Tuesday, August 31, 2010

plangonology and other cute stuff

I guess I am a born collector.  As a child I collected M & M wrappers, chewed gum (my own, I know, gross), clothing labels and at one point in my early childhood, I collected black and orange fuzzy caterpillars. Another gross. What can I say? I was a gross kid.

My son has inherited my collecting genes.  He collects many things, some of which I am fond of, others of which I could totally do without. He's a gross kid too.

I have a true affinity for Russian nesting dolls.  My brother lived in Ukraine for a couple of years and he gave me my first set of nested dolls.  Matryoskas have become somewhat popular as of late so they are much easier to find.  I personally like the real Russian or Ukrainian dolls, however, I recently bought these and these which are so cute I am happy every time I use them.  Also, I have these cute key covers and this set of dolls for the Bird to play with.

I have ornaments and salt and pepper shakers and t-shirts and boxes and ribbon and...

Oh heavens, I could go on and on.

I think it's really a doll thing. I like wooden dolls. I also collect Japanese kokeshi dolls. But when I think about being a "doll collector" I find it kind of creepy. I've happened to know a few "doll collectors" in my day and man are they weird.

A plangonologist is a doll collector. Yes, there is a name for this neurosis.

Oh well, I can always rest assured in the fact that I will never be as weird as the plangonologist who collect those freaky little Blythe dolls. What's with those anyway? Ew.

Monday, August 30, 2010

parenthood 101

Polka Dot & Plaid

Well today is it.

Back to school for the Boy.  First grade. First time in public school.

He's not in the least bit scared.  Never has been.  Heights can send him into a hyperventilating frenzy, but new social situations? He's A-Okay. Cool as the Fonz.

I, on the other hand, have the jitters. Will he like his teacher?  Will he fit in?  Should I really be giving him Cheetos in his lunch?  Will people think I'm a bad mom for sending junk food?  Do I have to look cute at drop off or can I schlep on over in my scuzzies?

 Is this about him or me?

Friday, August 27, 2010

sparkly jitters

That up there's a little peek into the decor for Spark.

I'm excited.

Can you tell?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

questions for the cosmos

Why do people with large vehicles like to park next to me? I never have the space I need to load and unload my many children.

Why can I never remember people's names?  I've tried all the tricks. I think there might be a synapse missing in my brain. Or two.

Why can I never open a cheese stick with one pull?

Why do people put stuffed animals in the back window of their car?  It annoys me.

Why is it cute when my babies fart, but sick when my seven-year-old farts? At what age do farts stop being cute?

Why do all the weird people gather at the DMV?

Why do the days seem so long while the months fly by?

What can be done about this? Gel doesn't work.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

fancy schmancy

Mercy me I do love a monogram.

One of my good friends feels fancy when she chews Orbits gum. Yeah Rach, I talking about you.  Why Orbits gum makes her feel highfalutin, as opposed to Extra or Trident, is beyond me. But you know, what ever floats your boat.

Monograms float mine. They make me feel all official and prestigious .  Like something is so special it could only ever belong to me.

My friend Jen brought these to me a few days ago.  I swoon.

Now when I step out of the shower I can quickly wrap up in these and feel special instead of critiquing every curve and dimple.

Monograms make everything marvelous.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

sparky spark spark 2010

It's almost here. Can you feel it?

Autumn means back to school, schedules, crisper mornings, great fashion and SPARK.  Are you coming? Are you excited?

I am. I can't wait to meet everyone.  I can't wait to spark my own creativity.

The tag above is from last year. This year the girls have outdone themselves.  The decor is going to be amazing. The food is going to be delish. And the company, well the company is going to rock. After all, I'm going.  And I'm going to personally make sure everyone has a blast.  There's no wall flowers at Spark, only wild flowers.

Okay girls. Here it is. The big reveal.  Ta da! My class for Spark!

If you haven't done collage before you are going to love it.  We are using stretched canvases and doilies as a base for funky silhouettes.  Come ready to get your fingers in paint and make a mess.

Most of the supplies for my class will be provided with the exception of:

*     a foam brush (if you have manicured nails you might want to bring a couple extra)
*     your own silhouette if you don't want to use those provided (needs to be roughly 4X4")
*     any ephemera you would like to use other than what we provide
*     markers are optional but super fun
*     a fine paint brush 
*     a loose, ready to groove attitude (mandatory)
*     Oh and scissors.

I'm calling my class Journey.  Collage is a practice in letting go of perfectionism and following the twists and turns that happen on your canvas.

I hope you are coming. The best way to make a new friend is to take a journey together.

Monday, August 23, 2010

hope on a monday

photo credits here

I thought about writing a post on how profoundly tired I am these days.

But that's really not anyway to start a new week now is it?

I am meeting this week with high hopes. Hope for more energy. Hope for more time. Hope that the Bird's teeth hurry up and come in already.

We want to get all of our printing supplies ordered this week. I need to come up with a design for our Christmas cards so that we will have time to have the plate made and get them printed.  We are expecting a pretty steep learning curve when we finally have everything to get started with our new press.

The boy starts school in one week.  We have doctors appointments, dentist appointments, school clothes shopping, and haircuts on the schedule.

It's good to be busy. Really it is. I mean, think about the alternative. No children? No work? No thank you.

But man am I tired.

Friday, August 20, 2010

okay I lied

I know I said I wasn't going to post pictures of grumpy girls, but just look at those eyes!  Lawsy me she's going to be a heart breaker.

And it turns out she is cutting her molars so some extra spunk is allowed for the next little while.

Here's some link love for people and things I'm groovin' on lately:

Love the idea of doing this, but I won't have the time for like, three more years. Maybe you do.

Inspired by the design work of  this company.

Wishing I could outfit all my kids in these clothes.

Can't wait to get my hands on this new collection by my favorite fabric designer.

Still thinking about this love story.

Planning on making this on Sunday.

Wanting a closet full of this deliciousness.

And lastly, I am so glad this post was written. It's pure.

And now I will go and attend to my children, because they are unbathed and turning ferrel.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

the major award

Yesterday we had a picnic in the backyard.  I lovingly made happy little meals for my children. I even whipped up a fruit smoothy.  I laid out a blanket and placed the plate in front of the Bird.

This is what I got in return.

I have a friend named Gladys. Well that's not her real name, but it's what I call her and sometimes I don't even recognize her on my caller ID because to me, she is Gladys, nothing else. I call her Gladys because she's the neighbor. Not my neighbor. Someone else's neighbor. They call her Gladys too.

Where was I going with this? Oh yes. Gladys likes to say that having a spunky girl is the very best thing. Sassy girls are less likely to get pushed around and manipulated by a man. I'm banking on that theory. Really I am, because what I have on my hands is one punkified sassafrass.

No bones about it my friends.

And then there's this one here.

He tries so hard to be kind to his little sister, but man can she push his buttons. This is what it sounds like from the other room:

"Stop it Amelie. Stop it. Stop!  Oh, are you kiddin' me?  That was naughty! Ahhhhhh! Moooooooommm! Amelie wrecked my Legos again."

And I yell back, "Just be patient." which startles the Little Mister whiles he's trying to quiet down and have a bottle. So he starts kicking his legs and finally works himself up into a fuss just in time for Thom to come down the hall, carrying the Bird like a limp cat. She's crying and Thom's huffing and mayhem ensues.

But yesterday, just as this scene was being played out for the billionth time, the doorbell rang.  Everyone fell silent, and I looked at my wretched children and exclaimed, "It's my major award!" And we all dashed for the door.

Indeed my major award arrived, and it's not a leg lamp.

The press is finally here! Oh happy day!

Stay tuned. I'll be posting pics and they won't be of grumpy little girls.

I have since heard of people under extreme duress speaking in strange tongues. I became conscious that a steady torrent of obscenities and swearing of all kinds was pouring out of me as I screamed. 
-Ralphie (The Christmas Story)

Let's just say duress has become my norm. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


click here for credits

I'm seriously loving the idea of embroidery hoops as wall decor. The possibilities are endless. And you don't even have to actually embroider to make them beautiful. If you have only a scrap of your most favorite vintage fabric that you know you will never ever find again because it's like, fifty years old, and soooo special, I say hoop it and hang it on the wall.

Having said that, I must add that anything hand embroidered is special and unique and just why on Earth would anyone want to pass on embroidery anyway?

Here's my latest project.  I hand carved the stamp and used it on ivory cotton as a pattern.

There is something about embroidery. I just can't put my finger on it. It's like down home and comforting to me.  I can't wait till the Bird is old enough to wield a needle.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


vases by Jane Schouten

I was looking at my children and thinking how absolutely beautiful they are.  I like to say that I can be objective because the Bird and the Little Mister don't have my genes, but really, I can't. It's all the same. Even if my children were, well, fairly homely, and let's just all admit right now that some children aren't gifted in the looks department, even if they were, I'd still think they are the cutest kids I know.

It just works like that.  It's God's way of insuring that the human species don't kill their young like other animals sometimes do.

I'm not too proud to say that mothering three little kids is incredibly hard. I really believe it is on the edge of my personal capabilities. It amazes me how these little people can reduce me to a crazed lunatic by just being kids. But just before I turn to run screaming from the house, the Bird flashes me her baby blues or I happen to glance at the Boy's freckled nose.  It tell ya, it's something that small that instantly makes me want to claim them as my own once more.

I heard Roseanne Cash being interviewed on NPR.  She was talking about an intense experience she had that was more than she could handle.  She said that in that moment, she borrowed from her future. She knew she would someday be older and wiser, more capable. She borrowed from that woman she would someday become to get through.

I love that idea.  I know that someday I will have perspective about raising my babies.  I will wish that I had enjoyed it more.  I will long to kiss squishy cheeks and breath deep their baby smell.  So these past few days I've been channeling the older April (not only is she wiser, she's skinner too because she has time to exercise).  I've been trying harder to take it all in.

Blow by blow out.

Monday, August 16, 2010

rouge scollar

I did some research. Really. I did! I've been known to crack a book  computer open every now and then and poke around a bit.  I wanted to know what neck fashion was like in 1868.

Yes, these are the kind of things a girl like me researches.  Inquiring minds...

Anywho, I didn't find out a whole lot.  Men were busy wearing ascots, women on the other hand, well, they didn't have any one fashion that was universal.  Some women wore these funny little lace pieces that I think are rather unoriginal and scratchy looking.

Long story short, I'm rewriting history. The new Secondsister accessory is the the "Little Women Scollar", and boy is it smart. (ha ha) It's half scarf, half collar. It's purpose is to dress up a plain sweater or coat and keep your neck warm at the same time.

I'm creating my scollars with the best of materials. Wool, silk, cashmere, chenille, all the good stuff. Some have vintage buttons and old rhinestone jewels, others are simple and tailored looking. 

I think they even out my Winter collection nicely. The "Heart of India" collection is still growing and I'm loving the direction it has taken me. 

More than anything, the Secondsister Winter collection is about beautiful embellishment, intricate details and vivid color working together to make statement piece accessories.  

The Winter collection will debut at Spark on the 10th and 11th of September.  On September 13th I will post photos of the remaining collection here on Suaviloquy so that readers will have a chance to buy before I post them to the shop later in the week.

If you are in the Salt Lake City area during September 10th-11th come to Spark!  There are only a few remaining tickets so don't procrastinate.

Cheerio dear friends! Here's hoping for delightful week, where the work load is light and the fashion is smashing.

(That was me trying to sound British in honor of the Little Women scollars.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Well it came. I've been waiting for this book for like for. ever. 

There are several blogs that I follow religiously. Humm, probably more than religiously. Every once in a while I take a mental health Sunday off of church. I don't miss my blog reads. Ever.

Alicia Paulson writes Posy Gets Cozy. I love to peek into her life and watch her create. She is also adopting a baby girl. I'm so excited for her and I love the little projects she is working on for her baby while she waits.

I thumbed through my book while I feed the Little Mister a bottle. I love this project using crewel wool. As you can see I got out my embroidery hoops and started planning.

Now, generally speaking, I don't get into any type of needle work in the Summer. It just seems too hot to sit with something in my lap. However. Summer skipped us down her in San Diego this year. Honestly, we have only had a couple of hot days and every morning is cold and overcast. And now that I have Alicia's book to get me in the mood, I'm considering a project. Something to do in the last few minutes before we call it a day.

Michael's Craft was having a sale on cotton yarn. I thought a light weight summer afghan would be just the thing to keep my fingers nimble. I picked these three bright fun colors and I'm planning on using double crochet to keep it loose and airy. I may try a zig-zag pattern to make it look like candy.

To be fair, I should probably just say that I might be full of a lot of crap and never even start this blanket. I've got, like, a kabillion projects going right now, two of which are needy little babies. I also have an illustration project that I'm working on that I simply can't wait to share when it's finished. And then there's SPARK. It's only a month away. I'm so excited to be teaching and I'm trying to plan a class that will knock your socks off. And the Winter Secondsister collection needs to be finished off. Hopefully, that will knock your socks off as well. Bring your cash stash from your underwear drawer.

I'm trying to keep up. I'm stressed and having fun all at the same time. Did you read the previous post? My life is a circus.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

hey zee

Hey Zee Mosaic

I love the photography of Hey Zee. Her photos are so dreamy and soft and they take me away to a world where there are no dishes in the sink or clothes to fold.

Here's my recipe for a twenty minute vacation:

Put the kids down for a nap.
Make yourself some mint lemonade from fresh lemons and mint.
Find a comfy chair.
Peruse Hey Zee's photos.
Roll your head around a few times.
Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Snooze a little, not a lot, just long enough to truly relax.

Now please excuse me while I go practice what I preach.

Monday, August 09, 2010

step right up!

         by secondsister

Step right up! Come inside! Take a look at the curious inhabitants found under our big top!

First and foremost, we have our strong man. Look at those muscles folks! Look at the stamina! This specimen of manhood can tame to wildest beast! Watch him handle the fiercest of lions on this hot afternoon and next week in the courtroom. Mr. Meeker joined our troop some sixteen years ago and he just keeps getting stronger!

Now folks, let's not dawdle. Move it along. That's right. Crowd around, don't be shy, take a look. Here we have April, the bearded woman. Yes folks, that's right. A bearded woman. She quit trying to pluck out all her chin whiskers some five or six years ago. And just look at those brows! We will have to move her in with the wolf boys! But oh can she juggle! Just look at that! Look at her go! There's diaper changes and appointments and nap times and meals and oh, look at that, she just picked up blogging and studio time! Isn't she amazing?

Okay folks, let's head this way! Keep hold of your young ones. Yessiree! You are in for a treat! Through the bleachers we go. Watch your step now. Ladies and Gentlemen please look up! Let me introduce our daring darling, our high flying sweetheart, Amelie! Don't let her beauty distract you! This girl's a veritable monkey! Watch her scale any object in sight. She teeters off the most precarious of footholds. This little cutie nearly gives us all a heart attack everyday with her daring stunts.

Oh, what do we have here? Please direct your attention to center ring! That's Thomas the Clown! Just look at the dexterity! Thomas can ride his bike without training wheels! And it only took him three years! Impressive! (Ahem, doesn't share his sister's daredevil nature.) Thomas sure keeps us laughing around here. Yes, he's quite a jokester that Thom. After all, what would a circus be without a clown?

And now folks, I've saved the most curious of creatures for last. If you will just follow me to the menagerie. Please keep hold your young ones. We wouldn't want to loose any to the big cats. No sudden moves please. Stay together now. Just this way. Please gather closely so everyone can get a look. This little beast was a surprise addition to our circus a few months back. We are still trying to figure out where he came from. At first we thought he might be a chimpanzee. See how his hair sticks strait up like a chimp? But now we are thinking he might be some species of bear. He seems to be storing up vast amounts of fat which we can only surmise might be for hibernation. In any case, we do love this little guy. We named him Henry. He giggles when you poke his tummy. We are hoping to send him to magicians college. Maybe he can make some money appear in our pockets! Ha! Ha!

Thank you for joining us today Ladies and Gentlemen! Don't forget to buy your warm peanuts and hot dogs in the concessions tent. Come again!

Friday, August 06, 2010

is it just me?

Okay. Seriously. Is it just me or do these birth announcements boggle your mind and make your heart race?

What is it about letterpress that makes me weak in the knees?

   by Ty Mattson

I think I feel about letterpress the way some people feel about nicotine. Totally addicted.

Which leads me to the actual reason for this post. No, I haven't taken up smoking. How gross of you to think such a thing.

I have a little announcement to make. And no I'm not pregnant. Ew! How gross of you to think that. My word, will you stop it already?

The announcement is this: We bought a letterpress. Our very own. It's traveling from Cincinnati even as I write.

That fact, the mere idea, of having my own letterpress, makes me feel like the shiz.

Today you can find me strutting my plume, feeling all artsy and crap and cleaning out the car. There are like a billion Cheerios mashed into the carpet.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

heart of india

It's August, you know. In case you weren't aware. Not that I think you wouldn't know the month. It's just that personally, I rarely know the date and on the occasions when I must write a check or sign a legal document, I am forced to embarrassingly look up and say to the person before me, "It's the third right?" Which really messes up the pulled-together, on-top-of-it persona that I'm going for.

So it's August, which for me means I have about a month to finish off my Winter jewelry collection, get it photographed and packaged.  I have a pretty good start.  I have a mini collection within the general collection called "Heart of India". Above is a sneak peak of some of the earrings from that collection.  It's all about bright color and gold tones.

I am expecting a shipment from Mood in New York to arrive any day and then I will go to work, snipping and sewing and gluing and such.  All this will take place, of course, after the babies are asleep into the wee hours of the morning.  I'll be like the elves from the Brother's Grimm fairytale of the shoemaker. Except I won't be naked. No, no. That could be catastrophic with all the needles and glue used in my studio.

heart of india 3

heart of india 2

Oh and there has been a wee bit of sketching going on over here as well. I might just have to make up my own desktop to share with you for this brand spankin' new month.

Monday, August 02, 2010

shy girl

Here's how it all happened.

Andre the Greek had an intervention with me. This isn't a rare thing. Andre is prone to telling people exactly what he thinks they need to be doing with their life. He's outspoken, on account of him being Greek and all. The Greeks aren't a shy bunch.

So there was an intervention.

"I just don't get it.", I said.

"You need to talk more." Andre instructed.

"And don't stand like that with your arm crossed. You look pissed."

My whole life I'd been called the Ice Queen, snotty, reticent. I was quintessentially, wholly, frustratingly, misunderstood.

What I really am is shy. And if you aren't shy yourself, let me just define for you what is it to be shy.

Imagine yourself in a ballroom surrounded by beautiful people and you are standing in the middle in a bathing suit that is too small, with split ends and gnarly troll toes and a massive muffin top.

Yep, that just about covers it. So when you stand there with your arms crossed it's because you are trying to hold your boobs in, not because you are pissed.

But I had missed out on friendships. I had missed out on a lot of life. And it was time to change.

"I'm turning over a new leaf!" I announced.

But in their hearts, no one believed me. Hell, I didn't even believe me.

I started small. I talked more. I introduced myself to one new person a week.

It's been almost four years of Project New Leaf. The Ice Queen is almost melted away. Sadly though, it hasn't gotten a whole lot easier for me. I still want to crawl back into my shell. And I want my shell to be stocked with art supplies and cup cakes.

The problem lies in my approach. It's problematic. I have a hard time gauging how much of myself to share. More often than not, I hit people like a paintball to the face. (Robin's egg blue paint of course.) They stand with wide eyes and their hair blown back trying to process what has happened. I want to be like a waft of exotic perfume. Something floral and spicy with just enough scent to leave people on their tip toes searching for just one more whiff.

It's a hard thing for me. I stand back and watch those of you out there that are naturals and I wonder if you know what a gift you have. Charisma.

But I'm holding on tight to my new leaf. It usually takes me three miles of running before I hit my stride. Someday I'll figure it all out.

And for now, I can continue to hide behind my beloved monitor in my too tight swimsuit and speak freely without my usual insecurities. 

I promise to only hit you with a paintball post every now and then.