Thursday, March 31, 2011


At the beginning of March, Heather set up a hoop art swap. I really need to push myself outside of my limits and try new things. So I signed up. I am soOO excited about the hoop art I sent to Sallie, my swap partner.

It was my first hoop art and maybe I have found something new to add to my shop? Just maybe. It falls under the umbrella of [fabric] and [paper].

I can't wait until Sallie receives her hoop art. She doesn't have a blog yet; I can't wait until she does!! So I may post a photo of what I sent her because I am so excited!!

Have you ever done hoop art before?

Check out my Pinterest button up there ------^ and I have a board entitled "hoop art." I got some inspiration from there.

Happy Thursday!

Skipping out the blog to church I go...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

::simple linky party::

Here I went and got my schnazzy new web home all designed up, then spring break came.  I'm working all day Tuesday through Friday.

My bank account thanks me.

My blog does not.

While at work, I read my blogs via Mobile Google Reader.  Because it's too difficult to leave comment love, I star the article and come back to it after I get home from work.

I found out about this linky party and thought it would be fun to participate in.

So, if you are visiting via Fabulous K....WELCOME to Cotton+Wood!

Happy Hump Day...

ps...OH, and for those of you who are new to this blog, or think because I don't have a regular 9-5'er that I sit around and eat bon-bons all day, think again. During the school year, I am a part-time nanny, clean two houses [just a few hours a week], and then get to do the job I love -- working to build my indie business. [your welcome for making that clarification!]

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

::flower show::

We did it, again, folks!  My Mom and I went to the Macy's Flower Show in Chicago.  I had the day off work on Monday so it was the perfect opportunity to trek to the big city.

the theme was Towers of Flowers

 The main floor was especially pretty, pretty, pretty with displays

The housewares department had some lovelies, as well.

In the center of the store is a beautiful water fountain surrounded by all sorts of varieties of flowers.  It smelled beautiful here.  What a treat with the harsh spring weather we are having this week!

Even the signature chocolates were wrapped prettily.

It was a lovely, lovely day and I am so glad we made the trip!

Have you ever been to the Macy's Flower Show?  If you are in the Chicago area, the shows runs until April 10th!

Have a wonderful Tuesday...

Monday, March 28, 2011

endless gifts {506-518}

506. safety while traveling
507. another class accomplished!
508. another year to serve the Lord
509. another year to improve as an individual
510. a call from my friend who is a missionary to Zambia [made. my. day. This literally could count for all 10 reasons for being thankful this week.]
511. Happy Birthday played on the guitar
512. sunshine
513. pretty spring flowers
514. a day out with my Mom
515. wisdom for daily needs
516. Heather at Blessed Little Nest and her patience with me in this blog re-design
517. all of you followers over there ----->
518. new beginnings

Have a happy, new week...

ps...OH, did you get that it was my birthday? :) YAY!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

::giveaway HEY::

I have been wanting to do a giveaway for a very long time.  I know I do not have a very large blog and I hope I haven't lost too many readers in the big move.

It's also interesting to me to find out who reads my blog.  I always want to know!!  I've met some great gals who decided to delurk several months ago [hi, Maggie, Kali, and Alyssa!] and I'm so glad they did.

The main thing I want to know is -- Have you updated me in your Google Reader?  Or your feed reader [if you don't use Google]?  Or the sidebar on your blog?  That's all I want to know.

Just answer that one question and BOOM! you're in!

Here's the goods:

 ^^yummy Easter candy and coffee^^

 ^^mineral hand lotion and mineral face soap -- it is incredibly awesome soap!!^^

^^earrings from Laura @ Along for the Ride -- choose your favorite color and a cute little bird ornament^^

These are a few of my favorite things....!

Happy Saturday!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

::you made it::

Hello, everyone!

You made it to my new home online.  I am so happy you are here!

Make sure to push the little follow button on the right --------------->


Follow via Bloglovin [if you are into that sort of thing] --------------->

The giveaway should be up today sometime!

Have a happy Friday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


And if I was saying this in real life, I'd be all big and bold about it, ya know?!!

[arms in the air, triumphantly saying ta-DA!!]

Yellow Hope has been my little Etsy business for a while now.  I love Yellow Hope.  I really do; it went through some changes [from Yellow Hope Cards to Yellow Hope].  But we're buds.

Several months ago, I had a total AHA moment.  There is a fantastic corner in our town.
[bad picture but you get the idea]

It's at the corner of Broadway and Calumet.  Big time traffic, people, for our little town.  And the corner store there is empty.  I would love to put a little shop there and sell designer fabric and paper.  We have no fabric store here except for Jo-Ann's, Walmart, and one place in Valpo that sells fabric that I'm not interested in.  As far as scrapbook paper, we have Michael's 15 minutes one way and Hobby Lobby 15 minutes the other way.  Basically, this could be described as a creative DESERT.

Along with the AHA moment came the name of my dream brick and mortar store.

Cotton+Wood.  Fabric + Paper.  Sweet.

One of the sessions in the Indie Biz Course that I'm taking covers branding.  Going into Indie Biz, I was convinced Yellow Hope was the way to go.  But as I read through this particular session, I realized that something had to change.  I really, really did not want to use Cotton+Wood.  It's special.  It's the name for my dream brick and mortar.

But ultimately, I decided to totally re-brand and go with Cotton+Wood.

There has been so much agony going into this.  I've chatted on gmail with an online friend, several "real life" friends, my brother, my parents, etc...I've checked usernames and .com's galore.

The very talented, uber patient, and super sweet Heather from Blessed Little Nest is the brains behind the whole redesign.  I about pulled my hair out on Sunday night; she probably wondered what she had gotten herself into, haha!! Not really, but she is putting a TON of work into this baby.

Also, I will be opening a new shop on Big Cartel.  The only reason I am switching to Big Cartel is because I could not find a suitable name on Etsy.  My Yellow Hope shop will still stay open for business.

Happiness, folks....pure happiness....

::it is a new day::

Thursday, March 17, 2011

::with a boom and a snap::

And just like that *snap* winter is gone. [I think.] I guess it could still snow but no one is hoping.

The bulletin boards in my Master's Club classroom needed to be changed stat!

There are some really positive things about being out of college.  One of them is the fact that you can break bulletin board rules left and right and no one notices.  For instance.  The same white background has been up since December.  [hello, frugal timesaver!]  There are pin hole pokes everywhere. [just don't look to closely]

Another positive thing about being done with college is using visuals from that time period.  I made these two gumball machines while student teaching and I'm still using them now.  [hooray!]  I put each of the girls' names on a gumball and there is a sticker for each award they have received.  Short and sweet.

And this board, I love it but there is something missing.  I think I need a big bright sun shining at the top of the board.  We will see if I change anything.

I also used a board similar to this while student teaching.  It was May.  I was exhausted and needed a bulletin board.  Lambs with cotton balls = no lamination needed.  So if you have 30 minutes to sit and pull cotton balls apart to fluff up a little lamb, it's not too difficult of a board to do.

I did have fun putting these two boards together.  And I have one more fun thing planned for the classroom but I most likely won't have time to make it until next week.  So, you'll have to wait until then!  :)

Happy spring! It officially arrives on Sunday!


Ah! My first alterations order is d-o-n-e!!

This was the perfect first alterations job.  They were used work pants that needed a little hemming.

Seriously, that stack of pants probably weighs ten pounds.  My poor little machine had to work hard.

Two different sets of needles [microtex and denim] and three broken needles later, I am happy to return this order to the owners today.

Experience is priceless, I say.  What a fantastic opportunity to learn!

See, I've been busy.  Sorry there has been no posting here...

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Monday, March 14, 2011

endless gifts {496-505}

496. how the Holy Spirit prepares my heart before a sermon is preached [happens almost every week--awesome!]
497. back to normal schedule
498. provision every week
499. good food and laughs with friends
500. a sweet little thank you note from one of the girls in my Master's Club class
501. clean sheets to fall into after working late on Friday night
502. spring is creeping its way here
503. daffodils poking through the ground
504. shampooed carpet
505. serving Jesus!!

Happy Monday, folks!

This has already been a fantastic, fantastic day.  I hope yours is, too...

Friday, March 11, 2011

::hear ye::

Towards the end of 2010, I sponsored a few blogs and also participated in a some giveaways to increase exposure to my shop.  One of the lovely people that I met through those experiences was Laura from Along for the Ride.  She won a giveaway for two sets of my cards.  Score!

Lately, she has been such a blessing to me.  She contacted me a bit ago because she wanted to feature my shop for f-r-e-e.  I wanted to send her another set of cards since she was being so kind. [People, she has a pretty blog and a pretty, big blog -- 1,000+ followers!!]  She returned the favor and asked if there was anything that I would like from her shop.

Each time I enter one of her giveaways throughout blog-land, I always say I love her mum earrings.  'Tis true.  They are lovely!  They are candy for the ears.

Last week, I received my package and I could not wait to tell you about Laura.

On Tuesday, I had a burning question.  I needed an opinion from someone outside my family about something shop related.  Guess what?  She answered my plea for help and we chatted on gmail for a few minutes.  She is that nice.

Last night, I wore my red mum earrings with my black dress.  Remember this post where I talked about finding a modest, black dress online?  It is from Mika Rose.  I snagged a red belt to go with the red earrings.

--here is the dress on me--

--here is the photo from the Mika Rose website; you can see more of the details of the dress in this photo--

--a close up picture of the red mum earrings--

Oh, and Laura also included a free hair pin which will be great to wear this spring and summer.

So if you are looking for a new pair of earrings, a new necklace, or hair pins for yourself OR if you are looking for a gift for someone, check out Laura's shop.  She will not disappoint!!

It's Friday!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

::Indie Biz notebook::

Finally, here is my Indie Biz notebook!  The class started on March 1st.  I am so excited to be taking this course....a bit behind, I might add.

For Christmas, my grandparents gifted me with a check which had been safely tucked away for a good use.  My Mom reminded me of it just in time.  The only reason I didn't want to take the course was because of the cost.  It's not expensive, I just didn't have the immediate funds.

Anyways, this is turning out to be one of the best investments I have ever made in my little business.  My second best investment will be unveiled towards the end of March or beginning of April.  Can't wait to share!!

Here are a few verses tucked into the front cover.  I need to be reminded that #1--I need not compare my successes with others.  It is not wise!  #2--I need to love the Lord Jesus Christ first of all, then worry about my business.  I have been insanely busy lately.  Yes, I'm still reading my Bible just not pouring my heart into my devotional time like I should.  As I was drifting off to sleep on Saturday, the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart this verse.  I'm so grateful when He speaks to my heart!


Happy Thursday, everyone! It's church night for me tonight--yay!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

::winter bulletin boards::

I've had these bulletin boards up in my Master's Club classroom for over a month now.  I am just now getting around to posting the pictures and it is about time to take them down and start over again!

The first board has three verses and a chorus from the song All Things Bright and Beautiful.

Several years ago, I did a similar board with the tree branches and hung snowflake and bird ornaments on the branches.  I threw those branches away; they were a glittery, winter-y white.  When I went to Hobby Lobby to purchase new branches, there were no winter-y white.  I bought these but was disappointed.  They didn't bend very easily at all.  They were very hard to staple to the board.  But there they are! They have stayed put for over a month now.

The second board was fun for the girls to help put together.  I asked them to think about why they loved their family or their church.  I wrote their answer [hastily] on a heart shape then let them sign it for personalization. 

Some of their answers were great!  Other girls copied the person in front of them in line [with a bit of variation]. Here are four unique, individual responses.  Sweetness!

Have a happy night...

Monday, March 7, 2011

endless gifts {491-495}

[It's been almost a whole week since I blogged last?!! Ack! Back to normal this week, hopefully. Also, as I was reviewing my week, I didn't remember as many things for my gratefulness list. That is bad. Did I not let my soul breathe this week?]

491. on Friday, a break from my crazy busy-ness
492. the Indie biz course I'm taking -- I'm learning so much!!
493. grace clearly evident
494. being able to actually follow along with the words of the hymns as I play my cello -- this is a first since I switched from playing the flute to playing the cello in the orchestra at church almost three years ago
495.Sunday night sermons -- over and over again, I am blessed, challenged, and strengthened

Happy Monday, folks....