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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I got featured on Craftsyble!

Secret Garden Notes

So excited to be featured on Craftsyble's website!

This blog is a fabulous place to find great artisans, get tips on running a successful craft business, tips on social promotion, craft projects, and on and on and on.

Stop on by and check it out, you won't be disappointed :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Short, Simple post but with a lot of punch!

Use the frame from an inexpensive paper lantern. This will look awesome once it fills in!

I can envision these hanging under my Pergola, will post pics after I try :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

In the midst, mothers miss joy.

I read this op-ed piece by Susan Estrich several years ago and it really hit home.  I saved it so that every once in awhile I could read it and try to readjust my perspective and outlook on life.

I hope it speaks to you as much as it did me :)

There has been a whole spate of memoirs lately by young mothers searching for meaning.  They go off looking for happiness in yoga and personal trainers and spiritual gurus.  These are intelligent women, women with fancy educations who either don’t work outside the home or make a living as writers, which is, if you ask me, pretty great when your kids are little.

So why are these women so unhappy?  Why are they trying to find ” happiness” in home improvement projects and exercise and deep breaths?  Not that there is anything wrong with any of those things.  But from where I sit, these women are in the middle of the most wonderful years of their lives, and they are wasting them whining. 

Believe me, I empathize with the trials of raising children.  I remember being so tired I couldn’t think straight, feeling like I had not a minute to myself, wondering what happened to the woman I used to be.  I spent years worrying about money after getting divorced, worrying about how to provide a secure home for my children while I was trying to figure out how to pay the mortgage.  I love my children more than life, which gives them the power to hurt me like no one else.  Being a mother is not easy.
But there is a reason why women who have everything in the world want children even more. There is a reason why we keep giving up promising careers and pursuits we love to be mothers.  We say we are doing it for our children, but let me tell you the secret, as one who was once there:  We do it for ourselves.  We do it because, for all its pain, being a mother with their children in her arms is the very best thing in the world, or at least the best thing I ever found.

The problem is that it doesn’t last forever.  A mother, my friend Annie, says, is always only as happy as her least happy child.  I want happiness and good health for my children far, far more than I want them for myself. You don’t love your children any less as they grow older, but you do come to realize, painfully sometimes, that they don’t belong to you .  They have a right to their own lives, and a parent’s job is not to hold on, but to let go.

Now that my children are grown, I’m ready to look for some other source of (lesser)  happiness, and I’m happy to take inspiration from anywhere I can find it.  My favorite are the books by older women, who have the perspective of life’s joys and losses, something I have learned painfully over the years.  But frankly, many of them are just too sad.  So I pick up the memoirs of the young mothers, figuring there will be fewer deaths and tragedies in them. Any they are not nearly as sad.  But they make me want to shake their authors.
Why do you need a “happiness project” when you have a husband who loves you, plenty of money and two beautiful and healthy children?  Why do you need to “escape” your family when, before you know it, they will be gone? Did someone tell me this 10 or 15 years ago?  Maybe you just can’t hear.  But in case you are one of those mothers and your reading this, let me try:  Wait until your children are my children’s age.  I promise that you will look back and realize that heaven was right there in your house, right there looking at you.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Inexpensive and Simple Scented Hand soap

O.k., I'll admit it, I'm a hand soap snob! There, I said it.

I am an addict for fabulous smelling and looking hand soap.  Nothing
makes me happier than washing my hands after getting my haircut at the Aveda salon in my town.  They have THE most fabulous Rosemary and Mint scented hand soap but at $17.00 a bottle for 8.5 ounces I just can't bring myself to purchase it.  Not only because I think it's insanely overpriced but I also have a 16 year old who uses about 1/4 cup every time he washes his hands!

This dilemma made me take matters into my own hands, no pun intended.
I decided to make my own scented hand soap for a fraction of the cost.

It's quite simple.  All you need is some UNSCENTED liquid soap, available in a ton of different brands and colors.
You will also need to purchase some essential oils, choose whatever fragrances you like best or better yet, experiment with combining scents to make it uniquely your own.

First pour the liquid soap into whatever container you want to use.
Leave some room at the top for the appropriate amount of essential oils.
The amount you use will determine how much liquid soap you are using and your own personal preference.  Just remember, concentrated essential oils can be quite strong so go easy at first, you can always add more later.
Once you add your oils shake well and voila, you now have your own scented hand soap for pennies on the dollar!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

DIY Mini book Necklace with Charms


DIY Mini Book Necklaces with Charms. I have posted 3 or 4 mini book jewelry tutorials and I keep saying, “Oh, this is the best one.” But this is my favorite. Clear instructions, love the grommet closures tied with leather, love the keyhole. For the tutorial and other ideas go to Art by Wendy here. I got a GC to Michaels and will get a crop-a-dile using coupons of course.

I absolutely love the look of these mini book necklaces.  I found this fabulous site that explains how to make these adorable creations.  I have thought of SO many different and interesting ways these could be done, the possibilities are endless!!  If you want to give it a shot, here is the link.  If you decide to try these please post some pics of your finished pieces :)
The images in this post are from the original posting of this tutorial, I did not make these.

Friday, March 1, 2013 Peak Fest Logo

May 4, 2013 – Historic Downtown Apex  9:00AM – 5:00PM

Come see me at the Apex PeakFest!!

Can hardly wait to get back to Apex to do the PeakFest this year.  This is a fabulous festival featuring many talented artisans in a variety of mediums.  There will be live music all day, a car show, entertainment for the kids, great food and more!  

If you are unfamiliar with Apex, NC then you are in for a treat.  Historic downtown Apex is charming!  It is filled with fabulous boutiques, gift stores, restaurants, bakeries and more!

So come on down for a great festival and stop by my tent to say Hi!