Friday, May 29, 2009

He really loves me!

On Memorial Day, David & I were going out for an early breakfast and I asked him to stop at a local nursery on the way. Several days before, I had been at the nursery buying some plants and spied several beautiful Bridal Veil Spirea bushes. I have wanted one of these babies for years and they were good size bushes and looked very healthy. We stopped and went to look. They were on SALE-WOOHOO! Only one do we get it home? We knew a lot of the tiny white flowers would be lost in transport which would be messy and the shrub itself was about 4 feet tall. Hmmmmm. I had a light bulb moment!!!! We would pay for the spirea, go on to breakfast, David would take me home and return to get the the Miata.... with the top down! One last request Sweetie.....will you take my camera with you when you return to pick up the shrub and take pictures because I will have to blog about this? I love this man! He worked Friday and Saturday in the yard & gardens and now he was going to spend part of Monday digging a hole and planting a spirea. My part of the bargain? I vacuumed out the inside of the Miata when he came back and was happy to do it! Thanks honey-you get a double gold star this week!!!
Eventually, it will look like this...
There was another reward for a hard day of work. Pork chops on the grill...Iowa style! (I brought this recipe back from my Cousins Reunion. Thank you Rita...she's a superb griller!!!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tower of Boxes cake~

My boss is often asked to contribute items to charitable organizations to be included in auctions for fund raising . One of my favorite events every year is a luncheon fashion show benefiting The Lemieux Foundation. The good Dr. always contributes a generous certificate toward orthodontic treatment to be used by the winning bidder. My job is to come up with a novel way to present that certificate, trying to tie-in the theme with his contribution. This year, the 10th Anniversary of the event, the theme was "Cake" and the colors they were using for the event were pink & brown. OK-first of all, pink and brown are one of my very favorite color combos and cake....who doesn't love cake? As soon as this was mentioned to me, I knew exactly what I wanted to do! What else would a paper-crafter create but a cake out of paper....paper mache boxes in this case. I started with 3 nesting boxes, papers, trims, stamps, flowers and lots and lots of adhesive! This is my creation.....

and how it evolved.....

And the icing on the cake....

I have to say that this is one project that I had trouble parting with. I actually think that I may have to recreate at least one of these "layers" for myself.
By the by, my trip to Iowa was wonderful. My sister, cousins and I laughed, talked, ate, shopped and toured non-stop!!!! Thanks Rita and Lois, for making it the most fun 4 days I've had in ages!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Hi friends~
I am away right now...having fun at a cousins reunion in Des Moines, Iowa. I usually tell you when I'm going to be gone but I forgot this time. I'm sorry if you've been worried about where I've been. I'll be back next week...not much computer time while I'm gone...I'm busy having fun. I'll catch up later....

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Because of her, I was a daughter....(1971)

and a little sister....(1952)and a Mother....(1978)2009.....and a Gram....(2008)Because of my Mother, I have a love for the church and faith in God to sustain me through all that life throws my way, a love of art and music, a strong work ethic, a love of flowers, a need to hoard and a quirky sense of humor. She taught me the value of friendship and the importance of loyalty. There are so many things I wish I could tell her. I miss you Mom!

Because of them.....

I am blessed to be a wife, mother, step-mother, mother-in-law, grandmother.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the special Mom's in my life!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Tea

This past Saturday, the women of our church hosted a tea. The church is located in downtown Pittsburgh so it is always a challenge to "stage" anything. It's not as easy as pulling into a parking lot and carrying your stuff 10 feet. You have to drop things off at the back door in an alley and then drive your car to a public parking garage to park. It will then cost about $5 to park. Our official term for this is "schlepping".

Knowing that, I have to say that everything turned out phenomenally well! We had 5 tables of 6-8 ladies each. Each table had a hostess (or 2)and each hostess was responsible for supplying her table with the linen, china, silverware and centerpiece or other table decoration. The hostesses outdid themselves. Every table was creatively and beautifully decorated. All of the women who came had a fun time.
We enjoyed the speaker, Janet Campbell, who is the Costumier of the Pittsburgh Ballet Company. She brought costumes from some of the productions and explained how she goes from drawings to finished costume. Fascinating! I was so engrossed in her program that I didn't take any pictures of her or the costumes. I did, however take pictures of the tables.

Bea's table was elegant and proper. Her good china, silver and crystal was used and flowers were abundant.Erika and Maggie shared hosting duties. The table was set using vintage clear glass dishes with a pineapple motif. Pineapple candle holders and a lovely plant completed the look. Simple but classy!
Janet chose an Herb Garden theme for her table. Each guest received a lavender plant and a booklet about the meaning of herbs. Please note the lace cascading from the back of each chair. Curtains folded and arranged through the chair opening and tied with ribbon! (That Janet is so clever!)Jeanne planned a fun table featuring her flamingo collection!Her table was covered with a raspberry colored cloth, and her Grandmother's antique china went well with the vibrant colors of her favorite birds! I'm sorry you can't see her outfit for the day. She wore flamingo embroidered capris and a rhinestone encrusted top....she's a fun lady!!!! Another fun friend, Anne, showed up in hot pink and lime green, wearing the perfect flamingo earrings. Of course she sat at Jeanne's table!
My table had a dress form theme. I used Tilly, my dress form, who came to the tea appropriately decorated in an antique collar, pearls and my Grandmother's cameo pin. At Tilly's base were a pair of vintage cotton gloves, a sweet embroidered hankie and a rose.My table runner was an embroidered vintage dresser scarf. I used pink Depression glass plates in addition to my china cups and saucers. My silver had belonged to my mother-in-law. I love old vinegar cruets and small odd bottles. They became small vases for beautiful miniature roses.
I made a place card for each place using dress form stamps from my collection.Using small $1 notebooks from Michael's, I altered the fronts and had a notebook at each place. This is how the notebooks looked before....
and after......All in all, it was an enjoyable event. The food was deliciously prepared by a caterer and served by three adorable servers.....

Roger, David and Bob

They did such a good job I took the one in the middle home with me! (The other two men are also husbands of our group) Thanks guys! You did a super job!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures of the tea. I think I'll go make some shortbread cookies now!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Tribute to Creative Breathing

A tribute to.......

It all started with this postcard........

I posted a photo of this vintage Valentine postcard on Flickr. Elizabeth, whose blog,

Creative Breathing, I had been reading faithfully, saw the postcard and was inspired by it. She created this paper pieced masterpiece. I saw the photo she posted on Flickr and the title "Scrap for Joy" and was puzzled. "That's my name...wonder what this means?", I thought. The mystery was quickly solved when Elizabeth contacted me and asked for my address so that she could send me the piece she had made. I was overwhelmed that someone who didn't know me would be inspired by something I had shown and make an art piece and then send it to me....just like that! Of course I had no idea how completely overwhelmed I would be when it arrived! The attention to detail cannot be seen in a mere photograph. The flowered skirt on the little gardener is not printed paper my friends, but hand-cut flower layers and leaves!

My first thought was that I wanted to send Elizabeth something in return, but what? What could I make that would begin to show my appreciation? Well, this all took place in October of last year, at a time when I was busily preparing for a craft fair and was up to my neck in custom orders as well. So, I sent nothing. I have felt bad about that for a long time. Other prople have inspired Elizabeth since then. She has made gorgeous gifts of love for many others and they have sent her their art in return. Here I was, with only this.... a lonely little bluebird, and a bunch of good intentions!

A month ago I decided that I had pushed this project aside long enough. Not only had Elizabeth sent the beautiful garden girl months before, I also won a contest on her Flickr site with something I wrote. The prize was this awesome pincushion that she created.I would have to let go of my intimidation and embarrassment and create something I love to artboard. I knew Elizabeth's favorite colors, and her signature "logo" is a bluebird. It had to include all of the elements that would be pleasing to her eye.......hearts and dots....

and a flower..... and cute buttons....Even the back of the board had to be kind of cute....Behold the finished project...Gosh, I hope she likes it. It should arrive at her door today or tomorrow.

Last week I took a class at Stamp Fanci with my favorite instructor and good friend, Carolyn Dewey. One of the projects we made was a little pocket booklet to hold gift cards or favorite quotes. This was made using one sheet of 12x12-inch scrapbook paper (with a pattern on both sides) The morning after the class, I took a piece of "Elizabeth style" paper and fashioned this little booklet and filled it with happy stamped messages. There are all sorts of other surprises in the package but I won't spill the beans.

Elizabeth, I hope you realize how much your work, your words and your kind generosity have touched so many hearts. You are an inspiration to all who have become familiar with your art. Thank you for the kindness you have shown to me. I will treasure the gifts you have sent and keep you in my prayers daily.

XOXO....with a cherry on top!

PS-my new blog header is from here... with modifications by Bethanie. (Where would I be without her!)


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