Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Hearts

It has been a very busy week with classes , preparing for parent/teacher conferences, and the tidbits that make up everyday life but don't get me wrong I am not complaining. On the contrary I am truly grateful for all the blessings I have received. There are times when I feel like I can't see the trees through the forest and then there are times when I have real clarity.
How you think is how you feel, better thinking gives you better feeling.
"A happy heart is like medicine." ( proverbs 17:22)
So, be happy as you live your day and as the days add up you will recognize a trend...
consistent joy in living life to it's fullest.
Today I will live the moments of my life with a happy heart.
How will you express a happy heart today?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Be Your Own Travel Guide

You know how I love to travel. The idea of a new place, new people, culture, cuisine, and all the special things to be discovered has such a strong draw. But, alas I can not always hop a train or a plane and go. However, the images here can take you to anyplace you'd like to go!
The trolley car is beautiful. The seats comfortible and the scenery captivating.
Come on take a seat, relax, and enjoy the ride!

This beautiful trompe l'oeil trolley is the entrance to a unique little mall in Frankfurt, Illinois.
Since I'm on the topic of travel I'd like to move onto another opportunity for travel.
A good book is like taking passage on a fantastic trip.
Reading has taken me to England while absorbed in Pride and Prejudice, to any junior
high school in Zen and the Art of Faking It, or on a journey across America with the photography book by Jake Rajs.
There is nothing better than a cup of tea or fresh brewed coffee, a comfy quilt, and a book to get lost in.
Where will your travels take you? I'm on my way to a rural community in small town USA with Things I've Learned Lately, by Danae Jacobson.
Until on and enjoy the journey.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sew Much To Do

Can you believe that this machine was only $4.00! I feel so blessed to have the opportnity to create on the go. I have a lovely sewing machine in a cabinet but this will allow me to take a sewing machine with me when I visit my mother. We used to do alot of sewing and creative work together but we are in different cities now and don't have the same amount of opportunity to do these activities but that's about to change...I can see a sewing, quiling, creating kind of weekend in the near future. :)

On another note the doll house under construction has a new worker. He seems hard working and dedicated to his pursuits! I just may make him the house and grounds keeper permanently!
The furnishings are finished and the house has been glues and put together. Some of the painting is complete and we will be hanging wallpaper soon. I can't wait to share it with you.
It is a true labor of love and joy...the little girl in me is just thrilled!
"Creativity is merely a plus name for regular activity. Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better." John Updike

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Carload of Treasures-Vintage Rocks!

I promised yesterday to share the finds of my treasure hunt and the bounty of my thrift store shopping excursion so here they are...

Three pairs of vintage ladies leather gloves. These are the tiniest gloves you've ever seen!
This label is the trademark of my next vintage find. I am sorry for the out of focus picture by my camera has been acting up and I need to look into getting it fixed.
Adolfo of New York and Paris sounds so couture.
This hat is black, glossy, and tips to the front when worn. I can just imagine how beautiful the woman who first wore it must have felt. A fashionista of the 1950's, a chat for Sunday services, a night out on the town, the possibilities are endless.

The next thing that I uncovered was a pair of vintage earrings. I have a pin that matches these earring and I am looking forward to wearing them.

A soft pink peshmina really grabbed my attention. It is such a feminine touch to any outfit.

This plaid scarf is going to line a basket to be filled with pine boughs and pine cones come Christmas time. Apartment living doesn't allow us to have a real tree so it will be a way to bring in some natural items.

Again this is a poor photo but the pin and earring set is from the 50's and will be so pretty on a soft brown sweater.

I found two of these boxes and I think they would make a wonderful way to share a gift card with someone dear during the holidays. Or maybe a they will become hostess gifts filled with some special candies.

I can see a number of ways to enjoy this vintage scarf. With my winter dress coat, over a simple dress or a black sweater and jeans.

The next two photos are show casing a vintage dress with black crystal drop bead trim. How pretty for a special holiday event.

This dress also has a red matching belt. But I wonder how a black one would look?

This is a close up of the fabric on a skirt I found.

And here is the skirt.

These next photos are of the details of a vintage coat I purchased for two dollars. It needs a little work such as button repair, and a good cleaning but it has such nice detail and the lines are so flattering to the figure.
Sleeve detail...

Collar detail...

Pocket details...

And here is the coat!

Now as if that wasn't enough I was at an auction on Sunday and spent $4.00 on the find of the year! A portable Brother sewing machine!
I can't wait to use it...more to come on this treasure.
And always remember that one woman's junk is another woman's treasure. Recycle, reuse, and rejuvenate the spirit in all you do for yourself and others.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday morning and I'm off. This little adventure includes normal Saturday errands but it also includes some treasure hunting. I made a decision to do all my errands first then on to the real fun! I stopped at three of my favorite thrift stores: The Salvation Army, The Saint Vincent DePaul Store, and a store called Grannie's Attic. It is a great store run by a sweet woman named Grannie, of course! There were treasures, lots and lots of treasures! And I brought a few home!
A vintage coat-$2.00
A vintage Adolfo Hat-.50
Three pair of vintagec leather gloves-$1.00 each
Two carved boxes-$2.00 each
Assorted jewelry-$3.00
Three scarves for winter-$1.00 each
A skirt-$1.00
A red vintage dress with drop bead trim-$1.oo
For a grand total of $11.50
I promise to share pictures tomorrow as it is time to retire.
It is a school day tomorrow and I need to rest.

Until then have a wonderful day filled with special treasures of your own!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Galena or Bust!

This past weekend John and I took a road trip through Illinois and Wisconsin. Our first destination was Galena.
While sitting on a bench outside one of the local coffee shops we noticed the building across the street and giggled trying to imagine why a door appeared leading to no where. John's humor...Watch the first step; it's a long one!

These are just a couple examples of this inviting area.

Just a few shots of the city taken from the car as we traveled the countryside.

While in Galena we attended a festival and although it was cold (46 degrees) it was a fun event.
Aren't the quilts pretty. I just love the colors and the obvious creativity that went into their creation.

This display was one of my favorites! I have seen pictures of bottle trees but had never seen one up close. This idea is going in my must have someday file. I'd love to see them sprinkled throughout a garden space.

This wreath just said welcome to me. It was made of a twig base and a scaled down choice of
florals. I was drawn to the simplicity. I can just picture it on someone's door welcoming guests in.

Now all the walking and looking and all the sightseeing left us hungry. These were the best looking, best tasting caramel apples ever!

Here's John filling out raffle tickets. They were 6 for $5.00 and the money went to support a very deserving charity. They were raffling beautiful gift baskets.

The entire day was fun filled and best of all a terrific change from our busy work weeks. It was a bit of relaxing fun to provide some balance to our lives.

For more information on Galena, Illinois and all it's wonder go to:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

From Gloomy to the Warmth of Home

While driving home from school the other day my
friend and car pool partner took this picture at my request. The sky was so gloomy but if you look very carefully you'll see the hint of sun rays
peaking through the clouds. It's an apt metaphor for life. Even though it may seem to be nothing but dark days there is always the hope of light, joy, and brighter moments on the horizon. Not particularly poetic but real! I get these little gifts like the sun rays just when I need them. They are small reminders that I am powerless on my own but with God's help I can do anything!
Just for today I will trust.

Once home I made dinner and needed to do something that was creative in nature and reflected the warmth of home and hearth.
So...out came the fabric and I began planning a patchwork project with these awesome fabrics.
I love the letters, words, and numbers. The fabric is so fitting for a teacher and the color green is one of my favorites. I'll be sure to give you a peek at the finished project.

This is a coverlet in progress! I am ready to put the layers together and instead of tying it in a traditional way I am going to use small buttons in each corner of the blocks that make up the quilt. It will still be warm and comfy just a bit different then the average pieced quilt.

Refurbish, reuse, renew, and create a life that envelopes you in warmth and love!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Old New Treasures

The weekend found us at a birthday party for a sweet 4 year old, a dedication at the county courthouse (John is a court bailiff since his retirement from the retail industry), and I was able to go to an auction. I really enjoy the opportunity to search out wonderful treasures for our home, gifts, and sometimes resale.

This beautiful little handbag is made of pearls and has a Carmel color lining.

I can see it with a classic black dress and the pearls my mother gave me when I was a little girl.
Dainty, feminine, and oh so pretty!
But this is only one of the treasures I

This hat was only .50 cents! It reminded me of something Audrey Hepburn would have worn.

It says classy, style, elegance, and looked so fashionable.

This cabinet has found a home in our Den/Office for now.

I envision it in my kitchen someday holding dry goods like spices, tea, and other wonderful items to add flavor to our lives!

I am suddenly inspired to bake something delicious...
A pie, a batch of peanut butter cookies, or maybe a
spice cake...yum!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Road less Traveled

This has been a week of mixed emotion and sadness. A funeral, a very sick friend, and questions of why these things have to happen to such good people? I understand that God works in mysterious ways. And that when life pushes you to your knees pray. So I am praying. I am praying for God's grace for those I love and care about to be blessed with the comfort that God is with them and protecting them through their pain and fears.

God help me through this feeling of helplessness and help me to be ready when needed.

God bless you and yours.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference

By: Robert Frost