Saturday, January 31, 2009

Remodel Update

Dean had to tape everything off so he could finish cutting out the last two can lights. All the insulation is "blown in" so it's this nasty dusty looking stuff. Not the Pink Panther stuff that is usually laid down in attics now. It's a messy process, and I am thankful I have a husband who is handy enough to do such a job.



Then he taped the ceiling and added the first two coats of fast drying skim coating. He has two more coats of this stuff and then he can texture. The skim coating provides a smooth surface for the texture to adhere to, and covers all the patches and imperfections in the ceiling. It already looks 100% better. Can't wait until it's finished for real.

So here is a little peak of all the nasty stuff that came out of the attic when he was cutting the holes for the can lights.

Gross!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CPSIA, A BIG FAT NO FROM ME!!!!


A lovely illustration by Sarah Jane

Another of Sarah Jane's lovely illustrations

I have been following the story of the new guidelines set up to police products made for children 12 an younger, CPSIA, for quite a while now. I have read as other bloggers and Etsy have posted about concerns. I feel that the lovely artist and fellow blogger Sarah, from Sarah Jane Studio's says it best in her very well written and informative post today. Please see post here. Sarah's Etsy shop is here. My favorite is the new Etsy pricing guide. I definitely won't be able to afford hand made for my children now.

There are so many wonderfully talented artisans that produce lovely one of a kind and unique products for children who will be affected by this new law. I was also horrified to read the other day that this law will encompass used items for children as well. How will this effect those who count on secondhand stores to clothe their children, not to mention toys and used books. I love buying used books for my girls. We wouldn't have all the lovely books that we do if it weren't for used like new children's books from local thrift stores. This law will not only affect small handmade businesses, but local thrift and consignment stores, those who home school , schools, and local library's. 

I am all for making products safer for our children, but I think the law has been taken to an unhealthy extreme. A few weeks ago I signed an online government petition to amend this bogus new law. Please go visit Sarah's blog, then go and do what you can to make a difference.

*ALL IMAGES OF SARAH JANES ILLUSTRATIONS ARE FROM HER BLOG.

Sisters

Thought I would share before I head back to the afternoon shuffle of homework, dinner, baths and jammie time. Another little sketch I did. I really think this could turn into a fun series of paintings. I know, I know, I still haven't posted any photos of the rest of the doll dresses yet. I still have to finish them. Dean is putting the last of the 4 can lights in our kitchen. I am so excited. However since the kitchen is where I do most of my creating, I will have to wait until he is finished to start sewing again. I am able to paint in the living room at the computer desk. So I am wishing and hoping to have a painting to show you by the end of this week. Keeping with my art rotation (got a little off the schedule last week) I will be working with paper next week. How about you, what projects are you hoping to accomplish this week?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Favorite



This is one of my most favorite non family photos. I found this in a box of old photos at an antique store. It is in very good condition considering its age. I am guessing it was taken on a day when all the kids dressed up like they were from the olden days. It is super cute to see all of the older kids with toys and instruments. I would love to meet someone who was in this picture so I could find out the real scoop on this picture. I got so many positive responses to my last post with vintage photos, I thought I would share this one with you all. Someday when I have my own little studio I will frame it and put up on the wall. 

How True



I have carried this around for years. I tore it out of a magazine and it sits in my "file" of inspiration. Think I will put it in my sketchbook tonight.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sketch

Sketch of little Zoe

I tried to paint tonight. Let's just put it this way, I am rusty. It's been a few months. I tried and tried to work on several different ideas and just struggled all night long. So I decided to use the opportunity to sketch with pencil and paint. I don't usually take the time to do this. I did have fun. I have these two really lovely vintage gold frames that I painted black. I have wanted to do a painting of Zoe for one and Aris for the other for quite some time now. I think this color study sketch will be the idea behind the final painting. We will see. I am struggling with how I should proceed with my art. I have so many styles that I enjoy doing. Should I just stick to one? Feel free to leave suggestions.

Photographs

Photo from LIFE archives

This one reminded me of  Norman Rockwell's painting "The Road block." Have you had a chance to use this new tool on the Google image home page? LIFE and Google collaborated to archive all of their images from magazines over the years. It is fascinating and fun to search through. 

Photo from Life archives

I love old photo's of children. I love looking at the way they used to dress and I wonder what life was like for them.

I found this on the Internet somewhere. I love their outfits and lunch boxes. This picture reminds me of an old photo I have that I used for a painting in art school. Do I feel a painting coming on? Do you love that little guys hat as much as I do?

I found this via the Internet also. Most old photos that I find no longer have a home. When I find these photos in boxes at yard sales or thrift stores, they haunt me. Calling my name. I stare at them and try to figure out how someone first of all would get rid of such treasures. Then I imagine the stories each photo tells. A mother with her children, so devoted and loving, probably going though some of the same trials that we modern day mothers go through. I then wonder if the same fate will come to our photos. Memories on paper, faded and sometimes blurry but always special. Old photos are one of my favorite things. Just thought I would share.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pins for the Special Olympics



These are just a few examples of the pins that are traded.

I have had a few new visitors to my blog lately. It's so fun and you always end up meeting other bloggers through their blogs. Kimberly from Seriously Daisies dropped by the other day. She actually doesn't live to far from me. Her blog is cute and while reading her blog I was directed to Courtney's blog where I read more about this fun tradition. I am sending off some buttons/pins on Monday. Please go and check out Courtney's blog to find out how you can help with this wonderful idea.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Feeling a little Valentine-ish


I have been feeling a little Valentine-ish these days. So I called up my dear friend Hillary and asked if I could come and borrow her Mac that has a Photoshop program on it. Note to self:: Mac Photoshop program is a must buy when I have some duckets. She so kindly showed me how to use the program and this is what I came up with, she helped a little. Smiles. Thanks Hill. I got the above digital scrapbook elements from the wonderful Shabby Princess. I love their site. Hillary introduced them to me, she digital scrapbooks. In addition to Shabby Princess having a lovely assortment of digital downloads you can purchase, they also offer some lovely free downloads. Hope you have fun visiting their site and I look forward to posting some pictures of the finish doll dresses this weekend. They have taken me a little longer than I had initially thought they would (doesn't that always happen with sewing projects?) but I am having fun with them and that's what counts. I can't wait to start all my Valentine art next week. I hope I am not too late. Hope you all have a fun and creative weekend.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Little Photography & Afternoon Snuggles

Cristin

Stinkin' cute boots


Seriously can't wait to see this movie


I thought I would share some of my little sister's photography with you. Cristin has such talent. I don't think she realizes it yet. I am encouraging her to follow this talent as she is taking classes in school. I love the way she looks at the world. These are a few of her photos from her recent trip to Boston. She was able to stay with her dear friend Aspen from school, and I guess as an added bonus she was able to see her sweetheart Chris while she was there. I can't wait to hear all about the trip.

I am off to snuggle up with my sweet little Zoe. It has become somewhat of a ritual lately. I put Aris to bed in the girls room. Then Zoe asks to sleep in my bed. How can I resist? I clean up the morning mess and lay down with my little snuggle buddy. All toasty like under the covers. It's especially nice on days like today. The sky has been grey and moody since I woke up this morning. Days like today make nap time even more enjoyable. Tonight Sloan and I will go to the diabetes support group. After that I will be sewing my little heart out. Can't wait to show you the finished dresses.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Historic Event

We watched the inauguration as a family this morning. All of us. A day that will go down in history as a first. Our first African American president. I am not going to dwell on my political views in this post. I will however say this, I hope that our new president can lead our country with honor and integrity. That when he is making the tough decisions that will have to be made over the next four years, he will do so with all of us in mind. The rich the poor, the sick and needy. My hope is that we as a country can come together. Instead of finding differences to pull us apart. I also hope that we can all do our part in helping to make this country what it should be. Because it can not and should not be done by one man alone. Whatever happens, I will be praying for the new leadership of our great United States. That they will lead with hearts and minds focused on the greater good. We are so truly blessed to live in this great land of opportunity. Let us remember this and keep it in our hearts. God Bless America!

On Lighting & Comments


I always enjoy getting comments on my posts. The fact that anyone besides my family even thinks my life is interesting enough to come and visit my blog, and listen to my ramblings is humbling. I was tickled pink to open up my comments this morning on my post "Slowly but Surely". Where I mentioned the lighting that I purchased from the unique lighting company Fire Farm. It's fun to know that a company like Fire Farm is growing yet still Mom & Pop at heart and willing to drop a little hello. To little ol' me. You can read the comment in the comment section under that post & don't forget to look at their amazing lighting. And keep leaving those comments, they are oh so much fun to read. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Whole Lotta Sewing Going on

Sloan is so excited about her new sewing machine (mom is too) It is challenging trying to teach her how to sew. She thinks she knows how to do it already. I am sure I probably was the same at her age. Today she actually listened. We had so much fun. She is working on cutting out the squares for her quilted bag that she wants to make.


It came from this amazing little book/kit that I picked up in San Diego at the Amvet thrift store. It's now our little tradition to go every time we are in San Diego. All us girls go down there. This was brand new in the package. I got it for $1.95. It is very age appropriate, the people at Klutz are so smart about how they present the information. The book also came with a kit to get started on a few simple projects. it included fabric, batting, and other sewing notions.  Sloan was able to read and look at the pictures in the book and start working on the project with an idea of how it was all supposed to work. Then she informed me I was preparing the fabric incorrectly. Heehee. I informed her I know little tricks of the trade. A happy medium was found. She's a smart little cookie & I am sure she will be sewing great creations in no time.

While Sloan was prepping for her project, I was working on the other dresses. Assembly style is so much faster than one at a time.

This is what I finished up last night. Just added the last button on the back this morning. I used two eye hooks as the closures. The back button is for show. It looks just like the buttons on the front pockets. I used a vintage print I had purchased at a yard sale oh so many years ago. I am too embarrassed to say how many years I've been toting this fabric around. Yeah I know, the dress is being modeled by Pepito. I couldn't find our Madeline dolls.  

The dress is completely lined with a cotton muslin. It could even be worn reversed if you wanted a more simple look. It was kind of a bugger to remember how to sew lining into the garment. Especially since it's so small. I finally remembered so the rest of the dresses should go a little smoother. Hopefully. I don't know if people would even be interested in buying something like this for their little girls. I am hoping to have pictures of the other dresses soon. This little dress will be going to my ever patient swap partner. 

Slowly but Surely



Our house has been quite the disaster since we got back from our Thanksgiving trip to San Diego. I just never quite got it together enough to clean everything that needed to be cleaned and put away. Add all the different activities that are planned and crunched into the few weekends and evenings before Christmas week, sick kids,  sick hubby, sick me, more traveing............well it left our house looking like someone broke in and ransacked the place but forgot to take any loot (not that we have any). Dean has been in San Francisco all weekend working, he will be home in the next few hours. It gave me the perfect opportunity to clean and organize our little room. It's coming along. I can't wait to paint and put up some curtains. I already told Dean that I have a bunch of fun ideas for him to help me with when he gets home. I forgot to take a picture of the light fixture he put up the other night. I bought it from a company called Fire Farm Lighting when I worked for Kerri up at the lake. I used to be an assistant for an interior designer. So many fun resources to look at and buy for other wealthier people. Fire Farm has really unique handmade wire and fabric lighting. Some of their lighting uses mesh and others metal or paper. All are so unique. If you are in need of lighting and want something more than what you can find in the local Home Depot, I would highly recommend them. You won't be disappointed. Anywho as soon as I get a few more things done in the room I will show you the light fixture, and the finished product. 

Our Master bedroom light fixture :: here 

Girls bedroom light fixture :: here 

Amazing Giveaways



Du Buh Du Designs One World One Heart Giveaway


Jen Duncan's Quilt giveaway

Both of these giveaways are just too much. They need some love. So run, run I tell you and go enter for your chance to win. Or don't, because then I actually might have a chance of winning one of them.

I Have a Dream.............

His moving speech can be found here 

My friend Shawn's other work can be found here
*His Anathema series contains graphic nudity*