Monday, November 30, 2009

So Good!

I made this Almond Toffee Tart from Our Best Bites for Thanksgiving. It was delicious! I definitely plan on making it again for Christmas. It was crunchy on top and creamy underneath. It was easy to make and everyone loved it. I highly recommend this recipe!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Really Quick

Embroidered Silk Teardrop Earrings

This is the other pair of earrings that are on their way to the Fancy show. I said three pairs earlier, but messed the third up and didn't have time for a fix. I am supposed to be baking for tomorrow and am off to do that right now. I'm making this.
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The finished product and more progress shots

This pair of earrings along with two others is on its' way to Fancy in Seattle for their December Earring show. They each have two sets of coordinated buttons. The earrings spin so you lots of different looks from one pair. I am really happy with this design.

I haven't been feeling so hot lately, battling allergies or some such annoyance. While my motivation to sit at my work bench has been low, I have really been enjoying embroidering fabric for my buttons! If you couldn't already tell I love color and playing with color combinations. Embroidery is something I have always enjoyed, both the process and end product. However I hadn't done any embroidery projects in a while. I am so glad I have started again because the outcome is really exciting and motivating for me! Luckily for me my Granny had tons of embroidery floss that she passed on to my mom. Mom has warned me not to buy any because there is plenty at her house. It is hard to resist buying more though, so I know how Granny felt!
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This made my day

I just saw a story on the Today show about a man named Dan Phillips who builds low income housing out of reclaimed materials. The Phoenix Commotion is the construction company, and it is located in Hunstville, Texas, of all places. Here is the mission statement:

The Phoenix Commotion is a local building initiative created to prove that constructing homes with recycled and salvaged materials has viable place in the building industry. This operation uses only apprentice labor and teaches marketable skills to anyone with a work ethic who is willing to swing a hammer. By keeping labor costs low and using donated or found materials, the homes created are truly affordable. No two are alike due to the myriad of materials used, so there is an artistic element that makes Phoenix Commotion homes truly unique. We target single parents, artists, and families with low incomes. We require the homeowner to be involved with the planning and construction of their own home. The result is a person who is empowered, not only by the use of knowledge and building skills, but by the opportunity to become part of a community as a vested participant.
I love that the homes that Mr. Phillips builds are creative and quirky while still being attractive and very livable. The photos above are of a treehouse. Here is a story about this from the NY Times.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Making buttons

Yesterday was all about making my fabric covered buttons. I am having so much fun with these! The fabric came from my extremely generous mom and are mostly Japanese fabrics that she has gotten at quilt show in Houston over the years. One of these years I am going to have to go down with her because she always comes home with lots of neat stuff. I made all of these buttons and am now planning to do some with embroidery as well. You can see a few examples with stitches here, but I want to do a bunch more. These will become earrings, rings and pendants and I will have them at my shows in Austin.

These buttons are for some earrings that I am sending off to a show this week.

Testing out a new design. These have bezels on both sides and spin around. There are two sets of buttons going in them.

Some of those buttons were my Granny's, as well as some of the embroidery floss, which I severely need to organize.

Japanese fabrics

The finished buttons

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I spent my birthday working on this bracelet. I was really excited about it and just couldn't set it down.

Completely unrelated, since the weather cooled down I had been craving apple cider. I got some mulling spices and fired up my stove. Then I just played around with my camera, and of course enjoyed my cider.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Friend Gretchen

I have never talked about my friend Gretchen here. Gretchen is my oldest friend, not in age, but in years of being friends. Next summer will mark the twentieth anniversary of the start of our life long friendship! Gretchen is one of the most talented and most motivated women I know. I have been lucky to share many of my most memorable moments in life with this woman, as well as many years of plain old fun and friendship.

After attending middle school together for three years I invited Gretchen over to my house to make purses. We bonded over art, and still share that common bond to this day.

I am so proud of my friend Gretchen for what she is achieving in her career. Not only is she a wonderful artist, working in printmaking and paper making, but she also involved in teaching art to her community and the world.
I am lucky to own quite a few pieces of Gretchen's artwork. I apologize for the poor quality of photos, they really aren't doing these pieces justice. Please visit Gretchen's website to see her new work.

Happy Birthday G!

I am really looking forward to...

Thanksgiving in Austin, attending this holiday sale at Eye of the Dog Art Center, and watching this movie, a Thanksgiving tradition.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So much to do....

So little time! I am gearing up for two shows in Austin, in December. They are two weekends in a row. I am super excited to make my Austin jewelry selling debut! I have never done a show in Austin for whatever reason and am very hopeful for a warm welcome. Austin is my style, so maybe I am Austins' style? I have lots of work to do, and as usual not enough time to do it all. Frank always jokes during the pre-show rush that he is going to go stay at his dads until it is all over. Luckily he does not do that, instead he puts up with me and even helps me with my jewelry and other preparations. Click on the photos above to go to the show websites. I also put links on the side bar if you need the info later.

Monday, November 16, 2009

New Pendant

Well, as usual this one has been sitting, waiting to be photographed for a while. It is a tricky one. These photos aren't the best. I'm not sure if I like the necklace curved like that or not. I don't have a name for this one. I used to make similar pendants with different stones all hanging down in a row. With this one I wanted to go back to that idea but add lots of new details. The stones are Turquoise and Labradorite. I am really happy with how this pendant turned out.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Birthday Sale!

It's my birthday and you get a present too! Now through Sunday receive 20% off any purchase from my etsy shop. Just enter "blog discount" at checkout and I will refund you the difference via paypal.
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Birthday Celebration

I spent Monday night and Tuesday at my parents house. Mom and I sewed most of the day Tuesday. I was working on this dress in blue linen with contrasting teal piping. I'm not quite done, but I do have the yoke all put on. I hope to go finish it soon.

I requested fajitas for dinner and it was a feast. We should have thought to invite more people! I made salsa, guacamole, spanish rice and we had all the fixins. Yum!

Me talking smack to Frank about my present. He and my parents got me a Wii and Wii fit. I suspected that is what he got, but he threw me off. We hooked it up when we got home and stayed up way too late playing. We also played with a friend over last night and it is so entertaining! I am amazed that I feel a bit sore from just doing the games. I haven't even tried the yoga, weights and aerobics yet. I am hoping this will keep me active all winter when I can't get out for walks as much.

When I was young my favorite birthday cake that my mom would make was a layer of brownies and a layer of peppermint ice cream. It is great for a party, but for the four of us I requested mint chocolate chip ice cream and these yummy chewy chocolate cookies. It was delicious!

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