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Monday, August 30, 2010

Getting Real

The real truth?

I'm tired.
I'm cranky.
I'm worried.

We are now at almost three weeks past our original house closing date
and I am more than a little perturbed 
at the slowness with which our bank
is handling this.

Mind you,
ALL paperwork is in and
has been approved.

It's just the paperwork shuffle goin' on right now.

The bank reassures our Realtor that this is just the way it is
in this economy these days.
That nobody is closing on time,
that everybody is having their closing dates pushed back
and back
and back.

The seller is getting antsy and irritated, too.

And it crosses my mind
what if....

this all goes South at the 11th hour?

the deal falls through.
we lose the house.

not gonna go there.

It's a new week now.
Gonna stay positive.

Gonna need some help, though.
That's where you come in.

Bear with me, that is all I ask.

Oh, and toss up a prayer or send a good thought, 
whatever works for you, works for me.

That's all.
Just a little cathartic sharing before bedtime.

prayers and good thoughts for your  week....

An addendum:

Dear Bank,
Your time is not more valuable than mine.
No way, no shape, no how.
To find out today that I might have to take time off from work this week, leave the hospital and my patients to accommodate YOUR slowness in getting this done?
Not acceptable.
I know for a fact that your job is not more important than mine. 
My job actually involves saving lives for a living, whose life did YOU save today?
Yeah, I thought so.

Wishing you a day full of unicorns and candy canes,

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Weekend!

I'll be busy, busy, busy all this weekend,
so rather than neglect my blog and all of you,
I'm sharing the guest post I did for my sweet friend 
a couple of weeks back.

Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend!

{when we finally do close on the house, I'll shout it from the blogtops}


Hello Pretties and Posies readers!
I am so pleased and honored that sweet Melanie
has asked me to do a guest post here on her beautiful blog.
This is my first guest post ever, so hang in there with me as I learn the ropes. :-)

In getting to know Melanie, I've discovered
that we both share a passionate love for photography,
and some of the best you'll find out there can be seen right here on
Melanie's gorgeous blog.

For those who don't know me, I only just began blogging a year ago this month.
I work full-time as a respiratory therapist,
have a small booth in a local antique mall,
and an Etsy shop which is due to re-open soon.

My blog was initially meant to chronicle
my journey towards being a vintage shop owner,
but in recent months, it has taken a decidedly unexpected turn towards my new,
all consuming!

As I began blogging, I quickly realized that as important as the words are,
the images are really key.
This time last year, I had never taken a photograph
with anything other than a disposable camera!
Soon after starting my blog I upgraded to a Canon point and shoot,
and just this past May I met the new love of my Nikon D5000 DSLR.

{my first ever photo with my amazing new baby boy!}

But I'm here to reassure you that as nice as it is
to have such a wonderful camera, it's not essential
to producing eye-catching images....there are so many wonderful photo editing resources out there,
many of which are FREE!
Let me show you a bit of the magic I've been able to create
using a variety of photo editing programs.

This image is straight of the camera (SOOC, hereafter)...

And here it is after taking it for a couple of spins
through Photoshop Elements and Picnik...




And with PS Elements and Picnik

Now, if you were to ask me for step by step instructions
as to how I achieved these dramatic changes....well, I'd be at a loss,
because I'm still very much a novice and learning as I go.
I just play and tinker and tweak.
Which is what I encourage all of you to do, too!

One tip I can share actually came from one of the comments I received on this post:
It's all about the crop.
Cropping your image properly gives it that extra pop
and can turn an ordinary pic
into something extraordinary.

Want to see more?
No problem!

My SOOC barn image...

And since I was going for a sun-washed, vintage look,
here it is after using Florabella Actions in PS Elements...


And through the magic of photo editing:


and after...


and after...

Nice image below, but nothing special, no "wow" factor.

Compare that to the after...


And what about my trademark Fiona and Twig header?
Yep, made more lovely through the beauty of photo editing!

Before (SOOC)...

Dark, under-exposed, and I wasn't even holding the camera straight.

And voila!

I could share my passion for photography with you all day long,
but I'll conclude now with a list of photo editing resources
for those whose interest has been piqued:

Photoshop Elements

Florabella Actions

The Pioneer Woman




I hope you have as much fun as I've had!

Melanie, thank you so much for the opportunity
to share my passion with all of your lovely readers!
Have a beautiful week!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Treasures From Tracey

Do you know my lovely and talented friend Tracey from 

Not only does she have one of the most gorgeous blogs out there,
but she also has THE most divine online shop ever!

I've purchased my fair share of lovelies from sweet Tracey this past year,
and with each package that arrives from her, she outdoes herself...
the packaging, presentation, everything about a package from her is simply magical.

I purchased this gorgeous French-inspired table runner
from Tracey a couple of weeks back...

and this is how it arrived on my front door...

 dried lavender, wrapped lovingly in jute twine...

a burlap sachet filled with more aromatic lavender...

pages from French books...

sweet vintage buttons...

little touches that make a big impact.

Merci, Tracey!

Visit her here:



Have a beautiful Tuesday!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Great Outdoors...House Tour, Part Deux


As promised, here are the outside pics of our new home,
barns, and the property in general.
Please note that these pics do not include
the adjacent one acre empty lot which will be ours as well.
We have a total of 2.3 acres.

Oh, and be sure to take the inside tour right HERE.

Barn #1, aka the one that needs a little visit from the the exterminator.

Here's the inside...

Needs a little (or a LOT) of work, but...
picture a barn sale in here in a year or two.
Anybody care to join me?

Next up is our swank three-car garage.

Don't be haters.


And last up is barn #2, soon-to-be our megapalooza storage building, 
and my someday studio...

And at the far end of the chicken barn/storage unit...

This could be a project!

And get a load of this...

Right smack dab in the middle of the backyard!

And because I just finished up a couple of 12 hour shifts
at the hospital and don't feel like providing narrative...
here, in no particular order, are the rest of the pics I snapped.


The view across the street from our huge front yard...


is home.

Have a wonderful week ahead!

Linking with Cindy at 

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