Monday, April 26, 2010

a nice surprise

Rich had lots of paper work to do this weekend so I decided to skip town with Alfredo for the weekend to give him some space and time. We headed out early Friday morning for my parents' house.

My parents live in a very small town...there are only two stoplights and sometimes the most exciting thing to do in the town is watch them change color.

Not this past Saturday night won't believe the exciting thing that happened Saturday night...

My mother said she had tickets for a performance on Saturday night and she had talked to Daddy and they decided that I should go with Momma and he would stay with Alfredo. "What kind of show is it?" I asked my mother. "Four guys singing together" and then she showed me the advertisement...

I couldn't believe my eyes! These guys are world famous...and were coming to my rinky-dink hometown to sing?!! They were just on Oprah, for heaven's sake!

The concert was absolutely amazing. After intermission, Seth (who had a front row, center seat) traded seats with me. He said he was trading with me because he wanted one of them to kiss me. I teased him after show with an elaborate story about how one of them begged me to marry him but I had to tell him that I was already hitched. He believed me and I had a time convincing him that I was just kidding.

My little town gave these guys a standing ovation that demanded an encore. A few people, including me, shouted out "Hallelujah!" hoping that's what they'd sing next and they joked that it sounded like they were in church with all the Hallelujah shouts.

I had two favorite songs, besides the encore..."O, Sole Mio" was sung solo by Victor was absolutely amazing. It made me feel guilty though for taking my father's place. He would have really loved hearing that song especially. And when they sang "The Prayer" tears sprung to my powerful!

It was such a nice evening and so different from what first came to my mind when my mother said "four guys singing together"...I thought it was going to be a barbershop quartet! The Canadian Tenors? Unbelievable. Go see them if they come visit your must!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

let's count our blessings...

64% of you voted for doing the counting our blessings as our next stitchalong project!

What's a stitchalong?
A stitchalong is a group stitching project in which participants regularly post their progress on their blog and/or a project flickr group. 

Do I need a blog to participate? 
Not at all. But it is fun to see what everyone is doing so maybe you'll consider posting your stitches on our project's flickr group. 

I've never stitched before...can I still participate? 
Definitely! Everyone is invited and encouraged to stitchalong. 

I want to read more about this project...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

another stitchalong?

Do you want to do another stitchalong?

I've gotten a few emails and comments asking what's next and I have a few ideas.

idea no. 1: Do a passalong stitchalong where we'll each do an inch square on a grid and then mail it to the next person. We'd have to move it around rather quickly and I'd have to require that you only participate if you knew that you could turn it around super quickly. But I think it would be fun for all of us to work on the same cloth. We could either donate the finished piece to a worthy cause or do a giveaway for it.

idea no. 2: We could do another grid-sampler for counting our blessings. Each square would be something representing a blessing in our life. I imagine that the stitching would help us keep our lives in perspective and appreciate what we have.

idea no. 3: This might not be everyone's cup of tea but I think it would be powerful and personal. Similar to idea no. 2, we could do a prayerful sampler. Each square would represent a prayer. We would pray as we stitch, thinking deeply of what prayer the square represents and then when we post the square we also post an accompanying prayer.

idea no 4: Stitching swap. We could stitch something useful, like pillowcases, napkins, tea towels, and swap them. And maybe to make it even more special, instead of sending the gift to one another, we could think of someone in our lives who could use a pick-me-up and have it sent to them instead. So if Mary and Jane were partners, maybe Mary requests that Jane send the gift to Mary's cousin who just had surgery and maybe Jane requests that Mary send the gift to Jane's friend who's feeling blue.

So I'm putting it up for a vote...look below for the poll and vote for which you think would be the most fun. You don't have to commit to participating...this is just to let me know which idea we should go with. Sign up will be later.

Monday, April 19, 2010

matchbox for Haiti by Hand

I decided to make an extra of  the matchboxes for Heather's swap to donate to Rebecca's Haiti by Hand. Want to see what's inside?

A little felt nest pin*
A real speckled quail's egg (hollowed)

A glittery bird clip

A tiny bird charm on a bit of vintage lace

A glittery tag

A stacked pin

And a tiny needlefelted bluebird.

All in this matchbox I embroidered. You can buy it for $25 over here. (All of the $25 will go directly to help people in Haiti rebuilding their lives)

SOLD (thanks!)

There are some other matchboxes from the swap at the Haiti by Hand shop too, including my swap partner Lynn...check them out!

*Betz White taught me how to make this nest pin.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

listening to the sky

On our walk today, I heard a low-flying plane and I remembered something I hadn't thought of in a very long time. Two things, really.

Parachuters used to jump across the river from where I grew up. Still do, as a matter of fact. When we were out in the yard playing and heard a low-flying plane, we'd look up to see how many parachutes we could count, picking out which was our favorites. They filled the sky like confetti, colorful and tiny. It was hard to imagine that there was a real person tied to the end of each of those specks.

I remember being really nervous for each speck, thinking a slight breeze would blow them off course, landing them wrongly into the water or high in a tree, or on our roof. I must admit though, I really wanted one to land on our roof. I couldn't imagine anything more exciting.

We also listened to the sky for another sound back then. If we heard a helicopter, chances were it was my cousin. He was a helicopter pilot and whenever he was near our town, he'd circle down low and wave down to us. We'd yell into the house and my mother and father would run out to greet him, too. We never knew when it would happen and it was the most exciting thing that ever happened in our backyard. I loved how special I felt. Then quick as he buzzed down, he'd be off again.

I don't know why my mind went to these two facts about my childhood today. Nor why I felt compelled to share them with you. I still hear that airplane buzzing about and I can't help but search the sky for brilliant little specks.

be kind

Worry is the opposite of faith.

I keep saying it and it's helping. That, and counting our blessings.

We're going to be okay. Truly, we are.

Thank you everyone for your concern and prayers.

Yesterday when I was so worried and stressed I needed something to get my mind off of things. I needed something big. So while Alfredo napped, I took all the pictures off the living room wall, spackled the nail holes, and sanded.

It's a little bit of a wreck in there right now but it felt so good to work on something big like that.

The thought of changing the living room has been in my head for a little while. I think the row of wooden houses I had above the sofa would look better along a hallway off the foyer. I might even paint the wall behind them with chalkboard paint.

Meanwhile, when I saw Katie Daisy's work over at Jenny's blog, I bought this poster immediately...

I'm working on a gallery arrangement of artwork to go over the sofa. I can't wait to pull it all together. And I'm going to try to do it without spending another dime.

The funny thing about this poster is that when I went to Michael's to buy a frame, this adage was tested a bit and I'm afraid I didn't do so well. It was Alfredo's naptime. My Michael's doesn't have a place in the parking lot to return the carts. On every other day we go there, I always make a point of returning my cart (and sometimes others in the lot along with it) all the way to the front of the store. But yesterday, I don't know, I was feeling lazy.

I'd parked way out in the parking lot, walked all the way to the car with Alfredo in the cart, unloaded my frame into the trunk, and started walking back to the store with Alfredo still sitting in the cart. I considered going the distance to return it properly but Alfredo was whining, so completely ready for his nap, and I was tired. So I nested our cart into another abandoned cart, took Alfredo out of the cart and started back to my car. And then I heard a man say "YOUNG LADY! If that cart hits my car, you're going to be in BIG TROUBLE!" I looked over a little confused. And then he started full-out cussing me out. Maybe it's my imagination, but I think he was even waving his cane at me high over his head. And he was sure mad, blaming the state of the world on bleep bleep lazy bleep bleep bleeps like me.

Anyway, I didn't do the kind thing. I just ran, my heart racing and my spare hand cupped to Alfredo's ear, back the car. Everybody stopped in the parking lot to stare at this angry old man and then back at me, fleeing the scene of the crime.

I got in my car and cried. You can be sure I won't ever make that lazy mistake again!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

counting blessings

We just got some shocking news concerning taxes this year. I can't get my head around how it ended up that we are writing a check that will wipe out every penny of our savings. I'm scared and sick and worried.

I'm going to take some time out from all this worrying to count my blessings. My sweet Alfredo, our little miracle, is at the very top. I thank God for planting him in our life.

I think I'll go play a round of Hi-Ho Cherry-o with him and try to imagine life really is as easy as that. If your bucket is emptied out, it's really not that bad.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

the help

Sunday afternoon I had a rare day to myself. Instead of cleaning or doing any of the things I coulda-shoulda-woulda do, I sat in a cozy chair sipping sweet tea, nibbling little treats and reading this...
I started it on Friday night and I was hooked immediately. I just finished it yesterday and I wish I'd gone slower because now I miss it. It's one of those kinds of reads where you're stuck between wanting to read it constantly and wanting to make it last and last. So good.

And now I'm looking for another good any suggestions?

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I made the shadowbox yesterday during nap time. It's a simple cigar box (you can get them for free or close to it at cigar stores) I removed the lid and removed/sanded the paper. Then I painted the inside with a subtle gold metallic wash and the outside with a pretty pale blue mixed with the gold wash. The heart button and spool feet were hot glued in place. I had to stagger the spools back to steady the piece. It turns out I like the way they look all lined up.

Hope you're off to a good weekend!

Friday, April 9, 2010

from christina

Today my matchbox full o' goodies from Christina arrived. At the risk of making you insanely jealous, just feast your eyes on all this birdy sweetness...
Let's go in for a few close-ups, shall we?
Not one, not two, but THREE of the sweetest mister birdies in the whole wide world!
Oh, I love him!

And just look how sweet these three hair clips are! I put one in right away. So yummy!

A sweet little peep. 

An adorable tiny applique!

the sweetest bit of wallpaper ever! I wish I could wallpaper my powder room with this shiny wallpaper!

even the inside of the box is decorated. That made me smile.

Oh, I forgot to show you the outside of the box....sweet as can be!

Thank you so very much, Christina. I love it all.

little itty bitties

I put a few more little things in the etsy shop...

this is my favorite...

Thursday, April 8, 2010


39 squares for 39 years! I just finished the last of the 39 squares (plus one for the signature tag). So much fun!

Here's a flickr sideshow of the 39 squares project's more than 100 participants' samplers...

Amazing work! Thank you everyone for stitching along...this was a blast!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

from Lynn

I got the sweetest matchbox of goodies from Lynn last week. She is one of my swap partners for the petit inspiration matchbox swap this go 'round. I love everything she sent...

Look at this wonderful egg card she made...isn't it delightful?

And just look at how lovely the matchbox is...

I love the silvery nest perched atop the box, with three sweet pearl eggs nestled sweet!

Are you ready to see what was inside the box?

Can you believe how wonderful? I love every single treasure so much. Thank you, Lynn.

Monday, April 5, 2010

happy Easter!

Hope you and your family had a very nice Easter. We had lots of company, including the Easter Bunny himself. Here's a picture of Rich taking him for a ride.

Speaking of sweet rides, check out how cute Alfredo and Seth are together. Here Alfredo is hitching a ride on the back...

My parents and Seth are here for another day and we're having so much fun.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I bought this cute lamp at an antique store this weekend and I can't wait to fix it up. New pom-pom trim, for sure..any other ideas?