Threads: The Making

Silk Statement Necklaces

Handmade Jewelry

When I was studying art at the University of Georgia, I attended a visiting artist lecture during which the artist told us he used to not like sharing his work with others. He said he was afraid people would see his hand in his work – his blood and sweat, his flaws. I related so strongly to this feeling. Maybe all artists feel this way starting out. I know I did. My sketchbook was like a secret diary I wanted to keep hidden. I cringed when I had to turn it in for a professor to review.

I remember another time during a critique our professor was interrupted. He told us to sit there and stare at our work for a minute. “That’s your punishment; or your reward,” he said.

I used to want to create art that was not about me, that did not reveal anything of myself. One day, I realized this is impossible. I remember another art teacher saying everything we create is a self-portrait. That really stuck with me.

Now, what I look for in my work – and in any artist’s work – is evidence of my/their hand. I want to see that organic, irregular, and dare I say – flawed quality. Of course, I still find myself striving for perfection, but in my finished work, I always find evidence of handwork. That’s what makes my work mine. That’s what makes any artist’s work his or her own. That’s what is admirable and precious about it.

And in that we are all connected, I appreciate owning handmade pieces by other artists, and I hope people enjoy owning my handmade works. I think people respond when they see themselves in a handmade object. They take it home to claim as their own – to hang on their wall or wear on their bodies. My pieces evolve from a representation of me to a representation of the wearer. That’s what I strive for. That, I believe, is the magic of art and craft.

necklace1Finished Silk Statement Necklace

 

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Styles: On Motherhood and Shoes

Shoes

People say when you become a parent everything changes, and I believed it. What I didn’t realize is that “everything” included my shoes.

A love for shoes runs in my family, starting with my grandmother, and it’s been passed down to my cousin and me. (With a stated goal of owning 200 pairs of shoes, my cousin is more dedicated than I am, but I have always loved my heels!)

Now, with a baby always in my arms, my hands are always full. Just buckling a pair of sandals can be too much for me now! So I set out to find a new pair of shoes with these criteria:

  • A small heel that adds some height and femininity while still maintaining comfort
  • An open toe and feminine straps – nothing too clunky
  • A slip-on shoe I can step into on my way out the door with a baby, diaper bag, keys, etc., and no free hands

After a little searching, I found these cute sandals from DSW.com — just what I needed!

Sites: Alice in Wonderland at the Dallas Arboretum

White rabbit

The Dallas Arboretum put together a whimsical exhibit of Alice in Wonderland this summer. We went on a hot July day, but it was worth the heat to see the beautiful flower houses and the images depicting scenes from this classic story. If you haven’t been, you can brave the heat one day this month when admission is just $1 and see the exhibit in person. Here are a few photos from our visit:

White rabbit close-up

Flower house

Book

Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts

Croquet

Flower house

Tea party

Alice

Bites: Homemade Ice Cream

Ice cream

It’s August, and we’re in the midst of triple-digit heat. The best remedy for these hot days is ice cream! (If I’m honest, I don’t need the excuse of triple-digit heat to eat ice cream! I’ll eat it any day of the year!)

While I’ll eat nearly any kind of ice cream, there’s something truly special about homemade ice cream — the freshness, the creaminess, the bold flavor that isn’t lost in preservatives and unnecessary ingredients, and the special feeling that it was made at home with care and smiles.

We tried out our KitchenAid ice cream attachment this summer for the first time. It takes a few steps to get to the final product, but it’s relatively easy. First, you have to freeze the ice cream bowl for 15 hours. You also have to make the batter and chill it for a bit in the refrigerator before you begin churning.

When you first make the ice cream, it is a little soupy, though delicious, but the next day after it’s been in the freezer, it’s perfect. The ice cream is still fresh, and the consistency is perfect.

KitchenAid offers several recipes in the ice cream maker manual, and if you’ve lost yours, you can access it here online.

Homemade ice cream

We enjoyed simple vanilla ice cream with strawberries and hot fudge. Delicious!

Threads: Giveaway Winner

DSC_0279

A couple Fridays ago my jewelry was featured on Megan’s Beaded Designs. We hosted a giveaway there for the silk bauble necklace above. The winner, announced last Thursday, was the owner of SassiChic Jewelry on Etsy.

However, Miss SassiChic requested her gift in another color, so I put together a similar necklace for her with a tangerine-colored bauble. I plan to add some more bauble necklaces in new colors to my Etsy shop — Krista Marie Creations — soon.

Being featured on Megan’s Beaded Designs was a great experience. If you haven’t visited her blog, be sure to check it out! Also, be sure to visit SassiChic Jewelry.

Here are a couple of my faves from her shop:

 

SALE Personalized Mothers or Friendship Ring, Birthstone,Custom mom mother grandmother grandma - Wire Wrapped

 

This ring is customizeable for mothers who want to wear the birthstones of their children on their hand. What a beautiful sentiment and ring!

 

SALE Birthstone ring, September Saphire, December Blue Zircon, Cobalt Blue Ring -  Wire Wrapped

I also love the beautiful colors in this ring, which reminds me of the ocean.

Sites: Anthony Chapel at Garvan Gardens

Anthony Chapel

A few years ago, I wrote an article about unique wedding destinations — Yosemite National Park, the Hemingway Home in Key West, the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta and more . (The article was published in Southern Distinction magazine.) Unfortunately, the assignment did not require I visit each of the several wedding venues, which would have been so much fun!

chapel doors

However, on our recent vacation to Lake Ouachita and Hot Springs, Arkansas, I was able to visit one of the destinations I wrote about in my article a few years ago: the Anthony Chapel in Garvan Gardens.

The building’s architectural intrigue has made it a notable destination for weddings as well as a common stop for tourists visiting Hot Springs. The wood and glass structure with its pointed ceiling ascending into the sky complements the natural scenery surrounding it.

It’s no wonder the chapel is host to about 175 weddings per year.

Anthony Chapel interior

Anthony Chapel Ceiling

While the overall structure is quite impressive, the details add the the intrigue.

Inside Anthony Chapel

Anthony Chapel doors

Everything inside the chapel is designed to complement the building’s architecture and create a cohesive aura and experience.

Anthony Chapel altar

Anthony Chapel altar

chapel stools

stool detail

Styles: The Search for Stylish Nursing Clothes

Breastfeeding is rewarding but challenging. If the act isn’t challenging enough in itself, it’s tough to find clothes to wear while nursing. I’ve done quite a bit of searching, and what I’ve found is nursing tops tend to be overpriced and generally come in very few styles.

I’ve seen the same shirt in multiple colors from multiple brands. It’s not a bad shirt, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to wear more than one shirt?

Here’s a picture of me with my baby girl at Five Guys (yum!) wearing a basic black nursing top from Target.

Nursing top

I was also able to find two dresses and one other top for nursing from Target. (Check out their maternity section in store to find nursing clothes, or search online.)

DSC_0472

Babies R Us has a selection of nursing clothes online, but be warned — the sizes are a bit off. I ordered two small tops, and they are huge! I’m having to alter them before I can wear them. (The prices were too good, and given that it’s so difficult to find nursing clothes anyway, I figure it’s worth the effort to just alter them rather than return them.)

While I haven’t ordered anything from here yet, I came across this adorable Etsy shop with stylish and very reasonably-priced nursing clothing: ModernMummyMaternity

DIANA Maternity Dresses / Nursing Dress / Breastfeeding Dress / NEW Design BLACK Maternity Clothes /Free Shipping

JENNY Maternity Clothes / Nursing Tops for Breastfeeding / NEW MOCHA / Adjustable Waist / Nursing Clothes

The search continues. Here are a couple other sources for cute nursing clothes:

Maternalove

Milk and Baby

Please share your favorites too!

Also check out my nursing apron here.