Sunday, September 27, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Fawn Hamilton has inspired me in so many ways!
Andrea has an amazing sense of style!
Remnants of the Past
Judy's Antiques are Amazing...only wish I lived closer.
Nancy helped me find some of the best places to visit on my last trip to KC...
A Little Sussy
Nicole is an amazing photographer and a great sense of style!
Makes me want to change to all white...
Thinking Out Loud
I so admire Jan for her honesty and passion!
Ok that is it....I hope you enjoyed this post. The pictures are my latest of design inspiration. I am finding that I am going through another style evolution and want to find a new fresh direction. It is hard to figure out what works for me and what fits our life style. More on that later .... enjoy your day Girls!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
When I started this blog, I promised that it would be "an Evolution". As I sit here today I realize so much has happened in my life that I am ready to bite off a bigger piece of my business development plan.
My wands have been doing well as people become more aware of them and begin to understand their magical power.
I have learned they mean more to me than just a project, they are an extension of my feelings.
Often times I find words and actions are not appropriate for certain occasions and I feel the magic wand can say or do more than we could ourselves.
It's a symbol of many things, most of all friendship and love.
It's a lasting reminder of a person's feelings and desires to make you happy.
Every time I create a new wand a little bit of me goes into it and it is my hope the magic is transferred to the recipient.
So...with my Evolution, I needed a new logo.
I have decided to work with a talented artist, Emily Grandin. Emily's blog, Art of the Masses, is a great example of her work and the inspiration around her.
I am going to use this line drawing Emily created as my new logo...its simplicity yet intricacy drew me in the first time I saw it. I love how the bird is using found elements to create it's home/nest.
Very much like me, taking bits and pieces of things found to create something comfortable and inviting, a safe yet beautiful place. The making of a home and a life is an Evolution, and this little bird tells the story oh so simply.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
...to start decorating for Halloween?
Not in this house! First of all I am a fanatic when it comes to changing the house for the seasons. Every bird and nest must be carefully packed up until next spring, kind of like a little flight south for the winter.
Then comes the complete transformation from warm weather to cooler weather and fall colors to compliment my homes decorations. What it will be this year is just coming together in my head.
The biggest reason for wanting to get the ball rolling is because my neighbor hosts an annual Halloween Party and hires me to assist her in both decorating and creating the theme for each year.
This is the time when invitations go out and boy do we a great plan in place. I can't divulge it until after the recipients get their packages. What I can show you is how sent out the invitations last year.
We ordered small Chinese take out boxes and filled them with shredded paper. Inside each box was a bloody, chopped off finger wrapped in gauze.
If you were worried that we hurt someone in the process of making these invitations, you are correct.
We hurt our children's feeling because they were not allowed to eat any of the fingers until we were done with the project.
The invitation was produced on crepe paper with the edges slightly burnt to resemble an old piece of paper.
After putting them all together we set out deliver them to each party goer. This was the most fun since we got to play "ding dong ditch".
With my minivan doors open we drove up to the houses, snuck quietly to the front door, dropped the package, rang the doorbell and ran like h-e-double toothpicks.
The funniest part was us flying into the open van door and fleeing the scene laughing our butts off.
I promise this years delivering will be more frightful and fun filled. Stay tuned...next week sometime we will be announcing the party.
PS...I have some great Halloween Wands in the making and should have them ready by the weekend!
Friday, September 4, 2009
...means so much.
Last night around 8:00 our doorbell rang. As usual I let The Accountant handle any strangers coming to our door, especially the back door.
It was a curly haired, slightly accented young man. He told The Accountant he and 12 other artists were trying to raise money and awareness of their up and coming art gallery. While talking he proceeded to show him a portfolio full of oil paintings and continued telling their story.
To my amazement, The Accountant called me to the door and asked if I liked any of the artwork. Personally, I was in shock that he would even think of buying something presented this way and even more so since this past year has been a little more frugal than those of years past.
My eyes came upon this painting of Paris and it kind of jumped out at me. I am a big fan of black and white, so it's appeal with the gradients of the two colors intrigued me. I also like to collect art as it inspires me and reminds me of how blessed we are to be able to both create and enjoy such God given talents.
But, honestly the biggest joy was the kindness and love in The Accountant's actions of simply purchacing this for me. It wasn't his usual well thought out decision that took months to calculate, it was a decision based on his question to me, "Do you like it?"
My simple "yes" was all it took, we wrote a check to this young man who may or may not be opening a gallery in Naperville and became the new owners of an oil painting.
This small gesture means the world to me because The Accountant did something based purely on emotion and love, something to simply make me smile a little more everyday as I look at the scene in Paris.
Thanks my "Bean Counter"
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I have been avoiding this post for too long now. It has been formulating in my mind since Saturday and I can not put it off any longer.
On Saturday I attended a funeral and as we all know funerals tend to be filled with sadness and mourning. This funeral was by far the most upsetting one I have ever attended and I am troubled by it still.
My cousin Jennifer, who is just a year younger than I, lost her 9 month old daughter Jessica. The story of Jennifer is an extraordinary one due to the fact that Jennifer was in a near fatal car crash over 15 years ago.
While driving to her job as a school teacher, Jennifer was in a terrible car accident that left her in a coma for many weeks. Family and friends gathered day after day as she lay in Cook County hospital struggling to survive and survive she did.
It would take months and years for her to regain her sense of “normal”. Jennifer’s boyfriend at the time, Tony, stuck with her through all the rehab and all the life changing events that would follow.
Tony eventually asked Jennifer to marry him and together they wanted to start a family. Now as many of you can imagine, after a person’s body has been through so much trauma it would be difficult to conceive. Difficult may be an understatement in this case, many miscarriages and losses seemed to pile up on Jennifer and Tony but they were never swayed from their goal to have children.
The first successful pregnancy was that of their first son Sean…the celebration of that little boy was immense as they finally had a child. Yet, there was a longing for more children.
Through more losses there was another successful pregnancy that resulted in the birth of their second son Michael. Both boys were healthy, happy and filled with love. Jennifer and Tony were living out their dreams.
Jennifer became pregnant again and this time it was a very difficult pregnancy, one plagued by health concerns for both mother and child, but with God’s helping hand and the help of the staff at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, William was born prematurely. He spent many weeks in the NICU gaining strength and weight.
Taking him home was all the Jennifer could think of and finally that day did arrive. He headed home to his brothers and the nurturing arms of his mother. Just as they were getting settled into life with a premature baby and all the extra attention he need, Jennifer became pregnant again.
This pregnancy was very guarded as Jennifer’s body was just coming off having Will and all the life threatening complications that came along with his birth.
At approximately 27 weeks gestation, Jessica Anne was born prematurely, weighing just over a pound. She struggled to life as her lungs were not yet strong enough to support her. She lay in Northwestern Hospital, where they worked miracles that helped her grow stronger and fight off the numerous maladies that tried to hold her back.
Jennifer and Tony worked as a team with their closest relatives, friends and church. They handled their new responsibility with as much fortitude as they could muster. Jennifer would always say, “Jessica is a fighter”, I think it was a great reflection that Jessica was much like her mother.
She fought numerous surgeries, tubes and needles for 9 months. She grew to be 12lbs a far cry from her 1 lb at birth. But the stresses on her poor system were too much, so much so that Jennifer and Tony had to make the decision to take her off of life support in her final days.
As Jennifer told me the story last Saturday morning as we stood in front of a tiny casket covered with flowers and a baby blanket, I was amazed to see a mother’s strength.
She told me how her parish priest rushed her to Jessica’s bed side because the doctors were going to unanalyzed her at any moment and she needed to be there.
When she arrived she would finally get to really hold her daughter for the first time in 9 months. There would be no tubes or monitors blocking the connection between mother and child.
Jennifer proceeded to tell me how she cuddled Jessica, sang to her in her off key voice and even dance with her until her last tiny breathe. The strength in her voice amazed me as I sat their crying.
The church where Jessica lay in state was filled with pictures and art work all dedicated to Jessica. A family photo that was taken just before the decision to let Jessica go shows the love and devotion of their family. Pictures of Jessica’s chubby sweet cheeks and pursed rosy red lips left you believing that there had to be some kind of mistake.
This child did not look ill or weak, she looked healthy and strong and ready to take what the world had coming. But, it was not meant to be … she was gaining strength for her journey into Gods arms, where he would show her all the joys of heaven. A heaven where she would become an angel to her family and most certainly give her mother the strength she needed to get through her coming days.
My sadness is for Jennifer and Tony, for all the struggles, for all the triumphs and all the love they have shown their family, for the courage to be strong and make the tough decisions, to defend a life and yet let that life take its natural course.
My tears are for the sorrow that they will feel in coming days, months and weeks. My sorrow is for the longing of a mother’s heart to hold her baby girl and for the loss of a life.
I only hope my prayers, thoughts and love help them get through this difficult time and I pray that Jessica’s wings take her to Jennifer’s side.