Friday, December 31, 2010

good fortune 2 you

As I am commenting on as many New Year's wishes on blogs as possible while waiting for hubby to arrive with our traditional 12/31 dinner of Chinese take-out, I thought I'd write a speedy post to wish everyone a very happy and healthy 2011.

May the New Year bring wonderful possibilities and dreams come true for all of us.

With adoration and admiration from my cottage to yours ... and a virtual order of fortune cookies, too.

Happiest New Year!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

fun finds: holiday clearance

If you are in the mood to brave the post-holiday-shopping crowd, there are some good deals to be found on seasonal items that can be used on crafts and gifts all year long. Especially if you are a fan of the bright reds and cheerful patterns that bring to mind Cath Kidston and Serena of the Farm Chicks. The baker's twine pictured above caught my eye at Crate&Barrel and was just $3.95 for a 1/2 lb. cone.

I had been keeping an eye on this ribbon from good ol' Target which was just reduced by 50% to $1.50. In the cart it went!

Also from Target, this can of 50 chipboard gift tags was too cute to pass at $2.50.

And, this ornament from Crate&Barrel which was just 98 cents. She'll have a quick stay on the Christmas tree (we generally leave it up just past New Year's) and then be packed away for next year.

So, if you're looking for some crafty bargains: have a bite to eat, wear something comfy, take a deep breath, see what's for sale and explore the possibilities . . .


Sunday, December 26, 2010


There is snow in the forecast! Time to dig out the mittens, scarves and hats.

Time to fasten a twine "clothesline" to pegs above the radiator near the back door. (Rhode Islanders hardly ever use the front door. Do you?)

At first I hung plain clothespins but then thought, that's just wrong for a clothespin tinkerer like myself! So, I spray-painted a handful of clothespins white and looked for inspiration from a Cath Kidston catalog.

I cut up favorite fabric images ...

and decoupaged cut strips to the clothespins. (Sorry for dark photos -- this was a p.m. project)

Now, we are ready for snow. I think!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

merry and bright on a budget that's tight

I would like to share some of the ways I add holiday color inside and out without spending a lot of green. The top image is an empty spice jar, filled with a mix of quick oats and glitter. Voila: Reindeer food! A printed and punched tag hung with baker's twine completes the package.

A supermarket bunch of greens ($3.99) divided into buckets with a few snipped branches of berries makes a pretty (and hardy) winter mix for outdoors.

Click to enlarge

A set of gift tags (Cavallini & Co.) hung in an unexpected location adds to the anticipation of Christmas morning.

Cavallini tags are pre-glittered but any tag will work well . . . and what's more fun than adding glitter to something?

A broken ornament can still be part of the celebration when perched on a short stack of flower frogs.

An arrangement of real and artificial is tied together with pops of faux red berry sprigs from the gift wrap aisle, meant for embellishing wrapped packages.

An emptied jar filled with salt, glitter and a cupcake topper becomes part of a cheerful vignette.

This weekend, my guys have been getting crafty with me, too. Yesterday we all decorated mini gingerbread houses. Of course I had fun making gumdrop villagers (inspired by a Martha Stewart Kids magazine from Winter 2004; details available here).

Today I dazzled my boys by pulling out all of my Christmas craft stuff. My oldest crafted a clothespin Santa (still drying) and I made an elf from a spool. {I have a hunch I will be making many more of these.}

Still lots to get done but making the time for these small details is what keeps all the must-dos enjoyable for me. I plan to make time for a cup of hot cocoa with a cookie today. Sound good? Hope you will indulge a little, too.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

lucky maryjane, thankful me

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my giveaway!

Using, Maryjane of The Beehive Cottage's number was selected as the winner. I am so excited because sweet Maryjane is my "fairy blogmother," a little name I bestowed upon her for all of the dear kindness and encouragement she has shown me since our first "meeting."

Our blogging friendships are so remarkable. Debi of Life in my Studio, has me bewildered over the remarkably thoughtful surprise gifts I just received from her. Debi not only sent me the above goodies from Cath Kidston but she filled each vessel with artful treats. That Debi!

My husband jokes "you're all crazy!" and maybe we are but in the best possible kind of way!

Okay, I've got gingerbread "cottages" to assemble and gifts to pack! I also have a post I'd like to write later. Cards to sign. I'd better get the coffee going ...


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

sharing and caring giveaway

The Girlie Office Tree

Again, my most heartfelt thanks for all of the warm comments, for sharing of yourselves and for reminding me that it's okay to share, too. I am overwhelmed and comforted more than I can say. As a gesture of my appreciation I am having a giveaway. {I hope this doesn't seem wacky}

All you need to do is leave a comment on this post to be entered into a drawing to win the clothespin girl, tinkered can, and cottage clips pictured above.

As many of you can relate, much comfort can be found in doing, making, creating and sharing. Having this little giveaway seems like a happy way to fulfill all of those "requirements." As you can see, I am now playing with cupcake liners. Playing is good.

A winner will be selected at random on Saturday, 12/18 by 12 noon.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

thank you

A rainy day can be a welcomed excuse to stay in "woobie clothes" all day with hot drinks and little agenda. Today is going to be that kind of a day.

The past few days have been a whirlwind of emotions and events from bewildered grief to enjoying the warm gathering and reaching out of family and friends. I thank each and every one of you for your heartfelt comments at my previous post. I am thankful to be part of this wonderfully nurturing community we have found and created online. Words cannot express my gratefulness for the understanding and comforting words and {hugs} received -- I felt every one of them.

With warmest and most sincere thanks. {Hugs} from me to you. I'm glad I shared.


Friday, December 10, 2010

sharing sad news

Sometimes the almost-mindless but always-gratifying act of creating can be therapeutic. This was the case for me as I crafted and assembled favors and wrote a short poem for today's luncheon to follow my mother’s memorial service.

I have mentioned before how I very much like to keep my blog a “happy place” and have only hinted at problems surrounding my mom. Last week, she passed away after nearly three years of longing to die following the death of my stepfather, her professed “first love” of her teens. Because of various consequences, too many to detail, all funeral details were already made, her possessions far away, and I was feeling very disconnected so I volunteered to plan the after-luncheon and make it my mission to host a warm event filled with happy remembrances. I found a childhood photo of my mother and used it to make tags tied to small bags of Hershey’s miniatures -- my mom loved Hershey chocolate.

As I sprinkled each tag with glitter, it felt strange and somehow okay -- you see my mother was cremated (I shake my head as I struggle to even write these words) but her ashes will be buried alongside my stepfather. The sprinkling of the glitter over her smiling face somehow gave me a little … I don’t even know … connection.

Thanks for listening.



Thursday, December 9, 2010

my giveaway at wwc!

On this ninth day of Christmas I am sharing a family holiday tradition along with a giveaway prize at the Where Women Create blog as part of their Twelve Days of Christmas celebration.

I will be giving away a holiday-themed sampler of tinkered treasures.

Remember, you must comment at this post at WWC to enter.

Good luck!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

back from the bazaar

Today was the Snowflake Bazaar!

I'm a little tired ...

but I'm pleased with the results.

I'm happy to report that I did earn-back my table fee and had enough for treats from the bake sale table and then some.

Thanks for all of the encouragement! I hope to add some things that didn't sell to my Etsy shop as time allows. In the meantime, if you see anything you're interested in please feel free to send me a conversation via my Etsy shop or email.

Okay, I'd say it's time to relax a bit!


Hope you'll visit Where Women Create on 12/9 for my giveaway!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

december's busy start

Happy December! The holidays are all around us, even online.

A festive event that I am beyond honored to be participating in is The Twelve Days of Christmas at the Where Women Create blog. Starting today and continuing each day until December 12th, the WWC blog will feature 3 artists sharing holiday traditions and prizes daily. My post is scheduled for December 9. I hope you'll pop over to read my story and enter the giveaway.

Sonia's new holiday issue of Creating Vintage Charm is now available. The beautiful cover speaks volumes about the treasures inside -- page after page of ideas from inspiring artists and friends from the blogging community. I am happy to have made editing contributions to this issue.

Today I have a post at Kidoinfo, a Providence-based online guide for parents. If you've ever heard "I'm bored" from someone shorter than your elbow, you might find this article useful or at least fun.

This weekend is the big bazaar. Here's my "dress rehearsal" in the basement. I still have a few things to make but am really looking forward to this event.

Beautiful 3-story (or was it 4?) Anthro in Philly

So between this and that (and having been away for a few days for Thanksgiving), things are busy as I am sure they are for almost everyone. Just take deep breaths and enjoy the magic!