Thursday, August 30, 2007

Front Page

I made the front page of Etsy! Twice! And it missed it both times.

The first time was as part of the Trashion Trunk Show group picked by Etsy Labs. A great honor to be chosen by the Labs. They chose my paper doll pendant Unfortunately that was the day I was traveling to New York and I missed it.

The second time was last week, my Night Collaged Earrings were included in a treasury that made it to the front page. I didn't know about the treasury because I can't check them while I am at work. Apparently it made it to the front page for a while that day. I was on Etsy all day but I think I was chatting away in ETC. at the time.

Thanks to the lovely tomate d'epingles, the moderator of the Trashion blog for providing me with the photographic evidence.

Monday, August 27, 2007

August 28th

On August 28, 2006 I received a phone call that changed my life forever. A woman from Chinese Children Adoption International told me that I was a mother to a beautiful little girl named Lin Shen Chao.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting at my desk at work feeling blue. I had heard the next round of referrals was coming out of China but I thought we weren't going to be included. Referrals are based on the date your paperwork is logged into the Chinese system, ours was logged in on July 23, 2005 and we had heard that referrals were going through the 22nd. So I thought we'd have to wait an extra month. We'd already waited offically for 13 months (21 months since we'd started the paperwork) what was one more.

Then the phone rang and the woman on the other end told me that we had our referral. She asked if I wanted to conference Scott in so he could hear the news but he was in a meeting and I couldn't find him. Then she said she could call back. Call back are you crazy, I needed to know everything right then.

Her name was Lin Shen Chao and she lived in the YiHuang Social Welfare Institute in Jiangxi China. She went into the orphanage when she was approximately 1 week old and she had spent most of her life living with foster parents. At the time of referral she was 7 months old.

I couldn't believe it, our "Non-Existant Hypothetical Baby" (her name during our wait time) really existed. She was our little Vivienne. They e-mailed pictures and I saw this beautiful little girl with a heart shaped face and a rosebud mouth. I just sat there and cried. Then I realized I had to go find Scott. I ran next door to his office but he was still gone. I finally busted into his meeting and dragged him upstairs to see the pictures. Needless to say he was beside himself.

We wanted to hop on the next plane to China to bring her home. But again we had to wait for another round of approvals. We got our clearance to travel and set out to meet her in October. We were finally united as a family on October 30, 2006.

Now fast forward 10 months. I can't imagine a time when Vivienne or Ivie for short, was not in our lives. She is a happy, healthy, spicy little toddler. Our transition as a family has been smooth, like we were made for eachother. She constantly amazes us every day.

When I think back to that day, I think about the time she spent in China. I also think about her sisters and brothers who are still waiting for a forever family. So I have decided to start a Crafting for China Charity Challenge. From August 28 through October 30, 50% off the proceeds from the charity section in my Etsy shop will go to the Half the Sky Foundation which works to benefit the lives of children in Chinese orphanages who are waiting for their forever families. I hope to raise $300 which will be enough to sponsor a child for one year. This will be in addition to the personal gift that Scott and I plan on making. The charity section will have items inspired by China, family and love. Please check it out and help me share the love.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Happy Saturday

Today I had a rare day off. Completely off from everything including being a mom. Hubby has several golfing and fantasy football related evenings planned next week so he took the wee one for the day. They went to the zoo.

What did I do with my free time you ask? Well first I went to the spa and got a pedicure. That was so much fun and very relaxing. I wish I had time to do it more often. Got my toes painted a really cool shade of purply blue called Siberian Navy from OPI.

Then after a trip to the cafe for a scone and latte, it was off to the art store. I got a small sketch book and a pencil that I am going to carry around with me to see if inspiration will hit. I also picked up a book on altered books and some new brushes. I've had some ideas floating around in my head for altered books and collages that I think this book will help me realize. Finally I signed up for a drawing class at the store starting in September.

Then it was a trip to the thrift store. I picked up some wool sweaters that I plan on felting. Inspired by the latest issue of Adorn magazine, I want to try to make a felted jumper for the wee one for fall. This will also force me to break out the sewing machine that has been gathering dust on my work table. I am excited to see if it will turn out.

After a late lunch, I plan on going outside to photo some jewelry to post in the Etsy store. Then maybe a nap.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thanks for the encouragement

Thanks for everyone who posted on my Identity Crisis thread on Etsy yesterday and who sent me words of encouragement.

I've decided to take the plunge and follow this new direction to see where it leads. I want to feel the joy of creating just for creating sake again. The end result really doesn't matter to me.

I will still list jewelry from my inventory on the Etsy site as well so I can maintain that connection to my past. But I am hopeful that this new path will spark a new creative binge for me.

Closes eyes and takes giant leap . . .

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Search for inspiration

Lately I have not been inspired to create any new jewelry. I've done the custom order here and there but that is it.

Last year, before we traveled to China to adopt the wee one, I went on a creative binge. I bought lots of new supplies and made a ton of jewelry. This binge created a lot of inventory and enabled me to stock my Etsy store and the local boutique where I sell my jewerly. In fact I still have a few pieces that I can photo and list on Etsy.

My problem is the boutique is now out of my pieces and they are asking for more. I have a few I can bring in to keep my work out in the public eye. But I am not sure if this is the work that I want shown. I've only been into the bead stores to buy something specific like findings, not to spend hours imagining all the possibilities I could create with the beautiful beads.

Instead of creating my traditional jewelry, lately I have been playing with other mediums. I have been creating collages out of junk mail and magazines. I've been experimenting with painting and drawing as well. I turned a few of the collages into earrings and pendants which I brougth to the Trashion Trunk Show. I've only listed one so far on Etsy, these Night Collage Earrings but I am really proud of what I've done. When I get the courage, I think I'll list more.

I am even considering taking a drawing class at MIAD this fall. I always said I couldn't draw a strait line. But my experimentation has really freed me from those concerns. I feel a joy about creating that I haven't felt in a long time and I think I need to explore it further. I am not sure where I will end up but I'll certainly enjoy the ride.

I could use some thoughts or encouragement. Do you all think I'm crazy?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Birthday Palooza Part 2

I don't normally post lots of personal info on this blog but this was too good not to share.

Today was Mr. Design's (Scott's) birthday. I decided to take him out to the Capital Grille a really good steak chain that has recently opened in town. I told the host that we were there to celebrate a birthday when I made the reservation.

When we arrived the host called up our reservation and greeted Scott with a happy birthday. Our table had little happy birthday signs scattered on it and a card signed by all the staff. We received a free "pre-appetizer" of lobster salad. We had a wonderful and sinful dinner of steak and wine. Very decadent for a Monday night but ama and bapa were babysitting so we could enjoy ourselves.

After dinner we received complementary champagne and creme bruelee (score for me because Scott is allergic so I got it all to myself). They also took a photo of us and printed it out for us before we left. While it wasn't the best meal we've had (it was very good) it was the best service we've ever had. It was nice to go out and be treated like kings and queens instead of mommy and daddy who are there to serve the whims of a toddler.

All in all the perfect night to celebrate my hubby's special day.
Birthday Palooza

Its that time of year in my husband's family. We had the family birthday party to celebrate my father-in-law, my husband, my niece and nephew's birthdays.

I decided to have an Etsy theme and share the handmade love with the family.

For my two year old niece Arielle, a lovely tutu from AngelBabes

For my six year old nephew Alex, a cape from SuperflyKidz

For my super-supportive husband an Etsy Widower T-shirt from Elle Belle

Unfortunately my hubby beat me to his dad's gift and he got a gift certificate to a bed and breakfast in Lake Geneva. So he'll have to get an Etsy Christmas gift.

Thanks to all of the wonderfully talented sellers on Etsy who make shopping so much fun.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Custom order

My parents are going to a black tie wedding this weekend for the daughter of a friend. My mother bought this beautiful blue silk jacket to go over a black dress. She wanted some earrings to go with the jacket and this is what I came up with.

The jacket was almost the exact color of some Kyanite drops I had in my supply box. I hadn't used them much because the rich color felt more like fall than summer to me but this was the perfect opportunity. I mixed the drops with some round Kyanite beads and some Aquamarine and Labadorite rondells.

I did a single strand variation on my Vine earrings with the drop serving as the final flower. I also did a more dramatic chandellier version.

I can't wait to see which one mom picks. The other one will be available in the Etsy shop this weekend.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My latest obsession

Rice Krispie bars from the deli downstairs. They are so yummy. Not too gooey, just gooey enough - perfect.

Every day when I go into get my coffee I ask if they are going to be making them today. They've started telling me in advance the days they'll have them so I can be sure to get there first.

Its gotten so bad that the other girls I work with are addicted too. One has taken to doing walk bys to find out when they are ready.

Now if I could only get them to give me the recipe.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Jewelry Displays

For years at craft shows I have been displaying my earrings on a large collaged frame with screen material. I always got so many compliments on it so I thought it was finally time to make smaller versions.

So I hit up the local thrift stores to find some cool 8 x 10 frames. I made the collages using magazine images, newspaper, old ribbon and other ephemera just lying around the house. I attached some ribbon at the top so they can hang on the wall.

I just love the way they turned out. They are now available inn the Etsy shop. I think that this is the perfect way to display all of the gorgeous earrings available on Etsy and elsewhere, just like the works of art they are.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Studio Shot Tuesdays

LittleputBooks asked us all to share our work spaces. It is such a cool concept to see where all this wonderful art is created.

Well I have been neglecting my studio, often making jewelry on my bed and collaging on the dining room table. Instead my work space became a place to dump all of my junk, not very creative. With some help from my family, the room is beginning to take shape and I hope to actually start working in there soon.

Maybe next week's photo will show some more progress.