Thursday, December 9, 2010

How this ... has now become THIS!

Hello dear friends. How time passes quickly at this time of year. I have so many projects going and it seems as though we just celebrated Labor Day and I kept wishing for cooler days so I could work comfortably in my studio.

Be careful what you wish for.

Within the past ten days I opened another Etsy Shop ~ selling exclusive, handmade and designer greeting cards. The response has been wonderful and I've been humbled by the comments, purchases and support from people who have guided me through the online selling process.

For those of you who haven't heard of Etsy and/or shopped on Etsy ~ it is a worldwide shop for people to either create and/or sell their items. You can visit the shops and purchase handmade and/or vintage (antiques and collectibles) items ~ all in the convenience of your own home.

This is a designer greeting card that I created and was sold within a few hours of my posting it on Etsy. became that!

Isn't HE beautiful? She purchased the card and then matted and framed him and he is now part of their "Christmas Room" in their old colonial home.

Not only was I delighted to sell one of my greeting cards ~ how happy I am that it is now part of another family's Christmas.

If you would like to see what Etsy is like, you can visit my shops by going to:

If you would like to see my vintage Etsy shop you can visit:

If you would like to see my shop that sells my handmade items you can visit

Thank you for stopping by and I'll soon be writing another post of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holiday Gifts and Items

Here are some items I am working on and other pieces I am just finishing up.

So many projects and so little time ~ however I love every single minute of it.

I am working 12 hour days and often, even that isn't enough time to accomplish all the things I want to do. Retirement is so much fun!

I make all my greeting cards from scratch (except for the actual blank card itself). I will mail the majority out this week ~ and I also signed up for a Christmas Card swap on Facebook and I am thrilled to participate in that. I can't wait to mail mine out and excited to run to the mailbox every day to see what I receive. Nothing like receiving a greeting card this time of year. Yay!

And, now looking at the clock it is 12:21 pm and it is time for me to make some lunch.

Hope all of you are enjoying this beautiful Sunday in November and let the fun begin!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving ~ my favorite holiday of the year.

For me it is a time of reflection; a lesson in history of how our forefathers fought the elements in order to survive in this foreign land ~ as well as a day of giving thanks and being with family.

It has been told to me that my fathers' side of the family (Weeks) are descendents of Peter Browne ~ who came over on the Mayflower. We are still researching that information, and will keep you posted. His mother was Scottish and their family emigrated from Scotland (Paisley) and came to Canada ~ upon which they traveled over the border and settled in New Hampshire ~ here in the United States. More to come with this side of the story.

Also, I love the landscape in November. Spring is gorgeous with the renewal of life; Summer is terrific with the barbecues, fireworks and sparklers; Autumn is outsanding with the crisp aire and brilliant colors; but November is a time of survival. Getting ready to prepare for the harshness of winter; the coming together to give thanks for the bounty we collected and testing our ability to weather any storm.

Wishing you a joyous Thanksgiving and for the many friends in other parts of the world ~ a huge thanks to you as well.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Winter Whites

Isn't it amazing how quickly the holidays have arrived this year? It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is in only five days ~ and I have been designing and creating items for my website, my Etsy shop and here on my blog.

These are a couple of 'winter whites' that I have designed so far ~ and even though it hasn't snowed a flake (yet) the holiday music is playing, all my decorations have been sorted to decorate my Victorian Porch and have been making holiday cards for a couple of weeks now.

This is another item ~ a winter white lavendar sachet ~ however I know many people decorate their homes in this color pallette year round so it may be something you are interested in.

I'll be making more in the days to come. Please visit my Etsy shop for more items that are available.

Thank you so much.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 you remember where you were?

Good morning to you all. When I woke up this morning I made a pot of coffee, made my breakfast and went in the living room to eat (I know, I shouldn't be doing that), turned the television on to CNN ~ where it was announced that Prince William of England and Catherine Middleton were engaged.

I should have been surprised but wasn't as this past weekend there were a few 'specials' about Prince William of England and his girlfriend Kate. Apparantly the country will be celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee as well as hosting the Olympics in 2012 ~ so the time for Wills to marry his Kate ~ would be better for all in the year 2011.

So Prince William asked Kate Middleton to marry him ~ last month in Kenya!!

For me, this announcement brought back a flood of memories to the day Prince Charles announced his engagement to then Lady Diana on a worldwide broadcast in February of 1981. I was much younger then so the event was surreal and who didn't love Lady Diana? For months the news coverage was endless and the anticipation of the wedding day was at fever pitch.

It was July 29, 1981 and I remember waking up at 3:00 am in order to make a pot of coffee, cook some breakfast and camp in front of the television set to witness all the historic events. As I walked in to living room (we only had one television set back then) and opened the drapes to what I thought would be total darkness ... every house on the street was lit up like a Christmas tree. I remember looking directly across the street and my neighbor Charlene was opening her drapes at the same time ~ so we waved to one another ... that in itself was something we talked about for years. We all had a common purpose that day and years later there are many of us who still talk about that event. It was one of those 'do you remember where you were' kind of moments.

England has always had a special place in my heart. I had read (and still do) about the abdication of King Edward and how he gave up the throne to marry his beloved Wallis Simpson, an American. How romantic. How tragic. Unfortunately they put him in a position of chosing the woman he loved or the crown he inherited. He chose the woman he loved. Unfortunately he was forced to leave England. Eventually, they married each other in France and settled in Paris.

I sit here, among the many many books I have collected about Diana ~ Charles and Diana, the babies Wills and Harry and it is difficult for me to believe that over 29 years have passed since that historic event.

I also remember where I was when I received the devastating news that Diana had died in a horrific automobile accident in Paris. I remember where I was when the plane with Diana's casket in it ~ landed in England after Charles went to Paris to bring her back home. I remember the people leaving thousands of presents and flowers at the gate(s) of Buckingham Palace. I remember the funeral. I remember where I was while watching Wills and his brother, father, uncle and grandfather walk behind Diana's casket. I remember where I was while watching the hearse drive through the small hamlets of England as thousands of people threw flowers ~ blinding the driver so he had to put the windshield wipers on to clear his view of the road. Tears still well up in my eyes.

Unfortunately it was another 'do you remember where you were' event.

And, now the good news.

We all have another royal wedding to watch ~ and along with CNN and other worldwide satellite broadcasting stations available ~ it will be a celebration to behold.

I do believe that Diana is smiling down on her princely son (2nd in line to the throne) and knows her greatest contribution were William and Harry! How proud she must be!!

Do you remember where you were?

photos were uploaded from the internet

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Winner

Tammy ~ you won!!

I posted this on the blog and I haven't heard from you ~ could you please send me your address so I can get your 'prizes' in the mail?

Congratulations and thanks!

Tammy Shelton ~ you are the winner this week!!! Congratulations. Please email me your address and I will get it off to you in the mail. Thank you all for visiting my blog and I do hope you'll continue to visit me/us. Hugs, Marilyn

You can reach me at my email address which is

November 11, 2010 9:57 AM (PST)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Moonlight Sonata

Please ~ click on the arrow and turn up the volume for this extraordinary rendition of Moonlight Sonata. It has to be one of the greatest pieces of music ~ ever!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

This weeks' winner is....

Hi everyone. Well, I got out my trusty "deck of cards" ~ turned the #'s down and took one off the table.

The winner this week is the 9 of clubs and Vicki ~ you are the winner!!!

Congratulations to you. Not only do you win the Inspiration Journal but the two greeting cards as well.

Please email me with you address so I can pack them up and ship them off to you. You can reach me at

Thank you all for taking the time to stop by and don't forget to come visit me for the next Tuesday Treasure Giveaway on Tuesday ~ 9 November 2010.

Hugs to all.

Friday, October 29, 2010

This weeks' winner is

Hi everyone. Well, the five (5) of hearts was chosen and Michelle (Petite Michelle Louise) you are the winner. Congratulations.

I'll wrap them up, pack them in a box and get them off to you in Monday's mail.

I'll have another giveaway on Tuesday (November 2nd) so please stop by and sign up to win.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and thank you so much for participating.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

And the winner for this weeks' giveaway is

Carol (Gardner) you are the winner. Your name was picked out of a basket!!! Congratulations to you.

Thank you all for participating and come back and visit me next Tuesday for another Tuesday Treasure Giveaway.


Friday, October 8, 2010

...and the winners are

Hello everyone.

Well the Grand Prize Winner of the Prayer Shawl, Prayer Purse, Rosary Beads and greeting card is the 6 (six) of Clubs ... Angela of The English Romantic. Congratulations Angela. Please email me with your address and I'll send it off to you on Tuesday (Monday is a holiday here in the States).

And, the Next Winner of the three greeting cards is the 7 (seven) of Hearts ~ LeeAnn Hawke of Fabulously French. LeeAnn, please email me with your address so I can mail the package off to you as well.

And SURPRISE! As an added bonus to the rest of you ~ please send me your addresses so I can send a small *surprise* package to each of you.

My email address is :

Thank you all so much for your encouragement, your support and for participating in my Giveaways. So please come back again next Tuesday ~ 12 October 2010 for my next giveaway.

Have a terrific weekend and all of you in the States ~ enjoy your holiday.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tina, at Tiny Bear You Won

...and the winner is ~ #4 Tina @ Tiny Bear!!!

You won Tina and congratulations.

Please email me your address so I can mail it off to you tomorrow. I can be reached at

Also, let me know if you would like lace straps sewn in or left as is.

Again, congratulations to you!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Treasure Giveaway

Well, hi to you all and welcome to this weeks' giveaway.

I have had a vision of this purse in my head for sometime now but couldn't quite figure out how I wanted it to look.

It measures 8" (wide) and is 9" long. I originally designed it on paper and figured the winner could tuck a paperback book in there ~ to take with them when they had a few minutes to read (waiting for a plane, train, automobiles). Ha! Had to inject a little humor in there as I am living on Tylenol and spiked a fever again today (flu).

The purse is made of designer fabric, royal velvet, and a beautiful compilation of fabric items that I purchased from Annie (Glitter Your World/Blur Babies). Thank you Annie. I knew when I received this one I just had to do something special with it.

The jewelry is not included (sorry girls) but there will be a brand new paperback book tucked inside (what the industry calls a "Cozy Mystery") and a few other little surprises.


At present there are no straps, however I will sew straps on to the purse per the request of the winner.

All you have to do is: 1. become a follower if you aren't already and b. post a comment. The winner will be chosen on Thursday ~ 29 September 2010 at around 6:00 pm EST.

Good luck everyone.
Hugs, Marilyn

Monday, September 27, 2010

The latest ...

Hi everyone. Well, I survived my first computer crash. Turned it on last Thursday evening and the kiss of death 'blue screen' appeared. I just hung my head and said a few choice words and then saw nothing but $$$ signs slipping away. Can't live without a computer ~ I am sorry to say. Well, I could if I had to but it took some getting used to.

Now all is well. Had a few minor glitches with uploading photos as my 'program' was destroyed and the fine young man who came to the house and replaced the dead hard drive found a free software that is 100 times better than the one I had before. Wizard is for the birds ~ it wouldn't allow me to change the size, etc. of all the photos.

Attached are a couple of photos of greeting cards I made on Saturday ~ then the flu bug hit. Today with lots of hot tea, Tylenol and *some* sleep ~ I was able to upload these into my Etsy shop.

Hope you are all having a wonderful week. Remember to stop in for the Tuesday Treasure Giveaway which probably won't be uploaded until tomorrow evening.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

What a beautiful time of year this is.

I drove my mom to West Concord this morning to find a few places to shop and then on to Concord, MA for lunch in one of our favorite restaurants. It was a cool day ~ we kept waiting for the sun to appear ~ but in a way I am glad it didn't as the cloudy gray sky, coupled with the cool breeze, added to the ambiance the season. Autumn has arrived here in New England.

Pumpkins (I didn't know there were white pumpkins) are now displayed on many of the front porches of homes in our quaint New England villages; stores are putting out the Halloween candy and displaying the costumes and do-dads to create your own "costume"; and the leaves are now beginning to change in the glorious colors this area is famous for.

One of the biggest fairs in the area will be held next week and I am truly looking forward to purchasing cider to make cups of hot mulled cider; picking apples in local orchards to make my grandmothers recipe for Apple Crisp; buying a couple more mugs to make hot chocolate; stock up on yarn to make afghans and scarves for the troops; and visiting all the fall fairs that are scheduled for the next month or so.

Here are some of photos I took at the Idylwilde Fruit stand that has everything under the sun the for seasonal decorations ~ as well as vegetables, cheeses, fruit, meats, plants, flowers and homemade baked goods and candy.

I hope all of you get to enjoy the changes of the season where you live. And don't forget that Tuesday (21 September) is the Autumnal Equinox ~ a celebration of the day that has an equal amount of daylight and darkness.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jo ~ you are this weeks' winner of the Giveaway

Well lucky #7 of Clubs was selected and Jo, of My Gramas Soul is this weeks winner of the Tuesday Treasure Giveaway!!!

Jo's blog can be found at:

Congratulations Jo. Please send me an email with your address so I can put all of the items in the mail for you. Would you like the scarf with or without the fringe? Please let me know so I can put it on (if you so desire) as it won't take but about a 1/2 hour to do so.

Congratulations Jo.

Thanks to all of you who participated and be sure to check back here next week as the giveaway will have two winners.

Jo ~ my email address is:


Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Cherished Object

There are folks who feel it is more important to love a living being than "just an object". I won't even begin to debate the issue however, as a lover of antiques, artifacts, old things and yes ~ even some 'junk' I have always thought of it as a history lesson. Often, you can love an inanimate object just because of what it represents.

At many a yard sale, I would sometimes come across an item, pick it up and just hold it. I used to look for 'markings' and often became frustrated when I could find nothing. I'd put it down and go off to look at some of the other tables but found myself going back to that special item. Again, I would feel the wood or see if the porcelain had any chips or cracks. Even if everything was intact I often felt as though I needed to justify its worth. So, I put it down again. One more look around at everything else and then ~ almost instantly ~ I had to go back, pay for it and take it home with me. Now, without panic in my eyes, I would saunter over to the table where the item was sitting. One time, I went back and it was gone. I could have cried but as an adult I composed myself and tried to act as if it was no big deal. Suddenly, there it was. Someone else had picked it up and like me ~ didn't "see" the $ value and put it back. It was whispering to me. So, I carefully picked it up ~ paid for it immediately and brought it to my car.

I love the imperfections of the past. I often wonder who held it. If it is linen or lace I would love to know who made it, how old were they, were their hands fumbled by youth; were their fingers sturdy and confident; were they made by old arthritic fingers ~ yet steeped with experience and knowledge? Just holding these items I can often feel the spirit that has transcended through time. I love the imperfections ~ and often you can tell if they were left or right handed ~ depending on the direction the item follows when you lay it on a table.

A dear friend (Michelle from PetiteMichelleLouise) included a piece in her blog by Harold Darling (I LOVE OLD THINGS) so I purchased his book. I found it on and it is now one of my cherished items. In the book he wrote "...I feel that it is right to cherish that which has been cherished by those who came before me".

Enjoy the hunt, cherish the past and embrace the future.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

God Bless America

In honor and respect for the thousands of lives lost ~ my sympathies go out to the families who lost their loved ones on September 11, 2001. My heart also goes out to all the other victims whose lives are still affected by this horrific act of terror.

I hope and pray God will continue to heal and bless America and all the people who live with hope!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

...and the winner is

The "2 of Hearts" was chosen and the winner of this weeks' giveaway is Shane of Roses, Lace and Brocante ~ the #2 entry.

Congratulations Shane and it appears "luck" has been by your side as you escaped the tragedy of the earthquake (much more significant) and now a giveaway!

Please send me your mailing address and I'll get it out to you right away.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sammy, Ben and Name

Two of my grandsons, Sammy (7) and Benjamin (2) had a sleepover here not too long ago. Benjamin's baby bear (created and designed by Doreen Frost at for Benjamin's 2nd birthday in June and the bear was christened "Bhalu". Every time Ben would see him he would say "name"? I would say "Bhalu" and he would say "Name?". We'd go back and forth until last week ~ because he now can say more words and express himself better in sentence form. When he got here he ran to the rocker on the porch (where Bhalu sits) ~ picked him up, gave him a hug and said "Name?" I said Bhalu and he said "Granny ~ he's Name". He named the bear Name. Heavens, we could have gone on for hours ~ like Who's on First! So precious. Anyway, I couldn't sleep all night long but Sammy assured me he would take care of Ben. I tiptoed in the bedroom and I took this photo around 5:00 in the morning ~ Ben's arm (Ben is on the left/Sammy on the right) is still linked through Sammy's and Name is between them.

~ And the winners are ~

There are two winners this week. The first name drawn and the winner of the Postale Journal....

is #4 Carol Gardner of

The second name drawn and winner of the Bonjour Purse....

is #5 ~ Michelle Ferrulo of

Congratulations to you both.

Please email me at with your addresses and I'll get them in the mail for you.

Thanks so much to all of you for your participation in this Giveaway. Please visit me again soon and don't forget to next weeks Tuesday Treasure Giveaway.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

~ Good Sunday afternoon to you ~

Happy Sunday! It is raining here in Massachusetts but we need it desperately. I feel bad for people (my mom, brother, Todd and my grandsons Sammy and Ben) who are at the beach for a week and NOW it is supposed to rain for four days in a row.

The vase of roses sit on the corner of my desk ... and help to keep me focused and inspired.

I am preparing items to put on my blog tomorrow but wanted to send you a couple of photos so you can see what it is I am doing. The angel greeting card is the 1st of many more to come.

Don't forget the next giveaway which will be featured Tuesday!!

Enjoy your day,

Thursday, August 19, 2010

...and the winner is!

Congratulations to Stefanie from Rose Petals and Rust.

Stefanie ~ please send me your email address so I can put it in the mail for you tomorrow.

You can reach me at

Thank you all for participating and I will have another giveaway next Tuesday ~ August 24th.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Look what I found ...

I was cleaning out one of my closets and found my old sketch book, dating back to the mid-70's. I found one of John Denver (from the cover of one of his albums); a frog; some of Donald Duck (my kids were small back then) and this poor little sick mouse. I had actually scanned it in years ago and made a card out of it but never knew where the original was.

Yes, I am a pack-rat and save EVERYTHING. I have to admit I even have my kids baby teeth!!

Think I may do something with this on transfer cloth/paper!

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Places to Dream

Many an afternoon I sit in my living room working on different projects ~ and it has become a cheerful space to create and to dream.

There is only one window in the room but in Autumn I can see the leaves changing colors and in winter ... the snow falls softly (or heavily) on the church steeple that can be seen from my comfortable sofa. Early this summer there was a violent thunderstorm (with tornado warnings which is unusual for this area) and I have to say the show of lightning was spectacular.

I have only lived here a year but from the moment I moved in the corner next to that window belonged to an antique mahongony card table that I inherited from my grandparents. It is the "space" I have used to create vignettes for the different seasons. Now, as Mother Nature is bringing about its' subtle changes, the late afternoon sun sheds a faded glow in that corner of the room. Somehow the candles, lace, vintage books, different floral arrangements and antique bowls and vases have found a home there.

That quiet and cozy place is where I feel safe. It is warm and cozy and is a refuge from some of the harsh realities we all have to bear. We can all create our own beauty and I hope you have your own place to dream.

Enjoy your weekend.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

This one was worth it!!!

...well, after threading my machine three times I finally managed to get it up and running. The thread broke when I was threading the bobbin so I took that apart and started all over again. I finished that feat and then threaded the needle which promptly got knotted up because I did it back to front instead of front to back. It is getting hot and humid here (again) and I was about ready to give up however ~ I had this gorgeous material I wanted to use to make another purse so I continued on. I layered the material when I noticed the darn thread came loose from the needle. Thankfully I had just begun to sew the first piece of fabric and quickly saw my mistake. Sometimes things go smoothly and other times ... it just goes. The finished piece came out much better than I had planned so perhaps there was a reason for all that madness.

The written word ....

I love to write letters. Yes, the computer does 'get there quicker' and in today's cyber world I guess that is important when you need to get a message off in a hurry; however (for me) there is nothing like going to the mailbox and receiving a card or letter with perhaps a photograph tucked inside; and then opening those folded papers to reveal the written word.

When scouring antique shops, flea~market malls and yes, even the local yard sale ~ I get so excited when I see a box of old letters. I can't get my hands on them fast enough. One time I was fortunate to find a small tattered box ~ with about a dozen letters tucked inside and a few photographs of 'unknown' people! What was even more thrilling was that about seven of those letters had been closed with sealing wax!

Their penmanship was elegant and the written words seemed to flourish with a style so personal that I almost felt as though I was invading their privacy. The handwriting was very expressive ~ the paper sensuous and you could be certain the person who wrote it ~ loved words!

Their desks were also a work of art. They were filled with beautiful handmade paper; jars of sepia ink; wooden letter boxes; leather bound dictionaries; pewter and rosewood letter openers; and numerous stamps to seal those envelopes.

Old letters not only tell the stories of past generations but the stamps and postmarks are just as revealing and intriguing.

Queen Victoria wrote to her beloved Albert; Colette (one of France's famous female writers); and of course the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen; and one of my favorite 20th century (true) letter writing story is by Helene Hanff in the books and movie '84 Charing Cross Road'.

What a legacy for your family. How beautiful to send and receive letters that pass along the day-to-day stories of our lives ... in the written word.

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The French Chateau Prayer Purse

Well, after finding some brocade fabric on sale at JoAnn's last evening ~ I hurried home to start my next Prayer Pouch. I finished up this morning and posted in my Etsy shop. The label was given to me by my friend Rhonda (thank you friend). (


Monday, August 2, 2010


Hello everyone and happy Monday to you all.

I'm in the studio working on some projects and then I will go to the sewing machine to see what I can create. It is a nice summer/dry day and I want to get some items finished before the 'muggies' come back to us on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Tracey sent me some photos she took on Saturday when Kris (my daughter-in-law) and she took the four boys to Salisbury State Reservation located in Massachusetts. The three cousins are Matthew (10), Sammy (7) and Tyler (7) and they really have a terrific time together. One photo shows them sitting next to each other at the ocean's edge looking out at the waves and all the people. The 2nd photo is them turned and looking at Tracey. I love it!!

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy August 1st

Happy August 1st ... it is beautiful day with little to no humidity and I've been uploading photographs, listing items in my Etsy shop and visiting other bloggers.

I was babysitting for my daughter on Friday and took some photographs (the Queen Anne's Lace) and another white wild flower but do not know the name of it ~ and I thought I would share them with you. Perhaps you know the name of the flower?

A new creation (Paris at Night) is in my Etsy shop and thought I would show it to you as well the Paris Vintage card.

Also, here is a photograph of my mom Ruth ~ who celebrated her 86th birthday last April.

Enjoy your day and visit again soon.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Changes ....

Good evening and I hope this finds you all well. You will notice that Willow and Figs is at the top of the dashboard and I hope this isn't too confusing for all of you. Please check out my two Esty shops ~ you can find it at and the other one is

It is amazing to me how many subtle changes are taking place as August arrives. The grass isn't quite as green as it was, the nights are a bit shorter and the sun takes a lot longer to rise ... and I notice different sounds to the night animals. It was 49 degrees last night and was, for the first time in a while, very comfortable for sleeping.

Here is a photo of Tracey, Matthew & Tyler ... on one of their vacation trips.

Enjoy your weekend and I hope things are going well for all of you.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Family

Good morning and as promised, here are some photos of my family. Tracey and Mark have two beautiful sons (and a little girl dog named Greta). Matthew is ten years old and Tyler was seven years old last January. My son Todd also has two gorgeous sons ~ Sammy who just turned seven years old in June and sweet Benjamin who also has a birthday in June ... and just turned two years old. I will post more stories and photos next week.