Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Healthy Competition

All my life I have been pretty competitive. If something has a clear winner, something rises up in me and I have to win. If you know me pretty well you have probably witnessed this. Especially if you ever went to summer camp with me. There are certain things that I am aware I will not win but if there is chance, I have a hard time giving up.

I am a proud member of Team South Carolina on etsy. TeamSC is in place to promote South Carolinian crafters through community and other promotional materials. Right now we are having a contest. The Challenge was put in place to make something that reminded us of South Carolina. I would love for you to go on the blog and vote for which entry you like best. Mine is the "Palmetto Handkerchief Cuff", but I want you to vote for the one that you like the best. If I win I will get a feature on the blog, which really could help get some more traffic to my etsy store. Here is the link: http://scstreetteam.blogspot.com/2010/07/its-time-to-vote-for-your-favorite.html

And Just for the record, never challenge me to a chugging competition. You will lose.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Oh How I love Being an Aunt!

Today is my youngest nephew's first birthday. I cannot believe it has been a whole year since we welcomed Mateo Luis into the world. And Oh what a better world it is with him in it! He has already learned to walk, make a mess of things and get anything he could possibly want from his Aunt Julia. Mateo, your Aunt Julia loves you so so much and can't wait to see what is in store for you on your next trip around the sun.

I really think being an aunt is the best and I have very solid reasons for my beliefs. First, I don't have to be a disciplinarian. One of my favorite memories of my older nephew, Diego, illustrates this point. One day at breakfast I was sitting with my nephew, his mom (my sister, Anna) and his Aunt Emily (my other sister). Diego was probably two at the time and was beginning to have some awareness of right and wrong. And he was wearing those little footie pajamas, that are so cute it should be a crime. As we were sitting there enjoying our breakfast, we would occasionally see a little adorable foot creep up and place itself on the table. Anna would look at Diego and say very sternly (but kindly, my sister is a great mom!) "No Feet on the table Diego", while Aunt Emily and Aunt Julia would erupt in pearls of laughter. A few minutes later, very slyly, someone would once again sneak their foot up on the table resulting in a fairly similar, if not heightened response from his beloved aunts. Thus, young Diego found himself at a crossroads. Did he try to please his mother and take the less fun route? Or did he continue to disobey his mama and as a result earn the attention of his mischievous aunts? Of course he chose the second of the two and of course we continued to encourage it. Oh what fun!

Since becoming an aunt 5 years ago, I have learned to play silly games like "plop down on the inflatable mattress and put your feet in the air" (who knows why that was fun but we played it for a really long time).
I have saved messages on my phone for years because I know that this is the only way I will be able to hear certain little ones (who now are very grown up and can say "Aunt Julia") call me "Ju-wa". I have increased my knowledge of Hot Wheel Cars extensively. I have gotten up early on Christmas morning (even though I thought at some point I would be old enough to sleep in). I have sung silly songs, danced silly dances and answered unending questions. And I have wondered what I talked about, laughed at, and filled my life with before my two nephews filled a very special place in my heart. So Mateo, even though we have only just gotten to know each other, we have a lot of living to do together Bud! And you can always count on your Aunt Julia to think you are funny, to never get you in trouble and to love you with her whole heart!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A dyeing story

My dear friend Katrina is getting married in September. In honor of her nuptials I am creating quite the sewing masterpiece. I don't want to say much about what I am making right now but I can't wait to share it with you when I am finished. I needed some dark purple/plum colored fabric for this creation and in all the yardage I have in huge Rubbermaid bins in my house, none of it was the right color purple. So I decided to dye some of my lighter color fabric.
Dyeing and I have a long tumultuous history. I do not claim to be an expert in dyeing fabric but through years of trial and error I have figured out how to (for the most part) dye successfully. I wasn't a 100% sure what all
these fabrics were (cotton takes color the best, but also shrinks ) and some of them I just wanted to see what would happen.

I added two boxes of purple dye and a bottle of wine colored dye to a washer of hot salt water (adding about 1/2 a cup of salt helps the color take). I like dyeing things in the washer because it drains the water and rinses the fabric. I realized after I put in the dye that it was too pink so ran back to the craft store to buy more purple. The woman who checked me out for the second time must have thought my purple tinted fingertips and purple speckled hands were pretty amusing.

And 30 minutes later I had purple fabric! And, because of a piece of woven cotton that decided to unravel in the dye bath, a lot of purple fuzz all over my apartment. You can tell that some of the fabric doesn't take the dye as well as others, thus the varying shades. But all in all it was a success. Isn't dyeing fun?