Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vintage Fabric?

I love a good vintage fabric find! This mushroom bag is made from fabric I found at a yard sale. I use the term vintage for 60's-70's fabrics like these because they are special, I'll never see it again, can't find it anywhere else, and we don't make anything like it now. ETSY defines Vintage as anything over 20 years old. But it's not really the correct term.

The term vinage originates in the wine industry, refering to the year a wine was bottled. It was later used by the car industry to mean cars over 50 years old. Now, fabric and clothing sellers use the term rather loosely, and banter over proper use.

Antique is generally to mean anything over 100 years old. So for clothing and fabric, anything pre- 1920s is antique.

And Vintage covers the space between 1920's and 1960's.

Retro is supposed to be used to talk about 60's and 70's...... so I suppose these are RETRO 70's mushroom fabric bags! ANd to that we should add 80's. Retro 80's? Oh yea, baby!

Repro is a great word in the clothing/costuming industry to refer to period type clothing that is reproduced to fit modern bodies, and be usable (like washable, and wearable for re-enactments, etc).

Quotes about "Vintage":
Everything I buy is vintage and smells funny. Maybe that's why I don't have a boyfriend. Lucy Liu quotes (American Actress, b.1968

This wee educational moment brought to you by AlyTheRed! Feel free to share your thoughts on the subject.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Whip Up!

Here is a really really fun crafting how-to site! Check out Whip Up for all the inspiration and projects you may need. I believe it's based in Australia, with lots of etsy contributers. The latest tutorial is knitted toadstool baby rattles in really HOT colors! Check it out!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Give Away Celebration!

I'm celebrating the 300's. Be sale #333 in my etsy store, mention this give-away, and get a free coffee cozy of your choosing (any regular cozy).

(check out that sky, will ya? Looks like I photoshopped it..... only wish I were that clever..)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The OOAK Coffee Cozy

These are the latest in OOAK coffee cozies from Bliss Monkey Studio. I like making unique items for unique people! They are larger, I mean TALLER, to allow for more design area and to be extra fab.

WHAT is OOAK anyway? When I first came to Etsy, I didn't know....... it's one-of-a-kind. Meaning there will not be another like it made. All my other coffee cuffs are sewn in batches of 6 or 9. These are the deluxe babies!

The animals come from a vintage children's curtain that I found at a yard sale last summer. I've made so many things from these fun prints. And when they are gone, they are gone.

I wish I could remember to take a photo of the cozy flat, before I sew the side seam and label in! It helps to see the over-all design! Cute birdie on Hippo's head. Friendship, or a better word might be companionship.

Didja know that all my coffee cozies fit on a pint glass? Good for beer and pints of coffee hot OR cold in the shop!

I've also restocked my etsy store with all the classic guy designs: bark cloth Tiki Man, Red Hot Hibiscus, and a new Blue Hibiscus print that I named Luau.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Intersection Repair + Lotta Hair

Friday, I put on my lucky shamrock underwear (I have two pair in case I'm in need for good luck, and one is in laundry, but don't fret, I only wear one at a time), took a before photo, and then took my bob to a real salon and let the stylist do her magic.

I had my glasses off most the time. I'm really blind, so when I put them back on, and saw a full head of curls. And I mean curls on TOP too, I was shocked. Was that ME? THEN I had to wonder how much upkeep this would take.... a busy artist mama wants to look cool and all, but she's got kids and animals and garden to care for, outdoorsie stuff and art to make.... she can't be sitting around fretting about how to form curls.

I was instructed never to brush or comb my hair and I would need curling CREAM. This does encourage your hair to form individual curls instead of frizz and it's weightless and soft. But hey, that does not mean you should go around running your fingers through my hair. OK? I'm working hard to get "air" in these curls. I've always had waves but curls??? I've been instructed to make curls and twists that you can see through! Back off the touching! Ok, whew..... after that, i think it's ok to show you a few early photos.

I had to include this one with Long Leggs making such a cute adoring face at me in the mirror! I was showing the kids how to take self portraits this way.... they both had some early attempts, but they are too blurry to show ya. Maybe lesson #2. They are darn cute though.
Who knew I had a whole head of curly curls waiting to be weightless?

Saturday Block Party and Mural Painting!
  • I love our neighborhood! Here we are starting off our summer party by repainting the mural. We are the only neighborhood in Eugene to have a street mural. It's officially called an "Intersection Repair" because of it's uses:
  • a traffic calming device
  • beautification of the neighborhood
  • a natural gathering place for friends and neighbors-turning a street into a public square
  • sharing local flava and culture
We also have a small kiosk, brick work and bench seating area. It's not uncommon to find people bringing their dinner out to the benches, see a guitarist playing there, and kids riding bikes together, while people walking their dogs say hi. Care to see an ariel photo?

That's me in the tan pants and brown zipp up. It was early in the morning and quite cool. We all thought it would be good for the paint to dry slowly. I'm working with Tracy to do the fine lines while she did the fill in.

We did a second coat later in the day, while a band played. Everyone enjoyed donated coffee and make your own sodas, and pizza as well as potluck food. These people, with our big gardens know how to cook!

One of the highlights was our neighbor Shane's bike that converts into a smoothie making operation! Why didn't I think of getting a photo of that?!

Another neighbor, Ev, is a Tango instructor. We gathered for tango on the square at 5pm when it was safely dry but traffic barricades were still up. My second tango experience and quite fun!!

Friday, July 18, 2008


I couldn't quite get the hang of photographing myself while I did a happy dance and jumped for joy, so I submit this photo from our last family water balloon fight.

etsy sales meter hit 300 today. Yey!!!!!! I am hosting a give away for number 333. Stay tuned.

AND today, Lark books invited me to design for an upcoming book of woolen goods. I'm happy to be asked! I've designed for two of their books, which will be out next spring. As you know, I love designing, and the whole experience was fun (except for cutting the shipping date a little close). I envision my future to hold exciting new design projects, being published, writing for magazines, and teaching. And creating. Always creating!

It's a nice burst of fresh air after a few difficult weeks. It's not fun to talk about while IN the trenches, but I can now say my kids are getting over whooping cough. Son #1 caught it at the end of school and it went undiagnosed, then misdiagnosed for quite some time. Poor guy! Son #2 caught it, and we were all run down from sleepless nights and way too much coughing and worrying.

Then there was the quarantine weeks and cabin fever. The kids have been more cranky and quarrelsome than usual
. My typical solution is to take them on a hike or bike ride! But... when the child coughs till they throw up at the slightest exertion, that's not an option. =Cabin FEVER! We are not big tv watchers and have a video game -free house. Luckily we have lots of fun card and board games, and as you know, lots of cute animals to occupy us. It's not been a terribly "fun" summer so far however. Looking forward to the rest!

The Call of Nature!

The beautiful is in nature, and it is encountered under the most diverse forms of reality. Once it is found it belongs to art, or rather to the artist who discovers it.
::: Gustave Courbet :::

There have been some requests for kitty update photos so here goes:

Sage: Three months old now. He's more than doubled in size. We recently discovered that he's a rare breed SnowShoe Siamese. They are characterized by the white feet, dark point markings, and inverted "V" starting at the nose. They are not sleek cats, but more of a sturdy build and med fur.

He continues to like the other cats, but not be very friendly to us humans who love him. We cuddle him and pet him very respectfully. Occasionally he purrs. This look on his face is typical. Does anyone with Siamese experience have any suggestions?

Sage made a nest of the kitty bed. What a handsome boy!

Saffron attack!!!!! And I have the scratches to prove it. The kittens have been sweet little cuddlers at night, but last week they discovered the joys of racing across sleeping humans! Down the hall, up the hall, up and over the bed, down the hall........ !!!!!!

Saffron is the cutest, most lovey, perfect kitten one could ever want. Fuzzy orange boys are well known for this quality. He purrs when you just look at him. He greets us at the door with cute little mews, and loves being held and played with...... and.......

... can you see what's happening here? He's slowly become comfortable with the puppy! They play! Toli LOVES Saffron and is a little obsessed with finding him in the house and chewing on him. He especially likes Saffron's back end..... sorry....
... but they are very funny together.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Penny's Photo Debut

Penny joined the Urban Hen Flock about two weeks ago, but I was unable to load photos. Isn't she sweet? The flock just wasn't right without a little red hen.

Eating some "chicken crack". Don't worry it's only cracked corn and wheat. The Girlz love it. Click Girlz read to be introduced to the others.

Have you ever held a hen? They are heavier than you'd think and very very soft. They tend to be a bit tense in the feet, but will stay still if you hold their wings calm. They have wonderfully large wings, but due to their weight, they are able to fly into a tree for the night, perhaps, but that's about it.

Here is the crazy little egg that son #2 found in the grass! So wee and cute. (Can anything BE Wee and not cute as well?) Click Penny's name here to read the egg story. We haven't seen any other eggs since.

Penny came from a farm where the hens were kept iin pens. She's had to watch the other girls and learn all about what to do when see loose in the yard for part of each day. The Girlz keep very busy and she tags along.


Glorious Return

AAhhhhhhhhhhhh for the glorious return to photo posting heaven!!!!!! Here's the debut of the Bliss Studio cold cup cozy. IT's slightly bigger than the regular cozies so it fits perfectly on this type of cup to keep your hands happy and free of condensation. They can fit on a paper cup but will ride at the very top.

There will be several different cup prints to choose from. All on the blue/brown dot cotton. Happy summer sipping!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Missing the Photos

Blogger still won't let me load photos. I'm S-A-D.

How about a lovely cooking animation that a friend sent me? Totally worth seeing twice!


Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Clothes Line

After toting wet, heavy baskets of laundry from the house out to the dryer in the garage, getting a brand new, energy efficient stacking set in the house was.... well, amazing. REally. I had no idea how much one can stuff into a front loading washer. I feel so lucky, in any case, that I don't have to carry all our clothes to the river and hand wash like many other humans on this planet. I tend to appreciate what I have as long as it keeps working. But real energy efficient appliances are wonderful, quiet, handsome, and save in water and energy bills. Now I do one load a day. Not bad.

Recently, I realized I can wear some of my favorite special clothes, and kinda costumy
stuff because my kids are old enough. If you have kids you'll understand this. If you don't have kids, you only need to know that kids are wonderful little mess machines that tend to use their mommies as their favorite hand towel. They don't mean to, it's just what they do. They are busy little explorers of nature, food, and emotion. Tears and snot can be rough on your silk blouses.

I used to wear fine materials, ethnic prints, exotic textures, and spend time dressing up for my days. Kids come along and are another sort of amazing outlet that we pour our creativity into, and they deserve it...... a few years pass..... then suddenly they are a little older and mum remembers to put back some of her favorite things into her life, like dress ups. Kids are wearing their
capes and mum is wearing her hand batik butterfly outfit from the 70's. Mum has a wee bit of time to enjoy a little eccentricity and time to hand wash the thing.... and I've worked my way around to the topic: I've hung a clothes line!

Here in Oregon, with the famous weather and all, we don't have as many clothes lines as in other places. (Like in Australia where many people don't own a dryer at all.) I bought myself a lovely special bottle of hand washing
liquid, and washed some fine clothing items I've pulled from storage. Dried 'em on the line in the breeze. Brought them in. Ah, I'd forgotten how GOOD line dried clothes smell!!! It's wonderful!!! If you haven't dried clothes via mother nature recently, or ever, promise me you'll try it? Devine.

Cheers to simple joys!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Penny- the urban chicken adventures continue

I'm looking forward to being able to share photos again, when Blogger fixes this problem some of us are having. We have a new family member- a young red hen that the kids named Penny Q. She's so cute and makes dear little whistle noises. The two big Girlz haven't accepted her yet, and she has to follow them around the yard, at a distance, to watch and learn from them what's ok to eat, where to dust bathe, where the good bugs are kept, and how to beg chicken crack from the humans by standing on the step, staring in the glass door.

She's due to lay eggs in about two months. Long Leggs McCormack (son #1) and I have taken bets on what color her eggs will be. He's going by the skin color behind her ear feathers (light brown), and I'm guessing by her color (brown).

Surprisingly, Mudslide Sydney (son #2) found a tiny wee speckled egg in the grass yesterday. I have a photo of the dear thing, which I'll post as soon as Blogger gets the wax out of the pipes!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

love love love

Hi all, Blogger is working on their issue, and in the meantime many of us are unable to post our photos. Sad!

I'm currently in the studio working on gocco printed coffee cozies and wee bags. Stay tuned...


Monday, July 7, 2008


Dear Friends, I can't figure out what's going on with my computer. Uploading photos just won't work! I have so much I want to share....this is frustrating to have going on for several days.

One thing I CAN share is a lovely virtual art gallery blog called Something Just To Start, hosting an interview with me, if you'd like to see it. She's posted many photos of my artwork. Scroll down to June 30th entry, and enjoy all the other art along the way. Tell me what cha think.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

In the 80's....

"It's a Cruel Summer".... "leaving me here on my own! It's a cruel, cruel summa...." Remember Bananrama and their giant hair and white overalls? Watch the video at least to the part where they eat bananas and sing at the same time! Promise? They are so cute!

I was going to name this clutch "My 80's"... was finishing the bag, and thinking about MTV when it first came out with mind blowing videos... then THAT song came on the radio. I got up to dance!

I love this fabric, not only does it have skulls in black, brown, white on hot pink, it also has tiny video game print skulls. I dressed up this clutch with a strip of black dot, rickrack, and ruffle. Get it while it's hot- it's one of a kind!

"Cruel Summer" matching coffee cozies......... perhaps we'll drink iced latte's with them and croon "It's a COOL, cool summer...." together. Wear your baggy overalls and bandana ok?