Monday, June 30, 2008

Come on in to Elegant Snobbery!

The day has come and I'm pretty excited to add my new prints to the shop.

I'm a little bit smitten with these garden gnomes and have been working hard to get this series finished. My Gnome, Sweet Gnome collection (cleverly named by Kelly from Macaroni and Glue) is my favorite collection of work yet!

Franz Goes A-Courting and Gertie in the Garden
Sold separately and as a set!
8 x 10 and 11 x 14 offered

Little Mushroom House, Little Apple House and
Little Strawberry House
Sold Separately or as a set of three (at a reduced price)
8 x 8 and 10 x 10 offered

Edsel Takes a Nap
5 x 7 offered

Friedrich and the Fish
8 x 10 and 11 x 14 offered

Hello, Friend!
8 x 8 and 10 x 10 offered

And just for you, my faithful bloggers, because I'm so excited about my newest illustrations:

This offer is not limited to only the newest prints, but good for all the prints currently in the shop. Please mention this blog in notes to seller, as well as let me know which free print you would like.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hello, Friend!

I still think Gracie's hedgehog (seen here) is cuter than mine, but here is my new illustration, all finished and ready for some loving. 10 x 10 and 8 x 8 sized prints will be added to the shop on Monday afternoon for my shop update.

When I was visiting visiting Will's family in Wales, a few summers ago, his cousins opened a bit of their hedge to show me a little baby hedgehog curled up sleeping. Not only was I just ooohing and awwwing over the adorable baby, but I was also thinking, "Wow, hedgehogs really live in hedges. What an appropriate name."

If you haven't seen a baby hedgehog, I suggest you hop on a plane, fly to the UK and peek into every country hedge you see until you find one. It will be worth it, I assure you.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Urban Princess

Its no secret that I'm raising a pint sized fashion diva. From make-up to dress-up, Gracie loves it all. Here is her latest picture, taken this morning outside of our apartment while I was photographing my latest pictures for my shop update.

"Hey, Gracie!" I called, snapping the photo before she noticed what I was doing. Gracie, believe it or not, hates being in pictures. All 10,000 pictures of her in my blog were either photos in which I caught her unaware, or else I had to bribe her (with gummy bear vitamins, aka CANDY -- she thinks) to get a smile.

This picture captures my little urban princess perfectly. This is Gracie, in a pretty dress, dancing around the stairs without a care in the world. I hope life can be like this for her, always.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tagged and Tagged and Tagged Again

I have been tagged by CASSEROLE!!! I have been tagged before (read here, if you really feel the need) and a few times I was tagged but chose to ignore them... but I think I'll be a good sport and play along this time.

I am to share 7 oh so uninteresting facts about myself. Since I tend to open up and blab all about me and my life to just about every stranger who will listen to what I have to say (or in this case, read), coming up with 7 things you don't already know is kind of hard.

But since they don't have to be interesting things, I'm sure I can muster something up.

See this adorably cute little girl? I bet you're thinking, "She is probably the sweetest, nicest little thing to ever roam the Earth."

1.) I was a holy hellion when I was young. Beginning at the age of four, I used to terrorize kids on the playground for no reason at all. I pushed girls off the swings, I poured sand down little boys pants. I spent countless hours in the principal's office when I was just in preschool, and my best friend at preschool wasn't allowed to play with me anymore, because I got into so much trouble.

I made my 3rd grade teacher cry in a teacher/parent conference because she couldn't understand why I was so rotten when I looked like such a sweet little girl on the first day of school. By 8th grade, my rebellious nature got the best of me and I was expelled from Leadership (of all classes!!) and did plenty of time in the principal's office and guidance counselor's office. Unlike most kids in the counselor's office, I never blamed my parenting. I've always taken full responsibility for being a rotten, little brat.

When I started High School, I stopped being awful. Granted, I still had some issues which my mom helped me resolve (lest I get expelled from art class, of all places). But I became a good student because I finally felt like it, I became a cheerleader because I was the perky type and I was just nice. By the time college rolled around, I was on the Dean's honor list every semester. And now, I'm the biggest goody two-shoes in town.

I still have a rebellious streak, but I tend to keep my mouth shut now. And I don't push little girls off the swings anymore.

2.) I love to cook. I used to hate cooking. And I was terrible at it, as well. After getting married and having kids, the only time I could get some peace and quiet and time to myself is when I am cooking in the kitchen. Will and I made a deal (actually, I was dictator and he had no say in the matter). If he wants to eat dinner, then he needs to get the girls out of my hair while I cook. If he doesn't, then he has to fend for himself. Will hates cooking and can pretty much only figure out beans on toast. Needless to say, he is more than willing to take the girls off my hands every night while I cook.

The end result, I make FABULOUS food and really value my time in the kitchen. Will is a Pescatarian (no meat other than seafood) and the girls are both allergic to seafood, so I typically have to cook two dinners a night. I don't really mind, though. As long as the kids aren't bothering me or trying to climb up my legs to get my attention, I'm happy to cook all night long.

3.) I really want to learn French, but enrolling in a class just isn't possible at the moment. Therefore, I am teaching myself. I'm trying to get the girls into it, as well, but they aren't biting. I have a bunch of learning French books, cds, and we frequently watch movies in French with English Subtitles (even the Baby Einstein movies have French options, surprisingly!).

On a scale of 1 - 100 (with 100 being fluent and 1 being having no grasp of the French language whatsoever) I am at about a 1.001 ... but whatever. I have the rest of my life to finish learning the language, since I'm just doing it for fun.

4.) I love cemeteries. That is pretty weird for me, because the whole idea of death just freaks the daylights out of me. But to me, cemeteries are just very beautiful, peaceful places. I don't get weirded out at all. Not even at night.

The most beautiful cemeteries I saw were in England and Scotland. This cemetery in the picture above, was in Stirling, Scotland. It was on the property of the youth hostel I stayed in while traveling, which had once been a kirk. I was amazed to see the most recent stone in that cemetery dated back to the 1700's. I couldn't even read the older stones, as they were so worn away. It was very, very cool.

5.) I have wanted to be a professional writer and illustrator my entire life. That is all I have ever wanted to do. I got my degree in Creative Arts with an emphasis in Art and English Literature, and am happy to say that I have several stories/children's poems and plays written and it is just a matter of sucking up my courage when it comes to submitting them to be published.

At the moment, I think the girls are too young for me to make an attempt at writing and illustrating, as I need to stay home with them and the just drain the life out of me. Once they start school, however, I'll jump right on it, because I just can't wait to get to work and make my dream a reality.

In the meantime, here is a nice little trip down my artistic memory lane:

The picture at the top is from a story I wrote at the age of 6, titled "Things I Like." That is me and my brother swimming.

The picture of the girl (who is actually supposed to be me -- nice eyebrows) running in the woods, is from a book I wrote at the age of 10. I loved drawing the covers to my fabulous and entertaining novels.

The picture of the girl looking at the sunset is from a poem I wrote and illustrated at 13. Funny enough, I have saved almost all of my art and writing dating back to the age of 8. Pretty smart, as it can be used as ammo against me when I'm famous!!

I wrote The Mystery at the age of 8. That is me on the cover, with my huge chompers. For some reason , I made everyone in that book buck-toothed.

The Cabalistic Farmhouse was a story, loosely based on the childhood of my grandmother, which I wrote at the age of 14. It is pretty terrible, as all my stories from back then are!! I hope I have gotten better with age and education!!

6.) I hate cartoons. I really do. I can tolerate a classic Disney movie for awhile, but other than that, you pretty much have to twist my arm to sit me in front of a cartoon of any kind. I don't watch them with my kids. I don't watch South Park or The Family Guy with my husband. I just flat out hate cartoons.

7.) I love cats. Love them. They are like grouchy, moody, affectionate, and crazy members of the family, walking around on four furry legs of attitude. In my life, I have had 13 cats. I'm dying to get a kitten right now, but we only have a dog. I'm not a dog person.

Okay, I pretty just wrote my autobiography right here. I'm not tagging anyone, although I am tempted to tag you, Marie! But only to torture you since you have been tagged as many times as I have. But I'll spare you, and everyone else!

Thanks for reading, skimming or just flat out overlooking my blog!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Stupidity Will Not Get The Best of Me

That is kind of my mantra. Incase you don’t know, I’m one of those people who will impulsively bleach the cleaning cloths before changing out of my brown cotton tank top. Why? I have no idea.

Stupid? Definitely.

Of course, when I notice the big ole bleach splatter, I get seriously pissed. Pissed at myself, and at my very bleachable shirt.

But I don’t want to let a good shirt go to waste. So what do I do? I pull out some q-tips and let my creative juices flow… in the form of a bleached flower to cover the splatter.

Not my best work, to be sure. But it is nice that I don’t have to feel like a bleached out slob whenever I wear the shirt to the grocery store or to get the mail.

My stupidity will not get the best of me!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hey, Four-Eyes!

Annelie's new favorite toy is a pair of Harry Potter-esque coke bottle glasses. She has an annoying fascination with the red rimmed frames I like to sport, so maybe she wears them in order to be more like her glasses-wearing mama. In any event, I think little kids with their eyes magnified 100 x by thick lenses is the cutest thing in the world. Remember that little kid from Jerry Maguire, with his adorable grin, love for trivia, and the biggest glasses on the face of the Earth? I just loved him. Needless to say, I get the biggest kick out of my 16 months old's big baby blues behind her huge coke bottles.

I have contacts, but lately I have been wearing my glasses exclusively. My husband is pretty happy about that. When I put them on, I think lazy convenience. He, however, thinks Sexy Librarian (bown chicka bown-bown) and drools with a wolfish grin on his face.

Guys are strange creatures.

For those of you who sport eye glasses, sun glasses, or coke bottle toy glasses, here are a few items you might enjoy from some fabulous Etsy sellers!

I am loving the eyeglasses chains found in BeadDEyes's shop. She has a fabulous eye for putting together lovely little beads, in order to make chains that look less like something your grandmother would wear (unless she is super chic, like mine) and more like something a Vogue fashionista would wear.

Sexy librarians, eat your heart out! You can find all of these chains and more at

We all know lenses scratch easily, so finding glasses protection is a must. I love the cases found in the shop Greedy Goretti. This Elegant Posy case is my personal favorite, but it was hard to choose, as there is a nice selection of super cute cases.

You can find this case and a whole assortment of others at

And if you prefer your glasses to be of the super hero mask variety, celebrate them with this Crafty Super Hero Print from The Dreamy Giraffe. I'm loving this little brown haired, bangs sporting, blue-eyed crafter. She looks just like me!

And of course, I never craft without my trusty cape.

You can find this print, as well as a huge selection of cute little ladies with style, attitude, and imagination at


Monday, June 16, 2008

Tootsie and Grace: Back in Action and Better Than Ever

Well, Tootsie and Grace is back open for business, but this time around, I think it is a little bit better. Maybe that is just because I can't get enough of Gracie's ridiculously adorable drawings, or maybe because I don't have to slave over a sewing machine until 2 am just to finish an order... whatever it is, we are having a great time and Gracie is tickled pink to see her very own Etsy shop. She doesn't even mind that I vetoed "Strawberry Short" as the name of the shop.

You can find the link to our new shop HERE.

I opted to open a new shop rather than reopen my old Tootsie and Grace shop, as I didn't want people to see all the hand sewn baby items in my sold items and get confused or ask for custom sewing orders. I'm still taking a break from sewing unless it involves making cute stuff for my girls.

Be sure to come on over and say hello! And here is a peek at some of our latest pictures.

And here is the picture (which isn't in the shop) that we made for Will for Father's Day. I made sure to have him sporting his favorite pink tie and a fleur-de-lis, which is a symbol of Wales. Will was very happy with the picture, and was amazed by the likeness.

I didn't have the heart to tell him that the original design that Gracie created was of a hedgehog, not her father. Shhhh.... He'll never know!

Enjoy! And I hope these at least made you smile!

Friday, June 13, 2008

On the Road Again...

Road trips are one of my favorite things. Its funny that I have such an awful driving anxiety and I haven't driven in at least four years... but when it comes to riding in the car, I love to kick off my shoes, crank up the radio, and sit back and take in the scenery. I love road trips.

The drive to Abilene isn't quite a road trip since it is only a four hour drive from Austin, but anyone with kids knows that a four drive can feel like forever when the kids are screaming, "Are we there yet?!?!" or trying desperately to get out of their car seat. Not to mention the four thousand bathroom stops and snack stops despite the fact that we began the trip with hundreds of snacks.

But at least road trips are the fool proof way to zone the kids completely out when nap time comes around.

The girls were troopers, though. I have to give them credit for that. We are trying to get them used to the whole road trip thing, since both Will and I love them so much. When Will and I were in England, back when we were first dating, we did road trips every weekend.

Granted, road trips in England and Wales are a little different than road trips in the US, as Great Britain is soooo small and road trips don't really exceed six hours, since that is practically all it takes to get from one side of England to the other... but the point is, every weekend, rain or shine (mostly rain) we piled into Will's Peugeot and went places. From the Lake District to Brighton, Northern Wales to Stonehenge, Bath to London, we were in the car with the music cranked up, snack wrappers littering our feet, and our cares to the wind as we traveled though the countryside.

The drive from Austin to Abilene is all country, with a few old cowboy towns in between ranches and farms. I'm not much of a cowgirl, being a beach-loving California girl, but even I have to admit that the countryside in Texas is beautiful. It is exactly as you would imagine Texas would be, if you have never been here. You can practically see the cowboys from the olden days riding their horses through the land.

Its nothing but blue skies, trees and grassy fields. And a lot of cows and horses, which the kids loved.

And the clouds were full of flying sea turtles, running dogs, elephants with their trunks up (thats good luck!!) and cars racing along the sky as we drove. I've always loved looking up at the clouds and finding all the pictures made from the white fluffiness.

So now our road trip is over and we have settled into the last leg of our journey, which is the unpacking of our moving boxes, the setting up of our apartment, and settling into life in our new town. I'm eager for this to be over and for life to get back to the routines I'm familiar with. In the meantime, I'm still just chugging along.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

And the Winner is.....

Congratulations! And thanks everyone for participating in my 100th post giveaway.

The Mum and the Rose will be receiving these two prints: Princess Cordelia and In Our Hands.

Because In Our Hands is an illustration that I made to benefit the WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals), I will be donating $7 to this wonderful charity in The Mum and the Rose's honor.


Saturday, June 7, 2008

And We're Off!

Not to see the wizard, although that would be more fun... but to Abilene. Will got the biggest moving van Uhaul has, which is hilarious as our apartment is so tiny and we have practically no furniture and only about 35 boxes... but since his company is paying, he figured it is better to be safe than sorry, considering that Abilene is about a 4 hour drive from Austin and we don't want to take too many trips back and forth. He already has to make the drive back to get me and the girls tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'm just playing Cinderella and cleaning our Austin apartment from top to bottom. I love these pictures of the girls playing in the moving van. You can really see how huge it is, when you consider that all of our furniture is already in it, including our bed, sofa, kitchen table, baker's rack, bookshelves, TV, and coffee table... not to mention about 10 of those 35 boxes. At least we don't have to worry about boxes falling over when Will turns corners during the drive, as everything is pretty much on the ground of the moving van. And we didn't even have to dismantle any furniture, with the exception of our bed, which wouldn't fit through the door.

I'll be announcing the winner of my totally awesome giveaway tomorrow, so stay tuned. Other than that, I might be gone for a few days, as we need to take the time to get internet hook up at our new place. I can't wait for all of this move business to be over! Thanks for all the encouragement, this last month!

Enjoy your weekend and I'll see you soon!! And in the meantime, enjoy these fabulous Etsy finds...

Shredlines moving announcements are the cutest I have seen yet!! They certainly give that living-out-of-box vibe and are so unique and cool.

You can find these at

This cool "We've moved" card set from Macaroni and Glue is simple and classy. You can give out your new address in style!

You can find this set at

And if you know someone who is moving (ahem, like me for example) this Adios, Muchacho card by The Beautiful Project is the perfect way to send a friend (ahem, me) off.

You can find this card at


Thursday, June 5, 2008

It Looks Like a 3 Year Old Drew That!!

Gracie and I have been collaborating on a new and very silly artistic venture, lately.

I'm supposed to be a stressed out wreck at the moment, as we move very very soon (we got an apartment, by the way... yes!!), but in the last few days, I've been having too much fun to stress. There is too much laughter that comes with a new picture...

I have always wanted to take Gracie's beyond adorable scribbles and turn them into super cute illustrated works of art. I've finally done it, and I must say that I'm in love with them. It might just be a mother's love, but I wanted to share them anyway.

I love watching kids draw happy pictures. They always seem to smile, while they are drawing the happy faces. I taught art for 4th and 5th graders for four summers back when I was in college, and the kids were always so happy while they were drawing. I just love it!

Gracie's pictures are done with a Sharpie permanent black marker on drawing paper. When she is finished, she passes them over to me and starts a new one. "Here Mommy. You can color it in now." she says.

Sometimes, her pictures are... uncolorable. Like when she decides to smash polkadots all over the place or shower the picture in random lines. Hey -- no artist is perfect. Not even my three year old.

But she creates the perfect canvas for me! My illustrations are done right on top of hers, using Prismacolor colored pencils. The letters are scrapbooking rub-on transfers.

I'm planning on letting Gracie open up that Etsy shop she has been talking about for the last couple of months. A nice Mom and Daughter collaboration. I'm not calling it Strawberry Short, though. I already have everything needed for a shop called Tootsie and Grace (some of you might actually remember my shop before Elegant Snobbery was born). The funny thing is, my mom always called me Toots growing up. Granted, it was usually said like this: "Get your butt in here, Toots, and clean up your mess." Or "Hurry up, Toots. The car is halfway out the driveway" Stuff like that. I think Tootsie and Grace is appropriate.

I'm not expecting big things. We are just having a lot of fun. Hopefully, we can at least make someone smile from these bold, bright, and very cheerful happy faces.

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