Sunday, December 30, 2012

Another year ends...

It seems that as I get older, time just goes by faster.  This past year had it share of ups and downs.  Like the year before (2011) we lost another dear member of our father in law.  During the holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas their absence if felt even more.  I know we all think of them often, even though we may not always tell each other.

Laura is currently 15 and learning how to drive.  That is a major change, I am simply not ready for that but it doesn't matter if I am ready or not, it will happen.  A few months ago, David returned to Austin, TX to visit his mom and drive his dad's car back to Colorado.  His mom does not drive and has no need for the car;  we now needed another car.  When I drive the car, I always think of my father in law.  I still think of it as his car and will tell David, "I am driving your dad's car today." 

This holiday season I have felt really, really tired.  This past year I worked extra hard preparing inventory for all my craft shows and my booth at Alamo Antiques, Boutique and Art Gallery.  Craft show season is over and Alamo Antiques closed it's door yesterday.  So why am I still so tired?  Perhaps I am just getting old.  Anyway, I am hoping to get that energy back....soon!

Our Christmas traditions continue to endure.  On Saturday, December 22nd we all, including Sophie, decorated sugar cookies.  On Christmas Eve, we decorated our annual gingerbread house.

Alex, age 8, decorating sugar cookies...he loves to work with M & Ms.

Cookies decorated by Alex and his dad, David.

Cookies decorated by Laura...every year her skills improve.  I thought she did a great job!

Cookies decorated by Sophie.  Sophie(age 16) is Laura's friend who we don't see nearly
as often as we did.  Sophie is a POMS at Columbine HS so she stays very busy but thankfully
 she was able to join us to decorate sugar cookies.
 This is Sophie's third year joining us...I have to say, I am very proud of
 her work.  Sophie always declared herself as craft challenged but she rolled out those
 cookies and decorated them like a pro!

Laura's snowman cookie

Alex's Pirate cookie

My snowgirl!

David's cookie me, he likes to decorate houses!
 Our 15th annual family Gingerbread House:

Decorating a house on Christmas Eve is a family tradition we all  cherish.

Back of the house, decorated mostly by Laura.

Side of the house, a joint effort.  Trees done by me, snowman by Alex and side window by Laura.
 Our gingerbread house surrounded by several miniature
 trees (decorated with miniature Hallmark ornaments)

Font of the house decorated by me.  Side of the house is Alex's and David's work.  Alex
 created a ski school on the side.
 He said dad was the ski instructor and he is the student.
 Alex used candy canes to create skis for the gingerbread boys.

A  better view of Alex's ski school.  On the left is Alex (student) and
on the right is Dad (the teacher).


Alex on skis
 I also had to include some pictures of our kitchen table Christmas Decor, mostly handmade by me:

We had a great Christmas Day.  It was a white Christmas...the snow just makes it more beautiful and festive.  Alex was thrilled with his scooter and huge pile of new Lego's.  Laura was a very happy teenage girl with all her new makeup, clothes and a Vera Bradley handbag.  David was happy with his metal moose wall hanging & binoculars.  I was very happy with a new felting sewing machine (can't wait to try it out).  We are all very blessed!

I wish everyone who reads this a very Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Vintage Christmas 4 - Family Heirlooms

These Vintage Christmas items are special to my family.  They all belonged to David's family, they have been passed on several generations.  David and his brother split the "collection" this past summer after his dad passed away and his mom no longer wanted to keep them.  There is also a collection of very old trains, putz houses and more bottle brush trees but those have not been unpacked yet.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Vintage Christmas 3

I found this special vintage find at in estate sale in Brighton, CO.  It was a long drive north but it proved to be well worth my time.  I also found lots of other vintage treasures, but this was just extra special.  The kids love him!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Vintage Christmas 2

I found these little treasures at Amy's shop, The Pink Attic Cat in downtown Littleton:

Love them!
They will be part of a waterless snow-globe or cloche...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Vintage Christmas 1

I found this little treasure at Alamo Antiques, Boutique and Gallery last week:

I love it:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Catching Up...

It's been a while since I have blogged about my creative endeavors.  The last couple of months have been a blur.  Most weekends were spent at craft shows/bazaars.  Some were great and some were not so great (sales wise).  Thankfully, the last two craft shows (Sugar Plum Bazaar and A Paris Street Christmas Market) were a great success.  I worked extra long hours and managed to carry on most days with very little sleep in an effort to re-stock and be fully prepared for Sugar Plum and A Paris Street.  Thankfully my efforts were rewarded.

I am thankful for my family, who  have been very supportive of my craft shows.  Although I have worked very hard these past months, I also have had great quality time with my family and friends.

Some of the highlights have been enjoying a fantastic night on Thursday, November 15th when Laura  (my daughter), Sophie, Lisa and Katie enjoyed the final installment of the Twilight movies-Breaking Dawn Part 2.  The movie did not disappoint!  Although there is a part of the movie (if you have seen this movie and have read the books you know exactly what I am talking about) that was just shocking.  I think the whole movie theater was full of people who just stopped breathing...for a second or two.  It was a great mother/daughter night out. 

And, of course there is Thanksgiving.  My sister Gaby and her two teenage sons, Tony and Santos traveled from El Paso to spend Thanksgiving with us.  My sister and I even got a chance to go estate sale shopping - it was a great afternoon.  I don't remember the last time my sister and I did something together--- just the two of us!  All the kids stayed home and they had a great time watching movies while we spent time together.  I love spending time with my sister and her kids.  I just wish we lived in the same city and we could just hang out more often.  A few days ago she and I had a good laugh over the phone about how great it would be if we lived in Harry Potter's world and we could just apparate (disappear then magically re-appear where-ever we wanted to go)  into one another's  home and have dinner together.   I miss her...

After the Paris Street Christmas Market on December 1st, I think I started to really feel overwhelmed.   That marked the last show of the season and you would think I would feel relieved but no, quit the opposite.  Why?  Christmas...

Creating always helps to keep me calm.  It really is a form of therapy for me.  I think I can cope with life better when I create.    Today, I created something and it really helped...

My first vintage cloche.   I feel better...

What also helped is I have slowly been catching up on so many things...still have lots to do but this is what I have accomplished:

  • Sleep!
  • Cleaning most of the house.
  • Took Christmas Photo of the kids AND mailed all the Christmas Cards today!
  • Shopped for many gift cards...mailed them today!
  • Most of my Christmas Gifts have been mailed  today!  (except for two)
  • Christmas Decorating...although David has done a lot more than me.  He loves Christmas and bringing out all those boxes full of Christmas stuff makes him happy (where it kinda stresses me out only because there is so much of it it takes a good week just to get it all done). 
  • Updated by BLOG...just now!

However, I still have lots more to do:

  • Get my Sales worksheets done and complete my Sales Tax Returns 
  • Christmas gifts for my Colorado friends - wrap them.
  • Decorate my Kitchen with Christmas and still need to decorate numerous Christmas trees
  • So behind on pictures.  I still need to download pictures from Halloween, Thanksgiving .... The moms in Alex's classroom probably think I have totally forgotten to send them the links to the Halloween pictures....I haven't forgotten I'm just that far behind (Carla...I will get them ....sometime next 2 weeks)
  • Shopping list for baking cookies (every time I go to the grocery store I tell myself, I can't think about that yet)
  • Several wonderful on-line classes from my favorite artist, Christy Tomlinson and Margie Romney-Aslett that I have yet to see.   I usually enjoy my on-line classes at night but I have been too tired -- I have been sleeping.
  • Update my Etsy shop.  I have a bin full of items I want to list but have not had time to take photos.  
Finally, news about my space at Alamo Antiques, Boutique and Gallery.  I have mixed feeling about this. I have enjoyed having a space in downtown Littleton.  I have been happy with my space and watching the traffic of customers  increase when I am working at Alamo Antiques on Wednesdays (10a.m. - 2 p.m. is my shift).  Sadly, the owner of Alamo Antiques has decided to not continue with Alamo Antiques, Boutique and Gallery.  At the end of December, it will close.   I am grateful for this opportunity and have learned from this experience.  I strongly believe that when one door closes, another opens.  I don't know what that will be but I am hopeful, perhaps another opportunity will present itself.

I have learned much about my little business, Isa Creations this year.
  •  I have learned which shows I will continue to do next year and which ones I will not do again. 
  • I have learned how important networking is and hope to continue to grow in that area.
  • I have learned that creating vintage linen birds and pin cushions is become my signature.  It is great when customers come to my booth and remember me (actually remember my birds and pin cushions) from show to show.  
  • I will continue to add new things, mostly because that is just part of my creative DNA.  I will continue to create my vintage linen birds and pin cushions but will continue to add new items as I grow creatively.
I loved creating these mix media houses.  It started with Halloween, then Christmas.  I plan to create more items next year with a House as a theme.  Year round mix-media houses using some of my favorite scrapbook papers/vintage ephemera.  I plan to do more creative things with felted wool and have new ideas with vintage embroidered linens.

But for now, my focus is back to my family and taking time off from Isa Creations.