Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Queen Bee

Flowers on Telegraph Hill in San Fransisco. Bees may be a theme here on my blog as August rolls in! I'm preparing to teach one of my favorite classes - "Becoming the Queen Bee". I've given this presentation several times before to groups of women who are in the thick of mothering and teaching and home keeping. I personally have always loved home keeping. Even during the times that I can't control the mess (we're in construction zone right now!), I love the idea of it. The thought of having nothing else to do but put away, polish, and putter in my home seems like heaven. When I was young I'd spend hours organizing and decorating my bedroom. My Mom was the best Queen Bee - we often made cleaning into a fun game by playing the parts of English house maids! Even those who really dislike the work of home keeping can make it more enjoyable, and feel the lovely calm that comes after the chores are done.
"The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one has to do."
-James M. Barrie
As I snapped these photos, I thought of the work that people put into their gardens - especially these on Telegraph Hill! They're gorgeous!
Here are some favorite quotes from my class outline:
"With each sunrise, we start anew."
"I believe we all have this instinct to create beauty, distinction, meaning in our lives. Your daily and lifetime rituals can define you, and they can keep your spirits up: they are important for you, for your family, and friends. Look for natural beauty in all things. Beauty encourages us; it gives us joy and energy to care more and not settle for less."
-Alexandra Stoddard

"What a great blessing it is to struggle to teach a child the correct principles of life, and to make the home a great medium to do so. What we teach our children, how we mold their characters to try to make them responsible family members, loyal citizens, and noble children of God, affects not only us and them but also their children and their children's children - an awesome and exciting challenge!"
-Lynda J. Eyre
"There are women who make things better simply by showing up. There are women who make things happen. There are women who make their way. There are women who make a difference. And women who make us smile. There are women who do not make excuses...women who cannot be replaced. There are women of wit and wisdom who, with strength and courage, make it through. There are women who change the world every day."
-Ashley Rice

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Blissful Day

I've been a sewing bee lately making these "adorable aprons" (that's what I call 'em). I use men's dress shirts and trims and ribbon - so much fun!

A little fabric collage to wear...with pockets! :)

I'm went a little crazy with all of my buttons as I prepared for the button bracelet class. I couldn't stop sorting them! It was weird. I stayed up really late just looking at them and musing about what clothing all of my vintage buttons used to hold together... This is but a portion of my (sorted) button collection. How would it be to dive into a big tub of them? This is one of the weird thoughts I had in the middle of the night - just me and the buttons.

There was a reason for my button passion - I was getting ready to teach my bracelet class at Blissful Living Studio!

Here are the pictures. Yahoo for me remembering to get my camera out this time - it's the only class of the summer that I have some decent photos of! I must improve...

Everyone got to choose button packets and add them to a kit that I made - which I just realized that I don't have a picture of. -sigh- :)

...the kit turned out pretty cute...

Here's the table and workspace. Isn't the studio charming - well, what you can see of it?
It's such a great place for classes.

I don't claim the design for these bracelets - I saw it in the American Girl magazine a couple of years ago. I did make some modifications (eliminating an awkward closure), and the style (vintage-modern) is completely different from the "little girl" look in the magazine.
There you have it. :)
Happy ladies having fun...
My darling nieces, Molly and Katie, joined the class. Sorry for the blurrr...This is a sample for my August class - the Adorable Apron!

What a great matching top! That I didn't make...

I've been waiting (not sure why) to announce that my handmade items are now for sale at Domestic Bliss. Paddywacks Studio is in business!Vintage tea towel sachet...yummy.

Here's the beginning of my "Paddywacks Studio handmade re-creations" display in the store.

Scrap Shirts! I found a great line of blank shirts - so soft and a really nice fit. Love them.

They say family, bloom, love, sweet, and relax.

Aprons and backside bags...

Here's the apron looking adorable in this corner display.

I must say that I'm so excited about creating items to sell. I've wanted to play store my whole life! When I was a little girl I did play store all the time. I'd make gift bags for Mother's Day filled with little nic-knacks and have my brothers and Dad come into my store (my bedroom), and they'd each buy one to give my Mom. She'd open each one (four exactly alike) and be so happy ;) And occasionally I overtook a wide section of the hallway and set up a store with shelves and bins of my stuff. My cousins loved to shop in my store because I had nifty things that weren't worn out at all...those were the days. I was not successful at selling candy bars for the band fundraiser, however. Unfortunately, I ended up eating all of my stock.

Remind me not to start selling baked goods!

Dashing out the door

Just a quickie to talk about my fun class today at Blissful Living Studios. I'll be teaching the button bracelet class this morning. I'm armed with kits and ideas and fun! I'll take more pictures of everything at the Studio.

Button, button who's got the button?!

Happy Day!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Special Day - Must Blog...

Today was my sweet husband's birthday! Definitely worth a post during this busy summer time. I must say that I do love him so very much...he is kind and generous, honest, true to our beliefs, loving to all our children, and provides a nurturing strength for me all the time.
Plus, he is super funny and talented.
And, he sings love songs to me.
Yes - I'm a lucky gal... (wink)
Here we are in the "Stinking Rose" restaurant in San Francisco about a week ago. He couldn't get me to try the garlic ice cream (that's just wrong - garlic ice cream?! ). But everything I did have was so yummy - I bought their cookbook! Can't wait to try the pizzettes...

Speaking of San Francisco, we had a wonderful time with Emmalyn in the city by the bay. It was her turn (it being the summer before she starts high school) for a special trip with Mom and
Dad D. to the city that we love to hang out in.

Union Square - we stayed at the Francis Drake right around the corner.

Lovely homes and flowers on Lombard Street (the curviest road).

Les Jolie - quaint restaurant and yummy French food with live jazz music all evening.
We eat here almost every time we visit.

Up the steps on Telegraph Hill. It's a beautiful place! As soon as I figure out how to make a photo collage I will with my photos of all the beautiful flowers and images along this walk up the hill.

The view from the top!

A drippy sweet and messy delicious sundae at Giradelli Square.

A foggy day - all day. We drove across the Golden Gate bridge and here we are at the observation spot. The whole city is right behind us but you can't see it at all! That was really fun for us Arizona folks used to our dry heat. Thankfully, the fog cleared up on our last day. The bridge does indeed exist, and it is quite impressive. :)

A stop in China Town. Do we look tired? We were!
Ha! Look at our stylish scrap shirts... :)

I loved taking this trip with my sweet girl, Emma. She is a true joy in my life, and a wonderful person in every way. I'm so proud of how she is growing up - learning good lessons, practicing decision making, setting goals and achieving them. We'll remember the food, shoes, purses, colorful houses, laughter, more food, sea lions, hills, trollies, cable cars and gelato for a long time!

More later! I've been busy with fun projects.... but I'm embracing the fact that I own the blog - it does not own me. I'll not stress about posting (or lack of) right now. :) I've been at the cabin, teaching classes, making neat things, and moving forward on our home addition.
Summer is winding down - school starts in just three weeks.

Thanks to my sweet friend, Alisa, for sticking with my blog.
We had so much fun with our swap!

She was so kind to award me this lovely blog honor...

I will pass on this award to seven friends in the next couple of days. Stay tuned!