Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Seasonal Wreaths

I've finally made time.. not timet to read, or get a massage or do my nails or even get a long needed pedicure. I have made time to take photos of my new fabric wreaths and post them in my handmade shops. It's easy to forget how much fun it can be to list your items when you believe in them. Colors have always impacted my life, therefore, I can't go into a fabric store and not go NUTS surrounded by coordinating materials. My custom wreaths take 5 different fabrics. Normally, I would go into the store intending to buy ONLY a quarter yard of 5 different fabrics. But the holidays creep up quickly and the craft fairs are a plenty, so I have no choice (oh, sure!) but to purchase anything I can get my hands on. I have recruited my friend's Mom, Sandra, to tag along. She more than tags along, she helps me find the perfect fabrics that will go together and offers a point of view that helps often. When we both agree, we know we have the right fabric combination! Thanks, Gigi! (her grandkids gave her that name!) I have some for the holidays, for little girls rooms, for halloween and for the glorious fall when all the rich colors come into our yards and our homes. Please take a gander and some of my colorful creations! Susie

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A New Kind of Custom

Hi People! I wanted to tell you a little story. I got a phone call the other day from a darling Mom who ordered a bag tag from me recently for her daughter. She had also sent me a note through my e-commerce site asking if I would be interested in creating a birthday invitation for her daughter. There were only going to be 8 invites. What did I care if there were only 8! Of course I was interested. A few days went by and I finally heard from her. (BTW, it had taken me a few days to get back to her since I had not looked on that email in quite a while.) We were gabbing away like old chums, but when she was delighting in telling me how her daughter loved to draw and how she had a nice little portfolio going already, I stopped her right there in mid conversation! "Wait!" I demanded. (quiet on the other side. She was probably thinking.. sheesh!) So I said to her, "How about if your daughter draws what she wants for her invite and you send me the art and I put it into invitation form?" She looooved the idea! I was pretty proud of myself. I don't think that this is an original idea, but it's generally not done, I don't think. I also had a big craft fair coming up and needed every free second I had. I felt it would benefit all of us if Nicole could use her own art for her Spa/Slumber Party and I could get my bearings here for this fair. I got the art.. actually 5 pieces. They are from a program called Fashion Design Pad. I think this is how it works; her daughter, Nicole, creates the face with hair color, eyes, lips, nose..the whole shebang on the computer. She then colors clothes onto the little computer models. She happened to send me a blond, a brunette and an Asian. I used all three and had them hold hands. Her wonderful Mom sent me a base for text and I changed it around a bit and then we finalized it over the phone when she got her proof. Here is the result. Isn't it cute?

AND, to save time, I made out the envelopes with green marker and added cute gift stickers next to her guests names. It turned out so adorably! This is truly why I love what I do. Personalizing things in a non- traditional manner is so much fun for me. And also, being an artist who doesn't enjoy repetition, this was right up my alley. Everyone was happy.. I can't wait for Nicole to get her envelope!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sigh~ The other night I had a choice. It should not have been a difficult one, and in the end, it unfortunately wasn't. Does this sound contrary? Well hear me out. My son, has made the soccer team at his high school. He's a sophomore. His frame is very thin, but his heart is huge. He's made every tryout time, every practice, has perfect grades, a super sense of humor, and is an all around lovely young man - yes, I have been told this by many, not in my family, but by various people with whom he has just spent some time. I was so happy he made the varsity soccer team. He ran hard, played hard and is sitting on the bench hard after all that work. It breaks my heart. We tell him to talk to his coach or assistant coach and ask then to give pointers on how he can improve his game. They've given some advice, of which he's taken gladly and respectfully...yet still, a cold butt on a cold bench with a few others who are going through it as well is the result.

I went to the pre-season tournament games, which, by the way, were away games. I went to their first game which was about 40 mins away. They lost. The next game was at home. This was just on Wednesday. I was all set to go. I had already worn in my new WalMart stadium seat that has saved one person in our family from having a cold arse.. lol.. Then.. after I fed my son a nutritious, carbolicious dinner, just in case he was called upon to defend his team, I gathered the "ingredients" to start a new project; a small birdhouse. I gathered a lot of materials from my studio and messed up my dining room (much cooler). I armed myself with glue sticks, a wooden birdhouse, gesso, sandpaper, glossy enamel paints, paint brushes of all sizes, paper towels, sea shells, jars of store bought pebbles and, hey.. isn't that enough?? I started this project. I had no clue where it would lead, what the outcome would be, when I would finish. Time was of the essence since the soccer game was at 7:00. I would need to claim my spot shortly on that dreaded aluminum bench along with my other stadium seated soccer parent buddies. Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock .. (I had already dropped him off for early warm-ups etc) The house had only the sound of Fox News chatter and distant dogs barking as the sun was readying to set. My eyes reluctantly darted with hesitance at the clock.. Oh MAN! I need to get going..but that glue gun was so much fun.. the hot glue burning my finger skin was a sensation that was I had missed, weirdly and stupidly. OUCH!.. that's %@# HOT! Crap! and then quickly back to burying my face in the small dyed sea shells of which I had bought eons ago at God knows what craft store, plucking out my next victim to be hotly burned onto the primed birdhouse.

Geeez! What am I doing? Why can't I get my body to move toward my purse and out the door to the car? What kind of Mom AM I? pluck, burn, dig, place, admire.. I just could not break away!!! This is what we crafters/artist are known for; losing sight of anything around us other than what craft is at hand. The smell, the excitement of something new and never created before. The idea that I could sell this thing at my next craft fair, the promise to myself that this birdhouse will be the start of many more natural looking homes for our feathered friends.. it was more than I could take to break away from all these sensations. Soccer? Son? Stadium Seats? Who cares? He won't be playing.. Of course, it would figure if he was put in the game and would make a game saving stop ...and I I would have missed it. Double sigh. Triple sigh! Oh well.

7:00 pm came and went but I finished my tedious, teensy shell appliques in time to go pick up my precious boy. All the regulars asked me, "Where were you? Were you sitting somewhere else tonight? How come you weren't here? We missed you! I put on my best deceitful facade and said, "OH. I wasn't here, I HAD this important art project to finish." "Oh," they replied bewilderingly. I'm certain they were wondering, what kind of Mom misses her son's HOME soccer game for an ART project?

My boy did not play, He says it was fine that I didn't go. I was simultaneously thrilled that I finished this zany birdhouse and sick and embarrassed that I could not control my urges to finish a silly home for birds to go watch my son's team win 1 zip. Maybe, maybe, JUST mayBE.. I'm bad luck at the games?. Well, I can't bring myself to say it was worth it, but boy have I gotten the compliments on this thing since I've completed it.

Next home game, though, I'll be there screaming and yelling and making up for time lost on those cold bug lit grooved stands. I cannot wait!.. Next project.. river pebbles and sheet moss. I will NOT start it on a game day. I promise!