Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Postman!

Hello, hello!  Just wanted to pop in to say hi!  Life is bustling right now (in great ways!), so I haven't sat down to blog much.  But this cupcake was just too cute and I had to snap a photo of it last week (my sister bakes the BEST treats!).  

My 30th birthday was wonderful!  John spoils me and I always feel so loved!  He took the day off (a Monday no less!) and we went out to my favorite Seattle spot for breakfast, Portage Bay Cafe.  Mmmm, it was heavenly!  I ordered the lemon curd and blueberry french toast and John ordered eggs benedict.  We ordered migas for Michael, but they were SUPER spicy, so we ended up eating those for lunch later in the day :)  Breakfast for lunch too...my fave!  After breakfast, John took me to do a little shopping and then we came home to put Michael down for his nap and I took one too...lovely!  I woke up to the smell of pumpkin pie baking.  My sweetheart of a husband baked me two pies for my birthday "cake", complete with fresh whipped cream.  Nummers :)  We ate lunch and took Michael to the park to play.  When we came home, our friends Debe and Rob were waiting for us in our driveway.  John told me that they were going to watch Michael so we could go on a date that night, but...
...when I opened our front door, all of our friends jumped out and yelled "SURPRISE!!".  Oh my goodness, should I tell you that I was so startled that I started crying?!  HAHA, silly but true :)  I quickly started laughing and gave everyone hugs so I could stop shaking.  John thinks I'm the most difficult person to surprise because I always suspect something, but I was no doubt surprised this time :)  A HUGE hug and thank you to everyone who made the day so special for me!  

All of that excitement was over a week ago and since then, I've been doing lots of crafting and illustrating around these parts.  Probably the reason why it's been a little quieter around this blog...

A fluffy package of wool felt arrived in the mail...I was running REALLY low and it's just in time!  Aren't all the colors gorgeous together?!  Lots more crafting ahead...lots of projects to share...lots to do to prepare for the art festival.  
What's keeping you busy these days?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My very own CUSTOM FABRIC!

Something I've been wanting to do for, like, ever :)

I finally designed and ordered some custom fabric from Spoonflower.  Have you ever heard of it?  I first learned of it on a blog at least a year ago.  You can upload any design and they will print it for you on all types of fabric...upholstery, linen, quilting weight, even knit fabric like jersey.  SOOOO EXCITED!!!!  I can't believe it has taken me so long to get it done, but with the art festival coming up, I definitely wanted some of my custom fabric to be included in my sewing projects.  

First, I sketched out some designs...
 ...refined them a bit and colored them...

...and then arranged them into a pattern.

Spoonflower has many repeat options like basic repeat, half-drop, half-brick, and more.

So allow me to introduce you to the two patterns I just ordered...one geared toward girls, the other for boys...

 'A Bike Ride Through the Tulips'
I was inspired by the Tulip Festival relatively close to Seattle.  And I've had visions of cute bicycles and windmills in my head for months now...they all came together perfectly and I'm so pleased!  And what would a bike ride be without stopping off for some yummy ice cream?  Oh, and I love the shades that she's wearing :)  Can. not. wait to use this fabric for making dolls/doll clothing/aprons/bags/quilts/etc.!

 'Camping With My Dragon'
This one brings a smile to my heart!  S'mores...need I say more?  And who better to bring along than your dragon?  You'll always be warm around the campfire and have an endless supply of freshly roasted marshmallows!!  Mmmmm :)  I really wanted to make one for the little guys!  Chocolate, camping, and getting dirty...all boy-approved ingredients for a grand time!  I think Michael would agree :)

I learned A LOT doing this!  I made many phone calls regarding the correct color profiles, spent hours choosing color schemes, tried and didn't like the outcome, tried again and again until I was satisfied with the final product.  But now I feel so much more confident in doing it correctly and can't wait to design more in the future!

Have any of you ever designed fabric with Spoonflower?  There is a lot fabric on there and if you don't feel like designing your own, you can choose from thousands of designs to purchase.  The fabric is pricier than at a chain store, obviously.  It's all custom and so worth it if you have a very specific idea in mind.  I will be making my fabric available for purchase soon...probably within the next month after I receive my order.  If you would like to search for it on Spoonflower, my designer name is Recipe4Cute...pretty easy :)  Hooray for learning something new and completing a goal!  Feels good :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My leap of faith


Yesterday was such a wonderful, fun-filled day and I felt sooo loved on my birthday.  Yep, I'm officially 30!!  I told John that if yesterday was any indication of how the next 30 years will be, I can't wait :)  I'll be back later this week with a recap, but as for now...

...I thought I'd share my little leap of faith with ya.  Like I said a while ago in this post, I did something brave (for me) about a month ago.  I applied to be in a craft show here in Seattle...something I've always wanted to do!  It has been a difficult thing for me...to put myself out there and not worry about what others will think of my art and crafts.  Of COURSE I know that it won't be everyone's style, but I'm a sensitive soul and take rejection to heart...still working on that :)

A week later, I had a response from the art festival committee in my email box saying that I was accepted!!  I am so thrilled/a bit nervous/giddy!

Do any of you live in Seattle?  I'll be an artist in the Wedgwood Art Festival on July 9th and 10th and I would love for you to stop by.  As July approaches, I'll be posting more and more details.  This also means that my Etsy shop will be updated and ready to go closer to that time frame with many of the products I'll be selling at the art festival.  Right now it's work, balancing life with work, playing a little, and more work :)  I do my best to try and only work in the evenings, during Michael's naps, or when he's busy playing by himself and doesn't wish to be interrupted :)  A few hours here and there...so much to get done and I'm looking forward to the creative process!


Do any of you have this same fear?  This fear of failing or being rejected or putting yourself out there?  I was talking to John about it on our car ride home this weekend, trying to figure out this quirk of mine, and he brought up the fact that I'm putting so much of my heart into my work which makes it a very personal thing for me.  And it can be hard to not take rejection personally.  He also made the point that if I never put myself out there and share what I love to do, it's a GIVEN that no one will ever have the chance to enjoy my art too.  He said just what I needed to hear.  Those words are carrying me!

So I've decided to go for it!  That's what this life is about...learning, growing, failing, trying again, and working hard for something you love and are passionate about until you succeed.  And sometimes (maybe more often than not) our success comes through our failures...there's a lot to be said about failing and getting up to try again!!

This post may not hold much weight for some of you and that's fine.  But if it speaks to you, I encourage you to take a creative leap of faith...maybe it's as simple as making a gift for someone or trying your hand at a new craft like crocheting or watercolor painting.  It might not have anything to do with art at all!!  You might end up hating it, but even better, you might end up loving it and feeling so fulfilled.  We all have talents and perhaps some of them are still dormant because we first need to believe in ourselves.  These are my rainy Tuesday morning thoughts :)  Take 'em or leave 'em...whatever suits you!  Hope your week is off to a great start!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Who was I kidding?!

I know I said I'd be back this morning with an announcement, but it's going to have to wait until tomorrow...I had sooooo much fun today that it has just been a whirlwind...see ya tomorrow :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We had a blue sky Wednesday

Today in Seattle, blue skies and sunshine were abundant!  HOORAY!!  I kept thinking to myself, 'Wow, the sky is REALLY blue!!'  It was a gorgeous day!  
We went to visit some friends this morning, ran a few errands, stopped and bought some fresh bread (cinnamon was Michael's choice) and went to the park this afternoon and played with more friends for 2 hours.  Needless to say, Michael is sound asleep for the night :)  This week John has been in Germany for work again and it's so quiet here at night...but he comes home tomorrow and I can't wait!!  This weekend is going to be big...

Every year we go home to Wenatchee for the Apple Blossom Festival.  Apples are a huge deal there...it's known as the "Apple Capitol of the World".  Lots of agricultural jobs and orchards covering the mountains.  I grew up going to the orchards with my dad (he's a tree scientist) and we even had a small orchard of our own.  In the summer, we would hop out of bed, run outside and down the hill and pick fresh apricots off the tree for breakfast.  And there would be bowls and bowls of fruit...overflowing.  Lots of jam and cobblers and pies...the list goes on :)

Image #148170

So we'll be heading home for the weekend.  A parade, yummy food, a carnival, time with my sisters, sun-shiny weather, grammy and grand-dad, George the dog...it's going to be lovely!
And let's not forget Mother's Day on Sunday!!!
On days like today, when it's a little more exhausting doing it all by myself, I'm in awe of every mother out there who works so hard for her children.  Mothering truly is a labor of love...and most of the time it really is hard work!  So much responsibility to teach and care for such pure little spirits.  Yet, when they run up to you and put their hands on your cheeks and give you a big squeeze and say 'I love you too mama!', no feeling in the world can compare...simply put, It's the BEST!!  Of course, you don't need to have children of your own to be a mother.  Mothering is when we truly care for something that is living...a friend, neighbor, sibling, even something as common as a house plant :)  It's the time and energy we dedicate to rearing and nurturing.  

And on Monday, it's my birthday...and not just any birthday...my 30th birthday!!!  WHOA!!  Really?!  I thought I just graduated from high school not all that long ago...yet, it was 12 years ago...so true what they say...time flies when you're having fun!
So many memories,
new experiences,
lessons learned,
...I'm ready to create more moments to cherish  :)  I'll admit, 30 does sound "older", but I don't feel older, nor do I care about the stigma associated with the big 3-0.  So BRING IT ON!!  I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY!!!  The day just feels different, doesn't it?!  Ha, do you feel that way too?  


I'm loving all of these beautiful photos!!!  So much color inspiration...I adore the pink, teal, coral, turquoise, mustard yellow combo.  I found these today on Pinterest...something about beautiful styling and photography...one of my indulgences, so I thought I'd share.

I haven't been around the blogging world much in the past two weeks because I've been using my very little free time to work on something big.  I'll be back on Monday to share my news with you (and no, I'm NOT pregnant for those of you who have already had that thought cross your mind) ;) I think my 30th will be the perfect day to make the announcement...

Hand-Dyed Jute Twine - Peach - Treasury Pick

And lastly, can I just say from the bottom of my little heart that I truly appreciate all your kind words and comments (even when some of my posts have type-o's)!!  Wow, I'm always impressed when someone takes a moment to actually stop and write me...just so ya know, it means a lot to me!  It's like opening up a little gift each time.  And it inspires me to be better about speaking up and complimenting others more, be it on blogs or in real, everyday life.  So a big hug to you all for being so wonderful yourselves and I'll see ya back here on Monday (and maybe even before then if I can sneak a moment while Michael is napping)!
Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6