Saturday, May 31, 2008

awww shucks, guys!

Thank you everyone for your sweet words of encouragement and support. I know there's a difference between what I did and out-and-out side-by-side copying but I still feel strongly that I shouldn't sell the birds anymore. To me, they are too alike...the rosy cheeks, glittered, party hats, collars...for comfort. But I really appreciate all your very nice comments. Thank you so much.

Stop by tomorrow morning for the next issue of inspiredideas and the next inspiredfriend. Here's a sneak peek of some of the offerings. I set them all up, neat in a row for the picture. When I came back from grabbing the camera, this is how I found them. See the guilty hand? He was sure these were brand new special toys for him and I had to wait until naptime to put them away.

Thanks again, everybody. I really, really appreciate you.

Friday, May 30, 2008

an egregious mistake

Sometimes ideas have a funny way of making a home in your mind for so long that when they come around again, you mistake them for a new and original thought.

Case in point, my bluebirds of happiness.
I thought they were an original idea. I thought that I'd dreamed up these marvelous little beauts all on my own. And surely you remember how tickled I was with them. I couldn't think of anything else as I made them...when I closed my eyes at night to go to sleep, I saw them peeping back at me. I loved them. And what I loved most was that they were so different from anything out there.
Or so I thought.
There's a very lovely artist many of you probably know, Jenny of The Polka Dot Pixie fame. She makes bluebirds and has for a very long while. Some even don party hats and paper collars.

I guess somehow I must've spied them long ago and then forgotten. So when this "new" idea to make them came to me, I thought it was my own.

I detest this whole copycat-trend I see far too much. I vow to try never to be one. I decided to own-up publicly to the bluebird accidental copying and to apologize to Jenny and to all of you sweet friends. And a big oops! and yikes! and geewhiz! to go with it.

Edited to add: I wanted to clarify that sweet Jenny didn't know that I had made bluebirds similar to hers. I saw a picture of hers on a blog this morning ( and from that visited Jenny's blog and etsy shop. When I saw hers, especially those wearing the hats and collars, I realized the problem and contacted Jenny directly to apologize.

on the way out

Here are the lovely items still available from Beth and Suzy. Click here to find them.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

brought to you by the letter...

When my friend Ann told me they had a giant lowercase letter "a" at the cottage I couldn't get there fast enough. I LOVE it! It's from Kaufman's department store in Altoona, PA, found under layers of facade as they were tearing the building down.

I also bought the adorable little scooter I've been eyeing for a while now.
And I picked up a little house. Isn't it wonderful?
I thought you might like to see another picture of my big hotdog. Ignore the speaker (I do).
And just look at all the loot Linda threw in just for me...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I didn't intend to go all vacation without checking in. Really, I didn't. In fact, I'd hoped to pop in each day to let you know what a fine time we were having.

The problem was that it wasn't as convenient as I'd hoped to get connected. I made the effort on day one, as you can see. But by day two, I was enjoying being unplugged. For the first time in years I went a whole week without checking my email, voicemail, blog, or anything else!

Amy, unplugged. What a notion!

I had a very wonderful time. Mostly I just hung out with my family and enjoyed being with Baby. He had a great time too. He loved the sand and the beach. In fact, he wanted to walk right into the ocean! Really!

I'm working hard on getting things ready for the next inspiredfriend and inspiredideas. Stay tuned for that to come on Sunday, June 1.

Oh, and Suzy sent over a couple more aprons and those too cute for words hankie cosmetic cases. Check it here.

Baby is throwing a little hissy fit. And I just got a whiff that let me know he's working on something in his diaper.

I missed you all. It's good to be back.

Monday, May 19, 2008

vacation: day 1

Today is the first full day of vacation...and the word of the day is aaaaaaah!

Friday, May 16, 2008

inspired ideas projects

There are some really fun projects featured in the latest issue of inspiredideas. I hope you'll check them out.

I've gotten so many nice emails from folks who've tried projects in previous issues...and they are all so wonderful! I'm hoping to share them with you soon...maybe next week while I'm away.

I have a list of about a million things to do today...including orders! Thanks so much for all of them! There are still a few corsages and bags and aprons and pincushions left. AND more aprons and hankie bags are due to arrive any minute. That's another thing on my long list of things to do.

Today is the day that I need that clone of myself. Wouldn't it be great if you just had a closet full of 'em just waiting to be activated?

Alas, there's only one me...a very busy me, at that.

Oh but my cleaning angel is here today. That's a good thing, is it not?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

inspiredfriends suzy & beth...

Go discover the talents of best buds, Suzy and Beth, my newest inspiredfriends! Click here.

And click here to see the latest issue of inspiredideas...the best yet, I think!

By the way, we are getting ready to go on holiday next week. All orders placed today and tomorrow will go out before I go. Otherwise, orders placed between May 17 and May 25 will go out the week of May 26.


give me another 45 minutes, will ya?
It's a case of nothing going exactly my way...close but no cigar. oh, but I'm telling you, it's worth the wait! I promise! You really won't believe your sweet peepers!

oopsy daisy

I never bother to read the messages Yahoo posts for me at the top of my store manager. I should've taken the time though since what the latest little note said was that I wouldn't be able to get into the store to do all the last minute work I need to do to get the next inspiredideas and inspiredfriends in order.
Will you peek back in at 12 noon to check my progress? If I don't have it ready by then, I'll have a new time to tell you.
Oh, and just to tease you a little...just look at this little something that my inspiredfriend made.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

my new favorite snack

Here's what's fueling my very busy's just the right combination of salt, crunch and creaminess. The only thing that would make it better would be a slice of pear to chase each crunchy, creamy, slightly salty bite. Oh, I do have some apple butter...maybe I can try that on a bite. hmmmm...

Do you spy that very sweet cuppycake on the tablecloth? A gift from my sweetiepie friend Cindy for my very first mother's day! Don't you wish she were your friend. Go here.

Okay, back to work for between bites of creamy, salty, crunchy goodness, perhaps with dabs of appley.

I can't wait for you to see the new inspiredfriendS! That's right...this time there's a pair! And I do think you'll like the newest inspiredideas. Meet me here first thing tomorrow morning, won't ya?

p.s. This is your last chance to grab up some rosey posey confections. And, people, seriously! I can't believe there are no takers for this...

Hello? Absolutely Cuteness.

Monday, May 12, 2008

something to blog about

If you've created any of the projects featured in any of the issues of inspiredideas and feel like sharing them, send me an email with a link to the blogpost of your projects...(or, if you haven't a blog, just send me an email with the pictures of the projects and I'll post them) Send them to: inspirecompany (at) gmail (dot) com.

p.s. I had a wonderful, relaxing Mother's Day...I even caught a catnap. And I had the nicest dinner at one of my favorite places. A predinner cocktail, then a bit of surf and turf...crabcake and petit filet mignon. And for dessert, a fresh and still warm berry shortcake with housemade whipped cream and a scoop of ice cream. It was so good...all of it...but most especially that dessert. Thank you to everyone for your happy mother's day wishes and notes. It was a magical I've waited for too long. But then again, what's to keep everyday from being that good? Oh, except perhaps that dessert! Love to you all...hope your day was magical too.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mama's Day

Here it is, the eve of my very first mother's day as a mama. I love taking care of this sweet little boy and doing mommy things and giving him his fill of hugs and kisses.

(For those just tuning in, my husband and I are foster parents to a little boy who will most certainly go back to his own mother once she gets her life back on tracks.)

He's been sick this week. He's had sniffles before but this bout was a little bit more severe. Most of last week he only wanted to be held. We spent quite a bit of time in the rocking chair humming songs. The poor dear is feeling better today. Just in time for me to come down with it.

Happy Mother's Day to my own sweet mother who taught me love by loving. I've thought of you so often these last few days of taking care of this sick little chickadee...and how even now when I'm sick, I still long for your warm hands to hold my head. Your hands are magic and I always felt better when you did that. 37 years of thank you's for that and everything else you did (and do!) for me.

Happy Mother's Day to all my mama friends out there. Feel loved and appreciated and cherished today and everyday.

Friday, May 9, 2008

more confections...

Cheryl whipped up more beautiful things to share with you...

Click here to order.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Hey! Guess who I saw today?

Did you guess Emeril?

He's taping a new show, Emeril Green, at our Whole Foods right here in my neighborhood. How cool is that??!

My friend Hope and I saw him there about 2 weeks ago, taping his show in the produce department. And today, as I was pushing my cart through the store, telling Baby the name for everything we bought and giving most things (not eggs or such) to toss in the back after his careful studying, a young lady flagged me down, whispered that they were taping and asked me to "act natural and do not look into the cameras" as I walked by.

I think I might start grocery shopping every day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

friends like these

Cast your eyes on this wonderful jar of goodies my friends Ann and Linda of the cottage gave me last night. They sure know what I like, don't they?
I haven't had a chance to do more than peek at all the goodies...I'm looking forward to dumping it all out in a big pile in the middle of the kitchen table and taking a good look at every little bit. Maybe tonight after Baby goes to sleep.

Darren's story

It was almost two years ago at my friend Claudia's beach house when she told us of their family's worries for one of her grandsons, Darren. Especially compared to his very active twin brother Trevor, Darren seemed withdrawn. After a battery of tests, it was confirmed that little Darren is autistic.

The twins are almost four now and we get positive progress reports from our friend Claudia whenever our rowdy bunch of friends gets together. Claudia's son and daughter-in-law have moved to Fairfax County to be closer to the exceptional care and support Darren can get here.

Not long ago, the boys' mother planned an art project for her boys involving painting and then tearing tissue paper. The response from family and friends at the amazing results propelled the idea to make the artwork into cards like that shown here. Proceeds from the sale of these cards directly benefits Darren and autism research. Click here to visit the family's journey through autism and to purchase a set of these cards.

Monday, May 5, 2008

bluebirds of happiness

Hope you like these birdies as much as I do. Is it wrong to love something you've made so much?

They are up in the shop. Click here to get one of your very own.

oh joy of joys!

This morning an angel showed up at my doorstep...Judit. She is going to be my cleaning friend and I'm just as pleased as punch. I'm giddy with excitement.

So, am I the only crazy girl who spent the entire day yesterday cleaning to prepare my house for the cleaning lady? Well, I didn't actually clean...although I had to fight the urge...I just straightened up and organized and put things away. Oh, and I not only shut the door to the studio, I locked it. This is just in case she misunderstood me saying "not this room"...maybe she heard "work real hard on this room". I think if she saw it, or if any of you did, you would not be able to look me in the eyes again.

So in juggling all the balls in this new life, the one ball that got constantly dropped was housecleaning. If I swept the floor at all, it was just once a day. And I can't remember the last time I cleaned our bathroom in a manner necessary for healthy living. When Judit was in our neighborhood the other week passing out flyers, I just knew she was to be my cleaning angel. I asked a few questions, talked to Rich, and it was all done so fast I couldn't believe it. And I can't wait to see all the sparkling cleanliness that is sure to come in just a little while.

I feel like Christmas.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

look what flew in...

I'm hoping to put these sweet little bluebirds up on the site tomorrow. I only made these 6 (3 mamas and 3 babies) but I think I'll make more soon...I loved making them! and I love how they turned out!

mo made goodness

My friend Mo has been busy working on new things for her section of Inspire Co. Click here to see what she's whipped up for you.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

who? me?

Today is our 11th anniversary. Our very favorite family from church took care of Baby for a few hours tonight while we went out for dinner. I can't say anything good about the meal itself (so I won't say anything but by not saying anything, I'm saying something, right?) but it was really so nice to have a date night and celebrate our wedding anniversary. Last year this time we were in San Francisco!

I bought this sweet dress from Target today without even trying it on. It looks so much sweeter than this Alice in Wonderland sweet. I wore it tonight.

After dinner, we went to Barnes and Noble to pick up a cd I'd special ordered. While there, we puttered around and I decided to look for the new Artful Blogging Magazine. I almost didn't see was hidden behind Woodworking Magazine. It's so great to leaf through and see so many familiar people featured among the pages of this incredible magazine. I was reading through Holly of Holly Doodle Designs feature right there at the periodicals section and I think a little scream might have escaped my lips when I read a whole paragraph attributing her blogging beginnings to little ol' me!

When people say nice things about me and my blogging I get this kind of awwww shucks feeling and get all bashful and silly. I wish I could be more gracious and outwardly appreciative. Lots of times people send me such really nice emails so full of thoughtful things and I'm too embarrassed or shy or silly to even reply. I should work on this I know. It's just amazing and a little unbelievable to me that people really do enjoy reading my random thoughts so much.

I want to say a special thank you to Holly for including that bit about me in her story. I feel so honored and special and, well, awww shucks!