Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mantel Relief

Our mantel was looking really boring.  I’d followed some advice from online decorators to make the arrangement of the accessories symmetrical.  But ever since there was no more holiday decor to spruce it up, it was not doing it for me.  So I decided to go asymmetrical and a little abstract.  I looked at it and whatever came first to mind that was missing, I did whatever I could with what I had to make up for it.  And so we had this…


(Yes the painting is supposed to be a little off center.)

(Yes the grate is broken in the fireplace, we have another on order.)

And I was happy.  I had imagined a tall green vase, but the glass was nice, you could see the crabapple tree branches through it.

Then the speaker guy came to help run a wire and I forgot to take that vase down.  And it broke.

But I remembered a sign for a Pottery Sale at the local community college.  I had wanted to go because I love pottery and I assumed the prices would be pretty reasonable.

So I went, and found a couple pieces I did like and they were indeed priced reasonably.  So no we have this…

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I think the branches are wilting now.  The second piece of pottery is in another room.

Around here all the blossoms are coming out.  Nothing in our yard yet, but caught this beauty outside of the local Park District building.


Friday, April 9, 2010


Making New Bonds

Last week today my brother John proposed to his girlfriend Kris!  (great name, right)  We met up with them the next day for lunch to be with them and congratulate them.  There is nothing quite like being with a couple after they have just gotten engaged, especially one that you care about so much.  They are so happy and we are all just thrilled.  They are planning something roughly a year from now.  I don’t think I could ask for a better sister-in-law to be. (sniff)  Even though all that really matters is that the two of them are happy with each other.


She’s going to be a wonderful aunt too.


Making a New Life

This week my long time friend Kim (from high school), took a big step and bought her first “on her own” home.  She is starting over in life and making positive strides at every turn.  I’ve been a phone support for her as much as one can be over the last couple of years as she has gone through some real struggles and I am just so happy that she is growing as a person and moving on in her life.

Making a Journey

Jason’s brother Scott and his girlfriend Jen have taken a very long trip to Asia.  Just recently they have completed the Annapurna Circuit—a 21 day trek through the Annapurna region of the Himalayas.  If you’d like to read more about their very interesting trip, you can check it out here.


Getting Healthy

This past two weeks have been pretty excruciatingly painful and a little scary for me.  I had a side effect to an antibiotic I was taking for a skin problem around my eyes.  I woke up early Monday morning with a burning pain pulsating down my esophagus.  At first I thought it was my lungs, considering the problems I have had with them earlier this year.  But when I was awake and lucid I knew that wasn’t the case.  It felt like I was swallowing involuntarily and it was PAINFUL.  Like swallowing a mixture of dry ice and fire.  In addition to that, it was even more painful to try to eat.  If you’ve ever had a baby… it was equivalent to bad labor pains and quite similar in the nature of the pain.  24 hours after trying to get a hold of my doctor’s nurse, she returned my call to tell me to STOP taking the meds!  Even so, a day later I was in Immediate Care more than a little scared about what felt like my insides being ripped apart.  A confirmation that it was esophageal inflammation and spasms caused by the antibiotic I was on eased my fears, but didn’t do much for the pain.  Finally, after 11 days of major discomfort, yesterday the pain eased and I was able to swallow without having to hit something or cringe.  I am oh so happy and feeling celebratory that it is over and that it was indeed just a reaction and not a more serious internal problem.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Lines

I think a resurgence of energy and interest in my Etsy shop Kitchen Stitchen has been due to a mixture of some “out of the blue” sales and recent news that the local Farmer’s Market will have more attractive and potentially more effective layout this year.

With that, I’ve come up with two new product lines!

When I ask friends what else they’d like to see in my shop, it always comes back to the full apron, preferably retro.  Definitely pretty.  Then there are comments from browsers at shows about my half aprons being cute, but their need/want for a full apron.  Full (pretty) aprons simply are a lot of work and have poor cost/profit ratio.  They require a lot of fabric and a lot of work.  I already feel like I have them priced too high, but with that said, I’m still not paying myself much at all for the labor.  Perhaps they will at least be something to draw more people into the shop or to my table at the Market.

bluedaisy1  bluedaisy5bluedaisy3  

Lots of people at Markets and shows I’ve done have asked if I make baby bibs.  I have made them in the past, but they have seemed again, like a lot of work and in the end, not very practical for the recipient.  So, recently I found some great ideas to put together a really functional baby bib!  Since one of my goals in the shop is to make products that are beautiful AND functional, I was pleased.  With fusible vinyl, I can use great fabric to make wipeable, waterproof bibs!  I simply use binding tape to finish off the edges and create the ties.

 diobib4  lotuspink1

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ruffle Mania

Here are some new items in my Etsy store.  I put my ruffler to good work!


There are more new items coming soon, for a NEW product line!  And a stack of new pocket potholders are waiting to be assembled as well.

While I’m on the topic of Etsy.  Please go and visit my friend’s shop.  She and three other women started a business selling shirts and bags in our area and are trying to gain an online presence.  They need some hearts and sales!  They are Revelari and can also be found HERE.

We are four women who befriended each other while raising our children. During our conversations, we discovered that we all have the common bond of choosing to grow in our journey of becoming better versions of ourselves, despite our various temperaments and strengths. Out of this awareness, came a desire to be known and to encourage other women to be known. The creation of Revelari’s artshirt was born. What a beautiful way to highlight our characteristics!

Along the way, we have learned that turning a dream into a reality takes hours of work, patience with one another and a celebration of each other’s differences. We challenge all women to make peace with who you are and to boldly wear your attributes.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter 2010

The Goods.


The season.  (Traditional annual daffodil photo).


The love.


After the hunt.


A very windy family photo.


The grub.  It was yummy, and I’m my own worst critic.  Jason put together the quinoa dish.


Menu details, if you are interested…

  • Rack of Lamb with Mint and Caper Sauce
  • Green Bean Medley (w/ sweet red pepper, green onions, mushrooms)
  • Quinoa with Peas and Onion (and walnuts)
  • Corn Pudding ("healthy" version)
  • For dessert: Angel Food Trifle ("healthy" version - with ricotta cheese, vanilla yogurt, blueberries and strawberries) – wasn’t so great, very bland.

Funniest moment (actually the day before).


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