Monday, August 29, 2011

The Bad, The Good, and The Anything But Ugly!!

I believe in getting the "bad" news first since getting the "good" news always works as a salve for whatever pain, hurt, anxiety, the "bad" inflicted.

Our beloved paper store/studio/workshop is closing.  Bad news for our little Tucson community as  MMU was a rarity ~ our gem in the desert.  We really are just a little "big city."  After much prayer and deliberation, Katie and Hoss Hughes made the decision to close.

This wasn't a scene from "You've Got Mail" (although you could liken The Shop Around The Corner to MMU on many levels).  There wasn't some big box scrapbook store breathing down their back....more beautifully and gently, the reason being, after 10 years of marriage they will welcome their first baby, Levi, in September.  So, while MMU devotees are saddened by the "bad" news, we are equally thrilled by the "good" news that Katie will spend her days with Levi, rather than with company reps!

It has also prompted many of us to figure out how to keep things going, and that's a good thing.  For me, I've been spoiled rotten having such a convenience to peddle my wares.  If you live in Tucson and are one of my customers, please feel free to email me with whatever you might need - seam binding, tulle, cards, card kits, pendants, muslin yardage, muslin bags, etc.

I will be happy to fill your order and deliver it.  For everyone else, I'm hoping to have a "store" page added to my blog by early October.  I still have my etsy shop and you can order there as well.  If you don't see something you like/need, email me!

Now for the "Anything But Ugly" portion of the program...I've been blessed with so many good friends I often wonder what I've done to deserve them...You've all taught me much, especially the importance of "pay it forward."

Recently, my sweet friend Sandra B sent over these amazing treasures so I could use them in my work, or just pass them on in my swaps, etc.  I love her to death just for thinking of me!!

needlepoint coasters, vintage post cards, ribbons and more

oodles of vintage hankies

a mountain of doilies

I'm afraid my local GW and others will suffer a tad as I have more than enough (and then some) to keep me busy for a long time!

This unexpected, beautiful surprise was waiting for me when we picked up our mail after vacation.  As you can see it comes from sweet Tee at  She makes and sells this fabulous coffee soap ~ so perfect for any kitchen.  She also sent me one of her fabulous Halloween ATC's.  Be sure to stop by her blog so you can see what she's been up to lately.  She's sponsoring a number of swaps that I'm involved with, so I'll be posting pix in the coming weeks.  Thank you so much Ms. Tee, for your kindness!

Most recently, I participated in Tee's "Lady in a Hat" ATC swap.  My lovely partner was Donna at  Here's what Donna created just for me...
so darling, and in my signature color!
I created this one for Donna...

As I fell behind with postings while on vacay, here are two more fabulous swaps I received while gone.
The first is from the lovely Christine in Canada  We swapped mini matchboxes....the theme was Favorite Things....
you may remember the box I created for Christine

This is what Christine created for me ~ beautiful wrapping

the top of the double decker!

inside the boxes

all the treasures!
The last swap was something I had never done was a charm swap at Roni Johnson's blog  We had to create a minimum of 5 charms, send them to Roni and she swapped them out with 5 from other artists, along with a pin.
here are the ones I made
and the beauties I received in return!
What a fun summer this has been for me!  I've been busy as all get out working in my studio, heading off for vacation, and there's another trip around the corner....Berlin, Germany!!  Yes, Mandy and I will join Melissa in Berlin, following her week with MAC (see July 26th posting if you missed why).

I'm SO excited!!  Well, now I am since the plane res is made and the hotel is booked ~ I was an absolute MESS 3 days ago!!

Have a beautiful week dear hearts ~ and dear friends who are trying to dry out from the flooding and repair damages from the winds of Irene ~ God Bless YOU and godspeed!!
See you next Monday!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer Lovin' Had Me A Blast!

Golly, I sure did miss you guys...kind of a blog-withdrawal!  Felt disconnected somehow, but managed to enjoy my east coast vacation to the nth degree.  We started in Philly, headed down to Ocean City, MD, back up to Philly ~ said "goodbye" to the DH and chickie girls ~ and journeyed on to Reading, PA.

Buckle up and away we go!!
DH and me

our chickie girls
traditional first day breakfast meeting at the Dough Roller

our new venue

acres of beauty
our street

Home Beach Home
our private beach - guests welcome!

a VERY happy man!
dock o' the bay

and at sunset
on "the Boards"

some of our favorite treats

This was our 9th year in Ocean City and we all's not summer without the beach.  So, I guess wherever the summer takes the Hess family, it will include salt water, sand, and sun (and hopefully a Boardwalk!)

As I mentioned in the beginning of my post, I spent a wonderful week in Reading, PA with my sister (in-law).  Anna Marie and I didn't turn on TV a-l-l-l-l-l-l-l week....we just shopped and yakety-yakked our faces off!  One of the highlights for me was indulging in Swedish Fish Water Ice from Rita's.   My niece, Dianna,  and her hubby Greg,  are the proud owners of two stores and a kiosk.  They are VERY busy this time of year....

AM and I made a shopping trip to Lancaster County.  The first time I visited Weaver's back in '91, it was pure Amish...inside and out.  I'm talking hats and bonnets on wall pegs.  I guess even the Amish make changes...their simple country store is now more on the order of a small WalMart.  They still have wonderful fabrics, trims, and prices.

at an office building

farmer stopping at the hardware store
lovely lunch at Leenah's

be still my beating heart....a covered bridge!
my nephew Darren and wife Danielle with Anna Marie 

Great Nephew Zachary and I pose with the fam
Zachary scores big-time at the Kutztown Fair
Every minute of every day was a memory and I know I'm looking forward to next summer and more wonderful times with my precious family and friends.  Now, if I could just keep up with the swaps and posts while away from home....hmmmmm

Have a beautiful week dear hearts, and yes, I will be back with you on Monday!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Can You Stand To See Some More?

Some more swaps...
Lynn and I are swapping boxes for Granny's Attic Matchbox Swap over at The Vintage Dragonfly.  Although I'll be receiving my box from Jennifer, sweet Lynn sent me this GORGEOUS tag and card just 'cause!  Aren't they precious?

the frame around the bathing beauty is actual sand!

front of box
some turn-of-the-century bathing beauties on the bottom
Here's what I sent to Lynn...

all the goodies inside

empty box

Can you tell how much we both love the beach???  And how much Lynn likes lilac!

What a surprise for me very first swap with the UK!!  Jan sent me, not only a miniature matchbox filled with all sorts of treasures, but she also packed in some other fabulous goodies....take a look...
here's the big box beautifully packaged with the sweetest note on the dress form
I opened the box...the mini matchbox is on your left
these lovelies were packed inside the big box
then I unwrapped the mini-matchbox from it's lace wrapping and found my fave, Jane Austen, looking up at me!
back of box
Have you guessed my fave yet?  Well, if you guessed "Jane Austen, vintage, lace, butterflies, flowers, and anything old"...YOU'RE RIGHT!!
adoring the actual pin! and the pen nib says "memories" plus the tiniest yo-yo I've ever seen!!
Where would I be without my swaps??  I love being on the receiving end, but I love creating for my partner even more!  Vacation time takes me away from them, but I know that there will always be another one waiting for me.

Here's another gift I just made for sweet Liz's birthday ~ a domino necklace.


Here's a little someum' someum' to keep you out of trouble!!
click on the link below and you'll get to the recipe!
I hope you have a glorious week!