Monday, May 31, 2010

hello, my name is moselle

Moselle Business cards

There something I haven't told you yet.

It's been a quasi secret for the last few months.

It's nearly killed me to keep my mouth shut. You know how excitable I am over all my creative ventures.

Introducing Moselle.

She's a little website design company that we just launched this past weekend at the Casual Blogger Conference. And speaking of that, if you missed it this year, I'm so very sorry for your loss. Hopefully you will make it next year. My condolences.

Moselle Business Card Kit

What's that you ask? Who's the "we" that did this launching? Lemme tell ya.

We are a pastiche*. We are a group of artists and designers and geeky computer geniuses that came together with a big idea.

We want to beautify the world of web design. We want to put individual personality into web sites and blogs. We want to hear about you and what you are all about. And then we want to create you, in website form.

Oh, and we want really good snacks at our company meetings.

Lately people have been personally contacting me about doing custom illustrations for a web based business or blog. After I get over the shock that someone out there actually wants to do something cool with my doodles, I do the macaraina in my living room which in turn causes the Boy to say, "You're weird Mom."

If you are one of these very kindhearted, if not somewhat crazy, people who want me to illustrate for you, please know that if you hire Moselle to beautify your place on the web you will have me at your beck and call, sketching away. You want a scottie dog- done. A fat lady with a pie- done. A naked mud flap girl? Um, just who do you think I am anyway? I do have standards, contrary to popular belief. For shame.

Moselle Business Card Kit

I created a new flickr group called, of course, "Pastiche". I want it to be a place of reference for inspiration and collaboration. A spring board for ideas. Please click on over and upload photos of your personal style. I personally want to see who you are.

Okay here's the deal. We want to help you, yeah you, reading this. If you dream of a blog or website that represents you and your personality we want to hear from you. Like, we really want to hear from you.

Contact us. You won't be disappointed.

* Pastiche: noun 1. a literary, artistic, or musical composition made up of bits from various sources; potpourri 2. a jumbled mixture; hodgepodge 3. the coolest freakin' word in the English language

Thursday, May 27, 2010

perpetual pull to procrastinate per the presence of peonies


Did I mention to you that it's peony season? Well it is.

And that's a big deal for me. I do love my peonies. They are my favorite right after hydrangeas. As a singular blossom, they are singular. They make a person feel pretty just looking at them. Wouldn't you agree?


Yesterday, instead of washing and packing and getting the house generally in order for Sugar Daddy to take up the post while I'm gone for the weekend, I took photos of peonies. Because it made me happy. And you know what they say about momma being happy.

So I took some photos and fed the babies and ate a handful of pecans. Then I looked at the clock and I only had an hour before I had to start dinner and the laundry needed to be cycled and the dishwasher needed to be unloaded and I still hadn't found those thingamajigs that my sister asked me to bring with me.

So I sat down with my watercolors and pens and doodled more peonies.

Birdie plopped down at my feet on the floor of my studio and ate animal crackers. I keep them handy for times when I need to bribe small children.

This is how the day went. And this is why I was still packing and doing wash into the wee hours of the morning and why I hope that no one asks me any hard questions today. I'm too tired to think.

All I know is it's peony season and that's a big deal.

Peony sketch

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Ello' there!

I'm busy busy busy over here in our little home by the sea. I've got jewelry orders rolling in left and right,(and thank you very much for that because it makes me feel like a supa star), and a little trip to Utah for the Casual Blogger Conference this weekend where I will be speaking on niche blogging (whatever that means, I can't believe I actually fooled people, adults!, into thinking I know what I'm talking about) and there's always the babies to keep me hopping. By the way, why am I not losing any weight with all the running around I do? Riddle me that!

Secondsister Summer collection will hit the shop on June 1st. It's a rather small collection but what can you expect from the woman who lives in a shoe? I nearly didn't have a Summer collection at all. I know. Can you even imagine?

And then there's Finnigan Seamus. Finnigan, Finnigan, Finnigan. Whatever will we do with him? He's been so naughty these last few days and he has the gall to look me smugly in the eye even as he reeks of deviant deeds involving the trash. And why, oh why was the trash left to his leisure? And please do tell me why he insists on sleeping by my side of the bed so that the pungent smell of sour waste wafts my way all the live long night. Where's the justice in this life I'm living?

But I digress. Here's a little peek into what's to come. I finally decided to bow to the recession, that pesky damn recession, and design some pieces that are easy on the pocketbook. If we are all going to be poor, at least we should look good don't you think?

Vola Earrings

Dreamy Locket Necklace

Amelia Necklace

Hidden Locket Necklace

Polk-a-dot Love Necklace

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

the little things

Amelie 1 year old

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
~Henry David Thoreau

At thrity-six I'm learning to live. My children are teaching me what life is really all about. It's the little things.

Yesterday I held all of my children in my arms (there's three now you know). Amelie planted open mouth slobbery kisses on Henry's head and tried to poke him in the eye. Thom put his skinny little arm around my neck and told me a knock knock joke. They wiggled and squirmed and we laughed.

Last night I rested my head on my husband's chest and listed to his heart beat. Beating for me.

It's the little things. Like being naked in the sun, eating a banana.

Dear Universe, please record these moments that make my heart sing and play them back to me as I leave this life so that I will know that I really lived.

Monday, May 24, 2010

first birthday



Picnik collage

Picnik collage

Picnik collage

Picnik collage


You fluttered into our life one year ago and things have never been the same.
We love you.

Winged Chandy 2

Butterfly Birthday Straws


Regarding your questions about this post:

I made the chandelier and no, I don't sell them. Only made one. I won't be posting a tutorial because, quite frankly, I didn't photograph the process and it is a long process. If you really want to make one, drop me an email and I'll send you my phone number. I'll give you the specs.

I got the glass bottled soda at Von's Supermarket- not glamorous but true. If you live in the L.A. area, check out Galco's. You can also shop from them online. We make a trek up to L.A. about once a year to go to Galco's. It's great if you are into soda pop.

The little butterflies atop the cupcakes are just buttercream sugar cookies.

I bought the paper straws online at Hey Yo Yo. Love that shop!

I'd like to thank the good people at Martha Stewart Crafts for supplying me with two different butterfly punches, gift bags and cupcake flags. If only you had sent them to me for free...whatever, I'll give you credit anyway.

And I'd like to thank the Good Lord for supplying me with the gorgeous little girl in the photos, (yes, she's mine). She also didn't come free.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Little Specimen

I'm not a butterfly girl per say. I'm not a heart girl either. You can keep your sweet little hearts thank you very much. I won't be needing them on my clothing or anywhere in my house.

But lately, well lately, I've been a little fascinated (is that the right word?) by these winged creatures. They keep popping up in everything I create. I think it might boil down to envy.

Just watch a butterfly as it flits about your garden. They are so carefree, light and graceful.

For a girl with her feet firmly on the ground (surrounded by laundry) it seems impossible to ever be so blithe.

Butterfly Necklace

So I will continue to create my little butterflies and maybe if I work hard enough and long enough, someday I will be an old grandma on a porch and when a butterfly flutters by I will be able to say that I am as carefree as he.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Henry 8 weeks old

Act I

Fussing. Ug. Diapers. Bottles. Burp. Breakfast. Baths. Diapers. Lotion. Clothes. Backpack? Lunch box. Kindergarten. Bottles. Burp. Naps. Workout. Shower. Laundry. Cleaning. Studio.

Act II

Fussing. Diapers. Lunch. Bottles. Burp. Laundry. Toys. Hugs. Playing. Laundry. Kindergarten. Market. Snacks. Diapers. Bottles. Burp. Naps. Laundry. Studio.


Fussing. Diapers. Laundry. Playing. Laughing. Screaming. Crying. Daddy! Dinner. Dishes. Wrestling. Diapers. Pajamas. Bottles. Burp. Bed. Quiet. Boy. Reading. Bed. Negotiating. Bed. Silence.

Act IV

Brushing. Washing. Talking. Reading. Watching.

Act V

Fussing. Bottle. Burp.




Tuesday, May 18, 2010

she's one!

Today my little girl turned one. ONE! I simply can't believe it.

We sang Happy Birthday to her after dinner and she opened a few gifts that came in the mail, but the real shindig is planned for Saturday.

Stay tuned.

Birthday invites

Birthday invites2

BIrthday invites inside

Monday, May 17, 2010

gretchen & gilley

Tea Towel Apron

This much is sure: Some tea towels are just too cute to use to dry dishes.

Bird House Apron

If fortune brings you a tea towel as cute as this one that I received from my good friend Maren, might I suggest that you find a way to affix it to your body?

An apron is always a good idea.

Oh and orange gingham? That's always a good idea too.

Gretchen Luikenhuis is my paper doll for the month of May. Gretchen likes to read American stories about cowgirls and heros of the Wild West. Her favorite color is periwinkle. Please keep this in mind when you color her clothing. She likes to walk her little dog Gilley down to the corner bakery on Saturday morning for a banana cupcake. Please feel free to print her out any size you like.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

the cup is half full

Finding inspiration in these gray May days.

My creation

Please click photo for credits.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

hey there silly girl


Did you know that you are the pink icing on the cupcake of life?

Did you know every little thing you do is magic?

I love you so much I get butterflies and goose bumps when you smile.


Friday, May 14, 2010

pick a winner, any winner

Picnik collage

I thought instead of randomly drawing a name, maybe I'd pick the winner for this latest giveaway. So many times I'd read a new comment and think, oh that's who I should pick, yeah, she really wants it, she never wins anything, she is longing for the beach, she loves aqua, she's bought my jewelry before, etc. etc. etc.

Bottom line is I can't do it.

So I asked the Boy to pick a number between one and fifty-two.

He said, "Eighty."

I said, "No, a number between one and fifty-two. It has to be no more than fifty-two."

He thought for a bit. "Pick a number or say a number?"

I was getting impatient. "Just say any number. The first one that comes to your head."

"One hundred."

"No. I said no more than fifty-two."

"You said just say any number that I think."

"Forget it."


"Forget I asked."

He played with his legos for a bit and then he said, somewhat to himself, "If I were going to pick a number between one and fifty-two, I'd pick fifty-two because it's the biggest."

And so number fifty-two it is. Heather Taylor, who is my cousin. She is a newly-wed and she came to San Diego on her honeymoon. So she kind of doubly deserves to win.

That's how it all went down. It seems my son has inherited my aptitude for mathematics. He's practically a freakin' genius.


click to enlarge

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

i finished him off

Henry 2 months

I'm feeling pretty smug these days. My baby boy is chubby.

Do you know what an accomplishment this is for me?

Do you know the satisfaction I feel every time I find a new roll?

You see, the Lord gave me a little extra gift. Although Henry grew seven months in another girl's womb, the Lord decided to let me finish him off.

He arrived six weeks early and very skinny and weak and quite frankly a little pathetic. The Lord whispered to me, "Okay April. Here you go. Love him so that he grows strong."

And I set to work.

Today, my son is chubby and I feel one step closer to being the kind of mother I want to be.

The kind of mother the Lord thinks I can be.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

she sells sea shells...

Amelie @ Beach 5/10

Funny how a little girl, born in Utah, was destined to be a beach babe.

Or maybe it isn't strange at all. Her family is beachy through and through. She must have picked us with this in mind. It's still a little chilly at the seaside, but that doesn't stop us.

It's been a while since I had a give away. Let's have another, just for kicks. Waddaya say?

starfish necklace giveaway

Leave a comment to enter to win the above necklace. It is made with rough cut aquamarine beads and silver. The center stone is amazonite. If you take a fancy to this piece, and really pine to win, twitter about the giveaway and I'll throw your name in the hat twice. Blog about it and you are in it thrice. Make sure to let me know your doings so you get your rightful comeuppance.

And if you aren't lucky, don't despair. I'm unlucky too. You aren't alone. Pop over to the shop and see what lovelies are to be had there.

Beauties such as these "Mermaid Earrings":

Mermaid earrings

Oh and FYI, embroidery patterns coming soon to a blog near you. In keeping with today's theme, here's the mermaid from my High Seas set.


Monday, May 10, 2010

a field journal

Day 2213:

I am now entering my seventh year living with and studying homo sapien pediactris. My work here has been very difficult, but rewarding. I find that the stress of this job has brought on a rash of grey hairs and a keen paranoia regarding foul smells. Homo sapien pediactris is a fascinating species. By and large, they are fun seeking creatures with little regard for personal hygiene.

The largest and eldest of the group is a male known as "Thom". Over the past few years Thom has grown more and more detached from me and I count myself lucky on those days when he welcomes me into his world. If I'm really lucky, he will sit with me and allow me to stroke his hair while he munches on fruits and berries. Strawberries are his favorite and I will often offer him a bowl of ripe berries to entice him to spend time with me.

"Amelie", the female, has established herself as the dominate personality in the group. She is prone to fits of rage and dramatic displays of emotions if she is displeased. The males regard her with mild curiosity but for the most part she is ignored. She often seeks out attention from the older male by any means necessary which often results in conflict. Amelie is a particularly attractive specimen and she has been very successful at acquiring food and winning favor with the local natives.

The smallest of the group we call "Henry". He has a sweet disposition and charming manner. At first, Amelie showed signs of jealousy and aggression toward this new, smaller, addition. But as the weeks have passed, her jealousy has morphed into intense curiosity. I find I must be vigilant regarding Henry's safety while Amelie is in the immediate area. Hopefully, Henry will grow strong quickly and be able to defend himself from her well intended, but sometimes violent, advances.

It must be noted that all three creatures regard me as their leader. I am expected to deliver food on a daily basis at least three times during day. As much as I love my work here in the field, I find that sometimes I need a respite. During these times, I seek out a dark quiet hiding spot, away from the heathens, to be alone with my thoughts. However, these creatures have what can only be described as a superpower which helps them locate me no matter where I might go.

Sleep alludes me here in the jungle. I am awoken by many strange noises throughout the night. Sometimes I find myself nodding off in the day which frightens me. I worry about the female destroying some of my equipment or harming the younger male while I snooze. I have doubled my caffeine intake in an attempt to stay fully alert.

I expect my partner to arrive later today with supplies from Costco. My spirits are always lifted when new supplies arrive. Funny what comfort one can find in a ice cream bar in a place like this.

I will push forward with my work here and pray that the good Lord sees fit to give me the strength to carry on.

April Meeker ~ May 10, 2010

all images a field journal

Thursday, May 06, 2010

i'm pregnant

Lissie Elle

But I'm not expecting another baby. Thank the good Lord in heaven above *crossing myself* (I'm not catholic, but I like to cover all the bases just for good measure).

Oh good glory no. I'm not having any more babies. That train has left the station. My womb has closed up shop and retired to Florida. (If only.)

But my mind, now that is another story. My mind is pregnant with ideas. Why am I so inspired these days? Why am I waking in the middle of the night with a craving, not for ice cream or pickles, but for orange gingham fabric and baby blue vintage glass beads? Is this nesting gone wild?

Maybe I am doing the nesting that I would have done if I had known about the Little Mister before he was actually born.

Whatever is going on, it's very curious to me. I'm too damn busy to be doing all this crafting. Really I am.

But my mind is simply full to overflowing with ideas. I wish I could bottle them all up and put them on a shelf for simpler times. It would be like canning summer goodness before it rots on the vine. And at the end of the day I would stand back and look at all my sparkly little mason jars with treasures inside. Glittering. Waiting to be opened.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010



When the Boy was born, my good friend Shelley bought him an Amy Coe knitted chenille blanket. It became his blankie. He loved it dearly. He still does.

Shortly after we shipped off our adoption papers to China, I was in Target and I spotted the same blanket in pink. I wanted our daughter to have one to match Thom's. I hopped she would love it just as much. And although our little girl turned out to have strawberry blond curls instead of jet black locks, she does indeed love her pink blankie.

And then the Little Mister made his unannounced arrival. How could he not have his own Amy Coe?

But Target no longer sold this particular blanket, which is a terrible shame, because every child should have one.

I was fit to be tied. So I took to Ebay.

Now, I must admit here that I have a rocky relationship with Ebay. The problem stems from the fact that I am compelled to bid out of spite. I get mad at people who try to outbid me and even though I give myself a set limit, a top bid per the value of a given item, emotion takes over.

I once paid fifteen dollars for a set of pencil toppers that were only really worth a couple bucks. Spite drove me to do it. Spite.

Long story short? I ended up paying a ridiculous amount for a green Amy Coe blanket that is just like my other kids. Henry will have his blankie.

I honestly thought I would only have two. I have two matching baby photo albums. Two silver rattles. Two sets of children's chopsticks.

I built my studio in the last empty bedroom.

But I like three. As a designer I know that odd numbers are better.

Now to find a matching baby photo album...

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

history embodied, embroidered

I love the quiet rhythm of embroidery. The sound of the needle piercing the cloth makes me entirely happy. I feel connected to mankind when I embroider. It is a craft that has lasted thousands of years. I may be using my light board to transfer my designs onto the fabric with my iPhone and laptop close by, but the fundamentals of the craft have been unchanged. My great-great grandmother threaded her needle the same way I thread mine.

And I have no doubt she sat near a window just the way I do, for optimum light. And she probably watched her babies toddle around the room and she probably rose every once in a while to stir the soup on the stove. In this we are the same.

Embroidered Doodle

"It is a token of healthy and gentle characteristics when women of high thoughts and accomplishments love to sew; especially as they are never more at home with their own hearts than while so occupied." ~ Nathaniel Hawthorn

Birds on a branch Embrodiery