Wednesday, August 26, 2009

bucket bike

Look what they are giving away WEEKLY now...

Isn't it just too adorable?
Go check out how to enter - maybe you will win and you can take me for a spin! I call the bucket!

I am still in the foggy headed sniffle stage of Kathleen Kelly with tons of used tissue stuffed in my pockets, waxing on about how daisies are the friendliest flowers and all. But I am coming around slowly, drinking lots of fluids and trying to get lots of rest too.
So far I am loving my new split shift at the school...if only I could breathe again then things would be purrrfect.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

to catch a cold

(photo source unknown)

I am a little under the weather today. End of the summer cold/allergies or something - I have been fighting it all week and last night it finally caught me.
Been treating myself to lots of liquids and bed rest between glittering spells.
I will be back on Monday I hope, feeling much better and inspired!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

tonights the night

Project Runway premieres on Lifetime.

How will it be?

Will it be just as good as it was on Bravo?

Has Lifetime changed our wonderful Tim Gunn?

With the designers be fab and full of drama?

I will be watching to see, howabout you?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

forcing fall

So we are only halfway through the hottest month of the year around here, but I am DONE with summer. OK, there may be one more swimming trip in our future but other than that I am DONE.

To celebrate this decision I am currently baking some Pumpkin Bread, and I intend on tucking myself into bed later with warm pumpkin bread, a tiny bit of milk and a good fall episode of Gilmore Girls, perhaps the best back-to-school viewing available.

If it can't be Fall here, it can at least beFall in Stars Hallow and what is better than that?

That's what I thought!

Monday, August 17, 2009


This is my new $20 chair and ottoman. It is the perfect little Momma Bear chair don't you think? At least for this Momma Bear.

It replaced the too-big-with-the-addition-of-the-piano-Chaise lounge. But don't worry, the chaise went to my mother who has always been in-love with it and who truly deserves it more! It was her birthday present in fact. We are funny that way - we tend to just pass furniture and vintage items from house to house as "gifts" - much easier that way. Everyone gets what they want and it is easy on the budgets.

Also new - the new schedule, the new longer hours, the new routine, the new challenges day.
It was both fun and hard, and many new things are.

I am so thankful for a soft place to land at the end of the day.
My Momma Bear chair, my boys wonderful sweet juicy kisses, My Sweet Man's protective arms.
Ahhhh.... That's better.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Who would've thought?

All that would happen because I started this little blog...

In the years since I started a lot has happened in my life, these are a few of the things that happened specifically because I found Blogland and built a little blog house here.

Completely inspired by Jen from The Cottage Nest here is my Top 10 List.

10) Got asked to be a featured house tour in Cookie Magazines Blog, Nesting
9) Had a picture published in Somerset Life magazine.
8) Was asked to blog for Vintage Indie Mag & Blissfully Domestic
7) Had my mantle & banner photographed and featured in At Home in Arkansas Magazine
6) Was asked to submit Christmas items to the Martha Stewart Show for consideration
5) Found out about Etsy and started my Etsy Shoppe
4) Found the courage to try new things both creatively and personally
3) Made new blog friends that became " real life" friends as well
2) Reconnected with wonderful old friends
1) Discovered there was a whole community of crafty gals just like me who inspire me daily - that includes you!

If you have always wondered if you should start a blog I would encourage you to do it! So many wonderful things have come my way because of the blog world and even if I had only experienced numbers 4-1, it would still have been wonderful, because at the end of the day, those are things that matter most.
If you do decide to take the leap and start a blog, please don't be shy! Leave me a comment and let me know so that I can come visit you too!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Is it too soon?

To start planning our annual Halloween party?

To start thinking about what Halloween goodies I could make (limited edition of course) for the shoppe?

Oh the wheels are turning...

Something about August always does this too me.

I know that the cool weather is still 2 months away,

that my fall sweaters, and suede boots will not see the light of day till October at least...

But planning and dreaming and crafting knows no such boundaries...

So I think that maybe, just maybe, it would be OK to start...

Don't you?

(p.s. all images are from - I just searched "Halloween" on their site to find these.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

i * heart * school

It's true. I love school. For the most part I always have. Over the entire span of my childhood I was able to experience a variety of schooling - private school, public school and home schooling, and there were things I liked and disliked about each.

(from EthanOllie)

I truly loved college. I think because it was the best of all of those worlds put together. I loved my professors (Dr. Wight, Dr. Hosclaw, Dr. Cole just to name a few...) and I loved most of my classes, living on campus, buying new notebooks, workstudy jobs in the philosophy, theatre and psychology departments. The majors I tried and dumped, the major I stuck with. The boyfriends, the best friends, the days skipping classes to go to the lake, the mornings of rolling out of bed and into class still in my pajama's. Rice Crispy Treat Day in the cafeteria.
Old buildings, new buildings, the musty library.
Being with everyone.

(from 26OliveStreet)

It is a running joke that I am turning our house into a One-Room-School house with my collection of maps, globes, chalkboards, rulers and vintage children's books.
I just can't help myself. I *heart* school.
So I guess it should come as no surprise that I love working in one now.

(globe from Etsy)

This year, in attempt to simplify our lives and get us all on the same schedule, I took a job at my kids school. I am teaching Cooking & Nutrition to 6th graders in the afternoons and then I stay and also help out with dismissal. Now I am one of those strange people who really likes Middle/Jr High aged kids. They are perhaps my favorite. I know, lots of people find that odd, but it is true. Back when I was a camp counselor (light years ago) they were my favorite age group and they still are - I find them to be a hoot and a half.

(from Sydg)

So I have loved being at the school, have loved getting to know the kids. Yesterday I was offered another shift , a morning shift, where I would help out with arrivals, writing tardy slips (why does that sound like the most fun job ever?) and do some tutoring.
After I got over the initial shock of the idea of having to get up and be out of the house so early each day, I realized that I really wanted to take the job. I wanted to be at the school more;
I wanted to be there with my kids (the school goes from K-12) and I wanted to be there with the other kids too.

(from GroovinTuesday)

So once again, my little life is shifting a little more.
This will mean less glittering, but I am not stopping cold turkey. This just means I will have to be choosier about when and how many banners I make. I will be doing less Wholesale, and more "limited editions" on Holiday items. Also I hope the new increase in my paycheck will mean I will feel the freedom to say "no" to request when I am really too busy, and not worry that saying "no" means I won't be able to pay my cell phone bill or fill up my gas tank.
I hope that this new "financial freedom" from the glitter bottle will mean I can branch out and try my hand at some other creative projects that I have been itching to explore.

The era of "more school, less glitter" has begun, and I am excited to see what it holds!

(I am pretty sure it holds learning how to cook in a Crock-pot but that is a 'nother post...)

it's a boys life

Here are the pictures from the boys room. Pictures I took for the Cookie Nesting blog.
There room theme is sort of "vintage USA boy" inspired by their love of history and my love of vintage.

The boys are standing/sitting on a huge cedar trunk that my father-in-law made for them. It houses all of their dress-up stuff plus whatever else gets tossed in there when they are cleaning up. I keep saying I am going to dump everything out and start from scratch, but that has yet to happen...

Being an old house, the closet situation is not great over all. In their room they have 1 small closet that has an even smaller door, so most of the toy storage has to happen out in the open. I used inexpensive industrial type shelves to flank the vintage chest of drawers (a family piece.) The black pulls on the dresser came from Lowes and were in with the more heavy duty gate latches and pulls. Previously every other knob and pull we had tried on this dresser just came off because the drawers were so heavy and long. These pulls have worked great and the boys can really get a grip on them and handle the drawers much better.

Patchwork curtains sewed by my mother. Almost all of the fabrics are leftover scraps from other design jobs. I think the only one I actually bought for these panels is the blue "states" travel print you can see towards the top of the picture.

These beds can be bunked, which is how we have had them for a year or 2, but it was time for a change. The boys love them this way, and I love that I can now lay down and snuggle and read with each boy as needed.

I had to bring in a few globes of course. They have a globe lamp in between their beds, and then there are little globes as finials on their curtain rods.
Now I just need a great old USA Map for the wall....

The desk area. Mostly this is where they keep all their art supplies, notebooks, papers and such.
Also it is usually piled high with library books, dirty socks, very important rocks, leaves and sticks and who knows what.
The desk was actually my mother-in-laws dressing table when she was growing up. We have a mirror that goes with it somewhere...

So that is it. That is what it looks like (pretty much) when it is clean.
If you come to visit I can't promise it will be so tidy!

(*This room is also very hard to get good pictures of - we have lighting issues in here and I can never seem to get the pictures to turn out as clear as I want, so I apologize for the blurriness!)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

first day

(click on pictures to see bigger all together)

Here is the official
2009 Back To School picture

What's not to love?

Monday, August 10, 2009

around this table

On Friday my Sweet Man and I went to see Julie & Julia.
What a great movie! Nora Ephron at her very best! Oh my, I cannot rave enough about this movie. It was adorable, funny, bittersweet, lovely to look at, great soundtrack, wonderful acting. The whole kit & caboodle.
I think from the time the music started I didn't have a dry eye again the rest of the night.

Something about people searching for and finding themselves and their joy in unexpected places always makes my heart so very happy...

And the whole food thing didn't hurt either.
Anytime a movie has to do with food it immediately catches my eye. It is a storyline I feel very connected to.

Something about sharing meals has always had a special meaning for me. Part of it is of course because I love food - good, good food - so very much, but more than that, I think it is the community you find around food that I am drawn to. Around the preparation and sharing of food.

Most of my favorite childhood memories involve people I love and the meals we shared, the cooking we did together, the "special occasion" restaurants we visited.

Now each Sunday I find myself gathered around another table.
Most Sunday's I prepare and help serve Communion at our church.
I gather all the elements and set the table. Then, when the moment comes I join with another pastor to serve this little meal to our community.

Surprisingly to me this part of the service has become my favorite. I think it is because something joyful seems to happen as I lean in to offer the cup to each person, smiling, whispering words of hello or blessing.

I think a lot of the joy I find in this small act has a lot to do with the words that I speak each week as we break the bread & pour the cup... Words that come from a Mennonite Songbook called Sing the Journey that I posted here back in the spring.

... for around this table you will find your family,...where the broken are molded into beloved community.

We are all broken. It is a true part of life, but sometimes, through some sort of Grace, we do find ourselves gathered around tables where we find family - sometimes unexpectedly - and sometimes we can even feel ourselves being bound together over bread and wine, hamburgers and fries, tacos and margaritas, into a beloved - though not perfect - community.

I think that is why we keep cooking, keep baking, keep eating, keep serving, keep trying. No matter what life we are living, we can always come back to the table.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Dear Mary

Dear Mary Engelbreit,
I miss you so very much.
Sometimes I cannot bare to look at back issues of your Home Companion because I am too aware of the void that is now in all our mailboxes and hearts.

But there are rumors on your new website (which I *heart* by the way) of Home Companion Workshops and a Home Companion Blog coming soon and I can hardly stand the wait. Oh, I do hope you publish lots of pretty pictures and ideas on your blog, and I hope that you share lots of holiday inspirations and craft how-to's on there as well.
I really don't know how I will make it through Halloween or Christmas without you sparking my imagination, I really don't.

Also, I know you must have moved again and I am just dying to see your latest house....
So please, do not take too long to come back to me. Nest fluffing just isn't the same without you!

Sincerely, woefully, and as always your faithful fan,

Friday, August 07, 2009

there is not enough thanks

in the world for each of your sweet, sweet & supportive comments!

(picture from Style Me Pretty)

Posting those thoughts on Wednesday was a risky - or so I thought - and each one of your comments brought another ray of sunshine and hope into my heart!

Thank you so much for sharing your hearts as well - It is good to know that we are not alone isn't it? Yet so often that is how we feel.
I guess that is why, Sally Field's gushing confession many many moons ago, still rings true today, I know that is how I felt:

You like me! You really like me!

(photo from Style Me Pretty)

So grab a sweet treat because you deserve it, and
if I could I would have you all over for pie and coffee and we could celebrate honest living together, sharing all of it together.

So thank you for coming back today and again and again.
I promise I will still share pretty things - I cannot help that! Lovely inspirations just make my heart happy, and I LOVE to share them so much. I also promise to share when things aren't so pretty, when real life slam into grand expectations, along with the other parts of my life I wasn't sure if you wanted to know about. I thought about starting another blog for those sorts of things, but let's face it - who has time? And also, at this point in my life I feel like it is important to share all areas, to share the whole picture, not just one little corner. So I am throwing the doors wide open and inviting you in. You have " refrigerator rights" now my friends, so come on in and make yourself comfy, I would love a good chat!

(photo Karin Cargill)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

honest living

(picture source unknown)

Join me for some lemonade and scones will you? I need to chat.

I am thinking of changing the name of my blog from my little life to honest living.
Or maybe I should combine the 2? my little life: honest living

I know it is a classic mistake to "re-brand" yourself this way, but in the end I have to ask, do I care about my "brand" that much?
I am starting to think not.

There are a lot of discussions going on around Blogland lately - instigated by the big party surrounding the release of this book - about why people blog at all. Why us creative types blog, where we find our bliss in it.

I started blogging because I wanted to share things that I saw that inspired me, I wanted to capture parts of my life that I might forget later down the road, I wanted to share in the creative give-and-take that is happening everyday in Blogland, and I wanted to find a new way to express myself (as corny as that sounds in my head as I type it...)

But sometimes there are things I leave out of my blog, things I think now maybe I need to start sharing. I think that is what would be "blogging bliss" to me.
Only I am not sure if you will like all of them, and that worries me a bit.
I know it shouldn't, I know I shouldn't care, but I do. I do want you to like me and my blog. There I said it.

I don't talk much about my faith or my role at my church because it feels somehow awkward to bring that into the mix with all the glitter and decorating. I don't talk a lot about the stress of balancing work & kids & creativity, or about how I have suffered from depression in the past and sometimes feel it rising it up, like a turtle neck that is too tight, when times get rough.

But the truth is sometimes I get up on Sunday and I go to church and I am the one that gives the talk to the congregation, and serves communion, and then I come home and I glitter some banners, surf Blogland, fluff my mantle, read In Style Magazine and make breakfast-for- dinner with my Sweet Man, get my kids in and out of the tub and pass out in front of an episode of Tori & Dean, Home Sweet Hollywood.

And sometimes I have a hard time getting out of bed at all, and lately I am thinking about giving up the glitter scene as a profession, but that is not concrete at all, and today all of my boys are home for various reasons and they are in my hair, and I finally had to shut the door to the studio, put in my ear buds and blog a little to keep from losing my mind.

(picture source Louise Loves)

And then there are other days that are golden, pure magic, and I everything hums along like the sweet night song made by the summer cicada's and crickets.

And then there are other days that are just fine. No more, no less. Just days for living, just as they should be.

And that my friends is the honest truth - and it is all my honest living, one day at a time.

And if you don't mind, I would love to share more of it with you.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Living in Color

some more of the "lost Cookie files"

sunny kitchen spot

dining room - hardest room to photograph because it is so dark.
still thinking of painting those dark walls a lighter color....

dining room corner

armoire in living room

Couch in red

Couch in white

slouchy chair - pre-piano move

new Home Sweet Home banner for every day use

thanks for taking a little tour around my house with me!
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