Friday, April 26, 2013


Where do you create?  In your studio?  In your bedroom?  In your dining room?

I have a craft/studio room.  It used to be just for me, or at least it was for the first 18 months we lived here.  Then Mr. E came along and he needed a place to sleep so a pack and play was added to the space.  When he outgrew the pack and play last summer a day bed went up and my sewing table table came down.  Since then the room has become a dumping ground for craft supplies.  This is how it looks this morning:
This is the worst it has ever been.  Next week a friend is coming over to help me deep clean and organize it.  My plan is to get a full-size bed, get rid of the kitchen island and move our current bedroom dressers in there for storage.  At least that's what I'm hoping to do in the next two months.

I have two main places I craft now.  One is the dining room table.  It could hardly be called a dining room table since the only time we use it for eating is for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Last night I was cutting papers for journals on it.
 This morning I'm inking journal covers.
When I am crocheting, needlepointing or hand work I sit in my "nest" (that's our nickname for my end of the couch).  If we ever get rid of the couch I'm in trouble!  I love the fold down table in the middle!

Show me where you craft!

Sweet P

Thursday, April 25, 2013


What does a coffee mug have to do with Vanilla?  Well, let me tell you.

I love coffee.  I love strong, dark coffee.  I don't love strong, dark coffee flavored 15 ways from Sunday with extra sugar, whip cream and a cherry on top.

I love strong, dark coffee with touch of homemade vanilla milk (or is it half and half?).  Anyway I mix two cups of fresh whole milk, one can of sweetened condensed milk and a teaspoon of real vanilla extract.  I add a splash of this milk to my coffee and it makes my coffee heavenly.

Sweet P
(who is enjoying a cuppa right now)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Upcycle versus Recycle

I live in a crafty world (I suppose you already knew that).  I hate throwing away stuff.  I recycle.  Yet, sometimes, I feel guilty recycling.  And, thanks to working with many crafty people and discovering Pinterest, I'm bombarded with ideas for re-using items that would normally be sent on their merry way.

In choosing today's word - Upcycling - I wondered what the difference is between upcycling and recycling.  A quick Google search led me to Hubpages and this good article by Jamie Brock on the difference.  In essence, upcycling is using something that would normally be thrown away or recycled and using it for a better purpose.  Recycling is breaking down a product and making a new product out of it, like making recycled paper products.

I'm happy to report I have upcycled a few items for my crafting.  Many of our products come in PDQs, cardboard boxes for displaying products.  Last Christmas I took home a few of those boxes thinking they would come in handy for storing items.  I've been cleaning and saving glass food jars for some time as well.  This morning, those items came together to make my work area cleaner and more organized.

In a larger box I filled glass jars with my various writing and coloring tools.  There was enough space on one side to fit my journals and a few pieces of scrap papers.
A smaller box holds cutting tools, and embellishments and an upcycled leather gift box that holds specialty scissors and glues.
This is my organized work space.  What is cool about using these boxes is I can move them to my craft storage room when I'm not playing with papers.
Have you upcycled anything lately?

Sweet P


I love tools and gadgets.  Who doesn't love a good set of tools for whatever you choice of creating happens to be in your life?  After all how can you create if you don't have the proper tools?

Tools make my job interesting.  On one hand, I don't want to lose sales for the store.  On the other hand, there is nothing more irritating than watching a customer buy more tools and gadgets than she needs.

For example, I have two paper cutters.
One I bought a few years ago and one that came in my Cricut Accessory kit.
 But, you know what I use for cutting and trimming my papers?  My Olfa rotary cutter, self-healing mat and quilting rulers.  I know there are quilters who are screaming, "Don't use your rotary cutter on paper!"  I have two cutters, one for fabric and one for paper.
Don't get me started on "quilting notions".  Nearly every quilt notion in our quilt notion department can be found in the notions department, usually cheaper and on sale more often.

So, if you come to visit me in the store, I'm going to help you find the most economical options for working on your craft.  It may not be in the department you're shopping in, but it will be a good choice.

Sweet P

Stitching and Shopping

I love to stitch!  That shouldn't be a surprise given my blog name.

This past week I finished stitching a few items for dear friends who recently had a baby girl.
I made her this adorable sundress.
With a matching sweater and hat.

These are first items I've made for a little girl in a long time.  I love them.  I hope friends have more baby girls so I can stitch more girly stuff.

I'm not a total shopaholic.  I don't like shopping for clothes and shoes.  I do like grocery shopping.  But my self-admitted downfall is shopping where I work.  After all, where else does one get stitching and art supplies?

Anyway, our store is being remodeled in a few weeks and we did a huge price markdown in paper crafting and children's art supplies this past weekend. Just what this budding paper crafter, journaler and grandmother needed to take money out of the bank!  After all, I have plans to make three Disney journals for our upcoming Disney vacation.

I bought two Smash journals and coordinating products, two Basic Gray journals and a few other miscellaneous paper crafting items.  I also went to Staples to buy a heavy duty binder and inserts for Mr. E's journal, plus a quick trip to B&N for Disney books.
For Mr. E I found the Crayola Dry-Erase Activity Center Zany Play edition.  He had fun playing with it the other night.
Now, other than buying a few sponge brushes for Gesso, I'm done shopping for awhile.

Resisting and Recipes

I've been resisting keeping up on the alphabet blogging.  Not for lack of topics, but my Creative Muse has kept me busy creating, rather than writing.  I'm going to ignore her for a little while and get caught up with my alphabet challenge

I love to cook.  We love to eat.  With the advent of the Internet it's been difficult to print out recipes and keep them handy when I'm working in the kitchen.  My computer sits only a few feet away from the counter, but it's hard to read a recipe even with the screen print made large.

That's where this gadget comes in handy.  I found this recipe stand at the Container Store in January and I love it!  I print out a recipe, slip it under the Plexiglas and cook away!  If the recipe turns out OK, it stays there.  If it flops, the paper goes into the recycle bin.

This is how I used to keep the recipes on my counter.  It's a wire cookbook stand I bought years ago in Las Vegas.  I bought a small chalkboard and had a friend cut it to fit the stand.  I still keep in the kitchen, but he has been retired from recipe holding.

Let's take a quick look through some of the recipes I currently have on the board:
  • Fruit Salsa and Baked Cinnamon Chips - Yum!  I made this for Mr. E's birthday party.  It was a big hit.  The baked cinnamon chips are addicting and make a good snack on their own!
  • Banana Bread Muffins - Mr. E adores making these muffins with me.  He would eat every single one if I let him!
  • I love Cinnamon & Spice's blog. I have several of her recipes on my stand.  I recommend all of them: Chocolate Peanut Butter Magic in the Middles cookies, Oven Fried Swiss Cheese Chicken with Egg Noddles in a Creamy Sauce and Italian Meatloaf
What are some of your favorite recipes?

Sweet P

Friday, April 19, 2013


I live an hour north of Boston.  All is quiet here and there is nothing to say this morning.

Sweet P

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I love to play!

I play with threads. This is a Celtic Knot stand I stitched for a co-worker.
I play with yarn.  I crocheted these baubles during our February blizzard.
I play with my drawing supplies.

I just love to play!  I play all the time.  Life is all about playing and having fun!

Do you play?

Sweet P


October is my favorite month.  Why?

First, it's my birthday month!  You have to love your birthday month.

Second, I love the fall colors.

This is the view I see out my kitchen sliders every fall:
October brings cooler days and reasons to make pots of chili and stew.

October means the National Football League is in full swing - my favorite sport.

What more could a girl want in her birthday month?

What is your favorite month?

Sweet P


I have learned to say, "I will never . . ."

For example, when I started at my current job I said, "I will never scrapbook or do paper crafts."  Guest what?  I'm doing paper crafting now.  I have quite a collection of papers, pens, paints, glues, embellishments, etc.  I'm even in the process of designing three different Disney journals for our trip this summer.  One for me, one for Mr. E and one for his mommy.

I bought these fabric samples on clearance and will use them as the covers.
 I have enough paper for individual pages.
And several Pins on my Disney Journal Pinterest board.

What have you said "never" to only to eventually start doing it?

Sweet P

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I believe in marriage.  I have a happy marriage and love my husband more every day.

When we talk with young couples about marriage we tell them our three secrets to a happy marriage:

  1. Take turns loving each other "more".  On odd days my husband loves me more.  On even days I love him more.  On special days like birthdays or anniversaries, we love each other equal.
  2. No matter how far apart we are (hubby travels 150,000 miles a year) we always tell each good night and say I love you.
  3. We celebrate being married every 100 days.  Yup, you read that right-every 100 days we celebrate being married.  Sometimes we go out for special dinner, sometimes we buy a special item for the house.  If it's an annivesary for a 1,000 day milestone we often go away for a long weekend.
How do you celebrate being married or in a committed relationship?

Sweet P

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Yesterday was a day full of laughter in our house - it was a Disney Junior 4th Birthday party for Mr. E.

Everyone was greeted at the door by Mickey & His Friends
 There were pirate hats to color, a Cars training manual and a pirate chest full of treasures.
The treasure chest is a recycled box found on sale at the store.
We painted it brown and filled it with treasures.
It's next life will be somewhere in my craft storage.
Cupcakes were required.
As were presents

Three of the cousins stayed all the evening.
We ended up playing cards in the Man Cave.
This photo was taken at 10 pm and Mr. E was still going strong!

He finally fell asleep at midnight and is still sleeping at 8 this morning.  It was a long and laugh-filled day!

Sweet P

Saturday, April 13, 2013


I love my kitchen!  It's not big and fancy. It's on the small side and the perfect size for me.  It helps that shortly after we moved in, we had our handy man build out the one closet on the main floor into a pantry for me.

The main part of my kitchen is ready for big time party prep in a couple hours.  There are cupcakes, fruit salsa and snacks to be made for a party filled afternoon and evening in our house.

What are you doing this weekend?

Sweet P

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Jammie Day

Not today, but tomorrow is a Jammie Day for me.  I have a previously unplanned day off, the weather is going to crappy and I have a party to get ready for on Saturday.

It will be a perfect Jammie Day for me!

Do you ever have a Jammie Day? What's your perfect Jammie Day?

Sweet P

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Insomania is not what I am dealing with today.  Instead I'm off to an early bed time

Good night!

Sweet P.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013


I'm happy the sun is shining today.
I'm happy there was a thunder storm early this morning.
I'm happy the temps were in the 60's this afternoon.
I'm happy to have a birthday party to get ready for this weekend.
I'm happy, that after two plus ears, I have learned how to blog from my iPad.

Are you happy?

Sweet P

Monday, April 08, 2013

Always Going

I am always going somewhere - to work, to home, to bed, to the store.  I never seem to stop going.  Today I am taking a break from going.  Instead I'm parking myself on the couch with:

A birthday boy next to me:
My crocheting (with my repurposed yarn) in my hands:
Watching this:

I hope you're having a wonderful day!

Sweet P

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Food, Fun, Frugal

Unlike "E", "F" gives me many ideas to write about.  The three best ones are:

I love to cook.  I love to cook anything with this in it:
 I took that and made it into a steaming bowl of stew

Food goes along well with Fun
First the first time in his young life, Mr. E had milk on Froot Loops.
I gave him a straw to slurp up the milk.  He loved it!
Mr. E is always full of fun.
Recently they had circus day at day care.
He came home dressed up as Super E!

Fun goes with being Frugal
My father taught me to always shop for a bargain.  Today I found a great bargain.  I cleaned the $1 papercrafting bins at the store.  I came home with all these goodies for papercrafting fun.

Now I'm off to enjoy my favorite Food: hubby cooked Rib Eye Steaks.  Then it's an evening of Fun while I start a new crochet project using Frugal (i.e., repurposed) yarn.

I hope you have a great day off tomorrow from blogging!

Sweet P

Friday, April 05, 2013

Brought to You By The Letter E

Mr. E would be the obvious choice for a post about E.  However, I'm sure you will see more of him popping up over the next few weeks.  I struggled with finding the right "E" word to write.  Instead I'm only going to list a the "E" words that floated through my brain.


The End

Sweet P

Thursday, April 04, 2013


With a very soon-to-be four-year-old grandson it should be no surprise Disney is my "D" word.  Ethan loves Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Little Einsteins, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and even Princess Sophia.

His birthday party next weekend will be a Disney Junior/Cars themed party.  Nearly all of the presents we are giving him are Disney-themed.

And, of course, he will be taking his fist trip to "Mickey's Castle" (that's his name for Disney World) this summer.  We will be staying on property for a full week with lots of visits to the parks and swimming and mini golfing and fun.

Here is my Windy Night work from yesterday.  I used neon crayons for the background and markers for the swooshes.  The hint of yellow and flowers in the corner are signs of spring trying to pop into the sky.

I hope you had a wonderful day!

Sweet P

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Create, Creating, Creative

"Nothing exists until or unless it is observed. An artist is making something exist by observing it. And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it. I call it "creative observation." Creative viewing." -William Burroughs
I majored in Philosophy and Religious Studies in college.  I remember many early mornings spent in Philosophy class discussing one or two paragraphs from a 15-page reading.  I didn't understand how fun or educational it was to discuss a small set of words and what their meaning was in relation to the rest of book or the author or the world.

Now, once in a while, I do like the challenge of discussing a word and its meaning.

For example, take the word "create".  Here are two definitions of create from

  1. to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes.
  2. to evolve from one's own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.
Both of these definitions may lead you to believe to create is a special act, perhaps by a talented person.  I maintain each person can create or be creative.  It all depends on your point of view.
Open your fridge door.  Creatively observe the eggs in their carton, the cheddar cheese in the drawer and the bacon on shelf.  Those items cannot naturally evolve into an omelet for breakfast.  You have to (using the definition) cause the omelet to come into being.  You created breakfast!
How about the pile of dirty laundry in the corner?  It isn't going to spontaneously jump into the washer, then the dryer, fold itself and put itself away.  You can be creative with the laundry by folding it in a new way or put it in a new spot.  (I know this is a stretch, but humor me.  Three is my number and I needed three examples.)
As I write this I see my bag of markers, crayons and pencils sitting on top of my sketchbook.  I am listening to the wind blowing hard, sounding more like a mid-Winter wind than a gentle early Spring breeze.  In my mind I am creatively viewing a swirl of colors across the sketchbook paper.  
Therefore, I am off to play.  Maybe I'll be back with a photo of my work later. 
What have you creatively observed today? 
PS - I missed my Blog Anniversary on Monday.  I started this blog adventure on April 1, 2006.  Wow!  I can't believe it's been that long! 
Sweet P

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Boys, Boys, Boys

A perfect word for "B" - BOYS!

My life is filled with BOYS and I'm OK with them.
This is my youngest son and his fiance
My hubby, AKA Grampa, and Mr. E
 Son #2 and Mr. E
My oldest son was killed in a car accident in 1997.  He left behind a then three-year-old son who lives with his grandparents in Virginia.

Needless to say, I'm good at boy stuff: football, baseball, golf and Hot Wheels.  Dirt is no problem.  Worms and bugs are a problem.

When we get together with the family, you're more likely to find me hanging out with the children or the men than with the women of the family.

Are you more comfortable with boys or girls?

Sweet P

Monday, April 01, 2013

A is for . . .

BIG A, little a 
What begins with A?
Aunt Annie's alligator
Dr. Seuss's ABC

This rhyme ran through my head all night as I mused on my topic for the letter AWhen you have an adorable four-year-old grandson Dr. Seuss is part of your reading repertoire.

Where does A fit into my life?

About Me
For any new readers, let me tell you about me.  I am a 50-something wife, mother, and grandmother (or Dema as my grandson, Mr. E, calls me).  We live in beautiful Dover, NH where it snows most of the winter and the sun shines most of the summer.
I work for a large fabric and craft retailer as a merchandise manager.  I love my job as it allows me to work creative co-workers and help creative customers.

At least one night and one day a week, I have the extreme pleasure of Mr. E being here.  We have a ton of fun together as we play, create, garden and enjoy growing up.

I spend time every day creating something.  Which leads me to my second "A":

In grade school I loved art class.  I enjoyed cutting, coloring, drawing and painting.  I was chosen to paint the Queen of Hearts on the school's library window.  I didn't pursue art through junior high and beyond.  Academics were more important to me.

As an adult I always longed to take a drawing or art class.  One morning on the way to work an SUV drove by advertising private art classes.  I quickly jotted down the number.  When I sat down at my desk I picked up the phone and nervously dialed the number.  Soon I was signed up for a weekly private one hour art class.  I started with sketching.  I practiced and practiced, but never felt comfortable drawing.  Instead we turned to painting.

Two years into the classes, I rediscovered quilting - an art my Irish grandmother taught me when I was young.  I left the art class and focused on quilting and playing with fabric.

Fast forward to today.  I now play and create art in many ways: with fiber, with fabric, with paper.  I am starting to explore with mixed media formats as well.  Below is a my first attempt at mixed media with a cover for a new sketch book.  I used Gelatos, pens and chipboard stickers.

My last "A" word for the day is Awesome!  That's my description of my life.

Thanks for stopping by and come around tomorrow to see what the letter "B" brings to this blog.

Sweet P