Monday, November 30, 2009

going postale

I have one more batch of Christmas banners to get glittered and mailed out and a few projects for a Holiday Market I am going to be selling at this weekend in Conway with Jeanetta before I can move on to Christmas projects for me and gift-making/buying.

My "shipping" table was getting a bit cluttered so I found these wire baskets in the garage and hung them on the wall above the table. Now I have all my shipping/packing supplies handy and a little more room on the table for actual work.

Of course it is still a cluttered mess. But it is my mess and I love it all - at least I love it when it is organized where I can see it all.

PS- If you are wanting to make the cute Christmas Cookie Cutter ornaments that I have posted about twice now (I am a little obsessed!) I have a tip: Hobby Lobby has a set (in their Christmas Crafting section) of 25 metal cookie cutters for $4.99 and this week they are 1/2 off that! Think of all the ornaments you could make as gifts, tags, party favors and for your own house!! You can sort of see my pile of cookie cutters behind the pink box on my shipping table.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Todays Mama Giveaway

So the other day, while I was attempting to catch up on my blog reading I found this fun post over on Alison's blog which led me to this GREAT giveaway at Today's Mama.
Can you believe all the amazing stuff they are giving away?
I HAD to enter!!

Look at all those amazing goodies!

OK, so here is my entry - a full on Christmas post, with all the trimmings!
Wish me luck (oh, and go enter yourself! You have time!)

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?

anything from this store

and a housekeeper in a pear tree

2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?
This is hard because my whole family has been doing "handmade Christmas" for years. I honestly don't know if I could choose.

3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?
I have always wanted to make candles in vintage tea cups.

4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?
I think it was the year we got a VCR and my dad had spent months recording movies for us in secret off of the TV. That year I got the movies Anne of Green Gables and White Christmas on VHS and both changed my life forever.

5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?
Miles wants a store that he can set out in the front yard and sell his wares. Wonder where he got that instinct from? He also wants all kinds of craft supplies, including lots of tape. Gotta love that kid. Wylie wants Beatles Rock Band which is probably not going to happen...At least not this year. He also wants an old fashioned wooden toy musket since Luci chewed up his other one. That one might be doable.

6. What is your favorite holiday food?
Cookies dough, hands down. Though I also do love pie. Lots of and lots of pie.

7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?

Well I can't tell you because then you would know what you are getting. But I did find an amazing deal on Metal Cookie Cutters at Hobby Lobby. 25 cookie cutters for 4.99 and then they were 40% off of that! So this year everyone will be getting one of these Martha inspired ornaments on their gifts. That much I can reveal.

8. What is your favorite holiday movie?

The Family Stone.

But I also love White Christmas, Mixed Nuts, The Family Man, Love Actually, Elf, The Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street (both versions) It's a Wonderful Life, Little Women, Charlie Browns Christmas and The Bishops Wife.
I am a bit of a Christmas-aholic.

9. Favorite holiday song?

Oh this changes every year based on my mood... This year I am obsessed with a song called Winter Snow off of the Chris Tomlin Christmas Worship Album.
Oh Holy Night is one of my favorite Carols.

10. Favorite holiday pastime?
Um, all of it??
I am one of those people who likes it all, really I do. I love the crafting, the decorating, the parties, the baking, the gift wrapping, the shopping, the singing, the whole deal.
my absolute favorite time of the Holidays is the week between Christmas and New Years. I love how calm that week seems to be. How new and fresh everything is. I love to just sit under my tree, drink hot chocolate (which stays up until Epiphany) and just take it all in - the whole past year, the coming year. All of it.

OK, so I answered all the questions now it is your turn!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

colorful weekend

This past weekend, my little church was full of life and celebration!
On Saturday we hosted a Craft Fair all day (some proceeds went to good causes)
and then Sunday after church we had our second annual "Advent Event" which is where we make things like Advent Garlands & Advent Wreaths (among other fun projects) to get ready for the season of Advent (which starts next Sunday!) and do work projects around the building, getting ready for the holiday season.

These are just a few snapshots from those activities...

Friday, November 20, 2009

a little craft fair

Storia HOME will be in the craft way tomorrow morning.
This is a wee craft fair at my little church & I will not be "fully" stocked up, but I will have some fun holiday treats to peddle.
Also there will be free cookies and coffee, so if you are near stop by

R Street Community Church from 9-5

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


The time is coming to make some pies for Thanksgiving and Martha's 1st Annual Pie Off (I swear I will get off my Martha kick after this post - at least until the end of November!) I am extremely inspired. I made my first pie last Thanksgiving (using Martha's pie crust recipe - easy peasy!)

I think this year I want to make some sort of chocolate-pecan pie and maybe an apple pie? Or some other fruit perhaps?

Do you have a favorite pie recipe I should try? Do you make pies for Thanksgiving?

things I have learned about myself

as I have gotten older...

if I have to clean my house, it helps me to have cute tools.

Thanks to my pal Sara I now don't mind doing the pots and pans.
I never realized how much I HATED greasy dirty dishwater until these pink ladies came along.
Now I do the dishes without any fear or hesitation and now
thanks to Marfa (@ Macy's) I can now dust in style.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

tabletop trees

This is my new (hand-me-down!) bench that now sits in front of the living room window.
I am totally in-love with this bench and am already thinking of all the things I can stack and display on it (besides people's behinds when we have a full house!)

The one thing I am positive about, is that this year we will have a live "table tree" in a metal bucket sitting on it for sure.
I have always loved table tree's and can't wait to play with this idea in a few weeks!

Here are a few of my favorite table trees:

Martha is the QUEEN of table trees. This is cover of one of her Christmas books.

This is one inside it's pages...

This is one from Country Living's Christmas book.
(great book by the way!)

And of course, from Martha's website.
This is more the size I think ours will be, but I hope to display the presents all around like pictures 2 & 3, on and below the bench.

Oh, I can't wait!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

good enough fairy tales and such

Sometimes "good enough" is really good enough.

Sometimes it really is just about showing up, being present and doing what you can in the moment....

Yesterday was just one of those days.

When we arrived at school Friday, I suddenly realized that I had forgotten to pay for Wylie's field trip and had no idea what time they were leaving and that I had forgotten to remind Nathan who was chaperoning!
After handling that minor crisis in the office (God bless those ladies!!,) I started to head upstairs to the Middle School floor, but before I got very far, here came Miles around the corner with big 'ole tears in his eyes. See, I had also forgotten it was "Fairytale Character Day" in Kindergarten.
After some careful (yet speedy) discussion we decided that he could be a King and I would run into the teachers lounge and whip him up a Crown and a Sword, while he went and finished his breakfast.
So using what I could find (paper for crown, wooden ruler and paper for sword) and swathing him in my blue scarf as his "sash" I quickly created a costume fit for a King. Or at least one that was good enough. Miles was pleased as punch and happily trotted off to class, slaying dragons as his went. When we got home at the end of the day (having shed the cumbersome sash by then) he found an old cellophane Halloween treat bag, cut it up and made a cape all by himself. He then added a gold belt, and Voila! King Miles II was born.
I once heard about a study that said that mothers were the determining factor in whether their children turn into primarily optimistic or pessimistic adults.

I am going to take Miles adaptability regarding the potential fairy take costume debacle as a sign I am doing my job well.
Or at least that I did it well on Friday.

On the home front, my Thanksgiving decorating is also falling under the "good enough" category. This bowl of little pumpkins and a banner are about as far as I have gotten.
But you know what? It really is good enough!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

new logo

In my spare time (ha!) I am trying to get a new logo done...something that is whimsical, fun, vintage in feel, but clean and simple at the same time.
What do you think so far?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

daily things

Thanks to all the great exposure I got from Decor 8 featuring my banners last week, I am full up on Holiday Banner orders! Of course as anyone who knows me well knows, "if the banner orders are up, the housekeeping is down!"
Well, so be it. If this means extra- spending money for Christmas adventures like trips to the theatre and not worrying about the bills while I am off (unpaid) during Thanksgiving Break, then I will gratefully live with the dust bunnies in the corners, and the piles of papers on the dining room table, and the dishes that never seem to get completely washed and put away.

Sometimes you just have to remember what is what in this life.

I was reminded of that again, as the boys and I left school yesterday evening.

This is our school building, on the side of the street we enter and exit most. This year the building - which used to be a newspaper building - is 100 years old. It is a pretty neat place to go to school and work in, with all that history contained in the walls and the original tile floors and marble stairs. The school is downtown and very urban.
There are many evenings when we leave school that we have to walk to our car a few blocks away, in my assigned parking lot.

Last evening was just one of those sorts of evenings, and when we walked outside I was immediately taken with how beautiful the sky was, all shades of pink, orange and blue. Just perfect, and waiting there for me, if I looked up. I am so glad I did, and I am so glad the boys where there to share it with me.

These walks have been one of the many happy surprises of our new school/work situation.
Some of the walks can be those sorts of times where the boys ask all kinds of great questions, or where we just simply walk, hand-in-hand, enjoying just being together outside.
Of course probably more often than not, the truth is that I am in a hurry and rush them to get back to the car, stressed, tired and impatient.
But then other times, like yesterday, I can see the moment for what it is, and I realize that it is fleeting.
They will not remember the dust bunnies. They will remember these walks.

And so will I.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

marfa, marfa

It has been a while since I had looked through some of Martha Stewart's crafty archives for Christmas, so I thought I would go back through and take a look to see what sort of inspiration I could find. Of course I found tons.
*Sigh* I just love Marfa (as Miles calls her) and her crafty team...

Here are my favorites:

love the colors and simplicity of this. I am thinking I need to make some small circle garlands like this for my tree this year... This is simple enough the boys could help!

OK, just too adorable. Somehow I missed this craft along the way and just now discovered it.
Thinking this would be a great craft at a Cookie Exchange Party, and also as gift tags!

Of course when it comes to gift tags this is my favorite because I always love things with letters...
Wouldn't a whole row of faux wrapped gifts lined up on the mantle of the bookcase, with the letters attached and spelling out a word like MERRY or NOEL, look cute??

I already do something somewhat similar to this, but of course Martha's simplicity in this is divine. Her stylist make even the most basic craft look ingenious!

I did these cute little mitten clips a few years ago and used them to clip closed bags of cookies that we gave away as gifts. That was about 8 years ago, so I am thinking I can make these again for all the people who didn't get one back then. With all the changes we have had in the past 4 years, our world is so much larger- which is such a lovely blessing!

This picture I just love because. I don't think I will make anything from it, I just love the composition of the photo.

So that is my tour of Marfa inspirations. Who is inspiring you this year??

(oh, and stay tuned, I will be trying all your ideas for pipe cleaner dying next soon!!)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Etsy Oh My!

(fun vintage wrapping paper image, just cause...)

Today was a busy, sunny day and I wasn't home for more than 10 minutes in between shifts at the school, lunch with a friend, and other various errands, so I had not had any time to read any of my regular blogs or check in with the world via Facebook.... but every time I did manage to find a few moments to check my email from my phone I noticed I had banner orders. And not just one or 2, but several. After about the 4th order in one day I started to wonder what was going on, and why had the stars suddenly aligned my way, but the work and kids and husband interrupted and I just pushed the question aside, and chalked it up to good luck and went about my evening trying to keep the American economy afloat (i.e. shopping trip to Target.)

When I finally got home, kicked off my shoes and sat down at the computer I found a little gift of an email from Kara at McMaster and Storm with this in the Subject line: "Did you know you were featured on Decor 8?"

Guess who was on today's Etsy Take Five Tuesday feature on the Decor 8 blog??

My little Storia HOME shoppe and my humble little banners!

I feel so honored to have my work featured on such a great & fun style blog!!
Thanks Holly! You are the best and I really appreciate it (so does my Holiday pocketbook!)

Monday, November 02, 2009

all things jolly


It is November, the sun is bright and shining (please, oh please let it stay this way!) the air is cool and crisp, and I am excited to be officially in Holiday mode!

I love Halloween, but more for the fun of seeing everyone dressed up, for our annual Halloween Hoopla party and for the changing of the season that it brings with it than for any real nostalgic or aesthetic reasons. So while it was fun, I am happy - no giddy really - to be moving on!

This year, I feel a renewed sense of excitement and inspiration about the Holidays. I think it is in large part because there is less pressure on me creatively and time wise this year, than in recent years. Even though I miss having the space with my partner in Crafty Crime- Jeanetta at The Shoppes on Woodlawn, it is nice to not be overwhelmed this year as we kick-off November. To be able to sketch and come up with new ideas, and to know that I will have the time to make some of those little sketches come to life, and that when I do, I will not have to mass produce them in a few short weeks is heavenly. I can simply do as many as I want to do and that will be that.

Even though we are both doing a lot less this year, both Jeanetta and I agreed that we couldn't give up crafting together at Christmas, so we (as The Parlor Girls,) are going to be selling our crafty wares on at least 1 (maybe a couple of more) occasions in the next 6 weeks at some local holiday shopping events. I even picked up a few papers and other Christmas craft supplies today that I cannot wait to use to make some new banners, advent garlands, wall plaques and other goodies!
I also picked up some pipe cleaners that I need to hand dye, but I don't want to purchase big boxes of Rit Dye for the small amounts I am doing. Has anyone ever tried dying pipe cleaners the way you dye Easter eggs? With food coloring and vinegar? Thoughts? Ideas?

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