Friday, February 26, 2010

From Macau with Love

photo credits: 1.macau snap 2. senado square 3. lanterns at Largo do Sedi nado 4. Macau (Macao)

Roughly ten years ago, between my junior and senior year of college, I spent the summer in Hong Kong and China teaching English. Now and then we had time for excursions, and on one such occasion, the three other American teachers and I traveled to the Portugese colony, Macau. One of the teachers had expressed some affection for me; however, Robert and I had just started seriously dating, and this other teacher's feelings went unrequited. Despite my attempt to handle it delicately, his response was to treat me with sarcasm and snide comments. After enduring this through half the summer, on our trip to Macau, I told him that I had enough of his sour demeanor and no company was better than his company. So there I was, in an unknown country that I barely knew existed, alone. Even so, it didn't damper my experience. Macau was beautiful: colonial and stately. My memories of it are this: big and bright and glossy like a post card. I went to the Rua da Felicidade {Street of Happiness} and the fisherman's wharf, but the most memorable place was the Largo do Senado. The contrast of the colonial yellow walls juxtaposed with the black and white swirling cobblestone is a striking combination.

photo credit: IMG_4478 Senado Square

If you've seen the new JCrew catalog, it is shot in Portugal and in some of the photos, you can see similar black and white streets. It's interesting how the mind works, and how the smallest thing can act like a key that unlocks a door to memories that haven't been recalled in such a long time.

I tend to gravitate toward the same earthy colors: cream, brown, green, and dusty pink. However, in the spirit of Macau, here are some items with graphic black and white paired with yellow, in a tip of the hat to the beautiful 8 mile long country I sojourned to alone more than ten years ago.

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us
or we find it not."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

One final thought: right now, as we are so close to launching the website, the majority of Mia Joie is temporarily on hold. This is just life. We can make our plans, but plans can change... people change their mind, events happen, we get sick. Whatever it is, there are things we can control and things we can't. I believe in the beauty of dreams, and I believe that much more than we ever imagined is possible, if we plan and pursue. However, I likewise believe that God is sovereign, and life can be very unexpected. Those two dovetail in some mysterious mix, and I am waiting in the in-between.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gold Buckles and Blue Shoes

Today Mia and I were eating manchego grilled cheese sandwiches and blackberries for lunch, when she looked at me and in her little soprano voice said, "I need blue shoes, I think."

"Blue, is that right?"

She looked pensive, then agreed: "Yes, blue. Thank you, Mommy." She is so sweet; it's rather hard to refuse her. So, I made a pair of blue shoes for my Mia {shown above.} The weather here has gotten suddenly warm, and spring seems abruptly upon us with lots of pink branches in bloom. It was a sunny afternoon, so I took the little blue shoes outside for a quick photo.

I also made some little satin shoes with the same buckles I used for the Sabrina's, but in an antique gold color. I used organic eucalyptus in the lining. These shoes are not yet available for purchase and went to a very important individual for an unique situation.

I know my designs and blog posts have been hitting my feminine side pretty hard. {What can I say, with Valentine's Day, I've been feeling a bit entitled.} Maybe I should design something graphic and modern next...

Several different customers who I hadn't heard from in awhile dropped me a note last week to say they were thinking of and praying for Mia Joie. I just have to say, the timing was so very apropo and a wonderful encouragement for me. Thank you!

I hope that you all are having a lovely weekend. I received many, many requests and inquiries about the McKenna Riding boots. I will be offering a full range of sizes available for purchase, probably the end of this week. I will give you a day or two of notice and post the time via Twitter. Wishing you a bit of rest and sunshine this Sunday, wherever in the world you are.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


"Far away
there in the sunshine
are my highest aspirations.
I may not reach them,
but I can look up and see their beauty,
believe in them,
and try to follow where they lead."
Monday, February 15, 2010

After Valentines Day Sale

I hope you had a lovely weekend. Robert and I spent the evening having a relaxing dinner downdown: unique gourmet Spanish cuizine at this place called Hugo's. It has a great atmosphere, set in an old building with enormous wrought iron chandeliers and unsual high-backed upholstered chairs. They have a varied menu featuring items like stuffed squash blossoms and amazing cinnamon clay pot coffee. After dinner, we went to the Epicure Cafe which boasts all kinds of unique pastries that remind me of some of the p√Ętisseries we went to when we were in France. The above picture is a pillow I made for no reason at all... just for fun. Perhaps I'll show you how I made it, sometime.

As promised, I have a few more pictures and a few post-Valentine's Day items to sell. Sade pink and red shoes, one-of-a-kind because I am only offering one per size, size 1-7. **SOLD OUT**

Mona Pink Tapestry Boots, size 1-7. The flowers were hand knit of organic bamboo yarn by my grandmother. Some of you asked about the ruffle. If you wish, I can add one, just put it in the notes with your purchase.

In addition, I have size 1-7 in the Red Velvet Sophia Boots and several Sophia headbands. The majority of these items have sold, but there is a handul of remaining items found here. Happy Monday!
Friday, February 12, 2010


It's almost that time of year--Valentine's Day! It's a time to have a celebratory date, a day to reiterate affections, and it's also a good excuse for a little extra chocolate, pink, red, and ruffles. What's not to like?

In the spirit of the holiday, I have a few Valentines-inspired items. Some little flowered shoes. {My rebellious side loves red and pink together.}

I also have more red velvet boots {size 1-7}, pink tapestry books in a slightly different version{size 1-4}, and red poppy headbands. I will post them at 12 pm CST on Monday, February 15. I will hopefully post a few more pictures before then.

For you romantic souls, I will leave you with this Shakespearean sonnet. Robert and I had several different poems read throughout our wedding reception *despite snickers*, and this was one of them.

Sonnet CXVI

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments.
Love is not love,
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
Oh, no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests.. and is never shaken.
It is the star to every wandering bark
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love is not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out.. even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

~William Shakespeare

I forgot to add a few photo notes. The flower was picked from a bush in full bloom in our backyard. {My apologies to you East Coast-ers weathering the snow storm.} I made the striped sock, and the hearts were a random craft. I had intentions of posting a tutorial, but didn't have the energy. Instead I am offering them in a $2 Giveaway for whoever wants one. Have a lovely weekend! **SOLD OUT**
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Once in a Blue Moon

...usually when I am feeling frustrated or stressed,
and in a mixture of impulse, avoidance, and therapy....

I sew something for myself.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Studio

"True art is characterized by the irresistible urge in the creative artist."

My studio is not an exceptional place, in and of itself. It is just four walls with one unimpressive window. But it is significant to me because like most creative people, I often feel that irrefutable draw to create. Since I was young, I always dreamed of a studio... a vibrant, ecclectic space filled with paintings, pottery, and pretty textiles. So, I am very happy to finally have one! Also, it has been a necessary space as my business has grown because it also houses all my inventory {some of it sizable} and gives my staff an organized place to work.

I have been intending to take several photos of the entire studio and post it all at once. However, as the months have dragged on and I had yet to post anything, I decided I will update this link with photos and snippets over time. I'd love to show you the velvet chase I have in there, the vintage cabinet I refinished with glass knobs, or Gloria {the dress form so named by Robert.} Some day, I'll get a wide angle lens and show you those photos.

In the meantime, I took just a few random pictures of some of my favorite things: a colorful bit of trim my friend gave me, a piece of vintage fabric with a French stamp, the glazed faith dish. The latter two items were sent to me by a customer, which makes me love them all the more.

I have several of these tags, that I am going to use to label baskets of yarn, scraps of fabric, and other sundries. I bought these from the Blue Pearl, a lovely shop with excellent customer service.

I have a huge inspiration board dripping with clippings out of magazines, unique swatches of fabric, and vibrant photos. You can see how I made the push pins in the photo below in this tutorial. The shoes were one of the very first pairs I ever made.

As I said, over time I will post more, but in the interim, it will give you a little peak at some of the items in my little space.


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