Thursday, December 20, 2007

Busy Busy Busy!!

My blog has not had any love from me in a while! I am sooo busy! Not only have I been finishing orders in the madness of the holiday rush, but I have been making all of Gracie and Annelie's presents, and making new pictures for my soon-to-be- shop. Next, I have to clean my atrociously messy house. It has suffered some serious neglect!! And my mother-in-law is coming to stay for seven weeks, so I better get to work soon!!!

I just want to say a great big THANK YOU!!! for all the support you wonderful bloggers have given me about opening my new shop!! I am going to do it, even though it terrifies me! I have no formal art training past my high school art classes ten years ago, so I have always felt a bit inferior when it comes to drawing. But I guess now is as good a time as any to test the waters and at least build up a nice portfolio. My life long dream is to write and illustrate children's books, so at least I am getting some good drawing time in! And the best part is that Gracie is always happy to set up her own paper and crayons along side of me and draw draw draw. She is very talented!

See you all after the craziness has died down!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Elegant Snobbery

My decolletage is quite impressive, Lydia mused as she smiled inwardly.

Okay, I am kind of toying with the idea of opening a second shop on Etsy. Or maybe phasing out Tootsie and Grace baby boutique completely and just focusing on my illustrations for awhile. Really undecided.

You see, sewing isn't my first love. Not by a long shot. I didn't even begin sewing until seven months ago, so it certainly isn't something I have been doing my whole life!

Drawing, on the other hand -- especially with colored pencils-- has been my favorite pastime since I was a wee little thing with a pack of Crayolas. I didn't want to open a shop with my illustrations because I *gasp* hate rejection. But I recently figured, I'll never be successful as an illustrator anyway, if I never even take the chance!!

I love sewing, but I just never have the time with my two little ladies constantly getting underfoot. They can't help it, of course. But I am tired (literally) of staying up until two in the morning just to finish a sewing project!! The idea of opening a new shop and focusing strictly on art for the time being is soooooo nice!!!

So there just might be a new shop in town come the new year --- Elegant Snobbery. That'll be me!

At the top is the latest picture taped to my drawing board. Meet Lydia.


I need to have it scanned as my camera unfortunately doesn't capture all the color and detail. But it is a nice start, I think!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Whats going on!?!?!

Have you seen my shop lately? Me neither!!

Tootsie and Grace is closed for the holidays. I am overwhelmed and underpaid, and throwing in the towel to play with my kids and have a great holiday season.

But don't worry, I'll still be around!! Enjoy your own holidays everyone!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


I have been tagged by Candice from Kopah

I’m to share seven random/weird facts about myself, post the rules, and then tag seven other people.

My 7 random/weird facts about myself:

DISCLAIMER--- Your are about to learn things about me that you probably wish you didn’t know. Please don’t stop being my blog buddy after reading this. I’m not crazy. Just quirky.

1. I watch documentaries. I love them. Luckily my husband does too, but I’m telling you… movie night might seem a little boring at our place!! My most recently watched documentaries include:

*Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism—all about the Republican bias of Fox News

*Once in a Lifetime—about the soccer sensation of the New York Cosmos

*Deliver Us from Evil—about corruption and pedophilia inside the Catholic church

*Air Guitar Nation—about the Air Guitar Championships (really awesome!!)

*Slavery & the Making of America—nuff said

*The Corporation—about the rise of corporations and the impact they have on our lives

*Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport—about the kids escaping by underground railroad, during Hitler’s heyday.

*Grass—about marijuana prohibition in the US throughout history (this was my favorite)

*Jesus Camp—about the evangelical army of children and their way of life as they spread their fundamentalist views

*Soldiers in the Army of God—about pro-life extremist who call themselves “Army of God”

There are more…. My husband and I watch PBS all the time. All of the above were from Netflix, though.

2. I still have a little girlhood love for mermaids, fairies and fairy tales. I never out grew it! I collect mermaids, especially, but have a lot of fairy and frog prince stuff (mostly gifts from people who know me) I can’t help it, I just love it all!! I have always loved my name because it means, “maiden of the sea.”

--btw, this is a fabulous painting, isn't it? I will be blogging my friend and favorite artist, Brian Nishimoto soon!!

3. When it comes to keeping my house tidy—forget it. I am a total slob, as is my husband. But I am a bit OCD about kitchen cabinet doors. THEY HAVE TO BE CLOSED!!!

4. I don’t drive. I know I have mentioned it before in my blog, but it is a pretty serious issue with me. I was seeing a hypnotherapist last spring, but it didn’t work. I have my drivers license, but I have not driven a car in several years. Even then, I only drove around my town and never on a freeway. I would also never drive with my kids in the car. I have panic attacks.

All this said, the number one wish in my life is for me to get over my driving “issue.” I dream of driving every single day and think that my lack of driving is why I don’t have any friends in Texas. I mean how can I, when I don’t drive to playgroup, or anywhere else where I could potentially be social? If it wasn’t for the Etsy forums, I’d be a recluse!!

5. I have a passion for pirate history and lore. I know, you are thinking it isn’t unusual with the love for pirates that has taken over the world since Pirates of the Caribbean movies came out, but my passion is a little different. I have wanted to be a pirate historian for about 10 years and have sooooo many books and papers and research on pirates. In fact, the reason I chose Bath when I did my study abroad, was because it was located next to Bristol, which is where Blackbeard the pirate was born and raised (omg, that is insane, isn’t it?). I even noticed all of the pirate mistakes Disney made when filming the Pirates movies.

6. I am trying to go green. I guess not completely, since that is such a hard thing to do, but I am trying my best! Here are a few of the ways I have tried to reduce my waste.

*I have stopped using paper towels, and only use washcloths now. This is why I added washcloths to my shop, because I love them so much!! I used to go through a paper towel roll a week, but now it has been a few months without any!!

*I don’t use plastic bags when I go to the grocery store. I either use the back of my stroller, or a cloth sack.

7. If I could travel back in time to any period in history, I would choose Regency England. I love learning about this time period, and reading and watching Jane Austin. I have always loved this era, but I never appreciated it quite as much until I was living in Bath, where Jane Austin lived during the Regency era. So much of Bath is still from that era and it is just so beautiful!!

Great books to read if you are interested in this time period as well, include:

*What Jane Austin Ate and Charles Dickens Knew

* The Gorgeous Georgians

Okay, that is me.

The rules:
Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
Share 7 random and/or weird things about yourself
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

My 7 tags: Um… I need to add to this list as I meet new bloggers. I don’t really know a lot who have not already been tagged!!

1.) Katie-- Fresh Squeezed
2.)Amy-- Herbst Handmade

Monday, December 3, 2007

Light Box Building 101: A Tutorial

The key to taking great pictures when you live in a place that doesn't get much light (like my apartment, which is totally blocked by trees and doesn't get any natural light whatsoever) is using a light box.

It doesn't take much to build a good light box. Here is a list of all that you will need:

1 good sized packing box. We have moved so much that we have about thirty of them laying about (Actually, that's a lie. We have about thirty of them still filled with all the things we know we will never need, but I can't bear to throw away in the event that we do need it someday. Like miniature Gap jean jackets, which are too uncomfortable to stick a new born baby in, but too small to put a baby who is over 8 lbs in).

White tissue paper

Tape and a craft knife

White poster board

First, you will want to cut windows in three sides of the box. The box becomes very flimsy, so be careful!!

Next, chase your ten month old away several times and plead for your husband to take her so you can get your project finished.

Give up on chasing said ten month old, after she tries strangulating herself on one of the box sides.

Convince husband that building your light box is key to running a successful business, and that the only way to do that, is for him to physically hold ten month old until you are finished as she is known to never leave Mommy's side, especially when Mommy is doing something that does not involve her.

Next, begin taping the tissue paper to the sides and top of the box.

After successfully and painstakingly taping up two of the sides, begin chasing ten month old again, because husband has forgotten to watch her and is too engrossed in football to notice baby destroying project.

Give up.

What are you crazy? Who builds things out of flimsy cardboard boxes and tissue paper, anyway!!!

Okay, some people do. And for those of you who are interested in a working tutorial, check out this one by Strobist.



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