Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Most Needed Tutorial

Okay, there isn't much more I can say about this. The caption over the picture below says it all! This may solve a lot of drama between we moms who want demure daughters and daughters who want to follow the trend. That is my take on it, but a lot of bloggers pointed out how perfect this is for kids' pants, too.

Sew Mama Sew Blog is having a tutorial contest. For those of you who are new to this, tutorials are detailed instructions written and photographed for a project. There are a number of them complied at SMS, so after checking out the one below, you'll have to head over there and see what you can create. However, this is my most favorite!

by Becky at Whosies

This tutorial is to help those who unintentionally show off their bums. You will be shown how to insert an elastic band inside the waist band of jeans/pants to close that space down!

Finished look! Great job, Becky! Click here for the instructions.

This tutorial was put together by Becky at Whosies. Check it out!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's All About The Friends, Folks!

Remember this craziness?!

Well, two lovely friends came by, worked with me, and cleaned out that room! Thank goodness I have friends who know how to get a hard job done. I'm the type who can't see the trees for the forest and just shuts down. Teresa and Robyn came to my rescue in early April and spent hours helping me organize, toss, donate, and clear leaving me this lovely, pretty much empty room.

Robyn gave me two of her days off to come and paint! I was so grateful when she offered ages ago to paint with me. Because my husband is such a great painter, I have never really picked up the brush or roller. However, Michael is so busy with other work and home improvements, I didn't want to ask him to repaint the downstairs just because I wanted new colors. Robyn came with supplies and lunch on Thursday, and we primed away. I got great practice rolling with the primer.

Friday, we were back at it, and voila! One step closer to my vintage, shabby chic, robin's egg blue office. My paint choice is Lowe's Valspar Playful Pool - 5005-7C. Actually, I have to put one more coat up, but I was exhausted and have been transcribing all weekend when not doing errands.

Thank you, Robyn and Teresa, for helping me get this much closer toward my new office.


My son was asked to the prom by a friend at a neighboring school. I haven't asked if I can post her picture, but I had to show off Michael in a tux!

Camille was invited to a masquerade dance. She happened to have purchased this mask while in Louisiana over the Christmas holidays on a Habitat For Humanity mission she participated in.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

I Love Paris In The Spring Swap - And I love what Paula sent me!

It was a crazy week last week getting ready to leave for Washington DC with my son and finishing up the Sweet Goodness Swaps swap with Paula. It took me ages and lots of trips to the stores to figure out what to do, but it finally came to me thanks to a new embroidery frame design and font I picked up a couple of weeks ago. (See my new font images on mishflicks - fonts. These aren't all my fonts, but I just had this bright idea last week to set up a flickr set to showcase them!)

Well, I went for the good old shopping tote and monogrammed dishtowel, but I think they came out beautiful. I can't wait to make something for Camille and myself with this look! We were to include a handmade item, a thrifted item, a new item, and some crafty goods that met the swap color requirements of blue, black, and white. I'm not a good thrifter around my hometown, so I put in some cuts of scrapbook paper and ribbons for my thrifting. I sent a pretty "French" box and candies, however, I only photographed what I made, as I was feverishly trying to pack it all up for my husband to post after I left town. Maybe Paula will get a shot of the goodies I sent.

I actually received Paula's box a day or two before sending mine but didn't open it until my package was sealed. The morning of my trip, I opened it up and received such a timely swap gift.

Paula made felt hand-embroidered luggage tags! Aren't they beautiful? Look at her whimsical design for the Eiffel Tower. I love that and can't wait to copy it for myself. She did such a great job, and these are very beautiful and useful items. Immediately, as you can see, I put the Eiffel Tower on my laptop bag that I took on my trip. I knew my luggage was going to get thrown around under the bus, so I didn't put the other one to use yet. I think that one will go on a tote bag that I keep near me. Well, she sure outdid me on the extra items. The box was full including a scarf, a little box full of blue and white and black candies (that was a smart find!), craft goodies, a glass pendant necklace, printed tissues, a butterfly scarf, a vintage perfume bottle, and a spoon rest that will go perfect in my still-to-do shabby chic kitchen in the apartment. See more views on mishflicks - swap set. What a great swap partner. I was so fortunate!

clubbmish - a second blog

What started out to be a place to display my finished goods so that my clients could keep up with what I have available in my shop, this calicodaisy blog, has, of course, become a chatty web journal for me -- and there is no going back.

So, after a month or so of planning, I have launched my second blog, clubbmish, to really be a catalog, of sorts, showcasing my finished works and products for sale.

I mentioned in the past that I offer a manufactured line of goods through Initials, Inc. These products fill out items that I cannot make or are too time consuming to make myself. Also included in this line is engraved silver jewelry and glassware.

clubbmish will serve as my spot to feature new items and old standards and hopefully encourage folks to remember me when the gift-giving time comes or the perfect home dec or personalized item is needed.

Because the Initials, Inc., line is generally sold through house parties, there is a bit of a quota one must keep to stay a creative partner in the firm. I really didn't intend to go in that direction, as I am busy enough with the two businesses at home. I had hoped to have the line available in my home studio that I am preparing for clients and open house events, but that office isn't quite ready yet. So, in hopes of generating sales this month and also to see how well this goes, I am hosting a virtual party for the Initials, Inc., products over at clubbmish. Please join me there and see if there isn't anything you have to have for yourself or as the perfect gift for someone. There will be door prizes awarded for comments and purchase incentives as well. Also noted there is the idea that anyone could hostess a virtual party through me. No need for housekeeping for this type of party, but all the benefits of hosting apply. Check out the catalog to see the great products, and then stop by clubbmish and read about the benefits of hostessing a party. See you there!
(Troubles: I can't figure out why the paragraph formatting is off, so it's a run-on!)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Men! -- And Decorating Plans ...

So, you know how I mentioned at the end of my last post that I had bought a new piece of furniture on Monday? Well, on Saturday, I finally got around to telling him I bought a new buffet for the flat screen TV and that we needed to pick it up. This is my story:

We go into the furniture store, and I explain to the saleswoman that I am here to pick up the buffet. She tells me it is in the next room. Michael follows me in, and ....

Michele: Here it is!

Michael: (Pause) What color are you going to paint it?

Michele: It is painted.

Michael: (Pause, consternation) Did you say you are going to put the flat screen on this?

Sales lady looking at us funny...

Michele: (Getting irritated ... ) Yes. That is why I bought it!

Michael: (Getting irritated back ... ) Well, where are you going to put DVD player, stereo, and other stuff?

Michele: (Light bulb goes on) Michael! Come around here TO THE FRONT. That is the BACK OF THE BUFFET!

MEN !!!

Back of buffet - What he actually thinks I purchased!

Lovely front of buffet

The next time you see this, it will be in place with all the paraphernalia on it. I think it looks great already against the wood panelled walls. It lightens things up. If you go to mishflicks, I have posted some pictures of my family room, dining room, and kitchen that are getting done up in the next couple of months. I wanted to have before and after photos, so I can remember where I got started. My problem these past five years has been decorating around the wood panelled walls, which I am not going to paint, as it is real wood, planed and gorgeous. However, I have my ideas, fabrics, paintings, plans for mantle, etc., ready to go. Hopefully, all together, the room will lighten up and yet still be cozy with the beautiful wood. On the other hand, the kitchen cabinets and panelling in the kitchen will be painted a cottage white and the walls a deeper yellow. An island is planned for the breakfast nook instead of the round table. The laundry area will be painted as well, just not sure yet if I will do the barn red I'd like to, front loading washer and dryer if we can swing it, and a countertop of some sort above the front loaders to have a place to store and charge up the cell phones, MP3's, and cameras and put down bags, and glass fronted doors above on the cabinets to create sort of a butler's pantry and store my glassware. All before early June and my son's graduation party? Here's hoping...

Monday, April 7, 2008

New Things

New Countertops: Last week was very full, and I was in quite a tizzy about all the big choices I have to make regarding home dec decisions that I have never had to do before. I am happy to say, my husband and I decided not to DIY the countertops in the kitchen and ordered a new set from Home Depot.

We chose the Wilson Art HD River Gem. It's laminate but has the look of granite rock with the double bullnose edges so the laminate goes all around the edge to the underside. I don't actually adore granite for myself, so I'm happy to find the look without the coolness of the hard surface.

New Book: Pretty Little Potholders. This is darling. I saw it at Barnes and Noble last week. I don't usually grab a hardback book out of the bookstore but look for it on the second market on Amazon. However, I finally joined the members club thing and got extra off and couldn't help myself, although since it wasn't a best seller, there really was no significant discount off.

There is a sister book called Pretty Little Patchwork, but I held off. I've got the Last-Minute Patchwork book and have to get through that one. Back to the potholders, I bought the heat-resistant lining at Hancock's, I think, already, so one day soon, to go along with the new countertops and kitchen decor, I'll have pretty little potholders, too.

New Recipes: I was in the mood to cook something different Thursday but couldn't decide and it was after 3:00. So, I told myself, "Just open one of those myriad of cookbooks and cooking magazines you have and make whatever you open to!" Thankfully, I picked up the Kraft food and family magazine that comes every couple of months. I made this yummy, Easy Italian Stew and luscious Cornbread Souffle.

New To Being Tagged: Ollie from Oliver Rain tagged me for a meme. It is a "6 Word Philosophy of Life." Good one for me; I am full of sayings. I'm supposed to tag six bloggers, but I really don't know any of you that well to tag and don't want to worry you with blogging responsibility. I hope Ollie will understand, but I am happy to play myself. Here it is - the condensed version of what I always tell my children:

It Only Matters What You Do!

What I usually am telling them at this point as one says, "You never tell him to stop." Or "You always take her side." OR "If that person does that to me, then I can ..." I try to teach them that it doesn't matter what the other person has done, it only matters what you do. You set the tone of the relationship. You set the tone of what is right and what is good. You can't change the other person (though I have tried to change people numerous times). You must be the example and be responsible for your own actions.

I'm too worried to tag anyone, but if one of your six-word philosophies jumps into your head, just comment on this post and direct us to your blog, so we can be further enlightened.

Finally, a new piece of furniture this morning, but that will be another post, as I need to break the news to my husband .... and then get him to go pick it up!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Vintage Magpie and Lavender Bunnies

While perusing the blogs last month, I came across Nicky, The Vintage Magpie, and her lavender bunnies. Allsorts featured a bunny she received, and it was so sweet, I hopped right across the pond to see who made the little darling. I was swept away by Nicky's bright, pretty pictures and photos of her beautiful town in England.

I kept checking back often hoping to catch a bunny for myself. Here she is, Elizabeth Rose, made to order with her pink sweater and striped socks! She is made of mohair and filled with dried lavender and smells so sweet.

My daughter, Camille, had a fit for the bunny when she arrived home - she wanted it for herself - as did the dog, Jip, but he didn't really want to cherish Elizabeth Rose, just get a good hold of her. I think I'll have to keep her safe next to me on my desk for inspiration and lavender dreams.

Nicky has had quite a run with her sweet bunnies. Check out her blog, her pretty pictures, and her
etsy shop and see if you can catch a bunny for yourself. Tell her Michele sent you.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mission: Managing the Dream Come True!

I have had a particular dream for many years. I dreamed of having a very large space in which to create all the craft desires of my heart. This room would be set up like a store or a kindergarten room, very organized, a place for everything, and stations to work on each particular craft idea so that supplies didn't get all mixed up with one another. There is a large, counter-high cutting table in the center of the room. Not only is the spot to cut fabric but a place where crafty friends and visitors can sit on stools and do projects together or have classes. The walls are filled with bookshelves and cubbies housing books, fabric, yarns, embroidery supplies, and work spaces for gift wrapping, scrapbooking and paper art, beading, painting, etc. A long table would be offset in the place just right for a couple sewing machines and room to manipulate the fabrics and house sewing supplies underneath.

Sounds good and a little bit over the top, huh? Well, it turns out that dream space came true nearly five years ago this week. We were looking for a home that housed an apartment for our family and my grandmother to live in together. We had been searching for a while and were just about to visit an architect to work on plans, when someone from church brought us a flyer of a home in his neighborhood that sounded like just what we were looking for. It was. Within a week, we had a contact on the house and then moved in the first of April 2003.

My husband, children, and I have the main floor, which is very roomy. My grandmother had the two-bedroom apartment on the bottom floor with a nice front door, foyer, full kitchen, bath, laundry, and her own driveway. That's the bottom corner above. However, the most lush part of the house was the "basement" area that was the rest of the bottom floor - my craft studio! I was thrilled. An affordable opportunity to have it all!

Anyway, for five years off and on now, I have worked on organizing my studio and had my husband build these fabulous shelves as specified by a seamstress in a sewing magazine a couple of years ago. I fold all the fabric in a particular way, and it looks beautiful - Just like the t-shirt display at the Gap. I can keep that pretty much organized because there is a plan.

However, the rest is a crazy jumble due to a harried lifestyle this last year, and now I am in the process of moving sections around. Another reason all is not put together is it seemed too vain to spend to much time or money on this area when there was landscaping to do, which is in the final stages, just beautification needed this spring, appliances to buy, my grandmother's apartment to make perfect in decor style for her, children's needs, plus I have to work, and there have been about 20 - yes, 20, I believe - hospitalizations and procedures for my husband, grandmother, and son over the past four years. It was an intense time ending in my generally healthy and hip grandmother passing away in October 2007 from a totally surprising bout of cancer.

Okay, back to the future now. I have the location, the equipment, the ideas, a handy husband, about a million magazines for ideas, and I am so stuck. I don't know how to get started. I feel like I keep pushing everything around. The time has come, though, when this isn't a selfish idea anymore. I'm actually building a business with my sewing and embroidery and I have come to a crossroads of use it or lose it. So, I'm diving in. I think all I really need is a plan of configuration. Putting it together and staying relatively organized will be easier for me once it is all in place. I wish a magazine editor or organization show would want to use me for an example! I've turned in some pictures before, but I might have to try it again.

Now, as a bonus, I have decided to make the front room of the apartment a studio office where I can greet clients, design on the computer, and show off my finished products. This is the room I want to make look like
Alicia's studio or even Creative Little Daisy's room (I mean to e-mail them regarding color choices).

This is my grandmother's library, office, and scrapbooking room. She has tons of supplies I must go through. It's a mess right now because I'm moving books in and taking other things out. Remember my idea above of wanting to set up the craft room like a store? Well, I heard about a "fixture" company - a company that sells store displays and fixtures both used and new - that just recently bought out a failed scrapbook store, so I went by, and look what I put together!

This is me - 20 years older than the last post! along with my baby, Jip.

This grid station has all kinds of things you can hang on it, and I know you recognize this from paper stores. So, I have start with this. I have some paper shelving, some baskets, and some shelf holders on which I can put wooden shelves. I figure this can hold the paper, supplies, and the many untouched albums there are. This way, everything won't be shoved in a box and forgotten and squished. I can display it nicely, check out what I might use or other family may like to have, and then carefully store what can be sold or given away. You should check out a used fixture company in your area, as it might be a great solution for your craft supply storage, too.

Some neater areas of the upper house: The front sitting room and the dining room.

The lesson to this story is that dreams do come true, but one must then work hard to keep worthy and deserving of having it. I need to organize and maintain all this while working my transcription business, helping with landscape decisions, decorating the upstairs (hardwood floors or carpets? / laminate or granite countertops? / tile or Pergo? / fireplace mantle / occasional chairs and new couch? / finally paint the kids' rooms / re-do the bathrooms), pay attention to the kids, continue outside activities. However, I think this should be more manageable now because it is just material things and the business of everyday life. With all the previous health issues now at a lull and the importance of caring for another person through her last years now complete, I need to calm down and enjoy the process. I just don't know how. I have had offers from friends to help paint and decorate, so I am going to be taking them up on the offer. I wanted to have a clean place for them to get started on, however, I think I will have to humble myself and just ask for help in every way, even the cleaning, of this great project. That is the most lovely part of my dream come true, though. Not only do I have the space I have dreamed of since a girl but wonderful friends and family to share it with.