Friday, July 31, 2009

Mark Your Calendars

Get all the details here. I can't wait to see how this turns out. I'm hoping it will be like an old school Portland Saturday Market. (I miss that so much) I'm taking the girls and some friends and plan to make a day of it. Hope hubby has his schedule open to tow the boys around while we're gone. I promise to take lots of picture and will post them afterwards.

I'm excited to see Emily Burnett from Zeene Designs again. Her work is lovely.And it would be great to meet Danielle Murphy of Card SharksIf you are anywhere in the area ... I think you should definitely check it out.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A little Lily

I'm so glad I'm right where I am right now. This is the happiest time of my life. -----> That being said, I think I've always tried to find joy in the here and now instead of waiting for 'someday'. I hope that you will too. Have a happy day today!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer on the Lake

There is nothing like being on the water in the summer. I adore it. Something about the water is so soothing to me. The look of it. The sound. The feel. I am fascinated by it. Last night we took a bunch of the girls with us and went tubing in the canyon. It was pretty crowded, so they spent a lot of time just swimming together by the shore. This left me completely free to snap as many pictures as I wanted of the water. I love how it looks like there are diamonds on the surface just glowing. It brought back all kinds of memories of boating with my dad. I miss him so much. I ache to just hear his voice again. But I feel him there with us when we are on the lake. And can almost, almost hear him laughing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Follow the Crumbs to ... Treasures

What a great start to the day! I woke up to find an Etsy convo informing me that I one of my items is featured on the front page of My Handmade Registry today.Beautiful. Hopefully this will help to generate some new traffic for me. I decided to peek around the site a bit and went to check out some of the Fan sites while I was there. I scrolled down to the bottom where Nigh Bluey's banner caught my eye and went to check out her blog. I meandered there for a while looking at all her beautiful beads and stopped at her entry titled "For the Eclectic Bride". I keep thinking that I somehow have to make a lantern that is appropriate for weddings. Lots of weddings out there. Think of all the centerpieces, garden parties, hostess gifts ... (mind spiraling) ... then went to check out her link to the Etsy Wedding blog where even more goodies were to be found. I confess though, that I didn't make it past the second post this morning.

It was here that I was reminded of the DIY Photo Contest happening right now at Martha Stewart Weddings. (must submit a photo or two) Ultimately, I was led to the Hip Hostess blog featuring 2 great giveaways right now: The Nimli contest where you can win 4 of these beautiful kiwi green pashmina shawls ... and her regular July giveaway sponsored by briguysandgirls Etsy shop for this gorgeous lotus and pearl necklace. All you have to do is leave a comment on each post by July 31st. Hey ... there's nothing to lose. This is how I always find the best resources, one leads to another and to another. Thanks for following my trail this morning.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Artist Crush

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite Etsy photographers, Erin Tyner. She is self-taught and likes to experiment with new styles and techniques. This ongoing series entitled Half Awake is currently available in her Etsy shop. It features miniature figures in different settings that are breathtaking. I love her vision. You can see more of her work at Erin Tyner Photography. Her prints are very reasonably priced. Go and get acquainted with her.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Brewing ...

My daughter gave me her fortune this week knowing that I have a new project in the works. This is always a fun stage for me. I love, love, LOVE creating things and always have a new idea or two brewing in the back of my head. Honestly, a lot of them never come to fruition and that's the way it goes. It's easy to talk yourself out of things, to question your skill and creativity and end up throwing in the towel before you even get started. In the last few weeks though, there's been a completely different vibe in my head. Maybe it was the art journaling for Kara's class. Sometimes I just need to get the fire lit and then there's no stopping it. I'm getting things ready here and have won a few eBay auctions for key supplies a little prematurely. I'll keep you posted on this one. Hopefully there will be something to show really soon. I'm just waiting on some good legal advice first.
"Creativity is a drug I cannot live without." - Cecil B. DeMille

Saturday, July 25, 2009

29 Days and Counting

The registration packets for school came in the mail this week. There are forms to fill out in multiple and fees waiting to be paid. It's a joyous times for parents, isn't it? In the meantime, it's clear the kids are determined to pack in as much as they can while they still have their freedom. My two oldest are back in town now, one home from visiting her dad in LA and my son back from a week of scout camp ... here we go. The laundry which was nonexistent this morning is now screaming for my attention. The kids, who were so eager to tell us about their latest adventures have disappeared again, one out to a friend's house and the other into a mass of teenage boys and girls who suddenly appeared in our basement this evening. All I'm left with is this pile of their shoes by the front door.I remember exactly what it felt like to be their age though so I don't give them a hard time about it. In fact, I'll even send out a song dedication in their honor. Old school song, new school sound. Here's a little Beastie Boys for you via Andrew Paul Woodworth to wind down the summer. You can get it free here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'll Stick Around ...

I woke up to more Etsy sales this morning - I LOVE YOU EMILY!!! Over 100 new hearts and at least 10 sales with a couple custom orders in the works now too. Etsy Finds, you're a life saver. This has a been a tough year when it comes down to numbers and I sometimes wonder if it's time to bury the lanterns and move on. But days like these talk me into sticking it out. I'm inspired and re-energized and ready to put some great new items in my shop. The whole new vibe reminded me of this great video by Arckid ... so I thought I'd share the sentiment with you today. Crank this one up.After the 'abuse' and the 'neglect' over the last few months, the praise and encouragement I received yesterday are enough to talk me into staying. Thank you.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Etsy Finds

Yay me! I was lucky enough to be included in the Etsy Finds today! What a great surprise for a blah Thursday morning. If you don't already get these emails, you can see the other featured artists here. This is the piece Emily chose from my shop. I love Emily!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Let's Rasterbate! (It's Not What You Think)

If you haven't seen this yet ... you're in for a treat. I found this great site a while ago and forgot all about it until I was working on my art journal for Kara's class. It's called ... The Rasterbator (not nasty I promise) and it will change the way you look at pictures forever. This is a super cool free online tool where you can upload a photo from your personal collection and have it output as a raster (dot) image. You can crop, choose the paper size and how many pages you want it to go across in the preview mode.When it's done rasterizing, you get a handy PDF file to print and output yourself. Regular printer paper is great if you don't have too much black area, but they also look slick on photo paper. We made one of my youngest son when my father in law was in the hospital. It was 5 pages across and 4 pages long ... the nurses were floored; it was so cool and really cheered up his room.*These images are all from the Rasterbator Gallery. Go make your own and add it to the collection.*

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I just finished up this great class from a fantastic Etsy shop called The Sequined Shoe. Kara is truly ingenious! I wish I'd been that driven as a 17 year old. What in the heck was I doing with all my time?Her art journaling class centered around music inspiration gave me the opportunities to create these goodies. Admittedly, this is not my normal style of art ... but it was a lot of fun to get my hands dirty and glue stuff on to layers and layers of thick, wrinkly paper while listening to some of my favorite music. My girls are both dying to try their hands at it now too.

** Posted edit: Just realized I have one more page to do for random lyric interjection ... and I forgot to make the doily flower embellishment. Oops. Back to work.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Undiscovered Genius - Adoptabot

Brian Marshall should be my new best friend.

Every once in a while a search for new and fabulous ideas through the Etsy Pounce feature. If sales are slow for me, I search for "Just Sold" to see what in the heck people ARE buying these days. Usually I look through the "Undiscovered" shops to see if I can help out another artist and be their first purchase. Now and again I find true genius like this. How fun are these guys?If Brian really were my new bestie ... I'm sure he'd send me one of these delightful orphans for my upcoming birthday next month. Brian? Thoughts? :D Go check out his shop HERE and pick out your favorite.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cheepers or Chicks ... they're so cute!

Lately we've been having a great time watching the family of quail in our backyard. There are about 16 chicks this year and we've noticed that this set of parents has a great system for keeping them all safe. They all come out together to feed in the yard, usually in the mornings and early afternoons. The mother will lead the way for the chicks and the father will pick a vantage point on higher ground to stand guard. (He seems to like sitting on the lawnmower best) If any other birds come too close, he will charge at them until they leave. If the family is in danger from anything else, they quickly find the nearest cover and will somehow silence all the babies at once. Amazing. I've even seen the father sit on one of the chicks to hide it from me ... the scary, lurking photographer.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Great Tute for Resin Jewelry

I warn you, it's a bit long and this is just part one. But if this is something you're interested in doing ... his instructions are incredible. Enjoy and have fun with your own jewelry projects.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Artist Crush

I confess. I am in love with Amy Giocomelli's work. The colors. The tone. The flow of her pieces all speak to me. I’m partial to the larger works that spill over to two or three canvases. They belong over my fireplace, in my dining room and one in my bedroom would be dreamy. Amy is from LA, but now lives in Colorado. She started her career as a mural artist and has her work displayed in all 8 Disney parks around the world.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Looking Ahead

Look what came for me in the mail yesterday! It’s my press kit for the American Craft Council Show in San Francisco, complete with 5 Exhibitor Guest Passes. I have been accepted to the AltCraft section of the show August 14-16. The Council describes it like this:

“This section features rising indie craft artists whose work illustrates the innovative techniques and materials of the burgeoning new handmade movement. The work of 16 artists, selected through a special jury process, will be presented in a unique loft space in the Fort Mason pier.”
Yay me! They’ve also opened up this show to wholesale buyers, so hopefully I’ll be able to pick up a few new accounts there as well. Now, I just need to nail down my display options and try to really ‘wow’ them. Huge thanks going out to the Etsy Storque who plugged their 'Call for Artists'!! I owe you guys.

Cheap Thrills

I'm loving this striped cardie for just $28 I spotted at Forever21 this morning. I think it will look great with my new little black dress. Of course, I would probably remake the pin myself to give it a splash of color. Magenta, chartruese, turquoise? Not sure yet. Hmm, I may have to go shoe shopping later this week too and finish off the ensemble. ;) Yay!

And this dress is just screaming out to me too for only $27.80. Great for a trip to the market or even a hot summer night.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Festival Pendant Lights

These fun little babies are my latest creation. I'm so proud.

OK. I have to admit that they were really my dear hubbies great idea. I've made a larger version of them for about a year now, but he was adamant that they would look great in a smaller, soup can sort of size. I thought he was a little crazy, but gave it a shot to show him I knew better. *sigh* He was right! And look how cute they are!

I have them in a load of colors: red, yellow, blue, green, white, purple and gold.

I just need to plan a fabulous photo shoot so I can update my Etsy shop and give them a proper spotlight.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


What a great free download today. Don't miss out on this one! I'll need to go pick up the album pronto. Have a listen and enjoy.

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Favorite Shop

These are featured in Tara Gilchrist's etsy store and are just gorgeous. I love fused glass and am always looking for more. I just can't help myself.
I love the colors and the workmanship looks fantastic. They are sweet and simple, just perfect for me. Go and have a look at her other listings too. These would make great gifts, especially considering that her prices are so modest. Have fun shopping.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Urban Baby Blanket

Today was a big project day around the house. The big one for me was to make 2 baby blankets for my nieces. I've found that that practical blankets get the most miles, so I've reinvented the blankets my great-grandma gave to me. I make mine 45" square, which is a lot for a wee bundle, but believe me you'll keep this size for years.

Here's a quick how-to:

Just find two coordinating, fabulous cotton woven fabrics that match the style of the recipient. Get creative. My favorites are corduroy or denim for the back paired up with a softer flannel or madras plaid. The options are endless, but don't just shop for baby prints. Wash up the fabrics to pre-shrink and remove any sizing. Iron them flat and smooth. Measure them out square and trim any excess. Sew them right sides together with 1/2" seam allowance leaving a 4-5" opening.

Trim the corners. Turn blanket right-side out. Press around the edges to get a nice sharp look and turn the edges under at the opening to match the seam. Stitch this closed as close to the edge as possible. Now stitch a square about 4" in from the edge to help hold the fabrics together.
Tada! Today's Urban Baby Blankets!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture?

I've made an extra effort to be really good this week. I've hit the gym 3 mornings and the lake 2 nights now, trying to look a little better in my swimsuit these days. So how is it that I end up looking at this tonight?

Now ... I should tell you that my step-daughter and I are collaborating on a writing project this week. She really excels in creative writing and has started a whole pile of stories in the last year or so. She writes these brilliantly detailed beginnings that really grab you and pull you in ... and then she sets them aside and never touches them again. I told her she should sell them as writing prompts. Anyway, she declared a few weeks ago that she'd found the perfect way for her to finish a story - to have someone else write the other half. Haha! I'll admit I really did laugh out loud. What she meant was that she wanted to write a story about a mother and daughter and have someone else, namely me, write the mother's part. I was flattered and the project is in full swing. It's brought us closer together and really helps with writer's block since we play off of each other's last entry.

Long story, longer - I must be having cravings or something, because I added a trip to the grocery store into the story line where they, of course, pick up some Ben & Jerry's and I needed to do some 'research'. :D

Clean Slate

I've wiped this blog slate clean and am starting fresh again. (sigh) I'm hoping this will be a place where I can ramble a bit and post tidbits of what is going on around the shop and in my life. With 5 kids running me around like a crazy person, there's usually something interesting happening. For the moment I'm gearing up for the American Craft Council show in San Francisco. I was accepted as an AltCraft artist this year and am a little nervous about the whole deal but am so excited to roadtrip there with my buddy Wanja. I've decided to count it as my birthday trip and not put a lot of pressure on myself for big sales dollars. We leave August 13th and will be back the 17th. I can't wait!

I'm also doing my best to keep the kids busy this summer. We've already finished up girls' camp, EFY, and High Adventure camp and 2 of the kids got to visit Washington DC with their grandparents for a couple weeks. We have everyone reading for half an hour in the mornings and then doing worksheets and writing projects until almost noon everyday. It's nice to see the kids work on projects they really enjoy too. I'm having the girls start a life story class that will get some of their creative energy out. Last weekend we secured a slip for our boat up in the canyon so we can run up a couple nights a week when Dad gets home from work. It's so fun to see them out behind the boat. Those are some of my best memories from my childhood.