Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Neighbor Envy

The picture above is from my neighbor Debbie's home. You must visit her blog She has the most amazing home, decorated in such elegance and beautiful colors that I can't believe my pitiful little place is just around the bend from hers. When we moved here, I was worried I'd never know the neighbors, since our houses are spaced so widely. It's very rural. Luckily, Debbie's mom and dad are our closest neighbors and came over to introduce themselves right away. They are just the kind of neighbors everyone needs. When I discovered Vi's daughter was Debbie, who is a friend of my best friend Lori, I was thrilled. I had heard about her lovely home, and how nice she was. When Lori told me Debbie was having a tag sale, I got to go over and meet her and her darling husband Alan. They couldn't have been nicer and showed me inside their amazing home. It is my dream home. It is far too elegant for our lifestyle, but it is my dream home. Debbie has such an eye for color and detail, and Alan has done work that is to die for. I hope I can learn from her and when I can finally decorate this humble little house of mine, some of her taste rubs off on me!

I didn't even put up a tree this year, so no holiday pics from me yet. Our house is just not ready for photos! I did put up a little vignette on my dresser of bottle brush trees and some vintage ornaments I received from Laurie (Magpie Ethel) last year. It makes me smile before I turn off the lights every night. Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Better, No Longer Bitter

O.K. - I'm feeling better about the house. Thanks April and Joyce! I've picked out the paint colors and new carpet. Once I get it cleaned up and painted, I think I'll be better. My husband has outlined all the plans and I think it's going to look pretty good. The best part is that it will be completely paid for and we won't have any mortage payment. Financially, that will ease the pressure and allow for more choices. Less pressure, happier family!
I sent off a new batch of crowns and wands to Janice and that always makes me feel productive. I had to get this bunch made and sent quickly since my "craft cave" had to be packed up. She requested some country themed crowns and wands for a specific event they are attending. I hope Janice and Becky like the gingham and western ones I made. I used vintage wall paper on a couple and they turned out great - very saturated colors.
I started making these wands as a way to uplift Janice's spirit. I can't help but be uplifted and inspired while I'm gluing and glittering away. I think of the smiles on the women who wear these crowns and wave these wands while having fun and building the "Sisterhood," and I can't help but smile myself.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I am Bitter

This is my new crappy house. A modular foreclosure on 2 acres of meh. There will be some MAJOR renovations and additions happening post haste if my darling husband wants to live with a woman not best described as bitter and depressed.
The first thing should be the full length covered front porch with raised flower beds next to new cute stairs. Those wooden trailer steps have got to go immediately! Here in the south, a covered porch is necessary so you can hang boston ferns along the front. I had no idea you could grow those things outdoors until we moved here.
The vinyl siding will be replaced and a carport/garage added. New shutters and gutters. On the inside, lots of paint and new carpet to start. Oh well - I'm just glad we found a home within my daughter's school boundaries. There wasn't much to choose from and we only had 7 days 'till we had to be out of the farm. This new house will do until Chloe's off to college. But after this, the next house better be damned near perfect. I'm trying not to be bitter.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pots

I found the pictures! These are some photos from my best friend Janice Patterson's "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pots" soy candle parties. She has such an amazing spirit and is one of those people others are just drawn to. As my friend Lori said, "I'd go anywhere and do anything with her 'cause she's just so much fun!" It's true, and I've been lucky enough to have her in my life for the past 29 years. If I ever move back to California, I'm heading to Atascadeo/Paso Robles. She's a forever friend, true as the sky is blue and the most giving person I've ever known. Love you Janice!!

Savannah Trip

The Cotton Exchange - what a cool building!

Our Girl Scouts

Chloe in one of the beautiful squares - I don't remember which one.

The girls modeling hats @home What a fabulous store! The owner was so friendly and gracious. I need to go back after I've robbed a bank. I would need lots of cash for all the things I wanted. At The Paris Market & Brocante (the picture below) I would need some of that cash, too. Beautiful things, wonderful ambience.

We recently went to Savannah, Georgia with our Girl Scout troop. There's only two girls in this senior troop, my daughter and the leader's daughter. Fortunately, the leader is one of my best friends and I love hanging out with her! The four of us stayed at the Marriott Courtyard, compliments of Lori's friend Pat. It was a fabulous room, within walking distance of the Girl Scout Headquarters and also of the Birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder. We enjoyed touring the GS sites and also did a GS "scavenger hunt" all over the city. We visited beautiful cathedrals, most of the town squares and the river front walk.

The first night we took a walking ghost tour, conducted by a wonderful guide, Gail, from Discover Savannah Walking ( It was very interesting, as she really knew her history and the area.

We also got a chance to visit @Home and The Paris Market & Brocante. I could have spent hours shopping in either place. We refreshed ourselves with tasty treats at Leopold's Ice Cream. Don't miss it - the best!

I've never walked so much in my life - literally 8 hours solid one day. My legs were done for. Next time, I'll opt for the pedi cabs and tour buses. But we had a great time and I can't wait to go back.

New Wands

This was half the order of wands I sent to Janice last week. Her website is launching soon, so I hope to have a link to post here. I've also got some pictures she sent me of one of her recent party pours with the guests wearing my crowns and waving wands. Too cute! I'll try to post them tomorrow. Hope everyone is enjoying the summer!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Than Words

I can't even begin to express my overwhelming JOY when I received this package from Laurie, of Magpie Ethel. I had won a giveaway recently and I was looking forward to what might come in the mail. I never expected to be gifted with such wonderful things. Laurie sent me one of her adorable little girls, which now has pride of place on my work desk. I have visited her etsy site many times, admiring her art. She included an apron, a vintage sewing pattern and trim, the rose printed glove box, a tussy cone with SWEET PEAS on it, little birdie clips, two cute vintage ornaments, some of her colored trees (I tried to make these with dismal results) and a wreath, and something beyond all wishes - a copy of the book "Home Sewn" which I have drooled over but never thought I'd own. I'm still in giddy shock over her generosity. Please go visit her blog - it's one of my very favorites and I check in every day. She has such a whimsical eye and her etsy shop always has fun stuff. Thank you Laurie!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's on the Market

These crowns I sent to Janice last month have nothing to do with our house being for sale. I just came across the picture and thought I'd put it up. To see pictures of my house, you can go to the link below. We have some people coming by this afternoon to take a second look. I love my realtor.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The End of the Rainbow

It's just too bad there was no pot of gold sitting in my pasture, which is clearly where the rainbow ended. There should have been TWO pots of gold since it was a double rainbow. If there had been some gold, I would have cancelled the listing of this property so we could stay here. I'm just knocked out by the beauty of our land and when I step outside on a spring evening like this, I can hardly stand the idea of leaving.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Hate the Sub!

I intercepted this note last week when I substituted at the local middle school. It shocked me because the kids LOVE me at the local high school. When the high school kids walk into a class I'm in they usually smile, yell something like "My favorite sub! Whoo hoo!" and sometimes even give me a hug (frowned upon, I know.) This is because I'm not a hardass about things like quiet talking, stealth texting, sleeping . . . as long as the work assigned is completed first and everyone behaves. Kids pull their chairs up to my desk to talk to me and share things going on in their lives. I like them, they like me. At the middle school, it's a whole different ball game. When the kids walk in and see me, I watch as evil takes over. They get a gleam in their eye and I can see the wheels turning as they plot ways to make me crazy. They cheat, they start picking on weaker students, they try to destroy school property, they sass me back over ridiculously inane things. In other words, they challenge me to "write them up." And I do. Then, I take their notes. I'm framing the one above.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hot Pink Spring

Now that it's warming up, the trees are budding and all the color is flooding our yard. Another reason I hate to move from here. We haven't yet listed due to work not being finished. Every time my husband finishes another beautiful piece of crown or framing (he just did my closet doors), I pout. When he puts in the walnut inlaid treads (stairs) I think I'm going to cry. I've actually prohibited him from using my favorite ballisters. They are branch shaped iron with interesting leaves and I'm saving them for the next house. Unfortunately, that next house looks like it will be one story, so I'm going to have to get creative.

Monday, March 2, 2009

North Carolina Popsicles

We had a beautiful day today after getting about 8-10" of snow last night. Of course, they called a school "snow day" and Chloe was able to frolic all day long with the neighborhood kids. They made an igloo, a sled course and threw a few snowballs. She came in late this afternoon wet, exhausted and thoroughly happy. I just sat in my chair by the fire all day reading books. Perfect!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Season Over

Basketball season is over and with ends cheerleading for the year. Chloe had a great time and made lots of new friends. She finally got her back hand spring and will continue to learn more tumbling skills at the gym in preparation for try outs for next year. The picture above was from state championships. Chloe is in the middle row, far left. They normally don't wear their hair quite so teased and crazy, but for competition they go a little over the top. It was a good showing, but they did an illegal stunt that took lots of points away and made for a disappointing finish. They finished in the top ten, but should have had at least second place. They were that good. All that's left now is the banquet and turning in the uniform.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Because I Can

I just can't resist posting this picture. She'll hate me, but I can't help myself. I call it, "Easily Amused."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Valentine Close-ups

My friend Cathy asked for close-ups of two of the items I crafted for the swap. Here they are! Thanks for your interest. I had fun making these things and I'm glad Joyce liked them.

My Vintage Heart Swap

These are the things Chloe and I sent to our swap partners for Dolly's "My Vintage Heart" swap. The top picture is my swap stuff - a victorian style collage in a glass fronted shadow box, a vanilla soy candle Chloe poured, a little wood plaque collage, a tussie mussie made from vintage wallpaper filled with a vintage valentine hankie and little bits of crafting stuff in tiny baggies, a heart shaped box I decorated with old music that had a little pin shaped like a wheelbarrow filled with hearts in it, a garland, a cute book "The Letter Box," and some Mary Engelbreit book plates. There is a vintage postcard in the picture that didn't make it into the box. Somehow between photographing the "what is being sent" and getting everything packed up, this card disappeared. I'm sure I'll find it under something when we move, and I'll send it on to Joyce.
Chloe made a pom-pom garland for Rachel, and a little plaque with her glittered initial. She also include a tussie (that I made) filled with bits and pieces of crating stuff, along with a valentine hankie. She also included Rachel's favorite candy, some valentine necklaces and a vanilla soy candle with a crown on it. Chloe found a pair of pink vintage gloves to include, some hearted-shaped playing cards and some stickers. This was Chloe's first swap and she really enjoyed it. She was well matched with Rachel, being the same age and grade. They are also both Girl Scouts, which is very rare at their age. Most girls drop out in high school. I'm proud of both of them and all the community service they provide.
I'll post about all the wonderful stuff we received from Joyce and Rachel in my next post. Joyce made me a beautiful jewelry set, and best of all, my favorite chocolate covered caramel hearts. They disappeared immediately, and I'm wearing them on my butt, which has grown out of my jeans. I don't care.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Swap is Boxed and Ready to Mail

Whew! I made it - almost. After getting everything sorted, wrapped and packed, I headed out to the post office. Unfortunately, when I got there I realized I didn't have my swap partner's correct address. I felt unsure about mailing it to her office, so I carted everything home again. As soon as Joyce sends me an email, this stuff will be on its way to Florida! Where it is WARM. Not like here, where it is SNOWING.
I can't wait to post the pictures of everything Chloe and I made for Joyce and Rachel. This was a fun Mother-Daughter swap, and I really appreciate Dolly taking the time to make it happen.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Friends You Find in Blogland

Back in the Fall, I participated in Artsy Mama's "Sweet 'n Sinister Swap." I was partnered with a really nice woman in Georgia by the name of Carol. This was to be my first swap. She had been disappointed in a previous swap. I was very, very nervous about making a nice enough package and hoped she wouldn't be let down by my crafting. Well, everything turned out great and she was happy, I was beyond happy and we decided we would swap again sometime. She recently contacted me and proposed a swap of repurposed, vintage style jewelry. We decided to make each other a necklace and a pair of earrings.

I was so excited to receive my package a couple of days ago. The first picture is the fabulous necklace and earrings made of an amazing collection of vintage beads. I wore it immediately with an ivory linen shirt and it looked perfect. She also included a really cute pink beaded (from a vintage earring) ring. I love it! I had seen some like it in Scrappy Jessi's etsy store and was wishing I could make one with some of the orphan earrings I have. Like magic, Carol read my mind and sent that little beauty!

I made Carol a chain type necklace using a vintage sweater guard and some other elements. The back of the faux ivory flower has a little tag with "bliss" printed on it. The second picture shows the necklace and hoop earrings I made after I had attached them to tags for shipping. The third picture shows the necklace a little better. I hope she likes it! She should receive it tomorrow if the mail moves quickly. I don't think she knows about my blog, so hopefully she won't see everything before it gets there.

I have been so lucky to meet warm, interesting women through my blog. I hope I can continue to explore the wonderful blogland of fun, crafty women and get to know more of them. It can make such a difference when we all support each other.

Next post should be all about the Vintage Valentine swap I'm in with Joyce. I've been up to my eyebrows in red and pink! Glitter, lace, paper, and more are covering all surfaces. I'm almost ready to pack and ship. Just have to remember to take pictures . . .

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chicken Love

I've been working on some Valentine collages lately, which reminded me of one I made a few years ago that featured my chickens and myself. It has a cutout of me wearing an apron, holding "Pearl" and "Luna," two of my pets. I used some of their feathers around the outside edge and some vintage dictionary pics and words in the background. The picture is a little dark and you can't see the tiny polka dot fabric that is the bottom layer of the collage. It's just a little thing I hang in my room, but it reminds me of my sweet chickens and those sunny days at our log cabin.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pretty Possibilities

Go check out the Joli Paquet blog right away! They are launching a new season of tutorials and beautiful goodies. This site is just beautiful and full of amazing ideas and projects. There's even a really nice give-away. I loved the sets they did for the Christmas season. Their line up of artists for this round is really special. See for yourself at I know there's a prettier way to link, but I haven't learned how yet. Please forgive my newbie postings. I'm a slow learner - just ask my teenaged daughter.

Monday, January 12, 2009


It looks like we're going to try to sell our house. I love this place, but 14 acres is a little much to maintain and we're so far from town that it just makes sense to move. It will be hard to adapt to living closer to others. It seems weird to say that after having grown up in a very suburban area, but after the privacy we've had in the last three houses, I've grown used to the peace and quiet country living affords.

The other issue is the fact that I'm not riding anymore and the horses are a lot of work and expense. I'll miss them, but they deserve someone who will spend more time with them. Maybe we can sell them to whoever buys this place. I'm afraid nobody will want my little goat Ava (who thinks she's a horse) and she'll pine for her pal Tobe. The old barn cat will have to stay, too. I inherited her from the previous owner. I'll take Nala (who we originally were fostering for a friend who never came and took her back.) This will be at least her fourth move. And our fat chihuahua Pete will have his fourth home. He doesn't seem to care where he is and travels well. He flies with us to California and loves to visit other people's houses.

I really hate the idea of packing again. This will be our 6th move in 9 years. You would think I'd be used to it. I'm not. And I'm not a minimalist, so it's a big, messy ordeal. We'll probably get a small house, with much less acreage. Our daughter will be leaving for college in -4 years, so we might as well downsize now. I won't mind finding something closer to town, since driving half an hour to ANYWHERE is a pain. I'm feeling very grouchy about packing and moving and shopping for a new house. Grouchy and teary. I do love this place very much. I'll miss it here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thanks Heidi!

I feel so special! Heidi at presented me with this award. She has been so sweet to me, leaving comments and welcoming me to the blog world. I am in awe of her talent and creativity. She must never sleep! I hope I can meet her someday, maybe at Silver Bella 2009. I'll do my best to follow the rules regarding this award. I'm supposed to list 7 things I love and then pass it on to 7 deserving bloggers. I love:
1. Little baby feet. I just want to kiss 'em! Those little fat toes make me melt.
2. Cherry tomatoes. I could probably eat my weight in sweet, just picked off the vine cherry tomatoes. I always try to grow a few pots of them on my deck, but I never grow enough. I'm going to try one of those hanging upside-down plants next summer.
3. Gardenias. The smell always takes me back to summer nights, leaving an all-day visit to my cousin's house with lots of swimming in their pool. My Aunt Vona would always hand a few just picked ones to my mom through the car window as we were leaving for home. That intense smell would fill the car and send me off to sleep.
4. Ashville, North Carolina. It's only about 2 hours away and we visit a couple of times a year. I love the Biltmore, especially the grounds. We always wander downtown, hitting Malaprop's Bookstore, The Chocolate Fetish, a few galleries, The Captain's Bookshelf and a few bead stores. I'd like to stay at the Grove Park Inn next time.
5. Kewpies. I don't know why I'm so in love with these little characters.
6. Dwight Yokum. I'm really more of a rock and roll music lover, but after seeing Dwight in concert at the Santa Barbara County Bowl years ago, I really became a fan.
7. Watching fat chickens wandering in the yard. I used to have 12 chickens, all sorts, all colors that I ordered special from a hatchery. I really loved Seymour, an arcuna that layed beautiful pale aqua eggs. Unfortunately, they didn't survive our move to the farm (foxes I think) and I haven't replaced them. It just broke my heart to lose them.
Seven things I love!
I don't know seven bloggers personally, and I hope the few I do don't mind me tagging them:
  1. My daughter at Butter Snatcher because she's brave and has jumped right into the blogging world.
  2. April at Midwest Magpies because she has really cute stuff, including a really cute little girl.
  3. Simply Thrift. I don't know this blogger personally, but I love her blog. She finds things I don't think I ever run across. She would be a fun treasure hunting partner.
  4. Queen of Fifty Cents tells the best stories of yard saling. She isn't just out shopping, she's observing and connecting with all kinds of interesting people and pets. I love her creativity with her finds. Check out the amazing shoes she just crafted. I think she might work in a library. Lucky!
I'm only able to come up with 4 bloggers to pass this on to right now, but I'll try to get 3 more soon. Thanks again Heidi for making me feel special.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


As I've been gathering my Valentine stuff to get crafting, I realize how much I love red. I'm always drawn to red things, and I like wearing red. Our last home was a log cabin with a few interior walls of the family room painted red, contrasting with the dark logs that made up the rest of space. It felt cozy. In my kitchen, my standing mixer is red, looking all cheerful and ready to get creative. I have always loved red shoes, but as I've gotten older I've been less sure of wearing them. They seem so conspicuous while I've felt more and more faded. Nevertheless, I've got a pair of deep red pumps that I break out for special occasions. I'll have to wear them for Valentine's Day!