Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Station

By Robert J. Hastings

Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We're traveling by train and, from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination--for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the Station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the Station.

"Yes, when we reach the Station, that will be it!" we promise ourselves. "When we're eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!"From that day on we will all live happily ever after.

Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no Station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The Station is an illusion--it constantly outdistances us. Yesterday's a memory, tomorrow's a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday's a fading sunset, tomorrow's a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.

So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather the regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today."Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The Station will come soon enough.

I hear the saying, "Life is a journey. Enjoy the Ride" quite often. I truly believe that it is. If you are not enjoying this journey called LIFE, what is the point?! It is up to me (and you) to make time for the little joys in life. I find joy in playing with my boys, eating ice cream, laughing babies, my husband, summer nights, playing at the park, creating & designing, talking with my sisters, laughing with my friends, crying over a good book. Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a dream. LIVE your dream.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I have a small problem

You see this chair? I have two of them. Exactly the same. Minus the rips and tears ... those are unique to each other. My neighbor was parting with these and offered them for free - of course they are free - would you look at the mess they are in!! Anyway, I accepted them because upon sitting my little fanny in the cushion I did not want to get out. To put it plainly these are comfy over sized chairs.

I have been searching fabrics to get them re-upholstered and nothing has suited my fancy.... until I stumbled upon THIS site. Oh. Me. Oh. My!!

Now my problem is that I just can't decide on a fabric. There are so many choices. Currently I am loving THIS collection from Michael Miller. But then again THIS would be a little more practical.

I'll have to narrow down my selections and then maybe have YOU decide!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I have been following Tip Junkie for a few months now ... ever stop into Tip Junkie?

There are always seasonal ideas for the crafter, cute boutiques to browse though and I am loving the tips featuring Moms! We all lead incredibly busy lives, and it is nice to see what other creative Moms are doing in ALL of their FREE time. ;-)

You'll have to check out her Mom-preneur Shop-a-thon! Laurie had a brilliant idea and has offered her readers the opportunity to buy from creative Women this holiday season. Any why not? Swanky Paper is one of the fabulous features shops!

Friday, November 21, 2008

charming boutique

Ever heard of Modern Myrtle?




I must have been living under a rock because I have only recently found out about Modern Myrtle and the darling items listed here. Joni offers Quilts, Aprons, Handbags, adorable onesies, and more.

I found this site through a friend's referral and I am so excited about my custom order. I ordered this, however I asked Joni to make it a little bit larger so that I can use my wristlet to hold my wipes case and a few diapers.

The best part about her custom bags is that you can mix and match from any of her fantastic fabric choices.

I can't wait to see the lovely wristlet that Joni is whipping up for me!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

California Baby

I am a creature of habit when it comes to my daily skincare regime. I have not altered it for years simply because it works for me. I have sensitive skin so I am fearful of putting anything on my face that it is not familiar with.
This is not the case with my youngest son. I have tried numerous products on his skin. He developed a mild case of eczema on his knees and ankles a few months ago. Recommendations from friends didn't seem to help much. That is until this last Sunday. A friend noticed my son's little patchy redness and asked if that was eczema. She then recommended a product called California Baby.

I had never heard of it and was willing to give another recommendation a try seeing as how nothing really helped much. I bought the Calendula Cream, Nature's First-Aid.

I have been using it since Monday and there is a noticeable difference where his little patches are. They have lightened up and I don't see my little one scratching as much.

California Baby also has a line of products strictly for Eczema, however I am going to continue the Calendula Cream since it seems to be working.

California Baby offers a whole line of organic products and they are not just for babies ... check it out!
I give this product 2 thumbs up!

Monday, November 17, 2008


I love Old Navy for this time of year. They generally stock up on some fun and very comfortable PJ's. I picked up these little comfy pants over the weekend... and a cute green tee to match. My favorite color!

{*If I'd only known they were a couple buck cheaper online..}

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

craft'in mama: Rag Quilts

My boys needed some new blankets and I have a niece with an adorable rag quilt that I wanted to mimic. They didn't appear difficult to make but I wanted to make sure I did it right. I searched the web for a tutorial for making these, but could not find one. I must not be searching the right venues because I am quite certain tutorials are out there somewhere. So I was left to my own devices. I borrowed the quilt from my niece and figured it out. Really, don't give me any credit because this is seriously an easy project. time consuming, yes. but easy!

First, cut out fabric squares - however you want to cut and how ever many you want in order to make the size of quilt you desire. Fold the fabric in half so that you are cutting two squares at a time. Keep the two squares together. You'll be sewing them together later.
To cut, I used what you see here.
Between you and me ... I can't cut a straight line, so I cheat!)

After you have all your squares, make sure they are in pairs and sew each pair together to form strips. I sewed mine together at 5/8. Depending on the end result you want, feel free to sew more or less than that.

Once the strips are sewn, you'll then sew each strip together forming the quilt.

Once all the strips are sewn together you'll have a quilt with a smooth side and a side with stitched ends.

Here comes the tedious part. Take a pair of scissors and cut tiny incisions along each of the stitched ends. I cut mine about 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart. Honestly, you don't need to be precise. Just be sure to stop the incision before cutting into your stitching.

After all the cuts are made, throw your quilt into the washer and dryer. This will fray the cut ends giving it the rag look.

My handsome little 3 year old is into Pirates. Naturally he choose this fabric.

And since my 16th month old Prince can't give me his opinion yet (well he can't verbalize it anyway!), I chose the blue, orange, green, & white for him.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, November 10, 2008

latest addition

Hooray for Bookplates!

My latest addition to the Swanky shop are these totally cute Bookplates!

in Cotton Candy
(sneak preview. not yet added to the shop)

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Our life has become a little bumpy road lately with quite a few ups and downs, that contributing to this blog had to take a back seat for a while. If there is still an audience, I thank you for your patience.

There is much to come and more to be added in the shop. I have been busy with custom orders and a few non-Swanky Paper projects that I can't wait to share.

stay tuned...

image via flickr