May 31, 2011

Etsy Favorites - Lily on Blue

My business partner's good friend from college just started a wonderful new Etsy business, Lily on Blue, designing and creating beautiful throw pillows.  She combines excellent craftsmanship with high quality designer fabrics.  I think her pillows look very expensive, but they are actually affordable, priced between $22.00 and $98.00.  I think her Etsy site is extremely well done and I love the color palette she has chosen for her pillows.  She also does custom orders!

I try to buy as much as possibly off of Etsy because I love supporting small business, especially talented artisans.

These pillows would be the perfect way to brighten up any room and add a clean, fresh feeling for summer!

May 17, 2011

For Your Favorite Grad

"I don't have an artistic bone in my body, but every Bellflower Book design is so beautiful and the experience is so personal that I felt like the finished product was truly my work of art."

~Camie C.
 I remember how when I graduated high school my mom created a special scrapbook for me full of photos, awards and newspaper clippings.  The only thing that could have made it more special would have been letters from loved ones.  I took it with me to college and looked through it when I was homesick, which was quite often.

Now that we have created "Bellflower Books" I can't help but think about what a wonderful gift our books would make for sons and daughters leaving for college.  A Bellflower Book would make a great graduation gift or a wonderful surprise to leave with you child when you drop them off at school.

Think about what an impact a book full of family memories and letters from loved ones would make!  You could now scan in all of those newspaper articles, awards and certificates so that they will be perfectly preserved.  How fun for your child to also have letters from close friends reminiscing about the good times they shared in high school.

The first year of college can be a lot of fun, but it can also be pretty lonely.  A Bellflower Book is a special way to remind your children where they are from and how many people love and appreciate them there.  What a wonderful boost of self-esteem that would be as they enter into an adult life of creating new friendships and making their own decisions.

Make sure to order a copy for yourself :)

May 15, 2011

Loving the Lilacs

These lilacs are now in my kitchen
Purple lilacs have always been my favorite flower and each spring I look forward to "Lilac Season". If you are lucky enough to have an abundance of lilacs in your yard, make sure to surprise friends and neighbors with a bouquet!  This time of year, those of us without our own lilac bushes are very jealous of you.

We recently moved to a new house, so I was delighted to see a huge hedge of lilac bushes lining my neighbors yard.  I can currently sit on my back deck and just breathe in their wonderful scent.  I also poached a bouquet of them for my kitchen:)  Lilac season is so short that I really feel as though people need to "take time to smell the lilacs".  Now if it would only quit raining around here I could go outside and do just that!

May 11, 2011

Good Read - "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister" by, Gregory Maguire

I recently watched Disney's "Cinderella" with my two kids for the first time since childhood.  I loved it, loved it, loved it!  Watching my children experience the movie for the first time was magical experience in itself.  It reminded me of a book a read a couple of years ago that tells the story from the "ugly stepsister's" point of view.  It was written by Gregory Maguire who also wrote "Wicked".  I think this is the better of the two books!  For a better description and a great deal on a used copy, follow this link to  Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister . There are so many great books out there to read that I don't usually read one twice, but I may have to make an exception with this one. 

May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

On Mother's Day I feel it is only fitting to honor one of the most amazing mothers I know, my Grandma Corrigan.
My Grandma with the Bellflower Book we made her for Thanksgiving last year.

I have always loved and appreciated my Grandmother, but now that I have children of my own I consider her a saint.  Grandma Corrigan was one of 11 children raised on a farm outside of Toledo, Ohio.  When she married my grandfather, she had 8 children of her own.  From those 8 children came twenty grandchildren and so far 6 great-grandchildren.  You would think that by the time the great-grandchildren came along she would have tired of children.  Nope.  Not my grandma!  She loves great-grandchild #6 with the same amount of love and enthusiasm as her first grandchildren.  Her memory is failing her, but her heart is not.  She still has a talent for making me feel loved and special everytime I see her.

My grandmother pretty much devoted her life to raising a wonderful family.  I don't think that there has ever been a time when the Corrigan household has been quiet.  We still pack ourselves in there for Thanksgiving and impromptu dinners.  When I look at my extended family, I don't know how my grandparents did it.  How they managed to have 8 children who still love and care about each other so much.  I was so lucky to be raised surrounded by my aunts, uncles and cousins.

Sometimes when I get frustrated with the lack of time I have to myself, I think of my grandmother.  I don't think she ever had a minute to herself and she seemed to like it that way:)  The family that she created makes her one of the most successful women I know.  Considering two children is plenty for me, I admire my grandmother in a different way.

My page to my Grandma

As a surprise for Thanksgiving last year my family all worked together to create a Bellflower Book for her full of love and memories.  It was  a great way to show her how much we appreciate everything she has done for us.  I still remember being stressed out in College and taking refuge with her and grandpa in their kitchen.  I remember how their hugs and simple words of encouragement always made everything better.  I am so glad that we could give her this especially meaningful gift.

This was the contribution from my cousin Marc. It was one of my favorites:)

May 6, 2011

Art Unexpected

In the spirit of warm weather, more sunshine and my need for flowers everywhere, I thought It would be the perfect time to showcase my friend and mentor's website Art Unexpected.

Christine and I met at an antique store when I was in college.  She had a successful interior design business where she specialized in decorative painting and faux finishes.  We hit it off immediately and she hired me as a paid intern to assist with painting projects.  Working for her was one of the best and most enjoyable jobs I have ever had.  Christine's creativity and energy is contagious.  She filled my head with wonderful inspiration and ideas that I still carry with me.  From Christine I learned to decorate with what I love and to create an interesting and warm home that I can actually LIVE in.  It is because of her that I am still addicted to antique stores and always make sure there are fresh flowers in at least one room.  Twelve years later and we are still good friends who continue to inspire each other.

Christine's latest project has been to create beautiful paintings to be displayed outside.  They look beautiful in gardens, on porches or hung randomly on a fence to make a dull area in your backyard suddenly exciting! She takes the inspiration from her own amazing garden and paints in a fun and whimsical style.  She applies tons of varnish to each completed piece to protect them from the elements and keep their colors glowing.  Her paintings look great inside and out and I am so proud of what she has accomplished!

Visit Art Unexpected to learn more!

May 5, 2011

The Earth Laughs in Flowers

The Daffodil House
This house is down the street from where I live.  It is currently vacant, but the caretaker has planted hundreds and hundreds of daffodil bulbs.  For the last couple of weeks I have gone out of my way to drive by it daily because seeing this house and all the beautiful daffodils always makes me smile.  Plus, I think it is wonderful that someone has gone out of their way to do something like this to enhance the beauty of our community.

I absolutely LOVE flowers and I try my best at gardening.  For my garden this year I am going to by most of my plants through fundraising organizations.  I bought some wonderful hydrangeas and coleus at a plant sale sponsored by the gardening club at a local community college.  It felt great to get a good deal on plants while helping an organization to raise money for their annual trip to Chicago.  Today through Sunday there is a plant sale at the Sunshine Children's Home  in Maumee, OH.  This greenhouse employs people with developmental disabilities as part of their vocational services.  I plan to make a stop there too!

Those orange things are actually pipe cleaners trying to hold up my attempt at giant sunflowers.  I at least should get credit for trying:)

I have also created my own make-shift greenhouse in my laundry room. It is driving my husband crazy, but my kids think it is pretty cool.  I give these seedlings a 50/50 chance at survival.  My fingers are crossed!

May 3, 2011

Welcome to our new blog!!!

Kerry and Heather's first publication - "Kid's News" made neighborhood history!
Considering that the very first business that Heather and I started together was a neighborhood newspaper when we were in the fifth grade, it only seems fitting that our new company, Bellflower Books, would have its own electronic newspaper in the form of a blog.

As a former art teacher, I miss having a daily opportunity to share information, interact with people and be creative.  I will be the main contributor to this blog and I am hoping it will serve as a wonderful and fun outlet for me!

I can't wait to share information with you about interesting new artists, gifts that give back, good books, great people, charitable opportunities and of course, fun tips and inspiration for creating a Bellflower Book

I am also hoping to help promote entrepreneurs like myself, so if you have a great blog or have started a small company, please contact me and tell me all about it!

Welcome to our new blog!!!  I think this is going to be a lot of fun!!!

Cheers!  (Heather and I in fifth grade)

Blog Design by Mommy Monologues