Tuesday, June 28, 2011

birthday treasury swaps

Some of the Birthday Treasury shadowboxes from the swap are popping up on blogs and they are breathtaking...

Look at this fabulous shadowbox Debbi made for Heather of Speckled Egg...

Complete with hinged soldered glass doors. OMG...isn't it wonderful?

So many wonderful details!

Lynn created this masterpiece for her partner, Kristine. I love the tiny sewing machine!

Kate made this fun steampunkish creation...I love the little mirrors behind the horses...and the woman peering through the binoculars!

And Amanda created this fanciful shadowbox for her partner, Susan...so sweet! That bunny is adorable.

I can't wait to see more of these fun treasuries!

(Swappers, email me your photos (or a link to your blog) and I'll share them here. amy @ inspire co . com)

Monday, June 27, 2011

summer vacation

We just got back from the best vacation ever at a mountain lake in Maryland (Deep Creek Lake)

I love this picture of our niece Kylie at Muddy Falls. Doesn't she look like a fairy?

One afternoon we went on a canoe ride. So much fun! Although I was so worried about it tipping and all of us falling out that I could hardly relax to enjoy it.

These two sure had a good time. (Isn't that face adorable?)

Alfredo talks ALL THE TIME. Mostly these days he's talking about being a dinosaur super hero and learning Kung Fu so that he can be a Kung Fu warrior. I love this picture of Alfredo talking Rich's ear off.

The whole family went out on a pontoon boat one afternoon and we had a great time tubing. Just look at my daredevil husband.

This is how I spent most of the boat ride. Alfredo started looking super sleepy as we pulled out and, before I knew it, the waves rocked him gently to sleep. I love holding him when he sleeps...it's the closest we come these days to him being a baby.

I have to tell you a story about my brush with the law because it's a story I know you'll "get". When we were at the falls surrounded by towering 300 year old hemlocks and a blanket of moss covering everything I was so inspired to make a terrarium. I confess that I knew it was wrong to take elements from a state park. I just thought I would take a tiny bit of moss and maybe one little fern. For a terrarium, you know? I'm not a rule breaker usually but the temptation to make a sweet little microcosm was overwhelming. And if I'm going to break a law, it would probably be for a craft.

So picture me guiltily crouched over an expanse of beautiful green moss, carefully but quickly extracting about 4 square inches of the miles of moss all around, when a shadow appears over me. You guessed it...a park ranger! "Excuse me, ma'am, but what you are doing there is against the law. I'm going to have to ask you to put that back where you found it and I'm going to have to watch you do it." Snap!

See what happens when I even try to break the law?

(and now I will brace myself for a lecture or two about the importance of leaving nature for everyone to enjoy...but I swear, it was a piece of moss 2 inches by 2 inches!)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our little gymnist

Last week was Alfredo's big show at the Little Gym.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

a visit to the farmer's market

Yesterday we visited a farmer's market close by and had a great time picking out fresh fruits. Alfredo is such a charmer and chatted everyone up, saying funny things like "I will like peas much more now that I'm so big!" And there was one stand with homemade chips and salsa. Alfredo really took a liking to them and declared loudly "I love these chips so much that I can't stop eating them!" Suddenly there was a line for them and I told the person that I'd be happy to hire him out on slow days. 

Is your mouth watering yet?

I bought this cherry pitter from Target and Alfredo loves it. It was a mess trying to get him to spit out the pit...this is much better. And a lot of fun to operate!

And how could I not get the peas after Alfredo's declaration? Aren't they lovely?

We also bought some sugar snap peas. I think Alfredo was responding to the "sugar" part of the name...he was a little surprised by the taste. Rich didn't seem to be a fan either...at least not raw. I'll need to find a recipe for cooking them. Do you have one?

Hope you have a SWEET day!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

in hard copy!

If you are interested in buying a hard copy of the Happy Birthday issue, they are now available here.

It is expensive...a splurge for sure at $55. 

And a reminder that the Spring issue is also available in hard copy here

Another spurge at $38.70. 

Maybe your ship just came in...

And, as always, the magazines are available for viewing online for a much more affordable $3.30. 

(Maybe you could do some creative mathematics and average the two and then divide by all of the dozens of projects and maybe you'll find adequate justification for such a splurge.)

It's all about ME

Mary Engelbreit that is...

Come on in!

It's Mary's Party!

It was like walking into a dream. First we toured the studio and there is something wonderful tucked in every nook...just take a look and see for yourself...

Below is a candid shot of Barbara Martin. She did a wonderful job putting this whole weekend together for us.

I love this idea above! They painted a wall with brightly colored magnetic paint and then used really strong magnets to hold up Mary's art. I'm thinking this would be a fun thing to do along a hallway in our house and cover the wall with Alfredo's artwork.  

This sofa is in the kitchen. I would like to live on it. 

It was so much fun crafting with sweet Charlotte again. 

And Kathy, seen here peeking behind my new friend Cindy, is such a generous and kind natural teacher. You wouldn't have believed the masses of materials she freely shared. And she is just so sweet.

We all made hats for the birthday party at the end of each day and Linda Warlyn's hat was everyone's favorite. It was a cake that pops open, Ann Estelle pops out, and a song plays. So much fun!

Here's the birthday girl herself. 

I'll have to show you all that I made. Maybe I can do that tomorrow. Oh, it was so much fun. I can't wait for the next one. If you love Mary as much as I do, you just have to come too. Meet me in St. Louis, Louis!

All photos are by my new friend Lucy Cornell. I was so paralyzed by cuteness that I didn't even take my camera out. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

good things/small packages

I made a little gift for my traveling partner and friend, Pam. (I hope she's too busy packing to check my blog!) I used one of the tins Michael's sells at their checkout stands for gift card packaging. It seems small but just check out how much I was able to cram in...

And there's a layer of photos and papers underneath too.

In addition to tiny little figures and charms, I included a small vial of glue and toothpicks, a tiny spool of vintage silk thread, a bit of lovely vintage lace, and a few of the tiniest colored pencils you've ever seen.

See? Good things do come in small packages.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Remember when I said I wanted to outfit a crafting suitcase?

I chose this wooden case because, even though it was in pretty good shape, the outside had begun peeling a bit. 

I gutted the inside (which was actually pretty easy since the lining was a bit dry-rotted. 

I had this really fun fabric with desserts and the days of the week...love it so much! I thought it would make a great new covering for the case. I cut the squares out and individually mod-podged them on, patchwork-style. It was a lot easier than dealing with large sections of fabric that can easily get air bubbles trapped underneath. I still have some air bubbles but not as many as I would if I'd used bigger pieces. 

You can't really see it but I embroidered some of the squares and added embellishments. (I was going to use this fabric for another project that I ditched)

I lined the inside with pages from an old dictionary.

But before I put in the pages, I glued a cookie sheet to the back of the interior of the suitcase top. I glued super strong magnets to the backs of circle bead organizers...

And then filled them with all sorts of buttons and jewels and bits and bobs. (Oh, and I used red linen bookbinding tape to finish up the edges of the interior.)

The circle bead organizers came in these clear plastic boxes that made perfect trays for papers and stuff that was too big to fit in the circles. 

So here I am, all packed and ready for my trip to St. Louis!