Aah, delicious, wonderful, crisp-cold-air-and-apple-cider autumn.
I found the most fabulous coat the other day in a catalogue, (Ohmygosh! Do you love the details on the back?!)
...and that is when I realized that my love affair with the hideously hot warm summer weather and long days was over.
That, and the fact that we spent very nearly all of our Sunday watching football, (Go Seahawks!) and it feels not-quite-right when it's so warm outside that you have the fan on, and are sporting a sundress. The weather-guy on the news last night announced proudly that we are going to be hotter the next three days.
There's possible rain in the forecast next Sunday, and I am crossing my fingers that it does.
Are you that way too?
I swear, you could sell me a package of used staples if you put them in a pretty box, tied with some vintage ribbon, and a fabulous tag on it.
That's exactly how I ended up with not one, but four packages of fry boxes from an online company. They were online, and shown in multiple cute photos in various vignettes that I cannot recall now.
I had to have them.
Ask me if I have a use for these little boxes.
Or, why, (if I do in fact have a use for these boxes) I don't make them myself with my Cameo cutter tool.
It's called marketing, and I am a sucker for it, folks.
Seriously, I so love packaging, and teeny, tiny details, that I will take pictures of items in shops and online, just to enjoy the eye candy. (If you don't believe me, check out my Pinterest Board here.)
What is it about the way things are presented that makes me swoon? Is it the textures? The colors?
I'm not at all sure, but it conjurs up a warm and fuzzy feeling deep inside of me. Tell me you're the same way...please.
Then, tell me what to do with all of these french fry boxes.
You thought I told you that I lived in Camas, Washington.
Well, you are right. In the most literal sense, I do.
But, there's another place I live a fairly good portion of the time. It's a fabulous place, where I feel euphorically happy 24/7 and life is always good.
It's a little slice of heaven called Traceyville.
Let me tell you how I get there:
Whenever I get a really great new idea, it is nearly always followed by a brain-flood of other ideas that come blasting into my mind, like a domino effect, and I find myself in Traceyville lick-etty-split, where I can visualize just how they can look if when I get to them all. (In Traceyville, I always get to them all...because there are an extra four hours in every day there, and I invariably seem to stay on task!) I can imagine 500 crafty or entertaining ideas in five minutes, and see them all...completed perfectly in record time (and without ever leaving a mess!)...in Traceyville.
Likewise, when I am having a bad day in Washington, I might end up catching the train to Traceyville, where I only find close parking spaces, never run out of Pepsi Maxx, and the biggest serious life issue at hand is figuring out which cute pair of shoes to wear. In Traceyville, there are no pity parties.
You see, in Traceyville, everyday is a good hair day. People from all over America live solely to see what the next incredible tablescape I come up with looks like, and I can eat homemade coconut ice cream non-stop without ever thinking about it finding a home on my hips.
Or my patootie.
Or my where-ever.
In Traceyville, I am constantly a stunning example of cutting edge fashion, whether I am mowing the yard, or going to work. Folks cannot believe I am old enough to have six grandchildren. I never, ever find a stray eyebrow on my chin.
Ralph absolutely hangs on my every word in the sweet town of Traceyville, and he is gob-smacked at my never-ending ability to make cuter-than-the-last-time place cards for our little dinner table. My lip gloss never needs refreshing.
I have a fabulous supply of overstock custom banners and papercrafts neatly tucked away, waiting to go on the shelves in my case at Camas Antiques, and Michelle Obama's secretary just emailed me about possibly doing invitations for one of the girl's birthday parties.
Do you have a place like Traceyville that you go to on occasion? If so, what do you do (or not do!) there?
One of the charming vintage shops in Vancouver Washington came up with a not-new-but-new-for-our-area event…a monthly Vintage Flea Market, to be held on the first Sunday of each month through summer.
Last Sunday was the first one. Both of my daughters and I had discussed getting a booth space in the parking lot, but...the weather here in May is dicey at best, so we chickened out, and decided we would just attend the event as shoppers. As it turned out,the event was great, and the weather was perfect, other than some pretty heavy winds, which were playing havoc on some of the booth displays. I took plenty pictures, but as I edited them, I realized that what I was drawn to more than anything else, was the fabulous art of display these talented people have.
The place was crowded with shoppers…lots of browsers and looky-loos, and folks eye candy shopping for inspiration. I say this because I didn’t see a wave of near hysterical shoppers running at items as I have witnessed in years past when the crowds of women scampered to grab what they could before someone else snagged it. Out of the three of us, only one daughter bought something. She got two darling wooden turquoise children’s chairs to go in the playroom.
It got me to wondering. (And maybe I’m wrong. I often am, you know.)
Could it be?...Have I seen it all? The weathered creams, whites, and burlaps. The feed sacks, the chalkboard painted buckets, tables, dressers...you-fill-in-the-blank.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I like this look.
Heck, I love this look. ( I have a version of it in my own home, and my daughters have their own versions of vintage in their homes too..)
But I seem to have it already. So do my girls. I do not seem to come across anything that I feel like will add to my spaces with such impact that I am willing to pay a high price for it.
That brings me to the other thing that we all noticed. (and I am wondering if you have noticed this in your area as well, as this was not the first event I have noticed prices edging up.) People seem to have really raised their prices. (and this may have been why nothing really grabbed me hard enough to buy it.)
I mean, I am not expecting yard sale pricing by any means at all, but eight bucks for a small metal tag that I was thinking could be too-cute tied with jute around a cloth napkin at a summer barbeque? That’s just not happening at my house, when we are eating off my thrifted-for-twenty-dollars-six-years-ago pfaltzgraph Filegree white dishes, and the handmade cloth napkins my mom makes for me with discount fabrics. It just seems that as a vendor in afair, without the overhead that ashop owner has to bear, the prices would be a little lower.
Am I getting out of touch? Right now, the things that send me to the moon all seem to be table setting related, or for parties, or a small intimate event. (Like a cozy breakfast for two)I never to seem to find any gotta-haves for my own home decor these days.
I am hoping it’s not that I am “getting old”. You know, like before you know it I will be sporting sensible shoes that resemble men’s house slippers, (gasp!) going to bed with the chickens, and saying things like “he hasn’t got the sense God gave a goose”.
What do you think? Are you feeling like you have seen most of the ideas and pieces, or are you still finding so much stuff you need a pick-up to take it all home? I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this, and also, I’d love, love, love to read what kinds of things currently do inspire you right now into nesting mode over-drive...
**Edited Tuesday, May 7, 2013- While as of now, I have not had any negative comments here from readers....I want to apologize with all of my heart to anyone I inadverently offended with this post....those that had a booth in this fair, and to Billie who owns the charming shop as I stated in my first paragraph. I did not realize....(obviously, I had a complete brain lapse, and ...I did not think.) as I wrote my thoughts, that anyone involved in the fair would take offense. (Not sure why, it just didn't enter my mind as I wrote. I think maybe it didn't occur to me because I didn't say anything negative about the products- quite the contray, they were all fabulous, or I wouldn't have taken so many pictures.)
The main point I was sharing, (or...attempting to share) besides noticing pricing on the upswing, was that I am kind of surprised at myself, at not being swept away in a vintage frenzy, as I have been only a few years back. The fact was, it crossed my mind that I might be thinking more these days like...ehem...an older lady. (No ofense meant to any women out there older than me. Especially not you, Mom.)
Again I want to say, to Billie, and to the vendors in the Flea Market event...I am sorry if I offended you in any way.
(Insert large embarrassed cringe here.)
I will not ruin a perfectly decent apology here with excuses. I will say that Cottage Vintage Home's next Flea Market will be held June 2nd.
Life is busy for all of us, I know.
Right now, I have far too many irons in the fire, and life has gotten away from me...and rather than muddle through with random sporatic posts while I find my way, I feel I need to let you know that I will be away for a while.(I know. It seems a little odd to be announcing I am attending a Blog Conference this weekend, adn then announcing I won't be blogging for a time...but, my life never seems to be what one would expect.)
Please know that I will be back, and I hope you will still be checking back in, as I truly value our friendships here in Blog-land.
I've been wearing my hair the same length, and basically the same style for about....oh, four years, maybe?
And I am ready for a change.
Growing it a bit longer, and struggling through the gawd-awful transission stage is hard enough, but now, it seems that everyone is doing the ombre' thing, color-wise, instead of highlights. (Ombre': the look of color graduation, from darker at the roots, to a gradual lightening at and finally lightest at the ends....)
I am not sure what my take is on this look. I am puzzled by it. (See the photo above? I adore the cut...the loose curls...the ombre' color job? No, thank you.) I know it's wildly popular, but it seems to make hair look damaged, and...well, neglected to me, like you got it lightened last summer and then decided it was a bad idea.
I mean, is it just me, or does it look like you have just been growing out a lighter color, and forgot to go get it touched up? Have I reached "that" age, where I do not "get" what is hip?
To mis-quote the legendary M.C. Hammer, I'm just not jiggy with it.
I'm now going to date myself even further when I tell you that I while want to be fashionable, I am frankly more than a little worried that we are all gonna look back on this onbre' look very much the way we look back on the mullet.
Let's ponder that a moment, 'coz we all know what reaction the mere mention of the word "mullet" brings on, shall we?
Okay, so there will be no ombre'-ing for me...but, what about you?
I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts and take on this newest hair-did trend!
Now, I am not typically wowed by any car. I mean, drive a Honda, drive a V-dubbya, drive a '98 cadillac; I don't really give a hoo-haw, as long as it gets you from A to B.
When it comes to old cars...er...old trucks. I have always and forever loved old (1954 through 1956-ish) trucks,...just ask any one of my kids.
Well, my V-Dub has passed it's milestone mileage of now being over the 100,000 mark, and stuff is starting to need replacing, and keeping up on, and...well, you get the picture. My Rock n' Roll Buddy has mentioned casually more than once that I might wanna start thinking about replacing it sometime soon.
Now, buying a car is not on my top ten list of fun things to purchase, so I put it out of my mind.
But then, my silly service engine light came on.
I hate that little light.
So, that brought about a trip to the auto repair shop, followed by another, and before you could say money-pit, my Rock n' Roll Buddy and I were talking about the probable need for me to change out my mode of transportation sooner than later.
He wanted to know what kind of car I thought I would like.
I said one with no payments.
Anyway, the conversation evolved and at some point (About three seconds into the discusion) I shared my very nearly-forgotten-seemingly-silly-to-some dream (fantasy?) of owning an old 1950's truck.
We debated the sense and sensibility of trying to drive an old classic truck (built before power steering came along...) to work each day, and while we both agreed it was not the logical way to go, we began to google up good ol' craigslist to see what old trucks there might be out there.
One thing lead to another and the next thing I knew, we were on a road trip up north to have a look-see at a 1954 Dodge Pick-up that was for sale, after having been a winter restoration project for some guy near Olympia.
Three hours on the road, with a picnic lunch,(and one pit stop) and we were there. The nice guy selling the truck met us in the driveway.
He opened the garage.
Be still my old vintage-truck-lovin' heart.
There it was.
A dream car..er, truck.....to me at least. (for my Rock n' Roll Buddy...notsomuch, but he could appreciate my passion and rose-colored vision.)
Isn't it fabulous? Perfect for tailgate buffets at parties and receptions, or for vintage themed photo shoots, not to mention how fabulous it could be for driving around on a Saturday morning to a few yard sales, and Camas Antiques?....can you see it?!
I know. (somebody pinch me!)
No, it won't be my daily commute car. (we are still gonna have to figure that dilemma out.) What it will be is a daily reminder and an affirmation to me that dreams really do come true, and just how blessed I am to have someone in my life who wants to remind me of that.
My birthday is in December, which is just a ridiculous busy time for my family, with three birthdays, a wedding anniversary, and Christmas, so we opted to go on my birthday trip after all of the hoopla was behind us.
That turned out to be a fabulous idea, because there is no nicer way to spend the first weekend in the new year, than a two nights of complete and total relaxation, with no scheduled activities filling up your time.
The first morning after breakfast, the girl at the front desk gave us a little guidebook to help us find our way around town. Well, I am a sucker for creative marketing materials and this little book was very clever. How could you not like a community that boasts a "cute" part of town?
I hope I don't offend any of Cottage Grove's residents, but, as it turns out, the town wasn't all that cute (not compared to Camas, anyway, although I may be a wee-bit partial.) but the people were all very nice, and we did manage to find a few interesting things...they had lots of murals around town...
( Buster Keaton filmed the silent movie "The General" here way back in 1926)
pretty cool, huh? (Hey! Maybe cute lil' Camas should do a mural on one side of that Paper Mill?)
...and seven covered bridges that you could walk through...(which I somehow managed to take zero photos of...)
...a fireplace, and even our very own cozy courtyard with a sweet little picket fence. A nice restaurant with old brick walls, painted beadboard, and oodles of paned windows, was located right on the property in walking distance from our room. We had good wine with dinner, and delicious waffles for breakfast.
It all made for a very relaxing, and memorable weekend.
The most special part of it all, if you know my Ralph, is that staying in a charm-filled Inn, in a quaint little town...is so not him.
But he knew it would be so me.
And that makes my heart swell.
The past three years I have chosen a word to focus on for the year. Actually, the first two years I stuck with the same word, which was balance. Last year I switched it up just a bit and chose organize.
Along came 2013 and I have chosen a word once again, that is kinda-sorta along the same lines.
I imagine my words may always be along this theme, because I am a creative type by nature, and that is not conducive to being organized and balanced necessarily, as creative folks generally are whirl-wind types.
This year my word is…
Mmmm hmm. This is going to be my year to (hopefully) pare things down a little bit. Try living a lifestyle of less is more, verses more is more. Have you heard the quote, “ Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”? That’s what I am striving for this year.
How about you? What’s your word for this wonderful-new-without-any-mistakes-in-it year?
I am feeling extra-blessed these days, with six precious grand babes,and a happy, healthy family. Life is full, and good, and I am feeling oh-so content, treasuring the little things, like hot cocoa, and sleeping late on Saturday mornings.
I have a challenging grown up girl job that I look forward to go to each work day, and since I spend a lot of time there, that is a silver lining in my life as well.
You know, there is a saying that I have shared here before, on one of my weekly words to live by Sundays that comes to my mind:
I would have to agree, although I will admit when I first ever read the first part...something to do...I never really thought of the "do" as being my grown up girl job. I think I always pictured that part as in doing things around the house,like crafts or decorating, or doing things for those I love.
When I was thinking about all of this last night, I realized it is (or can be) about your grown up girl job. And I then stumbled upon an article that proved this, right here.
To further that point, I was reading my most favorite work inspiring blogs, and I came across this recent post.
It's not rocket science.
It's about living.
Living every day of our lives.
Doing work we enjoy is part of the big picture of the life we should be living..
It really is as simple as that.
On a lunchtime run to Target with a coworker pal yesterday, we ended up in the Halloween section (oh yes, people, candy and costumes, and all things Autumn-decor themed are out in the stores now.) with for my friend to look at eensy weensy costumes for her nearly two year old daughter. (She was on a mission for a fairy princess costume, but we both agreed that the adorable teeny tiny Little Red Riding Hood costume trumped that idea.)
Now that I am in the midst of grand baby heaven, I am looking forward to seeing the cutie patooties all dressed up in their costumes. Beyond a few black fuzzy, glittery spiders and a black crow or two, I still am not much of a fan for the scary things like skulls and bloody limbs. (Never say never, as that may come a few years down the road, when all of the little grandsons are a bit older.)
What I do love about the season is the harvest-y decorations. The crisp weather, and the smells of baked apples and cinamon coupled with a roaring fire (and a good football game) are what I find irristable about this time of year. I am going to be stopping by the market tonight for pumpkins and I will be decorating the porch and front yard tonight, and then I will start on the inside of the house......so fun!
I know I asked this a question a few years back, but I want to pose it again...which one are you? Harvest or Halloween? Hmmmm?
I know, it feels like it's been like for-evah since I posted a nice, inspiring, project-y kind of post. I've been busy, busy, busy.
Some good stuff, some challenging stuff. Some happy, some sad, and a couple of brain freeze days where I sat down to write and came up with nothin'.
So, here I am, checking in on my sad little neglected blog, hoping you're checking back in too.
Lots of stuff going through my head today. I woke up yesterday to rain, which was a much welcomed surprise. (Oh, the weather guy on TV said it was coming, but he's wrong so often that we pay him no mind.)Today, no rain, but still, that yummy, crisp autumn feeling wafting through the air.
(I'm so ready for fall.)
Last week I got a nice promotion at work, and I am going to be one ca-razy busy girl during the work week now. (I love that!) Of course, this promotion called for new shoes.
(You saw that one coming, right?)
Also, as you know, I have another new fat and healthy grand babe.
(My favorite quote to date from sweet lil' Keaton's oldest brother as he came barreling into the hospital room with his two year old bother in tow, was "Can I pet him, Mom?") Needless to say, Mr. Keaton is not experiencing a lack of attention from any of us!
Grand babe numero six is due in just a few more weeks here, and so the baby lovin' is running wild up here.
Along with the overwhelming joy that new babies bring, we've had some sad, and all-too-soon goodbyes take place. Losing someone you love is hard on the heart, and causes us all to take a pause as we realize that life is far too short, and far, far too fragile to be taken for granted.
Make sure people know you care, and tell 'em you love them, while they're here.
And, make sure you laugh some, everyday.
I'll be sharing a much less rambling, much more cohesive-get-your-decorating-mojo-on post tomorrow.
I am pretty sure the only man who ever reads my blog is my Dad, (Well, my Rock n' Roll Buddy pops over now and then too, but I think he just checks out the photos and surmises what the post must surely be about and moves on...) so the rest of you can ignore this first paragraph...Dad, feel free to skip reading this post. It doesn't have any home projects or thrilling escapades, nor does it have any Great-Grand-baby photos. It's about menopause.
So let's have a little girl-to-girl talk, shall we?
When I was in my 20s, 30s and even early 40s, I pretty much thought about menopause in the third person, like it happened to other women. You know, women living in Sun City, Arizona or someplace like that....very much like the way I always think of "old people" as people much older than me, no matter how old I am.
Anyway, the point I am making here is until we hit the age of peri-menopause, and menopause, most of us don't think about it. There aren't any classes or lessons to prepare us for it fully.
Most of us learned about the birds and the bees at home from a parent or from a class at school. But when it comes to the next phase of life, the phase that follows the love and marriage and the baby carriage...for generations, when the stage following the child-bearing years arrives, women have simply been winging it, sharing stories and hopeful treatments as ways to adapt and cope with this next fun phase of being a girl
You hear about "hot flashes" and "possible dryness", and I myself have experienced the occasional stubborn "stray eyebrow" that wants to show up near my chin. (And this part in particular couldn't come at a worse time...right as your eyesight begins to fail.)
Well, we can now get more information on what that next stage is like, and I for one am now wondering why someone didn't think of it sooner.
There's a new website called The 2nd Talk from the people at Poise, with what they are appropriately calling the "Second Talk". The site helps educate women as they enter the next stage of life, along with introducing some pretty helpful products that coming out right now.
Roll-On Cooling Gel -- It helps you feel comfortable and refreshed when a hot flash strikes. All you do is squeeze the tube and gently roll the cooling gel on wrists, chest, or neck for a cooling sensation that lasts up to 10 minutes.
The Body Cooling Towelettes offer instant cooling and refreshment when you experience a hot flash. Gently wipe the towelette on wrists, chest, or neck to feel cool and comfortable. (Featuring a portable, re-sealable package, these towelettes are easy to use anywhere you go!)
All of the products are created to make a girl feel a whole lot cooler and prettier and in control of her changing body.
Just like with the first talk we learned from, this will make our changing lives (and bodies) much easier to understand and gives us better tools to navigate through the new stage of life.
Interested in the Second Talk? Visit The2ndtalk.com and take the pledge to have the talk by October 18th. Poise is working to have one million women talking about it by then!
Poise and BlogHer are teaming up to offer one wonderful reader a $250 Visa gift card! To be entered for a chance to win, just tell me: What makes YOU feel confident?
No purchase necessary to enter or win.
Only unique Entries will be counted; duplicates will not be considered as an additional entry.
You may receive entries on this post by selecting from the following entry methods starting on July 26, 2012 at 9 a.m. PT and ending on August 24, 2012 at 5 p.m. PT:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion, including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: ì#sweepstakesentryî; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.
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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail and will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected. Void where prohibited.
Be sure to visit Poise's brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers' reviews and find more chances to win!
It turns out that it's easier said than done.
Life for me is busy these days, in a really good way. And, while busy in a good way sounds like it should equal plenty of things to write about, that is the problem. When does a girl find the actual time to do the writing part?
Sandwiching home projects (Installing a new deck ourselves, and front yard landscape work so far..)and family time around working full time at my grown up job doesn't leave a huge chunk of time to begin with. Then, with two more grand babes on the way, (Yippee!!)I am busy helping with plans and projects for showers, and nursery decorating, and all the crafting that goes with it.
I am also working on an entire new line of items for my etsy shoppe (invites, favor and gift bags, hard copy banners and decorated ice cream tubs, just to name a few....)that is keeping me busy, and my mind reeling with new ideas for the shoppe each minute that I work on things.
I will be sharing all of the oodles and toodles of projects and ideas that I am working on...soon!. I just need to get my act together a little better. (Hmmmm...This all goes back to my word for 2012, if you think about it.)
Seriously, how did we get by before there was such a thing as internet peeps?
Thanks to blogging, FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest and now Instagram, I can throw a question out there and BAM! Within mere minutes some internet friend has an answer or two, or six for me. Last week I began pinning ideas for an upcoming baby shower with a slant towards bumble bees.
(Not over-the-top cutesy with bees perched on everything, but a few here and there.)
(Not that there is anything wrong with cutesy, it's just not me.)
After seeing someone's party pictures on Pinterest, I googled, and found a darling reproduction beverage server on ebay that resembled a bee skep, so I pinned it to have it on hand to refer to while deciding if I should buy it...(you know, paying shipping and all that....) The next thing I knew, two friends responded to my pin, letting me know where I could find the beverage server locally.
With no shpping fees.
I love it when that happens!
(Thank you Kathy and Sandi!)
Have you had similar experiences? I'd love to ready your stories!
I think it's just awesome, living in these times of cutting edge, creative technology, where we can literally have a hundred-million-kajillion friends. It makes the world a much friendlier place, don't you agree?
Well, that isn't entirely accurate. The rest of the reason is that I got a little too engrossed in the first part of the American Idol Finale and forgot to put on the last coat of paint until way late. (Are you watching it this season? Who are you pulling for? I'm all about Phil Phllips, while my Rock n' Roll Buddy is cheering for Jessica Sanchez...they're both good, but, truth be told, our hearts both still belong to Colton Dixon.)
So, yeah. We'll blame American Idol for my lack of an exciting post for today.
Oh. Wait. Maybe I do have something I can share that is of interest, at least to some of you.
Did I tell you I got a new pair of shoes?
And I heart them.
Now, I am not a yellow shoes-dresses-home-decore person, per-say, but a while back, on Pinterest, I found these shoes.(I can't beleive I forgot to share them with you when I got them!)..
and the next thing I knew, I had ordered them. (At the time I had not a clue what I would wear them with, mind you.)
Turns out yellow is the new tan.
I wear them all the time. They go great with jeans and a white tee and a black cardigan, or with my charcoal grey sweater.(See how versatile they are? I can't even remember what I wore before these entered my life. Thank God I bought them!)
Okay, so anyway.
Mmmm hmmm. Another pair of yellow shoesies.
(And surprisingly enough, from that same shoe company.)
(I know. Too cute, right?)
I had to have them.
'Coz apparently yellow is my color.
On an entirely different topic (since I didn't get the DIY project done and I am rambling on here...) I am thrilled to provide you with a bit of shameless self-promotion.
Remember my couple of ice cream posts? The ones with the cute ice cream containers I dolled up from Garnish? (These will be available in my etsy shop soon!)Well, the nice folks at Garnish shared my craftiness on their blog,complete with shout-out links to my blog.
I heart the folks at Garnish too.
I'm out for now, but you'll be seeing my latest DIY project before the week's end, I promise.
Hope you all have a blissfully happy Wednesday, people.
Ohmygosh! Thank you, thank you, thank you ever so much for all of the input you gave me through my survey yesterday regarding etsy and online shopping! I am more stoked than ever about stepping things up online.
Speaking of online shopping, just as I was getting all focused and excited about expanding things online, and re-branding my business, I got home yesterday to find the most fabulously packaged little purchase I had ordered last week, waiting for me in my mailbox. (Funny how that happens!)
Anyway, I thought I'd share it...'coz it's just that stinkin' cute. I mean, all of it. The adorable custom charm on the delicate chain. (It was rather hard to photograph, but it reads, "r + t". If you think that's cheesy, that's okay, but please don't tell me. I may be 55, but I am a completely incurable romantic.)
The logo'd packaging, and the sa-weeet little bag sent me straight to the moon, Alice.
I was quite literally swooning. And my mind is now spinning, filled with ideas that I cannot wait to get started and share with you!
I had every intention of posting this morning, but then...it never happened.(I hate it when that happens. Makes my day not feel quite right.) I'm at a point of doing a lot of soul searching about what direction I want to take my blog, and my Cottage Industry. I guess I am trying to find the center of my creative passion, and focus more on it...fine tune it...you know?
I think this girl got me thinking about all of this. And this girl as well. And I am so glad they did. I am feeling inspired about my blog, and writing, and creating, and baking, and...well, everything, in a way that I haven't felt in quite a while.
So, I have a question for those of you who shop online. For handcrafted things. And for one of a kind types of things.
Do you typically go straight to etsy when you are looking for custom or specialized themed things like party invites, banners, and decorations, or when shopping for unique gift items like jewelry, and home decor items? Or, do you google an item on a website? Would you just as soon make a purchase from someone's blog (or website) than be directed to an etsy shop?
Do you have an etsy shop? If so, do you do anything extra to market it?
I'm getting ready to launch some fairly big (for me) changes here on my blog, appearance wise, and I am also contemplating adding a new line of items for sale. Currently I have an eensy-weensy-oh-so-teeny-tiny etsy shop, (So small in fact, that some of you might not even have been aware that I had an etsy shop!)and I sometimes wonder if anyone goes there, except through my blog. If that's the case, I may as well sell my things right here from my blog...right? Wrong?
See? I have a lot of questions buzzing around in my head these days and I am searching for direction.I'd love to hear (to read!) your two cents worth!
I recently shared that I have forever had a magazine addiction...passion....interest, and I shared here how I gave them up for a long stretch, for economic reasons, and because I was dealing with a lot of surplus paper around my home.
Well, I stumbled up a new publication...a Premier Issue of Romantic Prairie Style, in Home Depot at the check-out, of all places, and...Ohmygosh! (I am apparently the only person in the US that didn't realize Fifi was doing this magazine...)It's fantastic.(I will admit that the price was still rather daunting at nearly ten bucks..)
It's got color, not simply more white-on-white-on-white-and-weathered decor (Which I personally do adore, but how many issues of the same look can we get inspired by?) and oodles of great decorating ideas, and...the best part...is that I haven't already seen a bazillion pictures from before the magazine issue launched sharing "sneak peeks" which turn out to be nearly all the pictures in the magazine on writer's FaceBook pages and websites. Am I the only one disappointed when a magazine arrives in my mailbox, and it feels like deju-vu experience because I've already seen three quarters of the photos online? (Why buy the magazine? (It makes me wish I hadn't subscribed to one new magazine in particular for that very reason...)
Romantic Prairie Style. Fifi nailed it. I loved this first issue. Loved. it. All.
Check it out and let me know if you agree.
**edited to add: Thanks Dawn for sharing that you can find the magazine at WalMart as well! (they are discounted there, you know...)**
So, yeah. I was checking my list and that's just one of my New Year's Resolutions for twenty-twelve.
I plan on giving the good ol' Post Office my share of support this year with sending out lots of love in the good old snail mail. (Cross your fingers. I am a creative spirit, which is why I think I am totally....completely...somewhat disorganized, and I struggle with keeping my resolutions.)I love it when I open the mailbox and I find a nice little surprise waiting for me, like a card, or a box. I imagine my friends must love that too, and so I put this on my list this year of things to resolve to get better at. Think about it, people. If we don't use the Post Office, it could actually become a thing of the past, like eight-tracks, and typewriters, and liquid white out. Then we'd have no need for cute mailboxes surrounded by pansies out at our curbs, and so on and so on, and that would be tragic, as far as I am concerned, because I find mailboxes to be charming, if done up right...and I am all about adding charm, you know. (Oh! I think I just inspired myself to get a new mailbox for our nest, as well as some pansies and some coral colored geraniums...)
Okay, true confession here: I have to admit that, five months into this year, and I am failing miserably so far at the sending actual card by snail mail. I missed sending out birthday cards to two of my besties in April alone. (I know. What is up with that, anyway?! I appall myself sometimes.)
Whew. I feel better getting that out in the open.
The thing is, that for me, nothing arriving in my inbox compares with receiving a hard copy invite (especially a cute n' clever one!) or a card, or a letter. This got me wondering...do you mail much these days? Do you still send cards? Little prezzies to friends and family? Or....do you rely on e-vites, and emails, and gift cards? Am I alone in this one, packaging up goodies to grand-babes for Easter, and sending hard copy birthday cards (when I have my act together) with cheery little notes inside?
I'd love to hear what you all do!
I would tear out pages and put them, by category, in manila folders for inspiration at later dates. Some of them had been in these folders for years. They were always a great inspiration for me in the evenings, curled up in my bed, with a cuppa cocoa, and my basket of folders, laid out by room, or topic.
After moving so many times in such a short time span, I began to see that schlepping all this paper everywhere wasn't the easiest thing to move, nor to find storage spaces for. Also, I was spending a decent amount of my mad money on magazines. I wanted to be more efficient. More thrifty (thrifty-er?) frugal. More organized.
Then, along came Pinterest.
Let me tell you, it rocked my world.
I quickly migrated from in-your-hand magazines, to snagging pictures form anywhere and everywhere online. Inspiration abounds, on all topics online, from how to make ice cream to cute outbuildings and log cabins, and to be able to save pictures (Along with links back to the origin to re-read up on things!!!) has become my replacement addiction to old school magazines.
Thousands of pins later, one day while getting groceries I landed on the magazine aisle. Whoa, baby. There were many new (to me at least) publications. (I was shocked for two reasons. First off, the economy, and second...Pinterest.)There were several on the topic of Flea Market Decor, including Flea Market Gardens. There are also many, many new ones popping up online, with the option of buying the magazines either electronically to read, or, for four times more you can get hard copy mailed to you via snail mail...obviously a lot of us still enjoy hard cover magazines, whether the budget is tight or not.
Before I knew what hit me I had loaded several magazines into my cart and whisked them home. I was like a crack addict, I tell you.
That got me thinking later that night, while curled up in bed perusing the magazines, with my laptop sitting on the nightstand, (feeling oh-so guilty that I had paid nearly full price at the grocery, as opposed to a subscription.) about my old friends I'd been missing, (Romantic Homes, and a few other favorites) and so I ended up subscribing online right then aand there, to three magazines that I had said goodbye to more than a year ago.
Now, I am torn between feeling guilt ridden for having slipped back into my magazine addition, and wondering how many more weeks until I find fabulous new issues in my mailbox.
My mind is now whirling and twirling with questions for you: Do you still buy, and read, hard cover magazines? Do you Pinterest for your decorating fix? Do you do both? (like me?!) If you do buy hard cover magazines,how many do you buy? Do you subscribe? What do you do with them when you are finished with them? Do you share them? Toss them? Dismantel them???
I'm dying to know!
I am a firm believer in the power of prayer, and I do not believe in coincidences. I have had many, many "God things" happen to me personally, so I know first hand who is really in charge of my life, and I know (although I can be stubborn about my own will sometimes)everything will always be all right in the end, if I put my faith in Him.
I've put off writing this post for a good long while. For a few reasons. First off, it's about something so close to my heart that, every time I think about it, (let alone speak of it aloud) the waterworks come. A literal flood of tears that I cannot seem to stop. Second, whether I share this or not doesn't really matter, because it is no ones business but my own, anyway. Lastly, some people may not understand why I did what I did. (I am a people-pleaser by nature, and it weighs heavier than it should on me when I feel I have disappointed anyone, for any reason.)
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I have moved multiple times in a rather short time period. Each move took me to yet a smaller home, with less windows, and none of them have had yards. (Often how it is when living in a townhouse, duplex, or tri-plex) Working a 40 hour week, then running home for a fifteen minute visit before running back out for several more hours, to run errands, or go out with friends doesn't make for any sort of life for a big yellow dog. Moose was living a life of solitary confinement of sorts.
This weighed heavily on my mind and heart for months. Thirty minutes of quality time a day cannot make up for 23 and a half hours of night-time-sleeping, and sit-around-the-teeny-tiny-living-room-and-watch-the-front-door-for-Tracey-to-finally-come-home.
I confided in friends and family about what to do.Repeatedly. What was best for Moose? This all went on for months. Then, at the end of last summer, after much angst and guilty feelings and endless prayers for guidance, someone told me I should try listing sweet Mr. Moose on Craigslist.
My selfish heart broke at the very thought.
I couldn't do it.
I looked at Moose, laying on the floor at my feet, hoping for a little attention.
I decided to just look on craigslist to see how many others were out there, trying to re-house their large pups. I typed "Yellow Lab" into the search box on craigslist under Pets.
Here is where God stepped in.
The second ad down on the page said "Wanted- Mature Yellow Lab". My heart stopped for a second. I felt an oddly peaceful wave come over me, and my stomach knotted up instantly with fear to find out what it said, all at the very same moment.
I took a breath, and opened the ad. I read. A family of three (a couple and their young adult daughter) decided to put an ad on craigslist because they love labs and found re-homing an older lab really suited them. About eight years ago, after being dog-less for close to a year, they were looking at a pool table at someones house who was moving. They ended up with a pool table and two gorgeous labs. The owner was downsizing and was moving to a house without much room. These labs were about seven years old and were amazing dogs.
They had lost the last of the pair almost a year and half ago to old age. Their family loved them and it took them awhile to be able to think about getting another lab. They weren't really wanting a puppy and would love to give another mature lab a great home for the rest of his life.
The ad had been on craigs for nearly a week, and today was the last day the ad would have been listed. They were not planning to re-post the ad, but rather just see if "it was meant to be".
I wrote to them, asking if they were still looking for a dog. Yes, they were. In fact, they had gotten no responses at all, except mine. (Keep in mind that there were apox. five ads on Craigslist with folks trying to give away or sell their lab.) I asked why they took the route of placing their own ad and not looking at the ads listed for giveaways, and I was surprised to hear that it hadn't ever occurred to them. They just put the ad out there in good faith that the right dog would come their way.
I knew this was meant to be. When I asked how big their yard was, they sent me a picture along with a wonderful detailed email....
Seven acres which (including a Christmas Tree Farm) for Moose to run around and chase birds and squirrels and balls. A Dad that works from home, with a rug by his desk for a dog. I got goosebumps reading about the possible new home for Moose.
(I almost asked if I could move there too.)
We talked on the phone several times, and a week later, we took Moose out to test the waters, and see if he might be happy there. I did a lot of praying about all this that week, asking God for more confirmations that this was what would be best for my sweet Moose.
Any tiny doubt I had about sharing Moose with this wonderful family disappeared the moment we got out of the car and his new Dad showed him where the water bowl was on the front porch.
Thank you, God.
We stayed about an hour and a half, all of us visiting on the back deck, while Moose checked things out and fetched the ball. These caring people said we were welcome to come back to visit Moose. Anytime. Even to take him home for a weekend. Or whatever. They understood just how hard this all was for me.
I knew it was what was best for Moose.
I held it together really well, knowing God had once again worked things out for the good, in his right and perfect time, but when we went to leave, Moose thought he was supposed to get in the car, and he came bounding after us to the car. His new family held him, and told him that, no, he was staying. I disintegrated into a puddle of uncontrolable tears right then, and couldn't look back as we drove off down the road.
That picture up at the top there was taken a few weeks after Moose's move, by the daughter in his new family, (see his unmistakable smile?) and here is a little more recent shot of him doing what he does best...
She later shared with me that Moose seems to like exploring the property. (Although he apparently doesn't like to walk inbetween the christmas trees, he walks around them, which is so typical of fraidy-cat-Moose!)
Not a day goes by that I do not think of Moose, nor a night go by that he is not on my prayer list. My heart trembles ever so slightly, and my eyes always well up a little bit every time I see a big yellow dog. But I am confident, and at peace knowing without a single doubt that it was God's hand that brought the perfect family to me to give Moose what he needed, and deserved, that I could no longer give to him.
I'm not sharing this post to get sympathy, nor do I want to read comments that I am a terrible person and an uncaring pet owner to give up my oh-so-beloved pup. I'm sharing this post with you because I think of you all as friends, and I've never been anything but honest here on this little spot here in blog-land. I don't plan on changing that.
Easter weekend will be here in less than 48 hours and I am still trying to fine tune my menus, clean house, pick up groceries, and wrap-up-finish-get-started-whatever about thrity-two twenty-six twelve projects around the house.
Anyone who knows me is not surprised.
I work best under pressure, apparently. Do you do that? Think of oodles of lil' things you are going to do around the house, and think of grand ideas that will absolutely make the room, or tablescape, or party (you fiill in the bank...)....think on 'em some more, and then, suddenly, you're having company and you want them all done..yesterday.
For instance, I tackled the new piece for the livingroom, and then, I spent a pretty good portion of one evening this week framing family pictures that I finally got around to having printed at Walgreens. (I've still got tot dust the hutch and figure out exactly where all of these newly framed photos will fit...)
Actually, when I consider that it has only been since the Superbowl that we got things rolling with decorating around here, that doesn't sound so strange to have so many projects still on the to-do list.
(I seem to use major events or holidays as my motivation I am noticing.)
(I guess I should start thinking about Mother's Day now.)
(And remember to be thankful that we will be out of town for Memorial Day weekend.)
Do you think I have time to pick up some pansies and get them potted after I grocery shop and hit the Post Office after work today?
You know I pretty much never remove my rose colored glasses. That's just who I am.