Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Pregnancy Loss

18 days ago I heard the words "there is no heartbeat". Four words with unbearable weight. What remained was a chance of misdiagnosis and thousands of prayers. All possibility of hope fell away July 31. Suddenly I became a statistic with the loss of our Baby number five Csilla-Quentin. 1 in 4. It was my turn to be that one. Oh the heartache to be that One. Our journey through grief is going to take time. One I walk with many women. So many of us. The burden of such tragic loss is almost indescribable. It's the silence that truly makes walking this path so dreadful. We are many but the isolating silence makes us feel alone in our suffering. Take a moment and offer a prayer for the one in four because she needs it more than you will ever know. I pray for the families experiencing infant loss, for the families who are still grieving, and I pray for an end to the silence.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Wild Flowers

Piece by piece a bouquet is made with offerings from the littles. Sweet little smiles full of pride seeing a bit of summer beauty that gets to come inside.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Container Fairy Garden

The littles have been out of preschool for a few weeks. In this time they have become stir crazy. I have been wanting to do some sort of activity with them to keep the girls occupied. Adelynn has been asking me about making a fairy garden for months. Her school has beautiful gardens which are incredibly inspiring. In addition her class frequents these gardens so the creation of her very own space has been on her mind for weeks. Originally I wanted to carve out a little space in our garden for this fairy village Adelynn tells me about every day. We have a great location near the playhouse under the cherry trees that would be the most perfect spot to create a magical little fairyland. But......we have a massive ant problem. Ants are in every space of our gardens. The same sugar ants that cause extreme panic in my littles because ants are bugs and bugs will kill you. Not wanting the little girls go berserk every time they play in a fairy garden I needed an alternative. Container gardens was the solution. The next issue was lack of a proper fairy house. Being frugal I was unwilling to spend $20 for a fairy house, or really any money, because the reality is that the little house will end up cast aside and forgotten about in a week. Instead I sought some items from the recycling to use as a fairy house structure.

I washed out several plastic containers. I decided on the applesauce jar. It was made of a sturdy plastic, had a great stable base, and was just the right size and shape for a cute fairy cottage. I collected some bits from the yard in a shoebox then set up the hot glue gun, because I'm lazy and want instant gratification. In hindsight hot glue is no friend of plastic but this applesauce jar stood up to the challenge. That poor water bottle which will one day be a great stone tower is going to need some plaster and lots of gravel to complete. I've got all summer so that should be fine, right?

I began cutting out a door shape in the jar. It wasn't pretty but considering that I'll be gluing things to the jar I wasn't focusing on the aesthetics of that door shape. I started building the design of the cottage by gluing sticks to the sides of the jar. I wanted to frame out the doorway first to get an idea of how the design will emerge. Through the process I discovered that I was going to need some stones to fill in the space around the doorway. This at first was giving me pause but eventually I found that this combination worked wonderfully. And.....was hot! That glue can be tricky.

Once I had the stones and sticks glued around the jar I needed to come up with a roof. I had a box of seashells in the garage. They looked like the perfect type of material for the roof. I glued the shells around the top, added some more pebbles, then went to get started on the lid. That's when I realized that when you get things from the recycling bin lids are likely going to be missing.

No worries. We eat loads of applesauce in this house I'll grab the lid from the jar in the fridge when it's all gone and the house will be complete. In the meantime Adelynn found a vintage ashtray on my craft sideboard. I was using it for holding bits and pieces of broken jewelry for me to fix but I suppose a roof for the fairy house is what it will be used for now.

We added some decorative glass for a pond.

Adelynn added her little couch she found at the craft store.

When the littles were in my craft area Jane found the wooden birdhouses. They brought them upstairs and decided to paint them. I had three which meant that even big sister Leah was able to paint one. Hers ended up in her room but the littles took theirs outside to play with in their gardens. Jane decided that her fairies will live in the birdhouse.

This is big sister Leah's little garden. She loved the little canoe and decided to make a sweet little stream with her pot. Of course the cat was helping her too. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

May 4th

It's May 4th a big deal for our girls. May the 4th be with you gives us a good reason to celebrate our love for the Star Wars stories. Adelynn insisted on being Leia at school today. I thought it was a great idea too! We set to work on fixing her hair in the appropriate way. She managed to find a dress, which so happens to be her favorite, in white that would make the outfit just right.

She had a great day being Princess Leia. I was thankful that her teachers were supportive her day as Leia. It could have gone poorly as you never know how little differences  such as a costumed child can affect the school day. We rounded out our day with dinner and a movie. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mantel Decor

Seasonally I change the decor in my home. At first it was a way to make the house feel more like a home because we moved from a home half the size of this one the vastness was too much for me. We rocked the minimalist style like pros. The came boredom. Seeing the same style of decor  up all the time made the house feel stagnant. It's something many people would not find bothersome. For me it began to drive me mad. Loony. Either I needed to redecorate or I was going to go mental. The easiest way to make an old place new is to move something around. My husband is a huge fan of moving furniture around. At first that seemed loony but it was his eagerness to change it up that inspired me to seek some change in the rest of our decorating. So there it was a new tradition of shaking it up.

Usually by February I put out some Valentine themed items then transition in to St. Patrick's day. This year I broke from my typical and wanted to go with something different. My parents gave the Mister a 19th century map of the United States. It's such a great piece that I've been trying to think of a place to hang it up. We have very little wall space so finding a spot is tricky. I began with the 1832 map and went from there to fill in the mantel.

I used a mixture of things I typically use during this time of year and added some more to round it out. Often the black and white picture of my grandparents and the big picture of Adelynn are featured in the fall. This time they came out early. The vintage post cards of a Paris ferris wheel and the Eiffel tower were found in an antique market in Ohio. The Cupid statue I found at the garden canter. I'm not sure if it's a Cupid but that's what I think it reminds me of so that has become the name for this piece. It's quirky and was calling me out as I passed it on a display table. I do like unusual pieces. I think it's supposed to be a rain gauge but I found a great spot for it on my mantel.

I will put out my silk tulips in the mercury glass vase and the framed pictures of saints. Lent being a time of prayer makes seeing the saints a top choice for me. I was given a very lovely plant but the pot was not so appealing. I went to the garden center to find a new one. It was difficult to find what I wanted. I was thinking that I needed to choose a white and blue pot to go along with my porcelain pitcher. I love that pitcher and adore seeing it every spring. I found a close enough design that would be complementary to the pitcher. So far repotting that plant has not improved its state. It has been a difficult plant to make happy. I daresay it may very well die before the season ends. I am not sure what type of plant it is besides difficult. Behind the mercury vase I have two vintage tobacco tins. Another find at an Ohio antique market. The vintage post card of Spain was a sweet find. I love old post cards and often find some great examples of art.

Clocks are another weakness. I found this one at the garden center last year. It has been moving around the house usually landing here once or twice. My ceramic bird collection is small but constant. The glass bluebirds were a wedding gift and they will always be set out for our anniversary. This time I got them out early to enjoy longer. I found the milk glass pedestal bowl at a local thrift store. Once I saw it I knew that it was just the item to use to put moss inside. I've had this piece several years. It makes an appearance all over the house in the spring. The frame with silhouettes was found at the garden center years ago. I meant to fill it with actual silhouettes instead of the ones the frame came with but time has gotten away from me. The candlesticks are being held with my grandmother's silver candlestick holders. Behind the silhouettes is a drawing of Adelynn when she was 2 year olds. It was drawn by a girl from church who was spending time in the nursery. It's a sweet picture and one day will get its own frame. I left it there to remind me to get serious about finding a frame but as you can see that was not enough to motivate me in to action. There is a little glimpse of the favorite pitcher. I fill sit with silk flowers and mixture of lavender and lily of the valley. I like the look of flowers fresh from the garden but without the worry of wilt. 

At the very end are some tidbits. The blue glass pitcher came from Williamsburg glassblower. I have never used it for anything other than decorating. It hold very little so its practicality is limited to being beautiful. The cross was a gift from a student years ago. I bring this out every Easter season because it's just so pretty. I found that Tiffany lamp at a home store years ago. It was a great bargain and I can't tell you how much I love that little lamp. I have it tucked away upstairs and it never gets used so I was glad to give it some attention. The hand made sheep is a toy the girls play with infrequently. I decided to add it for the Agnus Dei or "Lamb of God" reminder for Lent. And that leads on to the painting of Jesus and my sweet little peg doll I painted of the Blessed Mother. The vintage post card is of Piccadilly Circus in London. Again it was found at the antique market in Ohio. These were all the items that made it to the design. While putting this all together my intention was to create a design that would last though the summer. I think that I'm not going to have much time to get my typical beach themed mantel set up before summer starts. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

A 10k morning

Keith wanted to run a 10k over the Golden Gate Bridge before we went back East. We got up early and drove into San Francisco for the race. He ran and I explored the Presidio Park area. I took a few pictures of the bridge and watched boats head out to Alcatraz. Oh so much you can do in San Fran! After the race we drove back to the hotel and raced off to the airport. The end of our weekend away without kids came to a close.