Thursday, December 9, 2010

Last Minute Gifts

Christmas is all about family, friends, church and community. Seeing loved ones who live far away and reconnecting with those who are nearby but we don’t see as often as we wish we could. It’s about loving those who are alone at this time of year and inviting them to be part of our families too. Working with our communities to bring Christmas cheer to those in need is a very big part of the holiday season for my family. Tis the season to share the magic of this blessed holiday with everyone around us.

When we have a moment to relax, time spent sitting around the fire, enjoying the ambiance of the season. It’s hot cocoa or spiced cider, shared with a friend. Working on new stitching projects for someone we love. Telling stories from the past year and our hopes for the year to come, feeling thankful for those we will share it with.

Looking for last minute gifts that we’re sure will be loved, is an exciting part of the holiday for our family. We’re filled with excitement when we find that perfect item for someone on our list, and we feel like children, full of anticipation of the joy our gift will bring on Christmas morning.

From the planning to the feelings of love and joy, to spending time with family and friends, everything about the Christmas season is magical. Please stop by Forget Me Not Dreams and the boutiques at Make Mine Pink for all of your last minute shopping. We’re sure you’ll find that perfect something, that will be treasured for many years.

We wish you all the love and joy of this magical season.
Karen & Eileen

Monday, November 29, 2010

Now This Was Fun

We participated in the Make Mine Pink Ornament Swap this year! I knew with my show schedule I'd be scrambling to get mine made and sent, but it really was so much fun! I received three beautiful ornaments in return!

Katie of Cottage Collections sent this beautiful fabric Christmas Ball. I love the colors! The last few years I have been using a bit of lime green on my Christmas tree so this will be perfect! Thanks Katie!

Then this sweet burlap stocking came from Jen at That's So Shabby! She also made this darling little bird bag and included some extra goodies! Thanks Jen!

This last ornament came from Carol of Esprit de Joie and Business in The Bag. Can you believe this is a handmade ornament!

Even the box it came in was incredible...such attention to detail! Thank you Carol, this was truly special!
While you are here leave us a comment, follow us on either goggle follow or facebook and sign up for our newsletter. Each action gives you an additional entrée in our Ornament Giveaway! Our sweet Vintage Button Wreath is the prize! We'll be drawing the winner next Monday Dec. 6th! Good luck everyone!
Be sure to visit the Make Mine Pink Blog to see everyone's ornaments!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ready, Set....SHOP! As shoppers are already lining up outside of the stores in the cold, I'm so happy to share with you some great on line Black Friday shopping specials! Be sure to visit French Cupboard for their Extravagant Affair! We are offering 25% off our entire category! You can find other bargains by clicking the link above.
Don't forget to check out MMP for our new listings for White Christmas! Outside, as the snow begins to fall, it feels like all of our wishes and dreams for a white Christmas are about to come true.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we would like to express our gratitude to all our customers and friends. You so richly bless our lives. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bring In The Holidays!

Do you feel it? That tingle of excitement inside that says the Holidays are coming! I'm so excited! Thanksgiving is so close I can almost taste it!'s game on for Christmas! Woo Hoo! We've been working on some new Christmas products, and will be participating in some fun holiday shopping opportunities that you won't want to miss!

November 19th - 21st is the Holiday Event at Make Mine Pink. Just visit MMP beginning at 8AM on the 19th through the end of the day on the 21st and click on this logo. You'll find wonderful holiday products to get you in the mood!

Also on the 19th at MMP will be a fun Pink Friday theme of Simple Delights. I love this theme and am excited to see what everyone has to offer. It will be different and unique offerings from everyone!

Finally a great Black Friday shopping event will take place at French Cupboard. Friday November 26th you'll want to visit the Black Friday Extravagant Affair. You'll find a wonderful holiday sale all from the warmth of your own home!

So, ready or not the holidays are coming, so sit back with a cup of hot chocolate and shop, shop, shop! It doesn't get any better than that!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beautiful Pennsylvania

I've been in Meadville Pennsylvania for the past week helping my daughter with her first baby! See my previous post....he is so sweet! I've been loving the fall leaves and the beautiful architecture of the old homes here. My daughter says the best of the leaves were already gone, but it is still stunning around here!
Look at the giant's gorgeous!
I really love fall and being here in Pennsylvania has been a treat in so many ways!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sweet Little One

There is nothing better than welcoming a new baby into our family. Meet our new Grandson, Bladen Paul. Isn't he darling! He was born October 20th just squeaking in one minute before Midnight. So his official birth date is 10/20/2010! Lucky kid, that's a date that even I can remember! He is the cutest little guy and has been such a good natured baby. We have had such a fun time getting to know him.

Doesn't he look darling in his Halloween sleeper!

Both Mom and Dad are doing such a great job with their first baby!

Welcome to our family sweet little one! We love you baby Bladen!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Comforts of Home

When I think of the comforts of home, I think of old worn sweaters, soft and faded with time. Sitting by the fire, wrapped in a beautifully pieced quilt that my mother made so many years ago. On the sofa beside me, the colors of the quilt I’m stitching, bright in comparison. A pot of tea, steeping in a favorite tea pot, sitting on a table nearby. Throughout my home there are many framed photographs on the wall, and placed casually among my belongings. Many of family and friends that are a part of my present, others of family no longer with us, but never forgotten.
In my home, I’m surrounded by glimpses of my past as I sip my tea from the antique cup and saucer that once belonged to my grandmother. The fragrance of the potpourri simmering on the stove, reminiscent of holiday get-togethers, and mingling with memories of my mother’s kitchen during the holidays.
The lit candles, with their rich and spicy fragrance, cast soft shadows around the room, lighting up corners with memories of familiar voices and laughter.
The comforts of home reach out from the past and wind their way into those of the present. They are our own distinct style, with a touch of nostalgia mixed in. A place we create for ourselves that is warm and inviting and will one day become a comforting memory for our loved ones.Come visit the boutiques at Make Mine Pink for all the “comforts of home.”
Written by Joyce Lucas,
Founder of Make Mine Pink

Friday, October 22, 2010

Shades of Autumn

Autumn bursts into the season with a symphony of color. Swirling leaves of crimson, amber, and gold against a background of crisp blue sky, exciting our senses and inviting us to grab hold and enjoy every minute… before it slips away until next year. This is a season of celebration, meant to be shared with family and good friends. We host dinners at tables covered with vintage tablecloths, embroidered with the colors of fall. We decorate our homes with colorful pumpkins and gourds. Afternoons are spent winding through corn mazes and walking in apple orchards. Cool crisp evenings wind to a close with a long country walk. Nature’s display mingles with the glorious scent of fall. Pies baked with fresh apples, the spicy scent wafting throughout the house. Cinnamon and spiced cider, cooling in a vintage teapot on the counter. The delightful feeling as the crisp cool air rushes in when the front door is opened.
The changing of seasons from the cool greens of summer to the warm oranges and golds of fall foliage, provides inspiration for our indoor decorating. We add accents from an autumn palette of copper, rust, green and gold to highlight forgotten nooks and crannies. We warm up your our homes with the colors of falling leaves.A colorful fall wreath graces the entryway. A needlepoint cushion stitched with rustic fall colors, displayed proudly on an antique settee. The colors of autumn infuse our quiet times. Quilts are pieced together with fabrics of warm russets and reds, crimson and gold. The fabrics remind us of swirling leaves and autumn’s irresistible allure. The sunset colors of autumn fade quickly away, making autumn all the more beautiful. Bring a bit of autumn into your home by shopping the boutiques at Make Mine Pink.

Written by Joyce Lucas,
Founder Make Mine Pink

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dressing your table for guests

When I think back on my childhood, having family or friends to dinner was a really big deal. It always felt like a holiday or special occasion when we moved dinner into the dining room, and opened the up the china cabinet in search of special dishes, table linens and flatwear.I can still remember the feeling of excitement as I helped polish the silver and unwrap the special serving pieces. Each piece felt like a treasure. My mother always encouraged to use extra care when handling these special pieces. We were so proud to be trusted with this special task.

The china, once my grandmother’s, and now my mom’s, encouraged large family gatherings. Place settings for 12, filled every corner of the china cabinet. The hand-painted roses, still bright and glorious. I knew we were in for a treat, the minute I heard those glass doors open.It was setting the table for guests, where I learned my right from my left. Placing the flatwear atop the freshly ironed linen cloth, in just the right order, was a lesson I learned early on. My mother had such patience with us, when I’m certain it would have been easier to set the table herself. She never complained if we were slow, or had questions about where a special piece came from. She was always happy to share the stories of her childhood, while we worked side by side. Our small hands, clumsy and unsure, her hands working deftly next to ours.
When the table was set, we’d step back and admire our masterpiece. To a child, the table looked like it was set for a queen. Beautiful linen and lace tablecloth and napkins added just the right touch. Spotless crystal water glasses, shimmering from the light of the candles, china place settings, each piece brimming with memories, an ornament to be admired by all. Dressing our table for guests was a ritual that not only made our guests feel special, but was a reminder of just how special they were to us.Please visit the boutiques at Make Mine Pink, to dress your own table for your special guests.
Written by: Joyce Lucas,
Founder Make Mine Pink

Thursday, September 30, 2010

An English Cottage

An English Cottage If I were to close my eyes and conjure up images of an English Cottage, it would be surrounded by an explosion of colorful flowers, both inside and out. The porch, though small, would hold a whitewashed rocker, with even more fresh cut flowers peeking out of a tote hanging from the arm. A beautiful needlepoint pillow, stitched with a riotous bouquet of wildflowers, propped against the back for comfort.

The first entry to my English Cottage would feel like home itself with a wreath on the door, welcoming you to step inside. Once inside my cozy cottage, you’d find the windows draped with delicate lace curtains and gorgeous floral fabrics. Cabbage roses, trailing down each panel.
A cozy window seat, made comfortable with a down cushion, provides a perfect place to enjoy a favorite book and a cup of tea. The teacup, passed down for generations and filled with memories. The hand-painted roses, now faded and worn, just enhance the beauty and the experience.Shelves and cupboards are an essential part of any English cottage. They’re often used for storage and for display.
You might see a beautiful collection of vintage dishes, or a cupboard devoted to teapots and favorite teacups. Colorful tins that once held tea, now hold buttons and sewing notions. Hand embroidered tea towels and pure white linens, help fill the shelves until they’re called upon to celebrate a special occasion. Vases stuffed full to overflowing with fresh cut blooms, are tucked on tables and window ledges throughout the cottage. Each a reminder of the beauty that awaits, just steps outside the cottage door.The garden, visible from the kitchen window is ablaze with color and activity. Ivy climbs the trellises and arbors, colorful bird houses and wrought iron bird baths, a refuge for our aviary friends.With cottage touches in just the right places, the simple beauty of a English cottage can be yours no matter where you live.Please stop by the boutiques at Make Mine Pink to help create your own English Cottage.

written by: Joyce Lucas,
Founder Make Mine Pink

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Walking the Streets of Gay Paris

Today was our first big day in Paris. The day was very cold and gray, never warming the entire day. We decided to just walk along the streets and look at shop windows since it was Monday and all of the museums and shops are closed. Sunday and Monday are the days that everyone takes off here. Who could resist this sweet little pink motor bike?

This is one of the old and beautiful apartment houses in our new neighborhood. I just love all of the black wrought iron and the flowers on balconies. The old stone work and stone sculpture is incredible too. We are really enjoying staying in an apartment and not a hotel. Makes us feel more of a part of a community than a tourist.

Our apartment is very close to the Eiffel Tower, within easy walking distance. This was our first peak. I am in love with this old structure. The graceful lines and interlacing threads of the iron cross bars remind me of a wonderful needlework piece. I plan to spend an hour, if we can find one, just sitting underneath her taking photos. We are amazed by the number of police everywhere in Paris. Truck loads of them at times, sitting in busy spots watching and waiting. This city is on high alert after the two recent bomb threats.

Today we just plain ran out of energy after walking for hours. We sat at a small cafe and had drinks and watched the evening traffic go by. Cokes, water and beers came to a mere $45. We had to laugh because there is no crying in Paris. Things are so expensive here, it's crazy! We did make a pact though, to sit every afternoon and have drinks in a sidewalk cafe to watch the world go by!

We loved this guy in his yellow dune buggy or whatever his vehicle was. He was having a ball! There are so many bikes, motorcycles and teeny, tiny cars here. We are continually amazed at the number of people here. Coming from a month in the countryside, and a lifetime in a small town, the number of people is overwhelming. I am, and always will be, a country girl at heart.

We sat down in time to watch the younger kids getting out of school and being picked up by moms and nannies. This boy was too little for school, but he had his own method of transportation!

The florists display their flowers out on the sidewalks until the rain and cold get to be too much. The flowers are gorgeous and really lift the spirits on a cold, grey day. Everyone seemed to be dressed in black, wearing scarves, boots, heavy coats and even gloves. I think they were just anxious to show off their winter finery!

Finally, the macaron maker's shop down the street. Tomorrow night we are cooking in and will have a macaron each with some ice cream. These macarons were incredible... their colors and the display. Just beautiful! They do have a way over here!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

On the Road to Limoges

It was a sad Sunday, we said good-bye to half of our travel family and set off for Paris. On the way, we talked the husbands into stopping in Limoges, where Sue & I were desperately hoping to find the revered china factory without getting too lost. We played our "carsick" card, begging to drive after our stop to get gas. Yes! I drove for an hour, left the highway and just by guessing, we arrived at the factory within 5 minutes!

This is it! No frills, no glamour! We thought the building was being demolished the first time we drove past. After circling, we found the parking lot and convinced the guys that this indeed was a very special place.

After paying omage at the front door, we entered. Long rows of tables were set out with different patterns of china displayed and stacked together. It was amazing! Traditional to ultra-contemporary were all stacked casually on the tables and underneath on the floor.

I spent time looking for my favorite patterns and watching my husband. He was looking at prices with his mouth ajar. $30 plates were the inexpensive ones. So gorgeous!

I found this little artist's corner tucked away in the back of the display room. So interesting to see the paint pots of colors and the tools used by the artist to create the beautiful patterns.

This was the current piece being painted by the artist. Of course the computer picture doesn't show the complete beauty of the colors used and the detail layed down by the artist. This piece was gorgeous!

Then we were able to visit some of the working parts of the factory. The ovens, or kilns, were fascinating. Still made of the old brick used for so many years.

These are the containers that the pre-fired piece is fit into and then slipped into the kiln for firing. There were hundreds of these containers sitting inside the building and outside, stacked against the walls. They must use thousands of them with all of the pieces they fire.

I was so excited to find this collection of marks that had been printed onto large pieces of slate or was it clay? Eileen & I had the most difficult time when we first began collecting our vintage pieces... we could never read the marks and it took us forever to research and figure them out. Seeing them all printed out together was a real treat. My husband was not as thrilled.

We had a great time visiting the home of our "pretties". Now the trip continues to Paris and more fun! Tomorrow, the first day in Paris.

Friday, September 24, 2010

To the Cave Paintings and Home Again

Up early and off we went to the cave paintings at Lascaux. Unfortunately there are no photos allowed, but these paintings, reproduced exactly from 8,000 years ago, were magnificent. We were still talking at dinner about how those early people were able to draw and paint with excuisite shading the bulls and horses running and jumping through the cave. How did they understand dimension and perspective so well? Amazing!

On our way home we were looking for a small place to eat lunch, heading for some gardens at a large chateau... when we discovered Sainte Genie. What a delightful little village.

We wandered a bit before finding the town restaurant. I do love these old buildings, their decoration and structure. Reading Pillars of the Earth while we are here has just peaked my interest.

Don't you just love the carved faces and the bird nests in the round arches?

Autumn is quickly settling in here in the Dordogne valley. The grape vines are beginning to show their colors and harvest begins in a week. The vines on the old buildings are turning spectacular colors too.

This was the view from our lunch table out on an outdoor garden patio. We had to laugh, every item on the small menu was duck of some kind. Duck in pate, duck fois gras, smoked duck breast, duck meat salad, duck legs, duck soup...

You get the idea. We girls are sick of duck and fois gras. We ate the surroundings and took the rest home to the feral cats that guard our castle.

This beautiful cottage home grabbed my heart. Isn't it wonderful?

This village had very different roofs. Each was constructed of rock shingles stacked in a very unique way. They fascinated me. This shot below was one of the church steeple. The photo below is a close up of the little ferns and other plants that are able to work their way under the shingles and grow.

And look who we found on the way home! Our first large flock of geese. I made the guys stop the car (nearly a miracle) so I could get a few photos. There were hundreds of geese, honking and flapping their wings at first. When they investigated me, they all calmed down and came close to "talk". Meanwhile, my husband was yelling out the window "geese can get mean, get away". Well, I knew that, but these were absolutely delightful. Maybe they knew that I had sworn off fois gras!!

The night was capped off with a delicious dinner at our favorite village restaurant and then a ripping thunderstorm. During the night, windows were banging, doors were opening and slamming and the wind screeched and howled like you would imagine around a cornered castle. We were all in our nightclothes locking up what we could. Castle doors don't close so well. The bats must have taken cover too. We are up to nine visits now. Whoo-whee! Life in a castle is exciting!