Sunday, March 30, 2008

Blog Design Give-Away Winner is......

Angie from Quilly Silly's Vintage Boutique! Angie has a beautiful boutique as well as an Etsy shop, so swing on by and wish her a big congrats!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wanted to share.....

....a new banner that I made for the boutique and also some news and happenings with me. I am now going to be designing websets and templates for several different do-it-yourself website services, one of which I have personal past experience with and recommend to anyone looking for a website provider. All of these systems are very easy to use and operate much like the Pappashop systems. They have built in shopping carts which eliminate the need to have a Mal's or other seperate shopping cart.

The system I have the most experience in is DIY Estores. Their system is where I hosted my former pattern business and can honestly say it is the easiest and most carefree system yet. I do like Pappashop and I don't mean to knock it, but since I opened with Pappashop, I realized just how great the DIY system is. The cart, as I mentioned, has been a headache since I signed up with Pappashop....having to log in to a different system to set everything up, and not to mention setting up the shipping (I've had a hek of a time with that).

The Mal's cart also doesn't eliminate products that have been bought from my this is what happened......I had a woman purchase an item, and since it didn't register as sold, an hour later another customer bought the same item. It was awfully embarassing having to write that guest back and try to explain that someone had already bought it.

So, anyhoo....I'm going to give everyone a list of the companies that I will be designing for....and if any of you don't currently have a site and are looking to get one, these are really good options to choose from.

DIY Estores

Designer 218

Create A Shoppe Plus

Also, if you're looking for a new, fresh venue for marketing and networking, visit Prim Mart, they are a division of DIY Estores and have a host of business resources (among them printing services and so on) and also a forum in which you can speak to hundreds of other business owners. Hope you enjoy surfing around and checking them out!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I love comments, and in fact relish them. They are like little treasures to me and alot of the time they spark a new post that I just have to write. Cielo from The House in The Roses (who has an amazingly beautiful blog, she's got creamware up right now) left a comment on my Blog Design Give-away post that did just that. She commented that her and Helen Hayes were kindred spirits and I wanted to share more quotes by the famous actress in honor of that "connection". Enjoy....and thank you, Cielo......

“We relish news of our heroes, forgetting that we are extraordinary to somebody too.”

“I cry out for order and find it only in art.”

“If you rest, you rust.”

“My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others. That is nice but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.”

“Age is not important unless you're a cheese.”

“Every human being on this earth is born with a tragedy, and it isn't original sin. He's born with the tragedy that he has to grow up...a lot of people don't have the courage to do it.”

I'm beginning to think Cielo isn't the only one who is kindred spirits with this famous actress. Such wisdom........

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Blog Design Give-Away!

I hope everyone had a delightful Easter! In honor of Spring, I want to have a three column blog design giveaway! Installation will be provided! All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me what your favorite thing to do in the Spring is. Is it being in the garden? Painting in the studio with the windows open? Hanging out on the porch with a good book? I want to know! I will randomly pick the winner on March 30 and announce then!

The only restrictions are that you have a blogger account, I am not currently designing templates for any other blogging system. Good luck everyone!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Be Your Own Woman

I have mounds of magazines that I keep on hand for inspiration or for ideas, most of them have been relocated from my grandma's house (whom has the same addiction to glossy pages) and been lovingly put into my collection of worthy past isssues. I have at least one back issue of almost every magazine I can think of. Last night it was a particular issue of Ladies Home Journal that I idly picked up for my bedtime ritual of reading before I go to sleep.

I came across an article that really hit home with me. It deals with societal pressures and what the article refers to as "groupthink", conveying staggering statistics on how little percentage of women are really their own woman. I've struggled with this my entire life, feeling as if I had to go with the flow and make everyone else happy before myself. I can't find the back issue to give you a reference so that you can read it yourself, but it came from the March 2005 issue and these are five tips that come from the article.

1.) Figure out what matters to you-Not Others. We've all been in the situation. The situation where we find ourselves faced with either buying a product that can make us "better" or buying a piece of clothing that we know will be restricting and uncomfortable because we think someone else might like to see it on us. Ask yourself the question, "Is this really important to me?"

2.) Start Small. If you're annoyed at your inability to voice your opinions, wants or desires, start with a small situation, such as something as simple as seeing which movie........where your opinion is at odds with the majority. Be firm, but kind in relaying that your opinion counts and that you are willing to stand up for what will make you happy. Of course, compromise is always there, but being your own woman in small situations goes a long way in affirming the fact that you control your life (in your eyes and others).

3.) Talk Yourself Down. Inner monologue can help squash anxiety or fear about expressing an unpopular opinion or buying shoes you like but that might not be considered stylish. Tell yourself that your opinion counts....but not just counts, it's the only one that matters.

4.) Ask yourself if you are too harsh in judging others. A critical step in learning not to be swayed by other's judgements is to learn not to be judgemental yourself. The less you judge others, the more free you are of other's perceptions.

5.) Consider how you want to be remembered. When you're gone, people and those you love will not discuss what kind of car you drove, how big (or little) your thighs were or if you had great hair. They'll talk about the type of person you were. Wouldn't you like to be remembered as the artist of a custom-designed life?

This article had me falling asleep with a smile and I just wanted to share it! Included at the end of the article was a link to The High Pressure Friend and it was great as well!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Great Find.....

I have found a wonderful tool for artists or anyone needing a fully customizable website and blog that are integrated into one.....It's called Squarespace. You might have heard about....the Wall Street Journal Online calls it ..."the kind of software the internet has been crying out for."

One site powered by Squarespace that you might be familiar with is The Purl Bee, a division or sister site to Purl Other amazing sites to view that are a part of this fabulous do-it-yourself program are Hip Momma's Journal and MiSoCrafty.

I haven't had a chance yet to figure out how the shopping cart integration is set up or if they have their own Ecommerce option, but I have to say, I really am blown away by the features for the price. Initially, you can sign up for a free 14 day trial, then after, you can sign up for one of the options they have, the cheapest being $7.00 a month for a bundle of fabulous features.

I'm seriously considering using Squarespace for my writing website. Just wanted to share what I thought was a fantastic find. Once the word gets out, I do believe Squarespace might take the lead in do-it-yourself websites. Let me know what you think if you visit or sign up for a free trial!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Typepad Problems.....

I think Typepad is holding a grudge over the fact that, after taking a trial run there, I decided it wasn't for me and now it is punishing me in every way possible. Does it do these things for everyone else, or is it just me or my slow puter???.........

~runs so slow that I forget what blog I'm trying to visit.
~it never fails that I mess up the security code after trying to post a comment, then I have to wait forever to do it three more times.
~to scroll down, the screen jumps, gives me a heartattack, then takes a couple seconds to show back up again.
~makes all the other windows that I have open act up, run slow or not show up at all.
~on two occassions I've actually had to manually turn off my computer because of the interference.

Now, there's perfectly logical explanations for these things.....

1.)My computer just needs to be put to rest, it's had a good life, anyway.
2.)I'm losing my ability to cope well under stressful cyber situations and just seem to take it out on Typepad.

Nonetheless, I get so disappointed because there are so many beautiful and interesting blogs to visit there!!!! But, I have to admit, I've been straying away from visiting just because I'm afraid my computer will fry up. I feel so left out! {insert pout}

Honorable Mention {Fabulous Sites}

I wanted to pop in really quick and share two sites that are really neat. They are PatternMart and Instant Printables. Both of these sites are run by a terrific and business savvy lady, Kelle Arvay. I've known her for a few years and her dedication and drive is extraordinary.

The sites are packed full of downloadable patterns and printables, great for any type of crafter, whether it's sewing or mixed media.......have fun looking around, I did!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I'm posting this a little late, it's been busy around here with our festivities and adding items to the boutique, but I wanted to share a little Irish lore.............

Blarney Stone
Blarney stone The Blarney Stone is a stone set in the wall of the Blarney Castle tower in the Irish village of Blarney. Kissing the stone is supposed to bring the kisser the gift of persuasive eloquence. The legend says that an old woman cast a spell on the stone to reward a king who had saved her from drowning. Kissing the stone while under the spell gave the king the ability to speak sweetly and convincingly. It's difficult reach the stone. Kissers have to lie on their back and bend backward or downward, holding iron bars for support.

St. Patrick's Day Pinch
School children have started a little tradition of their own. They pinch classmates who don't wear green on this holiday. Wearing green is strictly a U.S. custom, as the color green is not popular in Ireland. Green is connected to the old green flag and a time when Ireland was not free. Green is also a color connected with hope and nature.

Here's to absent friends and here's twice to absent enemies.
Here's to the light heart and the heavy hand.
Thirst is a shameless disease so here's to a shameful cure.
Here's to a wet night and a dry morning.
May we always have a clean shirt, a clean conscience, and a bob in the pocket.
May you be across Heaven's threshold before the old boy knows you're dead.

Moon, moon tell unto me,When my true love I shall see?
What fine clothes am I to wear?How many children will I bear?
For if my love comes not to me,Dark and dismal my life will be.
This verse, recited by a maiden as she gathered special herbs by the light of the first full moon of the new year, could reveal a future husband and cause the girl to have a true dream about the man--if she first complied with certain requirements. With a black-handled knife she had to cut out three pieces of earth, bring them home, tie them in her left stocking, and secure the bundle with her right garter. The completed package then had to be placed upon her pillow.

When yawning, make the sign of the cross instantly over your mouth, or the evil spirit will make a rush down and take up his abode with you.

It is unlucky to offer your right hand in salutation, for thee is an old say, "A curse with the left hand to those we hate, but the right hand to those we honor."

If the palm of your hand itches you will be getting money; if the elbow, you will be changing beds.

Breaking a mirror brought seven years of bad luck, while two people washing hands in the same basin at the same time courted disaster.

Irish Humor
What do you call an Irishman who knows how to control his wife?A bachelor.
Definition of an Irish husband: He hasn't kissed his wife for twenty years, but he will kill any man who does.
Courtship is a time during which the girl decides whether she can do better or not.
Dinny was standing in the street the other day when an English chap came up to him and said,"I say old chap, could you show me the way to the nearest boozer?"Says Dinny, hopefully,You're looking at him."

New Item {Photo Enhancements}

I've added photo enhancement options to the boutique. I have two options available right now, Vintage Reproduction and Retro Noise.

New Item {Digital Images}

I've just added this pack of Dark & Dreamy Vintage Women to the site. The set includes 10 digitally altered photos, each free for commercial use, no credit required. And stick around because later today, I plan on adding another set like this one but with a unique twist!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Foto Fun....

I've been playing today with photo enhancements. I'm loving all of the vintage and retro looks, so I figured I'd try it out and came up with alot that are really neat! These are just a few......this is my son and I last year.

A New Blog.....

I am getting back into writing after a long hiatus. I had two romance novels published last year and after, seemed to just "give up" (two of the dirtiest words in the english laguage) and never pursued my dream of being published by Harlequin's Silhouette Nocturne line.

Well, I've finally realized that I'm never going to achieve it if I keep giving up on it, so I started another blog, A Written Circumstance, in the hopes that if I have a blog to post to and keep me in the "mood" for writing, I might actually accomplish sticking to it. I'm still working on it, setting up the sidebars and putting info up, but I love how it turned out! It will be one of the blogs I put in my design it's just a matter of giving myself that swift kick and getting things done!!!

I've got at least four loads of laundry waiting (and stinking, lol) and my son's room is in desperate need of getting rid of miscellaneous toys and other junk that has accumulated. Let's not even go to the subject of my studio, I've avoided it for three days just so I don't have to look at it. Being lazy with housework does have it's advantages, though......I've been able to enjoy the Spring-like weather with the kids and take them to the park and play ball, so all and all, I'm doing good!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Still Changing....

I decided to change to a three column template....bear with me as I get it set up! Everything probably looks pretty funky right now!

Update......well, I have successfully installed the three column template, but, that banner at the top big enough???!! least it stands out, huh?

New Design and Creation ADD

I am having the bestest time designing these blogs, lol.....can you tell?? I have yet another new design for the blog. I just can't seem to help myself when it comes to creative outlets and I usually swing from one thing to another. This week it's digital design, next week it will be painting, the next week who knows??!! But, i sure do love all of the five million different avenues and ways there are to create something.

If I had to choose, I don't think I could. My family jokes that it's a type of ADD that I can't just stop and pick a favorite. Who can? When you have a desire to put something into the world that wasn't there before and tons of ways to do it, it gets kind of hard to stick to just one craft. Anyone else feel this way? What are some of your favorite "avenues" of creating? I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New PreMade Blog Design

I now have my first premade blog design up, Bliss and Blue Elegance. It's very simple and clean. I'm having fun with designing these! What do you think of the design?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Podcasting and No Ideas.....

I was a podcaster about six months ago, contributing to an internet talk radio show, Prim Talk Radio, where I gave tutorials or read inspirational articles that I had written. Well, I've made the decision to return to the wonderful world of podcasting (even though the audio part of my computer is fried and I won't be able to listen to it myself, lol).

My good friend Niki Jackson was the one who started Prim Talk Radio, but then sold it to another friend of mine, Angie who also owns and runs Primtive Times Magazine (where I also contributed) and Heartland Graphics.

After selling Prim Talk Radio to Angie, Niki decided she wanted to walk another path and opened another podcast show, only Art Talk Radio focuses on mainly altered art and vintage goodness.

So, here I am, bubbling with excitement about getting back into the world of podcasting, but I find I'm stuck. Virtually stuck in a rut with no way out. I have no ideas, I feel clueless, lol.

So, here's what I want to know, if you were to tune into either one of these great shows, what would you want to hear from me? A particular topic? A tutorial? I welcome any suggestions!

New Item {Knotted Throw & Stitchery}

Both of these new additions can be found at the boutique!

The Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

I'm taking part in The Ultimate Blog Party, hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom. It's an amazing event where over 1,000 bloggers are participating by giving away prizes, posting about their business, etc. When you hop on over there, hit the links in the Blog party post and at the very bottom, is a list of hundreds of awesome bloggers who are joining in the fun. As soon as I am done posting, I plan on doing major blog-hopping so that I can enter in some fabulous give-aways and learn more about the thousands of mom-owned businesses all over the internet.

I will be giving away a prize as well, could be a box of Gevalia coffee, or some new products that i haven't yet listed at the boutique, either way.....all you have to do is leave a comment, and if you're from the Blog Party yourself, leave your link so I can visit you!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Show and Tell.....

This is what my fiance bought me. he knew I was having a tough time these past few weeks with me and the boy being so sick and with me being so frantic with all I have to get done. So he found me the most beautiful, unique, vintage birdcage I've ever seen in my life. It's shaped like an egg and the iron at the top almost resembles a fleur de lis. And I won't even tell you what a great deal he got for it, it's got to be the best find ever. The top opens.....sort of splits, like an egg. Just gorgeous, I tell you.

I wish I was small so I could curl up in it and shut the lid over me.

Beautiful, beautiful.....boy, am I lucky girl.

I just had to show and tell....................

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tag....I'm it!

I have been tagged by Jennifer at The Old Painted Cottage. I have to share seven facts about myself, either random or weird.......uhoh {sit back, you might be here a while}....

1.) I was the first girl to play high school football in my county. I was a left tackle and, no I am not kidding, lol. I played until I broke both wrists and tore ligaments in both my knees. If I knew that in some distant future I might grow old and those broken bones would make it even harder to get around, I probably wouldn't have played.

2.) I have worked as a server (for eight years), a real estate agent, receptionist, photographer's assistant and some more that I can't recall.

3.) I have to sleep with a fan on, even in the dead of winter. My fiance hates it.

4.) I sleep better on the floor than I do on a bed, I don't like smooshy surfaces that seem to swallow me up.

5.) I am addicted to soda, Coca-Cola or Pepsi, doesn't matter which......i will drink a full case in one day, no joke.

6.) I'm completely obsessed with The Gilmore Girls. I have all seasons on DVD besides 1, 2 & 3. When I'm in the studio, The Gilmore Girls is on, even if I have the radio blasting in the background.

7.) I love scary things, Halloween is my most favorite holiday. I collect witches and Halloween-themed items which I display year-round. Ghosthunters is right up my alley.

Here's the rules: 1.) link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog. 2.) share seven facts about yourself on your blog, some weird, some random. 3.) tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. 4.) let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

I'm tagging these lucky seven......Karen from Sweet Necessi-Teas, Roxie from Jorbeel's, Amy from Razz Pizazz Boutique, Diane of Duda Daze, Susan Tuttle of Ilka's Attic, Jerusalem of Storia Di Vita, The Cottage Nest.

Whew....that was hard...there are so many bloggers that I would like to hear random facts from, lol!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Leaving Home

I wanted to share this new digital collage that I worked on tonight. I'll give you a little background ~ my six year old son wants to be a soldier. At first I thought it was a phase...but this started over a year ago. I'm more proud of him than I can say for being brave enough at the tender age of six to want to fight for our country. He listens intently when his great gpa tells him how he was shot in WWII and Vietnam, not even flinching as my granpa tells it like it was (he's not a beat around the bush type o' fellow, lol).

But, my mother's heart wonders what it will do if and when that time comes when he says......"Momma, I'm going to enlist." I can only pray that by that time, the world will be at peace. I made this collage with my motherly worries in mind and written across it is a letter I wrote to him. My favorite part of it is the words coming out of the chimney......what's yours?

Spring, the elusive mistress......

.....she's sneaky and sly this year. Coming in for one day with her beautiful breezes and fair temperatures, teasing me with the scent of rebirth and then.......{insert whoosh here}...she was gone. And today, school was canceled and we sit inside once again as the cold temps and snow just keep coming back for more. I've always been more of a fall/winter gal than a spring/summer gal, but this year, I'm having major withdrawals. I need light, sunlight. I need to leave the windows open during the day, feel the breeze whip through the house. I need flowers, leaves, perhaps some green grass.

These are pics of our land....they were taken on Saturday (the day Spring paid us a visit) behind the house. I wanted to share with you my little hike with my man. As I walked around and took lovely pics, he scaled the side of the enormous hill (we live in a valley) so that he could make sure the property stakes were all in and properly tagged. We live on 62 acres and lately have had some problems with kids on fourwheelers tearing you-know-what through the property....this spooks the horses just a tad, lol.

Isn't it just gorgeous. It has been a long time since I laid on my back in the grass and just stared at the sky. I'll add that to my list of things to do when the weather gets nicer.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Giveaway Riddle.......

Before I lay my weary head down tonight, I thought it would be fun to post a little Giveaway riddle. I'm going to keep the prize a secret until I announce the winner one week from today. Here's all you have to do.......Leave a comment telling me who this quote is from.........

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure, I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times, hard to handle, but if you can't handle me at my worst....You sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."

I will give clues through the week, I promise, but I'm curious to see if anyone knows or not. This is one of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite people in history. Take a look at the pic above......look familiar? The first person to guess correctly wins! Good Luck!