Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I Hit A Speedbump

                                               Room at the Residence Inn

Every once in a while, life decides to change up the order of things.

My independence ... my empty nest ... was no longer my priority.  I

was called back to duty as full-time mom and caretaker!  You see, my

youngest, who is in college, was still suffering from a torn meniscus that,

although repaired by one of the top surgeons in his field, was continuing

to cause acute discomfort.  Ok... let's be honest.  Although repaired, it

was no better than before.  The surgeon erred on the side of caution

and I will not fault him for that.  However, we needed a solution to my

son's continued pain.  And when I know one of my boys hurt, I dust off

my Crusader Rabbit cape, secure it tightly around my shoulders, and 

assume the position of Number One Protector!  I will willingly drive the

six hours, one way {and would someone tell me why there is always

some form of precipitation when I need to do this??}, to get to 

doctor's appointments.  I will morph into Shirley Maclaine (Terms of

Endearment) when told that it would be three weeks before we can

see the doctor for a consultation... not an appointed surgery.... a

CONSULTATION!  My son was in pain NOW!  And like Shirley Maclaine,

they responded to a mother's frustrations and we got in in a matter

of days.  Surgery was scheduled for the following week and once

again I drove the six hours one way to get there.  Nurse's cap?  Check!

Chef hat?  Check! This time I was armed with recipes for creating home 

cooked meals plus a week's worth of clothes.  Ready to administer all the 

tender loving care as was needed. 

It's hard to see your child lying in bed like a limp noodle but even

harder still when, in two days post surgery, he wakes to a pounding

headache, fever, and nausea.  I'll admit it.. I was scared!  Scared

of complications from surgery.... scared of not knowing who to turn

to... scared of not knowing how to drive to the best hospital in 

Cleveland!  There WAS a hospital a half mile down the road and that is

where I took my son.  I had to trust that this was good enough.  I

don't like giving up control to something that I'm not 100 percent sure

of.  Sitting next to him as he lay on a hospital gurney, attached to 

IV's dripping much needed fluid into his body, hearing the sounds of 

others in as much distress, or more, as my son, I was given the

opportunity to practice patience.  Now someone else was donning that

Crusader Rabbit cape.  It was humbling.  And I thanked God that He

was watching over the both of us and delivered a verdict of severe

bronchitis/sinusitis... not infection from the incision!

He was now on the mend!  Funny, isn't it, to see your grown child

revert back to those things that give them comfort?  The bear 

stayed by his side as it was a gift from his girlfriend and a reminder

that he would soon be back on campus ... be back to the normal state

of things.

And when he requested cake?  Well, there was no doubt in my mind

that I would soon be packing up my bags ready to head back home.

And I did.  He's back at college, clumping around campus with his

crutches, hopefully taking care of his knee as he should be.  And I

am back in my studio with my four-legged child by my side.  And the

Crusader Rabbit cape?  Tucked neatly away in the corner of my 

heart.. always on stand-by for those times when motherhood becomes, 

once again, my number one priority!

Next time I will post one of the recipes I prepared at the Residence Inn.  See you then!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Her Steel Blue Eyes.....

                                                 Mother at 55 years of age

One piece of personal information stated on my mothers' driver's 

license is erroneous.  No, I'm not talking about her weight.  I think 

just about every one of us puts down a number we wouldn't be 

embarrassed to have someone else see.  No.... I'm talking about

where it states the color of her eyes.  Someone, that day, wasn't

looking very closely and haphazardly wrote "blue".  So wrong!

Those eyes that can captivate you without a lick of makeup are...

"Steel Blue"!  Mother was blessed with these gorgeous eyes that stood 

out on their own merit.  She was one lucky lady!

However, as mother aged the brilliance started to diminish.  I attributed

it to being a natural occurrence.  But there were other things I started 

to notice as well.  I noticed that at restaurants she would pick up the 

menu, take a few moments to peruse the choices, then place it back 

down on the table saying, "I bet they could make me a ham and cheese 

sandwich".  Or there was the time she was adamant that Oprah had  

developed a line on the side of her mouth.  She touched the tv screen, 

saying, "See? Right there!".  I clearly saw nothing. The one that

finally left me with no doubt of what was going on was when I found

her in front of the refrigerator, door open, hands cupped around her

eyes, trying to find what she was searching for.  Mother had no idea I

was in the room witnessing this.

"Mom, you need to have cataract surgery! Your quality of life is not

what it could be.  Let's make an appointment with the doctor and

get this taken care of!"  Quite a few years passed before her 

stubbornness, fueled with fear, subsided.  But just last week she

had her SECOND eye operated on!  My mother, at the age of

90, finally took care of herself!  And, as the surgeon told her, "You 

did good, sweet girl!!"

It's a new beginning... a fresh start!  Mother, a children's

librarian in the past, a voracious reader who left her job in the 

evenings to return home with three books clutched in her arms, 

needed to be reminded that once again she could spend her time 

reading the words on the pages. I wanted to present her with the

gift of a book bag... one she could hang from the handles of her

walker.  Out came my sewing machine and this is what I created....

Choosing a luscious fabric with tones of blue, reminiscent of the color of

her eyes, I paired it with a cream burlap ~ unwashed, this time.  

Various pieces of vintage lace ~ buttons ~ fabric flowers ~ and leather 

handles adorn the outside.

And inside I am placing a copy of Country Living ~ British Edition...

The photography is delightful.....

And a copy of Laura Bush's autobiography (in large print form) .......

... not for the politics, but to read about a woman of great strength,

a fellow librarian, and a woman who also possesses brilliant blue eyes.

I'm sure on her driver's license it says "blue" but I wonder how 

George would describe them??!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Pretty in Pink" Valentine Party

I'm not about RED for Valentine's Day.  Not.....

"poinsettia red"*
"tomato red"
"chili pepper red"
"brick red"......

For me, it's all about PINK!  And who would have thought I'd find my

pink, girlie self after living all these years in a house full of men?  Find

it, I did, and I'm tickled PINK!  (Sorry, couldn't resist!)

I imagine that one day I will create a special Valentine's Day party for

all my girlie friends. An invitation printed on "fantasy pink" linen paper,

with embossed lettering in antique gold, will direct you to my home.... 

the one that sparkles from a poofy dusting of snow from the previous

night's snowfall.  It's the one house on the block whose door is painted

"hearts delight".  Upon entering, I will greet you with a fabric corsage

of "powder pink" and creamy white to pin on your vintage dress from

the '40's.  We will "ohhh" and "ahhh" over each other's choice of

hat perched on our upswept do's that the hairdresser created that 

afternoon at the beauty palor.  You will be escorted in to the den 

where a table awaits in front of the fireplace, set to help take the 

chill off the air.  Lush peonies arranged in vintage, silver pitchers... 

angel crowns and wands at each place setting.  As you seat yourself 

in a comfy chair covered in "paradise pink" velvet you notice that each 

one of you has received a special token of my appreciation... a small 

heart covered in "fond memory" pink beads with a special message 

addressed to you ~ what does it say?  It tells you the reason why I find 

you so precious to me.  No two messages are alike.  It comes from the 


The party ends and, as you reach for the door knob to leave,

I surprise you with one more gift not to be opened until you get home.

It's wrapped in cream dupioni silk and tied with a two-toned pink voile

ribbon.  Curiosity gets the best of you and, as you shut your car door,

you quickly proceed to unwrap it.  Peels of laughter can be heard as

the others pass by on their way to their own cars.  The reason? I 

have given you a bottle of Pepto Bismol to be taken when you

get home.  After all, as much as I am loving pink, an afternoon of

of being swathed in it might be a bit much... even for me!!   

And luckily, it comes in PINK!

Happy Valentine's Day!


*(the names of the colors in italics are actual names from Benjamin Moore's paint palette) 


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Valentine Swap Reveal......

What would be more fun than to create a box of heartfelt goodies for

someone to receive in time for Valentine's Day!  For me, it conjures up 

memories of being in grade school.  That one time of the year

where you were asked, by the teacher, to bring in an old shoebox. 

Class time was spent decorating it with red and pink construction

paper hearts.. lace doilies.. adhered with that white creamy paste

that we all snuck a taste of!  A slot was cut in the top, with our name

on the side and you couldn't wait until the Valentine's Day party when

little sweet, and sometimes silly, Valentines would be dropped in, one

by one, by your classmates!  That was exactly the feeling I wanted 

to create for my swapmate.  I wanted to create a  proper "container"

for her goodies and that is how I came about creating this........

... a linen and fabric tote embellished with crocheted doilies, vintage 

lace, handmade fabric flowers with pearl center backed with burlap

and tulle, and leather handles. 

I could see her hanging it from a doorknob where her little preschooler

could drop in his Valentine's given to him by his classmates or 

neighborhood buddies.

Or she could use it to contain all the projects she is working on for 

this special holiday!  After all, this young woman is VERY creative and

VERY talented!  And it was with those sentiments that I chose items

to be tucked inside~ to be used as foundations for her creative spirit!

Her requests were for things that were on the lines of Pottery

Barn and Anthropologie (and no trims as she had accumulated lots

in her journeys) ~ and that her Valentine color was red, not

pink.  A deep, rich barn red.  You can see, from the tote, that I kept

those preferences in mind.  So... what was inside?  Take a peek!

                         The word on the paper medallions indicated what the
                               scrabble letters inside would spell ~ a mix of burgundy and
                               cream letters so when put together it created a pleasing appearance

                                     A vintage salt shaker with chippy red top filled with
                                    German glass glitter in silver (one of her desires)

                             Vintage cabinet cards of a man and woman that I officially
                             married.. tee, hee!  And the title of the book cover I found? 
                             The Girl of His Dreams!  Who knew I would be so lucky to find this!

                            Martha Stewart cupcake liners and pics.  I could see her 
                            baking in the kitchen with her little guy.  In the center, are
                            three vintage wooden spools with deep red labels... three different
                            colors of twine are wrapped around them... perfect addition to any 

                                   Music cards from Pottery Barn, a heart shaped box with
                                   with vintage velvet flower on top, and in the two cellophane
                                   bags tied with silk ribbon and button? Votives in rich, red
                                   with gold interiors.

                              A Santos ornament I found at Pottery Barn on which I
                              attached a bit of vintage lace.  She will be able to take it off 
                              and adorn it to her own taste.. and knowing her, it will look

                                 Linens, a request of hers, and wooden angel wings that
                                 I attached a pearl chain to.  Again, just the starting point!

                              And lastly, a vintage book with deep red cover to use the
                              pages of, gloves from another era, rhinestone pin and #14 playing card

With my project complete, I tucked them inside the tote, cushioned with

shredded book pages (thanks, Carrie, for the inspiration!). Placed it in

a box, closed it shut, and used massive amounts of packing tape to 

secure it.  Just my quirky little thing!! I handed it to the postman and 

bade it goodbye!  I won't say it was easy creating this for my swapmate 

as I sooooo didn't want to disappoint her.  But what I learned from this

is that it's not so much about the items purchased or made.  As long as

it comes from the heart, that feeling will shine through.  Love given

genuinely will be well received... and isn't that at the heart of 

Valentine's day??  Hugs and kisses to you all!!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Girl Needs Some Fun......

                                                 Welcome to Ruby Begonia's!

A month's worth of grunge washed off the car?  Check!  One inch of

snowfall that night?  Check!  Me, giving one bit of thought to keeping 

the car pristine by leaving it snug in the garage?  No way!  This girl  

was in dire need of new scenery and inspiration!  I had been burning  

the midnight oil working on a Valentine's Day swap and was rapidly 

approaching the end of my creative juices.  I needed new ideas... I 

needed new scenery ... I needed to get outta town!  My husband, editor,

driver and I got on the interstate and headed to the little midwestern

town of Morris, Illinois.  So many small towns are on the verge of

dying with it's independent shops being forced to close due to the

economy.  But Morris has figured out the formula that works for 

them and just about every spot to park your car was filled.  I knew

which store was calling my name...... the one that has this cute

red door~ Ruby Begonia's!  Stepping inside, I found home!

A charming store filled to the brim with vintage furnishings, delightful

handcrafted decorations for the home, and clothing

that speaks, not to the masses, but to clients that the designer

seems to know personally.  Why, oh why, do I have to travel forty

minutes to find such inspiration?!  The sweet, young woman behind

the counter says she hears it all the time.  Just when you locate a

shop of this genre, it seems to slip away in the middle of the night.

If you find one of these gems you must patronize it.. make

it a destination to check out on a regular basis.  This is why I

made a point to venture here....

                                      Commode painted barn red
                                        Zinc chalkboard.. notice the tiny swagged banner?

                                   Who couldn't use a glittery crown?
                                           Tuck it into a full bouquet of roses!

                          Hand crafted heart peeking out of an old wooden bucket
                                         Glitter, sheet music and ruffles... yummy!

                                       Creamy white commode: backdrop for a paper banner
                                 Add an angel garden ornament and it makes a perfect vignette

                                            L O V E this!!
                           Swag across a mirror, bookcase, mantle or doorway

Sorry.... I have only allowed you a peak at their Valentine decorations.  

There was so much more tucked around every corner; tucked high and low.

Making you grin when you discovered a vignette meant only for those willing

to take the time to seek it out.  I was just soooo delighted!  And the 

clothes?  Well, let me show you what I walked out of the store with....

This darling, lightweight coat with large peter pan collar and three/

quarter length sleeves!  The neckline scoops just enough so that it's 

charming on all ages.  I will have to wait until the weather warms up

but when it does I will pair it with my ruched, grey suede boots and 

buttery yellow bag.....

Cute, huh?  It was a successful morning!  I'm happy knowing I'm

not alone in loving vintage charm like I do and that there is a place

for me to re-energize.  My driver, editor, husband is happy knowing

that there is not a crazy, tense, wife/artist working away in her studio.

And the car?  Dirty once again. But it proves that I ventured

out for a much needed get-away and returned a revitalized woman..

                                             .... now, I MUST get back to work!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Conversation....

ME:            Hello!  My name is Kadee!

HUSBAND:  Hi, I'm Mark!
                 Do you live here?

ME:           Yes, you might have seen me around.  
                 I live on the second floor.
                 First apartment on the left... (studio)
                 And you?

HUSBAND:  I live on the first floor... (office)

ME:            I thought you looked familiar!

After seven days of being holed up in my studio, keeping nose to

the grindstone, I felt I needed to introduce myself to this other person

I heard rumbling around in the house!  Introduction went well... we 

just might have something here!  Hey! At least, after many years of

marriage, our sense of humor is still in tack!!  In a few days, I will

post what I was working on.  Have I got you curious?????