Monday, December 31, 2007

Artsy Sisters...

I'm still really enjoying spending lots of time with my sister and her family. We got down and got crafty the other night and each of us made a Family album with our holiday photos.
Here is my album and a peek inside...

Here's Laura's album with gorgeous blues. It was really fun to craft together and chat.
We hope to do some more creating tonight during our New Year's celebration.Have a happy and safe New Year's Eve!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tara Frey {Bella Pink} Interview..

This time of year so many of us are thinking about a fresh new beginning to 2008, including new projects and new inspiration. I thought it would be fun to post an interview I did recently with the lovely and oh-so-inspiring Tara Frey, of Bella Pink. Enjoy!
All photos copyright Tara Frey

AM: Hi Tara, thanks so much for talking with me today. I first found your blog from your column in Romantic Homes magazine. You mention on your blog that you are an editorial contributor to several magazines. Which ones? That must be a fabulous job. How long have you been doing that?

TF: I started about a year and a half ago. It’s so rewarding being able to do a job that you love that it doesn’t feel much like work at all. It’s a thrill to scout products, boutiques and homes for magazines. I am most passionate about creative blogs and the talented inspiring women behind them. I feel like I am uncovering little jewels, twinkles of light that sparkle in every direction. Finding the inspiring blogs on the web and showing them to my editors gives me so much excitement and joy. I’m amazed on a daily basis of the talent within the blogging community. I am often asked what I look for in blogs to feature. So here are some basics I stick by: blogs that show an honesty and a sense of sharing. Sharing in all sorts of ways; a great recipe, where to find a fabulous product they recently purchased or even ‘how to’ instructions on something they have created. Most importantly...super PICTURES! Readers love to see photos. I also adore bloggers who also post about their personal lives and feel it’s a wonderful way to connect to your readers. I generally stay away from blogs that seem to be just one big advertisement for their website or products.

AM: You also have a gorgeous boutique called How did you get started with that? Were you selling your wares before that in stores or have you always been online?

TF: I love flea markets and estate sales. I sold on ebay in for a while but did not like the high fees. I figured I could take those fees and build an e-shop of my own. My goal was to create a real "boutique" feeling, that made you want to come in and shop, beautiful inside and out, feminine and chic where the "shelves" were stocked with goodies. When Bella Pink launched in 2004 it was greeted with an overwhelming response. I fulfilled my need to sell off my overstock and at the same time, it allowed me to continue to shop for treasures to sell online at my very own store. How satisfying and fun! Having an e-boutique has it's advantages, no rent to pay or employees. I'm able to spend time with the children, work from home and can come to work in my jammies! Plus we are open 24/7 so it's convenient for shoppers too. We have some exciting plans in 2008, lots of great surprises in store! AM: When did you start blogging? What was your inspiration for that? Does blogging help your creative process?
TF: I started my blog in 2006 (on blogspot) then switched to Typepad in January 2007. I started the blog to become more personal with my customers. I think it creates a real boutique feel as if the customer has strolled into the store and we are chit chatting about family, friends, etc. Blogging has allowed me to be more creative (ex: sharpening my photography skills, etc..) and a has been a wonderful outlet for me to express myself and share my daily life. Whether it be struggles or triumphs, the blogging community is there to cheer me on, support, encourage and inspire me! It also has opened so many new doors for me and opportunities that I could only dream of. I have been honored to be featured in national magazines. Having a blog is the best advertising tool out there! AM: What is a typical day like for you?
TF: I’m so lucky to be able to work from home and have a wonderful supportive husband.. We built a carriage house on our farmhouse property and my office is separate from the studio space. I get up very early grab a cup of coffee. Then I check emails while the kids are still asleep (sometimes my inbox has over 300 emails, so I need to get a jump start!) At 9:00am, I get the kids off to school, then it’s back to my home studio to fill orders, finish up on deadlines, work on press kits and media packs, answer emails, telephone calls and any projects that need attention, etc.. At 4:00 the kids come home (I have a 10 and 6 year old) So it’s all about them until they go to bed! Then I try to pick up where I left off, or depending on how tired I am, I’ll curl up with a book/magazine or catch up on the tube. Kind of boring. Our weekends are always jam packed with activities, but then again whose isn’t!?
AM: Tell us more about Wriskey?

TF: This has been an exciting project! We plan to launch in 2008. Wriskey has allowed me to express a funky side with this super cool product line. I’m excited to say it has caught the attention of some fabulous media outlets. It’s amazing the little buzz it has going. I received an inquiry the other day from a popular TV show and I thought someone was joking with me! I can’t wait to share with my blog friends when things are finalized!

AM: What inspires you?
TF: My family and friends

AM: What are your 10 ten indulgences?
TF: In no particular order...
Vintage Chandeliers
Shoes, especially flip flops Hugs (and lots of them)
Flea Markets
My camera & taking photos!
Did I say chocolate already? lol

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Tara. You are such an inspiration.
Good luck in your new ventures in the new year!!

A Birthday!!

Happy Birthday Laura!We're still in festive-mode here. Today my dear sister, Laura is having a birthday! It's wonderful that her birthday is near Christmas-time (although she hates that) so that we can spend her birthday together. This morning she opened gifts and then we all went out to lunch. Fun! I also wanted to show you the shirt I got from Joe for Christmas. It's from Gypsyville and I absolutely love it!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

A very merry Christmas to you! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday full of love and laughter, peace and gratitude. Thanks again for all of you that stop by my little corner of cyber space so frequently. Your sweetness and generosity mean so much. Our 12 Days of Christmas wrapped up today with my gift (below). I hope the girls like it:) The 11th Day was from Martha. She wrapped her gift in a lovely fabric pocket. That really was a gift in itself. Then when you open it up, she made these amazing fabric wrist cuff that you can see many more of here. I absolutely love mine and it will match everything. Thanks so much! Hope your holidays continue to be filled with fun and festivities!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Thrifty Christmas...

Do you think that the fact that Christmas Eve is tomorrow is going to stop me from indulging in a bit of estate sale bliss this morning? OR the fact that it is 10 degrees outside, blustery and very, very icy? Do you think any of that would stop my insatiable hunger for a thrifty bargain?! Of course not!:) My payoff was a bag full of fun treasures (above and below) all for a couple of dollars. We are really near the end of our 12 Days of Christmas swap. The lovely and talented Jeanne gave us all a double gift. She made these wonderful soldered ornaments for each of us with our blog banner on them. How totally cool and unique!
Then she went and gave us all another fab gift of this gorgeous handmade shadowbox ornament. Absolutely lovely. Double thanks, Jeanne!
Marilyn Healey was Day 10 of our 12 Days Swap and she gifted us all with these striking earrings. What a fun gift. THANKS Marilyn!Ta da! Our Christmas cookies are done for another year. This afternoon we got together with my parents, my sister and her family for our annual family sugar cookie making festivities!!! It's always a highlight:) Here is Chloe showing off her beauty.If you're looking for some last minute gift tages these and these by Camilla Engman are absolutely adorable!! Hope your holiday plans are going well:)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Handmade Holidays....

The handmade holiday gifts just keep on comin'....LOVE IT! Above are some gifts that the kids made for us in school. Just the wrapping is gift enough. Can't wait to see what's inside:)
This pocket of Joy was given to me by the fabulous Cassondra (aka Citrus Faire). It's for holding all kinds of Christmas goodies. I'm going to fill it with the art work the kids have been bringing home. Thanks so much, dear Cassondra! Bought this on etsy from Marmee Crafts for Lowell's new room:) Amazing work she does.

These neat fabric button necklaces are from The Magpie's Nest etsy shop.The 12 Days of Christmas swap continues. I am continually amazed at the gifts that I am recieving from this fabulous group of artists. In case you are wondering, I am day 12...Christmas Day! Donna Layton had day 7. She made the joy piece above. Everything about it is absolutely stellar. She is a stickler for details. Amazing work, Donna! Day 8 was by the hostess with the mostess Heather Bluhm. She sewed all these amazing fabrics and adorable image onto an apron. Brilliant and beautiful. Thanks, Heather!
Of course Chloe had to model it:)

Christmas is really getting close now. Hope all of you that are traveling have safe journeys. My sister and her family fly in from San Diego tomorrow for two weeks. I can't wait!!!!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Joyful gifts...

I'd like to share with you some of the gifts I'll be giving out in the next few days. Image on notebook from Paper Relics.Thanks to Heather for the yummy peppermint bark recipe.The 12 Days of Christmas swap continues...
The perfect amount of dream dust from Tammy Gilley to send my dreams a float. Love it!
Gorgeous princess bird from Cerri of Little Pink Studio for Day 6. She loves her perch in my sugar plum fairy tree. Thank you!
Hope you're all enjoying wonderful gifts and moments full of joy and laughter with your loved ones this holiday season!

Monday, December 17, 2007

For the love of fabric...

I went to a really fun estate sale this weekend where the woman who's stuff was being sold was actually there! She had downsized, so she was selling hundreds of pieces of original art that she owned when she was a gallery owner. She also had a whole room full of fabric. I dove into her box of upholstery samples and came home with a stack. The fabrics were so thick and so many different textures and colors. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them. I wanted to make something big enough that I could appreciate the fabric; the patterns are so bright and cheery! I kind of spontaneously started creating these wonderful fabric pockets. As you can see, they are very addicting. It was great fun to pick from my stash of vintage trims to add to the top of the cone and for a handle. I love the retro look!

I embellished with vintage bits of this and that and of course had to add a little birdie nestled into each one:)

Here is a part of the pile of fabrics that I got. I'm sure I'll be making many more cones. They are each so different and lovely.

In other exciting news, I opened presents for days three and four of the 12 Days of Christmas Swap. This wonderful trinket was made by Shoshanah Jennings. It's a baby spoon that has a vintage ledger paper background with a vintage German glass acorn in the center. All encased to with resin. Wow, I would not even know how to attempt to do that.

Beautiful, thank you! Today I opened this lovely piece from Holly of Holly Doodle Designs. It's absolutely gorgeous, full of vintage millinery flowers, German glass glitter and vintage wallpaper background. It will have a prominent spot in my studio. Thanks, Holly!