Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Even though I'm starting this a few minutes before midnight, it will be midnight before I post it, so HAPPY NEW YEAR!

My girls are next door having a sleep-over at Grandma and Grandpa Dack's house, Andrew is fast asleep and so is James! He went duck hunting today which meant getting up at 2:30 a.m. to drive to the coastal range and then go lie in the dirt until the sun started to come up. Fun???? Apparently so! He shot two ducks, which the kids were quite impressed with and Emily even touched one. Braver than her mama! Anyway.....James is tuckered out and fell asleep hours ago so I've been working hard on a project I should have done weeks ago and watching t.v. So I'm going to watch the new year come in, right here with you!!

I hope this year is...

....a year full of peaceful, precious moments with the ones you love.

...a year of surprises, some about yourself and the new heights you will find yourself upon.

....a year of health.

....a year of dreams coming true, even those you'd given up upon.

....a year of personal success, whatever that means for you.

....a year of creativity.

....a year of loving hard.

...a year of being loved.

Happy New Year, Sweet Friends!


Monday, December 29, 2008

Winter Song

I love sister showed it to me. I love the song but the little animated music video is just darling. Watch the whole thing....the best part is the end! So sweet.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mish Mash...It's a long one...

Just a quick post to say hello and share a few photos of what's been happening lately! Just like you, we are busily preparing for Christmas and so excited that it's only one week away!

Here's some piccys from Thanksgiving.

This is James making his famous mashed-potatoes. Have I mentioned that I am the lucky wife of a man who cooks? He shops for food and prepares dinner every night. Thank goodness he enjoys cooking! I DON'T. This shot is James wearing my very sexy apron (why do I have this when I don't cook....good question!) and saying, "You better not take my picture and you better NOT post this on your blog!" Oops.

On Thanksgiving my Andrew turned two. I can hardly believe he turned TWO! It is amazing how fast these two years have flown. Andrew is a delightful, sweet, active and smart little guy and I am so blessed to be his Mama. He said, "Mama" for the first time the day after his birthday, which of course melted my heart. He has been saying "Ennee" (Emily), "car," "tain" (train), "dink" (drink) and lots of other words for quite some time. So to hear him say my name for the first time was very sweet. :)

We celebrated his birthday next door at my inlaws' on Thanksgiving. Isn't this reaction so TWO?? Got him to wear his cowboy hat with the boots for a few minutes because his grandpa had HIS cowboy hat on! A guy can never have too many cars!

Mama and her Big Boy...

My two girls in the middle with brown hair, their cousins with the blonde hair and a NEW cousin, Garah, who is gorgeous and had the girls mesmerized.

We gave Andrew this huge fire truck toy that makes noises and has lots of fun details. We captured the VERRRRRY excited reactions.

Andrew and my youngest sister, Laura Joy, have birthdays within days of one another so we often have a combined family party.

I have no idea what they were reacting to in this photo but isn't this hillarious?
Some sweet pics of Raychie (Andrew's there but wouldn't sit still) working on an impromptu craft project which turned into a modern-art-looking family tree!

We had a lovely visit with our nephews and neices. Here's Emily and Nathan playing the piano.My sister, Ray, with little Aubrey.

Rachel and Summer...we hardly saw them the whole visit, they were so happy to play together! "Summer has MAKEUP," Rachel said. Very impressive.

Last Sunday was our church Christmas program. Emily was Mary this year! That's her on the right, kneeling down. She was relieved that they changed it so she didn't have to hold Joseph's hand. ;) She asked us the week before, "So since Jesus is the main thing of Christmas but in our play, he's just a doll, doesn't that make me the star of the show?" Good heavens....Rachel was an angel (quite appropriate!). That's her second to the left between the taller girl and her blond, curly cousin, Brenna.

"The stars in the sky...""Look down where he lay..." And lastly, I want to show you that I actually HAVE been making things! I made these ivory-embroidery-on-ivory-linen bookmarks for my aunt to give her friends for Christmas. Each one was slightly different and had the recipient's inital and a vintage embroidery motif on the top and bottom.

And here is a little "sneak-peek" at some gifties for a few of my friends. Can you guess what they are?

Well that's it! I am sooo looking forward to tomorrow being over because both Emily and James have a 3-week Christmas vacation. We have lots of plans....going to the mountains, playing in the snow, cleaning out the garage so we can actually park cars in there, making curtains for windows that still don't have proper coverings and just RESTING.

I hope you are having a wonderful week and enjoying getting ready for Christmas. If I don't talk to you before then, I hope you have a lovely Christmas full of precious memories.



Monday, December 1, 2008

"The Activity Scene"

That's what my four-year-old kept calling the Nativity Scene today as we talked about setting it up and then unpacked it and set it up together. I kept correcting her but to no avail. But hey...there was some really great activity in that little corner of the world that first Christmas night. So we're just going to go with it... :)I actually have stronger memories of setting up the nativity scene as a child than I do of decorating the tree, although we did both each year. There was something so magical about pulling each bundle out of the box, unwrapping the newspaper and finding out which character would emerge. I was NUTS about setting up and re-setting up the scene...thinking about different ways the animals could sit or switching the magi and the shepherds to opposite sides of the creche.

We definitely enjoyed setting our nativity up today...even Andrew!
As I looked through the camera lens at this shot, the foreshadowing that this photo can represent gave me serious chills.
"Lo He lay his glory by, born that men no more may die; born to save the sons of earth;

born to give them second birth..."

My nativity scene is so special to me. The figurines are by Willow Tree and I have several of the "family" themed ones that I keep around during the rest of the year. But at Christmas I bring this set out. James gave me part of it, my mother gave me other parts of it and my mother-in-law gave me other parts, until I finally had the whole thing. The creche is actually really special, too, although not made by Willow Tree. James found it on a website and ordered it partly because of how beautiful it is but also because of how they are made. This was several years ago before either of us was familiar with the term "altered art." :) But the artist who makes these makes each one by hand, out of discarded scrap wood, giving it a new life, making something beautiful out of something wanton and (I like to think!) helping it become what it was always meant to be. Such an apt word picture for the season, I think!

Here's the kids' "activity scene" that Rachel and Andrew played with for a good half hour. Rachel asked me to take a photo of it. :) I love how the cow has edged Joseph out to the edge of the scene!
Hope you and your family are enjoying these first few days of the holiday season, too.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

New to Confections Fabric!

Hello, Sweets! I'm popping on to tell you about a few new things I've added to the website. Click HERE to visit our website,

Two new cupcake/boutique pincushions, "Samantha" and "Darla" are available....

"Samantha" (find it HERE)

and "Darla" (find it HERE)
I've also added some delicious vintage trim that I am IN LOVE WITH. It is huge at 1.5 inches wide! When it's gone, it's gone, so if you'd like to grab some, hurry on over! You can find it HERE.

I'll be adding lots more soon so stay tuned! :)


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Silver Bella Part I

Hello, Sweets! Gosh it's been a long time since I was here last! I came home EXHAUSTED from Silver Bella and ready for a break. My family and myself had taken a back seat to Silver Bella preparation for WEEKS beforehand and it is about time for me to focus on my family, taking care of myself and Christmas preparations.
Well let me tell you about my trip to Silver Bella! I've gotten a few emails asking about my time and a few asking if I'm still alive so I thought I'd at least pop on and tell you about my trip.

So here goes!

Just in case any of my readers has no clue what or where Silver Bella is, I will briefly describe it. It's a weekend Paper Arts Event (with a lot of other types of art thrown in!) with all sorts of classes, a vendor night and a luncheon. This year's luncheon was presided over by the infamous Mary Englebreit! There were approximately 15-175 women and it is an fun weekend packed full of all sorts of artsty fun. And a great opportunity to meet people we only know through the internet!

So...Thursday morning James took me to the airport at 4:30 a.m. Ick. But that got us to Omaha in the early afternoon which was perfect for having a leisurely lunch and meeting up with all of my friends that I was soooooo excited to see and hug in person!

Here's the darling and oh-so-sweet Analise Sledd (a.k.a. Sugar*Sugar) and her adorable mom, Jan. I think I've mentioned but will mention again that Analise and I live only about 20 minutes from one another and are friends in "real life"! So all three of us traveled to Silver Bella together! Rosanna, my beautiful friend from Italy, came all the way across the world to attend Silver Bella! What a wonderful treat it was to meet her in person. I had that delicious feeling of "we've met before" that happens sometimes. I love that.

Rosanna, Analise, Jan and I all went to lunch that first day. It was so surreal and wonderful to be sitting with Rosanna after getting to know her via email and phone! She is such a lovely, sweet person and I so enjoyed spending "real time" with her.
I also got to meet my very dear friend, Jennifer Hayslip (Sweet Eye Candy Creations). We've been good friends for awhile now and it was about time we got to meet in person! I love her to death and was so excited to meet her in person. And girls...she is just as sweet in person as she sounds on her blog! She was also one of my roommates but SB was soooo busy we didn't get nearly enough time to just hang out the way we wanted to! I'm looking forward to spending more time with her in the hopefully near future. Hopefully some low-key time when we can really talk and relax instead of yelling over the blow dryers and in the elevator between classes! And our families need to meet one another now! ;)

Another very dear friend I had never met in person before was my other roommate, Linda Poe! She and I have "known" one another for nearly 4 years now...amazing. She bought matching dresses from me for her twin girls when they were just itty-bittys and we immediately hit it off. We'd talked about meeting in person for years but it finally happened at Silver Bella! She is one of those "bright spots"...upbeat, silly and fun all the time! Here she is on the right with Rosanna....gorgeous girls, aren't they?There are lots of other close friends that it was so amazing to hug and chat with in person for the first time but I don't have pics of everyone! But believe me, meeting up with my fellow Sweet Six Studio girls (Jenn, Natasha, Heather K, Holly and Analise) after months of emailing and IM-ing and IM conferences and just LOVING each other, was a highlight. It was just so "right" to be able to hug them tight! There were too many more other girls to mention that I was just delighted to meet after getting to know them online, but believe me when I say it was such a treat.

Thursday evening, Karla Nathan had a wonderful "Glitter Hour" in her room the first night with champagne, chocolate and glitter galore! Here's me on the left, Jenn Hayslip in the middle and Rosanna on the right gettin' our glitter on!

Here is a funny piccy of Analise! She makes this silly face when she is being ironic or just plain goofy and it never fails to crack me up. She's holding the INCREDIBLE gift bags that were at each of our places the first night at dinner. The bags were CHOCKFUL of amazing goodies from wonderful Silver Bella sponsors.Shot of the table, a cute little gift bag Jenn gave everyone peeking out of the top... First thing Friday morning, bright and early I took a fun class from Pam Garrison called Home for the Holidays. We made house-shaped collages out of old gameboards and I had a lot of fun with this one. I got to use some wonderful vintage wallpaper, trims and other yummy bits and bobs I've been hoarding for awhile! Here's me at my table, working on my house...

Here's me, Pam Garrison in the middle and sweet Karla Nathan on the right. Jenn took this class, too. Here we are holding our houses....And another piccy with Pam Garrison!Friday night was Vendor Night and it was a whirlwind! The theme was Vintage Prom and what a fun theme it was. I found an incredible green dress from the 1940's that (eventually!) fit me perfectly months before Silver Bella. I got to wear a crinoline skirt underneath...something I have NEVER worn except for under my wedding dress! I also found a wonderful pearl "collar" necklace that was also vintage and perfect for the night since the theme for this year's SB was "pearls of friendship." As you can see from this shot (not mine...can't remember WHOSE???), lots of other friends dressed up in incredible vintage finery that night. That's me sitting down in the front row in lime green!

Here is Jenn and I in our pink and green confections!

And here is Rosanna and I! She was so sweet, bringing me petit fours and drinky-poos so I wouldn't waste away behind my vendor table!
Here's Jenn and I with the oh-so-talented and very sweet Lisa Kettell. Mary Englebreit walked through vendor night (I didn't see her...just heard about it) and actually BOUGHT one of Lisa's magical creations.
Most of the evening I was busily "vending." I had two vendor tables for my two "sides" in the pink and aqua cupcakey side of me and the other in the ivory, vintage-romantic style! Here's are a few glimpses of my yummy pink and aqua table taken by some of my friends...thank God, since I totally forgot to take photos of it!

I'll be selling more of these fun cake slice boxes, each chock-full of fabric, trims and other yummy embellishments.
This is a canvas I embroidered with a wonderful motif drawn by the talented Donna Gotlib! I'm very excited to announce that I will be making these embroidered canvases available starting in the New Year. I'm thinking about offering them in eBay auctions. They are such a fun way to do embroidery and far more "display-able" than other items I embroider. This one is called The Cupcake Trio. Thank you, Jenn, for taking this photo! And this was the other more vintage-romantic table...

What a night! I was so happy it was over...I finally got to focus on Silver Bella, hanging out with friends and NOT thinking about my vendor stuff.

Saturday morning, bright and early, I had a wonderful class called "Prada Schmada," taught by Charlotte Lyons. Believe it or not, the bags we are holding started out as plan ol' canvas tote bags! Painting on fabric was a new thing for me and something I think I may want to incorporate into some of my fabric art. Analise and I sat at the same table and even used some of the same paint but our bags turned out so differently! That's Analise and I on either side of Charlotte Lyons.

I'm going to do a separate blog on my class projects with better photos I've taken here at home, as well as some of my thoughts about the experience of creating with other artistic women. What an amazing feeling that was!

Saturday at lunch the amazing Mary Engelbreit spoke. What a treat! I am going to blog more about THAT another day, as well, since some of the things she spoke about are really, really special and touched my heart deeply.

Rosanna commissioned me to make a "prom-themed" fabric/paper book for her especially for Silver Bella and what a joy it was to design! She took it around Silver Bella like a yearbook and had lots of new friends sign the paper pages and write little notes. Even Mary Engelbreit signed it! I'll be showing more photos of this book in another blog post later next week. This photo is of Rosanna and I with the book at the Mary E lunch. Saturday night some of my close friends and I went to dinner and had a blast, eating and talking and laughing. I think that was actually one of my favorite hours at Silver Bella.

And that's it for the photos!

It was NOT fun to say goodbye to the sweet Natasha, since I'm not sure when I will see her again! :( I can't believe I don't have a photo of us together! Shoot! Maybe somebody does... We will HAVE to visit her in Australia or she will have to come again to the U.S. We didn't get enough of her!

But for the most part Sunday was a morning of "see you laters," something my grandmother taught me to say when she or I was getting on a plane to fly across the U.S. after a visit. And it really did FEEL like "see you laters" since I am quite sure I will see most, if not all, of these women sooner than later. After the initial shock of seeing each of my dear friends for the first time Thursday evening, it was almost uncanny how NORMAL it felt to be around if we'd always been "real life" friends! Everyone agreed that this was a bit of a surprise to feel that so strongly, but a really great surprise!

And I can't forget to mention my incredible husband who didn't just hold down the fort while I was gone. Oh no! He didn't complain before or after Silver Bella...not one bit! And while I was there, he would tell me (on the phone) to enjoy every moment, to say hi to "the girls" and to HAVE FUN. What a guy. I picked a good'un, wouldn't you say? :)

I've got a whiny boy on my lap so I'll end here for tonight. I promise to tell you more about Silver Bella soon!