:: new life, new beginnings

This is the first bloom on my fall blooming Camellia's,
I chose this variety because I love the beauty of white blooms.
White to me symbolizes peace, innocence & new beginnings

Therefore, this image is quite appropriate to me
for the first day of 40 DAYS FOR LIFE 2011.

My first time standing across the street from an abortion clinic....
I have to admit I was a little scared & intimidated...I had no idea what to expect.
I was afraid of any negative reactions I might get, and what if someone angry approached me.
However, the outpouring of support by passers by was so positive that it gave me the courage to 
come back and do it as often as I could. I could feel the holy spirit, 
& I knew I was doing something good. 
I was so happy to be able to stand up
and pray for those innocent little ones in the womb,
and for the parents who are making life altering decisions.

I knew that somewhere somehow my prayers and presence would make a difference.

If we don't stand for something we'll fall for anything...right?

Today was no different than my first time....
we received peace signs, thumbs ups, smiles and waves.
We held up our signs and prayed. I know in my heart that somewhere 
those prayers changed a mind today...whether it made someone think...Hey,
 I could or should do that, or maybe gave them pause before making a huge decision.
I don't have to know what the change is, I believe in the power of prayer and the right to life.

I know that there are many views on this issue for and against,
I'm not trying to make you share mine....I just want you to know that
if you are like me that there is something you can do. I'm sure that right now there
is a 40 DAYS FOR LIFE prayer vigil going on in your city, and I'm sure they would love to have you.

I never thought this would be something I could do, &
now I only think how could I not.

{peace, love & hugs}
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:: like me

Hello everyone, how are you?

No comments on my pictures yesterday, 
so I'll assume you don't have much to say about spiders ; ).

Just thought I'd let you all know that I now have a facebook page.
I would love to have you like me, {please, please, say you will} or be my friend...
if you are at all interested in keeping up with my nonsensical randomness.

Just another way for me to connect with you all.

I really would like to get to know you...my readers.

My stats tell me you are there, but I seldom hear from you....

are you really there????

Anyway, I know I'm silly....
I spent yesterday working on my little facebook avatar,
and I think he's such a cute little fella that I thought I would share him.

I have a giveaway coming up very soon,
but first I get an opportunity to preview the product I will be sharing with you...

so stay tuned for that.

Thanks for popping in : )

{peace, love & hugs}

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:: creepy crawly - neoscana crucifera

It seems as though my home is going to decorate itself
for the upcoming Spooky Holiday.

How would you like to walk out your door into this???

Ummm yeah, 
it wasn't very fun this morning,
talk about the heebie jeebies.
I screamed...danced around, 
then had the hubs check me for the webs inhabitants.

OOOh yuck.

Granted my home is quite spider friendly,
we usually gently help them find their way back outside,
or we just leave them be...especially the cute little jumping spiders...

Did you know that they will hunt for other insects {roaches...ick}
and eat them and their larvae, they are good to have around.

So we just leave them be.

I just couldn't resist getting up close and personal
with this gal this morning.
Enter stool, and macro lens.

I obviously didn't destroy her web with my head...lol.

Isn't she cute...{just kidding}

really creepy.

I'll give it some love though,
after all it is one of God's creations.

A little research discovered that my little friend is indeed a female,
as during the fall season the females become diurnal,
which would explain why her web was waiting for me this morning.
Ordinarily they would have packed up shop by daylight.

Pretty cool huh.

Are you spending any time decorating for the season?

Or are you like me and letting nature do it's thing?

For now anyways.

{peace, love & hugs}

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:: best of Etsy...knits

It's that time of year again for my favorite winter sport....K N I T T I N G.
Time to start breaking out the crochet hooks & knitting needles.
So here's a little knitty inspiration to motivate {me} and hopefully you.
For those of you who aren't into the yarn arts, but love them all the same
this goodness is for you too....minus the tired hands & carpal tunnel.

First up....

is the lovely long cable cardigan with buttons by Jessie.
Jessie has been creating and selling her own knitwear designs since 2007.
Jessie lives in Redmond, Washington with her husband Tom & her kitty Fallon.
Go have a look at more great knits in her etsy shop, isn't her banner so cute { love owls } 

Second up...

is the wonderfully colored and textured Medusa Infinity Scarf 
made by the lovely Dana Valente at Nina Ramone {named after her fur baby}.
Dana is a self taught knitter who cannot read knit or crochet patterns.
{I'd say she's doing pretty darn good on her own wouldn't you}
She's a knitter/crocheter by day and a roller derby diva by night...
her moniker.....Dresta Kill.....don't you just love it.
To take a peek at more of her great work, just click on her banner below.

Third up...

is the beautiful basket weave Painted Desert Wrap by Leah
of Hey Freddie on Etsy. Leah hails from Columbus Ohio.
Her favorite knitting materials are wool, alpaca & mohair.
I love Leah's work, and I'm sure you will too.
Visit her at her etsy shop below.

 Fourth up...

The stunning Linen and Lace Halter Top by Efia 
of Efia Fair. Efia is a very talented girl, she loves to draw, sew, paint,
dance, photograph, knit and crochet, and she is also an actress.
I love Efia's romantic style, and I'm sure you will too.
Go have a peek at more of her fabulous knits below...

Fifth up...

Is this adorable Lollipop Prom Dress by Nihan
at Nihan Altuntas. Nihan lives in Istanbul and her work is a mix of modern and 
Anatolian culture. Nihan has been crafting since she was old enough to pick up a crayon.
All of Nihan's pieces are available for customization according to client taste,
{ that just makes her lovely work even better} so go have a peek below.

Last but not least by any means... 

Is the Giant Pouf by Cara of  Mary Marie Knits,
her shop is named for her Grandmother who passed on to her a tradition 
of being creative and thrifty {love that}. Cara is a writer by trade, 
but she has a passion for knitting and creating goods for the home.
I don't know about you, but I need one of these knit poufs, they are just too fun.
So go on have a peek at more of her creative & useful knits...just click below.

So, what do you think of my Best of Etsy...Knits roundup?

What's your favorite?

Aren't these ladies super talented?

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend where you are,
it's rainy and gloomy here again....perfect weather for knitting.

Off I Go.

{peace, love & hugs}
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:: newspaper logs

Happy Friday Everyone...
I can't believe the weekend is already here...
but I'm oh so glad.

It's another rainy & gloomy day here today,
I guess I should start getting used to this...it is that time of year after all.
The rain just makes it a perfect day to catch up on chores, and just laze around a little.
I've been spending this morning searching the web for some interesting things,
and I'm excited to share them with you very soon.

Today though I thought I would share with you what I do with my newspapers.
Formerly my newspapers {which we receive every day for Papa Wren},
would accumulate in a chair in our kitchen until recycling day rolled around.

I became very tired of looking at this messy stack of newspapers all week,
and decided to come up with a solution for this ever growing stack of paper.
Now mind you, I didn't cancel the paper on Papa {which would be ideal}
Instead I decided on a different way to organize them and reuse them.

I decided to start rolling them up & tying them with twine to make newspaper logs.
This creates a neater look for the papers while they are in a holding pattern,
 and I actually spare them from recycling by sharing them with my parents 
who will be using them to start their wood burning stove very soon.
I also keep a few for myself for starting fires in our fire pit outdoors.

I found a basket I had sitting around and decided to use this to coral the paper logs.
I keep the twine and a little pair of scissors inside the basket, and each day
when Papa leaves for work, I roll up the paper, tie it with a piece of twine and add it to the rest.
No more pile of papers sliding out of the chair, and I actually don't mind looking at this.
As simple as it is, I think it looks kinda cool...I guess I could also hide it away,
but somehow this has become the newspaper chair...isn't it funny how those things happen.
If I ever do get tired of it I can simply move it into the pantry or out into the garage...easy peasy.

So, what do you think?
Is it still an eyesore?
Would you hide it or try it?

Hope you have a wonderful DRY weekend ; )

{peace, love & hugs}

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:: healthy snack

Well hello there, I haven't seen you in a while. 
Hello....h.e.l.l.OOO...Are you still there?

I have been so super busy running around all over the place
that I haven't been able to touch my computer the past few days.
I've really missed visiting with you guys.

 I was however able to clean out my pantry so that it looks like this again.
I also cleaned out my fridge & my freezer, it's so good to have these things done...
 what a huge difference it makes to open a cleaned out fridge, freezer and pantry.
It sure makes shopping and meal planning is so much easier.

Yesterday was my first semi break,
and I spent it cooking & baking for my family.
First I started a big ol' pot of homemade vegetable soup.
It was the perfect day for it really....all rainy and kinda gloomy.
Today is the same way, and I can't wait to have a warm steamy bowl later.

I also decided to try a new recipe for a healthy cookie for the little wrens....
 I found the recipe below on my Calorie Counter by FatSecret app. for my I pod.
I really love this app. it is a great tool for keeping a healthy weight, or
trying to lose weight as is my case right now.

This is the photo of my finished cookies...
not too pretty huh.

Funny thing...
as I was typing up the recipe for you,
I realized that I left a key ingredient out when I made them...
OOOps....I forgot to add the margarine...
no wonder they look so ugly.

Even without the margarine the family approved, 
so I will be making this recipe again...
with all of the ingredients this time { how funny is that }.
Next time I may add some almonds & chocolate chips to up the Yum.

Keep in mind if you make these that they are very low in sugar,
so these aren't your go to high calorie make your knees weak cookie.
That said, they are quite tasty, and even more so knowing that they are somewhat healthy.

Sorry for the not so great photos, it was gloooomy here....not great for photo taking.

Hope you are having a wonderful week : )

{peace, love & hugs}
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:: kitty kozi

Look at this cute & comfy kitty....looks just like my Cheeto.

I've been scouring the web, looking for free patterns to knit or crochet a bed for my cats.
This one is by far my favorite of the ones I found, so I thought I would share it with you also.
This pattern was created by Wendy of wendy knits...adventures with sticks & string.

These photos are of her readers kitties enjoying the beds their owners knit using Wendy's pattern.
Aren't they all just precious. I think my kitties will love these beds too, so I'm adding this to my knit list.

One of the main reasons I need a bed like this is to give my cat Fifi
a place to lounge besides all over every piece of my front porch furniture.
It's so covered with Fifi fur that I can't even go out and enjoy it.
I hope it will work, because now that the weather is starting to cool
I'm really looking forward to doing more relaxing there.

Anyhoo, now you know why I need to make one of these beds.
Maybe you too need a cute and comfy bed for your little furry friend.
What if you don't knit, or crochet, but still want one of these adorable beds.

Well, for you there is a shop on etsy called  Modern Cat
and they sell this lovely crocheted cat bed below....just click on the image
and you are ready to provide your sweet furkin a new sleep experience.

So there you have it....this is what is on my mind today.
Now I just have to find the time to sit down and get started.
Hopefully soon, since knitting weather is definitely on it's way

Are you a knitter or crocheter?

Are you making a list for your winter knitting?

I just love this time of year.

Wish me luck.

{peace, love & hugs}

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:: a library table & etagere

Hello sweet friends. I've been missing for several days now, I've been very busy working.
Well, I always work...but right now I'm actually working for someone else for a change.

Now that everyone's back in school, and our schedules are becoming routine I am
back at work decorating my friends home...so lots of shopping has been on the agenda this week.
Don't get me wrong, I love shopping....but do you ever have those days when you find n..o..t..h..i..n..g.
Very frustrating, especially when you are trying to get a job done...
of course I know that soon I will hit the mother load,
that's just how it seems to go....for me anyway.

Actually today has been a very productive day, and I feel like I'm making some headway. Yay.
I've been hanging curtains & art, and of course more shopping.
I can't wait to be able to share some pictures of her spaces with you.

For today though, you have to settle for a shot of my house.
Above is the view into my living room from the foyer.
Sorry the shots not so clear, I have a really hard time photographing my spaces.

Anyhoo, this is my library table in the foreground. 
I love library tables....and books....oh my, I can never get enough.
Books make me feel happy and surrounded by coziness,
I use them as decoration all over my house.
Here I have books & magazines all stacked on this round table.

I love this table, it serves multiple purposes....right now it's a library table.
During holidays it's set for more dining as it is directly adjacent to the dining room.
The best part of all though is that it's Libby's house...her ugly wire kennel fits perfectly below.
This makes me very happy because I hate when things feel out of place & that thing is definitely that.

I splurged a little while back and purchased the burlap fringed tablecloth from Ballard.
That's definitely the most expensive tablecloth I've ever owned....but soooo worth it I love it.
I loved it for a very long time before I finally took the plunge and committed to it.
The table underneath is just a pop up I purchased from an office supply store online.
The tables at Ballard were a little too expensive for me, and this one was just right...
now I just need to invest in the glass top to finish it off.

The etagere on the wall came from a favorite furniture store that has since gone out of business : (.
I really like the details on this piece, and the fact that I have someplace to display things.
The artwork flanking either side is my own photography from a trip to London, England...
it doesn't get any less expensive than straight from my printer into ready made frames.
Below the artwork is an old pair of violin back chairs found at Goodwill for like eight bucks,
someday I'll get around to painting them and recovering them but I'm ok with them now,
they are perfect for pulling up as occasional seating when we have larger groups.

Well, there you have it another little snapshot of my home.
Sorry for all of the babble, you may not even care about my awesome tablecloth ; ).
I really do love it, and that's the most important thing of all about things....you must love them.

Hope you all are having a wonderful week so far.

Now I have to go and spend some time with my awesome 12 year old...

Take Care
{peace, love & hugs}

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:: back door herb garden

Hi, I want to share my back door herb garden with you before the season ends.  I meant to share when I made it and all the plants were cute & small...but time & the plants have gotten away from me so better late than never.

I had an idea to use different sized galvanized containers to create a tiered herb garden. I have the perfect corner for it right at the backdoor leading to the deck from the kitchen. All I had to do was go to my local Tractor supply to pick up a few extra buckets, I already had the largest tub that held my Christmas tree this past Christmas.  I'll have to get a new one since I punched holes in this one for drainage. You can't see the middle bucket in the picture above, but I promise it is there, as well as the small pail on top.

Here it is a little earlier in the season...

One day while my sister was visiting she helped me with this little afternoon project.  Using a large nail & hammer we simply punched six drain holes in a row about 2" up from the bottom of each of the containers, {working from the inside out works best & doesn't dent the buckets}.  We filled each bucket with potting soil, and simply stacked them on top of the lower buckets soil as we went. The holes allow the water to trickle down from each of the buckets into the one below.  We then set out my herbs to decide where we wanted things to be according to their size, and as you can see they've all grown quite large....some more so than others. I've even had to do a little plant rearrangement along the way.  I have had an abundance of fresh herbs right outside my door all season long. It's been so nice having it right outside the kitchen door, I just pop out and snip.  Together with my tomatoes we have had lots of lovely fresh pasta dishes.

Next year I may lay out my plants a little differently, I would love to add it to a stand or add one more tier for a little more height in this corner.  I have loved this project, and it's so nice to see the pop of green outside my door when I drink my morning coffee.

So what do you think?
Would you give this project a try?
Do you already have a backdoor herb garden

I would love to see your herb gardens so leave me a link and I'll take a peek.

Since fall is surely on it's way, I'll soon be saying goodbye to this little garden...
I can't wait to start again next year.

Did you know that you can start some herbs inside by simply placing a cutting in a container of water...it takes a few weeks & you'll see it's roots.  I've started rosemary, oregano, marjoram, basil & mint too, i've created several new plants this way.  I've been taking cuttings and rooting them for replanting inside, I'll start them in pots soon.  Remember all of my little cuttings on my windowsill, I love the look...they all graduated to plantings, and I have several more going now.  Give it a try if you haven't already....it's super easy, and hopefully you have a sunny spot for keeping them indoors this winter.

I'll have to let you know if mine make it indoors.

Hope you are having a great week, can't believe it's almost over....but Yay anyway.

:: peace, love & hugs ::

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:: the emperor & a mosaic

More butterflies... first is the Tailed Emperor { Polyura pyrrhus }, 
doesn't it look grand, the name fits it perfectly.
Secondly I painted the lovely Mosaic butterfly { Colobura dirce } 
I love how different the two sides of this butterfly looks, I just had to attempt the zebra stripes.

So, what do you think?
Like the colors?

I promise no butterflies tomorrow ; )...only
because I was out thrifting today and had no time to paint... hee hee.

Hope you all are having a wonderful week so far.

{peace, love & hugs}

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:: artist studio - butterflies

Hi friends, I'm finally back online after a long week without internet at home.
The whole switch from Time Warner to Direct TV left us high & dry for a little while.
Wow, you just don't realize how much you use the internet until you are without it a week.
Needless to say, I'm glad to be back here on my bloggy space.
Just thought I'd share what I've been working on in my studio since last night.
I was suddenly inspired to paint, something I don't ordinarily do.
I've always wanted to be a real painter/artist, but honestly I've never attempted it.
Well, I think God has planted a seed to see what I will do with it.
I have to say I haven't been more relaxed and excited to do something artistic in a while.
I was in my studio first thing this morning and finished the artwork above.
Now I'm wondering what you think...is it good enough to sell?
Do you prefer prints or original art?
I wonder if you can tell which butterfly I started with above.
I do believe the last is much better than the first.
After all, I'm no painter and this is the first time i've picked up a brush in some time.
So hopefully over time and with practice I will continue to get better & better.
Most of all I'm really enjoying this time being creative again.

I hope you all are doing well, and having a wonderful holiday weekend.
I'm so sad that it's already coming to an end.
I've enjoyed this time at home with my family just relaxing.

{ peace, love & hugs }
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