Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fashion- Jeans

I HAD to buy pants.

I had held out as long as I could because whatever I buy now is "transitional" clothing. night when I had an abundance of patience, I went pants hunting. The goal was to buy one pair of inexpensive jeans that would work with the shirts I have in my closet.

40 pairs later, I came to the conclusion that I have two style choices when it comes to jeans:

1. Mom jeans
2. Tight fitting jeans

There is nothing imbetween for a curvy girl because I....
I fill out jeans. 
I seriously cannot figure out why they appear to only change the waist width from size to size. Why, oh why? Obviously the people designing them do not have the same struggle.

However, my trip was blessed with a SERIOUS find of BRIGHT BLUE wedge sneakers. I've wanted to wear that trend, but didn't want to invest in case I didn't like them. I paid $6.99!!! They were $80 shoes! Man oh man! That made the whole pants struggle worth going through.

Check out my style!

(Photo of course by that hot photographer I'm married to.)

See you later!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Life and fashion- Sunday at the Library

A couple Sundays ago Spring came to visit Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We (my sis-in-law and husband....and for a brief moment my mother-in-law) celebrated by an afternoon at the library.

Our newly built library has a rooftop garden that you can soak in the sun while perusing through a pile of books. What a lovely combination!

This Sunday I brought my Sharpies and sketchbook along, looking for design inspiration. I must admit that I was very distracted by the opportunity to chat with my companions and stare at the clouds moving above me. After all, one must indulge in the beauty that surrounds them, right?

We eventually went inside and I did get some creative work done. It really was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Here are some pictures so that you might sneak a peek into my world.


I bet you don't have to guess which shoes are favorite little heels.

Wouldn't want to leave Louis out of the foot picture taking. I'm for full participation!

Rockin' the last wearing of these size 14 jeans! By the end of the day, even with a belt I couldn't keep those suckers up. It wasn't that long ago that I rejoiced that I could fit into my journey.

Enjoying the discovery of a layering app. This picture says something that I'm feeling. And like all good pieces of art, words cannot describe that feeling. I will allow you to see, feel, and interpret.

Have a lovely day! May Spring be finding a way into your heart.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fashion: Leopard makes me happy

It is true. 

Leopard prints make me happy.
And that neon yellow, it REALLY makes me happy. It is visual sunshine!

I'm planning on posting more of my fashion as I have been having SO MUCH FUN putting outfits on this smaller bod that I have worked hard for.

Enjoy my creative dressing vibe.

Be bold and be true to you!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Quilting- A New Valentine Tradition

Every year, my mother (Deb Condit) and I have made gorgeous sugar cookies for Valentine's Day. Her birthday is February 13th, so this tradition has become part birthday celebration, part holiday. It is always a good time full of laughter and SUGAR!

When I needed to eat gluten free a couple years ago, it put a kink in our tradition. This year, I have been on a serious diet, so sugar cookies were out, out, OUT!

My mother, having a delightful creative mind, came up with the idea to work on a festive quilt block together instead. Sew together? Oh yeah, I was game! It is one of my favorite things to do with her.

A couple days before Mom's birthday, I had the idea that a fun birthday present would be to hand paint some fabrics for her to use in her Valentine sewing project. It was definitely the RIGHT gift for her.

Here are some pics of my mom's project and the fabric I painted for her:

It was so much fun to make cute little hearts. (She told me that I was a little stingy with the hearts and she had needed TWO more rows! Somehow she managed ;).

This heart is inspired by the Brighton jewelry that she loves. It also reminds me of when I would watch her, as a kid, doodle hearts on the phone book or random piece of paper that was laying around while she was talking on the phone. (She was a Zentangler long before it was ever a "thing").

Here is her paper pieced block. (Sorry that I do not have a pattern reference for you. It was a free pattern off the internet).

Isn't her wall-hanging gorgeous!?!?! The setting she designed balances out the hand painted art with the pieced quilting delightfully. I can hardly wait to see it finished.

My project has not come along quite as fast, but is going to become a pillow for our couch this spring.....or at least I think it will become a pillow.....oh artists! It's not decided, until it's decided!!! Gotta love the way you are made!

Hand painted fabric for me!

My block was made of scraps from the Carpe Diem tree panel I designed for Frond Design Studios. Yep, a little funky and different!

And my second block. Really loving this one!

We shared our new tradition with two other women from the little town/village that I grew up (and my parents still live). It was a good time! I heard all kinds of stories about country living. Much laughter and stitching was had by all.

Thank you for taking time to enjoy our new Valentine tradition.

Have a lovely day!

-Melissa Marie Collins

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sewing- Little Mitts and Hat

The sweetest little bundle was born to my sister Charity. Seeing her become a mother and wife has been such a joy. This has been a full year of celebrations for her!

After perusing how to make mittens on Pinterest, I decided to give it a whirl as a gift to my niece. After all, we live in Iowa and warm things are a serious necessity.

Up the stairs I went to my studio/haven with flute music dancing (from Pandora) in my ears. I felt fully capable to complete this creative task.

One try, two try, three try.....four tries. A pile of discarded materials later I had a set of precious little mitts! They are very sweet and match a crocheted hat I made about a month ago.

Let's talk about the attempts that it took to complete this task.

It is easy to try something once, fail, and then give up. It takes gutts to try, fail, try, fail, and repeat until you get it right. Sewing and art making require being brave and sticking with it.

Next time you are working on a project and you fail, take a breath and start again. It will be ok. 

In fact, if you keep going you could unlock your inner genius and discover an amazing design that was waiting to be born through you.

Now, look at this cuteness!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall Market 2013

Today is the last day of Quilt Market. It is quieter day, with an undertone of hustle and bustle. Many are working hard to finish their market to-do lists.

Our Frond Booth, #2206, has been well received and met with ooo's and ahh's. People love to stop and gaze at our colorful fabrics and see how to incorporate the fabric lines into their quilt shops and life.

My favorite part about market is getting to connect with the Quilt Shop owners and sharing the stories behind each fabric line. Behind every great line of fabric (and art) lies a story.

It has been fun to wear my Art clothes this week. And the response has been a blast!

At 4:00 we tear down, load the Penske, grab a bite to eat and then rise early in the morning to fly (or drive- part of our crew) home.

In 2012, Stephanie Brandenburg said she was going to start Frond and asked if I would design with her. Without a moment's pause I said, "YES!". It has been a great journey.

Back to work I go! Have a lovely day.


(Photo by Louis M. Collins)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Art & Life- Stream Painting

I had the pleasure of crossing the anniversary of my birth and becoming one year older. It was a beautiful day full of simple moments.

There was ONE thing that I wanted to do on my birthday. It kept rolling over and over in my heart and wouldn't let me go.

I wanted to paint in a stream.

Mr. Handsome had photographed a senior painting in a stream and I decided then and there that I HAD to have that experience.

The weather was beautiful on my birthday. The temperature was warm for a fall day, perfect for dipping my toes in the water.

It was a glorious experience! One of those moments in life that can not quite be described. One of those memories you tuck into your heart and hold dear. 

It was spiritual, romantic, and perfect. Sharing it with my loving husband added so much to the experience. Being the photographer that he is, there are some pretty cool photos too. He hasn't edited all the pictures, but released a few to my delight.

A message for you:
Do the things your heart longs to do. Your life will be richer and contain more beauty. I promise.