Thursday, May 31, 2007

travel swap

I don't think my free people travel swap partner reads my blog (if you do Madelene, look away dearie!)

She's an artist so I thought she might appreciate a mini-suitcase of art supplies.

I covered the suitcase with an old motorist map of Florida. Lordy but did it nearly do me in the cut that thing up! I've had it for ages and adore the colors and graphics. Maybe another will find its way into my life again...and when it does, I hope that I won't take so long to actually use it. I truly believe that you have to open yourself up to the flow of good things to come into your life. If you start hoarding or feeling too afraid to actually use the good stuff, I think you interupt the flow of more good things into your life.

The second picture shows Martha's mini-travel album kit from her new line at Michael's. I swear I go to Michael's and I just stand there for hours looking at it all. And if a poor soul happens to walk by, I can't help but say outloud, in a little bit of a desperate whisper "Oh, I love this stuff!" This little album is an accordian book which has its ends secured to the box so that when you open the box, you open the album. Love that!

I bought lots of fun art supplies and did some repackaging to make them fit with the theme. My favorite thing is the watercolor paper pad. I took off the cheesy, commercial cover and carefully removed the first page of the watercolor paper from the wirebinding. I printed a world map directly on that paper. I really love how stuff looks printed on watercolor paper...try it sometime for yourself.

I removed the product labels from the ink bottles and made my own new ones, using a scan of an old label.

Here's another shot of the Martha album kit. I think it was $7...something like that.

I also sent my fairy in a jar off to my swap sister...when she gets it, I'll post pictures. I don't want to ruin the surprise.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

pink striped confection

The lighting's not the best for photo-taking in my little room at the cottage but after I worked almost all day lugging in new things and setting them up, I wanted to give you a look at how fun it turned out.

There's definitely a whole bunch of tiny little things in there...and it's a veritable paradise for anyone who likes to hunt for treasures.

I'm working for Ann and Linda today while they went off to an auction...the very same auction of my baptism by fire introduction to the sport. It sounds like they hit pay-dirt, with a truckload of fabulous finds.

our house

1. 2.

A few of you have asked me recently to show more pictures of my house. After I finished cleaning and moving furniture around yesterday I snapped a few just for you. Most of these were taken in the living room.

1. Another thing I did yesterday was make room for the new painting we bought of Carmel. The watercolor is of Stockholm and I bought it for Rich as an anniversary gift when we were there for our 3rd wedding anniversary. Since we were travelling again to celebrate our 10th anniversary, we thought it would be nice to start a collection of landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, etc. depicting places we visit to celebrate our anniversary. Is two a collection? Maybe not yet, but it's a start.

2. I added a lamp inside the big old dollhouse. The doll is complaining that it takes up all his room but look how nicely it looks all illuminated!

3. I like how the birdcage looks silhouetted in the window. I'm thinking of trying my hand at orchids again to put inside...

4. Close up of new painting, by Mary Kay King.

5. A little altar of our life together, and what we hope and dream for.

6. I bought this wonderful piece from artist extraordinaire, Stephanie at the Paris Flea Market.

7. What secret do you suppose that little birdie is whispering in her ear?

8. This cast of characters has a life of its own...but Bobby is always there to keep them on the straight and narrow.

9. My kitchen table. The fabric bunting was made by my friend Jean. I love it so makes breakfast (cake!) feel even more like a party!

10. My family room. I'm thinking the wheelbarrow will look so sweet full of sand and shells...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I'm still making nice dinners, for the most part. Except Friday night. We went out for dinner to Coastal Flats and I had what I'd been hankering for...a lobster roll! It was unbelievably good. I tried to make it last and savor every bite but I'm pretty sure I swallowed it whole. I also had another of my favorite things...a perfect margarita served with huge olives. I know it sounds strange but it really is wonderful. Maybe you'll have to take my word for it.


At our hotel in Carmel, there was the most wonderful outdoor room. It was my favorite place to hang out. Even when it was a little chilly. In fact, especially so. Because they had the loveliest outdoor fireplace, flanked by facing benches.

I'm still thinking of that wonderful outdoor room. As I look at a little space in our own backyard, I can almost see a terrace there. I'm imagining a room bordered with potted trees and plants, maybe a wall. A bricked floor, definitely. A small table and chairs. And two chairs or benches flanking a fabulous outdoor fireplace.

Our budget won't allow for anything as fancy as seen here, all from Sunset magazine. But I've noticed that a lot of places sell outdoor fireplaces now...places like Walmart and Target even. Maybe my dream isn't so farfetched afterall.

And since the real benefits to this outdoor room won't be realized until late summer/early fall cool evenings, I'm thinking that I'll start saving now to be ready when the stores decide these outdoor fireplaces should go on Summer clearance.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

club little house...far away members

Daisy just reminded me that I needed to address a question concerning members of Club Little House outside of the U.S. It'll be the same price as domestic membership and you should be able to pay for it online here.

I just opened it up for another group to allow for those of you waiting for this question to be answered.

I also wanted to address those who've expressed trepidation after joining the group...please don't be afraid. This is going to be so much fun! You have plenty of time to make your little things so start dreaming up a wonderful plan, take your time, and, most importantly, have fun.

There are still lots of slots open so please join'll love it. I promise! And you don't have to own a dollhouse either...perhaps just a little box or a shelf dedicated as such. Definitely the main thing you need is a love for little things!

Friday, May 25, 2007

breakfast of champions

In third grade, Mrs. Jenkins gave us the assignment to record for a week what food we ate as our meals. And so, after each breakfast, lunch, and dinner that week, I diligently noted in a little book. I transferred this information to a loose-leaf sheet of paper and turned it in.

The next day, Mrs. Jenkins invited me (and me alone) to write my entire week's menu on the chalkboard. An invitation to the chalkboard was always an exciting event for me. It took some time to write it all up was a lot of information.

After what seemed like hours, when I was done, and as I walked back to my desk, Mrs. Jenkins asked the class "Class? Can you tell me what is wrong with this menu?" Just then a whole scurry of hands went up straight away...some of them with people nearly standing, stretching their hands as high as they could. Chants of "me" "me" "me" filled the room. One by one the students pointed out flaws of my menu. Namely, and most apparent to everyone, is that you're not supposed to have birthday cake for breakfast.

That thought had never, not even once, crossed my mind. And I don't think it really crossed my mother's either. For after every birthday in my family, until the cake was completely gone, we feasted on cake for breakfast. And, since my mother sliced the cake so paperthin you could see straight through to the plate, the cake seemed to last forever. And a day.

I thought of that story as I prepared this sugar and fat and everything nice breakfast this morning. And, just for Mrs. Jenkins, I added an extra slice of pound cake. (and perhaps thusly another inch to my waist)

p.s. You'll see a little peep of the project I've been working on this fairy in a jar for Melfie's sweet swap. I'm not allowed to show you until my swap sister gets her but I snuck this peak for you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Club Little House Sign-up~TODAY!~

Hello, my friends. You may now Sign Up for the next round of Club Little House.

If you've done it before, you're more than welcome to join in again. I decided to do 4 rounds of 12 so there should be plenty of room. Initially I thought I'd limit participation to just one subscription per member, but I decided to open it up for your discretion. I, myself, may decide to do more than one round. :)

I'd be happy to accept participation from international friends. Just please be sure to send your package of goodies in early!

Thanks so much! I hope everyone who wants in gets in!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

local friends...

I just got back from signing up for Carol Wingert's class at Scrapbooks Plus Saturday, June 23. Believe it or not, there's still room in all 3 of the classes. If you're local and like to make things (scrapbooks or not!) why don't you come? I signed up for the You Matter to Me book, pictured here (I snatched it from Pam's blog).

For more information, see Pam's blog and/or the store's site. I think you can call the store to sign up...703-263-9503

good things, small packages

It's been a while since the last meeting of Club Little House and I'm thinking that it's time for another swap.

Just in case you don't remember, Club Little House is a gift-exchange program where we'll make little things for each other's dollhouses. Unlike traditional swaps where you are making just one thing to send to one other person, we are each going to make 12 versions of the same thing. You'll send all 12 of the items to me and I'll put together a dozen packages of a dozen things to send back to the swappers. This way we will each have a nice package of 12 different gifts for our dollhouse families when we swap gifts.

What do you say? Are you up for it?

The cost for participating (to cover shipping and packaging supplies) is $15. Start thinking of what little thing you might like to make. The sign up page will be activated tomorrow at noon, EST.

If you think you might be interested, will you leave a comment here? I may open it up to more groups if there is a lot of interest.

Monday, May 21, 2007

dinner tonight

I'll rub a little of the seasoning salt into the pork chops and pop them on the grill. While they cook, I'll make the rice. I'm indebted to Near East brand for their great rice. When the chops are nearly finished, I'll pop the veg. kabobs on the grill.

The kabobs are all put together. I found them in the fresh produce section of Whole Foods, with their chopped, diced, and otherwise prepped veggies. They were a big expensive ($2 each) but it'll mean dinner on the table quicker, with less mess.

Lots of folks have asked about the card graphic. It's from my friend Mo Jackson's Vintage Paper 8 set. Click here to visit Moland.

If you ever want to know how I make anything I fix for dinner, just give me a holla. I'll be happy to's all easy stuff.

a little birdie told me...

Hello, my sweet friends. Hope you all had a very nice weekend. We worked in the flower beds all day Saturday. I was just looking out the windows, admiring our good work. It also reminds me that I have to get some water to the newly planted beauties. They are looking thirsty to me.

With my windows all thrown open, I'm hearing the prettiest birdsongs. Which made fun work this morning as I added a new product line to the site. "Little Birdies" are messenger birds made by my sweet friend Cindy, who's known affectionately as "Lovey". She's put so much love in the details of these fine feathered friends and I think they are just the right size for a "just because" gift to a friend. Or to yourself.

There's just one of each Little Birdie, and you can add your own personal message so that your friend can truly say "A little birdie told me".

Click here to see the whole flock and to order, if so inclined.

Cindy also made us a couple of sweet pillows. Aren't they wonderful?

Find them here.

Friday, May 18, 2007

We just finished dinner and it was really good. I cheated by getting the pre-assembled kabobs from Whole Foods and using a Near East kit for the pasta.

I spent most of the day with my friends Cindy, Mary Catherine, and Kelli. Cindy made something so wonderful for me to sell at Inspire Co. I can't wait to show you! I'm anticipating that they will go quickly. The detail is amazing and I love her sense of humor that shows through. I'm hoping to have them on the site on Monday so stay tuned...especially if you are looking for a little something to send a friend who needs a pick-me-up.

I wanted to tell you a funny, cautionary tale about my father. It's even funnier if you know him, but since most of you don't, I hope the funniness shines through. Yesterday he was backing out of his driveway, on the way to the grocery store. He was wearing flip-flops and the shoe got stuck behind the gas pedal still connected between his toes to his foot, with the gas pedal wedged between. He almost backed into the neighbor's garage before he knew it so he threw the car in drive. Full speed ahead he went, into his backyard, down the steep hill, up the steep hill, making a few highspeed big circles through the yard before he could get his foot loose. So, here's the cautionary part, as he told me this morning, don't wear your "'flops" while driving!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

hey, what's for dinner Amy?

I'm working at the cottage today so I'll be home a little late for making dinner. I might end up cutting out the sweet potato fries...Rich doesn't really like them anyway.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

what's for dinner?

Inspired by the wonderful, very fresh meals of our trip, I am imagining a whole host of lovely meals for us. (I think we'll be eating in for a long, long while!) While I was preparing tonight's simple meal, I thought I'd share with you what I'm having.

I'll keep posting them as long as this inspiration holds up...hopefully a good long while!