The baby shower theme was "Mama-to-Bee" which you might remember from my daughter's own baby shower, and from the Bingo game a couple of weeks back. (Some of these are already in my etsy shoppe, and the rest will be there very soon!)
Speaking of etsy, I popped over to etsy and found the perfect little cookie cutter here.
In the end, I didn't make any of the bumble bees, but opted instead to make little pale pink frosted hearts.
There were other yummy treats as well. Mini cinnamon rolls, just-right sized yogurt, fruit and grannola parfaits, and lemonade in the bee skeep beverage server.
It all made for a darling display, and a yummy spread, and it has inspired me to get back into baking this summer, when fresh fruits abound, and my creative juices are flowing.
You might remember that a couple of summers ago I helped with a Mama-to-bee themed baby shower for one of my daughters.
Now that very same daughter is hosting a baby shower with the Bee theme for a girlfriend and has asked for my help.
(You know she didn't even get her request out before I jumped on it.)
We still had the sweet little Mama-to-Bee banner and the beverage server, so I decided to add on to the Bee theme with a cute version of Bingo.
I designed the Bingo cards to be blank, and each guest will have a pencil to write in their words of choice. The idea is that, as the Mama-to-Bee opens her presents, each guest will mark off (or cover with an M & M) items they wrote down on their card. If they have written a word more than once, they may only cover up or mark off the wprd once for each time the item is received.
I am in my happiest when I am creating, and this latest baby shower has got my head spinning.
Stay tuned for me bee-utiful items!
He would almost rather read his books than play with his bulldozers and diggers, and cars.
His Mama takes him to the wonderful library here in Vancouver, Washington, and he loves every minute of it.
He can't wait to go through each new book, page by page. (over and over, and over, again.
Mark Twain was right when he said, a good book is a good friend.
Way back in the summer of twenty-ten, I found part of an old headboard at the Goodwill Bins Outlet, and I just knew it would make a fabulous sign for me to use when I did Junk Shows.
I took it home and dolled it up. It was perfect for what I needed it to be at that point in time.
Time passed,and I haven't done a show in about three years. (How can that be?! Oooooh! That makes me rather miss doing shows....)
Sometime long ago, a year ago last February or March at least, an idea came to me. I would reinvent the sign to be something for my Rock n' Roll Buddy to have hanging above his big ol' barbecue on the back deck.
Maybe for Father's Day, 2013.
So I designed a cute banner to transfer to the board, using my cheesy PrintShop Program that I always use.
I was feeling pretty danged proud of my cleverness and creativity, and my incredible foresight to reinvent a portion of an old headboard not once, but twice.
I painted a coat of white paint over my "A Cottage Industry" logo.
Oh yeah, feelin' proud.
And then, a year went by.
And then, about three more months passed.
And the old portion of headboard sat there, patiently waiting for me to complete it's transformation.
And it sat there some more.
Father's Day was approaching, (again) and since he is a Dad, I thought I would go ahead and (finally) complete the clever sign for him (and for me, and all of our summertime barbecue guests) to enjoy.
So I got out the old portion of a headboard-turned-sign, and I printed my homemade banner pattern. I painted it on there, and within an hour, my work was done.
I think it turned out just right. (And I am feeling extra proud because it was free!) I just can't figure out....Why did it take me so long to get it done? (Do you do that? Get a project just far enough to almost see it's vision, and get sidetracked?)
I made a cutie-patootie tag and tied on there with a big ol' bow. I propped it up, just so, on the sofa, so when he came out on Father's Day morning early (we were heading out to a Mariner's Game) he couldn't miss it.
He liked it.
He commented later that he realized this new sign must mean that we would be entertaining more this summer.
Great minds think alike, and all that.....I can almost smell the grill now.
I know I have said this more than once, but life these days (for me, anyway) seems to be so busy, and so full, and it seems that there never are enough hours in the day to fit in everything I want to do.
In lots of ways, that is a good thing. To me it means I'm living life to its fullest, every day of my life.
(I keep telling my Rock n' Roll Buddy that sleep is over-rated.)
I've been working, little by little, on carving out a bigger sliver of time to focus on my crafty side; my booth case at Camas Antiques, and my etsy shop.
It's my own personal regroup and rejuvenate thing when I get through a full day at my grown-up job. While I enjoy what I do all day, there is little-to-no room for creativity within my job, and I have realized that I need that in my life.
It's not simply something I like to do. It is much more than that. When I can sit at my laptop or my table in my craft room, and create something, I feel happy and inspired. I feel re-energized in a way that I can't fully express in written words.
Even after a bad day at work.
So, I'm expanding my crafty-horizons, and opening a new door for myself to create some extra special entertaining and packaging items.
(And since we all know just how much I love to entertain, even if it's just the two of us having a sofa picnic on a Tuesday night, the possibilities are endless...)
I am refreshing the look of my etsy shop, and will be including a new section to the roster. Instead of offering only Printables, I am now going to be offering themed and custom hard copy paper goods. (shipped directly from me in sweet lil' Camas, Washington)
If you stop by Camas Antiques this weekend (there is going to be a sidewalk sale!) you'll see more of my new papercraft ideas. You know I like to make every day special, and now I will be going further than ever to help inspire others to do the same.
That makes me happy too.
It's a win-win, don't you think?
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I have been meaning to share the incredibly fabulous wooden placemats my daughter made for Christmas. (We do a family secret Santa sort of gift swap, and I got them!)
She's quite the carpenter, and she said these were a snap to make. She simply cut two pieces of wood, and then glued them together with wood glue. (We saw the idea somewhere through Pinterest)
Then, if you like, you may use rubber stamps to put initials, or a fun word. I am planning on doing the word "eat".
(I will be sure and show them once I get them stamped.)
The great thing is that you can do a fun word on one side, and leave it plain on the other, so you have options.
You like this idea?
(I am so very, very blessed!)
I managed to snap a few pictures of our newest family member last time I was at his home. (The natural lighting in their home is the best!)
He's a week shy of three months, and he's smiling, and cooing, and oh! He's discovered his hands...(he's gonna be a chatterbox like his big brother, I think.)
I plopped him down on the bed, and started talking to him, and he was trying his very best to talk back to me.
We had a moment, he and I.
Heaven on earth, for sure.
Here's my favorite photo of the day....
It's so good to be Gramma Cupcake.
That little counter on the sidebar over there? The one that reads "Countdown to KAUAI...ALOHA"?
It seems that 2014 is going to be my year of travel.
Hawaii is my next travel destination.
I get to go to Kauai in late July with my best friend since 5th grade. Long days of sun, sand, girl-talk, and little umbrellas in our drinks.
I'm counting the days (as you can see by the counter over there on the sidebar...) and I am working on some fun little projects and surprises, for my gal-pal and for my Rock n' Roll Buddy for while I am away.
(You know how I love a project...and a deadline.)
I can hardly wait!
I only just found out yesterday myself when a coworker at work alerted the team.
He's bringing in donuts from Portland's world famous Voodoo Donuts and was taking requests.
I said no thanks.
But thankyouverymuch anyway.
I mean, I couldn't.
No, really, I can't.
(I'm doing so well with my healthy eating, you know?)
It wouldn't be smart.
He's bringing me a glazed one.
For some reason I didn't see that coming.
We spent a good portion of this past weekend prepping the backyard for summer.
Oh, how I have been craving summer.
My mind wanders to grilled suppers on the deck, flowers in weathered pots, windows open with my favorite peach wax burner scent wafting through the house.
Homemade coconut ice cream.
Where was I?
Oh yes. Prepping the backyard for summer. I got all of the cushions out for the patio furniture, and potted some flowers while my Rcok n' Roll Buddy power washed the deck and the patio firniture frames.
It looked great when we were finished, and we sat on the deck, enjoying the fruits of our labor.
I got my lights swagged from one large tree to the next, and when the sun set, we plugged them in.
Are you craving summer where you live too?
Okay, I may be a teensy bit partial.
But still...how sweet is this photo?!
I know I have told you that my eight wonderful grand-babes all have a cousin within months of them.
And that makes for some pretty precious moments, like this one.
You remember these two, right? They've been hangin' out since...way back when...
Oh my. Time flies.
My camera caught these two cousins taking a little stroll with one of the Daddy's on Saturday, as we were all gathered at T-Ball game.
It makes my heart spill over.
Thanks so very much for all of the valuable input on my truck restoration....the colorway for the reupholstering of the bench seat in particular.(Some of you agreed with the coral, some with the teal, and some of you even added the option of both accent colors!)
I have made a decision!
After much deliberation, I have decided to go with the simple midnight blue and white, without a third color for accent.
And I am completely happy and content with that decision!
While a little slice of my heart wants the pop of color (coral or teal) the (all be it tiny) portion of my brain knows that I am fickle, and I love change, so, going without a definite accent color allows for versatility at the car shows. (and if I am renting my truck for photo shoots and events such as weddings and parties.) This way I can go with pops of coral or teal as I wish, and also go with red for those patriotic times, like the 4th of July, which I am also quite partial to decorating things with. (Jeni, you pretty much sealed the deal for me!)
As for my business logo on the door, I realized after reading your two cents that a permanent painted door would be sweet, but incredibly limiting. After pondering your wise comments, I remembered that I have seen fabulous old trucks with wooden painted signs on the wooden side rails, and so that is what I will do. it will be easily removable, (just un-do a few screws) and I can have my cake and eat it too! Here is an example of the look with a doctored up photo of my last truck (since Old Blue doesn't currently have wooden side rails)
I think..no, I know that I am going to be over the moon with Old Blue when he comes home in a few weeks, and I will be sure to share pictures.
Thanks again for all of the input and ideas.
I shared a while back that my Rock and Rolly Buddy had helped me find a 1952 Chevy Pickup.
(It's my dream car.)
It has been sitting, oh-so-patiently, waiting for me to get the time (and the funds) to do a bit of maintenence, and beutify-ing on it. You know, stuff like getting the gas gauge and the heater to work.
And making the lights on the dashboard light up.
And changing the wipers from being vacuum powered to electric.
(With the amount of rain we get here, that was a gotta-do item on my list.)
We heard about a cool classic car parts store in Portland, and so we took a trip on over there one weekend. I bought a couple of new windows, and a sweet side mirror. (Side mirrors weren't stock items back in the 50's if you can beleive that.)
I ordered a replacement chrome rear bumper to complete the look I was after.
While we were wondering around the parts store, we found a fabulous original hood ornament.
(I knew I needed that too.)
Once I had the parts all saved up, bought and paid for, Old Blue sat a bit longer, while we searched for the right person (or place) to do the work.
That takes a lot of phone calls, and talking to other old car buffs, and looking online.
We ended up choosing a place just over the bridge, near the airport, called Carolina Kustoms. We liked their website. We called and talked to Lonnie. We liked him too.
We took Old Blue down to the shop.
Incredibly cool classic cars and rods in all stages of restoration, and the guys working there are covered in elaboarte body art. It was like something straight out of the Gas Monkey Garage on Fast and Loud on the Discovery Channel.
I knew right then that we had picked the right place.
Since Old Blue will be down there for a few weeks, I started looking into a few other things I want to change up, to make her more...me. I am going to get her seats reupholstered, and here is where I would love to hear your thoughts. I am picturing the bench seat done up in a navy blue, with white up across the top of the back, rather like this....
...and for an added custom touch, I am leaning towards a skinny, coral colored piping line between the white and navy blue.
(Doesn't that sound fun, and girly, and unexpected?)
My Rocker Man thinks navy with teal would be better. Here are the two colorways. Do prefer one over the other, or simply navy blue and white? What do you think?
One more thing I am also debating about is re-doing my "A Cottage Industry" Logo to be white lettering with a ribbon-like coral (or teal) colored banner cascading across it, and putting that on the doors. (Am I making sense here?)
I love old trucks with logos on them....
Do you think my logo on the doors is a good idea, or do you prefer a plain door? I'd really, truly love your thoughts on this!
Well over a year ago we moved our dining room from the small room off the right end of the kitchen to the room on the opposite side of the kitchen, which was formerly the family room.
Little by little, the new dining room has morphed into a very charming room. We added a beautiful crystal chandelier, then the ginormous buffet came along about eight months ago, and finally, about 4 months later, I convinced my Rock and Roll guy to move my antique secretary from the entryway to the dining room.
He was a good sport about that.
Still, something was off. It was the incredibly heavy, dark oak barrel-shaped colonial counter stools. (In my mind, anyway. Ralph on the other hand, is rather fond of them.)
Last week I spied the most spectacular slipcovered stools in a booth at Camas Antiques, just kiddie-corner from my case.
Come to mama.
I struggled with how to approach mister frugality-and-function-over-fashion-and-foofy-ness about my find, because I had been periodically (casually, strategically) mentioning how I thought the old stools were not quite a fit with our newer decor look, and it had always been met with the same answer of "I like these stools."
Finally, after two days of struggling to find my words, I asked him just how married he was to those heavy, dark oak barrel-shaped colonial counter stools.
He got that oh-no-life-as-I-know-it-is-gonna-change-AGAIN-and-it's-gonna-be-hard-to-fight-it looks.
That's when I showed him a picture of the almost-too-cute-for-words stools on my phone.
He pointed out that they were white.
I said they were washable.
He pointed out that they had that fluffy stuff along the bottom edge.
I said they were called ruffles.
It took a few minutes, but I managed to convince him that he would learn to love the slip-covers.
(I told you he's a good sport.)
And so, we drove down and picked them up. It was a win-win, as he had to admit that the new stools were oh-so-comfortable to sit on, and I agreed that we will be keeping the old stools (storing them in our shed) for the back-row seating behind the couch at our annual Superbowl extravaganza.
The killer-find stools look fabulous at the kitchen counter, and they make me smile each time I come into the dining and kitchen area.
Home, sweet home.
(And you thought I was finally through sharing the Ohio trip.)
On our way back to hotel in Fairlawn on the day we went to Canton to the Pro Football Hall of fame, we took an exit to find a snack, and we discovered the sweet little community of Brecksville. Well, of course Ralph obliged me and we took a little drive around town.
We saw some charming homes, and lots of equally charming brick buildings.
(Very Stars Hollow, if you are old enough to remember watching Gilmore Girls.)
(...and you get a warm fuzzy feeling about Lauren Graham as Lorelei Gillmore before she was Sarah Braverman on Parenthood.)
I miss that show.
Oh yes, I was telling you about cozy little Brecksville.
I told Ralph I was pretty sure I could live there when we drove by the park in the center of town,(complete with gazebo...just like in Stars Hollow) and I saw this permanantly installed sign.
If you're ever in the Cleveland-Cantonarea, take an extra half hour and pull off I-77 and take a leisurley drive around. I think you'll be glad you did.
Aaah, our first T-Ball season has arrived here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and that means the opening game was postponed due to rain.
(Which was like a little gift from God to me, because I was out of town, and hated that I was going to miss it.)
A couple of weeks passed and the sun is finally here.
(at least for the time being.)
Okay, back to the big birthday trip.
Oh. You thought I was done?
We experienced every season, weather wise, while in the Cleveland and Canton area. We arrived to sun and a warm afternoon, followed by a sunny, slightly cooler day, then winds, and, finally, we woke up to snow! (I had to check the map, because I really felt like I was back in the biggest little city!)
(That really has nothing to do with this post, but just a little FYI.)
The fourth day of our fieldtrip around Ohio was planned as a Wild Card Day, for Ralph to choose whatever he might like to do, and of course I had provided a list of ideas.
In the end, he chose to go to the Amish Country.
(Squeal! My own personal secret first choice.)
Previously, I had thought the Amish were only in Pennsylvania, but I was wrong. There are several sweet little towns largely populated with Amish and Mennonite families, just outside of the Canton and Akron areas of Ohio.
We first made our way out to Homestead Furniture, an Amish owned and run store that supplies the American Embassies around the world with Amish made wood furniture. We met and chatted with a very nice Amish woman working in the store, and she gave us directions to the Amish and Mennonite visitors Center.
It’s fascinating to me how the ordinary becomes extraordinary when seen through a visitor’s eyes. Case in point, we were en route to the Amish Visitor Center when we saw a grocery store over on our right, and the parking lot was semi full of parked cars……and horse buggies.
An everyday sight to locals, and a snap-your-head-around-for-a-double-take-open-your-mouth-and-gawk moment for the three amigos from the Pacific Northwest. Seriously, we were so busy shouting out to each other in the car, “ohmygosh! There's a buggy! Look! They park like cars do! Wow! Wouldyalookatthat!”.
We stopped in at Der Bake Oven, aMennonite Bakery, (They lured us in with a sign that read "homemade soft serve ice cream.") and, oh my.
Notice the beadboard ceiling, and the cute ladders shelving? So charming.
The menu looked so good that we decided that we needed to stay for a late lunch.
The decor was cottage-farmhouse looking, with board and batten walls and ceilings, linen upholstered chairs, and some pretty creative lighting, and photos of their own baked goods with quotations as artwork. (Did you notice the colander lights above the menu?)
You know I had to take a bajillion pictures.
Loved. It. All.
Oh, and the food was delicious.
We chatted up the Amish sisters working the counter, and one of them was so kind as to even take a picture with the birthday boy.
I don't know if I mentioned it throughout the birthday saga, but there was one disclaimer, and that was that this trip was all about Ralph....
Unless we saw a thrift shop.
(I try to get my thrift on whenever and wherever we see a thrift store, thankyouverymuch.)
Thank goodness I had the presence of mind to add that disclaimer.
(Which Ralph is totally used to by this time.)
Here's why....One of the other kinda-cool-and-sort-of-surprising-to-me experiences from this trip was stopping in a thrift shop right there in Amish country, and finding Amish clothes, and bonnets for re-sale. (I have no idea why I found this so surprising. I think for some reason I figured that they since things were hand made, they never got donated, or I didn't think things like Amish Bonnets ever became truly "worn out".
In the end, I bought a sweet little all-hand-sewn Amish toddler sized dress and smock.
For three bucks.
That made my day.
Oh yes, it's yet another installment of the Ralph's-seemingly-never-ending-it-took-on-a-life-of-it's-own Birthday extravaganza. I would like to tell you that this will be the last installment, but I am not making any promises.
I shared with you that I planned, and planned, and planned some more. You've seen the unveiling of the dream-come-true vacation adn the pretty wrappings, as well as the uncorked merriment that ensued on the airplane ride.
I will try (try) to be brief here as I touch on some highlights of the trip.
Suffice to say that we made the most of every moment (literally) of this vacation. The first night (Saturday) we went into Kent (as in the home of Kent State) and partied like rock stars..okay, not so much, but what we did do was go to a very cool brew pub named Bar 145, (recommended by the darling little coed working the front dest at our hotel)and we listened to a three piece band that played original stuff, mixed in with some killer 80's rock. I got myself a sweet tee with their awesome tagline...
...and now I am jonesing for some red Chuck's. (You know I collect white dishes of any kind, right?)
We arrived the next day at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just as they opened, and we were there until they closed. Ohmygosh, if you love rock and roll, put this place on your bucket list.
Not only are there the expected things (Elvis memorobilia, Beatles artifacts...) but the unexpected....
...things like Timothy B.Schmit's room key collection. (Think about it. Kids today do not even know of a time when hotel rooms used real keys, and he collected them from every stop on each tour.) and the ca-razy drum kit that Alex Van Hallen used in the 80's.
Heck, they even had Pink Floyd's, "The Wall" all set up to walk through.
I know. I'm surely dating myself. I wasn't exactly a giant Pink Floyd myself, back in the day, but...wow.
It was amazing.
Along with all of the mind-boggling items to see, and the oodles and toodles of videos to watch, they has some of the most interesting employee hosts I've ever interacted with, all along the way, sharing fascinating details and antecdotes about these legends.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame was a repeat of fabulous-ness, and did not disapoint. We were there from open until very nearly close as well, and as luck would have it, we managed to be there just one week after they had installed the newest NFL video in the theater focused on the fantastic Superbowl XLVIII, which was all about those Seahawks. This made some of us very happy.
It turns out the third day of our trip is a post in itself, so I'm glad I didn't promise this was the last installment.
Tomorrow we'll be talking thrift shops, bakeries, weather, and horses and buggies, folks. Trust me, you don't wanna miss it.