Sunday, October 31, 2010

I'll Give You A CLUE

Last weekend was the Wilde Annual Halloween Party. What were we you ask?

I'll give you a CLUE.

We had a Colonel Mustard.

Mrs. White.

Miss. Scarlett.

Mrs. Peacock.

And Professor Plum.

We were the characters from the board game CLUE. (We needed a Mr. Green). We had all the weapons. And we even played a little bit of murder mystery at the party.

The party hostess: Cleopatra

A little post party silliness. 


PS: If you've never seen the movie CLUE with Tim Curry, I highly recommend it. It's hilariously one of my favorite movies.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Song and Branch Studio

Last night I discovered Song and Branch. Twice. I took some headache meds that have caffeine in them so I was awake pretty late. A perfect opportunity to make a few Etsy treasuries. I started with Cloudy With A Chance Of Sun by FlyAKite featuring this adorable owl  . . .

Then I curated Oh, The Weather Outside Is Frightful by SylviaLouise and featured these fantastic snowflake ornaments . . .

I didn't realize they were both created by the same artist until I started sending out messages to the featured sellers. I discovered I LOVE this shop! Meet Karen from Seattle. Her porcelain miniatures are ADORABLE! Check her stuff out! Especially if you love owls. Having been a "Highlands Hooter" in elementary school I have always loved owls. I also really like these chickadees . . .

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall Day

I've said it before, but Fall is my very most favorite time of year. I can't wait for Daylight Savings time to end. I love the earlier evenings when its brisk outside. I love to layer & get very excited when jacket weather begins. (Not that it ever really gets that cold here in LA.) My weekend plans? I'll put on a few layers, maybe a scarf, and take a walk through a cemetery, or go on location and do some painting, and then I'll come home and bake something delicious in the oven. And if I had a new yarn craft to work on while dinner cooks, that would be the perfect end to a beautiful Fall day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dress Ups Past

Its that time of year again. The Annual Wilde Halloween Party and costume contest is just about upon us. Our carefully guarded secret costumes are just about ready for the party this Saturday. I have a feeling the competition will be pretty tough this year. We have quite a bit of family traveling from out of state.  I was thinking about past years and thought I'd share. Some are award winning, and some are pure nostalgia.

1st Place Vikings

2nd Place Hare Krishna

1st Place Chinese Dragon

1st Place KISS

This wasn't Halloween, but a Christmas card.

No one won this year.

The first of many successive years as babies.

Cute little Casper the Ghost.

I'm not sure who has a picture of my dad as Chia Head, but it was really great!

Feliz Cumpleanos Muchacho

Today is my baby brother's 26th birthday!

I remember the day Steele was born like it was almost yesterday. From day one he was smothered, maybe mothered too much, spoiled, picked on, given preferential treatment, dressed up as a girl, teased, but above all loved more than any brother could ever be. As the only boy he was outnumbered, but the man he has grown into is strong and sensitive; fun and thoughtful; athletic and musical; studious and silly. I love him more than words can say.

Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 18, 2010


ALL Halloween Cards at FlyAKite are on sale! 
25% Off!

We are also still donating $2 from every Pink Ribbon Card purchased or 10% from all other cards to The Susan G. Komen Foundation the entire month of October.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Nothing Fancy Here

I don't know about you, but I tend to do my best crafting while sitting on the floor. I don't know what I would do if I actually had to sit at a table. That's not to say that my sewing machine is on the floor. That would be ridiculous! I DO sit in a chair to sew. I somehow just can't creatively function unless I am sitting in the middle of the floor with my supplies spread out aaaaall around me. It doesn't matter if I'm cutting out handbag bodies, making notecards, scrapbooking, crocheting appliques, painting out on location or attempting to make jewelry. After any prolonged period of floor crafting my back is screaming at me, but I do it all again tomorrow.

As I sat down the other day to start a new handbag, I looked at the state of my pattern. I created this pattern for our Signature Bag Monday, June 12, 2006. I made the first one for a coworker and friend who was dreading the anniversary of her mother's death. She loved it! Not knowing that this particular pattern would become our Signature Bag I didn't even take a picture of it. This was before we started selling bags. Up to this point every bag we made truly was one of a kind, and not really very good. I made a few more Signature Bags as gifts, and of course, some for us. Almost a year later we started putting labels in our bags, developing new styles, and selling online. Our technique and fabrication has improved over the years, thankfully.

So as I sat on the floor reflecting on how far we had come, I looked at my pitiful homemade pattern. It's been put back together with masking and packaging tape, but it's still the same one I made that original bag with. I am no longer friends with the girl I made the first bag for, but that's okay because I know she came into my life long enough to inspire me to create the Sylvia-Louise Signature Bag.

For those of you who might think it is totally gross to do any crafting on the floor, just know that I am about the biggest germaphobe on the planet and I wouldn't put anything down on a dirty floor to sell or give anyone. We don't even wear our shoes in the house.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sing a Rainbow

Red and yellow and pink and green
purple and orange and bluuuuue.
I can sing a rainbow, 
sing a rainbow, 
sing a rainbow too.
Listen with your eyes.
Listen with your eyes,
and sing everything you see.
Sing a rainbow.
Sing a rainbow.
Sing along with me.

The photos don't do this scarf justice. I admire artists who sell yarn crafts and make their photos look awesome. My 22 gallon bucket of yarn was the inspiration for this over 6' long 80 different colors scarf. No yarn was purchased to complete this project. There are some Charlie Brown parts where I used thinner yarn, but those hopefully won't be noticeable when I wear it. This was a fun project, until I got to the part when I had to weave in all the loose ends.  The tassels might be my favorite part. And I know its fantastic because my sister already wants to borrow it!

Insecurities of a Handmade Artist

I've contemplated this post for some time. I came across a quote that made me feel like I should finally write this. It gave me the little boost of confidence I needed.

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." Cyril Connolly

The one constant piece of advice that successful handmade artists seem to give is "do what you love and the sales will follow." I've struggled over this concept. Being creative is such a huge part of who I am. If I didn't sell my work I would still make things. All kinds of things. It takes courage to put your creative efforts out there for the world to see. I've never been gutsy, and running two online shops wreaks havoc with my self esteem. I start to doubt my abilities. Are my items really as great as I think they are? When days or weeks go by without a single sale I wonder if I should close up shop and give up. It's hard to find motivation and be innovative when you're in this mindset. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way. But how does one remain positive? It is very easy to equate self worth with sales, or the lack thereof. I don't want this to sound like I'm searching for sympathy, or to guilt anyone into making a purchase. I just think this is a real issue that all handmade artists experience to some degree or another. I LOVE what I do. I'm so glad I started my second shop FlyAKite. I believe in quality and originality. I try to convey these values in everything I make. Sometimes I feel like my voice is lost out there. I've never been good at self promotion. I've been described as extremely introverted. We all have our own battles, right? So many people are out there making a name for themselves, getting discovered.

What's an artist to do?

I celebrate the little things---like when someone hearts one of my shops, or my work is featured in a treasury. I get really excited when I make a sale---even if it is only a single eggplant card shipped to New York. This blog doesn't have many followers, so chances are nobody will read it. Maybe it's just for me.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Its no secret that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For those of you who aren't a woman, or for those of you who don't have a mother, sister, daughter, grandma, aunt or know anyone female---its okay for you to ignore this important public service announcement. (Not that men can't get breast cancer---its just that its 100 times more common in women than men.) Breast cancer is the most common type of non-skin cancer in women and the fifth most common cause of cancer death.

I'm not fully qualified to spew cancer facts. I'll leave that to the experts. But what I can do is tell you what we're doing in our shops to support this worthy cause.

FlyAKite has designed Pink Ribbon Cards and will donate $2 of every Pink Ribbon Card purchase to Susan G. Komen For the Cure. 10% of any other card purchased during the month of October will also be donated.

Sylvia-Louise Handbags will be donating 10% of all handbag and accessories purchases too.

This movement continues to grow bigger every year. I used to be the Community Relations Coordinator back in my big box retail days, and I know this is a cause that people really get behind and support because it is so personal and affects so many people we all know. We would fundraise and walk every year. Its one of the aspects of the job I actually miss.

Here's our group from the last walk we did.

Since D was the group photographer, here she is! And it was raining on us.

Spread the word and tell your friends. You can also donate directly to the Susan G. Komen website.