Tuesday, December 28, 2010

dominos, cookies and the ick

hey there! just stopping by to say i am only leaving you for a few weeks and that i will be back after the new year. i try to take 2 weeks off from my craft business and my design business over the christmas holidays to refresh my mind a bit. and this year, i soooo needed it.

we had a handmade holiday this christmas, so my hands were busy being an elf the weeks leading up to the holiday. all my family came in town this year which we were very grateful for. my days have been spent playing a lot of dominos, eating a lot of cookies,

and using up a lot of kleenex boxes i am sad to say. my oldest munchkin came down with strep last thursday and it hit the rest of us hard, very hard. kind of silly, but being sick over the holidays is like a get out of jail free card. i don't feel the least bit guilty laying around with the boys, and watching movies all day long. actually, it makes me a wee bit happy!

Friday, December 17, 2010

whoopie pies and lovely friends

i'm sitting on the couch this afternoon playing angry birds with the kiddos and recovering from last night's gluttony. 5 of my friends came over for our annual homemade ornament exchange and between yummy treats and even yummier drinks, i had a great time. seriously, the red velvet whoopie pies are definitely headed for my short list of go-to recipes. they were so easy to make and came out perfectly. there is nothing worse than getting excited about a new recipe and having it turn out terrible. sometimes i think magazines don't even test recipes they print. anyway, on to the ornaments. each person makes enough homemade ornaments for the whole group to get one. this is a great tradition to start with a group of friends. creative talent within the group can definitely vary. some of my friends are always discouraged with their ornaments because they think they can't make anything, but i tell you that their creations are usually always my favorites. and if you are stuck on what to make, martha stewart and family fun always have great ideas with all skill levels in mind. if i get some good sunlight this weekend, i will take some photos of my new ornaments.

this is one of my favorite nights of the year. i get obsessed with cooking/baking and have been known to have my ornaments finished in october because i get so excited.

i feel like this weekend is the calm before the storm. we are having a full house at linwood avenue during the holidays this year, with the first guest arriving on tuesday. this means that the next few days will be filled with a lot of movie watching and even more cleaning. now i am thinking i should have signed up for the local deal of half price merry maids. oops!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

yo-yo's and packages

i have either hit the mother load or wasted $20 - the jury is still out. the other day, my friend, joy, called to tell me about the great bags of fabric she just bought at the local antique shop. i headed over there yesterday and 6 bags of pre-cut fabric circles were sitting in an old baby cradle. some bags were filled with patterned fabric, but unfortunately the colors weren't my aesthetic. but, i did snatch the 2 bags of bright solids. the best i can tell, they are from the 60's (the booth owner bought them from an auction house). they have a very slight smell to them, but it is more a dye smell, rather than a sitting in a grandma attic for 40 years kind of smell. i am about to bundle them up in a trash bag with a bar of soap to see if the smell will go away. hopefully this will work, which it usually does, because i have no dreams of washing and ironing over a 1,000 4 inch circles. can you imagine???

now, what do i make with them? definitely some yo-yo flowers since this is where my business has been headed for a while now. my "flowers" are the signature embellishment on my aprons, and i have plans on taking those flowers to pillows, greeting cards and even lamp shades. the flowers will be smaller though and will probably be clustered into sweet fabric bouquets.

other than that, i can see a large stuffed owl where these circles are appliqued to become the feathered body, sort of shingle style. not sure if that makes sense, but i can see it all in the sewing room contained in my brain :)

what would you do if 1,000 circles of solid colored fabric suddenly landed in your lap?

Monday, December 13, 2010

igloo and surprises

i came home from mailing some etsy orders this morning to find a box filled with sweet paper goodies on my doorstep. if you know me, then you know that i love anything to do with paper and that i also have a deep fascination with letterpress. a few weeks ago, i entered a contest where allison chapman from igloo letterpress was giving away 2 of her refillable journals. well, hello, i didn't need to be asked twice to enter! and if you haven't guessed yet, I WON!

the colors are perfect and i love that they are refillable. i often buy mini notepads, and end up tearing off and saving the covers once the pad is full because i love the imagery so. but this means i can keep using and reusing. perfect.

head over to igloo letterpress to see all they have to offer – notebooks, cards, invitations, etc. better yet, if you are in columbus, ohio, check out their schedule of classes.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

gnomes and spirit

all the ornaments are hanging out on the tree, along with this little guy. i believe this gnome is from germany and he has been in the family for many generations. while others search for the perfect tree without any holes, i am on the hunt for something different. our fresh tree has to have a bare spot for this little guy to sit in. isn't he cute? he is super fragile, so every year that i unpack him, i have my fingers crossed that he is perfectly intact.

we had brunch with santa today, and it definitely helped with my mood. actually, we have had a very packed weekend of holiday parties and laughter with friends. nothing like laughter to bring me back to earth and remember what is most important!

one week and counting until the munchkins are home with me for winter break. school lets out on friday - which i can never figure out. i mean, can't they just stay in school for the whole week, they already have an obscene amount of days off for christmas, do you really need to add friday to the mix???

oh well, that just means i will have some child labor getting the house ready for guests.

Friday, December 10, 2010

beauty and hidden truths

i sent out a tweet yesterday that envy was eating me alive. while this is not something very attractive to admit, it is true none-the-less. this month, i should be filled with christmasy goodness. yet my mind is constantly taking inventory of my (un)accomplishments throughout the past year. the areas where my dreams have fallen short. i am constantly comparing myself to other artists online. i think it is easy to go down this path when the blogs and tweets i read are mainly focused on the good things that happen to their writers. constant. sugary. sweetness. but isn't that one of the main purposes of blogs - to share your joy with the world? or is it?

but then i read a post over at whipstitch. and it all suddenly made sense. bloggers (or the blogs i read) rarely show their unsightly hem (read the post and you will understand) they are more of the "fake it 'til you make it" variety. so this is it, this is my unsightly hem, my hidden truth. i often get the "why not me?" blues. and. they. are. not. fun.

regular scheduled cheery posting will resume soon. because i do strongly believe that what you put out in the universe is what you receive back and i certainly don't want the little green monster sticking around for very long :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

time and well, time

there are never enough hours in the day to accomplish all the lovely things my mind conjures up (especially when i am hosting a strictly homemade holiday this year).

that is all.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

soft and simple sheet APRON

i'm so excited to announce my latest tutorial - the soft and simple sheet APRON! vintage sheets are a weakness of mine and for a while now, i have wanted to create an apron pattern utilizing their beauty. i typically find sheets at estate sales and most of them have the prettiest trim along their top edge, not to mention they are so very soft! you can also use a pillowcase for this pattern, however you will need to piece together the length of the apron tie. also note that the fold of the pillowcase is often very worn and this will run down the center of your apron.

to get started, simply click here to download an instructional pdf. i would love to see what you have made, so after your apron is complete, head over to the flickr group i have created to showcase your work!

*this is my first time creating a flickr group, so please let me know if something isn't right. thx :)

earrings and etsy

around the holidays, my paypal account is like my secret little piggy bank. it's the account that isn't linked to any bills, or worked into any budget. it is the account that i can use to buy sweet things that i don't really need. but don't tell my husband :)

i ran across these beautiful earrings that julie makes and sells through her pemberley collection etsy shop and knew that i had to have them! she shipped them out super quick, even though it was thanksgiving weekend and when i opened them, i found that i received not one, but 3 lovelies! julie was kind enough to include two photo cards with my purchase and the subject could not fit in with my home any better than if i photographed them myself.

customer experience is such a huge part of why i shop and sell on etsy. i love finding people who care about their customers and genuinely want to see them happy. it is definitely the little things that make repeat customers.

if you want to see more of julie's work through her company EAB Designs, you can visit her blog here.

what is your shopping weakness around the holidays???


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