Tuesday, September 30, 2008

a big orange crush, oh i mean bang. a big orange bang

{collage by jek in the box}

Well here we are one day away from October. I sit here writing and blinking in disbelief. When did time speed up? Where was I?

I'm thinking we need to start the month off with a bang. How about a give away? How about TWO giveaways? Sheesh! I wish I had a friend like me who was always giving stuff away.

Okay, I'm ready to send out these little hair pins to anyone who leaves a comment. I make hair accessories in my spare time. Have I ever told you that?

These little darlins will snaz up a bun in no time. I call this set "Fancy Schmacy Fall".

Also, Holly from Winklepots is poised and ready to ship this fun pair of candy corn pony bows.

Holly is an accountant turned mom/children's designer. She has two little bambinos that run around while she creates hand painted children's clothes and little curly bows.

Please leave a separate comment for each item you would like to win. The winner will be announced on Thursday morning.

Monday, September 29, 2008

going, going, gone

I woke up today to thunder. I am yet to see any rain, but I am hopeful. I think a little comfort food on a rainy day is just what the doctor ordered.

Rosie is headed home to her busy collage life. We always feel a little down when guests leave. The house gets a little quieter and we all look at each other as if we had just gotten bad news.

The winner of the Mountain Aven baby tee is comment #26, Kim of Circles are Forever. The winner of the Wendy Conrad stationary is comment #15, Cate of Sugarblossom Cate. Please contact me with your shipping information. aprilcmeeker@hotmail.com

Sunday, September 28, 2008

the domestication of rosie

Rosie and my brother broke up six months ago. Rosie and I never broke up. We are still good friends. And we try not to talk to much about my brother, but it is hard. Ryan is larger than life.

Rosie is almost done with her college degree in human performance. She is one of the irritating skinny girls who never eat sugar and only drink water. She fully disapproves of my Redbull habit.

So Rosie is busy and unmarried and totally non-domestic. She claims she really is a good cook, she just doesn't- cook that is. Something about a delicious lasagna came up, but I'm yet to see her chef anything more than a turkey sandwich.

She claims she dislikes children, and yet she has been my live in nanny while she has been here. She and Thom caught 55 potato bugs and 11 snails. I think the whole "disliking children" is a rouse.

It was time to share my appreciation for domestic arts with my friend. And so we made an apron. She isn't quite sure when she will be able to wear it. She decided she would put it on when she gets someone in her family a glass of water.

On the agenda for tomorrow- how to barbecue lobster (lobster season started yesterday) and prepare artichokes with garlic butter dip.

I'll make a domestic goddess of her yet.

You have until tomorrow morning to put your name in for the drawings. Come one, come all!

Friday, September 26, 2008

free friday

I know that as soon as you got on my blog, read the word free and saw this adorable tee, you nearly jumped out of your skin. Don't worry. It's a normal reaction. Quite frankly, I can't believe that I actually have to give this shirt away. And I don't even have a daughter (yet). Is it unethical to pose as a woman named Oola and leave a comment on my own blog? Hummm. I sometimes wish my name was Oola. Does that count?

Mountain Aven Baby is owned by a stay-at-home mom (my favorite kind of mom) from Wyoming, who started making clothes for her own children and then was wise enough to start selling them to others. Lucky, lucky us! When Mei Mei arrives I will be ordering a Koto Japanese lounge set. Because that's what we like to do around here. Lounge. Here's a few of my favs.

1. Hoot Owl Lounge Set 2. Mod Trees and Dots Jumper 3. Koto Japanese Lounge Set 4. Mirabella and Dots Jumper 5. Fungi Funkadelic Mushroom Tee 6. Orange Bird Lounge Set 7. Winterbird Tee 8. Pretty as a Peacock Tee

Okay people, if you want some of this goodness you better hurry. Blair is going on maternity leave mid-November so you need to place orders soon.

This would be where I tell you to leave a comment to win the tee. However, if only one name were to show up under comments, say someone named Oola, that would be fine with me.

As usual, the winner will be randomly picked on Monday. Keep reading, there is more free stuff below.

and for the next free item. . .

Haven't you always wanted something from the mountains in Georgia? I have. Wendy Conrad lives and works from her home in Blairsville Georgia. She creates various kinds of art, some of which is her sweet and simple stationary. Not only does Wendy use only recycled products in her art, she donates a portion of her sales to various animal charities. She's the kind of eco-friendly girl I really want to be. I'm still working on using these when I go shopping.

So ladies, get yourself a nice drink, go to Wendy's shop and browse. You'll be glad you did.

Up for grabs on this fine day: one set of Wendy's stationary with the "tree" and "tweet" design. You know how it goes. Leave a comment, be in the running.

Win this Stationary!

Leave a comment!

Winner will be randomly selected on Monday, September 29th.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

rosie comes to town

The winner of the key fob is comment #3 from Leslie. I am particularly glad that Leslie won. She and I have become friends (of sorts- cyber friends) lately. I am quite sure that if Leslie lived close, she and I would be tight. Leslie's blog is a room somewhere. Over the past few weeks she has raised $3254.00 for Stephanine and Christain Neilson. She is still auctioning off various fun things to add to the fund. Stop by her blog and see what she's got going on.

In other news, Rosarita (no they aren't back together) will be flying in today to spend some time with yours truly. After I pick her up from the airport, we will be headed over to see a Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit, maybe catch some lunch down town, and then to the art store to pick up some canvases. I may force her to collage with me while she is here.

Should be a fun day. Make sure you stop by tomorrow. The giveaways are extra great.
Georgia O'Keeffe

Summer Days 1936

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

why i wear cowboy boots

There is a woman who lives in my community that is very highly respected. A few years ago I had occasion to be in contact with her on a daily basis. She was always extremely polite and professional. She had this way about her that was somehow condescending in a very backhanded way. When she said "Please come in" I heard "Shut up, sit down and if you get mud on my carpet I will stab you with the same knife that I used to cut the homemade brownies". So I was a little afraid of this woman and really very intimidated. I felt like a dog with a submissive urination problem. Every time I was around her I clinched every muscle and prayed I didn't soil her sofa.

And then, as these types of women tend to do, she pushed me just a little to far. She found my Achilles heel and she jabbed. She made me second guess my parenting. Even as the mother bear in me was rearing up, she knew just what to say to send me away with my tail between my legs. The whole thing was really quite pathetic.

One morning, as I was doing some shopping downtown and getting myself geared up to spend some time with this woman, a guy ten years my younger whistled at me. I had on old jeans and my cowboy boots. Now I'm all for women's lib and curbing sexual harassment, but I have to say, it felt pretty damn good. It reminded me who I am. I am not some spineless joke of a woman. My ancestors were pioneers, women of the Wild West. Women with guts and moxie. Tough gals. I went to that lady's house that day. I smiled nicely and spoke kind words. But I'm quite sure that what she heard was "Back off sister before I put these boots to good use." She has since subsided into the background of my life. I don't see her around a whole lot, but I am glad we tangled. It reminded me who I am.

I wear my boots all winter long. I wear them with jeans. I wear them with skirts. If you have never put on a pair of cowboy boots, give them a try. They may put a little hitch in your giddy up that will be just the thing you need.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled program of sweet words and nice thoughts.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Far East Garden Necklace

I know a couple, and I won't name names here for embarrassment sake, who had their tub refinished. A man came to their house and spent a couple of days in their bathroom. A few days later, the wife went looking for her jewelry. She couldn't find it. After an extensive search of the house, the husband and wife came to the conclusion that the tub repairman must have taken it. They called up the company and made their accusations. Later that day, the wife found her jewelry tucked under the mattress in the guest bedroom where she had put it for safe keeping some time before. They called the tub company and made their apology and also mentioned that the tub needed a little more work. They spent a very uncomfortable day avoiding the tub man when he came back out to their house. I know this story sounds like something I'd do, but I promise I wasn't me.

A little while ago I bought a new jewelry torch. It sat in my studio for a while because I never got around to having the tanks filled. A couple of weekends ago, I finally got some oxygen and gas and was ready to fire up the torch. BUT- it has gone missing. The entire torch, gauges, tubes, you name it. GONE. I really, really want to accuse someone of taking it, but really, if you were going to steal something, I'm kind of doubtful it would be a torch. I just don't think there are that many robber/jewelry makers running around.

If you have read my blog for a while you will know how I feel about loosing things. As of right now, there are three things in my life that are completely lost. A torch, a set of Japanese prints and a small bag of silver necklaces. My life would be so complete if only I could find these things. If you feel so compelled to come over to my house and search for a while, I'd be grateful.

I recently meet a girl who is doing her part in the world to keep people like me (the ones who continually loose things) sane. She makes key fobs. They are super cute and bright which makes finding your keys easier. Corri is a college student who is making and selling her wears on Etsy. She has a ton of different designs in her shop and she sells her fobs for only $5.75. If you are a key loser like me, definitely check out her work. It's always great to help out a student!

Also, Corri has been kind enough to donate her most popular fob as a give away. If you leave a comment, your name will go in the drawing. A winner will be selected on Thursday morning.

Win this key fob! Leave a comment!

Monday, September 22, 2008


The weekend was completely exhausting, exhilarating, frustrating, satisfying and fun. Oh, and did I say exhausting?

The Anahata workshop was amazing. Ana is amazing. She is so loose and free when she paints. Nothing is an accident or unfixable. I could really use a big dose of what she has. Not only does she have wonder talent, she is a completely warm and charismatic person to boot. If I didn't love her, I'd hate her.

We worked on two projects. I hated the piece I did the first day. It has since grown on me and I will be working on it some more to see if I can make it "wall worthy". I ended up really liking the piece I did yesterday. I went into the project with a clear concept in my mind. As I worked my ideas changed and evolved, but the piece still became what I wanted it to be. I will be framing it and putting it up in the nursery. Someday my little girl will look at it and know she was in my heart long before she was born.

I am now completely obsessed with college. I have two canvases that are whispering my name, and a pile of laundry that is screaming. Ahhh- such is the plight of a wannabe artist housewife.

The winner of the Trash Ties is Jill, the girl who left the second comment. The the winner of the birthday banner is Michelle. Congratulations! I'm excited for you. Ladies, please contact me with your shipping information.

This Friday I've got hand printed stationary and children's clothes to give away so stop by!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

hero work

Don't forget to put your name in the drawing on the two previous posts. The winner will be picked tomorrow morning.

I got a call in the middle of the afternoon last week. It went like this:


"Hi, this is John from San Diego Search and Rescue calling."

Oh good grief, what now?

"Hi, has something happened?"

"Oh no, is Ben around?"

"Uh, no he's at work."

I think he's at work, could be anywhere really.

"Oh well, I'm calling to set up an interview and I was wondering if he could come tonight at 8:30."

"An interview?"

"Yeahhhh. He applied."


What in the SAM HELL is he up to? He already has a job. A good one.

"I guess he didn't mention this."

"Well, no, but I'm fairly sure you've got the right number. This sounds like him."

Nature boy.

Chuckle. Chuckle."I have a cell number, should I call that?"

Hummm. Should I play gate keeper and mess with Ben a little?

"Yep, he should answer his cell."

"Okey Dokey."

I guess that is how the mountain people talk- "Okey dokey mam, everything is going to be just fine once we wrench your body from this rock crevice and life flight you outta here."

I actually really love when things like this happen. It gives me what I like to call "emergency conversation starters", ECS for short. I bide my time and when something comes up, say, an errant charge to Anthropolgie on the American Express, I can quickly divert the situation by dropping a ECS and I'm golden.

On Friday John called back to tell Sugar Daddy he was in. They had one slot to fill for the entire county and they choose him. He is now a volunteer Search and Rescue guy. He has to get ready for helicopter training on the weekends. Yeah, Ben thinks he's pretty cool now. And actually, other than the worries I have of him tumbling off a cliff, or out of a helicopter, I thinks he's pretty cool too. And sexy. I will have to share my hero with other people now, but I learned to share in kindergarten so I don't mind.

I'm thinking that design Sunday might go away since I will be featuring a shop every Friday. What do you think?

Friday, September 19, 2008


Only wonderful things could come out of a studio like this. And they do.

A few months ago I ran across Heather Baily's site. I instantly feel in love with Trash Ties and I ordered a set of small and large. They are really great for a girl like me who, most days, has exactly 23 seconds to do something with my hair. I'm a big proponent of the bun. Buns are the saving grace of working women. Back and up is the only way to go when you are welding a jewelry torch or wrestling small children during church. Thing is, I'm not really the slick, manicured bun type of gal. I'm more of the messy, funky type so Trash Ties are perfect for me.

Yeah, I like to trash it up every now and then.

Go to Heather's site and check out the other great stuff she is doing. Then come back and leave a comment to be in the drawing for Trash Ties. A winner will be randomly chosen on Monday.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

birthday season

According to Hallmark, August is the month with the most birthdays. I guess they'd be the people who would know that type of thing.



It's birthday season around here. The entire side of my husband's family has their birthdays within two months of each other. Ben and I are the lone rangers in December and April. So there is a fair amount of celebrating going on. And gift buying.

It's not that I don't enjoy finding gifts for people. Everyone knows I don't need much of an excuse to hit the shops. It's just that it can be a little overwhelming. Granted, some people are easier than others. For example, you could buy my brother-in-law a garden hedger or a six pack of fancy beer and he'd be as happy as a clam. But some people, they pose a bit of a challenge. I'm not naming names here (mother-in-law), or pointing fingers (father-in-law), but if those individuals would be willing to create a list of items for me to choose from (hint), it would probably help get rid of the pinching sensation I feel at the base of my neck whenever I set out to find just the right thing to give them.

Who is the Birthday Queen? Jerusalem Greer!

I have a new friend on Etsy that makes having a birthday funner than ever. Jeruselum (isn't that a great name?) of Storia Home makes and sells her fabulous party decorations. She has a darling blog and a inspirational website. She has just the thing for your next party.

Here is her personal Manifesto:

"Make Do and Mend!" Taken from a poster from the WW II era this phrase sums up everything for me. Learning to "Make Do" can be the very thing that spurs on great creativity and it can also be a way to save the planet, one vintage find at a time!

AND you lucky people have a chance to win the birthday banner in the first photo. Simply leave a comment on this post and I will use my little random number picker to select a winner on Monday!

I want to wish my good friend Becky a happy birthday today! You look fabulous darrrrrllling!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

i think you need some new jewelry

I've been doing a little homework over the past couple of days. My art class is coming up this weekend and we were asked to find images to use in our college pieces. I, of course, am doing a Chinese theme. Surprise, surprise. I will be sure to post the results of my labors next week. However, if my pieces end up looking like a child made them, as I suspect they might, I'll post someone else's work, and just tell you I made it.

So as I have been wandering around the internet looking for inspiration, as I so love to do, I found this bedding.

Folks, let me tell you that the only thing that is holding me back from ordering this right now is the jaw dropping price tag. Just to give you an idea, see the darling little pillow in the first photo? The one with the heart melting little pagoda on it. It's $79.

(Here's the part where I play on your sympathies.) I think a little girl who has spent the first year of her life in a drab, colorless crib deserves this bedding don't you? I think my little china doll needs this bedding. Think of buying Secondsister jewelry as a donation to my nursery fund.

Cherry Blossom Necklace

I'll be listing this little trinket today. It's only $12. I think you need it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

a couture cubical

A team of researchers explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction in a 10-month study of participants' behavioral and emotional responses to receiving flowers. The results show that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods.

"What's most exciting about this study is that it challenges established scientific beliefs about how people can manage their day-to-day moods in a healthy and natural way," said Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Rutgers and lead researcher on the study.

I have been told, by a few choice and dear people, that I can be a teensy bit moody. Bless their soles. I don't know if any of the tens of people that read this blog noticed, but last week, I was a little down. This morning when I arrived at my work space (a.k.a. the kitchen) the first thing I noticed was the flowers I had bought myself yesterday. This is a little present I give myself every week. A $10 bouquet from the market. I didn't buy any flowers last week. I think that seeing the flowers helped boost my spirits and set the tone for the rest of the day.

Here I am, at my work space (the tidy one) in my uniform. Photography credits must go to one five year old boy who, after many tries didn't get me actually looking at the camera, but who, nevertheless gave a valiant effort. I am happy to claim the kitchen island as my personal work space, if only I could get people to take a number when they want something.

I'd just like to put in a little plug for beautifying you life. If you can't buy flowers, grow them. If you can't grow them, steal the neighbors. I think it is vital to surround yourself with things that inspire you. If you're not a flower girl, get some fruit or art, or gosh, I don't know, a great cupcake or a fabulous pair of shoes, and put them on your desk. I would go so far as to tack up damask wall paper in my cubical. Do whatever you can get away with, your moods will thank me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

drum roll please

The winner of the earrings is. . .

the nineteenth comment made by Fancy Nancy, who has a cute little blog about family life, my favorite kind. I used the random number picker to select my winner.

Okay, I will be doing another give away this Friday so tune in.

Today is the big launch of my Fall collection. I will be listing several new items every day.

I will also, another drum roll please, be marking down some of my pieces! Soooo, watch the store for new items and sale items.

In our house we like to play a little game called "If you could be anywhere today". Usually Sugar Daddy is doing some kind of nature thingy, with lots of hiking and sweating, because he's that kind of guy. I am usually in some sort of shopping environment with lots of extra cash rattling around in my new Orla Kiely handbag. But today, today I just want to be lounging on this bed with these pillows reading a really good book.

Well, I might still have the handbag, sitting close with my cell phone handy for anyone who might call to tell me how wonderful the Fall collection is.

Monday blahs? Here's a joke.

What did the bra say to the hat?

You go on a head, I'm gunna give these two a lift.

Friday, September 12, 2008

on an up note. . .

I know, I know, a Secondsister Jewelry giveaway has been a long time coming, but here it is! These lovely "Meadow" earrings are up for grabs! Leave a comment, and on Monday I'll use one of the weird little online random number picker thingys to choose a winner. Tell your friends! Shout it out! FREE JEWELRY HERE! GET YOUR FREE JEWELRY!

That's not all I have for you either. After a small stint of moodiness this past week, I thought I'd share a few more reasons to be happy about today.

Now available through Nendo- chocolate pencils. Yes, indeed ladies, chocolate pencils. Now, for all intents and purposes, these pencils were created to use as a baking tool to create shavings for desserts. However, I see no reason to spend time sharpening the pencils just so you can get a miniscule amount of chocolate on top of your molten lava cake. I intend to eat these pencils like a carrot. That's how I roll.

As long as we are talking about chocolate, and all things wonderful, check this. My baby sister and her hubby will be married 5 years this November and I happen to know that they are more in love today than they were on their wedding day. Believe in marriage.

Every parent, ahem, every good parent, thinks that their baby's bottom is the cutest thing around. We can't help it. It comes with the territory. I gave birth to my son and in the midst of all the emotion and commotion, I distinctly remember thinking, "Well look at that. That is about the cutest bum I've ever seen." And then I collapsed from exhaustion.

So in China, they put their children in bottomless pants. They say it is for practical reasons, you know, for potty training and all, but I'm not so sure. Baby bottoms- another reason to smile today.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

martha stewart has ruined reality

Principal's Ring

When I was little, I loved to play school. I, of course, was always the teacher, while my little sister assumed the part of my pupil. Bossy people tend to like to be the teacher. That's just the way things are.

Sometimes I still wish I was the teacher. In Chicago, or some other weatherly place. Then I could wear clothes like these.

And I could take an apple to school in one of these.

I have been under the impression for some years now that the world of pretend is owned and run by children. However, I have been pleasantly surprised to find that, at 34, my imagination is as active as ever. Sometimes it causes problems. Like when I conjure up grandiose plans for parties, projects, vacations and the like. Martha Stewart has ruined reality. But every now and then it really comes in handy. Like when I'm feeling down and out, or just generally unattractive. There are a handful of stores that I go to that make me feel better. I don't even buy anything.

Sometimes I sit on the sofas at Z Gallery and pretend it is my living room. I love to walk slowly around Armstrong Gardens and listen to the classical music. It makes me feel cultured. And sometimes, just sometimes, when I'm having a skinny day, I go to Anthropologie and try on outfits that are way out of my price range and spritz on perfume that is not my personality at all.

And if I really need a pick-me-up, I tip toe into my son's room when he is sleeping and touch his soft cheeks, which are the only baby thing to be found on his skinny little boy body, and pretend that he is one again and we have all our happy days ahead of us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

working girl

Here's a little sneak peak of what's to come.

I can't decide if I feel like a Christmas elf or a sweat shop worker. I have been camped at my work bench, feverishly knotting, twisting, designing and sweating. (Don't forget! September 15th, I will start listing the Fall collection in my shop. Come one, come all!) I can't wait for cooler weather- or a new indoor studio. Hummmm- not likely, better just bide my time and wait for Fall. Which could be a while. We don't see sweater weather until damn near December around here.

I am, however, having my own little Autumn season in my mind, living vicariously through the internet, the wonderful place that it is. I've been looking at all kinds of warm bundly clothes that are one hundred percent impractical for a girl like me to own. The photos for the new collection aren't helping any either. Just look at them! Don't you want to curl up with a warm cider and knit a little?

See this hunka, hunka burning love?

I've been a wee bit testy to him today. Sometimes I'd like to step out of myself and slap the back of my own head.