some friends (Lindsay, Nicci and Eryn) came over the other night to be crafty-making killer camera straps! and celebrate a birthday. sorry lindsay, i'm realizing we were so busy we never even sang "happy b-day" to you!
just thought i'd share some fun inspiration. an easy get-together you could do with some friends?
my oldest turns 15 today so i thought i'd do a little bloggy tribute to her.
15 things i love about you Lex!: (in no particular order)
that you think for yourself
the fact that you have your own style
the way you love and support your sister
your love of cooking and baking
the crafty chica you are
your laughter and sense of humor
how you're actually letting me take pictures of you now!
the wisdom you have
your love for God
your heart for others
that you apply yourself in school and are probably going to be way smarter that your dad and i!
that you love to ski
that you still like me to put you to bed at night
that you will still hold my hand in public
you're beautiful, inside and out
here she is this morning, taking bday calls and getting ready to head to school. see what i mean about "her own style"! her and i spent the day in Portland yesterday as part of her bday gift. we ate at Cup & Saucer Cafe off Hawthorne, shopped Buffalo Exchange and some other fun shops. along the way she picked out these socks but had nothing to wear with them.
so, the mom that i am and the sewer that i am (NOT), i decided to whip her up a skirt. beginning at 9PM! needless to say, i don't have many fabric choices or sewing abilities so it's a bit hacked together. torn strips sewn on muslin with some machine embroidered flower thingys.
and the best part of it. she actually WORE it! this is why i LOVE MY DAUGHTER SO MUCH!!! i am blessed.
and our, hard earned over many years, Allen Designs Originals.
this company above was spotted by one of our European distributors at
the Frankfurt show in Germany. they are blatantly copying us. makes me
sick to my stomach. why people think they can just steal what isn't
theirs. boggles my mind!
i knew this time was eventually going to come. we've had plenty of people over the years that have been "inspired" by our designs. one of them being an employee from a few years ago that had worked for me for over two years. she ended up quitting and telling us that her husband needed to learn how to support their family. little did i know, as we were throwing her a going away party and my children were crying at her leaving, that they were plotting to HIRE an artist and take everything she learned from me and my material sources and begin their own company making CLOCKS! i found out through one of my wonderful customers that her husband was down in CA trying to sell them clocks that looked a lot like mine.
i could hardly get off the couch for several days. devastated. hurt. angry. betrayed. kicking myself for not following my gut instinct and having her sign that non-compete!
i called to confront her. i wanted her to know that i knew what she was doing. that i hoped she thought about me and the fact that she was taking food out of my kid's mouths every time she made a clock. she instantly informed me that she was "doing nothing wrong" and that they had talked to a lawyer. Well, that right there says it all. Why talk to a lawyer if you don't have a guilty conscious? Maybe she wasn't doing anything "legally" wrong, just morally corrupt.
but... funny thing is. this is what drove me to begin my adventures in China. i was already traveling over there designing a line for another company. up to this point i was very satisfied with having all our products made in the USA, and honestly quite proud of it. having my own and my employees livelihoods threatened pushed me past the fears and out of my comfort zone. and into a whole new world of opportunities. new price points, new materials and new friends in China.
i truly feel that God knew what it was going to take to get me over that hurdle. it was for my own good.
all that said. here we are at another crossroads. i wonder what's in store for us this time.
sorry. i just had to vent. (and yes, we do have our attorney on it)
at Artfest this year the uber creative (in many ways) Teesha introduced a new event. IRON chef ARTIST! she gave each person a packet of ephemera that we could use and 45 minutes to "ART". i was thrilled and honored to sit next to artist Carla Sonheim. she instantly put my heart at ease with her exuding kindness and calm demeanor.
it was like running a race! a complete rush of adrenaline and quick thinking. although i don't think aerobic. :(
my finished, well...not really finished but where it was when the timer went off, piece. i kind of want to make a habit of this sort of exercise. maybe a fun thing to do with a group of artist friends? great idea for a charity event? hmmm.
and then there was vendor night. again, a first for me. and again a bit intimidating.
i had a very small sampling of our line. prints, art blox, magnets, originals and a few money banks.
i didn't have a chance at either of these events to get out and take pictures so my friend Janne gave me all of these that you see. thank you Janne!
Janne, Leigh, Lacy, Tyler and myself of course the highlight of Artfest is hooking up with old friends and meeting new friends! thank you girls for making this year so much fun and filled with buckets of laughter!
and to you reading this right now... come join us next year! :)
this is Katy! fun, vibrant, sincere, energetic, newly married (just a few weeks ago!!) and unlike these granny smith's - sweet as can be! and i am blessed to have her working with us at Allen Designs. she does our graphics, newsletters, advertising, etsy communications and postings, catalog and much more.
she loves to cook and offered to document this recipe handed down from my grandma. she says it's a definite winner!
brought to you by Katy:
Cut and peel 6-8 apples. I usually use 6 apples. It may seem like a lot of apples, but once cooked, the mound of apples decreases quite a bit.
Cut butter into flour until crumbly using pastry cutter or a knife. Add milk/egg mixture. Form dough into a ball. Even though it's messy, using your hands works best.
Roll out HALF of the dough on a floured surface/floured roller until thin.
Spread the crushed cornflakes onto the dough.
Add apples, then sprinkle with flour, cinnamon and sugar.
Roll out other half of dough like the first, cover apples, lightly pinch or fold the ends.
Place into oven until golden brown, drizzle with glaze, cut into bars, and bon appétit! Serve by itself or with ice cream!
Grandma's Apple Slices
2 ½c. + 1 Tbsp. Flour 1c. solid shortening (I use butter) 1 egg yolk + milk to make 2/3c. 1/2tsp. salt 1 ½c, crushed cornflakes 8 large apples, peeled and sliced ( I use 6-7apples) 2tsp. Cinnamon 1c. sugar (I don't use the whole cup)
Directions: Mix shortening, salt and 2½c. flour like pie crust; add milk/egg mixture. Form ball of dough. Divide dough in half; roll out one half on floured surface and put on cooke sheet with sides, putting dough up the sides.* Spread crushed cornflakes on bottom of pan and add apples on top of cornflakes. Sprinkle 1Tbsp flour, cinnamon and sugar over apples. Roll out other half of dough large enough to cover apples; fold sides over dough and press down lightly. Bake about 45min. at 350°F or until nice and brown. Make a glaze frosting by mixing powdered sugar(about 1/2c+) and lemon juice(about 2tsp) until smooth and drizzle over top. Cut into bars and serve!
Alterations: try different glazes: 3/4c. powdered sugar 1 tbsp. milk(or water or fruit juice) 1/2 tsp. vanilla, optional
since i was only teaching two days i had one extra day to take a workshop from the very talented Jesse Reno. i've been waiting with much anticipation for this day! i just love the depth and detail in his work.
he taught his techniques and methods which were, in many ways, very
different than most of us in this class. it required A LOT of "letting
at the breaking point for lunch, i felt my hand was looking better than my art, let's just put it that way!
as frustrated as i was, i had a hard time leaving for lunch. the challenge to "get" his approach was irrepressible for me.
don't get me wrong. i wasn't looking to come out with a Jesse Reno look alike. as you can probably already tell! his finished creations tend to be a little dark for my tastes. thematically and color wise.
finger painting, scribbling, dotting, drawing, painting, dabbing, messing, painting and on and on and on.
funny thing is, by the time i finished/6 hours later, it ended up a bit "dark". i guess i was more impressionable than i wanted to be. i, by no means, mastered his techniques but in the last 15 minutes i think i finally started to get a feel for them.
hi and welcome!!! i'm so glad you're here! my name is michelle. i'm blessed to be a wife (to gary) of 18 years and a mom of two girls; alexis(16) & jess(11). i've been a full time artist for 15 years. i made my start at Portland Sat. Mkt. and art fairs around the country, and then headed into wholesale shows when our oldest began school. i love ART-ing, art journaling, running, cycling and downing junk food!