April 30, 2011

Coffee with R

The other day I was able to meet up with Rachel (R) for coffee. Okay, we met up for cake, but there was coffee too!


The storefront was adorable- and I wish I had pictures to display.

Check out the website to get a sense of the store's style. The overall branding and set-up is developed very well and just screams "inspiration"- in lady-like way, of course. Just another endeavor to add to our list (which already includes Bed and Breakfast, event planning and design, among others).

The following is a screen shot of the website. It's not the main page, but I liked this link because it describes the overall experience of visiting the store. Rachel and I visited the one on Pacific street in Omaha, and the ladies helping us out were very knowledgeable and friendly.


April 27, 2011

Something old, something new

Just a few new touches can make all the difference, so I can use some "repeat" items for Spring decorating around the home.


New: Plaid table runner on sale or clearance from Gordman's and Trader Joe's flowers
Repeat: pink tea set from sister-in-law (Valentine's decor)




New: Green egg plate (Christmas gift from in-laws), birdcage and purple wreath on clearance at Michael's
Repeat: Table runner from dining room, spoons, flower-display/vase, spring chick

April 25, 2011

Sensible for Spring

So as you can see from the last week of posts, I continue to have many encouraging people and many inspirations for what I work on. Since we have moved, my projects definitely have been more home-related, and I frequent several blogs for ideas on saving money. Sometimes it's just outright copying.

Photos from www.thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com

The above left photograph is of items you can purchase from Pottery Barn for a hefty price. The right photo is what Thrifty Decor Chick created for a fraction of the cost. If you want to know more details about this project, check out her blog.

Below is what I put together, using the blogger's suggestions. I even had the same 40% off coupon at Joann's, and have much of the moss left over. (And yes, I made as big of a mess as she did!)

April 23, 2011

Part of a Walk Through Fremont show with Rachel, Fall 2007-
read the Tribune article!


In college I met so many other people that inspired and/or encouraged me as well, whether through writing, music or photography. I scrapbooked with friends, helped with design for recitals, worked on the school newspaper. My roommates and friends still encourage me. And marrying into Ben's side of the family exposed me to very creative and ambitious people as well.

So it's interesting how one thing- like Cousin Jane giving my aunt a handmade wedding dress- can bring back so many memories and make this girl so nostalgic. Thank you to my 2.5 readers (I'm pretty sure my readership has gone up) and to those who have inspired or encouraged me over the years. Until I sat down and really wrote about it (and yes, I could write more!), I hadn't really realized the extent of my support network up to this point.

My mother-in-law helping with our new place;
she also covered our dining chairs and sewed a matching table runner

April 22, 2011

The parents

I helped Mom with her crafts for Sunday School class, and led younger students in Sonshine (a kids' time during the church service) in crafts that assisted the lesson. Mom used to take me to Michael's during the summers for kids' events, and I almost always was allowed to bring a friend along. Then of course we needed to purchase more supplies to take home and make an even better project!

I would venture into Dad's office/studio and sit on his futon while he worked at the computer or at his drawing table. Paints, charcoal, ink, lead, watercolors…so many foreign materials became more familiar over the years.

Graduation from Midland, May 2008, in front of some senior art show pieces

April 21, 2011

Got that from Papa's Side

And of course I received encouragement from my dad's side too. Aunt Ree spoiled us kids and every summer we went shopping for whatever we were interested in the time. This meant day-trips to Omaha, to visit stores like Michael's, Hobby Lobby and Mangelsen's**. And did I mention I got her addicted to scrapbooking? That was a win-win move! Plus, Laree bought me all of my first cameras.

A scrap night at Archiver's with Ree and Annie, Spring 2007


Grandma took us to work on ceramics. I learned the process of cleaning and finishing greenware; knowing the difference in texture, fragility and abilities before the pieces were fired; and the most fun part was painting, staining and/or glazing. Grandma always had fabric scraps to give me for projects and knew the right way to do anything around the house.

I also remember drawing pictures of items in Grandma's Avon book. I loved drawing the Cherry-flavored chapstick, red lipstick (like all the red shades that filled Grandma's lipstick drawer in the bathroom) and jewelry. I would painstakingly get every detail perfect, along with prices listed next to the pictures- then run through the kitchen to the front door. Grandma would answer the door so I could sit down in the living room to "sell" her items from the book.

**Hobby Lobby and Mangelsen's offered fun for the boys too: less "girly" crafts or projects, and FREE popcorn!

April 20, 2011

Mama's Family

I was lucky to be surrounded by people who encouraged me in my creative pursuits. As a little girl, I loved reading and writing and my mom would take me on countless trips to the public library to pick out books. From instructional and crafty books, to connecting to characters like Claudia from The Babysitter's Club series, those books inspired me to become a writer, an artist, to be creative at anything I wanted.

Nostalgic trip back to Ben Franklin July 2009

I always received unique and educational gifts from my mom's side of the family; I remember specifically a rubber stamp-making set from the Yonemuras. Grandma "Jima" would take me to Ben Franklin for handmade and origami paper. All of the cousins enjoy origami, and the older (girl!) cousins got me hooked on beading, stamping, and card-making.

April 19, 2011

The things you remember

For some reason, Ben seemed really impressed at my "sewing" project. My mom gave him some other examples of the phases I went through, including: beading, soap-making, stamp-making. I always enjoyed trying new arts and crafts, and had actually forgotten some of the projects she mentioned.

But it's amazing how some memories are very fresh. I remember receiving a $20 Michael's gift card one year, and making multiple trips (riding my bike) to use multiple coupons at certain times of the weekend sale. I'm guessing gel pens and scrapbook paper were included.

I kept track of what I purchased, so I could include it in my thank you letter. I remember the excitement of purchasing a stamp and purple inkpad- all for my own. (I'm pretty sure the gift card was from my aunt Alycia. Thanks!) While the inkpad has long dried out…here is one of my first stamps:

April 18, 2011

Blast from the past...for more than one of us

My aunt received a gift from her cousin Jane. As all of us Skeltons were raised to do, she read the card first: "Dear Laree, this is probably the strangest 'get well' gift you will receive."

She opened up a Barbie wedding dress that Jane sewed for Laree. Ree told the story: every time she and Jane get together as adults (not too often, as Jane lives in Texas), Ree teases Jane that it seemed that her mother made Barbie wedding gowns for every girl in their family- except her own daughter!


As soon as we saw Jane's thoughtful gift, I ran downstairs to grab a Barbie. I knew right where I had left her, years ago in Grandma's sewing room. Ree lent the doll to me; one summer I was in a phase of creating Barbie fashions. So, of course, before Barbie could showcase the new dress, I had to take pictures of
my masterpiece.


April 5, 2011

Possible bridesmaid dress?



Ben and I saw this in a window front at a mall in Kansas City. I love it!


April 3, 2011

I want to go back

The first time I saw these pieces in person, I was on a trip with my Twin and her music history class, taught by Dr. Sloane. I was thrilled and touched that Dr. Sloane invited me along, just because she knew I would appreciate the experience.


Claes Oldenburg
Coosje van Bruggen
Shuttlecocks, 1994

To learn more, check out the information page on the Nelson-Atkins website.



Ben and I visited KC for the first time together for a couple of days during his spring break. The weather was gorgeous and we enjoyed visiting a few of the staple tourist attractions.

Our attempt to photograph ourselves with some of the piece in the background- but without double chins!



Amanda just let me know about an upcoming exhibition- I think it's time to go back again!