Monday, July 25, 2011

What have I been up to....

Well, I finally finished my summer wreath....with the saying, "better late than never", yeah, whatever...anyway here it is...

I found my inspiration for this wreath from Scissors and Spatulas Blog.  Go check out her post for the full tutorial, and her tutorial for the Fabric Flowers and Rosettes.  I enjoyed every minute of making this wreath and I'm sure I'll be making more in different colors.  I chose to use reds, chartreuse, yellow and white as my colors to match the cushions on my front porch, but when you see the following pics of my summer flowers, you'll notice I planted most everything in pinks....what was I thinking you might ask...well I was planting at the same time I was helping to plan my daughter's baby girl shower....so pink was definitely on my mind.
 I at least had the foresight to use red pots...
I love this vintage copper canner...




My Brown-eyed Susans are just starting to bloom...

And "million-bells" are one of my all time favs...


Who doesn't love daisies!!! (this may not be what they are called in the different colors, but that's what they look like to me)

I've also been very inspired to try my hand at spray-painting this year after seeing all the fun projects on other blogs.  So my first spray-painting project was the following metal 4-tiered ivy plant stand which was rusted and icky looking, sorry I forgot to take a before pic...
I placed it on my front porch and placed my herbs on it as they were getting too much sun on our deck....my basil is not doing so great this year, but the rosemary and italian flat-leaf parsley are going gangbusters.  And the off-white pot that holds the pony-tail palm is most certainly next on the spray-painting list...
I've simply fallen in love with succulents...I had this small windowbox/frame in aqua blue, so a coat of pure white was def called for...then I painted the small cream colored plastic pots and planted a couple of succulents in them, then topped them with beach gravel.   They may very well be my summery fav...

 Note to self: next year plan colors better!!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Inspirational Quote -- American Indian

from

I found the following quote posted on a friend's facebook wall, fell in love with it, and informed him I was stealing it....
An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there's a battle between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It's anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego.
The other is Good. It's joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth. The grandson thought about it and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
--author-- "I have no idea..."
from

Check out both etsy shops to see more of their beautiful photography and fine art.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Marine stuns crowd at party....MUST See Vid...

I found this vid in an email this morning and was sooo very touched I had to share it....it's just a couple of minutes.....so pass it on.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

And the W I N N E R is........

And the winner of our Giveaway is..............


(okay, so I still haven't figured out exactly how to show you the random.org widget.....sigh, I'll keep working on it)
Huge Congrats Marietta!  Contact Jami at jami@freckledlaundry.com

Marietta makes some of the most beautiful pottery I've ever seen...and as luck would have it, she agreed last week to become my next interview and GIVEAWAY...so stay tuned for that.  She is also an amazingly nice person :)

And I owe a huge, I mean HUGE "Thank You" to Jami for this awesome interview and GIVEAWAY!!!   She was so professional, yet warm to deal with.  A true pleasure...

Monday, July 18, 2011

GIVEAWAY!!!! Last Day to Enter....Don't miss out!!!!

I don't want anyone to miss out on my awesome GIVEAWAY from Jami of Freckled Laundry etsy shop
and Freckled Laundry Blog


Go here for the rules and to enter.

Jami's giving away these adorable tags to one lucky winner (Jami has her shop on vacation mode for the next 2 weeks, but she is still available for the giveaway).

And These....


So even though you can't see all the items in her shop, you can see a few of them in the orginial post and post your comment on that post . 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

GiveAway and Interview -- Freckled Laundry

The promised Giveaway is finally here!!!
Etsy seller and blogger, Jami of freckled laundry shop and freckled laundry blog has graciously agreed to an interview with moi and is offering a truly outstanding prize to the winner. 
(rules found at bottom of post)

I first found Jami through blogland, don't remember exactly where, but I am sooooo very grateful that I did!!!    Her blog is completely chock-full of gorgeous photography of her home decor, tutorials....and items she has made to sell in her etsy shop.  I am completely in love with every single item she makes....her items have such a dreamy, ethereal quality about them, you'll want one of everything as well.

I've just placed my first order with her....her number tags...and can hardly wait to get them, I plan to hang them on a few vintage clear milk bottles....I'll be sure to post pics when I can.

I cannot forget to mention what a total "sweetie" she is...I mean Total!  One of those peeps we "meet" on the internet but wish lived next door....seriously.   So take a quick moment and GO...check out her shop, then come back here and tell me YOUR favorite item...

Now onto the interview...(I am personally very inspired by every answer she gave)...


1. What is life like at your house? (husband, pets, children, etc)


Life is perfectly imperfect. With 21-month-old (boy/girl) twins and a high-energy 8-yr.-old son, life at home is a little...intense! My husband is a Corrections Sergeant on the 2-10 pm shift and is gone most days so it’s usually just me and my beautiful children. Blogging and designing wares for my Etsy shop keep me centered, especially on days when I’m leaning a little too far to the left!

2.  What is your morning routine?

I wake up at 6:30, make a pot of coffee or a latte and hop in the shower. At 7:00, I get the twins up, make them breakfast and put on Sesame Street while I get my oldest son ready for school. Dad takes him and I check emails real quick to see if I have any Etsy or urgent blog emails. The babies and I play for a couple of hours (go for a walk or trip to library, etc.) and then Dad takes over for a bit while I work in my craft room. (My baby girl follows me around like a duckling so she's usually sitting at my desk coloring or exploring the wonders of my craft room while I work). When they go down for a nap at 11:00, it's serious business and I use every bit of the hour and half to work on what needs to be done before Dad leaves for work. My morning routine is pretty flexible though, which is important when managing a family and a new business. Neither are predictable 100% of the time.

3. What hobbies do you enjoy?

I love decorating my home, sewing, photography, and reading a good book.

4. How did you become a designer?

I'm still getting used to calling myself a designer. It's just something that I've always loved to do. I've always followed a creative path and have a bachelor's in Fine Arts. For a short while, I veered off of my creative path (in terms of doing what I love to earn a living) so I'd have to say that making the decision to say home to raise my twins, an entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and a dream made me a designer.

5. How did you start your etsy business?

I signed up. Plain and simple. I had been blogging for about 6 months when I finally decided to follow my dream of selling my handmade wares on Etsy.

First, I registered online for a federal tax ID (took minutes) and then registered my business and name with the state of New York (online). Once I had the particulars in order, I started designing and making my handmade baby shoes and added them to my Etsy shop.

My very first sale was such an amazing feeling. It really helped my confidence to know that somebody loved something that I made enough to buy it. My shop continues to grow and I'm growing right along with it. If you've ever considered opening an Etsy shop, just do it. You'll be so happy you did. And, I'm happy to help if I can.


6. How does your creative process work (where do you find inspiration?)

I find inspiration everywhere...blogs, websites, magazines, flea markets, photographs, music; you name it.

I have a sketch pad and sometimes I'll staple a photo of something that inspired me. As ideas come to me on how to rework it in my own style, I'll sketch them out. It could be something specific (like clay tags) or just a photo of a room with a shabby style that appealed to me. It inspires me to think of something that would look lovely in that space, etc. Often times, I'm just working with a blank page and scribble out ideas (written or illustrated) that come to me. I love working with laundry (textiles) so sometimes I'm inspired to create something to fit the laundry. My mind is constantly in mommy, blog or business mode so it's when I just stop and reflect, that I'm most creative...usually in my dreams.






7. What one thing do you keep close to you at all times?

Sketch book. (I'd say my children but that's 3 things.)


8. Since starting your etsy store, what one thing are you most proud of?

That I believed in myself.


9. What is one thing you would do differently (in your etsy business)

Everything is made to order at the moment. Although my wares typically ship within three days, I wish I would have built up enough of an inventory before opening my Etsy shop doors to ship immediately (aside from custom orders, of course).


10, Is there anything new you have an idea for or are currently working on to add to your etsy store in the future?

Yes. Several. I plan to add my Lavender Dipped Letters to my shop as well as several lavender-inspired wares (laundry wrapped bundles, petite pillows, homemade laundry soap;and linen spray, etc... I'm working on a lavender bunting/banner. I'd also love to sew more ruffled linens, shower curtains, cotton jersey throws and chair hugs, etc. are in the plans. I have ideas to combine textiles and silver metal (i.e. rabbit wire and oxidized steel wire) to create shabby and vintage-inspired hat holders, wireliers (wire-chandeliers), wall pockets, storage baskets, photo clotheslines, etc.



11. Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny? (why)

Mickey Mouse. I lived in Florida for a year after college and weekend trips to Disney World were frequent! Also, Mickey is just a happy lil' mouse whereas Bugs Bunny has a bit of a mischievous streak. Ha!

12. Handmade vs Manufactured (your thoughts)

Oh, my. Handmade. I have such an appreciation for handmade things. Something manufactured on an assembly line doesn't even compare to the heart that goes into making something by hand. Handmade tells a story. It reflects someone's dream or passion whereas manufactured reflects the dollar bill. Manufactured usually ends up in land fills but handmade is loved for generations from both quality and emotional aspects.


13.   What is one piece of advice you'd give to other women who are fortunate not to have to work outside the home?

I guess I would say follow your hearts. Dreams inside your home matter just as much as dreams and goals chased outside of it.

Jami
www.freckledlaundry.com
www.freckledlaundry.etsy.com

Okay, now tell me, did you learn as much as I did???   Are you inspired to make something???

Here's what the winner will receive...
-1 set of hand-stamped White Clay number tags 0-9 in the winner's choice of petite or large size
AND
-1 set of (3) Vintage-Inspired Ticking Stripes Tags in winner's choice of Red or Gray

The photos of the items are posted above.


Now for the rules:   As you know, I like to keep them simple...although it would be nice if you became followers of my blog and Jami's, that is not a requirement...all you have to do is go visit her etsy shop, choose a favorite item, then come back here and let me know what that item is in this posts comments section.  The giveaway will end Monday, July 19th at 9pm est.

The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced next week!!!!!

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Announcing a New Giveaway....

Hi ALL, I know it seems as if I've hardly been blogging lately, summertime is sooooo busy here with the horses and competitions.   But I had to stop in real quick to let you know about an etsy seller interview and OUTSTANDING giveaway I hope to have up tomorrow!   I can promise, yes promise, you won't want to miss it.....

Here's just a wee hint....


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Treasury Challenge Winner and HM's....

I hate to call these treasuries winners as I truly loved them ALL!  But the challenge rules stated that I HAD to pick a winner and at least 5 Honorable Mentions, so following are those treasuries.
If you'd like to see the list of ALL the challenge treasuries, click here.
To see our team blog for more info about participating in the challenges, click here. (You don't have to be a member to participate)

Up first is the treasury I chose as my ultimate fav...Just Breathe, but it literally took my breath away.  I love every-single-item, I love her use of colors, but I especially love the dreamy, ethereal quality.  It was the first treasury entered in the challenge and it grabbed me from the first glance, I just kept going back to it again and again.








Next up is Joys of Life by PamelasJewelry and I could have chosen ALL of her treasuries, but had to choose just one, she is quite simply an amazing curator.


And if you're in need of adorable baby clothing, handmade...go check out alpaca kids.  Her treasury is titled "A Seaside Romance" and oh my...she completely captured my romantic heart.   Can't you just see lovers cuddled up with my Beach Blanket???

Just click on any of these amazing treasuries to go see the larger version where you can check out each curators shops and all the items. I will be completely shocked if you don't find some new ones to favorite!!!!








And this last one is by Acorn Alley Designs, she is in charge of our team challenges and truly does an amazing job keeping everything organized.  I was not allowed to choose any of her treasuries, but since this is MY blog, I've decided to share this one with you...I'm pretty sure you'll fall in love with it too.


Okay, that's it for the ones I chose, but seriously, they all deserved to be featured, so go check them all out. I'd love to hear which ones are your favs....
 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

An Amazing Weekend!!!!

I just had one of the THE most amazing weekends EVER!!!!
I mentioned in my post last week about winning a treasury challenge...so I had to choose an item from my etsy shop as the inspiration item for everyone to use in this week's challenge treasuries. 
And I chose....(drum roll)...


Beach Cottage Lap Blanket -- Aqua/Turquoise, Cream, Driftwood, Stone colors in Organic Cotton -- Crochet All Season Afghan

I had to judge all the treasuries, chose my fav for the winner and include at least 5 honorable mentions by 6pm Saturday night, with a write up sent in by 6pm Sunday night.  I can't show them here until after tomorrow, so watch for them at the end of this week.

Now I enjoyed every minute of it, but....we left early Thursday morning for our NBHA (National Barrel Horse Association) Ohio State Finals.   It was a 2 1/2 hour drive , then had to get three horses settled in their stalls, then ready to exersize and exhibition...as soon as I finished with that and put my horse away, I had to go back and work the exhibition from 2pm-10pm (I did get to take a dinner break)...then worked it again Friday morning from 7am-11am.  The open class started at noon and I was the 38th draw to run.  So it was rush, rush, rush....and in between, I was booting up the puter to look through the challenge treasuries....I really had a blast!!!

Which brings me to the 2nd best thing that made my weekend awe-some...
In the finals, you get two runs to make it into the final on Sunday... in years past I never made it in on the first run...but I did this year...my horse finished 15th out of 330!

Then in the final on Sunday, we finished with the title of NBHA Ohio State Open 2D Reserve Champion.....(lots of whooping and hollering going on here).
video

Here's the vid of my winning run...it's not perfect...I let him drift out coming up the alley, then I didn't help him close the 2nd barrel, completely forgot to get both hands on the reins heading for the 3rd....so I've still got a lot of improvements I need to work on.

This is such a huge, mega, stupendous accomplishment for all the years of work "Red" (TNT Red Money) and I have been doing, not to mention all the training my hubby did on him before I stole him.  And when I broke my foot and ankle last year, my daughter kept him going the whole season.

I hope everyone in blogland had an amazing weekend as well...and here's one last pic for you to enjoy (I simply fell in love with it, it's so appropriate for the holiday weekend).