Strawberry Fields Forever

Today I started thinking about strawberries in preparation for the Strawberry Festival, which will take place in just a few weeks.  Every year, family comes in to spend time together and enjoy the festivities and warm weather.  What better way to prepare than to try some new recipes and a little craftiness to make the occasion a bit more special.  With that, I created a Strawberries Pinterest® board to share some inspiring projects.  Check it out and enjoy strawberry season.  


DIY: Felt Acorns

I went to Coopers Rock on a little hike with some friends and there were so many little acorn caps laying all around I couldn't resist grabbing a few and giving these little felt acorns a try. It was so very easy I thought I would share it with you.

  • Acorn Caps
  • Glue gun
  • Felt Balls: Buy pre-made or make them yourself following this Tutorial. I used pre-made.


30 Poems in 30 Days - NaPoWriMo2013

I saw this post regarding a project to write 30 poems in 30 days during the month of April, which apparently is National Poetry Writing Month. I decided to jump in since I had been struggling lately on a personal level and had begun to write again in an effort to heal myself. You can follow my progress here on Sunshine Alley. I hope you enjoy it and I hope to be back here real soon with some new projects and inspiration, as I have been a bit distracted by life's curve balls.

Image: NaPoWriMo.net


Pantone® Postcard Project: Realized

Image by Emily Martin
The other day, while casually scrolling through Facebook posts, I saw a "share" from a letterpress teacher, Frank Brannon of SpeakEasy Press, who I had the pleasure of meeting in a letterpress workshop I took at Asheville Bookworks 3 years ago. You can read all about it here: Day One, Two, and Three. I have been stuck in a puddle creatively and needed something to inspire me...to get my creative energy flowing again, so without thinking I leaped and am now part of the Pantone® Postcard Project being conducted by Emily Martin and the Naughty Dog Press. I am 1 of 100 lucky souls with the task of transforming something ordinary into something extraordinary. I have to admit I am very excited and a bit nervous, but the ideas have been bouncing around in my head since I signed up.
I'm happy to say my color arrived today...PEONY.  Perfect!  I love pink and flowers.  Hmmmm.  Now to grab a cup of coffee, a couple magazines, some sunshine, my thoughts, and some music and see where the right-side of my brain takes me. Nothing like a good challenge to inspire me. Stay tuned for more postcard project progress.


She's Gone

Feeling lost these days, floundering. I look in the mirror and lay awake at night wondering who I am. Not liking who I have become...questioning myself, my intuition. Spending most of my time alone trying to figure out what to do. I heard this song "Don't Give Up" by Kym Tuvim and the following words spoke to me:

"Don’t Give up so easy
Why would you give yourself up for a broken wing?
Cause I see you
And what’s in your heart
You’re twice as strong and stubborn and fearless as you think you are
Baby it's true everything changes
And we lose so much we can never get back
But don’t give yourself up to this sadness
When it's only part of what you could have
These lonely secrets that you keep
Speak louder than what you would say if you knew I was listening
So I’ll stay with you in this silence..."

These words inspired me to write the following, and the photo just ended up happening naturally...these shoes were made for walking.

She's Gone
Afraid to speak
Within this house
The silence and secrecy
paint the walls she builds 
Distance fills the spaces inbetween 
She drifts further and further
away from the truth
the mirror of her existence 
Wearing a mask
She hides the pain
I do not know her
This woman who drifts in and out of me


Valentine Lavender Sachets

Let me first say, this post is a bit past due, but I love Valentine's Day and thought I should share it anyway. I haven't been very present here on my blog and I apologize for that. I am trying to be more present with my creative self, and this is the first of those efforts. At the beginning of January, I began searching for the perfect DIY project to turn into Valentines for all the powerful, beautiful women in my life.  I came across this tutorial on Purl Bee and knew this was the very project I would undertake as the first DIY project of the new year.   I spent the better part of January working on these lavender sachets and wanted to share this little video of my process. Enjoy!


Wanting More

I’ve had the great fortune to have past friends re-emerge into my life recently, and I have been left with many heartfelt thoughts of my past and how I arrived at where I am today, and what these relationships mean to me as I move forward with my life. I have been struggling lately with my own self worth and purpose and it was so nice to know there were people from my past that remembered me and actually liked me, though I may not have truly understood the impact I had on their lives. Feeling so outside myself lately, becoming someone I don’t even recognize has begun to take its toll on me mentally. I wonder how it is I will find my way back to becoming Me. Becoming and doing what I want and desire. Having to second guess myself or what it is that I say or do every day with such granularity is slowly, but certainly suffocating me. My daily feelings of loneliness and wanting really suck the life force out of me, and have beaten me down this month. Most days I can push it aside, ignore it and go about my day, but it truly is no way to live.  I want more.

I want to --
  • be more creative
  • have more time
  • spend more time with friends
  • run, walk, bike, and hike more
  • paint and decorate my house
  • fix all the "immediate need" things wrong with the exterior of my house
  • fix all the "need to do" things wrong with the inside of my house
  • spend more time with my kids
  • write more
  • blog more
  • create more
  • stay focused
  • take more pictures
  • be understood
  • hide less
  • express myself more
  • worry less
  • be myself  


Overdue Bunny Parcel

April has somehow escaped me and I find myself struggling with life, time, and my blog.  I attempted to carve out some time just after Easter to share this, but it never happened...life took over.  Though late, I wanted to share it anyway because I had so much fun making these little packages for my friends and family.
I had water colored these bunnies last year, and finally they found their way to these cute little cards.  I had so much fun adding the pink washi tape to the envelopes.  If you haven't experienced the fun of washi tape, you can look at Wishy Washi.
My favorite part was figuring out the wrapping for these little parcels.  I used painter's paper, which was the perfect blank canvas, washi tape and bakers twine.  I also scored some fabric tape from Somerset Studios, which is my most recent addition to my tape supply.
Everyone wanted to know were I got the cute little bunny cookies.  I found them in the organic section of Kroger's when on a trip to see my daughter.  They are bunny grahams from Annie's, and boy are they yummy.  What didn't end up in little Easter packages ended up in my tummy!


Out & About: Antiquing with Skip

My friend Skip and I went antiquing a couple weeks ago in Flat Woods at Sisters Antique Mall and I spotted a couple items for my decorating wish list. I apologize for some of the photos being out of focus, but I only had my cell phone and they always look okay when I take them, but in reality, not so much.
1.  Brown Metal Lamp: This is the perfect retro lamp for my home office.  Now if I can just get in gear and paint the room.
2.  Brown Rotary Phone, also for my office.  With a Rotary to Touch Tone Converter, I think I could make this work.  Need to do some research before purchasing, but I'm totally wanting it.
3.  Amber Glasses:  Do I really need more glasses? No, but they sure would be great for a Porch party sipping some yummy iced tea in them.
4.  Syrup/Batter Pitchers: Couldn't wait...the one on the left came home with me.
5.  Western Bottle:  Perfect for a centerpiece with a few daisies coming out of it.  I love the shape.  This too came home with me.  $5, what a steal.
6.  Scientific Scale:  I have a thing for industrial looking machines.  I just think it looks cool.
7.  Timer:  Wish this worked, because I would so get this for my kitchen.  It would go with the industrial look and feel I want to create one day, as well as the Operator Chairs I purchased last summer for the bar I still don't have in my kitchen.
8.  Cherry Juice Glasses:  Who doesn't love breakfast on Sunday with a small glass of juice?  These are so cute and remind me of my grandma Kate.
9.  Clock:  This was one of Skip's wants for the day.  He thought it would be perfect for his mantel, but was on another mission for the day.
10.  Cabinet:  I see this, as is, on my front porch.  It is perfect for storing outside silverware, plateware, napkins, etc. for those upcoming spring/summer porch parties.
All in all it was a wonderful day with some great finds and great inspiration for future purchases.  I have to say, I can't stop thinking about the lamp for my office, especially since I'm sitting here writing this post with less than adequate lighting in my office.


UpperCase #13

If you aren't familiar with UPPERCASE, now is your chance to get a glimpse of their crafty, creative magazine.  The new issue is now out and although I would suggest an actual subscription, you can give it a test run and view it online here or below.
It is through UPPERCASE that I got TIF Fussell's book Dottie Angel and started following Lisa Congdon's Collection A Day project.


Sara's Birthday in a Box

My friend Sara of Sara Shawger Studios celebrated a birthday yesterday and I wanted to share with you my quick-n-easy version of a "birthday in a box" I mailed to her.
I got my inspiration from the party in a box over at Duet Letterpress, which was inspired by the party in a box created by Amanda Jones. With my inspiration and very little time to be creative I grabbed what I could find and got to work.  It's a long story, but the long and short of it is that I thought she said her birthday was on the 9th instead of the 29th, and it was the March 8th when I finally found the time to create this, so I was very limited on resources and time.  Despite my downfalls, I managed to pull together something fun, and who doesn't want a little fun on their birthday?

First I made some watercolor paper ATC cards since Sara is a painter and enclosed them in little handmade envelopes I made using some marbled paper I created at an August Heritage Center workshop 2-3 years ago with R.P. Hale.  I thought Sara could use the ATCs to create "mini" paintings/drawings inspired by the colors in the envelopes and give to her friends/clients and then enclose them in the envies as a sweet little surprise (hint, hint Sara).  I like to think it is the gift that keeps on giving.
Next I gathered up some balloons, candles, and mini felt balls for confetti and enclosed in little glassine and clear envies.  Sara said she likes a splash of glitter, so when I saw the glitter star candles, I knew they would be perfect.
Next I used some circles I had cut out from old calendars to sew up a little strand of  happy garland for her to put up wherever she needs a little happy.
Add some tic-tacs for that late nite birthday kiss and a colorful little drink napkin for the birthday cocktail and you get one perfect little birthday in a box.
I plan do do another rendition of this for my daughter's birthday in April - it's the big "20" for her, so I have to make it extra special.


Duet Letterpress House Sketches

I stumbled upon these adorable house sketches by Kacey & Julie of Duet Letterpress and couldn't resist sharing them with you because I thought the idea of sketching your house into personalized address cards was just amazing and oh so personal.  I'm thinking of having a sketch done of my "mad" house (as everyone walking by has commented).  If you would like to get your own house immortalized into a letterpress house sketch, you can do so here.
I personally would like to have Rolodex cards made with my house and address, since I am one of those who still insist on having a Rolodex and fondling paper on a daily basis.  I also think it would be nice to have personalized recipe cards or homemade tags for baked goods with the house and "from our house to yours" verbiage on it...hmmmm I think I feel an idea formulating for future reference.  Maybe Julie could offer me some pointers for letterpressing my own some day, but until then, stop by and see what else Kacey & Julie have to offer in their etsy shop and enjoy their musings.


Learning WordPress in 6 weeks

In my never-ending quest for knowledge, I decided to sign up for an online e-course through the Continuing Education program at Pierpont Community and Technical College this past week in hopes of learning something new...how to self-host my very own WordPress site.  The class isn't for creating self-hosted sites, but instead an introduction into using WordPress, so maybe by the end of it I'll be ready to delve into the next phase...self-hosting...or...maybe not.  That remains to be seen.  Since I have techno-ADD, I thought this would be a good way for me to slow down and just focus on one thing.  I will use this class to create my little press designs blog to share my exploration into learning to letterpress.  Feel free to bookmark the site and continue to check back over the next six weeks as I progress through my class and create my letterpress blog.  Please be patient though, as it will contain alot of bogus info until the class comes to an end. Wish me luck!


Creative Lettering: DATE NIGHT

anticipating her arrival
she calls to cancel...
she's joking
i wait for her inside
seeing her
my heart a flutter
the time space continuim begins
she makes me smile non-stop
her smile, my sunshine
she lays her cards on the table
for hours
movie time comes and goes
we laugh, smile, giggle
like school girls
i do not want this to end...


Creative Lettering: belonging somewhere & nowhere

feeling defeated
belonging somehwhere
yet i am nowhere
looking everywhere
for my somewhere