Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away

It seems Dolly has moved inland and is dumping bucket loads of rain on us today. I didn't let it dampen my spirits tho' as I embarked on a little adventure "off the midway" this afternoon. While Brady was at his class I ran into the little consignment shop where I have some items. Kind of curious if anything had sold since I left them earlier in the month. But mostly, I went to check out the victorian photo album I keep coveting. Although it is priced well, I just couldn't bring myself to purchase it again. I think I've gone in there about 5 different times this month! It's in great condition and LOADED with photos. Yeah, not sure what I'm waiting on. But I did come away with a couple of really good finds I am just giddy about. I could hardly contain myself as I paid for them.

I got these two beautifully illustrated children's books from the early 194o's for $20. They have gorgeous illustrations that I can't wait to scan and use in my artwork. I'd like to use this one for one of my Christmas projects.

<-----I am particularly fond of this one, too. Makes me think of Mary Engelbreit. Throughout the book there is a beautiful patina on the metallic gold ink-just stunning. Really can't capture that with a photo and too large for my scanner-the books are easily 9"x12". For now, they've quickly found a home on my piano.

I also picked up a school dictionary which was super cheap at only $3 considering the amount of use I'll get from it. It has TONS of great illustrations and several full page color illustrations including this one. Yep, want to do something really special for my dad with this one. Sorry-the scan is really wonky-it is a thick book!

Then, just for fun I picked up these.

<-----He reminds me of my brother as a little boy.

<-----And I just loved her serene contenance. My collection of adopted ancestors is growing!

Well, just had to share my newest finds. I think my feet are finally dry and warmed up. We've had so much rain this afternoon that the parking lots are like creeks. At one point I was soaked up to my shins! Anyway, have to get the elves back to work around here tonight. They got the night off last night to watch Jeff Lewis and the gang. I wanted them to see it could always be worse! ;)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Stop the Ride! I wanna get off!

Sometimes I feel like I just stepped off a tilt-o-whirl. My head is spinning and I'm stumbing trying to get my balance. Do you ever feel like that? I know I mention here frequently how fast time seems to go by. My mom warned me after I had my first child that as I got older it would just seem to go faster and faster. She was right. There are moments however, when time seems to pass a bit more slowly. Kind of like after you've been off the tilt-o-whirl awhile. You've managed to regain your balance and make your way out of the midway into the fairgrounds where it's more quiet and you can take in the surroundings with a bit more leisure. From this vantage point you are able to really soak in the sights and sounds. Well, the past few days have been a mix of both around here. Part tilt-o-whirl and part leisurely stroll.

I enjoyed a productive weekend creatively and was able to make some good progress on the projects I'm working to complete before the end of the month. Yes, I know. Perhaps I should have begun sooner. You're right, but creativity and what appears to be procrastination kind of go hand in hand. Just seemed kind of blocked, but the dreary weather for several days, lots of Christmas music and the advice of one of my blog buddies managed to snap me out of it. I now have multiple projects in the works at various stages and should be able to deliver at least a few items by month end. So I was pleased with that. Thanks, by the way, to those of you who left a comment and shared some of your favorite things about Christmastime.

I also enjoyed spending time with Jeff and Brady just hanging out. Me working on my projects while they watched ballgames and stuff. We did manage to catch a couple movies each night on DVD and enjoyed lunch on Sunday at one of my favorite places-First Watch. Just seemed all in all like a more leisurely weekend. It was nice.

Now it's Monday and back to the work week and things seem a little more hectic. My house is a mess naturally because I've been distracted by other things. Yep, I can't do it all. Fortunately, I have a husband who understands and we'll work at it together all week to catch back up. Love him for that. And for listening to me ramble for hours on end as I obsess over my projects. And after two days of Christmas music playing Brady says, "Mom, why are we listening to Christmas music? It's still summer." Well, I'm not the only one who's been doing Christmas in July. In addition to numerous boutiques around town, a local radio station played Christmas music on Friday to help raise money for an area food bank. See? I'm not so crazy. I actually woke up to Mannheim Steamroller on Friday morning and thought it was a commercial. Jeff said, "I think they're trying to help you get in the mood to do your Christmas stuff." That's what I call serendipity!

Well, if you're still with me at the end of this long-winded post I'll share a peek at one of the projects I've been working on. This pic is when I was still playing around with the banner. I ended up printing the phrase on cardstock and glued it to the ledger paper which I'm hoping is not too fragile. See-I obsess about stuff like that. No wonder I don't get anything accomplished, right? I made another one out of completely vintage supplies in another colorway. Each evokes a different mood so I'm not sure which I like most. This was inspired by another project from Postmark LA by Pam Garrison. I've really gotten my money's worth of inspiration from that book!

Have you heard the Trace Adkins song, You're Gonna Miss This? Love the message of that song. I don't want to be guilty of wishing days away. I want so much to live in the moment, but sometimes we get going on this ride called LIFE and we have to be reminded to slow down. So, here's a friendly reminder. If you find yourself on the tilt-o-whirl this week, jump off the ride for just a few moments. Meander down the midway to the fairground with a frozen lemonade or an icecream cone and just ENJOY. Better yet, make a phone call to an old friend, send a card to someone who needs a friend, take a walk with your children or listen to their bedtime prayers. Just stop and enjoy the moment.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Need A Little Christmas

Oh, yeah. That's right-Christmas. And boy do I need a little Christmas right this very minute. I was hoping to be elbow deep in Christmas at this point in the week, but I just can't seem to get motivated. Not sure how designers work seasons ahead. How do they forecast what consumers will be looking for? What colors will be popular? And how do you get in the mood for Christmas when it's 98 degrees and 60% humidity outside?!?

I'm determined tomorrow to come home and turn down the A/C, put on the Christmas cd's and get to work. I have an exciting opportunity to place some of my work in a local shop for the Christmas season, but the deadline is looming. Would love it if you could lend some inspiration and help create a little Christmas in July for me. Leave a comment and let me know what you look forward to the most each Christmas season. Do you have a favorite recipe? activity? What are your favorite scents of the season? Holiday movie or song? Come on, now. Help me haul out the holly!

P.S. Did you know there only 154 shopping days until Christmas?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Waitin' for the repair man

I put this together yesterday afternoon while waiting for the repair man. I ordered this vintage supply kit from Jenni Bowlin earlier in the week and was surprised it came so quickly. Thought I'd piddle with it while I was waiting and followed her lead and assembled this photo folder. I printed off some of the photos from 4th of July at my parent's lake house. This was a quick little project and could easily be duplicated. I've often purchased little folders to mail snapshots from Target or Hallmark, but this is easy enough to make and much more personal so I think I'll do this again sometime. Love the vintage map and the tiny foil stars. The tiny cardstock tags are from Making Memories and the large glittered star is from Jenni, but the rest of the supplies are all vintage. May mail this to my dad so I'm not sure I'll part with some of the vintage pieces, but instead save them for a future project. He won't be nearly excited by the old clock face and vintage playing cards as me!

As it turned out, the repair man finally arrived and said it would take at least 2 hours to rip my new couch apart and fix the tear the delivery people made in the back of it. The dispatch center hadn't allowed enough time so he'd have to come back. ARGH! Bummer. At least I was able to be productive while I waited and Brady had been on a field trip so the afternoon wasn't a total waste.

On the way home from picking up Brady, I ran into one of my fav junk palaces. Found several pairs of vintage "Grandma Swan" earrings. My grandma used to wear lots of these clip on earrings-I think of her everytime I find a pair. I use these on lots of my projects and this particular store is a great spot to pick them up on the cheap.
I also picked up these beads and will use them on some Christmas projects I hope to begin this week.

Just a little share. We have kind of a busy weekend and probably won't get to continue working on my studio much (made ALOT of progress last weekend). Brady has picture day for baseball today followed by a double header provided they aren't rained out. Tomorrow we'll take him to Illinois for a couple days with Jeff's folks to break up the summer a bit for him. He's looking forward to shopping with Mee Moo and bowling with Baw Baw. Then it'll be Monday again. SIGH.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mickey Mouse Boot Camp

Can you believe how quickly time passes? I sure cannot! This summer has been a whirlwind and before we know it will be back to school time. I had a bit of a panic attack yesterday when Jeff proclaimed, "Ten weeks from tomorrow we'll be headed for Disney!" WOW! and I had not done a thing to start preparing. Not one thing. Nothing. Nada. And worst of all, it occured to me that I might want to get in a little better shape before we go. Two years ago when we went I had been walking on a regular basis and have since totally slacked off. Since we walk non-stop 10-12 hours/day for five days, I think I'd better start walking. In fact, on one of the Disney message boards, someone reported they were curious just how far they walk at the parks so they strapped on a pedometer. They clocked an average of 8 miles/day. For their five day trip they walked more than 40 miles. YIKES! Mickey Mouse Boot Camp has begun! I'm back to walking a mile every morning and hope to increase that over the next several weeks.

Brady really gets into counting down so this is our countdown to Disney chart inspired by Heidi Swapp. And the list making has begun, too--stuff we missed last time, stuff we want to do again, stuff to pack, stuff to research, stuff to buy. Managed to already cross some items off already, too though. YAY, me!

Got a little bit of shopping in yesterday and picked up these. They screamed Disney as I walked by them at Target. And they were on clearance! One of the other projects we're going to do to build Brady's excitement about the trip is to put Disney trivia questions in his lunchbox the month before we leave. He'll be back in school then so it should be alot of fun.

Well, first things first. I'm off to bake a cake. Somebody at our house has a birthday tomorrow!

Friday, July 11, 2008

"A" is for Apron

<-----pattern is by Busy Bee Quilt Designs and fabric is Free Spirit, Barefoot Roses by Tonya Whelan.

I did it! Finally finished my apron/smock. Well, with a little help from Mom. Probably would've taken mom only a couple hours to make this apron, but it took me three evenings-and that was with her help. Our sewing sessions always start out a little tense, but once we hit our stride it is really alot of fun. After years of sewing, Mom has lots of tips and is very good at reading patterns. She gets ALOT more out of them than I do and she says that is the secret-learning to read the pattern and think through each step before carrying it out. I need to start writing down all of her tips so I can remember them when I go home to work on my own. I had grand ideas of whipping up several of these to sell on Etsy, but I don't think that will happen anytime too soon! How cute would they be though in some SIS BOOM fabric or made out of vintage tablecloths?

My next goal is to get back to working on some small projects at home on the machine she gave me. I recently purchased the pattern for the Amy Butler Frenchie bags and I SO want to try to make some for Christmas gifts this year. I think I have a way to go before I'm ready to solo on them. And I'd like to finish my quilt top before fall so I can hand quilt it over the winter. WHEW! always lots I want to do! And that's just in the sewing arena. Mom's advised me not to take on any other projects until I get my quilt completed, but my Aunt Bonnie recently won this KIT which I LOVE. I made the mistake of peeking at their website-such. cute. stuff! It's very tempting and they are very small appliqued quilts. ;)

Anyway, just wanted to share my accomplishment. This was on my list to complete this week so I'm ready to move on to some other projects on my list. I don't consider the week over until the end of the day on Saturday so I still have a chance to get a couple other things completed before the end of the week.

Oh, and before I forget. I want to give a shout out to my hairstylist, Rachel. She did an awesome job on my hair today. That girl can cut a mean bob and she is Queen of the Blow Out. I just love how full she can make my baby fine hair. We decided to swing it up just a bit more and to grow out my bangs. Really happy with how it turned out. Thanks, Rachel!

It's been a busy week, but it's gone by quickly and I'm looking forward to the weekend. How about you? Have you had a productive week? Are you ready for the weekend? Say it with me now, TGIF!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Scenes from the Lake

Wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from the Lake this weekend. My apologies to my sis-in-law, Julie. I guess I didn't end up with her in any of my shots. Truth be told, I didn't take that many. My family is a little photo shy. Well, except Matthew. I think he thought I was shooting photos for Missouri Conservationist! He just kept posing and casting for me on Saturday!

We had a nice visit to my parents Lake house over the 4th of July weekend. I can understand why my Dad enjoys it there so much. It's so quiet and peaceful-well, except when we all descend on him! Took a boat ride with my dad, had wonderful bar-b-que and smores. Played cards and spent time with my niece, Emily-can't believe she will be taking her driver's permit test in October-yikes! Emily even inspired me to get a book read this weekend I'd been wanting to read all summer. Brady got to spend time with his fav cousin and Uncle Mike-he just adores my brother. If you knew each of them you would marvel because they are so different, but they seem to have a connection and I think it's great. Mike can get him to try outdoor things noone else can. Although, I don't think Brady ended up tubing this time. He did get to do fireworks with Mike and Matt though-thanks, Mike! We even stopped at Central Dairy on the way home. What a treat and a bargain! My sister commented that the cones we got would have been $4 or $5 at most places. They were HUGE and we paid $1.50. Their Moose Tracks ice cream is my favorite-yum!

As always, I love spending time with my sister. She is so much fun and is probably the most laid back in our family. And that's saying something 'cause we are all aware we're wound tight as a drum! It was good to go and get away if even for a little while and be with family. Now, it's back to the regular routine of the work week and back to the to do list.

Speaking of to do lists-have you been watching Flipping Out on BRAVO? Oh, my. Definitely one of my indulgences this summer is watching Jeff Lewis. His assistant, Jenni is my favorite. If you haven't checked it out and need a good laugh you should set your TIVO or DVR. What a riot!

Here are a few things on my list this week:
Looking forward to working on my studio and getting back to my wallpaper project;
Hoping to get rid of some more consignment stuff;
Want to get a bookshelf painted for the studio;
Have the junk in the garage hauled away.
If I can check all those things off my list it will be a very productive week indeed. Here's hoping!I'd like to get back to my quilt project and work on some other art stuff-I'm having withdrawal! In fact, I hope to get over to mom's to make an apron I picked up pattern and fabric for a week or so ago. It's TOO cute! Okay, well, maybe I won't get ALL of this done this week. A girl can dream, though right?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

I'm a little late. Made a quick trip to the Lake on Thursday after work. Just in today and going to make the most of the rest of the weekend here at home, but wanted to wish everyone a wonderful holiday weekend. Hope you're spending it with those you love and will take a moment to remember just why we celebrate this day. Although there are lots of things we could find "wrong" with our country, many of us enjoy a life and choices millions all around the world can never imagine. Let's not forget our service men and women serving all over the world who strive to protect our freedoms.

God Bless America!