Friday, April 30, 2010

A Friendly Reminder

Since my assistants are much to busy in the break room having a snack and chatting around the water cooler, I will take it upon myself to remind you that tomorrow the new BOM stitchery pattern will be out and there will also be a fabulous giveaway here. So please do hop back and register to win and collect your next stitchery pattern.

It really is hard to find good help. On the other hand, cute help that you can kiss and they won't file harassment charges against you is hard to find too! hee,hee,hee.

See you tomorrow,
Michelle

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Time is Mine, Blissfully I Shall go.....

Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. it's official. After 10 years as Project Manager for Stroud Custom Homes, I will be laid off. It's not like I didn't see it coming. The end of 2007 showed the first signs that the housing market was going to tank in our area. I began to prepare. David began to prepare. We were not about to lose everything we have worked so hard for in our 20 years together. In 2008, in addition to working 60 hours a week in construction, I worked 4 other jobs. Last year, after being cut back to 20 hours, I worked 3 jobs. We saved, we simplified, we prepared.  Yet, it still feels strange to me. I recently had a good 3 weeks of identity crisis, meltdown, and poor poor pitiful me moments. Who am I? What am I doing??? What will I do????? I find it funny how we associate ourselves with things like titles, stuff, and money instead of ourselves... our core beings.

What am I proud of? Well, out of 106 custom homes that I have built, there were only 3 individuals that I didn't like and I couldn't make happy. Of course these same 3 people were not happy eating a "Happy Meal" either and probably spent most of their lives being miserable human beings. I had great sympathy for their spouses. I'm proud that for the past 5 years in a row, the homes I have decorated and designed for judging in the parade of homes, have won first place. I'm proud that in 2008, the house I designed, won Best In Show out of 58 houses in the parade. I'm proud of the friends I made and for the fact that I've been a good, hardworking employee for 10 years, giving my job 100%. Can you believe in 10 years, I have never called in sick!!! Of course I did have a wretched migraine once and my boss had to drive me home. I threw up in a trash bag in the back of his truck. He will never let me live that one down!

What I won't miss...day's that started at 6 a.m. and ended at 9 p.m. Getting paid for 40 hours and working 80. Not getting the credit for the things I did and was responsible for. Never getting to take a real vacation. I never took more than 2 days off at once. I won't miss bookkeeping, taxes and insurance audits. I won't miss washing the dishes and cleaning the office toilets. I won't miss being responsible for the thousands of components and people that go into building a custom home. I won't miss the stress of construction that people think is easy, when in fact, it is crazy and crapola happens daily.

What I have learned. I love working with people, but I really, really, don't like being responsible for their work performance. I prefer to be responsible for me, myself and I as I always do what I say and live up to my word. I love using the right side of my brain way more than the left. Decorating yes, taxes, no!  That loving what you do every day is so much more important than being an accumulator of things that you won't have time to enjoy because you work to much and you're just trying to fill a void because you don't have time to live.

What will I do? I'm not quite sure. I thought I knew, but now I'm not sure.  I love stitching, quilting, bunnies, writing, organizing and decorating. I love to create in so many different ways. I also really love to talk! hee,hee,hee. My most favorite quote is this, "It is never to late to become what you might have been" - George Eliot.  Now it's just trying to figure out what is next. Any ideas????

I will come home, open this bottle of wine and give myself a toast. A toast to the next chapter in my life and whatever that may bring. I think I will just focus on "living happily ever after" and making "plenty" of money. That sounds like a good job description.


The time is mine, blissfully I will go.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

At Home with White, oh and a Hint of Blue

As I mentioned last week, I have a lot of things to share with you this week. I thought I would start out with what I've been doing since last year. I've been "nesting" so to speak. No...don't get all crazy, I'm not pregnant. I've just been doing a lot of soul searching, thinking and preparing.

Over the years I have had the pleasure of decorating many homes and enjoying many different styles. It's easy to get caught up in things and to think you like something when really it's not who you truly are. After all, if your home doesn't reflect you, then why are you paying the bills there?

I built my home almost 9 years ago and boy oh boy has it gone through some design changes. This past year I have slowly found myself again and brought my home back to what David and I like best. White.

Here are some before and after pictures.
This was our living room last April. Yellow, fake plants (I can't grow stuff), carpet.
Here it is now. White, sand colored walls, no fake dusty stuff and new hardwood floors.
 Oh..and a hint of blue.
Before the view into the kitchen. Again, yellow flowers, etc.
The same view now. Have I told you how much I love hardwood! So Clean!

The dining room before. A whole lot of flowers, yellow and foo foo.
Our dining room now. Calm, Comfy and Sophisticated.
Oh... and a hint of blue.
The dining room table came from Ballard Designs and the shelving piece in the corner is from Target's Shabby Chic pieces. The artwork on the wall was black iron that got the spray paint treatment.
 
The foyer before. Again...lots of flowers and foo foo.
The foyer now. White and sophisticated. Even the bunny is sophisticated! The foyer table came from Ballard Designs and the mirror I found in a junk shop and David painted it for me. The two vases were a hideous gold color, so they got some paint too!
This is the view from the kitchen to the front door. Everything is very open.
The walls look a little yellow in theses photos, but they are really a sand color. In fact, the color is China Moon from Valspars Seaside Retreat Collection at Lowes. The trim color is Sailcloth. David painted the whole house.
I had to laugh when I thought about the fact that David and I both love blue jeans and white shirts and we pretty much wear the same style all the time. I've always been a tomboy at heart (love cowgirl boots) and I really don't like a bunch of foo foo that get's dusty. I love calm, clean and serene. White with a hint of blue.
It sure does feel good to be home.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Friday!

Wishing you a beautiful weekend filled with lots of pretty things!

This is my Spirea bush. You know I had to have it....it's fluffy and white!! David loves it too and it lived because he takes care of it....I am not a gardener, just one that appreciates the beautiful gardens.

Be sure and visit with me all next week. I've got lots of exciting news and the next BOM stitchery will be out, the next giveaway and my new quilt pattern will be ready!

Hugs,
Michelle

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Wonderful Gift, Blessed by Friends

My friends are such a blessing in my life. I know I've said it many times, but they truly are. I received this beautiful gift from my friend Margaret, of The French Bear. She purchased this beautiful bunny sketch on fabric from artist Michelle Palmer. It's so fabulous! You must hop over and visit! Her work is incredible!


I've decided I will use this beautiful gift and make myself a little journal. I love to keep little journals around the house. Margaret is one of the kindest souls I have ever met and the fact is, I have never met her in person. We are friends through this wonderful thing called a blog.

Blessed I am.

Hugs,
Michelle

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Little Hop Around the House

So how was your Monday? Mine was busy. Had to go to the dentist. Ick!!! I have some upcoming dental surgery and today we talked about all my options. Ick again!!!  I came home and stitched for a long time. That always makes me feel better. I looked at Razzy and Sugie sleeping, that always makes me feel better. Then I looked at a few things around my house that always make me smile. I decided I would share these with you just in case you had one of those "Monday's" and needed something pretty to look at.




Hugs,
Michelle

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Friday!

What in the world are those????

Sugie feet! Hee,hee,hee. I laughed so hard when I saw those fuzzy little footies hanging out.

Hope your Friday and your weekend is fun!
Hugs,
Michelle

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Got Cookies??

I just had to have him...white, bunny, sweet eyes and a happy face! Isn't he the cutest! My mom sent him to me for my birthday. He came from Pottery Barn. Now all I need is some cookies!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rococo Rabbits No. 1, off to be Quilted

I know I've been showing you little bits and pieces of this for some time now, but I spent the whole weekend working on it and it's finally ready to be quilted. I don't machine quilt anything bigger than a baby quilt because it kills my arms, back and makes me grumpy! hee,hee,hee. So I'm taking this to my friend Lea who let's just say has the "Mercedes" of long arm quilting machines.

While Lea is quilting this for me, I will finish writing the pattern. I hope to have everything ready next week for you to see the grand unveiling of this "Couch Quilt" as I call it. It's perfect for laying over the back of the couch or on your favorite chaise lounge or at the end of the bed. It's also the perfect quilt for napping under!

I've named it "Rococo Rabbits No. 1" (do you see the rabbits?) there will be 2 more pieces in this series. One is a wallhanging and the other will be a framed stitchery. Have I told you I wish I could sew faster!!! I get so darn excited!

Hugs,
Michelle

Monday, April 12, 2010

Vintage Buttons

Hellooooo my pretties! Oh do I have plans for you!

I got these at the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival. Vintage Mother of Pearl. I go gaga over them. They were my "big splurg, my entire budget." I paid $48 for them!!! (don't tell David, he already thinks I'm nuts over bunnies and fabric!)
I do have a very special project for them though where they will be showcase properly and all their beauty displayed! You'll be able to make the project too, but you can use less expensive buttons, unless that is.... that you're just as gaga over Mother of Pearl buttons as I am!!

Hugs,
shell

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Girls Night...Wish you Were Here

So David went to a big "car flee market, swap, lots of guy stuff, boring to me, go by yourself, I'd rather have root canal" thing. It was a 5 hour trip away. He took his friend, Eric, husband of my friend, Captain, with him.  What does that mean????? GIRLS NIGHT!!! Woo hoo! I do love to have Girls Night!



This was the table setting. Of course there was also wine glasses, but we had those in our hands! I made a raviola lasagna (no critter as I'm a vegetarian) that took 3 hours to prepare! We had sundried tomato Sicilian bread, delicious salad, appetizers and strawberry cake for dessert! Oh and we also had a chocolate red wine with the cake! It was so great! We were suppose to watch a "chic flick", but we all had soooooo much fun laughing and talking that it was 10:00 before we knew it!

I'm so incredibly blessed by my friends both in real life and in blogland. My friends range in age from 14 to 82. Each and every one is precious to me. Next time I think I'll have a virtual "girls night so that all of you can attend and we can LAUGH LIKE CRAZY together! Wine of course is optional. ;)

hugs,
shell

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Shopping Bag Chic

So maybe I think that getting groceries should be a "Pretty" experience too.

Besides those grocery store plastic bags are just soooooo ugly, bad for the environment and fly all over the back of the bunnymobile on the way home (not because I drive like a crazy bunny or anything ;)
You gotta admit...my groceries look great in this chic bag. You can get some for yourself at Pier 1. They are only $3.00 each.

Happy grocery shopping!
shell

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Franklin's New Home

Thank you all for entering the giveaway. Don't forget the 1st of every month there is a new block and another giveaway!  Thank you all for following me and the bunnies too! Your friendship means so much to me!

So we had 101 chances and the winner is #84.... Shirley from Shirley Stitches!!!! Congratulations girlfriend! Send me your address and Franklin will hop on outta here with the other treats!


Hi Shirley! I can't wait to come live with you!

Have a fun day everyone! Stay tuned...I've got some fun things coming in Bunnyville!
Hugs and friends,
shell

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chocolate Easter Wishes

Mama is busy in Bunnyville with some redecorating so Sugie and I decided we would show you how we redecorated our cottage.   
I decided I could use a larger garage door on the side of the cottage as I have a lot of "junk in my trunk."  Sugie prefers to greet the guests at the front door. Actually, she's just a nosey neighbor perkweed and doesn't want to miss anything.
Mama wanted us to be sure and tell you that even though we are super cute and she loves us more than anything, we are also a big responsibility. We can live to be 10 or 12, we have delicate digestive systems, we really don't like to be held and we party all night long and sleep the day away. She wants you to think twice about giving us to kids as an Easter present.
Chocolate bunnies, especially Lindt bunnies, make an excellent gift with no long term committment or expense. Plus, it's ok to pick these bunnies up by the ears.
Mama rescued Sugie from a really bad place where she was unloved and actually being shot at by a stupid man. All "everybun" ever wants is a little love. We hope that if you do decide to get a bun, you will rescue an unwanted Easter bun.

Love and Friends
Razzy and Sugie

P.S. don't forget to sign up for the giveaway....see post below!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Sentimental Journey Block 4 and A Giveaway!

It's hard to believe we are already on Block #4 of this Sentimental Journey. Have you been having fun with it so far? Have you been collecting all the blocks? It's not to late to start if you haven't. Just hop over HERE and get your blocks. I also have 3 FLOSS KITS left if you would like to use the same colors.

This month my block was inspired by imagination. I tend to have a very active imagination and I'm truly facinated by all the wonderful and imaginative friends I have in blogland. Isn't it amazing how many things have come to be just because someone imagined it!

Ok...now on to the giveaway. I found this adorable little bunny by Jim Shore. His name is Franklin. I think he has the sweetest face ever! He looks like he could start talking to me any minute! See....there's that active imagination again. hee,hee,hee.

So this month, the giveaway will include Franklin, my Friendship Rabbits Stitchery Pattern and a bag of my Favorite Ghirardelli dark chocolate with raspberry filling squares. My customers always get one of these squares with their purchase. I mean after all, it is my signature candy. Razzy's real name is Raspberry and he's a Chocolate Lop Bunny! Again...the imagination thing.

Sooooooooo... if you would like a chance to win this prize, leave me a comment. If you want 2 chances to win this prize, become a follower of my blog (sign up on the left). Say "I'm following" in your comment.

I will pick the winner on Tuesday, April 6th.  Good luck!

Hugs and friends,
shell