24 April 2013

a request on wednesday the 24th

I've been thinking about this post for a few days.  There's quite a few things I want to share and I've been pondering on whether to write about everything in one post or break it up over a few days.  As I sit here right now, I have yet to decide.  So I'm just going to dive in and see where I'm compelled to go.

First and most important ... a Richie update.
My brother has asked for those of us following Richie's healing journey to spend a little extra time today and share the Prayers 4 Richie links ...

Prayers 4 Richie on Facebook

my Medallion Fundraiser

my niece Alexis' FundRazr campaign

On the whole, Richie's been doing extremely well.  Throughout the day, but especially at 2pm CST, I send out prayers to my nephew and his family.  I love visualizing Richie being held and supported in the light filled loving embrace of our growing community.

But he's got a long road ahead and challenges persist ... he's 2 months into his 12 months of chemo (1 week on, 3 weeks off), there have been several bouts with seizures, ambulance rides and late night trips to the ER, getting his meds dialed in to control seizures and re-upping the steroids to reduce the swelling and relieve his headaches and nausea.

This is how I like to picture my amazing and joyous nephew ...

I don't want this post to turn maudlin, but this image from Monday night's trip to the ER is sticking with me.

I was feeling so very sad and helpless yesterday.  I've heard countless stories of spontaneous healing and miraculous speedy recoveries.  With Richie's strong faith and insanely positive outlook on life, why hasn't his cancer just disappeared?   During my morning meditation and prayers, it came to me that Richie is taking the longer path for a reason.  He has a vision for a foundation ... a way to share the power of music and faith to help others through their own healing journeys ... and he can help others more effectively if he knows that difficult path.

His journey is bringing our families closer together and assembling a powerful global community.  While dollars and donations and medallions are one way to help, I believe sending out healing thoughts and prayers has an even broader impact.  Through our powers of intention, we're creating a web of love and light and healing that helps everyone, not just Richie.    

So, today is about Richie.  My stories can wait. 

with deep gratitude ...
l i g a - kvk

04 April 2013

"Prayers For Richie" Fundraiser

Okay, so here's what I've been working on ...

I'm thinking you probably know my nephew Richie's been on something of a journey.  He had surgery the Saturday after this past Thanksgiving to remove a brain tumor that was found to be cancerous.  You can read more details on the FundRazr site his sister Alexis has just put up to raise money for his ongoing treatment and medical bills.

First off, this kid is amazing.  The night before surgery, he performed an impromptu concert from his hospital bed; 3 days after surgery he was once again entertaining his visitors.

Richie's got a tremendous support network of devoted family and friends.  They just held a benefit concert for him and are planning another one in June.  And, as I mentioned before, Alexis just set up a FundRazr site.  I figure there's strength in numbers so, in the interest of providing options and because I feel a strong need to do something to help, I designed a special medallion to add to the fundraising efforts.  

My nephew's got big plans for the future.  He has a vision to set up a foundation; through music and his deeply held faith, he wants to help other kids going through similar journeys.  We're hoping to raise enough money to pay off the medical bills and then get his foundation going.

And before I continue, one really important thing you need to know about me - probably the hardest thing for me to do is ask for help ... with anything.  I am notoriously pig headed, stubborn beyond reason and have to be on the verge of being crushed to ask for assistance of any kind.  The other thing to know, I'm bad, but my little brother makes me look like a total go with the flow girl.   

I'm realizing one of the biggest lessons we're both getting through Richie's ongoing journey towards healing is how to ask for help.  I have to accept there's nothing I can physically do to change what is. What I can do is join in the daily (2pm CST) Prayers For Richie.  What I can do is create this medallion to raise money to help with Richie's ever growing expenses.  It's a start.

So ... the medallion.
For right now, they're hand formed by me in metal clay ... I'm hoping these go viral and I have to figure out how to get them cast.  On one side I stamp my All One icon ... we truly are All One.  On the other side, I've designed a Prayers For Richie logo - P4R.  They're averaging about 3/4" in diameter.  I'm stringing the medallions on red nylon Chinese knotting cord so they can be worn 24/7, they adjust from 30" down to 16".    I'm also stitching up the little muslin bags with the P4R logo stamped on them.  Here's a little closer view ...

I have the Paypal button set up as a "donate what you can" option.  To keep this project sustainable, I'm asking for a minimum donation to cover my cost of materials and postage.  I want this medallion to be available to as many people as possible so I'm doing both a bronze and fine silver version.  For the bronze, I'm asking for a $10 minimum; for the fine silver, $25.  Of course, more is definitely mo' better and greatly appreciated.  Every dollar over my actual expenses will go towards Richie's bills.

I'm a little cross-eyed from figuring out all the details.  I finished and uploaded the webpage and after I finish this post, I'll head over to blast the link all over Facebook.  Like I was saying ... I'd love for this to go viral.  

I'd love for you to share this post and links with anyone and everyone.  If you feel so compelled and are able, a donation to either the FundRazr campaign or for a medallion would be truly wonderful and deeply appreciated by a large number of people.  Every cent helps.

My intention is to create a vast network joined together with these medallions.  Clasp the medallion and know we are All One.  I hope you'll join our Prayers For Richie community.

with deep gratitude ...
l i g a - kvk

03 April 2013

comments update

Hi kids - just wanted to let you know that I've changed my comments settings ... no more anonymous comments.  I've been getting some icky spam and just don't want to look at it anymore.  If you don't have a Google account or whatever it now takes to leave a comment, you can always email me via the link on the right side of the page.
l i g a - kvk

02 April 2013

my morning thus far

Taking my time.
The sun's pouring in ... a rare thing as of late.
Feeling an ease about things in general ... a relief.

Waiting for the kettle to boil, the morning sun was hitting my newly installed prisms.  The colors and the reflections off the kettle inspired me to run upstairs and grab the camera.  This led to walking around and seeing what else caught my eye. 
This is what I'm enjoying right now ...

waiting for the kettle to boil ...

my latest concoction ... nettles tea
I'm always getting teased for my concoctions.  I was drawn to purchase a bag of dried nettles from Red Moon Herbs this past weekend.  Got home and did some reading up on nettles ... looks like a perfect spring tonic.  Tastes like straw ... very green, very fresh ... I love it.

now, settling in to my studio ... sun hitting my rock and shell collections ...
and a sneak peek at my new project ... I'll be selling these medallions on a "donate what you can" basis to raise money for my nephew's medical expenses.  The silver prototypes are done.  Now I'm heading over to work on the bronze versions ... more details to follow.

Off to work for this little peep ... 
l i g a - kvk

p.s. thanks Carol and Sparrow ... fiber arts in some form is definitely a part of my future.  I've been thinking about the rocker and there's a strong possibility that they made it themselves and the "arts and crafts" period would be just about right.  They were accomplished woodworkers and made some amazing pieces.  Looking at the finishing details leads me to believe it might be their handiwork ... need to ask Dave's mom.  xoxo

01 April 2013

sewing diversion ... before & after

You may recall this post back in February where I posted a pic of some recently acquired vintage linen ... gorgeous, scrumptuous, super stout vintage homespun linen.  This linen ...

I love just looking at it and I've had it rolled up on a shelf in my workroom for easy gazing.  But I actually had a plan for some of it.  Last week I got inspired to take a break from jewelry and haul out my beloved little Bernette sewing machine and take on a bit of a sewing adventure ... re-doing the upholstery and cushion of Dave's grandfather's rocking chair. 

We don't really know much about the rocker - how old it really is or how long his Grampa had it.  Dave's had it since we met over 34 years ago.  It was in pretty good shape back then.  But through the years, and mostly thanks to an incorrigible chocolate lab puppy, much of the fabric was in shreds.  I've been draping assorted fabrics over the sad, flat cushion for almost 20 years.  So when this amazing linen came into my hands, I knew the time had come to try my hand at upholstery. This chair from Restoration Hardware provided my inspiration.    

Here's a couple of before shots ...

Now, I've made plenty of pillow covers, but with the curves around the arm rests, this cushion was a bit more structured.  Even so, I wasn't really worried about that part of the project.  What was concerning me and what I've never done, was the underneath support part ... webbing, tacks, padding.  This is why I checked out an upholstery book from the library.

It was great fun ripping all that old fabric off the frame.  Of course, I had to be really careful about losing rusty tacks in the carpet, so I put my cutting board on the floor to catch all the mess ... loads of dust, a couple of ancient lady bugs, a few splinters, gobs of rusty tacks, nasty old cotton batting and rotten fabric.

Once the frame was bare and all cleaned up, I commenced to laying in the webbing.  There was something ever so satisfying about getting the webbing taut (I had to buy a stretching tool) and the tacks spaced just right.  I'm quite pleased with my first efforts ...

I tacked a layer of muslin over the webbing, cut some 1" compressed batting to fit and then tacked on the linen top layer.  The homespun is only 19" wide and has wonderful selvedge edges that I wanted to use as much as possible.  Using that Restoration Hardware chair as a model, I wanted the fabric to roll over the front edge a bit - a perfect place for the selvedge to show.  I had to piece the base so I could use the selvedge edge at the front and the back.  The side edges are machine stitched. 

It's not perfect, but I think it looks pretty darn good for my first try.  Here's the front tacked edge ...

And here's a detail of the new cushion in place.  I used the selvedge on the front of the cushion as well.  I wish I'd made it a bit deeper, but it's the same size as the original, so I guess it's okay.  It's kind of hard to see, but I hand stitched the edge with some linen warp thread I had on hand.

I had an old Pier 1 cushion at the back of the chair that was just too blah with the new look.  So I pulled out another one of my vintage fabric scores - vintage homespun hemp kaya/mosquito netting from Japan.  Once again - it's narrow - so I had to do some piecing. 

I used the selvedge along that center seam and did a herringbone stitch with the unbleached linen to join the two pieces.  I was also able to use the raw ends with a machine zig-zag for stability.  That cross seam is the opening where i inserted the pillow.  I slipcovered the insert with an unbleached muslin to show off the open weave of the fabric.  I closed the opening with a running stitch.

And the finished project ...

Dave's grandparents were talented woodworkers and enormously creative people ... I'm thinking they'd be very proud of my efforts ... I know I am.

Well, that's done and it's time to head back to jewelry ... stay tuned for a very special project to follow in the next couple of days.

l i g a - kvk

p.s.  if you'd like some of this yummy linen for your ownself, go check out Lisa Carter's CoolVintage Etsy shop and you can find vintage hemp kaya at Kimono Boy