Monday, October 29, 2012

French Lavender Sachets

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Oh the scent of French Lavender.  It is filling the air in my kitchen.  And I love it.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so relaxed!  :)

I spent the afternoon making these French Lavender Sachets and made enough to fill a basket that I am going to take over to Rustic Romance to sell.  I’ll be sure to keep a few bags for myself.

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Thanks for all of your kind words concerning my husband and his back surgery.  He is doing very well and we are back from our week in Tampa.  I have to admit, I kind of miss the warm sunshine and the palm trees!  Also, I have nothing but good things to say about The Laser Spine Institute where my husband had his surgery.  They are an amazing group of professionals!!

Lucky for us that Hurricane Sandy has more or less missed us. It’s very windy here, cold, the sky is covered with hurricane clouds, and a bit of rain but it’s nothing in compare to what the rest of the East coast is having to deal with. Stay out of harm’s way if you live anywhere near her path and please be safe!

Monday, October 22, 2012



So look what caught my eye while shopping in Tampa, Florida.  Tampa, Florida?  Yes, for someone who has been more of a homebody than she would like, I have been on not one but two airplanes in the last few weeks.  Two weeks ago it was Nashville for a very happy niece’s wedding and now we are in Tampa so that my husband could have a laser surgery procedure on the ruptured disk in his back.  The surgery was earlier today and I am happy to report he is doing well.  In fact, he is sleeping and I actually have the time to write a blog post!  So here is my blog post using photos taken with my phone and nothing all that juicy to say.  But, I will proceed anyway. :)

As some of you know I am very partial to typewriter key artwork.  The store I spotted this treasure in was closed but there it was, a variation but similar to the Typewriter Keys Artwork that I have made.  BUT, this one was in the window of a very high end boutique in Hyde Park Village in downtown Tampa.  The store was closed but I am quite sure this was on the pricey side.  I loved this because it was 3-D.  The letters were on disks that were attached to the board and the the frame was raised.  Very Nice!  So yes, this definitely caught my eye.

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Although, we are down here for a very serious reason, we have both tried to make the best of it and while I wouldn’t call it a vacation and the timing of it wasn’t great, we have enjoyed our time here.  Our hotel is right on Tampa Bay, the sunsets and sunrises are beautiful, palm trees are everywhere and I am always happy when I am near the water and our room let us look out at the bay and watch the fish jump, the pelicans and birds fish for their dinner, and we get to watch various boats pass right by the hotel. 

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The Buccaneers played on Sunday and beat the Saints.  Crazy town near the stadium the day of the game.  And many of the Saint’s fans who stayed at our hotel (We stayed at The Double Tree and have had a wonderful stay) had a long ride home after getting beat. 


One of the highlights of our week here…at least for me…I don’t think my husband would agree…was visiting a real Ballard Designs Store!!  I have only loved their catalog for forever!  I looked at every single object in that store.  Big happy content sigh.  :)  More about our trip later as, it’s still not over.  We go back for my husband’s post op appointment tomorrow and hope to get his walking papers so that we can fly home on Wednesday. 


And what medical getaway would be complete without a stop at the local supermarket to check out their cheese counter?   I’m a sick puppy aren’t I?

Looks to me like someone is need of some expert cheese merchandising.

Hey Publix, call me.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Rescued Halloween Fail

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For the past couple of evenings I have happily been working on some new holiday burlap coasters.  Especially since I discovered that they make burlap in various colors like red, black, green, and orange.  To tell you the truth, I didn’t really care for the orange or the green but the black and red got the wheels turning in my head.  I was all set to make several sets of Halloween coasters using a witch stencil that I burned with my stencil burning tool.  I love the silhouette of this witch and added a number “31” to it because really, when in doubt, you can always add a number.  At least in my creative world.  Numbers rock.

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The coasters were coming along quite nicely and I had quite the production line going and I was pumping out witches.  White paint on black burlap.  What a great Halloween combo.  Until the paint started to dry and started taking on a grayish cast.  Well, while I was working on the Halloween witches, I also created a reindeer on red burlap that was going to be for Christmas.  The white paint on the red burlap looked awesome until it too started to dry and my cute little reindeers started turning pink!  Augh!!  So, I sat and thought about it and I did a little water in the sink test with both the black and red burlap.  Both started to run.  Double Augh!

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I was making the coasters to sell and I was going to have a lot of angry customers I envisioned if they used my coasters on their white linen table cloths thinking they were protecting it by using one of my festive coasters. But I also envisioned that somehow the coaster could get wet, either from a spill or maybe if the glass started to sweat. I could see my cute red reindeer coasters bleeding red dye onto their heirloom and crisply pressed white table cloths and in my mind’s eye saw the look of horror come over their face.

My black and red burlap coasters were going to be a liability and so production was abruptly halted

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Now, what was I going to do with all of the coaster I had already made?

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Burlap Banners! A little bit of jute and I was back in business.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nashville and Crazy Birds

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My niece Katie got married in Nashville this past weekend and it was such a happy event.  It makes me smile as I think about it as I write this. I have a soft spot for Katie.  I met her when she was two years old and I was dating my husband.  I remember the first time I met her. She had just woken up from a nap and her blonde hair was wild and she had on a pair of tiny little eye glasses.  She was always such a happy little girl and so funny.  Anyway, she got married this weekend so my daughter Kelsey and I made it a girl’s trip weekend.  My husband and son stayed home….my husband ruptured a disk in his back as I mentioned in a previous post so he was not quite able to go with us (and we are headed down to Florida for surgery soon) so it was just me and Kelsey for the weekend where we got a taste of Nashville and tossed in a beautiful wedding in to the mix. 

The only negative was that I did not take my good camera with me and I have very few photos to prove that we were even there! I am especially disappointed because neither a photo of me or of my daughter posing with Elvis on a street corner turned out!   And I have almost no photos of the wedding itself.  But let me make go ahead and make the best of what little I do have and show a few of the photos that did turn out. 

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The wedding ceremony and reception was held at the Riverwood Mansion in Nashville.  What a gorgeous place.  Someone told us it was built back in 1790 and it was grand.

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The ceremony was held in a garden and the reception was held in the Pavillion and it was beautiful.

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When we first got to Nashville on Friday, I noticed when we were in the taxi that a few doors down from our hotel was just the kind of store that I love to paw around in. It was called Cake Vintage and Knobstoppers.   It had tables and boxes of old salvaged things sitting out in front.  It wasn’t hard to convince my SIL Mary and Linda to join us as we dug around in the all of their bins of “stuff”.

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I found 4 wonderful door plates with great details and keyholes in these two bins that I quickly snapped up. 

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My daughter Kelsey picked out 10 glass doorknobs that she is going to use to make wine stoppers out of for all of her friends for Christmas this year.  ( Those door knobs ended up looking suspicious enough on the x-ray screen that TSA at the airport pulled her bag and did a search.  I have to say, Nashville airport has some of the nicest TSA agents.  They were very nice about it.)

I would have bought way more things there than I did because the thought of how we were going to get all of it home on the airplane forced me to show some restraint. 

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I loved these black and white dishes and how cute are those doorplate/skeleton key door knob hooks?  I also picked up a pad of black paper placemats that had these crazy adorable birds on them that my SIL Linda pointed out to me.  Those are the birds you see in the top photo.  I took them home with me and have been happily decoupaging them onto all sorts of things.  You know you’ll be seeing more of them in the future don’t you!

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  We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Vanderbuilt near Vanderbuilt University and had a very nice stay there.  I only have good things to say about it if you don’t count the lack of electricity on Saturday morning.   :)   Of course, I had just got out of the shower and had a towel on my head when everything went dark.  It caused mild panic in some of the wedding party staying there but all was corrected and my hair was saved about 20 minutes later when the power came back on.  Nice hotel, the staff was very friendly and helpful  and I have to say the hotel restaurant was VERY good.  Carmelized Pear, Candied Walnut, Brie, and Arugula Flatbread and a cold glass of Pinot Grigio started off our dinner on Friday night and the food just kept getting better.  We took a taxi to the hotel and then relied on the shuttle the rest of the time.  If we had come for a longer stay I would have rented a car because there were a few other spots like Franklin, Tennessee  and some shopping sites that I would have liked to have visited but really we didn’t have enough time. 

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Anyway… On Saturday morning we took a shuttle from our hotel down to where all the action is. It’s the craziest thing. Restaurants, Honky Tonks and Bars all playing live Country Music at 11:00 in the morning. I am sure they were playing even earlier than that but that’s when we got there. And shops selling cowboy boots were everywhere!

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All of the music that we listened to was VERY good.  And one of the highlights of the weekend was when we were in Layla’s listening to the band in the photo above.  When they were finished with their set and putting away their instruments making way for the next band to come on, some pre-recorded music was piped in.  I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was my nephew Pat who said “Can you hear this song?  I wrote that.”  He really did!  Pat is very talented and records as Patrick Thomas and is part of the group Hotels and Highways and he wrote the song Train Whistle.   The song was picked up and recorded by another artist and that’s what we were listening to….in a bar…in Nashville.  So cool!

So, all in all it was a great getaway and if you get the chance to visit Nashville, I say do it!  Not a Country Music fan?  You will be by the time you go home.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Paris Foot Stool

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My daughter Kelsey  and I are headed to Nashville this coming weekend for niece/cousin Katie’s wedding and we are so excited!  We’ve never been to Nashville before so we are going to make it a Girl’s Weekend. Any ideas out there on where we should go on Friday night?   The wedding is on Saturday.

My husband ruptured a disk in his back and he is unable to go with us.   It’s been hard seeing him so uncomfortable especially when it first happened but he is doing better now  and we are looking at surgery for him in the next few weeks.  More about that later.  In the meantime, my furniture painting craze has been a pleasant diversion  over the past few weeks.   I’ve been working on this little footstool over the past few weeks in bits and pieces.  Really, very little bits.  This one was so easy.

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I found the footstool in a thrift shop quite a while ago.  It was pretty ugly and you’ll just have to believe me because yet again I forgot to take a before photo of it.  It’s made of wood and had an oak finish with a not too attractive pine green fabric on top.  I removed the top which was on hinges because the top of the footstool lifts open for storage and I  spray painted it black.  I also recovered the top with some Painter’s Cloth and secured it with my heavy duty staple gun.  I cut a stencil for the size “Paris” I needed and stenciled it on to the fabric with some black craft paint. 

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Like the rest of my recent creations, this  one will stay here for a few days before I part with it and  then I’ll be sending  it over to Rustic Romance to sell. 

It takes me a few days before I can let go.  :)