Posts Tagged ‘flamingo’

One of Those Years

January 8, 2014

If you can predict the future by the first week of the year, 2014 will be the year of “oops”. This was the week I forgot to put the yeast in the yeasted pastry. My daughter discovered the blooming yeastie-beasties in time for me to make another batch, and the unyeasted pastry tastes just fine toasted.


The next “oops” came when I tried to read the letters on a decorative textile. I was certain the word was in Russian, but there was figure that looked too weird. Then I rotated the piece.


Clearly a chicken, clearly not Russian

Clearly a chicken, clearly not Russian


If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to laugh at myself all year long.


The week also brought some lovely surprises. The first surprise came when I stopped at my local quilt store to buy some thread. I took a brief glance around the shop and discovered this amazing fabric.


Lani Longshore Viking fabric


How often do you find Viking fabric? I bought two yards.


The next surprise came when I helped a friend with an estate sale. She let me pick whatever I wanted as a thank-you, and I found the cutest little lunch sets and a 50’s-era cup and saucer.


Lani Longshore lunch set


I’ll be eating in style at the next brown bag event.


Last, my friend Ann Anastasio gave me my very own miniature flamingo set.


Lani Longshore flamingo


Yes, I’ll definitely be giggling all year long.




Style = Story + Strata

August 14, 2013

I’ve said before that I wait for the fabric to speak to me before I start a project. I’ve also admitted that very often my color choices depend on what I can reach. This week I accepted the truth – my style is determined by the story behind the materials and where those materials are in the layers of stuff around my studio. Rather than fight the reality of my cluttered creative space, I will embrace it and turn that bug into a feature.


Another reality I have embraced is that I have no space for another quilt anywhere – not the walls, not the chairs or couches, not the beds – but I can always use another tote bag. I made two.


Lani Longshore flamingo tote


I had an eighth of a yard of bright pink fabric with either flying birds or flying bats (I think they’re birds), some hot pink purse handles, hot pink chenille on a spool, and a yard of flamingo fabric.


Lani Longshore flamingo fabric


The is tote is big enough to carry my sharing to quilt guild meetings, which is why I attached my name tag to it.


Lani Longshore celtic box tote


I finished the small, square tote from the fabric that Margaret Misegades gave me. The celtic fabric really is from Ireland.


Lani Longshore dove


The dove is not from Ireland, but I thought it went well with the celtic pieces.


Lani Longshore button


I bought the button embellishments in Santa Fe at the SAQA conference. They are made by Robin Pascal of Perfect Buttons. When I bought them, I had no idea how appropriate that name is, as I think they really are perfect for this project.


And so it is with my new-found label for my style. It doesn’t really describe what comes out of my studio, but it certainly describes my process. For the moment, that is as good as I’m going to get.




The Tote Bag Secret Burial Ground

July 21, 2010

I reclaimed tote bags this week. It’s not the Battle of Marathon, but it is a victory all the same. Much of my organizational scheme relies on tote bags (which is why my sewing room looks the way it does).

Many of my totes are dedicated. There’s the guild meeting tote, which is actually a basket. It holds a pillow for those hard folding chairs, my name tag, sharing, and information about the latest projects for my friendship groups. There’s the embroidery tote, which holds the crazy quilt I’ve been working on for the last five years and the embroidered fabric boxes I started with the scraps of the crazy quilt. There’s also the embellishment tote.

This tote holds bags of silk ribbon, couching threads, and special beads I’m saving for the perfect project. I put them here so they wouldn’t get lost in the boxes and bags of regular embroidery threads, and beads. Sadly, for the much of the past year the flamingo tote was hidden behind a stack of books. I unearthed it while moving the piles, and now I can’t remember what all those perfect projects were for the contents of the bag.

At the same time I unearthed this tote –

This is could be a purse, or a brief case. I remember buying it – and some of its sisters – for Christmas gifts. I’m pretty sure the reason this one is still with me instead of stashed on someone else’s shelf is because it’s purple.

Then there are my go-to totes. My Asian fabric tote is perfect for business-type events. The bag is roomy enough to hold binders and supporting documents for the meeting, a book or small hand-work project in case I arrive early, and enough CDs to provide music for the trip. The reason this is a great meeting tote is that I can’t put it away with stuff in it. The bamboo handles would snap on the hook if the tote isn’t empty, so I have to take out all the binders when I get home. This doesn’t guarantee that I’ll type up my notes in a timely fashion, but it helps.

Finally, there is my favorite project bag.

This tote was a gift from a friend who knows me well. It was made in India from honest-to-goodness snack bags. It’s bright and shiny and rustles when I walk. No one else in the guild has a bag quite like it, so if I put it down someplace it will find its way back to me. It is surprisingly roomy and amazingly strong. While I might imagine myself as a raw silk bag with ivory handles and an antique clasp, in my heart I know that if I were a tote bag, the snack bag is what I would be.