Friday, June 29, 2007

*un*happy camper

Lots of people have asked me lately about camping this year. Some are eagerly awaiting updated camp pictures. Remember last year?

Well, I'm a little embarrassed to say that I've chickened out. We're camping this year near Gettysburg, PA. In the middle of July. I'm fairly sure that the middle of July in Gettysburg is similar to the middle of July here. And that, to be specific, is H*O*T. And not in the Paris Hilton way. More in the "I can't sleep because I'm afraid I'll drown in sweat" kind of hot.

It's just not a good scene.

So, this year, we're renting an air-conditioned with its own private loo "cottage". I will take pictures, of course. Oh, and guess what! My folks are joining us. There's an extra bed in our "cottage" and, since this camping trip won't require midnight trips in the dark to a scary bathroom or sleeping on a mattress that loses all its air through the night or zipping your door closed as your only level of security, they agreed to come.

It makes me giggle to think of my mother roasting weiners over an open fire. I'm hoping too that we can get her in on a round of poker. You wouldn't believe how much fun she is to play poker with. But be careful. She'll take you for every penny you've got with a handful of nothin' at all.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

oui! oui!


My friend Corey and I were asked to contribute to the latest issue of Romantic Homes. We were so excited to see 6 pages nearly filled with Corey's photos, everyone of them labeled with a note to purchase the items directly through Corey or, stateside, with me.

Click here to order. Quantities are limited.

The package from Corey with all these wonderful things is due to arrive soon but I decided to put the French finds up now in case people see the article and visit right away.

There will be a few other goodies that I'll add when the package gets here...including two mirrored compacts and a silver dollhouse chair!

Look for this issue of Romantic Homes to appear on the stands within the next week. The Cottage received their bundle of issues yesterday while I was working there so I know they are on their way into circulation.

*photos are courtesy of Corey Amaro.

Monday, June 25, 2007

another new thing!

Aren't these so pretty? They are vintage wooden spools wound up with authentic German lametta. Available in two lengths, 2 and 4 feet. Longer lengths (up to 10 feet) are available upon request.

Click here to order.

another gift!

A strange thing happened to me this afternoon. After the rush of getting orders out the door, I nearly collapsed with fatigue! Don't be wasn't the "I'm so sick" kind of fatigue. Rather it was the kind of sleepiness that beckons for a nap and won't allow you to do anything productive in the meantime.

So I thought I'd just sit still for a moment and perhaps just rest my eyes. My eyelids were so heavy. Of course, you can predict what happened next. Lulled by the bright dialogue of "Take Her She's Mine" where Jimmy Stewart is trying to save his sweet daughter from the Parisian artist, I fell immediately and completely asleep.

About a half hour later, the doorbell startled me awake. (It's a good thing...I think afternoon naps should not last longer than that) And this is what waited at my doorstep, all the way from Italia and my good friend Rosanna...

Opening the first sweet parcel revealed this beautiful bracelet...

Nestled in the next little bundle was this beautiful necklace...

Rosanna's sweet little daughter made me the next gift. It was a decorated photo of the two of us together in New York. Here's my favorite part...

Nicole has always drawn people as teddy bears...isn't that the sweetest thing you've ever heard? Don't you just love this lineup of colorful bears?

And then, from Rosanna's recent trip to Turkey...

a whole wonderful box of Turkish Delight! How exotic and wonderful. I've already gobbled up two little cubes and I think I'll have another (or two) before the day is done.

Thank you, Rosanna, for such a wonderful gift package! I love everything so much.


After I got over the bookkeeping fiasco, I had a really great week. I loved visiting with my friend Lorraine in her beautiful pink palace on Wednesday. On Thursday, after working only in the morning at the cottage, I took off with Pam and her fabulous guest Carol for an afternoon of complete fun and antiquing at a few of my favorite haunts.

And then Friday was a magical happy surprise after another. New products I'd ordered arriving by post, the labels for the glitters coming out exactly as I'd hoped, and this...

A gift package from Brenda Walton herself!

Believe it or not, there were even more stickers and embellishments than this and it's all really wonderful. I'm so in love with her dollhouse line of paper.

Friday, June 22, 2007

the birthday girl

I made these birthday girl brooches almost a year ago. They were intended to be a part of a bigger project. When I opened the drawer they were hidden in, I decided to let them out and share them with you!

Click here to see them all and to order.

a sweet little dollhouse

When I found this sweet little dollhouse, I knew I had to offer it for you. It's not very big (only 14.5" x 10" x 13") but it would be so easy to decorate and make your own.

Click here to order yours!


Oh! I have so much to show you today. I just finished designing the label for my new glass and pure silver glitters. I'm so excited to share these with you!

The clear glass glitter will give your projects a sparkly sugarcoating. It's the same kind that I use for my little houses. And the silver glitter is really exciting's made from real silver and will naturally age and tarnish giving your projects an authentic vintage look!

Click here to see them.

just in...scrap journals!

Oh, how I love these new scrap journals. Click here to see them all and to grab one (or two!) for yourself.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

a dreamlike day

I can't sleep. I keep trying to sleep but everytime I close my eyes I remember another something wonderful that happened today as I visited my friend Lorraine in her home.

This picture is of my friend with her little neighborhood friend Buckley. When little Buckley saw Lorraine about a block and a half away he started running as fast as his little feet would take him. It's some kind of love, let me tell you, that these two feel for one another.

I'm really kicking myself that I forgot to take more pictures. I was so busy taking in all the eye candy all around and hearing the most fabulous tales. It's no exaggeration to say that every something in my friend's house has a story. And they are really, really wonderful stories.

I wish I could show you a picture of the artwork that changed my friend Lorraine's life...turned on a little pink lightbulb inside her heart. And I'd show you the mosaic fireplace that her dear friend made for her. Or the trompe l'oiel window the same artist painted with pink bunnies and other delights hopping in the grass. Oh, and I'd definitely show you the mural another friend painted in her staircase of a magical garden.

In the morning, my friend's daughter was hosting a camp for the sweetest little girls. I fell in love completely with this little pixie named Pia. Seriously, I could've put her in my pocket and carried her home. She had the rosiest cheeks and prettiest smile that made her little eyes twinkle.

Today was pajama day for the camp. The little girls were extra sweet in their little robes and nightgowns and pajamas. My friend Lorraine wore the cutest bunny slippers!

I could go on and on about what a delightful day it was but I'm afraid I'll just torment you to talk about such wonderful things without having the pictures to back it all up. Lorraine, my friend, do you think you could send photos. Of everything?

Oh, I do have one other picture. This one is of me in Lorraine's famous chair. She has albums and albums full of photos of friends in her little chair. I'm honored to sit among them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I need a drink

I began the day with good intentions. I need to update my books. About a month ago, which was the last time I thought to start this overwhelming task, the opening balance was off in the merchant account when I started to reconcile it. We'd just upgraded to the newest version of Quickbooks and there was a new option that said, something like "press this button to make everything right again". So, I pressed that magic button and decided that I'd done enough work on the books for one day. And I probably treated myself to a candy bar. You know me.

Fast forward with me, if you will, to today. In the spirit of putting my big girl panties on and all of that, I decided that I would devote my day to tackling the books. Let me just preface all of this by saying that I really, really, really hate doing my books. It makes me cross-eyed and stircrazy. I'd rather do just about anything.

Well, when I opened up my books to reconcile the merchant account, as is the first step of my book-updating process, I discovered that the magic button I'd pushed about a month earlier had "magically" turned back time all the way to the first day of business for Inspire Company!

It undid all of the bookkeeping work from way back in September 2000 all the way up 'til the last time I looked at these dang numbers back in February (when I had to get them ready for the accountant).

The room began to spin. I started to get that clammy feeling. I had to put my head between my knees and try not to cry.

Think, Amy, think.

It turned out to be not as horrible as I thought. In my sea of papers there was a reconciliation report my bookkeeper Jonna had printed out before she left to have her baby. I was able to go through that report and uncheck numbers as I followed along with my finger and mumbled them to myself outloud (sounding a lot like a crazy person).

And now I'm going to resist the temptation to call it a day (and order up that drink on on the rocks). I'm going to try to go back to work. But first I'll have an ice cold Coca-Cola with a little vanilla syrup in it. Oh, but wouldn't it be nice to throw myself on the couch and watch old movies!

the A-list

I'm seeing lots of bloggers putting lists of favorite things up. Thought I might share a few of mine...

1. Whenever I visit my friend Debbie at lunchtime, she always feeds me a grilled cheese sandwich with bread and butter pickle slices ontop and tomato soup. Her house is always full of children and I usually sit at the kitchen table with them while she makes us all lunch. She's a great mom and, sitting there at that table watching her fix me a lunch, I feel like one of her little ones.

2. This mug. On the other side it says "Do what you like. Like what you do". It's my favorite mug in the cabinet.

3. Surprise gifts in the mail. I think everyone must love this. But I do believe I especially so.

4. Turning on the tv to the old movie channel and finding a gem of a movie just coming on. "Bringing Up Baby" or "Roman Holiday" or "An American in Paris" or the like.

5. Staying in my pretty pajamas until almost noon. Sometimes later.

6. YSL Touche Eclat, Bare Escentuals, DevaCurl, e solutions launch pads (I can't find a single place that sells these online but I really love them. It's a glycolic acid peel that you can do at home. I bought mine at Red Door Salon)