Monday, February 26, 2007

in need of nesting

Here are a few more Easter goodies for the shoppe. These nest have mini-yarn balls, vintage buttons, bobbins and other bits of millinery and finery attached. They remind me of a work room or studio, where all the things that you use to create converge and it's a bit messy and a bit wonderful all at the same time.
This little group of embellished yarn balls is my current favorite. I am not really sure if it is going to get to leave the house. I may have to keep it for myself. Or price it really high, so I can say I tried to sell it...

I feel a whole lot like this little yellow chick. I am perched in a good spot, but something is just a little off and I can't seem to get straightened back up. I think I am suffering from Entrepreneur Burnout if there is such a thing. I just want to stay home and play with yarn and buttons and drink coffee and listen to the Baguette Quartette and never worry about money or success ever again.
But I am sure that with a good cry, a visit to the trusty therapist, and a viewing of You've Got Mail all will be well again. Or at least better. After all I do like my perch. I just feel a little sideways.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

All Bottled Up

My latest WIP for the shoppe are bottle and jars with stuff in them. I have yet to name them.
The inspiration for the larger jars came from an Easter egg I had as a kid. The kind that was made of sugar (or made to look like it was made of sugar) and had a small opening at the tip that you could look through and see a whole little Easter-land inside. Tiny bunny's and ducklings, mini eggs and baskets all playing happily on a bed of Easter grass.

I started with a jelly jar and just kinda played with it. Adding a nest, the word "nest", a small chick and some other bits and pieces - vintage buttons, small ball of yarn- those sorts , of things. I have begun a love affair the past few years with nest, feeling that it is the perfect example of what I aim to do at home and at work.

I am having a lot of fun but finding that play nest building is a very messy business, as is real nest building I suppose. I am sure a real bird could come in and find lots of building materials very easily...

I have also worked on some none-Easter apothecary jars sort of my version of a "message in a bottle" or maybe a "story in a bottle." I am word person; a narrative person. Which is why I named my company Storia di Vita, aka "story of life." Not much in this life happens in a vacuum. Everything and everyone has a story, it's how we connect and celebrate and mourn and create and learn. To me the little bottles are like little pieces of a story all kept together. The same is true about nest. All the pieces of various stories, scraps and twigs and paperie wound so tightly together, molded into a home, a resting spot.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Shop Update

There are a few new goodies at Storia Home , with more Easter themed things arriving next week... Also our local space at The Shoppes on Woodlawn will be all Easter-Adorned for the Shop-n-Sip event on Thursday night, March 1.
Can you believe it is almost March???? Where did winter go?

Also check out what is new at Joe & Tony's and Splendid Designs.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Diary of a Day

Look who is feeling better! Today Wylie went to school & Miles stayed home with my sweet MIL to get a little extra rest and TLC. By tonight everyone was on the mend and there were no more fevers (Fingers crossed!)

Jury Duty went well- aka- I didn't have to serve - and I even got some reading time in waiting to go into the court room. I am reading this and it is good and quick and I would recommend it to anyone.

After I left the courthouse I walked through downtown to my favorite bookstore and grabbed a cup of coffee and a copy of this, which believe it or not I have never read. Sweetie and Mr. Ray met me there and we went in search of some lunch, which we found at the startling early hour of 11AM.

Next, it was on to Children's Hospital where I checked in on some friends and their new precious little preemie Elliot. Being in there around all those tiny babies, and all the parents and nurses who are huddled around them, stroking them, reading to them and loving them was really comforting. Usually trips to hospitals are not that great, and everyone seems tired, stressed and agitated - staff and patients alike. But there in the NICU things were remarkably peaceful and warm and soothing. If gives me hope that something is going well in the medical world.

After that it was on to my favorite thrift store where I bought a ton of linen goodies, along with some Melmac and pink flowered plates.

And I couldn't pass up this crazy piece of art made of flocked wall paper, sequins, glitter paper, lace and fur. And that I love,love, love! But is it Queen Elizabeth I or Mary Queen of Scott's? Any thoughts?

I also found this adorable chair that is much needed at our dining room table (and the perfect size for the littler members of the family.)

Finally, after picking Wylie up from school and visiting with the In-Laws, my 3 boys & I all piled into our bed and Nate and I dozed while the boys watched Peter Pan. All four of us tucked under the blankets like sausages. It was a much needed respite. Eventually we had to get up and resume life - dinner, rehearsal, bath time, bedtime, Grey's Anatomy... but it was lovely while it lasted

(Note: The pictures are courtesy of my in-laws camera on-loan till I get my new one. Finally I can breathe again!)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sick Days

Wylie has been sick since Sunday night. We had wonderful plans to go pick cotton and drive through the nearby prairie lands, in search of bar-b-q and cool junk. But Wylie had a 103 fever so we all stayed home. Since Monday, his fever comes and goes, and just when it looks like he is on the mend, back it comes full throttle. Poor kid. Also Miles & Nathan have coughs and no one is sleeping well... But that is how it goes when the seasons start to change.
My camera is dead and I need a new one. Only I haven't been able to get a new one yet -and I feel like my right arm has been cut off. The sun has been shinning and the weather warm, and I have started Easter goodies for the shoppe and Etsy - both which are looking a little bare. But there is nothing to document any this activity or beauty with and I feel completely unhinged.
Tomorrow I have jury duty (yuk) and then it is the weekend - hurray! Hopefully a new camera and some finished projects, and much more bloggin are in store!!! Say a little prayer for me!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Corners of My Home/WIP Friday

Well my camera is dead and I don't have a new one yet and I am frustrated that I can't take pictures of all things I want to take pictures of. So here is a corner of my home from the files. Not very exciting, but there it is.

Also, today I feel like my whole house/life is a WIP. There is so much to do everywhere I look. Work has picked up which means the house cleaning has slacked off. If I were to take a picture today of my kitchen this is NOT what it would like at all. Nor the table. My goal for Fridays is to get both tables cleared of stuff. So far today I am 0 for 2.

With the work stuff, I find myself wondering if I should try to market myself towards a specific niche. Right now I am working on a very Modern project, and while I enjoy the challenge, it is not where my heart is creatively. So there is that.

I am toying with the idea dipping into the Green Design world - offering design materials that are eco-friendly and doing more of the Re-Newed Design that I love so much. Also, I would love to have a clientele that wouldn't mind if I showed up in overalls and gold crocs, that would be fab. I know there is a market here for it - especially in certain areas - it's just deciding how to go about it....another one of those pesky little business decisions that keep me up at night....
For now I am going to pack up the kid and go have lunch with the hubby, and ignore the mess a little bit longer. It's the weekend after all.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

used books + fresh coffee = home

Well, I am sad. My favorite Wal-Mart is closing. It is a small one. One you could get in and out of fast, without walking a mile across the entire store, just to remember you need something way back on the other side, which just happens to be the opposite end of where you parked. And frankly somethings you need are just at Wal-Mart. That is where they live and if you want them you need to go there to get them. Plus this little Wal-Mart was really close. I like close. Close and small are great attributes of stores for me. I grew up all over the place - Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida - and when I was younger (like 10) I thought the Mall was THE place to be. Then, when I was 12 I moved to Juneau,AK where the the mall was the size of a modern Wal-Mart. To me it was shoppers death. It was awful. I was in pain. But as I grew - into a deep thinking, birk-wearing, mocha sippin', anti-establishment teenager - I came to love Juneau's downtown (because that is where the coffee was of course) and all the small local shops. The bookstores, the bead shop, the tourist shops that weren't half bad (The Irish Shop, The Russian Shop, Patitti Woolens,) the General Store/Junk Shop, a few unique clothing stores (Ragtime, Elle, and some shop owned by a wonderful Filipino lady, where everything was covered in plastic.) I even worked in one of the stores, The Whales Tale, where I burned incense and sold Chinese slippers, tie-died hippie skirts and thick woolly sweaters.
Juneau (where all these pics are from) is where I first tasted the true downtown experience - walking instead of riding, thinking instead of rushing... and I have been hooked on small local shops ever since. I think little bookstores & little coffee/sandwich shops are my favorite kin. Where we live is full of big stores and box stores and run of the mill stores, but if you look hard enough you can find those perfect little locally owned stores, where you can get to know the people who work there. I have finally found 2 bookstores that make me so happy just to browse. The first is Taylor and Taylor here in our neighborhood and the other is a used bookstore downtown in the Rivermarket at the Cox Center. It is an extension of our Library, and always has great gifts, cheap books and good coffee. Yesterday, on our V-Day Lunch Date -we are Lunch Daters - we found Nathan a copy of Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking II." This was a really big deal because it is out of print and extremely hard to find - I guess not a whole lot of people want to read 22 pages on how to make the perfect french baguette - but Nathan does and who am I to stop him??? That book was the perfect Valentines Day gift for him, and finding it there made it even better. I even came home with a sackful of used books for myself. I find that I love used books the most. They are cheap, and I like the idea that they have been held and read by someone else, I like the sense of history. I guess the same can be said of the downtowns.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I love people. I love my family, my children . . . but inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up. - Pearl S. Buck

Happy Valentines Day dear friends and readers - may you renew your inner springs this day and love on those around you!

PS-What is better on the Day of Love than be inspired by something that pays tribute to the French? Now I just need some yummy pastries and a cafe au lait!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

off the subject

I fear menopause. If my current hormone roller coaster is any indication of what is to come, I am in trouble.
As a teen I had horrible cramps and break-outs and things like that there. I may have had mood swings, but I don't remember. You would have to ask my mother.Then as a 20- something things were better and mostly fine. Some cramps, rare break-outs, not too many mood swings that I recall. However since the birth of my second kid and turning the big 3-0 my body seems to have developed a whole new routine. Shall I share? Great!

First I get really hungry. I have to eat NOW! I have to eat EVERYTHING! I am going to starve! There isn't enough food in the world. I am SO hungry!

Next, I sleep. I sleep and I sleep and I sleep. I sleep standing up. I sleep reading, eating, changing diapers. I am so sleepy, I can't keep my head up. It's like 9th grade algebra after lunch all over again. All I want to do is sleep, people can't you see? I just need sleep. And if I don't get sleep? Then I cry. I cry and I cry, cause all I want is just a little sleep. Please!!!

Then come the cramps, but they are still nothing to the ones experienced in the teenage years. So they are just a blip on the radar screen. So those we shall pass by.

Finally comes the trifecta of moodiness: Depths of Despair. The Mean Reds. The Doldrums. Let me walk you through them (aren't you glad you stop by today? The day of the Overshare?)
First there are The Depths of Despair: This is the phase were I feel like a girl not asked to the prom. I feel lonesome, and invisible and like a lone weed, begging for attention in a field of roses. I get weepy looking at peoples MySpace pages and all their many, many friends. I get weepy watching Friends... even the bad ones. So you can see how much fun that is...
Next comes the Mean Reds. In this phase no one can do anything right. Not Nathan, not the kids, not myself, not any driver on the road or any check-out girl at the store. They are all in a vicious conspiracy to annoy me and make my life harder, I am sure of it.
Finally all of this is sealed with a good ol' round of the Doldrums. Nothing inspires, nothing satisfies. I sit like a bump on a log on the couch and watch silly TV. I stare at the piles of fabric and paper and glitter and can't possibly imagine what I could do with it all. I read my favorite blogs and they make me tired. They are so creative and happy and filled with FUN THINGS TO DO. Yuck. Who would want that? Too much effort.

The good thing is that I am married to a sweet man. A sweet man who brings me bags of chocolate without question. A man who over the past year has help me recognize this pattern and who doesn't hold it against me. Because of his help, I can usually identify all these mood swings as they are coming on (or soon thereafter) and I know they are temporary, even when they don't feel like it. I know that I really do love him, and the kids. That I am not a lone weed. That I am surrounded by lots of people who love me and like me and think I am keen. That it is OK to let go and eat too much and sleep more and watch silly TV for hours on end and to pamper this funny body of mine. After all, it bore me 2 children, gives me all my feminine charms and is fun to dress in pretty clothes and fancy shoes. Better to embrace the food and the sleep and the bad TV and give my body and myself a well deserved 3 day break than to fight it and everyone around me. I am not Superwoman after all. Thank goodness.

Friday, February 09, 2007

this and that

I would like to introduce you to Constance, my sock puppy. She arrived from Leeds this week and I am over the moon for her. It was love at first sight - the soft pink and the pearl necklace were just too irresistible and I knew she was meant for me. She arrived in a package post-marked "Leeds" and "Great Britain" and she had been through Customs! I am already so jealous of this little softy who has traveled further than I ever have. I will have to keep the stamp and frame it as my First Package from Across the Pond. I haven't been this excited about postage since I was 14 and ordered a big info package and map from Parson's School of Design. I would spend hours pouring over the map of Manhattan and the course names.... I was going to be a Fashion Designer. But I hate to sew clothes. I hate all the math and having to get things just right so they fit. So out the window that dream went.... But I digress. Back to Constance, who is too adorable and who I am sure barks with a lovely British clip, very Tea and Crumpets. She came to me from Manda over at Tree Fall , who I hear is now working on a litter of Mini Pups. Beware of the cuteness!

Constance now lives with Pooh on the collage box my mom made a few Christmas's ago. They are very happy together and keep me company while I work.

Speaking of work...this week I got do one of my favorite things - styling the Riverside Outlet Showroom... Over the past year I have developed a great relationship with the guys at Riverside and now they let me style their windows - and yes I mean let me, as in I would do it just for fun if I could - it is that much fun. The store is an outlet and has a very stripped down showroom, so there is no budget -I just use whatever knick knacks they already have and go to town. They have lots of painted pieces, which I adore, it's like playing with a life size doll house - just using what you have and having fun doing it. Here's the only picture I got before my batteries died... I'll have to go back and take more.

In other work-related news, Style Box is up at both Storia Home and SDV so tell all your friends!

And if you are looking for inspiration and some fun new crafty-blogs here are some new fav's:

Sepia Art Studio


Flea Market Studio

{My MINuTia}

They are a great distraction from things like potty training (how I wish I could just skip ahead to age 4 about now) and making the bed (why bother? I am just going to get back in it soon...) So regardless what you need to escape this weekend, these blogs are bound to help!

Enjoy and have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

it's all a bit fuzzy

Sometimes it's just fun to play.

In the bath...

or in the mirror.

Happy Middle of the Week to ya!

Monday, February 05, 2007

WIP Monday

Due to Jemimah's departure (she is safe and sound in Germany now) and Jeanetta's lovely- snow filled -busy visit (she is safe and sound in San Antonio now,) there wasn't much work happening on Friday or this weekend. Lots of ideas, but no real works.

So today was the day to start all new things...

First I have started toying with making button rings and pins. Will have to see how this goes. Jeanetta and I did a good amount of thrifting on Saturday and I came home with some beautimous vintage buttons. Some even have little rhinestones in them - I think they will make great rings! Right now I am just in the experimenting phase, so we shall see...
Next up is an idea for Storia di Vita Design called The Style Box.
This is going to be what I give all my clients when I do up a design presentation for them. Each client will get a file box with floor plans, fabric, paint, & flooring samples, along with a board that features pictures of accessories, and a pricing sheet, all tied up with a pretty bow. The fun thing about the Style Box is that it will allow me to provide services to clients who live out of state or who can't afford the full services of an Interior Designer, but who would like some style input and help. They just have to send me a few measurements, pictures and answer a few questions about use and budget and then I can do all the leg work for them. Sometimes all people need is a fresh set of eyes. Hopefully by the end of the week Style Box will be offered on Storia Home and at SDV, but first I need to finish the first one and get the pricing figured out. I'll keep ya posted!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Snow, Glorious Snow

Wylie has prayed for snow every night for about 2 months. Yesterday God answered his "question" as he put it.

This being Arkansas, everything shut down yesterday for this little dusting of powder. This morning we had a little more coverage, but the roads were fine by 8AM, so schools and things were open. I went ahead and let Wylie stay home since a) It was Friday, b) He had waited so patiently for this moment to arrive and C) I am a Home School kid, so I am a sucker for Stay-Home-Just-Cause Days as I call them.

The great thing about the snow was that Jemimah's flight was rescheduled for later in the afternoon, so she and my parents, and my other sister Judea, and Jeanetta who is here from San Antonio, all piled into my house. At one point this morning I realized I was in heaven - or what I hope heaven to be. My kids were out back playing in the snow, my kitchen table was surrounded by so many of my very favorite people. There was so much love and laughter, coffee and chocolate, magazines and paint swatches spilling over everywhere that it was almost too much for me. I remember just grinning from ear to ear, my heart full to bursting. So thank you snow, glorious snow, you were a dream come true.
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