Monday, December 14, 2009

The Christmas Letter

Thought I would take pictures this past weekend to post…well, somehow the weekend was gone in a blink of an eye; again! Not quite finished Christmas shopping, but I managed to get in 2 Christmas movies; Holiday Inn and Four Christmases; it just doesn’t seem like Christmas if I don’t get my fill of Christmas movies, I now have upwards of 35 movies in my collection to date!! I would love to have the time to watch them all in the month of December; Doug is a great sport, except on Sundays (football)! I wrapped a few gifts, have misplaced one that I purchased for my granddaughter this past fall; Doug was even scratching his head wondering what happened to it. Too much time wasted trying to find it; I was sure it was in my “store;” my stash of gifts! We are actually wondering if we didn’t already give it to her! I, hopefully, will finish decorating the tree tonight and then on to baking cookies. I think I just may get everything done before Christmas with a day or two to spare!!

I will take some pictures of my favorite Christmas decorated rooms, I love, love, love to decorate and I just can’t stop myself once the decorations come down from the attic. Each year I tell myself I won’t go all out and sure enough I do!

Last week I got our Christmas cards and “Christmas letter” out in the mail. I have heard the “Christmas letter” referred to as the “Christmas brag letter” on many occasions, especially on radio shows! I love to get these letters from friends and family and hear what’s been going on in their families. However, we do receive one of these letters that makes you want to gag when you are done reading it, I didn’t know that one family could be so blessed with such perfect children, such wonderful careers, traveling throughout the world, saving starving children, just to name of few of their 2-3 page letter of accomplishments for the current year. I like to keep mine to 1 page and just a brief update to those we don’t keep in contact with on a regular basis. Since I broached this subject I feel it is only fair to include a copy of my letter this year! What are your thoughts on the “Christmas letter?”

December 2009

Merry Christmas!

Another year gone by, hopefully you have all survived it; let’s hope that 2010 truly is the year of recovery as we keep hearing it will be! What we once thought was our retirement plan has certainly changed, we see many more years of work ahead of us now! Doug’s company has been very slow and now that he is out of the shop and is the Assistant Service Manager/Service Writer we have certainly felt it. I have 5 furlough days with mid ear cuts coming in January/February, unsure what impact that will have! We keep saying at least we have jobs, although Doug has never worked so many hours for so little return. My sister and I started a business this past summer; …Simply Stated. We design and illustrate greeting cards! It is something we have talked about for many years and finally decided it was now or never! Our Christmas cards are a sample of our Personally YOUrs one-of-a-kind cards designed and illustrated just for us! Doug sold his Harley this past Spring and we acquired this
1997 Chicago Schwinn Twinn from friends whose daughter was going to take it to the dump and they thought I would like it for yard art! It was a faded orange (pink!) when we got it; I fell in love with it and we decided we could actually ride it since it was in such great shape! Doug got it all tuned up, new tires, new chain, etc. Being the loving wife that I am I ordered black leather embossed flame seats with red trim and handle bar grips with red streamers and suggested we paint it black! I figured Doug would get harassed less from the guys and would actually ride it with me! He’d much rather take the ’55 out for a spin but he does humor me once in a while with a bike ride.

Brad and Jody are doing well; it is amazing to watch their family grow! Layla turned 2 on November 2nd, Jake graduated from high school this past June, and he is attending Cuesta College. It is great having grandkids, Layla calls us Grammy and Poppy; she melts our hearts over and over again!

Jeff and Jennifer are still living in Billings, MT; Jennifer graduates in August 2010. They are unsure if they’ll move back right away; they are beginning to like it more and more and Jeff has a great job! They'll be home for Christmas this year!

We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary this past August. Yikes, where did all those years go; we are still those teenagers who fell in love! Doug does have the most beautiful shiny gray hair though (George Clooney eat your heart out); I hope to be so lucky – I love my hair stylist!
We hope this letter finds you in great health, great spirits and great company this Christmas season. May you reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas and spread Christmas cheer to all and have a very Happy New Year!

Sue and Doug

Monday, November 23, 2009

'Tis the Season of Craft & Gift Boutiques

These past two weekends have been so busy! We were invited to Hilmar Cheese Co. to debut our cards designed exclusively for them at their Taste of the Holidays event the previous weekend and this past weekend we were at the Holiday Craft & Gift Boutique at the Edwards Barn in Nipomo...Whew! We are going to be at the Central Coast Craft Fair and Boutique this Friday and Saturday at the Veterans Memorial Building in San Luis Obispo! It dawned on me this morning that I also have to plan and prepare Thanksgiving dinner in between all this! I would also like to get my house "Christmasized" by the 1st of December. I like to think that I am overly organized and I can juggle many things at one time (I think I can still do this!), so this week will be a good test to see if I've still got it.

Since I may be losing my daytime job come July, I work for a community college in a categorical funded program, I am grateful that my sister and my greeting card business is really starting to take off! When we decided to go forward with our dream we both said, well we have less years in front of us than behind us, statistics prove this, that it's now or never! And of course that we both work in education and may not have jobs that much longer, pray for education in CA; heaven knows we need it. I have come to the conclusion that I have become more confident in myself as I get older, I understand now why someone in their 80's goes skydiving! I am off this week, furlough days, and we are meeting with local wineries and getting ready for the upcoming weekend. We had a great show at the Edwards Barn and are looking forward to this weekend! This will be our last show for this year so come see us if you can! We are taking orders through this weekend for Personally YOUrs Christmas cards, one-of-a-kind original and unique cards featuring YOU and YOUr loved ones!

I may not be ready to go skydiving just yet, but I do know that I can't say anymore that I would never do that! It is definitely true that I become more daring with each year that passes, for this year I think starting a business will be enough of a challenge. Watch out 2010 here I come! I plan on stepping out of my box and creating big time!

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and hope that you are able to spend it with those you love and cherish.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Game Night

As hard as times are right now I have come to the realization that some of the simplest things in life can make you so happy and fill a void that you may have not even known existed. This past Saturday evening Bill and Cheryl (our daughter-in-law Jennifer's parents) came over for dinner and game night; we played Rummikub until 11:00! Anymore that is a late night for us, we usually are in bed by 10:00 at the latest! We used to get together at least once a month and go out for dinner because we were all so busy and always on the go, something we don't do so often anymore. I hope one of the things I take and keep from this "recession" is that we have slowed down and are taking time to smell the coffee. We were reminiscing that when we were first married we got to together with friends and had dinner and game night because we didn't have any play money, well here we are again. So when we say we miss the good old days we can recapture and recreate some of those memories! We just need to refocus and enjoy the simple things that are right in front of us and make lemonade out of our lemons. We all had so much fun; we can't wait until we meet for our rematch; not to brag but I was victorious!

Since one of my biggest passions is junking, especially repurposing and recreating with it, I have given this craft a whole new meaning! We recreated a time in our lives that was priceless and very memorable and best of all it was free, my favorite kind of "find."

We are very well aware of how difficult times are and what we used to think our retirement life would be like seems to be an eternity away for us now, but for a moment it was great to have my biggest concern be; I need a yellow twelve.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Gammy and Poppy

Who would have imagined that we could be grandparents? It seems like yesterday we were celebrating our boys' birthdays! Today is our granddaughter Layla’s second birthday…wow, where has the time gone. We went to Chuck E. Cheese last night; it’s been many years since we have had an occasion to dine with the Mouse. Layla donned her tiara and jewel necklaces; she makes a stunning princess; Snow White is her current favorite! She in fact was Snow White for Halloween the day before! I have discovered that one of my favorite things to hear lately is; Gammy, which is usually followed by, “where’s Poppy?” We would have been content with being just good ole’ Grandma and Grandpa, we love that Layla has named us Gammy and Poppy!

Since it is Layla’s day I’ll introduce you to our card line Ruthie and Friends. Ruthie was created in memory of our Mom and her Friends’ personalities are captured through us; her kids, grandkids and great grandkids! Layla’s tagline is: Layla lives near the beach and loves playing in her "backyard sandbox!" She literally lives in walking distance to the beach! These cards have been so much fun to design and illustrate. In addition to Ruthie and Layla we have; Jeffrey who is full of energy, curious and always on the go, Maddie who is the queen of the playground, she hasn't met a set of bars she can't conquer, Jake who is the master of "techie" multi-tasking and a computer whiz, and Kami who is free spirited, artistic and beats to her own drum. Our family is just like everyone else’s, many different personalities and pastimes! Ruthie and Friends cards make perfect thank you and note cards for your very own kids, grandkids and great grandkids; just match up the personalities and they become their very own! We will be introducing more Friends periodically as we have many more of us to immortalize in a card line!

Please visit ...Simply Stated at to see all of our card lines. Order your cards soon, they make great stocking stuffers!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Jalama Beach

This past Saturday Doug and I took a drive to Jalama Beach (about an hour south) to have lunch with our friends who are there for a week camping. After many years of camping with our boys, started in a tent; ended in a camper, I am officially retired. As Doug states; my idea of camping is a hotel without room service! We took our ’55 Chevy since it was such a beautiful day. I was hoping we would stumble upon a flea/swap meet, yard sale and/or a roadside sale in our travels. I make Doug a little apprehensive of what I may find after our Harley trip to Beatty, NV! About 8 years ago I found a red metal headboard and footboard at a roadside sale that I could not live without! He told me if I could find a way to get them home, go for it! Well, of course I did, we met a couple who had “trailered” their bike and lived about 20 miles from us. The red metal headboard and footboard look awesome in my 1940’s inspired “cherry” guest bedroom!!

After we devoured, and thoroughly enjoyed, our Jalama burgers we chatted and visited with our friends, who by the way scored the best campsite in the park! Gazing at and listening to the ocean “speak” to me is an emotion I can’t quite describe; it is so vast and loud yet it has such a calming and peaceful effect on me. It certainly rejuvenates me and reminds me who is in charge and to take note!! Although I didn’t find any “junking” treasures, I saw a small rustic old barn with a tin roof I would love to have (Doug was so glad it was not even remotely “for sale”), I did come across one priceless treasure, an afternoon with my husband. We rolled the windows down, chatted and relished in the sights, sound and scent that so remind us why we love living on the Central Coast and how much fun we still have, after all these years, being married to our “best friend.”

On our way home I envisioned a new card line, beachscapes!! The wheels keep turning…

Monday, October 19, 2009

Harvest and 'Tis the Season Cards

Last night as I was packaging some card orders I confirmed to myself that "when you do what you love you love what you do!" It brings me so much happiness to know that people will be sending and receiving our cards. We have had several people tell us that our cards are simple yet so "happy." I don't know if there could be a better compliment, since this what our initial intent has always been. To think that a "simple" card could put a smile on someones face, cheer them up, give them hope and/or make them feel special is so rewarding. I love to give cards as much as I love to receive them, there's no better feeling than going to the mailbox and finding a card addressed to me! We live in such a fast paced society now that we often forget the "simple" things that mean so much to us. We are becoming so accustomed to email greetings and once you read it tends to go by the wayside, usually it gets deleted! We have become so connected yet we are so personally disconnected. A card allows you to tangibly reminisce and draw on your memories. It is such an inspiration to know that when you receive a card from someone they have made time for you because you are so special to them!

When we design and illustrate our cards we capture the "simple" things that we are too busy to notice anymore, many are created from our own childhood memories. Our Gardens cards are illustrated from our own backyards! The possibilities are endless as we are constantly coming up with ideas for our next card lines and adding to our current ones!

Keep the card giving tradition alive; brighten someones day by sending/giving them a ...Simply Stated greeting card! Order your Harvest and 'Tis the Season cards today; you may order online at

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Attended the Nipomo Chamber of Commerce Mixer last night! First Mixer as a Chamber member, ...Simply Stated!! Watch out world, or at least Nipomo, here we come! Since my sister could not be there Doug filled in for her. We had a blast and enjoyed networking with the businesses in our community. We have lived in Nipomo now for almost 6 years (we moved from Grover Beach) and we love it! It is very tranquil and we love being at home.

...Simply Stated will be at the Holiday Craft & Gift Boutique at the Edwards Barn on Saturday, November 21st from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm! Please come out and meet us! Get a preview of our cards on our website at

I am really feeling the "junking bug" and this weekend is supposed to be sunny and warm...maybe I'll hit the Sunset Swap on Sunday!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Here we are at the October Festival in Nipomo! We had a blast; it was such fun to see so many families out and about enjoying our little piece of paradise on the Central Coast!! Thank you so so much to all of our our friends and our family who stopped by and were very encouraging; they love our cards!! Our cards were so well received; we were elated and so proud to finally get to share them. Please visit our website; online ordering is up and running! It's the perfect time to stock up on Harvest and 'Tis the Season cards, as well as every other occasion! Visit our website at to see our complete card lines.

We will be adding new card lines after the holidays, check back regularly to see all of our new lines as they are introduced!

Place your custom Personally YOUrs Christmas cards by the end of this month to receive them in plenty of time to get them out in time for Christmas!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gosh, it has been too long since I have posted here...but I have started a business with my sister and I'd like to share it with you all! We have started a unique and original greeting card business called ...Simply Stated. Please visit our website and get a glimpse of our card lines. We will be debuting our cards this Saturday, October 10th at the October Festival in Nipomo. Our website has all the details! Hope to see you there, I will post pictures of the event here soon!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

1977 Schwinn Twinn

My latest and greatest treasure!! Our friends Dave and Linda were visiting their daughter and family in Las Vegas and came home with this for me! Their daughter Candace found it in a dumpster and had it sitting around for a while and was on its way back to the dumpster when Dave said, "I think this is something Sue would want (because it is pink)." Wow was he right!! Although he thought I would want it for yard art, I want to ride it. It will perfect for going to Farmer's Market, Starbucks and just bike rides! Doug is game and thinks it will be a blast too!!

After some research I have learned it is a 1977 Chicago Schwinn Twinn and it was Pearlescent Orange (faded and looks more pink now). This morning Doug and I went off to a couple of bike shops and purchased new tires, tubes, cables, etc. Doug is getting it ride worthy for a test spin. He is cleaning it up and rebuilding it to make sure it is in good riding condition and is road worthy (he rebuilt many bikes in his teen years as a hobby); then he will disassemble it and off to body shop to be painted. It is going to be so cool when it is done; I can't wait!! I will give you a couple of hints, black, red, white and flames; since Doug has received so much flack from his friends asking him if he really is going to ride it I will make sure he is the envy of them all!! I have another old bike in my garden (a three-wheeler) that I think I we will restore also, it will be pink though for sure!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

...from this day forward

Wow...I didn't realize it had been so long since my last post! Time sure does fly lately. One of the things that had been keeping me busy was planning a wedding! I had such a blast and wish that I could do this all the time. Our very dear friend Lori asked me to help her plan her wedding and we offered to host it in our backyard. It was April 24th and it was beautiful! She loves purple/lavenders and green and she is very fond of feathers and beads. So that was easy!! I used a lot of my great "recycled" and "repurposed" stuff as well as my milk glass, and other serving accessories I have (I just knew that I would get to use this stuff all together one day!) The weather was great and everything went off without a hitch. A great day was had by all!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Owen's Live Here!

Here are the metal letters I purchased at the Alameda Swap Meet! I screwed them on an old piece of fence picket from the fence "pieces & parts" stash that I have and drilled two small holes to feed the wire through to hang it. Since we were rained out this month we are planning to go again in April; I can't wait!! We also plan on stopping by the "Dead Storage" again. I hope to find some wonderful treasures!!

My mind is spinning with the possibilities that are awaiting me!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

New Junking Finds

Last weekend we went to the Alameda Swap Meet (in the rain!), not many vendors. I did find some rusty letters that spell out our last name that I am going to hang off our mailbox, I will post a picture once I turn the Q into an O and hang them! On our way out we followed the signs that said "Dead Storage" and to our delight, it was exactly what we thought it would be and more! It was a huge warehouse with a ton of stuff from unclaimed storage. I found this table and pitcher for $23. We will be stopping by here on our next trip to the Alameda Swap Meet for sure!! Though we were not real successful in the junking department we had a great weekend with good friends which is priceless!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Master Bathroom promised; here are pictures of my new hanging lamp! It goes perfect with all the other "treasures" I have collected. I still have to find one more picture frame to turn into a mirror to hang over each sink. I hope to find another soon to finish this project!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Georgia Moon

Today I went on a shopping excursion to Georgia Moon in Grover Beach...this is a "gotta go to" store for Junk Style design "junkies like me," Georgia has a huge inventory and great prices!! I purchased a funky white metal lamp with pink flowers (for those of you who know me; it's as awesome as the hanging lamp in my entry way!); I can't wait to hang it over my bathtub (I'll post pictures!!), a great old wood picture frame I am going to "pink" wash and turn into a mirror for my bathroom and a really cool abacus on a wood stand my husband, this was his find, can use for scoring horseshoes!

Here's a little bit about Georgia Moon...

Georgia Moon, a small charming shop featuring used, restored, and handmade furniture and home decorating items, is located in Grover Beach Ca., a small beach community just South of Pismo Beach on the beautiful Central Coast of California. Our town is in the first stages of renewal and I am delighted to be here when such exciting things will be happening.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Welcome to my Blog!

I have a passion for Junk Style design. You may ask what is Junk Style design; well I define it as using anything and everything especially if it has had a long life! I love to take an idea, an object that has special meaning, a favorite color and run with it. There are no hard and fast rules as to what you can and can't do, it’s about what you love. I love to scour flea markets, swap meets, thrift stores, antiques stores, garage sales, roadside sales and the sides of the road!!

I have been decorating in this style since I was first married, our first furniture was free wood fruit crates that we constructed an entertainment center out of (we still have the crates in my husbands shop as shelving and display boxes), as we could not afford much back then. I fell in love with repurposing and reusing out of necessity and have refined my craft to an art form that I love and would love to share with others.

I promised myself that in the second half of my life I would do what I love, well I am there and I am in the beginning stages of starting my own Junk Style design business.

Wish me luck!