Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ellie's gingerbread village project

I don't normally post things that we do with the kids for school, but this is so cool I had to share.
Ellie had a project that I was supposed to help her with ( there was a lot of glue gun use). She came home with a milk carton, painted, cut and divided in two "floors". We were supposed to use cut outs for furniture they had ( they had basic table, couch, bead, dressers etc) and what we did was cut them out, glue them and them color with markers, cover them in felt ( for example the couch, the bed I made for her a comforter out of felt and fabric with glue gun etc).
Ellie and are are absolute suckers for tiny things. When we go to Michaels we can spend hours looking at the Christmas village displays and we never get tired. So, for us it was incredible bonding time, cutting, gluing, coloring...absolutely amazing!
I am so glad she had this project because both of us just had a blast with it! Lately we couldn't do any craft or art projects together and we loved eery minute of it.

Ellie Gingerbread village 

First floor- living room

Ellie Gingerbrad village 

Second floor - bedroom

Ellie Gingerbread village 

Both floors
Ellie Gingerbread village 

So much fun, isn't it?

And that is why I haven't written my Christmas cards yet. I am going to go in the "Christmas shame corner" now.

But it was FUN! :-)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mixed Media = great fun!

Ever since I began my artistic journey many years ago, I always, always always wanted to try mixed media. It sounded sooooo cool... so mixed...and  so media. And I like mixing things.
Long story short, I never quite got around to learn how to do it. I had 1-2 not very successful experiments but that was before I learned about the magic of ..lo and behold...Mod Podge! Yep, that's right, this miracle liquid made all my dreams come true.
Ever since I started work I wanted to make a painting for my office and finally this past weekend I did finish the piece.

This is the before ( stage 2 actually), covered in gesso.
Mixed Media 1 (2)

I love all the details that I was able to include, like the fabric flowers, the tiny stones, the net, the wooden squares, the all just came together.
Mixed Media 1 (4)

And this is the final version, colored with acrylics, some golden spray, some glitter, and then more Mod Podge.

Mixed Media 1 (5)

And a close up:
Mixed Media 1 (9)       Mixed Media 1 (1)
For a first time, I think it came out much better than expected. I am actually looking forward to the next one.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Woodburning 101 part 1

I often get e-mails asking me how I woodburn and awhile back I came up with the idea to make a series of videos showing what my process of woodburning is. I am glad to say that  I finally got to do it. I hope you don't mind the mess in my studio. :-)

If you have any questions, send me a message or leave a comment. I this video was helpful to you. 


Thursday, October 24, 2013

I deserve that pumpkin medal!

In Bulgaria there is a saying that when somebody is not going to be "rewarded" for his/her effort ( in monetary or other way), he/she would be given a pumpkin medal.
I absolutely, positively believe I deserve one tonight!
I came back from work, made dinner, listened to everyone complain about their day, then proceeded to make two kids Halloween costumes because " by the way, we need them for tomorrow", not next week as we initially thought. Yup.
I am so extremely lucky that my kids are so incredibly awesome and agreed to make the costumes with what we had.
An old Superman cape quickly became a part of the "pile of leaves" costume of my daughter, as the same costume included a crochet hat that we had from before. 250 fabric leaves and 10 hot glue gun sticks  later, she IS a pile of leaves!

Halloween 2013 (5 of 5)

My son wanted a creeper box "mask", which if we bought from the store, believe it or not would have cost $20. A cardboard box for $20! Can you believe it?! So, we just got a plain shipping box and one roll of duck tape, and we were all set.

Halloween 2013 (1 of 5)

Pumpkin medal or not, at least I got to hear that I'm "the best mommy in the whole world" at least 3 times! What a better reward, right?
Happy early Halloween! Now I'm going to bed...hopefully.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My first book is available for purchase online!

After 6 whole years writing, planning, editing, drawing, worrying- the day finally came! At last, my first chapter book for children with the fuzzy title "Woolly" is available for purchase online! Yay! In 6-8 weeks you will be able to purchase it through Amazon as well, but for now, BUY THE BOOK"WOOLLY" HERE.

The book has a companion- a 12 month calendar, with twelve beautiful illustrations and a friendship quote in the bottom right corner. BUY THE CALENDAR HERE. If you would like to look inside the calendar, check the preview out:

Thank you for supporting independent writers! It means the world to me to be able to share my story with you and your children, and I hope you all like it! In any case, I welcome comments, suggestions and questions, so don't hesitate to write me an e-mail or a comment! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

The first book and calendar are here!

I am so excited that I decided to shoot a short video of how I open them. Please, excuse the quality of the video, my little girl couldn't wait to open them and we had to make do with my phone, instead of the camera. Of course, she wanted to shoot the video and I decided to indulge her. That's why you can hear her say ( " Read it, read it!" and "Yay" and all other sorts of giggles and squeals). LoL

I just have to write back that the copies are approved and you are going to be able to buy the books! Stay tuned! Any day now!


Friday, September 13, 2013


Over the years ( 6 to be exact), I've often talked about publishing my children's books ( also 6 at the moment) and some of you were even my "Guinea Pigs" as test readers. I've received a lot of encouragement and support, a lot of praise, and of course a healthy dose of criticism. Sometimes I was frustrated, sometimes I was glad about the latter, but in any case, it made the final version of my very first children's book much different than I expected, and much better, I believe.

"Woolly" began as a simple picture book. The manuscript was about a page long, the story was tight, but I always felt there was something missing. Then a second picture book with the same character came to life. Then a third. Until, I was finally encouraged by Scholastic's very own Anna Bloom to take it to the next level and make it a picture book.  That was the easy part.

A couple( read: 30+) edits later, a couple of conferences, 4 literary agents critiques and 2 professional editors later, Woolly is finally ready to come to life on paper and as an e-book, and I am both excited and a little scared. I've been holding on to him for so long and just the thought that I will finally get him out there is ...well...overwhelming.

You are probably curious what is Woolly all about.
It is a story about a small woolly bear caterpillar and his friends. It's a story about loss, friendship, growing up, but it is mostly a story about bravery. Bravery, to face your own fears and then face the world. It is a story about standing proud and tall because of who you are, no matter what everyone else thinks.

"Woolly" is a chapter book for the age group 5-10. And this...this is Woolly.

Woolly1 (1 of 1)

He is looking forward to meet you very soon. :-)


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Teacher Appreciation or Back-to-School gifts

As a tradition on the first day of school, I send each of my kids' teachers a "survival kit". That survival kit includes a woodbuned box with each teacher's name and some office supplies. During the school year I send additional school supplies from time to time to fill the box again. I think it's a nice gesture and teachers always appreciate it. After all, we should appreciate our teachers not only because it's Teacher's appreciation day, right?
I make the designs different every year and I guess they represent more my mood at the moment than the teacher's personality- after all, before the school year starts I rarely know anything about them. :-)

Teacher Gifts2013 (2 of 7)

And this is how the box looks from the inside. 
      Teacher Gifts2013 (5 of 7)        Teacher Gifts2013 (1 of 7)
The second box is with a more decorative design with flowers. I have to admit working with my woodburner with adjustable temperature levels is soooo much better than the standard woodburner with only one temperature level. It's considerably less time consuming - for example, it took my just about 2 hours to finish these two boxes, compared to the box-a-day option with the old woodburner.
Teacher Gifts2013 (4 of 7)
And the inside again. This box is smaller than the top one. 

Teacher Gifts2013 (6 of 7)        Teacher Gifts2013 (3 of 7)

You all know my obsession with brown paper bags, so yeah... :-)
Teacher Gifts2013 (7 of 7)

If you like the idea, you can order a Teacher's Gift customized box from my Etsy store
I wish everyone a great school year! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

'Stache Bash Extravaganza - Updated!

Most of you probably don't remember that a couple of months ago I wrote on Annie's Art Book Facebook page that my daughter decided to have a mustache birthday party. I was really hoping that she will choose this theme since I've been dying to make mustache crafts. I jumped right on the task ( I have my Mustache Pinterest Board to prove it). It was so much fun trying to figure out how to make things work together with the colors she chose. Of course,  we had to have pink. HOT pink. And of course, we had to have DOTS. So, there you go, color coordination mission complete.

The invitations were a blast of course, I had so much fun making them and I think the envelopes turned out cute too. 
<MayJuly2  2013 (2 of 31)COPY
Although, I completely and totally despise my printer. I know it's not supposed to have the best quality but since I haven't installed the new one yet, I was kind of hoping that the old one will work just so I can print them all. Can you believe it took me more than 5 hours to print 10 (!!!) invitations and envelopes? I wouldn't mention the amount of cursing that went into it, I plead the 5th.

The Hershey chocolates and Snapple strawberry drinks came out cute too.
MayJuly2  2013 (13 of 31)     MayJuly2  2013 (11 of 31)

The notebooks, tattoos and pencils ( with inscription Ellie's 7th B-day Stache Bash) are going to be a huge hit I think.Oriental Trading Company surprised me, everything was much cheaper than at other places and the order arrived very fast. 
MayJuly2  2013 (7 of 31)        MayJuly2  2013 (4 of 31)
I also printed stickers ( just regular round ones from Walmart) to give the guests when they leave.
MayJuly2  2013 (10 of 31)

I hope the kids like the mustache straws too. The fans that hang from the ceiling are also from Oriental Trading Company's webiste. The black and white dots were Ellie's idea. Here is everything together if you want to take a look.

MayJuly2  2013 (8 of 31)

As a freebie surprise- I am offering the Hershey Chocolate wrappers, the Mustache labels of the bottles and the stickers files FOR FREE. If you would like to get the files to print, just send me your e-mail address and I will send them to you. Of course, I will remove Ellie's name from them.
In the mean time, check out the "CAKE" I made for her ;-)

Update: I finally found the time to publish some of the pictures from the actual party.
MayJuly2  2013 (36 of 94)
The party itself was a blast of course, the Puppet People Puppet show was amazing, kids and adults laughed the whole time. There was a bit of drama too, just before the party I realized I didn't have a banner for her and I had to make one at the last minute.
MayJuly2  2013 (35 of 94)
I was in doubt if I should make any appetizers, since the kids usually eat very little or not at all, but it turned out they were a hit. I don't know if it was because of the 'stache toothpicks or just because they liked the vegetables and cheese :-)
MayJuly2  2013 (70 of 94)

The birthday girl was all smiles the whole time! 
MayJuly2  2013 (84 of 94)

I am glad I "snuck" a picture with her at the end. 
MayJuly2  2013 (93 of 94)

Ta-Ta for now,

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rhapsody in Blue

I am delighted to show you my latest hat design. When the customer approached me earlier we were discussing hats in black, white and teal as a combination. These are the designs I came up with for her:
Dress1-3      Dress1-1

However, upon closer inspection of the pictures, I realized that the color of the dress my customer ordered for her Derby outfit is not black as we initially thought, but dark brown. Alas, my suspicions confirmed once she received the dress, it was indeed dark brown. So, a new design was in order. 

And here is to the real thing:
Annie Presentation (1 of 7)

Annie Presentation (5 of 7)-2

Annie Presentation (3 of 7)-2

I hope she likes wearing it as much as I did making it! :-) I love the combination teal and brown, just one of these things that simply "work" together.

Off to the next project!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Derby Season in the Air

I love Derby season! You know that in the past I wrote about the hat show that I participated in, and I've been making hats on and off, but this hat is special.
I love, love, love the dress that my customer chose! I love the color even more! Imagine my surprise, when I found my favorite flower ( ranunculus) in the same color. I am glad that the customer agreed on the design, because I think the hat plus the dress will be a stunning combination.

So, I began with the design:

And then, the magic happened...
Annie Presentation (6 of 6)
Annie Presentation (5 of 6)
Annie Presentation (3 of 6)

Sometimes, when you work on a project like that, you start with a basic design, but then, you see the materials and you just know there is something you have to add/remove. For example this hat originally was supposed to have netting. However, once the customer and I saw it with the netting, we decided it would look better without it. Then I got the idea for the beige feathers. They were not in the original design, but I think they totally completed the idea. In other words I love that hat. I hope it will arrive safely and the customer would love it at least as much as I do.
Annie Presentation (2 of 6)

Annie Presentation (1 of 6)

I am extremely excited to work on other hat designs at the moment too. In fact, hats have been on my schedule for quite some weeks now. So, if you are thinking of ordering yours at my Etsy Store, you better do it ASAP, because I have a waiting list for the next month and a half.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Woodburned Jewelry- Bracelets/Bangles

That's right! I never thought I will be saying this, but making jewelry was kind of fun. I always tried to stay aside from the jewelry business and I was very apprehensive to dab into it. However, just seeing these unfinished bangles made out of wood, I knew I had to try. My main idea was to make something that I would like to wear. And I would absolutely, most definitely, positively, undoubtedly wear ANY one of these.

- My personal favorite ( I'm lying, I like them all!)

Valentine's Day New1 (44)
Valentine's Day New1 (47)    Valentine's Day New1 (48)

Click to BUY

- My " I go with everything" design ( truly my favorite!)
Valentine's Day New1 (50)
Valentine's Day New1 (51) Valentine's Day New1 (52)  

Click to BUY

- My minimalistic design ( my favorite for sure!)
Valentine's Day New1 (42)
Valentine's Day New1 (41)     Valentine's Day New1 (43)

Click to BUY
- My "knit" bangle ( Now, THAT is my favorite!)
Valentine's Day New1 (38)
Valentine's Day New1 (40)    Valentine's Day New1 (39)

Click to BUY

So, which one is YOUR FAVORITE?

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