Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Photography Woes

Ugh, there are some time I dread to take pictures.  I have a light box but it just doesn't seem to help.  I've had these ornaments done for over a week, finally took photos tonight, have to scrap most of them.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October Surprises

 Do you like surprises?
This was a semi-surprise... an article I wrote on my paper boat ornaments appear in the November/December issue of Somerset Studios!!  Found out unexpectedly on Friday at the bookstore, so worth the decision to stop by and see if the newest issues were out.  Pretty sure I walked around with a crazy grin on my face the rest of the day.  

I have a glass of wine and the issue waiting for me after the kiddos are in bed, it will be my weekend indulgence.  There are so many wonderful artists in this issue, some of my absolute favorites like Cay Kerr, Debrina Pratt & Robin Dudley-Howes.  I am so honored to be sharing pages with these women.  Lastly I have to shout out to Tina because without your sneaky, generous, & selfless ways I wouldn't have attempted this. 

On a side note I have to share that Bob's grandmother turned 100 years old on Friday. She is still very much in her right mind and though she has become more frail these last few years, she still manages to live in her own apartment with assistance from my sister-in-law.  We celebrated yesterday and got to see some extended family members for the first time in 10 years.

Just for fun Robert wanted to see how many people live to be 100.  We learned that out of the 7+ billion people on the planet there are 316,000+ who are a hundred.  That's 1 in 22,000.  Of those 22,000 only 22 will live to be 110 or a super-centenarian.  Will she be one?  She had an aunt who lived to be 105...I'm thinking her chances are pretty good!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween craftiness

It has been a while since I felt like doing a crafty project for Halloween.  This morning I decided to scour Pinterest with the words 'Halloween' and 'mason jar'.  I had many Classico Mason jars saved and had been planning to turn them into luminaries.

Here's the link: Goofproof DIY

I used muslin, torn into 1 inch wide strips, instead of gauze.  I looked for gauze but I think many young ones may want to be mummies for Halloween because the stores were sold out.

So this is my "pinned it....did it" and they will line my driveway on Halloween night.

Stay warm!

Thursday, October 10, 2013



only thing that remains the same....daddy still carries all the apples.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 1st

I love October, hands down my favorite month of the year.  Today Bob and I are spending the day together for our 19th wedding anniversary.  The weather is a mix of cool mornings and warm afternoons, it is near perfection.  I have been making my way back into the studio after a long hiatus, can't really explain that part ...other than sometimes I burn out.  This past long, hot summer coupled with the job at BC caused me to lay low.  Now that Fall is officially here it is time to dig myself out.

Today I opened a new shop at Zibbet.  There are a lot of changes at Etsy, many sellers frustrated at a lack of being buried under an influx of mass produced items. While I love Etsy and will continue to list there, my lower priced items will now be at my Hopemore shop on Zibbet.

I have listed my latest batch of polymer 'glass' slides just this morning, come take a peek at http://www.zibbet.com/hopemore if you are interested.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013


A new fleet, on it's way.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Summer Perfection

Summer is blowing by.
Kids are growing like weeds.
A perfect 80 degree day with blue skies.
Seems like everyone was out riding, walking, or running.
Including us.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Around here lately

Two months later...

This little man is a month old! Megan is showing off her awesome new mommy photo skills.

Summer is in full swing, though the weather doesn't always feel that way.

As I type this my brother and his family are making their next Air Force move from Idaho to Alabama, with a stop over in Kentucky to see family for a while. After inviting them to stay with us, we decided it would be a good time to do some of the basement renovations to make the spot more livable.

Out came most of the textured ceiling, and the 20 year old track lights.  Bob and I braved electricity and added recessed lighting.  Replacing the ceiling will have to wait until next year, there are some funky water lines and HVAC issues to look into.  

Next up, out with the humongous bar!  A small kitchenette will take it's place. 
( the 'before' ^)

As for making art, sadly it has been on the back burner.  That is until mid July, Maria and I are taking an online painting class...whoo hoo!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

My baby sister is having a baby,   4 weeks to go and we are so exited! 
 Hosted the baby shower last weekend at a local Cincinnati restaurant, Bella Luna's.  The Italian  food was delicious and taken care of by the restaurant...all we had to do was decorate, entertain, and dessert.  

 Megan picked a sailboat theme for the (still) unnamed baby boy's nursery.  It was way to easy to use that same theme for the baby shower.  We had guests leave messages for the baby, play maternity mad libs, and guess the birth date.

 We couldn't do this all on our own, Debbie made the desserts...these cookies were a huge hit.  As a bonus I had a lesson in cookie decorating, let me say it is way too much fun.

Lots of useful and practical gifts, even a few surprises.  This little patchwork doggy was made by my grandmother, who is no longer with us.  Each of my siblings and my own kids have one.  
We all had a great time, a little glad all the work is over...but spending time with family is the best.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Break is almost over!!  With a full week off school and work we decided to take a few days and head out of town to the Smoky Mountains.  We avoided the touristy parts like Galtinburg and instead made our way to the western part of North Carolina for some gem mining.
There are many places that you can go that will give you a bucket of 'salted' dirt, meaning they add in gems from other parts of the world. We did a little research for places where you could sluice for native gems like sapphires, rubies and garnets.  We decided on the Cherokee Ruby Mine and the Sheffield Mine.
 We arrived early at Sheffield and got treated to an almost empty house with lots of attention from the owner and a staff member who taught us the proper process to clean our rocks and hunt for gems.

 The cleaner the rocks the easier it is to spot the glass like shine of the gems...though some are still hard to spot.  I'm sure we tossed some good stuff but we did find all of the gems we were looking for.  Maria found an 18 carat ruby, Bob found some very cool garnets growing on quartz, and I spotted a 10 carat pink sapphire.

The second day of our trip it rained all day, so rather than mine we did a little shopping and eating in Dillsboro NC.  We also made our way to Sylva...just because Bob found this really fantastic ice cream parlor on the internet.  Jack, the owner, makes you a fresh vanilla or cinnamon waffle cone when you order.  OMG the warm savory cone with the cold ice cream is to die for.   

Now we are back home, safe and sound, happy to be in our own beds.

Friday, March 15, 2013

For the love of wire

I have become a huge fan of Amy Duncan's blog, Four Corners Design.  She's had many posts that just made my jaw drop.  The first one was how to make wire baskets from hardware cloth (here).  I commented back in September how much I wanted to try this out, got around to it in January, and am now finally posting it here in March.

Back in September I was looking for vintage wire baskets to add to the doors that hide the furnace in the studio.  I couldn't find anything the right size and shape.  Following Amy's directions I made the size that that made me happy.

Then in February Amy blogged again with an idea to make a her own wire cloche (here) and as I read the post I remembered all the square scraps I had left over from the baskets.  

They make the cutest little wire cages... now what to do with them?

Still haven't figured that out, but I did make some square ones too.

Thanks Amy for the fantastic inspiration and tutes!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Do ever find it a struggle to create in the winter months? Oh gosh I do. Made my way into the studio only a handful of times since Christmas but haven't had much passion when I'm in there.  I did do a little reorganizing but that it...nothing else...nada.

I want to share something that is filling my creative gap.  Just after the New Year I was offered a  position at The Brighton Center. It is a non-profit organization that offers a variety of services to the eight counties in Northern Kentucky.  Housed within the organization is a thrift store that provides low cost clothing and household items, as well a free clothing to those in need.  All this is done by donations, not just donated items but also of time.  My position is as a Donations Specialist, I work between both the thrift store and the lower level that processes the donations.  The system works well but with my merchandising experience the Donations Manager was thinking I could offer up suggestions and improvements to way they do things.  Everyday is a new experience, We've been able to implement a few small changes and some larger plans are in the works for the next few months.  

Everyday I'm amazed at the generosity that flows through the organization.  I wanted to give you a peek into one day this week.  In the lower level where donations are processed I've been thinking endlessly on a better way to organize hangers.  After a sale in the thrift store all hangers are tossed into large bins and sent to the lower lever, from there the mixed hangers would be sorted by volunteers into more plastic tubs to be available for hanging clothes.  Endless tubs of hangers tangled together seemed to frustrate everyone.  Desperate to find some kind of low cost (more like almost free) method/contraption to sort hangers on I had an idea of pvc pipes fed through classic wire cube organizers.  You can see it in the picture below on the right side.  The same day I brought in my contraption, a large group of ten employees from UPS came into volunteer a few hours. 

We decided with such a large group we'd make a huge dent in the pile of donations, move around some tables, and implement the new hanger sorter.  They started right in loading it up, it had definite flaws and it was obvious it wasn't large enough.  Two engineers from UPS jumped in feet first and took it upon themselves to come up with a better solution.  They asked all sorts of questions then disappeared.  I come back from lunch to see these two feverishly working out their plan for a permanent fixture to suit all our needs.  They got the wood, they had the tools, and the know-how.

All the while the remaining eight UPS employees plowed through a huge pile of donated clothing, sorting and hanging.  In the end I was almost out of tasks for them to complete...we were caught up.  Amazing!

Here is the finished product of our brilliant volunteers.  It is exactly what I would have made if I had the time, money, and talent.  I am in awe of this group, their integrity, their dedication, and their initiative.

This is one day at Brighton Center. Love, love, love it.