Tuesday, December 28, 2010

rambling thoughts

I'm writing this to remind myself why I enjoyed blogging in the first place. I'm terrible at keeping a journal, but I love to write. To record silly details. To bitch and whine. To hear myself talk. I wish I had every little journal that I ever started, way back to the one with the tiny little lock. I know I've never kept one going for more than a few weeks. Last night I sat here with the girls and we read some of the moments that I captured in my little blogdom. They loved it. The stories of their antics and silly little quotes and adventures. It makes me sad that I didn't keep it going... but let's not go on the I-had-to-go-to-work-fulltime-sob-story. I can start again here and now. Which reminds me that I haven't put my thoughts down about my time in France. And being such a big event in my life - I think I should. So, here's what I've come up with - after 5 weeks of giving this not much thought... I think I didn't love Paris because I wasn't with someone that I love. Don't get me wrong - my co-worker is nice enough. If not a bit bossy ;) well, she used to be my boss. And I think she's her husband's boss. And I kept having a little dialogue in my head as we stumbled around Gard Nor train station that perhaps I was playing part the part of her hubby on this little trip. So, yes. I wasn't with someone that I loved. And I think first and foremost, you should experience Paris with someone you love enough to tell them to shut up and quit being such a know-it-all if need be. But also, with someone with whom you can lean into and navigate cobblestone and the harsh November wind. And be silent with. And marvel with. That said, I haven't met a person who would be that partner in Paris. Probably just a shadowy character that I created after too much poorly written romantic fiction. So there... first off, I was experiencing the City of Light, of awe, of romance, totally alone in my little life. You have to be totally and utterly single to have the understanding of which I speak. You have to have the fleeting thoughts that there is no one that you can wish were standing at your side... 'cept a few friends and that is just awkward because they do have a person who they would more prefer to share a significant event. So, perhaps the loneliness that I keep at bay by the busy-ness of my daily life was my travel companion on this journey. I was not alone, almost not at all... And I didn't feel any of this at the time. I just felt like I was missing something. And that perhaps is the letdown - I was in PARIS. ME. Little old me. And it is grand. But it was as thought I had obtained something unobtainable. And I think the thought of Paris was better than Paris. I think I've bought into the American dream of Paris. And the love of all things French. Don't get me wrong, I am amazed by their pastries. Their figs. Their wine. Their exquisite doors. But I'd brought this idea along of France that is an American version. Our modeling of French decor and lifestyle is perhaps an Americanization of the beauty of France, the history, the architecture, the lavendar, the exquisite elegance... The France I found was formal and stiff and the beauty was brittle and sharp. Not worn linen and watercolor sketches. Maybe I was in there the wrong days of my life. I simply could not appreciate Paris for what it was because I could not get past what it wasn't. Like someone you meet online in a one dimensional portrayal but in real life you realize that they are also smelly and old and rather unpleasant and dirty. Maybe next time, if I shall go again, I will enjoy it more as my expectations are not so high... we'll see.


my girls have been playing dolls for 2 days straight. no tv. no DS. no DSiXL. no friends calling on the cell. just their imaginations like the good old days. I'd have killed for this set-up. the American Girl doll stuff is sooo nice. noticed my gals both have bedhead but the dolls are all looking snazzy!
enjoying this quiet vacation week. hope you and yours are doing the same.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

the part of the Grinch will be played by yours truly

so, this is the year that I decided do the deed - after 12 years I admitted defeat and decided that an unhappy marriage wasn't getting any better with someone else's decision not to seek employment after 2, yes, T-W-O long years of odd jobs (you may have noticed that my blog shriveled up and died aboout that time...

so we're being adults for the sake of the kids. and really I don't think I have as much drama left for him. KWIM?

But, we survived the 1st major holiday - luckily I had jetlag and slept through most of it. In that marriage was the continual fight over the volume of my STUFF, KWIM? I know you do. Especially when Christmas means a ladder, 17 totes and an entire week of mayhem. When we met, he had 1, yes O-N-E, ornament - a goof ball delivery guy one. I have every single Christmas ornament that I've ever glanced at, plus all my grandparent's stuff, and just about every stranger's grandparent's stuff that was donated at my local thift store. I have a weakness. (many but this is the one we'll ponder now).

Imagine my surprise that he'd kept some of the holiday stuff. Yep, he'd hauled totes off to my storage unit b/c he was sick and tired of it and he enjoyed me paying to store my stuff. Vindictive type. So, on a recent stop over to do my laundry and let his dog out (told you we are mature), I notice that he has made a nice attempt at holiday decorating thanks to years of being subject to whilst I junqued up the place. But, he has kept some of MY stuff. Yep, and now I am the Grinch who must insist that the houses that Vince and my dad painted are mine. And the entire tote of the glass glitter ornaments - my most recent! - are mine. There really was enough to have shared. He crossed the line - back away from the glittered ornaments buddy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

decorating attention deficit disorder

Here I am. Having thoughts of the delicious and debilitating task of Christmas decorating. Took the pluge and gathered all the fall stuff and dumped it unceremoniously into a tote. Thought about depositing the pumpkins in the dumpster. Thought about the waste and the three flights of steps - granted I'd be going down the stairs but still. Let's ponder why it is so much easier to drag thrifty finds UP three flights than to take trash down. I swear. I could stare at a bag of trash for days. I can decorate around a bulging black trash bag, ya know? Heck, on my last trip to the kitchen I admired how neatly I'd tied the red handles. Almost festive.
So, I'm ignoring deadlines and chores and instead distracting myself by freshening up my bedroom. Yep. Nothing on my December to-do list will be completed by this pursuit. But, I saw this fabric and what to do? It matched my China Glaze - Jitterbug silver metallic nail polish perfectly. (ignore pudgey middle aged fingers...) I have been inspired by the October 2010 Country Living spead on EuroTrash style guru -Lizzy's to-die-for home. She blew the covers off of charcoal! And my bff Dana has been channeling silver in a big way and has been splashing the silver on gorgeous little pieces like this little bedside table... she is the mix master - not too charcoal or metallic.
I must hit the thrift circuit and find some equally yummy pieces for this treatment! And search for more vintage ornaments...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

~ Happy Thanksgiving ~

For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food, for love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Have you ever met someone IRL that you've spoke to on the phone or emailed and they were nothing like you expected?  Double the letdown if it was a blind date or someone you met online and instantly bonded with, right?

How about the feeling when you meet someone really beautiful but they are simply not nice?
Perhaps those are the emotions I'm processing about Paris. I can't imagine that I would visit Paris but that I would admire her less because of it. 

I'm one of those who are enthralled with the French style, their lifestyles... the elegance.  And I do still love the beauty of Paris.  But the beauty is brittle and sharp.  I came home with a stronger love of all that I have here in the US.  I still love my Paris Apartment style, and I can't explain the awe of seeing Paris' attractions, but I miss the the Paris I thought I knew.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Paris Baby!

Doesn't this look like a vintage postcard?  Now I can't imagine Paris anything but gray!

Doesn't this remind you of the last scene in the Age of Innocence
 too much to say and process - for now just a few pictures

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

living the dream

Back in 2008 I had a little "April in Paris" fun with some blog friends.  But never in my wildest imagination did I think I'd be holding airline tickets to Paris in my hot little hands today.  Much to do.  Too nervous, excited, stressed out... and oh yeah - I am going to nothern France for 4 days of actual work too - which adds a whole new element to my stress.  I have directions to one of the world famous Paris Flea Markets and hope to have my friend agree.  Can't wait to share the pictures.  O M G

xoxox, Kelley

Sunday, November 7, 2010

button up

Probably the best thing I've learned from my pals Stacey & Clinton is that clothes can and should be tailored/altered/updated.  But surely I am the only one who is packing for Paris and sewing buttons on stuff!   I have the best trench coat with the worst buttons - big but cheap clear acrylic.  I have another trench with great lines and buttons but it's uncomfy, and I don't think I can layer enough under it for my plane trip this week. So, I took matters in my own hands.  I raided my stash of mother-a-pearl (that's what my kids call 'em!) and indulged in some of the biggest, best etched ones.  I almost hate to use them, kwim?  But I reminded myself that I can put the old ones back on when the time comes to donate it. Wow that sounds a bit unkind.  I tell you, have a real problem with this button addiction!  It used to chenille, then china with roses, at least buttons are easier to squirrel away! I hofpe to find some cool buttons at the puces de vanves (flea!) I will also be on look-out for any fabric (feedsack!) with french script.  I swear I will leave my clothes in France and return with a suitcase full baubles...In 4 days I'll be on my way.  O M G... so little time, so little space in my suitcase.  I'm going with co-workers who refuse to check luggage and forbid me to as well.  I am going to spend the next days rolling my clothes into tiny jellyrolls and making tough love decisions. I've already broke the news to my black leather that she won't be joining the trip. It's not her fault, she's just too plump, but she's been so many places with me and she deserves a little international trip, she has a nice button, btw.  Just saying. I hope she doesn't notice the new (slim) little leather fashionista that is in the tentative pile.  My meanness knows no boundaries... 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

time to pack it up

One of my display cases for antique shows and craft shows is an old heavy cardboard briefcase that I rescued about 10 years ago. In a decoupage phase I copied a zillion old postcards and stuck them on everything that wasn't moving.  When I was packing up the house last May, the briefcase started to give up under the weight of a ton of Victoria mags and it was this close to the trash when I was inspired to give it another life. Hot glue, twill tape and mini clothes pins and there she was - all fixed up pretty again.  And now, after countless trips in my trunk it is time to come in for a bit...  I may list some of my jewlery on etsy soon or I'll end up adopting half these earrings for my personal use before spring!  My favorite are these religious medallions...    

Sunday, October 31, 2010

the tiny foyer in my tiny cottage

This really cool hall seat was crafted from an old door by my good friends at Doe Hill.  It has a big seat that is perfect for stashing our shoes.  I've made use of every inch of this condo cottage... this area by the front door could have been wasted space, but I've managed to make a tiny work shop and lots of storage for my tins of buttons and baubles.  And trims.  And even a little desk for my sewing machine.  I love how the mirror bounces the light and opens up that space as well. 


the view from Doe Hill

I spent less than 24 hours away from home, but I feel both relaxed and invigorated. I dropped the girls at their friend's house, packed a warm crumb cake and raced off to Dana's house.  We had a delish evening of girl talk, cake drizzled with warm caramel sauce and Hagan's Homemade Vanilla ice cream, baked ziti, homemade black berry pie.  Yummmmeee.  As always I slept like a baby in the quiet of their 40 acres.  I woke up at 9 am with the chill of Autumn air on my nose and a cozy quilt tucked under my chin(s!).  I almost ruined the fun by racing home.  Instead we went boot shopping.  If you ever need encouragement or the dish on the latest styles... Dana's your guide.  I went with the promise of inexpensive riding boots and came home with really cool buckled boots, a platinum/silver hands-free purse with a zillion secure pockets for navigating CDG without having my purse stolen (she bought the same!), black pants, leggings, hat, leather jacket and sweater.  It were like old times, except she wasn't trying to zip my into a pair of size 3 jeans... she instead had to help remove a really slim boot from my not at all slim calf.  A good time was had by all!

Soon we'll start the T or T outfits and head for the old hood and the promise of candy!! 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

who knew?

Rocket would be my constant companion.  I've struggled the last 6 months w/ this joint parenting with the girls.  Sometimes it is just too quiet here.  Except for the little kitten I bought as a pet for Vince - 16 years ago.  Rather ironic that I am back in an apartment setting where she's the only allowed pet.  That's why V got her for his 8th bday.  And, here we are.  V has been gone for years now.  The girls aren't always here.  But, my morning wake-up is always Rocket.  And her firm insistence that she is starving.  If I stagger in the direction opposite the kitchen she glares in disbelief.  Trips my steps as she circles my ankles in mock affection.  She would just as soon nip my toes and force me to open her cans of smelly feasts.  If I glance in her direction while she's sun bathing in front of the sliding door, she raises her head and gives me a "Meow?"  Which may or may not be WTF?  

Friday, October 29, 2010

how ironic

When I stopped blogging 2 years ago, I really thought I was giving up on my dreams and all my creative ventures. I went from four solid years of being a SAHM and living my dream.  I spent my life devoted to my girls and posting pictures of our moments.  I painted everything I could get my hands on, sewed lace on handmade doll clothes, I cooked every meal and loved most of the life that I detailed here. I also lost a bit of myself.  Lost the respect of others (right or wrong doesn't matter anymore). I have no regrets... I know that I gave my very best.  And it didn't kill me to go back to work full time.  It happened so suddenly that I didn't have time to analyze and mourn that girl.  What I did was work my butt off.  Be treated like a dumbass.  take every opportunity and sieze it like a gem.  I still can't believe that I found a job I love just a mile from my home.  That I was able to get a nice promotion.  And respect of my peers.  I love being able to show my girls how strong I am and they are.  How the last 2 years have brought change and we've more than survived.  The irony is I thought I was giving up who I was b/c of that change, but instead I've been able to return to who I really am.  I am smart, strong, I get the job done, I speak the truth.  I am middle aged.  Finally I've been able to accept that!  I am happier in my 2 bedroom condo with peace and security than I ever was in my 4 bedroom home with the strings attached, sullen silences, constant controlling.  I am free.  I can spend my money on beads and pay my bills.  I don't have to ask permission to have my OWN money. I don't have to ask permission to do anything as a matter of fact. I am that person that I keep trying to be but keep giving up to make room for mr. wrong.  I've spent my life being a strong woman who had to make concessions.  No more. I gave up my life and I gained my life back.  I lost time with my kids but what we've all gained is a greater appreciation for what we have. 

I just lookws around any only see that what I adore.  I have edited down, but certainly not pared down.  And the irony that keeps me amused.  I'm living a lifelong dream - in 2 weeks I will be in Paris.  For a long weekend and then business.  I am living the life I wanted.  I lost the life I wanted. I have time to enjoy life.  I am happy.  Isn't that ironic? 

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm back...

Rings from baubles & buttons...

I never really left I guess. I 've been crafting, and junque-ing but just not posting. The 8-5 gig has really been a drain on my creative side - but things on the home front have allowed for improved crafting :)

Need to find my cameras... for now a few cell pictures are about all I can add. I've been doing craft shows with some friends. It works for me 'cept for that heat and humidity - yikes - Saturday was a scorcher - but I thank of you who found your way to our tent and circled back a few times to buy more as the day flew by! You may have met my new gal pal - Stella - she was quite popular - I lost track of how many of you wanted to take her home. :) TTFN!

Pretty in pink...

Cotton shirts.  Love 'em. Usually can't wear 'em.  Too tight. Pull at the boobs.  Or, shrink in the first wash.  And being a plu...