So when my stepsister Karla gave birth to my most handsome nephew Grayson on Thursday of this past week, all Easter meal plans went out the door. With Karla in the hospital through the Easter holiday . . . well, the meal just had to come to her. So with all of us crammed into a hospital room (albeit at Northside Women's Center, the rooms are more like upscale hotel rooms), we ate a veggie tray, ham, baked beans, potato salad, rolls, lemon squares, and drank mimosas.
This little boy, with his dimples and full head of hair is quite the melt-your-heart kinda baby. (Harleigh's in love.) And Karla and her husband Lynn have taken to parenthood as if they've done it before. What a great story to tell Grayson, EVERY Easter, without fail, no matter how many times he looks at us like "do you really have to tell that story again?"
The picture above is the peony I took, fresh from my rain-soaked garden.
Every year I try to do something different with the tradition of dying Easter eggs. This year I started out wanting to do a grey egg with white decoration, a Swedish Gustavian theme. But I just couldn't get the right grey. Dropping a watery black acrylic onto the shell resulted in a branch-like design and so I just went with it. (The egg with the butterfly on it was my failed attempt at a grey egg.) They're sweet, aren't they?
Have been especially inspired by lampshades lately. Friend and past co-worker Jesse is getting married in September and I've offered to help her with some ideas. Much like any kind of brainstorming, some brainchilds might not fit the bill, but can lead to other hatchlings. I'm sending her this outdoor chandelier I made. I used fabrics more in line with her wedding color scheme. I wrapped the jar candle-holder in eyelet (which is especially important in the wedding; don't want to spill the beans). Both her wedding and her reception are outdoors, in a rustic enchanted setting. And the whole shebang will span the range of daylight to dark, so candlelight ambience is a gimme. A row of these, all different shapes, but utilizing the same fabrics, might be a nice touch above the food table. Perhaps one or two over the guestbook table. When she opens the box, who knows what she'll think. To use? As inspiration? Who knows. But it sure was fun coming up with a project that I know I'll use again!
Found these Department 56 finds at the Junior League thrift store. The original price tags were still on . . . $17.50 a piece. Would not have given them a second look, but at $2.00 each . . . they're coming home with me. I'll be using these for the veggie tray I'm doing for Easter. Also found this baby scale. This is soooo holding a cake at the next shower I do. And my kitchen windowsill. You can see the windowbox flowers peeking out at me.
[Starting off this post with two pictures: the $1 tulips and the $4 roses from Kroger. Gotta love their bin of ready-to-be-trashed flowers. There's always some life left in them.]
I live by lists. On paper. Can't create them on my iPhone or on the computer. They must be on paper. I start one at the beginning of the week, add to it, and by week's end, the paper is as soft as flannel, worn by being folded, read, refolded, written on.
This weekend's list was a doozy. I started off the morning by waking up to the alarm set at 5:15. I've never been one to get up early for those day-after-Thanksgiving or -Christmas sales. Never done it. But Belk, the modest little department store at our Forum shopping center (and within walking distance of our house), was having a charity sale. Harleigh had gotten me a ticket through a school fund raiser. That, coupled with the fact that they were giving away discounts to the first 100 people to enter the door (anywhere from $5 to $100), made it a no brainer. Besides, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get my sorry butt out of bed early if for any reason to get started on tackling that "to do" list.
After my before-the-sun-comes-up shopping spree, headed home to meet up with two contractors, then to the P.O. to mail my taxes, then to church for pre-Easter housecleaning (a church-wide event as socially fun as it is hard work). I stopped in our favorite lunch spot, My Friend's Place, where on a Saturday it's not unusual to find me eating a sandwich, my "to do" list spread out before me, and the gals behind the counter chatting with me between customers and catching up on Harleigh. Had to stop in Goodwill after lunch; heck, it's in the same shopping center as the lunch spot. Then to Hobby Lobby to search for some fabric and trim, the pet store for dog food, and then one of my favorite stops, Pike Nursery, where I bought perennials and annuals to spruce up the front yard. Home to plant (filthy and happy in the breezy 70 degree temps), then back to church where I had to speak to the congregation with an update from the committee that I serve on.
One thing on the list was to switch out a plant stand in my bathroom for this quilt stand. Works rather well to corral t.p., magazines, a candle, my glasses, and a pretty vintage towel. Oh, and this morning I also baked a poppy seed cake for a friend's christening brunch. "To do" list has turned into "Done" list.
Around the corner from where I work is a bit of Atlanta history that is closing its doors. Bobby and June's Kountry Kitchen was an institution in Atlanta for 30 years. Bobby Crowe served as greeter, a rotund Santa Claus of a man, calling the men by name and the women usually by "darlin." His wife June ran the register and was just as much of a people person as her husband. Their two kids worked there also. The food, in my estimate, was not near the draw as was the Crowe family and the atmosphere they and their longtime staff created. Bobby himself rocking on the front porch. Running out to lunch last week I noticed that the front door of the place was propped open (as you can imagine, a rickety screen door probably original to the building). I had forgotten that for close to a year now they've been selling off all the contents of the restaurant. I popped in, was greeted by the ever-smiling Bobby, and surveyed what was left of a family's dream. Mostly big items (deep fryers, stoves, tables and chairs), but I decided to dig a little. And hidden behind a shelf of pots and pans was this little gem. Bobby's right-hand worker, a near toothless older gent, faithful to his boss to the very end, explained to me that this was used to corral all the waitresses' checks (each waitress had a number), with totals tallied at the end of the day by Bobby and June. When I asked Bobby how much he wanted for it, he said "how about $5." Sold. I explained that I wanted it because it had their names (or what was left of their names) on it, to which he replied, "that's the last thing left, other than menus and business cards, that has our names on it." I plan on using it on my craft table to hold . . . who knows what. Because when you think about it, it's chock full already, with a ton of memories and lives. (I also bought five giant lidded pickle jars for $1 a piece. Sure to find a good use for these.)
With all the event planning I'm involved in outside of work, I was long overdue to have a business card. It's a bit of a daunting task to create a calling card, a reflection of yourself on a 2" x3" piece of paper, not to mention the choices . . . fonts, paper, logo, name. Well, I decided to ask co-worker and designer Laura to help me out. I told her that I love those old-timey sewing labels that you can have personalized, but at the same time didn't want a card that felt dated or too kitschy. Decided on just plain ol' Dawn Gahan with my contact information.
Laura pulled through in a big way, creating 5 different cards, all the same but in different colors. And the back of each is a solid field of the font color on the front. From there I sewed fabric on the back of each and trimmed with pinking shears. I adore how the color peeks out from underneath the fabric; such a subtle but careful detail. These fabrics are what I had on hand, but plan on looking for lots more. Each card is different, I can customize with the event in mind (for instance, a flannel with pastel animals for a baby shower).
"Our house was not unsentient matter — it had a heart and a soul, and eyes to see with; and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in its confidence and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benedictions. We never came home from an absence that its face did not light up and speak out in eloquent welcome — and we could not enter it unmoved."- Samuel Clemens
I am probably the most content person you'd ever want to meet. I have a decent job working with people I like, a loving family including a swell Old English Sheepdog, a home where nesting and curling up on slipcovered sofas is required, and a life rich in creative crafting and daydreaming. I someday want a cottage at the beach where my grandchildren can bring sandy feet into the house, wet bathing suits can dry on the front porch and everything we need to get to is a bicycle ride away.