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Friday, February 27, 2009


When I first opened the shop at Etsy, I never dreamed the wonderful relationships that would be made and friendships forged over the years ~ all through this amazing internet world. I am the first to question my youngest daughter about the fact that most of her communication with friends these days is only via text messaging....and yet, I am now not surprised to find that I do have very dear friends all over this world who I have never met - we "convo," we post on our boards, some of us in a group meet at a designated time to chat online on a weekly basis, we Twitter, we Facebook, we email...we connect, touch base, support each other, and talk about what a great party it would be if we would ever all meet in one place!

One of my earliest Etsy friends, I discovered when I was searching for a special 15th birthday present for Hannah and found the amazing artwork of Stephanie Chisholm, aka Artchiz, aka the "Chiz." I emailed ("convoed" in Etsy terms) Chiz, explaining Hannah's upcoming birthday, her passion for zebras, and inquiring if perhaps a custom piece would be possible. Over the next several weeks, not only did an incredible birthday present develop but also a new friendship as Steph's enthusiasm for the project and Hannah's response was matched by my own.

This is "Hannah's Pride," the painting that Chiz did for Hannah's birthday ~ how wonderful is that!

Steph, an NYC (oops, sorry, a Bronx) artist, has a long list of accomplishments and continues to add this list...
  • The Saint Gaudens Medal for Draftsmanship at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • The BRIO Fellowship from Bronx Council of the Arts
  • Recent Shows ~ International NY ARTEXPO at the Javitis Center; The New York City Heath and Hospitals Corporation Art Collection; Blackwash Art Gallery, NYC; Bronx Art Museum, NYC
  • Original works are included in The Permanent Print Collection, The New York Public Library - NYC; The Permanent Collection of the Art Students League of New York - NYC
I have been watching the last several months with delight as Chiz completed each of her imaginative and colorful alphabet city animals. Her creative eye makes me smile, laugh and journey with her into a beautiful city. I was thrilled to learn yesterday that now, Chiz can add "author" to her list of accolades as Alphabet City, the book, has been published and is ready for purchase!

It is a wonderful children's book and a great treat for adults as well with its bright, bold artwork. As Steph writes in Alphabet City's introduction:

Come frolick through New York City and thru the entire alphabet with me. Celebrate the fun & run thru the wonderful playground of NYC & practice your ABCs.

Alphabet City is available for purchase NOW online ($19.95 - $31.95 depending on cover options, plus shipping) ~ I know I'm ordering my copy today....I've got a new granddaughter that needs to get busy on her ABC's with her Mimi :-) and I can't think of a better artist to introduce them to her - thanks, finished this just in time!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Monday, February 23, 2009


FOR TODAY, February 23, 2009

Outside my window...the woods are cold and empty, tired of winter.

I am thinking...that I would love a yellow scarf.

I am thankful new granddaughter and the joy that she is bringing to everyone.

From the kitchen...this morning is Kenyan coffee, strong and smooth ~ made my trek to restock so have my Tanzania Peaberry, Kenya, and am also trying a Zimbabwe this time.

I am and yellow plaid pj loungers with a comfy soccer sweatshirt hoodie (I am quite a fashion statement).

I am creating...the new spring pieces that didn't get done last week, a new I Cor. 13 necklace, and most likely something for the "Pretty in Pink" series (to welcome Abby).

I am going...Goodwill Hunting tomorrow (how fun will that be!).

I am reading...Moon-Calf, a coming of age novel set in the 1920's and Elizabeth Lesser's Broken Open.

I am hoping...that Hannah will be feeling better today and if I keep feeling well it will be good to see Abby and Sarah :-).

I am hearing...a recording of Ar Rahman, composer of the score for Slumdog Millionaire.

Around the house...I am trying desperately to keep the "flu bug" at bay.

One of my favorite now quietly holding Abby.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
reorganizing the bedroom; still organizing the office (yep...); purchasing Slumdog Millionaire when it is released on DVD :-); enjoying time with Abby and Sarah; picking up Gram from the airport.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Peggy Hostetler...creator of 'The Simple Woman's Daybook' is the author of The Simple Woman's Blog, where you can find out more about how you can join in this exercise as well!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Yes, it's Oscar Night and all the glam, bling, and red carpet festive anticipation that goes with Oscar's gold status...I'll confess ~ I'm not one to watch the whole production beginning to end, minute by minute, but rather, usually channel surf, hopefully in time to catch the bigger awards. However, tonight, I find myself a bit more drawn Oscar's "star" ~ whether it's Hugh's hosting debut (he can act, he can sing, he can host?...well, he can certainly wear a tux well!), seeing how Hollywood puts on its "game face" despite the nation's depression and no end in sight (kind of a "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" production? we'll see), or just my clear fascination with the underdog film Slumdog Millionaire and wanting to cheer it on in every category and see those fresh faces smile and laugh as they receive gold.

Whatever the reason, I'm sure I'll still be guilty of some channel surfing, but for the most part you'll find me Oscar-watching all night to see how the big night plays out.

To get ready, here's a clip from my "hands-on" favorite for Best Picture gold, of course:

Now, some of you know that when it comes to me and favorite movies, there is "THE List" (long story, short - someone asked me once to name my favorite....well...). Anyway, as of this weekend, there is a new addition to "THE List" and as always, I highly recommend you seek this out and watch it - a 2006 Irish music film (was a 2007 Sundance selection and also nominated for Grammy awards - terrific music!).

~ Once

Friday, February 20, 2009


The sun is shining, the sky is blue with white clouds dancing, and I am now "Mimi Sue." It is a Friday to remember, indeed. What a week of wondrous joy...and a week to celebrate in gratitude. My "Friday Favorites" come easily and certainly make me smile.

First, one of my favorite pictures of new granddaughter Abigail who apparently is most contented with her hands in prayerful contemplation :-)...

Next, not sure if this is exactly what Andrew looked like when he finally got the news that he was officially an uncle, but I was thrilled that the Tanzanian phone lines were up and going this morning so that I could have a great chat with him ~ he is so very excited and looks forward to printing off many pictures next weekend when he is in Moshe (actually I'm going to send him prints and hope they reach him first). He also gave me a wonderful update on his village projects - they are establishing bio-intensive gardens to take advantage of every precious drop of rainwater as they develop their crops. Things are moving quickly and going well ~ he's very encouraged and sounds happy.

I am hoping to see Gran Torino soon, and a friend had shared this link to a tribute to the film's music ~ incredible! Definitely a favorite from the week to share with you!

Finally, I've been "thinking pink" all week as we've welcomed Abigail and certainly as I look through my shops I do have "favorites" there as well.

~ "Pretty in Pink" Necklace at Artfire
Pretty in Pink Necklace

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Welcome, Abigail Elizabeth!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I remember back to last June when Sarah and Mike asked to stop over, supposedly with a pre-vacation gift for me - "Just a little something, Mom, that we think you'll need for your trip." And then my utter confusion when I unwrapped the present to find a Grandma's Brag Book photo album, looking first at Sarah, then at Mike, back to Sarah, still not quite certain why I would need such a thing for a vacation in Florida as the light started to dawn when I saw the excitement bursting forth in their smiles. That excitement was just the "little girl," my first-born" to be a mother. And, as we all soon learned, she is going to have her own little girl. Months of planning, of waiting, of doctor visits and ultrasounds, of pink and painting, of shopping and showers ~ the time is here.

I will no longer just be "Mom" but "Mimi" (no, there will be no "G" word yet for me - yes, I obviously have an issue, but at least I'm up front about it, right?). And yet, to my Sarah - to my "new mother," I know I will always be "Mom"...memories of our own first beginnings come back to warm my heart and remind me of the sweetness to be experienced in days ahead. I do feel blessed to be here, so close by to be both "Mom" and "Mimi" in this special time.

The time is here...a new journey begins soon.

Monday, February 16, 2009


FOR TODAY, February 16, 2009

Outside my window...are the last streaks of what was probably a beautiful a sunrise.

I am thinking...of no doubt, dear Sarah, and how the baby will certainly be here sometime this week.

I am thankful for...a week ahead which is "quieter" in schedule and commitments.

From the the reassuring morning aroma of coffee (with the reminder that I need to make a run to get more).

I am pj's still (red & white plaid OSU lounge pants and red OSU t-shirt...GO BUCKS!)

I am creating...some new spring pieces this week.

I am one of my favorite coffee shops today or tomorrow before I run out! Heaven forbid!

I am reading...Moon-Calf, a coming of age novel set in the 1920's. Enjoying it very much.

I am hoping...that Sarah hears good news today and that baby girl arrives soon and safely.

I am hearing...Hannah calling me to say it is time to leave for work.

Around the feels good to come home.

One of my favorite early morning coffee and "re-entry" time.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
creating those new pieces, still working on the office space, welcoming "our" new baby and sharing the news with Tanzania :-), picking up some new piano music, hockey game on Saturday with Hannah to see her "beau" play.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Peggy Hostetler...creator of 'The Simple Woman's Daybook' is the author of The Simple Woman's Blog, where you can find out more about how you can join in this exercise as well!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

BLAH - BLAH - BLAH...Ok, Happy Valentine's Day ;-)

Yes, it is February 14th, Valentine's Day, and yes, I will post, but no, I will NOT get if you're here to try to get "juicy details" - move on...about as personal as I'm going to get today is to let you know that one of my best Valentine's ever was waiting for me this morning from Hannah (2 yummy special treats, of course) but a wonderful card declaring me to be the best mom ever (and she "seconded" the sentiment in her own writing :-)). Now you know that will warm my heart for a long, long time!

I did do some online surfing to see what Valentine goodies might catch my eye to share with you today and found some fun things and great new shops...

I LOVE this card from Hidenseek, an Etsy shop in the UK. This extremely talented artist brings to mind old-style children's books and fairy tales....and I couldn't resist the little girl's red dress and brown hair, although my hair was always cut in a pixie!

And, yes, now you know where my post title actually comes from - these soaps caught my eye when I was searching with the keyword "Valentine" and MariaElenaEvents has them in a large assortment of scents to choose from - a great deal! Plus, I really had to appreciate her sense of humor...

Now, for those of you who just can't make up your mind may need this from FiligreeandFindings on ArtFire! What a great find!

Sometimes I like to window shop, and yes, even buy occasionally when I can, jewelry instead of making my own (I know, it's shocking, isn't it!)....if I could, these babies would be in my cart today! Maybe tomorrow (if you don't beat me to them!) ~ from one of my favorite artisans and a great pal, too...AbeleesHandcrafted on 1000Markets:

So, I do wish you a very wonderful Valentine's Day ~ may you be surrounded by all those who love you and filled with love yourself ~ blah, blah, blah! ;-) Peace...

P.S. A little "Valentine 101 Romance Advice" from Hannah as we're driving home from the "mountain" today ~
HANNAH: "Y'know, I think, alotta guys think it's romantic to teach their girlfriends to snowboard on a day like this and they're wrong."
ME: "Really?"
HANNAH: "Yeah, I mean, I can't tell you how many times I've heard on the lift, 'Why did you tell me to do that?' or 'You told me to do it that way!' or 'I just want to go home!' They should just let them learn on their own. I don't think I would want anyone trying to teach me how to snowboard."

You heard it here, guys -- listen up! Dinner and a movie - don't make it complicated.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I'd like to thank the academy....oh, no, sorry, wrong we go...Brenda :-) of The Jewelry Box recently has bestowed upon me The Marie Antoinette blog award ~ isn't it beautiful? Brenda, one of my wonderful and talented friends from Artisan Beaders, creates beautiful jewelry which you can find on Etsy and at 1000 Markets.
When I received this honor, the background of this award was vague except for the rules. Naturally, I wanted to know more, including, perhaps, if I might have been getting an extra slice of cake as part of the deal...and, there was also the little concern about keeping my head. Love the dress, Marie, but still want to hold onto my hair ~ I'm sure you understand.
So, before officially accepting *wink* *wink*, I attempted to find the origin of this prestigious award and how its recipients are determined. Several clicks of the mouse showed me quickly that most past award-winners were as clueless as I was until I discovered Sheila at Ma Vie Folle.
Another Marie winner herself, Sheila also had done some digging to try to understand the essence of the award. You can read in detail what she found out about Marie Antoinette in this wonderful post, but in summary, yes, indeed, our dear Marie did more than wave a cake fork around and perhaps that is the mystery behind this intriuing award. What I take away from all this is, if you are a special woman ~ strong, out-spoken, and willing to stand up and be heard for what you believe in ~ you may see Marie gracing your blog sometime soon.
Now go, get some cake while you check out these blogs...

Now for the rules of this award. The rules are as follows...
1. Please put the logo on your blog.
2. Place a link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message on their blogs to tell them. And that's it!

So, without further awards go to:

1. Broken Teepee
2. The Maaaaa of Pricilla
3. BeadNestDesigns
4. Abelee's Handcrafted
5. Red Bess Bonney
6. Studio Marcy
7. Not Your Everyday Supergoddess

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday - The Simple Woman's Daybook...Something New

FOR TODAY, February 9, 2009

Outside my window...are patches of snow, struggling to cling to the brown grass in the suddenly warm, taste-of-spring weather.

I am wonderful that it is still light out this late in the afternoon, early in the evening ~ another sign that winter is waning.

I am thankful for...wake-up wall posts from Tanzania.

From the kitchen...chicken noodle soup is simmering for supper.

I am wearing...comfortable jeans (as usual - strongly believe that a woman can never have too many blue jeans, even in simple living), a new shirt which was a great find at the EB Warehouse, and one of my favorite long sweaters (love long sweaters)...and no shoes, naturally.

I am creating...a new blog design this week (after I totally back-up my computer).

I am the airport with my grandmother (98) to help her get to sunnier, even warmer weather - wish I wasn't coming home from the airport!

I am reading...Moon-Calf, a coming of age novel set in the 1920's.

I am hear some exciting Mimi news from my daughter very, very soon. There's a full moon tonight!

I am hearing...too much noise and am turning off the television.

Around the house...things are picked up and look nice, but there is too much dog hair right now - need to vacuum...again!

One of my favorite sharing supper with Hannah which I'm going to do in just a few minutes. :-)

A few plans for the rest of the week:
listing some newly completed pieces, tackling the office area (procrastination can only work so long), enjoying my new read, staying out of the rain :-), maybe making a visit to my favorite GW store again, and hopefully calling Tanzania with some baby news!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Peggy Hostetler...creator of 'The Simple Woman's Daybook' is the author of The Simple Woman's Blog, where you can find out more about how you can join in this exercise as well!

Friday, February 6, 2009


A bit of this, a bit of that...after all, it's Friday~

First, just to clarify, the adorable puppy in "Wordless Wednesday" is not mine - she is Andrew's "Tusker" who keeps him company over in Tanzania (and also has a penchant for chewing things -- I think perhaps she may be telepathic with our Scout...hmmm...but, she is adorable, isn't she!). Here is our "sweet" pup (not really a pup, shhh! he thinks he is!).

Had a great "Mimi" day with Sarah today ~ although must say when I picked her up, her first words were, "Don't panic, but I was sick most of the night and had contractions for a while this morning, but it's ok, they've stopped and I just HAVE to go to the mall to get this stuff, so if you don't take me, I'll go by myself." EEK! Like I really had a choice then, huh?! All is quiet now in "high-alert" baby world, but I was watching her like a "Mimi-hawk" all day! :-) She picked out some wonderful new mommy sleepwear (a gift from me -- and very appropriate as one of the sets' brands was "Mimi") and got an adorable outfit for baby "Rachel" (not the little one's real name - family joke since we're being kept in the dark and that's what we all guessed!) to come home from the hospital in....we "topped off" our day by "finishing off" our feet with much deserved pedicures ~ well, at least she certainly deserved hers :-).

REMINDER....this weekend will be the FINAL days of the Valentine's Sale in the Etsy shop (sale ends at Sunday, midnight) -- if you haven't checked out these specials, be sure to stop by and do so this weekend. Other Artisan Beaders also are offering specials and you can see their shops at this link. Now's the time to get that special Valentine a treat....or treat yourself!

Finally, want to share this very cool link with you and encourage you visit it daily - to "exercise" your brain AND help with world hunger (can't argue with that, can you?). It's sponsored by the United Nations World Food Program. From the "FreeRice" site:
Do I really make a difference by playing FreeRice?The rice you donate makes a huge difference to the person who receives it. According to the United Nations, about 25,000 people die each day from hunger or hunger-related causes, most of them children. Though 10 grains of rice may seem like a small amount, it is important to remember that while you are playing, so are thousands of other people at the same time. It is everyone together that makes the difference. Thanks to you, FreeRice has generated enough rice to feed more than two million people since it started in October 2007.
TGIF, everyone!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Those of you who know me well, know by now that this title does not refer to a very good film, but to my shopping fetish...yes, at a terrific nearby Goodwill Store where I always find, sometimes after a bit more hunting than other visits (that's part of the surprise factor) amazing deals ~ designer and mall-brand fashions, rarely worn (even occasionally with store tags still on!) at GW prices!

Here's an example of last week's successful "hunt" :-)
  • 3 pairs of very gently worn jeans (great condition - ready to wear!) - Lee, Casual Corner, J Jill...$5.99/pair

  • long wool plaid pleated skirt (looks brand new condition) - Talbots...$2.99

  • black dress blazer (also looks brand new condition and looks terrific with skirt above) - Alfani...$4.99

  • long brown herringbone blazer (again - did anyone ever wear this???) - Ralph Lauren...$4.99

  • fun denim blazer/jacket (I know you think I'm making this up, but seriously - swear it looks brand new...) - Ann Taylor...$4.99

Yep, grand total, after necessary sales tax...$38.36.

Now, to date, I have tried unsuccessfully to share this shopping venue with my 16-year-old daughter (her reaction - "no way!). But, I may be making some headway. When I walked in the door this week with my BIG bag of goodies, she exclaimed, "You went shopping....can I go shopping?" To which I replied, "Sure, I'll take you where I went." That' s when she noticed the bag more closely and responded "Oh, you went there." I did tell her that I would be happy to give her the same amount of money I had spent shopping and she could spend it shopping wherever she wanted to - :-)....she, of course, jumped at that offer (I mean, c'mon, no 16 year-old is going to pass up $40). But, then she did look very carefully through the bag and commented, "Wow, well, you know I might want you to take me there some time so I can try to find some dress pants."

Aha - Mom has maybe scored!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Monday, February 2, 2009

One Woman's Simple Pleasures - C'mon, Get Up and Dance!

Found these awesome red boots on Saturday - or should I say, they found me as I've been looking for a pair for more than a year and just couldn't justify the price. See, waiting for something what you know you want is worthwhile. Can't tell you the smile they bring to my face! :-))))))))))))