October 31, 2009
Soon, I'll do the sales sheets and then, email ads to the local newspapers for her open house. She's anxious to have people in, hoping that she has a quick sale. We are, too. It would be nice if she didn't have to spend another winter up north.
My work in Wisconsin is done and now I'm homeward bound. Today, I'll be flying back (via AirTran, not a Halloween broom!) to Handsome and Kes. Life back to normal for us.
October 30, 2009
I've also been working on a doll coat and beret. I'm knitting it in a yarn called "Chinchilla" from Berroco. Nearly finished with the coat. I need to get a chibi needle to assemble the parts before I can add the front plackets and collar. I'll show it to you again when it's finished.
Tomorrow I'll be sharing final house photos from this week. I can tell you now that it's really looking nice and we're proud of the work that has been accomplished while I've been here. Now, to get the listings and sales flyers put together as soon as I get back home. Fingers crossed for a quick sale.
October 29, 2009
I have a few photographs for you. I'm sorry that I forgot to take the before photograph of the guest room. Close your eyes and imagine a sort of 1970's acid yellow. There was a lot of furniture all lined up along the walls and nails left over from many now-removed pictures. Very bright and sunny and a bit cluttered. Now...
Soft green walls (dictated by the carpet, which wasn't going to change), a new blue, green and white chabby-look quilt which pulled the colors together, less furniture and a lot less on the walls...one plaque survived, actually. What do you think so far?
Then, I tackled the computer/sewing room. I admit that some things had been moved in there while other rooms were being cleaned, but even so...intense aqua walls just weren't going to be suitable for a sale. Here's the "before" photo:
And now, it has neutral walls in a color called Stonecliff, half the furniture removed along with most of the extras. What do you think of this room now? (Ignore the dog toy in the middle of the carpet. Hmmm, how did that get there?)
Mum is really happy with the results and even wants to duplicate the green when she moves to Florida. We think it's been worth the effort for the results. While I was busy with paint and set up, she was wrapping and packing up those removed items that she felt she couldn't live without. The rest was taken out to the garage and the Salvation Army truck came and hauled it all away. She's just as tired as I am by dinnertime, so meals are quiet with two weary women off to their respective rooms shortly after.
Today, I'll be moving into the bedroom of the Lady of the House, and Mum will be running a carpet cleaner in the living room. When that's done, I'll have more photos to share. Can't wait to hear what you think!
October 28, 2009
Here's a cute photo of a mama and baby that I scanned from an ad. If I remember correctly, it was for Carnation Evaporated Milk. I just love the innocence in this image.
I'm finished painting rooms and rearranging furniture. I'll have photographs to share tomorrow. Oh, yes - I'm also knitting a sweet coat and beret for an American Girl doll when I sit down at the end of the day. I'll be taking photos of them to show you, too!
October 27, 2009
We made plans to meet halfway between where they live and where I'm staying at Mum's house, so the destination was the Olive Garden restaurant. Well, we ordered food at and then proceeded to talk for two and a half hours. My nephew was actually the only one who finished all his dinner. Too much lost time to make up for to actually spend time eating! We talked until they turned up the lights to signal they were closing for the evening.
It had been over a year since I'd seen them in person. Handsome and I were in Minnesota for their cousin's wedding. I had spent a month making a wedding gown for my eldest niece, who is also my first goddaughter. We drove north for the festivities and hand-delivered the wedding gown and attendants' dresses. We had the grandest time, but hadn't seen Jordan and Logan since. Kind of hard to just hop in the car for a visit when there are fifteen hundred miles between us.
Before we left, I walked into the lobby where the hostess stood and said, "Is your motto still "When you're here, you're family"? She giggled and said, "Yes", to which I replied, "Great! Here's my camera. Please take a photograph of me with your cousins". She happily obliged and this photo is the result.
I was so glad to see them. It's been way too long. Thanks, guys for taking the time to drive down for dinner. I love you both.
October 26, 2009
I was invited to the party by my sweet Aunt Eli who told me all her kids and grandkids were going to be there and that they were anxious to see me. How could I possibly refuse? I borrowed Mum's car and followed my brother's vehicle to central Wisconsin. Grandma hadn't been told that I would be there. It was a complete surprise for her.
I walked in behind my brother and saw Gram leaning to one side to try to see who came in with him. When she realized that her eldest grandchild had come all the way from Florida to celebrate, she was fairly over the moon. (I didn't tell her that I'd come north to help Mum prepare to sell her house.) I overheard her tell her daughter (my Auntie Jan) that now her birthday was complete. When my aunt asked what she meant, she said, "Donnie's here". (That's what she calls me.) I admit that I had to smile when I overheard her say that.
We managed to get a great photograph of four generations of my family, and also a picture of Grandma with her eldest grandchild (me) and her youngest great-grandchild (my two-month old cousin, Phinneas).
It was so wonderful to see all my aunts, cousins and their children, along with my brother, sister-in-law and godson. We had a great time getting caught up since our last visit. I'm sure I don't need to explain all that to you. Suffice it to say - good food, great conversation, much laughter and a celebration of ninety seven years for Grandma. We sure made her day special for her.
October 24, 2009
I own a dozen vintage Needlecraft magazines from the 1920s. I've scanned covers and will share some of them with you over the next few months.
This is the August 1925 cover. I love the image and feel of it. I've also manipulated it into full sepia tone for another look. Be sure to click on the image to get the largest view for use.
October 23, 2009
When we both got up this morning, we shared breakfast and talked over coffee, and later, we shared lunch together. By late afternoon, she and I finally got back in the car and drove to my mum's house. Mum had been anxiously awaiting our arrival and we were all glad to see each other again.
Rather than just drop me off, Lee sat down and visited with my mum. The reason I'm at Mum's this week is to help her clear, destash and stage her home to put on the market to sell. Once it's sold, she's going to move down to Florida so she can live near Handsome and me. Lee knew that moving furniture was on my agenda, so she immediately pulled up her sleeves and said, "I'll help. Let's get this furniture moved."
We unhooked the wiring for Mum's television and Lee marked the cables so we'd know where everything went for the "replugging". We moved furniture, big and small and then revamped the window treatments...all the while calming down Mum and assuring her that this "look" will help sell her home faster. We know that the whole experience is more than a little traumatic for Mum, but Lee helped me bolster her so that she could feel more comfortable with what was going on. Afterwards, the three of us had dinner and then Lee left to go home, care for their dogs and get some rest before going back to work tomorrow.
If you're very fortunate, you too have a girlfriend like mine. You may not speak with each other regularly, but you can rest assured that if you're thinking about her, she's thinking about you. You know that she's missing you just as much as you're missing her. And, you know when you see her, it will be like no time has passed at all since your last visit...even if it's been months or years. Today she shared my burden and made it lighter for us all the way around. Thanks, BFF.
The photograph of the two of us was taken when Lee was at our home in Florida. Instead of standing outside in the warm, Florida sunshine, today was windy, wet and cold in Wisconsin. When you're with your best friend, it's easy to find your own sunshine. So, in spite of the weather, today was just perfect!
October 22, 2009
I came across this link over at Cutest Blog On The Block (who provides my beautiful blog background), where you can get your blog printed - you know, in book form. (There's also a less expense pdf version, which is another alternative.) You choose the style for the cover, any images you want there, and then link them to your blog. You tell them the dates you want to encompass and they take it from there. In less than two weeks, your order arrives where you can see yourself in print! How cool is that?
Cheryl's experience sort of scared me into immortalizing my thoughts and words into something more permanent...and safe. I did mine in fifty-post hardcover books (pictured), but they can be done in hundred-post books, too. Oh, and there's the added bonus that you can offer the books to your followers. So, if any of you are interested in a Brynwood Blog book, (really?) just email me and I can steer you to the site where you can get one of your very own.
If you're like me and just a little paranoid that all those carefully chosen words could disappear into cyberspace in an instant, this is a way to make sure you have some memory of all those thoughts.
October 21, 2009
by my friend, Marrianne in New Zealand.
She tells me it came to her via an email. It's called "Puppy Size".
"It has been weeks now since we started all of this," the mother told the volunteer. "What is it she keeps asking for?", the volunteer asked. "Puppy size!" replied the mother. "Well, we have plenty of puppies, if that’s what she’s looking for." "I know. We've seen most of them," the mom said in frustration.
Just then Danielle, her daughter, came walking into the office. "Well, did you find one?", asked her mom. "No, not this time," Danielle said, with sadness in her voice. "Can we come back on the weekend?" The two women looked at each other, shook their heads and laughed. "You never know when we will get more dogs. Unfortunately, there’s always a supply", the volunteer said. Danielle took her mother by the hand and headed to the door. "Don’t worry, I’ll find one this weekend", she said.
Over the next few days both Mom and Dad had long conversations with her. They both felt she was being too particular. "It’s this weekend or we’re not looking any more.", Dad finally told her in frustration. "We don’t want to hear anything more about puppy size either," Mom added.
Sure enough, they were the first ones in the shelter on Saturday morning. By now, Danielle knew her way around, so she ran right for the section that housed the smaller dogs. Tired of the routine, mom sat in the small waiting room at the end of the first row of cages. There was an observation window so you could see the animals during times when visitors weren’t permitted.
Danielle walked slowly from cage to cage, kneeling periodically to take a closer look. One by one the dogs were brought out and she held each one. One by one she said, "Sorry, but you’re not the one.’"
It was the last cage on this last day in search of the perfect pup. The volunteer opened the cage door and the child carefully picked up the dog and held it closely. This time she took a little longer. "Mom, this is it! I found the right puppy! He’s the one! I know it!" she screamed with joy. "It’s the puppy size!" "But it’s the same size as all the other puppies you held over the last few weeks," Mom said. "No, not 'size'. It's the 'sighs'. When I held him in my arms, he sighed," she said. "Don’t you remember? When I asked you one day what love is, you told me love depends on the sighs of your heart. The more you love, the bigger the sigh!"
The two women looked at each other for a moment. Mom didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. As she stooped down to hug the child, she did a little of both. "Mom, every time you hold me, I sigh. When you and Daddy come home from work and hug each other, you both sigh. I knew I would find the right puppy if it sighed when I held it in my arms," she said. Then, holding the puppy up close to her face, she said, "Mom, he loves me. I heard the sighs of his heart!"
Close your eyes for a moment and think about the love that makes you sigh. I not only find it in the arms of my loved ones, but in the caress of a sunset, the kiss of the moonlight and the gentle brush of cool air on a hot day. They are the sighs of God. Take the time to stop and listen; you will be surprised at what you hear. ‘Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.’
Thank you, Marrianne, for allowing me to share this message...and Happy Birthday, my friend. I hope your days is perfect and your life filled with Sighs!
The puppies are from Bryn's first litter (our own breeding). See the darker yellow pup lying down in front? That was my sweet Bannor as a puppy. He was Kes' uncle. He stole my heart from the instant he was born and I held him. The other photos are also Bannor. He was my faithful friend for sixteen years. I still miss him.
PS. Today is a travel day for me. Handsome is dropping me off at the airport and I'll be flying to Wisconsin for ten days. No worries...I'll be updating you while I'm away from home.
October 20, 2009
October 19, 2009
I just want to tell you a cute little story today. When Handsome and I were at a car show quite a while ago, I came upon a booth with a t-shirt printer.
There were lots of pre-made shirts, like "I'm with Stupid" and "Stupid" (yeah, right); and "Baby on Board", or "Your Village Called...Their Idiot Is Missing". You know. You've seen them, too. But what was different about this booth was that the vendor also did custom shirts while you waited.
So, in keeping with a sweet joke between the two of us for years, I had two shirts made for Handsome and me. His says "What a guy!" and mine reads "Lucky Girl". He laughed out loud when I took the shirts to him.
I know I'm not alone when I write about my husband. I've read many posts from those of you who have your own blogs and share stories about yours. Handsome and I share a joyful life together. One of the most important aspects to me is that shared sense of humor. It carries a couple a long way when times are a little rough. And it sure adds a wonderful facet to daily life.
My wish for all of you is that you have someone with whom you can share an inside joke, a knowing smile, or a downright raucous laugh. We all need that. We all deserve that. I always remember that I really am a Lucky Girl.
October 18, 2009
I received a box from my blog friend, Debra of Common Ground blog!
She drew my name for her incredible 200th Follower Giveaway package,
and to say I was excited is a real understatement!
the first thing I saw was the prettiest pink package for moi.
Inside the envelope was a pretty card with a sweet message from Debra,
along with her Victoria Bliss-worthy business card.From there, I commenced to figuratively drool over
each and every component of my prize package.
A package of Cranberry Walnut Cake Mix, wrapped in
a beautiful Thanksgiving turkey tea towel...
A red toile fabric bag which I'm going to repurpose...
A bar of herbal soap in the sweetest fragrance...
A Somerset Holidays publication loaded with inspiration...
Debra decorated with wire, ribbon and a button. So beautiful!
A vintage chippy clock face that I coveted from one of
Debra's posts about her booth. She GAVE it to me!
My most favorite prize of all...
This breathtaking 2010 journal.
It's going to be my well-loved datebook for next year.
Just look at this image - multiple pages devoted to birds and the seasons!
Check out the inside covers. See? ACORNS and oak leaves!
Obviously it was meant to be mine!
Debra, dear...I love, love, love every single thing in my package.
To use one of my Mum's terms...I was gobsmacked!
(That's a good thing!)
Thank you so much for your generosity! I wish you all of life's blessings.
October 17, 2009
In the spirit of the award, I need to tell seven things about myself (I'll try to think of a few things you may not already know about me), and name seven blog sisters to receive the award from me.
Hmmm, let's see...
- I love caffeine and chocolate. Two of the Four Basic Food Groups. I think the other two are chips and dip. I guess I've got 'em all covered!
- I love to cook for groups. Not too large, but Thanksgiving and Christmas are always fun if there's family around to feed.
- I have a serious B.S. gene. Handsome keeps me in check most times - with the use of his personally patented "Fraud Monitor", but some days are really hard.
- These are my favorite books: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand; The Life of Pi by Yan Martel; My Side Of The Mountain by Jean Craighead George; Is She Coming Too? by Frances Hammerstrom and I've read all of the Harry Potter books. When a new one comes out, I read it start to finish, usually in about 11 hours.
- I love kitchen gadgets. (See #2) And my favorite gadget is a specific egg timer, the Eggsact Egg Timer. It's fabulous, and anyone who boils eggs should own one.
- I took seven years of piano lessons when I was a kid...and can't read music well enough to sit down and play. Dirty, rotten shame, I think. My parents and I were robbed.
- I can drive a stick shift (manual transmission) car. I'd love to own a vintage Jaguar in a dreamy sky blue with a white leather interior (sigh).
- Christine Edwards of A Work In Progress
All of the women I've mentioned above keep me inspired, amused and enthused as I go about my joyful life. Thank you for being among my blogging friends. I love you all! Please take a few minutes to visit each of their blogs today. Really, they're wonderful!
Thanks again to Mary for thinking of me. You're too kind.
I'm in the process of adding new items to my Brynwood Boutique. You can visit the Boutique by clicking here, or by linking through my Boutique button located at the top of my left sidebar. Once you're there, you can scroll down to see all my offerings. I'll continue to add items through the weekend. Thanks!
October 16, 2009
When I got back home, I proceeded to tear the kitchen apart. Handsome helped me empty the shelves and then refresh buckets of hot water and cleaner while I scrubbed them. I'm ashamed to say I hadn't cleaned the tops of those cabinets in a while and they really needed it! I dare say you could eat off them now.
In the mosaic above, the first two images are "before" pictures. The rest are a progression as I emptied, cleaned and re-staged the kitchen. You can click on the mosaic and it will take you to my Flickr album where you can see enlarged photos.
Please let me know what you think now that I'm finished. Well, almost finished. I looked at the "after" photos and decided that the two large wooden bowls on the floor of the south wall (the wall with the blue & white turkey platter and other blue & white pieces) need to come out of the kitchen. They make for a sort of black hole in the room. I'll be selling those. I also noticed that the little box on the bottom shelf of the island looks out of place, so I'm moving that, too.
What did I do with the other things you no longer see in the kitchen? Well, the pitcher and creamer collection is now carefully packed and stored. I don't want to part with those (at least for now), but there is no specific place for them, so off to storage for now. The Toby face mugs will be sold. I only found out today that Handsome really doesn't like them. I'm not attached to them, so away they'll go. Same for the majolica pig pitcher I have. Everything else is on its way to Goodwill or one of my sales outlets. Feel free to contact me if you saw something you might like. I promise I'll give you a fair price!
All in all, I think this was a completely worthwhile project. The room looks lighter, more cohesive and it's definitely more clean! If you ask me, I think we did pretty well with this makeover.
Thanks again for all your comments. They really helped! Oh, by the way, click on her blog title here to link over to Anita's blog Bloomin' Workshop and read her post from yesterday. It's Halloween-type spooky that we wrote about darn near the same thing! Right down to the Scandinavian furniture reference! Whew!
I don't want to forget to tell you about my new offering in my Brynwood Boutique! I'd love to know what you think of my sweet Dotty Cat Pincushion!
Click here to visit my Boutique!
October 15, 2009
I'm heading over to a local quilt shop today, too. The owner has a Gammill machine set up in a side room where she'll be quilting my Cotton Candy and Garden Magic quilts. I want to get these back and in my hands as soon as possible so I can bind them and get them finished.
The Garden Magic quilt is going to stay here and go on our guest bed, but I'm thinking I'm going to put the Cotton Candy quilt (the pieced top is shown in the photograph above) in my Brynwood Boutique. As promised, I'll be posting photographs of both finished quilts so you can tell me what you think. I'm hoping that I'll be able to get them back by the time I return from Wisconsin on the 31st.
I don't leave to visit Mum until the 21st, so I'll be working on a few other quilts in the meantime. My French General quilt is on hold until my fabric backorder arrives. I have a lovely yellow and red lap quilt in the works, so I'll probably tackle finishing that one next. I've called it Pretty Pathways and you can see it here. Miss Ellie sure has been busy lately.
Thanks again for all your comments. You're all Simply The Best!
October 14, 2009
I look at the wonderful images on other blogs that I visit and for a while, I'm transported to these lovely places of white, serene and organized. Then, I close my laptop, look around and wonder what I should do differently around here. Man, it's worse than watching HGTV! Handsome is not a white, cottage-y kind of guy so he'll never sign on for that look. I need to find a different solution.
Currently, I'm frustrated by our kitchen. There are these great display areas above the cupboards. I have things I like to have up there, but I feel like it's starting to look more like a flea market than any kind of meaningful (or pretty) display. I have a collection of pitchers and creamers that are lost up on that shelf. Then there are Toby teapots, a much-loved antique jardiniere that belonged to my mother-in-law, a huge lily pad platter that was a gift from our daughter-in-law. You get the idea.
I asked Handsome for some insight. His first comment was, "How does something utilitarian like a group of creamers or pitchers get elevated to the status of a "collection", and why should they be displayed, instead of kept in cabinets?" How could I answer this with a straight face? Has the love of my life forgotten that I'm currently collecting acorns? In my mind, the fruit of the oak tree has become fodder for a new collection. We probably weren't going to see eye to eye on this.
I pulled out an old favorite book in hopes that I'll find a new perspective. It's called Eliminate Chaos by Laura Leist. I really like her approach to identifying, tackling and eliminating the problem spots in a home. I don't need more furniture (like a display cabinet). I don't want to get rid of all my stuff. But, I need to figure this out and I'm hoping you might be able to share some of your inspiration with me.
I've made the photo from our kitchen a link to other photos of our home. It will give you an idea of our decor. Handsome has always loved Scandinavian furniture, which I used to dismiss out-of-hand - until I walked into a store with him, saw all the teak, and fell in love with the look. My issue isn't with the furniture. It's with the "spare" look that goes with that furniture. How do I edit out my stuff?
Our dining room and living room are now furnished in beautiful Scandinavian pieces. But I still love cottage elements (sigh), and we have the oak table in our dinette area that was a wedding gift from my parents. I can't part with that! Our master bedroom is Tommy Bahama. Perfect for Florida. Scandinavian? Not so much. And then, there are the little knick knacks and other items on shelves and table tops that I like having around. What do I do with those? Are you beginning to feel my pain?
Really, I'll appreciate any input you can offer.