Thursday, April 24, 2008


I'm really busy because:

- Our house is under construction!! They've finally busted through the walls. We're in for a messy three months.

- We've been having birthdays, performances, and funerals.

- I'm involved with special musical numbers at church.
- I've gone swap crazy, I'm doing three right now.
- I'm preparing for Camp Hideaway (I'll post about that later).

But the really fun busy maker is my new project! I'll be teaching a summer workshop series at Mystic Paper - my favorite paper craft store! I'm just thrilled to have this opportunity, because I really miss teaching (I taught school for several years, and private music lessons for many more years). I'm developing five classes for young people (girls, really) that will be literature inspired. Book-ish art!! This weekend I'm finishing reading, working on project samples, and writing an article about the workshop (and the store) that will be in a local paper. Everything has moved along so quickly - I've much to do!!
I'm off to the cabin to kick out the spiders and clean it up for the season...hopefully I can do some projects while I'm there. Have a great weekend, folks!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Swap Lessons

I just finished my first swap. It was so much fun! More importantly, it was a great learning experience in that I tried out some new ideas. Having a commitment to create is always a great jump-start for me! I'm really creatively motivated and inspired with ideas when I have some event or deadline to work with. This I have discovered about myself. I guess that's why I don't have any of my own "art" around! I make handmade gifts, and then they're gone. Many times I've thought, "I should make two, and keep one!". But, I'm usually pressed for time...
So, my goal is to create more just for myself. Also, I want to create a stockpile of handmade gifts (I love giving gifts!) that are ready for me to give when the moment arrives. There have been many times that I would have loved to give someone a special gift to cheer or celebrate, but haven't, because I can't "whip it up" fast enough! So that's my lesson and resolve...

We write our own destiny.
We become what we do.
-Madame Chiang Kai-Shek

This is a nice quote. I think about how it applies to me, my destiny, and what I do.

Here's what I know:

I am a daughter of God
I am a wife and mother, and I love and value my family
I love to express myself through artistic creativity
I want to make others feel happy and loved
I love to teach and share what I can

This picture is from last New Year's Eve. I guess it's never too late to add to your resolutions, define yourself, and reaffirm your goals!

Happy day!

Vintage Party Swap Show and Tell

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Vintage Party Swap Goodies

I opened my box from Alisa just after dinner. Even the wrap was so fun! Because my kids were there, it was quite a ceremony. Lots of delighted exclamations by my teenage girls, and Daniel (almost 2) joining in with even more dramatic flair. Even Dawson, who is six, was impressed!

I had to wait until this morning to take some decent pictures - and I'm sorry I'm not a better photographer! However, these shots will give you all an idea of the beautiful things that I received from my talented and generous swap partner, Alisa! Just look at this banner! Vintage trim, fabric, buttons and ribbon. I absolutely love it! I can think of several different kinds of parties I can use it for.

Lighting's not so good - the banner says "celebrate". Everything is gorgeous!

I love this scalloped trim... and the scalloped stitching on the blue ribbon...

...crepe paper trim also, so neat!

Gloves, pearls, and glitter set the party mood.
A beautiful vintage cloth, platter, and a fun cookbook!

The invitations are wonderful, also. Vintage flowers tucked in a sparkly banner...
...each invitation is a different combination of colors.

The inside has stamped elements that I can fill in with party details.

Extra papers, ribbons, and more, to add to party supplies that I already have.
Wasn't that a nice touch?

Beautiful girls for cupcake toppers, and an array of colorful hankies
to give as party favors.

Even some miniature beauties for favors - so darling!

I can't wait to throw our vintage cotillion party!

Big thanks to Alisa - wonderful job!

I love it!!
P.S. Here are a few more sneak peeks of what I sent to Alisa...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

For the Love of Hankies!

I'm definitely not on the fence about hankies. I love 'em!

My attachment began when I was eight years old. My Grandmother passed away then, and each granddaughter got to choose a couple of hankies from her collection - she had many granddaughters and many hankies! Now I've got upwards of 40 hankies, gleaned from family members and from antique stores. I always carry one in my kids wonder why I'd want to wipe my nose on a hankie and then KEEP it!..."gross, Mom"... ha!

...wonderful applique...

...I love colorful hankies, here are some favorites...

...can't have enough hankies...

...a scanned hankie ...

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Art and craft and all my stuff...

I really should have started organizing and sorting before now...oh well! I'm super excited because it's time for our home addition to really get moving. We're adding about 4000 sq feet to our home - included in that is an art and craft room for me (wow)! Finally, tomorrow they'll open up the walls and connect the new and existing spaces. So, I've been busy shuffling kids and stuff (all my art and craft things) to new places. My boys have to share other rooms , and sort of camp out until we're all done in August. It's going to be an exciting summer - we'll probably escape up to the cabin quite a lot...
Here's my new craft space - a whole room with a nice window that opens to the front yard! There'll be a sink under the window. Now I need to plan the layout of the studio space. Sewing (I have three machines), hand work, papercrafts, jewelry, floral stuff, work space, and storage for supplies. Any advice out there??? I really want to plan well ...

This is our guest room which I've gradually overtaken. There was a bed where that table is just a couple of days ago (it was also covered with stuff!), and most of the little shelves and things were in the closet, which I just had to empty because it's going to be deconstructed! I took this picture just now - in the middle of sorting and deciding what to keep here and what to temporarily store until the new space is finished. As you may imagine, I think I need to keep EVERYTHING - but there really isn't room. ha! I feel really blessed to have a whole room of my own to create in. I've always had crafting things (sewing machines at least) out and at the ready. I can't imagine living without these things... in one little house, I set up my crafting station in the hallway!
Back to the work of it all... I'd love any advice about creating my new studio!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Crafty Weekend Fun

Last week I was able to do a little shopping...found a beautiful, fragile, corsage...

... found some lovely buttons in pearly white...

...bought some jewels and crystals that spark my imagination and ideas...

Here's a little peek at my fun crafty weekend. I'm getting ready for the vintage party swap by Artsymama. It's been really fun -
I have too many ideas, though.

I've got to control myself!!


Monkey made a mess!!!! While I was creating this post, Daniel was having fun in big sister's room.....there's powder carefully sprinkled EVERYWHERE!!

Experienced Mommy should know better.... time to get off the computer....I love my monkey more than blogging, by the way... :)

Have a great day, all...I'll be cleaning...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Made Some Art...

My little boy's tippy toes were so cute - he was really stretching up high! Daniel has been working hard "catching up" to his age. He was a preemie (32 weeks), but fortunately, no physical problems. Today he graduated out of the special care program from the hospital - his developmental specialist, Goldie, visited our home for the last time. He's totally caught up to his age in every way - yipee!
I made a little "thank-you art" for Goldie's office. I wanted to capture something personal to remember us by, yet relate to her job helping preemie babies and their families progress. Even though Daniel wasn't facing any physical impairment, it was so great to have her come to our home. I learned so many new ways to play with my baby that really helped him grow.

So, this is the first collage piece that I've taken a picture of, and dared to give as a gift! I think it's alright - I can see that I'm a beginner. Now I'm so excited to make more of this kind of art; it was so fun!! I'm very experienced with sewing and needlework, but not with paper and collage art (so insecure for some reason - it took me all day just to get started!). I have a lot to learn, and I'm anxious to find my own style.

I guess I have some reaching to do - just like my little Daniel! It's quite an adventure...

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I was just thinking about all that I am thankful for! I love this time of year - the weather is so beautiful in Arizona right now, before it's too hot. There's a buzz of excitement for the swimming season to begin, and for school to end. I have the hankering to clean out, de-clutter, decorate - do some "nesting". I can hardly wait to get on with projects that I'm trying to squeeze in my busy schedule! So, I remind myself....have patience, enjoy every little moment, and every tiny step forward. Embrace the time that little ones need my attention - soon they'll be grown up!
Find joy in giving the "handmade creations" that I so want time to make - and, more important, find joy in creating "handmade love", and time for my family.

I'm giving these vintage flowers to someone...they're really pretty...

My Mom gave me these bunnies... first she gave me only a few, then somehow I ended up with two baskets full! Hummm....

My daughter gave this to me. She stitched it when she was just a tiny girl!
The sentiment is true, don't you think?