Friday, April 30, 2010

in progress

Ever since I (and the rest of the craft world) saw Pam Garrison's Coffee Filter Garlands, I have had a serious crush. And I must confess that it was one of those moments when I thought "ugh! why didn't I think of that?"  Do you ever have those moments?

So I have been wanting to make these forever and have never had the chance/need to make them until now.

Now I am making them for a friends wedding and I am so excited!

The wedding is tomorrow on May 1 and it is a very "May Day" themed event. Lot's of spring colors - even the bride is wearing pink!

So I decided these needed to be spring colors as well, and dyed 600 white coffee filters (with the help of my boys and some good friends and Michellemybelle's  instructions!) using the old fashioned Easter Egg dying technique of food coloring and vinegar. After dipping each filter into a big bowl of a color, we would then wring them out of excess water and then leave them crumpled up to dry overnight.

Next I unfolded them all and stacked them by color.

The bride is also a writer and an avid reader (she worked at the Library with me last year) and so I am going to mix in vintage book pages that I am cutting out with my dye cutter.

OK, Show-n-Tell break over, time to get back to work...

to be continued....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

serious crushes

So last week I took a very last-minute trip to Colorado, and this week it is out of the fire and into the frying pan with Field Day at work and a wedding this weekend.

So even though I don't have a lot of time for blogging at the moment,  I thought I could at least show you some of the images I found  saved in my "idea" folders recently that I have serious crushes on.

Not that I will ever have a mudroom or real pantry but if I did... oh bliss! And that half-door is to die for.

Love, love this little gardening area. Love the unexpected tables and cabinets and the industrial-meets-nature vibe.

Cups from Pottery Barn. Have been coveting these from Pottery Barn and Pier One since last year.
Wish I could throw out all my cups and restock completely with these!

 Love the simplicity. Love the sink. Love the horizontal paneling in back.

It's the floors! oh those marvelous floors!

Who doesn't just love a great peg-board organization area? Always so crafty and tidy!

OK, so I know I owe you a book winner announcement but that will just have to wait  few more days till I have a moment to sit and sort and pull a name out of my hat! So please be patient with me! I promise I have not forgotten!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

grand opening

This week something very exciting happened. Argenta Market finally opened it's doors!

The market, which grew out of our local Farmer's Market, is a great local & organic food resource for our town and the icing on top is that it is on my way to and from work, which is perfect for last minute dinner preparations and basics like milk and coffee!

In honor of their grand-opening I thought I would post my current favorite recipe from Katie Brown's Weekend's book that celebrates and features just the sort of wonderful local and healthy foods you can find at most Farmer's Markets and now at our own Argenta Market as well!
Savory Harvest Bread Pudding
by Katie Brown (as modified by me)
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees
* Grease 2 quart baking dish and set aside OR you can make this dish in a enamel cast iron baking dish from stove top to oven.

*Cut up and prepare the following  veggies:
1 Zucchini, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 Yellow Squash, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup of corn - frozen or fresh cut off the cob
3 cups Fresh Spinach
1 cup diced red onion
3 garlic cloves Minced

*Next cook all the veggies and garlic in olive oil (3-5 tbsp.) over medium head in a skillet or  in your cast iron baking dish for about 3 minutes or until the veggies become semi-translucent.

*Remove veggies from heat and stir in:
5 cups cubed sourdough bread (really any day old or leftover, crusty artisan bread will work.)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsely, 1 tablespon chopped fresh sage 
2 - 3 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
  and 1/2  a cup of Swiss cheese (mozerella and chedder will work in a pinch.)

*Transfer all of this to a  well greased baking dish (if you are using 2 pans)
Make sure mixture is spread evenly in dish.

* In a separate bowl whisk together,
2 cups 2% Milk (or for a richer dish use 1 cup cream, 1 cup milk)
6 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
  * Next,  pour egg and milk over bread and veggie mixture

*Cover dish with another 1/2 cup of cheese and 1/2 a cup chopped pecans or walnuts

* Bake, uncovered for 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

*Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

This dish has been a big hit every time I have served it and I am sure it will be for you too!
It goes great with roasted chicken or grilled salmon with a honey glaze, 
along with a a yummy goddess salad and a bottle of Pinot Noir!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

In regards to yesterdays pos

Warning: I am breaking a cardinal blogging "success" rule. I am blogging on the weekend. Oh well.
Bryan Jones please forgive me.

I think one of my frustrations yesterday was the fact that I don't completely understand how to use my camera.
 I always have a hard time getting good - true-to-life pictures of my kitchen. (Of course I blame the yellow,)
but maybe it has to do with my picture taking skills too

So in an act of desperation and hope today I broke out my manual.
Yes, it was dusty. No I have never opened it. Not once.
Wonder why I get frustrated?

And while the manual didn't explain everything to me, it did help a bit.
So I played around with some settings, put the camera on my new (garage sale find) tripod and went to snapping.

And I am pretty pleased with the results. The yellow is not quite so annoying today.

(By the way, my fab new curtains are a vintage sheet cut ripped in half. No sewing required.)
Just in case you were wondering!

Friday, April 16, 2010

change bug

The change bug has bit me and bit hard.

We are in the middle of re-doing our back patio/porch area and I have big plans, fun, colorful plans for it.
of course everything right now is in that really messy phase. I am trying not to freak out.

I have started freshing things up in the kitchen, and now looking at the pictures I am realizing how DONE I am with the yellow walls.

I have a feeling once I pick up a paint brush for the porch, the kitchen better watch out, cause I am going there next.

I lost my phone and so now I need a new one. Big (chunk of)change happening there.

The hard part right now is being patient, allowing for the changes to come at the proper (and mostly uncontrollable) pace.
I am not doing well at it.
I have ants in my pants.
I am having a little bit of a war with my inner brat.

Guess Patience is something I needed a little refresher course in.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

fresh starts

Some of you may have noticed a slightly new look to the blog, a new title and even an a new etsy shoppe.
Things are a changing around here, and a fresh start is being made on several fronts.

Over 4 years ago I struck out on my own as an Interior Designer and founded Storia Di Vita Design. A year later I added Craft Artist to my repretoire  and opened my first Etsy Shoppe  - Storia HOME, followed by Storia VINTAGE.

From January 2006 - September 2008 I worked myself to the bone and into a lot of debt.
I had some really great successes and some not great ones. I learned a lot about myself, about what I loved and didn't love, about what I wanted for my family and for my life and what I didn't.
I met some lovely people. I made mistakes, I hit  some home runs. I chased my design dreams with all my might.

By  September of 2008 it became very apparent that I needed a J.O.B. outside the home.
The economy had taken it's toll on my design business, the bills were piling up and I could not seem to break through to the "other side" of the craft business (i.e. licensing.) 
And so by a wonderful miracle I found a part-time job at our local library.

And it was good. It was like a soft-opening. A toe in the water of the "working world" that I had not really been a part of since having my babies.
I balanced the library, my banner business and the odd design job alongside growing responsibilities at church and of course spending time and caring for my family.

And by last June I was worn out. Smooth out. 
And then again, another miracle. A new job at my kid's school.
Finally we would all be on the same schedule.
And because the job was part-time I would still have time to work on my banners and do some design work.

But slowly I begin to pick-up more hours at the school.
And I found that I loved being there.I  found that I loved my job at the school and
 I found that I didn't love making banners quite so much anymore.
And I was shocked.

And suddenly it became very clear hat it was time for a new start. A new, fresh start to everything.

The time has come to pack up the Storia box,  wrap it all up in tissue paper, and tie it closed with a beautiful bow. The time has come to start fresh.

And so without further adieu I would like to introduce the Jolly Goode Gal Blog and the Jolly Good Shoppe.

The blog is the same, only now you can get to it by typing in or my old address.
Most everything on the blog will remain the same and will be filled with the things of my life; kids, books, Sweet Man, cooking, decorating, faith thoughts, crafty moments and occasional melt-downs.

The new Etsy Shoppe will feature a small selection of my Krafty Kits, Puny Postcards (coming soon) and the occasional Special Release creation or 2 as inspiration and free-time allow.

I might get back to the glitter one day, but for now I am just trying to keep things simple.
Sharing my days with my family and friends more than my to-do list.

Simple, Found and Shared.
These are the Jolly Goode Gal words to live by, and that is what this blog will aspire to be.

A recording of the simple moments found & shared.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I am extending my Book Giveaway just a little longer
You want to win this book. I promise! But don't just take my word for it...

"Sure to be much-loved and often-shared, this graceful, funny novel nudges its characters and readers toward self renewal, change, and a chance for greater happiness. … Diane Meier's liberating novel values both the arcane scholarship of college professors and the practical, artistic insights of handymen and real estate agents. Like The Secret Life Of Bees, this brave, warm novel suggests that for a person who has the courage to seize a second chance,  there's also the opportunity for a rewarding third chance, or fourth, of fifth…"—Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife and Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette

I have extended my Giveaway of a copy of The Season of Second Chances!!

If you would like to win a copy of this book please leave a comment below.
The giveaway will close on April 23.


(to read my original post with an interview with the author click here)

Friday, April 09, 2010

link love


At Home in Arkansas is the gold-standard publication for design in Arkansas.
Last summer (wow I cannot believe that was almost a year ago!) my Mantle and Banner and part of my living room were featured in the June 2009 issue.
And it was a beautiful dream -come -true -experiance.

Now, the lovely ladies at At Home have honored me again by listing my little blog as one of their favorite cottage blogs! How fun is that?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

amazingly lovely and beautiful

along time ago, when I was a interior designer by trade, I had a wonderful assistant named Whitney Loibner.
We were, by both of our admissions, true gifts to each other. I cannot imagine how I would have gotten through that season of my life without her
Now Whitney is doing what she always dreamed of doing - taking amazing pictures for couples and families.
Recently she did a shoot with her sweet Sister-in-Law and Bro-in-Law, and she borrowed my grandma's quilt for the occasion.
Whitney has always had an amazing eye, and she has a true love & appreciation for the sacredness of family- which always comes through her pictures.
You simply must go see for yourself:

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Weeping Saturday

The Thursday before Easter is Maundy Thursday.

The Friday is Good Friday.

And of course Sunday is The Day itself. Easter.

Wylie was concerned that Saturday had no name, so he decided it should be called Weeping Saturday.

And so, at our house the Saturday before Easter is now dubbed as such.

However, it never has been much of a day for weeping.
I guess that is because we do not have to live in a reality of a dead savior, but instead we live in the reality of a living and risen one.

Once Wylie asked me what the Meaning of Life was. I responded that "the chief end of man is Glorify God and Enjoy Him Forever" as stated in the Westminster Confession of Faith.
And then I tried to explain to him what I thought that meant.

Today, on Weeping Saturday, I tried to do both.

I hope I glorified Him by celebrating his resurrection simply, breaking bread (and Cake) with those nearest to me and following his commandments.

I hope that today I showed His love to those that always show His love to me.
I hope I served those who always serve me.

I hope I brought a happy heart to the table.

I hope I enjoyed him as well, enjoying the gift of Creativity

and the gift of sight

and the gift of religious freedom.
The gift to practice my faith publicly, and without fear.

I hope I enjoyed Him by seeing beauty where others may see mess.
As he sees me.
I hope, through His Grace, I can continue to glorify and enjoy Him this way all through out the year. Not just on Easter.

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