Friday, October 31, 2008

No Guts, No Gore-y


Ya gotta have guts to gut the guts of a slimy ole pumpkin.

The pumpkins are gutted

and carved, and ready for some Trick-or-Treat action.

Now all I have left to do is get the house decorated for the party, the cupcakes made, the costumes finished, banners mailed, favor bags assembled and take a shower... No problem right?

Have a Spook-tacular All Hallo's Eve!
See you back here soon!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Creativity in the House

I am very blessed to know and be related to some extremely talented gals. Lucky for me they are talented in ways I am not...Lucky for you they make things for others to buy also... Here are some of my favorites right now:

New purses by my little Sis.... Find them (and their great prices) here in the Making

Little Houses on Cupcake Hill.... Available by order from my partner in craft crime Jeanetta

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hot Cereal

I know it is fall when my craving for hot cereal kicks in.

This morning, after my sweet man and boys had left for work and school I tidied up the kitchen and made myself a bowl of what I call Bear Mush.

Growing up in a family of 6, which included 4 home schooled kids, all living on a tight budget, my mom made a decision early on that she would not be serving cold cereal as a regular breakfast item. Why? Because the cereal plus the milk plus kids who are home all day and constantly on the prowl for an easy snack equals an expensive grocery bill.
Hot cereal on the other hand, now that is frugal to the core. Makes a good breakfast, sticks to your ribs, is not an easy snack food and can be bought in bulk for next to nothing.

So hot cereal was our breakfast most mornings and my favorite was Bear Mush. What is Bear Mush you ask? Well some places it is known by it's other brand names, Cream-of-Wheat and Malt-o-Meal and some places it is called Farina - at least on the generic boxes. I actually don't know what exactly it is, except that it must be made from some grains and involve wheat of some kind?

When the weather turns cool it is the first thing I want in the morning. A silky smooth portion made rich by the generous addition of butter, sugar and a bit of brown sugar and maybe a dash of cinnamon on top (that I have put into some cute shakers I bought on our trip to Memphis this summer.)
Served with a hot cup of coffee, it is my favorite cold morning breakfast and I love to eat it as I sit at my kitchen table in silence, watching the day begin outside my window.

So now I am wondering, when the weather cools down, what do you crave? Bear Mush?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Flea Market Finds and a Giveaway

It has been entirely too long since I have been Flea Marketing. Entirely too long.
I have been so busy lately with life, kids, the library and online orders that somehow it completely escaped my notice that our little one- room shoppe would need a lot more than just banners to fill it for Christmas and Thanksgiving. The past few months have been extremely tight for me and I have been making-do with fewer and fewer vintage items in our room, but with the holiday shopping season right around the corner, it is time to get some new shiny objects in there to mix it up with the handmade goodies.

So today I snuck off to one of my favorite little flea markets in hope of some Christmas bargains and inspiration...

What you see here is what I came home with...

2 Glass tree toppers. One "retro," one most likely not. Both very cute and Christmas-y. I have plans for displaying them in a fun fashion...

10 vintage Santa mugs. My mom has a huge collection of these and it is the only thing we drink her homemade hot cocoa out of at her house during the holidays.

A great Milk-Glass jar with distressed lid. Very, very cute and reminds me of my pal Tracy and her mom Nancy. Maybe it will have to be a gift instead of going in the shoppe?

See how cute?

OK, now for the GIVEAWAY (cause I know that is why you are still reading huh?)
Another great find today was Cath Kidston's Dream Home Journal for an amazing price.
Brand new, never been used and adorable this journal is perfect for the gal who is re-doing or dreaming of re-doing her home. Especially if said gal is a die-hard- list-maker or fill-in-the-blank-lover. Which I am not. Which is why I can let go of such a find.

Even though the journal is by my beloved Cath, I just don't do fill-in-the-blanks well, and I kinda already have my inspiration folder underway. But I couldn't leave Cath at the flea market all alone, so I thought I would snatch her up to share with you!!

I am also doing this because I want to say a HUGE thanks to everyone who reads this blog and who are always so supportive and encouraging, no matter what. You are the best blog pals a gal could have and I just wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

So please leave a comment on this post to WIN this fun and beautiful Dream Home Journal, and make sure to leave your email address so I know how to track you down if you win!

I will draw a winner in 1 WEEK on November 1.

Good luck my friends!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oh Me Oh My

You will never guess what I found out this week....

I made it into a magazine! A picture I took of some Etsy orders all bagged up almost a year ago (and featured in this post) was chosen for the Miscellany section in the new issue of the always gorgeous and inspirational Somerset LIFE.

Can you hear my squeals???

I knew that this was a possibility but didn't know it had become a reality for sure until my sweet blog pal Jenn of The Cottage Nest fame emailed to let me know our little photo's were featured on the SAME page! What lucky gals we are!

Miles was my good helper in getting the pictures taken and he thought you should see the back of the magazine as well... If you haven't seen this issue yet go out and find it - it is a great one and there are lots of cool upcoming submission topics listed in back as well - my creative wheels are already turning!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Thankful Heart

I thank God for this day,
For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of apple pie!

For our home on the ground,
For His love that's all around,
That's why I say thanks every day!

Because a thankful heart is a happy heart!
I'm glad for what I have,
Thats an easy way to start!

For the love that He shares,
'Cause He listens to my prayers,
That's why I say thanks every day

(lyrics from Thankfulness Song as featured in my favorite Veggie Tale DVD Madame Blueberry.)

Thanksgiving Banners Now For Sale at Storia HOME

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Impromptu Dining

Last night I had some friends over. A sweet group of gals who I get together with every month to discuss life, kids, work, husbands, pop culture and so forth. We always eat dinner together with everyone bringing something to share. We also celebrate the birthdays of the month and and because this months birthday girl loves S'mores I thought it would be a fun idea to get a fire going in our little fire pit and roast some marshmallows. That of course led to the idea that it was the perfect night to dine al fresco under the big oak tree.

I have always wanted to do a set up like this and just never have. This fall we have been working harder on cleaning up our yard & our patio in particular - reclaiming it from the storage area it had become, so that we can enjoy it again, and entertain more outside.
I really, really want to do Thanksgiving this way, if it is not to cold. And being Arkansas chances are it won't be.

Nothing special was bought for this table, I just pulled from what I had, mixing and matching. After this picture was taken I added a few more votive candles - one at each place setting - to help light our meal a little more (by the time we ate the sun had done down.)

So it was a lovely set up I think, and so easy too. My favorite part was how fall-ish it looked with all the leaves scattered at our feet.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Further Proof

That I live in the wrong country.

Because every single one of these lovely pictures that I am sharing today are from House to Home a lovely UK site that has tons and tons of pictures and inspiration from a variety of UK magazines. And that is not unusual. In fact 3 of my biggest design guru's hale from the great UK and their companies are constant sources of inspiration and great ideas (Shabby Chic, Cath Kidston and Cabbages and Roses.) Plus there is my mild obsession with Beatrix Potter, Jane Austin and movies set in England like The Holiday and Notting Hill. Hmm... Do you see the pattern?

But I bet you are mostly wondering why I am showing you all the pictures at all huh? Well. tonight I had a bit of a design break through. I realized while watching an old episode of the West Wing, (ironically not British at all) that I want to paint my dining room a warm, pale-ish buttery yellow. See all the colors of my house are in the basic set design of the West Wing. I realized this recently when I found myself staring harder at the wall color behind Rob Lowe, rather than at him. So it was a natural progression that while watching an old episode again and noticing again the wall color behind the characters that I would find myself jolting out of bed to come find inspiration photo's of warm pale-ish buttery yellow dining spaces online...which of course led to lots of pictures of other inspirational spaces...but I digress.

Lately I have been wanting to change things up a bit, lighten the look of a few rooms and I have made the decision that I am absolutely ready to get rid of (i.e. re-paint) all the black furniture in the living room and dining room,
and I now know what I want my kitchen to look like when we get around to re-doing it... or at least painting it - which may be sooner, rather than later now that I have a plan. But I will share that plan with you later...
For now I am just excited to see this lighter and brighter look come to fruition. Maybe I will come back around to my black-furniture way of thinking in the future, but for now I am ready for a change.

My dining room is small and does not get a lot of natural light compared to all the other rooms in the house and so it always feels a bit too cozy in there... Maybe this new color will open it up a bit. For those of you who love my signature red that is on the walls now and can't imagine my house without it, have no fear - I have a great plan to use it elsewhere! But again, you will just have to wait for that plan...
Surprisingly, deciding to paint the dining room this new color has had a domino effect and I have suddenly been able to make paint choices for the rest of the rooms in need of a little freshening-up (kitchen, master bedroom) easy peasy. This is a relief because I have been sleeping with paint swatches some nights trying to make up my mind about which way I wanted to go in which room and as pretty as paint swatches are, they are not comfortable bed partners.

So I found some inspiration, and I am excited to get started. Out of all the pictures I found tonight, this is my very favorite picture of them all. I adore, adore it. The colors, the lightness, the freshness, the simplicity. I would like a few more punches of my red, but overall the effect is delightful and soothing don't you think?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Grab your hankies and your picket signs

Have you heard the NEWS?

This is too sad my friends...especially when I think this holiday season might be the last one with new and fresh ME Home Companion ideas to spur me on!

I want to organize, gather together, raise a mighty crafting-creative hoopla and protest this awful, awful news!

ME Home Companion is by far my favorite magazine hands down.
It is colorful, whimsical, fanciful, practical, full of great ideas, inspiration, encouragement and down right friendliness. I wait for each issue on pins and needles and I mourn the years lost when I did not know it existed.

Mary Englebreit and her team (a team I confess I have dreamed of knocking on my door, begging for my creative design ubber talent) are the best and the breitest of the bunch.

I know modern & transitional design is the "in" thing. I know that Elle Decor probably has no use for ME Home Companion and that it will never be the 'gold standard' of either the East Coast or West Coast design world. But come on girls, what about the rest of us?
Forget about red, blue or purple states, what about Mary states?
What about ME & me?

For years now I have been inspired more times than I can tell by what lies between the pages of Mary's wonderful little magazine. Almost all my copies are dog eared and worn from lots and lots of love. ME Home Companion has truly been my companion through these early years of nesting and creating, and has bolstered my spirit so much through it;s continued dedication to artist and the pursuit of an artistic life. I would so hate to see this treasure ride into the sunset without so much as a howdy-do from our little neck of Blogland and so I am creating the Save Our Home Companion blog buttons to show our support for Mary and her magazine and for all those on the ME Home Companion staff who have given so much of their heart and souls to this pursuit.

I don't know if there truly are publishers out there "trolling the Internet for evidence of support for the magazine" (to quote Julie of Jane's Apron fame) but if there are indeed, then perhaps they will hear our cry and rescue our Home Companion from extinction!
If you want to join in my protest, just copy this button and link back to this post and leave a comment with a link to your blog so we can all visit! Also, please feel free to create your own button (in the true spirit of Home Companion) and share it with us, and if you write a post filled with your support (for the magazine) and your outrage (at it's impending doom) be sure to let us know so we can come rally at your blog too!

Maybe we can make a small difference with our collaborative creative outcry... you just never know.

*All pics used are from the ME Home Companion website and are just a tiny tiny portion of all the great work they have done over the recent past!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Picture Day

I am a bad mother. I forgot picture day at Wylie's school. Totally missed it. Didn't even cross my mind till tonight when I found the envelope and I thought "huh, picture day is this week isn't it?"

Funny thing is that I have a boy, and most boy's (as a lot of you know) don't really go into detail about their day, when asked. This is a trait that a lot of women see in their husbands - this lack of information sharing at the end of the day - and it frustrates them to no end. I would just like to say to my future daughter-in-law that I am doing my best to work on that with my oldest son, but from what I can tell, that habit was just part of the male gene package, because everyday I ask Wylie how is day was and almost everyday I get a "Fine," "Good" or "Great." Occasionally I get a "Bad" or an answer that contains a few full sentences, but that is a rare treat.

So todaym when I asked how school was and he said "great!" I believed him. And maybe it was a great day for him. And maybe he wasn't the only kid who didn't get his picture taken because his mother forgot to send in the envelope. Maybe. I didn't have the heart to ask. I didn't want to know the truth, on the chance that it might sting too much.

So now I am riddled with mommy-guilt. I would like to blame on it being a working-momma, but the sad truth is I just forgot, plain and simple. Work or no work.

I just wonder if Wylie knows that he has that mom. The mom that doesn't really "do" fundraisers, lets her kids wear mismatched socks to school, and never shows up to the PTA meetings, and has on occasion been the very late and very last parent through the carpool lane...I wonder if he thinks it is odd or normal or just the way it is. But despite my usual low-key approach to extra school things, I have historically managed to remember picture day of all things. Sheesh.
I sure hope they have a make-up day for the mother's like me who forgot.
Because I really do like having pictures of my sweet boy...
And I would really like to make it up, for him.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Storybook Wonder

I love, love, love the illustrations for this vintage nursery rhyme book that I found recently. Each picture is so saturated with color, the expressions so wide-eyed, the cheeks so rosey.
I also love how the illustrator used punches of black to ground the other candy-colored hues;
The black and white striped dress of Mother Hubbard, the velvet jacket of little Jack Horner and of course all the patent leather shoes on almost every child featured.

What fun it must be to be able to draw and paint like that and see whole worlds come into sight by just the stroke of a brush or pen...

I am dying to do something with these images, but I know I will not be able to rip the book up - it is just in too good of condition. Perhaps some scanning will be in order if I can ever decide how I want to use them. For now I think we will just have to enjoy the rhymes and illustrations during the boys bedtime reading and be inspired that way.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

My Imagination Station

Everyone needs a spot to sit and stare, and read and imagine and think...


" You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
~Mark Twain

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I know, I know...

For most of you it is way too early to be thinking about Christmas... But I myself have to get a move on and get to Christmas glitterin!

This year, I already have a few ideas that I want to explore, new ideas for new crafts and new traditions, but still I need a little more umph to get me going...

So I checked these 2 books out at the Library -

one for fluff,

one for inspiration...

And I did some quick image surfin' on my favorite catalog sites.

Here is what I have saved so far:

(from Pottery Barn Kids)

(from Sundance Catalog)

(Fabric from Reprodepot)

Anyone else nuts enough to be thinking Christmas already?
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