Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas is coming...

Really the best thing about Christmas is having children along for the ride. I've noticed this since they've been around and conscious: every year I think, eh...Christmas really is not all that and this year I think it might fall flat. But their elation is deep and true and that little 3' tree of ours looks flat out magic every year.

Audrey is my co-conspirator and, at 13, eagerly striding towards hopes of clothing (a wool coat and fedora!) and electronics, but keeps looking over her shoulder at Toyland. Her current compromise is to ask for lots of logic puzzles so she has "something to do on Christmas afternoon." She is haunted by a story I told her of my own cusp-of-womanhood Christmas morning, when showing my new amethyst ring to my happily-playing-and-not-too-interested younger siblings for the tenth time got dull as dirt.

My first present from 10-year-old Marian has already appeared under the tree. I think last year she gave me six. We are makingmakingmaking together, including this little honey she sewed last night (from a recycled sweater, of course!) for her Calico Critters.
We took process shots because she's mulling over restarting I'm a Craft Artist, but, well, you know how the Goates girls are with their really very excellent plans...if we follow through, I'll let you know.
She's also getting a case of the galloping gimmees, with actual brimming tears over her conflict over snooping to see ("I want a surprise but I want to know so bad!") what Grandma gave her after the exposure made possible by this afternoon's incident (story below) and her insistence that she really must get Marie-Grace (the newest American Girl doll, whose name not only mirrors my Marian Grace's but has the golden brown hair and freckles to match and yes I bought her a month ago) or she will cry Christmas morning. I told her that this was not really the sort of behavior that would convince me.
Reuben and I sat in the Wegman's dairy aisle a couple of weeks ago for half an hour watching the suspended train, shifting positions periodically for optimal viewing. The big toddler paradox: an attention span so limited for some things and so vastly patient for others.

Reuben is a smashing little guy and wholeheartedly...everything. His full dedication to trains continues, as does his reluctance regarding the spoken word, though he did begrudgingly stoop to say "choco" last night when I was pretending obtuseness over his insistence for a glass of chocolate milk (and, noticing his mistake, would not repeat). He will be very good at charades when his days of parlour games begin. He communicates his desires and observations quite clearly. Tonight, for example, his gestures told me "No, that figure couldn't represent Daddy because he is much taller than that" and "Hey, Mom: join in the tickling and kissing and wrestling of Reuben! There is a spot right there on my tummy between Daddy and Audrey that I'm saving for you!"

Reuben has proven his dexterity with scissors (bad incident with a stack of Marian's careful tiny drawings last week), and I took advantage of that for a little Christmas package enclosure card collaboration at a friend's house this morning. He chopped and I mosaic-ed us a couple of trains. I love them so much! The card in the center is entirely his effort as he learned Gluestick (I did have to rescue a couple of pieces from a particularly sticky finger).

We belly laughed our way through a classic Christmas-with-a-toddler moment this afternoon. I was with Marian at the dentist office when I received a call from Audrey, home babysitting Reuben. He was HOWLING in the background. Audrey noticed Reuben had slipped away while they were watching TV in the basement when he came tripping downtown, happily clutching a new Chuggington train in each hand. He was not parted from them happily. And from whence came this fine addition to his extensive small train collection? He had unwrapped each of the 15 or so gifts under the tree to find the train pay dirt from Grandma Donna's early-shipped holiday offering. I think his third birthday earlier this month was altogether too fine a training ground for gift appreciation. Looks like we'll be honoring the old tradition of bringing out the gifts all at once on Christmas Eve or thereabouts this year (Audrey has a complicated algorithm for exactly when, taking into account when the girls get out of school for the holiday break, our tolerance for 24-7 tree surveillance, the amount of space under our beds for hidden gifts, and probably the alignment of the moon with Jupiter).

Sunday, November 27, 2011



I started a newsletter. Sign up on the left!

It will not by any means be a frequent one.
And it's all official through a service, so opting out is easy, if you're so inclined.

Ooh, so fancy...

my first coupon code :)

Monday only: 15% off all purchases until 12 midnight EST. Enter code CYBER15.

Also Monday-Wednesday I'll be selling at Shippensburg University's Holiday Art Sale. There are some talented students unloading a full kiln of work, all holiday sale-bound, as well as other work by Shippensburg art students and faculty. Drop by, 9 am-8 pm all three days in the Hoffman Gallery, Huber Arts Center building. (I'm working Tuesday, 1-3 pm & 6-8 pm)

ugh! is this blog turning all commercial? Must post soon!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

on Mitt Romney

This is a toughie for me. Allow an off-topic, non-crafty mini-rant and link. Or skip it and move on.

I won't vote for him because I disagree with his politics.
But I also feel like I need to vouch for him. Co-religionists and all, and it's obvious to all that his (my) religion is holding him back among certain conservatives, and that makes me crazy.

Forefront in my newly-blogging-again-tonight-anyway mind because I just read this great little article by a used-to-be-Mormon, which is a state perfect for the purpose because she (a) knows what she is talking about and (b) isn't feeling hurt or defensive. Just clarification-motivated.


There you go.

oh, snap!

I intend almost every day to start blogging again.
I take photos with that intent.
Then I don't.
The computer is old and slow and my photo world is still in flux...and I'm just out of the habit, I think.
But here I am, with no interesting content, just a commercial.

I'm working a bit, and did one show in August (our town's Corn Festival, which is huge, but was kind of interrupted by our friend Irene and her accompanying rain showers), and have a bit of stock on hand. Enough to be, bit by bit, posting more in my shop and to do one pre-holiday show. For my neighbor, who is organizing. Thus:

Marcie Taylor of the Drew Michael Taylor Foundation of Shippensburg has organized the 2nd annual Christmas for Causes Holiday Craft/Gift Show. The event will be held on Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 from 6-8 p.m. at Corner Coffee, 240 W. King St., Shippensburg, PA 17257. This event allows local shoppers to get a pre-Black Friday start to their holiday shopping while helping local charities and non-profit organizations since a portion of all proceeds from the event will benefit causes designated by the crafters and other participants involved.

Local groups benefitting from this year’s event include:

Cure Crusaders Relay for Life Team, Drew Michael Taylor Foundation, Shippensburg Kiwanis Club, Shippensburg Produce Outreach, Lester M. Cline P.A.P.S. Fund, Shippensburg Women’s Club, Women In Need and Better Days Animal League.

The following items will be available for purchase:

Jewelry, homemade greeting cards, wine glass charms, repurposed wool mittens, hats and bags, knitted items to fit American Girl dolls, Christmas ornaments, Bonus Books, ceramic replicas of historic buildings, baked goods, and much more. Hot and cold drinks including coffee, tea and cocoa will be sold and Corner Coffee. Gift cards will also be available for purchase. Hey! She left off my pottery. Some friend! I think I'll take back using her foundation as my cause! J/K I have a selection of fairies, wood gnomes, and jewelry as well as some hair pins and believing buttons. Good times.

Questions? – Contact Marcie Taylor at 532-8922 or

Come see me :)

And Happy Thanksgiving. We're going to Pittsburgh...because our plans cancelled on us. But I think this is a good new plan.

(I'm trying to take more of my product photos in-use, as in "look how this fits into your life!". What do you think? When shopping, do you prefer "catalog" or "fine art photo" styling?)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I just received this great image. My family of origin plus married-ins and progeny. I love it so much!! The whole clan was together for the wedding of that gorgeous couple on the far right (the extra sparkly ones). We coerced the wedding photographer into snapping a couple of quick ones after the wedding breakfast--in the parking lot--so we'd have a family photo that wasn't so obviously a wedding one. We live all over, and together doesn't happen often enough.

I'm debating who is my favorite and right now it's a tie between Ian and Isaac, the twins in the front row...but then I see that extreme grin on Will's face, and then Marian's little fingers and Jovie & Irelynd holding tight, and Jason goofing off eating leaves... lots of personality here, and lots of people I love dearly. But mostly, this shines: genuine happiness on everyone's faces. I do love those real smiles; they make us all so very beautiful.

So, since the details are crafty and the event happened during one of my many blog hiatuses this year, I'm indulging in a few photos tonight.

I'm the oldest of seven children and this is the last one to marry. As I overheard Marian telling a friend, "I've been a flower girl my whole life!" We couldn't believe it was our last! I got my oldest-sister bossy on and insisted on two things: light habotai silk for our glorious gaggle of girls to wear to this August wedding and giant poppies for the wedding breakfast (which we, the groom's family, hosted).

The silk demand I followed through with properly. I dyed the silk

(note to self: a little salmon silk dye goes a very very long way!)
and sewed the big girl dresses (mine + one).
My mom sewed the littles (four more!).
The poppies my mom and sisters were left to do (they were not travel-on-the-plane-from-PA friendly!). I saw these on 100 layer cake and was just so very delighted. Demi, our bride, wanted vintage washed aquas and warm pinks for her wedding colors, so in a nod to that we pushed up the intensity with bright poppies and turquoise banners and word garland ("And then my soul saw you and it kind of went, 'oh, there you are. I've been looking for you,'" gleaned from Demi's pinterest board). We had a church gym instead of a manicured garden to work with, but the blossoms were just as cheerful inside (and probably more needed!).

Since most of the weddings I go to are as a sister dragging along travel-weary children, I love best to see all of our little ones beaming

and enjoying their aunt-crafted accessories

and the treats (the bluest cotton candy EVER, which miraculously washed out of the silk with ease!)
and just generally having a gay old time TOGETHER.

Even if they have to pose now and then.

Of course, the best part is getting a new aunt.
The more the merrier.
(and oh, this one's a keeper!!)

PS: one last crafty note
wedding bowls!