Saturday, December 14, 2013

a sad goodbye

hi, you guys.  here i am, once again, apologizing for a long absence.  i haven't been here in almost 2 months and i'm sorry for that.  on November 1st, my mother passed away very unexpectedly.  i've mentioned in the past that i live on the west coast, having left my family home in New York to move to California nearly 10 years ago.  i have always known that the day would come when the phone would ring and news of the worst kind would be waiting on the other end; i just wasn't expecting it now.

needless to say, we traveled to NY as soon as we could and the kids and i stayed for 3 weeks.  my dad and my sister needed me and i needed to be with them, in my mom's home, surrounded by her things, as difficult and surreal as that was.  my parents had already planned to come out here for Thanksgiving and my dad said he still wanted to come so he came back with the kids and me.  i think it probably did him some good to get out of the house for awhile and i know i was glad to have him here.  

he returned home in early December, and things here have returned to normal; Hoss is at work during the day, the kids are back to their routines, i have work to do...but i still miss my mother incredibly, and most of all when i sit down at my desk to work.  she was always creative and crafty and there's no doubt that's where my craftiness comes from.  she was my inspiration for so many of the things i did/do here in this space and she had so much love for everything that i made.  i've spent quite a bit of time in the last couple of weeks just sitting here and crying because it's hard to look around and not see something she gave me.  i'm reminded so often of one of the biggest gifts she gave me--the gift of putting my idle hands to good use and CREATING something.

the most difficult thing has been to try and write this post knowing there will be no email about it from her tomorrow, like she's always done in the past.  there will be no comment in my Facebook feed from her and it won't be shared on her Facebook page, like she's always done in the past.  there will be no comment here from her at the end of the post, like she NEVER did in the past because, for some reason, she just could not figure out how to leave one!  it used to drive me crazy.

my mother was my number one fan and most energetic supporter.  i will miss her in all aspects of my life and i will especially miss her here.

in the coming weeks, i may tell you more about her.  i may tell you more about what happened.  i may tell you more about being back "home."  if i do, it won't be to depress or make you sad; it will be to remind you that you can triumph in the face of adversity--my mother did.  it will be to remind you that life is short so make sure you're living it and loving it.  it will be to remind you that there are so many kind and generous people out there and they will help you make it through life's most painful and difficult moments.

or i may not.  i don't know.

before i sign off, i'd like to leave you with a couple of things.  the first is my mom's obituary.  my dad and sister helped come up with the key points we wanted to be sure to mention and then they asked me to put it into words that captured her spirit.  it's no easy task trying to sum up a loved one's life in a few hundred words, but since most of you reading this entry didn't know her, perhaps this will shed a sliver of light on the wonderful woman she was.

Kathleen Warfield Burdick

Kathleen Warfield Burdick passed away unexpectedly on Friday, Nov. 1, at her home.  Kathy was born on March 4, 1950, in Penn Yan, NY, and raised on Brandy Bay, which fueled her lifelong love for Keuka Lake.  After graduating from Keuka College in 1972, she taught at Dundee Central School for 34 years, where her most favorite thing was to teach elementary school children how to read.

While working with her husband on their grape farm early in their marriage, she developed a great love and advocacy for the NY state wine and grape industry.  She was a charter member of Women for NYS Wine, and in her later years, tried never to miss a day without a glass of wine.

She wrote features for local newspapers, including a weekly column of happenings at the Bluff Point United Methodist Church, where she was also an active member.  Among other things, she had been a church treasurer and the pianist for the Sunday School and choir.

Often found helping out other people, Kathy was a member of various groups and organizations including Friends of the Penn Yan Public Library, Yates County Retired Teachers, PEO, and The Living Well.  She was also an election worker.

If you met her on the street, she would always have a kind word for and be happy to see you.  She was known for sending warm notes that she hand-made for birthdays, celebratory events, or simply because she was thinking of someone.

Kathy enjoyed gardening and decorating her house for each season and holiday.  She kept an inviting home full of personal touches and family photos.  She was married to her high school sweetheart for 43 years.

She loved her 5 grandchildren with all of her heart and cherished every moment she spent with each of them, playing games, singing songs, and just being their sweet “Neena.”

She is survived by her husband Phil; daughters Rebecca (Arvin) Luminarias of Irvine, CA, and Emily (Michael) Enslow of Waterloo, NY; grandchildren Augustus and Anemone Luminarias, and Violet, Hazel, and Iris Enslow; sister Constance (Thomas) Murphy; and brother Bruce (Betsy) Warfield.

She was predeceased by her parents, Robert and Margaret, brother Robert, brother-in-law Douglas Burdick. And her beloved golden retriever Mendel.

Her thoughtful and generous spirit will be greatly missed.

the second thing is lyrics to a song called "Lullaby Requiem."  the song was written by Neil Finn and i always found it to be incredibly moving; now i find it to be incredibly true. 

Goodnight, bless you
Let angels possess you
You'll make dreams of another life

Don't think it's too much
To close eyes and leave us
In strange places we'll come undone

And the building blocks sometimes have to crash
They’re not meant to last like a mother's love

It’s real life
It's all true
You know how I'll miss you
In quiet places I'll come undone

And the building blocks sometimes have to crash
They’re not meant to last like a mother's love
Sleep comes when all is laid to rest
That's when you'll find what you're looking for

Strange feelings you can't explain
Wild forces you can't contain

And the building blocks sometimes have to crash
They’re not meant to last like your mother's love
Peace comes when fear is laid to rest
That's when you'll find what you're looking for 

Lullaby Requiem
By Neil Finn

thanks for staying so long tonight; i've dreaded writing this post because i'm heartbroken my mother won't be reading it.  but if there's anyone who would want me to continue after her loss, it would surely be her.
{i love you, Mom}

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

happy haunting!

hey there, how've you been?  everyone getting ready for Halloween?  Mr. Bagubian's been talking about "going to Halloween" for a couple months now.  he's insistent upon being a monkey this year, but he was a monkey when he was 1 so i'm trying to get him to change his mind.  we had him on the cusp of being a firefighter tonight at dinner, but we'll see what happens when we ask him about it again tomorrow.  he'd like Nemy to be a "tiny, tiny witch."

i've got some Halloween treats to share tonight...i don't do too much for this holiday but i did have a bit more fun this year than i normally do.  everything here is in my Etsy shop and it's ALL ON SALE!

first up is one of my goodie/favor bag kits.  there are 10 glassine bags, ten washi tags, 10 mini clothespins, and 10 small tags that say "trick" on one side and "treat" on the other.  it's a really fun idea for a Halloween party, or if you live out in the boonies and only have a handful of trick-or-treaters, like my parents!

here's a treat...

and here's a trick...

next up is a fun little tag set.  i really kinda love this.

5 yards of orange baker's twine, 5 small tags stamped with an ominous black bird, and 5 bitty silver glitter clothespins, all in a tiny round tin.  it's only $3.75! 

a sample package...i love the doily (not included) with the black spatter on it.  i first saw the idea used last Halloween by Michelle Wooderson.  they are so spookily cute that i had to try a few for myself. 

and, of course, a couple different sets of Halloween-inspired washi clothespins...  

black, silver glitter, and neon orange...{i LOVE neon but i find it very difficult to photograph!}

again, it's all on still have a few days to get these goodies before October 31st!  you'll find sets of orange and black baker's twine, as well as a couple of autumn-inspired items on sale, too.

happy looking!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

happy little garland

hi guys!  i'm popping in quickly tonight to share a quick and easy home decor project with you.  i made this a couple weeks ago for the Crate blog.  it was my first post for them using the new collections--have you gotten any of them yet?  they're full of beautiful things--pretty bows, colorful chipboard, gorgeous patterned papers, fun layered embellishments...i could go on and on.

while i can't wait to dive in head first to Flea Market, i just couldn't stop myself from using the wood shapes from Close Knit  first.  i am completely smitten with them, especially for fall!  the dark wood is rich and warm, and reminds me of toasty fires on chilly autumn days.  lo and behold, we actually had one of those yesterday.  it rained!  it was so nice to hear it coming down and to look out the window and see dark, gray skies instead of super-bright sunshine!

to make the garland, i picked out the shapes i wanted to use first.  i chose the boy and girl cameos to represent my 2 little sweethearts, Mr. Bagubian and Nemy-Lemons.  and since the two of them are so close to my heart, i also used hearts and the L-O-V-E cutouts.

next, i chose my papers.  i think the dark wood pairs beautifully with yellow so i stuck to mostly papers with that color in them.  i find the “Memories” chevron to be somewhat of a masculine pattern so i matted the boy cameo on top of it.  the feminine floral of “Seamstress” is oh so pretty for the little girl.  actually, picturing those flowers peeking out from underneath her is what kick-started this whole endeavor!  "Fabric" is one of my most favorite papers from Close Knit, given its allover delightfulness!  can i just tell you that i’m a hoarder sucker for every single yellow patterned paper Crate has ever released?!  it’s true.  last but not least, i went with "Needle & Thread" for the woven wheat-colored hearts.  it’s a wonderful light neutral to contrast with the dark wood.

i dug through my paper punches to find the best fit for each of the wood shapes, keeping in mind that i wanted a symmetrical line when the garland was all said and done.  medallions, hearts, scalloped ovals, and pointed labels worked beautifully here.  this is not a very big nor heavy piece and i wanted to keep it dainty so i used a long piece of gold thread, simply stitched through each paper shape.  {tip:  i doubled the stitch so the individual shapes would stay put and not slide up and down the thread.}

with that, my garland was complete.  in a short amount of time, and using just a handful of items, i have a sweetly simple piece that celebrates our family.   now all i have to do is pick a spot to hang it in my house...

and because i'm still feeling a little festive from my last post, here's a sneak peek at what's coming soon to the Etsy shop...

have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

festive friday stars

there is this very, very super-fun, awesome Christmasy blog called Festive Friday.  have you heard of it?  it's the brainchild of my friend, Meredith MacRitchie, and every 2 weeks she and her talented team of designers bring you an idea and a challenge to help you make holiday cards all year long!  i love this idea and it really helps!  plus, i don't know about you, but every year when the holiday season comes to a close, i'm always sad to put away my papers, stamps, and embellishments, always feeling like there were so many more things i wanted to make.  Festive Friday is the perfect fix for that!  please, please, please go check it out!

i was beyond thrilled when Meredith asked me to be a guest designer this month.  and when she sent me the element challenge photo, i was even happier.  the theme is stars and i was already planning to fully incorporate stars into my holidays this year.  the star challenge gave me a head start and i became immersed in them while creating these cards!

the first card i'm showing you was actually the second one i made, but it ended up being my favorite of the two.  i used basic supplies, some that all of us probably have in our stash.  the wood stars are from Studio Calico; aren't they so tiny and cute?  {WARNING: they're going to be all over my projects this season!}   i love the simple message on the card, too, which i think we should all do at Christmastime.


i like the red and silver on this card, which features the City Sidewalks collection from Pink Paislee.  i adore this line from them; i had it last year but didn't get to use it much.  i happily broke it out for my Festive Friday feature!

i also used my silver leaf paint pen quite a bit here.  i used it to paint the small white tag in the above photo, as well as the chipboard star below.  a little swatch of lace, some tiny acrylic stars, silver stitching...this card was much more involved than my other card.  they're totally different, in fact.  

there's still time to play along with this week's challenge at FF; the contest closes Wednesday, October 9th.  and make sure you check back every Friday for more inspiration--trust me, it's not too early to start thinking about your holiday cards!

have a smashing Sunday!