I felt it a bit today. A culmination of living. The eating well (it's a discipline, I tell ya). The working out 6 days a week. In bed by 9 and up at 5. And while I'm awake . . . busy, busy, busy. The house is in summer shambles. With a daughter who's a camp counselor, each day's dump of belongings in the kitchen includes a knapsack, wet bathing suit and towel, two pairs of shoes, a water bottle, lunchbox . . . you get the picture.
And today when I got home, I simply said "I'm doing nothing." I grilled a hot dog, slowly ate an Italian ice, opened mail, played with my doggie, and forced myself to not feel guilty. And when my head hits the pillow tonite, I will try my darndest to fall asleep counting sweet sheep instead of tomorrow's TO DOs.
I've been after Harleigh to help me get better at photography, and all she needs to do is stand there. And so today, in the 100 degree heat no less, she gladly took on the role of model. We went after a pensive look, intent on working through the humidity where anything but a pensive look is really too much work. We have plans on a fun vintage '70s bathing suit shoot. What a good sport my girl. Stay tuned for more pix . . . we're having fun with this photography thing!
With all the events I'm working on, carrying things around has become an issue. There are just certain things that I need to have at an arm's reach. My first attempt at corralling what needs to be close at hand was my "tool" belt; a lifesaver it's become. But I had a need for something bigger, to carry items that I don't necessarily need to have on my person, but need to come with me. I saw this bag on Heather Bullard's blog and was smitten. OK OK, her photography makes even the most mundane item covetable. But in this case, the bag's utilitarian pluses had me wanting one. For starters, the price is cheap; I picked mine up at the local tool supply company for under $20. The bottom is flat (and I enforced mine with a piece of foamcore wrapped in toile fabric). The pockets, oh the pockets, lots of 'em.
First of all, I haven't forgotten to post pictures from Mandy's June 4 wedding! Rather, Ali is going through all the photography and once the bride sees all the pix, Ali can share with me. And (I'm excited to say), Ali plans on submitting them for publication. How exciting is that!
In the meantime, I'm on to planning Jesse's wedding. Jesse used to work with me. She now lives in New York and plans on marrying in her small hometown outside of Augusta, GA. This weekend I'm heading there to meet with her mom and future mother-in-law to tour the outdoor venues for both wedding and reception. If I were to describe her in actress terms, Jesse is this wonderful mix of down-to-earth Sandra Bullock, earthy Darryl Hannah, witty and smart Tina Fey, and confident and sassy Dolly Parton. I like the girl; it's hard not to.
Her wedding/reception color palette is every bit as playful and engaging as she is. Will definitely get Dawn thinking in a new color direction (just love pushing myself into new creative pools!). For color palette books for her, her mom and her future mother-in-law, I had these giant faux-matchbook notepads. Glued the color chips inside the front flap. Perfect to carry in the purse, AND have a place to jot down wedding ideas!
When Laura sent me this post via Barbara, I knew I couldn't wait until next Easter to try out a Martha craft using silk ties to dye eggs. I made a pit stop at my local thrift store but could only find two 100% silk ties with a decent pattern (but alas not a lot of color, which is supposedly the way to go with these bad maama jaamas). I tried this one (a black and white Art Deco-ish pattern) and it came out wonderfully. So now I'm on the hunt for silk ties — loud ones. Just one more reason to stop in every thrift store I come across!!!
Lately I've been really impressed with the Better Homes & Gardens line at Walmart. I've been looking for something for the front door. When I saw this wreath (a BH&G creation) — on sale for $7! — it seemed the perfect marriage of my love for succulents and the sweltering heat we've been having here in the ATL.
Bad me. I didn't capture pictures of the rolling sets as they were used during VBS. We had fake trees all around them as well as children dressed in costumes. The little girls carried baskets of fruits and vegetables on their heads; adorable. I took these pictures inside. Sorry they're void of any charm and character, as I took these pictures in an empty children's auditorium. But you get the idea.
This rolling set has a gate that opens and closes. The men who built it for me thought of everything, including the one-piece ramp that fits snugly over the base of the frame. The clothesline holds a fabric sign — I painted the theme name on it. It's clothes-pinned on so that it can easily come down and clothes can be hung.
The second set has a doorway. For both pieces I glued straw on the "roof". After gluing it down I staple-gunned a strip of cardboard the full length so that stray pieces of straw would stay in place.
The opposite side of both sets is an indoor scene. I hung these plastic peppers and perched a dollar store bird on the roof. The curtains at the window and doorway are hung on branches. And there's even a little mouse hole (I printed out an illustration from the web, which when I enlarged it became very pixelated, so I just painted over it to give it definition.)
What could possibly say summer more than seersucker? It's not a scream, or a bark, it's more of a southern drawl that speaks to the summer season. A good looking man in a seersucker suit, white bucks, a bow tie, is . . . well, even better looking.
And so with Sherry's bridal shower scheduled for July 23 at Chateau Gahan, I wanted to pick a summery theme. She's getting married in October on St. Simons Island in a beautiful boutique hotel on the beach and will be incorporating beachy items, so I wanted to keep the beach theme exclusive to her wedding. With a little brainstorming, seersucker seemed the perfect fit to decorate with.
For the invitations, most of which were handed out at work to the gals (and a handful to be mailed), I covered a piece of foamcore with seersucker fabric, folded and ironed a pocket which I then glued down, printed the invite itself on some nice cream matte stock, tucked it inside the pocket, and attached a flower tied with a floral ribbon.
For the shower, I plan on doing seersucker table runners and maybe some little keepsakes for all the girls. So much to think about!!!!
I saw this planter in Country Living and was surprised to read that it's from IKEA. With an IKEA just around the corner from where I work, I headed over this week to discover that it comes in not just the round-bottomed hanging version, but two tabletop versions. The larger of the two has a different pattern on the top. How cute for showers! At a price I couldn't turn down, I bought a total of 8.
While out running wedding errands near Grant Park, an area I rarely visit, I came across this little gem of a thrift shop. Lots of kitchenware and furniture, and since Harleigh and three other girls will be furnishing a four-bedroom duplex in the fall, thought it be worth a stop (especially since — with my girl's welcoming encouragement — we plan on making their house a home on the cheap).
Emily and Harleigh have the two upstairs bedrooms, both with a portion of the ceiling at an attic-charming slant, and with dormer windows. Their shared bathroom (with shower, tub and a double sink) is the size of a small bedroom, so there's room for a big chair and even a dresser or vanity. We might even be able to put in a three-panel screen for some dressing room drama.
I fell in love with this wooden vanity chair (in a pretty mustard yellow), which I know they can find use for in the bathroom. In the meantime, it fits nicely at my small kitchen table, its shallow depth perfect for the ken, where space is at a minimum.
On Saturday morning as I was nose to the grindstone working on last-minute wedding preparation, I noticed a sign for a yard sale with all proceeds going toward the troops. The sale was in an empty store, the space generously donated by the barber shop next door. Lots of furniture (in fact, a huge kitchen hutch that I would have snapped up had it not been for my new arrangement in the ken that has a cafe table and two chairs now populating real estate on the main wall in the room). This chair had to come home with me (and at $30, duh). I have another wing chair in the study that is navy with a white pin stripe, so this fits in nicely. And there was a spot in the living room made exactly for it.
This year's theme was especially fun to do. People from both church and my workplace donated items that helped me create the feel of Biblical Nazareth. Pictures to come of the set that was built, and the costumes I sewed, as well as the wishing well that was donated by another church. But in the meantime, here is the sanctuary (and this just the altar area; I'll make sure I get pictures of the entry). The antique rabbit hutch is on loan from my favorite thrift store, Best Thrift, where Dan and Bobbie Sue always help me out come VBS time. (I've seen hutches like this made into rolling coffee tables, simply by attaching industrial wheels to the bottom.) One of the Crafty Ladies cut out and painted the sheep and roosters.
"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.