Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Of Love and Chocolate.

I am not one to make New Year's Resolutions. I just try to do my best and don't hold myself to too high a standard. But this year, it seems as though my Resolutions have been made for me, per doctor's orders.

I paid a little visit to my doc the other day to have some "questionable knots" examined. Needless to say, I was very scared. I have held hands with the cancer monster before, creeping right up to the edge. Pre-cancerous cells are something that I have grown accustomed to in certain areas. But this was different. So close to my heart and lungs and hundreds of networking lymph nodes. I was very worried.

Thankfully, my doc says that it is not cancer. Not even close. (Whew!) But it is an annoying little problem. One that could make it difficult to recognize something alarming if it were to show up. So....... I have been ordered to cut my caffeine intake (not that it was very high to begin with) and keep up with a few important supplements. One being evening primrose oil, which makes me burp up the taste of a shrimp dinner.

Which brings me to chocolate. Yes, I know. How? Well, it all started on the trip to the Earth Fair market on the way home to pick up said supplements. The hubby and I mused at all the beautiful, organic (sometimes odd) products. Natural body care. Endless herbal remedies, supplements and aromatherapy oils. And an entire wall of fair trade chocolate.

It took me all of about five seconds to pick out which bar of chocolate I wanted to buy. (Please refrain from informing me that chocolate contains caffeine. I am indeed aware.) But how on earth could I pass up such a pretty package as the one above? A deep brown background with red and gold designs. It is sooooo much prettier in person!

Look at that! Whoever designed this wrapper deserves a reward.
And the chocolate inside? Well, the name says it all. It is, indeed, quite Divine.

*I realize this is a random post. And I do have lots of other stuff to share with you. Like the fact that I got a new laptop for Christmas!! So, I do not have it all figured out quite yet. And I need to transfer my pictures over so I can share some of those with you, too.
AND... if you haven't claimed some loot for yourself, please scroll down and do so now. I'm not gonna wait forever. Go, go, go.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Hello again, darlings. I want to thank all of you for your sweet comments and for sticking around when I decide to go missing for awhile. Can you believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve? Wow. It seems like it was just a few months ago that we were wrapping gifts and looking forward to a new year. Do you remember last year, dolls? I do. We were all feeling the burden of 2009 and hoping with everything in us that 2010 was going to be a better year. And I do believe that it was for the most of us. Do you agree? But now we have another new year ahead of us, full of new hopes, fears and dreams. 2011.

In the spirit of giving, I told you that I would have some stuff to share with you all. If you are an artist or designer, you know how "stuff" just seems to accumulate around you. Creations and supplies. This and that. Good stuff and things that just need to be tossed. Well, I have some "good stuff" that I would like to quit looking at. It has been in my work room for long enough. So, my dear friends, I am offering it up to you....... for free. Here they are.

I played around with what is called "yantra" designs some time back. They are sort of like mandalas. Designs that are said to hold certain energy. Many people use them as focal points when meditating. I, honestly, just think they are pretty and the symmetrical design is very grounding. This yellow one is for "Expansion". You know, growth and stuff like that. It's 5"x 7".

This 5"x 5" silver and blue beauty is for "Nourishment". We could all use a little bit of that, couldn't we.

A nice little collection of beads. I have way too many beads in my life, and I never even use beads! I can't tell you how many there are or what they are made of, but there are a lot of them. Lots of pretty blues and greens. I must have been on a kick.

Three tiny wire wrapped rings that I made. They all fit my pinky perfectly, so I am warning you that they are small. However, they look quite nice strung up on a necklace. We are going to call these numbers one through three, left to right. #1 is light pink rose quartz. #2 is hematite. #3 is a mix of rose quartz and other pinkish beads.

Oh, yes. And then there is this bag. Just a casual shoulder bag made with cotton fabric. Pretty palm frond print on the outside, brown on the inside. Its a good summer time piece. Come on. Use your imagination. I know it is snowing outside, but try to think ahead.

So. Here's how this is going to work. We are going to do a "first come, first serve" sort of thing. Like I said before, you have to already be a follower of my blog. If there is something here that you would like to have, just leave a comment below telling me which one. Easy peasy. The first one to ask for an item gets that item. If you like more than one of these items, tell me what your first and second choices are in your comment. If someone has already claimed your first choice, but not your second, you get your second choice. See how this works? You can only win one item.

Good luck. I hope to be seeing a lot more of you lately. I am feeling better and more clear headed after that break. And I have tons of things to share with you.

Merry Christmas, dolls.
xoxo Miz. Jo xoxo

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hello Friends,

I apologize for not being around very much lately. I just spent a couple of hours trying to catch up on all your posts (which I am sure I did not succeed at). I know I don't technically owe anyone an explanation of my absence, but I consider all of you my friends and I want to fill you in on why I have been out of the loop.

What it all boils down to is information overload. Hours and hours spent on blogs and Etsy. I have been taking in way more information and inspiration than my little brain can process. I used to be a pretty creative person. But now, it seems, all of my so called ideas are overlapping with what I see on the internet. I have been trying to draw and paint and work on some new designs, but I am confused at what is truly mine and what is a conglomerate of what I have already seen. When given the right environment I happen to have a very unique and distinctive artistic style. But lately, when I sit down to draw, my head is filled with all the millions of images that I take in on a regular basis.

I really want to open another Etsy store just for my painting and drawing. But I want to be true to self. I don't want to paint what I already know will sell. I want to paint what is really me. So this, my dears, is what I am working on. Purging my mind of all the excess. Trying to get back in touch with my own ideas. Inspiration is fantastic! and blogging is a fabulous way of feeding the need for it. But right now, especially during the Christmas season, I have got to decompress.

I am still around, and I have no plans of leaving the blog scene for good. I love you all and feel so lucky to share in your lives and thoughts and inspirations. And keep your eyes open because I have some sharing to do with you all. Not only am I cleaning out my head, but I am cleaning out a lot of other stuff, too. There will be some things up for grabs soon, but only to my blog followers. So, if you stop by on the regular, but are not a formal follower, you may want to add me to your list. Just saying. ;)

Love and Lots of Sparkle,

*from Bits of Truth.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Something New

Hello Loves. I know, I know. I went missing for a while there. To be honest with you, I have been thinking about taking a little hiatus from blogging. But, before I disappear to get my head back together, I just had to share with you my new obsession. Fittingly, it has to do with hair.

As you may recall, I decided to cut my hair off again a while back. Short hair just works for me. It's easier to fix. It makes me look less tired and washed out. And since I am blessed with hair that grows at lightening speeds, I can change up my look every time I get it cut. Way to go, short hair!
But sometimes I miss having long luscious locks. Sometimes I just can't get the right look with a short style. Sometimes I find myself wishing I could try some crazy color combo without destroying my hair. Guess what......... I can!!

Enter Miss Violet Lace. A darling mother/daughter duo on Etsy that hand crafts the coolest wigs. Beautiful, long (or short) wigs in the prettiest of colors. I have to admit that I have a tiny bit of an addiction to this shop. I visit so often and click on every single picture so many times that I probably account for at least half of their page views. (I need help, I know.)

After much debate, and countless hours spent weighing my options, I finally ordered myself a wig. A long black one with blue and green streaks. I can't wait to get it! I was going to wait until I received it to do a post, but (as luck would have it) Miss Violet Lace is having a sale! And what better time to share a great find than when there is a sale going on?

These ladies opened up shop only a few short months ago and have already had huge success. As anyone who shops Etsy knows, customer feedback can be your best friend. And Miss Violet Lace has the most impressive customer feedback of anyone I have ordered from on Etsy.

Check out their store, even if you aren't in the market for a wig. (You may change your mind.) Krista is the daughter and the model of the duo. And on a totally un-hair related note, I have to say that she has the prettiest eyes I have ever seen. Her pretty freckled skin seems to look good with any color. And the girl has a gift for makeup artistry. (Amazing, really.) Go check it out!! You may be inspired to go for a whole new look for your holiday parties. ;)

Until later, my dolls.
xoxo ~Jo~ xoxo

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Umm.... Yeah.

Go to Pandora.

Type in Ambient Radio.


You can thank me later.

*photo from Little Blue Deer

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Birthday Play by Play

9 am - Wake up. Look outside and realize its snowing. Go back to bed.

10 am - Decide to drag my butt out of bed and make myself a Carnation Instant Breakfast smoothie. Wonder if this snow is going to let up or keep pouring.

10:30ish - Take a shower. Hair. Makeup. Put on something warm.

11:30 am - Drive to Asheville by myself. Order a Cookout burger and fries. Get really pissed because they forgot my drink and I didn't realize it until I was sitting in the mall parking lot.
Go buy a drink from the mall drink machine. Eat.

12ish to 1ish - Brave the crowds to go to Bath and Body Works and buy a few new Winter candles (my favorite). Mope around the mall looking for anything of interest. Try to keep my blood pressure down amidst the rude shoppers and screaming children. Realize why I HATE going to the mall.

1 pm - Decide to waste some more time by going to Michael's to buy some jewelry boxes for my shop.

1:25 pm - Head out to find the spa I have never been to. Freak out because Asheville's road systems are idiotic and I have to backtrack a big loop to get to where I am going. Grrrr.

1:55 - Call the spa. Tell them I have no idea where they are. Get some more confident directions. Try to keep my nerves in check.

2 pm - Pull into the parking lot of a inconspicuous little salon/spa. Rush inside. Take a deep breath. Fill out the info sheet. Strip down. Put on a robe and slippers.

The next hour is spent in heaven. Maybe not the real Heaven. But something close. A nice warm massage bed in a nice dark room with nice soothing music and the smell of lavender. Warm oils. Fantastic masseuse. I swear at times it felt like she had an extra set of hands, like Shiva. My husband is a saint for making this happen.

3:20ish - Drive to Tuesday Morning to see if I can achieve any early Christmas shopping. Fail to do so.

4:40 - Head home. Order pizza from Blue Mountain Pizza. Pick it up on the way. Get home about the same time as the hubby. Eat and look at tattoo magazines. Talk about the day. Wash the oil from my face and hair. Redo makeup and hair. Put on nice clothes.

7 pm - Go to the funeral home for my great grandmother's visitation and funeral service. (because death doesn't care if it's your 30th birthday) See lots of family that I rarely see.

9:30 - Go back home. Put on soft and snuggly clothes. Pop some popcorn. Watch Forgetting Sarah Marshall again. Snuggle the hubby.

12ish - Go to bed.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Dance!

Doing a little bit of a happy dance this afternoon (even though work has been a real drag). Why? Because I just set up an appointment for a massage! This Saturday is my big 3-0 birthday and my darling hubby bought me a gift certificate to a new spa. I will be spending my afternoon getting pampered before heading home to my favorite meal prepared by my sweet mom. Yay! I'm so excited! I will even have enough left over to go back and get a nice long pedicure on another day.


*photo from Haute Design.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Feeling Different.

Have you guys seen these new Michael Kors ads in your magazines? I have been a big fan of his ads for the last few years. They look so fresh and clean and wonderful. I just want to "be" the girl in those photos. They look so perfect. Plus, she always has this adorable, adoring, well dressed guy following her around. And he always looks happy to be there! Holy shit. A guy that's happy to be there! What world is this, people? I want to go there.

Anyway. That is not exactly my point. Although, it is a good one. What I am actually getting at here is that these new ads make me miss snow. Oh my gosh, I cannot believe I just said that. All my life I have hated snow. Hated it! But this year I feel different. Something inside of me seems to be changing. It's a little bit unsettling, just to be honest with you. Last night, when I could not go to sleep even though it was 2:00 am, I stared out the window and imagined the landscape covered with a thick, peaceful snow. What is wrong with me?!? This is not normal.

I'm not sure what the heck is going on. Truly I feel all out of whack. But I'm going to blame it on the new Michael Kors ads. Yep. It's all his fault.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Things You Never Knew You Needed

It's Thursday, dolls. And a rainy one where I am. Perfect time to do a little shopping to brighten this dreary autumn day. May I suggest Elizabelle jewelry? There could be no better way to make yourself feel like a goddess of summer or a mermaid princess than Elizabeth Cosby's handmade rings. Check em' out!

Elizabeth hand carves these beauties herself from natural sea shells. Genius!

This Green Turbo is my favorite. Aren't the colors amazing?

I think these rings make an incredible statement piece. And her packaging is so adorable. Do you need to buy a gift for someone special? You would be the coolest friend ever to give one of these rings! Plus, Elizabeth will include a note in the box if you ask nicely. Of course, I could totally understand if you decided to buy yourself one instead and make everyone else green with envy. The note I would leave in the box? "Ariel's got nothing on you, girl!"

Go add Elizabelle to your Etsy favorites.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

~A Story~

Hello friends! Aren't you glad we all made it through last week alive? From what I keep hearing, it was a rough one for just about all of us.
I've been a bit nerved myself and haven't posted much lately. So today I thought I would share with you a little story about what I did last Saturday. With pictures and everything! Woo hoo. I can hear your excitement! Here goes.

I started the day off by finally clear coating these two signs that I painted for my little cousins. They raise chickens and are totally obsessed with the whole process of it. These are to hang on their chicken coops. {and, yes. I thought up those little slogans all by myself.}

My mom came down and took some photos for me so I could list some new items in my Etsy store. Whew! That's a lot of work. Making, photographing, listing. It takes forever. But the results are usually worth it.

Then, while rushing around to get ready, I ran slap into this big ol' chest that sits at the foot of my bed. My husband's grandpa made it for us as a wedding gift. After hitting one of those sharp corners, though, I cussed it for a good ten minutes and even kicked it a few times for good measure.

This is what came of it. A nice knot and bruise that is still sore and blue and swollen over a week later.

I did all this while getting ready to go to this wedding. Which, by the way, was the best wedding I have ever been to. I am not a wedding person {gasp!}, but this one was awesome. Those are two of our close friends. Everyone in the wedding party wore their cowboy boots and the bride's three year old daughter walked her down the aisle and gave her away. Oh my Lord, it was the sweetest thing in the world. ~The End~

So, my dears, that is what went down last Saturday in the world of Miz November. As for the week in between then and now, I don't want to talk about it.

Much love and hugs and stuff. I'll be seeing you later this week. :)

Monday, October 4, 2010


My new sewing machine arrived last Tuesday and I haven't even had time to read through the manual yet. It is proudly perched on my kitchen table, looking pretty bad ass. I'm only half way through the handbook at the moment, but I'm trying. I promise.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tag Sale

I just got tagged. It's been a while. These blog tags come through every once in a while and then they disappear. Arjie, from One of these mornings, hooked me up with 7 questions that she thought up all by her brilliant self {well, almost}. I am supposed to answer them and then tag 7 more bloggers and come up with 7 new questions for them. We'll see if I get that far. So, here goes.

If you could give your teenage self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Hmmm. I wish I could have told myself to work harder, not that I would have listened. School and art always came so easy to me that I didn't ever have to try too hard. Now I see that if I would have put more effort into things I could have achieved more by now.

What are you currently obsessed with?
My current obsession is trying to figure out why I feel like crap all the time. It has been my obsession for years, but lately I have actively done more to try to figure things out. As a matter of fact, I decided earlier today that I am going to try a gluten free diet for a week or two. I have considered doing a cleanse, but I'm not so sure I believe in them. I am determined to find an answer.

Is there any one event you look back on in your life and just cringe with shame?
Uh, yeah. Several. I have generally been a pretty well behaved girl, but I have made some stupid decisions in my time. I regret having made my parents worry so much about me. Regret dating some of the idiots I dated. But the one thing that I wish I could take back is a stupid marriage that lasted all of three months. Yeah, you didn't know that , did you? The one thing that I always thought I was too smart to do {marry the wrong guy}.... I did. Don't ever think you are invincible.

Would you call yourself a feminist?
No. Short answer.

What is the one thing that if you don't do in your life you will be really angry at yourself for not doing?
I have already tried learning to breakdance, so that one's marked off the list. If I never make a real business out of my art/design skills, I will hate myself forever. I know that it is possible and that the only thing stopping me is me. So if it never happens, I know that it is all my own fault.

Do you get on better with your mum or your dad?
Interesting question. I get along with both of my parents, but I am closer to my mom. Me and my dad are so much alike that we clash sometimes. Kinda funny.

Every music album in the world is to be destroyed and you can only keep one. Which do you keep and why?
Man, this is a tough one. I'm not sure I can even answer this one. For some reason, tonight, I am going to have to go with Metallica's Black album. I'm sure I would be beating my head against the wall later, wishing I would have kept something I could dance to. But it feels right tonight.

Here's the hard part. I'm not sure I can come up with 7 people. Arjie already tagged my peeps. But I can come up with 7 questions. Blogs I tag: Armas Design, LaLa Lovely, Little Lost Love, Mimi Love, Puzzle Pieces, Slumber Designs, and Varnish.

Your questions, should you choose to participate, are:

1. What scent always makes you happy?
2. What is your favorite mistake? {like the Sheryl Crow song}
3. If you could change one of your physical attributes, {magically, not surgically} what would it be?
4. Is there one food that you could eat every single day and never tire of?
5. You just came into some serious money. What is the first thing you buy?
6. When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?
7. You are being granted one talent or skill that you don't already possess. What do you choose?

Go do your homework. I'll see you next week.
xoxo ~Jo~ xoxo

*photo from This Is Glamorous.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rant and Roll

First of all, it's late*. I should be in bed. But I'm not. I should have worked out tonight. But I didn't. I should have had at least one vegetable with dinner tonight. But thanks to my husband's family's affinity for meat, I had none. But that is all beside the point. I am here to talk about fashion magazines. More specifically, I am here to talk about why fashion magazines piss me off.

I love me some fashion magazines. And everyone who loves fashion magazines knows that fall is the fashion industry's favorite season. Therefore, I have a big pile of freshly printed magazines hanging out at the foot of my bed, all glossy and smelling of perfume samples. Ahhhhh. Fashion design. I love it. But what am I supposed to do when all good fashion sense gets thrown to the wayside? How am I supposed to cope when fashions greatest are throwing pies in our faces? Tonight I give you ..... "A New and Revised List of Stupid Shit I Keep Seeing in Fashion Magazines." Enjoy.

*Models jumping. Why? Why the hell do photographers think that models need to jump? I am sick of it. Who jumps? Do you ever see people jumping up and down besides at a concert? No. Especially not in heels.

*For the love of God, why on earth do designers want their runway models to look ugly? Ugly hair. Ugly makeup. And some of them are not only ugly, but down right creepy or dirty looking. How does making a model look like crap help your clothing? STOP! Be more like Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors. Pretty is better. Ugly is just.... ugly.

*I am seeing an unusually high number of photo shoots in the desert lately. Yeah. I just threw on this ten thousand dollar ensemble and am now traipsing around the desert. That happens. All the time.

*Hey fashion industry, you can feel free to stop reminding us that 50 year olds can look like 20 year olds now. We get it. Money can buy the fountain of youth. Next time you put out an "Age Issue", try using people who actually look their age.

*Stop printing political pieces. We all know that you are going to take the liberals side every single time. We are here to see fashion. When I want a political view, I will turn on Fox news. Because, yes, I like fashion AND I am a conservative.

*Androgyny. Okay. This one is killing me. Girls who look like boys and boys who look like girls. And then, throwing all of those boy/girl looking people in a pile and making you guess which is which. I am lesser endowed than most. That doesn't mean I want to look like a boy!! And, for heaven's sake, Stop Putting Lipstick on the Guys!!!! {I'm looking right at you, Burberry} Pick a side.

*When was the last time you took your clothes off and hugged your purse? Oh, just this morning? Well, in that case, never mind. Purses modeled with naked bodies. Don't get it. Also, I am seeing nudity in the oddest of places lately. Not just purse and shoe adds. For instance, topless girl hanging out at the ball court with all her man's friends. I don't have a problem with nudity, when done right. But, come on. Do you really expect this to boost a young girls idea of self worth? About as much as the fact that you still use size zero models.

The fashion industry never has and never will be the best role model in the world. And I wouldn't want them to be. It wouldn't be nearly as fun. But sometimes they do make a normal girl want to bang her head against the wall in disbelief. Who comes up with this stuff? We really don't have to have the shock factor to stay engaged. The blogging world has proven this to great measures. You can see a million photos of living rooms, flowers or Paris. They don't have to blow our mind every time. They just need to portray beauty. Beauty always works. Beauty will always captivate. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors and styles.

Let's just call it what it is. Pretty is pretty. Ugly is still ugly. Stupid will always be stupid. And models jumping without a puddle underneath them still makes me say "What the hell?"

*It was late when I started. And then I went to bed.
**I think this photo came from Slumber Designs. Although, I could be wrong.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Panic Attack

I just ordered a new sewing machine.

It's freaking me out a little bit, as I am not one to spend money easily.

My dear sweet husband is praising me for my bravery.

It had to be done. I have piles of leather that cannot be sewn with my current machine. Piles of sketches of new designs. If I am ever going to make any advances in life I have to believe in myself enough to invest in myself. This is an investment in myself. And if you don't hear of any new leather stuff being listed in my shop over the next month, I expect you to stop by and slap me in the side of the head.

Thanks for listening.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Natural Beauty

Sometimes we run across things that have such deep beauty that they make us stop in our tracks. This week I ran across an artist whose work made me do just that.

Joycelyn Merchant is the artist behind these magnificent pieces that had me enraptured from the moment I laid eyes on them.

Joycelyn hand crafts each piece completely anew, so no two are exactly alike. Each one carries individualized marks and character from hand forging techniques. This is not a story of reproducing a great design over and over. This is a story of personally breathing life into each and every leaf that she creates. And she has been creating these beauties since 1977. No wonder they look like they could have been plucked straight from the tree.

Her earrings, pins and pendants come in three finishes. Silver, gold and that gorgeous copper. Each one is just as beautiful as the last. The only question is which one to choose.

Take a moment this weekend to check out Joycelyn's store one Etsy, aptly named ginkgo. I promise that the only artist who can make these leaves any prettier is the Artist who made the trees themselves.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September Smiles

Hello darlings. Can you believe that we are already almost half way through September? It doesn't seem possible. I could ramble on, like I always do, about things not getting done and never finding time to do other things. But I'm not here for that today. No. Today I am here to talk about positive things.

Things like feeling better, thanks to the miracle of allergy medicine. Things like being able to work out again! Things like almost completing two projects {which I can't wait to share with you}. And things like running across some very nice people. Jane, from Ill Seen Ill Said, was nice enough to link me to a recipe that I have been curious about. Two incredible artists from Etsy were nice enough to share a little equipment advice with me. And other fabulous bloggers have stopped by just to say hello or check in with me in the past few days. These things make me smile.

And speaking of smiles, I have started a new endeavor that I want to tell you about.
~I have a weakness for empty books. I love books with words in them, but I have a hard time passing up a beautiful book with blank pages. I have a collection to attest to this fact. Piles of gorgeous journals and sketchbooks, all waiting patiently to be filled. Problem is, I am not nearly as good at filling them as I am attaining them. But a few weeks ago I thought of a task worthy of striving for every day. I would fill a book with smiles.

So I started filling the pages of one of my books with things that make me smile. Each day I will write one thing that made me smile in the last twenty-four hours. Really, truly, deep down, from the soul Smile. Some have come pretty easy. Others, I have had to be very observant for. I thought it would be easy. Surely I get a real smile at least once a day. But guess what. I have skipped several days already. And not out of laziness, but because nothing made me truly smile. My hope is that the more I recognize the things that make me smile, the more things there will be to smile about. And more pages filled!

I challenge you to notice what makes you smile each day. Not laugh. Not smirk. What makes you SMILE? A smile comes from appreciation. Think about it. And then report back to me! Well, you don't have to. But it sure would make me smile.

*photo from Cannelle et Vanille

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's Been a Long Time.

Hello friends,

Just thought I would drop in and let you all know what has been going on in my world lately. I have been quite slack, again, at posting. I didn't realize it had been over a week! Gees. However, feel free to ignore this post if you don't want to hear the ins and outs of my life. I know it can get quite boring and repetitive.

First of all, my nerves have been bothering me again. I just have that nervous, irritated feeling that won't go away. Then, last Thursday, my husband's great-grandfather died. He was 89 years old and sharp as a tack. Friday and Saturday were spent at the funeral home and graveyard. I know that sounds quite depressing, but on the contrary, it was quite nice to have all of the family together for a few days. I laughed so hard that my jaws hurt. My husband's family is quite a hoot, I must say.

I was overjoyed to be off work Monday. We never close the shop for Labor Day. This year was a first. I spent the day doing little projects around the house, getting the yard mowed and digging potatoes.

The past two days have been a little bit of a different story. I haven't been feeling so good. My allergies had been bothering me, along with my nerves, and then (seemingly out of nowhere) my chest started feeling a little funny. I hate to be a hypochondriac, but it really has me worried. I've been trying to closely monitor how I'm feeling, just in case I end up needing to go to the doctor. I don't want to overreact. I don't want to under react, either!

I have several new things I want to share with you. Hopefully I will be feeling better and have my act together by next week. Until then, I hope you all have a great weekend. Hugs to you.

xoxo ~Jo~ xoxo

Monday, August 30, 2010

Soul Sharing

I've been thinking, lately, about fall and why I seem to love it so much.

For someone who shivers her way through the colder half of the year, it would seem unfitting that I adore autumn. But I do. And more specifically, I adore the pivotal moment where late summer melds into fall.

So, while driving down the road the other day {windows still down, warm breeze kissing my cheek} I noticed the first few golden leaves along the roadside and it hit me. I love this time of year because it feels like a big, deep, relaxing sigh. On one side of the road was summer; all twisted vines, thriving weeds, hot and sticky and fighting for space. On the other side of the road was fall; spacious branches, babbling streams, open skies and leaves that had finally finished their duty and were able to just let go.

I have always loved this time of year. There is something that feels right about it for me. Everything feels like less of a fight. Traffic slows down a bit. Hair and makeup are much easier to maintain. Fewer schedule demands. More time at home. And, for some reason, I feel more creative and introspective. Don't get me wrong, my cold blooded body loves the heat of summer. But my heart and my soul will always feel at home in the fall.

*photo from Dress, Design, Decor

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fallish Finds {from Etsy}

The skies around here are turning exceptionally bright and clear. The shadows are deepening and the air has a slight bite to it. This can only mean one thing. Fall is just around the corner. So, in honor of all things autumnal, I thought I would share a few of my recent favorites from Etsy, starting with this pumpkin pin cushion from SeaPinks.

Little rain drop earrings from MiniCyn.

I love the artwork from corid. This bird painting has the most beautiful colors.

I'm not much of a cat person, but these little smiling guys from Marjji always stop me in my Etsy tracks.

It's Wednesday, loves. Hang in there.
xoxo ~Jo~ xoxo

Thursday, August 19, 2010

In the place...

So, you know how I'm always saying that I wish I had pictures of such and such to show you? But I tend to forget my camera. And photos are a pain in the hiney to upload and resize. But guess what? I love you guys enough that I remembered my camera this time when we went to the river, and I took the time to resize the photos and upload them for you! Excited? Sure you are.

So here it is. My new favorite swimming hole. All shady and secluded. Quiet and clean. The water is so clear, as you can tell. That hole there beneath the big rock? Looks like you could wade out in it, right? Yeah. That hole is about 7-8 feet deep. For real. I dive off of the rock on the left all the time. The boys like jumping off the big rock on the right the best.

The shade got a little chilly after swimming, so we headed down stream to the sunshine for a while and the boys dug for crawdads. That's my hubby in the red and white shorts and our friend and his two kids.

I'm not brave enough to grab a crawdad. The guys found several, from teeny tiny to scary looking. I'm not sticking my fingers in there.

See why I love Sunday afternoons at the river? Hopefully there will be several more before the weather turns too cool. Of course, I'm thinking a little fall photo shoot in this location would be beautiful. Don't you think?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just a Thought

You know what I don't understand?

Soap that looks like food.

I just don't get it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Odd Inspiration

Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unexpected places. For instance, every time I put these sheets on my bed I get the urge to paint. I have had these sheets for years and years. They are worn in and soft. And the color combinations are the most beautiful, if not odd, that I have ever seen.

Life can be quite a downer sometimes. Like when I realize that even if I am inspired to feed my creative soul, I don't actually have to time or the energy to do so. I am one of those people who cannot force myself to be creatively productive. After work I come home tired, make dinner, do whatever housework I can fit in and squeeze in my workouts before a shower and bed. You see, when it comes down to it, my artistic soul tends to get pushed aside for the more essential things.

This is sad, people. Very sad. I'm not sure where I'm going with all of this. It's just what is on my mind lately. Am I the only one? Do you find it hard to find time to nurture your soul?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Empty Thoughts

Hello friends.

It's Monday yet again. And all too soon. All I learned from being off work a week is that I don't like going to work. Of course, I guess that's why they call it work.

Thankfully, I did accomplish a few things besides housework on my week off. Unfortunately, it took me until the end of the week before I started being creatively productive. I guess my mind had to take a real vacation for the first part of the week and not be bothered with my lofty ideas. I'll share some more on my creative endeavors later.

I wish I had an outpouring of inspiration and fantastical writing to grace you with this Monday. But work has left my brain weak. And I really have to go muster up enough energy to workout right now. I just didn't want to go too long in between posts. I love hearing from you and even when I am quiet and cease to comment on all your blogs, just know that I am still there. Reading. Smiling. Gleaning strength and beauty from your words and photos. Here's to a new week.

xoxo ~Jo~ xoxo

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Hello Friends,

I guess I got a little carried away and forgot to tell you that I am "on vacation" this week. Whew! A week off from work, thank goodness. Here's the cool part; I haven't even left the house! I am so thrilled to be able to stay home and get some stuff done. I love getting up in the morning and sitting on my porch. I love being able to drop everything if I have a new idea. I love being able to see the mama deer and her little speckled fawn in my back yard and the turkeys and their brood of 17 babies. Yes, seventeen was the last count! I love being home.

Which leads me to another confession: I'm not much of a traveler. It sometimes seems as if blogging is synonymous with traveling. Bloggers are always talking about where they have been, where they are going, or where they hope to go. But not me. I'm quite content to take a little trip to the NC coast every now and then, just a six hour drive away. My husband and I do hope to someday be able to visit Ireland. But that's about it. I am completely content to be a homebody. As a matter of fact, traveling seems like a whole lot of work to me. Just the thought of it makes me tired.

So, there you go. Now you know that I would rather be home than anywhere. Home is where my heart is. ;)

*now, if only I had a hammock hanging in the midst of a bunch of lavender. gorgeous photo from Dress, Design, Decor.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Hotness

The weather continues to be sweltering. Temperatures in the high nineties have left every known swimming hole slam packed with people. Friday evening and Saturday were spent at racetracks, drinking water non-stop and hoping for a breeze. But Sunday, oh sweet Sunday, was spent at the river. And what a glorious day it was. I would love to share some pics, but in my excitement to go swimming, I forgot my camera. Maybe next time.

Clicking through my photo file, these three images called my name. You can almost feel the heavy late summer heat coming off of them. How about that outdoor shower? Not a necessity, but definitely awesome. That little patio is one of my favorites. Perfect for some chit-chat and a big glass of sweet tea. And the pool.... well, it needs no explanation. Let's just say that I am very jealous.

So, what do you do when it gets too hot outside?

*1 & 2 from Sunset. 3 from Haute Design.