Saturday, June 25, 2011

in the flower garden


Stopping by to say hello --
we've had lots of rain here lately,
but today brought such lovely sunshine and
happily a chance to work in the garden among the flowers.
Now I'm ready for a shower and a lazy afternoon nap.
Hope you have sunshine or rain, whichever you need.

(still doodling with my Copic markers -- wait till you see what's up!)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

weekending with mary engelbreit





Can you imagine a happier way to spend a girls' weekend than sharing Mary Engelbreit's birthday in her St Louis studio surrounded by her cheerful designs and crafting with the likes of Charlotte Lyons and Kathy Curotto? The weekend went by so quickly that I took barely any photos, but you can find more photos here, here, here and here. Mary made us all feel as though we were the very friends she wished most to share her birthday.



Hostesses Barbara and Mary

Red magnetic wall display

Mary's birthday included gift bags for us

Charlotte's class setting

Kathy's display board and a small part of her class supplies

The birthday girl blowing out her candles

During two full days of crafting, we all made our own version of the four fun class projects offered by Kathy and Charlotte. I wish I had photos of the very creative outcomes that proliferated in each class. But at least I can show you my weekend projects.


In her first class, Kathy had already sewn for us various sizes of canvas bags, straps and pockets so that we could chose our own combinations and move right to the fun part of embellishing. My bag includes a pocket inside and another outside, the latter sewn to the front on three sides with a folded-over flap concealing one pocket while another is open at the top right behind it. Since I hope to use this bag on my next visit to St Maarten, I used a Sharpie to write "on holiday" across the pocket. My trims all came from Kathy's room-filling stash of trims, buttons, fabric, and more. I enjoyed sitting next to Jen, a recent design graduate, who fashioned a small hand bag with a zipper and an embroidered octopus. Fun!


During Charlotte's afternoon class, we gaily painted papers, tore them up, and collaged them back together with whatever other paper mementos we chose. Then we decoupaged our compositions to the back of a glass plate. In addition to quoting from Mary on my own plate, I was tickled to add handwritten dates and names to other commemorative plates. Now I am part of those wonderful memories!


Kathy's second project was paper-based, again with a room full of stationery supplies, vintage papers and old books, boxes, ribbons and trims--enough for endless possibilites. Among her inspiration photos, Kathy had some folded book art, which I had never tried. She gave me a quick tutorial on some options and an article from Mary's Home Companion magazine. While others made their very different projects, I patiently folded my old poetry book page after page, imagining myself sitting on the beach since Kathy said that's where she and Mary and Barbara folded their books. :) Then I added some stickers and a banner reading "once upon a time", surely still the best lead-in to a book adventure.


Charlotte's final class was all about shadowboxes. Using cigar boxes and foam board, we divided and papered our boxes and added our collection of tiny items to tell a little story or showcase a vignette. Many of my items came from a little gift tin assembled by my sweet friend Amy for our trip. My shadowbox also includes a hidden fold-out section behind the Eiffel tower (from a gift bag at Kim's Moulin Rouge event), which proved to be just the place to tuck a little gift Cherie gave me at the end of class. Again each creation was so different and personal.

As we wandered around Mary's studio, enjoying all the creative vibrations and new friendships, it was not easy to leave this magical place. Finally, Amy and I did leave, but only with a lovely invitation to return tucked firmly in our pockets. :)

Mary plans to host another crafty weekend in her studio in November. Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

my little red suitcase is packed


Just in time for my flight tomorrow to St Louis and Mary Engelbreit's two-day birthday workshop, I've finished packing my little red craft suitcase. It was my friend Amy's idea to take a craft suitcase tailored with supplies for the event.


You don't have to do much to a cute red suitcase from Paper Source except fill it up. But I did add a couple helpful "containers" to the inside lid. First, I made a coordinated blue pocket from a leftover product package, taping it firmly on three sides. It holds various papers and labels. Then I taped the red packaging base from my iPad stand, with its elastic ties already in place, beside the pocket to make a handy hanger. It holds some crystals, netting, and some French ribbon tape.


To organize the case, I made 4 blue boxes, each cut out of one 12"x12" piece of cardstock and folded up sort of origami style, to put in each corner. On the lid of each box, I glued something, like a button or a flower or a butterfly, to remind me of the assortment inside. Can you see the pearl button on the box in the back left corner (below)?


After adding a couple favorite vintage tins for more storage, I stuffed all the remaining space to the brim. I sure hope the cardboard suitcase is comfortable with this cramming technique. Obviously, there's a limit to how organized I can get.