Friday, April 30, 2010

A new talent?

I just have to brag a little today about my son.  Jared is 13 and in 7th grade.  He is a smart kid that is always asking questions!  I guess that is why he is smart!  Trouble is, many times, I don't have the answers~!  Anyway, he likes to take pictures and experiment with closeups, outdoors, plants, flowers, and animals.  I recently posted a couple of his pictures in the shop, and he sold one!  He sold it to a serviceman in Afganistan for his wife for mother's day!  He was sooo excited, and just today,  TheSilverDog  chose his giraffe print to put in her treasury of kissing animals called "Furry Smooches!" So cute! 

Jared is beginning to see that maybe he really does have a talent that he could develop with practice and hard work.  I love it!  Nothing like someone other than mom telling you that you can do it right?  He is trying to earn money to go to Washington D.C. with his class next year, and has distributed the usual flyers for pet sitting and lawn mowing.  So now, he has another possible way to earn a few dollars towards that and he is motivated!  I love it!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New stuff!

With summer weddings coming up, I wanted to put some things in the shop that would work for weddings.  I have had alot of demand for milk glass vases, but I think I have scoured the area!  Maybe I will get lucky if I keep looking, but I did find some vintage glass vases in similar styles to the milk glass ones that I thought would look nice in a grouping.  I love the mix and match look!  Well, I can't seem to post pictures today, so you will have to look down below to the etsy button for the new additions!  I think I did get the comments section fixed now... this technology stuff is not for the easily discouraged! 

 InMyNest at etsy has some very nice milk glass pieces.  I particularly like this one.  She also has a ton of other cool vintage items.  Check her out!

I picked up some birdcages while out thrifting and I am thinking of how to paint and decorate them to work as nice table centerpieces for weddings. One is wicker, one is metal, and one is wooden.  Any ideas? I will post pics once I figure it out. I love the before and after type posts don't you? Please send your ideas! 

I was featured in a treasury on recently and it was very exciting.  This was from who is based in Israel, Jerusalem!  I have always wanted to go there! 
Check out her shop for some beautiful and unique handmade floral jewelry! 

I hope your day is going well.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Can You Do It All Well?

It is pouring rain outside my sliding door as I sit at my desk writing.  Just a few hours ago I woke up to a gorgeous blue sky with white puffy clouds and sun streaming in the windows!  My hope is that the rain will stop soon and the sun will come back.  I have so many projects to do, they keep stacking up on me.  I just want to get outside with my spray paint! 

I think I have been devoting too much time to learning about the business of being an online business.  It is really interesting, and the learning keeps me young, but in the process, I notice there are several things I have neglected.  When I look up from the computer, or camera lense, I see dishes piled in the sink, stuff to go in the shop sitting in corners waiting to be stored, and items to be shipped!  What has happened to my organization?  Where did it go, and why has it left me now when I need it the most? 

How do you organize your time?  I used to work fulltime, volunteer 20+ hours a week and keep the cupboards stocked, laundry done, and the house mostly clean... ok, more clean than now... : )  This wasn't all that long ago either, maybe 4 or 5 years!  It seems things have gotten harder to organize since I have stopped working.  Maybe it is the sense that I have 'unlimited' time to get all these things done?  My procrastination?  Avoidance?  Laziness?  All I know is that it is time for me to come out of the cave and get going!  I have a long list of things to do.  Wanna see some? 

1.  Paint the entire interior of the house.  where to begin?  which room, which color?
2.  Replace faucets and light fixtures in the bathrooms
3.  Replace interior doors
4.  Plant flowers and organize patio and deck
5.  replace both sliding doors - seals are shot!
6.  weed and edge the front landscaping - currently looks like a "cottage in the woods"  with that "natural" landscaping, ie, weeds... I can kid myself that this is cool no longer! 

There is more, but I think I am ready for a nap now.... Thanks for reading..  What's on your list?

Monday, April 26, 2010

What is Important?

A childhood friend of my  daughter just lost her mother yesterday after a battle with cancer.  This young woman is like a second daughter to me.  I didn't  know her mother well, but I feel sad for her, and the rest of her family.  Her mother was only one year older than I am.  Things like this always make me stop and think about the fact that, all we ever really have, is this one moment in time.  We never know when something will happen and take all those plans made for "another time" and it will be too late.  

How many times have I said I would like to try something, do something, or even tell someone something, but I didn't because I wanted to wait for something else to happen first?  One of the things about growing older is realizing that waiting is not a good thing sometimes.  I have definately been forced to gain patience over the years from the 'want it now' person I was (still am in some ways, truth be told!).  But I also am beginning to realize that putting things off is not working for me, for others, and for certain situations. 

Fear of embarrassment seems to be what holds us back from doing things we feel we should do.   My daughter hasn't talked to her friend for awhile since they both went separate ways to college, and was reluctant to call, or email her about her mother.  She didn't want to bring up something uncomfortable, or awkward, and so was planning to do nothing.  We talked about how that looks from the 'other side,' the grieving person's side of things.  How much it would mean to her friend that she told her she cares, she loves her, and that she is thinking of her.  That a crisis is not something that you have to try to find words to "make better"

Through this process I have realized that I have learned a great deal about dealing with awkward situations myself.  Where I used to focus on making it better and not knowing how; I now focus on keeping it simple.  State the facts.  I care.  I hurt for you.    Can I help?  You can talk to me.  I love you.  These simple words of comfort have been very helpful for me, both as a grieving person, and as someone trying to comfort a bereaved individual.   

Don't let today go by without doing the thing you know you need to do.  Say the words, make the gesture; put yourself out there and take the risk...  Making a difference for someone else, makes the biggest difference for ourselves and our own sense of peace.   By the way, she contacted her friend...  : )

Friday, April 23, 2010


I am so excited to let you know that I was featured in Mostazseed's design blog!  She was discussing the use of the color yellow in decorating and featured the  vintage yellow chair from my online shop! 

This is such a comfortable chair and just like my grandmother used to have at her formica table! 

It is so much fun to know that people out there are actually reading stuff I write and linking things together.  I am still learning about all this and how to do it, but I am having a great time in the process.  Check out her cool blog for great ideas http://mostazseed.blogspot.comfeatures/  and she features alot of Etsy sellers which I think is sooo cool!

 I wish Etsy would advertise so it would become known like Ebay!  Not only would that be good for the sellers on Etsy, but for the general public who are looking for something unique and special to give as a gift or purchase for themselves!  There are so many cool things on this site, many talented artists!  Check it out for yourself at

I also recieved a Sunshine Award from Southwestjewelry recently!  How did she know I needed this?   The Sunshine is most appreciated here in this dark land of the PNW. Thanks Southwestjewelry, check her out at she has some beautiful and unique jewelry! 

And now, I get to award this to 12 lucky nominees! Woo hoo! The challenge will be learning how to link everything together~ Yes, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, but sometimes, it takes more time!  So be on the look out and I will tell you who I link to as I discover them!  :-)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New listings

Just added 14 new things to the shop.. Check it out and let me know what you think!  Here are a couple of my favorite finds. 

Love this set!  Robin's egg blue, silver and white with a tiny touch of red!  I would love to use it for cake and coffee!  I don't have enough cupboard space for all the stuff I like to collect though.  So I hope someone else will love it as much as I do! 
Another one of my favorites is this gorgeous gold, white and black scarf!  I would use it as a table scarf  and I think it would look gorgeous with some vintage vases on it.  What do you think?

How about this? 
For more vintage treasures check out my shop by clicking on the Etsy button to your right or go to 
Thanks for looking! 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reflections of an Earlier Time

I have been doing alot of reflecting lately.  I have been thinking back to the early days when I met my husband of 34 years!  I knew him most of my life as he was only 2 grades ahead of me in the small town elementary school where we grew up.  Regardless of the grade all the kids knew each other.  Most of us walked to school, came from two parent families, and lived a lower middle-class life. 

The first time I talked to Frank as a possible 'date' was my first year of high school in 10th grade.  It was 1974 and I was entering high school in the city!  It seemed so large to me then.  I actually attended the same elementary school from kindergarten through 9th grade and then transferred to the city high school.  Our small town did not have a high school.   I thought Frank was very cool and he had a loud, shiny red car.  I was soon driving to school with him and a couple friends daily. 

After about a month or so of this, Frank told me he had to pick up his mother from work.  I was pretty shy with new people and asked him if she knew about me.  He indicated that she did, which was not true!  Frank and his family are Mexican, and my family are Caucasian.  When she got into the car next to me, I could tell she was shocked.  Not only that Frank had a girl with him, but that I was a WHITE girl!   She said nothing though as in the Mexican culture acceptance and nonconfrontation are the norm.  Needless to say the ride home was tense and silent. 

Similarly, my family had some reservations about me dating a person of a different race.  My father said to me early on, "You tell him that you don't go out with Mexicans!"  My first actual date, other than riding to school was going to the county fair in late fall.  Frank came to the house and was so polite and respectful that I think he won my mom over that day!  She was not an easy woman to impress but she liked him more and more as time went on.  My dad softened too which was mostly due to Frank's calm, and respectful nature. 

By the end of my tenth grade year, we had decided we were in love and wanted to get married!  I know, we were REALL Y young, and in looking back, it would have been much better to have waited and had college out of the way, and a few others things, before we decided to marry.  Our parents resisted it, but we were determined.  We even had to get a note from his boss stating he had a job and could support us!  We had to go through several weeks of pre-marital counseling with the Catholic church as I was not raised Catholic. 

Finally, our families blended in October of 1975 when I was 16 years old and Frank was 18!  There have been many ups and downs as in any long term relationship, but at the core has always been the thing that brought us together in the first place, a deep friendship and an ability to laugh at life and at ourselves.  Noone can make me laugh like this man!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fears, Family & Friendships

For the last 2 days, I have been on the other side of Washington, sitting at one of the hospitals.  Mostly I have been in transit between the hospital room of my mother-in-law, pre-op for my sister, and the surgery waiting room.  During this long time of waiting, I was able to observe the direct impact of family and friendships and how precious these relationships are. 

We have all read the research about the mind-body connection, the power of prayer, of social connections and caring friends and family.  But this becomes very apparent at times of great stress.  At those times, you don't need a research study to tell you how comforting it is to have the prayers, and company of those you love. 

The fears of the person with the illness are calmed by the presence of friends and family.  Just knowing that there are caring people with you, pulling for you, thinking about you, and praying for you, can mean the difference between a positive and negative outcome.  Knowing that someone cares, about YOU, and is with you through the hard times, is healing. 

Thanks to the caring of these all people, both my sister and mother-in-law are now home and doing very well.  I feel safe knowing that all these individuals are a part of my life, there to help and support me, when I need it, as I will do for them. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Ocean and Seagulls...

It is a gorgeous day today, I woke up to sunshine for the first time in awhile and I feel some energy.  Now, to decide what to do with it! 

We went to the Oregon Coast for a few days after Easter and took some beautiful pictures. 

While we were there we loaded up on salt water taffy, clam chowder, and shrimp fettucine.  The rest of the family did anyway, I am not a seafood fan and I ordered a BLT!   The kids took one of those old fashion photos, one dressed as a Rebel and the other as a Union soldier.  It was nice to relax and get away and just hang out together as a family. 

I just love watching a flock of seagulls (sounds like the old 80's band huh?). I know they can be annoying , especially in the city but there is just something about watching them flying around against a blue sky, with the ocean in the background that speaks to me. It looks both peaceful and beautiful and brings a smile to my face.

We had a visitor to our balcony and he loved dog food.  If you look closely you can see a piece of it in his beak!  My kids had a great time feeding him and his friends that swooped by for a snack.  He was the only courageous one that sat on the railing, and so he left very full ! 

I am trying to think of something to do with these photos other than simply put them in my scrapbook.  Any ideas? 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Vacation?

Well this week is Spring Break for all the kids in our local school district.  My son is in 7th grade and likes the sleeping in the best.  When he wakes up though, he is looking for places to go and things to do!  Yesterday we drove over to the Eastside of the state and took a friend to an appt.  We had a couple hours to spend at Grandma and Grandpa's and I found myself trying to help them with their taxes!  This made me realize that I have to either 1.  Try and redo my taxes on Turbo Tax or 2.  Go to HR Block which always seems to get us more money but costs money too!  argghhh!!!  I always put it off til the last minute, what a surprise huh? 

Easter was nice, kids are happy with their "basket" stuff... My daughter is in Art school and received a bunch of art related stuff, and my son, some cool "Boeing" aviators glasses, among other things and of course candy!  You know the mirrored type glasses?  Yes, they ARE still in style!  When I was a teenager, only police officers wore those.  Funny how things change...

I was so excited to receive a comment from a reader who wanted to here more about how we blend two cultures in our bi-racial family.  I will be writing about this soon.  Thanks for your comments!  They mean so much!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter everyone!  After several stormy, windy and rainy days, we have some sunshine today to celebrate the day!  Still windy and not very warm, but hey, it beats the storms! 

Easter always brings to mind traditions, from childhood, from my children's past Easter's and church traditions.  When I was a child, my family did not attend church, although both my parents were raised as Seventh Day Adventists.  When Easter came around, I usually went to church with the family of one of my friends.  Back then, little girls always wore dresses, hats, and gloves.  We even got to carry a little purse!  I remember my mother would always put my coins for offering, a hankie, and some gum in mine.  I thought it was the best.  After church we would hunt for eggs and go home for a big dinner and baskets of candy!  It was the best thing ever for kids! 

Our traditions involve church, dinner at home, easter baskets, dressing up, friends, and confetti eggs!  Since my husband is Mexican, his family has always hollowed out egg shells, dyed them, and then filled them with confetti and sealed the hole with tissue paper.  You then hide the eggs, and when you find one, you chase someone and crack it on their head and confetti goes everywhere.  So much fun!  Young and old love t participate in this tradition!  I am usually finding confetti in my hair even after a few days of shampooing! 

This year, things have gotten away from us.  We are presently not attending church, decided not to cook a dinner, and we did not prepare the confetti eggs.  My kids are now older; 21 and 13 years, and we decided to take it easy.  So yesterday we made cookies, and dyed hard boiled eggs. 

Today, we are waiting for my daughter to come home from a friends house, then the Easter bunny will bring the baskets, we will dress up and take pictures, and go to Brunch with Friends.  This is the first time EVER I have gone to brunch on Easter, and it feels kinda nice.... next year, I will probably get out the china and cook again, but this year is a refreshing change.  What is your family doing today? 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Stormy Day

Wow, just when we thought it was spring in the Northwest, along comes a huge rain and wind storm!  I guess the Eastern part of Washington state even had snow today, and lots of storm conditions and snow on the mountain passes!

Thankfully, I was out most of the day shopping with a friend.  It was fun and we were inside so we really didn't notice the cold too much.

For my birthday last month, my husband bought me a pair of "happy lights" to sit on my desk near the computer.  These should help me have that springtime feel even when the weather is bad out!  I am looking forward to sunshine next week! 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's been awhile...

Hey, things have gotten away from me and I haven't posted in quite awhile.  I am feeling a bit more energetic with spring fast approaching and thought I would give this another try.  Beleive it or not I still have not finished with the glazing of the two projects I wrote about in my last post.  It seems like we have had some nice days but slipping out in between rain storms has proved frustrating, I always think I have more time... Oh well.  I have actually gotten more things figured out with my Etsy shop and even sold a few items!  I am currently taking on a couple other small projects before I start in on the furniture.  Why do I keep putting it off?  I can't figure out if I am afraid I won't like the process or the result or both?  I just need to get over it and DO it! 
Anyway, for now, I wanted to show you these cute chalk board spice bottles and see what you thought!  Chalkboard paint is fun and versatile.  There are so many possibilities! 

I also tried this on a vase and put a ribbon and a bird charm on it to liven it up a bit.  I think this would be really cute for a spring bouquet gift, birthday, get well, easter, mother's day etc.  You could even put it on your table and change the messages with the seasons, and the ribbons too!  So easy, just prepare your surface, get some chalkboard spray paint and follow the instructions.  Takes about 3-4 light coats, 24 hrs final drying time, and then some preparation with the side of the chalk and wahla~  she is ready!  I will put this on my shop Life In Stages and see if anyone wants her...


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