lovely finds:: a sunday full of treasures

my mom came to visit yesterday and she brought me some wonderful gifts she scored from a Saturday night auction in her neck of the woods

::50’s era tablecloth::

::vintage corning ware::

and my little pearl…

::Greta- my “new” Kodak Retina IIa::

in amazing condition

{the name Greta means “little pearl” in German…i name all my working cameras}

apparently these cameras have a cult following! it was really easy to find information online.

i found this site especially informative

this model was made in Stugart, Germany between 1951-1954

yes, that is perfectly worn leather casing!

i was so excited to put her to good use that i maybe should have read how her loading/winding mechanism works…i may not have loaded the film properly

i suppose that’s how i learn best–

get excited, rush into the thrill of the moment, make mistakes and learn how to proceed more effectively next time around!

the key to good pictures….just shoot!

{the camera came with its original box and all the above paperwork! did i mention mom paid $4 for this beauty? $4!!!}

revisiting film-

the uncertainty

 happy accidents and the thrill of surprise

mistakes that teach and perfection undefined

careful choices of subject

rushed snaps- frames sacrificed

for a few precious shots at the beginning of the roll

disappointment and chance

chaos and patience

it is temporary, timeless, fragile and pure

i think Greta has a lot to teach me. i feel she is anxious to remind me why i fell in love with photography years ago. i am ready for the adventure, Greta!

**more lovely finds- and on Easter Sunday of all days- a real “golden egg” hunt, indeed!**

::pretty blue wire basket::

{to hold all my golden eggs, of course}

::vintage napkins::

::le taureau mug::by taylor & ng 1979::

this mug was an amazing find for several reasons-

1. mike was just complaining that we only have one “larger” mug and it happens to be my favorite, and is never available for sharing

2. apparently these taylor & ng “french collection” mugs are rare and can be priced up to $70 on some sites!

3. le taureau. bull. for mike. perfect! {i mean that in the most loving way possible! you know… bulls are mannly and stuff}

4. that “larger” mug that is never available for sharing that i mentioned above…well, it’s part of the same collection! so now we each have a vintage french mug by taylor & ng so we can share equal amounts of tea/coffee/chai

yep. mine is “cochon”. pig.

and it is perfect.

{a gift from allison last winter}

i love treasure hunting days- it is the best possible shopping experience!

rainy monday morning

more rain means


::rest and nourishment::


::contemplation and re-assessment::


and so…

i am snuggled up in my comfy bed with my pups, a great book, my computer, and my camera

{the only thing missing is captain husband}

happy, rainy monday to you!

scenes of suburbia::rainy day walk

It always starts with frantic whining at the doors and windows…she needs to be outside- immediately! Unfortunately for my pups, we have had tons of rain this week- which means our yard is a swamp.

I happily give in to a walk in the rain because I could do with some time outside too. The cool breeze and light rain are more than welcome to grace my face.

So, off we go!

{don’t worry…those things keep them from pulling me…not from biting you! They hate them and try desperately to remove them by incessantly rubbing their noses in the grass…which makes me laugh my butt off!}


::great, stormy sky::

::cracks in wet pavement::

::grassy puddles::


a great many things

I have often thought about all the many, many interests I have pursued over the years. Some of these interests became passions, some were fleeting interests-and several costs many, many dollars! My education was a combination of Early Childhood Development, Sociology, Photography, Massage Therapy, and all kinds of classes in between that thrilled me and stimulated my other interests and passions. In my professional life I have been a retail salesperson & manager, nanny, pre-school teacher, kindergarten aide, massage therapist, research assistant at a large museum, and crafter–did I miss anything? I have loved every single job–even if that love only lasted a short time. Some of my personal interests and hobbies  have included collecting, sewing, photography & darkroom printing, writing, drawing, painting, movies, music, making jewelry, shopping, gardening, cooking, and on and on!

When I think back on my collection of interests, hobbies  and jobs I realize I am still passionate about all those things (at least the ones I remembered to mention!). I still  believe in high-quality childcare, child advocacy, educating and supporting parents. I loved being around children- they brighten everything- and their parents. I still remember all the names of deep muscles, where they connect, and how they move and miss being able to relieve tension and/or pain for my clients. I continue to pursue photography–although I haven’t been in a darkroom in a few years–I have embraced modern technology and now use a DSLR and Photoshop (which I swore I would NEVER do-I used to say- “I’m a purist when it comes to my photography!”) I actually loved working retail and still love shopping, appreciating and fashion. The one job that surprised me was being a research assistant- I have never been particularly good at collecting and analyzing data- at least in that capacity. Turns out I was good at it and really enjoyed the work (though I got antsy and lost interest because I am not at my best when I am tied to a computer in a cubicle). And now I am pursuing what was once only a hobby, but has always been a true love of mine- sewing and crafting.

Today one of my favorite bloggers wrote a blog post called “A Great Many Things”. As usual Kelle put words perfectly to something I have often thought and worried about–that I have some sort of deficit because I don’t “stick with” anything.  The truth is, I do “stick with” everything I love. Yes, I have had many jobs- no “real” career- but I have enjoyed my  experience working with different types of people in different environments. I have traveled and learned and loved. And I continue to pursue my interests-just not always all at once. Kelle quoted Little Women:

Jo March: I find it poor logic to say that because women are good, women should vote. Men do not vote because they are good; they vote because they are male, and women should vote, not because we are angels and men are animals, but because we are human beings and citizens of this country.
Mr. Mayer: You should have been a lawyer, Miss March.
Jo March: I should have been a great many things, Mr. Mayer.

This quote is exactly how I feel- I should have been a great many things– except from the “should” part. Instead of feeling self-conscious and defective in some way, I feel proud. I am a great many things! Sure, I think there are many other great things I could have been, but I am confident that everything I have worked towards is part of my “grand plan”. I plan to be a great wife and mother, to be an artist that brings smiles to children’s faces, to support and educate parents, and to continue loving and pursuing all my passions! This is what I choose to do with my “one wild and precious life”- proudly, excitedly, and always, always  passionately!

So, yeah, I am a great many things! You are too, my friends!

{Mary Oliver’s The Summer Day: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”Check out the whole poem, it is a beautiful!}

the good dream bloggers

This morning I woke from a good dream- a very pleasant departure from my many recent nightmares.

So, in this dream I was at some kind of workshop, I think. The workshop was held by some of my favorite bloggers! (appropriate, I think, because I was dying for some blogging inspiration. Who knew inspiration would come so literally!) The bloggers were giving presentations about design/decorating, fashion, crafting, and vintage. They sang songs, told stories, and absolutely delighted our group. The actual content and songs are fuzzy now that I am awake. Too bad- I just know those songs were GOLD! At one point I was whispering to the girls sitting around me that I was a huge fan of Elsie (A Beautiful Mess, and Red Velvet)- and let me just say- those girls were impressed, and I was beaming with pride (as if I knew Elsie, rather than just being a fan/reader of her blog!) Apparently I was the only one at the workshop who actually knew all the bloggers, so I was a little famous myself! Just as I was basking in my glory and trying to make eye contact with Elsie, Mike kissed me goodbye and I woke with a smile!

I want to take this opportunity to share some of the lady-bloggers that were featured in my dream!

*I already mentioned Elsie of A Beautiful Mess (she also writes Le Wedding Party with her sister/maid of honor) . I have been reading her blog for about a year & a half. She is such an inspiring woman! She is a painter, blogger, designer (she designed a whole dress line earlier this year!) and collector of vintage- to say the least! She used to run a small shop in Springfield, MO called Red Velvet. She and a few pals filled the shop with their handmade wares- everything from paintings and illustrations to accessories and jewelry and I think a little vintage too. Then she scored big, I mean HUGE-she was able to purchase an old downtown store-where she and her family used to shop. Now Elsie runs the new Red Velvet– stocked full of beautiful handmade and vintage- with her sister, Emma-who is the in-house baker/chef runs the cupcake shop in the front corner of the store- isn’t that just delightful!? Emma’s blog is full of creative and super yummy recipes! (she was also in my dream)
*Oh, and Elsie’s soon-to-be husband, Jeremy Larson (a musician) also made a small appearance in the dream!*

*Next up in the “good dream bloggers” group is Rachel of Smile and Wave. She is a crafter, blogger, wife and mama of 2. Rachel blogs about her successful thrifting trips, decorating her home in vintage, wearing vintage,  and her her family. Rachel and Elsie both offer e-courses occasionally- such a brilliant idea! Some of the courses have included Home-Ec (a sewing course), Small Craft (projects for little people…kids, I mean), Modern Patchwork– and so many more. Rachel’s current e-course is Style Your Space and Elsie’s is Dream Job (I’m really excited about this one- I really want to take this “class”!).

*I can remember I more lady-blogger from the dream- Katie from Skunkboy Creatures. She is a crafter- check out her Etsy Shop too.I love her hair, her style and especially her amazing creatures!! I actually don’t read her blog often, but I do check out her shop every time I’m on Etsy!

Today I start my day feelin’ good! I feel inspired and excited. My back pain is a little relieved (thanks to a refill of pain meds) and I feel like I will actually be able to do more than just lay in bed watching Alias! Today I want to start working on my dolls again. I have to remember to start slowly and not push myself, but I am so ready to get back into the swing of things around here! Good dreams and a real full night’s sleep work wonders for a girl!!

read me::caramelo

I finally finished the book I’ve been trudging through for what feels like forever- Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros. She writes really beautifully. I really liked the book but it was just slow and I was never dying to read it, which is why it took so long. It was almost more like a chore that i didn’t totally mind doing, but could always still find better things to do. In the end, I was happy I finished it as it was just as wonderful as her other books and stories that I have read.

I have to admit, though….I’m on to some lighter reading just for fun- Sookie Stackhouse Novels, here I come!

holy hormones

Part 1

stick and stones
may break my bones
but words
will never hurt me

Yeah, right. Even in dreams words hurt me, make me cry even. A few nights ago I woke up sobbing from 2 separate dreams in which someone close to me was being mean to me- saying hurtful things. The words in the dream hurt so much that I continued crying after I awoke. Then I thought about the dreams all day yesterday too. I have been waking up  crying a lot lately, it seems. It’s disconcerting, to say the least!

Part 2

Ever seen the movie “Turner & Hooch”?


Here’s the quick synopsis:
Turner is a cop/investigator in a small town who is very soon moving to the big city to become a “real” detective. Hooch is a big intimidating dog that belongs to an old man in the small town who is killed by some creepy dudes. Turner begins the investigation of the murder, and ends up with the dog who was the only “witness” of the murder. They have a hard time getting accustomed to each other but become good friends. hooch does end up identifying the bad guy. During the raid on the rest of the creepy dudes, Hooch gets shot but still saves Turner’s life. Turner rushes the wounded Hooch to his new girlfriend/ town vet’s house (very convenient, eh?)

That’s where I lost it. I started crying and asked Mike over and over “is he gonna die? just tell me, is he gonna die?” I was so sad. I didn’t expect this at all. Soon I was bawling my eyes out and I couldn’t breath. I was inconsolable. Mike had to rewind through the sad part to the end where the vet’s collie has puppies and one is just like Hooch. I laughed at how silly I was for crying so much, but I couldn’t shake how sad I still felt. I mean, COME ON, it’s a movie! I asked Mike if he could imagine me seeing that in a theater, sobbing out loud and crying “is he gonna die, is he, IS HE?” (yeah, that has actually happened before!) We had a good laugh about that!

So, I have concluded that the only explanation for all this crying is hormones. Sometimes being a woman is not only annoying, but a little embarrassing too.

Have a happy, hormone free Wednesday all you ladies out there!

bloomington handmade market

I visited the Bloomington Handmade Market today**CORRECTION** yesterday {is it really after midnight already?!?}. It is always exciting to see so many artistic people in one place, and this market was no exception! I had a great time talking to vendors I have met before at other art shows, and new vendors who were visiting Bloomington from other parts of Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Chicago!

Visit some of my favorites at their shops, and websites/blogs:

Sadly Harmless- art+illustration: etsy shop, website, facebook page

The Wind & the Sail: etsy shop, blog

Pink Cheeks Studios: etsy shop

Owlette Collective: etsy shop

The Cordial Kitten: etsy shop, website

Katie Vernon * illustrator: etsy shop, blog

Laura Berger- art + illustrator: etsy shop

Sloe Gin Fizz- illustration and design: etsy shop, blog

My Wire Empire- illustrator- etsy shop

Gracie Sparkles: etsy shop

Courtney Fisher Jewelry: etsy shop

Sara B Jewelry: etsy shop

CASEmethod- wooden jewelry: etsy shop

**Okay, I know that was a LOT of links….and nearly every single vendor, but I really just loved everyone that participated and wanted to share them with you too! You can check out ALL the vendors and read more about the Bloomington Handmade Market *here!

I really hope to be part of this market next time around! Enjoy looking at all those links *wink*!

march in review

Last March I was excited- I was turning 30, graduating from college, getting married in 3 months, and hoping to be pregnant by the end of the year. I wondered how I would feel about turning 30- would I be anxious, feel old…It turned out I was okay with it. I wrote this last year:


30 wow. And yes, I am ready.

Lately I have been reflecting on my past 15 or so years and marveling at all the ups and downs, lessons learned and taught, people who have come and gone…and stayed. Changes, growth, regrets…(not too many)! I am actually feeling happy-almost relieved to be turning 30. Ah, finally, out of “my 20’s”! Somehow 30 means being an adult more than anything else has so far. I think my 30’s will be my best years! My most successful years! My happiest in the moment and memory making years! My creative years…through art, life (babies), and in the world! Oh, and as a 30 year-old grown up woman, I’m going to dress beautifully (almost) every day!! Yep, I’m ready to embrace 30! Very ready!

Well, my 30th year started out really great! My mom and cousin Christina came to celebrate along with other friends, then Mike and Allison (bff) took me to Chicago to celebrate a new decade (best surprise present ever!)! We had a great trip! In May I graduated from IU- finally getting my Bachelors Degree! Then in June Mike & I got married! My 30th year was definitely off to a great start!

By August I could no longer ignore back pain that continued to worsen. By September I was in surgery, then recovery and out of work. It took many months of not feeling better and seeing a new doctor to realize I needed surgery again. Unfortunately, that surgery was scheduled only 2 weeks before my birthday. I was reflecting again on the past year and feeling pretty disappointed about how year 30 turned out- it was not at all what I had hoped for or expected. But sometimes we need those times, to remind us. I just couldn’t shake the thought that we had had more than our share of difficulty in a year- it was…hard- not working, facing challenges we didn’t expect, overcoming hardships…but here we are. I am still recovering from my second surgery, but I have had the chance to see what really matters- a fantastic husband, wonderful parents, caring friends- a very loving and supportive circle surrounding us!

March 15th 2011 started out with these thoughts:


And now I come to 31. I made it through this year first laughing, dancing and gliding, then crying, limping and stumbling. Now I am spending The Day in bed, in pain. But I did braid my hair put on make-up and “real clothes” before crawling back under the covers. The year of 30 had promise; actually I had put a lot of expectations into my 30th year…

And now  a few weeks into being 31…I can see that no matter what comes my way- by choice or by chance- I can make the best of it! I can appreciate the people in my circle, I can take advantage of what I do have, and I can grow even when it feels like I’m stuck. I have spent my recovery time learning and expanding, visiting and appreciating. I still have hopes, plans, and goals, but I know better now to not set limits for myself. Everything will happen when it is time.

Turns out, my reflections on my 30th were right- these will be my best years- I just needed a break first. Time for that message to really sink in. I need to focus on what is important to me- family, friends, art, growth….oh, and dressing pretty everyday!

Make the most! Celebrate when you get the chance.

Happy April, here’s to a new month in 2011!