Friday, May 28, 2010

~ Dreams & Adventure ~

I'm sensing a new trend coming on.

* lovely sweet william

* Ten Things

* Vector Cloud

* mini mae store

Does it make you want to fly away?
Hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, full of dreams and adventure.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Keeping in Touch

I have a few friends that I very rarely get to see. Besides living forty five minutes away from each other, our schedules rarely open up at the same times. But I still love to know what is going on in their lives and keep in touch as much as possible. So, we kick it old-school and write to each other! Cards, letters, brightly colored envelopes. Those are the ingredients for a smile in the mailbox. So when I ran across these darling pennant letter writing kits from Briones + Co, I was quite smitten. What a cute idea!

You and a friend either split the kit, or each buy your own. Then you write each other letters on the little pennants. As the letters come in, you string them up. And after a while.... ta da! You have a sweet garland of letters from someone you love. How much fun is that? It would also be a great way to get kids and pre-teens into the art of letter writing. I mean, in a world of texts and tweets, it would be such a shame for the written word to be forever lost.
When was the last time you wrote a letter? I hope this inspires you to get out your pen and paper. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Why I.....recycle.

Welcome to another week. And, hopefully, a good one. I'm going to start this week off with a post that has been rolling around inside my head for a while now. The idea is to do a series of "Why I..." posts to talk about why I do some of the things that I do. Sort of a way to explore who I am and how the things I do shape me as a person. Just yell at me if you get bored. But I thought it might be a neat little writing exercise for myself.
I've been doing a lot of thinking about why I recycle. Recycling is definitely not something that is expected of a person around here. I live in a small, southern town. A place where locals love their paper plates and plastic cups. A place of breathtaking natural beauty, with plenty of litter beside the roads. (Popular belief is, as terrible as this sounds, that it gives the inmates something to do.) There is only one recycling center for the entire county and no one seems to care if the plastics are sorted correctly.
So why do it? Why have three trash cans, a basket and a couple of reusable totes to separate all of my throw aways? Why break down every cereal, rice, frozen entree, etc. box that I open? Why rinse every soda can and milk jug and sauce jar? Why?
Simply because I think its a good thing to do. It makes sense to me. Not because I think that any tiny effort that I put forth is going to save the world. Not because I feel like I am better than anyone else who doesn't recycle. Not because it is what I am "supposed" to do. But just because I consider it simple science. Sort of like warming up the leftovers from last night's supper. Or passing down your clothes when you don't wear them anymore. It just makes sense to not let it go to waste.
My family does not recycle. I could count on one hand (with plenty left over) all of my friends who recycle. And that's okay with me. It would be nice if they did, but they don't. And I don't hassle them about it. But, when they drink a Pepsi at my house, they know to rinse it out before tossing it in the appropriate bin.
And what have I learned from recycling? Well, I have learned that two people can go through a whole lot of "stuff". I have learned that a weeks worth of meals can yield a nice pile of cardboard. I have learned that life would be simpler if all plastics were either #1 or #2. And I have gained a childlike curiosity about whether packages are made from recycled material.
What it all comes down to for me is that I think it's pretty cool that people can take the things that I have already used and break them down and use them again for something else. I am no eco superhero. I am no green goddess. I am just a girl who grew up wearing hand-me-downs, who likes to see things realize their full potential. People and plastics alike. :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pretty Blossoms and a Winner!

Ahhhh, It's Friday, loves. Another week has flown by at a snails pace. Does that make sense? The days seem so long when you are stuck at work, but you turn around and it's the weekend already. How does that happen?

I've been wanting to share these photos I took last week. Lots of white frilly blooms. Flowers always make me smile. Such exquisite design and delicate strength.

And, of course, I also get to announce the winner of the giveaway! I tried to be totally fair. So in a very high tech manner, I wrote your names from my comments list, cut and folded each identically and, while looking the other way, drew a random name. And the winner is.......

Jen from Slumber Designs.

Congrats, Jen. You weren't the first comment and you still won! Now, just e-mail me your address and tell me which color you want {black or blue} and your bag will be on its merry way.

I want to thank every one of you who left a comment. I love your participation. It makes me very happy. This was so much fun. I can't wait to have another giveaway! I hope you all have a fabulous and safe weekend.

xoxo ~Jo~ xoxo

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sweet Proposition

Okey. Look. I don't normally get all excited about anything that has to do with weddings. I mean, I got married in the courthouse, for heaven's sake. But these little cards made me literally go "Awwwwwww". Kinda like when you see a cute puppy.

Yeah. Cute, I know. That's why I just had to share it with you.

Need some of these for yourself? Go check them out at Jenuine Paper.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

~A Friday Giveaway~

Hello Darlings. I just can't tell you how excited I am to present to you My First GiveAway!!
It's a couple of posts late, but I finally made it. And I hope very much that you like it, because it's a little personal.

I am giving away, to one of you, one of my handmade Classic Bucket Bags. And in the spirit of summer and all things nautical, I made these two bags from classic striped ticking with red interior. They make a great "everyday" bag or a perfect tote. They're big and roomy and double stitched for durability. I carry my own every day, loaded down with my regular purse stuff plus a magazine or two, plus my breakfast, plus the mail....... you get the idea.

And.... I am giving the winner their choice of color! Blue and cream ticking or black and white ticking? Both bags have a big red bow attached with strings of sea shells hanging like a wind chime. Not a bow girl? Don't worry. It's just a pin and can easily be taken off or re-attached.
So, how do you enter to win? Simple. These bags bring to my mind a perfect summer day in the sand. Seagulls and hazy sunshine. Hammocks and shrimp po'boys. Big weathered porches on comfy beach cottages.
*Leave me a comment below and tell me: If you had a beach cottage of your own, what color would you paint the front door?
I will throw your names in a hat and draw a winner next Friday. Once the winner chooses a color, the other bag will be listed in my Etsy store for sell. Good luck, dolls!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Take a Break

I'm starting to think that it's never going to be summertime around here. The weather keeps defaulting back to cold for some crazy reason. Really putting a damper on my spirits. I'm dreaming of sunny days and warm breezes, cookouts and catnaps. These bright, warm spaces are doing a little bit to boost my mood. Does this kitchen not make you jealous?

I'm sorry that I took a little hiatus and didn't tell you anything about it. I have been feeling like I don't have anything together lately. I have a long list of things that I intended to get done last week, but didn't. And a long list of things still waiting to be finished. My mind can't seem to settle on one task these days. Instead, its flitting around like a butterfly in a tornado.
BUT, oddly enough, I have been blessed with some new ideas to work on. I have projects in the works for my shop. I have plans for things to do around the house. And I have decided to start up a new weekly post here on the blog called "Why I...". You'll get to see how that works soon.
And just so you know, you will have a giveaway before the weekend. So maybe I have gotten more done that I thought! Now, if only the sun would shine.....
Happy Wednesday, friends.
*all photos from House Beautiful.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Always a Little Late... a thank you note.

Do you know that I love love love love love you? I want to send a great big ~THANK YOU~ to all your sweet, supportive, encouraging words about the loss of my pet. You really have no idea how much it has meant to me. This past week has been a very tough one.

My husband, as you know, is sometimes away doing his National Guard duties. I am left at home without my best friend. Being the independent soul that I am, one would assume that it wouldn't bother me very much to have the house to myself. But on the contrary, I am often not the most mentally or emotionally stable person, having a deep history of depression and nerve problems.

So, on Wednesday, when I had to hold my beautiful, young boxer in my arms and watch him die, I was left in a heap of an emotional mess. He was not even two years old. Playful and incredibly sweet. A beautiful tiger stripe brindle. Being the stubborn boy that he was, he did the very thing that he knew not to do, and was hit by a vehicle. I will spare you (and myself) the details. But, thank the dear Lord above, we got him to the vet before the pain really set in. My husband and I do not have the money for, nor could I bear to put my boy through the pain of major surgery and extensive recovery time. So I made the decision to let him go.

I know that there are much much worse things than losing a pet. And under different circumstances, this loss may not have weighed so heavy on me. But until my husband finally made it home on Friday evening, I was a complete mess. And, still, I am crying as I write this. I didn't realize before how much that dog kept me company and comforted me when my husband was not home. As much as he drove me crazy, he also made me laugh and showed me unconditional love. Its amazing how humans and animals can share such deep bonds.

I truly appreciate your kind words and warm thoughts. Its also amazing how humans who have never met can share such deep bonds, too. Thank you, from the bottom of my broken heart.

~Now. This right here marks my 250th post. And I know I promised you guys a giveaway to mark the occasion. But in light of last weeks happenings, I have not had the time nor the sanity to prepare for the giveaway that I had planned. So, if you don't mind waiting just a little longer, I do have a giveaway in the works that I am pretty excited about. And if you will check back in with me this week, I will try my very best to get it ready for you. I know that prizes aren't the most important thing in life either. But its the least I can do for such an amazing, wonderful, sweet bunch of readers.

xoxo ~Jo~ xoxo

*photo from La La Lovely.