Friday, October 31, 2008

the road home

Phew. I'm finally home. I'm finally sitting here at my computer, sleepy, but oh so happy to be back with my little family. And on Halloween! Happy Halloween everyone. Carve a pumpkin and eat a heap of candy. That's what I am planning.

And now, finally, the winners of the two previous drawings.

The winner of the Danita art print is comment #32 Celita in Avellino, Italy. She has a very interesting blog that you should most definitely check out. Celita, I need you to email me your shipping info please.

The winner of the blanket is comment #10, Morgan from Ogden, Utah. Morgan also has a blog and happens to be one of my little sister's good friends. Yeah Morgan! Just in time for your little one to come to you!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

just call me jane of the jungle

While everyone back home was sleeping, I was trekking through the jungle on an elephant. I thought about Sugar Daddy and the boy and I couldn't catch my breath I wanted them with me so much. While I was feeling the elephant slap my bare feet with his ears, I thought about what a lucky girl I am. All this thinking was going on until the elephant ahead of us decided to pull down a few hulking palm fronds and dump a shockingly massive load of dung. Those things were a little distracting. That, and the bugs were entirely out of control.

The point is I'm really lucky. And I know it.

Sorry this picture is blurry. Thai elephan guy na so goo wit de cameraaaa.


I staked out this spot right away.

Art goodies

And now I must turn the computer off and go to sleep. I have a rigorous day of snorkeling and spa treatments tomorrow. Lucky me, lucky me, lucky me, lucky me... .

Monday, October 27, 2008

krabi not so crazy

This morning I took a short flight to Krabi. The slower pace of life here is tangible. The crazy busy rush of the city has fallen away and the hours here seem to last a little longer. We did art by the pool with pinacolada mocktails. Dinner was served near the ocean. There was a warm breeze that made the torches flicker and we were serenaded by the lapping waves and the soft voice of a man with a guitar. Sounds like a dream doesn't it? It felt like one too.

Here are a few random pics of a few of the sights I've seen so far.

The drawing for the Danita art and One Lucky Baby blanket are still open. Please leave a comment to participate. I'll be drawing names on Halloween.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

not dead in a ditch in Bangkok

It is proving to be fairly difficult to get online here in Bangkok. More than I thought it would be. So, I'm not sure when the next post will be. We leave for Krabi on Monday so things might be a little slower pace there.
I survived my first few days here. I have experienced some truly amazing things. Considering the fact that I am the bubbling tourist, I will have many stories to share when I return.
While I am away, please put your name in the two drawings from the previous posts. I won't be picking the winner until I return.

Friday, October 24, 2008

many hours, one ambien and a lost wallet later. . .

Talk about better living through pharmicals! Don't get me wrong. I'm not a fanatic pill popper. But I'd just like to take a moment and sing a small opera in praise of Ambien. I took one tiny little white pill and sleep away 10 hours of my flight.

If only my good luck had lasted.

I lost my wallet today in a taxi, I think, I'm a little fuzzy about the brain. We were amongst the hustle and bustle and trying desperately to find a taxi driver that spoke even a semblance of English and somewhere in the mix I lost my bag. Money, credit card, drivers licence and two apples that an irate vendor made me buy after I accidentally knocked them off her cart.

There is nothing like running the streets in downtown Bangkok in the pouring rain trying look in every fuschia taxi that goes by in case you see your bag.

I finally gave up and headed back to my hotel. I got a fabulous meal and a foot and neck massage after I bummed some cash off a friend. Maybe tomorrow I'll sort this whole thing out. Right now I'm too tired.
Maybe you'll have better luck than me. Here is the giveaway for today. I'm not entirely sure when I'll pick the winner. I'm flyin' by the seat of my pants these days.

Leave a comment and be in the drawing to win this One Lucky Baby minky quilt!

One Lucky Baby was started in 2004 by a mother who was looking for original accessories for her own children. Fun, colorful prints and soft plush fabrics make One Lucky Baby products cozy and stylish. Each item is handcrafted for durability and years of love.

Click on over to the shop and take a look at all the funky blanket and bibs. They would make a perfect Christmas gift for the wee one on your list!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

i've become the stalker i always wanted to be

I don't even remember how I ran across Danita on the internet. It was a little while ago and since then, I have become somewhat of a stalker. I just can't get enough of Danita's art. I haunt her blog daily just to see what new and wonderful things she may be working on. I particularly love her Fridas. Here's a hint for all my peeps out there: if you are looking for the perfect gift for me for Christmas, look no further. (I don't know why I just used the word "peeps". I really have no idea what it means, but saying it makes me feel like I have tons of friends.)
Danita has talent seeping out of her every pore. Not only does she paint she also makes:
Keepsake Boxes

Art Dolls

Collage Cuties

And. . .

Holiday Art

Danita is a self taught mixed media artist who uses an alchemist's treasure of materials and techniques to create pieces that freeze little moments in her character's lives. Sometimes her little people escape their paintings and enter our world in the form of fabric dolls. She defines herself as a night owl, animal lover and a paper addict. If you'd like to know more about her work, drop by her Etsy store at and her blog at
I'm thinking of starting a Danita Stalker club on Facebook that you may consider joining.

So all you peeps (there I go again) know that each time I feature an artist, I also do a giveaway. Today you get to actually choose your prize. Have a look at all the art prints you see here and in her shop and leave a comment saying which print you would love to win. I am going to be a little MIA for the next couple of days as I will be sequestered on a airplane and schlepping my suitcases around airports. Hopefully, on Friday, in between seeing the sights of Bangkok I can pop in and announce a winner. Until then, good luck! I'm off to Thailand!

a. Swimming
b. Dandelion
c. Night Gown
d. Moon Keeper

a. Angel of the Broken Hearts
b. Unicycle Girl
c. Little Red Riding Hood

Monday, October 20, 2008

tweaked and tailor made

One of the things I am really looking forward to in Thailand is tailor made custom clothing at a reasonable price. I have a few ideas that I am taking with me to see what I can have made. The first is this little number by Odd Molly.

I'd like fabric that is a little less busy and I'll want to add some sleeves. I'm thinking some flouncy pirate sleeves would look nice. I'd also like to find some hand embroidered trim to use for the cross detail at the neckline.

I found this dress and overcoat, also by Odd Molly, that I'd like to tweak a little. We'll see what I end up with. It will be an adventure.

Here's a little sneak peak at tomorrow's giveaway.

and the lucky winner is. . .

The winner of the Turtle Papers calendar is comment #31 Jen Risso. Congratulations Jen! For all you people who didn't win this time, you will have plenty of chances to win great stuff! Check back on Tuesdays and Fridays!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

the rite of way

I was born into a very religious family. Sunday was a day of worship. A day to rest from our labors and reflect on our blessings. Sundays were tradition and family and laughter.

My mother would march us into church Sunday morning scrubbed and plaited and rosy cheeked. We were expected to sit quietly, hands to ourselves, unslouching on the pew. We were expected to take the sacrament without giggling and sing the hymns aloud. She was strict that way.

And yet, without fail, halfway through the hour, she would lean close to me and whisper in my ear, "Roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, green salad, rolls and carrots. And for dessert, your favorite, German chocolate cake. Two layers." Then she would give a quick mischievous grin and poof! she would snap back into a dutiful parishioner.

To say that Sunday dinner is a big deal in my parent's house would be a gross understatement. Resting from our labors doesn't apply to this particular event. Every week two table leafs are brandished and the nice dishes are set. Grandparents arrive in time to kiss every child before the meal is served. Potatoes are mashed and roasted beasts are carved, usually by Grandpa who divys out the samples from the end of the knife.

I don't live near my family now that I'm (supposedly) all grown up. I've tried to recreate the type of Sunday dinner that my mother puts on, but the atmosphere is lacking and my mashed potatoes aren't the same.

I love my little corner of the world here by the sea, but sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I could be little again and have my mother whisper in my ear and listen to my family laugh together around the dinner table.

Don't forget that you still have today to enter to win the Turtle Papers calendar. Just leave a comment. The winner will be announced on Monday morning.

Friday, October 17, 2008

you've got mail!

Dear Friend,

When was the last time you sat down and wrote a letter? A real handwritten, stamped and mailed letter? When was the last time you received one?

Is the art of letter writing lost?

Call me simple, but one of my favorite things in life is to receive a handwritten letter through the post. I never wait till I get in the house. I always open it up and read it standing by the mail box while I juggle all the other mail.

I have letters that my grandmother wrote me when I was first married. I love to pull them out and examine her scrawling penmanship. They are simple letters, about her daily life which chronicle my heritage and gently remind me where I came from and where I should be headed. They mean more to me than any of the other keepsakes she left behind. They are her words.

I hope today's feature will inspire you to sit down with pen and paper (lovely paper is always best) and write a note to someone you have been thinking of lately.

It will mean more to them than any email you could send. I promise.

The Feature Friday giveaway is a 2009 Turtle Papers calendar. Leave a comment to be in the drawing.

Turtle Papers is owned and run by Jennifer, a designer and full time mom in Seattle. When Jennifer isn't creating fanciful stationary, you can find her baking away in her kitchen, trying out new recipes. You can check out her adventures in both culinary and graphic arts on her blog.

For Christmas last year, I bought one of my good friends a set of Turtle Papers personalized stationary. It came beautifully packaged and ready to be presented. Get a jump start on your holiday shopping by visiting the Turtle Papers shop online.

The drawing will take place on Monday morning.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

thailand awaits

I am in such a crafty mood lately. Strangely enough, it may be the weather. The mornings here in our little beach town have turned cold. I'm looking longingly at my long sleeve shirts. I'm drinking peppermint tea. This makes me want to stay in my pajamas all day and paint or sew or play at my workbench.

Alas, what I should be doing is getting ready for my big trip next week. It is hard to think about packing up my swim suit and flip flops when I am in such a cold weather mood. I need to figure out who is taking the boy to school on what day. I should make sure all the underwear is washed and folded, ready for the boys while I am gone. I have to get the luggage situation figured out. Thailand awaits.

But today, today I think I will just sip my peppermint tea and think up projects that involve pom pom trim and whimsical papers.

By the way, if you miss tomorrow's giveaway, you'll be kicking yourself for weeks to come.

giveaway winner

The winner of the Audrey Eclectic print is Pamela Carriker. Pam has a great little blog here. And check out her art work here. Congratulations Pam! Please contact me with your shipping info.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

karma schmarma?

I wish I had a mud room that looked like this. But I don't. However, I am buying some fun shaped pumpkins for our front porch.

I'm not a superstitious person. I don't cross my fingers, knock on wood or throw salt. I just don't think life works that way. And I don't like the word karma. I truly believe that what goes around comes around. What you put out, you get back. But I don't like to label it karma. Simply because to me, it makes one of my fundamental beliefs sound like superstition. I mean no disrespect to Buddhism, I'm just not buddhist.

Call it what you like, I've had a little of it going on. I recently won two, count them, two, really great give aways on other people's blogs!

I won an apron ( you all know how much I love aprons) from Apron Strings Aflutter and I won this fabulous little stash from French Poppy. Take a minute and click on over to these blogs. They are great.

Don't forget, you still have today to leave a comment on the previous post to win the Audrey Eclectic print! Also, make sure you stop by on Friday. I am bursting at the seems to feature Friday's giveaway!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

audrey eclectic

"A Mother's Prayer"
Leave a comment and win this Audrey Eclectic Print!

The haunting season is upon us and I find that now is the perfect time to introduce you to an artist whose work I find mesmerizing, beautiful and haunting!
Heather is a wife, mother and folk artist living in northeastern Oklahoma. She has been painting and creating in some form or another since she was a little girl, but it wasn't until she had her own daughter that she felt truly inspired to start her own business, Audrey Eclectic, so named after her little muse.

One of the things that I really like about Heather's work is that it is green. Here's what she had to say about her eco friendly process:
Becoming a mother has also made me more conscious of what kind of world I want to leave my daughter, so I am happy to recycle through my art whenever I can: many of my paintings start their lives as boards at construction sites, with the scraps in the trash pile coming home to me. I wash them, sand them, paint them and voila: a beautiful painting where once there was nothing but scrap.
Take a moment to browse her shop. Her art is surprisingly affordable and would make a great Christmas gift. She has several pieces that would look lovely on my walls at Christmas. You can also see more of her work on her blog.

A winner will be randomly selected on Thursday morning. Please check back to see if you are the lucky duck that day. I will need you to send me your shipping information. Good luck!

Oh, and I want to wish my most favorite sister-in-law of all time, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULIE!

Monday, October 13, 2008

the little professor

When you have a blog, I have found that it is much better to divvy out the personal information slowly. Then, readers only get portions and snippets and the entire weirdness of who I really am isn't so glaringly apparent.

Today I give you this little fact about me. I generally dislike kid's movies and TV shows but I love children's picture books. You will never, ever see my child wearing a stitch of clothing with characters on it. And I would have to be bludgeoned to death before any character would make it onto my clothing. Let's just say that when we go to Disneyland, I spend the entire day fighting to withhold fashion judgement from other adults. It's a struggle.

However, there is one TV show that I really like. Not enough to buy any paraphernalia, but I really do think it is very cute and funny.
If you haven't seen Charlie and Lola, you should check it out.

Having spent some years of my life working in children's books, I have a huge library and a pretty good idea of what makes a great picture book. Here's one of my personal favorites.

This is just one of the many many great titles out there. I miss working in the book store. The Little Professor was a wonderful place to be. We had a train in our children's section where a child could sit and read with their parents. I wish I could spend just one more afternoon helping a child find a book they love. I found so many great titles from recommendations of clients and publishers. If you have a favorite book, from your childhood, or one that you found recently, I'd love to hear about it.

Giveaway winners

The sisters dishes go to comment #72, Hana. She also has a great Etsy shop. You can see it here.
The print goes to comment #69, my good friend who has a knack for always winning everything, Amy. Amy has twin girls adopted from China so Katherine's work with little dark haired girls is perfect for her. I'm so glad she won.

Congratulations girls! Check back on Friday for the next great giveaway.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

on the way. . .

Photo taken at Tlaquepaque.

Today I am on the road, headed home. Sedona has been wonderful. The boy has spent quality time with his Grandad, communing with nature. We shopped all the best jewelry places. We ate pizza in Flagstaff. My work here is done.

On the road to Flagstaff

Don't forget, you still have today to leave a comment on the previous post and enter to win the drawing! The winner will be announced tomorrow morning.