Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Splash Party

This weekend was warm and perfect for a birthday splash party! High rise sprinklers and giant bubbles were the highlights of the day. That was our Saturday.....

And as someone who loves to create art and inspire creativity in others, I turned Kyla's gift wrapping into a colorful typography project! White paper, fine tip and broad tip markers, some handwriting and doodling turned this plain package into a birthday gift!

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Car Wash and Birthday Cake

Last week I decided that the outdoor toys needed a good washing. What started out as a chore turned into 3 hours of water play for the kids. A bucket of soapy water, two sponges and a trickling water hose was all they needed for their morning of fun! Every outdoor toy vehicle received a thorough cleaning. Our backyard was turned into a miniature car wash!

For months now Kyla has been telling us that her birthday is coming up and finally - the day has come. This little girl who just started preschool summer camp, is taking ballet and sleeps in a "big girl" bed now - is turning 3 today!!! Where did the time go?!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Artist Date Nature Walk

If I can't find the bits of nature in my yard that I need for my photo shoots I take a walk around the block and gather blossoms and pods and greens. One of my favorite places to visit is a small park just a block from my home. Last Friday my daughter had the day off so we set up a photo shoot for some new additions to her shop. What I love most about my nature walks is the leftovers! I grab a vase and put together a botanical bouquet that always turns out beautiful!!


Monday, June 23, 2014

Owl Knitting Needle Storage Bag

When I think of knitting, it conjures up visions of sitting near the fireplace on a cold evening. It's a craft that I'd rather do during the cooler months of the year. Apparently though, many people knit year round, no matter what the temperature is.

Even though it is wedding season and much of what I'm working on in my studio are wedding clutches....I've gotten several requests for knitting needle storage bags. So, instead of creating these  cute little owls in earth tones, they are getting feathery bodies in bright summer colors!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mama Bleu Designs and Southern Bride Magazine

I am beside myself excited to be featured in Southern Bride Magazine this month!! Thanks to Angela from Angela Marie Events!

Angela contacted me just after Christmas last year and by the end of January I had everything finished and sent off for her photo shoot in February. When she described the setting of the shoot at a lake house in Louisiana I just knew the photos would turn out fabulous!!! All the photos were taken by Ashleigh-Jayne-Photography.

Originally she was going to pitch the collection of photos to a well known bridal blog but thought she'd make a last minute entry in a contest that Southern Bride Magazine was hosting. There were several of us who collaborated with Angela so we were all on pins and needles waiting to hear the news.

The very next day I received a text that said, "Are you sitting down? The shoot WILL be featured in the next issue if Southern Bride Magazine". With sealed lips we all had to wait 4 months before we could share the news!!

I received my issue of the magazine in the mail yesterday and saw that one of the photos from the shoot made it to the front page! Thanks Angela for knocking on Mama Bleu Designs door and giving me the opportunity to join you in this fun adventure!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Gift for Myself

My husband has a lumber rack behind our garage where he stores the leftover lumber from jobs that he has worked on. Whenever I find a great idea for using bits and pieces of scrap moldings I jump on it!

Recently I purchases this set of X&O letters from an etsy shop owner. They are delightful but I didn't like the original colors so I added my own touches of acrylic paint. Now I just need to find a home for them!

Friday, June 13, 2014

No Holding Back

The day after my sisters and I created our happy painting I decided to leave the drop cloth on the dining room table and my painting supplies out for a couple of days. I thought I might have some time to play in the paint. What happen though was another paint session with my grand kids.

Micah and Kyla were timid about adding paint and texture to the first canvas I put in front of them a few weeks ago. But this time....there was no hesitation at all! They painted with enthusiasm and didn't hold back. They kept asking for "more paint"..... "we need more paint!"

When my daughter-in-law saw the first painting we did together she said that she would love to have one too. So when they finished their masterpiece I had them sign their names on the back and I dated it. Oh my gosh! You should have seen Kyla helping me carry the painting to their front door that night. When my son opened the front door Kyla squealed with excitement and said, "look daddy, we painted this"!

When we took the kids home today and walked in the front room I saw the painting up on a ledge and asked Scott if he liked their painting. He said, "we love it.....and so do all of our friends!"

I might need to get a few more canvases!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Beauty Marks on our Dining Room Table

As I was cleaning up the latest mess on my dining room table I reflected back on all the activities that have taken place, and all the memories that were made, around this piece of furniture.

Purchased at an estate sale right up the street from where I grew up, it was evident that this table had already provided decades of memories for another Sierra Madre family. The finish was peeling off and the single extension leaf didn't match perfectly.....but we didn't care. We needed a larger family-friendly table for our home and it fit the bill.

Now, nearly 25 years later, we have put our own scratches and dents in it. They are "beauty marks" from memories made.

Beauty marks from significant, photo captured moments of holiday meals, bridal & baby showers and birthday parties.

The beauty marks I love the most are those made from the multitude of everyday moments that didn't get written on the calendar as milestone reminders. They are from the experiences that were knitted together during the in between times. The moments that are countless and often overlooked. The ordinary, yet extraordinary!

Beauty marks made...

...from scissors during sewing lessons.
...from little cars pushed by little hands on imaginary roads.
...from pencils missing the page during homework time.
...from cookie decorating and package wrapping and canvas painting.
...from letter writing and scrapbook making and journal keeping.

Yesterday I was eager to sand down these marks and refinish the table top. Today I consider them marks of beautiful memories. It's amazing what a change of perspective can do!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Urgent Care

My oh ONE little event can turn things around!!

Thursday started out as it normally does with Kyla being dropped off at my home about 8:45am. By 11:30am we were on the campus of Micah's school with 3 lunch tickets in hand. A special in-n-out treat for the end of the school year!

After lunch, we climbed into the car to head back to my house and carry on with our day. I glanced at my dashboard fuel gauge and decided to take a detour to the gas station. THAT was the one little event that turned things around! I caught the toe of my saddle as I was stepping over the fuel hose and went hands first toward the pavement. 

I didn't feel the full effect of it all until that night. Maybe it was because my attention was on the grand kids all day. But as dinner time approached the pain increased and I started questioning whether I broke or chipped a bone in my hand. I thought.....if it isn't any better by the next morning I was going to take a trip to Urgent Care.

 Fast forward to 7am Friday....the pain was much worse! Of course, I couldn't cancel my Friday morning coffee date with my mother-in-law especially because the grand kids were joining us too.

I thought the difference between Urgent Care and the Hospital Emergency Room would be a reduction of time waiting to be see and cared for. I was wrong! The whole process took nearly 3 hours but I'm glad I went. The good news is that my hand is not broken. Thank goodness for strong bones!!

Ice and Advil are so much better than a cast any day of the week!