Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vintage Halloween Inspiration

I love holidays, and Halloween is one of my favorites. These are a few vintage pieces that have been inspiring me lately.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bliss Interupted

I've been zoning...that awesome feeling when everything comes together and the muses speak.

I've got several projects going on at once. I love it when you get so focused that you work through meals and you never want to stop working. Why does that seem to happen when you've got to stop because you have something planned? Don't you just want to cancel everything and keep going. I can't. Bummer.

I like messes. I'm not one of those people who have to have an organized work place in order to be productive. In fact, the more "stuff" I see...the more energized I get. It drives everyone else crazy...but that's the way I roll.

You wouldn't know it, but I have a whole room in my house just for me to do my thing...I guess I might even go out on a limb and call it "my studio." Funny thing is...I don't always do my work in there. I need to go where "it feels right." For the last few days, I've been working at the kitchen table. We eat around it. Hey, it's summer. I can do these things.

In the works... Scary messes....hee,hee

Among other things, I've got Halloween on my mind!

Are you following your bliss today? Go make a big mess!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ducky Race Fundraiser

We took Bentley to the park...

... to join in the annual fun that benefits a local pediatric rehab center.

There were games to play... food to eat and bubbles to chase...
and beautiful trees...
But, the main event involves thousands of ducks. For $5, you can purchase a duck to float down the river for a chance to be one of the first ducks across the finish line. There are a number of prizes that you can win. (50 to be exact) The 2 big prizes were a $1,000 gift certificate to a furniture store, and a $1,000 Visa Gift Card. We didn't win a prize...but...
The real gift is knowing that all the proceeds benefit a wonderful organization for children...a center that has made a huge difference in the lives of so many children.

Here are a few of the ducks before the big race...

Here they are floating down the river...

What a fun day to spend a summer afternoon!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Washington D.C.

We took a little trip to The National Museum of Natural History. Highlights included the dinosaurs, geology and gem exhibit(home of the Hope Diamond), the live butterfly house(one landed on my head) insects, and the African Elephant. (The largest mounted elephant in the world, weighing nearly 12 tons)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Birthday Boy

Blowing out the candles on his cake!

Lip licking good!

Bacon Chicken Layer Cake Recipe

This recipe makes a real layer cake! Chicken, bacon and yogurt provide aromas that drive dogs crazy for this cake.
3 cups flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 cup margarine, softened
6 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup corn oil
2 jars strained chicken baby food
2 cups finely shredded carrots
plain or vanilla yogurt
2 or 3 strips of bacon, fried crisp, then crumbled, or use bacon-flavored jerky strips, cut into bits.
Generously grease and flour two 8" round cake pans; set aside. Combine flour and baking powder; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat softened margerine until smooth. Add eggs and corn oil; mix well. Add strained chiicken, and shredded carrots and mix until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour batter into the 2 prepared 8" cake pans. Bake at 325° for 60 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.
Place one layer on a serving plate and spread yogurt over top. Place second layer on top, then spread yogurt on top and sides of entire cake. Sprinkle crumbled bacon or bits of jerky strips over top. Use "Pupperoni" sticks for candles.

Happy Birthday Bentley!Bentley's cake!

The party plates.
The birthday boy! Happy third birthday Bentley! We love you!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Extreme emotion

This extreme emotion doll spoke to me! I love her! Look how she is wearing a polka dotted skirt with that frown. Sometimes you just need a little quiet. When my kids are fighting...this is me...."okay everyone....

STOP TALKING!" Usually this happens in the car...on long trips... where we are all trapped in too close quarters.
Life is's not all smiles. I love how this doll proclaims it loud and clear.
You can get your own extreme emotion doll from Gravel Alley Primitives on etsy. Go to

It's also very ironic to my son. He and I joked about it when she arrived. This is the very last thing he will ever hear from anyone... since he has great difficulty speaking to people outside the home.
100th Post

It's hard to believe, but this is my 100th post. I hope everyone is having a fabulous day!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dog Tales...uh tails!

This is a picture that was taken in December....check out Bentley's long, flowing tail....

This morning as I was vacuuming the fur balls of Bentley's hair that seem to float non-stop across the floor, a crazy thing happened. Bentley loves the vacuum..or maybe he hates it and wants it to stop. Either way, he follows me really, really close as I vacuum. This time, he got a little too close for comfort and his beautiful, long tail got sucked up into the vacuum.
This monster vacuum cleaner grabbed hold of those long strands and wouldn't let go. Bentley squealed ...I screamed in horror. My poor baby. The suction is so strong that it sucked all the hair and rolled it all around the roller...all the way up...about 14 inches of tail!
It got all tangled and knotted around the roller. Bentley's trying desperately to free himself, but he's caught within two inches of his backside. I struggled to turn off the vacuum cleaner and keep Bentley from hurting even more. I'm bellowing at the top of my lungs..."I need help...I need help."
My children are in the house...ignoring me. Finally, they come to my assistance, and we unroll the dog's tail. I check to see if it's broken. It appears fine and he doesn't wince or squeal when I touch it. I'll keep a close eye on him. I wonder what he'll do the next time I turn on the vacuum.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I've been tagged to share six words that I would use to describe myself. Immediately, I think of Mother since that has pretty much defined my life in a really wonderful and profound way.

Some days, it felt like that was going to be my only word, and it might be difficult to ever find any other description for myself...and I really didn't mind because it was rewarding and consuming ...and I was always exhausted.

The words that come to mind are joyful, overwhelming, sleep-deprived, blessed, grateful and stressed.

Gradually, without really noticing or even minding all that much, I lost little bits of me in the process of mothering and even more managing my personal life...for many reasons, some of which were out of my control. Now that my children are older and not so dependent, I have more time to remember and reclaim those parts of myself that I didn't know I missed.

So, even though Mother is my most important word, I am not putting it in my list, since it would be like putting my name in the list. Mother is part of my identity...not my description.

When I think of myself overall, I come up with the following:

Questioner...that's nine words, so I guess I'm also a Rule-Breaker.

But, if I had to describe myself at this exact moment and stage in my life, I'd use these words:

Searching, Reflective, Diminished, Impatient, Reviving, Zealous

This is the point where I'm supposed to tag other people...But I'm still relatively new to blogging and I don't know anyone well I guess that makes me tentative.

I tag everyone who reads this to think of your own six or sixty words that describe you! Acknowledge or add "participant" to your list and let me know what your words are!

Monday, July 21, 2008

odds and ends

There's so much we didn't daughter's performance (it's on video and the formal photographers did that) most of the ship's different areas, the spa, the parades, musicians, my daughter sang karaoke one night, the belly flop contest and other activities...the list goes on and'll just have to Get Out There yourself. Every day had it's own drink!
First formal night.

All dressed up...

Another example of towel origami

And another...
Our assistant waiter and my children...Our waiter...he helped us all week. The staff work for six months straight and get two months off. Staff come from all over the world.

Find a way

Find a way
a path will take you there...or make your own