Sunday, April 29, 2012

Report on April's Sponsor Family and introduction to May's Sponsor Family

Report on April's Sponsor Family: Avery

During the month of April we sponsored Avery, a six year old girl born with hydracephalus and cerebral palsey.

You can read more about Avery's story here.

Avery is doing an experimental therapy to help her be able to walk independently. As it is experimental, it is not covered by insurance. We sponsored Avery last month by donating $5 of every order placed to her therapy! We still have one ore day left, but so far we have raised $225!! Thank you all for your help! There is still one day left! You can use coupon code "Avery" to receive free shipping on your order until the end of April. There's still time!!

May's Sponsor: Brenna Helen Marie

I was so touched by the story and life of this baby girl, and I know you all will be too.

This is the Westlake family:

and this is baby Brenna:

Brenna was born with a very rare skin condition.

 Her mom tells us about it:

"Our daughter, Brenna Helen Marie, was born on December 19 with a rare skin condition called Harlequin Ichthyosis. Brenna's skin lacks a certain protein which helps it form correctly, and instead it was formed as thick, white scales with deep ridges. She spent almost 6 weeks in the NICU at St. John's Hospital in Springfield, the majority of which was in a warm and moist environment as she "shed" the thick, tight scales of skin she was born with. She has beat one very aggressive blood infection, staph infection, undergone eye surgery at three weeks, and has battled many of the odds against her. Brenna is now home with her family, where she adheres to a strict skin care regimen that includes a long daily bath - sometimes with bleach to ward off infection - and treatments with Aquaphor every 3-4 hours to help her skin stay moist and hydrated. You can read more about Brenna's story at"

We hope to be of some help to this courageous family. If you have any words of comfort or inspiration please feel free to leave them in the comments section of this post.

Please use coupon code "Brenna" in our etsy shop to receive free shipping on your next order and to help Brenna! We will be donating $5 from each order placed in the month of May to the Westlake family.

And please, if you know of anyone that could benefit from our modest contribution, please contact us at We would love to help!

Please leave a comment of encouragement for this family in our comments section. Baby Brenna is just 4 months old and has a long journey ahead of her.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Around the house: The Kitchen

My Chili Pepper Kitchen

(Note the cereal dispensor. Anyone with little children NEEDS one of these. NEEDS).

Small kitchen=no pantries or cupboards. We made one in the corner where the trash can spot used to be and then in front of it had to add a little cupboard :/

Hot pad, oven mit and apron. I made these. I used to sell them on etsy before window treatments.

Chili pepper ruffled rod pocket curtains

As I said above we have very limited cupboard and drawar space. I didn't have any place for oven mits and pot holders (the ones above are just decoration :)). So my husband bought these decorative hooks at a hardware store and anchored them to the wall. They work quite well and help me to remember to wash my oven mits and potholders regularly since they are always in view.

I LOVE to decorate with colored glass. The red green and orange glass containers as well as the clear grape glass and round glass container each hold things we cook and bake with often: vanilla, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, olive oil, vegetable oil. Then of course the chili pepper salt and pepper shakers. The glass is so much more decorative and fun to look at than the original containers the items came in. It also helps to keep things neat and organized. The orginal containers were different sizes, colors, etc. But this keeps things nice, uniform and attractive. 

Chili pepper flour and sugar containers.


The paint is. . . . . Bear brand Chili Pepper Red. Surprise! ;)

I love to cook and being in this bright fun kitchen makes me love it even more!

Around the house: The Kids Bathroom

The Kids Bathroom

We live in an old house in Virginia. Old house=small bathrooms! In the kids bathroom you can sit on the toilet, soak your feetg in the tub and brish your teeth at the sink simultaneously! This is the kids bathroom. We did an "underwater" theme.

(The thing that makes me laugh about the picture above is that none of those toothbrushes belong to my children even though this is the kids bathroom).

Underwater shower curtain with fish curtain clips, and a shower curtain for a window curtain in the background. In Virginia there used to be a law that you had to have a window that a person could crawl through in the bathroom. So ours is right there in the shower! Good morning neighbors!!

Crab tissue holder and underwater themed wallpaper

And my own personal creative touch, the ducks rear end. :) We used to have three of these swimming around on our ceiling, but I had some elctric work done in the bathroom recently and the electricion knocked some down. These ducks are hanging from our ceiling with putty. It is supposed to be the view looking up from underwater :) The floor tile I chose looks like sand, but I don't have a picture of it at the moment.

This duck is very simple to make. I bought a styra-foam ball at the craft store and cut it in half. I got several different colors of feathers: yellow, brown, white, etc. I stuck the feathers into the foam in such a way to make it look like a duck. Then with brown felt I cut out duck feet and glued them to either the feathers or the foam. You can also glue the feet to popsicle sticks and insert the popsicle sticks into the foam ball. Then with sticky putty I stuck it to the bathroom ceiling. Voila! Swimming ducks in your bathroom. I've also seen Barbie and Ken legs in swim suits and trunks attached to the ceiling, but human legs hanging from my ceiling was a bit much for me, But, it is cute!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Giveaway Tuesday! The BIG one!

Okay, everyone. Here's the deal. I have been absent from my blog as I have been dealing with both grief and personal health issues. But, I am ready to re-enter the blogging world. With 32 minutes left in TUESDAY, what better way than to return with my BIG giveaway tuesday!!

Here we goooooooooooo!

The Big giveaway is to choose one of whatever you see! The giveaway is to pick your own giveaway!!

1) ONE set of TWO 84" Lined Rod Pocket curtains. Pick from the following fabrics:

Yellow Zig Zag
Lipstick Red Damask

Barbar with Lipstick Red bird

Village blue zig zag

2) 50% off coupon on ONE Greek Key Design Roman Shade measuring less than 44" width and 62" length.

3) Free labor price on ONE custom roman shade measuring less thatn 44" width and 62" length.

OR 4) a 14" x 26" lumbar zipper closure pillow cover in GENUINE Kelly Whistler Imperial Trellis in Treillage

This giveaway will go on for one week. I will select and announce a winner next Tuesday, May 1st.

You may enter three ways. Please make a separate comment for each entry.
1) Share this one social media: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.
2) Tell a friend to follow us
3) Leave a comment here telling us what you would choose.


Good Luck!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Loss of a dear friend

I have been absent from the blogging world this past week. Still not sure I am ready to join again. But I wanted to dedicate a post to my dear friend, Nancy.

For anyone who knows me, you know I have lost ad ear friend every year of my life from the time I was thirteen. Nancy it the most recent, making it two friends for this year. She died last Tuesday night after complications from an appendectomy. I have been beside myself for many reasons. I have been trying to get answers and explanations but a friend informed me yesterday that there are no answers or explanations yet. As an appendectomy is so common this should not have happened. And I have been so sad about that. So sad that there are people in this world that will never get to know the beauty that was Nancy.

Having dealt with death much in my life I understand that when someone passes we tend to only rememebr the good and somewhat glorify the person, which isn't a bad thing. . .  I just bring it up because in thinking about Nancy's life it was glorious and kind and loving. She truly was one of a kind. There will never be another person like her. She was always happy, even tempered, friendly and accepting of everyone, not judgmental. . . Everything that is good in this world was embodied in Nancy.

Nancy on her wedding day, which was recently. She was gorgeous inside and out. When I told my husband on Tuesday night after I received the news the first thing he said, "The poor husband!" And our hearts do go out to him, though we've never met. But I know he had to be incredible to be able to capture Nancy's heart.

Nancy was in one of my recent blog posts title "Mothers, teach your daughters to sew." Some of you may recall the picture I post of the dress my mother made for me for a performance I was in:

Nancy in Red. This was ten years ago.

The memories I have with Nancy are so real they feel like yesterday. I live in Virginia now and was not able to attend her memorial service in Arizona. I don't know if I'll ever feel the closure that I normally receive from attending a funeral or memorial. I can rememebr very clearly she and I messing around and having a good time in choir.

We went on a trip to Atlanta once. She and I had both been, well, I'll say "stalked" for lack of a better word, by the same guy. He was very persistent and often would not leave us alone! When we were in Atlanta we were performing a song by Moses Hogan called, "No hidin' place." On this trip Nancy and I rewrote, or rather just choreographed, the song to be about abstinence :) mostly for us to sing and perform for our stalker friend. I found myself all last week and even today still singing that song and doing our dance moves. All the meories I have with her are very happy ones :) She was such a delightful human being and I am sad for those who will never know and come to understand the beauty that is Nancy.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Oh, sweet Nancy. I hope you are at peace in heaven and I hope you have been enlightened with the knowledge of the positive influence you were on all you came in contact with. My life is better because you were apart of it. Thank you, Nancy. And may your blessings in heaven for your good deads on earth be rich and bring you the happiness and peace that you gave to us.

I love you, sweet Nancy. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Around my house: Living Room

I wanted to show you all what life is like behind the curtains this week. We'll start today with the living room.

 We love to decorate with books. These Encyclopedia Britanica belonged to my grandfather. They are always a conversation piece.

Our seamstress, Krista, she makes our pillow covers that you see in our shop, made the floral center piece on my piano. Lovely.

I have been known to dabble in watercolors. The painting on the wall and the one on the piano are my own.
Now, before I trick you into thinking that we play piano and harps all day and are super smart because we read Encyclopedia Britanica, I want to show you now what my living room really looks like.

My living room would not be complete without laundry baskets of clothes not put away, puzzles on the floor and of course, my son, Joshua, watching Cars or Cars 2. I have now seen Cars more times than I've seen my own face.

Another view often seen through our living room is my daughter, Miriam, headed toward the stairs to hide her cantraband in her room. In this case it is a handful of smarties she stole from the kitchen counter.

And another view often seen in my living room is our cat, Ruby Tuesday, plotting her escape from us, her captors.

I painted the walls, it is not wallpaper. I will soon have a DIY on how to do the stripes later this month.


Friday, April 6, 2012

One of those days. . .

I struggle with many different problems in my life: my health, depression and complete lack of time management skills :) I have a disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It is a painful joint an tissue connectivity disorder. Often I feel defeated by my disorder. I sometimes ask why I bother trying to make this business bigger and better if I am just going to detiorate and not be able to handle it? There are a few things I turn to for inspiration to keep going when I feel defeated.

(You can see my hand in this picture and see how crooked my fingers are. Ouch).

My wonderful family!

(I'm the one in the black shirt. This is me BC, before children. Ha!)

(I think my sisters say this about me)

My sisters, brother and mom and dad (they all have the same disorder too. Except my dad. . . ).

and even my wonderful in laws.
(My brother in law, Tim. This picture always makes me happy. He's just one of my wonderful inlaws that makes me smile).

I was going to add something here, like I read scriptures or pray or something that might make me look like a pious woman. But who am I kidding?! When I am angry at my body and can't move I watch Top Gear.

or The Walking Dead (because I often feel like the walking dead).

(definitely a closet Norman Reedus groupie. Who's with me?!)

Real men use cross-bows.

We're like 7-11: We're not always doing business. But we're always open.

I know I am not the only person with aches and pains. For my amusement while I sit and wait for the pain to subside I want to know what you use for a distraction from the aches and pains of life.

What do you do when you give in to . . .  life? What/who makes you feel better?
 Any other closet Norman Reedus groupies out there??