Thursday, May 31, 2007

We interupt little lovelies handmade to bring you this:
(WIP week will return tomorrow at its regularly scheduled time)
I went into a dollhouse shop to look for picnic baskets for my Club Little House submission and came out with this. However, she may have to go back when I show Aaron and tell him how much I spent on her. You see, we have a lovely "fun money" system. We get a set amount each paycheck to spend on whatever we want, but above and beyon we have to tell each other and make sure the purchase makes sense. Well, here we are the day after payday and Claire's fun money is gone (shocking) and in no way shape or form does this little metal darling make any sense. It is the epitome of a impulse buy. I have been hemming and hawing over dollhouses for ages and I gave into the urge without truly thinking about it.
Isn't she so sweet, though? If the Cleavers had a daughter this would have been her dollhouse, I am sure of it. To be honest, what I really love about it is the outside. The inside is fun and all, but in my dollhouse o' dreams I would be able to "wallpaper" the walls with all sorts of fun scrapbook papers and paint. Plus, I think I wanted something more sturdy for the kids. I want a dollhouse they can touch and play with and this isn't it. The roof is rather precarious.

Don't think I won't get out my furniture and snap a few pics before I be good and carry her off back to the store. I let all the teeny tiny goodness in the shop get the better of me. At least I can say that she was mine for 24 hours. Besides, the guilt of not having discussed it with the hubs first is killing me, lol!


PS thanks so much for all your sweetness about the shop opening and the kitchen. Be sure to check the shop in the morning!

PPS sadly there won't be any peggy dolls because they had a ruthless encounter with a three year old and sizzors. It was a sad time for all parties involved. All is not lost, but they will not be in doll form as expected...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A WIP of the Shop Variety

I almost forgot about this WIP! The little lovelies handmade June 1 launch date is looming ahead all too quickly. I have plenty of fun stuff to introduce to you, though most of it will be familiar things that I have talked about with you all before. I am working on Peggy and Cecelia dolls and have been toying with the idea of little family doll sets. The baby that monkey requested has been embroidered and is just waiting to be stuffed with fluff and sewn up. Daddy dollie is still in the works.

Since I made the Mama doll (formerly Lola) she has been a staple in my kids day. She is a perfect size to clutch and carry around the house. Right now we have a playtime ritual of putting our dolls to sleep and giving them kisses. We have two AG dolls and Mama doll (who is a perfect size to be a doll's doll...) and all get lined up and kissed by peanut, covered with a blankey by monkey and drift off soundly to sleep.

This morning, in preparation for the June 1 grand opening over at Etsy I made a colossal list of things I need to do, starting with getting a postal scale so I can weight things and mail them off from home. Two kids, several packages, a line at the PO and unhelpful counter staff is a hell that I hate to enter, which explains the growing mountain of packages that need to be mailed out. I realize that if I am going to have the least bit of success with little lovelies handmade a postal scale or baby sitter will be in order. I think the scale will be cheaper.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

This Unfinished Life of Mine
Little factoid here for ya-I was going to name this blog My Unfinished Life and feature all the works in progress in my world. I decided that since an alarming number of projects 'round these parts don't get finished (especially the home improvement variety) maybe that wasn't such a great idea. We reach a functional stage and it sits in home improvement pergatory until pennance is served. Right now we have a functional, but unfinished bathroom, a functional, but unfinished kitchen and a functional, but unfinished backyard.

Speaking of the are a few pics of where we are at right now. We need to fill in that hole in the wall that was once upon a time an ironing board (unless I can talk Aaron into making me a new one), paint, put in baseboards, redo the lino (sad story there!), replace the light fixtures, etc etc etc. We'll be truly finished the day we put a for sale sign in the yard, lol.

Since I have such a large number of WIPs right now, I dub this week, Claire's WIP Week. Everyday this week, I'll feature another WIP. And next week, I'll show off the finished products. Except the kitchen, of course. I won't be finishing that beast in a week.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Family Dolls

Thanks for all the great ideas on what to name my dolls! Several of you suggested your own Grandmother's names and the I thought "duh, I have grandmother's too!" So I decided to name this doll Peggy and my more mischevious ones (which I have yet to make) Cecelia after my grandmothers. Peggy is my mother's mother and was a PE teacher and librarian before having eight (yup. eight.) kids and staying home. When her kids were younger she taught piano until about 5 years ago, when she retired (somewhat reluctantly).

Cecelia is my father's mother and when she was young (and now) she had amazing movie star looks, and a mischevious side. As a young bride she had a crochet string bikini, which she swears she never actually wore in public. She was very trendy and had all the latest styles. Her dresses from the 50's were to die for! It was her amazing 1955 all lace wedding dress that I wore when I got married. Oh how I loved that dress.

So, this little Peggy Doll has a plaid skirt, sweet angora sweater, button flower in her hair and a flower brooch given to her by an admirer. This surely is during her librarian days, I'll have to make a PE teacher Peggy next. But first I am going to make a baby and boy doll for my kids then a Cecelia doll. Because they are all hand embroidered they take awhile to make. I actually started this one on Saturday at the Maker Faire and finished the embroidery last night. I probably won't sew her up until I finish some more.

Oh, and I might give her some cat-eye glasses. I haven't decided yet.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Maker Faire

The Maker Fair/Bazaar Bizarre was this weekend and I went on Saturday to keep Missy company, who had a booth for Mohair Circus. It was so fun and there were so many cool things to see. Unfortunately the only pictures I took all day are the ones here, but Missy, Bethany, Michelle, Sonya and many others have tons to make up for my deficiency. Good thing-we wouldn't want anyone to feel like they missed out!

I met bunches of cool people, Jenny from Sew Darn Cute, Michelle from Green Kitchen, Sonya from Knit Sonya and blog reader, Cori, to name a few *Hi Girls!* They were all very very sweet.
Baz Biz was in a huge room where there were booths and demos where you could make your own jewlery, screenprints, lamps, vases, name it, it was there. I didn't really get to see everything, which was a bummer. Maybe next year!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I finished my embroidered doll (really she is more of a softie/stuffie) the other day. I would have posted pics of her sooner, but Monkey found her and has been playing with her ever since. He has even requested a boy doll for him and a baby doll for peanut girl, saying that there needs to be a "family" for him and peanut to play with. Needless to say I am very happy to oblige and soon there will be a mister and a baby for Lola.
Lola is all dressed and ready to do her housework, duster at the ready. I think if I ever make this particular doll again I'll try to make her a real apron. I made her with no arms and legs on purpose, I was going for the Russian stacking dolls look, though I do have an arms-and-legs version in the pipes. It will be a good long while before I have an arms-and-legs Lola to show, because, frankly, I am just not that good at this stuff yet. Regardless, I love her in all her housewifery glory.
Though, I do have to say that a family gal isn't quite what I had in mind for Lola. I may have to change her name to something more domestic. Any ideas? When I originally drew out the dolls I included a bikini-clad Lola and a violin case-toting mafia Lola. Somehow a husband and child don't fit in with the bad girl image I was going for. Maybe she'll stay Lola and hve an alter-ego "Lolita". Yeah, I like that. Lola the sweet, family girl by day and my night "Lolita" the mafia crime boss. Don't you love how I ask your opinion on names and then before the paragraph is even over I have decided not to change her name and give her an alter-ego instead?
Add a 5th cute and endearing thing about me: I make dolls and then name them and give them alter-egos. That's downright weird. Fun, yes, but weird. Oh well. I'm ok with it.
On a completely different note, I watched my tivo'd Gilmore Girls last night. All in all I liked the series finale. It was my favorite show ever, but it was time to be done. Ugly Betty has been capturing my attention lately, so it softens the blow a bit. I did think it felt rushed, but it was always a show that left me wanting more at the end of the episode, so I guess I'm used to it. I like how L & L quietly made up, loved that Rory went off on the campaign trail and that Lorelai will be at dinner with the Gilmores friday night.
I was falling out of my seat laughing at Emily trying to lend Lorelai more money, and if Aaron wasn't sitting next to me I would have cried buckets when Richard told Lorelai what a great mother and person she was. I think I would hve liked to see Logan again, not because I liked him (I cheered when Rory said "no") but because if they loved each other so much I just think he would have been around a teeny bit because you just don't go from a proposal to nothing like that.
And on to the 6th cute and endearing thing about me: I have invested waaay to much time in a television show. But thank goodness I am not alone. They are too.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

7 (more) "Cute and Endearing" Things About Moi
I was tagged a few days ago by Arlene to tell ya all about my weirdness. First, for reference, take a look at the first 6 weird things about me. Take note that I am officially changing this bad boy to "cute and endearing" things about me. Because, well, I can. So after wracking my brain (ha!) I have 7 more cute and endearing things about me. Because you all wanted to know more about me than you already do, right?
Anyhoo, here we go:
1. When my kids are not home I will sometimes go all day without talking. I rarely talk on the phone, so if the phone dosen't ring or I don't make a call I won't utter a word from the time Aaron leaves for work until he gets home.
2. Raya will hate this one, but when I paint my toes I rarely take off the polish. I either paint over it or let it grow out. I know, I know, its gross. Someday when I can afford to get a pedi every two weeks, I'm there. But til then, just don't look at my toes from October to March.
3. Tori Spelling cracks me up. She does! Do you remember her as Screetch's girlfriend (Violet?? If that is right I am officially a loser) funny stuff. Also, her show So Notorious on VH1? Freaking hilarious. And now I am dying over over Tori and Dean: Inn Love. I just love a person who doesn't take herself seriously, and that girl knows that her life is ridiculous and dosen't mind that we all see it. I actually laugh out loud watching her shows.
4. When in the car I mumble. Alot. Aaron is constantly telling me to speak up. I don't know why I do this and I don't know why I do it only in the car. Ask Aaron how cute and endearing he thinks it is...
Ok. At the moment I cannot come up with 3 more. Maybe I'll open it us to my friends and family to comment on here more weird things I do. There's millions, I just can't think of any at the moment. Sorry!
But I do tag my fellow mafistas Shonda, Amy , Melissa and Missy to play along. I'm tagging you in the spirit of the game, but if this isn't your thing, that's coo', too.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fairy Slippers

I got these jewels for Peanut today at good ol' Target. Like most things the picture dosen't do them justice. They are the perfect fairy slippers for a little girl. My little girl might be only 18 months, but she already loves shoes and pretty dresses and frequently brings me her shoes or a pretty shirt to put on her. Soon I will start collecting and making dress up clothes for her, something that I am so looking forward to.

The softie swap mails out tomorrow! Are you all ready?? If not make sure to drop a line to your partner and let them know when you plan of mailing it. I made a Flickr group for them, but it is open only to participants of this swap, so if you have a Flickr account and didn't get an invite please drop me a line through Flickr and I'll send you one.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Yesterday I had the best proudest, most wonderful parent moment of my life.

We were invited to serve food to the residents of a homeless camp with some friends. This stretched me in many ways because this wasn't a soup kitchen where the volunteers stand behind tables and serve food or where you make up some take home boxes and hand them out, and the only contact you have is a brief hello.

This was a BBQ put on by an amazing ministry called Project 61(no website, though. boohoo) The members of this group go out to a homeless camp in our area every two weeks and provide more than just food to the people who live there. They provide the residents with friendship, laughter and most importantly their actions show these residents that they are human beings deserving of love and respect.

It is hard to put the whole experience into words. I was saddened by thier living conditions, amazed at their tenacity (one man made himself a lovely garden complete with a pirated watering system), heartened by their ability to relax and have fun with us-most of whom were complete strangers.

We chose to bring our children with us, a choice that we were unsure about, but in the end proved to be just what they (and we) needed. We had brought birthday party horns with us and I gave the bags to Monkey to hand out to people. He took his little bag of horns and walked around the crowd offering them. He and several of the residents played and ran around with their horns.

Monkey is just at the age where he will make blunt (and rude) observations (like "that lady is fat" or "why do you have no teeth?") so I was worried he might do that, but my boy was wonderful. He played and talked and ate, blissfully unaware of missing teeth and dirty clothes. He explored the camp (under our watchful eye) and made new friends. He sat down with a man and played with his toys, a scene that just broke my heart.

They have a camp "toybox"-an old Folgers coffee can with 5 or 6 small toys inside. One man told me that during the day they will sit around and play with the toys. When the man (whose name I didn't catch) saw that Monkey was going to sit down and stay awhile, he brought Monkey the toybox. The man was very quiet and just watched Monkey play, but there was a very slight brightness in his eyes that wasn't there before.

When we left they made us promise to come out again. They said they didn't even care if we brought food with us, they just wanted to talk and visit with the kids. They just wanted to see their friends again. We will definitely be going back. I pray that experiences like this leave my kids with a respect for life and for people.

As we pulled into the driveway Monkey said to us "That was a great party, Momma. " Yes, son, it was. And that is the best Mother's Day gift I could have ever gotten.

Friday, May 11, 2007

WIP and a Bright Idea

She is a doll that I will hopefully have done by Baz Biz. I drew up 4 or 5 different designs earlier this week and she is the one I decided to embroider first. Embroidery is my favorite craft. It knocked crochet of its crafty throne. I think I like it so much because a little embroidery makes even the simplest (or crappiest) of drawings look sweet. Lord knows I am not much of a drawer (is that a word? doubtful) but when I embroider up one of my chicken scratchings it just looks so special.
I have also been saving the kids drawings with the hopes of embroidering some of them. I think it will be a cool way to incorporate peices of them and me into cool artwork for the house. Once I finish Lola here, I'll get started on some of monkey's works of art.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Just in case you didn't already know...
We are the biggest dorks ever and have the pictures to prove it. These are from our last trip to DL. I love how in the first pic we are concentrating soooo hard. Because, you know, we are saving the intergalactic world from the evil emperor Zurg.

And in this gem above I look brain dead. Notice the little white bump? That is a 4 month old peanut. Was she ever that small? I love how monkey's head just barely comes over the top of the ride. He loved that one. So did we, obviously.
Tomorrow hopefully I will be far enough along in my latest project to take decent pics. They looked really weird today so I improvised with these pics.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Peptogirl's Cupcake Swap!

How fun does that sound? Check out her blog for all the sweet details. And sign up fer cryin' out loud!

It's a lovely day outside. We should be out enjoying it, but the bug I have been fighting off the last week or so finally decided to catch up with me, so out comes the Gilmore Girls Season 3, the kleenex box and embroidery work. Peanut looks to be working on the same bug and naturally Monkey boy is a ball of energy. He'll get to spend some time in the backyard while us girls nurse our runny noses.
I made these coasters not too long ago out of a charm pack. They are perfect for making criss-cross coasters. I liked the allsorts pattern just fine, but I really wanted to add my own twist so I folded my squares diagonally rather than straight. I think they turned out pretty cute. And now I have reason to but millions of charm packs. I love me some charm packs.
Speaking of charm packs, look what this whiz is doing with them. She even got herself a covershot! Monica is offically a covergirl! Congratulations, Monica!
P.S. Thank you so much for all your sweet comments about HP and starting the little lovelies handmade shop. I really really wish blogger would figger out a way so we can respond to each of them! Psssst Blogger powers that be!! Are you listening???

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

little lovelies handmade
Official Launch-June 1

Lily Claire Designs is no more. Not that it ever really was, but you know. On June 1 I will launch little lovelies handmade at etsy and on this here bloggity blog. I need to get through Baz Biz and all that craziness and then work on some fabulous stuff for the little lovelies handmade store. I'm sure that lots of buttons and pattern girls will be involved. I'm predictable that way.

But first I need to get my butt to the post office and mail off the millions of swaps I'm doing. No, I haven't forgotten about you girls, I just can't chew gum (get ready for a show) and walk (mail out my swaps) at the same time. The same day the organizing bug bites, maybe the time management bug will too. Ha!

So about that fab postcard up friend Stacey of Babycard Expressions made it and my business cards. Pretty crazy cute, huh? She's adding design services to her repertoire, so if you have any business card/letterhead needs she's the go to gal for it! She has even started a new wedding invitation business called Lovely Inks. Go check her out.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Love Em All!

Love Em All!
Originally uploaded by littlelovelies.
It been awhile since I made a mosaic. I have been hunting up fun stuff on flickr lately, you can kind of tell by the order what I was searching. Aprons, vintage patterns, bridal designs, doll quilts, play food, real food...all fun stuff!

Well, Handmade Parade is over and for a few days life is going to be peaceful until I start getting ready for Baz Biz and the Maker Faire. Sacramento Craft Mafia and Missy will have booths and Handmade Parade and little lovelies handmade will have a small presence there as well.
Saturday night after things had died down from HP and the yard was (somewhat) back to normal, we had friends over for dinner and margaritas. Nothing like spaghetti and margaritas to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. What can I say, I was tired and didn't feel like cooking or shopping for food, so we ate what Aaron could make without too much assistance.
Sunday I woke up not feeling 100% (no, it wasn't the margaritas) and stayed home from church with monkey boy. I think I just needed to sleep in, because I felt so much better after, that I actually decided to try to tackle my ridiculously messy craft room. After working on it for a few hours it looks not much better. I had layers and layers of stuff piled on my table. I need to get everything put away and dealt with so that I can get in there and create without being bogged down by clutter. I'm hoping that someday some organizational "bug" will get me and I'll be a neat freak. Ha.
Back to the craft room and more organizing. Oh and the cute little bottle above is made by the amazing Vallen of Queenly Things. Go tell her she needs to open an etsy shop!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I love Parades!

Especially the Handmade variety. Bright and early yesterday morning dear bloggy friends began arriving and Handmade Parade was on its way. Everyone's tables were lovely and left me wishing I had millions of dollars to spend on lovely things.

The best part of the day was being able to visit and talk to such wonderful, creative people. I look forward to more events like this! It was really exciting, because for many of us, this was our very first craft show. It was a beautiful sunny day, with the only downfall being a nasty wind. Every once in awhile a big gust would come through and knock over displays and product.

With gasps and giggles the girls would rush around picking up their stuff and creating ingenious little ways of keeping their stuff firmly on their tables. It was fun, nonetheless! We had mother's day shoppers and people looking for wonderful, handmade stuff. It was great!

And look! Peanut got a new dress courtesy of Bitter Betty Industries! Dosen't she look sweet? She is quite the girly girl, because she was pretty thrilled to be getting new duds. You can't see in this pic, but there is a SUPER cute appliqued crow on it, too. My flickr has better pics of the dress and of all of the booths at Handmade Parade. Check it out, becuase almost all of these fab gals have said they want to march again in September for the Handmade Parade Fall Fest!

My super sweetie pie partner in crime Missy. She was sick and a tad grumpy, but she looks all sweetness here, huh? Love ya, Missy!

Check out everyone's fab photos here and here oh and here, too!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Ready, Set, Go!

Well, I am as ready as am going to be. The cupcakes are baked and frosted, the coffeemaker ready to go. (the important stuff, you know...) The backyard is cleaned up, kiddie toys put away. My stuff is priced and packaged. There is nothing left to do except sit back, have a glass of wine and get a good nights sleep.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Another one about food.

Expect food posts more often, folks. I am on a mission to make sure we use all of the contents of our veggies each week and sharing recipes with you is part of the fun for me.

I picked up our veggies today and got a sweet little suprise. Pretty bright red strawberries! I smell a berry crisp in our future... Again I searched epicurious for recipes and got an assortment of yummy ideas.

This weeks box includes Salad Mix, Strawberries, Rosemary, Chard, Snow Peas, Leeks and, Arugula. I'll be making Mixed Berry Crisp (with fresh and frozen berries), Seared Rainbow Chard with Leeks, Rosemary Shortbread, and Arugula Salad this week. All these recipes can be found on the epicurious website (I'm too lazy to hyperlink all of them). If you all have any suggestions for recipes I must try using any of these ingredients toss 'em my way!

By the way, last weeks recipes were amazing. I wasn't sure that the Spring Vegetable Soup would be flavorful enough, but it was perfect. The Collard Green Olive Pesto is also going to become a family favorite. It was good spread on cibatta, too.

I'm off to make Martha's Marble cake for Handmade Parade and mow the lawns!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I Had To...

I had to get more floral wire.

I had to get it today.

I had to get it at Michaels.

I was good and didn't buy anything. This time. I just got what I needed and took a little look-see. I like what Martha has to offer, but I think I am more excited about the packaging and color scheme, than the products themselves. That crazy Martha knows how to sell something and how to get the crafty community all in a tizzy.
I know that I'll buy her products because there will be time where it will just be easier, but when push comes to shove, I think I like getting my craft supplies online from independent retailers and other crafters. Of course, I say this now. We'll see how my resolve holds up the next time I'm standing in the ailse, salivating over glitter and glue....
*ps, thanks so much for all your encouragement for HP! I have my list all divided out by day and what needs to get done for that day, and I must say it has worked out nicely so far.