Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Cinderella effect

Annabelle is 4. She thinks she is a princess. She has a charmed life with really great parents, fabulous grandparents:), a Sunday school teacher that understands her need to be in charge, a preschool she loves, ballet class, and all the amenities in life a 4 year old little girl could want.
She is on a good behavior program with earned puff balls, which lead to a sparkly ticket which buys her a date with Mom or Dad or Grammie or Grandad. Today she was accompanied by the 3 people who secretly wanted to see Cinderella with or without her:)
   As I watched this timeless story I felt myself transported back to my experience seeing the original animated Disney version as a child. I got teary when the stepsisters made fun of her, I cried when the stepmother and sisters tore her dress before the ball. I re-imagined what it would feel like to walk into the ball in such a beautiful dress.... still would really like a fairly godmother:) It is safe to say I really became immersed in this new movie!
   The Cinderella immersion led me to thinking about how little girls feel about themselves as they twirl around our homes in costume. Once upon a time that was me. I believe it is most little girls who come from homes where they are loved and allowed to dream.
   I have a wish for my 4 little granddaughters Annabelle & Scarlett, Savannah & Charlotte and our 5th, Madeline joining our family mid August!

Annabelle at her princess birthday party!

Savannah flits around as Tinkerbell, 
alternating with her Elsa gown:)

Scarlett dresses up with big sister 
mostly in charge of costumes:)

Charlotte makes a sweet Tiger Lily princess

   I want these precious girls to find a prince, one who is kind, hard working, steady, and opens doors (My dad was big on that!) I hope they feel beautiful even in ordinary clothes because they are kind and courageous, as this movie so beautifully portrayed in the promise Cinderella made to her mother. I pray that these little girls will be respected as women, that they will dream and achieve their dreams. I hope they will feel like a princess because they are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.
   My hopes for them echo the hopes of mother's everywhere who can remember what it felt like to believe they were a princess....before life got in the way, struggles came, and people were unkind.
Watching this movie gave me back a bit of my "princess" dreams. A hope for the future because for once Hollywood mentioned kindness and courage as the basis of a good life.
   As I am writing this it occurred to me that I am still a little princess inside and that I did find my prince who is everything this little girl hoped for. These thoughts have consumed me and so I named them the "Cinderella phenomenon".....thank goodness I can still believe in fairy godmothers, glass slippers, and twirling in big fancy dresses!

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Gardening with the blondies in only 17 steps!

I remember my Papa Geldard's garden. Rows & rows of beans, peas, & potatoes. Nellie canned everything they didn't give away. I can still hear the snap, snap of beans we "snapped" on their front porch when I was a girl.
I feel like it is my duty & right as their grandaughter & quite determined to succeed at this gardening thing! 
Brittany & I along with some adorable blondies spent a couple of days planning & planting our garden:) We cheated with plants instead of seeds, and miracle grow garden soil...Papa Geldard didn't have it so easy!

Step 1-buy dirt.
Step 2- stop at the end of the driveway and let the blondies ride on the trailer:)
Step 3 (not to do)- try and back up the heavy trailer so you can surprise hubby with
your independence, instead get hopelessly stuck on the very wet yard.
Step 3 stomp the dirt:)
Step 4-"I do it! I do it!"
Step 5-re-arange the plants in the wheelbarrow
Step 6 (optional)-get Hubby to whip out the big green tractor
and rescue suburban from yard.
Step 7, 8 & 9-bathe children until clean, this may take awhile!

Step 10-make sure almost 2 year old has plastic tools instead of metal:)
Step 11-save baby tomato plant from avalanche of dirt by well meaning almost 2 year old!
Step 11-save baby tomato plant from drowning with its first watering.
Step 12-"Look Grammie, I'm safe from the squirrels"...
which is more than the veggies may be able to say...
Step 12-"I want our garden to look like that!"...
Try and explain photo shopping and false advertising to a 4 year old.
Step 13-stand back and smile at the new dirt and hopeful green plants.
Step 14-Lecture your pregnant daughter on the dangers of over working in the garden
because she insists on playing with the tiller.
Step 15-Endure a smart comment from the son-in-law
(who thinks we will fail and who only unloaded some dirt)
"Well that looks Pinteresting"

Step 16-convince hubby to build another pallet "easel" after you took up his valuable time rescuing the suburban and because you bought too many strawberries...

Step 17.....figure out which ant killer is safe for the garden because all of the ants in the county live here and until you figure out the cure you cannot get the 5th bed planted because an ant hill the size of the superdome is preventing you from being DONE!

Monday, March 16, 2015 our guest!

"I dreamed a dream in time gone by".... Le Miserable
"You may say that I'm a dreamer, I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one"... John Lennon
"No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true." Disney's Cinderella

So many songs and quotes about dreams...I had a dream of a beautiful guest bedroom. One that didn't require hiding children's toys, moving around boxes, or blowing up an air mattress! Many years in making I am so happy with my dream:) This room once sported a train border and was a bedroom for my son Aaron. He was my Denise the Menace meets the Terminator kid and loved sneaking out late nights through the attic with his buddy Jeremy to ride the 4-wheeeler. Those nights were more nightmare, less pleasant dream:) He is lucky to be alive! Long grown up with a little family of his own, he is now a husband, father, & responsible homeowner finishing dental school. So my dream for him did come true:)

The walls are soft, dreamy buttercream.
My color inspiration came from a rug my mother gave me. 
The window frames are circa 1939ish as the original windows from Nellie's Cottage. 
Beautiful metal shutters came from a Hobby Lobby half price sale with a birthday gift card from my hubby....favorite gift ever:)
The metal word signs also came from Hobby Lobby.
The couch and chair were given to me and I had them recovered with the french bee fabric and vintage gold embroidered fabric, also free!
I found the beautiful blue and white coffee table in a lovely local shop called "Laurabelles", one of my favorite places to send guests at Nellie's Cottage.
The vintage cottage pink night stands came from another favorite local shop "Brush Stroke and Blessings"
I simply cannot part with the two different pink roses in the room. The small bush roses are circa 1996 and the large pale pink roses 2002. Nellie's had a beautiful rose garden and this is my reminder:)
When we first built my house in 1996, I was obsessed with grapes! This beautiful chandelier came from auction. I have moved it several times and decided this was the perfect room to sparkle with it's light.
I pulled together some art work and pillows that were originally in my bedroom. My favorite is an old picture of my children...they hate it! It is the last picture before our oldest son left home.
Lastly, the mirror is also circa 1996 and bright brass....used to love it:) I used a clay based patina rub and voila...1990's no more!

The only thing left to do is me sleeping and dreaming in my own guest might be fun to be my own guest....wonder who will put chocolate on my pillow, change the sheets and wash the towels?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Banish the brass!

Okay I admit it.....I really loved the shiny brass of the 90's.

Now, not so much. This mirror was a gift from my mom when we built our house in 1996. It was perfect for my guest bathroom. Banished upstairs awhile ago it has had a proper make over & now resides in my "Dream" guest bedroom. All it took was some elbow grease (barely!) & a bit of Gilder's paste, a fabulous clay based rub for just such makeovers! It only took ten minutes of dry brushing, waiting to dry, then a quick polish to a sheen. This product which is super thick like shoe polish comes in all sorts of lovely colors, this one is called patina. 

I am super happy with the result and find myself on the prowl for more 90's brass to banish!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Blueberry picking - home style album

Blueberry picking has become in the space of 3 years a Crossley tradition. We get a phone call a few days before a weekend in May. The professional pickers are gone and family and friends are invited for a weekend on the farm. My friend Susan has included our family in this circle:) It is usually hot and sticky but we love it anyway! The blueberries we pick are then frozen and rationed throughout the year for our table and Nellie's Cottage breakfast!

I have a method to my album design madness and wanted to share my process...
Firstly I believe in "One event/One design scrapbooking. Not for everything but for most things. This means I choose a page design for the event and replicate that same design on each page. My blueberry album (yes I have one because this is a continuing family tradition!) will have the years in chronological order with each year having a different layout design.
In the design process the order of my steps may change but my process is still the same. This is how this particular album evolved as I thought of the design.
First...I look at the pictures and choose the color scheme based on clothing or background. This mini paper stack was perfect!

Second...With my new circuit explorer I am discovering the joys of a huge image base. These blueberries & buckets caught my eye and the cutting began. Borders are a big design staple for me and this Martha Stewart punch added some fancy to my homey design. I estimate how many to cut based on number of pages averaging 3 pictures per page... add a couple to that estimate. I usually have more than enough. Leftovers go in the themed file for another layout!

Third...I have become more crop happy and less afraid of losing an inch or two. My favorite picture  size is 4x4. It is a good idea to make sure you aren't cropping out important background elements that help tell the story.

Fourth...The background was a hard decision. I wanted white to brighten the layout but needed a top piece which became garden green. I inked the edges of the white. I pulled out my old design scissors for the green and inked those edges as well.

Fifth...There were too many pattern I loved in this collection so I decided to "quilt" my background which went perfectly with the homey look I wanted for these layouts. The corners were rounded on each 6x6 and then cut in half. 

Sixth...I am typically partial to mats, especially for a more traditional look. The pictures are laid out on the background and if I think something is missing...a "matting" we will go! Thrifty to the bone, I always punch something out of the middle of each mat. I have a nice collection of paper embellishments, journaling circles, etc. ready to go.

Seventh...even though I already put the pictures in a stack according to order I always lay them out on my bed to make sure I have the best order for telling the story.

Eighth.. After all of the elements are ready and in assembly line style the pictures go on all of the pages first, then the embellishments follow. I am partial to 3M mounting tape for adding dimension. Tiny details like buttons will go on last.

This is a vintage blueberry from Flossy's sewing stash!

The title background is packaging from Prima flowers...I am a scrapbooking hoarder:)

Ninth...after the album is done I take pictures of the album on the back porch. This is faster than scanning-which is what I used to do. I simply want to have a digital copy of my albums for security, printing later for my children, and blogging:)

In 2013 we went late in the day and had a glorious sunset! 
I didn't take many pictures because it got dark and I am not camera smart enough to change the settings. Probably should read "Photography for dummy's"....:)

2012...Our first year, just me & Danielle. As usually no photographic evidence that I exist...working on that!