Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Side of the Road Rocker today, and my table later last night...

The rocker is nice:-), but I might just paint it and keep it on my porch. It went into my trunk tonight, and was half hanging out...and I was driving very c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y. :-)...so it might not be the easiest thing to get to and from a show.

here's one of the mirrors, in process, and that little funky stool from ReStore.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Where the magic happens...

So I'm in full swing getting ready for Friday at Building Character and painting some fun things...including this door with flowers made from vintage wrapping paper, an old children's book ("5A and 7B" by Eleanor Schick) , and the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal and New Era from Christmas Day 2008. (this is one of the doors pictured in my trunk from a last week post).

I also started a Lancaster mirror tonight-more on that later...but it's Red!

I usually work upstairs at my kitchen table, as I can watch my son while I paint, and I don't really like painting in my workshop, which is in my basement. The downside is that at any given moment a visitor could pop by and see this mess:-)

I clean up right away when I'm done working, and everything is all tidy again for the morning.

I actually had a dream last night that I was in Ireland at someone's house, staying there for a while, and I couldn't paint anywhere. I really wanted to turn their breakfast nook into my painting area, but that wasn't going over well and was causing tension, so I didn't know what to do or where to go. Also, I kept forgetting to help with the cooking. They had three kitchens and I just kept wondering, "can I paint here? can I paint there?" and after two days everyone was annoyed, because I hadn't cooked anything for anyone including me. So I went downtown and just walked around!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pair of Vintage Embroidered Pictures

for your little cottage:-)
from my new shop: www.maggiefrenchhome.etsy.com

Chair for Dad

Here's a pic of Max sitting on the "Izaak Walton" chair that I painted for my Dad for Christmas.
My Dad is President of the Lancaster Red Rose chapter.

Izaak Walton was one of the earliest conservation groups in the US. They defend "soil, air, woods, water and wildlife." It was fun to paint the chair- the top of the chair says, "Defenders" on both front and back.

My Dad and his group work with a lot of kids and teach them how to fish. He really enjoys it. As for the chair, he thought it was cool, and was happy I didn't get him another polar fleece shirt.

Max is wearing his new "Life Is Good" hat. It's really really soft inside. His cute turtle shirt is by Creekside Studio www.easysite.com/creeksidestudio...my friend Mary makes them.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

We just had an earthquake!

I'm holding my son in bed as he's falling asleep, and the ground just starts shaking and shaking! My eyes grew big, and I tightened my hold on my son thinking, "what the ????????"
it was creepy! I don't know how people in California deal with those...my heart started beating fast and everything. It felt like it last about 15 LONG seconds. kind of like 8 tractor trailers were rumbling down our street and over our lawn.
good little sturdy brick and stone house...didn't move a bit.:-)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas Eve

Here's a sweet card that I got at Mommalicious on North Queen, and I framed it with an old frame.
speaking of cards, I have not sent any yet this year. all in due time:-) ...Have a sweet Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's Christmastime...

of all places, "Field of Screams" www.fieldofscreams.com was giving away Christmas trees today from 12-8! So down came our tiny table top tree and in came this beautiful eight foot tree, the nicest tree we've ever had. Thank you so much! Max says, "It's Beautiful! and BIG!" I got it IN the car...but then again, I'm used to jamming furniture and doors into my Toyota.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year...family, friends, my sweet son and husband, my house...

I am so grateful to the friends I made this year. Maggie M., Cinda, Ann, Vic and Rachel-Marie...That couldn't have happened at a more needed time. I am happy for feeling more true to myself as an artist, something I covered up working ten years as an admin. I am grateful for living in Lancaster, which is the perfect city for me right now at this time.

Here I am today visiting Rachel-Marie www.knittydirtygirl.etsy.com at the Lancaster Yarn Shop on Prince Street www.lancasteryarnshop.com. Her and I say random things and crack each other up. I would have imagined us to be funny friends together if we had known each other as kids. And here I am sporting a vintage snowball hat I got over the weekend. we look a little dorky here, but it's such a cute pic I love it. It's got that little girl spirit:-)

what a beautiful store....simplistic... I am trying not to pant over the black chair...and the red Persian rug in the background, etc etc.

and look at this scarf RM made...where did this girl from? hipster heaven?

and here's their window...just beautiful...

now off to make cookies from Cottage Living Magazine..."Dodgie's Holiday Butter Crips" from 12/2007. We need cookies for tomorrow, I have trouble keeping them around, if you catch my drift.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Trip to ReStore

Today Max and I went to ReStore, to pick up some supplies to last us through the holidays and beyond. Here is a pic of everything we bought today in the trunk of my car.

I will be at Building Character January 2, First Friday, off of Queen Street, and I need to make some bigger pieces. I want to make a few large mixed media pieces, like big landscapes with city buildings, all really bright using fabrics and paint. I also want to make small Lancaster city bird/Lancaster city pieces with street names.

So here we are shopping....

This is my favorite aisle, the cabinet door aisle. It has taken me many many trials and errors as I've learned what types of doors to choose. I cannot paint on laminate, and doors that are too scratched don't do well either. Additionally, I won't by a door if there are visible hinge cut outs, but I will buy doors with cabinet pull holes.

It is a little daunting coming here with my 3 year old...but it's well worth it for cool supplies. I only buy doors that inspire me somehow. I am never quite sure what it will cost me. Additionally, I have to load it all in my car, and get it all out of my car when I get home. I store my doors in the basement so it's back and forth to the basement, down a flight of stairs, etc. And sometimes they need cleaned too.

I probably go here about 6-8 times a year. I love using salvaged materials. This store benefits Habitat for Humanity, so someone out there will get a better place to live, and I get cool art supplies. I always feel proud when I leave because this is the kind of thing my Godfather Peter Simchock would do, as well as my Dad.

If you look in my trunk:-) you will see a neat little stool, which I'll sit on at my stand (after painting it of course), a neat corner shelf thing, that I'll turn sideways and use to store my photos for sale at my table, etc. Neat things today, including these small square doors AND two long doors that have mirrors in them. Look for them painted with Lancaster street names at Building Character.

Back Door at Christmas

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Set of Ten Rose Serving Trays

available in my new "Home" store: www.maggiefrenchhome.etsy.com

Friday, December 19, 2008

Maggie French Home opens on Etsy today!

Find cool stuff for your home in my new Etsy shop!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Indie Christmas party...warmed my heart

at my house! so much fun and cool gifts too! look at my new art!!!!!
(above: Maggie, Vic (www.sillyboodilly.etsy.com) and Rachel-Marie)

Art: Skeleton print by Maggie Mowery www.happysilence.etsy.com.

and special personal art for me by Cinda, La Sillita, and an "M" appropriate for my family with all "M" names:-) www.cinda.etsy.com

For more pics of the part-tae, check out Rachel-Marie's blog:
http://knittydirtygirl.livejournal.com/ :-)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Birdie plaque

this was a commission I made this week.
I started painting one door that was laminate. I should know better by now, it wouldn't take the paint. I pulled this door out of my cabinet door stash, it's really an old school style- it took the paint and the message great. I want to make more of these.

Monday, December 8, 2008

An exciting Monday!

Very tired! from a weekend at City Arts Market.

Got up this morning to meet Todd Spitler, the photographer (www.toddspitler.com) check him out!) at the Mommalicious & Smilin' Gal Store at. 310 North Queen Street, Lancaster, PA 17603 to take pictures of my art to submit for consideration for the upcoming book by Quarry Books: 1000 Ideas for Creative ReUse.
what a fantastic setting let me say...Alicia Thank YOU!!!! the store is so beautiful. The furniture and other retro pieces with their rosy and aqua tones, give off such a glow. We had fun positioning my pieces against furniture, etc. I was so proud to see my work in that setting, as I know the photos will turn out so cool, with that wonderful setting, one of the best vintage stores in the USA!
(this door shot didn't look as cool as we thought, but you should SEE that door against an art deco rose sofa and cool items- OH MY!)

Thank you so much to Todd for doing this for me. He's very nice to work with and I've seen him in action at weddings and he is very professional and does a beautiful job.

Then to my moms to pick up my son and make gingerbread cookies!!!!

Then back home to Lancaster to find the 1000 Handmade Greeting and Clever Correspondence book I'm in on the doorstep!
and here are my two cards. the blue one has someone elses name under it :-(((((( but it will be corrected in the next printings. The color looks so nice on that one too!

This book is cool because it has work in it from two of my local friends Maggie Mowery (www.happysilence.etsy.com) and Alicia Holland from Ten Thousand Greetings.

A very very cold Monday, but a great day I'll remember!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

City Arts Market this weekend...

I love Lancaster and everyone in it:-) I am grateful to be an artist here, and to everyone who stopped by my booth and checked out the goods.
see you tomorrow, Sunday 10-4! Eastern Market, corner of King and Shippen:-)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cards made from pics of my chairs

how come I didn't think of this before?

City Bird is coming to town....

City Arts Market this Saturday and Sunday 10-4, Eastern Market, King and Shippen...

Monday, December 1, 2008

El Rodeo

Here's a little pic of one of my Mexican flower doors gracing the little casa at El Rodeo. the food is soooo good there.
I've had the busiest weekend ever, with my brother in town from Boston. we had a great Thanksgiving, and on Friday we took him to the Dogstar Bookshop, to Rachel's Creperie, to Mommalicious,- where he met Deb Serdy and the gang, to the Lancaster Yarn Shop, etc etc.
this pic is from Saturday night, after we all went to Dutch Wonderland to see the lights. busy busy:-) and just 5 days away from City Arts Market at Eastern Market. I am up late about to start a new chair that needs to be finished by Saturday:-)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What to wish for...what to wish for...

from a turn of the century Christmas book- I had just 6 pages from it, and I made a set of these.

so what do I wish for? mostly I just want my son to be delighted at Christmas, and I would like good food to eat that day, really tasty things:-)

and to those that really know me, you probably already know what I would like:-)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bell's Palsy and Labor

So this is my contribution to the internet regarding Bell's Palsy and labor. When I got Bell's Palsy after having my son, there was NOTHING online about it. So here it is...my public service message:-)

I had a healthy pregnancy with my son. I watched a million hours of Discovery Health birthing shows during the pregnancy, but there was nothing about Bell's Palsy in the shows I watched and I never would have believed this would happen to me.

I had an unusually long labor. 40+ hours. This was due to my small pelvis (and an exceptionally long labor progression time is evident of that). During this long amount of time I was happily given an epidural that was fully loaded:-) and one or two additional doses. I was also given pottosin to help speed things along. During this time I became very swollen in my face, legs, etc etc. I didn't realize it at the time but my mom told me later. (Also, I realized it a day after my surgery when I couldn't feel my legs when I touched them, although I could walk and stand, etc.)

After two hours of pushing, I was given a c-section. I spent two hours in recovery, then I was able to hold my son. I had a normal few days at the hospital, and went home just fine.

Five days after the birth I was eating a sandwich at home (I think I'd been home 24 hours) and I thought I was having a stroke. I couldn't eat right. I called my mom who is an RN and asked if a side effect of my meds would give me a stroke. She told me to call the dr. and they told me to go to ER.

I RAN (post c-section!!! and holding my lower stomach:-)) into the ER while my husband parked the car with my son. I thought I was truly having a stroke and that the drs just HAD to stop this because I had a newborn to take care of!

I was told I had Bell's Palsy and that they would give me a steroid and an antibiotic to lessen the severity. They said that I should stop breastfeeding due to the steroid. I opted to NOT take the steroid, just the antibiotic, so that I could continue to breastfeed. I took my chances, but there was nothing to prove that the steroid would truly help anyway.

It was hard to care for a newborn with BP. I couldn't eat properly or close both my eyes- and I couldn't close both my eyes to sleep. It was heart breaking to not be able to go out comfortably as I would be stared at, and I didn't want friends to really see me that way- also I had trouble speaking, drinking, etc etc. We have very few photos of me and the baby during that time, and the photos are really really bad of me.

My BP lasted two weeks. Thank God. However, I do have the "residual" effects everyone talks about. Most noticably is that I have loss of muscle mass around my affected cheek bone. It makes my face look a little thinner on that side- which I kind of like:-) although compared to the other it's asymetrical, which isn't cool. Also, I have more lines on that side of my face, a deeper smile line, and deeper dimples. I notice that I can't smile and talk for a long time without my face just feeling really tired, so I stop smiling as much, and sometimes look at the person like they're boring me, when they are not!:-(.

Another thing, which I think is kind of cool is that I used to be more animated when I talked to people but now I have more of a tendancy to just look straight at them and not be as expressive. this is really cool when someone is being idiotic or something, because I don't laugh or roll my eyes or anything, I just look straight at them...and to me, inside that's funnier, and I feel like I have more control in that way.

It's been three years since I had this happen to me, and I just recently learned that BP can be caused from too much swelling in labor, as it affects the facial nerves!!!! so if you come down with this during pregnancy or labor, this could be why.

The last thing I'll mention is that I think everyone should do what they can to avoid having a stroke. If you have ever experienced Bell's Palsy you can relate to a Stroke patient, and it's really hard. so take good care of yourself, and the things that you can have some control of anyway:-)

Sweet Pea...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Little weekend pillows

These are little pillows I made to bring to CAM.
they are made from really heavy textured fabric, the insert is from remnants of my curtains ...I used pastel crayons to make the designs and ironed them to set the color, then I added interfacing so they are nice and adhered and feel sturdy. with neat vintage/or just neat buttons.
stuffed with real wool batting:-) from sheep in Brownstown, PA.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Whale Wars

I am watching Whale Wars on Animal Planet on HD about the Steve Irwin ship (the crew) sailing the Antarctic waters trying to stop the Japanese whalers. I think Paul Watson, Captain of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is startling crazy but so admirable because he's brave and outspoken.
After sitting for HOURS in a room watching people look so disinterested and ambivalent at this last show, it is fun and exciting to watch Paul Watson say, "If you joined this crew, you should be prepared to die for whales! Didn't we interview you?"
He's so passionate- I would hope that whatever my son believes in, that he is that unafraid as he grows older. I hope that he learns that he can share his opinions during his life openly and fearlessly with whatever stirs his passion. Sitting around saying nothing about things that upset you gets you nowhere.
In life I have felt that I was forced to censor my words, but I do have a voice and Paul Watson and his whale crusade might just make me less unafraid to use it!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

St. Anne's show

I spent the day at the St. Anne's show 10-7 Sat. and 9-1 Sunday.

Many would come within 5 or 6 feet of my booth and turn around and leave. It was very frustrating that they would not stop to look at my things, or come close enough!

I was treated with more courtesy by the patrons at the Punk Rock Flea Market at the Chamelon Club last spring. There, I got more open, receptive, honest and positive comments regarding my Our Lady's. Considering that St. Anne's is a Catholic based institution....I would have expected things to be different. Even the nuns barely commented on my Our Lady's. I was very dismayed.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Art on the Farm 2008

We checked out Art on the Farm tonight....oh my. how gorgeous it was.
it's open 12-8 today and tomorrow too....Here I am with My Aunt Debbie, and here's some beautiful art, including that of Will and Maggie Mowery. Just beautiful, this event will become one of my favorites to visit every year from here on out.

Friday, November 7, 2008


So here's the pic of my art in the window of the creperie.
what is funny to note is that the mosaic leaning against the easel is by Carrie Green, my old friend, and someone put our two pieces together.
Carrie and I worked together at RMS for several years. She was the admin my team, and when she changed roles, I asked to be the team admin, and so I moved to her desk etc.
so here we are now in the window tonight of Rachel's.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rachel's Cafe and Creperie...tonite!

Check out a piece of my art and many others tonite at this cool show in downtown Lancaster. Enjoy some company while eating a delicious crepe!

and if you are in Ithaca NY...:-) check out my "Our Lady"at the 5 Women on the Border show- opened last night.

Amy...thanks for your advice the last couple days.

Strawberry...your desserts look insane. Wish I could have been at the opening this evening, I hope it was rockin.

xo everyone.