Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Project Fuzzy Scarf is Complete

"Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual."
~ Arthur Koestler

I'm about to jet of to dreamland, but before I climb under the covers I have two important things to tell you.

1. I got my snow day after all. Thank you, Jack Frost. As promised, a warm pair of mittens is coming your way.

2. My scarf is now complete, and tied with a pretty pink ribbon. I wonder who the lucky recipient will be?

....good-bye dear Wednesday, you've been beyond wonderful....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Yippie Skippie!

"Really all you need to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands, and slightly below-average intelligence. Of course, superior intelligence, such as yours and mine, is an advantage." (too, funny!)
~ Elizabeth Zimmerman

The madness began on Sunday morning.

I was laying in bed, wide awake, and it was way too early. As I tossed and turned, thinking of all the items taking up space on my 'to-do' list, I started to think about knitting.....

About seven years ago I learned to knit. In typical CK fashion, I dove head first into the craft, soaking up all I could and dreaming big. My projects were limited to a scarf and a rather complex felted wool purse. I wonder where that bag ever ended up?

Being that it was still dark out, I lazily made my way to the downstairs couch. I tried to push the knitting thoughts from my mind, but the persistent little buggers continued to tempt my creative thirst. I was unable to resist...

The hunt began. I knew my needles and yarn stash were lurking in a closet, it was just a matter of where at in the closet (organizing really needs added to my priority list). I eagerly dug up the necessary supplies: size 11 knitting needles and a pre-rolled ball of ultra fuzzy yarn, and made my way back to the couch.

I guess knitting is like riding a bike; I was able to re-master the knit and purl stitch after just a couple of attempts. Yay me!

As I got lost in my newly discovered art, I was listening to "Meet the Press', where David Gregory was discussing the numerous and severe qualms of the US economy.

"How perfect?" I thought....

"What a wonderfully cheap, entertaining, yet fiscally responsible hobby to take up at such a tumultuous time in our world."

Well, I'm officially hooked. I spent all of Sunday wielding my needles while making a warm, ultra yummy scarf.

I'm dying to find someone to knit with. If you knit, or you'd like to learn, let me know. We can make some tea, coffee, sweet treats and set up shop.

On another note, I went shopping with my momma yesterday and found the inspiration piece for my new office decor. I'm proud to report that I was able to find the majority of my supplies at a fun little shop and came in way under budget. All I need is that dress form and the daybed. I'm keeping the the goods under wraps until the room is totally done. Stay tuned for the unveiling...

So, it appears that I'm keeping true to my word for 2009- create. ..good word, I'm glad I chose it...

Dear Jack Frost,
I'd be really appreciative of a snow day tomorrow. I have quite a bit of knitting that I'd love to get lost in. Please let it snow and rain and freeze! I'll make you a scarf and some mittens to keep you warm.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


"If you've never stared off in the distance, then your life is a shame."
~"Mrs. Potter's Lullaby- performed by Counting Crows

Today, I had a vision. I wish I could have stopped the moment that it struck. I would have jumped in my ramshackle car and hit the dusty to the nearest thrift shop. I'm on a quest here...there are a couple things I just must have.

I was actually in the middle of checking a pile of reading tests when the image emerged in my mind. Talk about taking me off guard. I started by picturing my desk at home. It's a bit organized. OK, it actually needs a little more than your standard dose of TLC.

I pictured talking it apart- removing the attached book shelf, purchasing a new lamp and finding a huge antique picture frame. I won't use the glass, the frame will become the boarder for my daydream board, holding random photos, snippets from magazines, and prized quotes and poems.

I want to hit up the antique shops and find some vintage glasses and little bowls. These I shall fill with my essentials: pens, Sharpies, highlighters, and Crayola colored pencils. I'll also need something to contain my very important colored paperclip collection.

Then there is the issue of the bed that currently takes up most of the space in my "office". It needs a new home. If you'd like it, just let me know. It's yours if you come take it away. I plan to replace it with a quaint little trundle daybed. This was guests can still crash, but I'll have more room to move about.

For whatever reason I have it in my mind that I must have a dress form. Don't ask me why, but the image just lingers there, in the corner of my vision, adding an extremely feminine flair to the whole scene. I looked up a couple on E-bay, and also spotted some cute ones on different web-sites. I'll have to see how my budget looks, but it just seems so necessary.

Oh, I have so many ideas and I don't feel that I did my vision any justice. I can only hope to pull off this new project and that it turns out half as pretty as I've pictured.

Friday, January 16, 2009

An Ode to Handkerchiefs

"He had no little handkerchief to wipe his little nose."
~ Rev. R.H. Barham

I got to the gym early this morning. In keeping with the chilly tradition of the last few weeks, school was canceled. I looked forward to my workout more than usual today, because I had a brand-new magazine was dying for some reading time. How wonderful is it when you can work out and read at the same time?

As I was sweating it out on the elliptical (a great workout apparatus that is reading friendly) I dove into the most recent installment of Martha Stewart's new publication, Body + Soul. Interestingly enough, I came across a small blurb about handkerchiefs.

"How crazy is that?" I thought to myself.

Go ahead, admit it. You consider the "hankie" to be antique. I'm guilty, too, if it makes you feel any better.

The little article went on to discuss the ramifications of using disposable tissues. Apparently the paper industry, in its quest to obtain the virgin pulp necessary for tissue production, destroys hundreds of acres of ecologically diverse forest. Sad, right?

Well, as luck would have it, being on the nostalgic side paid off. I quickly jetted home and looked in one of my treasure stashing hot spots and located three vintage handkerchiefs that I used as a kid. Actually, they were from my mom's childhood (a hand-me-down), making them all the more special.

In between the sniffles and sneezes and raspy coughs, I can still hear my mom telling me to use my hankie. "It will keep your nose from getting red," she would say. awwee...memory lane.

I know my dad was always a fan of the handkerchief, as I can still see my mom ironing them and stacking them neatly in his top dresser drawer.

So, yay for my family. I guess we were being environmentally friendly without even knowing it.

If you get the sniffles this winter, perhaps you should invest in a neat pack of pretty little handkerchiefs. Not only will you be saving the planet, but your nose will thank you, too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pretty Paints and Girl Time

“Life is not merely being alive, but being well.”
~ a wise soul

Outside, the ground is covered in a blanket of glittering snow. Inside, I'm warm and cozy and enjoying a night of pampering.

Sometimes I try to wonder why I am so obsessed with things like nail polish and lip glopss.

I remember when I was growing up that Mamoo would come to visit and bring with her an entire train case of cosmetics, make-up, and magic potions. I can still see the blue traveling companion, neatly perched on the floor of my bathroom. Until the last days of her life, I never saw her when she didn't have on her mascara, eyeshadow, and a pretty lipstick.

My mom is the same way. Always put together and looking beautiful, I hope to sport her good looks when I'm her age. It gives me comfort to know that if I turn into my mother, it will be a true blessing.

Then there's me. I would rather die than go without my make-up. I'm quite sure I wouldn't be able to function without my Clinique Black Honey lip gloss and OPI nail polish. I must have my mascara, and going without my Covergirl champagne eyeshadow would drive a stake in my heart. haha..kidding.... but it's kinda true.

I remember commenting to my mom and Mamoo about this. I was promptly told that I come from a long line of women who were the same way. Interestingly enough, my great-great grandmother was an Avon lady. So, I guess I'll blame the genetics.

Tonight was manicure night and I chose a color of polish that's outside my usual realm. Typically, I choose a neutral OPI (mild obsession with this stuff) color such as 'Rosy Future' or 'Altar Ego', but tonight I went for something wild and fun, almost jazzy. Perhaps I'm trying to pretend I'm in a warm climate, sipping drinks while being fanned with a palm leaf. Anyway, my digits are currently decorated with 'The Lifeguard Makes Me Blush'. Honestly, OPI has the most clever names for their polish colors. Wouldn't it be fun to be the person who had that job?

It's time for my second coat and a cup of tea. Enjoy your night and take some time for you!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


"Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits."
~Satchel Paige

It's a quiet, calm, lazy, and unproductive Sunday- just the way I like it. I'm getting a whole lot of nothing done and it feels great.

There's not much going on in my world today, but I couldn't resist some still life photography with some of my favorite things. I decided to play around with my new photoshop program (Photoshop Elements 7) and see if I could come up with a new, jazzy header for my blog. Never one to consider myself techno, I could always handle the basics. I'll be honest, this photoshopping is giving me a run for my money... Wish me luck as I continue to teach myself the finer points of picture enhancing.

On a good note, I connected with a friend from my first job at Saratoga Elementary. Seeing her and pictures of her adorable little boy made me miss my other job so much. I truly credit Saratoga for giving me such a wonderful start on my teaching career. From the minute I arrived the people were wonderful, helpful, kind, and truly caring. I miss that place (and the people) so very much...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some Saturday Inspiration

Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you!

~Christian D. Larson

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another Day of Rest

"Don't underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."
~A.A. Milne

It's very possible. Actually, it might really happen...

I'm forgetting how to go to work.

There has only been one day since December 20th that I've really put in a full 8 hours. This almost reminds me of summer vacation. Well, make that summer vacation slushy style...

I'm enjoying another day off due to icy roadways and frozen shut buses.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wintery Storms

"The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy and freezing rain. This is the kind the anonymous medieval poet makes me remember, the rain that falls on a day when you'd just as soon stay in bed a little longer, write letters or read a good book by the fire, take early tea with hot scones and jam and look out the streaked window with complacency."
~Susan Allen Toth

Today was lovely, exciting, relaxing, and refreshing all rolled into one. School was dismissed at 11:30, and I was safely on the couch by 12:40. What a fantastic way to celebrate the first full week of work. Can you see the smile on my face?

I started reading The Shack today. I thought I'd share with you a passage, as it describes my day perfectly...

...There is something joyful about storms that interrupts routine. Snow or freezing rain suddenly releases you from expectations, performance demands, and the tyranny of appointments and schedules. And unlike illness, it is largely a corporate rather than individual experience. One can almost hear a unified sigh rise from the nearby city and surrounding countryside where Nature has intervened to give respite to the weary humans slogging it out within her purview. All those affected this way are united by a mutual excuse , and the heart is suddenly and unexpectedly a little giddy. There will be no apologies needed for not showing up to some commitment or other. Everyone understands and shares in this singular justification, and the sudden alleviation of the pressure to produce makes the heart merry...

I hope you had a glistening and sparkly day, too.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Theme for the New Year

My word for 2009 shall be create. I'm aspiring to give my imagination wings and let it take flight. I want to make crafty little things, paint, take more pictures and try more recipes.

Maybe I will create some new wall art for the house ,or plant that container garden I've been thinking about. many possibilities... I like my new word.

Farewell Holiday Break

"A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in."
~Robert Orben

Tomorrow morning at aprox. 5:45 am, the alarm clock will sing, make that scream, a wake-up buzz in my ear. As usual, I'll hit snooze for about half and hour, and eventually rise from my sweet slumber around 6:20. I'll stumble to the shower, let Charlie outside in the cold, dark morning, and fumble through my closet while playing fashion show. No more lazy days for this girl.

What a fantastic two weeks it has been. I've enjoyed every second of my time off, and for the first time in quite awhile, I truly relaxed. My mind was peaceful, and my to-do list was rather short.

In preparation to say goodbye to my lovely vacation, I decided to make a list of what made it so wonderful. I'm sure I'll look over it with misty eyes. Don't go away vacation.

  • a plethora of vanilla candles- it smells like a bakery inside the walls of 403, and the gentle flickering flames look so pretty
  • cozy blankets and cuddle sessions on the couch
  • plenty and plenty of warm beverages...tea, coffee, hot cocoa
  • Charlie T. time
  • peace and quiet
  • afternoon naps
  • picture taking and photography practice
  • no bedtimes, late nights, late mornings
  • not having a schedule
  • time with my mama and a fun shopping adventure
  • more reading time than I could have wished for
  • dinners at 862 complete with warm fires
  • the return of Vixen nail old time favorite that really needed to make a reappearance
  • Teavana tea, my new perfect tea maker, and an adorable, mint green cast iron tea pot
  • sweats and hoodies and new house booties
  • evening outings
  • not thinking about lesson plans, grading papers, and PSSA scores
  • being around people that I like
  • laughing
  • New Year's Eve at the Tin Angel
  • wearing jeans
  • delicious food
  • random blog reading
  • a real tea party

I'll miss you vacation. Thanks for being so dreamy...

Friday, January 2, 2009

It's a Winter Wonderland

"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there really is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."
~John Ruskin

Today will bring a trip to a favorite restaurant, a visit to Teavana (I'm so excited), and some time with family. I'm also searching out some sunglasses at Gymboree for little Ella. Oh the fun and anticipation of a mall trip!

This photo is of the crab-apple tree in the front yard. I was having way too much fun experimenting and playing with my new camera lens. As you can see, it's a cold, blustery day in Somerset.

Stay warm!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Highlights of 2008

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. "
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce
Chad-o and I officially became king and queen of the ‘hood. On July 26, 2008 we exchanged marriage vows during an intimate and personal ceremony held at Nemacolin Woodlands. We were fortunate to be surrounded by our most favorite people as we embarked on a lifetime of adventure and time together. Our wedding was simple and unique, completely us, and perfect in every way. Blessed we are…

Spanning the Globe...
We love to travel, and this summer we set sail for some places that neither of us had ever ventured to. Our journey started in Tampa, as we boarded a cruise ship heading throughout the Caribbean. We enjoyed many new experiences such as swimming with the stingrays in the Grand Caymans, visiting the Mayan ruins and avoiding shady drug dealers in Belize, strolling the streets and shops of Cozumel, and soaking up the sun at Fosters Beach in Roatan, Honduras. We made terrific new friends, had the coolest dinner table in the dinning room, and were forever grateful that our bathing suits didn’t match.

Vegas proved another delightful time, as we carved our turkey and ate pumpkin pie in the desert. We love our families, but also covet our Vegas getaways. On Thanksgiving Day we flew into Sin City and had the most fabulous time. From our insane profits playing craps, the craziness at O’Shea’s, seeing David Spade perform standup comedy, to spending a day at the spa, watching the huge Steelers win over the Patriots at Caesar’s Palace, posing as undercover cops, and all the random fun walking the streets, Vegas earned two thumbs up.

New Experiences...
I enjoy learning. I can sit and listen to people talk, I’ll people watch for hours, and I’ve even been known to eavesdrop on a conversation or two. I like to be in the “know”. Anyhow, this fall I decided to spread my wings, tackle some new challenges, and build my personal resume. After enrolling in classes to learn the finer points of stained glass and photography, I was off and running. I don’t remember a time when I felt so personally fulfilled. The classes opened my eyes to the importance of allowing my creative juices to flow. Plus, it was beyond refreshing not to be graded or writing a reflection on my work. It was pure, raw, and natural. I wasn’t looking for any accolades or awards…it was for me, and it was wonderful! Currently, I’m addicted to my camera and am basking in the glow of my Tiffany lamp.

My Blog...
My dear pal, Greta, receives all blame for getting me hooked on blogging. After reading her entries and oohhing and aahhing over her pictures, I decided that I’d give it a shot. I must admit that it’s ridiculously fun to write, post photos, and design layouts. Not to mention, I have a visual archive of 2008.
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