a little sneak preview!

here's what i've been working on/thinking/doing this week...

  • coming soon to a craft show near you!



  • fall weather! baking pumpkin muffins... i used double the pumpkin in the recipe and overfilled them to make big muffin tops!



  • starting a new day job today... looooove the discount
  • fall colors! (and i'm wearing an apple-red sweater too, it's finally cold enough)



  • and wishing i was there again... i don't think i was done vacationing yet!



thinking ornaments in october

i'm peeking my head out from under a huuuuuge pile of craft show preparations! it's getting very close to crunch time (november 10th) and i refuse to replicate the madness that was the crafter's flea market, the last show i did (sometime last year, i think it was). at about midnight the night before the show, as i finished up the last piece i was making, i realized that i had not yet started pricing anything. and of course, knowing me, i couldn't just slap a price tag on everything. oh no. they had to each be hand-tea-dyed, hand-stamped with the prices, and have hand-written explanations of the type of stones used (i was making only jewelry at the time). oh, and add in there that they also had to be hand-dried with my blow dryer when they weren't dry fast enough to do the stamping and writing... long story short... i went to bed at 3 am the night before the show and had to be there at about 8am to get it set up. i am also incredibly not a morning person. i'd like to also take this chance to thank my husband again for not killing me, as he stayed up with me and even did most of the blow-drying.

generally, not the best plan.

it's also my goal to be much more organized and official this time around in the sense that i'm getting a full inventory done in time so i can keep up with things like, oh i don't know, which items sold and how much i sold them for (details, details). i'm also trying to make the packaging, display, etc a little more cohesive and professional looking as well.

you can expect to see lots of ornaments (including my favorite beaded stars) and others, lots of new notecards, sundress totes, and quite a bit of jewelry, including a big batch of petite treasure necklaces that i'm currently taking a break from putting the finishing touches on. check out an old post from my launch party to see a general idea of what my booth will look like! i'm in the process of getting a test run all set up in my dining room to see exactly what else i need to get done.

in the meantime, i've discovered the gorgeous and inspiring work of the lovely flea market studio! she has some of the coolest ideas i've seen in a long time... adorable birthday party boxes (she even lets you peek at the contents), beautiful and simple french-inspired packaging, and an ingenious use for an unexpected item. not to mention, of course, an etsy shop! it's so great to find new inspiration from crafters who seem to have it all together just when i'm working on re-focusing my overly abundant array of creative ideas.

back to the ornament making...


marche aux puces (flea market)!

ok, i've been saving one of the best parts of our trip to paris until now. i was proud of myself for having done a little research before we left about where to find a great flea market ... i was envisioning finding some magical box of old french treasures that would create amazing jewelry or totally transform our house into a subtle yet amazing french chateau farmhouse. well, between a very tight budget and being entirely overwhelmed at the wonderful-ness of it all (not to mention wondering how i'd get it all home on the plane) i didn't purchase a single thing.

when we first got off at the correct metro station and began walking in the direction towards it, i was immediately disappointed. we were besieged with people selling fake designer knock-off sunglasses and belts, and booth after booth of the typical cheap imported crap. we might as well have been in new york or any other large american city. was this what i flew for 7 hours for? was i wrong to expect to walk into marie claire maison?

then we turned a corner.

the crowds thinned a bit. we heard a man playing the stand-up bass and singing and the sunshine became brighter and warmer (not kidding).






this was my favorite section of the market... we stumbled into it from the back and saw this entryway sign on the way out:


many of the vendors had set out snacks such as grapes or crackers and cheese or mini pastries for their passers-by. some of them were just hanging out, making a day of it, sitting at the chairs and tables they were selling, having a glass of wine together. of course, many had their little dog making himself right at home beneath the chair or even snuggled up on a blanket on top of some heirloom antique furniture worth thousands of euros.



the space that these few pictures are from, i could have literally moved right in and lived in. just outside the door at a corner cafe, there were a few guys playing guitar and accordion, singing the jaunty little songs from chocolat (i literally thought to myself, that sounds like the song from chocolat. wait, that is the song from chocolat!)


hmm, who can that handsome tourist be that snuck into the last one there?


authentic french blue toile and wood with a story to tell (in other words, aged by actual time and wear, not purposeful "antiquing"). take that, shabby chic.



so these are definitely why i'm feeling a huge burn to completely redecorate my house! just look at that huge crusty bread. is it bad that i'm making a resolution to drink more wine? also, i'm renewing my plan to fill my house with all mis-matched creamy white dishes and to re-cover my dining room chairs.


it's amazing how a visit to a different culture can completely refresh and renew you. we still came home to the same old stresses and frustrations that day-to-day life can and does bring, yet i'm craving a change that i know i can initiate in myself. even just looking at these pictures makes me want to go read a book and drink a glass of wine... to stop and enjoy life for a minute. to work hard and appreciate an occupation, but also to relish in the downtime. to linger over a meal. to have coffee and dessert and to stop rushing. i've written about it before, but it's still a goal to live more intentionally. to stop letting time "get away from me" and to do it all in a house that reflects our tastes, to quit waiting around in case we move. i'm going to start by ordering some large prints of these photos to hang in my dining room! i hope you enjoyed the pictures!


a fair fall.

so things are pretty much back to what we call normal around here... which means of course, that this week has totally run away with me. (or without me?) but the weather has been fantastic, and i'm feeling that fresh feeling of fall, where you want to go buy pumpkins and brand new unsharpened pencils and elmer's glue like that scene in you've got mail when meg ryan is talking about how much she loves fall in new york. fall is one of the seasons that north carolina actually does well, and it's really my favorite time of year. between the 90s of summer and the low 40s of "winter," i really love that jeans and tshirt and flip flops stage. here are my favorite things about fall right now:

it must be that back-to-school feeling again, but something about fall makes me want to throw away everything in my closet and start completely over with all the cute stuff that's out there right now. maybe it's all the rich colors and the fact that you can finally wear sleeves again... or maybe it's the bevvy of cute flats! what are you loving about fall? here's an official invitation to all of you who may be lurking out there... de-lurk and leave me a little hello!

i think there are others who are feeling fall as well... and if you make the mistake of going into williams sonoma like i did, be forewarned that they will try to tempt you with pumpkin waffles with pumpkin whip cream! i'm headed out this afternoon to the nc state fair which is definitely one of my all-time favorite things about fall, again, mostly for the food! fresh apple cider, dill pickles, maple cotton candy, and of course, the typical "fair food" like caramel apples and funnel cake... mmmm. hopefully we won't almost throw up on the way home again this year. there is something both wonderful and at the same time sad in realizing that you may be past the age where you can eat all of the above-mentioned and go upside down on a crazy fair ride and not suffer the ill-effects!


ahhh, home.

after a loooong day of travel it's so great to finally sleep in your own bed. other than a little confusion over being very sleepy at times we should be awake and very awake at times we should be sleepy, things are good.

so come take a walk through paris! we'll pass little shops and cafes:



with their offerings for the day on full display:


we'll stop for a little croque monsieur for lunch (and bien sur! the coca light):


and maybe a little something else that just can't be resisted:


then maybe we'll brave the passage up to montmartre:


but don't worry, the view will be completely worth it.


we'll visit the artisans hard at work:



and find other mysterious little city nooks to explore.


and even if we take the metro everywhere throughout the journey:


we'll still collapse into bed each night with tired and sore little feets.


we really did have a wonderful and exhausting trip. it was so nice to be able to go to paris this time, after having lived in france for a year when i studied abroad, and it not feel so much like a tourist trip. there was this freedom to only take pictures of the things that really caught me, so much so that it almost felt like photojournalism. come check out our flickr for many many more pictures soon and a little more explanation. the best part was remembering just how small you feel next to the eiffel tower.


it feels like living in a little haze to come back to everything the same but different. i was ready to come home after the week of being gone because trying to speak french all the time and the constant mental translating was so tiring, but of course now that we're home there are so many things i miss. i guess my ideal would be somewhere between the two, and you really only get two options... elements of french life in america or elements of america in france. of course, i know i'm probably not the first person to feel that way, and part of the haze i'm sure is just the jet lag. and oh, what a lovely anniversary week! (happy 3 years babe, thanks for carrying the heavier suitcase!)



and here comes paris.

on one lovely day in this impetuous world...


there was one beautiful beginning...

and one quiet end for two different people i love very much.

tomorrow we will leave for our much-anticipated and much-needed vacation and anniversary adventure. i'm craving the possibility of leaving all the stress behind and just being us together. for three years now, as of october 2nd, i've laughed and cried with someone who knows the importance of creating something permanent in this immediate and disposable world, at the same time knowing how very not permanent we all really are. our story is simple and sweet...


...first came love


...then came paris


... and here comes two people who believe in happily ever after (and paris again!).


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