223: picnic - pottery- progress

Wow, I am exhausted! Good thing it's a four day work-week.

I went to Providence for the weekend to visit Madelyn.

Friday night: Vieux Farka Toure free concert in the park. Met some of Maddie's friends there.  Blanket on the grass, picnic. Watched the guy who dances at every event and  Dubbed him Sir Dance-A-Lot. Drank Perrier.

(Excuse me, but my mind is being blown right now. How did I ever not see this video of Crazy by Gnarls Barkley? It's amazing.)

After the concert: Went to Cuban Revolution. Had Cafe Cubano and flan. Yum.

Saturday morning we went to The Happiest Place on Earth: Savers! (pictures to come)

Next, we headed to Somerville for the Boston Handmade Marketplace, where Maddie was a vendor. 


Jessica did an amazing job of putting on this show. The merchandise was varied and high quality, turnout was great, set up and takedown was hassle-free. The live music really made it special. 


I met some wonderful people, saw awesome stuff and took tons of pictures, which I will post this week. But first I must pimp share Madelyn's darling pottery.


Fez Monkey Teapot!! Kitty Mush bowls!
By now you know that you can visit her etsy shop, Lucky Monkey, right?


I love those egg cups, above. Do you recognize that chicken

Maddie's newest motif:


Oh. My. God. Raccoons! So cute! 


Sometimes I find myself pleasantly surprised at how different I am now.
There was a time when I wouldn't have agreed to help Maddie at this show because my anxiety would have been unbearable. I would have not believed in myself enough to know what to do (or be comfortable not knowing). I would have been afraid of someone looking at me trying put up the tent and I would have been sweating and blushing and embarrassed. It's not rational, it doesn't make sense - but that is how I lived most of my life: in constant fear and panic. I can feel it fluttering in my chest just by bringing it up. Sometimes I forget how bad it was and how much it ruled my life.
I don't like scary and suspenseful movies or haunted houses. That state of anticipation and adrenaline that they invoke is a feeling that  I have worked very hard to soothe  and talk myself down from.
It is so rewarding when I notice that I am perfectly comfortable in an environment or situation that would have totally freaked me in the past.
That happened on Saturday and it was cool.

More soon.

xo, m 

book love

Dude, You won't even believe the awesomeness that I received in the mail yesterday.

I have been obsessed with sewing lately ( I know a little black kitty who feels the same way.) I got Bend-the-Rules Sewing a few weeks ago- just looking at the cover makes me happy!  I had some good news last week, so to celebrate I went a little bit wild on the amazon . Yesterday, I was greeted at the porch with one of these:


Amy Butler's new book! I've only been able to spend about a half an hour with it so far, but it is luscious and warm and inspiring.

Oh, and I also got one of these:


I had gotten Sew U out of the library a while back and thought itwould be a good one to own.

And how about one of these?


Joelle Hoverson's new one! Gorgeous.

I also got Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing and Crafter's Companion.

I can't wait to dig into these!

pillow talk

A few months ago, I scored these samples of discontinued decorator fabric. Just the right size to have enough for a project, but not so much that i feel intimidated about using it!
Some of them were marked at 75$ a yard!

At Linens n Things I found some Nautica down throw pillows marked down from 45 dollars to five bucks! I snatched up all that were left - five. The covers were ugly, but it's what's inside that counts, right?

I took those babies home and whipped up some cute new patchwork covers with my fancy schmancy decor fabric!

(sorry for the slightly blurry photos)


In case you were wondering, yes that is my $50 yard sale leather couch!

The only bummer about down throw pillows is that you have to keep fluffing them back into shape because the compress and get all wonky when you use them! But I love them!


I was so pleased with the results that I have been sewing more since then! I made a shower curtain ( to look cute in our newly repainted pink bathroom!) and a dog bed cover. Photos of those sewing projects  and bathroom redeco soon! 


It's good to be crafty!

a hem

lace hem, originally uploaded by yummygoods.

Beautiful dainty underskirt made by my great-grandmother! Lace and all!

amazing lace

lace 1, originally uploaded by yummygoods.

When I went to visit my new cousin Liz, she showed me this incredible  lace-work  that my great-grandmother used to do. I can't imagine making something this delicate. How long it must have taken!

mini cork boards!

framed cork boards.JPG

aren't these cute? I made them about a month ago for my newly painted laundry room. (behr paint- melted butter is the name of the color)

i got the frames for el cheapo at a thrift store. They were brown with cheesy cardboard pictures inside.  I  removed the pics, cleaned the frames and then painted them white ( I know abby approves) .  I have had these self-adhesive cork rectangles laying around for ages- never could bring myself to stick 'em to anything.  So  I  painted them white and put them  in the  through the back of the frame - this did require a little bit of trimming with an exacto knife. Then i found my cutest tacks and some postcards  i like and stuck them up! I am pretty sure that those big white buttony-looking tacks are old upholstery tacks. I found them at a yard  sale. Those cute little bird pin thingies I also scored at a yard sale. I wonder what they were originally for?

I want to make more of these mini cork boards! I have tons of old frames ready for some lovin- now I just gotta find more cork. And make some cute pushpins out of old buttons . And buy some more cute postcards.


the ironing was not lost on me

ironed fabric.JPG

i have been organizing my fabric stash lately.

I realized that most of my quilting fabric had never been washed, so I washed a ton of it at once, and ironed it all. It took me so long to iron it! Hours, literally! Next time I have to do that, i will save it for when I am watching season 4 of 24 on DVD!  It looked like so much fabric when it came out of the dryer- in total three huge laundry baskets full. But when it was all ironed, folded, and stacked- it looked like nothing! Note to self: next time i buy fabric, wash and iron it immediately.

In the stack on the left, you can see some of  my collection of bee fabrics.  I usually buy some whenever I see it- i like bee things. The name Melissa  comes from a greek nymph who taught man the use of honey- so my name is associated with the honeybee.

Sweet, non?

how can you not like muffins?

bead trays.JPG

ok, this post really has nothing to do with muffins. But look at how gorgeous my gem beads look in these  rusty muffin tins!  Mmmm.... gem muffins. 

(For muffin- related fun, visit Muffinfilms. And by the same artist,  Making Fiends. Hilarious!)

I have been experimenting in my jewelry-making lately. I have been using scrap chain that I have collected over the years- incorporating it with  the gems, making asymetrical loops and tassels on necklaces. I love how they are coming out!

Here is an example :
chain necklace.JPG
 I will be listing some on etsy in the next few weeks. 

I don't know what I should do when I am in a rambly mood- just post a whole bunch of different pics and amble from topic to topic? Or should I make a bunch of mini posts? I am leaning toward the latter. 

Ok, bye then! 


Help Wanted (plus Mercury)

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First, the cuteness:
That little cat nose belongs to Mercury- one of my cats. Also known as  Murky Murk.  He enjoys sleeping on sunny windowsills and appearing in product photography.

This is one of my new series of bracelets. I will be posting this one to my etsy shop in the next day or two. I have been making them with strong elastic beading cord.  I love that cord because I just can't be bothered to wear bracelets with clasps! Lazy? Perhaps.  I do need to order some sterling bracelet clasps because I imagine that non-lazy-bracelet wearers  would  prefer that.  I will be offering both in my shop soon enough. 

This is the Help Wanted part:
Please let me know if you buy stretchy bracelets, or if you only would buy clasped bracelets. I think there is probably a bias against the stretchy because people may think it will break- (I have never had that happen!)
Also, if you do prefer a clasp, are you more inclined to buy if it is  sterling? or will silvery-colored be just fine? If you are reading this - then I am talking to YOU. Please help!


bead love

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I love beads.  I have  a bunch of semi-precious gem beads that i got over a year ago that are just sitting in the closet waiting to be turned into something magical. It's about time to pull those babies out and  put them to good use. When I figure out how to revive my digital camera,  I'll post pics of my stash. 

I have been so focused on the business aspect of art and design lately, that I have forgotten to make stuff just for fun! This makes me a very crabby girl!  I am going to make a luscious gem necklace for myself this week.  Man, I gotta figure out the camera situation if I want to really get into this blog thing!