Wednesday, June 29, 2011

jackie o. requests one print in two pieces.

Tonight I poured dark chocolate brownie batter over a layer of chocolate chip cookie dough, because Pinterest made me do it.  As one can assume, it was the right thing to do.

A few months ago, my dear friend, Jackie O., or Sara, as most call her ordered one of my prints, I asked her how big she wanted it, she said, can you split it in two?  Well, I had never thought of that before, such destruction of my beloved piece, but guess what, it turned out amazingly, and one might even say better than the original. 

And now it’s in the shop.

Yellow Blooms Tree Diptych Wall Art

Yellow Blooms Diptych, find it here.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

it practically jumped off the rack and into my arms.

I found a shirt on the clearance rack, it was too big, but for $5, I knew I could either take it in or use the fabric for something else, this is how my mind works.  It has these fabulous sleeves that are huge and exaggerated.  I love a good sleeve.

Now it hangs in my closet waiting to for a makeover. My thoughts:

  1. Take it in so that it would fit me and change nothing about the appearance.
  2. Turn the sleeves in the a 3/4 style.
  3. Do something crazy with a zipper.
  4. Some sort of crazy kimono style
  5. Je ne sais pas.

I’d love to hear what you think, I mean, unless you think it’s hideous, then I don’t care.

Cue your inner designer…

Monday, June 27, 2011

On not moving, ideas, and in-laws… oh my.

It appears that this place is keeping us longer, and we are signing another lease at the same address, which we have never done, we’re movers, we move, so it feels a little strange to be staying. Why would you do such a thing, you ask.. Why are we staying in this land of endless, horrifying winter? Why aren’t you moving to the promised land of sunshine, oceans, and in-n-out burger? Why aren’t you headed for the lovely land that is Charleston? I  know not…even though we have the desire to seek out new lands, it seems we are facing a giant yield sign that says, “whoa there partner, slow down,” that’s weird, signs don’t talk like cowboys in old western movies.  I guess there is probably a reason to be discovered at some point, someday. Whatever, knowing things is overrated.

So, since we are not searching for another apartment and packing, I decided today, at lunch time that the entire living room needed to be rearranged. Immediately. No, I couldn’t wait until nap time. NO, I couldn’t wait until Matt came home. When I get ideas, I need to do them now, my thoughts are impatient like that, I don’t know where in the world they get that from. I am now tired from moving heavy things and carrying my 17 pound baby.

I have at least three painting ideas in my head, I know, it’s exciting.  I have a dozen things I want to sew.  I have 3 things I’d like to find at garage sales.  And I  believe it’s time to make some friends who also live in this land of endless, horrifying winter.   Except, it’s summer right now and I love this summer. 75 is the perfect temperature.  I also love a good, rainy 65.  80, not so much.

We’re taking a little trip this weekend to see Matt’s family.  They’ll probably make me get up super early on Saturday and have breakfast at a very breakfast-sort-of-hour, they always  do.  I usually survive because of legal addictive stimulants (You’ve Got Mail, anyone?) and it’s nice to see everyone, BUT I feel like it’s my duty to make a big deal about this. So I do. My family would never ever dream of getting up and intentionally seeing people in the morning, I mean, people used to think that I didn’t even know how to speak within the first hour of waking, I think it’s hereditary.  Alas, I married into a family of breakfast-eating-morning-people.

Some things I shall never understand.

Anyways, just for fun,  do you have any silly “I married into a family… stories?”  And what is your ideal temperature? 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

until paris, my love

He promised to take me here one day, but until then…Paris in Blue

Buy it here.

Also, love Seattle?

Friday, June 24, 2011

the sewing report

More like a tiny excuse for a sewing report, because there wasn’t much sewing this week, it felt like 10 different kinds of crazy.  I’m still working this dress and I kind of want one in my size. I’m considering adding a cute peter pan style collar or lace trim around the neck, but I’m not sure, what do you think?

And the weekend is upon us once more, so dependable that old Mr. weekend, always coming back to us and always leaving too soon.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Secret Clubhouse

I think there is a great injustice in the world and adults are the victims.  Kids have all the fun: playrooms, forts, tree houses, secret clubhouses, people who clean them and feed them multiple times a day.  Adults have houses that they must clean, repair, maintain, and worst of all pay for, outrage.  And, we sit quietly in submission, refusing to take action.

If I had a secret clubhouse and I most certainly do need one, it would be the most amazing place.  Unlike those which belong to children, I would totally allow boys, so I could sneak away with my husband and we could make out (eww, gross). Whatever, not gross. awesome sauce.

Children would only be allowed  two days a week under adult supervision, namely when that adult is not me.  There would be a full service beverage bar, art studio, and fire pit for roasting burning marshmallows.

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I’d invite my friends and we’d sit around drinking iced coffee from mason jars.

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On warm summer nights, we could sit by the water, watching the fireflies and

do a little fishing.

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And we would absolutely need this giant hammock.

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And obviously, this. No question about it.

Don’t you love my secret clubhouse?  What would yours be like?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

the time-frenzied soul.

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After my darlings are tucked into bed, I’m browsing pinterest and beveragizing a Blue Moon, I see this print and my heart leaps. Doesn’t it just whisk you away in its currents?

The undeniable truth about life is that it is good, good,  so very good, but some days, well, you know. 

When little miss pretty pants has two teeth trying to tear her mouth apart and the boy wonder is captain defiant and it’s been at least three days since I’ve done anything creative, PEOPLE, a storm is a brewing and a hard rain is gonna fall, just like Bob says.  All this makes the stupid little things seem big and bothersome. Holly GoLightly calls it the mean reds.

Nothing sounds better than the idea of finding myself in the middle of a vast field, surrounded by the exuberant creativity of God’s handiwork, being still, feeling small, and knowing that it is well. Watching light stream out of millions of tiny holes in the heavens, a breeze sweeping me up in its dance, remembering that these moments are temporary and fleeting.  I’m craving a little space in the worst way.

A little space to find rest, peace, strength, goodness. To find Him.

And I can always give thanks because an all-powerful God always has all these things—all things—always under control. I breathe deep and He preaches to me, soothing the time-frenzied soul with the grace river in a whisper.

–One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp


Monday, June 20, 2011

open the door and come on in…

Also known as a shameless little plug for my shop, today I wanted to show you want you might find if you ventured to my little spot in the world of Etsy.  To be honest, I haven’t added many new products, but I do have something new coming soon, well, it’s mostly new, or rather a fun twist on something old.  And while my focus lately have been in sewing, I will forever be a painter.

If you like art, I’m guessing you do, then take a virtual stroll with my into my shop.

(click on any of the images to visit the shop.)

Prints.  I offer prints of my Trees Collection and the Paper Collage Series.  They come in a variety of sizes fro 8x10 to 20x24.  I must say that Silent Song holds a special place in my heart, do you have a favorite?

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Postcards.  Right now I offer two sets of postcards, they are romantic, sweet, and fun.  Better than Hallmark, because you know you already gave your lover all the good cards.

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Mixed Media Originals.  I love combining paint and canvas will all sorts of things like buttons, book pages, and embroidery hoops.  I had the best time making these.

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Original Paintings.  Right now I have just two of these in my shop.  The entire proceeds of the painting on the left, A Hymn of the River will go to A Beautiful Idea, which you can read more about by visiting this link.

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There is folks, thanks for stopping by.  Just for fun, if you use the code, FREESHIPPING, you can get exactly that, free shipping on everything in the shop.  Oh and I wouldn’t hate it if you wanted to spread the word about my art, wouldn’t hate it at all.

we were dancing in the car, so I made a little movie

This is a love story.

Friday, June 17, 2011

the sewing report







1. Another pinafore dress, in this fabric. (P.S. I cut up my nursing cover. I never used it, besides would you like to eat with a sheet over your face?)

2.A blue & white jacket with ruffle detail.

3. A summery sleeper onesie for little boy or girl made from a t-shirt.  It’s tiny, newborn size maybe.  Into the gift pile it goes…

4. An airy flower jumper, made from a tank top and dress.


I have two more fun things in progress and I promise to share pictures of those pants that I have not touched since writing this post, we needed some time and distance.

Cheers to the weekend.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

an hour

Sitting at a table watching the rain fall through a window that touches the ceiling.  I walked the 1100 feet from my front door to Starbucks, thanks to this amazing sister that I have.  A lively French tune is playing and my favorite aroma fills the air.

“An hour? just one hour, that’s all you want?” She asked.

“Yes, an hour will be nice,” I answered.

An hour alone in the world of motherhood is much longer than 60 minutes to anyone else. Is this not true?

And so, I casually walked out the door, nearly 50 lbs. lighter.  I ordered my drink and found a tiny table that seats two, but is ideal for one.  In these moments of reprieve, every little thing seems extraordinary and a gift.

To drink an entire coffee before it cools to room temperature.

To watch the rain fall, as the rest of the world blurs into stillness, with each drop streaming down the glass.

To leisurely pursue blogs or listen to a random conversation or just revel in the fact that no one in the room will need me for anything.

To write an entire post in one uninterrupted sitting.

And then, a sweet, lingering walk home in the rain, under a polka dot umbrella.

Yes, an hour will be lovely.

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Sabrina:  This is what you do on your very first day in Paris. You get yourself, not a drizzle, but some honest-to-goodness rain, and you find yourself someone really nice and drive her through the Bois de Boulogne in a taxi. The rain’s very important. That’s when Paris smells its sweetest. - It’s the damp chestnut trees

What would you do with the gift of an hour?

Monday, June 13, 2011

familiar and forgotten

the squeak of his straw as he drinks from his cup, laying in his bed at night or first thing in the morning, signaling that he is awake.

the way the door nob squeals and clicks when you close his door at night.

the loose rattling on the bathroom door, always a reminder to grab a screwdriver and tighten it, but never done.

sweet little grunts as she lifts her waking head to see the world around her.

soft coos as she surrenders to the beckoning of sleep.

the husband’s sniffles, announcing he his near.

the jingle of his keys as he opens the door, welcomed by his family in the afternoon.

the grinding of the coffee beans, sending a hum into the air,  along with the aroma of goodness.

the rustling of the leaves outside our window, summer inviting us out to play.

All these things familiar, little sounds that compose my  daily soundtrack.  Most often neglected and forgotten, but present just the same.  There won’t always be noisy straws, cheap door nobs, babies to wake and sleep again. But in this moment, I hear all these notes, humming a pretty little tune that is my life.

What do you hear?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

the heart willow tree- lamp restyle

Lamp BaseWe have this lamp, it had the ugliest old shade and the whole little switch part stopped working, so it had to be plugged in/unplugged to be used. The outlet was behind the couch, so, yeah, we never used it.  I’ve always love the base, so it’s been sitting on our end table for ages, bothering me. Recently, I tore up the hideous shade, who even knows what that thing was made out of, it was gross and saved the frame.


I cut hearts out of pages from an old book and sewed strands of two hearts together, eight sets in each strand.  Then I simply tied them to the frame. 

close up

top of lamptop spiralLamp 1 

I love how it softly twirls all day long, like it’s listening to la vie en rose on repeat. It reminds me of a willow tree, which reminds me of my first date with the father of my children, who is my husband. All this makes my heart happy.whole view copy

It would also be a fun mobile for a little girl’s room, using embroidery hoops, with multiple layers inside of each other or alternated. I just imagined a giant chandelier. Someone please make that.

Also, inside-out carrot cake cookies from Trader Joe's are a revelation.

Friday, June 10, 2011

the five of us.

I suppose it’s time to tell you some important news.  We are a family of five.  I don’t know why I didn’t share this earlier, please forgive me.  Now it’s time.  Please meet the smallest member of our household.


Santa. Santa? Oh, yes.

This is the story about how Santa came to stay. Long, long ago, in the days of Christmas 2010, we made a trip to purchase a couple new ornaments for our tree.  Since two years olds are all aware of the world and full of opinions, we decided to let the boy pick out his favorite.  He chose a  wooden Santa on a train, big shocker.  Boys and trains.

Weeks went by and he admired the tree and obeyed the no touching rule. Then in his act of rebellion, against the beast of death that is a Minnesota winter, he figured out he could touch the tree.  He also learned that he could throw things at the tree and they would fall through to the floor.  Next, he went all in and started taking ornaments off the tree.  Awesome sauce.  Well, one day it was snowing, can you even believe that, and he set his eyes on the Santa express. Down came the train and during the fall, Santa abandoned ship, in efforts to save himself, I can only guess.  I set Mr. Claus aside and intended to glue him back, returning him to his position as conductor.  I never did.  The boy found him on the counter and wanted to play.   

And for six months, Kris Kringle has been H’s roommate.  Most days he rides around in his shiny car, and as he foolishly doesn’t wear a seatbelt, he falls out often (at least 100 times a day), which prompts, “Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. Do?? Do?”  It’s tragic and serious.  Sometimes, he rides in the bus of all things collected (another time) and hides in bags, under pillows, in deep corners of the toy wagon, under beds, anywhere he pleases. When he appears to be missing, the sweet blue eyed-wonder gets this look in his eyes and we know he’s searching for his beloved Santa. Being a parent requires great investigative skills. I’ve always wanted to be an FBI agent. 

Every single time, we find that sneaky little jolly man in the red suit and we laugh because he’s like an inch tall and hasn’t been lost yet.  He’s always around, and that boy, he loves that silly little bit of painted wood.

It’s an unlikely friendship, but H is a good pal, because he keeps records of all his toys. Actually, we’ve only lost one toy ever, not counting the loud noisy ones that mysteriously disappear. I don’t know, I’ll never tell.

Oh hey, Santa just had a collision with the tractor.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

on beginnings

Eagerly I share photos of  my finished projects and successes, but I often hesitate to write the frustrations. So, in efforts to share this whole journey, the good, the bad, and the ugly.. today I made ugly pants. The ease that I envisioned in my head of how these pants would come together was a big fat lie.  I became grumpy with my machine, my child, myself, and my dream.
For a few moments, in my own emotional frenzy, I felt like if I couldn’t make this fabric into the perfectly chic piece of clothing, then how would I ever be able to make anything.  
I threw the unfinished pants into an angry pile on my desk, turned off my machine, ate some lunch, and climbed into my bed as the babies slept.  As I pulled my cozy blanket in close to protect me from all that was wrong in the world, I slowly returned to a functional state of existence. 
I remembered that this was the very first pair of pants that I was making, on my own, ever. No patterns, no instructions. I remembered that beginnings can be rough. I remembered that those stupid, elegant, flowy, sailor type pants in catalogues were the result of years of hard work and many failed attempts.  I reminded myself of dozens of clichés that were horrible and true. 
And then, as the fog lifted, I said to myself, HEY SELF, they might not be perfect, but they look like freakin’ pants, pants with legs and holes for your legs and room in the derrière  for you to sit down and move and walk  and hey… YOU MADE PANTS, slightly ugly, but still pants.  You are designing clothes.  You are walking down the path. 
Then I told God I was sorry for my horrible attitude and I took a nap. 
When I woke up and drank some wildly strong, black coffee, no longer were those unfinished, less than ideal pants a spawn of the failure monster, but simply a lesson, an attempt, a step in the right direction.
I write all of this to remember that beginnings are hard, full of trial and error, but they do not define us and we keep striving, re-working, and creating, because it’s all part of the dream.  We all have to start somewhere and sadly some never start. 
Here’s to beginnings and enough grace to continue.
And as Claire Colburn says in Elizabethtown,
So you failed. Alright, you really failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You think I care about that? I do understand. You wanna be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around. Make them wonder why you're still smiling.”

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

diy postcard calendar

Remember that baby book that you wrote in for a grand total of three weeks, the baby’s first year calendar with stickers that you decided was way too 1980’s for you, the piles of journals, and everything else you have to record beautiful moments of your life?   Well, here’s something you need that you might actually do.

I saw this diy vintage postcard journal on design*sponge and then all over pinterest.

What a perfect way to remember what you did for Valentines Day 2009 or when little Huckleberry lost his first tooth or how many times you watched You’ve Got Mail, without having to pour through seventeen journals.   {PS. I love the name Huckleberry and I’m not even making fun of it. You shouldn’t either.}

This weekend, I was feeding the baby, the remote was on the other side of the room and the television was muted, this movie came on and I started to read the dialogue (closed captions).  I had no idea what it was, but I got really into it, which is weird, because I have to know what a movie is called, I must know or else everything is crazy and the sky is falling, anyway… I kept watching, put the girl baby in her bed, and started working on my own calendar journal.  Well, the movie was Jungle Fever, circa 1991 and it was all kinds of terrible, I guess, but it was kind of good, in a bad way.  Whatever, I just wanted to set the scene for what I was doing while I was hand-writing the date of 365 index cards, because I don’t have a cool stamp like the picture above. Which brings me to my next point, I need that stamp.


I’m on the hunt for the perfect little container, perhaps a mini wooden crate,  but for now I used this case.  And I didn’t cut the cards in half, because that didn’t sound like fun, also I am  inherently incapable of cutting straight lines,  It’s one of my least favorite things to do ever….plus it gives me more room to write.

I took a little trip down memory lane and printed 12 photos that were either special memories or favorites. I changed them all to B&W because I like that and added text so that we’d always know when or where that photo was taken.  For example…


One of my favorites of the H’s. || Our trip to Alaska in October 2009


Our Wedding in Bell Buckle, TN 2007  || Our first date in San Marino, CA 2006


The only time Matt and H got to visit my grandpa’s house in Northern MN, Memorial day 2010  (Don’t worry, he just moved, he’s still alive.)  || Our first apartment in TN, 2007.

I also included a few recent family photos and one of each of the kids when they were born, with the date and city on it.

Everyday you just write the year and one line about what you did that day. Just imagine what memories it will hold after five years, recording everyday pieces that would soon be forgotten.

While I was choosing the photos I thought of a dozen ideas of what you could use to separate the months…

  • Postcards, of course. Vintage or from your travels.
  • Collect images of places you wish you visit and when you do, write down the date of when it happened.
  • If you are into scenery, select your favorite photos from your adventures, be sure to include the place and date.
  • If you are all scrap-book-y, you could create 12 little pages.
  • Photos of all the front doors where you have lived. (OR houses or whatever)
  • Favorite quotes printed on card stock
  • Cutouts of vintage calendar pages
  • Little notes that you have written to each other.
  • Write little messages to you & your family in the future, be sure to sign and date.
  • Dreams, wishes, goals you have for your family.  How great would it be to look back on them years down the road?
  • Favorite Scriptures
  • Copies of your favorite album covers, movie posters, etc.
  • A random collection of photos of meaningful heirlooms or keepsakes
  • You could use envelopes and store little treasures that you wish to save or pass down.
  • A yearly photo of your kids, which you’d add throughout the years.

This might make a darling shower gift. Include a list of ideas for the recipient and insert fun little cards or paper in between the months, then they can choose whatever they want to do.

I keep it on the shelf next to my bed and every night right I just jot down one thing.

Yesterday, I wrote, 100 degrees, built a ford inside with H.


Would you do something like this?  How would you make it uniquely yours?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

art everywhere everyday no.2

Hands down, Art-a- Whirl is my favorite thing about the twin cities.   The northeast arts district of turns into the largest open studio art crawl in the country for a whole weekend. 

We left the kids in good hands and went out for a very perfect, perusing through art studios, holding hands, walking in the rain, kind of date. There’s so much to see and do, and our little afternoon meandering only scratched the surface, but my favorite part is the studios. I love seeing the spaces where these artists create, the paint splattered floors, the exposed brick walls, tables lined with brushes, and shelves filled with materials.  Intoxicating. We always leave so inspired. 


We wandered around the four floors of this old warehouse, now full of artist studios, the details everywhere scream beauty and inspiration.  We didn’t take many pictures inside the studios, we were too busy admiring everything. So, here’s a look at what else we found.  Unintentional art too often overlooked.IMG_8685


Where have you found unintentional art lately?

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Summer Boy

It’s Celebrate the Summer Boy Week… and a certain child needs some warm weather clothing. Or a certain mama needs to wash the laundry more often.  I pick option A. Obviously.

Once upon a time, I transformed the plain v-neck into something much cooler, but the years had passed and it could be found crumpled and lonely in the dark recesses of my drawer. So, I cut it up and turned into a shirt for H.

Ellery Cowl in Pumpkin

As most would tell you, the best way to figure out how to sew something is to deconstruct it and put the pieces go back together.  That’s exactly what I did.  I like the loose neckline.  I also like that there are no monsters or Disney characters on it.  And it matches his eyes.

Ampersand… a few other matters of business..

  1. New Blog Button on the Right Sidebar! Thanks to that talented Mister, which brings me to..
  2. That handsome mister has a new art blog, which you can find by clicking on Matt the Artist in tabs on the top of my blog. 
  3. Have you seen my newly updated tabs bar?  Anything you want to find.. it’s all there.
  4. Did you see this post? I’m so excited.

That’s all.… have a lovely everything.