Monday, August 29, 2011

Power on and Shower on sure felt great to take a shower. Our power came on about 1.2 hour ago so I am sitting here catching up on things while my husband is grilling burgers out back. For the first 24 hours, it's kind of fun to have a power outage...candles and wine, flashlights and setting up makeshift bedrooms in the basement to avoid the off chance that a tree might fly through the window (plus it was much cooler there). Playing dominoes...

After 24 hours, the novelty wears off. I took my youngest to the park today with a group of boys and moms and they played soccer while we walked (we walked for three hours!!) Since we still have widespread power outages in our area, schools are still closed. Anyway, here's our neighborhood...
This is the end of our street:
neighbor's car...remarkably, only one dent!

 Around the corner...

 Another neighbor's house...they were so lucky. Two trees missed their house by one foot!
 Another neighbor's car...
So, maybe some projects will be posted by week's end.  Cross your fingers; my friend's power came on and then went off again...UGH. At least I got to take a shower.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Aftermath

Well, we survived Irene with only a few fallen tree limbs and several roof shingles splayed across our front yard. Our neighbors had a tree fall on their car and another neighbor had two giant trees miss their house by only a few feet. They said it was like an atomic bomb went off...the noise was deafening. The wind howled all night, but we made the best of it as my neighbors hosted a hurricane party!
Wish I could upload pictures, however I'm on the iPad as power is out here. They said that power won't be restored for several days so we are playing board games, walking the neighborhood and cleaning up the yard. It actually is very pretty outside right now. Unfortunately, we have no water because we are on a well, so no showers for us!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, August 26, 2011

More Switch Plates and Preparing for Irene

Wheh! Finished several large orders for switch plates and just got them in the mail before the big storm. I'm a little miffed at myself because I forgot to take photos of most of the switch plates I designed...too worried about getting them in the mail before Irene hits. Here is one that I made for a beach house and another I made just because...

We are preparing for the worst, but we are hopeful that this will pass us without too many problems. We have workers here trying to level out the grading in our backyard because we've had huge problems with our basement flooding this summer-- it seems like every time it rains hard, the sediment washes into our areaway, rushes under our door and floods. We also have gas for the generator, water, and are filling our bathtubs with water so we can at least flush our toilets (we have a well). We should fare well as we are supposed to just get tropical storm effects (unless, of course, it turns up the Chesapeake Bay).

Our prayers are with all of those who are in the path of this dangerous storm.
Linking to:
A Little Knick Knack

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Okay, That Was Freaky...

Just went through my first earthquake...very freaky. The epicenter was in Virginia, 5.9, but believe me, I felt it in my Annapolis house as my chandeliers swayed, books (see above) and picture frames flew off my shelves and my neatly organized craft table became this:

Look what happened in my son's room!
(Just kidding, he's a teenager...need I say more?)

Monday, August 22, 2011


Came back from my long journey to drop off my son in Massachusetts. He goes to a Christian college in Wenham, MA (north shore of Boston). It's a breath-taking beautiful area that I love; I just dread the drive to and from. On the way up, we stopped several places. One is the famous Mystic, Connecticut (drawbridge pic above). I was a bit miffed at Mystic when I found out that you actually had to pay to visit the Mystic Seaport. We didn't. 

Instead we walked the outskirts of the seaport and into the sweet town of Mystic to enjoy some Mystic Pizza, made famous by the '80s movie of the same name. 
The pizza was really good so I do recommend stopping there -- they, of course, have the movie playing on every screen around the restaurant while the wall are spinkled with still photos of the movie and various pics of Julia Roberts. 
Next, we stopped in Plymouth, MA, home of Plymouth Rock. We've been to Plymouth a lot of times and truly love the little town (even though the rock is basically just a rock with a guard rail around it). We stay at the John Carver Inn and I must say, it's really a wonderful place to stay, especially if you have kids. They have an indoor pool shaped like the Mayflower (yeah, I know it's a little corny), but it's also really fun because there's a water slide and little waterfalls to swim through. 

The next day we trooped up to college, unloaded everything, walked the campus and went out to eat. Then, my uneventful, boring drive back...made complete by two major traffic jams.
So, school starts tomorrow. We are ready. Heading to the pool to enjoy the last full day. It's gorgeous here in Annapolis. Back later in the week with some projects.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Here We Go...

Right on the heels of my middle son getting cut from the soccer, my older son leaves for's double whammy for my middle son as he also loses his best bud. Sigh. Parenting should be easier.
Anyway, we are loading the car and then we are off to Massachusetts. (see Sam's club stash above).The drive up should be pleasant as we will stop in Plymouth, MA for a break before we head to the North shore of Boston. We love Plymouth for some reason.
I'll be sure to take some photos and of course, stop at some tag sales along the way! Next week, I'll be back to share my finds and experiences and get the rest of the gang back to school.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Son: Someone to Look Up to...

My son. He's persistent. He's determined. He's amazing. For example, last winter he announced that he was going to try out for the high school ice hockey team. Never mind that he never played ice hockey in his life. He couldn't even skate. Seriously. We looked at him like he was insane. He didn't care.
He started by going to the ice rink and practicing every day. Then he showed up for practice. He made the team. To hear his coach tell it was a moment that would make any mom proud.
Coach: "I held our first try outs and here comes this kid with a heart this big (outstretched arms). He couldn't even stand on the skates and when he skated his ankles touched the ground. I thought to myself, 'this is a kid I want on the team. He comes out because he loves the sport and he wants to get better. He doesn't care what his peers think of him; he'll be an incredible role model.' This kid has heart."
(I love this coach.)
So, my son made the team, but he knew he might only see about 5 min. on the ice the entire season. He didn't care. He did play a little more than that and actually scored a goal. He's played all summer in a league so he could get better and he is getting there.
So, he's actually really good at soccer. Made the JV team, was a starter. But, at the beginning of soccer tryouts his sophomore year, the varsity coach told him that he wasn't going to make the varsity team as a junior. Sure he could try out and make the JV team this year (sophomore year), but he should know that he wasn't going to make the Varsity team a year later. Huh?
My husband and I were could this guy even say that? How would he know that a year from now my son wouldn't make it? This is clearly a joke. So, my son, played as a starter his sophomore year. Then, my son, being my son, bought himself a regulation soccer goal and worked his butt off every day. He attended camps; he did everything to get better. (And, I know I sound biased, but he's good, really; my husband says so and I believe him.) He went to tryouts last year and the coach's jaw dropped. I told him that even if he made the team, the coach would never let him play. He said, "I don't care; at least I'll get better working with the team." Now wouldn't you want a kid like that on your team?
After the first day of tryouts the coach told my son that he was looking great. The next day he cut him.  My son was devastated. That's when he decided to go out for ice hockey.
This year, my son went back to soccer tryouts as a senior (his friends on the team begged him to try out. They said he was sure to make the team...he was good enough).  We begged him not to...he was setting himself up for disappointment. He didn't care. He went through it all again. He got cut. Get this: his coach said he was better than some of the younger players, but he has to "develop" his team. So, it's about him and his program, not about the kids. So, my son is good enough to make the team, but it doesn't matter. Can't even believe this. I'm sick. I know many moms go through this, but soccer is this kid's life. His great, great uncle played in the world cup; his cousin plays professional soccer; his dad played semi-pro. This kid has soccer in his blood. And now, his dream is just that...a dream.
I'm so proud of him...he's now looking into club teams. You go guy.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Such A Perfect Summer Day

Yesterday was a perfect summer day and my son and I decided to do something about it! 
First, we went for a nice hike at a local nature park. The hike ended at the beach on the Chesapeake Bay. 
We spent about two hours hunting for shark's teeth, fossils and sea glass. Proud to report we found four tiny sharks teeth, a couple pieces of sea glass and tons of fossils. 

This is something I have done with my kids for years...we usually go more than once in the summer, but for some reason this summer flew by!
Here's a green heron with a nice catch for his lunch!

Found a crab!

We ended the day at a small water park where we met some friends...had a blast on the slides...and under the mushroom! 
Enjoy the rest of your summer...I know we are!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back and Switching it Up!

Came home from Pittsburgh to find three packages-- two of supplies and one filled with all of my light switchplates from Somerset Home. I honestly forgot that I made some of them like this beachy one below:

I will be putting most of these in my shop. This one (below) was featured in the magazine. I used a Ventian plaster technique on it, painted and glazed it. After I attached the old skeleton key, I rubbed some distress ink on it to "match" the rust on the key.

 Also working on a huge order of custom switch plates for a lovely lady's newly refurbished beach house!  One down (below) and about 10 to go! I think that will be a fun project!
Linking to:
A Little Knick Knack

Uncle George

Just got back from my hometown of Pittsburgh. I got to see all my cousins and family, however, it was a sad occasion because my only uncle -- Uncle George-- passed away. 

He took me on my first camping trip and my first spelunking (cave exploring) experience. He was quite the guy...served his country, taught physics for 33 years at Moon Township high school, founded the school's Adventure Club, bicycled his way across the USA, was a certified hypnotist, a member of the Knights of Columbus, parachuted out of an airplane, rode in a hot air balloon, invented all sorts of contraptions, and most importantly raised four children. 

We will miss his lively sense of humor and his adventurous spirit.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Some Fun Finds and a Giveaway Winner!

I struck gold at a yard sale today...purchased some lovely vintage Quimper at some unbelieveable prices. Two of the items I will keep, one I will probably sell in my shop. Here they are:
This is a Quimper puzzle it! Translation: "I want to drink well, but will you know where to put your hand?"
Here's the idea behind it: A puzzle jug means that you need to figure out how to drink from this little jug without spilling anything. The challenge: the neck of the entire jug is perforated. So, it's quite a little challenge that my youngest is going to take on! After he figures it out, I'm going to use it in my kitchen to hold flowers. 

The other Quimper pieces include an ashtray and a condiment holder...can't find any information on these, though.
Also found the following bargains for a TOTAL of $3: A lamp with brand new shade, a silver tray and candelabra (for my someday screened-in porch...a gal can dream, can't she?)

Of course, you all want to know who the winner of my switch plate giveaway is...don't you? Had to do some finagling in between all the nice comments; there were really only 15 entries out of the 22 comments, so the winner is...#2 via

Sherry at Back2Vintage!

Congrats Sherry!
Sherry asked for a switchplate with Gingko leaves for her kitchen... the challenge is for me to create one worthy of her room. 
Wish me luck! 
And, Sherry, since I have your email, I'll  contact you for your shipping information. 

Thanks for joining me in this fun giveaway and for all of your sweet comments!!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I can't sew. Well, I can, but I don't like to. You need patience to sew. I don't have patience...just ask my husband. 
Anyway, I have this ugly craft table (see below), which is now in my bedroom (story of why, here). With no room to store anything, I have my supplies stacked above and under the table ( it's temporary, I keep saying to myself). 
Here's where the sewing part comes in...I wanted to make a table skirt that I could velcro in place. Begging my friends for help was out of the question, begging my mom while she was here, was not.
 Mom took the leftover fabric I had from my settee and worked miracles
...she even added box pleats! 
There was just enough to cover all the stuff underneath the ugly table. 
She even helped and motivated me to finish recovering the chair seat (not as easy as it looks because you can't take off the seat). 
I know this space has a lot to be desired, but it's functional and now thanks to my mom, it looks good, too! 

DON'T forget to enter my giveaway here! It ends this Saturday at 6 PM. Linking to: and

Monday, August 1, 2011

Here's a Switch! Big News and a Giveaway!!

Well, it took me long enough, but I've finally reached 200 followers..woo hoo! Thanks to all of you who follow and leave your means a lot.
I have some bigger news...ready? I've been featured in the beautiful Somerset Home magazine
I am very honored to be included in this gorgeous magazine along with so many fine artists. The editor, Beth Livesay, contacted me in January for their August issue. She requested that I send some of my light switch cover plates from my etsy shop to the magazine for photography. She also requested that I make and send a few more (I couldn't wait to experiment!!). I received my copy of the magazine on Friday and was so happy that my mom was here to help me celebrate! 
GIVEAWAY: Custom designed switchplate cover plus two more!

Now for that giveaway...since we are on the topic of light switch plate covers...I thought I would give away a few.  If you are a winner, I will custom create a single light switch plate for your home (or as a gift for someone you know)! Plus, you will win these two vintage inspired ones that I decoupaged with Mod Podge: 
1. All you have to do is be a follower and leave a comment about what room and what color you would like if you win. For example, "I would love a switch plate cover for my black and white bathroom."
2. For another about this giveaway and let me know with another comment!
Giveaway runs until Saturday, August 6, 2011.
Now, here's a sneak peek at the six-page spread:

Somerset Home is chockfull of great ideas for your home and very artistic ones at that... on newsstands today!
Now to give you an idea of what type of light switch plates I have in my's a mini tour:


(I didn't create the last one.) 

Linking to:
Type ADecorating