Sunday, January 31, 2010

my little stiching experiment

The day after the day after Christmas I went to Wal-Mart to check out all the post-festivity clearance.
It is part of my holiday tradition to make the pilgrimage.
While I was there I found these great thin cardigans for $5.00 (or maybe it was $7?) each.
So I bought 4.
See I am old. I buy in bulk.

I decided that with four of the same sweater I could sacrifice one of them for "art's" sake.

So I decided to try some of my raggedy-vintage embroidery and applique ideas out on the blue one.

I figured for $5 (or $7) I could risk making it look totally ridiculous.
But I think that it came out slightly less-than ridiculous.

I used bits of fabric and cut-up dollies and buttons.

It's no Anthropologie but it is a one-of-a-kind original...

see this

see this movie.
buy the soundtrack.
so, so, so beautiful.
new favorite.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

word find

somewhere, around December 31, I read on someones blog (forgive me that I don't remember whose, I will try and remember...) that instead of new years resolutions they were going to adopt a "word for the year."
A word that meant something to them, their dreams, their hopes, their heart.

I tried to come up with a word and never could.
I tried.
I tried out several words - turning them over and over. Throwing them against the wall to see if the stuck.
But no word stuck.
And I forgot about it, because the new year came, and I went back to work and the kids went back to school, and I thought the moment had passed for a word-of-the-year.

Until yesterday.
Yesterday, out of the blue, my word found me.

One moment I was just doing nothing special, and the next moment it was there.
And I knew immediately that it was the word for this year. Perhaps for longer than that even. Perhaps it is my word.

Found .

Found is my word.

Since it is fresh and new I am only beginning to ponder it's implications,
but I could not just sit still and not celebrate it's arrival, even so.

So I made this little collage on a reclaimed cabinet door I had in my stash, and used scraps of paper from other projects, piecing it all together quickly, as my excitement over having a word grew. My little collage is not perfect, but it was not meant to be.
It was simply an expression of the moment and will be a reminder of it all year long.

Friday, January 29, 2010


oh my isn't this just so loverly?
it's from Pottery Barn.

my favorite antique linen's shop has an authentic vintage one that I moon over every time I go in to shop (or browse really.)

Doesn't it just make laundry seem prettier somehow?

I would love one for my studio to keep fabric in, or in the bathroom to store towels in, and one in our bedroom for extra blankets...Not to mention the laundry!
Guess I will need 3 or 4 of them at least....


Thursday, January 28, 2010

old new growth

once upon a time I felt guilty because getting up at 6AM to have a regular "quiet time" with God was not my cup of tea.

but then I grew up and realized that maybe it was O.K. if my time with God was messy, and loud and at midnight instead, or in the car, driving the long trek between the college I was attending and my job an hour away, when I could crank up my stereo and pour out all my troubles and doubts through song instead words.
and it was good.

once upon a time I thought that a new journal would fix my life.
all those glorious blank pages, waiting for my deepest thoughts held the key to a better, more perfect "me."

but then I grew up and realized that no journal - not even the prettiest, fanciest one Barnes & Noble had - could fix my heart. No amount of good intentions to fill those pages up could replace the true hard work of learning to become authentic, of learning how to hold both truth and grace -for oneself especially - together in one hand.
and it was good.

once upon a time I thought that all I needed was the perfect bible study.
the perfect workbook with the perfect questions.
but then I grew up and realized that no amount of fill-in-the-blank worksheets were going to replace the real and honest journey of relationships, where stone sharpens stone and growth truly begins.
and it was good.

once upon a time I threw out 6AM quiet-times and brand new journals and bible studies.
and it was good. it was needed. it was the season for such things.
it was good that way.

but then I grew up some more.
and I realized, that maybe now I wouldn't mind getting up at 6AM - I already get up at 6:30 AM as it is.

and I realized - for the first time in years - that I sure do miss those blank pages. Even though now I know they won't "fix me," they still hold out some hope for what could be.

and I realized that I would like a way to study the bible in a more structured way. that I would like to be sharpened in a new way.

and then I realized that I am turning into my mother (mom aren't you proud?)
or at least my memories of my mother when she was 35.

and I realized that some things in life are just seasonal.
They ebb and flow like the tide.

so now I am trying to get up at 6AM, and I have a hearty stack of books (and a great new red journal) to aid me in my endeavor to grow and learn in a new old way.
only this time it is guilt and "should" free.

this time it is all "want to."
and it is all good.

here is my stack of Quiet-Time Spring Reading 2010:

The Wisdom of St. Patrick

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

help for a friend

recently I received this shocking email about my blog buddy Gina of Feather Your Nest:

Many of you are familiar with Gina Drennon at Feather Your Nest either through her lovely online store & blog ( or maybe her store's many mentions in some of our favorite magazines & blogs. She has become a close friend of mine, and probably some of yours, and she needs our help.

Last week her dear husband died tragically of a heart attack. He was 39 years old & appeared to be in perfect health. They were high school sweethearts, had been together over 20 years and married 16 and spoke of each other like they were newlyweds--true soulmates. They have two beautiful sons as well, I cannot remember their exact ages but I know are middle school & elementary school aged. Michael worked hard for his family so Gina could live her dream of being a shop owner. And their lives have been turned upside down.
She quickly decided that she has must close her store so she can focus on her family & find a job that will provide a steady salary & benefits that they've now lost, & move on with their new life as soon as possible. The problem with doing it now is her store is located in a tourist resort & it currently "off season" which will not begin to even pick up for several months and not fully until late spring/early summer and her store isn't even open in January regardless. Selling as much as possible online as quickly as possible, will certainly help her out.
We've all seen the mountains a group of bloggers can move when we band together. I'm kindly asking that each of you post something on your blog to encourage your readers to shop with her, and/or pass it on to others, tweet it, whatever. Gina does not know I am doing this, she is first very proud and would never ask for help, and dislikes any attention. But she is a generous soul and I have watched her donate goods and money to others in need more often than anyone. I feel helpless watching her struggle from afar & am trying to think of anything I can do to help.
Currently she is trying to get her store back online. She had a friend just delete all the files off the site after his death and when I e-mailed her earlier she was attempting to re-upload all the files and then post notices....hoping to finish within the next 24 hours. She will start out with all merchandise at 25% off site-wide.

Thank you,
Jennifer Bradley

Gina has been one of my very best blog friends and a wonderful Storia HOME supporter - she even bought some of my items to sell in her store last year and I was lucky enough to visit her in person last November and see her adorable store.

The news about Gina's sweet husband is so just so sad and so unbelievable, and I want to do whatever I can to help make this transition easier for her in anyway possible.
So, if you can please go visit Gina's online shoppe and grab a few good deals.
Also I know she would cherish your prayers as well.

I will miss her cute little shoppe so much, but I know our loss in no way can touch hers.

But maybe we can help it lessen. At least in a small way.

Thanks friends!

critter love

we recently have welcomed some new members into our wee family:

Meet Cotton Tail

And Sammy

and Potter Mittens

This spring, we are setting our sights on egg laying hens.

just call me Elly May

Or Beatrix.

Or Tasha.

I won't mind.

Monday, January 25, 2010

all hung up

here is a sampling of the banners & garlands up at my house right now Winter/Valentines Day...

Be Mine in the Dining Room

Ribbon Chain Garland on the Chalkboard in the Living Room

Hearts & Dots Garlands on the Mattle

& Eiffel Tower Garland in the Kitchen

Sunday, January 24, 2010


See Hat

See Names in Hat

See Name Picked

See Winner

Thanks to everyone so much for entering! It was a ton of fun and I wish you could have all won!
Thanks again to the kind folks at for sponsoring this giveaway & a big congrats to Melissa on your win! I hope you cook some yummy things in your new pan!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


So you people really want my pan!
And I cannot blame you - it is fab-u-lust!

I am up to 101 comments now and my little heart and blog are overwhelmed!

Well, just hang in a few more days and I will announce a lucky winner (oh I hate that I have to choose just one out of a hat - you know I would give you all pans if I could!)

I am slowly getting V-Day decorations up around my house now that Christmas is (almost) completely put away.

This sweet little pillow is the perfect V-day accent for me and was part of a give-away I won before Christmas from Surfer Rosa.

The giveaway package - which by the way came from the UK (and as we all know my little heart does an extra pitter-patter whenever I receive anything from overseas - especially the UK) was filled with lots of lovely bits and baubles including this adorable cupcake pin cushion, pins, needles, mini-cupcake liners and Chocolate (which I ate before I could get a picture of ) along with the little heart pillow pictured above.

It was the most perfect little give-away package ever -

If you get the chance make sure to visit her shop - it is adorable, just like all these items!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

giveaway time!!

so you may remember that a few days (or maybe weeks) ago I mentioned an upcoming giveaway... well the time has come!

The wonderful people at CSN Stores & have sent me this great Emerilware Cast-Iron Enamel Deep Dish Baker to test drive, AND they are going to also send one to one of my very lucky readers!!

Isn't that just great??

Sunday night my sweet man, the savory gourmet of the casa, decided to take our new pan for it's inaugural test-drive, by making his version of Julia's Gratin Dauphinois.

For those of you who do not know why cast-iron enamel is so fabulous I will tell you (and this is something I didn't know until my Sweet Man filled me in,) Cast-Iron Enamel pans can go from stove top to oven and back again without exploding (like Pyrex and stoneware.) This makes it perfect for cooking lots and lots of yummy things, also since it is cast-iron and therefore very heavy, it is also good for propping open doors if needed.

See here this pan is sitting on 2 burners, bubbling away and nothing has exploded except our taste buds at the yummy smells of garlic and cream together...

Now that the potatoes are cooked through it is time to take the dish from the stove top to the oven broiler to melt the cheese and herb butter topping.

All done and ready to eat, so warm and yummy and perfectly cooked!
Hooray for the new dish!!

If you would like to win this little pan here are 4 ways you can enter to do so
(and you can gain an extra entry for each of these things if you choose to do them)
1) Leave a Comment *easy peasy*
2)Facebook a link to this post
3)Twitter a link to this post
4)Blog a link to this post

***And Make sure to let me know if you have facebooked/twittered & blogged so I can make sure you are entered the appropriate amount of times!***

GOOD LUCK friends!
I will announce the winners on Jan 21!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

tis loverly

tonight I get to Return to Cranford and I am so excited!

Also, my PBS station has been showing episodes of Lark Rise to Candleford on Sunday nights before Masterpiece Theatre and I am totally in love with this sweet series! They are showing Season 2 but I have discovered that I can get Season 1 from Netflix and am moving it to the top of my queue.

I am such a sucker for the BBC and British Period Pieces.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

seats of white fluff and a lamp

this post is very white in color
please do not be shocked or try to adjust your monitors.

(i know how you have become accustomed to my colorful ways, but I have to find balance somehow!)

this is the couch from Ikea that I thought I always wanted - the Ektorp.

then I met this couch, the Carlisle from Pottery Barn.
Oh, swoon.

But it is tooooo pricey for me. I like a deal.
So then I discovered this little lovely thing:
The Hovas, also from Ikea and much better priced than the Carlisle, but pricier than the Ektorp.

and then there is this option - the Karlstad (again from our pals at Ikea)
which can come with a long skirt

none at all.

So who knows what I will end up with. Or if I will end up with any of them at all...

I have only ever sat in the Ektorp sofa, so I am plotting a trip to Ikea in February to test drive the Hovas and Karlstad's to see what I think...

I wonder if any of you have any of these sofa's. If so, what do you think about them??

Also when I go to Ikea, I want to check out this great kooky lamp that I am head-over-heals in love with. Isn't it just the most fun?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


has anyone bought this book? i have yet to see a copy in person and am wondering if it is worth ordering? I typically buy my craft books at flea markets and used book stores, but every once and a while I splurge....

just wondering if this one is worth the almost-full price splurge.

or if I should go with this one?

or should I just wait???

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