Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

This is the piece I've been working on most of my vacation and I really love it. It's central image is a photo of a statue from the British Museum's "Enlightenment" room. I think that sort of sums up one of the reasons I love that museum - an entire room on enlightenment! It's been hard to know when to stop since it's my personality to just keeping adding more and maybe some sparkles plus just this one other thing, etc. But, I think this one doesn't need it and it really sums up what I hope to have and wish all of you for the New Year: peace, good fortune and maybe something a little pink! :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

In process

I've got a few things in process but no photos as yet. I'm trying to rust a few things (process seems slightly sketchy) and need to get some more liquid nails for heavy duty gluing. So far, I'm happy with how my "house" collage is coming along. Tomorrow, I think we're going to hang the chandelier over the tub so I need to get on my bling for that! I'm very excited about how that's going to come out.

One of my Christmas presents from the husband was a new flip video camera, in pink of course! So far, I've taken some puppy video but have yet to get it from the camera to the 'puter. I'm going to work on it tomorrow. Tomorrow is shaping up to be a busy day! Today was relatively quiet after we hit a few errands and the used book store to stock up on books for altering. Love the clearance rack with the foreign language dictionaries. I also picked up some supplies for The Art Nest really excited and can't wait.

I've also been able to watch season 1 of Doctor Who in order so now it makes way more sense and I get the whole Torchwood thing. Yes, yes, I'm a big geek but I embrace it. Plus, these BBC America rocks! With the writer's strike and nothing on TV, give them a shot.

Ok, it's way past my bed time and clearly, tomorrow is going to be busy, busy, busy!

Happy Friday, well Saturday!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Final pics of the Christmas Commissions

These were the last of the necklaces a friend of mine asked me to make for his family as gifts. I really hope everyone liked them as much as I liked putting them together. It was awesome to listen to the stories about everyone and find out who each person was and what makes them fabulous and then try to translate a tiny piece of that into the finished project.

I've got a few ideas for some new pieces and some chandelier bling for over my bathtub that might get done while I'm still on Christmas vacation. I think this is the first time since high school when I've been off for the holidays with no work, no school, nothing and it's wonderful! Today we got up at 3 am to head to San Marcos to the outlet mall for shopping (it's about a 4 to 4.5 hour drive). It was totally worth it for 50% off Pottery Barn outlet furniture and rugs. We got a lovely rug for the new den area and a filing cabinet that needs a new top but it's also awesome. Another project to add to the hubby's list. :) I've taken it fairly easy on him since he's on vacation too but there are a few things that will get done on the break. See chandelier above. :)

Okay, that's about it for tonight. We're heading to bed early (3 am was a long time ago!) and going to watch Ghost Rider from bed. On the movie front National Treasure 2 was great and the perfect holiday/family film. Friday we're going to see Charlie Wilson's War and hit the bookstore.

Happy holidays everyone, I hope Santa was good to you and you're having a terrific holiday. I know mine rocks so far and I'm planning on enjoying it through the New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

There wasn't a white Christmas here in the Lone Star state but last weekend in Kansas we definitely saw snow and ice! Here are some pics of the fam and the snow. There's also one of me modeling a fabulous necklace my Mom made and I got to take home. :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Back from Kansas and lots of goodies - woo hoo!

We visited my family in Kansas over the weekend and didn't get a chance to post all the goodies I received. Here's 7-12 and if you haven't had a chance to take a look, head over to the 12 Days blog to see all the goodies in the exchange. Here's the photos of the great gifts I received from Ruth, Deb, -Dawn, Caren, Erika and Kelly.

Ruth gave me the gorgeous book mark with the lovely colors that I envy! Deb sent the amazing necklace that reminded my husband and I of an octopus - it made me love it even more! Dawn's ATC is truly lovely and I love it! Caren created the wonderful little book and I was blown away by the knitted bag, seriously, I have unbelievable knit envy. It's the one art I know I shouldn't even try. Erika sent the uber-cool stationery that will be making it's way to only the luckiest of recipients. And lastly, the fantastic necklace is by Kelly. I think everyone knows how much I love her work and her spirit. She's always willing to share some of that spirit with her fellow artists so it's awesome to have a piece of her work.

I feel truly blessed to have been a part of this swap and the talent of all these women is truly spectacular. Thank you ladies for a glorious December filled with art, giggles and friendship.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Day 6 and a studio helper

Here is my lovely Day 6 pressie, minus the cool vintage paper that was tucked inside - I have big plans for it! This was gifted to me by the very talented Linda so stop by and check out her blog.

The other charms are commission pieces from an amazing designer I work with and she's also a really good friend! I love her aesthetic. It's really clean and charming with that great urban edge that's all her. I was beyond flattered when she asked me to make a couple of pieces for her nieces.

The puppy photos are off Maya, who was quite the little helper tonight, she definitely wanted lots of pets and love but never for very long. She'd run in and then head back out - she really prefers to have all her people and puppies in one room. Usually she can get Abby and I together in here but Daddy's not having it! It's much too girly in here for him, plus he'd then have to pretend to show interest in what I'm doing and get stuck listening to back episodes of Doctor Who. Nope, not happening.

Another little pressie that arrived today was one I ordered for myself. It's this terrific book I've had on my wish list at Amazon ever since I heard her give an interview on NPR and then I saw her on TV and fell in love with her charms. This book would make a lovely gift for a charm lover (with a little charm on the ribbon of the box) or for yourself, if you love charms or just a charming book (it's late and I couldn't resist!). I needed the little pick me up since I'm way behind on my "to do" list. Oh well, it'll get done and I'm on vacation next week so I can sleep then!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lucky Girl!

This was what I opened tonight for day #5! This was made by the amazing Maija Lepore who is an amazing artist and completely generous with sharing her tips, great shopping haunts and how to be lovely in general. I love the colors and the sparkles - it's pink, the perfect french blue and it's got sparkly magnets how could this not be perfect for me? I've already got it hanging next to my computer just waiting for the addition of those perfect inspiration pieces.

Now, I'm off to make some charms! Happy Monday everyone.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Day #4 and some flea market goodies

I can't post yesterday's pressie since it was my day, I opened #13 from Penn which was fabulous! I can't say enough good things about it! I've somehow lost the photo of all the goodies I made but you can check it out here. These ladies are all beyond talented and I can't believe how lucky I am that I get to play with them.

Yesterday, we went and did some Christmas shopping and then had an evening out with our friends Mark and Robyn. We had dinner at a tapas restaurant and the dishes were very hit or miss but I did have a potato gratin that was amazing! It had Serrano ham and manchego cheese between the potato layers - very tasty! We were going to the Christmas Carol show so we unfortunately ran out of dessert time but I had my eye on the hot chocolate with churros. Will have to go back and give it a try, we're also going to try the paella since I make a shortened fake version, it would be nice to taste their version.

The Christmas shopping continued today and started with a visit to the monthly flea market where I loaded up on finds for the Art Nest Retreat . They had some terrific stuff and I was sorry I couldn't take it all home with me! My husband found several cool things but my favorite finds were this old Dallas piece and the tiny ram (I'm an Aries so it's fitting) that I can't wait to figure out how to get it under glass.

I should be heading to bed since it's a school night and already passed my bed time!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Secret Santa Goodies

I made a collage using my secret santa goodies mixed in with some of my old favorites. The background is on watercolor paper with several layers of paint. Then I added in the text and a photo in the middle but didn't like it so I added an even bigger photo right over it - great thing about collage, you can just add more items, paint and glue if something goes wrong! I thought it needed something at the top so I drew in the scallops with charcoal and then filled in with more paint. Final touches were the numbers, the text on the right, outlined the photo with charcoal pencil (a few dots 'cause you can always use them! tickets and viola! The final collage.

I'm working on a new piece now for a swap tomorrow with the Mixed Media group I joined. It's made up of DFW area artists so I'm really excited to have a group I can bore to death with all my art notions and give my husband a break! I think I'll try to add some bright colors as inspired by Kelly Snelling. Her work is goregous with vibrant colors and layers of texture. Check her out since she's awesome! You can also see a better photo of the earrings I got in the 12 days swap, my photo is a little blurry.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The 12 days have started!

Here's what I got to open today for the first day in our 12 Days exchange. It was made by the unbelievably talented Edina Tien and I can't tell you how much I love it! It's perfect for the studio and it's sparkly!

I've also made a collage that I really like with some of the goodies I got in my MMCA Secret Santa exchange. I'll post those pics tomorrow since it's really late, for me anyway. With my husband out of town, I've just run wild with the staying up late and spending too much time in my studio when I should've been in bed to rest up for my 5am wake up call for work. The other day I stayed up until 3am and only had chai tea for dinner. Although it was really tasty tea! Luckily, he's back tonight so at least he can remind me to eat dinner. :)

p.s. I watched this really lovely and adorable movie tonight - love having a PC and a MAC just for such multi-tasking! Anyway, the movie was I'm Reed Fish and it's a perfect holiday movie since it's suitable for all ages so teenagers, parents and grandparents could all watch!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Secret Santa Goodies!

I caved and finally opened my Secret Santa goodies from the amazing Kris Henderson! I blame those MMCA girls who had opened all their goodies and seriously encourage others to also AND I just couldn't take it sitting their under my studio tree taunting me. It's a wonderful start to tomorrow's 12 Days countdown.

It's definitely an art filled Christmas and uber-thank you's to Kris who really did do an amazing job filling a cigar box with gorgeous paper goodies, a handmade journal that I love and a lovely pendant that I'm wearing tomorrow. Even the candy was art filled (and tasty!). My Ice Bats knew a good thing and wanted in on the fun!

Soldering late into the night!

Not really, I've been putting things together late into the night. I finished this 3rd necklace for my friend Ceeg. He's got two more he wants done, plus one from his sis-in-law. This is going to be a stylish family! I had another order for a pair of the domino earrings (my husband's favorite!). I am staying up way past my bedtime but I wanted to clear the decks to get some holiday stuff done.

I've done lots of shopping but no wrapping as yet and I definitely need to do an assessment of where we stand on the pressies! Speaking of pressies, the other necklace is a gift for a woman at work who's having a baby. In addition to her baby gifts, I wanted her to have something for herself to open. New mom's need gifts too! I have to admit to playing favorites, out of my recent charms that I've made (genealogy necklaces not withstanding) this is one of my favorites. I love the image and the colors, plus the back is pink and sparkly!

That's it, I've got to head to bed now, work will be coming very quickly at 5:ooam!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Lazy Weekend

Ok, we didn't manage to get in any movies but we did get the outside lights up. Unfortunately, it hasn't quit raining enough for me to get any pics! We did take the opportunity to check out the lights around town and there are a lot of great lights this year. If you have a chance to wander around McKinney, Texas there are lots of houses who went all out. We were shocked to see how many have scenes displayed in the front yard in addition to the regular festivities. I'm talking elaborate nativities, Santas in boats, under palm trees, with Mrs. Claus, sleigh and reindeer (my favorite!). Lots to see!

Also, I got my holiday order in from Lisa Kaus. She sent out a newsletter with a special offer and I couldn't resist getting a couple items for my studio that I've been coveting. They are both cupcakes, which is the nickname for my studio "The Cupcake Room" since the daybed is done with pink ruffled sheets and all girly colors. I thought it would be perfect to include some cupcake art and I love her work. Fun whimsical colors and all her work makes me smile. They are what I see while I'm working at my desk. I also have a wonderful pin holder (also a cupcake) from Mary Stanley. She sent it with her bag in the tote exchange I did this summer. It also rocks and is on my sewing table - keeping me inspired to try the sewing thing again!

I'm finishing up a couple of commission pieces and should have photos of those up in the next day or so. Busy, busy, busy! I don't know how Santa handles the pressure, although secretly I love it. I love this time of year with all the hustle and bustle. Everyone seems happier and a little more forgiving of each other. Definitely a perk when a lot can also go wrong during the days leading up to the big holidays!

Happy pre-holidays everyone!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Christmas has come to the house!

We got the final trees up and have almost finished the outside lights. I don't like to play favorites with my ornaments and decorations but here are a few favorites. The pig chef livens up the Eiffel Tower with a few more options from this terrific new book I got. It's the kind of cookbook that's perfect for bedtime reading with gorgeous photos. The snowman has a tiny little friend. I got him on our last trip to Missouri. I've been saving him up since fall. I'm not sure I can bear to put him up in January! The tree is in our bedroom and decorated entirely with ornaments we got in London. Most came from Buckingham Palace with a few from the Tower of London just to mix it up.

On the art front, I'm thrilled to be going to The spring Art Nest retreat! I'm already looking at the supply list and planning some flea market trips. :)I'm a big fan of all the workshop instructors and a weekend with other artists who won't get tired of my talking about glue, watercolor crayons and the new funky pads of paper I've become obsessed with.

Movie weekend so far has only included Hitman but it was exactly what I thought it would be and really liked it. Next up is American Gangster, No Country for Old Men and/or Mr. Magorium's Emporium. I'm doubting we can get all three in but there may be time for a double feature.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Hitman Friday!

I'm not sure if I've ever revealed my love of action flicks, but here you go! We're heading out tonight after work to see Hitman . We've been on an (inadvertent) movie hiatus with our trip, family in town, getting the house decorated, etc and there's a long list we want to see. I'm not sure how many we'll get in this weekend, but we're giving the movie list a try.

The other big weekend task is to finally finish putting up the Christmas lights and left over trees. The one for the bedroom and the kitchen tree are still sitting in the old dining room. On a side note: we're thinking of converting the dining room into a reading room/den kind of area since the kitchen, living room and "dining room" are all one giant room there isn't anywhere to sit and read or talk if you don't want to watch TV except at the table and we almost never eat at the table. So, we're thinking of setting up our bar, adding a couple of club chairs and then lots of bookcases/shelves for storage. Maybe a former kitchen table cut down for a coffee table with some footstools underneath for chairs/extra seating if we do want to have a "table". Thoughts yay or nay? Leave me some comments if you think we're brilliant and/or crazy!

I'll post some holiday pics this weekend.

p.s. Forgive me if I lost your link and it was here. The template was jacked this morning and I had to update it, loosing all my links in the process! *&%^ Blogger!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

London Photos are finally done!

Ok, I've finally got some of the photos sorted, sized and up so check them out. I hadn't realized how many photos we actually took until I tried to sort through them. The trip was awesome and again, I realized how much I loved London. It's such a terrific city to see a wide range of sites. We visited some of the museums, markets and tourist must sees like Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, Big Ben, Westminster Abby, etc.

Some of my absolute favorites were Portobello Road Market just because of the huge variety of things you could see and get from fruits and vegetables to heirloom silver. I stuck with some pashminas and stamps! We did visit Books for Cooks again where I found a couple of awesome titles that required me to lug them home in my backpack carry on. Like this one. And this one. Also, this one.

Another favorite destination was the British Museum. We visited there previously, but we took most of one day to check it out and really take our time. It was worth it since we were able to check it out several more rooms and really look at some old favorites. Including the "Living and Dying" room with this amazing Day of the Dead piece called "Apocalypse". This museum really has something for everyone and I especially love the Antiquities section with all the Egyptian pieces. I know there's a lot of controversy about these, but I'm staying out of it and just enjoying them. Another amazing thing about the museums that's very unlike here is that they are free and just request donations, which is the least we can do for such a privilege. After the museum, we visited a nearby pub, The Plough, for fish and chips and they were very tasty! Seriously, even the tartar sauce was yummy and this isn't a usual favorite of mine.

The final favorite of this post is Spitalfields Market. I was expecting a giant farmers market but instead, it's an urban art/craft market with tons of sellers with some amazing things. The market was ringed with some fairly upscale and yuppie shops like a Benefit Store and an organic chocolate shop. Both are yummy! This is also where Fairy Gothmother (as mentioned in previous post) can be found. Unlike Portobello Road, there wasn't an abundance of puppies wrapped in Pashminas!

OH! I almost forgot to mention "Liberty" which is the most amazing department store I've seen! It's in this incredible building that must take up almost a block and they have almost anything and everything you could want. Most of it was way too pricey and too impractical for the plane home, but I did find some soaps and a couple of Christmas items that I couldn't resist. My suitcase smelled great by the time we got home. And yes, it's this suitcase (tattoo) we had to get in order to lug everything home! But I love it and incredibly enough, it has the University of Texas symbol over it. It was meant to be!
Edited to remove some photos since it was jacking up the blog!