January 31, 2008

The Paper Pony is One!

On January 31, 2007 I made my first post on this blog!

With encouragement from my good friend Faith I embarked on this new avenue of expression, sadly leaving our little family blog in the dust. It's hard to manage more than one blog! Sorry, thecarlisles.info - we'll start paying attention to you again when we have this baby I promise.

The Paper Pony has been so much fun - so much that I think I'm addicted : ) I am pretty lame with words so I will not try to write some poetic expression of what this blog has been for me. It would just sound silly. I will say that the many, many creative and talented people I've connected with because of this blog and flickr are amazing - I went for some time without using my creative side much and this has brought me back to doing what I really love most.

Thank you to all who read my blog and who have your own blogs through which I am inspired and entertained daily. I can't go a day without opening up Google Reader like, 20 times a day to see what you are all up to : )

January 30, 2008

DIY Draft Blocker

Now that a baby is going to be living here in just a few weeks I am starting to realize how cold our house is. This is mostly because we have the original windows from 1951 in our bedrooms and they are pretty much worthless at keeping cold air out. You can actually hear & feel a steady stream of air blowing in. And our one wall heater doesn't do much except heat the 10 feet surrounding it, only to have that little bit of heat escape right out of our inefficient, energy-wasting windows.

I made these simple draft blockers for B's room and am going to make them for ours as well. They already seem to be helping and they're an inexpensive solution until we can replace the old windows with new ones.

To make them I measured the length of our window casing, then divided that equally into 9 (because I wanted 9 different panels, but you can use as many or as few as you like). I then added an inch for seam allowance in the width and cut each panel to be 6" long (also allowing an inch for seam allowance). I sewed all the panels together by the 6" sides, folded it over and sewed around the raw edges, leaving one short end open. Then I filled it with rice and finished off the last raw edge by hand.

I think I also saw something like this in Lotta Jansdotter's book, but they're pretty simple so you really don't need a pattern. It's also a good way to use up your scraps.

Anyway, this is probably one of the oldest tricks for keeping warm air in and cold air out and I only wish I had thought of it earlier. Hopefully this will help keep our little one warm and cozy during these winter months. And maybe I won't have to wear my bathrobe and Uggs around the house all day like I have been.

January 28, 2008

Sunday At Home

I rearranged our living room the other day. Yes I, the 38 weeks pregnant woman, pushed chairs around all by myself. I know I'm not supposed to, but I couldn't not do it. We have these cool little things that go under the legs so you can push furniture on wood floors and not scratch them up. Too easy to wait the 4 hours for Forest to get home from work : )

I really like this arrangement so much. I've told Forest that like 10 times. These chairs are super comfy and didn't get enough use in the dining room, as much as I liked that little corner. It's also nice to have extra seating in the living room. And the Saarinen table I bought on Ebay is perfect between the yellow chairs.

Our house is coming along nicely. I'd like to get a new couch, but for now I'm just going to make new pillows and do with that.

I love the brightness of these flowers against the white background. That little vase is a Jonathan Adler that my sweet friend Christa gifted me after I said how much I liked it. I will find a special place for it in the house.

More photos on flickr. Hope your Monday is coming along nicely : )

January 27, 2008

38 Weeks

January 26, 2008


For any of you in the area See Jane Work's flagship store is having a sidewalk sale!!

2993 E Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
(only 45 minutes north of L.A.)

We have company in town so I think I'm gonna miss out, but just wanted to let all of you know. They are having a sale online as well if you live too far away to make the drive. Happy shopping!

January 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Forest

My boy turns 30 today - I like this photo of him in these awesome boots.

Happy birthday babe! I love you xoxo

January 23, 2008

Care Package from Momma

Reason # 348 why my mom is the best ever.
She sends me boxes of fabric left over from her sewing jobs. I mentioned that I wanted to make some of these blocks out of a Martha Stewart Baby magazine:

and she said, "oh I have some foam you can use for those and I'll send you some fabric too". What I got was this cardboard box weighing 15lbs, FULL of beautiful fabric scraps and pre-cut blocks for my little project. I am overwhelmed by how much good stuff is in here.

All this took up half of our huge dining table. Guess I will need to re-organize my fabric stash soon - not that I'm complaining.

She also sent me a beautiful little quilt and some of the softest baby jammies I've ever felt. Photos to come soon. Thanks mom!

January 22, 2008

Corinna Corinna

I've been looking for a good black handbag that I can fit all my junk in, but that is also easy to carry around all day (meaning it has a shoulder strap). If I was made of money I'd probably buy this one:

It's the Chain hobo bag by Gucci and it's beautiful. It also costs twice what I paid for my first car and since we don't have a money tree growing in our backyard it will probably never live in my closet.

At one time I had big dreams for this bag. My friend Amy went on Identity last Spring and I, along with her husband and our friend Mark, were there to appear on the show as her support team and help her win the cash - 100 grand to be exact. I told her all I wanted for spending two days in a 12 x 12 secluded dressing room was this bag (and a nice vacation to some exotic island), but that didn't quite pan out...I don't think that game show is coming back by the way, and for good reason - she was robbed, I tell you. Robbed!

Anyway, I spotted a version of this Anna Corinna bag in an issue of Real Simple while at the hair salon today and discovered that Blue Bee in Santa Barbara sells it in black. It's a nice leather bag, the same size as the Gooch and about 1/4 the price. You can fill it full and carry it by the hand straps, or fold it over and use the shoulder strap.

I could save up for this one and it wouldn't take me two years. Plus, for a bag I am going to use on a daily basis and have for a long time I think it's worth the investment. A handbag is one wardrobe piece where Quality, not Quantity applies for me. I'd rather have two nice handbags than 10 adding up to the same cost.

OR, maybe this could be my push present. I'm not really serious about that, but have you heard of this? Have you or any of your friends received a gift for carrying and delivering a child? This was complete news to me, but apparently it has become quite popular. Tell me your stories - I'm so curious!

New Fabrics from Amy Butler

Nan over at Amy Butler Design sent me a preview of Amy's new fabrics and since I've been loving Amy's designs so much lately I thought I'd post them here for all of you.

In Amy's words: My collection is inspired by the vintage modern spirit of my lifestyle book, Midwest Modern, which just released this fall. With luscious palettes called Ohio Sky and Pink and Orange Dahlias, the colors for this group come from beautiful summer days in my Ohio garden. The mix of organic prints are perfect for fashion, quilting and home dec projects, everything you need to create your own Midwest Modern style!

See the entire collection at amybutlerdesign.com!

January 18, 2008

2008 :: Goals

On a drive home from LA last weekend Forest and I were talking about our goals for 2008. Not necessarily "resolutions" - I am never very good at making and keeping those - but rather long-term goals for the year.

Since we're having a baby this year we, especially me, know to set the bar low. I have no idea how being a mom and running a business is going to go and want to be realistic. So, with little fanfare here is my very small list of goals for 2008:

1. Grow my business by 50%. This might seem like a lot, but it's a really small business and this should be totally doable.

2. Open an Etsy shop. I want to keep it pretty focused - selling my paper on canvas collages and paper products printed with my Gocco. So many people do it and...I wanna play too!

3. Start a compost pile. Just because every time I cook and throw away scraps of vegetables I feel horribly guilty. We could reduce our waste by so much if we composted and maybe this would finally get me to learn something about gardening and stop my plant killing spree.

So now I've written them down and made them official. Scary. And now you know about them . Feel free to harass me if August comes around and I have still not announced the opening of my Etsy shop. I will thank you later : )


I think Maisy is starting to appreciate the hard wood floors. She's figured out they get a lot warmer in the sun than the tiles did. She now follows the warmth around like this throughout the house. The girl loves to sun bathe.

I'm still feeling lousy, but one can only lie on the couch for so long - even if it is in the most comfy, cozy robe ever. My brother gave me this robe for Christmas and being sick has given me an excuse to live in it these last three days. And then when the baby comes I'll have another reason to wear it for weeks! Yes.

Happy Friday to you all. Looking forward to feeling better by tomorrow and getting back to cleaning, sewing, decorating and feathering the nest.

January 16, 2008

Sick day

Despite my belief that when you get pregnant you also get a force field around you for 9 months that protects you from all disease, I managed to wake up this morning with a sore throat and a stuffy nose.

I had planned a different post today, but apparently I need to chill out for a bit. So I'll be unplugging for the rest of the day and lying on the couch, gargling salt water and drinking plenty of tea with lemon and honey.

Hope to be back tomorrow : )

January 11, 2008

Clutter Control

The other day I was hit with one of my first bouts of "having-a-baby-must-clean-everything" - this was an overwhelming urge to clean that I have never experienced before. I can usually think of something else I'd rather do than clean the house, but not this time. I took it out on the office first. My desk was so horribly cluttered - seriously, it was embarrassing. So much junk EVERYWHERE.

I did what I could, but discovered that I have a lot of little wirey things and such that really don't have a place - ipod cables, flash card readers, memory cards, etc...so I consulted my favorite book of the moment to see what I could do about it.

The result is this desktop organizer:

I modified Amy's size so it would fit underneath my monitor stand. The modification was pretty easy with some graph paper and a calculator. Email me if you want more info on that.

Overall it was a project, but not extremely time consuming and not completely un-doable for a novice like me. Of course the lining did not sit neatly inside and was too big. I guess a perfect lining takes practice because I have so far been unsuccessful at having everything match up just perfectly.

I have two more in the works - letter sized trays that will serve as "inboxes" for Forest and me. Four weeks left to get life in order before it changes for-ever...hows that for pressure.

January 9, 2008

Projects, Projects

I have been sewing a lot since Christmas because of my NEW sewing machine. My old one was like the Model T Ford of sewing machines (ok, not really), but I was always having issues with it. Forest obviously noticed my frequent freak-out moments mid-sewing and got tired of hearing me moan about my difficulties.

I'm sure my mom will appreciate the decrease in phone calls to her asking "how do I thread this machine again?" or " the bobbin is jammed, what do I do?" My mom gave me this machine years ago and I have been so grateful to have it, but as a beginner this new machine is much more suited to my abilities.

I made this apron:

And am working on these place mats:

Both are from Amy Butler's In Stitches. I really love that book - my goal is to make everything in it.

I've also been playing around with the special stitches on my machine. My favorite part is that I can unplug the foot peddle and all I have to do is push a button and it sews magically on it's own. So Fancy.

January 8, 2008

Wood Floors Sneak Peek

They look amazing and have changed the whole look of our house. All of the sudden the couch I couldn't stand isn't so bad. It's amazing how new floors affect all your other furniture. Here's a little sneak peek:

They are already really dirty because of all the rain we've had...so once I clean them I'll show you more : )

35 Weeks

January 7, 2008

Favorite Blankies

On our new favorite chair. We had a shower with Forest's family over the weekend, and what can I say except they know me well. I mentioned to Forest that I'd love to have an Eames rocker for the baby's room and so the whole family went in on one for us. Forest's sister's father-in-law is in the furniture business and is a big Eames fan himself, so he used his connections to make this chair possible. I feel so blessed to have such a caring family. Thanks David and everyone!

Also, thanks to Forest's family our baby will have no shortage of favorite snuggly blankies. We went from very few to this giant stack - a few of them handmade by various talented women in the family. I can't wait to cuddle B in any of these.

Speaking of handmade, we have been given some beautiful handmade gifts and I'll be doing a post showing all of those off. I am consistently blown away by the talent all around me. It's just amazing.

January 3, 2008

Creeping into 2008

After a nice long break from work and blogging I am finally ready to accept that it is 2008. This is what I did a lot of during the break - cuddle with my puppy on the couch. She doesn't like the hardwood floors, so the little princess has found her way onto the couch to snuggle..and in my weakness I don't stop her.

I know 2008 is going to be a landmark year - first baby, second year of having my own business, Forest turning 30...Lots of good things happening and lots to look forward to. It's hard to believe that all starts in a few weeks. We are just 5 weeks away from our due date!

I have many things to blog and am working on some fun things for this month...baby room decorating ideas, new cards printed on my Gocco, and some fun sewing projects with my NEW sewing machine (thank you Forest!). I wish you all a wonderful start to 2008 !