Monday, October 29, 2012

Summerland Shopping

I adore malls, big box stores.. those are not for me!  No, I adore finding

sweet, unique boutiques.  Independent shops that cater to their customers

that they know so well.  One such place is right off the 101 in California ...

in the charming, coastal village of Summerland. And it's name?  

Rue de Lillie......

Just the name alone tugs at my heart!!

A cottage nestled on the side of the hill that has been converted into a haven

for all things french inspired and vintage.  They leave no spot untouched 

including where you must park the car.  A little gravel area on the side of the

cottage, where you are greeted by a large vintage birdcage, complete with

mourning doves cooing their welcome to you!

A porch that leaves no doubt that you have arrived at a place to find

treasures .  Some rustic and some......

.. some high end.  It's all in the details, right? That is what makes a house

a home and lets others know that this is your abode. Whispers of your own

unique voice tucked here and there.  And that is what you will find at Rue

de Lillie. Inspiration that triggers how you can create an inviting environment. 

Treasures spied in every nook and cranny.  Have patience.  Take your 

time and you will make some wonderful discoveries.  Such as....

This is just a sampling... something to pique your interest.  Perhaps you're 

wondering what I decided to take away with me as a memory of having spent

time in this cottage by the ocean.  Well, this......

A sweet lumbar pillow that rests on my slipper chair.  A lovely piece of vintage

toile fabric sewn on cream colored linen.  I love it!  Next time I am in the area

I most certainly will drop by this piece of french country heaven again!  Just as

always have....without hesitation!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nurse Nancy ... Reporting for Duty!

Duty called once again.... and I not only packed enough clothes to get me

through an entire week but I also made sure to load my juicer in the car.

The reason??????

My "little" guy was having his third... and hopefully... final operation on his 

knee.  This time it was a meniscus transplant and a bit more difficult and 

painful.  To aid in a speedy recovery, I lugged the juicer into our hotel room

along with a hefty supply of vegetables and fruits.  His favorite drink???

                                Pumpkin Pie Wanna-Be
                                   1 sweet potato
                                   2 apples
                                   2 - 3 carrots
                                   cinnamon to taste

Ok.... let me honest.  This was the drink he would sip down without massive

amounts of eye rolling and complaining!!  I, on the other hand, really liked it!

On the fifth day of recovering, my "little guy" got the sparkle back in his eyes.

And he was ready to head back to his normal, dorm/college life!  Thank

heavens for the blessing of finding the right surgeon and the Lord's hand

in making it successful!  

I still worry, though... 

     ~worry that the body might reject this piece from a cadaver.

     ~worry that my son might think it's ok to play flag football with his 

          fraternity brothers.  

    ~worry that come spring, he will forget the doctor's words of "no playing 

          tug-of-war" at April Reign.

But all this comes with the territory of being a mom.  Right along with having

a trusty nurse's cape close at hand.  Ready for that next time I might need

to don it at a moment's notice.  I do like the addition of the juicer, though.

Do you think I can move beyond that one recipe?  And get him to drink it with 

a smile on his face?  Nahhhhh!!  Not a chance at this age!  Maybe when he gets

older he'll "get it" !!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Those Cozy Fall Days

Rain pelting down....... the grey day marking contrasts between trees still

in their brilliant finery and those that have yet to get dressed for the occasion.

Mirroring reflections of orange, red and yellow ......

A grey day creating the perfect ambiance for ghostly apparitions.....

or perhaps a walk past a cemetery.

A rainy day perfect to get cozy inside reading a book without interruptions or 

perhaps baking cookies.  Can't you just smell the aroma of cinnamon and 

sugar wafting throughout the house?  

Or maybe it's one of those days where going to the movies would be perfect!

That's what I did!  And with one of my "sister/friend's"! Hunkered down

in the movie theatre seat with buttered popcorn in hand, we spent a cozy

Sunday afternoon doing something we've done for years.  Well.... minus 

the coke and candy bar.  After all, at our age we need to watch our

"girlish" figures!!  How about you?  How did you spend the day? 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An Arting Tote

Spellcheck refuses to recognize the word "Arting" tote, but I know it exists!

After all, I made one!  tee, hee!!  It's one of my latest creations and I 

wanted to share it with all of you as it just tickles my fancy!  Measuring 

7" wide by 16" long, it's the perfect size to pack up your basic art supplies.

Made from an old coin bag, which I stained in coffee to give it a richer

quality, I began sorting through my collection of bits and pieces to see 

how I could make it come to life. 

A scrap of black drapery fabric....

a mix of different colored vintage laces.... 

a soft, silky, shell pink fabric flower (talk about alliteration!!) to contrast with

the sturdiness of the canvas...

leather handles with mismatched black button detailing.... 

my arting tote now boasted its own personality!  Ready to be put to use!

Ruler, glue, scissors.....

 a collection of buttons and pearls.... embroidery floss....

paint brushes of various widths.... and there's still room for more!!

I really look forward to making another one as this one was sent on its

way to a crafting event supporting breast cancer.  A raffle prize!  If you 

you were the winner, what would you put in it?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sunday's Simple Pleasure ...Church Rummage Sales

The charm of an old church pulls on my heartstrings!  It brings me such

peace and calm as I gaze at its grand stature.  From the towering spire 

standing watch over the town......

... to the old oak double doors graced with heavy iron pulls....

... to elaborate stone arches that guide you towards a simple courtyard 

where you can sit quietly and listen to Him speaking to you.

For me, living in a small New England town, church was the fabric of my

life. Weaving memories whose strength has not faded with time but stayed

just as strong as if it were yesterday. As if it was only a short time ago that I

was a little girl running in the church yard with friends or trying my best to sit

quietly in the pew through church service... the minister's words droning on

about things I wouldn't understand until much later. I have so many memories,

don't you?

Do you remember helping with a pancake breakfast?  Or do you remember

the aroma of chicken being grilled outdoors on grates that were so heavy it

took two men to grab hold of the handles to flip over so it could cook on 

the other side?   A church barbeque that drew crowds from all over!  Or the

Christmas Bazaar where the ladies would work on clothespin reindeer to sell as

tree ornaments or some in the kitchen making penuche fudge for the sweet

shop?  Perhaps you remember the yearly rummage sale when closets and

garages were cleaned out and items, that had lost their use, were now

priced pennies on the dollar?

Those were the memories that gently floated back to me as I stood in a long

line waiting for a rummage sale to begin.  A yearly rummage sale at a local 

church where throngs of people respectfully waited knowing that bargains were

their reward.  Great "stuff", all neatly displayed making it all the more

enticing to pick up and take home.  The shout of "You can come in, now!" is 

heard and we all rush forward eager to snag a bargain!  What did I find?

Madeleine tins.......  53 of them for $5.00!!!!

A bag of brass doorknobs and two wooden finials...... $2.00!

Lots of laces and crocheted pieces.....

And last, was this perfect color of blue, canvas tape measure... Love it!!

With two bags clutched in my hands, I walked back to my car.  Feeling

pleased with my purchases.  What a wonderful way to spend a 

late fall afternoon!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Friends By Post

It's just me..... just me in front of the keyboard typing away at blog posts.

Yup... me and the keyboard sitting alone pouring 
out my thoughts. Hoping

others find me and like what I have to say.  And little by little, others sitting 

at their desks in front of their computer screens have discovered this blog.  

And they have turned into friendships!  Supporting each other on a pretty

regular basis.  Oh, to be heard! be listened to!... to be appreciated!

That envelope you see?  It's from one of those friendships.  Rae, who writes

               "Raemissigman... Creating a Repurpose Lifestyle"


sent this to me in the mail! You read that right... snail mail!! I adore her

creations and try to comment as often as I can.  In appreciation, she sent

me this package which I gingerly opened, using a seam ripper to cut the

threads at the one end.  No destroying this work of art!  And inside?  

fabric flower with felted and stitched leaves

a magnet...layers of reused paper stitched and painted.. embellished with fabric flower
a sweet notepad of writing paper
a "thank you" card with machine stitching, repurposed fabric and ink detailing

I was truly overwhelmed to be the recipient of her artwork!   To receive

a "just because" present from a friend on the other side of my computer

screen!   Blogs are like visiting someone's home and I most assuredly will

be knocking on her back door many more times.  Ready to sit down with a

cup of coffee (or in my case, tea) and spend some time with a friend.

Anxious to see what new project she has been working on. And you know

what?  I know she would be thrilled to have you drop on by, too.  She's just 

that kind of person!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sunday's Simple Pleasures... Antiquing and Apples

My eyes had just peeked open and, even though I was still quite groggy, I
was aware that we needed to get up immediately!  A road trip took us back
to Allegan Antique Market for their last show of the season.  And the sun
displayed a promise of a fabulous fall day for shopping outdoors at the fairgrounds.

The highlight of my shopping excursion?  This!  A metal bin like the one I 
remember from childhood. I love this iconic design for a waste bin.. so 
classic with it's swinging door, front and back, and a top which does not come
completely off as it has heavy metal hinges supporting it.  Making for easy access in order to dispose of its contents.  I will have to paint the interior
of it as it is pretty rusty but that's an easy fix.

Heading back home, partially on country roads... the tops of the trees just
beginning to show a tinge of color.  Making us aware that nights have  
become cooler and that daylight is becoming shorter.

Choosing back roads so we can happen upon an apple orchard.  So many
dot this region of Michigan!  Pulling over to the first one we find, we grab
a peck of honey sweet apples (my favorite!) and......

... freshly picked purple grapes (how I wish you could just smell these! So strong with fragrance and so sweet to the taste!  Mmmmmmm!!).  And as
we headed back to the car, we bought two of these....

... not store bought or prepackaged from somewhere else, but freshly made,
on the premises, apple cinnamon doughnuts!.  Even darling husband, who is not a "sweet" eater, savored every morsel of this as we sat in the car quietly
relishing this pleasure!

A morning spent outdoors perusing antique treasures.. the pleasure of 
being immersed in the bustle of friendly people..... country stands selling
their produce of the season.... the sun now setting in the distance. Marking
not only the end of a glorious day but the beginning of a season that I treasure the most.  Those tinged leaves, highlighted by the sun's rays will, within a blink 
of an eye, become a blaze of color.  Worthy of another Sunday drive back
to Michigan!  Simple pleasures!