Sunday, March 30, 2008


It's funny how something so small, so utilitarian, so simple, can capture our interest isn't it? I remember when I was little, my grandmother Halstead had button boxes. She sewed clothes for all of us grandkids and never wasted anything. So of course, when an item of clothing was worn beyond use, she saved the buttons. I remember rainy days spent sorting through her boxes of buttons. Cigar boxes, though grandpa didn't smoke cigars. I was fascinated with the colors and textures and shapes. It seemed that every time I went through those boxes I would notice something I hadn't noticed before. Buttons remind me of grandma.
Last summer as I was garage and estate sailing, I came across a wonderful sale. It was the estate of an old lady who had died and her children had opened up the house. It was such a great sale I went back the next day, amazingly enough, I found a lot of things I hadn't seen the day before, including an ice cream barrel full of buttons. For $1. I could not believe I had missed it before and snatched it up. When I came home, my girls dumped it out and sorted the buttons. (click to enlarge)
There were silver ones...

gold and tortoise and rhinestone...

vibrant pinks, yellows and greens....

Beautiful blues.....

And, from my own grandmothers button boxes, (I got these when she died), beautiful cream, white and mother-of pearl.

I am posting this as part of Leesiebella's button challenge over at SugarSugar. Stop over and check it out. She has lots of beautiful buttons herself and a long list of lovely bloggers who are sharing their little treasure troves of buttons too!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My current favorite song:>) The video is lame, but the song is great!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

(One of my bowls)

I stopped by for tea with Mary this morning and was so moved by her post. She writes about a need to create and wonders if anyone else feels that way. Oh yes! I have always wanted to create, in fact, even though I did not pursue a career in art, I have been compelled to create all my life. I grew up in a very rural area of Michigan, on a farm, with lots of hard work and a very practical mindset. Art was a fun pastime, but to think about it as a way of life or career was pretty much scoffed at. "You can't make a living with art." So being the practical hard working farm girl I was I set about making a life. I went to college for 2 years,(first in my family to do so), met my husband, and (gasp) dropped out of college. Probably the biggest mistake of my life (the dropping out, not the husband :>) Worked hard for years and put all my creative energy into raising my girls. I homeschooled, decorated on a nonexistant budget, taught art to the homeschool group I belonged to, taught Sunday school, and painted and created as a hobby. In the 90's I dipped my toes into the craft show circuit and was pretty successful. My first inkling that you could make a living with art. But I soon gave that up as I went about the business of raising the girls. Now I have two beautiful daughters who are all grown up. My baby goes to college this fall. I knew a couple years ago that I would have to make a drastic change. I was losing my full time job as a mother. A job I loved but which eventually gives you the pink slip:>)
I decided it was time to do what I really wanted to do, and that was to explore my creative side more fully. To give myself the chance to follow my dreams and my muse. My husband has always been my biggest fan and supporter. I am so thankful for his love and the belief he has in me! I signed up for pottery classes, took out my sewing machine and paints and started blogging. I feel like my world and my options have opened up! All I can say Mary is follow your dreams, this is your time, you have worked hard for it. I know you will be successful because you have such an eye for beauty and you could not find a better support group than your blogging friends! And to anyone else out there who has a dream that they have put on the back burner, just do it! I would love to hear how and when your own creative journey began!

Monday, March 24, 2008

I just had to show everyone our Easter dessert, my sweethearts cheesecake of the moment...Chocolate Mocha. Yummm! It has a bottom layer of chocolate cheesecake, topped with a layer of mocha cheesecake, topped with ganache piped with whipped cream and ganache mixture. Oh. my. goodness. Fortunately it is gone because today I begin my "Oh my gosh, it's almost warm weather and all my winter fat is going to show!" diet. Yeah, kiss that Mocha Cheesecake goodbye. No more of that! (and please, ignore the grout, I have grout issues that must be dealt with!)
And this will be on my refrigerator to remind me.......So, here I am, it is a beautiful (cold) sunny morning, the house is still clean from the super cleanup for Easter (yay), I have the day off (super yay!) and I thought I would do just a little more spiffing up. I found my old lace curtains in the cedar chest with my tablecloths yesterday and decided it was time to take down the toile and put up the lace. The windows in the dining room face east and north and the morning sunshine is so wonderful. I dont see much of it in the winter so the heavier curtains don't matter, but spring sunshine just brings the room to life.

Ahhhhh. Sweet husband made the wooden valances for me a few years ago and we covered them in toile. I like my chairs mismatched. The nieces used to like getting the pretty ones when they came for dinner:>) The chandelier is still wearing some green beaded wreathes from christmas, tied up with black gingham ribbons. I think they look just as pretty in spring as they did in winter so I left them, and they do catch the light and add a bit of sparkle in the morning. The dining room table belonged to my dear grandmother and I spent many hours coloring and drawing and eating dinner around that table in the kitchen with her when I was a child. I was so happy to have it passed on to me when she died. Most of my fondest memories revolve around grandma in her farmhouse kitchen. So there it is, my dining room. I think I am going to find some pretty fabric to back the shelves in the corner as it can be a bit dark in there, but all in all, I love my cosy little dining room and it has been the scene of many happy holiday gatherings with the family:>)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He is Risen Indeed!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Shhh..The baskets are done...

These are the traditional Easter baskets at our house. Are your kids big on "tradition"? Earl bought these handmade Easter baskets one year when the girls were very little. One of the secretaries at work actually made these baskets and the girls loved them when they were little. Still do as far as I know. They are huge on doing things the same way every year. So, I found a little time to shop and came up with this. For Victoria, some pretty tank tops in easter colors to layer in her spring wardrobe. A Casting Crowns cd, a Chris Tomlin cd, some chocolate bunnies (of course), her favorite lip balm, some gum, chocolate eggs (tucked away in the bottom), and some jelly belly jelly beans. Just enough to make her smile.

Lauren has all the same goodies with the exception that instead of tank tops, I got her a new purse. She needed a purse more than clothes, I also got her a Gospel of John dvd, and a hillsong cd instead of the same media that Victoria got. I have some pretty serious church girls and they will love the christian cd's and dvd, and it's all about Jesus for Easter anyways right?
Now a few little last minute spiffing up chores and I will be ready for Easter dinner tomorrow! I wanted to leave you with these pictures of pretty centerpieces for the Easter table. (photos courtesy of

Aren't they just beautiful? I love the colors and flowers and natural themes of Springtime. Even if it isn't pretty outside (we got two inches of snow last night!) the house is springy and pretty and I can enjoy it until the real thing comes along outside. I wish everyone a blessed Easter!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

And yet, even fascinating, creative women have to eventually buckle down and do some spring cleaning *sigh*. That's where I will be this week. No time for posting til Easter is over (well, ok, I might sneak a post or two in if I can find time.) Given the choice of posting or catching up with all of you, I think I choose the latter:>) So until next week (probably) I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Easter holiday. May you all remember and rejoice in the hope and future that we have through our Saviours love and sacrifice.
I made this cross stich project at least 10 years ago and just came across it the other day. I just had to pop it into a little frame and put it up:>)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A big thank you to everyone who gave me ideas for the girls Easter baskets! I was so fried yesterday I couldn't even think! It was a beautiful day though:>) Temps in the 50's, bright sunshine and when I came home these sweet little sheep were in the mail from Mary at Oh Merci. I love how they sparkle and they are just adorable for Easter, though I know I will use them for Christmas too:>) I also wanted to let everyone know that I just listed some more birds on etsy. These will be the last before Easter. I am having the whole family (14 people) around my table for the holiday so I am taking next week off from crafting and concentrating on getting the house cleaning caught up! Thanks again for the wonderful basket ideas. I will post a picture of their baskets so everyone can see what great advice you all gave me:>)

Friday, March 14, 2008


This is about the extent of my Easter decorating this year. I have been up to my ears in work, between the school job, the receptionist job and trying to make things for etsy (I will be adding to the shop Saturday) I have no time for decorating. I barely have time for cleaning! But what I really want is some advice. My girls are 17 and 19 and yes, I still want to do Easter baskets for them. As long as they live at home as students I will keep it up. My dilemma is, I really don't want to hand them a big basket full of sugar. There will be some chocolate, sure, but I really want to do something different. I am just out of ideas, too tired for creativity or to think much about it. Lauren could probably use a gas gift card but that is so..unfestive. Anyone out there have some ideas for something pretty, fun, festive, creative, etc, that would appeal to older teen girls? I am open to suggestion and I know where the most creative people are! Right here in blogland:>) So help a poor, frazzled, creativity blocked mom out and send some ideas my way. Help!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

This past weekend We attended my daughters high school art show. Her entire AP Art class was involved and there was some pretty great stuff. Of course I was most interested in her pieces since I hadnt seen some of them yet.

Her concentration for this class is churches. She and her father went on a little excursion to photograph area churches and cathedrals and then she made some of the architectural details the subject of these drawings done in colored pencil.

I took some of these at a weird angle, but you get the idea. This is one of my favorites, a watercolor of sunflowers. I just love the brilliant colors she used.

Last week, sweet Amy of Bunny Rose Cottage gave me this:
Thank you Amy! I am going to give this to each of you who stop by my blog and who take the time to leave me little notes and emails. Each of you who support me through my etsy shop, all of you who are such a source of inspiration and great ideas. In short, All of you! Thanks for brightening each day for me:>)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy Monday / Happy Spring

Kari and Kijsa are asking everyone to share a little bit of spring with them today. Grand idea! Here is my little bit, every year I have to have my primrose fix. I love the brilliant colors and the fact that they are so cheap I can buy them in lots of different colors. I can never decide which color would be my favorite so I get as many as I can without breaking the budget. Sitting in my sunny window in the living room they just make me happy. I never succeed in keeping them alive for much longer than a few weeks, but I have found that even when they look really dead, if I plant them in a shady spot in the garden as soon as the snow melts and it is about 40 degrees out, they do very well and even bloom again a few times in the summer. Happy Monday and happy spring everyone!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Alexandra from Silver Bell Cottage gave me this sweet award. Thanks Alexandra! You are one of my favorite stops:>) So many of you make my day every time you post or email. So here is a short list of great places to grab a cup of tea and visit...
Not to mention, Penny, Tara, Phyllis, Rhondi, Rosie, and the list goes on and on. One of the tough things about these awards is hoping that the names you don't name know you love them too! It would take all day to provide the links and some of you have already been tagged. If you get this feel free to pass it on or not. Just know that you all make me smile with your warmth and fun and great blogs!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Today, I thought I would share my living room with you. It is one of my favorite rooms because it is sunny and warm and comfortable. It is a work in progress, but aren't they all? My youngest daughter and I painted it a warm yellow this fall. It actually looks darker in this picture than it is . You can see one of the cats enjoys the sunshine in the window too! To the left you can see the edge of an old dining table we brought up from the basement so Victoria could work on her AP Art projects in the best light. She will be finished with school at the end of the month and it will go back to the basement, but right now it is full of her art projects. The old water pump lamp I picked up at a garage sale is in the corner. Not sure that I love it there and may look for something a little less rustic. Yes, I still have a Christmas wreath hanging in the picture frame over the sofa, I must change that to something more springy! Someday the beige carpet has to go and I would like wood floors instead.The beam in the ceiling used to be the outside wall of our house. When we moved here as newlyweds the house was around 600 square feet. We added two bedrooms and a bath, building everything ourselves except the basement. At the time, and after living in such limited space we thought doubling the size of the house would be plenty. HA! I blame youth and inexperience for that idea. Some day, even when the girls are grown & gone, we will move. But until then, it's just our little cottage and I am pretty happy with it. It helps that we have 5 acres to roam. The expansiveness outside, and the large windows helps it feel a bit more spacious than it really is.
I also need to make some new pillows for the sofa and chair but that will have to wait until I am done with my second job! That is my living room, small but cosy and warm. Hope you enjoyed the tour:>)

And the Winner is....

Well I am just so amazed at the response to my little give-away! It was fun to meet some new bloggers and great to hear from old friends:>) This morning I used my random number generator (darling, pick a number between one and 72) and the winning number is 43!
Michelle at Back Through Time, I will send the heart and bluebird out to you tomorrow.
This weekend I had to have some flowers and green in the house, so I went to the local garden center and found this little Kalanchoe plant just the right size for a teacup and the beautiful ivy you see behind it. I tucked the ivy in an urn I had hanging around and, I just stared at them all night! I am that hungry for the garden. The little cherry bird still needs to go on etsy. If anyone wants it without the nest ($17.50 with shipping) just let me know. (SOLD)
I have been overwhelmed with email, but I wanted to let you know I will be catching up with all of you this week. I really have missed the visits!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Welcome March!

A little flock of birds just arrived to nest. Must mean Spring is right around the corner!:>)
These three are in my etsy shop right now. Bright and fun and sweet. Thanks for all the wonderful comments on my give-away and the well wishes on my blogaversary! If you want to have a chance to win, you can still leave a comment
here. I will be drawing a name Sunday evening.
Nancy of Pieces of the Puzzle, has tagged me for the 7 weird things about me thingy. (Ok there's one of them, I use the word "thingy" a lot!)
2. When I am reading I will respond when you talk to me but I will have no memeory WHATSOEVER of the conversation.

3 I love peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches. My family thinks that is gross. I say try it, you might like it:>)

4. I am terrible at higher math (algebra is higher math isn't it?) but I can do the basic math computations in my head, fast and accurate.

5. I don't like reading directions, I would rather figure things out by myself. This can lead to problems, but I usually do just fine.

6. I cant commit to one medium or outlet for my creativity. Although I am sewing right now, I am already designing pottery in my head for my next class, and when I am doing pottery I will no doubt be thinking of some other project in some other medium that I can't wait to start.

7. I feel that at (almost) 50 years old, I am finally just beginning to do what I want to with my life. Having the kids (almost)grown has made me think about ways to stretch myself and take chances that I havent had the courage or time for before.

I am supposed to pass this on to seven people. I am pretty sure that this has been around a few times. I am copping out on this one and saying if you want to share please consider yourself tagged.:>)