I'll try not to go into the gory details... As you all with kids know, as soon as they go back to school they come home with all sorts of disgusting boogers. Literally. I don't know about you, but I think my immune system must be compromised because while they are just out for a day or so, when their little boogers infect me, I am down for the count. ie: I spent Sunday through Tuesday and even part of Wednesday on the couch.
Every once in a while I'd wander in here and decide I could take it. But dizziness bowled me over and back to the couch I went. I decided it was probably not worth cutting a finger off with a rotary blade.
And this was how half of the week evaporated before my eyes.
Then yesterday, Ms. iMac decided (or it may have been iMail) that it was not necessary for recipients to be able to actually view the attachments I was sending them. Hence, I spent the day, writing back and forth to various clients, "Can you see it now?". By about five pm I realized it must be the mail app, and went directly online to my server to send the pieces... and wowee... it worked. Aargh. If I only thought of that at 9am.
Another day... gone. Not sure where they go.
None the less, there was still one day left, I was sure I could get the entire list done today. There was hope yet.
Not so fast, Missy!
Today was a "Teacher Work Day". Excuse me, but how many of these do they need anyways?
Kids at home, a mattress delivery, a long back up of laundry, several other various and sundry people through the house, rush a slew of cuts up to a seamstress, and Blammo! Day gone.
What's the deal with that?
The deal is that certain people were forced to eat their choice of grilled cheese sandwiches or a corn dog for dinner or starve because I couldn't take it anymore. Suck it up, folks. I made some broccoli to go with it. What more do you want?
"Am I done whining yet?" Yes, fine. I did manage to get a little tiny bit up on the website (there are about 20 belts, a bijillion keyfobs and several more bags waiting their turn)...
Here are the two lovelies I managed to extract from their background and make shiny and pretty enough for all to see...
It's amazing how long this all takes. Is it ok to pay a 12 year old to take pictures, and spend hours upon hours photoshopping them? No? Hmmm...
Maybe I can teach Super Husband. I wonder if he'll go for that. I better wait until he's over the boogers. He seems to have just caught it. If you think I was whining, just wait. You'll probably be able to hear it from there. He's already asked for homemade chicken soup and announced he's going to bed at 8:30. Ugh. It's going to be a long night.
As you might know from my previous post, my family has been in need of a little of this. Thank goodness it comes in many kinds... we could use all the therapeutic treatments we could find... My sister and I found some of it when I visited her this weekend in Arizona. One of which was getting some blond highlights in her hair by a super fantastic hair "therapist". I have to say, Lara looked amazing, as did our mom. She needed a little treatment too.
I am relatively scared of hair color and thank goodness, I unbelievably haven't but a few stray grays. Plus, I actually like my hair color (hmmm... now that's unusual. I said aloud that I liked my hair.) Which makes me think... why didn't I go get the alternative and much-needed nail therapy? I shall indulge later this week, me-thinks.
In addition to beautification therapy, we also spent time getting some of our most favorite therapy of all... retail therapy as it is commonly known.
Amazingly enough, we didn't indulge in food therapy because we figured that would have been therapy that eventually would have made us feel worse. Plus, of course, the thought of weighing in at WW and weighing more is enough to scare me straight any day... Good girls...
The retail therapy was as expected very, very satisfying.
Below... a goodie from that part of our adventure... at Paris Envy, a shop in Phoenix that carries my bags... and btw, is undeniably "Wow.". I'm not just sayin' so because my bags are there either, it really really is. And the prices are reasonable too which I'm finding unusual (someone remind me later to show you the little spread about it that was in the Arizona Republic a couple weeks ago... it looked incredible).
There is also Puppy Therapy ... Lara has much of this... Roxy, our girl, will not leave her side and barks at anyone who comes near Lara these days. Amazing how animals know when we are vulnerable, isn't it? I threatened to take this cute potato home with me... She's the most amazing rescue dog ever. We think she had been abandoned... who in the world could abandon this???
Then all said and done I came home tonight finding the squeezing of my little peeps and Super Husband quite therapeutic as well... Then, unexpectedly... an added bonus... my own personal form of therapy... my Very Own Fabric Therapy... it arrived while I was away. I did really cry too. Very, very good therapy.
My most favorite therapy of all however... My Family. Seeing my Lara, hugging her and knowing that everything will be alright. There really is something to be said about the connections that siblings have. The shared experiences, all the ups and downs. I'll never know anyone like I know my sisters and brother. They are undeniably the best friends I'll ever have.
We have our mother to thank for that. She has always said, "I always wanted four kids, because I wanted you all to always have each other." And we do (she said through happy sad, sad happy tears.). Thanks, Mom.
I'm having one of those days when I love what I do. I can't believe I get to play with fabric and goodies all day. Don't anyone tell Super Husband I am enjoying myself so much. Tell him I'm working my butt off please.
And truthfully, not every day feels like this. A lot of days are spent doing the dreaded accounting and paperwork. That's what you should tell Super Husband. Tell him I'm doing math all day. It's horrifying.
But on the sly I'm going to tell you that today I am in heaven. Fabric fabric pattern pattern color color. I love it.
Today, I mixed and matched and matched and mixed. It had my little pea brain all in a tizzy. "Ooooh, pretty! Oh... I know, not that fabric! This fabric! Move this here! Do that!" I was all a-whirl with thought.
As I was going along it occurred to me to wonder why it works out. What makes these seemingly random patterns and colors come together?
When I'm designing I find it curious that sometimes I have no idea where it's going. I'm simply taking various items, mixing them up and trying to make sense of them. It may look pretty random when I'm done, but really I think that as I'm mixing and adding my brain is tying it all together.
Sometimes as I am doing this, I have a hovering sense of doubt about what it will all look like in the end, but so often it has managed to come out "right" that I have taught myself to keep going even if it's not making sense at the moment.
I was having that sense of dread and doubt as I was lining up my piles of rectangles for this quilt for Jennifer. The blue wasn't doing it for me. Then the yellow made no sense. But as I mixed and placed and replaced the rectangles it started to meld, as it always seems to with pattern and colors.
And when it does all come together, it usually leaves me wondering why. Why does that look right? One color answers another and one pattern answers another even if the colors seem totally unrelated when you look at them separately.
Sometimes I do that I purpose. I take things I know have no business being together just to see if I can make it work. That's what I did with this particular quilt. And somehow or another, that blue does look right.
That's what gave me this sense of satisfaction today. For no reason at all... that blue does look like it belongs. It just brings me joy.
Of course, I better not let Super Husband know. Not that he begrudges me my happiness. He'll think I was having far too much fun, and might want me to (I can't bear to think it) get "a real job".
Next time he walks in, I'm going to have to switch over to Quickbooks on the screen and furrow my brow. That throws him off every time.
Impatience is a Virtue.
OK, this was not part of the plan, but I'm giving up some of the goods. I've been hinting and hinting at this and "duh" I know you knew what I was hinting at but ok so, I can't keep a secret. Never have been able to... Telegraph, Telephone, Tele-Bari. I can't shut up.
Actually, if you tell me a secret, I am like a vault unless you are endangering yourself or you are my sister. I can keep the secrets of others, but not my very own. It's ugly.
So... Oui. I am on my way to my goal of having licensed designs as a lot of you know I am DYING to do. You would not believe the single track mind I have. It's good and bad and all that stuff. No one ever said I wasn't totally type A. The good news is that progress is really being made (as S.L.O.W. as that process is).
However... I wanted to see what it would look like on fabric. It was driving me nuts. What would these designs on this little screen look like on real actual fabric? Honestly, I couldn't take it.
And, how cool would it be to be able to show fabric companies my designs on F.A.B.R.I.C.??? Seriously, is that cool or what?
So, I decided to take the matter into my own hands and print some of my own darn fabric. And, VOILA! These pieces showed up in my mailbox today (more on how later). I can tell you I really did almost pee myself.
I even used my fabric scissors to open the envelope. That's the kind of desperation we're talking about here.
And now look, I'm not even showing you the whole enchilada.
Seriously, I think I might lay down on the floor and cry.
EDIT: I just want to clarify that this is not a licensed line yet. It has not been picked up although I am making in-roads on that. This is my dream. This line in whatever form it takes will be licensed at some point ... because I am not going to let it not be. The getting to that point is a really, really long road. I feel sharing the process with you along the way will show that it can be done. Whatever that "it" is for you. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it!
I won! I won! I won a giveaway from none other than the fabulous Vanessa Valencia of A Fanciful Twist. Aren't you jealous!!!???
I know two little girls who were WAY JEALOUS. Older Daughter and Younger Daughter Naughty Bugs said they were "just going to trace them, Mom. We loooooove them.... Pleeeeeeeease." Fine. Just make sure you give them back to me when you are done.
And. So. For the past five days... I have been hunting for my package. There were like ten I think. And, ah hem... this was all I could find when I went to take the picture of them.
Two little girls who love art are in big trouble. You know I'll find 'em... it's just a matter of figuring out which kid. Or under which pile in which kid's room.
I feel obliged to say get your rears out there and vote if you are in a Super Tuesday state of the U.S.! I did my civic duty right after kid duty (morning drop off). I left with a big smile on my face, and am wearing my, "I Voted" sticker proudly. For some reason, this election seems really exciting to me... more than in the past.
The Biggest Mess Ever:
That done, I got myself right to work and made this mess... with-in about 30 minutes.
There is another picture of what is on the floor that I was too embarrassed to show you. So, I'll let you imagine.
A Must-Have Tool:
As I was sewing up the creation that was made in this hurricane, I was delighted to use my new Purple Thang (yes, that's really what it's called). I lost the other one so I bought a new one. And when I bought it I said, "I just know I'm going to find that Purple Thang when I get home.". And guess what? I did. Now I have two Purple Thangs which makes me happy because there is one ready and available for backup when I drop the first one behind the desk again.
As a good citizen, I also feel obliged to tell you that Purple Thang is the most wonderful tool ever. It has prevented me from sewing straight through my finger on many occasions. Purple is a most perfect tool for these collage type sewing projects where I have a million little scrappies sticking up all over the place and the free-motion quilting foot does not make a good barrier. Trust me, I know... thank goodness it was only the plastic that came down on my finger becaue that sucker hurt!
You can get a Purple Thang here... I have no affiliation with this website... just sharing. It seems to be a good resource for all sorts of goodies.
When I make the lists (and this is all the time), I believe I'm going to get through them. I think that this time, once and for all I'll become an organized, efficient person.
The problem is, I have no concept of how long it takes to do stuff. So the lists go on and on. Today is Friday. I am on Wednesday's list. Remember Monday I bought Quickbooks? Thought that little set up would take an hour. It took six. This threw off the whole week. That's what I'm blaming it on anyways.
So today after an hour or so off trying to check off little items from the whole week, I decided I was going to tear up the list. I sat for a minute just staring at it (wasting more time) ... I couldn't do it. So, I buried it in a drawer and did something I actually wanted to do.
This is the beginning of what will go on my "art bag" page. It will be a Zoey Carry All with a patent leather bottom and handles. It was still work, and I think somewhere on The List is "Make Art Bags", but marked with a "C" priority. And there were plenty of "A" priority items that I didn't do yet. None-the-less, it made me very happy.
But I could practically hear that list calling my name from the bottom of the drawer like a big bag of Oreos. And blogging is not on it.
Check out this cute painting that I won in auction from Leticia. There's more for auction too.
Oddly/Ironically or something like that, it turns out she lives just a town over! Hmmm. The world works in mysterious ways. I mean, let's face it, ebay is a gianormous place. You never know who you'll meet.
P.S. I have my eye on this one too... Something about the shapes of the faces and the colors really appeal to me. I also really like the mixed media aspect of the work. Definitely something for all ya all to check out, don't-cha think? BTW, Leticia does have a new blog too, and unfortunately I can't find the link back to it. So, Leticia, if you are reading this, please send it along and I'll post it.
I'm 'a havin' fun in the studio tonight. The husband is at a poker game, so there's no one to answer to and somehow or another I have quiet kids. It's a good thing too, because I actually have a lot of work... fun work, but work none-the-less. This is part of a handbag I was messing with tonight. I hope you can see the layering in the photo. It actually has a lot of depth in person. I started with a floral print & began cutting flowers out of another print and layering one on top of the other. There is also a lot of bunged up thread bits... I'm thinking of throwing in a word or two (maybe from a selvage?) somewhere secretly to see if anyone notices. There are also two vintage brooches hanging out in this little garden. I hope to have a lot of pieces similar to this one for a show I am doing in September. Stockpiling now for Fall and Winter. Loads of fun, but my husband has started to call my studio "The Cave". And he asks when the "bear" (ha ha, never heard that one before) is coming out.
Lisa Kaus has contributed to the little cake problem I've been having. (See here... and here) Do you love this as much as I do? I know! You do! My favorite part is that doll head on the top... and the vintage beaded button... or maybe it's an earring. Also... the color is just yum-dilly-ishous!
BTW, I happen to know that you can get one of these cakes at Daphne's Cottage. (I know, I know! I'm plugging my faves again. But I know that you want to know where to get it so you can have it. Now! Now! Now! Varuka (Ms. Salt of Willy Wonka fame), calm yourself!) Wow... parenthesis between parenthesis! Not sure that's legal. In fact, I'm pretty sure that my 3rd grade teacher is rolling over in her grave at the way I've been writing of late. Forgive me.
Tonight I was able to work on some things that have been haunting me as I fall asleep at night... that's what the pad of paper next to my bed is for. Except that when I read it in the morning the "creative genius" that I have in the middle of the night is not nearly as genius. Usually it's just ramblings and often my writing is completely indiscernible. This is one of the non-sequiturs that has come up over and over again. It's what I do instead of counting sheep.
A deep breath...A whole slew of handbags went marching out the door late this afternoon. I had meant to have them out by 9am, but, stupid me, I stayed up until 2am last night. This means that the girl who never oversleeps (at least not in my life with children unless I am super sick) overslept. I didn't wake up until my 9 year old jumped on the bed at 10am scaring me half to death. 10am! I don't think I've slept that late in 11 years, since my Anna was born.
This episode had me off kilter for the rest of the day, flying around in my nightgown getting things done. But that group is gone (I bid them a fond farewell, tears and all.) and on to the next group which is due next week. Can't complain. It's all good. BTW, if you just have to have one of these handbags, you'll need to check in with Elizabeth at Daphne's Cottage. She holds claim to them. I don't know if you'll be able to pry them from her, but you can try.
That said, I'm sick of talking about me and want to mention an artist I "bumped into" on the web. Shannon from Miss Fickle Media wrote a comment on this blog. So of course I linked over to her Etsy shop and I must tell you I was blown away. I love what she does and put in an order right away. And honestly, I'm sort of a browser on Etsy. So this is saying something. I ordered one of these with a "B" of course. And another that I can't remember because I had a really hard time choosing. The one below I really like too though!
In other super fun news... you may remember the post I wrote about "needing" espadrilles. I did end up buying an unimpressive pair later that week. However, to my great surprise the owner of espadrillesetc.com whom I mentioned in the post came across what I wrote. She is actually from San Francisco... such a small world. AND, she offered to send me a pair of espadrilles as a gift. Really, I can't get over the kindness I have found with the network of women on the internet. It made me think of this post from Anna Maria Horner about kindness which brought me to really unexpected tears. I haven't told you how much I love Anna Maria's work. I know most of you know of her, but if not, I hope you will get to know her work. Also, you HAVE to look at the photos of her home on Flickr. OH MY GOODNESS. You'll just die when you see the colors. IN-CRED-IBLE! Anyways, I am trying to get to a great big THANK YOU to Laura from espadrillesetc.com. Gracias.
That's enough gushing for now, I suppose. Except it is late and my internal clock is way off so I could probably go on for hours. Nothing a dose of benedryl can't cure, I suppose.
Holy Moly! I just picked up a slew of handbags & am now quite overwhelmed. I'll be posting some of them on my website in the coming week. The rest, sadly, are sold. I hate saying goodbye. Here are just a few.
Maybe this will be a regular feature on this blog. The prints, I mean. Hmmm. Thinking about it.
This first print came from a line drawing I did and some other stuff I threw in. I love cameos, and will soon be doing an applique for a handbag. The second one is copyright free art that I altered. I so need to learn to do another kind of print beside this staggered thing I'm doing. At least the second one is a two-way. I have dragged out a ton of books and have been pouring over them. Something is a-brewin', I think. Who knows?
Leslie Saito of the Paper Princess has it down. Her original designs are scrum-dilly-uptious! I bought a couple of items several weeks ago, and I'm due for some more...
Here's what I have my eye on:
More Twine... Comes in a buncha' colors...
And, though I'm taken care of in the calling card department, I think I need these personalized calling cards...
Sunday evenings when the kids are winding down and going to bed I usually end up coming in here and playing around for an hour or so. Recently, I've been goofing around with Photoshop. I'm loving making various patterns. I have what I think is the very first version of Photoshop which really stinks, though. I know there are much more sophisticated ways of doing this, but here's my pattern attempt for tonight. Not to be huffy and puffy, but I might decide to do something with this image someday, so please don't use it without my permission. Thanks so much. Now I'm off to be tortured watching the Sopranos with my husband who needs some company.
Since my studio was so neat and clean, I had to mess it up. I was actually painting a wall in the kitchen when it occured do me that a teacup applique would be very cute. Of course this thought would not have left my head if I didn't get in here and act upon it... I'm so compulsive. Then after I was finished creating a little cut-out, I thought, "now, where am I going to put this?" I quickly scanned the room to find something that would make a good canvas, and when I couldn't find one, I made a dash up to my closet where I found this skirt that was just screaming to be cut up. Isn't that fabric delicious? I just got it yesterday... which only added to the necessity to sew today. I wore this cutie out to dinner tonight already. BTW, when I did the whole "look what I made!" thing to my husband (which is a regular occurence around here), I got a "Oh honey, you're so cute." I of course took this as a demeaning comment and insisted on an explanation to which he responded, "Aren't skirts supposed to have a slit? I think you took out the slit." Aaargh! I guess I should just be glad he didn't ask me about that wall in the kitchen.
I had to cut myself off from the bead and bauble addiction when I aquired the fabric addiction. No 12-steps for me. I just replaced one addiction for the other & make it a rule to only have one obsession at a time... Sound good? But...(whining) I've been working on these ribbon brooches, and getting more and more carried away. I started hunting around for findings and others goodies when I remembered a stash I had buried deep in our guest room closet. Zoinks! The addiction has resurfaced. I thought I had that one licked. (Don't worry Elizabeth, the best goodies made their way onto your brooches).
These lovlies are going to be great as earrings or something. Wow, I had the best filigree bead caps! What were they just sitting there collecting dust for? Can you see the chippy little pink flower looking ones on the second photo? Oooh! I love that one. I've already started layering these up to make charms. The two bottom photos are a compilation of several half finished projects from years ago. I do need to mention that the idea of using the watches came from Connie... she's brilliant isn't she? Also, the little clam shell the jewels are in was a birthday gift from her too. See the dolly shoe... classic Connie Govea Stuart. Love it!
Well, that was fun! Don't know what I'm doing with any of these jewels (except wear them) because it's not really part of the grand plans for Bari J. as a business, but oooh I love those shiny things!
Well, my girlie bailed on me for lunch so I'm CRAVING sushi now. Of course you want what you can't have. I guess I could have gone by myself, but that's no fun. So I worked like I should have anyways... And good news... a really fun strap for the Isabelle Messenger was born. Ahhh... what you can do when you don't have a lunch date!
I can't resist paper... Of course, I think every gorgeous inch of it should be fabric, but that's besides the point. These are from more fabulous Woman-Owned Businesses...
From Cecily Ink : the Fresh Style Card File. Organized and beautiful! Cecily Ink is owned by Alex Wijnen ... And again, where do you all find the energy? This is not Alex's full time gig. She also owns a successful graphic design business.
In search of beautiful card stock to display our new brooches, I stopped by My Daughter's Wish (owned by Sherri Ashton, another fabulous woman in business) in Walnut Creek, CA this afternoon.
I did find some incredible paper. And I also picked up the newest Somerset publication, Somerset Life. It is not an understatement to say that it is beyond, beyond beautiful!
View my line of licensed fabric designs at
Art Gallery Fabrics
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