Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas and Very Happy New Year!

Well, I'm off to spend the holidays with my family. The ONLY thing I want for Christmas this year is a nice, happy week with my loved ones.

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years. Thank you for sharing your lives and creativity with me through your blogs. And thank you to all my swap partners this year for spoiling me with your generosity! I can't wait to see what the new year brings to all of us!!!

much love---Amy

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Daisy Chain

I love finding new blogs to read. I just ran across this one over at Hostess with the Mostess. It's called Daisy Chain and it is as cute as it can be! I have added it to my regular blog-reading rotation.

By the way, I want you to know that if your blog is in my sidebar, I read it EVERY SINGLE DAY! (except on weekends) Thank you for bringing me so much reading enjoyment!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Snowmen at Night!

Oh, my goodness gracious! I just found out about this snowman installation in Sonoma. I have to go see it! (I live nearby so it shouldn't take too much effort!)

This wonderful army of holiday cheer is created by Cornerstone Place. Doesn't it look marvelous?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Life in Pictures

This meme has been making the rounds and I thought I'd give it a shot.

Simply answer the questions and enter the answers into Google Image Search. Post the first photo that comes up as your answer.

Age on Next Birthday

Place I'd Like to Visit (Again!)

A Favorite Thing:

Favorite Food:

Favorite Color:

Favorite Animal:

Name of 1st Pet:

Where I Live:

Name of My First Grade Teacher:

My Middle Name:

My Bad Habit:

My College Major:

ONE of my Favorite Holidays:

That was fun! Give it a try if you are so inclined!!!

Sis Boom Magic!

Photo borrowed from Sis Boom Daydreams

I just saw this quilt made by Marsha Moore over at Sis Boom Daydreams. I just think it is wonderful! I love love love Sis Boom stuff and I'm bummed that their shop is so far away!!! They just have too many things that would brighten my home.

I was thinking that a crib-size version of this quilt would be especially wonderful. If I have a girl, I would love to do a Sis Boom-inspired nursery. Maybe I can get my mom to sew the crib bedding since I don't have a sewing machine yet! Of course, it could be a boy so I will have to come up with a Plan B just in case. But wouldn't a Sis Boom nursery be delightful?!

Monday, December 17, 2007


We are getting into the home stretch! Hard to believe Christmas is almost here.

I'm mailing out my last Sweet Goodness Swap package today. It was so much fun!! Cheryl was a terrific partner.

All my presents are wrapped and under the tree although many are awaiting a trip to the post office.

Today, I'm heading to the doctor for a blood test to pinpoint any problems the baby might have. Wish me luck!!!

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday season!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Holiday Traditions

Everyone is blogging about their holiday traditions right now and they are so fun to read! We have a few small traditions in my family:

1) When fall rolls around, I start making gallons of Chex Mix. It's the only time of year that I eat it and I just love it!

2) We always drive around town looking at Christmas lights. Usually on Christmas Eve. I just love seeing how people decorate their houses.

3) We usually open one present on Christmas Eve. Not sure how this got started by it's a pretty fun way to start Christmas.

4) Sometime during the holiday, we have tamales. They are especially good on Christmas Eve.

Mom and I really need to get back into baking cookies to give away. It is hard to do that, though, since we live in different states. That means we have to wait to bake until we get together.

I'm looking forward to starting some new traditions once baby arrives!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

5 Random Things

Miss Cathy over at Tadpoles and Teacups tagged me to write 5 random things about myself. Hmmm....

1) I'm adopted and I'm half Mexican and half Irish by birth. However, everyone who meets me and my mom INSISTS that we look exactly like one another. With about a five inch height difference. (see photo above)

2) I have an odd quirk when it comes to open cabinets and drawers. I can't help myself. I have to close them. A co-worker used to mess with me by walking around and opening the doors at the circulation desk just to watch me close them.

3) The first Christmas present I ever specifically requested as a child was a Nat King Cole record. I still love his music today.

4) I love karaoke. I'm not a great singer but I think it's fun to get up and make a fool of yourself!

5) I went to high school with Angie Harmon and Stephanie March. (both of LAW AND ORDER fame)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Here it is!!!

Here is the mini-blurb about me in ALL YOU magazine. It's about my handmade wedding veil that I wore when I got married on July 3, 2006. Hard to believe that now I'm expecting a baby!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm Famous! (sort of)

My mom just called and told me that I am in the current (Dec. 28) issue of ALL YOU magazine on page 87! I'll give you more details later.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Make a Flake

Heather is encouraging everyone to make a snowflake. It took me a little while to get the hang of it and I'm surprised at how it turned out!

Make your own here.

I just might have to go and make a few more!!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Fun Stuff at My Minutia

Teresa has posted a wonderful tutorial about making your very own cookie sheet Advent Calendar. I am so tempted to make one but I don't have time if I'm going to get my knitted gifts finished.

Find the tutorial here.

Teresa is also doing a subscription-based holiday 'zine full of fun projects and tutorials. I'm very tempted!!!

I got a wonderful package from my Sweet Goodness partner Cheryl over the holiday. I will post pictures soon. She really does spoil me!!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Late to the Party

I missed Natasha's virtual prom but I sure enjoyed reading everyone's posts. How fun!!!

I thought I'd share a few photos from my past. They made me laugh when I pulled them out.

Here is a photo of me with my Homecoming date in 1992. I found the dress at a resale shop. Guess I was still living in the 80's.

And here is my prom dress in 1993. I got it from the Victoria's Secret catalog and I was so proud that it looked different from everyone else's dress. I even have some big Texas hair going on!!! I didn't have a date for prom. Just went with a bunch of my girlfriends.

I look at those pictures and think...."Gosh I was skinny!" I'm
5'7" tall and in high school I weighed no more than 115 pounds. I would kill for that metabolism now!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

CBC Holiday Giving Challenge

Hello Friends.

I have decided to do something different this year for the holidays. There is an organization that I really believe in called Heifer Project International. Heifer Project provides animals and the skills to care for them to people all over the world. These individuals then go on to share the first babies from their Heifer animals with community members. The program has been proven successful and really embodies the old saying "If you teach a [person] to fish, [he/she] will fish for a lifetime." I am trying to raise money for Heifer Project through my two blogs this year. I would like to raise enough money to buy a llama and some chicks. If you would like to help, follow the HEIFER PROJECT link in my sidebar or follow this link.

I feel so blessed this holiday season with my home, my family, my friends and my pregnancy that I have to share the wealth.

If you donate and leave me a comment that you did, I will enter your name in a drawing for a custom prize that I will send out in January. Any amount is welcome.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Almost Turkey Time!

I am lucky because I will not only have my mother around to cook for Thanksgiving but my husband will be cooking the turkey. He loves to cook which makes me a very lucky girl.

I still love to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I know a lot of people think that is cheesy. But, to me, the season doesn't really start until I see Santa at the end of that parade! So, I'll watch the parade and then get started on my meal contributions. I usually do the desserts. Pumpkin pie and chocolate pecan pie. I also like to make Chex Mix and rice krispie treats to have on hand throughout the holidays. My husband tells me that it is traditional in California to have crab on Thanksgiving Eve. We'll see if we can find some in spite of the horrible oil spill in the Bay.

Mom and I will probably decorate for Christmas on Friday. I can't face shopping crowds. That is another good reason to go "handmade" for your holiday gifts!

I am feel especially blessed this year so I have lots to be thankful for. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Many blessings to you and your loved ones!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Blissed Out Bellas

I have so enjoyed reading the blog entries from the ladies who attended Silver Bella. It sounds like a great time was had by all. And it is great to see that many of the instructors have posted leftover kits for sale. Head over to Sis Boom Daydreams, House Wren Studio, Everyday is a Holiday and several others if you want to get one of their Silver Bella kits. (links in sidebar) I was lucky enough to get one of Holly Doodle's Joli Paquet sugar shack kits. That will be a fun project. And I am anxiously awaiting House Wren Studio to post a kit for some of her little felt trees. I really want to try that! I hope I'll get a chance to go to Silver Bella next year but we'll see how I handle a new baby first.

My mom arrives tomorrow for Thanksgiving and she will help me decorate. I'm still a little behind as my morning sickness marches on. I have added a new symptom---dizziness. But it is all part of the adventure. My mom happens to be a very gifted wreath-maker. I have a huge fall wreath on my front door that she made and people always ask me where I got it. I would love to help Mom create an Etsy shop. What do you think? Do you think people would buy wreaths from Etsy? Besides working on knitting up some Christmas gifts, that will be my next project.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Picking Your Brains!

Hello everyone!
I am back from my conference. It was a really great but very challenging for me physically. Let's just say, those little bags in the airline seatback pockets really came in handy.

I have decided to scale back on my swap participation. It is going to be increasingly hard for me to keep up with everything. I'm going to finish up my Sweet Goodness Sister Swap and then I'll take a break for awhile. (although it is really hard for me to resist a cute swap!)

I want to concentrate my efforts on making some handmade things for my baby. I really believe in the "Buy Handmade" movement. Several of my friends are currently pregnant as well and I'd love to make handmade gifts for them. I'm going to get back into knitting for one thing. But I need your help for ideas for other baby-related items to make. Since I will be a first-time mom, I am looking for lots of tips and advice! So, be sure to leave lots of comments for me over the next six months. In the meantime, if you have some good artsy-craftsy ideas for me to make for my baby and other babies, let me know. I don't have a sewing machine right now but I'm hoping that Santa will bring me one.

In the meantime, I am working on my Sweet Goodness package for Cheryl. That should keep me busy!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Off for the Weekend!

Hello my friends.
I am heading out to a conference in Anaheim for the weekend. (wish I was going to Silver Bella instead!)
I'm hoping there will be a little time to sneak over to Disneyland. I figure I could handle the Fantasyland rides. And maybe find some cute Disney baby clothes while I am there!
Don't forget to check out the goodies over at Joli Paquet. They go on sale tomorrow. I hope there will be some left when I get back.

Have a terrific weekend!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

CBC Special Announcement

Guess what I did this morning?

I heard my baby's heartbeat! Yes it's true! I'm pregnant.

It has been a tough couple of months as I have fought fatigue and morning sickness. But it's all worth it.

This is my first baby and I couldn't be more excited. My current due date is May 29 which is right around my birthday. I can hardly wait.

Monday, November 5, 2007

My Fairy Name

Your fairy is called Gossamer Cornfly
She is a creator of bounty and harvest.
She lives in spiderwebbed wonderlands and insect grottos.
She is only seen at midday under a quiet, cloudless sky.
She wears tiny black spiders on her dresses. She has butterfly wings the colour of yellow corn.

This makes me think of Karla!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

October Swap Goodies

Well, I was FINALLY able to upload photos of all the swap goodness I received in October.

First of all, I received this wonderful assortment from Cheryl, my partner in the Black Cat/Pumpkin swap. Aren't the pumpkins sweet? And she even put a mini Toulouse in there for me!

Then, I got my first Trick or Treat Swap package from Mica! So many wonderful goodies! And I love the fabric hanging. Isn't it sweet? She even has a cat on my trick or treat bag!

My other Trick or Treat Swap partner, Cathy, sent me this wonderful package that arrived on Halloween! The pumpkin is made from a gourd that she grew!!!!

And last but definitely not least, my Sweet Goodness partner, Cheryl, sent me an unbelievable amount of wonderful goodies. The Boo-Eek garland is so wonderful and I love the little plaque! (it got a little abuse in route to my house so I need to reglue that adorable chain)

Thank you to all my swap partners for giving me such a wonderful October!!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Dia de los Muertos and the Weekend

As some of you may know, I am from Texas and I really miss celebrating Dia de los Muertos. When I lived in San Antonio, we would go and visit all the local altars. I was just in San Antonio recently and got to see many people setting up their altars in Market Square. Every year, I swear that I am going to put up my own altar but I'm always too tired after Halloween. My husband found out there will be a Day of the Dead processional through town on Saturday night and we are going. I'm really looking forward to it.

I need to take down all my Halloween decorations and start digging out Thanksgiving stuff. And I really need to make a trip to the craft store so I can start working on my next Sweet Goodness package. So much to do! Most importantly, I need to get my camera working properly so I can upload the photos of all the wonderful swap packages I have been getting. I'm going to get those photos up this weekend if it harelips the state! (as my mom would say!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I want to wish you all a very Happy Halloween. And a special thank you to my crafting blogging friends and my swap partners. If it weren't for all of you, I wouldn't have any Halloween decorations this year!

We never seem to get any trick-or-treaters but I'm still going to wait by the door with my basket of candy. You never know!

I DID manage to make Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing for my co-workers. They turned out really well. I used the Sprinkles mix from Williams-Sonoma. The icing recipe makes a whole bunch so I have a lot left over. But I'm pleased with how tasty the cupcakes turned out.

Hopefully, we won't have another earthquake. That is a Halloween prank I can do without!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Getting Caught Up!

I got all three of my swap packages in the mail on Saturday. Whew! I am a mess these days! But I can't let my partners down. I had to rethink my Trick or Treat Swap packages because I couldn't find the materials I needed. Hopefully, my partners will like what I sent. I got my first Sweet Goodness package from Cheryl and she spoiled me beyond belief! I took photos but haven't uploaded them yet. Hopefully, I will get them up tonight.

Drawing inspiration from Natasha, I have decided to bake red velvet cupcakes to bring to work on Halloween. I'm going to cheat, though, and use the SPRINKLES cupcake mix from Williams-Sonoma. I haven't done a very good job with Halloween this year but I'm going to do better with Thanksgiving. In fact, I have a lot of good ideas for Cheryl's next Sweet Goodness package. I better get started!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Silver Bella for the Rest of Us

I have to admit I have been moping about not getting to go to Silver Bella. It just sounds like too much fun. That is why I was overjoyed when I visied the Bluhm Studios blog today and saw what the talented Heather is up to. (she's one of the creative forces behind Art*Play which was such a fun retreat!)

Heather and Cerri from Little Pink Studio are gathering together some of my favorite creative bloggers to create special kits that will be on sale during Silver Bella weekend. It will be a chance for those of us who can't make it to the big event to get in on the fun. They are calling their venture JOLI PAQUET! Too cute!

Find the preliminary details here. I can't wait!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Moving Right Along

It seems I am woefully behind on everything lately. Even putting up my Halloween decorations! (which is really not like me) My husband finally put up my pumpkin inflatable in the front yard yesterday. Now, it is feeling more like Halloween.

I have been getting things done on my belated swaps. I will send out all three packages by Saturday. I SWEAR!

In the meantime, I received the most adorable package from Mica yesterday. I took pictures but haven't uploaded them yet. She really spoiled me. After looking at all the cute things people are making, I am realizing that I really need a sewing machine. Hope Santa brings me one!

I have been very distracted by the fires happening in Southern California. It is just so horrible. Thankfully, no one we know is in any direct danger although one of our friends is a firefighter in Laguna Beach. I can't imagine what it must be like for those poor people trying to save their homes and having to leave. They are all in my thoughts and prayers. I live near an area in Northern California that is very similar to where the fires are currently burning and it makes you realize how you need to be prepared for such things to happen. I just hope that the winds subside and the rain begins.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Nightmare Before Christmas Junkie

Tim Burton's NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (NBC) came out my senior year of high school. I have always been a fan of Tim Burton because he shares my whimsical sensibilities. When I heard he was coming out with an animated holiday movie, I could barely contain my excitement. I sat through the movie the first time with an utter look of delight frozen on my face. I couldn't understand why it wasn't an immediate success. Luckily, I bought several NBC toys at the Disney Store because the movie was a flop and they yanked all the toys very quickly. I did have one lucky break, though. I went to college in San Antonio and the McNay Art Museum owns a large number of NBC sets and figures that they display almost every year. At least I had that.

And then something happened...

Several years later, NBC experienced a kind of rebirth. It is now a cult film that is especially popular among teenagers for some reason. (this really intrigues the anthropologist side of me) There is even a shop dedicated to NBC merchandise at Disneyland now. And I was able to get my own Sally costume a few years ago. Can I tell you how excited I was when the film was released in 3-D last year? My husband drove me to the nearest big city just so I could see it. I was positively vibrating in my seat. NBC is funny, sad, romantic, spooky...What can I say? There is just something about this movie.

Enjoy one of my favorite scenes above and have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Crafty Spiders?

I am not the type of person who is afraid of bugs, spiders, snakes or any other creepy-crawlies. Maybe that comes from growing up in Texas where the bugs are
GI-normous! However, now that I live in California, I am facing critters that I have not previously been familiar with.

My husband informed me yesterday that our garage (ie. my CRAFTING SPACE!) is filled with black-widow spiders. He warned me not to reach into any boxes and dark spaces. Of course, all my crafting supplies are in boxes crammed into "dark spaces." I now have visions that black widow spiders are building webs under my crafting table and burrowing into my collection of vintage wallpaper. Ack!

So, for my three swap buddies, your packages may be slightly delayed since I will have to proceed with caution in my crafting area. But I promise I will get them out next week!!!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Swamped with Swaps!

Hello crafty/swappy friends!

Thanks for your well wishes. I am feeling a little bit better although I'm still struggling. It stinks to be sick right now because it is keeping me from working on my swaps! I have two partners in my Trick or Treat Swap and then I have Cheryl for the Sweet Goodness Swap! And I have all of their goodies in pieces in my garage workspace right now! It's just a matter of putting it all together. Hopefully, I will feel well enough to finish it all up by the weekend.

I haven't even gotten decorated for Halloween yet which is really unlike me! My husband and I traveling to Texas this weekend for my ten-year college reunion. When we get back, he promised me that he would put out my big inflatable stack of pumpkins in the front yard. That will definitely make it feel like Halloween.

Sending good spooky thoughts your way!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mea Culpa

So sorry I haven't been blogging lately. I'm a little under the weather with a stomach thing. But I will be back with new posts soon. I have lots of projects to catch up on this weekend. And I have some swap goodies to show you too! Hope you are all well. I'm keeping up with your blogs!!!

Monday, October 8, 2007


Hello Creative Ladies!!!

Thanks for being a part of my swap. I'm so glad so many new people signed up. I'll be sending you individual e-mails but I thought everyone would enjoy seeing each other's blogs. Enjoy!!!

Maria and Laura

Mary and Lindsay

Tamy and Bren

Michelle and Debra

Sarah and Heidi

Lindsey and Jeannie

Cathy and Amy

Mica and Amy

Friday, October 5, 2007


Sign-ups for the swap are now closed. We have a great group of people and most of them are new! I'm so excited!

I will try to get partners out Monday. Once you get your partner, please contact her within three days.

Thanks for participating!!!



I will take sign-ups BY E-MAIL from October 1 until October 5 at 5pm PST.
Please put the word "SWAP" in the header of your e-mail so I don't miss it. You can find my e-mail address in the sidebar. Include your full name and a link to your blog.

I'm going to require a blog this time to make it easier for partners to get to know each other.

Here are the details:

Create a special treat-or-treat container for your partner!

1) One item in the container (or the container itself!) must be crafty.
2) One item must be thrifty.
3) You should include some of your partner's favorite candy! (because adults need trick-or-treat candy too and this is a legitimate way to get some!)

Try to keep your spending around $15-$20.

Please contact your partner within three days of assignments!!!

Containers should go out by October 22 so your partner gets it in time for Halloween.

I will send you a confirmation after I get your sign-up. If you do not receive a confirmation e-mail, please let me know! Thanks!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A New Blog Buddy

Miss Lucy of All Asundry is giving my little blog a plug today.

I think one of the best things about blogging is getting the chance to meet new people and share interests and ideas.

The Halloween and Vine show this past weekend went really well. I didn't get to meet the Queen. I think we missed each other by mere minutes. But my friend Charles sold almost all of his pieces. Now, he is really excited for next year! It was fun to see so many people getting really excited about Halloween. And forking over the big bucks for it, too! The energy in the room was really great.

I'm so happy that it is October. I just love fall. It's my favorite season. The air gets crisper and the leaves start to turn. And my thoughts turn to baking and getting cozy by the fire. And Halloween is just around the corner. I better start decorating!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Ellen's Calendar

Okay, I know I said I was taking a break from blogging but I had to share this great news! My friend Ellen (I call her Frank) has published her own calendar! Isn't that great? It is available from DaySpring and as well as most Christian bookstores. I'm so proud of her! I ordered one right away.

Find more information on her blog.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Black Cat/Pumpkin Swap for Cheryl

Here is a photo that Cheryl took of the stuff that I sent to her. The wreath may have gotten a little squished but I'm glad she liked it. I also did a painted box, bookmark and an ornament. The rest was bought from stores. I'm so glad she liked it!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Charles Batte Originals

As promised, here are some photos of a couple of pieces that my friend Charles will have at the Halloween and Vine show. I can't wait to see them in person!!!!

Here is a "devilish"-looking fellow!

And here is a ghostly lady--

Finally, I had to include this wonderful witch!!!!

I think they are all just delightful!!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sweet Goodness Swap Questions

1. Favorite Color: primary colors and pink!

2. Chocolate Lover? Milk, Dark, White, or none of the above? Love chocolate...all kinds except white

3. What is your favorite craft hobby? mixed media paper arts and knitting

4. What is a craft/art hobby that you would like to start?
I would like to learn to sew.

5. What craft do you NOT have an interest in or just not great in ( so your partner doesn’t send something you wouldn’t use)?
I'm not into crocheting.

6. Do you have any allergies? (we don’t want to send anything with peanuts if it’ll make you blow up like a balloon!)
No known allergies!

7.What’s your favorite part of Halloween? Decorating, candy eating, costumes, or something else? All of the above. Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love decorating and I always try to have an interesting costume.

8. Do you decorate for Thanksgiving/Fall? Yes

9. December Holidays--what holiday do you celebrate? What type of decorations do you like to put up in your house for that holiday?
I celebrate Christmas and I go all out with a tree, wreath, table decorations...basically any surface I can cover

10. Do you have any children, if so what are their ages, boys/girls?
not yet...maybe soon!

11. Do you have any pets, if so what kind?
one cat named Toulouse

12. Are you a reader? If so, what type of books do you like?
I am a big reader of modern literature and I collected signed first editions. I also collect unique and special children's books and Christmas books

13. Are you celebrating a birthday or anniversary in October, November, or December? If so, what day and what is the occasion?
no special occasions during those months

14. Do you collect anything? If so what type of things do you collect?
Signed first edition books, Mexican folk art

15. What type of things do you like to cook? Are you an appetizer person, cookie maker, dessert freak or a take out type of person??
I like to bake and create desserts for people.

16. What is your favorite scent? Is there one that you can’t stand?
I like light florals. I do not like anything heavy.

17. What’s your favorite song?
Too many to narrow it down. I love Classic Rock and 80's music

18. What’s the last movie you went to see at the movie theater?

19. What’s your favorite Candy?
anything peanut butter and chocolate

20. Tea or Coffee or other?
Both! I have a weakness for Starbucks!

Friday, September 21, 2007

ART*PLAY photos

See a photo from ART*PLAY on Heather's blog. She put together some scenes from ART*PLAY. I'm the silly girl on the lower left side who had the brilliant idea of wearing a white t-shirt to a day of painting! I will post more of my own photos here tonight.

By the way, if you need a banner or business card, Heather is your gal. She does absolutely wonderful stuff! I might have to hire her to do a banner for me to spiff up my little blog.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Woo hoo!!!!

Queen Vallen is celebrating her blog anniversary and I won this wonderful collage! I don't believe it! I never win things!

Vallen is such a wonderful creative person and she shares my love of all things Mexican. I hope I get a chance to meet her in person at Halloween and Vine on the 29th!!!

Last Chance!!!

Today is your last chance to sign up for some holiday SWEET GOODNESS! It's the final day to join the current Sweet Goodness swap. Just follow the link in my sidebar. And hurry! You could be my partner!!!!

And while you are cruising the internet, head over to Angelina's Cards for a terrific sale. Her cards are just wonderful. I was lucky enough to get one in my ART*PLAY goodie bag. Plus, Angelina has been my swap partner before. She is so sweet and very talented and you won't believe the deals in her shop right now. Find her here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Halloween and Vine

My friend Charles is a local artist here in the Bay Area. He has done exquisitely detailed art dolls for years and now he is branching out into some smaller items. Charles will be exhibiting in the upcoming Halloween and Vine show and I'll be helping him out. I can hardly wait! An art show limited to Halloween items?! Hello!! Sign me up!!!

I hope to post some photos later with Charles' permission. You won't believe how wonderful his stuff is. In the meantime, here is some basic info on him. Charles' talent is so diverse, he even created my wedding veil for me last year! See photo below. He used pieces of my mother's wedding dress to create it. Pretty special, huh?

Next week, I will post more photos of Charles' work for you to see!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A New Blog to Visit

Isn't it delightful when you come across a wonderful blog by a person who very well might be a kindred spirit?

The one thing I was really lacking at ART*PLAY was a proper apron to paint in. I have plenty of fabric ones but the paint can seep through. Heather was wearing a terrific oilcloth apron and I knew I had to have one. I'm not sure if this the place where she bought it but this is where I'm getting mine. It's called Rodrigvitz Style. Everything on Stephanie's blog is so wonderful! She likes Mexican and folk art stuff too. I can't wait to add her to my regular blog-reading rotation. If you haven't been to her blog yet, head over there right now!!!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Art*Play Recap

Well, if you weren't at A Work of Heart in San Jose this weekend for Art*Play (and I know you weren't or I would have seen you there!), then you really missed out! Heather and Shosh (of Portals zine and Hannah Grey fame) planned an absolutely wonderful weekend for us! The event was so well-planned and filled with goodies. Our teacher was the wonderful Kelly Kilmer who is so enthusiastic, patient and positive.

On the first day, Kelly taught us how to make our very own painted taped journal. I couldn't believe how fun it was! We were all covered in paint and absolutely happy. In the afternoon, we started filling our new journals with different collage techniques that Kelly taught us. On the second day, we focused on learning new painting techniques. There were so many cool things to learn that my head was absolutely swimming!

The goodie bag sponsors packed our bags full of wonderful things. One of the best goodies bags I have ever gotten! I recognized many of the sponsors. I also won a lovely journal and a wax melting pot and ladle which I can't wait to try out. I'm bummed I didn't win Jenny and Aaron's wonderful painting but I'm sure there will be other opportunities in the future.

Thanks to the organizers, the sponsors and Kelly Kilmer for a wonderful weekend. I can't wait for the next one!!!

(photos to be posted later!)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My First Workshop!

I really really really wanted to go to Silver Bella but it just wasn't in the cards this year. I can't wait to hear about all the fun by reading the attendees' blogs!

I do, however, get to attend ART*PLAY this weekend and I'm really excited! I probably won't get to blog again until I get back so I thought I'd let you know where I will be. I'm looking forward to learning new techniques and meeting some fellow artsy-craftsy people! I'll tell you all about it when I get back.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Few of My Favorite Things

This meme is going around blogland right now so I thought I'd join in!

Perfume: VERA WANG

Sound: Thunder and Rain

Late Night Snack: Cheese

Smell(s): fresh tomatoes, roses, Fall air and (okay this is weird but true) the way my cat smells

Color Combos: Black and white, green and pink, bold primary colors together

Nut: Myself! (and pecans)

Time of Year: Autumn

Books: Can't narrow it down very easily but I love modern literature and cosy mysteries

Female Actress: Kate Winslet and Angelina Jolie

Flower: Yellow Roses, Daffodils, Tulips

Vacation Spot: Italy

Pizza: Olives, Artichoke hearts and Sundried tomatoes

Subject in School: English

TV Channel: Bravo and HBO

Radio Station: Mix 104.9 Santa Rosa

Holiday: Halloween and Christmas

Shoes: Oh how can I choose? Right now, I'm having a love affair with my yellow Prada platform sandals.

Candy: anything peanut butter and chocolate

City to Shop: Dallas

Beauty Product: lots of moisturizer and sunscreen

Items to Shop For: gifts for friends and crafting/thrifty supplies

Sweet Goodness Sister Swap!!!!

I absolutely love the Sweet Goodness swaps and they have a very special one for the holidays!!!

Check it out here.

But hurry, they are limiting sign-ups. It's sure to be a lot of fun!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Vintage Kitchen Swap Jackpot!!!

I have said it before and I will say it again...crafters are just about the sweetest and most generous people I know! I just got my Vintage Kitchen Swap package today from Miss Vickie and I am completely blown away! I am so spoiled!

First of all, I told her that I love painted trays and she sent me that gorgeous tin tray you see in the background. I also told her that I love vintage VERA table linens and she tracked down some honest-to-goodness VERA napkins for me! As if that isn't enough, there is a beautiful blue pottery bowl. (I love that color blue, Vickie!!!) And a vintage glass bowl that I will use as a candy dish. It reminds me of Depression glass. Wonderful! And not one but TWO tablecloths. One of them even has grapes since I live in Sonoma County!!!! And she included some sweet homemade cards that I bet she made! And just look at the detail on that painted ceramic box! I'll have to find something special to put in it. Maybe an assortment of tea! Oh, thank you so much Vickie! Thank you for being my swap partner!

*UPDATE* I dug through the packaging to make sure I didn't miss anything and found a little ladybug and a beautiful gold leaf brooch which I can't wait to wear for Fall!!! Wow!!!

How About Keychains?

I find WAY too many creative project ideas over at HOW ABOUT ORANGE! Her latest is a tutorial about how to make keychains out of shrinky plastic. Can't wait to try this!!!!



Found this over at the wonderful Calamity Kim's blog and just had to try it!!!!

The Name Game
1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet,current car) Buttercup Forester
2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie), Peanut Butta Chocolate Chip (I took a few liberties with "butter")
3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name), A Mal
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal), Black Cat
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born), Louise El Paso
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first), Mal-Am
7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink), The Red Sparkling Water (!)
8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers), Eugene Lawrence
9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy), Vera Wang Reese's
10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ), Mae Lawrence
11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter), Riddell Raleigh
12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower). Fall Rose
13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”) Apple Jeansie
14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree), Starbucks Pecan
15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”), The Knitting Wind Tour

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Getting My Craft On!

Hello artsy craftsy friends!

Thanks for all your advice on getting me out of my creative rut. I think sometimes we just need a break to get inspired again! I think Miss Vickie had the right idea. I went downtown today to walk around and saw lots of store windows filled with Halloween stuff. My favorite store was filled with it! And I got completely inspired! One of my favorite things was one of those wood boxes you can get at Michael's that was painted and when you opened it there was a little Halloween tableau inside. What a great idea! They were charging $58 for each one. I may not be able to do one as great as the ones I saw but I'm gonna try. In the meantime, I grabbed one of my small canvases and made this little witch decoration.

This is what the sides look like:

It's not quite finished and it's not quite perfect but I think it's pretty good for a first effort!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Frank and Malady

My creative juices are a little dry right now so I thought I'd share some of my friend's art with you. She is a gifted artist/cartoonist and writes the wonderful blog The Reign of Ellen. I call her "Frank" and she calls me "Malady." I had a reputation for being a bit dramatic in college so Ellen made this little cartoon...

Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm a Sucker

I caved and signed up for the Vintage Children's Book and Bookmark swap over at the Polka Dot Pixie. It sounds pretty easy and definitely right up my alley. Find it here.

What I Am Working On

I am almost finished with my belated Vintage Kitchen Swap package. Luckily, my partner Vicki is running late too. It is so annoying when life gets in the way of my swaps and crafting. If I could just get rid of this pesky full-time job!

I really wanted to make Vicki an apron for the swap but I am still lacking a sewing machine. I'm putting it on my wish list for Santa this year.

As you already know, I signed up for the Black Cat/Pumpkin swap and I've started to think about ideas. I really really really want to sign up for Artsy Mama's Sweet and Sinister swap but I think I'm going to have to skip it this time. After all, my own TRICK OR TREAT Swap is coming right around the corner and I have to concentrate on that!!!! I anticipate opening up signups either the last week of September or the first week of October so stay tuned!!!

I am absolutely thrilled that I managed to get one of Teresa's new kits! I have never gotten one before and her tea-themed one looks like fun!!!

I have decided what I will be making friends and co-workers for Christmas. (Gary----spoiler alert!!!!)

I have decided to do some CD-Case calendars. It seems like a fun, easy and inexpensive gift for people. See the tutorial in my sidebar. I also have to knit up three more bunnies to give as baby gifts. It seems like everyone is pregnant these days. Maybe there's something in the water. I hope so! (wink)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Black Cat/Pumpkin Swap!

I just signed up for the Black Cat Pumpkin Swap over at Hop Hop Jingle Boo! She has sign-ups open until September 1. I just can't resist a Halloween-themed swap! Still finishing up my Vintage Kitchen Swap package. I ordered an item that I am waiting on. Swaps are just too much fun!!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Off to Texas

Hello friends!

I am going home to Texas for the weekend and I can't wait! I'll post again when I get back next week.

Until then, I hope you all have a Texas-sized Weekend Full of Fun!!!!

"I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults."

--Molly Ivins

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More Shopping!

I have been wanting one of Jen Conway's crows for the longest time but I keep missing them when she posts them on Etsy. Well, I think it was because fate knew that I needed a HALLOWEEN crow! I am so excited that I scored one of Jen's witch crows. Woo hoo! She just posted some lovely royal birdies. Go check it out!

Heather's much-anticipated opening of her Present Past Collection store happened this past weekend. I had to snatch up a lovely Martha apron. I love bright colors! Especially when they have a Mexican feel. See Heather's store here.

I'm borrowing these pictures from the owners so you can see what wonderful goods they have and go buy some for yourself! So many creative people, so little money to buy their stuff!!!

Mary Poppins Art Doll Hat

I hope Beth won't mind me borrowing her photo. This is the third art doll hat I made for the wonderful Beth! She had posted about her Mary Poppins umbrella and I thought she needed a Mary Poppins doll. I'm not really happy with the image I ended up using. It was hard to find a good Mary Poppins image with arms. And my attempt at a bustle wasn't perfect. But I gave it my best shot. I love how Beth created a little Mary Poppins tableau! Just a spoonful of sugar!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Nice Matters

What a wonderful way to start my week! Karen over at BlueMuf's Corner nominated me for a Nice Matters Award! Now, this is the kind of award that really means something to me. I really believe in the "power of nice" and I think it's great that Genevieve over at Bella-Enchanted decided to create this award. Isn't it a wonderful thing to tell people that you appreciate them?

It is hard to pick just seven people because you are all so wonderful! Okay, I'm going to give it a shot!

1. Genevieve over at Princess Genevieve

2. Gary at Rabbit Fence

3. Michelle at Hippie Dog

4. Natasha Burns at her eponymous blog

5. Sarah at Experiment Land

6. Kim over at Calamity Kim

7. Beth over at her eponymous blog

Thank you for all being so sweet!!!

Now, slap this award on your blog and go share the love with seven other nominees!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Sweet Dreams

I think I have found my dream bed. Now, I just have to convince my husband to buy it for me.

Check out the bed and other lovelies here.

Artsy Mama Party Recap

If you missed Artsy Mama's Artful Blogger party yesterday, don't despair! Loads of wonderful bloggers showed up to share their passions, inspirations and tutorials! And I love a good tutorial! I will be going through each and every participant's page and updating my "Projects I Want to Try" section.

You can find all the fun here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Artful Blogger Party!

Well, I was only going to be an observer of all the fun over at Artsy Mama's blog but I thought I'd join in!

As many of you know, I recently hosted an Art Doll Hat Swap inspired by some of the work over at Art Chix Studio. The ladies in the swap made some truly amazing pieces!!!

To make your own art doll hat...

1) Use a cardboard cone, party hat or large piece of paper twisted into a cone-shape for your base. I used a heavy cardstock and then glue-gunned it into a cone shape.

2) Choose an image with a torso and arms. When cutting out the image, make sure to leave a tab of paper to stick down inside of the cone. I mounted my magazine image onto cardstock to make it stronger.

3) Cut off the tip of your cone and stick the tab of your figure down into the cone. Dab some glue on the tab and smoosh the sides of the cone point flat onto the image to make the "waist" of your art doll hat.

4) The rest of the cone becomes the "skirt" of your figure. Decorate as you like and then add some ribbons so that you or your recipient can tie it on their head and party!!

I made the art doll hat above for the wonderful Michelle of Hippie Dog Primitives.

Thanks for all the fun, Artsy Mama!!!