Monday, December 31, 2007

She's Gone Underground

Well, my blogging habit (which was never all that great to begin with) has moved from the back burner to off the stove completely. The treadmill is going pretty fast these days and I'm struggling to keep up with life as I know it and preparing for a life I'm about to know in less than, oh, two months. (gulp!) Jim has finished laying hardwood in the study and is now leveling and sanding the living room floor. He's doing a great job, but it has been a slow process.We are definitely in worker bee mode - he with the floors and me with decluttering, organizing, and making lists of what we need for Baby A. We've signed up for Lamaze classes, breastfeeding classes, and baby care/CPR classes. From what our friends say, we'll forget all the information anyway but, as new parents, of course we're going to sign up. So, all the creating is going on in my belly now and not in my studio. No antiquing. No flea market junking. No glitter and glue. Do you know how there is sometimes a fine line between sheer excitement and overwhelming anxiety? Well, I seem to be vascillating between the two emotions on a regular basis. I have always wanted a baby ever since I was a little girl and now it is coming true. I wish the world could be perfect for her. Or, at least I want the house to be semi-dust free. It's coming. We're getting there. Bear with me.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Frames

Just a quick post here to let you know that I have three Christmas frames listed on etsy. Here is the link to my shoppe. Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Few Good Things

What is it about the month of December that makes it just fly by? There's the usual hustle and bustle to buy gifts for loved ones, attend holiday functions, gear up for family get-togethers, and feel merry and light in the process. I love Christmas, but this year, we are gearing down a bit. In the midst of a major home remodeling project, we decided to skip the outside lights and Christmas tree. Next year, with Baby A in the house, we'll bring it all out with gusto, but for now, just a smattering of Christmas decor will have to suffice. One of my favorite decorations is the above vintage ornament wreath I found on ebay a couple of years ago. It's loaded with color and vintagey goodness and really, with a great stash of ornaments and a hot glue gun, would be fairly easy to recreate. This is another spectacular wreath from a Dallas based store. Anything sparkly and glittery captures my attention. I'm so easily entranced. Recently I saw an eye catching gift idea in a magazine - a clear container filled with pretty foil chocolate covered oreos. Does anyone really need this? But, what a cool just looks so pretty. Now, I'm the last person on earth who needs to be eating chocolate covered oreos, but when I saw them (a pack of 12 for about $8.99) and a mini clear glass container ($9.99) at HomeGoods, I buckled. That glimmering foil is just so darn pretty. But I'm just lookin' at 'em...not eatin' 'em...yet.
Another good thing at this store caught my eye recently. Baby A needs a small flock of sheep to watch over her or maybe she'd like to count sheep to help her go to sleep. These sweet and super soft lambie pillows will look great in her nursery, but for now they wanted to graze in the backyard and soak up a little sunshine. (We had a high of 71 today.) Hope everyone is having fun gearing up (or not) for the holidays. Hard to believe the year 2008 is almost upon us. Seems like yesterday, my sister and I were dancing to Prince's 1999 on the eve of the millenium. Time sure does fly, but I have a feeling that 2008 is going to be a very good year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hello Again...

Long time, no post. Everything is fine and the baby is kicking up a storm. After attending Art FiberFest and Silver Bella back to back, I came home feeling absolutely exhausted. My husband and I had lunch and then I headed straight for the couch where I slept the entire day! Both retreats were incredibly different but equally fantastic. I had such a blast at SB meeting all of the talented attendees. It was truly more magical and fun than I expected it to be. I only wish that it would have lasted a little longer so I could have met and chatted up more folks. I'm still ooohing and aaahing over all the beautiful and whimsical swap items I brought home. Amazing. And vendor still my heart. What a shopping experience. I was most impressed with the quality of merchandise and how every vendor set up her own uniquely designed table. Truly, the tables and how they were designed were art forms themselves. I've slowly begun decorating for Christmas, bringing out a few treasures that were acquired in Omaha. The JOY banner above is by the sweet and talented Tracie Lyn Huskamp. I know I will treasure this banner for years to is timeless. Amy Powers' whimsical sugar houses are such a delight to the eye. I flipped when I saw her booth - it looked like it was plucked from a Willy Wonka movie. So sweet and mesmerizing. The crowned and bejeweled snowman on a stick is by the talented Colleen Moody. I adore her work and am inspired by her meticulous attention to detail. There is a lot of love (not to mention time, money and energy) poured into all of these handcrafted items. I am grateful for all the people in the world who make creating a priority in their lives. Just seems to make the world a better place. As for my own creating...well, let's just say it's at a standstill right now. We are in the midst of a big remodeling project. Jim, aka Mr. Fix-It, has begun his venture into the wonderful world of laying hardwood. When the carpet was pulled up he realized that the floor was very uneven and had to be scraped and leveled before the hardwood could be laid. Translation: this is going to take a lot longer than we expected and there is a fine coat of white dust on every surface of the house. Okay, so I'm not and never have been the neatest freak about the house, but there is a ball of anxiety beginning to churn in my gut about this whole thing. It's probably just the pregnancy hormones. I am entering the third trimester now and am feeling sometimes a little panicky about getting everything ready for Baby A. So a couple of days ago I scheduled a prenatal massage to help calm my nerves. My massage therapist (who I'm sure meant well) proceeded to tell me about her 22 hour labor, the stitches she received, and how it was the worst pain she ever felt in her life. I know it is going to hurt. I'm prepared for that. But, it is scary not knowing what exactly to expect. And, being the neurotic girl I am, of course, I am worried about stupid things like, "Please God, don't let me poop on the table." and "Please God, don't let me throw up on my husband or something equally disgusting." And more realistic concerns, "Please God, let my dear husband finish these floors before the baby arrives and I don't completely lose what's left of my sanity." I know I'm focusing on the wrong things. It's all about having a healthy baby and women have been doing this for thousands of years. It will all work out, right? So, just to let you know, I am unsure of my blogging potential at the moment and may be posting even more sporadically than usual. Bear with me. My creative life may go into hibernation for a while, but I won't let it be extinguished completely. Right? Babies do sleep through the night eventually, right? Deep breath. Inhale. Hold. Exhale - one, two, three.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Silver Bella Bound

Here they are - my aquabella ornaments are finished and fed exed to Omaha! Yea!! I totally underestimated how long it would take to make these Victorian cones, but I really like how they turned out. When I arrive in Omaha, I will fill them with creme colored shred and chocolate Christmas candy. Once they're all poufed up, they'll be ready to hand out to the bellas. I made extras for any side swaps. Time to pack now. I am soooo excited!!! Will of course post about all my classes and the merriment that ensued when I return. Happy weekend, everyone. And, if I don't see you in Omaha, be sure to do something fun for yourself this weekend. We're all in the creative spirit no matter where we are!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Maxine's Floral & Gift - Part 2

I am currently on a mad dash getting ready for my Silver Bella weekend and finishing up my aquabella ornament swap. I'm feeling all swapped out at the moment but it will be fun to see everyone's interpretation of the task. Hope to show you a sneak peek tomorrow before I head to FedEx. Meanwhile, here are a few more picturesque snaps of Maxine's killer cool floral and gift shop in Seattle. What a fun store!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Silver Bella Tags - Swap #1

Here they are! They've been cut, glued, Stickled, crepe papered, sewn, sequined, beribboned, and beeswaxed...and they are finally done. Yea!!! I think they came out pretty cute. I hope the other Bellas approve. Now, I have exactly one weekend to finish my other swap before it all gets shipped to Omaha. Time to get busy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cosmo Tries the Crib

This is how Jim and I get our kicks. After the crib was assembled, we just had to try it out and who better than Miss Priss herself. She thinks it's a little over the top for a cat bed and was wondering where the crunchy dispenser was but, overall, she approved. Now, if only the onesies would fit her. Happy Halloween, everybody!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Maxine's Floral & Gift

Another highlight of ArtFiberFest was my trip to Maxine's Floral & Gift in Seattle. What an amazing store! Proprietress Maxine Nicklos, pictured above, along with Michael Peterson, designer extraordinaire and upcoming ArtFest instructor, are the magicians behind this magical candyland of a shoppe. Filled with beautiful, whimsical gifts and artful vignettes at every glance, it's easy to forget you are in a full service floral shoppe. Maxine is warm, generous and truly talented. Her shoppe is a must see!

Maxine's Floral & Gift
8811 Roosevelt Way NE

Seattle, WA 98115

tel: 206-523-4200

Sew Fabric Journal - ArtFiberFest

Here are some pics of what I made in Pam's Sew Fab(ric) Journal class. I was a little out of my element in this workshop although I thoroughly enjoyed it. I brought along my portable Sew Mini machine. It was my first time using it and I was still trying to figure out how to thread the needle and bobbin, etc. The class had 25 participants which was huge for ArtFiberFest numbers. Many of the women were accomplished seamstresses who made the most beautiful creations. Picture a room full of laughter and Edward Scissorhands activity with fabric flying at every station and you'll get an image of the day. Although it was a challenge for me (nicked my finger with my new scissors and bled on my fabric right away AND asked the ever patient Pam about 50 times how to tie a French knot and still didn't master it) I ended up kind of liking the finished product. Of course, I've got baby on the brain and plan to use this as a baby journal. This is the back cover.
This is the inside. If you look, you will see all the imperfections and how the entire fabric book is lopsided. The miracle of the day was that I left with all ten fingers still intact and didn't manage to break my little machine. All in all, it was great fun and I'm glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone a bit. With so many gorgeous fabrics and trims out there, it's very tempting to try to get better at this craft. Meanwhile, I am madly working on my Silver Bella swaps. Stay tuned for a sneak peak!

Paper Portraits - ArtFiberFest

My favorite class of ArtFiberFest was Paper Portraits taught by Pam Garrison. The piece above was made by Pam. It's so sweet...just perfect for a nursery. Pam is such a patient and easygoing instructor. She has a knack for making everyone feel comfortable no matter what their skill level. The two below were made by me. I was trying very hard to channel Pam. I love the process of sewing on paper and adding all the vintage wallpaper and delicate ephemera to the canvas. There is a sweetness and a fragility to these paper portraits that I really like. I definitely plan on making more of these in the future.


Back from ArtFiberFest and had a wonderful time. This was my second ArtFiberFest (kind of crazy for a girl who doesn't sew) and my first time visiting Port Townsend, WA. It was just as Teesha described - scenic and natural and quaint. And, yes, I saw deer, multiple times, ambling across the street with not a care in the world. ArtFiberFest has considerably fewer participants than ArtFest - about 100 or less so it is quite intimate and easy to navigate. I actually haven't attended ArtFest yet, but have no doubt that I will one day. I took three classes. The first was Faerie Fashionista from Denise Warner. The class was enjoyable and I was thrilled to meet a fellow classmate whose work I have long admired - Marilyn Huskamp. Using various fibers and types of thin handmade papers, we fashioned fairy dolls. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and didn't get to snap the other participants' beautiful creations. I, on the other hand, just wasn't feelin' the love for my own two dolls. I like dolls but making them just really isn't my cup of tea. The fairy wings are made out of...get this...sausage casing material. How weird is that? I really debated leaving these dolls in my room but ended up stuffing them in my carry-on at the last minute. But, sadly, they are destined for the trash can. I firmly believe that not every creation needs to be saved and these must live on in spirit in the fairy afterlife. I will post about my other classes and adventures later this week!