243: bees. no birds.

Recent thrift finds.

This was the first thing I saw when I walked into Savers last time.

I gasped:

And yes, I found another one:

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Sugar Snap is here! Pictures soon, I promise.

How are you?

xo,

m

228: Christmas in July

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ok, first: Someone please tell me that you got the title of the previous post.

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 Yard sale cuteness from last weekend:

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Oh, yes. Vintage ceramic elves. Love them.

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Big feet! And you know what that means. (Big shoes, you naughty bird.)

Look at the the darling expression:

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Such personality with just a few strokes.

Uh oh:

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Thor makes an appearance! You know you missed him. It was a balancing act to capture this cuteness while being ready to catch one of the figures should Thor knock it off the windowsill. Worth it.

Hey, did I ever tell you that I can juggle? I taught myself in  the spring of 2000. If I've been practicing a lot, I can even juggle four, but just for 3 or 4 passes. That is hard, yo!

Juggling is awesome because it requires total focus. It's actually a great meditation and stress reliever. Learning to juggle is funny, because you absolutely will suck at it for a few hours and then gradually you start to get it.

It's really useful to be willing to be bad at something. It builds perseverance and humility. And in a way, faith. I kind of wish I could go through the process of learning to juggle again, because I sure could use some of that faith stuff.

xo, m

209: sad but truthful

I am off balance.

Since my return from Portland, I have  scurried to the bathroom to cry a few times a week (at my day job.)
Is that too honest?

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Of course I don't need to tell you this. But Yummy Goods  really is a representation of me, and it's either share this part of me or stop blogging till I feel better. And I  really enjoy blogging- that is, I  enjoy the interaction with you- so I don't want to just wait and not post until it's all happy and pretty.

And you wouldn't want me to, either, right? 

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Life is good.

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There are amazing things happening that I have worked my ass off for.  Yes, all of this wonderful stuff is going on. I am grateful.

Yet, my internal world is a troubled place sometimes.

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My heart hurts from a challenging situation with a close friend. I struggle with loneliness, even when there are people around me who love me. See, this is me, the second  one from the left:

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I think everyone has these things going on, but  having arm-wrestled with depression my whole life, I sink down far and I sink down fast.

Before the trip, I was in a  routine of eating clean, running, practicing yoga, limiting television and limiting what I call 'screwing around online'.
That routine is the life vest that keeps me from getting swallowed by the undertow. I need to be in that routine to feel balanced. I really have to put a lot of effort in to just feel ok and at ease. I am glad I have finally learned what it takes, but since Portland, I have yet to find my way back to these practices.

I know what I have to do, now I just have to , you know, do it!

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*Today I am going to work in the garden.

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The physical work, being in nature, the satisfaction of growing something, the pleasure in making my yard beautiful- it does wonders for my spirit.

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*I will drink a bunch of water, something I just won't do unless I set my mind on it . ( and even then, it's hard! I am a camel. Moo.)

*I will eat clean today. ( That means not eating an entire rhubarb-strawberry-nectarine crisp like I did this week! Yes, I really did. The whole damn thing.)

*I will  limit tv and internet today.

*I will go for a walk today. It might be a slow walk, more of a stroll. But I will start to get back into the habit of setting aside time to  exercise.

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*I'll spend the evening playing with paint and paper. I have a mixed-media jones. I will put on my painty overalls ( not my dirty gardening overalls) and get messy for a few hours.  I do love getting messy. I love taking paint and paper (or anything, really) and messing with it  until it looks pretty. There is something really magical about it.

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So. That is what my day looks like. That's the plan, anyways. I'll report back tomorrow.

Tell me, what are you going to do today?

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I wanna know. 

xo, m

(illustrations courtesy of The Treasury of Games

 

207: product of integrity, endorsed

Hey!

Won't you join me as  I continue the show and tell of the Memorial Day weekend  yard sale haul?

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I love these old-timey prints. Reproductions, but still.

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Smooth inside.

Some bits: 

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Coats and Clark  is the parent company of Westminster Fibers (which produces the Free Spirit line that I design for.)

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One of my favorite things, faux patchwork: 

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And check this out, faux puffy quilting!:

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The colors didn't come out accurately, but this one really makes my heart flip flop:

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The orange is much more brilliant in real life, and the chocolate is dark, not milk.

Prepare to be jealous:

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I know!

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This week, I sent off my second strike offs of Sugar Snap! We are now in production, baby!

I just ordered the newest version of the design program I use, Adobe Illustrator. Yay! Now I can work on the laptop!  I am psyched to get started on my next fabric lines. I tend to work on a bunch of stuff at once, then let it shake down into something cohesive. That's a fancy way of saying that I never have a plan.

Ok, kids.
Time for me to hop in the shower and get ready for my day job.  I love starting my day with you like this!

I hope you have an awesome day.

xo, m


205: honeysuckle neighborhood

Ahhhhh. Bare-armed + warm = happiness.

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I finally spent some time gardening over the last couple of weekends. You should see my hilarious sunburn from today. On my upper back, I have a perfect triangle from where the straps of my overalls meet into a V. Kinda like a widow's peak. Widow's sunburn?

We used to have the ugliest lamp post. It was this matte black with a broken and corroded (not in a good way) lantern- just depressing. We found a copper-colored lantern for 10 bucks and spraypainted that and the pole a glossy white. Then my honey took a wooden dowel and painted that, stuck it through the hole and put  round wooden drawer pulls on the ends. And now look:

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Isn't it cute? The hanging planter is by Madelyn Macedo

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If you feel that you must have one, Maddie will be at the Boston Handmade Marketplace on Saturday, June 28th. And I may just be with her!

The birdbath is a couple of yard-saled items put together. Got the cement  top for $2 and I don't even know what that bottom thing is, but it was rusty and cheap so I had to have it. 

Here, you can see it better in this shot:

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Got some annuals last week, as well as a bunch of veggies.

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I usually have a hard time spending money on plants that are just for show and don't come back. I just buy the cheapie six packs, it's not like I get the 25$ hanging baskets. But still, it adds up. (Yeah, yeah, I could grow them from seed, but I am just not diligent enough to water the poor things everyday, which is sad for all concerned.)

This year, though, I've  been thinking of it a little differently.  For the holiday season, we buy a tree and lots of people buy wreaths and swags and holly. And that stuff is out for a month at best. Annuals will be making me happy with their flowering-like-mad ways for 5 months or so. Totally worth it!

Did I help you justify any recent purchases? I hope so. That's what I'm here for. You can count on me, baby.

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You see this silver mound artemesia, on the right?:

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Well, it started off last year as  just a piece that broke off of the main plant when my dogs were using my garden as a wrestling mat.  I am a scavenger and save everything, so I took the broken piece and stuck it in one of my  flower pots, just to give it a chance to survive if it wanted to. It did and now it is its own whole plant! I love that.  You can use a rooting hormone and be all fancy about it if you want, but usually I'm too busy with the task at hand, or you know, yelling at the dogs.

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Mmmmm. I love it when the neighborhood is perfumed by flowering shrubs. The last few weeks have been violet, this week is honeysuckle, Yum!

But for me, the  winner of the Smell of Summer Award is privet, which I am looking forward to. My honey doesn't share my feelings about this.  He thinks privet smells like cat pee.

But then again, he doesn't like pie, so what does he know?

204: certified fresh daily

Hey, how is your weekend going?

I went to bed really early  last night (9 pm!) and then this morning I went to yoga for the first time in 3 weeks.  It felt great. I hate it when I miss class for that long, though. I am going to be a hurtin' puppy tomorrow, that is for sho.

As promised , some of my fabric score from last week's estate sales:

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I am not usually crazy about blue paired with yellow, but I like this:

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The metallic gold which looks great with the blue, don't you think? While we're on the topic,
how do you feel about metallics on quilting fabric? You know, just curious...

I really like the thick outline on this one:

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I absolutely love this:

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>>>>Oh, hey, don't forget to leave a comment on my 200th post- and maybe some of these fabrics will be yours! I will randomly choose the winner of The 200th Post Giveaway on the morning of Friday, June 6th.<<<<

So, can you believe my score from last weekend? All those vintage patterns and the fabric- and this is just the blue fabric! Actually, it is just some of the blue fabric!

Plus, there was other stuff, like this:

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That brief-case-toting (???) running baby is from this:

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Yeah, I don't get it either, but I do love it.

Ceramic rooster, plastic deer, and in the background ---a bacon press:

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I don't eat bacon, but damn, it does smell good.
I may be  overusing this rooster, but I don't care:

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Instructions on how to make a sock elephant:

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And a sock monkey!

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Do you see that in the upper right there? It says "optional hats."
I don't think that fez is optional at all. That fez is necessary.

I haven't told you about our thing for fez-monkeys yet, have I?

Oh, we have a lot to talk  about.

201: size bust hip

Yes, really. Twice in one day.

I couldn't wait  to get started with showing you the awesome stuff I scored  last weekend.
At a church sale, I spied a couple of boxes of sewing patterns and started rifling through them.

I pulled out these first:

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Followed by a couple of others:

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Then one of the ladies who was working the sale excitedly said,"You sew?? Oh, I'll make you a great deal on these! How about 3 dollars for that whole box?"

Sold! And a smaller box for 2 bucks.

And look at what I discovered when I got home and emptied the boxes onto the lawn:

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Vintage kid's clothes patterns!

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Love those illustrations.

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And how about these:

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Oh yes, vintage apron patterns!

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Some little pouches and smocking instructions: 

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And a full shot of this one, wow:

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Hey, if you haven't already, don't forget to leave a comment on the 200th post for a chance to win a Yummy Goods  Prize!
What will it be? Well, I'm still working on that, not sure. So far I'm thinking a bunch of fabric, maybe a little painting, jewelry supplies, cool rusty bits... Perhaps a vintage sewing pattern? You know, if you're into that kind of thing.

xo, m 

191: win love key

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God morning,

ha ha I just realized I typed God morning!  I am going to leave it because I think it's funny.

>Ahem.<

Good morning to you. I am trying to quickly heal a sore throat and fever situation before I leave for Quilt Market ! Drat! I think it was the marathon of shopping that did me in.

For today, just a few more images from The Game Of Happiness that I love so much:

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And when you overcome a 'hang-up for love,' you 'win love key':

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I leave for Oregon on Wednesday! I am  excited about meeting everyone and getting a feel for the industry.
I will  be reporting back with every detail I can remember.

In the meantime, I am taking good care of myself so I can heal this sore throat.

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Yay, I love pink.

xo, mba 

190: open the door?

Hey, lookie what I found at an estate sale a couple of weeks ago:

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Yep, another one!
Actually, my Honey grabbed it for me. (Tee hee - my honey.)

Another game I scored:

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Mystery Date!

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I love this illustration:

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and this:

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Last week, the leaves finally sprung!

My heart flip-flops for that light yellowy-green of baby leaves. Driving down scenic route 6A on Cape Cod is such a treat at this time of year. I always keep an eye out for when the 'canopy' appears- the trees from either side of the road extending their offerings of frilly new growth, creating a verdant  canopy  over the street.

>sigh<

I'm in love with spring.

And now we conclude this morning's post with your daily installment of The Game of Happiness:

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xo,
mba

189: Sincerity is In

(pink robe, pink living room, soy coffee)

Got this cute mug thrifting the other day:

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Isn't it pretty? It has a chip on the other side, but do you think I care? No, no I don't.

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Yoga newsflash: I did my first headstand last week! All by myself, no wall, no spotter. Held it for 30 seconds!

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I don't usually give a rat's ass what is "in" or "out" but this is one trend worth following: 

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You heard it here, Phoniness is Out! 

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Yay! Sincerity is In! 

(From the Game of Happiness, featured in the previous post.) 

I have been stressing a little about what to wear to Quilt Market. I mean, I will be meeting a lot of people and I want to feel comfortable and look good, of course. Part of me wants to really plan outfits and be all decked out and professional-looking. But then I remember that Phoniness Is Out!

I am sure I will still wear heels  at some point, which I rarely do in real life, but that is because I am pretty sure that most of the designers are Amazons, and I am ... well... more elfin.  And I do love heels. But I am also thinking I will wear jeans, multiple times without washing- because that is when they fit best. And  hoodies, since I pretty much live in them. I need to remember to present myself as who I am, not who I think others expect me to be.
Sincerity is In!   And thank god, because I am a terrible faker.

A little affirmation for your day:

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xo, mba 

188: happiness (tm)

Good morning.
I am sitting here  curled up on the couch in my pink robe ( in my pink living room!)

I am drinking my soy coffee. I think I have mentioned it before, but this is what it is: I take a little bit of water and mix it with Maxwell House Bold instant coffee. Then I add plain soymilk and microwave it. It tastes just like a soy latte. I do eat dairy, I just am trying not to have as much sugar - that's why I have this instead of regular coffee with cream and sugar.  The soymilk has enough natural sweetness that it doesn't require additional sweetening up. Yum. Plus, I'm sweet enough already, right?

Some little bijoux from an estate sale a couple of weeks ago:

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Again, sorry for the blur, but you know I had to include the cat feet.

Love these yellow clip ons. I think they might become pendants.

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And there was only one of these, but it is so darling:

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This will definitely become a centerpiece for a necklace, after it gets a good scrubbing with a toothbrush! 

Oh, and this, because there is never enough:

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I noticed this morning that I am nearing my 2ooth post! Funny, It took me nearly a year to go from 1 to 100, but only 4 months to go from 100 to 200! Guess I finally got into a groove.

Speaking of getting into the groove, I must admit that I love Madonna. I don't want to, I mean I feel like I shouldn't for some reason, but I just can't help it. There, I said it.

Ok, back to the topic- my 200th post. You know what that means: giveaway, baby! I think I might put together a  one big one and use my little bundles of bits as extras so there can be more than one winner.

As for the big prize, I am still figuring out what it will be. Of course, I don't have my fabric to give away yet, so it will have to be something else. Maybe some other Free Spirit designer's fabrics. Maybe some of my vintage fabric stash? Maybe some estate sale goodies? Jewelry made by me or supplies? Artwork? Maybe all of the above? Any suggestions?

As a thank you to the people who are kind enough to link to me, I think I will have the big prize be available to them only, with the smaller goodies available to anyone. Does that sound fair? So now that I've given you a head's up, it's fine with me if this spurs you to link to me, I mean, you were just about to anyways, right? I won't feel like you're doing it just for the prize. I promise.

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I found the most awesome old game at the same estate sale where I got the jewelry above. The Game of Happiness! Yes!

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I had never heard of it, have you? 

This made me chuckle: 

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Happiness is trademarked!

And this, well I just love this: 

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The Rainbow of Happiness!

This is so good that I am going to have to parcel it out and show a bit each day.

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A little happy thought for your day, courtesy of The Game of Happiness (tm): 

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xo, mba

181: lunch break hello

Oh my god, you guys! The samples came in and they are blowing my mind!
Sneakity peekity to come this weekend. This is all so surreal.
I went out to celebrate last night with my Honey.
Creme brulee, mais bien sur! 

Until I get a chance to photograph the fabric (my fabric, oh my god!) please enjoy this crazy mug I scored a few years ago:

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At the top it says "How to diet successfully and fight fat"

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What is up with this pink guy! ?

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So weird.  

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One more weird thing about me? I rarely do this:

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The eat slowly thing, I mean. Well, I suppose I don't use a stopwatch either, but you knew what I meant, right? You get me.

But let me tell you:
One thing that I do eat slowly- I mean like at a glacial pace- is creme brulee. And boy did I milk it last night, picking the tiny sugary bits off of the dish with my fingers and everything.

Oh, drool......

                           ....

                               ..

                              ...

                                   .
 

xo, mba

177: wish watch mouth

Good morning!  

I have been doing some spring cleaning. Not the traditional kind, more of a spiritual kind.

When I was really down last month, I realized (again) how downright cruel I can be to myself. Years ago, I used to be only filled with self hate- constantly insulting myself, repeating hurtful phrases to myself as some kind of torturing mantra.

I have come a long way since then, but , boy, when I start sinking down, those thoughts come back like an army of flying monkeys of the soul!

I have been consciously  trying to replace those negative thoughts with positivity and optimism.

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Of course, when I am feeling good, this isn't really that hard. The dark feeling are more manageable when they are small passing clouds in an otherwise sunny day. But when the storm comes... Well, I am practicing being kind to myself so that when the storm comes ( and there will be storms ) I am in the habit of helping myself with thoughts instead of hurting myself with them.

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In addition to working to change my thought patterns and self-talk, I am changing some of my other habits. I have been spending less time online and more time outside. I have been eating more moderately and getting more exercise. I have been putting on my ipod and listening to music or podcasts instead of watching tv. I am feeling better and enjoying the changes I am putting into place. In the past, I have  done these things intermittently, but I really want them to be a more consistent way of life. It feels so good. Why do I let these practices go?

To help keep this going, I am treating each new positive impulse as a lit match. I cup my hands around it and protect it so it doesn't get put out by a slight wind. When I have one of those thoughts like "ooh, it's really nice out, I should go for a walk," I  try to act on it quickly, before I have time to talk myself out of it or get distracted. I am practicing overcoming inertia!

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Above is another one of my thrifted tea towels.
Isn't it cute? I thought it was fitting for the topic.

What's going on with you all? 

176: love is a special way of feeling

Hey.
Is the weekend over already?
>sigh<

Some birdies from last  month: 

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I don't even mean to collect birds; it just happens.

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Thor loves his place in the sun. He especially seems to enjoy it when his place in the sun is also my little photo shoot. He's a natural.  Can you see that he has a swirly gray belly?
Thor's nicknames: Sor-Sor, Shim,  Mr. T, Puppy Cat.

Here, now you can see the shadow action I was going for:

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Smooch!

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My honey brought this book to my attention at an estate sale:

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Uh, is it just me, or is she incredibly Hello Kitty-ish? 

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So cute!

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Those little faces are killin' me.

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I was tagged again to list seven weird things about me. As  before, I like to play - but not by the rules. So I am going to just keep adding to my original list  whenever I think of something weird ( or random ) about me. I suggest you do the same - it's kind of fun to keep an eye out for those things about oneself that others might find odd or surprising or funny. Sure, some of them will be downright dull - they can't all be winners, right? 

Since I already added one on, I think I should be at:

#9.  I really want to dye my hair pink.

#10. I have an unreasonably high tolerance for mess and disarray.

#11. I got my license when I was 22 or 23. I didn't drive regularly until a year later. For the first couple of years, I would not allow any passengers.

#12. Brussels sprouts are like candy to me. 

xo, m

175: on cakes

 Well, hello!

Hey, do you guys read sfgirlbybay?
Well I do, and what a neat surprise it was to see a photo of my bathroom shelf  in yesterday's post !

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A good friend of mine got engaged recently (congratulations, a!)
It reminded me that I have yet to share this vintage wedding cake topper I got at an estate sale last month:

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Isn't it awesome?

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I've never seen anything like it, have you?  

The base: 

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Have you noticed that some of my photos lately have this pink background instead of my usual white?
I am trying to diversify. I still prefer the white, but it's good to experiment. 

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You know how I am expecting my first strikeoffs of Sugar Snap in a few weeks?

Well, I was just thinking about it the other day, and kinda just letting my mind meander around. I was thinking about what it will be like to hold my fabric, what it will be like at Market ... And suddenly I got this rush of excitement  and disbelief: I have a line of fabric coming out with Free Spirit! I still kinda feel like it hasn't really hit me yet.  Maybe I will really believe it  once I am holding those softy soft fabrics in my hands.
Soon, soon.

Oh yeah, stay tuned for an announcement from Free Spirit about that other  project I was working on with them! Should be any day now. 

Additionally, FS and I are joining forces on flickr  and now my  group Free Spirit Fabrics (and Rowan) is the Official group for all Free Spirit Fabrics! If you aren't already a member, I encourage you to join the pool and add your photos - Free Spirit wants to see what you are making with their fabrics!
I haven't made the announcement yet in the pool, so you get a little heads up, isn't that nice? 

xo, m 

174:cock-a-doodle-do

Good morning!
It is such a relief to be back on the way to feeling better.  When I am down, I forget what lightness and spunk feels like. Viva La Lightness and Spunk!

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I have been thinking about creating some designs to screenprint on linen to make tea towels. Maybe the calendar kind. Not sure yet.

Here are my favorites from my collection of thrifted tea towels:

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Actually, that top one was given to me by Cindy because it reminded her of a rooster design I did that had a retro  feel and included patterns. I'll have to show you that one. I still hope to do something with that design because I love it.

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mmmmm, linen texture....

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And this one:

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I was so psyched to find a bee one!

And here are details from the folksy one on the bottom of the picture above: 

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So cute!

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mmmm.
Yeah, I should make some.  Oooh, maybe I should adapt my own rooster design and use that as the basis for one! Yes, yes!

171: handmade?

 Found at an estate sale, of course:

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They're kind of big, maybe an inch? 

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Handmade, or just really old? 

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Hey, thanks for your comments yesterday. I feel better about it.

Obviously. 

170: pony music

Good morning, friends.

I am hanging out in the corner seat of our couch, drinking my soymilk coffee and screwing around online. That's my version of reading the paper or watching the news- it's my morning routine. What's yours?

You may recognize this little fella from that blue basket of estate sale goodies:

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My honey was like, Argh, what are you getting that for? But I managed to ignore him and get it anyways because I thought it was cute and comforting.

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And it still plays music!

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I still think about some of my treasured toys; I wonder how many people remember having this as a kid.

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Look at the sweet face! 

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What will I do with it? I think I will  hang it on the wall, eventually.


I have to admit, I worry that I bore you.

 

I didn't start off thinking that almost every post would be showing off my secondhand finds, but that is how it has played out. I just go with it because I enjoy it, and --heck-- it is my blog after all and I can do whatever I want, right? But I do still wonder whether you are disappointed that I am not showing magazine-worthy spreads of my home and projects etc. I sometimes wonder whether I should post less often. 

Oh yeah,then I feel silly for even giving all of this any thought at all! Ah, well.

Hey, I thought of another weird thing about me:
8. My eyes are not brown or blue, or green. And no, they aren't hazel either.


168: some things and 7 things

 Estate sale shopping a couple of weeks ago:

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When I'm at a sale and my arms are full of stuff, I am always on the lookout for some kind of container to carry everything in. I end up with some good stuff that way! That's how I got this blue basket. I know it's not special or anything, but I like the color and the size is perfect. I got a cute pink plastic dishpan the same way.

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That pink fish (salmon?) was filthy.

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It has since been had a bath in my pink dishpan.

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These  toys will go on my bathroom shelf of vintage goodies.

I couldn't pass up these hand towels:

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The applique and the 70's colors just charmed me.

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I was tagged a while back for the '7 weird things about me' - I'm sorry, I don't remember who tagged me.
I'm not really one for following rules, so I am not going to tag anyone else.

I'm so naughty.

1. One of my canine teeth is growing out of the roof of my mouth behind the other teeth instead of where it ought to be. 

2. The leaves of rhododendrons make me sad and uncomfortable. 

3. I didn't go to college ( too scared )  and I haven't had any art or design training. (except a great art department in high school!)

4.  I recognized myself when  I saw this on someone else's list: I am box-opening challenged/impatient. If there is a cereal box with half of the top missing, you know it was me that opened it.

5. Since elementary school, I have been fascinated by a cement trucks. I smile when I see one, as if I just saw a hummingbird or butterfly.

6. I am high-five impaired.  Because of this, my best friend and I created the slow-5. First you say "slow-5" to let me know it's coming, then we each slowly (slowly, I said!) bring our hands together to touch . I don't like to high-five, please don't make me.

7. I love cover songs. I kind of collect them.