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I Can’t Because : Creative Blockage

The baby took an unexpected nap in her highchair. I had just finished wiping down the kitchen and realized my opportunity to get to redecorating was now. Since Christmas had been stripped, decorations remained un-replaced. I raced up the steep attic steps to fetch my decorative stuff from the various bins. The house desperately needs color and character. And as I shoved the carpet down into the stairwell hole, I heard “I can’t because” being disproved.

 macrame basket on table

I have been chanting “I can’t because” quite a lot since the baby arrived. Plenty of projects I say I’m unable to do because I can’t be hands free to do this or that. But then I managed to clean a bathroom while my son watched her. And balanced a checkbook while she was both awake and asleep. Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Sometimes I have back up, most of the time I don’t. Will I never? No, just not exactly right now unless it is right now.

 Crackers and the quilt top form the I Can't Because post on

You can make whatever you want to happen if you are willing to come up with solutions to whatever keeps you from doing it. Childcare is a big one for me but I think I can steal time and energy and nap time here and there enough to get a multitude of tasks done. It seems only the creative tasks get the shaft. Hmm !?

 Bar top with Spring motif on I Can't Because post on

I really truly want to condone the “I can’t because” statement. I want to be supportive of the road bumps that happen in people’s lives. I can’t agree to “I can’t because” but I can say, yes you can in a different way in a different time by a different method, encouraging someone’s will to push through. I’m inspired by the courage I see it take to make the impossible possible. I want my underdog to give me hope for delivery from my own stuck-ness. So I shoved the rug down the stairwell and grabbed a purple tote full of stuff and descended. I intend to be the change.

(Read my letter of gratitude to Holly Becker after I took her first e-course when I began to truly see my creative blockage for what it was, bad for me.)

Fresh Flowers

My love of fresh flowers is deep and true.

Bells of Ireland from

When I worked for Pama at Moonvine, I was very lucky to not only spend time with flowers but also learn their names and discover what I loved . And a party is just an excuse to order flowers to play with.

Vases and flowers from Fresh Flowers post on

I’m such a flower snob and control freak, in true Pama style, I’d prefer a bouquet of solely one flower. I’ll scrutinize an arrangement unless it’s made by a floral designer of my liking.

Mantel arrangement with milk glass vases, old bottles, purple lisianthus, shasta daisies, maidenhead fern from Fresh Flowers post on

For Fiona’s party, as I did with her coming out party last year, I went ahead and ordered my flowers from the florist in town, Patti’s Petals. As I did last year, I ordered Shasta daisies, pink stock, and ranunculus.

Bells of Ireland, ranunuculus,lisianthus, and stock on the mantel from Fresh Flowers post on

This year, I added bells of Ireland (hello St. Patty’s day), purple lisianthus (inspired by my friend Lauren’s pictures), and some maidenhead fern for greenery. 

Maidenhead fern, Shasta daisies, and Bells of Ireland in a silver water pitcher from Fresh Flowers post on

The bells and daisies are very hardy. The stock smells lovely and is short-lived. The maidenhead fern is brittle and needs to be photographed soon. I woke up to green crunchy fern in the vases the day of the party.

Springtime celebration from Fresh Flowers poast on

Buying them from the local florist this way was more than half price of what it would cost to have them arrange these flowers. Perhaps I’ll ask for a gift certificate from Patty’s Petals for Mother’s Day instead of buying live plants like I always do. Either way, the they’ll be dead soon enough. Smell the flowers today.

Party Playtime : Paper Feathers

This past weekend was the Big Bash for the One Year-Old Fiona Marie.

Chandelier feathers and painting from Party Playtime on

As usual, a party is always a good excuse for playtime. I perused the place of pins and knew I needed a paper feathers garland . 

Purple and red paper feathers from Party Playtime on

I used a copper sharpie and some other metallic paint pens coupled with old music, handmade purple paper with gold thread, and construction paper from my childhood. The colors of the old paper are worn and more muted. And familiar.

preproduction of paer feathers on Party Playtime from

preproduction of paer feathers on Party Playtime from

This job was a bit tedious but I did find a rhythm and worked in shifts. When my feathers were done, I strung them on bakers twine using an embroidery needle I could almost thread without my glasses.

dining room with paper feather s for Party Playtime on

My color choices was based on the “B” painting, painted by a family friend, that hangs in the dining room now. Red, purple, green, pink, and black and white were the primary colors. And when the balloons and presents came in, it was festive and sweet.

paper feathers for we are contributors and Party Playtime on

feathers curtain and painting for Party Playtime on

feathers curtain and painting for Party Playtime on

Sometimes it’s not the perfection of the craft but the spontaneity and whimsy of the gesture that makes something work. These feathers were rough. Some of the paper was brittle and yet the overall effect was charming. And because they are small, they were very hard to take a good picture of too.

Paper feathers on floral fabric from Party Playtime on

As with Fiona’s Coming Out Party last May, everyone enjoyed themselves, the place looked lovely, and I got to play with flowers. Those pictures are coming plus another project that Eamon helped with.

“And she’ll have fun fun fun til her Daddy takes the T-bird away.”

Christmas 2013 Decorations

Two problems with creatives. We’re control freaks and we’re often a little later getting to stuff. Or is that just me?  





I know I have already told you too much about my few Christmas disturbances. That my expectations about having time to play and then take pictures and put those up on the blog before the holiday hit the fan, were dashed to the floor. Um, expectations is the key word here that messes with me every holiday. And I’m better than I used to be.



Happily, I did have my decorations up. Not like previous years where I had to usher ornament boxes into the closet last-minute aka Christmas Eve.


And I was flying without a plan. Especially since I felt really terrific about the tree at the UU Fellowship in Easton.

So I just started. The idea that less is better. And whatever happens is meant to be.


DSC02525 (2)


I have some really fun props. I love my glowing Santa.

The bar corner happened with his kitschy self and then my Dixie Cup Cocktail Time party drink set.


Love my feather wreath.  And my brown paper flowers. And my envelope butterflies.




So Merry Christmas and Happy New Year my dear readers. I am really loving the new picture side to the blog. It was long overdue and both the month of 31 Picture posts and the Decor8 Blogging e-course helped me to get over my hump of only wanting to talk at you. Now I’ll be busy figuring out how to balance and entertain both sides of my brain.


Interested in seeing 2012′s Final Christmas Decorations, they’re here. As promised the video tour is coming. Getting through the gauntlet of childcare known as the “Winter Break” before I want to attempt this maneuver. Have a lovely weekend and I ‘ll see you on the flip side Clyde.

Floral Arrangements For Christmas

The fun of decorating for Christmas is in the bringing inside of live plants. The live tree is still a must for me. We had a fresh wreath on the door and the heady sweet musky scent of pine gets trapped inside the storm door and hits you on your way through the door. However, the most fun I get to have is in arranging the flowers.

Used to be that the swanky grocery store would sell three bunches of flowers for a reasonable amount. Maybe $12. And my tradition has always been to go and pick them out and arrange the centerpiece myself. This year, I returned to the swanky store for my meat and flowers.


Except those poor floral women had their floral habitat moved to the front of the store, slam up against the coffee place and the front door. I felt bad for them. I told them so. Flowers are a task that needs lots of space.

Then I felt bad for me when they said that the special I was looking for had been long since discontinued. Oh well. So I went ahead and bought three bouquets of flowers at $5.99 each. A total of $18 for my flowers but I felt they were worth it.

The inspiration colors come from a vintage floral fabric I have stretched in poster frames on the dining room wall every Christmas. There’s an orangey red and a deeper blue red combination in the flowers.

I tried to duplicate that color combo with the orangey spray roses and the red mums with yellow centers. And then added Hypericum berries for a texture.


Wanting to keep the arrangements low, I chose to put them in old cream-colored bowls. Then I made a grid of scotch tape across the tops of the bowls to hold the flowers. My greenery was a couple of handfuls of boxwood from the bushes out front. The little tiny leaves are another nice texture and they stay green a long time.IMG_20131224_140933_588

And then I just started cutting and poking and layering. Once I placed them on the table, I placed the green apples beside as well as votive candles all around and a little green ribbon woven through . I thought to anchor the visual by placing it on top of brown paper which also separates it from the red tablecloth.

I was very pleased with the way they turned out. My centerpiece was charming. I managed a little Christmas creativity for myself after all. The last of the Christmas decorating posts to come on Friday and then wait for the date for the live house walk through. Looks great now so why not?


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