Fall Art Camp 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hold onto your seats, this might be a long one!

I am sitting at the Portland Airport waiting for my flight back to San Diego after the most rewarding and fabulous weekend at Terri Brush’s Fall Art Camp 2014. I arrived last Wednesday and here I sit on Monday afternoon, where did all that time go? So sad it’s over yet feel so thankful I have a few alone moments to reflect on my amazing week.

Most of you know I have 2 small children, 3 and 5 years old and that makes it a challenge to leave that responsibility on my family at home. I am so thankful my husband and parents pull together to make this all possible for me.

From the moment I arrived and Karen Moreno picked me up from the airport, I knew this was going to be a life changing week ahead. There are months of planning that go into making this Camp the best around. There is Project planning, kit making, decorations to be made, gifts to be designed and packaged, menus (OH MY GOODNESS THE FOOD!, yes, I was one of the cooks so I might be partial), and so much more. It just all comes together like a beautiful Broadway production.

We arrived at Lincoln City, OR right on the beach. The homes that Terri holds this retreat in are gorgeous. I came to Spring Art Camp, earlier this year as an attendee and this time as a worker. We all worked together to execute Terri’s vision. That vision is to provide this group of women with a an experience like no other. I want to tell you about what this weekend did for me….

As a wife, stay at home mom, and jewelry designer, I feel pretty well rounded. I have a full and happy life. With life’s responsibilities, challenges, and demands, we don’t always have the time to just stand back and breathe. I like to think of life as a chain. We add links to this chain when we find love, have children, get a new pet, finish a project, do something we love to do, or meet friends, these are just some experiences that can add links to our chain. This last week has put a new link in my chain of life. 

All the women that attend and work at Terri’s retreat are so creative, fun, FUNNY, interesting, and the real descriptive word would be REAL. Everyone has a story and you really want to learn more about them. When you learn someone’s story you have a trusted friendship like no other. Before you know it you can’t imagine your life without them.

I do get sad when I leave short stays like this but today was truly emotional. I miss my family so much at home but I sure miss my camp family too. We laughed from the moment we opened out eyes and closed them again! (Seriously, ask anyone sleeping near us) Laughter is so nourishing for your soul. We sometimes just get so busy in life’s demands we just don’t have the time to check in on our souls. It is important and if you go to Terri’s retreat and allow yourself to be vulnerable, you will have that time!

I have come away from Terri’s camp with a few extra pounds but I can’t imagine life without my new forever friendships. I want to thank Terri first for being such a true and wonderful person like no other. Because of her kindness, honesty, talent, and creative soul she attracts these ladies and provides us with the opportunity to all become a family.

The “workers”, Donna Kohler and Karen Moreno, were constantly tending to everyone. If someone needed something, they ran to the store, if you needed a ride, they did it. They cleaned the trashcans ;), did the laundry, helped you find your rooms, helped in the kitchen, and ran ran ran ran and ran some more. Rain didn’t slow them down for one minute!!! Amazing ladies.

The rest of the workers; Joy Bayer, Debbie Schinnell, Teresita Herrera, Edna Kainz, and myself, worked in the kitchen. From early morning to late night the food was plentiful. No one went hungry that is for sure! A few of the menu items were BBQ chicken & Apple Flat Bread Pizzas, Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, Greek Salad Cups, Chicken Tinga Tostadas, Homemade Mexican Rice & Beans, BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Apple Coleslaw, Cobb Salad, Shrimp Pasta Salad, Shrimp Diablo Pasta, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Tomato Soup (Yes it was cold and rainy this day so it was perfect), Clam Chowder, Waldorf Salad, Pumpkin French Toast, Baked Egg and Sausage Casserole, Lots of bread choices with condiments and so much more!!!! Now that wasn’t including the Desserts! For sweet treats, it was endless! Those that know me well, know that baking isn’t my strong suit but I had to put that apron on and try my best. The girls made Pumpkin Bars, Baked Apple Crisp, Crepes to order with the most delicious orange cream cheese filling and fresh berries, Ginger cookie whoopee pies, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin Fudge, and a fall themed candy bar explosion! The food was so great and so much fun to make with our crew. I love to cook at home but, this was the very first time I have shared a kitchen and cooked with other women. The chemistry we all had made it seem like we had been doing this daily for years. It was just pure bliss!!

Debbi and I were roommates with two other wonderful ladies that made us laugh when we didn’t think we could laugh anymore. Melody Pfister and Sissy. OMG these two were wonderful and couldn’t have imagined anyone better to share a room with!!! Hope we all get to snuggle again next year!

Then there is Billie Coon! Billie was all setup in a private room and provided everyone with massages. The massage was like nothing I have every experienced. It isn’t just a relaxing massage of muscles, aches, and pains which was great. It was a cleanse of emotions and a spiritual healing. Something I didn’t know I needed. You find yourself at your most vulnerable state and are at totally and complete peace with it. I have never EVER felt so amazing. I came away with a new outlook on life with my time spent with Billie. I just don’t have the words to even explain to you but it may be the closest I have ever been to really believing that I can conquer anything, let go of anything and everything is just going to be ok.

Although we all had our general responsibilities as individuals, we all pitched in to help with anything we could or anywhere we were needed. This made us a true TEAM. I have always felt that your life can’t become complete until you connect all the links. Well finding, bonding, and loving your tribe is a huge part of that linked chain. I more than added a link to my chain this past week. I bonded with women that I had just met, some I have known for a few years and now we will all be friends for a lifetime. Please do yourself a favor and save your pennies, rub a nickel together, or just figure out a way to get to Terri’s next Art Camp!!! We will all bond, connect, support, and love one another! This was so beyond what my words can express, you need to EXPERIENCE it! Join Terri’s new Academy at http://terribrushdesigns.ning.com/  She has the most wonderful online classes too!

Some relationships say, “we will always have Paris” I say, “we will always have camp”! Until next time….. Love you all and thank you for completing me.



My first born is turning 5 tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I'm such a lagger in keeping my blog up to date. I'm sorry about that. I will get better. I have lots of drafts ready to post LOL. The balance of my kids, jewelry, and house have consumed all my time. Hopefully soon I will be able to balance in my blog too! Until then, I thought I would share the letter I wrote for my little man turning FIVE tomorrow! I like to write a letter to each of my kids on their birthdays. These are put away and hopfully one day they will enjoy reading them. These letters also help me with them getting older and taking a few to reflect on all the changes in just a years time.

My sweet first born,

How could five, FIVE years have passed since I first looked into that beautiful little face?  To me it seems only moments ago.  I can still hear your tiny cry, feel the warmth of your small frame and taste my sweet tears of joy mingled with overwhelming love. I remember sitting on the couch with you in the middle of the night, just a few days old, and looking into your eyes asking that you please not grow too up too fast.

Is it possible to love someone too much?  If so, I’m afraid I’m guilty.

I have watched you grow into this MOST amazing little boy. You have become so much more than I ever hoped you would be. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a child with a greater heart and love for everyone. The way you say “Hi” to just about everyone everywhere is just so sweet. You are compassionate, kind and you love your family as you seem to love all the world, with the most genuine love imaginable; a love with absolutely no conditions.

You are as silly as you are loving. You are often the first to lose your breath laughing at something.

You are smart, with a love for books and trying new things.  I hope that you never stop seeking knowledge.  I hope that you always find comfort in the quiet of a good book.

You started Preschool this year. You loved it from the very first day and had friends by the time I picked you up from that first day. You go to school Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30-11:30 and just love it.

I hope you always find joy in your favorite things.  At the moment they are, mac & cheese, hot dogs, yogurt, any fruit, jello, and ANYTHING sweet, the color blue, building with legos, playing with your cars and trucks, and playing with your sister!

As you turn five, I want to leave you with five things that I never, EVER want you to forget.

NEVER EXCHANGE YOURSELF FOR WHAT THE WORLD SAYS YOU SHOULD BE.  Never for one second think that you have to be anything else but yourself. Love music and want to start a garage band?  Go for it. Have the urge to write a novel? Make it a great one. Want to wear old, ripped up jeans?  As long as I can’t see your underwear, fine with me.  Whoever you are, whatever you want to be, as long as it’s a decent human being and won’t bring harm to you or anyone else, you have my undying support.

ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOU!  The whole world may tell you can’t, but I know that if you put your heart and soul into achieving your goals, you will. It fills me with pride to see the confidence you have in yourself now. You think you can do anything.  And so do I.  Never doubt your abilities.  They are God given and yours alone.  Always believe in you.

YOU WILL SCREW UP. Big time. Most likely over and over again. And it’s okay. Mistakes are a part of life, of living, of learning. It’s who WE are as humans. Pick yourself up no matter how hard or impossible it seems at the time, and move on. Don’t dwell in the past. Don’t fret. We’ve all been there. Every sunrise is a new beginning. But just in case you forget that and you feel like you can’t claw your way out of the hole you’ve dug this time, remember you always have a place to turn. Home. I’ll be here to help you pick up the pieces of life and put them back together again.

IT’S ALMOST NEVER ABOUT YOU. As beautiful as it is, the world can be a bitter, mean place.  People will sometimes act in a way that will leave you hurt, broken, insecure. Know that it’s most likely something inside of them, not you, that causes them to lash out. You are good. You are kind.  You are loved. I have struggled with this many times myself.  But I will try to never tell you that you are being overly sensitive.  Your sensitivity is one of the things that makes you most beautiful. It’s rare. Just promise me that you’ll try to take the negativity of others with a grain of salt. Don’t let it weigh down your joy. And when you see an opportunity to reach out with a little kindness, do it. Even if that person has shown none to you.

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING YOU COULD EVER DO, EVER SAY, EVER THINK, EVER BE THAT COULD MAKE ME STOP LOVING YOU. You are my child. You know the sound of my beating heart. I will never forget what those first tiny kicks felt like. The first ultrasound picture I saw of you. I have loved you from the moment I knew you were to be mine. You and your sister are my most cherished gifts in this life. The love I have for you is not a love that ever has to be earned. It just is. It will always be.

Happy, happy birthday, my baby boy!  Here’s to five more beautiful years with you and hoping that the minutes are kind enough to slow down from time to time.

I love you big as the whole world, and the sun, the moon and the stars. To the moon and back.  Til’ the end of time.

Love Always,


A Letter to My ‘Buggy’ on the Eve of Her 3rd Birthday

Monday, March 24, 2014

To My Sweet Madison Grace,

Tomorrow you will be 3 years old! People tell you that time flies by but until you have kids you don't understand it. You look at people like they are crazy and I rolled my eyes when they tell you, "Don't blink. They'll be grown before you know it." But those silly people are right.

People also like to tell you how each age is the hardest. The sleepless nights of newborns, the terrible twos, the teenage years, and on and on. Truth be told, we all have bad moments of each of our years.

Your twos were a walk in the park. Of course we had our difficult moments. You had meltdowns, I had meltdowns, you have a very strong personality and I would never want that to change….

But honestly, this was my favorite yet. That's why I have had tears in my eyes watching you sleep tonight.

Your twos were when I learned a heck of a lot about me. Things that I need to change in order to be the mommy you deserve. Ways I need to show you how strong and brave and beautiful you are.

Your twos were crazy busy for you! You grew in leaps and bounds in so many areas - your vocabulary, your tactile skills, your climbing abilities, your LACK of fear. Sometimes it is hard to remember you are just 2.

As you fell asleep tonight, I had to fight back tears I just wanted to hold that moment and make time stop, at least for a little bit.

I don’t want to forget how you love to twirl around when music plays, how you always reassure me when you get up on the back of the couch and inform me that there is no reason to worry because you have wings and you can fly (HAHA), you are never afraid to say “No!”, I want to keep you pocket size forever so I can always hold you. I don't want to forget the light little snore you have when you sleep or how your cheeks get rosy when you are tired.

When we wake up tomorrow, it will be your Third birthday. The day your daddy and I first got to hold you. Even though you had been with us for almost 10 months in my belly, that was the day we finally got to meet the second love of our lives on the outside. I was scheduled to be induced with you on Monday but you were ready to come on your own the Friday before. I hope you continue to always have that same drive.

Tomorrow morning we will be going to breakfast with Grandma. It’s a little tradition we started when I was pregnant with Carson. We have a fun very Princess inspired birthday weekend planned.

I know you won't read this letter anytime soon but I wanted to remember these things. And I wanted to tell you a few more things. So here goes:

No matter how old you are, you will always be our sweet BABY girl. (you love to tell us you aren’t a baby and that you are a girl!)
No matter what you do, I will always love you.
I am so incredibly proud to be your mama just because you are you.
You can be ANYTHING you want to be, just please please please get a great education.
You are amazing in so many ways.
You have a laugh that is contagious and so beyond sweet.
You have the most beautiful big baby blue eyes ever.(you get those from Grandpa)
You have an amazing personality that is so perfectly you.
You are incredibly talented in so many ways - coloring, hugs, kisses, running, climbing, dancing.
You never, ever have to do anything to earn my love or your daddy's. We love you because you are you. Our love for you is always there. Even when you do something wrong and you get in trouble - we still love you. That never changes.

My wish for you, my sweet birthday girl, as you turn 3 years old, is that you will keep being our “buggy” Madison Grace. That you will keep dressing up like a princess while playing with one of Carson’s bulldozers or trucks. Keep fixing boo-boos and giving check-ups just like Doc McStuffins. The characters can change to whoever you would like them to be, just don't stop pretending. Keep telling your wonderful creative stories you make up. Keep laughing and smiling. Always believe you are beautiful because you are! Just keep being you! There is no one else you should ever be besides yourself! And always know you are loved!

I love you to infinity and beyond sweet girl!

Love always and forever,

Whimsy Blues Creative Weekend!

Monday, February 24, 2014

What a fabulous long weekend! I flew into Seattle, WA last Thursday to cool but beautiful weather. Suzi Kaminsky and I were roomies in Terri Brush's vintage camper, Kippy!! He is just the cutest!

When we arrived on Thursday, Suzi and I headed to Shipwreck beads for a fun and overwhelming
shopping and collecting of beads. Then off to Terri's house. 

Thursday night Terri had prepared a wonderful dinner of Chicken alfredo. It was delicious! Joy Bayer made fabulous carrot cake too! We are so spoiled.
Friday evening was the Soiree at Terri's Home. It was a great evening to spend with everyone. Once again the food was amazing.

Saturday classes started at 9:30am. I took Ruth Rae's Enchanted Heart class and we made the most adorable little box with a paper clay heart inside. 

Next was Terri's sweet bunny or chick Easter box. I chose bunnies of course. This box was so much fun! 
Saturday night we surprised Terri with a dinner across the street from the class location at a Mexican restaurant.
Sunday morning, I took Terri's paper clay Santos Bunny class. OMG how much fun was she???!!!! I had so much fun sculpting her, soldering her base, painting her, and decorating her. It  was such a blast. Her name is Ethel and she had 3 other close friends you will see in the picture.
Ethel is the first from the left. She has been fun to travel home with. She was brave and went right through security X Ray at the airport and then was lucky enough to score her own seat on our sold out flight!!
She sure will miss her friends as will I. I can't wait to see most of these ladies in 8 weeks at Art Camp. I'm so glad it isn't farther away. Until then, it's back to reality and time to prepare for our fantastic workshop Saturday at Summer's Past Farms and the Spring show is quickly approaching (April 12th) Yikes! Time to stop playing and need to work on some new jewelry!!!

I hope you have enjoyed my journey this weekend, I know I have. Hope to create with you all soon! 

Where does the time go?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oh my I'm so behind on my blog posts and I am so sorry about that. I'm on a plane heading to Seattle right now. I'm heading north from San Diego to visit Terri Brush. If it wasn't for Terri, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now. She is just hands down the most inspiring teacher I have ever met. If you have ever thought of taking an online class, I would start with TERRI! www.etsy.com/shop/TerriBrushDesigns

Terri is hosting The Whimsy Blues Creative Weeekend. http://whimsybluescreativeweekend.blogspot.com She will be teaching along with Kristen Robinson and Ruth Rae. I had the opportunity to meet Kristen last November at Spellbound in Pasadena, CA. I didn't realize until recently that I have a book written by Kristen and Ruth. They are also just so talented!!! How much fun are we going to have? Terri's events are always topnotch and everything she does is so impressive. Can you tell I'm excited??

I leave behind my supportive family. My husband is on his own with our almost 3 year old daughter and our super energetic 4 year old son. Thank you all for allowing me this freedom to mingle with my friends.

One of the fabulous perks to Terri's events are the women they draw. I get to see a group of ladies I adore. Sometimes I wish we all lived in the same town so we could always see each other but then again maybe these times wouldn't be so special.

That's it for now. I will take lots of pictures and hope to post very soon!!! Love to you all xoxo

USPS Postal Rates are Going Up Again!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I use Stamps.com to generate my postage for all my packages. I'm not sure if this is the best option but it's what I started with and found it easy to use. When I logged in to generate my postage last Thursday it notified me that all the postal rates were getting ready to increase. Didn't we just have an increase? I feel like we have new rates more than once a year. Nothing we can do about it though so time to embrace the change and move forward. Here is a little info I have gathered to give you a little insight. I hope you find it helpful.
At the start of each year, postal providers worldwide announce changes to their rates and services.   Changes to specific postage costs for  the USPS will vary depending on the mail class and destination. 

USPS Shipping Updates

  • Changes to USPS postage rates will automatically be reflected on any postage purchased through Stamps.com, Etsy, Ebay or whatever shipping software you use to generate your postage on January 26, 2014.
  • USPS customers can expect to see a 5% increase (YIKES) on average for First Class packages, with the most significant change for 1-3 oz packages. This is the largest increase in a decade.
  • There will be little to no increase applied to Priority Mail prices. Priority Mail International prices will see an overall decrease of about $0.40.
  • The maximum weight for shipments going to Mexico has increased to 70 lbs.

For additional information, download rate sheets directly from the USPS. Here’s to selling and shipping success in 2014!

San Diego Vintage Flea Market

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I had the chance to attend the San Diego Vintage Flea Market. It was back to the original location at the Heartland Masonic Lodge located at 695 Ballantyne St in El Cajon, CA.  Doors opened at 9a and remained open until 3p. This is such an up and coming market. I have attended every one of them and they get better and better. The quality each vendor brings is awesome and everyone is so nice.

The vendors offer such a variety of fun finds ranging from vintage, repurposed vintage, Shabby Chic, vintage inspired, tiki, midcentury modern clothing & furniture, vintage accessories, vintage home goods, lots of vintage jewelry findings, and burlesque.

They encourage responsible owners to bring well-behaved dogs on leashes. I'm always happy to see our four-legged friends out on a beautiful San Diego day.

Artist, designer, and my friend Karen Gregory-Clayton, owns Second Chance Salvage. 
Second Chance Salvage Booth
Her booth is always the unique outlet for a love all things vintage, antique and re-purposed. An old twin sized headboard is re-incarnated into a SPECTACULAR wall piece with a shelf and hooks. (Can't believe I didn't get a picture of it!, It was beautiful) The results of Karen's artistic touch are all one-of-a-kind treasures. You have to check out her booth next time you go and I'm sure you discover what the vintage junkie in you has been searching for....

I just loved these cute metal benches!!! 

The San Diego Vintage Flea Market started in El Cajon, moved to North Park and now will be in both locations. Attendance looked to be a little down compared to the last time I attended the El Cajon one. I'm hoping it picked up as the day moved on because you don't want to miss this!

The San Diego Vintage Flea Market is now accepting applications for their next market Sunday, March 23rd in North Park. This one fills up fast. So if you plan on vending, get your info in ASAP. And for more info on vending, email sdvintagefleamarket@yahoo.com.

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