Thursday, January 31, 2008

Art is Playing too

Yesterday the weather was cold but sunny so Miles and I used the oppurtunity to walk to Wylies school to pick him up. The boys have been cooped up in doors way too much lately and any chance I have to get them outside in the fresh air, using their little active muscles I try to take advantage of.

On our walk home Wylie asked me "why did Picasso paint instead of taking pictures?" As I answered (as best I could in Picasso's absence) I reminded him of all the different forms of art - painting,drawing,writing, stories, playing/writing music,dancing,taking pictures etc. I explained that some people are more drawn to certain types of art than others, and Picasso must have just loved to paint the most.

During all this Miles had been walking, playing with the small tree branch he was using as a walking stick,. Suddenly he piped up "Playing is art too, right Momma?"

Yes, Miles, playing is art too.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A little knotted up...

Is how I feel when I haven't been able to post for a few days. I feel all knotted up inside, full of things I want to get out, thoughts and ideas to share, questions to ask...
But I am very strongly motivated to post when I have photo's to go along with my post. In fact Blogging only became appealing to me when I realized that picture taking could be part of the experience. I am a storyteller at heart, and as much as I love words, I equally love pictures, so when I don't have time to take pictures to go with my words I feel, well, knotted up.

Having the new schedule is going great. I feel like I am mostly able to stay on track with most of my projects and if I have to make an adjustment I feel like I know which days I can trade x for y and so forth. Of course also having the new schedule makes me feel a more focused and "on task" but it also doesn't leave much room for playing with the camera, taking pictures of random things etc. I obviously need to pencil in some "creative picture taking time" and "sitting around drinking coffee, thinking creative thoughts" time in future schedule making as well... Finding the balance between the absorbing/observing process and the creating/doing process is always a challenge for the artist isn't it?

So in lieu of some great new creative pictures or projects or ideas, here are a few of the goodies I put in Storia VINTAGE last night. Obviously lots of "doing" is getting done, I think it might be time for some "absorbing"...

A little red ruffle apron - perfect for Valentines Day!

A set of embroidered cocktail napkins... (this is only 1 of several designs)

Vintage lace rolls...

Vintage pillow cases with lovely yellow crocheted flowers!

And much more... stop by and check it out if you have time!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

You Must Vote

For your favorite Jane Austen man....

(mine is Fredrick W. from the new version of Persuasion, I mean I LOVE Mr. Darcy - who doesn't? But I had to go with Fredrick W. this round...If you caught Persuasion maybe you understand too? )

During this awful writers strike which has left me in the cold for months now, with very few new shows to watch (my guilty pleasures: Grey's Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters, Men in Trees, Friday Night Lights...) and left us with almost no awards shows or red carpet fashions to enjoy, PBS has come through for me on Sunday nights, (and will continue to do so until April 6) by airing the Complete Works of Jane Austen on Masterpiece Theatre.
Most of the movies are new works, including a new version of Sense and Sensibility (which I can't imagine is better than Emma Thompson's version, but you can bet I will still watch!) And Sunday nights have become a treat again, as I crawl into bed early, warm and snugly, and settle in to be transported away to Ms. Austens world, trading my cares in for the cares of Fanny and Elinor and Elizabeth as they wrestle to find themselves and their true loves... ah, such bliss! Try and catch the remaining episodes if you can, next up is Miss Austin Regrets...

Friday, January 25, 2008

My How Time Flies -a Post for the Zens

Tonight is one of those weird nights when nothing is like it usually is. Wylie is gone to a birthday party/sleepover, Nathan is sick with a stomach thing and has been in bed all night... So it is just Miles and me hanging out, doing a whole lot of nothing. Mostly because I am worn out and because it is too cold to do much of anything else. This old house is just too hard to heat and my hands are like icicles just typing this post.... mostly I just want to stay under a blanket...

Sitting here a the computer, I was going through some older pictures when I came across some fun ones I wanted to share with my friends the Zens. The Zens are a group of college friends. A group of 8 girls who met freshman year of college, ate dinner every night together in the cafeteria for at least a year and who have been lump together, for better or for worse since... These days being as spread out as we are, we try to stay in touch as best as possible... (those who are in this group and blog -besides me- are Jeanetta, Julie and Sarah .) We try to get together in some fashion once or twice a year (here is a clear majority - 6 of us - at Julies wedding. ) Since graduating 11 years ago I think all 8 of us have managed to only get together 2 times, but there is at least 4 or 5 of us gathering as often as possible, and there have been representatives at all weddings and most baby showers (or shortly there after.) We are a motley crew and having met when we were only 18 years of age, we have grown and changed, and if we were to all meet today for the first time, I think all of us would agree, we might not become the friends we are. But we did meet then, and we have stuck together somehow, and now 11 years later we are still truckin.

I think one of the coolest parts has been the marrying and babying aspect of it all. Senior year of college saw 5 of us getting married (we went to one of those small private schools that majors in MRS Degrees!) followed by 2 more the next year. There are have been several baby waves (current total: 13 and 2 on the way) and it has been great to see our kids the "mini Zens" grow and change, looking like miniature versions of my friends and their husbands. The year Miles was born 5 of us were pregnant at the same time, and all with boys!
Here is a picture of Jeanetta holding Luke who was the first of the 4 "2004 Boys" to be born ...Look at that face - he is already too smart for his own good...

Here is a picture of the other 3 boys - Graham, Miles and Will (born within 3 months of each other) all lined up, barely sitting up, looking like little bald old men! How funny they look, and how much cuter they have become with

Now it is 3 years later, and this New Years Day we were able to get all The Boys of 2004 together in one room and still (barely) enough to take a picture!

I can't imagine what their 18 year old picture will look like!

My how time flies...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Love and a Little Sunshine

Thank you, thank you, thank you my friends! Thank you for all the love and encouragement for my little rain cloud predicament - it has meant so much to me these past few days to read each and every comment and to hear how you all understand oh so well....

But today I propose a little sunshine for us all!
It seems to be general consensus around the colder regions of Blogland these days that the Thrifting Pickins have been slim... Not much in the stores, the few estate sales one can find and the almost non-existent garage sales. Oh spring can't come soon enough!
But I thought since the sun was out (though not warm) today I would show you a few of the things I have managed to gather over the weeks since Christmas.

First up is this great bit of vintage fabric (still has the original tag on it!) that I got in a 75% off sale at one of my favorite flea markets. I have been watching this fabric for a while, so imagine my giddiness at finding it marked down and wadded up in the back of booth!
On top is a vintage red towel (I have this thing for vintage red towels, just love the color and soft worn out texture I guess) a Blue little oval dish with silver trim - pretty sure it is a Ballerina piece even though it isn't marked, and some red cookie cutters just in time for Love Day. I think they are going to be re-purposed as ornaments on the tree up at the shoppe - with a good covering of glitter of course!

Next up is this great pair of vintage shorts/bloomers that I found at an estate sale. I love the pattern and the detail at the waste. The fabric is so thin, it is see through, so I can only imagine these were worn with a swimsuit or under a summer dress.
My newest dress form is Lulu and she has pink spots (for now) because she is from Victoria Secret (though I found her at a garage sale.) She is impossibly tiny (which is good for displaying vintage clothing) and looks like she stands on one leg, but I loved her rolling wheels so much that I choose her instead of some more traditional dress forms they had for sale.

See? Doesn't she seem a tad flamingo like?

Finally, here are some wire baskets I found, along with a metal wire card display holder thingy and a cute doll clothes trunk. All of these items are getting a Storia HOME makeover as soon as it is warm enough for spray paint to dry!

So that is it for now - my little bit of sunshine and love for today. Thank you again for all your super sweet words - it is so comforting to know that I am not alone with my bad skin and little rain clouds!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

little dark rain clouds

Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's the hormones, maybe it's the cold hard truth staring me down in my back account, but either way, there is a little dark rain cloud over me today. Seems like it is in the air - Sarah has received visits from this same cloud herself lately.

I am 33 and the hormones seem to be more out of control than ever. My face is always broken out with some weird redness, my monthly cycle is loaded with land mines- emotional and physical. Has anyone else noticed these sorts of changes since hitting the big 3-0? Does it get worse or better? I fear the answer to that question....
I told Nathan that I just want to crawl back into a warm bed for the rest of the evening and hibernate. I think that what the problem is, I just want to hibernate... I mean this is what winter after all... Isn't that what winter is for?? I blame it on the Industrial Revolution - 12 months of toil is not how God intended life to be. I don't want to work during the winter, I want to hibernate and dream and read, and eat warm comforting food and not worry about what it is doing to my hips...
Maybe we could start our own Revolution - the Rest & Renew Revolution. Anyone want to join me?

Monday, January 21, 2008

To Dream and Drink Cocoa

Today is MLK day and we are all home, snug as a bug in a rug this cold, cold day.
We didn't have anywhere to go today, and so there was no reason to rush around this morning like chickens with our heads cut off (our usual Monday morning routine,) and I was able to enter the day a little more slower , and with a little more purpose and reflection.

Inspired by Artsy Momma and Pam Garrison (in her Somerset Life feature) to pull out my Inspiration Notebooks, and by Katydiddys to take a moment to think and dream about my work and life, I had a nice moment this morning of inspiration and rejuvenation. I started weeding through the piles of magazines I have been collecting for years, taking out only the pictures I really find inspiring, beautiful or resourceful...I still have a huge pile to go through, but I am taking it one small stack at a time, so I can really decide what I want to keep and what I don't mind passing along to someone else.

I also took a moment to jot in my design journal some deadlines and ideas for some submission projects I am working on, and I re-did my "Mood Board" for late Winter/ early Spring. Focusing on the theme of "Romancing the Day." I even cut out pieces of the papers I am using in my Valentines and Easter collections and made a little color wheel out of them. Having the new board up and some deadlines set is great inspiration to get moving on a cold day like today. Now all I need is a warm cup of hot cocoa with a mound of whip cream on top and I am all set to enjoy my day of glittering!

Here are some glimpse's inside my Notebooks and my new Mood Board...
Notebook #1 was given to my by my sis Jemimah a few Christmas's ago complete with picture sleeves and pocket folders and lots of good things for keeping my inspiration pics organized. This book is full of lots of little pictures that are broken up into types of collages based on season or theme or color.... I also have lots of fashion and style snippets in this notebook as well.

Book #2 is one I have had for a while and is more house specific. It is where I put the pages I collect with building & re-modeling resources, and group ideas by room - here are glimpses of kitchen and office ideas...

On the board: The black and white card is our wedding invitation. We took the post card made famous by the movie Singles and paired it with a great quote by Nora Ephron from When Harry Met Sally. I remember how worried my Grandmother was that people would be confused by the picture, wondering if that was Nathan and cute!

The couple kissing in the top right corner is my parents while they were dating. There are tons of pictures of them kissing, which I can only imagine my Uncle Terry must have taken, or that my dad set up a tripod for it... either way, I find them adorable and have stolen several from my grandmothers house....

Thanks for taking a minute to be inspired with me! I would love to know where you are finding your inspiration these days!

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Fashion Moment

I interrupt my regularly scheduled posting for a fashion moment.

For those who don't know, I am addicted to Project Runway and love so many things about it. I love watching the designers construct dresses and outfits week after week. I am such a novice sewer, even though I have been doing it since I was a little girl, and their ability to drape and measure and cut, and ruffle and pleat and tuck just amazes me. Sewing has never completely taken hold of me nor me of it, and even though I have definitely found my niche in paper crafts, I still love fashion, and I love watching the creative process behind it even more...

A note about this past weeks episode: I understand why they voted Kit off last week, I also understand her point of view and what they she was saying - and I loved it! It was like little Bo-Peep goes couture... I think if she had worn a wig and carried a hook/staff thing it might have gone over better...

I also understood and ADORED Christians point of view. This one was the clear winner of the night. I want curtains that look like this dress in my dining room. Luscious is the only word to describe this dress (which was created for the AvauntGuard Challenge...) It's like whip cream or tiramisu or both.... yummy!

Finally I am very very flattered to have been nominated by The Farmers Wife for The Daily Dose award! Thanks so much!

I am nominated the following 3 people who I look forward to reading everyday for my Daily Dose of inspiration (or at least every time they post, which is hopefully everyday!)

My friend Alison at Chino House. Even though I see her often during the week, I love the variety of things she says/post in her blog, because they aren't always things we have talked about or gotten around to. Everything from her packing list, to granola bar recipes, to Deep Thoughts, Alison is full of great morsels - for thinking on, or for baking up.

Next up, is Andrea at Everyday Beauty- I just love her vision for things - from her creations to her styling to her pictures, it is all soooo lovely and inspiring! I am always excited when I see she has a new post!

and finally is Missy Sue Hanson who is a new Blog pal and fellow Gilmore Girl fan. She is in the process of opening a new little shoppe and I am so excited for her, and loving being able to join her on her journey! She also creates the most lovely things!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Oh Happy Day

My Grandaddy is on the mend! I haven't heard the latest today, but last report was really good and that he was improving and even coming off the ventilator soon! Woo hoo! Thanks for all your prayers and sweet comments - it means so much!! I will keep you posted.

These next pictures for my "Happy Show-n-Tell" is a little area in our bathroom. Because we only (currently, not forever, please Lord!) have one bathroom that the 4 of us share. I wanted to make the bathroom gender friendly in my color choices and to create both a happy place for the boys bathtimes, and an adult enough place for Nathan and I, and our guest of course, to enjoy without feeling like we were visiting a preschool every time we visited the "loo."

I have a little shelf that sits on the wall above our potty (such a better word than toilet don't you think?) were a gather assorted things that I love. Currently there sits a Dollar Tree candle holder, with 3 candles I found on clearance at Dillards that resemble some ones I feel in love with at Anthropologie but just couldn't bear to pay full price for.
Next is a little drawing of a palm tree that Jeanetta drew for me few years ago when I needed a little extra something for this shelf. The bathroom loosely has a "beach" theme and I thought this was a great touch.

The little tea towel came from Tracy in Juneau right after I was married or engaged- It is said to be very old and I love it dearly, perhaps one of my favorite gifts ever!
The clock is just a functional Wal-Mart or Target purchase, but I loved it's vaguely vintage style and it keeps me relatively on time when getting ready! The picture above the shelf is out of a book of vintage children's illustrations I bought when we first moved into this house.
So now you have seen a little spot in my home that makes me smile.

The Word Vases are from the Target $2.50 bin, I love their simple shape and the fact that they have words on them. I love words on things! In the vases are button flowers I made out of new and vintage buttons. All the vintage buttons are from Nathan's maternal grandmothers collection that I sweet talked my way into owning during one of his parents moves. I love that we have some so beautiful and person, right there to look at every morning. Just a small assembly of small things that have all sorts of memories and stories to go along with them!

Finally, today I am happy because I discovered this little gem of a book! Oh how I wished I had come across it 12 months ago, but oh how I happy to have it now!! This book is practical and encouraging - a good mix of personal stories from successful crafters of all kinds, mixed with good tips and common sense!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

some things

Well, Life is interrupting things again. My grandfather is in critical care at our local hospital and is fighting to get better. Things are slightly topsy turvy around here as we wait and see how he does each day, and as we try to visit when we can. I think I am even going to have a slumber party with my Nana later this weekend... I think I might even take my glitter with me to help cheer her up...

I know I promised more "happy places in my house" pictures, and I will get to that soon, I pinkie swear, but for now I wanted to announce that my first attempt at DIY Kits are up for sale at Storia HOME... I think they turned out pretty cute and am curious to see if other people think so as well!

Also, here is a look at these cute custom Valentine Crowns I made... I had so much fun creating these - one for a boy and one for a girl! If I have time I want to make some for my house and perhaps the shoppes...we shall see - just depends what Life has in store for me...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Getting Back To Normal...

Whatever normal is... Which seems to change daily around here.... But I did 2 things this weekend which I think will help me function a little better, be a little less crabby, and a little more patient... with my family and myself.
1) I took down Christmas completely (woo hoo!) and 2) I have come up with a home/work/me schedule, that if I buckle down and stick too it as much as humanly possible, will greatly help to regulate the chaos in my brain! I don't know why it is that when you feel that your career might be going in a certain direction, it can veer left again... Suddenly I have lots of Interior Design clients keeping my phone hopin' and I am at a loss as to what I think about it.

On one hand I am extremely grateful for the work and flattered for the trust my clients (mostly repeat) are putting in me to help them navigate everything from picking out paint & fabrics, to finding contractors to do home repairs...

But on the other hand how does all of this fit into my "Create Cute Things" light bulb moment? I have no idea. Except that I know, I believe with all my heart, that down the road, it will all make sense. I feel like so often in my life, my steps are only illuminated for me as I need them. I can never predict what my life will look 5 or 10 steps down the road of life, but every time I need to take a step, it is shown to me, just as I need to take it... Does anyone else experience life this way?

I guess it is just another part of the great continual lesson of Letting Go and Having Faith.

So again, not knowing exactly what I am going to do or how it will all turn out, I reached for the never-fails-happiness-inducing twinkle lights...

Here is the Hutch, in the dining room, returned to it's post-Christmas Somewhat Normal state...

The hutch is filled with all (OK, most) of my vintage china, precious-to-me odds and ends, a few crowns, a few birds nest, and a little Eiffel tower jar that had a spout on top, that I replaced with some pink flowers...

I decided to leave the twinkle lights because they reflect off all the china so well, and because as we all know, when in doubt (about anything) add more twinkle!

Stay tuned for another Happy Place Show and Tell tomorrow!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Little Inspiration for the Weekend

Here are some of my favorite inspiring things right now:

1)Photos from Cabbages and Roses website

2)Down With Love - I have been watching this on heavy repeat while I make V-Day Items the color and theme is just perfect for Valentines Day! Also, I just love the make-up. Makes me want to wear false eyelashes everyday!

3) Stripes!- I am a sucker for stripes! I love both this couch and these ottomans from Room Service Home... But not together of course...

What is inspiring you right now?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I love Paris in room

Love is in the air... or at least on the mantle...

I have created a wee ode to Grand Paris for Valentines Day on my mantle with some fun vintage globes, French words and paper Eiffel towers. What I love about this is a) It feels very whimsical and airy - a good antidote to "winter grey" and b) it is not too terribly Valentines specific and therefore can stay up for a while before and after V-day without looking odd or out of place.

I was motivated to get this done because I needed an appropriate mantle back drop for my Valentine Banners which are now up at the Storia HOME .

Also it looked so lonesome and bare without Christmas spread out all over it that I needed to do something to cheer me and it up! After all, my mantle is my playground - it is where I try new things and ideas out and is constantly being rearranged, so I didn't have a "set arrangement" to put back after Christmas.

To accomplish my Parisian ode, I made some glittery Eiffel towers to line up all in a row. I am still working on my technique for these and want to even add a few embellishments to them... Maybe they will make into next years V-Day Collection...

There are several styles & color combos of banners in the shoppe, with a few more coming this weekend (Kiss Me and Be Mine in reds) and Tag Banner Kits.

Also new to the shoppe are some Paris inspired sheet music candles...I just love the classic Black, White and Pink for a Paris Valentine's Day theme. Very "oh la la" don't you think?
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