Wednesday, October 31, 2007

the cottage's open house

Just wanted to remind all local readers that this weekend is the cottage's open house! It's sure to be a fabulous time. Ann and Linda are busy festooning the place for the big unveiling on Friday morning. And you should hear some of the fabulous finds they have waiting for you to discover! I mean, really!

Pictures, I promise.

happy halloween

Happy Halloween, my friends! I hope you have a day full of treats and just enough tricks to make it fun.

Rich is planning a little Halloween fun to go with doling out of tricks & treats tonight. It involves him making a dash this afternoon to pick up some dry ice. Curious?

I'd better get cracking...I have a list of things to do about a mile long. I think another cup of coffee is in order.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

a sweet holiday...

Isn't this the sweetest gingerbread house ever? The best part is that it comes pre-assembled! I just added it (and a few other new things) to the holiday here to see.

happy birthday!

Today is both of my parents' birthday! Will you help me wish them Happy Birthday?
It was on their first date, a double date, that they discovered they shared a birthday. As the story goes, they were parked in front of my mother's house at the end of the date. The other part of the double date was in the front seat. As my mother tells it, my father and she were in the backseat drawing pictures on the steamed up windows. There has never really been a satisfactory explanation, in my opinion, for how the steam appeared but my mother insists it was very innocent. So, as they were drawing such things as JK + MG on the steamy windows of the backseat of the car, my mother casually asks my father about his birthday. When he tells her, she doesn't believe him. She thinks he's found out from someone else when her birthday is and declares it his as well.
As it turns out, it is indeed his birthday. And hers. And, to top it all off, my father's mother's too!
The evening ended abruptly with my mother's parents tapping on the car window insisting that she come into the house at once. How very inappropriate...distasteful...unbecoming to be parked right in front of the house, making steamy windows in a car with a boy she just met!
Happy birthday, Momma and Daddy! Hope your day is full of surprises (and maybe some steamy windows too?!)

Monday, October 29, 2007


The secret's out...introducing My Muu-Muu... a line of super comfy and fun pajamas/playclothes!

Do you remember coming home from school, throwing off your good clothes as fast as you could so you could get into your playclothes and really have some fun? My friend Cindy designed and created these especially for you. The muu-muu pants are handmade from 100% cotton fabric and are layered with over-the-top details like ruffles and buttons to make these too much fun to wear. The tee-shirt tops are accented with super cute appliqued and/or embroidered designs.

There are 5 designs: Tea for Two, Bumbershoots, Cupcake, I'm in the Garden, and Sunnyside Up. These are making their debut at Silver Bella. They will sell for $68 per pair and come in sizes Small through Large.

Friday, October 26, 2007

7 random things

I've been tagged! My friend Pam would like for me to share 7 random things about myself. Here goes nothin'...

1. I talk to my mother on the phone every single day. We talk about anything, everything, and nothing. Sometimes the call lasts for 5 minutes. Sometimes the call lasts an hour and 5 minutes. If I initiate the call, I must also be the one to say goodbye. I sometimes forget this rule (her rule) and we talk even longer because she'll never say "Well, I'll talk to you later" or "I have lots to do...I'd better get started" unless she called me.

2. I like to be surprised but I also really like to figure things out. If you really want to surprise me, then don't even let on that there is to be a surprise. I will find it and then I'll wish I hadn't.

3. I drive like a little old lady.

4. When I was little, I was known as the one who could find things. I had a keen memory for where I last saw the scissors or hammer or an odd sock. If something went missing, they'd ask me. I'd think for just a minute and then run to find it. The same thing might happen now but it's because I never put things back in their proper place...Rich always if something's out of place, it is nearly always my fault. Sometimes it is the house fairies'.

5. I like to order a coca-cola with a cherry in it. Try it next time you're at a restaurant with a bar. I've never had anyone say they couldn't do it and nobody has ever charged me extra.

6. I took my friend Lorraine to Neiman Marcus cafe this week just so I could have some of that monkey bread and pink butter. If you haven't tried this treat, you really must. Next time you're near a NM with a cafe, just pop in for a pot of tea. They will give you the roll and pink butter regardless of what you order.

7. I ate one of those crab apples yesterday and it indeed took me back 30 years. I closed my eyes and pretended to be back there, my hair in twin braids, happy and free. A time machine disguised as an apple...imagine that.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

button trees

I just finished making these for my little room at the cottage for next week's open house.

On to the next thing...

glitter glitter everywhere...

This morning I rambled off a list of things to Rich as he ate his corn flakes. It was a list of things I wanted to work on today for, you guessed it, Silver Bella. And also for my little room at the cottage for the holiday open house next week.

As he was leaving for work he called back over his shoulder "Don't try to make everything in the whole world, okay?"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

pink tree love

I just had a fabulous lunch with my fabulous friend Lorraine. I love spending time with her! She makes me want to use words like fabulous.

I'm so loving the pink tree that's appearing on the cover of the holiday issue of Blueprint...oh, it's so, well, fabulous! And pretty.


It's drizzling outside, which sounds like a sweet lullaby after months of drought.

Yesterday afternoon at the grocery store, I spied these little crab apples. They were really too expensive but somehow they hopped into my cart anyway.

They remind me of the apples that grew on the tree at the bottom of the hill of my childhood world. We climbed that tree and swung from ropes. We ate the sour apples all day long, throwing the half eaten cores to the ground below.

If I stretch my mind even further back to my earlier childhood, I'll remember there was another apple tree in our backyard. It grew "wine apples". We were sure that meant they had wine in them, and we treated them like the forbidden fruit (meaning we gobbled them up sneakily). My grandfather used to lean against the back gate with his pocket knife and one of those apples, sweet and mealy, and slice off bits. If you were lucky, there'd be a slice for you.

I thought of all these apple memories as I considered these little bitties. I guess I decided that it was a small price to pay for a trip back to that apple tree. I wonder if they'll taste the same. And, if they do, what long forgotten things will dance back into my curly head.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

another s.p.

{s.p.=sneak peek}

Remember that sneak peek of the fabric I showed you a few weeks ago? Well, my friend Cindy is on the home stretch. When they arrive, I'll spill all the beans. But for now, here's your little sneak peek.

I bet you can guess...

Monday, October 22, 2007

new jewelry...

I just added a whole new wonderful line of jewelry to the site...find it here.

heads up!

This delicious jewelry (don't you love it???) is being added to the site this very moment...It's so good that I just couldn't save it for Silver Bella...these jewels are for you, my dearies. If you don't buy it up, I have half a mind to keep it all for myself.
Check this page for the update...

Friday, October 19, 2007

yes indeed!

We had a great time shopping and hanging out yesterday. I bought two pairs of Lucky Jeans. One pair is just like the ones I wear everyday (but with a leopard print inner waistband). I also bought these. Don't you love that floral print in the waistband? And the little label on the back is embossed velvet. Oh, I love such things!

I also bought these shoes! They are a very lovely shade of red that I can definitely pull off as a neutral. And they will look just as great with jeans as they will a cute skirt. I think these will be my go-to pair for the fall! They are by Clarks so they are super comfortable. I demonstrated this to Rich last night by running a lap around the kitchen. :)

We spotted this fabulous scarf with cupcake and candy know I loved it. But it was $95. Yikes. Santa Baby?

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Okay, so here's the thing. Last winter my friend needed a pair of sexy jeans. We waltzed into the store together and I declared to the pretty young boy working there "My friend needs a pair of sexy jeans".

He got busy sizing her up (quite literally) and presented her with a few options. Meanwhile, just for the heck of it, I tried on a couple of pairs. My friend did not buy any. But I did.

Fast forward to present day, to me wearing this same pair of jeans nearly every blasted day because I love them so much. And to my friend saying "Amy, we need to get you a new're wearing these out!"

So today I am meeting my friend for some shopping, including jean replacement therapy. And I will be on the lookout for something cute to wear to Silver Bella. You know, every other word that comes out of my mouth these days is Silver Bella. Can you tell I'm excited??!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

rose petal cottage

Hello? Have you seen the commercial for the Rose Petal Cottage by Playskool? Where was this 30 years ago?

So here's the I watched the video for it, especially the step by step video of how to put it together, on the site (oh yeah, I don't have about a billion better things to do) I realized that something like this could be made at home. You could build a framework using pvc 1/2 pipes and fittings (I'm not sure there's a fitting that would allow for the pitched roof though) Maybe I'm totally nuts but I think make the fabric walls, complete with details like pictures hanging, windows with curtains, and window boxes. Maybe I inhaled too much glitter dust because typing this out I can see that this would be anything but easy. But it does seem like fun. You can gimme that, can't ya?

edited later to add: I had no idea that this twee little cottage was smack dab in the middle of an embroiled discussion. I admit the commercial says crazy things implying that a little girls dreams can come true when she's washing the laundry. Uh, that has not been my experience. Making cupcakes, maybe. Making stuff, definitely. But never, not once, while setting the dial to heavy load. And, incidently, not while sweeping or hoovering either. As much as I love the pink cottage for all the reasons you'd expect me to, I do wish they'd included a bookshelf, a computer, and a lawnmower.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

sugared sign

What was I thinking, not glittering my sign? Thanks to Deb for bringing me to my senses. Much better, indeed.
Today I'm working on how I'll set everything up...I'm very pleased with how it's all looking and I'm feeling fairly confident that I'll be able to set it up rather quickly.

Monday, October 15, 2007

chapel of love

Here's another sneak peek at the houses I'm making for Silver Bella. I really love this pink and green little chapel and I love the dear groom waiting for his bride. I used silver glitter for the'll look especially lovely when it starts to tarnish a bit.

Tonight is the night when Rich has control of the remote and he watches a series of shows that I have zero interest in. Well, it's more than that...watching these shows makes me incredibly tense and stressed. So I think after dinner, when primetime starts, I'll retreat to my studio and continue with my glittering fun.

Or maybe I'll just get lost in a stack of magazines or a good book.

Hope you had a pleasant Monday. I loved my blog journey today, finding so many bloggers with ideas for taking care of our environment.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

pumpkin patch

We went today with our niece and nephew, Kylie and Keyton, to the pumpkin patch. You wouldn't believe how fabulous this place is! 5 giant slides! A hayride that goes on forever! Lots of animals, including a freaky goat with 4 horns!

Kylie had the best time of all of us. She loves the slides most of all.

Here's Rich with easygoing Baby Keaton.
Here's Kylie on her pony ride.

Even though she's nearly out of the picture, I still like this photograph.

Look at this bit of surreality. It's about 20 feet in the air and it looks just as surreal in person.

Oh, and here's that aforementioned 4-horned goat!

If you live in the DC metro area, you've got to take every little one you know here too!

Friday, October 12, 2007

a sneaky peeky

Lately when a friend calls and says "Hey, Amy, whatchadoin?" my answer has been a steady "making houses". I really should say "I'm playing" because that's what it feels like. I love making these houses so much.

My father used to set up a village scene every year under the Christmas tree. We'd go to bed as he was hammering at the plyboard platform he remade every year, with the smell of spray paint and reindeer moss in the air.

And we'd awake the next day to a magical little town, complete with a working railroad and a train that whirled around "chuga chuga chuga choo choo!" disappearing in a tunnel only to reappear on the other side. Did a burst of steam really puff out of it? Did I imagine that?

He set up roads with cars and ponds with skaters. And dotted along the imaginary neighborhoods were people going about their imaginary business, frozen in place. Or was it? The real magic of it was that the whole town came to life. The newspaper boy threw the paper into the bushes. The children laughed and played stick ball. The cows gently mooed and the horses galloped in circles.

I would sit and watch this sweet little town with its sparkly stars courtesy of the Christmas tree above. I longed to play with it. "Look with your eyes, not your hands" was the strict rule. Punctuate that rule with the fact that the railroad sometimes let out an electrical shock and, well, I don't think I ever did touch it.

This is one reason why I do love making these houses so very much. The 8 year old Amy comes alive in me and plays with a magical neighborhood. When the tiny little man tips his hat hello, she smiles and curtseys back. She tells him how lovely his gumdrop tree is looking. And when she sees the newlyweds sitting on their front steps ankledeep in fresh fallen snow, she smiles too at the sweetness of it all.

These houses and dozens more are for SilverBella.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

a sign

I made this sign yesterday afternoon to hang from the top of my display at Silver Bella. A week earlier I was explaining this technique to my friend Becky and I thought I'd share it here as well.

I used a very large plaque from Michael's...from the unfinished wood section. It was $14 but I used my 40% off coupon. I painted it with gesso tinted with a small bit of dark pink acrylic. I designed the sign with the fonts I liked and printed it out (since the sign was so large, I printed the design to two sheets which I lined up and taped together.)

I made a sort of graphite sheet by covering the back of the design's paper with a crosshatching of pencil marks. Graphite paper works great but I just didn't have any handy.

Next I taped the design sheet with pencil on back to the board and traced the design, making sure to get every bit. I use a colored pen to do this so I can better see where I've been and where I haven't.

When I lifted up the paper, the design was left in pencil on the board. I filled in the letters with paint and accented with white paint. I sealed it with a gloss coat.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

five and dime wanderlust

I found these old photos of store displays on the Internet last night. Tell me, don't you crave to see them in color? And wouldn't you love to walk into Woolworth's of yesterday and shop at those prices, all of those wonderful buttons and notions and other delights? I do think if I had a time machine, that's what I'd do. I would transport myself to a Woolworth of yesterday.

I found these images here.