Monday, June 30, 2008

please wait here

We survived the emergency room waiting room. They're not kidding when they call it a waiting room (and I think they are joking calling us "patients"). It took about an hour and a half to get the form filled out. But in all seriousness I was worried that it would take all morning.

I've been working hard to get everything ready for tomorrow. This little picture is a sneak peek in case you want to guess who the inspiredfriend is this go 'round. Check back in tomorrow morning...should be up by 8:30 am EST (and quite possibly a little sooner!)

busy monday

Well, we hit the ground running this morning.

First things first, I had to clean my very dirty kitchen. I'd made barbecue yesterday afternoon and had to dash out with it right away to make it to Rich's mom's 70th birthday surprise party. You can't be late for a surprise party. And then when we got home, I was too pooped to even look in the kitchen. I wish I'd remembered then how much I hate waking up to a dirty kitchen. What a terrible way to start the day.

The kitchen is now spic and span. Baby is surrounded by a sea of books and is leafing through them making funny noises. I wish you could see how he looks at his really looks like he's reading them!

I have lots of work to do to get ready for the next inspiredfriend and sure to check in tomorrow! It's the S*W*E*E*T*E*S*T! Until then, this is your last chance to grab up a goodie from Catherine.

Somehow today I need to squeeze in a trip down bureaucracy lane. My file at the foster agency is "not in compliance" of the things missing is a form that must be filled out by a doctor everytime the baby has a medical visit. Three days after he came into our care, we had to make a trip to the emergency room. That silly form was the last thing on our minds. Unfortunately now, 6 months later, I have to go to the same emergency room and ask someone to fill it out. All of this just so his files are "compliant". It's so important that his file is in order that someone's job is on the line.

Maybe, by some little miracle, this task won't be as difficult as it seems. Maybe everyone at the emergency room will know exactly what I need the first time I ask and it'll be taken care of in two shakes of a lamb's tail.

Don't forget to check in tomorrow morning at about 8:30 am to see the update!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

nothing really

I was going through some pictures and found this was taken just about a year ago using a tripod that needed to be adjusted. It's so hard to take a picture of yourself.

My hair is much shorter now but I'm in need of a cut again. And I'm in the market for new specs.

We're having a nice easy day today, trying to stay cool. Hope you're having a swell day too.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

an opportunity

If you sell crafting products or supplies and are interested in product placement in an issue of inspiredideas, please send me an email for more details.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

catching up

Seth asked me to take a picture of him today. It reminds me of one I took of him a couple of years ago with a strawberry stained mouth and him holding up a bird whistle. He has the same expression on his face in both, I think.

Can you believe he's 6 now? I think lots of you have watched him grow up these last 3years.

My parents and Seth are heading home tomorrow. It's been a fun visit, I'm happy to report.

The christening was on Sunday and was really a beautiful ceremony...very personal and sweet. Baby loved the water pouring over him and he was so gleeful the whole day. Well, except for one little tantrum when we decided he'd had enough cake.

Is it wrong that we had a Heaven and Hell cake (angel food and devil's food) for the reception?

Tomorrow I'll have to hit the ground running to catch up after playing hooky so much lately.

p.s. I found that picture from a couple of years ago of Seth that I referred to in this post. It's not really as similar as I'd thought. Oh, and you can see his short new 'do. buzz buzz. He told Rich that it was a number 2 cut. Then he went on to say he could've gotten a number 5 and he almost got a number took us a while to understand that those were settings on the hair trimmer his barber uses! Ha!

Friday, June 20, 2008

geezy pete

Saucy's right! My father used earring backs, stacked with beads and then painted for the tiny finials on his icons.
Earlier this week, while blogsurfing, I spotted little felt houses on little felt hills nestled in teacups. I'm driving myself crazy trying to find them again. I tried looking through my history but it doesn't seem to be there. Has anyone seen them? And if you did, where oh where oh where??? They were so cute and I have to look at them again!

Everyone is still asleep (except for my father who's gone for a walk) Any second now, I'll hear waking sounds.

Last night, Rich had a game after work in DC. So, with free dessert coupons in hand, I decided to take my parents, Seth, Baby and me out for dinner. Everyone packs in the car, I go back in to the house to get a sippy cup and bib, set the alarm, shut the door. I get into the car and start looking around for my purse to get my keys out. Uh's locked in the house.

We thought my parents had an extra key but we couldn't find it. I called Rich and he told us to get our neighbor across the street to drive us to the Silver Diner and Rich would pick us up. Geezy pete, what a night!

It reminded my father of when I'd just gotten my driver's license and first car. I was 21. After leaving my parents' house, I stopped to buy gas. I left the keys in the ignition (I know, right?) and thought as I was shutting the door "If I'm going to leave the keys in the car, I'd better lock it so nobody takes off with the car!" Well, that made my father feel really great about all that money to pay for my college education, that's for sure!

Oh well. I could tell you a million more but I'd better get started with my day.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

from my father's hands

Of all the things my father has made, this is the dearest to me.

I asked him not long ago to carve a nativity set for me. While we were on vacation, he carved Joseph and Mary. He would've carved Jesus too then if he had the wood but there wasn't a source for that sort of thing there.

Next he'll make one for each of my sisters and my brother.

He's also trying his hand at making icons. Do you know what he used to make the little finials on the top? Can you guess?

My parents and Seth are visiting for a week. My sister Jennifer and her family surprised us and drove them here Tuesday night. We spent yesterday afternoon crafting, all of us, while the Baby napped.

I can't wait to show you what Seth is working on. He's here on the sofa now waiting patiently for me to see if they are dry up on top of the refrigerator. I can't keep him waiting too long.

He has a buzz cut for the should see it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

wrap around

When I was little, my mother made almost all my clothes. My favorite thing she ever made me was a wrap around skirt. She made many of them, actually. My favorite of the wrap around skirts was the exact color of cream of tomato soup. I loved it for that reason.

I'd wear these wrap around skirts to school with shorts underneath. At recess, I'd whip off the skirt and tie it around my neck to wear as a superhero cape. I'd run around as if I were saving the world.

I wish I could see that little girl today, crazy hair and even crazier smile and, best of all, sparkle in her eyes. I'd tell her that her crazy hair that only the old ladies seem love is beautiful. I'd tell her to keep smiling that big smile as if she was aiming to win the big smile contest. And I'd tell her to hold on to that sparkle just as long as she can. I'd tell her that it's okay to be's okay to be yourself.

When I saw this wrap skirt on etsy it made me think of my skirt turned cape days. I think I should treat myself to one. You can find more here.

mount st. laundry

Today I'm tackling a mountain of laundry. This time I'm going to see it through all the way to the last sock. For months now, I've only done laundry by the load, chipping away at the problem. Today, I'm folding and sorting and loading and unloading all the day long. Would you believe I have at least 2 whole loads of pink clothes (mostly pajamas!)? That's a problem, I'd say.

I also went through Baby's chest of drawers, finally putting away cold weather clothes and anything that no longer fits. I put this off far too long, wouldn't you say?

Baby's napping now and lately his afternoon (now only) nap has been a few hours! Just the right amount of time for me to actually be excited to hear him wake up.

I made this collage yesterday during naptime. It's for a friend...just a little gift. I'm thinking of making more. I remember when my sweet friend Alicia made a bunch of collages and sent them out to friends. It was the nicest thing in the world to get that gift in the mail...and the best gifts of all are the surprise, for no special reason, gifts, wouldn't you say?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

inspired friend, Catherine Thursby

I'm so happy to present Catherine Thursby of Red Shoes as my newest inspiredfriend. Her style is fun and funky. I know you'll love it. Click here to discover all about her and to shop her collection.

The latest issue of inspiredideas is up, too! Click here to see it!

Happy Father's Day!

Happy {first} Father's Day, Rich! What a joy it is to share the gift of you with Baby and to see him discovering with joy just how wonderful you are. I love how patient and kind and loving you are and I'm so proud of the father you are.

{This picture is of Rich with our little nephew Keyton at Easter this year}

Happy Father's Day, too, to my own dear ol' Daddy! I love you so much and can't wait to see you later this week. Thanks for being such a good father to me.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

g'mornin sunshine!

I'm up early again today. I have lots of work to do to get ready for the new inspiredfriend and inspiredideas installment TOMORROW! I can't wait for you to see. Here's a hint...she let the cat out of the bag on her blog. And her blog is on my blogroll.

So tune in tomorrow morning...put a note on your coffee cup or your mirror. I'm planning to publish at about 8 am, EST.

Friday, June 13, 2008

the early bird

I woke up this morning at 5. My body just seemed to have gotten enough rest and my mind was already working. I've already done some sorting and stashing and I've managed to clean off the kitchen table, which was smothered in junk.

I'm enjoying a nice cup of coffee, which feels nice on my raw throat. Maybe it's just me getting old but it seems like I wake up with a sore throat nearly every morning. I'm afraid to ask if I've been snoring. I think I know the answer, and it ain't pretty.

There is some pretty big news that I have to share. Baby's mother asked me to arrange for him to be baptized. And, best news of all for us, she's asked Rich and me to be his godparents! We are just so happy! This will be a lifelong, permanent connection to this little guy. So wonderful.

The mom is still working to get her life on track. To be honest, though, without divulging details, she doesn't seem to be working as hard as she should. I don't mean to make judgments. The next court date is in October and the goal of everyone is supposed to be Baby's return to his mother by then. He's still only visiting with his mother for just an hour a week. That's heartbreakingly little time. I wish she'd see the urgency of it all, for his sake, but sadly she seems resigned to the one hour weekly visit and doesn't seem to be doing much to change it.

The house is starting to make waking up sounds...I think I'll finish this (now cooled) cup of coffee and see about picking up some of these toys littering the floor. It's amazing how much more he loves his toys when he can start afresh with his tossing and sorting and general playing.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Here's the wonderful thing I found to solve my "hot spot" trouble area on the half wall next to the kitchen table...

I spotted it on my friends' blog at the cottage and hoped it would be the right size. It is, indeed, the perfect size.

I've already started tackling the junketyjunkjunk. The littlest cubbies are just a bit smaller than I thought they were...I was imagining something like shoebox size. Well, as I was driving home from the cottage today with my new great solution in the trunk, I was trying to think of what sort of box might fit in the holes. It dawned on me that business card boxes would be just the thing! And I knew just where to get them. Unfortunately, I had to buy a whole case (of 80!), but I think I have some ideas for them!

I'll show you another picture when it's all done.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

big kitchen changes...

I'm dreaming of a new kitchen...

Here's the state of things now. I know it's not bad but I'm just ready for a change. Not the kind of change that will cost thousands...not new cabinets, new counters, new floors sorts of changes. Uh uh. No money for that. I just mean new decorations, new wall color (maybe) and new window treatment kinds of changes.

Here's what I'm thinking...

That trash can at the end of the counter has become a real problem. We shove plastic bags in the cubbies and Baby makes a game of it every single day to take the bags out and spread them artfully around the kitchen floor. "This bag is not a toy" is evidently meant for dopes like me.

Also, if by chance we forget to shut the hinged, drop-forward trash can, some sort of radar sensor goes off in Baby's mind. He shuffles over as stealthily as he can and shuts the trash can on his poor little digits. Again, dopey us for leaving it open but you can't easily undo a decade of bad habits.

I'm sick to death of the faded pictures and decor that's been in place for too many years. It's out of here. In its place will be some very sweet things...think ice cream cones and cupcakes and candy.

(what's that on the floor, you ask? oh just some laminated pictures from the refrigerator. Baby prefers them on the floor.)

My mother gave me this cupcake cookie jar (from Cracker Barrel) to get me started. It now houses my coffee pods.

The biggest problem of all in the kitchen is the little half wall separating the kitchen table area from the family room. Since Baby has arrived, I never use my craft room for anything but stashing. It's gotten so bad. Meanwile, I do all my crafting at the kitchen table with Baby crawling around at my feet, inspecting my toes and feeling my ankles for stubble. When mealtime rolls around, whatever is on the table goes in precarious piles on that half wall. I'm going to overcome my embarrassment of it all and show you what I mean.

Yikes! See what I mean. And the height of my embarrassment was seeing my cleaning angel with her feather duster ever-so-carefully wanding over the heaps of mess.

So here's the jab...I know that I will be using my kitchen table for crafting and that the stashing to some place convenient isn't going to change anytime soon.

But not to worry. I have a solution. A beautiful solution. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 9, 2008

what's so special about that?

So how can you tell when the lunch special isn't his cup of tea?

We'll have to work on those table manners. Yesterday morning, after church he tossed his sippy cup across the table, knocking over my coffee all over my pretty Sunday dress. I swear, I just sat there. I think I even took another bite of my pecan roll, just sort of pretending it didn't just happen. I guess I picked up the knocked over cup because I then took another sip of coffee to wash down that bite of pecan roll. And then I woke up and sprang into action, mopping up and saying things like "This is why we don't throw our sippy cups!"

He's teething...a big old flat molar pushing its way through his gums and making everything just a little harder. Got any good advice about teething?

I'm working this week on getting the next issue of inspiredideas up...and I can't wait for you to see the next inspiredfriend! You're going to love it all, I just know it.

Hope you're having a swell day. Keep cool and don't forget to chase the ice cream truck if he comes to your neighborhood. I think I hear him now...ding ding ding!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

thwarted plans

The pool never did get blown up yesterday. The biggest baddest thunderstorm came roaring through and not only ruined our afternoon plans but our dinner plans too! (no grilling in downpours!)

Here's how Baby is sitting watching his show. The whole time his little hands are squeezing up and down his feet and legs. So funny.

It's suppose to storm this afternoon too so I think I'll get the pool up and out there right after lunch.

Oh, and the shoes are by Nine West and I got them at the Nine West outlet so they might be hard to find. But they were only $14.

Hope you're having a great day.

There are still lots of wonderful artworks from Berries in the Meadow available...namely,

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


These are made by Amber:

ideas wanted...

Do you have a great project you'd like to share? Shoot me an email with a picture and description of your finished project. Your idea could be chosen to appear in a future issue of inspiredideas!

Projects should be your original idea. They should require only easy to find equipment and supplies and should be relatively simple in execution.

button up

So I bought these very cute shoes at the beach and fell instantly and completely in love. I wore them the first time and the button fell off. (See the ugly metal thing)

So today as I headed off to the farmer's market, realizing that I shouldn't bare the toenails in desperate need of attention, I looked at these shoes and a thought ocurred to me. "Hey", I thought, "I have buttons. I have thousands of buttons!"

A few minutes later, meet my new, even better shoes...

We had a fabulous time at the farmer's market. I picked up some cheese made at a local dairy, including some cheese curds, some English peas, some spring onions, some green beans, and some salad greens.

The farmer's market is in the parking lot of Whole Foods. I went in for a shallot, and saw Emeril again today. Yesterday I actually talked to him! I told him that I adapted his recipe for bbq, cooking it in a pressure cooker in his wet mop sauce. He said good for me for using a pressure cooker and that most Americans are afraid of them. I said how much nicer and easier the new digital ones are. Then, he peeked in my cart asking what's for dinner. I replied kabobs on the grill. He gave me a high-five and walked away. How much fun is that?

Oh, and I think we might be in the background of one of the shots. I was buying something sweet from the bakery when I heard "ACTION!" I pretended not to hear it and went about my shopping as cool as a cucumber. Inside, I was grinning ear to ear. Baby, who loves shopping at Whole Foods because of all the sampling stations, was eating some coffee cake and was even cooler about the whole thing.

Hope you're having a nice humpty day. The big plan for this afternoon, post nap, is to blow up the big frog-shaped pool and have a little dipsydoo. If I don't pass out from all that huffing and puffing and blowing up, I just might take a picture of the set up.

I wish you lived next door so you could come over. We could stick our tootsies in the pool (even my chipped and badly-in-need-of-pedicure ones) and sip on something tropical while Baby splashes around.

Or we could have popsicles. I'll even let you have the purple one.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

are you inspired?

Here are some examples of inspiredideas projects made by friends

By Jess:

By Christine:

By Doreen:

By Lucinda:

By Clare:

(If you've made something from inspiredideas you'd like to share, send me an email. And if you sent an email but I didn't post it here, forgive the oversight and send it again, will ya?)

Monday, June 2, 2008

quiet morning

Hello sweet friends. June? Already? You've got to be kidding!

The house is still quiet but I can hear some waking up noises coming from the monitor. When Baby wakes up, he cries out just once or twice and then sits in his crib, patiently waiting for one of us to come get him. Then when we get there, he hurries to the end of his bed to eagerly show us one of his "friends" on his dresser near the bed. Maybe today it will be his pink pig, or the sheep with the party hat, or the little boy holding the rabbit. It is just so cute.

Hope you have a good day, my friends. He's just cried out so I'm off to see what it'll be today.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

june 1 update

I'm so happy to share the artwork of the Chapman family's "Berries in the Meadow" with you. It's bright and cheery and fun and I just know you'll love it as much as I do. Prices range from just $5 to $55.
Click here to meet the Chapman's and see their work for sale at Inspire Co.

There's a new issue of the magazine as well, filled with fun and easy projects including how to make a nest of string!