Thursday, July 29, 2010

Multiple Choice

What have I been doing? 


a) Getting a terrible cold and pinched nerve in the neck from crafting. 
b) Following Dave Matthews Band on their summer tour.
c) Jigsaw puzzles in Miami. 
d) All of the above. 


The answer is d! Ridiculous sounding? Perhaps. Awesome? Definitely. Well, except the cold and hurt neck part. I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I will return with a "real" post on Monday. 


Love, 
Danielle

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Trunk Show Rewind

What a day! First up, I am sure you are wondering if anything sold. Um, no.  Don't you worry about me, though. I got great exposure, great feedback, and wonderful tips from the other fabulous vendors. The doubly good news about all of this is that The Custom Caterpillar Shop is now fully loaded and ready for action (look over to your right for the handy link). 
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How did I manage to do this all? With the support and patience of my husband and wonderful daughter who said, "Momma, I would buy all of this art because you are a great artist." Now that this is done, I am going to take some time away from the studio and the blog and spend some quality time with my loves. Thank YOU for all of your cheering. See you soon :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

For the Sassy Girls...and/or Their Moms

I'm thinking it's the sassy girls that will be drawn to this hot pink gerber daisy perched atop a denim background. I include mommies in this too since, for some reason, I couldn't help but reminisce about the 90's while I was hand sewing this slightly tedious, individually beaded bloom. Petal after petal I thought about my collection of silver rings, watching 90210 and The Real World, and wearing this adorable-at-the-time sunflower baby doll dress with Sam 'n Libby ballet flats. Good times!
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Now, will tomorrow's trunk show be good times? It remains to be seen....cross your fingers please!
PS: Can you believe this has been five new pieces shown here in as many days? I have a few loose ends (literally) to tend to tonight and then I need a crafty break!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Skater Dude

Another for the boys! Skater Dude is an action-packed 5x4 inch mixed media canvas showcasing an awesome dude and his skateboarding trick. I loved choosing the coordinating papers for this, though I think the shoes are my favorite part. Also, to make it ever so slightly more special, I carried the paper all the way to the sides for this piece: 
I think it does the trick!
PS: I am loving all of the supportive comments--you all are so great! Thanks :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cupcake Chic


I really want to take a bite of this shimmery, decadent-looking cupcake, don't you? Cupcake Chic is a 5 x 4 inch mixed media designed in sophisticated soft pinks and browns for those little ladies with a touch of class. To make it even more confection-esque I added a creamy, glittered edge frame which highlights the pretty dusting of sequined and paper-cut "sprinkles:"
I am so very pleased with how it came out!
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In hydrangea news, after sleeping and considering, I decided that since it's intended for young people it needed a bit more whimsy: 
Hope you like it :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hydrangeas

How cute is this wee teeny hoop?! I found a few of these 3" wooden hoops at the craft store on Sunday and I snatched them all up, greedy shopper that I am. The design of this hoop evolved as I worked on it, but I am satisfied that the finished product aligns with my initial vision: creating something for little girls who love purple vs. the scads of young ladies who adore pink. I may go back in and add just a few more embroidered leaf details and possibly tiny blossom sets in the blank spots. I am going to sleep on it, though if you have thoughts I would love your collective opinion. Tomorrow...a cupcake! But not the kind you eat ;)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Surf's Up

Each day this week I will be highlighting a newly finished item for Saturday's show. "Countdown to Trunk Show" item #1 is a very cool piece, if I do say so myself. Surf's Up is an 8-inch square canvas layered with creamy acrylic paint, deconstructed scrapbook paper, and Sharpie design. I chose muted, masculine tones to create a very hip "surfer dude" kind of mood for this one. I had an older boy's room in my head when visioning this, but really I think it would suit anyone who loves the idea of surfing and/or this handsome and sophisticated color palette.
Layers of various kinds of white acrylic, plus layers of crisp white paper, create the depth of the crashing wave that this brave soul is willing to surf on. 
Surf's up!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Barefoot Sunday: Corn Muffins

Amelia directed this week's installment of Barefoot Sunday. She loves corn muffins and requested some when we were watching an altogether different show on the Food Network (sorry Neely's!). We looked up Ina's recipe and, of course, they are rated five-star...deservedly so. They are easy to make and so delicious and moist--you'll only need to butter them for fun rather than necessity ;). 
My notes? Only one: Once again I experienced a disconcerting-looking batter when combining the wet and dry ingredients. All was fine--though I figured you could use the heads up. Enjoy!!
PS: Tune in tomorrow for my first installment of "Trunk Show Countdown!"

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Morning Magic

This morning I went out on the porch to read for a while and looked up to find this: 
The rest of the morning was a frenzy of errands and chores, with one chore being particularly rewarding. After consultation with wise friends last night (having tried everything in my own repertoire), we came upon just the right formula for the task at hand:
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409 + Mr. Clean Magic Eraser + significant elbow grease = the cleanest my kitchen table has been in five years. Back to white from...uh, beige...it no longer needs hiding under a table cloth. It's so clean I could eat off of it--Ha!
Speaking of said lovely and wise friends, I was so excited to visit with them last night that I forgot to post. Whoopsies! Barefoot Sunday tomorrow :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Two Words: Date Night


Until tomorrow, my friends!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Good to Know

I took this picture on the flight to Maine...it's of a wonderful article in Body & Soul magazine about how using your hands and being in a creative place can increase serotonin levels and thus increase your level of happiness. My own quest to craft some more happiness in my life, to maybe find the sweet spot where creativity meets earning, led to this week-long children's art camp. 
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What I know now is that my love for children and the field of education and my love for art do not mix. While working with the children this week has been fun, and while I love the content that I am teaching, it is leaving me without any creative spirit at the end of the day. That part of my brain has nothing left for my own creating and making, whether in the studio or even the kitchen. 
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I am so, so grateful for the chance to peek into this life, the life of an art teacher. Grateful for the chance to climb over the fence, see that "whoa, the grass over here is not actually greener" and then contentedly climb back to my side. For so many reasons, this is good to know. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From Today

This was quite a busy day! 
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First and foremost, some fun news: The Garden Bunny has sold (shout out to Jayne!). 
Painting with tots? My verdict on it: A good time was had by all! Now I need to go lie down for a while ;)
Tonight's business? Family game night is still going strong. This is the Curious George Discovery Beach Game, which is enough of a favorite that we gave it as a birthday gift just this past weekend--it's fast paced and has a decent mixture of skill vs. luck. If you have little ones you may want to look into it...
Ok, for realsies now I am going to lie down. Have a great evening!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Will I love it or love it not?

May I begin by saying this quirky and adorable flower is the only wildflower received from the CSA in its twelve-week run? Not the only kind of wildflower received in our bundle, mind you. The. Only. Flower. But I digress...
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This week is a little experiment for me. I am running a children's art camp (roughly ages 3-10), thanks to my lovely and trusting friend Lisa ;). I love art. I love teaching children. And yet, will I love teaching art to children? It remains to be seen in full...This first day was quite fun. I taught them about different kinds of paintings (landscape, etc.) and we sketched out the beginnings of their own mixed media canvases (the main event and take-home element for the camp). Wish me luck for tomorrow we paint, pre-schoolers and all. Wheee!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Barefoot Sunday: Pink Lemonade

It's so HOT, as I am sure you know. Seeking inspiration for a low-effort, low kitchen-heating Barefoot Contessa recipe, I searched Foodnetwork.com for her recipes by rating. Five-star Pink Lemonade? Yes please!!
The making of this is so easy. The most high maintenance part was needing to purchase grenadine for only two teaspoons of "pink," but whatever...we'll have some Shirley Temples later this week ;). As for the lemonade, it hit the spot!
Notes: 
- The recipe called for super fine sugar, which I couldn't find. We did just fine by stirring the granulated sugar directly in the lemon juice before adding any other ingredients. 
- To yield 1 cup of lemon juice, I needed 7.5 lemons (good thing they were on sale!). 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pretty Pictures Post

Happy weekend! Can you spot the birdie in the top picture?

Friday, July 9, 2010

An Acquired Taste, Perhaps?

We had a few bunches of kale in our CSA bundle last week.  Not wanting anything to go to waste, I did some online research on what I could do with this leafy green. Kale chips are all the rage, apparently; appearing on several "mommy blogs" as a way to get greens into kids. Together we followed this well-reviewed recipe and they turned out just as planned. 
...except that none of us really liked them. The first chip yielded a "hmm...interesting" response. Following that, Amelia was done and Jason and I merely tolerated the rest. Oh, well. We're chalking it up to an acquired taste that we really have no interest in acquiring ;)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Little Seahorse

Here's Little Seahorse...did you guess correctly ;)? This is a 6" hoop with felt applique atop gray linen. The belly, fin, and eye are accented with a light purple sheering that is very shimmery and fun. Each "bubble" is an iridescent sequin attached with the smallest of french knots so as not to interfere with any shine. The back of the seahorse is whipstitched to create a fin/scale look. I tried to spare no detail while keeping it simple at the same time. I hope you like it! 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fishies, Continued

I couldn't help myself, I had to continue with aquarium pictures. Can you guess which sea creature inspired the hoop that I will show here tomorrow? I will give you a hint...it's probably not the sawfish ;)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Georgia Aquarium

The second segment of Jason's anniversary present was a trip to the Georgia Aquarium. Each of us has an affinity for aquatic animals, as silly as that may sound. We marveled at the sheer size of the tanks and the variety of species within them. Amelia was not at all shy about sticking her hand into the stingray & bonnet head shark touch-tank. The most spectacular experience of all was seeing the four baby whale sharks (the "babies" are 20-23 feet long!).  They were so graceful and beautiful, swimming peacefully alongside some very grumpy grouper fish and one very attention-hungry, somersaulting manta ray:) If you are ever in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend that you attend!
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Upon returning home I got started immediately on a new hoop for the shop, inspired by a very whimsical sea creature!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Braves!

We're back! Though we needed to eat our weight in slushies, ice cream cones, and snow cones to keep from melting, we had a fantastic time at the Atlanta Braves vs. Florida Marlins baseball game in Atlanta on Saturday. Jason mentioned in passing one weekend (a good long time ago) that he wished Amelia could go to a Braves game before longtime Manager, Bobby Cox, retires. My wife brain logged that little tidbit immediately, and thus, this was his anniversary present from me. How does one go about purchasing secret tickets to an event one knows nothing about? With LOTS of help from co-conspirating family, friends, and 7th grade students (who helped me choose the right seats). Thanks all!!
Then, in all manner of coincidences, not only were our best pals also attending that game--it was "kids run the bases day" at Turner Field! Below is a (blurry) picture of Amelia and her best friend Ainsley running the bases. Supercool! 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Butterfly Whispers

Here it is! Butterfly Whispers was inspired by my friend Vanessa, who is having a precious baby girl this fall. This little darling is set to have a beautiful nursery in the softest, lightest hues. This one is an 11 x 14 inch mixed media canvas. Everything, with the exception of the butterflies, is hand painted by me in acrylic paint. The "frame" is painted in the butteriest pink I could mix, with silver accenting of course. This item will be available in the shop and/or the trunk show soon. Vanessa--this can give you inspiration for your custom design (or I can set it aside for you ;)). 

We are headed out for a family vacation. Yay! I wish everyone a safe and happy 4th of July! See you back here on Monday :) 

Friday, July 2, 2010

I Splurge on Martha

Even with a coupon, Martha products pack a pricey punch (say that three times fast!).  As soon as I set eyes on this, visions of a project swirled in my head. A sizable 11x14 inch one. I'll show you the finished piece tomorrow!
PS: Happy Friday!
PPS: Punch pun absolutely intended ;)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Beach : )

We spent a long, lovely day at the beach on Sunday. We want to have as many fun beach days as possible before any hurricanes and, of course, the dreaded oil arrive (so, so heartbreaking to say the least). It was a new beach for us, so let me tell you that this first picture makes me cringe a little because later in the day we learned of (and saw firsthand) sand spiders everywhere. Big ones. Eek!!!