happy birthday, Malayna

Happy, happy 5th birthday, Malayna.


Photo Friday

Malayna's first school birthday celebration was a big hit! I got there a little early and she and her classmates were still working on their secret holiday projects. Some were finished and waiting for the others, so one of her teachers asked me if I'd like to read the class a book. It was so nice to read to them and look over to see Malayna with a big, proud smile on her face. She was so happy I was there. When we were going home that day I told Malayna that I was glad I could be there with her and also read a story to the class. She said, "Me too. I like to hear your voice."

Earlier this week I decided that we needed a picture of Malayna and Luco for our Christmas cards. Ha! Malayna cooperated, Luco did not. I think he would've rather been sleeping. She loves the ones with him yawning. Which one do you like best?

{Making chocolate chip cookies for the school party.}

{Celebrating with friends.}

{The birthday girl.}

{One more try for that holiday picture.
Not quite what I was looking for…}



Let the birthday celebrations begin! Malayna will be five next Monday {the 22nd}, and today I'll be taking the cookies we made last night to school for a little birthday celebration. On Saturday we'll have family here for a little party; Sunday is her Little Gym party with all her friends; Monday is her birthday - Jimmy and I will give her presents that day and take her out to her favorite restaurant, Olive Garden. We'll probably have them sing to her - something that would've been a huge mistake last year.

I am so happy with the way she has matured the past year. She loves school, and last week when she had to stay home one day because she was sick, she was upset and said, "But I'll miss all the fun!" Her behavior is much more manageable than it was last year - there were times when we wouldn't do things because we were worried about how she would react. These past few months she has been a pleasure to be around. She's funny, sweet, smart, creative, curious and still very innocent. I love hearing what she has to say - about being five, what kinds of foods she likes and why, how much she wants a little brother {or a chihuahua}, how people who throw trash on the ground are litterbugs…

In a word, she is awesome.


Check out my Scoutie Girl post today!


Photo Friday (on Monday)

Sooooo… Let's just say that I'll be blogging less around the holidays. That way I don't have to keep apologizing for slacking!

Since I skipped Photo Friday {and someone was wondering where it was!}, here are some photos from the past week or so. I must say that I'm really happy I didn't schedule any more shows after November 30th. I'm enjoying my weekends with Malayna and Jimmy.

{Lily, Malayna and their babies.}

{Rockin' out to Weezer's Troublemaker.}

{Delivered this clock to a friend this weekend.}

{Went on a carriage ride during our
neighborhood's holiday celebration.}

{My new favorite picture of Malayna.
Taken at the neighborhood holiday celebration.}

{Me and Malayna. Taken at the
neighborhood holiday celebration.}

{Choosing our Christmas tree.}

{Jimmy and Malayna carrying the tree home.}

{Decorating the tree. Must get a picture of the finished
tree - with all the decorations on the bottom half.}

{Even Luco helped.}


One week later…

Holy moly - it's been an entire week since I last posted?! I'll update you on the exciting things happening around here. {That was sarcasm…}

• We took the rocking chair out of Malayna's room this weekend. It was the last of the baby things left in her room, and we really haven't used it in a few months. She needs the space in her room for a Christmas present - a new baby doll crib. {Shhh - don't tell her!} We had a little goodbye ceremony - she and I sat in the chair and read some books. She also pretended she was a baby who was falling asleep in my arms. It was a little sad!

• We're planning Malayna's fifth birthday party. Will someone please tell me how she got to be FIVE? It's such a cliche, but the time really does go so fast. She wants to invite every child in her class, plus just about everyone she's ever met.

• We attended a birthday party this past weekend and I was reminded {again} of why I have one child. Enough said.

• I'm addicted to Facebook.

• Today I'll be working on a few clock orders and doing some sketches for Christmas presents. I also have about five hundred errands to run, so wish me luck.

Have a good Monday!


Shows and the holidays

{Making cookies.}

Now is the time of year when I'm usually busy every weekend with shows, and busy making things all hours of the day and night to keep my inventory stocked. This year is different. I purposely did not schedule any more shows after yesterday's Holiday Trunk Show. I want to be able to enjoy the holidays without being away from Jimmy and Malayna every weekend. I want to actually send Christmas cards. I want to decorate the house before December 24th. I may even go to a few craft shows as a customer.

Malayna and I started decorating over the weekend, and even made our first batch of holiday chocolate chip cookies {many more to come!}. We'll do more decorating this coming weekend, and we may even get our tree.

Since I don't have any more shows, I'm going to concentrate on getting my designs ready for Printsource NY in January. I'll also be updating my website, something I haven't done in months. After the update, I'll be having a sale - so check back here later in the week for the scoop.

Have a good Monday!


Please Touch Museum

We went to the new Please Touch Museum yesterday with Aidan, Wendy and Daniel. What an awesome place! They recently relocated to a bigger, better building with a parking lot and a cafe {both of which they didn't have in the previous location}. Malayna and Aidan had a great time, and both of them were asking when we can go back. There is so much for the kids to do and see here, that it's worth the $15 admission and $5 parking fee. {Though we didn't pay - one of the perks of having a friend who edits a children's magazine.} I took lots of photos, but it was hard to get good shots in there. More photos are on my flickr page.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Go read my Scoutie Girl post about gorgeous pottery!


Not much going on…

Thanks to all of you who came out to the Waldorf show this past weekend. It was fun {and successful}! I mostly resisted the urge to shop instead of sell. There were so many great things there to buy!

Malayna and I are off to the new Please Touch Museum today with Wendy, Daniel and Aidan.

Not much else going on. How about all of you? What's new?


Photo Friday

Malayna's uncle David {my brother} got a bunch of dress-up clothes for her from Craigslist the other day. Luco's not too happy about it.

{Snow White and Cinderella.}

{Malayna and mom-mom.}

{Silly girls Malayna and Abby.}

I'll be at the Waldorf Holiday Fair this weekend {see the sidebar to the right for info}. It's snowing here right now, so unpacking my truck later should be loads of fun. Anyone want to come help me?


Getting ready

My favorite show is taking place this weekend at the Waldorf School of Philadelphia. The show is Friday night, from 6-9:30, with candlelit dinner and live music {in addition to the shopping, of course!}. Saturday the show goes from 10-5, with homemade organic foods, puppet plays, storytelling, children-only holiday shopping room, children’s craft room, and free choral performances by WSP’s Bluebirds and Middle School Choir. It's a very well-attended show with great artists participating. In fact, I will sharing a room with Linda of Little Flower Designs.

I've got lots of work ready to go, but I will be putting the finishing touches on a few things tomorrow and Friday morning. I'm looking forward to spending all day tomorrow in the studio!


Head on over to Scoutie Girl and read my latest post!


Monday's agenda

It's Monday! My studio-time day. Here's what I have planned for today:

1. Take Malayna to school.
2. Rush home and up to the studio.
3. Pick Malayna up from school.
4. Run some errands: buy new bras, socks, underwear. Fun stuff. Another, actual fun errand, too: go to the arts and crafts store for something for Malayna and Lily to do later today.
5. Come home, eat lunch, let Malayna watch a video so I can do some work.
6. Walk down the street, pick up Lily and bring her back here so the she and Malayna can tear my house up.
7. Try and convince them to do a painting project. Maybe regret that.
8. Get ready to do a local show tonight from 6-10.
9. Do the show and sell lots of stuff.
10. Come home and fall into bed.

What's on your agenda today?


Photo Friday

Last week at the playground with Aidan and Lily:

{"Reading" to Lily.}

What are you plans for the weekend? I'm doing a gift show at my parents' house in Northeast Philadelphia. If you live in the area, send me an email and I'll give you her address.



I absolutely LOVED Barbies when I was a kid. I had every Barbie thing you could think of - camper, townhouse, car, clothing, pool, etc. My aunt Michele {who is five years older than me} and I would play for hours and hours, and would make furniture out of toilet paper rolls, clothing out of scraps of fabric, and even little placemats and rugs.

Even though I loved her then, I've banished Barbie from our house so far. She is a stereotyped image of a woman - perfect body, long hair and a permanent smile. She exists for our daughters to dress in cute little outfits. But I'll admit that I've considered getting one for Malayna. Her favorite things to play with are dolls - big, little and in between. A Barbie would quickly become the favorite toy here if I let her have one. Or two or three or four…

Malayna's classroom has a few Barbies, and she points them out when we see them at the toy store. She knows I don't like them, and mentions that every time she talks about them. I'm quick to tell her that even though I don't like them, she doesn't have to agree with me. But I haven't bought her one, nor let anyone else give her one.

Jimmy and Malayna saw a doctor Barbie at Target the other day {photo above}. Malayna told me about her while we were having dinner - she was going gaga over the babies in the package. If I were to buy her a Barbie, at least I could start with one who actually DOES something, as opposed to existing just to look pretty.

What are your thoughts about Barbie? Do you have a daughter {how old}? Does she have Barbies? Do you talk to her about how Barbie looks?


This is your child on color

Remember those commercials from the 80s about drugs? They showed a frying pan with an egg cooking in it, and the voice over would say, "This is your brain on drugs."

A neighbor took a picture of me, Malayna, India and Lily at the polls on Election Day. Malayna's behavior was horrible that day, and it was because of all the artificial color she had ingested since Halloween. When my neighbor emailed this photo to me yesterday, I thought of those anti-drug commercials of the 80s, but with these words, "This is your child on color." She does not usually look like this - she's floppy and she looks like she's in pain from trying to smile. {Even Lily knows somethings's not right!} If I had seen this photo that day, I probably would've scrapped any plans we had and stayed inside all day. Certainly would've saved us all a lot of trouble. M&Ms are evil.


Click on over to Scoutie Girl and take a look at the awesome jewelry I featured today!


Updated Etsy site

It's been a looooong time since I've updated my Etsy site. I finally did just that over the weekend with new wall squares. Check it out!


Photo Friday

{In the classroom, before the parade.
She kept that mask on all day!}

{Scary shark.}

{Xavier and Malayna}

{See that dorsal fin?!}

{Luco came to school to pick Malayna up.}

{Trick or treat!}



Malayna and I walked to the polls yesterday with our friends/neighbors India and Lily. The girls waved their little American flags, while India and I talked about the change we hoped to see. We met a few neighbors along the way, and didn't even have to wait in line to vote. I brought my camera, but unfortunately it wasn't working when we got there. {Must get new camera! Any recommendations?}

I let Malayna push the button to record our vote, and then we did a little dance in the booth. Afterwards, the four of us met Aidan and Wendy at the playground, and talked more politics. I don't remember ever being so excited and interested in an election before this. Did you see that acceptance speech?!

Unfortunately, the day went downhill from there. Remember back in August, when we stopped giving Malayna food with artifical coloring? All was going well, with a few bumps in the road {mostly when she ate something with color}. Then along came Halloween. We {stupidly} let her have a few pieces of candy, mostly M&Ms, thinking that she's been doing so well that it would be okay. Ha! I know that eating the colored food takes a few days to catch up and rear its ugly head. Well, yesterday was the day - HUGE tantrum/meltdown in Cosi, where we went for lunch with our friends after the playground. It was horrible and embarrassing and we had to leave. The place was FILLED with people, and even had a line almost out the door. Needless to say, she had a huge audience.

I put her in the truck and then realized I left her water bottle there. So I went back in, and when I was leaving again a woman stopped me and asked me if I was okay. I said no, and she said, "It'll be alright. It happens to all of us. Take deep breaths." She was so nice and so supportive that I wanted to give her a hug. I thanked her about a hundred times, and went on my way.

Last night when Jimmy got home from work, we talked to Malayna about the food coloring and what it does to her behavior. The two of them threw away all the Halloween candy, and went through the cabinets to check snacks. He talked to her about what she could and could not eat, and she happily accepted what he was telling her.

It was a long day that I was happy to see end.


Check out my Scoutie Girl post!


Surface designs

I got a burst of creative energy over the weekend and created lots of new surface designs for my trip to New York in January. To create each pattern, I first draw in my sketchbook with a black pen, then scan the page {usually the page has about 10 or so little sketches on it}. I then open the scanned page in Photoshop, and "cut" one of the drawings out. I make a new file, then play around with the drawing to see which direction will work best. I color this sketch in Photoshop, usually working by intuition. Most of the time just looking at the sketch will give me ideas about what colors I think it should be. Other times, when I'm stuck, I'll look around my house, through catalogs, visit websites, or look outside for color ideas. Then I copy and paste the drawing until I have a page full - this gives me my pattern.

Once I get going, I don't want to stop - not for lunch, dinner, or to go to bed. We didn't have much to do this weekend, so I was able to park myself on the couch and get to work. Here are some patterns I came up with {more here}. What do you think?


Photo Friday

Happy Halloween! Malayna has her first school parade and party today. She decided {like, way back in August} that she wants to dress as a shark. So, of course, last night I was putting the finishing touches on her costume. {Okay, so maybe I just STARTED it yesterday.} I'll post some photos of it later.

By the way, the Phillies won the World Series! We let Malayna stay up to watch the game - she was very excited. I, on the other hand, tried not to watch. The city of Philadelphia is holding a parade today, and we were thinking about going. We changed our minds after hearing that they're expecting over a million people. Instead, we'll watch on TV.

{High five!}

{Celebrating outside by running
up and down the street yelling, "Yay, Phillies!"}



Show updates

I've updated my show schedule - check the sidebar on the right for details. If you'd like to come to the two home shows I'm doing, please email me at lisa@milkshakecrafts.com and I'll forward the information to you. I'll also be sending paper and email invites to my local mailing list.

{The trees across the street.}

Yesterday's weather here in Elkins Park was crazy! It was windy and snowing - giant, wet snowflakes. Malayna was "superly" excited and kept going to the door to see the progress.

Tonight we'll all be watching the Phillies in part two of Game 5 of the World Series. We let Malayna stay up late the other night to watch part of it, but then it was delayed by rain. Hopefully the weather will cooperate tonight and we can get to bed a little earlier. Go Phillies! {Yes, I just wrote that. I'm so not a sports fan.}

{Go Phillies!}