Monday, February 9, 2009

Yummy Stuff

Some new Fabricaholic Bags are in the Confections Fabric etsy shoppe HERE.
And some amazing vintage ribbon, as well! You can find it HERE. This is one of my very favorite finds...HUGE, really beautiful ribbon. Almost 2.5" wide and perfect for so many yummy, pretty projects...

More new yummies coming soon!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

More Messy/Beautiful

This morning a sweet customer just told me that she found me via one of my favorite blogs, Brocante Home. If you've never read it, you must. She is clever, hillarious and wise in a way that reminds me of my sisters and my best friends. I haven't visited in awhile and was curious...was I in her sidebar, or what? And I was pleasantly surprised to see THIS post from a few days ago. Of course I like that she likes something I made but I also love what she writes about it.

Her post really rang true with me. It made me think of my "messy philosophy" (I talked about it here) and that song that might be playing in my sidebar right this minute that I haven't been able to stop loving for a few months now ("Whatever You're Doing").

And of course, as you've probably gathered, I'm not talking about "Mess" and "Beauty" simply as adjectives to describe my crazy house full of embroidery thread clippings, tiny matchbox cars and Polly Pocket shoes, but also as a way I live after years of living in a totally different way that just plain didn't work. The Neat & Tidy way I lived for so long was about everyone else: what I thought they wanted to see, what I guessed they expected of me, what would cause them to nod in approval. And fear. A lot of fear.

Neat & Tidy is pretty miserable, as you know if you've ever lived there or perhaps visit there too often. It's not real life. It's as if the director points at you and that's your cue to step out on the stage and live one more day in the spotlight, playing the part of "The Girl You're Supposed to Be." It's black and white. Color sucked out.

But of course living there means life is about platitudes and roles, not experiencing or being. It means being perpetually afraid...afraid of being found out, disapproved of or even abandoned. The colors of life are muted, emotions are what your face does at the "right" time and relationships are just the interaction you have with another actor or actress on the stage you're acting upon. Faith becomes a religion. A place you keep going because you're afraid of what might happen if you leave. Like continuing to grocery shop at the mini mart because you think that's where you're "supposed to" shop, when all the while there is a freaking Winco right around the corner. Stale crackers from 2002 instead of steak.

Perhaps the saddest part is that if you think this way long enough, you start to think that's all there is. You mistake this crazy, stale production of a life for LIFE. I think the One who made my stomach with steak in mind might be saddest of all about this...just as I would be if I watched my kids choose stale bread over steak every day, thinking I wanted them to eat nothing but stale bread because some idiots told them so.

This is getting really philisophical. "Where's the pink and blue cupcakes, Cheryl???" you may be asking. Ha. Well that's what this is all about, I guess. I like pink and blue cupcakes but I also like hundred-year-old cabinet cards and combining words from crumbling, vintage love letters into something that is deep and true.



Maybe beautiful because it's messy.

So here it is again...still true after how many months? Maybe more true?

(my post, August 15th, 2008)
"So the Deep Truth About Messes has all of a sudden become very real to me. It's changing me. And it's not just about physical Messes that involve paint on the rug, gooey cake batter or cupcake-icing in crevices it should have been physically impossible for it to get in, although that would actually be a really great lesson in the particular phase of life I'm in.

Making Messes means facing feelings head-on, greeting them, finding a good spot for them to sit and entertaining them until they are ready to leave.

Making Messes means letting my old "stuff" resurface and gasp for air, throwing them a life-preserver and reeling them into the dock.

Sometimes it might even mean giving them CPR, handing them a warm, fluffy towel and sitting by the fire with them.

Sometimes it even means letting that rescued-"stuff" kick the crap out of me.

Making Messes means getting out a good pair of pruning shears, taking a good look at the thoughts, priorities and habits I've got growing and cutting the hell out of em', even some of the pretty ones, because I know this will leave room for something even better.

Making Messses means taking a risk. Climbing up that ladder to the highest of really high high-dives that I can't even look at without feeling like puking. Looking down through the air between the me that's standing here and the me I want to be...impossible amounts of air. Stepping forward, toes hanging off, knees shaking, stomach flip-flopping and...


These messes are....messy. I like to avoid them, pretend they're not there, hide them under that big rug no one looks under, dress them up in pretty clothes and generally just not deal. I'm a clean kinda' girl. Don't enjoy dirt. Hate to feel greasy and grimy. Like to be put together when I face the world. Know what I mean? So the prospect of all this mess is definitely not something I relish.
But there's a lot of work to be done. And the results are always so wonderful. So here I go.

Let's get messy."

Yup. Messy. Andrew is sitting at my studio table scribbling happily in large, sweeping circles. And he smells funny. Oh...that's a mess that does need to be cleaned up!
Hope you have a messy day.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

An Irish Lass

I just have to show you what my friend, Pat, has made using some of the Barefoot Roses fabric she bought from me! Oh my is just toooooo darling!

Are you ready???

This is a BEAUTIFUL pillow and tote bag that she is offering together in one auction...
Here's the reverse side of the pillow...those beautiful Barefoot Roses!
So beautiful hanging....
Here's the sweet pink tote with the same lovely vintage image on it...

You can find this precious creation HERE in Pat's eBay store. She is summersdarling on eBay and my very favorite seller. We met through eBay and have been good friends ever since....going on 5 years now, I believe! She wrote me to compliment me on my very first auction on eBay ever...the first thing I ever sold on eBay, actually. It was a little pair of overalls that I altered by making a bib out of a vintage Southern Belle pillowcase. I just spent 20 minutes looking for the photos and can't find them.
Anyway my model was my Emily, who was about 2 at the time. She is now 7!
Since then, I have bought many beautiful things from Pat, some of her pillows among them. I have bought DOZENS of beautiful vintage images on fabric from her, which you can also find in her eBay store, and I am continually amazed and delighted by her artful offerings and precious vintage images.
Pat has been my cheerleader as I've grown in both confidence and ability the last few years. She is the reason I am doing all of this today! Hundreds of emails have gone back and forth over the years between us and she has been both coach, counselor, friend and even mother, at times! I am so grateful for her. She is truly one in a million and one of the few people I've met through the internet that I am confident I will ALWAYS be friends with. Someday I hope to take my family to visit she and her makes me teary just thinking about hugging her in person!
James is doing his night classes tonight and my incredible mother-in-law has taken the children for the evening. So I am going to enjoy the quiet and get a little work done!
Hope you are having a lovely evening....

Monday, February 2, 2009

Second Post for the Day

How crazy is that? Two posts in one day! I didn't think I'd get photos of what I'm going to show you until tomorrow so I blogged about the candy and not about these. But I got some photos and I'm dying to show you what I made!!!

I've had these in my mind for weeks and weeks and it was so great because they literally came together in about two days since I'd already planned them out in my head. Analise had a similar experience this weekend that she'll hopefully share, too!
All of these goodies can be found in my etsy shoppe, Stitching a Dream, HERE.

This is a little sachet I hand-stitched with the words, "I have you in my heart." A tiny antique jointed bisque doll tucks into the pocket and the sachet itself (lightly rose-scented) fits perfectly in this sweet little cigar-style box on a bed of lace.
These are three Valentines-inspired fabric collages that are lovely as a set but are wonderful by themselves, too. I had so much fun using materials I love that I haven't had a chance to incorporate into art yet: vintage linen, tiny vintage bisque dolls, a vintage bottle I picked up in a Carmel antique store, vintage tatting and THE MOST incredible vintage lace I have ever seen. I'm hoarding it but I used just a few inches of it for one of the collages.

Each collage is in a frame that sits on its own little easel. James distressed each frame and easel for me! I love how they turned out. Everything looks more "orange" in most of these photos than it really is. I enjoy the late afternoon light, especially for more romantic pieces, but it can make things a bit more yellow/orange than they actually are. "Your heart is my home."
"Grew Together"
"You hold the key to my heart."
And finally, 3 Valentine-inspired, collaged tags...

Well that's it! It's time to make dinner!
Hope you have a lovely evening...

I Want Candy!

As in the song... :)
My newest confection at Confections Fabric... candy rolls of fabric!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Let's Play

Well...the Super Bowl is over. I caught the last fifteen minutes! After church, James and the kids spent most of the day next door at my inlaws', hanging out, eating and watching the Super Bowl and I spent the day working. It's happy work, though...I have been making some Valentine's pieces that I love and can't wait to show you in a few days. I have been listening to a Celtic Music Relaxation CD, which sounds wierd but is really restful and makes my blood pressure go down within seconds! The sun coming in the studio window, my music on and fun was a really nice day. And then around dinner, I joined everyone next door and got to spend an hour or so with extended family. And now the kids are in bed. So that was my day! How did you spend yours?

This week is going to be stressful. James is starting his credential courses which will be 2 nights a week. He is also going to be taking two online courses that are technically prerequisites for the ones he is starting this week, so they must be completed in 2 weeks! AND he's preparing lessons, grading and teaching all day, every day! So needless to say, Cheryl is on dinner-making duty, as well as most of the other duties that James usually takes.

But this week I am going to really focus on my word for the year. If you read that novel of a post a couple weeks ago, you'll know that I have picked a word for the year as a sort of resolution, goal or focal point. It's PLAY. I want to play more. This is the last year Rachel will be home since she is starting school in the Fall. I want to start the tea parties I used to have with the girls after Emily got home from school back up again. I want to be sillier. I want to experiment with different mediums I've never tried in my art. I want to roam around in the trees behind the house and go all the way down the block behind the other houses with the kids...the girls are sure there are fairies back there. I want to have fun with James. I want to not worry so much about how neat or clean the house is. I want to tease and laugh more and correct and grump less. I want to write more. I want to PLAY!
Remember how I said I was changing my studio, making it less like a bakery and more "me" with my artsy goodies at my fingertips and the colors that inspire me to create all around me? Well I've gotten started on that, I'm happy to say. James hauled a grungy table from out of my inlaws' shed in for me and I put the tablecloth I made for one of my Silver Bella vendor tables on it. My mom gave me these great containers that were seriously $6 each at Cost Plus...clear and with a wide mouth that opens to the front. Probably designed for cookies or candy. But I'm putting all my vintage laces and trims in one. I've got ribbons in another. And the third stands empty until I decide what to put in it. I put a vintage wedding veil I've had for YEARS up over my window and James helped me string some tiny Japanese lanterns (also from Cost Plus) with these fabulous ivory rose lights. I wish I could get a good photo at night when it's all lit up. But it's ethereal and wonderful. Curled up on my couch in here with some handwork and my Celtic music is pretty much BLISS!The photos aren't great but here's a peek at my new spot to PLAY in my studio!

My word for the year is PLAY...what's yours?
I'll be back soon with some new goodies both for my Stitching a Dream store, as well as for Confections Fabric!