Wednesday, August 31, 2011

a handmade life

I believe in handmade. I believe that using your creativity to enrich the life around you can make you a happier person.  I believe that every person has the ability to hand make something. I believe that more people should buy handmade items even though they cost more.

Once you go handmade, it's awfully hard to go back to "made in China".  

Now. I can't cook a moist roast to save my life.  I guess I could, if I took the time to learn. But the interest isn't really there. And the Sugar Daddy is a great cooker of all things meat.

And I can't take a piece of wood and shape a surf board or build a book case. I could try, but, you know, again, the interest isn't there.

But I can draw. And I can embroider. And I can sew. (Assuming it is strait lines and I don't have to follow a pattern.)

So when the time came to sew pillows for my living room sofa, I knew I wanted to make them myself. And when I saw the price tags on the pillows I liked in home design shops, I really knew I wanted to do it myself. 

I've made seven pillows. It wasn't easy. I was actually sweating, actual sweat, sewing these pillows. I am working on the last one which I am embroidering. I am using all my handmade talents to make this pillow. I drew the monogram and the floral embellishments. I transferred my pattern onto my pillow fabric and I have begun to embroider it. When I'm done, I will sew it to the backing and put it on my couch and enjoy it for years.  It's just a pillow. But not really. It's much more.

Everybody can make something with their hands. Everybody can make something. And using your hands to create will help you find out who you really are and what you really love.

I promise.

Try it.

And then come tell my what you made.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Ever notice how life barrels on whether you are ready or not?

You might not be ready to let go of the moment you are living in.

You might not be ready to let your children grow. Or your business. Or your butt.

But life is what happens while you are enjoying that latest creative venture, or that snuggle with your baby or that bread pudding with dark French chocolate and creme fresh. 

It's like herding cats, trying to keep things from changing. Impossible.

But I can document what is it like in these moments I am loving.  I can photograph my children everyday single day. I can write down my favorite recipes. I can try to describe what it is like to hold Frankie's pudgy little hands. They feel like marshmallows. Soft and downy. 

When these days are long gone, when I am old and lonesome for the good ol' days when my children were young, I can take down my memory books. I will close my eyes and let the memories wash over me. 

In this way I will save today. 

How are you saving your memories?

Monday, August 22, 2011

putting together the market

Open to the Public October 21st-22nd 

As many of you know, I've been working on Spark for quite some time now.  One of my tasks was to assemble an artisan market. We have had a market in conjuction with Spark every year and it is a big hit.

This year we are limited on space and I found it really challenging to keep the market diverse.  I had to turn down a lot of really talented people because we already had vendors filling their category. But in the end, I am really happy with who is coming. I think it is going to be amazing.

This year, for the first time, we are opening the market to the public. We are hoping that girls who are unable to attend as students can still stop by and find a creative spark from the wonderful artisan handicrafts.

If you live in the Salt Lake City area, consider stopping by. Bring a girlfriend. It's really going to be a ton of fun.

Here's is a list of all the vendors.

Olio Aprons 

Come prepared to shop! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Sometimes I get lonesome for the Sugar Daddy. Even when we are together. 

And by together, I mean, padding around in the same house. Passing each other in the kitchen.

The Sugar Daddy likes to unwind his curly thoughts by watching strange old movies that usually have subtitles and orchestra music with lots of sharps. I do not share this affection. And so we are seldom together during those hours of the evening when we both mentally check out of life as we know it.

And sometimes I miss him. But not enough to endure a Korean war film circa 1956. Not even Junior Mints could get me through that.

I have a low rumbling in the nether reaches of my brain that is telling me that the two of us need to get away. We need to check out of life as we know it for a few days. Maybe a week.

We need to be together, together. For real. Not just in the same house.

It's so easy to drift away from each other. Especially in these stormy seas we are navigating. And the bottom line is that the Sugar Daddy is too good looking to watch from afar. 

I need him up close.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

holding on

It is evening and the heat of the day has gone with the sunshine.

We have opened the windows to let in the cool night air and to listen to the crickets that have become part of the soundtrack of our daily life.

I can hear several night games taking place throughout our neighborhood. Children of various ages are running through the streets and across dewy lawns letting out shrieks of laughter as they go.

Every once in a while the low murmur of adult instruction breaks their joyful play. Their mothers are calling them. It is time to come in . It is getting late.

But the children are reluctant. They are holding on. Summer is slipping away. They are holding on to these last few days of carefree bliss. They are wise to what lies ahead and they are living in the moment.

I am reminded that children can be wise beyond their years.  Now is the time to savour. Now is the time to live in the moment, because tomorrow it shall be gone.

Friday, August 12, 2011


The Sugar Daddy bought be a iPad for my birthday some months ago. I was super excited but over time I realized I didn't use it enough to make it seem worth the money.

That all changed this week. I got a Walcom Bamboo stylus and I starting using my iPad to sketch.  I've always been a pencil and paper sort of gal, but I just might be converting.

It's so easy to just sit on the couch while the babies play and doodle. I still have to take my sketches into Photoshop if I want to add color with special brushes, but it's still easier than scanning my pencil drawings.

If you have an iPad, download the Adobe Ideas and get creative!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Time to change the old wall paper again. I get bored. Ya know?  Gotta mix it up a bit.

And I've so much to get done these days. Really. Too much stuff.

I feel overwhelmed. Excited. But overwhelmed.

Paper Coterie is forging a new campaign called "Begin Anywhere".  They want to remind people to start where you are. Take the first step.

That's really the hardest part to anything. The first step.

All these projects I have to work on, they seem huge. But once I start I know I will enjoy the work.

I thought I'd remind myself to get off my butt and just begin.  And I'm hoping its going to be awfully hard to ignore a bright chartreuse wall paper.

It's free to download, of course. Maybe it will help you too.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

sucking it in

I awoke in the middle of the night last night and I was sucking in my stomach.

In my sleep.

I've been sucking in my stomach since I was like eight years old.  It's become habit.

And quite frankly, I'm sick of it.

I laid in bed and thought about how my deepest desire is to live an authentic life. A life where I know who I am and what I want and I'm happy with what I have.  It's important to me that others see me for exactly what I am. And except me.

Love me even.  Belly and all.

And then I thought about the women in my life that I most admire. And how most of them haven't seen a size six in decades.

I try everyday to be authentic in everything I do. I don't hide my problems. I don't buy things I can't afford. I don't believe in flattery or lip service.

But I suck it in. All the time. I guess my physical self image is the last frontier. I really really really want to be happy with the way I look.  I want to accept my imperfections and be grateful that I am healthy.

I'm just not sure how to go about it. Maybe I'll buy a book or something.

And I'm open to suggestions. Really. I don't want to wake up sucking it in ever again.

Friday, August 05, 2011

forward ho!

Sometimes the magnitude of the life you are trying to live becomes a yoke around your shoulders.

Sometime you realize that the reason most people don't do the things you are trying to do is because they are smart enough to know that these things are damn hard.

Sometimes you want to put your fingers to your temples and just say, "Everybody just wait one minute. I don't think I can do all this. I want to do over."

And sometimes it's just too late to chicken out.

Today is one of those days. I'm flying home. Alone. With two babies and a boy and like three billion suitcases. One of which is full of crafty crap and it weighs as much as a small vechicle.

It is too late to chicken out. The tickets are purchased. All I can do is push forward and hope for the best.

And really patient passengers in surrounding isles.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


I spend a fair amount of my life trying to be original. Trying to come up with fresh new ideas. Different things. Things not done before.

But lately, to be honest, I'm enjoying the over done and cliche'.  Summertime brings it out in me. There are things that must be done in the name of Summertime that may seem unimaginative and almost trite, but they make the season what it is.

Kitchy western photos from the amusement park- check.

I swear if I see one more photo for sale on Etsy of this ride I'll puke. But when you are standing there, underneath, in all it's wonderment, the compulsion to snap a photo is so great it cannot be overcome.

We are eating lots of frozen novelities. The one's that have been around since I was little. We are lazing in the hammock. We are schelping to the swimming pool with our Playmate cooler full of snacks and sodas. We are driving with the windows down to breath in the cool evening air.  We have been eating s'mores and cooking burgers on the grill.

We have been very busy with the business of having fun.  Which is what Summer should be about. All my creative juices are now going directly towards Spark. There's no need to come up with new things to do.

Our Summer time fun is tried and true.  Even if it is cliche'.

We are calling it tradition.

Monday, August 01, 2011

in case you missed it...

Here's a little glance into the Spark Soiree we had last Saturday night at Dear Lizzie.

If you were there, thanks so much for coming! We loved getting to know you just a little more before the event.

If you missed it, connect with us through our Spark Facebook Page.  We want to hear from you!

Mindy's baby boy is due in just a couple weeks. Isn't she just adorbes?