Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wickedly Cute

Or so I think....

Here are some new goodies just up at Storia HOME

Frightful Party Pops

In several styles...

Spooky Gift Tags

Boo Banners

Stay tuned...Beware and Wicked Banners are coming SOON!

Thanks again for everyone's sweet, sweet support. I think I am going to stay in my little pasture for now, and enjoy the grass I have, despite the few weeds and dry patches that may be here or there... You really are the best blog-pals a gal could have!

Have a lovely holiday weekend!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Light on my path

We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light. ~Mary Dunbar

There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. ~Edith Wharton

A HUGE Thank You to everyone who has been so sweet and encouraging after my last post.

It was the light of my day!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ready to Run


Ever have one of those weeks? One where you just want to throw in the towel? Take off, hit the road, run and hide?

My little sis Judea recently bought me this lovely vintage bag and train case set at an Estate Sale. The very fact that she of all people stopped at an Estate Sale, let alone looked around long enough to find something worth buying, shows that I have finally -after years and years- rubbed off on her.

These 2 cases are so cute, so pink (with a little orange molted into the background) and in amazing condition. They would be the perfect accessories to my great escape.

So why do I need to escape you say? Well I don't really. I like it here, I do. It's just that, well it has been one of those weeks. Actually it has been 2 of those weeks. But who is counting?
For all you self-employed/artistic people out there I would just like to voice what I think we all feel at some point or another. Maybe I should just go get a regular J-O-B. Punch a clock. Work for the man. Do something normal for a change. Have a regular, dependable pay check.

But what would I do? And do I really want to go and do something else? Or am I just having growing pains with the kids in school 5 days a week, and the Holiday Season (typically my busiest) is creeping up on me way too fast?
I am not complaining, I promise. I am very grateful that I even have a choice in this matter, and I do not want to come off all "poor pitiful me," because I am very blessed and I know it.
I just wonder if any one else who works from home or fits in the "struggling artist" category ever feels this way also?

I have a feeling that my doubt & restlessness is stemming mostly from the growing pains that come with change, and the tightness in my budget, but I can't be sure. At least not today. Today if the perfect J-O-B came open I think I would jump at it.

But Martha hasn't called offering me a 30 hr a week, work-from-home craft designer job, at least not yet. Oh, well. Guess I will have to just keep pouring on the glitter for another day, and pray and ponder this some more..

But just know that if I do fly the coop, I will at least be going out in style.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Need a side table? Make one up.

I have sold almost all my side tables at the Shoppe.
In the previous living room arrangement (before the new-old green chair,) I didn't really need many extra tables. In fact at one point I had an excessive amount of cute little side tables...
But in the new living room arrangement there was a noticeable hole by in front of the window.

That window is where I take a lot of my pictures of items I sell on Storia VINTAGE since I get such great light there. But now that I had re-arranged, and sold off my tables, I had no where great to put my goodies in order to take their picture. What is it they say, necessity is the mother of invention?

So I looked around the house for what I could use to create a temporary table....

Here is what I found, a vintage cabinet door in a great teal blue color, and an old camp stool.

Voila! A side table is created.
Both the table and chair are temporary fixes. The chair is bound for the Shoppe (do you see a theme here?) and the cabinet door will eventually become the picture frame I envisioned it for when I picked it up off the side of the road. The camp stool will be painted a cheery vintage color, and recovered with some comfy fabric for either the Shoppe or as extra party seating in the living room....

But for now, my little table is looking might fine,

and doing a great job of showing off my goodies, don't you think?

stay tuned for a Storia VINTAGE Attic Sale Update Tomorrow!

Friday, August 22, 2008

We smell like $7 Bucks

So I am thinking learning to be more frugal and manage money better could be considered an academic type topic right?

Fabulous. Let's get to it then.

I bought this little book on our recent Stay-Cation. My friend Kim gave it to Jeanetta on her birthday, and I just thought it was inspiring and interesting, and so when I found a copy on our trip to the Pea Ridge Civil War museum I had to snatch it up. Written in 1832, I love how relevant the spirit of the book still is today...

Here is an excerpt from the introduction:
"The true economy of housekeeping is simply the art of gathering up all the fragments so that nothing be lost. I mean fragments of time as well as materials. Nothing should be thrown away so long as it is possible to make any use of it, however trifling that use may be; and whatever size the family every member should be employed either in earning or saving money."

Isn't that great? I think you can even download it HERE for free.

Because the Back-2-School time of year feels much more like a time for starting fresh than the actual New Year date does (or at least it feels this way to us,) our little family is trying to kick off this new season with some healthy changes. Some of these changes are for the health of our bodies, some for the health our minds & hearts, and some for the health of our pocket book.
See for me, the health of my mind and emotions is directly linked to the health of my pocket book, so for me getting that one straightened out & healthier is a big deal.

While my sweet mans income is the same every 2 weeks, mine is NEVER the same for even 2 days, let alone 2 weeks, or 2 months. As a craft artist and design consultant, I am completely at the mercy of the whims of buyers and clients. With high gas prices, and back-2-school expenses, and food prices rising, my goodies are not the most important things for people to purchase. I get that, because I can't always buy their goodies either (though I wish I could!)
And while I do manage, by the grace of God, to squeak by each month there are still moments which can be very stressful and very tense, when I am just not sure how it is all going to play out, and yet somehow it does. But the fact remains that I cannot control how much money comes in, but I can do a much better job of controlling how much goes out after the bills are paid. And that is where some of our changes are starting...

Yesterday I noticed that we were all out of every kind of bath product - bath wash, shampoos, conditioner, bar soap, all of it. My shower was full of empty containers.
So while at the Dollar Tree to purchase some supplies for work, I decided to pick up a few items for us:

Here is what $7 will get you at the Dollar Tree.
My favorite purchase? The Skin Milk Body Lotion with Shimmer.
Just last week I had been looking for Body Lotion with Shimmer and couldn't find any for under $8. Yesterday I got all our bath products for under the price of 1 bottle of lotion at Target. Amazing! Now, I know most of it is not fancy, and the shampoo and conditioner might not do the same job that my more expensive stuff can do, but I think this month I will take clean-enough over stressed-out.

The boys are getting into the frugal game as well. Miles asked Nathan to give him a haircut, and Nathan took up the challenge and the shears. Wylie jumped in too and wanted a cut of his own, so that is $20 saved right there.

I think gardening, composting and canning might be on the agenda for the fall. As well as less eating out, more walks around the neighborhood for exercise and altering some clothing found at my favorite thrift stores for my fall wardrobe.

Living more frugally will require us to think ahead a little more, do some planning, think outside the box, and say "no" more than we like, but in the end, I think the benefits of being less stressed will far out way the little daily sacrifices of learning to live within our means.
Maybe our grandparents were on to something after all...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The reader in me...

Because it is back to school time, I thought I would do a few post on things academic... Even though I don't have as much time for it as I would like, and don't post about it as often I do love to read. So my first post is going to be about that. Reading.
Reading I am doing, reading I want to do, and something I wrote that you can read...

First, what I am reading...

Have you got your new copy of this? Hallmark Magazine is such the perfect combo to me of the things that are best about magazines like Real Simple, Oprah and BHG, but better because it is in a format that is easy for this busy momma to read and enjoy without a huge time commitment (or super-power wrist strength...)
Also it is on my list of dream magazines to contribute projects to, so I have to read it to stay current... Encase they call and offer me a gig, which I am sure they will do any day now...

Have you read this?
This book is so good I am reading it for the second time. I immediately started it over the moment I finished it, I cannot tell you how much it has inspired me to slow down, to listen to the stories and the voices of those around me and to really, really think about what I want my life to look like, what kind of space I want to make for family and friends and faith.

I am also reading this for something is too funny and easy to read in bits and pieces, as I can find time.

This is on my What to Read Next list...
It was recommended to me by a precious older lady who I just think is the bees knees, and if she likes it I am absolutely putting it on my list...

Also, a new Phyllis book is coming out soon. My bedside reading pile is growing tall. I am praying for lots of cozy nights this fall, for curling up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate...

Oh, and if you have a moment, head on over to Vintage Indie to read my article about using flea market finds in a new way in new homes! Thanks to my daddy for the copy editing the article. He should really be a professional...

I would love to know - what are you reading these days?
And, does this back-2-school thing make you want to go buy school supplies for yourself and pick out your First Day Outfit too? Just wondering...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back 2 School, the front porch pictures

Through the years...




This morning. 2008.

Off to a great start...both boys VERY excited.

I can't believe how quiet the house is.

Happy New School Year to everyone!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bits and pieces of the week

The good news weather has been unseasonable cool the past few days. It actually feels like what I think the weather should feel like when school starts... almost crisp, a little breezy, nice.

The bad news is that has left little good sunny days for picture taking.
All my pictures this week seem gloomier than they should, so I amped up the contrast and saturation on this random sampling of pictures from this week...

I am determined that this year my family will actually have a banner for every holiday, instead of being like the cobbler whose children have no shoes. The banner maker's children shall have banners by golly! For starters I made us a Back 2 School Banner.
Both boys start school Monday. Miles is going into 5 day Pre-K and he is so ready to go. I am not sure if I am ready, but I am sure that we needed to try.
Of course I might be OK with it all after a few days of the house being all to myself by 7:45 each morning... Just me and the glitter.

On either side of my fireplace I have these 2 lamps. I can't decide if the bases need to be a new color. Or if I should make new shades. These fit in nice with my fall/winter scheme. Maybe by next spring I will come up with something new to switch out seasonally?

These are just wood bases that I spray painted black and distressed a little...
Any thoughts? Ideas? Opinions?

Some end of summer items brought home from The Shoppes to sell on Etsy...
We had planned on visiting my grandparents this weekend at their house on the lake, but it just didn't happen. Now we are shooting for Labor Day. It is a proper holiday after all, and we might get to spend more time without the pressure of the first day of school waiting on the other side.

My work table. The banner business has been good to me lately, for which I am very grateful for. However I am experiencing some growing pains. A studio/office re-arrangement is in order, and I think I am going to have start buying glue and glitter by the gallons. Anyone got a good wholesale resource for me?

That is all for tonight. I think I am going to go watch some Olympics and string some banners...
Goodnight dear friends!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Goodies and more...

Wylie is my garage sale good luck charm. Whenever I take him out with me I have much better luck than if I go by myself.
Friday was just such a day - a good luck day - for garage sailing.
Miles was with my parents, and Wylie and I were kicked out of the house due to the Bug Man putting out the serious flea killing poison that our old -all wood-floor house requires once a summer no matter what we do to prevent it.

I left all the linens that I bought (wait till you see the ticking quilt) at my Mom's for a good dose of her laundering magic.

Here is what I had left from our treasure hunt...

This adorable magnetic letter School Days Desk from Fisher Price.

I adore all Fisher Price toys from this era, but the learning ones are my favorite.

I think with all my maps, globes, chalkboards and books, maybe my style is really
Vintage SchoolHouse Chic...?

I also found a few vintage patterns for 25 cents each. I want to frame or do something very Jane's Apron-ish with them for my bathroom. I have other intentions for the sewing patterns inside the envelope , thanks to the inspirations of Heather...

These vintage "paintings" are headed to The Shoppe's...
after a little cleaning...

And one can never have too much vintage tinsel trim with Christmas rapidly approaching...

If you are looking for more cute things you should head over to Cuteable where my Party Pockets were featured today! A great thing to find in my Bloglines feed list first thing this morning...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Birthday Picnic

And you just thought the birthday fun was over...
We start strong in late July with Miles birthday and continue into early August with Wylie and my Mom's birthdays ....
September is for Nathan and I, October is my dad, November is for both my maternal grandparents, & my sister-n-law Jenni, December is my sister Judea, and my father-in-law Patrick and finally January is my brother Josh and my sister Jemimah.
Not to mention all those little holidays in there.
To say that we party hearty for those 6 months, (and go broke doing so) is an understatement...
But I happen to love birthday's and holidays and parties of all kinds (you never would have guessed huh?) and so if I am in charge I cannot let one go by uncelebrated.

This weekend in was my mother's turn to be the center of the party, and so Judea and I (Jemimah being in Germany and Joshua having to work) threw her a little "Tuscan Picnic" in the middle of living room... The thing about us Jackson girls is that we have to have a theme for everything. It is an illness, but it helps give form to our ideas, so we came up with this picnic idea since it was too hot to do too much cooking...

Judea said we were "ex-patriots on holiday in Tuscany" and voila a birthday party picnic was born!

I attempted to make my mother's favorite cake - a Robert E. Lee cake - but it was my first attempt at a sponge cake.

Let's just say it came out a lot more brillo-pad like and a lot less spongey than it should have.
I blame the humidity. I think the problem was I didn't get my egg whites stiff enough...I will have to give it another go next year, this is one of those recipes that is legend in my mind and I must conquer it for future generations!

We had coffee (of course, where do you think I get my addiction from?)

It was a lovely meal and a lovely day. It was nice to be able to do something for my mom that I knew she would enjoy and to show her maybe a tiny bit how much I love her and appreciate all she does for us, and who she is. I owe so much to my mother that I could probably have a whole blog just dedicated to the ways that she has inspired and taught me throughout my life. My creativity, independent spirit and sense of whimsy are in large part due to her.
She is one smart lady.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Some New Goodies...

At Storia HOME

I have added just a few new party goodies...

Custom Party Pockets made just for you~
Perfect for giving gift cards in, sweet notes, small jewelry, party favors or whatever your heart desires...

Custom Party Hearty Noise Makers~
Made to order to match your party decor!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Happy Birthday

The Shoppes (where Jeanetta and I have our little parlor room shoppe) had it's 5th Birthday Party this past Thursday night. Jeanetta and I needed a good excuse to re-stock our Birthday Section anyway with some new items and since there was no holiday to celebrate this month, The Shoppes' birthday party was the perfect excuse to get motivated...

Join us for our party will you?

What goes better with a birthday party than cupcakes on vintage china & tray?

Not only was it the Shoppes' birthday, but it is sort of Jeanetta & I's birthday of being in the front parlor. A year ago she moved here and we got to finally create and design together in-person. It has been a rocky year for both of us in many ways, together and separately, personally and professionally, but I think in the end, it helped to bring us closer in many many ways. I am so grateful for her friendship - 15 years- and her creative talent and loyal heart. I couldn't do the Shoppe without her, it is a true partnership!

Jeanetta's super fab apron, hat and pick/wand. I have a bad habit of wanting at least 1 out of every apron collection she puts together...

Vintage sheet music gift cones, simple and sweet.

The gift wrap/ decoration station...

New Pokey Dot Stickers (coming the Storia HOME September '08) to add to your gift bags, packages and cards.

Two Toned, Double Sided Ruffle Streamers.
(Custom color combos available for order upon request.)
My favorite new product!
(For delish single colored ruffle streamers visit Birds of a Feather)

Thanks for stopping by our party and seeing all the goodies! Next month we will be unveiling Jeanetta's favorite collection of the year - Halloween!! Spooky!

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