Sunday, August 31, 2008

Smidge Giveaway!

Don't forget to get your entry in for this month's Smidge Giveaway! I've got a headband in there and there's so many other cool things :) I wish I could win!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Showstopper: Your Thoughts and Suggestions Please

So all these feelings of Fall are naturally steering me towards Sugar Plum Fairy Dances and Winter Balls and such. I've telling myself for about 6 months that I really need to make a Showstopper. You know the one item in your shop that makes people stop and stare and say "Wow! I would LOVE to have that!" And it would showcase my skills and cost a very pretty penny (to make and retail). I wouldn't expect it to sell immediately or to even make dozens of them. I just want to make one that makes people take notice of my work.

So my questions to you are:

1. Should it be a dress?
2. If so, a formal dress?
3. Should I make it in my size? Or some generic average size?
4. If not a dress, then what show stopping ideas do you have?
5. What would make you stand up and say, "Wow! She's a good seamstress! I want to have something made for me."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Feels like Fall!

If you know me, you know that Fall is my absolute FAVORITE season! I can't believe how mild our weather has been for August! It actually is feeling like Fall - I dare not get my hopes up, but it's been two weeks. Could it be true?

Last year, Fall came so late. The leaves didn't turn until November. Summer seemed to drag on forever and that song "call me when September ends" was a mantra that didn't work.

How delightful it would be to have a vibrant, long lasting Fall! Tea time is almost back and temperatures are dipping. Public school starts next week - go away little people and leave me and my kids to our bliss! It's the most wonderful time of the year :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fall Semester

Max got through his summer classes with a 4.0! We are very proud especially since English isn't his favorite subject. This semester he is taking Physics and Algebra 2 at John Tyler, and he is contemplating his future - Research Chemist or Particle Physicist. Oh my!

Friday, August 22, 2008


I've been working on skirts! In my shop, you'll only see one but it's a template. I can make it out of any of the fabrics I have or one you like. Right now, I just have the elastic waist A-line.

I'm finishing up a Plus Size floral pleated skirt today, which I'll be putting in the shop later. If the day doesn't get away from me, I'll also be putting up a wrap skirt.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rent a textbook, plant a tree!

I'm running around trying to find cheap textbooks for college, and Kevin came across the website. Book rental for the semester! Yay! So we rented a book for Max for the fall and here is the email we received:

Hello Max,

In case you didn't know, you are helping plant 1 tree(s) since you ordered 1 book(s) from!

Share with your friends on Facebook that you planted 1 tree(s).

Is that cool or what! Go ahead - feel good about helping the planet.

Every year, more than 20 million trees are cut to produce books. It gets worse. Only 50% of the tree is used in creating paper for your textbooks. Of course, we need books, so at a minimum, we need to plant what we take out - a little thank you to Mother Nature.

Even though publishers can produce multiple books with one tree, we will plant a tree for every rental since we have a lot of catching up to do. We are partnering with organizations in the US and across the world to have trees planted.

We make every attempt to source used books or books made from recycled paper for your rental to save the environment, while taking care they are in good condition for your use.

So, how cool is that?! Tree planting, recycling, learning, and saving the planet all at once. Yay Chegg! Go now, get your books, plant trees :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Star Trek: The Experiment

I don't think I'm giving anything away here by saying that while on the Klingon Encounter Mission, we are transported from one room onto the Enterprise. Yes, beam me up Scotty, we are beamed. We start off in a square gray room with video monitors and doors in front of us; the light go out, the air whooshes, and little flickers of light surround us for no more than 3 seconds, then the lights are on and we are standing on a transporter pad. Yes, the circular transporter pad, lighted floor, no monitors, no doors - just some Starfleet Lieutenant telling us we've been beamed through a temporal rift into the future. This room is not the same color, size, or anything as the one we were in less than 3 seconds before. How did they do it?!

Since I couldn't afford the Behind the Scenes Tour, Max and I were trying desperately to work this question out on our own. We rode 4 times on Day 3 just to see if we could figure it out. My first clue to the Experiment was the small print for the Behind the Scenes Tour that said you would have to sign a Confidentiality Agreement. My second clue was realizing that the first thing that happens to you as you pass through the doors for the Borg Invasion ride is a bioscan. Here is my theory:

11 years ago after many trials and errors, the government finally discovered transporter technology. We all know that Star Trek has been an inspiration for years and many things we have today can attributed to the franchise. (Let's face it - that flip phone? that's Kirk's communicator!) Once they discovered the technology and safely tested it on inorganic objects, it was time to test it on live animals and humans. This must have worked on the small scale, but I think maybe there were some issues with how far people could be transported. Like any government agency, they are only happy when something has been tested for 20 years on thousands of people. But the urgency was so great, "we have it, we need to perfect it, it has to be done now"; and so Star Trek the Experience was born.

How many people would volunteer to be dismantled at the molecular level if we aren't sure if we've got this totally right? A few, but not enough to get those conclusive 20 year results. What better way to have the volunteers coming in droves if we make it an amusement ride! When the Experience opened 10 years ago, it was only the Klingon Encounter - hundreds of thousands of people, fans, paying to be materialized elsewhere. Then once it was evident that yes these people can be transported, it was important to know if there were any cumulative effects - hence the Borg Invasion with its entry bioscan was born!

Let's face it, the Klingon mission is better, everyone who's been on it knows it. Since the admission, became an unlimited day pass, what do these hundreds of thousands of people do? Get transported multiple times and then get scanned once or twice depending on how slow that Klingon line is. So, they get a good luck at us on the cellular level after we've raced to be transported a few times. And now, hopefully and conclusively, they have all the evidence they need to prove that they have perfected materialization with no long term or cumulative effects. And so, they are closing down the Experiment and we should see transporter booths being erected all over the planet within 3-5 years.

Imagine: dinner in London, dessert in Sao Paolo! Beam me up again :)

And no, you can't smile when standing next to a Klingon or an Andorian. They'll think you are up to something and kill you where you stand. There are no questions before or after - and if you were a good Trekkie, you would know that!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Featured Artist: AnnieRexic!

Proud Mama talking here! You must get your Annie Rexic tee shirt RIGHT NOW! Go to Annie Rexic's shop on Etsy and order Miranda's art work tee shirt. At the very least, take a look around the shop and click on one of the tee shirt listings to see a very cool shout out to Miranda's work. Support the little artists!

Vacation: the Vegas part!

Soooo, merrily we went back across the Mohave desert, stopped at Jack in the Box (mandatory on any Southwest trip!), and got to Vegas at about 2 pm. The rest of that day we spent at the Star Trek Experience. We stopped a Borg Invasion and prevailed in our Klingon Encounter; we ate Sisko's Ribs at Quark's and revelled in Nog's Chocolate Cake for dessert. It was wonderful! Day 2, we went to the Stratosphere, went up the tower (1000+ ft in the air!) where Max rode their rooftop thrill rides while I sat serenely in the observation lounge taking pictures of the whole city. We then ate lunch at Top of the World revolving restaurant - which was mediocre at absolute best, but I suppose I was paying for the view. Then we stopped at Caesar's Palace for some shopping and to watch the Atlantis animatronics show - very cool. If I can ever figure out how to upload a video without overloading the computer, I'll do it. Then we went to the pool party at the Tropicana where we were staying and had dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Grill. Now there is true food talent.

Tomorrow Day 3 and the Conspiracy Theory!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Emily Rose has my aprons!

Emily Rose Jewellery has my aprons in their online shop! They are come monogrammed and are available in mother/daughter sets. Check it out and get a set for yourself!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vacation, part 3

Later on Friday, we went to the hospital to visit the new baby. Here are some pictures of our happy family:

As you can probably tell, we hate babies :) Anyway, Saturday was spent cleaning up, cooking and freezing lots of dinners, and getting ready for the next part of our vacation. Sunday after church, we headed back to Vegas for our Star Trek Mission.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Daphne is on the go!

Daphne is one of my new Fall Collection lines. Daphne I is a large duffel bag that is big enough to hold everything you need for a 4 or 5 day getaway, but still qualifies as carry-on luggage. Daphne II looks exactly like the first, except it's smaller and can be used either as a handbag or as a complement to the travel bag. Use it for shoes, or travel activities (long boring flight?). Also available is the Daphne Cosmetic Bag that is generous enough for you to take ALL your favorite colors! You won't be limited to what can fit into one or two compacts. Besides, who wants to wear the same shades 5 days in a row?!

They are handcrafted with a lovely, durable olive green/tan/brown paisly cotton twill with tan linen sides and brown cotton straps. Each bag is fully lined in chocolate brown cotton and they are machine washable! Each one has a zipper closure. They can be purchased separately or together as a collection.

Daphne I $60
Daphne II $25
Cosmetic Bag $15
Daphne Collection $95

Free shipping in the US. This is a limited edition line. When Daphne has gone, she will be gone forever. Available on Etsy and Callidora's. If you don't see a listing for one of them, contact me. Someone has most likely purchased it and I haven't gotten a new listing up yet.

Vacation, part 2

After Mt. Baldy, we arrived at my sister Lori's house. She was busting at the seams, ready to give birth and as you know, did have little Jillie later that night.

Friday morning, while Lori and Brandon were recuperating at the hospital, Max and I had the pleasure of taking my nephews Bryson and Sebastian to their weekly Mommy & Me class. Wow! What an experience! 15 toddlers and mommies doing activities and singing songs for 2 hours. Thank goodness I had Max and my oldest nephew Gavin there to help. Look at these shiny, happy faces!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Vacation is over :(

So sad! I had a great time! Max and I landed in Las Vegas on Wednesday night - very late. We rented a car and a GPS we'll call Maggie. Maggie is a ditz - not nearly as competent as Australian Karen or British Daniel.

Anyway, we crawled into our hotel room, passed out, woke up early, ate breakfast buffet as only Las Vegas can do it, then jumped in the car and relied on Maggie to get us across the Mohave Desert as quickly as possible. We admired the heat, bright sun, and lack of vegetation - so reminiscent of our Arizona days; it's a dry heat.

3.5 hours later, we arrived at Mt. Baldy - one of Max's destinations. Of course we had experiments to conduct: air pressure, altitude, vegetation lines of demarcation, air drag, etc. I, personally, was testing my "winding mountainous road" reflexes; that was interesting. The view from Mt. Baldy was gorgeous of course (except for the brown LA fog hanging over their city at midday).

More coming.....

Friday, August 8, 2008

Meet Jillian!

Here she is! My beautiful brand new niece, Jillian Ivy Russell. She was born last night at 10:02 pm PT. She's 6 lbs, 6 oz, and 19.5 inches long. She is alert, insanely soft, gorgeous and immensely loved :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Callidora is in Texas!

Callidora's aprons are being sold at The Art Spot in Corsicana, Texas. So all you Texans, get on down there and get'chu one or two! The nice folks at the Art Spot were putting my aprons on display this weekend.

So support The Art Spot and support Callidora!
122 N. Beaton St. @ W. 5th Ave, Corsicana, TX. 75110

Sunday, August 3, 2008


I'm on Lamar Lynch's Treasury!

Fall 2008 Collection!

Oooooo! I'm excited! I have the first few items in my Fall Collection up on my website!

You wouldn't believe how long it takes to put a webpage for each new item :( So I will be adding items throughout August. If you love something, get it while you can - these are limited edition items and when they are gone.....

As always, I'm happy to do custom orders using my designs or yours. If you can dream it, I can build it!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Week in the Local Food Life

Our Dept. of Agriculture here in Virginia is issuing a challenge to residents to try eating foods grown locally for a week. I hope many people take up the challenge and as encouragement, I wanted to post that we always eat local foods from late April to late November. It may seem hard at first, but it's really not. Here in Richmond, we are lucky to have four or five farmer's markets.

You probably know from previous posts that we belong to a CSA (community supported agriculture), so that makes it very easy and cost effective to just go and pick up what we need every week. But while I'm at the market, I also pick up my beef and pork from Faith Farm Foods. Wonderful meats that are pasture-raised, you can't beat the taste and how well it is digested by your system. While purchasing meats from local farmers is not nearly as cost effective as buying from your local supermarket, it is definitely a healthier option that your body gets used to quickly! We have cut down on how much meat we eat on a weekly basis since it is more expensive, but we have easily taken to meals with eggs, beans and veggies for those non-meat days.

If you have trouble finding meat farmers, you can check your local supermarket for Laura's Beef, Coleman Naturals, and Heartland Chicken. Don't be fooled by Tyson's hormone-free labels, the birds are still tough little cage-raised creatures.

So eat up! But eat locally raised!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Where Have I Been?!

I'm so sorry! It has been a crazy week! I got 4 custom orders in this week. I had to register Max for the Fall semester. I'm frantically trying to finish my neice's Welcome Home gift BEFORE she arrives next week. I've been planning my little California/Las Vegas getaway. Trying to finish up the last touches on the Fall Collection.

So the August Newsletter will be out sometime this weekend (I hope!) with the monthly winner. Whew! What a week! If you aren't on the list to receive my monthly newsletter with giveaway and specials, please sign up here quickly - before I send the next one out :)

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Visit Callidora's

Put even the plainest woman into a beautiful dress and unconsciously she will try to live up to it. - Lady Duff-Gordon

Please visit my online shop, Callidora's, for clothing and accessories. I'm adding new items all the time and I'm always happy to do custom work in any price range. You can email me with any requests and we can create your unique, handmade item together.

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