Wednesday, January 3, 2018

As a follow up to my last post, thank you all for your kind words and well wishes. I appreciate your thoughts so much.

With loss and sadness, we sometimes find such joy in the little things. We were blessed to spend a week over the holidays with my 4 and 6 year old grand niece and nephew. Such little characters they have grown into. You all met Rylee, the 4 year old from the tag I made in her image just a few weeks ago. She is a feisty, head strong little thing, and a master manipulator. In contrast her older brother is the sweetest, sensitive, most caring little human ever. Don't get me wrong, she has her sweet moments too! He received the cutest stuffed octopus from his aunt for Christmas and he was ever so happy to share it with me. Rylee on the other hand, did not want me to have it. I'm not sure if she was protecting her brother's property or if she just wanted to be in control of the situation. She hid it from me all of Christmas day and it became a game with us.

I was obsessed with that cute little octopus so much that it inspired me to come home and pick up my crochet needle once again. Now I seem to have this love-hate relationship with crocheting. I want to make the most beautiful things but it's a craft I just can't seem to master. There is too much concentration and counting involved. There is no winging it. So sat down I did and started the little body over at least 5 times before I was satisfied. I think I did pretty good this time with few mistakes!

So meet Octavia, the coral colored octopus with a giant bow on her head. The fabrics are from my new mermaid collection from my soon to be opened Spoonflower shop. Yes, sometimes it's the little things that get you through difficult times.

Octavia


Rylee








Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Good bye 2017

As always we are surprised to see the holidays come upon us so quickly. And then whoosh...they're gone! 2017 was for me, a year of reflection of where I've been, where I am, and where I'm going. With that came feelings of optimism, anxiety and a bit of depression. My husband and I spent much of the year planning retirement, trying to figure out where the heck we want to end up. This is a work in progress during the new year. We spent time developing yet another dream we have for the future. This one is not related to conventional crafts but definitely a creative endeavor! I spent much of the year trying to figure out where I want and need to end up in my conventional craft life in 2018.

I did some new things, like attend an art retreat in the Santa Cruz mountains for a week with friends, old and new. I opened a Redbubble shop featuring my art on mugs, phone covers, etc. Thank you all for your support in that! I love creating these items so much and will have more designs soon. I designed fabric for a Spoonflower shop that should be up and running by the end of the month. You will see mermaids, farm and travel themes on some of the nicest fabric around. Fabric design is one of the things I enjoy the most right now. I am making some adorable dolls with it and patterns may be in the future if I like how they turn out.

I traveled to Ireland for classes and had one of the best vacations of my life. I also went to Atlanta for classes hosted by Paper Dreams and turned that into another wonderful vacation seeing the south in the springtime. I can't forget a trip to Indiana, meeting some of the nicest crafters ever!

I have lots of travel planned for classes in 2018. Atlanta, Detroit, Florida, here I come! Details will be posted here as I finalize with stores. My classes will involve more mixed media and paint which is how I began in this crazy craft business and have greatly missed. I will delve into painting faces again as I did many years ago. I am working on some watercolor classes as well. I knew it was time to do some new things when I realized I was getting tired and a bit burnt out doing the same things over and over. It's never easy introducing new things to your work as I tend to worry if you all will be accepting. But these are the risks I must take in order to grow!

The year really went out with a bang for me. Not a good bang. I'm not one to share much of my private woes but I've been off the social media grid for awhile. I've been faking it as I post old pictures and manage to like a few posts here and there on my group pages. I don't like being absent from my group pages for too long. A week before Christmas I received the call that my mother had passed. She has been extremely ill for the last 17 years and it's really mindboggling how she has made it this far. This certainly was expected but has been for the last few years and you live never knowing when you will receive the call. I had seen her just 2 weeks prior on a trip home and knew then that it would be a matter of months. I didn't sense the 2 weeks so it really caught me by surprise. I flew home the next day and began the whirlwind of plans. It was a bittersweet time as we said our final good byes and yet experiencing pure joy at having all of my sister's girls, their kids and my son together for a week.

Within a few days of arriving in San Jose, I had the beginnings of the flu. I lived on ibuprofen, eardrops and cold medicine for the entire week and felt pretty miserable. Upon arriving home, the flu set in, full blown. I was in bed for yet another week, New Years Day being my first day to even get dressed.

So there you have it. My year in a nutshell or a blog post, lol. Today I sit here quietly reflecting. It may be a few more days before I fully come back into the world. Perhaps today I will start creating something. Or then again maybe not. I am allowing myself the permission to retreat for a bit if that's what I feel like doing.

Thank you all so much for your support this last year. Whether it's posting your creations, buying products, attending classes and doll meet ups, THANK YOU! And a special thank you to the stores, on-line retailers, teachers and hosts of doll events. I am blessed to have you all in my life!


Friday, December 8, 2017

Looking Back

Clothes always fascinated me. Not in the normal teenage girly sort of way. I remember at a very young age dissecting clothes in the movies and TV shows. My all time favorite movie dress was the suit the Baroness wore in The Sound of Music when she met the children for the first time at their home. I loved it so much I designed a stamp (Natalie) around it a couple of years ago. The clothes in Sabrina come in a close second. I caught the Barbra Streisand movie Hello Dolly on TV a couple of Sundays back and was so excited to see the clothes. My husband thought I was nuts when I said here comes THE dress. Now, I had only seen this movie once at age 10 but I remembered the 14 kt gold dress on the stairway and it took my breath away, then and now! I loved just as much, the funky fun fashions of Laugh In and That Girl. Oh, That Girl could dress and every young girl wanted to be just like her when we grew up!

I started drawing fashion at about 8 or 9 years. I would use my paper dolls and awkwardly  trace around them. There were fashion pages in the Archie comic books and I would trace over Betty and Veronica also. This is how I learned to draw. I spent hours doing this every day. Sometimes I would find the most wonderful illustrations in magazines and copy them. The covers of patterns were other great sources of inspiration for fashion. How I wished I could take one of those great big catalogs home from the fabric store with me!

Looking back at the process is so much fun. NEVER in a million years would I have believed those hours so many years ago would bring me to this place right now! I still love drawing and even more sharing!


My first drawings, obviously from the 60's!
From my portfolio in the late 70's




Jennifer Lopez from the 2015 (I think) Oscars. I still love drawing those dresses!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

My Favorite Christmas Goodies

I am pretty sure most would think I decorate like crazy for the holidays because I am the creative type. Well truth be known, I have a most difficult time going all out at Christmas since becoming an empty nester. I'm in that difficult period between kids and grandkids. Honestly it's just not that fun right now. So for the last few years I grumbally, no I don't think that's a real word since a red line just appeared, pull out just 2 out of 7 boxes of the sparkly stuff and put it out. Don't get me wrong now, I love Christmas. I love the season and the reason. I love the lights, the music, the scents and sometimes even the hustle and bustle.

This year we pulled everything out and I went through it all and tossed much of it. You know the stuff I'm talking about; the plastic picks that are chipped, the many, many garlands that are never used, that thing I just had to have at Target but never really used. Yep, it got trashed or donated. Someone will love that thing from Target, I'm sure. And they will no doubt pay next to nothing for it.

You know exactly what to keep when going through years of collecting holiday decorations. You keep the things that make your heart swell with mushy feelings. The vintage ornaments from your childhood, the beautiful handmade gifts from crafty friends, the first Christmas gifts as a newly wed couple that just make you smile. And of course the things that made your child's eyes light up every time they looked at it.

I have always had a difficult time decorating because I love all styles, I love sparkly as much as I love rustic. I've never understood how someone could only like one style. My home is a haphazard mix up in many styles that just seems to work. I am not vintage, industrial or modern. I am everything mentioned and then some. I decorate with what I love and that goes the same with Christmas. I think that's the only way to make a home yours.

Come let me show you some of my favorite Christmas things old and new.

A favorite spot to decorate...a crystal bowl filled with childhood ornaments from the 60's, bottle brush trees from my childhood that have seen better days but make me smile just the same. The felted snow girl is a little something I whipped up. The milk glass vases were my mothers and the white opalescence plate and creamer are depression glass from asset that was my grandmothers.

Love this Hallmark book from 1971. My mother gave these to us often and I am so glad I saved them!

A handful pf more Vintage...Avon Christmas trees that were long ago filled with bubble bath. I made ornaments like crazy as a young teen. We bought kits that were styrofoam, sequins and beads.

She's new, a collection from Target about 10 years ago. I bought a slew of these because they are adorable!

My sister gave me this years ago, back when these whirlybirds were actually from Germany and not China. My son has always loved this and still does!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Max, the Dog Stamp

My friend Kelly said I need to start blogging again. I'm not sure people read blogs but she's pretty smart so I will get on board with this again! In trying to decide what to write about I thought I'd address one of my most often asked questions. What is the dog stamp's name?

Well, lets start at the beginning. Meet Jack. Jack is not the dog stamp but he is our dog who was once very content at being the "only child." He is a cock-a-poo, a very large cock-a-poo. He is always mistaken for a doodle but no, he is not a doodle, he was supposed to be my sweet little lap dog. And that's exactly how he was raised....as a lap dog. And then he grew, and grew and grew. Someone probably neglected to tell us that one of the parents was most likely a standard poodle.

As I said, he was very content and then one day, Father's Day to be exact, Max came to us. Yes, my son brought Max over that day and said he was a stray and needed a home. And oh yeah, he eats phones. Max is some sort of terrier, high strung and high energy. He isn't that cute but he's sweet, to me that is. My husband calls him a mosquito because he's well, annoying and doesn't leave you alone. I think I'm the only person who likes Max. He is very sweet, always minds and is always happy. Jack doesn't much like Max and pretty much ignores him. When Max is getting attention, Jack will come push him out of the way and hog all the attention for himself. And Max tries to get back in on the pets and hugs, his tail wagging the whole time. He can be pushed, have his treats stolen and his tail still wags!

Max loves going to dog beach in Huntington Beach and then going to breakfast at The Park Bench because he gets scrambled eggs and bacon off the dog menu. He loves getting the mail, growls at most people, hates the wiener dog next door and loves freshly cooked bacon. And that my friends is who the dog stamp is named after.

Dog Treats Stamp from Prima Marketing

Max, he's not all that cute and it's hard to get a good picture because he moves too much!



Jack in all his cuteness



Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Goodbye Summer!



As Labor Day approaches I suppose it's time to say goodbye to summer. Although in real life, our sandals and shorts will stay for awhile, in the craft world, most of us are pulling out our fall and Halloween goodies. I thought I'd sign off summer with one of Jennifer Snyder's wonderful cards. She is the queen of layered dresses, yep, she was the first to bring this beautiful effect into my little paper doll world. This background is kept simple with a modeling paste stencil to make the dress the star of the show. She dressed the Camille doll in the Paper Doll collection from Photo Play Paper. The 6x6 pads create the perfect scaled clothes, don't they? The crisp white and blue gingham is the perfect Labor Day outfit before putting back in the closet until spring. Bring on the leaves and pumpkins!

Goodbye Summer!



As Labor Day approaches I suppose it's time to say goodbye to summer. Although in real life, our sandals and shorts will stay for awhile, in the craft world, most of us are pulling out our fall and Halloween goodies. I thought I'd sign off summer with one of Jennifer Snyder's wonderful cards. She is the queen of layered dresses, yep, she was the first to bring this beautiful effect into my little paper doll world. This background is kept simple with a modeling paste stencil to make the dress the star of the show. She dressed the Camille doll in the Paper Doll collection from Photo Play Paper. The 6x6 pads create the perfect scaled clothes, don't they? The crisp white and blue gingham is the perfect Labor Day outfit before putting back in the closet until spring. Bring on the leaves and pumpkins!