A Day In Pictures: Feeling Like A Family

What a day! I’ll share it with you in pictures. I officially reached the 25 pound mark at Weight Watchers. Here’s my celebratory picture. I love reaching milestones and celebrating at the meeting! I got a little 25 pound token to go on my 10% keychain. Exciting! I am such a kid at heart and love these little symbolic rewards, don’t you? It’s been a 9 month journey with ups and downs but here we are feeling good.

Then we dared try something new and exciting: getting Mr. P to nap in the stroller. After getting chai for me and coffee for Bob at what could possibly be my new favorite coffeeshop, we took the stroller down to the strand to walk and hope for the best. And drumroll please… it worked! We reclined the stroller, turned on the sound machine and kept on moving until at long last those droopy sleepy eyes closed. Heaven for mommy and daddy to be out and about walking with a sleeping baby.

Then it was time for me to be at the gallery for my Saturday shift. My favorite part was these three darling girls whole came in. They were so respectful and enthusiastic. Two of them, sisters, bought my “I dream” bookmarks after commenting on my work like they were gallery curators or art analysts in 12 and 14 year old bodies. I loved it.

Came home feeling like we’d already had such an action packed day to spend the late afternoon listening to Bob and Mr. P play music and have fun while I made some stuffed peppers and turkey veggie “cupcakes.” It was one of those peaceful times where it felt like a weekend a family would have and here we are A FAMILY having a weekend. So nice.

Now I’m blogging with a nice glass of wine that I’m sipping slowly trying to save just a few more sips to go enjoy with Bob. Baby’s sleeping, mommy’s tired, one of those days where I’m wiped out in such a good “I really really loved today” way.

What was the highlight of your day? TELL ME! You know I love hearing from you.

Big hugs, my darlings, bug hugs.


This post is day 10 of my 7 day commitment to fully write and post an entry from start to finish within thirty minutes, two sessions of 15 minutes each right in a row using my beloved Flylady timer.


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My Art Home: The Word Is Art Gallery

In between where I live and downtown Culver City, on the corner of Venice and Bagley, there’s a beautiful building I’ve long admired. One day, when Mr. P was just barely two months old (8 weeks and three days as we counted in those early, foggy days), he and I made the grand voyage from home to downtown.

Then, this felt like eons away. In reality, it’s like a ten minute walk. But it’s far from the safety of the changing table and the upholstered rocking chair where every hour I’d nurse him with the Boppy and my Purell and my water bottles all lined up like little soldiers. As each week marched on, I felt just a little more adventurous. More and more at home in my new mommy skin. More and more ready to widen my worldview beyond my precious Mr. P. I was ready to include something new. Just a little something-something. But what?

Well, that day on our walk, I noticed that the beautiful building was changing hands. Gone was the old flooring business that had occupied it for so long. Inside I could see piles of paintings and art being hung on the walls. I stopped in my tracks. I saw a sign in the window “Artists Wanted.” I did not know what it was but I knew that I wanted to be a part of it.

I soon met with Renee who founded the gallery. I found out it was a co-op of local artists. How cool!

Now, I’ve been a part of the gallery for 8 months. One thing I loved about Renee’s description of the gallery was that she called it an “art home” – I truly feel like The Word Is Art is my art home.

I have a place to show my work. I’ve met so many amazing local artists that I’m thrilled to say have become good friends. I work about one shift a week – that’s one shift a week. I meet so many local people who are thrilled the gallery is here.

Another thing I was pretty excited about was the opportunity to be featured in the Venice window. I would have the whole window to myself for three whole weeks and host a special event where I’d be the featured artist. I was exhilarated by the possibility, daunted by all the questions: What would I do? How would I find the time? What new work would I create? Who would I invite? What would the theme be for my event? Food? Wine? Entertainment? Where would Mr. P be through all of this? Could I be artist, writer, dreamer and mommy all at the same time?

Well… in retrospect, I am able to tell you I did it. The event was over a month ago and just now I am coming up for air to blog about it. I will write again and tell you all about it. For now, I just wanted to jump in and share some of the backstory. If you have about 15 minutes to spare, I’d love you to check out my interview. Renee interviewed me the day before my event and her husband Jon filmed and edited the video. Yet another wonderful part about the gallery, it’s so nice to be celebrated and how great to be interviewed. Click here to watch the interview.

I’ll be posting again soon with a photo essay of the whole event.

Until then, darling readers… Wishing you wonderful things.




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A Day In Pictures: Patchwork Culver City

This past Sunday was a major milestone for me. My first ever big show for Said The Butterfly. There could not have been a more ideal setting for this major event in the life of my beloved brand than the Patchwork Indie Arts and Crafts Festival at Helms Bakery in Culver City.

Here I am proudly presenting the booth for a quick iPhone shot to share with my Facebook friends. This is taken just seconds after an almost-meltdown full of pre-show jitters.

Why the jitters you ask? This was my first time having a whole booth to fill. 8 x 8 feet. So the pressure was on to get all my products there, make sure they were presented well AND to somehow make the booth look like more than a folding table in the middle of an empty space. There’s also the huge factor that I was putting it all out there for the public to see…

This is no longer all of my artwork hanging in the comfort of my treasure-filled home. This is wearing the entire contents of my heart on my sleeve for the world to see. Was I nervous? Yes, yes, YES! Thankfully, with the help of the excellent/fearless/energizing/tireless Bob Gustafson, AKA my awesome husband, we pulled it all together at the last second. Here’s Bob sporting two pocket-fuls of bookmarks and that smile and two-thumbs-up attitude that never seems to go away. Love this guy so much!

Here’s the whole booth…

New banner… new card display…

Bookmarks in vases…

Magnets and tiles… the mailing list sign-up… And my first time using Square to accept credit cards. I’m starting to feel like a real live business and it’s feels so good.

So back to the display set up: I happily repurposed some hinged doors that I found in the trash over five years ago. We wrapped them in white wrapping paper to cover the coffee and paint stains from its one-time life as my studio tabletop. Then, we hung a bunch of originals. We also hung one of my prints in the IKEA Ribba shadowbox frame that makes my prints look extra amazing without spending a ton on framing.

For a final lucky touch, I draped the doors with the magic-tasseled multi-colored sash I have had since I was about 15 years old. (Hello, that was twenty years ago!) I still remember the day I bought it in El Quetzal, one of my all-time favorite shops in Philadelphia’s darling Chestnut Hill. Finally, I added the last minute beaded butterfly and the world started to feel right again.

Then the real fun began… the booth quickly filled-up with so many amazing people. New friends…

Friends from way back when… so nice to see Rachel!

All kinds of people were drawn to Said The Butterfly… this sweet woman below is a first grade teacher. She bought “I started a list of things I love about you I stopped when I reached the moon” to hang in her classroom. She’s planning on doing activities centered around the message of the print. Such a beautiful idea for a 1st grade classroom. I love seeing how my work speaks to people and what it inspires. This will never cease to amaze me.

Matching journals for matching striped sisters…

Nothing makes me happier than seeing people enjoy my work. Happy, happy!

We got a special guest appearance by the 17-day-old Olivia Alyx! Big props to her brave mama for bringing her out to see us that day.

I loved seeing Gemma Del Rio and Beth. We have such great memories of our magic days of painting and creating with the one-and-only Gemma Taccogna.

These ladies bought the “Forever starts today” tile as a high school graduation gift. I am so amazed that while most of my pieces are not intended for specific occasions they somehow speak directly to what people are looking for. I am so grateful for that…

Awesome to see Angela… Her husband, Tyson, is the mastermind carpenter behind the wood card display. Have I mentioned I am in love with this display? It fits more than I ever imagined… better than I ever imagined. Thank you Tyson!

Balance is beautiful tile for Nora! Can’t wait to see how she displays it. This girl has got style.

So nice to see our neighbors from our complex at home.

Enough about Said The Butterfly! Now onto the show at large…

Meet my Patchwork neighbors Bird and Feather and Sun and Glory. When I first got my Patchwork booth assignment, I knew I was in for a treat when I saw their names. I couldn’t wait to meet them and see their work. As you can see, their creations are both earthy and elegant. They set up the most ethereal and welcoming booth-shop.

Meet my other Patchwork neighbor, Skin Like Butter. Her scrumptious body products had a line of admirers all day long… including my sister who still can’t stop raving about her new lotion.

I was so excited to run into ReMade in LA. We met at Craftcation in March. It was so cool to see the way designer Eeling reinvents old shirts from “charity shops” into renewed one-of-a-kind designs.

I’m pretty sure this ice cream pop stand was the show-stopper-hit-of the day. Everywhere I looked people were licking up a storm on these heavenly fruit and ice-cream pops. Of course I had to have one… and so did Bob. Heaven on a hot day! (In all my excitment, I lost their business card! If anyone knows the name and website of these amazing pop-creators, please comment below!)

There were multiple “wings” of Patchwork goodness… here’s a peak into ours.

More colorful creators…

So that’s the scoop on my first big show ever! Now it’s back to work restocking the Said The Butterfly Etsy shop.

Before I signoff, I must end with some major gratitude:

I am so grateful to Patchwork co-creators Nicole Stevenson and Delilah Snell for making such a creative community event exist – I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

I am so grateful to everyone who came to show some Said The Butterfly love at Patchwork. There are tons more pictures of all of you on the Said The Butterfly Facebook page. Be sure to “like” the page for updates and fun. Please comment to say hello! I love hearing from you so much.

I’m so grateful to my husband Bob for all the setup patience, manpower and love. And I’m super grateful to my dear, dear friend Bernadette Cosgrove for all the help packing up the booth at the end of the day. I’m so lucky!

Thank you darling readers for reading this, for being here, for being you.

Love, Melissa


Update on the Said The Butterfly Facebook drawing! We reached our 203 fans (and now we have 210, woohoo!) and had our drawing. Huge thanks to all who participated and congrats to our winners:

Jenn of JennKL Photography: notebook winner

Julie of A Little Bite of Life: magnet winner


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A Day In Pictures: Patchwork Santa Ana

If you read my post last week about Patchwork Long Beach, you probably thought to yourself ‘Wow, life can’t get much better than that.’ Then came Patchwork Santa Ana. Something about the vibe, energy and location of this Patchwork made the event even more quirkily colorful and eclectically inspiring. If you haven’t seen the fantastic article in the OC Register about Patchwork Santa Ana, check it out here.

First stop, the Clean Getaway Soap Co to see soapmakers Lindsey and Mikel Stone. I got a sample of this “best soap on earth” at Craftcation and was dying to get my hands on some more…

So was my husband. He picked out a whole bunch. And now our whole place smells amazing.

The crowds were a-buzzing. Every booth I stopped by had people coming and going and oohing and aahing.

I just had to stop in to see Jeanette of Sweet Perversion. I bought one of Jeannette’s cards for one of my most beloved F-bomb-dropping friends at Unique LA this February. Jeannette and I got to talking and she told me all about Craftcation and Patchwork. I’m forever grateful!

If you haven’t seen the Sweet Perversion line of “quaintly crass greetings, sweet stationery and printed goodness,” treat yourself to some fun and check it out here.

More Sweet Perversion goodies…

We stopped by the Home Skillet for some fries and kale salad…

We felt more amazing energy of the pumped-up crowd… Did I mention it was about a million degrees out? No one seemed to mind.

We stopped by Sass and Peril to check out their zoo of creations. It was hard not to buy one of everything. I think we came close. I saw on their Facebook page the next day that their Raccoon and Pirate Kitty screenprints are in the new Kindle Fire commercial. How cool is that?

We stopped in the Road Less Traveled Store, owned by Patchwork co-creator Delilah Snell. Love this window treatment!

That welcome sign is so welcoming just like the store itself…

Here’s just a taste of the many live musicians there that day…

Go Patchwork! Now the countdown is on for Patchwork Culver City at Helms Bakery on June 10th. I better get back to work getting Said The Butterfly ready! Will I see you there? I hope so.

Thank you darling readers for reading this, for being here, for being you.

Love, Melissa


Become a fan of the Said The Butterfly Facebook page here. When we reach 203 fans (three is my lucky number and we are only FIVE fans away!) we’re having a party-style-drawing for this “Balance is beautiful” journal:

See the Facebook page for the details on how to enter. Who’s gonna win? Will it be you? And don’t miss out on any of the creative fun. Get Good Things Darling delivered to your inbox. Enter your email in the box on the right here. 

A Day In Pictures: Patchwork Long Beach

Nothing gets me more fired up than seeing artists, designers and crafters all in one place selling their unique, handmade goods. Except maybe when there’s also live music and food trucks… That’s why I planned my May around the Patchwork Indie Arts and Crafts Festivals. First stop, Patchwork Long Beach on Sunday May 20th. Even though we had an action-packed day for my husband Bob’s birthday, we made Patchwork a huge part of our day of fun.

As soon as we arrived we ran into some new friends… it’s such a tiny little world! That’s Sim on the left, yours truly in the middle and Jamie on the right. All of the products in Jamie’s company, Maisha Designs, were handmade in Tanzania by members of a women’s tailoring group. Proceeds help support programming that promotes the alleviation of poverty. How amazing is that? Check out the Maisha Designs Facebook page here.

Then, we were instantly drawn to the live music… we tried to capture a shot of this darling little girl playing her red piano but alas, the moment had passed.

Food trucks! As much as I love the concept of food trucks, I have never actually eaten at one…

Until now! I made a B-line to The Lobsta Truck for a lobster roll. That is my idea of heaven on earth.

Bob had something else in mind. A red velvet cookie ice cream sandwich for the birthday boy!

I love this idea by ISM: A Community Project. They support collaborative creativity by producing international art experiments and providing free public programs. They were at Patchwork spreading the good word about their “Cheers” project. The idea: pick up a coaster and use the blank back as a canvas to share your paintings, photos or poetry.

All coasters will be on display at the ISM 10 year anniversary exhibition on July 7, 2012. I picked up three… I better get to work!

As a stationary lover and creator, I was totally drawn to the Merry Blues Art booth and was so happy to meet Ana Belen. What can I say, Ana’s setup is just awesome and so are her eco-friendly cards and products. The view of the water is a pretty magical backdrop. Check out Merry Blues Art on Facebook here.

There were so many mind-blowing products and booths. Of course I didn’t capture them all, but here are a few more favorites… Here’s Camille Larson of Garden Gnome Arts. Turquoise is my favorite color so I’m pretty sure that’s what magnetized me to her booth.

Her work is so smiley and bright…

I told you I love turquoise! So when I saw the official Backyard in a Jar “Jam Van” in person I was so excited. I was even happier to catch Patchwork co-creators Nicole Stevenson, left, and Delilah Snell, right, together. These super-crafty ladies are also the dynamic duo behind the Craftcation DIY and Indie Business conference I went to in Ventura in Late March.

Backyard in a Jar is Delilah’s line of hand-crafted artisan preserves from the yards & farms of Southern California. I wish I had gotten a shot of the white picket fence that lined the side of her booth. So charming! Check out the Backyard in a Jar Facebook page here.

Random Nicole! It was so great seeing all of Nicole’s one-of-a-kind clothing, art and accessories. I especially went crazy over the quirky-awesome hand-sewn onesies and t-shirts. Check out the Random Nicole Facebook page here.

Here’s Bob checking out the onesies… And please note, Bob is still wearing his bright yellow pit pass from the 3-year-old’s monster truck birthday party we had been to that morning. Always an adventure!

Here’s an example of two creators working together to share a space. On the left, Gilded Moon Jewelry. On the right, Two Hand Design. Not my finest photography moment, it’s a little dark, but nonetheless…

I am such a fan of the artful and iconic nature of Two Hand Design.

And I love the soulful pieces by Gilded Moon Jewelry.

Well… that’s my photo journey of Patchwork Long Beach. This post is dedicated to all of the amazing creators out there, you rule! And a special birthday shout-out to my partner-in-Patchwork-crime that day, the birthday boy himself, my husband Bob. Here’s a shot of him enjoying some delicious wine at his birthday dinner later that night…


Now I better get back to work getting my Said The Butterfly gifts and goodies ready for Patchwork Culver City! Will I see you there? I hope so.

Thank you darling readers for reading this, for being here, for being you!

Love, Melissa


Become a fan of the Said The Butterfly Facebook page here. When we reach 203 fans (three is my lucky number!) we’re having a party-style-drawing for this “Balance is beautiful” journal:

See the Facebook page for the details on how to enter. Who’s gonna win? Will it be you? And don’t miss out on any of the creative fun. Get Good Things Darling delivered to your inbox. Enter your email in the box on the right here.