Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Here I am 4 days later showing up to say Merry Christmas... Last two weeks were overwhelming and right now I am actually putting quiet a bit of an effort trying to keep my eyes open:)

We had a great Christmas! We involved ourselves in all those little things that manifest Christmas... We set up a tree and decorated it with glass(omg!) ornaments. Last couple of years we had to put pinecones and ribbons on tree branches to prevent injuries to our curious toddlers. This year kids were old enough to get the message and did not pull on the ornaments, in fact they helped us to decorate the Christmas tree, carefully lining up 5 to 10 glass balls on one branch:)

We baked Christmas cookies! Growing up in Latvia my mom would always buy for us piparkukas (traditional spiced cookies) around Christmas time - they were decorated with colorful icing and sold on all major corners of my home city.
A couple of years ago accidentally I found the recipe for piparkukas in one of the cooking books at the library.
Now I make them every Christmas and my childhood home becomes a bit closer.

We went to see a Nativity Exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum. Unfortunately my camera really didn't do me much good there. But believe me, it was fantastic - they had handmade nativity collections from all around the world!

We celebrated with friends and amazingly had WHITE Christmas, here in Dallas Texas! Just 2 days before the Holiday kids got hot running around the park in long sleeved tees. It was anything but winter! Then on Christmas eve the air became freezing and by the end of the day snow storm came! Surprisingly some snow stayed till Christmas morning:) Kids even got a chance to play with it!

So here it is, my belated Christmas posting. I hope you all had a joyful Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy one month!

My shop turned 1 month today! It is still such a baby but looks like it is starting to hold it's head:))))

This month was beautiful! I had sales, I met amazing crafters, I found support of old and new friends! It makes me incredibly happy to learn that people who never met me like what I make. Before I sold to coworkers, to friends, to friends of my friends and few people at the craft fair. But still, in all those transactions personal factor most likely played part. But this month showed me that my designs are liked and even loved by people who don't know me and probably will never meet me. To me as a crafter, this is the best compliment!

Of course, it wouldn't be the start of new business without downfall and turmoil in other areas. My home has been neglected, I haven't done much fun or meaningful stuff with my kids this month, which breaks my heart into pieces. My head is just now slowing down from all that spinning it has done in the past weeks. At some point I measured my life in new listings, treasuries, showcases, sales and was checking my profile, my policies and my favorites every 5 minutes with no reason at all. Now that the Christmas rush is coming to an end I feel much more relaxed. I have projects lined up, I am going to take kids for walks and enjoy myself and the holidays.

One of the things that made me very happy this month is that my favorite 3 strand design ended up being as attractive on photos as it is "in person". I sold a lot of them in Chicago and now 2 of them found home through my online shop.

Bella in earth colors and and Bella in turquoise were sold this month.
Mahogany and black copper (see pics) are still available in my shop.
This design is called Bella and ironically enough I don't have one in my jewelry box yet.
Oh well, I have different Bella "hanging on my neck" - my sweet little Bella who is dreaming of butterflies in her toddler bed right now:)

So here it is, my monthly update on the shop. I decided that once a month I am going to write about my etsy developments. It shouldn't be overwhelming;) next etsy update is on January 14.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My user pictures

Several weeks ago I drew new avatars for my family blog. I did them in India ink and watercolors. I didn't put much emphasis on details because I knew that they will end up as tiny blocks next to my user name. Now I regret it a little. Anyways, since this is my creativity blog, I would like to post my drawings here. I just recently got serious about painting and drawing, developing my skills. I am willing to learn and I lucky to have opportunities.

The cup of tea is my general pic. Then goes the one for posts about me, myself and I - eyes shot, day dreaming... The one with a girl and a boy is for postings about my kids. Then their is a mother with a child - it is for sad things. And finally, user picture for my arts and crafts.

I am working on a couple more images right now. I hope I can show them soon.

Christmas mood

I love fall and fall colors - black tree stems tangled in yellow and orange and red... and fall decor, all these pumpkins, gourds and scarecrows... I am sad that Thanksgiving is over and it's time to decorate for Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and decorating in general, but Christmas brings just too much pressure. Everyone is in a hurry, getting ready, stressing out! Everything is spinning like it is not Happiest holiday of all coming up but the end of the world. So decorating comes with the pressure too. But it must be done:)
My daughter is 4 and a half and my son is almost 3. They are two volcanoes of creativity! They love to glue, cut, draw, paint and they will do pretty much anything with me. Today we finally pulled out that stick with pinecones, that stayed in our garage since August, spray painted it silver and hung some felted decor on it. It worked out beautifully: while I was stitching the bird, kids were cutting up little pieces of felt for me. I did give them fabric scissors, because it's impossible to cut felt with the kids ones. When kids were done cutting, they handed me bits of felt one by one while I suspended each piece on the string between two beads.

Felt leftovers we stuffed in the vase. I think, that the whole thing looks very festive and the main thing - children can participate in this project, have fun and feel important! It is also a very affordable project - 3 sheets of felt, some seed beads, thread and a couple of sticks from your backyard (you don't' have to spray paint the sticks, they can be left natural or sprinkled with glitter)!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


There is Russian folk tale about the Kolobok (round bread) who ran away from Grandma and Grandpa and bunch of forest animals just to be eaten by a sly fox. This tale is one of my kids' favorites, so I hand sewn finger puppets out of felt and other fabrics for staging a play in our family puppet theater.

It took me a whole season of "House", but the result worth it! I designed all of these characters myself putting quiet a bit of an afford to make them look as Russian as possible:) My personal favorite is the wolf ,"Kolobok, Kolobok, I'm gonna eat you!", if he only wasn't that straight forward...

Studio Elenus

About a year and a half ago my wardrobe suffered an accessory crisis... This is when I went to the craft store, bought 4 dollar set of tiny tools, some beads and findings, made a 2 layer necklace and wore it to work the next day. Compliments poured at me and I was forced to give up the origin of my jewelry. The same day I had a buyer for my next necklace. I did not plan to make jewelry for sale (this is why I bought the cheapest tool set ) but I could not decline the offer. I created several new designs ultimately to get enormous support from my coworkers, friends and family, who purchased my jewelry and gave me confidence to continue my work.

Later last year I participated in craft fair and organized successful jewelry party. That was in Chicago, but then we moved to Dallas, where our family didn't know a soul. Here after hitting several bumps, my small jewelry business finally hit a milestone - I opened my shop on ETSY!

Studio Elenus launched on November 14 of 2009! So it is a fresh shop and I have a lot of work on my hands. However, I already had my first sale and can't be called undiscovered anymore! I am excited and a little overwhelmed, but more excited then overwhelmed:)

Regardless of being such an important part of my life, my jewelry is just a tip of an iceberg of my daily creativity, where my kids and my home are my absolute priority. This is why I am not going to post every single piece of jewelry that is featured in my shop to this blog. Instead I welcome everyone to my shop at! Maybe you can find something that fits your taste and your wardrobe there. Also I am always excited about custom orders; feel free to contact me so we can join our visions to create that perfect piece of jewelry for you!

The beginning...

Finally after 5 years of blogging about my life, I am starting a new blog dedicated to my creativity! I imagine it will become an outlet for all creative ideas residing in my head, a place where I can showcase my arts and crafts without spilling it out into my family blog. I am a kind of person who has 10 projects going at the time so this page is not going to stay empty.

I am planning to write about kids' crafts and ideas for creative play, about home decorating, about my progress in painting, drawing and knitting, as well as post some updates about new jewelry designs created for my shop on ETSY that I launched about 2 weeks ago.

So, everyone, welcome to my creative chaos!!!