Friday, March 30, 2007

New Pretties

When we were little my Maw would refer to her breakables as her "Pretties", as in "don't touch Maw's Pretties, they might break." Here are the latest Pretties at the local shoppe.
They all have different "tags" on them. The green one features a trophy cup and says "Congrats," another says "Celebrate."
I am planning on doing some more for Birthdays, Mother's Day and Weddings. I will have to figure out the cost of mailing before I decide if they are going on Etsy or not. We will just have to wait and see...

Meanwhile, feeling that I needed some Uplifting of the Spirits this afternoon, I bought myself & downloaded the score from The Holiday. It's the most wonderful working, crafting and musing music. Perfect background for my little studio.

From Where I Sit

If I sit in Nathan's chair in the living room, this is what I see. The day I took this picture, the kids where gone, the toys were picked up and there was a glow about the room.
While I sat, I was enjoying this book picked up at a flea market (completing my collection) and for one moment I found myself being satisfied with how things looked around the room, instead of focusing on all the things Still To Be Done. Seems to be the theme for me these days. Learning to appreciate the beauty in what I have, in taking time to sit still and enjoy all I have around me, from the smallest knick-knack to my dearest friends and family.

Earlier this week as I put the finishing touches on our home for Easter, I tried to figure out why I wasn't as excited this year as I have been in years past. There have been times - recent times - when I have proclaimed that Easter may be my very favorite holiday of all. This year I am not feeling that so much. I think I figured out that it is because we are Currently Without Country when it comes to church... This time last year, it was our first Easter apart from our old church, and to be honest I don't remember much about Easter '06. I know we hunted eggs at another church and that we went to my grandmothers - as always, but I don't remember how I felt about it all. Now, a year later after having been involved in some other churches and having connected with some people, and liked some things about each of the churches we have visited, and not liked some other things, we are still officially without country, and have come to realize that it may be awhile before we figure all this out.
But in the meantime, as I said, there is so much to be grateful for all around me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Empty Nest




So this is big news. Are you ready for it? My kids are on Spring Break. At my parents. Without me. This is truly a dream come true.

Back before Wylie was in school, and before my mom came to see us once a week, this would happen a lot more often. Weekend, or mid-week trips to Meme and Obi's house were fairly common. In fact I was spoiled rotten. Then I had Miles and then I went to work, and then Wylie went to school, and my mom starting coming up one day week to help out, and the overnight thing kinda fell to the wayside. Which was fine, and really no huge deal, because I was happy to all be together on the weekends, after such busy weeks. But every now and then, Nathan and I do look at each other and say "Remember when we actually spent evenings, nights, days even, alone in our own house? With no one to wake us up? No one who needs a constant supply of juice? No one yelling and running at warp speed all through the house? Remember those days?" and the answer was always "Yeah, barely. Hmm."


But now, those days are back, at least until Saturday. Which is so great because I have so much prep work to get done so I can actually start work on a bunch of new jobs, and because there are things that I would love to get done, that don't seem to happen with very helpful, almost 3year old, around all day.

And, it looks like we will get to go out on a date, a real date , on Friday night. And not have to rush home. And not have to pay a babysitter, and therefor scrimp on dinner. We are going to put on lovely clothes, eat delicious food, attend a fun social event with other grown-ups, and I may even wear a shoe that has a (hold your breathe!) high-ish heel. Can you imagine? Me either!

Thank you spring break!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bathing Beauty


We only have one bathroom in our 1700 sqf Minimal Traditional Cottage, circa 1940. I don't know why I caved on the 2 bath thing with this house. Maybe it was the pressure of needing a house yesterday, or maybe it was because this house had everything else on my wish list including a fireplace and the original & real wainscoting in the dining room. And it had a dining room, plus an eat-in-kitchen. I would need 2 tables? And lots of chairs? Where do I sign? Who needs 2 bathrooms???
Well, now that everyone -including Miles!!- in my house uses the potty things are getting a little crowded. Yesterday morning there was a line formed outside our existing baths door. When it was my turn I found myself wondering about people who live in homes with multiple baths. If one finds themselves lucky enough to live in a house where each person has their own bathroom is that the only bathroom one uses? Does one pass rooms with bathrooms in them simply to get to their bathroom? Like a hotel? How odd.

But back to the problem at hand: Our need for a another bath. With adding a second bath, comes the obvious money issue, but there is the kitchen issue as well. We have 1940's plumbing which isn't really up to the standards of modern dishwashers and washing machines and toilets. Where we want to put the second bath is in the existing laundry room which is between the master bedroom and the kitchen. We'll have to reorient the laundry portion and do some plumbing work, which means diving into the kitchen plumbing as well, which means we should go ahead and remodel the kitchen, which I have discussed here and here.... which is just not possible right now.
So no new bathroom anytime soon. We will get there eventually, but in the meantime I am gathering ideas and pictures of dream baths. I am noticing that all the ones I pick are blue. Almost the same color as my living room. Odd. I don't know if it is the color I am drawn too or if all the bathroom styles I like just happen to be painted this particular color??? But I do know that I like all the white, and the fresh vintage feel...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Corners of My Home, The Slightly Easter Edition

This is what is happening on my mantle right now. My new nest painting from Jeanetta that I adore and some other bits.

These are my plates in the kitchen. Our original 1940 cabinets aren't deep enough for modern dishes, so an old bookshelf does the trick for now. I love the rainbow effect of all the plates and bowls. Totally my pallet of colors all mixed together.

This a partial view of the china hutch in the dining room cleaned and organized and dressed for spring...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Garage Sailing


People are starting to do funny things. Like having garage sales on days other than Friday or Saturday. A couple of weeks ago I went to one on a Monday. Today, a Thursday, I went to another. But I like these odd-day garage sales. I like to shop a good garage sale on a day when the kids are at school and Sweetie is at work and no one is waiting for me to get home with the milk.
And look at all the goodies I got today! Some are here. Some will go to the local Shoppe and some will stay home with me to nest.

Did you see the cake topper? Isn't it great? It's the perfect thing to launch our wedding line with at the shoppe after Easter. I just love her expression, it's probably hard to tell in the pic, but trust me, you can tell she is ready to change out of her shoes and get on with the party!







Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Loopty Loo


Ok, this is one of those post that just kind of hits on a little bit of everything. All the loose bits rolling around in my brain that I have been meaning to share, and just haven't. I don't know if this is a good thing for you dear reader, but I need to close these open loops in my brain and move on, so here we go.
First: New Blogs in the Hood; My dear sis Jemimah and my oldest childhood friend Tracy have finally thrown their blogging hats into the ring (the crowd cheers! Hurrah!) and I am very excited to have them out there in Internetland, posting away, since both of them live entirely too far away for comfort. I am so glad to have a way to stay connected and informed and to be given the chance to peek in on their lives from afar. Also, if you have never been over to Curious Sofa Diaries or to The Pixie Wood, you should. Big fun.
Second: The New Woman in My Bedroom; Nathan is obsessed with Julia Child. It started with her first book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking , which then to the second book, and now the third book, and THE COMPLETE DVD SET ( I think there are 9 in all?) Anyway, Julia goes to bed with us every night these days, and I go to sleep hearing her werbly wobbly voice explaining how to prepare things like "bouillabaisse." Makes for some interesting dreams I promise. Also, his new found Julia- bread techniques has not done much to reduce my waistline. 'Sigh.' For more Julia fun you can go here and tour her kitchen - pretty nifty even for a non-cook like me.

Third : Some Good TV; If you are like us and always on the hunt for a good new TV show then check out The Riches on FX on Monday nights. We are still holding our breath, hoping for the return of Studio 60 on any night and time, but we have happily discovered The Riches in the mean time. FX dramas tend to be a little too dark for us and we feel like we need a shower after watching, so we didn't hold out much hope for their latest venture. But this show seems to be a little lighter on it's toes (and I say that in comparison to such lovely treats as Dirt and NipTuck,) and has some great family/redemption themes that get your heart early on.

Last: Look what I bought and loved; Watch it for the houses alone. It's adorable and a great clean-the-house-while-it-plays movie. Will go into heavy rotation around here I am sure!!


Monday, March 19, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig


Look who I got to bring home?


Last week I visited the flea market where I had a booth about a year ago. It is a small place that doesn't get a whole lot of traffic and has heating and cooling issues. Anyway, I have been loving this little elephant since way back when, and last week I finally bought her - for half price! She was a dirty mess and I really didn't know if she would clean up or not, but of course The Laundry Lady did her magic and voila! She is as good as new. Isn't she sweet? She needs a name, but I haven't had time to think of one in all the craziness of the past week.... Any suggestions?


Also, the chair she is sitting on was also a great find last week, and almost matches this one perfectly! What are the chances of finding two chairs like that a month apart? When I have never noticed this style of chair before?
This one is a yellow with green showing through. All the other chairs at my table are a version of white.
So now the question is do I leave this one as is? Or give it a shabby white treatment too? Decisions, Decisions.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Eggheads


This week has been crazy as expected, but it has been made crazier by this stupid cold I got Tuesday night. YUK.

Anyway, despite being under the weather (due to our wacky weather, I am convinced!) I had to keep the show on the road. Miraculously things have gotten done and stayed on schedule. The one thing that did suffer though, has been the house. It is a mess. Not quite College-Dorm mess (so far there are no bits of uneaten food strewn about, and I can see most of the floor in most of the rooms) but still it is a mess.
And I still haven't found the time or the energy to really decorate my house for Easter the way I want. Just adding bits and pieces as I go along. I bought all the stuff to make a wreath and to do-up the mantle, but as of today it is all in bags, or sitting on my desk. And will stay there till at least Sunday night, which is the first chance I will have to come up for air.

Something that is done is my small collection of egg cups that I love but that I can never quite display right. They are so small that they get lost on the mantle or in the china hutch. The vintage pair I bought when Nathan and I first started dating or had gotten married - I can't remember which,, but I loved that he had a pipe and that she had pearls. So like us then. Especially me. That was during my big Doris Day phase.

Besides never knowing where to put them, I never knew what to put in them as well. Plastic eggs looked silly and didn't fit right. Especially in Doris and David, who always ended up look like the Coneheads.

But this year I put them in the window in the kitchen and thanks to Flea Market Studio I finally knew what would look perfect in them!
Now I am off for the night to a Women's Retreat! Tata till later!





Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Back to Work

Work is picking back up after the post-Christmas slump. And in my life things don't just pick up - they go nuts. Like that room of clocks in Back to the Future. It goes from 0 to 90 in one day. When it rains it pours. It's feast or famine around here. Can I use anymore cliche's to get my point across?


But I am not complaining. Trust me. Nothing could be better for my mental health OR my bank account. I do better when things are busy - just shy of crazy.

This week I had/have the following to get done: An install project (that's what these pics are from,) one major 3-Room presentation, one new job meeting, a girl's night, prep for another new job, design a participants guide for a Women's Retreat at church this weekend, finish a custom Banner order for the shop, go to therapy and maintain all the normal life stuff like making lunches and taking showers. What was it that Anne Lamott's* friend said? That the 2 best prayers she knows are "Help me, help me, help me" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you" ? This week nothing could be more true. Praise the Lord and Pass the Coffee!


*Just saw on Amazon that good ole Annie has a new book coming out. Be still my heart!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Blast From The Past

A million years ago, when I first started this decorating thing, I used to appear on a local morning talk show about once a month doing crafts and decorating stuff. A friend of mine was the producer and it was a new show and they were hard up for talent. And I was free.

Anyway, for about 18 months I appeared on Good Morning Arkansas attempting to woo the audience with my cleverness. Haha. Also, back then my business name was The Comfy Home, and I had a website were I posted the crafts and tips I came up with, along with some other stuff. It was a small site, very limited in scope and free- which over time meant more and more "ads" from the host. I was convinced I was on the road to being the next Martha.

But, eventually things with GMA puttered out. I made the horrid mistake of appearing on another channel's mid-day show. (Gasp! Shock! Horror!) and then went back to GMA one more time, after which neither show called again. I guess my allegiances were too split for our little TV market. Shortly after my last appearance, I got pregnant with Miles and dropped off the face earth. By the time I returned to the Land of the Living, my producer friend had long moved on, finally getting her dream reporting gig, and I lost contact with the folks at good ole GMA. But every now and then I miss it just a little - the getting something ready, the little bits of theatrics that went into it. I miss being good at doing a craft on air in only 4 minutes. That part was fun. Going through the picture archives tonight I came across this Easter craft from those many years ago. "Faux Paper Mache Eggs." I think the pictures sum it all up, but basically it is applying layers of tissue paper to plastic eggs using a mod-podge type of glue.
If you give this project a try let me know how it goes. And if you live local and want to see me back on air, write a letter and start a movement! I'll give you a shout out on air. Lol.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

WIP Weekend

Here is what is hoppin' in my studio these days... (PS- Don't you just love that term "studio?" It sounds so much more glamorous than "office/guest room!") Soon they should be hoppin on over to Storia Home and my local shoppe space. I'll keep ya posted!















Bunny Picks

and Yarn Ball Nest.
* UPDATE: BUNNY PICKS NOW UP FOR SALE!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Glimpses of Spring at Our House

These were bought thanks to Daisy Cottage's inspiration, they were yummy and gobbled up fast as you can see.



We could smell them from the back of the car all the way home. Miles kept saying: "I hungy. I need a strawberry now." He finally got one... and about a 1/2 dozen more.
Easter is slowly making it's way into our house, as demonstrated here by the paper eggs in the Martini glasses. So far the shoppe has received all my Easter love-&-affection. But I have grand intentions of making a garland for my house tonight. The boys did decorate their own little Easter Tree's from the dollar store and that was fun. I love how Wylie used some of the egg picks to create a "topper" for his.

Monday, March 05, 2007

On the front porch

This evening Miles wanted to go out to play in the backyard. Nathan was grilling and I didn't want to try and keep Miles away from the hot grill, since he is currently obsessed with being his Dadoes big helper. For some reason I thought keeping him out of the street in the front yard would be easier. I was mostly right.

Most afternoons around 4 O'clock you find me in one of my only acts of true domesticity. Cleaning the kitchen. For some reason I have developed this love of cleaning the kitchen every afternoon. I turn on Gilmore Girls or Oprah, tie on an apron and go to town. It seems to be what centers me and separates evening from day; work from home. I don't like to do it any other time. In fact I flee from it, but something about that bewitching hour of 4PM gets me every time.
So tonight, after the cleaning was done, Miles, Mom and I retired to the front stoop to visit and play and smell the good cookin' coming from the direction of the backyard. Also, I drank my yummy Cosmo that Sweetie made me upon request.
As I sat outside and viewed our pathetic patchy grass, and the barren tree's I realized, that craft as I might, Spring is not quite here. This made me feel better, because I wasn't completely feeling the spring thing yet and I was feeling guilty about it. I love spring, I love when it really and truly comes, but I mostly love that it always rolls around Just In Time and I can tell from my perch on the porch that Winter isn't quite done doing her thing yet and that it is best not to rush her. Everything will be as it should, all in good time.
So for now I will keep fluffing the nest (and adoring all white slip covered dining chairs!) and dream of spring in all it's glory, patiently awaiting it's gifts of renewal and hope.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Shop-n-Sip


On the first Thursday of each month a neighborhood called Hillcrest host what is called "Shop-n-Sip." Shops stay open late, many have small bands play out front and small glasses of wine and beer can be found complimentary in each store, allowing for lots of shopping Under the Influence. Hillcrest is a good walking-around neighborhood full of old homes and historic charm and small independent shops and restaurants. All of this is greatly reflected in the house prices and most of us just drive around the neighborhood drooling. Our house is in a equally old and charming but-not-as-cool neighborhood across the river in Dog Town ( aka North Little Rock. ) Rumor has it that NLR was called Dog Town during my grandmother's era because there were no leash laws and people would drive stray dogs across the bridge and just dump them. Lovely thought huh? Also NLR had the Railroad Co. and that is apparently not as prestigious as say, The Capital. Whatever.


Anyway, even though I live in NLR, my little shoppe space that I rent is in Hillcrest at The Shoppes on Woodlawn. The first time I ever went in this old house-turned-shoppe I knew it was the place for me and my stuff. Of course being in Hillcrest the rent is high -even for my little closet space - but so far it has been worth it, and has stretched me creatively and helped me break in to another market. I hope someday to graduate into a bigger room, but that is on the The Wait and See list for now. Jeanetta shares this little corner cubby with me, and I think we have struck a great mix of vintage and handmade items. Eventually I would like to venture to Market and buy some new things as well, but right now I think "where would I put it anyway?"

Last night was Shop-n-Sip and I managed to get all our Spring and Easter stuff up just in time. I must say I think it looked lovely and I felt very blessed to be in such a charming space that was brimming with happy shoppers.
ps - Easter & Spring Banners are up at StoriaHome






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