Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

{Catching snowflakes.}

…but not really. Here in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania the snow has been coming down all day and shows no signs of stopping. Last I heard we had about 8 inches. The outlook isn't good for tomorrow – Malayna's sixth birthday party is scheduled from 2-4. I think we'll have to postpone that.

The good thing about this snow is that Lola gets to let out all her crazy energy outside, then come in and pass out. She absolutely loves it and tears around the yard sticking her nose in the snow and pouncing on it when Jimmy throws it at her. Malayna went out to play with her earlier, but that didn't last very long. All Lola wanted to do was jump on Malayna and knock her down. It made for some cute pictures, though!


Cuddly puppy

We lucked out with Lola - she loves to cuddle. Luco was the same way; we expect our dogs to want to be hugged, kissed and cuddled nonstop. She seems to be calming down a bit (at times), and when she and Malayna cuddle it just melts my heart. It just about makes up for all the puppy craziness. Almost. Malayna and Luco didn't do this - she only hugged him once in a while and never really chose to snuggle with him. This is definitely her dog.

(I guess my blog is becoming the puppy blog. Are you tired of the puppy pictures yet?!)


Keeping busy

{Me and my sweet girl, who wants one of everything I make.
She's wearing the kate pendant.}

It's that time of year: lots of craft shows, Malayna's birthday and Christmas. Every year I tell myself I'm going to decorate early, since I'm usually too busy with shows to be bothered until the last minute. Well, guess what? I just took down my cornstalk and pumpkins today.

I had three shows this past weekend, and the two I had on Saturday were fantastic. I have new work this year, and the response to the bird clocks has been great. Someone told me the other day that they like watching my work evolve. I love the fact that since I've been doing this for a few years (officially since 2006), people can see the way my work has changed. Remember when I said I going to stop making clocks? Pretend you didn't hear me. Turns out I just needed to work on some new designs.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by this weekend!


Crazy Lola

Holy moly. I may have mentioned this before, but it's worth repeating. Especially for those of you who are thinking about getting a puppy. I seriously forgot how crazy, time-consuming and exhausting a puppy can be. Oh, yeah - and fun, too.

Lola is nuts. She has so much energy, and if she doesn't get to use it in a constructive way (like doing laps around the yard again and again and again…) she will try everything in her power to get that energy out in bad evil not-so-constructive ways. I dread rainy days like yesterday. She was the perfect puppy all day until Malayna got home from school. Then she was stealing shoes (we really should put them where she can't get them!), biting baseboards, jumping on the coffee table, biting pant legs (and putting a hole in mine).

 She's like a two-year-old child - if she doesn't get her nap at the right time, look out. She has a burst of (negative) energy right before she falls asleep. Every time I see her sleeping or just lying around looking cute, I say to her, "Now this is the Lola I could get used to." I must say it often, because Malayna has started saying it, too.


Free shipping on Cyber Monday!

Shop milkshake today and receive free Priority Mail shipping in honor of Cyber Monday! Sign up for the mailing list to get sale notices in the future. Happy shopping!


Start, stop. Start, stop. Start, stop…

This past Sunday, I took photos of all the new work I've done and started uploading the new photos to my website. I only got about halfway through because of a certain little puppy living here. Yesterday I attempted to create a new home page for the website, but every single time I sat down to work Lola got into something. And I'm not exaggerating. I would sit, she would run over to Malayna's dollhouse and steal something out of it. I sit, she steals shoes. I sit, she jumps on the coffee table. I sit, she barks at me. You get the picture.

{Huh? What? Me, bad? But I'm so cute!}

Looks like I'll have to wait until she collapses at night or when Jimmy's home and he can keep an eye on her. Also, I'll be calling the vet to schedule that puppy kindergarten class soon.

{By the way, if you click on any image on my home page, it'll take you to a page that doesn't exist. I'm hoping to have it working by Friday, so I can send a newsletter about all my new stuff! Wish me luck.}


Waldorf Craft Fair

Come see me today at the Waldorf Craft Fair from 10-5! (7500 Germantown Avenue in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia.)


Creative ADD

How can I get any work done with these two looking so darn cute? My first show is in nine days. NINE DAYS! I need to get my butt in gear and get makin'. One of the problems I have is that I don't know what I want to make! I have some clocks, lots of wall squares, checkbook covers, cards, pendants and magnets already made. Predictably, I've got new ideas brewing. This happens every single time I have a show coming up. Should I ignore the urge to make new stuff, build my inventory of products I've already introduced and work on the other ideas some other time? Or do I listen to the inspiration and make some new things?

Remember this? I have all the materials ready for this project. Is it one worth pursuing?

I have creative ADD.


Squeezing in studio time

{Before the mess}

I've been neglecting my studio lately. That doesn't mean I haven't been making things - it just means that my studio is a big ol' mess and I can't find a spot to work in there. It's not a big room at all, just a little spot with lots of desk space (that is now covered with lots of stuff). Yesterday I really wanted to be up there (hmmm, maybe to get away from the energetic puppy for a little while?), so I just moved the piles around so I could sit down and work. What a difference it makes to have a dedicated space to work. It's just not the same as working at the dining room table, surrounded by Malayna's toys.

I can't seem to get started cleaning up. There's just so much stuff in such a little room that there's no way it can all fit. Guess that means I have to get some trash bags and start purging. Ack! I think it's a creative thing to want to keep everything and not throw things away. What I mean is that a lot of times when I talk to other creative people they seem to have the same problem. Why is that? Anyone else out there feel the need to hold on to things?


I'm sleepy…


Lola's here! I picked her up from her foster parent's house yesterday. It was a long ride - about an hour or so. She howled and cried for the first five minutes in the car, but then calmed down and fell asleep for the rest of the ride. I borrowed a travel crate for the occasion and I'm so glad I did (thanks, Tonja!). I picked her up by myself, so it would've been nearly impossible to make that trip without a crate.

We came home to Malayna and mom-mom waiting for us. Malayna was so excited to see her. She's a little wary of her, since Lola has tons of energy and likes to gives lots of kisses. She nipped Malayna's toes a few times, and after that Malayna decided she wanted to color and take a break from Lola.

After Malayna went to bed and Jimmy went to play basketball, Lola and I snuggled on the couch. We wound up sleeping in the living room because I was afraid Lola's crying would wake Malayna. I put the crate beside the couch, and Lola woke me every two hours with a little whimper. I would take her out, praise her when she was done, bring her back inside and back into the crate. She did much better than I expected (no crying and whining during the night), but I'm tired! She woke me at 12, 2 and 4 am. Tonight we're going to put her in the bedroom with us (in her crate), and see how she does.

She's got the sweetest personality and is very affectionate. Malayna sat beside her crate this morning while she watched a video and seemed much more happy with Lola. We took her to the schoolyard with us so all her little friends could meet her. I'll be taking her with me when I pick her up, too.

Wish us luck tonight!


Meet Lola

See that sweet little face? That's Lola - our new puppy! She's not home with us yet, because she still has to visit the vet on Wednesday. We found her through Petfinder - she is from the South somewhere and a rescue organization in NJ is taking care of her right now. I'll be picking her up on Thursday afternoon! Malayna is so excited; it's all she talks about. It's been a long time since we've had a puppy around here (13 years), but I'm sure it'll all come rushing back when she gets here. I'm expecting some sleepless nights, some carpet cleaning and, of course, lots of puppy kisses.



Holiday shows

{The milkshake booth.}

Here's my holiday show list so far. Hopefully I'll be adding a few more in the next couple of weeks. I would love to see you at one of these! (If you have any questions, contact me through my website here: milkshake crafts.)

MamaCita Holiday Show
December 4, 2009
Location to be announced
Jenkintown, PA
MamaCita (click here for the website)

Abington Friends Craft Fair
December 5, 2009 (10-3)
575 Washington Lane
Jenkintown, PA

Fine Art & Craft Benefit Show
December 6, 2009 (10-6)
Elstowe Mansion
1750 Ashbourne Road
(if using GPS, type in 750)
Elkins Park, PA
Show benefits Nancy's House (click for website)

Watertower Craft Show
December 12-13, 2009 (10-5, 11-4)
Watertower Recreation Center
Germantown Ave (go east on Hartwell Lane)
Chestnut Hill, PA 19119


Bella pendant

Remember a while back, when I created the bird pendants? I had started posting about each woman the pendants are named after, but somehow only got around to doing three of them.

Here's what the pendants are all about: Birds represent freedom, as does each woman these pendants are named after. Each woman made a significant contribution to feminism in the US, thus granting certain freedoms for me, my daughter and future generations. 

Each pendant is an original design: the pattern starts out as an illustration done in ink on paper, then is scanned and colored on the computer.

• measures 1.25" round
• sterling silver or gold jumpring
• 20" black cord (made with local, thrifted materials)
• to reduce the use of unnecsesary materials, cord is tied instead of using a clasp
• printed on recycled, acid-free paper made with wind-power
• laminated on both sides (lamination extends slightly beyond image).

The Bella pendant is named after Bella Abzug, who is known for saying, ""This woman’s place is in the House—the House of Representatives", during her 1970 campaign. She won, became the first Jewish woman in the United States Congress, and served from 1971-1977. She introduced (along with Ed Koch) the first federal gay rights bill known as The Equality Act of 1974.

The pendant is available here for $15.


Rare Bird Finds

Thank you to Shari for featuring my dancing circles clock on Rare Bird Finds this morning!


First lost tooth

{See?! I lost a tooth!}

{The very same tooth fairy pillow I used when I was a kid.}

{The tooth fairy is crafty.}

The tooth fairy visited here last night for the first time. Did you know that in some houses she leaves $5?! She left one dollar here, but it was a pretty, crafty dollar. Also, some people may not think so (I'm looking at you, Jimmy!), but it's a good thing I like to save stuff. Thanks to my reluctance to throw anything away, Malayna got to use my tooth fairy pillow from when I was a kid. See? Being a hoarder saver comes in handy sometimes.

She was so excited this morning to find a fancy dollar bill in the pocket. (Of course we'll save this dollar and I'll give her a different one to use on a special treat.) My little girl is growing up. Sniff, sniff.



Even though she had a rough start, Malayna loves school. She's excited about going each day, likes doing homework (most of the time), and has made lots of new friends. When we asked her what her favorite part of school is, she said, "learning time." She's starting to read and often interrupts us when we're reading her a book to point out words she knows. We read to her all the time, so I had a feeling she'd catch on quickly, but this is amazing! I certainly didn't expect her to be reading and sounding out words only a few weeks into the school year. It's so cool to watch her realize she can do it. She's a tiny bit obsessed with it, too. Everywhere we go, she's reading. Every time she looks at a book, she seeks out the words she knows. She's writing things on her drawings in "kid writing"(spelling things without a grown-up correcting it). She gets them so close! The other day she wrote "astronaut" as "astrnat." She tells everyone that she can read.

Before Malayna started school, Jimmy and I used to talk about what kind of student Malayna would be. So far, we were right. We thought she'd be excited about learning new things, being with other kids her age, and that she would follow the rules. We also knew she'd have trouble transitioning in the beginning and hoped that she'd get over that fast so she could see how exciting school could be.

Her teacher told me that yesterday, during a group activity, Malayna said, "Wow! This is so exciting! We've only been in school for a little while, but we already learned so much stuff!" Oh, how I wish I could bottle that enthusiasm and keep it forever.


On the dining room table every day…

{Worn-down and much-loved crayons, paper and bits of nature.}


Surrounded by creativity

Rutgers-Camden in New Jersey is hosting an exhibition called “A Complex Weave: Women and Identity in Contemporary Art” through December 18. I'm heading over there today with a friend for the symposium “Women and Identity in Contemporary Art.” There will be a keynote speaker, and  presentations by some of the exhibiting artists. I love stuff like this - an exhibition featuring women, talking about women and featuring a wide variety of art. I expect to be inspired - one of the perks of seeing art and being surrounded by other artists.

Speaking of being inspired, I started a new job yesterday at a friend's clay studio, and it was great! We cleaned up, organized and got the studio ready for Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST), which is happening this weekend. Oh, and I also got to cuddle her new puppy - a nice little bonus! Next week I'll probably be getting my hands dirty, helping her to create some clay tiles that she'll use in a big project. What a great job, right? We also have a lot in common, so it's nice to be able to talk about all that while we're working. Did I mention the puppy?


Make stuff

I drew those words yesterday while Malayna was in school. Before she came home, I put it on the dining room table where she does her homework. She sat down to start her homework after school, I went into the kitchen to get her a snack, and the next thing I know my paper is covered with her drawings. I guess she took that literally, huh? (She drew an art table with crayons and paint palettes on it. Those lines around the table are the legs.)

In other news, I'm starting a fun new job today. A friend of mine read my post from the other day where I wrote about looking for a job. She emailed me and asked if I wanted to help her out with a few big projects she has coming up. Wish me luck!



Do you ever feel like you're just not doing enough? Like you're wasting your free time? It's not just me, right?

I've been looking for a part-time job since the summer, but nothing's come up. I have six hours to myself five days a week and I feel like I should be doing something Important with a captial "I". I want my daughter to look up to me and want to be like me. Am I sending her the right message by being home and not having a job? Being a stay-at-home mom is not what I thought I'd be doing six years ago. In fact, I still hate saying those words - they bring up such negative feelings for me. It means I'm a housewife - home all day to clean, take care of the house, run errands and look after kids. Booooring. I want more! I want a successful art career that brings in money. Enough money so that we can go out for dinner, or meet friends for drinks, or buy new clothes every now and then, and not have to think twice about it. I want to buy this, just because it's pretty.

I know some people are happy with being home, taking care of house chores and children. It's just not what fills me up. I don't want to send Malayna the message that men work and women stay home. She should know that she can do or be anything she wants. I'm not exactly sending her that message right now.

I'm feeling restless…



I've been wrestling with this decision for a few months now: I'm going to stop making clocks. They're so time-consuming and I can't really sell them for the price they're worth. I want to create work that doesn't require special supplies. Also, I've had a few people ask me to replace the clock mechanism because it has stopped working, which means I'm out the money it costs to buy a new mechanism. Not good. I don't have much of an inventory left; just some desk clocks, which I'll sell at the shows I have lined up for this season.

I've got some new things lined up (in my head, that is) to make. Stay tuned!

{PS: I've had a few requests for specific clocks on my site. I will still honor those requests!}


Try your wings

{try your wings}

Remember that painting I was working on last week? I finished it and it's hanging in Malayna's room. I'm pretty proud of myself for producing a piece of artwork that's different from what I usually do. Every now and then I want to get my hands dirty and go back to doing fine art (as opposed to graphic design or crafts). As much as I love working on the computer, it's nice to step away from it, listen to music and create something with my hands.

When I gave Malayna the painting (it's really a painting/collage), she gasped and said, "Oh, it's so beautiful!" She then went on to point out all the things she liked about it: "this pattern is my favorite, I like how you used all the patterns together, this blue is so pretty." It was just like the way I talk to her about the things she creates. That's my girl!

I bought a paint pen to write the words "try your wings". Have you tried paint pens? Am I the last to find out about this wonderful invention?! I want one in every color.

When Malayna was a baby, we had a blessing for her and one of the songs we played during the ceremony was "The One Who Knows" by Dar Williams (that link takes you to a recording of the song). Part of the chorus of the song says, "You'll fly away, but take my hand until that day." Every time I hear this song I think of holding my little baby and how fast the time has gone since she was brand new.

With each new thing my little girl does on her own she's "trying her wings". And she's doing a fantastic job.