Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring Break

Lauren and Claire working hard at the studio

Well, Rachel is off to exciting Utah for the vacation. I am here, mainly at home, but trying to work in the studio as well. Unfortunately I have the kids with me which makes working a little harder. Today they were pretty good, primarily because I found a box of chocolates in the studio that I let them break into. Lauren was kind enough to serve as my model for new listings on Etsy.

We are loving our new store. We listed last week as a venue for some of our fabric and art items. We have had nice consistent sales since them. I am looking forward to adding more products this week. Two new aprons went up today since we have already sold 2! I did a great job stealing Rachel's garden apron design. We are using vintage fabrics from Rachel's mom. They give the aprons a great retro feel.

I can't wait for later this week when I get to see Rachel's new fabric finds. Upholstery fabrics for less than $2.00 a yard in Utah! We'll post pictures as soon as we can.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

We Love Fabric Shopping!

Fabric shopping is taking over our lives! Well not completely, but we are loving it. We have been making pillows, table runners, coasters, bags and selling them at our antique booth at Noble Antiques in Lafayette. We also are trying to learn new sewing techniques and and every time we find something at a store, we peek inside to see if we can figure out how it is put together. The learning curve seems never ending.

Because we are mainly selling fabric items as a supplement to our antique venture, we tend to look for vintage look and feel fabrics. There are some great lines of very retro 50's fabric that we have found at Hobby Lobby and Hancock Fabrics. We have also had some great finds at Big Lots. Super discount store that has recently started carrying upholstery weight fabrics for 2 yards for $5.00. Great Price and if you search enough you can find some great patterns.

Where do you find your fabrics? We would love to know.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Prettiest Earrings!

Kerry made these--they are the perfect earrings for Spring!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

New Jewelry

We have some new designs! You can see more at, just search "Milagro Jewelry" We will have more beaded pieces soon!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


Today was better
Today we worked in the studio. We haven’t done that for a long time, it seems. Our days have been filled with shopping, meetings, and scouting. Not to mention the days that we have to cancel due to the kids off of school or cold weather (the studio doesn’t heat very well).

Today we had studio guests in at noon. We had to stay in. I guess being “forced” to stay in was good for us. It pushed us back to what we do: make jewelry.
Sometimes finding inspiration, after not working for a while, is hard. We are pushed back to our materials. We look at the stones and silver that we have and see what strikes us. Sometimes we challenge ourselves—“we haven’t made a piece using citrine for a while,” or “what can we do with this silver piece?” I feel challenged. We have to change our designs and colors to fit trends and style as well as stay true to our own aesthetic.
We both made several new pieces...I like them all. On Friday we will take photos, and hopefully you will be able to see them on Amazon soon.
Today was good. Good to be productive. Good to be creative.

Monday, March 5, 2007

A Bad Monday

Our day went bust…
Don’t you sometimes just have a day that doesn’t work out? We did. We set out to do a little antiquing, a little junque-ing at the flea markets…and to scout out some new stores for our jewelry. It was a Monday.
After a half hour work in the studio, we hopped in the car and drove north, to the next town… This particular Monday the flea market we had set out for was closed, unexpectedly. Not only that 4 of the 5 boutiques we wanted to take a look at don’t have Monday hours.
So, back in the car. We headed for home. We had a little lunch and thought we would check out a few thrift stores in Boulder. We called ahead to make sure they were open…Luck! All three stores were open.
Our luck didn’t last long. The stores were over priced—they didn’t have anything we found interesting—and, frankly, they stank. No, really they smelled! Bad! Kerry and I almost lost our lunch at the last one. It had the unsavory smell of cat pee and old food.
We called it a day, with little to show for our effort.
I guess some days are like that.

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Helen Parker Art Studio

The historic little blue building in old town Lafayette, Colorado has lived many lives. What was once Lafayette's kindergarten, a storage facility and even a wash house, is a building with a history and with history comes a story. This one involves an artist, a mother and daughter, a friendship, dreams and a pair of red cowboy boots.

Helen, a Birch and Douglas Elementary Schools art teacher and artist, started renovations on the little blue building with the dream of turning it into an art studio for herself. New cherry wood floors, walls and electricity were added but renovations stopped with her sudden death and the little blue building sat. In the coming years it was used as a storage facility by her daughter Rachel. It sat untouched for 7 years until Rachel and Kerry were looking for a place to expand their jewelry design business. The perfect place was right there in front of them in what everyone called “the schoolhouse.”

In the spring of 2005, renovations started. It was messy, dusty and sometimes overwhelming. But with determination and help from friends, everything was hauled out and cleaned and we began to see what a fabulous place we had. We found many treasures while we cleaned, including a bag of Milagros that we swore kept mysteriously moving around everytime we set them down. Each time we discovered them again we knew this was the right place for us to be. A friendly mannequin we nicknamed Paco sat in the corner with a bandaged arm. We still hope he is out there somewhere riding around Lafayette. Boxes and boxes of art supplies and treasures we named collageables, were waiting for us to transform them into art. One item we don’t have a story for but we find intriguing are the red cowboy boots that hang from the ceiling rafter. It is the one item we never moved and probably never will. They must be important, because everyone notices them and everyone has something nice to say about them. We like to think of the red boots as the logo for what we now call “The Helen Parker Art Studio.”

In the fall of 2005, we moved in and found that we wanted to create more than jewelry in our little studio. We started experimenting with our own art and world’s of ideas came to us. We always say we are full of ideas and it seems they never stop, so we had to share. In December we started classes for local women to come and create fine crafts with us. The classes fill each month and we have a nice group of regulars as well as new people each time. We love sharing our ideas and love meeting all of the fascinating, creative, bright women who join us. The Studio is a second home for Rachel and I; and we hope it feels the same way for everyone else who joins us there.