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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Christmas in July - Part I

A few places I, browse used this marketing ploy to try and boost their summer sales figures. And it got me thinking. How about New Year's resolutions in August? Why in the world would anyone want to do that, you ask? I dunno. Maybe it's the Georgia heat and humidity getting the best of me. Or that the start of school is like a new beginning for me too. Maybe I know I need to make some changes and I shouldn't wait any longer. Maybe actually writing them down for all to see will be what keeps me accountable. It really probably is the heat, though. I sweat just puttin' lipstick on. Really.

Regardless the reason - the resolution I want to make is getting birthday cards out to friends and family. Yes, I actually have to include family on this
one. I am an equal opportunity slacker. Sad and shameful, but true. I'm embarrassed even writing this for all to see.

The kicker?

I actually make cards! Nice ones, too, I'm told.

So if your birthday has passed already in 2009, here's my birthday card to you.

Expect one closer to your actual birthday in 2010. (Unless this whole August resolution thing goes down the crapper as fast as January resolutions do.)

P.S. If I ever make a resolution regarding any kind of exercise or work out program any time other than January - call 911, I'm suffering from heatstroke!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Congratulations, Ma-Ma!

Congratulations on your upcoming, fast-approaching, I-can't-wait-for-it-to-happen retirement!

You have worked hard and worked your way up from a secretary to the Inside Sales Manager/National Sales Manager. Your integrity, honesty and exceptional people skills got you noticed and promoted. You set high expectations, but also set the example for those who work with you.
You have been the best role model a daughter could ever ask for.
I am so proud of all that you have accomplished!

And now it is your time. Maybe more Nanny-time. Maybe more Sparky-time. But definitely more Darlene-time. I know you will continue to live life to the fullest - you're just gonna have a whole lot more fun!

Happy retirement, Mom! I love you.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hydrangeas in the Home

So you know I'm not a complete decorating dunce, I do know that dried flowers are a big faux pas to decorating divas. My opinion though is that hydrangeas are fabulous cottagey classics. My spell checker doesn't like my made up word cottagey, but you know what I mean, right? And what's better than fresh cut flowers which didn't cost an arm and a leg, thankyouverymuch?!

I also know they only have a certain shelf-life and should be disposed of before gathering dust. However, if used in the right area - say, above kitchen cabinets, their shelf life can be extended. No dust can be seen from down below and aren't those decorative ledges put there to keep any dust from floating downward?
There. I've made my case for allowing my hydrangeas to stay as part of my decor and exposed myself as a decorating rebel. (Of course, you know doilies and milk glass are not so chic either, but they remind me of my grandmother, Mia, and pair up nicely with cottagey accents.)
Our home may not be Pottery Barn material, but it is a reflection of my quirky, sometimes-sentimental self. This post was inspired by the Nester's mantra "It Doesn't Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful". Check out her oh-so-inspiring blog!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tone on Tone

So this was the inspiration for my latest project. A pillow from Pier 1 which perfectly matched the fresh coat of paint I applied not so long ago. I loved the texture of it and it "spoke to me". (Not that I'm hearing voices.) Just a little justification going on.

Anyway, my space has lots of personal eye candy. Photos, ribbons, stuff I love. However, I wanted to keep the one wall as a place where the eyes can rest, but not be left undone. What to do?
Here's what I did:

I found these tins at Hobby Lobby and got them when their wall decor was on sale at 50% off. They would have been fine (and even matched) if I'd left them black. Instead, I used some remaining paint and ooh,la,la! I was a happy girl. And the kicker???
I get to make my own magnets and clips in case I want to use them
to put up inspirational/creative goodies. Don'tcha just love when a plan comes together?

Where have you found inspiration?
Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Oh, how I love them! They are exquisite show-stoppers even if they can be tempermental at times. I've been growing hydrangeas for the past twelve years and I'm still trying to learn how to get better results in my garden.

If you are lucky enough to have some in your garden and are interested in drying some, now is a good time to go out and give them a touch. If they are starting to feel papery, then they are ready to cut. If they still feel soft, then it is too early to cut them - give them some time.They should be ready by the end of August.

If your evenings cool down (that just doesn't happen down here), you can cut them at that time. If not, then wait until the morning. You want to avoid cutting them in the heat of the day. Use sharp pruners and cut the stem diagonally. Try to get a long stem, but if you see any nodes (I call them nubs) appearing where the leaves connect to the stem, be sure to cut at least an inch above these nubs. These nubs could be next year's blooms. Most mophead hydrangeas bloom on "old" wood and I never cut mine after September for this reason.

As soon as you've cut your bouquet, take them inside! Do not go get the mail, do not stay out and water your other plants, do not pass GO! Sink them in water and just leave them. That's it - other than checking to be sure the water level doesn't go below the end of the stems.

This is a Penny Mac hydrangea from my neighbor, Pam's beautiful garden.
SOOC (straight-out-of-camera)

Same shot, but edited to add some color pop.

This one I went with the vintage look.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My Purpose Here and an Apology in Advance

My plan is to share tips, funny stories (I think I'm a distant relative of Lucille Ball), hobbies/obsessions, photos, but most of all it is to stay connected. So often life just seems to sweep us up, wear us down or just plain ol' get in the way. I have friends who live ten minutes away, but we have to make serious commitments to get together or it doesn't happen. Let 's not even mention any friends who live more than ten minutes away. So I feel I've lost touch with some very dear people. People who I think of often, but neglect to call for one sorry reason or another. So I hope you'll come, maybe learn something, maybe get a chuckle, but I really hope to keep my friends and I feeling connected. And maybe even make some new friends.

That being said, now here is my apology. Sorry, but I am not going to fret over ending my sentences with prepositions, I will misuse punctuation marks frequently, I will forget to use spell check a time or two and I will often write run-on sentences. Nor do I claim to be a talented writer, but I will always try to share goodness. Apology done. you know I mean what I say and so my husband knows I wasn't bluffing about repaying him for his "helpfulness" (see previous post if this needs further explanation) ya go:

Who's laughing now, Mr. Sassypants? HA!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Welcome to my Cyber Nest!

I guess I'm gonna need to explain how I came to pick this quirky name for my blog. I'd like to point out(to my Mother mostly) that I am not making any kind of crack about how I was raised by using this offbeat name.

I knew I wanted a title using something with a "bird" reference. Mostly because my Nanny, now 92 years young, used to say I was such a "catbird" when I was little. That was her way of saying I was being a real stinker, but she'd always laugh when she said it. I also happen to call my best friend from Pittsburgh "Bird". It is a real term of endearment and reminds me of my Nanny whenever I hear it!

I asked my husband for some help with naming my blog and wanted a bird reference. His suggestion: call it "Bird Dirt". Ah. Yeah. Trying to be more helpful he then asked what I'd be writing about. I told him, "you know, gardening info, photography info and lots of crafty stuff." His second suggestion: "Stuff My Husband Doesn't Want to Hear About". You see what I'm working with here?

His final suggestion was "Blah, Bla-Blah, Bla-Blah, Blah, Blah". Not to worry. I already have ideas on how to repay his helpfulness.

So this blog name kinda suits me. If you know me, you probably didn't even need an explanation.

To show you who the real catbird is though, I'm posting this picture of my Nanny from Christmas 1998.

Yeah, she received and posed with a "do-rag" and Risky Business sunglasses on Christmas day. Gift courtesy of my brother - another real bird! However, it took no coaxing to get this photo. She's always up for a good time.

So here's to the matriarchal bird of our family! (Thank God she doesn't own a computer!)