Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I woke up yesterday morning to a great surprise, a snow day! I work for the school system here so I find myself, once again, just like a child, looking forward to those special winter gifts called snow days:>) (Paid snow days no less!) It wasn't particularly snowy, but the roads were icy from a thaw/rain/freeze cycle and there are a lot of country dirt roads in our district so school was suspended. Yay! I dont work more than 3.5 hours a day but those extra hours right in the middle of the day seem so much more productive. Afternoon is when my energy is lowest it seems. So I spent the day making some more hearts and listing them on my etsy shop, getting a little cleaning done (and I do mean a little!)and just enjoying the thought of not going to work. Then I checked my email and Polly at Counting your blessings emailed me to tell me I won the adorable Valentines banner above from Mary at Isabellas Closet! Isn't it pretty?! She is having a give away right now at her blog for another beautiful banner, you should run over and check it out! Today it was back to work as usual. This time of year it is hard to find things to blog about. The thrift shops seem pretty devoid of really good stuff, and I don't feel like braving the cold to go look. I am still trying to get up the gumption to finish painting the bedroom, it just isnt happening for me right now. I have exactly 1 and a half walls painted. It will get done but I'm not sure it will be this week! I pretty much go to work, come home, clean, mess around with a few craft projects and collapse in front of the t.v. waiting for bedtime. I visit so many blogs with women who get more done in a day than I do in a week, it amazes me and puts me to shame. I know things will pick up in the spring when the sun comes back, I just have to wait it out. I am checking out new blogs and visiting my long list of old friends so that keeps me happy too:>) I do see others who are hunkering down with warm soup, a warm blanket and their favorite old movie or book so I don't feel totally lazy! Ahhh, time to go hunker down and dream of spring. I'll see you all soon:>)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Jan at Day Lily Lane gave me the spread the love award! Thanks Jan! It is easy to "Spread the Love" in this community of sweet and supportive people:>) Stop over to Jans place and check out her adorable etsy shop full of handmade cards. She stamps and cuts and makes the prettiest cards to sell. I am passing this on to BJ at Sweet Nothings and Cielo at House in the Roses and Rhondi at Rose Colored Glasses, all new friends and such loving bloggers that this award just fits! Actually, I can't think of a single one of my blog friends who doesn't deserve this award, I love you all:>) Thanks for all the wonderful comments, the support, the kindnesses you have shown me. You are all wonderful people to know!

Friday, January 25, 2008

A tour of Cathedrals

Sorry I have been missing in action this week. Too much to try to accomplish and too little time. I thought I would share a little dream tour with you. These pictures were actually taken by my daughter Victoria for her art class. Her dad took a day and drove her to some of the prettiest churches in the area so she could snap some photos for drawings. Melissa at the Inspired Room has been doing house drive-bys , and I love those, but I have always been in awe of churches. I have often said I would love to take a tour of Cathedrals and even small country churches as long as they were old. We just don't seem to build them like we used to. It's all about the details and these buildings have them! I grew up in a little country church and it was old enough to have little "secret" rooms and stairs that many people didn't know about. As a teen I cleaned the church so I found them. (Ok, I'm a bit of a snoop too!) Ever since, I have looked at churches like these and wondered what I could find inside if left to myself for an afternoon?
What forgotten doorway, walled up stairway, unused Sunday school rooms or storage rooms?

Could I find old chairs? pews? artworks? Churches are constantly adding on, repurposing rooms. One person stores an item and nobody else thinks of it for years. I found a folk art model of the first Free Methodist church in our little town while we were cleaning out the storage room several years ago. I asked that if nobody wanted it could I have it? I got it, and found out that it was actually made by my husbands great grandfather who was one of the founding families of that church. What a treasure, and I had no idea when I asked for it.

So I would love to go on a tour of Cathedrals and old churches, alone, with my flashlight. Just like treasure hunting old houses, bet I'd find some really amazing stuff!

Monday, January 21, 2008

An award and some heart

Ahhh, finally I got some more valentine hearts finished and in my etsy shop. I am having so much fun digging through my vintage jewelry, ribbons and fabrics, and since my husband gave me a new glass cutter for Christmas I decided to add some personal touches with a few little charms I made. This pink rosey heart is my current fave, but since I hate to repeat myself I have a few other styles and colors too and I'm still working on more. Here is another I love...I call it True Love and it reminds me of pillow covers my grandmother had in her farmhouse. Beautiful rosebud ticking, I'm glad they still make it. Check out the rest at etsy.

A big thank you to Mary at the Little Red House for giving me the Daily Dose award:>) Mary is one of my own Daily stops and I always love the things she writes about! We share an obsession with dishes and so many other things! Thank you Mary, I am honored that you thought of me. I am going to pass this along to Tracey at Notes from a Cottage Industry who also provides one of my daily doses of creative inspiration. If you have never been there go check her out, she is a genius with paint and old furniture! Once again, I am feeling the love from blog land. Thanks for the sweet comments and the orders. You can't know what it means:>)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Thank You!

A big thank you to all of you who have been so kind to order from my etsy shop! The response has been so wonderful:>) I am working on more hearts and some other surprises right now and hope to have some more listed tonight. It has been a very busy but fun week. I'll see you all soon!
Ok, I didnt get them listed tonight, but I will have them up by Monday at latest:>) SOrry about that!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Letters from the past....

Ok, it's dark, its grey, I am having a major sunshine withdrawal and can't seem to get anything done from the lack of energy. I go to work just as the sun begins to peek out and have completely lost any ambition for projects by the time work ends. It snowed again Monday and I am tired of white, and cold, and dark. Winter is about 2 1/2 months too long for me! Whew, ok, now I have the whining out of my system (sorry) I'll show you something that goes with my treasure hunting post. Remember how I said I would love to go through old abandoned houses and hunt for goodies? Well, a few years ago my brother bought an abandoned house to fix up and resell. As soon as he got possesion we went down to help him clean it up and found some really fun stuff. A suitcase full of World War 2 letters was one of them! It looks like every letter that went between James and Chloe Robison during the war was saved, tied in ribbon, and stuffed in the suitcase! Even old Valentines, birthday cards and correspondence from friends and relatives. Seems that James was reported missing/captured at one point and it was a long few months for the family before he was found! Every once in a while I pull out some of the letters and read them. I feel like a shameless voyeur, but what else would I do? There are hundreds of letters and once I read them I intend to share them. I'm listing some on my etsy shop later today. Whether you want to read them, or use them for crafts, they will be available for your own shameless voyeuristic perusal. Just the ticket on a grey boring day:>)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Be my Valentine

I just had to show you a project I have been working on this week. I had some scraps of Bella Notte linen and I have been making these hanging puffed hearts for Valentines Day! I foofed them up with lots of pretty ribbons,vintage buttons, jewels and pearls from my stash of Vintage goodies and just listed them in my etsy shop:>)
I think my favorite is this one though. It proclaims your valentine to be "Forever Loved" and includes the key to your heart:>) I love this photo so much I used it in my header for the next month!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Dream Jobs

My friend Mary over at Little Red House found treasure today in her own home! Go see, you will love it. Can you imagine finding something in your own home that you didn't know was there that was beautiful? It reminded me of what I have always thought would be the perfect job for me. I grew up in a rural area of Michigan, lots of farm houses. Big old rambling things that have so much beauty and history behind them. I love farm houses. Some look like rambling Victorians, some are simpler but you still know they are crammed with attics and closets and basements and nooks and crannies. Quite often, driving through these old farming communities you will see one of these gems abandoned. Barns left to decay, houses no longer loved and cared for. What does this have to do with my dream job? Every time I pass one of these houses I have the overwhelming urge to go in and see what may have been left behind! Can you imagine how fun it would be to go through attics and rooms? I bet you would be amazed at things that were left behind. I bet you would find treasures galore! How many of you have been to farm auctions where beautiful furniture and other things were stored in the barn? I have! I guess I am a treasure hunter at heart. Unfortunately, combing through abandoned houses isn't a real job. How sad. What is your dream job?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Not my bedroom :>(

I have one wall of my bedroom painted with Ralph Lauren Victorian Lace. I love the creamy white color and the freshness of it. Of course, I have a love affair with fresh paint that goes way back. I even loved the brown that I am covering up when I painted with it. The fact that it is fresh and new is all it takes to make me happy for a time. I hope I will really like the white, it is a little scary looking at the blank wall. Just as I am not a "brown" person I am also not usually into plain white. Color is what really gets my creative juices flowing. I love red and black and greens and yellows and blues. But when you love so many colors how can you choose? It is like choosing a favorite child! So I went with the cream color and will play with all my favorites in this white room. We will see what happens. I must admit though that while I used to paint at the drop of a hat, these (almost) 50 year old bones are a little less inclined to do the work. I may have to recruit help in the future. While I am on the subject of any of you find that the more you look at the decorating magazines the more convinced you become that your home needs more? More decoration, more tweaking, a new color, furniture, on and on and on? I love decorating magazines, but I admit that it has become clear to me that they breed discontent. They can make us feel we don't measure up somehow. How many of us relate just a bit too much to how our homes look to others rather than how they work for us as a place to make a life? I love decorating, but..really..I need to realize more often that it can be a distraction from living fully in other areas! I would love to hear what you think about that! Now it's off to work, I'll see you all later:>)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I'm back:>)

I feel like I have awakened from a hibernation of sorts. The entertaining is done, the tree comes down today and my Christmas vacation is extended by at least one more (happy) day! January first we all awakened to 14 inches of fresh snow on the ground which, apparently, hasn't been cleaned up enough for the school buses to run the back roads! YAY! Today was to have been our first day back after Christmas break and now we have today, maybe even tomorrow to get a little bit more done. I begin painting the master bedroom today, it goes from brown (chosen by my darling husband a few years ago) to cream. My daughters are aghast that I would actually paint a room "white" but I have decided I might like the ability to change the look of the room with a change of linens and accessories. It is a very sunny room and I will like the brightness too. I am painting because one of my Christmas gifts from my dear husband is built in bookshelves on either side of a large double window. We are getting rid of a hodge podge of desks and file cabinets where the computer is and replacing them with the shelves and a beautiful handbuilt table (another part of my gift) which should organize and beautify the "office space". I need to paint before he builds the shelves in. It is all part of my quest to organize and beautify the working areas of this small home. I don't think that I buy more than I need, but somehow I find myself in constant need of organizing, sorting, discarding. It makes me wonder if I need to be more discerning in what I buy. I am not a packrat, I throw things away all the time. But it still builds up. Just the other day looking for a band aid, I threw away a large handful of expired over the counter meds. I think I will limit myself to the smallest size available from now on when I buy these things! Something about January makes you look around as you pack up the excess of Christmas and see all the other excesses that need attentuion. I have noticed organizing and cleaning as a theme as I get back to reading everyones blogs! We are all in the same boat. I don't usually make new years resolutions, but i do see the calendar change as a new start. A time to reevaluate what I want to accomplish both personally and project wise. If i can just keep from hibernating for the next two months I will be ok. The early darkness saps my energy and I think anout projects a lot but dont always get to them. So while the sun is shining (although the thermometer says -1.5!) brightly this morning and I have some ambition, off I go to paint. I hope to catch up with all your blogs in the next few days, I have missed so much! I will post improvements when they are done, hopefully soon!:>)