We went for a bike ride the other day. My dear friend, Jen and I hopped on our cruisers and we rode our way through a herd of cows. Mama cows and babies.

And a whole lot of cow pies.

cow

My mom asked me to collect some of these seed pods that dot the countryside near my house. She wanted them for art card inspiration, and to put in her flower pots at home. They really are beautiful, despite their thorns and spikey round heads.

They’re also noxious weeds. I once spent several hours in a sweltering heat, pulling these things out of a some Boulder open space. So there’s that.weeds 03

Nevertheless, they are fun to photograph on an overcast May day, against Colorado mountains that still have snow on them. It truly has been the most beautiful spring.weeds 04Thanks for hanging on with me friends, as I post rather infrequently. Life has thrown a few curveballs (most of which are good!). For now, my erratic posting will continue, but I’m itching to get back to my sewing machine and to a regular blogging schedule.

Peace, love, and noxious weeds.

 

It’s been a doozy of a week friends. In addition to Beagle sickness, life has just been a little trecherous lately. And by being distracted, frustrated, hurt, and overly worried about everything, I let all the beautiful things in my life pass by unnoticed.

Yes, I neglected everything I’m grateful for. During Thanksgiving. When I was supposed to be thankful. I am the world’s worst American.

So a littler meander through my iPhone photo gallery slapped me right back in the face. Wow, do I have things to be thankful for. And these are only the ones I chose to document.

So, a week late and probably even more annoying for those who dislike these internet memes, here’s my thankful list. In no particular order.

1. My cuddly, silly, independent Beagle. Don’t be annoyed by my obsession with my dog, because it’s only going to get worse.

2. My family. Such happy, warm, loving people. Such a support system.

3. My friends. Those that tell me how happy they are that we’re friends. Those that check in on me. Those that continue to reach out despite the terrible friend I’ve been. Wow.

4. A creative spirit, my sewing machine, and my blog. It feels so good to have this little outlet to return to, even when I’ve neglected it for a few weeks now. (I’m sorry, things will turn around soon, I pinky-promise).

5. My health. I can walk, see, hear and taste. I can run and jump and climb. I can laugh. I take these things for granted way too often.

6. My freedom and security. Amen.

 

Things I’m not thankful for:

1. Rotten avocados

Saturday night was the best. I mean, really the best. I was able to spend two hours with twelve lovely Colorado bloggers. Beware: I’m going to show you a million pictures and make you insanely jealous. I’ll go back to being polite and inclusive…tomorrow.

Meadow Rue Readers, meet: (back row) KimAshley, Me, Lizzie, Meghan (middle row) Liz, Rebecca, AnneKeely (front row) Katie, Erin, Elaine, Anne

Kim organized the most awesome craft: fabric printing on jersey scarves. Despite getting yellow paint nearly everywhere, this was totally theraputic. More fabric printing needs to happen in life.

The swag bags. Oh dear, there was nothing lacking in those swag bags. Kim even threw a ringpop in for all of us (flashback to 1992!). If I could only take one thing to a desert island, it would be this swag bag.

This little print is going in a thrifted frame and up on my sewing room wall asap. It’s has been scary, Yellow Heart Art. How did you know?

The most awesome craft kit from Katie at Lemon Jitters was included. I can’t wait to dig into this. That tiny wooden plane will be put to good use, you can be certain of that.

Knitted (or crocheted?) things from Snowdrift Designs! I really should learn the difference. Regardless, this red cup cozy has been planted firmly on my coffee mug since Sunday morning. And I refuse to drink out of anything else. It serves as a coaster too! And the coaster serves as a coaster, also. Imagine that.

A bright and cheerful fat quarter from Fabricate! The event was hosted at their adorable fabric store and sewing studio. The perfect venue for an intimate gathering.

Cards and prints! A fun Thank You from Ashley at Bow & Arrow Art and a Colorado state print from CAPow!

Overall, the night was a small trip outside my comfort zone coupled healthy injection of whoa-I-need-to-get-my-shiz-together. These ladies are big time, and after a bit of blog stalking, I am so inspired. Being surrounded by other people who understand the self-induced stress that comes from getting a post up is a strange comfort. What was even more awesome? Their personalities totally shine through in their writing, something that I continually strive for, but am completely unaware if the effort is working.

Twas a good night, friends. A good night indeed.

It has come to my attention that my sister, Whitney, should be writing this blog for me. These Sistershare posts are kicking my post’s butt, in a good way. In fact, I love that she’s letting me share them, because otherwise there’d be a whole lotta nothing on this blog for the next two weeks. And this Sistershare is just in time for Halloween!

The Charlie Tunic, from Made by Rae is totally cute, and such a versatile pattern to showcase contrasting holiday fabrics. Whitney went Halloween with this one, and can I just say? those little orange triangular buttons are perfect. Also, they strangely have me craving candy corn.
The facts, straight up:
Pattern:  Made by Rae Charlie Tunic
Size:  3T
Fabric:  Orange Jo-Ann broadcloth (too thin in retrospect), Jo-Ann holiday print
Notions:  Orange Jo-Ann buttons, black elastic cord
Difficulty:  Advanced beginner
Make it again?:  Already have.  Wait until you see the follow-up!

Her words, not mine:

“So this was my very first attempt at the Charlie Tunic, and I’m not going to lie, it was a bit of a stretch for me.  The epattern is great and the instructions are thorough, but it’s a tricky little bugger with a lot of steps.  Give yourself an entire afternoon on this one, ladies.

 Problems arose because I tend to do this thing when I’m sewing where I get frustrated by not understanding a specific step, think the pattern would come together easier if I did it a different way and then just start to wing it.  Hence the reason the sleeve facings are not the same as Rae’s and the addition of the big band along the bottom versus side vents.  In the end, it created a perfectly cute little shirt, but I can definitely tell it’s my first attempt at this pattern.

 Basically, if you’re a new sewist (sewer, whatever), I would advise using some cheap fabric for your first Charlie Tunic.  The half-price holiday fabric at Jo-Ann was clearly calling my name.  Once you’ve whipped  struggled through one, you’ll be on a roll.  The one piece of advice I have to impart:  if ironing the seam allowance (a scant ¼”) on the neck facing (step 7) is giving you fits, sew the seam allowance on the flat fabric first and follow that line to turn the fabric under and then iron.  This is especially useful on the curves.

Stay tuned for my elephant themed Charlie.  You won’t be disappointed.”

Hi friends. I’ve missed you. Life is busy. Wonderful, delightful, and serendipitous. But busy. My goodness.

I apologize for my absence in the blogosphere. Passing grad school has taken precedence. But I’m always thinking about you. I’m always wishing I was editing photos instead of working pivot tables. I’d always rather be sewing than nearly anything else. So bear with me. This too (and hopefully I) shall pass. In seven weeks.

But life is good, and fall is hanging around, letting us enjoy just a few more days of warmth. I think Colorado is at peak fall colors right now. My bike rides have been glorious. Not too hot, sunny, and filled with the most beautiful golden light.

Other golden things in my life? Oh, you know, just some thrifted jewelry. I’m on a kick.

I purchased the above pendant in Kalispell, Montana at the most epic thrift store I’ve ever seen. That thrift store may or may not have influenced my decision to go home for Thanksgiving. Of course, seeing my family is the main reason, but this thrift store played a small part. Yes, this pendant has a “G” engraved on it, which stands for absolutely no part of my name. So it stands for “Great”, because the necklace is just that.

These vintage earrings and wet hair. Totally, like, 1992. I’m pretty sure my mom had a pair of these. Beauties like these can be spotted at most thrift stores and I finally decided to pick up a pair. I love them. Such a nice casual earring, that, like all the other things featured in this post, allow you to be lazy about your morning routine. When you never take the jewelry off, you always look put together, right?

I apologize because you’ve seen this bracelet. I still haven’t taken it off since I bought it. It’s great, and so versatile. It can be paired with other bracelets for that arm party trend that’s happening. It can be worn alone for a simple and classic look. I didn’t realize my arms were so freckly and I never noticed that scar. Lovely.

It took me some time to venture into the thrifted jewelry arena. But I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve found so far. New jewelry is expensive, and thrifting some basic pieces is a great alternative.

Unfortunately, Sew Thrifted will be postponed a week. Despite being busier than a beaver, there are some pretty exciting things coming up that I’m working hard on! Stay tuned for some more guest blogging, more Sistershare, and a whole lotta bad jokes.

Man, have things changed. Since July, not much of my life is the same. Except for Beagle, he’ll always be his whiney, adorable self. And my unwavering family and friends; thank goodness for them. But most everything else is 100% different. Not a bad thing, friends, not at all.

I love change. I get bored easily. And a new class schedule, new fun friends, and a new routine are a welcome relief. The fact that I just happened to stumble upon my passion in these past three months? Dairy-free icing on the gluten-free cake. Life is damn good.

To celebrate, last week I ordered (free!) business cards from this awesome site, and in doing so, got the opportunity to apply new titles to myself that i never dreamed I’d see under my name on a little piece of cardstock.

There’s this one thing, though. One thing I was totally oblivious of, before embarking on this journey. I had no idea that most of my girlfriends want to learn to thrift and sew, but don’t really know where to start. Many have been asking for help, once they discovered my blog. This is beyond exciting to me. Thrilling, even!

Most of my male friends? They want their clothes tailored. I can work with that.

Earlier this fall, I decided to dive right into teaching (starting at Fancy Tiger in Denver). Teaching one class got the ball rolling on so many other ideas. A video (or several) is coming for those non-local folks. And some local thrift and sew workshops are in the works. I’m also going to start taking alterations!

This is the new me. I’m loving it. And I’m sure it’ll morph into something entirely different, eventually. Maybe a future business endeavor will replace the hours I spend behind a sewing machine. One day, having a vegetable garden might be more important than having blog content. Thrifting, of course, is here to stay. For now I’ll just keep loving what I’m doing, every second of every day.

I had no idea that lavender peaked in the fall. None. In fact, I even remember visiting lavender fields in Oregon in 2010, and I specifically do not remember it being fall. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have the mind of an 80 year old.

Last night when Beagle was doing his business in the dark I was randomly stroking a small shrub. Don’t worry about it, it’s normal. That shrub happened to give off the most lovely scent. Lavender in my front yard? Yes please.

So after a particularily busy and hectic day, I went out to that shrub this afternoon and I cut some of that lavender. I made up three little jars and gifted two of them to my dear friends. The other is sitting in my bathroom and I can smell it from at least thirty feet away. This stuff is pungent. In a good way.

Also, leaves. Because it’s fall. Just one story about leaves and then I’ll leave you alone.

During my first autumn in Portland, I was incredibly homesick. I remember whining to my mom about how it was rainy, there were bums everywhere, annndddd the leaves don’t crunch when you walk on them. The next week I received a large box full of crunchy Montana leaves from that dear woman. I still tear up when I think about that.

In Colorado, the leaves do crunch. Thank goodness.

So friends, feedback time! If you haven’t noticed I’m getting pretty excited about this little blog ‘o mine, but I want to make sure that you love it as much as I do! I have a gazillion blog ideas floating around my brain, but a little feedback is always a good thing. So pretty please, take the super short survey (only 3 questions!) below and help a sister out.

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Which Meadow Rue posts do you enjoy the most?




What's your favorite way to create?







How old are you?







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If you’d like to see more of something, please note that in the comments section!

All thanks to this post by A Beautiful Mess I will now freely call myself a photographer. I would highly recommend following their instructions step by step.

And then go wild on your entire library of photos! Please someone come and pry this overheating computer out of my dead, lifeless grip.

Here are two of my edits. Don’t tell me if they still look horrendous. My photographer ego is prone to rapid deflation.

Before:
Very obviously too dark. Which I didn’t notice until I started tweaking it. A true photographer’s eye, I have.

After:
Stark contrast, soft light

Before:
A bit dark, among other things that are obviously wrong that I can’t articulate.

After:
All ethereal and dreamy…and stuff.

Try it. Now. And book me for your next chicken event!