Wednesday, December 26, 2007


aahhhhh, the day after Christmas. So free of the running around, frantically trying to figure out what everyone wants, and do I have enough $$ for all of it. I wanted to take the handmade pledge and all that, but I have a hard time doing handmade for the guys. They are the worst!
So I did enjoy making some handmade goodies for the nieces ~ one was a fabric tool roll for crochet hooks and things like that. I ended up debating on it for so long that I finally made it half an hour before we left for their house. I think she liked it though.
I also procrastinated on it because I decided it was a perfect sunny day to have a photo shoot. As today is my one year anniversary over at my shop, I wanted to revamp my banner and avatar. So, I relished in being very narcissistic and put on makeup and all that. Here's the old 'summery' one:

and here's some of the new choices:

~with the 'supermodel' fan going:

and I think this angle looks 'artsy', but my hubby thinks I look mad:

It's kind of frustrating to take 800 pictures of yourself and not really be happy with any of them, but I guess that's the way it goes. I also have a 'before biggest loser competition' full length pic of myself, which I will not be posting today, thank you very much. I may however post it in May, as I'm hoping the 'after biggest loser competition' photo will be much better. (fingers crossed). My faithful readers may remember me talking about this competition last year, but I got motivated way too late, and it was impossible to catch up to the person in the lead, who had intelligently started losing 2 to 3 pounds a week from the actual beginning. Darn those smart dieters!
So, I have already started eating smarter, and have been working out every day, even though it's Christmas break. I did not partake of any of those chocalatey cookies on the coffee table at the family get together last night! Yeah me!
So, now off to the gym~

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


wow, could somebody please go back in time to about 3 weeks ago and tell me that life and the shop are about to get REALLY BUSY!!!! That would be oh so helpful. ok, enough of my complaining about doing what I love~ ha ha
We had a tiny ice storm (really odd freezing drippy rain)

So, I stayed inside most of the day being creative:

~these little tags were so fun to make. I just started rummaging through my gigantic pile of collage images and stained the edges, and of course added some sparkly stuff. I used torn cotton fabric for the hangers. I have been crazy for torn fabric lately. Whether I'm making a cord for a pendant, or sewing a wrist cuff, or whatever, torn fabric just makes everything look so gorgeous and vintagey! My friend Rene' would love these, I just know it. Hey Rene', we should have a crafty nite and make a ton of these~ next year of course, because both of us are WAAAAAAAAAY too swamped to indulge ourselves anytime in the next 3 weeks. Honestly, I think she's even busier than I am.
On the kid front, my baby made the basketball team in high school, so I am so stoked about that. If I get a great shot of her in action on the court, I may have to violate my own rule about no kid pictures on the blog.
~one last creative thing:

...well, off to find the perfect Christmas gift for my little sporty one. caio!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

more merriment

Ok, I'm completely submersed in my holiday planning. I want to extend my color theme for christmas into more homey ornaments. So I'm thinking I'm going to do granny squares, with different rows of the chosen colors, and hang them as a diamond shape on the tree. Aqua, purple, black, red, and royal blue. We'll see how well I remember how to crochet. I made an entire blanket with 3 double crochets when I was 8, and have done little bits here and there since then.
Also, I've been using my tiny company stamp to make fabric labels for purses and clothing in the shop.
I think theyr'e so cute! I will do more later with screen printing ink.

still more coming soon!

Monday, November 12, 2007

approaching holiday goodness

wow, a month without a post - jeez, where have I been? For one thing, I've had a vision for the Christmas tree theme I want this year. The last few years I've been unhappy with the ornaments I have - nothing really special, not even very many of them. I don't know if I lost some or what. So one day I got the new Adorn magazine and the new Anthropologie catalog at the same time in the mail. There seemed to be a hint of these folkoric Eastern european designs running throughout some of the crafty stuff and clothing in both. It hit me! Beautiful intense blues, greens, reds, and of course turquoise~ along with some old fashioned with a modern twist shapes, and definitely felt. I went to the fabric store and bought lots of different colors of those little pom poms. I will make a multicolored garland with those later. Can you feel my vision? Here's what I have made so far:

and this:

and this:

More to come!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


geez, I've been eating chocolate for 2 days straight. darn that pms! I'll have to do extra walking miles for this. I really feel like I want to quit my job every time I get pms, so I know I have to wait it out until I feel better. Let's hope the feeling goes away.
I got some items listed on ebay, finally, and I'm interested to see how it works out. There are so many choices! 3 days, 5 days, 7 or 10 days, reserve price, buy it now, and on and on and on!! Etsy is sooooo much more beautiful though~ and streamlined, and of course the fees are so much nicer.
So I hadn't made a new scrabble tile necklace for awhile, and suddenly the other night one came together. It's super cute if I do say so myself!

I was thinking of when I was little, and how fascinated I was by miniature things. I've probably told y'all about this before, but I would draw cross-sections of dollhouses, and carefully label each room. I would draw the tables and chairs and beds, and add the ruffly quilts, etc. I probably even drew the silverware on the tables. I never owned a dollhouse, though. It was an extravagance that not only could we not afford, but one that I would never have even thought to ask for, because I knew it would never happen. As an adult, I've thought about buying one and decorating it. Too bad I spend so much time and effort decorating my own house!
Ok, so back to the little girl in the bingo house. This idea of a window just popped into my head as I was looking at the little girl in one of my collage sheets. I'm always thinking of ways to vary my little houses, so a window was perfect. Then she looked a little sad, but I wanted it to be happy, so I thought of the times when I was little and had my daydreaming moments.
Even though I loved sporty stuff, I have always been an introvert, so I would sit in my room quietly, and imagine the lives of barbies or other small creatures. So, this way she's deep in thought, and not sad.
I think I'll do a bunch of variations on these.
I must be in a really romantic, victorian mood lately, because I made this skirt last weekend:

well, off to bed, to dream about victorian dollhouses, I guess... and miniature hershey bars~

Sunday, October 07, 2007

leather, oh yeah...

My love affair with soft leather continues...

I love this leather cuff, but it sold tonight. I can always make one for myself though~
I realized this week that all the things I love to do are finally melding together in a somewhat cohesive style. Like a sewing idea will relate to a jewelry idea, and one material finds its' way into a piece with a totally unrelated material, and somehow it turns into something beautiful. I am so grateful for this, because I've been worried for over a year that I didn't really have a style.
There's a famous quote from someone about how impossible it is for us NOT to leave our imprint/ style on something we do. I will have to find where I read that. I've even prayed about this worry, so I'm blessed that everything is coming together in such interesting ways.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


ahhhhhh, Saturday morning. It's the best feeling when you wake up without an alarm clock. Every other morning of the week, I say to myself, 4 more days 'til Saturday, or 3 more days- etc. This particular morning I must look pretty scary, because I took a shower right before bed last night. And because my hair is 1. long, 2. thick, and 3. Naturally wavy, when I sleep on it wet, it turns into this giant, frizzy, wavy halloween-looking wig. But I couln't care less. I've had 11 hours of sleep, and after I help Sasha do her hair and make up for a wedding, the next 12 hours will be a creative fest. I have lots of new skirts in the works, and some jewelry. I've got to squeeze in a workout at the gym though. I told myself I would go yesterday, but I get so involved in my projects, I just can't pull myself away. I've got to do it for myself though, I feel sooooo much better when I work out on a regular basis.
So the dress I made yesterday and the skirts I'm finishing today are pretty cool. My creativity is flowing into this romantic, victorian vibe, and I'm loving all the beautiful bits and notions like velvet ribbon and wide beautiful lace.

So next Saturday is Homecoming, and my little baby is going on a 'formal' date with her guy. She's not really allowed to date until she's 16, but I told her this is a little different. They won't be alone, and will be dropped off and picked up by a parent. The school is very strict about kids can't leave and come back, so I feel very comfortable. She is such a little tomboy, I thought shopping for dresses would be a nightmare, but she found one for the wedding today and one for homecoming at the same store, and I'm glad she had 2 events to buy for, because she couldn't decide between 2 dresses. She was so excited after she tried them on! She said she didn't think she would look good in a dress, so she was really happy when she did.
I want to post pics, but I try not to ever put her face on the internet. Maybe a headless girl would be ok?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

happy anniversary!

♥ October 2, 2005 ♥
When I met Kev in Feb. 1987 when I was 16, I didn't know that 18 years later we would be married. We worked at the same restaurant - it was my first 'real' job. He was cool, aloof, extremely intelligent, and had long, black hair with spirals, reminiscent of Slash from Guns and Roses. He played guitar in a band, and was always reading something and smoking during our breaks.
I was intrigued by him, and hoped that when I talked to him I didn't sound retarded, but never thought of him in a romantic way since he was dating one of my best friends. A few years later we 'dated' for a short time, but he ended up marrying someone else. (Not my friend) ...A few more years later, after his divorce, we dated again, and lived together for a year.
Didn't work out. ... A few years more, older and wiser, we met again. This time we got married before we lived together. It's worked out so much better.
Long story short, our lives are completely different now, and we both know that God brought us together. He is the most supportive, sweet, gentle man I've ever known. I am wholeheartedly committed to him, and I'm so thankful for the last 2 years together. I had many lonely years, and I feel like I'm being rewarded now with a love that continues to grow.
...what a man, what a man, what a mighty - good - man...
love you honey~

Thursday, September 27, 2007

summer into fall...

ok, so sacred relic probably isn't the best name for a new shop. I googled it and there are all these lawsuits against some ebay sellers for selling actual religious sacred relics. I do like the spiritual connotation to the name, because I am a Christian, but in addition to those strange problems, there is already an ebay seller with that name. It looked like they weren't active and didn't have any items for sale, but still.... I think I'll keep the etsy shop with that name for future ideas~
On the school front, everything is the same. I'm trying desperately to be excited, but I feel my heart is just not in it anymore. I only want to do this job if I can do it well. I'm taking it one day at a time, and so far, so good. I was pretty excited about my first wall display for open house. I did it all in white, and it was very 3-d. I got a lot of nice comments from other staff, which usually doesn't happen. They said it was very classy and 'gallery like'. I was pleased. Now I just have to come up with another mind-blowing idea for this month. I'm thinking about having the kids paint on leaves - but what subject? any ideas welcome!
On the home front, we must get some pumpkins to carve, because we basically spaced it off last year, and now that my daughter is 14, I don't have too many more years left to do these activities. I should be better about decorating for holiday things. I love the making the costume part though. Off to class, caio for now~

Monday, September 17, 2007

reconstructive surgery

Madame Coco had "aesthetic enhancement surgery" recently. I love the shape and wire curls on the dress form, but have had to push and pull and move wire parts around to get her to have a real human shape. I never was happy with how the tanks looked on her, maybe because I've been staring at my own figure for 36 years, and that's what seems normal to me. It finally hit me that I could 'enhance' the way she was shaped the same way that people do, except without cosmetic surgery. I grabbed my strapless corset bra from my wedding ensemble, and inserted some gel-filled liners into the cups, and Voila! She is now a 36 C. All of the clothes look so much better on her, but in some of the pics, she actually does look a little too bosomy. Madame Coco makes me so happy, and I love that I don't have to pay someone to model anything. She's always ready and willing to work. I LOVE how the Contessa wide belt came out, and it makes Madame Coco look so elegant and autumnal.
Before enhancement:

and AFTER:

and here's the Contessa belt~ so pretty!

I am going to do a series of these for fall/winter. Caio girls!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I'm working hard on some new designs, and I'm actually trying to find the time to make some things for myself- I know, what a concept! I've been putting a patina on different metal components, and creating what I call "The Secret Attic Treasures" series. When I was little, I was fascinated with old trinkets, and as I got older, old embroidered linens. As I walked through antique stores and thrift stores about 10 years ago, I always wondered why I loved these things so much. Even if I bought them and brought them home, I would just look at them lovingly, but not really be able to do anything with them. Now I have the joy of taking some of the trinkets I find, and joining them with new pieces, and making beautiful 'heirlooms'.

Since I don't have any photos of my own grandparents and great grandparents, I just borrow some ancestors and include them in my work. caio, girls~

Friday, August 24, 2007

chugging along

well, I'm back in my cinder block office (I'm not complaining though, it's quiet and it's all mine). I usually get a few yards of a warm colored fabric to 'hang' on the white brick walls, and it's pretty cozy actually. It's about 7 feet by 16 feet, and I squeezed a desk and filing cabinet in here, and sometimes I even do jumping jacks after lunch if I need a shot of adrenaline. I sort of resigned, and then unresigned, and it was quite gut-wrenching. I am trying to do that thing where you look for 100 blessings throughout your day, and I kind of do that already. Right now I'm thankful that I'm sitting down, and I don't have to talk, or teach, or plan a lesson. For the moment, it's just quiet time. My feet are enjoying the break. I can already think of several blessings for today, so I guess I'm well on my way.
Etsy's been pretty busy, so I'm just focused on keeping up while I'm back at school. I have lots of ideas for new autumnal things. I made a very cute patchwork scarf, and it's the fabric itself that really inspires me. It's very Denyse Schmidt:

I'm calling it a "Scarflette" due to it's short length, and I have no idea if that's a word or not, but it sounds pretty cute to me. It's reversible and has the softest, fleece-like- (looks like wool but it's not)-gray plaid- cotton fabric on the other side. I'm making a skirt out of it too.

I got some gorgeous deer skin too, and I can't wait to have a chance to sit down and make some fall leather purses out of it. I'm sorry to all the vegans out there, but man, I love me some leather. Just walking in to the leather shop makes me so happy! I just breathe in deeply and am overcome by the wonderful smell. I have no idea why it smells so darn good, but it does. I want to do something natural with it, like leave raw edges - none of this rhinestone stud crap that seems to be so popular these days. I can't stand all that metal embellishment stuff all over those handbags - it's just overkill. Just my humble minimalistic opinion, though. I'll post some pics of my leather progress soon. I'm thinking of making some wrist cuffs with the small leftover pieces - I don't want to waste a single spec of it! caio~

Sunday, August 12, 2007

only 2 days left...

Only 2 days left to sleep in, have tea at my studio desk, and create in my pajamas. Plus I have a ton of errands to run tomorrow. Ugh. I've been making lots of these fabric business card holders lately:

I love working with these lovely fabrics. I can't wait to start working with leather for fall.
Well, off to bed, more tomorrow, caio for now!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

House on Bowery Hill

Ok, as promised, a day late, here's the new house on the hill necklace. I love it!

I actually named it after the hill that I live on. When I bought my house which was built in 1910, on the description paper (??? don't know what it's called), it describes Bowery Hill, and the borders of the property. No one calls it that anymore, and it's not the street name or anything. It's weird to think about where that name came from, and how this end of town was where Omaha started 100 years ago. My neighbor Madeline is about 97, and she has told me stories about her memories of growing up on this street. I can't imagine the changes she has seen take place. She lived in one house, and then got married and moved into the next one. So she's been here her whole life. She still crochets and always gives us handmade slippers and embroidered tea towels for Christmas.
So the hill is so steep in front, that my neighbor lady actually comes out of her house and watches me mow, for fear that she may need to call 911 when I have a horrible disabling mower accident. The guy next to me wears his cleats when he mows his yard. I actually pray while I'm doing it, because you slide downward the whole time. So the polka dot hill is much prettier, and I think I'll do a series of these hill necklaces.
Well, we're going on a short summer vacation in the morning, and I'm already freaking out that I'm going to be away from my sewing machine and my iBook for a few days. We are going camping, but in a nice cabin with air conditioning - I know, I'm weak, but I don't want to be miserable and stinky. I'm looking forward to 'family time', and forcing myself to do something other than be creative. I'm not, however, looking forward to next week, and going back to work. Where did the summer go?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Dog days...

Ok, I know it's been over a week since I posted. I've been swamped with orders, I know, it's a good thing. I'm really dumbfounded that I have to go back to work in a week and a half. I'm going to try really hard not to complain about my job this year. That's my goal for the year. Too bad I can't write that down on those 'Professional Goals' sheets that we fill out every single year. Ok, now I feel like complaining about filling out the forms! I'm off to a very bad beginning aren't I? But seriously, who reads them, and whose file cabinet are they stowed away in, and do they save them for someone's entire teaching career?
Yeeesh. And then at the end of the year you have to look at what you filled out at the beginning, and you're like, huh? Those were my professional goals for this year? And then you have to say if you met them or not, and how you went about it.
Oh well. My little one is starting high school, and I should be freaking out, but for some reason I am excited and happy for her, and not at all sorry for myself. Occasionally I get a very sad flash that I can't remember exactly what it was like when she was like 4 or 7 or whatever age, but I know that's normal. I'm sure her high school experience will be much better than mine was. There's no way possible it could be worse. Here she is playing in the tub with her hamster "Ollie" (named after the skateboard trick of course)

I'm so glad she's a late bloomer in some ways, and still likes 'kid' things. I'm very proud of her, but we do struggle at times. I just pray in a few years we'll still be best friends.
Ok, before I get all emotional I'll stop. Here's a few things I've been working on:

and this:

and Sasha made this collaged bangle, so I put it in the shop: (I get so excited when she does anything crafty, because it's kind of rare. She knows how to sew, but it's hard to get her interested)

I also made a new design on one of my scrabble tile necklaces, Little House series, and it is sooooooo adorable, if I do say so myself. I'll take pics tomorrow. ciao everyone!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

We have a winner!

Ok, we put all the names into this pretty bowl, and I tore Sasha away from the computer so I could photograph the event. She's like "OMG, mom, I feel like such a nerd!" I usually borrow her hand for pics of tiny things, because on my camera you need 2 hands to focus the macro lens. At least I don't borrow her whold body for modeling jobs since I got my mannequin. See, I really do need a name for her! So here goes... drumroll please~

"Madame Coco" it shall be! Thanks to all who voted, and Mari from Pretty Monday, please email me with your address so I can mail out your goodies. I think I'll use the other name choices for totes and such that need names desperately. It's always so hard to come up with good ideas whenever I have a new design. Thanks again everyone!

Bag contest~

I decided to make another purse for the Sew Mama Sew contest, and I'm so in love with it! It was one of those moments where everything came together, and I didn't have to take out any seams or anything.
It's the softest linen I've ever worked with. I'm really tempted to keep it, but I put it in the shop because I just have too many pretty bags to carry right now. I love all of these Amy Butler fabrics, and decided to patchwork some together in a pretty composition. I added a removable fabric flower for a feminine touch, and it could be worn as a brooch also.

I learned how to make the gorgeous fabric flower from Cynthia Treen's book, Last Minute Fabric Gifts. Pretty simple directions to follow, and such beautiful results. You can leave it round like I did, or flatten and crinkle the edges.

I made up the pattern for the purse, as always, and I think it's the perfect size to carry on your shoulder and will hold all of the essentials, plus a little more.
I would have loved to have worn this with an aqua ribbon on my special day! Too bad I didn't make them in time :(
oh well, at least there making some brides happy now!

or for a little something to cover the shoulders:

Caio girls!

Monday, July 23, 2007

rollin' along

wow, the summer is flying by. I always get sad when I start seeing 'back to school' ads. My family knows not to even utter those words to me, and they even try to shield me from the signs and flyers. I've been puttering away on my projects, and still haven't decided on a name for my dress form. I've even had some lovely voters from etsy that read my blog. So sweet of everyone to help me out with ideas. I'll pick one in the next day or two-I promise!
Here are some pics of recent stuff~

I'm absolutely, positively in love with the peacock necklace, and sad to see it leave my possession tomorrow. It has sold and is going all the way to Hong Kong. The french script tote makes me sad to say goodbye too, but at least I still have that fabric, and can make another one for myself. The peacock was vintage dictionary paper, so unless I find another dictionary from the same year, I probably can't make another.
The tote was SO fun to make, especially the composition part. And I love these big, black, vintage looking buttons. This Lakehouse fabric with the french script has been one of those special love affairs. It's where you buy a few yards and feel guilty (I feel that way when I spend too much on fabric, which is pretty much ALL. THE. TIME.), and then a couple of days later you go back and buy the rest of the bolt because you're afraid someone else will buy it. No one else in town sells this stuff though, so I really had no choice. I told the department head, "please, please, please order some more of this, would you?"
Anyway, this tote is the perfect size for a girl on the go - throw in your cell phone (side pocket to protect it), lip stuff - of COURSE, wallet, business cards, sunscreen, book, and whatever else, and go. I can just imagine the comments and questions you'd get from people since it's so unusual. In my two favorite non-colors also, cream and black.

oh, how I will miss it so.

I've also been continuing my "Little House" series; there have been so many on the countryside, maybe I should do one "on the prairie" - one of my favorite shows from my childhood. I still watch the reruns with Sasha during the summer. I feel like they are tearjerkers sometimes, but I always can point out a good moral lesson for her, and she actually enjoys watching them. Ok, I'm off to watch "King of Queens" now, gotta go. LOVE this show! Caio for now!