September 20

4 Faves – Version 27.0


Ambre Blends

Amber essence is the base of all Ambre Blends.  I love the way these smell and a little goes a very long way.  If you love natural, organic frangrance, give these a try.


Spray Bottle…That Works

I use a spray bottle filled with water like some women use an iron.  I lightly tumble dry my clothes, hang them up and give them a light spray…voilà, no wrinkles.  Unfortunately, it’s been hard to find a spray bottle that works.  I stumbled upon these aluminum spray bottles in the “dollar” bins at CVS.  They are fabulous!…pretty too.

Coffee Ice Cream

Edy’s is pictured, but I’m a sucker for ANY coffee ice cream.  Yum!

Terra-cotta Foot Scrubber

I picked up this pretty, functional tool at Ten Thousand Villages.  Crafted from terra-cotta, you use it on your feet like a pumice stone .

Posted by lori . Filed under 4 Faves (Favorite Things) | 2 Comments

September 19

Make Art a Part…Week 6


Keepers of the Fire (Mark di Suvero) – South Bend, Indiana

My current creative learning project is the e-course, Make Art a Part (of Your Life).  This week, I read the section on “socialization.”  Kaitlyn, the creator of the e-course, talks about enjoying art in your community.  She talks about the difference between museums and galleries and covers many of the opportunities that galleries offer.  Kaitlyn also challenges us to notice how the art is displayed…the art of the curator.  Museums and galleries aren’t the only place to find inspiration.  Festivals, fairs, markets and even the art store get us out-and-about with others enjoying art.  Finally, she offers some very practical tips for navigating your way through the art store.

Kaitlyn’s challenge this week  is to use the internet and look for local art galleries, whether commercial (they sell art) or public (they show art).  Then, put together a list and save it for a sunny day-off.  Here’s my list:


Fire Arts, Inc.

CircaArts Gallery

South Bend Museum of Art

Snite Museum of Art

Midwest Museum of American Art

Surrounded by all these art museums and galleries, I can only say that I have been to one, the South Bend Museum of Art.  Time for me to make art a part of my life!

The creative challenge this week was “drawing.”  I am intimidated by drawing.  Two contributors to the Make Art a Part (of Your Life) e-course offered two different projects.  I (kind of) did the one using patterns.  I didn’t draw out my design, instead I printed off a coloring page and added patterns to it.  This was a  very relaxing project…like doodling.  Imagine what fun you could have with this.

If you’d like to participate in this e-course, you may register at any time.  Once registered, you’ll have access to the full course for one year.  You can complete it at your own pace.  The cost is $45.00 and you can sign up here.  Kaitlyn also had a wonderful blog, isavirtue.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 2 Comments

September 18



I love blogging!  My “schedule” helps me.  Each day of the week, I write about a recurring set of subjects…Mondays – Creativity, Tuesdays – 4 Favorite Things, Wednesdays – Greyhounds, Thursdays – Crafts, Fridays – Favorite Movies, Saturdays – Favorite Books, Sundays – Whatever.

I’m starting to think about 2012.  Here’s what I’m thinking about:

In the Kitchen –  I’m not good in the kitchen or with entertaining.  I’d like to make peace.  This would encompass a variety of things…not just recipes.

If I Died Today – What would I wish I’d taken care of, if I died today?  When my ex-husband died recently, it made me think of a lot of things.

Lori’s Lists – Lists on all types of things.  I love lists, and I think I could have a lot of fun with this.

Creativity – Currently, this is one of my favorite days to write, and I’m not finished with this topic.

What I’m Working On – A peek inside my “studio” and what I’m working on.

Love This – All the things I love…always or just today.

Whatever – A day to write about whatever I’d like.

I’d love to get some feedback and suggestions from you.  What do you think?  What do you like to read about?


Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | No Comments

September 17

The Maltese Falcon


As American as Jazz…the hard-boiled private detective novel.  The Maltese Falcon is a classic.  Treat yourself to a trip back in time with this book from 1930 by Dashiell Hammett, starring his private detective, Sam Spade.  Sam is a man with cold detachment, a keen eye for detail and an unflinching determination to achieve his own justice.  The writing is straightforward and clean.  If you’re a fan of the movie, you’ll love the book.

Posted by lori . Filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books) | 1 Comment

September 16

Bonnie and Clyde


This is one of the films that ushered in the New Hollywood era.  Dealing freely with violence and sex, Bonnie and Clyde was groundbreaking in the 1960’s.  Viewed today, it is a compelling, romantic look at these two violent Depression-era gangsters.  You don’t get much prettier than Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in their prime.  If you’re looking for exact historical accuracy, you won’t find it in this movie.  What you will find is a beautifully crafted story of Great Depression mythology and masterful filmmaking.

Posted by lori . Filed under A Bowl of Popcorn, a Movie and Thou (Movies) | 2 Comments

September 15

Plastic Bag = Gift Topper



blah to TADA! – Floral Accent



Plastic shopping bag



Piece of cardboard

Button (not pictured)

1.  Cut a circle from the cardboard for the base.  Mine is about 2″ diameter.

2.  Cut a variety of large and small petals.  I cut 9 large and 9 small.

3.  Apply glue to the cardboard base.  Scrunch the bottom of the petal and apply to the base.

4.  Continue applying the petals around the cardboard base.,

5.  Repeat Steps 3 & 4 for the inner part of the flower.

6.  Glue something pretty in the middle of the flower.  I used a black button.  Apply doublestick tape to the base and add to your package.  You never have to go without a pretty package decoration again.

Posted by lori . Filed under Look What I Found! Now What Do I Do With It? (Crafts) | 8 Comments

September 14

More Greyhound Fun Facts


1.  Greyhounds have stereoscopic vision.  This means that they are best suited to seeing moving objects.  They often don’t notice stationary objects.

2.  During a Greyhound’s complete stride, they are off the ground twice.  This type of stride in called a double suspension gallop.

3.  During the Middle Ages, Greyhounds nearly became extinct due to famine and disease.  The breed was saved by priests and clergymen who took special care to protect the Greyhounds and later bred them for the nobility.

4.  The mechanical lure was invented by Owen Patrick Smith in 1912.  The first Greyhound racing track opened in 1919 in Emeryville, California.

5.  The constellation Canes Venatici contains two Greyhounds…Asterion and Chara.  This minor constellation was created by Johannes Hevelius in the 17th century.

Want more?  Check out an earlier post, Greyhound Fun Facts.

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 4 Comments

September 13

4 Faves – Version 26.0


Taylor® Kitchen Timer

I should have titled this fave “Big Buttons,” because that’s why I love my new kitchen timer.  It’s big, easy to read and simple.  It has a flip down stand, to sit on the counter and a strong magnet, to hang on the refrigerator.  What’s not to love.


Premiering on January 10, 1971, Masterpiece™ is the longest running weekly prime time drama series in America.  It began as Masterpiece Theatre®, but in 2008 it was divided into three sections:  Masterpiece Classic (beloved signature period dramas), Masterpiece Mystery! (the best British mysteries), and Masterpiece Contemporary (dramas set in today’s world).  I love them all.

A cute little story…When my daughter was about 6-years-old, I was watching Masterpiece Theatre.  In her very best 6-year-old British accent she said, “Masterpiece Theatre, producted by the Children’s Television Workshop.”  Well, almost.  I did many things that didn’t fall in the “Good Mother” category, but withholding PBS wasn’t one of them.


This isn’t for everyone, but if you hate shaving with the purple passion that I do, this is a great alternative.

Mead® Organizher™ Password Keeper

I think this is very cool.  A neat, pretty place to collect and organize all the User Names and Passwords that modern life requires.

Posted by lori . Filed under 4 Faves (Favorite Things) | 4 Comments

September 12

Make Art a Part…Week 5



Me, in front of a mural painted on my aunt’s living room wall, 1969 

I’m working my way through the e-course, Make Art a Part (of Your Life).  This week, I read through the section on “decoration.”  Kaitlyn talks about public art and about the art we choose as our decoration.  Kaitlyn covers the different types of art available to us, from original art to import art.  This was interesting to me because I wasn’t familiar with many of the types and terms, and I enjoyed learning about all the ways art is available for us to own.  This section was jam-packed.  Kaitlyn discusses buying art (what you should consider), adding art to your home (placement and installation) and care.  Kaitlyn also offers great thrifting tips.  At the end of the section, Kaitlyn asks, “Pick an object in your home that you believe to be art. Write a show and tell about why it’s art, what it means to you, where you have placed it and why. What were your reasons for bringing this piece into your home and how does it inspire you?”

I chose two figurines that my mother kept in her curio cabinet.  She gave them to me because I loved them so much.  They are art to me because I remember, as a little girl, how beautiful I thought they were and how proud I was of my mom for owning them.  I was glad I came from a family that owned such lovely things.  I have them displayed on the top shelf of my bookcase in the family room.  I keep them there so that I can enjoy them every day.  I still think they’re beautiful and they remind me of happy memories and a blessed life.

These figurines are an example of import art and are inspired by two famous paintings.

Pinkie and The Blue Boy are two paintings by two different artists of two people who did not know each other.  They only became associated with each other when both were displayed in The Huntington in the late 1920s.

Pinkie was painted by Thomas Lawrence in 1794.  The subject is Sarah Barrett Moulton, the daughter of a wealthy plantation family in Jamaica, who came to England for her education.  She was called “Pinkie” by her grandmother who commissioned the portrait  Sarah was only eleven when she was painted and died within a year of the portrait’s completion.

The Blue Boy was painted by Thomas Gainsborough in 1770.  The subject is Jonathan Buttall, the son of a successful hardware merchant.

The creation exercise this week was jewelry.  I decided to use some pieces I had on-hand to fashion this necklace.

If you’d like to participate in this e-course, you may register at any time.  Once registered, you’ll have access to the full course for one year.  You can complete it at your own pace.  The cost is $45.00 and you can sign up here.  Kaitlyn also had a wonderful blog, isavirtue.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 5 Comments

September 11

Easy Seasonal Decorating – Fall


One of my resolutions for 2011 is to simplify.  I want this idea of simplicity to include my seasonal/holiday decorations.  Everyone in my family is brilliant at holiday decorating with one exception…me.  Over the years, I’ve collected things that I like but that make no sense when it comes to my decorating style or my holiday decorating energy level (which is very low).  I’m looking for a simple plan that encompasses all my seasonal/holiday decorating.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Floral Arrangements

I have a few floral arrangements around the house.  Changing them out is easy and packs a nice punch.


I LOVE candles.  They’re already in our home, so changing them to seasonal colors and scents is easy.

Centerpiece & Place Mats

This sets the tone for the dining room and is an easy switch.  I need a few good ideas for centerpieces.

Tablescape – Living Room

This is one of the first things you see when you enter our home, so keeping it seasonally appropriate makes a lot of sense.  I’ll change the runner and add seasonal accessories. 

Couch Throws

This gives me a change to play with color and it makes sense from a practical standpoint.  Changing pillows might be nice too.

Door Wreath

The jury’s still out on this.  I really don’t want to store a bunch of wreaths.  I need to look for some fun, easy to store door decorations.  This might be my first Pinterest project.

Wall Art

Many years ago when I could still see, I stitched 6 seasonal/holiday samplers.  If I empty out my retirement fund and have these framed, they would be an easy switch every season.

Mantel/Fireplace Hearth

Like the tablescape in the living room, the fireplace dominates our family room; so a simple seasonal update here makes a powerful statement.

A Couple Favorite Pieces

I’d like to identify a few spots around the house where I can add those fun little items that I like.

What do you do to decorate for the different seasons/holidays?  I would love to hear your ideas and tips…especially if they’re simple.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 4 Comments