthebug [at] gmail [dot] com