Friday, January 30, 2009

AHHHHH Friday!

When asked, in one of the numerous “friendship” emails this week, what my favorite day of the week, I right away said FRIDAY. I don’t know why but for some reason the activity of the week comes to a close and I look forward to one of the “weekend visits”.

As a child Friday signaled playtime with dad and we would get to do all the crazy things us O’Connor’s did. Whether it was taking a hike in the forest to find “water moccasins” or my parent’s favorite past time, visiting relatives and friends.

The best place in the world to visit was my Aunt Noreen and Uncle Paddy Cannon’s house on the South Side of Chicago. It was a small house on the corner where activity reigned supreme. There were people coming in and out of that house all day long and never was anyone turned away. Aunt Noreen in her sweet Irish brogue would pull you in the front door and say, “now come, sit down and have a cup of tea and a little something to eat”. That something to eat could have been a slice of toast but it was the best toast you ever tasted because it was made with such love. When you went to the Canon house, you were treated like a king or queen. You were welcomed with warm hugs as you arrived and you were given even more as you left.

Now as I reflect on those days, I understand the reason my Mom and Dad took us to Aunt Noreen’s when ever they could, because the visit always left you with a good feeling. That feeling made any troubles you had vanish and gave you the kick start you needed to enter a new week on Monday. 
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I personally think that is why I love visitors so much. Aunt Noreen always made me feel special and now that those days are gone and she has passed, I feel compelled to keep that hospitality going. It doesn’t matter what I serve as long as it is done with love, affection and open arms.

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So, with that being said, I have my kitchen set up waiting for those visitors with a pot of tea on and a chilled bottles of wine in the refrigerator. As for the food, well as I get back on my feet there will be more treats…I need just a little more time…hope you like toast!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Another one bites the dust

Just read on Cup of Jo that the magazine Domino is shutting down. I don't think I can take any more losses. Cottage Living, ME Home Companion, House and Garden, Country Home....what the heck am I going to read in bed at night. How will I keep my idea files filled????? This is not a "good thing"!!!!

I had to make a change

Just as my life evolves, so does my logo. It will keep evolving until I hit on the one that makes me say...."now that tells my story". As with all good things...its going to take time.

Let me know if you like it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Comfort Food

I have yet to mention I love to cook. Nothing makes me happier than creating a new dish. Since many times I forget to write down my new creation and friends often ask for the recipe, I thought I would post them here.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

1 Large Butternut Squash
Place on cookie sheet and place
In a 350 degree oven while you prepare the rest.
Keep in the oven for 1 hour
1 Red Onion
1 Clove of Garlic
Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon

Sauté red onion and garlic in a stockpot over medium heat.
Soften and lightly brown should be the consistency.

48 ounces of Chicken Stock (any brand)
Add to sautéed mixture
1 Can of Garbanzo Beans
Drain and Rinse.
Add to the pot.
3 Tablespoons of Curry Powder
1 Tablespoon of Salt

After 1 Hour pull Squash from oven and let rest/cool.
Cut in half and removed seeds and discard the skin.
Cube squash, 1 inch approximate and add to stock pot.

Simmer for approximately 1 hour.
Use and immersion blender to emulsify the soup to a
Creamy texture.

Fresh Cilantro added after blending.
Approximately half a cup should be enough.
Use more for garnish.

To finish off the soup:
Chop up store bought, cooked chicken into bite size pieces
And let simmer in soup.

Finish off with some
Fresh Cilantro Leaves and Chopped Walnuts.

Enjoy with friends. Don't forget the Evolution

Inspiration comes from many places

My brain is just a mess. Zeroing in on what makes me tick and how can I take that ticking and make it a business.

During one of my brian storming sessions this morning I happened to read A Bushel and a Peck and had one of those AHA moments.

I am so impressed at how people can do so many things and be so darn good at it. The author of this site just amazes me with all that she does. It was her question about "what is an artist?" that caught me today and even made me cry.

As I read the blog post I determined that an artist is anyone who looks at the world and sees beauty, takes that beauty and tries to capture it to share it with others. I have always wanted to be an artist and by this definition, I think I might be.

Just the other day I posted my first item for sale on Etsy and feel as if I have finally broken the chains that have held me back. I have held myself back for fear that what I produce might not hold up to the standard of the other artists on Etsy.

After reading A Bushel and a Peck this morning it gave me the hope that I needed and told me to keep moving forward and keep discovering who I am. I know I have it in me and I have to be myself. I have my own unique talent and I am an individual but, an indivual who is also an artist.

I thank all of you out there who share you stories and give the inspiration to keep trying and keep reaching. Sharing with one another helps make the world a better place, one step at a time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Retail Therapy

This weekend I made the escape from my everyday routine of cold weather lock down/recouperation time and went to my one of my favorite shops for inspiration. Scentimental Gardens in Geneva, Illinois. To my delight they had just stocked up with new finds from their latest trip to Europe.

I need to go back and soak it all in because I came away with only one item I coveted and really really want. I know there is no way I only wanted one thing...impossible.
Isn't it beautiful...I can see storing a great treasure in there, although I love the display with the baseballs. So stinkin cool.

I did purchase some new plants that I plan on putting around the house after I transplant them in to the most adorable containers. Thos pics come tomorrow when I reveal my next level of change to my house. I am thinking spring and green....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Can it be true????

My thermometer is reading 90 degrees? I love the sunshine!!!

And Shea is feeling much better....its a great great day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

13 more weeks till Sandwich Antiques Market

I thought by counting the days until the opening of the 2009 Sandwich Antiques Market that it would give me the mental boost that I needed today. Truth be told it is 94 days away and that is a little too long for me.

This has been a very long and emotional weekend/week. Snow days and cold weather are abundant in Sugar Grove, so when our first snow day started last week it started with what can only be described as a nightmare.

We awoke on Thursday morning to -30 temps and knew we were not going anywhere for a while. School closed and we hunkered down with blankets,games and some good movies. Following that we had scheduled days off on Friday and Monday. We were in for a lot of family time and only hoped we would see our friends who braved the bitter, icy cold.

Friday morning arrived and the heat wasn't kicking in and the house was starting to get darn right chilly. Thanks to our dear friend Frances, Mac and Hannah were wisked away to a warm kid haven. My youngest son Shea wasn't feeling like himself after breakfast and did not want to leave me. Little did I know what was about to happen, losing heat was nothing in comparisson to the hives that took over Shea's whole body.


Benedryl became my best friend but it did not control the growth and spread of the disgusting hives. With each passing hour Shea broke out with more hives and the swelling changed his looks completely.

We consulted with the doctors and started him on a steroid treatment with the addition of more Bendryl which seemed to produce big changes in him starting on Monday morning. We have not been able to identify the cause of this outbreak. We only know of one allergy and that is to penicillen.

Shea's diet largely consists of cereal, more cereal and the occasional addition of limited fruits and veggies. There was no change in his diet and no change in any environmental products used in our home. The only thing that lingers in my mind is milk and the possibility of antibiotics used to treat the cows.

We normally use only organic milk but because of the cold snap we lost our delivery of the mild to broken and frozen bottles. Local brand milk was all that we had and you know we can not be without our cereal in the morning.

As of today, things are looking better and the hives are definately much smaller, and few and far between. The poor kid hasn't had milk or a bowl of cereal in 3 days and it just dying for some. I don't know what will happen from here, but only pray that we can find the source of the problem and figure out how to get back to our normal routine. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's beginning to look like a change....

The creative juices are flowing once again and I am excited to start moving everything around and interjecting a few new creations. This has to last for a month or so until I can get myself out shopping again.

I am slowly learning that I can’t do everything, although I try my best to think that I can. So as a part of this evolutionary process I have found that although I could make a lot of things myself, there are tons of other creative people out there that can do it even better.

There are those things that only I can create as they exist in my heart and can only be extracted by my over active brain. Floral arranging for example is a favorite of mine, so much so that the employees at Hobby Lobby see me coming and just want to hide. “Please don’t let that crazy women come into my checkout lane.” While their bosses are saying….”thank goodness she is hear again, we can meet our monthly numbers”.

As time passes the need for more flowers is becoming apparent as this Christmas Holiday I cleaned out my local Hobby Lobby. It might be time I look into wholesale, but that too might open a new can of worms for my checkbook. What am I to do??

My family, neighbors, and friends have all allowed me to experiment with their homes as I fill them up with the fruits of my labors. If it weren’t for them my house would look like a botanic garden and my husband John might just run away screaming.

To see my work space makes most people cry in anguish and wonder how the heck anyone could make sense of the mess. I love to sit on the floor with myself surrounded by the supplies needed for what ever I am doing. At this point in time it is flowers for Valentines Day along with anything else I might need. (Diet Coke is a must have for these types of occasions.)

Many times I put something together and then tear it all apart and then sometimes it feels just right and I leave it alone. I am sure many of you have the same feelings as you create and when you get just that right look, it makes you just want to jump up and give the old Tiger Woods fist pump.

I am in the throws of creating now and find myself pulling things apart. I have had a few triumphs but still working through the creative block happening now.

Baby its cold outside

Amazing how quickly the weather can change!

Friday, January 9, 2009


You might be wondering why I named my site, “It’s an Evolution”. It comes from one of my favorite past times, sharing a glass of wine with my friends and sharing life.

My friend Peggy introduced me to a fabulous wine, EVOLUTION by Sokol Blosser. Ever since my first sip I knew this was a perfect wine for me. From the great package design to the name, to the mellow taste, it called my name.

It also gave me pause to think about life in general, it is an evolution. My likes and dislikes have changed over time and some things have remained a constant.

One thing that has always been a constant is my desire to decorate and create comfortable living spaces. It has been with me since I have been old enough to move my furniture and have tea parties.

As a child I was blessed with having my own room and to make matters even better I had the largest room in the house. The upstairs of our cape cod hosted two bedrooms and I luckily received the larger of the two.

Mom having patience and a whole lot of talent helped me create my own perfect space. Over the years I must have rearranged it hundreds of times. She and my father also taught me how to host a great party. Their creativity inspired me and game me my foundation that makes me who I am today.

As I grew and moved on in life I created “spaces” for myself and friends. Dorm rooms and apartments were blank canvases waiting for me. Needless to say, I wasn’t the most studious as I really loved my job as social chair for many different organizations that I belonged to. (Sorry Mom and Dad)

I do think it game me the springboard I need today and to discover what it is that really makes me tick. If you look at the one thing in your life that is a constant I think you can truly find what you are meant to do and what will make you the happiest.

“It’s an Evolution” is my motto as this stage of my life. They say that as you get older you become wiser. I only hope that is true in my case because I feel my drive to learn and become a better person is at its strongest point ever.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Nature is Amazing

God created a winter wonderland over night. The morning greeted us with a "magical" snow.

As we headed out to school, more beauty awaited us.
The kids were just in awe of how "cool" everything looked.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Christmas Doherty Style

The Doherty Homestead

Can you tell we love Santa!

Its taken some time

Well since September I have not done a darn thing with this site and now that I finally have the opportunity I am going to get this whole thing up and running.

Christmas season this year was a little interesting. I ended up having surgery 10 days before the holiday and had to recoup since. Christmas decorating around my house had to be done before hand as well as my neighbor/client's home. We were busy trying to get everyone settled before the day of reckoning.

I have never sat around for a holiday. I have always entertained my family and friends. This year family and friends took care of me. It was the strangest sensation as I still felt it was my job to host them as they entered our home.....

My husband John did his very best to take over my role and did so with such character. He served, cleaned and hosted with the best of them. He was a force.

The kids were magical. They helped in every way they could and gave me so much love I thought my heart would burst.

My Parents were there every step of the way, from entertaining the kids to my Dad sneaking me out of the hospital to get home as soon as possible. ( I was released but it took too long to get an orderly to wheel me to the car, Dad found an unused wheel chair and away we went. )

My friends and neighbors all chipped in with dinners, playtime for the kids and movies to keep me occupied. They were unbelievable, showing up on Christmas Day with food for an army. They set up served, enjoyed and cleaned it all before heading home. Their company meant the world to me as we were confined to our home for the holidays.

My thanks go out to all of you and I only hope that I can one day repay your kindness and love.

Now as for getting my creative juices flowing again I have decided to keep this blog in order to share ideas, get feedback and in general join the community of the "oh so talented people" who's blogs and websites I follow.

I am including some pics of my most recent endeavors and hope you enjoy. I look forward to sharing more as time progresses and I get back on my feet.