Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sugarville Update!

I had a little help taking photos for the Sugarville update...
The light just dances off the glitter in the's such a joy to share these with you. I hope you find one you love.

Click here to shop.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

not today...

Sorry if you've been waiting around. Today wasn't in the cards for the etsy update but I'm shooting for tomorrow.

Monday, March 29, 2010


I made a whole bunch of Sugarville houses. Want to see?

I'm hoping to get these up in my etsy shop tomorrow morning...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

more miniature gardens

My sister Jennifer has a birthday this week so I thought I'd make her a miniature garden. Alfredo redecorates it everytime he sees it. He especially likes to push the chair legs down into the gravel.

I made one for my mom too...can't wait for her to see it.

I found these great pots at Walmart...they're a bit smaller in diameter and deeper than the one I used for mine but I love the jolly colors. And only $15 each!

We're heading to my parents' house this afternoon. Rich, Alfredo and Omar are all out playing frisbee. Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

playing pretend

Lately, our favorite game to play is "guess what's in my hands"...we hold our hands out and pretend that we have something there. The other person asks questions and then guesses what it is. It gets kind of silly. We were playing it today and I thought what a fun thing it would be to show you.

Isn't he adorable?

miniature garden

I'd like to have a green thumb but the truth is I don't. But when we were at the garden center the other day to get plants to dress up our front porch, Alfredo and I fell in love with the enchanting miniature gardens they had. What I didn't love was the price...all the way up to $500!

I've been thinking of them and wondering if we couldn't make one ourselves. So yesterday we went back to the garden center and bought some plants they suggested for miniature gardens and made one ourselves. We're still working on the fun part...decorating! We definitely need a garden gnome, don't you think?

At the garden center they said that just about any small ground covering, like this scotch moss, can work for the grass part. The light green plant is another ground covering called "Golden Creeping Speedwell". The flowering plant is called "charm". And you can't see it but in the back there's a tiny fern like plant called "Green Brass Buttons". The little shrub is a miniature cedar called Tenzan. It won'g grow more than 1/2 inch per year at most.

The garden center we went to is rather expensive. Each of these little plants were $5 and the miniature cedar was $12 so we spent about $50 on the plants. Still I really love it and I'm hoping my thumb will be green enough to keep it alive.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

what I got for my birthday...

This is what I got for my birthday...a Wacom drawing tablet. I'm still feeling my way around it but it is such a fun new toy. I love it.

oh yes...

I got the itch to make more Sugarville houses. Yes, I's been a very long time.

I first made these in 2006 and they were a big hit. I made a whole bunch of them to sell at Silver Bella many that I kind of got a bit burned out. And then it seemed like there were other glitter houses like these out there. I don't know...I just got buried under some of those negative thoughts.

Anyway, when I was cleaning out my studio and finding boxes and boxes of houses that awaited making-over, I just started remembering how much fun they are to make. So, I'm going to make up a batch and put them in my etsy shop soon.

p.s. I wish I had some more of those vintage green pom-poms! I love that little tree I made for this one!

easter eggs

I made these eggs a couple of years you remember? I thought you'd like to see them again...

from the archives...March 2008
These eggs are so much fun (and messy!) to make...

And, best of all, you use those plastic Easter eggs!

Other things you'll need are pages from old books, glue, glitter (optional), and ribbons. Also gather little treasures like flowers, buttons and beads.
In a bowl, dilute craft glue by 1 part water for every 2 parts glue. Tear pages of old books or sheet music or tissue paper into small bits (the smaller the bits the easier to adhere without too many creases...squares seem to work better than strips for this project).

Dip each little piece of paper in the glue mixture, using your fingers to squeegee extra glue off. Also using your fingers (see what I mean...messy!) smooth the pieces on the plastic egg. As you cover the egg, you may find that you can use the extra glue on your fingers to prepare the pieces instead of dipping them.
If you are adding glitter to your eggs, put them into a bowl of glitter and use a spoon to spread over the sides. Use the spoon to scoop out the egg and put on wax paper to dry.
Tie bits of ribbon to each egg.

Next have fun attaching bits and bobs like buttons and flowers. I used a bit of tinsel to attach the buttons, twisting it closed but you could hot glue items to the ribbon.
Here's the surprise can actually crack these eggs open (well at least tear them open) so they can be a fun way to present a surprise gift! (just be careful if you put a candy in since there's glitter on the outside.)

It would be fun to tuck in a little jewel or sentiment or cracker jack toy!

If you want to keep the egg intact when opened, just be careful when gluing the bits of paper on to not overlap the seam of the egg.

Have fun!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The DIY Dish

Have you seen this? I'm so excited about this new online crafting show and can't wait for this week's episode.

And guess what...they are giving away Janome sewing machines. I know! Get over there, check it out, and sign up for the giveaway.

Tinkerverve, one of my friends stitching along over at 39 squares is having a giveaway too.
This adorable charm was made from one of her stitched inchies...isn't it adorable? It can be yours...just leave a comment at her blog today. Click here for the link.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

39 today

Thirty nine years ago today, my parents had their third little girl. I was born on the doctor's birthday. And I was born on my mother's mother's birthday. March 21, 1971.

My mother's water broke while she was getting ready for church Saturday night. My sister Jessica was running behind her and slipped in the water. My mother had baked a cake for her mother's birthday but hadn't frosted it yet. On the way to the hospital my mother said "I hope this baby will wait to be born on my mother's birthday" and my father said "I hope this baby will wait to be born in the hospital!"

Those are the stories I've been told all my life. Stories I always imagined forecasted the wonderful life I was destined to lead. It seemed like a magical gift to be born on my grandmother's birthday. On the first full day of Spring. Into a loving home where I would be cherished all my life.

I go into this year the happiest I've ever been. Full of joy and love and gratitude.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

23 more to go!

I just finished row two of the 39 squares.
I really love how this part looks together...I went back to square two and added the white french knots around the flower. It was looking rather washed out and needed a little more oomph. Just a little.

We are nearly 100 strong...and more are added every day. It's not too late to jump in. And I'm already thinking of a project to follow this one!

Today is a very, very nice day so we will indeed venture into town to catch the circus parade. I'll bring my camera.

Monday, March 15, 2010

liberty purchases, etc.

I made it to Target yesterday after church and after going out for breakfast. It was so much fun discovering all the Liberty of London stuff all over the store. Still, I wish there was more.

I picked up this lampshade but didn't think I needed the lamp. Turns out I don't have any of the style of lamp (not a harp) to hold this kind of lampshade large enough. So I might go back for the lamp base if it's still there. I also bought a candle (you have got to sniff them...unbelievably wonderful!), a storage bin, a ruffly blouse, and a tray. I talked myself out of getting a jacket.

It's still so dark and rainy around here and shopping for such bright and cheery things was just what I needed to feel like Spring!

Later, in the afternoon while Alfredo napped, I curled up on the sofa, watched Summertime starring Katharine Hepburn and did a little embroidery. It was a delicious little mid-day escape.

The sun is due to come out tomorrow and I'm hoping we'll make it downtown to catch the circus parade on Capitol Hill. Won't that be fun?

Friday, March 12, 2010

boden love

Whenever the new Boden catalog arrives, I get the gimmees real bad. I want to buy everything. I dogear all the pages of things I want. I flip through a million times, ooing and aaaahing and wishing.

For one thing, I would like this skirt.

It's so lovely and so fun. And now you can watch videos of the items in action. This does nothing to relieve me of my gimmees.

Meanwhile I'll do my best to chase the gimmees away and wait for this to happen at Target on mondaysunday! (Thanks for the heads up...forever I've been thinking it was happening on the 15th!)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

cuckoo for cuckoos!

Thank you for your nice words about my gift for Andrea. I don't really have a how-to, step-by-step guide for making it. But I can tell you a little bit about how I made's that?

First of all, I couldn't have made it at all without my friend Kim. I emailed the idea, a rough sketch, and a few specs. She made the wooden clock base and even outfitted the back with a box to house the clock mechanism. I wish I'd had her cut the molding too for the roof pitch because it was really, really hard for me to do.

I bought the clock insert from here.

First I thought I would paint it but it wasn't turning out as well as I'd hoped. Then I remembered the really, really beautiful vintage wallpaper Karla gave me. It was hard to part with it but I knew it would be perfect. I cut out extra flowers from the scraps and glued them in place. And then I covered it all with a few coats of polyurethane.

I cut the shutters out of an old book cover and then covered them with striped wallpaper.

And the bird? Isn't she sweet? I made her from Air Dry Clay...nothing fancy. Just the Crayola kind for kids. And I coated her with clear glass glitter. I made the little hat out of a little scrap of wallpaper too.

Oh, and Jen asked about the polka dot heart in the background. Isn't it wonderful? It's made by my friends The Chapmans.

Are you ready to make one too? Kim is thinking about adding the cuckoo-inspired clock kit to her etsy shop. If you want one, let her know.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


To celebrate Andrea's wish come true, we threw an online surprise shower for her!

Hope and Gabrielle are meeting Andrea just this moment to surprise her with all the handmade gifts from bloggy friends. I can't wait to see all the wonderful things these ladies made. I'm sure there's so much love poured into each one. 

Here's what I made for the sweet little pink bundle of joy...
I'll give details about how I made it tomorrow. I hope she likes it.

In the meantime, let's tour the other blogs to see what they made for Blogland's newest princess. Shall we?

Monday, March 8, 2010

39 squares: first row

Today's square finishes the first row of my 39 Squares project. Boy are we having fun!

Check out all the stitchalongs posted in the sidebar of the 39 Squares blog (they are listed with the most recently updated blogs on top)  or go to the Flickr page here and see all the wonderful squares. This is turning out to be a really, really fun project.

Here's a slideshow of the Flickr group:

If you want to jump in, please do...the water's fine!

Friday, March 5, 2010

field trip: the cottage

Alfredo and I went on a bit of a field trip today to see our friends at the cottage in Leesburg. And just look at what I found there. A real vintage grocery cart.

What am I going to do with a real vintage grocery cart? I'm not sure. But here are some ideas: a laundry basket for Alfredo, a place to put toys or balls, a place to put the project du jour, or I could fill it with ribbons and use it in my craft room. I'm not sure yet. But I bet a certain little boy will think it's a toy for him and take it over.

Just in case you are itching for one too, they do have a couple more.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

brief encounter

My friend Lorraine was telling me a story the other day and mentioned one of her favorite films, Brief Encounter. When I told her I hadn't seen it she said I must. And I listen to everything my friend Lorraine tells me that I must do. I really do. And she's never wrong.

So, as luck would have it, guess what... Brief Encounter was just added as a View Instantly movie on Netflix. Isn't that wonderful? I wasn't able to watch it uninterrupted (I was a bit optimistic to think I could) but if you can, you should. Watch it uninterrupted while sipping tea. It will be a lovely sentimental British trip through time. As my friend Lorraine advised (a little too late for me) "You must watch it uninterrupted. No phone calls, no one calling your name, you have to let the momentum build. Any time you have to stop the movie will detract from the climax...."

Some naptime in the future, I will watch it again.  And pretend it's the first time.

Other really wonderful Lorraine suggestions: The Staircase and Mad Men. I'm knee-deep in Mad Men, getting caught up before Season 4 starts on my birthday!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

RevolveR Journal

I'm so excited about this new journal available at my OpenSky shop. It's really two journals in one...with a quick flip of the wrist and a little bit of magic, you go from one book to the next.

Here...look at this video to see it in action:

One side is ruled for notetaking:
The other is blank for doodling:

I used my Pink Persimmon stamp sets, "Cotton" white Staz-On ink, and a white pen to decorate my little blue/black book...

Click here to order your Revolver Journal and, for a limited time, save 20%! Use this coupon code: Revolver20

Show me how you decorate yours! Wouldn't it be fun to cover it with vintage wallpaper or fabric? Just be sure to keep the three sections separate...even the smallest overlap will stop the magic from happening.

inspiration boxes

I signed up for this...won't you?