Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cupcakes... CUPCAKES!!!

Now that the craziness of the holidays is over it's time to get back to work around here.  It feels so good to settle back into the studio and let those creative juices flow again.  We don't celebrate New Year's Eve so I can finally relax and get back into the groove.

Last night I put together these scrumptious little cupcake pincushions and even made some custom cupcake quilting pins to go with them out of polymer clay and vintage steel pins.

Not only did they turn out cute and yummy but the best part is they won't cause you to gain a single pound.  :)

These cupcakes are a really nice size too!  They're about 5 inches tall so you can get a ton of pins in these!  When you're not using them, they make a great little decoration for your sewing/craft room.

I added them to THE SHOP just a bit ago and now it's time to figure out what else I can get into.  :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Jonestown.... the Morning After

These pictures were taken on Christmas Eve.....

THEN.... Christmas happend!

This is a shot after the madness of ripping paper and tossing bows.  No gift was safe!

The scary part is this shot was taken after the majority of the "stuff" had been removed and carried off to bedrooms! 

My wonderful husband got up early the day after Christmas and cleaned it all up, including the kitchen!  BEST gift ever!  I was not looking forward to cleaning THAT up!  Thanks sweetheart!

Now it's all cleaned up again and the kids are content playing with their stuff.  Tomorrow is my husband's birthday but after that, I'm looking forward to things getting back to normal.  I'll be taking down the tree and decorations this weekend.  After that I have a garage purge planned. 

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and I also hope that my house wasn't the only one that looked like a bomb went off in it that day! :)


Friday, December 24, 2010

Missing Christmases of Days Past


This Christmas will be the first Christmas in the last 15 years that my mother won't be here on Christmas morning.  She decided to come for her visit after the holidays this year so we're planning on having her stay with us sometime in February instead.  Thinking about how it's been a tradition for her to be there to see the kids open their gifts, I started thinking about Christmases from when I was a kid and how much I miss them and how I wish my kids could have experienced Christmases like I had.

We don't have a large family anymore and frankly, a few of the members have been disowned for various GOOD reasons.  Now our Christmases are usually my husband and I, the kids and my mom with a visit from my husband's sister at some point during the holiday.  Christmas here happens on Christmas day and we don't travel or go to anyone else's home as it's usually our house that everyone comes to.  We make a big dinner and have the baked goods and such.  We decorate and have fun with the kids but it always feels like something is missing. 

When I was growing up Christmas was a 3 day event.  Christmas Eve we'd go to my grandmother's - on my mom's side.  I had (2 have now passed on) 5 sets of aunts and uncles and slew of cousins.  There was always a ton of food and treats and everyone was laughing and having a good time.  Christmas music would be playing quietly in the background and board games got dragged out of closets.  Each of my aunts and uncles would have a gift for all of the cousins and each other, of course.  We'd open our gifts and say our thanks.  We'd spend the whole evening and go home to fall into bed.

Christmas morning would arrive and my brother and I would head downstairs (me in a full out run) to see what "Santa" had brought for us this year.  There always seemed to be a sea of gifts under the tree.  My mom had a way of making Christmas look GRAND.  We'd play with our stuff and watch our parents open their gifts and spend the day at home.

The day after Christmas we would head over to my other grandmother's house for another big dinner and treats and even more gifts.  We'd spend hours there too.

I loved Christmas!  It wasn't about the presents either.  Don't get me wrong, I did love the presents but when I remember Christmases from days past I couldn't tell you many gifts that I received but I can surely tell you funny stories or the fun I had.  I can't really say I have loved Christmas at all since being an adult, to tell you the truth.

My grandmother on my mom's side passed away and soon after we lost one of my aunts too.  All of the cousins grew up and had families of their own and moved here and there.  We'd still get together as a small group with the rest of the aunts and my uncle for a few years but then relationships with an aunt and another uncle fell apart.  Soon we were down to a party of 6 or 7 during the holidays.

My kids really don't know the difference.  They have the food, the treats, the gifts every year.  I just wish they could have experienced BIG Christmases like I had as a kid.  Truthfully, I wish I could experience them again myself.  I wish the kids had a bunch of cousins to get together with and a bunch of aunts and uncles to embarrass them and kiss their cheeks.

It doesn't matter really.  They seem content with it just being the few of us and I need only wait until they grow up and start families of their own to have big Christmases again myself. 

It could have been way worse.  They could have grown up like my husband did and never experienced Christmas at all, EVER.  My husband was raised as a Jehovah's Witness.  No Christmas, No Easter, No Birthdays, no holidays or celebrations of any kind.  I can't imagine not experiencing the "magic" of Christmas or never having a birthday party.  I can't even wrap my mind around it.  I think everyone is entitled to their religious beliefs so please don't take that as a negative comment about Jehovah's Witnesses.  That is their beliefs and I respect that.  I simply just can't imagine not being able to experience holidays.

If you have stuck it with me through this long walk down memory lane and are still reading this, I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas no matter how you celebrate this time of year and I hope that no matter how big or small your family gatherings are that you are surrounded by love and friendship and that your new year brings you success, health and happiness.

Merry Christmas from me and mine to you and yours.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sweet Cupcake Pincushion with Custom Pins!

I just listed this sweet little cupcake pincushion set in my Etsy Store!  Best part?  You won't gain an ounce!  :)

Christmas, Swaps, Presents and Awesome Finds


I bet you thought I got lost, huh?  Nope.  I didn't.  I've just been a very busy little elf.  I had neighbor goodie baskets to bake for and assemble.  I had some things I had to make for gifts for family and friends too.  Then there was the shopping for the little Betterlys and wrapping, and putting up our humble little tree.  Mix in some crappy domestic duties, the raising of before mentioned little Betterlys and well, you get the picture.

Now things have slowed down and I finally have a minute to share some things with you. Pant.... pant.....

First.... I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for stopping by my little corner of the world and encouraging me and making my day brighter.  You are all fabulous and I appreciate each of you so much!

Here's our humble little tree.  I did away with almost all of the mass produced plastic crap ornaments last year and decided that only handmade ornaments could adorn my tree from now on.  The problem with doing that is that now my tree doesn't have enough ornaments!!!  I even pulled out some Dotee Dolls that other people had made for me and put them on there as well.  I guess I'll just have to make a few each year and join a ton of handmade ornament swaps.  :)

If you look close, you just might recognize some artists' work.  Such as Colleen Downs of LoopyBoopy, Abi Monroe of Abi Monroe, Marina Lenzino of Marina's Dolls & Cherry Pie Art Stamps.  Some of my favorite ornaments are from some of my favorite peeps!

Since we don't have a fireplace in our home, we hung our stockings under our floating shelf which kind of works like a mantel, right?

I didn't decorate as much this year as I normally do.  Just wasn't feeling it.  I did manage to throw a wreath on the front door, put up the tree and hang stockings.  It's enough, I think.

So, I thought I'd share with you a gift the I received from my dear friend Marina.  She's such a sweetheart!  She made this fabulous box and stuffed it full of sweets and cookies imported from Italy (where she's from). 

I'd show you the goodies but I'm afraid they didn't last too long...  Hey!  I had help eating them, ya know.  :)  ANYWAY.... also inside of this fabulous mixed media box was an envelope with the cutest little ornament attached to it.  Here's the sweet little ornie that is now center stage on my tree:

Isn't it adorable???  Love it!

Okay, so inside of the envelope was a Years GIFT SUBSCRIPTION TO ART DOLLS QUARTERLY!  Whoo hoo!  She couldn't have picked a better gift!  No more trudging to the store.  Now this baby will just "magically" arrive in my mailbox.  Fan-freaking-tastic!  I did the happy dance, just a little.  :)  Thanks so much, Marina!

Oh, right... I wanted to show you some things I have received in swaps lately.  I almost forgot!

First up is this little beaded star that Laura Galiffe of Bonsai Mecha Girl sent to me for a Handmade Ornament Swap that I hosted on

Thanks so much, Laura!

I also participated in an Art Doll Christmas Ornament Swap over at the fabulous group ART DOLLS ONLY and was paired up with Sally of StitchyWooWoo and she sent me this little doll all the way from the UK...

Thanks so much, Sally!  She's on my doll shelf for all to see.

Next up is a swap I joined hosted by the fabulous Zan Asha of Vagabond Creations.  Go to her BLOG to see all of the dolls that were made and swapped.  Anyway... for this swap we had to make a doll for our partner that was in the theme of any holiday.  I was matched up with Raedell of Dellarae Dezines and she said she loved Christmas and I told her that I loved Halloween so this is the doll she created just for me...

Isn't she cute???  I love her!  She even added some striped leggings just for me!  She's just so whimsical and I love her little freckled face.  Thanks so much Raedell!  She's on my doll shelf for all to see!

AND... Finally.... I wanted to share with you some things I found recently that made me very happy and had to come home with me.

First is this sweet little pair of owls (I love owls!) that are salt and pepper shakers.

They are just so sweet!  I had to have them.  I bought them at Pier 1 for $5.00!!!!  Love them!

AND... I also snatched this up at Pier 1 as I almost bought it 6 months ago when I first saw it but couldn't justify the cost ($54.99) for something to just hang on my wall.  I did buy a different mask that day and just couldn't see buying them both.  BUT... while I was at Pier 1 yesterday I saw them again only now they were on clearance for half price.  Whoo hoo!  SOLD!  I haven't hung it yet, the Christmas tree is in the way, but as soon as that tree comes down, this will have a home on the wall.

Whew!  Man that was a lot of pictures and a lot of me yackin'!  Okay, I'm going to let you get back to doing whatever it was that you were doing before you landed here.  I'm going to find something to get into instead of going to bed because I'm not tired yet.  Have a fabulous holiday!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wednesday Addams and a Pretty Pink Elf!

Whoo hoo!  I have FINALLY completed these two dolls that have been in the works for quite some time.  I have to say, I dearly love both of them.  It was amazing how easy Wednesday went together for me.  Each step went exactly as I planned.  The little elf was a little more of a challenge but I'm thrilled with how her costuming turned out.  Man I love my sewing machine! 

Wednesday is sculpted in polymer clay over armature.  Her eyes are handmade by me.  Her hair is viscose.  Her arms are posable while her legs are stationary.  She carries a tiny little doll which was sculpted in paperclay.  Wednesday's necklace is a velvet collar with a creepy little spider pendant and her buttons are handmade.  Her dress is a black polyester fabric with white lacey trim.  Wednesday needs a doll stand to help her stay upright and is 9.5 inches tall.

Next up is a Pretty Pink Elf.  This little cutie is sculpted in paperclay and is completely posable.  She has joints at her shoulders, elbows, hips and knees.  Her hair is viscose and her eyes are acrylic.  She wears a cute little dress made from pink cotton and striped flannel fabrics.  She also has some white lacey trim.  Her buttons are hand made by me.  She has been painted in acrylics.  She carries a cute little bear toy in her arms.  This little elf needs a doll stand to help her stay upright and is 8 inches tall. 

I sooooo enjoyed working on both of these dolls!  I still have a steampunk chick on my desk to finish and I also need to get busy making the steampunk gentleman you got a peek of awhile back.  There are so many ideas going through my head right now!  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside...

Let me start by saying that I know I'm about to get blasted for writing this blog post by all of you northerners out there.  :)  Having said that, just hear me out first.

IT'S FREAKING COLD!  It's 62 degrees during the day and 43 over night.  Now, like I said, this is where all of the northerners are getting out the pitch forks and lanterns to come after me.  Before you come, think about this for a minute.  You're up north and it's butt cold, right?  Like 20 degrees or something crazy, right?  And you have snow and ice outside, right?  Well, what is your temperature INSIDE your house right now?  70 degrees?  65 Degrees?  My temperature INSIDE my house right now is  62 degrees and overnight that will drop to in the 40s!!!!!!!  INSIDE!  So before you yell at me, keep that in mind... and also remember that I am used to temps in the 80s as being perfect :)

We don't turn on the heat here unless it gets close to freezing outside which only happens for maybe a week in Jan or Feb.  For the rest of the time, we sleep under heated blankets and keep the windows closed, wear layers and such.  Most of the time it's tolerable during the day but the night can be a different story. 

Okay, enough belly aching over the temperature! 

Here's what I really want to share with you....  I had been eyeballing these organizers at Northern Tool for months.  I don't remember what they're called exactly but I do know that they are desktop/tabletop  organizers.  Flipping through the paper last week we saw that Northern Tool was offering these at half price as doorbusters on Black Friday and I made a point to go and pick 2 of them up.  They are fabulous!  I did buy a pack of blue bins to add to them though.  Now just about everything I use for making dolls that isn't fabric related is at my fingertips.  I absolutely love these bins!  I even started labeling them.. Good grief!

So, instead of going out and freezing my hiney off, I'm going to stay inside in my fleece PJ pants, fuzzy socks and hoodie and finish putting everything into these bins. 

Stay warm everyone!