28 October 2008

holiday 2008

there are only 58 days left until christmas! although it is not time to start the advent calendar countdown, it is time to get your christmas shopping complete. wouldn't it be great to have your shopping done early so that you could actually enjoy the holiday season?! i've been busy working on trays and i have a huge selection for you to choose from. i even have bells for sale this year to accompany your trays. ding ding, room service! trays make such a unique gift for that hard to buy for person on your list. i have two shows coming up, i hope to see you there!
November 8, 9:00am - 4:00pm
Gift Gallery
at Cure of Ars School
9401 Mission Road
($3.00 charge at the door)
December 2, 2:00pm - 8:00pm
December 3, 10:00am - 8:00pm
Kappa Kappa Gamma Holiday Home Tour Gift Shop
Homestead Country Club
6510 Mission Road
(no charge to enter gift shop)
if you can't make it to a show and are interested in purchasing a tray, just send me an email at traybella@hotmail.com
cheers! to the start of the holiday shopping season!

27 October 2008

a busy but fun fall weekend

we had such a busy weekend, whew. friday our cub scout pack went to johnson farms pumpkin patch. it was such a bummer that it rained the entire time. the boys still had a good time running around checking out all the animals and racing through the mazes, which were luckily under a roof.
saturday morning we had family photos taken . it has been 5 years since we had that done and i'm anxious to see how they turned out. it was a beautiful fall day with the sun shining. the photographer took over 600 photos, i'm confident we got a few good ones. saturday night we went to a friends house for a halloween party and hayride.
in all the craziness saturday i made these caramel apples to take to the party. dipped them in chocolate and scattered some candy corn around them. they were yummy and one of my favorite things to make in the fall. the hayride was a blast and even little C went on the spooky hayride.

on sunday M attended a halloween party at a friends. he wanted to be a mummy and all week we worked on his costume. when i picked him up from the party he was partially unwrapped. guess my glue dots didn't stick as well as i thought they would. i should have sewn it so that it would stay on better. i think my days of handmade costumes are over. they just never turn out like i, or he, think they will. so now he says he wants to be a cowboy. guess i better get on the stick, friday will be here before i know it. yehaw!

26 October 2008

do drop in

this weekend i attended the kansas city junior league '08 holiday mart.
i was so excited to see that paty judy of do drop in had a booth there. i had seen her in a recent country living magazine and with her living in my neck of the woods i had her on my list of websites to visit. seeing her in person was so much better than just checking out her site! she is beautiful, talented and super sweet. she makes the most beautiful aprons, door stops and stationery. if you're starting your christmas shopping early please check out her website. paty, it was a pleasure to meet you! thank you for being an inspiration!

21 October 2008

learning about presidents ~ the two year old way

C has his own piggy bank. birthday money, picking up the neighbors newspaper money, ect. goes in there. since it's the year of the presidential election we've been working on who our presidents have been (ok, not really but didn't that sound good?!) C does know three past presidents. he'll pull out a $1 and say "george washington'. a $10 and say "hamilton" and a $20 and yell "jackson". we were putting the like bills in a pile and at the end of lesson he simply said, "mommy, i need more jackson's". don't we all baby! also at the store the other day i received some change back from a purchase. you should have seen the look on the clerks face when she handed me the bills and C yelled "george washington!". i walked away beaming and said 'yes, that IS george washington". not bad for a two year old.

17 October 2008

some of the best ideas are obvious

the whole tray bella idea started because my son loves to play "room service" (and because i wanted to create/sell something useful & beautiful ). we have a hotel bell and we take it, along with a pile of books, and climb into bed. we read a few books, and then ring the bell. daddy comes and takes our order - crackers, juice, ice cream, whatever we're in the mood for. we hear daddy clanging in the kitchen and then we hear him walking down the hall to the bedroom. he delivers our requested snack, on a tray, and we continue to read our pile of books while we enjoy our snack.

so twice i have explained this humble beginning, of making and selling trays, to men. both times the men have this questionable look on their faces and they both said "then why don't you also sell bells?"

absolutely charming are these room service bells. use them with your tray to enhance that pampered feeling while at home. 7 bucks each or free when you buy three trays.

an obviously good idea!

16 October 2008

a few of my favorite things

YUM! cupcakes and special halloween trick or treats! small portions of indulgence. white wedding cake cupcakes are the requested flavor around our house. for halloween this year we decorated them up as spider webs and mummy's. they look so festive sitting next to our special halloween trick or treats on this beautiful halloween tray. decorating cupcakes is a fun activity to do with the kids. it's simple, fun and a yummy snack. bake up a batch and treat your kids to a fun activity. let them use their imaginations to decorate them and see what fun results they come up with.

10 October 2008

lego crazy

within the past few weeks M has been crazy for lego's. up until then, he really had no interest in them. i had set this kit aside that he received in may for his birthday. now remember in yesterdays post how i said i was horrible at following directions. so when i open these kits, see all the millions of tiny pieces and a big book of directions, i simply have no desire to participate in this type of project. i informed him of my lack of ability to follow these types of directions and that he would have to wait until daddy got home to help him or that we could just play with the lego's and use our imaginations to create our own things. but he didn't want to wait. so he laid out all the pieces and started with the directions on page one. i can't even believe that he put this together all by himself! is this my son?! wow, i was so impressed that HE could follow the directions. after he finished it he said 'i need more lego's. i'm putting lego's at the top of my christmas list!" i hope santa reads my blog.

09 October 2008

subliminal message pillows

i can sew. but only simple things. i am not good at following directions, therefore trying to make something from a pattern just isn't my style. but i can sew pillows, curtains, blankets...easy stuff. and so up late one night, with my husband on his business trip, i made these. i was inspired by the burlap pillows i've been seeing in some of the shops. most of them made out of vintage feed sacks, coffee bags or grain sacks. not really liking any of the images i found, nor the price tag, i set out to make my own. these literally took me 30 minutes to make both of them. i dug through my fabric bin and found the burlap, and a ticking stripe for the back. 7 minutes with some stencils and fabric paint and i've created these fun, inexpensive pillows. i love that they are a little quirky, that i haven't seen them in stores, and that they were quick to whip up. i also really like that they lay quietly on the couch for the boys (and adults!) to view their simple subliminal message.

08 October 2008

BOO! halloween decor

i just love halloween! i love the cool fall weather. the eerie sound the leaves make as they rustle when the wind blows. i love a big pot of soup cooking on the stove. i love to help the boys decide on what costume they'll wear and love making the costumes for them (most of the time i make them). oh and don't forget the pumpkin patch! we love to go there and pick our pumpkins right off the vine. so while my husband was away on business, the boys and i decorated the house for halloween. nothing too spooky here we just use what we have around the house and lots of black and white. we do have a halloween bin of decorations that i'll add to each year. once halloween is over, i hit the sales for good bargains and then have something new and fun for next year.
one of our fireplace mantels turned into a laboratory. glass jars we've had around the house hold skeleton heads and bones. i created labels on the computer to add to them and we'll remove them when halloween is over. some black crows and spiderwebs add to the creepy feel. the large velvet bat and tomb stones were bargain finds at the end of the season last year.

this skeleton sitting on a candlestick makes me laugh. it's easy to decorate when you pull from the things you already have. i use this candlestick all the time, for every season.

using a tray as a base we first added a silver plate , and then spanish moss, and a haunted house to this metal bowl. large felt bats flying out of the chimney add an extra layer of spooky-ness. scatter wood and ceramic pumpkins around the base for a splash of color. see, isn't this easy?

i love to hand out extra special treats to my trick-or-treaters. this year i used glassine envelopes, filled them with candy and then, on the computer, made the oct. 31 tags. stapled them shut and heaped them in a metal urn. then added the big black crow to keep an eye on them.

this black plant stand that i have was the perfect spot for a pumpkin. i love the green color of it with the harlequin diamond wall in the background (that was last years project while hubby was out of town!).

and then we also just have small pumpkins sitting on urns here and there. so just use what you have and add to it. black and white with a tiny bit of orange fits the look of my house better. pumpkins come in a range of colors now so use what works with your current decor. those beautiful white pumpkins go with anything. and you also don't have to spend a lot of money on decorations. hit end of season sales and just pull from what you already own. i'd love to see photos of your halloween decor! leave me a message here and a link to your blog.

happy halloween!!

07 October 2008

long time no post

it's been awhile since my last post. my husband went on a 14 day overseas business trip and took the digital camera with him. so over the next few days i'll add posts of all the fun things i did while he was away. i'm not sure why it is when he's out of town that i can stay up really late. 2 or 3 a.m. seemed to be the normal bedtime for me these last few weeks but WOW did i get alot of things done. i vowed to work only on trays....but it was much more fun doing lots of other things. i did though get some trays done.

but i also cleaned up my studio. looking at these photos it doesn't look very cleaned up, but it sure was a mess. it's organized far better than it was before, and at least i have space on my work table now to actually work.

i had planned to paint the walls, but that will have to wait until later. i just really needed to get stuff put away and organized. mission accomplished. i also cleaned out the garage for my husband. he didn't even notice until I pointed it out to him. and the most fun thing i did was rearrange the entire house! i've done this before while he's away on business so i guess i'm consistent. i completely flipped the living room and dining room....again. but it's a little different than before. i need constant change and like i tell my husband, rearranging is cheaper than moving. i remember my mom and i rearranging furniture once a month when i was growing up. i guess that's where i get the desire to move furniture. when my husband got home he noticed that i had rearranged and all he said was "where is the t.v.?"

i also did get some work done. 24 trays to be exact. here are a few of the halloween ones i did. they are going to the Holiday Boutique sale that is coming up in a few weeks.

i love the mix of all the papers together. probably my favorite part of doing the trays is picking out the paper.

and here are a few of the fall trays i got done. next up are a couple batches of christmas trays. with three shows in three months i still have a bunch of trays to get done. and speaking of trays, i better get back in that organized studio and get to work. i'll post more fun things in the next day or so. as always, thanks for checking out my blog!

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