Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Making the house our home - Family Room for now.

With a great deal of effort (mostly put forth by Ben), we finally finished painting the family room. I even had time to "merchandise" it a little before my folks got here on Wednesday.  So here's what we have:
View from the eating area
As you can see, we've put the room to good family use.  The three of us spent most of Sunday and a great many hours yesterday playing with Legos. We built a track for our nano bugs complete with a castle. We plan to add cedar plank shelving on either side of the fireplace which is why that entire back wall is white.  Ben is afraid that the shelves and the slate blue would make that area too dark.  I tend to feel as thought it looks like we forgot to paint a whole wall.  What do you think?

Right next to the eating area is a set of built-ins.  They mostly hold board games, puzzles, and magazines, but I just couldn't stand so much blank wall and empty surface area. The handkerchief belonged to my great-grandmother, Evelyn.  She was a cracker jack of a woman and I always want a piece of her to be in my home.  The empty frame once held a pencil drawing of a fluffy white kitten way back when my age was in the single digits. That frame has seen it all.
The room is obviously far from finished, but this is pretty much all we can do right now.  I'd like to get an art desk like this one for Emily. She really needs a comfortable space for homework and projects.  Eventually we'll get a new couch for the living room and move our current couch down here. Some wing chairs would be nice. And we definitely definitely need a rug.

We'll get there. Some day. I hope.

In the meantime, that floor space is begging to be covered in Lego creations!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Thankful Week in Pictures

No school equals a day with Angelina!
Grandma's here! Let's roast marshmallows.
No need to fear, the man in charge of pie is here!
Which one is the bigger turkey?
Just right.
Don't be jealous of my husband's perfectly fried turkey.
That's right, we had Thanksgiving OUTSIDE!
Grandma helped Emily prepare for a post-lunch glamorous photo shoot.
Natalia watched from the safety of the couch.
I made whipped cream for the pie. From scratch. By myself.
Friday morning and we're eating. Again.
Happy Anniversary, Baby. Glad you survived our first two years.
On Saturday we took Grandma to the aquarium.
And then she bought us a milkshake.
The grand finale:a HUGE pile of leaves!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Sarasota Medieval Faire

This past weekend Ben took Em and me to the Sarasota Medieval Faire. It wasn't quite what I expected, but we had a good time. Emily tried her hand at sword-play:
and explored the lavish world of medieval millinery catoure:
Testing hat plumes at House of Avalon
followed by some great equestrian feats (more or less):

I'd hoped to run across some of the same artists I'd admired at the Temple Terrace but, no such luck. I did see Tomas the Lapidary:
 and his beautiful tiaras:
Emily really wanted one of those tiaras:
and a parasol, and a sword, and a crossbow, and one of those conical princess hats, and...and...and...

As for me, I didn't find too many local artisans to admire, but I still got one thing I was hoping for - good memories:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Life's a picnic

Internet, it has finally happened.  I have been chosen to host Thanksgiving. I'm not so much petrified as I am stressed to the point of being unable to hold still. Luckily, I have my very own Ben. He keeps me calm, handles every situation gracefully, and, knowing our kitchen table only seats four, he built this:
The weather here is so temperate, we are planning to feast outside! Can you imagine? And now we have a nice, roomy table at which to enjoy our family and our food.
 In fact, Emily is out there right now with her friend, Angelina, putting the table to the test.
Yeah, you totally wish you had a Ben of your very own.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

37th Annual Arts Festival

I am absolutely kicking myself this morning! On Saturday, Ben, Emily, and I went to the 37th Annual Arts Festival hosted by the Temple Terrace Arts Council. Out of respect for the artists I only took a few photos.  I foolishly thought everybody would have an online presence I could direct you to (and also so I could buy my Christmas gifts a little at a time) Boy was I ever wrong. It has been all but impossible find most of my favorite vendors from the show. Grrrr! I'll share what I do have, though.

First, this is Temple Terrace:

Okay, maybe this isn't all of Temple Terrace but it is the portion where the art festival was held. It is also the portion that backs up to an elementary school.  I don't know about  you, but I did not have a lake to gaze at out the window while I was supposed to be learning long division. I'm just sayin'.

But I digress.

The weather was perfect for browsing the 150 plus booths there. Again, I wish I had taken more photos. But check out what I did capture. Scott Anderson had beautiful carved furniture and decor.  Embarrassingly, Emily thought one of his cherry wood storage benches was a coffin. He was cool about it, though, and let me take a picture of this amazing urn:
Mr. Anderson made that from this sable palm root:

There was no end of fabulous hand-crafted jewelry to check out.  I adore how Lori Rosenberger of Cracked Up Jewelry set up her booth:
 You'll have to excuse the photo quality. People would not get out of my way. But don't you want to just hang out in her booth with a cup of tea! When I finally start doing shows I might steal a page from Lori's book. Once you are inside that sweet little tent there is a lot of great stuff to keep you there. All of her jewelry and,yes, even the light fixtures you see there, are made from broken china.
Antique Floral and Scroll Heart Pendant

Some jewelry artists had more modern wares. I'll one of everything in Terry Bodeker's shop. Especially these:
Sterling Silver and Cultured Pearl Twist-on Earrings
Speaking of accessories, I loved Jen's Rag Bags.
I'll take this one thank you very much:

Jennifer Manning doesn't appear to have a website, but if you are interested in her bags you can e-mail her at jensragbags@gmail.com.

I also have my eye on this little number for a special girl in my life:
That's right. Those are candy wrappers. Martha Calderon does some AMAZING things with those suckers.  Definitely have a look at her website, Amazolli. (Be sure you surf her site using Internet Explorer. For some reason the photos wouldn't load in Firefox.)

Oh my gosh you guys, there was so much there that I wanted to share with you!  This weekend Ben wants to take us to a renaissance festival and I promise to be bolder about getting photos and information.  A lot of the same artisans are planning to be there.  Unfortunately, I don't think my favorite vendor will be making an appearance:

Somehow, I don't think funnel cake is period appropriate.

Monday, November 15, 2010

PJs for a Drama Queen

You may be wondering what could have possibly kept me from posting on Friday.  Maybe you aren't, but I am going to tell you anyway. I made the 40 minute drive to Clearwater, FL for my first sewing lesson!

I know it seems odd that I would launch a business based on my sewing skills and then decide to take sewing lessons. My mom taught me some basic straight-line sewing and I've sort of picked up other stuff along the way but for some time I have felt I could be doing so much more if I just knew a little more about my machine and about various fabrics.

I was lucky to find Susan on Craigslist. I mean, I was super lucky.  She is the perfect teacher for me. She is so upbeat and sassy and the right amount of crazy.  I loved my time with her. I cannot beleive how much I learned in just over four hours.

So what does all this have to do with PJs?  Well, I had to make something during my lesson didn't I?  And what could possibly be more rewarding than some Emily pajama pants. I think Em might be pretty happy I took a sewing lesson as well:
I used Simplicity Pattern 2831. Emily can tell you these pants are perfect for pre-bedtime snacks,
dancing in the living room,
and lounging dramatically (and not at all posed).

You can see Emily is already putting her new pants to good use. I can't wait to do the same with my new skills!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Making the house our home - Family Room further cont.

I won't lie, Internet, this past weekend was not the best I've ever had. It was, in fact, closer to miserable, which really stinks because we had some truly beautiful weather. In my never-ending displays of natural grace, I fell down our stairs.  I have refused to go to the hospital, but it is a pretty fair guess to say I bruised or maybe even broke my tailbone. I spent a majority of the weekend on the couch watching shows specifically made to rot one's brain. Making me feel even worse was Ben's devotion to making progress on the family room.

Encouraged by this photo in a recent  Pottery Barn catalog, we decided to go forward with our slate blue walls.
Our actual color choice is Silver Hill by Behr. I managed to clamber off the couch long enough to get some "action shots" before Ben caught me and forced me to rest.

It is really really hard for me to sit still and even more so when I know someone else is working hard. He did such a great job, though. And don;t worry, we aren't keeping the pumpkin color.  It'll be white (probably by Sunday at the rate Ben is going).  Soon we can start planning and saving for family room furniture! Wee!