Monday, February 27, 2006

charmed, i'm sure

Check out these FABULOUS charm bracelets that my friend Melissa made. I bought one (pink, of course) and I love it. It's very, well, charming. :)

I'm at the cottage tomorrow. I'll dream up a big long post for then.

Friday, February 24, 2006

brought to you by the letter a...

I found this wonderful old letter at an antique store Wednesday. It used to be part of a sign. I love it very much.

In the past two days, I've travelled to Hagerstown (2 hours away) TWICE! The first day I took my parents to the ribbon outlet (I bought tons, my mom didn't buy a thing!) After the ribbon store, we headed to an antique store that my friend told me about and lo and behold...she was there! I bought the most wonderful set of Humpty Dumpty lamps that I'm going to fix up and offer online. I can't wait for you to see. When we were checking out, my friend showed off her button bracelet. The man behind the counter told us that if I wanted some buttons that I needed to go to the auction the next day (yesterday) because there were a few lots of buttons being sold.

I've never been to an auction. I don't think I'm an auction sort of person. But if there are buttons involved everything changes.

So yesterday morning I saw my parents off and headed back up to Hagerstown for my first auction. As I sat there clutching my number, surveying all of the things being auctioned, and listening to the hum of the auctioneer, it dawned on me that this wasn't a good idea. I left. I chickened out and left. Can you believe it?

It wasn't an entirely fruitless trip. I stopped at two wonderful spots nearby...Beaver Creek Antiques and Antiques Crossroads. Oh what eye candy! One of the editors of Country Home, Jimmie Cramer, has a space there. You would not believe how beautiful it is. Next time I'll take pictures (if they will allow me).

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

hippity hoppity

Looky here! Isn't this just about the cutest thing ever? I picked the egg up yesterday at The Cottage and the egg cup is from my shop (it'll be up soon with the Spring things!).

Want to make your own grass filled egg? Use an egg cutter like this one to cut off the top of a raw egg. Empty the egg. Carefully fill the egg with soil using a funnel. Sprinkle in wheatgrass seed and cover lightly with a little more soil. Keep the soil moist while the seeds germinate. You can cover egg with plastic wrap to make a little greenhouse. Once the grass starts growing, water with just a spoonful of water everyday. It should last for about 2 to 3 weeks.

You can dye your egg first for fun colored eggs but it looks just as pretty with brown or white eggs.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

coffee cake

This coffee cake
is the best ever! I picked it up yesterday at the grocery store on a whim. We had a piece each last night after dinner and it was pure heaven. I can't wait to have a slice with my coffee this morning.

After we overstuffed ourselves with dinner and then this cake last night, my father, Rich and I went for a stroll around the neighborhood. When we were almost home, my father spotted a chair at the curb that a neighbor was throwing away. It was at this moment that I realized I am very much like Hyancinth Bucket (I know, I'm mentioning her a lot lately). I told my father that if he had to take the chair that I wanted him to drive his van there (two doors down) to pick it up. I told him that I didn't want any of my neighbors to see him carrying it up the street to my house. Poor Daddy. He didn't go back to get it.

Monday, February 20, 2006

mail order kit

Last night, my mother and I worked on the first project from the new Mail Order club. It was so much fun and so easy to do.

The club kit came with instructions for making this birthday calendar. There were lots of fun club things too. A merit badge, a decoder ring, a membership card. I love it all. It makes me feel like a kid again.

The current mail order for this birthday calendar was limited to 200 and is sold out. But you can sign up to be notified of the next edition.

Today my mother and I are going to work on another project that might well become a new product. I will keep it a mystery to pique your interest.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

More about Tommy...

Thank you so much for your kind words about Tommy. His funeral was yesterday. Rich's mother gave the eulogy. I don't know how she had the strength to do that, but she did and it was just so beautiful.

She told of when she went through nursing school and saw so many babies born with hydrocephalus and about how terrible a condition it was. Later when she started having babies of her own, she would say a prayer each time for a healthy baby. And if the baby couldn't be healthy, they could have a heart problem or breathing problem...anything but hydrocephalus. She had 4 healthy babies and then, when she was a little bit wiser and older, came Tommy. He was born not only with hydrocephalus, but also blind and with cerebal palsy. She was angry at God, how cruel to put so many problems on one little baby. But she didn't know his plan. She, a quiet stay-at-home mom, reached out to get help. So many people helped her and growing family.

Through the years, Tommy would always bring out the best in people. Rich's mother said that people would always ask her about her son. She would reply "which son?" since she has 7. They would stumble through trying to describe Tommy and she would say "Oh you mean Tommy, my retarded son." No one ever liked to say "retarded".

She said that more than anything, Tommy taught her other children patience and tolerance and sensitivity.

And then she said in the sweetest voice goodbye to her Tommy. And then she said his word, "Bong bong".

It was so moving and so beautiful.

So now we are going to go on living our lives, forever touched by Tommy's love. We'll carry his love onto others and in that way he will live on.

Thank you for your prayers and thoughts. Here is a tribute that I made for Tommy. This played during the wake on Friday. It's a large file that plays best on Windows Media Player.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

some sad news...

Rich's brother Tommy was born with hydrocephalus almost 40 years ago. He is blind, crippled and severely mentally retarded. That's what the medical records will tell you. What they might not tell you is that he loves chocolate chip cookies. And that if you play a game with him where you thump the floor then he thumps the floor, you might be playing that game for hours. He likes to yell, too. Loudly. And he cries when you play sad music. He likes to shake a maraca into his hand and he says a word that sounds like "bong bong" all day long. He also points to his mouth when he wants to eat, which is left over from when he knew more sign language. He loves it when he is surrounded by all 10 of his brothers and sisters, which usually happens only at Christmas. When he hears all of the fury of unwrappings on Christmas morning, he thinks it's the sound of someone unwrapping a candy for him. If he doesn't get that candy and soon he yells.

Yesterday our Tom-tom's heart stopped for 15 minutes. The doctors are sure that his already damaged brain is now damaged completely and irreparably. Today we find out whether this is true. If it is Rich's family will make the heartbreaking decision to let Tommy go. Please say a little prayer for Rich's mother and all of our family that they will have the strength.

Update Tommy died yesterday, February 14. He slipped away very peacefully and without any struggle.

If you would like to make a donation in Tommy's honor, please click here. Please indicate that the gift is in memory of Tommy Powers. There's a place that allows you to indicate where a card announcing your gift should be sent. Rich's mother would be so appreciative. Her address is: Loretta Powers, 6908 Foster Street, District Heights, MD 20747

Monday, February 13, 2006

from my sweetiepie

I haven't gotten flowers from Rich in a long, long time. That is until now. And here's the story behind why I haven't gotten flowers from my sweetie for such a long time.

When I worked in an office, Rich sent me flowers for my birthday and our anniversary and Valentine's Day. HUGE bushes of flowers. I loved the feeling I got when Paula, the receptionist, called me up to the front to collect the garden. And then I would place it beside my computer in the studio where everyone walking down the hall towards me was sure to see it. In fact, they couldn't even see me behind it. It was a wonderful display of love and I adored it.

Then one birthday my sweet sensible husband decided to cut back on expenses, one of them, unbeknownst to me, being the delivery of flowers. So on this birthday when I happily skipped up front to collect my bush of flowers so big that when I carried it I looked like a rosebush with legs, imagine my dismay in finding a minuscule vase of 4 flowers...3 carnations and one shasta daisy.

I carried these flowers all the way back to my desk hoping no one would see. When I got back to my desk, I tucked them behind my computer instead of placing them proudly beside me. I know, I should feel horrible because it's the thought that counts...blah blah blah. Well, let me continue by first saying I was young then. I didn't know the things that I know now, some 7 years older and wiser. So I ask you to please consider the silliness of my youth before you judge this next thing I will tell you.

The more I looked at this pitiful "arrangement", the more I dreamed up this crazy possibility. I thought to myself that if a florist wanted to they could easily charge a customer a very large sum of money for an arrangment and then send out a skimpy "bouquet". Surely no tactful person would ever mention to the giver that the flowers were not very lush. So I thought that maybe the florist charged Rich the usual chunk of change but did a switcharoo sending me the smallest arrangement in their cooler. Or maybe they even took an extra vase in the van and picked up the broken off stems of larger arrangements that might have ended up on the floor and stuck them together.

The more I thought of this, the more I thought it my duty to let Rich know of this injustice. So, you guess it, I told him that I thought he'd been duped. I described the pitiful flowers and told him they were nothing like those to which I had become accustomed. I went on and on about how skimpy and horrible the few flowers were. Shamefully.

So that was the last time, until now, I got flowers from Rich. I am so happy that the drought is over. Thank you, Rich, for my beautiful flowers. Since there are no coworkers to see, I posted them here.

tuesday girl

It's not exactly official yet...but guess who (me!) is going to be a shopgirl at The Cottage every Tuesday! Isn't that exciting? If you're in the area, please stop by and say hello. I'm starting tomorrow (Valentine's Day!)

The Cottage is in the historic part of Leesburg Virginia on West Market Street...just past the Tally Ho Theatre. It'll seem a little like you're heading out of town but it's definitely worth the diversion from the beaten path.

If you stop by tomorrow and tell me that you found me through this post, I will give you a GIFT! And you will make my day so much happier.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

button bracelets...

I'm working on making button bracelets for The Cottage and for you online. I'd love to know what colors/styles you might be interested in. It would help me to make some that you'll love. Please leave a comment to let me know. You, of course, would be under no obligation to buy...this is just to help me know what you would like.


This is what we woke up to this morning. I think I might be snowed in for a little while. I have lots of projects to keep me busy. It feels kind of nice to have all of this snow to keep me in. Rich gave me my first Valentine gift. (I know...he spoils me so and I love it!) It's a pair of (you guessed it!) pajamas. They have the sweetest little pink roses on them that look remarkably like the wallpaper and matching bed linens in Hyacinth Bucket's bedroom. I couldn't find a picture to show you so you'll just have to watch the show and look for them. :)

Friday, February 10, 2006

be mine

I just talked to my sweet nephew Seth on the phone this morning. He was so happy and loud and out of breath...I love it when he gets that way. What he was so excited about was that today he hands out his Valentine bags at school. What's inside his Valentine bag? A bouncy ball, a card, candy, and a packet of kool-aid. Yes, that's right...kool-aid. :)

And here's the cutest part...when I asked him how he was going to carry all of the bags HE gets home, he got even more excited. It hadn't occured to him that he'd be getting any bags. The cute little guy was bursting with excitement when I told him that I thought all of his classmates would give him bags as well.

He's going to call me when he gets home from school to tell me about all the goodies HE gets and to tell me how much his friends liked his bags.

Here's the sweet lesson from that four-year-old Seth today...LOVE giving more than you love receiving. Delight in knowing that you will make someone happy...and it doesn't have to be much, goodness knows. Let's all spread cheer and love and kindness today (and kool-aid if ya got it).

Thursday, February 9, 2006

sweet things from the cottage...

Isn't this the sweetest little nest arrangement? We put it together yesterday and were pleased as punch with the results.

These daffodils are handmade using vintage felt...

I love this red garden cart...

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

hyacinth bucket

I think told you the story of my tv summer...when I put a black and white television in my cleared out closet along with my sister's beanbag chair and I mapped out my days using the green section of the newspaper as my guide. I don't watch very much television anymore...definitely not whole days at once. But I tell you, I do like to sit down and have a cup of tea at 2:00 while I watch "Keeping Up Appearances". It's so nice when I can take that small break in the middle of the day. And Hyacinth makes me laugh heartily.

If you haven't seen this show, you must look into it. I thought everyone must have seen it by now but I've mentioned it recently to others who hadn't. It's a BBC show from the 90's that is being aired on PBS in the US. Check your local listings. Here's a video clip.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

happy anniversary!

My parents got married 47 years ago today.

Happy Anniversary, Momma and Daddy! Thanks for showing me what love is all about.

Monday, February 6, 2006

my new header...

Do you like it? I've been wanting to change it for a while. I found a school picture of me from the first grade. It had turned pink through the appropriate, right?

Here I am dancing a little jig...

a peak into my house...

I cleaned this weekend and finally took all of the Christmas decorations down. I know...I'm slow! Truth be told, the house has been upside down since after Thanksgiving. I don't think I ever fully recovered after cooking turkey for 25 people until perhaps this weekend.

Here's a corner in my sunny family room. I just love how the suitcases looked stacked up. They are full of ribbons and assorted crafting supplies and projects at various stages of completion.

This is my living room. The paint color was a bit of a mistake. Much too dark for me to like it very much. So I decided this weekend to try to lighten and brighten the room. The chintz floral tablecloth was a gift from my friend the Diva...Irene. I'll have to tell you about her someday. The watercolor above the sofa is of Stockholm, where we were for our fourth wedding anniversary. It was my present to Rich.

See this sweet little rabbit in her egg home? My wonderful friends Ann and Linda brought her back for me as a thank you for minding their shop.

Another shot from the living room.

Sunday, February 5, 2006

photos from the cottage...

I worked at the Cottage last week and snapped a few photos to share with you. Oh, it's such a yummy place to be. If you're in the area (Northern Virginia), you HAVE to go see for yourself!

Thursday, February 2, 2006

my sweet angelface

Here's my sweet Seth...we were on our way on a little roadtrip on Sunday. He asked me to take a picture of him in the car so here ya go. How 'bout that blue hat?