New Blog Site for HandiworkIt

Hello Loyal Reader(s)! I am excited to say that I have finally made the move to Wordpress for my blogging. It took me forever to 1.think about moving the blog, 2. look into the details, 3. decide it was too much work, 4. wait 6 months until it kept bugging me, 5. do more research and find it easier that I thought and finally, 6. start the new blog.

From now on, I will be writing (more) frequently about life over at
I was able to migrate all my old posts and comments to the new blog, which is awesome.
So come on over and check it out!!!

First new post: Little Oranges Studio Sale Update...

Thanks for reading here and I hope that you will follow me over to the new spot.
Best! Emily

Pasadena in Plein Air

Last week, on my usual round of vintage shopping, I ran across a painting that was quite a find. It was a small but beautiful plein air landscape painting. Signed by Vic Riseau and featuring the California poppies that I love, I was sold.This find prompted a little online research, where I learned more about Pasadena's long and rich history in the California plein air painting movement. This being one of my favorite styles of painting, I was excited to find that the California Art Club was hosting an event at, and in support of, La Casita del Arroyo (another local treasure) and I knew I had to go.

There were many talented painters selling pieces that they had done over the previous week in an intensive group painting initiative in support of the Arroyo and La Casita itself. As I walked past the wonderfully inspiring artists and their work, I came across the beautifully abstract paintings of Eric Merrell. His work is plein air painting with a touch of impressionism that makes his work stand apart from the rest. His use of color and light is refreshing and youthful. I am not a fine artist, but I appreciate those who have so much talent.

Above and below are a couple of his Arroyo paintings, from his blog, and it is worth looking at his site as well to see the breadth of his work. I hope to see more of it in person again soon....

Studio Sale Time!!!

Studio Sale is coming soon!!!
Mark your calendars for Saturday, Nov. 12 from 1-4pm.
Tons to buy- details coming soon :)

Fourth of July!

We had great friends over for July 4th- it was a wonderful evening! What's even more wonderful??! Molly's amazing photos...Thanks, friend, for capturing the time together on film. Love it all!!!! Check out her photos here.


Hello all! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend celebrating our nation's independence! We had a great time. We have had some of our good friends staying with us and the time has flown by (boo!). One of the highlights for our Fourth of July was the local parade. Wonderful!!!! Our little city of Sierra Madre goes all out for the weekend and the parade is no exception. I literally cannot post all the shots I took of the parade and couldn't choose favorites, so I settled on the John Deere tractor above (which was one of like 20!)- wonderful! Highlights of the parade included: classic cars carrying various mayors, city council members and (my favorite) Hometown Hero, a giant inflated triceratops, marching bands, the Flintstone mobile, military trucks and soldiers, at least two All-Star Little League champion teams, a belly dancer dressed as Lady Liberty, the Shriners and their awesome mini mobiles, many many fire trucks, local cheer squad, the Peace Corps, many Ford Model T's and a pack-horse train.....I think that was it. Did I miss anything else?
Anyhoo, it was wonderful! God Bless America!

Guilty pleasure...

Yeah, we are not what you would call country folks, and we are not really known to cowboy up for anything....but this movie was fun. Country Strong is a little cheesy, a little sad, somewhat melodramatic, a good bit entertaining, fairly predictable.....but not terrible. Enjoyable enough that we may have purchased some of the songs on our last iTunes shopping spree... Beau (Garrett Hedlund) and Chiles (Leighton Meester in a very un-Gossip Girl turn) were great and can actually sing. Anyway, if you feel like getting a little bit country, this is your ticket.

Fency Pants!

Yes, terrible pun: but still a very fun project. Check it out on our "house" blog. Yay for long summer days with more time to work after, well, work.

A blanket of purple...

We are fortunate to be in the midst of a consistent sprinkling of small purple blossoms right now. Our street has many jacarandas and one of the oldest is right in front of our house. It has been a joy to watch the shades of periwinkle, pale blue and lavender fall and leave a cloak of color on our lawn and walks.....wonderful (sticky, but wonderful!!!!).

simple, perfect evening

Memorial Day weekend is full of plans and parties, sometimes so many it seems like too much. You just want to stay home in the hammock. But spending time with friends is one of the best things in life, I think. Good friends had a get together recently that was wonderfully easy and effortless- despite the hostess' impending due date! Style, grace and laughter made the night one that I'll remember for a long while...

Night Lights

Last week, I had drinks after work with A at LACMA and I was able to see this art installation in person. Artist Chris Burden restored over 200 lamp posts and they have been creating luminary magic for patrons and passersby ever since. For reference they have been in films like that other Natalie Portman movie, where they were the pivotal spot for a romantic confession. And, in a confession of my own, I have to admit that it is a truly engaging space to move through- like a forest of light in the middle of the city. And we weren't alone- there were at least two couples getting engagement photos taken- just saying.

Cleaning Thrift Art

Oh, the treasures that can be found at Salvation Army....Love it! I found this simple, but sweet, vintage painting...unfortunately, it's previous life was in a smokier home than ours. What to do? I was not sure how to clean away the brown haze that years of tobacco smoke had left. But never fear!!! Laure had a great idea- Magic Eraser! Apparently approved for vintage pieces, like Nelson pendants, that have also escaped the flames, but not the smoke. So last weekend, I broke out the cleaning supplies (damp magic eraser & dry paper towel) and engaged in an intense 3 minutes of cleaning- the result was amazing!!! I wish I had taken a before photo, but people look at the sponge and towel- they give you an idea. So now you know! Don't be afraid of a little smoky haze.... (disclaimer: the painting was not expensive or of personal significance, so I took the chance. If you are looking at cleaning a more important piece, consult a professional!)

Happy Easter

I hope that you all had a great Easter! Christ is risen indeed! We were more home-bound than planned, as Manish was sick all weekend. But the upside was a great day in the kitchen and wonderful church services.....
(in case you are wondering what has his attention so fixed, it is our favorite 4-year old Canadian, Caillou....)

Backyard days

The weather has been warm and amazing the last few days. We joke that if summer was like this we cut handle it....ahhhh, but for now we are just enjoying the relaxing time.

Spring Cleaning...

Yes, it's true! I have restocked Industrious Lily with lots of spring goods. This is due mostly in part to the major cleaning efforts at the studio- whew! So enjoy the benefits of the organization efforts...Happy Spring everyone!

print fun!

Finally printed out some more of the posters that I designed last fall- hooray! If you are looking for fun, colorful pieces- these fit the bill. They should be up on Etsy in the next day or two....Fun times!!!

Get these now!

I have been meaning to post about Jill's journals since I bought them at Target like 2 weeks ago- argh! Anyway, they are awesome! For her sake, I hope that they are all sold out, every last one...but for your sake, I hope there are a couple left under all the Hello Kitty and Transformers folders in the notebook aisle.
(super-awesome poppies! Laure's post today reminded me of these- spring beauties!)

Jill's journals are a staple in my paper collection and have been for years, so I wasn't sure how the big box versions would be, but they are super great! The line work is beautifuland the grid paper is great- get's me planning. Hooray!!!! Perfect for gifts (or keeping) or both!(super nifty grids- already in use)

So now you have an excuse to wander down the paper aisle next time you are shopping at the bullseye. And if you aren't familiar with Jill's work, it is really beautiful and her blog is a great mix of everyday living, artistic inspiration and interesting ideas....

Succulent Ups and Downs

Ok, so I love my little succulents, and thought I'm no expert, I have enjoyed them in our home for years without killing (all) of them. But now, we are planting them outside, working with cuttings and doing more arrangements as well. So, the limitations of my (super-minimal) skills are beginning to show. So help me if you can!!!!

Question 1: Why did my little cutting die? Two lived and flourished, one totally collapsed (below, on right)- thoughts?Question 2: What do you plant indoor succulents in, material-wise, potting soil or mulch or both? Rocks on top or no? Holes for drainage (are those really necessary)?Thanks for your help! Hopefully these guys will make it. Their predecessors just got planted outside, so something is going right.....Happy planting, everyone! (more to come on outdoor planting adventures soon!)