31 January 2013

. . . feeling the love . . .

. . . the doorbell rang 
yesterday afternoon . . .
. . . when i answered the front door,
two of the best friends 
a girl could ever hope for were there 
with this gorgeous arrangement . . .
. . . which was created 
by my favorite floral designer 
of all time . . .
{she was the genius behind the flowers for this wedding

. . . aren't they so pretty? . . .
. . . oh, wait ~ this is the back . . .

. . . wanna see the front? . . .

. . . and how about a closeup? . . .

. . . aren't those dahlias luscious? . . . 
{and the roses, and tulips, and snapdragons, and stocks, 
and mums, and berries, and everything else!}
. . . she made this section 
to resemble a quilt block . . .
. . . a diagonally strip pieced 
quilt block . . .
{i wonder if she knows that?}

. . . anyway, i love and appreciate 
the awesome friends 
i'm lucky enough 
to have in my life . . . 


30 January 2013

. . . remembering . . .

. . . we've {of course} been 
sorting through old photos . . .
. . . doing our fair share 
of reminiscing . . .
. . . and i was so happy 
to find these gems . . .
. . . my little girls 
loved their 
fancy gramma romney . . .
. . . especially when she let them 
model her mink stole . . .
. . . about twenty-five years ago . . .

gramma joan & amber - age 7

 gramma joan & amanda joan - age 4

gramma joan & amelia - age 2

{special thanks to shellene for her photoshop skillz}


27 January 2013

. . . the best mother-in-law . . .

. . . joan estelle ledosquet romney udall . . .
. . . this lovely, lovely lady 
celebrated her eighty-eighth birthday
just four days ago . . .


. . . this morning, 
bless her heart, 
she left this earth life behind . . .
. . . i feel certain she's having 
a wonderful reunion 
with my father-in-law . . . 
. . . they've been apart 
for over twenty-six years . . .
. . . we will miss her greatly . . . 


25 January 2013

. . . happy number twenty-three . . .

. . . today is my favorite 
daughter-in-law's birthday . . .
. . . she is the perfect wife 
for my only son . . .
. . . and a darling mommy 
to baby hayden . . .

{special thanks to you, drew, for putting together this swell photo collage
so i could steal it from your facebook timeline}

. . . i'm just sorry that she has to be 
so far from home 
and so so so cold . . .
. . . but i'm thankful she's 
such a good sport about it . . .
. . . love you lots, jessalyn . . .
. . . happy happy birthday! . . .


24 January 2013

. . . row row row seven . . .

. . . i am seriously on a roll . . .
. . . here's the next installment of 
row along . . .
. . . fall leaves . . .
. . . "swirling or twirling 
or blowing around 
in the 
chilly autumn wind leaves" . . . 
{lori's words}
. . . she posted this row 
the day before thanksgiving . . .
. . . you know ~ 
when there was 
actually supposed to be 
chilly autumn wind . . .
. . . well ~ autumn/winter 
happened here in arizona 
just last week . . .
. . . that's when 
all the leaves finally finished 
falling from my trees . . .
. . . so i guess now's 
as appropriate a time as any for me 
to get this row put together . . .

{today is super cloudy and grey 
and our grass is suffering the effects 
of last week's below-freezing temperatures}

. . . now let me tell you 
all the things i don't like 
about my row . . .
. . . my ocd-ness would 
not let me make 
any pink or blue or grey leaves . . .
. . . only "real" leaf colors . . .
. . . then ~ since i only used 
four color families 
and there are only four directions 
in which to turn the blocks ~ 
i wound up 
with all the same color leaves 
facing the same direction . . .

. . . dumb ocd-ness . . .

. . . i wish i could make myself 
be purposefully random . . .

. . . here's a little more ocd-ness 
for you . . .

{total number of pieces in row 7: 177}
{total number of pieces in rows 1-7: 853}


23 January 2013

. . . row row row six . . .

 . . . i actually sewed 
this cute row of mugs together 
at the beginning of the month 
when our quilt group met . . .
. . . then the whirlwind of renovation hit
 and i got overwhelmed 
and never posted about it . . .
. . . but this project 
finally surfaced yesterday 
and so here you go . . .
. . . row six of 
row along . . .
. . . lori calls them 
cute cups of cocoa . . .
. . . which went together 
nice and easy . . .
. . . hooray!!! . . .


. . . here's a taste . . .


. . . of the rows i've finished so far . . .
{shh! i'm still three rows behind} 


{total number of pieces in row 6: 104}
{total number of pieces in rows 1-6: 676}


22 January 2013

. . . where are you? . . .

. . . that was maxine's question 
in my previous post's comments . . .
. . . she's not the only one 
who's asked . . .
. . . i've gotten emails 
and my own children
 want answers, too . . .

. . . well . . .
. . . thanks for asking . . .
. . . here's the deal . . .
. . . in 2012, i challenged myself 
to post something 
every single day . . .
. . . mission accomplished . . .
. . . a total of 367 posts last year . . .
{it was leap year, and one day, for some reason, i posted twice}

. . . i'm pretty sure 
i said everything 
i had to say . . .
. . . i'm feeling a little bit 
of blog burn out . . .

. . . also . . .
. . . i really have been busy . . .
. . . i've gone through 
so many cupboards . . .
. . . i've pondered every 
scrap of paper and fabric . . .
. . . every fancy papercrafting tool . . .
. . . every single punch, stamp, 
and ribbon . . .

. . . and i've come to this conclusion . . .

. . . given a choice 
between paper and fabric . . .
. . . i will choose fabric 
every stinkin' time . . .

. . . my reorganization efforts 
reflect this realization . . .
. . . i have a garage full 
of scrapbooking stuff . . . 
. . . and a sewing room full 
of sewing stuff . . .
. . . and i feel happy about that . . .

. . . i'm also ready to get back 
to actually sewing . . .

. . . things always look cuter 
without cords 
and outlets 
and plugs? . . .
. . . don't they? . . .
. . . i agree . . .
. . . and yet i really wouldn't wish 
to return to the days 
of treadle sewing machines! . . .
. . . thank you very much . . .



. . . my vintage doilies 
used to grace the walls 
of my formerly striped hallway . . .
. . . they've relocated . . . 



. . . some parts of this room 
are cuter than others . . .



. . . oops! central is now situated 
behind cabinet doors . . .
. . . an upgrade from its previous home
 on and under the counters . . .



. . . this view 
always makes me smile . . .



. . . as do pretty stacks of fabric . . .



. . . and gorgeous daniel grayson . . .
. . . how'd he get in here? . . .



. . . i did save a few 
paper type products . . .


. . . but the most beautiful sight of all
 might just be this empty shelf . . .
. . . ahhhhhhhh . . .


14 January 2013

. . . hello, kitty . . .

. . . what is the exact opposite 
of a cat lover? . . .



. . . if you said stephanie romney, 
you would be 
one hundred per cent 
correctamoondo . . .
{for some reason, spell check doesn't believe 
that correctamoondo is spelled correctamoondo-ly. 
go figure.}

. . . anyway . . .
. . . back to cats . . .
. . . and not liking them . . .
. . . an extreme allergy 
probably doesn't help matters 
at all . . .



. . . except, of course, 
cheetah . . .
. . . ♥. . .


. . . however . . .
. . . though i have 
a deep and abiding hatred 
for the feline species . . .
. . . i have that same amount of love 
for my customers . . .
. . . you want hello kitty oops!?. . .
. . . you got it . . .


. . . you say you need two? . . .
. . . no problem . . .


. . . for twins? . . .
. . . even better . . .

. . . twins/cats/girls . . .


13 January 2013

. . . distractions . . .

. . . my fresh new sewing room 
won't always look so fresh 
and/or so new . . .


. . . that's because 
there are two tables 
worth of stuff 
that i cleaned off the counters 
before the extreme makeover 
happened . . .
. . . and i am determined 
to avoid such pileups
in the future . . .
. . . but that means 
i've got to clean out 
all those cupboards 
to make room for the stuff 
i really want to keep . . .


. . . and cleaning out cupboards 
can be a sentimental journey . . .
. . . especially when 
i rediscover the pleating machine 
i used to put to really good use . . .
. . . back in the day . . .
. . . this handy gadget 
is used to mark tiny even pleats 
across a width of fabric 
in preparation 
for the art of english smocking . . .

{this one isn't mine, but mine does look just like this}

. . . something of which i used to do 
quite a bit . . .
. . . when i was dressing 
three little girls . . .
. . . it seems, though, 
that not all projects started
ever got finished . . .
. . . maybe because 
what in the world was i thinking? . ..
. . . turtles in baseball caps 
with roses in their teeth? . . .
{in fairness, i'm sure i was attracted to the pink and green color scheme. 
it was my favorite. i mean look at that cute fabric.}


. . . but this one is so pretty . . . 
. . . i remember it was supposed
 to be for amber . . .
. . . it's a little girl's size six . . . 


. . . amber is turning thirty-three 
this year . . .
. . . that window of opportunity
may have closed by now . . .
. . . it's still hard to let it go . . .


11 January 2013

. . . take cover . . .

. . . excuse me . . .
. . . but this is not the kind of weather 
i signed up for 
as a {nearly} lifelong resident 
of mesa, arizona . . .
. . . four nights in a row 
of below freezing temps? . . .
. . . un.ac.cept.able . . .
{utah friends are hysterically laughing at me} 


. . . annual bedding plants 
{aka geraniums and alyssum} 
don't really do too well 
in below freezing temperature 
situations . . .
. . . desperate times 
call for desperate measures . . .
. . . my dad always said
 to "make sure 
plants are well hydrated" . . .
. . . so i watered thoroughly . . .
. . . then "cover them  
during the late afternoon 
in an attempt to trap
 some of the heat of the day" . . .
. . . so ~ i busted out my classiest 
{read: raggedy and very colorful}
 blankets and beach towels . . .
. . . you might've seen this  
souvenir from mexico before . . .
. . . this ↓ would constitute 
a slightly less glamorous 
application . . .


. . . i also dug out these 
old personalized fleece throws . . .
. . . those shown here 
belong to "dad" 
and the mesa high jackrabbits . . .
. . . thanks to @tkroit . . .
{is it okay to mix blogging with instagram names?}

{i could not for the life of me corral that one rogue bloomhead}

. . . i'm seriously hoping 
this spot on the back porch 
will provide a little more shelter 
for these coral beauties 
than their usual spot 
by the pool . . .


. . . i did reserve 
one special blanket . . .


. . . it's the one i'll be cozy under 
{possibly drinking hot chocolate and i don't even like hot chocolate}
while watching last night's episode 
of elementary . . .
. . . have you watched 
that show yet? . . .
. . . we love it . . .
{which may or may not have something to do 
with the smart aleck banter between holmes and watson}

. . . stay warm! . . .


09 January 2013

. . . if you give a mouse a cookie . . .

. . . have you read 
that children's book? . . .

. . . if you give a mouse a cookie . . .
. . . he's going to ask 
for a glass of milk . . .
. . . when you give him the milk . . .
. . . he'll probably ask you 
for a straw . . .
. . . when he's finished, 
he'll ask for a napkin . . .

. . . and on and on and on . . . 
. . . it's an exercise 
in the domino effect . . .
. . . and i'm a pro 
at the domino effect . . . 
. . . the three rooms 
i was supposed to get done 
might have grown just a little . . .

. . . so . . . 
. . . the fumes are subsiding . . .
. . . and i'm still trying 
to clean up drywall dust . . .
{it's my favorite. and it does not discriminate. 
it goes every [freakin'] where}
. . . but i snapped 
a few after photos . . .
. . . here's a before ↓ . . .

{save your tears, mimi}

. . . suffice it to say that 
both the mary engelbreit room 
and the phoenix suns room 
now look like this ↓ . . .
. . . not terribly exciting, 
but clean and unwallpapered . . .
. . . which counts for a lot . . .


. . . sewing/laundry room 
before ↓ facing north . . .


. . . and after ↓ . . .
. . . cheto said to wait forty-eight hours
 before putting anything on those
 freshly coated countertops . . .
. . . i'm waiting at least a week . . .
. . . now, look through that doorway . . .
. . . notice anything different? . . .


. . . no more stripes . . .
{if you give a mouse a cookie!}


. . . and after pricing new light fixtures,
 i decided i'd rather 
spend seven dollars 
on a can of spray paint . . .
. . . formerly polished brass . . .
. . . now oil-rubbed bronze . . .
{i even did it myself}
. . . also ~ it's amazing 
how much improvement 
you can make 
by running the glass shades 
through the dishwasher! . . .
. . . good as new . . .


. . . laundry room before ↓ 
facing south . . .


. . . and after ↓ . . .
. . . i tried . . .
. . . i really tried 
to talk myself into a pretty 
pale aqua/blue/teal color . . .
. . . i just couldn't do it . . .
. . . i guess i'm just 
a green girl at heart . . .
. . . this shade is called 
calla lilly 
by dunn edwards . . .
. . . now ~ take a peek 
through that doorway . . .


. . . my favorite change of all . . .
{mouse ~ cookie}
. . . one more section 
of oak cabinetry gone . . .
. . . by the way ~ 
white lacquer is really smelly . . .


. . . but so so pretty . . .
. . . this is what my kitchen looks like 
in my dreams . . . 
. . . one of these days . . .
. . . new and fresh is a real nice color, isn't it? . . .