Sunday, March 29, 2009

Christmas in March

Sarah and I are friends who, thank gosh, are able to pick up right where we left off whenever we get together. With those words, you'd think we live on opposite ends of the earth. Not. She lives in Grant Park here in Atlanta. We've been trying to exchange Christmas gifts since, well, Christmas. With Molly's shower in Grant Park on Saturday, and Sarah throwing her son Logan a birthday party, I was able to head from the shower over to the birthday party, towing birthday gift and Christmas presents!

Here is what Sarah and family got me for Christmas. These milk-glass goblets. So me. I can't wait to use them next time I host a dinner. In the meantime, they lined up neat and pretty on my dresser in the study, one holding a flower.

Molly's Wedding Shower

The wedding shower that Courtney and I hosted for Molly was yesterday. A wonderfully festive time! I don't have a ton of pictures to share yet (my pix turned out fair to downright bad) and so I'm waiting for Courtney to download hers (taken from a much better camera) so that I can post them.

The picture above is one that didn't turn out so bad. Some background . . . The theme involved cloches, moss, mushrooms, sort of a foresty nature theme. With as wet as it's been here in Atlanta, creating terrarium-like environments for the table decorations was effortless. We knew that we wanted to use cloth napkins. and so using the ol' standby painter's drop cloths — laundered, cut into squares and hemmed (Shaun at work graciously took that on!) — Courtney and I brainstormed how we would go about putting an "H" on them (the initial of Molly's new last name). Using cloth napkins is always a nice touch at a shower, and that coupled with the "H" personalization make them a perfect gift to Molly (launder and iron them after the shower and Molly has 30 cloth napkins in her linen closet to use for entertaining).

We then thought about using Jamie's and Molly's first initials along with the "H" and making a monogram. Blake, from work, came up with a beautiful one and that got us going crazy!

I took a vintage blackboard and we hung it on Courtney's front door using brown satin ribbon. Courtney then chalked on the monogram (we left the chalk on the ledge for a homespun touch) and decorated the chalkboard frame with flowers. We really wanted to start the theme from the minute everyone entered the door.Here is Molly's hostess gift to me . . . a church-inspired birdhouse made of weathered wood. A perfect addition to Chateau Gahan. Thank you, Molly, for making yesterday such a joy. You, your mom, sisters, nieces, Jamie's mom and sister . . . everyone was so grateful and appreciative of all that we did to celebrate Molly's upcoming marriage.

I was sorry to see the day end.

Harleigh's Photoshoot with Ali Harper

The day was so much fun. It all took place at our house (or on our street as you'll see when you scroll down to the bicycle pictures). For two of the sessions, Harleigh wore prom dresses that she'll be wearing next month. And for the bicycle shoot, we pulled my ornamental bicycle from the garden, pumped some air in the tires and combined that prop with a fun outfit — a vintage nightgown we pulled out of the dress-up trunk in the attic. Ali was so wonderful to work with; she made Harleigh feel at ease. And her passion for photography had Harleigh feeling exuberant.

Here's Ali's take on the shoot — as well as additional photos from the shoot — at her blog flibberty gibbets.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Look

I remember as a teen wanting to look like anyone but myself. If only I had (fill in the blank with any perfect body part of the models in Seventeen magazine, which in my day was THE magazine every teen girl poured over every month) then the boys would like me more, I'd be popular, I'd be happy, my future would be paved with success and dreams come true. That's a lot of good to come out of simply looking beautiful.

Now that I'm in my late 40's I think about my looks in a very different way. My body is simply a housing unit. I take decent enough care of myself, but always take extremely good care of the self inside the walls — my soul and spirit are what I strive to keep healthy, sometimes effortlessly, other times with wavering success.

I came across this picture of Kate Moss the other day, and for once in probably 10 years, I looked at a picture of a woman and thought, "I would love to look like that." Not exactly like Kate Moss, but with some of the ways she's made to look. Sort of Dusty Springfield meets Brigitte Bardot. The tousled up-do blonde hair with the long bangs. The smokey eyes. Light lipstick. Tan. Sexy as all get out. Imagine me looking somewhat like that with the content way I feel inside . . . I dare to think.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Floral Arrangements and Photo Shoot

Ali was here for close to four hours photographing Harleigh and it was a blast. Not only is she a great friend but she is an engaging and creative photographer. I'll share the outcome of the shoot in a few weeks. But suffice it to say, she madeHarleigh feel like a million bucks, we got some beautiful images out of the session, and we had fun — like we always do — being together. A perfect afternoon.

Kroger's discount flower buckets were overflowing this morning and so I couldn't resist buying some bunches. And these arrangements are just some of what I made.

Photo Shoot Today

Dear friend Ali Harper is coming over today. I don't call her Ali Harper, just Ali will do. But I wanted you to know her full name because she's a gifted photographer whose work is sold on etsy. Whose blog is chock full of her soothing images. She's coming today to take pictures of Harleigh, the house, Gideon, anything that strikes her fancy. And I hope I have lots of inspiring fancy to give her (well, Harleigh's a gimme).

Here are some of her images that I especially love, all from our recent "snowstorm":

Thursday, March 19, 2009

At Peace

Sitting inside this evening, nothing but the screen door between me and the outside warm Spring breeze. I want to let go of all the ugliness that churns inside me. And sometimes all it takes to remind me of beauty, calm and kindness is to look out my ken window at the flowering tree who comes to life every Spring. She speaks the language of new beginnings. And tomorrow is new. And God has given me the grace to begin again.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Happy Birthday to our dear, dear boy. He got a green St. Patrick's Day t-shirt (which he loves and is wearing all day today!) and a new shamrock-covered soccer ball. We love him so much. What was life like before Gideon? Not nearly as good.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Craft Spa

AFTER:This afternoon in the Craft Room Harleigh plugged away on the computer with weekend homework and I worked on an impromptu craft project. I told H-Bomb that working on crafts is, for me, as relaxing as any trip to the spa. And way cheaper. I took this ivy planter that's been hanging at my kitchen window and gave it a facelift with scrapbook paper and beads. There's something about these cheap plastic beads that makes me feel all nostalgic about Harleigh as a little girl. In other words, the planter has gone from Lowe's ugly to Harleigh beautiful.

Finds from the weekend

Here in Atlanta this weekend it was what I like to call "jammie" weather. Cold and rainy solid from Friday through Sunday. The kind of weather that makes you want to stay in your jammies all day long. But I did manage to hit a few thrift stores (although not in my jammies). Found these linens and vintage contact paper which I'll use to line the drawers of a newly thrifted chest of drawers in my craft room.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Door Knob Cozy

This is just about the goofiest things I've ever bought at the dollar store. A rubber cozy that fits on a doorknob. There were all kinds of flowers and even an Easter Bunny with ears. I need to get a life.

NOTE: I find my best dollar store finds (like this doorknob cover) at Dollar Tree. Hands down, the best dollar store. But merchandise changes at a pretty good clip, so if you see something, get it. Chances are it won't be there when you come back.

Happy Birthday, Boo

To my little sister, Beth. Happy Birthday!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Verdier Jewelry

Take a look at this luscious website of vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry created by a lovely couple I had the pleasure of knowing in the past and reconnected with most recently. They sent me this piece, which arrived in the mail a couple of days ago, and which looks lovely on me (if I may say so myself!). Verdier Jewelry is sold in small boutiques and is now available nationally in Nordstrom department stores.

Isn't this vintage locket dreamy?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Frances called me this week. She is the woman whose single-cardtable yard sale I went to back in September of last year. She and I hit it off, she gave me a tour of her antique-and-tchotchke filled home, and, impressed with the fact that I pack a cloth napkin in Harleigh's lunch everyday, has called me every few months since then. Seems that every time she comes across cloth napkins in her house, she thinks of me. And so she calls and tells me that she'll put them in a bag and hang them at her front door for me to pick up. I'll be stopping by this weekend to pick up the latest of her finds. These pictures are some of the linens she's gifted me with.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Harleigh came home early this afternoon from a weekend Lutheran retreat. The weather here in Atlanta is warm and breezy. Gideon and I spent a good part of the day out on the back porch, me catching up on the past week's newspapers, and he bringing me the ball to throw. It was a very good day.

My version of the grandma furniture doily

With a teenager who leans on the left arm of the chair coupled with the fact that I have white slipcovers, I've been using some of my pretty kitchen dish towels to cover the arm. I can wash it and replace it easily. (I think this one came from Anthropologie.)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

**Vintage Bella Studio** Vintage Easter Tag Swap

This is the second swap I've done and I've learned a bit more since my first one. 1) Send the hostess/coordinator of the swap a little something to say thanks. I didn't do this with Karla's swap and I should have known better . . . like going to someone's house for dinner and not taking a bottle of wine or hostess gift. 2) It's not necessary for each and every tag to be different. Karla's swap was six tags and so it was fairly easy to make each one totally unique. With Andrea's being 21 tags, I went with all of them being the same, with the flourishes adding variety. And 3) test your glue on one item before gluing them all. I used a glue that buckled the paper and they look a little on the sloppily-crafted side.

So . . . Andrea's swap was 21 2" x 4" tags with the Vintage Easter theme. Nothing says vintage Easter to me like the memory of wearing white gloves. Back in my day, it was always part of the Easter garb. For the front of the tag I cut out little gloves, giving each a white pearl or baby pink button as trim. I then added a ribbon and flower.

For the back, I found old patterns online and used pix of those along with an Easter greeting from The Gahan Girls.
All in all, they turned out cute. (In hindsight I think I would have used a different material for the gloves.) I packaged it all up in a beautiful cigar box, a gift to the hostess! I'll include a thank you note written on one of my new Janet Hill notecards . . . if you've not yet visited her etsy site or her blog, please stop by. Her paintings sell within minutes of being posted and so her notecards are the next best thing to scoring one of her pieces.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Andrea's Baby Shower

The shower yesterday was so fun. I have such a blast pulling an event like this together, it's almost a downer when it's over. Thank gosh for Molly's bridal shower coming up later this month!

I decided to use our office space for this shower and to do a breakfast. We always do a great job with breakfast fare, and this time Devon added a new staple to the buffet: Devon's I've-Died-And-Gone-To-Hevon Shrimp and Grits. I'm still imagining the taste! Doing something at the office AND including good grub is a great way to include the guys without making them feel all crawling with girl cooties.

I decorated using the baby clothesline that I've done for a couple other showers. Now, with the abundance of scrapbooking materials, making baby clothes out of paper is a way more fun crafting adventure than when I first did it ages ago using construction paper (and its rather limited color range). With the help of miniature clothespins, cotton twine, and a piece of bamboo, it makes for a festive adornment over the buffet table. Click on the pictures to see the detail: I glued snaps onto the onesie crotch and shoulder, used faux suede fringe on the cowgirl skirt and vest, employed lots of fabric trims and buttons as details, and even found fake fur for the winter coat.

We put balloons on some of the chairs (wasn't going to do balloons, but glad we did, 'cause it added a lot, especially with our extra-high ceilings). Courtney did our flower arrangements. We had a drink table set up with champagne flutes for mimosas, carafes filled with coffee, and bloody mary fixins. For the food table, I bought fabric and just folded and ironed the edges to make table runners.

Kyle brought in petit fours from a local bakery, complete with pink icing baby booties. They were as good to eat as they were to look at . . . like glazed donuts.

Baby Emily, Mommy Andrea, and Daddy Ken got lots of great gifts. I include Ken not just because he was at the shower, but because he got his own diaper bag (black and manly, of course). And the clothesline, "clothes," and pins went home with Andrea to use in the baby's room or to put in Baby Emily's baby book.

And most of this crafting was accomplished in my new Craft Room!!!!!!!

[Some photos courtesy of co-worker David Naugle!]

You might also like . . .

Related Posts with Thumbnails