Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Who is Martha Stewart and why is she ruining my Christmas?

 
At what point did women sell their souls to Martha Stewart and her like? She's not known for being nice or for playing fair. She is not someone our mothers would be proud for us to emulate. We are strong, independent women living in a time when those qualities are admired and appreciated and yet, when Christmas rolls around we all want to be Martha. We have been bitten by the evil little Martha
bug. It's a horrible creature that drills itself into your brain boring ever deeper convincing you that you must be like Martha all the while knowing that it is an impossible task. In my quest for Marthadom I now have half of a two car garage filled with Christmas decorations. Trees for every room. Ornaments collected from around the world. Even a giant Santa chair. There is no vaccine for this bug only a series of painful shots after you have been bitten.

My New Year's Resolution is this - Martha Stewart will be gone from my Christmas season brain.  I will endure the painful anti-Martha shots, I won't even peek at a Martha magazine after July, and above all else, I vow that all future Christmases will be non-Martha like.

Join with me as I say farewell and good riddance to excessive Christmas stress caused by my need to be
like Martha. One tree, loads of ornaments, a wreath and a lot of guilt for not being Martha will become my Christmas of the future.

I had considered going so far as to merely post a Word document stating a simple "Merry Christmas" only later determining that even if Martha were to do it I couldn't.

History making White Christmas in Atlanta
First in 128 years


Garland ornaments purchased from Rafe on Etsy


Santa's giant chair, who needs an elf on the shelf
when you have this?


My favorite gift! I love unusual nativity sets.


My creations only tree



Martha made me do it!


A tree that decorates itself! This actually started as less
than a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. I purchased it as an
orange stick potted in a VERY small pot that all fit inside a
twelve inch by three inch box in 2004.  I don't have a
green thumb.  I think it's one of those plants that thrives
on neglect. This has been its most productive season.

All of my Christmas decor should be put back in its non-seasonal home by March 1. I'm sure Martha has a rule about putting away decorations by a certain date but I don't have a staff to boss around with harsh criticism and lack of appreciation and as of January 1, 2011 Martha will be vanquished from my life.


To each of you I wish a very happy, healthy, and peaceful New Year and  easier Christmas decorting in the future! Thanks for being a part of my life!


































 

  






A Most Amazing Discovery - Papercuts, sketches, and travel

The blog world is an amazing place for discovering spectacular creations of artists. Thanks to Becky at
                                                  http://www.hopewellcreek.blogspot.com/ 
I learned of yet another fantastic blog and project. Please take time to visit 
                                                  http://www.isabellasart.blogspot.com/
to see the Isabella's beautiful art and learn about a fascinating project. Isabella is participating in the Artists Journal project, a collection of almost 30,000 artists from more than 90 countries. When complete the collection will become a traveling exhibit throughout the U.S. with its final home being the Brooklyn Art Library. Isabella's journal would be worthy of an exhibition on its own, but thinking about an exhibition of so many talented artists, their thoughts and sketches in a traveling exhibit throughout the U.S. is mind boggling. I am so looking forward to visiting the exhibit!  Be sure to check out both of the above mentioned blogs for an amazing view into the lives of two wonderful artists.

Just a small example of the amazing entries in Isabella's journal.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Few Keepers

Sometimes it's difficult selling certain ornaments that I know took days to make.  Those ornaments very often stay with me and are added to my "Poppy Tree" decorated with only ornaments made by me. This Santa is less than four inches tall! It's all tiny pieces of Fimo clay, no paint, and probably a lot of my fingerprints.  It is by far my favorite ornament of any I've every made.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

And The Winner Is...

CONGRATULATIONS to Kim Sandberg, the winner of the Poppylovesaparty Giveaway. I'll be offering more giveaways in 2011. 
Thanks to all of you for your support in my new venture.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

From the mouths of babes

I was recently introduced to rubber stamps from Inkadinkado inkadinkado.eksuccessbrands.com that would be perfect stocking stuffers for adults. It seemed the younger the author, the more insightful the quote. 

                                                                 This one is my favorite.
Happily Ever After

And so for all of us who still have orders to fill, gifts to buy, packages to wrap, or just thought that they would live "happily ever after"   Get up, get dressed, and go to work. That is, after you've gotten a chuckle from all the other kid quotes on rubber stamps.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We All Contribute

“Anything you’re good at contributes to happiness.”
― Bertrand Russell

It has taken me years to accept that my career path did not follow that of my brother (a doctor) or my sister (a lawyer).  I'm a mom. Yes, just a mom, as I always described myself.  My daughters are adults now living the lives they chose, hopefully influenced by our family's belief system.  I am very proud of them.  They are both teachers, one in elementary school and one in high school. They are able to contribute to the happiness of students, faculty, parents, and administrators every day because they are good at what they do.  As my mom skills became less necessary I felt a sense of  loss.  I had actually lost my job.  Of course I'm available when called upon but adult children like mine need very little assistance.  There are no unemployment benefits for moms with adult children.

I determined that my happiness was dependent on making other people happy and so began "Poppy Loves A Party".  The excitement of an order, the completion of a new design, and a serendipitous connection to the buyer bring me great joy. I smile at people I don't know, I talk to the cashier as though I've known her for years, and I always say thank you.  That's what I'm good at and if that brings happiness to others then I contribute to the world's happiness in my own odd little way. I hope my creations bring happiness to some of you.

What are you good at?  Give yourself a pat on the back.  You contribute to someone's happiness.

Monday, November 29, 2010

More adorable felt

I forgot to include the blog address for Hopewell Creek Designs. Even more adorable items there!

Bugs for my tree

In yet another "it's a small world" moment I have discovered a wonderful new Etsy shop.  Hopewell Creek Designs is that Etsy shop. Becky makes amazing items with felt and imagination. Sorry, but I just purchased two adorable insects so there are no pics of those.  Just take it from me - they're spectacular!  Her precious little felt dolls are next on my list so my advice is to get to her shop quickly before I get paid and buy those also. I have included a link to the shop so that you can be equally amazed by Becky's talent. 
Felt dolls


Thanksgiving, exhaustion, and a birthday party

I have never been so happy to see the end to a holiday.  I am exhausted.  For the first time a boyfriend was deemed important enough to be asked to Thanksgiving dinner at our house.  I don't know if our daughter doesn't trust us to behave or if she would rather the boyfriend just think she's an orphan.  Anyway, this one got invited.  So rather than the four of us having a lovely Thanksgiving meal without all the fancy china, good silver, and spooning food from the pans in which they were cooked we added one young man who, for some reason, I felt a need to impress the boyfriend with just how "classy" we are.  The first profanity was spoken when I realized that the entire meal was ready and I had forgotten to turn on the potatoes for the mashed potatoes. Whoops. We all had a wonderful time, loved the boyfriend, and looked forward to our next get together on the 28th.
I had procrastinated long enough and had to make the cake topper for my daughter's cake on the 27th.  Although she turned 31 she still gets to choose a theme. This year's theme - Cute Elephants. No, not just any elephant, CUTE elephants. I crawled into bed at 6 am on the 28th and was awake and working again 3 hours later.  If I do say so myself this is a really cute cake topper.  All clay, except for the cake.  It was red velvet.  She loved it all and the pink elephant now lives at her house.
Next year she wants cute ants.  I may finally just say NO!
I slept 12 hours today!  Two events down one to go.
Hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I am grateful for my blog discoveries

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."

- Melody Beattie
 
By now you all know just how much I love discovering wonderful new blogs.  Well, I am one happy camper today.  A link on the blog Yesterday on Tuesday led me to this great blog.  The quote above was the first thing I saw upon reaching the Sprick.blogspot.com blog.  It seemed especially perfect for this week.  And then....I discovered the FREEBIES!!!!! Oh my goodness. I do so love spectacular freebies and here they were right in front of me on the computer screen. Please check out this very creative blogger and enjoy her generosity!
                                                                              

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What I found in a round about way

Red Umbrella Winter in ParisI played on the internet all day.  Yes, I could have done other things but I am addicted.  My addiction brought forth a new artist for me to admire.  I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do.  With the new scanners and pat downs I may just start to travel through art.      http://www.fififlowers.com/

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mistakes

I ran across this wonderful papercut design on Etsy and thought I should share the message.  It so applies to me!
            A mistake is simply another way of doing things.

I feel so much better believing that my mistakes are just my creative way of completing my tasks.  I think I must be VERY CREATIVE! 

How about you?  Are you creative, too?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

“If you have a dream, give it a chance to happen.” Richard M. DeVos

That's right folks after a night and morning of pulling more hairs out of my hair than I actually thought I had I at least know how to find it now.  It's all so confusing for a person who doesn't know a blog from a frog.  Take a look and be sure to enter my giveaway!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sometimes you just need a visual...

Dala Horse Ornament

You like me, you really like me!

                                                        You're gonna make it after all

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Proof that it is a very small world, indeed

As I try to add a new dimension to my life among the unemployed I want to thank a former media center volunteer for his advice about entering the world of Etsy.  He shared with me the success of his sister-in-law with her Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/sunbasilgarden  I am inspired!  Her shop offers so many beautiful soaps and scents that you have to check it out.  Here's a sample of the wonderful gifts offered in the shop for you, your friends and family members.
                       Jack Frost Whipped Soap - NEWGobble Gobble Turkey Soaps

I'm learning to share on my blog!

Being fairly new to cyberspace I am still trying to figure out how to share things that I love with links and web addresses.  I'm probably not even using the proper terms.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I HATE snow.  I do however LOVE snowflakes and Christmas ornaments.  I am being mentored by a fabulous wooden snowflake ornament creator. Please check out the beautiful wood creations at http://www.grahtoestudio.etsy.com/
 
and my favorite snowflakes in their Etsy shop
http://www.etsy.com/listing/61093622/ornament-wooden-snowflakes-decorations?ref=pr_shop

Remember that the only thing white on the ground should be white sand on a warm tropical beach!

The Etsy Shop is beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Some of this year's ornament designs have been added to my Etsy shop at http://www.poppylovesaparty.etsy.com/
I'd love to hear what you think of them.  I'll be adding more very soon.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fun with freebie toys

I discovered a wonderfully fun website recently and want to share the site with everyone.  The Toymaker, http://www.thetoymaker.com/ offers free downloads of three dimensional paper creations for you to make as decoration and fun. Child friendly with adult assistance.  I'm running out of toner I'm having such a good time.  Give it a try and let me know what you made!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Today

Today is life-the only life you are sure of.
Make the most of today. Get interested in something.
Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby.
Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you.
Live today with gusto. ~ Dale Carnegie


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Poppy's Creator has an announcement!

Congratulations to Kit Chase the wonderful artist who shared her talent and her Pearly turned Poppy with me.  Kit has just signed a three book deal with Putnam Books for stories based on the characters in her art work.  Make sure to check Kit's work at http://www.trafalgarssquare.etsy.com/ very soon.  A book deal makes her art much more valuable and well worth the investment.  I adore everything she does and look forward to being the first to purchase her first book.   Way to go, Kit!
Be sure to visit Kit's blog http://lullaloo.blogspot.com/ she's got a terrific giveaway going!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Time to check the shop

It's time to check my shop on Etsy.  http://www.poppylovesaparty.etsy.com/  I'll begin adding Christmas ornaments very soon.

I finally did it!

I just listed my first item on Etsy.  It wasn't so difficult I was just exceptionally adept at forgetting to hit finish in order to complete the listing.  Two hours later the first item is finally listed.  Plenty more to come!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Let them not eat cake!


The handmade wedding won't have a cake.  I love cake.  Believing that all weddings need a cake I created a faux cake for the dessert bar.  I hope Sara and Matt don't try to eat it on their first anniversary.  It might be a bit dry and crunchy.
I hand sculpted each Fimo clay flower and pea patches at the bottom of the arbor (site of the proposal). The pea patch that is, not the arbor.  Additional custom items include the bride's dress and the groom's suit, all sculpted of Fimo.  This was all done seriptiously via the bride.  She knows I'm making something but doesn't know what.  I hope she's happy and surprised.

Friday, August 13, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation



Given enough time and enough clay I will complete any project I ever start.  Well, sometimes the start of a project does turn into a blob of ugly gray/brown.  It's a color that only exists in polymer clay.  In a previous post I shared pictures of what I thought would be a quick weekend project.  It seems I should have thought a little harder.  Knowing how many individual pieces are used to make only the castle and formal garden (appr.100 pieces) and knowing how many pieces are in each flower I have estimated a total of almost 10,000 individual pieces of clay. Most people who have seen this cake topper like the dragon the best.  What is your favorite part?  Please share your thoughts and I'll post the results.  I just like that it's finally finished! Rather than trying to determine a reasonable price for 80+ hours of fun but tedious work I'm leaving the "Someday My Prince Will Come" cake topper to my descendents.  Let them wonder about the sanity of their ancestor.  The 3rd Birthday cake topper is a gift for my "Poppy" inspiration.  So Disney, don't worry about copyright and licensing,  it's a gift and not for sale.  I do have grand plans of selling other cake toppers in my Etsy shop http://www.poppylovesaparty.etsy.com/.  The shop is not yet open but I have wonderful ideas!  Stay tuned!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A gift for the bride-to-be and future husband

We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love. ~Author Unknown


I don't know who asked or who offered but I was fortunate to be the one who created what the bride and her mother consider to be beautiful wedding invitations.  I love everything about my design(Thanks to The Paper Source for inspiration) but even now as I look at the photo  I imagine all the things I could have improved.  I love the idea of a handmade wedding and Sara this is for you!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Free Fonts

I love fonts!  I am fast approaching 2000 different fonts on my computer thanks to a new free font site I discovered.  Check out www.fontsquirrel.com if you love fonts the way I do.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quote of the day July 21, 2010

                      I love fun quotes and Mark Twain has become one of my greatest sources for inspiration. 

" Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like"

Why can't eating just be a pleasant diversion?  I get tired of going to lunch with friends and then hearing about their struggles to remain a size 2.  Oooh, I've been so bad I just can't eat anything today. Really? Because my guess is that you're going to be mean and crabby when you don't eat anything!  Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!  Thanks Mr. Twain.

Monday, July 19, 2010

How to waste time

I discovered at 4:15am that I am an excellent time waster.  I have spent the past ten days working on a cake topper just for fun.  No problem there except that I was surrounded by a basement full of Furniture Bank, Goodwill, and school donations.  At times I felt like Maria in the Sound of Music when the Captain asked about her dress and she told him that the dress she was wearing was the one the poor wouldn't have.  There is so much that the poor wouldn't have in my basement mess.  Why do creative people save every little piece of anything because they "might need it some day."  Well, my "someday" has come and gone.  If you ever want the extra push to really rid yourself of all those "treasures" just watch two or three episodes of "Hoarders" on TLC and you too will be making your different piles of donations.  I did finish the clay part of my "Someday My Prince Will Come" cake topper. All it needs now is the addition of a food safe topper some bits and bobs of ribbon and I'll be able to unveil my masterpiece to the world.  It's no Michaelangelo's David but with thousands of teenie tiny pieces of clay I'm still proud.  For now though, I'm going to wash my dusty hands, brush my teeth and go to bed.  Photos to follow!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Poppy's next party

Well, Poppy will be putting a bit more helium in her balloons to arrive in time for a first birthday party in Glasgow, KY on Saturday.  I hope she has loads of pictures and stories to share upon her return.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Poppy's creator

Poppy is the creation of an incredible artist I discovered on Etsy. Be sure to check out www.trafalgarssquare.etsy.com and you will agree that Kit Chase's art prints are too cute for words. Although I'm sure that she is quite tired of all my wordy emails back and forth during the design process she has been a wonderful mentor to my new venture. Thanks a million Kit!

Introducing my favorite party girl, Poppy!

Allow me to introduce the newest addition to our family. She's a wonderful addition in that she requires no food, no additional clothing, and she can only talk back if I begin to hear imaginary voices. If only child rearing were that easy!

Poppy yearns to be the next Paris, Hilton that is. She loves nothing more than a wonderful party decorated with all the style and glamour of Poppy herself. Because I love nothing more than creating personalized parties and whimsical party decor Poppy is a constant source of inspiration.

Check back to learn of Poppy's adventures in Partyland along with my finds of wonderful blogs.