Tuesday, January 31, 2017

no. 123

✮  heart FELT expression

The week began unlike most weeks here.  A few gloomy days, both inside and out, followed by a case of the sniffles.  Not exactly what I would choose, but that is life.  Kind of chooses for us at times.  So, after a night of pushing myself, I thought I would wake up and create the next heart FELT expression to add to my collection. 

These make me happy.  They are colorful, cheery, and are usually things I repeat to myself or my boys on a regular basis.  I am at that stage with them where repetition is key, although they seem to disagree much of the time.  Oh well.  I have five years until my oldest is officially an adult and I view it as I only have five years to cram in all the knowledge and experience for him to be a successful one.  Believe me, I know that is completely unrealistic, but a mama's gotta try!

I know in the Wizard of Oz the lion had the courage, but today it is my little white tiger.  Lately I have been starting my little critters with one color, ditching it and restarting in another.  This one was no exception.  He started orange, traditional tiger colors, but went white.  
When I was little we took a road trip down to the San Diego Zoo.  During our visit I remember being face to face with an adorable little white tiger cub.  The first and only time I ever pet a tiger.

Now that the sun is shining, coffee starting to kick in, and my boys are ready to jump into schoolwork....have a WONDERFUL day!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

no. 121

It's the weekend, quiet in our house, and gearing up to start on my next little critter.  This little guy was the highlight of my creative week.  Those little teeth make me smile.  It has been so much fun putting these together.  Contains all of the elements that truly makes my heart sing: felt, fabric, thread, wood, paper!  Note sure I require much more than that.
Made the decision back in December that I would go into my 40's making things happen, not just waiting on everyone to make all of the choices for me.  So that is what I have been doing with mostly a successful outcome.  After a lifetime of taking advice, direction, etc. I am ready to step out and do what it takes to make myself happy as well.  It is a lot of work to change habits, to build confidence, and to feel empowered enough to take a dream from idea to reality.  I may not find myself on a farm, close to family, and living in a tiny home, but gosh darn it I can try to work towards to the best of my ability.  Thankfully there are tiny steps in between that can be celebrated.

Wishing you a weekend full of celebrated moments!

Friday, January 27, 2017

new news.

Just wanted to pop in to share some exciting news.  Not only have I been selling on Etsy over the past ten years, I am now selling items on HouzzAdded the links if you would like to check them out.

Also, I am now on Instagram as @andreascreativepapertrail .

no. 120

Laughter sure is the best sound that I could hear.

This week has been full of giggly moments for which I am very thankful.  My boys are the funniest and keep me laughing most days.  They have been practicing for years trying to tell jokes and stories that will send anyone into roaring laughter.  My youngest will put anything together, and if you aren't laughing along he will just begin to add silly words to get the ball rolling.  My oldest is much more calculated and if things are going awry that is the end of it.

As they grow it keeps getting better.  The teasing, the gotcha moments, the goofiness are always evolving.  They are getting good.

I have always been a believer in laughter is the best medicine.  There is something about the way a laugh can echo throughout our home and just make stress and worry melt away.    It is also amazing to see how my kids have found their own comedic voices to lift each others spirits.  Even though they have their own methods, we all are smiling in the end.

Been putting together little sayings recently, as you may have notice, of things that I find myself often repeating to both myself and my kids.  Simple, to the point, and with a splash of color.  Fun.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

no. 119

Over the past six months there has been a lot of encouragement going on in our house, more than usual.  I find myself saying things over and over, to myself and my kids, to keep us motivated and moving forward.  It is with simple statements like "go, you've got this" that it give us just enough of a push to keep the momentum going, getting out to try new things and moving closer to achieving our goals.  Especially useful when you have hesitant kids going into something they are unsure of, like pulling up to the archery lesson, down a gravel road, in an old barn/field for the first time.

Encouraging words come in handy, always. 👍

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

no. 117

I don't often work in purple.  It isn't a color that I tend to gravitate towards often.  There are strands of purple thread, sheets of felt and even a few scraps of fabric in my creative space waiting for the day I go purple.  One thing I know for sure, it hasn't happened yet.  For now I only use touches of purple, subtle in quantity and tone.

Maybe one day I will be adventurous in my color choices and use a variety...
Just maybe.

As I work away today I vow to add a little of this to my day...
Why not, right?

Monday, January 23, 2017

no. 116

Think most mornings we wake up saying to ourselves to "be" more of something.  Be patient. Be organized. Be good and don't raid the refrigerator.  It is always changing with the day, mood, environment, and goals.

Today I think mine would be as follows:

How would you complete this?  

However you choose to "fill in the blank", wishing you a happy Monday!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

no. 115

There are moments when the creative factory shuts down in my brain.  Days when I wake up with the intention of sitting at the craft table and working away....then, nothing.  Today I place the blame on the incoming clouds and stormy weather that we are about to have along with the fact that my work space is a MESS!  It is amazing how things just snowball and suddenly I am shuffling through piles of tiny scraps to find hidden scissors, strands of thread or whatever else is hiding under them.

So in a moment of creativity I went the paper route today.  A little polka dot will make anyone happy, right?  It did, and it seemed to clear the way for a productive rest of the afternoon.  One room, one project, one more idea down. 
As my husband watches the football games, the kids are in their rooms getting in some video game time before the school week begins, and I get to sit here listening to my favorite Pandora channel.  Think I require a good dose of music everyday to keep me going, and making sure I fit it in on this rainy day.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

no. 113

I was reminded yesterday, by my sweet mother, that all artists find their niche.  After years of gluing, cutting, stitching, layering, I hope I am close to finding mine.
Over the years I have tried it all...I think.  Clay, paper, fabric, felt, embroidery, jewelry, painting...sure there are more I could list, but you get the point.  Ten years later, kids becoming teenagers (needing me a little less), having the time and the desire to be artistic has led me to the elements and tools I love the most.

When my kids were in elementary school they had an art teacher who constantly put them down.  When they would come home saying that their teacher criticized them for not copying her work perfectly it broke my heart.  I still wonder if she understood the concept of art and how her behavior would impact young children.  Completely took the joy out of expressing themselves artistically.  So, with all my might, I have tried hard to erase the damage she had done and show them how art is personal, can bring so much joy, and not everyone will have the same taste or vision.  This is where I tie in the fact that they enjoy certain video games that I don't (only Mario for me), and that is ok.  Always a go to example.

As I get closer to finding my artistic niche, I find more peace and joy in diving into the creative process.  This time around...it's full steam ahead and there is no looking back.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

no. 112


Tiny living, tiny crafting, tiny everything.

Something that is appealing to me is the tiny house movement.  Not sure if it is the small organized space, the freedom of not being attached to one place, or the lack of a mortgage.  Maybe a mix of all three.  Whatever it is, the thought of living tiny peaks my curiosity.

In Florida standards, we seem to already be living tiny.  We each have a place to sleep, a place to sit and if we all stand in the kitchen we can't open a thing.   There is no need for more space, as that may just require more cleaning and I am not a fan of that.  I would even be happy with getting rid of our master closet and bath, and maybe even the kids closets.  Find that they are just a place where things, like dirty clothes, hide.

This year, while back in Oregon, I truly thought I would see a tiny house rolling down the highway.  Unfortunately, I did not see one.  Still keeping an eye out at all times.

I love the idea of tiny.  Tiny spaces which are filled with things you truly love, need and even want without feeling overwhelmed with having to fill walls and rooms with things that are unnecessary.    It has taken me almost 40 years to realize that the basics are satisfying, enough, simple and make my life just as full.

Although I desire to live in a tiny house one day, I have been told by my hubby that he will require two just for himself.  One filled with his music studio equipment and not quite sure why he would need a second, but maybe that is his way of saying it's not going to happen.  Oh well, just keep dreaming away.

Even though that may not become my reality, I will still watch, plan, and dream about our future tiny home when the boys are off to college.  As long as I could still create and my husband can play music we will be happy anywhere.

 See you tomorrow to share more from my tiny little creative space.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

no. 111

It is that time of our morning when the kids shuffle down the stairs with their blankets and pillows in tow and our day begins.  It seems like just a couple of hours ago I was begging for them to get in bed and fall asleep.  Not sure what it is, but as they get older the normal nine o'clock, be in bed asleep is long gone.  I am pretty sure we fall asleep first most nights.  This explains why I use an alarm to get up most mornings....to catch a couple of hours in a quiet house while they are snug, asleep in their beds.

Last night, as I made a complete mess of my work space...again, spent time planning out my fourth piece of embroidered wood.  It was the first time I drew out a pattern, drilled a couple of holes and realized that my plan wouldn't work.  So that piece was put aside and will be used another day.  Grabbed the next piece, a ruler, and started drawing.
There it is.  The fourth piece to complete the collection.  There are so many more ideas lingering and several pieces of wood waiting to be embroidered.  As I think about my next pattern and color combination I should have plenty of time to untangle the massive ball of embroidery thread that sits upon my desk.  Not sure how that happens, but it is what it is.

Preparing for our first day of archery lessons, moving on after the boys growing disinterest in fencing.  Need to think of a backup if archery doesn't workout.  Not sure I am thrilled about tromping around Florida fields (I have a complete fear of snakes).   Hoping I see nothing slithery today...please, oh please.

See you tomorrow with a brand new project I started on yesterday, if I survive an hour in the countryside.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

no. 110

The buzz of the sewing machine has already begun this morning.  As the school day begins, and the kids sit down to do their morning work, I take my seat across the table and start my creative day.  A little sewing, pausing to answer questions, a little cutting and assembling, pausing to read and discuss Beowulf, and we make it to lunch break.  Of course there are a few bumps along the way, and today was no exception.  Often the case the first day of the week.

Following one day of cleaning and one day with friends, I think my creative block has lifted.  Beginning to assemble my next piece of framed art this morning, little by little.
This being my second go at little Ms. Owl, I think I have finally found a color combination that makes me super smiley.  Some embroidery touches, a cute bow atop her head, and now onto stitching the fabric.

Wishing you have very lovely, peaceful, creative, and just all around happy day! 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

no. 109

Today is a day to step away from the scissors, sewing machine and all things crafty for me.  Hitting a bit of a creative wall in all the mess from the past three days of cutting, sewing and snipping way threads (they are everywhere).

So before I dive in, settle myself into a day of cleaning, clearing, and hopefully some organization, I wanted to share these pansy flowers which was the only thing I seemed to create yesterday.  It has been fun using a variety of old die cut shapes to assemble new flowers and critters.  For example, these are made using mostly an old quickutz egg die cut.  Can you see it? 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

no. 108

There were many moments last night when I felt as if I was being buried by my pile of scrap felt.  There I was, cutting, stitching, assembling when I looked up and there were tiny pieces of felt....EVERYWHERE.  I refuse to throw any out, so as you could imagine, my scrap pile is now not so well contained in a box and may be time to upgrade to a small bin of some sort.  Eventually I will part with them if the pieces get too small where they really cannot be used for anything, but until then...they are staying put.

Working on filling the shop this weekend between cleaning the house, watching a new show on Netflix (which is quite entertaining and quirky), and taking a much needed walk with my little pup and the boys.  All in all, a pretty great weekend ahead and even the large stack of dishes in the sink isn't bringing me down.  Although, can someone please tell me why kids choose new glasses each time they have something to drink that by the end of a day the cupboards are empty and glasses are scattered around the house.  We have even gone to color glasses, each of us having our own color, and that has not worked.  Still fine tuning this, but I think our dishwasher was made just to wash cups at this point.
Had fun searching through the bead aisle at the craft store yesterday for the finishing touch on my wood ornaments.  They are all so amazing, but ended with six different strands....love the ceramic ones, like this one above.  Came home and went to work making the tassels and finishing each one..  Ready to work on the fourth.  Have the pencil marks on the wood and ready to be drilled.  Sawdust to add to my work space....nice.

Have a wonderful weekend and see you back soon, as usual :)

Friday, January 13, 2017

no. 107

Hello, hello and happy Friday!

I am ready for the weekend.  Are you?

There isn't a clear plan on how this weekend will be spent, but I know I will be hovering over the craft table as often as possible.  Ready to fill my shop with new goodies, complete the fourth pattern on the next piece of wood, and just play in my little space.

So much to share next week.  Can't wait!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

no. 106

When we began homeschooling a couple of years ago, I quickly realized how much I loved geometry.  It makes sense.  Using handy little gadgets to make all sorts of interesting shapes.  Most days they catch me peering over their shoulders at the newest lesson.  I can't help myself!

I think they are like most kids at their age asking the question "when will we use this in the real  world".  I run down the list of reasons, but there is nothing like a "real world" example to drive home my argument.  Which leads me to the project above.

How fun it is to take a compass and draw on a piece of wood, plan out my designs, draw in a few lines here and there, and get to drilling.  Add my thread and there you have it, a geometric shape that makes me smile.

I actually pulled the outer ring on the ornament from the fox art that I created this past weekend.  Kind of an unplanned outcome, but ended up loving it.

Be back tomorrow for a "thank goodness it's Friday" post and maybe a little more geometry.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

no. 105

It's that time of year when I am reminded that Easter is just around the corner from a very anxious kid who's birthday happens to land in the same month.  Being that we just wrapped up Christmas, I seem to repeat "well, maybe for your birthday" quite frequently.  This year is no exception.

When money was gifted to him this holiday season my usual little saver became a hurry and spend it kind of kid.  This was evident when the other night he asked if he could sell an item, which he hasn't even received yet, in order to save money to buy another, even better item that he found online in a matter of seconds.  This is where the line "well, maybe for your birthday" is continuously repeated, hoping that one time he listens and understands.
There are three more months of this routine ahead of me.  Not sure if it is his age, whether his bored most days is leading to him searching the computer for cool new gadgets, or there is a money tree somewhere that he knows about that we don't.  Whatever the case, I am kind of wishing that an empty box would entertain him like it did when he was a toddler.   Much more affordable and less of a hassle.

They are always surprising me!

Hope you are enjoying your week.  Back to testing today, packaging a few orders, and definitely spending some time digging into the crafty supplies.  There is more than one reason why waking up to an alarm in the morning is needed.  Need plenty of time to fit in all my favorite things in a day.   

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

no. 104

Waking up on this Tuesday morning, sun shining, kids filled with some Panera breakfast, and fingers crossed we have a good day.  Why is my heart beating just a bit faster?  Why did I spring out of bed, open all of the windows, and greet my boys with a cheery "good morning"?  Well, this is why.

Testing...a whole week of it!

I have one who just does what is asked and doesn't always double check his answers and the other hates not knowing all of the answers and frustration levels rise (already had a few calming sessions to get him through just the first section).  Just hoping once they get into the groove things will be smooth sailing.

While I wait, I am tucked away in the office sharing my project with you today while enjoying my morning snack of pineapple with coconut sprinkled on top.  Yum!
Last night was spent planning out my drill holes and thread for my next ornament.  By this post alone you could probably guess what my favorite color is.  The threading this time around had to be done with patience.  A long strand of thread can easily become a tangled mess...been there, done that.  I also thought about how I wanted the back side to be clean and have a defined pattern as well.  Achieved...yeah! Created a matching tassel this morning and probably head to the craft store for a nice bead or two to add, as I did with this one below.

Once that is done...not quite sure.

I hear feet moving about upstairs.  Until next time!

Monday, January 9, 2017

no. 103

Well, it is the start of the week and I am ready!  What I am ready for is a bit up in the air, but I am ready with my tennis shoes on.

To say that this year has started off with me sprinting towards my goals is an understatement.  There are plans in place, actions being taken, and ideas being recorded.  All that is left is the patience, time, and self encouragement (something that is lacking at times).

One thing I am confident about, spending more time sewing and creating.  That is a given, something that I cannot see this year without.  Been there, done that, never again.  Amazing how one little machine, the most basic sewing machine around I am certain of that, can bring so much joy.  Although football tried to drown me out this weekend, my sewing machine was hard at work, humming away to create a series of art pieces I am excited to share with you over the next few weeks.
Time to dig into the school week routine, rally up the kiddos and get our day started.  Just as much as they look forward to the end of the school day, I cross my fingers that my work is wrapped up around the same time so I can play around with my "toys".

Enjoy your Monday, the start of your week, and hoping you get time to play!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

no. 102

The weekend is here and I am ready to ... prop ?!?

I have been creating shadowbox framed art for a while now and was wanting so badly to show it off in my CPT kind of way.  While my kiddos were still in bed, and on my way to run errands, I took a few moments to myself to grab a coffee and head to the craft store.  I was determined to find something.

After spending a few hours painting it was finally done!  Happy with the outcome, just that darn "P" will not stand up straight.  May need to whip out the glue gun.

Get the whole weekend to work on perfecting it, just a brief outing tomorrow with my bestie in the (what is supposed to be) cooler weather.  Love sweater weather!

Hope you are filling your weekend with something that makes your fingers, toes, heart and soul happy!

See you on Monday!

Friday, January 6, 2017

no. 101

Happy Friday!

Who doesn't need a little polka dot in their day?

After fulfilling an order of felt hearts from my shop yesterday I was eager to mix it up a little and combine embroidery with the felt hearts that I have loved making for so long.
Have a happy, polka dot kind of day!


Thursday, January 5, 2017

no. 100

It is a short week and ,although my mental capabilities are dwindling, my fingers and creative side of my brain are functioning quite well.  Funny how that happens.  
Raided the scrap bin of felt and fabric to create this little piece of art.  I must have redone the sails three different times before settling on these.  Had to keep reminding myself to slow down (rushing a bit while the kids were out playing).   In the end each layer was placed, stitched and embellished just enough.  

Love those scraps!