Thursday, April 30, 2009


Working here at the shop, we are always seeing the latest and greatest in packaging material. Car parts come packaged in a grand array of interesting things. I actually use packaging material for making my patterns. Bumpers, headlamps and some mirrors come wrapped in a thin cloth-like material that is perfect for working patterns out with. I figure its better than thrashing it. I gather bubble wrap like crazy to re-use in my own shipping. We even see mirrors packaged in felt bags. But this one (above) is new to us. And pretty darn cool. They're called Expandos and they are little triangles of recyclable cardboard. How neat.

Yes, maybe I have hit a creativity roadblock. Or maybe I just wanted to show you these cool packing peanut replacements. Whatever. Rock on, baby dolls. Rock on.

More questions.

Still coming up with questions for you.

* Can someone explain to me how on earth to make a photo collage for my blog? Everyone else seems to be capable of putting pics together side by side and such. I am so computer illiterate.

* Do any of you want to admit to coloring your hair? I'm kinda freakin out. I'm only 28 and my head is rapidly spurting out grey hairs. My hair has never been colored (or permed, even though I grew up in the 80s). Do you color yours? What's your take on this?

come forth with words.

I haven't seen many comments here lately. So, in an effort to get some conversation, I'm gonna ask a few questions. Come on. Play along.

#1. Got any advice on loading a dishwasher? I'm not kidding. The house we moved into has one and it is the first time EVER that I have used one. Every time I load the thing I think "I know I'm doing something wrong, here."

#2. What do you insist on taking with you to the beach? I'm headed that way in two weeks. Can't wait. Trying to get my stuff together already.

#3. I am determined to clean up my Etsy shop within the next two months. All new pics. Several new posts. A new banner and avatar. A whole shop makeover. But I'm wondering if maybe I should open another shop and list my fashion and my art stuff separate. Do you think its better to have two Etsy shops when selling such a random mix of items? Do you think it will help to separate them out into home and fashion?

I'm counting on you to give me some feedback. Let's hear it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Weekly Ring Envy.

I have been staring at all the new buds and tender leaves on the trees outside. They flitter in the breeze, filtering the sunlight. Against the sky, they look like delicate lace. Interestingly enough, this is making me feel quite feminine. There is just something about the delicate nature of spring that makes me feel all girly and sweet.
These rings reflect that feeling perfectly. I wish the top picture were larger so you could see the pretty green color. How darling are these? They look so fresh. So unapologetically feminine. And better still, they are on sale right now! Check out bcm999 on Etsy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Breathe In.....Breathe Out

I was flipping through my new Pottery Barn catalog the other day, when I came across this picture. I found myself lost in it, just staring, unable to turn the page. I wanted to walk outside and be there. Right there, on that swing, breathing in the warm summer air. I'm tellin' ya. Those Pottery Barn folks sure know how to use lighting to their favor. I wanted to share this feeling with you, so I went online to find the picture. While there, I ran across this photo. What gorgeous evening light. Perfect place to sit with a magazine and a glass of tea.

I am a porch and patio kind of girl. I love to sit outside to relax. These beautiful clean colors and stripes ( I love stripes!) are right up my alley. What is your idea of a "relaxing place"? Do you like porches, too? Maybe gardens or open breezy living rooms?

From the heart.

These adorable heart shaped cups are the cutest gift idea. They would be perfect for Mother's Day. Or for a friend on any day. You can find them here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday at last.

Its so nice outside right now. I can't wait to leave work so I can soak up some of this weather. I hope you all have a great weekend. I hope its restful and beautiful. This photo evokes the very feeling that I am yearning for. Laid back. Peaceful. Lovely. I have no idea where I got this pic. I love it and have held on to it for some time. Let me know if you know where it came from so I can give someone props.

Love Jo

Reading Material

I just have to share with you my favorite source of reading material. Whenever I need a laugh. Whenever I need some quick wit. Whenever I want to hear some cool stories. I click on over to Dirty Sanchez soap shop on Etsy. Yep. You heard that right. A soap shop. I make my way over there quite often to see if she has listed any new items that I haven't read the descriptions for. I'm not joking, girls. I am for real. She is crazy amounts of funny. Slightly crude. Deliciously sharp.

I am a little ashamed to admit that I haven't actually bought any of her cool looking soap. Maybe some day soon I will. But if I'm going on description, I'm gonna have a hard time deciding which one to buy! You gotta check her out.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Did you know?

Apparently, dying is bad for the environment. Every year in the US, approx. 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid (containing formaldehyde, methanol and ethanol) goes into our soil. So, you say, how about cremation? That pumps dioxins, hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide into the air. Wow. 20 things you didn't know about death. Your welcome.

Weekly Ring Envy

Its just a lucky thing that I have a sunny outlook this morning. Here it is, the 22nd day of April, and its snowing. I'm not even joking. The mountains of NC are getting snow this morning.
But I'm looking forward to sunny days, a beach trip, working in the yard, swimming in the river and trips to Asheville with friends. Surely there will be sunshine soon.

Now lets talk about this ring. It's like sunshine for your finger! As you may already know, I have a long running crush on the color yellow. It seems to only be getting stronger. This ring is making my heart glow. Is that possible? We say things like that in yoga and , you know what?, I believe it is possible. I love the organic look of this ring. No hard edges (so to speak). It also reminds me of the little spots you see when you close your eyes after being in the sun. I just adore it. This one has been in my folder for a while now, and I just keep liking it more and more. Thank you to the wonderful Chocolate and Steel for making this brightness.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I'm kinda crying just a little bit over this post from Design Sponge. It is painfully beautiful. And I am heartbreakingly jealous.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hello Monday

Hallelujah! I am feeling quite better today, thanks to some good sleep this weekend and plenty of quality time with my mom. I got so much done Friday and Saturday and then had a wonderful church service yesterday morning. I won't lie. I'm not thrilled to be at the shop right now. I would rather be home painting or sewing. But at least I am feeling a little more centered and ready to face this week.

I am hosting a Mary Kay party this evening, which is a first for me. I am usually the kind of person who avoids product parties like the plague. But my friend sells the stuff, and Hello? Have you seen Mary Kay lately? Its not the old lady stuff that I used to think it was. So fresh and new and they have a ton of yummy scents. Since when? I dunno. I just know that I am pretty excited.

Thanks for the lovely comments, ladies. I am always so thrilled to hear from you. And thank you Mimi for being my second follower!

* not sure where this photo came from. my notes say larajade. from Flickr, I think.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Crazy amounts of talent!

You know when you find something so cool that you just wanna run out and tell everyone about it? Yeah? This is one of those moments. I ran across this amazing artist in the Etsy treasuries this morning. Holy Chicken!!!! (as my little niece would say) This work is incredible. First off, she paints with watercolor on canvas. I have been using watercolor my whole life and never even considered that I could put it on canvas! And then, she stitches and beads and embroiders the coolest stuff onto the painting. Seriously, how did one person end up with such vision?

Her store is called mimi love. She has the most lovely blog, too. mimi love forever. There are tons more examples of her work there and you can see them in progress! You simply must check out her shop. Fabulous prices for original works of art. I just can't get over it. Wow.

And now, because I love you....

by shutterstitch

I am going to share with you how to make the best strawberry salad that you could ever imagine. Yes, I have strawberries on the brain. (and they were on sale yesterday at the grocery store.)

Chop up a pile of Romaine lettuce. Chop up a small handful of pecans and throw on top. Slice up as many strawberries as you like. (I like a lot.) Top that with some rotisserie chicken. And the grand finale...... poppyseed dressing.

I usually use a heart of romaine, a pint of strawberries, about 1/4 cup of pecans and a breast of chicken between two salads. I also use Brianna's poppyseed dressing because I think its the best.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

whoa down!

Girls. This wedding hoopla is getting way outta hand. Seriously. And even worse than the brides themselves...... their moms. Here's what's up.

My mom and I are making cake for a wedding next month. Not just any cake. Strawberry shortcake. Well. technically not "shortcake". More like sheetcake with fresh cut strawberries and whip cream. Cool, right? Yeah. The Bride in this story wanted a small eco-wedding. 150 guests. Fried chicken and the fixins. She bought a 100% organic gown. Very lovely stuff. The Mom in this story tells us to expect to feed 500 guests. Great. That is a very large number. The Bride and Groom met with my mom to cover the details. Said Bride is furious that her small eco-wedding has been turned into the grand ball. 500 guests? The Groom informed us that it could be more like 900. They sent out 1800 invites. 1800!!!!!! Holy crap. What the heck is the Mom trying to prove? There is no possible way of us feeding 900 people ANYTHING! much less strawberry shortcake/sheetcake. There is a lot more to this story, but I'm gonna stop at that and just let you ponder.

*photo by pazsint
(some possibly offensive content) just warning.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Weekly Ring Envy

You ever feel like giving life a fat lip? I do. Sometimes I just wanna walk around in my hooker boots and black tank top with a killer pair of jeans and dare anyone to look at me wrong. This look of untouchableness (new word) is getting harder and harder to pull off these days. I look too tired to kick anyone's ass. My hair is no longer spiked. And I'm totally getting out of shape. But if there were one thing that could pull the look back together for me, it would be this ring.
This is the Three Knuckle Wing Ring by Lauren Ramirez. I have a feeling that Lauren knows how to pull "the look" off.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

tiny temper tantrum

And so goes another crazy week. I realize that my posts have been erratic and my cheer has been nonexistent lately. I feel the need to do some explaining. That is, if you care to hear my rant. It is not my desire to be a dark cloud floating over the blogoshpere, but I do wish for you to know why my brain and my body have been shorting out as of late.
*You see, the shop that I work for is in the midst of a very messy, dirty, bulls8!t lawsuit. One that we should not even be in to begin with. *My husband has yet to find a job in this great jobless land. *Just last week, my dear friend C quit her job. There is only so much that you can put up with as a human and she had had enough. Two hours later.... her husband got fired. * I am moved into a new homestead and haven't had the time or energy to get all my crap together like I wish it was. And every time I get something the way I want it, my husband comes in and screws it up by displaying a stupid picture of a deer head or a Mustang emblem or some other junk like that. *Work is insane. *My yard used to be a pasture and it is impossible to mow. *And now my husband is pissed because I don't want to go with him and a big group of our friends this weekend to the Rod Run because I don't drink and don't particularly enjoy hanging out with a bunch of drunks for three days. (no offense to those who do drink. but you know it isn't fun for us who don't)
So, dear ones. Just know that your sunny, lovely, funny, wonderful posts are keeping me sane these days. And hopefully I will feel like a real person again soon.
Love Jo.
the terribly cute photo is from RMRAYNER on Flickr.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter

Have a lovely Easter weekend all. Maybe next week I will have my head together a little bit better than I have this week. I'm getting slack. These adorable pics came from an e-mail my daddy sent me about Easter identity theft. Too cute.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Weekly Ring Envy.

Today I would like nothing more than some simplicity. A worn in pair of jeans. My favorite sneakers. A white t-shirt. And this ring on my finger. I would love to be sitting somewhere warm, at a table outside, grubbin' and hanging out with some friends. And just so we wouldn't all match, there are plenty of stellar simple rings at Zoe & Doyle's store. Everyone could have something different. But this Split Personality is mine. Go look and tell me what your fave is.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

soul sharing.

lovely photos from Stacey Winters' blog.

I have been listening to local radio station 106.9 fm lately. This station has been aired in my house since I was a little girl. 106.9 The Light is a Christian station. They play amazing contemporary Christian music. Now before you drift off on me here, let me finish my story. Stick with me.

Anyway. Sometimes I just need to feel centered spiritually and I find it helpful to listen to good music and words of encouragement. I think we all need that at times. Whether you are religious or not, regardless of your beliefs, we all have a need to feed our spirit. I find that when I listen to this station my mind doesn't drift off into make-believe. I stay grounded in reality. (Which, I admit, I don't always want to do.) Sometimes I like to let my imagination go off into orbit and feel like I have a different life than I have.

Yesterday, while heading back to work from lunch, the dj made a comment that really touched my heart. This is rare. So I thought it would be worth sharing. She said "Spending time with God doesn't take time out of your life. It puts life into your time." I agree. Once again, regardless of your beliefs, I think that nurturing our spiritual side is well worth our time. It enriches our life experience. It gives us hope. It fills our hearts with love. It slows us down. And we could all stand to slow down just a bit. Don't you think?

Monday, April 6, 2009


Bad day. Really bad day. Not looking like it's gonna get much better.

Friday, April 3, 2009

All I'm Asking.

All I'm asking is that you open your mind up just a little. I mean, you all make it very clear that you appreciate art and design. You can't tell me that these artists aren't just oozing with talent. Now honestly, don't you think these amazing paintings make a tired old wall look better? And by the way, do you know how hard it is to work on such a large scale? It's crazy difficult. And with a spray can!? Hello? There is a close-up of the top one on the original website. You can see the reflection of the city in the girl's eye. Like I said before, go to The Writing On the Wall.


So, you know what's cooler than getting a really sweet card? Getting a really sweet card that you can frame after it sits on your desk for a week.

I ran across this shop yesterday and automatically thought "I have got to share this!". And so I am sharing it with you. You know, just in case you need to buy a card for someone that you like good enough to give them a piece of art. They come from Emma Lamb on Etsy. She makes lots of cute cards. Some with stars. Elephants. Some mommy day cards. I mean, what attention to detail. I would send you all one, but I gotta buy gravel for my driveway. Sorry.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Lovely Little Mental Escape

It's Thursday. It's very cloudy here. Rainy and cool. I wish I could close my eyes and when I opened them, be in one of these pretty places. Just look at that hot pink! If I had that in my backyard I would invite everyone over to do photo shoots.

Can't you just smell the spring air? These photos came from The English Garden website. The top two are by one of the magazines photographers, Ray Cox. The bottom two are submitted by readers.

Seriously, folks. Regular people out there have gardens like this! Incredible.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Weekly Ring Envy.

My weekly ring of choice usually coincides with how I am feeling at the moment or how I would like to feel. This week's Envy is no different. I chose this gorgeous lotus ring from TZTUDIO because it evokes a feeling of beauty and strength and purity. I'm sure you all know the deep symbolism that is linked to the lotus flower. How it is rooted in the muck and mire, yet it rises above to bloom, without a stain, in all its glory. The lotus symbolizes hope, I think, in being able to overcome the sin and negativity in life to create or become something of great beauty.
This ring is only $75.oo. Amazing deal for such a fabulous handmade piece of work. The center stone is cubic zirconia and if pink isn't your color, you can also get it in yellow, ruby or amethyst.