Sunday, September 30, 2012

This and That on Sunday

Thank you so very much for my Birthday Greetings yesterday. I don't know how you knew it was the actual day. I have been celebrating each day of the month of September to keep you from truly knowing. My husband returns from his Home Alone trip today, birthday cake soon to follow!

Speaking of birthday wishes, are you smiling ear to ear over Diane's,  Etsy Shop, Scrabble wishes and kitten? Numbered vintage birthday cards are my absolute favorite.

In other crafting news, "Six white pom poms, 3 wooden beads, 4 orange buttons, etc, etc, etc,"  What a Cute as Can Be way to hold the tiny little items you need for a project. Michaels summer clearance rack, (.49 cents apiece),  Yo Yos and vintage buttons are added by mE.

My gosh, how time is flying by now that fall has officially begun. Even quicker still is my eagerness to visit each blog to see all of your wonderful Halloween crafts. (Pattern found here.).

And speaking of Halloween, have you gotten your Magpie-Ethel yet? May I tell you I have come to a realization about the style of crafting of my favorite artist. IT'S ALL IN THE LEGS! Just look at the stance of this witch, un huh. You can see Laurie standing like this, can't you? Her personality is wonderfully bold.

My characters, on the other hand, all have straight legs. They say about me I am someone who always follows the rules.What do your craft legs say about you?

Vintage Halloween supplies are very hard to find; so What's on Hand came to the rescue again.

A little hot glue does the trick!

How cute are these hanging from my Cutie Pie Cottage garland? And the view outside my craft room window?

Gloriously beautiful on a This and That Sunday!

Friday, September 28, 2012


It is late here in the Heart of Ohio, my crafting for the day at it's end, my thoughts collected and ready to share, unexpected revelations to drift me off to sleep.

Friendship usually kept at a safe distance was today allowed to wash over me like sunlight on a hillside. My entire person felt lighter and unexpectedly at home. Personal stories shared in the past did not mark me forever, "damaged goods" as I thought they always did.

The bravery it takes to declare the unexpected is bravery I most admire. To know in your heart that your core being does not change in unwanted circumstances is affirmation that those you call friend have often told you so.

I am so thankful that so many of us have told our sweet Renee that she does not stand alone in the days ahead. She stands with the support of her many friends.

And this is not at all unexpected.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gourdeously Green

It must have been, when my parents built our new home at the top of our hilly neighborhood, that the woman of the house was asked to choose between three colors for the interior of her home. Tan, blue, or green. My mother obviously chose green, because every single room of our new home was one value or another of the verdant shade.

But it wasn't just the walls and appliances that were green; so too were the carpets, the draperies, the bedspreads and the furniture slip covers. Everything was green! This was the setting I invited my handsome boyfriend into for the first time, wearing, of course, his green Airman's fatigues!

Sitting nearly camouflaged on the living room couch, my father posed a question to the face that had just separated from mine, "Patrick, do you have a stocking knit cap?" My spine stiffened. A brilliant professor by day, one lacking common sense by evening, I knew in my heart this query could only lead to an embarrassing outcome. "No, Mr. Keily I don't have a hat. Why do you need one?"

My father grumbled, "Elizabeth's mother keeps this house too cold. I don't want a draft to touch my head, I think I'm catching a cold."  As I prayed to disappear, my father did just that. We could hear him rummaging in the kitchen and then his heavy foot falls on the plush green pile that led to his bedroom.

All was blessedly, quietly normal until my Airman suggested we check on my father's well being. My tip toes followed his to my father's bedroom and peeked over his shoulder to see what he was already seeing. I gasped to see not my father's expected head upon his pillow, but a BROWN PAPER BAG! As the shape rose upon it's elbows, I quickly slammed shut the bedroom door as my father's voice came to me from a single slit cut for air, "What's wrong Lizzy?" 

On the day I would marry my Airman, my father drew me close and asked me, "Are you sure you want to marry this boy?" I thought to myself about the distance a lifetime of embarrassing situations had caused between us and how my Airman in green taught me to be proud and to love my father again because he did. I shyly put my arms around my father's waist and answered into his chest, "Yes Dad, I love him."

Please do not Pin pattern to Pinterest.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Halloween Orange

I love that Halloween affords us the opportunity to celebrate the color ORANGE. It's a very neglected color the rest of the year; but in this month of all things spooky, it can be found on every blog I visit. 

Holly's Pumpkin Shakers are just the cutest pair of orange pumpkin eaters I have ever seen. I just love their "close friends". Holly shares the pattern and an easy to follow tutorial at Cotton Pickin Fun .

It was such fun crafting this duo of orange deliciousness. Holly has the best idea for constructing the crepe paper collars that I know I will always use now.

I have also learned from Holly not to be afraid to combine different materials when I am crafting with felt. I would never have thought to use paper clay or tissue with my felt. Smile! I am so happy to know this!

To borrow a line from "When Harry Met Sally", "I feel like I'm evolving." (PS My all time favorite movie!)


And speaking of orange, can you believe I am out of orange pipe cleaners AGAIN! Gotta love that Halloween Orange!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The New Thirty

Driving to our hometown's football game this evening, my husband expressed that he was sorry he will be out of town for my birthday. He glanced over at me and asked, "How old are you going to be?"

I answered him in the manner I do when anyone asks me this question, "I'm in my late 50's". My husband looked at me again, "You're not in your late 50's, why do you tell people you are?"

My response begins, "Well they say 50 is the New Thirty, and I absolutely don't look like I'm 30; so I say nearly 60 which is the New 40 which I'm much closer to than 30.

My husband looks at me quizzically, "Why don't you just tell people your real age?"

I continue, "If I tell people I am much older than I actually am, they'll think I look good for my age.When I'm 60 I'm going to say I'm nearly 70 which is the new 50, you know. It's why I've retired from working so early. I want to be even with you, 65!"

My Dear Sweet Husband turned once again towards me and said, "As long as we have many more years together, I don't care how old you are!"

Please do not Pin patterns to Pinterest.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Rapping on the Window

It seemed my childhood was filled with parental pleading to do something, anything, to make my brother conform to my expectations of sibling behavior. My mother would always respond, "What would you have us do to him, he's not punishable!"  This theory was made evident to me one Hallows Eve.

Wanting to make sure the most efficient route was taken to collect the most candy in their pillow cases, John and his like minded friend knocked on the door of each of our neighbors home in the after-school hours preceding Halloween to ask if they would be handing out candy.

As they short-cut their steps past a corner lot split level, they could see a young couple sitting on their rec-room couch passionately embraced and kissing. Nothing could be more enticing to two eight year old boys, they rapped on the window and hurried on their way. A plot to return that evening already in their thoughts.

Dressed in their costumes, two heads spotted once again through the window, the boys prepared to wrap on the window. They were startled to find a hand on each of their shoulders. Escorted steps home, each more fearful than the next.

Answering the firm ringing of our doorbell, this sister could not believe her eyes at the sight of her brother's face and hands covered in our mother's wig, his very full lips squeezed through a slit made to breath.

My mother called to the door could barely contain her giggling as her son's lips opened and closed like a fish gasping it's last breath pleading for any help at all. My mother assured the young newlywed MINISTER that her son would not bother the young couple again.

My brother promptly retreated to his bedroom only to return to our living room again, his pillow case nearly reaching his knees, another with eyes and mouth circles cut, his lips once again giving his identity away. There was no punishing this determined Trick or Treater!

Please do not Pin Patterns to Pinterest

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nutley, New Jersey

The very first time I became aware of Martha Stewart's Living was while waiting for a friend to gather her things together at her home so that we could go out for lunch together. I noticed a blond haired woman smiling at me from the cover of one magazine among many upon a coffee table.

Knowing my time was limited, I quickly thumbed through pages that were unlike any I had ever seen. As I reached the very last page, a title "Nutley, New Jersey" caught my eye along with a tiny old-fashioned photograph of a woman in her kitchen. A page of words, I began to read.

The words painted so clearly for me the members of a large family bustling about a tiny kitchen as they packaged fruit cakes in tins to give as Christmas gifts to their neighbors. I was enchanted. (Hot glue head bead to pine cone base.)

I didn't need to know anything else about the magazine except that I wanted to read more about the family at 86 Elm Street, Nutley, NJ. A subscription card pulled from within the glossy pages made it's way home with me. (Cut two inch square, cut curve. Match long edges, trim until opening is right size. Apply bead of hot glue, press edges together,

before glue dries, flatten seam by pressing between fingers.)

For many months and many years to come, I would await the arrival of Martha Stewart's magazine among the stacks of bills and letters my children would retrieve from our mail box. I would always turn to the last page, first, (Apply hot glue to end of pipe cleaner and position for each arm and leg cutting stem as you move along.)

and read about the every day patterns of the Kostyra parents and their six children.

I knew the stories were romanticized tableau's of  Martha's childhood, but to me they meant everything as my own childhood was not at all typical. The stories became a framework for the home life I wanted for my own children. (Slip shoes onto leg stems. Bend stems at right angles. Apply hot glue to top and bottom of created foot, press shoe bottom to top.)

In every way we were a family who created traditions to remember always the loving home we shared. (To position elf to stand, place two fingers at bend of foot. Lean elf towards fingers until able to stand alone.)

When I began my blog, I made a conscious decision to write in such a way that would evoke the feeling I had when reading about Nutley, New Jersey. (Long strip of felt is positioned to create scarf, hot glue applied to keep in place, trim to correct length.)

I love to come to this place I call Creative Breathing filled with it's pages of childhood remembrances and things made to celebrate holidays with friends. Martha Stewart will never know how her stories of Nutley, New Jersey have touched my life, but I know; and I am thankful. (Apply hot glue to both sides of arm stems, press mittens to both sides.)

How absolutely sweet Martha's elves are posed with my Happy Birthday sign from Diane's Etsy shop. I was suppose to wait until my actual birthday to open, but you know how that goes....

Birthday Wishes and Nutley Elves, now THAT'S A GOOD THING!