Saturday, December 31, 2005

Friday, December 30, 2005


First of all - it isn't easy finding an apartment in Manhattan. I won't bore you with all of the details but in the end we did locate a place that is reasonably priced, not too far from Broadway Dance Center, that accepted a 6-month lease and didn't require a ton of financial documentation. YAY! Kaitlin is so excited about her Broadway Adventure! She starts on January 12th.

Of course a trip to NYC wouldn't be complete without a Broadway show or two. We saw the Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular and Wicked - which was FABULOUS!

Kaitlin already has several friends in New York. We had a great time with Jen. Did you know that Chipotle is in New York? Jen and Chipotle. Now I know that Kaitlin will be happy there. She won't have any reason to come home...

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Adventure Begins!

Kaitlin and I are off tomorrow on our big New York City apartment search! Any advice? She will be rooming with another intern from Virginia. We are determined to find something close to the Broadway Dance Center that is safe and not too expensive.

Of course, being from Arizona, we are completely unprepared for the cold weather. I have one gigantic bright blue coat that I purchased over 20 years ago. It's the only coat I have ever owned. We've lived in AZ for 10 years and I have only worn it once, when we visited the Grand Canyon. So, I'll be in the 20-year-old electric blue wool coat, my new boots and gloves (which I think are actually ski gloves - I just asked for something warm. : ) and a scarf that I purchased at Buffalo Exchange.

I got Kaitlin a new "puffer" at GAP. I figured she would need something more up-to-date. She doesn't seem too concerned about the weather.

Hopefully I will return with lots of photos and good news. Take care and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Check out my 13-year-old nephew's site!

Don't miss the skateboarding videos. Yep, Andrew definitely takes after his "cool" uncle Brad....

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Merry Christmas!

File this under "What was I thinking?" You know I've been collecting neckties for quite a while and all of the holiday ties went into a certain bin. A couple of weeks ago I noticed this bin in my closet. It was labeled "Christmas." I was like "What is this?!?!" I opened the bin and remembered the ties that I had set aside. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with the urge to sew some Christmas skirts. I had lots of fun sorting the ties.

Please notice that the bottom skirt is all Christmas ties with a black background. It's quite a challenge to come up with 15 of these.

Anyway - of course, after my frenzy to sew these up I was like "Now what?" No one will want to buy these - or wear these. It takes a "special" personality to wear a necktie skirt in the first place - a Christmas necktie skirt is just a little too outrageous. So, these are just for you. I hope they make you smile....and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Oh no!

Now that Kaitlin and I are planning our big "New York Adventure" there is a transit strike! Under ordinary circumstances, this wouldn't affect me, but we are planning to visit on December 26 to locate an apartment for her to live in during her internship. By the way - if one more person tells me she'll never come back, I'm going to scream. Anyway - please pray that this strike is settled quickly - thanks!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

I'm obsessed!

With Project Runway! Please check out my Project Runway blog for all of the latest!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

It's Going to Be An Anthropological Christmas!

Have you been to Anthropologie this season? We are fortunate to live in Scottsdale where there are TWO. Kaitlin works at the one in Scottsdale Fashion Square. This is my all-time favorite store. I could stay in there for hours.... Anyway, HINT HINT to all of my girl relatives..... Your gifts will be from Anthropologie...that's all I'm going to say. The website has only a few items compared with the store - but it's still a lot of fun. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


My precious 20-year-old daughter, Kaitlin has been accepted into the internship program at Broadway Dance Center! That's Broadway as in New York City. She'll be moving there for six months starting in January. Congratulations Katiegirl!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Musical Messenger

I've been working on some musical-themed items for a special event next week. I made two of these patchwork messenger bags and two zipper pouches - so far!

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Best Quilt EVER!

Look what William brought home on Friday! Each student in his class drew a holiday picture with a message for an American soldier. They asked me to put them into a quilt.

Here is a close-up of one of the blocks...

here is another.

Daniel is helping me safety pin the layers together.

No time for quilting - we tied the quilt with multi-colored yarn.

Here is the finished quilt.

And here is Mrs. Penfield's class. Will is in the front in the black hoodie. They are sending the quilt to a soldier in Iraq. Don't they all look happy and proud? What a great quilt!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Farewell Sara - My Necktie Angel!

It was a great privilege for me to sing at the memorial service for Sara Zaluga this morning. She was a precious friend to me. We attend the same church where I sing in the choir and she served as a volunteer.

About a year ago I was standing behind her in McDonld's. I did not recognize her at first, but she turned around and recognized me and we began to chat. She noticed that my bag was made from neckties and I told her that I had made it myself. "Oh, Laura," she exclaimed, "I just gave away a HUGE bag of neckties to charity THIS MORNING. The truck came by the house and picked everying up. Can you believe it? My husband has been dead for ten years and I've finally gotten rid of his ties!"

Well I can't tell you how many times I have heard this. Just about everyone I know will describe to me how they have "gotten rid of" piles and piles of delicious ties.

I went on to ask Sara how she was, and she told me that she had been recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was in treatment. (This explains why I didn't recognize her at first.) Well my face must have given me away. She said "Oh, I know, it seems like a death sentence, but I'm going to fight it, Laura." I sypathized with her and tried to encourage her. I can't remember what I said exactly. (My brother-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer several years ago and he was dead in about three weeks. I KNOW how devastating this is - even though I didn't admit it.) After a while, we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

The next day I got a call from Kelli in the Music Office at church. "Laura, the necktie angel has dropped off a package for you."

Can you imagine, that Sara, undergoing cancer treatment - AND suffering with Multiple Sclerosis - went down to the giant warehouse, where the donations for this charity were being held - looked through everything - and looked - and searched - until she actually FOUND that bag of ties and then dropped it off at church for me? This was humbling - believe me. What a kind and thoughtful thing to do. But that was Sara. An angel for sure.

About a month ago I was visiting her at home. The cancer was winning. She had asked me to sing at her service and we were talking about some music choices. It occurred to me that it is a wonderful thing to KNOW that you are at the end of your life and to spend each day carefully. Her only complaint was how difficult it was to swallow all of her medications. She had just returned from a trip to Las Vegas and was hoping to "make it" to Illinois for Thankgiving. (She didn't.) She spoke of her daughters and her friends. She wanted to know what I thought heaven would be like.

Well, now she knows.

Farewell, Sara.

Happy December!

If it's December it must be time for another necktie stocking! Yes those are neckties. Can you guess who this stocking is for?

That's right - it's for Stanton - my newest nephew. His brother Gray received a necktie stocking last year so Aunt Laura had to come through for Stanton in 2005!

Monday, November 28, 2005

While In San Diego...

...we saw a musical called Triple Espresso. It was great - if it comes to your town be sure to check it out!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Did You Miss Me?

We traveled to San Diego for Thanksgiving! It was a great vacation - beautiful weather, delicious food, hardly any fighting.... It's always a challenge to travel with such a large family. We drove two cars and stayed in three rooms at the Hyatt in Seaport Village. We had Thanksgiving brunch at the hotel and finished the day at the movies (a Kluvo tradition.) We have been there twice before and took this photo as a reenactment of one taken seven years earlier when Will was just a toddler. We had lots of fun on Friday - shopping and visiting Belmont Park (an amusement park on the beach.) Ken took Will to tour an aircraft carrier - the USS Midway. We drove home yesterday (It's about a 7-hour trip) arriving safe and sound.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Please Pray For Shea

The daughter of a friend and former pastor of mine has been in a serious car accident. Her name is Shea Hickok. Her boyfriend was killed and her brother was injured in the accident. She is in very serious condition. You can read regular updates here. If you are a member of a church, or a Sunday School or any kind of prayer chain, please add Shea to your prayer list. She is a beautiful young woman. In every way.

Here is the original post:

On Saturday, November 19th a car full of teenage kids crashed just outside Macon, Georgia. Among the passengers in the car were Lauren Shea Hickok and her brother Luke Hickok, the two eldest children of Steve and Susan Hickok.

The vehicle had cartwheeled four times before coming to a stop. When Luke Hickok unfastened his seatbelt and got the door nearest to him open, he went to find his sister and found her under the trailer they were pulling. Luke was able to pull his sister from under the trailer and get her breathing.

Shea's boyfriend died at the scene.

When Lauren arrived at the hospital the doctor in charge said that he had never seen the amount of lung damage in an accident victim and prepared the family for the worst.

At first the situation appeared little more than hopeless as Shea was getting 100% of her oxygen through artificial means. Many of the bones in her face are broken as are her clavicle and two vertebraes abover her ribs. Although her lungs were not punctured, they were not functioning.

Shea was the most critical patient in the hospital, and was placed in a medically induced coma.

As word went out around the country, a host of people began a vigil of thoughts and prayers for the family. A group of 30 people traveled two hours to be with the family from Atlanta. Susan's brother and sister arrived to be with them at the hospital and have been there constantly since.

What has happened since... is a tribute to the grace of the Creator, the care of the doctors and the thoughts, prayers and energy of hundreds of people in behalf of one of God's most amazing creations.

Just one day after preparing the family for the worst, the doctor brought two more doctors so "they could see a miracle." She is still in very critical condition, but the improvements we have seen to date are encouraging.

For those who know and love the Hickok family, we would like to provide this blog as a means of communicating daily updates.

This is the beginning of a very long journey for the family, and your postings will be read to Shea even while she is in the coma, and for as long as she is walking this most difficult path.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I Really Love Sewing....

...but I love music even more! As we approach the holiday season my schedule is filled with rehearsals and performances. It was my privilege to hear Keith and Kristyn Getty in worship on Sunday morning. Here is a link to their website. They are Irish, living in Switzerland and touring the United States. Check out the lyrics to their hymns. They are pure poetry!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Congratulations to Sarah and Charles!

The annual "Best of Phoenix" issue of the Arizona Republic is out today. This is always a favorite. I quickly skip past all of the restaurant and entertainment choices and head straight to the shopping. Once again - Passage is the winner of the Best Place to Find Locally Designed Fashion. Here is a transcript of the article:

Best Place to Find Locally Designed Fashion

Nov. 17, 2005 12:00 AM

4412 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
(602) 279-1272

For the artistically minded shopper, Passage is your gem. Stocked with clothing and accessories handcrafted throughout Arizona, the desert-inspired urban boutique attracts those searching for something a bit different.

The recently remodeled shop carries an assortment of one-of-a-kind and limited-edition pieces - vintage brooches, deconstructed T-shirts, silver-beadwork bracelets, patchwork bags and hand-finished men's jeans - carefully selected by owners Sarah and Charles Walker. You'll feel thrilled knowing that most of the designs can't be found outside the Valley.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Girl Can Never Have Too Many Handbags!

Click on the link above to check out several galleries of handcrafted handbags. Aren't they great?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

It's The Sequinned Peacock Pin!

I love it! It has the oh-so-retro-yet-shabby-chic-handcrafted look that I adore. AND it reminds me of my grandmother who made things like this for the Christmas tree. Here is a link to the vintage swap flickr photo file.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Vintage Swap is now Complete!

I had the BEST swap partner - I'm SOOOoooo lucky! I thought I sent her some really great things but the stuff I received was even better. Lynette is a vintage textile dealer. Be sure to check out her stuff at Mama Wiskas. Anyway....

This is what I unpacked....

Notice that in the first photo everything is packaged in pretty tulle bows. I almost tore them open before I realized I should take a photo!

Here is what was inside: An embroidered dresser scarf, a vintage floral-print smock-type apron, a sheer aqua and gold organdy apron, a set of embroidered pillowcases, a pair of darling coasters, shoe buckles, needle books, a needle case, a floral tray, a porcelain yellow rose pin, a crocheted teacup and saucer perfectly fitted with a candle, a 1955-56 pocket calendar/notepad, an embroidered tea towel, a set of darling french postcards, Six "Kitchen Klatter" magazines from 1957, a package of kleenex with my monogram (extra cute since I included a monogrammed handkerchief in my package to her!)a set of six cocktail napkins detailed below and a sequinned peacock pin. Can you guess my favorite item?

It's a tough choice since everything is so cute. But come on... try to guess.... I'll give you a hint - it's not that easy to see in the photos and I tried to get a close-up photo, but it was tricky.....

Sunday, November 06, 2005

At it Again!

Matt, Ryan and James are back with their latest art projects. James and Ryan collaborated on the heart painting. Matt did the landscape. Aren't they great?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A Blast from the Past

Once upon a time in the Dark Ages I was a "Professional Free-Lance Craft Designer" working for several major publishing houses. One of these is called
Leisure Arts. Every once in a while one of these books shows up to mock me. Here is one on eBay which apparently has NO bids! I believe this is from the late 80's - maybe 1990....

At The Carwash

Well, I've gone a little long without posting any necktie projects - so here's a favorite. My model is Sunny Davis. Isn't she gorgeous?!?!? She plays the cello - the CELLO - in a band called The Stiletto Formal. You might recognize Sunny from a previous post.

Anyway.... This was a tough design. There are about 30 ties and it is HEAVY! They're sewn together about halfway down and then loose at the bottom. You should see this in motion....

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Well, I can't sleep because I caught my charming son Daniel sneaking in at 1:40 a.m. He was in the bathroom when I knocked. "Where have you been?" I asked. "Sleeping," he answered. I glance in at his carefully-made bed - all the pillows perfectly arranged - teddy bear in the center. "Dan, tell the truth." "Sleeping." "Dan." "Okay I was at my friend's house playing poker." "Which car did you take?" "The truck." That would be my husband's pick-up truck. Ken will certainly know that his truck has been driven. We will be having a talk about this incident tomorrow. Any advice?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Halloween Sweetness

My niece, Isabelle turns six on Halloween. Here she is modeling her ruffled skirt. Happy Birthday, sweetheart!

Friday, October 28, 2005

As Promised....

More Halloween Fun!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Out of the Archives....

In celebration of Halloween I am posting some designs from "the archives." Once upon a time when I sold my bags on eBay - these were VERY popular items. More tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Kristina Wins!

Congratulations to Kristina Bubar for winning the Canadian Gospel Music Association's Covenant Award for "Inspirational Album of the Year." Click here to visit Kristina's website and to download several of her songs!

Monday, October 24, 2005

A Busy Week!

The kids were on Fall Break last week and my family came to visit! Friday was mom's birthday - Here she is with her newest grandchild - Peter Stanton Aldridge. He is named after my father.

Stanton has a big brother named Gray. This is Gray "looking tough." : )

The boys have one big sister named Isabelle. For grandma's birthday she did a very special presentation of Breath of Heaven.