Friday, January 29, 2010

Spring Quilt Along

I am starting a new quilt-along over at i have to say.
This week we had to choose our fabrics and on Monday we'll start cutting. It's not too late if you want to join along.
My fabric is an assortment of Kaffee Fassett and Amy Butler. I had a good time picking them out.
Have a great weekend friends.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Matryoshka Dolls

I love Matryoshka or Russian Nesting Dolls. I want a real set, but am waiting for the right set to find me. I had cut these out of wood a couple of weeks ago, and today I had the chance to play a little.
It was a nice, quiet hour. The older boys were at school, Jax was asleep, and Ava was playing in her room. I painted and glittered to my hearts content. Does anyone else have the Martha Stewart glitter? Yummy!
The little faces are cut out of plywood so the pieces are 3-D. They certainly aren't perfect, but cute, I think.
Good tunes, a nice hot cup of coffee, and an hour to craft. It was a nice afternoon.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Breaking Free

I started a Beth Moore study once and didn't finish it. But taking one (and finishing it) was on my list this year of things I really wanted to do.
I don't think it's a coincedence that this is the one they were offering at church this time: Breaking Free.
I struggled to get to the first meeting this week on Monday morning. It was raining. I had a long weekend and wanted to go home and rest. The house was a mess... yadda yadda. I had plenty of excuses not to go. But I went. And I'm sooooooo glad I did!
Our group leader asked us how many of us almost didn't come? I wasn't the only one. I guess Satan tries as hard as he can to keep us from Jesus. I never thought of it that way.
I've been a little disoriented lately without work. I haven't had any orders since Christmas and I asked God to show me what was next for me. I think He is telling me it is time to be with Him right now.
So I've committed to this bible study. There is 30-45 minutes of homework a day, and it is not light-hearted stuff my friends. It is deep. It is life-altering. It is a study that asks you to give God your heart and your trust, and requires you to probe yourself.
Would you say a little prayer for me? I am going into unknown territory and to tell you the truth, it's a little scary.
Have any of you taken this course before? Will you tell me about your experience?

Monday, January 25, 2010

These Hearts Make Me Happy

It's been too long since I've made something that I loved. But I do love these.
(Do you like our orange trees in the background?)
I wanted to make a Valentines Day Banner but I wasn't feeling the pink and red combo. So I opted for all the colors. It's made with strips of fabric. There are seven hearts strung on some tattered muslin strips.
I had so much fun making them that I made an extra one for my Etsy shop. And if you're looking for a fun Valentines craft, I made this tutorial for a heart with wings last year if you're interested.
What are you making right now?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

18 months ago

How is it that one day you have a baby, and then when you blink your eyes they turn 18 months old?
How is it that one day they are climbing trees (with a little help from Daddy of course)...
and then you blink your eyes and they have grown a mustache?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Real" dolls

I loved all the responses you guys left when I showed you "Nailpolish". This weekend I had a special request. We have neighbors that are twin girls, and for 6 years I have made them presents for their birthday. This year that asked me to make them dolls. I used this tutorial. (Thanks Nicole for sharing this with all of us!)

I didn't have any wool felt, so I just used craft felt.
Both of them love purple, black, and red.
I love Hanna's because she really has one blue eye and one brown.
I had so much fun making them!
They said they would treasure them forever and always.:)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Still Crafting...

I cried all the way through church this morning thinking about the children over in Haiti.
I do feel better today knowing that there are so many opportunitites to help...not only locally but all over the web. I'm sure you've heard about Craft Hope for Haiti. If not, please go over there and check it out.
So much goodness going on admidst the grief.
My therapy? Eye candy. So much color it makes me want to squeal!
I really want to make this quilt:and this little one:and because I don't have enough hobbies, I am soooooo tempted to run to Michaels and buy yarn and needles to learn how to make this:Please persuade me not to. Help me out here!!!:)

I will be using my computer time for the next couple of days doing whatever I can to add my small efforts to Haiti. I will let you know as soon as I have some stuff listed on!
I will also be spending time doing THIS.
I also have some new art and sewing to show you:)
So come back soon friends.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ava's Quilt-Finally Finished

I know you've seen this quilt-top a million times in process, but I finally was able to finish quilting it and put the binding on. I quilted this in my machine at home. I did stripes all the way around the border, and then did stitch-in-the-ditch around each white square. It was pretty cumbersome, but I wanted to try it on my machine.
Remember? All the hearts are either pieces of Ava's outgrown clothes, or fabric scraps.

For the backing I purchased pink and white polka dots in a larger print from Joanne's.
I love that Ava loves it and that it brings my kids warmth and joy to know that their Momma made them something...:)
Of course, like all of you, my heart is breaking over what happened in Haiti. I am so grateful that we are safe. That my children have food and clean water. That they have blankets to sleep with. Last night I dreamed terrible dreams over the devastation, and everytime I awoke I prayed that God would send much peace that way.
Have a peaceful weekend friends.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I had a Huge A-Ha Moment

(Warning...this is a very long, wordy post!:)

I had a HUGE A-Ha moment last night.
I paid off a loan yesterday. The last $1000 and pennies owed on it. This loan was taken out about three years to start my licensing career. I was working with a licensing consultant and she was expensive. There was her hourly rate, designers and digital manipulation fees, portfolio and printing charges, travel expenses, a babysitter, etc. I took out a lot of money. With the hopes and dreams that I would be a very successful licensing artist. That I could work from home and make a lot of money.

I worked with the licensing consultant for almost a year. I traveled to the Atlanta Gift Show and CHA in California. Worked full-time for four months straight on a "million dollar" deal. And then the company went bankrupt and I was left with nothing.

I was out of money and time. My Dad passed away and then one month later I found out I was pregnant with Jackson. It was time to let the dream go.

I told my husband last night that I had paid the loan off and he said "Don't you feel great?" I was kind of taken aback. I really didn't feel great. Taking out that loan was a hasty decision, and a gamble at best. I felt like I had let my family down. I felt like I was taken advantage of. I thought about all the money "wasted".

But he assured me that I should feel good. It was over. The decisions had been made and through many lessons learned the financial burden was over.

All of a sudden I had a very profound a-ha moment.

My self-worth has been wrapped up in my "success". And when the deal fell through, I felt like a failure. Through all my artistic accomplishments, I have never felt like it was enough. I would finish one goal, and then set my standards higher. This is a pressure I put on myself. No one else was telling me these things.

Wow, I am feeling a lot lighter today. I still have a dream to be a licensed artist. I think it would be really cool to walk into Hallmark or a bookstore and see my items for sale. But I surely am not willing to put my family's finanical health in jeopardy again. I am not willing to work 18 hours a day 7 days a week to see it happen. And I am definitely not willing to trade my self-esteem or self-worth for a contract.

God is good. We go through trials and tribulations for reasons, and even when we don't know why, He is there waiting, holding our hands, telling us that it will be okay. I think I got this one:)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Give us this day our daily bread...

I've always had this romantic/housewife notion of making fresh bread for my family. Real bread. Served to them nice and warm...:) So when I found this bread machine at a garage sale last year (gulp, has it been that long?) I traded over a $10 bill for it.
It came with a bunch of cookbooks (five, I think), and lots of hand-written recipes. Someone used this machine a lot.
But it still works really well! Four hours after mixing minimal (and all-natural ) ingredients together, I had a small loaf of white bread. I started with the most basic recipe I could find.
I laid it on the kitchen table for the kids so they could smell the freshness when they woke up in the morning. However, someone got to it before I could slice it up.
Next up...something sweet. Perhaps cinnamon bread!
And now I can cross off #9.
Speaking of food, you have to try this recipe. It is delicious and perfect for a cold evening. By the way, have you heard that it's been freezing here in Florida? Literally, freezing. So I am cooking lots of hearty warm meals. This one is delicious.
We omitted the black olives due to some pickiness, and served it with yellow rice. Almost the whole pan was gone after dinner.
Stay warm on this Tuesday Friends. I'm off to do a little sewing!:)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Robie the Robot

When I post pictures of the kids or things we do together on my blog, I always show them.
In this case, it led to a little "I-wanna-be-a-star-on-your-blog-making-something-together" envy for a certain five year old.
So meet Robie...
We made him out of scraps of wood, paint, and bits and baubles we found in the garage.
The only thing we bought was the light switch at Home Depot for 78 cents. Cause you know, he HAD to have an on and off switch!
I don't know what these are, but they make pretty cool robot legs, right?
We had so much fun I promised we would make more. Oh, I can be talked into almost anything crafty!
Ashton also insisted that we post a picture of us Ashton, here we are. I love you bud.

Here's to many more robot making memories...:)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Poor Baby Doll

A few months ago I found this sweet little wooden cradle at Goodwill for like $1. I thought it would be fun to give it a little make-over and try my hand at making a doll for Ava.

She really wanted to help me. I've never made a doll or any stuffie before, so I drew a very basic shape out for a pattern. She painted and drew the face all by herself. I scanned it into the computer and printed it out on fabric paper.
Cute/Scary? face:
I'll go with scary...
Ummm, not at all was I was thinking it would turn out to be. My pattern was dramatically mis-proportioned. It might be qualified to place in the "Chrissie Grace's Top 10 Projects Gone Wrong". However, she loves it. She named it "Nailpolish"...:)

Sometimes crafting isn't about the end result, but the process itself. It was a fun project for us, even if the doll isn't, err, cute. I learned a lot about what NOT to do...
One of these days I'd like to try it again with a real pattern. Here's a few I found: