25 November 2009

Giving Thanks

It is redundant to say it because roughly the last 43 and the next 37 blogs you will look at will say they are grateful for the pleasure of a good meal and their family. Well....I always loved Thanksgiving best of all holidays. It seems the least commercial. No cards, no gift giving. And then all the damn Black Friday hysteria makes for a Blue Thursday. That and now that I am the matriarch and have to cook the entire Thanksgiving meal alone because no one offers to help...it isn't as fun. I always get cranky when the doorbell rings and 10 pots come due at once.

And yet I am glad once I am seated and people begin to eat. I mean I enjoy it if I am the also getting praised for the meal. Which does happen. I wish I could go back and be more grateful for all those good Thanksgivings my parents cooked. But that is how it goes. You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone.

This year I do feel abundant. I feel grateful for you dearest reader. Thank you for being here. I enjoy this blog more than I can say. I think about it constantly and the order and content. I have the next dozen posts in my head. Thank you for showing up and giving me this outlet, for your comments, for your clicks.

My next post includes a greeting and a give away to say thanks.

19 November 2009

Silver Bella School

Jemellia kept talking about Silver Bella and I had no idea what the hell she was talking about. She asked me to go, Uhh, no. She sent me a links to Silver Bella's blogs. I started to see the incredible pictures and creations and became interested. Then I signed up. Now I have gone to this event and I get it now.

1. Workshops. Let me school you about Silver Bella. It is an weekend event in November in Omaha, Nebraska hosted by Teresa McFayden. She announces the registration on her blog and it is sold out within hours to about 200 people. Female people. As you register you select 5 workshops. I like to call the workshop instructors the Titans as they are artists, company owners, published in magazines, have books, appear on television shows like Martha. They are a big deal. You leave a three hour class with a piece of art and wet your pants as well when they talk to you although they are really nice and normal but of gargantuan talent. Awwwww, Rebecca Sower......

2. Swaps. A person will determine a swap theme and rules. They are announced and opened up over several weeks after registration to a set number of participants. They are filled within minutes. You make your swap specific item, apron, page, crown, whatever prior to the event. You may send your portion in to the swap hostess who then combines all the parts to create multiple copies of a book or item. If it is a one to one swap, you bring your item to Silver Bella. Either way you take home an item from the swap.

I participated in the Sweetest Thing Recipe Swap which I will dedicate a post to later. But here is an example of a one-on-one swap between the Bells from Texas where they created and swapped mums. This is my favorite. These were the first thing I saw when I arrived in Omaha. Then I started to get an idea of what I was in for. This was made by Stacey for Rita. And, damn, oh-kay?

3. Luncheon Speaker. A big deal in the industry of creativity, this year's speaker was Jo Packham of Where Women Create. This publication is dedicated to supporting the creativity and talent of women showcasing their workspace. She was so real and spoke from the heart. She actually made everyone there a book mark, with her own hands. Uh, oh-kay? When was the last conference you went to where that happened? Never even occurred to me that she might make 200 items as gifts.

4. Vendor Night. These are the best booths I have ever seen. Well known artists and leaders in the industry set up their wares. We did a booth which prevented much in the way of shopping. I sold many knits that night, a record number and just shook from the thrill and awe of it. When this group of people like your work, the heavens open up and you can actually hear angels sing.

5. Acceptance. Look, I have been around the hen house a few years, but to get a group of women together with such a unity of spirit, talent and support is embracing and exhausting. There is so much praise going around it is surreal. Someone doesn't just say "Oh that's cute." They walk up, look you in the eyes, handle the item which may be clothing, jewelry, a bag or your creation, look it over, intensely inspect, pause, clutch their pearls and tell you they LOVE it while grasping your arm. I figured this out after the 83rd person loved me and my sweater on the first night. I felt the love and understood why they come and keep coming back. And I will go back. I will announce, I am Bella.

16 November 2009

Aprons Away

Hey ya'll, hop over to 2BirdsInAPod for an apron give away which ends tomorrow. You'll just be sick if you miss out.

10 November 2009

Another Sweet Peek

Silver Bella approaches. It is this coming weekend in Omaha and I've been packing for it. My swaps are long since completed and mailed, now bound by the hands of Shea and ready for presentation on swap night. Here is a sneaky peek of the second page I did for the Sweetest Thing Recipe Swap.

I made a few scarves for vendor night. The neck cover at the top of this post is Ice Castles. Remember that movie? Loved it. The perennial scarf below is Silvery Moon.

This Silver Bella neck cover features a vintage rhinestone button.

The theme for the Silver Bella vendor night is 100 Aprons. In honor of that we will be doing a special give-away on our 2 Birds in a Pod blog. Check in November 12 for that. Here is a little peek at what I will be sporting for Apron night...Eeeeeek!

03 November 2009

Oh Sheet

So, it was my birthday a couple of weeks ago. It was the first day of a three day show which was really the second day as we set up our booth all the day the first day. SO I come in from a day of schlepping my dolls, working the booth, doing my routine with the costumers. All very energizing until you sit down in the car to drive home and realize you still feel like you're skating only exhausted and dizzy...

And, I had and hour to get home, eat, dress in layers and make it to the high school football game in the cold.

It was, as you remember, my birthday. My husband had remembered too...

My husband and I are spoiled brats whose cups runneth over. And by spoiled I mean we keep our heads down and work real hard, clean all the time and buy ourselves what we want after careful pricing research. But, we have more than we need and most of what we want. We decided many years ago not to give each other gifts. Our dog, Spencer will give his parents something useful at Christmas. Spencer typically gives a crock pot or shirts for example. All very practical. We will do something for our anniversary, like, well I can't think of anything but it does seem like I have a few Brighton purses.

In an aside, my husband gave me my first Brighton purse for no reason whatsoever, writing on the card "hope to brighton your day." We were dating then. That should explain a lot.

When I was a little girl and birthdays were anticipated greatly. We would go to The Cinderella Bake Shop and order my cake. They were classic sheet cakes, vanilla cake with white royal cream icing. Soft pink roses. The rose icing always tastes different than the cake icing. So good. All good. The roses were abundant and frothy. A spray across the coveted corner. The leaves were green and curled just so about the blossom. It really is the same confection I try to recreate with my knitted blooms...

My cakes always had the little ballerina on pointe stuck in the icing as well. I secretly want to be know as Queen Frostine. Well, not so secretly. I love cake. I love frosting and it is the only reason to go to a wedding as far as I am concerned. I do not trust people that scrap the icing off and leave it on their plate to be thrown away by someone else, because icing scrappers do not ever scrap that crap off their own plate and wash it. Someone who loves icing has to do it. Therefore, I do not trust them.

The only thing I want for my birthday, have ever wanted and will ever want is a cake, a quarter sheet cake with royal buttercream icing, roses and in soft colors. No spray paint, no images, no plastic balloons, no sprinkles, confetti or glitter, not real ribbon. And no whipped cream masquerading as icing. The cake I want costs $14 dollars and comes from a national chain grocery because they understand lard. You don't even have to call ahead. Just go by and get someone to squirt "Robin" on the darn thing.

My husband. He tried so hard a few years ago. He ended up bring home 3 cakes before he got it right. Since I only want a $14 cake, I am a complete bitch about it. It is all I want so I have the right to stomp my feet and act 5, right? I know, right?

This year I walk in, wired and tired, and there, on the island of the kitchen is the biggest box I have ever seen. It is a cake box. It is a sheet cake. A full sheet.

"Oh my God, we are having a huge party." This is not what I want, we will not even get home until after 10. I am too tired to be nice about it, because ordinarily I am so nice.

Wow, that's a full sheet. How many are coming?

Just us. Three.

It's a full sheet.

Well, the lady asked me what I wanted. I told her a sheet cake. She offered sizes like a half sheet or a full sheet. I told her I don't want half a cake.

Not for my wife.

Oh that makes perfect sense.

The whole cake had been sprayed orange. So it was a large volume of orange. Imagine the Ghost Busters, in uniforms with spray wands and tanks.

Orange, husband?

Well, I told her a little bit of orange.

Right, because everyone knows how much I love orange. Also purple.

The flowers were completely purple. There was an icing ribbon in the same purple. And some kind of gold acetate fleck sprinkled, uhm, dumped in places across the surface, at least what could be reached.

The must have thought it was for Mardi Gras theme party. For 100 revelers.

Oh sheet.

The three of us cut into it. We ate a piece. It tasted like it was supposed to.

Then we all smiled, with big orange grins, like Jack O' Lanterns...
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