perhaps someday

Well dear friends and readers before I dash away with Ben, the kids and both of our mothers for a week at Walt Disney World, here is my Valentine banner. I made the paper gloves oh so many years ago as invitations to one of Loopy's famous mother-daughter birthday parties. These were all I had left, and I never knew what to do with them, they lived for so long in my storage of Valentine decorations. Last night we put little eyelets in them and strung them up on some vintage ribbons while the boys went to a movie. We were supposed to be packing. I hate packing, don't you? I worry about having everything that I need while I'm away. I used to be a much lighter traveler, but those days seem to be gone. Now all of my electronics need cords and chargers. I try to pare it down, I really do. It's that last confusion of trying to decide what to wear on the plane to be warm enough on the way there, but cool enough when we arrive. What if it rains? Should I take a jacket? Will the single pair of shoes I want to pack go with all possible outfits? Does it matter? Someday, I'll be a better packer. Perhaps.

I think the gloves need to be holding glittery letters that spell "V-A-L-E-N-T-I-N-E-S" so I might do that when I get back. Or someday. Any other suggestions?

I went to the thrift store this week. I was making a donation and saw these two items. It's ridiculous to go on a purge spree before moving to declutter and pick up two more items when dropping off a truckload. I plan, someday, to paint the frame of this mirror matte white for Sidney's new bedroom... a little shabby-chic French thing going on. She's inspired these days by Pottery Barn Teen.

Someday, when I have the time, and I have so little of it these days - I want to paint the frame of this otherwise... interesting... painting a shabby distressed white, cover the art with cushion, toile and ribbon and make a note board for my new soon-to-be studio! That is another perhaps.

This I know for sure: I will be away for a little more than a week but will have stories to tell when I get back.

converse with me

I can't find conversation hearts this year. At least, I can't find the good Necco ones. I don't like the new-fangled ones that have digital dot-matrix style printing on them, I like the old letterpress printing pictured here. I want to Valentine up my glass jars. Maybe I'll find some of the old fashioned type when I'm in Florida next week. It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without conversation hearts.

if fisher price listed real estate

We spent the weekend packing up Sidney's old Fisher Price dollhouse. I got it for her when she was just a toddler, to lessen the interest in my own little house. We played with it for hours. She has decided to pass it along to her little cousin, Moira. Sidney spent all Saturday afternoon with a jar of Lysol wipes, preparing to send it home with Aunt Kelly when she visits in February.

On Saturday night, Sid and I had "one last play" with the house. It was fun. Actually, we decided to call it our "Glory Days" event. We went to the annual BRIT Cheerleading Competition, back in the day when I coached cheerleading, Sidney was about three years old. I'd made her a little team outfit, she was their special mascot that they hopped around in celebration when they won trophies. Oh, and they won trophies! Seeing all of the cheerleaders on Saturday morning made us nostalgic. So, we set up a picnic in the den, brought out all of the dollhouse parts, watched old videos of the cheerleading teams, ate pizza, teddy graham crackers and ice cream, and talked about our glory days. Is it sad to have glory days when you're only eleven? I don't think so. Someday, the glory days event may become Loopy's glory days...

But it got me to thinking again about dollhouse real estate. If a tiny plastic realtor listed this property, how would they describe it to potential owners? It would go something like this:

AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE POSSESSION: Two-and-a-half story colonial in immaculate condition. Ample square footage, two bedroom, two half baths, relocatable to any zip code. Sunny front porch, excellent location.

Located in a family-friendly neighbourhood, this home has plenty of room for all sorts of plastic children and pets. Close to schools and dirty socks.

The lot features ample parking and a side garden.

The second floor boasts a spacious mother-in-law suite with a two-piece washroom.

The upgraded kitchen features built-in appliances, luxurious wall covering and a plate rail. There is plenty of room for a four-piece dinette set and two highchairs (included). Babies also included (five of them).

A beautiful winding staircase leads to the bedroom, bathroom and loft from the spacious living room. Flooring is fashionable faux-wood grain in the popular decorating shade "pepto pink".

The yard features a pool with built-in barbeque, eating area and slide. Lots of room for children's toys and outdoor furniture.

This property also includes a stable and pony.

A homeowners dream. Pride of ownership evident by many upgrades (extra stickers). Don't let this beauty pass you by!

dangerous gift items?

Pull up a chair close to the computer screen, I have a sad story to tell you.

I ordered some perfume from my friend Amy at Inspire Company as a gift for someone special. When it arrived the other day, I was so excited to open it up and have a look. The postman handed it over and my heart sank a little. The fancy printed tape that Amy seals her parcels with was covered - with bright yellow plastic tape. It could only mean one thing, bad news: Canada/US Customs.

I sliced into the box and had a look. There was an ugly form letter from the border police informing me that I'd ordered "dangerous materials" from abroad and they had confiscated it at the border and.... destroyed it.

Well I dug a little deeper into that packing box and found, lo and behold, the pretty pink box had been opened, Amy's perky polka-dot ribbons untied, and the perfume - gone. No doubt tossed into a garbage can. Or maybe even worn by the wife of a nice border patrol officer, do you think? The letter went on to say that due to terrorism and the risk of sending dangerous and explosive items in the mail, the new policy was to destroy it at the border. There was a 1-800 number for me to call for more information, but the letter explained that I'd better not call to find out where my "explosives" were, they'd already been destroyed.

It healed my broken heart a bit to see that Amy had included a cute little ring for me and my tiny cupcake ballerinas arrived okay, although I am sure they were traumatized by the goings-on at the Canada/US border.

Tell me, readers... many of you know Amy and I both... do we look like troublemakers?

the sharing spirit continues

I marvel at all of the wonderful people I have met through this blog and all of the kindness I have witnessed as I visit my favourite blogspots and share comments and doses of inspiration.

I was the recipient of a random act of kindness. My friend Sherry runs the Dragonfly Suites and Spa (imagine the coincidence - we nicknamed our own house the dragonfly) and after seeing my cowboy Christmas tree, she sent along an especially nice parcel. It contained the cutest vintage Christmas cards...

... aren't they something? They belonged to her mother and I am honoured to have them. I think I'm going to make them into a cute banner for the cowboy tree so people can see them and enjoy them, or maybe string them across my mantle with some checked ribbon!

And guess what else? She sent a tiny cookie sheet - a miniature with a bow on it. If you look closely, you can spot it in with the cards. And below, have a gander at the lovely apron Sherry included. It is the most delightful vintage christmas pattern. It's been well used and loved someone special, you can tell by the little spots on it, and that to me just adds to the charm and the sentimental value of it. It makes me want to go into my kitchen and make mashed potatoes with gravy.

Thank you, Sherry! I love this whole parcel. You were so kind to share these treats with me and I will take good care of them!

it's a white out!

We are in the middle of a blizzard. The whole province is shut down. For the first time in history, school was cancelled due to the weather. Loopy was thrilled, she's never had a "snow day" before. You may find it shocking that in the middle of the Canadian prairie we've never cancelled school, but it's completely true. You see, we Canadians pride ourselves in soldiering on in spite of bad weather. We're like a nation of postal workers (neither rain nor snow nor sleet or night, isn't that how it goes?) and cancelling school seems like giving in.

So Loopy is in the city for the night with Grandma, who was giving her a ride to school and they didn't even get past the driveway after their sleepover. Ben will take a hotel downtown where he spent the afternoon in meetings. Buddy and I are tucked into the house and as you can see, we have zero visibility, we can't see the other side of the street. The golf course at the back of the house is completely white - there was no point in even taking a picture of white. Time to make some tea and put in a movie. I like the new idea of a snow day.

the big tidy up

Did I show you the glass jars I fancied up for Miss Pepper's birthday party? She loves butterflies, so I filled up these old standby jars of mine and off we went. I sent poor Buddy out in the snow to gather nice bare branches and I dusted them with glue and glitter. I planted the branches in a spot of sculpey putty on the base and sprinkled faux snow to cover. The little feather butterflies are from the craft store, hot glued into place. I was getting a little tired of my Christmas displays, so Pepper's birthday was a good excuse for a change in decor. These jars are so versatile. I'm planning already what to load them up with at Valentine's Day... conversation hearts, of course. Red-hots and cinnamon hearts. Chocolate kisses! Any other ideas?

Isn't it funny how, right in the thick of celebrating the holidays with your friends and family, you can't imagine that it would ever be over, you don't want the fun to end, but by the time January rolls around and the kids are back in school, you can't wait to put the decorations away and start over? It's odd... I love the look of a bare room without the tree and the garlands and all that paper on the floor. Plus just getting in that corner with a vacuum cleaner feels so good. Did I ramble about this before? Anyway, nothing beats a little mid-winter clean up and maybe some moving of furniture and clearing out some cabinets to make way for your new, shiny gifts!

Speaking of which, I have also begun the tedious task of preparing to move. I've cleared out a bunch of "junk" for donation and actually boxed up quite a bit of stuff. Piles have been made and inventory taken. I have to pick up some things for the new house. Today I was admiring the new curtains I got at the fanciest store in town. They are chocolate brown velvet brocade. They're so heavy, I can't believe it. Our carpet also has a brocade pattern in it. I'm trying to accomplish "Victorian refurbish with a modern twist". I have lots of plans to execute before I break my renovation budget so I have to make my allowance go a very long way. I got a very good deal on solid oak hardwood flooring at $3.39 per square foot.

Loopy has been busy too, making jewelry from this new book she got for Christmas. Clara is wearing it right now, but I wore it for most of Pepper's party! I'm sure there will be some more paper clips flying around here in the next little while. Fine jewelry never goes out of fashion...

the fan was busy before christmas

Just take a look at what my Mom, "The Fan" was up to for Christmas. She really went all-out Martha on me this year. This Santa figure is popped under a bell glass that she landscaped with faux snow (the sparkly stuff you mix with water) and real holly branches. Even now, two weeks later, the holly is fresh and soft. It's like a little microclimate under there.

Then The Fan went through the family archives and found all the bits snips of my childhood... my baby shoe, Topo Gigo, small photos, buttons, my Avon holiday pins, baby bracelet, toys, vintage brooches... and scrapbooked them into two vintage jars she found at the antique mart. How cute are they?

And for my miniature collection, to go in my little house, she brought me this!

In fact, I'd admired these at our local miniature supply store back in the spring. The ironing board was my inspiration for the Club Little House swap. Now I can call this beautiful set my very own.

peppers big day

Things have been very, very busy. The New Year came and went, we were all under the weather. Yesterday, we celebrated Pepper's milestone birthday. I promised her not to show specific photos (but not all photos, Pepper Dear) and here she is, getting her surprise! We pulled it off. It was an elaborate ruse.

I made Pepper a beautiful birthday tiara, decorated with rhinestones and tiny teacups and kittens, babies (she works in the nursery with the newborns, it's the perfect job for her) and tiny martini glasses and birthday cakes. We had Mexican food and her Uncle Scott mixed margaritas. I think she had a wonderful time and we all hope so, we want her to know how special she is to all of us!

The days ahead will be busy. You won't believe what The Fan crafted up for Christmas!