Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I'm the woman who has her Christmas tree up and lit by November 1.  By then the lighted garlands are swagged and twinkling across the porch, held in place with a red bow on each spindle.  The well-behaved, well-dressed Dog and Cat grace the cover of the handmade cards mailed to everyone on The List, with plenty of time to send extras to those not already on The List.  The homemade sugar cookies are in the freezer.  They have been lovingly made using the cookie cutters my Grandma gave me throughout my childhood.  The cookies are frosted red, green and yellow, sprinkled, and outlined using the tiniest tip on the end of a pastry bag.  The perfect presents are wrapped in coordinating paper, adorned with fancy bows and sorted by family under the tree - the tree that holds on its branches my growing collection of vintage glass ornaments.  I’ve made each of my nephews a unique ornament with their photo in it, having chosen the best picture from the year’s activities.  By now I’m just waiting for the festivities to begin…

This year I’m.  Freaking.  Out.  A little bit.

I’ve never been this far behind.  The porch is dark, the wicker furniture and dirty grill are still out there.  Not a single card has been made or mailed.  I can’t find The List.  I thought I could skip the decorated sugar cookies this year but I was asked to bring them to the family celebration this weekend.  I still need to buy some presents, and the ones I have already are waiting unwrapped on the dining room table.    I guess it’s alright that the presents aren’t wrapped, since the tree isn’t up anyway.  I haven’t begun looking through the thousands of pictures I’ve taken this year to find the most appropriate one for each nephew’s ornament.  Two customers haven’t received their orders yet and I’m nervous they got lost in the mail.  I think I’m getting an infection.

HO HO HOwever, I keep telling myself to look at the positives.  Like, I couldn’t get an early start to the season because I was in the studio preparing for holiday craft shows and events that I did with one of my closest friends.  Thanksgiving was spent with some people who mean the most to me. I’ll be keeping my promise to my husband’s nephew that I’d bring the fancy cookies to our Christmas celebration.  And I’ll tease him about eating so many.  By next year the mess from sealing the basement will be cleaned up, the boxes that were moved to the garage will have been sorted, and the Christmas decorations will all be in one place.

I’m looking forward to unwinding at Yoga on Friday, my parents coming from Illinois, and all of us heading up north to the cabin for Christmas.  Can’t wait to stand around a blazing bonfire at my husband’s Aunt Jeannie’s house, a beer in one hand and a fire poker in the other.  People will stop by and we’ll catch up.

On Christmas morning I’ll be thinking about people opening gifts they received that I’ve made, hoping they are happy.  The cabin will be full of people and pets.  We’ll eat too much and not care. 

We have another Christmas celebration to look forward to in January with my sister, brother-in-law, and nephews.  We can enjoy our time together without having to fit it into the packed weekend.
Well it’s looking like this year may not be a white Christmas.  It will be only the third time that has happened here in twenty years.  Maybe that’s why it just doesn’t seem like it's a few days before Christmas.  Normally we’d be planning to snowmobile up north next week, but the bright side is that there will be more time in front of the fireplace with my nose in a magazine.  With my momma.
And there will be no decorations or tree to put away after Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I’m really wishing my online store was active, now that my local events are done for the season.  I’ve been getting requests for it, so it’s something I will be working on first thing in the new year. 
In the meantime, I thought I’d post some of the inventory I have in hand, ready to ship in time for Christmas (if ordered in the next few days or so).  We can discuss payment options if you’re interested in making a purchase. 
Please leave a email me directly at if you have any questions.  I like to keep the process very simple and easy!
As always, I welcome custom orders if you prefer a different color or size. 
(all buttons are vintage)
$24 per pair:

$29 each, or $25 each if ordering more than one hat

$12 each
(all buttons are vintage)

$34 each

$29 each, or $25 each if ordering more than one hat

$10 each:

Includes chain and sparkly bead, you pick the letter

Includes chain and sparkly bead, you pick the letter

Features pop bottle caps filled with vintage paper and resin, bone beads, metal piece sign and other bits and baubles

Features pop bottle caps filled with vintage account ledger paper and beads

Features vintage postage stamp adhered to a wooden game piece and sparkly purple beads

Custom Orders Welcome!

Thanks so much for stopping by to take a look at my creations!
Lucky the Studio Cat
Somecat found Santa's hiding place
and got his catnip toy out of the package last night.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Last year as I was just getting started on this creative venture, my sister hosted a party at her house to introduce my art and jewelry to our circles of friends.  My three little nephews had so much fun straightening jewelry displays, counting change, and helping at the checkout.  They kept asking me when we’re going to do it again. 
Well last Thursday, we did it again!  My last sale event of the season was held at my sister’s beautiful home, and what a fun way to end a year bursting with creativity! 
My three little nephew elves helped again this year.
They ran the 'cash register':

They wrote customer invoices:

They made signs:

And they were in charge of high-tech security:

I really appreciate the wonderful words of support and encouragement from this fantastic group of women. 
Love that they stayed awhile for wine and treats, chatting and enjoying each other's company. 

Photo By: A Nephew Elf

And they didn't mind when I asked a few of them if I could take a picture with their new stuff! 

Embellished Hat with Vintage Button

Sparkly Bracelet with Vintage Bling

Necklaces & Fingerless Gloves
Vintage Scrabble Tile Necklace

Handmade Fleece Mittens

Fingerless Gloves
Handmade Fleece Hat

Thank you, friends, for a lovely evening!
xo xo xo xo xo

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Just peeking in as I finish up some studio projects under construction.
My last sale of the season is tomorrow evening in Illinois.

I'll be seeing this little guy tomorrow, and my two other nephews. 


Friday, December 2, 2011

I’ve come to a conclusion.  I have a love/sort-of-hate relationship with selling my creations. 

The love part comes when I’m in my studio with my black Lab snoozing on what was once our bed comforter, my tiger kitty is belly-up and snoring on the corner of my drafting table under the warm track lights.  I have no time constraint.  No plan.  Everything flows.

Love is when I talk to my creative friends every day about projects we’re working on, something we’re stuck on, sharing ideas and brainstorming.  Usually giving or receiving encouragement, depending on the day.

Love is seeing something I’ve made being worn by someone, and it suits them perfectly.

Here's lovely Karen wearing the hat created especially to match this coat.
Love how she wears the brim at an angle!

Lucca chose this hat that matches her coat and scarf.  So cute!

Madison tried on a few colors and styles.  As soon as she put this hat on, we all agreed THIS was the one!

It's moments like these that give me a burst of creative energy,
a feeling that I'm on the right track creatively.

It's the sort-of-hate part of selling my creations that I’ve been struggling with lately. There’s a lot of self-imposed pressure to make something completely original, all the while hoping people will like it enough to buy.   If I could afford to, I’d just give away the stuff I make.  You like this?  Here, take it!  I really don’t want to go on and on about the toils of pricing or marketing….we’ve all been there.

On a more personal level, I’ve been feeling out of balance.  I’ve let too many important things go by the wayside this year and it’s time to re-focus.  I have an event next week that will be the last of this holiday season; then it’s time to hang up my hat for awhile.  Got some thinking to do.  A tree to decorate.  Meals to cook.  Friends to call.  Hands to hold. 

Harmony...that's what I'll be working on.