Store Blogging & Birthday


Hi all – sorry for being so quiet, but we’ve had a lot of fires to put out lately, and I’ve been at the store most of the time.  I am still thinking about my encyclopedia letters – I have C picked out, but so far no D or E.  But it’ll come to me!  I probably won’t pick up again until after this weekend, as for my birthday I get two whole days with just my husband.  I don’t even want any presents, I just want to walk and drive around, holding hands, looking at things and talking about everything we love.  Likely we’ll stick around Snohomish then, because I love this little town, and living in it hasn’t reduced its charm.


I have been doing some blogging on the store blog, though, so if I’m quiet here, chances are I’m not quiet there, and vice versa.  I think it might take me some trial and error before I strike the right balance between the two blogs, as much of what I want to share on the Weed Patch blog I would also love to share here, but is it tacky to cross post?  Oh, I’ll figure it out.

Anyway, these are photos of a trip we took to Snohomish before we moved here.  Ever thought of even moving here.  In fact, I don’t think we were married yet in these photos.


Two sets of lovebirds…


Have a lovely weekend, Happy Birthday to me!

Back again


We are back from the family reunion. It was an extremely pleasant time, as usual, and thankfully not too hot this year. It seems that people tend to dread their family reunions (at least that is what I hear most often from folks), but we look forward to our annual get-together with great anticipation. Although my family is rather large (extended family in the 3 digits somewhere), there weren't as many people in attendance this year. Sadly, this is due to a number of health issues. I hadn't realized just how many of my family are down for one reason or another. An aunt is likely soon to pass away due to complications from failed kidneys, a young cousin is fighting a brain tumor for I think the third time, and another cousin currently occupying a nursing home bed for 6 weeks awaiting a second hip replacement. Last year one of my sweet uncles, the first of his generation, passed away from Alzheimer's (and now an aunt is showing signs of it also), and the year before that a cousin lost her battle with lung cancer. Another aunt is currently dealing with a body that won't process any nutrients from the food she eats and is thus very very weak and frail.

I always thought of us as such healthy folk, with little to no complaints or major stresses in our lives. Now, as I tally them up, it hits me that we are going through a lot right now. Family is so important to me – I can't imagine not having all my aunts and uncles and cousins. I often lament the fact that I was born the last of my generation, and thus came in to things with everyone already advanced in age. I won't get to enjoy them as long, and my children may or may not remember most of them. And they have so much to teach us.

I have been asked on many occasions, since I had Ben, how many children we plan on having. A rather person question, but I haven't minded answering. We always said we'd start with one and see how that went, then go from there. We've never been parents before, we had no idea what it was like, so how would we know how many kids we'd want to have? Now that we have Ben, Chris' answer to that question has lately been 12. Of course I have no intention of bearing that many children, but I most definitely want more than one. I love the idea of being surrounded with family – I'd like my kids to experience what its been like for me to enjoy such a large extended family. So, God willing, if we are able to (physically, financially, and of course mentally!), we'd like several. Although, I've never had to care for more than one child at a time, so I guess we'll move on to two, and again go from there. 🙂

So, not that anyone is really interested in that much detail about how many kids I want to have, but that's just part of what I got to thinking about when musing over my weekend. I really just intended to pop in for a quick hello before heading off to bed. My brother and sister-in-law are watching Ben for the day tomorrow, so I'll have several hours to myself to get our house back in order, and hopefully get a few more things in my shop.

Nighty night for now…


Happy at Home

My time at home on maternity leave has whizzed by so far. Today Benjamin is 10 weeks old, so I’m halfway through my leave time. It is interesting how different I am at home than I am at work (at least, how different I feel). I’ve been puzzled by this for the five years since I first noticed it. It occurred to me the other day when I was taking a walk outside how good I feel when I’m not indoors. Everything about me inside brightens up, my brain is more awake, and I think and see things more, and…I’m just…happier! Maybe that is what is effecting me at work? Until I got my job at the hospital, I had spent every day of my life with a significant portion of my time spent outside. In every school I’ve been to, I had to go outside to walk from class to class – elementery school, high school, and college. We lived about 12 miles outside of town on 10 acres in the country, so there was always stuff we had or wanted to do outside.

Once I started working at the hospital seven years, I spent every day all day indoors. Being inside all day long, especially when I can’t even see through a window, makes me feel like I’m very slowly dying – kind of like a flower wilting due to insufficient water and sunshine intake. Whenever I feel down, I always feel significantly better almost immediately upon walking out the door, no matter the weather. It just feels right.

I must admit that the thought of going back to work really does not thrill me. It’s not the work, or the people – I do enjoy it, for what it is – but the whole corporate life, being inside all day, looking at numbers and figures, just does not appeal to me. It is not my passion. It makes me feel like I am missing life instead of living it. It is interesting to me how much women have shunned, some quite emphatically, the stay-at-home lifestyle. Our mothers worked so hard to make it into the "man’s" corportate world, to be considered as equals in all ways including the workplace, to be seen as more than "just" a housewife and mother. This subject comes back relatively often in my conversations with my great friend Holly. We love being mothers, wives, and homemakers. I love to spend time with my family, care for my son, be helpmate to my husband, clean the house, cook delicious meals (or try), create beautiful things for the home or as gifts for loved ones, and everything that goes along with all this. I even enjoy laundering and folding my son’s little outfits. We eat healthy homecooked meals, spend more time with our family and friends, get more exercise and fresh air, and are more involved in each other’s lives. I love this. It makes me feel alive. Now, why haven’t I felt this way for the last 7 years in my job? Do I have a bad attitude about my job? Do I need to make better use of my time, be more organized, work harder, or make better choices day-to-day? Or was this job really only meant to be temporary?

All people are made deliciously different. Which is wonderful. It is the spice of life. Some people want to work full-time in a job and setting like mine. But right now, I just can’t imagine wanting to do that. And I guess that makes me feel guilty sometimes, like "not everyone gets the priviledge of staying at home to work as a wife and mom, somebody has to work at these places so they can run properly and provide the services the community needs, so I should just work and be grateful about it." But then I think that perhaps some people do not find what I do all day very appealing either. Let’s see, today I have done several loads of laundry, washed our dishes, fed and changed my son multiple times, cooked dinner, picked up the house, wrote thank you notes, fed the cat, said hello to a neighbor, taken Ben for a walk outside, and a number of other related tasks. I was on my feet for probably 11 out of the 12 hours of the day. My own meals, personal hygene, and other needs went on hold, as my son’s came first. Many folks might find this to be a completely dull life. But I absolutely love it. It makes me happy. It makes me feel at home, that I’m doing what I was made to do. Home, God, family, and creating are my passion. So why do I feel so guilty about it? Its like if I’m happy, then I must be not be doing what I should be doing, because toiling to earn a living shouldn’t be fun – treating myself, playing, is fun. Not being productive. Work and fun are mutually exclusive, right?

My heart knows this is emphatically untrue, but my head is having a hard time with it. I seem to be one of those people that is only happy when they are miserable, because I tend to make things so darn difficult. Silly me! I see this is something I’ll have to think and write on more over time.

Enter the strawberry. Don’t ask me why in the world a jar shaped like a strawberry the size of a soccer ball appeals to me, but when I saw it, I knew it belonged in my kitchen. I don’t collect strawberries, and didn’t particulally need a cookie jar. But the thing just makes me happy. Every time I see it in my kitchen, it makes me smile. Happily, the price was within my budget, so I purchaed it. And now it is in my kitchen and makes me smile every day. That’s all. And I’ll just leave it at that!

Except of course for the usual photo of Ben.

Sigh. I am happy.

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Trinkets and Treasures

Day number 2 in my first official week as full-time wife and mom and everything that goes along with that. We had a lovely day, full of feeding, playing, and cleaning. I don’t mean that to sound as sarcastic as it does in print – really, it was a very nice day. See, while caring for Ben, I am also attempting to tackle the unpacking from a month long road trip, plus finding homes for the fifty trillion wonderful gifts we received from a couple baby showers. Ben received all really nice thoughtful gifts, but then you get it all home and realize once you’ve cut off the tags, washed all the clothes, broken down the boxes, and saved all the ribbons, you have to then put all the stuff away, which of course means rearranging everything else to make homes for all the new stuff. A lot of work, but kind of fun too. I still think I’ve made a bigger mess than I’ve cleaned up, but I suppose it is always worse before it is better.

So what do I do when I have piles and piles of stuff accumulated on every possible surface? I hang a shelf. Then arrange pretty things on it. I find the whole house environment, as well as my day spent tackling it, is rather worthwhile when at the end of it you have something lovely to look at. My mother-in-law picked up this shelf at a garage sale for $5, then my mom refinished it. It is hanging in the kitchen right at eye level when you walk in the back door, and has a few of my treasures on it.

The top shelf has some of the Portmerion dishes I picked up from the factory where they make it in England, a place called Stoke-on-Trent (I’m sure I butchered the spelling). They have a shop full of "seconds," where if one little tendril of one little leaf isn’t perfectly straight, they mark it down considerably. They had some marked down even more with flaws that were more noticable – those they send to America, as they say we don’t know any better. And usually we don’t. Anyway, the second shelf has a few of my peach lustre Fire King cups and saucers. Don’t ask me where I picked up a liking for this set, but it struck my fancy about a year ago. I had a mind to pick up some black dishes then have a festive set to work with in the fall. The bottom shelf has three pink depression tumblers I got on sale at an antique store during our recent (well, only) trip to Fort Collins, CO. I don’t even collect Depression glass, but they were SO pretty on their shelf, they looked like they belonged on a cover of a magazine – like on a white wicker table and chair set out in the garden with a pitcher of pink lemonade with fresh mint inside. The cup and saucer is the Autumn pattern of Royal Daulton’s Brambly Hedge – the illustrations look just like Beatrix Potter, but I don’t think they’re related at all. I absolutely love it. This cup I found for $10 at the Goodwill, of all places. Then the covered glass dish thingy was a gift from my mom – I threw her a tea party last year for her birthday, where she and a bunch of her friends drove up and when antiquing for the day while I prepared their meal. She came home with this for me, which I typically keep full of some kind of candy.

So that’s the story behind my shelf. I’m not sure that anyone really cares what each item on my shelf is or where it comes from, but it felt good to tell it anyway. I only arranged all that stuff on here because I thought it looked good, but as I got to writing about it, I realized each piece has a personal story and memory. I tend to not like decorations for the simple sake of decorations, I like them to mean something to me in some way. I didn’t think I was being that meaningful when I put the shelf together, but now that I think about it, there’s a lot of memories on there. Maybe that will inspire me in some way tomorrow when I start tackling the dishes with a sink whose hot water nozzle won’t turn off (if you can even get it on in the first place). Again. Sigh.

Lovely Sunday

The view out my front door today. It was so lovely I had to snap a photo.

New chair for my studio, picked up yesterday for $35. It has been in my favorite antique store since we moved here in the spring, so I took that as a sign that it was meant to be mine.

My Own Cardreader!

Bless my dear husband, I finally have my own card reader! I don’t have time to write much now, but wanted to get a couple photos out of hiding in my camera before I hop in bed. The fan was my most favorite thrifted find this summer, $20 at the antique mall in our Country Village. The produce photo is a sampling of the weekly goodies we enjoy on Thursdays at the Snohomish Farmer’s Market, just accross the block from our house. Yum! The star is from our store – 30", metal, distressed Robin’s Egg Blue, hanging in my studio. I love it!

Night night all…Happy Birthday Eve to me…

Tea Party Photos

For some reason my website entirely disappeared for a few days, but it is all sorted out now. Whew!

Still cleaning up from the tea party, but here are a few photos of the flowers for some eye candy for the day. Happy summer!

New Home and Other Good News

I haven’t kept up on my blog this week, mostly due to complete insanity this week – my whole routine was thrown off and apparently I don’t do well with that because I’m being sort of a nutcase. Where do I begin? I attended a class and exam this week and thus wasn’t at work, I received my incredible purchases from ebay that just about made me fall on the floor, my Claudine Hellmuth class and Artfest is only a week away, and the biggest thing was (drum roll, please) we found a house to rent! Words cannot describe how wonderful this place is, I’m still waiting for the bubble to burst, to pinch myself and wake up, for the punch line, etc. How do I describe this place?

Ok, so it is a historic home (I think built in 1900) located about a block from main street Snohomish, a beautiful little mill town north of Seattle. I am a stone’s throw away from antique shops, country stores, tea parlors, a bakery, a homemade candy store, the Snohomish Arts Center, the mill, the Snohomish river, and gorgeous farmland. It’s the kind of place where it is seems like there is a legal requirement to display carved pumpkins on your porch during Halloween, to go caroling from house to house during Christmas, that sort of thing.

The house has all the original woodwork, light fixtures, and wallpaper – much of which we wouldn’t select ourselves if we were building the house, but the history of it has a charm of its own. It has four bedrooms, two bathrooms (one with a clawfoot tub – GASP!), full basement and attic, hardwood floors, tons of cupboards and drawers (including those vintage flour and sugar drawers in the kitchen which I have only ever seen in the house I grew up in). It has updated wiring and new double-paned windows for efficiency, an extra mudroom & sun room off of the kitchen, and the garden area surrounding the house is chock full of iris, daffodils, wisteria, huge camellia and rhododendron bushes, and a plum tree. Our bedroom window looks out over the mill, and my art studio has a big sink and tons of cupboards in it, including a huge closet. It’s like I’m in a movie, not reality.

Assuming the previous tenants (owners of the local artist’s gallery/store in town) are out in time and the landlords (which turned out to be the landlord of our store in Country Village!) can do the things they need to do before we can move in, we’ll officially be living there on April 15th. I will have a full kitchen, art studio, washer/dryer, garden, porch, a place to grow herbs, and a bedroom that fits more than just our bed. Considering I thought the world ended when our previous house find fell through, I see now that God knows a lot better than I do. I should listen to him more often, it would save me a lot of time and trouble.

Anyway, I’m starting to go crazy again with all the goodness and excitement going on, so I am going to close for now and write more later. Today I have to shop for my last few Artfest needs, get busy finishing up my trades, and start putting some inventory up on my website. So far I have some awesome vintage/antique buttons from an old button factory, old skeleton keys, printer’s blocks of all sizes, antique glass buttons that I’m REALLY having a hard time parting with, and a couple pieces of original artwork. I bought some gorgeous paper at Daniel Smith on Friday to make some journals for sale, and the paper is so lovely I’m afraid to work with it. Once I get over that, I’ll have some various handmade books up for sale. Then, as soon as I get my back-end business stuff sorted out, I’ll have all kinds of artsy mess-making supplies up for sale – inks, paints, pens, ribbons, glass glitter, and more! Oh dear, I’m starting to get way too excited again…