Friday, May 30, 2014

Something To Be Happy About

It's the weekend!!

For us that means more house guests and another reason to gather around for a BBQ meal. And laugh and walk around town to do some window shopping and spend some more time making Sunday Art.

I hope your weekend is HAPPY!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Another New Feature at Mama Bleu Designs

Most of the photos that you see in my Mama Bleu Designs etsy shop are personalized bags that I made for brides according to their choice of colors. As I'm working on filling orders I will often create additional bags in fabric colors that I don't have a sample of yet.

Recently I decided to keep many of these bags instead of selling them at Belle's Nest in Sierra Madre. I've wanted to offer some ready-to-ship items for quite awhile and now I have quite a selection for you to choose from.

These items are all monogrammed clutches and wristlets featuring the most requested initial letters stitched on them. Several of these bags have already been listed in my shop and more will be added over the next couple of days.

I hope you'll find this added feature will help make some of your last minute shopping a little easier for you!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Handpainted Canvas Fabric

It was couple of weeks ago when my husband and I walked around Old Town Pasadena, tried out a new place for dinner and stopped into an art supply store before heading home. The idea of painting on some canvas fabric has been in my head for months so I bought a couple of yards. Needless to say it has been in the corner of my studio ever since.

Last weekend's Sunday Morning Art session inspired me to put down my Mama Bleu Designs work for a few days each week and create in other ways too. It's been invigorating to get my hands into paint and explore new ideas. Last week it was mixed media. This weekend I got my roll of canvas out!!

Do you remember when I created a variety of stamps? I used some of them on a few paintings and loved the effect! Today I played with the leaf and vine rolling stamp and built my canvas design around that simple pattern!

So now my fabric painting is finished and I have a roll of canvas covered with variegated leaf vines. I have a few ideas of what to do with it and will unveil them when they are ready. But.....if this roll of painted canvas fabric was in your hands, what would you do with it or make from it?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Life Changing Moments

Last night my husband and I had a precious time of encouragement and prayer with our dear friends from Africa. Peter and Tammy were one of the couples that Don had visited during his 2 week trip in January. He had told them we had room in our home if they ever needed a place to stay when they came to the states. Little did we know that 4 months later they would take us up on the offer!

The 2 and a half weeks they were here have been life changing for us!

A friend asked Don yesterday, if he could do life over again would he choose to be a missionary. He hesitated and said...."no, I think we did it right the first time. But now that we are getting connected with people in the mission field and we know we have strengths and gifts that are valuable to them, we may be spending some time over there with them."

 Until the time we get to travel to their home halfway around the world, we are sending part of ourselves with them. For's my art. My Sunday morning art! These pieces were made for specific places in the retreat center they are building in Tanzania. What a privilege it would be to take them there and personally hang them on the walls.

I remember a very long season in my life when I thought my art had no value. I let go of it for awhile and much of the reason was because of those thoughts. When I returned to it once again I had a sense that it would be different this time. And it has been.....but I never would have imagined any of what has happened over the last couple of years. What a blessing!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sunday Morning Art

My husband was out of town, our house guests were gone for the weekend and I was in the mood to create some art. What that looked like for me was spreading some paint and mix media supplies across a table in front of a bright window. I thought I'd just spend most of my Saturday there but it turned out to be a weekend retreat for me!

I wanted to create two canvases for our friends to hang in a retreat center  they are building in Africa. We had discussed the colors and the words. They were inspired by a piece I made several years ago that hangs in my home, so I used it as my inspiration as well.

As I worked on adding paper and paint to each canvas I was reminded of Mindy Lacefield. She is an artist who paints on Sunday mornings after she attends church. My husband and I choose to attend the Saturday evening worship service at our church. Creating worshipful art on Sunday mornings seems so appropriate to me, especially when I consider how my talent to create is a gift from the Lord.

A few weeks ago when I was going through a hard emotional time I started searching for some new music to listen to that might soothe the ache in my heart. I came across a collection of songs from Bethel Music called "Without Words". It was hard to put into words what I was feeling at the time and this title seems so appropriate. I started thinking about what worship sounds like or looks like without words. Today, as I was adding some details to one of the canvases, I had an epiphany about that.

This art that I was creating IS worship without words!

It is as much an act of worship as singing praise!

I am so grateful for days like today when I can create from my heart and dive deeper into what I love to do!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Unexpected

I was sitting at my sewing machine yesterday reflecting on the events of the past couple of months. Even though it is busier than usual I am feeling a calmness that is unexpected.

This time last year I would wake up each morning with a sense of panic that I had more to do than I could possibly accomplish in the day. If I did some comparison to last March - May I'd have to say that my calendar is even more full this year. So why the change! Where is this sense of calm coming from?

I believe my perspective of things has changed. It's easy to hold tightly to things and feel the weight of it all. I hope....I think....that I have loosened my grip and released the tension that can hold me captivity to the thought that I have to do it all and I have to do it now!!

Ask me tomorrow and I may not be in this calm mental place. For now though, I'm learning how to view things with new eyes. Not rose colored glasses.... but through lenses that help me see past the door of my studio and into other parts of my life.

I am taking a deep breath and feeling the joy that is intended for this day!

I hope your weekend is amazing!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Love You to the Moon and Back

I walked out to look at the moon last night and it was big, round and bright in the sky. There is something wonderful and mysterious about that white globe that governs the night and effects the tides of the sea.

You may be familiar with the moon and stars pillow I added to my shop just before the holidays last year. Now I have 2 new clutches that give tribute to the night sky. They are now available at Mama Bleu Designs. Enjoy!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Getting it Done

Sometimes you need to set everything aside and just do it. That was me this past week! Sorting photos, laying out the pages, adding paper and fitting it all together. I spent most of Saturday finishing up Kyla's photo album and it was all worth it to see how thrilled she was Sunday afternoon, sitting in her mama's lap, pointing to pictures and saying, "that's baby Kyla"!! 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Personal Inscriptions for Custom Made Clutches

I am so glad to finally re-introduce another way you can personalize your custom made clutch from Mama Bleu Designs! This was a feature I originally introduced in 2011 and it's back by popular demand.

Many of my customers have asked me to put a personal message on the inside lining of their clutch purse order. Most recently I added a message from a mom and dad to their daughter who is graduating from optometry school.

Whether you are ordering a collection of clutches for your bridesmaid, a bon voyage gift for your sister, a gift for your best friend's birthday or a personalized holiday gift....I will be glad to add your personal message!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Making Scrapbook Albums

I was introduced to scrapbook albums in the Summer of 1996. I loved making albums so much that I turned it into a career - teaching others how to organized their photos and create scrapbook albums. All that ended in the Fall of 2010 and I haven't made an album least not until today.

I created a baby album for my grandson right after he turned one. But Kyla.....she has grown up so fast and time has flown and I never got one made for her. She turns 3 next month!! As hard as it is to set everything aside for a few days, it's time for me to get out my supplies and get it done for her!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Creative Summer Garden

I do something creative just about every day of the week. Even though most of what I create is connected to my business I still love what I do. My husband Don, on the other hand, has a very stressful job and was craving his own creative project. The result...... a reconstructed area for my vegetable garden.

In October of 1987, we experienced a pretty big earthquake here that brought down the river rock facade of my grandparents chimney. Don rebuild the facade for them in wood siding and brought all the stones to our house. They have been resting under our large oak tree for years but with our recent fence project we moved them to my garden area.

Because our yard slopes down hill, Don created 3 terraced levels to our garden and outlined with with the river rock. He also used them to outline a few other planting areas for squash, melons and tomatoes. I told him that the hard scape of our garden is beautiful even without the plants!!