Wednesday, November 30, 2011

If you could.......

If you could live in a book, which book would you love to live within?
For me, it's hands down Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher written in 2000.  As one book reviewer wrote: A story of 5 very different people by happenstance ending up in northern Scotland during the Christmas season. I've read this book every year during Christmas and when I've finished I dream of being in northern Scotland during Christmas and these are my dearest and closest friends.

Elfrida Phipps, once of London's stage, moved to the English village of Dibton in hopes of making a new life for herself. Gradually she settled into the comfortable familiarity of village life — shopkeepers knowing her tastes, neighbors calling her by name — still she finds herself lonely. She's the auntie that gives you huge hugs, never judges and opens her heart fully to those she loves.

Oscar Blundell gave up his life as a musician in order to marry Gloria. They have a beautiful daughter, Francesca, and it is only because of their little girl that Oscar views his sacrificed career as worthwhile.
A quiet, kind and thoughtful man who leans on Elfrida to get through a tragic event.

Carrie returns from Australia at the end of an ill-fated affair with a married man to find her mother and sister sharing a home and squabbling endlessly. With Christmas approaching, Carrie agrees to look after her sister's awkward and quiet teenage daughter, Lucy, so that her mother might enjoy a romantic fling in America. Carrie is always there when Lucy needs her and she needs her now. Carrie is a beautiful woman, at loose ends herself and needs a huge hug from her great aunt, Elfrida.

Sam Howard is trying to pull his life back together after his wife has left him for another. He is without home and without roots, all he has is his job. Business takes him to northern Scotland, where he falls in love with the lush, craggy landscape and set his sights on a house.
A strange twist of faith lands Sam on Elfrida and Oscars door step on a cold and snowy night.

It is the strange rippling effects of a tragedy that will bring these five characters together in a large, neglected estate house near the Scottish fishing town of Creagan.  It is in this house, on the shortest day of the year, that the lives of five people will come together and be forever changed. Winter Solstice is a novel of love, loyalty and rebirth.

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's a Wrap.....

In my family, holiday gift wrapping has become an art form.

My hubby's family use to challenge each other to create disguised wrappings to house their gifts.  Decorating a train of boxes including an engine and caboose to hide the umbrella inside. The large boxes would have a castle on top made out of toilet paper rolls, empty wrapping paper rolls and little boxes all wrapped in white. Or a silver foil ice skating rink with a forest of miniature trees. Another box may be decorated to become a gingerbread house.  A large paper bag (with gift inside) was transformed into a reindeer with a bell hanging from one antler. The wrapping usually took longer than the shopping for the gift. 

Now, I have family members (yup, that's you kids) who are very creative in designing works of art in their wrapping ideas. The elegantly dressed brown shipping/craft paper, large cut-out initials, old photos attached to the tag (without a name - guess who that present is for?). Ribbons, twine, string, yarn, paper ornaments or stamped images, buttons and a few bows to adorn the wrapping of the gifts. We all look forward to see what appears under the Christmas tree.
Here are a few holiday wrappings I've found on the web for inspiration, help get the creative juices flowing and spark this year's creative gift wrapping.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

25% OFF

Flora is offering 25% OFF for a limited time
Browse the store
Spread the word 
and everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

There's a New Shop in Town -

There's a new shop on the Internet that is a must go and see. Flora at has just opened it's doors and is filled with the flora work of Scott Mansfield, San Francisco professional photographer. If you're looking for the perfect holiday gift or need a little color added to your own walls -- this is the place to shop. There's a large variety of flower prints to choose from and it is super easy to pick the size you want and printing format.
The best place on the Internet to shop for flora prints, go see for yourself

Monday, November 21, 2011

They followed me home....

Some recently found ideas from Pinterest that followed me home.

A simple paper plate with holes punched about 1" apart, threaded with decorative ribbon.
So simple, So effective!
Great idea for those gift, holiday cookies or candies you make.

For the cupcake baker in your home.
Easy way to store your cupcake liners -- stack in a spaghetti jar.

One old dresser - remove legs - make seat cushion and wha-la,
you've got a perfect window seat or bench with storage.

Cover a pop can dispenser with paper (wrapping paper is about the right size) or contact paper and label for storing your can goods. We shop Costco - this will be perfect to organize the bulk buys.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Doors Are Open-Open-Open

Sam'Studio is all set up and ready to go at the annual Allied Arts Holiday Festival of the Arts in Bellingham, WA.  Opening this Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday with extended opened days the week of Christmas.  We're back at the same site and filled to the brim with wonderful local artisan work for sale along with local musicians to entertain you.
Get your holiday shopping done early and shop The Festival this year! 

Sam'Studio is offering new items this year along with newly designed journals and notebooks. Plus,  mini photo albums, pocket Post-It note holders, gift card sets, desk Post-It note sets, bookmarks, note card sets and origami gift boxes.
All are reasonably priced to fit every one's shopping budget.
Think Global - Shop Local

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Let Me Entertain You!

It's Entertaining
It's Fun
It's all new to me.....
Join me at my new blog, Attic Whispers located at
Bookmark it, Spread the word and follow me to
Attic Whispers
(during the transition set-up, you might have to use:
for a few days.

Sam's Amusing World isn't going anywhere -- it'll be here with new posts -- I now have two blogs 
One completely fictional and entertaining
and One for a little of this and a little of that