Glitter Haus 2nd Annual Holiday Event is today!

I couldn't be more excited!  I've been hard at work crafting new goodies to share with you, as well as procuring a collection of vintage Christmas treasures and home accessories that will be available to peruse at the event!

Of course, I've been so busy that I forgot to take any pictures!  Here's a couple - one phone pic and one from the last show offering.  Kind of embarrassed that this is all I have, but you'll just have to show up today to see the rest!  I'm feeling very proud of my new work.  :)

Be sure to rsvp!  This event is in a charming neighborhood home, and you will be sad to miss it!  See you there from 11-3 PM.


Covered in glitter

Everything in my workroom is covered in glitter whether or not I want it to be, including myself.  But it's all for a good cause.  I've been hard at work creating little sparkly goodies for the upcoming holiday craft sales.  That's why I haven't posted much lately, so please forgive me.  I hope this sneak peek at what my little fingers have been busy crafting will make up for it!

Miniature winter vignettes

Background in a Box

Miniature Fairie Abodes

Holiday Assemblage

3-D Ornaments

Decorated German Nut Baskets

Handwoven Nests
Many of the items were sculpted with spun cotton, my new favorite material, along with imported German elements, vintage findings, train miniatures and LOTS of sparkles.  Almost everything is tiny, and the items were challenging and fun to make.

The first sale is this weekend at King's Books in Tacoma - the Tacoma Is For Lovers holiday craft sale, Saturday and Sunday 11-4 both days.  You can find more info here on their website.  This is my favorite TIFL sale (they're usually twice a year), because the vendors really go all out with their top notch creations.  It's some of the best of what Tacoma has to offer as far as handmade goes.

The other event where I'll be showcasing is Glitter Haus, a very fancy invite-only open house in Tacoma on Saturday, December 1st from 11-3 PM.  Check out www.glitterhausholiday.com to see what it's all about and to get on the guest list - you won't want to miss it!


Glitter Haus is back!

I'm very excited to let you know about our upcoming Glitter Haus event!  December 1st from 11-3 PM some of Tacoma's finest local artists and crafters will be showcasing their magical creations in the loveliest of home settings.  Come enjoy some hot cider, support local artists and find inspiration in every corner at this fabulous holiday event!  Visit www.glitterhausholiday.com to learn more.  Hope to see you there - you won't want to miss it!


I don't want to grow up.

My daughter just turned nine, and she told me on her birthday this week, tears in her eyes, "I don't want to grow up."  It was so unexpected and sweet and beautiful to hear.

As an adult, I look back on my childhood days longing for that fuzzy sense of happiness I associate with childhood.  I definitely put on those rose-colored glasses when I want to remember a time that was sweeter and easier, when I was able to make the best of it and be able to laugh and smile despite life's troubles (which, in hindsight, of course seemed so much simpler.)

This year hasn't been the easiest, but it's been amazing.  I've learned so much and grown into myself immensely.  Earlier in the year I felt stagnant in my creative work and knew I needed a change.  Stubbornly, I put off doing the hard work of returning to square one and reconnecting what made me want to be an artist in the first place.  It was scary.  I didn't want to give up on what I had put all that hard work into.  I pursued other distractions, ignoring what my gut instincts were telling me.  I didn't want to listen.

I have tried and failed and picked myself up again so many times this year, I've lost count!  Man, change is hard.  But I've kept going.  Through the grace of God, I found my compass again, and it was pointing at the drawers in my workroom that have been collecting dust and cobwebs for the past few years.  I've been sitting in there for weeks now, creating, with no intention other than to make things that make me happy and to reconnect with my artist-self.  I now make things that kindle that spark of nostalgia and fuzzy childhood happiness inside me.  Things that make me feel like that part of me doesn't have to grow up.  Ever.

I feel like myself again and I feel proud of my work.  You won't see any more veils, hair accessories or jewelry in my Etsy shop or at craft sales.  I'm not following trends to make sales or growing a business to try to make a decent paycheck.  Those things would be nice too, but for now they've been stripped away in exchange for the freedom to make what I want and enjoy when I sit down at my work table.

Growing up and all the responsibilities that grow with it will always be there.  But for now, I'm counting my blessings and enjoying what it feels like to be a kid at a craft table again (that's truly what it feels like!  Sometimes I almost feel guilty about it...)  ;)

I'll be sure to post some photos of what I'm making very soon.  Thanks for reading!


Fall Sale!

It's time to clean out the closets and clear off the shelves!  I'm making room for new projects, designs and works and need to make room for new supplies.  Lots of accessories from last year are on sale right now in the Deeds & Petunia Etsy shop.  Some are in perfect condition, some are seconds and samples still in good condition (might have slight, barely noticeable damage.  All of these goods are on SUPER SALE!!!  They definitely won't last long, so act fast!  Get your Christmas shopping out of the way!  Buy something fancy for that upcoming holiday party!  Fall is here, and there are gorgeous accessories like these to accent your cool weather wardrobe...

Find them in my Etsy shop - on sale now!


Introducing The Cluckers.

I fear I have a black thumb this year when it comes to gardening, aside from growing tomatoes, strawberries and rhubarb.  I can't even grow zucchini (everyone can grow zucchini.)  But I've managed to keep an average of three cats alive and well for the most part (for the most part...) for the last five years, so I figured I'd be pretty capable of caring for some relatively low maintenance chickens (according to what I'd heard.)  I decided to give it a go.  It's been almost 4 weeks since we bought two Black Australorps and a New Hampshire Red from Gardensphere, our favorite garden center in Tacoma, and so far it's gone pretty well!

This is Peepers.  She loves long walks on the beach and sunsets.

This is Phoebe.  She loves to make as much noise as possible every time you go to pick her up (she must really like being held, I'm guessing...)

This is "Mother" Margaret, the sweetest and gentlest chick.  
She's nicknamed "Mother" because we needed a "Mother Clucker."  Heheh.

Here's what I've learned in the past few weeks about our freshly hatched chicks:

Chickens may not be the smartest animals on the planet, but they are very sweet and actually make pretty good pets.  They have attached themselves to my husband (I took the attitude of treating them more like farm animals than pets. I think they know...) and they get very excited when he comes around, peeping and stretching their necks and eagerly jumping at him to perch on his arms.  My 8 and 6 year old are great helpers and can't get enough of their chickies.  The chickens snuggle right up to the girls, and really like to be held.  My kids are all too happy to help with chores too when it comes to the Cluckers!

Chicks make a TON of noise.  Constant peeping.  When they are agitated and stressed (too much/not enough handling,) they peep even more.  I was so worried about them getting too cold that I overheated them at first and couldn't figure out why they were so squaky.  We sorted it out and moved the heat lamp a little farther away and they seemed to maintain a comfortable level of peeping for the rest of the night EVER.

They are messy and stinky.  I know I am particularly sensitive to chicken mess/smell, but I'm telling you, they walk around and poop on everything, getting it all over themselves and your hands when you pick them up.  They just LOVE to poop on people too.  I think that's their favorite past time.  And the food gets everywhere.  I think their other favorite past time is littering the box as quickly as possible with as much food as they can.  I imagine they love to food-fight, just peeping with delight, while we sleep.  They are voracious eaters and I cannot believe how much feed they consume.  Between the eating and the food-fighting, very little of it actually stays in the feeder that I'm refilling every day.  As you can imagine, the water is thusly changed at least twice a day due to the excessive pooping and food mess.  I change their newspaper every night.  

Inside the bin - a large plastic storage tub converted into baby chick housing
But the best part is - it's not that much work.  That's about the extent of the work involved with chick raising - food, water, clean paper, warmth, handling.  And they will like you.  Pretty easy.  WAY easier than a puppy.  Eventually you get gorgeous, delicious, nutritious eggs out of the deal!  Worth it, I say!


Summertime and the livin' is easy.

My two girls decided to put on a fancy lemonade stand and try their hand at entrepreneurship.  They went the extra mile by donning some "classy" costume hats, raiding my work room to create a hand-painted sign, and adorning the table with vintage tablecloth and fresh picked flowers to attract customers.  Taking a cue from mom's make-it-fancy mentality, I'd guess.  ;)

Lots of giggles and deliciousness ensued.  They drank about 8 cups each.  Two dollars richer, I would say their first lemonade stand attempt was highly successful.

Our recipe:

Fancy Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

1 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Cup White Sugar
Water to taste
Fresh Lavender (optional, but that's what makes it fancy)

Dissolve sugar in lemon juice in pitcher.  Add cold water, mix.  Sprinkle purple lavender "bits" in and stir.  Serve over ice.

This is what summer is all about.


The Gift of Inspiration

The last DIY project I did for the Austin Wedding Blog...
I've been going through what some might call a dry spell, creatively speaking.  I've been waiting for gift of inspiration to strike, to feel like I am doing what I am meant to be doing.  I'm tired.  When you are constantly generating and putting yourself out there, trying new things, exhausting your possibilities, sometimes it helps to take a long break and relax, let go of your expectations and find relief in not doing anything.  But that's easier said than done.

Yes, it's important to free yourself up for when the moment strikes.  But sometimes you've got to actively seek inspiration to find it.  Even when you're tired.  Here are a few of my inspiration outlets (outside of Pinterest and Country Living - my go-to founts of inspiration!), that I go to when I need to refill that creative cup.

Music has always been my number one source of creative inspiration.  When I was a child, I spent countless hours in my bedroom with the radio on and I would just draw and draw.  This continued through high school, but then I hit a long dry spell after I graduated.  No drawing, no music, not much creativity at all (I did spend a lot of time traveling though.)  When I was in my early 20's, I lived overseas in England for three years.  It was an incredible experience, but at times I felt very lonely and isolated.  Then I discovered Radiohead.  Their music injected creativity back into my life in many ways.  I felt connected to the emotion and artistry and intellectualism of this band.  Now when I'm feeling a sense of disconnect, I turn on iTunes.  Listening to music helps inspire me to find myself drawing and craft dabbling once again.

Photo courtesy of Lalalaurie
Creative Friends.
I had a great talk with my friend Lalalaurie today, who is a champion of creativity.  She is a talented paper artist, she writes projects for the Fiskars creative team, and runs the too cute for comfort Itty Bitty Kitty Committee, finding homes for sweet and cuddly shelter kittens and raising money for the Tacoma Humane Society.  I look up to her not only because of her artistry and talent, but because she is a focused hard worker.  Her tenacity and drive is evidenced in her beautiful creations, photos and cohesive styling.  She also gives great advice.  Today it was to aim high, think big.  Don't go after something unless it's exactly what I want.  As I contemplate some big life choices, this was just what I needed to hear.

My Kids.
"When can we go to the park?"  "I don't want to take a shower!"  "She stole my toy and then hit me!"  "I don't WANT to eat a sandwich for lunch!"  This is part of what drains me.  I was interrupted about 8 times while trying to write this one section.  But when I need a to let go and have fun, I know I can always count on my kids for lots of giggles and silliness.  That should be their nicknames: Giggles and Silliness.  They remind me that I can't always take life so seriously.  Sometimes I've got to stop and smell the roses.  And then run around in circles screaming about the spider in the roses that almost touched my nose.  They draw awesome pictures like this:
It's me.  I feel like it's a pretty solid reflection of how I felt that day.
I love this stuff.  They challenge me to draw too.  We take turns and acknowledge each others strengths as artists.  My kids rule.

I feel like the woods are where God dwells here in the Northwest.  Point Defiance Park is right in my back yard.  It's my favorite place to go when I need a little nature therapy.  I'm reminded how small and temporary I am, how big the world is, how my problems aren't part of the big picture.  It's a great place to find peace and breathe.

I love few things as much as a road trip.  Getting in the car and exploring new territory, new people, new surroundings is incredibly inspiring.  We just visited Lake Chelan, one of my favorite places.  A vacation destination since I was a kid, Chelan provided us with some much needed sunshine and it was only a few hours away.  I bought 20 pounds of peaches.  I have no idea what I am going to do with 20 pounds of peaches, but I'm sure some inspiration will strike... ;)

Craft Blogs.
There are too many to name!  A few favorites are listed on the right.  I LOVE BLOGS.  I love seeing into other creative people's worlds.  I always find inspiration when I look through my Google reader.  I also love link parties, because I get to see what other people are making and it gives me an excuse to conjure up a new DIY, craft, blog post, etc. and helps me connect with other bloggers and crafters.  This post is linked to the Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop.  It's my first time doing so, and I'm hoping this will be a great way to connect with others creatively.  Check it out and I hope you'll leave a comment if you're here visiting via the link party!


Deep Thoughts and Creative Ruts.

Contemplating life with "Blackout" the chicken
Mistakes are hard.  I know the saying "you learn from your mistakes" all too well.  I'm starting to feel like a pro at making mistakes. I'm one of those people who's not afraid of jumping in and trying something.  "You'll learn as you go" is another, and I do.  But there isn't much comfort in those words when something doesn't work out.  Disappointment, shame, failure aren't easy to overcome.

You may have noticed I haven't been blogging for the past couple months.  I've been going through the process of reevaluating where to spend my time and energy.  Having a creative business is fantastic most of the time.  But when you take a look at your time/energy spent vs. what's in your bank account, it can sometimes be a little disheartening. Doing my taxes this year is what made me reflect on why I'm doing Deeds & Petunia and what I want to get out of all this.

My priorities.
My two kids are my #1 priority, of course.  I am so lucky to be able to be here for them and take an active role in their lives as a stay-at-home mom.  I truly believe in the long run it will make a difference.  But they go to school all day and I get bored easily.  Deeds & Petunia started on a whim when I found a bunch of really great vintage trims and notions at an estate sale and I thought "I could sell these online, I bet."  That endeavor to make a little extra money and cure my boredom sparked a fire of creativity in me, and before I knew it I was crafting up a storm.  A friend suggested I try my hand at veil and fascinator making.  It worked out pretty well and I would say I was a fairly successful seller on Etsy for a while.  As a start-up micro-business, I had a positive cash flow in the first two years.  I found great validation in feeling like I was doing something right.

But veils and fascinators are not my passion and I got pretty burned out.  It wasn't a mistake (it was anything but a mistake), but it wasn't fun or flexible anymore.  I found myself counting sales instead of counting all the accomplishments, all the great connections I've made, all the creative growth.   I wanted to move away from wedding accessories and into writing and blogging, and working on becoming more of a creative resource for people.  But I felt like I had no wind in my sails - I couldn't do what it takes to basically start from scratch again.

I knew it was time to take a break.

So of course, I started Real Estate School. (?!?!)

Which I really enjoyed.  I knew I would be good at it.  The money was tempting.  And I do love the thrill of making a sale.  But my heart was not in it.  It's not what I'm "called" to do.  I'm not sure it would provide me with the job satisfaction I desire.  Maybe it was a mistake.  Yeah, probably.  I didn't want to quit because of the whole failure thing and I didn't hate it.  Sigh.  So now I'm feeling a little lost.

Ultimately, my big question in life right now is, if I'm going to spend time and energy on a business, what is the most satisfying way to do it?  The most meaningful?  The most lucrative?  Should I just go work at Starbucks? (probably no.)  It's stressful.  I don't want to make another mistake.
Maybe I could intern?
I think I'm walking through one of those valleys where you have to just trust that God knows where you are supposed to be.  I'm trying different paths to find my way up that mountain again where I'll feel like I'm on top of the world.  I think it starts with looking at where I've been and not taking that for granted.  I woke up this morning and the first thing I did was sit down and blog.  This feels like something.

Frankly, I don't know what I'm seeking.  I remember the simple feeling of satisfaction I get when I create something beautiful.  Or when I get to write up a tutorial and someone says "thank you!" feels great.  Having my work published feels super AWESOME.  People don't respond often on the blog or my Facebook page (maybe I'm not as interesting as I previously thought), but when they do, I feel connected and so happy to bring a smile to someone else's face (at least that's what I like to think you're doing.  Smiling.)  I like that a lot.  :)
 If you pray, keep me in your prayers.  I'm so scared of making another mistake, that I've lost my courage and don't know what my gut is telling me to do anymore.  But I'm going to keep on blogging.  It feels like the only thing I can really do at this point.  Some of it might be about crafting, but you might also have to read a lot about Linus my cat, or my ovaries (which are testy lately) or 80's pop music.  It'll probably be mostly for me for a while, so I don't know if you'll even find it interesting, but if you do, let me know.  It will help keep me going until I figure things out.  There might even be a nugget of inspiration in there somewhere (for both of us.)

Thanks for reading.


I could sure use one of these...

Now that I'm wearing make-up on a somewhat regular basis once again (errr... today doesn't count...) My make up collection is growing again. So when Jordani, a local Tacoma Etsy gal, sent me a very sweet email a few weeks ago to share about her handmade bags, I got excited. How cute is this one? Not only pretty, but very reasonably priced!  Would be perfect for my overflowing shelf of Sephora impulse buys. Go check out her shop and give her some love, dear readers!


A little Some-zine for the Vintage Wedding Fair...

I put this together for the NW Vintage Wedding Fair last month. It's about half the size of last year's zine, but still has lots of ideas and inspiration for vintage loving brides and grooms. Take a look and let me know what you think! :)


Win 2 VIP tickets to the NW Vintage Wedding Fair on March 31!

I can't wait for this weekend!!!  The 3rd Annual NW Vintage Wedding Fair has grown by leaps and bounds.  We are more than excited to showcase our hand-picked, vintage-infused vendors and provide our nostalgia-loving brides and grooms some amazing ideas and inspiration for their weddings.

This year's fair will be held Saturday, March 31st at Greenwood Square, a fabulous vintage venue on the corner of 85th & Greenwood in Seattle, from 1-6 PM.  VIP early admission is available this year! VIP's get in at noon instead of 1 PM and receive the royal treatment with champagne, appetizers, goodie bags and first look at what the fair has to offer. 

You can enter to win two VIP tickets to the fair over at the NW Vintage Wedding Fair blog!  The winner will be announced on Friday, so be sure to get on over and enter right now!

If you prefer not to take your chances, you can buy tickets ahead of time here.  But you'd better act fast - they're selling like hotcakes!!!  :)

See you Saturday...