Sunday, August 15, 2010

Family Heritage

I have wanted to post for so long, but it seems I have to steal time to do the fun stuff.... is that just me?
Since I last wrote, so many wonderful things have happened, and some very difficult things as well.
Some of my work has just been published in Altered Couture, the Mermaids Mercantile has grown and flourished and I am running to keep up with it. My shop has been on the cover of a magazine, and there are more magazine features coming!
 After 40 years of searching I have found and met a whole new family, including my biological father,  I have been given an indescribable gift, an immediate bond with this wonderful, creative, inteligent, funny and irreverent man who was only a foggy image in my imagination for so long. The rest of this new family is also wonderful, crazy, entertaining and full of life... and it is like..... well  it's like coming home.
As I write this I am torn because I want to be respectful of my parents who couldn't possibly love me more, A father who always made me feel like I was own his flesh and blood, my hero Dad. My parents are very conservative to say the least,  and I have tested their patience,  I don't think they knew what to do with me, my wild imagination  my inappropriate comments and my unconventional way of looking at life,  even now as an adult they support me, encourage me and sort of shake their heads in confusion as I excitedly tell them about newest 'big idea'.
I am proud and blessed to come from both of these families.
Last Mother's day I meet my 93 year old Grandmother for the first time! and last week I lost my 94 year old Grandma who I have known all of my life.
My aunt  Linda asked me to put together a collage of my Grandma's life for her memorial service, as I was sorting through stacks of old photos at 5 am,  frantically trying to put something together on the morning of my Grams service, I was muttering under my breath and asking God why there is never enough time to do all of the millions of things that are required to survive this life, why is everything so rush, rush, and why no matter how hard I work do I feel  as though it is  never enough?
 I wanted to create something beautifully detailed for my Grams Collage but the reality was that I had only a few hours in my packed schedule to put together such an important tribute to a long and beautiful life.
  Unlike me, my grandma,  always seemed to have plenty of time, she dedicated her life to loving all of us,  and she was most happy when her family was together. I found myself quickly gluing the vintage photos of my Grandma's life to poster board, when what I really wanted to do was slow down, study each one and daydream about the details of her life.
The stacks of photos were mesmerizing, she was stunning in her high heels, hats, and pretty outfits, there was a photo of my Gradma and my Aunt Rachel in their swimsuits posing at La Jolla shores in the 30's,  both of them beautiful, and poised with just a slight smile. In their time you did not ham it up for the camera, photographs were serious business.
 As I took the jouney through my Grams life, I wished for a life more like hers, not just the dreamy fashions, the pretty details..... details that are  often over looked today, the charming cottages, the furnishings, the hats, the shoes, the gloves, but most of all the way of living. A time when women made tortillas from scratch, and hand stichted sweet little aprons to give to family members at Christmas time.
 Women would gather together and create for their families out of love,  it was a bonding experience....
I am an artist and in my life I have made and sold many things, (thousands of things) but rarely do I have the time to create a gift to give, ' just because' .
 A few years ago one of my designs , a seashell embelished letter,was featured in a national magazine, it was a much needed blessing,  I spent the next three months filling orders as fast as my hands would make them from morning until night I made thousands of  letters until the thought of making one more.... brought me to tears..I had to remind myself to be grateful and not weary.
I buy, sell, and repurpose vintage items and handmade goods for a living,  I get to see the excitment when my customers find some amazing old relic that will fit perfectly into their home. Every month I see my customers line up with their purchases at our Mermaid's Mercantile and I see the smiles and the joy of finding a lovingly  hand made item or a beautifully tattered remant from another era. I share their excitment and I am thrilled that there seems to be a new appreciation for vintage goods. 
 I began to understand, as I put together the collage of my Grandma's life,  it's no mystery why we are so drawn to vintage momentos...  Today  it is so easy to get weary, we sit in traffic, spend hours answering emails,  we work in cubicles and under florescent lights, its run here,  run there, and it never seems to be enough.
Time to create, time with friends, and family is a luxury and a necessity.
I think we all long for simplicity, and more time, in one way or another. I think that bringing something into your home that holds history and true craftsmanship, is a way to claim some of the  magic of my Grandma's era for ourselves.
I dream, I wish, and I long for more time with my family ,  I daydream of long afternoons spent creating and chatting with  friends,  it seems to me that a lot of us are struggling these days, many of us are faced with challenges, the likes of which have never seen before, I cherish the memories of the past, and I am grateful for all that I have right now.
  My Grandma  Anita Lujan Beard lived 94 years, because of her and the time she spent with me,  I will always have some of the magic of her life in my heart. I have memories of patting masa dough between the palms of my hands, the anticipation of waiting  to eat tortillas with a little butter and salt as they cooked on the skillet, the aroma of her kitchen and the giant hydrangea that grew on her porch will forever be with me.
 I have memories of crossing the border to Tijuana with to run errands with my Grandma , long before one could buy everything at Costco, my Grandma and I would travel across town,  to the panderia , to the butcher, to the produce trucks  piled high with hundreds of watermelons, and my Grandma manuvererd the crazy busy streets of TJ fearlessly.  The same streets where my other Grandparents, my Father and Aunt who I would not meet until decades later, ran their businesses.
I hold on to the memories as I make new ones, I have a brand new sister, and we speak on the phone almost daily, we laugh at our similar ways of thinking, and compare notes about our chilhood upbringing.
Last weekend I had dinner with my new family at  Ceasar's, a historic landmark in Tijuana,  a fitting place to learn more about my history and discover the traditions of my new family,  A family of retailers who used to own shops next door, across the street and anround the corner from where we ate. My Aunt Nora who was queen of the bull fights, more black and white photographs to daydream about, more memories to share, new traditions, and a whole new language to learn, (I am dying to have a conversation with my new 93 year old grandma who only speaks spanish).
I had dinner with just some of my family, three cousins, an aunt, an uncle, my birth father and my adorable nephew Nico all of which I would have never met with out the invention of facebook... yes the  benefits of modern technology are priceless as well.
Each morning I get up take a deep breath, and tell myself, Debi, it's Ok if you don't get it all done, enjoy the moment, live in the present, honor the past, and cherish your loved ones.
I am blessed.
 Although there doesn't seem to be time  for sewing circles, I am surrounded by the most talented and supportive group of women, there is rarely time to get together outside of work, but we do share our excitement with each other every month as we gather to sell our wares at the Mermaid's Mercantile.
 With out fail each of my friends and fellow artists will pull into my parking lot with a truck load of treasures declaring, "you will never believe what I found" or "look what I just made!" and we all ooh and awe and somtimes we buy or trade for each others work.
 I am blessed.
In a time where it seems we are all just trying to hold on to our homes, our businesses and even our cars, we have found a way to capture simplicty, and bond with each other as we share our passion for  rusty tattered, chippy treasures.
 We are blessed to be supported by our community, to have customers who travel long distances to support the work of our hands, who share our excitement for the treasures that we hunt down and revive.
I am blessed,
I am grateful
I am surrounded by love.
to all of you who read this  blog and send me kind and encouraging comments I don't always find the time to reply but you are so appreciated.
To the artist who make my shop come to life,
To the customers who support us,
To those who lift me up when I am exhausted,
To those who have been there to hug away my tears
To amazing women have inspired me to rise to their level and achieve more that I ever thought I could,
To my new found Family,
To my life long Family,
To my Grandma,
Thank you,
I am so blessed....

Saturday, April 17, 2010

When you least expect it, life can send you spinning like too many shots of Tequila

Don't get the wrong impression, I seldom drink hard alcohol....  just  this one time, too many margaritas, I was trying to keep up with my best friend Shayne, big mistake, in a heartbeat I was laying in my front yard with the killer tequilla death spins.... never again.  I can feel the woosyness just remebering it now and it was years ago.
 Back to my point, two weeks ago I was sent spinning....
here's the story,
Last month, at the Mermaid's Mercantile, I walked up behind three good friends deep in the middle of a heavy conversation, they were all crying.... I heard the words 'adoption', 'long lost daughter,' 'happy reunion...' that is all I needed to hear, I did not want to hear any more,  as these kinds of stories hit a sore spot.
 I was having a great day and did not want to 'go there'. My friends didn't even notice that I had walked up behind them so I quickly walked away unnoticed. I might as well have covered my ears with my hands and said, 'la la la la la....'
Later at dinner, I was enjoying my tacos just unwinding from a very busy day, and the 'adoption' story comes up  in conversation....again.... this time I couldn't escape it.
My friends were recounting  the story in detail about a friend who had found the daughter she had not seen since birth through Facebook. In my head I'm am thinking ... thats great for them, I am happy that they found each other, I was tired of trying to find my own lost parent and did not want to be disapointed again. I had long given up and accepted it. So I listened with a smile nodding and hoping the subject would change to something else. (but there was this voice in my head that said, 'well... you have never tried facebook.')  I thought maybe I'll try it someday, but not now.
The next day, I get a phone call from Lisa Loria she says, " did you see the youtube video of our friend and her daughter reuniting? They look exactly alike... I cried my head off....! " No, I reply, I didn't see it. "well I'll forward it to you right now, Lisa says"..... thats ok... I was thinking but it was already waiting for me, in my in-box.
I almost deleted the 'mother and child reuion video', but curiosity got to me, I played the tear jerker on my way out the door and cried, brushing tears away, late for work I resolved to give one more shot at looking for the father that I had never met or had even seen a picture of.
I said to myself as I logged in to Facebook, I am giving this 5 minutes of my time, thats it, and I am certainly NOT going to get my hopes up.
So I punched in his name and one person without a photo came up in the database, then I found a bunch of other people who looked like they could possibly be related to me. I picked three names, willy-nilly sent them all the same very brief email. "have you heard of this man? I am looking for my Father? If you are him, or know of him please email me."
Then I made the mistake of telling a few people that I had sent out these emails on facebook, after that I recieved daily phone calls, 'well have you heard anything back?' No, nothing, I reply, I don't really expect to hear anything.
Three days of this and my phone rings again, it's my Mom asking me, "have you heard anything?" No Mom, I say, as I open my email... Hello Deborah......  you have a message on facebook. I open the message and the guy with the silhouettte profile icon says,' maybe'  he is my Dad....
I tell my mom who is still on the phone with me and she tells me to ask him a series of questions that will confirm that he is my father and not some imposter who is just playing games.
Well his answers were funny and sarcastic and I couldn't help but think that he reminded me of someone, his answers we also accurate and the person he reminded me of was myself.
It was very difficult to take it all in...  I had found this person who had been missing from my life for 44 years.
Not just HIM but a family of Sisters, nephews cousins, aunts, uncles even a grandmother!  If you have ever done yoga,  it felt like this was some kind yoga for my brain... couldn't wrap my head around it, and  it took as least a week to feel like my regular self. I take that back... I will never be the same again, this I know for sure.
Last Thursday I met my big sister Janina and Ian my nephew for the first time! My sister is like me in many ways, there are many similarities, it is wierd, but fun and wonderful and she has promised to teach me how to cook! You can meet Janina here on her blog, my sister is a great writer with a wicked sense of humor.... hmmmm. Finally someone who doesn't roll their eyes at me.
My nephew Ian could not be more handsome adorable and bright. I am so happy to be his aunt!
 Next month I will be meeting the rest of my family. or 'mi familia'
After this emotional head spin, all I can say is that I feel blessed. Life is far from perfect and situations are never ideal, we hurt each other, we make mistakes... I am a so called 'mistake' but I am happy to be here, happy to have a new sister, and when I finally get to see the face that I have only imagined for 44 years, I will be happy and grateful for what 'is' and not let, what could have been's, rob me of the present moment.
thanks for reading,
thank you Facebook,
thank you God.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

super fun sale at Christie Repasy's house this weekend!

I will be selling my designs along with 12 other artist this Friday and Saturday in Fallbrook.
I am so excited to be a part of this beautiful event! be sure to visit Rita's blog for all of the details.
I have a beautiful vintage seashell bed that I am bringing along with lots of other goodies, It's going to be beautiful! Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 8, 2010

pretty pretty pretty....

Here are some beautiful photos that Claire Brocato sent me today. Claire is a local photographer that was hired by Stampington publications to shoot the Mermaid's Mercantile last week
It was a beautiful day!  The blue and yellow dress sat on top of the Arbor in front of my shop, All week long I was racking my brain... trying to figure out what to put on the arbor.... It is hard to get anything to grow on it because it sits on concrete and the flower boxes get root bound. The night before our big event Rita Reade, Tricia Samsal and Tricia's mom, Jeanne  stayed at my house.  We all collaberated on this idea, it's started with Rita, then Tricia did most of the work (well almost all of it and she burnt her finger on my hot glue gun too!) I was so happy with  the result and Rita named her Bellisima! I added the yellow and blue netting that morning and Lisa showed up with the parasol! It was like the scene in cinderella where the birds make her dress! Dreamy!  The colors matched the colors of the store!!! It was a  total  happy accident!

I was inspired to make Marie de La Mer after watching Marie Antoinette about 20 times... love all of the eye candy in that film!  My version of Marie sits on a green cake plate and a pink seahorse is swiming under her dress.
My seahorse and seashell covered chandelier are currently for sale in my shop along with Marie! They all can be shipped using a special freight carrier. If you are interested please email me or call the store 858 755 7630.
 People often ask about my chandeliers, they are the most labor intennsive of all the shell pieces I create, I can actually make three seahorses in the same amount of time and this Seahorse is 2 feet tall!
I now have my own camera and am going to try to post more and show some of my designs here.
Comments do inspire me to keep posting. The computer and I are trying to get along... it's is a big learning process for me!
hope you enjoyed!

Monday, February 15, 2010

my audition for HGTV design star...the real true Hollywood story

So if you just watched my video you know that I have been auditioning to be a designer on HGTV for the last 5 years! I have auditioned 3x's for 3 different shows in 12 months and have gotten callbacks for all of them! Even so..... I have yet to be cast! UGHHH!!! All three of these auditions were open calls which means thousands of people apply (in some cases over 10,000)  I seem to be good at standing out among the masses but haven't made it to the final cut.....  not yet.
Last month I auditioned for season 5 of Design Star along with 10,000 other hopefuls and got the big callback! I had an interview with the casting agent, from there my tape and portfolio went on to the producers and that's where it ended ....(oh to be a fly on the wall for that discussion and to know what they are really looking for and why ? How do they pick from the 10's of thousands... I would really like to know wouldn't you? )
So even though I was not selected, if you know my whole story you will see that I have come a long way.
 Since childhood I have secretly wanted  to be on television..... but there was one small problem ... I was painfully shy, afraid of any kind of public speaking and usually avoided cameras.  I suffered a lot through my 20's and 30's because I was an extrovert on the inside and an introvert on the outside. In college, I dropped my public speaking class on the first day, dating was a challenge because if I really liked the guy I became frozen and, tongue tied.
I started my own design /retail business in my late 20's thinking that the desire to be on TV was ridiculous for someone like me.   My TV aspirations haunted me in spite of my shyness. I would daydream that I was the  host of my own show imagining myself as a kind of whacky Martha Stewart, who would dig through dumpsters and come up with magnificent designs that anyone could afford.
  So in 2005 when it was announced that NBC was auditioning local San Diegans for Martha Stewart Apprentice....  I knew I had to give it a shot.
 I sent the casting agent my portfolio and they liked my design work so much that I was FedEx'd  a VIP pass so I wouldn't have to wait in the 8 hour line with everyone else. I picked my outfit, a cute vintage inspired lavender sundress from Ann Tayor Loft with coordinating sandals and bravely marched down to the NBC station in San Diego. As I waited for my name to be called my heart raced, my hands trembled and I felt like I wanted to throw up. One of the crew members looked at me and said, "oh you look so scared". Most of the people there were auditioning for Donald Trump's Apprentice so I stuck out like a sore thumb in the sea of black suits. They called us up in groups of ten and sat us all around a table together, then they gave us a political topic which we were to discuss and debate ....hugh? what about crafts, cupcakes or decor????  Thinking back now I don't even remember the question, that should give you a hint as to how well  I did. What I do remember is, I wasn't informed on the topic, I bareley spoke up and I wasn't selected...... I thought well maybe I will get used to this, get over it and do better in the future. So I vowed to keep trying (diehard that I am)!
Every time an audition would come up it was the same story, shy girl, painful to watch, no callback.
Two years ago my brother invited me to attend an on-camera acting class with him,  I signed up for Tom Ardavany's acting workshop in Encinitas I listened to Tom speak about his approach to acting and I was dying to learn, inside my head I was like YES! YES!  I want to do this! We broke for lunch and then headed down to Swami's beach to recite our monologues in front of not just the class but the camera and all of the beach goers who happened to be there that sunny Sat afternoon in May. When it was my turn to get up in front of the class and recite my monologue ...  well you can guess, shaky hands, stomach in knots, heart pounding and a voice inside my head saying 'run! get the hell out of here what were you thinking?' This is not for you!
. My brother pretty much pushed me up to say my lines, the piece of notebook paper in my hands quivered as I raced through my words, I finished as fast as I could, shrugged and gave a sheepish look to our teacher just hoping to finish and quietly duck out. Tom did not let that happen, he tried to help me and when it became obvious that he was not going to let me sit down.... the embarrassment and torture wouldn't be ending any time soon, a survival instinct came over me...I thought 'OK Debi... you are going to be standing up here a long time, if you don't  figure it out , listen to this guy and try to give it a real shot and then you can leave! '
So I sent up a silent prayer and attempted to apply the principles that Tom was teaching and for the first time in my life I was able to express myself publically with out self consciousness. That girl with a gag in her mouth was finally able to speak!The monologue I wrote was about a re-ocurring dream that I had since high school, in my dream  I had somthing important to say but there was a wad of gum that was choking me and it just got bigger as I attempted to get the words out. As I struggled to recount my dream the real frustration of that moment and all of the other moments when I fought to express myself came to the surface and my fear slipped away, tears came  as I felt the impact of all the missed oppourtunities and the unspoken words and  finally I was able to share what was important to me with my audience, when I finished I looked out at the sea of faces and they were right there were with me! Some were even crying with me and people who were just hanging out on the beach that day were there with me too! That moment marked a huge turning point for me  right then and there  I vowed to do whatever it  would take to change.
 I signed up for  acting classes and every week  battled  fear and anxiety. For those of you who don't know what goes on in an acting class, you do  a lot of wierd stuff  like, rolling around on the floor, our teacher took us to a steep ocean bluff where we had to  yell at the surfers and the waves ( the innocent bystanders loved this) I was asked to act like a dog, make strange noises, no room for embarrassment here... it was the kind of thing I avoided most of my life yet it was the most exciting and enjoyable experience I ever had, I would count the days to acting class and what was once torture became fun!
After 6 months of classes, in Dec 2008 I auditioned for HGTV design Star again (4th try) I sent in my tape( see hgtv Dec 08) and The phone rang and it was HGTV! they wanted to see more of what I could do and they asked me to send in another tape. and they gave me 2 weeks to get it done which I did,(see HGTV Jan 09) it was so cute!   And then I was cut... damn it!
So  this Dec was try #5.... I really thought this was going to be the year.... my tape and my portfolio were the best ever!  The anticipated callback came a week after I sent my package. The interview with the casting agent went for 45mins and it was supposed to be a 20 min interview. The casting agent seemed to be really excited and said that they would hopefully be calling me in the next two weeks with an invite  to LA to meet the producers for the next round of auditions. I know from past experience that when you get a call to film it is often on a moments notice. and if they called I would need to be prepared I would be tested for hosting skills,  ability to use power tools, and I would be asked to present a design plan to the producers ( at least thats what they have done in seasons past). so while I was staring at my phone and carrying it around like it was a fragile egg in a nest that was about to hatch , I created my designs, studied every host on HGTV and asked my dad to help me hone my skills for power tools. I think waiting for the phone to ring is the hardest part about auditioning, I actually enjoy filming, interviewing and presenting now, but waiting ....while you carry on with all the other stuff that life piles on your plate is a bitch!
I waited with phone at my side for two long weeks... and the damn thing never rang... well it did, I do have a few friends but it wasn't HGTV..... seriously I was shocked, I was half expecting Mark Burnett to call me himself. Yes your laughing now but when you are a creative person with a wild imagination these are the kind of things you secretly hope for...( I even sent Mr. Burnett an email telling him why he should cast me, so far no reply but you never know the phone could ring and it could be him!) Yes I'm a dreamer, I've always thought I would be on Oprah too, when she came out and said that this was her last year I thought 'what!' I'd better get it together fast!.  In the mean time I'm back at the drawing board and I don't want wait an entire year  for next season"s auditions to open... don't get me wrong I will continue to audition, as the oppourtunities come up however I have come up with this design show that I want to share with all of you....,it's been brewing for years, so many ideas,  fun ideas that are affordable and green.  So if you stay tuned... with the help of Todd Kietel my amaizing videographer and photographer  I am going to post 15 min  webisodes here, on Youtube and my website I will share my  design and  home improvement ideas with you. I will give you project ideas using recycled materials and discarded items that often end up in the landfill. I will take you the local junk yards, garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets and show you how to take rusty crusty junk and create magnificent, craft ideas and furnishings . Along the way we will meet some of the most interesting characters and  discover unique one-of-a -kind places to shop!
So if you like what you see please leave a comment, tell your friends and subscribe to my show. If I get a million veiws on youtube I can actually make money to pay for my show! Oh and if you want to send and email to HGTV or Mr. Burnett and tell them to' hire me already' that wouldn't be bad either!
thanks for watching and please stay tuned the next show will post in March!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A day with Jenny Doh is a day to remember......

Jenny Doh comes to share her day with Deb Hodge of myself and Linda Carpenter  of
 Jenny Doh, the creative force behind and former Editor-in-Chief of Stampinton publications surely understands how to find and then create something wonderful, beautiful and poweful from her discoveries. 
For so many years I would search the magazine racks hoping to find inspiration and craft ideas that were artistic and beautiful. I never quite found what I was looking for until Jenny gave us Somerset Life .... a magazine. like no other, I look forward to every issue like a great dessert,with each turn of the page, you can't help but wonder how such magnificent beauty comes together, to be a fly on the wall during the photo shoots, the meetings where the decisions get made, who's work will be published? Who will be on the cover? How does it all come together?  to be the one to open all the boxes ,to unwrap the submissions ... to see and touch each labor of love... must be heaven on earth!
when Deb hodge emailed to tell me that I was going to meet Jenny Doh and she was coming to visit my store, I think I just sat at my desk in a fog for about 20 minutes......
Sunday.... the day before Jenny's visit I swept, dusted  and re-dusted every  nook-n-crany in my shop, then I obessed a little over the each item, where it was placed, how it was displayed. finally I left my store at 10:30 pm satisfied that everything was pretty and perfectly placed.
Monday morning Jenny arrives .... darling vintage dress and cute black Mary- Jane heels.
She is all you would imagine her to be, professional, kind, gracious, creative and passionate about Art and the stories behind the artist's. Jenny has left stampington in good hands to pursue her new passion,
As we all await Crescendoh's launch on March 1st I had the chance to ask Jenny to tell us more...
Crescendoh is going to be about the Stories behind Artist's , how art saves, heals and inspires. 'Art for Good' is Jenny's vision to give back to our communities and charities around the world. 
As I listened to Jenny describe her vision and desire to tell the stories of others  I thought about how much I wanted to hear her story... She graciously shared some of her insights and experiences with me, which only sparked more questions, I  asked just a few though I had many. As Jenny shares the stories and continues to bring us beauty, art and inspiration, My hope is that she will tell us some of her stories too
. For those of us who work with our hands, for those who help support their families with their talent, for those who MUST  create,  For those who love Handmade, we wait... and we  say thank you Jenny for all you have already done,  and  for all of the hard work that lies ahead, Thank you in advance. Art Saves indeed!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tuesday is CHA yay!

11 of us are gonna put our walking boots on and caravan to Anaheim. Just across the street from the grown up version of the happiest place on earth....CHA!....this is where you find all the GOOD STUFF! as in paper, glitter, rhinestones, birds, baubles, crowns (and so much more)!
 I don't know what will happen when we all get together in this heavenly place for artistic souls.....Melissa, Lisa, Deb, Sandra, Rachel, Linda, Rita, Christie, Dyanna, Pam and I! I can tell you this much it's gonna be good! There are 6 birthday girls in this group of creative women and we plan to celebrate......and I am bringing my camera document all the pretty goodness!  Look out Anaheim we are coming your way!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tomorrow is my Birthday!

And I have so much to be thankful for! 2010 started with a big bang and seems to be getting better everyday.
So many exciting possibilities ahead.
The Mermaids Mercantile has been a wonderful blessing and a great success!
 The new classroom/classes is something that I have wanted to see come to life for a very long time.
It seems that Porch magazine  will be featuring my shop in an upcoming issue along with Deb Hodge of Deb the angel that she is submitted me... Thanks Deb!
 And we are all very excited (myself and The Mermaids Mercantile girls) about the possibility of being published in Altered Couture this fall!
Today I sent in my audition video and potfolio  for the 5th season of HGTV's Design Star.
I am really happy with my audition tape, I think that it is the best ever! ( I have tried every year so this is my 5th submission. The deadline is tomorrow AKA my B-day... so I am thinking it's a sign! Say prayers, think good thoughts, it would be so fun to get on that show (and win of course)!
I will keep you all posted!
Pictured above are vintage shoes that I altered with seashells rhinestones and beading from a vintage handbag. The flowers on the toes are also made from shells. The vintage dress was dreamy to begin with, I added twisted roses and tulle to the bodice using fabric taken from the under skirt. The sholder strap is a vintage pearl necklace wrapped in tulle and the leather belt and buckle was added to give it a little gypsy flair!
 I made these pieces along with many others for the new Altered Couture boutique in my shop, A beautiful little room filled with vintage and upcycled dresses, shoes, handbags, jewelry and so much more! 10 boxes went home with Beth Livesay from Stampington to be considered for publication! I can hardly wait to create more, the last week has been dedicated to my HGTV audition, I m ready to get back to work! Maybe I will make some birthday shoes to wear on design star!
thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beth Livesay from Stampington publications came to visit my Shop!

I would have to say that I am in love with the beautiful magazines that are published through Stampington.
it is hard to choose a favorite, here is my typical routine... go to Starbucks and get a vanilla Latte, head over to Barnes and Noble and grab one of every isuue that Stampington has on the shelf, find a comfy chair and start flipping through the books. Then the process of elimination begins, They are all so good! Altered Couture, Where Women Create, Somereset life, Somerset Home, Apronolgy... I want all of them and there are so many more! I take home a few and practically memorize each page! I make notes, I get inspired, I call up my girlfriends.... 'did you see...? ' 'how beautiful was that?'....
When I met Deb Hodge (cover artist for the last issue of Haute Handbags) she told me to send photos of my shop to Beth Livesay  the editor for Altered Couture and 5 other magazines, I was excited and hopeful, Deb so kindly sent a personal note to Beth along with my photos, when I found out Beth was coming to visit, I was over the top beyond words excited x's 10!
In my 20 years in business I have created and tried my hand at just about, everything, except altered couture. I love fashion and have faithfully watched project runway, all the time saying to myself, 'oh if I could only sew..... I could rock the runway! Some of my ultra talentd friends and artist had been asking me to change one of the rooms in my shop into a boutique, so they could sell their wonderful handmade clothing and accessories. With the new year coming I agreed that this was a time for a change, and time to try something new, so I set to work, with the help of my Dad, building new fixutures (all from recycled materials) and my Mom helping me sew(with a broken arm) I made skirts, shoes, dresses and scarves for my new alterd couture boutique. Lisa Loria, Deb Hodge, Rachel Luna, Linda Wattles Rita Reade, Laina Schectman Claire Comensky and Erin Barr all created and brought wonderful jewelry, clothing handbags, jeans, gloves and shoes too!This is Beth! What a Darling girl! Can you imagine the work involved in editing six magazines.. I should say Super Girl! Beth took home several boxes of clothes and shoes to be considered for publication! All of us at Out of the blue and The Mermaids Mercantile are very very excited and thankful and now we are all addicted to altering clothes! You can find out more about Beth and Atered Couture on her blog
While I was changing up my shop, I also finally took action on somthing that my customers have been requesting for a long time! Craft/creative classes! This is our new classroom! My Dad built the table and the light fixtures! Lisa Loria decorated it! Our 1st class will be taught by Rita Reade, soldered jewelry making! We have lots of classes coming up, to name a few... seashell covered letters, needle felting, altered shoes, fingerless gloves, jewelry making, paper crafts and so so so much more. Watch for our email announcement. If you are not on our email list you can sign up at Thanks for stopping by and happy 2010! sincerely,