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Friday, May 31, 2013

Off to Summer

I took this picture Monday morning.  Xavi was on his pj's because it was pajama day.  I truly hope the neighbors didn't see me setting the timer and telling the kids 'I don't want to photograph faces, I want only our backs, don't pose and act normal...' They probably don't have a blog so they don't understand.

Today is the last day of school and marks the beginning of summer break...10 weeks yay and wow!  We really don't have big plans for this Summer.  Unfortunately we don't have money to travel the world and the 7 seas.  But we do have a free schedule and I plan go to San Diego America's finest city and visit my mom often. As every summer I  schedule doctor's and dentist's appointments  :/  The kids like visiting the Public Library, but besides that it is really hard to get them out of the house unless they get out something out of it.   So I already know that my trips to thrift shops will be limited during the summer.  

I am planning to let loose and schedule a few pajama and movie days (you know that is out of my comfort zone), the kids don't complain about that one.  I plan to tackle my bike.  I am too planning a giveaway in this little blog of mine.  I want to wear my camera this Summer and take more pictures and possibly make a slide show (confession I want to be in the pictures :/)  Lastly regarding my shops of course I want to keep listing new things and perhaps work on some Christmas stuff.  

Now you tell what are your plans for this summer?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

May's crochet along project

This month we worked on a flower pot cozy very simple pattern from Hopscotch Lane. I sat with Xavi to do his homework one afternoon and was done before he did  :)

Let's check out the link up party!

Old fences in May Week 5

Silence is a fence around wisdom.  ~German Proverb

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Featured artist Joanne from Princess Jillian...

Hello friends and readers!  I really do hope you are enjoying this Memorial Day weekend, long weekend here in the US and lovely weather in my neck of the woods.  Today I bring to you Joanne from Princess Jillian.  She has an etsy shop full of wonderful hair accessories.  I am sure you can find there something there to fall in love with.  Thank you for stopping by and please enjoy this interview. 

1. Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.
Hello! My name is Joanne. I'm a mother of two wonderful kids, ages 9 and 5 and a wife to a supportive husband of 12 years.

Bridal Fabric Hair Slides
2. What do you sell?
I sell handmade hair accessories. I like to create different styles using variety of beads, vintage buttons, fabric cabochons and whatever I can get my hands on. The colors and designs reflect my style. They are stylish and fun to wear! There's always something for everyone! :)

3. Why handmade?
I love working with my hands. I enjoy choosing colors, paying attention to details and putting things together to create something unique. A personal touch to every item is what makes handmade items special.

4. Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life?
My inspiration comes from everything. Beauty is in everything.

5. Besides creating what else do you do? Do you have a full time job?
I work full time as a Research Associate in a laboratory. I like science but my passion is art.

6. When did you start thinking you were an artist?
I started when my family would ask me to design and make invitations, souvenirs, or anything for any occasions. I remember making simple invitations for my niece birthday and she was so thrilled about it. I just love that feeling of appreciation!

Fabric bobby pins Japanese Cherry Blossoms
7. Who has been most influential in your craft work?
My daughter is my inspiration hence the name of my store: Princess Jillian. She simply loves everything I make. Even with my busy schedules, she has given me the courage to go forward in opening an online shop.


8. Where would you like to be in five years?
I hope to be able to sell full time. I would love to spend hours feasting my eyes at a bead store. I hope to open my own online shop and to be going to craft fairs and meeting fellow artists.

Crochet hair pins
9. Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done? crafts, sports, life in general?
I'd like to take up photography lessons, learn to decorate cakes, and to experiment on making mixed media jewelries, just to name a few.

10. Besides online where else do you sell?

For now, I sell only in Etsy. I plan to sell in craft fairs and to have my own website.

Ways to contact you:
email: jtcabugao@yahoo.com

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Old fences in May Week 4

How hard it is to escape from places.  However carefully one goes they hold you - you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences - like rags and shreds of your very life.  
~Katherine Mansfield


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Projects old and new and a little modeling

I have so many projects started and so many other that I want to do.  I find myself that I cannot be sitting still without thinking of a new project I also think of the ones that I haven't finished :/
It's just so very hard for me to just sit still and watch a movie or TV without thinking or working on a new project.  Reality is it's helps me take my mind off stress.  I should advise my husband to take on crochet!! jk   

I have a pin board that I keep adding and adding projects for later...I even titled it "Crafts I want to do someday"

I worked on a slouchy hat for my sister in law whose Birthday was in April.  Winter shall come again and she will give it a good use then.  I also did a set of the tiny cacti for my sister who by the way really is a plant killer.  My mom advised her not too add too much water on those (joke of course).

I worked on this headband but I have to perfect it.  I think I like this one better than the one we did at the crochet along project. I want to do some coin purses for the girls and I also want to do cross stitch family portraits for each of my brothers and sister's families and of course for my family too.  I also worked on this month's crochet along project which I will share with you guys soon.

One less thing accomplished is this pair of flip flop refashion.  I bought two pairs of flip flops last year one for my sister and one for me.  I was quick to yank off the straps but left it at that...talk about unfinished projects! finally I worked on my pair.  I hope to work on my sister's in time for her B-Day this July.

Gosh for the sake of this post I am brave enough to show my ugly feet.  

But wait the other day at my sister's she made me try high heels  she is actually selling them on ebay so I was her foot model.  This is something that I've never wore before and I never will!  I know the benefits of wearing these kind of high heels often are not many...siga are you out there I read the article on facebook :)  Plus how can someone walk on them???  No offense to anyone.  But since I don't get many opportunities to try them I agreed...so take a picture sister.

My husband liked them of course, and all the kids were like wow! me?  humm I'd rather go back to my sandals and my DIY projects, let's just say I move a lot easier.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Featured artist April from April Heather Art

This week I'd love you to meet April from April Heather Art she creates wonderful embroidery patterns and beautiful prints as well.  Don't delay read on and don't forget to visit her shop.  Thank you for stopping by!

1. Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.  My name is April Heather Davulcu. I go by Heather, but will answer to both. I'm a native Texan living in Pennsylvania. I've been married for 20 years and have 2 girls, 14 & 10. I started out as a mural artist 17 years ago in Austin, Texas. I started licensing my artwork in 2010, and in 2012 I decided I would focus completely on my illustration, embroidery, and licensing biz-so no more murals. I opened my etsy shop in November of 2012 and I reached my first 100 sales in March, plus I just got a nod in Mollie Makes magazine-so I think I'm off to a good start! I'm SO excited about my biz-I LOVE it.

2. What do you sell?  I sell embroidery patterns (PDF), prints, notecards, and I did my first calendar this year too. On my own website I sell my originals, plus some Yardley Art - which is the town where I live. I did an illustration of a local spot and then I made license plates, car magnets, and note cards from the finished piece.

Poodles and Polka Dot Embroidery Pattern
3. Why handmade?  It makes my ridiculously happy to make things. I derive a great deal of joy and happiness from seeing other people enjoy my art work, but also I just love the process of creating. From the initial idea, to the sketches, painting or sewing-it all really feeds my soul.

4. Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life?  My inspiration comes from everything around me. I am very observant and I take note of little things. My family also inspires me-they are pretty funny! My husband has a great sense of humor and I've been doing some drawings based on funny things he & the girls have said. Other things that inspire me and that I enjoy are old movies, historical costume & fashion, the outdoors, exercise, cooking, and last but not least-my faith.

Be true to you
5. Besides creating what else do you do? Do you have a full time job?  Aside from running April Heather Art, my main activity is running the household & nurturing these growing girls. They are light of my life.

6. When did you start thinking you were an artist?  I can't remember a time when I didn't think I was an artist, really. I remember being very young and just drawing all day long -- imagining other worlds--I got lost in my own head! My mom and dad always encouraged me too-telling me I was an artist. They entered me in art contests and classes at an early age-which was really good for my self esteem.

7. Who has been most influential in your craft work?  You know its really hard for me to answer that question. There isn't just one person, instead there are many people at different phases of my life. I'm very thankful that I've had mentors over the years who have nurtured me and believed in me. I've been thinking about writing a blog post about mentors!

PDF Camper Embroidery pattern
8. Where would you like to be in five years?  In 5 years I would like to be running April Heather Art and licensing my work in the areas of greeting cards, fabric, and home decor. I would really like to establish a program, through my artwork, to give back to my own community as well. I am open to all kinds of new opportunities! And I would really LOVE to illustrate a book!

9. Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done? crafts, sports, life in general?  I would really love to travel abroad. I've never been to Europe and I long to see new things, experience new sights, sounds, flavors, etc. It is something I am passionate about and have a real craving for. Right now I am just an arm chair traveler. I read travel journals, and watch travel shows to tide me over until I can get out there and see the world.

Illustration Print Frida Kahlo
10. Besides online where else do you sell?  I sold my work at a local craft show in Nov. 2012, but I don't have any scheduled for 2013 yet. I am still refining my products and busy adding lots of new things too. My etsy shop and my website and the only shops I'm running currently.

Ways to contact you:
email: heather.davulcu@comcast.net

I really love Instagram-I post at least every day and love to share new work! 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

End of school year

Summer is soon approaching we had a rise in temperatures this past week.  We were teased with triple digits...already! triple digits in May? really?  only May?? (Insert a disappointing face here please).

Only two weeks til the end of school.  I feel a little too stressed with so many activities and excitement going on.  Field trips, school open house, end of the year parties, yearbooks, orientation for middle school yikes!  Did I say middle school?  I did, my Sophie is going to middle school next school year!  It  feels like it was only yesterday that she was born.  The fact that I recently posted her birth story  only makes it fresher in my mind.   She is a little nervous too but excited as well.  Fear of the unknown is not a nice feeling.  The idea of more than one teacher, new friends, more school work, more homework, new school activities, new routines creates a mix of feelings for all of us. 

I my heart I know she will succeed, she is very smart and has a great personality.  She has had many changes in the past two years or so.  It is like she came out of her shell.  Unlike me at her age she is very outgoing.  I was the girl that sat in the back of the class and tried to stay low in the radar, unnoticed.  I did have friends I wasn't a loner or anything, I just never liked calling attention.  I was a good student.  She is also a good student.  She dares doing things that I didn't at her age for example dark nail color and mixing three different patterns in one outfit!  you  would not catch me doing that ever!...she wears all the jewelry she can at one given point.  But I can tell you that I used to carry my battery operated handheld little radio and headphones with me all the time, just like she carries her ipod with her all the time now.

We went to a parent-student orientation at the middle school on Tuesday and Xavi held her hand he told her 'I will be with you through this' and he also wished her good luck in her new school!  There is a field trip for all fifth graders to get familiar with the campus and I am still trying to convince her to go to 6th grade survival camp.  I am sure she will benefit from it.  Sometimes she doesn't agree with momma.  I know those butterflies in the stomach are only normal.  I remember how I felt the days prior to starting a new school year.  I remember begging my mom not to send me to school.  Silly me!  I only wish her the best in this new adventure.  Oh my sweet Sophie!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Old Fences in May Week 3

I am what is mine.  Personality is the original personal property.  
~Norman Brown

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Celery print tutorial

I am back with another tutorial.  Today I will show you how to print pretty flowers with a celery.  Maybe later you can tell me how to do a celery soup or how to incorporate the celery in a delicious salad.  I am sure you guys are better at it that I am. 
acrylic paint
*Kraft paper roll 

*I buy mine at 99cents store

Cut the bottom off the celery, as you can see in the picture my original flower celery was kind of funky looking so I took a 'petal' off to make it smaller and neater.

I mixed pink and white to get a lighter shade of pink.  I didn't mix completely to get a variegated look.  You totally don't have to mix colors if you have a single color you want to use go for it!

Here is the fun part, start printing away!  Wait till the paint has completely dried so you can start using your flower paper.

This is the final result.  A wonderful roll of kraft paper for wrapping gifts and such!

I also use mine to wrap my etsy sales.  Have fun printing celery flowers.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Benefits of bike riding

Out and about early Saturday morning on a bike ride here are some pics

I saw this graphic on facebook and liked it very much!

I asked my husband a few weeks back if he ever painted a bike.  He told me he'd never done it.  I really could not believe it! I gave him such a hard time,  my two brothers one older and one younger than me took apart and put together bikes without a hassle.  They could also build a bike with spare parts.  But then again I guess everybody is different.  Back then I though that was a job for boys only.  Now I am determined to paint my bike myself. My husband is trying to discourage me from doing it. He told me to seek professional help. My brothers are way to busy and if really don't want to burn them with another task.  It would be nice if I get a little help but if I don't like I said before I am determined to do it myself.  I am no Handy Manny but I am sure I can find a good tutorial out there that I can follow.  I plan to tackle the job this Summer.  Wish me luck :/  

Really wish me luck!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Old Fences in May Week 2

When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they take better care of it there.  
~Cecil Selig

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Morning laughs...on spikes and unconditional love

An entry from Xavi's journal

This conversation happened between Xavi and I one day soon after I shaved:

"Nice legs mom!"
"Oh really?" I replied with a big smile on my face.
"Yeah they're not spiky anymore!"...was his answer 

This reminded me how eager I was to shave my legs when I was in 7th grade and how troublesome, tedious and annoying it is to shave now, I neglect it now and then and yet a girl is gotta do what a girl is gotta do!

Unconditional love  is just priceless. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ready or Not

I have no interview schedule for today.  I thought it would be fun to share our daily routine on schools days.  This is our morning ride. We filmed it a couple of weeks ago when I still had my curls as you can see it on the video.  It took me forever to figure out how to add music to it :(

Some days are more stressing than others I won't deny it.  Sophia takes her sweet time to get ready and Xavi his to eat breakfast :/  I can't believe the end of school is just around the corner, the last day of May  is the last day of school. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

{this moment}

A Friday ritual inspired by  Soulemama

In her words: "A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

*re-potted and planted new cuttings...hoping this moment will last.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Old Fences in May Week 1

I choose the theme old fences for the month of May.  I see so many of them here in Hemet.  Old fences weathered and tired.  Spaced unevenly structures that were made to secure, protect or form a barrier, but there is no cattle. These fences have served their purpose and are only a reminder of what once was.

Fear is the highest fence.  ~Dudley Nichols

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sophia's birth story

Every day on their birth days my kids love to hear their birth story.  They love to hear the little things that made me happy, and the ones that made me unhappy, the things that I liked and the ones I didn't like.  It is hard to remember all the details.   Since they like perusing this little blog of mine I thought of writing a post about the highlights on their birth stories.  I usually do not write this much so I apologize in advance for any grammatical errors :/

I will start with my first born Sophia, she is 11 years old now.

We were newlyweds when we decided that we wanted start having babies.  I left my job at the school and started my career as a housewife.  I knew since the beginning that getting pregnant wasn't going to be an easy journey since my periods had always been irregular.  Early on I started seeing a doctor.   After various cycles of treatments with clomid (a drug that induces ovulation), pregnancy tests failed month after month after month.  I was so eager to get pregnant, there were low points in my life that I even though 'What if I never get pregnant?  what If God does not want me to have any babies?'  My husband always by my side assured me that the pregnancy would come when the time is right.  There was disappointment after disappointment until it came to the point that I decided no more cycles of clomid, no more waiting anxiously to see if my period comes, no more pregnancy tests, I'd just let it happen. With those thoughts in my mind the letdowns were easier every month. I still kept record of the first day of my periods on the calendar.  Six months after my last failed pregnancy test I noticed that I  was going onto week 8 without a period.  The urge to find out came again as I thought this is it!  and it was!!  I was finally pregnant.  I found that two days before my husband's birthday. When I told him the news, the first words that came out of his mouth were 'No!' (meaning he could not believe it) and 'What are we going to do now?' (he is the type of man that always is thinking about the future even though he cannot control it, he gets anxious with every new change)  I started crying as he said those words, my hormones were doing their job.  It took him a couple of days to realize he was going to be a daddy again (as he already had a daughter from a former marriage) it was really a great birthday present for him. It was like a dream come true for me.

It took me 1 1/2 years for that dream to come true and now I think back and realize is not that long of a time but back then it felt like the longest time ever.

The pregnancy went well without complications. I started drinking more water and eating better.  I took my folic acid and my prenatals. I gained exactly 25 lbs and all thorough the pregnancy, my boobs grew and so did my curls.  I craved and ate fried plantain with lots of condensed milk.  Yes I did!

My husband had had a not so pleasant experience with the birth of his daughter that he asked me not to be present during labor. In fact he never went with me to a doctor's appointment (except for one). I was fine with that.  My sister was my Lamaze coach and went with me to the hospital tour and my mom was to be present during labor for support also.

It was a lovely feeling every time I heard the rapid and loud heartbeat of that little being growing inside of me and feeling the little kicks was like magic.  My husband always refered to the baby as a boy and I was also positive the baby was a boy! At the time I was driving a small Toyota truck  that left me stranded a couple of times.  I had to call my husband very emotional and scared to come and save me.  That is when he decided we can't have that with a baby on the way and bought our good old Toyota Tundra ( almost 12 years ago!) The time came for the 20 week ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby and he waited in the parking lot with his new truck (weird ah??)  Oh yes, I have to tell you that he called it 'his' truck first now after the kids and 12 years he calls it 'my' truck.  Valeria my stepdaughter was 5 at the time and it was just us girls that went in the Doctor's office.  The first words that came out of Valeria's mouth when she heard it was a girl was 'my daddy is going to be mad'   Of course he wasn't and I quickly fell in love with the idea of a girl.  As  a diy'er I made the crib bedding set,  fixed a pink nursery and started buying lots of dresses. The tragedy of 9/11 came when I was about six months pregnant my husband called me to let me know of the news and I got very nervous.  The little girl inside me got very nervous also as she wouldn't stop bouncing inside of me.

My due date was January 20, 2002 I spent my last trimester and the winter of 2001 very warm and cozy with a rounded belly. On one of my last  doctor's appointment I had been warned that my amniotic fluid was low, they advised to drink lots of water during the weekend and come back to my next appointment the following Monday.  So I went, it was Martin Luther King's Day my husband had the day off and finally made it with me to an appointment!  Sure enough that was it!  they sent us straight to the hospital to deliver, they said straight to the hospital!  Did we go straight to the hospital? no!  We went to the house to get my suitcase and the baby's diaper bag and we stopped for a burger for my husband.

We got to the hospital and registered, I was started  on meds  around noon.  I felt fine, no pain no discomfort.  Until some hours later I started feeling pain on my lower back!  I thought it must be because all of the time laying down.  I remember asking a nurse about the pain and she said those were contractions.  Oh my!, since then my perspective on cramps will never be the same!  My husband left the room every time nurses or doctors came to check on me. He got to the be  known as 'the dad that leaves' the poor guy! 

Lots of details during the delivery are very vague now.  They broke my water I remember they showed me something that look like a wire clothes hanger.   I never had the idea of natural childbirth, I knew all thorough the pregnancy that I was going to try to deal with the pain and if I needed drugs I'd ask for them.  I didn't really asked but when they offered them I said yes.  Oh glorious drugs that put you out of pain instantly and make you sleepy! When I finally decided I was ready for the epidural the anesthesiologist was very busy tending to another moms to be, inevitably I had to wait.  So I endured pain until 9 1/2 centimeters. But that last half centimeter took forever to open.  I later pushed for almost two hours, like I mentioned earlier my husband wasn't in the delivery room.  My mom was there with me and my sister who was at the time about 8 weeks pregnant and was supposed to be my coach got sick and nauseated and all she could do was sit in a little corner of the room.  There was a point where I was told that a c section was a possibility because the baby was stressing but luckily that did not happen.

Sophia was born on January 22, 2012 at 3:58 am exactly 6 lbs, she was perfect.  The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck so I just saw her for a little while and then they took her from me to watch her breathing.  I spent the morning hours sleep.  Me and my newborn attended a first time mommy class she was the only baby crying there.  A nurse showed me how to hold her close to my heart.  She stopped the crying!  I had family and friends visiting.  One friend asked me how are things and I recall telling her she cries and I don't know how to calm her.  She said it's just a matter of time until you get to know each other and so it was.

When we got home I remember being in the kitchen with that tiny baby in my arms not knowing what to do next, I started crying my husband hugged me tears rolled down his face too.  Hormones were still doing their nasty job on me.  The breastfeeding didn't go very well, I pumped the milk for about three months.  I won't deny the first few months were very exhausting  and stressing.  But the good news is that we survived!!

Soon I will share my second experience, somewhat different.  Thank you if you made it to the end of the story after all it took more than nine months right??


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