Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tired of the gray and creme tea towels yet? Good, because I'm not either! I just made B these pants out of two of the tea towels. They are flared , baggy and beautiful. I want a pair for me!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring Break Project #2 - Planting Seeds
We had a full day of playing, planting, and friend making. Each person in our household had a new friend over at some point during the day. Lots of talking, crafting and, of course, planting took place. Hopefully something will grow in the next week...I do not have a very green thumb. Now, I'm trying to come up with a project for tomorrow...any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Break project #1 - Painted Place Mats
Today the children painted squares of canvas material using acrylic paints. The sun was shining through the window lined studio and we all enjoyed this little moment. Last week I came up with the idea of using ice cube trays for paint caddies...the deeper wells kept the paint in instead of spilling over the edge as it does while using the circular plastic paint trays.
When we were finished painting, I had to photograph the children's sweet!
Tonight I will add a quilted backing and they can eat their breakfast on their creations in the morning!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I've recently invested in some new watercolor paint brushes. It is important to keep brushes separated by the medium they are intended for. As I was contemplating how to store my new brushes and paints, I knew I did not want to use a plastic bin or another ugly coffee mug. I decided to make my own custom tote. After an entire day of tedious sewing, I am pleased to share the results with you.
To the right, there is a brush storage pocket that is specifically measured to fit my brushes. On the left, a paint storage section that holds 15-26 tubes of watercolor paint. A striped flap folds over the top of the brushes to prevent them from slipping out. The interior is canvas and the pockets are Heather Ross fabrics. The outside is my favorite part: a found tea towel and hand stamped art nest label. The gray and cream stripes are so dreamy and complimented the light colors of the the interior. I used four D-rings and created canvas belts to keep the the tote snugly rolled. Creating this paint and brush tote was a very rewarding experience. I know that it will accompany me in all my artistic endeavors!
On a side note: the background for these photographs is my painting table. Years ago I literally pulled the table out of a pile of clutter on the side of the road. My father had it refinished as a surprise. I was so touched my his encouraging gesture!

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's a pincushion ring! Be the first to sneak a peek at

Friday, March 20, 2009

It has been awhile since I've posted my art work. I've been working on my technique and experimenting with different paints and mediums. The watercolors I've started using produce a much richer color. This is also my first time to use illustration board instead of watercolor paper. I'm please with results and am looking forward to further experimenting and artistic growth. This is E at age 2. R looks just like her...The reference photograph (not pictured) was taken on one of our vacations to St. George Island. I love painting from candid shots, they most always convey rich life and emotion!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Click here and you will see the Art Nest @ the Purl Beehive. See my thumbnail on the top right? - Yippee!!! YES - I can be in 2 places at once! Thank you, thank you , thank you to everyone who has encouraged me in all my creative endeavors...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I spent a quiet Tuesday night at my art table cutting out tiny circles of fabric and modge - podging them onto wood nickels. I made 16 pairs for a total of 32 game pieces. My children LOVE playing this game. We all sat on the studio floor yesterday afternoon and played three full games. Everyone was laughing and cheering for each other as more and more matches were discovered. I felt such a sense of accomplishment, peace, and joy as I witnessed this tiny handmade game bring smiles, giggles, and memories to my family. It was an afternoon to remember!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Weekend lovely! With nice weather, a clean studio, and the children spending last night at my in-laws, I feel relaxed and accomplished. I'm sewing each of my children a tote for overnight trips, library trips, or just for lugging their toys around from room to room. HG's is still in the studio being assembled. I hope they enjoy these totes as much as I enjoyed sewing them!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I have discovered that I am truly in love with rescuing children's books. The criteria for selecting each book depends of my mood, but usually I look for classic books that have beautiful, charming illustrations. Today was a success...the above Maurice Sendak book, a Babar book dated 1954, The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton, and Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban. All in hardback, all for 10 cents. We already own the last two books that I bought but, as I explained to myself as I crept to the check-out line, I can't just leave these dear classics laying in this cold book sale room. Who will appreciate them here?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This is the third doll clothing swap I have had the pleasure of hosting. I've enjoyed hosting these swaps and have met several wonderful, talented people doing so. A doll clothing swap is a fun way to add unique outfits to your 18" doll collection. Not sure where to begin? Look through your fabric store's pattern books. Simplicity offers some adorable retro patterns. I highly recommend using a pattern to ensure the proper fit for your partners doll. If you are interested in joining, please read the following information below:

  • This swap is for 18" American Girl type dolls.

  • All clothing must be sewn. Please no knitted outfits.

  • You will create 2 outfits. Each will be sent to a separate swap partner.

  • I am defining 'outfit' as a dress, shirt & skirt, or shirt & pant.

  • You can display the outfits you give and receive at this Flickr Group

  • Sign up is now - May 15th, 2009

  • Mail out is June 1st, 2009

I know the above dates sound far away but I want to make sure you have plenty of time to plan and sew your doll clothes. You can sign up here:

doll_clothing_swap[at]yahoo[dot]com subject line: spring 2009

Please send inquiries to the above e-mail address. Merci!

PS: Feel free to use the image above as a button to advertise the swap on your blog!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring is coming. I am already feeling the need to clean out drawers, closets, and cabinets. My husband and I were fortunate to buy our first home last April. Our downtown apartment we rented before buying our home was about 900 square feet. Two tiny bedrooms, 1 bathroom with the added pleasure of banging your knees on the stack-able washer and dryer every time you used the loo, 4 kitchen cabinets for all of our kitchen food and appliances. Ahh...memories... the perks were: our apartment was at the edge of a mountain ( I could literally open the windows in our bedroom and touch the jutting rocks and green moss), we had front row seats to every parade down main street, we lived above a children's boutique and a bath & body store (instant shopping fix), it only took 2 hours to clean the house top to bottom, we enjoyed the church bells from St. Mary's every Sunday. ..

Living in a small space forced us to weed out unnecessary items, make due with what we had, and sometimes deal with things in an odd way. When B was born, we made one of our hall closets the 'nursery'. Now, of course she didn't sleep in the closet or anything like that, but all baby related items and necessities were meticulously organized into that one tiny closet. I loved opening the door and seeing organized perfection.

I love our house now...the children have their own rooms, the fenced in backyard is host to many outdoor adventures, I have more cabinet space than I can fill, I am blessed with my own window lined art studio, but I do miss being forced to live, think, and do things on a small scale. I admit I've become a tad bit lazy with my living simply goals. Now that spring is here, I am ready to begin again.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My first knitted beret! I have never knitted before until now. I used the Purl Beret pattern from the Purl Bee blog. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to knit this hat. I did have to do some background research for certain stitches and at one point there were 5 needles attached to the hat (scary!). I am very proud of this hat and have been wearing it around town all day. Next I believe I will tackle some fingerless gloves!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

One of my favorite activities is sneaking into the book sale room of our local library to dig through the children's section. I always find something admirable and lovely. I recently found this Finders Keepers book and loved the 2-3 color schemes on each page. Books like this inspire me to keep up with my block prints.

Tonight I served one of my favorite meals to my family: pot roast, mashed potatoes, lima beans and pear halves. I don't know if the lima beans and pear halve combination is southern or just a family tradition, but they are an odd mix non-the-less. My husband always cringes when I served whole kernel corn with spaghetti. I keep an unusually vivid picture in my mind from age five of my mom, dad, and I sitting on ice chests in the new kitchen of our new home eating spaghetti sandwiches and corn. Strange, I know, but this memory still coaxes me to serve corn with spaghetti on a regular basis. What strange food combinations do you and your family enjoy?