Monday, November 22, 2010

Love at First Sight

I fell in love this weekend.  It was very exciting.  And as a Southern girl, this is very hard to admit but I fell in love with New York.  I know everyone else loves it but I just didn't see myself doing that.  But I did and there is no going back. 
For the past couple of years, Debby Schuh, a teacher in the scrapbook world would post on her blog about her weekends in NY (she lives in Buffalo) and we all marveled at the pics and places, and asking her repeatedly, to take me with you!  Well, this weekend, she did.  26 of us and it was a blast and damn near perfection.  I'm exhausted from walking 8000 miles this weekend and my camera was on the fritz so I only have a few hundred photos.  Luckily, my pals Sandy and Wendy took photos and Marsha's hubby photographer came along with us.  But don't think of Marsha as a good influence on me... first, telling me where the B&H Photo store was (near Macy's).  I didn't even realize they were IN NY - I bought my Canon 40D from them, along with my lenses.  Secondly, they convinced me to buy my Ipad this weekend (an apple in the big apple of course) - why wait?  Made total sense, and I'm so glad I did.  It is fantastic.
I'm still writing in my envelope journal and I haven't unpacked but I am going to share one of our site visits.  Sunday morning we started off at Balthazar's in SOHO for brunch and it was fantastic.  I split my breakfast with my new pal, Lisa - she had berry waffles and I had salmon and poached eggs.  Afterwards, we made our way to the MoMA store, right across the street and to Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic.  It was perfection... I fell in love with each little bit in the store and took a picture of all that I could... The frou frou prom dresses, the inspiration board, the petticoat light fixture, the large crucifix and sacred hearts.  I could have stayed all day and I would love to own the Grand Chaise or large squishy chair.  It just looked so comfortable, inviting and simply beautiful fabric.  I bought a napkin with a silver crown - silly probably to some but I had to have it and I wanted the card and bags... to add to my scrapbook.  Also in the store were several Coronation (Queen Elizabeth June 1953) mugs and memorabilia, which made me happy as I have several pieces myself.  So many of our crew had gone into Sabon and purchased something, so we made our way over a couple of blocks to experience it ourselves.  They have a beautiful large round ... er, guess you would call it a sink but you stand and wash your hands with their sweet smelling soap (Patchouli Lavender Vanilla) and scrub with sea salts from the Dead Sea and then of course, lotions to smooth it all out.  Well, let me tell you, I have enough lotions and potions to sink a boat, I don't need any more so I thought, nice try - not going to buy into it.  But it did make my hands super silky.  So I picked up some soap shavings that smell just like my  grandma's rose scent...  That was all I was going to contribute to this hi-jinks.  And now, I totally regret it and I'm calling up tomorrow to order the soap and scrub and lotion.  And I may get some face cream too!  It was just that amazing.  I took a bath with the rose soap and it was so wonderful.  I have to have some of that!
I'm going to go unpack a bit...I'm exhausted.  Thanks for all the kind comments about Silver Bella.  I am home for the next month and so looking forward to settling in.  I will post more about the trip and Silver Bella after I've gotten some rest.  Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bella Done

From Teresa McFayden
During opening night, our project included a mat that was to be glittered.  Well, I know well enough not to do that and place it in a suitcase, (plus I've become more of a mica flakes girl than a glitter girl).  One girl did use some green/aqua glitter and didn't apply enough glue so she had gaps.  Well, another girl had Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in a green chalkboard color, I think they call it mint chocolate chip.  I am telling you, it filled in beautifully and looked fantastic plus the shimmer was so nice.  I want some of this stuff...
I'm heading to New York City tomorrow - first time in a long time with 25 girls (rooming with Sandy Hoho and her daughter, Wendy) to shop with Debby Schuh. There is a class Saturday night at Tinsel Trading, Marcia Ceppos is closing the store for us.  I think this is going to be heaven!  For several years now, we've heard of Debby's NYC trips and said, I want to do that... and now we can!  We're visiting Purl Soho, Kate's Paperie, The Ink Pad, Rachel Ashwell's store Shabby Chic and the major department stores that have the Christmas windows plus Friday on our own to enjoy and explore the city. 
embroidery design by Allison at Dishy Vintage
I got my 16 x 20 canvas from Canvas on Demand yesterday - of the picture at Delfshaven (the blog mast) and I have to say, its beautiful and I love it.  Wish I had ordered 3 more Groupon buys... I think it was $40  and included shipping... good stuff.  For Christmas I want to make a canvas ala Red Letter Words since my 3 inchie swap name tags were so easy to do in Picasa... so I was thinking of taking a simple flat background of the hardwood floors or perhaps the street and doing the street names of all the houses we've lived (for my brother).  Not original but sounds fun! 
I realized this morning after I woke from a good sleep that I am grateful that this separation with my Mother happened to me at 53.  I think I have the fortitude to face it with good grace.  I'm lucky that it is happening now and not at 43 or 33.  I'm going to try to focus on that thought all day.  Sister visited Mom yesterday and she was (for the most part) enjoying herself.  I know she will be happy, eventually.  I look forward to being home all of December.  And on Black Friday we're having a crafting day at my house.  If you want to joins us, let me know! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bella Time

I've been up for an hour or so...and the bills are paid so I'll finish my Silver Bella review, part deaux.  On the final day of Bellaness, I had the morning free, which was very nice - wake up relaxed and putter around.  I finished up an envelope journal and organizing playing with my new swaps and small purchases.  The next class was Secret in a Bottle with Lisa Kaus and this time, I was locked and loaded for a good class.  I got into the watercolors and collage.  Its not my strongest suit but I embraced it.  And I have to say, I was blown away by Lisa's willingness to share her art.  I mean, this is her livelihood and here she's showing us how its done.  I love that kind of spirit.  Blogger won't let me upload any photos, so please refer to my Picasa album.
There were alot of new bellas this year and some bellas from previous years that I missed... definitely the Houston crowd of Debe, Linda, Virginia and Julia.  Kinda lost without them.  Jodie from Louisiana. The new bellas were very enthusiastic about being there, which was so nice.  Kerry Barrick was a happy redhead from Oklahoma that was fun to visit with.  Nancy from {Scrap} St Louis was there and it was fun to visit again with her. 
Last class was Sally Jean Alexander and Prize-alicious - soldering a two part pendant that was really beautiful.   I'm not a jewelry maker or wearer but I did enjoy the class.  It was a rectangle and then gothic window shape (that's all I can think of calling it - its 4 am).  I did manage to put together a cool image - me at 2 circled in rhinestones and the word "twirl", with a meaning from this blog post.  I embrace that thought several times a day (or at least try to).  My taping was a bit thick but I also embraced it - it was mine and I created it.  Perhaps I can incorporate it into another art piece.  It was fun to make but I don't think I have the patience to solder as a craft.  I sat with the Bella clique in that class, by accident and felt like I was back in high school and feeling very un-in.  .  It is probably why I won't go back to SB next year - there are so many nice people that share and play nice but that core group that just get, well, boring with their snootiness.  Sorry, I got sidetracked - I wish it didn't bother me but it did.  This year they held a closing dinner and the keynote was Jenny Doh.  I sat with some awesome Dallas girls, Lisa and Susie and Suz and Donna and it was a nice ending for the weekend.  This years classes were fun and enjoyable and I'm so glad I participated in all three swaps.  I enjoyed my Bella time.
Still no pics allowed from Blogger.  Paper boy drove by and I'm back to bed.  

Edited to add:  I wish I hadn't judged those girls so harshly.  It was the last class and required alot of focus.  I've apologized for the name calling and we've mended the fence.  It is a good reminder of this quote:  Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bella Ball

Jill Sibbald's artwork - fantabulous!

I'm back from snow covered Omaha.  It snowed a big heavy snow Friday night - pretty amazing.  I took 200+ photos and have placed the majority on Picasa.  Do you use Picasa?  You should - it is pretty darn amazing and free!  I've used it for years - I have PSE (that's photoshop elements) that I use for cloning but I use Picasa for all my photos.  I'll make a collage for the month - just to look at and remember.  Let me tell you about my third Bella experience.  I loved the classes and yet, for whatever reason I didn't connect with alot of people, save a handful, with people like Laura of 52 Flea.  We met on the shuttle and spent the better part of the afternoon together at lunch and Second Chances.  It was fun - she's a flea market connoisseur and so while we shopped, each of us would say - I have that or I want that... it was fun. I'm hoping she will find some leather high top victorian baby shoes for me in her stash.  Thursday night we had a buffet dinner, did a frame project and then... the swaps!  I participated in three so I was very eager:  vintage trims, banner and 3 inchie embroidery swap.  For the vintage trims she placed them in decorated egg cartons, cute and cleaver.  I received six beautiful laces/crocheted trims, and a couple of beautiful ribbons and a few I'm not so fond... I am happy I participated - the laces are just lovely so I'll focus on that.  Both the banner and embroidery swap I just loved - beautiful artwork and its so fun to inspect all the details - I will take pics and post, I promise.  Afterwards, I moved rooms (long story not worth telling) and came down for the crown, bra and necklace one-on-one swaps.  I am telling you - it was amazing to watch.  The work was off the charts and it was so fun to witness the joy and excitement between the participants.  Way cool.   
Friday we started classes and my first one was with Colette Copeland (of Toronto) called Project Runway - there was tons of photos in Picasa.  We had three darling muslin dresses to decorate.  Our table was filled with fun and inspiring women, all collaborating - Suz and Donna, Gretchen, and sweet Melissa. Colette was so kind and generous - I gave her part of some lace and she came back with an aqua doily - it was just a wonderful time - the energy in that room.  My second class was the Teacup Fairy with Beth Quinn.  I think everyone was thrilled with that class.  I didn't realize under the teacup was a wire body and we attached fabric and trims.  I want to redo mine and instead of tying, I'm thinking of either tiny attacher or french knotting... I think it will look cool.  Take a look through Picasa, there were so many beautiful china cups.  My final class on Friday was with Lisa Kaus and I have to say, I struggled and fought it.  It was called Joy Within and I just wasn't feeling it.  It was using watercolor crayons and smudging and I can't tell you why but I put some paper down but couldn't get my groove.  I don't like getting dirty while making art.  I also didn' t like that there was a $10 "lab fee".  I don't get that kind of mentality... So we ended Friday with the Vendor Faire which I hit promptly at 6 pm.  I mentally had decided not to buy much and I didn't.  Of course, with Jenni Bowlin - there are always some things that need to go home with you.  What I love is that she is fair with her pricing.  I found some absolutely fabulous lace from Kim H that came from Mae West's estate - both for $6.  Really beautiful stuff.  And a few frozen charlotte doll head and I called it done for the night - onto the casino and out into the heavy snow.  That snow was just crazy.  And I left my coat sitting at the kitchen table.  But I managed - by losing my shirt.  But what the hell.     
Shall I stop now and finish up tomorrow?  Its been a long day.  We moved my mother out of my home and into assisted living.  I have been dreading it for a while now and it went as well as can be expected.  She was really angry that we left her but I know it is the right choice and a good place for her.  She will love all her new friends, hopefully very soon.  Its funny but I feel as if she is my child now and I hope they will take good care of her.  Tonight at home, though, I am so thrilled when I realize I can sleep through the night and that no care givers will be in my home tomorrow ... I can definitely get happy about that. 

Monday, November 08, 2010

Silver Bella Bound

You know how you futz around all night doing stuff you don't need to be doing, and avoiding what you really need to get done.  Yeah.  Well, that was tonight.  I ordered a canvas print that I'd bought from Canvas on Demand through Groupon.  Yeah, it should be pretty cool.  And of course, I had to Wiki the location, Delfshaven.  Well, you know why.  And then I ordered 5 prints of a family photo I had photoshopped for my cousin...6 months ago.  Because that really had to get done tonight.  But most importantly, I did manage to get photos of my 3 inchie embroidery swap that I finished last night, that's going to Silver Bella in three sleeps.  A week or so ago I had finished my banner swap and wondered what to do for the 3 inchie... Since I've never done embroidery, I didn't have an arsenal to chose from.  One night while bloghopping, I saw this girl, and my heart went pitter patter when I saw this beautiful dress.  Allison at Dishy Vintage lives right down the road from me and was kind enough to let me use her design.  And so I made this:

There are 12 girls in the swap and I'm so excited to see what the others created.  I swing between panic and pride at any given moment.  I learned, though, three years ago - get in the swaps after seeing so many beautiful art pieces, especially Debe's recipe book that was amazing.  I participated in three this year - vintage trims, banner and 3 inchie... Thanks, Allison for letting me use your design.
Along with stitching this weekend, I made time to go to Urban Market and found a few good things.  An old fashioned white street sign that says, Magnolia & E. 11th.  Three large acorns, two beautiful books with deep engravings of an atlas, two black globes and one regular globe and some vintage trims from the German lady.  I don't know her name, she's just the lady at Cole's/Warrenton that has beautiful and expensive linens.  I found the globes, books and acorns from Kay the book lady - very nice lady.  Don't you want this little trophy... We missed you Megan and wish you were here. I hope you can reschedule.

Made a quick trip to Anthropologie tonight, looking for a teacup for my teacup fairy project.  I know my mother has several beautiful dainty cups in one of the boxes in my garage but had no interest in searching.  I did find this, with the scallop, I think will do just nicely.  And just like Target, I can't get out of that store for less than $100 - too many pretties to buy.  And a few pics to snap.