Saturday, December 3, 2011

GLAM Indie Craft Show 2011!

All the info you need to arm yourself for the GLAM event tomorrow:
You’ll be able to shop from nearly 50 local artists, crafters, and designers who are offering everything from T-shirts to tutus, and from hoola hoops to handmade soaps. 
GLAM hours are 12pm-5pm

GLAM me up! -- an etsy treasury featuring several items available to purchase tomorrow 

Articles by Indie Gainesville on a few of tomorrow's vendors:
GLAM vendors

Dragonfly Graphics 

Miss Mermaid


Special thanks to
The Sassy Crafter aka Kim Kruse for all her hard work in making GLAM a reality. Ride your bike and have plenty of room to park! Or take the bus. Villa East is on the 15 bus route. 

301 N Main Street, Gainesville, FL

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

thank-full (a better late than never blog)

Those who are Awake
live in a state of constant amazement ...

~ Jack Kornfield ~

This post has been in my head for easily two weeks now- what are the things in life I am most grateful for? How do I summarize that into a concise blog post that someone would even want to take the time to read? So, round and round in my head it has gone.  
forgive me. this will be messy and unorganized. 
and my grammar will suck.

Last weekend as I listened to my girls laughing in the other room with one of their friends, I was reminded how so much of what I love is processed through my ears. Music...always music. and laughter. from anyone. 

I am grateful for all the people I share love with. 
My family. 
my beautiful, twirly, funny, creative, ever-changing children.
My friends who have seen me through the good and bad decisions- while lifting me with support. 
My wise friend who said: to him...all we are are our relationships and our conversations. 
Another friend- who has seen me through the same.old.shit. a million times. and is still here. and still smiling.
For another friend who said, "what are you THINKING?!? If anyone can get their massage license reinstated within a month, it's you!". And you know what? She was right. 
I am overwhelmed with gratitude on amost a daily basis by how many people I have in my corner and could easily list 100 people who have done extraordinary things to support me (m0mmacat, this means you).

I am thankful for the beauty that surrounds me. For the sun as it cuts through the trees in my back yard, the breeze that brushes across my arm, my peck peck pecking chickens as they search for food and care for the two new little ones...

I am thankful for the time and space I've been given to explore my creativity and find out what I love to do. 
And for the artists out there who are sharing their work. The singer-song writers, poets and philosophers especially. thank you for filling my soul on the days I was most in need. 

and as I write, I am thinking of how much gratitude I have for you. whoever you are, reading this blog. whoever you are...looking at my work on etsy or at a local market...relating to a poem I post or trying a recipe...thank you. Thank you for having an appreciation for a part of me. and our connection.    

last month on my trip to California, at a winery in Napa

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

No Bake Energy Bars

Confession: After 2 years of no peanut products in our home and being so completely vigilant of label reading- now that Violet has done the unimaginable and outgrown her peanut allergy- I feel a pang of guilt every time I use peanut butter. I wonder if any other parents lucky enough to be in my situation have ever felt the same.

And with that, I give you my recipe for No Bake Energy Bars. Sure there are zillions of variations on the web for these. What I am posting is a base recipe for you to build on!

1C peanut butter
1C honey (I used Sweet Dreams Merritt Island Wild Flower Honey)
3C rolled oats (uncooked)
Here's where you can get creative by choosing 1/2- 1 C or any add in you can think of!
A few ideas to get you going:
seeds (sesame, pumpkin, flax)
dried fruit
mini chocolate chips or carob
protein powder
brewers yeast

1. Combine peanut butter and honey in a medium size pot on low heat until mixed
2. Mix in the rolled oats and any other add ins
3. The intention is not to cook your mixture, just heat it enough so that combining the ingredients is easier
4. Press into a 9x9 or 9x11 inch pan (I greased mine with coconut oil)
5. Let cook and cut into bars
6. Wrap and store in the refrigerator

*Soon available for sale through Miss Mermaid*

For the lovelies who made it this far:
If you try this recipe leave me a comment and let me know what you use for add ins! I'm always looking for new ideas to keep healthy food interesting. And speaking of comments...I've been wondering lately, who is reading this blog? I'd love to hear from you and where you are located. If you have anything you'd like to suggest for a future blog post or questions you have for me leave that in the comments too! I love to hear from you and always respond <3

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fruit Cereal Bars (without a bunch of unnecessary crap!)

I love making these bars because you can make them into just about any combination of flavors you want; so much room for imagination and creativity here! They are awesome for packing into school/work lunches (kids as well as college students looking for a healthier alternative) or just an afternoon snack at home. After they bake, I cut and wrap them individually and store in the refrigerator. Grab one for an on the go breakfast as you're walking out the door!

3/4 C coconut oil (butter can also be used)
1/2 C brown sugar, packed (I was out today so I used 1/2 C evaporated cane juice)

cream above together then add:

1 C white whole wheat flour
1 C buckwheat flour or oat bran or a mixture of whatever "flours" you like (you could just use another cup of the whole wheat flour). Today I used 3/4 C Buckwheat and 1/4 C ground flax seeds
3/4 C chopped nuts, dried fruit or seeds (Pumpkin Seeds are great in this recipe) (I omitted this today bc of 1. nut allergies and 2. my kids are pretty sick of raisins right now and that's the only dried fruit currently in the house).
3/4 C rolled oats
1 teaspoon vanilla (today I used 1/2 tea vanilla extract and 1/2 lemon extract)

Press 1/2 of the above mixture into a  greased 9x13 pan

spread about 8oz of your favorite fruit preserves/jam on top (today I used the last of the strawberry jam I canned last summer)

Sprinkle then press the other half of the crumb mixture on top, pressing gently but firmly.

Bake at 350 about 30 minutes, checking at 25 minutes.  If edges are getting brown, take it out.

Cool completely.  Cut into bars.  Eat.  Enjoy.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hi, my name is...

Helen, and I have an addiction to beautiful fabric.

There are a handful of people who would ever be allowed to see the stacks of fabric I have in my sewing room. It's a little embarassing...

When I first started out sewing, I used to buy only what I needed for each particular project. Somehow (and very quickly) I gravitated to buying a minimum of 4 yards for each print I loved...and there is a LOT of gorgeous fabric out there, people.

Recently I had the experience of shopping with Sarah at Swell Cloth and it was hands down, the best fabric shopping experience I have ever had. Sarah was on it from the beginning- within an hour of my first email she had a custom order put together and posted for me to check out. The next day, my fabric shipped and again I received an email- this time with my tracking information.
All this, in my opinion should be standard for businesses. Sarah, went above and beyond to personalize this experience for me.

Today when my Swell Cloth package arrived, I finally realized I needed to sit down and write about this. Never before has a package of fabric come to me in such a beautiful and loving way. Each print was wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with a opening a present! In that moment Sarah gained a customer for life.

The two Melody Miller prints I ordered from Swell Cloth:

What are your favorite places to buy fabric? Are there any small businesses you would recommend?

places you can find Sarah
Swell Cloth on Etsy
Download the latest episode of her podcast, Stash Resolution for free on iTunes
Stash Resolution (blog)

Friday, September 2, 2011

perfect loveliness

St. Francis and the Sow
by Galway Kinnell
 The bud
stands for all things,
even those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
 though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
 as St. Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, 
 and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of
                the tail,
 from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking
                and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.
The every so lovely Kathryn of Kathryn Kaye Photography has a new etsy shop!
If someone wanted to make me a very happy Helen they would purchase this 
beautiful piece of art for my birthday <3 (oh, or this!) 
Here are Kathryn's other links:
blog (a bazillion photos so striking you won't be able to stop looking until there are no more left to see) 
facebook be the first to know when she makes a new blog post or has a promotion going on!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

the bittersweet

"Turn around and you're two
Turn around and you're four
Turn around and you're a young girl going out of my door"
 As I type this, Ella is experiencing her first day of Pre K. Violet, not sure how to be without her partner in crime is looking every where for her...."where Ella go??". 
Saying goodbye this morning was bittersweet. Violet had stayed home with her Dad so it was just me and Ella. The look on her face when we hugged and said goodbye- it was meaningful- I wish I could describe it better than to say...her face was brave and excited. 
I feel so good about the school we have chosen; a place where peacocks and chickens run free and each child has access to a garden plot. A place where children can be children.

peacocks paying under the volleyball net
perched on the roof of Ella's classroom

Friday, August 19, 2011

my favorite and my best

It's hot as hell here in Florida. And yet...Fall will be here soon. My favorite time of year.

a cool breeze through my open windows
hot coffee
iced lemon zinger tea
the Wednesday Farmers Market- actually staying to enjoy some music
planting a winter garden
more time outside in general
several drop offs to the thrift store as I try to keep our belongings to a minimum (forever, my losing battle)
and oh, the colors....oranges and browns, green, grey and yellow...
my heart warms just thinking about it.



Sylvia C Photography


 If You Were Coming in the Fall 
by Emily Dickinson
If you were coming in the Fall,
I'd brush the Summer by
With half a smile, and half a spurn,
As Housewives do, a Fly.

If I could see you in a year,
I'd wind the months in balls --
And put them each in separate Drawers,
For fear the numbers fuse --

If only Centuries, delayed,
I'd count them on my Hand,
Subtracting, till my fingers dropped
Into Van Dieman's Land.

If certain, when this life was out --
That yours and mine, should be
I'd toss it yonder, like a Rind,
And take Eternity --

But, now, uncertain of the length
Of this, that is between,
It goads me, like the Goblin Bee --
That will not state -- its sting.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

this post is brought to you by red wine, good friends and Lucinda Williams (NOT Bruce Springsteen)

Have you ever had a place
that you could go
and as you are driving up,
your heart slows
your breathing deepens, becoming more intentional
and your body just relaxes?

I am lucky enough to have a few spots like this scattered across Florida, North Carolina and Mississippi; they fill a part of me that is frequently emptied by the repetition of every day.

The one I am thinking of tonight is Lake Serene in Mississippi.

The girls and I usually visit Mississippi for a month every summer and this is the first time I had been back to Lake Serene since college in 1998. It was a much needed drive and I was so happy to be able to share it with my daughters and 12 year old niece.

Everyone should have a place like this, if only to catch your breath a couple times a year. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

that's my daughter in the water...

As an added *bonus* to my current giveaway contest, I'm activating a 10% off coupon code, good to the end of the contest (tomorrow/Friday at 5PM, Mountain Time). To use the code, simply enter 10OFF at checkout!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

the time has come, the time is now

Kathryn Kaye & Miss Mermaid Giveaway 2011

 Call me's certainly the truth. Reading the blog post Kathryn wrote last night- and seeing the photos of her beautiful children wearing the dresses I brought tears to my eyes. We met as bloggers when we were both trying to get pregnant five years ago and have seen each other through some pretty significant milestones. And now she has actualized her talent for photography and I'm sewing- and thriving in finding a place for my seems only natural that we put our heads together and find a way to support each other in this too.

To view the contest blog post click here. The rules explain how to enter 3 times for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to my shop, Miss Mermaid.

Oh, and it looks like Colorado residents get an extra super secret deal just for entering the what are you waiting for?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Giveaway StartsTomorrow!!!

Keep an eye out tomorrow for information on a Miss Mermaid *GIVEAWAY* being hosted over at the gorgeous KathrynKaye's blog.
In the meantime...I will leave you with some of her beautiful photography...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Peanut Challenge This Morning...

...and THIS is what a child NOT ALLERGIC TO PEANUTS looks like!!

Photo Credit: Christin Lewin

Tonight after the girls go to sleep I'm going to bake some bread and tomorrow, I'm buying the BEST peanut butter I can find to pair with the blueberry jam I canned last year!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

6 things I love this morning

sipping my ice coffee, trying to wake up. the girls have been waking me up at 6am this week (big change from their usual 8:30). so here are some of my favorites. If you were to look at my etsy favorites you would SEE...that I have favorited nearly every listing from LilyMoon. Something about her work really speaks to me. So far I haven't been able to decide on just ONE thing...and I have a feeling if I got started I'd soon have a home full of LilyMoon art. So, here are 6 listings that I love- each one for very different reasons.







Saturday, June 11, 2011

Miss Mermaid & Friends: KathrynKaye

So my friend Kathryn....she has a way with words and a camera. I have such an appreciation for the way she articulates her passions (of which there are many!). I highly recommend sitting down with a good cup or coffee (or glass of wine) and perusing her blog. Beautiful photos. Beautiful words. Oh, and today's blog happens to have a few Miss Mermaid photos for good measure! 
If you are in the Denver area (*ahem* to all the cousins I have living there!) I highly recommend contacting Kathryn for a photo shoot!
KathrynKaye Photography

Pin It
KathrynKaye the blog:
KathrynKaye photography:
Miss Mermaid:


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Crafty Girls Swing AND Hop!

It's Handmade Wednesday again! Have you linked up yet? If not, head on over to Blue Eyed Blessings to promote your Crafty Blogs and Shops on their Blog Hop!

A look at one of the newest items from my shop:


Monday, May 9, 2011

Ella's Birthday Giveaway winner is....


Please leave your email in a comment below and I'll get your 40% off discount code to you!!!

(chosen by

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's Ella's Birthday *GIVEAWAY*

Tomorrow is my 1st daughter Ella's 4th birthday and to celebrate I've decided to have a *giveaway* contest! The prize is a coupon code good for 40% OFF in my shop
Here are the rules to participate:

1. sign up to follow my blog
2. become a Miss Mermaid fan on Facebook
3. tell me in a comment here on my blog what your absolute favorite item in my shop is

                      that's it!

The contest will end Sunday night and the winner will be chosen randomly and announced Monday morning.

new on the scene...

...The Knotty Apron Dress!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Miss Mermaid and Friends- 80+ GIVEAWAYS!

Head on over to Rumpsack Diapers for a huge giveaway party that celebrates her reaching 2,000 fans! As part of the festivities I am doing a giveaway there for a set of 4 Reusable Cloth Napkins from my Miss Mermaid shop! Make sure and look around Rumpsack'll find 80 (and counting) different shops with their own giveaways!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Miss Mermaid & Friends

Randomly chosen (by  from the Handmade Blog Hop I posted about last week today's blog post features two Etsy shops.

The first featured shop is Brick by Brick, run by Meredith Wahl. Brick by Brick is filled with really fun LEGO inspired picture frames, lamps and magnets. Meredith also offers custom orders for party favors!  

Today's second featured shop is Blue Eyed Blessings, run by Julia Munro and Cori of Cori's Big Mouth (original creators of the Handmade Blog Hop). Julia and Cori's shop carries the cutest head decorations for your favorite little girl! They've got everything including crochet hats, beautiful bows, barrettes and flower clips.

Please stop by to say hello and visit these ladies on their websites:

Brick by Brick:

Blue Eyed Blessings:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Handmade Blog Hop!

...a great way to promote your handmade store and blog.

How does this Blog Hop work? Easy!

1) Enter your blog and/or store into the appropriate spaces below!
*BLOGS* = 1st set of Linky's
*STORES* = 2nd set of Linky’s
*For the STORES link, please specify what type of store: ETSY:, ARTFIRE:, etc.

2) Grab the Linky Codes to share with all your Blogging, Etsy, Artifre, etc. Friends

3) On occasion I will randomly choose a blog and store from below to feature here

4) Now go check out and support some of the amazing ART that's happening below!

Add Your CRAFTY BLOG Here!

*Don’t forget to include what type of store you have (Etsy, Artfire, Personal, etc.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Because my Father In Law is a genius...

I no longer have the issue of changing out nasty dirty chicken waterers every morning! Ella and Violet's Papaw came to visit us from Mississippi last weekend and he told me about how they water their chickens in Mississippi....

a rabbit water bottle!

 One of the fantastic things about this solution is that the water bottle sits on the outside of the pen.

Violet with Papaw talking to Mimi on the phone. We missed seeing you, Mimi!
yes, she was bathed WELL afterwards

they love to chase the chickens around!