Thursday, September 27, 2007

I'm leaving in a Trailblazer...

All day I have had the lyrics "I'm leaving on a jet plane..." humming along long long in my brain as I prepare to skip town with my sweetie. Of course I am leaving in a Trailblazer, but that is just a minor detail...

Things have been a roller coaster around here today- trying to get the car serviced, the kids packed and delivered, work done/prepped/planned, bills paid, Nathan to the doctor so he can get some good drugs and be well on this trip etc etc... And now it is 3PM and I still have to go by the accountants get my sales tax form to mail, get 2 custom banners packed and mailed, 2 Storia VINTAGE orders packed and mailed, myself packed and mailed... Oh, wait I just have to pack me. No mailing needed... Just packed and loaded. Sigh...
But even though things are frantic, things also have been good. Nathan did get all kinds of good drugs and should be healed up by tomorrow, Jeanetta came over and helped me with several projects and saved my bacon, and for that I am super appreciative of!

So to Iowa we are headed... We are going to push as far through Missouri as we can tonight. Then we will stop, rest and get up and drive to Centerville for sound check tomorrow at 10AM. Did I not mention that Nathan has a gig? Yes, that is the whole catalyst for this trip. My sweet man has a gig with this fella tomorrow night in Iowa, so we turned it into an excuse for us to take a birthday trip (his is today, mine is Saturday) through next Wednesday. So we are off in about 4 hours and there is still plenty to do to get ready... But I keep telling myself that I can sleep, and rest and slooooooow dooooowwn when we get there....Oh, sweet, sweet vacation.

These pics are of the kind of outfit I wished I was wearing on this fall adventure. I don't think it will get cold enough for the velvet scarf, but I will absolutely have my jean jacket on hand, plus some cute aprons!

I made the leaf brooch using a pre-cut out leaf and some vintage buttons. I think it is super cute and plan on putting some in the shoppes when I return...

I guess the time has come to bid you adieu for now my sweet Internet pals, and hopefully when I return I will have lots of great pictures and treasures to show you, and I know I will have lots of reading to do to catch up with all of you!

Till then,

Many Happy Returns,

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In the Wee Small Hours

Last night I couldn't sleep. Too much going on in my brain and my life. Nathan has a cold and so was snoring like a leaf blower (sorry honey) and Miles decided this would be a good night to get in bed with us and plant his feet firmly in my face. No thank you!
So finally around 3:30 I gave up and got up. And mind you I had only been asleep since about 1:30... But when you can't sleep, you can't sleep. First I tried working on a web site job I have going, but even though I couldn't sleep, I had "fuzz brain" and I think I only messed things up a little instead of making them better. It's all fixable, but I got the hint pretty quick that I did NOT need to be working on the computer. So then what to do? Well, I decided to roll my lace bundled for Storia VINTAGE. Even though I don't intend to list these till next week, I wanted to get a head start on them, and they didn't require too much of a functioning brain to do.

So I turned some On Demand on the cable box, watched a few episodes of Saving Grace and rolled lace. Eventually Miles found me in the living room (around 5AM) and we wound up back in bed again around 6AM to sleep pretty soundly for a least 2 more hours. Now I am gulping coffee and feeling like I did back in college when we would pull all nighters for a test or a Theatre production... Oh the good old days. I only thought I knew Stress and Busy and Responsibilities... I didn't know how good I had it...

Anyway the lace bundles are wrapped around pages from an old book. I wanted to do something a little different and this idea came to me last night. There are lots of lengths and styles and some color variations, though most of them are white or cream. There are also some really large pieces that I have yet to take pictures of. But as I said I am not listing them till next week because Nathan and I are going on vacation and are leaving tomorrow after work. We are going to be Road Tripping through Missouri, a little bit of Iowa and Kansas for 5 days. With no kids! We are going to try and hit blog/shopping highlights like Curious Sofa and do some camping along the way, as well as going through the Wine Road in Missouri...
Katie, Pat and Carol have all given me great tips so far on where we should go and what to do, but if you have someplace you think I MUST visit please let me know! I love to have the inside scoop when we travel!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Grand Opening

Today is the grand opening of my new online shoppe Storia VINTAGE. This is an esty shoppe filled with vintage notions and goodies and is sort of a tester for having an independent online shoppe... Of course Storia HOME is still up and running and will now become (over the next week) a strictly handmade items shoppe.
I already have a few items listed at Storia VINTAGE, so go visit and browse a while... Soon I will add Vintage Wallpaper and Vintage Lace bundles as well, so stay tuned!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cotton Candy Colored Day

Yesterday was a day spend on many projects, packing up custom banners, cleaning vintage items - buttons, dishes, mirrors - and creating a few new items as well. Nathan worked on stripping & sanding furniture, prepping old pieces for their Re-Newed life.
After a busy day we went to the Faulkner County Fair in Conway with the Darleys. The fair was a little less exciting than anticipated... The sun was extremely hot, there wasn't much shade, the music from some of the carnival game stands was VERY loud and VERY un-fair like in my opinion. There just didn't seem to be a real "fair spirit" going. But we were there on the last day, and there was Razorback game about to start (sacred in these parts ya know) which means that everyone was home or in Fayetteville and not very interested in a little country fair. Nathan was among the Hog Fans and was anxious to get in front of a TV himself for the game, so our tour through the little fair was brief - but we did managed to hit some highlights; A gigantic corndog each, a tour of the animal barns and 2 rides a piece for the boys, with promises to ride more rides at the State Fair in just a month. Looking back at the pictures of yesterday, I was happily surprised at the running theme... Pink! A nice little interlude from all the orange and green of Halloween...
Vintage Buttons Custom Banner
A Pig with Personality
Carnival Ride
Ferris Wheel Dream

Friday, September 21, 2007

Just a Swapin'

Here are my items I am sending my swap partner Kim for the Black Cat and Pumpkin Swap!

Kim makes beautiful bracelets, and is very creative - I can't wait to see what is in my swap parcel!

OK, I need to get these goodies - a Happy Halloween Banner and Door Hanger with Vintage Image - packaged and off to the Post Office!

Happy Friday to everyone!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tablecloth Thursday

Today is Tablecloth Thursday, as sponsored by Hollyhocks. She is way ahead of me on her total count -she has over 50 I think she said..

I only have 7 currently. I have sold several in my shoppes and I don't like to spend a ton of money on them, so I wait till I find that perfect bargain... I use all of my tablecloths, though not as much as I used too. I have an oilcloth cover on the kitchen table, and the dining room table pretty much stays hidden under glitter and paper these days.

Wylie (my oldest) was never one of those kids who drew on every surface he could find, but Miles IS that kid. And I guess I have also kept them put away until I feel they are somewhat safe again... All of them have holes and small stains here and there, and I don't mind that - those are signs of love & good use, but Miles could probably completely "embellish" and "alter" any of them in under 5 minutes if left alone... So for now my lovely cloths only come out for very special - and supervised - occasions...

This is one of my favorites because it belonged to my Maw. I stole it from her about 2 years ago I think... They call me Sticky Fingers because I am always walking out of her house with goodies that I find... But could you resist red cherries on a pink background? I didn't think so!

Here is another favorite. This one gets used the least because it is very white and in very good condition. Don't you think it is so very Cabbages and Roses. I bought it to use when we host our friends Molly and Tony's wedding a year ago.

So there you have it, my first Tablecloth Thursday. From now on, when I think of it, or when it works out, I will be sharing new tablecloths I have bought for myself, or the shoppes, or maybe I will even show one on a table someday... Maybe...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Art Hat Doll Delivery!

I haven't had a chance to take my own pictures yet - things have been hectic, hectic around here- but I wanted to show you the beautiful art hat doll that Rachel sent me, all the way from New Zealand no less!! These are her pictures from her blog...
Rachel took inspiration from my love of all things Princess and the Pea and I must say the result is divine! The layers are fantastic and the skirt is above and beyond.
I just love her and she sits on my filing cabinet in my office and keeps watch over me and all the goings ons around here...

Thank you Rachel!!! You did a beautiful job!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Halloween Greetings

A few little Halloween treats are in the Shoppe... More Happy Halloween, Spooky and Boo banners in traditional spooky colors coming soon...

Your Mission

is to find your favorite bowl, fill it with something yummy to eat and curl up with a good book/magazine/movie and enjoy the day... You are worth more than a little pampering my friends!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Good Way to Start the Day

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.

If you take the quiz let me know who you are! And if you know me well let me know if you think I am an Elinor or someone else...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Goodies for Friday

The boys and I hit an Estate sale and a Garage Sale this morning on the way to the Post Office....

Here are a few of our finds....

A big ole box of beautiful vintage lace that I got for a steal... This isn't even all of it! It was just all I could fit on our patio table! I was so giddy when I found it I did a little jig.

3 precious feather pillows. I was so glad I found the one top the most, though VERY jealous that a lady who walked in only moments before me found 3 others just like it before I did... I only pouted a little...

Here is a a box full of vintage wallpaper that I plan to cut up and sell at Storia HOME. Look at these funny things... I suddenly have a liking for vintage metal tool/tackle/safe boxes. I think I am going to bring them all out next Father's Day at the Shoppe.

And finally, take a gander at my fab pink pull cart I found for only $10! I am in love with her so much, and she has made my life so much easier... Since we live in a an old house we do not have a garage we park in a gravel driveway that does not have easy -or covered- access to the house. The door closest to the driveway, on the side of the house, has half a dozen old wooden steps that are crumbling beneath our feet. The official "back door" is through the gate, up the little stone walkway and through our back patio. I have always hated trying to get everything I needed out of the car because of how inconvenient it is and how many trips I have to make either up the steps or through the yard. But now with Lady Louisa (that is her name I do not know why) I can haul a whole mess of thrift finds, backpacks, lunch boxes, and groceries so very easily! Oh happy day!

Now I am worn out. It has been a busy busy week with lots going on including my official membership to Women Take Wing! I am pretty excited to say the least... Check out my bio page here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Blame it on the Rain

We have been very blessed by rain the past few days. We have needed it. I am sure the farmers and gardeners have needed it, and I think all the rest of us needed it too. I know I did. For those of you who don't know this, I spent the largest chunk of my growing up years in Juneau AK. Juneau's weather is very similar to that of Seattle. Rain. A lot of rain. All the time.

When Tracy was here recently visiting from Juneau, she asked me if I ever get sick of the sun. And my answer is YES! I do! There comes a point when I have had all the brightness I can take. All the glare and squinting and not leaving anywhere without my sunglasses securely attached to my face that I can stand. There comes a point when I crave rainy days, all strung together, the clouds never parting, the greyness just hanging around like a camp blanket. Rainy days for staying home and reading books and taking things slower.

In Juneau life doesn't really stop for the rain. They wouldn't get anything done if it did. But here in this southern place I call home, rain does seem to slow the pace a little. And a slower pace was just what I was looking for.

To me the rain signals the changing of the season, the reminder to start planning for winter and holidays and even a bit of hibernation maybe.
Seems like a lot of things are changing right now. Right at the beginning of this school year and this new fall season... I feel my internal rhythm changing, slowing down, taking stock. My business is starting to shift a bit and it feels good and natural. The Shoppes are doing well and they are taking up more of my time, more of my creative juices, more of my excitement. Also I have a launched a new addition to my business, "Storia Boutique Web Design" and have begun working on my first official project. All of this has allowed me to be home more, to go at my own pace and to be able to flex a little more with ups and downs of life with la famille.

Also, I feel with the coming on of fall, a renewed desire to nest and fluff and plan. I want to make menus and buy large amounts of groceries and cook things that bubble in the middle and are for comfort. Fall brings out a much more traditional domestic side of me - I have dreams of baking and sewing and making soup and settling in with a good book every night. Well, the other night, with the rain and the feelings of nesting growing and the urge to bake becoming very great, I was caught in a moment of weakness and joined a book club. A book club where you get a bunch of books for next to nothing now and then have to buy some more over the next few years at regular price. Oh, I am a sucker. But I saved a $188 ... That's good right?
Well, regardless, it is done now and I am going to blame it on the rain...

So here is some of what I am going to be reading over the next few months and hopefully putting to some good use... I will keep you posted!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Autumn Projects from the Archives

Melissa recently asked if I had any ideas for Autumn Crafts.
Here are a few I pulled out of the archives from years past. Hopefully I will have a few more over the next couple of months to share as well...

Mini-Pumpkin Place card Holders
These are super simple and easy to assemble. Buy a bag of min pumpkins. With a kitchen knife make a slice about 1/2 inch deep behind the stem for your place card to sit in.
Using your favorite scrapbook papers, stickers or your printer, create place cards for each dinner guest. Make sure you mount them on card stock so they will remain upright.
You can also use stickers"Monogram" each pumpkin as well.

Recycled Tin Can Lantern

Take old coffee or soup cans, strip them of their labels and wash them clean.
Next spray paint orange, brown or black.
Poke holes randomly around can, making sure to put 2 holes on either side at the top where you can tie a ribbon or piece of leather for a handle.
Next hot glue buttons and/or little jewels all around your can. You can even create a Jack-o-Lantern Face, or spell out words with stickers, like "Boo" and "Spooky." Let your creative juices - or those of your kids go wild!
Inside your lantern place a candle in a jar and watch your lantern glow. You can even use Tap Lights instead (usually found at Dollar stores) if you are worried about safety.
Hang off a door, place on a front stoop, or line a walkway with these easy lanterns. Anyway you use them, they will add a special glow to your Autumn.

Apple Stick Votive Holders
these make great centerpieces and I make them every year!
You will need:
Apples Bamboo Skewers Kitchen Knife Scissors Votive Candles (not tea lights)
Step 1 Gather Your Supplies
Purchase your favorite colored apples - red, green, it doesn't matter...Gather other supplies as well.
Step 2 Making Your Base
Select the largest apples to be the base of your candlesticks. Slice the base portion of the apple off so that the apple is now flat on bottom.
Step 3 Starting Your Skewer
Place the bamboo skewer in the base apple flat dull end down.
Step 4 Stacking You Apples
Begin stacking your apples on top of each other threading them onto the skewer. (See picture on left) Make sure they are positioned so that they will not fall over. You may have to play with them, turning them this way and that to get them just right. Make sure to leave about 1/4 inch at top of skewer to hold the votive.
Step 5 Getting The Tip Right
Once you have stacked your apples to your desired height make sure that only about 1/4 inch of the skewer tip is left showing. If there is more than 1/4 inch left, push the skewer back through the apples (letting the excess come though the base apple) till only 1/4 inch is showing at the top. Trim or break the remaining skewer length off at the bottom.
Step 6 Placing Your Candle
Peal off tag from bottom of candle.Take wick out of votive from the bottom.Place votive on skewer tip using the wick hole.(Skewer tip not go through the entire votive, just enough to hold it on. Trim wick in half and place one half back in the wick hole from the top. This will allow you to light your candle!

Friday, September 07, 2007

TGIF and for Mom Too

My mom is arrived yesterday and saved the day. She took care of the boys while Nathan had his gig and I finished up at the shoppe and went to Shop-n-Sip. She even took the boys to the Cub Scout meeting at school and got Wylie all signed up. What a great Meme she is!

After last night, most of the BIG To-Do's are over for now(newsletter deadline, shoppe update for Shop-n-Sip...) and I just have one last thing to do today for a client and then it is the weekend!! Woo hoo!

One of the greatest things about last night was being at the shoppe was watching Banners and other goodies literally fly off the shelves! I have never seen so much buying activity in our room on a Shop-n-Sip night before. People where having fun in that room, trying on crowns and taking pictures, ooohing and ahhhing. It was so much fun to see other people having as much fun in our shoppe as we do. And it as very rewarding to see that after the long hours we put in this week to get everything ready.
These are a few pictures of the outside of the Shoppes, a promo picture I did for the Newsletter and some shots of our room. Jeanetta has a bunch more over here...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I need my Mommy

This is one of those weeks where I thought I had it all under control. A newsletter to get out, changes to my web site, updates for both Shoppes for season change (including what seems like a billion banners,) a few small visits to clients houses, I had it all mapped out and planned... But no. Control is not mine. What I did not have control of was the weather, or the project that needed to get finished outside, and now can't. Because of the rain. The rain that I have been longing for finally came. About 3 days too early. I do not have control over the printer that runs out of ink after all the stores are closed, or the homework load of a 2nd grader; And I do not have control of my husband. I'll just leave that last one alone, but I know you all understand. I do not have control over the unquenchable thirst of a particularly adorable, but amazingly thirsty 3 year old who needs many, many cups of water or juice at 3AM. I do not have control over the cable company who can not seem to find their way out to my house and fix my cable so that I can actually watch the channels I am paying for. Of course this is the part where I begin to feel bad that I am even complaining about cable at all. I have running water and central heat and air. I am blessed. I know this. I do. It's just that to make it through the rest of this week I need my Mommy. And thankfully she is coming. She is going to come and help with the kids and give me hugs, and make it all better. I may not have control, but I will have comfort, and in the end, isn't that better anyway? Thank goodness for Mom.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Monday's Loose Ends: Goodbye Summer

Today is Labor Day, the last official holiday of the summer. Ironically I am spending it by making more Halloween goodies for the shoppes. But I am ready for summer to be over, ready to move into a new season and all that it holds.
This summer was truly busy. Wonderful but busy. Friday night was the last "hurrah" of the summer, with a combo Bon Voyage/Happy Trails party for some very dear friends who are moving; one family to Holland and one family to Oklahoma.
I was put in charge of decorating for this Around the World in 80 Days themed party, and it was a lot of fun. I got to use my vintage globe collection as centerpieces, hand drawn flags to mark the country of origin for each dish brought, and maps of Holland and Oklahoma were the tablecloths.

All in all it was fun night; we had good food, good wine and great friends. Even though we are sad to see our friends go, we are happy for their new adventures and wish them all the best. And many trips back home.

The next morning we celebrated the end of summer by hitting our local Farmer's Market downtown. It was Tracy's last day and we wanted to take her to the market and one of our favorite restaurants for lunch where she could try Catfish for the first time, (which she liked it by the way.) This is a picture of my favorite stand at the market - K. Hall and Sons. I love the teenage boys that help out. They are so polite and funny, and when I was taking pictures, they had been tossing cabbages or melons back and forth, from one end of the stand to the other and everyone watching was getting a kick out of it. You can see the laughter on the guy and girl standing at the end of their stand.
Being the fruit lover that she is, Tracy picked up some yummy juicy peaches. Usually we have fresh fruit in the house, but for some reason last week we didn't. I had no idea she was such a fruit lover until we went to the Farmer's Market. Next time I will do better to have "crunchy juice" around.
Next on the agenda was Mushrooms. Wylie and Nathan are wild about mushrooms, and I admit that I really love to eat them, any way you cook them. But they love to smell them, to get their noses down there and smell the earthiness and pick which ones they want. I think Wylie went with the ones on the left. We ate them last night, drenched in butter, and boy were they good...
Another southern food we felt compelled to serve while Tracy was here was purple hull peas. I love the color of their pods, and how your fingers turn purple when you shuck them. Makes me wonder if anyone ever made ink or dye out of them.

The final stop at the market was for some mint and cilantro to make a chutney Nathan had been craving. I love that I live with a man who can put Purple Hull Peas and Mint Chutney on a plate together and make it all seem natural. One day I am going to convince him to open a restaurant.

Now summer is over. We have sent our last house guest back north, and bid farewell to good friends. We have started school, and started on Halloween Merchandise and the Razorbacks have played their first game. Tomorrow a new season begins for me, (even if the official start of fall is still 2 weeks away) and I am ready. Goodbye Summer! See you next year!

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