Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tiny Twigs for My Hair.

A pair of these hair pins arrived in my mailbox this week. I'm totally in love! So lightweight and super comfortable, they can easily be worn all day; if I didn't feel so pretty, I'd forget they were even in my hair. Bedtime brings a little sadness now, however, because I have to take them off and put them back in their darling little box. Be sure to visit Woodland Belle to see Mai's full line of loveliness!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Around the Garden.

I'm so excited to see my Pieris shrubs blooming this year! They've been in the ground for a couple of seasons, and I guess they're finally rooting well enough to show off a little.

A couple of years ago, while browsing the garden center in our local Lowe's, we came across a poor neglected Alberta Spruce that was mostly dead. We plunked down our fifty cents and took it home. After some care, watering, and pruning it really began to flourish. I was a little distressed to see that a small section of it was dead after this past Winter, but the rest of it is growing just fine, and right now it has lots of bright green new growth.

It was February when we bought our house. We could spot some garden edging under the snow, and there were two Hydrangea bushes in the back yard, but it was evident that whatever had been there was now neglected. As the snow thawed and Spring rolled around we saw lots of bulbs emerging here and there: Crocus, Daffodils, Hyacinth, and Tulips. The Hyacinths were planted in a spot where they obviously weren't happy, so I moved a few of the bulbs last year and they seem to be blooming a wee bit better now.

My mom has been kind enough to share some of her garden wealth with me as well. Two of her contributions for Spring have been small cuts of Cat Mint and a few pieces of Hens and Chicks. Cat Mint doesn't take long to take over the area it has been planted; it becomes all tangled and bushy, and sports beautiful purple flower all Summer long. And those couple succulents my mom started me on? Well, they're huge and beautiful, and their offshoots are taking over. I keep finding myself in need of new places to transplant them! But I love them.

Happy Spring! Soon the Lilac trees will be in bloom!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Four Strategies for Less Stress.

If you are anything like me, you may find yourself frustrated from time to time with the mountain of things that need to be done on any given day or week. With three kiddos running around, housework piling up, homeschooling, and running a business, day to day life can seem like mayhem sometimes. I wanted to share a couple of strategies I'm using to help myself remain calm, cool, and collected.

1. Make lists :: with all that stuff swirling around inside my head, I find it super-duper helpful to get it out by writing it down on paper. It is such a distraction to me when I can't shut my brain off, so keeping detailed lists is a must. Plus, there are few things in day to day life that are more gratifying than crossing things off of a list! To be able to look back at the end of the day and see that things were accomplished is a great feeling.

2. Prioritize :: prioritizing doesn't mean that you do the biggest thing first, or the most important thing on your list before you start something new- it means that you do what YOU need to do first, so that you can stop thinking about whatever it is and be more productive as a result. For example, doing schoolwork with my son and general cleaning really needs to be done before I sit down to sew because if it's not I tend to feel rushed, have less patience, and be generally miserable.  

3. Focus on the next thing :: instead of thinking about all the things you need to do, just think about the very next thing you are going to do. Don't focus on the fifteen things that you need to get done in the next eight hours. Instead think, "Okay, when I get done washing the dishes, I'll go to the grocery store." While you are at the market feeling the fruit, limit your brain activity to the next item on your to-do list to reduce anxiety.

4. Take a time-out :: it's all too easy most days to skip meals, forget to sit down, and not drink enough water. I definitely still struggle with this, but it's undeniable that your energy levels will benefit from some protein and your brain will function better with rest. So while taking thirty minutes to eat from a sitting position (instead of on the run) may seem impossible if you are to get everything finished before the sun goes down, you'll actually accomplish more in the long run thanks to that little break.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I Heart Hooks.

I think I'm in love with 3M hooks. They're so versatile, and I just discovered today that they come in faux nickel finishes and even in metal! Score! Now I can use them everywhere and don't have to worry about them looking tacky. They are so much easier to move around, as opposed to nails- no filling holes and repainting. I purchased a couple of plain white ones today for hanging the girls' tutus on their bedroom wall. The purple one belongs to my nineteen-month-old. She hardly wears hers. My three-year-old, however, wears hers often. Or should I say, she puts it on and rolls around the floor in it. While I'm tickled pink that she loves it so much, I think that the next time I endeavor to make a tutu, I won't be so careful and meticulous in its construction. It may be mangled, but at least it is staying together!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Friday and a Giveaway!

Just in time for Easter, Mother's Day, and Spring I'm having a giveaway over on my Facbook fan page! So hop on over there, be sure to "like" me, and leave a comment on this photo about where you'll hang her for a chance to win one of my signature hanging owl plushies in your choice of white, yellow, or green. Giveaway ends Monday (April 11th) at 10pm EST.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Owls, Circles, and Bows :: New Items in the Shop

Ever since my ear wires arrived in the mail last week, I've been having so much fun stitching up new things for the shop! I'm not quite sure which are my favorites, but one thing is for sure- they are all very lightweight and hang comfortably from surgical steel earring hooks.

The color progression earring line is by far the most flashy. Three colorful circles are suspended in a long line along the cheekbone; even with their length these pieces are sure to be the most lightweight dangles you'll ever wear. Now that my littlest one is getting bigger and doesn't tug on things quite so much, I'm sure I'll be wearing a pair often! 

Perfect for the girlie-girl types, these sweet bow earrings are small and so weightless that you'll probably forget you're even wearing anything!

Thanks so much for stopping by and taking a look! I hope you find something to love, and at the very least, something that makes you smile.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Crushing On :: DIY Lighting

I've been coming across some fantastic DIY tutorials lately. It never ceases to amaze me how people can take ordinary everyday materials and turn them into something function and beautiful. How I wish that ability would rub off on me! My hope is that if I keep immersing myself in this stuff, somehow those wildly imaginative juices will seep into my brain.

Want to make a chandelier out of wax paper, thread, and a wire lampshade? Sure! It looks lovely lit, and just as lovely when turned off. This project looks very time and labor intensive, so be sure to attempt it when you have plenty of time and patience to spare.

Need a fixture that sheds a bunch of light and has sweet cottage charm? Then this DIY lighting project is just the thing.

This doily lamp is definitely less labor intensive than the above chandelier, but it's just as romantic! If you have a large collection of doilies (as I do) then this is just perfect. 

Do you have any favorite DIY lighting tutorials to share?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Puzzles, Funny Faces, and Silly Songs.

I have three little people at home. They are all unique, with different personalities, different interests, and different struggles. As they grow and their personalities shine through stronger, it's so funny to see how they are like me (and how they are not like me, but like their Dad, or simply like themselves).

My almost-four-year-old daughter likes to build with blocks, and loves the challenge of putting puzzles together. She is very much like me in in this way, and it's fun to be able to do these things with her! She recently acquired a 100 piece lenticular puzzle- what fun we had putting that together! She's also the master of funny faces. She rarely puts on a natural smile for pictures, but instead sports a really fake looking smile or makes an altogether crazy face. This she gets from her Auntie B. 

Another trait that she inherited from dear old Mum (and Dad too) is her crazy-bizarre sense of humor. One of her favorite things to do is to make up songs. When that kid starts singing, one never knows what might come out. Some all-time favorites are, "Old MacDonald had some Pants," and, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, how I Wonder What You had for Breakfast." She recently sat at the dining room table and sang an entire rendition of "Chicken Bells." It was awesome.