Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Everything

What kind of friend have I been to you?
.. not too great - as I haven't even wished you a Merry Christmas or a Happy New Year?
I just got so into my projects, and then the family-ness of it all... that I simply neglected to thank you - who I am so happy to have in my cyber-life - rejoicing with me in triumphs and joys - and encouraging me in the hard times. You've been a blessing to me this year!
Thank you for being my bloggy friend and for reading this humble little scene.

I spent a lot of time this Christmas thinking about another humble scene... about a young mother who was faced with so much insecurity and instability - and it really was a sweet thing to dwell on - to refocus on, as it's so easy to get swept away with all the obligations of the season. To think of God caring enough to give gifts to us and then to wrap it in humble, humble packaging.

...which made me think of "packaging" I have in my life that I want to lighten up on. Maybe to accept more humble means....

I have a list I am working on... J and I yearly sit down with a New Years journal that we started the year before we got engaged... and we read, laugh, and re-read all the lists that we have made over the years - things we've accomplished and things we wish we'd done... books we read - unexpected things that happened... It's a wonderful tradition for us.

This year's lists are jumping around in my head now - and a few lines are in my journal, but for now, they are there. (I'll share later)

As I wish you a Happy New Year tonight, I challenge you to think about the wonderful things you accomplished this year, the ways you grew, the surprises (both good and bad) that shaped 2008 - and not to just lay down goals (LOSE WEIGHT!) that feel rote and sometimes unattainable ... but to rejoice in what happened this year - and to thing of some of the humble, attainable things that lie ahead in 2009.

January is my favorite month. I love the quiet. I love the lack of things on my to-do list. It's a simple month, and often quite a creative time for me. I'm very excited to turn the calendar tonight.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mimi & mama project

So the design director decided the morning of one of our many Christmas parties that we needed to bring a dolphin toy to her friend, Marley. So there we were, in our jammies, sewing away, stuffing and wrapping up a storm... We had to make one to keep, obviously...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Baby Z gets some new threads

I've been sewing all day!
Here is something I've been meaning to do since Ze Artiste decided that MY old Cabbage Patch Kid was his "Baby Z" complete with the original saggy baseball uniform that I opened the box to find him in. (I believe his name was something like OTTO back then) Baby Z is the only baby that Ze Artiste will play with, he is not into girlie dolls.

So today, I made the baby some new clothes... For Christmas, to match Ze Artiste -and the shorts I made him a while ago... It is still a challenge, to make doll clothes or boy clothes that are not woosy... But I love this outfit... I hope my little man does, too.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Flamingo Christmas

What am I doing while not wrappjmg presents like a madwoman? Helping my little wonder be a flamingo... This after whipping up a pillowcase angel costume this morning for the Christmas pageant at church...Nevermind the impossibly messy room... It was spotless 24 hours ago.
Oy vey.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I am really inspired by today's rare Los Angeles stormy sky ... I loved Chicago's wild weather when we lived there for 5 years...And I miss snow so much at Christmas ...
I'm itching for some weather reports from you all... Will you send me a photo of how it looks outside?

Holiday Spirit

I took this photo the other day, and though I am not a fan of flocked trees normally, this photo is so pretty to me... (thank you infrared filter!)

Today the Design Director and Ze Artiste are decorating gingerbread houses with momma and helping me make beanbag doorstops to take to our neighbors.
We're in the spirit...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sweet bag

We may start having these show up in etsy, but I've been making these for gifts since coming up with the strap idea the other night at our craftygifty night. The buttons are from Great Grammy's vintage stash that I inherited. Cute, eh?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

December Sunset - beauty

Be inspired.
I may not love LA, but December sunsets win me over every time. I'm fortunate enough to be driving west at sunset tonight, listening to Christmas music with the kids in back and a warm quiche smelling up the car as we take dinner to a friend's house.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Crafty/gifty night - and all the fun we had!

Phew! I'm tired!
But tonight's "crafty/gifty" night was SO fun.
I think I may have a few converts to my insane way of living and creating - and more than one friend asked about how much a sewing machine costs...
We had 3 different machines going and I made these gals sew! Everyone left with multiple items that they'd made - most everyone had at least 2-3 different things that were completed.
The funniest thing to me was when J walked in at 10pm, everyone in the house went, "oh....." at the same time - knowing that the fun had to end eventually.
Here are fun photos from the event.
some of the things made... embellished tees, bookbags and totes, headbands, sachets, cloth napkins, ornaments, lots of earrings, a hand-painted stool, some painted canvases, pillows and more! I helped everyone a little bit - but these girls really did their own work... they were so funny calling their hubbies - saying things like, "yeah, ME! I was just sitting down at a sewing machine sewing! ME!" super fun... everyone was asking about when we could do it next.
I wonder what J thinks...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

International Sanctuary

Today I had lunch with the girls from International Sanctuary, which is the most wonderful non-profit!

"iSanctuary is a new and growing non-profit organization that was formed to develop social enterprises for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation.

Currently we are training 40 rescued girls, from the ages of 13 to 18 in Mumbai India, in the skill of jewelry making. Once the girls are trained, their products are brought to the US and UK to be sold to fund their futures."

I was introduced to them by my dear friend, Tori Higa ... she'd blogged about International Sanctuary a few months ago, and I'd bought some jewelry then - and invited them to a recent event where they sold alongside me with my Libby Dibby booth. I was so excited to meet Wendy and Stephanie (who spends most of her year in India). Tori and I are talking about someday going to India ourselves to work on designs and concepts with iSanctuary to sell and support this important cause.

Today, the four of us met up for some inspiration and yummy Mexican food. Stephanie and I chatted and played with my beads. We had a lot of fun experimenting on some new concepts that she thought she might be able to take back to India to teach to the women and use in their designs that sell online. (Plus it was fun to dig out my beads again!)

I am just so excited to know these amazing women and I hope you'll check out their site and spread the word about this good work that is happening!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I have a lot of craft supplies around here. It's borderline insane.
So as a little gift to some of my galpals around here (some of you actually read this blog!), I've offered for 10 of them to come over on Tuesday night to get crafty, using my stuff.
I'm not planning on making anything myself, just being an extra set of hands and a little extra courage for them to make some fun gifts. I'm really looking forward to this and it sounds like they are too.

We're pulling out all the junk. It's going to be fabulous. (and messy)

oh - and here is one of my other pieces for the swap I did... I made these gift tags and had to share.
My favorite part is the sewing for the lines -something I did for the book about the caterpillar... it's such a fun little touch.

photo wreath

I really like those photo ornaments, but they were starting to take over our this year, I gave them their own wreath and I love it! This may turn into a little tradition.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Autumn in Los Angeles

Next time I complain that I miss Autumn in the Midwest, remind me to drive through Hancock Park (in LA, oh, only about 1 mile north of me!).... this felt so good this morning... (nevermind the guy in short sleeves)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

quote of the day... inspiring...

I found this quote in the gutter of a blog I peeked in on tonight.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity....
It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."

Melodie Beattie

Did I show you our Christmas card photo yet?

We had a lot of fun using Libby Dibby as our outfitter for our Christmas card photo this year.
Here are a few happy moments from our shoot with Josh.
the photos are not showing up big here, but if you click on them, you can see them up close.

Cyber Monday

Turning the lights off tonight on Cyber Monday... Packages at the door ready to go out tomorrow... Tree in the background. Quiet house. Everyone sleeping. Stockings hung. And a little leftover Thanksgiving chocolate pie in the fridge for a bite before bed.
All is well.

Black Friday Cyber Monday/White Stockings

I'm doing a Christmas swap through the Domestic Bliss blog and I have been scratching my head as to what I can make for my swap partner... who indicated she loves white and vintage things... White? (me?)
So I found some of Grammy's old stashes of lace that I have inherited and I used some to make these tonight... I'm excited about how they have turned out. They are sweet and a little yellowed with age. But lovely.
One we will keep here, but the other will be stuffed with other sweet handmade items... Some ornaments and hand hammered ornament hooks, some jewelry...etc... I'm trying to plug away at it a little every day. I like the deadline and I like the inspiration.
Now I'm off to bed, because I like sleep too.

Friday, November 28, 2008

15% off at Libby Dibby - 4 days only - last coupon code for a long time!

we sent out one last coupon code over email last night...
i know - we've only sent one email out, all year, and here we go with 2 in one week... but if you didn't get it and want it to be sent to you - it's 15% off everything on our website!
email me if you are interested - and I promise, we won't kill your inbox - this is just a special week!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Going back to the beginning... jewelry

I've been really meaning to get out my beads and jewelry tools lately and yesterday I was able to go pick up a few boxes of beads and spend a few hours cranking away on some ideas - just for the fun of it. When I last made jewelry, I was always "cranking it out" - trying to get enough to fill store displays or ship to some of my retailers. This was purely for fun. And I really had a lot of fun!I tried stuff I haven't ever done and I am really pleased with what came of it.

Now I just need to figure out what I am going to do with it.... I'm not even sure these are really anything I'd wear - even though I love to look at them. They may end up with friends and family, or maybe in the etsy shop eventually... not sure. For now, they're sparkling up my living room.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

sample scrap skirts

the three sample scrap skirts are up in the etsy shop... they have elastic waistbands and are sized for gals sized 10-12...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mailing List... get on it...

I've just updated the etsy shop (more spinny skirts and a few sample sales) and am putting up the finishing touches on our holiday email - complete with coupon codes like never before ... (I'm feeling mighty GIVE-Y right now... everyone deserves some fun shopping with a little less guilt these days!)

If you've not signed up on our mailing list yet - check out the new gutter feature on the blog here that signs you up!
This particular email is only going out once... so get yourself on the list!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hello Christmas projects!

I've made a few of these already this year, but they excite me each
time. I've been sitting here, with piles of great-grammy's unfinished
quilt pieces... And then I saw a spread on some magazine turning them
into wreaths. How happy am I?
Great-Grammy herself will be getting one of these... (good thing she's
A huge blog reader!)

Scrap surprise!

We were making a custom skirt for someone and also had these whipped up. They are around a size 10, but would likely fit a 12. If you are interested, there are only one of each... And they'll be going on etsy, but if you really want them, email me and they can be yours... $38 each.
(elastic waist... not a wrap skirt)

Half a moment

I love love love gingko trees and I adore them in fall. I took Z today to city hall in Beverly Hills (his favorite building... Budding architect?) and in my one moment of peace, I sat with this lovely leaf on my knee and took a deep breath. Then we played "boo" around the columns and the moment of quiet was gone. I have to steal them when I can...

Monday, November 17, 2008

beauty shot

here's one beauty shot of the spinny skirts from our family portrait... sofia just HAD to wear her red shoes. I loved it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yo Gabba Gabba!!!!

Setting up for Felt Club today, we were right next to the stage and right next to DJ Lance from Yo Gabba Gabba... Here's a shout out to my two preschoolers at home. (they did get to meet him later in the day when they came to visit me - they were so excited that when he came over to talk to them they ran away screaming with joy!)
Lance is super super sweet and had a mini crowd of preschoolers ooohing all day. He is a gracious and warm person. (plus, the music by him and his buddies was so fun all day!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Spinning and spinning

Today was our family portrait, for my side of the family - with my parents, my sister and brother-in-law and their kids. We decided to stick the girls in Libby Dibby spinny skirts.
This is just a snapshot J took, but I can't wait to see the real shots!
what a happy image this is to me...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Here's a moment of autumn peace

I'm still here. Between holiday boutiques, stress at preschool, family portraits (with every permutation!), finishing up our house bolstering, filling orders and gearing up for the holidays as a family...
Whew! Blogging falls by the wayside.

But here is a moment of beauty... Autumn sunlight streaming through stained glass of a Craftsman chapel in Beverly Hills.
Soak it in.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Pattern Name winners!

Thanks again, friends, for the votes on the new pattern names...
I've finally decided which I love best.

the Leopard Print one:
COCO IN LOVE - by Shankat....

and the black/tan one:
ETOILE - by dina

Thanks so much ladies... and all who submitted ideas.
I love hearing from you.
Shankat and Dina... email me your mailing addresses and look for some fun mail!

Floradora hats

I always fall in love with some other vendor nearby to me at the festivals and boutiques that I do... This past week it was two... (Second one still to come...)
Debbie from Floradora hats had the booth behind me and I bought the two hats at the bottom of the frame (like my new collage software?)... Debbie was shy to have her photo taken, but I must say, she's a delight to spend a day with and I invited her to join me on December
3rd... Her website isn't up yet (I'm pushing her for an etsy shop)... But you can count on me for updates about her.
Her stuff is all handmade and affordable... I had to stop at the two I bought... Aren't they gorgeous? (I sent the photo of the brown one to J with the title... "I love myself and that's why I bought this hat!" (I'm so tempted to have a hat boutique at my house for her)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bachelder tile detail from fireplace

Window grapes

After the robbery, we were faced with the fact that we had some pretty vulnerable windows on our nearly century-old house. The most upsetting to me, personally, were the two full length windows to the sides of the beautiful front door. The door, and its windows, are probably our favorite part of the house besides the fireplace, porch, storybook roofline, craftsman details... So I was really upset about losing the aesthetic.
We are not putting bars on all the windows, just one additional particularly vulnerable one... And after much deliberation... We came up with this design for our windows. It was a tough choice, because Craftsman lines have an art deco flavor, but are mostly straight and
very clean... (Like jail bars?) but our Bachelder tile on the living room fireplace, ties in this grape design quite nicely.
We are so very pleased with how they came out... Our worst fear was that our newly bolstered house would begin to visually scream, "we've been robbed!"
But now instead, we have this shady garden like view from the living room, and a new element of beauty from the outside. Hooray for form meeting function!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Boutique #1

What were you doing at 7am this morning? (yawn) I was here, setting up my booth after watching the sunrise while I drove up Pacific Coast Highway.
I'm meeting the cutest vendors today... You can be sure we've got some blog entries coming....

Boutique #2

Boutique #3

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Where I'll be (for those of you LA readers)

I've been so blown away by the craziness of these past few weeks, that I have forgotten to put out my list of holiday events (I don't actually do that many!)
confession... we got NOT a one cute picture of the momma and girlie ladybugs that I stayed up so late working on... (argh)

Tomorrow, I'll be at
Calvary Christian School's Holiday Boutique... one of my favorite events.
It's at 701 Palisades Drive Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 phone 310. 573. 0082
from 8.30am - 4.30pm

Next, it's FELT CLUB... on November 16th.

After that... There are two events for MOPS up in Thousand Oaks that I will be at...
Calvary Community Church
5495 Via Rocas
Westlake Village, CA

one is on November 18th, and the other is Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008
9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Then the last one will be December 3rd, at the Hollywood MOPS group that I actually attend.
It's a small thing from 9am-11am.

If you're wondering about my very MOPS heavy schedule, I must confess... I do love my MOPS group, and I believe in it wholeheartedly, but that's not the only reason I attend these events.
Seems word of mouth remains the best publicity, and though I have attempted many other festivals and events, the ones out here in LA just rarely seem to pay off... I did a few over the last few years, and have generally been so disappointed with the amount of work they take and the low turnout! The MOPS groups tend to pull from within the attendees of the regular group, so we know who is coming... and people come looking.
In Chicago, it was so very different... the festivals were where people knew to look for local artists to find, discover and support them... not so much in LA.
So, since babysitting adds up, and gas, and exhaustion is hard to rid with two monkeys waiting for me when I get home, I've had to get really selective about what I do... and I do enjoy each one of these events greatly.
Which reminds me... I have to go pack the new minivan... which will ALSO make things SO much easier tomorrow!
love... libby

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I'll post our own silliness later, but for now, if you need a little Trick and Treat...
check out Ruby's blog for a happy Halloween tale!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Thanksgiving is my 2nd favorite holiday! That means you get to celebrate, because I'm thankful for you, blog friends! Use THANKFUL as a coupon code for free shipping all month!

Home furnishing for the soul

I drove past this store today on 3rd street in LA- I drive past it often.
And the tagline hit me... "home furnishing for your soul"... Though I agree that my soul feels at rest when I am in a room that feels right, "mid-century modern" does not do it for me... And that's actually what I grew up with...
But I'm kind of thinking about how design is good for the soul - and yet different styles are so different and affect people differently...

For me, I love vintage, but not super old or with too much rust. I like shabby chic, but I don't love white. I love a riot of color and pattern, but I want clean Craftsman lines on my furniture. A little bit of art deco is good, but too much and it feels stuffy and formal, to me. I enjoy looking at scandinavian design, but not living in it. I like some kitsch, but not too much. I'm not into straight up traditional of any kind. And there has to be room for stacks and ollections. And I hate carpet. (says the girl who spent 6 years as a carpet designer)

Which design is good for your soul?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The book is done!

Pajamas and tired eyes included... I still don't like photos of myself, but I had to share my news... My book is done! It's super super cute and I'm totally proud of it. 20 pages of
preschool butterfly happiness.. (now I just need to make a customized version for my kids as a
Christmas gift... With their photos instead of the school friends... That will be fun!)

site updated

so my very busy hubby... while working late on his show... managed to update the website.
we have had to replace 2 patterns, Original, and Fall Springs... with new patterns - as they have discontinued fabrics in them.
We've replaced them with new (beautiful) patterns.
The replacement for "The Original" is actually the same print that you'll find in Sweet Tea, but in red and (get this) chocolate brown... it's gorgeous.The replacement for "Fall Springs" - the windmills pattern - is actually one I'd never planned to use for skirts. I had made curtains out of it for my living room and so many friends came through asking if they could have skirts made from the curtains, that, well....
And then... we've got the recently named: CARAMEL LATTEand also... another new one... AT THE DINER (It has a little tiny reference to my being a PepperDINER... and this being in our colors...)
And (drum roll, please)
another naming game! woohoo!
(Sheac Yee... did you ever receive your gift from me? please let me know if I forgot it in the midst of the robbery and all that junk...)
What are you friends suggesting for these two?prizes will be given to the winners... keep up the inspiration gals! I love that you are now inspiring me!



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