Friday, January 30, 2009

Today's Top Story

Why yes, those binoculars are made from toilet paper rolls. Read on!

One spring as preschool was coming to a close, I thought, “What will my boys and I do all summer to keep busy and have fun?” Wanting to provide stimulating experiences without the expense of a formal program, I decided to start my own camp. Armed with a background in advertising and public relations, I was compelled to package the idea with a catchy name, a logo (note the "binoculars"), an itinerary, even a song! Over a power-lunch of burgers and milkshakes at a local restaurant, my boys and I decided we would name our venture Camp Cricket.

I wrote an article about how I went about creating this camp and other groups (including a winter afterschool club), and it is today's headline at titled: You Really Can Do-it-Yourself: Forming Camps and Clubs.

Visiting a local fire station

I'm thrilled about having this article posted today. I hope you will read it and that it will spark ideas for any of you with young children in your life.


As I was re-reading my post, I realized how similar some of this sounds to my newest adventure, Tinkered Treasures!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

VS Support and a Pretty Pendant

Wow! I so enjoyed everyone's comments on my Vignette Syndrome post. I love how many of you referred to it as "VS" and owned-up to being "afflicted." We are the many! Isn't it so amazing and fun to find people with common interests from all over? I truly treasure the friendships I am making with my blogging pals.

Last week to celebrate a sale at my Etsy shop, I decided to treat myself and custom-order a pendant from Leslie at Glitter & Bliss.

Isn't it so pretty? Because finding anything with my name on it has been an almost futile lifelong quest, I decided it should say Elyse. I love the floral background. It arrived within days and came wrapped with a striped ribbon and sweet note from Leslie.

I've been working on some new things for my Etsy shop and the materials looked so pretty and the pendant just fit right in, and ... I had to take a pic. I BLAME VS!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vignette Syndrome

Reenactment of Lunch Vignette

The other day I was gathering ingredients to make a sandwich for my youngest son. As I placed the jars and bread and plate orderly on the kitchen counter I laughed to myself realizing that I had unknowingly created a small vignette!

Intentionally, I have planned many small vignettes around my home. I enjoy when things are neat and pretty. I get nervous and distracted amidst chaos and clutter. Is this being organized or do I have VIGNETTE SYNDROME? Do you?

As bloggers we are always thinking of ways to display things to show our friends via photos. Is it something we just can’t unplug? Do we want to?

  1. Do you find yourself creating small scenes during daily tasks?
  2. Do you tend to group like items together even in places like your refrigerator?
  3. Do you place your dishes by size in the dish rack as you wash them?

You just might have Vignette Syndrome! And, I'm here for you!

Bathroom Vignette 1

Bathroom Vignette 2 (yes, that is Yoda)

Livingroom End Table Vignette

Valentine's Vignette


Friday, January 16, 2009

A Fall Rerun

I still consider myself new to blogging. I created this blog and wrote my very first post in late August. I think it was the second day back to school for my boys. The whole concept of blogging came slowly to me: getting comments, leaving comments, adding links. Today I was reading some of my first posts and I enjoyed one in particular. Since it garnered 0 comments back in September, I thought it would be fun to re-run it. Here it is (with a few edits) ...

Working on an HGTV show in '95: Who knew?
I was searching through my box labeled "Old Photos" and found a stack of pictures that made me chuckle. Mostly underexposed, these "set photos" were taken with a disposable camera at the Connecticut home of Alexandra Stoddard, contemporary philosopher, author, interior designer and speaker. I was part of the crew that filmed her intro and closing segments for HGTV's Homes Across America.

This was back before I had cable TV and my Mom was describing my style as Early American Salvation Army. I operated the teleprompter and got to work closely with Alexandra. Her home was packed with beautiful pieces and she did things I'd never seen before, like hang mirrors outside and display paintings of all sizes in rows from ceiling to floor. Brilliant fresh flowers were everywhere!

When we would break for lunch and walk to a nearby restaurant by the water, Alexandra would have us fascinated with her fabulous stories which would include famous names and places. When I was on Oprah ... While Robert Redford was swimming at the hotel pool ...

Alexandra was always warm, encouraging and inspiring and at the end of each shooting week (there were two) she would sign one of her books and include a ribbon bookmark as a thank you gift to me.

The photos included in this post are not from the disposable camera but they are of the beautiful home in Connecticut she has created.

Monday, January 12, 2009

the personality of the ornaments

Greetings from snowy Rhode Island! Saturday we took down our Christmas tree. My boys turned the somewhat daunting task into a game by sorting out their favorite ornaments. I did the same and realized that I am gathering quite a cute collection of little snowmen. Being a blogger, of course I had to take a quick break to snap some photos!

It's funny because looking at each snowman individually in these pictures, they seem to have their own personalities. This guy above looks very friendly: "Good to meet'cha!"

(Okay, I hope I am not sounding too crazy. Maybe I should've waited to do this post until after breakfast!)

mild mannered and welcoming

sweet and bashful

a nice kid


shy and would sound like winnie-the-pooh

a bit goofy but funny

Okay, time to eat! xo

[Original post date: 1/12/08]

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My First Award!

After the chaotic busy-ness of the morning routine, mainly getting my energetic boys to the school bus on time, how nice to return home and find that I had won a blog award! It's my first, bestowed upon me by Cheryl of Peaceful Blessings who was passing it along.

The purpose of the award is to give it to someone who is showing gratitude or a good attitude ("if life hands you lemons, make lemonade") within their life or blog.

Thank you so much, Cheryl! To show my appreciation, I would like to offer my Treasured Blogger award to readers of this post. It is available at the bottom of the right column. Be sure to copy the html so that you get the animation of the smoke coming from the cottage chimney.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Elegance & Whimsy

Cathy of Treasured Heirlooms has opened a new web shop called Elegance and Whimsy and is asking her fellow bloggerettes to spread the word!

The Elegance and Whimsy site offers just what its name evokes. From the moment the page opens you are treated to beautiful shades of pinks, sparkling blues and animated vintage ephemera. Stunning!

Cathy’s shop features things like her beautiful wreaths, French apothecary bottles and pink bottle brush trees. My favorite? The faux truffle ornaments. So sweet and calorie free! (I think they would be cute for Valentine's Day and good for my must-lose-20 lbs resolution.)

Visit Cathy’s blog for details about entering her grand opening contest.

Thank you again to all of my sweet blogging pals for all of your encouragement about my Etsy shop. This is all SO MUCH FUN!


Saturday, January 3, 2009

We Have a Winner!

Despite the furrowed brow on my friend the troll's face, I am very happy to announce the winner of my give-away. Congratulations to Becky at Sweet Cottage Dreams! I will be sending a pretty organized set to her. Becky's entry was chosen using -- another brilliant idea from Cynthia!

I want to send a warm and sincere thank you to everyone who participated. I was overwhelmed by the response -- a record number of comments for my little blog! I appreciated the advice and tips about selling on Etsy, and your methods of keeping organized.

I especially enjoyed learning about everyone's favorite color combinations. My own favorites? I love tone-on-tone (think of the fairies' outfits in Disney's Sleeping Beauty) and combinations like periwinkle and lavender. I also love pale and faded pinks and greens and grays and blues -- always with a pop of color. A wonderful book showcasing this is Country Living Country Color Combinations. I picked it up at HomeGoods for $4.99 and always find it inspiring! (It is available at Amazon and the book photo links to it if anyone is interested.)

Again, thank you all so very much! How blessed I feel to be surrounded with such warm, encouraging, fun and creative women. Happiest New Year to all!