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.

It’s a Small World On A Large Tree


This was my fourth year designing and decorating a 15 foot tree at our Fellowship in Easton. Besides all the trees I’ve fussed over for myself, the ones at my shop, I’ve had previous experience decorating trees professionally with my friend Pama from Moonvine. Both at her shop,


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and at Annie’s restaurant on Kent Narrows. This slide show is composed of those Annie’s trees.


If this tree from the Festival of Trees in Easton looks familiar, that is because it was designed by the very same uber-talented Pama.

And she probably sneezed it up in her sleep.



This big tree is my self-appointed challenge and this year, I went with the paper doll inspiration. Foreign flavored paper children holding hands.

My thoughts then went to stars and mini globes. Figured I might as well do a “think globally, act locally’ meets”It’s a small world” kinda theme.

And that’s what I did.

Understand that this large of a tree requires the right scale of ornaments to be seen.

They need to be Large. And you need different textures.


So the last-minute found me grabbing branches from the basement (you mean you don’t have spare branches lying around?),

and shredding more map pages from our old road atlas to make nests.

Plus making the requisite red bows.


 We filled in with left over brown paper flowers and hydrangea from years past and voilà,


the result was just the right amount of red and texture and movement.

I’m one happy Designer. I pleased myself and everyone else as well.

This was the perfect theme and the cost? Free.


Mother Nature is redecorating. She seems to be taking her time this year.

I have been taking my time to redecorate as well.

Virginia Creeper
For me, styling and inspiration can’t come unless I give them time, toys, and/or purpose.  I’ve always loved to “play” in my house.

Year round, temporary installations go up and come down on the dining room wall .

This year I redecorated for Fiona’s coming out party. And I’ve been juggling a baby ever since.

Nothing like having a baby to

a) appreciate all the time you used to have and

b) have no “spare” time to do the things you used to love to do.

Like breath, eat, shower in private, and restyle your home.

I hate that this always seems to be an issue for me. I’ll even corral all the elements into the room and then stare at them for weeks.

New leaf here. I’m going to “use” the blog as inspiration for a “better well lived life“.

This is a little inspiration I got from my Decor8 ecourse this morning from our teachers Lisa Nieschlag and Holly Becker.


So my challenge is to empower myself and make a difference in my life, enjoy it, and blog about it. I can’t tell you how much I actually enjoy creating this blog.

Although I’m not as technically proficient as some, I am declaring my imperfections human. So forgive me if the edges are dirty but my heart’s in the right place.


And a new goal? You will get to see the imperfect inside of my house on video soon. That’s right. I made an offhand promise not too long ago.

And maybe y’all can give me some suggestions.

(Which I can then promptly blow off and continue to do nothing but complain still about how frustrated I am about my decorating quandaries. Just kidding.)

It’s Halloween

Traditionally, we have carved our pumpkins by Halloween night and happily light the tea candles within to enjoy their macabre faces while we eat grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Because of the recent craziness, our time available to carve was today. Before Eamon came along, I made Mark carve pumpkins with me. Poor soul. Create darn it!


But they do it every year without question to entertain me.


The tongue out! I actually caught it on film. Fiona does it too when she’s concentrating.

halloween 07 004

These are the offerings from 2007.



And other years. I always get a picture. Although they do seem to be looking the same each year.


And I can’t always get around to doing something like this.


Or this. I tried this year but everything just fell short of time to be inspired.

Halloween styling

Last year’s pictures will have to do.

skull in wood basket

The wooden bowl is a love love love from the little shop in town called Joviality.

Tidewater Inn

Last year, we celebrated our anniversary in Easton with a rockin’ dinner at Out Of The Fire and dessert at the Tidewater Inn.

I loved their piled up pumpkin and gourds above the outside fireplace.DSC01736And this year, on Marks’ birthday, we happened to be in St Michael’s, Maryland, one town beyond.

They do a marvelous job of being festive for the holiday and for the tourists.


Jewelry store ?


I could do without these scarecrows but the witch is creative.


We were amused. Like herding kittens I’d imagine.


My lunch dates in St. Michaels.

pumkin head man on 328

And then on the way up 328, the Denton Easton road, we see this guy. Well done. When his coat was flapping in the wind, he was creepier.

Lest we forget the reason for the Halloween season which is to add a little fright to our night.

Thanks to everyone for keeping with me on the 31 Days of Pretty Pictures. And for voting for me in the Circle of Mom Bloggers contest.

I doubt I’ll do either again but it was a really great experience for me. I’ll be talking all about what I got out of it soon enough.

Happy Halloween.

Now to take care of a little special event I have to decorate.

Love Ya’,


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