Sunday, February 27, 2011

these are a few...

... of my favorite things.

~ My green tool box that I recently relocated from outdoors to my kitchen table ~
Not sure what I'm going to fill it with. Any ideas?

~ My plate rack that I found for a dollar last weekend ~
It's suppose to hold saucer-size plates... but I prefer the seed packets I bought in England.

~ My collection of coat buttons and vintage sewing gadgets ~
I love my twine/scissor holder from The Willows in Phoenix.

~ A bowl full of texture, color and design ~

~ Fire King mugs ~

~ The number 3 ~
3 boys & 3 girls in my family. I gave birth to 3 kids. I just like the #3.

~ Vintage croquet balls and rake heads ~
I keep finding rake heads for next to nothing, with plans to repurpose into these.
Tell me about a few of your favorite things!
Or check out SHOW AND TELL FRIDAY for more favorite things.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Emolyn is 3


You are the most giving, loving, imaginative and entertaining little girl!

Here's a cute Emolyn story ~
Last week her Mommy & I took Emolyn to Target shopping. 
Emolyn never whines or begs for anything. Ever. She's a dream shopper.
Well as we were walking through the toy aisles, Nicole picked up a tiny little baby doll. 
Emolyn loves anything tiny. And the word "Tiny" was printed on her tiny onesie
Oh and Emolyn's Daddy works for Tiny Prints. Just thought you'd find that funny.
Anyway, Nicole says to Emolyn, "I will buy you this tiny baby, 
but then you won't be getting a baby doll at Tiedemann's Thrift Store today." 
Emolyn was fine with that and beyond thrilled. 
Well, I said to Nicole "There aren't any dolls at Tiedemann's right now anyway." 
Emolyn was in disbelief as she walked ahead of us, 
"Mimi, there are no dolls at Tiedemann's?!" 
"No", I said "In fact, there are hardly any toys at Tiedemann's right now!"
Emolyn quickly responded "Oh Mimi, I can't handle it!"
Nicole & I just looked at each other and could hardly contain ourselves.
She cracks me up.

Emolyn is also quite the worker. She loves to have jobs to do every time she comes over.
And because of the big deep freeze of '11, this tree lost a ton of leaves for her to sweep.
She was in heaven.

She finally took a break and pretended she was The Little Mermaid.
She would have her Pop Pop cover her legs in leaves
and pretend the broom was the scepter that turns her fins into feet!
It was all quite dramatic.

Randy must have done this two dozen times...
while I snapped over 150 pictures.

Happy 3rd Birthday to my favorite Little Mermaid!

Monday, February 21, 2011

photo stylist

I am currently dabbling in a new hobby. Photo styling.
Did you know there are professional photo stylist that work with photographers and their clients? They stylize for food, fashion and product shoots. I don't profess to be a photographer per se... but I do spend an inordinate amount of time setting up my photo shoots. And I love every thing about it. I feel like an artist... like I am painting a canvas... capturing a moment, creating a feeling.

Well, it wasn't till a couple years ago that I found out that people are actually doing that for a living.

I was first made aware through this amazing website ~ Found Vintage Rentals.

Found is an event decor and prop resource supplying brides, event planners, designers and photographers with unique vintage items to give their weddings, photo shoots and events style and originality. 

And I remember thinking, I want to do that! I want to win the lottery and fill an old barn with vintage props... along with lush acreage for creative photo shoots. Imagine if you will... an old vintage turquoise truck to haul old vintage couches out in green grassy fields... a tea party set up under an old crystal chandelier hanging from an oak tree... trunks filled with clothes and accessories to choose from... my cozy cottage on wheels would actually become my cozy cottage in the woods.
I know ~ in your dreams Linda.

I dream of owning property like the Tenba Ridge Winery in Wisconsin
Then I starting hearing about photographers stylizing shoots for their clients. Check out THIS photo shoot that Maggie stylized and shot as a gift for our mutual friends Amy & husband Andrew. Amy is also an amazing photographer and stylized THIS photo shoot that Jamie Delaine shot. Are these gals creative or what!

But this photographer/ stylist/ wife &mother of seven (with another on the way), really inspired me the most. You will find a few of my favorites HEREHERE and HERE.

So Saturday when plans for my granddaughter's birthday party were canceled because Emolyn & Elsie are both sick (poor babies)... and then our plans to drive up north for the day were canceled due to a major snow storm, I went thrift shopping for my very first photo styling gig. And it is coming together beautifully.

I asked my daughter-in-law if I could stylize a Mommy & daughter photo shoot and she said yes. So Saturday I found Emolyn & Elsie's dresses for $1.75 each. And they were exactly what I had pictured in my mind. Exactly. I have a few fashion ideas for Nicole to choose from. And then accessories & props galore. Basically, as a stylist, I call the shots, pardon the pun... what they wear, how they fix their hair, accessories, props, location. I can hardly wait.

I haven't nailed down a location yet, but I am not even planning for this photo shoot till April. Elsie will be older... and I'm thinking closer to the perfect Mother's Day gift.

And yes, I plan to snap a few shots myself, but I also have a couple friends that would love a reason to break in their fancy new cameras... or add to their porfolio... or simply to play around with various camera settings.

Anyway, thanks for letting me go on and on about my latest passion. Passion is my word for 2011. Discovering my passion. Rediscovering my passions from the past. And being passionate about the moments of today.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

gazing (bowling) ball

I once had a gazing ball in my garden. But it shattered. 
It was so fragile that I think it broke from falling rain. I'm not even kidding you.
Why are gazing balls made of paper-thin glass anyway?
SO, ever since, I have been on the look-out for a gazing bowling ball. 
But not just any bowling ball... a beautiful bowling ball that stands out among all the others. 
Oh and one that withstands the elements. You know, rain and hail.

Well, last weekend I found it... at a yard sale... for a dollar. 
And this morning I found an iron stand... at a thrift store... for a dollar. 

And they will surely live happily ever after... in my garden... forever & ever.
Cuz nothing is going to shatter this gazing ball.

Hey, check out these awesome linky parties-

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

PYREX double-boiler

I've been collecting vintage PYREX for over 25 years.
Are you aware that they also created a line of Flameware that includes this awesome double-boiler?
Click HERE to check out my other pieces
and to read how my double-boiler came together after many years apart.

I've been making peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate chips & paraffin wax for years
and thought ~ why not dip strawberries in the same mixture. 
You can find the recipe HERE.

So I melted 1/2 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/4 block of paraffin wax (or less)
in my vintage double-boiler until creamy smooth...

and glossy-icious... thanks to the paraffin wax.

Store these beauties in the frig, until your loved ones find them and they slowly disappear.
My granddaughter Emolyn saw this picture posted on facebook and called me on the phone,
"Mimi, did you save any for me?"
Of course I did little lamb... and brought her some yesterday at Bible Study.
She was thrilled. And sooo excited to show me her "hula hoop" earrings.
She decided to call her tiny, little hoops "hula hoops." How cute is that!
Linking this post up with-

Monday, February 14, 2011

my funny little Valentine

Miranda Rachael
My daughter Miranda is my favorite little Valentine.
She was sitting up at 4 1/2 months, just in time to show off this darling little outfit
 that her Aunt Etna gave her 26 years ago.
Our granddaughter Elsie happens to be around the same age
and looks a lot like her Aunt Miranda.
I thank God every day that I was blessed to raise a daughter.
She is such a faithful friend, sister, daughter and aunt.
So thankful for my precious Miranda.

Elsie Lane
Oh my gosh, can you see the resemblance?!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

dancing in the aisles

I want to respond to some of you that share my penchant for dancing in the aisles of grocery stores. I seriously can't not dance when good music is playing. And think about it, grocery execs aren't stupid. When shoppers are happy they buy more. And good dance music makes me happy and all celebratory... so I am more likely to buy foods that make me even happier.

And it's not just grocery stores. My favorite little thrift store (that I frequent often) plays a station that makes me so happy that I dance and harmonize to every song. The other day Boston's "Oh What a Feeling" came on and it took everything in me not to break out my air guitar during those awesome killer guitar riffs! And the few times I've been there and they're playing a station that's not to my liking, I have to leave. I am so irritated that I can't stay there for one more minute. Just so you know, only one genre of music would make me do that. Rap.

Speaking of irritating music. Have you noticed the loud background music in restaurants? I love BJ's Restaurant & Brewery, but we've stopped going there because the music is so loud we could hardly hear each other. And when I complained, they physically could not turn it down. It's programed to be that loud and stay that loud. So we've never been back.
Wanna know my theory? The music is loud so people don't stay long. They want a fast turn over of patrons so they can make more money. It's always about the almighty dollar, isn't it...

So where was I going with all this? Oh ya.

I need to tell you something. And it could possibly freak you out. It did me.
My youngest son Tyler, is a security guard at Target. In fact he was recently promoted to actually apprehending people, rather than just calling the police when someone steals something. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud and all... I really am... but I'm also a little weirded out by the fact that he's just putting himself in more danger.

Anyway, that's not what I wanted to tell you.

Are you aware of what goes on while you're dancing in the aisles... while you're shopping in the aisles of your favorite grocery store, Target or Walmart?
Someone is watching you.
Ok, let me put it another way, someone is laughing at you!
Or in my case, someone is yelling to someone else in the camera room "Hey Earl, she's back. It's that lady that dances in the aisles!"

Even though I sorta knew that was a possibility, I just never let it sink in. And now that I'm aware of the cameras... and even glanced at a few a time or two... I will not, I repeat, will not let it change what happens to me when a good song comes on. So THERE all your security camera people! You don't intimidate me one iota. (omg, that's an actual word!)

Oh, and has this ever happened to you? You're driving along, singing at the top of your lungs and you stop at a stop light and as the light turns green you notice another driver across from you ~ is belting out the very words that you're belting out... perfectly in sync to the very song you are singing off the very same radio station!!! 
Yes, happened to me.
What are the chances!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Freezing rain in Phoenix?

Nope ~ freezing from the sprinkler system going off in below freezing temps.
My friend Kathy drove by Butler Park near 19th Ave. & Northern last week
and was stunned to see the park covered in white crystals!
She pulled over and took these breathtaking images
and shared them with me yesterday.
I was shocked to say the least.

We only have a couple below freezing days each winter,
but rarely the deep freeze we had last week.
So to see the affects of water spraying on the park during that deep freeze 
had the whole community in awe the next morning.
I wish I could have witnessed it with my own eyes.

Have a wonderful weekend. Stay safe & warm.
And don't worry, I wouldn't think of telling you that it's going to be in the mid 70's tomorrow.
That would be so mean of me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I got a haircut


This haircut was long overdue.

Why did I wait so long?

I feel like a brand new person.

Thank you for visiting my little corner of the bedroom where I blog.
You're welcome to drop by anytime... oh, and leave a comment now & again. ha!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011



~ smiles when she gets in the van and the gas tank is full.
~ knows her husband loves and adores her.
~ tries to live each day to the fullest.
~ cries often.
~ prays for those with chronic pain & disease when she can't sleep at night.
~ loves to laugh.
~ dreams of hitting the road in her cozy cottage on wheels.
~ melts when she picks up the phone and hears "Hi Mimi!"
~ remembers that grieving comes in layers.
~ could stand to lose a few pounds.
~ dances in grocery stores... because she can't not.
~ wishes she was more disciplined.
~ is thankful for the love of friends & family.
~ worries that she will have regrets.
~ appreciates good health and good deals.
~ would love a good night's sleep.
~ falls asleep just before her favorite shows are over.
~ mentions sleep a lot.
~ wants to become a woman of simplicity.
~ needs to keep her eyes on Jesus.
~ would love to read your She... list and know you better.

Monday, February 07, 2011

pie crusts & repurposing

(not my photo)
A couple months ago I was asked to teach a class in my home about something I was passionate about.  The Women's Ministry at my church saw a need for women to gather together in homes and connect, while learning something new.
Well, I immediately got all weepy because it was sort of a dream come true... and then because I was terrified. What if no one signed up for my class.
Well, I instantly thought about teaching a class on making pie crusts. I had several women over the years ask me to teach them to make a double crust pie. 
You see, when my 10 foot quartz counter top was being installed, I had a little melt down. Yes, fearful someone would drop this ginormous slab of quartz on their feet... but guilty because our 3rd born had just moved out, and we're newly empty nesters and I'm thinking "why in the world are we finally getting this amazing kitchen and no one is even living at home?!" 

But I also remember thinking, I could easily get several women around my new kitchen island and we could roll out pie crusts to beat the band!! 
Well last Saturday morning we did just that! And I have never been happier! It was truly a dream come true! Oh and not only did my class fill up the first day of sign-ups... but I had enough on a wait list for another class in the Spring!

Oh and the repurposing part? Well, that's my real passion. I love repurposing. So I figured while the pies were baking I would inspire them to find ways to re-purpose what they already have or find at thrift stores and yard sales. I showed them ways that I have done that around my home along with a few tables filled with repurposing ideas. (clic to enlarge each pic)

I've been using the same Betty Crocker pie crust recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook I received on our wedding day in 1979 ~ which is also included in this Scrumptious Apple Pie recipe.
Oh and I spent hours the other day trying to find the adjustable pie crust shields that I lost in the kitchen remodel. Finally found them at the ABC Cake Decorating Supplies for $2.99. If you're like me you have several size Pyrex, stone and aluminum pie pans, so you'll want the adjustable shields.
The miniature steel pie pans were found many years ago at a thrift store. SO excited to finally use them in my class.

Each person had their own recipe, pie pan, bowl of flour and damp hand towel.

I could not have done this class without my apple peeler/corer/slicer! No way.

And I seriously couldn't ask for a better group of women either.
Thank you Janet, Pati, Lisa, Helen, Jeannette and Danielle!

We had such a meaningful time sharing our hearts and the pie I made...

... while the miniature pies they made from scratch were baking in the oven.

Oh my gosh! Are they cute or what!

Ok, I'll be honest, I was wanting to make my own mini-pies too,
so after they all left I had more fun baking and staging a fun mini-pie photo shoot outside.

Did you know... 
“Pies are the new Cupcake”... says Bonny Wolf of Weekend Edition Sunday. 

She goes on to say...
“This year cupcakes will have real competition from the humble pie. Trend-spotters are calling pie the food of the year. Texas and New York restaurants offer pie happy hours. Pies are showing up at weddings, and pie shops are opening in a neighborhood near you. Pies come in sweet and savory, maxi and mini, deep dish and deep- fried.”

I think I have found my new passion!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

farm girl to Phoenix

Do you want to hear how a farm girl from Wisconsin ends up in Phoenix, AZ in 1977?
Well, I recently posted my story on the new Hand in Hand blog. Hand in Hand was a concert ministry in Phoenix that God used powerfully to bring many to Christ back in the 70's. We are having a Hand in Hand reunion in April and have asked those that were involved back then to submit their stories to be posted on the Hand in Hand blog.

This is my story.

"So what's Hand in Hand?" I asked.
“Well, it’s a place where kids go and hear bands and sit on the floor and then someone shares the gospel”.
My friend Linda had heard about Hand in Hand the year before and had high hopes that we would sing there some Saturday night.
She also said we’d be going there that first Saturday night upon arriving in Phoenix.
Well, she might as well have said we’d be going out for Mexican food when we arrived, (which we did, by the way- cheese crisps at Don Jose’s on Thomas) because seriously, I had no idea what she was talking about. It was 1977 for crying out loud. I was not familiar with Christian music… or Mexican food.
I was a Norwegian farm girl from Wisconsin, in a two-door Opel, with all my worldly possessions, on my way to Phoenix with my best friend. The other Linda Larson.

Let me back up a bit.
Linda & I grew up in the same farming community in Wisconsin. Linda was two years older. We went to the same school, both cheerleaders and played on the same fast-pitch softball team. And we had the same first and last name.

But after Linda graduated from high school in '73, our paths took a drastic change.
Linda took a walk on the wild side. I started my walk with Jesus.

Linda eventually ended up in Phoenix and wrote me a letter that blew me away. She had found Jesus and she was on fire! God had done a miracle in her life. She was coming home for the summer and she wanted me to think about coming back to Phoenix with her in the fall.

Well, long story short, Linda came home and we began to sing and write music together. We sang everywhere we could. And we spent hours together, forging a spiritual friendship that would prove foundational in my resolve to “deny myself, take up my cross and follow Jesus (and Linda) to Phoenix.”  And I can honestly say that I have never been more sure of anything in my entire life.

Linda and I sang at our little Lutheran church that beautiful September morning in 1977. And yes, that's Linda & I wearing the matching denim outfits that I made from old blue jeans... just moments before hugging our family and friends goodbye and embarking on a journey of faith that would rock my world. We had 2 cassettes on board... 2nd Chapter of Acts and Keith Green. I had never heard such music. It would change my life.

We immediately found a furnished apartment. The next day we bought brand newTakamine guitars from DC Seville at Melano’s Music... who, unbeknownst to us, would be our record producer 6 months later. Then while trying to find Hand in Hand, we got lost and ended up at another Sat. night concert venue at People’s Church in Scottsdale, where we met Don Burchfield who was also a concert promoter. We sang for him two days later and he immediately booked us to open for Barry McGuire.

When we, Linda Larson & Friend weren’t singing somewhere, we were attending Hand in Hand. And yes, we were major groupies. We loved the bands, the ambiance and the sweet sense of family.
And all the while we were trying to get an audition so we could sing there someday.

Well, it was at that Barry McGuire concert months later that the guy who did the auditioning for Hand in Hand, came up to us and said he'd put us on the schedule. And it was at that very first Hand in Hand concert that I met my future husband. Yes, we were scheduled to open for Randy Thompson! 
Think about it, that very first week in Phoenix literally set the stage, pardon the pun, but literally set the stage for me to meet my future husband at that very first Hand in Hand concert 6 months later! Still blows my mind!

And the only reason Randy asked for my phone number that night… Linda and I were in the studio recording "Quiet Times" and he wanted to get some studio info. So when he called, he sorta accidently asked me out. Which can be rather confusing when you consider that Linda and I had the same first and last name... so thankfully he thought to ask for the Linda Larson that was not engaged. haha!

Anyway, that’s how I heard about Hand in Hand. And it would change my life. I would experience God using me in ways I never thought possible.

*** So excited for the reunion, because Linda & I will be reunited and singing some of our music from back in the day. That will make for a memorable weekend and I will be sure to blog about it!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Mimi's Cafe

Daddy & Daughter

Uncle Tyler & Emolyn

Pop Pop & Emolyn
Emolyn & Aunt Miranda

Emolyn & Mommy

Emolyn & Mimi

Welcome to Mimi's Cafe!
That's what I call the little kitchen I created 
for my granddaughters.
And that's what my granddaughters call me~ Mimi! 
I found the table & chairs for $15.00 at a yard sale 
and didn't have to do a thing to it.
It' so sturdy and comfortable for any size dinner guest.
The Cath Kidston oil cloth was bought in Bath, England.
We were visiting our daughter Miranda who was studying in England for 6 months and it was my dream to actually enter a Cath Kidston store.
And it was everything and more than I could have imagined.
Read about my visit HERE.
I was thrilled to later find a set of dishes at Target 
that matches the oil cloth perfectly.
Everything on that table (BELOW) came with the set of dishes-
on clearance for ten dollars!
That post can be found HERE.

The old wooden sink & stove was a find at Goodwill for ten dollars and we later added a tall wooden backsplash of hooks 
to hang the pots & pan set from IKEA,
along with a metal strip for various magnetic containers.
You can see her wooden kitchen up close & personal HERE.
So fun having Emolyn cooking in her kitchen 
while I'm cooking and baking in mine.
(clic to enlarge each pic)