Saturday, March 31, 2012

A long time gone

A year. It has been a year.

It has been a year since my last post. The worst year of my life. Maybe the best too. Time will tell I suppose.

My marriage ended. That's the short of it. The long of it is too much to bear, and to much to bare. I have spent months wanting to write, but not being able to bring myself to remove the word "wife" from my profile-- because I don't feel single. Single feels like 20, no kids, no mortgage, no worries, and here I am pushing 30, two beautiful babies stuck in this hell that is divorce, a mortgage I can't even dream of paying and more worries than I even knew existed when I was 20. Or 27. But life changes fast.

I am endlessly blessed. I won't pretend I'm any less, it would be unfair to my family, friends, children, my God. I have been supported, lifted up, cheered up, and blessed beyond measure.

And yet.

It's a new chapter. I am nobody's wife. That still seems strange, even though I haven't really had a husband for quite sometime. The concept still stuns me and makes me a little sad, a little disoriented, but it also means I get to figure out who I am again. And at 29, it is...different.

I am a mother. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a friend, although I have not done those things the justice in the last year that they deserve. Who I am, in relationship to the people I love, gives me a focal point, a point of reference, an effulgent constellation of guiding stars, giving me the rest of the sky in which to stage my next act.

We'll call it "The Phoenix."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's day!

This absentee blogger has had a head full of chaos since just about Christmas, but nothing puts me in a good mood like St. Patrick's day.

I've done it before, but I feel I must once again bless you with a little traditional Irish blessing.

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
and the rain fall softly on your fields
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of your hands.

Eirinn go brach!

I think I'm going to go take some pictures of my little leprechaun babies for you to see. Because, frankly, mine are the cutest around.

Monday, November 29, 2010

4th Annual Artsy Girls Christmas Boutique


Please join me December 4th and 5th from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. at my home. Drop in any time to shop for charmingly displayed handmade and vintage goods from an ever-growing roster of artsy girls, {and this year: guys!} including:

Soldered charms, hand tied pearls and other jewelry by Debbi Greenlee
Beaded jewelry by Carli H
Various handmade goodies by Nancy J
Sculptural hair bows by Jill T
Refinished vintage furniture by Juls {Her Royal Highness}
Painted items by Nichole {The Painted Nursery}
Scarves, felt plushies and upcycled kids' clothes by Ellice D
Vintage inspired jewelry by Sandie D
Hair flowers and baby lovelies by April W {Maggie and Beatrice}
Vintage finds from Amy V {Beloved Bag Lady}
Gourmet fudge by Elizabeth G
Delicious cookies and confections by Tasha S and Laura F
Jewelry and handmade cards and stationery items from Tamberly H
Crocheted goodies by Renee G
Baby accessories by Melissa D {Prissy Lissy Designs}
Goat's milk soap by Shane and Catherine
Re-purposed vintage windows by Danielle B {A Vintage View}
Yoga mats and bags by Katelyn H {Yogadivas}
Felted animals, nativities and other baby goodies by Robin R
Handmade dolls and aprons (and matching aprons for the dolls!)
Original artwork from Aaron V
Folk/pop art and vintage treasures from yours truly {BettyHarry}

and more..... yes, its an incomplete list, even at this length!

Truly, this will be a chance to find the unique and unexpected for yourself and the folks on your Christmas list.

2225 Ryanlee Drive, Riverbank, CA 95367
209.480.9414
bizalith@aol.com
On Facebook: Elizabeth Greenlee Harrison

Friday, September 3, 2010

Book Review: Arabella

ArabellaArabella by Georgette Heyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Like many Austenites, I often lament, nay, mourn the fact that there are such a small number of her novels to read and reread and rereread but Georgette Heyer is balm for that particular wound. This "regency romance," written in the first half of the twentieth century by a scholar of the era feels authentic and well-researched with nicely developed characters and plot. There are more colloquialisms than Austen would dare to employ and a mention of "paphians" {regency slang for hookers...*gasp*!!} which our darling Jane would never admit to one of her masterpieces, but it is in passing, and still maintains the innocence, gallantry and beauty Austen fans crave. Great story, romantic yet principled leading man. Easy, breezy, satisfying read.



View all my reviews

Book Review: Eat Pray Love

Eat, Pray, LoveEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Alternately soul-searching and shallow, Eat Pray Love may be the ultimate "finding yourself" book for those who don't want to look too hard. It is an enjoyable read, with some excellent lessons and a beautiful sense of setting, but there is no there there, if you know what I mean. Touching, tear-invoking, occasionally thought-provoking...sweet and light. Worth the read, but not worth the Gospel for Women following it has received.



View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cozy Little Nest

I have barely strung together a coherant thought for at least a couple of weeks due to a sick asthmatic baby but today I'm encouraged to push past the inevitable lack of eloquence, just for a minute to tell you something fun. Fun outweighs elegant speech, non?
I have a blog friend from across the pond, Alison May, whom I really really admire. She is a vintage housekeeper extraordinaire, expert decorator and a brilliant writer. I think she's pretty much the cat's pajamas. So much so that a year or so ago, I sent her a little bitty painting of a cozy little nest to thank her for her contributions to the world. It was the least I could do. :) And it seems she likes it, and I'm just tickled.
Go take a peek at her blog, Brocante Home, and see my little love-labour in its place of honor (in my humble opinion) on her desk.

My mom has its companion hanging in her guest room.



The kids call the room "the Museum" and I can assure you, that IS a place of honor.

Speaking of the kids.....
If they got any cuter, I'd explode. Seriously. Would you look at them?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On the Mend

The greatest intentions...

I had such plans for last week. I had spring cleaning to do, art in my heart and blogs on my mind. And then there's the fact that I was three-weeks into a new work-out routine that had actually started to yield results. That was the kiss of death, I suppose. That sort of thing always seems to get derailed.

And so it was. Early Monday evening {after a good long workout and a healthy and delicious dinner, mind you} I slipped in the shower. We're not talking about a dainty little fall. I mean a catastrophic, feet out from under you, fall forward with no hope of catching yourself, lucky I still have my teeth, blood in the bathtub kind of slip.

Thank God my brave little four-year-old superhero heard me and went to fetch his Daddy, who was working in the front yard. In a flash, my grown-up superhero was assessing me for compound fractures and head-injuries before TRULY heroically picking up my dead weight and moving me to the bed.

What ensued is an embarrassing story of the call to my parents, the ER visit, the x-rays, the doctor visits, and the days of pain-medicine and pain induced stupor relying utterly on my husband and parents and super-duper-helper-boy, and of course, my daughter's comic relief.

To make a long story even longer, I still hurt everywhere, but it's more like the soreness that follows a couple days after a major workout, and that I can handle. The real problem is what happens to the home of two adults {one helpless and one male}, two small children and one very mischievous dog when the mom takes the week off to lick her wounds.

Factoring in my parental duties, my achin' body and the state of the mess, I should have the house clean in.... hmmm, square root of pi, carry the four....

Approximately 25 years.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mad About Alice Party

A few weeks ago, I wrote that I had lost my muchness. At last, I believe I've found it.


When an ebay purchase showed up at my door, bearing layers of bubble wrap and tissue, I dove in to find two stark white, vintage Inarco busts. And found myself disappointed.


And then inspired.

And then invigorated.

And then....



Delighted

by the end result.


Meet Alice and Maddy.


Born of my fascination with the iconography of Wonderland...

The Top Hat, The Hearts...

The Watches, The Keys...

Even the color scheme is iconic



Then of course, there are the teapots and teacups, the rabbits, the crowns and the language.... oh the language. {"Curiouser," "muchness" and so many more... an embarassment of riches for a word-lover}


If that isn't much more muchier than a plain white pair of busts... well then I'm madder than the Hatter. And if that's the case, well, I'm okay with that. All the best people are.

Check out the other partygoers and the hostess with the mostess at The French Cupboard.

Enjoy the party, have a cup of tea, and show us your best Futterwacken.

By the way, you can find these lovelies and much more in my etsy shop, with more altered busts and art on its way.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A work in progress

I said I was going to start working. MAKING ART. I wasn't kidding. What I haven't done is stick to my plan, my book, my "schedule." {read : shhhedjool} What I have done is... well -- see for yourself.

What started out as this...

{ Okay, well it started out olive green with a Christmas candle of some sort on the cover, but this is the first photo-worthy stage}



With a little bit of gesso, some paint, whatnots, ephemera and THESE
amazing vintage alphabet stamps I got for a song on ebay


.... became this

journal that I love almost too much to use.




{almost, but not quite}



And the same method resulted in these

signs for my mom's pearl stringing demonstration at the Gem and Mineral Show.

In the meantime, while I was busy working, Fiona, playing at my feet, discovered that she could do this:

and I would be momentarily powerless to remove her because my hands looked like this:

It was a good day for making messes, making art, making memories and crawling into drawers.

And that was just Day One...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Muchness




I fear I’ve lost my muchness.


Although {obviously} I did manage to get out sans babies to see Alice in Wonderland this weekend in all its inspiring aesthetical glory, I feel the wind has gone out of my sails and my mojo has gone the way of the dodo.

I hate to whine {in public} but just two short weeks ago I was just feeling much more muchier -- armed and ready to set off on an adventure in artistic mothering and bohemian vintageness. But today I find myself looking at my craft supplies and vintage stuff as just that – stuff – that is cluttering my house and my life. And I hate that feeling. It’s like my horse has gone lame before I get out of the gate, and my muse is as entangled as my metaphors.

So I’m going to embrace the funk, if you will, and wallow in the overwhelmed womanness just for tonight. I’m going to take the dog for a walk, pour myself a glass of wine, take a hot bath and be the self-indulgent woman I alternately envy and disdain, admire and judge.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up refreshed, relaxed, energetic and ready to be mommy/wife/artist/neighbor/maid/shopkeeper/friend/chef/human-jungle-gym/peacekeeper/voice-of-reason again.

Maybe, amongst the clutter and bubbles

I’ll find my muchness.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Deep End



I’m jumping in with both feet.

My four year old son is more independent every day and my nine-month old daughter {as of 3 hours from now} is napping for longer stretches, and I’ve decided its time to re-invest some time into my creative endeavors.

It is not to say that I’d abandoned them. There’s always some project inching its way to completion around here, but I feel ready to dive instead of wade into the swirling waters where motherhood, obligation and art converge.

Step one: Make over blog. Check.

I want to share the highs and lows of my adventures in creative motherhood, but, as in life, its hard for me to start when I don’t like the looks of the place. So the blog has a new look, thanks to a new background and header {from the Background Fairy, although I’ve taken a few liberties with the header} which I just can’t stop looking at. I just love text and lettering. I could write a love letter about my love of letters, but instead I’ll direct you to my etsy shop where that love is evident.

Which brings me to:

Step two: Restocking my virtual shelves. Semi-check.

I have some great items on their way to my shop, including lots more vintage sign letters in several sizes, styles and finishes, including a few from an old sign on the Atlantic City boardwalk. Then there are some tiny, ancient ceramic ballerinas that I think are ubiquitous enough that I won’t feel bad about altering them and “zsushing” ‘em up with tissue and paper and millinery flowers and maybe some antique buttons, and ohhhh, I can’t wait to start those. And, let’s see, I’ve got some gorgeous vintage linens, some daguerreotype cases, a couple of antique porcelain busts I want to give the Elizabeth treatment, a WWII ammo crate, if I can pry it out of my husband’s hands, some vintage doll parts for altered art, oversized antique copper stencils, oh and just much much more. Now I just have to display, photograph and list all my whatnots and whoosits so I can earn some money to...uhh...buy more whatnots and whoosits.

And all of this is now possible because I’ve completed...

Step three: Organizing my Art & Etsy closet. Check.

The creative clutter {i.e. mess} that had taken over both my dining room and kitchen tables and which was threatening to invade my kitchen island and every other horizontal surface in my house has been condensed and contained in one of my downstairs closets. It has gone from junk receptacle to object of beauty and organized chaos {which is, coincidentally, what the inside of my brain looks like}. So now, most of my vintage stuff awaiting purchase is tucked into the closet, along with supplies for etsy projects and all my shipping paraphernalia. I still have a disaster of an office full of art and craft supplies that I’m afraid to even touch, but the closet is a step toward making the artsy part of my life a little more accessible.

Next up: the to-do list. I’m giving myself two weeks to prepare for a twelve week workshop on “fitting creativity into your life” because I want to give my family the best of me, and I’m only at my best when I have time to develop and nurture my creative interests. And I’d like to invite you along for the ride.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


iT's AlMoSt HeRE ....
Email me at bizalith@aol.com or comment here if you 'd like to be on the email list, or be called with the pertinent details for attendence! {you know, like the address!}

Monday, November 9, 2009

Artsy Girls Boutique




November means a few things in the Nevertheless household: fires in the fireplace, the procrastination of Christmas shopping begins {early, I might add}, the crock pot comes out {and usually stays out until roughly the Ides of March} and I get to dig my chunky boots out of the black hole -- er, closet. But the most prominent sign of Novemberism is the exponential multiplication of art supplies taking over every hospitable surface. Tables, counter tops, windowsills... nothing is safe.

Do I feel guilty for giving my house the mad-crafter's treatment every fall? Not a bit, because come the first week of December, the surfaces, walls, windows, floors and doors are given the type of cleaning Alison May would approve of {although she'd probably recommend I did it more regularly, sorry friend} in preparation for my annual Christmas Boutique, lovingly and accidentally named the "Artsy Girls" Boutique & art and craft sale.

For those of you within shopping distance, the event will take place at my home all dressed up in her party clothes on December 5th and 6th from 9 a.m. until people stop coming or we run out of mulled cider and homemade snickerdoodles {see what I did just there, trying to entice you with sugary deliciousness?}.

Tomorrow, a list of etsy pages and blogs where you can preview a few of the items we'll have, but us craftswomen are still a-crafting, so who knows what wonders you'll find. What I do know for now is that there will be handcrafted jewelry, in multiple styles by multiple artists, original artwork by yours truly {but who are we kidding, it will ALL be original artwork}, Christmas decor, children's and baby items, wearables and other various giftables and-oh-yes-did-I-mention mulled cider and homemade snickerdoodles?

Buy handmade. Support craftswomen. Enjoy cookies.

Leave a comment or send me a message if you'd like to be on my email list, for all the pertinent info, like for instance, the address where the boutique will be held but which, for obvious reasons I prefer not to post.

XO,
Elizabeth

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A new day, a new adventure


Its a beautiful day. Cool, crisp and clear. I've had my english muffin with Nutella and I'm sipping french caramel coffee, black and wondering at a few moments of peace.


Baby girl is cooing in her swing, while the little boy drives cars on his road mat nearby and I find myself with a couple of minutes that I do not wish to fill with dishes or laundry. Ahhh the romance of it all. Who knew there would come a day when I'd rather where a t-shirt and yoga pants that smell like baby than a cocktail dress that smells like Dior? Well, regardless, that day is here, and I now find myself longing for a different type of beauty. Maybe that's because watching your little boy fall in love with his new baby sister, and watching that little baby fall asleep on your chest teach you what beauty really is. Or maybe I'm just becoming a homebody.


Either way, the beauty I seek is still art and music and finery -- just not the kind you enjoy with a martini in one hand and an amuse bouche in the other. I want the music that sets a backdrop for your day... classical, jazz, anything that makes the rough edges blur and your routing seem less - routine. The art and finery are the little glimpses of beauty in my own home, and the homes of the people I love, and the shops and fairs and blogs where I can admire and possibly purchase for my very own the loveliness other like-minded craftspeople have been inspired to create.


With all that in mind, I have a new venture, both creative and a tad entrepreneurial. On etsy, the site responsible for this decade's renaissance in craftsmanship, I have opened one shop, with another in the works. BettyHarry is my vintage and supply shop, filling up with found objects and objects d'art with a steampunk bent whenever possible. Here's a little taste:

Vintage Steampunk Watch Movements

& Vintage Numbered Brass Tags

Lamb&Rose should be up and running in the next few days if I can see my way through the must-do's at home. It is my real baby, where I will feature my own art and handpainted whatnots, with a vision towards whimsical fare that may be most at home in children's rooms and homes with a sense of childlike wonder, at least for now. Since it is the work of my own hands and mind, it is likely to change with my mood, but that's the mood I'm in right now.

So nice to address Nevertheless again. I hope to find more of these stolen moments as the winter creeps in.
And please check out BettyHarry!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A good bit of advice, methinks.

"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!"

--discovered while researching quotations for needlepoint.