Wednesday, January 27, 2010

If You are Moving, I will Take Your “Crap”


The gift of having a bum arm/hand this week has been that I didn’t have to help Art’s daughter move. I haven’t had to help clean her apartment and have not had to lift one thing. In fact, I get yelled at if I try. Yeah me, except for the yelling part!

The cool thing about other people moving is they get rid of a lot of stuff. Since she is moving out of state, she is getting rid of almost everything.

So far, I have grabbed this lovely and in major need of help dining set.

I didn’t even have the heart to show you the table top, but here are the legs. The poor set was serving as their patio table and is going to take a lot of work.

And just so you don’t think that everything could be better described as road kill, this wonderful mirror.

Yes, I know that it would have been photographed better outside, but remember, I get yelled at when I try to lift things.

I could get totally used to having my Thrifty Thursday finds delivered right to my front door.

I am hoping that I will get that table and chairs all rehabilitated an pretty again in time for

Monday, January 25, 2010

Comfort Living by Christine Eisner


Update on my arm: I am slowly starting to get back to normal, but have a long way to go for full movement. Sonny is still with us and I just steer clear of him. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR KIND WISHES:).

One of the many jobs that I have is as a book reviewer. I don’t just love reading, I live for it. The job doesn’t pay anything really, but I get to do something that I love and there is a never-ending stream of newly published books coming in my door. 

This month, I was given the chance to review Christine Eisner’s book, Comfort Living: A Back to Basics Guide to a More Balanced Lifestyle. Not my usual genre, but with Murphy Grace Home in mind, I jumped at the chance.

 Comfort Living: A Back-to-Basics Guide to a More Balanced Lifestyle

Part decorating, part life exploration, the book took me on a journey.  Apparently, I am not alone in looking at it as a journey, because there is also an accompanying spiral-bound journal to go with it.  

Eisner focuses on streamlining your decor so that it not only looks beautiful, but it enhances your life.


The first chapter talks about finding the treasures and obstacles in your life. I think that you can figure out the treasure part, so let me tell you about the obstacles-

  • Is everything you need in order to leave the house scattered and are you always forgetting something?
  • Is making your bed a dreaded chore because you have tons of decor pills and other “extra” fluff on it?
  • Is your desk or work area so cluttered that finding something makes you feel like Indiana Jones?



Overall, it is an interesting book and really spoke to my heart. Home decorating is about not only the tchochkes, it is about creating a haven that makes your life better, easier, and more balanced.

Do I have to use disclaimers now? I got the book for nothing, but my opinion is worth more than a free book. (of course, that is also my opinion too)

Monday, January 18, 2010

When Animals Attack…


What I thought was going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship with Sonny has not turned out that way.

Everything was going fine, the dogs were getting along and the growling had stopped. Sonny had a new house and actually had a spring in his step. I had even taken to letting him in the house for a few hours at night as long as he stayed on a blanket near the door. He seemed happy.

Saturday night, I fed him at his usual time and as I turned to walk back in the house, he attacked me. Notice, I chose the word attack. He didn’t just bite me and leave it at that. He got a hold of my arm and wouldn’t let go. When I finally got my arm out of his mouth to run away, he continued to come at me and even managed to gouge a hole in my Uggs and my foot. Darn it, I love those boots.

Luckily, Art was home and heard me screaming bloody murder. He got the dog away from me and I was able to get into the house and safety.

There was a lot of blood, hours worth of tears, and a decision to be made. I am typing this with one hand. My hand and arm are so swollen and cut up that I can’t even take off my own shirt. I am terrified of going into my own backyard and I won’t let Murphy out there with him either. (not that I don’t think that MG can take him, I just don’t want to see it happen or have to separate them)

Sonny has lived a good life, he has tumors that can’t be operated on because of his age, and he hobbles around in pain often. I think that it is his time. We did our best, but I am worried about the safety of others and he is obviously in pain and not happy.

I hope that Art’s daughters and others will forgive us for this decision.

I will be doing a lot of lurking for the next few days until I can type properly. So please know that I am visiting you  and reading, just a bit quiet:)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

DIY Trend that I will Not Be Following

Do you subscribe to Lowe's Creative Ideas for Home and Garden? It is free and includes lots of fun and inspiring ideas. 

However, the latest issue included something that even with the current Junk Market Style trend, I don’t think that many of us could pull off.

I just can’t see this working in my home. Can you? I mean, it is corrugated roofing metal. I am all for bringing the outside in, but this is too much for me.

The issue does include a great magnetic chalkboard that I know blogland would love.

Take Note Magnetic Chalkboard

Now I just wish that there was a Lowe’s a bit closer to me. It is about 40 minutes away and I HATE driving.

On another note: I am searching for ideas for ways to display/store the necklaces that I am creating. I am never going to use them if they are just all piled in a jewelry box and I can’t see them.

How do your store or display your accessories?

Do you have any great ideas or project links?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Preparing for the Invasion that Never Came….


     On Christmas day, Art’s youngest, 22, dropped a bomb and it wasn’t Sonny, the 2-ton Golden Retriever. Who is getting along with all of us just great now, btw.

      She. Wanted. To. Move. Home. Now, on a rational level, this totally makes sense. She had been working very little and her dad had been paying most of her bills anyway, so her coming home would actually save us money.

     The thing is, the guest room is MY craft room. Never mind the fact that I don’t actually do any crafts in the room, it is the room where I store all of my crafting and creating stuff. You know, the paints, the fabric, the lamps that need a new shade, the 4 million frames for that great idea I had for the wall, etc.

     The next thing is that I would have to share the bathroom. That room I do use and the prospect of sharing my little haven with 2 girls was not, um, exciting. (Oh yeah, did I forget to mention, her current roommate would be moving in too)

      Don’t get me wrong, I love kids. Wait, that isn’t totally true. I am not a kid person, but I have tried my best to build relationships with Art’s kids and have been lucky.

     Anywho, I was a woman on a mission to reorganize the whole house.


became this

    Drawers became magically empty, closets became forces of organization. I was a demon with a purpose, a rebel without a clue, a woman on the warpath. If it hadn’t been worn, used, looked at or had been forgotten, it was getting donated. Everything was vacuumed, dusted, shined, etc. Alright, I am still working on the pantry. It is a work in progress.

     So, everything is now ready for the invasion. The closest, cabinets and drawers are empty. I said goodbye to my bathtub and looked forward to the pile of wadded up wet bath towels to come.

     Guess what? She now wants to move to Colorado and her roommate found another place. No one wants to live with me except the dogs.

      What did I learn? Young adults change their minds faster than a speeding bullet, dogs are truly man’s best and many times, only friend, and I now have a whole new room to refill with crap.

     On the bright side, I am totally organized, ready to start the new year fresh, and am totally sure that I made the right decision not to have my own kids. It has also brought me closer to my own mom and stepdad. I keep calling them to apologize and say thank you for putting up with me. (I was a royal pain of a young adult, my behavior makes Art’s daughter look like a saint)

     I wish M the best on her new life in Denver and hope that she realizes that I am her biggest fan until I have to share my bathtub. Then all bets are off.

This picture has nothing to do with anything, but it scares me just the same. I just wanted to share my nightmares with you.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

There is a New Sheriff at Murphy Grace Home


There are some mighty big HUGE changes going on here at the ranch. Some that we have known about for a bit and some that are totally unplanned all of Arts kid’s fault.

The big change that happened today is we brought home Sunny. Let’s give a big MG Home welcome to Sunny….

Sunny (or Sonny, depending on whom you ask) comes to us from Art’s X. She was moving and didn’t want to take him with her, so we offered to give him a home. What could I say? Art’s daughters grew up with the beast dog.


  • is huge, at least 100 pounds
  • is old and set in his ways
  • has a heck of a lot of fur, way more than MG.
  • has always been an outside dog
  • is terrified of fireworks and storms
  • comes with a large wood dog house of his own

Most importantly-Doesn’t want one single thing to do with Murphy Grace or I.

It is bad. He growls at me through the sliding glass door and goes ape when Murphy so much as looks out the window.

Any tips for introducing an old dog to some new tricks? I am all ears, just share them loudly, it is hard to hear over the growling.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sharing the Love with Indie Fixx & 1canoe2


Last month was the month of giveaways in blogland wasn’t it? I loved it and it was a great opportunity me to get to know so many great artists and find some new blogs. (I am now subscribed to 171 blogs, no wonder I never get anything done)

One blog that I was already a big fan of is Indie Fixx and she did a series called 12 Days of Indie Holiday Shopping with a giveaway for every store/shop that she spotlighted.  Have you been there? She is the genius behind Feed Your Soul and a lot of other great things.

It was a great way to explore a lot of Etsy artists that I hadn’t seen before.

Let’s just cut to the chase, we all know why I am writing this post. I WON a $75 gift certificate from 1Canoe2! Actually, I had been drooling over 1Canoe2 for a while before the giveaway, how could I not with beautiful letterpress beauties like this 2010 calendar….

Or this recipe box, complete with dividers and beautiful cards..

Or maybe a print from your favorite State?

Beth was very sweet and sent me her beautiful recipe box, extra cards and a print from her trip to Barcelona just in time for Christmas gift giving.

Recipe Cards --20 pack addition

Barcelona Print

The print now has a frame, but I am still deciding on a home for it. The recipe cards? Well that is a work in progress. I am waiting until I have a good handwriting day. (Am I the only one whose handwriting is different depending on my mood?)

So don’t forget to check out Indie Fixx and 1Canoe2 and I thank them both for the art and skills.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A bit of Bling for the New Year


Christy at Embellished Bayou has reawakened a monster in me with her posts about beading. (see here, here, and here)

I used to make a lot of jewelry and have even been known to make my own beads to get just the color that I wanted. Well, the desire to get back into a hobby that takes up little space, has no dying time (unlike painting), can be used and shown anywhere at anytime is back.

So I have been slowly building up my bead stash by buying up items from Artbeads, Fire Mountain Gems, Ebay and a few other stores. By New Year’s Eve, I was ready to get busy. I fired up the torch and went for it.

The one thing that I didn’t see as being a problem was my camera. I am working on that issue, but bear with my cheesy shots until I get that fixed.

Here is Murphy Grace’s face when I started up the torch in the house…….

He was scared, but then again, he is scared of the Zhu Zhu pet. (notice, he even had his blankie on, big wuss)

How is the first week of 2010 shaping up for you? Picking up any old habits like I am?


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