Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy Halloween

This year is Gracie’s third Halloween.

For her first, she was only six months old and she was a butterfly. She didn't do anything Halloween related except sit in her wings for a few minutes and shake a box of candy like a rattle.

Last year, Gracie decided to be a cow. She loved her cowbell necklace and ran around the house mooing from morning until night.

She didn’t understand the holiday. She didn’t seem to care, and was just in it for the cowbell and the Halloween stickers I bought for her.

But this year was different.

My two and a half year old discovered the joy of Halloween this year.

It started when I asked her what she want to be (a monster, a clown, a princess, a mermaid, a fairy… I finally put my foot down and she became a hula dancer-- I really like her hairbow!!), then she discovered Halloween story books.

The first trip to the Halloween section of Target had her shaking in her sneakers, but she wanted more. And last, she discovered the candy. Piles and piles, bags and bags. Gracie knew that Halloween was going to be fun.

My mom and I took Grace to Sweet Berry Farm for pony rides, goat feeding, hay rides, pumpkins, ice cream and a fun day with her best friends, Anabelle and Meredith.

The neighborhood Halloween festival this past weekend was the icing on the cake, as far as Gracie was concerned.

Her grandma and her godmother, Jenni were there, as well as all her friends dressed in costumes.

There were games she was big enough to play, face painting, arts and crafts and hot dogs.

Before the party was over, the kids began the Candy Trail, in which Grace ran from candy holding mama to candy holding mama shouting “TRICK OR TREAT!!!” at the top of her lungs (until the end, in which Gracie held her bag behind her back shouting, “Its MY candy!!” to all of the children walking near her).

Tonight we carved our pumpkin and Gracie was just thrilled when the candle was lit. It was magic to her.

She sat right down next to her jack-o-lantern and said, “Say cheese, Pumpkin.”

I can’t imagine what Christmas is going to be like for her!!

I wanted to capture the joy of a child’s first real Halloween in the two items I’m featuring tonight.

This darling little 1.5 inch button, from the shop Hearthside Cottage, is the epitome of a sweet season and a fun celebration for children. I just love that it is made from a vintage postcard! You can find this pin and so many others also with a vintage Halloween theme at

Owen and Emma Bows has these little Halloween play cookie sets that look good enough to eat. Each felt cookie is a one-of-a-kind creation measuring between 2.5" and 3" around. This set has black icing with orange and white sparkling "sprinkles.”

I just love that the cookies come in a bakery carry out container decked out for Halloween with an adorable spider on the front and orange organza ribbon on the sides! You can find this play set and more at

Happy Haunting, everyone!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fifi's French Boudoir

I got my first (sort of) Treasury yesterday, and I was so excited!! I say 'sort of' because it was a Treasury West, which is Etsy's test treasury -- and it seems to be down just about all the time. But not before I was able to take a screen shot so I could show it off. I had never taken a screen shot before. I think it shows!

So here it is: Fifi's French Boudoir. I love all things Parisian, and wanted to show it off. As for Fifi, she is a character I am working on for a children's book (writing and illustrating is really what I am about. Tootsie and Grace is recreation and an excuse to get my hands on designer fabrics).

I love all of the items listed, but here are a few of my special favorites. I'll start with the charm bracelet by 2 Dy 4-- Art by a Drama Queen! I just love this bracelet, which is so girly and fun as it says, "She loved him down to her pink toes & back up again."

The vintage text is from a 1940's romance novel and is on a background of pink & white polka dots under a glass marble. You can find this bracelet as well as other pieces of re-purposed vintage jewelry at

I am passionately in love with the artwork from A Fanciful Twist's shop. I just can't get enough of it! Here is the set of postcards that I put in the treasury, but I can't stop there! I love all of these funky and -whimsical- (cringing, because I just HATE that word, but it really does describe the artwork perfectly!!).

You can find these and so many more beautiful card sets, original artwork and prints at

Shabby Cottage Studios' altered art cards and collages made with vintage labels are so beautiful! I love the one I featured in the treasury, but there are so many more. I am also partial to the vintage label collage sheets!!

You can find this shop at

I just love the funky vintage finds in this next Etsy shop. June 22, has so many things I would love to get my hands on! The vintage 1970 fuchsia jacket with ruffles (I love ruffles) is so awesome! I also think the photography used really shows off her shop well! I would love very much to look stylish and hip in front on an old barn door! Here are a bunch of favorites from her shop.

You can find this shop at

Appréciez et au revoir !

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My tootsiegrace Space

I have seen a few work spaces of other Etsy artists, and thought it would be fun to show my "shop," aka the dining room of our very small apartment. My husband is a legend for letting me claim the entire dining room (well, sometimes the table is cleared off so we can eat there, but more often than not we have a picnic in the living room--its cozy that way!).

I love all things crafty. So does Gracie who is making herself a Barbie dress out of my Heather Bailey's Freshcut squares.

But I love that she feels comfortable crafting for herself and it is great that she always wants to get her hands on beautiful crafts of her own. Right now we are working on her actually asking first, but its all baby steps, isn't it?

I used to love hand painting flower pots and have kept some of my favorites, like the little alligator. You can also see one of my favorite books, Amy Butler's InStyle pattern book. It was that book which started my whole sewing frenzy. I still have not made anything. I don't know how to read a pattern yet, so I just design all my own stuff for the time being.

I love shopping on Etsy and you can see a few of the things I have bought lurking about. You can find the little blue pin cushion I bought from Sabrina's Creations at tucked in next to a bin of fabric, my sewing box and some varnish. Sabrina asked me the other day if I use it.... You bet!

Here is Jimmy. Poor little guy hasn't been created yet from these Original Rockford red heel socks which I bought from TerBear at It is so sad seeing him like this! Good thing he will have a happy little smile soon.

I have about five or so bins of fabric like these. I am seriously addicted. I haven't even used a lot of them yet!

I bought these sweet little baby powder scented goat's milk soaps from A Breath of French Air at I am going to be introducing washcloths made from all of my beautiful fabrics soon, and am including two of these little rubber ducky soaps with each order. They smell just like a freshly powdered baby, which I just love. I gave one of them to Gracie and she spent about forty-five minutes compulsively washing her hands. But she loved it!!

I hope you enjoy my shop! I certainly love creating in it!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Let There Be Love

I used to be a hopeless romantic. Now, I'm just a romantic. After meeting my husband Will, I don't feel so hopeless anymore! So sappy... but so true.

When Will and I arrived at the Dublin Airport in Ireland a few years ago, neither one of us expected to meet the person we would marry. Will had been in Ireland watching Wales play in the 6 Nations rugby tournament. I had been traveling around the country with some friends while studying abroad in Bath, England. We both ended up sitting next to each other in the airport with a 10 hour wait until our separate flights. The time flew by.

We spent the next four months together. From coal mines to castles, we traveled all over the UK and when it was time for me to go back to my home in California, we knew it wasn't the end for us.

As our three year wedding anniversary grows closer, I think about how lucky I am to have met the man of my dreams. Only three weeks before I had met Will, I had broken up with my longterm college boyfriend who I felt I had to leave the country just to get away from (hence, the study abroad!!). I had resigned myself to being alone forever and didn't think I would mind that. I thought I had loved the guy, but knew that we just didn't work together. I didn't really know what it was like to be in a loving and supportive relationship until Will came into my life.

And now, with two little girls to call our own, we are still happy and in love. And although we desperately miss the days when we were falling in love over wine and couscous in London (especially on nights when Gracie is still jumping on her bed at 11:00 pm, and Annelie is screaming her head off because of the whole teething nightmare that is my life) we wouldn't trade the life we have built together for the world.

For Will, and lovers everywhere, here is an Etsy tribute!

The first shop I would like to feature is Paper Fish. I love just about everything in this shop, and would spend spend spend to my hearts content if we didn't have kids to feed and bills to pay. But these colorful little hearts, made from felt and fabric, are just too irresistible not to show off!

You can find these hearts (which come as a set of three) at

The next shop, Annie and Olive, is another of those that I would shop in for the rest of my life, if only I had the money! I just can't get enough of these sweet little heart pendants! There are so many to choose from, and one day I would like to have a whole collection of them.

You can find these, as well as sweet little flower hairclips and minitotes at

The next shop I would like to feature is very funky and very fun; the wire artwork of Kristine Mays. I am so in love with this LOVE set of letters for the wall. They each measure about 4 x 6 and are just so cool.
You can find these at

This next item is a card from Dulce Mea Confections and I think it is so beautiful it should be framed! In fact, I think the majority of this entire shop should be framed and preserved forever, because I am completely in love with these collage cards.

You can find this card, as well as other beautiful pieces of collage art cards at

If you are in love, don't forget to shout it from the rooftops. Love is rare and should be celebrated!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Celebrate with Love & Squalor Designs

My mom recently had a birthday. Now, I’m not going to tell you how old she is (although if you check her myspace page, you will see that she is in fact ninety-nine) but lets just say this year was a BIG one.

Because this year was so special, I wanted to celebrate in a very big way: SURPRISE PARTY!! My uncle hosted the party and his house was filled to the brim with friends, family, good food and lots to drink. Mom says she wasn’t surprised (she never is), but she was definitely touched by the huge group of people who gathered together to celebrate just her.

I love parties!

And of course, a birthday celebration is never complete without presents. Because this year was a special one, I needed to buy her something fabulous. Enter Love & Squalor Designs. Have you seen their home décor yet? If not, head on over to and snatch up as much as you can, because these hip and funky items are too cool to pass up. I have my eyes on the Denyse Schmidt picture mats. The colors are so vibrant and fun and I can’t wait to fill them with pictures of my girls!

And of course, I don’t think my girls have ever looked so sweet as they do surrounded by Amy Butler.

Love & Squalor Designs is a shop run by two gals from Austin, who are the“best of friends trying to make the best of things,” while filling their lives with creativity and beautiful fabrics by designers such as Amy Butler, Denyse Schmidt, Erin Michael, Michael Miller and more!

And because they feel lucky to have the opportunity to venture out and start their business, they are making sure their successes help open doors to others. When you shop in their store, 10% of the purchase price goes to organizations that offer microloans to men and women who need a little bit of help to start businesses that create a lot of quality of life. How wonderful is that? You can find out more about Love & Squalor Designs and the ladies behind it all at

I am very much in love with their photo mats, but that isn't all they do. Recently they added French memory boards and gorgeous fabric covered key hooks to their collection.

I love the candy colors in their Fun with Dick and Jane photo mats.

These Denyse Schmidt mats are my absolute favorite!

These key hooks make organization hot!

I adore the classic beauty of a French memory board paired with hip and modern fabrics!

Happy shopping! I know I will be shopping again soon!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

May the Fortune Be With You

** Note: We did not move. Months after this post, we changed our minds as I couldn't bear to move a different country and leave my family behind

"Prepare today for the demands of tomorrow."

We had take-out Chinese the other night. I love Chinese, especially chicken chow mein. Mmmm…
But as for the fortunes--

Well, I don't see where exactly the fortune is in that one. How about, "Tomorrow you will magically have ten thousand dollars in your bank account," or "All your pre-Gracie clothes that you have been hanging onto for three years will fit you on Wednesday of next week."

Forget it. I get the fortune shown above.

Tomorrow has a lot of demands, but frankly I am not even interested in thinking about them let alone preparing for them. Perhaps I am lazy, or maybe too tired, but I hate demands and I hate preparing!

In a couple of months, we are going to be moving to England. Have I begun sorting through the enormous amounts of stuff I have accumulated in 26 years? Of course not. I haven't even thrown out last night's garbage (I really have to do that! Ew). In fact, I still haven't yet finished unpacking the boxes since our move from California to Texas last September.

And I really need to begin all of this, because I have to figure out just what I need to hold on to, what will fit into a single suitcase. Goodbye treasures I have hoarded my entire life. Goodbye pictures that never made it into scrapbooks, high school yearbooks, beloved teddy bears and my favorite bedroom decorations since kindergarten (which have been hiding in boxes since middle school). Farewell bath products that expired four years ago but still look pretty in their package, cheerleading uniforms and prom dresses that I will never fit into again, and super cute shoes that hurt my feet. Adios awesome DVD and CD collection, wedding presents from Pottery Barn, Venetian glass mirror (the first expensive gift I ever bought myself!) and antique trunk from the 1890’s.

I really should sort it all out, but I haven't. My heart breaks just thinking about leaving it all behind.

And of course, deep down I understand that my procrastination stems from the most serious of my preparing.

Goodbye Mom.

And Grammy and Grampa, and Aunt Sharon and my uncles and cousins and my brother.

Leaving the US and moving to England was my idea and I am so excited to have the opportunity to move to a foreign country, which was always a dream of mine long before I studied abroad in college. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to hurt any less when it is time to go. And while I have wonderful friends and a great life in store for me in England, it can never replace the life I have lived and the family and friends I have loved here in the US.

Seriously, why couldn’t my fortune have said anything else?

I guess it could have been worse. Once, my grampa’s fortune read, “For better luck, wait ‘til spring.”

For all the fortune cookie lovers out there, here is an Etsy tribute.

Normally I am not an earring person, but these earrings from Inedible Jewelry are too stinkin’ cute to not feature. You can find these at

Mamameo’s Fortunate Fortune Cookie soaps look delicious! I love how they even come in a take-out box. Better still—you can customize your fortune inside (just make sure the fortune is a little better than my one!). You can find these at

Once again, Colby Lane Designs has a bib that is too cute not to include in my blog. If you missed the last shout out, click here. This fortune cookie bib is darling! You can find this soft chenille backed bib and so many more at

Want a onesie to go with the bib? Just head over to Trixie and Radar for this General Tso baby creeper. Too cute. You can find it at

And if you really love fortune cookies, maybe want one to hold a special message for someone (proposal… how cute would that be?) you adore, head over to and pick up one of these life size porcelain fortune cookies. They come in other colors, but I love this little blue one best.

Good fortune to you all!

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