Friday, September 29, 2006

happily handmade giveaway

we are so excited to announce that shades of violet is going to be participating in the happily handmade giveaway!

what is the happily handmade giveaway?
the happily handmade hiveaway was created in appreciation of indie shoppers, everywhere! twice a year, a massive give away totalling nearly $10,000 in indie prize goodness is held!

how does it work?
independent artists and crafts people (like shades of violet) donate goods to be included in the give away. you visit our sites to enter the contest. (yes, you can enter on each and every one of the 69 sites listed on our website for more chances to win! how cool is that?) at the end of the entry period, winners are chosen at random! it's that simple.

when is it?
we will officially begin collecting entries today (september 30th)! entries will be accepted through october 29th, and the winners will be announced in early november.

how do i sign up?
it's easy! just visit our website and click on the happily handmade giveaway link. you can sign up right there, as well as view the other participating websites!

so what are you waiting for! go! register! win a ton of cool prizes!

Monday, September 25, 2006

birthday breakdown

i'm so overwhelmed by my birthday weekend that i don't even know where to start. i tried to start last night and gave up shortly after. i think sharing photos will be the best way.

so my birthday was on saturday. i woke up to breakfast in bed, and then went downstairs with the family. the little dude and i opened lots of presents. (i'll post photos of those later!) then we got ready to go out and buy a few shrubs and plants for our house to replace the horrible, ugly bushes we had ripped out last weekend.

then the real fun began! the hubby surprised me with a trip to apple holler. it was someplace i had always wanted to go, but we just never got around to it. a perfect trip for the fall! i have a ton of photos of apple holler. here are my favorites.

mommy and little dude among the holiday decorations.

the little dude petting his first goat!

daddy and the little dude climbing the big pile of hay to go down the big yellow slide!

mommy and little dude on the train. we had to pry him off when we were done. he could have rode that thing all day!

and the créme de la créme! they had a make-your-own-caramel-apple bar! here's a photo of my apple with snickers topping!

and here's the hubby's covered with butterfinger, peanuts, and reeces pieces. crazy man!

and finally a picture of the little dude playing peek-a-boo with the scarecrows.

after our little trip, we came back home to freshen up before our 6:00 dinner reservations. i had no idea where we were going for this either. so we got cleaned up and headed out the door. the hubby did his usual drive around town trying to confuse me, but i'm no dummy. i know it's all an act! so we end up pulling up to il ritrovo (unfortunately they don't have a website). the hubby was leading me around to the closed off portion of the restaurant. and like usual, i was wondering what the heck he was doing. he told me to go up the set of stairs that leads to their loft dining room. as i ascended, i saw all of my friends and family gathered for a big surprise party!

i don't have any great images of the party itself because our camera battery died. but the hubby managed to get a photo of the cake he made for me! check it out.

i'm one lucky woman! chocolate mousse cake with meringue top and bottom. plus he made a stencil for the top....three x's to represent my 30th birthday! what a guy!

there were so many lies involved in the planning of this party it's unbelievable. he even took off of work on friday to drive an hour to bake my cake at my parent's house!! here i thought he was at work all day as usual! so many lies.

after the party we headed home with our friends who had driven over 5 hours from minneapolis to be there. what great friends we have!

on sunday we went out to lunch with the hubby's family before they left to go back home. i swear i'm not going to eat for a week! then we came home and planted all of our new goodies in the yard while the little dude took a nap. after nap time, we headed to a local coffee shop to hear a local band that we like. it was quite a day! and even more of a weekend!

thank you hubby for everything! i think it may have easily qualified for the best birthday ever!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

happy birthday means...

waking up today as a woman in my 30's! i honestly don't feel that much different yet, but the (younger) hubby is sure having fun rubbing it in! we have lots planned for the weekend. i'll update later with photos and stories! happy birthday to me!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

library madness

last night we took the little dude to the local library for story time for 2 & 3 year olds. yes, i know, the little dude isn't two yet, but at 21 months he's very patient and well behaved....especially when being read to. plus i figured they wouldn't be checking id's at the door. well, maybe they should's, that is. seriously.

the storyteller started off by saying that at story time, she closes the doors, but that if you need to leave at any time, PLEASE, please feel free. i'm not so sure what people thought she meant by that, but it obviously wasn't the same thing i thought. to me, that means: "if your kid is being a rotten, spoiled, brat during story time, we'd rather not have him/her here." obviously i was mistaken. to everyone else the meaning was: "please, no matter what happens, do not leave the room. we don't care if your kids are pulling an 8 foot paper tree off the wall. please, please stay!!"

story time for 2-3 year olds only lasts 20 minutes. they read 3 books and do 4 singing/interactive activities in between. if your kid can't behave for 20 minutes, then please don't come. i mean it. don't get me wrong. my kid isn't always a perfect angel. however, if we're at story time and he's being a punk, you better believe we're taking his ass right out of there and heading home. we're not going to stick around and submit perfect strangers, who are trying to enjoy stories, to his misbehaving.

the storyteller was very patient. much more patient than i would have been in her situation. she had them do stretches and shake themselves out after the first story since there were many that were misbehaving. she made several not-so-subtle remarks about the actions of some children. still, the parents were oblivious and stayed. the little dude couldn't pay attention or even hear the stories being read because there were kids literally running around the room screaming. i understand that every kid has occasional outbursts. that's fine. but when we're on our 5th outburst from the same child in 5 minutes, it's time to take him/her home.

maybe we're just lucky to have a kid who is, for the most part, well behaved at this age. however, i have a sneaking suspicion that it's a little like "super nanny". if you've ever watched so much as 10 minutes of this show, you'll find that it's always the parents who are the naughty ones. the poor kid is only starving for attention/trying to get your attention/trying to get you and your hubby to stop fighting, etc. etc. etc. i chose to believe that the reason we're "lucky" enough to have a well behaved child at this age is because we taught him to be that way!

now, i don't mean this post to be a my-kid-is-better-than-everyone-else's-kid post. rather, it's meant to be a post about parents who seem to be oblivious to their child's misbehaving. i honestly don't care if you chose to let your child behave that way at home. however, it is extremely rude to take them places and think that it's appropriate public behavior....especially in a group setting.

so please, if you live in a south-eastern town in wisconsin and attend the story time for 2-3 year olds on wednesday nights, take your devil child out of the room if they're misbehaving. please. for everyone's sanity.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

a few deals over at shades of violet

the kids are headed back to school, so that means halloween is just around the corner! don't forget to send some spooky notes to your children's friends and favorite teachers! to officially kick off the fall holiday season, we're offering a special deal on halloween greetings at shades of violet.
buy 2 halloween designs and get the card of your choice FREE! use code: FREECARD at checkout. offer valid through monday, october 16th


50% off do-it-yourself greeting card kits!
if you still have little ones at home that aren't in school yet, entertain them for hours with our do-it-yourself greeting card kits! for a limited time, our kits will be 50% off! that's right....only $7.50 each! each kit has enough supplies to make 5 or more cards including paper, and envelopes. all you need to provide is the creativity! offer valid through monday, october 16th.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

latest feature

i'm a little behind on posting this, but miss brandy over at indie obsession filled me in the other day that she did a nice little feature about my dandelion correspondence notecards. you can check it out here. thanks brandy!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


it was a busy week recovering from the long three day weekend of labor day. i feel like i've been running in circles all week. as a reward for our long and busy summer, this weekend was our first "free" weekend to do whatever we wanted with! it's been so nice i can't even begin to explain my joy with words.

yesterday we spent the day doing things that WE wanted to do....hmmmm, what a concept! we went to the farmer's market, thrifted, went to a local nursery to pick out a new tree that we want to put in, watched the surfers on the beach, and lazily lounged through our day. we topped it off with some "new" thrifted board games after the little dude went to bed.

i just had to take this photo while we were at our local good will store. (you can click on it for more unbelievable biggness)

seriously. who put this together and said to themselves: "man this looks good enough to put on display!"? really. ironically enough, i found 2 really great sweaters for $3 each.

this morning we got up and ran a few errands and now we're waiting for the little dude to wake up from a nap so that we can go to the john michael kohler arts center (where we were also married) to see their new exhibits. it's such a nice change to be able to do things we want to do instead of driving all over the countryside to be somewhere to do something we probably don't want to do at some god-forsaken hour.

i leave you with some photos of the little dude from last weekend at grandma & grandpa's house. he found a really, really sour apple that had falled from a tree and devoured every last bit of it. we had to take it away because he was starting to eat the seeds and core. here he is chomping away in the big red chairs.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

summer project

it has been a busy, busy summer. as i've mentioned before, nearly every one of our weekends from june through september have been booked solid. i haven't had as much time to work on the house as i would have liked this summer. with such limited time, i've been puttering around with our entry way whenever i have a spare minute or two.

it's a very small little space that was covered floor to ceiling with horrible, horrible wallpaper. i wish i had taken before photos, but of course, i didn't think of that until after the wallpaper was down. here are a few photos of the finished product:

the color of the walls is "pressed leaves" from the martha stewart collection. (in bear paint)

i found this amazing fabric that is really similar to the pattern i painted on the wall. quite a lucky find! especially since i found it after the wall was painted. and it's almost exactly the same color green.

here's a closer version of the pattern i did on the wall. i originally found this fabulous wallpaper that i wanted to put up, but at something like $200/roll, i just couldn't bring myself to do it. so, instead i cut my own pattern and painted (i can't bring myself to say "stencil" because it brings up visions of puppies and horrible fruit motifs) but anyway, i would "stencil" the pattern and then age it by removing a lot of the paint to make it look as if it had been there for a long time. i did the entire wall from floor to ceiling. it took some time but the results were well worth it.

i also painted the bench with some green accents to match. the hubby is always amazed that i can do such things without a ruler! :)

and here's our "name plate" for the front door. i actually made it years ago from some old lead type, but i still love it.

Friday, September 01, 2006

5 things

i'm really behind, but i was tagged by julie for a 5 things meme and i'm finally getting around to it.
here we go:

5 things in my refrigerator:
1. milk, milk, and more milk (we drink a lot here)
2. yogurt for the little dude's breakfast
3. a few pears and an apple
4. the most fabulous string cheese ever (supplied by my mom)
5. lots of random left over containers that will probably never get eaten.

5 things in my closet:
1. lots and lots of clothes that no longer fit
2. we have a pretty small closet, so that's pretty much it....just clothes

5 things in my purse:
1. wallet with lots of credit cards that never get used (i don't know why i even have them in there.)
2. our "coupon caddy" which we now use to separate our cash budget out into categories
3. lip gloss
4. my inhaler for my asthma
5. business card holder with cards for both businesses

5 things in my car:
1. change
2. stroller
3. hair items (ponytail holders, headbands, etc.)
4. dirt, and lots of it. we really need to vacuum it out.
5. ummmm.....oh, a stash of tampons in the glove box! you never know when you'll need one!

5 people to tag:
1. sally
2. leslie
3. dawn
4. erica
5. gilley
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