Tuesday, May 29, 2012

words with friends

The first thing that happened was the kite got away.

The dads ran after it. But alas, it was gone. What's the saying? There is nothing quite like a crisis to bring people together. 

But it turns out, we didn't really need a crisis. We clicked. Just. Like. That.

The story goes something like this:

I meet Katy online about a month ago. We chatted via Facebook, then email and then texts. Katy was coming with her family to San Diego for the weekend and so we invited them to dinner at our house. But then, the Sugar Daddy had to travel, so I asked if we could just meet up for dinner a day earlier.  

Long story short. We ended up meeting them at the Hotel Del. And staying in their villa with them overnight. 

Just to be clear, Ben and I don't do this sort of thing. It isn't like us. We are rather timid, cautious people. But I think maybe, it was meant to be.  I think maybe there was no way we could not be friends with Katy and Paul and their two kids.

We put the littles to bed and stayed up talking and laughing.

Paul and his brother invented a little game you might have heard of called Words With Friends. It was fascinating to hear the story of how they created the game and the risks they took to make their dream come true.  

Our kids played so well together. I loved seeing them have so much fun with new friends.

Thom was in heaven hanging out with a family that understands his game obsession. He had just started playing Words With Friends with his cousin a few weeks ago.  

I often wonder what my life would be like without the internet. I love that I can make new friends anywhere in the world. I love that if I am having a good day or a bad day I can simply pick up my phone or sit at my computer and tell a friend about it. 

Because, after all, having words with friends and family is what life is all about.


This Katy girl is already the type of friend you can go make-up less and braless around. She could walk in my house, and open my fridge, and get herself a coke, and kick off her shoes, and plop down on my couch, and tell me a story, and it would be as if she and I had been friends since childhood.

Is it rare to find a new friend like that? I think so, but the internet helps.

Thanks Katy and Paul!

I'm working on pictures from the workshops. Hopefully I will have them up later this week.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

lofty goals

I was feeling sorry for myself the other day.  

I was looking at my friends photos taken at Surtex and the National Stationary show and feeling very sorry for myself that I wasn't there, participating. Oh poor forlorn me. Nobody likes me, my art.

And just generally feeling like my art career is super slow going and lifeless.

So I said to myself,  "Self, this is it. You are setting a goal. You are going to Surtex next year."

And then I immediately got scared because I'd set such a lofty goal. And my go to thought is always, I can't do it, I'm not good enough.

But, you know, what the hell.  What do I have to lose? 

So now I've plastered my goal up on the world wide web for all to see, which is more than setting it in stone, because people will know if I fall short. How embarrassing.

But I think very helpful nonetheless. For instance, the fear of embarrassment will motivate me and also, if you happen to be an agent or a creative director of a company who likes my art, you might just call me up and say, let's make this happen. That would be nice.

Anyway, here's to goals and living stagnant free.

Monday, May 21, 2012

a modern vintage tea party birthday

It was a tea party as sophisticated as a tea party for toddlers can be.

She is three. Already. What happened? Where did my baby girl go?

We decided to forgo a birthday cake in lieu of petit fours.  

And lots of other goodies.

Of course.

The guests were as sweet as the cake.

Each little girl received an apron made from a hankie with treats in the pocket.

Daddy lit the candle.

Frankie "helped" blow it out.

Yummy gooey cakes! 

Happy Birthday to my sweet girl. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

marrakesh by design

Last Saturday I went to meet up with Maryam Montague who owns Peacock Pavilions where we are hosting Casbah Creative. She has a new book out, called Marrakesh by Design, and she is currently in the states on her book tour.

If you are the kind of person who likes interior design, I highly recommend her book. It's gorgeous and full of fascinating tidbits about Moroccan style design.

Anyway, I loved meeting Maryam. She is a delightful and intriguing person. My visit with her made me so excited for our trip in October that I can hardly stand it.  The Casbah Creative retreat is almost full. We have two spots left. If you are interested in joining us, please click on the retreat tab under the header and look thorough the brochure. If you have more questions, feel free to email me.

Here are some of the photos from Maryam's book to give you an idea of where the retreat will be.

Friday, May 11, 2012

little paper purse and shoe

Friday! Friday! Friday! I have always loved Fridays. Even as a kid. The promise of the weekend is almost better than the weekend itself.

And it's Mother's Day weekend. We have a very full couple of days planned. We decided to take the kids out to Palm Springs to enjoy some heat and play in the fancy pool at the hotel.  We don't want to live in the blazing heat, but we like to visit for a couple days every now and then.

I want to share an idea for a really super quick and easy last minute Mother's day gift.

I first made these super cute paper high heel shoes for a church party. I was given the pattern and we made like 70 of them.  I think they make a perfect gift for a mom, and paired with my pattern for a little paper purse, they are just too cute.

Supplies needed:

12X12 sheet 80lb craft paper (paper printed on both sides is best)
Hot glue
Embellishments (buttons, ribbon, cabochons, die cuts, etc.)

Trace template onto paper and cut out. Fold on dotted lines. Glue together. Embellish. Fill with goodies.

I think it is cute to use coordinating papers for the purse and the shoe if you are giving them as a set.

You can download the template for the shoe here.

You can download the template for the purse here.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

i love you tammis keefe

This is Tammis Keefe. She was a textile designer during the 1940's and 50's.  She is one of my design heros.  I love her art more than just about any other designer from the mid-century.

Have started collecting Tammis Keefe linens. I mostly have vintage handkerchiefs because they are more affordable than full table cloths and runners.  I was looking at my collection yesterday and wondering how to display them.  I love the idea of making them into a quilt, but I don't want to sew them because I don't want to devalue them.

I have enough other vintage hankies to make a quilt so I think I make one with those. You know, as if I could actually make a quilt. Sheesh. I really suck at making quilts and I love them soooo much. It kind of pisses me off a little. Anyone out there want to sew the quilt top for me? I will pay.

My friend Tara sent me this idea to frame the hankies and I love it.  The thought of an entire wall covered with Tammis Keefe hankies makes my heart race.

In fact, I am now convinced that I cannot go on living without a Tammis Keefe hankie wall.

If I've piqued your interest, you can see a collection Tammis Keefe textiles on my Pintrest board.

Just don't bid against me on Ebay or I'll have to cut ya.

"Color is the most important factor 
in design generally, 
and in handkerchief design, specifically, 
color prepares the emotions for the design itself, 
as music sets the mood of the Play."
~ Tammis Keefe, 1952 Craft Horizons

Monday, May 07, 2012

artisan workshop giveaway

silk screening! -----image by dancing kangaroo

I met Katy online.

I meet a lot of people online, but I actually only connect with a few of them. Katy signed up to come to the workshops.  I was really excited to meet her in person because she seems like my type of girl.

But life happened. Her husband had a business trip crop up during our workshop weekend. She can no longer attend the workshops. 

Katy is well within the time frame to receive a full refund for the workshops but she sent me an email asking if I knew of anyone who wanted to come but couldn't afford it. She wants to gift her registration to help someone else come.

Isn't that wonderful?  I wish there were more people in this world like Katy.  Being generous is something I aspire to be. Not everyone can be generous with monetary items. But anyone can be generous with their time and their words.

Today I am giving away Katy's registration. I get to be generous by proxy. 

If you are pinching pennies right now, but you would like to attend the workshops, please send me a private email. Explain your situation. I will be forwarding the emails to Katy and she can pick the person she feels most inspired to help.

Here's to good people. They make life beautiful.

Please send emails to secondsisterjewely@yahoo.com.

Saturday, May 05, 2012


It's Saturday. And I'm posting. What the?

Well it's Cinco De Mayo.  Happy Independence Day to all the Mexicans I know and love!

Once upon a time I thought my children where going to be Mexican, and I decided that it behooved us to celebrate all Mexican holidays. I try to celebrate as many holidays as I can justify. Boxing Day? I'm all over that. We also adopted Chinese holidays when we thought we would have Chinese children. My kids are blond haired blue eyed. We don't really know their definitive heritage. We are calling it Danish so we have an excuse to make lots of aebleskivers.

Anywho. Cinco De Mayo is a good excuse to eat some really good fattening food. No?


And let us not forget Dia de los Muertos. Another good one. It's like Halloween and Memorial Day all in one.

I think American memorial day should be more about remembering our own individual ancestors. Not to take anything away from those who have served our country (both my grandpas are veterans), but I think in general we Americans need to spend more time honoring those who have gone before us. Those who have paved our way. Those grandmas and grandpas who gave us not just a crooked nose, but family names, land, recipes, beliefs and values.

I am but a mere link in this family chain. That thought makes me feel so small, but it also gives me a mantle.  My grandparents are looking down the line. They are rooting for me.

It's good to know I have a team.

Memorial day is May 28th, which is a special day for me. My best friend and cousin who died when we were 18 was born on May 28th.  I will be thinking of her. 

Friday, May 04, 2012

i got nothin

I'm having one of those really odd weeks where I don't have much to say.

I mean imagine it, me, not having much to say. Freaky really.

But I wanted to check in. I want to share my artistic adventures of the week, but alas, I cannot share them yet.  The powers that be need to see them first.

I want to tell you that I have a new little niece on the way and I simply can't wait to get my hands on her.

I want to connect with you in some way.  Here are ten things about me. I like these lists when other people do them.

1.  I like Peppa Pig and Charley and Lola but I hate- HATE, all other kid shows.

2.  I eat granola, yogurt and fruit every morning.

3.  I love the sound of a torch lighting.

4.  Grasshoppers scare the hell out of me.

5.  I am selfish with my time. I am trying to get better about this.

6.  I love making friends with people very different from myself.  I love diversity.

7.  I'm a collector.

8.  I'm not a morning person but I don't like sleeping in either.

9.  I used to read all the time. Now I hardly ever read and I work on art all the time.

10.  I believe that running and cycling (or any repetitive cardio activity) can put your brain into a certain meditative state where ideas flow freely and inspiration comes easier.