Monday, December 03, 2012

country christmas mantle

Welcome Christmas.

We are gearing up for a magical year here in the Meeker house. Our children are all believers. Their Christmas spirit is contagious.

Every year I design a new theme for our mantle. This year I was inspired by country life. I love old barns and natural fibers. I'm also loving all the mounted animal heads as long as they are fake. I find real animal heads to be disturbing. Taxidermy. Not for me.

Anyway, Ben humored me and constructed my pint sized barn door. I painted it with our initials.  I found the stag head at Target along with the small snowflake votives.  The mercury glass jugs are from World Market.  The larger porcelain votives are from Crate and Barrel.  The garland was made by ripping natural linen into strips.

You can't see it too well in the photo but there is a pair of antique ice tongs propped against the door that I found in an antique store.  I can't remember where I got the large bells.

Because the mantle isn't overtly Christmas, I think if I take away the bells I can leave it up through January.

Hopefully I will have time to share more of our Christmas this year! Remember that I can be found on Instagram almost everyday.

Monday, November 12, 2012

merry vinter

The snow has started to fall at my parent's house. There is Christmas music playing in the shops. As much as I can't believe it, the holidays are upon us. It's time to tackle one of the most difficult of all tasks: getting a good family photo for the Christmas cards.  Oy vey.

I've conjured up a little motovation to get us all going on our cards.

Introducing "Merry Vinter"!  I created this line of digital papers and ornaments for you to use to create your cards this year. As you can probably tell, I was strongly influenced by all things Swedish. I love scandanavian design in any form, but I am especially taken with Swedish kurbits and ornamentals.

The entire Merry Vinter set includes all the papers (6), the brushes (12) and the ornanaments (6).

The entire set is $18.00. You can also choose to purchase the kits indiviually for $7.00 each.

Monday, November 05, 2012

whatever janet hill, it's not fair

Sometimes I get really pissed that some people have so much talent. I feel like Amelie when Henry gets something while she is at school and she comes home to discover him enjoying the spoils of the day. At first she just stands there sort of stunned. Then you can watch her little face as she goes through the emotions. Puzzled. Intrigued. Indignant. Pissed.

Janet Hill got a lion's share of talent and quite frankly I won't feel better about it until I can A) crawl inside her head and absorb some of her genius or B) own one of her originals.

Thursday, November 01, 2012


Well folks, say hello to the end of the year. Because you know that once Halloween is over the year flies by at astonishing speed.  It's just the way it's always been. There is nothing you can do to change it. Believe me. I've tried.

The best thing to do is just give in and embrace the madness.

I  made a free wallpaper for you to download to help you ease into November.

Monday, October 29, 2012

talk is cheap

Everybody knows a big talker. You know, the person who's always got the most fantastic plans that just never seem to happen.  They are going to start this new company, or they are really gunna let this person have what's coming to them, or they are going to be getting a new something any day now.

You know. Big talkers.

So yeah, talk is cheap.  Everyone talks big to some extent. We like to talk about our dreams. It feels good. It's as if talking about them makes them more tangible.  The problem is that research has shown that when we talk about our goals to other people we become less likely to achieve them because just the act of telling someone what we want to do tends to give us a sense that we have already done it.

So the moral is, keep your mouth shut. At least when it comes to goal setting.  I learned that from a TED talk.

Here's another thing I learned: good friends are cheap therapy. Sometimes you just need a good bout of verbal diarrhea to feel better.  I'm not sure why, but just talking about my day to day grievances with my best friends makes me feel so much more normal, even if their response is "That's weird."

In general, I feel like I talk too much.  Kids will do that to a person. You can't just say something once. Oh no. You have to say it three times to be heard.  It's exhausting. So I bought a megaphone.

Let me tell you, it's the best thing I've purchased as a parent next to the punching bag (Mother's Day 2010).  I don't have to say things three times. I don't even have to raise my voice to call my kids from upstairs.  Believe me, if you have kids, you need one.  

It was cheap. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

get yer art here!

A while back I created some art for Paper Coterie. You can now purchase these two works as either a 12X12 wrapped canvas or as a 16X6 poster.

Paper Coterie is meticulous about the work they send out so you can be sure it will look great on your wall.

Right now they are offering some really cute Halloween free printables. Check out their selection of cards and calendars too. I think they have some really great products.

Monday, October 22, 2012

casbah creative magic

I thought I'd ease back into this whole blogging thing with a simple slide show of our trip to Morocco.  This trip was a long time in the making and I'm happy to report that it far exceeded my expectations.  Everything about it was pure magic.

Casbah Creative from April Meeker on Vimeo.

If you are interested in participating in a trip similar to Casbah Creative in 2013, please send me an email and I'll add you to the interest list.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

rich girl

I have a friend who has taught me this truth lately. (Katy you know I'm talkin' bout you.)

Education would also fall into this category. I guess you could also buy stocks, and they could pay off and make you richer, but I'm talking about real riches here. 

Here's what I want you to do: take a minute and remember a trip you took with your family as a kid. Think about the actual travel part. Think about the destination, and the food you had, and the funny things that happened.

What is that memory worth to you?

We talked about just flying to our destination for our summer trip. But, you know, I think there is something to be said about road trippin' with your kids. The misery. The smell. The togetherness. It's a hellofa long haul eh? Memories people. Memories. 

We are road trippin' today. We are driving cross country in the family wagon. We are taking treats. We are taking movies. We are not taking the dog. Although that was, at one point, an irrational thought.
We have quite a few trips planned for the rest of the year. Big trips and little trips. Trips with kids and without.  

I am so excited to see where all of these journeys take us.  I feel rich.

**** If you are looking to enrich your own life, there is still room for you if you'd like to come to Morocco with Mindy and I in October.****

Monday, July 09, 2012

let's build a wall

I have a friend named Kimberly who lives on a farm. She has chickens and sheep and white farm furniture and a really great airstream trailer and, well, just go look.  She inspires me.

Anyway a week or so ago she sent me an email about a project her mother Barb is working on in Uganda.

Barb is building an orphanage. A home for children who's parents are gone.  A safe place for these babies. She made and sold banana bread to fund this project. She is an amazing person. The buildings of the orphanage compound are finished!

But the thing is, Barb has to have a security wall around the orphanage before children can live there safely. And so until the wall is built, the children remain homeless. My heart aches for these little people.

This wall is a big wall. It has to be. It is almost complete but there is still one side that needs to be finished.

Barb needs our help to pay to complete this wall.  My answer is yes. Yes! I will help. What an easy way to make a difference! What a great way to help the people of Uganda directly. Like I said before, my heart tells me that we must not remain blind to the struggles of these people. If you are going to put up emotional walls, they should be this type!

My mother likes to say~ what goes around comes around. And I believe it.  This wall will go around this orphanage compound. It will keep these children safe from those that might harm them. It will allow them to grow up and become good productive people.

What say you?  Will you chip in?  No amount is too small.

Add this button to your own site!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

well here we are again

Oh for heaven's sakes where has the time gone?

Here's the dealio.  I can't keep up. And I don't want to. And I don't have to, because I have been smart enough not to commit to having sponsors. Sometimes to do something right. Like every 10 years or so.

Summer is just too, hummm, (busy? no. scheduled? no. hot? no, not in Carlsbad.) lazy. Summer is too lazy to blog. 

I could give a bunch of lame excuses like we are getting all new flooring and traveling for almost four weeks and I'm focusing on sticking to my workouts.  All these things would be true, but really, I just need to slow down a bit.

I think I will give myself permisson to take a Summer break. Not that I won't be around. If I have a stroke of genius you know I'll be posting it all over the internet. But if I don't, and I want to go to the pool, then I won't be here.

Until after Labor Day.

BUT, you can still connect with me on Instagram. You can find me under Secondsister. I love The Gram! Do you have the app on your phone? It's available for iPhone and Droid.  Get it. You won't be sorry. 

And I leave you with a gift. Because that's how I roll.  

A little gift, to make life with your kids this Summer just a wee bit more organized. 

These job charts are 12X16 inches. I had mine printed out and laminated at Kinkos. It cost me $8.  I laminated so we could use dry erase markers instead of printing a new chart each week. But you could do that too. Whatever! It's Summer! No worries!

My boy earns extra money around the house by doing extra chores. I made these tickets so we can keep track of how many extra chores he has done. Heaven forbid we forget. He has important things to save up for, like gum and legos.

Silly boy. Happy Summer!

I'm going to be sending out my freebies through my email list from now on. Sign up and you can download the charts and tickets and get those kids of yours doing their chores!

Monday, June 04, 2012

tower 21

Okay so still no workshop photos. I'm going to need a little leeway on that one.  This time of year is hella busy.

Someone needs to inform new moms that the end of the school year is akin to Christmas in activities to attend. This realization took me by storm.

So if you are a new mom, you have been informed by yours truly. Prepare.

But like Christmas, it's all good and exciting.  We bought new swimsuits, the boys got their short hair cuts, we are making Summer job charts and gathering books for the kid to read over the next few months least his brain atrophy.

Living near the beach during the Summer is a dream come true for me.  It never gets old. Never. We have a few trips planned, but for the most part, this Summer you will find us at the beach. To the south of life guard tower 21. Big umbrella. Cooler full of Coke Zero and strawberries.

Feel free to join us.

Friday, June 01, 2012

the jubilee and other some such stuff

I think Queen Elizabeth is just absolutely charming.

Now I don't know her personally. But I like her M.O.. She's classy like. And she's been at it for sixty years.

I can barely keep my kids in check long enough to pay for groceries, let alone rule over a country for sixty years.

She's classy and evidently made of steel.

Her diamond jubilee starts this weekend. I'm not one to watch these sorts of events, but I wish her the best of luck. The world needs more female role models that look like a well dressed grandma.

I also wanted to mention that it's Summer. I mean like officially. The Boy still has a few days left in school, but there's no doubt that Summer has arrived. I've decided to spend the next two weeks going to the pool everyday in an attempt to teach the babies to doggy paddle.

This hard work is my plan to better the chances of not having to get off my lazy butt every other minute later this Summer.

Here's hoping you have a great weekend. I'm still working on getting a post together about the workshops. One can't rush these things. Maybe Monday.



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

words with friends

The first thing that happened was the kite got away.

The dads ran after it. But alas, it was gone. What's the saying? There is nothing quite like a crisis to bring people together. 

But it turns out, we didn't really need a crisis. We clicked. Just. Like. That.

The story goes something like this:

I meet Katy online about a month ago. We chatted via Facebook, then email and then texts. Katy was coming with her family to San Diego for the weekend and so we invited them to dinner at our house. But then, the Sugar Daddy had to travel, so I asked if we could just meet up for dinner a day earlier.  

Long story short. We ended up meeting them at the Hotel Del. And staying in their villa with them overnight. 

Just to be clear, Ben and I don't do this sort of thing. It isn't like us. We are rather timid, cautious people. But I think maybe, it was meant to be.  I think maybe there was no way we could not be friends with Katy and Paul and their two kids.

We put the littles to bed and stayed up talking and laughing.

Paul and his brother invented a little game you might have heard of called Words With Friends. It was fascinating to hear the story of how they created the game and the risks they took to make their dream come true.  

Our kids played so well together. I loved seeing them have so much fun with new friends.

Thom was in heaven hanging out with a family that understands his game obsession. He had just started playing Words With Friends with his cousin a few weeks ago.  

I often wonder what my life would be like without the internet. I love that I can make new friends anywhere in the world. I love that if I am having a good day or a bad day I can simply pick up my phone or sit at my computer and tell a friend about it. 

Because, after all, having words with friends and family is what life is all about.


This Katy girl is already the type of friend you can go make-up less and braless around. She could walk in my house, and open my fridge, and get herself a coke, and kick off her shoes, and plop down on my couch, and tell me a story, and it would be as if she and I had been friends since childhood.

Is it rare to find a new friend like that? I think so, but the internet helps.

Thanks Katy and Paul!

I'm working on pictures from the workshops. Hopefully I will have them up later this week.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

lofty goals

I was feeling sorry for myself the other day.  

I was looking at my friends photos taken at Surtex and the National Stationary show and feeling very sorry for myself that I wasn't there, participating. Oh poor forlorn me. Nobody likes me, my art.

And just generally feeling like my art career is super slow going and lifeless.

So I said to myself,  "Self, this is it. You are setting a goal. You are going to Surtex next year."

And then I immediately got scared because I'd set such a lofty goal. And my go to thought is always, I can't do it, I'm not good enough.

But, you know, what the hell.  What do I have to lose? 

So now I've plastered my goal up on the world wide web for all to see, which is more than setting it in stone, because people will know if I fall short. How embarrassing.

But I think very helpful nonetheless. For instance, the fear of embarrassment will motivate me and also, if you happen to be an agent or a creative director of a company who likes my art, you might just call me up and say, let's make this happen. That would be nice.

Anyway, here's to goals and living stagnant free.

Monday, May 21, 2012

a modern vintage tea party birthday

It was a tea party as sophisticated as a tea party for toddlers can be.

She is three. Already. What happened? Where did my baby girl go?

We decided to forgo a birthday cake in lieu of petit fours.  

And lots of other goodies.

Of course.

The guests were as sweet as the cake.

Each little girl received an apron made from a hankie with treats in the pocket.

Daddy lit the candle.

Frankie "helped" blow it out.

Yummy gooey cakes! 

Happy Birthday to my sweet girl.