Wednesday, December 13, 2017

And the winner is....

I visited Amanda at a pop up shop she had at West Elm this past weekend...

... where she was selling her art prints, postcards, Christmas and Hanukkah cards, 
ornaments, stickers and so much more! She is so talented!!!

But that was this weekend and this is today, and I'm already a day late in announcing the winner of a pair of Amanda's "hand" earrings!

The winner is...

Henny from Henny Penny Lane!!!

I'll be contacting you, Henny, to get your address and find out if you'd like the silver or gold earrings!

And thank you to everyone who entered!

All my best,

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Limited Edition Hand Earrings Giveaway... Great Christmas Gift!

I'm SO sorry to be so late in posting the Hand Earring giveaway! 
What is that old saying, "the hurrier I go, the behinder I get?" Yup, that's me!!!

I'm so excited to be hosting this giveaway for a pair of  "Hand Earrings" designed by my daughter, Amanda, and created by RA-HA Jewelry!

(Amanda wearing a pair of the earrings)

Together they came up with the most fabulous limited edition offering of 50 pairs of 'hand' earrings. Amanda was inspired by the hand-shaped earrings that Picasso created for Frida Kahlo. 

(Sterling Silver pictured here)

These gorgeous earrings are available in 14K Gold Fill or Sterling Silver. They're extremely lightweight despite being large (approx. 3-1/4" long x 1-1/8" wide).

(Me wearing my hand earrings. I chose the Sterling Silver.)

They are so lightweight you won't even know you're wearing them! I absolutely love mine!

The earrings also come with this beautiful 5x7 line drawing print by Amanda. It features one of her vintage style women wearing the hand earrings. As you can see, I've already framed mine!

So if you would like to enter to win a pair of Limited Edition Hand Earrings:
- To be entered into the drawing once, please leave a comment here. 
- To be entered into the drawing twice, please share this giveaway on your own blog and let me know!

The drawing will take place on the Tuesday, 12/12/17. If both colors are still available, you will have a choice of Silver or Gold. If not, you will receive the remaining color Amanda has in stock.

If you just can't wait to see if you win, click AmandaAtkins to be taken to the listing where you can purchase your Gold or Silver Hand Earrings right now.

See you on Tuesday!


Monday, October 30, 2017

All Hallows' Eve...

We are ready for all the little goblins, witches, and ghosts that will be stopping by for treats tomorrow night!

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Most of the Halloween decorations in the yard have been around since our own girls were little trick-or-treaters themselves! I love this 1990 photo of them dressed as little Dutch girls!

 But back to the yard decorations. There's old Mr. Jack-O-Lantern, the windsock...

...and his friend, Mr. Ghost, also a windsock.

Witchy-Poo is a more recent addition. She's probably been making an appearance for the past 6-8 years or so. She likes to hang out on the backyard gate.

Mr. Scarecrow has definitely seen better days. He's very faded and his coat is quite tattered.

But I love him just the same so he's not going anywhere.

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The old black cat & pumpkin flag is still blowing in the wind.

And although it's not a Halloween decoration, I found this adorable red birdhouse in a local thrift store and couldn't resist it!

The backyard doesn't get decorated too much other than pumpkins in the flower boxes on the shed.

I had to trim back the sweet potato vine to make room for the pumpkins. It grows like crazy!

I'll be back in a day or two to post about the giveaway for this awesome pair of hand-shaped earrings designed by my daughter Amanda, one of only 50 'limited edition' pairs that were created!

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Wishing you all a safe and Happy Halloween!
See you in a day or two!


Friday, October 27, 2017

Getting ready for Halloween!

For the past two years I'd fully intended to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project and put out a teal pumpkin so trick-or-treaters with food allergies would know that we also have non-food goodies to hand out...

...but I've always forgotten to get the teal pumpkin and non-candy treats - until this year!
I picked up a paper mache pumpkin from A.C. Moore, some "Mermaid Teal" paint and voila!

So from now on it will be our annual Halloween tradition to provide candy as well as some fun little non-food treats for whoever comes knocking on our door!

If you enter your zip code into the following Teal Pumpkin map site, it will let you know of any houses that have registered in your area. And may more homes may also be participating but just don't know that they can register on this site.

Also, early next week I'll be back to host a give-away for a pair of these awesome limited edition earrings (only 50 pairs were created!), designed by my daughter and created by RaHa Jewelry. I bought a pair and love them - they're so lightweight that you don't even know you're wearing them! If you'd like to enter to win a pair, either for yourself of for a very unique gift for someone special (the holiday gift-giving season is almost upon us!), then stop back next week! You can also purchase a pair outright if you just can't wait to see if you win! They're available in Amanda's Etsy Shop:

See you all next week!

Friday, October 20, 2017

A goodbye and a hello...

It's been quite some time since I posted. 

 I'm afraid I have a sad update on our sweet Midgie girl.

 We adopted her on August 28, 2016. She was 10 years old. Silly me assumed she would be with us for at least six years since most of our cats have lived to be 16.

That was not meant to be. She got very sick in May and test showed she had severe kidney disease. Despite ours and her Vet's best efforts, in less than a month's time we had to have this little beauty put to sleep. It had become clear that no treatments or fluids or medicines were going to help her and she was clearly not enjoying her life here on earth any longer.

She is now in the arms of the angels, but will always live on in our hearts.

Truthfully, I didn't know when, or even if, I would ever adopt again. It is just so hard when we lose these beautiful, furry companions.

 After Midgie's passing my aunt, who is a huge animal lover, sent me the most beautiful condolence card, kitty magnets (including a black one), and a paperweight with the most beautiful sentiment. The note inside the card she sent encouraged me not to wait to adopt again. She reminded me that there are so many kitties in shelters waiting for homes, and that adopting another cat would in no way lessen my love for Midgie or her memory; rather, it would be a beautiful tribute to Midgie, also a shelter cat, to give another shelter cat a home.

So the search began. And then ended.
I spotted this handsome guy and made arrangements to visit him on July 7th, which was my Dad's birthday. I took that to be a good sign.

Meet Mr. Buffy!

Enter this boy, a 10 year-old buff-colored kitty who'd had a very, very hard life. This sweet guy was found as a stray and needed a lot of loving care to get him looking this good. He had to undergo several hours of anesthesia to shave his extremely matted fur. In addition, he was missing half of his teeth; and the teeth that he did have left were so infected and abscessed that they all had to be removed. As a result, his little tongue sometimes hangs out of his mouth. And if all that wasn't enough, he was FIV+.

This is a photo of poor Buffy, taken before he was rescued. Somebody was putting out cans of cat food for him so he could at least have something to eat. This photo was taken in the dead of winter, which can be brutal here in New England. 
Well, after going to the shelter and meeting him, it was a done deal. 
My heart melted for this boy and all he had endured in his life.

These are some of the first photos I took of both Midgie and Buffy when they came to live with us. It was like deja vu. Both adopted my studio office as their home base, and both Midgie and now Buffy plunk themselves down next to my chair and stare up at me when they want to get my attention. It's almost like Midgie was channeling through Buffy.

 And just like my Midgie in the very first photo, Buffy's favorite place to be is on top of my desk.

Buffy and his catnip toy.

I think he's quite happy here in his new home. I think I even see the hint of a smile!
(He also has a very drooly mouth due to stomatitis, a very painful mouth full of ulcers that is taking a very long time to clear up due to him being FIV+.)

Here he is sleeping soundly on the window seat in the family room.

He is very content to just hang out in the studio, especially if I'm in here.

Now you might be asking how he and Baby are getting along...

 I wish I could say they immediately fell in love, but that's not the case. Baby is not all that keen on our new resident and she has let him know by hissing and spitting at him. At first he ignored it, then he started to get annoyed by it. Thankfully, for the most part, they just stay clear of each other. I hope in time things will improve but, if not, they will just need to accept the fact that neither of them is going anywhere! 

So that's what's been going on here! But one more thing before I go!!

Within the next day or two I'm going to host a giveaway -
These beautiful hand shaped earrings, inspired by the earrings that Picasso gave Frida Kahlo, were designed by my Amanda and created by RA HA jewelry as a limited edition of 50 pairs. Right now Amanda still has the choice of Sterling Silver or 14K Gold Filled in her shop. At the time of the drawing (one week from when I post), you will have your choice if she still has both colors left; if not you will receive the color she has left in stock. She is definitely going to hold onto one pair for the giveaway. If you'd like to read more about them, or if you want to purchase a pair rather than wait to see if you win, you can check them out in Amanda's Etsy shop. Here is a link to the earrings. They'd make a fabulous gift for the upcoming holiday season!

I'll be back soon with the give-away!


Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Studio Office Progress Continues...

Little by little the studio office is taking shape. 
(I'm a slow mover - it's been years in the making!)
I know I've shared photos of this writing desk before, 
a favorite "Sidewalk Sale" find from many years ago.

I paired it with this antique St. Cecilia framed print, which was also a great find.
My good blogging friend, Claudia @ Mockingbird Hill Cottage
put me in touch with an antique store in her neck of the woods so I 
could purchase this vintage parakeet lamp. It was love at first sight!

The chair was a floor sample from Target a few years ago
and the unicorn bookends were found at Savers.

Little by little the room has come together.
The black floor lamp by the desk was found at a yard sale.
The gold crown on the closet door was from TJ Maxx.
The white desk lamp (there are two of them) were from Target.
The bookcases in the corner were part of a huge Craigslist score
and the black and tan rug was from

"You know who" saw me taking photos and, being the ham she is,
decided to strike her best 'Top Cat Model' pose.

 Baby then decided to channel her inner unicorn because, as she reminds
us each and every day, she is quite a magical and mystical creature!

I hope you are all enjoying the 'in like a lion, out like a lamb' journey into Spring!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Coloring Books = Relaxation

I wanted to share my daughter Amanda's BEDROOMS Coloring Book that was published earlier this year (available here in her Etsy shop).

It is a beautiful hardcover book, filled with many bedrooms to color as well as 
DIY pages for you to finish and color!

Earlier this month Amanda had a signing at 
Trident Booksellers & Cafe on Newbury Street in Boston.

Her family and many friends were there to support her and we all had such a great time!

(Birch Tree sample page done by Amanda)
If you're looking for a special Christmas/holiday/birthday gift 
for someone who could use some relaxation...

(Desert sample page done by Amanda)
... coloring books are a great idea. And I absolutely love this one!

(Ocean View sample page done by me)
The pages are a nice, heavy stock paper. I even used acrylic paints 
to 'color' this ocean view bedroom.

Below is a sampling of a few of the pages in the book.
(Please forgive my photography skills. Trust me, the book pages are all crisp, clean, & white, and any shadows or "wavy" page designs are also due to my photography.)

There are bedrooms...

for Book lovers....

... for Bird lovers...

... for nature lovers...

... for Animal lovers...

... for Tree lovers...

... for Ballet / Theater & the Arts lovers...

... for Astronomy lovers...

There are even rooms for children. 
(You or your child could color these and and frame them for their very own room!)

I'm just so incredibly proud of my talented daughter! This is such a unique coloring book, and the pages are all so detailed! Again, the book is available in Amanda's Etsy Shop, and she will be happy to personalize the book with any message you'd like! I think you or your gift recipients will really enjoy this book!

Happy coloring, everyone!!

Yes, J! What a small world! It's Trident Booksellers &Cafe, at the very end of Newbury, almost at Mass Ave! And there are two cafes, one upstairs, one downstairs, where you can get AMAZING food and drinks.