Saturday, August 30, 2008

Yes, We're Open

Fueled by encouragement from my sister, I've finally opened my shop on Etsy. I'm excited, but nervous to put myself out there in this way. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. I've only added a few items for now, but hope to add a couple more soon. So if you're wanting to get your shop on this holiday weekend, check out my new shop at .

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Puttin' It Together

One of my favorite albums (cd's for you younger readers) is Barbara Streisand's Broadway Album. I listened to it continuously in college. Love Babs! Anyway, one of the songs included was Puttin' It Together from the musical, Sunday in the Park with George. Not sure why that came to mind today, but it did as I was assembling another journal.

I'm quickly becoming addicted to these. Inspired by one I'd purchased from Rebecca Sower's etsy shop, I first made one for my mother-in-law, Linda as a gift for her birthday this past Spring. I love the idea of using a cabinet card as the front cover and the idea of utilizing lots of recyclable materials and using up my stash of supplies. As inspiration often begets inspiration, I've mixed it up here and there and have been further inspired by one of my fav artists, Pam Garrison as she was also inspired by Rebecca.

Looking forward to making more of these for Christmas gifts. Can't wait to tailor pages and embellishments for the recipients. I've been rescuing items from the trash at work, ripping pages from magazines and scouring clearance bins at Michaels for items to use. Although that kind of defeats the purpose of using up my stash! And even tho' I use lots of new items, my favorite items to use are vintage postcards, wallpaper and other bits of vintage ephemera. In my most recent journal, I used vintage buttons sewn to a button card designed by Theresa McFayden.

Another fun thing I did was to add a wing charm and Heidi Swapp chandolier crystals to the book ring of this journal.

The ideas are truly limitless and if you're organized you can knock two or three out in an evening assembly line style. Especially if you are listening to a little Streisand while putting it together!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A First

Brady and I survived our first local Yugi-OH tournament yesterday. He was in heaven! It was actually very interesting. Like you've walked into another world-they have their own language and terminology. Brady met a nice friend who's mom drove him from nearly 30 miles away just to play. WOW! And although winning isn't everything, he actually came in fourth place which the store owner said was really good for a first time tournament player. When the tournament was over I asked if he had a good time. He said, "One of the best times of my life!" You can guess where I'll be spending alot of my Saturday mornings from now on.

After our Yugi-OH adventure we took a stroll through one of my favorite antique malls. I really should stop wasting my time at junk and thrift stores since this particular mall always has such a nice selection and things are in such good condition and clean. I hadn't been in awhile so it seemed as though they had a better than usual selection. I was on the lookout for several things-holiday paper ephemera, millinery (so scarce in our area), photo cards and candy molds.

Several booths had a great selection of old photos. I picked up a few more to use for journal covers. I particularly like the ones that have decorative advertising on the backside. Inspired by Rebecca Sower, I've made several for gifts and have become addicted to making these. I need to share a photo of the next one I make.

I also picked up a beautiful embossed Christmas postcard. The backside is as beautiful as the front! Can't wait to use this for something. The colors are so rich and the background is gold IRL and has the texture of moire ribbon.

Here are a couple more items I picked up. Like I said, there was so much to choose from. Not sure if there were new vendors or if they'd just redone their booths, but I had to get out before I carted too much home. I'm particularly pleased with my dolly head. It's the first one I've purchased in person-the others were all found online. And the divided compote full of buttons was a steal at $10.99-they are truly my addiction. I'd passed this particular container up on several others visits and couldn't do it this time.

And although I wasn't looking hard, I managed to find a small squirrel metal candy mold. There was a turkey one in the same booth, but I passed it up. I'll bet I regret that. I was looking for them because I'm hoping to graduate from Delight airdry clay to actual paper maiche inspired by Teena Flanders and her book.
This is what kept me company during the Yugi-O tournament this morning. The book itself is gorgeous, but I love the creative philosophy of this renowned artist. In the chapter on Getting Started she writes about setting up your workspace, "Everything I use should inspire me so I search for bright pinks, creamy whites, and spunky nostalgic prints." And I love how she describes the joy of creating during the winter:
"I love winter because of the long evenings. There seems to be more time for all sorts of beautiful and meaningful projects and quiet family moments. The house smells of gingerbread and the fireplace smolders all day long, creating a calming atmosphere."

A girl after my own heart! I could go on about this book for several more paragraphs, but I'll save that for when I actually attempt working with her beloved medium. Let the baking and glittering begin!

Not sure where the time goes. It's already Sunday evening and the start of another work/school week is just around the corner. There was so much more I wanted to accomplish in these two days. Still need to tell you about my Paducah adventures last weekend. Haven't forgotten just busy, busy. I'll try to post about it before the week is over. Have you noticed all the butterflies out and about? There was even one inside Walmart this evening-it nearly landed on me (that's good luck, I think). Lots of monarchs in our area making their way to Mexico. Love catching a glimpse of one as it flutters by. Be on the look out for them and say, "¡que tengas suerte en tus viajes!" (safe travels and good luck!)

Okay, I'm going to crash for the evening and begin doing some of the handwork on "the quilt". Mom and I worked to prepare the appliques today and I've begun stitching the stem of the oversize flower onto the quilt top. The next decision I have to make is whether I do the blanket stitch around the rest of the appliques by hand or machine. We had the quilt laid out today with the appliques in place. It's going to be SO cute, but right now it has become my nemesis. Not sure I'll ever get finished! Actually, I'm getting very close to having it completed and ready to go to the quilter. Can't wait to show photos when I get to that point. I'm off to work on tying a quilter's knot. :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This & That

As I seem to have ADD today I thought I'd blog out my random thoughts. Review and ponder. Or not. :)

We're nearing the 30 day mark towards our trip to Disney. Trying to get my lists and thoughts together. Want to plan some family activities to build up the excitement. Although it's probably not necessary-I think we're pretty excited as it is! Top on the to do list is to purchase a pair of really comfy walking shoes. This has never been a favorite activity so I'll have to make myself get out and get it done. Can you believe I've never seen Beauty & the Beast? Yeah, me either. Planning to rent some Disney movies for the weekend including Nim's Island. Has anyone seen it?

Ran into a little snafu with the quilting. Suddenly it is not the idyllic, relaxing activity I imagined it to be. I'm confident with Mom's help it will all work out, but I was not thinking happy thoughts last night as we discovered my jelly rolls were warped! This adventure is to be continued.

Heard that one of my artsy pals was in this magazine so I had to track it down and buy it. I hesitated at the $5.99 price tag, but it has proven to be a great value. It is chockful of great ideas including several items made from celluclay, a type of paper maiche. (Includes full instructions and patterns for all projects where needed.)

Last year I made these for my Sunday School kids from a similiar material.
This year I'm going to try these.
They are adorable! Can't wait to give it a try plus a couple other things in this mag.

Yep, still in the Christmas mode. Have a special event I'm participating in the first weekend in December. The wheels are turning as I plan my display and come up with a demo or make 'n take. Eventually I will finish setting up my etsy shop and plan to sell some items there rather than locally. I found out pretty quick just why etsy is such a big deal. Stay tuned-it will happen enventually.

Have you seen Martha at Wal-mart? She has a whole line of craft stuff that is a separate line from what she carries at Michaels. Some interesting things. I purchased a dove paper punch and some labels the other night, but her patterned paper packs were very tempting-and a good value. May have to go back and pick one up

We've had some cool days here so I am already getting anxious for fall. Seems like once school starts it's easier to let go of summer. A farmer near us has bountiful sunflowers I've been passing every morning and I've been seeing lots of recipes for pumpkin everything. If it rains this weekend as they're calling for I'm going to make white chicken chili. I'm in the mood for fall suddenly.

I think I'm coming down with a cold. Hope not, but it feels that way. I stocked up on lots of fruit at the grocery tonight. Thinking positive "I am not getting sick" thoughts as I head to bed.

Good night!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back to School with a Quilting Hangover

The summer seemed to end abruptly this morning for the Mullican family. Brady headed back to school this morning. You can see he was none too keen on it. That's okay, bubba. Mom and Dad weren't quite ready for it either. But off he went and one day down. It takes us awhile to get into the swing of the school year, but we'll get there. We were all a little groggy this morning after our extended weekend.

I spent the day yesterday at Mom's sewing and made considerable progrss, but I had a major quilting hangover this morning. I definitely underestimated how time consuming the process of quilting can be. It is an amazing process though and certainly many analogies can be drawn from it. I spent right at 8 hours yesterday sewing jelly roll strips for the back and then working on the border for the front and adding rickrack. I'm just amazed how differently the whole looks after each step or addition. I'm very pleased how this first quilt is turning out and will soon be ready to do the applique. This will be another new adventure and I'm looking forward to learning how it works. I hope to have it all ready to go to the quilter by the end of this weekend and will be sure to snap a couple photos.

For tonight I must catch up on some housekeeping and paperwork that have been neglected as of late. Hope to share photos and stuff from our mini vacation later this week. Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Nothin' But Blue Skies

Yep, nothin' but blue skies and cornfields for miles as we drove home today. The slower pace was so nice for a few days. You could sense it speeding up the closer we got to home as the cars flew by me at breakneck speed crossing the river into St Louis. We made it home safe and sound from our mini vacation and had a wonderful time.

I'll share more about our trip later, but wanted to show you who came home with me. Isn't he a doll?!? Found him in a local shop and Mee-Moo snatched him up for me. Puts me in the mood for Christmas what with all the crafty holiday stuff I've been working on. Maybe he'll be my muse!?!

First things first. We have one more day of summer vacation left to savor. The weather here has been SO beautiful so you just don't want to see these long, lazy days end. I'm off to watch a movie or the Olympics with my sweetie and then sewing with Mom tomorrow and getting sweet boy ready for the first day of school. I can hardly believe he's going to be a 5th grader-eek!

Back again soon. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I really should call it a day

I just had to share how I spent my Sunday afternoon and evening. Started working on one of the quilts for my nieces for Christmas. I managed to get all the pieces cut (with mom's help) and got the front sewn together and started on the back side. Really had alot of fun working on this today. Very relaxing with the Olympics on in the background and chit chatting with mom. Hope to get back to it next week after mine and Brady's quick little trip to Jeff's parents. Here's a peek at my progress so far. I just love this Anna Griffin fabric from her Carolina line.

<-----Proof that I really am making this quilt! Mom set up a foolproof way for me to keep that 1/4 inch seam allowance going. Yeah, Mom!

<-----Thought I'd include the picture from the pattern. I think I was drawn to this one because of the monogram. I'm going to use a bit more of a script font since this is such girly fabric.

<-----This is the start of the backside. Takes a long time to sew 31 jelly rolls together-whew!

<----- We really did have fun. Doesn't look like it from this photo though! ;)

This weekend was just so nice all the way around. My sister in law and I took the boys bowling on Friday afternoon. Brady's looking forward to having cousin Matt spend the night and all day on Tuesday. He is SO excited!

<-----Patiently waiting his turn to bat (he's last on the roster this year).

On Saturday we went to watch Brady's baseball game. Had a good time, but got sunburned. Way crazy tan lines from only an hour and half in the sun. I'm a wee bit sensitive! We followed that up with an early dinner with Jeff's folks. An early birthday celebration for Jeff's dad whose birthday is tomorrow. Happy Birthday, Jerry!

Can't wait for our little trip at the end of the week. I understand there is a spa visit in the works-what a treat! We're also planning to Shop in Paducah including a trip to Hancock's for Amy Butler and Heather Bailey fabric. Other than that no real agenda other than to just relax and enjoy.

Have you been watching the Olympics? The opening ceremony was great and I've been trying to keep up with all of the US's star atheletes. Be sure to catch some of it if you can. I think the Olympic spirit is infectious. I love the ideal of the Games. With what's going on particularly between Russia and Georgia (not to mention Iraq and the rest of the Middle East) we could use a little of that peace and goodwill year round.

Okay, I'm going to try to call it a day. Have a great week. Hopefully, I'll check back in before we head out of town.

Take care!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is Momma Bird's birthday. Over the years she has been many things to me-playmate, teacher, protector, friend and confidant. I have fond memories of clothes she has made for me and places we have gone together year after year. I'll have to post about those alone one day-she still has my silk taffeta recital dress put away for safe keeping. We have crafted together making everything from tole painted items that she or dad cut from pine to wreaths of every shape and size. I'm confident there isn't anything she can't do and the answer to most everything is just a phone call away. One of my most cherished possessions is a book of favorite family recipes she gave to all of us girls one Christmas complete with a story about the ritual of food and fellowship in our family. Mom always seems to know the perfect gift to give and I love that she often gifts family heirlooms at Christmas time. When we were younger she always made our birthdays extra special by making our favorite cake. One year she even made me a CB radio cake. And I'll never forget the Valentine's Day box made like a flamenco dancer's hat she helped me make in grade school. I have learned so much from her over the years and am grateful for her love and support and have learned to take her advice more often than not over the years. After all, mom is always right!

Although our relationship changes with each stage of life she will always be my mom and I love her for all the things that make her truly unique. Love you, Mom. I can't wait to get back to quilting with you.

Happy Birthday!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I Know Why Everything is Made in China

Let me tell you, I will NOT be opening a factory anytime soon. I've been working to make some of my handmade items en masse and I don't like it! I get stressed out enough as it is to make one of something. Then when you add the element of a deadline well, forget about it (said in your best Mickey Blue Eyes voice)! I definitely enjoy making things for gifts the best. And I love the challenge of doing something new all the time-new techniques, materials. Oh, well. I'll get it done.

I took a little break this afternoon and updated my sidebar with the blogs of a couple my blog buddies. I'd been remiss in introducing them to you. How rude, huh?!? Yapping Cat Studio is the blog of Cindy from the great state of Texas. She was my partner from the Queen's Tea swap (my one and only swap) and is currently organizing a paper arts gathering in her area called Paper Cowgirl . She also has a retail space in a beautiful shop and restaurant called The Dove's Nest. Cindy is always up to something creative and has a great sense of humor. Check out her blog and say hello!

The other blogger I'd like to introduce to you is another Cindy. Cindy Lammon is quickly becoming a local celebrity with her recently released book of quilt patterns, Gathered From the Garden.

I think folks are particularly drawn to her easy going style and ability to pass on her love of quilting. Cindy makes quilting seem approachable even for a beginner. I recently won a drawing on her blog and was honored to receive blocks from the quilt featured on the cover of her book.

She had to submit this group of blocks to the technical editor during the publishing process so they are perfect to say the least! They are just stunning and the colors couldn't be more ideal for my house. I can't wait to try and complete the wall hanging for my stairwell. I love them Cindy-thank you SO much! You can visit Cindy at her blog or if you're local at Raspberry Patch Quilt Shop.

My mom and Cindy have opened my eyes to a whole new world with quilting. I just can't resist the beautiful fabrics (many of them by the same manufacturers of the papers I love). On Friday, Cindy helped me choose gorgeous Anna Griffin fabrics for a fun, modern quilt for one of my nieces for Christmas. And now I have three quilts to finish. The plan is to make the same quilt for another niece for Christmas so that's actually four! Geesh! I may have bitten off more than I can chew. I know I can get the tops completed, but I had forgotten about the actually quilting!

Guess I'd better get back to work on my current projects. Sounds like I'm going to be busy, busy through the end of the year! Anyhow, holla at my girls-isn't that what Tim Gunn says!?! I know, I like 'make it work' better.