June 28, 2012

Invites, Favors and Notecards, Oh My!

photo Ajih Creations
Today I'm happy to have Monique from the blog, Creative Girl Living in a Country World! I've asked her a few questions about her paper craft:

1. How did you get started in papercraft? 
Due to various events that I made invites, favors, and baskets for, my mother stated that I should do this as a business.  So that’s what I did.  I concentrated on notecards, but still do invites, favors and baskets for clients.
photo Ajih Creations
2. What are your favorite tools of the trade?
Unique color paper stock, edgers, punches and papery accessories.
photo Ajih Creations
3. What advice would you give a newbie?
The same that was given to me by a mentor of mine, “DON’T GIVE UP.”
photo Ajih Creations
4. If you were a famous actor/actress, who would you be?
Lisa Bonet
photo Ajih Creations
5. And a few either/or questions just for fun:
Sunny or rainy? Sunny
Cupcakes or pancakes?  Pancakes, I don’t eat cake of any kind, but I’ll eat the hell out of some icing.   
Shorts or skirts?  Skirts.

Thanks for sharing, Monique!
Monique's a "creative girl living in a country world" as her blog title reads! Her blog is her personal space of all things creative and inspirational, which could include almost anything (DIY's, Art, Music, Food, etc). She has weekly and monthly features such as: New Release Tuesdays, Inspiration Thursday, and Cyberspace Friday. She's also the owner of Ajih Creations, a creative services business established 2008, which features her papery line. She loves to meet new people so please stop by and say hello!

June 27, 2012

Curvy Girl Outfits: Butterfly Sleeves

Camera Artwork c/o Joni James

When I was about eight I got a longing for a butterfly-sleeve shirt and I began saving money for it. It was something about looking like I had wings and the possibility of flying that appealed to me. I remember going to the doctor's office with my mom knowing we would go to the store after her appointment. I sat alone reading in the lobby for what seemed like days. When Mom finally emerged she asked if I would mind going on another day. I tried to act like it was no big deal but I was heartbroken. She must've seen it written all over my face because she quickly said she had some things to get anyways so we could go on. I was thrilled! At the store I searched through a pile of butterfly shirts until I found the one that had everything I wanted. I spent the evening waving my arms showing everyone how butterfly-like I was.

A few weeks ago while digging through my sister's stash of giveaway-to-sis pile, I squealed when I found a butterfly shirt with a BUTTERFLY on it! I'm probably too old to wear this sort of thing, but I don't care, I love it. It takes me back to that little girl who saved all her money for a shirt she wore as many days as Mom would allow and who always had an inkling it might give her the chance to fly.

June 26, 2012

My Hobbit Name

Since The Hobbit movie is coming out this year, I know you're wondering what my hobbit name is. *ahem*  Okay maybe not, but I'm sure you'd like to know. My hobbit name is . . . Daisy Hardbottle. I love daisies, so it's rather fitting. It was christened to me by Faith and she found it through the Hobbit Name Generator

Since I'm already geeking out, want to know what my elvish name is? It's Idril Elanesse. Isn't that pretty? I found it on this site. Yes, I'm a geek like that. *embraces geeky side with a big, squishy hug*

Wanna find out what your hobbit or elvish name is? You know you dooooo! *said in a high-pitched sing-songy voice*  If you're geeky enough to handle the truth, follow links above. I'd love to hear your names in the comments below if you care to share. :D Hobbits and Elves Unite!

Feel free to refer to me as Daisy or Idril from now on. *pulls on hobbit cloak; fastens with elvish pin* Now if you'll excuse me, Gandolf just arrived with an adventure.

June 25, 2012

Loving Lately

Seeing this amazing sunset/ Eating yummy made-from-scratch waffles at my daughter's waffle party/ This adorable Frankenstein pillow/ Drive-in movies. Our family went to the drive-in movie this weekend. It was a double feature of Brave and The Avengers. Definitely felt like summer with the cool breeze after dark, Quick Trip cheap drinks and lots of freshly made popcorn we'd brought along. Hoping to do more of this through the summer months.

What are you loving lately?

June 22, 2012

The Best Mirror is an Old Friend

"The best mirror is an old friend." - George Herbert

I don't really know much about George Herbert, but I love this quote. Probably because my best friend is literally my oldest friend, my twin sister. I went softer with the background because I wanted to play around with bright hair. This feels more like a period piece to me; reminded me of Jane Austin. I think it has something to do with the pale lips and hairstyles. But my sis saw it as more contemporary (probably due to the green and blue hair). 

This is the last weekend before my daughter leaves for Africa. *teeth chatter* I'm doing okay with it so far, but you might not want to ask me closer to take-off time on Thursday or I might burst into tears. Yes, yes, she'll only be gone thirteen days, I know. {THIRTEEN DAYS??? ACK!!} I'm trying to not be a terrified, obsessive mother. {WHAT WERE WE THINKING???} Yes, she'll have an international phone, {AND SHE BETTER DANG WELL USE IT!!} but still. I can't be there if something is wrong. I can't hug her or listen to her stories. *deep breath* No really, I'm fine with it. *bites nails* Really.

What are your plans for the weekend?

June 21, 2012

Mrs. Ricefield Gets Creative

photo Mrs. Ricefield

I'm so happy to introduce you to Mrs. Ricefield! She's a dear blogging friend whose incredibly creative ideas are always inspiring . She has a knack for teaching crafts that are easy to make.

photo Mrs. Ricefield

When did you first know you loved to create?
My curiosity and need to experiment/create have always been there, for as long as I remember. I would make doll clothes out of fabric scraps and ribbons, I had lots of sketchbooks and journals from very young, I would get into the kitchen and make a mess coming up with my own "recipes." To be honest, my parents didn't see any talent in me and they never encouraged "art" but they did encourage creativity in other forms - imaginative play, writing, etc. My mom never took her embroidery, crochet, or sewing very far. I don't remember her doing anything, even though she knew how. Her focus was her academic career. My dad was also very focused on his business career, but he was an incredible musician. He played four instruments, all by ear, and he would sit on the piano or grab his guitar and just play whatever he heard in his mind. It was amazing to watch.

But my grandmas were both incredibly creative, using different media. My father's mom created incredible crochet and sewing, but her biggest talent was cooking. My mother's mom painted beautifully, embroidered, crocheted, knitted, composed music, and made flowers like I've never seen - paper, fabric, beads, a mix of all of them. She had her own business for a long time, making flowers for weddings especially. I loved going to visit and watching her make the delicate little petals for minute flowers, then add them together for yards and yards of bouquets, garlands.

So, creativity is just something that has been a part of my life in one way or another since very early on, of my own interest and by exposure to the people around me.

What's your favorite crafty tool(s)?
My sewing machine. It's hard to choose because it always depends on what I'm doing. But I would say the sewing machine because it's so prolific - I can use it in card making, sewing all kinds of fun and/or practical things, even mixed media collages. But I couldn't live without my markers, pens, paint brushes, pretty papers, ribbons, glue (that's a big one too)!!!!

photo Mrs. Ricefield

What advice would you give someone who doesn't think they're creative, but wants to be?
I thoroughly believe that everyone has creativity inside them, it's a basic skill for humans. If you think about it, you have to be creative to go through life. Here's an example, you're running late in the morning, you open your fridge and realize you have to go grocery shopping and there's nothing easily picked for breakfast. What do you do? You exercise a whole lot of creativity in a few minutes to make some kind of breakfast for yourself (and your family). And this happens all the time, everywhere, but we don't see it as creativity - dealing with people at work, keeping our kids entertained. 

If you want to make something that people traditionally think of as creative, it's a matter of training this inner ability to adapt, to create solutions. Try to put aside, even for a little while, self defeating thoughts about a lack of creativity or talent. Don't be afraid of making mistakes, they are so important for growth.

If you're not sure where to start, grab a hobby magazine for your chosen medium and use one of their tutorials. It's ok to copy at first, when you learn the basics and some fun techniques, you'll grow into your own and experiment.

photo Mrs. Ricefield
If you were a famous actor/actress, who would you be?
Ha! You got me... I'm not even sure who the famous actors and actresses are now. I haven't owned a tv in 6 years, and since my daughter was born cartoons are close to the only type of movies I watch. But let's see... Maybe Naomi Watts? I always thought she was very talented. I'd rather do what I do very well than have the most fame. 

And a few either/or questions just for fun:
Grand Canyon or the Taj Mahal? Can I have both? Sure! I couldn't choose between the two types of beauty. 
Grapes or coconuts? Grapes, yum.
High heels or flats? Flats. Comfort and cuteness don't have to be mutually exclusive. 

photo Mrs. Ricefield
Thank you so much, Mrs. Ricefield. Be sure to stop by her blog and say hello!

June 20, 2012

What's Your Favorite?

{Our paint-chip ball continues to grow, thanks to my daughter's nurturing}

I've been working on my blog; thinking about which features to keep and which to drop. I like to do this periodically to keep things fresh. I'd love to hear from you. Which post would you nominate as your favorite (on this blog) published within the last six months?

Anyone who puts in a nomination will receive extra cyber *hugs* and mounds of virtual cookies (with icing and sprinkles if you prefer)!

"And the nomination is . . ." 

June 19, 2012

Sometimes I Hide

Masquerade Masks
Sometimes it's easy to put a face on, trying to fool everyone into believing you don't have problems. I'm not sure why we want others to believe this about us. Maybe to seem better than we are; or maybe to be liked because we're not sure the real us is like-able. It seems to be a big secret that we're flawed and we're desperate to hide it. But the great irony is that everyone is flawed.

I struggle to be organized. I lose things all the time. I don't like this about myself and often prefer to appear put-together rather than honestly sharing how bumbly my process is.

If someone assumes my husband and I don't fight; it's tempting to let them think it. But marriage isn't like that. We struggle, sacrifice and argue as much as we love, laugh and play.

I have tendencies to fixate on one thing and like to seem ultra-focused rather than admit I fixate to the detriment of other things. I struggle to balance time with all my priorities. I tend to do really good in one area and horrible everywhere else.

These are just a few of the ways I hide; but I'm trying to live more honestly. I want to embrace that I'm flawed and have patience with myself and others. This is why I share my struggles and show glimpses of sorrow here. But I much prefer being at a positive place, and I've learned that it's okay to enjoy life even in the midst of difficult times. I don't have to hide joy. I need to embrace my corny, silly side as much as I do my flaws.

How do you embrace your flaws or your joy?

June 18, 2012

Loving Lately

*I scored big this weekend; I found two identical vintage chairs at a garage sale in good condition. I looourve them!! They make me smile every time I walk through the living room. And I got them for a song which makes me even happier. *Waffles and coffee rate among my favorite breakfasts, although I try not to indulge too often, ahem. *I've been working on a pile of paintings and hope to get them up in the shop soon.  *My son had a blast at basketball camp. He turned out to be the tallest in his category. They called him "big man"--which he totally loved.

What are you loving lately?

June 15, 2012

Please No More

Here is the completed version of Home. It was a housewarming gift to two dear friends. I needed to wait to post it in full until I'd gifted it. I meant to post more pictures of other works in progress but life happened--

Another sweet friend passed away suddenly yesterday. It was unexpected, and I had to relay the heartbreaking news to a group of his friends this morning. It sucked. I'm so done with grief. Three dear friends in one year feels like more than we can take. I'm beginning to feel nervous about answering the phone. Please keep his family in your prayers, they are reeling from the loss.

June 14, 2012

Interview with Sarah from SillyGrrl

I'm thrilled to have Sarah from Sillygrrl here today to tell us more about her journey to becoming a web designer. Not only are her blog designs adorable (and affordable through her Etsy shop) but she is a wonderful blog resource. This year she did a fabulous series called Six Weeks to a Better Blog.

1. How did you get started in web design?
I discovered the internet when I was 13, just about the time AOL showed up. I spent a lot of time on LiveJournal, Blogger, Diaryland and eventually had my own site hosted by another blogger. I taught myself how to code by picking through other sites to see how they were put together and redesigned my own site about 100 times before I moved on to working for bands and being paid in food. My freelance business finally took off when I decided to take it seriously, put a lot of time into creating quality blog content and opened my Etsy shop.

2. What are your favorite tools of the trade?
Photoshop, Illustrator, Google Fonts, and Pinterest for inspiration

3. What advice would you give a newbie?
Just dive in - you don't need formal training to become a designer. Google everything - there are tons of tutorials on coding and building sites. Don't give up - coding can be really difficult and confusing, but generally it's one teeny-tiny thing that needs to be fixed and your whole site will fall into place.

4. If you were a famous actor/actress, who would you be?
Ginger Rogers - little known fact about me, I performed in a bunch of musicals and was a competitive ballroom dancer in high school.

5. And a few more questions just for fun:
New Zealand or Australia? Neither haha I'm a total homebody and being in a plane for hours and hours doesn't interest me in the least
Tacos or pasta? Tacos times a million
Ringlets or braids? Ringlets, but only if they're teased into a giant fro...I like big hair :)

Sarah is a web designer & aerialist living in metro-Detroit. SillyGrrl is where she writes about her adventures as a circus performerdesign inspiration and answers your web design & blogging questions

June 13, 2012

Curvy Girl Outfit: Cowl Neckline

Even though I'm working to slim down, I'm still a curvy girl. So I like finding outfits that help me appear put together and a bit more streamlined. I love this shirt because it has short-sleeves with a cowl neckline that draws attention to the face. The only downside is that adding jewelry makes it look overdone; so I'm accessory free. The belt gives a waistline illusion and the jean capris are a nice casual-but-not-slouchy twist to the outfit.

What's your favorite summer go-to outfit?

June 12, 2012

Revisiting Dream List

Since it's halfway through the year, I thought it'd be good to check my dream list and see where I'm at.
  1. Listen to my heart. Check!
  2. Walk 3-5 days a week. This started pretty well but I'm struggling now.
  3. Lose 2 pounds a month. It's been more like 1 a month, but still progress.
  4. Try a new skill each month. Remember my 12 for 12? Well, I dropped it because the expectation was taking the fun out of it; but I still try to be intentional at trying something new or getting better at an old skill each day.
  5. Plan more (so I can live more). Check!
  6. Have a date with hubby weekly. Half-check. Still working on this.
  7. Put new art in Etsy shop weekly. It's been more like bi-weekly. Right now I'm rethinking the Etsy shop and how I'll be running it.
  8. Put originals in new boutique. Haven't accomplished this yet. But I did put new originals in the shop I already had art in!
  9. Watch less T.V.--play more. Check!
  10. Face my fears. Check! (this is ongoing)
  11. Embrace myself, flaws and all. Yes, but still a work in progress.
  12. Get featured in a national magazine. Submitting.
  13. Submit work to a big blog. Check! And still submitting.
  14. Live simply. Each day I work on this a bit, so I guess that means Check.
  15. Dress up. Check!
  16. Celebrate the little moments. Check!
  17. Savor today. I'm getting better at this but still have to make myself aware.

What about you? Do you have dream/goal lists? Have you seen progress since the first of the year?

June 11, 2012

Summer Life: Shaved Ice

To say I've enjoyed the first week of summer would be an understatement. I've completely relished it! *happy sigh* My sister came and we visited constantly. Fortunately for us, our kids are pretty understanding of our incessant chatting. We all lucked out in having plenty of shops surrounding Barnes and Noble. So while my sis and I talked over frappuccinos and books, the kids ventured off to shop. On another day we spent time at the pool. Ironically, we outlasted the kids; they were asking to go home before we were ready. Ha. Finally we had to introduce them to the heaven that is shaved ice from Josh's Sno Shack. So many flavors...so little time.

Any fun happening in your world?

June 8, 2012


This is my latest work in progress. I've got several more almost finished but didn't get pictures taken before the sun went down. Ah well, maybe next Friday.

We joined the neighborhood pool down our street, so I'm guessing that's where we'll spend most of this weekend. What are your plans for the weekend?