Sunday, October 31, 2010

in shop…

A few of my favorite original paintings are back in the shop.

Original Vintage Button Art on Canvas - Peach

Original Mixed Media Art -  Rain in the City

Original Mixed Media on Canvas with Vintage Buttons - Migration

Original Art on Canvas - Nature Colors

Original Oil Painting - A Hymn of the River

Don’t forget, the entire proceeds from the last painting, “A Hymn of the River,”  will be donated to World Vision in cooperation with A Beautiful Idea.

To take a virtual stroll through the shop, enter here.



Saturday, October 30, 2010

baby growing diaries #6 a P.S.A.

It is said that the best writing comes from one’s own life, with that being said, the following could have absolutely nothing to do with me, because nothing like this would ever happen in the real world.

Obviously, growing a baby is a miraculous, beautiful time, full of expectation and wonder, dreaming about that little bundle that is developing more each day into an amazing individual.  You dream about who they will be and all the things you’ll do together.  You read reviews and hunt down the perfect items that you’ll need for that little wonder.  You decorate their room in excitement and delight.  You study the best methods and plans for your delivery and learn as much as you can about raising a happy, healthy child.  And you spend hours considering the absolute best name for this child, because a name is an important thing.  A name is something they will carry for the rest of their lives.  It has meaning and significance and comes to hold great endearing value.  For some people, the name search can take one day and for others it lasts until the baby is already days old, whatever the case, it’s a big deal.  But in that moment when the full name comes together, a sense of knowing comes upon you and inside something says, yes, that is it.

Alas, baby growing does come with its challenges, for some the constant sickness, the aversion to anything strange or normal, the nausea, the exhaustion, the discomfort, the glucose tolerance test, and people telling you to avoid sushi and soft cheeses.   And while these things can be difficult, we gladly endure because we know the end result.

Oh, but there is another set of challenges which have very little to do with how your body handles pregnancy, we’ll call this one, the beautiful people of the world… The beautiful people of the world, strangers who invade your personal space and dare to touch your enlarged belly, when shaking hands isn’t even something you would do.  The beautiful people of the world who start a conversation about your most private body parts as if they were a cute pair of shoes.  The beautiful people of the world who then tell you stories about their most private body parts and why you should do things just as they did themselves when having children.  And, the beautiful people of the world who think that you really need their help when it comes to naming your baby, because you obviously just threw some names into a hat, picked one out, shrugged and say, well why not. 

In that moment, they believe that it matters if they love or hate the name that you have pondered and said aloud and written out over and over and over again.  They spew out rude and inconsiderate statements not even considering that you have come to love that name just as much as you love the baby growing inside of you.    And as they do this, you stand there, forcing deep calming breaths and holding back the kindest of words, as an all-together fake smile smears across your face and you find the quickest way out of that conversation.  You walk away frustrated and irritated while these people believe they have done you a favor.

It’s no wonder why more and more people are not revealing their name choices until the baby is born, keeping secrets from their friends and families, because it is more likely that the ones closest to us will be the most free with their unkind and unsolicited opinions. 

A quick Google search revealed that over 4,000,000 babies are born each year,  and after the initial questions of when are you due and are you having a boy or a girl, the next thing most people ask is, do you have a name yet? So, if this conversation happened only once (and obviously, it happens more) to each pregnant momma, that means that there is a 50/50 chance of over 4,000,000 cases of rude, unsolicited opinions being thoughtlessly regurgitated into the universe.  That is a lot of negative energy.  That is a lot of unnecessary frustration displaced onto the parents of the world, who have a very difficult task ahead of them.  And there is no reason for it.

So, if you want to make the world a better place, consider this little Public Service Announcement.

Unless a parent-to-be actually says the following words to you personally, “What is your opinion about the name we have chosen for our baby?”  then please, please, just keep those negative feelings to yourself and find something kind to say instead.  If you just need to share your thoughts on the subject, tell your spouse, or your co-worker, or even your dog, but never, ever the one with child.

These parents have spent a great deal of time choosing their very favorite name for this child, there is no need for you to accept or reject this decision.   It’s a very important and meaningful thing. It’s not about  you.  Not one bit.  I repeat, it’s not about you.  If you haven’t had children yet, you’ll get your chance.  If you are a parent, then you had your chance.  If you need to name something else, buy a goldfish or a dog.  Name your car.  Name your horse.  Name your lawn mower.  The possibilities are endless, but for the love, keep your opinions to yourself, unless it is a positive, happy, supportive, and encouraging one.  Especially if you are a relative or a friend to the expecting parent, your words have greater power to bless or frustrate and what you say will be remembered.  If you are a stranger, you’ll probably never meet that child, so what does it matter if you don’t like the name.

We’ve all been told, if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all.  I am quite sure this saying doesn’t have an expiration date.  It’s a lifetime of truth and wisdom.

And on behalf of all the mommy’s and daddy’s to be, I conclude this P.S.A.  Thank you for helping make this world a happier place.

Friday, October 29, 2010

and the winner is…

Hi friends,

I just loved reading about all of your favorite Christmas traditions, I might even steal a few of them for my own little family.

With the help of, we have a winner for this thank you for reading my blog giveaway. 

And that winner is… Lori from Girly Muse!

Winner- Lori

I can’t wait to send this little package, I promise to share the contents on the blog at a later time!

On that note, I have a few projects floating around in my head which requires a trip to the hardware store (across the street), and it is also very important that I make some sort of chocolate and peanut butter treat today.

Oh, and  28 weeks today.  Here we go 3rd trimester,  here we go.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

fabric fun

Cups in Retro

Cups in Retro

Cups in Licorice

Cups in Licorice

Brew in Retro

Brew in Retro

Wouldn’t these prints be the cutest for a little sundress and thrill this coffee loving momma at the same time?

Or a cover for the boppy pillow?

They would also be great tools to instill in my little girl the importance of good coffee, because that is what really matters.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

little thoughts

The other day my husband returned home from the grocery with a few needed items and a jar of honey.  He said that he bought it because it would be getting colder outside and he knew I would want to drink more tea and thus, I would need honey.  He’s that kind of thoughtful.


It’s been three weeks since we upgraded the little boy from his crib to toddler bed and he still doesn’t realize he can get out and play.   Every morning, I enter his room to find him sitting on his bed, talking to his bear, waiting for mommy.  It’s cute and we hope it lasts.


It’s cold and rainy, the weather calls for a frozen mix, which does not sound delightful, but I suppose this weather had to come sometime.  I wonder how long it will take before I’m screaming from the rooftops, “Why the ____ did we move here?”


It’s a French film, hot tea, knitting kind of afternoon.


The winds and rain have stripped every last leaf from the grand trees outside, leaving the bare, spiny branches to fill the expanse of our windows, it’s really pretty in a Tim Burton sort of way.


In my opinion, it’s a little early for the Christmas music, I like to hold out for the days around Thanksgiving, but today feels like this song to me.   It just happens to be my favorite song/version of the whole holiday season.  So, here’s a little treat for you.

Chris Martin sings Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas


No matter what today looks like to you, I hope you’re warm and cozy, inside and out.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hi, I’m Olivia and I don’t want to commit.

I took a break from searching for fabric,  because making crib bedding feels like a gigantic project.  It is a gigantic project.  Yikes.  I’m already working on one pretty huge task, it’s called growing a baby and raising a toddler, and I’m in this one for the   long haul. It’s a pretty big commitment.  So, all other lengthy projects are very un-appealing to me. 

I’ve figured out that if I tell myself that I won’t make a crib bumper, the task becomes much easier, but truthfully, I’ll want a bumper… so I’m only sort of tricking myself.  It’s complicated. 

I think I’m just having the hardest time actually choosing my favorite prints for the project because I keep finding more and more that I like.  But, as they say with love, you’ll know when you know*… and I’m still in the unknowing phase. 

(“Who are they?  The collective them!  And who says we should listen to them?  THEY DO!)  - Elizabethtown reference.  It happens, in my head all day and sometimes sneaks out.

* I hate clichés.

I feel like choosing these fabrics is a major commitment, for at least the next two years and photos and memories that will last for the rest of our lives… so whoa. Breathe.  Is it strange that the idea of having another baby is not nearly as overwhelming to me as selecting fabrics for her bed?  Because, the responsibility of loving, feeding, cleaning, nurturing, and raising a child for the next few decades is nothing compared to ordering the perfect fabrics.  Right?   It’s probably because I want it to be awesome, like really awesome, because most of the bedding sets that I find in stores and online gag me with “cutesyness*” and a lack or originality, and then they suck the life out of me with the price tag. 

(I feel a little dramatic today, maybe.)

*cutesyness is not a word.

Are you still with me?  I hope.

Today, I’m sharing my favorites, because seeing them all together will help and hopefully lead me into the next phase of the falling in love relationship.


#1: Matisse

This line from Alexander Henry comes out soon, I think the colors & patterns are just lovely and they delight my artistic soul.Anja in DoveAmelie in DoveColour in Stripes in Dove

(L to R):  crib sheet, bumper, crib skirt

Still Life in Dove

quilt front/back: either solid grey or yellow


#2 Modern Affair

This line from Patricia Bravo just came out this month, I love the colors and patterns, they are so intricate and interesting.  The colors don’t scream baby, but they are soft and pretty.

Fizz in OliveCalla Lily in PeachRoyale in Apricot

L to R:  crib sheet, bumper, and crib skirt

Organic Stripes in Papaya

quilt front/ back: something solid


#3 Summer Soiree

This line from Paula Prass is full of my favorite colors and wonderful patterns, so fun, exciting, and bright.

Centerpiece in GrayMints in YellowChevron in Pink

L to R:  crib sheet, bumper, skirt

Centerpiece in GrayCanopy Stripe in Passion

quilt front/ back :  stripes


Hanging Cages in Lime

You may remember my love for the hanging cages pattern, but I never really found anything to go with it and while I do have a yard of this lovely print waiting to be used, I feel that my desire to use it for the bedding has fizzled.  It happens.

So, there you go.  My final three, this is so much more intense than that world series thing.  Now I must decide.  Then, hopefully in the next few weeks, I’ll take the plunge… because we have approximately 13 weeks until the little lady arrives.

So, just for fun, which one do you like the most?  Which one do you think I’ll pick?


Don’t forget to enter the giveaway that is happening this week.


Monday, October 25, 2010

brown paper packages tied up with string… (a giveaway)

|image source: here|


Hi friends,  can you believe that Christmas is just two months away.  The holidays are upon us and clearly, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.  I love the holidays.  I love the traditions.  I love the food.  I love the fun.

I’m kicking off the holiday season with a sweet little giveaway, because I love putting together fun gifts and I love that you all take time to stop in a read my little blog.  I just wanted to say thank you in small way.

Here’s the catch… I’m not exactly going to tell you what will be in this fun package, because it’s going to be a surprise.  Maybe something vintage, perhaps something handmade, and even possibly some kind of art… Who knows? {only me}

Exciting, yes?

So, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me one of your favorite Christmas traditions by Thursday, October 28th at 12pm CST.  I’ll pick one winner on Friday, the 29th.

I can’t wait to read your comments.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Sneak Peek: H turns two

It’s true, the world’s cutest  9lb 7 oz baby has turned into this…
incredible wonder of a little boy.
He’s my favorite and while we’ve been celebrating him everyday since his arrival, today we celebrate birthday #2.  Being his mom just keeps getting better with every new thing he learns and does and sure the challenges are present and every changing, but they are so trivial to the joy and sweetness that he is.
Happy Birthday baby, you’re a keeper.
Here’s a sneak peek at the party fun that is happening this weekend.
Hope your weekend is full of celebrating the things and people that you love… that’s our plan.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday’s Someone: Mandy of Messy Canvas

I’m back with another edition of Thursday’s Someone, and today I’m really excited to introduce you to Mandy of Messy Canvas.  She is one of those super inspiring people who is trying to live a beautiful, meaningful, and creative life.  She  writes on faith, motherhood, creativity, and life.  I love her honesty and her desire to learn and grow.  I definitely wish we lived closer, because, I think  we could be friends.  Mandy recently finished writing an E-book that is available for free, I’m just a few pages into it, but so far, it’s really great! Enjoy this interview with Mandy and be sure to check out her blog and digital bookstore.

1.  Tell us who you are and a little about yourself.

My name is Mandy Steward. I am 32 years old. I'm an artist that has fallen in love with words as my main medium. I'm a mom of four kids, who range in age from 7 to 2. My husband, Tony and I have been married for 10 years.

2. Tell us what a picture perfect day in your life would be?

I believe everyday has a little bit of imperfection thrown into the mix. I can't seem to get away from it. That being said, I would enjoy a day at the beach with books, a quilt, a picnic lunch and no agenda.     {Sounds perfect to me!}

3. Name five things (not people) you’d never want to live without?

Pen & notebook (can that count as one?), camera, iPhone, library card and yoga mat.   { 6 things… the creative types- always breaking rules.}

4. Name one place you have never been but dream of visiting?


4.5 What is your favorite word?

Timshel (from the book East of Eden) and Namaste

5.  Because we’re all human, what is the biggest challenge to your creativity/inspiration/success?

Not comparing myself to others.

6. What project are you most excited about currently?

My FREE Messy Canvas e-Book which you can find here.   Also, I’m excited about getting my first opportunity to speak to some other artists.

7. If you were to plan any event, what would be it and what would your theme and color scheme be?

An outdoor party with pretty white lights hanging above. Black and white color scheme. Come dressed as your favorite book character.

8. What would you tell someone who wants to be more active in their creativity/interests?

Find what you can cut out of your life that is not needed, so that you can make more time to do the things you love. There is ALWAYS something you can cut out to allow a shift in your priorities.

10.  Who is one artist/designer/crafter/inspiring person that you would want readers to know about, also?

I would say my two mentors in creativity right now are Carlos Whittaker and StarGardener


Thanks so much to Mandy for taking the time to answer these questions.  Don’t forget to check out her blog, you won’t be sorry.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 2. Top 10. Scents & Smells

What, how random of me?  Not really, considering that I have super hero strength smell power these days {a blessing and a curse}, a scent can make or break anything.  Plus, there has been research that proves that scents are linked to our association of memories, so for example… that aroma of first walking into the college cafeteria, your extreme hunger is met with a dropping, disappointed feeling because your nose is telling you you’re probably not going to find anything delicious today… and you should proceed to the cereal immediately, before everyone else eats the lucky charms.  And, immediately, you feel sick and you leave smelling like cafeteria… and no one ever wants that.

Here’s another example:  My dearest husband used to hang out with his friends at one of those open late breakfast chain diners.  They would sit around the table having a great time, drinking the “coffee,” even though its taste left something to be desired, but that brewed beverage and those times were fond memories to him, so whenever we walk into a diner that serves, “coffee,” its aroma brings him back to those days. 

Thank God that I have been able to enlighten him on the truths of good vs. bad coffee and he now knows better. Whew.

So, smells, they’re a big deal.  Now, to the list…

My Top 10 Scents & Smells

1.  Here’s a shocker, Coffee.  

the heavenly aroma that fills your whole being with comfort and joy…  am I taking it too far? not a chance.

2.  Camp fires

I am addicted to that smell, I wish I had a candle that filled my home with the delicious scents of an warm, blazing fire.

3.  The sweet rapturous scent of a freshly bathed baby.

Nothing in the world like it.

4.  The Ocean

That perfect mix of salty spray, fresh air, sand, and water.

5.  The amazing aroma that fills your senses as you swing open the doors of Barnes & Noble. 

The combination of books & coffee, mainly the coffee.  I drink in that moment every single time. I can’t get enough.

6.  A used book store.

Part mystery, part musky, but mostly, lovely, old books.

7.  The Freshly Baked Candle from Pier 1.

You know that fresh out of the oven, sweet goodness. Yum.

8.  The signature perfume from Ruehl 925

From what I’ve read, Ruehl is no longer with us and my last bottle is empty, but I am certain it is the most lovely perfume in all the land.

9. The overall scent of autumn

That chilly night air, so crisp and sweet, with a hint of campfire somewhere in there. Magic.

10.  Rain

When you smell it approaching, when it’s pouring out of the sky, and right after when the world is fresh and new.


I must say my heart is warmed just thinking about these lovely aromas… What are some of your favorites?


I got lost… in etsy-land.

Since I’m not researching and hunting for cribs, swings, and all those big item essentials the second time around, I get to spend time perusing fun things like toys and clothes… 

And you know that once you start looking on etsy, you’re in trouble… at least for the next hour or so.   Here are some  of sweet little toys that I found and I thought I’d share the fun with all of you.

{click the image to be directed to any of the shops.}


I just love the variety that you can find when you search for handmade unique toys, the major stores are generally stocked with toys that you might call generic and boring…  because obviously all little boy toys must be blue and little girls must have pink dolls*, right?  Wrongo, my friend.   You might pay a few more dollars for a handmade piece, but you know your getting something that was made by a person who loved what they were making rather than a machine… that is a machine.

And that’s all I have to say about that…

Another Top 10 coming later tonight.

*Most dolls are kinda creepy, no?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

a few of my favorite things… a.k.a top ten books

People of the world, are you just so excited for Oprah next Friday, when the cast of  The Sound of Music is reunited for the first time in 40 something years?  Oh what a magical moment that will be.  I adore Julie Andrews and that movie…and you better believe I might shed a few little tears of joy when I watch this event.  I pretty much never watch her show, but I put this one on my calendar… and my husband’s too, just because.
But that has absolutely nothing to do with this post. So shall we continue?
I’ve been thinking it would be fun to do a little Top 10 week, after all the fun that happened over here.   And since I just put the sweetest (days away from being) two year old to sleep, the husband is working, and I just made a cup of tea, this moment is perfect for such things as making lists of my favorite books. Yes, I am aware that it’s Tuesday and wouldn’t it make more sense to start on a Monday, but I’m not really a rules kind of person and my blog is a not a rules kind of blog.  We’re free spirits who have found just the right amount of balance and order for a calm, functional, and happy life… but we don’t like unnecessary rules. nope.
Let’s get to the books.  The books, people.
I love a great number of books.  I also despise a great number of books, but I’m going to try and only share my top 10 books, because 10 is a good number. 
Without further ado…
My Top 10 Books
1.  My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
If you’re an artist, read it.  The end.
2.  Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
Honestly, Elizabeth Bennett and that Mr. Darcy, is there anything that compares, ever? No explanation required.
3.  Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved this story. Jo is my favorite, but I still wish she ended up with Teddy.
4.  Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
Seriously, seriously, this book is amazing and controversial and genius… and frightening… and wonderful.
5.  Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
Why do we love that Holden Caufield and all of his issues and meaninglessness… I really can’t say, but we love it.  We just can’t help ourselves.
6.  To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Great story, that’s all… and if I ever find a way to use the name Atticus, I just might…
7.  The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis
I’m never sure what to say about this book, because nothing I could ever articulate will ever describe this unbelievable allegory.
8.  The Man Who Was Thursday, G.K. Chesterton
This book is funny, crazy, insane, and serious.  Matt and I actually read this aloud together and loved every second.  It’s the kind of book that you won’t forget.
9.  Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
I know, but if you’ve never read this one, you have no idea what a beautiful story you are missing.  Read it.
10.  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer
It’s tragic and lovely, funny and irreverent and great.

I have compiled that list to the best of my abilities…  and clearly, I am a classics girl who loves a little crazy… what about you?
I’d love to hear your favorite books… I really would.  And, if you hate some of these books, that’s alright, because I hate. hate. hate. The Great Gatsby and most of the books that Hemingway wrote, I’m not even sorry.

Monday, October 18, 2010

London, Avery, and Ellery

Scarf season is upon us, here is a peek at some of the designs you’ll find in my shop this fall/winter season…
My little fingers have been busy the past few weeks with some custom orders for scarves and cowls.  If you’re interested in placing an order, please contact me here and I’d love to knit one or more for you.
I’ll be adding more designs and colors to the shop in the next couple weeks. 
I’m also offering free shipping when you order two or more scarves. 
A sweet little someone is having a birthday this week, so be looking for a sneak peek at the party décor and another Thursday’s Someone post, featuring another inspiring person.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fun little finds

It’s approx. 14 weeks until little miss H will arrive and when she does, she’ll eventually share a room with big brother.  I’ve been looking for some fun little touches to add to the room that will make it the perfect combination for  the coolest brother/sister duo around.  Here are some serious goodies.

beautiful. (print)

| Beautiful Print by Hazelnut Cottage|

find your happy thought... limited edition giclee print of an original illustration (8.5 x 11in)

|Find Your Happy Thought by HelenandDardik|

{In the description, it reads that this print was inspired by Jane & Michael Banks.. which makes me love it even more.  I am in love.  What do you say husband?}

I Like Your Bow

|I like your bow by bellaandboo|


|It all begins once upon a time by trafalgarssquare|

The elephants in this shop melt my heart.

French Alphabet Un Velo Print, bike, bicycle collage

|Un Velo by barkdecor|

It’s never too early to start teaching my babies French.  So this set would be even better!!


Aren’t they amazing. I can’t decide.  Oh, ok, I want them all, so incase you are wondering, they WOULD be a perfect gift, what a great idea. 

Hope you have a lovely weekend…. I might even paint.


dear harper baby

Last night, we climbed into the rocking chair and I read your brother, Hudson, a story, “The Little Engine That Could.” As the toys and animals asked the engines to take them over the mountain, I used a different voice for each train.  H laughed so hard that he could hardly breathe.  Every single time.  It was the best.  The kind of laugh that becomes silent because your entire being is affected.
And with every all-consuming giggle from your brother who was snuggled in as close as possible, infringing on what you might call your space, you gave a little nudge.    It was the sweetest thing.  Maybe you thought it was funny too or perhaps you were feeling a little squished. 
Either way, my little H’s, we’re going to have lots of fun, I just know it.
26 weeks today.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

helping the babies

If there is one thing that breaks your heart as a mama,  it’s the babies, the sweet little kiddies who need love and safety and a home.  Every hurting child you see, you can’t help but hurt for them, because what if they were your own?  Which is why I can never watch anything where little kids are hurt/hurting or in danger.  Such things don’t go sit well in the heart of a mother.

Lately, I’ve been coming across so many wonderful blogs, recording the journeys of families, who are answering the call and opening their arms and homes to children through adoption.  Their stories are beautiful, rich in love, and from the little I know about the process… long and challenging. 

I don’t know if we will ever adopt, I can’t say that it a desire stirring within my soul, but I know that if we feel called, we will gladly accept the challenge/blessing.    However, I do know that my heart is ever compelled to help enable others to follow their dreams and pursue their callings.   We want to be the kind of people who are part of making dreams reality, whether it be through encouragement, prayer, or support. 

I know that I don’t have hundreds of readers, but it doesn’t take hundreds to make a different, just you and me.  So,  occasionally, on this blog I’m going to be sharing some ways that we can be involved in making dreams reality.   You and I may not be the ones to adopt, but we can surely aid those who are, we can have a part in helping a sweet little one belong to a family and families belong to  sweet little ones.

While perusing through blogland, I read about this sweet family who is the process of adoption, the Andersen's.  They are hoping that by the end of the year, a little girl from Ethiopia will come home to them.  In efforts to raise the funds, a massive giveaway in underway for Share the love week.

Over 46 great shops have donated incredible items for five different bundles of gorgeous things.  The way you enter is by a paypal donation.  The details are all on the blog.  Even if you don’t win, you have a part in making this family’s dreams a reality.

If  nothing else, keep this family in your thoughts and prayers as they prepare to bring their little lady home.

Here are a few other opportunities to make a difference:

This beautiful couple is raising money for their adoption by holding a race.  Read more about it here.

This family is raising money by selling these awesome shirts that say, Adoption Rocks.

And something a little different…

This beautiful mama is celebrating her birthday, but raising money for a freshwater well in Africa.


Hope you can check out a few of these links and spread the word about these people who are doing amazing things.

|We have another Thursday’s Someone coming later today.|


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

a picture and a voice

It’s been months since I’ve painted.  I’ve felt a shift within me and I’m learning to recognize and respond to that sense, the painting has been on hold.  So, it’s also been  a while since I’ve felt much inspiration or seen any images in my head asking to be created.

Then, last night, as I began to drift off to sleep, I saw a picture in my mind, the kind of image that comes asking to be transformed to canvas.  It was a welcome notion and I prayed that the image would stick with me until the next day, when I could paint.

I went about my morning, not even considering those thoughts from the night before and it wasn’t until the little boy was quietly napping that I even remembered the picture in my head.   I quickly set up my neglected supplies and brought that image to life.

For an artist, the feeling of painting is powerful, it’s like nothing else and in that moment, I paused and thanked God for the inspiration that led me to create.  As I paused, reveling in the silence and in the wonder of our creator, I heard this, not audibly, but in my soul.

“You have something to share with the world.  You have something great within you.”


I’m so thankful for a God who reminds me of my purpose and my dreams, because when it’s been a long time since you’ve done the very things that make you feel so alive, it’s easy to feel like you just don’t know how to do them anymore. 

But the truth is this, you do…. and you can… and whatever it is matters.

That’s all.


baby growing diaries #5

This post could also be titled:

1. My rebel subconscious.

2. I never know the date.

This morning when I woke up 15 minutes than I prefer, I checked my phone and noticed a calendar notification.  I glanced at it briefly and dismissed it, since it was for my doctor’s appointment tomorrow, October 13th, no need to worry about that today.  I continued  to go along with the important matters of the morning, 42 kisses for the little boy, a cute text to the husband,  grind the coffee, a little orange juice, etc.

As I listened to the theme song  from Super Why for the 1,200,300th time, I asked my pre-caffeinated self, why would my notification for TOMORROW’S appointment come up today.  I have all my appointments for the rest of the year scheduled on Thursday mornings.  (Because, I’m awake anyways and I find that if you schedule them for early morning you have been a better chance of actually seeing your doctor around that time.  The second time around, I’m a smarter mama and OB patient.)

I kept thinking, “Tomorrow the 13th, tomorrow the 13th… tomorrow is the thirteenth right?”  I then realized, I had absolutely no idea what today’s date was (and truthfully, I rarely ever do.)  So, I referred to the only calendar in the entire place, on my little smartie alien phone… and I learned something, today is the 13th.  In case you were wondering, today is October 13th. You probably knew that because you have jobs or schedules or you’re obsessive like some people I know and have calendars everywhere.  I don’t have those things.

Moral of this story: I missed my appointment.  But here’s what you don’t know.  I’m not sad, not even the tiniest bit, because I didn’t want to go.  My subconscious knew this and saved me from today, because this morning was the dreaded, the detestable, the torture of tortures regarding OB visits… the glucose tolerance test.

(And all the mama’s said ugh.)

For those of you innocent of its terrors, they make you drink an entire bottle of this horrid, nasty, sweetest sugar drink known to mankind, in a color that is surely not found anywhere in nature. For an hour you can’t have anything else to wash that putrid taste from you lips (and you feel high on sugar, because it’s more than you consume in a lifetime)  and then they take your blood.  Supposedly this is a test for gestational diabetes, but I think it’s just to torture us… not like we’re not dealing with enough here…  I personally vote that this whole practice be banned and replaced with a 1 hour prenatal massage test.  You are given a massage and then if you feel better, you pass… if you don’t feel better, you get another massage.  Who’s with me on this? Pass or fail… not a bad deal.

Anyways, that is what I missed this morning and now I have more time to come up with a legit excuse to not take it.  Here’s what I have so far:

  • I’m allergic to glucose.
  • I’m scared of glucose.
  • I think glucose is an ugly sounding word.
  • I’m allergic to tests.
  • I’m don’t drink soda.
  • It’s against my religion.
  • It’s against my political views.
  • It’s against my ethics.
  • It’s against my marriage vows.
  • It’s against my wishes.
  • My dog ate my homework.
  • It’s not me, it’s you.
  • Let’s just be friends.
  • I took that test last time and I passed.  I can get proof.
  • I don’t want my baby to have that much sugar.
  • Thousands of women have had babies without taking this test.
  • The Virgin Mary surely didn’t have to drink that.
  • I want a lawyer.
  • I have to wash my hair.
  • You’re not the boss of me.

and if all of those fail… I’m going to  ask if there is a sugary Starbucks drink that I could have instead.

For today, I’m safe from the evils of that terrifying liquid and all is well, but if you have any excuses that will actually get me out of taking the test, please share… because unfortunately, next week I have a rescheduled date with the glucose.

25 weeks, 5 days.

Note:  Please realize that I’m being mostly silly and ridiculous, as I’m sure there is a real medical reason they force this test upon us…. and things like gestational diabetes are not a joke.  It’s just that, the glucose tolerance test is so awful and I hate it.  Thanks.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010


We live in a noisy, busy world.   

Part of that noise is good and welcome… like music, the silly chatter of a toddler, inspiring words, the whistling of the tea kettle, the crunch of leaves under foot.

The other kind just comes along sans invitation and if we are not careful, it tends to be louder than we realize.  For each of us it can found in different places, but lately, I find these things to be extra noisy: excessive political news and opinions, pointless drama, neighbors who have zero awareness that they are not the only ones living in the building, and dare I say… never ending talk about baseball playoffs.  I said it.  I did.  These things have felt louder and louder in the past few weeks and a bit more quiet would be nice.

I’m taking a few days to adjust the volumes and refresh.  This mama is tired, tired, tired, because having a toddler and growing a baby is a full-time job.  The energy levels are low and with less unnecessary noises, I can focus on more important matters such as: knitting projects, a 2nd birthday party that is coming soon, my neglected books, refilling the well of inspiration, and simply being with my little family…. oh, and sleep.

So, while it’s a bit quieter here on my blog for a few days, I hope your world is the right level of noisy, because of the good sounds rather than the others.

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.”  Mother Teresa



Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Premiere of Thursday’s Someone

I’m really excited to kick off a new feature here on the blog, where I get to introduce you to talented and interesting people, that you should know.  I hope to bring interviews and stories about creative and inspiring people, who not only make cool things but who are doing amazing things with their lives.
We’re kicking things off with Regina Cummings.  She runs a fun etsy shop called VivatRegina, which highlights unique handmade jewelry and most recently, the most adorable baby mobiles.  She also blogs about her creative life, her current adoption/foster parenting process, and more.  I asked her some questions that you might wonder yourself.  Enjoy!
Regina Cummings
Tell us who you are and a little about yourself.
My name is Regina and I’m a happily married woman to a wonderful husband and Youth Minister. My life consists of working for an online high school, going to church and being involved in many ways there, crafting, keeping house, running around after a Youth Group, taking care of our two cats and one dog, completing the application process to get dual licensed for Foster Care/Adoption, reading books/magazines/blogs, planning fun events, and then relaxing by watching “my shows” or just sitting out on our patio and breathing in life, nature and our Creator.
Tell us what a picture perfect fall day in your life would be like.
[This one was tricky because I had two perfect days in mind… so I decided to mesh them together.] It would be a cold, drizzly morning and my closest friends and I would be piled up in my living room, snuggled under blankets and watching chick flicks and romantic movies. We would talk about life, men, cute butts, hair styles, accessories, God, love, the future, the past, our hopes, our wishes, our dreams. We would sip hot chocolate and eat too many brownies. Then in the afternoon the rain would stop, the sky would clear and we would change clothes, put on our rain boots, grab our kids and significant others and head out to a Pumpkin Festival where we would scour the field for the perfect pumpkin, listen to folk music while eating homemade goodies, go through a corn maze and then close with a hayride.
Name five things (not people) you’d never want to live without.
My phone, computer,  chapstick, a bathroom with shower, books to read, music, paper and pens.
{Regina, this is 8 things.}
Name one place you have never been but dream of visiting.
Europe. I’ve dreamed of going to Europe for as long as I can remember. I am planning a trip to Italy in 2016 or 2017, for my husband and I. It’ll be a guided tour vacation package for about 10-12 days.
What is your favorite word?
Tofurkey. Which is tofu turkey and I have never eaten it or tried it, but just saying the word makes me smile.
Because we’re all human, what is the biggest challenge to your creativity/inspiration/success?
I would say time/money/laziness are tied.
What project are you most excited about currently?
Other than this process for Foster Care/Adoption, it would have to be my new line of children’s room mobiles.  I’ve got some really cute designs sketched out, now I just got to get them in production mode.
Birds and Cloud Mobile. Your colors. Made to Order.
What would you tell someone who wants to be more active in their creativity/interests?
Take some advice from Nike and “just do it”. Seriously. I had been wanting to paint for a long time and I was nervous, but I just finally went and bought my supplies and started painting. I loved it.  I did the same thing with jewelry and scrapbooking. I was nervous and unsure, but I’ve learned to stop holding myself back based on fears and insecurities and just go for it. There are TONS of online videos on youtube and other places that can teach you how to do new projects.  I learned how to crochet by watching online videos.  So do your research, buy your supplies and just do it.
Who is one artist/designer/crafter/inspiring person that you would want readers to know about, also?  
Hands down, Marc Chagall, find out more here.

Thanks Regina for taking time to share about your life and creativity here on The Saturated Palette.  Be sure to check out her blog and super cute shop
Also, if you have other questions, you’d love to ask future guests, let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sunday’s words for Wednesday.

We sang these words on Sunday morning.  These incredible words written in 1861.  Still as powerful and true today.

Old Church

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on his hands,
My name is written on his heart;
I know that while in heaven he stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the One,
Risen Son of God!
Behold him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I am,

The King of glory and of grace!
One in himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by his blood
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God

Words: Charitie Bancroft, 1863. Music: William Bradbury, 1861.


Beautiful, yes?


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

baby growing diaries #5

What?  This is the first photo you’ve seen of pregnant me, how shocking!  How bizarre.  I mean, what an outrage.
Clearly, when it comes to belly-shot-sharing and other sharing, there are two kinds of people, those who do and those who don’t.  And since this is the first photo you’ve seen, it’s obvious which group I am in.   I have absolutely nothing against the other group, because I would never want to discredit the joys and excitement of documenting the wonderful journey of pregnancy ever.  EVER.  It’s really an incredible process, the beauty of a precious life growing inside of you.   So, take all the pictures you want, record every detail, share anything you want, it’s not about me.
But if I get my say about how I share and document my own baby growing adventures… which I do… I certainly have an opinion or two or four.
For example:
Don’t expect to find tons of maternity photos here.  I prefer taking pictures of fall leaves, sunsets, random inspiration, and a rather delightful, almost 2 year old… not so much my exposed or unexposed abdomen.  Asking for photos won’t increase the chances of them appearing, so in case you needed proof that I am pregnant… trust me, I am.
If you wondering if I want to you rub my growing belly, chances are  a huge resounding, no.  Unless, you actually created this child with me or happen to be a sibling to this baby,  I’m good with no touching.  I mean, would you want me to rub your un-pregnant belly?  No, really?  Strange.  But, you could buy me a latte, never a mocha, or make cookies, or write a sweet note to the baby, which I will be sure to save and read aloud to her.  Those are wonderful alternatives.
It is also unlikely that you will find extensive details about how little miss h arrives, namely the graphic, intricate, “fluid-related” bits.  If you’re really curious, there is a video called the miracle of life or something… or there’s a good chance that at any moment, you could turn on TLC and see someone delivering a baby.  Further, I won’t be sending out any invites to join me in the delivery room on that wonderful day, the husband is all the company I need.  I just feel like it’s our moment and I generally like seeing people when I’m clean, showered, and well, not experiencing some of the greatest pains known to humanity.  I do, however, enjoy visitors who come after the major event and who stay for appropriate (short) amounts of time.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that while I enjoy sharing memories and pieces of my life very much, I’m a bit more private when it comes to pregnancy and child birth. 
But there are some things that I am more than willing to share such as…
how wonderful it is to feel my baby moving inside of me, hearing that heartbeat on the monitor, thinking about the person she’ll be.
how excited we are to meet her and become a family of four.
news of her blessed arrival.
photos galore of the little lady.
and endless adventures together.

So, thanks for listening to my little story. In case you ever wondered where are the photos? what are the details?
… now you know.

Monday, October 4, 2010

little things: life things

this weekend…
fall flowers
My love brought home gorgeous fall colored flowers, just because.
fall colors
We took a long walk around the neighborhood on a cool, fall night complete with our camera and a salted caramel hot chocolate.  We had no other intentions besides capturing beauty… the sun setting in the sky, the resilient blooms not yet withered, the lights from the shop windows filling the street with coziness on a calm, chilly night.
fall on lake minnetonka
We sat on the bench and noticed… a lone sailboat silently floating across the lake, a solitary fisherman by the water’s edge, and other brave walkers uninhibited by the chill in the air.
And H greeted every person, baby, dog, bird, boat, and car… and tried to drink all the hot cocoa he could.  (We should never have told him it tasted like warm chocolate milk.)
falls  last roses
After the sun set, the cocoa gone, and our noses pink,  we agreed that this was the perfect way to spend our Friday evening.  together. amazing by the beautiful world.
fall night lights
Then, we walked a little faster towards our apartment, in anticipation of  a cozy fire, our warm pjs,  pumpkin cheesecake, and Thursday’s episodes of our favorite shows.

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” – Charles Spurgeon

How was your weekend?  I hope it was lovely.