Monday, November 29, 2010

Meet A Great Artist, A Giveaway, and a Funky Crochet Flower

Up first today, I'd like to introduce you to a fabulous artist.  I met Liza MacKinnon at a weekend nearby art fair.  I was drawn to Ms. MacKinnon's space when I saw her handmade cards depicting vintage homemakers with "sewn-on" skirts.  I also saw some amazing wedding cards she made.

Image from MacKomics Studio

Aren't they great?!  Being Christmastime, however, I bought a Christmas card that Ms. MacKinnon said was made from a photo of her great-grandmother.  Here is the card:

This card is beautiful.  I just love it.  I'm not sure I will be able to actually give out this card...I may just have to keep it for myself!  You can find more of Liza MacKinnon's work on her website as well as her on her Facebook (MacKomics Studio) page.  By the way, don't you think she would do fantastic with the Alice & Camilla Paper Dresses?? 

Next, I want to tell you about my friend at RubyMarilyn.  She's having her very first giveaway.  She's made some awesome ornaments and if you win, she'll make you a custom ornament in the shape of whatever state you'd like.  Check it...and while you are there, have a look at the hand crocheted necklaces she makes for her Etsy shop.  They are gorgeous.

Image taken from RubyMarilyn
Speaking of crochet, have a look at my very first crochet flower:

Okay, I know, it doesn't look much like a flower, but it's my first real attempt at crocheting, so I'm happy.  I'm sure I'll get the hang of it, I hope.  I'm taking another of Bonnie's classes.  This one is called, A Pocket Full of Posies.  In this class, I am going to learn how to make the crochet flowers, as well as felt flowers, yo-yos, organza and tulle flowers, and more.  I'm really excited about learning to make all these, but mostly this crochet flower.  By the way, this is a self-paced class and is you can start at any time if you are interested.  You can sign up at Bonnie's blog or at her Etsy Shop.

A Pocket Full of Posies Class
Okay, I'm off to practice, practice, practice my crocheting!  Don't forget to sign up for a chance to win the Valori Wells wallet Hot Potato Pattern



Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hot Potato Coming Through!

Wow!  Are you stuffed?  I still am!  I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving!  Now, can we get on with the Christmas craziness already?!  No, really, is it Christmas yet?  Seriously, I hope you all did have a great Thanksgiving and I hope reflected a bit about what the holiday is actually thanks.

I'd like to say a big "Thanks" to Joy from Joy's Quilts for sending me the Valori Wells wallet pattern!  Joy sent the pattern, along with a great card all the way from "Down Under!"  I won this Hot Potato at Joy's blog.  Now I get to use the pattern for one month and then I must send it on to another blogger!  Here are the "official rules" if you'd like a change for this pattern:

1. You must have a blog to be in it.
2. Once you receive it, you must pass it on to another blogger via a giveaway within 1 month! It will be great to see where it goes around the world......
3. Add your name and blog address to the card provided which will also be passed on with the pattern.
Rules taken from Joy's Quilts

 If you'd like a chance for this awesome pattern, leave me a comment!  Become a follower, and you'll get a bonus chance!  Look how close I am to 100!  It would be so cool to make 100!!  I'll randomly pick a winner December 20th.

Have a great weekend everyone.  Toodles for now!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday Wonderisms...Good Grief, Charlie Brown

Is it Wednesday already?  It is.  It is also definately the beginning of the Mad Season.  By that I mean crazy busy with shopping, baking, more shopping, eating, more baking, fighting crowds, lines, stepping on those little hooks you use to hang the tree ornaments, aggressively searching for the best parking spaces, more eating, spending more money, and oh yeah, birthdays, holidays, and family fun!

My Wednesday Wonderisms are totally random this week:

1.  Why do the grown-ups on Charlie Brown talk the way they do?  Why aren't they understandable?  Has this issue ever been addressed on the show?  I mean has is ever been explained?

2.  Who decided it was okay to wear these shoes?  I'm not even sure these should be called, shoes...

I snapped this number this summer in Branson, MO
3. How do gnats just appear in your house?  From nothing, I mean.  It is literally 25 degrees outside and poof there are 8,000 of them hovering around the one brown banana in the fruit bowl.  Where do they come from?

What are you wondering today?  If you want to play along, leave me a comment so I can jump over to your blog and read your questions!

I survived the craft fair while hosting my daughter's 6th birthday party, and I managed to sell a few bags and fabric flowers at the same time.  I also got a few custom orders.  I also got to meet some really cool fellow "vendors."  Most everyone did alright, but I didn't hear anyone say they could quit their day job anytime soon, including me.  I shared my space with my friend, Joanna.  Or rather, Joanna shared her space with me.  She made (and sold) awesome wreathes and other floral arrangements.  She, too received custom orders for fresh floral arrangements, which is really her passion.  Here is a photo of a super small portion of her work.

 These are the fresh floral arrangements.  Here is a photo of some of my "stuff"

Honestly, I'm glad the fair is over.  I basically just wanted some feedback about my work from folks who don't know me.   I got that, so I am happy.

I've joined another ATC Swap.  This one is hosted by Patti at Treasure Barn.  My partner this month is Dee Dee from Dee Dee's Craft Spot.  I'm mailing my ATC off to her this afternoon, so look for it on her blog soon.  I will, of course, be posting the card she sends me.  I can't wait!

I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving.  I know I do not show it, or say it, often enough, but I sure do have  a lot to be thankful for.  I know I am truely blessed.  Take care and have a joyous Holiday everyone!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Polka Dots and Cupcakes!

My almost 6 year old daughter is shown here modeling my brand new awesome apron I won from Samya at her blog, The English Country Garden in Bags!  I wish you could feel this fabric she used to make this apron; It is unbelievably soft.  I asked my daughter to model the apron since the dress she was wearing matched almost perfectly.  Isn't it great?!  Charlotte is also holding Martha's Cupcakes, also from Samya.  This book is filled with scrumptious recipes for the most decadent cupcakes ever!  I so can't wait to try many of these recipes!  Just in time for Christmas huh?!  Thanks again, Sammy.  Your craftsmanship is just perfect!

I'm still working on craft fair projects.  Here are a few more pictures of some of my "wares."

Coin Zippy Bags

Breast Cancer Awareness Make Up Bag

Fabric Flower

Breast Cancer Awareness Make Up Bag

Breast Cancer Awareness Make Up Box Bag
The craft fair is Saturday!  I've got a lot more to get done before then!

Toodles for now!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Wonderisms...Bodily Functions. Oh, And My ATC

First off, let me say "thanks" to all who have sent words of encouragement my way regarding my current struggle with the salt addiction.  I'm taking one day at a time but I'm not counting yesterday.  I slipped, or rather jumped, off the wagon and bought a package of chips from a vending machine at work.  These were not regular potato chips mind you, these were TGIF Friday's Bacon and Cheddar chips.  I polished off the bag in probably under a minute.  I won't admit licking the inside the bag before hiding the evidence in my cube neighbor's bin.  Today is a new day, however, and I am positive I won't be buying any more vending machine chips.  Okay, that said, let's get to today's Wednesday Wonderisms!  Today I'm wondering:

Disclaimer:  If you are offended by bathroom talk, look away NOW, but please return.

1.  Most women know what it means to have to cross your legs upon sneezing, laughing, and coughing.  You know what I mean.  But why now does it seem like the closer I get to the bathroom the worse I have to go?  Even when I get to the toilet, I'm doing the potty dance just trying to get my pants unbuttoned.  I typically start my walk to the restroom long before I feel the need to go just to avoid feeling rushed as soon as I get into the room.  Is there something about bathrooms that trigger brains or bladders telling them you have to go RIGHT NOW?  Curses if there is someone in the restroom running water when I enter!  Is this one of those aging things again? 

2.  What has America come to when there are commercials on television advertising vitamin supplements to help regulate bowel movements?  Sure there have been diarrhea and hemorrhoid medication adverts forever, not mention Jamie Lee Curtis' yogurt (wink wink), but I heard a commercial just the other day in which the non-attorney spokesman actually said the words:  bowel movement.  I can honestly say that in my 40 years of life, I have never heard this said on a commercial. 

3.  Absolutely nothing to do with bodily functions.  What is the difference between retro and vintage?  Is vintage the same thing, only cooler?  Trendier maybe?  I wonder.

What are you wondering about?  Leave me a comment and let me know! 

Next, I want to show you the ATC I made for the Blissful ATC Swap.  I haven't heard from my November swap partner, so I guess that means I get to keep my card!  Sidenote:  If you sign up for a swap or challenge or participatory event, follow through.  It's just the nice and right thing to do.  Anyway, here is my card:

November's theme was "open" or anything you like, so I chose a theater idea.  I named my card, The Show Must Go On.  I hand colored the black and white printing of the man and two showgirls.  I decorated the ladies with some bling and then adhered the print to a piece of sheet music I had ModPodged to glittery scrapbook paper.  I placed a "curtain" at the top and a bit of a scroll at the bottom.  I then stuck an old ticket stub on top of everything.  I really like using the old photos and either coloring on them by hand, like I did here with colored pencils, or doing it digitally, like I did with the photos in my blog header.   

I'm still working hard on my items for the craft fair coming up this Saturday.  I've made some smaller zippy bags and will post some photos of those before the fair, so stay tuned!

Toodles for now!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

November Dress & Craft Fair Stuff

Happy Saturday everyone!  I've been super busy the last few days, but slipped away from my studio long enough to get my haircut, grab a cup of coffee and a sweet from Panera and send out this post.  I feel so far behind in what I want to get done for the upcoming craft fair, but I HAD to get my hair done and who can resist a great cup of joe and a chocolate pastry?  Not me! 

Anyway, first is a photo of my November Paper Dress for the Alice and Camilla 2010 Dress Challenge.  Actually, it is a gold and off-white silk fabric that I have adhered to paper.  I embellished the dress with gold and red sticky trim and then I created a sort of "train" for the bottom of the dress.  I'm pleased with how it turned out, especially since this is only my second dress. 

Sort of looks like a bowling pin editing in Photoshop huh?

Next, is a photo of just a few of my wares I hope to sell at the craft fair next Saturday.  I am doing make-up bags, key "fobs," and fabric flower clips (not shown here).  I have never sewn for quantity before.  I am sure I am not stream lined like a lot of other crafters!  I am also positive I shall definitely be diagnosed with carpel tunnel syndrome when I have finished this fair!

A second pastry might make me feel better right?

Toodles for now!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Wonderisms..It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas? Really?

Hi, my name is Angela and I am addicted to salt.  It has been five days since my last real taste of this most beloved condiment.  I'm doing okay, so far.  I don't believe my family is planning an intervention, but most addicts probably don't believe their families are conniving behind their backs.  Oh wait, yes they do.  Anyway, this salt free lifestyle I have begun leads me to my first Wednesday Wonderism:

1.  If we, as a people, can send a man to the moon, why on earth can't we invent a real salt substitute that actually tastes like salt?  The world is full of ultra smart scientists that build rocket ships, so why then must we turn to Mrs. Dash to fulfill that saline need?  Mrs. Dash, I'm sorry.  I do not like you; you are not don't even look like salt. 
While we are on the subject of rocket scientists, why can't they come up with a cigarette that won't kill you?  Just asking.

2.  When you say you want more air conditioning, or cooler air, in your house, do you say, "turn up the A/C" or "turn down the A/C?"

3.  Why must we start celebrating Christmas at the first of November?  Last year one local radio station began playing Christmas music in October!  Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and despite what my husband says, I am not Mrs. Scrooge, but I think beginning the season so early takes away from the "specialness" of Christmas, not to mention that the Thanksgiving holiday gets a bit of a shaft.   The bottom line is this:  If I am hearing "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" and "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" on the radio on November 1st, by December 24th, I'm "Christmased" out...and may exhibit Scrooge-like characteristics!  Ba Humbug!

What are you wondering about today?  If you want to play, just grab the button and leave a comment telling everyone you are participating!

Gotta run.  I'm busy working on stuff for my first craft fair.  I've been sewing up make up bags, key fobs, and zippered wristlets.  I hope to have some photos to post by the end of the week, so stay tuned!

Toodles for now,


Friday, November 5, 2010

My Love Affair Must End

SALT:  A four letter word.  A scrumptious, yummy, lovely four letter word.  I love salt.  Can you tell?  Here is the Wikipedia definition of this delectable mineral:

Salt, also known as table salt, or rock salt, is a mineral that is composed primarily of sodium chloride. It is essential for animal life in small quantities, but is harmful to animals and plants in excess. Salt is one of the oldest, most ubiquitous food seasonings and salting is an important method of food preservation. The taste of salt (saltiness) is one of the basic human tastes.

Salt is my favorite secret ingredient.  I love how I can taste this heavenly condiment in sweet treats like chocolate chip cookies and homemade vanilla ice cream.  Yum.

And of course there are few salty snacks that beat McDonald's french fries.

Not to mention tortilla chips, popcorn, peanuts, and of course salt and vinegar CHIPS! 

It is with a heavy heart (literally) I now must say goodbye to this divine mineral which adds so much to nearly everything I eat.  You've made so many dishes delish.  My doctor said I must end our affair.  My taste buds will miss you terribly my saline friend.  Maybe one day we will meet again.  Au revoir mon amour.

Toodles for now crafters.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Wonderisms..And Then There Was....Music

It's Wednesday and that means it is time for Wednesday Wonderisms! Today's wonders revolve around music.  I wonder:

1.  What will the current, Top 40, music be called in 30 years?  I mean we all know what Classic Rock is...Led Zeppelin and The Eagles will always be Classic Rock, so what will we call today's music when it (and we) are 30 years older? 

2.  Why is easy listening music, or "relaxation" music (ocean sounds, rain sounds, etc), actually not at all easy to listen to or relaxing?  I have tried, on numerous occasions, to relax by this music, but I am sure my blood pressure has actually risen during these relaxation attempts.

3.  Justin Beiber.  Really?  I have no idea why he is a big deal.

What are you wondering about?

I am so excited to announce that I am a winner!  Yes, I won Samya's cupcake and apron giveaway!  I totally don't need to be eating any cupcakes, but you only live once right? 

The English Country Garden In Bags Blog
Besides, Christmas is just 'round the corner and the apron is too cute!!  I also won the Hot Potato Pattern at Joy's Quilts!  It is a Valori Wells pattern for this super cute wallet:

I've had my eye on this pattern for awhile now.  I am so thrilled I won it!  The Hot Potato is that I will have the pattern for a month or so and then I will give it away on my blog to a lucky reader!  Sounds fun huh?

Toodles for now!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Blink: It's November!

First Ever Pumpkin Pie!

I hope everyone had a terrific Halloween!  It is always such a crazy night in my neighborhood!  My neighbors know how to celebrate Halloween...driveway fire pits, hot dogs, adult beverages (for moms and dads only), spooky decorations, and everyone is in costume!  I think the neighborhood secrets are out because I'm pretty sure I saw kids getting out of cars and running up to the houses.  Clearly these kids are from other neighborhoods!  I actually stayed at our house for about an hour giving out candy.  I saw some really unique costumes besides the usuals...Woody from Toy Story, Hannah Montana, and lots of lady bugs this year! 

 Now that Halloween is over, you know Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before you know it!  I just can't believe how quickly October came and went; I literally think I just blinked and the month was gone!   November always flies by for me.  Both my daughters' birthdays are in this month.  Thanksgiving Day is in between!  Speaking of Turkey Day, did you notice my pumpkin pie?  Although I fancy myself a fairly decent baker,  I have never actually made a pumpkin pie before!  I made two Saturday and they turned out perfect, if I say so myself..which I am!  Maybe this is a sign that I will be ready for the Holidays before the day before!  Nah, probably not..who am I kidding? 

Besides the pumpkin pies (and overeating), I also managed to complete my laptop bag using the owl fabric I bought a few weeks ago.  I am really pleased with how it turned out.  What do you think?  (Pretend you don't see that the owls on the flap are upside down).

My laptop fits perfectly inside.  I've padded the bag just by using thick interfacing on both the outside and lining fabrics and not actually quilting it.  It works.  The only issue (besides the upside owls), is that I didn't sew any inside or outside pockets for storing any computer accessories, most importantly a power source.  I didn't really think that through, I guess.  Next time, I will definately sew in some pockets! 

To all you stampers, mixed media artists, and paper crafters:  what you do is hard!  I finally finished all 12 ATCs for the 12 Days of Christmas ATC Swap.  I can't believe how hard it was to:

 A. Come up with an idea for "A Partridge in a Pear Tree (yes I thought of sticking David Cassidy's head in  a  pear tree)
 B.  Carry it out! 

Have a look at a couple of the final cards:

What do you think?  I bought the tree and bird stamp, which, I thought was kind of cheating, but soon realized stamping really IS NOT easy!  I also bought some distressed Stickles? ink, which I used to glitterfy the bird.  Again, not as easy as one might think.  I hand colored the pears with a paint pen and I glued the music and glittery stuff on the top and bottom.  What you can't see is that I used shimmery paper.  I will be sending my cards to Wendy in the mail and she will distribute them among the swappers.  I can't wait to see all the swappers' cards.  I am sure they are all going to be great!   

Have a great day!  I hope to see you for Wednesday Wonderisms!  Until then, toodles!