Thursday, October 31, 2013

katie amend jewelry.

I couldn't be more tickled to announce the launch of Katie Amend Jewelry... just in time for holiday gift giving. 

Mother Rabbit lovingly calls Katie her adopted daughter.  She was the little girl from across the street when we moved to Dallas, and within hours of moving into our Stanford Avenue house,  Katie became Abby's best friend and one of my bunnies.

Please check out where you will find "stuff you can throw on with a white T-shirt or wear to a cocktail party".

A new mommy, Katie launched this new business because "nap time is craft time".  She has found a perfect creative outlet while her darling son Crawford snoozes.  Katie lives in Houston, Texas with her darling husband Cullen.  As well as being the leading car on the fashion train, Katie is also my go-to-girl for everything related to technology.  This girl's skill set is expansive!  And I couldn't be more proud of her.

A little jewelry story from Mother Rabbit:
Anyone who knows Katie has been admiring her jewelry choices for years.  She has a way of picking things out -  layering jewelry pieces - and putting things together that we all want to emulate!  Several years ago, my daughter Abby and Katie, along with another darling friend Ashlea headed to the isle of Capri.  These girls certainly had the adventures!  But my favorite giggles come from the stories of the almost 10 pounds of jewelry that Katie brought with her - and of course, couldn't live without on the trip.  The goods in "The Jewelry Bag" were shared by all the girls.  Their photos are evidence.  But the funny stories happened because Katie couldn't even carry her own bags up and down the ancient winding stairways around the city "because she packed so much jewelry".  Unfortunately, but fortunately for Katie, my Abby's bag got lost - and she became Katie's personal Sherpa. 

Every time I see Katie, she has a layered bracelet collection on her wrist that is so thoughtful & clever I want to steal it.  Part of the magic of her jewelry collection is the ability to wear the pieces in fanciful combinations.

Katie is a gem of a girl, and I hope you enjoy viewing her newest adventure.

knee bender.

In the spirit of Reformation Day, October 31, 1517 when Martin Luther made a courageous stand for the gospel - I am posting this story about another brave man who made history, and quietly stood alone doing it.

What were the first liquid and food consumed on the moon?

Article by Eric Metaxas:
 Forty-three years ago two human beings changed history by walking on the surface of the moon. But what happened before Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong exited the Lunar Module is perhaps even more amazing, if only because so few people know about it. "I'm talking about the fact that Buzz Aldrin took communion on the surface of the moon. Some months after his return, he wrote about it in Guideposts magazine.
And a few years ago I had the privilege of meeting him myself. I asked him about it and he confirmed the story to me, and I wrote about in my book, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (But Were Afraid to Ask).

The background to the story is that Aldrin was an elder at his Presbyterian Church in Texas during this period in his life, and knowing that he would soon be doing something unprecedented in human history, he felt he should mark the occasion somehow, and he asked his minister to help him. And so the minister consecrated a communion wafer and a small vial of communion wine. And Buzz Aldrin took them with him out of the Earth's orbit and on to the surface of the moon. He and Armstrong had only been on the lunar surface for a few minutes when Aldrin made the following public statement:
"This is the LM pilot. I'd like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way." He then ended radio communication and there, on the silent surface of the moon, 250,000 miles from home, he read a verse from the Gospel of John, and he took communion. Here is his own account of what happened: "In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me.  In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up the side of the cup.  Then I read the scripture, 'I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit ..Apart from me you can do nothing."
"I had intended to read my communion passage back to earth, but at the last minute [they] had requested that I not do this. NASA was already embroiled in a legal battle with Madelyn Murray O'Hare, the celebrated opponent of religion, over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis while orbiting the moon at Christmas. I agreed reluctantly.
"I ate the tiny Host and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility.  It was interesting for me to think the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements.
And of course, it 's interesting to think that some of the first words spoken on the moon were the words of Jesus Christ, who made the Earth and the moon - and Who, in the immortal words of Dante, is Himself the "Love that moves the Sun and other stars."
A true knee bender.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

dressing your house for the season.

Since we all like to spruce up our wardrobe with the change of seasons, don't we owe our house the same courtesy?  Mother Rabbit recommends that you carve yourself a little "outfit change" budget for your home several times per year - maybe spring, fall and Christmas.  I am not talking about a total-makeover-sort-of-thing.  I am talking about adding a few seasonal accessories for interest - and for fun.

For inspiration, you might want to peruse some magazines or explore Pinterest.  I personally make a visit to my local Pottery Barn store to see what they doing with the current season.  I never cease to be inspired about something, and I like when it mixes and matches with what I already have around.  I have decided that I am "giving myself permission" to spend x-amount of $ dollars every season, and it is not as much as you might think.  The point is, whatever your budget, slowly build a great collection with your seasonal purchases.

Just for fun, I will show you what I did for Spring and Fall this year...  For starters, I stand back and view my living spaces.  What am I tired of? What looks tired? What would make this room feel like Spring (or Fall) was approaching?  What inspiring thing did I just see that I would like to try?  These are all questions you might ask.  Then, I just start moving stuff around and playing.  I actually "pretend" that I am a decorator and know what I am doing!  I ask myself 'what would Shelli Holechek try?'  And sometimes it works.  I just move and play and try things until it feels right.

Here is the "change of clothes" that happened at my house this SPRING...

 For the most part I just moved things around for a fresh look, and pulled out all the glassware I could find because the clean & sparkle said "fresh season ahead"...

 My favorite seasonal purchase was pears.  A dozen fresh looking pears.  They are from Pottery Barn and look so real that I am still tempted to check. 

 The fun about Spring is that you can have fresh flowers straight out of your yard for a blast of color.

I also purchased new pillow covers for the sofa.  Washable ones.  Because in the spring & summer, sometimes sweaty kids plop down on the sofa.  This pattern from Pottery Barn was in the bed linen section, but I couldn't resist the yummy print.  The pears and this bold & cheery print made the house seem ready to welcome the new season.

And this FALL...

It was as easy as adding pumpkins for some fabulous fall color.  I like to use real pumpkins.  They make fabulous 'fake' pumpkins now, but I think it is hard to store them without getting them beat up.  There is something about having the real fruit of the vine that shouts "Happy Fall to All!"

Out with the summery pears, in with the cool heirloom pumpkin!

My seasonal 'plurge' this fall was the pumpkin pillows for the sofa.  I love them, and the warm fall-feel they brought to the room.  I went into the PB store with my $25 off your $50 purchase coupon, and walked out with the pumpkin pillow covers.

No one can properly decorate for fall without a fall scented candle.  This one is my new favorite:  Yankee Candle Salted Caramel.

Again, I moved stuff around and did this in the dining room.  I dug through some old fall decor and found the 'vintage vine' that I wrapped around the candle inside the hurricane.  Then I spotted the fall leaf boughs (in corner in mercury glass) that I found on super-sale two summers ago in Dallas at PB.  The very large leafy stems were originally priced at $49.50 each, now priced for clearance in the middle of the summer at $1.99 each.  I blew for three.  Just tickled I remembered I had them!

In the kitchen, I started with an antique wooden bowl where I placed gourds that I grew in my own garden.  Then a added a squash from Hannah's garden, and some finds from walks with the grand kids.  My fall decorations make me smile.

It is not too late to give a room a 'change of clothes' for fall!  Pick one corner of your house and help it shout "Fall is here and it feels so good."  You might surprise yourself with the festive flair you can add with a pumpkin and a candle, even on a shoestring budget. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

store them clean.

Since I like to sleep with the bedroom windows flung wide open, I woke up this morning with the down comforter fluffed all the way up around my face.  The 48 degree temperatures might feel toasty come March, but they feel chilly in October!  I woke up with a need to find my sweaters.

Today would be the day that I make the grand switch.  The one where the summer clothes go into storage, and the winter clothes return to the closet.  You get to rediscover how much you love your fall & winter clothes after their storage sabbatical!

Mother Rabbit's message today:
Make sure to store CLEAN clothing.

One of the things that has stuck with me from my Textiles, Clothing & Design degree are two things that can damage fabrics and fibers: 1.) Soap residue  and 2.) Storing clothes with dirt and stains.  Thus, clothing care can be reduced to a rather simple formula.  1.) Make sure to rinse all the soap out of your fabrics and fibers when laundering and 2.) Keep your clothes clean and never, never store them dirty.


A few seasons ago, I purchased four clear zip-up hanging clothing storage bags from Target.  Small thing, but it makes me feel very organized when I move the out-of-season clothing to the small cedar closet in the storeroom when all the bags match.  It creates a real sense of order, and it makes me feel like I am taking good care of the clothes I love and enjoy.  (And because I know it is important to STORE CLEAN, the clothing bags smell clean & fresh too.)  For those items that needed to be dry cleaned at the end of the season, I pop the individual plastic covered items right into my "matching bags".

Back to my closet.  I love the change of textures on my closet shelf after the grand shift.  Bring on the cooler temperatures.  I am ready.