Thursday, December 31, 2009


I am leaving 2009 in the same general mode that it has been in the entire 12 months: RUSHED.

I wish I had more time for a better post, but I don't. So Happy New Year to you all. Hopefully I will see you in 2010. And I hope that it turns out to be a great year.

Photo of the hottie in a collar and mohawk is from Plush Palate. (from Vogue)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hello again.

Does Christmas even feel like Christmas to you anymore? It doesn't to me. I'm not saying that I don't enjoy it, but it somehow just doesn't feel as special as it once did. Now that it's over, I am craving cleanliness and order. A good workout and plenty of water and veggies. A renewed spirit and a clear mind. And I have to say, even though its a long way off, I am craving the sweet smell of spring.

My head is full of ideas right now. Ideas for paintings and drawings. Colors and shapes and pretty things. Sometimes I am inspired to make "things": jewelry, clothes, purses. But other times, like now, I am inspired to make art. I am really wanting to spend some quality time with my paints and brushes and pencils. I have my fingers crossed that I actually make the time to let this creativity come to fruition. I haven't been too good at that in the past year. It's too easy to let other things take over and let the creativity be stifled. Hopefully 2010 will be different.

I don't make New Year's resolutions. I think they aren't very realistic and they sort of set us up for failure. But I do have hopes and ideas for the new year. What are your hopes for 2010? Care to share? Saipua got a jump start on their new year with a new website. That's where I found the amazing photo above. I think it's just the breath of fresh air I have been craving. Those colors are perfection and the feel of the photo is exactly the feel of the images floating through my mind. Nothing like a few posies to brighten a Monday.

Have a great week, lovelies. I will try my best to stay present, but please forgive me if work wins out for the next few weeks. The body shop business is booming, to say the least.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Boy. I feel like I have been out of the loop for a while. Last Friday brought a huge snow here in the mountains of North Carolina. Today is the first time that I have been able to get to a computer. Yes. One of these days I will get internet at my house so I won't have these problems.

To be honest, I like being snowed in. I like knowing that I don't have to go anywhere or do anything in particular. I like being home all day. I like seeing what my house looks like in the morning sunshine.

I still haven't wrapped all my Christmas presents. I haven't really even finished getting presents. They may just have to wait for the New Year! I did make sugar cookies. They were as good as I hoped they would be. And now I have the ingredients to make gingerbread cookies, too. I hiked all over the mountain in my new snow boots. Threw some snowballs. Watched movies. Cleaned house. It has been quite enjoyable being snowed in.

Now I'm off to get my house cleaned up and get ready to go to a friends house for dinner. I probably won't be back around for a few days. So, from the bottom of my heart, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas. I hope it is magical and peaceful and that you enjoy every minute of it. Reading your blogs and your comments are like getting a Christmas present every single day of the year. Thank you. God bless you.

With Love ~Jo~

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cookie Monster

I am so terribly boring lately. No big, fancy, amazing piles of inspiration for you. No deep and thought provoking words. Nothing. I'm pretty useless.
I keep wanting to tell you it's cold here, but "uh. yeah. duh." it's pretty much cold everywhere but Australia right now. What have I been doing? Sitting on couches watching football, watching The Taking of Pelham 123, watching The Hangover. Reading magazines. Looking for Christmas gifts for people that I dearly love, but can't seem to find good gifts for. Cleaning house. Daydreaming. Drawing a bit.
But you know what I really want to do right now? I want to make sugar cookies. Okey, wait. I really want to eat sugar cookies that I made. But I don't really want to make them. I would rather take a good, long nap and wake up to a pile of fresh, warm, sprinkle covered sugar cookies that I made, but didn't really have to make. I'm crazy. I know this. But seriously, I just don't like eating sugar cookies that someone else made. And I really want some sugar cookies. But I really don't want to have to make them.
The more I think about it, I should just take a nap. I have another hour and a half before I can go home, I have no idea what I am going to do for supper, I am craving sugar cookies like a maniac, and I really feel that the greater good of the household hinges upon me taking a nap this evening. Thank the good Lord above that I am off work next week. Hallelujah!
*the cookies above are from Cakebox Cookies. They look pretty darn yummy. You should order some and then tell me if they were better than the ones you make at home. Just sayin.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hello Monday.

You know how sometimes we run across something that makes us go "Wow"? Well, that is exactly what happened when my mom asked me if I had seen the tree in the window of the new antique store in town. As we drove by and she pointed it out, my eyes got big and my mouth dropped open. Wow! So..... Friday afternoon, I decided that I just had to have a picture of this tree to share with you. Upon closer inspection, I found out that the tree is not just covered in strands of pearls. It is covered in antique pearl costume necklaces! Piles and piles of necklaces! Isn't it stunning?

I am, honestly, not very interested in antiques for the most part. But this new store was filled with case after case of antique jewelry. Real and costume. I ended up staying there much longer than I had planned. I even picked up a few pieces that I hope to work into some jewelry for my shop. Now if I could only get enough pearls to cover my Christmas tree!

In it to win it.

Have you been to the Bright Side yet? If you haven't, you really should. The Ambassadors of Sunshine give something away every single day!

In order to help my mom enter for one of the prizes, I am posting a pic of her latest project. This is an egg gathering apron and a chicken purse that she made for one of my little cousins for Christmas. There is no question where my crafty gene comes from! Some of my little cousins have started raising chickens. They love it. They get so excited every time one lays an egg. Leave it to mom to come up with an apron just for gathering eggs. The front pocket has separate compartments to hold a single egg each.

So there you go. Good luck to mom. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mark it down.

Here we are, at the end of another year. Time to make resolutions. Time to clean out and start over. Time to buy calendars! I am quite fond of having a big wall calendar for keeping track of appointments and important dates. But what better way to brighten your year and remind you of what day it is than a little desk calendar from Etsy? There are tons of choices. Just search calendars and you will get some 200 pages of results! Here are a few of my favorites.
This one happens to be at the top of my list, both literally and figuratively. The magical world of The Nebulous Kingdom makes me smile. Such sweet, fantasy-like images. And the colors break my heart.

This gorgeous Parisian photography comes from Little Brown Pen. How pretty would this be sitting on a kitchen counter? The gelato shot? Yes, please.

It doesn't matter how old you are, or how tough you try to act, you cannot deny that joo joo has the goods to make you smile. And once used, these little prints would look so cute framed in a child's room. Okay, or yours. I won't tell anyone.

Leah Duncan has a very interesting style of artwork. Like a folksy, Aztec, tribal, block print batik. Lovely, muted colors and adorable animal kingdom characters make this calendar fit in just about anywhere.

Finally, if you have not seen the beautiful illustrations from Immortal Longings, you are in for a treat. Each print is a still from one of Shakespeare's plays. If you aren't into Shakespeare, don't worry. These art nouveau style depictions are breathtaking regardless.
I hope you have a great weekend. If you get a chance, please visit some of the shops above. They are all very talented artists. These desk calendars are a great, affordable way to sneak some new art into your home.
Luv ~Jo~

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thank You, Harper's Bazaar

After refusing to renew my subscription to Vogue, I decided to fill it's spot in my monthly lineup with an old friend of mine, Harper's Bazaar. I subscribed to Bazaar for years. Loved it dearly. But then, along with a new editor, the magazine got a new look. A look that I didn't particularly like. So I let my subscription run out.

But this past year, Harper's Bazaar has been grabbing my attention from the magazine stand almost every month. Stunning covers. Beautiful editorials (in a land of ever increasing unflattering, ugly, dark editorials). It has been looking fresher and cleaner than ever. I have grown quite smitten with the new look and easily made the decision to add my name to the list of subscribers once again.

So imagine my delight when I opened my mailbox yesterday and found the colorful glossy cover above staring back at me. Thrilled beyond words. Good decision. Good decision, indeed. I do believe that this is THE most gorgeous magazine cover that I have EVER seen. Truly, I do. And I am so excited to see what the coming year will bring to my mailbox.

Thank you, Harper's Bazaar, for being the bright spot in the American fashion magazine world. It's so nice to have you back.

*photo from the Bazaar website.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I have been dreaming of this place ever since I spotted it on the Dress Design Decor blog yesterday. I fell asleep last night imagining that I was curled up there, all cozy and quiet, with a heavy blanket and peaceful thoughts.

Monday, December 7, 2009

medicate me

I have decided that I have Housecleaning A.D.D.. I know that I am not the only one who suffers from this condition. My grandmother has it, too.

I can start washing dishes, walk away to go put in a load of laundry and thirty minutes later remember that I have a sink of dishwater that is probably cold. It seems that the very reason that I cannot keep my house as clean as I would like is because I cannot stay on task. It's ridiculous. I have been known to start cleaning the bathroom and end up cleaning out closets, without finishing either! How does this happen?

Plus, for some reason, my brain is way more occupied with the "deep" cleaning of things than it is with the surface stuff. So I end up deciding that it isn't worth "picking up" here and there without doing a complete overhaul. What is my issue?

And now I am going to tell you a little story about Christmas trees.......

They are a pain in the ass. God forgive me. I love celebrating the birth of my Lord Jesus Christ. But why on earth can't we come up with something simpler than hauling in and setting up a seven foot tree in the midst of our homes, fluffing it to perfection and then trying to hang some doodad on every other limb? Why? And for anyone out there debating whether a real or an artificial Christmas tree is best, give it up. They are equals. Their pros and cons all balance out in the end. The idea of a romantic, sparkling, magical Christmas tree is only a reality when you can hire someone else to do all the work for you.

The End.

*sorry if I crushed your elf like spirit. please don't hate me.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I have the prettiest Christmas pics from magazines that I want to show you, but I can't find a scanner anywhere that works.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

~*~*~*~have you heard~*~*~*~

Godiva now has baked goods. Yeah, I know. Shoot me now, right? Better ask for a treadmill for Christmas. ;)
*go to Godiva

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Keep on keepin' on.

* by vol25

I will be grateful for this day. Even when I have to suck it up to get through it. Even when things go from bad to worse. Even when it seems impossible to be grateful.

It is supposed to be the season of magic. Brotherly love and good cheer all around. Laughter and music. Peace and goodwill. But it's not always.

Christmas will be here soon. And deep down in the bottom of my soul, what I really want this season is contentment. Not just for me, but for my family and friends, too. I'm not only talking about physical contentment; being happy with what we have. I also want to be content with myself, my relationships, and my own efforts. Am I doing enough to make my life a positive one? I want to know that even when things around me are faltering and everyone is confused and unsure, that I am fully content with what I stand for and believe. I want be able to look chaos in the face and rest assured that I am doing what I can to preserve my self. My morals. My faith. Other people can have a way of making you feel like you are crazy. I want to be able to distance myself from the crazy and see things for what they really are, even if it sometimes means that I have to give something up.

Life is constantly changing. We just have to keep on keeping on. This month, in the midst of the hustle and headaches, I hope we can all stand back for a moment and find the peace within ourselves. And be truly content with what is deep inside our hearts.

*I apologize if you spaced out half way through that rambling. One of those moments where putting my thoughts into words was not that easy.