Tuesday, March 31, 2009

the way boys play

I just love it. Love it when I stumble upon some Star Wars battle re-enactment. "This is the one, you know, where they saved Stinky, you know?" And there's something about these storm troopers and their hinged arms and legs that make them look so realistic. Sometimes I feel like I've caught them in the act, forcing them to freeze where they are - like in the Toy Story movies.

Obviously, for me, it was Barbie. My sister and I would set up elaborate Barbie houses by standing up books to create rooms. (yes, an architect at age 8) The bummer of it all was the house rule - Barbie houses had to be taken down at the end of each day. I proclaimed that when I grew up I would have an entire room in my house devoted to Barbie houses that I would never have to take down. Um... yeah, that didn't happen. But I do often let scenes like this one remain intact and let the house rule bend.

Friday, March 27, 2009

finish it friday

I don't know what it is, but it's been really difficult to get anything done this week! With more light in the evening it takes a lot more to get the kids to wind down. So maybe that's to blame. We had the big birthday party last weekend, so maybe I'm still recovering from that. (sorry, no pictures - can you believe my camera finally died?) But something's got to give. Maybe today I need to just pick myself up and focus on my projects - like this drawing. I've been carrying it around with me all week. Just finish it! Maybe I should call this Finish It Friday.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

up + down + round + round

Sometimes life just takes over, doesn't it? But somewhere in the blur of the past week, the boys and I managed to drive up to work with the husband and spend a morning at the Santa Monica Pier. Weather was perfect and the boys had a blast. There was a lot of up and down on the ferris wheel as well as a lot of up on top of the pier and down below the pier.
And there was also a lot of round and round on the merry-go-round. The carnival sound of merry-go-round music is capable of luering any red-blooded child to those brightly painted horses and galloping jackrabbits. I could have stayed there going up and down and round and round all day long... as opposed to stopped dead in my tracks in traffic on the I-10.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

can't pinch us!

Did some potato stamping for this fine St. Patty's Day

(it didn't even occur to me until now how appropriate it was to use a potato)

The young lad had a dandy time painting.

We turned his artwork into this flag to hang outside. It's my goal to have him make one for every holiday - I say this now... let's see if I make it happen.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


New pair of booties in the Etsy shop.

A new take on the old design.
Also a new toe embellishment.

Friday, March 13, 2009

you have to try

It worked! I was so happy with the way these pendents turned out that I went to the craft store and bought up all the wooden circles they had! Now that I've got the process down, I'll be printing and sealing and pouring and drilling every chance I get.

There is nothing more satisfying, to me, than figuring something out. Not only figuring it out, but really succeeding at it - and by succeeding, I mean getting something to look the way you saw it in your head. (I haven't tried selling one of these, so who knows if they're going to succeed in that respect!) I'm ALWAYS seeing things in my head. It's a lucky occasion when I actually get to see it with my eyes. Yes, there have been many failed projects - but where would I be if I didn't try? You have to try.

(writing this makes me think of that Lyle Lovett song : "Look, I understand too little too late. I realize there are things you say and do you can never take back. But what would you be if you didn't even try? You have to try. So after a lot of thought, I'd like to reconsider. Please, if it's not too late, make it a cheeseburger.")

It's going to be a busy weekend of getting ready for another big party. My father-in-law is going to be 85-years old AND my husband's uncle is going to be 75-years old. BIG party in our backyard next weekend. This means it's time to do some sprucing up out there. Weeding, trimming, planting and sweeping out the cobwebs. On the invitations I drew up acorns on the front and an oak tree inside. So I may try to incorporate the acorn theme... somehow. Time to take my mind off resin and focus on party planning. Looking forward to buying some flowers and adding some color to the yard. With the recent rain we've had we're not short on green, but the temperature hasn't been warm enough for color. Time to import some.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

WIP: pendents

My recent attempt at making some resin jewelery using a mold has ricocheted me into a new direction, putting a pause on molding resin for the moment. Inspired by all the Scrabble Tile Pendents on Etsy, I'm trying to make something similar using these wood circles instead. Right now it's just a work in progress... still need to experiment with applying the resin. So, if it doesn't work out, you may never see these again. But I'm going to be optimistic. It may very well work out. I'm a sucker for materials - so I like how the wood grain shows through and serves as the backdrop for my flying animal bugs. That's the biggest complaint I have about the Scrabble tile jewelry - unless you turn it over, you have no idea it's a Scrabble tile. (the more I type out S-C-R-A-B-B-L-E, the more it looks like a word I made up and not like a real word at all)

Happy Wednesday, all!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

sweet things

A little surprise package arrived in the mail yesterday. Inside was this beautiful hand-crafted felted bowl made by Cose Dolci (www.cosedolci.etsy.com). I had it in my Etsy Favorites and the dear husband got it for me - just because!

I love the detail in this bowl. All four sides are embellished with hand stitched and felt circle trees. And notice how there are mirror image trees also stitched up inside the bowl in white? That's what I call attention to detail. This truly is a "sweet thing" (= cose dolci). I have it sitting on the dresser now and may use it to hold earrings or my favorite necklace. (maybe the very colorful beaded one Robbie made for me at school) Of course, I don't want to fill it up too much because then I'd cover up those ghost trees inside!

I'd love to fill the house with wonderful little items like this. Everyday I find the greatest things by artists from all over the world on Etsy. This is so much more thoughtful than flowers. Flowers die. This little treasure will be with us forever and I'll always remember it was... just because.

Now go check out Cose Dolci !

Monday, March 09, 2009

world wide window

Ever since watching Slumdog Millionaire my mind has been swirling with colors, especially after I bought and played the soundtrack. Greens with orange, teal with red and a beautiful rust color that isn't quite orange but too beautiful to be brown. Oh, and curry yellow. I even fixed a delicious shrimp curry for dinner last week. I think my new color inspiration can be seen in this goldfish mobile I made. I used some Heather Bailey scrapbook paper as well as some Japanese origami paper. I was wishing I could hop a plane to Mumbai and collect some fabric and paper from an Indian market. I did a search on Flickr for "Mumbai Market" and was instantly transported cyber-style to streets lined with overloaded carts carrying fruit in every color of the rainbow, storefronts painted in bright shades of aqua and green, and stacks upon stacks of gorgeous fabric. I even had the instinct to reach for my camera to capture what was clearly already captured by someone else who was actually there walking the streets. I wanted to copy and paste a lot of the photos here, but that's just plain unethical. So do a Flickr search yourself if you want to take the trip I took.

It's amazing how open the world is to us now with the internet. When I was growing up, my Grandmother took a trip to Japan. I remember how I thought Japan was as far away from here as anything possibly could be. The Japanese language was something I knew I could probably never learn, so I thought if I didn't go with my Grandma to Japan (who spoke a little Japanese and understood a little more) that I'd never visit this beautiful land of temples, tea houses and origami paper cranes. The world was SO BIG to those of us born before 1980. The only window we had was a dusty set of encyclopedias with teeny tiny pictures of all these far away places. I never did make it to Japan with my Grandma, sadly, but it doesn't seem as far away to me now... and maybe that's because I'm not 10-years old... but I know I'll go... someday.

"Oh, the places you'll go," I often find myself saying to my boys. I guess every parent wants their children to see and explore more of the world than they did. I just hope that someday it's safe to visit all the places I'd like to see. I often get the wanderlust, but then I open the newspaper or watch the news and I'm quickly satisfied with staying locked up at home with the computer screen as my window. I'd like to think that we're becoming more accepting as a civilization with things like the wonderful world wide web to show us that we're really not all that different from one another. I wish we could all see the beauty in our differences and be inspired by them rather than offended, threatened and terrified. Maybe the more time we have to look at one another the less we'll start to identify each other by color, religion and culture. I'd like to think that could happen, anyway.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


just keep stitching
just keep stitching
just keep stitching, stitching stitching

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


One of the greatest things about the internet is the ability to self-teach yourself just about anything. While wandering the aisles of Michaels a couple weeks ago (something I like to do to clear my head while Robbie is at school and Finn is napping in the stroller) I came across a box of Clear Casting Epoxy Resin. Could I do this? I decided to wait and go back to buy it once I knew what I was doing. A simple Google search presented me with several tutorials and even several demos by different artists on YouTube. After an afternoon I felt like I was armed with enough information to really have some fun.

There was a bit of trial and error. My first attempt didn't set up right - I must not have completely dried my measuring cups. I've since read that even the slightest amount of moisture will keep the resin from hardening and leave you with a sticky, sappy goo. My second attempt was slightly better - although next time I'll wait for the first layer of resin to set up even more so that when I lay in my image it lays flat and without bubbles.

These are photos of attempt-2. These ended up worthy enough to show off here and wear myself, but not quite yet perfect enough to throw in the Etsy shop. I won't repeat a lengthy tutorial here, but here are several great links I found: