so, this year at thanksgiving my grandma brought
a bunch of these gingham aprons and let us choose our favorites...
the pics are from the impromptu photo shoot (thanks, aunt mary!)
(some were delicate, some had pockets, some were pleated,
some were just simple and fun,
and the long red one even had a long poem about pa dutch life!)
{click on the photos to see in detail}

as it turns out, my great-aunt martha made these aprons
by the dozens and i can see why – they're so fun, cute and easy!
i love them! she chose such great color combos,
obviously got really into it, and ended up making this
lovely collection which we were all so thankful for!
agggg! i can't wait to curl up this winter by the fire and make my own...
after checking out all the details i see how truly great they are.
why so great, you might ask?
1) the gingham checks help you create your own pattern and keep it straight.
2) you can use small gingham and make lettering to make it special!
3) choosing bright colors and contrasting thread means you can use the pattern over and over but each one can be unique and special!
4) i find in projects like this that keeping simple structure can actually allow for more creativity and all the love will be in the details!

here's to continuing the tradition –
oh, my great grandkids/nieces will be so happy some day...

hey again friends,
hope everyone had a great thanksgiving!

so, in leu of the time of year –
i have to give up some thanks for the support i've been receiving lately...

first off, the artstar craft bazaar holiday show was great! i've actually gotten so many notes, orders, and contacts afterwords that it totally would have been worth it even if i didn't sell a thing while i was there. gotta love that.

one of those little notes was from ladyott saying she was going to post my goods as one of her favs from the show! hooray! thanks lady ott!

(and check out that other featured artist –
my lovely tent-mate chez sucre chez!)

plus, i've been spotted in berks county living magazine!
labeled as one of the best in berks – wowee! my very first magazine spotting.

+ lucky me – i'll be in the next wedding issue of berks county living magazine featuring unique wedding items! thanks so much BCL, you're really making my season!

check back soon for my next post about my great-aunt martha's amazing cross-stitch aprons!

this past weekend we celebrated my mom's 60th birthday!
and i guess we've started a little tradition of making heartfelt/tear-jerking slide shows – here are some of my favorites from my mom's early life ...

{1 year old. love the leg rolls.}

{i think this was 4th grade. so cute.}

{the famous raccoon friend that walked across my grandmother's painting as it was drying.}

{such a beautiful graduation photo!}

it's really a lovely thing to put photos to music and see how powerful it can be. i'm realizing more and more how important taking photos is for the people who come after you. every time i find a new picture of my parents from the past it shows me a little more into who they were outside of being my mom or dad and i find that so important now.
thank goodness for milestones and reflections.
i love you, mom!
whoo hoo - i've just set up a tumblr page and my pinterest account!
(sorry for the lack of boards and posts so far but bear with me until i get into the swing of things!) i've been feeling so out-of-the-loop with all this great stuff but i'm finally getting into it and seeing so much i love out there it's unbelievable! what inspiration! check them out for yourself and i know you'll agree...
hello there!
so here's a lengthy catch-up post from my part of the woods –

first, look at that pretty bird. sheesh do i LOVE my chickens. i mean come on, just the other day i was bringing them hot oatmeal and thinking what spoiled chickens i have – but boy do they pay me pay back in funny company. they all have such wonderful personality!
{click on this image to experience full-blown sass}

we brought their hen house up close to the garden this fall to be sure they're safe and comfy when it gets really cold.
hopefully they'll lay all winter like our past birds.

best part about them up by the house is they'll all come to hang
while we stack wood or do yard work.

here's miss D supervising...

and even using the nest box like a good girl...

what else can i say. they're awesome.

and speaking of awesome - know who's really awesome?
my friend christin kelley!
look at these fantastic mitcher's whiskey pedestal mugs she gave me for my birthday!


also, christin and i made the most amazingly easy DIY xmas gift project ever.
here's our little review...
hand-made vanilla extract

got these great glass flasks at reading china and glass for a $1 a piece!

(you could use any bottles but these were our most favorite)

then all you need is inexpensive vodka and vanilla beans!

slice each bean down the center.

next fill the jar with vodka and plunk the beans in!
(also you can make some cosmos while you work)

then you just let them sit in a cool dark place for 2 months.
perfect, cause that's exactly how much we have 'til xmas.
scary, huh?

so, we super duper recommend this DIY. it was so fun and easy and there was no mess to clean up in the end. plus. vanilla extract can be so expensive so anyone who gets a big bottle like this will be thrilled. i also plan to make an illustrated how-to tag so everyone who gets one can make their own once it's gone. how fun, right?
i'll post the tags and completed bottles once they're finished.

whew, ok that was a good catch-up – now back to work for me!
hope you're having a great day,

LOVE this