PinkyLouLou Party Girl

Inspiring Fun Parties Everwhere

Happily Back In My Studio August 7, 2008

Filed under: altered art,collage,pillow,plastic beads,quotes,sewing,vintage beads — Our Studio with olive m'lou @ 3:52 pm

Ah, I am feeling more relaxed and happy now. Now that I am off the steroids for my hearing I am feeling much more like myself. Yeah! I have gotten my creative energy back, too. I still can’t hear of my left ear, but I’m getting used to it. Sorry for being so crabby last time.
Yesterday morning I made a little pillow with one of my collages printed on fabric, and I was so happy with how it turned-out that I stayed up half the night making a bunch more. The first one is a present for a dear friend, so I am not showing that one yet. They are all around 5″x4″, plus the hanging parts.
Anyway, a few months ago I went to an estate sale and walked away with 4 storage units of little plastic drawers FILLED with mainly vintage plastic beads. Who doesn’t need thousands of those in every color of the rainbow?! I just couldn’t leave them… Some of the other drawers had newer jewerly/craft supplies that I will someday get around to listing for sale.

So, most of these small hanging quote pillows are trimmed with the fun beads. The one above has glass leaf and flower beads that I bought and just love, too. I used vintage barkcloth and a vintage tablecloth for the fabrics. I have ideas for incorporating vintage hankies, too, especially for baby ones.
I also went through my ginourmous stash of fabrics, and I can’t wait to start plowing through it. I used to be a milliner, hat designer, until I got really burned-out, so I put my fabrics and sewing stuff away for a while. OK, years. Now it feels like I have all this new stuff to play with, so that’s good. I’d forgotten how relaxing and sort of meditative (is that a word?) sewing is for me. I am even thinking of making some more hats. I’ll post some pics soon of some of the hats I made when I had my millinery store.

So, I’m going to list these in my etsy store and see what happens. I wish my pics didn’t turn-out sort of washed-out. I use Photoshop, but I’m afraid to tweak them too much bc they start to look too messed-with. Any suggestions?
I hope you are having a creative and relaxing day!


Ears Don’t Fail Me Now July 17, 2008

I have been having a hard time keeping up lately, and I would like to explain why. I started this blog for my business, and I have been trying to keep it from being too personal. That has been difficult. I don’t want it to be about me and my life but about my art, but I suppose there’s no way of drawing a line between the two. I also didn’t want it to be boring!

The past couple of months have been really challenging for me, so I have had a hard time keeping up with my on-line life. I tripped and fell the first week of June (days before the Castle in the Meadow ZNE event) on a step in my house and cracked a rib. I was taking strong painkillers that just made me sleepy, plus I couldn’t move (or breathe) too easily, so creating and marathon training were off the table for a while, except for the Castle in the Meadow, of course. Then, once I felt somewhat mobile once again, I woke-up three weeks later with most of my hearing gone in my left ear.

I didn’t worry too much about it until that evening, when I learned that it is considered a medical emergency. Off to the emergency room again. They couldn’t see anything that was causing it, so an appointment with an ENT was made for 3 days later. 2 days later I was back in the ER with a stunning headache and vertigo. They said it was not related to my ear, so more painkillers and anti-vertigo meds.

The next day I had a hearing test and then saw the ENT. I had lost all low-tone hearing in my left ear, which means no speech recognition. I could still hear high-pitched sounds, which included running water and my shrieking 4 year-old. It was so strange. You don’t think about how sounds are combinations of lots of different tones until you can only hear the piercing ones! Anyway, the ENT couldn’t find anything either, so she gave me steroids and a vasodialator and set me up with an MRI 2 weeks later.

We had planned a trip up to my parents’ fabulous lake house for the Fourth of July, so my brother (who was visiting us during all this and definately helped save my sanity by helping with the kids, etc) drove me and the munchkins up so I could stumble around (trying not to fall on my ribs again) and try to sleep through the piles of pills I was taking. Let me tell you, I HATE to rely on others and play invalid, but I was really grateful to be able to sleep and rest so much. In the meantime, I learned that it can be a great benefit in a Victorian cottage with little noise insulation to be able to sleep on one side and not hear a sound! I also remembered some subtler hearing/balance problems I’d been having even before I fell, I just didn’t put it together right away. We figure that that is what caused my fall in the first place.

OK, so I had the MRI last Thursday, and I was desperately hoping that the results would be available quickly, as my hubby and I were leaving early Sat with another couple to surprise a high school friend for her 40th in DC. The ENT suspected a growth/lesion/tumor, so of course I wanted to know ASAP if brain surgery would be in my future! Luckily, early Fri a.m. she called with the news that the MRI was all clear. I did ask for a copy of some of the images after the MRI, so I wasn’t surprised, as I knew what she was looking for looked like.

Tuesday I had another hearing test scheduled, and a follow-up with the ENT the next day. The hearing test was administered by another wonderful Audiologist who spent a lot of time explaining everything to me about the first test and then this one, as I had been too overwhelmed the first time to even ask questions. It was the same tests as previously, and before I was finished I was fighting tears and panic, as it seemed to me to even worse to me. The audiologist was on the other side of a tinted window, and I saw her leave the room and then return with a man and show him the results.

She came back in the room and said that the tests showed a sharp decline from 3 weeks previously and the head of Neurotologic division wanted me to stick around they’d squeeze me in instead of coming back the next day. Of course I was sobbing at this point. I realize that losing hearing in one ear is not the worst thing that can happen to me, but any change like that is a shock. Plus, of course it freaked me out also that this doctor wanted to see me immediately.

It really was almost immediately, and the nurse, Physician’s Assistant and Doctor couldn’t have been nicer, more patient, and explained everything to me and answered all the questions I could come-up with at the time. They believe that it is mostly caused by a virus or an autoimmune disease. The chances of recovering my hearing in the left ear aren’t great, but I was sent home with a form for lots of lab work and another prescription for a course of steroids- much longer and much stronger than previously.

I had the blood drawn yesterday morning and started the steroids, and I have been a bundle of energy since. Nervous energy, not giddy energy, but at least I can try to begin catching-up from the beginning of June. I figured I might not need Benedryl to sleep on the first night, but I should have taken it. At 1:00 this morning I had a panic attack about the possibility of losing the hearing in my right ear, too. The tests show it pretty much in the normal range, but there was a small decrease in that ear, too. I didn’t want to wake my husband up to watch me cry and try not to hyperventilate, so I went in the guest room and tried to read and calm down. I finally fell asleep and was back up 4 hours later.

So, here I am. I am a bit uncomfortable sharing all this as I don’t want to sound like a whiner. I am just really distracted and overwhelmed. I am off to take my morning prednisone and use the energy it gives me to clean my studio and try to get back into the creative groove after more than 6 weeks off. Hopefully I have some things to photograph and show.

The above picture is of a bathroom cabinet that my mom and I altered a number of years ago. I can’t take much credit, as it was all her idea and I just did some of the painting of the cabinet. It is in my parents’ summer house. It really just occurred to me during this last visit that it was a piece of altered art.

Thanks for “listening” and have a great day.


Wire Mannequins and More March 18, 2008

11 inch dress forms
There is just something so appealing about these wire forms! They are nice and lightweight, yet very sturdy. I was reading last night about upcoming submission requests for Stampington Magazines such as Somerset Studio and Belle Armoire, and one or more of these could be used for any of them. They are easily altered and added to, and the possibilities are endless! I just stocked them in my store in the “Alter Me” section.

If you use any of the wire forms that you buy from me (or anything else for that matter) and credit PinkyLouLou when you get published (think positive!) I will send you a nice little thank you bag of goodies.

13 inch wire dresses
You know, I have been working so hard on my new store- photographing, listing, organizing, etc, that I haven’t actually made anything in what feels like weeks… My challenge to myself is to get back to my happily messy table and create. I mentioned Somerset and the other mags because I bought a huge whiteboard yesterday and wrote down a bunch of calls for submissions to them and others, up there in big letters, to give me a starting point. I also haven’t done ANY inchies yet, and that’s a big thing right now.

OK, I have a plan, now I just need some sleep…. 🙂 Happy Creating!

5 inch wire mesh birds

Small wire mesh flower wraps

6 inch wire mesh dress forms

Very large wire mesh bird cage (entire back opens!)

Large wire mesh flower wrap


Wow, I’m embarressed at the long silence… December 29, 2007

Filed under: altered art,altered book,New Year,pop-up book — Our Studio with olive m'lou @ 9:30 pm

I cannot believe that you haven’t heard from me since September…
Most of the problem was a heel fracture from June that didn’t heal, so back on crutches I went, so I didn’t feel like doing much that I didnt’ have to do. I had a couple of art fairs/events that were crazy busy (luckily had help from a good friend), and orders kept me busy until the last minute before Christmas.
One of my New Year’s goals is to regularly post here with on-going projects and new fun products.

I am actually changing the name from MLou Is Pink to Pinky LouLou, so after my new web-store is up and running the name of this blog will be Pinky LouLou, as will my web-store. I am using DIYestores to build my store, and I really like their set-up. The biggest hold-up is taking pictures of all of the wonderful vintage treasures I’ve found for creating altered art and altered books. I think those will be listed first, then I’ll list the books, etc, that I’ve made to sell. Lots to do, gotta clean that studio first! I have only been off of crutches for a few weeks, so I’m still catching-up on my life.

I am very excited about pop-up books, and that’s a direction that I’ve meant to go in for a while. I have recovered from the holidays and my heel, and it’s time to get organized to start 2008 well. I have some great resources on making pop-up books, and I’ve had fun playing. I made my first p-u book for my friend Audrey who helped my with a huge event while I was using a walker for my heel, and while it’s not technically difficult, I am so happy about how it turned out. Unfortunately, the pictures aren’t the best, because while I got an amazing SLR for my birthday, it was only a couple days later that I took the pics, and I hadn’t experimented enough. You’ll get the general idea, and I’ll just have to make more and take better pictures.
Have a fabulous and fun New Year’s, and happy altering!


Little Altered Shadowbox Collage Pendants August 23, 2007

Filed under: altered art,collage,etsy,milagro,pendant,vintage necklace — Our Studio with olive m'lou @ 8:52 pm

I made these little 3-D shadowbox necklaces, and I am so happy how they turned out! I started with little metal flip-top frames (which I will be listing as supplies soon), then layered a milagro between a transparency and another image. There is a piece of glass on the front protecting the pieces, and the backs of most of them have a mirror, but a couple have a piece of antique sheet music behind glass. They are hung from a length of faux suede.

Please check them out in my etsy store, along with more.

This is one of those vintage things I just HAD to have when I found it. It is chunky and heavy, but the chain is lightweight. The pendant is about 4″ long, and the letters and the top detail are actually set into the metal, not sitting on top or printed. I couldn’t resist. Now I have to decide if I am going to keep it or sell it!

I promise that tomorrow I’ll get some pics of the cool printing and engraving goodies from that estate sale. I think I’ll also get some shots of my studio.