Friday, January 26, 2007


Here they are - the bra purses! They are so much fun to make!!!

  • Ooh la la…Bra Purses
    Design and Instructions by Joan Fee

    Materials needed
    ~ Tulip® Cool Color Spray™
    ~ Aleene’s® Fabric Fusion™ Permanent Dry Cleanable Fabric Adhesive™
    ~ Bra, underwire
    ~ Embellishments: trims, tassels, pom poms, yarns, ribbons, etc.
    ~ Clothespins

1. Cut bra apart at center. Cut strap on back sections. Cut sides around cups.

2. Cover work surface with plastic. Spray both sides of cups with Cool Color Spray. Let dry.

3. Apply glue to both wire sections of bra. Press trim into glue on one side. Press wire sections together. Hold with clothespins until dry.

4. Glue desired embellishments in place on bra.

5. Overlap straps and glue. Hold in place until dry with clothespins. Glue trim to strap.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

CHA is coming fast...

It's What You Want...It's What You Love...that's the theme in our trade show booth. We're loading up new product, signs and all kinds of stuff to show off.

CHA is the Craft & Hobby Associations convention and trade show. It's the craft and hobby world's fair! This is where thousands of craft and hobby industry professionals come together under one roof in a massive burst of creativity, education, inspiration and commerce. Attendees from over 40 countries will soak it all in: the latest techniques, the newest products, the biggest names, and the best sellers.

I'm busy doing last minute things - spraying Tulip Cool Color Spray on a shirt I bought yesterday and still working on bra purses!

I'll have awesome details late next week, until then, happy crafting!

Golden Celebrations

What a lovely way to spend an afternoon...Frances' parents celebrated their 50th anniversary last weekend and it was fun to hear the mariachi band and to watch a photo presentation and see what Frances and her family looked like over the years.

After the party, Gloria (my co-worker/cubemate) and I went out on the town and then wound up at my place until 12:30 a.m. Long day, but ohhhhh, so fun!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

We're getting ready for the huge Craft and Hobby Association trade show!!!

Things are hopping at work - we're developing new products (you won't see them in your stores for probably a year!), we're making signs, we're getting the booth's a whole lotta work and the adrenalin is in high gear. We are pushing to get everything done to do what we call a booth "walk-thru" in the morning - it's where everything possible is in place and the Duncan employees get to "walk-thru" and see what's new and how great the booth looks!

This trade show is especially fun since Pattie Donham and I, along with 4 other celebrity designers, will be featured in the booth - this morning, I walked into work and saw two of ME more than life size - quite a shock at 7 a.m.! They are going in the booth with thought bubbles talking about our favorite products. Our mugs are on make-it and take-it signs, in company literature - seems like we're EVERYWHERE! Pattie and I have already planned our Hugfest and Chatfest at the show - whenever we get together there's sure to be lots of laughs and silliness!!!

I'm very excited to be such an integral part of the booth and am anxiously waiting for my bras to arrive so I can make my samples for the make-it and take-it bra purses.

The show is only a week away, so I'm charging my camera batteries, getting my notepad ready to take notes so that I can get back to you with all the latest trends and's going to be something else!

Other fun things are happening...I received a phone call from the guy who's organizing the fine art exhibit I'm in next month - things are shaping up...he was calling to ask me the price of my art work...I just have to laugh...again, life is going in directions I never knew possible. Now, to have a mat made - that's my goal for tomorrow after work...

This weekend is holding some very interesting things - yes, another party (I don't think I've been to this many parties in my entire life!). My friend Gloria and I are going to our friend Frances' parents 50th wedding anniversary - I hear a mariachi band is planned and the same lady who made Frances and Rudy's wonky wedding cakes are making the cake for the party.

I hope to have a quiet Sunday to catch up and get things together for the trade show. I may even be able to sneak a night in a Disneyland while I'm there...

Take care my friends,

Monday, January 15, 2007

My dad's 80th birthday party

What does a man want for his 80th birthday? Well, I would never have guessed that my 'reserved' father would want a Marilyn impersonator to come sing to him. Several months ago he saw her featured in a newspaper article and told my mom that's what he wanted for his 80th birthday party.

It was an absolute hoot for everyone there! We had little tykes (my youngest nephew is going to be 5 next month) and we had friend's of my dad's. There were lots of smiles and laughs during Marilyn's half hour performance.

I got to see cousins and aunts I hadn't seen in a while and friends of my parents I hadn't seen in more than 25 years. I ate more than my share of cake, so it's back to carrots for me this week.

We are buzzing around work getting ready for the big trade show at the end of the month. The bras for my bra purse make it and take it should be in tomorrow, so I'll be crafting away on those these week.

I chatted over the weekend with my old cubicle mate a couple of times. It's so fun to catch up, to have someone listen to the details of your life and just to kick back. She's been a very influential person in my life - I'm just very sad that she lives so far away.

I can't wait to find some time to craft really soon!


Friday, January 12, 2007

A week filled with huge waves of emotion...

Hello, my friends,

This has been one of those weeks with extreme highs and extreme lows.

We're celebrating my dad's 80th birthday tomorrow and here he was at Christmas riding my nephew's new quad. My dad has always been the adventurous person - as kids we watched him waterski, hang glide (the hang glider is still in the building out back of their house), race across the dunes at Pismo Beach with our dune buggy, pilot his own plane - I'm sure there's lots more, but my brain is a bit foggy from this week's events. We are having a few close friends and family for a little party tomorrow. The shocker for me (and a lot of my other family members) is that my dad requested a Marilyn Monroe impersonator. My dad is a very reserved person and this is just so out of character for him. I'm charging my camera batteries right now to get some good photos.

The high point of my week was having Cheryl Ball bring me her copy of Craft and Needlework Age (a craft trade magazine) and show me the ad where I'm featured as one of the six Celebrity Designers! Our big trade show is coming up January 28-31 and I can't wait! I'm finishing up plans to get together with my old Aleene's friends Lauren Johnston and Pattie Donham. I saw Lauren just last month, but I haven't seen Pattie since our trip to Hawaii in October of 2005. I can't wait for the huge hugs and all the laughs we'll have!!!!

Another fun part of my week was making final plans for my make-it and take-it at the show - the attendees will get to make Bra Purses! I'm so excited!!! The bras will be in next week, so I'll be busy making the purses and will share them with you.

I had a challenge this week with my photo for the winery gallery exhibit next month. I paid $15 for the enlargement and then went to a local store for a quote for matting and framing. To my shock the estimate was $423!!! Having never had "artwork" in a show before I don't know what is expected. Once the shock wore off, I starting looking at options and got quite freaked out that I didn't know what to do. The thought occurred to me that since my photo was of some old rusty barbed wire, that perhaps I should consider an antique frame. The first antique store I went into had the perfect frame - it was actually a framed mirror. I'll remove the mirror and have a mat made to fit and I'm done.

I talked with a new friend about crafting and being creative. We talked about painting and how he wanted to try, but was fearful. After spending my last vacation painting without rules, I suggested he try getting some paint, paper and brushes and just start by picking a brush and then picking a color that called to him. I think I'll buy him some supplies and surprise him. I have a big bisque ceramic teacup that my friend Frances gave me - I have been contemplating painting it in this style with bright colors and outlining it in black.

It was a very sad day at work today. My co-worker and friend found out that she has a brain tumor. She's the mother of 3 wonderful children all under the age of 5 with the youngest under 4 months old. I have never been so close to someone who has had something like this. I was so impressed with everyone in our building - their comfort, their concern - the tears did not stop all day and now they are flowing just as hard as they did this morning when she told us. I have always admired my friend because of her awesome work and now I respect her even more as she faces the uncertainty.

I have to admit that I had a melt down yesterday that made me question a lot of things. I offered my boss a patio heater I had at my storage unit. When I got to the unit, I looked around at the 10 x 20 foot space - it made me sit down, right there amongst my life's possessions and question what I was doing with my life. This is something that won't be solved today, but gives me reason to pause and really search deep inside. Once again, I am amazed at the people who are in my life and how giving and caring they are. Frances and I had a very long talk today - she gives me great advice and comfort, but always throws the saying back at me that I said to her about a year and a half ago - If not now, when? It was a changing point in her life and this saying had a lot to do with it - As a wedding present, I gave Frances and Rudy an engraved rock that said those words. Frances told me today that she looks at the rock every day as she leaves for work. I am so fortune to have such good friends.

So, I have once again learned many life lessons this week - it has been hard, but I know deep down in my heart that I am becoming the person I am supposed to be because of these events. It will make me stronger...

Pictures of Marilyn up soon!!!


Saturday, January 06, 2007

FINALLY, it's done!

We all have them - projects that just don't seem to get done - that's the case of this garden sphere I worked on for over a year for my mom. I do believe I started it before last Christmas, but now I'm DONE!

What makes this unique is that everyone in my family decorated a piece of ceramic. From my then 3 year old nephew to the dog and cat. I even sent pieces to South Carolina for my nephew and wife to personalize. I got back fun pieces including one with lips (guess who did that one?), a heart made from Steven and Jenny's thumbs, a tree - it's a cool gift from us all - and I'M DONE!!!

Now to figure out what my next project is...

Friday, January 05, 2007

When it comes time to select colors for your next project whether it is a quilt or a painting or a new color for a room - look around you for inspiration - you might find it on a carousel horse, a blade of grass, a child's hair color... Notice what color calls to you.
I once got onto a real cobalt blue kick after going out on a snorkeling boat off Maui. I bought vases, I bought fabric, I bought anything I could find that was cobalt blue.
I heard a conversation at Christmas where a woman was buying something just because her sister loved the color - as I watched her, she was picking up anything and everything that was that color.
If you're selecting several colors like for a quilt, pick one fabric that you like with lots of colors and then match the colors within the fabric. You'll know they go together well.
Happy crafting,

SAN DIEGO, a party (yes, another one!) and lots of ahhhhh time...

My trip to San Diego was one of those "just do it" things. I saw a workshop on-line, saw it was on a long weekend and decided to go for it...little did I know it would be a life changing experience.

I'd been a Navy wife in San Diego almost 30 years ago, but had only been back maybe twice since then. I had no other plans for the weekend except for my 7 hour workshop on Saturday then Sunday and Monday were MINE to re-explore a city I used to call home!

As the plane took off, I tried to set aside something that had happened that day and witness the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen. I had a strange shift in my thought process in that I looked at the situation asking myself - what is the life lesson I'm supposed to learn from this???...

When I got on my connector plane in LA, a man was sitting in my seat and the woman in the seat across the aisle said "I've known him for 41 years, I'll sit next to him". The woman and I chatted until the plane took off - she's an author and her husband was a Navy fighter pilot. Once the plane took off we couldn't talk because of the noise.

As we came in for a landing, the many twinkling lights of San Diego reminded me of a pirate's treasure chest laid out in front of my eyes -overflowing with beautiful shiny trinkets waiting to be scooped up and enjoyed!

When we were about to get off the plane, Judy asked if I liked music and when I said "yes", she said they were having a pianist in their home on New Years Eve and that if I didn't get a better offer I was welcome. I didn't commit either way.

No trip to San Diego would be complete without time in Balboa Park. I was delighted to hear the organist practice the 1920's organ getting ready for the New Year's concert that afternoon - there's nothing like a organ playing auld lang syn to bring a tear to the eyes.

The dragon and people are made with thousands of tiny mosaic and glass pieces. They were awesome!
The arborium has always been one of my favorite places at Balboa Park.

Then on to Mission Bay where I saw the most incredible sight! These are kites probably 20 feet long! The old wooden rollercoaster was a hoot along with other midway rides.

I can't forget the party - I never hesitated for a second to go, even though I'd only chatted with Judy for a brief few moments - I met the most incredible people - they were from a choral group Judy had started a couple years back. We sang, ate, played a phrase game...we watched a fifteen minute fireworks display over the bay from their home. Thank you Judy for an awesome evening!

I spent my last day just driving around San Diego, turning left when I wanted to go left and right when it felt right to go right - I just enjoyed the sights and friendliness of San Diego...I won't wait as long to return this time...

SAN DIEGO, a party (yes, another one!) and enjoyin' life...