and a bear for Claude...

I'm loving hand-sewing these bears right now- it's really satisfying to make them start to finish without anything but fabric and thread... and Claude is quite pleased with the outcome too.



the small bear...

for a still very small baby. I'm looking forward to giving this soft little bear to my friend here in Rome. She found out she was pregnant in the first week we arrived and it's been so sweet to watch her belly grow and know that this lovely person will be a mother to a very lucky child.

My mother only brought enough disks to make one bear (plus one extra set) but enough fabric for two- so I started another bear with floppy arms and legs sewn into the body for Claude. He was so excited about this bear- carrying it around and kissing it's nose (that kinda kills me- every time) so couldn't resist hand sewing another just for him. It should be done in the next few days...



Wishing you all have a lovely day (whether you're celebrating this holiday or not)... I hope it's a very happy-warm-sunny-springtime-dream-day.

(photos from one of the many decorated windows here in Rome via Kindra is Here)


a view from Rome-

While my sister Kindra was here she shot a ton of photos which she just posted. I've chosen a few that I think are really beautiful, are moments we shared during her visit, or are things I see in my neighborhood every day-

 to see many many more of her beautiful images and see more of ROME! check out her Flicker page.

one more day...

the dullDiamond sale continues- for one more day!


the minimum required...

I've gotten all the hand-sewing on my little bear done. It actually went quite quickly once I got going- maybe 30min for all the limbs- pads and all. I've been amazing at how little you need if you just want to make a single simple little bear. I've included of photo of all the supplies I'm using but a few of these things could be omitted too if you wanted to make a couple changes. For instance you could use a different fabric, but mohair really is the best (in my humble opinion!). If you didn't want to mess with disks and cotter pins you could just string join the limbs. I'm not using glass eyes for this bear- instead I'll just stitch the eyes with floss since it's for a baby (there are just little pins marking the placement now). I stuffed the head with excelsior, but since I didn't want the whole piece to be very hard I found this cotton in the drug store. It's just cotton batting instead of cotton balls- and I think it will be perfect for stuffing the limbs and body and could have been used for the head too. 

It's fun to see what you can make do with.  I can feel summer in the air here and summer always makes me want to pare everything down- from possessions to process. I just want to make room for more air in my day and my life- you know what I mean?


there's a SALE going on over at dD...

check out all the info on our blog- and all the goods in the shop

for those wondering: dullDiamond is my side project with Emily... (I've been making a few things here and there while I've been in Rome- some of those items on sale and some aren't... but it's been fun. Finding beads at open air markets and little tiny craft shops - it's a lot different than back home- and I'm making some different things because of it. Check out our blog to see more of all of that and more and more and more...) 



My parents came for a visit last week. It's so good to have people we love come here, it really makes everything so much more rich and full sharing the marvel of this place with them. Lucky for me, my mom carried a number of much needed items in her bag for me. One of which was a little package of sewing supplies. A little bear is currently in progress- from Scratch: new pattern, handsewing, and all things new- will keep you updated on my progress:


Gee's Bend

After my post yesterday I came across these quilts made by the women of Gee's Bend.  I can't get them out of my head- the color and composition,  the meaning of craft and community... it's all too much. I'm in awe.

Thank you Purl for this old post (which sent me on my search):
Gee's Bend is a small Alabama community geographically isolated by a winding river. The population are primarily descended from former slaves who worked the land for plantation owners in the nineteenth century and as share croppers for most of the twentieth century. Their self-sufficience was born of this hard-laboring life, and it yielded incredible creativity, resourcefulness, and spirit. To learn more about the quilters themselves, their work, and their community, visit their excellent website.



I just found out a friend is expecting a baby and what comes to my crazy mind after being excited and so happy for her and her family?- I'm sure it's no surprise: "What could I make for her and the little one?" This sort of making is my favorite... and the planning is just as joyful.

I was doing a bit of searching around and found this beautiful collection of photos from Moving Hands- taken at the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival. She has been making photos over the last few years and they're all up there. What an inspiration- it makes me look forward to getting sewing again.

Animals For Sale (aka Claude's favorite book) by Bruno Munari

This one might be my favorite too... the humor is quite odd (which I love) and the illustrations are brilliant. We had a few of Munari's books before we came to Italy, but we've acquired a collection in the last month. I can't get enough.