Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thankful Thursday


“Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”   ― Dinah Maria Mulock CraikA Life for a Life

I discovered this quote earlier in the week, and it just put into words what I couldn't.  Everyone should have a friend they can talk to without feeling judged or made to feel like a terrible person.  I am very thankful I have a friend like that.  

The duck couple above visit us every spring.  They hang out in the neighborhood for a few days and then they're gone to wherever it is they go for the season.  They make me smile and it's just fun to see them hanging out in different yards when I drive down my street.  I'm thankful to have this experience every spring.  After all these years, I would feel like something was missing if they did't visit!

What are you thankful for this week?



Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thankful Thursday


It has been rainy and cloudy for almost three weeks now.  I need the sun.  Seriously.  The daily darkness puts me into SAD (seasonal affective disorder) mode.  It usually strikes during the winter and subsides in the spring when the sun is out more.  Except this spring, the sun has forgot to come out.  It becomes really easy for me to be negative and depressed.  I have to make myself focus on the positive and find things to be grateful for.  As I have said many times on my little blog, there is always something to be thankful for.  Always.

This week I'm thankful for:
     ~ finding out the numbness in my feet, caused by diabetes, can be reversed
     ~ my children are happy adults
     ~ a fun birthday celebration
     ~ a low carb, sugar free chocolate birthday cake that didn't spike my blood sugar!
     ~ a husband who makes me laugh
     ~ getting out of the house and junking even though I didn't find anything

     What are you thankful for this week?




Friday, May 6, 2016

Thankful Thursday



We've had two weeks of rain, chilly temperatures and overall gloomy weather.  One evening after dinner, Shylee began yelling at us to come see outside.  None of us wanted to get up at that moment, but she was adamant about us seeing the color outside the front door.  I was the first one to get up and go see, and I realized what she was excited about.  The color was an eerie yet awesome yellow and pink glow unlike anything I've ever seen before.  I got the camera but didn't really capture the fascinating color and feel of the moment.  While I was snapping away from the front porch, Shylee was yelling at us to come see the rainbow in the backyard.  I think the whole neighborhood heard her!  It's amazing how a few minutes of watching and listening to Shylee's excitement about a rainbow, turned yet another gloomy day into one of wonder and joy. I'm thankful for days like that.

I'm also thankful for:
     ~ the brief five minutes of sunshine this week
     ~ a new computer
     ~ my sewing room to escape to
     ~ a good thunderstorm
     ~ May
     ~ my Mom
     ~ being Sean's and Erin's mom
     ~ the rainbow after the storm
     ~ seeing life through the eyes of a child

What are you thankful for this week?



Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thankful Thursday






I just have to say thank you for the honest feedback and suggestions on the last post.  I appreciate it more than you know.  I'm thankful for this awesome blogging community :)

I'm also thankful for:
     ~ the comfort of an afternoon cup of tea
     ~ morning sunshine spilling through the kitchen window
     ~ saying no and not feeling guilty
     ~ not giving in to temptation (going out for ice cream)
     ~ Shylee loves having glasses
     ~ Erin wants to do the gardening
     ~ cherry blossoms
     ~ helpers in the kitchen
     ~ Purple Heart for picking up donations at the door
     ~ family dinners around the table
     ~ second grade concerts

What are you thankful for today?



Monday, April 25, 2016

The Little Pink Box


Quite some time ago, when my Etsy shop was still open, a blog friend suggested that I sell inspiration kits to make the sachets I made and sold.  The idea was intriguing, and although I didn't do anything with it at the time, it was always in the back of my mind.  Now that I'm thinking of selling again, the inspiration kits seem more and more like a good idea.


I had an idea to spruce up a small paper-mache box that I could fill with the makings for a lavender sachet.  I first painted the box in a pale pink (because you know I love pink!) and then decoupaged a sweet vintage graphic on the lid.


I thought the picture was too lonely and needed company so I added a pretty flower lace to two sides.  Since I had the lace jar out, I found a scalloped white trim to add to the sides of the lid.  It still needed something though.


That's when I added the buttons, and that's when I was happy with it!



Well, I was sort of happy with it.  There are a few things I would do different next time.  
1. I would tear the edges of the paper so it's not so straight and perfect looking.
2. I would probably put lace or fabric under the picture.  It just needs a little extra something.
3. The trim around the lid would look better if it went around the top edge instead of being centered.
4. The inside of the box is also painted but I might decoupage something inside the box just for the surprise element when it's opened.
What do you think of those ideas?

And now I have questions for you.
1. The paper-mache boxes are not perfectly shaped or smooth.  They bubbled up in some places after painting.  They are less than perfect.  Do you think this is something a customer would be upset about after seeing it in person? 
2. Is this too much time, effort, and materials to put into a 99 cent box? 
3. Am I just over thinking?

I would truly appreciate any ideas, suggestions, comments and critiques you might have.  

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thankful Thursday




Never let a day pass without looking for the good, feeling the good within you, praising, appreciating, blessing, and feeling grateful.
Make it your life commitment, and you will stand in utter awe of what happens in your life.
~ Rhonda Byrne

There is always something to be thankful for.  This week I'm thankful for:
     ~ my alarm clock because I'm back to getting up early again!
     ~ other people's stories - so much to learn from others
     ~ I'm able to learn new things
     ~ watching the buds on the cherry tree get a little bit bigger and open a little more each day
     ~ sidewalk art

What are you thankful for today?










Thursday, April 7, 2016

Thankful Thursday


Shylee turned eight this week.  It's crazy how fast the last eight years have gone by.  But what a joy it is to watch her grow up.  She is smart and funny, dramatic, girly, creative, full of never ending energy, and she never stops talking.  I am so very thankful to be her Grandma! :)

I'm also thankful for:
     ~ being able to do things I couldn't do two years ago
     ~ Erin got a job
     ~ cold rainy mornings that turn into warm sunny afternoons
     ~ April
     ~ Shylee's latest artwork on the fridge
     ~ happy mail
   
What are you thankful for today?


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Lacy Inspiration




In case you didn't know, I simply love vintage and antique lace.  It's so delicate, so feminine, so beautiful, and so inspiring!  I found this lace at an antique mall for next to nothing.  I couldn't pass it up not only for the price but because I have nothing like it.  I have lots of project ideas but I'm a little bit afraid of using it.  What if I ruin it and then it's gone!?  I have to get past this fear because my muse is whispering in my ear.  If I ignore her, she might leave again!


This beautiful lace came from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Strange Notions.  Kathy, the shop owner, also included some vintage hankies, buttons, and a book of sweet embroidery transfers.  Talk about happy mail!




I'm really hoping to start on a project this week.  It's time. :)


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thankful Thursday



It's been a productive week and I'm always thankful for that.  Just as I'm always thankful for pretty spring flowers. :)

I'm also thankful for:

     ~ all the little things I thought were lost I found
     ~ learning new techniques with the camera that worked
     ~ long conversations with my mom
     ~ finding the movie The Slipper and the Rose after 30 years and all the memories attached
     ~ a fun afternoon out with Erin
     ~ planning for an 8th birthday

What are you thankful for today?




Sunday, March 27, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thankful Thursday


Every year I say I'm thankful for spring and this year is no exception. It's my favorite season. The world around me starts coming back to life with the flowering trees, blooming flowers, birds singing, and I feel like I'm coming out of hibernation. It feels so good to go out without a coat, drive with the window down, sleep with the window open, and see kids out playing. It's not hot and humid yet and it's not cold anymore. There was a blizzard in Denver yesterday and my son would probably disagree with me right at this moment!  Yep, I'm thankful for spring...it just makes me happy!

I'm also thankful for:
     ~ Easter and all that it means
     ~ my hard working husband
     ~ springtime inspiration
     ~ Shylee's joy at accomplishing hard things
   
What are you thankful for today?


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thankful Thursday

I love that time of day when the sun is low and shines through the front door casting shadows on the wall. It's a sign that the day is coming to an end and Michael will be home from work soon. It's time to finish whatever I'm doing and start thinking about fixing supper. I'm thankful for this transition time...a few minutes to collect my thoughts and prepare for whatever the evening holds.

I'm also thankful for:
     ~ finally finding the best way to keep the diabetes under control
     ~ sleeping with the window open
     ~ the animated stories Shylee tells
     ~ hitting all the green lights through town
     ~ reminders of fun things from the past like listening to records!

What are you thankful for today?


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Faded and Broken










I started collecting vintage teacups a few years ago.  I don't have very many because I don't buy one just for the sake of buying it.  A teacup has to speak to me.  I'm drawn to delicate china, roses, unique and different shapes, and the sheer beauty of it.  If it makes me happy to gaze upon it and hold it in my hand, it will come home with me!

As much as I love my teacups, I realize they are just things.  Beautiful things that make me happy, but not important in the grand scheme of things.  But when Michael bumped the buffet and I heard the sound of china breaking, I held my breath.  He turned and looked at me and told me he was sorry as he picked up the broken pieces.  I think my heart broke a little when I saw it, and I admit to shedding a tear or two.

I thought the broken pieces were still beautiful and so were the dying and faded roses on the dining room table.  It made me think of how we as women can go through some pretty tough times during our life.  Events that can leave us feeling broken or feeling like we're dying inside.  Broken hearts, broken spirits, broken relationships.  Even though that's how we feel, those pieces are still just as beautiful as they were when they were whole.  After we've healed and put the pieces back together, I think we're even more beautiful because the brokeness and feelings of having died a little bit, makes us stronger and wiser.


  

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thankful Thursday



My husband and I find ourselves at the stage of life where we have aging parents who need help and extra care.  I'm thankful that one of my sisters is close enough to my parents to help them out.  Michael lives closest to his dad but is still 450 miles away.  He goes to his dad's for a week at a time once a month.  I'm so thankful that he is able to do that.  I'm thankful that Michael is willing to go, that his job allows him to work from there, and that he is a patient man.  I've learned a lot about aging these last few months and I'm not looking forward to getting to the point where I need help and someone else to make decisions for me.  I won't dwell on the future though.  I'm thankful for the here and now!

I'm also thankful for:
     ~ a brand new sharp kitchen knife that actually cuts
     ~ the rare morning that Shylee comes in the bedroom and gets in bed and snuggles
     ~ being safe at Panera during a tornado warning
     ~ the quiet stillness early in the morning
     ~ my mom is going home from rehab today
     
What are you thankful for today?


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Thankful Thursday

(Sunrise at Virginia Beach, Virginia)

"The soul that gives thanks can find comfort in everything; the soul that complains can find comfort in nothing."  Hannah Whitall Smith  

This week I'm thankful for:
     ~ sunshine and blue skies after a week of dark gloomy days
     ~ my new favorite orange creamsicle tea
     ~ falling asleep right away when I go to bed
     ~ Erin's daily company
     ~ friends who pray for me
     ~ a new kitchen faucet, running cold water, and a working ice maker (had to have the kitchen plumbing completely redone after months of problems)
     ~ transactions that didn't go through when someone tried to use my debit card number
   
What are you thankful for today?

Monday, February 29, 2016

Etsy Finds in My Sewing Room

I love Etsy.  Sure, they've had their problems and have gone through their share of controversy and changes. It is not a perfect company.  But, many artists have had the opportunity to share and sell their art in this global marketplace who may not have had other venues to turn to.  When buying something for myself, or for gifts, I try to buy handmade.  I turn to Etsy more often than not.  There are some truly talented, creative, and inspired artists out there.

I have purchased a few items for my sewing room from those artists.  The three flower photographs came from Photos by Chipperfield.  Teresa is such a talented photographer and you can also find her photos on pillow covers, tote bags, tapestries, and more.

UPDATE:  Teresa is having a spring giveaway on her blog, Poppy Place Pdx!  You could win a photo of your choice!!  Be sure to check out her blog and Etsy shop today! 

The frames for the photos came from The Painted Lady. This shop has a large selection of frames in all sizes and finishes.  It was hard to narrow down the choices because I loved them all!

I needed a new ironing board cover.  I know I could have made one, but sometimes I would just rather let someone else do it!  This one came from Pomegranate Place. They also sell fabric and you can purchase a premade cover or choose one of their fabrics for a custom one.

You can't buy this sweet thing from Etsy!  Shylee and her mom have moved in with us and she likes being in my sewing room as much as I do.  She got a sewing machine for Christmas, so we're working on making room for her table and supplies along with Erin's machine and supplies too! I don't know how this will turn out, but I'll let you know ;)


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thankful Thursday


As some of you know, I was working on a One Thousand Gifts list before I took a break from blogging.  I went back and forth about continuing it here on the blog, because it became very personal.  Although I have gotten personal here in this space, I decided there are some things that I'm not ready to share with the whole world.  I continue to keep my personal list going, but will start up Thankful Thursday again.

This week I'm thankful for:
     ~ the ability to help my children when they need it
     ~ GPS on road trips
     ~ real handwritten snail mail letters from a friend
     ~ supportive friends even if they don't understand
     ~ a cold rainy morning, a cup of tea, a warm sweater, and Shylee singing softly while building Lego masterpieces                   
     ~ being able to do more physically
     ~ watching movies all day while it snows
     ~ all my blog friends and their warm welcome back

What are you thankful for today?




Monday, February 22, 2016

The Twenty Eight Year Old Temporary End Table


This end table has been with us since 1988 when we were issued government furniture after moving to Germany.  At that time, the government didn't allow us to take all of our household goods over there because they provided the furniture.  When we left Germany in 1991, we could buy any of the furniture we were interested in keeping for a very small fee.  I ended up keeping two end tables, a coffee table, a sofa, three bookcases, a chest of drawers, and two twin mattresses.  I never really intended to keep any of it for long.  We just needed something until it could be replaced with what I really wanted.


We kept all of the furniture until 2006 when we moved into our current house.  That army furniture is strong sturdy stuff, let me tell you.  When we moved, we gave away the sofa, coffee table, and two of the bookcases.  We got rid of the mattresses and I kept the end tables, a bookcase and the chest of drawers.


I was never thrilled with this table.  It was functional but it did nothing for me otherwise.  I decided I had nothing to lose if I painted it.  The color I chose was Arles.  It's kind of a butterscotch color.


I chose old white for the accent color.  After painting I used clear wax for finishing but I wasn't loving it.  Since I had the 'I have nothing to lose' attitude, I got brave and used the dark wax too.  I was really delighted with how that turned out.  The table finally had a used, aged look.


After all these years I finally like this end table that was supposed to be temporary!  But my favorite part is this...


That pop of Emperor's Silk red when you open the drawer!  It just makes me happy!


I think I'll be keeping this end table for a while longer!