19 December 2010

... and a partridge in a pear tree

Well, here it is Sunday and I'm finally posting about what went on last week!  My crazy week was spent ...

enjoying 2 quiet, peaceful snow days at home with the children,
taking Sean to St. Louis Children's Hospital to find out (short story) that he needs tubes in his ears,
getting a prescription (the same day) for double pink eye for the same little boy,
watching said boy shine as one of the little shepherd boys in the kindergarten Christmas pageant,

watching one little girl play piano in the 5th grade Christmas chapel service,

rummaging through boxes in the basement (not so much fun),
donating 5 car loads (so far) of things to Good Will (more fun),
taking pictures of the house for you :) ,

reading a thankfully refreshing book,

starting a new pair of socks,

going on two marathon Christmas shopping sprees...

and ...

listening for that melodically, merry partridge in a pear tree
and hoping his joyous song is bringing you

blessings and happiness,

15 December 2010

things to look forward to

Ok, I guess I can't procrastinate any longer.  I may as well get it over with...  (sigh)  My open house last Saturday was not a resounding success.   :(    Although, I may have had the most guests out of all the ladies that were participating, it was a dreary, raining day, so the weather may have kept people at home.  But mostly it was probably because I never made the time to sit down and call people just to touch base and remind them (I had sent out the invitations almost a month ago). 

In any event, it was a treat to see my friends that did come and I think they enjoyed seeing the wide variety of things that were available.  It's always nice to have an hour or two to yourself to go out and do some Christmas shopping. 

On a more interesting and happy note, I am already dreaming about how the new house will look and how I will decorate.  These are some fabric swatches from our local fabric-and-all-things-sewing store (jackman's fabrics).  They are a higher end fabric store and carry a pretty impressive selection of quilting fabrics and an even more amazing selection of home decor and upholstery fabrics. 

So these are a few swatches I picked up the other day with the intention of using them for curtains, pillows, and hopefully a duvet in the master bedroom.  Although... most of them are $25 -$35 per yard. (yikes!)  I really like these colors together (slate grey, silver, plum, eggplant).  And I may use this palette throughout the house.  Wish me luck!

I'm hoping to meet with the realtor today or tomorrow so I can get in there and take photos (to share) and window measurements, so I can start buying fabric and making curtains for at least some of the windows before we move in.

We're also on the hunt for kitchen cabinet hardware and need to make a decision about that in the next day or two, because the builder wants to finish off the cabinets (and maybe even install the appliances) this week. 

I have so many happy little joys to look forward this week.  At least I'm going to focus on enjoying those, more than the packing of boxes and tidying up the basement.  The other day I packed up all of my art supplies.  (That feels so paralyzing).  But, I made sure to set aside a few things to knit (otherwise, I'll go crazy) and my pins, scissors and sewing machine.   

Well, I guess I better close for now and as always, across the miles I wish you ... 

blessings and happiness,

12 December 2010

nothing to do with art...

This post has absolutely nothing to do with art (or even life at home, or adventures), but I can't help it.  I just wanted to share.  I'm sooo excited about this!

My gorgeous, shiney, new, beautiful, stainless steel kitchen appliances!!!   This is my new stove, and yes, it has TWO ovens!!!  Ever since I started hosting Thanksgiving at our house each year, Mom and I quickly realized life (or at least Thanksgiving) would be sooo much eaiser with a wall of double ovens.  Well, now Thanksgiving will never be the same! 

My new kitchen doesn't have room for a wall of double ovens, so I figured I'd just get a regular stove like we've always had.  But when we went to the appliance store the other day and saw this, I think I actually started jumping up and down ... (I know ... Rob and the children were so embarrassed).  I didn't even know they made stoves with double ovens!  Yippeee!

My awesome dishwasher is the kind were the controls are on top of the door -- you can't even see them!  Also, it's suppossed to be super quiet.  :)

As you can see, the appliances are all by Frigidaire.  Apparently (I didn't know this), but it's important to have all your appliances from the same manufacturer because not all stainless steel has the same amount of sheen, the same style of handles, or even the same shade of silver.  Who knew?  So any how, once my heart was set on that oven, everything else fell into place. 

The fridge is ginormous and has the kind of freezer that's a drawer and the whole thing pulls out.  I've always prefered freezer-on-the-bottom fridges, but the one I have now is a door.  This will be sooo awesome, because with a drawer instead of a door (tongue twister), it will be less likely to get in the way.

All I can say is, I am sooo blessed!  God is giving me so much more than I could ask or think.  We had an "allowance" from the builder on how much we could spend on the appliances and that stove (although it was discounted because apparently there's a scratch on it -- on the side where it will never even be seen) put us over budget.  Just that one appliance ate up our whole allowance and then some! 
Scarey how expensive these things are. 

So, after the sales guy tells us the grand total, I tell Rob (who always stresses out about money), "I can live without these fancy-shmancy things.  We can just get what we can afford."  He's like, "Why?  So every time you walk in the kitchen you'll think about what you wish you had?  I want you to be happy." 
Isn't he awesome?!

So, Mom, I can't wait for you to come and see them in real life.  And next year's Thanksgiving will be something even the Barefoot Contessa would be envious of!

blessings and happiness,

10 December 2010

ready, set ...

What a day!  I'm exhausted.  I spent today setting up for tomorrow's open house (I guess I really shouldn't call it an art show).  My friend, Raenell is so gracious to include me in her little Christmas "boutique" open house.  This is the second year she's included me and I'm hoping we'll have an even better turn out.  I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone responds to my goodies this year.

She set me up in a great spot right next to her gorgeous Christmas tree.  The only bad thing is the photos look a bit dark because of the backlight from the windows.  Hopefully, the lighting (and my camera skills) will be better tomorrow and I'll be able to share some better photos in my next post.

Whew! Now it's off to the appliance store to put down a deposit on my AWESOME new kitchen appliances!!!  I guess I should tell you the house we're buying is new construction.    =)  
The builder is allowing us me to pick out all the kitchen appliances.  (Yippeeeee!)  So in addition to the appliances being installed, he also needs to finish installing the kitchen island and to build the deck.  Other than that the house is done and ready to go.  I'm sooo excited!  Can't wait to share photos with you...

until next time,

blessings and happiness,

08 December 2010

cardmaking (... and BIG news!)

Whew!  One more big thing accomplished for the art show.  Yesterday and today were spent cardmaking and I feel such a sense of relief getting them done!  I don't know if this happens to you, but when I have big to-do-list things looming over my head, I just don't feel at peace til they're done.  Thank goodness this one is done and I think they turned out really nice.

I made two sets of "all occassion" blank cards and one set of blank Christmas cards.  Each set has 4 different prints from the gypsygirl drawings I've done. 

Another big accomplishment today was that I decided not to worry about building a trifold screen for the canvas paintings.  I'm just going to take a few of them and display them in a tabletop rack.  I decided the screen would be too much time, effort and money to expend, knowing that most people will be more interested in buying more affordable gifts. 

So for now the plan is have the following at the art show:  gypsygirl cards, the felted wool bracelets, the hand-knitted flower ornaments, the gift tag embellishments, the stuffed dolls, a few original canvas paintings, and a couple of handknitted shawls.  I think that's it.  Whew!

And hopefully I'll remember to take my camera so I can take pictures of everything to show you.  :)

Now, for the BIG news! 
da, da, da, da ....

Rob and I found a house we liked and put an offer in on it on Monday.    Our offer was accepted (small scream of excitement) and now we are officially on our way to moving into a new home.  I can't wait to show you pictures of it!  Any way, now (or least after the open house on Saturday) it's full steam ahead for packing, cleaning, decluttering, etc. so we can sell this house.  It's such a big chore, but we've already made a lot of progress. 

We are really excited about this move.  And I'm looking forward to telling you more about it, as things progress.  For now, thank you for always listening reading as I wish you

blessings and happiness,

06 December 2010

nothing like a good book

First off, I must say that had I had time, I could have made 3 or 4 more posts last week.  As it was, I was so busy spinning plates, I can't even remember what they all were.  I do know that out of desperation for a little stress relief, I went to my favorite local bookstore last Friday and bought 3 books!  Now that is big news for me, because although I love reading and love books, I generally don't get to indulge myself in  a new book, let alone 3!  Usually I settle for a super special magazine and buy books for the children. 

In any event, this book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity, caught my eye.  Believe it or not it was in the bargain section and I couldn't pass it up for $10!  I know people say you're not suppossed to judge a book by it's cover, but actually, that's the only way I judge a book.  And this one definitely spoke to me.  It's full of wonderful pictures like this...

and this...

and full of little bits of wisdom like this...

little luxuries are more conducive to sustained well-being and pleasure than big ones.....
The gentle arts offer such a wealth of little luxuries that it's not difficult to create a chain of small pleasures that link together to make a necklace of non-precious gems to adorn your life.  Pretty buttons, trimmings, ribbons, lovely yarn, half a yard of a beautiful fabric, a good novel or a book of poetry, a few squares of chocolate, a box of French macaroons -- all are strung on my personal necklace of luxuries.

Jane Brocket,  the Gentle Art of Domesticity

I certainly can't argue with that!  Maybe this idea of little luxuries is why buying a new book or a special skein of yarn is such a little treat that brings me such big JOY.  I wish you many precious necklaces filled with little luxuries that bring you big JOY, too.    :)

Next time I have BIG news to share.  And hopefully some good news too.  Until then,

blessings and happiness,