A little something sweet

Mr. Happy has been trying to get me to go to a local orchard/farm stand for a few weeks now.  And, we finally made it to the place this past Friday! 

When I walked in the store, off a little windy road, I was instantly dazzled by the smells in there! 

There were homemade pies cooling (apple and berry and key lime), cider donuts, cupcakes, jams, honey, and so many other good smelling baked goods I know I am forgetting!  

And look what we found!!!  Real maple syrup!  (I sound like a little kid, don't I?)
With real maple syrup in the cabinet it was the perfect excuse on Saturday to make waffles and sit down for a decadent breakfast with my husby!

You can see the crispiness of the waffle and the golden color of the syrup.  Seriously, this made my week! 

Look how cute the design on the bottle is!  The cute house tucked up on the hill, the trees, the horses pulling the wagon... I wouldn't mind visiting that place! 
I coudn't resist one more picture of my waffle.  I think one of the things that makes them so much fun is the way the syrup stays in the little squares. 

Do you have a favorite breakfast or treat that takes you instantly to a happier place?


Do something nice.

Last week was the second annual art show at work. 

This is one of the pieces I displayed called "Drip"

Not only did I volunteered to enter some of my own art I was also on the committee to set up the show. It took a lot of time, planning, and effort as we had to get artists to volunteer, screen their work, prep bio's for them, and put together the physical show by arranging panels and hanging art, but when it was finally all set up and co-workers were wandering around taking in all the art it made me feel incredible.
I mean... that incredible sustainable happy feeling that you get to keep for a few weeks (even though you feel exhausted)!  Cloud nine!

This piece is called "Meadow"

Last year was the first year in a long time that I offered to display my work.  I was nervous to say the least.  I know when I am creating art I am doing it for myself (for fun).  I am expressing some sort of emotion within.  That said, displaying those inner emotions for others to see and interpret is nerve wrecking!  Are they going to like it?  Will they see it the way I meant it?  Will they think it was silly?  What will they tell others about it?

This one is "Dandelion"

This year was a little different.  Still nerve wrecking, but this year they would be able to compare my art to what I did last year!  What would they like better?  Oh, a whole new realm of things to worry on.  Once I get over that.  I was fine.

This is my "Herd" that I was sharing with you as I created it. 

I think this has to be my favorite piece this year!

There were all sorts of entries this year in all sorts of mediums to include, fabric arts, watercolor, oils, pottery, pastels, photos, pencil drawings, sewn costumes, and jewelry.  It was so fun to get a glimpse of the other side of the folks I work with.  They are all so talented and I learned so many things about how art can be created!

This is a color pencil sketch of a quilt I am working on which I also displayed at the show.  I titled it "Blue and Tan."  Hard to name a quilt!
This is the progress I made on the quilt so far!  I can't wait to finish it up (not only so I can use it), so I can bring it to next year's show and share the final product!

This is the last of the six pieces that I entered.  It's a "Spring Bouquet" made from colorful origami flowers!
And as if all that wasn't enough... the committee thought it would be fun this year to have demonstrations of different art techniques as a way to share how each artist created their pieces.  (Which I have to say I totalled enjoyed myself!!  I have such a big appreciation for the talent I am surrounded by!)

I volunteered to run an origami demo.

I brought lots of origami paper, green pipe cleaners, and sat down at one of the tables.  Very quickly I had lots of interested folks sitting down with me and trying their hand at creating an origami tulip!

It was a lot of fun!!  It was also humbling to receive so many thank you's.  It was humbling to see how something that I maybe take for granted had really bring such incredible smiles and cheer to people's faces.  It reminded me that I have a lot to give to others!

Today, as we start another week, I would like to offer that doing something nice for someone else = extended happiness!

Don't forget that something as simple as sharing your talents could really make a big impact!!


Hapdates - what my week looked like

I shared that I had a busy week.  

Here are some of the why's:

Deadlines at work to meet. Stress from work. Finding time for the art show. Nervous about entering. Gratified that I entered. Humbled by the comments that were shared about my art. Nervous about sharing an origami demo. Laughing that I taught part of a demo wrong and had to show everyone had to re-do it. Stunned how much everyone enjoyed the origami demo. Humbled from the thank you's and your a good teacher remarks I got after my demo. Sad that my mom didn't call me back. Frantic from the pace I was keeping. Annoyed that I wasn't sleeping as much as I wanted.  Annoyed that my house needed to be cleaned. Uplifted from my doggy taking me on a walk to the lake. Sad that I didn't have the time or energy to get a good start on practicing my crocheting. Tired of seeing origami paper by Thursday. Sad to see the art show taken down on Friday. Happy to feel like I can slow down a bit now. Excited about company coming over this weekend. Nervous about what to cook for company. Thankful to have this goofy dog by my side no matter how crazy I get. Landed on baking a chicken and making mashed potatoes. Excited to try the homemade apple pie from the farm stand we found near the house. Madly in love with Mr. Happy. Feeling so lucky to have a husband who supports me during all this chaos! 

And finally feeling happy and more relaxed to take in all these feelings now while sitting in the sun and sharing them with you!

This is really a typical week for me.  Lots of ups and downs.  Not everything is always happy, but this place reminds me that I can't always control things, but what I can control is what I choose to focus on.  And by choosing to focus on the happy things that happen during my week (even the small ones) I am choosing happiness!

Last weekend was very warm for NY this time of year.  It gave me a great chance to play in the yard with Katie and watch her run around like a nut.

Can you tell she had a good time?  I really think if I could find a way to bottle Katie's exuberance for life it would cure all the worlds sadness!

Give that weekend of yours a good start by thinking of a few of the happy things that happened this week.

And how about art show pictures tomorrow?


Sweet Potato Fries

My week has been consumed with art show details, nice weather, and trying to catch up on sleep. 

I am sure to get back to regular blogging either by tomorrow or Saturday. 

And I have a lot of happy things to tell you about!!

Things like:
  • The art show I entered work into (yes, with pictures!)
  • An origami demonstration I did at the art show.
  • All the flowers that are opening around the yard.
  • An awesome pink giftie that I got from my sister (in law)
  • Another wood working project that Mr. Happy finished.
  • And I'm sure there is more, but my tired brain can't think of it right now
Today I was just going to share quick snaps of one of my favorite comfort foods.... sweet potato fries!!!!! 

These are homemade.  Crispy.  And just waiting to be drown in ketchup (which is a vegatable!)

I hope your week has been amazing so far!  I look forward to catching up with all my favorite blogs over a cup of tea very soon!

Talk to you soon!


Victorian Lady

My brain has been a bit random lately.  So, I hope you don't mind if I talk about small things that brings a big smile to my face for a few minutes.

I have a thing for buttons. 

Something about the different colors and shapes makes me giddy.

No really, my addiction for buttons is so strong that I actually have my lovely mother in law look for them while she is out at yard sales.  Ya.  It's ok.  Admitting it is the first step, right?

These are a few lovely ones that I was using for my recent Horse art project which I last told you about here.
What I really wanted to share you today though is one of the many containers that I use to store my buttons. 

This tin is a treasure that I got at some point from my Grandma (not sure when anymore).  I think early on she realized I had a thing for buttons and she is maybe one of the ones that fueled that fire.  I know that everytime I reach for this I think of her! 

We had a lot of good times together and I can vividly remember our many games of Scrabble, cups of tea, sessions in the kitchen making cookies, and even our gab sessions over lunch.  I miss her terribly and if I could tell her anything I would want to tell her how I feel so lucky to have had such an awesome lady in my life growing up!

So, here is the tin!  Just look at how beautiful, composed and elegant this lovely lady it. 

As you turn the container their are several images all along the same garden theme.
I just adore her dress with all the lavender bows! I think the garden she is strolling in is stunning! And, to me, it seems that she is a lady without a care in the world.

It's a wonderful thought isn't it?

Here is the other lovely composed elegant lady in my life.  She's a total doll too and I honestly attribute a lot of my happiness and sanity to her!

Katie you ROCK!

Sometimes happiness is as simple as remembering someone who has touched our lives in a positive, inpiring, or just plain 'ole memorable way.

Hope your Thursday is/has treated you well!


I am hardly ever prepared.

I am hardly ever prepared with a post that is related to the holiday being celebrated.  That is what makes today so special, because lo and behold here is a post that relates to St. Patricks Day!   

Over the weekend I had a strong urge to bake.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to make, but I knew it had to be some that I could decorate.  You see I had this gel frosting pen left over from Christmas.  I had originally bought a green and a red one.  Well, Katie ended up get a hold of the red one and a few teeth marks later left it unusable.  So, I have had this lonely green gel pen in my pantry with no purpose for a few months. 

I landed on frosted sugar cookies.  I started with one of the cheater bags where you dump the dry ingredients from a package and add one egg and some butter.

I did make the recipie that allowed for making cut out shapes.  It was a tough choice looking at my shapes.  I have a flamingo, longhorns head, and hearts.  Nothing very in spirit with the holiday, so I ended up just using a glass to cut these out. 

They smelled so good coming out of the oven!
Then I had to wait for them to cool!  I still adore these stacking cooling racks!

Then the fun really began.  I gave all the cookies a coat of white/vanilla frosting with a butter knife and then went to work doodling on the cookies with the gel pen.

I made shamrocks:
 And it was pretty easy to write words:

This started off as "luck" but it turned out a bit gooey in the beginning there.
Which lead to making phrases like this one:

And what do you suppose this one means?

Go ahead... take a guess or two!
Yup.  That's a mug of beer.
Put the phase together and you get Green Beer!!

Yes, I'm a dork

Yes, I was having way too much fun with this. 

Yes, Mr. Happy got a nice laugh from this one!


Now, try this one.

Any guesses?

I was thinking Spring when I was making this!  Get it?  Spring?

I can see getting more of those gel frosting pens in the future.  They were really fun, made a big impact.  And most importantly made me really happy!!  Oh, and don't you think they would make a cupcake look fantastic?

The pens also said that you could use them to decorate the cookie before cooking which would leave a nice shiny baked in version of the decoration.  I may have to give that a try in the future!

No matter how you decide to celebrate, I want to wish you a Happy St. Patrick's Day!!


Relaxing time!

The weekend is about quality relaxing time with folks you like.

And for us...

It also meant having a pancake breakfast!

Katie was thrilled!

Hope your weekend has been joyful!


Keeping warm in the neighborhood

Today is rainy.  It's also the weekend!  Whoop whoop!  

Put all those things together and you get the kind of day that you want to hurry and get all your chores done so that you can curl up under a warm blanket and take in a classic movie (I'm thinking 300, Troy, or Center Stage) with the dog curled up next to you while you putter away at a fun craft like origami or knitting and drink a cup of tea.  (oh ya!)

The blanket I have my eye on is a heavy crochet pattern that was a warm and thoughtful gift from my new neighbor.  I can see treasuring this blanket for a long long time!!  The colors are so me, it's so snuggle-icous, and it's an inspiration to learn how to crochet!

Here is a nice close up at the intricate pattern.

Doesn't it look like it has always been on my couch!

And it just begs you come take a load off and get comfy!

We haven't had our official house warming party just yet, but the house certainly does feel warmer knowing how awesome our neighbors are!

Hope you are staying warm and find a nice way to relax today!  Happy weekend!

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