Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Magazine

Look at this lovely surprise! Two of our beads are on the cover of Handcrafted! I was just browsing around Barnes and Noble and there it was. The charming necklace was made by one of our most favorite people, Heather Wynn. I think she has a couple of projects in the issue. I liked the different format, gearing towards crafty folks more than just stringing designs. Its a very useful magazine!

Monday, August 24, 2009

wedding festivities

We spent this past weekend enjoying a multitude of festivities celebrating our good friends Carter and Aveesh's wedding. The fun started with the women getting henna tattoos applied in ornate designs on our hands. My hand is freshly painted in the pic- the muddy paint dries and then lemon and sugar is dabbed over it to help the design emerge. The mud flakes off and leaves an orangey color that darkens into a nice brown.

It was nice to spend time with Aveesh's mom (seated in green) and his sister Amrita (standing in aqua) and learn about the interesting rituals and customs of India. It was also a pleasure to see all the gorgeous jewelry the ladies were sporting!

That evening we attended the rehearsal dinner held in a beautiful (and enormous!) house on a mountain top in Black Moutain. The drive up to the house was harrowing, with hairpin turns and steep drop offs, but the views were spectacular! My camera phone just couldn't capture the beauty- the only decent pic I could get was my girl in her party dress.

Carter looked radiant in her gown and jewels, surrounded by the mountains and lush green of Hidden River. Her henna hasn't fully darkened on her hands, so its hard to see.

The bride and groom, preparing to say their vows, along the river and under the trees. I loved that his shoes were red Cydwoqs!

Azalea loves weddings- she's constantly dreaming up ways for her dolls to tie the knot. We joke that she'll probably grow up to be a wedding planner! See how attentive she is?

Greg took this picture of us posing in the gardens, I wish he noticed that my feet are cut off! I have bronze colored ballet flats on, in case you were wondering.

The next day, Carter's family threw a barbeque party at the same location and we enjoyed a Southern feast. Azalea and Kira (my girls new favorite person) skipped stones and blew lots of bubbles. We had a great time with the Chumtong family (proprietors of Saki Silver), since they stayed with us during all the fun. We always enjoy having guests and showing folks our town! Now that the weekend is over, it feels like we did enough to fill a week! I spent the day cleaning and relaxing (mostly relaxing...) and driving around town looking for Azalea's birthday present (she turns 5 this friday!). Maybe I'll have time to paint her 10 piece nesting doll! It's been on my things to do list for ages, but its so much work, I've never gotten around to it. Well, I better get started!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Isn't this funny? I made a little fairy house out of polymer clay for my girl to find. She really liked it, but wondered where the stove was. She definitely has an eye for detail. I wonder where she gets it.

Here's a close up of the little house. It's hollow inside, with several windows for the fey to get in and out easily. It could use furniture, but I'm sure it will be comfortable, with a few adjustments.

So, today was the dreaded first day. My girl was eager to go and made friends instantly, while I hovered around the door, watching to see if everything was ok. The kindly Ms. Rebecah was very comforting, realizing it was mama that needed help leaving. Fortunately, I had a lot to do, an appointment with my midwife and cleaning up for out of town guests. I made it through the day, constantly asking Greg what he thought she might be doing, looking at the clock and keeping busy. It was hard. She came home, all smiles and full of new info (she learned about how butterflies eat nectar - with a long tongue!) and was happy to see us. I have to admit, the time I had during the day was really helpful, I was surprised how much I got done!

One of the things we did was prepare produce from the farmers market for freezing. I love summer! I like freezing fruits and veggies to use during the winter, its like capturing the essence of the season. I was very happy with everything, the berries were super sweet and the heirloom tomatoes tasted flavorful and delicious...they will go well in a gazpacho with the peppers! Greg and I have been nesting pretty hard, he tiled the kitchen backsplash (see pic with produce) and we've been cooking all manner of delicacies, like german chocolate cake with a caramel coconut and pecan frosting. He's juicing watermelon and grapefruits right now, lucky me!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Look at this cute tiny monchichi doll! We picked it up somewhere in Williamsburg, an area of Brooklyn. I loved these dolls as a kid and was unsurprised that my girl found them irresistable as well. I forgot my camera card, so I couldn't take pics of our trip, but since I'm never without my sketchbook or index cards we drew. Azalea is into drawing herself as an owl and labeling each card with her name.

One of the things I longed to do while in the city was go to a perfumerie called I Hate Perfume. Apparently, the proprietor really dislikes commercial scents and wishes to replace those fragrances with his own unique smells. I picked out Sticky Toffee Pudding, which smells like creme brulee, very creamy and sweet. I love any fragrance reminicent of vanilla beans or cream. The tiny credit card size compact is from Sephora, a steal for 15 bucks with colors that are flattering. Its my favorite combo of small, clever design and useful. I'm imagining a watercolor set with little drawers of gouche or sparkly pigments.
On the way home from NY, we stopped at the Roadside of America miniature villiage in PA. The sign says 'see more than you expect!' and I was all skeptical and ready to disagree, but was pleasantly surprised by the huge room filled with amazing miniatures. Azalea loved operating the various trains, trolleys and little animals by pushing buttons around the display. It was well worth the stop, just to see all the little buildings lit up, with tiny scenes inside, surrounded by lovely gardens.

Since we've been home I've been in nesting mode, cooking, cleaning and organizing. We made a huge breakfast this morning, chocolate gravy and biscuits, eggs and sausages, washed down by freshly squeezed juice. We needed the fuel for school shopping and headed over to Target, one of my favorite stores. I love the owl printed backpack ( I think a Le Sportsac homage) and the silky owl pj's. The blue fabric with white dots is a charming little dress I can't wait to see my girl in. We found almost everything for her first days at school and I'm determined not to freak out. I've heard loads of parents rejoicing the beginning of school, but I find myself dreading it. I know the school is good, she got into Art Space, a school designed to teach academics using the arts. Hopefully, I won't just stare at the clock, waiting for school to get out!

Monday, August 03, 2009

red pandas

A small army of Azalea's holding red panda's, my girls new favorite animal. I made these little kokeshi dolls for Daddy, Andrew and Sheila (and one for Girl Wonder, of course) at her insistence that they needed a pocket Azalea with them at all times. I do indulge her.

And a pocket red panda to ride with her everywhere! It's made from polymer and painted with acrylics, just like the kokeshi dolls.

Here's a new piece, a small link (just over an inch long) with no back yet. It's nice and thin and has a feeling like a pebble or a coin. Now I just have to decide what to carve on the back!

I really like repainting dolls! This was a Fashion Royalty Kyori (she was sporting black lipstick and heavy duty eyeliner) so I took off the old paint and gave her a more natural look. Painting dolls is a very relaxing and meditative thing for me...its basically the most fun part of doll making! I love carving heads, but love painting them even more!
So, I've been indulging my frivolous side and making things for fun (with the exception of the owl piece, but it was fun too). I took the advice of a smart person that said I should just force myself to finish something and it worked! Once the ball got rolling, it was hard to stop. I have some jewelry projects that have sat on the back burner that need to be addressed and we shall see if my current wave of productivity holds out! I've been throwing around the idea of making mini books, with lots of illustrations, maybe a fantasy botanical or animal guide. I haven't figured out the details of production, but I'm enjoying coming up with possible stories. It feels pretty good to be working on projects that are just for me! I know this phase is temporary!