Thursday, July 31, 2008

My first commission

It seems that the tush tag business is off and running, so to speak. Thanks to Gloria's hard work, I am already receiving orders for these dainty darlings. Here is a detail of my first completed tag commission for little Miss Amie Addison.

I'm pretty proud of how this first endeavor turned out. I have learned that it takes a completely different set of skills to work on something that is only 1"x3" with such detail, but overall it is quite gratifying. I think I spent at least 2 hours getting this one just right, but hopefully as I do more of them, I will become more efficient. I used Bazzill cardstock as the base; patterned paper is My Mind's Eye. This is all hand-stamped with distressed edges using Ranger inks. Heidi Swapp tiny jewels, vintage button and paper flowers (which I inked as well) are from Target (gotta love that dollar section!).

I will try to post a pic of the tag once it is adhered to the tiny tush so you can get the complete picture.

I'm delighted to say that I have a quickly growing list of scrapbook and collage projects that need to be completed-- artwork for a little independent film (or two...), more tush tags, and a couple design team calls that I am VEERRY excited to put in for.
[Looks like I have some late nights ahead of me; good thing about that recent coffee epiphany, eh?]

For those of you who are not giant scrap geeks like myself, let me explain. Most scrapbook manufacturers and even scrap retailers have a design team to help with the promotion of their products. Some design team positions are paid, but most just offer gratis, which you can then use to create your monthly assignments. It's really fantastic, because if you have any idea how much money can be so easily spent on supplies, you would gasp in horror!! {it's an addiction almost more compelling than the scrapbooking itself} So, for this month, my very favorite local scrapbook store, Mystic Paper, is looking for new design team members. I have been shopping there with my friend Amy for quite a while now, and from the moment you walk into the shop, owners Jennifer and Kim make you feel right at home. Their selection is so fabulous and enticing-- I DARE you to leave without an bagful of goodies! I would be so honored to be a part of their creative team, and am so excited to put together my projects for their call.
**wish me luck-- hopefully I will dazzle them with my eclectic style**

PS It's almost Friday...weeeee!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Coffee, my true love

Readers, it is true. Caffeine, specifically in espressinated coffee form, is my not-so-secret lover. We have a very special relationship, the big C and I. We take long rides in the car, and sit in bookstores together reading silently. I steal the occasional appreciative glance, knowing that he really is the perfect reading companion.
But only the very best will do. That's not to say that in a moment of headache-induced desperation, I won't make a visit to the local QT or Denny's. But, over the years, my experiences working as a barista have made me a bit of a coffee snob. Which is why when I read this article, I was a bit skeptical of its simplicity. I've ordered cold brew coffee at my neighborhood coffee shop (Xtreme Bean in Tempe makes a decent cup), and have toyed with the idea of purchasing a cold brew contraption specifically for this purpose. But after reading this, I decided to follow the VEEERY simple recipe using my handy dandy french press. I combined 1 cup of coarse grind beans (for this experiment, I used one of my fave organic Trader Joe's blends) and 2 1/2 cups of room temperature water in my press, stirred gently, placed the lid on top and let it rest on my counter overnight. In the morning, I strained the resulting liquid into a small pitcher-- it resembled strong coffee {quelle suprise!!}. I sniffed (smelled like coffee), I took a tiny sip (tasted like coffee). I poured two fingers worth into a glass and mixed in some cream and a handful of ice. The beverage that I then tasted was, without doubt, the most flavorful coffee drink I have ever tasted! Full of depth and character without the acidic aftertaste!

Could it be? All these years of spending $5 on my morning soy latte, and this whole time the makings of my perfect iced beverage companion were in my own kitchen all along! I was embarassed and pleasantly surprised all at once.

This morning I was able to make my coffee drink at home in about 3 seconds AND I got to keep my $5 bill in my wallet. And my tastebuds were none the wiser. How great is that?

Saturday, July 26, 2008


{I couldn't resist these beautiful of my favorite flowers!}
Well, I've finally created a fun header for my blog. I went to my good friend and business partner Amy's house for a late night scrap-n-gab session which was therapeutic on so many levels. Gotta love some serious girltalk! I think I'm fairly happy with how the new look turned the grey too drab? Your feedback is always welcome.

Have a fantastic weekend, kids!!
xox, H

Thursday, July 24, 2008

You like me, you REALLY like me!!

Over the past week, I have gotten several blog comments from a lovely assortment of people who have stumbled into my little corner of the blog universe from other craft inspired and scrapbooking blogs. To all you friends and readers, I just wanted to say THANK YOU!! I've received lots of encouraging words and sweet comments and that is so thrilling to me!
Stay tuned, because there will be BIG NEWS coming up very soon! {NO, I'm not pregnant}
Something fun, something to make your little crafty heart content...filled with vintage, kitschy goodness and possibly pink sprinkles.
More details very soon...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Scrappin'

I've had this layout waiting for it's final embellishments for about a week now, and I finally got to finish it this afternoon. I adore the bright colors and, of course, TQ's facial expressions!

Here's to a new week! Hope it's a great one!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Just a regular Summer afternoon

In the summertime here in Phoenix, this is what we live for. It was probably still near 100 degrees, but it felt amazing. Stefan took these snaps last Sunday during a really heavy monsoon. Some of the homes in our neighborhood were even flooded. The freeway that runs a block from our home was closed for several hours due to clogged, flooded drains. But us in our cozy shack just enjoyed a good soak.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday Finds

This week so far has been a whirlwind of day job, family time and creative inspiration! Several artistic endeavors and projects are in the development process [including the tushy tags]. I can't wait to share details, but for now let's just say that I am making baby steps toward launching a more creatively fulfilling career! ** EEK- so excited!**

Part of the fun of this journey is becoming familiar with the work of so many amazing artists! The internet is such a fantastic tool for this-- hundreds of artists at your fingertips. Technology is a beautiful thing. One artist that has absolutely blown my mind is Jennifer Khoshbin. Her work feeds my current obsession with patterned papers, vintage books and botanical imagery all in one delicious package. It is at once whimsical and poignant, contemporary and completely timeless.

The decoupaged insects were my initial discovery of Jennifer's, as I was searching for "painted bugs" (research for a TOP SECRET art project!). As I continued my navigation through her exhibitions, I was dazzled by her paper cutouts and detail in each piece. Her artistic statement for the first book series was something that really struck me-- "In these experiments I am trying to delve into the books, into facts and knowledge, as a way to understand my world. Using the surface space to express what I 'dig-up', I seek some resolution between the organic and the inorganic, hoping for the authentic. " Amazing.

[all photos from Jennifer Khoshbin's site]

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tushy Tags!

{Sorry for the poor quality photos, but I just couldn't wait to show you my new goodies!}
I have a little sneak peek for you...they're called tushy tags, and they're the very latest in baby bum fashion. My dear friend, Gloria, who is amazing in too many ways to elaborate on here, is the owner of Maternity Keepsake. She does belly casts for pregnant mothers and turns them into works of art to be cherished forever. Her latest endeavor involves casting newborn tushies, and I am so very honored to say that she has asked me to be a part of her business by creating customized tags for the completed works. These are a few of the creations that I came up with over the weekend- I would love some feedback, so please leave me comments! I'm trying to create a variety of styles as examples. Each tag will be customized to the mother's specifications, or she can choose from a selection of tags that I have already created.

Please visit Gloria's site to get a closer look at her remarkable work. It really is a labor of love, and she is a huge inspiration to me.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

July Scrapjack

Here is my submission for the July Scrapjacked challenge. It's in celebration of my 32nd birthday which was a few days ago. I had so much fun throwing this together! Bazzill Bling cardstock, 7gypsies gaffers tape, various paper scraps, Thickers chipboard numbers, page from vintage paperback sprayed with pink Glimmer Mist. In an effort to grunge it up a little, I actually used "white-out" for the journaling background, which was a fun experiment. I also hand-etched some scrollwork around the edges of my photo.

Thanks for looking! Have a creative day!

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

This weekend marked my 32nd birthday. Here are the highlights:

* I slept in (not having to set the alarm clock is a gift all by itself)
* Watched "Sixteen Candles"
* Went to brunch (twice) with friends and family
* Got a pedicure
* Was introduced to the heavenly bliss that is the "tSoynami" at Green
* Snuggled with the hubby
* Scrapbooked
* Went to a barbque at a dear friend's house
* Ate copious amounts of celebratory desserts including triple fudge cake and cappuccino creme brulee
* Was treated to fabulous wine and cheese at My Florist by friends new and old

Phew! After looking at that list, methinks that it's time to get back on the ol' diet. Salad city, here I come! Thanks, everyone, for a very fun and relaxing holiday weekend! I feel very loved.

Scrapbook layouts to come later this week, my friends!!!

**It has been brought to my attention that I made no mention of TQ in this entry. Rest assured, folks, that she was with me for most of these happenings, enjoying plenty of birthday cake, impressing friends and family with her wit and imagination and getting to stay up late with the big kids (mom and dad). Our favorite moment happened when Stephanie's brother and TQ were looking for her cat, and John said, "where's the princess?" and TQ exclaimed "Here I am!!!" Princess indeed.**

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Summer Air

This summer has been filled with a strange, weightless air. While extremely difficult and frustrating circumstances surround my little family at this time, I refuse to let go of the idea(l) that anything is possible. I have the power to make my life whatever I want it to be. I continue to be thankful for all the support that the universe constantly brings to us in the most random and unexpected ways. We are so blessed; we have our health and each other. Life happens to everyone, and we just have to move through it and make the best of the situations that present themselves. I meditate every day on the word "abundance" and all that it means, hoping to draw that abundance to my life-- it has become my silent mantra.
I am looking forward to being at the other end of this experience, knowing that when I get there, I will have a happy family, and I will be an even stronger, more confident woman.
[photo by Amber Ulmer]