tissue paper ball 1

It’s been quite the week at the Cottage @ 341 South.

This time change on Sunday sure seemed to affect us greatly all week, and in not so good ways. The girls are waking up at very early hours, somehow not aware of the blessed time change. This was always the time change I looked forward to all year!

And somehow this is the week for them to spill everything – candle wax all over the floor, an entire glass of milk at a friend’s house, and entire glass of milk at our house. And I KNOW, it’s just milk, for crying out loud.  But somehow milk is not my friend this week. Let’s stick with solids from now on. But then solids crumble in a million pieces, so what’s worse? And then Zoe came running to me this morning telling me Olivia is playing in the toilet with her hands. And Zoe’s been having allergies, which swell her sinuses, which make her semi-deaf to where I feel like I either repeat myself a hundred times to answer her question or else talk LOUD just so she can hear.

I told my husband last night that I think I should just come to expect catastrophes all day with children. Then I won’t be so worked up when it seems like that’s all that happens…

We haven’t had a busy schedule. In fact, I told a friend this week that I’ve been “hermit-ing” after all the busyness of the past few months. So there is really no explanation for a week that feels a bit over the top…

I’ve thought so often of a quote I read on this site several weeks ago. When I read it, it hit me in the depths of my heart and I felt like God was speaking Truth to my heart. Truth that I have had a hard time accepting before this, perhaps. This is the quote:

“I don’t know if most women have given themselves totally to motherhood,
understanding that it will take their all –
their time, body, life, moments, rights, everything really,
to build a godly legacy.
It seems they think their children are “taking up their time”
without realizing that God gave them children in order to provide them
with an eternal work to do –
that it is their best way to influence eternity,
that it is the most strategic work of their lives and will outlive them.”
[Sally Clarkson]

Giving myself totally to motherhood…
Understanding that it will take my all…

I want well-behaved children that are always obedient and never play in toilets and spill candle wax or milk and that play nicely together all the time and that don’t get allergies and are essentially deaf for several weeks a year because of it and that don’t unravel toilet paper for miles and where a potty-trained girl doesn’t still pee herself and another little girl doesn’t eat catfood every chance she gets and where she doesn’t tear pages out of books…

But is that really the full extent of what I want? Is that all? Well behaved children? Is that the epitomy of life?

Elizabeth wrote a beautiful post about children, about what is really important. And it blessed my heart beyond words. It’s worth your time to go read and comment!

And a quote I heard while listening to a sermon from Eric Ludy yesterday while knitting…

“Dependence [upon God] proves it is GRACE that truly saves.”

Because being a mother has made me feel weaker than I ever have in my entire life.
Never have I felt such utter dependence upon God. As in, I will not make it if God doesn’t come through. As in, I can’t do this on my own.
Never have I felt like my own sin shows so blaringly clear.
Never have I felt like I fail so much.
Never have I had to ask for forgiveness so often.
Never have I needed God so much.

And really, I think this is right where God wants me. Where I am desperate for Him. Where He is my life-line, and nothing else comes close to Him. It’s a hard, helpless place to be. And yet somehow I’m believing [or to be perfectly honest, WANT to believe] that it’s a good place to be.

In our weakness, that is when God is strong. Because then God is glorified, not our perfect mothering…

Audrey also wrote a beautiful post about this…

I really wasn’t intending to go into all that, but this has been OnE oF tHoSe WeEkS and my heart is full…

But I feel His Spirit breathing Life into my heart, giving me Grace. And Love in the midst of the mini-catastrophes.

And that is all that I need.
Him. Just Him.

——————————————————————————————————–

And on to what I was originally posting about! How these women can think about many things at once…

Quite a few people have asked me about the tissue paper balls, after seeing them on my dining room post.

I work best when seeing things visually, so what follows is a tutorial on making tissue paper balls.

By doing this, I very humbly acknowledge that this is in NO way original to me. This goes way back, probably to my grandparents’ era or older, so I am only passing along information that I learned elsewhere.

When people have asked about how to make the balls, the second question I almost always get is “Is it hard to make them?”

Let me answer that question right off the bat and say that these are so super easy and FUN to make. There are unlimited styles and colors and sizes you can make. I’ve love to see some of your projects!

This girl has made a lot of flowers with the same idea, that are just gorgeous.

And I came across another site one day with some cool ideas as well but can’t find it today. Big help that is, I know…

I love this, because you can use your imagination and just create away!

The Tutorial:

Since I work best with pictures, I’ll show the steps with pictures to show my description.

#1.  Choose a pack of tissue paper that you like, in your preferred color.

tissue paper ball 11

#2. Take a stack of about 10 sheets.
[if it’s square, make it rectangular shaped; square will not work]
Fold, beginning on the shortest side, accordian-style, in about 1-2″ folds, until the entire stack is folded.

tissue paper ball 10

#3. Secure in the middle with a thin wire.

tissue paper ball 9

This is what you’ll have.

tissue paper ball 8

#4. Trim the ends into a round shape or a > shape.

tissue paper ball 7

#5. Beginning on one end, separate each paper from the stack, like so:

tissue paper ball 5

Continue to separate each paper, pulling very gently so it won’t tear.

tissue paper ball 4

If you want a flower, end here.

If you want a ball, keep doing the same thing on the other side, and you’ll have this:

tissue paper ball 3

Super super easy, and it doesn’t take long at all!

The larger your sheets of tissue paper, the larger your ball. And vice versa.

Combine several different sizes like this:

Dining Room7

or different colors and sizes like this:

tissue paper ball 12

tissue paper ball 1

And put large flowers in groupings on your wall,

or hang them from the ceiling (which I’m very extremely doing all over my house)

tissue paper ball 14

in your nursery.

tissue paper ball 13

And that’s it!

Happy crafting!

I’d love to see what you’ve done! Leave me a little linky so I can see your project!

~clarita

 

This was a truly beautiful weekend.

[mosquito-bitten feet in cozy slippers]

autumn 6

The first Saturday home as a family in two months.

[my latest read: The Scottish Chiefs]

autumn 9

The first fire in the fireplace.

[apparently not too far into my book.
and just in case these pictures speak “perfect day” let me just say this:
it was a truly beautiful day,
but
I had literally 5 minutes of time alone Sunday afternoon
in which everyone was napping at the same time
in which I documented it with pictures.
rare things mean picture documentation.
as much as I would like to say it was a3 hour stretch, I can’t say it was.]

autumn 4

A surprise package in the mail from a sister. ♥

Biscotti baking and pumpkin roll baking.

[my mantel-less living mantel, with teetering decor balancing on the edge]

autumn 7

Time change, which gave us an extra hour Sunday morning
[definitely a good thing. Sunday mornings can be rather harried here].

autumn 8

[this picture looks very strange to me.
yes, i’m in the south.
sweet tea,
woolly slippers,
and a fire in the fireplace, thank you.]

Happy little girls who were delighted with have several days with their daddy at home.

[headless child pausing a rare, brief instant to allow me snap a picture of her tights]

autumn 10

Ben’s parents and siblings at home that came for Sunday lunch of a Belizian meal.

Creative little minds who pretend they are making oatmeal on a Monday morning…

Autumn 2

[little bed-heads whose mother failed to comb them]

Autumn 3 Autumn 1

I just want to re-live it again.

Please?

~clarita

 

 

Since My Faire Lady and her two festivals are now over [we did a second with a bit more success than the first – yay!], I have a million projects running through my mind for my house. Okay, so not a million. That sounds juvenile. :)

But a lot. As in, I lie in bed at night,  before I sleep, there visions of interior design projects that run through my mind.  I would love to be an interior designer. At least, that’s what I think from this side. But I’ve never had any formal training other than what I read and observe on my own. So perhaps it’s not as glamorous on the other side as what it seems to be, because I’ve heard interior design is hard work. But I just think it would be so fun to go into someone’s home and beautify it for them.

The thing of finding beauty has been something God has been teaching me, especially the past four years. My years before that were spent in a geographically gorgeous area; the past four years are really not what one would call gardens of any kind. Sure, there are pockets of geographically beautiful land scattered here and there, but one has to look for it. This subject was just brought up to me again within the past few weeks with a few friends and sisters, the subject of finding beauty.

I’ve grown up with an appreciation for beauty – whether it’s architecture [my father is a real estate agent, and as a child I remember driving around dramatic neighborhoods admiring the roof pitch, the color scheme chosen, the angles, the details], landscape, wardrobe/accessories, interior design, floral design… And it seemed that I was simply immersed in beauty for much of my life. I have an uncle who is a phenomenal artist who resides in New York City, I have relatives who are so incredibly gifted in creating beautiful atmospheres and homes and dinners…

Four years ago, when my husband and I moved 800 miles south, I wasn’t prepared for the geographical difference. Where is the beauty?? I would moan to myself. And sometimes I still long for the four dramatic seasons, for an autumn where there is a glorious changing of color, where there is crisp weather for hay rides and barn parties as in my youth. Somehow the 90′ weather of today doesn’t seem too much like autumn. And I really don’t want to run the air conditioner on Christmas day. I really really don’t.

And yet, God is showing me that there is beauty to be found. Granted, it must be searched for. And no, it wouldn’t win world awards or anything like that. Down by the islands, yes indeed.

But even more than that, I often think of the quote by Amy Carmichael, who said,

In acceptance lieth peace.”

It is true, that as long as we are fighting the place that God has put us in, we will not see the beauty. But in the acceptance of His will, there is rest of heart and soul, and there are new eyes to see beauty around us. There is something about that soul peace, that quietness and rest within the depths of who we are, knowing that we are right with God and that we are surrendered to Him.

And also, in the seeking of God Himself, it seems that there are windows and doors that open within us and rivers that flow out of our very soul – expressing His beauty within our lives, and in the way we live our lives. I think this looks different in every person. For some, it’s pursuing dreams, for others, it could be as varied [but not limited to] as: teaching, MOPS groups, photography, orphan ministry, leading women’s ministry groups, interior design, culinary skills, a heart that always seems to notice when someone needs help and knowing how to practically meet that need, people that care well for others, inner city missions and ministries, children’s clubs and ministries, moms meeting together to pray for their public high school children, people who speak words of encouragement… There is an endless list, really. But it seems that is all flows out of a heart who is surrendered and at peace with God. It flows – it is not forced, and it brings blessing… It springs from a heart who is first seeking God; not seeking to be great at any of the above mentioned [and not mentioned] things.

All that to say, I am realizing that as I come to deeper places of surrender with God, that He places a fuller dimension of Himself within me. And it will always continue to be so – there will always be more places of surrender, and until Heaven, I will not experience and know Him perfectly. I wish, but I won’t. That’s one of the many things to look forward to about Heaven!

I think the giftings within us tend to simply flow out of us the more we learn to know God more. I loved this quote by A. W. Tozer that I read the other morning, speaking of that issue:

“Our gifts and talents should be recognized for what they are,
God’s loan to us,
and should never be considered in any sense our own.”
We have no more right to claim credit for special abilities
than for blue eyes and strong muscles.”

I LOVED this quote. Because there are soooo many varied giftings within every person. No two are exactly alike; not one is better than another. But they are all loans from God, to showcase Himself to the people and the world around us. That means EVERYONE has something to offer, no matter what the gifts. If they are from God, they are unique, they are of incredible worth, and they are given for a purpose of showcasing God. Not for any personal credit or discredit.

Those are just a few of my thoughts today…

———————————————————————————————-

And a project…

My husband called me on his way home yesterday…

I said, Um, I was working on a project today.
He said, Okay, what was it?
I said, Uhh, it’s a secret.
He said, Oh really? So what is it?
I said, It’s a secret. But I really hope you like it, because this is irreversible.
He said, Irreversible, huh? So did you paint the piano? Tear out drywall? Paint the ceiling?
I said, Oh no no no, nothing that drastic. But still, rather hard to undo.
He was nervous.

I’m telling you. This husband of mine is a brave one. And he’s really good about letting me act upon my ideas. Even though sometimes he won’t tell me for years later that he really didn’t like that curtain the hallway, and I wonder why he didn’t tell me because it really wasn’t a big deal!

This was my brewing Project Irreversible:

My music tree. I’ve been dreaming of it for months. I needed something beside my mantel and behind the baby grand. And I wanted a tree.

But not a wallwords tree, not a fabric tree, not a painted tree. I wanted something unique. And because this is the music room, and because I dreamt of majoring in music once upon a time…

A very sweet friend sent me a beautifully ancient book of antiqued brown sheet music, and I bought a few more music books off of ebay for a few dollars, thus varying the page shades.

A MUSIC TREE.

projects - oct. 2010 018-1

[I do think I need to move that center bird cage… It hides her too much. And I need to move the paper balls. Leftovers from My Faire Lady that I don’t know what to do with.]

Now that she’s up, I’m not sure I’m quite as in love with her as I thought. [I call the tree a “she” because she is too delicate and fine to be called an “it”].

I’m rather afraid she looks like a giant spider spread across the wall behind my baby grand in the music room. Does she??

She sure was fun to make though. It only look me about two hours.

projects - oct. 2010 014-1


But like I told Husband, It’s irreversible. She GLUED to the wall. Taking her off would be a bit difficult.

I do like her. But I know what she is, a musical tree. I just really hope is that a spider on the wall doesn’t pop into people’s minds when they see her.

And directly opposite of her, above the desk is this…

projects - oct. 2010 015-1


Husband thinks it’s a slightly an overkill on the whole music idea. Too much of a good thing is too much, that  reasoning? He is probably right. But he is very willing to bear with his impulsive wife. :)

 This wall is just little strips of tape holding these sheets up. I rather like them. As for the desk underneath it, well, that best remains hidden at this point. Too much stuff to clear off of it for a picture. :)

And another little project yesterday: a halter-style kitchen apron. For sale on My Faire Lady on facebook. :)

projects - oct. 2010 003

 

And that’s all for now!

A lovely autumn weekend to you!

Camping is involved in our weekend plans. Wish me forbearance.
Rustic camping isn’t my forte. :)
But happy company is, so that compensates!

~clarita

 

 

This house has been a dream come true for me. After renting a rather dark and what felt like gloomy house for almost four years, I have been so delighted to actually have our own little home! Yes, it’s little. Only two bedrooms, about 1500 square feet altogether. It’s little. But it’s oh, so cozy. And so full of natural light! I LOVE that.  And there is no landlord that says what we can or can’t do. :) Poor husband, now that his wife is let loose!

I felt really stifled in that rental, but you know, I think it was really good for me. For one, it makes our own house so much more special. And two, I think I learned creativity and contentment in a whole new way at the rental house. It wasn’t a natural cute house, so it took a lot of effort to make it cute, without pointing out all the unattractive things about the house. It was a real stretch especially in being content. I can’t say that I mastered that area, but I do feel like the Lord really helped me grow in that. And I keep growing even now.

I think the kitchen in our new house is one of my very favorite rooms. Yeah, well, they’re ALL my favorite. :) But this is especially a favorite. A lot because our rental house had a very very tiny galley kitchen in the middle of the house – no windows, only an overhead florescent light, and if more than two people were in the kitchen it felt overwhelming.

My new kitchen still isn’t large, but most standards. But to me, coming from a teeny kitchen previously, it feels HUGE!

First impressions, though, weren’t very pretty. It was almost the exact colors that were in our rental. Yuck!

BEFORE:

In the middle of January, in 30′ weather, this was very depressing. I had a hard time seeing potential in this place!

Kitchen before 3

Kitchen before 2

Kitchen before 1

Kitchen 38

Brown and yellow put together may come back one day, but I dare say it will not be for me.

We tore out some walls in between the kitchen and dining room and living room. It made the front of the house seem twice as big, and so roomy and spacious. The kitchen was probably the most work out of any other room in the house.

THIS was my kitchen inspiration photo. I think it came from Better Homes & Gardens. My colors and basic theme came from this.

Kitchen inspiration

Of course there are differences   that and MY kitchen – they are two totally different houses! So here’s my version… That cool flooring went in a bathroom instead of the kitchen.

So this is AFTER!

Entering the kitchen from the living room and dining room… Ben added these beams, which came from an old house locally.

Kitchen 6

The hardwoods were refinished, along with the rest of the house. I love the painted floor look too, but it wouldn’t have worked well with our open floor plan.

I made these 12 X 12 burlap squares, thinking they would go by a fireplace, but they seemed to fit here. These are words that describe what I want our home to be like: lots of love and affirmation, peace and comfort and rest, and lots of fun and joy.

Kitchen 35

The chalkboard in the kitchen was an idea I had wanted since years ago – partly for looks, because I think chalkboards are awesome, despite their ever-growing popularity, and partly because supper time can often be a crazy time of day at our house, and I thought this would keep the girls entertained instead of following me around every inch of the kitchen.

If you look on the first picture, it says, “Let’s celebrate Ben!”, from his party back in August. (see how long ago I shot these pictures?) But it’s covered in little scribbles. So yay, my hopes for this area being child entertainment are fulfilled!

Plus, it’s one of the first things you see upon entering the front door, so it makes a fun way to welcome guests!

kitchen 1

For the top of the chalkboard, I dry-brush painted two metal grates that I had found at an antique shop years ago, then tied jute string from one end of the other and clipped pictures of our friends onto it, wash-line style.

Kitchen 5

Entering the kitchen a bit more… Having a window above my sink is dreamy!

And can you believe that Mr. Husband surprised me with this apron-front sink?? I could scarcely believe it when he told me. This is what I really wanted in here, but gracious, they’re expensive. So this is my birthday and Christmas and birthday and Christmas and birthday and Christmas gift for the next decade. :) We tried to justify the $$ because we really didn’t spend that much on the rest of the kitchen. :)

Ben added crown molding on the ceiling, and also on the top of the cabinets to make it look like staggered heights. This side is existing cabinetry, with the doors removed on the top half. We did order all new doors for the kitchen. [side note: we ordered them online instead of in-person, and they were way too “fussy” in real life. I would have preferred something a bit simpler had I known].

The chandelier was a $7 auction find.

Kitchen 7

A close-up of the apron-front. I love this baby! Not only does she look lovely and old and vintage-y…

Kitchen 33

… and fit so well with the butcher block counter top that Ben made out of old 2×4’s out of walls torn out of the house [isn’t that just precious??]…

Kitchen 34

… but it was perfect for bathing little children before the tub was hooked up…

Kitchen 36

… and it’s a perfect height for a little girl who loves to wash lettuce and is always asking to help in the kitchen.

Kitchen 37

One more peek at her. :)

Kitchen 17

Quite frankly, there is nothing I don’t love about this sink!

I chose the rainy-day blue color because I wanted a cool-feeling kitchen. The color is “Kittery Blue” in eggshell finish from Benjamin Moore, but we mixed pure white with it as well to soften it – the color was too bright blue for me.

It is so hot so much of the year where we live, and i didn’t want a “hot” color to where i’d feel like i was roasting along with my dinner. I think this is the reason I chose cooler colors throughout most of the house, which is quite unlike me, really. I have always loved COLOR. And now I still like color, but more splashes of color than rooms of color. Even though I still people’s bright colors and think to myself how lovely it looks and perhaps i should have done that too… :)

Details in the window cupboards… Wanting it to feel cozy, not sterile (though definitely clean!).

I love my open cabinets. It feels so comfortable. Not sure why, but it does. And guests know where my glasses and everything are. No opening five cupboard doors before finding the right one!

My open cabinets were inspired by The Lettered Cottage and A Country Farmhouse in particular, and a few other magazine sources.

Kitchen 13

I had so many white/silver/glass dishes, so I didn’t go out and buy many at all. I did add a few little things I found for a dollar or two at junk shops.

Kitchen 12

Fun little cups I picked up at my favorite little junk shop. These are our chocolate milk glasses. :)

Kitchen 4

These are my fave. So sweet and cute.

Kitchen 23

This mirror was randomly placed here soon after we moved, when we tried to clean up the house one day to get ready for guests. And what do you know, but I really liked it there. So it stays! I dry-brush painted this gold frame, and I love how it made the molding stand out. This is also my little picture board while I’m washing dishes. Seeing happy faces while I’m cleaning up seems to make the job happier!

Kitchen 15

Kitchen 3

This reads, “peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” [unknown] I so often need this reminder!

A container [found at Goodwill – does anyone even know how much I love Goodwill??] filled with glass vases. Sometimes this is emptied out and used at a salad bowl for company. And sometimes the vases are gone and scattered all over the house, holding various flower arrangements and buds.

Kitchen 29

And the third fireplace of the house is in the kitchen. Believe it or not. I can’t wait to use it in the winter! I think I will actually like cooking and baking then!

Kitchen 11

Little girl who follows me around the house while I shoot pictures. :)

Kitchen 10

Kitchen 9

And another look I’ve had on this mantel. It’s fun to change it around a bit, but I know I will not be one of those people who changes their mantels every single season. Because, with 5 fireplaces, that would be 20 different mantel-scapes, and I know is not going to happen here!

Kitchen 31

Kitchen 32

My baking corner. Pretty much all I need to bake with (pans, mixing bowls, ingredients, beaters, refrigerator) is within arms reach.

Before & After 033

Ben also made this concrete counter top. Yeah, he can do pretty much anything he sets his mind to. It all started when we began pricing new counter tops, and were blown away with how expensive they are! My ever-frugal husband began thinking of alternatives to the classic counter tops, and decided to experiment with this. The only cost was a few boards to frame up the counter top and the concrete to pour in it. Very very inexpensive.

People that make concrete counter tops as a business must have formulas and things for different colors. We didn’t, so it was pure experimentation. He added some black dye in the concrete when he first made it, but it only turned it a light grey, and we both wanted a charcoal color. So he rubbed ebony wood stain on top after it was dry, and then sealed it. It turned to the perfect color. I think he’s a genius. :)

Now that we’ve lived with it for a while, I still LOVE it. However, we would go with grout sand rather than concrete sand. It would make a smoother finish.

We searched online for “DIY concrete countertops” and found various blogs and tutorials.

I love the practicality of it as well – my pans can come directly out of the oven and be set on the counter.

Kitchen 25

Ben took away the old yellow vinyl and replaced it with beadboard. I really like this look.

Bamboo and white tongs in one jar, black and stainless steel in another. I’m funny about that.

Kitchen 28

A flat-top stove! Very, very exciting after my vintage model at our rental. :) I kept trying to tell myself that “Hey, vintage is cool!” but I wasn’t able to convince myself. A flat-top feels so clean and I have been loving it! We did get all new appliances in the kitchen.

Kitchen 8

Can you believe that my dear friend Linda found this at a yard sale for TWO DOLLARS, and GAVE it to me?? I couldn’t believe that she didn’t keep it for herself!

Kitchen 2

And now after seeing my perfectly clean kitchen, looking like it’s never used, I’ll clear up that illusion and tell you that this is what it looks like quite often. Almost daily, in fact. Except without the cookies.

Ben made these cabinets on this side, but we ordered doors.

Kitchen 18

And now you know that I live in a real world. :) Yes, I realize it does not look safe for my children to be on the counter. But if you only knew how happy they are to be up there with me, you’d allow it too. And yes, I do stay close by. Except when taking pictures. :)

Once more, before:

Kitchen before 3 Kitchen before 2

And

After!

Kitchen 24

[I think a round jute rug would look so very cozy right in the center of the kitchen, but where do I find one for super cheap??]

Kitchen 7

Kitchen 34

Thanks for taking my little long tour!

~clarita

Sources:
Farmhouse Sink: signaturehardware.com


Blue wall color: Kittery Blue; Benjamin Moore, in eggshell, mixed half/half with pure white trim paint [edit: this is discontinued. the closest thing I could find was ‘Harbor Fog’ by Benjamin Moore.
This Harbor Fog would not need to be diluted or altered; it’s the closest match to the finished wall color that I could find.]


Butcher Block Color:   Waterlox (a food-grade sealer), multiple coats, no poly

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the butcher block countertop through messages, so I’ll answer a bit here:

The kitchen butcher block countertops are made from reclaimed Antique Southern Pine. We then used only Waterlox, multiple layers (like 4-6!) because poly isn’t food-grade safe. The Waterlox does give a water-proof sealant, and also a bit of natural color although it’s not considered a stain. We didn’t use any color/stain on the countertops. The amber color came because of the Antique Pine and combination of Waterlox.


Cabinet color: Dove White, by Sherwin Williams


Floor Stain: Dark Walnut; Minwax


Cabinet doors: cabinet door world

 

Well, we did it!

We went and had our first debut into the big wide business world of pretties and cutesy little things!

Thanks for all the sweet words and comments on the last post. Actually quite a few of the last posts! Sure is a great vote of confidence! :) You all make my day with your comments! Thank you all!

Back to My Faire Lady…

As usual, I only took a couple hundred pictures. :/ So to try to decide which pictures to post was a bit challenging. I decided on showing a lot of pictures rather than just a couple.

That’s your warning that this is a really long picture post!

As I said last time, this was a brainstorm I had a few months ago – to make some pretties and see if we could sell them at a local festival day. We thought it if does well, we’ll be excited and have a little extra money. Housewives always like a little extra money, you know? And if it doesn’t do so well, then, hey, at least we tried it!

So, at the end of this post I’ll tell you which of the two it was. :)
Until then, here is

My Faire Lady

itself!

The grand debut!

Thanks for coming and visiting! :)

The little booth… [and I could elaborate about how the setting up the tent the night before was a near-nightmare experience and how we ended up going and getting this nice new one last minute… Whew…]

Linda and Veronica showing our wares. :) It’s the beginning of the day and we’e super excited!

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 056

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 077

Our little sign, which I painted on an old panel.

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 061
Peeking inside the tent…

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 089

And inside! Some of our pretties!

VERONICA’S PRETTIES:

….she made the cute little pillowcase-style dresses on the bottom of the rack.

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 058

closer up…

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 003

… she made an assortment of cute little flowers…
and if you look on the bottom right of this picture there are ribbon headbands that she made for little babies, with a bit of elastic at the bottom to fit all size of babies heads….

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 017

…more of those ribbon headbands…

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 018

… and just clip one of these flowers onto it and your baby girl will be good to go!

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 021

Ribbon Pacifier clips, in white, pink, and blue.

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 015

 

LINDA’S CREATIONS:

Absolutely darling cream bags, with a homemade champagne flower. I could hardly resist buying one of these!

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 071

Really cool pillows.

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 029
Monogrammed kitchen hand towels.

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 007

Diaper Clutches, which hold a slim wipes box and 2 diapers. This is one of the greatest investments you’ll make as a mother! Trust me on this!

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 012 

And a grand assortment of many colors and styles.

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 014

Chalkboard and Jute vases. Shown with a lovely fall arrangement.
ORIGINAL idea by Linda herself. Please congratulate her. I think they are sooo cute!!

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 023

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 025

White window panels. These are very similar to the ones I made for my dining room, but lighter weight, and with ruffles on the top and bottom. Just precious.

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 025

and
CLARITA’S COLLECTION
[that would be me. :)]

Kitchen aprons…

My Faire Lady prep, Barkman Family pictures 152

My Faire Lady prep, Barkman Family pictures 155

Lots and lots and lots of paper balls.

My Faire Lady prep, Barkman Family pictures 201

Clipboards in small and large.

My Faire Lady prep, Barkman Family pictures 175

 

Baby Girl burp cloths…

My Faire Lady prep, Barkman Family pictures 158     My Faire Lady prep, Barkman Family pictures 162   My Faire Lady prep, Barkman Family pictures 157  

…sold in a set of three.

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 049

 

Baby Boy burp cloths…

My Faire Lady prep, Barkman Family pictures 170    My Faire Lady prep, Barkman Family pictures 165    My Faire Lady prep, Barkman Family pictures 167

…also sold in a set of three.
Whew, I was glad to be done making these. I love how they turned out, but they took soooo long to make!

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 050

Hair pretty holders in pink…

My Faire Lady prep, Barkman Family pictures 217

and brown.

My Faire Lady prep, Barkman Family pictures 219

and they were signed. Just for when we’re famous, you know. :) Ha ha!

My Faire Lady prep, Barkman Family pictures 210

Pillows –  in white…

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 008

…and in charcoal.

Late Summer, Twenty-Ten 072

And in some numbers. Copying Pottery Barn a bit here.

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 063

And flowers.  I can’t forget the flowers.
This was a really fun experiment. I found tha the more sheer the fabric is, the better it curls.
I like the curly, cottage-rose look.
Some of the satin-y fabric were really pretty too…

Tiny 2″ flowers…

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 039

4″ flowers displayed on a tree branch.

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 109

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 037

These were headbands, with approximately 4″ flowers.

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 044

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 045

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 047

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 117

…adding some feathers…

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 118

…adding a little bit of vintage-y lace…

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 113

 

And the prettiest thing there – though not for sale! – my little sweetie, who got her first face painting at the fair!
She was so proud of that little cupcake. :)

My Faire Lady, Oct. 2, 2010 127

 

And that is a glimpse of our little booth at My Faire Lady!
Of course, real life is much better than simply a visual tour, but thanks for visiting anyway!

Because, see, it was such a fun day, and we were glad we did it!

But see, we discovered too late that we were rather out of our league that day.

See, there was this little plastic pumpkin stand directly behind us. Not real pumpkins.
Plastic.
Yep, sure were.
From Walmart, we think.
Wow, sure are cheezy…” I thought to myself. Shhhhh. Don’t tell.
And then little leaves and scarecrow faces were drawn on the plastic pumpkins.
And people’s names; last name, then all the family members.
“Definitely not my front porch item,” I also thought.

Well, what. do. you. know.

But that little pumpkin stand was cranking out the pumpkins and scarecrows and leaves just as fast as they could write/draw on those little plastic pumpkins. They were quite amazing in their speed too. I was quite impressed.

And by the end of the day, the three of us [Linda, Veronica, and I]
laughed ourselves almost silly because the plastic pumpkin stand was almost wiped out
and here we were, with nary a thing sold from our darling little booth.
Well, almost nary a thing.
About enough to pay for our booth fee.

No kidding.

Of course, we were prejudiced, beings that we made everything and all.

But seriously, plastic pumpkins over cutesy little beautifuls???
It really was quite funny.
And quite sad.

So, now, I have 5 years worth of gifts left over. :))

OR,

you can check out our page on facebook –
My Faire Lady –
and buy anything that you’d like!

[That’s just my little plug]

 

:))

~Happy weekend to you!

How can it be anything BUT happy when the weather is the most glorious 70′ since over half a year ago?!
Shrimp saining for us tomorrow on the islands!

~clarita

 

 

My online time the couple of months has been greatly limited, due to a three main things.

1. The daily joys and challenges of being a wife, mother, household-keeper, laundress, chef, grounds-keeper, teacher-of-how-children-should-get-along [to one’s own children]…

2. The weekly involvement in a Bible Study with four girls from our church’s youth group. I LOVE LOVE this… even though finding the time to studying amidst #1 can be challenging some weeks.

Late Summer, Twenty-Ten 107

3. The preparation for My Faire Lady!

This was a brainstorm that happened upon me a few months ago – the idea to have a little booth at a local festival, exhibiting a few little things that are homemade. Cute homemade. ;)

Late Summer, Twenty-Ten 061

[ruffled pillows, in charcoal and [not shown] in white]

Late Summer, Twenty-Ten 072

So, after talking to 2 wonderfully talented friends in the area, the three of us decided to try to make a go of our idea! I am sooo excited to be doing this with Linda and Veronica – both amazing seamstresses and talented women!

[covered clipboards in small and large]

Late Summer, Twenty-Ten 059

We are all having our own little niche, certain things that each of us are doing, and then we’re overlapping a bit too, in what we’re doing. Our little things include [this is all of us, not just me]: window panels, shoulder bags, diaper clutches, pacifier ribbon holder, burp cloths, clip boards, hair flowers and pretties…

[whoever knew there is so much COOL fabric out there. i want to start sewing for my girls next!]

August, 2010 060

[ruffled half-apron, in the making. Can you tell I’m in love with anything ruffly (??) right now? :)]

Late Summer, Twenty-Ten 028

[Zoe, age three. Loving to be involved, and is constantly saying, “I want to WATCH you…”

August, 2010 065

So, in a little more than a week, we will be full-swing into

My Faire Lady – an eclectic assortment of things beautiful, vintage, and feminine.”

[a sneak peak into the burp cloths]

August, 2010 070 August, 2010 068 August, 2010 066 August, 2010 059

[hair flowers. these are called ‘lollipop flowers’ – i googled them on youtube to learn how to make them]

August, 2010 055 - Copy

August, 2010 052 - Copy - Copy

It’s either going to be a grand success, OR I will have five years worth of gifts left over!! A little nervous about that.  :)

So, these are just a few of the many things that will be [attemping to be] sold at our little county festival! If you’re local, be sure to come and check us out!

Happy weekend to you!

-clarita

This is one day where, if it were possible, I would call Husband and ask if he could please come home from work at 10am, while I go and hibernate the rest of the day. Perhaps make the one hour drive to the nearest coffee shop and sit there. Maybe finishing my book, Cry, the Beloved Country and feeling like I’m really expanding my mommy brain. Something beyond child-training and husband/wife relationships. Which is good in its place, but somehow doesn’t feel very mind-stretching. I want to think outside of my world sometimes.

Not that I have a bad life. No, not at all. I really do love my life. Really.

But as we are all human beings, and as rather young human beings can be rather hard on a bit older human beings (read: children are unnerving mother), let’s just say that today is one of those days.

At the moment, life is quiet. Both girls are in bed for afternoon naps. I am sitting on the couch, still in pajamas (is that part of my problem, that I never truly started my day?), with a delicious broiled sandwich and a murky glass of lemonade. The murkiness is due to a certain 3-year old who was helping me in the kitchen one day during a baking project. And was mixing sugar into the flour container and flour into the sugar container. And as you well know, I’m sure, that sugar and flour are nigh to impossible to separate, I now have flour as well as sugar in my lemonade. Thus the reason for the murkiness.

This morning: not so quiet. The girls are beginning to have “sisterly competition,” to put it mildly. Let’s just say that big sister and little sister aren’t having such good days with each other, which can result in not-so-good days for mother as well. Little sister seems to be the main culprit, and loves to tease big sister to the point of tears. This morning was the occassion of many such tears. And at one point, having had enough, big sister pulled little sister off the couch by her feet, resulting in little sister landing squarely on her head, wailing loudly. Well, I would wail loudly too, if I were her.

I, the ever-wise mother (please read that very sarcastically) promptly rapped big sister on the head so she caught a small taste of what she did to little sister. Which was really a very bad idea, because then they were both wailing at the very same time. Well, I would wail loudly too, if my mother had just rapped me on the head. That was definitely not the love and tenderness of Jesus coming out just then.

And that was just a small glimpse of this morning.

Yesterday morning a bowl of cereal exploded in the kitchen, after someone accidentally dropped the honey bear into it from 2 feet above. I thanked the Lord that Zoe had vehemently requested a PLASTIC cereal bowl that morning, or else we would have shattered glass amongst the milk and granola that had landed up to 8 feet above the floor level, and spread in a 8 foot radius around my previously sparkling kitchen. Oh, and landing in my hair and eyebrows and face.

Oh, and did I mention the someone was not my daughter? No, it was, in fact, myself.

This house is full of imperfect people today.

I’m just so glad my PERFECT husband is coming home in a few hours! And will be home for the weekend!

Dear Husband, I’m so glad you’re the kind of man that I know will always come home to us…

And yet, in the midst of days that seem like “bad days” like this, I’m reminded of how precious life is, the lives of children who can have me so exasperated one moment and laughing the next.

With living across the street from the best children’s park in town,  both of the girls frequently ask to go and play there. Well, Olivia points and jabbers incoherently. But they both love to go.

On Saturday, when I was outside with both of them, Zoe frantically yelled at me, “OLIVIA’S ON THE ROAD!!!” I look over from working in the flower beds not far away to see her completely crossing the street BEFORE MY VERY EYES.

I raced over to her, as fast as my legs in go in a dream-like state, where you want to run so badly but just can’t quite go fast enough, and scooped her up. Holding her tight as I could. Realizing that on our street, with a lot of fast through-traffic, I might not have ever held her again if…. Heart pounding. Mind racing.

I had nightmares all night and weekend about that incident. Waking up and seeing visions of things that didn’t happen, but could have happened. Realizing that on Sunday, instead of having people over for lunch as planned, we could have been planning a funeral. Sounds terribly morbid, I know, but I would wake up with a jerk thinking of what could have happened…

And I’m reminded once again of God’s Sovereignty, and am so thankful that He protected the life of our little girl. He would not have had to, but He did. And I am so grateful…

So today, I’m reminded of how sacred it is to hold them in my arms and rock them, singing lullabyes… Even though some days it feels like all we do is climb walls and write on white pillows with pencils and colored chalk. Today is sacred.

Even so, Dear Husband, I can’t wait until you come home…

~clarita