Monday, April 30, 2007

travel swap

I signed up for the travel swap over at Free People. Today's the last day to sign up.

I'm planning to make something this week. I'm making one for my trip (we leave next week!) so I'll make another for my swapmate while I'm at it.

Sign up here. Come on! It'll be fun!

2 more new...

Don't you love it when you find a whole bunch of vintage items at once? When I spotted these bright and cheery bird whistles, I could hardly contain my excitement. I hope you like them too.

I had the idea for this product at a Chinese take out place. The idea is to use the chopsticks to find a slip of paper with just the right message for you to hear. Whether it is a traditional Chinese fortune cookie message, a powerful positive thought, or a simple reminder to keep you on track, they are always uplifting and encouraging. Don't you think it would make a great gift?

Click here to order either of these new things.

more scrap journals!

More scrap journals are in stock! To order yours, click here.

I'll be adding new things to the site as I unpack the suitcases from the show. Stay tuned! But if you want to make sure you get a specific item, place separate orders and I'll make adjustments to the total shipping charge later.

ahhh, monday...

I met so many wonderful people Friday and Saturday. I loved every minute of it. Thank you to all of you who stopped by to say hello and chat. And thank you, too, for your purchases.

Hope stopped by and took lots of amazing pictures, including the ones at the top of this post. Thanks, Hope! Waisze and her fiance drove all the way from New York City (I sort of feel like those guys in the salsa commercial!). She is a complete doll! Megan and her mom were tons of fun. And a special thanks to Korie for not only stopping by but for spreading the word so well and to Pam for helping me so much on Friday.

I know I'm missing others I should mention but my mind is a little fuzzy from pure exhaustion. I still haven't unpacked my car from the Paris Flea Market. That's on the list of things for today. And what a list it is! I'd better get to it.

Hope you have a lovely day ahead of you.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

oh what a time we had!

Have you been waiting for a report? Well, first of all, thank you all so much for your confidence and reassurance. It was, as you suspected, a smashing success.

Here are some pictures to show you what it was like...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

packing up...

I've reached that point where I'm losing some of my confidence. I'm second-guessing choices I've made, worrying that people won't respond well to what I'm offering, worrying that the rain will ruin my things, and generally panicking.

What if people don't want to make things? What if the things I offer for them to make are too simple? too hard? What if it rains so hard that the tent starts leaking and ruins everything? What if all the things I thought would look so dear together end up looking like a pile of junk? What if no one shows up? Ugh! I could go on and on. These what ifs are killing my confidence!

I still have lots to do so I'm trying to push those feelings aside and just push on. I don't mind being nervous but there's nothing productive about being doubtful.

On Friday, my friend Pam is going to chip in and help me run the operation. And on Saturday, my friend Debbie is joining me. When I think of all that good help from friends I love, and when I think of being with fun people like Ann and Linda, Stephanie, and the rest of the gang, I start to feel better.

Meanwhile, whenever a what-if pops into my mind, I respond to it as if it were a child. "What if it rains"..."then it rains and I will protect my things from the rain in a quick and effective manner." "What if no one comes"..."then that will be very sad but at least I'll be in the company of good friends. Besides, that won't happen. Don't worry dearie. Everything will be fine. Really fine."

Monday, April 23, 2007

more about the Paris Flea...

Here's another peek at the mess of stuff I've got ready to go to the Paris Flea Market.

I put together little tins of bits and bobs that I've been collecting. They were a lot of fun to put together and I hope they'll be well-received.

I also made penants for decorating the tent. You can see them here, stacked and ready to be hung.

I'm so excited that my friend Kim has been busy whipping up a dozen of her wonderful aprons for me to offer for sale at the Paris Flea Market. I decided to display one on my dressform. The apron you see here is the most recent of her designs. I had to have it when I saw that it was inspired by my sweet friend Deb.

I really love wearing an apron when I'm working, cooking, and cleaning. It just helps keep me on purpose. Also I love the way these pretty, ruffly aprons look over jeans. Her aprons wrap all the way around to meet in the back and tie with a luxuriously wide sash. Really oh so pretty!

When I put the apron on the dressform to see how it looked displayed this way, it seemed a little funny to have a topless dressform. I tore a few pages out of a dictionary and quickly fashioned a shirt for her.

It might rain a bit for our set up. I think I'll pack everything in my old suitcases and then use them as props for the displays.

I also need to put together a toolchest of crafting supplies and tools. If anyone wants to work on their crafting kit there, I want to have everything they could possibly need accessible.

My back is achy, my mind is racing, and my house is a complete disaster. But I do feel very proud of how much I've been able to accomplish. All the while, I've managed to not go too overboard moneywise, timewise, or stresswise. In fact, I'm fancing the idea of a little nap right about now.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

paris flea market badge

I'm as busy as ever making all sorts of things for the Paris Flea Market. I came up with another idea for a new product last night over dinner. I couldn't wait to get home to get started on it. I finished it up first thing this morning and it is something I'm really excited about. I'll keep it a secret until the big day. You know that will be hard for me.

Then, when I finished that project I started thinking about that big ol' dictionary that's been hitching a ride in my back seat since I bought it last week. As I soaked in the tub like a crocodile with nothing but my nose and eyes just slightly above water (I do some of my best thinking in just this way), a brilliant idea came to me. I think I'll keep it a secret too...I have to make sure it will work properly.

p.s. You're invited to add the Paris Flea Market badge (seen on the right column of this blog) to your own blog if you are going to be at the Paris Flea Market, either as a vendor or attendee.

Friday, April 20, 2007

countdown to paris flea

If you've wondered where I've been...well, I've been busy. Every waking moment has been spent preparing for the Paris Flea. If I'm not actually making something, I'm thinking of making something. And periodically I go into the dining room with my hands on my hips and sparkling with glitter just to look at the ready-to-go stuff that's accumulating there.

Want a peek for yourself?

I'm so happy with this display I made out of an old dresser mirror frame. Mirror was long gone so I cut a piece of foam core to fit, covered it with this fabulous paper (which I will sell at the Paris Flea!) and then used stick pins to display the charm bracelets.

Charm Bracelets? Yes, indeedy! I will have 9 beautiful new charm bracelets to showcase there. What doesn't sell will be on the Melissa is busy making more so never fear, my dear.

I bought this wonderful store fixture from the neighborhood scrapbooking store a few weeks ago when they were moving to their new digs. It was a bargain at just $10. The best part about it is that just a week before I'd pictured this very thing and wondered how I'd find something like that, and in such short notice. The Secret in action? maybe.

Hanging from the pegs are some of the kits I've made. I have lots more work to do to fill all those pegs! Funny how when I'm at a store spinning one of these babies it doesn't seem like a lot of product...right?


And here's a close up of the sign at the top...

I'd planned to make the magic wands a kit as well but I changed my mind. I have two different styles...

And what makes them special are the tags. In different ways, they both say that you already have power to make your own wishes come true and to just believe in yourself.

Back to work for me.

p.s. Oh, guess what?! I just got a shipment of Scrap Journals! I'll preview them at the Paris Flea Market...what's left will go for sale online.

p.p.s. Today is my sweet friend Debbie's birthday! Happiest of happy birthdays, to you my friend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

thinking blog awards...

Thank you to everyone who included me on their thinking blog list. I'm really so tickled that you like reading my blog and that you come back regularly for more.

All of my favorite blogs are listed on the right so instead of listing five of them, I thought I'd find 5 new blogs to introduce us to...

Lauren Mumford I'm as pleased as punch that Lauren is back at it online. She's a fountain of inspiration and makes such lovely things.

Tammy Gilley I don't know why I didn't add Tammy's blog to my blogroll earlier. You'll go ga-ga for the things she makes...she's the kind of person I wish lived next door.

Miz Smoochie Lips She has a really fun, wonderful, and sometimes wild sense of humor.

Elizabeth House Her blog offers eye-candy lots of invaluable advice for budding business owners. Love her style!

Secret Leaves Check their blog today to see some behind the scenes action for the beautiful books they made for us.

happy birthday, linda!

I just couldn't let the day end without saying Happy Birthday to my sweet friend Linda.

I hope all of your birthday wishes come true in the loveliest ways! Happy birthday, my friend!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

a small prayer

Whenever irrational fears become real, it shakes us and changes who we are as a country. As the terrible details come to the surface after the massacre at VA Tech and the unimaginable takes a nightmarish shape, I pray to God to show us the way through.

Monday, April 16, 2007

back to normal

We delivered Seth back home safely yesterday. Things are back to normal around here, if a little on the quiet side.

Every waking moment with Seth was filled to the rim with chatter. He even talked in his sleep! And he would say funny little things with his funny little voice. I miss him.

I'm spending this morning catching up on office work. I have a precarious pile of papers on my desk. I'll sort and stash and trash until I can see the surface of the desk again.

Once that's conquered, I really need to focus on preparing for the Paris Flea Market at The Cottage...

I'm getting really excited about the Paris Flea Market...It is going to be incredibly fun!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

oh, the places you'll go

Seth came with me today to the cottage. Here's a picture of him playing with the little toy stove they have there. Isn't he so cute? He baked all sorts of cakes and treats for me all morning. And he offered each customer a coffee, hot chocolate, or cappuccino! All week long when I ask him in the morning where he'd like to go, he answered enthusiastically "The Cottage!" so he sure was happy that Thursday finally arrived.

Yesterday, we went to a petting zoo/farm. Oh, you should've seen all the baby animals. My arms were full of bottles and cups of food, not to mention my purse. There was no place to put any of these things down without an animal or two or three trying to eat them (including my purse) so my picture taking was awfully limited.

We went on a very exciting hayride. There was a camel there named "Jack" who chased the wagon through the entire ride. He was trying to get to the bucket of food on board. When the wagon stopped, he would reach in with his long neck, his huge mouth and tongue. My favorite part was when we looked back to see the strange assortment of animals from baby zebras and deer to cows with huge horns and ostriches and llamas all running to where we'd just stopped.

Here's a shot that I took at a stoplight on our way back today. He had just asked me a question. I answered it and waited for his reply. I heard just the tiniest little snore. I couldn't believe it when I saw him out for the count! I think I'm wearing this little boy out.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

the thrill of it all

Today's big adventure turned out to be not such a big adventure. We were meant to go to the zoo today but we decided to postpone that trip until the end of the week...something to look forward to. Besides, the weather will be a bit warmer by then.

We went today for lunch to Chick-Fil-A, Seth's favorite restaurant. Afterward he played in the enclosed play area. Also today we've worked on several fun projects. I managed to work on a few of the paperweight kits while Seth painted and cut paper and punched shapes out of his paper and other assorted fun things.

There is something funny I want to tell you about. First I must explain that Seth is accustomed to going to sleep with the television on. While I don't think this is a very good idea, it's not my business to change it.

The first night of Seth's stay, I put him in the bed that folds out from the chair in my studio. The television there only picks up a few of the cable stations and none of them are always-cartoons channels. Not one appropriate thing was on the tube when Seth went to sleep. I suggested that I could put on a tape. The only movies I could offer him are from my Doris Day collection. I showed him a stack of about 6 movies...he shuffled through with a "no"..."no"..."no"...all the way until he saw it was the last one. "The Thrill of It All" just happens to be one of my favorite Doris Day movies.

The funny thing is this movie has become a favorite for Seth. We've watched it every single night and a few times during the day too. He's even memorized certain parts.

He and Rich have gone now to the park to play Frisbee. I'm going to see how productive I can be...

Monday, April 9, 2007

chuck e. cheese

Day One of Seth and Amy's Big Adventure: Chuck E. Cheese.

There is a SpongeBob Square Pants "game" at Chuck E. Cheese where you basically feed it tokens and hope that it lands on the green square. If it does land on the green square, you get 50 tickets. For some reason, out of all of the other flashing, whirling, jiggling, and screaming games, this quiet little pint sized slot machine was Seth's favorite. We spent probably half of his 40 tokens (4 for $1) on this particular machine.

His second favorite thing to feed tokens to is a ride which simulates a rollercoaster ride which I could ride with him. I think he liked it for precisely that reason.

He was so happy to be there. He mostly ran from machine to dazzling machine giggling and twirling. He was just so cute.

Now he's watching cartoons, chuckling along with both hands behind his head and his little knees crossed. And he just said that he wants me to come lay beside him and play with his hair.

I really don't know how much work I'll manage to get done this week with this cute little distraction around. Have I ever told you what a funny little Southern accent he has?

Okay, I need to tomorrow, I promise.


By the time I published this post, this is how I found Seth.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

seth's easter basket

I'm so excited for my sweet nephew Seth to see his Easter basket Sunday morning! He's staying on with me for the week after Easter for his Spring Break. I can't tell you how thrilled I am about that. I'll be sure to post about our adventures next week.

I packed his basket with lots of fun things I know he'll really dig. Candy, well, of course. Each little camouflage egg has a little treat in it. Reece's peanut butter eggs are a must. And I really love Snickers eggs too. I hope he shares!

No Easter basket, in my opinion, is complete without a little stuffed bunny. This one was the pick of the litter at Target. But, unfortunately, she donned a pink ribbon with a rosette. I replaced it with a little of my favorite vintage French silk ribbon in the prettiest of blues, which just happens to be Seth's favorite color.

I found a bag of jungle animals and trees with a playmat at Walmart. I think it was some insanely cheap price like $1.88! Some other things I'm excited for him to find are a jar of marbles, a dinosaur egg to excavate a treasure from, National Geographic cards with famous world monuments, and polka dot sidewalk chalk. I always had a pack of construction paper in my Easter basket so I put that in his too. And I think I told you this last year, but when I was little I found a peso at the bottom of my Easter basket. It was a strange little mystery in my young life. A secret between me and the Easter bunny. So I put a little foreign coin in the bottom of his. I wonder if he'll find it.

Oh, and the fringe across the handle? I tore strips of a fun and funky fabric and tied them all along it. It was actually quickly done and made this plain basket something special.

Happy Easter to all of you who celebrate! To everyone else, Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

getting ready...

26 are confirmed for Easter dinner on Sunday.

Don't you love this little flower container? They are by Wilton and can be found at Michael's in their wedding/ party section. I filled each little bubble with SweetTart jellybeans (have you tried those?!) which I separated in colors. I still have to tie the tags on the bulk of them.

I like the contrast of the yellow and adds a real pop to the look.

I set up tables and chairs in the living room (after emptying it of almost all other furniture). I covered all the tables in white tablecloths to give it a more uniform look.

The centerpieces are sheets of moss with a pedestal or two atop. I tucked fun treasures in among the moss as well as a couple of votive candles in glass holders. Feeling like it needed a bit of something living, I bought cheap, cheap petunias, kept them in their cheap pots, but covered them with natural linen tied with raffia.

I still have to do the dining room table settings but that should go quickly now that I know what I want it to look like. Those plates will all be ivory and I'll make a longer version of the centerpiece since it's a much longer table.

Tomorrow I'll be at The Cottage but maybe I'll have a chance to show you the Easter basket I'm making for Seth. Since he'll be with me the week after Easter (did I tell you that yet?!) the Easter Bunny is visiting him here. I went a little bit's going to be one heck of an Easter Basket!

Monday, April 2, 2007

journals and albums

So many of you were interested in these journals and albums! I'm so delighted that you love them as much as I do. The scrap journals were, by far, the most popular. Many of them are already snatched up.

Each of these are entirely made by hand and each is one-of-a-kind.

To see them all, click here.