Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Housework


Photo by Shelby Nycole
currently available for purchase at


Bah! I @#$^&$ hate housework...

I am one of those people who really would rather find something else to do with my time than clean anything. Listen to me. I start out with "I am one of those people" as if there are others like me. What can I say. Misery loves company. The truth is (I'll lay it out here, but only for you)....the truth is that there's no one out there like me. I am a slob. I admit that there's nothing less important in my life to me than keeping house. There. I said it.

The curious thing is that I didn't use to mind it all that much. Didn't love it. But I didn't hate it either. Always chalked it up to one of those necessities in life. Just something you HAVE to do. If there was some enjoyment in it for me it was the satisfaction of being able to check something off my "to do" list or finishing a particular task. I even found some slight enjoyment in the fact that I get home and not trip over 5 things on my way in. Somewhere along the way, I lost my housework mojo. The little satisfaction or enjoyment I felt just left me. I have no idea what triggered it, but something did. Well...today, my friends...things are a-changin'. Today, I was featured on a blog that sparked a little flame in me. Here's what happened. I got home from work and tripped over one of my pairs of shoes, my husband's pair of shoes, set my mail down on the evergrowing pile of mail on my built-in library, tripped over my purse (there since Saturday) on the way up the stairs, sighed about the laundry that should have been done two weeks ago, dropped my stuff on the bed and ran to my study to check my e-mail and hibernate in an attempt to ignore the mine field I just waded through. A very kind Etsian had featured my sewing pattern tray (http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=13536363) from my etsy shop natuure (http://natuure.etsy.com/) on her blog! I was sooooo excited! I clicked on the link for her blog (http://the-linen-cupboard.blogspot.com/) and started reading. I WAS HOOKED! Not only are her posts super informative, but you should read her "About me" and her "Note on perfection" on the bottom of her page. Exactly! Her blog made me realize that it's not about being perfect, but about reconnecting with the little things that make life so enjoyable. The little things that make you feel alive, such as the crisp folds of fresh linens as you tuck in the corners while making the bed each morning. Or the scent and snap of those same fresh linens as you take your time folding them after they've been laundered. Or the look of that clean and organized refrigerator as you're taking things out to make dinner. And what about that feeling of having accomplished your "chores", of having actually ENJOYED them! Not to mention being able to invite house guests over for the week-end because no mines are left to trip over. Yup! I've got my mojo back!! *goes off chasing the dog with vacuum in hand*

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Beach Cottage

Last week, I had a couple of wisdom teeth pulled. Yeah, it hurt. Between dry heaves (compliments of the anesthetic) and bolts of shooting pain (compliments of whatever the heck it is oral surgeons do when they pull teeth out) I wanted to be anywhere but where I was right then. So, I tried to focus my reveries on more pleasant things. The week before my oral surgery, I had, of course, visited Etsy. What else could a person do to calm their pre-surgery jitters? Well, this person, visits Etsy. Never mind that I visit it every day. Just humour me. So on that particular day, I stumbled upon a super little shop called "The Beach Cottage" http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5605974. I "walked" through The Beach Cottage and felt I was there. Right on the beach! I felt the sand sliding through my toes and the wind was whipping through my hair. My tongue was teased with salt and the sun warmed my skin. And my nose tickled with so many of those beachy scents - coconut oil, salty air, algae. Really! I was lounging on the beach with a cool drink in my hand watching the surf come in.

So, lying there on my couch thinking about the pain I was in and the solid food I hadn't eaten in 3 days, and the pain killers I couldn't take for fear they'd burn a whole in my stomach (Vicadin is overrated, folks) and the pitty party I was hosting deafening my senses, I really just wanted to go to the beach. So I fired up the laptop. I waited for Windows XP to load. And waited...and waited...and...what the *&$%# happened to FIRED UP the laptop? And waited...finally, I signed into my account at http://www.etsy.com/. Clicked on My Favorites and walked into my very own beach cottage.

Ahhhhh.....all was well in the world.

By the way, I conversed with Julia, The Beach Cottage shopowner a couple of times and she is a truly amazing individual. She also happens to be really really really nice. Check out Julia's shop at: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5605974 and her blog at http://thebeachcottage.blogspot.com/. All photos on this blog posting are by Julia at The Beach Cottage and can be seen in her etsy shop or on her blog. Most items in the photos are currently available in her etsy shop.

Man, these disolving stitches taste nasty.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ouch!

Wisdom teeth are comming out folks! Won't be blogging for a few days....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tomorrow...

Feel your soul get lighter. Forgive someone.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Oh, this book!

I admit it. I am an Etsy addict. I also am addicted to vintage stuff (especially books). So you'll often find me perusing all the vintage supplies pages on Etsy - generally hours and hours on end. What can I say...I can't help it.

A couple of weeks ago, I was doing just that when I stumbled upon this great little Etsy store called Blacksheepyarns (http://blacksheepyarns.etsy.com/) full of vintage items that are just my bag if you know what I mean. I clicked and clicked all throughout the story and couldn't stop hearting every item, but then, just then....BINGO!...the most beautiful book that I have seen in a while filled my screen. I about jumped out of my seat. It looked like an old (very old...middle ages old) book...you know, the ones with the illuminated text and the thick, watercolor-like paper with the frayed edges? The illustrations were in gorgeous red, orange and yellow inks. The writing was that scroll looking stuff. Oh my god...I was in heaven. My fingers clicked on every available picture, my palms started sweating, my eyes grew wide...I thought I would die if I couldn't have this book. Then this thought popped into my head. A quick look at the heading "1900 Paris Book made with handmade paper rare book to frame pages" gave me hope. I thought that maybe, I had a chance, but then another thought popped into my head. IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL! It would cost a small fortune for my little hands to be able to feel its pages...I was getting distressed and my soul started remembering what disappointment would feel like. My eyes, afraid of what they would find, slowly wound their way up my computer screen to the area on the top right where I knew they would find the place where prices were born and died. Oh, my heart started racing...please please please...let it be ok. Let me be able to pay for this piece of art that would otherwise crowd my dreams and nightmares every night for years to come. Let me rest my eyes on those beautiful pages in person. Let me smell the must and feel the dimples on that paper. Let me taste victory!

Yup, boys and girls! I OWN IT! Thank god for great etsy shops and small miracles.

P.S. I also have to tell you about the superior customer service experience I had with the seller at blacksheepyarns. Not only did my package arrive super well packed and extremely fast, but I was pleasantly surprised by the extra goodies I received with my purchase. I was so floored that I actually had to send her a convo to let her know that I thought she had included someone else's order in mine. She nicely convo'd me back to say that the extras were her gift to me. She thought I could use them in my own art and specifically my paper dolls. WOW! If you're reading this and need vintage supplies visit http://blacksheepyarns.etsy.com/ right away! You never know what treasures await you and you definitely know the type of customer service you'll get. Take it from me!

Mini Scrapbook Challenge


I recently was lucky enough to stumble upon a forum on Etsy ( http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5678811) from a fellow Etsian who decided to put on an awesome little contest. Sewphisticate http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5318640 decided to find out what would happen if she sent approximately 20 artists some her beautiful little Mini Origami Scrapbooks (http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=11185302) to have their way with them. Yup! I was definitely lucky to get in on this! So, in keeping with the art I am currently ensconced in making, I decided to make one of my angel paper dolls. I recently worked on a bird theme for one of my customers so I decided to keep that theme going. Can't wait to see what the other participants have done. They're such a very talented group of people!

And here she is! The mini book was turned into "The Angel's Pretty Little Encyclopedia of Birds". Her wings say: She loved to research all the birds of the world in her small, little thing of a book. Her heart was handmade out of wax and painted red. The inside of the minibook shows vintage bird illustrations and a stamped image of a fancy little birdcage made with a stamp handcarved by me. She is backed by pretty art papers. Hope you like her as much as I liked making her!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Paper dolls

Well, yeah, it's been a while *bows head in shame*. I know there's absolutely no good excuse, but I had a lot of fun slacking off because I was busy making some cool paper dolls for some Etsy peeps recently. I was convo'd by a couple of people on etsy asking whether I would make them custom paper dolls. The themes they each chose got my creative juices flowing! I was so excited! Believe or not, 9 times out of 10, when I am asked to make a custom piece I end up making 3 of each theme - I get so carried away!!


One theme I was asked to dabble in was a "sewing theme". I was particularly psyched about that theme because I had recently purchased a 1950 copy of "The Wise Encyclopedia of Modern Sewing" at a small second hand shop near my "day job" for a buck. That's right, folks...ONE DOLLAR. Uno punto zero zero!! The vintage images in color within those pages were to die for. Hey! Guess what!?! I got it for a buck!!! I loved using those images in my paper dolls. The illustrations were just so 1950's, ya know? Anyways, above is an example of one of them. I will post the others soon as well. Or you can see the other sewing themed paper dolls in my shop at http://www.coffeemonkey.etsy.com/ .

The other theme I got a custom order for was all about birds.
This one was also exciting in that a while back I had received one of my own Etsy purchases and it was packaged so beautifully in this stringy paper that reminded me so much of a bird's nest that I saved it all until I could use it in my own art. I'd been wanting to work with that stuff for so long that when someone said "birds," I said "How High?" Just kidding, but the lightbulb did go on (however dim it might be) and I just knew what I would do. It was a really exciting process and I loved being able to use bits and pieces of vintage ribbon and vintage thread to hold it all together. I just love creating these cute little creatures! Anyone else out there want to throw out a theme? C'mon...you know you want to.

Will be posting more pics soon of my other themed angels. In the meantime, you can see some in my etsy shop at
I also have some other cool "papery" type gifts in my other store at http://natuure.etsy.com/
Goodnight y'all! 'Til the next posting! haha...promise it won't be too long.