Laundry, Vomit and a little Award

No, I did not get an award for washing clothes and puking but I should have, as my body feels like it has gone through a horrible boxing match right about now. Let's just say that my first week back from the Boutique Cafe Girls Getaway Weekend has not been the easiest for me.

First I had to relive the whole experience in tears as I read everyone's blogs and browsed through hundreds of pictures... my throat was in a knot for most of Monday & Tuesday. Then I had to tackle the huge mountains of dirty laundry that had accumulated while I was gone. See, I had been too busy to do anything but pack & prepare the days before the getaway so it had REALLY piled up. I washed non-stop for days... well, until Wednesday evening came around, then I wasn't doing much but hugging my toilet. Let's rewind, shall we? Jon goes out of town on Tuesday for 3 days (work-related). On Wednesday, the girls say they want Happy Meals for lunch. So off we go to McDonald's and I think I'm being good and staying on my diet by ordering one of their Premium Salads and an Unsweetened Iced Tea. Fast forward to 7 or 8 hrs. later as I'm watching huge chunks of lettuce, tomato and whatever the heck else they put in those salads come out of me with a fierce fury. The food poisoning lasted for about 36 hrs. and I was here alone with 2 small children and no one to help. Yep! That's what I should have gotten the award for.

But no. I actually received a Thinking Blogger Award from two of my favorite bloggers of all time. I am so honored... and surprised! First because I didn't think my blog was making anyone think, LOL, and secondly because these two women who I admire greatly actually nominated me. How cool is that? I was nominated first by Sarah (marvellousmouse) and then By Gyl (rhembein). Thanks ladies!! Now I'm supposed to nominate 5 bloggers. And I know it's probably against the rules but I will be nominating you guys back because you blogs really make me think... or I guess muse. hee hee

**UPDATE** I also received a Thinking Blogger nomination from my friend Amelia of SweetFeetBoutique. She has recently made the switch from Blogspot to Typepad and I totally missed it because I was sick for so many days. Thanks, Amelia!!! ***

OK, on to the "rules":

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.

3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.

OK, so now it's my turn. I will nominate 2 blogs that will probably never see this posting at all because they are just too cool for me (LOL!) but I read them just about every day and they inspire me in so many ways:

1. Dooce: I have been reading her blog for about 3 years now -- way before I ever even dreamt of having a blog of my own. She makes me want to be a better writer and photographer and I am extremely inspired by the fact that she was able to turn blogging into a full-time job. Even her hubby quit his job to help maintain Dooce. WAY TO GO!!

2. HELLO My Name Is Heather: She inspires me to push myself creatively every day and to surround myself with beautiful things. Her blog gives me the visual stimulation I need every day... like a bit of caffeine kick to get me going. Lovely!

3. PortabelloPixie: She got me interested in starting my own blog. Her beautiful photography and design inspired me to get started and I've never looked back. Thanks, Sandi!

4. Rhembein: WOW! What can I say?! She was recently nominated for 5 different Blogger awards and was very deserving of them. Gorgeous photography, interesting stories, beautiful designs. Everything a blog should be wrapped into a sweet package! Thanks for the shout out, Gyl... right back at cha! ;)

5. MarvellousMouse: Sarah is about a genuine as they come. Her posts are heartfelt and humorous and so thought-provoking. Again, thanks for the shout out, Sarah... right back at cha! ;)

Thanks for bearing with me on this long post. It had been a long, long week since I posted so I thought I'd better make it a good one. I want to leave you with a link to a new blog that just started tonight by my good friend Gyl. It is called Boutique Bloopers and the site seriously had me in stitches tonight. I sent in a couple of my own bloopers, but let me tell ya... you don't wanna miss out, so click here to check it out. (I also added a link to it there to the right under Favorite Blogs)

Good night.
We Painted Salt Lake City PINK!!!

I am back from my Girls Getaway Weekend with the fabulous ladies from Boutique Cafe and about 40 or so designers from the eBay children's boutique community. It was an absolute blast and definitely not long enough. For those of you who were there... guess what? I am still drinking FIJI water!!! LOL! For those of you who didn't "get that," FIJI water was one of our many sponsors of the event and they sent out dozens of cases of water bottles to keep us hydrated throughout the weekend... it was wonderful. By the end of the conference we had soooo much water left that everyone took some home with them. I didn't think I'd be able to fit any in my suitcase after the long day of shopping and all the wonderful giveaways, but I managed to squeeze in one of their 9-packs! Love you, FIJI!!

I also surprisingly won two of the best prizes there (well, in my opinion, at least, hee hee). I first won an original Amy Butler purse (sent in by the fabric diva herself!) and later on I won an outfit of my choice from GreggyGirl. I will let Sophia pick it out on her own tonight. :) Again, thanks to our wonderful sponsors.

I had an absolute blast chatting with the girls and hearing their stories. I am still chuckling to myself as I try to picture Dayna's marathon sewing days or when I remember Megan telling a half-naked guy who rode in the elevator with us that he was "Blinded by our hotness" LOL! OMG, the poor guy was a blubbering idiot and dripping wet from head to toe (he had just gotten out of the pool) as he rode in the elevator with, what?, like 6 or 7 of us. He missed his floor because he was too busy staring and not pushing buttons. Too funny.

Anyway, I have like 30 pictures posted on my website but here are a couple of teaser shots. Click HERE if you'd like to see the rest of the pictures from the event.

Below is a group shot (no, this was not all of us... only about half!)

Here is me sitting with a few of my favorite ladies! Sandi (portabellopixie) is the queen of blog, Eva (freshandvintage) our fearless LimeVine leader and the always beautiful and talented Amelia (sweetfeetboutique).

Last, but not least, I could not leave out of the sneak peek this super cute picture of me and Daria... her smile and laugh were contagious, to say the least!!!

OK, if you missed the link above, here is its again... the rest of my 30 or so pictures are HERE!!

Oh, and if you'd like to read Emily's awesome account of the event, click HERE. She's a much better writer than I am, so you're in for a treat! :)

Can't wait for the next Girls Getaway!!!

So I have to be up in about 4 hours so that I can get my entire family ready and in the car so that we can take a 2+ hour drive to Chicago's O'Hare Airport so that I can take a 3.5 hour flight to Salt Lake City to meet 40 or so eBay children's boutique designers. You'd think I'd want to get as much rest as possible, and my body would agree with you, but my mind begs to differ. I am as awake as could be but my body feels like it's about to collapse!

I have been up all day doing laundry, packing, getting last-minute things for my trip. Not to mention checking emails, sending newsletters and... as if that wasn't enough, updating my blog!

For those of you who are not aware, I am taking part in the very first Girls Getaway Weekend hosted by none other than the fabulous Daria and Megan of Boutique Cafe. We are spending 3 days in Salt Lake City, getting to know each other, listening to key note speakers, conducting interviews for future Boutique Cafe shows, shopping, dining, etc., etc., etc.

I am very excited to get to meet the ladies that I have been chatting with for almost an entire year!! This is gonna be a blast!

So, since it's 2 a.m. and I am feeling giddy and silly, I thought I'd share with you the project that I have been working on for the past couple of weeks. On May 1st, I will unveil The Costa Rica Collection, a line of children's clothing and boutique accessories inspired by the colors & textures of the Costa Rican rain forest. I grew up in that beautiful Central American country so this collection is very dear to my heart. Below is the logo I came up with . This will give you an idea of the colors I will be using as well as the imagery I used as a source of inspiration.

Here are a couple of sneak peeks from this collection. To the right you will see one of several sets I will be offering. The fabrics I will be using are rich in color and each design will be purely original and unique. Pieces will mix & match perfectly and there will even be some accessories offer that will compliment the pieces perfectly and can be worn by mother & child. Below is a sample of one of the fabric lotus pins that will be offered.

My friend Maria, of buddha*belly*babies, has an eBook on You Can Make This with easy-to-follow instructions on how to make this gorgeous fabric flower pin. She was so sweet to have shared this with me so I want to make sure I give credit where credit is due. You can purchase her eBook here.

So that's it! I will chat with everyone when I get back from SLC!! Have a great weekend! :)

Just Listed

Remember my posting about the dress I sent to The Oprah Winfrey Show in a basket promoting the work of SAHMs & WAHMs? Well, I finally got around to listing it on eBay. This sweet dress will be recreated in sizes 2T to 6X and I only have enough materials to make one more after this, so it will be very limited edition. And no, I did not mention the Oprah thing on the listing because I know how trolls can be and I didn't want any trouble. LOL!

Click here to see the eBay auction for this dress.
Or click here to purchase it directly from Confetti Kidz.
Another studio project...

Ok, so I totally ripped this idea off Heather's blog, but who hasn't? I've already come across a few other blogs with similar postings. She is just such a cool and inspirational chick that you just want to absorb her coolness by association.

So, remember my Easter post where I mentioned that my father-in-law came down for the weekend and helped me with a studio project? This is IT! He did all of the carpentry work... like cutting & sanding & drilling holes and I did the painting and some minor distressing and then he installed it for me and I decorated it. :)

Interested to see how it all came together? If you're not, then don't read on, cuz I'm about to share it all!

We started out with some unfinished wood pieces we purchased at our local home improvement store. One 7" x 48" board that my FIL cut in half to make two 24" x 7" boards. Three wooden brackets. And a 3/8" round dowel.

After prepping all pieces (cutting, sanding, drilling a hole slightly bigger than the dowel onto all 3 brackets), I proceeded to paint. And yes, I had to do it on my kitchen counter because it was below FREEZING outside and the garage was way too cold to work in. I covered my kitchen island with some painters' dropcloth and painted away...

I applied two coats of paint. I used a Dutch Boy color called Mandarin Orange -- I wanted a Satin finish but after the kid at the store screwed up my paint mixing 3 times (ARGH!) and then embarrassingly announced to me that he was now out of Satin and I would have to use Semi-Gloss or switch to another brand, I opted for the former. I then let the pieces dry overnight. It looked OK, but it was a bit too shiny for my liking so I sanded the pieces slightly afterwards to tone down the glare.

My FIL installed it all on Monday morning before heading back to Chicago, and... VOILA! I now have a place to store all my ribbons and a pretty little shelf to hold my button jars and display pretty things. :)

I've been tagged...again!

My good friend Judy (of willarie) has tagged me to show my office right here on my blog! ACK! I guess that means I gotta clear all these papers off my desk, huh?! Well, I needed a good excuse to file and dust, so here it is... my workspace!

Yes, I know. Not very exciting, but that's where I spend an ungodly amount of hours every day! Too many if you ask Jon... and the kids. I work on a Mac and she is like my 3rd child... if I could take her with me everywhere I totally would, but unfortunately she is not portable, so here she stays every day perched on her little silver foot lookin' purdy. Ain't she sweet?

I have all my sewing books and other miscellaneous resource materials on the top shelf...

I keep some office supplies and spare sewing supplies in an old Manila cigar box, compliments of my father in law. I love the rustic look of it... it's got so much character!

I am a huge The Nightmare Before Christmas FREAK, so of course I have to have Jack, Sally & friends here with me at all times.

And last, but not least, some of my most favorite people keep me company and provide loads of inspiration throughout the day: from left to right: Mr. Jack Skellington, Sophia as Cinderella, the fabulous Frida Kahlo (in candle format) and none other than the über-cool Salvador Dali.

So, that's it! Hope you enjoyed the tour. I will be sharing my sewing studio project next, so stay tuned.

OK, now I have to tag someone. From the looks of it, most of you have been tagged already, so I will throw out s a couple of names and if you've already been tagged, sorry... Kristen, Ash and Megan. Let's see those workspaces, girls!!
Hansel & Gretel

One of my launch groups, Elite European Designers, is having a themed launch this week titled "Bavarian Fairytale". I teamed up with my friend Kristen of gocksfrocks, to bring you our own interpretation of the Grimms Brothers' fairy tale, Hansel & Gretel.

I made this cute peasant style dress using materials completely out of my vintage stash. This gorgeous floral calico is over 30 years old and God knows how old the crochet trim is. But as I held them in my hand they called out to me, we belong together! So they were joined in Holy Matrimony, right here in my sewing studio (can you tell it's near midnight and I'm beginning to babble incoherently?) Anyway, Sydney must have thought the dress was incredibly comfy because she wouldn't take it off and even took her afternoon nap in it! :) So, needless to say, I am keeping this one for her and will remake it for the lucky winner of this auction.

I sent a few vintage cotton fat quarters to my friend Kristen, who in turn created the most breathtaking appliquéd apron I have ever seen! She has depicted the forest in which the two children were lost and even added the cute birdie who innocently ate all the breadcrumbs rendering Hansel & Gretel unable to find their way back home. Brilliant! The bird has gorgeous hand embroidery, the trees have spiral stitching for added depth and the breadcrumbs are glass beads that have been hand applied for a 3-D effect! What a perfect finishing touch!

You can view this auction here. And to view all of the Bavarian Fairytale listings, click here.

Also, for this launch, I have listed a five-piece set that is fit for a princess! I was feeling brave and listed it at 99 cents with no reserve. And as if that wasn't crazy enough, I also decided at the last minute to include all of the jewels and extras that appear in the auction pictures! WHOA! This is a great deal... and let me say that the jewels alone are worth way more than the current bid! LOL! But I guess it was a gamble I took... live & learn, right?

You can view the Princess auction here.
Who doesn't want a new iPod?

For those of you who don't know, I am a mod at the Designer's Notion Chat Board, so I wanted to spread the news about something new & exciting happening over there...

If you would like your chance to win and sign up for membership, then please see our membership information page.

Woohoo! Get on over there! :)
Home-bound for Easter

It was about 30 degrees outside all day on Easter Sunday (we even saw some snow flurries through the window), so it was really no weather for outdoor Easter Egg Hunts or any other activity of the sort. But we made the best out of our holiday by preparing some fun indoor activities for the kids.

First, we did an indoor egg hunt. Jon & I got up before 7 am because we knew the kids would be up soon after and hid 40 eggs all around the first floor and basement of our house. It was amazing to see those girls work their magic... they found all 40 eggs within 5 minutes (with very little help from mom & dad!) ;) I didn't get to take pictures of the egg hunt because it happened so fast, but here's a picture of Sydney proudly displaying 2 of the 18 eggs she found on her own.

Then it was on to egg decorating. I pre-boiled a dozen eggs and Sophia hand-dipped them in various colorful solutions, added stickers, glitter and decorations of all sorts. Here she is in the midst of the project...

And here she is proudly displaying "her favorite". And in case you are wondering... yes, we hung out in our pajamas all day long. Since we weren't going anywhere there was really no sense in getting all dressed up and uncomfortable. ;)

Finally, we made a little yummy project that we borrowed from my friend Ash (infullbloom). She had the most wonderful idea and I knew that the kids would just love it! We prepared the "rice krispy treats" mixture and placed it on a muffin pan forming a "bird's nest" look. Then after they were cool enough the girls had a blast adding all the little "baby eggs" to the nests. We used Whoppers Mini Robin Eggs for ours (because I LOVE malted milk candies!) They turned out soooo cute! :) You can find the full recipe for this delicious and fun-to-make treat here on Ash's blog.

In the afternoon, in between all the Easter-related activities, I even had time to squeeze in a little studio project. I'm so excited about it and will share pictures as soon as it is finished. Jon's dad was down here for the weekend, so he helped me do the carpentry part of it and I did all of the painting and sanding.

That evening we had the most wonderful home cooked meal. But the part that made it *extra special* was that I didn't have to cook it. Jon made a delicious roast in the oven, and served it with home-made garlic mashed potatoes, steamed asparagus, and sautéed mushrooms & onions... the meal was EXCELLENT and the perfect ending to a perfect day! :)
MODKID Boutique on Oprah?!?

Maybe! I'm keeping my fingers crossed. And my toes and my arms and my legs. I pretty much look like a pretzel right now. LOL! OK, here's how it went down: Susan from Confetti Kidz Boutique contacted me a few weeks ago to ask if I would be interested in submitting one of my designs to be a part of a SAHM / WAHM basket that was going to The Oprah Winfrey Show in April. Of course, I could not say no! Can you imagine if one of my designs made into the Oprah show?! I debated for a while as to what to send. I could have sent in one of my existing samples and saved myself a lot of time and effort, but I really wanted to make something special for the show. I mean, if it actually makes it into the show, it needs to be memorable and bright and cheery. And I'm not saying that my other stuff isn't memorable, because IT IS! LOL! But lately I have been using a lot of muted shades in my fabric... I've been working a lot with Heather Bailey's Fresh Cut fabrics and some of Amy Butler's LOTUS and although I am in LOVE with those 2 lines, I wanted something that was colorful and would be seen from far away and stand out among the crowd. Well, I had this gorgeous Alexander Henry print, called Bijoux, that I've been dying to use, so when I went to look through my fabric stash that one jumped right out at me. It is this gorgeous new fabric with Asian-style butterflies and swirls and flowers all over it and has this great metallic silver sheen throughout -- very Mod. Very MODKID. I paired it up with the Michael Miller Pink Ta Dots and a gorgeous eyelet trim from my vintage stash to make this super cute halter dress. I love how it turned out!!

The dress was sent over to Susan on Thursday and I received this email today, "I just received your dress and it is fabulous! ... Besides your outfit being fabulous, you also have the most professional presentation I've seen." Awwwww! That made me feel so great because she receives outfits from so many different designers for her online boutique, including national brands like Lipstik. But what really made me almost fall out of my chair was her next comment: "The PR Firm emailed and asked if anyone would be available to come to a taping of the show, if asked. She also asked if anyone would be willing to give away something, like products or gift certificates." Uh, let me think about it.... YES, YES, YES!

So, as you can imagine, it's been an exciting day for me. I wanted to share with you the dress I made for the Oprah show. I titled it Bijoux, like the fabric because I happen to think it's a fabulous name and so fitting for this jewel-like little dress.

I only have enough fabric and vintage trim to make 2 (maybe 3 depending on size) more of these little beauties. So if any of you would like to get your own copy of this before it (hopefully) airs on Oprah LIVE (or if you just want to read the full description and check out all of my other pictures), you can find it here on Confetti Kidz Boutique. Oh, and check out the little blurb she has at the end of the description... she actually mentions the Oprah thing! Cool, huh?!?

I may also be auctioning it on eBay, but not sure when (maybe sometime this month). I have so many things cooking up right now... :)
Got Marieliz?

It's this awesome new line of purses handcrafted by none other than.... my mom! :) Yep! Those of you who have purchased purses under the MODKID id are familiar with the great craftsmanship and attention to detail that these purses have. Each one has been designed and hand made by my mom and a lot of them have incredible detail like hand-applied beads, decorative buttons, carved wooden handles, and lots more.

She used to sell her creations under my ID but one day we got to talking and I suggested that she should start her own eBay ID so that she could get the recognition she deserves for these beauties, and so Marieliz was born. And yes, her eBay ID has 0 feedbacks right now because it is brand new, but just know that you will be receiving the same care and attention that you always receive when shopping MODKID.

Check these out! She has created something to please everyone -- from dainty clutch bags to oversize weekender bags. She's got purses with Asian flair, some retro-inspired designs and even some that showcase the latest fabric lines from Michael Miller and Amy Butler. Some of the larger ones could even double as diaper bags!

To see all the current Marieliz auctions, click here.

But, is it supposed to be that tiny?

Those were the first words out of Jon's mouth after I showed him my newest creation. Not, "That's nice, hunny" or "Wow, you really worked hard on that one!" He was in total disbelief at how a piece of clothing could be so... tiny. It was the bodice to a new dress for the Fresh Cut Launch on eBay. He actually thought it was the finished piece! LOL! I was just so excited that the elements had come together so nicely. I spent all morning preparing this tiny piece of eyelet trim from my vintage stash. I tea-stained it to match the background tones on the fabric, but it had to be just right so I kept pulling it out and checking the color until it was done. I couldn't believe what a perfect match it was! Then I found these buttons... and ohmygosh the whole thing just meshed together so perfectly! The buttons are from my stash as well and they are like large translucent beads with a gorgeous tangerine tone... they catch the light and bring out the sweet citrus tones in the fabric oh so nicely. Oh, and remember my post last week about the double needle breaking and all the whining I did? Yep, it was during the construction of this tiny bodice that it happened... on one of the denim straps. So needless to say, when it was completed, I was so happy and relieved that I just had to show it off.

So after I laughed and said... "no, silly, it's just the bodice!", he looked even more puzzled and replied, "what's a bodice?" LOL!

Afterwards I played around with a few design ideas. Should I make this into a little swing top with a pair of capris? Or into a cute little summer dress? Oh, the possibilities are endless with such a cute (and tiny) little bodice. Then it all just clicked. I was holding a few pieces of Fresh Cut in my hand and trying to come up with an interesting patchwork design and out of the corner of my eye I spotted this ivory swiss dot (which I admit, h
as been part of my repertoire quite often lately, but I just love it!) and my design was born!

You can find the auction for this dress here.

The Fresh Cut launch started today on eBay. I rushed around a bit because for some retarded reason I thought it was tomorrow. Don't ask! But it is finally listed. I planned to offered it as an OOAK in size 2T/3T (Sydney's size) but once I s
aw it on her and she modeled it so beautifully, I decided that I just couldn't part with it. So, it is now a custom auction... in sizes 2T to 6X. I also was feeling a bit adventurous so I started the auction at 99 cents with a fairly low reserve. And if you are a member of my mailing list you get FREE shipping in addition to a low price, so it doesn't get much better than that.

I normally don't do much shopping on eBay. I am mostly a seller, not a buyer. But as I was browsing through the listings for this launch, I was just drooling. The custom boutique designers really outdid themselves for this launch! (well, some more than others, LOL!) And it's probably because Heather Bailey herself is a guest and is rumored to be making/listing something for this launch as well. So, I just had to bid. I am currently bidding on 2 sets. OUCH! I'll probably spend more than what I end up making on this, but oh well.

Check out the cool launch banner... LOVE IT!

City Museum

I was about to do a big hodge-podge posting, but as I was editing all my pictures from the City Museum in St. Louis I decided it warranted its own space. This place was so amazing! I just relived the whole experience while editing pictures tonight.

Sophie, Sydney, Jon & I went down to St. Louis 2 weekends ago to celebrate my niece, Asja's 7th birthday and we were just blown away by the coolness of this place. This picture below is a view from the outside of the museum. It has this wonderful industrial look... very grungy, lots of found objects, recycled city parts, crazy textures and bizarre stuff to look at. The place is like a gigantic maze of metal and rock. As we entered the old building... lots more textures, followed by intense colors and unusual pairing of elements. Here Jon stands in the main staircase with Sydney, who is just mesmerized by the crazy colors of the hand-painted stair banisters.

We went up to the third floor and were escorted by a friend of my sister's to this back room behind a heavy curtain. We walked through a dark corridor that housed an old miniature train engine before the "party room" revealed itself. The kids sat in a circus-like stage and watched intently while a couple of City Museum staff members demonstrated various balancing moves on trapeze and large rubber balls.

Sophie wasn't too sure what to think. She was a bit apprehensive (as you can see in the picture to the right) but eventually tried everything.

Below is a collage of the three girls... from left to right, Sophie, Sydney and Asja (the b-day girl).

The girls had a great time playing together. After the party was over it was time to explore the museum... and WOW! What a place!

There was a room filled with old skating park ramps where kids could swing around on heavy-duty ropes.

There was a bar/lounge type place with sultry red lighting. It had such a decadent feel! I went in to take some pictures real quick but couldn't stay long because we had all the kids with us. I did take a few minutes to go through a fun-house type labyrinth they had set up inside the bar with crazy mirrors and weird bouncy floors. I felt a bit claustrophobic ans I walked through these incredibly narrow corridors lined with metal bars and flashing lights.

Then we explored a bit more. Went down to the first floor where my camera did not leave my face for more than 2 seconds. There was this gynormous surrealistic whale made of , I guess, polished stone? The floors were covered in beautiful glass and tile mosaic and the ceilings had... well, I have no idea what it was ... looked like giant fish scales or something, but nevertheless amazing! We walked inside the whale and came upon yet another crazy labyrinth with pathways that were way too small for any human being to pass through (or so it seemed) but the kids went in & out without any difficulty.

Yes, those are thousands and thousands of metal bread baking pans that line these walls for the most incredible textures!

Sydney sat atop a giant turtle for a perfect photo op.

And if you are wondering... yes, I did not dress the girls properly for this excursion! I didn't do my research prior to this trip, but you can learn from my experience! If you ever go down to the City Museum in St. Louis, dress comfortably! Old jeans, sneakers and t-shirts are the perfect attire or this place. Remember you will be doing lots of climbing and the place is cool but very old and dirty. We were all filthy when we got out of there, but had just an amazing time exploring! We will definitely go back! :)
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