Friday, July 29, 2005

good news!

Woman's World Magazine is going to feature Inspire Company as a "Website We Love"! It's slated to appear in the September 27 issue (on sale the week before). I love getting free press!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

bon appetit

Check out this rave of Tiramani parfum in the August issue of Bon Appetit on the stands now!

Click here to see it at Inspire

domestic bliss

Oh happy day! I found this seasoning on the shelves at the grocery store and it just makes me so happy. I think I may be alone in my thrill so maybe I should explain.

First of all, this looks like some sort of spice tin that you might find hidden in the very back of your grandmother's spice cabinet, doesn't it? It makes me want to tie on an apron and start whipping up a meatloaf-to-end-all meatloaves...and to have it ready for my sweetie when he steps through the door tonight.

Now, some of my feminist friends might frown deeply about this sort of behavior that I'm sure they will call regressive. Here's the thing...I have the choice to go out in the corporate world, shoulder to shoulder with my male colleagues, yes. And I'm so happy to have that choice. I made that choice for years. But isn't there always two sides to a choice? And isn't the beauty of their battle that I can now make the choice based on what I love?

I love making meatloaf. I love showing my love for my husband by creating the best meatloaf that he's ever had. And I love finding this tin amongst all of the hundreds of spices on the shelf at the grocery store today.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

posh follies

Isn't this the prettiest ballerina? I made her using the instructions and patterns provided in my friend Sandra's book. She's working on lots of other books too...the publisher is keeping her very busy.

Click here to buy this book. Invite all your friends over and have a posh folly party!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

half doll ideas

What should I do with these half dolls? I have quite a few of them.

Rachel Ashwell shows in her newest book "Sumptuous Settings and Other Lovely Things" how to use a net cake cover for the skirt for a half doll. She decorates the dome net with rosettes and then secures the doll on top. Very pretty indeed. I should be able to find this sort of dome rather easily now since they are with the seasonal, picnic type items. Hey, maybe even on sale!

I also thought it would be fun to place her atop a papermache hat box that I could decorate to look like a skirt. Then the half doll would act as a handle to open the box.

I could make a pillow type of bottom that is a sachet, with a crinoline skirt.

Or I could sell these just as they are for my customers to have fun with.

What do you think? Do you have another idea for these? Would you be interested in buying just the reproduction doll for about $12?

Friday, July 22, 2005

foot reading

On my list of things that must be done yesterday was a pedicure. I needed freshly painted toes for my pretty, pretty shoes that I am going to wear with my pretty, pretty dress to my friend's wedding tomorrow.

The last time I went to the salon to have my nails (both hands and feet) all polished up, the nail technician read my palm. She said some very insightful things...including that I have a very wonderful husband who cares for me almost too much. Yes, this is true. Next, and she really meant this, I must be careful with girlfriends who are my age or younger. She said that they will try to take advantage of me and that I should be careful. Hmmm....all that from looking down some winding lines on my palm. Still, I was very happy to get this nice freebie with my manicure. She said she doesn't do it to everyone...just people who she gets a strong feeling from when she touches their hands. Anything that makes me feel special I like.

Well yesterday I did not get a manicure because I didn't have the time and my nails are in such bad condition from tearing open boxes with my bare hands. So as she was scrubbing my feet and I was trying not to giggle or wiggle, she said "I see you have a mole on your foot. Do you know what that means?" "No" I say because I truly didn't. "You are always wishing to be somewhere else. You never keep the same job. You change friends too much, especially boyfriends." Huh? Me? So I said to her "It's a freckle" And it is just a freckle. It's not raised or in anyway mole-like. And I am not restless, thank you very much.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

mia, tonya and me

I had the same best friends from kindergarten all the way through high school. Their names are Mia (pronounced Maya) and Tonya. The three of us were inseparable for all of those years. We played with dolls like Strawberry Shortcake until we were way to old to be playing with them. Mia and Tonya both had Annie costumes that they wore to school on the same day (much to my dismay, I could not talk my parents into buying it for me) We wrote love letters to the objects of our crushes and showed each other first. (not Mia...just me and Tonya) We always brought enough lunch to share with each other and we shared our lunch every single day. We were three of the best friends.

We've grown apart since high school, gone our own ways...that sort of thing. But Tonya is getting married on Saturday. It'll be so nice to share this special day with my old friend Tonya. I hope Mia is there too!


Monday, July 18, 2005


Uh, have you tried these? Let me first say that to have these in your freezer is an exercise in self will. They are WONDERFUL! But the secret to really loving these cute little snacks is to eat only one a day...okay maybe two. Three? Okay...I draw the line at four. Get thee to a grocery!

making fiends

I love Making Fiends!

I found Making Fiends last week through a link on Tattered-Edge's web site. 

pretty cards

I adore our collection of vintage photo tag cards. They are made so well and are great for when you want to include a different sort of card with your gift. There are a couple for birthdays and 4 for special friends. My favorite is the one that includes the quote from Robert Louis Stevenson "The best that we find in our travels is an honest friend" and then says I am so happy I found you.

Click on the picture above to be delivered directly to the collection at You can add an inscription and I'll be happy to fill it out for you and send it with your gift.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

bunny love

My sweet customer Susan used Teena Flanner's bride and groom bunnies as her cake topper. Isn't that the loveliest idea? Charming and fun!

We only have a few couples left of this discontinued item. Want your own pair of hunny bunnies? Click here.

Friday, July 15, 2005


I had surgery today. I didn't tell you prior to today because I didn't want you to worry. I'm doing well, if a little loopy from the anesthesia. It was early this morning and I've slept for most of today. Rich is waiting on me hand and foot and I'm soaking it all in. Pretty soon I'm going to feel well enough to eat up all of the rest of the not so squeaky cheese curds. A nice customer in Wisconsin told me to pop them in the microwave for a tiny bit before they get melty and the squeakiness will come back magically. Curds, I think, go straight to the hips. I also bought some pink cheese because it was so pretty. I know, I know, I spent a lot of time in the dairy section.


Thursday, July 14, 2005

beachy keen

I just love this photo! I love the two sweet girls squinting up at the camera...I love that there's a man with a long sleeve shirt on...I love the lifeguard stand and the umbrellas...and I love the two guys in the background walking towards us. And how 'bout miss legs right in front of them.

I found this snapshot today in an old scrapbook and I just had to find a way to use I revamped the front page.

So take a little look-see at the new front page and let me know what you think...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

eating my curds...

Before today I had never had a cheese curd. The word "curd" just doesn't sound exactly appetizing, does it? At the cheese counter of my favorite grocery store there they were and they piqued my interest. I thought of little miss muffet and all of that. The cheese lady saw me eyeing them and asked if I'd like to try them.

They are wonderful! I mean, really wonderful! I bought horseradish flavored ones and they are my newest favorite thing.

Here's an article about cheese curds from Wikipedia:

Cheese curds are the fresh curds of cheddar cheese. They are generally available in retail stores operated at cheese factories in Wisconsin (and perhaps in other dairy states) and throughout the province of Quebec in Canada.

They are little-known elsewhere, because they must be eaten absolutely fresh, within hours of manufacture. After twelve hours, even under refrigeration, they have lost much of their "fresh curd" characteristics, particularly the "squeak." After twenty-four hours, they have lost them entirely. They have not become unwholesome or distasteful, but they are not fresh cheese curds any more—they are just boring, insufficiently aged cheese. No ordinary shipping method is sufficiently fast to preserve their flavor intact.

Fresh curds are roughly the size and shape of peanuts or, perhaps, Cheetos. The flavor is a mild, delicious, "fresh-dairy" taste. The texture and mouth feel is unique. They have about the same firmness as cheese, but have a springy or rubbery texture, rather than the yielding, clay-like texture of cheese. Fresh curds squeak against the teeth when bitten into. This squeak is perhaps the defining characteristic of fresh cheese curds. They are somewhat salty and have the same addictive, greed-inspiring charactistics as other salty snacks, although they are cool and moist rather than being dry and crunchy.

Now, I do not live in a dairy state. But these cheese curds that I have are definitely fresh and squeaky. I think it's because Wegmans is such a terrific grocery store. The manufacturer is Yancey's Fancy Specialty Cheeses. If you can find them at your store, I hope you'll give them a try.


There are some monster weeds growing in my flower garden...including a few that look like what Jack climbed to meet up with the Fe Fi Fo Fum giant. The problem I have with weeding is that when weeding I invariably start imagining all of the creatures that might leap out at me while I'm down there heaving and ho-ing at the weeds. One time a toad really did jump on me while I was down on my hands and knees. I haven't gotten over that. And I'm certain that there are other things that might come after me if I start tearing out weeds...snakes, for instance, might slither quickly toward me.

At any rate, I need to weed my wild garden desperately. I need to face my fear nose to nose and I need to just start pulling them up, one by one. I just hope I don't have to face any of those creatures nose to nose.

Monday, July 11, 2005

email problems

Lots of people have reported problems emailing me. I don't know what's going on or how to fix it but I'll look into it. In the meantime, feel free to email me at if you have any problems reaching me at my regular email.

romance for the ladies

Do not get book recommendations from an old Marine.

Before we left for our trip, one of the things to tick off my list was to stop by the library to pay my hefty fines and pick up a book on tape for the road.

I was rushing around doing a million and one things. When I got to the library, I just stared at the titles on the shelf waiting for something to jump out at me. Nothing was jumping. Next to me searching the shelves was an old Marine with a long print out of books on tape to check out. So I said to this gentleman, "Do you listen to books on tape often?" "Oh yes" he says. I asked "Do you have any recommendations?" to which he answered by rattling off a dozen or so authors' names and book titles. I struggled to keep them all straight in my mind, thanked him profusely, and then started scanning the shelves for anything I recalled from his generous list.

After searching just a few minutes, he came running back with a selection for me. He said "This one has romance for the ladies and action for the guys" Romance for the ladies, he said. So I very happily took this recommended reading, ticking one more thing off my list.

Now let me tell you why it's important to not take book recommendations, especially those with "romance for the ladies" from an old Marine. When we started listening to this book, we realized that by "romance" he meant "sex". We listened to 10 hours of poorly written raunchy "romance" peppered with equally poorly written and repetitive action scenes.

The sex scenes were written like something published in a dirty magazine...with sordid details of intimate acts. This author really paid attention in creative writing class when the teacher emphasized the importance of using all five senses to describe scenes. Boy, did she ever pay attention.

So when you are in the library next to an old Marine, however nice he seems, do not take his advice when he tells you what book to read. Unless you like "romance for the ladies" Marine-style.

(Oh, how did I know he was an old Marine? His head was shorn close to his head and he wore a shirt proudly embellished with a Marine logo. Something tells me his closet is full of such shirts)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

my parents...

Here are my folks at the beach. They walked every morning and every evening on the beach. My father wasn't too careful about sunscreen on his turned beet red!

It was terrific to have the whole family together for a week. This is the first time we've gone all together for a week...and my parents' first week-long vacation in almost 40 years! It was truly a blessing to have this time together.


Here's sweet Maggie at the beach. She loved the sand and the water and was fearless! Maggie is my sister Jennifer's baby.

i'm back...

I'm back from vacation! I had meant to write more on the blog while I was away but I could never think of anything to say...I was too relaxed!

I love this picture of my nephew Seth. When picking up shells he wanted none of them to be wet or sandy...tell me, could you be more particular? Do you know how hard it is to find shells on a sandy beach that are neither wet nor sandy?

We had a great time chasing ghost crabs, running from the waves, and talking about all of the creatures in the ocean.

I'll post a picture of baby Maggie next.

Friday, July 1, 2005

the sunnyside

Weekday mornings at about 8 am on Turner Classic Movies, there's a short introduction spot that I adore. It's called the "Sunnyside of Life" and it's Edward Hopper paintings gently animated. Absolutely stunning! It is exactly what I imagine when I look at the still paintings...light moving across solitary figures, small natural movements, quiet stillness, all set to a scratchy acoustic and slow version of "Sunnyside of Life".

I wish I could show it to you but I can't find it anywhere. You'll have to just watch for it. It's a little gift to start your day.