Wednesday, April 30, 2008

this week

My family has been sick for the past seven days. I won't give you the gory details, but it started with Molly last Thursday. Then William, then Katie and Jeff. My Mom even came over on Monday to take care of my kids so me and my sweet heart could spend our 18th wedding anniversary alone in bed all day. And not in a good romantic way either. But I did suggest it through our aches and pains. It was met with a chuckle.

Well it has been driving me crazy being sick. All I could think of was all of the work I had to do. Timelines have to be met. Today was my first day out. I mailed out an etsy order, bought some pink chenille, ran to the grocery, and picked up Q from school. Lots of fun! I loved it, being able to cross things off my list. Do you think I will sleep better tonight?

All the while I was gone, my Jeff was asleep on the couch. Molly was having a tea party. It was a classic set up. She was so cute, I even got in quite a few pictures. Lucky mommy!

It was a perfect afternoon. And hopefully in a perfect world, my Q will still be the only one who won't get sick.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

doll bed

I am making a new/vintage doll bed. It's a cute bed that I bought off of e-bay quite a while ago. It's a little smaller size than what I usually do, but still just as cute. It was once grey and needed to be painted a nice creamy white. Vanilla actually. It also looked like it used to have little wheels that are now gone. I think I will have to plan a trip to Michael's to find some the right size to add onto it. Painted pink of course.

Ok, now I am done with the bed. It took me forever to paint over the old grey paint. And it turned out so cute. It will appear on my May Glitter and Grunge so I won't show you a picture of it just yet. Just the tiniest preview. You'll have to wait and see!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


the fellas

I just put a boy to bed tonight. Then I went to tuck another one in, when I heard boy #1 crying. He misses Arizona. He had such a good time with his cousins and hanging out with the older fellas.

He has a bit of the meloncholy in him. I think he got it from me, a touch of the Irish. That is what I always considered it whenever I have a moment of this sadness. It is just so touching to see this sensitivity in my boy. That I am able to comfort him makes me so happy to be his momma.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

baby jean organics

organic fabrics

Some exciting news! I will be adding a new line to katie jean in June called baby jean organics. I have also begun a new blog and etsy shop just for baby jean organics. I will be able to give you more info on them when I have something made to post.

It will begin as a small collection, containing four items, a baby blanket, burpcloth, wash mitt, and stuffed toy elephant. I was able to find some beautiful organic fabric from Harmony Art. Made by a designer here in California, living near Fort Bragg. She has created some beautiful prints and coordinating solids in a diverse array. I have chosen five differing prints that are all so cute, yet clean and modern.

My first real love is katie jean and my love of all things vintage. You know the best thing is the hunt, finding all of those special fabrics that were once hidden away. Creating with organic fabrics just seemed like a natural next step. It's fun for me to continue working in an environmental way. My mom always called my katie jean work "recycling". Now it is considered "repurposing", which sounds so much nicer!

A special thank you to my friend Rene for encouraging me to begin this new line. She helped me search for fabrics and find my first baby jean customers. You are great, thanks for keeping me going!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

a little bit more


I have just a few more things to share with you about my trip to Tucson. First, one of my favorite places to shop for vintage is 4th Avenue. I always come home with barkcloth, and hankies. This time I also found two really cute vintage tea towels. One to cut up and the other is in perfect condition. It is so cute that I won't even use it myself. My kitchen towels always end up a mess with stains.

So, here are the names of my two favorite shops that I always have to stop at. Desert Vintage (fantastic business card, pink and green with cactus) 636 N. 4th Avenue (520)620-1570. How Sweet it Was 419 N. 4th Avenue (520) 623-9854. Both of these shops are great if you are looking for a costume too. We got a little fringe vest at Desert Vintage for Q, who has to wear a pioneer costume for a school field trip.

And here is the present we got for my brother-in-law's retirement present. My neighbor, Steve, has this great sign business. I just looked over at his banner website and picked something out and then he added a custom background for me. It was delivered via Fed Ex the morning of the festivities. So when Dan went out that morning to make a quick trip to the airport, we were able to put it up. He saw it when he came home with his friends. It was a perfect surprise. And we got it in plenty of time for the party. Thanks Steve!!

the coughlin girls

And thanks to my sisters for such a great time. It feels like a special gift every time we get together. I love you.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


downhill at boreal last saturday

I can't tell if spring is over already and now summer is coming. It is supposed to be 80 degrees today. The boys are spending their last ski day at Tahoe. The snow will melt very quickly now I think.

purple iris and pink roses 2007

My first iris popped out this morning. What a great thing to wake up to! I love having my garden. The only bummer is that I have to be careful about my allergies, I can turn into a real mess. There are also some baby birds that built a little nest under our patio cover. This will be the second year we've had a bird family. I love seeing the new babies and showing them to my own babies. We are all in awe!

Any way, while the boys and girl are away at play, I will be sewing. I love working in my front room (used to be my living room) and have all the windows open and listen to music. Today I think it will be classical (with some opera) and maybe after lunch it will turn into music from the 80's. No cartoons! Yah!

a little peak

I am making an apron for my May Glitter and Grunge. I hope to make a Mommy and little girl combo. I am mixing some new red and aqua fabrics (love that color combo) together with some vintage embroidered pieces. This is one of my favorite things to do, and what I really love about katie jean. Getting to create anything I can imagine. Not following the usual rules, and getting to repurpose stuff.

I love using those things that people have discarded and gotten rid of. They have given up on using that old dresser scarf with a whole in it or a coffee stain. It can't be fixed. No one really uses them anymore. But now I get to use them and cut them up! What a treat for me! I get to turn them into a treat for you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I haven't updated my etsy shop for a while. So yesterday I went through it all. I just put my yo-yo tshirts on sale for $15.00. I think these are so cute! And would be adorable on a little girl with a denim skirt and cowboy boots.

I think they reflect how I often dress. My white tshirt and my favorite jeans. I was hanging up my wash to dry and I counted 13 white tshirts! Another addiction. I am always searching for the perfect one, long sleeved, short sleeved, whatever. I can usually find a great one at J.Crew.

I just talked to my sister about this same thing. She has the same problem. She "says" she is going to start throwing them away each season after she buys a new one. Which is good, because you can tell I have way too many. It is probably more than 13 because I didn't count white tank tops. I can think of 5 right away without actually going to my closet to count them.

Is this all too much information? Well, just disregard it, and check out my etsy shop!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I'm watching one of my favorite shows as I'm writing this. Room Service with Sarah Richardson. She is going (decorating style) Indonesian. Interesting. This was one of my early trips. 24 years old, my first year of marriage I went to Indonesia for 2 weeks pretty much by myself. I didn't even know where it was. I remember calling my friend Michele and telling her that in 4 days I was taking a 20+ hour flight to Sumatra. She got out her globe to tell me where it was (above Australia). How crazy! I went because a free ticket came up from a friend out of the blue and I had a current passport.

It was so interesting spending Easter in the largest Muslim populated country in the world. And it was during Ramadan. The Muslim time of fasting. I learned a lot about an interesting and beautiful culture. One of my favorite memories was breaking the fast with a Minangkabau (Indonesian) family. They are known for their hospitality and their spicy hot food. The hotter the better. And it is totally different spicy that what we are used to here. Any way, sitting on the floor, eating family style, with our hands. And me eating a lot of rice to temper the hot pain going on in my mouth, and drinking a lot of warm water. Which I think might be boiled to get rid of some of the bad germies. But the family was generous and gracious and took pity on me!

Good times. Good times.

Monday, April 7, 2008


I still have to tell you about my trip. First of all, it was so great to be there with my son Q. He was so funny on the plane asking about why the seats float and what the yellow life vests are for and what pops out from the panels above our heads. All these questions were asked at a louder than normal voice. So everyone else sitting around us could hear these questions and, more importantly, my reply! No saying the word "crash". These things are used for if the plane is landed in the water. He thought they would be used for jumping out of the plane like his cousin Victor.

so mature

Q also had the window seat and brought his binoculars to use and look down on the world. No those really aren't ants. He was a lot of fun to be with and I love being his mom. He really did seem to mature over the six days that we were away.

There was also a lot of great food. My sister Judith is a great cook. I love it how her cooking looks effortless. She makes great Thai food. We have a great time going to the 17th Avenue Market in Tuscon. A lot of great international food. I always buy something with Hello Kitty on it! We also went out to a fantastic Mexican brunch, with the Sanchez family (I love them!), at the Uno Mas Lounge. That is the name of the bar, I can't remember the name of the restaurant (Judith if you remember the name, leave me a comment). It was all authentic Mexican food, which I had been dreaming of since I made my plane reservations. The kids all ate hamburgers of course.

party food

And then there was the party food. Which is also a favorite of mine. I love to nibble all day on the little bits and get a chance to talk to everyone. Who all thought I was my sister Judith (I hadn't met most of them before)! Which, while she is older than me, she is thinner. Any way, the day after the party, leftovers are great too. With margaritas.

The shopping. I went to a quilt shop with my sister Mary, called The Quilt Market. I bought a lot of fat quarters of fun fabrics from Kaffe Fasset, which I can't really find to much of here. The colors and patterns are so vivid and wild, I love 'em! They are so un-katie jean.

Need more pictures? Check out my flickr. And thank you to friends Karen and Kronk. And thank you family, Grandfather, Gram, Jeff, sisters, and my brothers. Next trip might be Idaho or maybe Nebraska. I know, Wild Thang!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

april g&g

I am back from my trip, just home last night. I had a fantastic time, although I did miss my blog! I was so proud of my brother-in-law during his Air Force Retirement ceremony. But I will have to tell you more about that later!


I have two new items on Glitter and Grunge. Check it out! I have a classic katie jean apron top, and 3 new onesies. All made with vintage handkerchiefs! The onesies have embroidered monogrammed letters on them and are perfect for a baby girl or baby boy. My email contact at the bottom of my artist page should read: if you would like to get in touch with me! Enjoy!!

appliqued onesies