Sunday, December 20, 2009

What can a smile do?

There are these two teachers who stand at the door to the entrance I use to enter my wee one's school each afternoon this year when I pick him up from school. These two teachers give me a smile about 9 out of any given 10 days I enter and exit those doors. So, for Christmas, I decided that after half a school year of truly looking forward to their smiles each afternoon that I would give them a little Christmas happy in the form of necklaces for each of them.........along with the following note.

Merry Christmas to two sweet teachers who give me a smile nearly every afternoon when I walk through the gym doors to pick up my little guy from first grade….I’ve enjoyed your smiles very much the first half of this school year. So, I simply had to give the two of you a little simple happy.

About 18 years ago I was a waitress while I was pursuing my first degree. I had this customer I waited on every single afternoon after she picked her daughter up from the elementary school. This lady never smiled, more or less had this grimace, and hardly said a word to me as I waited on her each and every afternoon at nearly 3:00 P.M. on the dot. You could set your watch by her arrival. She always ordered a medium coke and a small coke. She never tipped, I don’t even recall a thank you really, just that grimace every afternoon that I still remember to this day. After I waited on this charmer for a year, she had already come through for her daily two sodas and left, she asked for me – I had no idea she knew my name. I couldn’t imagine how two cokes could be messed up. I went out to see what was the matter as I could only assume from her usual grimace that something must be the matter. I found out that day her name was Victoria. Victoria didn’t have a complaint. She had an envelope. She told me that she had been coming to the restaurant everyday for the last year because everyday I smiled at her and that smile was what got her through the day, because she knew when she left her house to go pick up her daughter, it meant she was getting her daily smile……from me. About a year before I began to wait on Victoria, she and her daughter and her son had been in a car crash. They had been hit by a drunk driver. Her son didn’t survive. Her grimace was all she could muster each day. I unknowingly gave this stranger a reason to get out of bed each day. What was in that envelope you ask? Well, Victoria proceeded to tell me that she knew I had been ill the last few weeks and that she hadn’t been seeing my smile, so to my great surprise, the lady who had never tipped me, gave me a $100. She said that I had given her so many smiles to make her smile that she wanted to do something for me to make me smile.

So, do keep smiling, you never know when you may come across another Victoria who may just need that smile of yours more than you may ever know.

Merry Christmas Ladies!

Wee One's Mom – Mignon 

We truly never know what a smile may mean to a stranger. I had no idea that a smile - my smile - could mean so much to another person, but it did. The next time you come across someone with a grimace, instead of thinking that they must be miserable, give them a smile and plant a seed that may help them get through another day. You never know what your smile may mean and it's free to give them away.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Free Shipping for December 2009 ;)

Hey guys! I've gotten some Christmas spirit and I'm sending some from our home to yours. Any purchase totaling over $20 this month equals free shipping for the month of December. So, whether you are Christmas shopping or spending your Christmas gift money after Christmas, then come right on over to the online shop and know you are getting a great deal with free shipping. :)

Just click that title to go right to the shop.



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

When a Coconut Cake Isn't a Coconut Cake

About 10 years ago I began a search for the ultimate coconut cake to make for the father-in-law. The FIL had always talked about his momma's coconut cake and how he missed it. So, I'd never actually met a coconut cake I liked, but I figured I could find an awesome recipe to make for the FIL and he could have some connection to his momma's cake - not to ever substitute for a memory for you know you can't ever top a memory. I found two coconut cake recipes before I was done. One was a good 100 years old or better as the lady I acquired that recipe from was hitting near 50 and she had gotten the recipe from her grandma which puts the recipe at bare minimum of 100 years in age. The second I found in one of my gourmet Christmas books. Both of the recipes have become a Mignon's family tradition. The cake far exceeded my expectations and far exceeds whether the FIl likes or loves the cake or not. I must say that the look on my husband's face when I make either of these two mouth watering moist coconut cakes is comparable to a child on Christmas morning. By the time I put all the ingredients in for a scratch batter, divide out the batter into three sections, bake and cool the 3 layers, make, cook, and cool the filling, and make the icing, and get everything put together and the cake put in the icebox to chill for the night so that it is glistening by morning ready for its big presentation for afternoon desserts after our Thanksgiving meal and all the oohhs and awws of this delightful confection, it is certainly a labor of love.

Uniquely enough I feel the closest to my late grandmother when I'm cooking, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. It is through Grandma Mignon that I learned to cook and to love baking and cooking and I discovered that you can reach a person through their stomach. My sister was my first food taster when I started cooking at age 10 and my family still never knows what may come out of the kitchen. I just came up with another new recipe to try in the near future.

I made one of these scrumptious coconut cake delights today and just put it in the fridge for it's Thanksgiving Eve chill. I realized this evening when reading the expiration date on the corn syrup that it had expired the autumn of 2007 which meant I hadn't made one of these dreamy cakes since the Thanksgiving or as late as the Christmas of 2006. The arduous amount of work and time required to bake one of these cakes that dance through the hub's dreams rather than sugar plums was not something I was physically capable of doing for the last two years. I had a silent moment of sheer delight when I realized through a cake that I am continuing to get better and to improve from my injury. It isn't a trophy or blue ribbon moment nor will my name be called to receive a degree from this special moment and only you may know what a cake and an expired bottle of sticky corn syrup mean to me, but I know. Just an expired ole bottle of corn syrup gave me hope and I could feel God's hug and could almost hear Grandma's chuckle and know that all will be ok even if the life I had thought was perfectly packaged is now not perfectly packaged and I don't know what happens next.

Sometimes a coconut cake isn't a coconut cake....sometimes it's an arduous labor of love for one's spouse and family........sometimes it's a way for a granddaughter to reach out to heaven and find her grandmother.........and sometimes it's a way for God and Grandma to reach down to me and give me a little faith that everything is going to be alright.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Autumn Morning Stroll

{All photo copyrights of all photos on this blog are reserved by the owner.}
I went out to do a photo shoot this morning using the morning sunlight to shoot some pictures for uploading to an online shop. The surprise sun and even more surprising 80 degree morning led me to amble through the property shooting photos of my witness to the changing autumn colors. It was a delight to be able to actually walk around our property for a spell by myself without help and take in the colors, trees, flowers, and wildlife. Not an hour later a strong wind blew through and it rained for less than 20 minutes and the temperature dropped 20 degrees. It was just a little gift to enjoy the morning before the storm came.

Happy Autumn

Happy Autumn. :)

We took the wee one to pick out a pumpkin and a hay bale yesterday. We actually don't carve our pumpkins each year. A friend taught me years ago to buy a can of clear coat, spray it, and then you have an autumn decoration through the fall. Plus, it's a fantastic spot for Christmas photos with the Leland Christmas tree as backdrop each year. I love having Lelands planted throughout the yard.

Our winter garden is starting to grow. The hubs planted green onions, broccoli, spinach, garlic, and the three varieties of regular onions - red, yellow, and white.

I took a nice autumn walk around the property this morning. I went to sleep in fleece and woke up searching for shorts. That's Mississippi weather for you - you just never know what you may get. One day may be 40 degrees and the next day may be 80. I'll be sharing some of the photos from my walk (thankful I can walk a wee bit now).

Have a great autumn day.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pink Necklaces....Which Do You Like Best?

One of these is going in the Etsy shop and one is going in the Artfire shop......or maybe 1000markets' shop. It's funny what minute little differences can do to a necklace. One I kept tighter and gave little slack to the beaded section - so it lies a a little straighter. The other, I did give slack and and it has a more angled presentation. One has Bali beads and the other has Swarovski AB crystals. Oddly enough with the obvious variance in the color of the two necklaces, the beads all came from one strand of Rhodonite beads - great example of variation in a given gemstone even when the quality is the same. One strand is clearly pink while the other strand lends itself to almost a pink lilac with obvious lavender hues.

Do you have a favorite of the two?


Too Cute Not to Share

When this little guy was 7 weeks old, we brought him in from the porch after we had found homes for his brothers. 3 went to the in-laws and this little one was claimed by our wee one. I have to be honest, this was not the kitten I wanted to keep if we were keeping one. This little adorable thing went on to become a bull in a china cabinet and we had to put him outside. When he was 7 weeks old and as he grew before he went outside, he slept in my purse A LOT. He hasn't been inside in probably two months and then it got cold and has rained a lot the last 9 weeks or so, so he got to come back in recently. He reclaimed this purse as his bed. I have elected to choose my battles and as long as he's using to sleep in and not a bathroom, then I'll let him have this one. He's gone on to win my heart over and follows the family around outside like a dog. Too fun. He's the sweetest most loyal little thing and at the same time just a ball of energy that cannot stay in the house. He's the reason there are rubberbands on the cabinets to keep them shut. He'd go in there and push all the food out on the floor. I think the last draw was when I found him lying on a stack of plates in the top cabinet above the counter. So, little sweet kitty comes in to visit and then goes back outside to run off that energy. He's just wormed his way right into my heart - the little rascal.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Plum Crazy Purple Necklace

There was this antique muscle car that would come through the restaurant where I was a waitress in high school at a local drive-in restaurant and this car, besides being absolutely gorgeously restored, was painted plum crazy purple with a clear coat on top and that paint coat of purple just shined like it was on fire. I'm not sure my love of purple isn't grounded in the day that the car first showed up at the restaurant. For many years I wanted an antique Volkswagon bug painted in that glorious purple color, but with the metal specks and of course the clear coat on top, and to have topped it all off I wanted a yellow smiley face on the back trunk and maybe some smaller ones about the size of a silver dollar placed just right on the doors close to the mirrors....

So, my love of purple began.... :) I've been wanting to design this necklace for probably 5 months or more, but I had to find the right beads and I found them in the Czech glass beads I used for this first OOAK design. There will be more designs to follow, but no two will be precisely alike.

I did shoot the necklace inbetween cloud bursts as it has been raining nearly every day for the last month, so the placement of the front of the necklace isn't just so in the pictures; however, the 3 darker 'amethyst' colored beads that are together almost at the front are actually the front of the necklace.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Giveaway Winner (s) Announcement

Nope, didn't forget; I however, am on permanent island time....Flip flops, straw hats, fishing, and sand between my toes.

I have decided to do two winners. The first winner will the winner who wins the $20 shopping spree for any of my jewelry and/or art shops on Etsy and Artfire. The first winner was selected by those who commented on the giveway, tweeted, etc.

The second winner was selected by the blog's followers at large with the commenters and their tweets added in again for the second giveaway. The second winner will have a choice of having a $10 spree in either the Artfire shop or the Etsy jewelry shop.

******So, without further ado - the $20 shopping spree goes to.............Dirt of

*****The $10 spree goes to Michelle of

If you've not ever visited Dirt's shop - she does mosaics and the cutest jewelry that reminds one to smile. I just saw a bacon necklace she did the other day. Just made me smile. She and I both love knowing our work makes people smile, so check her shop out.

One of my favorite artists on Etsy is Michelle. I found her shop and blog last December or so. I even have some of her fairy cards. Her work has such a positive aura about it that I find it soothing. Do check her lovely shop out as well.

Congrats to both! :)

Ebay Listings - Mainly Toddler Boys Clothes 12 Months, 3T, and 4T

I have a few Ebay listings up with no bids. I'll be adding new listings directly. In the meantime, these listings go off in less than two days. My philosophy is why pay retail, especially for children's clothes when they grow up so quickly. The wee one had a growth spurt where he outgrew his new shoes and boots in 3 months - of course shoes is an area that I prefer to buy new, but still you do get the picture.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hubs Threw Duct Taped Tent Out

Remember the old tent a few postings down........ That one didn't make it past the dumpster when we left the campgrounds for the last camping trip. One would think that sane people would like to camp less after Chinese water torture invaded our tent via the gully washer thunderstorms. What did we do?? We came home, researched tents, and found one on serious sale within days of the last camping trip - apparently most folks don't buy tents this time of year. We've been sitting on this tent for a month or so and found out that we will be putting it to use immediately. Wee one's cub scout's troop has monthly camping trips. There's one in December called the Polar Bear or something. R u kidding, they get badges for camping out in December.

I'm a confusing mixture of tomboy and girly girl; however, primitive camping is something new to me. We camp where I have running water at a camp site, camp very near the bathroom, and have numerous cords running to and fro for airing up the air mattress, running the fan, giving energy to the toaster oven (this is a must on nonprimitive trips - nothing like brownies baking at the campsite), and of course there's a cord for the camping lights to light up tree roots, critters, and whatever else that may need lit up. We leave the camp lights on all night so we can watch the racoon open up closed rubbermaid containers and steal our entire loaf of bread that was to be the morning toast kind of thing.

Speaking of bathrooms and primitive camping and finding out there was a hole in the ground for such needs.......I quickly told the hubs to return my new battery operated air mattress pump and buy me my own personal ummm, well, portable potty thingamajig err thing - there is such a thing at Walmart for those of you who don't go to the camping section - think 5 gallon bucket with a cushioned seat. The scout leader did let us know that there was an actual bathroom and not a hole in the ground farther away than where the scouts typically camp - guess who is camping out by the REAL bathroom. That's the girly girl with requirements. I get to keep my battery powered air mattress pump for the mattress AND get a real bathroom. I'm a happy camper.

Asked Hubs to please pack my open-cast reel - that's the tomboy side ready to bring in some catfish. I'll keep you posted on what fish I bring home the next trip. Then, I love fishing so much that a no-keeper/no-catch day is still a good day. They call it fishing, not catching.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Lovely Stationery Giveaway

This charming artisan is having a giveaway on her blog. I just found her blog and started following, added her to the fanpages I follow, added her on Twitter, checked out her shop (obviously), and love her shop and blog.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Spectacular Talent On the Rise

I have the distinct pleasure of introducing you to a charming shop and its charming owner from

I will refer to her as S.L., aka Sweet Limes. I met S.L. back in probably the winter of 2009 - we clicked so quickly that we had no choice, but to become friends. I get to claim some of her pieces just before she went public with her etsy shop this month. I have the most beautiful purse, cuff bracelet, and business card holder all sewn by S.L. Somewhere in there we crossed the mutual giveways we had followed and won on each other's blogs and made each other what we would make our friends. Her sewing skills are spectacular and what really amazes me is how she can look at something and work it out in her mind and into a pattern on her roll of paper. From her paper drawing, she turns a creation into her own and what comes off of her sewing machine is nothing short of magical. It would be impossible to look at her work or in my lucky case - hold three pieces of her work in your hands and not smile - absolutely impossible.
What you see pictured are the amazing things she can do with scraps - she turned scraps into cloth cards and inserted cardstock inside for writing your special note. How creative can you get?? I cannot wait to buy my own set - having to play it close the vest right now or I would have already bought the gorgeous blue set. I'd suggest hurrying up if you plan on getting them before I do.
Also in the photographs is one of her cuffs. This particular one I predict to go off with fireworks with the recycle, reuse, folks as this cuff is a recycled piece of fabric - very creative indeed. So, add her to your favorites. I wait in wonder like a kid at Christmas wondering what she will put in her shop next. I've seen an outfit she's sewn for a wee one and the creativity just flows from every seam.

Mignon :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Autumn's Alluring Secrets Earrings

Autumn's Alluring Secrets Earrings

I don't know what it is about wood, it's just something that connects me to nature - reminding me of camping trips I've been on where the fun, peace, and pleasure obtained could not be contained... reminding me of hikes on nature trails and trips to the beach where drift wood rolls onto shore from the waves. One has to find silence to hear God speak the clearest and on my lone walks down the beach or while sitting outside a rented cabin or our tent, I can find the silence that lets me listen the most intently. My favorite church is the one I go to alone when I have a moment to be alone with nature and 'be still' and listen.

May you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed designing them.