Friday, May 29, 2009

Campin Time

swim bags are packed

picnic basket is packed

stools are recovered

blankets are gathered...

we are almost ready to go because it is time for the first ever Greer Scouts Campin Adventure! I don't think we could be more excited if we were going to Paris....

See you Monday!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Postively Presidential

One of the projects we have been working on around the house is the boys room. I am a big believer in kid room sharing, at least for my kids at this stage. I will not speak for how I will feel in 4 years when we have puberty explosions around here. But for now - and as far as I can see into the future- the boys share a room, a nice big room actually. The original "master bedroom." Even though we live in an old house we got pretty lucky in that most of the rooms are pretty big, especially for a house this age. Also we have huge windows. But that is another post.

So, back to the boys room. They decided that they wanted to take down the bunk beds and have their own single beds, so this required a complete shifting of the room. Also, we are trying to get all their toys out of their tiny closet so that we can hang another lower bar in there for clothes, so we needed to bring in more storage, which includes the shelves on either side of their dresser. Once we got all the furniture placed it was time to accessorize with all the bits and pieces I have been holding on to, anticipating this day.
First up were the President Silhouettes.

For those who don't know, my boys are history nuts. They watch the History Channel, put on historical re-enactments in the back yard and have been caught reading history textbooks in the bathroom. For fun. So when I came across these Presidential Cutouts at the Dollar Tree , I knew I would have to find a way to use them in their room.
This is what I came up with.

I used all Dollar Tree items and the cost of the total project was only $6 unless you count my stamps and ink.

Here is the breakdown:
1 Pack Presidential Cut-Outs $1
4 Plastic (i.e. unbreakable) Black Frames $4
1 Roll Brown Craft Paper $1

Underneath each silhouette I stamped the Presidents first name or nickname using little letter stamps.

I am very happy with how they turned out - especially with price! I wish I could get better pictures but the light in their room is less than fabulous since one window is covered by a porch. I have a little more tweaking to do and then I will show you the whole room, pinkie swear!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Curry Mango Cappanelle Salad

This weekend has been very busy but busy in a good way. Busy with friends who are so much more like family, that our kids have all asked at some point "are we cousins?"

One of the events of the weekend was an all-hands on deck cookout at our place. Several of the families were from out of town, so we decided to just all pitch in for groceries and make most of the food that day here. I seized the opportunity to feed unwitting guinea pigs and tried out 2 salads from the Cookbook from Girls that looked perfect for a summer meal.

I happy to say that both were a big hit! This is the only one I managed to get some pictures of (called Chicken Pasta Salad in the book.) I tweaked the recipe a bit to fit my taste buds and pantry supplies, and because I was making it as a side dish I left out the chicken. Also I have renamed it Curry Mango Cappanelle Salad,because I like to be fancy like that....
Cappanelle is the type of pasta I used and I really loved the texture and look of it in this dish. Plus it has ruffled edges - and how doesn't love ruffles?
Obviously you could substitute another style of pasta - like Bowtie - if you can't find Cappanelle, but if you have never tried it you should treat yourself.

So for my sweet friends who wanted the recipe - and for anyone who wants to give it a try - here it is:

Currey Mango Cappanelle Salad

in a large bowl mix the following ingredients
1 Bag Cappanelle Pasta, cooked & drained
2 Ripe Mango's, cut & cubed
4 Green Onions, chopped & sauteed in Sunflower Oil
1/2 Large Lemon, juice squeezed
1/2 Cup Plain Low-Fat Yogurt
1/3 Cup Olive Oil Mayonnaise
Handfull of Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1tsp Curry Powder mixed/w 3 Tbsp of Low Fat Yogurt
1/2 tsp (more if you like it!) of Tarragon
1 Tbsp Honey
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Cover & chill for 1-2 hours for best results.

Thanks to Jeanetta & Joshua who were my testers on this one while it was in process - you helped me get the flavor combo just right!

Friday, May 22, 2009

weekend reading

Well the weekend is here and we have guest coming in, an anniversary to celebrate (12 years!) and Riverfest (tonight is Willie Nelson and the B-52's) to attend.... Plus I am not quite done cleaning and fluffing my nest for all the guest and I am still not at quite my normal speed yet, so I thought I would leave you with my latest kid book recommendations from the Library, an "easy post" if you will...

Love, love the artwork in this book. Mrs. Rabbits decorating taste are sublime and Little Rabbit is pretty darn cute himself. A great read for any kid - especially those learning how to face their nightmare fears.

Sarah Stewart is a new discovery for me, even though she has written tons. I love this book for it's simplicity and sweetness.

Edward and the Pirates was so good Miles made me read it twice in a row, an unusual request from him, since he generally just wants to get on to the next story.
A great book for the kid who loves to read and who loves library books as much as Edward does.

Fanny by Holly Hobbie

Oh Fanny! How cute she is!
I love, love this book by Holly Hobbie. Fanny makes her own doll in this book, and learns to love her the most even though she doesn't look like the store bought dolls her friends play with. A great book for all little girls who are struggling with the peer pressure that comes when one is the slightest bit different, even when that includes ones dolly!
OK, I am off to clean and fluff.
Have a lovely weekend and I will meet you all back here shortly!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

my mother was right and sew cute

First off, I need to state in print, for the record, that my Mother was right. Garlic is a wonderful healer. For years she has been pushing garlic tablets on me when I am sick and for years I have pushed them right back, determined not to spend my days burping garlic. Right, because snotty noses, scratchy throats and achy bones are SO much better and attractive...
But yesterday, while having dinner with friends, I scarfed down all the roasted garlic I could out of the yummy salad my friend had brought to share. Even after dinner, and even after my ice cream sundae, I continued to casually pass the kitchen counter, picking garlic hunks out of the salad inconspicuously,(or so I hoped.) Think my body was trying to tell me something?

This morning I awoke feeling remarkably better, and more like my usual self. Also, I awoke smelling like a very well used garlic press. Yummy.

But man was it worth it. It was so worth it I cooked myself I grilled onion,garlic & cheese sandwich for lunch. Which came after the Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cone I had for breakfast, with my coffee....
So there Mom, you were right!! Garlic heals!!
But enough about that, let's move on to prettier, less smelly things shall we?

This is my new little "sewing" space in my studio. Not that I will sew in that exact space, more this is the space where I am keeping all my sewing goodies.

My sewing machine (yes that is it, and yes it works!)

I toy with getting a new one every now and then, but as little as I use it, this little one suits me just fine...

my threads and bobbins

needles and pins (Little House on a Cupcake courtesy of Jeanetta)

and my very favorite bits and pieces of fabric - both old and new - just waiting to be turned into something useful, something lovely...

and My Blue Girl, all dressed up and ready to mend.

Part of my big spring cleaning project has been to get the boys room more organized, so 2 shelves left the Studio and moved down the hall to their room, where they are already filled to the brim. This gave me a little space to maneuver around my big old craft desk and the opportunity to get rid of a lot of junk that had collected on those shelves.

Now I just have this one small bookshelf that my father-in-law built in shop class a few moons ago. Eventually I would like the Studio to be painted a more serene color - pale pink perhaps? - and to replace this bookcase with something similar in size, but more girlie in feel, painted white or aqua perhaps?

For now though I am happy with my little sewing space, and happy to feel like I am making some progress on our house, one little project at a time....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I am still here, though everything is a little foggy

I am fighting a cold/mono flair up or something like it. Thinking it is mostly due to the wacky weather we had over the weekend. I caught a chill and I can't seem to recoup.
Really wishing I could spend about 1 week in bed, then I am sure I would feel better... But that is wishful thinking....

Making some progress on some house projects - rearranging the boys room & the dinning room - getting ready to paint in there, trying to stay on top of orders so I can enjoy a weekend with friends, juggling end of year school stuff and baseball with the boys. Nothing extraordinary, but this week all a little extra exhausting due to this cold/whatever.

Instead of the pictures I had intended to share - haven't quite gotten around to those yet... I thought I would share one of my favorite web-haunts with you,

the Nesting Blog from Cookie Mag...

Both the Cookie Mag section HomeFront and their design blog Nesting are always chocked full of great ideas and inspiration in a range of styles and looks.... Here are a few of my favs lately...

If you aren't a regular Nesting reader you should pop over there and check it out. You never know what you might be inspired to...

Friday, May 15, 2009

end of the week and the sun is out

The sun has come back out finally...maybe it will stay.
Things have been unseasonably wet this Spring and it has thrown us all off our game.
Literally. Poor Miles has yet to play at T-Ball game due to all the rain - and the season "started" in April.

But today the sun was out, and I believe that the weather man is predicting sun for the coming week as well. Hallelujah!

Today we enjoyed the sun by attending Wylie's field day at school.

Miles is never happier than when he is on a swing.

Cannot believe another school year is almost over... Where did it all go?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

kitchen talk

Last week I had one of those rare, wonderful days where I am alone in my house for a good chunk of the day, without too much mess or stress. Where I am not in full project mode, or cleaning mode or momma mode or hostess mode and I can take a moment to really enjoy my home for myself and myself only.
On those days I feel especially domestic and like to fix myself some sort of treat for lunch. Usually from whatever we have leftover.

Last week I had an Open Faced Hawaiian Sandwich. This simple sandwich is not only simple, but it is also sentimental. My Aunt Viki taught me how to make this, probably when I was all of about 12 years old give or take a few years. She also was the first person to introduce me to Mac-n-Cheese w/Hot Dogs cut up and mixed in. A delicacy I am not above eating to this day.

The Hawaiian Sandwich was a recipe Aunt Viki learned working at a local soda-fountain type restaurant as a high school kid, and I can still remember her showing me how to make it, laying each layer on the bread in the frying pan. I think that my love of Hawaiian Pizza's can be traced back to this sandwich as well. This and the Pineapple Crisp Casserole my mom is famous for.
My version of the Hawaiian Sandwich varies slightly from Aunt Viki's so for kicks I am going to include this simple sandwich recipe here.

Aunt Viki's Inspired Hawaiian Sandwich

Stack the following ingredients:

2 Pieces lightly toasted (both sides) Bread
I used homemade ciabatta, but any kind will do. However I do think the denser the better...

Ham or Prosciutto - 1 piece per slice of bread

Sliced Pineapple - enough to cover ham
I have never had this with fresh pineapple but I would love to try it!

Cover with Cheese - grated or sliced
I used Colby Jack (because it was what we had on hand) but I think you could also use swiss, sharp cheddar or Havarti.

Stick in broiler on Low till cheese & pineapple are bubbly.


In other domestic news from that day, I had to snap another picture of this little group on the counter. I am in love with the afternoon light that comes in my kitchen and I was trying to capture it's magic fairy dance on the counters. I know we need to remodel our kitchen for functionalities sake, but hope when we do we can still keep all the sweet charm that it has now.

Someone recently asked me about the 2 Mix Boxes behind the bowls.
I am sad to say that I don't think you can get them anymore. A friend gave them to me (after she had eaten the contents!) because she thought they looked like me. I did a little research (called reading the label) and discovered they came from Stonewall Kitchen, but alas I could not find these exact mixes or boxes.

I am also sad because I cannot find out who made or sold these picnic plates and bowls. I bought the whole set at a garage sale 2 years ago for $5 and I would love to double my collection for all our outdoor gatherings.
If anyone knows where I can find these - or if you see them on your thrifting adventures - let me know, I would be so happy!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

come along and meet...

my new blog friend Karin Grow.
I recently happily discovered the artist and blogger Karin Grow after she sent some pictures to me of a party she threw where she used my Happy Birthday Banner in Circus & the Amelie Eiffel Tower. I always love it when customers send me pics of how they have used their banners and other Storia HOME goodies. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
This party was thrown in Karin's art studio out behind her house. Don't you just love the space?
Look what it is! An old detached garage space. The half doors w/the chalkboards are pure generous. Sweet Man and I will be borrowing this idea for our shed/garage remodel someday. Perhaps when the kids go to college maybe?

Karin is a big fan of color and you can see it in her house. Most people who read my blog know that I am not a huge orange fan, but even I love this dreamy sherbety color. Especially when mixed with the white and green furniture and pink Easter decorations. So cheery!

Karin is an art teacher as well and I love seeing the projects she comes up with for her students and workshops. This little flock of felted birds is just too cute! I adore that they are all wearing hats, they all look ready to party down.

This piece is from a collage class she did and I love it. I wish she lived here so I could take one of her classes!

Karin also has an Etsy shop where she sells original paintings, prints and other colorful creations.
Karin is a relatively new blogger so if you get the chance pop over and tell her hello - I think you will enjoy your glimpse into her creative world!

Friday, May 08, 2009

exterior motivation

This is the door that started it all. Well sort of.
I have a door almost exactly like this one - only the window is center instead of off center - that my neighbor gave to me when they got a new door. Why they would want any other door than this beautiful one is beyond me, but I am not going to argue, because now it is mine!
It is going to be our new front door - once I decide what color to paint it.
This beautiful blue door that you see here actually belongs to the talented Fifi -
so I cannot claim it.

But it got me thinking about what color to paint my new (old) door and also the shutters we are going to make to match it in style...Like these (photo by Annie) found on Flickr.

But what colors to paint the door and the shutters?
The same colors? Contrasting colors? Bright & wild? Muted and safe?
Currently we have very old and faded green (almost gray) shutters and a red door.
I think I am done with red doors for now. It has been almost 6 years after all, and with the new door not yet installed this is the perfect time to pick a new color scheme.

So I decided to go to and have a little fun trying out some color ideas.
This cape cod style is pretty close to my house. My house is longer due to an addition on one end, but it is white, has a chimney, has the same basic roof line and dormers. I went ahead and created one to look as close to our existing colors as possible. The colors are a little off, but you get the general idea. Frankly, I could have done a better job matching the shutter color, but I got tired of fiddling with it and quickly moved on to the fun part - NEW colors!

Here are 4 options I created today -

Option #1
Apple Green door and stoop, Cherry Red shutters, Pale Creamy Yellow Trim

Option #2
Light Apple Green Trim, Aqua Door and Stoop, Cheery Red Shutters

Option #3
Apple Green Door and Stoop, Aqua Shutters, White Trim

Option #4
Aqua Door and Stoop, Apple Green Shutters, White Trim

So, what do you think?
Do any of these combo's strike your fancy?
Would drive by my house and think I was that "what crazy lady chose those wacky colors? " if I went with option #2?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Craft Hope

I have decided to brave the needle and thread and participate in this years Craft Hope, Project 2

Here is a little info on what it is:

Craft Hope is working with Eren (Vintage Chica) and the ORPHANetwork to provide handmade, soft-bodied dolls for the children of the Casa Bernabe Orphanage in Nicaragua . Many of the children come from abusive situations and the dolls will allow the children to develop the mothering and nurturing instincts that most little girls have.

Here is what we are needing… Of course, the dolls must be handmade. We will need girl, as well as boy dolls. We ask that the dolls have brown hair and brown eyes, since we would like them to resemble the children they are going to. You may use any pattern you like.

If you have never tried sewing a doll, it’s okay! Just give it a shot. We aren’t looking for perfection, we are looking for the love that goes into making the item. This is also a good project to get your children involved. You can even put a little heart inside the doll. Be creative, it’s your creation that will be loved no matter what.

The deadline to get the dolls to Craft Hope is June 13th.

You can learn lots more about Craft Hope & sign up by visiting HERE

I have never made a doll so this will be a fun adventure. I am thinking of getting the boys involved also and maybe creating some boy dolls. We shall see. I bet I will be lucky to get 1 done, not to mention 3. But you never know...

if you really want to know

what I want for Mother's Day look no further, because here is is:

A gift certificate to Sublime Stitching

I have wanted to try my hand at Embroidery since Wylie was a baby and have never really given it a fair chance. But as soon as I stumbled across Jenny Hart's wonderful website I knew I had found my true inspiration and motivation to give it another shot. Just look at these adorable pattern sets!

China Town

Black Apple


Also, I would really like the Starter Kit. While I am not usually a "kit" kind of gal, I think I would like this one. It comes with everything you need to get started -instructions, tools (pink scissors!) one pattern set of your choice and more and then I wouldn't have to go searching for each individual item, it would all be right there - in the kit!

Camp Out

I think I would have to start with the camping set because we are going on a big camping trip at the end of this month and wouldn't it be fun to have freshly embroidered pillowcases and tea towels? Yes of course because that is what every serious camper needs right? OK, so maybe getting anything finished before the trip is a teensy bit ambitious of me.
But luckily the camping trip is a yearly event. Maybe I could take this set with me on this years trip and get started, and be done by next years trip!
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