Last weekend I had the most fabulous time. My daughter and I went to the little town of Silverton, Oregon for some quality me time for each of us, to be able to focus on projects we had been struggling to find time for. She is in the process of studying for her real estate license exam, and I have been wanting to update my etsy shop, and social media stuff.
We met up Friday evening, and we settled in to work on our separate projects. We took breaks for dinner, and we spent the morning with our dueling laptops, in a cool coffee and breakfast place that had wi-fi. A big storm was hitting the pacific northwest, but we were enjoying the grey days and never lost power, so we were happy.
We managed to squeeze in pedicures late in the afternoon Saturday, and then picked up pizza to cook in our room for dinner, and then we both jumped back into our tasks.
Shortly after 10:00 on Saturday night. I was on a roll, adding banners and flags, and oodles and toodles of seasonal descriptions and photos of items to my little etsy shop, and I was feeling all kinds of proud of myself, when it happened.
The spinning-rainbow-wheel-of-death came on my screen just as I was wrapping up a marathon evening of working on my shop. And, it wouldn't. stop. spinning.
Had I downloaded one too may crazy fonts?
I ask this because, once, long, long ago, in the early days of giant home computers, I installed one too may fonts from several floppy discs of fonts. (remember those? If not, you are not nearly as old as I am.)
Anyway, when I turned on my computer, it was covered in Chinese writing, all over my desk top.
Enough about that disturbing incident.
That was then. This is now.
(Insert huge, deep breath and long sigh here.)
Well, at this point, panic set in. Luckily my daughter was there to be the voice of reason. She told me to turn it off and let it charge over night, and I followed her directions.
I woke up at 6:00 am and pulled open my little MAC.
I felt sick to my stomach. This piece of electronics is my lifeline.
(I don't back things up hardly ever often enough, and my cheesy print program can't send things to my cloud.)
(True confession here= I have never seen what is actually in my cloud, nor do I know how to get to my cloud.)
When my daughter woke up she insisted I call the folks at Apple. I said I didn't think they would help me without charging me a small fortune. She made me call anyway.
(It turns out that there is a reason they call those Apple workers "geniuses".)
Ohmygosh. So helpful. They gave me hope.
Unfortunately, it was not going to be a fast fix. I needed to be plugged in to a power source, and have continuous wi-fi, which meant I needed to head home to do the repair, when I had been hoping to stay until afternoon at that cute breakfast coffee shop again.
I'll skip all the drama and worry and praying that ensued once I got home and spoke with a guy from Apple, named Gary, who got the process going. Calls later with Trinity, and then Susan, and I am back to working on my Macbook Pro Tuesday night while binge-watching back-to-back-to-back episodes of Fixer-Upper.
(I love me some Chip and Joanna Gaines. I hope fame never changes them.)
My etsy shop is still in progress, but getting there. I lost some cool fonts and I am half afraid to reinstall them, but I'll get things rebuilt over the next few days weeks. In the meantime, everything in my shop is 20% off with the coupon code SPOOKY, and if you've hung in there long enough to read this far into my post, I have atop-secret code for you! Use the coupon code APPLE and get a $5.00 credit towards any purchase of $6.00 or more on my entire site. (I wanted to make it so you could get an item free, but etsy isn't set up for that...) My top secret offer is good through Thursday night at midnight!
I saw the idea on Pinterest (of course) and decided it would be adorable to do for my daughter-in-law's kindergarten class. A quick trip to the Dollar Tree yielded purple paper cups, and, not only packages of googly eyes, but colorful eyeballs too.
(And as a bonus, I also scored orange and black striped paper straws for the pint sized students.)
I whipped out my hot glue gun and attached the eyeballs in a mater of ten minutes.
Too danged cute.
It was a large conference we put on, and it was exciting, exhausting, inspiring, and overwhelming all at the same time. (Yep, that is possible.) Besides all of the weks of prep work leading up to the big event, we put in long days that started early, so I went to bed tired. I would then proceed to wake up every hour, worrying that I might somehow over sleep for tomorrow's early morning meeting. (I am pretty sure that I looked like I was 87 by the last day of the event.)
All I could think of on my flight home was walking in the door of my little home. There is such a sense of restfulness, and warmth, and...I am not sure of what word to use here, but maybe it's security. A place to just sit, and be present, and process all of the days before, among pictures of grand babes, and little black Halloween crows everywhere.
Once I did land, it turned out that I didn't get to go straight home, but somewhere else, where we watched the Seahawks game. That only magnified my need for being home.
It's funny to me, how a little old, fixer-upper, not-nearly-close-to-even-halfway-done cottage can do that to a girl. I guess that's why they say home is where the heart is.
I told you I've been crazy busy, and part of what has been keeping me so busy is my grown up job. I'm currently working on spreading the word throughout my company about a program I run the recruiting end of for audiology doctorate students during their last year of school, (Like a residency) and I am having a grand time using think-outside-the-box methods to get my fellow coworkers excited about it.
On August first I announced that we, the Company, (and by "we" I shared, I meant me.) had declared August as "Extern Awareness Month", and I'd be showcasing information about the Program throughout the month. I started with a simple display in the kitchen first thing that Monday morning.....It was the day after Camp Cupcake, so I ran to the grocery and purchased bakery mini-cinnamon rolls and little hostess donuts. I added little flags, and a sign, and called it done...it's amazing what a little flag can do for store-bought treats!
Then, the week before last I came up with brochures that outlined how cool the program really was. I called it "Food For Thought" because...well, gifts of food seem to be the way to a neighboring department's heart.
Last week I shared a cleverly worded timeline for the program, along with an equally clever frequently asked questions sheet. Next week will wrap up my self proclaimed "Extern Awareness Month" with a pop quiz on what they've learned, with Starbucks cards for the winners. (These are some highly competitive folks, so I am anticipating good participation.)
I am not sure how many of you work outside your home full time, or part time for that matter, but I share this all because creativity and fun are not reserved for home alone. You can take pretty much any kind of meeting and add a level of polished whimsy to it. Heck, you can celebrate a day of the week, for that matter. (I currently have a plan up my sleeve to begin celebrating Fridays at my grown up job.) Do you do things at work to add some fun? I'd love to hear your ideas!
I'm not complaining, mind you, just sayin'.
Life is good. Just busy. Work. Family. My booth space. My etsy shop. (Insert embarrassed red emoji face here.) ah, yes, my poor, neglected etsy shop...
Lots has been happening, and I am dying to get you all caught up, if you're still checking in to see if there's a pulse here at ACottageIndustry.com.
I think I pretty much fell off the internet just after my trip to Maui with my bestie since fifth grade....okay, possibly a bit before that, but you got the highlights of my fun-in-the-sun vacation.
After that, it gets a little blurred. Camp Cupcake was a definite high point, and so I think I'll start here..
All men, this go-round, and we had a repeat performance of the ever-popular sack races...
....and the butterfly nets hadn't lost their multi-use appeal....
We had an epic water fight....
...I did add some fun new food items....(thank you, Pinterest. What did I do before I knew you?)
...We cooked our own hot dogs, and roasted marshmallows for s'mores.....(Some of us soaked our shoes in the water fight and had to borrow a pair of Gramma Cupcake's flip-flops while they dried in the sun...)
.........and we made great use of the tent all day long, and then slept in it. (Complete with glow-sticks and headlamps!)
I'm already planning next year's camp, with my fingers crossed that all of the grands will be here!
The campers this year included three returning campers, and two new ones. Sadly, two campers from last year couldn't make it this year, and while they were greatly missed, the all male troop this year enjoyed the new addition of a water fight on a very warm camp day.
Seriously, I took over 500 photos, however, I had some pretty nasty computer issues the week before, and the end result, after everything was back up and running, is that I no longer have iPhoto, and the "Photos" area where all of my pictures are now going doesn't seem to want to let me attach photos to emails, nor my blog, without adding several new-to-me steps in the process. I was finally able to share these first two photos from Camp with you today, and have more to come.
(Insert huge, frustrated sigh here.)
Couple this with the last three weeks being busier than I can remember, including my weekend comprised of an out-of-town mini-vacation trip to see family, friends, and fun, and an early flight home yesterday. This was followed by a late afternoon wedding for a sweet friend at my grown up girl job, after unpacking and getting the laundry done, so I could be ready for the work week.
(Does this all sound exhausting?)
(It was. But oh-so-fun!)
I plan to get things all caught up this week, fingers crossed.
In the midst of all of my planning, and a busy time at my grown up girl job as well, my beloved MAC Book has decided to have some health problems, which is one of the reasons my posts have been spotty this past week, and now. Hopefully help is on the way, in the form of an IT guru friend, and I will be back to posting soon. (Like tomorrow!)
More Camp details to come....
A guy who buys you flowers, and jewelry, and expensive bottles of wine is nice, but give me the guy who picks up a couple of Almond Joys while he's in the grocery, and pops 'em in the freezer for a treat later on a hot summer's night, and then assembles the 16 by 9 foot tent he got you a while back for Camp Cupcake, (when neither one of us has assembled a tent in more than two decades,but you convinced him that was an integral part of the event, and his hay fever is outta control while he assembles the a fore mentioned tent..)
Yeah, I'll keep that guy.
I opened my latest issue of Romantic Homes magazine (One of my two subscriptions I still maintain as a quality of life thing. Pinterest is good, but I love me a good paper home decor magazine to take me away to Traceyville.) and right here, on page nine was an ad for Halloween decorations.
I am trying my very best to live in the here and now, and embrace today. Is it asking too much to enjoy summer (if it ever does arrive this year in the Pacific Northwest.) with all of it's seasonal pleasures before we lurch ahead to autumn?
Don't get me wrong, Autumn is my most favorite of the seasons, especially here in this part of the country, but I am still encouraging my hydrangeas to grow, and have yet to throw my flip-flops-and-lemon-drops girls night in that is fully planned in my head. I'm enjoying the longer days, and the crisp cotton sheets on my bed.
Could we just wait until the end of August to start busting out the crows, and the pumpkins? (Although, now that I am looking at my little crow that never made it back in the rubbermade tub after last Halloween, I am feeling kind of excited to make more teeny tiny hats and such...I wonder when those little crows will be back on the shelves at the dollar store?)
On false eyelashes, specifically.
You might be wondering why a woman waits until she is closing in on sixty to try false eyelashes. Well, I am not entirely sure, as I have considered them in the past, and actually even purchased some once, after a very pretty young Sephora salesgirl wearing false eyelashes told me not to waste my money on spendy lashes, but to get them at Walmart. I scampered directly over to Walmart as soon as I left Sephora, and then proceeded to wait for the "right" time to try them out. As we all know, the "right" time never comes for anything in life, and time passed without me ever trying them out, and finally I tossed them in the bathroom wastebasket during one of my what-the-heck-was-I-thinking-buying-these?! moments.
I later tried (and had an epic failure) the individual lashes put on by a professional, because my daughter had done it,and they. looked. aah-mazing. on. her. They failed for several reasons. First of all, they were quite spendy. (Seriously, the price took my breath away momentarily.) Second, no one, and I mean no one, noticed my longer lashes for some reason. Lastly, the permanent glue bugged my eyeballs, and they watered non-stop, so that a week later I was down to about 6 long lashes, total, between two eyes.
I took this as a sign from God that I was not meant to have the professionally installed (Applied?) lashes.
Time passed, and the momentary need for full, long, lush lashes was a distant memory, until two days before my recent vacation to Hawaii, when I was in Old Navy, and everything in the store was half off, because they were closing. There, by the registers, in the buy-this-stuff-on-an-impulse section, were little false eyelash kits, including lashes and glue. I grabbed two kits, thinking this might be a fun (if only to look back later and laugh at) moment (and memory) for my best-friend-since-fifth-grade and I to do one evening after dinner and cocktails.
(I realize the absurdity of my idea now, as I typed it out, but it sounded like an incredibly fun girlfriend-moment at the time.)
When I presented my let's-make-a-memory moment to my bestie, she laughed and informed me that she had skimpy lashes, and in fact stated that she thought she had five lashes total, and she was not about to risk losing any of the five to an eyelash-glue-gone-wrong incident, but assured me that I was free to have at it.
Game on, sista.
As I attempted to follow the directions on the glue package, I remembered just how bad my eyesight is these days.
(Oh the joys of becoming a more mature woman.)
I also realized at this moment that to do this job properly, I would need (desperately) my 9X magnifier mirror that I use each day at home to put on my make up. (And, it was back at home, on the mainland.)
Undaunted, I was determined to forge ahead, with my friend helping me much like a kid in the swimming pool playing Marco Polo. ( Higher..higher...to the left... a little more...to the right...oh, Gawd, no!....way off.....) followed by a burst of uncontrollable laughter.
(Okay, even I am laughing at the ridiculousness of this now.)
Finally, I threw away the two crumpled, unsalvageable lashes, slapped on some mascara, and went on about vacationing, focusing on much more important things, like hula pie.
Yesterday, when I was organizing some of my cosmetics, I spied with my little short-eye-lashed-eyes, the remaining pieces of the Old Navy eyelash kits. I was home alone, with my 9X mirror (conveniently located right there by my arsenal of make up) and thought it might be the perfect time for an encore attempt in the privacy of my own home.
Some twenty five minutes and one empty glue container later, I had manged to totally ruin one false eyelash, (I had decided trimming it with scissors might help at one point....it didn't.) and I had no eyeshadow left on my right eye.
That brings me to today's post, and the advice I am seeking.
I googled up False Eyelash Tips on Pinterest, and I found some pretty good looking tutorials on there. (Why didn't I do that before wasting nearly a half hour of my life today that I will never get back?)
Have you tried false eyelashes? If so, did you master them in a reasonable amount of time? Are they worth the spike in my blood pressure? Am I too old a dog to learn this new-to-me trick? I would most seriously love your two cents (even if it is to tell me to simply step away from the eyelash glue.) on this girl talk topic.
Pretty please, help a girl out here.
(We will return to more regular-type blog posting tomorrow.)
...or should I say re-doing?
So, I shared an idea back a couple of weeks ago on printing photos in engineered print mode from Staples. (Right here. Remember?)
Well, more than a couple of you asked if the child in the photo was a family member (Sadly, no.) and a couple more got really excited, saying they had actual family photos with American flags in them, and they were going to dig them out and copy the idea.
That's pretty awesome.
Then, my Rock n' Roll Buddy noticed the picture (three full days after it had been placed on the mantle.) and he asked if it was a family member. I said no, to which he replied, "Awe, too bad. That would have been so cool."
I thanked him for taking the zippity-doo-da out of my idea and we both chuckled. Later, when I repeated the story to my middle daughter, she cut me off before the zippity-doo-da part and interjected, "Yeah, you do. The year you dressed Lindsey as the statue of Liberty for the neighborhood 4th of July parade and block party, and she rode in the back of the Rich's convertible."
I had forgotten that fun photo worthy event, way back some thirty years ago. (I think I was so focused on the idea of "old" pictures being from way back before color photos came along....) My heart started to palpate as I remembered doing up the page in the family photo album (Oh yeah, way, way back, before digital. Using the old-school method of photography and scrapbooking.)
(And, before Pinterest, I might add. We had to actually come up with our own ideas back then, with no outside help.)
I couldn't wait to open the photo album to find the page I needed. After about 26 seconds, I found it.
Even better than I had remembered, I snapped pictures of the photos in the album with my phone, and before you could say God Bless America, I was uploading photos to Staples online.
An hour later, my prints were ready for pick up.
My Gawd, I love technology, even if I don't quite understand it.
I ended up ordering the solo shot of my first born in an 18 by 24 to go along side the big print on my mantle, and then later decided it was just too much going on. (It was a hard decision, as it was most certainly the cutest danged photo the statue of Liberty ever took, even if it kinda does look like she is headed to her first toga party, and her eyes are closed.) I'm giving it to my daughter to showcase in her home instead.
I know the first photo of the little guy with oversized dynamite was cute, but this one makes my heart well up, and my eyes overflow with happy little salty tears, remembering those precious days...those days that people tell you you are going to miss, and you don't believe them because you just want those children to stop bickering, and eat their broccoli.
I'll tell you what. Those people were right. And I'm glad I have those photos to bring back those times for me.
While motor home camping last weekend, our friends were bidding online on some items at an auction going on in Portland, and before I knew it, I was looking through the online catalogue of items. It ranged from large pieces of furniture, to piles of Tupperware, and everything in between. Within fifteen minutes I had bid on four items.
I bid on a box of tarnished silver trays, a small dresser, an antique white iron twin bed, and an old rusted cash register, and a half hour after bidding, I rationalized in my mind that if I won them all, I could sell the items in my booth space.
Several hours later, we checked online to see the auction results. I had won the twin bed, and the cash register. My friends wondered what I might do with the cash register. I explained, with much enthusiasm, that I would use it as a cash drawer at the upcoming Camas Vintage and Art Fair at the end of August, and any and all other fairs I entered from this day forward. 'Oh, how fabulous it will be!" I boasted. Unique, and vintage, and practical at the same time.
My friends saw my vision. (Or at least humored me into believing they did.)
Sunday came, and we all stopped on our way home to pick up our auction winnings. (There were three of us bidding, and we all won something.) The twin bed was even more adorable than pictured. I was very nearly walking on air schlepping it out to the motor home, and carefully laid the headboard and footboard on top of the bed in the motor home.
My Rock n' Roll Buddy and his brother in law wheeled the cash register out on some sort of wheeled dolly, and by the time I got to get a decent look at it, they were both red faced from lifting it off the dolly and into a trunk compartment down low on the motor home.
It easily weighs well over a hundred pounds.
It never once crossed my mind it might be...heavy.
This would never do. How could I schlepp it around to shows, and lift it up on to the top of a tall dresser as a cash wrap station? If I wanted to sell it in my booth, how would I ever lift it out of my car? I decided once we arrived back at my home that we would get it into my wheelbarrow and I would post it on craigslist. It wasn't at all what I wanted to do, because once we got it into the wheelbarrow, I could see just how awesome it was. The drawer pops open and there's a sweet little marble slab area to set change or whatever.
I learned a big lesson here, and that is to really and truly take into account the measurements, and the weight of items when you are considering purchasing them, and shopping online is not without it's own risks and challenges.
That being said, I desperately want an old upright piano for my covered patio (oh! The vision I have in my mind for it!) and I am now reconsidering the weight (...and researching how to remove the innards of such a monstrous piece of furniture. It can be done.) to see if it is actually a realistic plan.
(I still think I'll go for it.)
First, I experience the glorious anticipation of the vacation getaway, followed by the actual trip, and then, somehow (always much faster than expected) it is over, and it's get back to the real world of setting the alarm on my iphone to wake me ay 5:30 in the morning, and laundry, and watching bad television. (The Bachelorette is my current bad-TV guilty pleasure.)
(Don't judge me.)
I always find myself caught in an odd state of turmoil as my vacation adventure comes to an end; where I am so incredibly sad for the fun to be over, while being filled with huge wave of homesickness at the very same moment, longing excitedly to return to the comfort of my little cottage. (To be clear, that is not to be confused with a burning desire to get back to daily activities like work, and errands, and chores, but rather just the familiar and cozy haven of home.)
(Do you feel that way after being on holiday?)
(Insert long, contented sigh here.)
It was a lovely, wonderful, fabulous, restful, fun trip, and I will treasure the memories for a long time to come.
Life is so good.
So, here's a fun little twist to our Maui girl-time vacation, with an emphasis on girl-time.
After the bonus vacation pit-stop at Stanford Hospital, we arrived in Maui on Saturday, got settled in at the hotel and spent the day sipping grown up drinks in the sun, while people watching and enjoying lots of girl-talk.
As we finished dinner, we discovered that we both had messages on our phones via text and Facebook from two additional high school girlfriends. They were also on Maui, vacationing with family!(They had seen my blog posts about the vacation and trip to ER posted on Facebook, and realized we must all be there at the same time.)
It turned out they were dining just two blocks away from other restaurant where we were dining, and so we skedaddled right on over to say aloha. (I know! Crazy, incredibly small world, right?!) We also discovered our hotels were in walking distance of one another, so we decided to meet up to walk the path by the beach together in the morning.
We've had a fabulous time, catching up with one another each day here in paradise.
I know i have said this before, but I just have to say it one more time...God bless the world wide web.
We will be departing for the island tomorrow morning (Saturday) as we spent all of Thursday night enjoying the plush surroundings of Stanford Hospital's ER Room, which actually includes a huge triage tent, and boasts a very strong "M*A*S*H*" style resemblance during their major remodel.
I'll keep this short, and spare you the details, as much of what went on was not for the faint of heart, nor the squeamish, nor is it the kind of thing steak lovers want to hear happens. It turned out, after many long hours, tests, and x-rays, that I had some steak from dinner out with my Dad, stuck in my esophagus.
And it wasn't going to move down to my stomach on it's own.
After a not-so-pleasant procedure that is now thankfully a really foggy memory for me, the steak bites are gone and I am back in the business of getting ready to vacation.
Note to self: Cut your food bites small, and chew your food about 25 times before you swallow.
Today's blog post is courtesy of the United States news media, that guy who was head of security with the TSA, and the fabulous Portland International Airport.
You know, the national news has been focusing on the hideous long lines for security and how folks are missing flights all over America (particularly Chicago it seems) and how it's affecting life for airline travelers in general. I'm heading out today (yay!!) on vacation, and I wanted to be sure I was at the airport early enough to avoid any of the unpleasantness the news had shared, even though I typically am given the TSA Pre-check approval and get to fast track through there. (I am guessing it is a combination of the fact that I fly fairly often, and only domestic flights, and I am rapidly approaching the 60 year mark, so it stands to reason that I have got to be considered a low risk to be a terrorist.)
My Rock n' Roll Buddy dropped me off a comfortable three and a half hours before flight time. (It may seem extreme, but from the news reports,and the fact that dropping me was on his direct path to his work, where he needs to be by 8:30, determined that my arriving at about 8:10 worked out for everyone involved.) When I checked my bag, and was given a fresh boarding pass by the skycap, and sure enough, it was the TSA Pre-check approved.
I waltzed through the airport, and since I was so early, I browsed through a few shops. (If you ever are in Portland, and at the airport in particular, you may want to arrive a half hour early to shop. We've got Powell's Books, and a pretty awesome shoe store.) I headed for the security check, and there it was.
The looming line I had heard so much about.
Only, this was the TSA Pre-check line. (Apparently the newest thing is to pay eighty-five bucks or so and get yourself pre-screened-for-five-years-in-advance, and very nearly everyone had done it.
Twice as long as the take-off-your-shoes-Target-necklace-earrings-and-worry-that-your-underwire-bra-might-set-things-off line.
It turned out that even though the TSA Pre-check line was so long, it moved fairly quickly, and I was waiting at my gate two hours and fifty five minutes before take off.
I had time for a sausage biscuit from the airport Mickey-D's.
And, I was able to write this post.
Where am I off to? You may have noticed a countdown calendar on my sidebar over there. I'm off to spend a few days with my oldest-dearest-bestest-friend-since-fifth-grade on the sunny island of Maui, (remember two summers ago when I went with her to Kauai?) with a bonus day prior to that visiting with my Dad and stepmom in the bay area.
I'll be posting while I'm vacationing, 'coz writing is one of the things I have missed so much these past few months, as life has been busier than ever, and I have ever so much to share!
Actually, I had my eye on them for quite some time, but they were spendy.
Then, out-of-the-blue, Pinterest alerted me that they had been reduced in price.
(Seriously reduced. Like, very-nearly-almost-half-off reduced.)
God bless Pinterest.
And so, seeing the newly reduced pricing, I rationalized just how versatile these classic black and white wedge sandals were. I could wear them to work, and out and about, and I would feel all kinds of sassy and fabulous in them, which would make my day awesome, and everyone else's day awesome too.
(Okay, I may have been pushing things there, but I was completely certain they would change my life.)
Even the packaging was sassy and fabulous. See?
And then, those shoes. What's not to love?
(Oh, I was imagining the possibilities, all right.)
Like I said. Life changing.
...and in this instance, it was in the Ladies Room at the Brush Prairie Bar and Grill.
We stopped in for a burger after taking a car ride, enjoying the hotter than normal weather, and having taken one of the old classic cars to a botanical garden for an engagement photo shoot with a darling young couple.(But that's another blog post...)
While waiting for our order, I headed for the ladies room, and I was surprised to find this giant wall of art (five or six feet wide, maybe?) as I walked in.
(Well, you knew I would just have to get a picture of it, right?)
(Thankfully I was alone in there, although nothing would have stopped me from snapping a picture.)
The entire back wall of the restroom was covered in galvanized metal sheeting, and then the artwork was attached to it.
(And, in the Ladies Room, no less.)
I googled the place once I got home, and it turns out that this fabulous sentiment-turned-wall-art is not only a great one-liner, but the business's tag line.
Gotta love that.
I love making little handmade things more than biscuits and gravy, but sometimes I can get so engulfed in what I am creating, that I lose track of time, and am not quite happy with what I am making until I have the colors just exactly right. Consequently, I will come up with ever so slightly changed fonts, or color-ways, and I am compelled to reprint a sample, only then to discover a typo, or the shade of blue I was after has taken a turn towards purple and I need to print again.
While this is going on, the little tiny wheels in my head are usually coming up with additional ideas that I am too excited to wait until an appropriate time tomorrow to try out, and I start a second project then as well. (Right about the time this occurs, I usually glance at the clock on my computer, only to discover it is already tomorrow, and I have to get up at 5:00 a.m. for work. (Inset an audible shriek here, followed by a fairly long sigh.)
At this point, I am far too excited about my projects to just stop and go to bed, so I go ahead and work until I feel like I can see, at least in some sort of vague way, a glimmer of how the finished product is going to look. Only then do I finally feel sleepy enough to call it a night.
I hugely regret all of this when my phone alarm goes off with that annoying tune at o'dark thirty, and I then proceed to startle myself when I lock eyeballs with that incredibly haggered looking woman in the bathroom mirror while brushing my teeth.
I vow to myself not do this again on a week night, but then I see my latest and greatest mess work-in-progress, still strewn all over my dining room table, and that inspired feeling returns. I remember that life is short. Sleep seems over rated (...in that moment, at any rate.) and I only live once, so if occasionally crafting into the night...er..early morning is wrong, I don't want to be right.
(Please. Tell me you've done this, or something similar, at least one time yourself.)
But, it didn't happen that way.
Life has been oh, so busy of late, and my grown up girl job has taken on a life of it's own lately. (Not making excuses, just stating the facts.)
The good news is that while I have missed a ridiculous number of blog posts, I have at least been taking photos of the busy-ness going on in my life, and I am going to share the fun highlights here!
First off, there was this- My absolute bestie at my grown up job got engaged a good while back. (remember?) And as the big day approaches, there are lots of showers and such in the works for her. I made her invites for one of her showers, and oh, my! It was so much fun!
Her colors are ivory, blush and gold, which is what I chose to go with on her invites. (Check out the cute wording on her invites, as well.)
In the meantime, my hairstylist got engaged and I knew that this called for her own bride's hanger, which I shared last time I ordered one....
She loved it, and I loved seeing how happy it made her!
Then, totally unrelated, a friend's daughter is engaged, and they needed some bridal shower cupcakes. I was happy to help, and came up with a few of them topped with little champagne glasses, with some bubbly spilling out...
That's just a sliver of what all I have been up to of late. More to come tomorrow!
(You knew I'd find something fun to make sure our motorhomin'-road-trippin'-campsite had some fun touches.)
I knew I wanted to get a pair of these little cuties as soon as Ralph got his motorhome, and surprisingly, once I decided to get them, I started seeing them everywhere online. Some of them are more creatively painted, and some without any yellow touches, and there were quite a few different shades of pink out there as well.
I ended up finding mine at World Market, and once I got them home, I decided to google up the history of the pink flamingo yard ornament. It turns out that back in 1957, a sculptor named Don Featherstone was hired by a Minnesota plastics company to create three dimensional lawn ornaments, and the pink flamingo was his second assignment. Being in Minnesota, he had never even laid eyes on a flamingo, and he had to use a National Geographic book to study photos of the long necked birds. Selling for less than three dollars a pair, they were an instant hit, winning America's hearts, and lawns.
As the 1960's progressed, America began to like more...well...natural looking yard decor, and for a while the pink flamingo yard art fell from grace. It has come back in a big way, with so many of us (me included.) loving the cool retro vibe.
My own personal relationship with pink flamingos goes back to the late 80's, when we moved our young family to the biggest little city from northern California. We bought our first home in a neighborhood of other young families, and long story getting longer, my then-husband purchased a single pink flamingo on a trip to the nearby ShopKo store. He brought it home, and during the warm spring and summer evenings, the flamingo would be there, stuck in someone's lawn, and then the entire neighborhood would know that this would be where we would gather that evening to visit and watch the kids play. As the Dad's were arriving home from work, that hot pink bird would appear on a lawn, and we'd all end up meandering to that house. At the end of the evening, someone would grab it and take it home, to place it in their yard the next evening. It's one of my fondest memories of that time of my life, raising our kids in what felt like small town America after living all my life in the crowded bay area.
I can hardly wait to go camping again, and break those sweet birds out of their box, and plop them into the dirt in our campsite, adding some cheerful whimsey.
God bless you, Don Featherstone.
I'm a little carried away.
Over the top.
But, that's kinda who I am, you know?
I'm already planning and list-making, and merit patch-buying for this summer's Camp Cupcake, and since I've picked the weekend in the summer to hold it, I'm getting ready to send out the save-the-dates.
I found these solar powered fire-fly mason jars that exude "camp-out" to me. (What do you think?)
I added homemade tags, and I think I might add some feather embellishments, and they will be good to go in the mail and in-person delivery next week.
It's going to be so much fun!
My Rock n' Roll Buddy was having an extra stressful day, and he was set to arrive at my cottage before I arrived home from a play. Before I left, I whipped up some fun little signs to direct him in through the back door when he arrived.... (Please ignore my ghetto-style scotch tape job. It was raining cats and dogs all day, and with all the moisture I was afraid a little dab of tape on the back of the card wouldn't be strong enough to stay put.)
Then, the door from the laundry room to the kitchen gave him further direction...
...and there, complete with plate, napkin and fork, was his favorite dessert, waiting for him on a sweet little pedestal tray...
I know. Pie can't work miracles.
But it can show somebody that even on dark days, there is still be a little light, and things are gonna be alright.
Did I tell you I am going to Hawaii for holiday at the end of May? In all of my carrying on about getting a grand-babes, the holidays, and now, my booth space back at Camas Antiques, I don't think I did.
Well, I am. I'm going to Maui with my best friend since fifth grade in eighty days. (But who's counting?)
(I can barely stand the weight for this encore trip.)
We've been planning our return trip to Hawaii for some time now (early last fall) and we're both doing all the things girls do in anticipation of any vacation involving fun in the sun.
Mmm hmm. We've both been working on getting our non-swimsuit bodies ready for unveiling on the white sandy beach (And pool-side) of the fabulous Kaanapali coast. **Spoiler alert here** Losing weight is definitely torturous nearly impossible slightly more challenging as you get to be ...ehem....less young.
And while we're on the topic of girls of a certain age gearing up for vacations, when did I develop "crepe-y"arm skin? No one warned me about that. (Yikes! It's concerning...depressing even, and after researching it on google, Dr. Oz, and Wikipedia, it seems there isn't anything I can really do about it. (Thank God people will be looking past me at the sweet twenty something girl sitting on the lounge chair a row behind me by the pool, and so they won't even notice, am I right?)
Anyway, now that we're officially in the final countdown (Less than three months out now.) I've begun my packing list, and have started my shopping list for important things needed for the trip. In exactly the same way that magazines come out pushing and talking about the next season, it's equally crazy how early the stores put out swimsuits isn't it? I feel like if I don't grab a cute swimsuit cover now, they will be long gone in May when I actually need it. Come July they'll begin showcasing the 2016 winter coats and jackets. It makes me nuts. (Probably because I am for the most part, a deadline-wait-until-the-event-is-upon-me kind of girl.)
I know these next eighty days are going to fly by, (F-L-Y by, I tell you!) and I'm doing my best to be more healthy, and organized this year, so you might see me doing a few more vacation-planning-shoe-and-swimsuit-cover related posts, as those eighty days shrink down. Aloha!
Can you guess what it is?
Neither could I.
That's not true.
I knew what I had ordered, with my two day free shipping order from Amazon Prime.
Yeah, I am all about getting my full value on my Amazon Prime membership, you know, with the free shipping. I mean, with shipping and mailing costs through the roof these day, is that amazing, or what? (Seriously, I mailed my grand babes two dollar store Valentine presents, and the postage was $7.75. How ridiculous is that?)
Back to my story.
What I had ordered was a ten inch thick memory foam queen size RV mattress, and, naturally, I was anticipating a very large mattress in a bag or giant mattress sized box. I worked from home in the afternoon to be there for the big delivery. There was a knock on my door, and I eagerly scampered to answer it.
An unusual shaped box was waiting for me in the driveway.
Unusual in a this-cannot-possibly-be-a-queen-sized-mattress kind of way.
It looked more like a box that a golf bag would arrive in. I hollered a rather confused thank you to my UPS guy, who then announced, "Man, that is one heavy box!"
I replied, "Um....I'm a little concerned. It is supposed to be a mattress."
"Yeah, super heavy."
"I mean a queen sized real mattress."
"Well, it was sure heavy!"
And off he went.
I walked around the box and studied it more closely. It was labeled that it was indeed a mattress. Should I open it? I was suddenly envisioning myself slicing that box open with my handy-dandy steak knife (That is my go-to tool of choice for opening anything, or for tightening screws on things.) and the pressure of a rolled up giant ten inch thick queen size mattress springing open, pinning me against my old blue truck, like something out of an episode of I Love Lucy.
If I were lucky enough to survive that, and the mattress turned out to be funky, or weird, or whatever, (How could it be anything but funky, all rolled up in that small box?) how would I ever manage to box it up to return it?
I left the box and hurried in to see if I might call the Amazon folks. First, I confirmed I had indeed ordered the mattress I wanted. Yep. I read questions and comments and not one single person mentioned their mattress arriving in an unusual cylinder shaped box.
Then, I looked for a customer service phone number. Do you know that there doesn't seem to be a phone number on the Amazon site? Nope. Just specific "Help" questions, and surprisingly, none of them are "How do you return a mattress?" or "How are your mattresses packaged?"
I decided to be brave and cut the box open. I laid out a quilt, to catch it before it touched the ground, if it did indeed explode upon opening the box. I carefully cut the tape everywhere I saw it along the side of the box. Sure enough, it popped open.
I held my breath.
There it was.
A vacuum bagged and sealed mattress, rolled up tighter than a California spring roll. I thought about it for about a nano-second, and decided to wait for help before slicing into this next bag. Shortly thereafter, my Ralph arrived, and we both studied the bag a bit more.
We decided to take it into the motor home still coiled up in it's vacuum sealed bag.
It was heavy.
We got it to the bed platform, and then carefully sliced it open. To my surprise, it didn't explode open and start puffing up like Pillsbury dough. In fact, we had to unroll it, but once we did it slowly began to relax and rise. We left it there for a couple of hours, and when we went back to check on it, sure enough, it was about ten inches tall.
(Thank you, Jesus. I wasn't going to have to figure out how to package and return this thing.)
It came with a 30 year limited warranty, (I am not sure what those limitations are just yet.) so I am feeling pretty confident that this is going to work out just fine.
I'll let you know once I have the fresh bedding on it and we see how comfortable it is.
We are having a beautiful sunny spell happening here in the Pacific Northwest, and it has brought on a severe case of spring fever in me. I was at Homegoods and I spotted all of the spring and Ester decor and linens.
Well, before I knew it, I had surprised myself with a little springtime placemat and napkins present.
And some coordinating dish towels.
In my favorite robins egg blue. (Or do you call that Aqua? Turquoise? I just know I love it madly.)
These few linens have inspired me to rush about my cottage foofifying things up for spring.
(Do you do that? Have an inspiration piece, or moment?)
I'll just say this; it's a small price to pay for getting my patootie in gear with spring cleaning.
It's kind of like one of those "If you give a moose a muffin" situations. We've been talking about places we want to see, and starting to slowly put together some ideas for a road trip to Texas. One thing lead to another, and then, rather out of the blue, my Rock n' Roll Buddy was shopping online for a used motor home.
And, it turns out that there are a lot of them out there.
This was uncharted water for us.
Some were too spendy.
Some were too big.
Some were too...carpeted. (If you can imagine that.)
And then...we found one that was not too spendy, an not too big, (but way, way, plenty big for us.) and it had just the right amount of carpet.
It's sitting along the far side of my driveway for now, (All 33 feet of it.) and we're checking things out, and getting comfortable with it. (As my contribution, I've ordered some neutral bedding that I cannot wait to share with you as soon as it arrives!)
Watch out America, we're gonna be on the open road here pretty soon.
Still on the topic of road trips today....One road trip in particular has me hoping some of you can shed some much needed light on, is the Round Top Antiques Show, and or the Marburger Antique Show in Round Top Texas. (Are they one in the same, or are they two different shows?) I've always heard Round Top and Marburger are the big ones. The ones that started them all. The grand-mommy's of vintage shows. The grand Poobah's...am I right? (Again, are they two separate shows, or is Marberger at the Roundtop Antique Show?)
I need to know.
Some (but not all) of the burning questions are:
It looks like it happens twice a year- in late March and at the end of September. Is one better than the other, or are they pretty much both equally amazing? I've read that "They span over a fifteen-day period with approx. 60 shows on an eleven-mile stretch of Hwy 237 in Round Top with smaller shows in neighboring towns."
Are the other shows going on in neighboring towns at the same time a must-see as well? I saw them being listed as "Antique Weekend", or are those shows totally separate? Are those other shows a "Must See?" too?
How many actual days are needed to shop Round Top?
I'd love to hear any and all input from those of you who have attended these events!
My head says think football, but my heart says Valentine.
I'm struggling to find my Superbowl party mojo this year for some reason.
Maybe it's because I'm not invested in either team in the Superbowl this year, (I love Cam Newton's amazing smile and killer skills, but I respect Peyton Manning's career history, so it's a toss up.) or maybe it's because the big game is only one short week in front of Valentine's Day, (How id that happen? They need to be further apart!) and I have been more than a little preoccupied with some plans in the works for that.
(I'm planning something incredibly clever for Valentine's Day...stay tuned!)
Regardless, I am forcing myself to put my Valentine's projects on hold until Monday, and refocusing on this weekend's plans. We've decided on a nacho and taco bar, with all of the toppings we could think of (I originally wanted to do a mashed potato bar, but changed my mind last week.) for our halftime menu. I could eat Mexican food seven days a week, so I am especially looking forward to this year's party food!
(The food has my attention, but the decorations...notsomuch.)
(Did I mention I'm working on something pretty danged creative for Valentine's Day??)
I dug out my little AstroTurf runner, and my penalty flags, but I'm not too sure there will be too much more in party decor, as we are not holding the party at my house. (That in itself alleviates a lot of pressure to handle every detail.)
How about you? Will you be watching the game, or is it just another Sunday for you? Will you be watching those crazy commercials, or will you be at the mall, or the movie theater?
I'll be with friends, eating tacos, and obsessing thinking about my tablescape for the following Sunday.