Lights, Dinner, Friends

Art Doodles

I must start out by saying that I have committed the worst offense in the gratitude world. I didn’t write a thank you note within a 2 week period after I was invited over to a friend’s house for dinner. For someone who writes about appreciation and gratitude, I should be more up to date on this kind of stuff. Unfortunately the art part of painting/sketching the notes gets in the way of punctuality. I am very sorry for this to everyone who will be receiving a thank you note long after the calendar page has turned. One saving grace is I haven’t forgotten the reason why I’m thankful! Its coming my friends…soon…ish.

Well to the present thanks needed. I met Tarah through the art glass gallery that I work at, Canlis Glass. She was the intern for the Fall 2011 quarter. I’m super glad that she was able to work with me for that period of time. Her energy, smile, enthusiasm and love of owls was infectious! Plus having a girl to catch drinks with after was always an added bonus.

We swore up and down that we would stay friends after her time at Canlis Glass and we have! I will say it isn’t the same as having her around every day but I’ll take what I can get!

Right before the holidays, she and her husband Ryan invited me over to their house for dinner. I love family dinners! I grew up with them and crave that interaction at the end of the day. Tarah had a little Christmas surprise up her sleeve for me en route to her home for dinner! (Have I mentioned how much I love Christmas? No, hmmm, I must be holding back then!)

Tarah drove me to one of the largest residential Christmas light displays in Seattle!!! Meet the Menashe Family and their love/obsession with Christmas.

Basically, this girl has got me dialed in perfectly! Being able to participate in a holiday activity, have a wonderfully made dinner with her and Ryan and hang out was amazing! And I am indebted to them for introducing  me to the show, New Girl. I laughed so hard watching a few episodes of it with them. Seriously, freaking hilarious!

Some close up snapshots of the Menashe family’s house.

And in more Christmas holiday cheer, we went to Snowflake Lane in Bellevue, WA for the parade and ice skating closer to Christmas day. Oh I love the holidays!

The cute couple, Tarah & Ryan.

Does the guy on the left look familiar? Its Dan the photographer from the best friend photo shoot! We’re friends now. Cool, huh? Meet Jared and Matt too!

This guy, lets call him Joe, looks like my brother Zach. Especially when he is out on the ice flying by all the rest of us stumbling along. He has the look of determination and the classic “O” mouth formation. Yes, I accosted a complete stranger to get a snapshot with the look-a-like. I even feel like this non-smile smile is something my brother would do too!

Now for the art doodle…

To all things Christmasy- Thank You Tarah!

A Posy for Me

Inspiration by Mail

Every week I babysit this adorable little girl. She always has the brightest smile on her face and an impish twinkle in her eyes. It makes her all the more endearing.

Last week we had a rare afternoon of spring like weather. This little beauty was outside helping out daddy when I arrived. She will be a big sister soon and is taking her role very seriously. Oh to be young again!

I was emptying out my “Mary Poppins” bag later on that night and found this:

She had picked a flower just for me! The most special part for me is that she tucked into my bag for me to find later on. This Joy knows the happiness that flowers and surprises bring. I have put it in a small cordial cup on my headboard. Its such a sweet smelling sight to wake up to in the morning and blow kisses to at night.

This darling girl just turned Phree! To celebrate this special day, I made her a special crown. Perfect for the princess that she is!

I’ve been making these little crowns for all the little friends I have. My inspiration is all those times when I was younger when I would have loved to parade around the house in one of these just like Fancy Nancy.

This is the little Joy in my life. She creatively came up with this new smile just for me! Its her winking, funny, super happy laugh. Made me laugh out loud when she did it!

For all the little inspirations in your life, take notice and appreciate!

And I really am Mary Poppins! Take a look!

This was one of my Halloween costumes years ago. 🙂

Lady Luck

Inspiration by Mail

I received a note and present in the mail! Yipppppeeeeee!

My mom always seems to know when I need an smile boost. I firmly believe my mom has super powers. She can see into the future to the exact day that I will need an extra pick me up.

Mary, my mom, is incredible at showing love to me through notes and little presents. Really its the notes that get me the most. Especially now that I live across the country from her. Knowing that it takes extra effort to put her thought in an envelope, address it, stamp it and put it out for the mailman makes them even more special. Living at home when I was younger these notes would show up in my school lunches, bathroom mirror, door frame or tucked into something. Whatever form of deliver, their presence was joyfully received. I’ve saved a few of my favorites in a scrapbook  from over the years.

I have many many more that are tucked away in my “Pick-Me-Up” box. Labeled accordingly for the days where a touch of home and family are just the right medicine. I’ve had this box even when I lived with my family or close to. Sometimes a reminder is all you need to feel the love. I am happy to say I have overfilling boxes of them! (I’m not big on knickknacks but notes from special people will always be saved.)

Here are the most recent additions. They are tucked or taped into the door frame, light switch and shoe rack to remind me when ever I leave my room that I am loved. (Oh hello! Yes, that is me sans hat.)

To the package at hand. What inspiration to receive at one time! Not only a note from my mom but a little artwork to go along with it.

I don’t know whether to send these beauties (to a deserving individual!) or frame them. The cards are produced by Hope for Women, a fair trade company.  The cards featured above are flowers from El Salvador that have been arranged on the lady bust forms. All of the products sold by Hope for Women are made from artisan women who are supporting their families worldwide. A great cause to support the arts and women.

Another bonus is Aveda has partnered with Hope for Women to help promote and sell their products in the Aveda salons. What better way than women supporting women all in the name of unique beauty!  This is where my mom found these ladies after getting yet another cute haircut. Glad to say I have fashionable mother who is also aware of world issues and appreciative of the arts!

Friendly Thanks

Inspiration by Mail

Recently a friend moved into my neighborhood. I love when that happens!

She was there for me on the snowy day that I moved into my new place and I was happy to say I could do the same for her.

The wonderful Krissy sent me a Thank You note in the midst of moving to show her appreciation. What a sweetheart!

Beautiful card too! Perfect to display as rotating art. This one is sitting on my headboard/shelf next to a note from a friend. It inspires me everyday when I wake up!

The gorgeous Krissy and her new homemade curtains!

A girl’s night of Skinnygirl Sangria with our friend Erin turned into a DIY time. I love when that happens. Night owl by nature, this spare of the moment creation was right up my alley. Another reason having Krissy in the neighborhood is so much!

For the Love of Mail

Inspiration by Mail

I was the child who would walk around the house with a pen and paper; writing notes, taking my family’s food orders (“Can I take yo or-da?!”), and scribbling letters to who knows who. All of this of course was before I could even read and write.

Fast forward 20 years and nothing has really changed. I still have a penchant for paper and pens. Anything that has an extra filigree added to it or my initial is bound to be found in my desk. If I didn’t like sending mail so much I would probably hoard all the lovely items I find to display around my house or just store up in boxes.

This past week has been one inspirational mail related item after another!

Making my mom’s beef barley soup on Monday, I found a sweet little spoon rest dish in the cabinet. Another sparkle to my day!

Then while perusing the ever popular Pinterest.com, I came across these beauties. One day when I have my very own office/art room/escape, these pieces will have a home.

I would like to do this with one of the envelopes I have saved from my Grandma Bee writing me. She is always an inspiration to me in so many ways.

For Christmas, I made my niece, Jelly, a quiet book with a page that has a play mailbox. One day I will sit down at the sewing machine to make her play envelopes to go in them. For the time being, I send her tiny notes through the mail to go in it. What little girl wouldn’t love receiving stickers and other little goodies that I can find to fit into an envelope?

Audrey Hepburn will forever be a style icon that I will look up to. The day I found this I was glad to have Audrey as that person. Poise, style, and profound thoughts. (Hopefully she was the first person to come up with this quote.)

Now that you have your phrase of the day, go out and be Impossible!

Christmas Pajamas

Art Doodles

I have never received Christmas pajamas before. My mom’s tradition was new dresses on holidays. Personally, I prefer her tradition. Flowing skirts, satin ribbons and tulle. A little girl’s dream come true.

But this past Christmas I was given a pair of Christmas-y plaid pajamas from my roommate. They are delicious! Not quite like party wear attire but feels oh so much better when I’m snuggled into bed.

The roommate, Emilie, is now my former roommate. We had some good times together especially at Christmas. Walking together with the first candy canes of the season hunting out Christmas lights and singing carols. Eating Top Pot donuts only blocks from our house. Yum! Dance parties in the morning, noon or night!

I am extremely grateful that Emilie let me be her roommate.

Emilie had wanted to get me “proper” pajamas from the time that I first met her. She had a fear that there would be a fire and the firefighters wouldn’t be able to save me because I wasn’t wearing “proper” pajamas. Now that’s all taken care of!

Double Feature

A great big Thank You goes out to all the firefighters out there. I’m happy to say that I am related to such a brave individual. My cousin, Nicole, is married to firefighter, Brian. Brian is a part of the Westport Fire Department in Connecticut. Actually, I just found out after Googling (Yes, I Google people all the time even family!) that I should be calling him Lieutenant Meadows. Way to go Bri!

The adorable family at Brian’s promotion ceremony.

He was one of the men and women who volunteered their time to help out during 9/11 and the aftermath. There aren’t words enough to express the gratitude for the many men and women who helped out during that time.

To Brian & The Westport Fire Department: Station 1,

Many thanks & enjoy the goodies!

 Monster Cookies by Paula Deen

Paula Deen means one thing: Butter!

This painting sketch reminds me of the children’s books when I was younger. Especially the guy on the left who has his hands behind his back with the suspenders. Thomas the Engine would fit right in here with Sir Topham Hat.