Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas book reviews

The boy has promised to build me a new sewing table for my Christmas present. I'm such a lucky girl! But since he wanted me to have something to unwrap he got me two awesome books that I'm already in love with...This book is so inspiring. The author, Jeanne Williamson, pledge to make a small art quilt per week for a year--and then kept doing that for several more years! She amassed a collection of quilts and expanded her technique, using uncommon materials in her quilts. I'm a packrat too, so I'm inspired to try my own. I've started one that I'll post soon.Adorable! Aimee Ray has some great ideas. The projects are super cute, but the stitching ideas can easily be adapted for many more projects. She had a unique way of combining stitches and colors that wasn't obvious to me at first but now seems so intuitive. Pictures of my attempts will be here soon!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Photos from the bridal shower gift!

Evidently my bridal shower gift was a hit, as I managed to catch the new bride in groom showing off their wares at the wedding (well, technically after it).
The post wedding brunch featured the cute Mr and Mrs visors (sorry they are hard to see)

Mr and Mrs

And the bag made it to the honeymoon suite, although you can't see the photoshop genius that became the label at all...

It's so gratifying when someone likes and uses their gift. Not that they wouldn't have liked or used something they registered for, but this is SOO much cuter, don't you think?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Don't wait until after you wrap...

To take pictures of your creations, as you'll inevitably forget to take them!

In a fit of creative fury, I put together a honeymoon pack for my friend's bridal shower. Their registry was boring me (love them, but who wants to buy sheets and slightly creepy silicone bakeware) so I got creative.

However, I waited until the last minute to do all my creating and was up until 2 am the morning of my flight finishing the details. But it was a hit! A beach bag personalized with their names courtesy of photoshop. Two coordinating visors with mr. and mrs. for the beach. A beach blanket for two with their new (for her) initials. Other cute beachy stuff. Made the uber-long gift opening session more exciting...there are only so many towels and kitchen gadgets you can ooh and ahh over.

The most exciting part of my project was discovering how to embroider on things you couldn't put under the machine, like the visors. I used 4 layers of water soluble stabilizer and stitched the letters using a heavy block font. After washing off the stabilizer, I glued the letters in place, complete with a heart shaped rhinestone for the period. They turned out super cute, if I may say so myself. Maybe I'll get lucky and Jen will send me a picture of them wearing them on the beach!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Eco-friendly fixes to Craigslist finds

I love Craigslist. And thrift stores. And yard sales. And if I ever find anything good in my alley, I probably wouldn't be against dragging that home to.... My boyfriend is such a sport (he's into it too.)

Currently I have two lovely Craigslist acquisitions that need some lovin'. One is a lovely small sideboard with hutch. I've already decided they look better separated, with the hutch hanging on the wall. And I've replaced the pulls from a drab, ultra traditional brass to these lovely brushed nickel ones. Second is a desk soon to be vanity for the bathroom. Still looking for the perfect drawer pulls (I want recycled glass...hmmm...). The stickler is that both require a paint job to be perfect.

I stained an unfinished piece last year, and was completely put off by the awful smell and cleanup. Can't imagine what those VOC's (volatile organic compounds-aka the smelly stuff for the non-science nerds) are doing to our insides every time we paint/stain/recycle those thrift store castoffs.

Thus began my search for eco-friendly paints and stains. So far I found two companies that look promising. I'm going to try some of their products out and I'll get back to ya on how they stack up.

Company 1: Bioshield Natural Paints

They are one of the few places that have stains that seem to be more than just "less bad" normal stains. We'll see how they work, as the boy has them earmarked for his current reclaimed project (shhh, it's a surprise).

Company 2: Green Planet Paints

Ohhh, I'd love to try their clay paints for my next wall painting project. Soooo Pretty! I ordered some of their raw pigments to try in my new fabric printing endeavor, an alternative to commercial dye powders. I'm so excited I'm giddy!

In celebration of this green post, a pretty picture for your enjoyment:
Mmmm....clean air, clean water-I love the beach!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Cute Green Things

If you haven't seen it already, the Domino Magazine/ eco-decorating list is full of great ideas. I'd love to get my hands on some hemp/organic cotton fabric and print my own designs like this hand silk-screened beauty:

Mod Green Pod

Hand-silk-screened with water-based paint, this ornate organic cotton (perfect as a Roman shade) is as fresh as the brand-new firm that designed it.

"Grand Jubilee" $97.50/yard, for stores

Photo by domino digital studio
Oh, and how adorable is this dress:
Vanessa Barrantes

Peruvian native Barrantes incorporates natural fibers—such as bamboo, which is antimicrobial—into her swingy dresses. Linen "Sophia" $198

Turns out it is pretty easy being green after all! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Nashville Tours

This weekend, my baby brother (21 years old! yikes!) came to visit me from the frigid north. He definitely enjoyed the weather, and I took advantage of his visit to take two days off from my real work and play hookey with him. We had a great time being pseudo-tourists, and I even managed to get in a little work on my latest creation. More on that soon (I promise!)... :)

Friday, March 2, 2007

New obsession

This book is awesome! I've been churning out little fabric roses all week. Cutting the shapes needed for the more complicated flowers is proving more difficult, but I'm determined to make the 12 sided sunflower! My next project will have lots and lots of roses.... :)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


The official blog of Halcyon Green is now online!

This is my first attempt at blogging (I'm so behind the times), so I think this blog will get MUCH better with time. For now, please bear with me.

The vision:
Explore ways to live a low-impact life without sacrificing the comforts of a modern world.

Okay, that's a bit ambitious. But then ambition is the root of all change, and I've grown tired of being one of the lemmings that follow the crowd no matter where it goes.

The older I get, the more it bothers me how badly we humans treat each other and our environment. It's getting easier to make good choices, but it's still a struggle with the availability of cheap, mass-produced goods (often the only choice for those of us still on the low end of the salary pool).

My solution of this is two-fold: awareness and creativity.

Graduate training has made me so much more aware of how fragile our bodies are, and how little we know about what we put in, on, and around ourselves. Little by little I'm sifting through the piles of information and deciding what I really want in my life and the message I want to send to producers.

Humans seem to have a natural inclination to want to create. Cooking, decorating, singing, dancing--our reality TV obsession reflects something that is missing in our lives. I've always been one for making rather than buying, but now I'm taking a closer look at how I do that as well. For now, this little effort is my way of joining the handcrafted movement as well as satisfying my need for a creative outlet.