March 30, 2009

Spring 2009 Headbands

I've just finished photographing the headbands I've made with all the new fabrics I picked up for Spring! I will be adding them to the shop a couple each day for the next week or so. Here are a few of my favorites so far.

I'm totally loving these new prints! Clockwise from top left - "Black Sakura", "First Leaves" in Green, "Flower Child" in Purples, and "Flight of Fancy". I'll be adding these and many more to Black Mustard Fiber Arts this week.

Also, here's a look at how the recycled fabric headbands turned out! These started out as 2 men's shirts and a cool vintage dress. I can't wait to go raid the thrift stores for more goodies like these!

March 23, 2009

Rediscovering Leisure

Yesterday was another gorgeous day and I feel great for having taken full advantage of the first couple Spring days we've had. On Saturday after I found that cutting up old clothes can be a huge mood booster, I made the most of my motivation and went for an hour-and-a-half bike ride, my first since I packed the bike away for the winter. I rode all through the trails by my house, up to the park and the man-made (but still beautiful) lake there. It was a wonderful first day of Spring.

Yesterday I taught my guitar lessons, did some spinning on the deck, and then met up with my brother for dinner. We had about an hour left of daylight after we ate so we took my guitar and a drum and hung out in a field near my house.

It occurred to me as we were playing songs and enjoying the sunshine that I still felt anxious. I had this nagging feeling that I should be doing something. Like in order to really be making the most of the day and the moment I should either be doing something productive or at least entertaining. I realized that since I've become an adult and been increasingly able to buy different things and experiences I've become increasingly unable to just relax and be.

I used to do it all the time. I would spend hours just sitting outside listening to music, or reading, or writing, or just daydreaming. Now, if I think of doing something outside, it's always something that requires planning ahead and organizing some kind of activity, usually something I pay for. So, I've decided to work on getting back to basics. To allow myself true leisure time, without having to have something to show for it afterward. To focus on the quality of the story of my life instead of just the plot.

I have noticed lately that whenever I am asked to spend time with someone, I immediately run through all the other things I could accomplish with that time. I feel like I have to justify every moment I spend. I can foresee this kind of thinking getting out of hand very quickly, and I know it's already hurt some of the people I love when I am always making excuses why I can't see them. I think in our society "work" always trumps leisure or recreational time, and I really don't want that to be the way I live my life. So, I'm making a conscious decision to reassert my right to leisure and to welcome spontaneity back into my life. After all, if I hadn't agreed to sit with my brother in a field yesterday I would have missed out on this:

Which, as it turned out, was the perfect end to an awesome day.

March 22, 2009

Recycling / Upcycling to live life softly

On Friday I popped into a thrift store on a whim while driving home from work. I thought it'd be cool to see what kind of things I could find that would be good to cut up and use for fabric. I ended up picking a couple of men's shirts and a cool vintage dress, all of which had small spots and flaws that I figured might keep them from finding good homes in their current forms.

Yesterday I was planning to meet up with my best friend/model to photograph my new headbands, but because my sewing was not as fast as I remember it being, I ended up missing my chance to get together with her. I was feeling pretty bummed and kind of annoyed with myself, and I decided to dig into the clothes and start cutting. I had no idea that simple act of cutting up clothing would have the power to turn my day around! It was so much more fun than I expected it to be. It was the perfect mix of a destructive outlet and creative possibility. And once it was all cut up, I ended up with some great pieces of fabric!

Next time I will definitely wash everything before I cut it, because the way I did it I ended up with quite the tangled mess in the washing machine. But after ironing I have some really nice-sized pieces of totally usable fabric.

I really like this brown and green striped woven looking stuff! I can't wait to see how these look as headbands, and I am already itching to go scour the second hand shops for more finds!

March 19, 2009

Hurry Up Spring!

These last few weeks have been a bit of a waiting period for me. I've been working on lots of fresh Spring items lately and I'd hoped to share them this month but a couple of things have gotten in the way. First, there's the crazy weather we've been having. We've had some days that feel like Spring is already here, with beautiful blue skies and mild breezes. Those are the days when the inspiration runs high to create pieces for the upcoming season. Then there are the days when I've planned a photo session with my lovely model/best friend and wake up to see a landscape shrouded in grey and big fat snow flakes coming down! What's up with that? Well, I'll give Old Man Winter his last few days but he'd better be gone soon because April will be Spring Fever at Black Mustard Fiber Arts!

Then of course there was my aunt's passing, which has pretty much taken priority. I've been grieving the loss of her and I've gladly given my time to the people in my life who've needed me around. But I am eager to get back to business as usual and I'm hoping that April will be a month of rejuvenation for me and for the shop!

To kick it off I've brought back some of my cotton headbands. I'm bringing out all the best prints from last year, and I'll also have a whole whack of new fabrics coming out in April. These are a couple of my favorites from last summer. I really can't wait to bring out the new prints - I've been having so much fun working with them! Don't forget to sign up for my monthly newsletter if you want the inside scoop on the Spring items coming out next month!

March 4, 2009


To anyone out there who may be wondering where I've gone to, I've been spending the last couple of weeks close to my family after the unexpected passing of my aunt. She was an extremely sweet woman and I will miss her dearly.

Her death was very sudden and came as a shock to everyone. It has reminded me of the importance of making time to spend with the people you care about. This was the first person in my life to pass away so unexpectedly, and although I wouldn't go so far as to say I feel guilty for not seeing her as often lately as I used to (she knew how much I loved her), I am sorry that I won't be able to add any more new memories to my existing ones with her. So, I'm letting this be a lesson. My priorities over the last couple of weeks have been visiting with family, especially those most affected by these events - my uncle who was married to her for 34 years, and her 2 sons.

I am looking forward to getting back in the swing of things as well though. I've been working on some new Spring items for my shop, and I'll be sending out my newsletter on the 15th of March (better late than never!) to share some of those new ideas with those who've signed up! Until then, I hope everyone is having a wonderful night :)