Sunday, February 28

{ color crave }

On these cold and blustery winter days, I find myself craving lots of fun color.



I love the cheery color of these great handmade wobbly bowls.



Or how about having your coffee in these colorful rustic handbuilt mugs.



While snuggling under this funky vintage lap afghan.



Enjoying this colorful tangerine painting.



Or admiring this lovely little lady of the house.

I really have a thing for dog paintings, and this is one of my favorites.

All of these lovely items can be found on Etsy, just click the link and off you go.

* featuring sellers photos *



Enjoy

*peace & love*

Carrie

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Saturday, February 27

{ flowers for maria }


I Just want to say a huge thanks to Maria, for sharing my blog with her friends.
I'm so excited to have been chosen from the hundreds of entries.

Maria's blog is just beautiful, and I'm so glad to have found her.
If you have found me through Maria's blog, Welcome.

I know Maria is feeling a little under the weather,
so these flowers are for her.

*peace & love*

Carrie


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{ around the nest }

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* peace & love*

Carrie
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Friday, February 26

{ free to Rome }

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Sorry for these near wordless posts. Honestly, I'm feeling a little under the weather,
and haven't had the time or energy to think. The kicker is that I have company coming,
and I have no choice but to clean. Uggh. Yet another reason for such a short post.

When I was getting ready to save this image for posting I found a little face on the column.
Can you find it? I don't think it was there originally, kinda looks like it was left
when some of the column broke away.

These images of Italy are from my personal collection taken a few years back.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

*peace & love*
Carrie

p.s. Are my images too large? Just want to be sure it flows well for all types of monitors.


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Thursday, February 25

{ little red bicycle }

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{ help me! }

It's 12:00am, and I'm still awake.

There's something here with me, I can feel it.

It's pulling, and pulling....

It wants me to know it's there.

It's dark...

I think it's evil.

It's upstairs.

I think it's in the kitchen.

Oh my goodness.

There it goes again, it's calling me.

It's telling me I must partake of what it has to offer.

I, I can't...

No...I'm a good girl.

I really can't.

Why won't it go away?

I wish It would just go away.

It's dark, but it wears a cloak of white to try and fool me.

It's hiding in my kitchen....

waiting for me.

I can hear it....

It tells me that it's good and sweet.

it's scratching at it's box, whispering...

eat me I'm so yummy and delicious.

I'm chocolate, and I have cream cheese icing.

"Be damned you stinking birthday cake,

Leave me....leave me alone I say.

It's midnight,

and I'm good I told you."

OH NOOOOOO!!







It's after midnight,

and I've succumbed

to the evil that is

Black Cow.

h e l p

m e

!


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Monday, February 22

{ snippets of time }

Why do I love vintage so???

Each object be it a toy, a vintage book, or silver tea set,
has had a life all it's own before me.
When I find a well worn piece of furniture, or a hand made quilt,
I imagine the family that piece of furniture watched over,
and the lives that quilt kept warm at night.
New things have no story, they have no history, they have no nostalgia.
When I was young, I loved new things.
More and more as I age, I crave the past, and the history of a well worn and well loved object.













We cannot avoid becoming vintage ourselves,
I just hope I have the opportunity to be well worn and well loved.
I hope others will look back on my time with nostalgia and love,
the same way I look at these lovely snippets of time.

*peace & love*

Carrie
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{ rainy days & mondays }

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down. Karen Carpenter couldn't have come up with more true lyrics. Ugggh. Monday, and raining. What happened to our beautiful sunshine and sixty degree weather. I have to admit, yesterday had me quite excited about spring. It was so nice to be able to get outside and get things done in the yard, which at this point is a complete disaster....oh so ugly.

I am so ready to get my hands in the dirt and plant some lovely bursts of color, but alas, this won't be happening any time soon. I even hear we may have more snow coming at the end of the week. AAAgh. I know, I know, it's still February and I won't be able to start planting until at least the end of April, but a girl can dream can't she.

So, the picture above was chosen to infuse this post with at least a little bit of sunny optimism for the spring that will come...eventually. This photo's main subject is the little orange teapot, which was purchased for my shop, which my family will not let me sell. They all love it so, I guess it brings a much needed touch of bright cheery color into our winter home. So today, I will share it with you, whether you are somewhere where it sunshines all the time {we envy you }, or if you are up to your eyeballs in snow right now {i'm sorry, and I feel your pain}.
Sunshiney thoughts to everyone on my rainy Monday.

*peace & love*

Carrie
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Friday, February 19

{ giveaway goodies }

Woo Hoo, it's Saturday, and I'm off to hit a few yard sales.
Before I go though, I wanted to share with you the goodies that Shannon won from my etsy shops.



First of all this is what she saw when she opened her package...more little packages.




These are the little goodies she received. From LILY & LULU she received a set of three hand crocheted cotton cloths, from THE ARTFUL APPLE she received a set of my blank art cards, and finally from THE VINTAGE WREN she received my very first { vintage bling } ring.
All of the items Shannon received are going to be new to my shops,
so keep an eye out for them, they will be coming soon.




Lots of hugs and kisses to everyone who played along with my first giveaway.

It was a lot of fun, and I look forward to doing other giveaways in the future.

Next time It won't be a surprise, and you'll get to see what you're signing up for.


*peace & love*


Carrie



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{ plate hanging 101 }

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Ta Ta Ta Daaa....Here it is, the finished project.

Step 5 - is to simply measure the back of your plate for hanger placement, and tack your nail in place.

Honestly, this is just really a lot of trial and error, I find that a few tiny holes in the wall behind an object really don't bother me. If it bothers you to have lots of holes, then you should definitely measure twice & nail once.

Another thing, I started out with the invisible plate hangers that you glue to the back of the plates, but after trying one, I figured out that it is very difficult to line up a plate pattern with a small hook when you only get one shot. Sooo, I took them back and traded them for the traditional plate hangers, and my job was so much easier, and much faster....as there is no 24 hour drying period.

So, what do you think? Is it an improvement?

While I was out looking for my plate hangers the other day, I actually ran across a fabric that I really liked for new curtains. This is actually so disgusting, because I used to have beautiful custom silk drapes that puddled on the floor ever so nicely, but that was before we introduced two new kittens into our house...need I say more?

Here is the window wall before, and a shot of the fabric I've picked. I like this fabric, because it has all of my favorite colors in it, and I really want a new sisal rug with a black border, and I think it will tie in nicely.





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stay tuned for more updates. I think it will take my seamstress a couple of weeks to get these made up for me, but I can't wait to get them back and share more pics.

Now I'm off to get everything ready for a sweet 16 (sigh)

Happy Friday!

*peace & love*

Carrie

p.s. Fit Friday update --- I did absolutely nothing this week as far as real exercise goes, but I think I more than made up for it with all of the cleaning and rearranging activities.
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Thursday, February 18

{ makeover madness }

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Oh my dear blog, and blog friends, I have missed you so this week. I have been so incredibly busy trying to make my house a place I want to be. This week has been Makeover Madness week. It's been a long, very cold winter, and as a last ditch effort to do everything I can to avoid demoing my house I'm trying to rearrange and reinvent.

When Papa is away Mama likes to play...decorator that is. Yes, yes, Papa was away on a well deserved snow boarding trip...while I was left home alone with the little wrens. I actually had to get up early this week uggh, and cook breakfast and everything all by myself. Boy did I miss Papa *wink*.

Day 1 - vacation day for Mama
Day 2 - try to get organized ( make a mess ),
Day 3 - reorganize and clean up the mess from Day 2.

I've worked so hard this week, Day 2 and 3, I think I never stopped until I dropped...into bed that is.

Well, I'm happy I did, because I gave every surface in my house a much needed re-vamp. I moved accessories from here to there and back again, until I came up with little vignettes I could be happy with for at least a little while. My main objective, was to try and lighten things up without spending a dime....so I shopped my house. I fluffed, and fluffed, till I couldn't fluff anymore....Whew...I did it.

I wish I had thought to take some before and after shots, but my makeover madness took over, and I just couldn't stop for a photo op. So anyway, I'll share some of the after shots later. Until then though I have a sort of major project called my dining room, pictured above. Don't you just love that color (sarcasm). That color has been driving me crazy for years now, (I chose it at the last minute....bad mama) but I paid a lot of money for that paint job, and It hasn't returned on it's investment yet...so it has to stay. (ugh). So I have to make it work for now. Solution, cover as much of it as possible.....with plates. This isn't really a new concept, it's something I've been wanting to do since day one, I've just recently added to my plate collection, so I feel it's time. 


 Wanna See????

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See my pretty plates. I love them all, and I've been collecting them for several years now. Didn't I mention that I have a thing for plates?

Step 1 - on a flat surface lay out plates until you find a pleasing arrangement.
Step 2 - trace plates onto paper ( craft paper, grocery bags, whatever large paper you have on hand)
Step 3 - now, using your kindergarten skills, cut out plate shapes
Step 4 - following your determined pattern start placing them on the wall with painters tape.

Okay, got that so far? That's as far as I've gotten so far, they are up on the wall, and I've been living with them for a day to be sure I'm happy with the arrangement. Tomorrow I will hang (no not myself....sick huh). If I were a little sick maybe....especially since Papa & I just bought a car today for our oldest wren who's turning 16 tomorrow. Oh my, how the time flies. I just can't believe we're there already.

Ta Ta For Now,

*peace & love*

Carrie

p.s. stay tuned for the final steps of plate hanging 101
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Sunday, February 14

{ giveaway winner }

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Happy Valentines Day. Valentine's isn't something I usually get too excited about, but today, I couldn't wait to find out who the winner of my giveaway would be. After my wren's and I went out for a little Valentine luncheon, I came back and got busy getting my drawing ready. It was so exciting writing all of your names down on those little slips of paper, wondering who would be the lucky one. Many of you were entered twice, and have become followers of my blog and I truly appreciate each and every one of you who participated in my first giveaway, I look forward to hearing from you in the days ahead. Once I had all the names in my little jar, I gave it a good shake and had Papa dig in and pick out the winning name. Da Da Da DAAAA.... and The lucky winner of today's Valentine Giveaway is Miss Shannon.

I would love to share photos with you of what Shannon has won, but remember, this is a Valentine Surprise. Once Shannon has received her gifts, I will share some pics of what this little miss has won from each of my shops.

Again, thanks so much for participating, this was a lot of fun and I see more giveaways in
{the vintage wren's} future. Hugs and kisses to you all.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY.

*peace & love*

Carrie

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Saturday, February 13

{ weekending }

weekending

There's absolutely nothing better than a lazy Saturday. They don't come around often, especially with kids, and all of their activities, but when they do, they are something to be cherished. Is there anything better than a warm cozy fire, a stack of library books, a cup of coffee, and some knitting. I really don't think so.

Lucky me, this has been my Saturday. I got to sleep in this morning thanks to sweet Papa, who is always so good to me. He knows what a cat I am. He's the early bird, so he always takes on morning duty in our house. {how did I get so lucky?}. Did I mention Papa is awesome. These are the days when I feel like a true Queen, hanging out in my chambers like Anne Boleyn {but with a good loving husband}. {speaking of Anne Boleyn, I can't wait for the Tudors new season....anyone else a fan?}

Well, it's dinner time now, so it's off to see what kind of evening we are going to have.

I hope you have had a lovely Saturday also, and a lovely Valentine weekend.
Don't forget you still have time to sign up for my Valentines Giveaway.

*peace & love*

Carrie
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Friday, February 12

{ one piece or two? }

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Okay, so my last post was a little crazy, and totally ridiculous. I was completely on an endorphine high.

I really do just want to be healthy, and I just need a little motivation to stick with some sort of routine. I'm so not into spending tons of time, and I do realize that the pictures in mags are completely photoshopped...I'm a graphic designer, so I've been the one doing the doctoring (guilt). It's absolutely ridiculous the standards we women are held to today.

I would love to go back in time and have Marilyn be the standard again. Look how beautiful she is, full and voluptuous...when the heck did a womanly figure not become sexy? I don't know about you, but a teenage body is impossible to maintain just short of starving and working out like a fiend.
I am just talking about being healthy and fit...I promise.
Thanks for sharing with me what you do to stay fit and healthy, and I promise this is the last time I will speak of Bikini's (gasp)
*peace, love, and lots of valentines goodies*
Carrie
p.s. I just had a little chickadee on my bird feeder. Yea!
pics found here

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Thursday, February 11

{ just workin' on my fitness}

Okay, so who like me has put on a few pounds over the years? I myself, have become very complacent about my body and my fitness. I don't just mean being skinny, I mean being fit. Fit to go on a two mile hike, or an eleven mile hike, fit to run around the yard with the kids without getting out of breath, or going up the stairs two times with a basket full of laundry {out of breath}. I've had it, I'm sick of the belly flab, I'm sick of being comfortable to the point of not really caring anymore. I'm really not that old yet, and if forty and even fifty something stars like Demi Moore, Kelli Rippa, and Madonna can be ripped, so can I ....right?? I really would just be happy to be firm.

For four years I kickboxed religiously five times a week. My motivation? I had just had my son, and I was still in my twenties. I even continued kickboxing through most of my second pregnancy, and was at the gym within a month after my daughters birth. Not only did I take a forty five minute kickboxing class {which I truly did love}, sometimes I took a forty five minute yoga class afterwards, and if I was feeling really crazy I would come back that afternoon to do a thirty minute weight session with my sister in law {the one who convinced me to try kickboxing in the first place}. I was die hard to say the least. I had a great gym, and a great group of girls, some of whom I had gone to high school with, and it was a lot of fun, I looked forward to it. I would be out of breath and sweaty as H..E...double hockey sticks, and I felt great...I was probably more fit then than in all my young years
minus a few volleyball years during high school.

When I graduated high school I weighed 98 pounds {I swore that if I ever broke a hundred I would die}, well I didn't, that was just a silly teenage fantasy. When I became pregnant with my first child I weighed 110 pounds, then I gained about 25 pounds during my first pregnancy. I'm sure I got back down to at least 115 pounds in between my son and my daughter because I was working out like crazy. I went back up to 125 when I was pregnant with my daughter, and after that I think the lowest I ever got was like 113 pounds {mostly muscle} with about 14 percent body fat, which I believe was pretty low. Now, I'm hovering at around 129-131 with a good handful {maybe two} of belly fat, and the fat that lives around your bra line between your arm and your breast (oooh gross...I know), and probably a couple of inches of back fat, and my inner thighs rub together which I hate. Do you still like me? 'Cause I am absolutely letting it all hang out there right now, literally. Am I overweight? Probably not. Obese? Definitely not. Fit? That would be another big NOT. Please don't roll your eyes and say jeesh if you happen to weigh more than me, or if you think I'm just plain silly. I'm not judging anyone else, just myself.I think I look fine, and most days I have a very positive body image...and that's not the main reason for this post. Besides, I'm only like 5 foot 3 1/2 possibly 4 on a good day, so I just can't carry a lot of extra pounds and 5 - 10 (20) shows....really.

I blame it all on Italy, I was pretty okay before a trip to Italy several years back
{I know, poor me...a trip to Italy}. I never said I wasn't a lucky girl, just not a really fit girl.
I literally gained 10 pounds in 10 days. Mmmm lots of gellato {every day}, and like 500 course meals, and of course lots of fabulous wine.

So, who has an awesome place to work out in their very own house and doesn't use it??? Me, me, and that would be me. We have a treadmill {which I swore I would use every day if I could get it}, a bowflex {free with our american express points}, a weight rack {a gift for papa}, not one....but two large workout balls for endless crunches and wall squats, a ten pound ball for various other excercises {more crunches}, and to top it all off, a whole wall of mirrors to make sure you use the correct form {or at least to watch the jiggle while you run}.
Now tell me, what's the problem here?

I'll tell you...

Nothing but.....LAZINESS plain and simple {you don't have to let me off the hook here}.
I admit it, I can be quite lazy, and did I mention that I think I was a bear, or cat in a former life??

I love, love, love to sleep.

Seriously it's not as if I have to get in my car drive 15 minutes, and spend another 45 minutes working out, then another 15 driving home. I can walk down my stairs, spend 30 minutes and if I'm not too lazy I can get a great workout. Do you see my problem here??

I'm actually writing this as my wrists sweat all over my laptop {gross I know}, but I did it, I got off my lazy batukis and got onto my treadmill for a change. I'm so excited I just ran/walked 1.6 miles and burned 300 calories, some of the time I curled 5 pound weights,
then I rounded it out with 25 ball crunches, and 25 pushups.

What in heavens sake has gotten into me??

I'll tell you...I just sat lazily for like 15 - 20 minutes looking at a people magazine passed along by my neighbor, and I saw all the pretty little stars in their bikinis on great vacations with really hot guys. Hence, MOTIVATION. Papa wren is one hot hunk if I do say so myself, and he is VERY good about using "our" home gym, even when he doesn't feel like it he does it {I envy his motivation} but holy moly it shows. He's almost 40, and he's as hot as the day I met him {which was OMG 15 years ago}. Me on the other hand, not even close. To top it all off, we are going to Mexico in the spring. I just don't really want to spend another summer in a cover up under my umbrella....I really want to sport my bikini again. Six pack abs would just be an added bonus,
but I'll be happy with a pinch of belly fat instead of a handful
{or two}....'cause more than a handful is a waste {a big waist} right?!

So anyway, long of the long is that I want to TRY and start having Fridays be "FIT FRIDAYS". So, feel free to share with me something you've done this week to get fit, or at least make yourself feel good. I'm not holding YOU to anything, but I think I'll try and continue to share with you, and you can be my invisible workout partners. If nothing else you can follow to see if I succeed.
{I may even share a before and after photo, if I get really brave.}

Thanks for reading along on this craZy little adrenaline inspired post.

Wishing you a Fantasic "Fit Friday"

*peace & love*
Carrie

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{ thankful thursday }



I just want to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has found my blog and left me such sweet comments. I was very unsure of this whole blog thing in the beginning, but so far I am just loving it. I'm excited to get up every morning and check in to see what nice comments you have left me, and it's so nice to make new friends while still in my jammies. I enjoy reading all of your blogs as well, and am often so inspired by what I read, and the beautiful images you share. It really gives a whole new perspective to a stay at home mom who stares at the same walls 90% of the time. Getting a glimpse into your life and loves really helps me appreciate the small things in my own life. What a blessing this has become for me.

I truly look forward to getting to know each and every one of you better over time, and I really appreciate your kind thoughts and encouragement.

Now, I'm of on the Thrill of the hunt....check back to see if I find any goodies to share in today's adventure in Thriftdom.


*peace & love* Carrie


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Wednesday, February 10

{ temptation }

Oh what a blustery day we are having today. I originally thought I'd get out and do a little thrifting today, but with 50 mile an hour wind gusts, and temps in the teens...I think I'll stay in. The house is clean, and my knitting is calling my name...along with my warm and snuggly bed. I've noticed that since I've started this blog, my sleep schedule is quite out of balance. I have become addicted to my computer, and I can often be found twittering around until very late at night...too late for an old lady like me. I'm losing my beauty sleep, and believe me it shows. So, can I resist the urge to go jump back in between those lovely white flannel sheets for just an hour more?


Come on coffee kick in, my needles need me...





Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

*peace & love* Carrie
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