Friday, December 30, 2011

From My Heart

Looking back over the past year
I have to tell you how blessed we've been at
in so many ways!

Our customers and friends are incredible

they're our best advertisement,
bringing their friends
family members
and their out of town guests
to the shop.

I can't tell you how many
"once a year",
"out of town"
stopped to shop
while they were visiting family and friends
for the holiday.

(Many on their way in from the airport,
with the comment that
was the first stop they had to make!)

This sort of affection and excitement
warms out hearts.

It builds business in a solid fashion
keeps us 
in a  position to continue
seeking and providing
a treasure trove of fresh items for the shop.

There is no finer compliment than being recommended
by someone who has enjoyed our ambiance
 atmosphere and design sensibility.

Many of our "regulars"
have brought a dozen friends to us through the years!

This encouragement is what keeps us going,
spending countless hours
and back breaking work,

in rain, heat, mosquitoes, mud, ice and snow,

all across the country 
through thousands of worthless objects
in order to find those few
special items
that spark sweet, warm memories
get you excited!

are why we do it!

Thank you,
from the bottom of my heart!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Almost New Year

It's almost the
 New Year
time for resolutions . . .

I think I'll make one or two.

let me assure you
I'm not going to make one to exercise more
or totally reorganize my house
or to do any of those wonderful things we
will only chastise ourselves for 
forgetting by February.

No guilt.
No tough requisites.

Just want to be a kinder, 
more thoughtful
generous person
in 2012.

A little more apt to not make comments while driving,
be annoyed by someone racing to take a parking spot,
irritated by many little things.

I'm blessed and content,
 and happy to be here in America,
wish to smile more
be a blessing to other people 

What's your resolution?

Thanks for reading along this year - it's been fun!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Spirit

I was lying in bed early this morning, stretching,
 and relishing the fact that I had plenty of time to simply lie there
enjoy the warm coziness
for a change

and my thoughts ran to Christmas.

Now, generally, when my thoughts run to any upcoming event
I'm barraged by my mental
"to-do" list
and have a rush of panic at 
how much there is still to be accomplished.
There is the accompanying guilt
"why didn't you start earlier",
and the feeling of being slightly overwhelmed
followed by the big
"why am I perpetually in this cycle"

For many,
Christmas can be a big guilt inducer . . . 
when you consider that bloggers all around the world are bombarding
us with the beautiful gifts and decorations they've made from scratch

and the stories of how they're helping to save the world
living the ultimate
"green lifestyle"
and how all their gifts are made from
100% recycled trash
thereby saving the planet
while stunning their friends and families with their
time management.

But this morning I simply shooed away that demon
thought about the Christmas memories
that stood out from my 

I recalled fragrances:
real evergreens 
cookies baking
hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks
clove studded orange pomanders
popcorn being strung
ham baking
ripe pears
nuts toasting
hot waffles

I recalled being surrounded by family . . . 
(there were five generations of family when I was small).
Grands and great grands and great great grands!
There were aunts and uncles and greats to boot.
There was a plethora of cousins,
and neighborhood friends took up where the cousins left off.

There were Christmas trees - 
one in each home
of all these relatives and neighbors,
and the grandaddy Christmas tree of them all:
the tree in our little church.
I believe it must have been 25 foot high,
(but then I'm sure it only seemed that way).
Lights and ornaments were unique on each tree, 
so every one was a small miracle
and delight!

Our neighbor had a molded, white plastic tree
whose branches looked somewhat like combs . . . 
the most wonderful and "modern" tree . . .
it was always decorated in a single color,
and I seem to remember one year especially
when the tree was all in blue!
Ahhhh . . . 
so much more sophisticated than our hodge-podge family tree,
brimming with the handmade ornaments and paper chains
and the eggshell collages my mother lovingly crafted!
We had some family heirloom ornaments
and the precious ones my mother made
and the 
school paste and macaroni and glitter ones,
and out tree was breathtaking!
We literally held our breath while the light cord was plugged in.
The final touch was my mother painstakingly adding the silvery tinsel . . . 
one single strand at a time
in perfect symmetry.

I remember my mother using specific gift wrap for the gifts from family
and then, secretly, after we children were asleep, 
wrapping the 
Santa gifts
 in a unique paper - so it would be obvious that he
had brought certain presents
 from his workshop at the North Pole!

When I was old enough to know what was going on,
 I was privileged to stay up late and help her wrap those Santa gifts
for my younger siblings.
My first role was to lend my finger to hold the knot securely in the ribbon while she tied a bow.

We finished special baking details, and sometimes prepared the turkey stuffing.
I was a entrusted with tearing bread into cubes and crumbling cornbread.
It was a right of passage I'll always treasure!

Every year our church had a Christmas pageant.
It was traditionally the story of Jesus' birth
in the manger in Bethlehem.
There were speaking roles and non speaking roles
and members of all ages took parts appropriate to their age, size and ability.

I was often a part of the pageant, 
and loved the rehearsals, the costuming, the music, the lighting
and all the adrenaline rush of the production.

It felt so real, and so holy and I was filled with awe!
Luke's recounting of the nativity event
came alive
and it seemed we were whisked across the world to that very sight
on that
 very important silent night.

I treasure so many wonderful memories
of Christmas!
The best are the feelings of being loved
and the wonder of so many relatives and friends gathered together,
and the abundance of delicious treats on the table,
the wonder of Jesus being born
in the city of Bethlehem,
beneath that shining star!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Continuing The Organizational Quest!

There has been some progress on the organizing front in the little workspace I think of as my studio.

Truth be told,
I must use this niche for creative space,
office space,
" hide the piles until the company is gone"

(Oh, you know what I'm talking about . . . 
don't even pretend you dont . . .)

I'm toting out boxes of half finished projects and broken items I told myself I would fix.
I've got bags and boxes of items ready for donation
and a couple of trash bags
as well . . . 
and a rather sizable stack of papers for shredding . . .

Where does this paper originate?

I have called and written and emailed every organization that sends me mail,
demanding to be removed from their mailing lists
and email lists.

(There are limits to what I can endure!)

I have organized and discarded magazines.
I have rearranged some furniture.
I have purged my bulletin board.
I feel so virtuous!

I'm rounding up
vintage jars 
to hold all the little messy bits of office supplies 
and crafty components!

There is such a sense of accomplishment
in such a small change.

Do I hear applause????

Monday, December 5, 2011

Organizing My Life

Well, it's 4 degrees outside my back door this morning, with a high of 10 degrees forecast.

I'm guessing this would be a great day to reorganize my creative space.

I believe I'll tear it part and move some furniture around
and create a more efficient environment.

There should be more walking room in this area
and fewer piles to have to jump over and skirt around.
I'm in here every day,
so much seems to pile up.

More defined spaces for my buttons and book pages
and strings and clothespins and all those yummy pieces of life I love to create with.

Hmmmm . . . 

This could take some time . . . 
I believe I'll begin with a cup of coffee.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gift Wrapping

 I found a wire basket,
 a tin box
some vintage linens
 to use for

I'm continuing to amass my ephemera:
book pages
sheet music
and some lovely items I must keep secret
until the family gift wrap competition is complete.

So much fun to use these
 timeworn and repurposed treasures
 to hold my little Christmas surprises!

There are so many sweet ways to wrap your gifts . . . 

think cloth:
antique pillowcases
crocheted tablecloth
burlap and twine

woven baskets
reusable fabric totebags
wooden boxes
wire bins

recycled boxes:
any kind, 
upholstered in fabric
or recycled papers,
tied with live evergreens and 
vintage Christmas ornaments
or old linens and laces

We're attempting to avoid the commercial
 use what's on hand
earth concious

what fun!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy December

Just on cue the snow began on December 1st here in Denver 

 I'm certain I heard Christmas music,
 and possibly sleigh bells this morning as I awoke.

There is nothing quite so beautiful as fresh snow, falling gently in the early morning.
I'm inspired, and have decorated for Christmas!

There are wreaths and garland,
pine sprays and berries

There are apothecary jars filled with vintage Christmas ornaments
a snow-girl-angel with a banner which says

I have my cinnamon flavored tea and my first Christmas cookies,
baked by my friend Barb,
all yummy and chewy with white chocolate and cherries and nuts!

There is a stack of Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers,
 awaiting some creative gift wrapping . . . 

I've challenged my ultra-creative
and very "green" daughter to a creative-wrapping duel!
We'll try to out do each other in the recycling of
 beautiful fabrics,
vintage papers,
 antique ribbons, 
and a wealth of gorgeous and up-cycled 
 innovative packages!

Be sure to see Kellie's blog:
for a chuckle at her escapades.

More to follow, as we attempt to get on with the challenge

Happy December!


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