Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Home again, Home again, jiggety-jig.

It was a fast and furious trip to the Biggest Little City, filled with lots of fun people and things, (Grand babies that had grown in leaps and bounds, a by-chance-squeezed-in-meet-up with the other Tracey, showing my Rock n' Roll Buddy the old Ponderosa Ranch remains from the Bonanza Days, and teaching the sewing Queen a new fun card game!) ending with a long, late evening flight (complete with a layover in Oakland...) back home to the Pacific Northwest. Visits always feel too short, and at the same time, there is nothing like coming home again.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Goodie Bag.

I know.

It's kinda ridiculous, but...I couldn't help myself.

I like to make silly lil' prezzies for my favorite people for pretty much any reason I can think of. This one was a good bag for the plane ride to the Biggest Little City.

What was in it?
Oh, some chex party mix ('coz those bags of peanuts are just too danged tiny) and some coconut of his favorite flavors. Oh...and drink coupons I have had since...well, case we wanted to have a cold adult beverage to make it even more of a party.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

As it turns out, you CAN go back home again.

Yeah, so....I was thinking last night that life is strange sometimes.

I'm visiting grand babies and other family members and friends in the Biggest Little City this weekend, (yippee!) and my Rock n' Roll Buddy came along with me. He wants to see where I lived...and worked....what things look like...he wants to put pictures with the some of the stories I've shared with him.

No, that part isn't strange at all.

This weekend would have been my wedding anniversary, if that were in fact the path I was meant to be going down. Now that part...that seems strange, rather like I am hearing about some other girl's life. Out of 52 weekends in the year, this is the one where I will re-visit my old life, and share more stories and little details about it with someone that I would never have even met were it not for the fact that I no longer have that wedding anniversary.

It doesn't matter to me any longer which anniversary it would have been, and were it not for this trip (and typing May 27 about fifty times at work on Friday) I really wouldn't have given the date much more than a passing thought, which makes me feel good. 

Really good, in fact.

It means I've moved on. I'm happy these days. I am, for the most part, healed from the cannon-ball-through-the-heart injury that I felt would surely kill me nearly five years ago. (Oh. My. Can it really be nearly half a decade?) From the day I found myself suddenly single and a few weeks later moved out of the big house, until now, I never thought I'd go back by there. I told myself there was no need. Actually, I didn't think I could handle it. It would be far too painful.

Funny how getting another person's perspective can give you a new insight into things- a fresh view. After talking with my Rock n' Roll Buddy about revisiting where I used to be, I realized that all of my past is a part of me, both the good memories and the not-so-good. It's about what we take away from the people and experiences in our lives, because after all, that's what has made us who we are today....(We'll see how I feel later this weekend after going on the driving tour down memory lane.)

Friday, May 27, 2011

This little (Lack of) light of mine...

Not only is my Barbie Condo petite, it is a bit on the rather dark side. You see, as far as windows go, I have only a small kitchen window ( That is what small kitchens have, you know....) at the front side of my place and a six foot wide sliding glass door at the other end, in my eensy weensy living room. Beyond the sliding door in the living room is a small patio which  has a balcony hanging over it, casting shade. While this will be oh-so-nice  if  when things warm up this summer, but it does make my lil' living room.... dim. (I had every single light on in my downstairs to take these pictures.)
Now, I am all about mood lighting and candlelight in the evenings, but notsomuch in the mornings through mid day, and especially not in spring and summer time. (edited here to add: Oh! My gosh!  LOL! Thanks to those of you who spotted Moose' in the left hand mirror and let me know...I don't think I will tell Moose...he would simply die if he knew his patootie was showing like that!)

I've been toying with the idea of lightening things up by getting rid of the black pieces of furniture in my living and dining areas, wondering if this might create a lighter, brighter look in my space, so... I am thinking of painting this hutch a weathered white. Think that might do the trick, or will it simply change my look to more of a feminine, foofy look?
I am also debating on whether or not to paint my dining set white as well. (I got the idea here. Doesn't this picture inspire you madly to decorate a dining room?! It does me!)
The challenge here is that  my farm table is all white (no wood-stained top) and I have my old hall table in this area as a buffet server, and it is all cream, so I am wondering if that might be too match-y match-y, or boring, or...well, I am just not sure. Actually, I am not even 100% sure I want to keep this table. I am considering selling it and replacing the round for a small rectangular farm table I already have in my workroom office, which could mimic the look in that photo above that I like so much.....


So many decisions. If, in the end, I feel I made a mistake by painting these pieces, I will be spending time re-painting things back, and that doesn't sound too fun to me....I'm dying to know...What do you think?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Saturday ride.

Can you see it there, through the trees? Look closely.

To celebrate my new big girl job, my favorite Rock n" Roll buddy took me on a train ride through the picturesque Mt. Hood area last weekend. We stopped at the grocery store on the way up and got the makings for a picnic lunch and we were set. We rode up high, on the dome area of the double decker car.
The weather cooperated, and we got to see the last of the blooms on the flowering plumb trees (I think that's what they were...)

and apple and pear orchards, along with a few vineyards.
We meandered along the river, chatting and enjoying the views. Four hours of lush green scenery and really good company. We stopped in the quaint little town of Parkdale and there was an incredible, bigger-than-life iron sculpture of a little girl and a horse that was simply amazing. Here, look for yourself...

Pretty neat, huh?
We headed into a neat BBQ restaurant that was done up with a railroad theme...
and had a couple of ice cold  Rolling Rock beers.Wasn't the sign on the BBQ place cool?
If you are looking for fun way to share time with a buddy, a friend, a date, or a spouse on a nice lazy Saturday, (or any day for that matter) that gives you time to really visit, think about a train ride.

I think you'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spread a little too thin.

I've been struggling (again) lately as to which direction to focus on taking my bliss, and the added challenge of my new full time big girl job has made me realize that trying to have my hand in too many pots (blogging, baking, thrifting and creating for a booth space seasonal shows....) just isn't gonna work. I want to be focused, and be the best I can possibly be at whatever it is I am doing.

There simply isn't enough time in my week to do all I want to do.

I was surprised to discover yesterday as I was chatting with a friend, that I am not the only one struggling to make the smartest use of my limited time and still have a full and happy life. It seems that another friend is at a similar crossroad.

I think creative minded people struggle so much with things like this because we truly want to do it all....but just because we want to do something may not mean that it is going to always be financially worth while, and if we are not careful, we end up working long and hard on a project- items for a faire, furniture for a booth space, whatever it may be, the end discover we spent more on product, gasoline, and precious time, than we will recoup in the end. Then, we're frustrated.

And stressed.

And that's not good.

Right now my Barbie Condo looks like Santa's workshop, since I do my painting at the kitchen table and store in-the-works-products on the living room floor in the corner. (which is quickly growing past the sofa area) I do not like coming home to this. I want my home to be my haven. A nest away from the stress, not to add to it.

I've made a Pro-Con list of all my different interests...some hobbies, some part of my income...some hobbies-turned-income and some supposed-to-be-income-turned-hobby-like. I know I've got to cut back somewhere, and some things are going to have to fall off the list. It's just that it's so very hard to decide which is what, and what is which, if you know what I mean.
All I know for sure at this point is that I'm pretty happy that I have the option of choices, and I think over the next couple of months things will settle out. Then I will (hopefully) know where it is I am supposed to focus my energy. Right now I am just waiting on a sign from God.

I continue to be accutely aware that I am not driving this bus.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's not the size of your garden....'s what you do with it, right? My Barbie condo has a back yard, and an even more eensy weensy patio, but the nice spring weather we had yesterday has me thinking that I need to get some flowers, and patio things together so I can actually enjoy the outdoors. As you can see, I have plenty of flowerpots, just waiting for fresh flowers and herbs...

Now, I just need to decide if I am going to make my covered patio area a lil' living room, or a dining room (which is the way I am currently leaning...)..but I am not quite sure just yet. How about you? Do you find that you use your outdoor space for sitting and visiting, or more for eating and lingering around the table? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

One more day.

....until the drawing for my May give away, that is! Check this post for the details.
I know I've been missing in action this week....but, really, other than watching American Idol (Can you even believe they sent sweet James home?!)  I've been wrapped up in getting in the groove of my new eight to five job this week. I must say that it feels even better than I thought it would. A great place to work...with friendly people, a high energy job, and  lots of new things to learn!
Good luck to everyone that entered the give away!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Looky what I got....

I was one happy Mama on Mother's Day when I saw this lil' baby was for me! (And just take a look at the clever bow my daughter created out of the mesh-y bag this gem came in!)

Have you heard of Jo-Tote's? It's a nice big purse-slash-camera-bag...or a camera bag that looks like a fashionable's...well, it's just pure genius, that's what it is....and now that I have one, I am wondering why it took so long for someone to have thought of this incredibly obvious-to-me ( now) must-have item for all of us giant-sized camera lovers. (Oh! And look at the wanna-be bowling bag style they make as well!!!)

I like to take my Rebel with me in case a photo op arises, but it's been awkward, and bulky carrying a purse and a camera bag, and it always seems to end up just being a pain to carry around.

Not anymore, sista.

I'll be carrying all of my goodies around in this bag, and not worrying about bumping my camera, or dropping stuff 'coz both of my hands are full.

*Sigh* Am I one lucky Mama, or what?!

Monday, May 9, 2011

An exciting new adventure begins today.

Mmm hmm.

I'm excited!

I'm happy!

Truth be told, I'm even a little bit nervous.

Today is my first day at a new job that will take me back into the business world that I was laid off from nearly two and a half years ago. I've been looking to get back into an administrative job role for a loooooong time now, and with this challenging economy, it's been a slow, long search.

I've missed not getting to wear some of my cute shoes (standing for long periods on a hard floor at a bank isn't conducive to wearing four inch heels, you know...) and I'm anxious to begin the routine that a regular eight-to-five kind of job offers.

I feel like it's the first day of school, full of anticipation of all that this new adventure will offer. I've packed my lunch, and I'm ready to go....wish me luck!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

...another home made card using a copy of an old photo of my Mom and me. I was lucky enough to get to visit with my Mom this past week..Happy Mothers Day to all of the Mamas out there!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The new window at Camas Antiques.

I spent most of Friday working on the window at Camas Antiques. (Special thanks to AJ from Sophie's Cottage for helping me to stock the window!) My theme was kind of an evolution of spring cleaning in the far right corner...This area was my most favorite part of the window! (Click on each photo to see the entire picture enlarged for better details)
to a party on the patio in the forefront of the it is from outside the shop...
...and up at the top of this post is the view from behind the table, which you can see from the side window, and when you walk up inside the display...(I adore the old Army cot full of pillows! Could anything be more inviting on a shady patio on a hot summer day?), finally on the back wall and on the left end,  gardening. ( It's no easy feat photographing this window, as the glare is quite a challenge, so just bear with me.)
There is a sidewalk sale going on all up and down 4th Avenue today, with very nearly all the booth spots at Camas antiques participating. (My things are all 10% off!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mom's the word.

Mother's Day is this Sunday.

(I know. It feels like Christmas was just three weeks ago, right?)

My own Mom (the Sewing Queen of Northern Nevada) is up here for a short visit this week, and so we had an early Mother's Day dinner last night. I thought I'd share the cute lil' banner I made, (click on the top photo for a nice enlarged picture) along with a menu card, and place cards...It all looked so festive, and spring-like, and well, like Mother's Day!
The banner, and everything else are in  my etsy shop in a Printable Party e-kit sent right to your in-box, just in time for Mother's Day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A giveaway for May!

To celebrate my new blog look, I'm hosting a lil' give-away! The give away includes the fabulous cookbook, Hello Cupcake (great recipes, and all easy and adorable!) and a wonderful little kit called Chocolate Bliss, which is a CD of music along with recipes for some very decedent chocolate dessert recipes!
To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post, letting me know that you are now following my blog (see the "Follow" button on my sidebar over to the right...)
Want a second chance to win? Begin following me on Twitter, also on the side bar, and leave a second comment letting me know!
Become a friend of A COTTAGE INDUSTRY on FaceBook for a third chance to win...and leave yet another comment for that entry.
Don't worry if you already are A COTTAGE INDUSTRY'S friend on FaceBook, or Twitter, or the Google Follow button...just leave a comment  for each way you are following my blog, letting me know. Oh, one more thing....Remember, you must have an email address in order for me to contact you if you win!
I'll be doing the drawing on Sunday, May 15th...good luck!
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