April 2007

A Little Celebration….


is what I have in mind…in honor of my “blogiversary”. Sometimes I don’t like the way the word “blog” sounds, but I do think blogiversary sounds sweet and warm and funny. So I shall celebrate mine with a gift. It is a gift for me each time I share my thoughts and you all respond so kindly and I do hope this present will express my appreciation for all that goodness.

This is the very last Stationery Satchel I have. I took it off the website some time ago just for this purpose. And I intend to fill it generously with an assortment of my creations….notebooks, large and small, stationery, a garland and two or three brand-new items that are not even on the website yet.

If you would like to join in my celebration-and I do hope you will-just leave me a comment in this post. I leave for a three-day show (plus one day for set-up) on Thursday and will return Sunday evening. Sometime on Monday, the 29th (Monday being the actual anniversary) I will print out the list of comments, cut each name out and have my youngest son choose the recipient of the Stationery Satchel. It will all be so pleasantly exciting!

I would love to offer lots of little gifts, as well as this one big one….but it is a very busy time with the show and eldest son’s 18th birthday swiftly-approaching and my wedding anniversary the next week and so many more lovely events that need my rather scattered attention. So all my gratitude will be poured into this one bundle.

See you sometime on Monday! And you may be sure I will take a photo or two of all the goodies before I package them up and send them off to a Dear Reader sometime next week…in between all our festivities.

*It won’t be too late to comment until sometime this evening! I’ve got lots to catch up on today and will look forward to picking a name tonight.*



“What aim, what purpose, what ambition in life have you now?”

“My first aim will be to CLEAN DOWN (do you comprehend the full force of thej expression?)–to CLEAN DOWN Moor House from chamber to cellar; my next to rub it up with bees-wax, oil, and an indefinite number of cloths, till it glitters again; my third, to arrange every chair, table, bed, carpet, with mathematical precision; afterwards I shall go near to ruin you in coals and peat to keep up good fires in every room; and lastly, the two days preceding that on which your sisters are expected will be devoted by Hannah and me to such a beating of eggs, sorting of currants, grating of spices, compounding of Christmas cakes, chopping up of materials for mince-pies, and solemnising of other culinary rites, as words can convey but an inadequate notion of to the uninitiated like you. My purpose, in short, is to have all things in an absolutely perfect state of readiness for Diana and Mary before next Thursday; and my ambition is to give them a beau-ideal of a welcome when they come.”

St. John smiled slightly: still he was dissatisfied.

“It is all very well for the present,” said he; “but seriously, I trust that when the first flush of vivacity is over, you will look a little higher than domestic endearments and household joys.”

“The best things the world has!” I interrupted.”

“Domestic endearments and household joys”…doesn’t that give you an Anne of Green Gables “thrill”? This is a quote from Jane Eyre that I have long been wanting to share with you. And, oh how my spirit is in tune with idea of a “clean down” for my own household…but my energy and schedule are not. I do wish I had Jane’s vigor! But the Spring remains cold and the news so hard that our home-spirit still seems Winter-quiet. In the near future I hope it will all be open windows and liveliness. For now, I am contenting myself with uncluttering what I am able to, catching up on the laundry and bringing Springtime to our home in small ways.

I want to do some “housekeeping” here as well, giving thanks where they are long overdue, answering some questions….tending to loose-ends.

It is a such sweet gift each time I discover another place on the web that has linked to my blog or website. Here is a partial list of those I know of, with apologies to those I may have overlooked….but mostly gratitude for the lovely silver threads of connection so many women are weaving on the Web.

Notes from A Cottage Industry

Some of you have asked me questions over the months, and it seems silly to have taken so long to answer them….but much in the way that I can’t thumb quickly through a magazine, I don’t seem to be able to quickly reply to blog questions via email, which would be the simplest way.I have so many other communications to tend to during the day and I am usually just savoring the glad surprise of receiving and reading a comment in that very moment. And then I think that others might be interested in the answer, too….and so I wait for a good time, which doesn’t seem to come! So when I don’t dash off a reply to a question, I will save them up for a time like now, and answer them in a bunch….much in the way I read a magazine….when I have a nice bit of time to read every word and examine every inch of the page-and not before!

Last autumn, Clarice asked in what book I found the idea of celebrating Halloween . The book is Celebrating the Great Mother:A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children by Cait Johnson and Maura Shaw. I have not read this for almost ten years and didn’t read alot of it back then, but am very glad to have gleaned this ritual from its pages.

Salina asked where I found this advent calendar. And that would be here…..tho’ I must say that I can only vouch for the “carousel” calendars on this page. It had the sort of pictures that we like….cozy, watercolor-like, sweet. Another I ordered looked just right from the outside, but the insides were a sore disappointment.

Jane asked if I would include more music themes in my work, and I certainly ought to as my husband makes his living as a musician and many of our friends are musicians. Someday, when the time is right, I hope to make a large and varied assortment of greeting cards that would touch on so many of the good things in Life. Until then, I have a slightly “musical” creation that is third on my list of things-to-make-next that I hope you will find on the website in the next few months.

Pamela asked me to tell more about losing weight with 8 Minutes in the Morning. It was just a neat happenstance that when I was at amazon.com looking for a book, I saw 8MITM listed on the same page and clicked upon the link and read the reviews and ordered a used copy for a few dollars and started the program as soon as I received it. For me, it is just a simple and effective way to take good care of myself-whenever I can gather up the will power to diet. The exercises have become a fairly consistent habit for me and I plan to do them the rest of my life. I lost about twenty pounds the first time I used it and ten more pounds the next. And now I use it when necessary to keep my curves within reason. I know that Katie has been trying it and mentioned that she was finding the eating of a half-plate of vegetables wearying sometimes, and tho’ I think that is the healthiest approach, I have an old version of the book, before the “plate” method. In my book, you just have a certain number of portions you may eat a day and you get to choose what foods you use for those portions, so there is more flexibility….see my cards? I did lose six of the seven pounds I wanted to lose before my birthday in March. But I have gained some back during the last stressful weeks of shows and doctors and such. But I will soon add a new inspiring picture or two to my notebook and begin another line on the graph and will think of everyone else trying to lose weight and to feel wonderful and will be wishing us all well.

Ulla asked if the image in this post was my own work. I wish I could say yes, but it is one of the few images that I have acquired from a clip-art site. I don’t know its source. I found it a few years ago, when I was looking for another image or two to add to my tiny collection of images of nursing mothers….another someday project. And speaking of this post, it has been so lovely to receive all your comments in response to it and to feel such a sisterhood in our common experience. xxoo

PS. Because I am such a sporadic poster, and sometimes think of you all having to check for new posts only to be disappointed, I wanted to recommend the use of bloglines, or a similar service to spare you the time and trouble. I have it as my homepage now, and can see at a glance when a blog I like to read has been updated. Now if only I could get my children off the computer long enough to load some of the gorgeous, photo-filled pages with our dial-up connection! When my family find they can’t get anything done on the Internet since their pages won’t load, they will come and find me in my studio and ask if I am loading a blog….well….yes, I have to admit to them….but I tell them that I deserve all the warmth and beauty and inspiration I find at these blogs. And I do try to wait until the connection is all mine. When I can’t wait, we call it getting “blogged down”.

PPS. These photos are from my early-Spring booth set-up at recent shows.