Living Graciously, Artfully, Frugally.

Consciously taking notice of the gifts each day places in our path.

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” R. W. Emerson

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Parcels Full of Cheer.

Hi all. Things are almost back to normal so I thought a short post was in order as my mailbox has been overflowing with goodness lately.
If you have not visited Mindy at Primitiques N Poetry, she has been having online sales of all sorts of fab vintage goodies. I purchased a paint set, box of French thread and a cute little ceramic and wire ashtray all in shades of robin's egg blue. I collect old art supplies and figurines of artists and the paint set will be added to that collection. (or I may leave it on the mantle as I am loving the yellow, red and blue combo for Spring and Summer) The thread will go on top of a shelf in my laundry room with another collection of sewing and laundry items and the little ashtray will likely hold coins or keys or buttons or maybe a candle, or...well I just love the color.! Thanks Mindy.Then I was lucky enough to win beautiful Debbie's giveaway at Talking Trash. It was a wonderful necklace of vintage pretties from none other than Lauri of 2 Chippy's fame. It came in the cutest little box with a button and ribbon and a sweet hand made card. What fun.
Look at all the charming danglies. It came in time for my Mardi Gras dinner so I wore it that evening. Everyone just loved it.
These necklaces were featured in Porch magazine, one was even on the cover! I am one lucky girl. If you haven't seen Porch you need too. Eye candy galore.
As if that all wasn't enough. Lovely Kim of Daisy Cottage and sweet little Maggie, her pup, chose my name for Maggie's birthday give away. I opened this wonderful box of treasures and felt that a part of charming Daisy Cottage had come to my home.
The card enclosed has a drawing of cutie pie Maggie on the front! There was a vintage birthday card, a box of notecards with a lab pictured on the front, two sweet doggie figurines, a red heart pin, two flower clips for my "girls" to wear, a copy of Lassie come home, a cheerful red frame and the sweetest little blue dog sweater ever.
I feel I have hit the jackpot this month. You are all such terrific people with wonderful souls out in Blogland. It truly is a magical place. I will post where each and every little goody ends up in my home, I have got some plans I tell ya. I already know those sweet little doggies will be in good company here...
with my little collection. Good dogs, stay!

Have a Thursday filled with treasures, P.
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Prayers for Debbie

I had to post a few prayer requests.
Please pray for Debbie at Talking Trash and her daughter and grandchild to be. They are having some complications. Send a little love her way.
Cody and family are also in desperate need of prayers. Let them know they are not alone at this difficult time.
Be back soon, P.
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Pause

I am taking a short break from the blog for personal reasons. (My family and I are fine so don't worry) Just something I choose not to share, I will see you all next week. Thanks for being out there in blogland. P.
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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Proud Parents and a Quirky Meme

We went here last week. Downtown Covington, Ky. (or as we call it Covingtucky) You know I have a fascination with old buildings and decorative architecture.
We parked the car and walked here.
To the MarX Gallery where my daughter's Senior portfolio is on display because it was nominated by this organization.
The Scholastic Art Awards. She has won something for the past three years and now her portfolio is nominated and will be sent to New York for judging nationally.
Even if it goes no further in the national competition this is quite an honor.
She was very excited when she found out the news.
There are so many amazing young artists , it is wonderful that organizations like this one are promoting their talent.
She also received a scholarship from the Art Academy of Cincinnati because of this, which was a boost to her ego although she has already notified the University of Cincinnati that she will be attending there. She was accepted into the School of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning at U.C.
What a great beginning for a professional life doing what you love.
Congratulations Sadie, we are so proud of you.

Now on to my next subject. The Quirky Loon tagged me for a quirky meme. Since she was lacking in the meme request department she memed herself. Her post on this meme is wonderful and... dare I say quirky? So now to my dismay, I am answering a meme...

1. If your house was on fire and you could grab only three things before you leave, what would they be?
-Since my glue guns probably started the fire I would have to say any craft supplies I could stuff down my pants since they would be nearby.
-My dog whistle so I could be sure the "girls" were right behind me.
-My drivers license so I could prove I was the home owner and not an arsonist.

2. Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets?
Have you met my next door neighbors?

3. Do you believe in ghosts?
Yes, I see the ghost of my 20 something size 5 self in the mirror all the time.

4.What do you value most in life?
The perfect shade of lip gloss. Pink, but not too, with a touch of shimmer, but not too. I mean really, what else is there?

5. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime, and why?
Please refer back to question 4.

6. What do you think the secret to a good life is?
Having a housekeeper, a driver and a gardener.

7.What would be your dream job?
Being Martha Stewart with out that pesky prison record.

8.If you could have three wishes granted what would they be?
A housekeeper, a driver and a gardener.

9.If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?
Your Name, then whenever I filled out a form that asks "insert your name here", I would save on ink and energy because the work would already be done. I'm all about less work.

In the interest of less work you may either tag yourself with this meme...or not. If you do, give a bit of linky love to the Quirky One for forging the self meme trail.

Have a self satisfied Saturday, P.
Again with the alliteration, someone Please slap me.
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Clay Cooking on Foodie Friday

I am participating in Gollum's Foodie Friday today. I don't have a fabulous recipe or gorgeous table scape, just a lowly earthenware cooker. Do any of you own a Schlemmertopf? We received this several years ago as a gift from Hubby's sister and her family. It is wonderful. The Schlemmertopf is the only German made clay cooker sold on the American market. Germany is the original home of earthenware cooking and apparently the only source for special clay to create an authentic clay cooker.
I love this little piece of cookware magic. You soak it in water before cooking and it keeps whatever you make amazingly juicy as well as cooking it more quickly. They can be purchased on line as well as many department and specialty stores, but I have also read of many shoppers finding them at garage sales. (Who ever was selling them must not have used it first because they would never part with it afterward.)

I often use mine to roast chicken which comes out golden brown and falling off the bone.However, This time I decided to stuff my chicken and use the Schlemmertopf. Oops, mistake. The chicken was delish...but the stuffing was a soggy mush. I forgot how much delicious broth is created inside the cooker. Yummy, but not conducive to fluffy stuffing. Stove Top next time!
I can smell the goodness when I lift the lid. Served on my favorite set of Johnson Brothers Olde English Countryside dishes, it was a tasty, warm meal on a cold winter evening.
I am hosting our dinner club this evening with a Mardi Gras Theme. I am really having fun with my table scape. This is my first attempt at gumbo. I'll let you know how everything goes. Meantime visit all the Foodie Friday participants for all kinds of yummy ideas.

Have a fulfilled Friday, P.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spring, Please Hurry!

I have spring fever BAD!!! Thanks to Donna O'Brien of the Ribboned Crown. She posted a few photos of her porch last summer and if you have never visited , her garden is an absolutely magical place. (along with her home and the beautiful pieces she creates) So I am literally parched for spring after seeing these pictures. Then Kim of Daisy Cottage came to the rescue. I know you are all familiar with her beautiful, colorful and cheerful home. Now I know I have been spouting off about being true to yourself and not following "decorating rules" but I have a confession. I used to love faux flowers. Not as much as real ones which I do buy every week in the winter, but they sure are a time saver and they never wilt (right before the doorbell rings and guests are arriving). But after reading all the no no never's about having fakes in your home I got rid of all of mine. So much for following your heart. Well, Kim's post woke me up to being duped out of doing what I enjoy. If you like a few faux bouquets hear and there, go for it. She has Daisy Cottage looking like spring has sprung and there isn't a bit of "tacky" in the whole place. Just a beautiful happy environment to enjoy. So I headed out to my local warehouse of silks and picked up a few new ones. I haven't gotten around to arranging them but I'll post a few photos when I do.

So all this blabbing leads to this...I had a few pieces of this and that sitting around and I decided to make a faux terrarium. I do love real ones but if you don't remove the lid they get all foggy and then the glass gets spotty and...well, they just don't look perfect on the day you are having guests. By all means try a real one but for a quick fix this is pretty cute. I had a glass lidded jar from a clearance sale that I hadn't filled yet, a bag of small stones and a bag of assorted moss, (all can be found at the local craft emporium or discount store) and a fairly nice looking faux fern frond. Try saying that 3 times fast.
Place about a 1/2 inch layer of rocks on the bottom of the jar. Pull a few small pieces from the frond to fit in the jar standing up and "plant" them in the rocks.
Play around until you like the placement.
Pick out a few types of moss that you like.
Place bits of moss around the fern to resemble a forest floor. Plop the lid on and you are fini'. I'm sure I have seen this done before but I can't remember where off the top of my head.
It may not fool a botanist but who is going to get that close? Tuck these in with a few houseplants and you will feel like spring inside even when the snow is blowing outside.
I am going to hunt down my wire cutters and get to work on my fake bouquets. Can you see me thumbing my nose at the purists?

Have a bountiful Wednesday, P.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Fabulous French Named Friend

My son just walked in with the mail. Surprise! I have a package from my Silver Bella soul sister, Jodie LeJeune. Isn't that the prettiest name? It rolls off the tongue like Bon Temps, which is what I had in Omaha with Jodie, making art and shopping for vintage ephemera. Jodie recently had a give away on her blog Everything Vintage. Being the gracious southern girl she is, EVERYONE who commented got a little something even if they didn't win the big prize.This little trinket was almost too charming to unwrap, encased in a paper doily with a satin seam binding bow.
It almost hurt to untie the pretty package. The notecard was a sweet little square monogrammed with my first initial.
It was worth waiting for...a beautiful hand made bookmark, beaded and collaged by Jodie. The little clip at the end slips over your page to mark your place. What a talented lady. I am so lucky to have met her and to be able to call her friend. Stop by and give her a compliment...better yet urge her to start selling her goodies. I need some cute gifts!

Have a terrifically talented Tuesday, P.
P.S. Somehow I have gotten hooked on alliteration lately. Just slap me if I get carried away.
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Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday is Here and So Am I

I am back and it has been an eventful weekend. First , HRH Debbie's Valentine To Do was Fab U Lous and I won the give away! Yippee! A 2 Chippys necklace that will make me the envy of all whenever I wear it. Then I was contacted by sweet Kim of Daisy Cottage and I won her give away for sweet little Maggie the daschund's birthday. It is a lovely doggie themed give away with treats for me and my girls. I will definitely be posting all my goodies when they arrive. I probably should have bought a lottery ticket as well, who knew?
I accomplished a few items on my make over and to do list but nothing is near completion so I have no photos. We removed the awful carpet from Hubby's old office, soon to be his office again. We moved him to a large room on the first floor which was originally the living room. With dogs barking, people talking and the occasional running of the vacuum, it was not working out so well. So he is going back upstairs. First we have to entirely gut the room which I had hoped to make into a guest room but instead it turned into one big storage room. Does anyone else have this problem? I am shooting for 2 weeks at the maximum to have this room complete.
I also have no craft pictures as I have totally slacked on my journal commitment. I am promising myself a day in the art room this week as I also have an Easter egg swap to complete. How do you girls who join multiple swaps ever get them all finished?
I have made some progress on the treadmill. I have managed an hour of run/walk most days by not allowing myself to read unless I am on the treadmill. It is amazing how that little incentive works. So hopefully I will be ready for this... I have until October 30th to be ready for this fun run 5K. My son wants me to be ready to RUN the entire thing. They have a cute little count down on the site with how many days, hours minutes and seconds there are left until the run. Click on the logo for a link. It does help keep me motivated.
Later in the year I may take suggestions on my costume as this is a Halloween event run through a graveyard with a big party afterward.
Since I have been lax in the makeover department I thought I would post a little link to I have been reading about this fun free photo editing site on many of your blogs so I had to check it out. I haven't gotten too far into it but I did play a bit with one of my Fountain Square photos from downtown Cincinnati. Below is the Genius of Water as I photographed her this summer.
By adding a "60's" option and a museum matte option plus some text I got this...
A fun little vintage look I may print into note cards. This took maybe 10 minutes. It is really fun to play with if you have a few minutes to spare.
I want to say thanks again to TNT, the Chippys, and Kim and Maggie for their thoughtful generosity and how much fun and pleasure they bring to my day when I visit their blogs. Stop over and say "Hello" for me.

Have a marvelous Monday, P.
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Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentines Day, See You at Debbies

I got a little splainin' to do. I thought Debs big day was tomorrow and I almost missed the party. Par for Friday the 13th. Line me up some dirty martinis Honey, I'm on my way. (Please excuse the fact that I wrote this post for Saturday)
Happy Valentines Day!I know I was going to hibernate until Monday. but, as most of you know, EVERYONE who is ANYONE will be at TNT's for the party of the year (or at least of February, or this week) and they will be dressed to the nines for a chance to win her "Fab-U-Lous" give away.
So, Darlings, I just had to come out of hiding for this fete. I hope you will be joining in as well.
Since Valentines Day comes but once a year I thought I would make a day of it. For luncheon I have chosen this red rose bedecked garden frock. Champagne cocktails anyone?
It is February so if there is a nip in the air I will cover up with a sweet little ivory cashmere cardigan.
The sequined details are to die for.
Of course no lady would be caught at luncheon with a bare head, although I seem to have misplaced my gloves.
Then, after several champagne cocktails and some chocolate dipped strawberries it is on to the main event. The party at TNT's! I have chosen a lady like little two piece number in champagne lace with a sweet satin bow. Not too low cut please, a lady must retain her dignity.
I do believe the saying is that a man wants a lady in public and a ... well...something a bit private, right? So after a bit of dancing and a few Cosmos or maybe Debbie's dirty martinis (I hear she makes a mean one)...
I will have to bid you all good night. After all, a girls gotta do something for her Valentines goodies. What would you do for a few dozen roses?
Better yet, what wouldn't you do for a 2 Chippy's necklace?

Enjoy the party and I hope your Valentines Day is filled with love...and a trinket or two.

Have a red hot Saturday, P.

P.S. All clothing was once worn by my lovely mother Helen and later by myself in the early years of my marriage and young motherhood. Maybe I will wear them again...(if I can keep my paws off the chocolate strawberries)
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We're Talking White Trash!

The Valentine Party of the Century is going on at Talking White Trash tomorrow.Her Royal Highness, the beautiful TNT is hosting a give away party for her 100th post. Be there or be NOWHERE.

See you tomorrow and as Debbie would say...

Have a "Fab-U-Lous" Friday, Pam
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Monday, February 9, 2009

Make Over Monday Guilt

OK I know I said I was taking a week off to get things done...but I realized this is the second Monday in a row I didn't do anything about my brilliant make over Monday plan. Of course I am 3 weeks behind on my 52Q Challenge and trying to lose weight on my own isn't going as scheduled, so I plan on taking action this week. Meantime, I will leave you with some pictures of the book I sent out to Lady Jane as the winner of my 100th post contest in January. PS Say a prayer for her and her Mom as she is very caught up right now in caring for her.
Before the photos I must say Thank You to a dear Best Blogging Friend I met at Silver Bella last year. Jodie of Everything Vintage gave away a beautiful box of vintage goodness for her 100th post contest. Alas, I was not the winner but generous southern lady that she is, she is sending EVERYONE that commented a little "sumthin sumthin" just for commenting! She is as sweet and fun in person as she is on her blog. Go visit if you haven't already.
I made this little book for ephemera and ideas as my 100th post give away. I love making these so much,getting to play with all the old and new bits and pieces that go into each one. Some day I will make one to keep as I have a hard time saying good-bye to them. The two ladies on the front are my grandma Florence and her sister Clara, I am assuming they are dressed for Halloween. Enjoy my little book and the lovely shadows cast by the January sun through the window.

I hope you all have a beautiful and productive week. (It is going to be in the 60's here, the snow has already melted and I am ready for spring, although it will probably drop back down and we can't rule out more snow before that happens. This is Cincinnati after all.) I will see you next Monday.

Have a momentous Monday, P.
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