Falling for Pumpkins

For me, there is no greater symbol of fall than the pumpkin. When my son was younger, I would always sign up to accompany his classes on their annual field trips to the pumpkin patch. There we would learn about the many varieties of pumpkins, sample a pumpkin treat and, finally, go on a short, bumpy hayride to the field itself. The ground would be muddy, but we would clamor excitedly out of the wagon to select our own pumpkins, paying little attention to the farmer’s instructions to “pick only what you can carry!”

Some of the children would quickly choose a small one and then turn their attention to the horse or tractor that brought us out to the patch. Others would go straight for the largest they could spot and then inevitably cry out for assistance, much to the chagrin of the teacher and the other parents. Quick to shirk my duties as a chaperone, I would set off on an exhaustive search for “the perfect pumpkin”; one worthy of gracing the centre of our dining room table (until it inevitably met its fate on Halloween).


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Table for Two

There was a time in our no-so-distant past when a table wasn’t considered to be properly set unless it was first covered with a tablecloth. Nowadays, though, tablecloths are more likely to be seen at “good” restaurants or saved for special occasions at home. Speaking for myself, I can only think of a handful of occasions over the course of a year that one of my own tablecloths are called into service. It’s a shame, too, because I have quite a collection of hand-me-down and thrifted cloths relegated to a drawer in the pantry. I can’t bear to part with them, but they just don’t seem to fit into our busy, wipe-clean lifestyle.

According to the 1958 edition of Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette, a Bride’s trousseau should include no fewer than six tablecloths, plus dozens of cloth napkins and “tray sets“. No wonder there are so many vintage linens to be found! Sally of Sally Rags has discovered a way to give new life to neglected linens like mine. [Be sure to also check out Leah's interview with Sally Rags from a few months back.]


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About this stunning bracelet by juiceglass
This bracelet took a lot of time and joy in the making. Created with my own lampwork beads, jade stone, bits of seashell and sterling wire, it is a unique piece. A little girly, a little earthy, a little beachy!

Three pillow shaped lampwork beads are the bright center of the design. Each is flanked by seashell caps, which also are paired with glowing chips of jade stone on dangles. Sections of hand forged sterling wire create links between the lampwork beads, and the entire piece is clasped with a hand forged clasp, compete with a jade stone briolette dangle wrapped in more sterling wire. The entire piece was tumble hardened for hours, then given a rustic patina for an aged, finished look. Entire bracelet is a little over 7.5″ long.

All glass beads are made by me in Bullseye glass, a local glass company, and cleaned in harvested rainwater. All beads are digitally annealed for strength and durability.

Passive Aggressive Lunch Notes

I feel like I’m sending all you lovely readers off on a fantastic voyage with my friend Lotta Svoboda at the helm. I can tell you that you’re going to have a great trip, but you really might want to buckle your seatbelt and brace yourself against the frame of your car…

In this first installment of Crafting with Lotta, she teaches you the fine art of writing notes to your precious wee ones, and in future episodes, well, I don’t have words. Let’s just say that she’s just getting warmed up, and you might want to get your glue gun all heated up, dial ‘9-1′ and hover over that final ‘1’.

Are there projects you just have to learn to do? Leave Lotta notes in the comments, and she just might come to your rescue. And be sure to check out her hilarious blog and fantastic button jewelry as well.


Dear Reader,

When my sister and I were young our mom would occasionally slip little notes into our lunch boxes. She wrote them onto paper napkins with dark magic markers. And they were a magnificent blend of passive aggressive, 70’s parenting lingo and pure love. “Try not to use your stink’n think’n!” or “We love you even if you only sit with one person at lunch today.”


My sister and I were appropriately mortified when we found these gems. And yet our magic marker stained lips would still smile knowing that our mom took the time to connect with us. If you want your children to feel equal parts loved and confused, then this is the craft project for you.

Passive Aggressive Lunch Notes.

Step 1. Pull out a sheet of pretty paper. A little sugar helps the medicine go down you know. So raid your stash of overpriced scrapbooking supplies.

Step 2: Open up your word processing program and select a handwritten font.

Step 3: If you know how to make tables, then good for you! If not – just hit the enter key a few times after each love note. Start typing! Chances are you’ve got a whole collection of sweet nothings ready to roll. But if you need some inspiration, here are a few ditties to get you started;

I think the ham might be bad. Let me know how it goes.
Love Mom

I am the only woman that will ever love you.
Love Mom

I packed your favorite chocolate cake! By the way, do we need to go shopping? I noticed your pants were a little tight.
Love Mom

You are my favorite. Shhh.
Love Mom

Hint: If you don’t put a comma between Love and Mom then you get extra passive aggressive bonus points.

Step 4: Print out your words of wisdom. Use some of those fancy edging scissors to cut the notes out. Then place in a pretty basket near your lunch making station. (i.e. by the peanut butter).

It’s ok if you only think of a few things to write. Getting the same note over and over again only reinforces the love. But if you’re really stuck remember that anything with quotations around it is immediately rendered passive aggressive. For example; You look so “pretty” today!

Love Lotta