Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Show at Kelly's

Friday, July 15, 2011, we had the Opening Ceremony for Our Kitchen Table Creations at Kelly's Bakery & Cafe...
Thanks to my mom and dad who came into town to help me get ready and get through the Opening Ceremony of the art show that is at Kelly's Bakery & Cafe. They also took all the pictures here because I was a little busy with other dealings and totally forgot to chronicle my evening in pictures. Good thing they were here!This is the outside of the cafe and our new car. Such good parking in downtown is hard to come by! We really lucked out!

Dad and Emily before the guests started arriving. Thank goodness I had great help surrounding me that night! Each art piece I displayed that night had a name and description paper that went with it. Despite having almost all the pieces hung on the Sunday prior to the show, thanks to Emily's hard work that day, we still had a lot of work to do the night of the show. Each description had to get onto the wall and we needed to arrange the tables and chairs so people could easily flow through the space.

Perpetual calendar in a picture frame titled "delicate hardwood." Addition month names are on the back so you can change it easily.

pink lace calendar

off white delight calendar

green grass calendar

Family pictures and family name framed artwork

More family pictures and names

PiNK display wall

Each grouping of pieces had a simple title. There was Travel, Eat, PiNK, Botanicals, and Family.

Red Rosy Wreath

Kelly bought this botanical wreath for the cafe. I love how it looks on this blue wall!

indulge wreath

Mom and I organizing the sold cards. Who knew we'd need so many of them that night? What a wonderful surprise that was! We sold 9 pieces the evening of the Opening and a few more have sold this week. I've also taken several orders and am having a ball putting those together!


The bikes in the frames with maps behind them were very popular. This was what I gave a sneak peek of before the show in the last blog!

Beautiful layout and delicious foods catered by Kelly. The cucumber salad finger sandwiches, brownies, lemon squares, potato wedge wonderfulness, chicken skewers, cheese, crackers, fruit and homemade pickles were exquisite! It was so was just the beginning of a perfect weekend! Now as I write this blog, I'm snacking on leftover cheeses and fruits from the night! The gift that just kept giving. I don't know that I'll ever be able to thank Kelly and Jamie for their kindness and generosity. What wonderful friends they are!

Emily opening the wine and getting the beverages ready for the evening.
What was I doing at this time? Talking with the artist- who is an amazing 'real' artist and he had the show before me so I had huge shoes to fill- trying not to be intimidated but sweating profusely while discussing my "art." I still giggle at being called an artist or having my crafty creations referred to as pieces of art! Literally laugh out loud!


My friend, Monica and her girls, looking at the Travel pieces. So glad to have so many creative friends surround me and support me. She is a very talented artist with beautiful paintings and sculptures she has created along her artistic journey.

A bit blurry but a great shot of the cafe and my biggest supports smack-dab in the middle! Thanks Kelly and Em! Notice the tablescapes are a collection of all the mason jars, small jars and other vases I could find and stick daisies and whisps of my bridal veil greenery into. They are in the center of each table, on the chair rail shelf and throughout the food table. Daisies everywhere!

Mom gave me my great-grandmother's pearls and my grandma's pinkie ring to wear for this evening. I'm sure they brought me tons of luck as the night was a huge success!

I really couldn't have done all this without Emily's support and love! She paints frames, gives constructive feedback, bounces ideas, shops for deals, finds the most amazing frames, cuts, colors, inks, pastes, rearranges words and images, all while keeping me sane.

She's the reason I can fly and soar!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


My great friend, Kelly, owner of Kelly's Cafe and Bakery has invited me to feature my work in her cafe. I love every sandwich...and of course all the sweet goodies...she makes and eat there regularly. Now my works will take center stage starting July 1o! Next Sunday Emily and I will hang our "show" and then on Friday we get to have an Open Ceremony. I am overwhelmed in my friend's support and with this opportunity I have been given. Here is the sample I put on FaceBook. My friend Brenda has already requested this piece so I'm working on Missouri and Illinois as the backgrounds. This one has Chicago and the eastern border of IL and most of IN.

This is similar to a map wreath I have for display at Kelly's. I created this one a few weeks ago for a client who had specific modes of travel she wanted featured. LoVe how it came out!

Just a small preview! Come on Friday, July 15, between 7pm and 9pm to check out the new pieces!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

What Happened To MAY?

Um. Well. I really have no idea what happened to May. What I do know is that June has been wonderful! Life is slowing down. Coaching high school softball has ended, school is out so the classroom is packed away and grades are finalized, our niece has gone back to live with her mom, and the days are filled with friends, home cooking, crafting, tablescaping, renovations, pool time, backyard-sitting and porch swinging. The garden is planted and we are eating salads from our yard everyday. There are variety of of greens planted and I'm excited to make some lettuce wraps this week with some of the leaves. We have also been enjoying fresh squeezed lemonade and tons of strawberries...not from our yard but signs of summer all the same.

Metamorphosis Monday: Our daisies are sprouting up like weeds in the path of the garden. For years I have tried to be a successful gardener so there is no way that I will pull them as I do the Creeping Charlie! I just love this wire cloche I got at Nell Hill's when I was in Kansas City in May. The daisies from our garden tend to wilt quickly in the heat of the day because I'm not a fan of air conditioning until absolutely necessary. This is the perfect I am playing with some flower preservation solutions that have helped as well. The colored mason jars have been my favorite estate sale, garage sale and auction find of the spring. A birdhouse, leftover lemons, world map and IMAGINE rock round out the perfect inspirational table decor for summer dreaming!

Check out the other fun creations at Between Naps on the Porch!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fun Day of Shopping...and a new thing!

What a fun weekend we had shopping at estate sales, some garage sales, at the thrift stores and at the architectual salvage! I can also add an item to the 35 New Thing Challenge- I went to an estate from a company I had never heard of before and it was incredible!!! Great prices! The day off from coaching softball because of the rain was well spent...literally, I was spent at the end of the day and all my money was spent!

It has been a couple of weeks now and I've been enjoying usnig the buttons and mason jars already. The house has been painted a yellow color, similar to the Big Bird Bed and Breakfast (the name we have given to our home!) and I can't wait to add miniatures and other littles to it. Notice the adorable bunny salt and pepper shakers? They are exactly like the ones my grandmother had. I love their precious little faces!!!Awesome score on the buttons also! Love the little jars they came in and how they were already separated into colors. It was half price time at the estate sale so the price could not be beat. They were one or two dollars a piece. I don't want to use any of them because they look so cute in these jars. The shelf they are sitting in was bought from the former money manager from District 87. I'm sure his garage sale money is funding his fishing trips with my former principal.

The shelves I bought will be perfect for craft shows in the summer and I better get to work on transforming some of these goodies!!!

Check out the other great ideas at Between Naps on the Porch!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

First Flower of Spring

I love the old bottles that we have gathered from so many different places over the years. This single stem fits so perfectly in the middle bottle of this set. This is a small window that looks out onto our garden. The chives from year are coming back and so is the oregano. I can't wait until the squares are filled with produce for us to feast on.

I know that it is Tablescape Thursday but you are getting a Windowscape as the day winds down. Tonight as my love came through the door, this was my gift! After a long day of running kids all around and chasing around my third graders and then running kids around this evening and throwing together some dinner, it was a beautiful present!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Book #5

An interesting story and an emotional ride as I finished this book today. I'm not sure if I would recommend it or not. Probably not though because it tugged on heartstrings in a way that caused my heart to rip open and forced a reality check I didn't really want to make this fine Sunday morning. On to the next...

Update: January 2012!
I have not forgotten my 35 goal at all! Here are a few of the books I've enjoyed lately:

Heaven is for Real- awesome! This book is great and I think the way my friend pitched it me was perfect. She said, "I'm not all churchy and stuff and I don't like when people shove religion down your throat. This book is about answering those questions you might have about what happens when someone dies." She was so right! I've said my prayers much differently since I read it.

The Help- if you didn't read it this fall, what are you waiting for? The movie even did a great job of getting the themes in the book across to the viewers. It's a rare thing for books I usually enjoy to be movies I like as well!

Throwaway- a quick, winter break read. A great escape from reality. One of my guilty pleasure books!

There's A Light In the Attic- read aloud to my class this summer during early start.

Because of Winn Dixie- best book EVERY written. I love to read this one aloud to my kiddos. When we watched the movie they brought tears to my eyes with how much they knew from the book! It was divine!!!

Finally Home from Florida

I wish I had walked along the beach and selected these shells and goodies but that isn't the case. The niece that lives here now got a week long reprieve from the freezing cold Illinois weather with a trip to see her grandma in Florida. Lucky girl!!!
A new centerpiece on the dining room table welcomed friends as we had our first meal after the niece was home. She tried a macaroni pizza at pizza buffet so I was feeling inspired to recreate it. She said I was pretty close...and the whole dish of pasta and crust yumminess disappeared before the dinner was over.
This little birdie came from a garage sale around the corner a couple of summers ago. The tray was a couple of bucks at an estate sale in our neighborhood last summer. The shells and garage sale finds of summers past make me so ready for June. The colorful picture in the background between the windows was a gift from my mom last year for our anniversary. So thoughtful!
A piece of my grandmother's crystal takes center stage. Easter was one of her favorites to decorate for. Going through my Easter decoration, most of which were hers, is always a bittersweet event for me.

I missed having a teenager here so much while she was gone. So glad she's home and has already enjoyed a good night's sleep in her bedroom. Neither of us are particularly happy about returning to school early in the morning.

More Pink!

The pink paint NEEDED to be on the inside of these boxes. All these pieces were just hanging around my craftroom...which will soon be my "studio"...and I love the way they look in here. It was like I picked each piece thinking it would belong in this set.

The jar has "Geo Gridley Druggist Bloomington ILL" stamped on it. I wonder how this plays into the history of Bloomington being that the Gridleys played such an important role in the development and scandals of early Bloomington. Very interesting!

Little Pink Houses

Blocked. Stumped. Uninspired. As spring break started I was hoping to get so much done in my craftroom but couldn't get started. I love pink! So I mixed some red and white paint until I had a color that inspired me. The paint flew onto the various items that were waiting for me to love them. The bases looked natural and I felt they complimented the pink wonderfully.
Once the pink was on the rest of the Little Pink Houses came together easily. Some stamping, punching, pearls, lace, buttons and inking brought the homes to life.

I hope a little birdie comes along with a friend. One can INSPIRE and one can DISCOVER. However, these homes are in my mudroom and I don't think we'll be welcoming any birdies there- and the dogs definitely won't fit!

Check out the other great creations at Between Naps on The Porch. Thanks to Susan for hosting this great party every week!!!
Another place that tickles me PINK is the Sundae Party at

The entries at Funky Junk Interiors are always amazing!


Candlelight Dinner

I know. It's a little late for a Valentine's Day post of our tablescape. But...this was the last meal we had as a family-of-two being that we gained the teenager during this week. That was a pretty sweet Valentine's Day present! That kid makes me smile everyday!!! Since Valentine's Day was also the first day of Parent Teacher Conference week, Emily made a delicious dinner for me to come home to when the long day was finally over. The steak was cooked to perfection and reminded me that spring was right around the corner. There were candles throughout the first floor of our home and the glow warmed my heart as I came in from the chilly evening. It was a very unexpected surprise! I knew that dinner would happen that evening but had no idea it would be so quaint and perfect.
I had previously set the table so the tablescape wasn't a surprise. But aren't the lit candles wonderful to come home to? Using paper napkins this year has been a trick I've used so that my friends feel more comfortable using the napkins in my home and it lets me use all sorts of colors in my tablescapes. The small cup on the top (with the candle in it) was a Bromen Thrift Store that I got for pennies. When the bed and breakfast down the street closed, I bought the crystal bowls at the estate sale. I've used them almost weekly since buying the set of 10 for less than $20.
Loved the candles everywhere! The giant shoe is really a wine holder that I got when I bid on a Wine Basket at a benefit for my friend's father who passed away from pancreatic cancer. Notice the card on the sideboard- Thanks Mom!
These were all taken post dinner! I didn't have a chance to take pictures before because I came home to dinner on the table and wine in the glasses. Works for me! Every Parent Teacher conference week should start like this!
I don't love to eat the Valentine's conversation hearts but I do love to decorate with them! The small pieces of papers had sentiments of love on them and I made them to go along with the cards I made for the loves in my life. The leftovers were a fun addition to the table. Can you see the icicles hanging from the chandelier? They are flirting in the top of the pictures. Putting away all those beautiful ornaments at the end of Christmas is really difficult so I find little ways to use them as winter lingers on.

Now, let's keep this sunshine coming and the warming trend can keep on happening as well!

Check out the other great tablescapes at Between Naps on the Porch!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Not so physical...

With a niece living here, softball season, a construction project in the basement, taking orders for framed artwork and a plethora of other excuses I can 35 minutes of daily exercise has diminished steadily. I've gotten in three workouts a week but I know I need to put more effort into this goal of 35 minutes daily.

I love the Facebook challenge a friend has set for doing push-ups and sit-ups daily along with cardio workouts throughout the week. The group is also supporting each other with healthy eating habits. It's been a very supportive environment and has gotten me motivated!

So, for March, I'm counting the three hours of practice as my daily minutes. Some days I did more than just coach-while at practice I ran with the kids or threw batting practice. I feel good about the physical activity in March but look forward to kicking it up in April!

#4 Book

I have the most talented friends! The fourth book I read in my challenge is a novel that a budding author hasn't even been published yet and I got to enjoy it. Actually, I devoured it!!! So very good and I can't wait until the next one is finished. If she is so inclined...hmm, mmm...she'll add a comment here and tell you more about it!

35 New Things

I have had a very new thing: my niece moved in! She's now living at the "bed and breakfast" which means my one room for playing bed and breakfast has been taken over with the nestings of a 17 year old. I love, love, LOVE that she is here. Since I haven't had children of my own...yet...there have been many new things. Here are some of the things we've gotten to do during the two months she's lived here:
1. Find a prom dress- that took us to new stores and I cried when we finally found the perfect one.
2. Bought a pair of silver shiny heels- they are for the perfect dress of course!
3. Went to Ultimate Tan for a package to prepare for the perfect dress :)
4. Been awake by 5:30 for an entire month! Now, I'm planning to use that time a bit more wisely than just trying to function!
5. Had someone to tuck in each night
6. Watched Mean Girls while holding a crying teenager and eating pizza
7. Seen Jersey Shore. Wow. I hope that doesn't happen again!

In addition to new things with the teenager, there have been other things during March:
8. Went to all the thrift stores in Bloomington in one day.
9. Ate at The Shack in Clinton
10. Welcomed a former player onto our coaching staff
11. Went to the Goodwill in Peoria, up Grandview Drive and to the park at the zoo

So, lots of changes around here but tons of fun. The best part of having the niece here is that we laugh so hard we cry almost nightly. She's an amazing kid. We are so blessed!

Well, some of the new things that we had during the summer where moving a teenager out and having a broken heart about it. That was so hard but she's doing great and so are we...being aunts is much better! We did have some fun standing in line at an estate sale on morning, and can cross that off the bucket list. 2011 was pretty tough as we discovered Gracie has seizures and Otis ran away from home. We also lost our Aunt words for that one. I had my gall bladder removed during the fall. Not sure if that goes in the good or bad column. But we had a beautiful ceremony in our yard with all our loved ones, enjoyed becoming the resident artist at Kelly's, and hosted our first Tea Party! So, the good and bad balanced out in the end!!! We also got Eddie, the cat, as a Christmas present and he is filling voids we didn't know we had! The 35 New Things were not a challenge to accomplish at all!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day Tablescape

This is a great gift that us District 87 friends rarely see. Six o'clock news and the "closed tomorrow" message for us. What a great way to settle in, knowing we don't have to leave for work in the morning, and watch the blizzard and listen to the thundersnow!
The mug says "DREAM." What an excellent reminder as you sit down to eat and see the map of the USA. Dream of warm places you'd like to be right now!

Simple pages from a vintage almanac host clear charger plates, yellow salad plates from Nell Hill's extreme sale and the casserole dish on the top is from the Dollar Store. The casserole dish came complete with chicken pot pie- that last part was from my friend's kitchen! I need to get them back to her but I've been snowed in. Also, grandma always said, "Never return a dish empty." So...I'll take the casserole dish back with snow-day goodies when we return to school. Sometimes I wonder if that is why she brings me her dishes...hmmmm!
The silverware was a gift from my mom. They are an appetizer size set and I love them. Since this table is where I eat breakfast, I just need a small plate and utensils. The "chargers" are actually small plates! Dreaming of Florida... better stick to those small plates so the bathing suit fits when the snow finally melts.
It so delights to me to get bulbs from a friend every Christmas. We force them and have a beautiful bloom about mid-February...when spring starts to flirt with us but gray days can bring us down.
"The Top of the World"
I felt this was appropriate since I'm sure our weather is that like of the North Pole. Aren't these little white birds too cute? A gift from my mom, she got them at Target a few years ago.
Love the cover of this old almanac- the dates stamped on it make my heart sing!
This mug says "THINK." Think of the possibilities for warm places to travel to in the world! Also, this world map makes me reflect on the issues in Egypt and the Australian weather trouble. Makes our little blizzard seem not so bad in the whole scheme of things!
A candle to warm you and light your case the power can't withstand this storm.
Wayne and Sally keeping an eye on the extra candles, lighters, batteries and flashlights in case the electricity disappears.
Sending good thoughts to you all amidst this wintery storm. Here's to surviving the Snownotorious B.I.G. (P.S. I cannot take credit for coming up that, but I love it all the same!)

I linked up the Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch! Check out all the fun over at Susan's blog! Also, I am #100 on her list this week. AND we had our 100th day of school this week. Love it!!!