Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Flickr Favorites - Donate Life

I've been quiet on here lately, and for a good reason. On Christmas Eve at 2:00pm my 27 year old husband Lee was wheeled back to receive a new kidney.

Yep. You heard me; N.E.W. K.I.D.N.E.Y.

I'll give you a little run down of how it all went:

11:30pm December 23rd:
The phone rings. We get a call telling us that a 28year old has died of a stroke and Lee is 3rd in line to receive one of the two kidneys. We are on hold for the time being.

5:00am December 24th:
We begin driving back to our hometown as we were in my parents hometown 3hours away. We left behind our two dogs making both of us shed a little tear.

1:00am December 24th:
Feel deflated we decide to go to bed assuming the kidney went to someone else. No sooner does our head hit the pillows, we hear the phone ring. "Come in as soon as you can" says the calm voice on the other end of the phone. We change, grab my little brother, the only family member down here with us, and head into Philadelhpia to get a new kidney.

2:48pm December 24th:
Lee gives me a high five as he is wheeled into surgery (we aren't the most romantic couple you've ever met). My mom, who came into town earlier that afternoon, brother and I try to get some lunch while we begin the 3-4hr wait to see Lee again.

I'm told Lee is out of surgery and everything went well.

I see Lee for the first time. I won't write too much about this part other than it was the hardest thing in the world to see him and not cry. Thankfully the morphine kicked in not too long after he was in his room and he managed to get some sleep.

9:00am Chrismas Day:
My Mom, Dad, Grandma (who both came into town the night before) brother, and I go in to see Lee. He is talking and in pain. But he is positive.

12:00 Christmas Day:
Lee stands for the first time. Not even 24hrs post surgery he manages to take two steps and sit in a chair.

And from there he forced himself to walk laps around the nurses station, eat food again, and do whatever it would take to get his butt home.

December 26th:
Lee comes home.

And now I need to get off the computer and go pick him up from dialysis! Even though the kidney is working, it is still waking up and he will need dialysis a few more times before he can be done with it completely.

You hear people say, "This coming year is a new beginning," and for us those words have never. ever. rang more true. He is off of work getting better until the end of February, and when he goes back it is to a new promotion. Oh, and he'll go back and not have to worry about dialysis either. I for one can not wait for 2010.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Flickr Favorites - Happy Holidays

First off, Oops! . . .I'm a day late on my favorites.

Second, Happy Holidays everyone!

I was in my hometown with my family until 5:00am this morning. For medical reasons (specifically, he may get his kidney transplant!) Lee and I had to truck it back down to our home and may or may not miss Christmas with the family (we'll know for sure by this afternoon). It happens, and it sucks, but the main thing is that everyone is happy and healthy.

I hope the rest of you have a wonderful Holiday and are staying toasty in this chilly weather! (should you have chilly weather)

(I'm writing in parentheses a lot)
(sorry about that!)

Want to make your own flickr favorites? Head on over to Mitsy's blog and sign up!
And speaking of Miss Mitsy:

Mitsy I LOVED the buttons :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

When it Snows

And I mean SNOWS, (as in feet of snow) why not learn something new?
That's exactly what I am doing while the snow slowly buries me inside of my home. Why oh why did I not go get some milk and eggs like the rest of South Eastern PA?

Hey, at least this wool is entertaining me, right? And awful pretty too if I don't say so myself. I picked up the roving from Barrister Lane Fiber on etsy. And I've ordered some more from Sheepish Creations because I am really enjoying this whole spinning thing!

One last picture before I get back to work:

Stay warm everyone!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Flickr Favorites - Buttons

I love making themed flickr favorites. I don't know why, but I always want there to be a theme when I'm putting pictures together. And this week's favorites was no exception!

I've been thinking a lot about how I just killed my button collection to make my button tree. I'm really happy I did, but I miss seeing my buttons in their clear glass jars. There's only one thing to do of course. 

Get more buttons!

So while I'm on the hunt for some new buttons I thought I'd look at what people are doing with their own collections. I particularly love the button tree pouch, and may need to make one of my own with the help of my seamstress mom. (I'm just no good with sewing machines.)

Until I have a full button collection I'll just continue to admire the buttons of others!

Want to make your own flickr favorites? Head on over to Mitsy's blog and sign up!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Normally I don't get too into holiday decorating. 

I put up our little tree, all of my nutcrackers, and call it a day. However, after seeing this button tree on flickr I wanted to try my hand at one too!

900 million buttons later (my stash of pretty green buttons is now entirely gone) I made my own button tree! 

It's not perfect.
Rarely are any of my crafty projects.

But I love it. It looks so pretty next to my nutcrackers, and I'm so happy I spent hours and hours gluing my button collection to that cone. Here is a full size shot:

Now let's see yours!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Save the Date

I have finally added some Save the Date cards to my Olive and Ruby shop! Right now there are only these three:

Hydrangea Save the Dates

Iris Save the Dates

Dogwood Save the Dates

But in time I hope to have a lot more in there! You can find them here. 
I am taking a small break from working on them, to finish a new type of card I want to put up in the shop. I won't give away any details until it's completed (and I know it will work), but I am super super excited about it, and look forward to seeing what people think!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Flickr Favorites - Christmas Time is Here

The time has come to decorate for the holidays! I'm not really a huge Christmas decorator, but I enjoy putting up our tree and my collection of Nutcrackers.

This year I plan to tackle this as well. Pictures of our holiday decorations coming just as soon as I make my snowflake curtain! (That is, IF I can make it!) Wish me luck!

Oh, and I am totally making a button tree like picture number two! I love it!

Want to make your own flickr favorites? Head on over to Mitsy's blog and sign up!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Eating and Eating Up Wool

As I said earlier, I wanted to make a Wool Eater blanket after seeing the beautiful blanket made by Sarah London. So I ran off to by some yarn in the brightest, happiest colors I could find, and began crocheting.

I decided I liked the look of the squares as well, squares. So I am seaming these together the same way you might join granny squares together. You can also just crochet around and around until you have a giant Wool Eater square.

I love the way it is coming together, but it will definitely need a good blocking so that all the squares lay flat!

Oh, and sorry for the picture. It certainly isn't the best I could have taken! I normally take pictures of my knitting/crocheting outside on our deck, but at the moment our deck is wet with melting snow. I promise the next wool eater picture will be much better! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Flickr Favorites -.C.R.O.C.H.E.T.

I am in love with the work of Sarah London. When I stumbled upon her blog I was mesmerized at all of the happy colors and patterns. 

Excitedly I downloaded the pattern instructions to create the Wool Eater. (As seen in Picture 2) True to its name the 1,314yds of wool that I bought will probably not be enough as this blanket literally EATS the wool up!

This is my first Sarah London project, but certainly not the last. I want to fill my house up to the brim in bright happy knit/crochet items! Speaking of which, that blanket isn't going to crochet itself. . . off to make another square!

Want to make your own flickr favorite? Sign up over at Mitsy's blog!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Sale

I thought it was a good time for a holiday sale. So, from now until December 13th purchase anything from Olive and Ruby totaling $25.00 or more (before shipping) and you will receive a 2010 Wall Calendar absolutely free!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Flickr Favorites -Giving Thanks

It's that time of year already! I can't believe how quickly this year has flown by. Tomorrow my little family and I will be heading north to spend Thanksgiving with the rest of my family. It should be a fun filled holiday weekend (though I am not looking forward to the colder weather).

I'd write more, but I have been put in charge of making four batches of cookies which I haven't even started yet!

I hope everyone else has a Happy Thanksgiving as well!

If you want to make your own flickr favorites, hop on over to Mitsy's blog and sign up!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Under The Weather

First I was feeling sick. Then Lee started feeling sick. Then I got better, and Lee got worse. After a few doctors appointments and lots of poking and prodding, we determined that I had a 24hr. bug, and Lee had a Lupus flair up.

Having gotten myself sorted out, we were thinking of things for Lee to do while he was recovering from his bout of illness. 

Lee is kind of a plant freak. I mean that in the nicest way, but seriously, our house is overflowing with plants. The only plant I am attached to is the orchid we have managed to keep alive (and bloom) for 3 years. We (mainly he) also tend to a variety of outdoor plants during the spring and summer months.

It got me thinking that he might like to put a terrarium together. Let me tell you, this is the best gift to get a person who needs to occupy some time with something fun! I purchased the glass container myself (it's from Crate and Barrel) and got a terrarium kit off of this lovely etsy seller. She was SO helpful in getting everything together for this little surprise gift! I like the idea of a terrarium because it requires little to no attention on my part after it is made, and Lee can enjoy all of its plant-y goodness.

Here is our new terrarium:

And a close up of the inside:

So if you ever find yourself under the weather and in need of some fun activities, I highly recommend putting a terrarium together! 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Cards

I've finally been able to share some new cards with all of you! Two of them are holiday inspired, and one is a blank card inspired by the wintery months. You can find all of them here. I love them all, but my personal favorite is the pine cone cards. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Flickr Favorites -(re)Decorate!

Sorry for the lack of posts recently folks. I've been so busy with life that my little blog has been left out to dry. I promise (even in the midst of the holiday season) to amp it up a bit! And those two words got me thinking. Which two words you ask?Holiday. Season. This is just the busiest time of the year in my household. I have to tend to my two little etsy shops, my home, and my family, and (if I can) me. 

With less day light it has become infinitely more difficult to get the dogs out for their daily walk to Valley Forge. Owning only one car means I can't do it unless my husband is not at work. 

With family in and out of our house for holiday visits, the clean-up tasks have become infinitely more time consuming.

In the winter my husband has a far greater chance of getting seriously ill because his immune system is suppressed (from having lupus and chronic kidney failure). This of course means I can't get sick, because then I run the risk of giving it to him! And yep, right now I am sick. I clocked in with a fever of 101 yesterday.

And despite all of that I still want to decorate the house for the upcoming holiday(s). We don't do Thanksgiving here so I really mainly want to decorate for Christmas. 

I really want to make those snowflake curtains in picture four, but I am not that talented of a paper snowflake cutter.

I really want to frost cookies with the technical skill of picture number one, but the most I can hope for is that the cookies might taste okay. (I'm no master chef.)

I guess for now all I can do is admire these works on here while I dream of the day when I can decorate with such flair!

Want to play along? Hop on over to Mitsy's blog and sign up!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Flickr Favorites -Friends

Did you see that Mitsy picked my flickr favorites from last week as her favorite? Thanks Mitsy, that was sweet! It's amazing to me the friendships I've formed since starting my journey on Etsy. I may not know all of you personally, but you are all still dear friends! Thanks!

If you want to play along this week, hop on over to Mitsy's blog and sign up!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


A few weeks ago Miss Mitsy (aka-Artmind) put up a tutorial/recipe on her blog for a crumble. Having enjoyed apple crisp for years I thought I would give this a whirl. It has a lot of different fruits and nuts in it as opposed to straight up apple crisp.

Then I was informed that I couldn't put in any walnuts or almonds. Apparently when you have kidney failure (as my husband does) nuts are up there in the 'do not eat' category. (shouldn't I have that list memorized after 4years?)

So I was left wondering what to put in with the 'crumble' part. I chose to substitute the nuts in the crumble with oatmeal and it is goooood! We also took out the raisins but that is mostly because I don't like any baked goods with raisins in it.

Our customized Crumble consisted of:
Bartlett Pears
Granny Smith Apples
Dried Apricots (only a few as these are a kidney 'no no' as well)
Oat Meal

and then the flour, sugar, butter mix for the top.

Here is the before shot:

And here it is moments before going into my mouth:

I really recommend you trying out the recipe. This is delicious with the extra fruits mixed in! Someday I hope I can try it with the walnuts and almonds too, though the oatmeal was a pretty great fill in. Thanks for sharing Mitsy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Flickr Favorites -What I Like

Everyone has something they just love to do. Something that calms them. Something they can enjoy with friends and family. Something that makes them smile. These are mine (in no particular order):

1) Riding my bike out in Valley Forge for as many miles as my legs will let me
2) Knitting (and now crocheting too!)
3) Playing games. Especially card games, with my family.
4) Reading. I love the classics.

What do you love?

ps. If you want to play along, head on over to Mitsy's blog and sign up!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


This has been on the "to do" list (with a million other things) for quite some time now. I've always wanted to try my hand at a calendar. Something not too small and not too big. And it had to be for the wall because, at least in my house, desk space is limited to say the least.

And you know what? I finally did it! I am so happy with this wall calendar. You can find it in my Olive and Ruby shop! There are 6 illustrations from my cards, as well as 6 new illustrations used for each month on the calendar. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Flickr Favorites -Keep It Simple

Sometimes color can overwhelm me. And when that happens, I just have to remember to: 
keep . it . simple

If you want to play along this week, head on over to Mitsy's Blog and sign up!


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