Friday, January 23, 2009

Packing for the CHA Trade Show!

It's that time again, and I am almost packed and ready to hit the bed so I'll be fresh to jump on the plane and fly to Anaheim in the morning. This trade show is the largest one in the world for the hobby and craft industry. I've been going since the 80's and it never gets old to me.

There are always fashions shows like this one that showcase the fashion crafts every year. It's so exciting to see all the many ways to experience crafting.

This year my company, the Simplicity Creative Group under the brand of Wm. Wrights, will be participating in the fashion show on Monday night. I promise to get pics and blog about it. I'm also looking forward to the California sunshine. I'm leaving my gloves and boots in Nashville, and head for some fresh sushi and the In-n-Out!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Inaugural Gown

Shock and ahhhhh, is all I can say about this amazing gown, worn beautifully by Michelle Obama. My favorite part was the over the shoulder swag of dimensional lace, by a little known designer, 26-year-old Jason Wu. The creamy dress was embellished with Swarovski crystals and fabric petal appliques. The gown was perfect for her statuesque features. This is a lady who can wear J. Crew or Jason Wu with ease. The next four years are going to be filled with fashion. How fun is that?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inauguration Day!

Michelle Obama wore an Isabel Toledo ensemble to the Inauguration celebration today, and looked very presidential indeed. It was a creamy golden yellow that spoke without saying a word, for the optimism in the air. I was mesmerized by the fabulously engaging musical performance of “Air and Simple Gifts.” All four musicians, violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, clarinetist Anthony McGill, and pianist Gabriela Montero brought tears to my eyes with this special composition by John Williams.

"Simple Gifts" was written by Elder Joseph while he was at the Shaker community in Alfred, Maine in 1848. These are the lyrics to his one-verse song:

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

Thank goodness for FaceBook at work and earphones.

I’m watching the Inaugural Balls right now, and can hardly wait to see what she is wearing! Lady Bird Johnson wore yellow to the ball, and looked fabulously chic and trendy in 1965.

Of course, who could possibly compete with First Lady Jackie Kenndy. But after all, this is not a day to compete, it’s a day to celebrate.

More later….

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy 85th Birthday, Aleene!

It's hard to believe that the Queen of Tacky Glue, Aleene Jackson, is 85!

Happy Birthday to a veteran of the Crafts & Hobbies Association. This is one courageous business woman who has stuck with her ambitions and pioneered the crafts industry as we know it today. Her determination and promotional skills led to regular local TV segments in the late 1940s, when TV was in its infancy. You probably have a bottle in your house right now, of the famous craft glue with her name on it. The inventor sold her the rights to the formula, and with her marketing savvy, the famous gold bottle became a big seller, and Aleene's Tacky Glue still sells all over the world.

Her Craftmaker's Caravan, which toured several major cities throughout the U.S. was important for widely promoting crafts to consumers. There had been no craft industry before, since crafts were thought to be part of the hobby industry. It is quite fascinating to me, as I can't imagine not having do-it-yourself show on television, and trade shows to promote crafts as a business.

Here I am on the set of Aleene's Creative Living, with Aleene during a shoot for the taping of the daily show which aired on TNN back in the day before DIY and HGTV. As one of the hosts, I enjoyed learning the business of how-to segments from the queen herself.

The Aleene's Creative Living show became a huge part of my life as a host. And as you can see here, we attended charity events in Santa Barbara and enjoyed each other's company. This is a pic of Aleene with me and Tiffany, Heidi, Star, Jen and Katherine.

Heidi Borchers followed in her mother's crafty footsteps, and designed hundreds of projects for one of the first monthly craft clubs for Leisure Arts. She has a fab website that showcases her talent for things creative.

Tiffany Windsor is pictured here with her mom Aleene, and is still much admired by her fans and all of us who worked with her on the show. Everyone in the family has gone on to other adventures and are doing well. Aleene's three daughters including Candace, have a nice website where you can contact them at Inspired At

You can find out more about Aleene in her biography; Aleene: A Tacky Lady by Aleene Jackson.

Happy Birthday Aleene!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Recycled Bottle Caps

I'm really into recycled crafts right now, and this one is ubber-easy. I used an empty CD cover, added a pic of us doing a shoot at the LA Fashion Mart, and then hot glued bottle caps around the edges. I had to cut circles of foam core board to glue inside the caps, before gluing them to the frame because of the 1/4" space inside the caps. You could also use recycled foam food trays for the circles for a completely recycled craft. EASY recycled, and cool!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Placemat Purses

Okay, I have to tell you about my addiction to placemats. Scott can tell you that every time we are in Pottery Barn or Target, or any department store, I simply must check out the placemats. So, it was inevitable that I would get the notion to turn placemats into clutch purses! This one is cotton twill that reminds me of khaki pants. The wooden buttons were already bordering the edges. All I had to do was sew the edges together and add the huge wooden button. A little velcro closure is all that's needed to finish it.

I really scored with this placemat I found with the square shell buttons around the edges. I cut a branch of leaves from grey wool felt and glued onto the front. Then I sewed men's shirt buttons onto each leaf with a platinum bead in the center. This one was long enough to fold over far enough that I didn't need a closure.

Layers of Wright's trim are what make this clutch so cute. I add layers of felt flower cut-outs with a few beads and pinned it to the clutch with a safety pin. The cottony placemat has fringed ends, which I just love.

The bohemian satin ribbon is scrumtious on this one. There is trim along both edges and I made a rosette with the ribbon and sewed beads along the middle of the ribbon and in the center of the rosette. The placemat is suede, and feel so good to carry. I added a magnetic closure and it works perfectly.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Weiner Dog Bag

Sometimes ya just need a little weiner dog applique on a messenger bag to make you smile. And don't forget the rickrack and pompoms! I made this cheezie bag for my book, "Crafter's Guide to Glue" and forgot how cute it is.

So, you can use this handy dandy pattern and make your own, or pick up the book at Barnes and Noble Or, or you can just stare at it and giggle.

Monday, January 12, 2009

More Ceramics...Boxes!

Tanya Moller Jensen's ceramic boxes are fabulous. Not to be missed; her wall pockets and votives. I simply love the simplicity of these. I keep saying I want to start learning how to do ceramics. Years ago, I made some fun things when I went to a ceramics class every Monday night with my mom. We made some of the most funky things, like an ice cream cone shaped cookie jar, and a life-sized kitty cat. Weird, and long lost in a garage sale somewhere.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ceramic Corsets!

Who knew that you could turn something as hard as ceramic into something as soft as a corset? Well, Nicole Moan has it figured out as you can see. Her art is a virtual explosion of creativity in a form that you can wear. I saw a peek of her work when I was channel surfing and came across a show call Split Ends on the Style Network and just couldn’t stop watching.

In her bio at her website, 4 Anything Art, she writes how that they are relatively comfortable as corsets go. Now, I don’t think these are something you would wear to breakfast, but for a shocking party dress, how could you go wrong?

This amazing artist from Oklahoma City, was featured at the Swatch Watch Alternative Fashion Week in London, England. The models who wore the corsets also had slip (the liquid form of clay) in their hair for unique designs.

Nicole works in themes, from super heroes to bridal gowns. I would love to see how she forms them into their custom shapes. Perhaps she uses actual models, or mannequins…I don’t know. But they are certainly mesmerizing with each being an art object to admire. Sure makes me want to take up ceramics!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cookie Intervention!

Help me! The snacks and Christmas cookies have taken over! I found myself in the middle of the floor, covered with Mutti's & Pop's Christmas cookie cut-outs, chex mix, toffee, and cinnamon pecans. What are we going to do?

We need a cookie intervention! Scott is in a cross-eyed coma on the floor, too. Somebody help us!

Fun Birthday!

Yes, I had a stinkin' birthday. You'd think that sharing my day with a big holiday would make people forget, but oh, no. I got gifts. I got spoiled. I got lovins. And I'm calling Darsee right now to tell her how much I love the freakin' fun stuff she sent!

She loves craftin'up her cards as you can see, and of course she sent crazy fun jewelry. The cuff bracelets say peace and love, to match the rhinestone peace earrings. The cute patent leather red tassel is a keychain from Sandy and I got gift cards and other neat stuff from lots of peeps. Thank you EVERYBODY!!

Scott made yummy pizza with avocados and basil and tomatoes and black olives with goat cheese, which is my favorite. That's hummus, brie cheese & crackers, cookies & popcorn. Isn't that silly? Oh, and the martinis are acai and grapefruit with slices of honey crisp apples.

Joan sent the fabulous bouquet of flowers with matching vase and candlesticks. Absolutely beautiful! You'd think she could see my house all the way from the California coast, they match the house so perfectly.

Yep, he spoils me. Gotta make notes, so I can do his birthday up big, too. We are both capricorns, and like so much of the same things, it'll be hard to come up with a surprise.... but I'm up to the look out birthday boy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Nashville! It's been a laid back day, after a champagne toast by the fire last night.

We slept in this morning, watched the Rose Bowl Parade like everyone else, and then I got busy in the kitchen making our traditional black-eyed peas with cornbread and a carrot cake. My momma has never let a new year's day pass without cooking this meal so that we would be prosperous all year.

I had to don my new apron that was given to me by one of the interns at work, Kelly. She gave it to me because she knows how much I love kitschy things.

It's such a hoot! It has a big red heart that says, "How to keep your husband." And then it has all these cartoons with quotations in English and French. It says things like:
  • Always look innocent! Cela vous va' faites la sainte nitouche!
  • Watch your weight! C'est la chair qu! Semble s'enfler
  • Kiss him often! Baisez-le, mais souvant!
  • Have dinner ready! Avant tout, le diner!
  • Get up for breakfast with a smile! Au de'jeuner, un sourire apportez!
  • Don't open his mail! Ne touchez pas son courrier!
  • Don't nag! Ne le crondez pas!
  • Don't go thru his pockets! Ne fouillez pas dans ses poches!
  • Don't gossip over the phone! Pas des comme'rabes au te'le'phone!
  • Don't get mad or jealous! Pas des folies ou de jalousie!
The sayings withouth the translations are:
  • Let him read his paper in peace!
  • Encourage his hobbies!
  • Praise his in-laws!
  • Don't be a know-it-all!
  • Don't go over the budget!
  • Don't look sloppy over the breakfast table!
Isn't that hysterical? The cute pin-up style girls in the cartoons are adorable. Talk about politically incorrect, and a jab at the old ways of the 50's male chauvinist. It is certainly a conversation piece. *giggle Kelly said she found it at Pangaea, one of my fave shops in Nashville.

Scott's favorite (he says) is "Kiss him often!"
Thanks Kelly!