chloe in a whimsy

chloe decided enough was enough and that she would not wear anymore tea party outfits, ever, well maybe not forever. so today we changed her into something more relaxing, nothing fussy. but perhaps just one flower.


that's some rack...

today i built a towel rack for my newly appliquéd tea towels. i used some left over wood from our kitchen remodel; sawed it, drilled it, nailed it together, and painted it to match the walls. it is a very exciting color, white!
i love painted walls, but i find myself liking a white space for my studio. it gets chaotic enough when i'm creating, so it makes a nice resting spot for my eyes. it also gives the appearance of cleanliness when i can close the cabinet doors and shut out the shouting madness of colors and textures from fabrics, paints, and what-have-you.


good hair day

echo felt like taking a stroll, and changing outfits. she has so few of them.


mmmmmmmm, cupcakes

i love the look and feel of tea towels; so decorative and yet so very practical. on a trip through my favorite shopping mecca, @home, i spotted a set of lovely stripped tea towels. however lovely they were i just couldn't leave well enough alone.
i love cupcakes, i love them so much that when i celebrate my 30th birthday i will have a cupcake cake towering in pastel glory, and it will be beautiful. cupcakes go well with tea, tea is in the name, this added to the pastel stripes = cupcake appliqué.

here's a quick and dirty breakdown of how to applique:

freezer paper
line drawing of desired subject matter
scissors (paper and fabric)
fabric of choice
dritz fray check

step one: trace image onto paper side of freezer paper, trim to edge. iron onto fabric, shiny side against reverse of fabric.

step two: trim fabric to within 1/4" of paper edge. notch 3/8" segments in fabric edge perpendicular to paper line. iron edges over paper, so that front of fabric is desired shape. if you are going to stitch a decorative edge around a shape you can fray check the edge first rather than notching and folding (like the cupcake wrapper below).

step three: remove paper gently from fabric. place image front side up against desired area. tuck all notches under and pin.

step four: slip-stitch around edges connecting appliqué to background fabric. i usually use the same color thread as background.

step five: pin down overlapping appliqués and attach either with a slip stitch for hidden, or cross-stitch for exposed textural elements. iron to smooth any puffing or wrinkles.

step six: add garnishes such as beads, sequins, buttons, ribbon, embroidery, etc. finito!

to look at more photos visit my flickr account.


the magazine of my dreams

whilst browsing through a comic store, i happened across a yummy magazine. there was cotton candy hair and tempting macarons, delicate eye candy and lovely fonts. this magazine of whimsy was named "lula". and they've got my #.



i have been unable to post very much recently, due to a series of migraines. but i should be back fresh tomorrow.


seen through new eyes

i received new eyes for echo. they are from Masterpiece Eyes. several months ago i got an idea into my head to replicate my eyes for my doll. so i sent a photo of my orbs to Gayle, and now several weeks later, here are the results.


flying boxes

creating a mobile is an interesting experiment in finding balance. this year my sister gifted me with an origami-a-day calendar. so i decided to multiply one of my favorite origamis, a flying box, and create a mobile to bring some color into my studio.


what would you take?

ever wonder what you would take if you had to leave during a weather emergency? we had tornado scares last night, so i went through my belongings and grabbed what i felt i could not leave behind. luckily we did not have to evacuate as the storm system moved north of us. it's strange seeing in the light of a new morning what i think is important. besides a folder of paperwork like checkbooks, paycheck stubs and insurance papers, i grabbed:

a maruschka doll from my great aunts
a small photo album
a new dress that i bought for a wedding that i have not worn yet
calculator (it was in among my checkbooks)
my two resin dolls
cat food
a small kaleidescope glass ball
my portfolio
my flash card
stamps in a box i have been collecting for years
baby blanket

strangely, i forgot to pack my book of passwords, my toothbrush and toothpaste. weird. i also put halters on my two cats, nala and meiko, and would not let them leave my side until the danger had passed. the photo above was taken late in the day, the color of everything was really pink and the air felt heavy.



one of my phalaenopsis orchids is in bloom right now. the centers are quite vivid.


technicolor carrots

usually pea soup is a monotonous field of green, however delicious it may be. surprisingly, this is not necessarily so before it is cooked.

pea soup can be a vibrant plethora of color when you incorporate unusual varieties of the basic. this brings us to the perusal of carrots; blue carrots, white carrots, yellow carrots, and orange.
they are actually pretty amazing looking when viewed up close on a cross section.

then all together, mixed.

hatching an eggling

yesterday i picked up an eggling plant. i've always thought they were cute, but never really payed any attention to getting one. well, while i was browsing in a store i happened to cross paths with one that grew wild strawberries. tiny strawberries growing from an egg? what could be cuter!
setting it up was interesting. at first the shell wouldn't crack, then when it did I didn't think it would be big enough so i kept tapping away at the edge. I added the extra seed pack and poured water slowly into the opening. hopefully it will grow!


like a moth towards a flame...

some of my favorite artists, both new and old. there is a lot of beautiful skill and talent out there. i love the colors used by all of these artists; it's what drew me. there is a theme running through the works that i like; the female form, each artists view of it, either of themselves or their voices represented visually.

audrey kawasaki:
naisho, 2006

aya takano:
the summer sea, a beach of crying sand 2004

barbara canepa:
skydoll, narae doll artists own

jennifer davis:

kanako sasaki:
wanderlust outcast


modern dollhouse

i believe that a dollhouse should be a reflection of times present. it should be a mix of new and old, color and print. it should yell out your name, or whisper your style. on the first day of the new year i decided to do a major overhaul of the dollhouse my sister had given me several years ago. it did not speak to me, no matter what i put in it.

the very first thing i did was re-wallpaper the master bedroom. i chose a tiffany blue paper from Martha Stewarts' line at Michael's. from there i brought in pale pink dupioni silk curtains, coverlet, and King Louis chair. a dainty vanity and strongly colored picture provided an interesting contrast.

from room to room i went; re-wallpapering, rearranging, incorporating unlikely elements. with each new addition the place started to feel like home. she (for a home is always a she) was becoming a stronger, fresher, grander lady who finally grew into a style that spoke to who she was.

i am still working on the living room, for i wish to create dining/living areas. here is a view of my favorite corner. it will be the crafting/letter writing area.

the kitchen is drawn out on paper, it just needs to be ordered. i am planning on getting glossy white base cabinets with chrome handles and steel counters, along with steel appliances. open shelves will stand in for upper cabinets. i will be going to ELF miniatures for these.

the whole house will always be an ongoing project as i always find interesting things that would go well in there.

to see additional photos of the dollhouse please go here.

the trials and tribulations of blossom culp...

i just finished reading a series of books starring Blossom Culp, Alexander Armsworth, and a procession of ghosts both past and future; "The Ghost Belonged to Me", "Ghosts I Have Been", "The Dreadful Future of Blossom Culp", "Blossom Culp and the Sleep of Death". written by Richard Peck during the 70's and 80's, these books were as funny and entertaining to read now as they were when i first read them as a child.
i love the character of Blossom, but i have to say that the book voiced by Alexander has to be my favorite, "The Ghost Belonged to Me". you always knew that Blossom had quite an attachment to Alexander, so it's interesting to see what he thinks of her. the progression of these two throughout the years is both comical and sweet, definitely a merging of brains and befuddlement.
what's also nice about these books is that the secondary characters are as memorable as the main two. who could ever forget the adventurous Uncle Miles, or tory Miss Gertrude Dabney, or Old Man Spalding who gets the last laugh? Bluff City, the place in which the majority of events take place is a town whose citizens are as different and as difficult as any you could find in real life. all of these books are going in the permanent "keeper" bookshelf.


paper bag contest

i've been working on a paper bag for a contest at the local bead store. they give you a plain bag and want you to gussy it up and bring it back for them to display. after they're up for a few days all of the entries will be judged. i kept mine pretty simple. i'm loving blue and pink lately so i did a pink elephant and a blue bird, one on either side. they're cuties!

here are some close ups of the labels:

and here is the reverse image on the tag:

setting sun

on friday i snapped a photo of the departing sun; the colors were quite striking. a lot of sunsets are beautiful, each variation in color making a great palette to work with. inspiration is everywhere in nature. sun rises are nice too, but i'm never up early enough for them unless i'm traveling.


one more gocco saved!

my print gocco came in the mail today! just look at all of that pirate's bounty! i choose a lot of pastel and muted colors, i don't really care for brights. the two cd's that came with it were part hilarious/sad and informative. funny because the instructors wore smiles the whole time that they spoke, sad because it was obviously filmed in the late eighties early nineties. i hope that era of hair fashion never rears it's ugly head again. however, aesthetic preferences set aside, the demonstrations were helpful. i'm more of a visual learner; books with diagrams are all well and good, but i grasp the idea better when shown.
i'll be planning what i want to gocco in the next several days, as i won't be able to sit down and try it out due to working the weekend.


so this morning i woke up starving. which means it's a good day for pancakes. i love blueberry mango wheat pancakes; they're filling, but not loaded up on useless carbs. here's how i make pancakes as everyone has they're own recipe for breakfast goodness.

blueberry mango wheat pancakes

1 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
cinnamon to taste

1/2 cup soy milk + 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or 1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup soy milk
3 tablespoons applesauce or 1 mashed banana
squirt agave nectar

mix dry ingredients together, mix wet ingredients together, then combine wet into dry. throw in a handful of sliced mango and a handful of blueberries, frozen or fresh. if you don't like the blueberry juice turning the batter gray, just toss them in some dry flour before folding them in.
set the griddle to 350 degrees, spoon out batter, cook, flip, cook, serve then eat. as the above photo shows i love mine with butter and confectioner's sugar, lots.



i just finished watching Mister Magorium's Wonder Emporium, and i have to say that i simply adored it. there was a good mixture of funniness and sadness all wrapped up in a very poignant story. during several of the scenes i definitely felt like crying; but it was a good feeling because you know you just watched an occurrence that was bitter-sweet. i love movies that make you believe that all of the ideas you felt so strongly for as a child can still be possible in the realities of an adult.

spa day

well, i finished echo's hands and feet. the nails were polished and the tops of the hands and feet were slightly blushed. blushing is actually quite fun; in moderation. i thought about going ahead and putting some color on her nipples, but then i decided to save that for another day as i would have had to remove her clothes.

morning photos

so here are photos of echo in the morning. the light is great, you can see the softness of her face, and the french resin is so ethereal. i am going to work on her manicure and pedicure today, and perhaps do a little blushing around the nipples and belly button tomorrow. i'll post photos when i'm done.