Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

I hope that you all had a wonderful New Years Celebration.  We rang in the new year by celebrating with friends.  Typically we have spent this time with our children & rarely have even made it to midnight, but now that we have a daughter in college & a son in high school they of course do not want to spend their time at home with the we too became partiers....& I must say....we had a BALL & actually watched the ball fall at midnight!!!!  We began the evening with my girlfriend Becky & her date Keith at a nice restaurant for dinner & then went to some our friends home to ring in the New Year.  Mary & Ken throw the best parties because their home is just made for that!  I even asked Jeff last night if we should move so we could host better parties & he said NO WAY....he loved our home.  I thought that was so awesome.  But all you can really do here is hang out in the kitchen & watch me cook & eat what I cook.  I guess a lot of people do like to do that....but sometimes it isn't that fun for me.....LOL.

So interesting as New Year's is.....with resolutions & all WHAT resolutions have you made if any for 2014 ?  I decided about 5 years ago that I wasn't going to make resolutions like "I'm going to loose 50 pounds or keep my house clean all the time" because they seemed so unrealistic.  Those were things you just needed to work on for yourself.  Not actual resolutions.  So, I did loose weight, a lot in fact. But my house is not clean all the time, but is managable.  Now each year I set goals that are attainable to me & practical to my life.  Like in 2010 I set the goal to not be cold.  I purchased appropriate attired & boots to keep myself warm.  My life has greatly improved & I have maintained that goal.  I wear Uggs as much as I dislike them to my workouts & change into my tennis shoes when I get there to keep my feet warm & dry, they also help to keep my legs warm too.  I wear a scarf around my neck alot. It helps so very much.  In 2012 I got rid of my cleaning ladies as much as I loved having this service because I wanted a personal trainer.  I decided the trade-off would be fitness for comfort.  I could get more fitness in return by cleaning my house.  Needless to home is a little more dirty....but it is a lot more stylish for some reason.  (that is the more energy thing though)  The one real HUGE drawback is that my home rarely if ever gets clean top to bottom like it used to.  I really hate that....but I spot clean like crazy & Jeff helps a lot!!!!  My cleaning style is totally crazy though & partly the reason it doesn't get cleaned from top to bottom.  I have to organize & clean as I go.  I got the house spotless for the cleaning ladies to come in & CLEAN .  So today....lying in bed this morning....thinking about what comes before me in 2014 I decided that my resolution again will be attainable.  It will be one of more thought & digging deep.  I am going to really try to focus on.....& don't laugh when I say this because it really sounds trite because you all know me....but I want to focus on being more CREATIVE .  You all think because I make a lot of things that I am creative.  But let me just admit to you that when I opened Girlfriends on the Farm it took a lot out of me.  It has now been open one full year now.  In that time filling the shop to make it look nice was a HUGE endeavor.  In addition to that, I still tried to add to Lola Rue, & prepare for a few crafts shows, & in Octoboer I ventured into something completely new.....I opened a glass case in an Antique Shop.  Westbury Antique Market.  The year kept me so very busy professionally.  I was constantly arranging & rearranging & decorating & redecorating as I did three magazine photo shoots & two newspaper interviews, & one documentary film that is currently being edited.  So things really did take off for Girlfriends on the Farm .  So the creative aspect of my life really has been put on hold.  I haven't been able to be creative in the way that I have been in the past as an artist.  Where the sky was the limit & I woke up & 'painted any canvas I wanted to paint' so to speak.  So watch out 2014 I am ready to take you on.  My creative juices are flowing.  I have already been checking things out.  I am getting inspired.  I am ready to go.  I am feeling it & I am so happy.  I hope that you are able to set & maintain attainable goals & resolutions.  It really makes for a much more joyous & happy new year I think.  Goals are good & they help us to stay focused on the bigger picture....a better US!  Which I think makes a better place for us all the live in.  Happy New Year Girlfriends!!!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

It has been such a long time since I have blogged.  I don't even know how to do it any more.  I quit because of frustration.  I had so much trouble uploading my photos.  I don't know how to take good photos either.  But I love blogging & the concept of blogging....because I am a social person & I love connecting in this way.  So very much has changed in my life.  IF I continue blogging....& I promise I will....I promise that I will fill you in on all the details.  I chose this picture because it really does represent change.  For example, this is Lindsey my daughter, she was about 11 here, about 10 years ago.  She is my special girl, actually a beautiful woman now.  She is a junior at Indiana Universiy in the Kelley School of Business.  On January 4, 2014, she will leave for Hong Kong for 5 months for a study abroad trip.  While I am immensely nervous, I am hugely excited for her to have this wonderful opportunity.  She has worked very hard, she has earned this trip.  So this is just a little snippet into a little bit of my world.  I will let you know every juicy detail soon.  Until then have a wonderful & very merry Christmas.  May your dreams come true & you & your families be richly blessed.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Girlfriends on the Farm Is My Dream Come True

Girlfriends on the Farm has been a dream of mine
for a few years now.  I have wanted to have a monthly or
semi-monthly shows where friends could come & sell
their wares in a fun venue.  Well Jeff built that for me in
Ellington's Mercantile.  We opened the doors this past
Saturday for our very first Girlfriends on the Farm with
HUGE success.  Part of the wonderful success came
from the fact that I had an overwhelming amount of
support in artists wanting to participate....we had eight
for our very first show including me.  Well the venue
couldn't be cuter.  Jeff certainly outdid himself....& he
usually does.  Let me tell you a little bit about the shop
itself.  This particular building housed an original
1850's Blacksmiths shop on the farm.  In the back
portion of the building which will be the second portion
of Ellington's Mercantile there is an actual chimney where
the blacksmith hand forged his horse shoes & tools.  We used
all Indiana hard woods on the walls from Jeff's tree jobs
that he had milled in Spencer IN & we hand planed
here on Ellington Farms with a planer Jeff actually bought
for this project....that's the kind of good I love about
Jeff.  Maybe back in the 1850's projects were done with
tools without cords but we didn't just rush to Lowe's
for everything....I think that is neat....& you can tell when
you walk into the just smells woodsy.  In a photo
further down in the post you will see them better...but I will
speak of them here....the flooring is gorgeous.  Jeff salvaged
it from one of his demolition jobs.  It was removed from
Bloomington Tire when they tore it down.  Now the average
person would have thought this flooring was ugly & thrown it out....but
then Jeff isn't just your average guy....& I knew that...that's
why I snatched him up 23 years ago.  So he painstakingly
salvaged every piece of it....we even used it in Lincoln's
newly remodeled closet in his bedroom.  The floors are
absolutely stunning to me.  Oh....& I bet you are
wondering about the awesome cabinet!  It's wonderful
isn't it???  Jeff again found this great cabinet out west of
town for Ellington's Mercantile because we wanted it to
resemble an old store.  He found all the old coffee tins &
coffee grinders in one of his demolition jobs & we thought
they looked adorable filling the shelves of the cabinet.  I don't know how long they will remain....we may need those
cabinets for actual merchandise but until further notice
I love them there!

This is in the process of our setting up stages.  It was
no where near the completed 'tweaked' time.  It was already
adorable.  We made the table from the door that we
took off & replaced.  The guys threw it in the trash....but
no....Hope to the rescue....that will be my table.  Jeff
screwed it on an old ammo box & oiled it up with mineral
spirits & viola' a great cornerstone for Ellington's Mercantile & didn't cost a penny!  The walls look so bare....but they
didn't for long!

Now you can see the flooring in great detail.  Isn't it
pretty!  It doesn't squeak anywhere either.  Those are
some ornaments that Sue Blackwell brought.  She also
made wreaths & glittered fruits.  He glittered custom
ornaments were very popular.

These are my friend Pam Voorhies hand painted
vintage signs.  She goes to my church & I first fell in
love with her when I heard her sing.  She has the most
beautiful voice.  She is a most talented girl...but then
you can see that.  Her signs were very poplur....but
then I bet you had already guessed that!  Jeff bought
a sign for our home at our church holiday craft show &
wanted me to see if I liked the one he chose....I too was
a vendor that day & was swamped & couldn't leave my
booth for one moment...literally.  I said....Jeff...any
sign you choose will be the right can't choose
a wrong one.  Wouldn't you agree?  I have commissioned
Miss Pam to paint a sign for Ellington's Mercantile &
Jeff & I can't wait to put it up!  I don't have very many
photo's of the other artists work....but I want to mention
my very best friend in the whole world....Christy Myers.
I call her Chrissy...I don't know why I do...I just do...we have
been best friends since we were 15 years old & my sister
married her brother.  She paints the most beautiful
furniture & makes the most gorgeous wreaths &
arrangements.  She also paints the cutest old chalkboard
& frames.  She just has a very good eye for style.  She lives
in Illinois.  She came down.  Another great friend Stephanie
Oyler sold her Origami Owl, although not hand crafted
we thought it was new enough & fun enough to warrant
a bid to our fun show.  She is a very gifted artist though
& will bring her wares another day.  Lisa Orme, owner of
Lola Rue where I sell my wares on any other given day
brought painted holiday signs, jewelry, & mini wreaths.
Lindsay Bradley brought her gorgeous jewelry of which I
am one of her biggest fans! And Miss Bailey Tichenor,
she is lovely, but she was a very shy, timid girl until she started designing
jewelry & wow....she came alive....this was 2 years ago!
She is now a high school junior & she creates awesome
jewelry....truly spectacular work.  Again....I think I am her
number one fan!  Truly....when I wear her pieces....literally
people grab me off the street & want to know where I
got it.  Of course I's a Bailey Tichenor original.  And
you can just tell she has a remarkable eye by her pinterest
board....and you would NEVER know she was just a
teenager!!!   So, Girlfriends on the Farm is my dream come
true.  It was such a fun day.  I hope you can join us for the next one or maybe you would like to come display & sell your
wares.  It sure was fun having such fun girlfriends here.  I
hope your day is filled will love & creativity.  Blessings!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Holiday Updates & Post Thanksgiving

 I know that the time just keeps ticking by & my blogging just seems to go by the way side...but I promise I am keeping busy.  So busy in fact that it seems I rarely sleep & Jeff tells me I now have a sleep disorder...I like to call it productive, the word 'disorder' really bothers me & I am getting so much accomplished.  The Holiday Open House is one week from today.....Saturday December 1... in my newly renovated 1850's blacksmith shop.  It has turned out absolutely darling...better than my wildest dreams could ever imagine.  Here I am out front in a photo snapped on mind you...I am sleep deprived...& the sun is in my eyes...& I didn't know we were doing this...but you can tell this barn is going to be really fun!  We are calling it Ellington's Mercantile & it will house 'Girlfriends on the Farm'....hopefully a monthly sale....calling all girlfriends to bring their wares to sell in a cooperative sale.  It has been a long I never dreamed would take so long...but it has come together...& there is more to come...a much larger room is starting soon!  What with our salvage business & Lincoln's dreams of one day opening a tandem bike business our little brains are always going around here...& don't forget we already have Ellington's Stables...bringing you the finest boarding & pony parties around.  So things are never dull around here.

My brother in law Andrew is my best friend Chrissy's brother.  He married my sister we have a GREAT life with the best of both worlds.  This year however, we all didn't get to spend Thanksgiving together which was SMALL.  But tradition is tradition.  We started a noodle cook off a couple of years ago...why I have no idea.  We use the exact same recipe.  Andrew gave it to is their families recipe.  I loved their noodles growing up as a kid.  When he married my sister he made noodles with Lindsey & she loved making the noodles & now I love making the noodles.  He taught me how to make the we have a cook off.  I bought the exact same vintage cast aluminum 'noodle' pan that Andrew had...because that is what 'Dorothy' made her noodles is a roaster for goodness sake....but we make noodles in it!!!  We ALL call it the noodle pan.  It will be the noodle pan x2 until the day 2 families ALL die.  I don't think Andrew makes anything else in his pan except noodles & I don't either....because it is the noodle pan & when I saw it at the Antique Mall I squealed with delight because there was a noodle pan!  Andrew told me this year he has been making noodles since he was 8 years he has quite a bit more experience on me.  He also graduated from Sullivan's Culinary School & is a Chef if that tells you anything.  So....I'm feeling pretty good right now when I tell you....

So you can imaging how truly humbling this is to me...even though it was my own family...but it was a pretty even playing field.  My family of 4....his family of 4....our parents....& our mother didn't vote.....because apparently she doesn't understand 'noodles'....whatever that means.  But we tied!  And I won on color...which is the pretty category....which is the category I would want to win in...because I am all about the presentation.  So all in all it was a great Thanksgiving.  And I am really excited about the Open House.  I hope you all have a great & productive day.  Blessings.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

IU Charms....A Little Bling is Always Fun!

Oh my mercy....have I  been having some fun in the studio!  You know me & my bling & I got to thinking don't these lonely little IU charms need some sparkle??  Actually...those rival-ristic sweet Ohio State fans inspired me with all their BUCKEYE necklaces the other weekend!  So I got busy....added some rhinestones & pearls & badda bing....instant POP!!!  Our own HOOSIER tradition!!!  HOO...HOO...HOOSIERS!!!!  Took them in to Lola Rue first thing Monday & they sold out instantly within 2 days!!!  It was so humbling to say the least...but don't worry shipment of glass is being rushed to me!!!  I will make more just for you....cause hey....we've got Coach Crean & his boys coming up & the last few days of football & I'm still loving that!!!  So bare with me & my little elves (Jeff & Lincoln have been commissioned) here down at the little studio while we burnish away & have a grand old time!  Hope you are creating to your hearts desire....blessings for glorious creations!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Crowning Glory....I've Been Busy

I have been having the best time in my craft room lately.  I guess the creative energy has just been flowing like crazy.  Maybe because my computer was in the shop so I was forced to just create.  It's a good thing when push comes to shove.  So I just really focused on letting things really go.  It's been so amazingly fun.

I've made some really fun things!  I just wish I could master photography!  The colors are really much prettier in real life.  Cool colors.  Soft colors.  Pale pinks, grays, soft greens & of course rhinestones!!  What would it be without some rhinestones added to the mix!!  So there you have it a little bling for the up-coming holidays.  I am going to be in a couple of art shows that will be in the area.  I don't do too many shows....but I like to do a couple around the holiday season.  I have missed you during this brief lapse of blogging...I hope to be back please plan to visit again real soon.  Blessings for a truly uplifting & creative day.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Handmade U.... a Glimpse of the Fun I Had

 I love a great journaling class.  I was really excited to be taking Hope Wallace Karney's very first in person teaching class.  Sure she had taught a bunch of on-line classes before....but she had never taught a class in person to a live bunch of students before.  We were going to be her guinea pigs.  I just knew that she would do beautifully.  And Hope did not disappoint.  Not in the very least.  The above is a picture of her class kit.  Not only was it exquisite....well I felt like I was going to a posh private academy....look at the loveliness.  Vintage wallpaper & all blinged out with supplies galore!  She taught in a manner that was very conducive to my learning style.  I personally loved it very much.  I tend to get very overwhelmed with journaling.  Give me power tools & soldering guns any day & I am good to go....but ink pens & wasi tape & you might as well give me a scalpel & IV fluids because I do not know what to do with them.  I get flustered & behind & have to ask poor Stephanie Oyler what to do every minute.  Hope gave us wonderful prompts for every step of the way so when I got behind I could get caught up.  And here is the great part....get this....she promised to send us the on-line instructions to the class when we got home.....and guess what....I got the tutorial YESTERDAY!!!  Bless her little soul!!  Isn't she wonderful!!!  So basically Hope is the teacher that keeps on teaching well after the art retreat is over & I for one really appreciate that.  Handmade U is really one of the best art retreats I have been to.  This year was by far the best.  There were swaps, and more women went, and the food was good, and we had vendor night with crofters participating this year.  It was just a really great year!  Oh & there were lot's of great door prizes!  That is something that everyone seems to really love.  It always feels great when your name is drawn out of the hat!  Something else that is super spectacular....the treat bag is just phenomenal.  Rachel....the hostess of Handmade U is like a real teacher.  She gives you the best little fun treats.  Ear Stephanie is going to really snore (well she does.....but it doesn't bother me cuz I probably do too!) so the ear plugs really are handy, & cute little candies.  Little school related pencils & stuff.  So you all need to come to the 4th Semester of Handmade U because we were all brainstorming about teachers & stuff because a lot of us girls have been to all 3 semesters & we know the ropes cuz we are the upper class girls....we aren't stuck up or anything we just know it ALL but we were throwing out some great ideas & 4th semester is going to be awesome.....YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS THE FUN!!

 Here is the lovely Hope Ellington & Hope Wallace Karney or better known as:  Hope Squared.  I so wish I knew how to make the mathematical equation.  The little thing with the little tiny 2 in it.  But I am not a mathematician....nor would I ever try to be one.  I think she wants me to be Hope 1 & she Hope 2  so I guess that is what we will do.  I have been dying to officially become friends with Hope since our days at Silver Bella.  That event was just too big to ever really do that.  But Handmade U was really conducive to hanging out.  We had a lot of fun.  Hope is just a talented & giving woman & I hope we have many opportunities to create together again. 

Handmade U really is just a unique opportunity to get together to create.  It really is almost like a reunion of sorts.  I keep coming back semester after semester because there is a bond that I feel.  Friendships are made & I am learning a lot about journaling & creating awesome projects.  Rachel is a wonderful hostess.  For me an art retreat should be an intimate gathering.  Handmade U is just that....& even if it grows....I know that Handmade U will keep its intimate feel because it has very humble roots.