Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The New Me

So, I spent a couple of hours today updating my blog look, and I'm eager for your feedback!

Do you like it? (I think it's softer and cleaner looking.)

Does it take too long for your computer to load it? I really want to know so I can improve things if that's the case.

Also, a couple of people have told me they're having trouble with leaving comments. Please let me know by emailing me (link on the left sidebar under my profile picture) if that is the case!

I owe this blog makeover to Missie Zee, who posted a tutorial on making over your blog on her blog, Crafting with Cat Hair. She posted it over the summer, and at the time I was so tied up that I told her it would be a while, but I had it on my list. And, look! I finally got around to it!

Thank you so much, Missie!

I still have some more things I want to add, such as buttons along the top, a button of my own about this blog, and maybe one of those fancy progress bar widgets to keep me on track.

As an aside: the reason I have this free time is that my poor bunny Ben has the dreaded swine flu. He got back from his camping trip with it on Sunday and has been home and, literally, in bed ever since!

I'm watching him like a hawk.

Or, like the helicopter mother I completely admit that, in this case, I am!

Meanwhile, I have been catching up on my to-do list and it feels GREAT! Lemonade from lemons. (Or, is that bacon from swine?)

UPDATE: I've switched my comment window to the "pop up" kind, to see if that helps with some folks who have trouble with leaving comments. Please bear with me as we try to work out the kinks!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Coming 'Round the Mountain

While our son was away on a camping adventure, we took a drive to the mountain town of Georgetown.

It's a historic mining town, nestled in the mountains. Georgetown hasn't much to recommend it, unless you enjoy quaint restaurants, antique stores, historical buildings, and, this weekend, a craft fair!


The craft fair, called AspenFest, was a complete surprise -- we had no idea it was going to be going on!

I bought this pair of handmade glass earrings, in swirls of blue and white.

I also bought my husband this hat in a Russian import store. He hasn't stopped talking about it! He loves it!


The antique stores were a big disappointment, though. First of all, of the three in town, 2 were closed, I have no idea why. And the last one was full of antique reproductions, with very few actual antiques. I bought that lovely vintage tin and 6 buttons. That was my entire vintage "haul." But, we discovered the Georgetown Candy Company, and their handmade taffy and chocolate was to. die. for.

Afterwards, we drove as much of Guanella Pass as we could; it was closed down due to impending rock slides.

Which was a real shame, as it was to be the best weekend for fall color, and the Pass is one of the best places to see it! We still saw some, though.

(I hope you're not getting tired of all my Fall Splendor posts!)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Happy Autumn Weekend!

Today my son's going on another Scouting adventure which requires, of course, rising at o'dark thirty to get him on the road. While away he'll be eating his own cooking, sleeping in a tent, and sledding down sand dunes!

Since we'll already be up early, I've planned a romantic sightseeing day for my husband and I. First: pancakes. Then: historical town with antique shops. In between: more mountain fall splendor in vivid color!

Before I go, though, I wanted you to feast your eyes on some more spectacular fall color:

I couldn't resist this lovely pin, hand made by a fellow Etsian, Michele. She used what feels like heavy paper with an image of nature's bounty then added gold paint and lots of sparkle! I love the colors! Check out her blog and her Etsy shop, Michele's Glass Bead Treasures.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Carpe Diem!

Today, I took the word of the week, Carpe Diem, to heart. I didn't have to go into work, and had gotten pretty quickly through my to-do list, so, even though no one ever wants to go with me, I went to the pool to swim laps. By myself.

It's always difficult for me to get myself over to the pool -- but once there, I enjoy it so much.

It's great exercise and I'm getting quite good (and fast) since I've been swimming so faithfully this year. Once I get out of the pool, I feel like an Olympian (move over, Michael.) Yeah, it feels that good.

Moving from California to Colorado has made us great believers in this day-seizing. With weather so often unfit for human endurance, we've learned to get outside when the getting's good.

That means today, after our week of snow, freezing rain, and hard frost, with the sun out and temperatures back up to where we should be in September, we need to get out and enjoy it.

We took the dogs out to run wild in the forest.

Maggie says, "Carpe Diem!"

For more posts on Carpe Diem!, visit Line!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sharon's Pillow

You may recall my mentioning at the end of the summer about my friend Sharon's mother passing away in Colorado Springs and how I helped her sister do a garage sale from the estate; also, how I just couldn't help rescuing her mother's square dancing pins from the sale pile. I mean, really, how could they part with this?:

Well, for the last couple of days I've been working on this:

It's a pillow, and I've attached one of the pins to the front of it. The rest of the front consists of a huge blue ruffle that was once a part of Sharon's mom's square dancing outfits, as well as pieces of my own fabric that I arranged crazy quilt style. I had purchased the precious square dancing couples print earlier in the summer, and was happy to have a project to use it on!

The reverse is a square from one of the mom's vintage tablecloths that had several permanent stains, so I didn't feel bad cutting it up. The blue of the tablecloth matched the square dancing dress (which was also intended for sale!) so beautifully.

I'm planning to make three more pillows, for Sharon's siblings. The rest will be necessarily plainer than Sharon's -- probably simply the ruffle, the square dancing print, and the tablecloth print on the front and back. And of course one of the fancy pins attached to each!

They'll be sort of gaudy and busy -- but then that's characteristic of square dancing anyway, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sweet!

I was featured on "Mini Monday" yesterday on The Etsy Bloggers Street Team blog!

Thank you to the Team! I encourage every Etsian with a blog to join a team -- it increases the fun exponentially!

Where I Create

I always envy those bloggers who post photos of their studios. My "studio" aka the office is never really, uh, presentable enough to photograph.

There's no excuse: I have plenty of cubbies, drawers, and shelves, but somehow the room just wants to be storage instead of an actual work space.

I think it must be me. I think I just prefer to be out in the dining room, or in the living room, amongst my family when I'm creating. I don't mind the interruptions.

I do love my office, cluttered and in disarray as it always seems to be!

We designed the room a few years ago as part of a big splurge from The Container Store!

How do you like my painted wall? I wanted something to keep me awake when I'm writing!

This window is the only room in the house that looks out over Pikes Peak. (We used to have the mountain view from the living room, until our neighbors decided to build a garage the size of an airplane hangar, so now we get to look at that, instead.) One day, soon, when I'm in the throes of writing a novel, I'll be inspired by the purple mountain's majesty.

Piles of fabric, my "inspiration board" and sewing notions in the corner

Some linens waiting to be sorted, and a box where I'm collecting ephemera

Inspiration wall

Further inspiration: my "winner" certificates from National Novel Writing Month; I'm thinking of participating again, this year, after a two or so year hiatus. I'm the kind of a person who hangs these things up. I took my diploma to be framed on our first day back from Indiana this past May!

So, there you have it: my workspace. It'll never make into Blogger magazine or anything, but it's all mine and I love it.

In other news: I just listed my first Christmas item in my Etsy shop today:

It's that Christmas crazy quilt pillow I'd mentioned I've been sewing (in the living room, mostly!)

It's for sale here in my handmade Etsy shop, Twice Shy Restored.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

In My Neck of the Woods






I hope you have had a wonderful weekend, my dear friends.

I turned 45 on Saturday, and am happy to count my life by friends, not years!

P.S. I'm linking this up to Rose Colored Glasses "Welcome Fall Party" - visit Rhondi to see the other posts about Fall!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Word of the Week: Fragment

Fragment.

A small part broken off or detached. An incomplete or isolated portion; a bit.

I love fragments. I love the stories they tell by what is missing from them.

I am delighted when I find a kindred spirit -- someone who is as enchanted with the bits and pieces as I am, and who celebrates them!

Fragments lovingly stitched together...

To create a piece that is more than a bit -- a bit more whole...

But, even still incomplete. A fragment. Still beautiful.

A small part broken off or detached. An incomplete or isolated portion; a bit.

No one except me would consider this (above) beautiful.

But, to me, this piece of me and my son -- his leftover umbilical cord, that fell off about five days after his birth -- is not only beautiful, it's one of my most priceless possessions.

It's proof; a remembrance of the time we spent together, just before we each became a fragment of the other.

For a list of more posts on Fragment, visit hostess Nathalie's blog!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Refrigerator

I strive for a clean, streamlined look for my refrigerator.

But somehow, it still ends up looking like the rest of the house!

I call that whiteboard with the weekly calendar on the side of it "my brain." I literally would not be able to remember a thing if I didn't write it up there. Notice that I had to write in Project Runway this week -- that's because last week I forgot it was on! And it's my favorite show! The only one I watch!

There are some cute little boys on my fridge:

This is Harbert. Isn't he handsome? He's 7 years old and lives in Peru. He is the child we support through Compassion. It's been a wonderful experience; we write to him and he and his tutor are faithful to write back! I'd say we exchange about six letters each year, and we've been doing this since he was 3 years old.

And, of course, this little guy is mine, when he was about 14 months old. Look at that little tummy! Don't you want to tickle him? I love pictures like that.

The other stuff we have clipped to the fridge are the things we're always losing: the Sky Sox baseball team schedule (which did no good as we didn't go to one. single. game. this summer. How did that happen?!) And, the form that explains how to clean Ben's trumpet that we rent so he can play in the school band.

Also up there are two thank you cards that we received from our twin nephews for their graduation gifts. They were without a doubt the nicest thank you cards I've ever received!

Visit Leigh Ann at her blog, Freckled Nest, for more fridge pictures!

Etsy Bloggers Street Team Blogger of the Month: Designs by Vanessa!

It is a real pleasure to introduce you to Etsy Blogger Street Team member Designs by Vanessa. She has one of those beautiful, colorful blogs that always looks fresh and modern. I'm really enjoying visiting her this month, and I hope you will, too!

Visit her Etsy shop by the same name for paper crafts, jewelry, and more! It has the same feel and style of her blog, which is to say, it's lovely!

Here's a peek at some of my favorite items at her store (click on the photos to go to the listings):

Yes, I know: me and birds. These days it's just all about the birds for me!

And this color green is just so amazing -- I'd wear these in a heartbeat! She calls them "Alice" earrings, and Alice was my mom's name.

Have fun visiting Vanessa!