Sunday, September 26, 2010

Coming together!

Things finally feel like they're coming together in Kansas City for us.  

Danny and I both scored our jobs on Friday.  We had some FAB sales on his vintage shop this week.  We're starting to look for the perfect place to make our new home.  I'm on a whole new creative kick with my Chrystalyn line.  And, it's getting chilly in the mornings and its just SO refreshing! 

I adore this time of year.  Sure, its a new academic year and I've been out of school for awhile.  But when leaves are dying and changing colors, I feel the new beginnings that God is creating.  I feel a fresh breeze of hope blowing my way. 

 May you feel the hope of the future as well today!

Lovers Gemstone Wine Charms - $23 (just listed & ooak!)

I heart housewares!

Can I tell you how much I heart housewares?  I'm constantly coming up with fun & festive ways to translate my accessories into fabulous housewares.  Most recently, I decided that it would be a grand idea to use my handstitched flowers as table decor.  Can't you just see these elegant blossoms nestled between green bean casserole, generously buttered rolls, and a golden, aromatic turkey?  Yeah, so can I...  Get it now!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Such excitement!

Wow, today feels like such a whirlwind. 

I found out this morning that I got the job I had my heart set on at H&R Block!  Its in downtown KC and its much like the job I did at Citi before I moved to Redding.  The best part is that I got hired even though they knew I was preggo.  This particular job is a temp position that goes through January/February.  Thankfully, that was how long I was looking to work before baby came our way.  I start Monday.

Last night Danny sold a typewriter that we've had on his shop for awhile.  Its a good thing because we could really use the money now.  Turns out I actually HAVE to go shopping now since I have 2 tops and 2 bottoms I can fit into that would be appropriate for the new gig.  I love waking up to Etsy sales... doesn't matter if they are from his shop or mine.  It makes my day!

On a more random but hugely satisfying note, I cleaned out my email inbox.  My Outlook now has a grand total of 8 items in it... and 2 of those just happened that I'm about to file because I've already got them tasked.  I LOVE being able to see what's inside my inbox.  The computer screen is a little slice of heaven right now because of it...

May good & pleasant things come your way too today!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This is how we do it...

Yesterday, Danny and I got to hear baby's heartbeat.  It sounded like a galloping horse deep in my belly.  We didn't realize that was baby until our midwife pointed it out.  I think it finally feels REAL now.  Yes, I'm moving right along.  I've already had and conquered nausea.  I already feel baby bump around.  I have a very small potbelly.  But it didn't really, fully, and wholly hit me until yesterday I think.

We also got to meet our midwife yesterday.  We found out that she goes to IHOP and I think she's amazing.  We toured the birthing center too.  They have 6 rooms, all of which are themed differently and quite festive.  We headed back home from our appointment knowing that the heart of God was very much involved with the way in which we stumbled upon that place.  Suddenly, a load has been lifted off of my shoulders and I'm content again knowing that all things work together for good.

On a similar note, I'm totally in love with this Natural Organic Teething Toy from littlealouette on Etsy right now.  It's so dang cute!    

Vivian's Wedding

Today I'm showing off some gorgeous photos of Vivian's wedding.  Vivian got married in California this past spring and commissioned me to do hairpieces for her bridal party as well as her ceremony.  The wedding was shot by the same amazing photographer that did my wedding, Heather Armstrong.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

SE Texas

We went to visit my dad, stepmom, and sis this weekend in southeast Texas.  We had such a good time.  As usual, my dad grilled fish and shrimp the size of an egg.  Surprisingly, we even talked him into accompanying us to a family day out to Galveston.  

Though it was dang hot, but we had a fabulous time.   The highlight of the day was when a seagull pooped on the back of my shirt.  I've now been pooped on 4 times by a bird in my lifetime.  In some cultures, its a sign of luck.

Daniel's favorite part was the old submarine that we toured from WWII.  I'm not sure who geeked out more... my husband or my dad. (-;

Friday, August 20, 2010

What to expect

Right after we found out we were pregnant, we got a book at a garage sale called What To Expect When You're Expecting.  We paid $0.50 for it.  It was a $14 book. 

I hadn't read it lately since we've been so busy.  But tonight, between hosing of my hubby's sneakers, partaking of a sort of weird textured smoothie that my dad made, and watching the syfy channel with my stepmom and sister, I scanned over the 4th month chapter.

In the 4th month, it says many women feel flutters or butterflies in their stomach.  That's baby being active.  I've felt that quite a bit lately.  I randomly feel odd little bumps that feel like baby is playing around in a bounce house in my tummy.  Other times it feels like I've been turned temporarily upside down on a roller coaster for a second or two.  I have found that baby always becomes active almost immediately after a snack. 

Hooray for baby movement!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Summer Cold & Some Fashionable Thoughts

Today I have a cold.  A summer cold.  I hate summer colds.  They are, truly, one of the strangest things to me.  I feel stuffy and sneezy and want to curl up and cuddle somewhere.  Only problem is that it is 100 degrees outside.  So strange.

Because I have a summer cold, I missed going out with my husband this morning junking.  Instead, I sat on the couch watching who knows what and researching the fashion status of my new home, Kansas City.  I was overwhelmed to find that this place, nicknamed the Paris of the Midwest, is chalk full of fashionistas, creative endeavors, and promising ideas that are FAR larger than me.  Suddenly, I feel like a little fish in a big ocean. 

First the summer cold and now this.  The unsettling dynamic of both a yes and a no in my mind at the same time...  I feel this sheer exuberance for the what lies ahead and still yet a strange self-consciousness of what I might not be. 

You see, I've spent the last 3 years in a town of 100k people in northern California.  I grew to love that town and the people in it.  So much so that I put heart and soul and creative ideas into it in the last year as if I'd lived there all my life.  I had vision for what it could be and would be.  I had people around me that were as excited as I was about it's creative potential.  And in a small way, I impacted that town.  I helped build a little bit of something that helped make other visionaries a little more pleased to call it that town home.

So as I researched this morning, I pondered what I might have to offer this city.  I no longer live in a town.  I live in a city.  And this city, based on my research,  has some truly grand and monumental ideas.  Did you know that Kansas City has it's own Fashion Week?  Now, I'm keenly aware that it probably doesn't hold a flame to the originals, but the fact that it has one is quite ambitious, I think.  Did you also know that it has a First Friday Artwalk and a newly renovated downtown just stuffed with hip eateries, galleries, and boutiques?  Yeah, I didn't know that either.

I mean, I imagined that, culturally, I'd be highly stimulated.  But, I didn't realize to what degree I could be.  Here's to seeing what lies ahead!



As you probably already know, my husband and I and baby to come have relocated to the Paris of the Midwest... Kansas City!  We are currently staying with friends as we find a place that we like.  Daniel will be looking for a job too.  I may do so as well, but it will be harder for me as I'm pregnant.

On a similar note, we are making our way down to Texas this next week to clean out my storage unit.  We'll be selling a totally glamorous red velvet couch with claw feet, a huge queen size poster princess bed with almost new mattresses, an antique dining set with 6 chairs (upholstered with a completely retro Missoni style graphic fabric), some little rustic side tables and chairs, and glassware & dishes.  Also, I made a note of our tentative itinerary on Facebook so feel free to check it out to see if we can cross paths. 

We are so excited to be living back in the central time zone and we can't wait to see you! 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Front Page

I'm happy to say that Daniel's vintage shop (8 point design) made it to the front page of Etsy today!  We were out running errands and he had just gone to check his email.  He comes back to tell me that he received an email from Statsy saying his shop was just featured on the FP.  I got so excited I could barely help myself.  Here's a screen shot from today.  And, we're pleased to say that the featured item sold too!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Craving Cool

I know we're still mid summer right now.  And I don't care what you think.  But seriously, I am CRAVING cool, brisk breezes and cozy textures.  It seems all  I can think about right now is velvet, tweed, plaid, and leather.  I see off season fabrics and desire to make something lovely from them. 

I was in Wal-Mart yesterday and saw a little girl with a red velvet dress on.  I had to do a double take as I'm sure it was very, very warm.  But, I had to give her credit.  Because in my head, I'm thinking about such fall/winter inspired things now too.

Then, this morning, when the glory of fall attire scurried through my mind, I was prompted to peruse photos of Fall 2010 runway trends.  As I did, I saw ruby, chocolate, olive, black, and gold.  There was also a dash of regal purple and, as always, a camel/vanilla neutral that I believe is a mandatory addition to fall style.

Here are a few of my favorites...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Deactivating Items

In my shop, I have many items that are made to order.  In fact, I might even say that 2/3 of my shop items are made to order.  This is a good thing in that I don't have tons of pre-made inventory lying around all over the place.  But, it makes it very hard to manage a shop long distance unless I want to tote all of my supplies with me when I go out of town.

And out of town I am going.  My husband and I are departing for a month long road trip to the midwest (his home) in 9 days.  While we are gone, I will still have ready to wear items listed and available for purchase.  But, as stated above, about 2/3 of my shop will be out out of commission until early to mid September. 

The made to order items will be available until July 29th to allow a few days for me to crank out a few more orders before I depart.  All items that are ready to wear will ship normally with about a 2 business day lead time for processing (aka finding a post office in the middle of nowhere). 

And I'm still offering free shipping for summertime.  So, you have no excuse to get a little something sweet for your self now! SHOP NOW...

Roadtrip on the horizon

Husband and I are getting geared up to live the dream.  We are going on a long road trip into the depths of the midwest and we don't know when we'll be returning.  Ok,we sort of know.  We'll probably be gone for a month or so.

We will be taking a cooler stocked with food so that I can eat every 3 or so hours.  I will be wearing one of the 2 maternity skirts I have made of flowy, soft jersey cotton.  He will be the main driver to allow for my regular nap times.  And we're going to drive straight through on the way there.

Upon arrival, we will emulate the treasure seeking American Pickers.  We will uncover undiscovered finds in the backwoods of of my husband's home.  We will also attend some races that are widely popular with people that know about races.  My husband will drive his '76 Nova SS and probably pop my back when he romps on it.

And, on the way home, we will stop over in Colorado to visit my hubby's aunt in Denver.  And stay in her cabin for a few days at the back end of our trip.  It will be our babymoon.  Because, you know, we are having a baby.

T minus 9 days until blast off!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Its a ...!

Well haven't I just been absolutely horrible at blogging lately?  Between the Oh!Carousel project, ReddingHandmade, and the fact that I'm now about 12 weeks preggo... I've not had much time for this little guilty pleasure. 

Yes, you heard me right. I'm preggo!  Yes, I'm terribly excited and yes, I'm hugely nauseated.  Thankfully, as I round the final corner of my first trimester, I think the hormones are starting to level out a tad.  I'm less inclined to take 3 hour naps twice a day.  I'm starting to eat a little more than fresh berries on Grape Nuts twice a day.  I might even be starting to show a little. 

As for the traditional questions that are always posed when a new baby is the topic at hand, here are the details:
  • No, we will not be finding out if its a boy or a girl.
  • No, I haven't started taking weekly belly bump progress reports yet.
  • Yes, we have names picked out.  Daniel is picking if its a boy and I'm picking if its a girl.  And we're not telling each other in advance.
AHHHHHHHHHH!  We're having a baby!

Oh!Carousel Party

Wow, this has been such a busy couple of weeks! 

Apart from jewelry design, I've also been collaborating with a few fabulous local business owners that are as crafty as I am.  We've come together as Oh!Carousel and we offer fun and crafty classes, events, and shopping experiences to our local community. 

This Saturday, we're hosting a little soiree at Sweetspot.  We'll have $1 specials, bbq, sidewalk chalk, and 15 handmade designers selling their work.  Oh, we'll also have a little DIY table where you can make a little something to take home. 

See you Saturday!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

oh, hello friend summer trade guide

Oh, what an honor!  I woke up yesterday morning and saw oh, hello friend's summer trade guide posted on Facebook.  I love trading so I took a few early morning moments and perused the guide.  Lo and behold, my Cranberry Hair Comb was shown as one of the hair accessories up for trade in the guide.

Thanks, oh hello friend.  You made my day!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Birthday Week

My mom and I used to have a very special tradition.  Because my birthday was the 10th of December and her's was the 14th, we always tried to celebrate together.  And because the 4 day difference is the better part of a week, we traded in birth days and got back birth weeks. 

So, each year, we celebrated all around us for an entire week.  We gave ourselves permission to have all the dessert we wanted.  We allowed ourselves more time to just enjoy life without all the obligations around us.  It was like a mini vacation except that we hadn't actually gone anywhere.  It was a vacation in the mind.

This year, my husband traded his birth day in for a birth week.  We started his week off this past Sunday as his birthday was yesterday.  Every day, I made a point to bring him a treat or surprise or do something special that he knew was out of my way. 

I know he had a great time but I was really surprised about how much fun I had too.  Apart from the obvious perks of his joy from receiving things that made him feel special, there were unforeseen bonuses for me as well.  I found it a great creative exercise in stretching my brain a bit.  I had the challenge of thinking in the non standard birthday format and consider small things that didn't cost much but that packed a big punch.  And that energized my mind much like a mini vacation.

Next birthday, you or someone you love should trade in your day for a week.  Just know, once you cross over, you will never go back! 

Dishwasher Magnets

I am SO utterly excited about my super chic dishwasher magnets.  They are bright and lovely and full of fun.  They come in a myriad of color schemes and patterns and more are being added daily.

This project is something that has been very undercover since the beginning of spring.  It was hard the design just right.  It was hard to decide how many color combos to do.  It was hard to decide they were ready for the world.

Each one measures about 4 inches in diameter and has 2 layers that rotate.  You will be hugely surprised at how smooth they do so.  That way, you can deem the dishes clean or dirty at your discretion. 

Try to be honest though, ok?

Friday, May 21, 2010

May Events

Wow, the month of May has been such a whirlwind of fun and excitement.  New product launches, press in the local paper, events out my ears... I live for times like these!

EHS Mother's Day Fair weekend.  I teamed up with Renee from The Fabulous Fabric Shop and we had a ball!

Some local creative businesses and I launched our Oh!Carousel project at the beginning of the month. 

The Craft Buffet from Oh!Carousel was a total success.  There was more stuff than anyone knew what to do with.

I debuted the DIY Dahlia Kit at the beginning of the month.  It is a collaboration with The Fabulous Fabric Shop.

 ShopHop at Sweetspot mid month.  I was there pushing all of our Oh!Carousel events for the day.
A friend of Renee's at last night's Pedi Party that loves her new hairpiece. 

Renee, Charmaine, and me having champagne punch and reaping the rewards of a month of planning our events! 

Sunday, May 02, 2010

As time goes by

I traded this sweet little desk calendar in February and I just now printed it on vanilla toned card stock.  Each month has a different design based on the shown damask print.  I realize I've already missed the first 4 months of the year, but who's counting? 

This and other digital files can be found at The Posh Event.  Brigitte's shop is chalk full of vintage style digital files in shapes such as favor boxes, note cards, and envelopes.

I think it looks quite quaint with my sepia toned thank you cards and old, cut glass lamp.    

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Price of Beauty

I meant to do this a very long time ago and totally forgot.

This past fall, I did a trade with Laura from SugarChills on Etsy.  She got some very sweet fabric bags for gifting and I received a pot of her Face Slime No 2 - healing oatmeal face mask. 

I'll admit.  I was excited, but not hugely expectant.  I have pretty sensitive skin and I've not found a really good mask in years.  So, I was crazy excited when this one was so utterly wonderful. 


I use it once a week per the directions and it seems like my skin is on a high for a good 12 hours afterwards.  It has this "I've been in the sun all day" sort of glow only without the actual tan.  How is that possible?  I have no idea.  All I know is that I strategically use it in the mornings before I want to look extra pretty for a day. 

I've been running low and meaning to order some more.  I've used it almost weekly and this pot has lasted since mid December.  As I was on Laura's Etsy shop today and I was trying to recall what size I usually order, I saw what reminded me to write this review in the first place.  She had asked awhile back if she could quote me and of course I said yes.  So, there I am at the bottom of the listing telling all of her shoppers how wonderful her product is.  And really, it is so wonderful...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

How To Rock Your Hairpiece Part I

I got a wild hair this past weekend.  I decided to do a video tutorial on how to rock your hairpiece.  I'm not sure exactly where the idea stemmed from except that I've been living, breathing, and eating hairpieces lately.  It might have developed out of the last piece I made which was a 6 inch layered tulle hat-like thing with peacock blue feathers and a vintage button.  Yes, that was probably it.

So, if got a great hairpiece but just aren't sure how to make it work for you... this is perfect for you.  Part I focuses on the snappers specifically.  I'll do another one this week on hair combs.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Roots

I have become increasingly aware, in the last year or so, that I should revisit my roots.

I've been making jewelry since 2005 and I started with a distinctly "my own" style.  Even though I taught myself with other people's work, my disassembling and reassembling seemed to turn something pretty into something unique.  I uncovered the mysteries of jewelry assembly by both my hands on "research" as well as by reading everything I could get my hands on.

About  6 months ago, I discovered a mostly strung necklace filled with big, plump, copper freshwater pearls and a myriad of garnet shapes and sizes.  I didn't have the heart to unravel the intricate pattern that I'd so easily set 4 and a half years ago.  So, I instead blended it.

I used my now tried and true technique of lacing the back third of a necklace with a singular stone as to bring a bit of extra focus to it.  Though the row of stones are the same at the back rather than part of the overall pattern, the idea breaks up the design so that the ends of a necklace become as much of a focal as the center.

Another technique that I used to incorporate regularly within my work was the idea of asymmetry.  If you take a close look at most of my work, you will see this "lack of pattern" an ever-existing theme within the style of my designs.  But, its not really a lack of pattern at all.  Rather, the pattern is simply more intricate than many designers employ.  You have to look closely, study the whole, and see that the lack of pattern becomes the pattern.

The pieces that feature this "lack of pattern" are like witty conversationalists.  Most don't get it.  But, every now and then, someone will notice and be highly amused.  They'll commend your work in a different sort of way that is like a secret handshake.  And then, you know they know.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not so much self-help

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately and I've, just this morning, discovered a bit of intrigue that I'm just itching to write about. 

There are a zillion and one blogs out there right now.  And, there are almost just as many blogs for social media tips, tricks, and cure-alls.  Personally, I can only read so many of these before I've heard it all.  I know that technology is ever-evolving and there's always something new and game-changing on the cusp of being released.  But, I'm officially over how to make the most of Twitter marketing and how to get more fans on your Facebook Fanpage.  Of course, as of today, "fans" are no longer fans but rather people that "like" you or your product.  Either way, you know what I mean.  I'm just tired of hearing the same thing in a new way.  

On a similar note, I've also seen increasingly more and more blogs dedicated to supporting Etsy sellers and handmade advocates.  I've seen how to optimize search engines and tutorials on how to take magazine quality photos with your light box. Again, I can only read so many versions of these articles before I've squeezed out every last bit of usable information.  Suddenly and in a moment, the topic is exhausted.

That is why I'm so pleased to uncover a few new blogs that I appreciate, not because of their "how to use twitter to market your business" articles, but rather because of the honest and transparent approach to building something valuable.  Whether it be an online, handmade business or a bit of character within the depths of who a person is, some blogs just stand out because you know that the person on the other side of the computer holds a high regard for the empowerment of others.

I'm not going to name any names here, because I want to plant a seed.  As you are reading your favorite blogs, do a touch of evaluation.  Are there any links on your blogroll that challenge you as a person?  That encourage you to get past your fears of not succeeding or maybe succeeding at your business?  That move you to shift the way you think about why you do what you do?  If not, go find one.  It'll change your life.     

Change the World Ticket from AFavorite on Etsy

Saturday, April 17, 2010

River Trail

A new friend of mine, Charlotte Rosenhoff, posted a link today on Facebook stating that she had featured one of my wedding photos on her blog, My Old Blue Suitcase.  In my curiosity to see which of my photos she found so charming, I popped on over and checked it out. 

As I browsed through her blog, I became less and less interested in where my wedding photo was.  I became more and more interested, however, in how utterly delectable her photos are.  I was so inspired that I recruited my husband, Daniel, for a walk along the river trail this afternoon and made him promise he'd be patient as I scavenged for the perfect shot.  This is what I found...