Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's an Irishman's time of year.

Let the wearin o' the green begin. I after braving the elements to change around my front porch, removing all the evergreens and any sign of Christmas, I am preparing for the transitional time period of March.

It is tradition that I hang my Irish Flag on the first day of March, so it can't sit out there all needs some adornment.

Since real flowers are not even close to being ready to bloom, we are forced to use the faithful artificial greenery. I put together this boxwood wreath for my front door using artificial boxwood bushes, cut to individual lengths and inserted in to a floral form.

I loved the look but it needed a touch of my favorite inspiration color, citron green. I found when I was buying more florals and had to use a touch of it on the front door.

The reason I did this is because when I am ready to transition into April, I can add more of the whites and citron greens into the already existing arrangement, either on top of the wreath or as a complimentary wreath to put up next to the boxwood.

How many of you update your front door with the seasons? It is one of my favorite events of the day...I know that sounds sad, but I really like to say welcome!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Balancing time!

I recently logged into Blissfully Domestic and found some really interesting and creative ladies out there. One blog, in particular, hit a funny note with me today.

Kimba at a Soft Place to Land was asked how much time she spent on her hobby/job/obsession.

It was a poignant topic for me and Kimba gave a great out pouring of her thoughts regarding the place in which most of us currently exist, somewhere between Mother, Wife and creative entrepreneur. Where does the dividing line exist? Or is there even a dividing line between all roles?

My lines are definitely a blur. They overlap constantly and have to exist together otherwise I don’t think anything would get accomplished. My free moments are spent working on my craft and decorating projects.

The rest of my time is spent doing all the things that we moms do so well. I am blessed to have this opportunity to be a stay at home mom. Making my own hours per se and charting my own destiny.

There are certain parts of my day that are a constant and the newest addiction is checking my blog every morning, hoping and praying for my counter to have changed. It makes me feel a part of a bigger community, one in which I am trying learn more about every day.

It is definitely an opening of ones self to others....but I think in a good way. Those who think like you will be more apt to respond and have a willingness to share their thoughts.

How much time is “too much” to spend on your own creative passions? I don't think there is a hard and fast answer to that, because we all live with different circumstances. Keeping your balance is most important and letting your own life guide you in the right direction.

As hoped by writing a blog, I am really learning more and more every day.

Even my previous blog entry seems not to be as important any more. I have learned to have patience and let it all work out the way it should. ( I say that now...we will see what happens tomorrow :) )
I just had to add this picture of makes me smile :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Suspended State of Animation

Thank you Harold Davis for this wonderful picture.

Like these flowers stuck in drops of water, I too feel like I am in suspended animation. The winter season is on the cusp of what may be spring but….. not really. Old man winter is not ready give up his hold on the Midwest just yet.

I have stripped the house bare of all things winter and really want to start putting together all my spring floral arrangements and start the spring decorating process, (can we say forcing the issue). But, I can’t bring myself to do it with the fresh 4 inches of snow we received Friday night, it just does not seem right.

So, I am waiting and trying to be patient but, I am seriously losing my grip with this cold weather.

It gets a little more serious when it comes to some personal issues in our life. We are at a certain point with so many things were we just can’t quite pull the trigger on any type of decision. We are playing a waiting game here as well, with the hope of a clearer picture soon.

Personally, we just don’t know what the right decision will be at this point, so we wait.

The world is moving out there but I am stuck, frozen in time waiting for the big light to go on and tell me its time to get going again.

My heart knows it all comes down to placing things in God’s Hands and letting Him guide me in the right direction. Saying this is so much easier than actually doing it, because I really just want the path to be laid out in front of me with big giant “GO HERE” signs. I know that is not reality, can't blame a girl for hoping.

It's like being on a tight rope and just hoping your next step is the right one.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A fun give away from Time Worn Interiors

As all of you know by now, I love all things old and worn. They have such stories for us hidden inside of them. Theresa has logged her 100th post and is celebrating, please join her in the celebration on her blog, Time Worn Interiors.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wonder Mutt

Just wanted to share with you one of the most unbelievable dogs...our Maggie. She will be two years old this May.

John and I had never owned a dog before and when we got married I thought for sure we would get a puppy right away.It seems that all my ideas take some time to be fully understood. John finally broke down when our kids got a little older and when he thought we could handle the extra work. It was then that he gave me a yellow light, or what I thought was a green light to begin the search for our own pup. ( I put a deposit down on her before I even told John ...ooops ) I found what would be the perfect compliment to our family.

Maggie is labeled a Cavachon, a cavalier spaniel and bichon mix. We just refer to her as "wonder mutt". She loves to be loved and loves to give love.

As all Doherty stories go...he who fights it the most, ends up loving it the most. So, it's no wonder that John is Maggie's best playmate. Maggie has him wrapped around her little paw and to add to her charms, she looks at him with those deep, pleading eyes...."play with me, you know you want to!!"

I have to say dog ownership has been an enriching experience. One that teaches love, patience and understanding. It also reminds us to take a little time and just play togehter!

Monday, February 16, 2009

For the love of a friend...

I often wonder why I am drawn to one item or another. What makes it something that I really must have and can’t do without it??? I feel that all the “THINGS” we collect represent a part of your life and become the story board that explains who we are.

Well, I finally figured out exactly why I am drawn to HEARTS. (Only took me till I was 41….)

Maybe 15 or more years ago, before I was married, I met a friend Nanci Vacala. We met because I took a job as a “Christmas Designer” with Philips Florist in the Chicago area. Nanci and her mother were the head designers and I was a worker bee. We worked together through long hours and endless amounts of ribbon, mica flakes and garland. While I only did one season of this work, I learned more in that 6 months than I could have learned in a year of design school.

Nanci was the most creative person I have ever met. She taught me much of what I know and cherish today. She gave me inspiration that will last the rest of my life and gave me the tools I need to keep creating.

When the Christmas season ended at Philips Display, we were both out of work. Nanci decided she was not going back to Philips and wanted to spend the next several months re-decorating the condo she and her husband Greg owned. So, instead of getting a job right away…. I hung out with Nanci.

I helped her paint her kitchen cabinets, I helped her arranged artwork on the walls, I helped organize closets and in return she gave me a few extra bucks. She didn’t realize the value of the education she gave me in those next months we spent working side by side.

She had this amazing knack of putting collections together. For a short time she worked with a group that did estate sales and with this unbelievable fortune she found some of the most interesting items. One collection I just adored, Hearts. She must have had 50 or more different types of hearts, perfectly displayed on a small kitchen wall. The hearts covered the entire wall from top to bottom and it was just an amazing work of art.

Living without a job was no longer an option and I returned to the workforce. I moved into the city and soon there after met my husband John. I still visited with Nanci and told her all my stories and escapades. Life as a single person with a new boyfriend was much different than her life back in Downers Grove, Illinois.

Never-the-less, when I got engaged I asked Nanci to stand up in my wedding. She agreed, but reluctantly, because Nancy had a secret. She unfortunately had a terrible eating disorder. She had been hospitalized many times and tried to hide it from all that knew her.

Greg and her parents helped her through as much as they could but, no amount of their love could save her from herself. She was so skinny and tried to hide it with her body with her awesome wardrobe. Her skin was pale and drawn and she tried to hide that with tanning lotions and makeup. One thing that she couldn’t hide was her pain. For what ever reason, she could not see what a wonderful, loving, creative person she was.

While preparing for my wedding Nanci helped me with everything and I mean everything. She set me up with all the right contacts and helped work with colors and numerous other things that would take me years to explain. One event still stands out in my mind… the day we tried on bridesmaid dresses. She ordered a size 10, when we all knew was a size two or zero. We took pictures of the dress on her and kept them to show everyone. If I had only stopped and thought about what was happening and what I was doing to her, maybe I could have stopped the outcome.

A few days before the wedding, Greg called to tell me that Nanci was in the hospital and that they would not be at the wedding. I was devastated but had no choice and had to move forward. It was the stress of walking down the isle in that dumb bridesmaid dress that made her physically ill and in turn put her in the hospital.

I didn’t see Nancy for quite some time after the wedding and our friendship kind of went on the back burner. We had made a date for Greg and Nanci to come and see our new home and share dinner, but it never transpired. We both canceled on one another.

I wouldn’t see Nanci again for several years and the next meeting happened only by chance. I was at a salon in Downers Grove preparing for my brothers wedding. I was 6 months pregnant with Mac and looking just huge. There she was getting her nails done and as awkward as it was, we talked for a while and promised to get together.

It never happened. The next time I would hear Nanci’s name would be from my parents. For some reason my parents read the obituary everyday and they came across Nanci’s name, just by chance. I would not have known that she died if it were not for them. When they read to me the listing I felt my heart drop to the floor and I knew a part of me just died.

I attended the funeral and said the few words that I could muster. All I really could do was cry and hug Greg. I couldn’t deny the fact that I really wanted to take back those years that we missed together, I wanted a “do over”.

So….that is the story about why I love to collect hearts. It makes me think of Nanci and all the good times that we had together. They remind me of her and inspire me to take a differnt approach to life and decorating.

I can’t change life and have finally accepted that fact, but I know I can make it better by remembering the events of my life. It is those memories that help shape who I am.

Nanci is a part of my life forever and I thank God for that blessing. I will keep looking for those perfect hearts to fill the void she left and replace it with the thoughts of her creativity and love.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Just wanted to wish all of you a very "heart" felt Happy Valentines Day.

As you may have guessed, I love to decorate for each holiday and so my house is ever evolving. One of my least favorite tasks, when it comes to holidays, is taking down Christmas Decorations. It makes me so sad because the house appears empty and so much less colorful. So instead of taking down all my greens, I re-purpose them as Valentine trees and garlands.

This is my Valentine Tree for 2009. Unfortunately, after this weekend it will have to make way for the spring decor that will come out of storage in anticipation of the warmer weather. I know Spring is coming, I do believe it!

My friend's husband told me I don't really have to take the tree down. He said, "better yet, change it into a "Chicago Cubs Tree"". He hopes it will be good luck and might help bring home a World Series Trophy....???? Unfortunately, both are not likely to happen.

I have been collecting a few heart ornaments from Etsy and wanted to share the artists who helped make my tree look so special. Thank you so much to Bella Maria for the "I love you heart" and Blondeheart for the "Strawberry Heart". And don't forget my favorite, "The Key to My Heart" by .... Me.

The tree has gained a little notoriety in my neighborhood because I am the only nut case that still has a Christmas Tree up :) Oh well, I feel their love.

Another Give Away

For those of us that love to see new things and have a chance at winning something...check out this cool blog by Minnie, her site name is Fat & Sassy. Good Luck!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


If any of you wonder why I am doing this...its people like Jeanne that keep me going and reminding me that I can do this. Thanks for the inspiration Jeanne.
To celebrate her 1st AnniversaryA BUSHEL AND A PECK is doing a free give away for all those who visit and comment on her site! Enjoy it as much as I do.
Also, check out her Etsy Shop for some great products!


Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin!!!! It’s your 200th Birthday!
February 12th is a very important day as it was the date that gave birth to two of the greatest free thinkers. Both of these men are credited for thinking beyond what was considered acceptable and brought to the table ideas that impact us still today.

I don’t want to go into their histories, but I do want to celebrate the fact that they took their own ideals and worked with them and studied them and eventually transformed them into something that today we are still discussing.

WE ARE EVOLVING. That is why it is so important to keep an open mind and study all the different ways to look at things. Let those thoughts evolve in your mind and become something great, something that might one day become the next great idea.

Ask yourself questions and search out the truth. Let your faith guide you in those thoughts. EVOLVE into something great.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I finally did it...

AGAIN....The Magic Friendship Wands are finally finished and available in my Etsy Shop. I don't know what takes me so long, but it is a relief to see the finished product. Between brain cramps and family time they have evolved into just what I wanted. There is never a time when I hold one of these "magic wands" that I just don't smile.

Thank you to all my family and friends who have supported me and pushed me to get this done. I love you all and know that I could not have done it with out you.

Friday, February 6, 2009

For the Love of Chairs

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While reading through blogs this morning I came across one that really just hit my funny bone. I don't know if any of you out there have a furniture fetish but I know I definately do. A Bushel and a Peck posted pictures of her new chair that she saved from a lonely existance without her. I love her chair and wished I had been the one to find it. As she said, there is always a special place for these beauties, it just takes a little moving around and a little adjustment so that they find that perfect spot.
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I have a passionate love of chairs but this little beauty is my absolute favorite.

I picked her up last year on our, now 3rd annual, girl's shopping trip to Kansas City. While browsing through the "oh so fun" Curious Sofa, I stumbled upon the most adorably quaint little chair. It is the perfect size for my 8 year old daughter Hannah and just the right size for me.

If you are of the male persuarion there is no way you are going to want to sit in it because it brings you down too low to the ground and you might not be able to get up. (Just my intention )

These kinds of finds are the special purchases that remind you or many things, a great trip and even better friends that oohed and ahhhed over it with you. Whenever they come over we always look at that chair and remember Kansas 2008...the year of the U-Haul. (When the time comes I will share that story with you :)).

Do you have a favorite chair or piece of furniture that just makes you oh so happy? Please share it with me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It is still taking victims

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to come later but we have all succumb to the flu.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Flu Bug has Hit....

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Just when you think you have escaped the dreaded flu, it strikes without warning. My poor Hannah woke up with a "bad tummy" this morning and didn't want to go to school. It was hard to tell if she was really sick or just looking for a day off. Thankfully before we even went into school, I brought her back home to the safety of our couch. It was there she was able to find the perfect spot on our couch, may I say in a gentle way to say ... "feel much better". (Maybe John will let me start looking for a new couch :) )

So to pass the time and try to bring a little sunshine into the house, we planted some of our new plants from Scentamental Gardens. The temperature has dipped, yet again, and the winds have started roaring at 30 mph bringing with them snow, it only seemed fitting to start planting.
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The groundhog in the Chicagoland area saw his shadow yesterday and predicted 6 more weeks of winter. The Doherty's are just going to have to buck it up and use a positive mental attitude to break this unbelievable cycle of winter weather. The only way, outside of a nice warm vacation (hint hint John), is to think Spring and think green.
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This great looking Jasmine plant is from Trader Joe's and only cost $9.00!! The flowers are small and delicate, while the shape is perfect for a topiary, but beware the scent is a little distinctive.
So here is hoping that a little optimism will go a long way and bring spring closer. Gotta run...duty calls.