{ the kitchen } days 8-11 & 14 (and a vacay)

No worries.  The project is still underway.  For a few days we were painting extra coats and top coats and letting that dry.  And that just doesn't show up well in photographs.

And then I went on quick vacation! 

AZ vacation, 2011.  The Boulders PoolMy sweet husband takes me to Arizona every year for a nice long Mother's Day weekend before he stays on for a week to play golf with his friends. Works out fine by me, because after 4 days, I miss the girls a ton and need to get back in action.  The break sure is nice, though.

One of the things I love best about Scottsdale is the food.  We eat so well there.  My friend Sarah introduced me to Postino on my last trip and I had to go back this time after dreaming about their bruschetta board for a year:

Um, yes. 

I think Arizona is gorgeous in May.  It might get a bad rap for being all brown and tan and pink the rest of the year, but in May everything is wild with color.  We were surrounded by blooms.

And I discovered that an NA beer + lemonade cocktail at the pool tastes almost as good as the real thing.

Let's fast forward to Monday night, when I got home.  Late night photos...

day 11 - doors on!

Cabinet Doors!

day 11 - secretary done

A painted secretary!

day 11 - doors on!

I love that Carl the Painter talked me into going black with the secretary.  He did a rub-back on the edges.  And the pulls!  And knobs!  Ack!  I was freaking out.  I can't believe how far this has come in two weeks.

day 11 - doors on!

And, since there is no rest for the weary...

we hit the ground running yesterday (Tuesday) morning with granite installation...! 

day 14 - granite

Today we have a plumber coming to hook up the kitchen sink, which will be nice.  Here's praying that goes off without a hitch.  The whole rinsing-plates-in-the-powder-room-gig sounds more fun than it really is.   And I'm honestly worried that I any minute I'm going to pour out a sippy cup of old milk down the drainless sink by mistake.  Yikes. 

We're on the home stretch.  It feels good.  And I'm thrilled that, so far, it is coming together just as I saw it in my little noggin.  Whew.  Big sigh of relief.


{ travel } New Orleans recap, part one

new orleans new year
Our spur of the moment New Orleans trip was wonderful.  I am very fortunate that hubs likes to do all of our travel planning.  I usually just have to show up with the right clothes, a camera and an appetite.  In his alternate parallel universe, he is a travel agent.  A really good one.

new orleans new year

The choice of city was rather logical: warmer than Kansas City, direct flight, fairly inexpensive seats, no car rental necessary, good food, live music, friends nearby.  Hello, New Orleans. 

new orleans new year

Having not been since the ripe old age of 6, and only hearing friends' tales of college trips and mardi gras,  I really wasn't sure what to expect.  I am not a crowd person.  And, somewhere along the way, I have become considered the safe, conservative, prudish mama of my set.  I'm still not sure where that came from.  At any rate, you can imagine what I imagined.  Ahem.

But I really did love it.

decked out and gorgeous, NOLA shop

It was beautiful.  I Love how the South dresses for the holidays.


new orleans new year

Dramatic.  The ironwork and architecture kept stopping me.  Crazy, crazy cool.  Oh, and I have never seen so many chandeliers.  It was sparkle heaven.

2 of 4 hotel monteleone lobby chandeliers

Moody. I loved the raw character and muted tone of the still weathered homes in the city.

you can't fake this

Delicious.  Um.  These fit over my wrist.  I have photos of that, too.

new orleans 2010

the color the color the color.

Colorful.  Oh, glory, the color.

new orleans new year

Entertaining.  I should have had more photos of the music. 

new orleans new year

Surprising.  Warm.  Damp.  The rooftop of this building cracks me up.

yes, that is mossy stuff, growing from the housetop.  Three stories up.

Fun.  The St Charles Trolley ride was the perfect morning trip through gorgeous old neighborhoods.

St Charles Street Trolley

From the trolley

Delicious.  It is more delicious than I can even handle.  I wanted to eat all the time.  My appetite is only now returning.  I am not kidding.

Mr B's cream puff dessert.  Oy.Luxe.  They do not do understated.

new orleans new year

Rich with Music.

new orleans 2010and History.

jackson square

And there is a lot of walking. The French Quarter is small, yes.  But you can walk for miles in an afternoon, tripping between antique shops and restaurants and landmarks.  I should have brought better walking shoes.  ( I did luck out on day 2 and bought some aerosole boots on Magazine Street at a   Buffalo Exchange.  It was a little pricey for secondhand, but I figure the rent is pretty steep next to Urban Outfitters and all.  Also picked up a sweet pair of red suede Red Cross shoes for $13!  Adorable.)

antiques shops galore on Royal
Perhaps the best part was that we were lucky to meet up with some friends.  Hubs has a work buddy down there and he arranged to meet us with his wife for a ridiculously fun and scrumptious dinner at K Paul's on the 30th. (The blackened drum is insane.  Also, the fried green tomatoes.  Yum.) 

new orleans 2010

Later, the four of us joined Beki and her husband for Dr John live at Tipatina's.  (WOW.)   I felt so lucky enough to see her again so soon after our Seattle trip, and I have plans to visit again this spring....

the fountain at pat-o's

Oh, and the peoplewatching?  Stellar. 

(End of part one. I swear, part 2 isn't as long. Will recommence with the crafting before long. If I don't write this down now, I never will!)



{ popping in } Happy New Year!

It seems like it has been forever since I stopped in here to share anything. We have been busy enjoying time with family and making the most of this holiday season. I hope you have been, too.

Hubs and I took a little last minute trip to New Orleans for New Years Eve. I had never been to the Big Easy as an adult, nor gone to a NYE party where I could get all gussied up.

Monteleone Lobby sparkles<>

We stayed in the French Quarter and enjoyed people watching and eating and music and shopping and all of the Crazy that makes it so fun. I now have an iPhone full of fun photos to share and lots of new favorite foods. (And a few days off from eating, I think. Oh my butter!)

Happy new year, friends!

I have lots of exciting ideas for 2011, too. Here's to a great new year! xoxo, misschris

{ bottle it } if I could

That beachy feeling.


The way the sun sparkles on the water and warms the sand.

honeymoon island 2010

The thrill of racing waves.

honeymoon island 2010

The weathered textures and endless sky.

honeymoon island 2010

The need to explore.

honeymoon island 2010

The promise of special treasure.

honeymoon island 2010

The joy of being.

Wishing you a bottle-worthy moment today!


{ booo! }

If you come here for The Pretty, I will have to apologize for the following post.

It is not pretty.

Magic Kingdom, Halloween Style

It is quite scary.

Florida OCT 2010 222

In a Magic Kingdom Parade kind of way.

Headless Horseman leads the parade

The Headless Horseman led the parade. That was kind of spooky.
The ten year old girl in me got the goosebumps.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Parade

Evil Queen.  Meanie.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Parade

The dancing ghosts were even creepier when I realized that my camera captured them this way.  I went on the Haunted Mansion ride that night with the 14 year old.  She was freaked out of her mind. Scarred for life, she said.  Poor little lamb.

(Check out the decorations in the windows on Main Street. Now I think I need orange bunting.  And I don't even have a front porch.)

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Parade

Grave diggers.  Dig it.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Parade

Pirates pretty much rock. 

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Parade


Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Parade

And so did this band.

We were so lucky to be visiting the park during Halloween celebrations.  It's not often that you get to see Cinderella's Castle like this:

Cinderella's Castle

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Parade

Oops.  Some pretty snuck in anyway.

miss chris

(If you don't mind, I'm going to continue sharing some trip photos over the next several days.  I was lazy and only brought along my little silver auto-camera, so some of the photos are better than others. But you'll forgive me, right?  Thanks.  You're a peach.)

{ more photos } missing seattle

I am still rather obsessing about my little trip to Seattle.  When I am not badgering my husband about how wonderful it would be to up and move there, I am quietly reviewing the odd photos that crept in that weren't of the crafty persuasion.


Like our little meetup at The Hopvine Pub for a taste of local brews before we settled in.  Ridiculously good hummus.  And an artichoke dip?  Both yum yum good.  I might have licked the bowl.   Or maybe that was Jade.  I can't remember.

The moss.  I need more moss on my life.   And cobblestones. 

Jade, Beki and I stayed an extra day so that we could soak up a little of the area before heading back to Texas, Louisiana and Missouri.  We booked a hotel downtown and had another dearie -- Eva -- introduce us to the Fremont District before she drove home to Vancouver. (Eva owns a store called the Barefoot Contessa, and I am very very very sorry that I cannot shop there.  That is all.)


I got to ride shotgun.

It was a bit like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride meets European Vacation (Big Ben! Parliament!)

I'm serious.  See the Space Needle?

We started in the Fremont District and ate a crazy amount of delicious Thai food.

Then we traipsed about, popping into shops here and there. 

in front of a little shop in Fremont.
We shopped at charming boutiques.  One after another. (What is the name of this place???  I cannot remember and I loved every inch of it.  From the gorgeous front door to the shoes.  Oh, the shoes.)

peace + deluxe junk = <3

And this one held a few small packable treasures for us.  Plus, you must stand next to the giant french fry and pose with a stop sign. You must.

We did. 

But some things are better left to your imagaination.

After getting a bit turned around and walking back the right way (...and passing a Chocolate Factory.  For Real.  For a whole block we smelled nothing but chocolate.  That might have been when the Seattle love went over the top for me, I'm not sure) we happened upon a crazy labyrinth of vintage goodies.

And that is where I found my new to me, Frye Campus Boots, size 6. On the cheap.  There will be another post.  All about this particular event.  It is deserving.  I need to hire a choir of angels for sound effects.


We met Sarah (who lives in AZ, but was also visiting) on a bus and hopped over to Wallingford, which is adorable. And we saw firsthand the eye candy that is Fabric Crush, located in the old Kindergarten classroom of an old school building. Yes, very cool.



Pretty.  And this silly camera photo doesn't do it justice. 

We also stopped for nourishment at at Trophy Cupcakes.  Fidget was thrilled that I kept my little ballerina and brought her home with me.

cupcake treat

Eventually we did make it back to downtown.  We saw no fish thrown.  However, we did venture out later that night and for some local fare.


And on Tuesday, when we said our teary goodbyes at the airport, we finally each had Starbucks.


We almost forgot to do that.  So busy having fun.

{ re-entry } after the dottie angel workshop

... and just like that I am back.  A weekend with dearies and doilies and jaw-dropping vintage goodness from all over the world is over.

jessies bag
(sweet jessie's pretty suitcase of goodies)


It was perfect.  Peachy perfect, per dottie angel.

Setting_up(setting up for the apron shoot)

Words fall so short.


dottie weekend 136
(the moore mansion, where we worked.  it was a bit Beast's Castle)

We were friends and left sisters.


We pushed ourselves with time and space and supplies and tools.  (I had carried on my sewing machine, now named Miss Kendra.  She was quite useful and threw very few fits.  Pfew.  It would have been terribly embarressing if she had been tempermental that weekend.  She has, it seems, aged gracefully.)

Tif-chat(tif instructs, next to mr doily head)

We stepped out of our comfort zones.

Dottie weekend 008(happy garlands)

Scratch that.

trees2(garlands at volunteer park)

We leapt out of our comfort zones.

Slip-1(crappity crap camera phone photo)

I sashayed about Seattle's Capitol Hill in a custom slip, for crying out loud!

Dottie weekend 116

Heavens to Betsy, it was freeing.

Fairy hole (look!  a fairy hole!  I swear.)

I loved every minute.

chris(photo: beki :: artsy crafty babe)

Thank you, angela, for organizing this fantasy weekend in a fairytale place.  You inspire me to follow my dreams.


Thank you, mary, for being your sweet helpful self.  You have a grand + bright life ahead of you.   Angela is so lucky to have you assist in all things!


Thank you, tif, for bringing dottie angel to life and letting us into her special world.  You are a sparkly gem of a person.  Quirky and witty and sweet.  I wish I could keep you in my pocket.

And to the rest of the dearies... what an incredible treat it was to meet and visit with you all!  To have such instant connections with others!  Those meals 'round the table draped with Angela's lovely cloth-of-cloths were just as special as the making and doing and seeing. 

Finally, for Jade and Beki... my comrades in travel and adventure, there are no words.  You girls so get it.  xo


miss chris dearie(tif's photo of me channeling my inner dottie angel.)

More photos here in the dottie angel workshop group on flickr. They are worth a look as I left my big camera at home and failed to take many pictures with my little one. 

treed path

However, a word of caution.

You will both want to attack something with a doily and visit Seattle, stat.

Happy Weekending, all!


miss chris

{ excited } one more thing...

I wasn't going to blog about it.  Not yet, anyway.  I am really very excited but I keep thinking some sort of last minute hiccup or wrench or other malarkey will get in the way of it happening. 

But what the heck. I was never any good at surprises.


You see, in September, I am going to meet up with my dear friend, Jade, in Seattle and spend four days with eight other crafters at a Dottie Angel workshop hosted by Tif Fussell herself.  In a historic mansion.  Sewing.  And visiting.  Ohhing and Aahing over each other's vintage goodies.  Staying up late and making big, big plans.  And crocheting (although we'll see how THAT goes.  I do have a history there.). 

We're packing up our sewing machines, some doilies, ric-rac, scissors and a variety of vintage fabrics and notions, a slip and a stool (the supply list said so), and we are going to schlep all of this stuff through airports and taxis like gypsies until we arrive at the Shuey House and collapse in a heap of eclectic craft supplies.

And I cannot wait.

Doesn't it sound fantastic?  Doesn't it?  Lucky for you, there are still two spots left...

[ Organized by Angela Ritchie's ACE Camps.  Photos from the registration web page.]


UPDATE!  My dear friend, Beki, has taken one of those last spots!  Yipppeeee!

Making me smile today.

So it was over a year ago that hubs and I went on a 12 day trip to Hawaii.  Oh, yes, it was amazing.  We stayed in Maui, Kauai, and met up with some friends for a conference in Oahu.


Maui was beautiful and fun and reminded me a little of the artsy beach towns of Southern California, only humid and with hardly any traffic.


Oahu (Honolulu) was so industrial that it just felt like a big city.  (In fact, the office-organized Luau we went to was around the corner from a scrap metal yard.  Ambience, I tell you.)  

But Kauai was different from the minute we got to the car rental place.

wild chickens

First of all, there were wild chickens.  Everywhere. 

There was a hen chasing her chicks across the entry to the Hertz rental place and they almost went inside when the automatic doors opened.  No one seemed to notice or care.  There is reason for the chickens, of course, but the very presence of them was just funny.  As was the fact that Hertz tried to give us a Lincoln Continental.  In Kauai.  Which is the island on which they filmed a lot of Jurassic Park.  Think waterfalls and cliffs and narrow curvy mountain roads.  Yes, it screams Give me a Continental. 

hawaii na pali coast

Once we got the vehicle situation fixed, we shooed some chickens out of the way and got into a Montero that had just been turned in.  They hadn't even had time to clean it out yet.  Fine by us. Sunroof, check.  Windows, down. 

We took off in search of our hotel.

kauai - lihue coast

But not before we realized that the previous renters had left us the coolest gift.  Over the speakers, Amos Lee began singing in his happy-go-lucky-mellow-beach-guy sound.  Someone had left a copy of his CD and it became the sountrack for the rest of our trip.  It was perfect. 

To this day, I can't hear Amos without thinking about the drive along the Kauai coast, warm breeze flowing, the yummy Hawaiian smell of flowers and pineapple in the air.


fresh pineapple

So when I heard him just now on my Pandora station (on a Madeleine Peyroux station?  Who knew he'd pop up there?), I was instantly transported.

Thanks, Amos. (And thanks, random traveller. It was such a happy surprise.)

And if you need more Hawaii photos, you can see the lot here.