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Fear less, hope more; Whine less, breathe more; Eat less, chew more; Hate less, Love more; And all good things are yours. ~Swedish Proverb

Updated: 2018-01-31T08:13:10.016-08:00




The kids were on Spring break from last Wednesday until today. Couple that with out of town guests, my very old friend Danielle brought her family to town from New Jersey.  Searching the Internet for cool things to do in Cincinnati and Kentucky resulted in one fabulous week of new-to-us day trips.For instance, Cincinnati is home to the one of a kind American Sign Museum.  The guided tour was a wealth of information about how businesses marketed themselves with signage from the late 1800's until today. This museum also houses a neon sign manufacturer and included a demonstration of how these signs are made today. Day two was the Horse Park in Lexington.  We saw horse shows, took a horse pulled tour of the grounds, and even rode horses on a trail. Over the weekend we went to the oldest market in Ohio, Findlay Market in Downtown Cincinnati.  The food and sweets inside were amazing, but starting in April there is even more to see with outside vendors selling crafts and flowers.On Monday our sweet sweet neighbor, Maureen, took us to a barn that houses her horse, Sunny.  The girls got to brush down Sunny and feed her a few treats.  Before that they were able to have riding lesson on Maggie, the barn owners horse. Tuesday was an Ohio River day.  We started in Newport with lunch at a German restaurant, shopping at the Levee and then a stroll over the Purple People Bridge to Cincinnati.  We walked a mile or so to see the Steamboat Memorial and the new parks along the Banks. We wore out the kiddos, but in a good way.It was such a fabulous week with good weather and great company![...]

Flickr Find


LOVE the Library of Congress website, it satisfies all my vintage photo needs, though it can be hard to navigate.  Discovered yesterday that a small portion of the collection are located on Flickr:  HERE.

Here are just a few fantastic finds.


Soulful Houses in Print


Spring starts off with some sunshine! 
 A couple months ago I was asked to write an article for Somerset Memories on how I make these Soulful Houses. On April 1st the publication will be available.  Today I found my complimentary issue in the mailbox, honestly it is a bit surreal. 

I want to give a shout out to those who encourage and support my know who you are! Admittedly I wouldn't go down this path without a little


Winter's Never Ending Tale


No surprise here, I do not like Winter.  One maybe two snowfalls and I'm ready to pack it in and call for Spring.  Lately Mother Nature has been teasing us with a sixty or seventy degree day , then bam...fifteen degrees a day later.  Not nice.


So bear with me a little longer, ideas are slow to none, even my sketch book is feeling unloved.  Right now we are all hibernating and dreaming of Spring.


Whittling away at winter


I am a bad blogger, enough said.  Winter in the Midwest has been brutal and living indoors can take it's toll.  The basement is freezing so I have no interest in creating in the studio...which can be bad because then when the desire to make something happens the mess ends up everywhere in the house.  
Spent about two weeks with all my seam binding rolls, vintage bottle tops and adhesives piled up in the living room where every free evening I'd bundle up under a blanket and stitch away making ruffled layers for handmade prize ribbons.  I have no idea what purpose these can have, but I think they are freakin adorable so I just kept making until I didn't want to anymore.  Then the sun came out (feels like a small miracle) and I made an attempt at photographing in natural light.  It went well, all these are now listed in the Etsy & Zibbet shops.

Keep thinking warm thoughts, Spring has to come eventually right?!

Photography Woes


Ugh, there are some time I dread to take pictures.  I have a light box but it just doesn't seem to help.  I've had these ornaments done for over a week, finally took photos tonight, have to scrap most of them.

October Surprises


 Do you like surprises?
This was a semi-surprise... an article I wrote on my paper boat ornaments appear in the November/December issue of Somerset Studios!!  Found out unexpectedly on Friday at the bookstore, so worth the decision to stop by and see if the newest issues were out.  Pretty sure I walked around with a crazy grin on my face the rest of the day.  

I have a glass of wine and the issue waiting for me after the kiddos are in bed, it will be my weekend indulgence.  There are so many wonderful artists in this issue, some of my absolute favorites like Cay Kerr, Debrina Pratt & Robin Dudley-Howes.  I am so honored to be sharing pages with these women.  Lastly I have to shout out to Tina because without your sneaky, generous, & selfless ways I wouldn't have attempted this. 

On a side note I have to share that Bob's grandmother turned 100 years old on Friday. She is still very much in her right mind and though she has become more frail these last few years, she still manages to live in her own apartment with assistance from my sister-in-law.  We celebrated yesterday and got to see some extended family members for the first time in 10 years.

Just for fun Robert wanted to see how many people live to be 100.  We learned that out of the 7+ billion people on the planet there are 316,000+ who are a hundred.  That's 1 in 22,000.  Of those 22,000 only 22 will live to be 110 or a super-centenarian.  Will she be one?  She had an aunt who lived to be 105...I'm thinking her chances are pretty good!

Halloween craftiness


It has been a while since I felt like doing a crafty project for Halloween.  This morning I decided to scour Pinterest with the words 'Halloween' and 'mason jar'.  I had many Classico Mason jars saved and had been planning to turn them into luminaries.

Here's the link: Goofproof DIY

I used muslin, torn into 1 inch wide strips, instead of gauze.  I looked for gauze but I think many young ones may want to be mummies for Halloween because the stores were sold out.

So this is my "pinned it....did it" and they will line my driveway on Halloween night.

Stay warm!





only thing that remains the same....daddy still carries all the apples.

October 1st


I love October, hands down my favorite month of the year.  Today Bob and I are spending the day together for our 19th wedding anniversary.  The weather is a mix of cool mornings and warm afternoons, it is near perfection.  I have been making my way back into the studio after a long hiatus, can't really explain that part ...other than sometimes I burn out.  This past long, hot summer coupled with the job at BC caused me to lay low.  Now that Fall is officially here it is time to dig myself out.

Today I opened a new shop at Zibbet.  There are a lot of changes at Etsy, many sellers frustrated at a lack of being buried under an influx of mass produced items. While I love Etsy and will continue to list there, my lower priced items will now be at my Hopemore shop on Zibbet.

I have listed my latest batch of polymer 'glass' slides just this morning, come take a peek at if you are interested.




A new fleet, on it's way.

Summer Perfection


Summer is blowing by.
Kids are growing like weeds.
A perfect 80 degree day with blue skies.
Seems like everyone was out riding, walking, or running.
Including us.

Around here lately


Two months later...

This little man is a month old! Megan is showing off her awesome new mommy photo skills.

Summer is in full swing, though the weather doesn't always feel that way.

As I type this my brother and his family are making their next Air Force move from Idaho to Alabama, with a stop over in Kentucky to see family for a while. After inviting them to stay with us, we decided it would be a good time to do some of the basement renovations to make the spot more livable.

Out came most of the textured ceiling, and the 20 year old track lights.  Bob and I braved electricity and added recessed lighting.  Replacing the ceiling will have to wait until next year, there are some funky water lines and HVAC issues to look into.  

Next up, out with the humongous bar!  A small kitchenette will take it's place. 
( the 'before' ^)

As for making art, sadly it has been on the back burner.  That is until mid July, Maria and I are taking an online painting class...whoo hoo!!



My baby sister is having a baby,   4 weeks to go and we are so exited!  Hosted the baby shower last weekend at a local Cincinnati restaurant, Bella Luna's.  The Italian  food was delicious and taken care of by the restaurant...all we had to do was decorate, entertain, and dessert.   Megan picked a sailboat theme for the (still) unnamed baby boy's nursery.  It was way to easy to use that same theme for the baby shower.  We had guests leave messages for the baby, play maternity mad libs, and guess the birth date. We couldn't do this all on our own, Debbie made the desserts...these cookies were a huge hit.  As a bonus I had a lesson in cookie decorating, let me say it is way too much fun.Lots of useful and practical gifts, even a few surprises.  This little patchwork doggy was made by my grandmother, who is no longer with us.  Each of my siblings and my own kids have one.  We all had a great time, a little glad all the work is over...but spending time with family is the best.[...]



Spring Break is almost over!!  With a full week off school and work we decided to take a few days and head out of town to the Smoky Mountains.  We avoided the touristy parts like Galtinburg and instead made our way to the western part of North Carolina for some gem mining. There are many places that you can go that will give you a bucket of 'salted' dirt, meaning they add in gems from other parts of the world. We did a little research for places where you could sluice for native gems like sapphires, rubies and garnets.  We decided on the Cherokee Ruby Mine and the Sheffield Mine.  We arrived early at Sheffield and got treated to an almost empty house with lots of attention from the owner and a staff member who taught us the proper process to clean our rocks and hunt for gems. The cleaner the rocks the easier it is to spot the glass like shine of the gems...though some are still hard to spot.  I'm sure we tossed some good stuff but we did find all of the gems we were looking for.  Maria found an 18 carat ruby, Bob found some very cool garnets growing on quartz, and I spotted a 10 carat pink sapphire.The second day of our trip it rained all day, so rather than mine we did a little shopping and eating in Dillsboro NC.  We also made our way to Sylva...just because Bob found this really fantastic ice cream parlor on the internet.  Jack, the owner, makes you a fresh vanilla or cinnamon waffle cone when you order.  OMG the warm savory cone with the cold ice cream is to die for.   Now we are back home, safe and sound, happy to be in our own beds. [...]

For the love of wire


I have become a huge fan of Amy Duncan's blog, Four Corners Design.  She's had many posts that just made my jaw drop.  The first one was how to make wire baskets from hardware cloth (here).  I commented back in September how much I wanted to try this out, got around to it in January, and am now finally posting it here in March.Back in September I was looking for vintage wire baskets to add to the doors that hide the furnace in the studio.  I couldn't find anything the right size and shape.  Following Amy's directions I made the size that that made me happy.Then in February Amy blogged again with an idea to make a her own wire cloche (here) and as I read the post I remembered all the square scraps I had left over from the baskets.  They make the cutest little wire cages... now what to do with them?Still haven't figured that out, but I did make some square ones too.Thanks Amy for the fantastic inspiration and tutes![...]



Do ever find it a struggle to create in the winter months? Oh gosh I do. Made my way into the studio only a handful of times since Christmas but haven't had much passion when I'm in there.  I did do a little reorganizing but that it...nothing else...nada.I want to share something that is filling my creative gap.  Just after the New Year I was offered a  position at The Brighton Center. It is a non-profit organization that offers a variety of services to the eight counties in Northern Kentucky.  Housed within the organization is a thrift store that provides low cost clothing and household items, as well a free clothing to those in need.  All this is done by donations, not just donated items but also of time.  My position is as a Donations Specialist, I work between both the thrift store and the lower level that processes the donations.  The system works well but with my merchandising experience the Donations Manager was thinking I could offer up suggestions and improvements to way they do things.  Everyday is a new experience, We've been able to implement a few small changes and some larger plans are in the works for the next few months.  Everyday I'm amazed at the generosity that flows through the organization.  I wanted to give you a peek into one day this week.  In the lower level where donations are processed I've been thinking endlessly on a better way to organize hangers.  After a sale in the thrift store all hangers are tossed into large bins and sent to the lower lever, from there the mixed hangers would be sorted by volunteers into more plastic tubs to be available for hanging clothes.  Endless tubs of hangers tangled together seemed to frustrate everyone.  Desperate to find some kind of low cost (more like almost free) method/contraption to sort hangers on I had an idea of pvc pipes fed through classic wire cube organizers.  You can see it in the picture below on the right side.  The same day I brought in my contraption, a large group of ten employees from UPS came into volunteer a few hours. We decided with such a large group we'd make a huge dent in the pile of donations, move around some tables, and implement the new hanger sorter.  They started right in loading it up, it had definite flaws and it was obvious it wasn't large enough.  Two engineers from UPS jumped in feet first and took it upon themselves to come up with a better solution.  They asked all sorts of questions then disappeared.  I come back from lunch to see these two feverishly working out their plan for a permanent fixture to suit all our needs.  They got the wood, they had the tools, and the know-how.All the while the remaining eight UPS employees plowed through a huge pile of donated clothing, sorting and hanging.  In the end I was almost out of tasks for them to complete...we were caught up.  Amazing!Here is the finished product of our brilliant volunteers.  It is exactly what I would have made if I had the time, money, and talent.  I am in awe of this group, their integrity, their dedication, and their initiative.This is one day at Brighton Center. Love, love, love it.[...]

Days 11 & 12


Just wanted to follow up with the last two posts for the 12 Days of Christmas projects at Simply Homemade
  I think I'm in love!

11 Pipers Piping  by Lauren Zabaneh


and finally

12 Drummers Drumming by Jo Neville


These 12 how-to projects have been fantastic, really enjoyed each and everyone.  Not to mention I now have more blogs to follow.

Tomorrow, if I can find batteries for the camera I have a little stocking swap to share!

And the winners are...


Blessings from Cindy, Kim, and Sarah

Thank you ladies for playing along!!

10 Lords A-Leaping


Guest Post : Simply Homemade Ten Lords a-Leaping In Victorian times paper dolls called Jumping Jacks or French “Pantin” were a popular toy.  Children would cut out each piece of the puppet, assemble the joints then string would be tied together to make the arms and legs to dance about. This puppet came to mind when working on a the 12 Days of Christmas Project:A 10 Lords a-Leaping Pantin.   Supplies:Empty Wooden Thread Spool6” DowelAcrylic Paints (red & green)Wooden starDouble sided tapeGold glitter Black inkBlack fine tip markerTinsel stringFoam pop- dotsEspresso Alcohol inkSmall poly bagSmall number stampsBradsStringSmall bellPrint copy of the paper doll & crown (provided) on heavy cardstockScissorsTo make the base:Paint green triangles around bottom of spool. Paint the rest of the spool red. When dry even out the look of the green triangles with a black marker.  Run a strip of double sided tape around top edge of spool, expose tape and glitter.  Run 2 additional bands of tape around center of spool and glitter.Cut a 4” piece of tinsel string and place in poly bag.  Add about 6 drops of espresso alcohol ink into bag, seal bag and press ink into tinsel. Once coated take tinsel from bag and set aside to dry. Stamp wooden star with “10”. Place a foam pop-dot on back of star and place on center of spool. Take the colored tinsel and wrap around pop dot behind the star.Paint dowel with red paint, when dry add glue and place into spool.To make the puppet:For assembly of the puppet I found it easier to explain by including this excellent picture and directions from the website: assembled, embellish the puppet with glitter.  To attach the puppet to the dowel stick, use foam pop-dots on back of head and body.  Add a bell to the end of the string, and make your Lord leap and dance.It was an honor to participate and I can't wait to see what the next 2 days projects will be!Don't forget about the cone ornament giveaway, I will be drawing names on the 20th![...]

Days 5-9


I paused a few days to take care of family business, the boy turned 12 this weekend so a family dinner was in order.  Etsy sales have been swift (thank you so much).  Lastly the tragedy in Connecticut saddened me so much I chose to take a few days to stay quiet and reflect on what we hold dear.Today I would like to catch you all up of the 12 Days of Christmas crafting projects from Simply Homemade.  Tomorrow is my day so be sure to pop back in.  The day after that I will do the cone ornament giveaway, so be sure to click on the giveaway button to the right and leave a comment to be entered in.Five Rings by Charlotte of Gin Fuelled Blue StockingSix Geese a-layingYummy recipes by Lex Smith of Lady NomSeven Swans a-swimmingLauren Engelkemeyer of Clever BettyEight Maids a-milkingKendall, Kate & Emily from Trends With Benefits and finally caught up with Nine Ladies DancingKirsty of Little Floating Craft CompanyThanks for stopping in.[...]

Christmas Ornament Giveaway


Earlier in the week I rediscovered six cone ornaments made last year. With the hustle and bustle of mid-December I decided it was too late to list them in the shop, so how about a Christmas giveaway?  I bundled them in pairs and will draw three names on December 20th.  To enter just leave a comment on this post.

Days 3 & 4 plus Giveaway news


Three French Hens, a project after my own heart
...image transfers!!!


Day four is by Amy Tangerine, ( I love her site...such beautiful updated scrapbook styles)
The directions are on Simply Homemade's Blog page.


Onto the giveaway news.  I'm still cooking up the plans, but leaning toward a 3 day giveaway.  I came across some beautiful Victorian style cone ornaments I made last year, they are getting a quick tweak then a photo shoot   Details tomorrow!


Day Two


Day two of twelve at Simply  hosts these beautiful stitched turtle doves by Laura at Cupcakes for Clara.


12 Days of Christmas Crafty Goodness


I wanted to share a website with you called SimplyHomemade.  

 A few weeks ago I was asked to be one of twelve bloggers participating in Simply Homemade's Blog Feature- 12 Days of Christmas projects.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity but you'll have to wait until day 10 for my contribution.
Today is the 1st day and I wanted to link up with