Tuesday, March 29, 2011


My latest obsession is wool covered clips for my daughter. She loves wearing extra pretties in her hair to dance so I started making small ones and then found giant ones out shopping the other day. I love the size because I can add embroidery and beads. It's a great project to do while I'm waiting at dance and piano lessons.

They are simple to make. You need those snap clips that you bend to open and bend to close. Cut 2 circles of felt big enough to cover the entire clip. Make a small slit off to one side and slide the clasp part of the clip through the opening. Attach the other circle on top and you now have a pretty clip perfect for a little bit of hair or for adorning a pony tail or braid.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Facebook Farse

I've been thinking about technology lately and its benefits and pitfalls. Technology has made it easier than ever before to keep in touch with the people we hold dear. It has made it possible to connect with like minded people all over the world. It has shrunk our world and expanded our access to information.

But with progress comes pitfalls. The industrial age also ushered in new technology and easier access to machinery that simplified the drudgery of household labor. With that positive came the negatives including child labor, pollution, and increased exposure to danger in the workplace. So to, our society has seen the benefits of progress along with the hazards.

I could talk about the internet, cell phones, computers, and a host of other advances but my biggest concern lies in the social network. I have noticed that people can keep up their appearances on Facebook easier than in person. I read a friend's post about her wonderful children only to have her say over the phone that she cannot wait to send them off to school because they were driving her crazy. I see posts about injury and illness and the replies of prayers and hope only to be left wondering if anybody has actually reached out to this person with a heartfelt sentiment and real help. Worse yet, simply click the "like" button and you feel as if you've acknowledged their suffering and done your job.

With 400 "friends" listed on Facebook, I can guarantee that there are only a handful that would really help me in times of trouble. These are obviously not all true friends but acquaintances. Does this blur the line for our young people? With children as young as 10 (that I know personally) sporting Facebook pages, do they understand the difference between friend and acquaintance? I know we used to chase after the myth that was popularity in high school and junior high. Does accepting any friend that comes along on Facebook instantly make you popular? What if those friends are dangerous and strangers?

Social networking has made us seemingly more connected and at the same time removed us from the community. We know what is going on at the Jones' or at least we think we do. How many people really post what their life is really like on their Facebook page? Status: I'm drinking to escape my life. Status: I'm cheating on my spouse. Status: I have this big fancy house that I cannot afford. Status: I am unemployed and drowning in debt. Status: I am hopeless but I just put a smile on my face. These are the things we miss about our friends and neighbors when we don't talk to them face to face. We cannot love others when we do not know what they need.

Disconnect today. Love your neighbor as yourself. Hug your friends in person. Take a meal rather than clicking "like". Reconnect with your community. Lift each other up in prayer rather than just saying you will. Send a handwritten note, smile a real smile, laugh in the company of your friends, and reconnect with our world.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tulle Explosion

Tutu making is not for the weak of heart or easily discouraged. It is a tremendous amount of tulle which can be rather unwieldy at times. Above, my trusty old Bernina is chugging through the 4th row of tulle on the waistband for this romantic tutu. No fancy machinery though, just a good old mechanical machine that can muscle through anything yet still handle delicate tulle. I have fancier machines that do fancier stitches but this is by far the machine I use the most.

When I lovingly open up my Bernina and clean lint out of the metal gears and drop some oil here and there to keep her running, I am reminded of the utility and simplicity inherent in these machines. They were manufactured in the 1970's. The intention was that they would run forever. It seems that more and more things have become disposable. And not just razors and grocery bags, but big things like appliances, furniture, vehicles. How many people do you know driving around a 20 year old car? Has our age of abundance and prosperity made us wasteful?

Let's talk socks for a minute. My daughter is learning to sew from an old book originally published in 1913. One of the lessons is darning and mending. When was the last time you thought about mending a sock? Having started but not finished knitting a sock, I can tell you if that sock got a hole, I would definitely mend it because of all the labor I have sacrificed. Maybe because necessities are so cheap, we don't consider our wastefulness.

For dinner tonight...grilled salmon, roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and bread.

Here is the finished tutu...