Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Clearly a Crafter and not a Cook

This past weekend was crazy busy but I still managed to fit in my usual Sunday morning breakfast for the family - oatmeal pancakes. I thought I would be a cool mum and make Mickey Mouse pancakes for my little one. Lets just say that I think its pretty obvious that I'm a crafter. Not a cook. Yep.

But hey, I tried.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Deals - Vintage Circus Products at Michaels

If you are head over heels in love with the whole "vintage circus" trend then run (don't walk) to your nearest Michaels and head straight for those sale bins that are typically near the checkout area (greatest marketing strategy ever - they get me every time). I was at my local Michaels picking up a few essentials and excited to stumble across the circus products for $1.50 a piece. For a long time I have been in love with images of vintage hot air balloons so I grabbed a cool notebook, set of cards and stamp. I'm contemplating going back for more... At $1.50 a piece I think I will stock up and have some of these on hand for gifts for friends and family!

In addition to the vintage hot air balloon designs there were a number of other designs in the same collection that were very cool. Like this set of circus themed cards. They are great "all occassion" cards. Perfect to have on hand when you need a card asap but dont want to trek to the store.

The prefect saying for all sorts of occasions -
Fun Times Ahead.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eastern Redbud

I posted recently on how around here spring has sprung. At the time I was eagerly waiting for a tree in my backyard to bloom also. Finally it started blooming so I headed outside this afternoon to snap a few pics.

Last summer a local nursery was have a huge sale because they were unfortunately going out of business. I decided to take a look and get some plants to pretty up my backyard. Majority of my backyard is concrete so I was looking for shrubs and trees that could grow easily in large pots. I found a Japanese Red Bud and decided to try it out. At the time there were no flowers on it since it was late summertime so I have been waiting and waiting to see how it would look this spring. I was starting to get nervous because the tree was basically bare all winter and I was pretty sure I had killed it in a heatwave at the end of the summer (the leaves all shriveled up). And in addition to the heatwave I may have forgotten to water it... But much to my delight, it recently started popping up all these pretty flowers! Success!

I've never been much of a green thumb which is why I'm kind of excited that I didn't kill this tree. Not like my tomato plants that I got at the same sale. That's a story for another time though...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Good Things Come In Small Packages

I created this shadow box about 4 years ago...

I made it for my daughters bedroom and it stills sits on top of a bookshelf in her room. I got the idea from a project that I had seen on Twopeasinabucket. Its been so long but I'm pretty sure the inspiration for the project was from a Twopeas member by the name of Melibean but it looks like she removed the project for publication. Judging by her blog LilyBean's Paperie, and the style of her projects, I'm 99% sure it was her. By the way, her blog is pure eye candy and you must check it out! Lily Bean designs for a number of various company's and her style is so soft and pretty.

To create the project I used a shadow box and mini pots from Michaels. With a little paint, paper, natural craft moss, and faux flowers I created a similar project to the one I had seen on Twopeas.

What made me really want to create this project was because it was just so perfect for my daughter. At the time Izzy was only 1 and we had been going through some tough times with doctors appointments and trips to the children's hospital to see specialist after specialist because she was basically small. And each time test results came back showing nothing abnormal. So the phrase "grow little flower" really touched me because of what we were going through. My motherly instincts tell me that there really isn't anything wrong with Izzy, she is just simply naturally petite. My mother went through the exact same thing with one of my older sisters (whom Izzy obviously takes after). Izzy is still a petite little munchkin these days but perfectly healthy. Good things just simply come in small packages...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just Simply Tasty.

I'm working on a fun photography thing·a·ma·jig and had to share this picture. Gosh I love plain old pretty sugar cookies.

That's all folks!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Vintage Canisters - But New To Me

Last weekend I picked up this set of vintage tin canisters at my local antique market. The seller had marked down the price from $15.00 for the set to half off so I got the entire set for just $7.50. I guess I thought it was my lucky day and couldn't understand why no one else had snatched them up before me. Sometimes I have to remind myself that just because I see beauty in something doesn't mean everybody else does.... but I certainly see the beauty in these.

So I brought them home, gave them a quick clean to get the dust off and set them up on my kitchen window sill. My husband came home from a snowboarding trip that night and I was half waiting for some kind of comment/joke from him about bringing home more junk... But it turns out he likes them (this is not the norm with my husband and my antique/thrift store finds) so I guess they are here to stay for a while!

What is really cool about these tin canisters is that they had an original Sears price tag attached, and they must be somewhat old because the price tag says $1.97. What can you get for $1.97 these days? Not a whole lot.

The tins are still empty, I'm just trying to decide if I should put kitchen items in them or craft supplies. Leaning towards craft supplies for when I do crafting in the kitchen.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Trip to Salvation Mountain

I first learned about Salvation Mountain through Elsie Flannigan's blog.

I was so intrigued and still fairly new to California at the time so I decided to do some exploring and head out there to visit myself. It was back in March of 2009 that I went out to visit (yikes almost two years ago) I'm kind of itching to do another trip and see the mountain and Leonard again. My friend Cacey was visiting from Australia so I thought the perfect Sunday road trip would be a trip to Salvation mountain, and a quick stop in Palm Springs. So with Izzy in tow we headed out to the desert.

Salvation Mountain was created by Leonard Knight. It's a really interesting story on how he came about to create the mountain and how he got there, you can read all about it here. I'm always intrigued by people like him that really live SO differently to most of us. Hi lives a simple life and simply does what he loves while sharing a message that is important to him.

Leonard uses adobe clay, donated paint and all sorts of recycled and found objects to build and create the mountain. The vibrant colors used throughout the mountain are pure eye candy, I love it!

Its truly an amazing work of art and simply breathtaking. It's kind of like an enormous green crafting project! It's in the middle of nowhere but if you live in Southern California is an easy drive.

Leonard is such a kind man and fortunately he had some spare time to walk around with us and give us a little tour trough the mountain and shared some of his story. What a nice man. He also happens to share the same name as my father, which of course made me like him even more!

I was really in awe of his passion and love and simply inspired.

It doesn't matter what kind of religious beliefs or views you have, it doesn't even matter how old you are (Izzy was 3 at the time and LOVED the place), its an enjoyable experience that I think people from all walks of life could appreciate and plain and simply leaves you feeling good.

So if you are up for a trip to Salvation Mountain then let me know!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Type of Celebrity

So my very first post ever on my blog was about this blue typewriter that I scored. I actually ended up using a picture of it in my blog and etsy banner. It seemed kind of appropriate for a blog. These days it lives in the photography prop room at work and it has actually made some appearances here and there for Stampington & Company. I like to think of it as a celebrity typewriter now!

It actually graced the cover with Kristen Robinson's artwork on this
Winter 2011 issue of Somerset Life.

Then I noticed that it also made its way into the Spring 2011 issue of Take Ten
as a handy dandy prop for an adorable handmade card.

And the one other spotlight it received recently was in the January 2010 issue
of the Postscript newsletter (sign up for it here) from Stampington & Company
featuring a letter by Stampington & Company Director of Publishing
Christen Olivarez.

So I thought I would share a few recent pictures of my typewriter. I need to bring it back home soon and retire it from being a prop. Maybe set it up in my craft room or living room. I think I'm going to redo my banner soon using these colorful pictures.

Anyway here is to an anthology of artfulness and craftiness and to pretty pictures of vintage treasures like a Robin Egg Blue Typewriter.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Loveliest Christmas Gift - A Handmade Quilt

This past Christmas I hit the jackpot. My friend and coworker (Linda) surprised me with the loveliest handmade gift I have ever received. Linda had shown me this quilt that she had made some time back and she knew how much I was in love with it. She makes many, many quilts (really a lot) and this one was my all time favorite and she knew it. The past two years for Christmas Eve (and hopefully more to come) I had her come join in our family festivities because she is such a wonderful person and simply great to be around. She regularly creates the most amazing quilts for her church and they send them off to various countries to families in need. She is simply a "giver" and takes joy and pride in giving. This gift was so unexpected. When I unwrapped it I pretty much acted like a 5 year old opening the toy of their dreams and hugged it like I never wanted to let it go! Today I had the joy of her coming over to visit and hang out with me and Izzy. We went to the park and Linda brought with her a bunch of her quilts and I photographed them in the park. I really, really want her to start an etsy shop and sell some of her amazing quilts. So here is my quilt from her. It lives lovingly on my couch and I use it just about every night so snuggle up with when I'm reading to my daughter or watching a good tv show. I'm not a very good sewer but I hope that one day I can create a quilt as amazing as this one.

Here you can see the detail of the flowers and the fabric on the underside.

And here is the entire quilt. Amazing!

And of course Izzy had to get in on the action. Do you think she loves the camera?

Maybe just a little...

So hopefully Linda will open an etsy shop. When she does I will update my blog with the details. I really wish her well with her handmade quilts. They are simply stunning.

Kitchy or is it "Kitschy" Aprons

First of all for a few minutes I was confused about the word "kitchy" or "kitschy." I thought they both meant essentially the same thing but according to the urban dictionary (yes i looked them both up) they actually have different meanings and I am leaning towards kitchy and not kitschy. Please correct me if I am wrong or you disagree. Sorry for the rant, kitchy is not really a word I ever used a lot or even heard people use until I moved to the USA so this just never occurred to me!

Anyway, on to these lovelies I just listed on etsy... I picked them up at the Irvine antique markets a few years back and have hung onto them for a while, I think its time someone else enjoys them! Both the aprons actually made an appearance in Summer 2010 issue of Somerset Life where I used them for a Creative Living Idea. If you haven't already got that issue then I suggest you pick up a copy. Somerset Life is always packed with mouth watering projects and ideas. Another publication that might interest you in you are an apron enthusiast is apronology. Flipping through the pages of apronology is another mouth watering experience!

I love the style and simplicity of this one. Classic.

And this polka dot number with a delicate sheer white fabric. So Cute

So stop by my etsy shop if you are in the market for a good vintage apron.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dressing up a Cupcake

Cupcakes. Who doesn't love a good cupcake? It's kind of like not liking anything cute and cuddly or anything that is seriously cute. I think for most people it just comes naturally. Occasionally you have to indulge (in my case its a little more than occasionally) in a sweet treat.

I recently created this simple cupcake project for our Valentine Collection at Stampington & Company. No - I did not actually bake these cupcakes... I wish I was that good with my baking skills! I basically wanted to show just how easy it is to dress up a simple treat by adding something simple like a mini flag. With just toothpicks and some paper tape you can create sweet and simple flags to stick in cupcakes like these and even create a mini banner.

Perfectly sweet for any occasion!

Thrift Store Purse Quick Fix and Supporting The QLD Flood Victims

I picked up this cute bag at my local thrift store recently. Its quite functional and was still in great condition so I decided to embellish it with a few rosettes. I used some solid green cotton fabric to create three rosettes then glued them onto the bag using my hot glue gun. I decided to donate the bag to the silent auctions being hosted by Your Creative Journey! The donations from the auctions are going to help support the QLD flood victims. Being a Queenslander it was really hard to watch the floods in the news and see all the suffering especially when one of the major floods was in my home town of Brisbane. Brisbane and the other parts of QLD that were affected by the recent floods have a long road to recovery but if I know queenslanders I know they are tough, and they are survivors. Sherry Mendoza is the lovely lady behind Your Creative Journey and I recently (finally) met her at CHA. She is doing amazing things these days, in particular organizing the Prima roadshow down under. Anyhow this is one of the projects that I donated to the auction. Gotta love a good thrift store find and transforming it into something cute. Visit Sherry's blog to learn more about her and the auctions to support the QLD flood victims.



Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just Some Harley Pictures

So my brother in law recently purchased a Harley. While I'm very happy for him, I also worry for him and constantly remind him to be safe. He wears one of those helmets that doesn't protect the face wich I think is crazy but hopefully he will get enough bugs in the face and change his mind. I hope so. It's not so much him I worry about but other drivers. Drivers in Southern California quite frankly scare me. What scares me even more is that I know the day is coming when my husband will want one. uggh. But we will cross that bridge when we come to it. When my brother in law recently stopped by I was outside with my little one taking pictures and couldn't help but take a few quick pics of his bike. I learned a few things - for example the next time I try this I will be sure not to get my reflection in the pictures (look closely at the 2nd and 4th picture and you will see what I mean). Live and learn I guess! After I uploaded them I decided to edit in picnic and used the 60s effect. Enjoy :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

Its only our second spring in our home but already I am looking forward to every future spring and the tree outside our front door blossoming. I took the picture with my 55-200 lens so that I could get a just a little closer. Now I'm just waiting for my other favorite tree in the backyard (that I almost killed) to start blossoming. Any day now, any day...

I have never been one to head outside and do "nature" photography. Its not that I don't like it, I just usually prefer to photograph people and when I'm at work I'm photographing art projects and art supplies. So I really just haven't had much time for nature photography. But the more I look at this picture the more I think the picture could be a really cool artist paper and incorporated into a mixed-media piece of art. So I think I might head outdoors this weekend a just give the nature photography some love.