Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Things I'm Loving These Days

Watching the entire four seasons of thirtysomething. 
When the little red envelope appears in my mailbox, I smile out loud.

Pinterest and Instagram. Like you didn't know or think that was possible :-)
I was super into Pinterest initially and then went lukewarm.
Now I'm back and in love.
Although I've not yet done my own instavideo,
I've enjoyed watching others'.

Here's an image using the AfterFocus app. How fun is this?

Always having an event or project in the works. I'm already brainstorming The Feast for this year. When each Feast is over, I think it will be impossible to come up with a theme/look that trumps or, at the very least, is different than the one that just happened, but I always pull through (see all the Feasts in my right sidebar under My Event Portfolio). I'm debating the next craft project — dollhouse? sabbatical scrapbook? spray painting and decorating all the tins I've collected? creating an original piece of artwork on the jumbo "canvas" that I inherited?

One of my many vintage jewelry boxes became the perfect place to showcase all the shells and trinkets that Harleigh and Kasey collected for me from their trip to Cape San Blas.

My king-size bed. In the summertime, Harleigh often invites over a big group of kids who camp out in the living room to watch a movie or play a game. And so I hole up in my bedroom with Gideon. My bed is big enough, with plenty of room to spare, for me, my dog, a laptop, books, and pillows galore.

My 5-day-a-week Jillian Michaels date with my co-workers. We just finished the twelve-week program, and we're starting it all over again. I looked in the mirror today at my near-naked self and saw a curve at my waist. An actual waistline after looking like a giant cankle from the neck down!

A tire-inflator that hooks up to your car cigarette lighter for power. Harleigh was dealing with a leaking tire for the past few days, which we couldn't get fixed because it started leaking on the morning she was leaving the beach and heading for Statesboro to be in a wedding. I felt so much better as she drove from Statesboro home, knowing that she had this (a loan from Kasey's uncle). She used it a few times before we had the tire replaced.

Trader Joe's French Market Sparkling Pink Lemonade. Good to drink. Pretty bottle.
And white, heavy-duty, plastic silverware that mimics the real stuff.

The below pictures are from when I was setting up dinner for Harleigh's counselors.
I had gotten one bottle of the lemonade and wound up going back for four more 
'cause the girls liked it so much.

And these utensils. Dreamy. I told the girls to save them so I could wash them.
Way too pretty to throw away. These babies are getting washed and reused.

Neighbors who fix things. My fence had a huge chunk taken out when I lost a tree. And both gates are broken, one being held together with string and kept closed with a giant rock. It's called "girlie repairing." Without the tools, the knowledge and the strength, string and stones will have to do. I've got a neighbor who cleans my gutters for me, and I asked him if he'd be interested in making these repairs, and I got an estimate. It's more than fair. And even though Gideon probably wouldn't leave the yard if the gates were completely gone, I feel better about them being fixed because of loose, exposed nails that could hurt him.

Gideon. As always.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Weekend of Flowers

I hosted a Father's Day celebration at Chateau Gahan, 
and I welcomed home Harleigh from a week's vacation at the beach. 
Both cause for a trip to Trader Joe's to get me some bouquets.
When she's away for any length of time, it's tradition that she come home to fresh flowers
in her bedroom and bathroom.

I also made a trip to Pike Nursery for annuals for my kitchen window box. 
I have a pair of all-black hobby store Halloween crows that I decided to paint and add.
Used acrylic paints and then gave them both a spray of matte clear coat.
These birds are very versatile for crafting. 
I covered two in papier mache for a wedding, 
and they turned into adorable keepsakes for the bride and groom 
(see image below my window box birds; photography by Ali Harper).

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Well, just a few more . . .

The last batch from Harleigh's family vacation trip to Cape San Blas with the Browns.
Yeah, mine's the one on the left.

A beach house with a pool table. Su-weet.

Can there be anything sweeter than grown men building sandcastles?
Well, maybe a man who wears a Santa hat out in public at Christmastime.

I texted Harleigh during the week, and begged PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE gather some shells, sea glass, driftwood, anything that you think I would love.
She's not home yet with the goods. But the pictures below are proof that she listens to her mother.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Cape San Blas Vacation

Some final pictures from the Brown family vacation. Harleigh and Kasey had to head out a day early to make a rehearsal tonite and wedding tomorrow (Harleigh is a bridesmaid).

Lots of corn hole playing. 
Don't you just love the beach in the early evening? 
All showered and clean. 
The sand still warm from the sunny day.

Such a girl thing. Just standing in waist-deep water, gabbing.

Harleigh seemed to have found the perfect reading perch.

The traditional low country boil. 

The beach cabana. Put up on arrival day and not taken down until saying goodbye.

My girl and her beau.
Perfect sleeping at night: camping hammock on the porch means 
the sound of the waves to sing you to sleep.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Beach Trip 2013

Harleigh's boyfriend, Kasey, is one of three boys in a family that's steeped in Southern hospitality, their faith, traditions, and loving every minute spent together. Their annual trip to the beach means finding a house big enough for 15+ people (uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents . . .) and right on the beach (they flip-flop East and West coast of Florida from year to year). Harleigh is blessed to be part of this family (she and Kasey have dated a year and a half), and is enjoying her second year of this tradition. This year they are in Cape San Blas, a secluded seventeen-mile long barrier peninsula on the Gulf.

This year's house is two homes joined by a bridge walkway. They've rented the one on the right, but figure that this is a good option as the families grow. Will share more pictures throughout the week (thanks, Miss Karen! I love seeing my girl have a good time!!)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Homebound and Happy

The girl is off to the beach for the week with Kasey's family. 
And so it's just me and Giddy holding down the fort. 
Around the house the radio is on, or I'm singing or talking to myself or Gideon, or it's simply quiet.
The weekend could not have been more peaceful. I needed that.
Camped out in my craft room most of the weekend. My happy place.
I found a homemade dollhouse at a thrift store years ago, and think that it's about time
to pull it from the garage, give it a good dusting-off, and start playing house.
I bought this dresser at the dollar store and figured I could refinish it, just what I did this weekend.
With some white paint (the reddish wood color bled through a tad, which made for a nice finish),
a bit of sanding and shells glued on for drawer pulls, it's mini Shabby Chic loveliness.
I've been on a jewelry box kick lately, finding cheap wooden ones at thrift stores and giving them a facelift. Finished one here a few months ago. The one below started out looking like this. With a couple coats of light pink paint, the tedious task of painting each drawer pull, a coat of Mod Podge, and a little sanding, it's now in Harleigh's room.
 For those of you who don't follow me on Instagram, here are some image posts from the past week.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Custom Gift Bags

Harleigh has a summer of weddings to attend, and I've tackled the gift buying as soon as an invitation arrives in the mail. And quite frankly, as much as I love a pretty-wrapped present, the cost of the box, paper and ribbon/bow has almost rivaled the price of the gift. So I've gone a route that costs me $1.99 per present.

I buy a plain white gift bag. I've found these shiny, nicer ones at Party City (a bit nicer than matte-finish kraft paper ones). Cost = $1.99. I print out the couple's initials in a simple font, tape the paper onto a piece of scrapbook paper — using what I have on hand— that has been Xyroned (an adhesive application process), cut out the initials and put them on the bag. With a piece of white tissue paper peeking out the top of the bag and a simple white postcard inside with a note from Harleigh, this bag is elegant and understated.

A simple and personal solution.

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