Friday, March 30, 2007

from secret leaves

I'm so excited about these! They just came in and they are really so wonderful. I think they'd make the most extraordinary gifts. I can't remember when I've been this excited about a new product at Inspire Co.

There are three different types of books, all handmade by Secret Leaves in St. Louis, Missouri.

The first in the series is an incredibly unique photo album with black pages. The covers are so elegant, made from music books. The albums are decorated with ribbon and a wonderful vintage button or jewel. They will arrive to you with a tin of photo corners and a white pen...all you'll need to do is collect your photos and inscribe little notes. Wouldn't this make an incredible wedding gift?

The second type is a scrap journal. The pages are made up of all sorts of fabulous old papers including maps, envelopes, old letters, and more. All vintage and original. Just imagine how much fun (and how easy it would be) to tuck in your own treasures, photos, and mementos!

And lastly, we have books that are made from old book covers, rebound with loose papers, to make a fabulous and inviting journal. There are two versions of this journal. One is made with bright colored book covers from the 40s and 50s. The other is made from very old book covers rescued by Sharon and Ann at Secret Leaves.

I'll put them in the store early next week. Stay tuned. But, if you can't wait until then, shoot me an email and I'll give you pricing information, etc.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

better today

I'm much better today. Much. I don't know what was wrong with me yesterday.

I still have a ton of things to do. The two big things are:

1. Prepare myself and house for Easter dinner (~30 people, big and small).
2. Get all sorts of things ready for the Paris Flea Market.

This year, Easter dinner (with both my family and Rich's) will be potluck. This takes a whole lot of pressure off me. I'm making a ham (think I'll just get one all prepared and nicely sliced). I'm also going to have some sort of hors d'euvres ready when people start to arrive...maybe a cheese tray with pate and nice crackers.

I'm going to take most of the furniture out of the living room and set it up with lots of tables, restaurant style. The dining room and living room are open to each other so I think this will be a good way to have everyone together.

I'm going to cover each of the tables with a simple white table cloth. I'll put daffodils on each table and some sort of pretty little favor that will double as the placecard. Maybe a dyed egg with their name on it? Or maybe I can plant some wheatgrass in tiny baskets. I could sprinkle in little foil eggs, maybe a peep, and a little flag with the guest's name? I'd better get started planting if that's what I want to do.
I have lots of raw materials for my kits that I'll make for the Paris Flea Market. I'll show you my progress as I go in the next couple of weeks. One of the things I'm particularly excited about is a kit for making glass dome paperweights. I'm planning on making the kits relatively easy to do with the fun being in the planning and designing part of it.

I'm at The Cottage today. The weather is so beautiful but the sunshine is tricking me into thinking it's warmer than it actually is.

These photos are of a display in the counter room. A bouquet of branches is hosting a party of nest baskets and charms (made by our ever-talented friend, Jean).

I'm going to shoot a lot of photos for Ann and Linda to put on their blog in the days to follow so be sure to look for them.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Okay, first...let me direct you to the wonderful new header my friend Mo just made for me! Just take a minute to take in that big, wide open smile. I've had that smile all of my life. I really tried to change my smile to something more demure, sophisticated and less dental. I can't help it.

Today I'm feeling very tired. I have a million things to do and it seems like all I can really manage to do is index them all in my head.

Here are just a few piddly things I must do today:

My friend Teresa turned me on to this nifty little thing that makes card catalog like thingies for you. Click here to make your own.

Hopefully, I'll shake this more than just get dressed...and have something more interesting for you to read later. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Adding a graphic, like the catalog card above, to your blog post (PC's)

1. Right click the graphic
2. Choose "Save Picture As" from the drop down menu
3. Select a place for the file where you'll be able to find it again easily. (perhaps your desktop)
a. Upload the image to a server. Reference the address of the file you just added to the server in code that will look like this img src="http://addyourimageaddresshere", adding a < at the beginning and a > at the end..

b. Or Use your blogging program to add the image to your blog post.

Alternatively, yet not really recommended, you could right click the image, select properties, find the url of the image in that box. Then cut and paste it into the blog post in code that will look like this img src="http://addyourimageaddresshere", adding a < at the beginning and a > at the end.

It's really so simple but I think I made it seem difficult.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spring NeSts!

The Spring NeSt is a harbinger of sunshine, blossoms, and blue skies. It is a celebration of the fresh and gentle rebirth of this, the first season...

Created by hand using raffia, specialty yarns, beads, a vintage millinery leaf, and a dried narcissus blossom, the Spring NeSt is nestled into a soft bed of lavender, rose, daffodil, and tulip petals for remarkably scented cushioning.

Click here to order yours, my friend.

button cards

These fabulous mini-collages are made by Stacey Bear using various vintage buttons. They're a sweet gift to include for your crafty friend. Glue them to a greeting card for an instant gift that your friend will appreciate and can use (if she can bear to cut the buttons off the artwork!)

Click here to see them all!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

thank you!

Thank you all so much for my wonderful happy birthday wishes. They all came true and I had the most amazing birthday afternoon (the morning was a little shaky). I went to the Ritz Carlton with my friend Debbie. We had just the most magical time. The highlight was the piano serenade of happy birthday just as they presented me with a mountain of whipped cream and strawberries.

Today was wonderful too. Ann and Linda showered me with gifts and cupcakes and pink balloons.

I'm very lucky. Here's to 36 being a banner year for me. I think this is to be a year of big changes, a better self awareness and self love, and good luck all around.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

birthday eve

About a month ago, Heather alerted me to these super-dooper cute boots. I bought them right away and then sort of forgot about them. They are just $19 from Target!

They arrived at my doorstep yesterday! And I love them. There's something wonderfully liberating about donning a pair of rainboots. I splash right through puddles!

Today is my birthday eve. I have a full free day ahead of me which I plan to fill with creative endeavors. I'll break for a special lunchtime treat and a few orders.

Did I ever tell you that it rains (or in some way precipitates) on my birthday every single year? Well, it looks like this year might break this trend.

Monday, March 19, 2007

let's make something...

I have something very exciting to tell you. I'm going to have a booth at The Cottage's Paris Flea Market! It's happening Friday April 27 and Saturday April 28.

The Cottage's gardens will be transformed into a marketplace full of artists and antique vendors. Oh, and to make it even more enticing, our friend Lynn will offer wonderful French pastries. Last year, I just couldn't get enough of the wonderful lemon tart that she topped with a chocolate kiss. It was divine!

This is a little advertisement that I made to put in the Cottage.

I'm getting busy making all sorts of things to offer, including an array of craft kits. I'll have a table and chairs set up so that you can work on the kits right there! I think it's going to be a whole lot of fun. Do you think you can make it? I really hope so!

And oh, sweet friend Waisze, you asked where you should stay when you come?...I looked into it and it looks like it is just about the same rate to stay someplace as nice as The Norris House as it is the Comfort Inn and other motel-ish places. The Norris House is just around the corner from the Cottage, and it would be a fun way to enjoy the small-town charm of Leesburg.

easter tree

My friend Theresa sent me these pictures of the Easter tree she and her little ones made. Isn't it delightful? She used eggs from Target (6 for $1), broken tree branches, moss and an urn. I love it!

Friday, March 16, 2007


This little guy is the big dollhouse's guest of honor. Isn't he the cutest thing?

He's from my friend Debbie's shop and is made by Lori Mitchell. The welcome mat, complete with slippers, was made by Gina for Club Little House.

I have an appointment for a haircut today. I'm long overdue. And tonight, if the weather isn't too dreadful, I'm off to a girls-night-out party at the cottage.

For now, I'm just relaxing, puttering around, and listening to the '50s station on XM. Just now "Come On'a My House" came on. This is Seth, Maggie, and my theme song. We play it at my parents' house at top volume and with many repetitions, dance like crazy with plenty of dips and swirls.

Tell me, could there be a better theme song for us:

Come on-a my house, my house a come on
Come on-a my house, my house a come on
Come on-a my house, my house, I´m gonna give you candy
Come on-a my house, my house, I´m gonna give you everything

Next week is Maggie's ballerina themed birthday. I'm sure we'll play this song a few times before the weekend is over. Maybe I should make them dance cards that we can punch. Wouldn't that be fun?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

more about the trip....

Hello, my sweet friends. Thanks so much for all your help in planning our trip. We've changed plans just a little. We're now planning to fly from Vegas to San Francisco and driving to Carmel.

I'm going to make a book to take with us with ideas of things to do and places to go, etc. I think that'll help us plan and make decisions while we are there. Oh, I'm getting so excited!

Our anniversary is May 3. It's hard to believe we've been married for 10 years.

I've been thinking a lot of what sorts of things I'd like to wear on our vacation. I definitely think a shopping trip is in order. I am thinking of keeping all of my clothes white, denim, black, and khaki...adding color with accessories only. It might sound dull but here is what I mean...

edited to add: I forgot to tell you were all the clothes, etc. are from!
Pictures 1 & 2: Gap
Pictures 3 & 4: Nordstrom
Picture 5: Macy's
Picture 6: Nordstrom
Picture 7: J. Peterman
Pictures 8 & 9: Anthropologie
Pictures 10 & 11: Nordstrom
Pictures 12 - 15: Anthropologie
Pictures 16 & 17: Nordstrom

Monday, March 12, 2007

a trip westward

For our 1oth wedding anniversary (coming up!), we are going to go on a little trip. We started planning it in earnest this weekend and we got a bit overwhelmed with all the little details. We decided to make an appointment with a travel agent this week.

We think we'll go first to Vegas. We've never been. We'd like to see Celine Dion's show and the Grand Canyon.

Then we thought we'd rent a car and drive to Los Angeles. We'll stay a couple of days there, do all the really touristy things like a studio and movie star tours.

Then we'll drive the Pacific Coast Highway up to Carmel, stay at Doris Day's Cypress Inn, and relax a little bit.

Do any of you have any suggestions for us? Anything we must see while we are in any of these places?