Sunday, February 27, 2011


is so difficult when you've spent a weekend in such a blissful state.  We assembled again, most of us, at Las Brisas Farms in Fayetteville, TX.  There wasn't the usual twenty of us but rather twelve, since this was a reschedule of an iced-in weekend three weeks prior.  We had a newbie, Cindy join us and she was a wonderful tablemate.  I spent most of the weekend making journals from books, playing a bit with an album made out of an album (as in LP - Cindy's project).  Started a few other projects, such as a picture block, my New York album from a Henri Bendel bag and an envelope journal.  On my drive back home, I stopped at a junk store right outside of Industry and found a few bits and bobs.  It was a bit overpriced but it had alot of old small cans, which I want to use as a doll body... And how could I pass up the sweet little church.  I'm going to paint the house blocks and the little cylinder thing is made of wood. 
I've taken these roads several times now... to Round Top or Las Brisas and real or not, there is a washing away of stress when I leave Bellville.  Whether its because of the great breakfast at Newman's bakery, I think it has something to do with being in that part of the world.  It just slides to the floor and out the door and I am peaceful when I hit Industry and then on into Fayetteville. 

I loved the patina of this wood

I also stopped several times to snap a few shots of rural Texas, focusing on abandoned buildings.  I wanted very much to take some of the old barn wood but didn't, for two reasons.  No one to ask if I could and my car was stuffed with half my crafts room so there was no place to "store it" in the vehicle.  But it was fun to at least stop and appreciate it a few moments with a camera.  You have to be still when you're on the road from Bellville to Fayetteville or Warrenton, its Texas Highway 159.  But when you are still and listen, it's amazing the peace and comfort that rolls in. 
Cyclists love the area too.

I'm taking my re-entry back into the real world slowly today.  Loving on the pups alot and unpacking here and there.  (there was alot to unpack).  And preparing for a half week at work and a few days in London's flea markets (my first time to Borough, Covent Garden, Spittelfields, Portobello Market) and then a week at Lloyd's, a different kind of market.  I hope it is a good week for you. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Funniest Thing

happened this morning.  I told myself to get off the computer at 10 and start on my "to do" list.  And precisely at 10, my computer froze up so I HAD to get off!  I spent several hours going through boxes in my garage from my Mom's house and found a motherlode of old photos from the 50s - of my older brothers and sister.  I'm thrilled to find them and loved looking at them.  I also found a scrapbook my mother made of early Germany when she left Weirton, WV and eventually met my father.  Who knew - my mother the scrapbooker! 
I delivered some boxes to a local charity and they have this angel in the courtyard and I finallyr emembered to bring my camera.
I saw my neighbors for a few minutes today and they were dressed up so I snapped a few photos for them - they look great.  And then I tried photographing my spoils from yesterday's Urban Market and blah.  Just blah.  I am trying not to whine but I really need to work on my styling abilities.  They don't exist.  Really.  Does anyone have some suggestions on how I can improve?  There's all kinds of blogging advice and tutorials but I need to find my inner Heather Bullard because she is nowhere to be found!  Argh.  Here goes..
I was looking for a taller basket after seeing one in a photo of Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa's) kitchen but I still like this one. 

These are some of the linens I got ... there is one beautiful pillow that was in pristine condition and she sold them all for $5 each... The hankies were $3.  Guess who they're for?!!

 I found the silver basket thing at Pam & Sherry's booth - I think the wires are heart shaped!  I want to make a gauzy silky pouch for it.  The glass pieces are lamp parts and have holes in them!  I was thinking of making frozen charlotte dolls with them?

I love anything to do with Holland and the two black toile plates just spoke to me. 

Another pic of the glass lamp parts with a vintage divided dish.

And here is a pic of the gray bathroom.  I'm very happy with it.

That's about all I've got.  I do want to mention Egypt - it is so thrilling to see what is going on there and Saturday, when they were cleaning up - it just made my heart sing.  Two months ago I knew nothing about it but I've learned alot at work and from my boss, who lived there for several years.  It is so exciting to see change being made - I pray it stays peaceful.    I hope it is a good week for you.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Perfect Saturday

It was, wasn't it?  First of all, it is my former neighbor's birthday, H - so big shout out to H for her birthday.  She's an amazingly funny and kind person and I have been fortunate to know her since 1986 when I moved in next door to her and her fabulous family.  H has done an amazing job in raising three beautiful daughters, and lives f-a-m-i-l-y every day. 

Okay so two great things happened today... Pedro came over and painted the guest bath a nice simple gray, SW Olympia Gray 6253. I really like it and I'm glad I have more gray in my house (my foyer is grey). And the other great thing was having a fun afternoon at Urban Market and going to dinner with Debe and Cindy. We went to Grappinos and the food was great - I was a bit surprised. I had a nice small tenderloin with arugala and some kind of Italian bean - it was yummy. I also happened to carry my camera with me to UM... want to see some images?

Yummy ironstone

There were 3 bottle dryers in the house - I wanted all three.  And you can never have enough bobbins.  This was High Fashion's booth.

Hot Peanuts, of course!

The Gaudy Sisters, Pam and Sherry have a booth in old town Katy and Sherry makes GORGEOUS pillows from old linens.  I bought a pretty ornate container from them - I'll take a pic tomorrow.

 From the Seed Box - they're in Round Top and always have fantastic displays.
You can never have enough ruby slippers.

 This was at French Vanilla, Peg & Jon Van Dyne - I found several great glass pieces from vintage lamps.  I enjoyed visiting with Peg - she has some great displays.
I bought a ton of stuff from one lady and I can't remember her name... two wooden shoe molds, several tart tins and linens - oh beautiful linens... She said her daughter bought a 40' container of french linens, sight unseen and it was stuffed to the rafters!  Oh my.

And this is Tamara Moore, a local painter/muralist.  She was recently featured on Holly Mathis' blog here.  

I'm going to take pics of my stash tomorrow while the sun is shining.  I always seem to find a few things at this show and they make me happy.  I'm going to go look at the linens again.  Because they are that pretty!  

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Rumble Tumble Jumble

Lots of thoughts tumbled around in the noggin today.  First of all, it is absolutely fabulous outside - breezy and warmish, that screams:  take me to the park.  But I'm too busy creating and getting ready to go see my Mom.  And let me just say, I miss her so much these days.  When she lived with me I didn't realize how much she was affected by the dementia but now when I see her, it is painfully clear. And I hate going to the "home" to see her.  It's a nice place but I wish I could still take care of her and that she still lived with me.  

Yesterday was spent watching my niece, Megan play her last home basketball game (Go Mustangs!) and a little crafting and shopping.  I found these lovely tumblers at Pier 1 and I think I'm going back for two more.  They have a vintage feel with pretty ribbon of hobnail pebbles on four sides and a scallop bottom.  Lurve it, as Megan would say.
I really want to make a sampler/quilt type pillow and pulled out some vintage linens and lace but that's as far as I got.  I keep telling myself I'm not a sewer or stitcher, but I really need to let that go and just do it.  Like any of these crafts, my first one will not be perfect (or the second one) and I just need to let go and play.  But I'm too afraid of "messing it up" or using the good stuff.  Don't worry - I'm working through it.   I did put together another Valentine block - I found this image on either Graphics Fairy (thanks, Karen) or Flickr.  And I'm proud because on the red ribbon at the bottom, I did french knots on each side of the flowers.  Those flowers are like 6 years old... I've loved them and never used them on a project.  I layered the paint with 4 different colors, something I struggled with last Silver Bella but thanks to Lisa Kaus and Carolyn Peeler, I think I've found that groove.  The heart on top is styrofoam packaging, with black Bazzil bling envelope and thats a glass bell that I found with Sandy in NYC last November.  Remember, when she and Wendy dragged me out of the sketchy flea market so we could go to the real one!
I stopped creating on Fri nite to have dinner with the neighbors and ran back home for my camera when I realized the photo op before me!  I don't know if the parents would want me to post the photos so I'm just showing this one.  I got about 25 great shots individually.  One of the little girls, Helen (in red) at 3 was a whirlwind of activity and nearly 85% of her photos were blurred.  So cute but that momma needs alot of energy to keep up with those three for sure.   I think socializing with the neighbors is one of my top 10 activities.  My other neighbor went with me when I sold my car to a Craigslist buyer and this neighbor, Katie called on Thursday to tell me my sprinkler pipe busted.  They shut off the water and saved me!  I feel really blessed.
Okay, have you seen Pinterest.... AS IF we need another distraction but it is so so enticing.  I saw Katie Bee Creative's pins and fell head over heels, with both the site and her pins.  Love her style.  My favorite today is:  KARMA'S ONLY A BITCH IF YOU ARE.  yep.  
On Friday while floating through pinterest I saw these cupcake toppers from an etsy shop and decided I had to make a few...  Reminded me of this stitching project.   Looks like the purple/pink ribbon is coming apart - I'll need to replace it.  And if this isn't the cutest idea for a party!  Look at her blogmast - I love that dark paper in the center of the rolled paper wreath...

And don't forget next Sunday is Urban Market, at the new location of Smith and Elgin.  I'm thinking I will pay a visit Saturday evening - why not, it's just money (as my Dad always said).  Last Sunday when I stopped in at old town Katy I found two gym baskets for $15 each.  One is in my new Tahoe, the other is waiting for its calling.  And if you will, say a prayer for me for things to lighten up on the workfront - I'm having a really hard time with it and its worn me down to a frazzle.  Let's hope its a good week for all of us!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Event Calendar Oh Eleven

Long time, no speak.  My bad.  I'm getting my ass kicked acclimated at work and no energy at night.  But its the first of the year and I promised an overview of craft-e events so I'm going to deliver.  Even though there is packing for Las Brisas to do and a project laid out on my desk that is WAY over due.  Because I love you guys so much...
Okay, so I'll give a rundown of (some of) the events that I know are happening in 2011 and I'll try to refrain from whining about events that aren't going to happen in 2011.  
Inspired with Donna Downey in Concord, NC.  I absolutely LURVE this event, because you can play and try (six) new art forms.  Simple as that.  Yes, it has its faults and I'm not always happy about certain things but overall, its an event that inspires me (no pun intended) to play and create.  And there's nothing better than that.  I am super thrilled that Suzi Blu will be teaching, I've "knew" her before she was famous and so excited to see what she offers.  She teaches in the same theme as Donna - just play and "its perfect just the way you create".  I went to an event in March 2007 in Vancouver that had 3 teachers - Donna, Ali Edwards and Claudine Hellmuth and remember Donna saying that over and over.  That mindset is so freeing and inspiring.  I fell in love with Susan Edmonton 2 years ago when she made a fabric scrapbook.  Last year Sandy and I had such a blast at the French Bakery, Amelie and well, the whole weekend.  Hopefully she still wants to room this year.  The shopping is pretty damn good at the event too!  I do miss Jeanne and the gang though.
I do know that Mary Engelbreit (St. Louis) loved doing her Home Companion Workshop in 2010 but its a big commitment and has said she might do a smaller, intimate one day events during this year.  Nothing announced yet.
Creative Escape is happening for the last year.  It's in Phoenix and I attended the first four events and met some of the best people on this planet earth at that event.  The teachers this year are enticing - Ali Edwards, Vicki Boutin and Heidi Swapp always inspires me.  And shopping is Phoenix is the best, next to NYC.  I would go just for Mystic Paper, not to mention SAS and Creative Quest.  Honestly, I love MP.  The more I talk about it, I think I want to sign up! 
Creative Connection (St. Paul) looked so interesting last year and I would have attended just to meet Pioneer Woman.  They've posted the 2011 dates and information - its looking to be more of a Blogher  themed event.  I will say, Jo Packham impressed the hell out of me at Silver Bella.  I could have listened to her for days and unfortunately, she was shut down way too early during her speech at that event.  And the two Dallas girls from The Gilded Life are working on the event.  They also have a weekend in June, the Art of Spring that they're hosting.  I've heard rave reviews but I'm just not a jewelry maker, which is one of the classes. 
I'll tell you what I really regret, is missing Kaari Meng's event last weekend, in Los Angeles.  The Art of Craft.  It looked exquisite.  I know I would have loved Charlotte Lyon's class - isn't that banner beautiful!  Let's hope there's another one this year.  She also has a week in France - actually, I think it is two separate weeks.  And she's done it for a couple of years now so you know it has got to be fabulous.  And she's so down to earth and kind...
One or should I say two new events this year are the Art is You event, happening on the East Coast and West Coast.   I would definitely go for Charlotte's classes and also to take a class from Dee Foust.  I think she is amazing.  She attended ME's event this year and wanted to get into teaching.  Love her Bethany Lowe works.   She'll also be teaching at Jen Hayslip's event in October in Asheville, NC.  Jen is a bella and has hosted a couple of events and I've always heard good things.  Most of the teachers attended Silver Bella. 

And speaking of Bella - well she is gone and no more.  Even though I complained about it last year, I still would have liked to have gone one more time... the classes were always fun and inspiring.  All good things have to come to an end.  Its a shame they ended badly in this case. 
There are a couple other events, but I could spend my days writing about this stuff.  Tim Holtz has an October cruise that's sold out.  Debby Schuh has classes all over the country AND in Paris and those are always inspiring.  I mean, c'mon, the girl invented the Anthro bag album!  We had an incredible time in New York in November with her shopping trip and class at Tinsel Trading.  Over the moon fantastic.  I believe she's going to offer it again this year.  You.should.go.

And the last event I know about it Art and Soul.  I really wanted to check it out last October in Portland.  Lisa Kaus is an awesome teacher and Liz Kettle looks very interesting... They've been held for several years, so it has to be a good formula.  I hope to go one day soon.

I miss the good old days when a gang of us went to events like Scrap etc. or CE and yet, at the time you don't realize how fantastic it is and how much you will miss those people later.  Scrap etc. was my first event ever, in 2006.  My mother in law moved in with us on Easter weekend and the inaugural event was the following week.  I lined up some help that week and I was off to Birmingham.  Didn't know a soul, just knew I wanted to take a class from Heidi Swapp.  So glad I started that journey...