Monday, April 11, 2011

Inspiration can come from the Most Unexpected Places

Inspiration Monday
Life gets busy sometimes. I haven't meant to be the blogger who has NOT been blogging because I love it, but it's a busy time for me. That being said, I am sure it is a busy time for you too! If you are reading this, Thank You for following along. If you are not a follower, Think about it. I promise when I do post, to make it worth your while and give you some to to either inspire or learn from.
Today I am sharing two things. 
This is a photo from my phone taken of the crocus that were blooming in my yard from last year. This year, the first one started peaking out yesterday, when we had 80 degree weather. Today it's 59 & rainy.
First a picture from my yard last year. I love Spring because it's when everything that has gone dormant and it comes back to life. I love the bright colors and everything turns green  or is blooming. This year, although Easter is pretty late, so is Spring. My fear is that it might go right into summer,with the weather we had yesterday.

The second is a website that is more than just a website. You will understand what I mean when you go and check it out. 
It is called: 
It literally takes you on a rollercoaster ride across the  web. You sign up and tell them your interests, check any subjects that might interest you. My Alyssa was the one who actually made me sign up for it. I did NOT want to do it and she told me that I had to. Let me tell you, when your kids TELL you that you have to do something, you do it.
This website is so inspiring! I love photographs, quotes and inspiration among other things. as you hit the button that says "Stumbleupon" it takes you to websites that have content that is related to what you have listed as categories that interest you. After you look at the site you can either click the "Like" button or go stumble upon another site.

Yesterday, I found the perfect site for me this week. 
It was called, 
and the title of the post was 
I am always looking for tips to make life better. It seems to me that the older you get, the more honest you get with yourself. You don't always know the answers to everything and it is helpful to read what helps others and most likely it will help you too.
Well, got to go- say a prayer for Alyssa today as she has to go in for some outpatient surgery today.
Have a Great Day!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Where a "Dream" can take you...

Inspiration Monday
I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.
Vincent van Gogh

This painting is called Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh.

Vincent van Gogh was a brilliant but tortured soul. I prefer to look at his brilliance. That's what everyone wants to be remembered for anyways. I love the quote above. So much that I felt the need to put it up on our family room wall above the television.

I dream of painting and then I paint my dream. What does it mean to you? Think about it this week... as you go about your day today and 
...write down one of your dreams, 
then make a plan on how 
you are going to make it happen. 
Because dreams can take you anywhere, you just have to dream where you want to go first. Most ideas start out as a dream, it is up to you to make them happen. Just remember if you can dream it- it can become your reality. For your entrepreneurs out there. Take this to heart.

It's been really busy the last couple of weeks for me. It is mainly my fault, I just have so many different adventures I choose to do. I participated as a vendor with my Willow House business at the most amazing Bridal Expo at St. Johns in Plymouth hosted by a company called Whimsical Occasions. It was awe-inspiring. I was hoping to be able to post a few pics from the show, but have not gotten them yet, so look for them when I do. There were some really beautiful items and creative people there.

I also have been subbing quite a bit as I love the little kids. Third Graders & tomorrow- First graders. Kids see things so clearly we tend to forget to do that when we're adults sometimes. I love to hang with them a bit. You get to watch & see how easy it is to get inspired from the little things in life.

And last but not least, I won a prize from the One World, One Heart Blog Event that I participated in. I was so excited! It is the sweetest, cutest hand-painted bear from Annie who lives in Australia and has a lovely blog called:
It is really really beautiful and I am going to hang it up in our office so I can look at it everyday. 
So- in honor of Annie and her sweet gift she gave to me- 
Sweet Dreams 
this week to everyone. 
Enjoy your week.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Why bother with the Table? Using Paper-vs-Real Plates.

 Topic: The Art of Entertaining!

Paper vs Real Plates. Really? Yes... This is the topic today.

The week seems to have gotten away from me, so it's time for a post this week. I was actually inspired to write about my topic, based on a Facebook status of my online friend Margie Church, aka the "Churchlady" who is an accomplished and published steamy Romance and Children's Books Author. She writes fun adventures, but her status post was: 

" I have different coats for the seasons, shoes too. Can't live here and not...wouldn't it be cool to have DISHES for every Season?

There were 32 comments. WOW- about dishes...What that meant to me is that I am happy that there really might be an interest for a blog like Design Spark!  discussing "The Art of Entertaining."  There were a couple of comments about, "... why don't you use paper plates if you want a change?" Also, "...we don't have room for more dishes, with limited shelf space, so buying more- wouldn't it be excessive?"

There is a time and place for paper plates. I do love them and use them too, but when you plan to seriously entertain for a small intimate party of 2 to a middle sized group of 10 even if it's casual entertaining, 

Why would you choose paper when it's just
 as easy to use really cool REAL plates?

This place setting has many layers. it is topped with a Willow House Amelia Thimble Dome (pg 24 in 2011 Spring/Summer WH catalog), complete with Faux robin egg inside. The WH Dress-Me-Up Platter(pg 79) works beautifully as a charger base for your Luncheon plates. The dark brown Mario Vitali Italian Stitch plate (WH eOutlet)is topped with the Villa Luncheon plate (pg 6) and one of the Terrace Accent plates(pg 8), with a beaded wreath on top.
 You don't have to spend much on Real plates (unless you want to! LOL), but they make a big different in impact on your guests. Besides you will impress your friends and family. They'll think you think they are special,(which they should be). You know, with real, you'll be going Green- it's better for the environment, just wash it and use it again. Once you make a small investment, you will have the dinnerware forever, or until you get tired of it! It's okay to give it away or sell it on eBay. When you do, pass it on to someone who will appreciate it.
We don't have to always be lazy and choose the throwaway option. 
Now, I'm going to let the pictures do the talking... 
The plates all co-ordinate, they do not perfectly match. 
The two pictures show a table set for four and 
each place setting is unique, none are the same.
You can see through the pictures below that 
You can mix patterns and shapes. and 
Simple changes can give a totally different look. 
A green silk runner makes a great accent placed on the center of table and topped with the Willow House Filigree Iron Candlestand (pg 58). The WH Ruffled bowl holding Manderin oranges (pg 45) is in the foreground, each place setting has different plates as bases topped with one of the lovely WH Terrace accent plates. More details on each place setting are listed below.

This tablescape also has a colorful red silk runner with the WH Lady Jane Bottleneck Vase (pg 6) with Lilies inside as one of the Centerpieces.the Wh ruffled collection- the pitcher (pg43) bowl (pg 45) and the Adair Upside-down cake stand (pg 44) 

Don't be afraid to experiment! 
You can use all kinds of different accessories- placemats, 
charger plates, napkins, napkin rings, glasses, silverware.
Check out all the different options below.

Well, I hope you enjoyed seeing some really great, fun placesettings that you can easily pre-create. Save your paper plates for the Kid's birthday partys or your summer cookouts. Use some great accent pieces to brighten up your table.

The cream colored plates Shown are the Willow House Villa Stoneware Collection Luncheon Plates (pg 6).
The Brown and white patterned plates are the Terrace Accent Plate from our Spring/Summer Wh catalog (pg 8) .

The Red and white patterned plated are the Portico accent plated located on (pg 29).
The different place mats were all bought from Kohl's.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Inspiration Monday- The Butterfly Effect OPEN Project

A few weeks ago, I read about the Butterfly Project on Two Dresses Studio. I wanted to post about this on one of my Inspiration Monday posts, especially after participating in the 2011 One World One Heart Event. It really intrigued me as it was a pretty substantial way to have Artwork make a statement. "The Butterfly Project" is hosted by The Holocaust Museum Houston in Texas, USA. Here is a copy of some of her post: 
Their mission  as follows:
The Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, we teach the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.  And the tag line following it reads:

Stop Hate. Starting Here.

The Butterfly Project mandate is to remember 

the 1,500,000 innocent children who perished  

as a result of the Holocaust 

by collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies.

In Spring 2013, these butterflies will then become a break-taking exhibition to serve as a memory of this event. 
Can you imagine? 1.5 million children translated into 1.5 million butterflies....? If you are wondering why they chose a butterfly, the project is based on this poem -
I Never Saw Another Butterfly
The last, the very last,

So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow
Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing
against a white stone.... 

Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly ’way up high.
It went away I’m sure 
because it wished 
to kiss the world good-bye.
 For seven weeks I’ve lived in here
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly. 
That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don’t live in here, in the ghetto. 

Written  by Pavel Friedman, June 4, 1942 
Born in Prague on Jan. 7, 1921.
Deported to the Terezin Concentration Camp on April 26, 1942. 
Died in Aushchwitz on Sept. 29, 1944. 
Pavel was 23.    23.  My Aaron is just a couple of years younger than that. 

This week, I am going to be sending a butterfly. At least one, maybe more. It depends on how many I can make this week. I will be sending it on to my blogger friend, Two Dresses Studio who is an amazing and inspirational artist. You see, just like her, this post and learning of this event touched me. It has inspired me to participate and create my own butterfly art and to send it onto her. If you would like to read more about this, go to her blog and read about this event. Then- Participate with me! 

This is what else was on her post & My Inspiration for today:

The Butterfly Effect "OPEN" 

...borrowing from  chaos theory, but  much more importantly  

based on the wonderful notion that if enough people 

think enough healing thoughts, 

then slowly our world will be at peace. 

No one said it better than Gandhi -  

Be the change 

you want to see in the world.

This is the power of the collective consciousness.   
Wouldn't this be a great place to start? 
So Consider yourself invited! 
YOU don't have to be an Artist to participate. 
Just pick up your colored Pens, pencils, watercolors, paints, fabrics- whatever makes you feel inspired and create a butterfly for Spring. Then go to Two dresses link her and follow the directions where to send your art. She is taking pictures of all of the butterflies and posting them after she gets a batch, so you can see what others have made. If you go over there to her blog you can see all of what has been done so far. 

Follow the instructions  as outlined by the  Holocaust Museum highlighted in blue below.  When your  copyright free butterfly is completed, pop it into an envelope  including your name, email and blog or web address  and mail it to:

Two Dresses Studio
1554 - 20 Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB  T1K1E9
DEADLINE - next year, December 31st, 2011 

Holocaust Museum Houston
c/o Butterfly Project
Education Department
5401 Caroline St.
Houston, TX 77004

The deadline for butterflies to be received at the museum has now been established as June 30, 2012.

Friday, February 18, 2011

...and We have an OWOH Winner!

It was so much fun being a part of an amazing Journey, by participating in the One World One Heart Event for the past 17 days. I was privileged to be able to have wonderful people from all over the world (yes, that part was so amazing! "Squee!" -my girl happiness sound) come to visit my blog. 

I appreciate it more than you will ever know. Your words and messages were so positive and encouraging. I appreciate those who also decided to follow me after reading my OWOH post. I promise to do my best to keep you inspired -just as many of you have inspired me. I feel badly that I was not able to visit all of you who came here yet, but that's because I really went visiting at the sites that I went to. SO if I have not come to yours yet and you visited me, I do plan on visiting in the near future.- I promise! 
I am ready to take the pastel and pencils and start sketching up a storm in the next few weeks. I do have to get some other projects out of the way first. 
Now without further ado.....(Drum Rolllllllll........)
The Winner of the French Market Door Bucket is.....

Dale Ann aka De La Renaissance
her blog is: Chronicles of Whimsy

If you have fallen in love with this door or wall bucket, it's on
page 62 of my Willow House catalog. Click on the Willow House button to the right
and it will take you to our online shopping area.
And now for a little extra bonus...
I have added a couple of Extra Giveaways!
Never in a million years did I really expect so many of your to stop by for a visit.
Because I expected 50 and not 163 people to visit me, it made me think that I should add another prize or two! Honestly, I would love to give you all a little something, but don't think that my Brian would be liking the postage bill I'll be racking up ! these are really cute, sweet and most importantly- Petite!  This is a collection of three pretty in white Petite Bud vases. I'm going to be sending one of these to three lucky people. Here's a picture:
These little Petite Cuties are available in our Willow House eOutlet.
This week, they are on Sale and part of our weekly sale! They are a Steal at that low price!

These vases will be sent to the following people:

(I will post a link to her blog here after I contact her tomorrow)

Cameron -her blog is:

and last but not least
Carolyn or Connie- her blog is:

And I won something too!
I am so excited- 
It's a beautiful "Sweet Dreams" Hanging Bear given to me by Annie! 

It's late to I'll be contacting you ladies tomorrow regarding getting your addresses to send you your gifts. Thanks once again to everyone who came to visit! I hope you will stop by again real soon.