Archive for the ‘Crafty’ Category

Mandala 27 crop

I’m making an effort to enter my studio every day – part of living up to this year’s word Move and my continuing goal to Create Daily – even if all I do is clear out some clutter and stare at pretty paper.  I’m there.  And every once in a while I get the urge to do something completely different than what I intended and that’s completely okay.  I have several “Christmas” packages I meant to get out before now – hah! – but instead I found myself on Friday evening grabbing a compass, protractor, straight edge, pencil, pen and eraser, and drawing a mandala instead.

And I left my studio a while later feeling uplifted and accomplished, useful, and creative.  Can’t pass that up for anything.

Happy Mandala Monday!




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Sunlit moss 1.1.16

My word for the year is Move – movement, motion, no more letting myself get “stuck” in anything, keep dancing, keep creating, keep taking those steps every day to do the things that make me feel good…  Push forward when necessary, float gently when necessary, run and jump and leap to grab what I need when necessary.  Move.

Blurred forest 1.1.16

Last year my word was Allow, which deserves its own post, but I also adopted the mantra Live Love – I’ll be keeping that one, likely forever, and adding another: Create Daily.  Anything.  If nothing physical, then create beautiful thoughts in my head.  Push out all the crap.  And post more often; I’ve turned to Instagram to share the pictures but I finally realized I’ve been missing the story telling, too.  So, more posts this year will be part of my Create Daily.

Sunlit moss too 1.1.16

These three photos are among the first 20 I’ve taken with my new Canon Rebel T5 (I have a feeling we’ll be fast friends as we get to know each other a little better).  Photos taken yesterday, edited and posted today – Create Daily, days one and two – check!

Hello, 2016.  Nice to meet you.  Let’s be friends.  I have a feeling we have a lot to do together this year.

: )



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Merry Christmas!

Mandala 23 snowflake

My days have been full – of work, of mothering and wife-ing, of baking, of chores, of holiday cheer – so I know I’ll forget to come back on Friday to say:

Merry Christmas!

May your holidays be healthy, cheerful and bright.  May you have all you need and then some.  May you share your extras – wealth, cheer, food.  May you go into the new year with a glad and optimistic heart.

I know I will.  = )




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Mandala 19.1



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Mandalas: I’m obsessed!  They’re so fun to draw – It’s relaxing.  It’s the perfect little thing when I need a 10-minute brain break at work.  It’s a rewarding way to create something daily.  No two will ever be alike.  BUT I can scan and save them to play with or color later, too.  L O V E

Mandala 1 resizeMandala 2.2 resizeMandala 3 comboMandala 4 resizeMandala 5 resizeMandala 6 resizeMandala 7 blank resizeMandala 7.1 resize


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From the back wedding pic

Five years ago tomorrow we were married in our own backyard, surrounded by a lot more people than I ever expected, on a day that started out crazy windy/busy/tense/busy but turned out to be perfect.  I scored my dress at a sale and Mom bought me the most beautiful veil from an entirely different store, but it matched perfectly.  I chose to do most of the planning and making myself because I wanted what I wanted (right, Mom?):

  • Folded and made ornaments from around 250 origami cranes for favors.  Packaged them up all pretty, too.
  • Created our Save the Dates and invitations from scratch, but never did get a picture.
  • Made the ring pillow.
  • Cleaned so many windows my arms were as ripped as they ever have been.  Which isn’t saying that much.
  • Made my bouquet, my girls’ bouquets, the corsages and the boutonnieres.  My friend Leslie helped put together jars of flowers for the tables.
  • Cut our “S” monogram cake topper from a favorite copper printing plate that was at the end of its previous life.
  • Made the stand for the big 3-tier cake.
  • Chose all the candies and pretty glass containers to go into a kick-ass Candy Bar display.
  • Made the fabric pieces to go on the center of our big round tables (yards and yards of fabric, washed, ironed, and ripped down to size – whew!).
  • Helped lay the 10,000 sq ft of sod that went into our yard in preparation.  There was a lot of preparation to get the yard ready.  And lots of worrying about the rainy summer that year.
  • Made anklets for me and my girls out of beach glass found in Mexico (where he proposed) and beads that matched the wedding colors, then forgot to wear mine.
  • Planned to make our guest book but made the wise decision near the end to let that go and use a beautiful National Parks book instead.  Then forgot to have anyone announce guests should write all over it!
  • Worried about things that didn’t matter in the end.
  • Would make very few changes if I did it all over again.

Taking vows

I recruited a dear friend (and Mom for carrot cake) to make our cakes (and decorate them too – go Leslie!), recruited another friend to sing The Nearness of You during the ceremony, recruited my Mom to do the most awesome wedding buffet ever, recruited another friend to officiate, recruited the most awesome photographer ever (photos in this post are Jenn’s), recruited the entire wedding party to help setup that day… We wanted to throw a big party for our friends and family, and get married while they were are all there, so that’s what we did (and messed up the rings, too, because I gave the Best Man Matt’s ring instead of mine…).  It was crazy fun, a little stressful, and beautiful.  Kids ran around, we laughed and ate and drank and I still don’t always remember everyone who was there.  It was perfectly us.

Cutting cake

Just don’t smash it in my face!

Life is not always perfect, not always easy, but I’m happy.  There’s no one else I would choose to live this life with.  And damn, we make cute babies.

I love you, Matt.


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heart cloud

This was too good not to share – Kelly Rae turned 40 (right behind you, girl!) and she’s having a HUGE sale.  I already own her creative e-biz book Flying Lessons, but now she’s offering a bundle of her painting course, the e-biz book, and her Wear your Joy Project course for only $99!!  That’s an amazing deal.  Head on over here for all the how-to’s and details.  Offer ends June 25th.

Go, go, go!!


(This message contains an affiliate link for Flying Lessons, because I love to support, and be supported by, the things I believe in.  The link to Kelly Rae’s Bundle sale is all her own. = )


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We’ve been fighting the good (ack!) fight: a mobile toddler in a real bed, who would rather do anything but go to sleep at night.  We’ve tried being really stern, tried closing the door, opening the door, offering bribes, giving him an owl light he gets to keep if he stays in his room (he now brings it out, turns it off, and puts it away…), snuggling, not snuggling, letting him cry, ignoring him, the Super Nanny method (maybe I don’t have the patience for that one yet, the stubborn bugger), but it continues to be a fight weeks after we started.  He’s a very active 33-month-old who would love to stay up late and sleep in (maybe, or get up at 5:45 because “It’s a little morning outside!”), just like his daddy.

One night purely by chance I put him in bed, turned my back on him and stood there, and he was silent.  No complaints, no whining, no getting out of bed.  Success!  But part of me was sooooo not interested in waiting with him until he falls asleep because people! I have things to do after he goes to bed!  Back to the above list of Stuff That Isn’t Working until I gave in and sat with him one evening last week, when it only took an HOUR for him to fall asleep.  Maybe less, but that’s what it felt like.  Fast forward to two nights ago when I decided Okay, I’m tired of the fight – the anger the tears the tantrums (often mine) – I’m going to embrace his desire to have me sitting there in the room with him AND do something for myself, so I grabbed a sketch pad and some pens and started doodling the letter A, inspired by this, and my need to do something creative (please Universe, now that I have a studio but I’m again too tired after above said trials to enjoy…!).

A sketchesWell, it worked.  After a few inquiries (“What you doing, momma?”), and having to put the owl light by me so he would stop playing, he went peacefully to sleep.  Worked again last night, too.  He still wakes up in middle of the night and comes upstairs to find me, but one battle at a time, please.  Considering I could barely see owl light, the light of day revealed some fun letter forms develop more fully – yay!!  Tonight I’ll play with C’s (must remember to skip a page if I use Sharpie again).

B sketchesEventually I’ll have an Abecedary under my belt.  Hooray for multi-tasking!

If you have any toddler-to-bed tips, or lettering tips, please pass them on.  = )



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Little birthday orchid

“Alas, the wasted potential” is the really dramatic way of stating I have a lot of supplies I’ve never used, and it’s a crime.  A crime, I say!  Evidence in point –

  • Paper making supplies – frame, felts, instructions
  • Marbling supplies – inks, instructions
  • Printmaking supplies – I have a press.  A press!  I’ve had it for years now and used it one time, for a series of 10 or so prints.
  • A cropadile.  Totally forgot about this one.
  • Needle felting – roving, needles, couch, instructions.
  • Metal stamping – bench, letters, hammer, metal
  • Crepe Paper – for making paper flowers like these.  And these.
  • Yarn.  Not a true knitter’s stash, but more than I should have considering I usually only knit scarves, and only during a blue moon.
  • Fabric.  Several tubs.  One for someday belly dance clothes.  One full of totally impractical asian-print brocades (this one weighs a TON) that are iffy to sew and difficult to wash.  One containing massive yardage of red and plaid flannel that I’ve toted around through … 4 moves? intending to make a fairy tale cloak out of that someday, unless I just make crib sheets instead.  One full of stuff that called my name.  One full of odds and ends and scraps and interfacing and what-all…

The only recourse I have to remedy the waste, the neglect, the sad crime of it all is to start 39 Projects!  I mentioned in my Hey I’m 39 birthday post that I plan to do 39 projects over the course of this year, and document them here of course, so what better way to start than take a look at my list of under appreciated tools and materials and START!

Here’s my list, in no particular order; it’s not set in stone so if something else catches my fancy I’ll replace one of these without blinking.  = )

  1. Make a bunch of crepe paper daffodils.
  2. Marble paper.  With my marbling kit, and with nail polish.
  3. Create a mixed media pendant to wear, using materials from one of my Magic Jars of Goodies.
  4. Create a circular weaving.
  5. Create a crane mobile.
  6. Needle felt a ???  Not sure what to try first!
  7. Use my fabric stash to make a travel tote that will hold the iPad, a sketchpad, camera and chargers, and a small stock of supplies.
  8. Make a mini book using my sunrise/sunset photos.
  9. Knit a cowl for myself.
  10. Knit a vest.  Or a cardigan if I get really ambitious.
  11. Paint a watercolor picture – ref all of my flower photos for source.
  12. Finish my SIBC project.
  13. Put art up in Forrest’s new big-boy room.
  14. Print an edition of 10 feather collographs.  Use some gold leaf too?
  15. Make a pair of mixed media earrings using wood.
  16. Make paper!  With my kit!
  17. Pull an old print and create a new piece of art with it.  I know this is open-ended, but I don’t want to put boundaries on it.
  18. Use nail polish to “enamel” a pendant.
  19. Draw 3 faces, any medium.
  20. Weave a wall hanging with fabric scraps & yarn.
  21. Make a pincushion.
  22. Finish 1 of the stuffed origami cranes.  Totally finished and embellished.
  23. Make a pillow cover for my extra insert – quilted?
  24. Sew a skirt.  Or alter one I’m not wearing.
  25. Take macro photos of my Underwood typewriter.
  26. Create a mini book using those photos.
  27. Paint a wall in our bedroom.
  28. Make a headboard for our bed.  And a bedskirt.
  29. Metal-stamp jewelry: Love, Peace, Joy, Get Your Butt Moving…
  30. Vanuatu stamp art – large-scale.  Subtle colors.  For Lake Oswego show in June?
  31. Make a book out of an old print in my stash.
  32. Make a tunnel book.  Nature themed.
  33. Make 3 mini-book pendants.  Things I would want to wear.
  34. Finish Matt’s bighorn sheep drawing.
  35. Paint a pin-up girl.  Use Grandma’s old patterns.
  36. Make a bookboard box to store my collection of little found bones.
  37. Make a paper and bead statement necklace (inspired by Alisa’s)
  38. Finish my Larger Than Life painting/wall hanging, or at the very least put some work in on it!
  39. BREATHE.

Birthday orchid


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Traffic Cone

I’ve had very little caffeine this week, not for any particular reason but that it feels like a good choice right now.  I doubt it’s forever.  Decaf green tea with half a spoon of turmeric honey stirred in is floating my boat instead.  More fruits, veggies and whole foods and less junk is feeling good too.

I’ve finally been exercising again, sometimes 5 times a week.  Some days it’s a 2 + mile walk at lunch, others it’s a mashup of HIIT routines in the evening.  I’m planning to add some dancing in the evenings too because I went and signed up to dance at the final ever Bellydance Showcase in late April (it’s a blast, there are great vendors, and you’ll see all levels of dance in an amazing, supportive environment – join me!  I’m Raven on Sunday afternoon).  It feels good.

I’ve been listening to this awesome podcast during my lunchtime walks – Raise Your Hand.  Say Yes.  Tiffany Han talks to creative people (and believes deeply in Just Start).  I know many of these names, I follow many of their blogs, I already admire their creativity and I love to hear other creative people talk about everything that goes into getting there, staying there, and being there.  Yes!

I want to make a business out of being creative – art, craft, vintage, what have you (talk about an inspiring lady!).  I think that means I need to change my brand from Curly Girl Press to something else – I have no brand or presence out there right now, I know this, yet I feel like I would be falsely riding the coat tails of Curly Girl Designs, a brand I really love and respect, in keeping my current name.  She’s worked too hard to have someone else try to come in to the industry who works with paper, often in collage, even if what I do isn’t what she does so well, AND with a brand name one word off of her’s.  The names are too close for me to feel respectful.  I may write and ask her opinion.

I would like to work 4 days at my day job and 1 at my creative life during the week.  That will mean some significant changes in the background – some loss of income, some changes at home, but it’s the only way I can see to make positive steps in the direction of becoming self-employed because trying to do it all on the weekend isn’t working.  I would gladly donate a good portion of my wardrobe for some house elves but I don’t think that’s an option, either…

I’m talking this all through with Matt.

Hi Universe, this is me taking that first step.  This is me making plans and setting goals.  This is me getting unstuck.  This is me raising my hand and saying yes, and *starting*.

Let’s go.


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