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Welcome to AMEN, the world where old scraps are made into treasures.  This is where we dream and create, and work throughout the night to make something special and magical for someone out there to love.  Everything we have is made by hand, one of a kind, unique, original.  Most of what we have is made from salvaged materials that might otherwise have been wasted.  We hope that while visiting this little world, you will find inspiration in something that you personally connect with, and find encouragement to cherish the wonder of everyday life.  Please explore, and please enjoy.

“Oh my gosh!  It smells like a Christmas tree!”  That’s what Ann said when she opened up an old notebook, and we started to look through all the cute phrases and Christmas poems we wrote about a year ago.  There were pine needles from last year’s tree accidentally stuck between the pages, the scent of which filled us with anticipation for the coming months.  The months when the crafter can work feverishly, and the cold of fall, and then winter, awakens the inspiration that has been hibernating all summer.  We are once again inspired, and just beginning to make a new batch of fun handmade items, which will hopefully be sold at some upcoming local Christmas craft faires.  We will be peddlers, selling a wide variety of things – gift tags for example.  Can you feel the cuteness?  Updates will be forthcoming!

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all”

— Emily Dickinson

Several rainy days in a row gave me time to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I made a stamp and printed a little bit of my own fabric. It had to be birdies. Hopefully, this is the first of many fun custom fabric ideas.

A good friend recently tipped me off about a great website – www.kiddierecords.com. It is amazing! It’s basically an archive of music and story records from “The Golden Age of Storytelling.” If you think back to the 70s when kids had little 45 record players and listened to story records on them (at least I did), you may remember characters like Bozo the clown, Uncle Remus, etc, who never really made it to the age of DVDs. Well, you can download them, with the beautiful vintage cover art, for free! There are about three years worth of weekly stories archived on the site, and you can have them all. They go back much further than the 70s. I think most of them are from the 20s and 30s (so don’t expect them to be politically correct for 2008).

I remember having story time at the daycare I went to as a kid, and everyone crowding around the record player and getting mad if they couldn’t see it even though it didn’t matter as long as you could hear it. Maybe that is something I will bring into my son’s life as a quiet time tradition. A little more imagination-engaging than TV, but sure to keep them, and you, entertained on a rainy day.

wide eyde owl

fly through my window

“In the field of opportunity, it’s plowin’ time again” — Neil Young

I’ve had that line stuck in my head for the last few days, and didn’t know who sang it until a moment ago. It’s a fitting description all around, I think. It’s autumn, harvest time, but not just because of the time of year. It seems that every where we turn, ideas, inspirations, projects, things are ripening. All of a sudden, what felt like so much work becomes pure freedom. Burdensome tasks are filling up with creativity and joy. Here’s a picture of my harvest; the sunflowers that were a lush green jungle in my back yard throughout the summer. Though they are wilted and falling over, they leave me with a parting gift. A feast for birds, a cooking-experiment-to-be for me, and thousands of seeds for spring planting …. with plenty to share with friends! This is a reminder to me that the most treasured things come with sacrifice, and that for the most part, every sacrifice leads to renewal and restoration. I feel so thankful for this abundant season of life.

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Yes, this is what it takes to launch a creative day with amen, a cute bowl full of cute little grapes. And, the cuteness makes eating lunch all the more enjoyable! So with our grapes in their cute red rimmed bowl, we set out on a new venture: Baby Bibs! So exciting!! For some reason, I got a photo of the grapes, but not the bibs- so we’ll have to post some later. Needless to say (wink) that they are extremely adorable and sweet, and pretty much every momma will want their baby to spill green beans all over one!