isn't she lovely?

Kelly sent me a sweet photo of the delightful Miss Moira, wearing her birthday bon-bonnet that I ordered from Amy. It was wrapped beautifully and do you see how darling it is? I can't believe it has been a whole year since we laid eyes upon her at her Aunt Terri's wedding.

Today I accomplished so much. I set up the cowboy/western themed Christmas tree in the great room. I set up a tree at the top of the hallway and the garland down the staircase and wrapped it all in hundreds of red lights.

Then, even though some may say I have too many of these, I went shopping for another. Upon inspection, the lining from the black pea coat was all shredded apart. Too bad, because it gave me about six years of wear but it was time to move on. Since we are leaving for Chicago and Phoenix for the next two weeks, I realized I have a huge packing dilemma. Obviously the only way to remedy such a dilemma before going on what is basically a shopping trip is to go shopping. I needed a lighter weight but still warm winter coat, not too sporty and still nice enough to wear out at night if we go to a nice restaurant. It had to be enough of a coat to keep me warm while walking around Chicago in the daytime, stylish for the evening and not too much of a coat if it got chilly in the evening in Phoenix. Well my friends, I found the perfect coat. It is a medium-length checked wool sort of number with a retro-style collar and big leather buttons. My brother, who gamely went on this hunt with me, announced it very "Mary Tyler Moore" so of course, I twirled around, threw my hat in the air and said "I'll take it!". It required new boots and a bag too but only because my other standbys were terribly worn out, so I can certainly justfiy.... or try!

Tomorrow I have to pack for all possible weather conditions but still leave plenty of room for purchasing Christmas gifts, fill the house with groceries for my mother "the Fan" who is kind enough to stay here with the kids while we are gone, do a zillion errands, sent Christmas parcels in case it's too late when we get home, finish laundry, and so on... wish me luck! I'm very excited about this trip but I don't think being away for twelve days at this busy time of year is very wise at all... what about the baking?

howdy bloggeroos!

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. I was busy crafting away... getting ready for this years' Christmas theme... Country'n Western! This will just be as cute as a basket of puppies.
I decided to make this theme tree again... I did it about six years ago for the Festival of Trees. As usual, I made too many ornaments for the tree that year, so I still have some to use at home. I'll show you those another day. In the meantime, I made these little signs for my cowboy tree. They were very simple, I used scrap lumber from my Dad's workshop... the bullet holes are drilled in! The snow is really dripped hot glue, hardened and painted with white paint and rolled in glitter...
I like it that the signs say things about our friends and family. Can you guess what the jokes might mean?
Buddy helped me with the drillin' and blow torchin'. Miss Loopy assisted with the paintin' and the glitterin'. These'll fancy up our dang tree no problem!
I hope to dig out the rest of the ornaments and get them touched up a bit before I set up the tree. I found fake barb wire at WalMart after Halloween so I'll wrap it around the tree also.
I think my family might be getting a little tired of the theme trees. Does anyone else decorate a theme tree? I enjoy it waaaay too much. It's a year-round illness for me, planning the theme for the Christmas trees... with gift wrapping to match!

so much to be thankful for

Two of our friends have had new baby girls! The air smells like baby powder and the world seems all pink and happy. Last night Shawn and Andrea brought their new baby, Cadence, over to meet us. It was her first outing as she and her mommy just got out of hospital the day before. She visited her grandma and then came to see us. She was so sweet and cute! Buddy held her for a very long time, he just stared and stared at her... it was cute to see a big teenage boy melting over a tiny thing like that! He was just amazed, and I suppose it was the first baby he'd ever held, besides his sister. It went very well until she spit up on him a tiny bit! At less than a week old, she opened her eyes for a minute and smiled (a little gas smile, but a smile anyway) and he was thrilled.

I put together the gifts for both new babies that we know. I wrapped up a little Beatrix Potter cozy knit outfit along with a copy of the Swirlybirds for each baby. I put a Pluffie Ty duck into each parcel and nipped Amy's idea of wrapping the whole thing with tulle. It really did look soft and sweet.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American blogging friends. Enjoy the day visiting your family, watching football and eating all of those sweet potatoes! Our Thanksgiving was weeks ago... this time of year means Christmas is on the way so I'm working away on new ornaments for my theme trees. Hopefully I'll have some things to share with you soon. How will you spend Thanksgiving?

guess who I am?

My sweetie friend Pepper sent this quiz to me via e-mail. Usually I don't buy into these things but when I found out that she was a "Grace Kelly", and well, that made so much sense to me, I just had to try it... why don't you give it a whirl? I know one blogger friend I have out there that is sure to be a Doris Day!

Which Movie Star Are You? Ever wonder which movie star you are most like? Well, a team of researchers got together and analyzed the personalities of movie stars. The gathered info has been incorporated into this quiz. There's only 10 questions so it doesn't take long. Number your paper from 1 to 10, then answer each question with the choice that most describes you at this point in your life, and then add up the points that correspond with your answers.

1. Which describes your perfect date?
a) Candlelight dinner for two
b) Amusement Park
c) Rollerblading in the park
d) Rock Concert
e) Have dinner & see a movie
f) Dinner at home with a loved one

2. What is your favorite type of music?
a) Rock and Roll
b) Alternative
c) Soft Rock
d) Classical
e) Christian
f) Jazz

3. What is your favorite type of movie?
a) Comedy
b) Horror
c) Musical
d) Romance
e) Documentary
f) Mystery

4. Which of the following jobs would you choose if you were given only these choices?
a) Waiter/Waitress
b) Sports Player
c) Teacher
d) Policeman
e) Bartender
f) Business person

5. Which would you rather do if you had an hour to waste?
a) Work out
b) Make out
c) Watch TV
d) Listen to the radio
e) Sleep
f) Read

6. Of the following colors, which do you like best?
a) Yellow
b) White
c) Sky blue
d) Teal
e) Gold
f) Red

7. Which one of the following would you like to eat right now?
a) Ice cream
b) Pizza
c) Sushi
d) Pasta
e) Salad
f) Lobster Tail

8. Which is your favorite holiday?
a) Halloween
b) Christmas
c) New Year's
d) Valentine's Day
e) Thanksgiving
f) Fourth of July

9. If you could go to any of the following places, which would it be?
a) Reno
b) Spain
c) Las Vegas
d) Hawaii
e) Hollywood
f) British Columbia

10. Of the following, who would you rather spend time with?
a) Someone who is smart
b) Someone with good looks
c) Someone who is a party animal
d) Someone who has fun all the time
e) Someone who is very emotional
f) Someone who is fun to be with

Now total up your points on each question:

1. a-4 b-2 c-5 d-1 e-3 f-6
2. a-2 b-1 c-4 d-5 e-3 f-6
3. a-2 b-1 c-3 d-4 e-5 f-6
4. a-4 b-5 c-3 d-2 e-1 f-6
5. a-5 b-4 c-2 d-1 e-3 f-6
6. a-1 b-5 c-3 d-2 e-4 f-6
7. a-3 b-2 c-1 d-4 e-5 f-6
8. a-1 b-3 c-2 d-4 e-5 f-6
9. a-4 b-5 c-1 d-4 e-3 f-6
10. a-5 b-2 c-1 d-3 e-4 f-6

NOW, take your total and find out which Movie Star you are:

10-17 points) You are MADONNA: are wild and crazy and you know it. You know how to have fun, but you may take it to extremes. You know what you are doing though, and are much in control of your own life. People don't always see things your way, but that doesn't mean that you should do away with your beliefs. Try to remember that your wild spirit can lead to hurting yourself and others.

18-26 points) You are DORIS DAY: You are fun, friendly, and popular! You are a real crowd pleaser. You have probably been out on the town your share of times, yet you come home with the values that your mother taught you. Marriage and children are very important to you, but only after you have fun. Don't let the people you please influence you to stray.

27-34 points) You are DEBBIE REYNOLDS: You are cute, and everyone loves you. You are a best friend that no one takes the chance of losing. You never hurt feelings and seldom have your own feelings hurt. Life is a breeze. You are witty, and calm most of the time. Just keep clear of back stabbers, and you are worry-free.

35-42 points) You are GRACE KELLY: You are a lover. Romance, flowers, and wine are all you need to enjoy yourself. You areserious about all commitments and are a family person. You call your Mom every Sunday, and never forget a Birthday. Don't let your passion for romance get confused with the real thing.

43-50 points) You are KATHERINE HEPBURN: You are smart, a real thinker. Every situation is approached with a plan. You are very healthy in mind and body. You don't take crap from anyone. You have only a couple of individuals that you consider "real friends". You teach strong family values. Keep your feet planted in them, but don't overlook a bad situation when it does happen.

51-60 points) You are ELIZABETH TAYLOR: Everyone is in awe of you. You know what you want and how to get it. You have more friends than you know what to do with. Your word is your bond. Everyone knows when you say something it is money in the bank. You attract the opposite sex. Your intelligence overwhelms most. Your memory is the next thing to photographic. Everyone admires you because you are so considerate and lovable. You know how to enjoy life and treat people right.

dove real beauty workshop

Here is my update on the workshop: it was the perfect length, just two hours. The first hour was a large session listening to a very good speaker about self-esteem. It was very well-attended, there were over 100 girls there with their mothers, aunts, teachers and mentors.

The second half of the session was interesting - the girls were taken into another room to do a "self-esteem craft" and the mother/mentors had a group discussion about the peer pressures facing our daughters. It was VERY insightful. And the whole time, I didn't feel like I was being sold Dove product, so I would recommend attending a Dove Real Beauty Workshop with your daugther if it visits your area!


Buddy and I were the victims of a little fender bender today. I was dropping him off at school after lunch and we were rear-ended while sitting in the unloading zone. He was getting out to write an exam. We are fine, but we were a little flustered as we were hit quite hard - and after a few moments of shock, we realized that our air bags hadn't even gone off... they should have, right? He still went inside to write his exam.

We had a little birthday cake party for my mother "The Fan". I made a chocolate brownie cheesecake. If you ever need to make a special cheesecake, make a recipe of your favourite brownies in a springform pan. Bake it about two-thirds ready and top with the cheesecake mixture, return to oven and bake as you would a normal cheesecake... get it? If you want me to make a better explanation or post the actual recipe, let me know. Have a nice weekend.

mother knows best

Happy Birthday to my Mom and the very best friend a gal could have! In honour of this occasion, I have written (as I do just for her) a special haiku:

Oh how I tease you so much
a mother so good
come for cake and saucy-tini!

I couldn't have asked for a better mother. And get this: when I jazzed up this photo, her face needed not one bit of retouching! Please Lord, let it be in the genes.

As she is right about almost everything, my house did look bare in the photos, devoid of all personality... I should perhaps not have put away all of my junque, but that is what you do to sell a house I suppose. Have a great day... Happy Birthday Mommy!

drumroll please....

Ask and ye shall receive! Here is the link to view our home:

This whole website is very interesting. There are aerial views, maps and directions. It is filled with valuable information for home buyers. The little map with the arrow that indicated the house location is inaccurate, but I think that's a glitch in Google Earth with the funny rural addresses out here!

Have a nice visit. Welcome to my home. May I offer you something to drink?

still for sale... sort of...

Do you remember me mentioning a few posts back that our house was sold? Well, it still is - basically. There is so much I don't know about how real estate works. Since the buyers have a condition on the sale (they need time to sell their house in Vancouver) we are allowed to keep showing it until the conditions are removed. That means, if someone else comes along and also wants the house, we have to give the first buyers 48 hours to "remove conditions." It almost doesn't seem fair to me, but I guess it's best for us as the sellers.

Anyway... where am I going with this? Well, our realtor decided to show our home on a virtual tour website. The photographer came today and took digital shots from every angle. I'm kind of excited to see how it turns out.

I was wondering... does anybody want to see? I'm not really sure if that's polite. I like to think when my friends visit this blog they visit me at my little cyberspace home and I've got it all decorated up and I like to make people feel comfortable, so as far as that goes, I think it's okay to ask you to look at my house photos. Some of our family members who live out of province haven't had a chance to see the house in person, so if they check the blog, they can have a virtual tour before we move on and start over again.

All of the bloggers post their crafts and decorating - this house has been my giant crafting project for two years! I designed the whole thing. I designed the special cabinets and helped make the ceramic tile with a potter friend. My Dad made beautiful things to put in the house and we have his and my artwork on the walls.

So I am asking you to let me know if you think it is appropriate to put the link to the photos on my blog for all of you to come for a visit. I don't want anybody to think I'm being show-offie, I just want to know if it would be of interest....

club little house treasures

Look what arrived in my mailbox on Friday. Club Little House treasures! Oh, how I have waited for that fancy box to arrive from Amy. Even her brown cardboard wrapping was prettied up with her Inspire Company tape. I could hardly bring myself to cut into it! Here is a peek of all the goodies inside:

June sent this fabulous Princess and the Pea bed and mattress set! It was all wrapped in cello with pretty princess ribbon. It is one of the cleverest minis I have ever seen. There is even a special bedspread for that tall bed.

Corrine from Connecticut made the very adorable art easel and palatte. So suitable for an artist to provide for the Club Little House swap! I sent everyone the Hermes bag... I hope they enjoyed it!
The time of year inspired several Halloween littles. Melissa (aka crazycatladymel) really loves Halloween - she sent the crystal ball, candlestick, books and bowl of treats above. She included tiny holiday books and cards too! She also sent other goodies to decorate the dollhouses: tiny crepe paper streamers and cobwebs!

Jackie must be quite a seamstress. This Halloween quilt is so detailed! The pumpkins are appliqued on the front and the back is toile. I wish it was real-life scale, actually. She made a pumpkin and a vintage card garland and my dollhouse will look as festive as my real house every autumn from now on.

Lauren and her daughter Alexandria are a very crafty pair, both participating in CLH! Lauren sent even more Halloween decorations as you can never have enough of them. A tiny broom, a witches' hat, bright candy in a bowl and two pumpkins - all wonderfully sculpted - and the highlight of this gift, all tucked into a decorated Chinese food container, was a little wreath of autumn flowers for the front door. Alexandria made a petite dejeuner (a little brunch perhaps?) so complete with butter for the croissants and a bouquet of sunflowers to enjoy with fresh milk on a checked picnic blanket. A little touch of the south of France for the dollhouse is utterly mignon!

Loopy enjoyed the bassinette and baby from Sharolyn the best. It is perfect, since our dollhouse has a nursery. It reminds me of Loopy herself, she was so tiny when she arrived. When we opened it from its delightful lacy packaging, we both went "ooooh"....

Another goodie for the nursery? What about the lovely castle wallhanging from Chloe? She is quite the artist. It is on canvas and there is so much detail in it. Very, very girly. Amy included a little treat too, just another example of her good and generous nature as she organized the swap. Isn't the little paperback book she sent adorable? A little naughty for the little nightstand.

Jess made this tiny bed... it is shabby chic for sure! The fabric pattern is so tiny and the blanket is backed with chenille. The bed itself is distressed and cozy looking.

Melissa sent this pie safe - pink with pressed tin inlays in the door! The tedious effort that must have gone into poking all of those tiny holes but it was well worth it. It will look fantastic in the kitchen of my little house.

I am so pleased with the Club Little House parcel! The swap was fun - unwrapping everything made me feel very early Christmas! Thank you to everyone... very, very much.

check out these little goblin darlins!

Did I show you the wonderful treat that came all the way from Windsor, Ontario from my sweet cousin Kelly and her nifty friend Gina? They made these sweet Halloween stuffy darlings for Loopy and I. They have ragtag eyes and are ribboned up for the holiday. We squealed with delight when we opened them. We are keeping them out even though Halloween is over. They are too cute and made with too much love to put away until next year!

Gina is one of those gals who can do just about anything she puts her mind to - flower arranging, party throwing - she and Kelly are always up to something, those two! Family events are always more of a celebration when they are at the helm. Kelly can cook and cook and cook but spends so much of her time making us laugh or chasing Jack and Moira around! She loves to plan a party just as much as I do. We've spent some late nights decorating cakes and drinking plenty of Tim Horton's coffee. It's the way crafty girls bond.

Even the sweet little hinies of these characters have a rag stitch bow and a heart charm of love.

I told Ben what I wanted for Christmas - could he arrange to bring Kelly here for a visit sometime in January? He said yes, of course, and that was that! Kelly! Are you coming? I have so many places to take you. We can plan it all when we see each other in Chicago in three weeks.

Time to put away the Halloween wreath. We had only two trick-or-treaters and they were adults. I made this wreath for myself last year and one like it for Kelly and also for Pepper.

And now time for these little creatures to trapse through our yard at the golf course. It's like living in the wild with hungry critters in the winter and frustrated golfers in the summer. This porcupine waddled through the yard at quite a pace the other day. Sidney named him "Ereth" after a porcupine character in one of her favourite novels. When I chased him down to get a photo, I noticed so many deer tracks on the undeveloped lot next door.

Andrew and I went to see Marie Antoinette. It was fantastic. It was everything I'd hoped it would be and I can't wait to see it again and own the DVD. I'm reading the book it was based on, The Journey by Antonia Fraser now. Read any good books lately?

my little brush with fame

Even though October has been and gone, I did want to share this little delight with you: My friend Mo Jackson used my little face that she lifted from one of the layouts I created using her delightful doo dads. This is the title page of her members-only website that she changes seasonally.

When I opened the site (as I do almost daily) over a month ago and saw my smiling mug plopped onto the body of that oh-so-vintage halloween witch card, I was so thrilled I could barely let out my squeals of delight! I felt very celebrity, almost Nicole Kidmanesque, although not nearly as famous or glamourous, but surely I secretly relished in the attention. And this way, I never had to be married to Tom Cruise or hang out with Russell Crowe.

Referring to my last post, the other honored guest on Mo's page this month was her BFF and dear cousin Jo, Queen of the Airstream trailer and plastic flamingos, my Loopy's hero. I've never worn a tube top, but Loopy has marked Jo's National Tube Top Day in next year's day planner, so I have almost twelve months to find a couple of nice matching ones for us to wear, preferably with sequins I have been informed.

I wanted to share this little excitement in my life before Mo changes it for Christmas, which should be any day now, and it will be spectacular I'm sure. My fifteen minutes are almost up!