Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Busy Weekend!

Hello Dear Friends! I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend. I ended up having a very busy one but ultimately a me weekend (thanks to everyone for the encouragement!). I did the gardening while Hubby made an actual veggie garden and I worked on some small projects. We did take some time out yesterday for my cousin's birthday party and to recognize all that our troops sacrifice on a daily basis.

Here are some photos of all the things we accomplished. The top photo is the bird cage I got for $1 at a recent estate sale. I posted a before photo a while back, it was shiny gold and kind of ugly. I painted it with some hammered bronze spray paint and made a little sign. I put a pretty violet plant inside. I was inspired by Heather Bullard's bird cage that she posted a while back. Check it out here.

I also made a few boxes. This is one I made for myself. I almost always give my projects away but recently I've been keeping some around for myself. I used some vintage papers from my Doodle Pack as well as one of the bird's I picked up at Tinsel Trading Company a few weeks ago. I also made a memory box for my sister with some more vintage papers and some vintage runner images (she is a big time runner) but in my excitement to give it to her I forgot to get a photo!

Here is a shot of Hubby working in the garden. He worked very hard on it all weekend and I'm happy to say that he finally finished! He framed the whole thing out, brought in TONS of soil, planted lots of veggies and put up a fence around the little piece of heaven. He worked hard and I'm very proud of him.

Lastly I'd like to share a few fun items that arrived via the mailman. I received my beautiful glittery bird I won at Miss Duffy's as well as a wonderful paper/fabric pack from Heather at Pretty Petals Boutique. Heather just opened her online store - you must check it out! She has some fabulous items. Lastly, I received my apron from Kim at Olive Juice & Co. Just love it! Housework no longer seems like such a chore!

I'm looking forward to making the rounds and seeing how everyone spent their Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Future Plans

I found this great little miniature dress form at a local cottage store this past weekend. I think it will be great for displaying bracelets and things - if I ever can get my act together and open an Etsy shop! I've been so busy I haven't had a chance to work on much for a store. On top of regular ball and chain work and Yuppy Puppy orders, I sold 5 bracelets without even trying! I donated a bracelet for a local auction and someone saw it (it hasn't even been in the auction yet) and asked if I could make 5. Of course I said sure! It gives me such a thrill to think that something I made could bring some small amount of joy to someone else.

With such a bogged down schedule I've been thinking - does anyone else feel like its time to say "Enough - I need some me time!"? I'm looking forward to the long weekend and finally being able to get some gardening done. I've had to keep putting it off for work or some other obligation that comes up (have I mentioned I am a volunteer addict?). So I finally cleared my schedule and low and behold - my aunt calls to say she is having my cousin's 14th birthday party on Monday and then I came into work this morning to find an invite to a going away party for a colleague and friend (she is moving to FL) for Sunday! AHHHH! I want to scream. I told my aunt that we would be there if I got my gardening done by Monday afternoon - otherwise I'd stop by with a gift later in the week, as for the friend- I don't know what to do! I really feel like this is quite last minute and it will be okay to skip it as the party is at least a 50 minute drive and I will be taking her to lunch right before she leaves and I'm working on a little collage for her - BUT on the other hand, it is her going away party. Does anyone else get so caught up in trying to make others happy that you completely neglect you?! I know taking care of myself should be my top priority otherwise I won't be there to help anyone else but I feel like I'm letting people down. Why can't anyone give at least a week's notice before holding a party?! Okay, deep breath, my rant is over.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Today is cold and dreary but this morning Hubby and I toughed it out and went to Tomatomania at White Flower Farm in Litchfield, CT. It is billed as the world's largest tomato seedling sale and this is their only East coast date. Heirloom tomatoes are their specialty - my favorite! We picked up 23 plants plus 10 more for my boss! Hubby is currently out at Home Depot buying supplies so we can actually plant our new little darlings. We picked up many interesting varieties including Cuban Yellow Drops, Brandywine, and Black Russian. I can't wait until the tomatoes start coming! We are going to have so many different kinds it will be fun to figure out new and interesting ways to use them. Here is a simple but delicious little tomato recipe for inspiration:

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Mozzarella and Basil

2 T red-wine vinegar
1 t Dijon mustard
1 t salt
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 lb mixed heirloom tomatoes, quartered if small or cut into 1/4-inch-wide wedges if larger
1 lb cherry tomatoes
1 lb small mozzarella balls
1 1/2 cups loosely packed basil leaves or torn large leaves

Whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt, sugar, and pepper in a large bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until dressing is emulsified. Add tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.

Yum! Hubby and I are so into tomato and mozzarella salads (Insalata Caprese) since our honeymoon in Italy where they are a staple.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Yes Virginia, Those Are Coffee Filters

Yes! They really are coffee filters. Many thanks for your kind, kind words about my little flowers. Many of you asked for a tutorial. I wish I could claim this project as my own but alas I cannot! They are the brainchild of a woman by the name of Cassie Chappell. She appeared on Martha Stewart's show. Click here for the link to the instructions, including a video clip. The link is fairly long so in case it doesn't work just go to Martha's page and type in coffee filter roses in the search. If you make some of your own, send me photos and I'll post them - or post them on your own blog and let me know.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Moms Are Our Hearts

A very Happy Mother's Day to all of my blog friends and to your mothers! Above are some coffee filter roses I made for my mom and mother-in-law as well as some I made for myself (I never do that!). Have a great weekend.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fabulous Finds

Two posts in a matter of minutes! I finally finished my large dog treat order! Yay! I rewarded myself by going to a few estate sales on the way to work today. I found a fabulous vanity tray identical to one my sweet mother-in-law gave me for Christmas several years ago, a glass compote, a hobnail container, some glass coasters, vintage lace napkins (close-up), a fun vintage Pyrex juice container (close-up of this as well), and a fabulous bird cage. The bird cage was filled with old flowers. I scored the cage for $1. I've got plans for this so check back to see what becomes of it! Speaking of creativity - anyone have any ideas for the juice container? I don't want to use if for juice, not quite sure what to do with it but I couldn't pass it up for $.75!

Last photo is of the softie I received from my swap partner Dawn Alice. Isn't he just the cutest?!

A Small Glimpse

Here is a small glimpse of what my life has been like the past several days! I come home from work and start on the dog treats for my large order. Pictured above are carob and yogurt peanut butter cups and peanut butter cookie umbrellas with yogurt frosting. Thank you to everyone who left me such lovely comments! I have to say to those of you that want to eat the treats yourself - you can! I have had several people order the peanut butter cups for themselves! Everything is human grade and carob is a popular alternative to chocolate for those that are allergic or more health minded.

I also want to say a special thank you to everyone who has been reading my little blog. You are all so special to me. Words cannot express the joy I feel when I see comments left for me and the joy I get from visiting all of you. You are all so wonderful and I'm so happy I decided to start blogging. Cheers to all of you!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I'm in the Doghouse!

My dog treat boutique just received a large wholesale order! Yippee! A wonderful store placed an order for literally several hundred items. We have never had an order this large since we started in November. I'm so excited but freaking out at the same time - thank goodness I have a business partner. I'm in a very busy two week period at my "day" job and now I'll be coming home and cranking out some dog treats. Hopefully my husband will take over dinner duties for the next several nights, either that or Cheerios are sounding really good! If I'm spotty in my posts and visits over the next week or so, I apologize, I've got a full plate for a bit. It's funny because I'm so crazed right now but as soon as the next few weeks end I go into this slow period at work that lasts for about a month or so. It is so dead during that time, the day drags and I can't help but think that I'm wasting precious hours that I'll never get back. Maybe I can sneak in some art projects while at work!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

I *Heart* NY

My sister Shelley and I spent the weekend in NYC. Shell thought it would be fun to have a sister's weekend and I couldn't have agreed more. One of the great things about living in CT is that NYC is only a short 90 minute train ride away. I was a bad little blogger and did not bring my camera. I had every good intention but I have an older one and it is just too darn bulky. I did manage to take the above photos of some of my haul. I apologize for the quality - it was late when I decided to stage these photos last night - not my best work!

We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, which is a great central Manhattan location. The hotel is gorgeous and the staff are super friendly. Shelley and I decided to just go shopping and see where the wind took us. It seems that every time I'm in NYC I have some sort of plan or commitment - whether it is seeing a show or hosting a dinner for work - I never have the opportunity to just walk around - so that is what we did this weekend. We hit M&J Trimming , Tinsel Trading Company, and The Ink Pad which is where all of the above goodies came from. I am also excited to report that Tinsel Trading Company has opened another store directly across the street, it is called fittingly enough The Store Across the Street. They have some great scrapbooking supplies. We also hit Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill for dinner. Yummy! Another great find was a store called Fresh. They have wonderful bath products and perfumes. I bought the Sugar Lemon perfume and it is fabulous. I easily get headaches but this scent is light and summer fresh (no pun intended LOL). We also made a pit stop at The Magnolia Bakery where I promptly ate two cupcakes (one vanilla and one chocolate!) in under 2 minutes! Well worth the splurge in calories!

I'm off to visit all of you and catch up on your activities!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Sweet Magnolia

These are some images of the beautiful magnolia tree in my front yard. Can you believe that my husband wanted to chop this down when we first moved in?! It was a bit neglected at that point. I convinced him that it had to stay so he pruned it a bit and look at how lovely it is now! I've said before and I'll say it again - Men!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Softie Swap and 7 Weird Things

I finished up my softie for Claire's Softie Swap. I don't think I did that bad considering I was not blessed by the sewing gods. I have sent it off to my swap partner Dawn Alice. I hope she likes it. I used fluffy fleece fabric (much more forgiving of the little mistakes I made!), and vintage buttons for the eyes and nose. I sewed in little bits of string for the whiskers and added a colorful bow. I actually got this done ahead of schedule - I think that may be a first for me!

In other swap news - Danielle at The Vintage Dragonfly is hosting a 4x4 She Sells Seashells By The Seashore swap. For this one participants make a 4x4 collage with a vintage beach theme. I LOVE the beach so I signed right up for this! Someday I hope to move to Cape Cod. The Cape is my favorite place to be. Right now, I have to settle for summer vacations. I'll be in Beachy's stomping grounds!

I've been tagged by Sonia to come up with 7 weird facts about myself! I'll have to think about this and post later - I'm sure it won't take me that long to come up with something! LOL!

Have a great day!

Update: Okay Sonia - here we go! Each player starts with 7 random weird facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged write their 7 things on their blog and post these rules. At the end of your blog, you need to choose 7 people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog!

1. I am deathly afraid of gypsy moths. When I was a child, one flew in my face and scared me half to death. To this day I can't stand them. If there is one in the house, I cause quite the scene. Butterflies are okay, small moths are okay, large gypsy moths - not okay.
2. I have to wear a wrist watch or be near a clock. I know, it's so Type A!
3. I relate to people older then me more so then people my own age. I had an interesting father to say the least. Dealing with him forced me to mature a lot faster then I might have and so I've just never related as much to people my own age (though I do have some fantastic friends my age and younger!).
4. I am a volunteer addict. If someone needs help or is in distress and I know about it - I'm all over it. I want to help everyone and save everyone and be there for everyone.
5. I am an ice creamoholic and a chocoholic. I have been known to replace meals with large sundaes and eat an entire bag of M&Ms in one sitting.
6. I have secret dreams of being a conductor. No musical ability but still my ultimate dream job is to conduct a symphony or large choir.
7. I can't whistle. That is right, no matter how hard I try or how many people show me, I just can't do it!

Okay - here are the 7 I'm tagging - sorry if you've been tagged more then once!
1. Life ala Kina
2. Rabbit Run Cottage
3. Oh Merci
4. Beachy's Cape Cod Cupboard
5. My Cozy Home
6. The ParTea Planner
7. Jenn's Nook

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Clean and Shiny

A few posts ago I mentioned Shaklee cleaning products and wanted to let you know how they are working for me. They were featured on Oprah's Earth Day episode. I purchased one of their product packs and used it for my thorough weekly cleaning. I can't say enough good things about these products! I had some reservations as I have tried other green cleaning products in the past and they weren't worth the recycled packaging they came in! The Shaklee line is environmentally friendly and non-toxic. There are no harsh chemicals or irritants. They also ship everything in concentrated form and leave you to add the water - so one bottle of cleaner concentrate will get me many, many, many full size bottles - much more economical and pocketbook friendly! I have the Hand Wash Concentrate, Dish Wash Concentrate, Fresh Laundry Concentrate, Soft Fabric Fragrance Free Dryer Sheets, Super Microfiber Window Cloth, and best of all the Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate. The H2 product can be used to clean everything including glass and mirrors. No streaks! These products would be great for those with small children and anyone who has asthma. I swear I am not working for this company - I just want to pass on a great find!

I'm enjoying all the May Day Basket posts today! I couldn't get my act together in time to participate in the swap but it looks like everyone had a great time.

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