Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happiness at home

I have a special place in my home that is just for me. When we decided to build our home, we added a small nook area off the master bedroom. For a while it was a nursery, then it turned into a junk room, but a little over a year ago, I turned it into my own special area. I emptied out the space and bought a large sheet of pegboard (cut to my specifications by the nice people at the Depot). I also purchased some shelves, saved an old desk and chest of drawers from the junk pile and added some inexpensive storage pieces. What was once an unsightly stack of stuff has turned into a fantastic haven for my creativity. I can leave my jewelry designs spread all over the desk or the scrapbook pages half completed. I can leave the fabrics and patterns draped across the drawers until I'm ready to return to them. When my world is stressed by overly busy and hectic schedules, I know I can retreat to my haven and immerse myself in the creative process.

I love making things and my latest venture involves creating handmade items from vintage bottlecaps. My oldest daughter found them in her grandparent's warehouse and it seemed we were destined to do something interested with them. My husband considered the monetary value of the caps and we could have easily sold them in lots to others, but I wanted to consider what else could be done with them. Yeah, sure, I could use the extra money like anyone, but where is the fun in that? Anyway, we digress from the happiness story. We filled a large container with various unused bottlecaps and took a jewelry class. My daughter, who is definitely a creative force, had lists of ideas for the caps. Once we knew what we were going to do and how to put the pieces together, we started our company, Vintage Crown Creations. 'Vintage' because these caps are from the 1960s; and 'crown' because bottlecaps were once known as crowns (an uncrimped bottlecap kind of looks like a little crown from the side). We did several shows last fall and opened our online shop at

My daughter and I work on our creations in my little craft area. We have plenty of space to experiment with our designs and try out new ideas. I love that this has become one of my happy places especially since I share this retreat with my daughters (the youngest one holds the title of 'junior assistant sparkle painter'), and I hope that one day they'll both look back at our time in my 'happy place' and recall this place as one of their happy places, too.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

More Happy Places

There are two appointments I need for my sanity...every 3-4 weeks, I schedule a massage and every 6 to 8 weeks, I schedule a hair cut. I consider each of these to be necessary and a big part of my 'happy places' list. Getting a massage used to be a rare (incredibly infrequent) event of my life until last year. My husband loves to 'bet' that he is always right (which is often, however, not always), and I took him up on a bet. If I won the bet (which I did), he was responsible for scheduling an hour long massage for me. I wasn't sure he would actually schedule it, but he surprised me with an appointment for the following week. He also recommended that I schedule a monthly massage since the cost was less than he expected. My first visit was painful. I didn't realize how much stress I was carrying in my muscles, however, each visit has become more enjoyable, and now I can't imagine not going. Tina has become a miracle worker for stretching and straightening me out. If you're interested in joining a monthly program, check into Massage Envy (it's worth it).

Another one of my beauty rituals includes trekking across town to visit the best hairstylist for unruly, wavy (occasionally curly) locks. My hair 'tamer' is a wonderful stylist named Tanya, who has recently opened her own salon, operating just East of I-35 on 5th St. Tanya was the first stylist who ever encouraged me to stop 'going against the grain' and set my life free by working with my hair's natural tendencies. Although I no longer spend hours trying to coax and tame my frizzy 'do' into smooth, (never quite as straight as the stylist can make it), silky style, my hair still requires the loving care of someone with curly hair expertise. If you've ever had the unfortunate experience of having someone who is 'less-than-stellar' attempt to cut and style your 'wild' mane, then you can understand the need to travel as far as necessary (at least 30 minutes on a quiet day) to ensure your hair (and ultimately your 'look') receives the proper attention it deserves. So, if you're in need of special care, visit Tanya at

Sometimes I think I should search for less costly alternatives, but how could I possibly place a price limit on my sanity...which require I visit my happy places as often as I can.

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Happy Place

I've decided to create several posts about my 'happy' places. I love the line in "Finding Nemo," where the starfish says "Find a happy place, find a happy place, find a happy place!" When I think 'where's my happy place?', what initially comes to mind is WDW (not the Land but the World). It is a magical place that brings me pure joy. My husband frequently says we need to go back every couple of years to get my 'fix.'

My first visit was in 1975 and I've been hooked ever since. When I was planning my wedding, my husband and I decided we had to get married at the World. It turned out to be an intimate ceremony at the Wilderness Lodge on a terrace overlooking the waterfall and Bay Lake. We had fewer than a dozen people, but it was a wonderful experience. I've been to WDW at least a dozen times, yet on every trip, we manage to do something we've never done before. On our last trip, when we ran in the half-marathon, running backstage at Magic Kingdom and Epcot, and earned enormous Donald Duck medals.

Some people ask "What is it about the World that you love so much?" I think it is hard to explain until you've had a chance to experience it for yourself, but for me, it comes back to being immersed in a magical environment. As we plan our next trip to the World this summer, I'm looking forward to the new rides and shows, as well as the feeling of coming home when you arrive on the property, home to my 'happy' place.