Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

No....I am not lost. I have just been busy ~ busy ~ busy ~ crafting, merchandising and working! ;) Hoping everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I promise to be back soon! :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Burlap Love

Hi again!

Whew....where is the time going?  For all of you creatives, you know this can be a busy time of year and this year is no exception. 

So many fun things on my plate and things I want to try so I wanted to pass off some work I have been doing with burlap.  Now...o.k....I will admit I am having a slight love affair with this now trendy fad, but it is sooo versatile and soo wonderful.  Can't help myself.  I recently went to a local craft store and they had a whole bolt of white burlap in the clearance bin! Goodness what to do but buy it! :) I have been working and making some wreaths and wanted to at least give you a peek....I can pass off the tutorial later.....but I think they are turning out great.....  :)
   Shabby & fab. Can you imagine using this white burlap to decorate a wedding with?! Oh I can! :)

The other little thing with burlap I wanted to master was the ability to print on it.  I have seen a couple of  tutorials that I will pass on as well....

~ Tutorial #1 ~ For all kinds of fabrics.

Tutorial #2 ~ For burlap.

Here is my attempt. ~ ~

Wonderful! Now how many things can I do with this little skill and idea? I was a little scared putting this in my printer, but it worked beautifully. Inspiration is endless I know ~~ So excited!

If you have given this a try or do let me know...would love for you to share. :)

I hope you are creating up a wind storm yourself.  :)  The days are moving quickly and the busy holidays will be here before we know it.  Enjoy your Fall and see you very soon.....


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chic Halloween

Oh my gosh ~~

Has it been 2 weeks since my last post? Shame on me.  Oh boy, I have been busy though.....but...

Enough on that.
How about a Fall wreath project?

I made this wreath last year and just loved it!  It is a take off of a Martha Stewart wreath project and I loved the idea of prettying up Halloween and All Souls Day (The day to remember our dearly departed).  It is SO simple but I love the dramatic effect that is the result.

This wreath is simply a large plywood wreath frame that you can get at any craft store.  You will also need silk red roses (about 24 ~ 30 large) a glue gun and floral spray paint in black.   You will take just the rose heads off of the silk stems, glue to the wreath frame in an attractive arrangement and let dry.  Hang outside and spray with floral paint.  You can put as many coats of paint on as you wish, but a little red peeking through makes for a great effect. 

Wha~la! You have a beautiful new wreath for your Fall door. :)

I hope you are having a busy fun Fall and creating up a storm!

See you soon.....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Falling For Hair Pins

Hi out there!

What is everyone up to?  I have been busy merchandising and getting ready for the Fall with some new fun things ~ both for crafts shows and for my Etsy shop. Ya!  This time of year gets busy that is for sure and this year is no exception. 

I have been working on some hair pins and clips and I just love them!
                                                               ~ Pretty ~ Pretty ~

I have been wanting to work on hair accessories for a while and needed to get the time and inspiration around to do it.  Years ago I worked in Neiman Marcus and upscale retail and often wanted to create the fancier hair pieces I would see for young girls.  These are my interpretation. Cute! 

They are easy too.  I used hair pins and clips with tacks, buttons flowers (both cut out and scrapbook varieties), glue gun and any other embellishments I could find to try.  The hair pins and clips can be purchased from Etsy or Michaels etc.., although I have found it hard recently to find hair clips or pins of any kind in my local craft stores so I have opted for Etsy supplies for mine. There are carbons and hair pins & clips in lots of different colors, sizes and styles.  I just love how they turned out!

I have to run ~ (besides enjoying a beautiful Fall day!) hope to be busy and post more doings and projects soon....bye for now..... :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I'm Honored ~The Liebster Award

I am excited to tell you Nancy Russell from has recently been awarded the Liebster Award and now has graciously passed it on to me! She has beautiful handmade jewelry, so please check out her creations & blog. :) The Liebster Award is for up and coming new blogs with a 200 followers or less.  The idea is to create a post with a link back and choose 5 other blogs with under 200 followers to do the same.  It helps to capture a few followers pass on the love, meet new friends and helps others in the process.

My Liebster Awards go to ~~~~

Handmade by HJWilke


{} -the blog

River Girls Studio 365

Creative Life Designs

If you visit each blog and follow each one you like, the numbers will increase dramatically and you will have made numerous new friends and contacts.  Congrats to all and thanks for checking them out.  :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ready For Fall & Craft Booth Tips.


How is everyone? Getting ready for Fall? How was your Labor Day holiday? My was great but busy. I was in Missouri and saw a little of Route 66! Love the nastalgia. :)

It is getting cool here in Michigan & the Midwest already. Right on time. Like the calendar & weather know exactly when to turn the page. The day the kids go back to school. The day the calendar no longer says August is even cool and cloudy (and could rain) today. A perfect day for paperwork & blogging, (which is what I am doing) baking apples or cookies or something in the crockpot.....

I am also getting ready for two Fall craft shows. Does anyone out there do craft shows? Or just sell on line? I have decided to be selective because of the time and attention the physical appearances take, but I look forward to them. I think they are important to marketing yourself and your handmade work. I have heard others say they use to do them and no longer do and just sell on line. I am still new to this somewhat, but am not sure I completely agree with that strategy. It is important to get out and connect. Getting out and meeting & greeting, seeing what people like, what their tastes are and what they are looking for. It is exciting to see them respond to handmade, knowing they will not find it anywhere else. It is a joy. :)

I am mapping out my table space and making inventory and merchandising lists. I try to see how I would like to display and what I may need to add for the look and feel of my booth. It takes some thought....but well worth it.

I am thinking, mapping rearranging around in my head.....

Going Home To Roost is a great blog I like to follow you can follow on Facebook too of course and I found her posting for top 10 craft booth tips so I am passing them on here. They are great and what more could I add?

You can just go to the link below ~

Love these! They can help you plan get inspired and hopefully have successful selling this Fall!

See you soon....


Monday, August 29, 2011

Pin Me!

Hi ~

I wanted to send out a quick note to anyone following my blog who may want to come and join me on Pinterest. Loads of fun, great DIY's, another great way to market and promote others and wonderful inspiration. I added a link to my border (on the right) and you can to so check it out! :)

~ Happy Pinning ~

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bling & A Prayer


I thought I would give a quick post.  I am going to finish off the last of my bracelet posts here and feature some great Chapel Bracelets that I have worked on.  I am getting them ready for the Fall and I am in love with them...just divine! :)
                                                                     Say a little prayer.....

I have found old and forgotten religious trinkets and gave them new life with a band of beads.  So great!

I have so much going on and getting ready as Fall is just around the corner so I will have a lot of fun projects to feature soon. 

The air is getting cooler and the weather has been wonderful, so I  feel the need to enjoy every bit of it and hope for a beautiful Fall.....

See you soon!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

~ The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year ~

Hi there!

It 's finally here! The best time of the year! O.K.....

Not THAT time of the year ~ but the second best time of the year for sure. Are you enjoying summer? It is summer bounty season it all of its delicious beauty.   I don't know about you but I wait all year to enjoy this time of fresh goodness.  It is so wonderful and so plentiful I often do not know where to look or what to try first and this year is no exception.....bad problem to have (NOT!) :)
I love passing by scenic farms.  :)

It doesn't matter if it is the local farm stand or a roadside stand NOT to be passed by or a big huge farmers market....they are meant for exploring and....tasting!
          Rustic advertising.   Big simple sign you can't ignore.  Great message.  What more is needed? A local market I often stop by when in the area
Hoffs Vegetable Farm ~ Coldwater, MI

Some of my favorites ~

Heirloom Tomatoes.


So much to enjoy ~ so little time.  Summer is going fast so eat up! :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

~ BFF Bracelets = Hippie Too Cute Chic ~

Hi again.....

I am on here to continue my bracelets theme and I decided to work on some fun friendship bracelets.  There are many patterns and styles to choose from and I am not even going to go into the varieties at this point. I am sure you have seen or are familiar if not making, then wearing or have seen others wear.  Again, ~ our friends at Honestly WTF blog came through and did the post/link below a short time ago and I decided to do what I refer to as my version of these fun ~ funky bracelets in this classic chevron pattern.
What I am working on:  Softer colors for fall get rid of a little of the edginess & shabbiness of this look and add the cute factor!  

 You can go to the Honestly WTF blog and get the complete instructions.

Now the only thing I will say about the directions in the link above is that I do not prefer tape for holding down and securing while working.  I would much rather use a clip board as shown in the photos, (and what you would see in many Youtube tutorials as well)  works much better for a work space and holding in place ~ each his own.
                                                                       My supplies....

          Sweet!  Turning out great! The rhythm of the pattern is soothing to work on....
              This is my backyard right now so I am getting a little "flower power" inspiration here....

What if I add a flower pin to the bracelets for interest?  I am using these cute cloth pins as makeshift paperclips on my clipboard....and as a viewing platform for my idea.   This type of flower could become a cute pin accessory for these bracelets.....maybe a little bigger...bolder....
As shown with this initial"test" bracelet I made,  I just added a interesting mix up to show a fun fall look
Notice one l~a~z~y cat in the background.  Does he seem excited?
 (What do you think kitty?) help.

I am having a great time on this bracelet kick and am fast getting addicted to these.  The more the better!  They are so versatile and fun ~ young or old they have a sweet, interesting, hippie (groovy!) look that is hard to resist! 

I will be sharing more soon...I think it may be just the beginning.♥

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Picture Worth A Thousand Words...

I recently saw this Weeping Willow tree (and happened to have my camera with me) and had a million thoughts go through my head.  I think just the look of these big 'ol trees beg for a stop and a linger. A picnic ~ A nap ~ A good book ~ A long important conversation ~ A hot Summer day of shade ~ Rest ~ Protection.  Perhaps it seems lonely...  Kenneth Grahame (Wind In The Willows) had the right idea.

What do you do for inspiration?  (Besides read this and other blogs? Ha!) Do you have any daily rituals? Can you build an entire story (for example)
out of one simple picture? One simple act?

Of course you can.

One way for me is to usually pour over books to get ideas and inspiration to create.  I recently grabbed a book off of the shelf at the library that got my attention. 52 projects. It is filled with (as the title says) ~ random acts of everyday creativity.  How interesting. A book for inspiration about getting inspired?! Great!  It got me to thinking about what exactly we do to get creative or inspired.  

What do you do ~everyday ~ in little ways ~ the mundane ~ to get your mojo?  I personally have to clear the clutter.  Prayer and meditation.  I like the simple.  I think it has magic. :)

You do not have to pick up the book, although it is a cute little paperback that can fit in your purse. You can go to and be inspired as well.  It has ideas such as taking a recipe and learning for example how to make the perfect margarita.  Or taking the lyrics to a favorite song, finding and writing them down ~ word for word ~ all of them.  One of two things will happen.  You will either think it reads like poetry or you will see the poorness and powerlessness of the words without the music.  A great exercise. You can also hop on a train for example, riding till the end and snapping pictures all of the way with camera in hand.  Some old ideas you may have heard of and tried, maybe some new that you think you may want to try. 

It doesn't matter your creative passion ~ crafting ~ writing ~ painting ~ drawing ~ photography ~ dance ~ singing ~ music ~ cook ~ carve or sculpt.

Turn the everyday into your inspiration. ♥  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

All I Ever Wanted....Vacation!

Hi out there!

It has been a little quiet this month so far.

Are you on summer vacation?  Especially if you are in the U.S. (and the Midwest in particular)?

I swear everyone has left town......

  Isn't this cute? Love the vintage sign.  (That still works!)  I think this place has been here forever.  
~ Coldwater, MI

Doesn't this photo just scream road trip? Preferably in a vintage car to match the vintage image that this motel reminds me of?

Ah....the open road.......hurray!  Thank you Henry Ford.  

Americana is still alive and well.....

I have been doing some light vacationing but have been busy as a bee too.  Hoping to have lots to show and share soon.   I wanted to quickly share that I will be a guest blogger for  A great new place to meet & greet for all things crafty.  Check them out! They have a wonderful selection of craft supplies and will be a great resource for all of you creatives.  I will be sure to keep you posted and share links here when I post projects....

Stay tuned.....stay cool and have fun!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Friendship Bracelets Grow Up

Project of the day ~

I just wanted to share this fun, pretty project!  If you haven't visited the blog Honestly WTF you need to run not walk your fingers over there and get a take on all of their great DIY's.  They taking crafting to a couture level creating projects that show off high fashion finds.  A lot of fun!!

Just follow the link for this leather & bling wrap bracelet.  You will find all the directions and a great tutorial.

They have a friendship feel with a little grown up it!

Monday, July 11, 2011

An Attitude Of Gratitude.


How was every one's weekend?  I had a very busy and productive one.  Don't you find that when you have one good idea or leads to several?  Well that is what my weekend was like. :) So I am going to take a moment and contemplate and meditate all that was right with the world the last few days....

So thankful.
I like to think I have a little someone praying and giving thanks on my behalf all of the time.  This is my little angel quietly and (hopefully) continuously doing just that. I was saying...busy busy busy. :)

I like to create jewelry from time to time.  It isn't by any means my only crafting passion, but when I get an idea in my head I just can let go of, I try to create an image or prototype(s) and see where it leads me.  That is what is happening with some divinely inspired pieces that are floating around in my head.  Now there are some great finds and creations that are similiar and that I have seen out there, believe me....some very creative people.  But in some ways I am looking at them feeling like there is a need for just something more.

Something more........but what?  I am working on it.  Trying to see what that something may be.  I recently came across several vintage necklaces that have jumped out at me so I decided to see where I can go with them.  This find below is the first attempt.  
I found an old (not very expensive) tarnished costume chain with an unusual bead combination for interest and added a dramatic, large, vintage brass pendant. 

I loved this pendant with the combination crucifix with the ever present holy spirit depicted with the dove.  It says so much....doesn't it?  I have not seen one quite like it.... 

So a great pair I thought these two might make...

Simple, yet striking and different. 

I will keep working and thinking on it...but it is a good start.

Moving on.....

Late last week/weekend I went and stopped by an estate sale.  These always provide much needed creative grease for the proverbial wheel...don't they?  They do for me.  So I will show just a few cute finds.

What fun and how pretty!

The cup and saucers are both French without a chip or crack (they were probably for display).  Just perfect!  The white ceramic floral candelabra is stunning.  Although not sure, it could perhaps be German (or Italian or French....that breaks it down...doesn't it?).  One thing I do know,  it is very old, unusual and beautiful.  As I am still looking it over, there is not a chip or crack on it or on any of the flowers etc...

No damage that I can see.  Isn't it amazing? 
Absolutely love it. 

The fun finds and antiques are a part of my Etsy shop I have yet to develop.  I have a shabby chic eye with things I am going to list and sell.   It is in my urgent tasks and these items may very well end up there.  Be on the look out or contact me if you see something you like on a post.  I am always open to make a sale. :)


As July gets going and the heat of the Summer sets in, it has been dry, dry, dry here.  Whoa...we need rain.  It is now a rainy Monday here in the Midwest as I type this, but a much needed tending, watering, fertilizing and sprucing up I needed to do out in the yard and garden this weekend.  I always like to make a last ditch hit to the garden stores to see what they are giving away before all of the seasonal annuals, perennials, etc... are just a memory.
This happy pot of geraniums was a great deal.  It will make my back kitchen door cheery for the rest of the Summer.  It really is a good time to shop for plants.  Garden shops get rid of their inventory and you get the plants marked down with the added bonus that they cared, watered and fertilized for you up to this point.

 What a pop it gives! 

In addition to all stated, I managed to get some other events & work done and get the week off and running....say'n a prayer, and so thankful for that.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow ~ Unknown

I hope you have a fun, inspiring, creative week ahead yourself and are grateful for every little thing along the way.  Thanks for stopping by...CHOW! ;)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

One Small Marketing Step...At A Time.

Where to begin? (Me!)

I wanted to post this link (see below) to a great marketing post for your creative businesses out there.  I have been in marketing myself for years and it can be daunting and over~whelming.  Not wanting to get caught up in a day~to~day grind that takes you away from too much precious creative time.

This is a great post with a great perspective and to keep you focused on what is important.  Remember the old K.I.S.S.?  (Keep it simple stupid. How appropriate since I think today is national "kiss day" or something like that!) Anyway....I have not done Flickr yet, but that is on my list to do.  Save and archive my photos ~ which someone will or can eventually find perhaps, connected to a thought or creative work.....

Just a few posts or pieces of attention a day to your social media, groups and networks can make all of the difference.  (You can set a general daily time limit and stick with it.)  It can keep you connected inspired and getting yourself and work out there like only a persistent presence can do. 

This is a great action plan and starting point. You have NO more excuses so get going! :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Still Saying Goodbye To June...

In my earlier Red ~ White ~ Blue salute how could I forget Michigan strawberries in June?  What June is suppose to taste like. :) Michigan and strawberries go together like peas and carrots. :)

Much like June they are coming to an end so trying to enjoy before they fade....

Beatles ~ Strawberry Fields Forever ~ ~ La ~ la ~la......

Enjoy your weekend & holiday. :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Red *~* White *~* Blue......Salute!

Hi there!

Summer is really starting to get going now with June almost in the rear view mirror.....

My roses 2011 ~ Trying to enjoy before June is over....

Here in the U.S.A. it is almost time for July 4th Independence Day.  Time to celebrate with everything red white & true blue.  I decided to quickly find & post some patriotic colors to share for inspiration floating around.  With June almost over, it is always a little sad.  I love June! Sweet beautiful June. You know....the month of roses, weddings, pearls and on and on and on. 

I have an apple tree in my backyard that for some reason decides about now, to start to reconsider all of this leaf business.  So.....

I have a few yellow falling leaves in my yard already from my apple tree.  (I could show you a picture but why ruin my cheery summer blog post here? :) Sigh...why so soon?

 Let see....

   How about these cute blue Ball jars I found fleaing?
         Then..... how about roses in the blue Ball jar?
 How about Christmas in July? Do you love or hate people who go this route? :) Well I have a lovely guest from Spain and decided that he and his family needed an American adornment for their Christmas tree come December, so I found this yesterday in a cute gift shop locally.  It was just what I was looking for. The old fashion German glass...perfect.  This was found at the Mole Hole ~ Marshall, MI.  Thank you Mole Hole!

  How about a cute vintage tablecloth for color.  Love the fruit & flowers...

 From earlier days living on the East Coast no Fourth of July look was complete (or home) without the good old blue & white china.....with red flowers of course. :)

So many things so many ways...if I come across more I will post. 

They are not long, the days of wine and roses: ... so....

I hope you enjoy your holiday celebrations!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Summer (Outdoor) Social Season

Hi all!

Is it summer yet?  Tomorrow maybe.....

I am back again! I of course have been busy like so many of you as this is officially the summer party season.  Graduations, weddings, showers, picnics, reunions. You name it.  I wanted to share a little past party planning expertise I have acquired through the years.  In addition to being in traditional marketing, I have done a fair amount of event planning and truly loved it.  It is a wonderful gift to be able to help people plan their special occasions and their milestones in often made me feel like the event fairy! Or event angel!

Just someone to flutter into lives or a family to walk them through a moment in is a great profession.

I will just share some recent backyard sights, events and ideas from me........

Off of my side kitchen area. Alfresco dining anyone?

My oldest sons 2010 graduation ~ our backyard.
Have you ever considered using pretty scrapbook paper as simple serving paper and place mats?

See ~ (This is cute for a bridal shower) works great! :)

I am still adding and posting things to this blog from my past writings and I wanted to just share a few helpful tidbits.  Now, I am from the Midwest where practicality reigns supreme.  So.....
You will not see exotic imported orchards or Beluga caviar (although I have done a few events like this).  For the most part entertaining is a do~it~yourself project that many families & organizations take on with hopefully some sort of budget in mind.  It can be challenging to say the least.  Especially when you get into groups of 50 ~ 100 ~ 150 people. I came across this list years ago and it has served me well and I thought I would pass on here to anyone wanting for future reference.

To Serve 100 People -
This list can be a good general guideline (For instance; my whole family will not touch potato salad.) for showers, birthdays, graduations, weddings, fund-raisers or whatever event your little heart desires.
Coffee - 3 lbs
Sugar - 2 lbs
Cream or Milk - 3 qrts.
Soup 6 - gallons
Lettuce - 15 heads
Vegetable Salad 20 qrts.
Potato Salad - 12 qrts.
Fruit Salad - 20 qrts.
Salad dressing - 3 qrts.
Carrots - 25 lbs.
Baked Beans - 3 gallons
Potatoes - 35 lbs.
Scalloped Potatoes - 5 gallons
Chicken 85 lbs.
Spareribs - 100 lbs.
Salmon or Swordfish - 40 lbs.
Ham, Beef or Hamburger - 40 lbs.
Hot Dogs - 100 lbs.
Bread - 10 loaves
Biscuits - 200
Butter - 3 lbs.
Cakes - (8 slices each = 104 slices) 13
Pies - 13
Whipped Cream - 6 pints
Ice Cream - 4 gallons
Wine - 2 cases = 96 - 6 oz glasses
Champagne - 1 1/2 cases = 100 glasses

3 tips for outdoor entertaining that I really like and will make your event easy, special and memorable.
1) Bring the inside outside. REAL tablecloths, napkins, dishes, glassware, silverware, accents, pillows and furniture. (When possible.)
2) Serve a combination of menu items, including some that are best at room-temperature or that can go heat and refrigeration-free. This makes menu planning, preparation and display easier. Red wines, Garlic, cheeses and Italian pastas, marinaded dishes and roasted vegetables come to mind. Easy, palate pleasing and delicious.
3) Eco-friendly decor. The more I plan the more I hate to waste and throw money away on too many "paper" decorations. Decorate with more REAL items like photos, fabrics, flowers, plants, bowls, shells, sand, candles and fruit & vegetables as centerpieces, strings of lights, small stone statues & figures etc...the list is endless.
These flag banners are great made with both new and vintage fabrics. Who needs wet paper and plastic when you can recycle these fun little things?  I have some of these banners in my Etsy shop.

                       "Man is the artificer of his own happiness." - Henry David Thoreau

I hope to post more on parties, events, ideas and gatherings so stay tuned......

Have fun this summer whether you have a big backyard wedding for 100 people to plan or fun family reunion, birthday party.....whatever the case may be. Cheers to you and the best for your 2011 summer!