Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On the Road Again

Hi all, that's right I'm headed out of town
again for the fifth time since Thanksgiving. All this packing and repacking is starting to make my head spin. Nothing hits my closet, it goes directly from suitcase to washer, then from dryer back to suitcase. Life is really changing fast around here, someday soon I will fill you all in, I promise. A donut and a visit, that's what we'll have. So until I'm back, take a look at this from one of my nearest and dearest.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Brown Eyed Girl

You don't really need a coupon for a doughnut run in our house, but I suppose some people do:)

This one is always happy. That makes me happy.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

We made it to Grandma's at 3:00am this morning, slept for a few hours and had a great day here in the snowy east. After a few of Grandma's cut outs and about a gallon of coffee we were in business. We're looking forward to a couple of quiet days here with the family. Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Into the Snowy Wild

A 'two-cinnamon roll day' has been officially declared by my first born....I'm so proud.

I'm actually going on a road trip today, one similar to the scene above, there will most assuredly be snow and windshield wipers, but I'm not sure about the man in the sequined scarf. I will see him later though, when Jingle-Jingle Wedding Bells hits the stage in 'Donutland' tonight. The show must go on folks, we laugh in the face of inclement weather. Well, maybe we don't laugh exactly, maybe more like a little snicker....a nervous, little, snicker. My cream stick awaits, my reward for traveling into the snowy wild. I'm pretty sure I'd drive through anything for an Amish Door creme stick, oh and for my friends and co-workers who are waiting for me there too, I'd drive through anything for them too, uh-huh I would:) See ya on the snowy flip-side.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

More Decorating

I finally got my mantle done, it took for-ev-er, but it turned out pretty well I think.

And this pesky pantry, what a job.

You know I don't have much to work with people, what did you expect.

I think if I just had a few more things, then I'd be in business.

Yes, now that it is all up, I think I'll do a few things different next year.

I'm sorry, I had to do it. This is not my house. It is The Arms Family Museum in Youngstown, Ohio. I had the great opportunity to go in and photograph it for them. They do not allow photos in the museum, so they decided to have some in print for people to take home. It was an amazing experience. If you are in the area, you have to see this special Christmas Exhibit. My friend Rebecca works there and would be thrilled if you came. If you love vintage, old mansions and Christmas in general, it will blow your mind. Rebecca was kind enough to give me some passes and I decided that I would like to give two of them to you. Leave a comment telling me about your favorite Christmas decoration and I'll stick all your names in a hat. I'll draw one out and announce the winner on Tuesday morning, that gives you two and a half days or so to comment. You have to play to win people! Oh, and when you go to the museum you will have the opportunity to meet the people who really did the decorating, because it wasn't me. I'm pretty sure some planning was involved and remember from yesterdays post, that's not likely to happen around here:)

P.S. The drawing will of course work best for my local readers, but it you're interested in a road trip, Mi casa es tu casa.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Decorating

I've been slowly decorating little corners of my home the last few days. While most of my Christmas things are vintage and collected over the years, I have added a few new things too.
I painted these letters last year and decided to put them in a new spot this year.

This brings me to one of my little quirks. I very rarely want or can do things the same way twice. I don't know where it came from or what made me this way, but it is terribly annoying at times. The downfalls are numerous; like instead of feeding the dinner guests a recipe that's tried and true, I will always try out something different, and I don't mean different in a good way always. When it comes to clothes, I might nail down a great outfit, but I won't often wear it that same way again, even if people really liked it. Most of my furniture is on castor's, for obvious reasons. I have friends with iPhones on speed dial, so that they can get me back on the right road when I get turned around after trying to blaze a new path to no avail. You get the picture. Calendars and routine schedules are not my friends. Don't get me wrong, I think traditions are great..... if you change them every year. See? I am crazy.

There are so many times when I would love to say, "The Christmas Village goes here, the nativity goes there, the tree always sits in that perfect spot in front of the window."

I really would like to know those things sometimes, but I just can't, it's not in my DNA. If there was a pill for it, I'd be tempted, because I really do bang my head on the wall sometimes. And I think other people would like to bang my head against a wall sometimes too.

My friend ...the one with the iphone ...that I call for directions, took this picture when we were in in Columbus this summer. I just dug through my emails to find it, it's perfect for this post.

So I told you my Quirk, what's yours?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Scenes From a Snowy Monday

Two-Donut Weekend

Any weekend that involves these beauties can't be bad.

A party with friends,

some tree trimming, and....

...... a visit from my oldest nephew, his wife and pooch. Yes, it was, a Two-Donut Weekend.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Perfect Snowflake

This little snowflake is Jaden, my little niece. She and Taryn were born only one day apart. They look so similar to each other, we call them twin cousins. They are separated by a 3 hour car ride though, but when they do get to spend time together they are inseparable.

Our family isn't huge and has many age gaps, but I think it's nice that way. The little ones really look up to the big ones and the older ones are so good to the younger. I think we all benefit. The little ones have watched them perform in plays, sporting events, graduations, weddings and prayed for them when they've been far away. The older have held crying babies, put up with hours of crawling around on the floor, wii, and some rather crazy get togethers. They will probably have a pretty good idea of what having children will mean, they will know what is expected. They've never shied away from any of it over the years.

I think this wedding has made me reflective, and happy. I'm getting more sentimental as I age I guess, it feels natural, something I certainly won't fight. Every experience means more, you want to slow the clock and the calendar down so you won't miss anything. I also feel like as I get more adept with my camera, I'm actually 'seeing' more. I've always taken pictures, ever since the ancient darkroom days, but now it's just different. The camera has turned into a portal of sorts, a window that makes it possible to view anything on the other side of the lens differently and more thoughtfully than you would have before. If the subject is created by man, I'm thinking about who created it, how did they make it so beautiful, how can I do it justice. If the subject is created by God, I think the exact same thing. The other day, Myah was singing a jingle, over and over and over, I finally asked what she was doing. She said and I quote, "I'm practicing my Super Hero Theme Song, everyone should have one." After I laughed for quite a long time, we discussed what super power we would have. No one could quite decide on ice or fire, shrinking or growing, but later I thought of one. Seeing people and things for exactly what they are, sure sometimes the 'light' might be unflattering and sometimes the 'image' could be too perfect, but at least you would know and you could go from there. The more time goes on I realize that that it takes depth to capture things in this manner. So I guess I would be Depth Girl. On second thought, being able to control the weather would be pretty cool too:)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I went from Jingle, Jingle Wedding Bells to real wedding bells over last weekend.

My nephew was the groom. His bride Miranda, planned a flawless black and white themed affair. It was beautiful, every detail.

My mom and dad and the grand kids decked out in their glittery party dresses.

Now I have two beautiful nieces and I couldn't be any happier. Those nephews of mine....they're good boys.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Two Turkey Day

I know it's a bit early,

Thanksgiving is still four days away.

These two turkeys are demanding an audience.

I dare say that they won't make it until Thanksgiving day, but wouldn't they be cute sitting on on the dinner plates just staring up at your guests. I think that would be very funny.

Who wouldn't rather have Bavarian Creme stuffing anyway?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Christmas at the Inn

You don't want to miss me.

We are all busy at work on the new Christmas show which will open to a sold out house next week at the Amish Door in Wilmot Ohio (or 'Donutland' as I affectionately call it sometimes). Things are coming along and looking good I think. I got a request for an adult size costume just like the one I made for Taryn on Halloween.

Here's how that one turned out, sorry for the blurry picture, low light I guess. I'll take a picture of the larger one tonight when I finish it. It's a little different, same gist. There's all kinds of crazy characters in this years show. 'Jingle, Jingle Wedding Bells' is the title, so there will of course be some kind of wedding dress, not sure yet what exactly it will be like. It's all peculating in my brain, waiting to burst forth. Unfortunately my best work is done in the wee hours of the morning, when it's quiet and free of distractions. I've always been a night owl. Even when the kids were babies and good sense was telling me to sleep when they slept, I still would stay up just to collect myself in the quiet of the night. Quiet...oh how I love quiet. My brain likes quiet, my soul thrives on quiet. Even if I'm tired the next day, it's usually worth it, the amount of work I can get done in the night is far and away greater than the work I do during the day. It just takes a few more cups of coffee and maybe a power nap in the afternoon, no big deal. Speaking of power nap.......

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Your Inner Star

Dear American Girl Doll Company,
YOU'RE KILLING ME. Let me back up a little....the other day I was finishing up some work and I needed to find a little project to keep my daughter busy for about 30 min.

I said, "Look honey, the new catalog came in the mail today, why don't you mark the things that you like, and we'll think about it for Christmas and your birthday." I then produced a brand new package of star Post-its, and she was off.

Thirty minutes later, she skipped past my office and deposited this on my desk.

She used the entire package of Post-its, every page was covered with at least 5-10.

She was quite convinced that she would be getting all of it for Christmas. You see somewhere in my explaining to her, I forgot to say that she should only mark a few of her very favorite things. Not 50. I am in such big trouble now, so thanks a lot.

I know what you're thinking, it's not your fault....well that's where you are wrong. Your product is too darn cute, it is too well marketed, and I .... I mean she.... loves absolutely everything and it's impossible to choose.

Then I noticed something just under the American Girl title, go ahead and read that little sentence. Uh-huh, that's right, well she followed it, no problem there, coincidence? I think not American Girl. Signed, Dead in Ohio.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Today I said goodbye to my stash of decorating magazines. I know, it was sad. The closet they have comfortably resided in is getting an overhaul. They can no longer live there. They have been given the boot. I looked through them one last time then got them ready for recycling. As I looked through them I thought about all the places we've lived, the rooms painted, updated and decorated. I thought about all 'me' time I had as I looked forward to a cup of coffee and a quick or long bit of reading on a snowy Saturday morning or a lazy hour on the back deck when the kids were in their sandbox. Once I saw them in the big box all together I shuttered to think about the money spent on them, and maybe the time that could have been better used. It was a mixed feelings sort of day today, about a lot of things. As I tore out dream rooms and houses and stashed them in a binder, just in case I might need them, I thought about life. What else am I ready to let go? What are the things taking up valuable square footage in my mind. What are the things that I'll tear out and protect. I know, deep thoughts while cleaning out a closet. Well that's me folks, I can find meaning in almost anything, for better or worse, I guess. I didn't come to any huge conclusions, just thinking, pondering, saying things.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Books and Spinach

Some days I doubt my parenting abilities,

this particular moment in time.....not so much.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Two Muffin Morning

Climbing back into bed with these.....because I can.

Have a great weekend! Don't eat too much candy.

P.S. I fixed my format issues on yesterdays post, or I should say Deer Slayer did. Sorry to leave you all hanging, it was a little anticlimactic without the pictures:(

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bedroom Makeover

The before picture. Not horrible, but a little ho, hum. We actually really like the color of the walls, Krypton, Sherwin-Williams, but the problem that motivated this whole undertaking is under that quilt on the back wall.

The wall was never prepared properly for wall paper. You and I know what that means. Scraping and steaming to no avail, chunks of wall were removed every time someone tried to fix it. I've hidden it under Anglypta wall paper, and a giant quilt. It was passable but the thought of leaving that mess for the next homeowner kept me up at night. When we took the house off the market in August, the girls room was first, then this. I would also like to do the kitchen back splash and counters, but lets keep that our little secret;)

At first I wasn't really going to consult Deer Slayer in my little redecorating scheme, but since he was doing the work of repairing the wall I felt guilty. And before you think it's strange that I wouldn't consult him, let me tell you that the family room is covered with animals. Not pictures of animals... actual animals. Three deer heads, an antelope, a bear rug and a coyote pelt. So don't go thinking I wear the pants in this family. He just tends to leave the rest of the house up to me, meaning he is lucky as all get out that I agree to his 'decorating choices'.

One day I was just feeling like a true decorating collaboration was in order. I don't want him to feel alienated by a space that he shares and keeps all his clothes in. So I started asking him his opinion. I asked about wall color first and he said tan. Tan is a bad word in this house. I kept my inner screaming... well, inside and I set about changing his mind. I eventually got him to some other color choices and we arrived at the picture above. He even surprised me by mentioning that we get a new bed or attempt making something like the one above. I didn't protest, I wasn't going to go there, but I know when to jump on an opportunity. The wall color is very similar to the one we have now, but I think we'll lighten it up a bit. The room is north facing and tends to be a little dark and cold feeling. I also loved the lamps and the little striped foot stools. I was feeling very encouraged by our successful decorating compromise then after he went to sleep I found this......

This is so 'me'. I nearly fainted. I love the light gray walls, the touches of pink and the sign. I love the blankets on the perfect green chippy trunk. Sigh. Just for kicks I showed him in the morning. He said, "That's fine, we have that bed, it just needs painted black." I waited for him to start laughing.....still waiting, nothing. I said,"I won't do that much pink, I won't have a sign or a blanket that says 'Love'".....waited, "Ok", he said. Ok?, last night he wanted a tan room. Today he says "Ok" to gray and pink? Part of me is saying run to the stores and get this done before he changes his mind, but the other part is saying stick with the first picture, you both liked it, honor the fact that you collaborated successfully. So there is my dilemma, any words of wisdom?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Getting a Grip

Blogging has taken on a different look and feel for me now that the school year is in full swing. I know I've said it already, but having a middle schooler is soooooo different. She has adjusted much quicker than I have that's for sure. I feel like I need to clone myself, I know I already did, that's not who I'm referring to at the moment. I need a clone who can drive, cook, do 5th grade homework, and get up happily at the crack of dawn. My 'fly by the seat of my pants' ways are catching up with me. I find myself preaching to her about having a schedule, planning better, thinking ahead, yada, yada, yada. I need to get a grip here people. I've been a lousy example. I'm out of my element for sure. But guess what? Luckily I have people around me that have done this before, that are doing it currently and who have way more responsibilities in total than I have. It's time to listen and learn. So in the absence of a more daily blog, here are some highlights of the week so far.

Upward Basketball wrapped up it's season on Saturday. It was a great season for Myah, she loved it. What's not to love about Upward. Lesson here, the fall season is the ticket, six weeks opposed to 10 in the dead of winter. Win win.

I helped Deer Slayer with his weekly On Target program at the Middle School. Check out the kid far right, I think someone is pleased with himself.

Myah needed a costume for dance class last night. I threw this one together in a half hour. A dress up bin dress, tiara and iron on letters, the possibilities are endless. I let her pick her title, this dress had a tropical feel to it we thought and could be worn with flip flops, a plus.

The bedroom is all kinds of disarray, but progressing. I need to get out and pick a paint color.

I worked most of the day yesterday on this little number. In contrast to my easy going, do whatever you want to mom, 10 year old, the youngest member of this house has definite opinions and ideas when it comes to costumes. She formulates early, researches books and inspects my work. She trys to motivate me early and asks lots of questions along the way, just to keep me on track you know. God has a sense of humor and I have a feeling he finds much of the interaction between me and my youngest, very funny. Those of you who know me and know her undoubtedly do as well. I am happy to say that this cute dress and cape made the cut, whew. The Egyptian costume I labored over last year however, did not. You never know. And yes, I am lucky enough to have a child size dress form. I found it years ago in an antique store in Upstate NY, and couldn't wait until the kids got big enough for me to use it. In the years of costuming for 34west I have gathered quite a collection of left over bits and bobs just waiting to be made into something new. I love recycling textiles and notions, it's so rewarding to be able to come up with another entire costume out of things you already have. I know... it's the small things, they keep me goin people. Speaking of the small things, I think a trip to the farm market might be in order today......