Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Happy new year, and, do you have a "word"?

Happy new year!  I hope you ended last year on a happy note and find yourself comfortably introduced into the new year.  I did, and I am.  Tell me, did you pick one of those "words of the year" for yourself?
The word of the year has been kind of "a thing" for the last several years on social media: choosing one word that describes what you'd like to focus on in the year to come.  I normally don't commit to one word, and I typically ignore all suggestions to do so.  But TODAY, about the 8th time someone (the yoga instructor at my free Wednesday class) asked me to do so, I decided I would choose a word:
Over the last several years I've had some health challenges, and I'm just now having another, new one.  Nothing serious.  But, I'm beginning treatment for it, and have decided that it needs to be a priority.  I know I will enjoy improved quality of life once I've got it under control.  I also know it's going to be a pain, and that the treatment will involve trial and error (and already has) -- but I'm committing to it, and furthermore, intend to give myself a lot of breaks and grace as I go forward with this.  It's most important this year for my health to be restored.  Restore.

If you too have a word you've chosen, I want to hear about it!
So, backing up a little: I really made a point to enjoy this past Christmas, and really take things easy.  In the photo above, I was going to an antique store and made a spontaneous decision to put on one of my vintage Christmas corsages for the shopping trip!  It made me happy.
 Another thing that made me happy was the unexpected kindness of friends; the tree made of green buttons, above, was just one of the many gifts I received from my creative friend Liz.
Here is another: a bell she made from aluminum molds, with a handle of buttons and a clacker that's a key -- all vintage!
And this adorable ornament she created with a lovely, bird themed button as a focal point!  All of the gifts I received this year from family and friends were so very thoughtful, and so reflective of who I am and what I love; that feeling that people "know" me is so important to me!  Besides these button art pieces and ephemera, I received, among other things, a wrapped gift from Tiffany's, a scarf decorated with text from Pride and Prejudice, Vera Neumann linens, and a Downton Abbey calendar!  I felt very, very spoiled.  I learned some years ago that gifts of the heart is my "love language", and this holiday season in particular was a great example of that!
Of course, spending time with those I love the most was the most precious gift!
In Colorado, we have had so many very cold days in December and January -- colder than in recent memory.  Ben was home for a couple of weeks to visit, and we spent a lot of time indoors, snuggled up under blankets, watching television and stuff like that; we were also all sick with a cold part of the time!  But how blessed we felt to have warmth, shelter, and togetherness.
I still feel very much in the throes of a cold, long winter.  I'm already dreaming of Spring!
Look at these wonderful buttons I found at an antique store yesterday!  Now, these get me right into a valentine-crafting mood, dreaming of shades of pink, fluffy tulle and romantic vintage images!  I have a couple of projects in the works -- more on those later!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

It never gets old

This month I've been blogging for here at Indulge Your Shelf for ten years.  If you've been with me for any time at all, then you know that I adore treasure hunting at thrift shops.  It just never gets old.  Over the last decade I'd been hearing about the wonders of the Goodwill "bins" from other junk lovers in other states, and then we finally got one nearby a few years ago.  Oh my goodness -- it takes thrifting to a whole new level.
Finding this tablecloth there just made my day.  It's exactly the kind of thing that makes my heart leap -- especially at this time of the year!
The graphics...
look at that sleigh!  With visions of sugarplums dancing in my head, I sorted through those dusty bins and came up with a few fun little touches:
the holly berry "ball" on the far right is going to be washed up and put to use immediately in the last of my Christmas crafting!
And, here's what I mean by treasure: how is it even possible that something like the glass ribbon candy Old World Christmas ornament, new with its tag, ends up in the bins -- much less survives them?  If you've been there, you know exactly what I mean!

It's a Christmas Miracle.  I'm just sayin'.

Today and tomorrow I hope to make headway on the little Christmas decorating I am planning to do.  The kitties are still too young to trust with my delicate treasures, but last year's "unbreakable" tree was very nice and will get a repeat, I think!

Happy December to you and yours!  Let the countdown begin!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

I Am Here

Have you heard Pink's song, I Am Here?  I love everything she does, but this song is really meaningful to me and it really fits my mood lately.  Where does everybody go when they go?
Well, I was here all of September and October, but in November I went to SF to see my family.  The trip was a quick decision I made a few weeks ago -- I was tired of saying, "I should go" and just found a date that worked and got some tickets.  Sometimes you just have to listen to your heart.  My husband and son were on the fence about it, but they made time to go with me and I think they're really glad they did.
We spent some time remembering the ones we have loved and lost.  They are in a lovely final resting place.
We drove to the wine country, got lost in its beauty, and had a great meal in Sonoma.

A really wonderful evening on a patio -- it was cold in Colorado, but in the 80's in California.  Happy sigh.
My new favorite wine.
We visited my father's youngest brother and his wife in Stockton.  It was so wonderful to see them and it made me very happy.  Also in the photo: my cousin and my half brother.
That night, my brother treated us to another really great dinner at a local casino.  We even tried our hand at the slots.
Ben is now 21 and able to gamble; we both lost -- but it was fun trying!
On our last day there, we visited with more of our family, who all graciously made time to get together for a visit in our honor.  It was a real reunion!  Above, me with my brothers and cousins (and also my dad's first wife.)
We all reminisced about our families and our grandparents; above, a photo of my grandmother, who I will always miss.
We had so much fun.  And then it was over, and we were back home in Colorado.  I'm sad and missing it all -- but, ever so glad to have been there.
In October, I got to go and see one of my favorite, favorite writers: Anne Lamott!  She was having a signing for her new book one night in Denver, and I got one of the last spots.  It was completely amazing to meet her, and so inspiring!
Now, it's back to holiday preparations; I've been making ornaments...
and listing them in my Etsy shop...
but not selling any...
I don't know what's up with that?  No one is spending money, it seems.  I just keep listing, though.  I have some really fun stuff in my shop, and even more I haven't had a chance to list yet!  Everything in my shop ships free now!


Go see!  And, please check back -- I'm planning to list and list and list in the next few days!  💖

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Creating a wedding invitation keepsake, and hiking unexpectedly

Dennis and I attended a beautiful wedding last weekend for one of my new co-workers.  Everything about the day was lovely and we were so glad to be included!
The wedding colors were dark blue and white, and I was so inspired by the pretty invitation that I decided to create a frame for it for them as a keepsake.
Here's how it turned out.  While the images of brides were scans of originals, almost all of the rest of the details including the beaded flowers, millinery and fabrics, were vintage (of course!)  Here are some of my favorite details/close-ups of the decoupaging:





The back, and a little gift card I made to go with it.  I know that decoupaging with vintage paper isn't everyone's style, but I hoped she'd like it, and she did!

This weekend was quieter; after Dennis was out of town for the whole week (and the whole week before, too), he came home Friday and took me to a local pop up vintage market.  It was small, but we had a lot of fun!
Then yesterday we drove up to Greeley to visit Ben.  We had a really nice time on a lovely day with him and Cora; we hiked (accidentally!) at a State Park, among other things.  It was so wonderful to spend time with them.




I had hoped for Fall color, but it was a little bit too early for that; the pretty photo below is someone else's, from another part of Colorado, but I'm adding it for emphasis.
I hope you had a wonderful weekend, too!