Saturday, October 1, 2011

Letting Go....Taking Flight

The HMS & Queen Mum's home has turned a major corner in the past two weeks.  We have married off our only son and gained a new daughter!  We have travelled to separate events that sanctioned, legalized and celebrated this blessed occassion. 

There are professional pics that are in the editing stage.  Looking to share those with you later. I thought you might enjoy a few of our very candid shots of what turned out to be one of the sweetest days in our family's history.  I've included a brief snapshot of the day.

The happy couple married on family, deer camp land that has been part of the bride's life for as long as she has been on this planet, plus another 10 - 15 years give or take.  One week before the actual wedding day, temperatures in our state were in triple digits and had been for a solid 60+ days.  Dangerously hot! And, might I say, not very festive for an outdoor wedding.  We were anticipating serious heat to greet us on the big day.  Fortunately the weather took an abrupt turn and we went from summer to fall within a 24 hour period.  Yippee!  While in caravan to the celebration spot it began to rain.  Not only has our part of the country been hot, we have been in the midst of a severe drought.  This rain really did feel like a blessing to us!  We were so grateful to have the rain we didn't even think to complain about what the rest of our day would involve as a result.

Bright green signs signalled that we were getting closer to our destination.  There were lots of giggles and chattering going on in the car as we made our way. 

Once we arrived there was the anticipated flurry of last minute activities.  Cars had to be parked.  Last minute decorations were hung.  Benches were wiped down once more after the rain had given them a final rinse. Groomsmen were prepped. Bridesmaids were fluffed.  Fathers changed from working clothes to something more suitable.  Mothers kicked out of their sneakers and slipped on highly impractical shoes.  Guests were greeted and pointed to the newly constructed outhouses.  Small children were excited to see all the dirt and spent rifle shells that littered the ground.  Small children were also disappointed that these distractions were not really part of the day's happenings.

And then all too soon, he took his place on the platform........

The last 22 years of our lives together flashed before me in a brief clip.  That weird little rewind of the past that races through your mind.  I was so proud of myself!  I did not shed one tear.  I simply couldn't.  He was radiant in his joy for this very moment.  His face presented nothing but calm confidence as he stood ready to receive his bride. There was not one trace of doubt or nervousness.  He was hers and she was his.

Then I turned to look at her.  Everything that a bride should be........beautiful...oh, so beautiful, excited, pulsing with expectation, gleaming with joy and eyes locked on the groom of her choosing.  That's when I saw the future crowd out my past.  Here was my new daughter.  That's when the tears arrived.  What did not come when I saw my son came far to easily when I looked at this lovely girl.  The future stood before me in a white bridal gown and cowboy boots.  We would laugh together and cry together.  We would celebrate large and small days and more often than not we would be eating too much together.  Our arms would sooth babies together.  We would share cooking chores, home management tips, husband management strategies. And prayer.  We would share many prayers.  She was part of our future. 

We watched the whole ceremony with trembling smiles and sparkling eyes.  Chuckling at the funny little things that happened that weren't scripted.  Crying at the tremendous love that was poured out onto these two grown children. So much love. So much joy. One exultant, definitive kiss to seal the vows and claim the bride. Done.

Then it was all over.  Tables were readied.  Instructions were given.  A prayer was offered.

  The bride and groom took their special reserved spots marked by personalized artwork.

We celebrated with a decadent shrimp boil generously scattered down the center of the paper wrapped tables.  Paper towels and fingers were our only serving pieces. We ended the day with root beer floats.

It was a down home, full-on country wedding celebration.  The reports have been that it was so much fun and so fitting for the day.  So fitting for the couple.

We couldn't agree more!  Here's to the future.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WELCOME Home : Studio Journal

On a past weekend I went out of town for a very quick leadership retreat.  We travelled to the northeastern part of our hot, parched state to a beautiful lodge.  Weather aside - the lodge, cabins and surrounding grounds were top shelf stuff.  Impressive!   Throw in the random sightings of wild deer with all this as a backdrop and you feel like you're living in a movie.

Each cabin was spotless.  The beds were uber-comfy with fluffy duvets. Crisp white, downy soft towels hung from the stainless steel racks in the spotless bathroom.  The AC was working endlessly to make even the blankets look inviting.  Nice! 

The food prepared for us was presented beautifully with the finest ingredients and certainly the creativity of a chef who loved the artful craft of food service and hospitality.  I just love it when someone else cuts up my fruit for me!  

Like most great little get-aways, this retreat had to end.  We headed back to our fair city on Monday evening - a two hour trip - around the end of drive time traffic - triple digit heat - in a van that had a wonky AC system.  YUCK!

Hello! Home.  The HMS had purchased this beautiful African Violet for me and hand decorated a sign that said "Welcome Home".  Don't you just love that?!?

Retreats are great!  Sign me up every time.  But nothing beats the place where you are received with love.  Genuinely welcomed.  By those who know you the best. Who love EVEN though they know you the best. Unconditionally.

That's better than fruit cubed just for you.  That's better than wild deer roaming across the lawn.

That's simply the best!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Corner of Our Home 2 :: Studio Journal

I was working on a different project last week when I ran across more pictures of the Corner that I featured in my last Studio Journal.  They were so pretty I wanted to share them with you.  Take a peek!

This shelf is one of my favorite places to decorate!
No one else pays much attention to it
so it stays just like I want it.
The devilled egg serving dish is just the most incredible shade of blue! I don't use it much as a serving piece but I decorate with it often.  The blue shade just makes me happy and I love that it is vintage.

The "hand washers" view. 
Isn't it sweet?!?
 The large aluminum serving tray and the blue ceramic tray that are paired together in the plate easel are both thrift store finds.  I pick up aluminum serving pieces if I like the decorations they contain.  They are plentiful in our area and very reasonably priced (< $2).  The yellow cream pitcher was also a thrift store treasure.  Beautifully glazed with floral embossing and marked "Italy" it can hold anything needed.  Today it is holding a deep blue fabric hydrangea bloom.
Who could resist a laughing frog?
Silver pieces make me smile, too.

This window sill gets a fair amount of decorating attention, as well.  My little laughing frog normally stays in this corner of my world - sometimes on the shelf, sometimes by the sink and sometimes in the window area.
When I see him, he reminds me to laugh and not take life so seriously.  I've had it so long I don't even remember how he came to be mine.

The silver tea pot can from, you guessed it, the thrift store.  It's really a fantastic piece!  It was created with an organic vibe.  The handle looks like a twisted branch and leaf.  The spout looks like rolled cabbage leaves.  A lid was not with it when I purchased it. Sad, I know.  The silver is the real deal, though, and according to my research cost a tidy sum when it was originally purchased.  One man's junk, another man's treasure....................

Mason Jar filled with vintage cream buttons.

The idea to wrap the mason jar with vintage paper and twine came from a blog that I regularly follow,  Jenny Doh is the very talented creator of this inspiring place on the net.  She has helped me gain a new appreciation for mason jars and all that they can be/do.  The vintage paper was torn from an old french language textbook.  Add some twine, old sewing notions, a coffee stained tag topped with typed label ......... there you have it.

Unique cuteness that you won't find anywhere else but my little Corner of the Home.  Cheers!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Corner of the Home :: Studio Journal

 Humble Hearted Corner
There is one place in our home that constantly needs attention.  It is forever being used, neglected.  Certainly, overlooked and taken for granted.  This spot is passed by, over and through many times in a typical day.  The abuse it has seen is relentless.  Complaint has never been poured back to the abuser.  Silent service is all this spot has offered for over twenty-three years. 

Each season I dress this corner accordingly.  This bright, sunny morning it held a vintage teapot that was a gift to me by a Secret Sister.  A beautiful little pot that brings a smile with it's cheery blue.  The blue devilled egg plate is also a vintage family piece that belonged to my mother and was passed to me.  The small cream plate is part of a thrift store find of seven pieces of Wedgwood decorated cream ware.  Who doesn't appreciate beauty at a bargain price?!?

I can never resist embroidered vintage linens when I am lucky enough to stubble onto them at the thrift store.  Small dresser scarfs can work anywhere in my home.  I always admire the time and heart that can be found in these pieces.  The original owner also took the time to crochet a simple but lovely border to her piece.  I wonder where she placed it in her home?  I hope it brought her as much pleasure as it brings to me.

July mornings, when this picture was taken, burn hot and bright in central Oklahoma.  My kitchen sink, literally positioned in the corner of the work triangle, is a place of refreshment on those unending hot days. 

 This sink has been the place where impromptu arias have been performed.
Giggling siblings have whispered here.
  Dancing has been known to break out in front of it's suds-filled tubs. 
 Tears have been cried here.
  Prayers have been prayed. 
 Hearts have broken and been healed here.
  Wisdom has been sought out and dispensed. 
   Troubles have been quietly contemplated.
  Blessings have been recounted and tenderly acknowledged. 
 Plans have been made.
  Triumphs have been celebrated. 
 Babies have been swayed in front of this corner place. 
 Fevers have been tended.
  Cuts have been rinsed and bandaged.  
Arguments have erupted and quelled before this humble spot. 
Partner to countless meals, holiday feasts, birthday celebrations and totally bombed meals *ahem*. 

Fiery bouts of passionate kissing are reported to have happened here.  I don't call him the HMS (His Manly Self) for nothing!  He has a reputation to uphold............

This humble corner.  Heart of our home.

What does your corner look like?  I'd love to read your list of corner happenings in your comment.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday's Muse from Etsy

Another offering of Etsy-style goodness.

This is the first Treasury that I've ever attempted to put together.  An Etsy Treasury is just a member- curated gallery album loosely organized on a theme - color, style, season, similar medium, etc. 

Olde School Crossing Treasury

I think the bows on these shoes are simply darling!  This is a great way to spiff up a pair of ballet flats one day and then move the bows to a plain pair of pumps to rev them up a bit on another day.

Old School Grey, Brown & Red Stripe Ticking Ribbon Shoe Bow Clips. Heavy Twill Strapping. Uniform Preppy Student
$8.00 USD

Old typewriter keys can be so versatile.  These have gained a new life as push pins.  Upgrades the look of your bulletin board to something that is practical and cool.  Love it!

Vintage Style Typewriter Key Push Pins Magnets - Qty 5 - Old School Retro Industrial Office College

  • Vintage Style Typewriter K...PinwheelFair   $12.00 USD

  • Altered books are just like blank canvases.  They can become whatever you can imagine.  This artist from the Dallas area had many, many pieces to choose from.  I loved her imagination and creativity.

    A House with a Reading Chair  New Stories and Old Original Wire Mixed Media Altered Book
    $50.00 USD
    This book was altered from it's previous use as an elementary reader to an art journal.  The original interior pages removed and then art paper signatures set inside waiting your pen's pleasure.  FUN!

    elson reader handbound artists journal
    $40.00 USD

    The last piece for today's blog was something that made me smile.  Owls seems to be coming back into the decorating scene.  They certainly take me back to my junior high years.  Back then it was owls, mushrooms, snails, etc.  These mounted buttons are a tribute to that time. 

    Check back in to the blog next week for another Monday Muse from Etsy.

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Las Vegas, ElectroMagnet Girl :: ViewMaster Memories

    VINTAGE FINDS at Queen Mums Lace on

    Here's a blast from your past.  Well, ONLY if you are over the age of 40.  This children's toy is so much fun!  My girls played with it a little just to get a feel for the "olden days".  haha

    There are some things even technology like a Nintendo DS can't replace.  Vintage, old-school fun!  Take a peek.

    Stay tuned for more Vintage Finds.  Thrift stores call to me.  And there is no end to the incredible things that people routinely donate to the charity thrifts in our area.  Simply AMAZING!  Honestly, TOO much fun. 

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Monday's Muse from Etsy

    Here are a few shops that I visited on a recent morning.  Maybe I was shopping to avoid starting the laundry but that is beside the point.  You get the benefit of my procrastination!  Now, that's a great way to start the week.

    Enjoy! got my attention with all the unique uses for buttons.  Creative!  I love her way of putting an ordinary object into a different setting and turning it into something lovely to wear or carry.  The sidenote is that she's a one woman show and she's still in high school.  Gotta love that!

    $18.60 USD

    $15.60 USD  earned a spot because 1) they are two sisters who create together and 2) because I loved their use of materials.  Their love of sewing and creating together comes thru in their artwork.  I love it when syblings work art together!  Makes this Queen Mum proud.

    Summery sunshine clutch  
    $25.00 USD

    $25.00 USD

    The last spot for the day was earned by  This mom and daughter duo has won my heart with their inspired bits of artwork that can be worn.  Their jewelry is fabulous and, therefore, YOU will also look fabulous when you slip one of these beauties on before you dart out the door.  Yummy!

  • Mountain painting in metal frame necklace
    $45.00 USD

  • Mini Painting Pendant and Earrings Sunset on Bare Tree
    $45.00 USD

  • There are so many terrific shops on Etsy for every conceivable taste and budget.  The next time you need a gift, spend a little time shopping for handmade instead of running to the nearest big box for something uninspired and boring.  Etsy rocks! 

    Monday's Muse from Etsy will appear again next Monday.  So drop back by.  You never know what I'll find.................................

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Charmed, I'm Sure - Shop Lovely

    Blue Pansy Dreams offered at Queen Mums Lace on -

    This brilliantly colored bit of needlework can be worn as a necklace, a choker or a bracelet/cuff.

    Dramatic ********** Feminine********** Lovely 


    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    Confessions of the Studio Journal

    Journals...........Love 'em.  Hate 'em.

    I love the possibilities I can see when I'm thumbing thru new journals at the office supply store.  Or the great vision I have for a particularly beautiful artsy journal I notice at my local Hobby Lobby.  I've been known to gush with great delight over handfulls of quirky pens/pencils and how they will make my journal the wonder that it should be. 

    Here's the catch for me.  While I am 100% comfortable with decorating a journal page with paint, paper, pen, crayons, etc.- it is very difficult for me to write down anything that is negative or discouraging.  Why?  Not really sure.  Just is.

    Most of you could pick up a journal of mine and think I must live in a perpetual state of bliss and joy.  Everyone always loves me and treats me like the queen I profess to be. 

    That is not entirely true.  I do have many people in my life that love me and treat me well.  But, you know, life happens to everyone on the planet and sometimes life just stinks.  Why is that so hard to write about?

    This past weekend was a true train wreck.  Life just crashed into one big messy pile of ....... stuff.  So, off to my journal I went.  Not with a strong desire to chronicle every negative feeling.  I just picked it up to let my mind wander.  This seems to help me find some type of solution to whatever my latest dilemma is for the day.

    Here's what came out of those sessions with my studio journal.........................

    These path pages may not be completely finished yet.  I do like the simple way the design came out.  Bare.

    This page was a little more involved. The crazy looking writing is really just short-hand.  It's an old school way of writing very quickly, as in when professional people had secretaries that they dictated letters, memos, etc. to.  The boss talked and you wrote down what he said in this funny little language.  They probably don't even teach this anymore.  No one else at my house can read it so I can write whatever I want and no one is the wiser.  Being older has it's advantages, no?!?

    If any of you are needing permission to set aside your normally sunny personality and journal the yuck out of your system, that's what this Queen Mum is giving you. 

    Permission granted to figure out a way to journal the saddest, darkest parts in a way that gets it out there without damaging people.  Pour it out for the purpose of getting rid of the negativity.

    Write it out.  Draw about it.  Gesso over the whole mess.  Black it out with stamping.  Tear it out and burn it.  Crumple it up and throw the whole page away.

    Just don't keep it inside of you where it will really turn into a mess.

    Then you can get back to keeping on the "Sunny Side of Life".  Here's to smiling again!

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Summer, Arts & Etsy Shop Announcement

    Summer is Around The Corner (ATC)!!

    That may not mean much to some people but this family gets excited about summer!  Summer for us means that all-things-creative get the bulk of our attention and "schooling" gets to take a rest for a while.  This Queen Mum certainly looks forward to a much less scheduled day.  The royal kiddos look forward to swimming, crafting, swimming, eating, swimming, watching movies, etc. You get it!

    These last few weeks have been filled with exciting progress.

    I finally opened my Etsy shop,

     *wild clapping, confetting falling, woo - hoo!!!*

    Here are some samples of the items I am currently offering.

     Two Hearts, Too Cute     $15.00


    These sweet little crocheted bracelet cuffs all started when I was playing around with my needle and cream thread one evening while the television was on.  I made myself a cuff, wore it and loved it!  Loved how it looked and how it felt on my arm.  So darn cute!

    That first cuff led to another cuff and then another.  Before I knew it, I had worked up 8 different designs.  After I cautiously asked my resident art critics what they thought, it was decided that I could certainly try to sell them at

    Here's another sweet little bit of organized thread.....................


    Do you or do you not think this is lovely and totally unique?!?!  The ties are a full 20" in length to allow the wearer to either wear it long on the torso or pull it up closer to the neckline.  Versatile.  Beautiful.

    Etsy is a market place for all things handmade and vintage.  The gals in our house love to browse the shops.  There is no end to all the creative bits of artistry that come from the hearts of people!

    Not to be intimidated by all things tech, I jumped right in and opened up the shop.  Within 24 hours I had my first sale!  WOW!!  That was exciting.

    I've learned even more since I've begun.  I love how easy it is to tweak the shop's appearance, move items around, edit content, etc.  Etsy also has a great business support network that keeps the artists informed, educated and plugged into ways to market the products.  It's really VERY generous and very affirming.  I'm having a ball!

    So, for those of you who have missed me recently - that's the story.  I've been working hard at learning another new thing.  Creating new jewelry pieces on paper, finding inspiration in multiple places, dreaming up new possibilities.......................

    Good thing summer is here!!

    I'ld love to hear your comments about my Etsy shop and the things you find there.

    I've got a give away up my sleeve.  Stay tuned and you could have your own piece of Queen Mums Lace.

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    And, Now The Winner Is.......

    Since the first of this year I have had the good fortune to win two blog give aways!  Nothing brightens a queen's day like logging in and seeing that the comment she left at one of her favorite sites ended up posting in just the right spot to receive a terrific prize.  WOO HOO!!

    My first prize was a gift from Kaari Meng of the French General.

    I discovered the work of the French General at an odd old-school place, the public library.  Kaari's book caught my attention while I scanned my favorite artsy/crafty spot because she had used cream and red as the principle colors.

    This is a color combo that I am always drawn to - just love the richness of the look.  It's like french vanilla ice cream with ripe juicy red strawberries, yummy.  Her book led me to her blog.  I check her site often in a month.  Her posts are beautiful, inspiring and creative.  Plus, she travels to France each year and uses her blog to document her amazing basement/warehouse finds, terrific food and impossibly beautiful countryside she enjoys while she is traveling there.  It's like a little mini-vacation for her blog readers. *sigh and pass the wine, please*

    My prize is pictured below.  She generously included samples of her most recent fabrics purchased for the French General brick and mortar store in Los Angeles, CA.  The fabrics are simply beautiful!  I'm waiting for inspiration to strike but until it does I love to finger these beautiful samples, conjuring up all kinds of possibilities.  I'm leaning toward incorporating bits of these fabrics in a few of my crochet wrist cuffs that I've been selling on Etsy.  Look for that upcoming post.....


    Please stop by Kaari's little piece of Internet Heaven, .  It's probably the next best thing to a trip to France - no passport required.  Wine, optional.

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Hanging Out with Ceily Ann

    Today is a simply gorgeous day!  The birds are twitterpating (remember, Bambi?!) and singing up a storm.  The air is moving gently and wraps my shoulders in comforting warm.........simply yummy.  And I'm doing one of my mindless, old timey chores - hanging linens on the line to dry.  What could be better than that?

    Every time I hang laundry out to dry, I think of my grandmother.  In her later years, she lived with my mom (her daughter) and she had no need to hang the laundry on the line.  In fact, she probably hadn't hung the laundry out in many years.  Times had changed and everyone had an electric clothes dryer to boast about.  When she passed away many of her things that she had moved to my mother's home were placed in or left in the garage.  The fate of those things were left for another day's decision.  Eventually my mom was able to start the sifting process, doling out pieces here and there as different family members dropped by for a visit.  The conversations were something like this....  "I was going thru Grandma's boxes yesterday and found......   Do you have a use for it?  Or would you like to have this?" 

    My standard answer for this type of question is almost always "Yes!".  My husband and I are both the oldest children of our respective homes.  Family history is really important to us.  One particular day I was asked about my Grandmother's clothes pins and the bag that she had rigged up for containing and dispensing them.  At that time, my children were much younger and needier.  The thought of walking outside to hang up anything to dry rather than tossing it into my convenient gas dryer just seemed like too much more work to me.  In spite of that, I responded as usual with a cheery "Yes!". 

    But the times did change, the kids grew and I began to see my "chore" time as a time to just check my cares at the back door and let my mind wander while I thoughtlessly worked thru the basket.  That's when I noticed how smooth the clothes pins were - satiny smooth.  I noticed how different, decorative and, even, beautiful the wire mechanisms were.  That's when I realized that these pins were ancient and had probably been doing their service for decades.  What a treasure I had unknowingly accepted! 

    So today as I hung those same sheets and towels out to dry, I lovingly thought of my Grandmother Burcham.  Mother of six children, longtime wife to one man, conqueror of The Great Depression Era troubles, baker of countless apple pies, talker of tall tales, silly jokes and a little (or a lot of) gossip here and there, lover of Jesus and His church, tender of the garden and preserver of it's bounty.............  She was a ball of fire wrapped in a 5' frame!  I loved her SO!

    My hope is that one day my future grandchildren will remember me as lovingly when they are just living their regular lives, doing their mindless chores and then they...............SMILE.