Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tupperware Love

Last weekend at my mom's 25Cent Sale (yes, everything at her garage sale was only 25cents no matter how big or small) I got first pick of the goodies. These are some of my favorite finds...

I love vintage Tupperware. I love the colors (especially the limes and aquas) and the shapes, and the nostalgia of it all. Also, some of it is just really, really practical and helpful.

Monday, September 28, 2009

more cute pumpkins

I am loving all the alternative pumpkin ideas out there this year, especially ones that won't rot, like these cuties!
Also, I am feeling slightly less black & orange this year, so I am exploring all my other pumpkin options. These original pumpkins are from the fab Miss Debi Kennedy, and she has generously posted her Sweater Pumpkin Tutorial HERE so you can learn how you can make these very "green" pumpkins yourself!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fall Break

Today school got out for our Fall Break and we are all excited and ready.
Several co-workers & students asked me " so what are you going to do on your break?"
My answer: "Nothing!"
Well that is not entirely true, but I am planning for us to keep it simple around here.
A trip to the library, a playdate or 2 and that is about it.
Hopefully some crafting and cooking will get done but I am not putting any pressure on myself about that, and maybe those Halloween Decorations will finally go up, but if they don't that is OK too. The point is to relax and enjoy being a family, being home together and just being.

Miles of course doesn't quite see eye to eye with me on the whole "taking it easy" plan, and as soon as we got home today he set up shop on the front stoop.

Welcome to R.J.'s Ribbon Shoppe.

I have no idea what the R & the J stand for.

I gave him a box of ribbon scraps

and I made a sign... but the rest is all him.
He discovered Sales as a vocation last weekend at my mom's yard sale, where he sold Peanuts for Pennies to willing customers (and some not so willing.)

I love that he even thought about presentation. He set up this display by taking the scraps and rolling them up and arranging them in this shopping basket turned on it's side.
He even made 2 sales before closing up shoppe for the night.
OK, so one of the sales was to me, and the other to our across-the-street neighbor, but he thought it was wonderful.
I am sure he will be at it again at some point in the near future.

While we were outside I took a moment to snap some shots of the boys.
I said "Smile like you love your Mother" and this is what I got.

I am a lucky one indeed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

um, so cute!

Did you see these velvet Pumpkins @ HouseMartin?

(picture by Indie Rocket)

Oh, my goodness, they are too yummy.

When I first saw them, I had a Rachel Zoe moment
and squealed something silly like "Bananas!"

But you must admit, that if pumpkins could be High Fashion, these would be them.

Thinking I may have to re-create this look somehow.... Maybe more cottage, less fashion? Maybe burlap and calico?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

catching up

Hello Blogland! How ya been?
Me, I have been absent. Both my blog and my house are feeling a little neglected lately and probably some of my friends and family too.
This fall has been a weird one, mostly because as soon as it was good and September the weather turned humid and yucky. Just plain ick. And my body does not like humid, not one bit.
So I have not been feeling as "fall-ish" as I would like. In fact all of my Halloween and Fall decor items are still sitting in their Rubbermaid box, waiting to be set free.

Also, I am now working 25 hours a week at the boys school (as opposed to the 12.5 I started out at) and while I am LOVING my job there - especially my morning shift - and loving the increase in pay and the freedom that comes with that, it is making certain things harder to get done - like blogging. But next week is our Fall Break at school and I am REALLY hoping to get some blogging, picture taking and crafting done on my week off.

I am still on the fence about the Fair. I think next week, when I have more free time I will make a decision, so stay tuned!

Here is the rest of my wish list for the Fall - projects I would like to see through, things I would like to do:

1) Finish Bedroom - ok, so this one falls more to my husband than me, but I will help!

2) Paint Dining Room - if I could just choose colors! (green maybe on bottom and "my" white on top? or the opposite? or maybe pink? or palest yellow?)

3) Have more people over for grilling out and such. I miss my old friends and I want to connect more with new friends at church!

4) Read To Kill A Mockingbird (can you believe I never have?)

5) Go to Eureka Springs with my family - favorite fall outing, even if just for a day...

6) Go camping with my Sweet Man once before it gets really cold.

7) Clean out laundry room - and maybe paint it too? Or at least really organize it?

8) Go to the Pumpkin Patch, pick some pumpkins and eat pie!

That is my Fall wish list - what is yours?

(all images from countryhome.com)

oh and did I mention I will be 35 in a week?

Monday, September 14, 2009

state fair entry

I recently watch the movie State Fair for the first time and it was adorable. My grandmother has a copy - along with most of Roger & Hammerstein's other works - but somehow I had missed this one before.

The movie itself was the most romantic notion of a State Fair ever - in typical Roger & Hammerstein fashion. Complete with the cutest little mini-trailer camp, adorable clothes and the most perfect farm house ever.
What the acting lacked, the art direction more than made up for it. I am going to have to get it on DVD just so I can look at it again and again.

It made me want to "take back" the quainter qualities of our State Fair. Just like so many of us are picking back up, and paying tribute to the domestic arts like knitting, sewing & baking, I want to do the same for the Fair...

The movie got me thinking about how to do this and wondering about all the Blue Ribbon competitions that go on during the Fair.
Since I have never been in 4-H or part of a farming community myself, I have never paid much attention to the competition portion of the fair, even though I know it goes on. In fact it has been several years since we have even been to the State Fair (these pictures are from a county fair a few years ago) and I can't remember what sorts of crafts I may have seen while there...

Jeanetta- my partner in craft crime & who I share a weird mind link with- had been thinking the exact same thing, only about her local County Fair (since I live in the state capitol, our county doesn't get a fair - we just get the big one!) And had already started looking into entering some of her Aprons and other crafty items at her upcoming fair.

So last Sunday, while we were together, we got online and started looking at the State Fair website, and investigating all the various categories under which we could enter some of our creative endeavors.
For someone who doesn't Can, or Sew much, I was really surprised at how many categories I could enter my paper based and other crafts under!

But our Fair date is not that far away, and I did not have time to get my online entry form filled out and sent in by the deadline. I could still enter with a paper form, but I am a little unsure. I think I want to wait a year and take a look-see this year at what other people are entering and so forth. Take some time to get my game-plan together for next year, so I can create and enter with confidence. Not so I would win, but so I would be proud of what I had entered. Does that make sense? Am I being silly to want to wait?
What do you think?
Have you ever entered a County or State Fair?
If so, what was the experience like?
Do you want to take back your Fair?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

reading now

I just got several crafty books from the library and will share about those soon - when I have had a minute or 2 to read them and form an opinion, pick out my favorite bits and so forth.

I am shamefully behind on my Fiction and other Non-Fiction reading due in large part to all of us adjusting to my new schedule - to all of our new schedules really. The new school situation is WONDERFUL for all of us - the kids love their classes and teachers, I love my duties and students too - but as much as we all are loving it, it has taken a good 7 weeks to get used to it all, to get our feet under us, to know our limits, to form a routine which we can all exist comfortably in.
Of course me being sick for almost 3 weeks didn't help, but fingers crossed & wood knocked, that is all behind us now.

So back to my reading - and listening. I am behind, but here is where I am:

Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy
I finished this about 2 weeks ago and loved it. From what I can tell most of the characters in this book, appear as characters (maybe even the main characters?) in other Maeve Binchy books.
Knowing this little detail made me even more interested in each story line (there are several, all woven together) and now I also want to go back read all the other books that include these characters.

The Zookeepers Wife by Diane Ackerman
This one I have just started, but I remember when it came in at the library and I have been wanting to read it ever since. Here is part of the synopsis:
Ackerman (A Natural History of the Senses) tells the remarkable WWII story of Jan Zabinski, the director of the Warsaw Zoo, and his wife, Antonina, who, with courage and coolheaded ingenuity, sheltered 300 Jews as well as Polish resisters in their villa and in animal cages and sheds. (Publishers Weekly)
Hopefully the book will be well written because I think this is a story that deserves reading and I hope that the writer does her subjects justice in that way.

Dream When You Are Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg

This is the fiction book I am currently listening too. I just notice that this and the previous book are both set during WW II. Hmmm... Wonder what that is about?

I enjoyed Ms. Berg's book The Year of Pleasures and thought I would give this one a try.
Also I am finding my library's online book selection to be a little more limited than I would like, so for now - or until they catch up with my request, this beggar can't be too much of a picky chooser.

So far I am enjoying this one too, but again, I am not very far in.

So what are you reading? When I finished with these what should I read next?
Any suggestions??

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Moment

Today at the school where I work we took a moment of silence to remember 9/11.
Part of my morning duties are to write tardy slips and all morning I wrote the date over and over and over. In the office we all told stories of where we were when the planes hit, or when we first heard the news.

I was at my mother's house, lying in her bed, half asleep watching the Today Show when the first plane hit. I sat up in bed, not really knowing what I was watching.
I was on the phone with My Sweet Man when the second plane hit and we all suddenly knew the first plane was not an accident of any kind.

This morning, while we were telling our stories, one of our 8th grade students was in the office, and she knew so little about the event, and yet she wanted to know so much more. I was proud of her for caring, for being curious, for paying attention and for being in a school where there were adults who were taking the time to answer her questions.

Today, Nathan sent me a link to this phenomenal interactive map of Manhattan that the History Channel put together, where you can view armature film footage from that day.

If you get the chance , I would urge you to take a moment watch some of the videos or watch the special tonight on PBS, and remember that day and all the days since that have been changed because of it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

early birthday gift

look what my sister made me for my birthday!
Isn't she the best?

It's a Union Jack pillow sham! I have been loving these ever since I first saw Rachel Ashwell's version and then all the versions I have seen since.

Jemimah (my little sis) is an amazing seamstress and makes at least 80% of my purses. In fact this is the one I am carrying around right now. It is the perfect Fall purse for me!

Now she has made me this adorable, absolutely perfect pillow sham for my early birthday present.
The reason it is early (my birthday is not for 19 more days) is that Jemimah and her husband Adam are packing up everything they own and moving back to the States, after 2 years *at least* of living in Germany. Jemimah loves Germany, and I know this must be a bittersweet time for her. She got to see so much of the world during their time there and traveled all over. I am so proud of her for chasing all those dreams and seeing as much of Europe as she could while she was there. Wouldn't surprise me a bit to see her end up over there again someday...

Of course I am SO excited that she is coming home for 2 months and then will be living only one state away for the next little bit. Until the Army moves them somewhere else ...

But back to the pillow. I do not think she could have picked out better fabrics if she had tried. The fabric colors, patterns and mixture is absolutely adorable perfection.
I am most in-love with the blue floral with the tiny black polka-dots.
I think I need to buy this print in bulk and do a million things with it.

I love Jemimah's great little details, like the zigzag stitch on the back and around the heart. She has that perfection gene that was lost on me when it comes to sewing (and lots of things.) I have to admit that I am kind of the queen of "good enough" and that is why I could never sew for profit.

But I am loving my hand stitching that I am doing right now. It is so soothing and peaceful, like my friend Tracy said. Even if it is not perfect. Right now I am working on adding lots of scraps and whatnots to an old pair of jeans. However, I will confess that the tougher fabric is starting to wear a callus on my finger. Maybe my Maw was right and I should learn to use a thimble? Maybe?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

no thimble

Lately I have been enamoured with all of the fabric collage work that has been going on in Blogland. People like Pam Garrison are blowing me away with their stitching stories, and what they are able to do with bits and pieces of this and that.

Back in June I entered a giveaway of the also-very-talented Melissa Hubbell- at her blog - The Garden of Pink Shadows, and to my happy surprise, I won! The prize was a great little odds & ends scrap pack for me to make my own fabric collage with...

Of course life has been full of changes the past few months, and I feel like I am just now getting my sea legs, adjusting to the time change, coming up for air etc. There has not been much time for trying out a new craft.

But on Monday, on a last minute whim, I grabbed the pack, along with some old embroidery supplies I had and some extra fabric pieces, stuffed them all in a bag, and took them with me to my grandmother's house, where we were having dinner that night.

Sitting on my Maw's screened in porch, working on needle-pointish things is just about as good as it gets in terms of relaxing and happiness.
Of course her dismay at my lack of thimble skills was pretty darn cute too. "I should have made you learn how to use one when you were little! Shame on me!" she declared more than once.

So now my first little stitching story is done and I have to decide what to do with it. Frame it? Put it on a pillow? A card? Just cut it out and stick it on my mood board? I am not sure yet... But now that it is done, and the stitching bug has bit, I am anxious to move on to something even more fun... I have big plans ahead, like maybe a sweatshirt???

Saturday, September 05, 2009

everything is coming up orange

and black and a little green too...
Started loading the Shoppe with Halloween & Fall Goodies today.
More to come soon...

I am almost back..

but first my sweet man is taking me to breakfast. After that I plan on getting back on the blog horse and posting something more, I promise!
It has been a long week and a half since my last post - I have been buried under a nasty nasty cold and a busy life on top of it. Most of my days consistent of work-sleep-work-sleep, with kids and chores and social events thrown in. There was just no energy left for blogging...
But now I am on the upswing and I cannot wait to get back to Blogland! Not only am I behind in my posting, but I am also WAY behind in my reading!!

So, I promise I will be back soon. But first, I must have coffee...
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