Pretty Birds, by Virginia Lindsay – and a contest

Pretty BirdsI’ve been spreading myself nice and thin lately. I guess it’s just that time in the cycle for me. The good news is, it’s all good stuff…not like I usually do, over-committing to other people. No, this includes lots of craft stuff. So, when asked if I was interested to review a copy of Virginia Lindsay’s Pretty Birds, of course I said, YES! Eighteen simple projects? Sign me up!

My first thoughts were that I could do these little projects with my crafty daughter. We’ve had fun in the past making felt plushies. Then I thought, oh no, we just made her get rid of a lot of her stuffed animals to make room in her clutter-crafty bedroom. We don’t need more stuff!

I was very excited when I started reading to see that every project has a page titled “Other Ideas to Try” that tells you how to make your little birdy functional! Bingo. Some of the suggestions are decorative, like a mobile or refrigerator magnet, but they also include something that can make your bird sing, er, work for you. Think, computer charger caddy, napkin ring, car air freshener, etc.

What cute gift ideas! Attach it to the outside of a present and voila! Personal touch that shows I care. Flipping through the pages I had a growing desire to give more gifts just because.

As for the actual mechanics of the book, the directions are simple to follow and you don’t need a sewing machine. I have a machine that I got a couple years ago but it’s still in the box. I like that I can bring out the hand-sewing supplies and get down to business. The font is easy to read and very welcoming. The way the cover folds back easily makes it easy to use while doing the project. In this day of digital books, this one, with it’s matte pages is easy on the eyes and just feels good in your hands.

These little bird projects have sparked so many ideas. When my grandmother passed away, my cousin had all of her pjs and favorite robes made into pillows and fabric bookmarks for all of us grandkids. I’ve heard of people having quilts made in the same manner. I think these birds would be perfect for that kind of project too since each piece only needs scrap pieces of fabric.

Thanks, Running Press, for sending this book my way. We are going to have lots of fun with these projects and I’ll be back to show y’all!


Win a bird fabric kit and a copy of this book at:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see other reviews of this book, please visit:

25 You Go Girl

2/26 Erica B. DIY Style

2/27 CraftSanity

2/28 Recycled Crafts

3/1 Sew Mama Sew

3/2 Lorelei’s Blog

3/3 FaveCrafts

3/4 S is for Sewing

3/5 Lori Greenberg

3/6 Killing It As A Grown Up

3/10 Sweet KM

3/11 Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

3/12 Buzzmills

3/13 Girl Like the Sea

3/15 Cut Out + Keep

Friday morning writing catch-up warm-up.

Coming here to warm up my little fingers and get the writing juices flowing; or not. More stream of consciousness button pushing.

I’ve done the read-through of my 88-page first draft, of which I was so proud. I made written edits and am incorporating them into my writing software. That pride has turned into, “Damn, this totally sucks, what am I doing?” Interspersed with, “I can fix it.” And lots of, “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Focus, NOW!” I’ve also decided to totally change the age and personality of my main character, which means that lots of other stuff will need to change too. Heck, why not just rewrite the thing? I guess that’s what this stage is all about. Rewriting sounds way more appealing than editing. Maybe someday I’ll find a rhythm.

I’ve discovered that getting to it in the morning after one kid is dropped off, and the rest of the house is still sleeping, is much more productive than hanging out on Facebook with my coffee. I’ve also learned that the homeschooled kid can work on his own a lot, except for math. Math sucks.

The book cover designer I had lined up had to bail on new work so I’m in the process of finding a new one. We’re getting ready to start construction on the studio, after another permit delay this week. And I really need to do some more de-cluttering. If that new space was ready, I wouldn’t have to!

On the good side, I got these kawai little train cases that will help hide some of the clutter.

kauai train cases


Get back in the art show ring?

I’ve been up to my eyeballs in homeschooling. It’s easier than I thought and really does take less time than a school day however, it takes more of my time than public school used to take. I’ve adjusted to that by giving up everything else I used to do. In some ways that’s relaxing. In other ways I sometimes wonder just what I’m spending all of my time on now.  Then I remember, oh, yeah, protecting, forming, and nurturing a very happy teenager, and it’s all good.

That said, I haven’t done shows this year and the deadline for application to my big studio tour is coming up next month. I don’t know what I want to do. I want to do the show but I don’t want to be stressed because I don’t have enough time. I have a couple other artists who are looking to get back here, after not showing here last year and I feel a little obligation. I’d be perfectly happy not to show but I like the extra cash and thrill of selling my work. I wonder if the kid will be back to regular school by fall. I wonder if summer will bring me studio time. And, what about that book I’m supposedly writing?

glass and enamel beads

We thought the new studio space would be done by now. In fact, that’s why I didn’t show last year. I thought we’d still be under construction. We have the designs done and permits in but haven’t broken ground yet. I want to use the new space for paper, fiber, painting, etc. and had the idea of filling the space with pieces (2D art, mobiles, panels, vessels, jewelry, whatever) and putting everything for sale at the studio tour. What doesn’t sell could/would go on sale online, or elsewhere, and start all over for next year. Maybe take emails at the show and have a New Year trunk show, reduced price sale.

While that sounds fun, I don’t even know if I can make wall pieces, whether that would all be too disjointed or how any of that would work out. That’s my current dream though. In-between all that other stuff.