Friday, June 29, 2012

trash the dress beach photos

Sun, sand and sassy sisters ~ simply stunning!

These photos were taken a year ago when my son Shawn, his wife Nicole and Emolyn & Elsie were vacationing with Nicole's family in Mexico.

I had found these gauzy dresses at thrift stores for a photo shoot I stylized for them ~ just for fun. The shoot took place in April '11 at the base of South Mountain in Phoenix ~ 
you can see those photos HERE.

Well, just before they left for Mexico I suggested a "trash the dress" photo shoot at the beach wearing those dresses. But I never thought a thing about it till months later when they gave me a beautiful photo book they had made of the stylized photo shoot at South Mountain ~ with these beach photos at the end of the book. I could not believe my eyes! What a lovely surprise! Especially because I had forgotten all about it. I was a blubbering mess. ha!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

4th of July mantel

 Another mantel makeover!
My inspiration was the Campbell Soup tin that my sister-in-law gave me. Love it! Everything else I already had ~ found at thrift stores and yard sales.
But I did have my son Shawn pick me up a Pop Shoppe bottle. You know how much I love cool labeling. And yes, I bought that lone skate years ago. It's great for displaying framed photos and chalkboards.

And how much do you love that fireplace sign! I went to a real junky yard sale a while back and found a stack of beat-up, old signs that realtors add to House for Sale signs. I bought several for a quarter each. Wait till you see the others. So excited to have found the perfect place for this sign.

I really need to make a simple banner to string across the mirror ~ and make it double-sided with 4th of July fabric on one side and summer gingham on the other. You know me ~ it's all about doing double-duty! Hope your week is going well.

I'm linking up with these linky parties ~

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

my daughter is engaged!

Miranda & Aaron are getting married! And what a sweet love story!
I have been faithfully praying for my daughter's husband since she was a little girl,
and to know it was Aaron all this time brings me to tears. You see Miranda has had a crush on him since they were kids, but he was her brother's best friend, so she never dreamed he would ever see her as more than just Shawn's little sister.

Well, that all changed last September, when Aaron asked Miranda out on an actual date. 
They had always been great friends, but something changed. Love happened.

My daughter is 27 and has patiently waited for the man-of-her-dreams. She has never been about needing a boyfriend to define who she is. She has faithfully depended on God to be all she ever needed... trusting He would lead her to the man she would someday marry. 

 But till that time she loved being single and lived her life to the fullest. Her insatiable appetite for adventure has taken her to places all around the world. Her Dad has always said that she is one of the most courageous young women he has ever known.

So after Aaron sat down with Miranda's Dad and asked to marry his daughter, he also contacted all of he and Miranda's close friends and planned a surprise engagement party. Everything fell in to place beautifully. He rented a convertible, took her on a roadtrip to Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon and then asked her to be his wife. And here she's thinking it was about celebrating his birthday!

When they got back to Phoenix that evening, friends & family were waiting to celebrate their engagement. What a fun surprise! Of course I burst into tears. I had never seen my daughter so happy. She literally took my breath away to where I couldn't even talk. I know, that hardly ever happens! ha!

Love this one of Miranda and Nicole, with Shawn and Tyler in the background. Love these four amazing adults. And now to have Aaron join our family! I'm beyond elated!

And the ring ~ oh my gosh, THE RING! Simply stunning!
And get this, my granddaughter Emolyn has been calling Aaron "Uncle Aaron" since she was born, and now he will officially become her Uncle Aaron. How cool is that!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

my creative space

Utilizing every nook 'n cranny ~ that's me to a tee ~ which is why I named this space my nook 'n cranny. Trust me, it rarely ever looks this good. But I just spent the past couple weeks reorganizing every nook 'n cranny. And it worked ~ my creative juices are flowin' ~ experiencing serious inspiration overload ~  and oh so timely. The temps hit 112, stuck indoors ~ with projects out the wazoo! 

It really does make a difference when you know where everything is, or for that matter, what things you have in which to start creating. I found things I had forgotten I even had!

Recently a friend on facebook posted that she discovered a new passion ~ sewing. And I was reminded that I love to sew. Don't get me wrong, I sew most every day. But it's mending and altering... not creatively sewing an actual garment. I'm excited to challenge myself with a sewing project. Maybe something for my granddaughters.

See that black hole in my closet shelving unit? That's a flat screen so I can watch movies in here. But here's the problem ~ I'm watching the American Dreams series and I will invariably put in a disk and before you know it, I will leave the room and forget that it's important that I should sorta stay in the room if I want to get the gist of what's going on ~ or put it on pause! I do it all the time. I blame my ADD.

But what I did that has made all the difference in the world ~ I put my formica table in the middle of the space ~ and it's changed my life! Seriously! I have already completed so many projects because I have room to spread out, and I can bop in and out whenever and it's waiting for me, right where I left off.

And speaking of utilizing every nook 'n cranny ~ I immediately became aware of a massive chunk of real estate under the table, that was not being used. And then I remembered a steel structure on wheels that I found at a yard sale years ago ~ and thought, why not put it under the table! I was beside myself with joy! I mean, look at it ~
industrial vintage in all its functional glory! 
I will be adding a surface to the top of the structure using a pallet or yard sticks, so even more projects can be piled on the top surface. Oh and btw, everything on the rolling structure is projects that either need mending or altering or repurposing.
See what I mean ~ never ending projects await this girl!

In case you're curious to know the story behind my vintage gingham apron collection ~
click HERE. It's pretty creepy.
And if you want to know more about the transformation of this room, you can read THIS post from 5 years ago.
I'm linking up to the following Linky Parties ~

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I love that my friend Anna captured this image of me photographing Hollyhocks. Cuz I adore Hollyhocks and have been growing them for over 15 years! Those aren't my Hollyhocks, but the rest of the photos on this post are from my backyard. 

So sad when the temps reach 112 as they did yesterday... and I'm watching my poor Hollyhocks succumb to the blistering heat. But so very thankful to have taken these images a few weeks ago. I will soon harvest all the seeds and package them in the seed packets that my husband made for me. 

These were the seed packets I made for the guests that attended the High Tea Baby Shower shortly before my granddaughter Elsie was born 20 months ago.
You can read that post HERE.

Thanks so much for admiring my lovely Hollyhocks! They are truly a favorite flower of mine.

Monday, June 18, 2012

vintage picnic baskets

I just found out that today is International Picnic Day.
This was the scene of our usual picnics while visiting the farm in Wisconsin with our kids over the past 30 years ~ my Mom would throw together hotdogs, buns, a box of Old Dutch potato chips, all the fixin's for S'mores and a cooler of pop ~ then we'd head to the far corner of the 350 acre farm, build a bonfire and swap stories of growing up on the farm.

I'd like to think my brother Gary was the first to use a rake to roast hotdogs and marshmallows. He always was a deep thinker, with occasional spurts of creative genius :)

I also started collecting picnic baskets over these past 30 years.
And I can honestly say I've never paid more than a buck or two for any of them.

Ok, maybe a tad bit more for my metal baskets ~ which also happen to be my favorites. 
I now have tags on most of my baskets, so I can identify which basket holds what. They all have to serve a purpose in my household.

I grew up using that plaid green lunchbox and years later found a plaid green picnic basket.

My baskets next to the woodstove hold my cupcake decorating supplies, my cookie cutters, sentimental cards & letters and my yearly month-at-a-glance Day Runners. 
I'm all about my collections doing double-duty ~
both aesthetically pleasing and functionally useful.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

En Love with the Twins

These stunning images were captured by En Love Photography. They literally took my breath away and made me cry. I'm in awe of my son, this good & faithful man, his amazing wife and beautiful children. And to think Jonah & Nathan were only 7 days old.

Shawn & Nicole ~ can you believe we made these little guys?

Elsie ~ Mimi has a baby doll that stops moving when you turn off a switch. Where's the switch for this baby? 

Emolyn ~ I love their tiny little feet & toes.

Nicole ~ radiant & beautiful.

Shawn ~ strong & steady.

Shawn & Nicole ~ trusting God with these precious little gifts.

Shawn & Nicole ~ truly the best parents ever.

Jonah & Nathan ~ oh my gosh, cutest little boys ever.

Nathan & Jonah ~ snug as a bug on a rug.

Nathan ~ means "God has given".

Jonah ~ means "peace".

Have you ever seen anything sweeter in your life?

I told Nicole before the boys were born that I had a double galvanized pail that I found at a yard sale years ago, and that she was welcome to use it for their first photo shoot. I also gathered up old, vintage blocks and scrabble tiles to spell out their names. Well, you can imagine my surprise when a week later I opened up my Mother's Day gift and saw this photo for the very first time. Oh my gosh, I could hardly breathe, much less talk.
SO En Love with these little boys!

I'm linking up with ~
Featured Friday FREE-FOR-ALL

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

baby ID bracelets

Shawn (1982) ~ Miranda (1984) ~ Tyler (1989)
Jonah's hospital ID bracelet was removed last week. The twins are identical you know, so they kept his on till it got too snug. They are still noticeably different when side-by-side, because Nathan is smaller. But it's only a matter of time till he catches up and all bets are off as to who's who.
So yesterday while putzing (or puttering) in my sewing room, or what I now affectionately call my Nook 'n Cranny ~ I came upon my kids hospital ID bracelets. Yes, how ironic, having just seen Jonah's bracelet posted on facebook just days before. But also miraculous, as I had not seen these bracelets since we moved into this house in 1994. You see, I have a rather large drawer that I deposit memorabilia and miscellaneous stuff that I will either scrapbook someday or just save. So I decided to look through it.
Oh my gosh, talk about a trip down memory lane. Yes, I save everything. Hey, if you'll remember, I'm the girl that not only saved the autograph I got from Harmon Killebrew after a Twins game in the 60's, but the actual gum I was chewing while asking him! And I'm also the girl that saved the tissue I cried in when I made cheerleading. And I also... oh never mind, you get the picture.
So anyways, I find notes & cards from my kids when they were little, ticket stubs, newspaper clippings, vacation receipts... even a letter I sent my Mom while she was in the hospital when my brother Kevin was born in 1969. My Mom had 5 kids in 7 1/2 years and then 11 years later had Kevin. So you can imagine how excited us kids were. So, being that I was 12 1/2 and desperate to feel important, I closed the letter by asking if I could be the first to hold Kevin when they got home from the hospital. Just so you know, I wasn't.
So, when I finally found each of these ID bracelets, I just sat and cried... imagining them being so small and helpless... and me wondering, hoping and praying they would grow to be faithful, kind and loving. I was instantly overcome with the reality of God's faithfulness over these past 30 years. He not only answered my prayers beyond what I could think or imagine, but He's carried them over to this next generation, to my grandchildren. So very humbled... and deeply grateful.

I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6

Nathan & Jonah @ 6 weeks