happy halloween!

The day is finally here! Our kids have been looking forward to this Halloween almost as much as if it were Christmas. I have no idea why. We've been in countdown mode for about 2 months! We'll be trick-or-treating as a group, with the kids on our block, just as we've done for the past 3 or 4 years. I'm sure it'll be fun and we'll all be on a sugar high by the end of the evening. I hope that everyone has a safe and happy day!

EDIT - I just posted a new interview on Crafty Synergy!

my work is in the latest Craft!

Remember the Craft Tag contest and that I was one of the six winners? Well I was just reading the latest Craft that I got in the mail yesterday and there are my tags (red circle) on page 29. This is the first time my 'crafty' work is in print so this one is extra special. Yeah! :)

It may be that it's because I'm in this issue or because it's their paper crafting issue but this Craft is my favorite of all. There are some great projects to try out. Off to read some more!

a day with the scouts

There's nothing better than getting away from it all, even if it's just for one day, with family and friends. That's what we did yesterday with D's group of boy scouts. We went to a park that is a mere 25 min. from our house but we felt like we were hundred of miles away. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. It was a perfect day. The trip was actually supposed to be a weekend of camping but with the 40 degree night temperatures that we've been having I chickened out and we only went for the day.

Start of the day

A very "reassuring" sign we saw as we started a morning hike with a little over 20 kids and their families

It seemed unreal that this is all just a few minutes from our suburban home.

Pumpkin carving after lunch. Hubby caught me by surprise...

Getting ready for smores

We got home at about 9pm and we were really exhausted. It was a great day. Now, and totally out of the blue, I lay here in bed with a fever and aching all over. Feels like the flu... bleh.

recycle project no. 8 - magnets

I know I said I'm busy (I still am) but with all the paper flying around here I came up with this tiny project. It's really easy and it only takes a few minutes to make.

- 4 - 3/4" x 9" (2cm x 23cm) junk mail paper strips
- small magnet
- glue stick
- glue gun

I rolled each strip using a wooden skewer and glued the end with a glue stick. In order to cover the magnet the paper is a bit wider than the magnet.

I hot glued the rolls to the magnet. I made sure not to use too much glue so it wouldn't seep through the rolls (on the front view).

Another option using the recycled paper that I use for wrapping my packages. Here I just used three rolls because the paper is thicker, making each roll wider.

Gotta go! The kids get out of school a little earlier on Fridays so I have to make the most of my day. Have a great weekend everyone! :)

inspired by others

Yesterday I got a little chance to catch up on some blog reading and just peruse a little on the internet. I've been away for about 2 weeks. I feel like I've missed so much but at the same time I crave those times when I can just get away and enjoy my projects without outside influences.

Since I've had the junk mail art going through my mind I particularly enjoyed this post by Natalie at the Craft blog. That newspaper yarn looks great and if I had the time I'd so want to figure out how to make it myself. I also remembered that at Maker Faire several people said that my pieces reminded them of the work of Austin artist, Lance Letscher. I looked up his work and found these very interesting collages.

Tuesday night I also got the chance to go to the opening of My God Told Me to Kill Your God: Exhibition on War at Rice University. Several of my brother's pieces are being exhibited there (Felipe's site is here). He went all the way to Austin for the day on Saturday to see me/support me at the Maker Faire so it was my turn to return the favor plus I obviously always enjoy seeing his work. He's a former Marine (although he'd probably argue that 'once a Marine always a Marine') so the soldier /war theme is in much of his work. I love how most of his work can't be really classified as a painting or a sculpture. All of his pieces are literally a combination of both. We definitely have different styles but I really enjoy seeing how much work he puts into everything he does and the meaning that he has for it all. Here he is (on the far left) talking to a friend. Too bad I didn't get a better photo of him. The pieces on the wall are by him.

One of his pieces on exhibit - This looks like a big poster but it actually is made of business cards - glued one at a time.

You probably won't see much of me for the next week or so. I'm trying to finish a big project (I'll share soon!) that is almost done but just not quite there yet.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Maker Faire was a blast!

We're back! We got in late last night and we were exhausted but happy. It was a great weekend! I met a lot of wonderful people and put some faces to names and I had a great time in general. To be honest the hardest part was the fact that I didn't get to see all of the Maker Faire. I was happy showing my project to everyone that came by but at the same time I wanted to experience the Faire myself. I wanted to go play!

We got to Austin Friday night so that we could get an early start the next day. My set up was fairly simple so that part was easy. I think I got more traffic on Saturday than I did on Sunday but it was constant on both days. I didn't have any expectations as far as how people were going to react to my junk mail project but I didn't expect to get so many laughs and "how clever!" comments. The comments that I heard over and over where: "Finally! Something to do with all that junk!", "You probably never run out of materials." and "So junk mail can be useful!". Even when people just walked by without stopping by my booth, I loved watching their faces when they read my Maker Faire sign that described my project - invariably they all smiled and even the most serious of men would at least crack a grin. It was great. I was very flattered by all the lovely things people said and I'm amazed at how nice everyone was. It was just a fun, very friendly atmosphere.

I can't even begin to calculate how many people I talked to. I met preschool teachers and middle school teachers both equally excited to share my projects with their students. I met moms and their kids, roommates (one specifically bringing his roommate on Sunday the day after meeting me himself), husbands and wives wanting to make my junk mail art to decorate their bare walls at home (one couple even insisted on taking pictures of me in my booth totally ignoring my protests - I prefer taking pictures than being in them!). The funny thing is that as many times as I explained how to make my project I never really got tired of doing it. I'm definitely a talker so that wasn't the problem. The biggest problem were my feet... ouch! I haven't had to stand for that many hours in a long time.

Many people assumed I was an art teacher and some wanted to know if I was selling any of my junk mail art. They were all surprised to hear that the answer to both questions was 'no'. I've never taught art (although I've considered it) and I've never sold any of my junk mail art pieces. It's fun to share the project and have others come up with their own versions. If any of you out there make your own, email me your photos - I would love to see them!

It goes without saying that it was also wonderful to meet all the "makers" at the Faire. I was also very excited to meet Jennifer Perkins and Tonia Davenport. I've been in touch with them via email and it was so nice to meet them in person. I also ran into Houston based Lisa of Fetosoap who I hadn't seen in a long time. It was very inspiring to be surrounded by so many creative people. Every single booth had something completely unique and different to offer. Whenever I got a chance to take a quick walk around I got to see some incredible work.

On Saturday I met the very sweet Natalie Zee Drieu from Craft (photo above). She completely made me feel at ease once I met her and I got ready for my demo presentation at the Craft booth. I think the fact that I had already explained my project so many times that morning helped me a lot. With the exception of the Madonna style microphone, a small stage and a larger audience in front of me - it was the same information I'd been sharing all along. I think I did ok for my first time. On Sunday, Natalie gave me an Editor's Choice blue ribbon award!

I'm so glad that my husband and the kids went with me. It wouldn't have been the same without them there. The kids had a wonderful time seeing so many things going on around them. They painted pumpkins, rode on some funky swing things, played with Tinker Toys, made "robots" out of junk from my neighbor's booth, decorated vinyl records, etc.

The only problem is that with so many people around, keeping the kids within sight and making them understand that they just couldn't just wander off was difficult at times. Our fun weekend experience came to a screeching halt on Sunday afternoon when my little C did wander away and we couldn't find her anywhere. We only had to look for her for about five to ten minutes (with the involvement of the police and the Maker Faire crew) but let me tell you it was the worst few minutes of our entire lives. When I was trying to describe my daughter to the police they could barely understand what I was saying because I had started to cry. One of the gals from the MakerFaire found her even though I was so out of it that I'd given them the wrong color of shirt and shorts she had on. To say that we were so very relieved when they found her is the understatement of the century. I wouldn't wish that horrible sensation of helplessness and anguish on anyone - ever. Thank God everything worked out just fine.

Whew! Longest post ever - If you've re
ad this far thank you for taking the time! I just want to add that if any of you that are reading this visited my booth over the weekend I enjoyed every minute of talking with all of you and thank you for all your kind comments. It was really a blast. Maybe we'll see each other again next year!

EDIT - If you're interested in any other of my recycling projects just click on the "recycling" tag under some of my projects and you'll find the rest.

Off to Maker Faire!

We are minutes away from leaving. We're on our way to Austin for the Maker Faire (check out the post on Craft about it here and here I'm on the Craft booth schedule). I'm running around like a mad woman getting everything ready! That's a big part of the disappearing act this week. I've never done a live presentation of any of my projects but I think I'll manage and I'm really looking forward to meeting a lot of interesting creative people. I'll come back with lots of photos. Wish me luck and have a great weekend everyone! :)

a little late but I think it still counts

As most of blogland knows Blog Action day was yesterday. I had planned on posting but I got sidetracked as is the case in recent weeks. I think ideas such as Blog Action and Design Can Change, for designers in particular, provide an amazing opportunity to help spread the word about how we can become more environmentally responsible in the way we conduct our daily lives.

Personally speaking the two very small ways in which I try to be responsible through A Little Hut is to come up with my recycling projects and making my cards/projects by using paper that is produced with 100% clean, renewable hydroelectric energy. The paper I use is from the Michigan based, French Paper mill. For packaging I use recycled paper.

I think some of the small things I'm doing at home are rubbing off on the kids because I see how they're keen on not wasting paper, shutting the water off while they're brushing their teeth, turning off the lights in rooms when they're not in use, etc. - without having to be reminding them all the time.

So what's up with me and what's up with the lack of postings? I've just been really busy with a few projects. Unfortunately nothing worth showing yet. I thought that having the kids at school would allow more time for everything (including blogging) but the days have just been flying by and I haven't felt as productive lately.

One thing I did get to see last week was Kristen Haseenfeld's Dans La Lune exhibit at Rice University Art Gallery and it was just AMAZING. Her creative use of paper is just incredible. Gorgeous, gorgeous work.

Thank you so much to those have purchased my wall art pieces. I'm almost completely sold out and I'm working on new pieces right now. Among them is another Little Red Riding Hood that was custom ordered.

lessons learned

How does that saying go - "measure twice, cut once"? Today I learned the hard way that it really is true. Here is a prototype of a little pear that I was experimenting with. After perfecting it I was planning on using it for a shadow box piece and now it doesn't fit! Grrr... Back to the drawing board.

Inspired by our costume shopping for the kids today (no time to make them this year), here is another little project I worked on today. It was really easy to make but now I have to figure out how to hang it near/or on our front door.

I cut a pumpkin shape out of foamcore and covered it with black paper. As many of you know, there are foamcore boards that already have color on one side so that's one step that can easily be avoided if you feel like tackling this project. There's one tiny detail that is missing. I want to cover the eyes/mouth/nose holes with orange tissue paper on the back side - so they can have a nicer glow to them. The lighting is basically a light rope that is taped to the back and goes around and around. It doesn't look pretty but nobody will see that. I used a pumpkin shape but I can see silhouettes of a haunted house, a cat, a bat, etc that would work just as well. Now to hang it up... dear hubby was holding it up against the wall for this photo. :)

By the way, I purchased the light rope today (in the Christmas decorations section) and was shocked by what I read on another box of lights which I certainly did not purchase. There was a warning label (I don't recall the brand) that stated that there are know cancerous effects caused by handling the wire of those particular string lights. "Wash hands after handling" was part of the warning. Ok... hmmmm what the heck!!!!? And these things are on store shelves among countless other items which may be similar in nature? Unbelievable. Where have I been? I'm normally good about reading a box of anything before purchasing it but now I will really be more vigilant.

To end with something a little more fun... Check out a Blogger feature, that I just found out about, called Blogger Play. It allows you to view photos that have recently been uploaded. It's fun to sit and watch for a while. Enjoy!

EDIT: Lori just made a comment below that the BloggerPlay feature may come with adult content. I read up on this before posting about it and in the FAQs Blogger states that they are trying to catch any adult content from making it onto this feature. Apparently they can't catch it all. My apologies! So basically you enter at your own risk. I've been lucky and haven't seen anything...

A Little Hut is spreading around

I've been so busy that I neglected to post the fact that A Little Hut was accepted as a member of the Poppytalk Handmade virtual market. All the artists there are fantastic and I'm honored to be included. Thanks Jan! I think it's the best place to get some early holiday shopping done. Visit my virtual table here.

While I'm on the subject and just as a little reminder A Little Hut cards can still be found at Elsewares and Modishoppe. The newest retailer to carry my cards is Flora Grubb Gardens located in San Francisco. Flora's beautiful garden store/nursery was just featured in the October issue of Dwell.

checking in

I can't believe so much time has passed since my last post! I didn't mean to make a disappearing act. It just happened. I have so many new ideas but I'm working on an enormous project that is keeping me from really working on them. I'll come back when I'm a little more prepared to share something. In the meantime, you can check out new work that I just posted on my site. More pieces are coming but I'm still taking some photos. Stay tuned!

Thank you so much for all the great comments regarding my magazine bowl! You are all too kind. :)

I hope that you're all doing well. Oh and can someone from the north please send us some cold air down here? It's fall, but it sure doesn't feel like it yet...