Sunday, October 27, 2013

Eating my own words

I remember a time, a time before children or perhaps even before marriage, it was a time of strong opinions, and daring statements, it was a time when I was trying to carve my mold for a perfect life.  A life when I would be done with school in four years, after which I would immediately be employed at a dream job, and then at around 25 start thinking about marriage.  A life where my spouse and I would have a perfect house, on a perfect street, living debt free, with plenty of income.  My children would be raised without the influence of modern day trends, no play weapons of any kind, and I would only encourage nature play, perhaps with a science influence.  Children potty trained before 3 (hey they'll get it before kindergarten.....right?), baby weight gone in six months (I think I can stop blaming the extra weight on the baby, he's 3 now), only buy things with cash (There is nothing wrong with building your credit), children toys to a minimum (What if I like playing with the legos?) , no overindulging (Does this include cookies?), babies on a sleep, nurse, play schedule (Was I ready to be on a schedule?), really I could go on and on.  However I had made all those standards I wanted to follow before really experiencing what life had to throw at me.  Once living those experiences everything changed, I learned to eat my words.  I was married at 20 not 25, my husband and I were no where near finishing school, and it would take us much longer then four years.  We didn't get a house, let alone a perfect house for a long time after that, and having a surplus of income is something we are still always working on.  Oh and all those statements I made about child rearing, if only I had a nickle for every one that are still changing daily, maybe we would have an income surplus.  The things I truly believe in I remain loyal to, but the ones I realized where not all that important, have changed.  I still  remember when  my oldest was a babe, I saw him pick up a straw, bend it in half and begin shooting things with it.  After that anything became a sword or a gun:  hairbrushes, sticks, wooden spoons, phones, water bottles anything would do, and really he was just preparing me for what was to come with my next two boys.  They took weapon manipulation to a whole new level.  Cheap plastic swords, and Nerf guns, now fill shelves in their bedroom (along with dozens of sticks, they really make the best bow and arrows).  My oldest, really kind of a science junky, skipped the whole superhero/ninja phase, but my younger two have embraced it with both arms.  Superhero, Transformer, and Star Wars t-shirts, something I previously would steer very clear of, now permeate our lives.  I've managed to dodge the character shoes for now, but I'm making no strong statements on that matter.  So really it should come as no surprise when Halloween comes along and costumes follow a similar trend.  Gone are the days of family themed costumes (Man I really loved our fishermen with our little lobster catch).  Say goodbye to our family of bugs, snakes, and leprechauns, our natural disaster combo, and our Hogwarts cast, say hello to Hawkeye, the Red Ranger, and one not too scary Zombie.


I guess I can be happy that I was able to gather pieces of their costume from multiple visits to some of my favorite treasure hunting stores.  And with a little altering, I was able to add some creative input on creating their Halloween attire.  I still cringed  a little when I realized the weapon determined what character they wanted to be, pass me a spoon for my word stew.  Eating my words has made me the mother I am.  I'll never judge, so don't be afraid to share with me something you might be shameful of, your eight year old still climbs into bed with you on a regular basis, so does mine, we just make room for him next to our three year old, you've had days were you children have watched three movies, it happens to the best of us, your five year old still has "accidents", welcome to the club.  I've found that I've really acquired quite a taste for eating my own words, and really after the first few bites, it doesn't taste all that bad.  And as far as carving my mold for a perfect life, I think I did a pretty good job, things might not be perfect, but they're exactly how I want them.   

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Wonderful Day

The weather was amazing and the people were even better!  We had a great time this last Saturday at our Which Craft Gathering.  The afternoon was spent, admiring, and visiting both by young and old.  If you didn't get a chance to fish for a spooky monster hat or sip a cup of witch's brew, don't worry, we will be having our Winter Holiday Gathering on December 7th.  

I loved these adorable dresses, made from vintage pillow cases, and these hand died stenciled onesies, too bad I have no little girls or babies, to dress them in.  

He's a great presentation model, don't you agree?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dracula, Witches, and Pirates, Oh my!

He's waiting.......

She's waiting....

We're all waiting.....  Are you coming??????

You can visit Dracula's Den, A Witches Cottage, or the Haunted Forest.

We've decided to gather just a bit longer.....maybe until 3:00?

When you come be sure to get your ticket, every $10 you spend gets you one, and then enter into our drawing for a Halloween Surprise Bag!  We've started are brew, and are ready for you!   

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Painting Jobs

Sometimes I find a piece of furniture that needs just a bit of cleaning before adding it to gathering treasures, other times it is the complete opposite.  After cleaning, fixing, sanding, and then a first coat of paint, I realize that my original vision is just not there.  I eventually work something out, but I don't entirely know if what I've done was worth my time.   A perfect example was this cute vintage footstool, I thought it would be a fairly simple redo, and although I'm happy with the end result, it wasn't and easy task.

Now I'm working on this desk, and I'm not loving the blue, think I'm going to go white (funny that always seems the best), what do you think?

And sometimes you find the things that barely need any work at all.

I guess it's a little like life, it's just too bad that life can't have a little more of cute vintage glass door front cupboards.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Little Helpers

There are days that I find myself a little obsessed with getting things ready for a gathering.  My kitchen is covered in random projects, none quite completed, and my children are in the middle of them.  I realized that during those times I should try to include them.  I know that their mark will be on the final project, but a little more character never hurt anything.  So this last week while making some spell books, I had the help from a couple of boys.  They did a great job transforming the covers of some journals from a boring white canvas to weathered black or brown.  Then when I found a large stack of plain white bags, that could be used to bag purchases, I put my three year old to work with some spooky stamps and a stamp pad.  They turned out wonderful (he completed far more then we needed, but he was so motivated) even if he looked like he had caught some infectious skin disease.  They each got a chance to improve there fine motor skills by stringing charms onto our soon to be necklaces.  And even though this next one was a bit challenging, I enjoyed guiding a little hand as he help me paint some stencils onto some small totes (note why we opted for one bag to look somewhat like a batman symbol).

Creepy Necklaces $2

Scary Stenciled Totes $2

Spooky spell journals $3
I love that this is something that I can include my children in.  They did a great job, I don't think I could have done any better myself.  I know I'll have my kids with me this weekend at our gathering, and with our newly added kid approved treasures (and free kid games) don't be afraid to bring yours too!

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Since I've been married I've heard my fair share of awful mother-in-law stories.  I know plenty of women who struggle with their husband's mother.  Well I guess I'm just one of the lucky ones, because I can honestly say that there is nothing I would change about my mother-in-law.  Sure there are some stories, and sure she still uses expressions like "Oh my....", or "Heavens no!", but these are the reasons that I love her.  I love that she reads to my children, or that she always seems impressed with my cooking (if she only knew), and mostly I love that she has given me the one thing in my life that I love family.  She crafted in the days before Etsy, and sewed far more for economical function then for fashion popularity.  She can refinish furniture with the best of them, and can turn just about anything into a pillow.  So I am excited that she's decided to bring her own creations to our upcoming gathering.

 She's recently picked up an old hobby, painting.  I love the sweetness of her characters, they make her paintings hold just a little bit of magic, she is so talented in that way. 


 As our gathering draws closer, I grow more and more excited to see what others will bring.  That's really what makes these gatherings fun, admiring other's finds, sharing ideas, making memories, just being together with friends, and one great mother-in-law. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Guilty Husband....Guilty Wife

 A couple of days ago it dawned on me that my own Husband doesn't read the blog that I put my blood, sweat, and tears into (I might be slightly exaggerating).  I know that men typically don't read blogs, so truthfully I wasn't that surprised that my husband wasn't following what I wrote.  But really the whole putting yourself out there on a blog, makes me a little insecure (something he is fully aware of) so I decided to lay on the guilt. My rant began.... "I can't believe you don't read what I write, YOU know why I am doing this, I need your support, I just can't believe it, how can I expect others to read it if my OWN Husband doesn't, my feelings are hurt (this line always gets him), I'm mad, I don't know why I even bother.....".  Well that was really just the beginning, next came the sulking, then a few snide comments thrown in during random conversation.  This went on for hours, well maybe not hours, but definitely through dinner, because after clearing his plate, he excused himself to go and read a very important blog.  For those of you who don't know my Husband, he is a horrible tease, in fact during my rant, he laughed at me, you heard me right, giggled and laughed.  That's kind of how our relationship goes, I get mad, he laughs, I mope, he giggles, I pout, he very lovingly (and childishly) gives in.  Well since that day, I know he's made an effort to check the blog, he lets me know of any grammatical errors (I'm sure there is plenty, sorry), and also informs me when I need to put up a new post.  But yesterday I guess he read the "Rustic Wares" post, and was a little testy.  "So..." he tells me "you make it sound like, pop, the cake stand just appeared for you to give to your friend.  Then you and your little wood burner whipped up the "perfect delivery dish" (yep he did the finger quotations with that expression), did you forget about someone."  I pointed out that I did mention him a bit further down, something about his 8th grade wood shop class.  He smirked, and although I know he was just giving me a hard time, I think he felt a little left out.  I felt a little guilty, because really he is my yin to my yang, my jelly to my peanut butter, my cheese to my macaroni.  And because today is his very special day (Happy Birthday!), I want to give credit where credit is deserved, and I'm not just talking about the cake stand. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rustic Wares

Alright so I'm horrible at remembering birthdays.  I hope no one ever takes it personally when I call to wish them a happy birthday, and I'm a couple of days late.  Well last week was no exception, and I missed a couple of birthdays (actually I did manage to sneak a very last minute phone call to one).  Anyhow in order to redeem myself to one friend who always is helping me out, I thought cookies were in order.  The thing about making cookies in my house however, is that somehow after making a full batch, there is only a few that stay around long enough to be given away.  I don't know if you have the same problem, but I can tell you taking a paper plate to a friends with seven cookies on it, looks pretty pathetic, especially if your trying to save face for forgetting her birthday in the first place.  So I came up with an idea.  After grabbing from my stash, and a bout with my wood burner, I had the perfect delivery dish for my sweet friend.

I chose chickens to represent her and her six girls & one rooster for her hubby

My husband has tinkered with wood since his 8th grade shop class.  His most recent creations are these cake stands, and other carved handiwork.

This is a huge acorn, and the top comes off to reveal a carved out bowl!
 So his new hobby gives us some more treasures for our upcoming gathering, come check them out, I'll even throw in the seven cookies.   

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Friends Inspirations..... Sew Great

I really can't take creative credit for much of the crafts I do.  Really most of my ideas come from a friend in one way or another.  While I was putting together some crafts for our upcoming fall gathering, I once again relied on some friends for some creative inspirations.  I remembered these great witch legs one friend had dangling out of a drawer around Halloween, inspiration number one.  Now what should I do with all these sweaters I have hanging around, "Oh I've made sweater pumpkins before, really pretty easy", said one new found friend, inspiration number two.  Now what to do with all these sweater scraps after making all those pumpkins, remember those cute sewn mice from an Alice and Wonderland party at a friends house, inspiration number three.  Really the list goes on and on (freezer paper stencils, applique, pennants, inspiration 4, 5, & 6).

But wait a minute I'm not giving them all the credit, I mean really I've got to get some recognition for having such great taste in friends, and it was me after all who stuffed 15 pumpkins, 12 stripy legs, 6 tiny mice, and cut out 48 witch's shoes. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

It's An Addiction

So I know one of the steps of addiction is admitting you have a problem.  Well I'm admitting it, I have a problem, and it's with Halloween decoration (really it's with all holiday decorations).  Where most people have a couple of Halloween totes, I think I pull out nine or ten, not including the several I have for our annual Halloween party/spook alley.  Long ago my husband made a rule, no holiday decorations until the first of the month, so I patiently wait until October 1st to haul down all my totes to begin my spookifying process.  I enjoy every minute of it, and so do my children, especially my oldest.  He actually starts to ask about the Halloween decorations as soon as he sees the leaves changing (he's a smart one that boy), and I think I've passed my addiction to him (oh no his poor wife).  If I think about it, I believe my addiction comes from my own mother,  she doubled my Halloween stash in size, and don't even ask about her Christmas decorations. 

Here she is as Mother Nature, really as the entertainment for several children at a Halloween lunch with close friends.
My mother passed away a few years ago, and truly these holiday times are when I miss her the most.  She was known for her extravagant costumes, and the character to go with it.  So every Halloween when I pull out my creepy stockpile, I remember her, and all the great memories she created.  When somebody is gone, those moments are what you are left with, whether those moments be of your 60 year old mother dressed as Mother Nature,casting spells on small children for littering, or of how she always let me crawl up next to her for a LONG back tickle. 

So on keeping with my Halloween addiction, on October 19th we will be having our next gathering, and it will be a scary one!  We're calling it a Which Craft (it's a play on words : ) ), and along with some of our usual treasures, it will also be full of frightening surprises (keep checking there is plenty more to come).
Notice the eerie black widow painted by local artist Jamie Wayman

Great fall carved acorns both small and large

Plenty of apothecary jars for your creepy crawlies

 Really I think it will be just another Halloween celebration, one with vintage finds, handmade goods, free witches brew (warm cider), and disemboweled pastries (doughnuts).  Load everyone up, on October 19th for some haunted fun with A Huntsville Gathering.  So here's to forgoing my feelings of me being a Halloween hoarder, and hoping that my "addiction" may actually be making for some pretty great memories!