Saturday, September 27, 2008


Strangely, I'm not sure I've ever mentioned Grace on my blog before. She's my sister. She looks just like me - crazy blondeish hair (erm...fur) . Well, I guess come to think of it, her nose is a little longer and I don't have a tail.....

Here's some facts about Gracie Girl:
  • She loves Cheez its
  • She hates baths
  • She loves to swim in the pool
  • She hates getting on the scale to be weighed
  • She's afraid of wind
  • She's afraid of grass
  • She's afraid of rain
  • She's afraid of the dark
  • She's afraid of the vacuum
  • She's afraid of anything falling
  • She loves competitive sports - she will not fetch, but she will race you to the ball or play tug with you
  • She knows the names of all her toys
  • She loves her collars (Pretty Pretties) and she attacks you with kisses when you put her collar on her and she hears the "SNAP!"
  • She "noodles" when she hears the words "crate," "Q-Tip," "Bath" and "Scale" and "Weigh"(Definition of noodle: to lay down on ones back and relax every muscle in one's 70 pound body so that one is impossible to move)
  • She's been to the doggie cardiologist, ophthalmologist, and orthopedic surgeon
That's my Gracie Girl!

As an aside, I put some fashionable dog collars in the etsy shop! It's my secret endeavor..... I'll tell more later!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

'Twas the Night

'Twas the September before Christmas and all through the house
Not a brain cell was resting, not even the mouse's.
The stockings were packed in the attic with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there

The craft room is ready with fabric and thread
While visions of Christmas presents dance in our heads
And Josh with his hammer and I with my gift wrap
Have just given up the hope of a long winter's nap.

While out the kitchen we're planning the batter
Of cookies to later arrange on a platter
Away to the fabric store I fly like a flash,
For no Christmas projects seem ever to come from the stash.

Receipts everywhere and goodies to stow
Neverending piles of objects to sew
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But the mailman with boxes enough for a year!

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Josh's tricks.
More rapid than priority his packages came,
On ebay can all this abundance be blamed!

I speak not a word but go straight to my work
To make all the presents with quaintness and quirk
From tote bags to placemats to journals to clothes
And tying all presents with elegant bows

I grab every paint, every brush, every bristle
Soon the craft room will look like it's been hit by a missile
Can you hear me exclaim with a slight hint of fright
"Please let me have this all done before Christmas Night!!!!!!"

Yes, we have started planning our Christmas presents! I have a little Christmas notebook where I record all the presents I give to everyone each year. The notebook is about 10 years old and it's invaluable to me! It's fun to see what I've given people over the years.

In momentous news, I have FINALLY put some things up in the etsy shop, including these two Christmas notebooks which I totally love. Check it out and let me know what you think! I have a hard time assigning prices to things. That's the least fun part of it all!

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Scenes from the Living Room

Scenes from the living room before I change it for fall......

Shell Basket


Train, yes, train

Beautiful late summer flowers

Closeup of the sunflowers

A ruler box from my mother-in-law

'Allo? 'Allo?

An Austen Conversation

I was questioning my husband about what happens in certain Austen movies. He claims he has "got Emma and Sense and Sensibility down" in terms of storyline and what happens. A quick question or two informed me that he needs some more work on Sense and Sensibility. He knows there are dogs and a cottage. But he also knows that a girl falls off a horse in a field and two men rescue her......

On to Emma -

Me: Give me a synopsis of Emma
Him: There's a girl and she falls in love and she likes to play matchmaker for other people so she doesn't realize she fell in love with the boy.
Me: That's great, but you also just described Clueless and I told you that Emma and Clueless have the same plot. Tell me something that happens in Emma that doesn't happen in Clueless.
Him: They battle over the piano forte.

Okay.... I think he has "got Emma down!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday to You and You and You

Do you ever have chunks of time where it seems every time you turn around, there's a birthday sneaking up on you? First grandmother, then cousin, then mom, then cousin, then uncle, uncle, cousin, cousin, grandparents anniversary, etc. Our late August through late September is quite like that. I've made some presents (some I forgot to photograph) and some more are waiting in the wings.... First, here's a non occasion present I sent to my mother-in-law in Virginia. I bound an address book text block with this K&Company silhouette paper.
She liked it!

Yesterday my little cousin turned three. His name is Sam and he looooooves cars, trucks, planes, trains, emergency vehicles, you name it.... He needed an appropriate bag for all the accessories a car/truck/plane/train lover possesses!

A magnetic snap closure for 3-year-old hands.
His sister turns one at the beginning of October. What should I make her? She likes water bottles and empty boxes and chews on dog bones. She's not a big fan of hair bows. She frequently gets stepped on and squeezed by aforementioned big brother without a peep. You might not know she's even in the house except she's so cute you just want to hold her all the time.
Hmmmm... that's a tough one. I'd better keep thinking!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Have I mentioned that I'm surrounded by talent? I don't think I have. I owe my interest in all things creative to my super talented mother. She taught me how to sew and craft and started me on lots of projects. She also taught me how to start and not finish projects...... But I think we've both been better about finishing projects we've started recently

I shared the bag birthday cake, but she also created this beautiful wedding cake recently:
It's a "Mad Hatter" cake. Love the paisley and the mixed patterns!

This is my wedding cake that she made:

She is also doing a mural on a restaurant wall right now. It's gorgeous!

My Mother-in-Law has also started a blog about her creative outlet - paper crafts! Here's the link: The Paper Handmaiden
She has a great eye for mixing patterns and textures. She's made me some great cards, which are works of art.
Check out her blog and tell her your thoughts.

I'm blessed to be surrounded by such creative ladies!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Movie Recommendations

Bleak House

A while ago, I purchased Bleak House on DVD because I love Charles Dickens. For whatever reason, I did not watch it until a few weeks ago. I loved it! It's classic Dickens, with quirky, satirical characters and intricate plot lines. The plot centers on the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce which is a longstanding inheritance battle where no one knows which is the legal will, therefore no one knows the legal heir. I expected it to be very......well....bleak..... but it is a GREAT movie which I highly recommend!

North and South

I've loved North and South for a long time. I want to make sure that those who love British period dramas have seen it! If you have not, WATCH IT! It's about the dichotomy of the industrial North and the countrified South. Of course, in the midst, there is a Northern Factory owner and girl from the south who moves northward and objects to the North. Their tempestuous relationship is story magic! The acting is superb in my eyes and the ending fantastic (even though it is slightly different than the book!).

Any other fans of these movies? I must point these out, because I have seen several movies I have NOT liked recently and I'd much rather dwell on these fantastic ones!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Two weekends ago, my husband and I took an overnight trip to New York City. We went to the US Open last year and were able to get tickets again this year. My husband graciously suggested we could go to Mood while we were there.
This is the fabric store to end all fabric stores. It's three floors of rolls and rolls and thousands of rolls of designer fabric. I was completely and utterly overwhelmed. I even went there with a project in mind and I couldn't put it together. There were just too toooooo many choices.

I did end up getting a pretty tweedish fabric in purple and green and two drapey knit fabrics. Let's see what we can come up with! While I was wandering around aimlessly and wildly in Mood, Josh scoped out the neighborhood and found that it was teeming with fabric stores and notion stores. There were a few stores that pretty much just sold zippers and thread. Boxes and boxes of zippers and thread. We checked out Spandex House and a few more unique fabric stores, along with Parsons, the famous fashion design school. This section of New York is known as the "Fashion District." Check out the larger than life logo!

We also went into M&J Trim where I was once again compltely overwhelmed. Floor to ceiling ribbon, applique, buttons, trims, sequins, purse handles, etc. etc. etc. Aaaaack!

We did actually watch some tennis after all the fabric stores. We got to see John McEnroe practicing with one of the kids in the junior tournament. He was intense! (Johhny Mac)
This is from the men's match we saw..... James Blake v. Mardy Fish....... Fish won.
The next day we walked around Soho and ate breakfast at Dean and Deluca's which was a very European, crunchy granola grocery store. We checked out the site of the World Trade Center, Wall Street and the NYSE (slightly more manly than fabric stores, although we did go to one more - Purl Soho).
For any fabric-aholics like me, I highly recommend a jaunt to Mood, MJ Trim and Fashion District if you are in the area!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition

Whew! After a long time of working on this blog image, I'm finally publishing the results. I really don't know that much about digital design or coding or anything, so anything I do I kind of learn by accident. I learned about digital scrapbooking from Mrs. Mordecai and love the pages she designs, so I got curious whether I could use digital scrapbooking tools in my blog. The answer is:

It's complicated.

Some designers let you, some designers don't, and some designers require a commercial license of their products. Thankfully, I was able to buy from gracious designers who allowed me to use their products and even "bent the rules" for me! So go check out Alma Townsend and Shelleyrae Cusbert!

So, I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to use Photoshop to make my blog a little cuter! I enjoyed it so much that I signed up for an online Photoshop class at Go Digital Scrapbooking. It's only $30 for the beginner class, which is much less expensive than taking a class at a local college. I've learned a lot of technical stuff already. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Anyway, enough about the blog..... I'll have more frequent updates now that my first week of school is finished along with the blog redesign. Up next is my fabric and trim trip to New York CIty! (Along with seeing the US Open ;) ).

**I've just realized that the blog looks funny in Internet Explorer. It looks like it is supposed to in Firefox and Safari. Technical difficulties should be solved shortly!


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