Wednesday, May 31, 2006

hello summer - you look gorgeous!

We set out to barbecue every single meal over Memorial Day Weekend. Alas, never did figure out what I could possibly grill for breakfast and we ended up mostly picking up food for lunch. But you would have found me over the grill every evening - that much of the deal I was able to keep. And thank the lord that the weatherman was wrong. Forecast = partly cloudy all weekend. Actual weather = sunny sunny sunny! Perfect beginning for the proverbial start of summer.

I was finally able to start reading Julie & Julia this weekend. I love it when I can be completely absorbed in a book the very second I start reading it. This one didn't require the commitment of a few chapters before locking me in. And, as I mentioned a few posts back, I'm extremely attracted to the idea of a 365-day project of my own.

My mom gave me a box of goodies last night - things of my Grandma's that she thought I'd like to have. Among the little treasures was a little Japanese booklet. I have no idea what any of it says, but I simply adore the illustrations. I might be sharing more of these in the days to come...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Monday, May 22, 2006

not running a 99 cent store here

I've been working on a site redesign now that I've learned Macromedia Dreamweaver. Putting the site together properly with Dreamweaver will really make updates in the future a breaze. But it takes time. Everything does, doesn't it? Maybe this will be the week it gets done. (don't hold your breath) I'm working on animated banners for each page that include some of the images you see above. I need to get outside today and take some more plant pictures. We had a hard rain last night and all the leaves are covered in water drops. Pretty.
So I think I might have made a huge mistake. I read a book that lead me to believe that listing things at a low starting price on ebay generates a bidding frenzy and causes the bid price to go up and up and up. Hmmm...I don't see it happening for me yet. I put one of my pillows up (to test the appreciation for things I make on the ebay crowd) and with 2 days left to go, the price is still at $0.99. That's right folks. Now, people tell me I don't charge enough for my things - but even I will agree that $0.99 is a little low.
So, if you're looking for a steal (and I mean a STEAL!) check out my ebay auction for this pillow.

Buzzing Bog Pillow on Ebay
Live and learn, live and learn!

Monday, May 15, 2006

sunshine, flowers & inspiration

The sun finally came out this weekend and we had a nice Mothers' Day barbecue. I love throwing parties. Especially out in the yard so the kids can run and play. We had berry coolers and rosemary breadsticks. Cooked up some teriyaki chicken kabobs and corn cobs on the grill. The kids munched on chicken nuggets shaped like cars. for dessert there was angel food cake, berries and whipped cream.

Most importantly, I think everyone had a pretty good time. The weather has been downright ugly for the past week, so it was nice to get a little sunshine yesterday. June gloom seems to have set in early this year. It's about this time that I really start to look forward to the crystal clear days of summer. Also pictured here are slippers I embellished with some flowers made of felt. After making them for my mom and my mother-in-law I wanted a pair for myself. I just might have to go pick up a pair in my size and sew on a couple felt flowers for me. My Mothers' Day treat from my guys included "Shopgirl" on DVD and a very intriguing book titled Julie & Julia -365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen. I love the idea of this. Can't wait to start reading. It just might inspire me to take on a similar challenge. Here's an exerpt from the bookflap:

Julie Powell is stuck. Is she in danger of becoming just another version of the house-wife-in-a-rut? Her only hope lies in a dramatic self-rescue mission. And so she invents a deranged assignment: in the space of one year, she will cook every recipe in the Julia Child classic [Mastering the Art of French Cooking], all 524 of them. No skips, no substitutions. She will track down every obscure ingredient, learn every arcane cooking technique, and cook her way through sixty pounds of butter. And if it doesn't help her make sense of her life, at least she'll eat really, really well. How hard could it be?

And I just discovered Julie Powell's blog about the whole thing. It starts on August 25, 2002. Wow - what a project! I'm totally inspired. What do I want to tackle in 365 days? This kind of reminds me of [info]anamomda's project, "101 things in 1001 days". Yes, I definitely need a time-oriented project like this. Thoughts of it make me giddy, just giddy!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

15 minutes

I only have 15 minutes before I need to leave to go pick up little mr. man from his gramma's, so I think I'm gonna just let it all flow sorta stream-of-consciousness-like today. First off, pic above...did a little silk-screening today. Making images for stitching on bibs. Those seemed to do really well at the last event and I'm thinkin' it makes a lot of sense because there are so many bibs out there but not many that are unique and hand-crafted and it does make the perfect baby shower gift because I can say, from experience, that I got a whole lotta baby bibs before my pipsqueak was born. So I "wasted" (and I'm emphasizing the word here because while I use the word "wasted" I do recognize that it's not really time wasted...since it's not like I'm sitting on the couch eatin' potato chips's just time spent on something that I don't really have time for - and why?, exactly, don't I feel like I have time for it? Well, that's another subject entirely that I think will have to be postponed until I am out of the parentheses) a bunch of time yesterday doing tutorials on Flash. Trying to create nifty little graphics that will dance across the screen. I think I got something working, but I won't brag about it until I know for sure that it works. And now onto that little topic that popped up in my sub-thought just there right now. Why do I feel like I'm always running a race against the clock? I'm always thinking I need to hurry up - that I've got all these ideas and I need to rush to get them done. I've got an entire life to do these things, right? What's the rush? Why do I resent it when little mr. diaper pants won't let me silkscreen one afternoon? Just do it tomorrow - what's the big deal? I think I need to take a chill pill. I'll do these things when I do them. Which reminds me of the reunion show for "Top Chef". "It is what it is." Anyone who watches this knows what I mean. And looking out the window now I see that vast of dirt space just waiting to covered up by my grandiose landscaping plan. Just not enough time in the day. People always say to me..."I don't know how you find the time to do blank." And I always think - sheesh...wish I had more of that time you seem to think I magically produced to do even more. I wonder if I'm just going through a phase, or if this is the way it's gonna be for the rest of my life. When I was working full time, the days dragged on and on and on. Now, I swear it's dinnertime minutes after I've done the breakfast dishes. Maybe I waste too much time reading blogs on the internet. True true true. Gotta stop that. Gotta stop wasting (truly using the word here) time. I see our orange trees out the window and think - now that'd be a nice print. Going back to my thoughts on orange and green from the other day- a print of bright green leaves and plump oranges. And, of course, a happy flying elephant fluttering by. Well, I think this 15 minutes is up. Excuse me Mr. Warhol, may I have another?

Monday, May 08, 2006

conversation with a 2-year-old

I just had the most fascinating conversation with my 2.5-year-old while I was sewing this little block. It went something like this:

"mama done now?"

"almost done. just want to finish this little block."


"because I want to see if this project works"


"because if it does, then maybe people will buy them."


"because they'll be perfect toys for babies to play with."


"because they're bright and colorful and playful."


"because I used fun fabric."


"because I want them to look unique."


"because everything out there looks the same."


"because a lot of people stopped caring for artistic things."


"because some people weren't raised with art and music."


"because some people watch too much tv."


"because the world has just become a very commercial place."


"I just don't know, but guess what - I'm done!"

"oh wow mama!"

Saturday, May 06, 2006

new pillows

Horsetail Reed Pillows

Out of the Box*California


Time to exercise. Can you believe I've actually worked out every day this week?!? (I sure can't) Just how long will it take for me to get that "work-out addiction" I hear others talk about? I think it's gonna take a long, long time for me. On a positive note, I've been stressing to get in my full 8 glasses of water a day, but today I realized that the bottles I'm drinking from are actually 16 ounces. SO! That means all this time when I thought I'd only completed half of the daily recommended H20 consumption, I had actually sipped up the full 64 ounces! It's like finding money in a long since forgotten about pocket. (well, not exactly, but I don't feel like as much of a failure now)


I'm listening now to an album I just downloaded from emusic. The artist is Gregory Page and the album is Love Made Me Drunk. I'm loving it. It's got this old carnival sound to it with instrumentals from one of those little piano/organ things (pump organ?) the little instrument that was in Punch Drunk Love? I'm picturing an old man with a huge wrinkled smile on his face turning the crank on some music maker while a monkey hops around collecting coins in central park.


Here's a sweet little offer. Download 50 free songs by going to Offer compliments of Paste Magazine.

Friday, May 05, 2006

TAG! you're it!

I am so tickled pink this evening. Spent the day working on making tags for my pillows. It always pained me to see my pillows leaving without any sort of connection back to me. Let's say, for instance, that someone who bought one of my pillows had a tea party and at said tea party Madonna walked in and exclaimed, "That's a dashing pillow!" (because she does try to speak British, afterall) "Where on earth didja get it?" And my dear pillow-purchaser might only remember that they got it from this gal at some craft fair. But now...oh now...pillows will have tags that shout, "Get more of me at blahblahblah dot blah blah dot com!" I followed this WONDERFUL tutorial from

(poor picture quality - I usually take advantage of daylight, but it's dark now)

Pictures of new pillow tomorrow when the light is better!

On that note, I've often thought to myself (as I am laboring over a project in hopes that someone will appreciate all my fine handiwork), who would I fancy the most taking home one of my creations? I used Madonna as an example because I always used to think of her as such an interesting artist when I was younger. Artist in the sense of how she's created an image for herself. And to digress just a little, I used to always think that women I thought of as great artists often lost a bit of their edge once they had kids. Madonna's a momma now, and, well, I'm just not that interested in her persona that much anymore. (but, I'm a momma now too, and I'm not a teenager anymore, so maybe it's my fault) My example for this argument was always this - what ever happened to Edie Brickell? She had babies with Paul Simon and the music just hasn't had the same feeling as "Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars" (in my humble opinion). Funny - just did a little google search and this article came up: What Ever Happened to Edie Brickell?. I know I shouldn't be saying all this because I'm a mom now and I certainly don't want to think I've lost anything - but on the other hand, it's like the child becomes your project. And there's nothing wrong with that. Motherhood itself is a beautiful experience. I wouldn't trade it in for all the fame and glory of the most respected artist out there. Shoot - I don't like how this is coming out. So, no attention to the woman behind the keyboard. But, for argument's sake - what women artists inspire you? When I get asked that question, I stumble a bit. I can see how women are at the disadvantage because once they have kids, once they are completely invested in motherhood, it is hard to see the value in anything else. And I'm not suggesting that it's not the same for the Fathers. I see the same happening to some men as well. These babies, they become the everything. My baby certainly is.

Anyway, back to my original thought. Who would it take for me to really feel like I'd taken home the gold knowing that they owned one of my pieces. If this were a hypothetical question my answer would be simple. My hero, John Lenon. But, speaking in the now...hmmmm. Yoko? Ellen? Martha Stewart? Bill and Hillary? Frank Gehry? Bono? It's a tough question. One I was prepared to ask but not necessarily ready to answer. Who would it be for you?

Gonna leave you with a little something I think I might try to do on a regular basis. Let's call it "Things I bought because they're perty". I'm such a sucker for well designed and flashy looking labels. Here are two examples:

A POP ART-Y bottle of honey mustard salad dressing (very Lichtenstein) and a beaUtIful poppie-d bottle of red. The salad dressing actually tastes great and I'll buy it again. Haven't popped open the wine yet - but, hey, it's booz...can't be that bad, right?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Soy Candles

Beach Cottage Candles

natural soy candles

I finally finished putting together a website for my mom's soy candle business. Check it out. For those of you who were there, you might have seen her with me in the Out of the Box*California booth at Bazaar Bizarre/Maker Faire.

If you don't know anything about soy candles, allow me to educate you. Did you know that when you burn a paraffin wax candle, you are releasing carcinogens into the air because paraffin is made from petroleum? I sure didn't. Soy wax is, obviously, made from soy beans and doesn't pump all those harmful substances into the air. And, soy candles produce less soot. They also last longer and burn cooler. What I love is to pour some of the melted wax into my hand (I'm not into self-torture, really...since the candle burns cooler, the wax isn't nearly as hot!) and rub it into my cuticles. It's a *wonderful* moisturizer. I YloveY these candles. Go get some for yourself. Her prices are pretty darn good - you won't find a soy candle anywhere else for under $10.

Diet and exercise are back on and I'm doing my best to keep myself busy so my mind doesn't start to wander in the direction of badbadbad food. Let's see how long this burst of healthy enthusiasm lasts.