{a little weekend adventure & miss scarlet's school of patternless sewing}

Hello, darlings!

I know I’ve been away for a bit, but I’m back! Last week, I had a horrible flare-up of my fibromyalgia, to the point I could barely get out of bed! I spent the time watching my favorite TV shows on DVD (Chuck &, you guessed it, Fringe!) and reading in bed, which was pretty nice! It’d been a long time since I allowed myself to just be…and the relaxation therapy worked, because I felt better a few days later. And then this week, I was down with a stomach bug for 2 days! Phew!

Sundays are my favorite days of the week, because I spend the time in my favorite coffee shop with my dear friend Judi. She clips coupons and I play in my journal or write stories, and we always end up wandering around the East Valley on our “grand adventures” that usually begin with me going, “Let’s go to Mesa,” and then we just see what we find!

One Sunday, we found an amazing vintage thrift shop that is just perfect! They’re still working on it, but the place is magical! (It’s called The Good Store Thrift, if you’re in the area, right on Main Street) I just adored the shop, and kept talking about my paintings…and something tells me I should bring in some photos, just in case. Who knows what could happen!

I love being impulsive and unpredictable on my Sundays. An idea will come to me and I’ll just go for it – and that’s what happened last Sunday. A bit of back-story: I live very close to a magnificent used/new bookshop called Changing Hands. After being in my apartment for days with my flare-up, I decided to head over there and wander around; they have amazing books and also a great gift area – it’s the kind of shop where you can find Kelly Rae Roberts, Donna Downey, and Papaya! gifts, as well as all sorts of fun things that come with an indie bookshop.

When I walked in, there was a fun, crafty display for Kathy Cano-Murillo’s book signing the next day. What fantastic news! I’d always meant to grab her first book, but the desire got lost somewhere, so I decided I’d go the next day to her signing and grab a book. How fun, right?

So, last Sunday, I told my friend we’d be stopping by there for the signing.

Let me say this: Kathy is adorable. Adorable! She’s so animated and full of life and just sparkles. I first met her last summer at CHA where she was running a make-and-take with her wonderful craft line – and I learned the merits and joy of glitter! She just has this energy about her that made me have to grab her new book, Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing.

I finished reading it last night.

Oh my goodness, darlings, you need to read this novel!

First off, the women are smart – Miss Scarlet has two science degrees. Mary Theresa works in computer programming. I mean, when do we get to, as women, read novels with smart girls in them? Just because we love to craft does not mean we don’t have minds that can grasp complex ideas – have you ever tried to engineer a journal or skirt from scratch? I’d like to see some of those nay-sayers do that!

Second, there’s a whole lot of heart. I wish these women really existed so I could run to Glendale and sew with them. The characters are fleshed-out, brilliant, funny, and true. I love the positive attitudes and the organic progressions of all of them as the story goes on – there’s nothing forced, and the blossoming of each woman is magical!

The story is one that we, as artists and crafters, know so well: Miss Scarlet loves to sew – feels it in her blood – and decides to go for it. She creates items for an Etsy shop while working two jobs in fashion to pay the bills. She loves her family but feels they don’t support her dreams. She’ll do anything to get to that next step, to “make it.” But the moral of the story is this: don’t forget who you are in the process.

Which is a very important idea to remember. Miss Scarlet has ups and downs throughout the novel that I can defiantly relate to. My own parents were exactly thrilled when I left my “normal” job to pursue art full-time, and I’ll occasionally get The Talk from them about sustainability and stability. But when you feel something in your soul, you have to go for it, and I’ve learned that it all comes from a place of love.

And here’s the kicker, the ultimate sign of a good book: the end made me cry. Not sad tears, but OMG this book was wonderful and I actually feel real character resolution. Which is why I felt compelled to get up and write this blog post – because I think everyone who does an art or craft or anything because it makes their soul sing, should read this book! You’ll be inspired to not only go for it, but do it in style!