Monday, March 30, 2009

I'm Pluggin Along

I'm almost done setting up shop. I have posted my policies (just doing that was amazing in itself) and am now in the process of posting my first few pieces to my Tweedlepox Etsy store.

I haven't had much time to create new things, but, as a good friend is getting married soon, I was able to take some time to make a simple card for her bridal shower. When I first completed it I didn't like it. (It was 1 in the morning and I was very tired) However, when I saw it with new eyes the next day I decided it was pretty cute, the only thing it lacked was glitter. My friend it a bling kinda girl. Here is the out come.

I love the flowery background paper but it is very busy so I only let it peak out from behind the blue a tiny bit . As I said, the card is very simple, I would have liked to do something much more fancy but just didn't have time. I will have to save that for the wedding card!

The image is stamped on white paper then colored with chalks in coral, pink, dusty green, and baby blue using a blender pen. I then stamped the image again on vellum and overlaid the dress for a more subtle color. Glitter adds a bit of sparkle to the skirt. I cut the image out and formed a wire hanger in place of the stamped one. The tiny little hanger is probably my favorite part.

My youngest daughter also made a pretty dress for our friend. She's getting much better at her coloring. I like how she alternated the colors for the dress.

My hope is to have all of the pieces that I currently have pictures of listed by this evening, then I will continue to photograph and list more in the days to come.

I have the urge to offer some great words of wisdom or encouragement (for myself as much as anyone else who may read this) but unfortunately, I'm just not getting anything. Not anything new anyway. So I just need to keep pluggin along (I guess that goes for exercising too) and I'll get there eventually.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Snow in Spring

Yesterday was a spring snow day. All the more reason to enjoy a hot cuppa this morning.

It doesn't snow much in CO. but when it does, it's either gone in 2 hours or it snows for 2 days. This was the 2 day variety. I don't know what it is about snow days that make me want to laze around and do nothing, but that's what happened.

I had intended to finish up my policies page for my Etsy store (which is still under construction but due to open in a few days) but the snow seemed to have swallowed all good intentions.

I have to say that spring is not my favorite season. It promises to be rich with flower buds and honey bees, but it's a sneaky season with freak snowstorms and cold snaps and it's impossible to know when the last frost is so I can plant a garden. On the plus side though, spring snow is quite pretty when it's finished. Have a look.

The morning after

My garden tea table. This is a love/hate picture.
So pretty, but it means I can't take my tea outside.

Poor little beat up fence

Today will be more productive. Maybe I'll even get my pieces listed by this evening. (one can dream) I will be understanding of the kids not wanting to finish their schoolwork as the snowy hills call to them, and I will definitely be having more hot tea.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tweedlepox Etsy store welcome page

I have officially opened a store on Etsy here. It is however, not stocked and running just yet. I am in the process of posting my policies and and getting everything in order. Soon. Very soon.

In the mean time, here is a copy of my profile page. I hope you enjoy it.


Tweedlepox is a silly word. Maybe unique, or whimsical, or unusual. And a contagion. A pox, if you will, not of bad things, but good. Like an addiction to chocolate and afternoon tea. Tweedelpox is me and my art in whatever form it sees fit to erupt.

My name is Melissa and I love the art of crafting. (And the art of chocolate and the art of afternoon tea.) I took many art classes in school, but my teachers where never impressed. I didn't let that stop me though. As an adult I discovered a whole world of art that is not fenced in by the conventions of a high school art class. I love paper and beads and paint. And I love mixing them all together, like creating a new treat in the kitchen, which I often do as well.

Within Tweedlepox I began creating jewelry, though I've never intended that to be my only form of art. And while I do have some "serious" pieces, my favorites are those that are elegant and wondrous at the same time.

Some of the components I use in my designs include beads designed by other artists. I will always give credit where credit is due for these elements. If I use an artist's design in one of my OOAK pieces, it's because I love it and admire their artistry.

All of my pieces are one of a kind and I tend to gravitate toward the whimsical and unique. I make what I love and what I'd love to wear. I hope you'll love it too.



Sneak Peek

I suppose I should plan these things better. I often have "great" ideas for a blog, but I forget them by the time I sit down to write. (I say 'write' because I'm old fashioned-I deny liking computers at all- and I'm stubborn) I really should carry a notebook with me to jot things down. (come to think of it, Husband has equipped me with a palm pilot that I could take notes in, but again, I'm old fashioned and stubborn. I hate taking notes on the thing. I use it for my grocery list and the calculator.)

In the scheme of things in general, I don't know that I'm being uninhibited or making great strides and working great plans. But I am moving forward, so I guess that's something. Maybe I'm just impatient or expecting to much in too little a time. I can see where I want to be and it's frustrating that I'm not there yet. I think we all have that problem and that's what gets us down. We get discouraged and slow or maybe even give up and stop altogether because we focus on what we don't have or what we're not accomplishing.

Instead, we, I, should focus on how far I have gotten, what I have accomplished, and what I do have. (Kinda goes along with what I was saying in my last post. Even though I'm not where I would like to be, and it sometimes seems like times are bad, I still have many things to be thankful for and I still have what I need.)

So what have I accomplished? (Here's the part where I want to be really negative and spout off all the things that didn't work or I didn't get to or I did wrong-but I wont.)
Well, after many months (over a year actually) I have finally convinced Gabe to help me to open a store on Etsy. I have written and refined (and will refine a bit more) the policies for my shop, as well as the bio and shipping info. (scary stuff, but I think I'll figure it out)

And just this week, Gabe has helped me to take pictures of the first few items that I will be listing on my Tweedlepox Etsy store. Here is a sneak peek of what is to come.

Grace's Garden

Silver Bali earrings

I will be listing these as well as five other pieces in just a few days, with more to come soon after. I'm listing a few at a time to stagger it a bit and give me time to set things up, figure out how they work, and have time to create new pieces as well.

I'm still very nervous about the whole thing. Will I remember everything? Will I do it right? Will shipping be hard? Or accepting PayPal? Or keeping track or things? I've done just about every bit of research that I can to try to get an understanding of how things work and what to expect so there's really nothing left but to go for it.

So I'm goin' for it!


Have you ever fought off the negative brain chatter and accomplished something really great? Let me know.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Thwarting of Plans

I'm trying to think of something great and inspiring to say but nothings coming to me. I'm feeling frustrated and far from uninhibited.

My intentions have been thwarted starting last night. I was making an outfit for my second daughter, a pretty white dress to wear for a special occasion, when my machine jammed. Now in reality the first thing to go wrong was that I could not find the brand new needles that I had bought for my machine a month or so ago. I know they were there a few weeks ago but they seem to have vanished. I decided to continue with the general size needle that was in the machine and everything was going great until the last bit. All I needed to do was finish sewing a bit of ribbon round the end, but the machine is far more finicky and stubborn than me and refused to comply. Oh, I cleaned it (at least 5 times), reinserted the bobbin, rethreaded the machine and did various other tricks to get it to go, but alas, it has denied me my last few stitches.

It's done this before and from all my research and questioning of seasoned seamstresses, as near as I can tell, it needs a different needle for this fabric. Of course, my needles have disappeared. (When my youngest daughter was 2, she was quite a little pilferer. Absconding with computer cords and wedding rings and such, and hiding them in places like an old sock in the back of the closet or something. Her favorite spot was a cabinet in the kitchen filled with large pots and a slow cooker. Sometimes she would pop out of "her cabinet" when guests were over and give them a good jump. We always checked there first if something was missing. However, we no longer live in that house, and she has picked up new and exciting odd habits, like drawing bald princesses and stuff. So I'm sure it wasn't her. I think.)

Good intentions continued to be thwarted today. Since the dress is not done, I did not have a picture of my recent artistic endeavour to share with you. A bit of a bummer, since I tend to agree that the best blogs (especially art blogs) have pictures of the artist's work on them.

I did not get the sleep I had planned for and in turn woke late because baby boy has caught someones cold. Again. Poor little guy is all boogified and gross. I was tired and it was late and any number of other excuses I can think of, kept me from really exercising today. I have a 10minute workout that is designed to give you a good workout when you are short on time, and it really is a good work out. I did that one so I can at least say I did something. And I did try hard but, I'm so weak! Two years ago, a little before I became pregnant with baby, I could do jump training and a pretty decent amount of push ups for a mom that wasn't in perfect shape. Now I can barely get through normal aerobics and I couldn't do even 1 good push up (on my knees, no less) in the 10 minutes that I "worked out".

If that wasn't depressing enough, today was budget day. Ahh, budget day. Where checkbooks are balanced and bills are paid. Supposedly. This process can take me less than an hour. I know this because I've done it before. Once. I think I was the only one home that day. Under normal circumstances, (normal being 4 kids asking me to feed them, or help with math, or mend a sock, or feed them, or clean up a spill, or feed them), it takes 2-3 hours. (As I mentioned, Gabe lost a long standing job, making budget day a bit more discouraging. It wasn't the best job, but it covered our expenses allowing me to be a stay home mom to our, then, 3 children, with the tiniest bit left over to occasionally splurge or save up for something. About 2 months after Gabe was laid off, we had another surprise in the form of my pregnancy. Which turned out to be our boy, so now Gabe, while still hopelessly outnumbered, has some backup.)

I guess I should be thankful, though. When I work the numbers and look at the bank account we are not even covering expenses. We still make much less than we owe, despite the fact that we have whittled more than $1000 off our monthly outgo since last year. Yes, we've gotten help from resources like WIC and LEAP and the local food bank, but the numbers still don't work out. Yet for some reason, we still seem to have the money to pay the bills as they come.

I often think in terms of groceries (such n such bill equals so much groceries we cant afford to buy) and recently I've been very downhearted by the fact that we cant afford the luxury of fresh fruit or greens (which used to fill at least a third of the cart each week). But then again, the food bank sometimes has lovely fresh produce (even better than some stores). The food bank also gives me more pinto beans than is humanly possible to use. But I have many great recipes that call for pinto beans (and I could always make juggling balls with them. I have at least 12 pounds worth.) Also, just in the last 2 days, friends have given us bags of veggies and other small items that we could use.

We also plan to try our hand at gardening again this year (though neither one of us is stellar at it, I know how to grow zucchini! and I happen to like it too.) When I mentioned it to a friend, he offered us the raised beds he had built last year. I was thinking he might offer some advice on how to build them, but instead, he took them out and brought them over!

I had all these great ideas for what today's post should be about and I forgot all of them. They were going to be witty and inspired and full of general coolness. (Instead I'm quite frustrated by the constant interruptions. Then again, I think everyone else is frustrated by my insistence on silence.) (silence in a house with 4 kids and 4 pets and 1 Gabe? Is that an oxymoron?)

There was no being uninhibited today. There was no "bringin it". There wasn't even a finished skirt that only had 5 minutes worth of sewing left on it. But I do have (relative) quiet to write in, I have a husband who is (attempting to) make a delicious Indian dish with our many (many) onions and potatoes delivered by loving friends, along with some chicken graciously provided by our local food bank. I have a nice house to live in, (the "nice" part was also loving provide by friends, but that too, is another story). My kids are healthy (other than the boogies), we have a silly movie to enjoy together, and my goals are still within reach.

No, there was no being uninhibited (I find I'm not very good at it), but there is still tomorrow. And I'm sure along with it will be many more things to be thankful for, many more opportunities to step out of my comfort zone, and more time to work toward my goal of being uninhibited. What was it I said? "In art and family and spirituality"? Still sounds good.

Despite the very unproductive and "down" type of day that I've had, (did I mention that we also found a dead cat on our 1/2 acre property today? Just to add to the yuckness of the day, I suppose.) Despite that, I really have nothing to complain about.


p.s. So how does one get any work done with 4 kids, 4 pets, and 1 "Gabe"around anyway?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

First Post...

...of many I hope. (technically I wrote this out a day ago. cheating? maybe.) My hope for the blog is to keep all of you, my friends and colleagues, up to date with the comings and goings of Tweedlepox.

Tweedlepox is, in essence, everything I do. My Etsy store is scheduled to open the end of March. That is my goal, though time is running out. (My husband, Gabe, said he'd help me get the store up as I am somewhat computer illiterate. However, Gabriel is a terrible procrastinator so I'm guessing it'll be down to the wire.)

The store will start with the jewelry I have made and eventually expand to include the products of my other endeavors. I have created art from fabric , watercolors, paper, stamps, flour and more. This blog and my store will both be works in progress as I learn the tools and tricks.

Because I am the mother of 4 and a homeschooling, cloth diapering, Work At Home Mom, my interests are many and my time is limited. Very limited. I hope to include in this blog other aspects of my Tweedle life. But mostly I want to share my art and stay accountable to my goals. Creative and otherwise.

What are my goals? You mean besides opening my store on etsy the end of this month. (a very cool handcrafted artists site that I heard about over a year ago. I wanted to get started on it over a year ago but had a few surprises, like Gabe losing his job of 15 years and a surprise baby-but that's another story. Needless to say, I was a little distracted. Having a kid n stuff.) So, what are my goals? That's a good question. I think I will have to ponder it more seriously.

I took a seminar once in which we went through an exercise that we had to define ourselves by who we were creating ourselves to be. (as opposed to who we feel like or the stories that we make up and live into) I wish I could remember my definition (it was 9 years ago) all I can remember is that it started with "uninhibited".(not in a gross way either) Something that, by nature, I generally am not. But just think of all the wonderfulness we could accomplish for our art/work/family/spirituality if we were uninhibited. I mean, just say the word. No, with feeling, man! UNINHIBITED! Isn't it just a great, inspiring, empowering way to be. It's more than just a mood, it's a way of being. I guess that's my first and maybe most important goal. To be uninhibited. Uninhibited in my love for my family, in my service to my God, in my art and artistic expressions. And in the business of my art. (cuz making art isn't scary, sharing it is).

So here I am, starting something exciting and a bit scary, I'm being uninhibited. Maybe not perfectly, maybe not always, but dang, it sure sounds good.


so who are you being today?