Monday, November 30, 2009


Just back from our holiday at the coast. This was our second year renting the big house at the beach for Thanksgiving. Ten big people and three little ones, friends and family arrived in cars laden with ridiculously delicious food and drink, musical instruments, and cozy slippers.

There is nothing between this wall of windows and the ocean, but for a small strip of road. The view tremendous and awe inspiring.

The house sits just the other side of the small coastal village of Yachats, an artistic community with a small population. It remains less tourist filled than other nearby towns and it's coast line is rough and dramatic.

We feasted, walked on wind swept beaches, played games, watched movies, played music and generally had a lovely time. Now it's back to real world and the post holiday clean up and catch up. We are ever so thankful for this time with good folks and family in such a beautiful place. So blessed are we.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Just a quick post before I take a little break to spend time with family. I wanted to simply say thank you to you. That's right, you!
You have been the loveliest bunch of readers a gal could ever hope for. All of your comments and support mean the world to me. Whether you have been a long time friend or a new friend, you make this blog a joy and a wonder! With out you, I would simply be muttering to myself in the hallway (which I still do from time to time mind you). You have given me so much inspiration and I treasure your words and insights.

If you are just stopping by from Apartment Therapy, thank you too!

I hope that all of you have a wonderful holiday, or a lovely few days, however you roll. I will be back come Monday with more mutterings and what not.

Thanks a lot!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

On a Lark

Lark - A carefree or spirited adventure.

Last week, The Lovely Miss K emailed me a listing from a soon to open fabric store in a neighborhood just a short ride away from my home. They were looking for sewing instructors of all levels to teach classes. At first, I was simply excited to know that a new fabric store was on it's way. I told The Engineer about the listing and he simply said "Go for it!" No, I couldn't really, or could I? On a lark, I emailed a response, they emailed back and an interview was set up at a local coffee shop for this morning. Now, it looks as though I will be teaching a couple of classes next year! This is going to be a whole new adventure!

Not surprisingly, today I am a woman pressed for time. I had a whole list of other things I was going to prattle on about but, turns out this is going to be one of those short and sweet posts.

The only other odd bit I have to tell you is that I am a woman under the influence. It is inspirational all the clever folks out there, and I find myself being influenced by the very creative loveliness I encounter when I go poking around. I see echos of it in my work too, sometimes not realizing it until after the work is completed and I stand back and look at it. This weekend I put together another one of Lola's journals for the shop

a sweet little deer under the moon to tell your secrets to, he wont tell a soul, but he may whisper it to the moon.

As I was taking the photos, it occurred to me that something was familiar about it. The color scheme, the woodland creature...then it dawned on me. It reminded a bit of this photo by the very imaginative Dottie Angel.

So, here is to all of you lovely and inspiring folks out there, I hope you don't mind if some of your cleverness sneaks into my brain and leads me to new discoveries.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Yesterday was a day of "Firsts" 'round here. Very exciting stuff I tell you.
After waiting, and waiting, the ladies finally delivered. We found our first egg in the hen house!!!

This made for quite a lot of excitement, more than may seem reasonable to some still, we hopped around and exclaimed joyfully, even did a little jig.

It was also the night little Miss Ringlet had her very first sleepover! Oh my she is getting so very grown up.

...and if that wasn't enough...
I got to play music and sing on stage for the first time in almost a year. My dear friend Little Sue, invited me to sing at a benefit with a whole mess of incredibly talented musicians.

Photo of Little Sue

I had such a good time! Made even better by being able to sing along with The Engineer on banjo and his cousin on cello. We enjoyed so much wonderful music and company, it was a hoot!

Quite a day to be sure...and a very late night for me. I stayed up way past my bedtime and woke before the morning light so, tired I am. I am off to make that 2nd cup of coffee now. I shall return on Monday much rested and with a tale of a lark.

Wonderful weekend sweets!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hapless - my creative space

Daily Meditations for the Hapless

Yes, I know that My Creative Space is supposed to be on Thursday, but honestly, I don't know what kind of shape I'm going to be in by then. So, here you have it, a day early.

Now, settle in if you have a minute. I do believe I will be taking the long road home.

As some of you may be aware, I have been going in circles. I am speaking specifically about circles of the crochet kind. There has been a hint of 'granny circle' obsession going on for days at The Cottage. The Bearded One...ok I feel a bit of an off track moment coming on, so bear with me...

I am growing weary of calling the Mr. - The Bearded One, so henceforth, from this moment on (until I tire of it as well), I will be referring to him as The Engineer.

Soooo...The Engineer was starting to worry some. He was concerned that so much going 'round and 'round with hook and yarn would lead to trouble, and perhaps there was some merit in that concern. You can decide for yourself.
When I began, I only intended to see whether I could conquer a small circle. After two, I thought they might make sweet handmade ornaments. Then, I had a vague notion of a garland (seeing as the whole world has gone garland happy - and why not? They are after all happy things.) One day, just finishing my 5th little circle of joy, I spied an aesthetically displeasing thumbtack in the wall. It was serving an important purpose to be sure but, it was none too pretty. I walked over and plopped one of the crocheted circles over the thumbtack, stood back for a gander and felt a silly grin creep upon my lips.

So there I was, standing in the hallway giggling to myself, thinking - This is it! I am going to be the maker of crocheted thumbtack covers! Why, just a short while ago I was having one of those 'let's chuck the whole crafty thing and become a professional belly dancer' moments, imagine! Lo' and behold, I have had my breakthrough - hazzah! By now, the giggle has become a real laugh, which ends in a big sigh.

To embrace this silliness, in the midst of a rather hapless week, I decided to create a small theme, a vignette if you will. An ode to crocheted thumbtack covers, a celebration of the happy garland, and a few words of inspiration.
Thus, Daily Meditations for the Hapless came to be.

The word Hapless has been one of my favorites ever since I came across this book in my late teens. And while the definition is quite dire, I have thought of it as oddly endearing. Of course, I have a bit of a dark humor.

This little spot of color now sits prettily on the wall above my desk. There to remind me not to take myself too seriously.

my creative space has been brought to you by the creative folks over here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Circle Game

I woke early this morning with heart pounding and head spinning with all the things needing to get done today which are compounded by all the things that did not get done yesterday. Add this to a skipped dinner last night and an empty fridge this morning and I find myself a bit dizzy. Me thinks that after dropping off miss ringlet at school, I should get myself to a bakery, grab something splurge worthy to fuel the activity that must take place in the hour and a half before I head back out for school pick up.

Oh dear, I've just now received the phone call informing me that school is canceled. Our lovely teacher Joyce is out ill. Well, this puts a new spin on things.

No need to worry though, it will all sort itself out in time I'm sure. The shop update I intended to post today is looking like a stalled car on the cyber highway. Real life bumping up against my 'best intentions'. Sometimes it can't be helped. The only thing for it, is to don one's 'make way for whimsy' hat...

...pack up the gal, and head tout suite to the bakery for a treat. I am of the mind that layers of flaky butter pastry make everything better.

I'd best bid you adieu as I am getting a bit loopy and the room is beginning to twirl. I shall return with news of progress or at least a full stomach. Until next time my lovelies.
Happy Monday!

Edited to add: I had just enough time for a mini update in the shop, have a look! There will be more coming.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

More Happy

Holy mackerel, it's a Saturday post! Just thought I would pop in and wish you all a lovely weekend. That and a little shameless self promotion. Lola Nova's Summer Wallet Tutorial has been featured on Sew Mama Sew for the 3rd annual Handmade Holidays! If you haven't been over to check it out, you really should. For the month of November they will be featuring some of the cleverest and cutest tutorials and how tos from blogland. All to help you make it a handmade holiday for you and yours. There is still plenty of time to whip up some of the beauties found on their site. Very cool.

Another happy thing, or should I say 'the latest obsession', has been keeping me going in circles. The Bearded One is beginning to worry. I still have not sorted it all out yet, so I am going to keep it under my hat a while longer. There is a little hint in the picture above though.

Well, now that I have indulged in the rare Saturday post, I'm off to scrounge a proper breakfast from the kitchen's contents. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Box of Happy

Delicious hand painted merino yarn

The other day in the post, I received a big box of happy. From my Mum. My mother is a spoiler; as in, my mother spoils us rotten. She is much too good to me, really. When my mother sends a package, it is no ordinary thing, it is rather, an event. One which has been in the works for months.

Beautiful vintage and new fabrics

She collects bits of this and that for me over time. Once the pile grows to a certain size, she packs it all up cleverly in a box filled to the brim. Then it makes it's way from California to my door.

Vintage buttons and crocheted trivets and potholders from my grandmother's collection

When it arrives, I delay the opening of the box as long as I can, to increase the exciting anticipation. Then, when miss ringlet and I can no longer stand it, we open the box and gasp with delight. Presents for the girl are opened first of course and are met with gleeful comments and happy faces. Whilst the small one is entertaining herself with her goodies, I take the box to some uncluttered corner and carefully go through the contents. I only look at the items briefly, then I pack it all back up in the box just as it came and put it aside. Later, when the girl is in bed and I have a long quiet spell, I go back and take out each thing and investigate it completely. I run my hands over fabric, finger vintage buttons, admire lacework and crochet, sigh over stunning yarn, and generally relish the entire process.

These pictures do not represent even half of the happy!

I deeply appreciate my mother taking such care and sending me such wonderful things. Not a bad way to help out with a "challenge of the utmost kind" either.

Thank you mom.

I will be back soon with even more happy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On The Make

I have been a little concerned over my lack of production lately, especially with a new shop to run and it being so close to the big holiday. I am trying to accept that this is just where I'm at in life (remember, I am a woman pressed for time),that I am doing the best I can, and it is enough. I have managed a few bits here and there and I am currently 'in production' of a couple of items for the shop. Though it's all in the unfinished phase, I find an interesting beauty in works in progress so, I thought I might give you a peek at what I am working on.

My crush on soft trees has been revived, I wasn't certain after the craze of 2008 but, these little trees still drive me wild. How could I resist?

click the pic for full view
just a few finishing touches left

Back again this year, are my little hens. Modeled after our very own brood, these lovely ladies still need sewing up and a coop to call their own. I can't help it, they make me smile.

I am hoping to get all these in the shop by next Monday

...and lastly, I must give myself a little pat on the shoulder and an A for effort because...

I hooked my first granny!
Armed with 3 different sets of instructions, some 'slippery little sucker' yarn and a 'can do' attitude, I had at it. With much consternation, a few not so nice expletives, several rounds of unraveling and a wee nip in between colors, I finally managed something nearly resembling an actual granny square! I am a bit proud of my wonky, not quite right square and I may just see a garland in my future.

I'm off to fortify the flock, lovely day to you my sweets.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Something Fishy

I had not intended to take a short break but, sometimes life gets busy with livin' and you just gotta roll. So, while I was busy with the livin', days flew by and it's already Monday for goodness sakes!

We reached a milestone in our family this weekend. A while ago the wee one pleaded, begged, wailed, cajoled, promised and pleased herself into a regular frenzy. She was on a mission, she had a fish wish of a most desperate kind. After striking a clever bargain, we agreed that she may have a fish of her very own. Her first, "just all mine" pet.

While I had visions of a sweet little bowl with colored marbles and one wee fish swimming lazily in circles, not taking up but a speck of space, we instead ended up with a full blown aquarium set up and two extra fish (one for each of us you know). The Bearded One made a good call on this; I can see that now, the fish will be much happier and healthier.

Let me introduce you to Goldie, Igor, and Django

Happy Monday to you all and I will be back tomorrow with some crafty business.

Monday, November 2, 2009

On The Thrift

I promised tales of thrifting goodness, and I have some thrifty goods to share, but first, a little bit of rambling on the subject...
While I have felt no real struggle yet, to keep up the brave work of the 'utmost challenge', I have discovered an unforeseen side effect. As I have been perusing the adventures of fellow challengers, I have been exposed to their clever, crafty, and thrifty ways. I've been letting out little oohs and ahhs over their lovely finds, I have been on the edge of my seat reading stories of all the treasures they have hunted and the bounty they have brought home.
The effect this has had on me, is one of re-igniting a spark within, re-awakening my love of the thrift store haunt. Feeling that pull again, that sweaty palmed, itchy fingered anticipation, to search for 'the best find ever'! Oh, it is a dizzying be 'On The Thrift'.

I come from a long line of second hand sleuths. My mother began teaching me the ways of charity shops, estate sales, yard sales, flea markets, and overlooked antique stores when I was knee high to a grass hopper. Her mother before her, had an eagle eye for jewels amongst other peoples discards. My paternal grandmother taught me how to ferret out an old homestead's slop heap - to find bottles of cobalt blue, faded lavender and medicinal green. My father searched prairies for rusty farm tools, arrowheads and old toys. I once hiked into a jungle to find an abandoned shack and unearthed china and silver filigreed perfume bottles. I am down deep, a treasure hunter.

However, not since the small one was even smaller, have I allowed myself to give in to the thrifty fix, to answer the call of the early morning garage sale, to follow my palpitating heart into the tiny eclectic junk shop that is merely a block from my door. No, I do my second hand shopping when it seems ridiculous to pay top dollar for new merchandise that can be had for much less and be recycling at the same time. For instance; children's books, baby clothes, weekend sweaters, tea and coffee mugs, holiday costumes, storage containers, etc. It is purely a practical errand. There must be a clear objective, a target item and we do not stray from the path of need. How do I do this you ask? I am kept in check by an always active, occasional runaway, (who really does try to only look with her eyes, but honestly can't help herself with so many fascinating things to touch) whirlwind of a child.

Still, what may have lain dormant for a time, has been rekindled - and I have begun to heed the call on the odd occasion. So unlike some, who have found their bankrolls benefited from the challenge, I cannot say the same. I found a boon of $20 in an old winter coat just before dropping my child off at school for 2 hours; did I offer it up to the family pot because "sharing is caring," or did I drive, as if in a trance, to the nearest thrift shop and let the devil in?

You tell me.

Big Granny Square Blanket for The Buddha Cat = $1.99

Vintage Poinsettia Tablecloth = $3.99

Various Vintage Linens = $9.96

Vintage McCoy Dish = $2.99

...There was even change left over!

Happy Monday!