Thursday, May 1, 2014


To celebrate the half-way mark to Halloween, I have decided to make all of my portraits 31% off for the month of May! Go on over to my Etsy shop and check them out.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Time for a Change (aka. I can't go outside, so I'll mess around in the house)

I have been anxious to get started on my garden. I've checked out books from the library, gathered my notes and plans from previous years, and ordered a new garden planner for this year. I have even made a preliminary list of the vegetables, herbs and flowers I would like to plant. And then I look outside. Snow. Can't dig in the snow. Can't plant in the snow. Can't even find my garden boxes in the snow. 

So what's a girl to do?

Redecorate a room or two, that' what!


Yesterday morning, after dropping the boys at school, I stopped by the fabric store a made a purchase. The project? Update my dining room panels and make some sort of window covering for my kitchen window. Wanna see?

These are my dining room windows with their current panels. I have a set of  three windows on one wall and french door on the other. The paint looks kind of orangey in these pictures but, in reality, they are more tan, like coffee with cream. I bought the white panels from Target. Store bought panels are about a foot too short for the windows in my house. To make up the difference, I added the band of fabric across the top with the wide, red ribbon in between. 

I am desirous of something more neutral. I want my panels to become a part of the overall decor, like the paint or the counter tops. I also did not want to completely remake my panels, just update.I decided to remove the band and ribbon and replace it with black and white fabric and this wide burlap with black polka dots ribbon that I found.

Then I got sewing!

Pretty stitches for the hems.

Measuring, ironing and pinning. 

Adding the ribbon with a stitch down the middle.

And done! (Look at all that snow!)

As of this morning, I have two of the six panels complete. The bands for two of the panels are hemmed and ready to be attached. As far as the french door panels are concerned, I think I will do a grand band (30" wide) at the bottom of the panels. That way it will be all white at the top and will no longer compete with whatever plates I have displayed on my plate rail.

Monday, March 3, 2014

What's next?

In picking a fairy tale/portrait subject for April, 
I knew that there was one thing that I wanted to include.



I love the snow. I love that we have had a snowy, snow-filled, snowed in Winter. I'm ready for a little Spring. I'm ready for green and flowers and digging in the dirt and working in the yard. This next portrait has to be able to incorporate flowers. 

I have settled on...


Nathanael's Birthday

February. What a month! It's short, but soooo long (especially when you live in Michigan). Regardless of what kind of weather February brings, there was a special gift that I got in February, eleven years ago- my first baby, my son, Nathanael. His big blue eyes, his great smile and even greater laugh, his freckles that multiply while he sleeps, has made February a very, sweet month!

On the 20th we celebrated his eleventh birthday. Eleven!

 He's only two inches shy of five feet tall!

Brotherly love. Ahhhh!

Look at Asher! He's totally checking out his gift to Nathanael 
while getting a thankful hug from his brother.

I just love this picture! A boy and his Legos.

The finished product.


We had a great day together: brownies at school to share with his class, dinner out, cake at home, Legos everywhere! Dave and I were both getting sick (thanks to the birthday boy) so we were a tad subdued. The boys had fun checking out Nathanael's gifts while we sickies watched.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Little Briar-Rose {fairy tale series #2}

For the month of March, I chose 'Little Briar-Rose (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty) as my next fairy tale inspiration. I decided to do a portrait of Briar-Rose while she was asleep and another double portrait of the two wise women bestowing their gifts of Death and Sleep on the new baby.

My other inspiration, as far as clothing and hair styles were concerned, was Downton Abbey. Thank you Lady Mary, Lady Edith and Lady Rose for wearing those fabulous frocks week after week.

Here they are! (For the pictures with parts of the fairy tale, click on the Sew Sweet Fabric Confections button on the right. It'll take you to my blog where I release each portrait a bit more formally.)

'Little Briar-Rose, Asleep'

And, 'Two Wise Women, 13 & 12'

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bravo, Downton Abbey!

A muuuuch better finale than last year's, don't you think? I loved it! The costumes, royalty, intrigue, a ball. Oh, how I love a ball!

I've been a bit under the weather so I didn't actually watch DA until last night. I was only going to watch half of it, and get my sick self to bed, but I was rooted to my spot. I thought it was a wonderful wrap-up of several issues, with a few new characters and story lines to look forward to next season.

Now, a few thoughts for a few characters (in no particular order):

1. Harold. I was not prepared to like you, Harold, from the moment you arrived in London. To my surprise, I found myself looking for your face, hanging on your every word, hoping that you and that adorable Madeline would run off together in wedded bliss! I look forward to seeing you again.

2. Rose. I hope this little letter-scare of yours has managed to scare some sense into your beautifully coiffed head. I love everything you wear! And, you got to dance with the prince!!! Eeek!!!

3. Mary. I don't even know what to say about your embarrassment of riches (Blake, Gillingham, etc., etc., etc.). Thank you for not turning in Mr. Bates. I'm not in favor of murder but, come on! Anna did you quite the favor in Season 1, remember? Burning the ticket made more sense than turning him in.

4. Cora. I love watching you coast through life, all beautiful and serene but, would you stop a minute and consider your daughter, Edith.

5. Edith. Oh Edith. I'm glad you are bringing your daughter home. Do we really trust the tenant you have chosen to raise her and share your secret with, though?

6. Tom. Oh Tom. You make me shake my head, Tom. Watching you with that school teacher, taking her through the house, letting her go upstairs. Come on! It was like watching a horror movie and seeing some girl, in a dark house, deciding to look for the source of a strange sound in the even darker basement. Come on!

7. Mr. and Mrs. Bates. Go forth in happiness! But lets stop breaking the law, Mr. Bates.

8. Carson and Mrs. Hughes. Watching you walk hand in hand in the surf was a lovely way to sign off.

What else? I loved the card sharp, purloined letter, flirtatious prince, slight of hand interlude. That was a fun way to bring history into the fiction. There was quite big, royal upheaval about to occur in Great Britain. It will be interesting to see how the inhabitants of Downton weather that.

I have always found that time in history quite fascinating, especially the effect WWI had on the world. There were so many changes in all areas of life. I've always wondered if people living at that time noticed the rush of change, invention, improvement, and loss. The differences between the Americans and the British were interesting to see. Poor Harold, trying to introduce himself to Edward. (Who hasn't had a conversation go all sideways like that!)

Well, as you can clearly see, I loved this episode. There were no tears or recriminations (Matthew. Oh Matthew). Just costumes and a ball and romances and witty banter and a beautiful day at the beach!

Monday, February 10, 2014

My 2014 Challenge

Last year, I decided to not buy myself any new books. I didn't consider this a resolution. I saw it as more of a challenge from me to me. Don't buy new books. Read what you have. Go to the library.

I succeeded in my challenge last year- no new books (unless they were a gift). I have decided to 'challenge' myself again this year, but how? I didn't want to do the same thing because I feel like last years' experiment made a good impression. Let's not push it!

So the other day, while wanting to rest my shoulder but needing to keep my fingers busy, I pulled out my stash of unfinished cross stitch projects to see what I could work on. I caught myself thinking, 'Maybe I should start something new?'

That was when the Challenge came to light. For 2014, do not start any new cross stitch projects until I all of the ones I have already started!

Why do I never finish what I start? Well, I have finished plenty, usually around Christmas time, for decorations and gifts. What I love about cross stitch most is not the finished product but the process. Making those little x's. Watching words and images emerge. It is soothing and comforting as I work on a sampler. (And it does not make my sore shoulder hurt!)

First up...

This is how I found it. It is a larger sampler, perfect for February, which will say 'I Love You More'. I will show you the completed sampler when it is finished. Stay tuned!

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