Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happi-Fetti for Spring

Want to fill your Easter Baskets & Save the Planet?
Try Happi-Fetti!
Made from up-cycled happy papers!
(leftovers from my banner making )

Buy 3 get 1 Free

(available HERE)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Master Plan

is this: After 2 years of talking about It, dreaming about It, blogging about It, being frustrated by It and subsequently avoiding It, I think perhaps we are ready to actually do something about It (knock on lovely painted wood.) "It" being our master bedroom of course.

(to see this picture better just click on it!)

To help me focus, I put together a little inspiration board.
This is the sort of thing I have done for friends and clients in the past, but never for myself.
Shame on me! Why did I wait so long?
Some of the items shown I already have (or something close to it,) some are thrifted and waiting to be repainted, and several are on my shopping list.
If you are curious, here is my source list for the images I used:
Paint Color: In Your Eyes by Ben Moore
Dresser: PB Teen
Side Table: Cottage Chic
Hanging Lamps: Ikea
Striped Bedding: Ebay (retired Pottery Barn)
Polka-Dot Fabric: House of Fabric
Burlap Fabric: Ballard Designs
*PS- thanks for everyone who weighed in on our kitchen/dining room wall knock-down debate!
After having dinner with close friends who are remodeling pros - literally- and getting their take, we have decided to wait. With plaster walls this old there is the potential that there is asbestos under there, plus they say taking down plaster walls is the biggest, dustiest mess ever. Feeling that the last thing we need right now is a big asbestos dust mess we are going to hold off on the wall demo a little longer. I will be sure to keep you posted if anything changes!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hope Springs

So it is not quite spring yet. Oh, that it were!

But no, winter is still here, still lingering around the edges. Creeping in closer on some days, leaving frost on the windows , blowing winds that are biting, discouraging and grey.

But then, just enough to warrant attention, there are the days when winter has a sudden identity crisis, and it retreats, scampering away into hiding, as if somehow offended and frightened by the bright warm sun and it's optimistic outlook on the future.

I always feel a particular type of blessed on those days.

Those rare winter days that are dressed up as Spring, complete with sparkling light and soothing breezes. I am all too happy to halt my acts of productivity and sit in the sun, letting its warm & friendly promise bring me and my frigid wintered bones back to life.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, and we will find ourselves officially in that Middle Place once again.

That place between an austere and contemplative deep winter, and the sparkling gregarious nature of Spring that comes with the arrival of Easter...

Surely, that infectious blooming of new life in hearts, gardens and nest alike cannot be denied or ignored - except perhaps by the most burdened and hardened of souls?
Lord willing, I will never be so cynical or blind, that I cannot hold hope in my heart, even for things yet unseen, like the coming another Spring.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

almost, but not quite

I am not quite ready to return fully to Blogland yet, but I did want to say a big thanks for all the love and encouragement on my quest to relax a little this weekend.
I am off once more to soak in a hot bath and then watch the Oscars and adore all the lovely dresses, and hairdos and fancy shoes.
My magazine of choice this weekend has been the Feb/March issue of Hallmark Magazine (which is where this picture is from.) It is truly a lovely issue, and if you are like me and finding the decent magazine options these days to be far and few between, I think you will appreciate this little gem as much as I do!

Friday, February 20, 2009

tuckered out

this momma is plum worn out.

I think I am going to go take a hot bubble bath, drink a big glass of sweet ice tea, and enjoy a magazine and a movie (after my bath of course) and rest my feet and mind for a while.

if I don't make it back until Monday, I hope the rest of your weekend is extremely lovely and restful.

and if I haven't said it in a while I apologize, but I am really so very, very grateful each time you visit me and my little life. I adore every single person who takes the time to stop by my little blog just to look, or comment or ask questions or whatever. each of your visits means something special to me.

you are all my sunshine, even on the rainiest of days.


(ps: the linen ticking towel in the picture was part of my goody package from Stacey, as are the the little cars and trains in my new banner picture - didn't she do GREAT fixing me up with the perfect treats?)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Moment on My Soap Box

Here is my mailing station, with a wonderful new functional, yet lovely addition.
Can you tell what it is?
I finally broke down and bought some Red & White Bakers Twine!

I have been coveting this twine for some time - ever since I saw it over at Julie's place, and I finally found (what I felt, after much searching) some that did not have an outrageous shipping price. I am a little funny about shipping. Now that I have to ship things all the time, I know more what things cost to ship, and I know what is reasonable and when they are just jacking with the price to make a few more bucks. So when I found what I thought was a good deal, I couldn't click "buy" quick enough. This 2lb roll of twine (perfect for wrapping up my brown bag packages) came from a little online store called and did not break the bank.
Some other fun additions to my world came from a little spontaneous day trip that my Sweet Man and I took on Monday, when we realized that we both had President's Day off, but the kids still had school. Thanks to the in-laws taking care of after-school pick-up time and dinner, we had a day all to ourselves, a rare treat.
Monday morning we hopped on down to Hot Springs where we went to the races (my first time ever - you can see the pictures here) and took a little trip to the Central Station Flea Market right down the road from the track - My Sweet Man hunted for some vintage LP's, while I hunted some good - and practical - deals.

Because we have a smallish house and a smallish budget I try to limit most of my flea market purchases to things that are useful as well as lovely (like this adorable vintage Tupperware double measuring cup that I got for $3.50!)
Also, I firmly believe in thrifting as a form of recycling and a way to support non-profits and small business owners. I feel that if you can buy it second-hand - whether from a thrift store, a garage sale, or a flea market, - you should because the benefits are so tangible, immediate and positive for everyone involved in the transaction.

Here is our ultra-functional purchase of the day, and a great steal at $14.28 for all three canisters. I have seen these canisters a couple of times at the flea market but they were always marked too high, and I really thought we didn't need new canisters. That was until my Sweet Bread Baking Man requested some new ones that would actually function well - not just look pretty. So on Monday I found these (finally!) on sale, and Nathan was with me to test them out for himself to see if they would meet his 3 requirements: 1) They had to actually hold full sized bags of flour and sugar, 2) They have a wide enough opening that Nathan could get his big guitar playing paws into them to scoop out heaping cups of his ingredients and 3) They needed to seal up nicely to ward off the annual visit from the ants that we receive every spring (despite our and our bug mans best efforts to keep them at bay.) We had looked and looked at all the big box stores but could never find anything that fit what these requirements, and our budgets and were pretty enough to please me (I am a strong believe that if you search hard enough you can always marry form & function in one swoop.) So we were both pretty pleased to come across these.

I think that taking this more purposeful approach to shopping helps me learn patience and resourcefulness (I hope!) I have to resist the urge to run right out to a big box store and just pick up "any old thing that will do" when I am in need of something. Now of course, I am a huge fan of several big box stores, and am just as guilty as anyone of falling for things like cute packaging or convenience, or great sales where I buy something just because it is so darn cheap. But I am trying to learn not to be too quick to settle for the instant ease and gratification of just grabbing something for the sake of being done with it, and to take the time to search for something that I really like, really suits our needs and our budgets and maybe does some good for someone else in our community - like putting a few extra bucks into the pockets of people who run flea market booths.
Now of course, I must confess sometimes (often I am sure) I am guilty of buying something from a flea market or thrift store just because it is lovely (like this adorable children's book) and cheap (only 75 cents) but I think that every now and then it is OK to buy something just because you like to look at it, or it makes you smile. Because, that is a tangible benefit too.
It's like Whip Cream; Not necessary, but oh what a sweet happy thing it is!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Feeling Inspired...

Have you heard of Crown and Crumpet?

I think I have to make polka-dot shades for my living room lamps. OR maybe for my bedroom?
But I think I will have to go with black on white only, instead of multi-colored... But that's just me.
This is such an adorable shop/tea salon...
If I ever make it west I will be sure to check out this little slice of English life on this side of the pond.

It reminds me of my other favorite English import, Cath Kidston, whose new Magazine/Catalog I received today... Oh, what eye candy!
Visit her site and order a free copy today - you won't be disappointed, and it will brighten up your winter greys right away!

I would so LOVE these towels for my bathroom - aren't they the happiest towels of all time?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Forever Mine

A little show and tell on this Valentines Day...

I just wanted to share some of the great vintage Valentines I received this week from my wonderful blog pal Stacey from Flotsam and Jetsam.
She sent me a wonderful package full of the best vintage treasures after I won her giveaway, and I could not believe my luck!

Some of my favorite items was this collection of Valentines Day items.
I love the little clown Valentine with the inscription on the back. I always am so happy to find vintage cards that are written in and dated. It never ceases to amaze me in this instant/drive-thru/throwaway culture that we live in, when I come a across something that has survived the test of time this way. A small piece of colorful paper that has somehow stayed safe all these years (84 in the case of the clown) and survived in a land where so much is just carelessly tossed to the side, & thrown away.

The little clown is a sweet reminder on this "greeting card holiday" to remember to cherish the little things in life as much as the big ones, and to be careful what I discard carelessly, and to look for the beauty in the simple and sweet as well as the grand and important.

Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

library picks of the week

Here is a glance at what I am lugging home in my book bag this weekend...

All my dreams are coming true. Look what arrived in my petite library today!

I cannot wait to get home and pour over Alicia Paulson's first book,

I have already glanced through it a wee bit and can tell it is bursting with adorable creations and ideas!

This I have had home for a few days, but haven't had the chance to start yet. Spiritual memoirs must be my current obsession, as I just finished Take This Bread and Leaving The Saints (both excellent and riveting reads btw.)

Those Darn Squirrels is a lovely, funny, charming book for any kid (or squirrel hater) of any age.

From the art to the plot it is all a delight!
So there you have my picks for the week.... if your library doesn't have them, make sure to ask about an inter-library loan, it is a handy service most libraries provide!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

i am in love

with the petite online shoppe of

treat yourself to a visit, it's like getting lost in the best little rural general store in the world.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

state of grace

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.
- G. K. Chesterton

there is no use in pretending that life is anything but messy.

and for this I say grace.

I'm in the Mood for Love

A mood board for February (& maybe March...)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

What I tell myself

is that if I had a laundry room like this I would do laundry every day.
And like it.


Still slowly recovering. Better today thanks to steady intervals of pills and naps, but still not myself...

Friday, February 06, 2009

Ribbon Sweets

Sorry I have MIA. I have had a bad cold/flu and fever for 2 days now. I was hoping to be well by tomorrow but things are not looking up... But I am able to sit upright long enough to blog. So here it goes.

Yesterday the sun and I where both up long enough for me to snap a few shots of my latest-for-me craft project. When you are a professional crafter, you don't always get to make a lot of things for your own home, somehow those projects often get put on the back burner for all the other ones you have to make to sell. But earlier this week - before I was sick - I took an hour to put together this ribbon garland.

I am in love with Ribbon Garlands. After I took our Christmas decor down, my mantle never looked the same, so I thought I better make one of Valentines Day as well.

I just used grosgrain ribbon scraps that I have left over from banner making and created this Valentine inspired garland.

I love the simplicity of it against the white fireplace mantle. I mostly used pink and red, with a little robins egg blue and mocha mixed in for contrast. I am already saving scraps for an Easter/Spring one...

For more Valentines Day fun, head over to Blissfully Domestic to see where I posted a Valentines Day Craft Party tutorial.

For some reason the link to the Love Notes Booklet didn't work there, but hopefully it will here.

I am off to drink more juice and watch some more TV. It is amazing how caught up one can get with their DVR collection in just 2 sick days.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Knock Out

I am thinking about knocking out walls in my house.
I have always been scared to do this because we have 69 year old plaster walls. I have no illusion that this will be a simple undertaking.
But still, I am thinking about knocking out walls.
Why? you ask,
(image from Rate My Space)
Because I think I would like to have a bigger kitchen/eating area...Perhaps one with some comfy seating? Or at least room to breathe?

(from Just Beachy)

I have a couple of friends who live in mid-century ranch style homes, probably about the same size as our house. Except they have knocked out walls, opening up their kitchen/living/dining rooms all up into each other, which allows for better entertaining - especially when lots of kids are involved. Which in our stage of life, they almost always are - which I love!

(from Wisteria)

Only our house isn't mid-century, it is a 1940's cottage/ranch/hybrid, and it's walls are plaster not sheet rock, a much easier to work with building material.

I am a little afraid that if I start knocking out walls, it will be a little bit like pulling a thread on a sweater, and the whole thing will come crumbling down. Or we will find out things we don't want to know....

So what would you tell me to do?

Have you ever attempted to knock out old plaster walls? What did you find?

Did you used to have separate living room/dining room/kitchen and now have a wide open space?

What do you think? What did you like better? Was it worth it? Would you do it again?

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