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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

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Can I Get A Woot Woot?

Hurray! Whoopee! I got a message from the Gypsy Mermaid, Sarah, that my fat books pages arrived and have been sewn by her lovely hands into the books! I cannot tell you how relieved I am. (Not that the post office is off the hook mind you) Tee hee. 
I did send off a couple of packages yesterday from the trustworthy office that I do all my PO shipping from. I was telling the gentleman who works there about my dilemma and he said if I had no more answers by Monday, to see him and he would get the Postmaster involved. Thankfully that will not be necessary. But it was nice to hear. Needless to say I shipped both of these boxes with a signature required as that is the only way to really know where they have been delivered. Priority with confirmation does nothing.
So off went my give away prize to Marilyn at Our Victorian Cottage. The linked heart ankle bracelet from Lia Sophia...

My fluffy little floral cuff, modeled here for you.



It fit nicely inside an old candy box I had saved. This is not the candy company that I sent the box of sweets from however.
I forgot to take pictures of the Fawn candy that I enclosed as well. The candy shop proprietress wrapped it in sweet Valentine paper.



A gold ribbon on the bracelet box for fun.



I also had participated in a Vintage Valentine Swap at A Swap for All Seasons. My partner was Kana from Kana Creates. I took a few sneak peek photos as I want her to be surprised.



I really went over the top girly on this one. I hope she likes it!



You can never have too much sparkle, especially for holiday treats.



Have a lovely weekend, P.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

In Which Pooh Get's Organized

No more rants, just bit of sprucing up.



In my quest to get things on track here at Frippery Farmhouse, I am going to try to organize my post topics. Not that I will be posting everyday, but I am going to choose a general theme for each day. That way when I have a specific post idea I will post under the theme that fits and if I am stuck I can use the theme as a prompt. Make sense? I know some of you do this already so instead of reinventing the wheel I am going along for the ride.




I will list my themes on my sidebar and hopefully that will keep me on track. I am also wondering if my friend's list is distracting or does it make it easier to visit all of your lovely blogs to see what's up? Should I condense it further, leave it as is or put the thumbnails back? How do you get readers to scroll all the way down? I have a list of Cincinnati Bloggers at the bottom, but I never know if anyone gets that far. OK...see what I mean...I am already off topic! Back to the themes.



Here's my thought:
Monday-Made That: Self explanatory. Something I have made. May or may not include a tutorial.
Tuesday-Tidbits: Facts, figures, useful or useless hints about any old thing.
Wednesday-Wishful Thinking: What I would like to have in a perfect world. Mercenary, I know, but we all have a wish list of tangibles, right?
Thursday-Thoroughly Random: Gotta have one day as a free-for-all.
Friday-Fluff and Finery: Thrifty finds and joyful junk. I do love me some alliteration.



Are you with me so far? The weekend theme will be Rarely. I really want to have some time away from the computer. However, if the mood hits "In which Pooh Goes Blathering On and On" it may happen. Never say never.



I will be back here Monday, refreshed and with my theme list posted.

Have a heavenly weekend, P.
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Am Stark Raving Ranting Mad!

Forgive me for ranting but this is not how I wanted to spend my Wednesday.
I really do know why the US Postal Service has to keep raising stamp prices. Because they seem to be incapable of doing their job! I thought it was just my local office that delivers my mail. They actually deliver my mail, late, to my neighbors. Then I get my neighbor's mail and we just go ahead and deliver it to one another. It isn't like we live in a subdivision either. We often have to drive to do this. At one point they mis-delivered a package worth $75.00 to the wrong house and we never recovered it. They said someone probably stole it from our front porch but if you saw where we live it is extremely unlikely, especially since my hubs used to receive a few packages a day when he worked at his old job, (they were delivered by Fed Ex and UPS, BTW, not the US Postal Service) and no one bothered them and we never had a problem. They told us we had to file a police report before they could do anything. We did and they didn't. We actually reported them to the postal inspector at one point, we have never had a response back. I suppose they are still "investigating". I digress....Needless to say when I have anything to mail myself I do not go to that office.



I cheerfully took my fatbook pages to the post office I trust and sent them off priority with confirmation. Well, they never arrived. I checked online and they definitely had headed in the right direction but ended up in Florida instead of Louisiana. They made it all the way to Baton Rouge and then someone sent them to Florida? WTF!!!! I spent the day talking to recordings until I finally managed to reach a human. She took the confirmation number (which I knew by heart at this point) and said yes, her screen was showing the same thing as mine. No Really? Then she read off the address it was supposed to go too and said, "That's weird, why did it end up in Florida?" That's what I wanted to know! Now they are doing an "investigation" and will get back to me at the end of the week. I told them the deadline was past for the package to arrive at it's proper destination. She said she would make a note of it. I know it isn't her fault but sheesh, somebody is getting paid good money to be incompetent. Everyone makes mistakes occasionally and I am usually a very forgiving person but I have dealt with 17 years of crappy local service. Magazines that are shredded and arrive so late the next issue is already on the stands, everyone's mail but our own in the mailbox, and if God forbid, a package is sent through the mail, we have a mail lady who sits at the street beeping her horn rather than driving up the 200 feet to deliver it. Of course they are no longer allowed to leave a package at our address because I would rather pick it up than trust them with anything valuable. So gee, next time they complain about Fed Ex and UPS taking their business, they definitely have mine!!! After all the work and stress that went into getting them completed, I have no idea where my fat book pages are now, and the check I sent with them to cover return postage is in the package as well. Plus I never even got full photos of them because I figured I would do that when I got my fatbook. Well that ain't happening thank you USPS! On top of everything else, there were 8 other people counting on receiving those pages in their books! Arghhhh!
OK, I feel a little better.  Glad I got that off my chest, Whew. Thanks for listening and if you are a postal worker, sorry, but, I'm just sayin...

Have a postage free day, P.
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Winner Is...


Who Me? Yes it is
Marilyn at Our Victorian Cottage! She was chosen by the random number generator at random.org.



Woo Hoo, Congratulations, Felicitations, Many Happy Returns of the Day, Salute!
Marilyn, your scrumptious box of goodies will be on it's way as soon as I get your mailing address. I will send you an e-mail and you can reply with your address. I hope you will enjoy every little bit of this
Give Away prize.

For the rest, stay tuned if you would like to create your own fluffy flower cuff (or pin or necklace or sweater trim, or yada yada...)

Be back soon! P.
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Friday, January 22, 2010

300th Post Give Away!

Dum da da daa! My Post number 300 Give Away!!! Being that this is my 311th post it is well overdue. Better late than never, right?
I have chosen the Valentine's Day theme as February is fast approaching. (That means warmer weather soon!) Of course that also brings Spring rains, but hey, that means flowers too. I think I am getting ahead of myself. As well as the weather. I am sure we have at least one more snowstorm ahead. Who am I kidding, we have had snow on my birthday in mid April! I do actually love snow, it's just the grey days of winter that start getting to me about now, but I digress, back to the prizes!

The lucky give away winner will be set for Valentines Day with this cutie patootie ankle bracelet of linked hearts from Lia Sophia. Enough to make your loved one swoon, no?



Then a bit of Fluff and Finery from my own two hands. A cuff of floaty soft pink flowers to encircle your wrist. I can just see you raising your delicate hand to your forehead as you open your paramour's Valentine..."Oh Darling, you shouldn't have!"


The third bit of scrumptiousness is from a local confectionary called The Fawn. Don't you love the name?  They have been making absolutely yummy sweets in Cincinnati since 1946. I will be sharing an assortment with the winner. (Note the word "share", I may have to keep a few pieces for myself...) I am adding a link to a bit of the shop's background with a story told in the founder, Paul Guenther's, obituary. I am always interested in the history of people and places. His family still runs his business in a way that would make him proud.




























If you would like to join in a chance to win, please leave a comment, if you would like two chances please mention my giveaway in a post on your blog and leave a second comment letting me know. If you are a follower you will automatically be entered, so you have three chances to win, yippee!!! I know I have some gentlemen follower's and two of these prizes are a bit girly girl, but I am sure they know of some lovely lady who could appreciate these gifts. A friend, wife, mom, sister...plus you can keep the candy all for yourself!
I will close the Give Away at midnight on Tuesday the 26th of January and announce the winner on Wednesday. Until then I am taking some time to get some things around Frippery Farmhouse whipped into shape. Good luck and I will see you Wednesday!

Have a lovely weekend, P.

 P.S. You know I love my city so not only have I chosen a gift from a Cincinnati confectionary, I have chosen the first two songs on my playlist from Cincinnati band Over the Rhine to accompany my Give Away. Check out their website and fall in love with the music.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thanks for the Comfort

 Thank you all so much for all the sweet thoughts about Blizzard. Pets give us so much joy. We know that they will not be with us for our lifetime but we welcome them into our homes for however long they can stay. The pain of loss is definitely outweighed by the unconditional love they offer us.
This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that we suffer the loss of a pet, but I wouldn't be able to live without animals in my life. I know many of you feel exactly the same.
So thanks again for being kindred spirits in this world of joy and sorrow and laughter and beauty.




I finished my fatbook swap and sent off the pages. This one was a struggle. My sewing machine seems to be on it's last leg and then my printer stopped working completely. Epson Artisan 800, not even a year old. Does anyone else have one? It is supposed to be great for artists. We have had nothing but trouble with it and very little response from customer service. ARGH! Excuse me for grumbling, it has been an especially bad week.



Here's to warmer weather and sunny days, less stress and more fun, art for art sake and doing things just because we feel like doing them. Are you with me?

Give away starts Friday and lasts through Wednesday. A little somethin' pretty for the romance month and beyond. Photo's on Friday.

Have a better day than the one before, P.
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Goodbyes Are Hard

We had our dear 17 year old cat, Blizzard, put down this morning. She was just suffering too much. I had hoped she would pass on her own this weekend, but it just didn't happen. She came to us the winter we built our house, during a snowstorm. She was looking into our family room from the deck. My husband brought her in and she stayed.



Good-bye Blizz, you old cookie thief and video game companion. Terror of the kitty and dog world and snuggler  to the rest of us.



There is an empty space here now. We will miss you.

No more words, P.
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Enchanted Revelry Give Away

If you do not visit Tristan at Enchanted Revelry you are really missing out on some fun. Fantastic images and wonderful art pieces as well as a genuinely witty and all around nice guy.
He is having a fabulous Give Away, and although I really want to win I will share the opportunity for a chance at winning with you as well.
He is giving away a stash of wonderful art supplies. You won't believe the generosity. (Unless you know Tristan of course).
In honor of Tristan and his wonderful eye candy, over the top images,  I am posting a few photos I took while visiting the Marilyn Minter photography installation at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center. The Exhibit is called Chewing Color.


I just thought Tristan might like these gorgeous images! Bright and sparkling, just like his personality.               Wonderful, right? If you are in the area, this is a must see.



If you have never visited Enchanted Revelry you should do that... now... are you still here?

Have a colorful Sunday, Pam
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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Our New Life

 The change in income we have experienced here at Frippery farmhouse has kept me at home much more. Reinventing, planning, thinking. I have been staying in and being a home body. It is good.



More time for making and rearranging while I plan my future in our new world. I am trying to build new ways to fund the things I love to do, creating art and hunting for vintage pieces to repurpose. Combining all of these into a way of life would be my dream.

So I am tweaking, and thinking.



Making the winter days a bit brighter. Using some Goodwill goods to revamp the mantle for winter. My $2.00 deer takes center stage beneath my book page wreath. Old books and thrifted silver plate add to the sparkle. Some Goodwill glass turned into cloches. A crafted paper garland pretty much says it all. Take what you have on hand and make it work for you.



I revel in reading your stories and knowing I am not alone in the need to create a new and different way of life. Many have had drastic changes in circumstance. Others are just trying to make do with less and have a softer impact on this world. It seems we are experiencing a change in the way we look at things.



To some of us a slightly harsh wake up call, but a wake up call none the less. Lives can change in a day. When you do not have to think twice about wanting something you see and getting it, your vision can be clouded. Do I need this or just want it? There is nothing wrong with treating yourself when you are able to. I am just in a place where I now have to think before any purchase and purchase only what is necessary. I know that I have been blessed more than most in my life. I look around and see all that I already have and know that I have enough. More than enough.



Now I can play, and arrange and rethink and enjoy my riches and be inspired by the way you live as well.



Thank you all for sharing the ways you make daily life richer.

Have a dreamy day, P.


P.S. I am linking this post to The Stories of A to Z's Mantle party as well as Finding Fabulous' Frugalicious Friday.
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Blatant Self Promotion Warning!

  I am adding a link to my Lia Sophia business on my side bar featuring my crush of the week from my catalog. Lia Sophia ALWAYS runs a monthly sale. This month is buy one piece and get two at half price. The best part is that the most expensive pieces are your half price pieces! A savvy shopper can pay less for 3 pieces than the price of the original!



This piece is the Kiam Family Signature Crystal Necklace. Small amber crystals in bezels are placed between the links for extra sparkle. As always, there is a lifetime warranty on all of our pieces. Not lifetime as in a few years but your lifetime. No worries, right?



I wear this everywhere, dressed up or down. It is really versatile. Matter of fact, Courtney Cox wore this piece on an episode of Cougar Town. I hadn't seen the show but had to tune in when I heard that.
There is a link to the catalog and my website on my side bar. If you happen to be looking for a little bling or a gift for someone special, take a peak.



I am sure you will find something you like.
Hopefully you won't mind if I point out a piece each week that I am loving? Just check my side bar for my latest crush.
Thanks for indulging me. Stayed tuned for my give away, just waiting for Miss Jodie to return from her cruise. Hate her! Not really, just jealous. Love you Jodie!

Have a well accessorized day, P.
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Shiny Things



Have a sparkling...



                and colorful day, P.
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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Fluffy Things



  Cold and fluffy.






Warm and fluffy.









( Except for the nose. )

Stay warm today, P.
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Friday, January 8, 2010

What Light Through Yonder Window Breaks?

 No, not a snow alien...



Just our dear neighbor plowing our driveway. For the 17 winters we have lived here our next door neighbor has plowed our driveway every time it snows. Without our asking, without expecting anything in return. Just because we have good neighbors. Thanks Gary!



It helps having a paving contractor next door. He has lots of big toys! Tee hee.




I have been taking down the Christmas dec but wasn't ready to part with the lights on the deck. I am glad I left them, they look so lovely in the snow.

Still on blog break, ha ha.

I will be posting about my giveaway sometime next week but it will be open 'til Jodie gets back... just 'cause I am so nice.

Have an enlightening day, P.
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

I Am Not One of THOSE People...Really

When there is a forecast of snow the local weather people whip themselves into a frenzy of dire warnings about road conditions, school closings, etc., ad infinitum. They have people stationed all around the area with snow gear, and cameras just waiting for the first flake.
I love a good snowstorm and am fairly certain that we will not be snowbound until spring or starve to death in the course of a day.




However, last evening I realized we were out of dog food. So this morning found me wandering the aisles of the local grocers for kibble. I could not resist a few photos of the empty shelves.



I do understand elderly people may not be able to get out in the weather and may get a bit panicked by the news casts, but seriously! It looks like we are preparing for Armageddon.
Now I have become one of THEM, lurking in the grocery before the sun has risen. Of course I have to feed the dogs. If we were to be snowed in I wouldn't want them looking at me as a possible snack!
 Hope you are staying cozy and warm. I am still taking a break, just checking in.

Hope your day is full of winter wonder, P.
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

View From My Desk





Back soon. P.
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Perfect New Year's Wish

Beautiful words to start the year from author Neil Gaiman.





"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.





...I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind. "  

Neil Gaiman






What else could anyone possibly say?

Have a lovely beginning to a fruitful New Year, P.

P.S. This is post 300! I will be taking a few days to get my New Year off to a good start. When I come back there will be a celebratory give away. See you then.
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Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Years Promise.



A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.
Edgar Guest


Hope you all had a cheerful New Years Eve.
We certainly did. My husband's dear sis and her family visited from Chicago and we rang in the New Year with our second annual P.J. party surrounded by close friends and family.
We took a walk on New Years day to get some fresh air and revel in the chilly afternoon sunlight.



The stark winter landscape is lovely. The sunlight crisp on the naked branches.



Even in the cold winter light the promise of spring can be found.



Promise.



Have a jubilant day, P



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