Wednesday, January 30, 2008

the great catch-up

Lots of gifts have come in since the last time I updated you on the ongoing flow of love from the blog shower. I know I'm leaving some things out. It's not intentional, I promise.
Charlotte made some wonderful art for the room...

including this wonderful sunshine clock. Baby looks for it every time he gets his diaper changed (uh, something like 22 times aday!)

Two wonderful friends sent these fabulous animal cars, Danielle and Shelly...

(Danielle and Shelly, please don't worry that we got two sets. We love them so much and we're happy to have a double-set!)

I thought you might like to see a behind the scenes photo showing just how hard it was to get that photo. Baby's been waiting to get his hands on the cars for weeks!

Becky sent us a beautiful green suitcase packed full with love...including this felt banner which has a new home between the two birds... And some fun crafting supplies that we've put away for an older friend.

or maybe not?

Becky also sent these two, Baby's favorite couple, Puppy Dog and Kitty Cat.
She sent a set of circus animal finger puppets that Baby just adores. He squeals whenever he sees them. I pack them in the diaper bag for special times (like doctor's appointments) when he might get a bit fussy.

My friend Debbie gave us this sweet Ducky... Jenny and Aaron sent this happy picture...Baby loves it and smacks his lips whenever he sees it because I think he thinks they are real.
Catherine made us this beautiful pillow...I just love it so much!
Tracey sent us this bundle of booties and burp cloths. The booties are a bit too wee for this little one but I know they'll be cinderella-perfect for another friend someday. I can't wait to have feet this tiny to kiss.
And this very special picture was made for us by the Chapman family. We love it so much. It means so much to us, especially from this very, very special family. I have to go now. Baby's eating lunch and he's only so patient. Okay, he's not patient at all.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

amy needs a new pair of shoes

I'd like to have these shoes. I'm still wearing those red mary jane heels I showed you a few months back and I'm still loving them. But these, with a heart in the middle. Oh my yes, these I love. (I hope the Valentine Fairy is reading this and lets Rich know that he can find them here and I wear Euro Size 40)

Baby is napping. He's doing well...happy and sweet and chubby. We might venture out on a little field trip this afternoon to Tiffany's, of all places! I bought my sister a charm bracelet for Christmas that needs a little adjustment.

I have some Valentine projects to share with you. I bought the supplies but never had time to make them. I'm hoping to get to them this week and show you how I made them. We'll see.

Monday, January 28, 2008

extra helping

This morning, Baby helped put orders together. First I put him in the hip-sling-thing and he had lots of fun trying to grab whatever I put in the boxes, especially tissue paper. It took ten times as long as it would've otherwise but I just couldn't put it off until I had free time. Because, well, I don't have free time. Not a complaint, please understand. I'm not even complaining that Rich took two nice long naps this weekend and still had the nerve to go on and on about how tired he is. Nope, I'm not even complaining about that.

I had to wind a bunch of tinsels on spools for orders going out so I took the wheelbarrel o' spools down from its perch on the book cabinet. Oh, my goodness, but if you could've just heard the squeal of joy from the Baby. He started kicking and laughing and bouncing. He could not wait to get into it. So, here's the picture. We're both on the cutting tinsel and winding it and making sure that Baby's pacifier stayed in his mouth (thus no spools instead!) and Baby tossing wooden spools over his back with such glee and force and noise. Then Baby had the idea to use the unstable wheelbarrel to lift himself up to his knees (to better reach the spools that looked so much better on the other side of the wheelbarrel). When he did so, the whole contraption turned over and spools poured out all over the place. Baby squealed so loudly and clapped his hands. And, well, I just had to take a picture. Just imagine another hundred or so spools outside of the picture all around, under tables and behind curtains, to be found years from now.

Baby's napping and I'm off to look at the site Erin suggested to help us better understand what he's going through...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

tiny bits of love

This little Valentine was just sitting around on the table beside the rocking chair in the family room where baby gets his goodnight bottle. Every once and a while he pops up from his bottle and points to it. I hold it up for him and he giggles or smiles or squeals. Then he reclines and resumes his bottle. Just a tiny part of our day but it's so sweet how much he likes this little Valentine.

He has also become such an avid reader. He loves "Lovey Dovey" (thanks, Cindy!) best of all and searches for the sleeping girl in the last picture. He hands me book after book and listens nicely while I read each page. I thought all of you friends who sent books would like to know how much he's enjoying them.

Jenny asked this week why we're fostering instead of adopting. The simple answer is that we haven't chosen one over the other. We are hoping to adopt someday. Maybe even through the foster program.

We were really guided to the decision to foster. Once we started looking into it, it seemed like everything was pointing that way.

When we were young, at about 4:00 every weekday when the whistle at the mill blew, we'd all pile into the stationwagon to pick my Daddy up from work. One day as he got in the car, dirty from hard work, one of his friends popped his head into the car window. He remarked at what a whole lot of children there were and said something about having enough love to go around. I'll never forget what my father said. "You've got it all wrong" he said "The love isn't subtracted, it's multiplied." As a young one just learning my multiplication tables, I understood what he meant. I think that's what we're doing too. The love we had, just the two of us, will be multiplied with every little one who graces our lives for how every little or long he or she stays. That's what I'm thinking anyway.

By the way, there weren't really that many of us (4) but people always seemed impressed by the size of our family. I can't imagine what it must've been like for Rich in his super-sized family of 11 children!

If you'd asked me a year ago if I would please take a little baby for a month or two, love him like he was my own, and then give him back, I would have told you that you were crazy and that I just wasn't cut out for that kind of thing.

As for now, I know I can handle the love part. In this short time, I've fallen completely head over heels for this little guy. There is a big heartbreak on the horizon, for sure. Maybe we're crazy for doing this to our tender hearts.

Baby is just about ready for his morning nap. He woke up on the wrong side of the bed, after a night full of tears and not much sleep. I hope he's in a better mood after the nap.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

heart in hand

I made these Heart in Hand Valentine decorations what seems like an eternity ago, before Baby joined our family. I'd had high hopes of making tons more (and bought supplies to make tons more) but it doesn't look like more of these are in the cards.

Speaking of cards, I have a few new ones to share with you, including an assortment of vintage Valentines...

Also, I've had a few requests for the polka dot heart box by itself...

To see these and all the new, click here.

perchance to dream

Baby slept the whole night through, only waking for a little bit at 11:30. He is still asleep. This small feat feels as important as anything I've ever done in the entire of my life.

I love this baby. I mean I LOVE this baby. He's all I think of. When I close my eyes to sleep, I see his face smiling back.

He'll be with us until at least April, perhaps longer. Luckily, every day is stretched out and no moment escapes us. I can't believe he's only been here for 2 weeks. How can that be? Maybe it's all that lost sleep that makes the days and nights go on forever?

I'll have a shop update today with some fun things. Not quite as many as I'd planned but these days are not my own anymore. Gone are the days of glue and glitter all afternoon.

Baby just made a peep that echoed through the house thanks to the monitors planted in the kitchen and our bedroom. Quick as a whip, Rich jumped up from where he was sitting next to me to go get him. With slightly less pep in his step, Rich just came back down the steps saying in utter amazement "he's still asleep!" What's that Talking Heads song about waking up the baby?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

my new life

I can't believe a whole week's worth of everyday thinking "I hope I get a chance to blog today" but not getting the chance to has gone by.

My whole life is completely different than it was just two weeks ago.

Little one is down for a *hopefully* long afternoon nap. He's getting used to sleeping in his own bed and doesn't sleep for more than two or three hours at a time at night. We're trying to get him on a schedule of one nap in the afternoon and in bed by 9:30 pm, sleeping through the night. That's our goal, anyway.

I'm hoping to get busy finishing up some Valentine-y things to share with you. I'm a bit panicky about it, thinking it's now or never.

I'm going to try to get back into the swing of blogging every weekday. It was so easy before.

Did you miss me, my friend?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

back by popular demand


These were so popular last year, I decided to offer more for this Valentine's Day. The boxes are a little smaller than last years but are chock-full of great stuff, including lots of special vintage bits and bobs. Just get a load of those vintage appliques! That little hot pink poodle is just begging to be put on a little one's skirt. And just imagine what sweet things you can do with a couple of crocheted cherries...

Little one has interupted the regularly scheduled programming just a little bit. I was able to put together this eye candy to just 10...this afternoon while he napped.

Get them here.

Friday, January 11, 2008

little victories

I am taking my little victories one by one, like trophies. I'm not afraid, I'm just not always so sure of myself. When do I let you cry? Does throwing food always mean you don't like it? Why do you throw such a fit getting in and out of the car? Where is that instruction manual anyway?

Baby's eating some scrambled eggs this morning. I can't tell you how exciting it is to discover what he loves and what he doesn't. I'm getting to know him by spoonfuls.

Last night I woke up from a deep sleep hearing him shout out. I walked dreamily but quickly down the hall, saying loudly as I entered his room "Here I am, baby!" but he was sound asleep. Did I dream it? Does that happen often?

I'm feeling so lucky today. And when Rich left for work this morning with a quick peck goodbye, there was such a look of love in his eyes. Love and pride and really sheer amazement.

I really wish I could show you this scrambled egg mustached little boy.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

a little visitor

We have our first little visitor. He's just about a year old and just as cute as a button. So far, just as easygoing as you please. He's presently perched in a nest of pillows enjoying an episode of The Wiggles.

I had an idea that it would be good to combine the morning news with The Wiggles. There could be extra bright colors and songs and dance mixed in while they let us know the weather and what's going on in the great wide world.

To preserve the confidentiality of our little visitors and for their own safety, I must be careful with sharing information. You know I wish I could tell you everything, complete with pictures of all our fun. But I know you'll understand.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

and love

Yesterday I had lunch with my friend Linda at her house. Such a beautiful house! Full of authentic finds in every nook, collected through the years with love and an eye that never fails to spot the best of the best.

I do think that's precisely the ingredient of The Cottage's success that simply can't be replicated or reproduced or just plain "pulled off" elsewhere. Not in the same way. If you ever do have the luck to be in the neighborhood in Historic Leesburg, you'll see for yourself what I mean. It's in their blend of the beautiful, the well-loved, the special, and the tongue-in-cheek whimsy, always accented with the most perfect shade of robin's egg blue that is their signature. The first time I walked through the doors, the very first day they opened, I felt, inexplicably, like I was home. A little bird who'd found her nest again. I couldn't believe my eyes, or my luck.

An editor for a national magazine had the same such luck recently. I don't want to let any cats out of any bags or jinx anything, but said editor wanted immediately to have pictures of the shop and Linda and Ann's homes. Yesterday, while I was visiting my friend Linda, I snapped some pictures of her beautiful and elegant home's interiors. It was truly like opening up a page of a magazine and magically walking right into the pages, room after room.

I'm sure Linda will share more photos of her home on the cottage's blog here so be on the look out for that. Ann and Linda are on a shopping trip today, hopefully finding all sorts of wonderful things to love up the shop with. If you're in the neighborhood this week, you should definitely stop by.

Today, I'm quietly working on something for you. A little bit of Valentine love. Here's a peek...

p.s. We are officially certified to be foster parents! woo hoo! Now we're just waiting for the call.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Yesterday while my mother quietly sewed and Rich watched his Redskins and my father took a nap, I worked on this little collage. It's the first project in Teresa's Winter Bella magazine. So much fun! I used some little bits that I've been saving for a while, like the beautiful sparkly button and the mother of pearl pointing finger pin.

Hope you're having a nice Sunday. The sun has just come out and it's a nice lazy day in these parts.

Friday, January 4, 2008

goodies galore!

I've just added some new things to the store...they are the kind of things that might make you a bit weak in the knees. Just thought I should add that disclaimer upfront...

From Kristin at Mood Swing Studio:

And kits from Accessories of Old:

And look at these fabulously cute button sets, on original cards...can you believe how sweet?

For all these goodies, go here.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

a day off

After all that work getting ready for the home inspection and, ultimately, our new adventure in foster parenting, I decided to play a bit of hooky today. And oh what fun I found...

All of this exquisite loveliness is vintage stock inherited by Lisa, the granddaughter of the founder of Danzinger's, once dubbed Africa's largest Haberdashers. She brought all of this loveliness overseas with her and, with her husband Andrew, just a few months ago opened up what is the most amazing treasure trove of vintage wonderment!

The store, Accessories of Old, is located in Bethesda on St. Elmo Avenue. If you are local or are planning to visit the DC area, you really must get thee to this store just as fast as you can. It's open everyday but Sunday. And you'll love Lisa and Andrew, the owners.

After a long visit in there, I headed to Kensington to my friend Maria Peck's store, Tiara Day. She's been open for over a year but it took me this long to go here. Oh, what a fabulous store. Well, just see for yourself....

I fell completely in love with the brown ruffly coat and the lace skirt. If only my purse were lined with dollars...oh but wouldn't I make the best dressed rich gal!

I have so much more to show you, including some goodies for sale. Tomorrow, my parents arrive for a short visit. Daddy just had eye surgery and has a shiner. It looks like Momma belted him one. Maybe she did. ;) He sent a picture but he looks so pitiful in it that it makes me cry. Maybe I'll get a better picture of it tomorrow.

Hope all's well in your world.