Saturday, May 30, 2009

Majestic Feathers Tag Swap

Got my tags in the mail today. Is this just one of the most wonderful things about blogging???? i have gotten such pleasure out of these doggone swaps.

I love this one from Angela with the vintage earring.
And Tammy has a bird who couldn't be more regal in her crown and silk & tulle skirt (with a feather tail sticking out!).
Marian incorporated fabric and sewing — MY INITIALS!!!!! — in hers, and included a list, on the back of the tag, of the origin of the materials that went into the crafting. (Think I'll use this idea next time I do a swap; I think it's rather special!).

She did it!

Harleigh passed a vigorous week of training and is now ready for a full summer of lifeguard work. She'll be lifeguarding at the church camp that she went to for 11 years, then worked at (on the high school servant team) for the past 2. This year she decided that she wanted to lifeguard. I couldn't be more proud. The lifesaving tests that they took were beyond what I could have ever tackled as a teen. It's serious stuff, and I'm glad that she has a summer filled with kids, sunshine, a beautiful pool, all with a Christian focus. She already has three private parties scheduled as well; a perk to the job.

She got her two swimsuits (one red and one blue), and is already adept at the lifeguard whistle finger twirl.
Here's her "charge" this summer.

A Giveaway

Stop on over at Cynthia's Cottage Design for her one-year-anniversary giveaway. She's giving away some really pretty things!

Patriotic Cozies

What with our hectic schedules this past week and all the house caca going on, I've not had many chances to post or visit much in blogland. But I'll try to make up for it this weekend!

Here are the cozies I sported for Memorial Day weekend which will carry me through 4th of July. As most of my headrest cozies, these are dinner napkins I found at Hobby Lobby that I just folded and pinned. Luckily I have cloth headrests, and so I can push the pins directly into the headrest (sorta like when we'd put hats on our Barbies, holding the hat in place by pushing a straight pin straight into her head).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


look at this pretty plate hanger and these lovely plates that I dusted and got back up on the wall. Divert your attention from the wet clothes hanging to dry from every hook and doorway in the ken. These pretties are what I'm concentrating on right now.

Testing 1, 2, 3

Tonite, the dryer broke. I washed a throw that pilled beyond belief. I cleaned out the lint catcher, and went outside to see where the vent vents . . . it looked like a snowstorm. Looks as if all that lint has clogged somewhere. So tomorrow I'm going to unplug the dryer and clean out whatever I can in an attempt to fix, for free, what I think is fixable.

In the meantime . . . remember the clean and livable ken that I revived . . . it has now become a clothesline room.
I have my daughter home. That counts for something.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day weekend winds down

The slipcovers are washed and back on the sofa. The kitchen (cabinets, floor, baseboards, countertops) is clean and back in order. All the living room curtains have been hand washed and are dried and waiting to be hung.
The ken is back to doing what a ken does best . . . being home to my big green chair for reading the newspaper and having my morning cup of coffee.
Gideon is walked and passed out, happy.
A bird is making a nest in our climbing clematis.
Still a ton to do, but I'm calling it quits for the holiday weekend. Will get my weekly groceries this evening and then wait for my girlie to get home from the Lake. Most of the furniture is still out in garage covered in dust. The hallway still needs a second coat of paint. There is always next weekend.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Always time for thrifting!

Yesterday when I was running errands, one mission took me a little bit out of my hood. And so, like any thrift-loving chickee, I had to stop at whatever thrift store I came upon, even if it meant that my errand-running took me a little longer than I had planned. Got this selection of pillowcases and this lamp, which needs re-wiring and a little TLC (= paint and a shade). If I had left this one behind, I'd be kicking myself today.

So Far, So Good

The weekend has panned out to be quite manageable. And that is simply because I vowed that the house overhaul would NOT get completed this weekend. Might take me two or three weekends to get the house back in order, but so be it.

Yesterday I dropped Harleigh off at her school's graduation. From there she was heading to Lake Hartwell with a girlfriend's family. Not the best of weather this weekend, so I'm a bit bummed for her. Hopefully they can get in lots of boating, tubing and water skiing despite the overcast skies and intermittent rain showers.
I ran a bunch of errands yesterday morning, all in preparation for the wedding shower I'm throwing in June. Just wait . . . it's gonna be real eye candy! (Am having a bit of trouble finding inexpensive sari fabric, but will make do somehow.) Dropped Mr. Gideon off at the groomer. Got home and began cleaning. It really is a blessing that all this crap happened. I've been able to clean and, best of all, rearrange things.

I'm gonna retire my miniature chair collection to the attic. In its place I've moved some things from the shelves in the study and made a white and pink theme on the shelves.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

EVERYTHING covered in dust

The hardwood installers finished just before American Idol came on. They had been here since 9:00 AM; ripping out the old hardwoods had been a bear of an undertaking. Tomorrow the painters and contractors come to paint the living room and study as well as paint and install the shoe molding and baseboards.

Here's the living room just before they came (as opposed to right after they left; see the section of concrete floor behind the sofa where the water damage was). And now EVERYTHING is covered in dust. All the furniture, lamps, everything we moved to the garage is covered. Every surface of the kitchen is dusted. Ceiling fans are disgusting. It's going to be a very long, very tiring weekend of cleaning. I don't even know where to begin.
Then we prepare for the carpet installers next week. All the furniture and stuff in the craft room, Harleigh's room, and my room has to be moved. I'm trying to hold it together. Really I am.

Here we are piled in the craft room tonite watching American Idol (the living room TV is on the floor in the kitchen . . . covered with dust). Harleigh on the floor playing Sudoku on her iPhone. Gideon using her thigh as a pillow, sleeping from a loud day of being boarded at the vet's. And there's my knee . . . dusty I'm sure.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Current Fascination . . . other people's shopping lists

As of late, when I go to the grocery store and pick out a grocery cart, I've been looking for one that has someone's balled-up grocery list in it. I tuck it into my pocketbook and when I get home and all the groceries are put away, I pull it out and unfurl it. And I see a story.

Sometimes the list has items that I know constitute a recipe. Other times I see grocery shopping in preparation for a party. I can sometimes imagine, from what is on the list, that there is a house full of kids, or an older couple. This one that I found yesterday was a grocery list and TO DO list combined. I love the part of the list that reads:

ritz crackers
★ trash bags
★ p. towels
★ t.p.
shredded wheat
fruit - lots
caramel sauce

Not sure why those three items are starred. And why "me you we rock" is on the list. I'm thinking that the list might have been done by a wife for her husband, and that she thought it would be sweet to slip that in.
Under Target, "bike lock" is written in a different handwriting. Perhaps Junior yelled to his mom, "Hey mom, I'm gonna need a bike lock for when I go down to the pool this summer," and she instructed him "please go add it to my list so we don't forget."

And I love that under B & Body Works, it says simply "smell thing."

Try this next time you go to the grocery store (or any store that has buggies). It's an interesting peek into other people's lives.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tag Swap

When I first signed up for Jenny's Fated Follies Majestic Feathers Tag Swap, I was thinking of tags with crowned peacocks and colorful birds in regal robes. I dug around in books, online and through my craft room stash and wasn't really feeling inspired. And then it hit me that I didn't need to show a bird at all. How about creating nests with golden eggs . . . the next generation of bird royalty!

I used standard mailing tags (which happen to be the exact size that Jenny asked for), covered each one with silver flocked paper (it just felt sorta regal), and fashioned little nests out of moss. For the golden eggs I used jewelry beads. And I tucked a white feather in each nest. Finished off each with a strip of gold trim and a purple tassel. Added my blog URL to the back. I was thrilled with doing something a little unconventional, a little more subtle with the theme.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Outdoor Rooms

Last weekend I made a trip to Cost Plus World Market. It's like a Pier I Imports with a kick. Found large outdoor mats for $16.95 in a ton of bright colors and knew that one would add instant charm to my back patio. Its better on the eyes to look at my cement and hardwood-glue living room floor (sans all baseboards and with all furniture pushed to the side) and see a pretty patio just beyond.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Carl Bray Story . . . your warm fuzzy for the day

Back in February of last year I wrote a post about what one object I would grab if something disastrous were happening to my home. That one thing is a painting by Carl Bray. It's the painting you see in my blog header above. It means the world to me.

Well a few months ago (a year and a week from the date of my original posting about the painting), I received a 5x7 envelope in the mail. It stuck out from all the other mail because it had a hand-drawn picture of a desert smoke tree on it. The drawing was initialed C.B. And the return address . . . Carl Bray.

The letter tucked inside, from the 91-year-old Mr. Bray, said that he had read my post. And then he wrote, "You said you wish you could tell Mr. Bray how much this little painting means to you. Well, your wish just came true." Standing in my kitchen reading this, I started to cry. Harleigh came running out thinking that I was reading some telegram with dreadful news. Quite the contrary. The meaning of my painting just became all that much more special.

He went on to say that he has always prayed that his work would make life a little more pleasant to each person that bought one of his pieces. He invited me to an art show in California (included the invitation) and said he hopes to meet me some day. And I truly believe that when I am long gone, he will be one of the five people I meet in heaven.

Here is a picture of Mr. Bray that was sent to me by Kim Housken, a friend of Mr. Bray's and a very active citizen in the historic preservation of Palm Desert. Thank you so much, Kim! Kim is the one who delivered a copy of my blog post to Mr. Bray and followed up with a lovely email in response to my request to Mr. Bray to post about his letter. And she let me know that his 92nd birthday is this week so that I could send him a birthday card!

[Photos at beginning of post are by Ali Harper.]

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dressing up the little cardboard box

I snag any brown cardboard box I can. They make the best blank slate for a gift box. Here is one all dressed up to go to my dad's wife for her birthday. The purple tag doesn't match anything else, but I think it makes for a fun box.

Molly and Jamie Rehearsal Dinner

Here are pictures from the rehearsal dinner that Courtney and I did the decor for. Jamie's mom, Sue, had been at the shower that Courtney and I threw for Molly, loved our work, and asked us to come to do the table decor and placecards for the rehearsal dinner in Augusta.

We threw our hearts into it, knowing how much we were helping out Sue and, of course, how special it was to honor Jamie and Molly. Because the rehearsal dinner was thrown by the groom's parents, because so much of the pre-wedding events revolve around girly bridal things, because of the venue being very earthy and masculine, and to tie in with Jamie's career in real estate, we went with an architectural/salvage theme.

All of the table decor used old drawers from vintage furniture, salvaged pieces we picked up at Hudgins & Co., (an amazing salvage yard where Jim, the owner, allowed us to snoop around and salvage to our little hearts' content), maidenhair ferns, magnolia leaves, and baby's breath. Sue's choice of black tablecloths and brown napkins worked perfectly with the colors in our arrangements.

When Sue mentioned that she wanted to do something for the napkins, we came up with these rings. My dad had sent me (along with the tons of skeleton keys) a coffee table book of architectural brickwork. We cut strips from the book's illustrations, folded them to make a triangular overlap, then secured them with vintage buttons, all different. The look had the masculine feel of a tie and a shirt cuff.

For the placecards, Courtney handwrote everyone's names on tea-stained mailing tags (she even used a quill pen), and then each tag had a vintage key (a keepsake for each guest). On the back of the tag was a picture of Molly and Jamie in an activity that corresponded to a picture in each table's centerpiece, telling each guest which table to sit at. We hung the tags on an old screen door, complete with an old mailbox filled with magnolia leaves and baby's breath.

All pictures but the last four courtesy of Skip Hopkins Photography.

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