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Preview: Nevertheless, Elizabeth

Nevertheless, Elizabeth

My unabashedly opinionated take on motherhood, politics, relationships, faith, feminism and occasionally fashion... and now, pregnancy!

Updated: 2018-03-06T15:54:02.526-08:00


A long time gone


A year. It has been a year.

It has been a year since my last post. The worst year of my life. Maybe the best too. Time will tell I suppose.

My marriage ended. That's the short of it. The long of it is too much to bear, and to much to bare. I have spent months wanting to write, but not being able to bring myself to remove the word "wife" from my profile-- because I don't feel single. Single feels like 20, no kids, no mortgage, no worries, and here I am pushing 30, two beautiful babies stuck in this hell that is divorce, a mortgage I can't even dream of paying and more worries than I even knew existed when I was 20. Or 27. But life changes fast.

I am endlessly blessed. I won't pretend I'm any less, it would be unfair to my family, friends, children, my God. I have been supported, lifted up, cheered up, and blessed beyond measure.

And yet.

It's a new chapter. I am nobody's wife. That still seems strange, even though I haven't really had a husband for quite sometime. The concept still stuns me and makes me a little sad, a little disoriented, but it also means I get to figure out who I am again. And at 29, it is...different.

I am a mother. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a friend, although I have not done those things the justice in the last year that they deserve. Who I am, in relationship to the people I love, gives me a focal point, a point of reference, an effulgent constellation of guiding stars, giving me the rest of the sky in which to stage my next act.

We'll call it "The Phoenix."

Happy St. Patrick's day!


This absentee blogger has had a head full of chaos since just about Christmas, but nothing puts me in a good mood like St. Patrick's day.

I've done it before, but I feel I must once again bless you with a little traditional Irish blessing.

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
and the rain fall softly on your fields
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of your hands.

Eirinn go brach!

I think I'm going to go take some pictures of my little leprechaun babies for you to see. Because, frankly, mine are the cutest around.

4th Annual Artsy Girls Christmas Boutique


Please join me December 4th and 5th from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. at my home. Drop in any time to shop for charmingly displayed handmade and vintage goods from an ever-growing roster of artsy girls, {and this year: guys!} including:

Soldered charms, hand tied pearls and other jewelry by Debbi Greenlee
Beaded jewelry by Carli H
Various handmade goodies by Nancy J
Sculptural hair bows by Jill T
Refinished vintage furniture by Juls {Her Royal Highness}
Painted items by Nichole {The Painted Nursery}
Scarves, felt plushies and upcycled kids' clothes by Ellice D
Vintage inspired jewelry by Sandie D
Hair flowers and baby lovelies by April W {Maggie and Beatrice}
Vintage finds from Amy V {Beloved Bag Lady}
Gourmet fudge by Elizabeth G
Delicious cookies and confections by Tasha S and Laura F
Jewelry and handmade cards and stationery items from Tamberly H
Crocheted goodies by Renee G
Baby accessories by Melissa D {Prissy Lissy Designs}
Goat's milk soap by Shane and Catherine
Re-purposed vintage windows by Danielle B {A Vintage View}
Yoga mats and bags by Katelyn H {Yogadivas}
Felted animals, nativities and other baby goodies by Robin R
Handmade dolls and aprons (and matching aprons for the dolls!)
Original artwork from Aaron V
Folk/pop art and vintage treasures from yours truly {BettyHarry}

and more..... yes, its an incomplete list, even at this length!

Truly, this will be a chance to find the unique and unexpected for yourself and the folks on your Christmas list.

2225 Ryanlee Drive, Riverbank, CA 95367
On Facebook: Elizabeth Greenlee Harrison

Book Review: Arabella


(image) Arabella by Georgette Heyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like many Austenites, I often lament, nay, mourn the fact that there are such a small number of her novels to read and reread and rereread but Georgette Heyer is balm for that particular wound. This "regency romance," written in the first half of the twentieth century by a scholar of the era feels authentic and well-researched with nicely developed characters and plot. There are more colloquialisms than Austen would dare to employ and a mention of "paphians" {regency slang for hookers...*gasp*!!} which our darling Jane would never admit to one of her masterpieces, but it is in passing, and still maintains the innocence, gallantry and beauty Austen fans crave. Great story, romantic yet principled leading man. Easy, breezy, satisfying read.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Eat Pray Love


(image) Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alternately soul-searching and shallow, Eat Pray Love may be the ultimate "finding yourself" book for those who don't want to look too hard. It is an enjoyable read, with some excellent lessons and a beautiful sense of setting, but there is no there there, if you know what I mean. Touching, tear-invoking, occasionally thought-provoking...sweet and light. Worth the read, but not worth the Gospel for Women following it has received.

View all my reviews

Cozy Little Nest


I have barely strung together a coherant thought for at least a couple of weeks due to a sick asthmatic baby but today I'm encouraged to push past the inevitable lack of eloquence, just for a minute to tell you something fun. Fun outweighs elegant speech, non?
I have a blog friend from across the pond, Alison May, whom I really really admire. She is a vintage housekeeper extraordinaire, expert decorator and a brilliant writer. I think she's pretty much the cat's pajamas. So much so that a year or so ago, I sent her a little bitty painting of a cozy little nest to thank her for her contributions to the world. It was the least I could do. :) And it seems she likes it, and I'm just tickled.
Go take a peek at her blog, Brocante Home, and see my little love-labour in its place of honor (in my humble opinion) on her desk.

My mom has its companion hanging in her guest room.


The kids call the room "the Museum" and I can assure you, that IS a place of honor.

Speaking of the kids.....
(image) (image) If they got any cuter, I'd explode. Seriously. Would you look at them?

On the Mend


The greatest intentions...

I had such plans for last week. I had spring cleaning to do, art in my heart and blogs on my mind. And then there's the fact that I was three-weeks into a new work-out routine that had actually started to yield results. That was the kiss of death, I suppose. That sort of thing always seems to get derailed.

And so it was. Early Monday evening {after a good long workout and a healthy and delicious dinner, mind you} I slipped in the shower. We're not talking about a dainty little fall. I mean a catastrophic, feet out from under you, fall forward with no hope of catching yourself, lucky I still have my teeth, blood in the bathtub kind of slip.

Thank God my brave little four-year-old superhero heard me and went to fetch his Daddy, who was working in the front yard. In a flash, my grown-up superhero was assessing me for compound fractures and head-injuries before TRULY heroically picking up my dead weight and moving me to the bed.

What ensued is an embarrassing story of the call to my parents, the ER visit, the x-rays, the doctor visits, and the days of pain-medicine and pain induced stupor relying utterly on my husband and parents and super-duper-helper-boy, and of course, my daughter's comic relief.

To make a long story even longer, I still hurt everywhere, but it's more like the soreness that follows a couple days after a major workout, and that I can handle. The real problem is what happens to the home of two adults {one helpless and one male}, two small children and one very mischievous dog when the mom takes the week off to lick her wounds.

Factoring in my parental duties, my achin' body and the state of the mess, I should have the house clean in.... hmmm, square root of pi, carry the four....

Approximately 25 years.

Wish me luck.

Mad About Alice Party


A few weeks ago, I wrote that I had lost my muchness. At last, I believe I've found it.

When an ebay purchase showed up at my door, bearing layers of bubble wrap and tissue, I dove in to find two stark white, vintage Inarco busts. And found myself disappointed.

And then inspired.

And then invigorated.

And then....


by the end result.

Meet Alice and Maddy.


Born of my fascination with the iconography of Wonderland...

The Top Hat, The Hearts...


The Watches, The Keys...


Even the color scheme is iconic


Then of course, there are the teapots and teacups, the rabbits, the crowns and the language.... oh the language. {"Curiouser," "muchness" and so many more... an embarassment of riches for a word-lover}

If that isn't much more muchier than a plain white pair of busts... well then I'm madder than the Hatter. And if that's the case, well, I'm okay with that. All the best people are.

Check out the other partygoers and the hostess with the mostess at The French Cupboard.

Enjoy the party, have a cup of tea, and show us your best Futterwacken.

By the way, you can find these lovelies and much more in my etsy shop, with more altered busts and art on its way.

A work in progress


I said I was going to start working. MAKING ART. I wasn't kidding. What I haven't done is stick to my plan, my book, my "schedule." {read : shhhedjool} What I have done is... well -- see for yourself.

What started out as this...

(image) { Okay, well it started out olive green with a Christmas candle of some sort on the cover, but this is the first photo-worthy stage}

With a little bit of gesso, some paint, whatnots, ephemera and THESE
(image) amazing vintage alphabet stamps I got for a song on ebay

.... became this

(image) journal that I love almost too much to use.

{almost, but not quite}

And the same method resulted in these


signs for my mom's pearl stringing demonstration at the Gem and Mineral Show.

In the meantime, while I was busy working, Fiona, playing at my feet, discovered that she could do this:


and I would be momentarily powerless to remove her because my hands looked like this:


It was a good day for making messes, making art, making memories and crawling into drawers.

And that was just Day One...




I fear I’ve lost my muchness.

Although {obviously} I did manage to get out sans babies to see Alice in Wonderland this weekend in all its inspiring aesthetical glory, I feel the wind has gone out of my sails and my mojo has gone the way of the dodo.

I hate to whine {in public} but just two short weeks ago I was just feeling much more muchier -- armed and ready to set off on an adventure in artistic mothering and bohemian vintageness. But today I find myself looking at my craft supplies and vintage stuff as just that – stuff – that is cluttering my house and my life. And I hate that feeling. It’s like my horse has gone lame before I get out of the gate, and my muse is as entangled as my metaphors.

So I’m going to embrace the funk, if you will, and wallow in the overwhelmed womanness just for tonight. I’m going to take the dog for a walk, pour myself a glass of wine, take a hot bath and be the self-indulgent woman I alternately envy and disdain, admire and judge.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up refreshed, relaxed, energetic and ready to be mommy/wife/artist/neighbor/maid/shopkeeper/friend/chef/human-jungle-gym/peacekeeper/voice-of-reason again.

Maybe, amongst the clutter and bubbles

I’ll find my muchness.

The Deep End


I’m jumping in with both feet.My four year old son is more independent every day and my nine-month old daughter {as of 3 hours from now} is napping for longer stretches, and I’ve decided its time to re-invest some time into my creative endeavors.It is not to say that I’d abandoned them. There’s always some project inching its way to completion around here, but I feel ready to dive instead of wade into the swirling waters where motherhood, obligation and art converge.Step one: Make over blog. Check.I want to share the highs and lows of my adventures in creative motherhood, but, as in life, its hard for me to start when I don’t like the looks of the place. So the blog has a new look, thanks to a new background and header {from the Background Fairy, although I’ve taken a few liberties with the header} which I just can’t stop looking at. I just love text and lettering. I could write a love letter about my love of letters, but instead I’ll direct you to my etsy shop where that love is evident.Which brings me to:Step two: Restocking my virtual shelves. Semi-check.I have some great items on their way to my shop, including lots more vintage sign letters in several sizes, styles and finishes, including a few from an old sign on the Atlantic City boardwalk. Then there are some tiny, ancient ceramic ballerinas that I think are ubiquitous enough that I won’t feel bad about altering them and “zsushing” ‘em up with tissue and paper and millinery flowers and maybe some antique buttons, and ohhhh, I can’t wait to start those. And, let’s see, I’ve got some gorgeous vintage linens, some daguerreotype cases, a couple of antique porcelain busts I want to give the Elizabeth treatment, a WWII ammo crate, if I can pry it out of my husband’s hands, some vintage doll parts for altered art, oversized antique copper stencils, oh and just much much more. Now I just have to display, photograph and list all my whatnots and whoosits so I can earn some money more whatnots and whoosits.And all of this is now possible because I’ve completed...Step three: Organizing my Art & Etsy closet. Check.The creative clutter {i.e. mess} that had taken over both my dining room and kitchen tables and which was threatening to invade my kitchen island and every other horizontal surface in my house has been condensed and contained in one of my downstairs closets. It has gone from junk receptacle to object of beauty and organized chaos {which is, coincidentally, what the inside of my brain looks like}. So now, most of my vintage stuff awaiting purchase is tucked into the closet, along with supplies for etsy projects and all my shipping paraphernalia. I still have a disaster of an office full of art and craft supplies that I’m afraid to even touch, but the closet is a step toward making the artsy part of my life a little more accessible.Next up: the to-do list. I’m giving myself two weeks to prepare for a twelve week workshop on “fitting creativity into your life” because I want to give my family the best of me, and I’m only at my best when I have time to develop and nurture my creative interests. And I’d like to invite you along for the ride. [...]



iT's AlMoSt HeRE ....
Email me at or comment here if you 'd like to be on the email list, or be called with the pertinent details for attendence! {you know, like the address!}

Artsy Girls Boutique



November means a few things in the Nevertheless household: fires in the fireplace, the procrastination of Christmas shopping begins {early, I might add}, the crock pot comes out {and usually stays out until roughly the Ides of March} and I get to dig my chunky boots out of the black hole -- er, closet. But the most prominent sign of Novemberism is the exponential multiplication of art supplies taking over every hospitable surface. Tables, counter tops, windowsills... nothing is safe.

Do I feel guilty for giving my house the mad-crafter's treatment every fall? Not a bit, because come the first week of December, the surfaces, walls, windows, floors and doors are given the type of cleaning Alison May would approve of {although she'd probably recommend I did it more regularly, sorry friend} in preparation for my annual Christmas Boutique, lovingly and accidentally named the "Artsy Girls" Boutique & art and craft sale.

For those of you within shopping distance, the event will take place at my home all dressed up in her party clothes on December 5th and 6th from 9 a.m. until people stop coming or we run out of mulled cider and homemade snickerdoodles {see what I did just there, trying to entice you with sugary deliciousness?}.

Tomorrow, a list of etsy pages and blogs where you can preview a few of the items we'll have, but us craftswomen are still a-crafting, so who knows what wonders you'll find. What I do know for now is that there will be handcrafted jewelry, in multiple styles by multiple artists, original artwork by yours truly {but who are we kidding, it will ALL be original artwork}, Christmas decor, children's and baby items, wearables and other various giftables and-oh-yes-did-I-mention mulled cider and homemade snickerdoodles?

Buy handmade. Support craftswomen. Enjoy cookies.

Leave a comment or send me a message if you'd like to be on my email list, for all the pertinent info, like for instance, the address where the boutique will be held but which, for obvious reasons I prefer not to post.


A new day, a new adventure


Its a beautiful day. Cool, crisp and clear. I've had my english muffin with Nutella and I'm sipping french caramel coffee, black and wondering at a few moments of peace.

Baby girl is cooing in her swing, while the little boy drives cars on his road mat nearby and I find myself with a couple of minutes that I do not wish to fill with dishes or laundry. Ahhh the romance of it all. Who knew there would come a day when I'd rather where a t-shirt and yoga pants that smell like baby than a cocktail dress that smells like Dior? Well, regardless, that day is here, and I now find myself longing for a different type of beauty. Maybe that's because watching your little boy fall in love with his new baby sister, and watching that little baby fall asleep on your chest teach you what beauty really is. Or maybe I'm just becoming a homebody.

Either way, the beauty I seek is still art and music and finery -- just not the kind you enjoy with a martini in one hand and an amuse bouche in the other. I want the music that sets a backdrop for your day... classical, jazz, anything that makes the rough edges blur and your routing seem less - routine. The art and finery are the little glimpses of beauty in my own home, and the homes of the people I love, and the shops and fairs and blogs where I can admire and possibly purchase for my very own the loveliness other like-minded craftspeople have been inspired to create.

With all that in mind, I have a new venture, both creative and a tad entrepreneurial. On etsy, the site responsible for this decade's renaissance in craftsmanship, I have opened one shop, with another in the works. BettyHarry is my vintage and supply shop, filling up with found objects and objects d'art with a steampunk bent whenever possible. Here's a little taste:

Vintage Steampunk Watch Movements

& Vintage Numbered Brass Tags

Lamb&Rose should be up and running in the next few days if I can see my way through the must-do's at home. It is my real baby, where I will feature my own art and handpainted whatnots, with a vision towards whimsical fare that may be most at home in children's rooms and homes with a sense of childlike wonder, at least for now. Since it is the work of my own hands and mind, it is likely to change with my mood, but that's the mood I'm in right now.

So nice to address Nevertheless again. I hope to find more of these stolen moments as the winter creeps in.
And please check out BettyHarry!

A good bit of advice, methinks.


"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!"

--discovered while researching quotations for needlepoint.



I'm just so happy today.

Fiona Lily Rose (which is how I think of her... all three names, one abbreviated!) is sound asleep in the cradle Papa made. Christian is playing trains in his room. I brushed my hair, put on makeup and finished Fi's thank you cards. The dishes are done and the baby laundry is tumbling in the dryer. The plants are watered, the bills are paid and everybody is bathed.... and its not yet one in the afternoon.

Sure, there are race cars all over the coffee table, art supplies spread out on the kitchen island, 2 more loads of laundry to be done, none of the beds are made, garbage needs to go out, I'm down to my last 8 diapers and there are no groceries in the house. But I'm alone with my three year old and my three week old, and I feel no shame and no sense of urgency. The race cars are beginning to blend in to the background, art supplies have never seemed like clutter to me, laundry is the most passive task around (honestly, the appliances do the heavy lifting), we'll be climbing back into our unmade beds in about 8 hours, the garbage will find its way out today and Grammy's on her way to take Christian to Target while I take Fi to the grocery store to split my errands.

A tedious list of to-do's? Maybe for the reader, but today, I'm just happy and I don't mind a bit. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, the day is a success already.

Happy Birthday Mom!


Today is my Mother's birthday, (Happy Happy Happy Birthday Mom!) and in case you're keeping track, my new baby is one week old today. I promise a new baby post soon, but as this is the first time I have sat down at the computer since coming home from the hospital and I have a very small window of time in which to do so, I am reposting a blog from Mother's Day last year, in honor of my lovely, kind-hearted, selfless Mom's birthday.The drawing/painting above was a gift for her last year, and the entry below describes what (and who) inspired it.{{As with all good crazy people, my story involves both my mother and my childhood. When I was little I had a lot of bad dreams. Terrible horrible no good very bad dreams, nearly every night. I still have a lot of them, actually, just with a fraction of the frequency. But when I was just a wee thing, my sainted mother taught me that more often than not, I could be in control of my dreams, partly by thinking of lovely things as I was falling asleep,and partly by making myself aware I was only dreaming and since it was my own mind, I could make it anything I wanted to. (Did I have a choice but to become an artist with that sort of wide-open creative encouragement, come to think of it?)Anyway, we would play a little game at bedtime where my mom would say something like, "I'll see you in Dreamland... I'll be wearing a pink dress with white polka-dots and butterfly wings and a lime green tiara. I'll meet you at the gum-drop tree. How will I know you?" And I would describe in great detail my dreamself and her attire. It was never quite the same from one night to the next, but my mom nearly always wore pink with white polka-dots in some form or another, and I was always one for tu-tus. Sometimes I was a mermaid swimming in a purple sea, sometimes some sort of winged creature but it was a delightful little tradition and it did the trick.From time to time in my adulthood we have talked about it, and once at a family gathering when my nephew was telling us about his bad dream I engaged the whole extended family in a very elaborate Dreamland reunion which sort of unlocked a lot of really wonderful memories for me of whispered fairytales and enchanted dream meetings with my Mommy, the person who taught me what love and beauty and magic were.So for Mother's day, I did this little drawing for my mom, of our grown-up(ish) idea of how we'd look in dreamland. Of course, in our dreams we're both seven feet tall and weigh about ninety pounds, but what I think its really about is how we'd look if we looked on the outside like we feel on the inside. I guess that means I'm a fairy-CanCan dancer with an affinity for Jane Austen, horn-rimmed glasses, pearls and tattoos (I'm a complicated creature) and my mom is femininity personified, the queen bee and a nurturer of all living things, an angel in an apron with whom I share my sense of whimsy and my love of beauty.Hope you like it, but mostly it was a labor of love and the target audience was my mother who is admittedly easy to please, so if you don't, well, I just don't care. That's what Mom's are for. }}And now, here's her real birthday present:F i o n a L i l l i a n R o s e7 pounds, 14 ounces ~ 19 1/2 inches ~ June 9, 2009Thank you for being everything you are, Mom. We all love you so much. The role you had at her birth was more encouraging, empowering and precious to me than words can possibly describe. Hope your birthday is wonderful, in the midst of the busyness.Love, Elizabeth, Justin, Christian and Fiona p.s. If you'd like to wish my Mom a Happy Birthday, leave a comment here, or over at her blog.[...]

Nursery Vignettes


More from my mom's impromptu photo-shoot. These are all from the nursery, which is still very much a work in progress. In fact, the furniture isn't even all in place yet, but I've been working non-stop for the last couple days, since little Fiona should be here any minute. Or so they tell me... she was due a week and a half ago! But we'll be SO ready for her when she arrives. A corner of the crib. Luggage, because a girl has to travel in style. Just a few pretty things on top of the dresser, waiting to find homes. Some little boxes I painted and her silver rattle, a gift from Grammy and Papa. The beautiful piece of furniture I snapped up. We're working on temporarily converting the fold out portion of the desk into a changing station. It has sturdy pull-out supports. Its a little hard to tell in the picture, but I painted the inside of the top portion pink, with white polka-dots. It turned out very sweet. A sweetly colored set of blocks I couldn't resist embellishing.I just noticed that in this post and the last, most of the pictures include something I painted. Admittedly, you'd be hard-pressed to find a room in my home without one of my paintings or painted things, but that's also what happens when your mother is your photojournalist. I think she loves me. The feeling is mutual.I fully intend to post a TON more pictures when the nursery is completed, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the room's occupant arrives before her nest is entirely feathered. Indeed, it is my great wish!P.S. The best place for baby updates when the time comes will still be my mom's blog: Debbi Thinks Deep. We hope to have big news very very very soon.[...]



This isn't exactly a full-scale "after" photo shoot, but my Mom had some fun while babysitting and took a few pictures of some of the finished areas in the new house. Actually, everything is really coming together, and I hope to post more soon, but I will very soon (like, within the next hundred hours) become a mother of two, so we may have to wait on another Grammy-photo session.


A small sampling of the trichromatic color scheme in our master bedroom. It was originally just black and white, but I decided to paint the walls yellow.... and I love it! Every morning when I wake up I appreciate the sunny, clean, graphic quality. I should really post more pics of this room, it might be my favorite so far.


A small scene from my living room. All of these sign letters are vintage, except for one. I'm hoping to collect lots and lots more, so keep your eyes open for me.

A painting from my son's room. The two small flags on the mast on the right are the signal flags for his initials. His room was probably too messy to get any other pictures, and truly, I still have a lot to do in there. I've been promising a "tent" for over his bed since we moved in. It's probably a 2 hour project, max, so I will deliver on that promise as soon as I can after the baby. It should be really cute.

This should give you a tiny idea of what has been keeping me so busy lately, other than springing back into action and trying to make the most of my time once the Doctor took me off of bedrest. The house is so nearly finished (on the inside anyway) that I can taste it. Can't wait to show off more!



Our new house... And here's a little "before" tour: Staircase, in the living room. Justin painting the living room, viewed from the dining room. Kitchen, from left to right... kitchen and bay window... to the fireplace in the family room... and the rest of the family room.That's the downstairs for now. By now, we've painted and we should have our wood laminate floors in half the downstairs by this weekend. I believe the blinds will be installed on Friday and the new carpet for the living room, dining and upstairs will be installed in a couple of weeks, by an unfortunate twist of fated timing, after we've already moved in. Just a small set-back though; we're on a roll and we're determined not to sweat such things.I'll post more pictures once I have a little more progress.Love![...]

A Wee Little Update


Too BUSY to post often or much, but I do think an update is in order.

The busyness is packing and organizing and, frankly, nesting. Yes, I've got it bad, and early. I have an almost irresistible urge to start sewing clothes for the baby, which may not be striking unless you know that I am not much of a seamstress. Sure I made some lovely throw pillows, and I can sew a seam by hand with near-machine precision, but that perfectionism actually makes sewing somewhat of a complex predicament for me and I don't think I've ever sewn a garment, other than an apron. Nonetheless, the only thing preventing me from sewing an entire layette is the fact that I have to pack and get us moved!

The loan funds tomorrow, and we should close on Thursday, which means we'll have accomplished our lighting fast 24 day escrow. Big fun! The hubby has his marching orders (from me) and is all prepped to start painting this weekend, after which we'll be laying down the new floors and setting up camp. Don't tell him, but I have planned a little Valentine's day floor picnic in front of our new fireplace. I just realized that means I'm planning to eat a meal on the floor with my six-months pregnant tummy in all its glory, and though it might be a challenge, its doable thanks to prenatal yoga. (Thank GOD for prenatal yoga!)

Speaking of tummies, our baby girl, who is yet to be named, is dancing around like a little ballerina and we're about to enter our third trimester. Yes, we can do the math and ascertain that gives me approximately three months to get my new home in order and beautiful, so I have a feeling I'm going to owe my friends and family big time after this spring.

My little boy (now three!) is excited about the new house, his new room, and the "tower." He checks in frequently, asking what the "baby gorl" in my tummy is doing, whether she's sleeping or wiggling, etc.

We're just about as happy as can be, and unfortunately (<---- that's tongue-in-cheek) my happiness is borne of being busy, leaving very little time for writing, painting, etc. But its been nice to visit with you, and I'll keep you posted.



The long weekend is winding down, my newly THREE year old (as of today!) is sound asleep by 6:30, bless his heart and the house is very very quiet. In this room, its just me and SuperGirl (that's the baby girl swimming around in my tummy) wondering at the the peace that can be found in the white noise of the blowing heater and whirring computer. I'm exhausted, but for all good reasons.

We signed papers on the house today. It is big and lovely and open and airy... all the things a new house ought to be (in California anyway). I couldn't be happier, and yet for reasons I can attribute only to emotional overload and pregnancy hormones, I'm a bit of a teary wreck today.

Nevertheless -- it is our home. I can feel it. The bedrooms are cozy (read: small) but there are four of them, and the downstairs living area is decidedly not small, which is really where we'll spend the most of our time anyway. My especially favorite part is the kitchen and its bay windows, island, and openness, and the back yard, while small, is overflowing with potential in my imagination. The back yard is facing North, so it will be nice and shady when its hot outside. Halfway up the staircase it turns and there is a landing that has two sides facing out bordered with railing that Little Boy Blue has already stood upon and christened "The Tower" and so the tower it shall be.

So now the business of escrow and appraisals and inspections and papers, papers, papers to sign. But on Valentine's day, we'll have our new home. What could be more romantic?

A Long-Delayed Update...



Long time no see...

I was flipping through my mom's lovely blog this morning and suddenly realized I haven't posted since November. The truth is, my head is so full of baby and house hunting and birthday parties and nesting that it's rarely even occurred to me to put virtual pen to paper. For the loyal few that might be wondering just why my head is so full, I found it in me today to write a little update, though please forgive the lack of flowery prose.

Simply put, I've been the very best kind of busy, and my mind is hardly even wrapped around all the wonderful developments in our life.

First of all, we found out last week that we're (pretty sure, more than likely) having a girl! So every time I close my eyes, I see a sweet little beribboned blond head, ballet slippers, a pink little baby curled up cozy in a creamy bassinet, and my beautiful little boy holding hands and leading his wobbly baby sister through the garden of our new home. Which brings me to the next big item occupying my time.

We're house shopping yet again. We have made five offers on homes this week. One has accepted another offer, so we're down to four, but the options are still quite good. Each home is beautiful in a unique way, and every one has at least a little back yard. No patio homes for us! I'm desperate for a yard I can tend myself and lay out a quilt on the pokey lawn to sun and picnic with my husband and babies. I don't need much, but a little soil, greenery and sun are enough to make me breath a little easier. And each of these houses has a little bit - just enough - of what I need. The reality of the situation is that we may not get any of these homes, as the market for bank-owned homes is still pretty competitive, but we have a dedicated realtor who is moving heaven and earth to have us moved into our new place before the baby arrives.

Last but not least, my little boy has a birthday coming up next week, and so as the preparation for Christmas transitions swiftly into the preparation for birthday, my days are as full as ever. With all the expenses we're anticipating of buying a home and moving, this is a birthday on a shoestring, but I've been preparing my whole life for that. As I've said before, one of the most valuable lesson I learned from my parents is How To Do a Lot With a Little, and that's exactly what I intend to do.

With that in mind, I must sign off to return to party planning, birthday shopping, baby-dreaming and mentally decorating an unknown home. But its been nice to share with you little piece of my bliss.

A Handmade Christmas


Thanks to my mom, my most prolific source of inspiration, and her insatiable taste for things unique and handmade, I've recently been introduced to the MULTITUDES of handmade/homemade "indie" goodies available for online shopping. Add to that my every autumn urge to paint, piece, sew and render things lovely and my sister-in-law's "never met a project I wouldn't tackle" approach to art and crafting and an idea begins to brew in my mind.

I'm talking about a handmade Christmas. I've had ideas of things to make for my loved ones filed away in the "some Christmas" category of my mind for years, and I think this just might be the year. I think it sounds a little ambitious, but I don't plan on doing it alone. There are suitable, one of a kind gifts for the men, women and children we love at Etsy, and better still there are craft sales and boutiques just about everywhere you turn in your own neighborhood this time of year -- including the one at my house. Last year was the first of what I hope will be an annual boutique I held with a few of my creative friends and family members where we sold jewelry, candles, art, ornaments, gifts, and decor stuff we each made in our own little kitchens and craft rooms. With a little Christmas music, some hot apple cider and my moms snickerdoodles, we sold a few things (some of us sold a LOT of things) and just generally had a really great time. This year friends and neighbors have started to ask us if we're doing it again, and when.... and you know you've got to give the people what they want.

I don't think this will be as easy as the typical year where 75% of my shopping is done at Target the rest at cute little shops and yes, even the mall, but I do think it'll be fun. Now, I don't imagine I'll be able to find homemade equivalents of the bike we intend to buy my son, and the sunglasses my husband visits weekly at No Fear, so I'm not going to be ultra strict about this, but I do plan on altering my mass-produced/thoughtfully rendered ratio.

So as I formulate my plan to make or buy handmade gifts for as many people on my ever-growing list as I can manage, I think I'll keep you updated on my sources. If I find something cool, I'll share it with you. If I make something cool, I'll post it (and I suppose if you see anything you like, you can buy it too, wink wink). And if you have any brilliant ideas or resources to help in my quest, comment or email me, and I'll share your ideas too.

Check out Modish



Does handmade swag from indie designers make you swoon, too? Then check out Modish, a veritable feast of goodies, and all things wonderful. Swing by to enter to win a BIG prize through the end of November... all the lovely items you see here and then some. We're talking about a jackpot here, folks. Spread the word and take advantage of your chance to win. I want those owl cards, though, so feel free to send them my way if you DO. :)