Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shop & Family Photos at Last!

Hello friends! Although there is still much to do, I wanted to share a few photos of our space at Whispering Willow Antiques. We do have a GREAT location in the shop - this Fall vignette on my antique sideboard is one of the first things you see when you enter the shop. The entire shop is decked out for Fall, but on November 1st, we will be changing eveything over to Christmas. (Remember when Christmas stuff didn't come out in stores until after Thanksgiving...?? Oh well...)  I do LOVE Christmas decorating though, so I am looking forward to the transition...

I made this chalkboard with an old cabinet door and chalkboard paint. I will probably keep it as a display piece, but if someone is really interested in it, I'll likely sell it...

The covered cake pedestal is actually made from three separate glass pieces I had - a cover, a glass plate, and an inverted glass candleholder...

I'm a sucker for vintage needlepoint/stitchery...these tiny framed pieces stitched with bits of wisdom are some of my favorites...

I like to glue teacups and saucers onto these vintage plastic sconces as candleholders...

This is the view of our space from the back room. If you happen to remember our shop from last Summer, we still have the same dresser and china cabinet....although we are now on the hunt for a new china cabinet as this one just went into layaway!

Here are a couple of the things I've recently made in the studio. I made them from scrap wood that my Daddy routed and I painted and sanded. It's hard to see in the first picture, but there is a vintage rhinestone earring in the center of the bow. The oval piece on the black wall hanging is an inexpensive plastic frame that I painted to match the board. I backed the oval with black and white toile fabric and bits of vintage lace. I finished off the wooden plaque with a vintage drawer knob to be used to hang any number of things depending on where one uses it...

The off-white wall plaque is made in much the same way except I used a vintage crewel embroidery piece with an old metal frame... I really like the scrolly metal drawer pull and back piece at the could hang a cute little fingertip towel from this in a bathroom...

I am continuting to prepare items for the shop and will share more photos as soon as I can. Getting all set up in the shop has been a frustrating process this time for some reason, but it is finally starting to come together and even become fun. I imagine it will get even more fun (though busy, busy) as things get rolling through the holidays...I'm looking forward to it!


We had a GREAT time visiting with my sweet hubby's kids (4) and grandkids (8) in Louisiana this past weekend...and as I mentioned in my last post, we now have a great-granddaughter too! Sweet little Addison is 5 weeks old and is the daughter of hubby's oldest grandson...(yep, they all started young!!) On top of that, I am 10 years younger than my hubby and never had children of my own, so now I am a childless 48 year old step great-grandmother - go figure!!  :o)  I am LOVING my sweet *instant* family - they have been so accepting and loving toward me from the beginning 2+ years ago and it has been a pure joy to become a part of their lives! Here are a few photos of sweet little Addy and her dad...

...and yep, she's a red head, just like her daddy! What a cutie!!!


On Sunday morning, before we headed home, we went with daughter #2 and her family to the Acadian Festival Parade in Plaquemine, LA - it was a hoot! I love these little slices of small town Americana! The decendants of the Acadians (French settlers from Canada) became today's Cajun population in Louisiana, so the week-long festival is a celebration of all things Acadian-Cajun...(and fyi, that's about the closest thing to an ethnic heritage that I can claim - 1/4 Cajun...from my Mom's side). We had fun catching beads and candy and other goodies thrown by the folks on the floats...the weather was was a blast, and capped a wonderful weekend of family fun!

Well, we're looking forward to another beautiful cool (finally) Fall weekend - I'm sure there are garage sales and studio time in our future!   Yay!! :o)  May your weekend be filled with who and what you love!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Headed to Louisiana!

Hi friends! Sweet Hubby and I are headed to Louisiana to see the kids and grandkids (and brand new great-granddaughter...more on that next week!!). Last week was a crazy week with health stuff and horrible weather, and we are looking forward to this quiet down time with family.

I promise that I will have photos of our space at the antique shop is just not up to par yet and we are still trying to get new things in place. We brought quite a few new things over there last night (I actually was able to work in the studio and complete several new cute crafted pieces), but as we were setting things up, one of our shelves fell as we were placing items on it and several pieces of china broke. After that happened, I was in no mood to take photos. :o(  Getting everything just right has been a somewhat frustrating process this time, but we are persevering and determined to make it awesome.  Don't get me looks pretty good and we've sold fairly well, but it's just not quite what we envisioned yet...but soon...very soon. We will be scouting for new shop goodies at garage sales in Loisiana this weekend...that should be fun!

And *finally*, Fall is about to arrive in Houston!!!!!!  We have been sweltering in the 90s with either drizzle, rain, storms or 98% humidity for days and days and days...but Hallelujah, a powerful front is coming and sweeping all that away, for good I hope!! It is supposed to be a glorious cool weekend and I for one am beyond ready for it!!!

See you guys Sunday evening when we return. I hope your weekend is a glorious one too!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

To Do List: 1) Love, 2) Everything else

Hello friends! Before I share a few comments today, I wanted to share this great Daily Prayer for You from Sunday, October 11th... This REALLY resonated with me...

"God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:16-18 NIV

Loving and merciful God, I lift up to you today all who feel overwhelmed, anxious, and afraid of failure. I pray Lord, you would open their eyes and their hearts to reveal to them the priorities of your kingdom. As they see all that is before them to do today, may they hear your words and remember that the greatest assignment they have on earth is not to learn to do tasks well, but to learn to love well.

Thank you Lord that we may have confidence today for our future day of judgment, that you who tests our hearts, (not our job performance) will teach us to live in love. May we work to please you today-surrender our task list and our fears of failure--lay our weakness before you and receive the strength of your love. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

"May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones." 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 (NIV)

(1 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 John 4:12)


These Scriptures and this prayer have presented a real attitude-challenge for me since I read them Sunday. I can't say that I have completely surrendered my task list and fears of failure, but I have certainly been soul-searching about my fears, self doubt, and priorities. Being "self-employed" since mid February of this year has presented an awesome opportunity for creative freedom and exploration, but it has also presented an unexpected challenge: fear of failure. My shiny new studio provides a perfect place to create and is brimming with possibiities, I have stacks and stacks of notebooks from years of planning and dreaming as well as piles of magazines that are chock full of would-be wonderful ideas, I have TONS of awesome supplies, and I have the blessed gift of TIME, which I have never had in this much abundance what's the problem?  How come I haven't filled my new space at the shop with lots of awesome hand-crafted goodies? How come I haven't done one tenth of what I had planned to do by this point? What's wrong with me??

I can list reasons, challenges, and circumstances of everyday life that have played a part in the overall lack of productivity of late...all true and valid (continual rainy weather that ruins plans for spray-painting pieces outdoors, health scare involving my husband last week...all is well now, illustration work that needed to be done first), but really, when I am honest with myself, I see that I am actually crippled with doubts about my ability to create anything anyone would be interested in purchasing for their home or as a gift. I'm sure some of you are screaming at the screen saying "get over it...get on with it!!"...well, join the club :o) I feel completely self-indulgent and spoiled when I read these words that I am writing, but this is part of learning to be honest with myself and own up to my feelings. To get through this, I must take these fears and weaknesses to my Lord and lay them at His feet, and allow Him to fill me with His love and remind me of His priorities for me... So, I'm meditating on the Scriptures about love and fear and praying for divine inspiration and direction, and the ability to simply DO what I know He wants me to do...

I found the following entry in a journal that I wrote almost 10 years ago, and it is as true and applicable today as it was back then...

"But WHAT should I create?  The eternal question....the answer lies not in "what" but in "why". The purpose must precede the product. Attempt to create much as you would with a friend or family member in mind. Strive to meet a need, offer encouragement, or share wisdom. The design and the medium will fall into place when you put purpose first!!"


So, I am off to the studio with a renewed vision and adjusted priorities. God's heart is always about people and His love for them, and He has lovingly reminded me of that today. So, my efforts will be along the line of "what would I make for Mom that would make her smile", or "how could I encourage my sweet friend today"...and then create accordingly. Forget about what I think will or won't sell...leave that up to the Lord. Get out of my head and lead with the heart and see what happens...

I'll let you know what we come up with...


Thanks for the freedom to share my heart with you...God is crazy about you and He has put that love for you in my heart too...and I am so very grateful that He has!! I hope you have a wonderfully productive week, with love as the first priority!!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Illustration Back on the Front Burner

Hello sweet friends! I wanted to give you a quick update on the illustration side of my creative endeavors. I took advantage of the soggy, muggy, sticky, warm, dreary weather this weekend and cozied up to my computer to *finally*  finish a new clipart kit for my neglected Just Bee 'n Me Digital Boutique at Aimee Asher - it's called "No Tricks, Just Treats" Clipart Kit, and it provides 30 sweet, cute (non-scary) fall "sticker-doodle" images, plus 5 colorful, textured papers for crafting or scrapbooking projects....all for just $4.99!

I also included a bonus image with the cutie scarecrow and a Scripture ("There is no fear in love." 1 John 4:18) that would be great for an invitation, poster, garden flag, fall festival flyer, whatever...

I have more kits on the way, and I'll post updates just as soon I get them into the boutique...


Meanwhile, on the art licensing front, I am THRILLED that Universal Designs not only contracted with me to extend virtually all of our existing licensing agreements into 2011, they have also created this AWESOME collection of "Pass-It-On" cards and bookmarks for their line for Easter 2010!!  I love how they came out...can't wait to see them in person! I'm tickled and humbled that they did 2 complete Easter displays with just my art...  This is just too much fun!!!


Folks, I'm sorry to say that I was so busy last Friday on my work day at Whispering Willow that I neglected to take photos of our space  :o(, the space is still somewhat unfinished. If I can get a little dry weather here today,  I just might be able to finish spray-painting/tweaking some pieces that are destined to fill in the empty spots...and then we'll see about getting the photos taken. Thanks for your patience as usual!


I can never say thank you enough for your support and friendship - I am so grateful that the Lord has brought us all together in Blogland, on Facebook, etc...what a blessing!!

Have a blessed day friends!!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Checking In - Setting Up - Falling Asleep

Hello friends! I just wanted to take a moment before I fall into bed to update you on our new space at Whispering Willow Gifts & Antiques. But before that, I wanted to say a quick hello to all of the new folks that stopped by and left comments on my post about the studio...I have been able to visit a few of you, but I have several more to visit over the next couple of guys are awesome and so sweet and I am very much so looking forward to hanging out at your blogs, looking around, and leaving comments!! Thank you for your patience!

On what HAS to have been one of the most HUMID days ever (yuk), Sweet Hubby and I got all the big pieces moved into our space at the shop this morning, then I returned later with all the "smalls" and my Mom came up and helped with the set up. There is still quite a bit to do, but we did make fairly good headway. I am on the schedule to work the shop tomorrow (I have to work 3 days a month as part of my space rent), and I plan to do more arranging and pricing, etc, between customers. My biggest problem, believe it or not, is not having enough stuff, especially wall stuff. I HAVE to spend the next few days crafting  and repurposing, etc in order to get more pieces to add to the mix...but hey, that's why I have a studio! :o)

I'm very excited about the shop, but I am really exhausted physically and mentally. I'm looking forward to a few days of somewhat less stress. We went full force on the studio all summer, then went right into preparing for the shop, and there just hasn't been a break in ages...

I will take photos tomorrow of what we have finished at the shop so far, and will update again when we do more fill-in early next week too. Thanks for your continued understanding as my posting and blog visiting remain sparse...whatever "normal" is, I hope to return to it very soon!!

Thanks y'all!!