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
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....


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


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 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.