Monday, February 28, 2011

This is it!

Happy (almost) March! We are getting through this winter, arent' we?! You wouldn't know it here, waking up to single digit temps. However, taking the dog on a walk this morning, I could feel so much more warmth from the sun as it beat down.

I haven't been updating this blog much lately. It's not that I'm not here, it's just hard for me to figure out what to share. I get very introspective this time of year and tend to go inward. This can be difficult for a person like me who usually has some sort of pretty picture to share. I have continued with my photo-a-day project and post that over on my ArtsyMama 365 blog.

I've been quietly working on an ArtsyMama vol. 2 book. My first book incorporated the first two years of my blog. I have three more years to consolidate and rumiante on the best way to compile what has been my daily life for so long. I have been diving deep, looking at the thousands of photos that I have taken over the years and all the memories attached.

Through this work and the projects that I'm doing in Ali Edward's Yesterday and Today class, I am reminded that THIS IS IT.

This blog has always been about experiencing my life, not just waiting for what's to come. Not rushing to get going on the next thing. I am reminding myself of that right now at a tender time that I don't know what the road ahead will look like and that's ok. To be present is enough. To pay attention, slow down and treasure these moments.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Artful Pages...4 artists 4 ways starts today! Woohoo. So excited for this online class. Check it all out HERE.
In Artful Pages - 4 artists 4 ways, Hope Wallace Karney will share her extraordinary art journaling knowledge, Lisa McIlvain will present her opulent fabric pages, Lenna Young Andrews will enlighten you with her spirited altered books, and Mary Green will introduce you to her elegant vintage gluebooks.

Check out Hope's blog for some exclusive sneak peeks.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rare beauties...

We've had some nice thawing lately with warmer weather (in the 40's!). However, this makes for a very soupy, ugly landscape of dirt and grime showing through under all that snow that has melted. We decided to treat ourselves to some rare beauties at the orchid show at the MN Landscape Arboretum. They were just the ticket for a breath of fresh air and inspiration. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thawing out...

We're having a wonderful February thaw here, so I'm in the mood to put out some of my pretty spring pastels. My latest shop update includes some gorgeous vintage tableclothes and other fun kitchen items, perfect to brighten up your home. It's all HERE!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Hope you're enjoying a wonderful Valentine's weekend with those that you love.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Wishful thinking...

I'm ready to jump into spring! I know it's still a long (long!) way off here in Minnesota, but I can't help but surround myself with lots of color since the landscape is so darn white.I just did another big shop update with lots of cheery stuff. More tins, some vintage paper dolls and doll clothes, Valentine's, canisters, bags and more. Check it out HERE!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The first step....

My first stop in the early stages of party planning is etsy. After coming up with my initial inspiration board, I always head on over to check out what new and amazing things people are making. This time I found the wonderful Jaime Mancilla and her shop found.vintage.reclaimed.handmade. I thought she had such fun items, I decided to get to know her a little bit better. Thanks, Jaime!
When did you open your etsy shop? What inspired you to do so?

My shop opened in the Fall of 2009 - a few months after I lost my job as a visual merchandiser (store decorator/stylist). Funny, during that same time, I got my first computer and internet (!!), and came across Etsy after 'googling' something. Needing to make or style something, after doing so day after day for about 10 years, I was completely inspired by all the wonderful goodies etsy and the rest of the web had to offer (before this, magazines were the main source of inspiration). Etsy is great because it's soo easy and cheap to get started.

I also felt awful because I had no money and wasn't bringing in money, which was stressful for my husband and I! So I gave etsy a go and invested in some clearance scrapbook paper and a few paper punchers (my butterfly packs) and slaughtered my stash of magazines into my butterfly collages - that gave me a bit of seed money to buy my first sewing machine.

How did you get started making buntings/garlands?

Not having tons of cash, I threw my daughters' 3rd bday party in June of 2010. So of course, I learned how to make everything, decorations and all! I got such great feedback from friends and family about the buntings/garlands that I just had to give this a go selling on etsy. I invested in some thrift store vintage linens and the rest is history.
I love that your shop is a combination of vintage items, handmade pieces made from vintage fabrics, and vintage inspired pieces. How long have you been attracted that this style? Where do you find your color inspiration?

I've been fascinated with all things vintage since high school (back in the 90's) -even back then I'd save vintage table linens and would hand sew them into simple purses/sacks. There's just something about old things that catch my eye quicker then new and shiny!

Color inspiration is something that hits me like a ton of bricks. If a vintage plate, fabric pattern, or paper is a 'to die for' piece, then i work with it. Having a basic knowledge for color theory also helps!
I am a huge fan of buntings and your cake buntings are adorable, how did you get inspired to do try that? Have they done well?

It's been just recently I decided to give the cake buntings a go. I'm so frugal, I use up every piece of fabric scrap - the mini cake bunting is a direct result! I have to admit, etsy inspires me in a lot I do, as far as styling and photography, popular search items, the most looked at things etc.. So far I've gotten a fantastic response!

Be sure and check out Jaime's constantly changing smorgasbord of goodies over at found.vintage.reclaimed.handmade.
Looks like Chloe wants a Littlest Pet Shop party this year. My wheels are already turning! It will be hard to top the Strawberry Shortcake bash from last year, but I'll give it a go. I love party planning!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

On the opposite end of the spectrum of the cheezit post below are these amazing cakes from the book Bake and Decorate by Fiona Cairns. What struck me when I found this book at the library is the wonderfully soft and appealing photography by Laura Hynd. It is absolute perfection! Enjoy the Valentine's inspiration on the Fiona Cairns web site as well.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

February= comfort food

In the heart of winter, I'm a big fan of cheez-its and red wine. Classy, I know. So when I came across this recipe in ReadyMade magazine for homemade cheez its, I was all over it.

Materials:8 oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
½ stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 t kosher salt
1 c flour
2 T ice water

Plastic wrap
Parchment paper
Pasty cutter
Baking sheet

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cheddar, butter, and salt until soft and combined. Add the flour and mix on low speed (the dough will be dry and pebbly). Slowly add the water and continue to mix as the dough forms a ball.

Pat the dough into a disk, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.

Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each into a very thin (1/8 inch or less) 10 x 12-inch rectangle. Using a fluted pastry cutter, cut the rectangles into 1-inch squares, then transfer to the baking sheets. Use the tip of a chopstick to punch a hole into the center of each square.

Bake for 15-17 minutes or until puffed and browning at the edges. Watch carefully, as the high fat content of the crackers makes it a fine line between golden delicious and burnt. Immediately move the crackers to racks to cool.
You really should give it a try. Let me know what you think.