Tuesday, April 25, 2006

my happy place

I took some more pictures of The Cottage and my little room here.

I redid my room. Here's the new look...

Here's the view when you're coming down from the upstairs room:

Ever wonder how many buttons I have? Uh, a whole lot...

Here's the box I made to display the button bracelets at the cottage...

I think I might make these to sell. Everyone seems to love them and it's a good way to use buttons that aren't suited for bracelets. I think I'll make frames too and maybe some other things.

This is the best button bracelet I ever made. It belongs to The Diva. I had to resew a fallen button so I had it back in my hands for a little while. Long enough to shoot this photo. Isn't it wonderful?

You might be wondering what the outside of the cottage looks like. Wonder no more, dear friend.

And here are the photos of how wonderful the cottage is looking. Get ye to the cottage!

sodie pop

I arrived early to the cottage this morning so that I could walk down the street to buy lunch for later. There are so many wonderful little eateries in downtown Leesburg. The best of these is a restaurant called "Lightfoot". It's in an old bank and it is simply wonderful...food, atmosphere, service. Next door to the restaurant is a little bakery run by the restaurant. That's where I found my lunch...and that's where I found the most wonderful and unusual selection of sodas.

How's this for an idea? Each Tuesday I will try to do the same as today and try a different special soda. I will write a review of the soda, giving it a rating of up to five pops.

Today's Selection:
Boylan Sugar CaneCola

This soda is made with real sugar cane and no corn syrup. The result is a cleaner sweet, if you will. It's perfectly bubbly and wonderful. I drank it all happily. As an enthusiastic Coca-Cola drinker, I found the taste to be similar but sweeter and very good.

little thoughts

Hey, Club Little House Members, have you thought about what you'll be making or buying for the Club Little House Exchange?

I've had some requests for details about the exchange. You should try to stay within the 1:12 scale, which means that each inch represents a foot. We're not going to be sticklers to this scale so if you make something a little big or a little small, it's okay. For this first exchange, let's think of things that you might give as a housewarming gift. If you have a brilliant idea outside of that scope, that's okay too. I promise. This is meant to be fun.

Since us twelve members are going to each get identical packages, please prepare 12 of the same thing. For instance, if you are going to make a picture for the wall, make 12 of them. If you can't stand the thought of making 12 things exactly the same, you could, for example's sake, make each of the 12 pictures different.

If you have any questions, post them in the comments section here and I'll address them publicly for everyone's benefit.

If you are worried that we'll have duplicate offerings, we can keep a list of who is making what but I like the element of surprise so much, don't you? Let me know then if you would like for me to organize a list of what is being prepared and we can vote on it just like a proper club would.

I'm so excited! Are you?

Monday, April 24, 2006

walk america this weekend

Thank you for everyone who is sponsoring our family's walk for Tommy. As many of you know, we lost my husband's brother Tommy in February. We are missing him so much.

If you would like to sponsor me in the walk, please click here. I really appreciate it.


First of all, let me say that I love this pink television. It's just about the cutest thing ever. It's at Target.

While I'm on the subject of television, Rich just cancelled a tier and we are down to the very basic cable. A few months ago he threatened such to save some cash but I thought I'd protested enough. So last week, without further discussion (which is really uncharacteristic of our union) he called the cable company and the deed is done. Bad boy.

I wasn't a big television watcher before. Really I wasn't. When I did watch, it was passively while Rich channel-surfed. It was a lot like being in a sidecar on a motorcycle. However, I liked keeping Turner Classic Movies on during the day. I especially loved catching a Doris Day movie in the middle of the day and giving myself permission to sit still for a while to watch it.

Rich says that it's summer and we should be watching less television. He's probably right. And how nice would it be to sit together and read? He's right, I'm sure of it. But this is definitely life-altering. While everyone else is upgrading their television experience with bells and whistles like Tivo and High Definition and such, we are going backwards to network only television.

Oh, but I did subscribe to Netflix. Maybe that will help soften the blow. Maybe a pink tele would even further soften it.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

fairy phenomenon

I just read an article about this in the Washington Post and had to share it with you...

Something very strange is happening in Ann Arbor, Michigan...and it's wonderful! Little fairy doors

are popping up


To see for yourself, you must go to this site Also, read this article.

All of the photographs used in this post are from the Urban-fairies.com website.

Flower and Garden Show

What a beautiful day it's turned out to be! We went to the Leesburg Flower and Garden Show and it was terrific. Two words for you: Kettle Corn. I just ate a whole bag as we drove down the winding country roads returning home.

Here's a picture of a garden display from the show. It was just outside of the hobby shop, hence the train. I love it. Isn't it fun?

These are the most beautiful flowers from a wedding yesterday at a church just up the street from the cottage. The arrangements (one on each pillar) were in beautiful stone urns yesterday but not today.
I love the cherry blossoms, especially because of what they mean to the DC area this time of year. Oh, and being pink doesn't hurt.

This is a house that I pass whenever I take the country roads to and from the cottage. I always look for it and admire it. It's so tidy and sweet. It has quite a few little outbuildings around and I dream of how nice it would be to have a separate little house for Inspire Company.

I was at the cottage all day yesterday and Friday, too. I changed my little room. I didn't take pictures and I'm not sure why not. I will on Tuesday, for sure.

Jenny was supposed to come by the cottage for a visit while she's here in Virginia but I wonder if all of the hullabalou of the Flower and Garden Show scared her off. Lots of streets were closed and I imagine it would be confusing for someone unfamiliar with the area. I'm sorry it didn't work out...I was excited to meet her.

The cottage is all abuzz with anticipation for The Paris Flea Market. It's going to be so much fun. Doojies and Little Melfred will be there, plus lots of artists and antiques and wonderful finds. If you are in the area, I do hope you'll be able to stop by. It's on Friday and Saturday. We are praying for sunny skies.

I think I'm going to treat myself to a little nap now. I'm feeling deliciously sleepy and think I could drift off nicely. I think I'll dream of Kettle Corn and Cherry Blossoms and my sweet little pink striped room at the cottage. What a life!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

so much going on!

Are you wondering what happened to me? Seth is visiting.

Here he is with his "souvenirs" and his strawberry-stained lips. He loves to collect things. He has 3 dozen 6 inch lengths of assorted ribbons that I cut for him. I also had a package of glow in the dark rick rack that I gave him. He loves it.

At the breakfast table the other morning Seth started making a series of funny faces and said "this is how the dishwasher sounds". I made a movie of it to show you. The noise in the background is the tv. My father listens to it at top volume and I have to tell you it is driving me batty. Anyway, here's the video: Seth's impression of the dishwasher

Easter dinner was fabulous. Everyone heaped food on their plates like never before and I do think it was a success. The best part by far was the Easter Bunny's appearance after the egg hunt. The children were all so very surprised and happy. Except Seth and Maggie. Seth knows that it is my father and being in the inside of this secret is really doing a number on the sweet little boy. Maggie is so afraid she shakes of the Easter Bunny and the gorilla and probably will be afraid of all of the future costumes that are in the works.

On Saturday my little friend Matt had a birthday party complete with a moonbounce! I'd hoped that Seth would arrive in time to go but he didn't. The Easter Bunny, however, did go with me. He wore the whole get-up...head included and his ears stuck out of the sunroof. It was so much fun driving down 66 with such a celebrity. Cars slammed on brakes to get a better look and whole carfuls of children waved out of windows. What was even more amazing to me was how many drivers didn't even notice that the Easter Bunny was passing them!

Before I sign off, I've been tagged by Jenny.

1. Five minutes to yourself: how would you spend them, ideally? Daydreaming. Eyes going out of focus and mind a-wondering and beautiful little things drifting in and out.

2. Five bucks to spend right now: how would you spend it? I would buy a little gift for Seth. Something sweet and small that he would fall in love with immediately.

3. Five items in your house you could part with, right now, that you hadn't thought of already? the huge oriental rug that used to be in the living room that doesn't go anywhere now, the lamp which has a switch that doesn't work and it has to be plugged in to turn it on, the mirror in the hallway that looks like a window with shutters and that is always ascew, crazily so, all of the pillows on the sofas that are all out of shape and lumpy, and finally the tiny little table that my friend just gave me that doesn't go anywhere and isn't really my thing.

4. Five items you absolutely, positively could never part with in your house? my sweetiepie, this, my red linen sofa, my laptop, my favorite chair

5. Five words you love? lovely, sugar, little, sweet, and yes

I'm tagging a few who are relatively new to blogging: Michelle, Kim, Sharyn, Roxi, & Carol,

Friday, April 14, 2006

hangin with the easter bunny

This picture is from Seth's visit to the Easter Bunny last year. It is my very favorite picture.

He didn't want to sit in the Easter Bunny's lap. He just didn't. So his mom and dad convinced him to sit next to the Easter Bunny. Just before the photo was shot, Seth decided he'd put his hand up and touch the Easter Bunny. Isn't that just about the cutest thing ever?

Oh, and how do you like how the Easter Bunny is lounging?

club little house

The first installment of Club Little House is underway! I sent an email to all of those who expressed interest and I had 12 signed up within a couple of hours. If you didn't get in, don't worry. If it turns out as well as I hope, I'll do it again for sure.

Club Little House Members: If you'd like, feel free to use the graphic above on your blog. You can link it to: http://www.inspirecompany.com/clublittlehouse.html

My parents arrived yesterday. My brother, his wife and my sweet Seth come tomorrow. My sister Jennifer, her husband and sugarpie Maggie will get here on Sunday morning. My sister Jessica is still trying to decide whether to come. Please, oh please come Jessica! It won't be the same without you.

All of Rich's family is coming too. I can't even bring myself to count how many people. Can you believe that I haven't been freaking out about all of this? I haven't even told you about it. When I asked Rich what he thought about how calm I was about all of this he said that's how it's supposed to be. Oh, okay.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

good morning sunshine

I woke up this morning sometime within the 3 o'clock hour. I could have stayed in bed and waited for sleep to come again but I didn't. I got out of bed for these three reasons.

1. a bird was chirp chirp chirping to beat the band outside my window and I don't think he had plans to stop anytime soon. (He's still chirping at 8)

2. my heart is feeling funny today...it sort of feels like it is turning over. Not a gentle turning over but how you might turn over in bed when your bedfellow has taken all of the covers and you are going to reclaim them by pulling them as you thump yourself over. That's how my poor heart was feeling.

3. a thousand worries were swimming circles in my head. I have so much to do today.

So I hopped out of bed and got to work. I made myself a cup of tea and printed out my orders. I put the radio on and got busy putting the orders together. Before I knew it, I had them all ready with just a couple of exceptions. I needed to go to my new workroom to do just a few things for the next three orders.

There are two dormer windows in this room and for some reason they are extremely deep and narrow. One of the dormer windows is actually in the closet! It's totally wasted space since it is so narrow but I've always sort of liked it for its strangeness. Well, the other day I dreamed up something fabulous for it. I put my old daybed/cot in and it fits perfectly!

When I looked into the closet this morning at goodness knows what time, I just couldn't resist. Rain had just started to fall and the bird was still chirping and I just climbed right into the little bed. I didn't really go to sleep. I just sort of rested until the sun filled the little room. It was very nice. I think this little spot will be just perfect for afternoon naps. Yes, indeedy.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

don't eat off from that tree!

The picture I posted yesterday was from a workbook my husband Rich completed for First Communion. I had the same book when I was little.

Now I might get into a little trouble for posting these but hopefully he won't find out since he doesn't read my blog.

Some of the crayon-writing is part of the book.

Note in this picture the size of Mike's feet (he's famous for them!)

I wish he gave me candy when we quarrel. That might make me happier.

You must be happy. Is that a commandment? I like it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

bunny cake

This is a drawing that my sweet husband made when he was a little boy. Rich LOVES his bunny cake and from the looks of this he always has.

To make a bunny cake for yourself, make two round cakes much as you would if you were making a 2-layer round cake. Instead of stacking the two rounds, place one round in the middle of a platter. Cut the other round into sections for the two ears and the bow tie. If you cut the oval ears from opposite sides of the circle, what's left in the middle is the bowtie. Does that make sense?

Frost the cake with "fluffy white" frosting. You can cheat by using that marshmallow fluff stuff in a jar...it's basically the same thing as 7-minute frosting. Cover the frosted cake with coconut. Use assorted candies to decorate the face. Gumdrops work well for the eyes and pink nose. Licorice ribbons are wonderful whiskers. Rich's favorite part, I do believe, are the polka dots on the bowtie fashioned from jelly beans.

As Julia would say, Bon App├ętit!

Sunday, April 9, 2006

amy ♥'s easter

As you can see from these pictures, I've always loved Easter. I'm three years old in the top picture and six in the bottom. I'm the curly haired, biggest smiling one standing in the back in case there's any doubt.

I love how my sister Jessica is adoring our brother Shawn. I love how her hair is still in pin curls. I can imagine the rush and fuss probably right after this picture was taken for us to all hurry and get ready for church. Do you see Shawn's baby shoes on top of the stereo?

On Easter more than any other Sunday, we'd be so happy to wear our fresh and new clothes that we've been planning and waiting to wear for weeks and weeks. My mother used to make our dresses so leading up to this day we'd had many pin-filled fittings, standing tall on a chair so that she could make sure our hem was straight. Months before this day we'd picked out the pattern and the fabric and all of the trimmings and buttons. We'd watch over the days leading up to Easter as our dresses came together.

And we probably got new patent leather shoes too. And a new white cardigan. My father would pick pretty dewy-fresh flowers for all of his girls (including my mother) to wear. I can still remember how dangerous it felt to have a stick pin so close and how it would sometimes stick me a little when I wiggled in church.

My very favorite memory of going to church when I was little was our family's secret code for "I love you". We would squeeze each other's hands three times...I (squeeze) Love (squeeze) You (squeeze). I remember how happy it was to be in between my mother and my father and squeezing their hands and then their gentle squeezing back.

p.s. For the top picture I used the photo frame from my friend Mo's digital scrapbooking collections. The kit is called "Primitive Scrapbooking" and it is my favorite.

Saturday, April 8, 2006

a place for everything...

Isn't this a fabulous idea? I just bought this ribbon organizer from ebay. Click the image to get your own...there are 3 left so hurry!

Meanwhile, an update about my workroom-to-be. Great news...It is a go!

I got quite a few inquiries about why I would need to convice Rich that I needed a workroom. People worried that I was in some sort of oppressed marriage. I'm not. Not at all. In all fairness to my sweet and better half, I have already taken over all of the basement and most of our office. And I'm so messy. Whenever I brought up the idea of having a workroom, he would envision yet another area for me to invade and make messy.

So I'm going to try try try to keep this space inspiring and orderly and fun. And I will work on organizing the office and the basement so that they're not so crazy.

To help me with this goal and to be more accountable, I promise to post pictures of my office, my new workspace, and my basement in the next few months. How's that for an idea? I've got my work cut out for me, I'll tell you that!

p.s. I am just about to send an email out to those who signed up to hear more about Club Little House. If you signed up but didn't confirm your email you won't get the email. Please reply to the email so that it will add you to the list.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

oh she's so excited!

This, my friends,

is mine!



I am way too excited! I'm going to put it in my workroom-to-be. Hopefully. I need to convince Rich of my need for a workroom. Wish me luck! Meanwhile, and regardless of whether he's convinced, this massive piece of furniture is mine!