Flower Girl Dress by Whimsy Wendy

Flower Girl Dress by Whimsy Wendy
dropping petals... one by one.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Chocolate Bubblegum Polk-a-Dots!

This precious peanut made a special second trip to my booth on Sunday to show off her new "tutu" outfit. I especially love all of the dots and her sparkly magic pink shoes! How lucky am I?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Kohler Holiday Marketplace 2009

A tutu after my own heart!
How amazing to be around so much talent. Here are just a smattering of pictures from the Holiday Marketplace in Kohler at The American Club. It's hard not to get in the spirit!

A friend of mine makes all of these darling hats! Little Lids...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Color My World

I just can't stop...
The Whimsy Wishing Wands:

My princess hats are multiplying...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Getting Read For Christmas Show #1

I've been working on my inventory for the last three weeks. My studio looks like a cotton candy factory! Headbands...added lots of flowers.
Sari trim from India and chocolate bon-bon dots.

I'll need to find another hanging rack...

Cascades of colors.
The purple sari trim is new this year. It is stunning with the gold.

Four days until I leave for Kohler. Inventory is almost there! Getting excited.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Candy Cane Lane "Whimsy style"

My new candy cane ornaments... Candy garland, and lollipop trees...
Poppin polk-a-dot tree skirts...
Looks good enought to eat!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pumpkin Pancakes

Can you smell that baking pumpkin pie? My house smells like bubbling cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Alright, I wasn't that motivated, but I did have a hankering for pumpkin pancakes this morning. I found a lot of recipes online, but I tweaked one for a very subtle, pumpkin-y flavor; great for the very finicky.

Pumpkin Pancakes

2 Cups Flour

3 T. brown sugar

1 t. white sugar

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. cloves

1/2 t. ginger

1/2 t. nutmeg

2 t. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

1 1/2 cup milk

1 egg

2 T. oil

2 T. vinegar

Blend dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. Mix together until just combined. Batter will be very thick. Scoop into prepared griddle. Flip when brown. They get thick and fluffy, so make sure they are thoroughly cooked through when taking them out of the pan! (Obviously I don't care about perfect circles. I go for the organic shape).


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fruits of My Labor...How lucky!

When I struggle deciding how large I would like my business to grow, I come across little gems like this video I just received. The client bought this witch-y tutu for her little song-bird. It reminds me how lucky I am... and how important focused, individualized service and touches really are.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Craft #2: scrappy wristband

I have to be honest. I am a fabric junkie. I collect bits and pieces. Once, about a year ago, I actually paid a fair amount of money for a PIECE of a kimono (Japanese robe). I collect Asian prints, leathers, fleece, felt, cottons and silks. I just can't stop. Last year, I remember a check out lady at Mill End Outlet (Eden Prairie) asking me what I was going to do with this beautiful mirrored, two-toned acetate. I was embarrassed to tell her, "I have no idea. I just need it".
Well, in keeping with my effort to create without purchasing, I found a great way to use my cotton, stabilizer and felt fabrics.
How about this bracelet for little ones?
First I started with a two-sided strip of cotton ( about 10" x 1 1/2 "), ironed on stabilizer (stabilizer is always key - I hate using wimpy fabric for kids), then satin stitched the edges. On the opposite sides of both ends, I ironed (and stitched) on small squares of Velcro. For the flower, I just fooled around with my left-over felt scraps and put together this collection of fabrics and shapes, capped off with a button for the center of the flower. It's stitched to the wristband (then hot glued a little for added stability). My favorite thing about this is the possibilities are endless. You could create a fabric watch, super hero wristbands, or using more Velcro, add interchangeable fabric objects.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Project 1: Halloween Chandelier

Fulfilling my promise, I have completed my first craft project using only items I have in my studio. I actually think it turned out pretty cute. I was inspired by the Pottery Barn bat mobile (pictured above), then made it my own.

First, I had two embroidery hoops (very inexpensive at resale shops) that I covered in black tulle ribbons. I wound them tightly and secured them with hot glue.

Next, I created a bat template from two-sided fusible stabilizer and cut out six bat shapes.
After, I ironed the fusible stabilizer to black felt. Cut the bat from felt, then fused and cut another bat from black felt to make a very firm bat - one that will hold its wings out to the sides. Using clear fishing line, I strung the bats up onto the hoops at various heights for interest. (On some, I attached large pompoms to give them variety).
Using black yarn, I cut equal lengths and tied the two hoops together, then created another four lengths, tied together, to hang the chandelier from.
My final step was to finish of the insides of the hoops with a rim of black grosgrain ribbon for a clean look.When all is said and done, I love it! A little more understated than my inspiration piece, but it still looks cute and didn't cost me a dime.
My favorite thing about this project is that using the embroidery hoops is a great and easy way to make mobiles. They would be darling in a childs room to add a pop of color with felt shapes swinging around.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Self Proclaimed Challenge

I consider myself a fairly neat person. I like clean, modern lines in our house, and if my husband let me, I'd have a very minimalist approach to decorating. There is one area, however, I just can't contain...my workroom. It has a life of its own and as I've been trying to tame the beast ever since we've moved here. It has dawned on me, just how much I have spent and then stashed in my studio.

The problem starts when I get near a craft store. I'm one of those junkies that would rather spend her last dime on colorful feathers than pretty, matching coffee cups. I've now moved near two craft stores and I am looking at a pile of new receipts.... I can't get over how much money I've invested in these bits and pieces of inspiration that are shamelessly peeking out of every drawer and shelf.

So, I have decided, that in honor of this economy and to help curb my appetite for purchasing all things crafty, I am going to put a halt on my frivolous spending. Inspired by the culinary movie "Julie and Julia", once a week I am going to create, from the materials I already have, one object d'art. I am going to use this opportunity to rid myself of this extraneous clutter, create somethings of beauty and simultaneously discover the next "ugly doll" or coveted child toy.

Keep tuned in... this will be an interesting experiment.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Importance of Their Imaginations

I love watching children tranform themselves into whatever they can dream up. Their imaginations can take them to a land of "make-believe". When my girls were younger they would conjure up magical worlds where they could fly on cardboard wings, sing on giant stages into hairbrush microphones and become invisible in a nano-second. Even as they get older, I love to encourage them to continue this pretend play. It is a variation of what they used to play, but it seems to stretch them into broader persons... dreaming of what could be.

One of the things I love most about making my creations is wondering what my tutu or cape is going to be.... a prima ballerina or a fairy godmother? A super hero or a knight? The possibilities are endless and timeless.

But the experts say pretend play isn't all for fun. It is an essential and critical part of a child's development.

"Young children learn by imagining and doing. Watch a child pick up a stone and pretend it is a zooming car, or hop a Lego across the table as if it were a person or a bunny? Children use an object to represent something else while giving it action and motion. But this pretend play is not as simple as it may seem. The process of pretending builds skills in many essential developmental areas.

Pretend play builds social and emotional skills. When your child engages in pretend (or dramatic) play, he is actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Through cooperative play, he learns how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve. When your child pretends to be different characters, he has the experience of "walking in someone else's shoes," which helps teach the important moral development skill of empathy.

Pretend play builds language skills. Have you ever listened in as your child engages in imaginary play with his toys or friends? You will probably hear some words and phrases you never thought he knew! In fact, we often hear our own words reflected in the play of children. Kids can do a perfect imitation of mom, dad, and the teacher! Pretend play helps your child understand the power of language. In addition, by pretend playing with others, he learns that words give him the means to reenact a story or organize play. This process helps your child to make the connection between spoken and written language — a skill that will later help him learn to read.
Pretend play builds thinking skills. Pretend play provides your child with a variety of problems to solve. Whether it's two children wanting to play the same role or searching for the just right material to make a roof for the playhouse, your child calls upon important cognitive thinking skills that he will use in every aspect of his life, now and forever."

(This quoted article is an excerpt from a piece written by Ellen Booth Church, a professor in Early Childhood Education, education consultant and author.) To link to the article in its entirety, go to http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=10175.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Indian Influences

Hard to believe that it's almost been a year since we landed in Delhi. Funny to think of all we've done this year.

As we've started to grow roots in our new home, I'm finding I've sprouted an affinity towards all things Indian. I drool at the thought of the mixture of bright colors spun with gold threads and lots of gorgeous, silky fabrics, big comfy pillows and gauzy trims. I'm trying to gather a bunch of eye candy to inspire my home decorating. We'll see how my ideas translate to our rooms!
We've basically got a blank slate for our home. Our Master bedroom is very butter yellow right now and is making me a little sick to my stomach. I would really like to put an Asian Indian touch to it. We've acquired a beautiful silk, 12' x 12', rug that fits well in our bedroom (generously from my in-laws). It's a good place to start. It carries a lot of reds and blues, but I'm having a tough time finding a wall color.

Also, on our trip we acquired this beautiful hand crafted, mirrored bedspread. I made the tufted bolsters by the headboard, but I think I need loads more sari-like pillows. Any suggestions?

Here are just a few room I lust for:
Even though this room is very monochromatic, I love its vivaciousness.
Sparse, yet soooo beautiful. Very modern, yet old world./

Again, monochromatic but a thoroughly gorgeous red.

I think the bedspread and pillows would really accentuate the exotic.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


The other day, my girls and I were talking about "inspiration"... Things that move us and make us want to create, sculpt, write, run. The things we come across in our daily lives that may trivial and unnoticed by others, but hold a special place for us.

It made me think about the things that made me hum...
  • Idea Books. I was given a beautiful empty journal with thick card stock pages and that was the beginning of the end. I cut, tear and rip out photos, magazine articles, draw, trace and make photocopies of unique things. Now, three overstuffed Idea Books later, if I ever get into a creative rut, I reference my personal inspiration books. My girls love paging through the journals, taking in all the sketches, pictures and eye popping colors.

  • I surround myself with pictures while I work. I cram as much as I can on my bulletin boards. These look neat, because we just moved and I haven't had the time to mess it up yet!

  • I get inspired by others that have gone before me. Below is a collection of my grandmothers Bridge cards she hand made for her girlfriends for their rousting games of bridge. I also have bits of her crochet work, her favorite yarn and old knitting needles. She definitely help to plant the seed of creativity in me. (That's a picture of my mother in her wedding dress with my grandma - she looks stunning!)

  • I love repetition in objects. I love making statements with things... big or subtle.

  • I love shiny metal and sparkly gems. It doesn't matter if it is gold or silver, I just like it bright and pretty. I picked this chandelier at Ikea and always have it hanging over my work space. It makes me feel very grown up and sophisticated... in a make-believe sort-of-way.

  • And lastly, I completely surround myself in color. I was picking through my bobbins today and thought this collection of spools looked so cute. The colorful collection makes you want to try experimenting with all sorts of new combinations.