Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010


it's over!!!! the kids, congregation, staff, and pastors all had fantastic things to say. i'm so happy and so thankful that it went well! i really felt the power of the Holy Spirit today, honestly, in the support and encouragement of everyone in the house. it was so fun to see the church packed to the rafters and to hear the crowd reaction to the kids as they played their roles. yay!

now i just get to enjoy christmas like a normal person. i don't even have to repair the star again this year! since we made a new one last year, it's holding up a lot better than the first one. it's construction foam (the pink stuff) which i painted with two coats of primer then decopauged with gold tissue paper. the old one was just painted and dented/scratched a lot quicker. the gold paper gives this one a nice crusty shell that is almost un-scratchable!

if you want to be moved to tears by a story of what freedom of religion can look like, go here now. i have been reading her blog for several months now and i feel like peaches is my sister from another mister.

Friday, December 17, 2010

the week's big chop...

you know it's time when pencils and knitting needles substitute for hair bands and a hat substitutes for a shower. when you wash and dry it and that's it. it's time to give your hair to someone else who will make better use of it that you will. it's time to chop it off for locks of love.
three pony tails worth of boredom will be packed into a padded envelope and sent off to do something for a change. the longest one is destined to be made into a kid's wig, and the two shorter ones will be sold for toupees and the like, and the money will go back to LOL.
i feel SO much better with short hair again. it's been years since it's been this short-and people's reactions are hilarious. 'You look younger!' 'You look older!' the head pastor at work keeps calling me the 'new becca' which i think is hilarious since i've worked there off and on going on 18 years now.
tomorrow is the pageant rehearsal and sunday, it all goes down. due to snow and kids being out sick, we've only had one day of actual song rehearsal and only one day of rehearsing the lines with the kids, and i'll never have had the 'adult' cast together in one room before we perform it DURING WORSHIP on sunday. OH and Mary has to take her ACT's tomorrow since they got snowed out last weekend. it's fine, not like she has a huge role in the whole thing......... i'm terrified. if this pageant is a disaster i fear another big chop this week......

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Owls and Snowmen

As the storm of the 21st century blows into MN, I'm delighted to spend a third day in a row in my studio. I actually took a sick day from job numero uno on Thursday, what a treat!!!!

The Bibelot has placed a final pre-Christmas order, and my wintery stuff is selling well at I Like You so I'm in a mad frenzy to re-stock for all the non-big-box shoppers out there in the world. Thank you for supporting local artists!
The owls pictured are going to the Bibelot, they have four locations so check each one. These are ornament sized-they fit in your hand. I loves them! Each one turns out cuter than the last!!! Bigger owlies are also available at their stores, and ILY will be getting medium-sized ones (photos to follow). Find snowmen like these at ILY.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

my monthly that one!

ah ok so this whole regular blogging thing is not working out so great now is it?

if you'd had a glance at my calendar you'd see why.

highlights since we last spoke include (but are not limited to) the green gift fair at the midtown global market, the annual i like you ornament sale, then thanksgiving with a visit from my cousin jay and his family and a trunk show at the bibelot. oh and then that whole night in bethlehem business.

videos and photos follow. animal and ornament construction continues unabated.

Friday, November 05, 2010

recap of the last month....

got a quick visit to chicago in just before halloween. how adorbs is this baby?

work is full-tilt crazy pace, charging ahead into christmas and the pageant and the advent fair and the star of wonder brunch and on and on and on. sometimes i miss semi-retirement but i love love LOVE my job.

i'm cranking out the christmas ornaments in the studio. i've come up with a pretty solid assembly line, where i'm still able to give each one personality and different looks but it goes much, much quicker! yippee!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

break out the glitter!!!

i'm going to actually have time to craft this weekend! what a revelation!
i have to restock my stores for the upcoming 'holidays' and get ready for my next bibelot trunk show, which is going to be BLACK FRIDAY aka the day after Thanksgiving. and this year, i've decided to get to work earlier rather than later. what a concept!

going to focus on the smaller ornaments, making more things in the 10-20 dollar range, for gifties and what have you. lots of birds, penguins, and little guys. not so many of the big guys. if these 'tough economic times' have taught me anything, it's that people aren't really spending much money right now, especially on things like ornaments. even super cute ones.

these ornaments were at the i like you trunk show last year. they did extremely well....and are identical to the ones i had at the state fair except for the scarves. is a scrap of yarn really what it takes to sell a bird? am i gonna have to add scarves to all my birds this winter? would a bird be able to fly with a scarf? am i over thinking this? yes, yes, no and yes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cabinet of Wonders...

I took a class with the amazingly talented and sweet Jennifer Murphy at The Creative Connection. We got to make TWO lovely ornaments in the class! She was a fantastic teacher, and helped a group of women of all skill levels through to beautiful finished products....with all the teaching I do it's always a treat to take a class from a wonderful teacher!
The wee little blue bird comes from yarn that she hand-dyed for the class (here you can see her photo of all the samples lined up for class) and is so stinkin' cute! I decided to give my guy a mohawk which might be hard to see in the photo....and we also made a little bird standing on a tree clip with a nest of tinsel and wee mercury glass 'eggs' at his feet! How adorbs, eh?

They'll join the other handmade goodies in my 'never sell' cabinet in my studio.....prototypes, one-offs, things I made from patterns and won't sell because I didn't design them myself, things like that.
It's great to see the oldest Duckies and how far I've come....If you look closely you'll find a hand-jointed rabbit made from a book on teddy bears, two Steiff mice, owls and penguins of all sizes, Porkchop the monkey, and Duckie Ugling himself!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A day of thanks...

My boss forced me to take a day off after last week's marathon-THANK GOODNESS!!!!

I volunteered at The Creative Connection in downtown Mpls. A little bit of a hike from the 'burbs but OH so worth it. The Handmade Market was mindblowingly awesome. I had to resist buying everything I saw. I did snag a few treasures and more than a few ideas!

I met amazing women/artists/businesspeople/bloggers that i have admired for YEARS, including the lovely and amazing Jen O'Connor of Earth Angels Toys. Even ran into my sister's husband's aunt and uncle and cousin in law! What a small world, eh?

And tomorrow, I'm taking a class from Jennifer Murphy! I can't wait!

I also got the FANTASTIC news that one of my dear friends gave birth to a healthy, happy baby boy. Welcome to the world little Kagan! I can't wait to meet this little guy....

I've also broken my vow of no craft shows for a year and committed to doing a Saturday show during the St. Paul art crawl. No booth fee, no pressure. Maybe some of the billion birds I have left over from the State Fair will make it on to the table. Or maybe some old jewelry spiced up for new eyes. Who knows......

Saturday, September 04, 2010

double rainbow, all the way!!!

you've no doubt seen the double rainbow video by now, and it's hundreds of tributes/spoofs.

and now, he's makin' money at it. go bear!

we had a fantastic storm earlier in the week, and i got to introduce my parents to the double rainbow phenomenon. they LOL'd and loved it. this is our double rainbow, yes it did reach all the way across the sky. started and ended on our property. i know there's no pots of gold out there, but there are acres and acres of lovely trees, swamp-y creatures, and beautiful wildflowers. i am eagerly anticipating the color show when all those trees turn gold and red.

Monday, August 30, 2010

where does the time go?

no...seriously....where does it go?

summer is wrapping and sunday school is about to start up again, up but the weather here in MN hasn't gotten the memo. it's been 80-90 these past few days. and just about unbearable. so glad my new office at church is airconditioned like a blast chiller.

the state fair is on, and i dearly love it. the great minnesota get together is one of my favorite events of the year. i've only missed it a few times in my 34 years on this planet. i went yesterday (by myself) and found amazingly adorable rabbits that i was THISCLOSE to stuffing in my bag and running off with, so-so deep fried food items, and then handed out postcards and talked up the store to anyone who wandered within 10 feet of the i like you booth. sold a few t-shirts and other fabulous items as well, but no one wanted or needed a duckie ugling ornament in their fair schwag bags. who knew!?
if you go, visit the booth in the lower level of the grandstand, on the back wall. you can't miss it. i wish we had these shirts in adult sizes.....

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

oh yeah it's too hot! too hot baby!

red hot art was last weekend and i scored some killer new earrings and a super cute jersey scarf from Lauren and Whittney of Spilled Milk Factory. they had ventured out to hugo earlier in the week to pick up my lucky red umbrella and visit the farm, and we had a delish waffle breakfast.
last year's red hot art was anything but, considering the pouring rain, however this year they lucked out with gorgeous weather and fabu music.

today i tech-d a fringe show then went to pick up the VBS supplies from the st. paul church and put them upstairs at my church. picked up my soldering kit (which i forgot after class the other night) came home and melted into a puddle. all thoughts of getting anything done flew out the window. i don't want to turn the A/C on because i love open windows and the sounds and smells of the farm. we've had intermittent rainstorms all day and it's absolutely magical to hear all the bird sounds.....

one thing that wasn't magical was the gentleman (!) who hocked a loogy on my hood on the way back from the church. i was driving in the left lane, going 10+ over the speed limit like the rest of the traffic, but OH NO he wanted to be in front of me so he could follow the car 20 yards ahead of me. so as he passed me on the right (after another car exited) he placed his head outside his window and spat at my car. YES. SPAT. disgusting. another human's spittle outside their body is one of the grossest things i can think of ON THE PLANET.

indignant rage threatened to grip my soul.

however, i thought, i'm driving a carload full of materials back to my church, from another church, were i spent the week teaching kids about Jesus' disciples in the book of Acts. Seriously. WWJD? i'm not gonna let satan (in an F150) get to me...

so as he slowed down to exit (about 1/3 of a mile past passing me) i made eye contact with the gentleman, smiled, and waved sweetly. he looked at me like i was insane. and yes, possibly i am.

i hope my smile and wave made him realize what an a$$ he'd just made of himself, how he really had accomplished nothing. he hadn't ruined my day, he had just soiled my vehicle with his DNA.

Monday, August 02, 2010

studio time!

i can't believe it. i'm back to makin' stuff!
here's a cabinet full of owls and birds-destined for the bibelot

and here's my soldering setup. i'm teaching a class tonight, and another one soon in northfield, so i'm making class samples.

feels good to flex my creative muscles again!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

van gogh, eat your heart out.

just a few shots of sunflowers in the garden and on 'mt st. hugo'. that's my pet name for the highest point in hugo, the pile of peat moss that we turned into our ill-fated sledding hill where my nephew matthew broke his leg just after christmas (he's totally fine now BTW).

volunteer sunny in the weedy garden. none of them have 'perfect' faces'. last year we had some crazy double-faced ones. i don't see any of those yet this year.

some 'teddy bear' sunnies and red ones in the veg garden. since i got the job it's been very neglected, and the weeds have really taken over. in the back are the rain barrels my dad set up. since remodeling the studio, we added a gutter to the front of the barn. it captures up to 55 gallons of rain PER SHOWER from just the front side, and instead of just letting it run into the driveway and then the yard, we're going to use it to water the gardens. my dad is so proud of all the engineering he did on these barrels. i am going to paint a lot of the garden accessories this blue color next year. i love it.

secret garden. here's how it looked last year.
it's really growing like crazy!

more of mt. st. hugo. look at all those wildflowers! there's tons of bees and butterflies that flit around. sounds like a million tiny vuvzelas out there.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tiiiiiiiiiiiny house!

i had heard about this guy and his tumbleweed tiny houses somewhere on the internets, and now, here's a walkthru of his 96 sq foot house. WOW.

as a maximalist, i am quite impressed by this guy's organization and skill in living with so little in such tight quarters. i think my room is bigger than his whole house.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

What's the buzz? Tell me what's a happening...

Oosh. What a couple of months.

The posting has dried up, as you faithful readers would have observed by now, due to new jobbage and general lack of time due to new jobbage. I haven't sewn any duckies since the beginning of April, due to the studio being remodeled and expanded so my mom can have a workspace again.

But the weight loss has continued, and I'm the lightest weight I've been in 10 years. I don't feel like I've had to 'give anything up', I just have to make other changes, like working out or having less of something I decide I really want! I'm not saying I'm perfect by any means, but I've discovered that I am addicted to sweating every day!

I'm excited for my siblings and their kiddos to come home next week...what else can I say? I'll have photos, news, and a real update. But for now, I hope this will do.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

another day, another dress

dress: super on sale Calvin Klein from macy's. first item of mr. klein's that i have owned. i think it was 80% off. RAWK!
shirt: generic macy's brand shirt but i have it in purple and pink and i loves it.
shoes and earrings: borrowed from my sis.
pins: thrifted from various sources. loves me some bling!
i worked at the church AND the store today. busy day! my summer is going to be fully of days like this: 5-6 hours at the church, 4-5 hours at the store. tomorrow is an all store day. i am going to work on class ideas and sew some more alabama-chanin inspired items to rev up the wardrobe. i'm also window shopping some more dresses..i think it's time to break out the sewing machine and whip up some jersey dresses for myself. we'll see if the heat breaks before or after my ambition.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

SoD and MAX!!!

Max my nephew is finally here! more photos to follow, of course but here's a teaser with big brothers Matthew and Michael. 9 lbs 3 oz. That's a big baby! I won't get to meet him in person for a few more weeks, but he and his momma are doing great!

Today I kept up the summer of dresses with this little number from Lane Bryant. I wore it to a wedding two years ago, and haven't worn it much since. I lost one of the two (removeable) straps, so today I made it into a halter so as not to lose the top. With the cardigan over the top, you can hardly tell! I feel very 50's housewife-y in this dress. It's super, super big on the top so if I lose any more weight this summer, I don't think I can wear this one any more.

I am totally loving the Summer of Dresses, but I'm either gonna have to start sewing or hit the thrifts on Monday to pad my stash!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Summer of Dresses!!!

Even before I knew about this blog, I was determined to wear more dresses and skirts this year.

Here's my first submission to the Summer of Dresses. I notice that my farmer tanned arms are like two shades darker than my legs. Better break out the fake tan lotion and catch those puppies up!

Dress: Merona (Target brand)
Jean Jacket: Style and Co (Macy's brand)
Boots: Thrifted from the Goodwill

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

farm shots

i have had very little art-making energy lately. instead i've been enjoying the great outdoors. here are some shots to help you understand what i mean.

Monday, May 17, 2010

summer has arrived!

super cute shoes by land's end outlet, amazing landscaping by my parents and a small army of diligent workers.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I'm back baby!!!

I got the job I so mysteriously hinted at several weeks ago...working in Children's Ministries at my home church. YAY!

It's very similar to the job I held through high school, college summers, and after I got back from Chicago. Nothing like coloring, playing games, and singing songs with elementary kiddos! I love it!

Today was my last day at the major department store. I'm glad they employed me for a time, but I'm also glad to be done. It allowed me to get a YMCA membership, and I've been going before work, after work, and sometimes exercising at home, too! The weight hasn't been coming off as fast but I'm feeling bones emerge where earlier there was only layers of flab. It feels good to have a waist again!

Monday, April 19, 2010


i did a saturday earth day work shop for artscraps and had a fantastic time. being outside, with kids, crafting with recycled could it get any better than that? i'm so looking forward to my signatures camp this summer, i'm getting all sorts of ideas on what to teach the kiddos.

we are also planning an addition to the studio. a room for storage. i'm SO happy about that. my situation is OOC (out of control) and i know it's frustrating for my mom to not be able to use HER studio since MY stuff is in the way. over there is a studio board with the theme of 'wings', and with about as much yellow as i can stand to look at. HA!

i have an interview tomorrow, which i'm very much looking forward to, which i will tell you about at a later date because i don't even know if the job is actually open. we'll see.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Camera located! Worthy pictures taken, not so many.

The headline pretty much says it all.

Here though are some shots of Oscar the Octopus, made for submission to the One Yard Wonders 2 book. I thought the one in the 'cave' was especially hilarious.

On a side note, YMCA joining comes in the midst of a 3-month weight-loss plateau. I keep hovering around the same 3 lbs lost and gained. I know I could be tracking more dilligently for one thing, and that my clothing and measurements are really changing, I am able to walk longer, faster, and further, but darnit I want to get past this hump! Hopefully the return of the Farmer's Markets will help me to eat more fruit and veg. Our Chives and Asparagus and Rhubarb are being consumed almost daily.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

this whole week has felt like monday....

not having a regular work schedule tends to mess up your internal clock a bit. this entire week i've had to check my phone, a calendar, etc. to see what day it really is because i was sure it was still monday. yes, i do feel a wee bit like garfield this week. that photo over there is of Katzen Ploofen, sold last year on ETSY.

had a shopping spree with my mom at the rosedale location of the Store-Not-To-Be-Named where i am currently part-timely employed. she helped me find all the black pants and tops in the plus-sized section. but.... i was SHOCKED to be buying clothes in a size 16. i am utterly amazed because the last time i remember wearing a 16 was early in college. or about 30 lbs from now. so either i was wearing WAY too large of a size (grunge was on its way out so i might have been ahead of the curve so to speak) or they've slid the sizes up again. you hear how marilyn monroe was a 12 blah blah but really she was more of an 8 by today's standards. or maybe a 6.

joining the Y today instead of in May. though spring has hit MN it's still chilly out there. and though i'd rather exercise out-of-doors it's just not going to happen when it's 38 degrees. they are remodeling the place and the pools will be ready in June. i can't WAIT! i love to swim. gonna need a new suit though my old one was a size 22!!!

one last tidbit that i feel needs commenting on: this monstrosity from KFC.
wow. 540 calories and 32g of fat. did the WW points on it and it comes out to 13. TWO slices of bacon, cheese, two patties, and sauce. ugh. it's like they let the stoners into the kitchen to make whatever they wanted.
this exhaustive list will tell you how much activity you need to burn this baby off.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Yah, spring has sprung!

Well it's officially, REALLY spring here in Minnesota. The 'last hurrah' snowstorm has yet to arrive, but I'm starting to doubt it will rear its ugly white head this year! Wouldn't that be a miracle? Speaking of miracles, Dorothy has lost all the hair she had at birth and is now bald as an egg. Appropriate, since this photo of her was sent to us on Easter morning. Betsy and David came for a visit last weekend and Dorothy got to meet most of her second cousins and great aunts and uncles that live here in MN.

I seem to have misplaced my own digicam so I borrowed my mom's for yesterday's trunk show at the Beeb. The coat I'm wearing came from last year's Halloween Costume and back then, I couldn't even button the thing. Now I can button AND zip it closed! And roll up the sleeves!
The best part is it came from Goodwill and cost only $6. I'm gonna get a lot of use out of it this spring. The dress and shoes were also thrifted and were very lucky finds. I know I don't *have* to buy clothes at the GeeDub but it feels extra awesome when I do.

Anyway. Back to the Trunkshow. I was pretty happy with yesterday's outcome, but I wish as always that I had made more lower-priced things that people would snap up. The plus side is that I now have a whole pack of giant pastel rabbits to put in my Etsy shop. Providing I don't keep them for myself.

The new job at a giant department store not-to-be-named* has gone quite well so far. My co-workers are all EXTREMELY nice and though I have yet to catch any shop lifters or buy anything new, I am getting excited about having a regular source of income. Since it's so close to work, I'm going to join the YMCA in May, and the first 5 hours of work each month will go towards paying for that membership. It will be my reward!
*In training they said I couldn't blog about my job and mention it by name. So I won't! I've learned my lesson from Dooce!

Tunk Show!!!

yesterday was SO much fun-meeting customers at the bibelot and seeing so many friends and relatives....more photos to come but I wanted to just give you a quick taste. Happy Easter to all, we are off to church then back for lunch. Photos of baby D coming soon!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Pop Fizz Trunk Show Article!

Todays pic

Talk about a bad start.

You overslept. Your boss shot you nasty looks all morning. And just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, the cute office manager caught you scratching your nose in a manner that might easily have been mistaken for picking.

You're inclined to reach for the chocolate, but why not try hugging a cat, a bunny, or a bird instead? The fuzzy types from Duckie Uglings, a collection of insanely adorable stuffed animals, handmade by artist Rebecca Jo Malmstrom of Hugo, should do nicely. They are more like art than ordinary plush toys, and they're perfect for keeping at the office as a source of comfort. Each features adorable details like button eyes, dresses with rickrack, vintage name tags and tongues sticking out. One look and the disappointments of the day melt away.

In other words, they're the best cheering-up you can get without a ridiculous number of calories.

Duckie Uglings, $10 to $50, available at Bibelot Shops locations and I like You (501 1st Av NE, Mpls, 612-208-0249). Trunk show on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Bibelot (1082 Grand Av, St Paul, 651-222-0321). Special Easter creatures and bunnies, birdies and nests will be available. Plus, register to win one of her creations.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ooh! Trunkshow in the St. Paul Paper!

Give your Easter basket an edge with Duckie Uglings, loveable little creatures handmade locally. Artist Rebecca Jo Malmstrom will hatch her spring collection, including bunnies, birds in nests and of course, ducks, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Bibelot, 1082 Grand Ave., St. Paul. Register to win a one-of-a-kind creation.

— Allison Kaplan

Monday, March 15, 2010

Saturday's OOTD

I thought I looked super cute on Saturday. I didn't feel like washing my hair, and it was *just* cold enough that one needed extra layers to preserve optimum body temperatures when out-of-doors. So out comes the trusty Beret. But off came the bling that usually decorates the brim.

Here's my outfit o' the day.

beret: super old GAP, like 15 years ago. I know I had it college because one year I was a squirrel and i made my boyfriend at the time be an acorn. He didn't like dressing up. That should have been a major clue that it would never work out.
scarf: I knit it about 2 years ago.
brown cardi: From marshall's. Some random plus size line
tank top w/ beading: old navy
jeans: Liz Claiborne via my MOM! Yes they are Mom jeans, literally. And they are also 6 sizes smaller than the jeans I was wearing last year at this time. Though women's sizes go by 2's. So really, it's 3 sizes. But the math is pretty exciting regardless.

The sun has FINALLY come out in MN and that means everyone and their dog heads outside to soak up the sunshine. I've walked outside the last two days instead of in the mall and it's been GLORIOUS. Just when you get sick of living in a miserable gray and rainy world the sun comes out and reminds you that spring is worth going through winter. We know there will be a few more blizzards before winter slinks away for 9 months...but we don't care!