Monday, March 22, 2010


As most of us who live in the northern hemisphere do at this time of year, I'm craving sunlight and lots of it.  I want it streaming in my windows and screaming, "BRIGHT" at me!!  I'm also craving white decor, green plants, and touches of dark wood.  I'd have a long way to go before our home fell in line with my cravings, but it's fun to dream. 

Maybe it's the spring cleaning I did before ECFE class (Early Childhood Family Education) this morning that has me thinking about bright, white, airy surroundings.  Perhaps it's because I've never lived anywhere where white was intentional; I always go for the paint!  Perhaps it's because I'm craving something new in just about every area of life and why should my decorating/design tastes be exempt?  Share with us, what are your cravings this breezy Monday?

Here are a few pics displaying just the type of thing I'm thinking about.  Enjoy your thoughts today, friends. 
From Pine Cone Hill's gorgeous Neutral Territory collection...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I was thrift store...when thrift store wasn't coooool...

Sunday is quickly becoming my new favorite day of the week for an unexpected reason, the sale at my neighborhood thrift store!  On Sundays they have a $.99 sale on clothing tagged with the colored price tag of the week.  Sunday is also the day that the next color of price tag goes 50% off for the upcoming week (and at the end of the week, the clothing items with that color tag are $.99, and so on.)

Now that you get the specifics of the sale, let me tell you what you can score on the cheap - pop-it beads for your 3 year old, a set of hot wheels knee pads for said 3 year old, random art supplies, vintage wedding dresses, felt, fabric, yarn, trims/bias tape/lace/rick rack, a bag of misc. sewing supplies, games, movies, and a Michael Crichton book your husband hasn't yet read!  Vintage sheets, pillow cases, scarves, belts and more are also prized finds.  Finally, any clothing item made from leather or suede, silk, or any other more expensive fabric.  You see, I don't wear them - I cut them apart and use them in my latest projects!  Take a gander at a few of this week's finds.

You're looking at a pair of silk pants, a silk skirt, and a red patterned skirt above, each purchased for $.99!

Here they are with a couple of their friends; a fuchsia taffeta shirt and 2 taffeta napkins (which were $.20 each I might add.)

This is so beautiful!  For what I'd spend on a yard of fabric I got 2 bags worth of gorgeous inspiration!  I see pillow covers, wrapped headbands, wrapped bangle bracelets, a runner for my dining room table and so much more.  I'm reusing items already in our stream of goods, thereby being some shade of green.  Need I say more?  Are you as excited as I am?

I wasn't always this excited about thrift store finds.  When we were young our mother shopped at thrift stores (a family of 5 on a teacher's salary...not surprising.)  Looking back, we got some pretty neat things there, but along with them came a certain amount of sour grapes because they were from a thrift store and not a department store.  Needless to say, today I'm very thankful for the patience to scour the racks and bins in search of "treasure" and equally thankful that I was introduced to thrift stores so early in my life, allowing time for my appreciation of them to grow.  It's a pleasure now to hear my son call it "the arts and crafts store" and see his face light up when he finds a whole pail of beads and string that mom says, "sure honey, we can buy that" because it only costs $.99 after all!   

As I prepare to sign off for today, there is a pic of some fabulous vintage scarves (or kerchiefs, perhaps?) that I scored today.  I see one at the center of my table with a vase of fresh, spring flowers on it.  I see another on my nightstand, a book and glass of water sitting atop it.  Finally, I see one wrapped around my ponytail (if my hair gets long enough for that sometime soon!)  How about you?!  How would you use these beauties in your life?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring has sprung (in our house, at least!)

I'm off to the "real job" today, but wanted to quickly share the spring decorating I accomplished yesterday.  Here are the before and after shots.  I hope this gives you inspiration to brighten up a tiny corner of your home today!



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday

I have the good fortune of a true day off every other Wednesday.  I don't work and our son O goes to preschool (daycare actually, but he's in the preschool room so that's what it's called.)  Today is that wonderful Wednesday of which I speak.  Usually I quarrel with myself about what to pack into the day.  I should exercise, get groceries, run errands, craft, start a big sewing project, reconnect with a friend, organize something, and the list goes on. 

Today I awoke knowing how I'd fill my day.  About a year ago I started changing the main bathroom decor with the seasons (an idea that came from my good friend Mandy.)  You see, I absolutely love to reinvent a space and see fresh, new change in my home.  The bathroom is a small enough space that with neutral walls and tile, I can change the other elements, like artwork, towels and accent pieces, to give the room a whole new feel.  As most of you are, I am ready for SPRING so it's time to oust the baby blue accents and black & white photos of our family playing in the snow in favor of something more cheerful.  After that, I may sew a couple more pillows for our couch as part of my larger living room redecorating project.  (BTW, I got my third and final slip cover on the couch last night.  I picked it up at Target for a steal since it was repackaged.  I shrunk the first slip cover I'd gotten, so it's now on the loveseat and the loveseat slip cover is on the chair.  It all worked out beautifully!)  So share with us - what are you doing to welcome spring?

To close, I'm posting a picture of the belt I worked on embellishing last night.  I used an idea for frayed circles from the book Fabricate by Susan Wasinger and some of my beloved button collection.  It's a work in process but I suspect it will end up on my newly created Etsy shop,  Perhaps as the first item! 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Dirty Truth

As I sit here contemplating how to use the precious moments of remaining naptime doing things like organizing our taxes, wiping muddy paw prints from the patio door, or putting away the contents of my purse which are strewn across the counter from this morning's freak-fest of, "where is my credit card?!," I decide to sit down and blog.  What?!  Is blogging another wonderful distraction in my life from all of the mundane day-to-day tasks that clamor for my attention?  Yep! 
So here it is, the dirty which are not artsy or touched up, just quicky snapshots of my dirty truths.  First, I've had waaaay too many craft projects going on my poor overworked coffee table for the past 3 days (miraculously neither dog nor three year old nor fed-up husband has disturbed them.) 

I've also had the bag of buttons I scoured from the local thrift shop on Sunday "sorted" on the floor of the arts and crafts room for almost 3 days (not so miraculously, these have been disturbed by dog, dog, and three year old.)  My guess is that something in one of these pictures gets my immediate attention.  What better way to spend those last remaining moments of silence, truly?  

So here is the question of the day - when you have a precious pocket of time to yourself in the house, do you tackle those less-than-fun daily tasks first to clear your minds (and your lists) of them, or do you jump with both feet first into the things you love, feeling the stare of the less-than-fun tasks from across the room?

Monday, March 8, 2010

New Beginnings and Reinventions

Two minutes ago I was hand sewing ribbon onto a belt under the watchful eye of my Chihuahua. My house is completely silent except for the melting snow dripping on the deck outside. My 3 ½ year old is napping with our Terrier in our bed. Now, I’m writing my first blog entry. It’s not what I would’ve expected I’d love, but I do - my new found appreciation for quiet, handiwork, (and writing?! Oh man.) I guess I was inspired, as I have been by so many things, people and experiences lately. Inspired to embrace creativity I’ve thought for so long I lacked, inspired to think outside the box of my so-called-usual life, inspired to download fonts I love for no other reason than that they are lovely and make me happy, inspired to scour thrift stores for vintage fabrics and sew up a storm, inspired to share words with friends via email this morning, words from another blog I love to read that gave me a smile and a lift as I started my day and week.

So this is it. The beginning of my blog. I envision this as a way to share my creative process, my experiences, and the things I love. I also want to share my inspirations – inspirations for motherhood, creativity, beauty, friendship, marriage, love and LIFE...all with a sprinkle of joy!

One of today’s inspirations came from a fellow mom at Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) class this morning…her pastor had spoken about capacity level. Essentially, know what your capacity level is and don’t “fill up” to the top because “life suddenlys” will occur. You know, that moment when you thought your day was perfectly planned, or thought you were about to be on time for the first time in a month, but then life suddenly threw you a curve ball. You need capacity to deal successfully with these moments, events, curveballs! Our licensed parent educator took it a step further and suggested that perhaps it’s even our job as a parent to model for kids what it looks like NOT to operate at a deficit so much of the time. Personally, reserving some capacity means limiting my/our schedule to allow some minutes, hours and days that are unscheduled. What does it mean to you?

In closing, here’s a link to the lovely way I began my day today – an excerpt fromPeggy O’Mara’s The Way Back Home posted on
Soulemama’s website (one of my favorite blogs, BTW.) I shared this with some friends this morning, and now I share it with the rest of you. Hugs!
"...understand that to nurture and love others with the grace you desire means taking care of yourself and cultivating your own inner harmony. Inner harmony grows not by finding ways to get away from your child, but by giving yourself the gift of a hot bath at the end of a long day, reading a book of poetry, talking to a friend on the phone, taking a nap, crying, getting a massage, having a day off from cleaning and ooking, staying in your pajamas all day, swimming, going out to eat, or attending a conference. Do something for yourself as you give. Learn to laugh at yourself and not take yourself so seriously."
~Peggy O'Mara, The Way Back Home