Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Annual Clearance Sale

I am busy, busy getting ready for this sale that starts tonight. I will be cleaning out and photographing all day. If you head over to the Etsy shop early, you won't see much. I have pulled a lot out of the shop to lower the prices and they won't be added back until eight. You know, everyone has to have a fair chance at getting the bargains.

And that reminds me...we run into this problem every year so maybe this year I will save someone the frustration. When you're shopping with Etsy just because you put an item in your cart doesn't mean it's yours. It could also be in someone else's cart. It only disappears out of the shop when you purchase it. So if there is something you just can't live without, buy it and then go back and shop some more. I will still ship them all together to save you postage if I can.

I will be online this evening if anyone has any questions or just wants to chat. :)

Have a great day,
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Monday, January 30, 2012

Put It In Writing

Hey, Hey....seriously it's going to be February this week, what happened to January. I knew it was going to be a busy one, but now my January work is going to flow into February. It just didn't get done. For as long as I can remember I have been having a clearance sale in January. I planned on having one this January too and I will, just barely. I am working fast and furious to get all of the items listed. There is a ton of stuff. Beads, buttons, jewelry, pottery, oh the list goes on. It's going to be big. The only way I am actually going to get this baby up and running is to put it in writing. So that's what I am doing right now. It's going to start tomorrow evening at 8:00 pm EST. There it has been announced, there's no turning back!

So check it out...you won't believe the prices, if you have ever shopped my clearance sale before you will know, things are cheap. Remember my word this year is "Clear" so this will help literally clear my studio.

So maybe I will see you tomorrow night? But for now enjoy the rest of January.


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Thursday, January 26, 2012


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 Hello, Hello,

So my work has taken an exciting turn....well at least I think it's exciting. I am hoping you can give me your opinion on this matter as well. In the past I have always painted on ceramic tiles and scanned them into the computer to use in my surface designs. I feel like I know what I am doing when I paint with glaze. I know what colors work on what, how the colors will flow together, etc. It was also a uniqgue way to approach surface design. There are some pretty big drawbacks to painting on tiles though. First drawback is the color pallettte. It's difficult to mix glazes and get what you want. You don't really know what you've mixed until it comes out of the kiln the next day. Which is my second drawback, time. Waiting to have a hole kiln load of tiles to fire takes time so design work has to be done in increments. Third drawback is the glare and transparency that the scanner picks up from tiles. Trust me I have played with all sorts of over glazes, including matte to get rid of this problem but I lost that battle.

The tulip above is one of my glazed tiles and it's a flower that will make it's debut in Tussie Mussie that will arrive in a few weeks.
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Here is a painting I did this week of a flower that also made it's way into Tussie Mussie. It was glazed in Tussie Mussie but here it's painted. It ttok me a bit to play around with different surfaces, different paints, and different styles of painting. I found that when I usually paint paintings I am a bit more carefree and layer-ee. You know I like to load color on top of color on top of color. When I tried scanning them to use in surface design, the look was too far from my "look". So I think I have figured out how to paint like I do on tiles but on paper. Whew!

So please oh please tell me what you think, I am anxious to hear. I have only shown a couple of folks so far.

Thanks a bunch and have a great day!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

As Promised

I was headed home from my accountant's office yesterday and it was so pretty and warm out, and I just happened to have my camera in the car, so I took a detour. I took a quick walk through the botanical gardens. I was determined to snap some photos of daffodils and I figured this was better than pulling over on a busy road to shoot the ones that were randomly popping up. The problem about warm weather in the winter is that it still gets dark at 5:00, even though everyone still wants to be outside playing. I shouldn't complain.

 Otis got to run around while I was loading up my kiln. We have a hilly yard so he plays fetch with himself. If he lays the ball down it will roll down the hill and then he can chase it. When he was a pup this would entertain him for hours.

With all those nice pictures, I thought I would show you where I have been spending a lot of time the last few days. I have been doing lots of glazing. I seem to have accumulated a lot of orders so I am working to get those finished up as well as get new beads made. I have some prototypes in the kiln today that I am pretty excited about. I am even thinking about submitting a jewelry project to a magazine. That's something I haven't done in forever.

Anyway, the desk is a little messy and needs a good cleaning but I can reach all of my glazes when I sit here so until I have a break in the glazing, it will look like this.

Have a great day!
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Monday, January 23, 2012

New Batteries

Good morning!

Today is one of those days where I don't know where to begin. Lots to do and the first thing on my list is to get new batteries fro my camera! I haven't been able to take pictures lately. They are rechargeable batteries that just won't charge anymore. I have loads of things to get in the Etsy shop one of these days.

Also on my list of things to take pictures of...

My home studio because it's clean! Wahoo! I told you I was doing a bit of a redo.

My new way of doing things.

My new fabric samples, eek!

The new beads coming out of my kiln today.

There I just made a bit of a blogging to do list. 

You know what I want to go take pictures of more than anything? The bright green grass that is popping up. I might just have to head over to the Botanical Gardens this week and shoot some photos. It's that really bright, almost lime green stuff. It's so pretty and it makes me anxious for spring. I have also seen forsythia and daffodils this week. I have to keep telling myself that spring is not really here or I'll get too excited. We haven't had a snow day this year and I can't imagine us getting away without one.

Off to get some batteries.....New pictures all week, woot, woot!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Little Bit of This and That

  Hi! Sorry I haven't been around much... I spent the latter part of the week at the giftmart in Atalanta and then came home with a cold. I am on the mend again. I swear this weather going back and forth between warm and cold does not agree with my sinuses. And as for the giftmart...I will tell you more about that another day, I am waiting on pictures to tell you why I was there.

Fletcher and I ran our first 5k Monday. It was actually fun and it makes me think I want to run more.  Fletcher and I stayed at the same pace for most of the race and then when we had about a half mile left, he left me in the dust. That guy can run.

Today is a big studio day! I am excited to be working on new beads, in what seems to be forever. This year is my 15th year being a self supporting artist and it's my 10th year of making beads. I am thinking about bringing back some of my old styles for fun. Anybody got something they would really like to see? I am in love with the color blocking trend right now(how could I not be?) So I have some things sketched up and they will be made in clay by the end of the day. Stay tuned.

Alrighty it's time to get in there and get busy...talk to you soon,

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy New Year

  Happy New Year! Hope you had great holidays. Mine were good, there was lots of lying around and that is just what I needed. I have been back at it for about a week now but January is a wild one for me this year.  This is the first I have been able to get to blogger. In the past week, I have signed up for Quilt Market, Bead and Buttons, and a 5k run. That's a lot of commitment in one week and it's kind of the opposite of my word for the year.

I have picked a word for this year and it's "Clear". I have big plans for this word. It fits in so many ways. I'm going to clear some products, clear my studio, and clear my mind. Whew! Big tasks and when I came up with this word, I knew it would be until February until I could get started on my word, but it will happen and I promise you will hear more about it.

Here's a drawing I started of my word, I haven't finished it yet, but it doesn't necessarily bother me, it's just clear at the end of the page and that is how I hope to be by the end of the year.

On that note, who's on Pinterest? It's the greatest and boy oh boy do I spend a lot of time on that site. I know some of you follow me. I have been pinning all sorts of studio ideas. I am in for a redo this year. I know you're thinking that I redo my studio all of the time, and I kind of do. But I think you have to keep your space inspiring and my home studio is due for a change. The last time I made over the place I didn't design fabric so I have been rearranging and adding tables, etc over the last few years. It's time for a full on re organize and a good clean out. The clean out fall under the word clear. :) See how that's working.  But anyway, I am not ready for the studio redo yet, I think it will be later this spring, I am really thinking this one through, plus I have this idea that I really, really, really want a window in my studio. It's possible, but I am still waiting to hear how much it would cost. I really don't think I can swing it but I might try to be creative and come up with the funds for this one. I think it would make a huge difference in my work and mood.

So anyone out there got a word for the year? Let me hear it!

Have a great day,
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Repost - Ruffled Baby Bib Tutorial


Ruffled Baby Bib Tutorial

Hello, Hello,

I got to go to a baby shower this past weekend. I knew that our friends, Amber and Ryan were having a girl. I was so excited! I have two boys and here was my chance to make something with ruffles. I came up with this bib pattern and wanted to share it with you. The three pattern pieces can be found here, here, and here for printing. Tape them together if you want to make the one ruffle bib. This pattern can be shrunk or enlarged to suit the size you need.

Here's the fabric you will need to cut....

One Ruffle Bib(black)
2 full bib pieces for front and back (tape the three pieces together to make one bib)
1 full bib piece from batting
2.5" x 44" fabric strip for ruffle
piece of hook and loop tape

Three Ruffle Bib
1 piece of fabric cut for each of the 3 bib pieces
1 full bib piece for bib backing (tape the three pieces together to make one bib)
1 full bib piece for bib back
2.5" x 44" fabric strip for ruffle
Two pieces of 2.5" x 22" fabric strips for ruffle
piece of hook and loop tape

Just in case you're wondering, all of the fabrics I used here come from my Polka Dot Garden Collection of fabric.

After cutting out all of the pieces out, fold the ruffle pieces in half with the right sides facing outward.
With your machine or by hand run a gathering stitch along the raw edge of the fabric strip. Do this for all of the ruffle strips you will need for your bib.

Pull one of the threads of your gathering stitch to gather the ruffle or ruffles.

If you are making the Three Ruffle Bib, Start by pinning one of the short ruffle sections across the top of the second bib piece. Pin the ruffle so the raw edges hang over the side of the bib piece. It will eventually get sewn over with another ruffle. The second short ruffle section will get pinned across the top of the third bib piece.

Before sewing the ruffles, pin the bottom of bib piece one to the top of bib piece two. Sew together.

Pin the bottom of the second bib piece to the top of the third bib piece and sew together.

If you're making the One Ruffle Bib this is where you jump in. Both bibs have the outer ruffle. This ruffle will vary in length because of the gathering. Th make sue the ruffle is center fold it in half to find the center. Pin the center of the ruffle to the center of the bottom of the bib. Continue to pin up each side. Turn the raw edges of the ruffles into the fold of the ruffle before pinning.

You bib should look like either the picture above or the picture below depending which bib you are sewing.
Next place the right side of the bib backing facing the right side of the bib front. Place the batting on top of the back of the bib back. Pin all of the layers together. Sew these layers together leaving a 4 inch opening towards the top for turning. Clip the round edges up to the thread, taking care not to cut the seam. Turn and press.

*Note* Because seam allowance, ruffles, etc, vary, when pinning the Three Ruffle Bib start at the neck and work your way down the sides pinning the layers. Smooth as you go and you might find there is a bit of extra fabric left at the bottom of the bib back. After sewing the three layers together trim the excess away.

Hand sew the turning hole closed. Top stitch around the edges.

Sew a piece of hook and loop tape at the top of the bib for opening and closing. Trim and loose threads.

I hope you enjoyed my Ruffled Bib Tutorial, thanks for stopping by the blog and I hope you stop back by again soon.

Have a great day!

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Repost - New Fabric and Buttons

Originally posted  March, 2010

Happy Friday! I am super excited for so many things right now. First, my new buttons are up on the site. These are the buttons that match my new fabrics. Second, my fabrics are available for order through In The Beginning Fabrics now. Wahoo! This is only wholesale. For you sewers wanting to get your hands on some, unfortunately, you have to wait until September. That is when Happy will show up in Independent Quilt Shops across the country and the world. But please...oh...please go ask you quilt shop to order now. I will show you more of the collection soon, there are 24 fabrics in all.

I don't want to leave you hanging so remember the logo above? Here is the fabric that is used in it. It will also be available in a really pretty turquoise and a purpley-periwinkle color. I can't stop thinking of all the things I am going to make with it. EEEk!

So have a Happy Friday,

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Repost - Swing Necklace

Swing Necklace


Hey, Hey,

I made a new necklace. I am loving it an wearing it right now.

It was super simple, and here's what you need:

3 Jangles ceramic pearls
2 brightly colored cane glass rings5 assorted size and colored coconut shell discs
one of my new bead sets on Etsy

6" 18 gauge gunmetal wire
18 inches 2mm x 4mm gunmetal chain
2 4mm gunmetal jump rings
1 6mm gunmetal spring clasp

Needle Nose PliersChain Nose Pliers
Wire Cutters

1. Take the end of the wire in your needle nose pliers. Turn the wire around the pliers several times to make a loop.

2. String your beads on in any order you would like.

3.Trim the excess wire to an inch in length. Grab that end in the pliers and twist a loop to match the first loop.
4. Open up a jump ring and attach one end of the necklace to one end of chain. Do the same on the second side.

5. Attach the spring clasp to the back of the necklace.

That was super easy, eh? So I have put several sets of these beads in my Etsy shop. I also put some longer sets that would make super cool bracelets, some pairs for earrings, and pendants.

Have a great day,

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Repost - Back From Create

Back from CREATE

Hey, Hey,
I am back! Actually I have been back for a week now but I am swamped more than I have ever been...more on that later. CREATE was so much fun. It was four days of just having fun making things. I am in love with mixed media, which if you read my blog you would know, and this was a great chance for me to play. So here a a few of the things I made.

I took a class from Kelli Perkins, it was a painted fabric workshop. There was so much more than painting involved. We painted and stitched, then scanned the paintings into the computer. They were then printed out on fabric, painted again, embellished, drawn on, and stitched again. This wall hanging needs to be trimmed and of course, embellished with beads.

Another great class was with Sue Pelletier, she is a mixed media genius. This class was called Birdscapes, that explains all of the birds. We layered and layered and then layered some more in this class. Sue was super and gave us all kinds of secret weapons to use in our projects.

This was part of the class kit we received. Yummy and right up my alley. I brought home some extra kits she had and soon you might see some on Etsy. That is if I can part with it.

Here are the rest of the pieces, I made nine in all and was given the title of over achiever and was called that all week. I can't help that I make a lot of stuff. You should have seen my car on the way home!
Above is a picture from class. Notice the plastic on the floors? Every class room was covered in it. Poor hotel people, the place had just been remodeled and in come a bunch of crazy paint brush carrying women. I am sure we stressed them out.

I loved Sue's techniques so much I took a second class with her. It was called drop cloth girls and actually I liked the idea of doing the fam instead. Here they are.

Last, was a class from Bob Maloney. It was a color and texture class. We learned fun painting techniques. I painted 11 different canvases but I didn't take photos of them all. I want to try some furniture with these techniques.

As you can see it was lots of fun. As soon as I walked in the door, I remembered how much work I still have to do for the next few weeks. Fabric will be hitting stores any day now, which means buttons will be too. That's where I come in. The girls and I are working like crazy so that the orders can ship at the same time.

I am also working on some sewing patterns. These will debut next month if all goes well. (fingers crossed) I am pretty sure some of you non sewers will like them also. I can't wait to share them with you.

I am off to paint buttons, and lots of them... It's nice to be back blogging, I missed all of you, please leave me a comment and tell me what you've been up to.

Have a great day,
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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Repost - Shots from The Studio

Shots From The Studio

Supply Bags in Progress
Happy Friday! I thought I would do something a little different today. Yesterday when I was out glazing away in my studio I was trying to think of things I enjoy most about other blogs. I came up with the realization that I like to see what's going on behind the scenes. I love studio shots, and messes and real life stuff. I thought it would be fun to walk around and take some shots of what's happening here. I just took these this morning.

Quilt sewn together
Kits mid-assembly
Jewelry design table, (it always looks like this)
Kiln half loaded, those tiles have designs for my next fabric line on them. I know I am mean to show them to you when they are all covered up with glaze!
Yellow buttons to be glazed
My gigantic roll of bubble wrap I got last week, I had to have a talk with all three boys(Nik included in this) there is to be no popping when you walk by them.
My still unpainted floor!

Two things I realized from this post....First I need a new camera, mine takes great outdoor photo but the indoor photos are so grainy. Ugh, they are expensive and I don't know how to use all those settings. I think I need to make this a priority though.

Second, I would really like to make this a weekly feature. What do you think? Do you like the studio shots? I hate to say it would be a weekly thing though because then for sure I would miss a week. Let's say "maybe a weekly thing" then there is no guilt on my part when I miss a Friday! While you are telling me if you would like to see more, let me know if there is anything else you would like to see, my ears are open.

Everybody have a Happy Friday!

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