Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Taking the Spark Challenge

I am a member of Handmade Spark.  If you haven't heard of this awesome website yet, then you must check it out.  Handmade Spark is a marketing service for handmade sellers, and a creative blog for the indie and handmade community.  If you get a chance, please visit my Mini-Site. Handmade Spark has put out a Blogging Challenge and I am up for the challenge!  They will be posing questions that we blog about.  So please join me in this blogging jouney.

Spark One: How has your creativity changed over the past year?

I feel like this is a good time in my life for reflecting on my creativity.  One year ago my family made a big move as my husband changed careers.  I went from being a full-time military wife, going weeks and months without seeing my husband to a stay at home mom with my husband home every night. His career change has been so good for our family and while he is still part-time military I feel we have found a good balance in our lives.  With this new move, we have purchased a log home in this wonderful state of Montana.  Our home is surrounded by Ponderosa Pines and we have all sorts of wildlife who call our land home as well.  The large kitchen and rock fireplace all make this a cozy and inviting place to live.  It is my dream home. 

What does this have to do with creativity you ask?  Everything! I now have a sewing studio - complete with large windows and a walk out deck.  It is on the second floor of our home and has incredible mountain views.  While my studio doubles as a guest room - the room has ample space to lay out projects and plenty of light.  Furthermore, I have more time to spend in my studio.  My kids are a driving force in inspiring new products.  I am always looking for things that make a mom's life a little easier.

Like many artist's studios, my space inspires me.  I feel it has stretched me to try new things and further develop my sewing skills.  The beauty of nature outside my window is a constant reminder to be gentle to our environment.  I have put an emphasis on lowering the impact by making many ecofriendly products, my favorite being my upcycled dresses from previously loved men's shirts. 

Overall, I feel like my life has lended itself to actually being able to explore my creativity.  I feel I am just at the tip of the iceberg.  Thank you for joining me in this journey.  For more inspiration and creativity posts, visit Handmade Spark

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Finding Inspiration on a Plane

We are coming up on the busiest travel season of the year.  While the joy of spending time with friends and family for the holidays may be a joyous occasion, traveling to get there is not! I recently found myself on a four hour flight across the country with two small children and a sleeping husband.  My little one was also napping and my seven year old was bored out of his mind.  The homework in his backpack was just not too appealing at the time.  The Didj Games had lost their intrigue.  I dug a pen out of my purse and grabbed up an airline napkin and began to teach him the wisdom that has been passed down for generations.  Knowledge that every school-aged boy needs.  I taught him how to play Hangman.

How many of you played this as a child? Passing notes through class, playing it on the bus or while waiting
for the next activity to start? Now, I ask you - how many of you have sat down and played this with your kids?  Within minutes, my son was cackling! He lost the first game, but it didn't matter - he was hooked. It was then his turn to think up the phrase. I began guessing the letters and before too long I figured the puzzle out.  It was the phrase every mother longs to hear from her seven year old son and while he didn't say the words out loud, it made no difference.

There it was spelled out in black and white in his crooked writing.  There will be no denying it now.  Three little words that give me inspiration to get through the rest of the trip.

You Are Cool.

My challenge to you this holiday season is to play a simple game of hangman with your child, with you spouse, or even with the stranger sitting next to you on your next flight.  Strong connections can be formed when communicating the unspoken word.

To get your own Hangman inspired products, visit these fine etsy shops:
For Hangman Thank You notes, visit ScarletCatDesigns
For the Paper Games Pad set visit Confetti By Lexi
For the Personalized Game Pad visit Personalized Paperz

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Love Is

My ten year wedding anniversary is coming up.  While on a recent flight to a family wedding I was given much time to ponder love, or rather what it means to love someone with all your heart and soul and for that person to love you back - completely and without reservation.  What does it mean to commit yourself to one person for the rest of your life? I don't believe love can be defined as it is ever changing forms.  Love just is.
Ask a mother of a newborn child and she may say love is miraculous.

Ask a couple on their wedding day and they may say love is bliss!

Ask a mother sending her child on their first day of kindergarten.  She may say love is a protective shield that never leaves you.

Ask a brother with a little sister and he may say love is annoying.

Ask a father of a sick child and he may say love is painful.

Ask a father who is sending his son to war and he may say love is nobel.  Ask a mother and she may say love is frightening.

Ask a parent who has ever lost a child, and they may say love is unbearable.

Ask a man who has just laid his wife to rest after fifty years together and he may say love  is neverending.

Whatever form love may take on any given day there is one thing I know.  Love is not always easy.  Nor is it hard.  While sometimes it doesn't show itself, love is always there.  Love knows no boundaries.  You can never love too little or too much. 

Love just is.

Love these pictures Get more of them at the following Etsy Shops!
Spell it out Love Candle by
I will hold you in my heart by
Holding Hands by

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Homefront Team and the Semper Fi Fund

More than 33,000 American warriors have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan since the beginning in September of 2001. These people's lives and the lives of their wives, children, mothers, brothers, and sisters are forever changed. The SemperFi Fund is there to give assistance to these brave military members and their families. Please take a moment to read what they are all about.

"The Semper Fi Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit set up to provide immediate financial support for injured members of U.S. Armed Forces and their families. We direct urgently needed resources to Marines and Sailors, as well as members of the Army, Air Force or Coast Guard who serve in support of Marine forces."

 "The basic ideal that drives our efforts is simple: as much as these American heroes have sacrificed, they deserve the best care and support available in their hour of need. Injuries are often severe, and the road to recovery or rehabilitation can be long and costly. Beyond the staggering costs of hospitalization and treatment, related expenses typically pile up quickly. Family members may lose income when taking time off work to visit and care for injured loved ones. Childcare, plane fare and other travel expenses often stretch a family's budget to the breaking point."

"There may be need for physical therapy and counseling. Wheelchairs, specialized equipment and learning devices. Specially adapted cars and vans. Many of those we work with must have their homes modified, or even move into a new home designed to accommodate a serious disability. The list goes on and on, and so do the bills. That's where we come in."

Please take a moment to visit these Homefront Team Shops and support the Semper Fi Fund.

'Help a Wounded Warrior' by PrairieWindDesigns

The Homefront Team is doing a fundraiser to help wounded soldiers. 100% of the proceeds of each of these sales goes to the Semper Fi Fund.

11x14 Photography Ameri...

Fabric Flower Bobby Pin...

SemperFi Fund Upcycled ...

My Daddy My Hero - Cust...

Semper Fi Fund Vintage ...

SemperFi Fund Vintage W...

SemperFi Fund Gift Bask...

SALE Marine Corps Rever...

Crochet Grey Slouchy Ha...

Semper Fi Fund Nursing ...

Fluffy Monet Scarf

Primitive Patriotic Rag...

Blossom, Bundled Rate P...

BALLET SHOES Hair Clip ...

SemperFi Fund 7/8 Inch ...


Monday, October 25, 2010

We have a Winner!

And the winner of a 1941 Searchlight Recipe Book is:

Congratulations Sandy and Cosmo! You have won the antique cookbook from the Cookbook Addict!  Stacey will be contacting you shortly in exchange address information.  A special Thank You to Stacey from the Coobook Addict for offering this great giveaway and sharing her fantastic recipes!

Thank you to everyone who participated in my most popular giveaway to date!  I appreciate all my new blog followers and subscribers! I look forward to sharing with you as we try to find more Inspiration in the Everyday!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

BONUS Post from the CookBook Addict

As promised here is a special Bonus Post from the CookBook Addict! As many of you know, CookBook Addict is offering an awesome giveaway of a 1941 Searchlight Recipe Book! Go To this post and leave a comment! Only comments left on the giveaway post will be entered in the giveaway! Since only one lucky person can win the recipe book, here's a little something as a thank you for all who entered - A Free Recipe!  With so many fall potlucks, bake sales and the holidays around the corner, these torteletts are sure to be a hit!
(Joy of Cooking 1946)
About 40 one and a half inch cookies
"A very old recipe. Anything as good as these should survive."

The rind of 1/2 lemon
1 cup sugar
Cream the sugar with:
3/4 cup butter
Beat in, one at a time:
2 egg yolks
Add gradually to make a stiff dough:
1 1/2 cups or more bread flour
Pinch off about a teaspoonful of dough at a time. Roll it into a ball.
Flatten the balls until the dough is very thin. Beat slightly:
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
Brush the cakes with this mixture.
Blanch, then shred coursely:
1 cup almonds or other nut meats
Combine them with:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
Sprinkle the cakes with this mixture.
Bake them in a moderate oven at 375 degrees until light brown.
I'd love to hear from anyone who tries this recipe! Don't forget to go to this post and leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway for a 1941 Searchlight Recipe Book!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A GiveAway from The Cookbook Addict

I am so excited to bring you this giveaway from Stacey at the The CookbookAddict! Stacey is a wealth of information when it comes to cookbooks! I am making this a two part giveaway! Watch for an upcoming BONUS Post! 
A little about meMy name is Stacey and I live in NE Wisconsin near Green Bay. I’m a stay at home mom of 3 boys and a baby girl ages 1-8, we have 2 dogs, 1 hamster, and since it rained last night I’m guessing about 5 frogs the boys brought inside that are hiding somewhere in my house. I also have an amazing husband who is (for some reason) crazy supportive of my vintage cookbook addiction.
How did you start collecting?
I think it started with my frustrations on how our eating habits have evolved over time. I look at us now with our lists of must have staples in our hands while grocery shopping and wonder how those lists have changed from milk, sugar, and eggs to instead Mac n cheese, hot dogs and frozen pizza. I became attracted to the simplicity of the past, simple recipes, simple ingredients, the time when you were out of bread you just made more (and were able to name every single ingredient in it too!). I also fell in love with the personal side of history that comes with them. The everydayness of their stories. I could relate to having to scrape meals to together during hard times and I could actually use information like “how DO you get gum out of carpet?” I feel like nowadays we think we’re smarter and above people from the past. Yes we do have more information than they did, but for the most part, I feel sometimes all we’re doing is re-inventing the wheel.
Please share a little about Vintage Cookbooks.
All of the different types of cookbooks can be a little overwhelming so I like to break them down into categories and some of the main ones to know are:
There’s the late and great 1800’s early 1900’s antique homemaking/cooking/serving cookbooks. Typically the oldest type found (if collecting American cookbooks). You can find recipes for detergents, facial cream, medicine (of course I wouldn’t use the opium they list as an ingredient but that’s just me) and about a million other things you forget weren’t invented by companies. I also love them for examples of “how one ought to behave in public” and “what is expected of the hostess when guests are to be served”. They’re like Emily Post on steroids and absolutely, positively fascinating! Prices vary with these but they’re extremely popular and collectible.
There’s what I like to call the “big mama-jammas” the “one stop shop” cookbooks. They can be counted on for having recipes chapters for breakfast, hor d’orvs, dinner party menus, recipes for bridge luncheons, Sunday suppers and everything in between. They’re usually thick and heavy and generally were put out by big hitter companies like Good Housekeeping, Betty Crocker, or Culinary Arts Institute. They are also a pretty sure bet if collecting and consistently popular.
There’s also the cookbooks that were put out by church and local groups to raise money. They’re smaller in size but have some of the best tried and true recipes you can find! As far as collecting and value go they’re a world all their own. I personally think that they should stay in the area they were written for so only occasionally do I put them up for sale but of course that’s just MY opinion!Then there’s the advertising recipe booklets that were generally put out by top companies usually to promote a specific product. With company funded test kitchens on Park Ave. and spokeswomen that became the rock stars of their time. There’s pure advertising genius with these babies because this is time where eating and food REALLY started to change. It was after WWII and companies had a surplus of “shelf-stable” processed food that they had been sending to the troops and decided to market to the general public. These promo type books were around earlier but they increased exponentially during the late 40’s and into the 50’s. It’s good to do your research with these but cover art and rarity play big factors in value. For me that’s where I stop, for the most part but others sometimes collect what they think WILL be popular and that’s a good way to ensure long term success in your collection.
What are your favorites?
My personal favorites are a toss up between my 1899 White House Cookbook with so many “extras” tucked between it’s pages I swear I can still find things I never saw before and my 1902 Women’s Favorite Cookbook with the most amazing illustrations and one of the most complete sources for every recipe dealing with the home at that time. Then there are the handwritten books I have with notes about bills to pay and dates to remember and all of them are from ladies who lived in my area. They’re just priceless to me and I would sob uncontrollably if I lost them.
What is your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from wanting my kids to have memories of how absolutely AMAZING home baked bread smells in the oven and how lucky they are in life. Also I know it sounds kind of corny but it’s inspiring to me to think I’m helping save these recipes that all of these under-appreciated and over-worked women were so dearly proud of by making sure they get treated and recognized as the treasures they are.

So are you ready for the Giveaway? Just comment to win A 1941 Searchlight Recipe Book!

Here's How to Enter!
Leave a comment for each separate entry! Please leave an email address or Etsy shop name in each comment you make! Otherwise we won't know how to find you if you win!
1. Mandatory Entry: Visit The Cookbook Addict and browse around Stacey's shop -leave a heart if you are so inclined(not mandatory)! Then return here and tell us what you like!
2. Follow  Stacey's Collecting Vintage Cookbook Blog and leave a comment that you did so.
3. Follow this blog, Prairie Wind Notions and leave a comment that you did.
4. Become a Twitter follower of  CookbookAddict on Twitter or Like her on Facebook  (1 Entry for each - leave a comment!)
5. Tweet the following:
#Giveaway from CookbookAddict ends 10-24 #cookbook @prairiewinddsgn @cookbookaddict3
and leave a comment with the link to your tweet. You may tweet once a day for an extra entry.
6.Post about this giveaway on your facebook page. Leave a comment with a link to your facebook page.
Giveaway starts Sunday, October 10th and ends at midnight on October 24th. Winner will be determined by
Good Luck!

Monday, October 4, 2010

We have a Winner!

I went to and Lucky Number 16 is the winner!
Congratulations Elizabeth! You are the winner of a Ten Dollar Gift Certificate to Laura Elaine Designs! Head on over to Laura Elaine Designs to do some shopping!
Thank you to Laura for offering this great giveaway and Thank You to each of you for entering and promoting this giveaway!

It was so much fun I'm doing it again! Stay tuned this week for another fabulous giveaway from one of my favorite Etsy shops!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Giveaway from Laura Elaine Designs

I am so excited to introduce you to Laura Elaine Designs.  Laura Elaine creates beautiful running pages and scrapbooks.  I'm pleased to tell share with you that Laura Elaine is offering a Giveaway! First, Let's get to know Laura Elaine Designs.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 30 year-old wife, mom, runner, scrapbooker, and part-time physical therapist. I love to be creative, I love to be outside, and I love to be active.
2. How did your Etsy shop get started
I heard about Etsy from my cousin last winter. I had been making my scrapbooks for a while and just selling them at craft fairs and giving them as gifts. I was so excited to find Etsy - it is the perfect way for me to be creative and sell my scrapbooks!
3. What are you currently training for
Currently, I am not training for any race, but have still been running about 3 times per week. I am taking the fall off from a big race, mostly because my husband is training for the NYC Marathon. With our crazy schedules, and a 2-year-old, it makes it difficult for us both to have a big race to train for. I have an upcoming 5k next weekend, and will more than likely do a Turkey trot on Thanksgiving. My next big race will be next spring - possibly Boston's Run to Remember again. It's a half marathon that I did last year and it's an awesome course through the city.
4. Advice for running moms or those wanting to get started running
My best advice for those wanting to get started is: ANYONE CAN DO IT!!!! I was not a runner in high school or college; I was a gymnast. Being a gymnast meant that the longest that I had to be active for was 90 seconds. I can remember having to run a mile and a half for conditioning in college and we complained the ENTIRE TIME and felt like puking at the end.
Fast forward to 2006: My husband and his best friend (both previously non-runners) made a bet that they were going to be bandits at that year's Boston Marathon. Long story short, we all caught the running bug! Hubby has completed 4 marathons (two of them Boston, running for Children's Hospital) and I have completed 4 half marathons (Boston 1/2 and Philly 1/2 before I had my son, and NYC 1/2 and Boston's Run to Remember post-partum).
There are a ton of training plans out there (the Couch to 5K is an awesome beginner one!) that help beginners lace up their sneakers and get out there.

5. What inspires you
My son is my inspiration. Our family lives an active life - hiking, biking, traveling, skiing, swimming, and of course running! It is important to me to set a good example for my son on how to be healthy, active, and take care of himself. When I put on my running shoes and put them in the stroller to go out for a run, he is learning the importance of exercise and taking care of his body.

Now for the GIVEAWAY! Laura Elaine is offering a $10 Gift Certificate to her Etsy Shop!
Here's How to Enter!
Leave a comment for each separate entry! Please leave an email address or Etsy shop name in each comment you make! Otherwise we won't know how to find you if you win!

1. Mandatory Entry: Visit Laura Elaine Designs and browse around her shop -leave a heart if you are so inclined(not mandatory)! Then return here and tell us what you like!
2. Follow Laura Elaine's Running-Scrapbooking-Being a Mom Blog at and leave a comment that you did so.
3. Follow this blog,  Prairie Wind Notions and leave a comment that you did.
4. Become a Twitter follower of PrairieWind Designs or Like me on Facebook.  (1 Entry for each - leave a comment!)
5. Tweet the following:
 #Giveaway from LauraElaineDesigns ends 10-3 #running #scrapbooking
and leave a comment with the link to your tweet. You may tweet once a day for an extra entry.
6.Post about this giveaway on your facebook page. Leave a comment with a link to your facebook page.
Giveaway starts Wednesday, September 22 and ends at midnight on October 3rd. Winner will be determined by
Good Luck!

Friday, September 17, 2010


I went shopping today while my daughter was at preschool. I was feeling so grateful for two hours to myself to stock up on groceries for the next week of meals. I zoomed that big cart around the store, loading up on family favorites and making sure we had the necessary essentials to run the house. As I was waiting to check out, I was marveling at how little time it took me to complete the list, but becoming frustrated at how long the check out was. Why don't they call another checker to the front of the store. Just then I felt a tap on my elbow and an elderly lady was standing before me, asking for help. She explained that she just had back surgery and had not fully recovered. Her current predictament was that her shoe was untied and would I mind terribly to tie it for her. Of course I didn't give it a second thought - I even made small talk about how many shoes I tied in a day. I did, however, give pause. How easily it is to take for granted the ability to tie my shoes, to be in good health and bend over to pick up my child. To be given the ability to tie my daughter's shoes without the obstacle of a disablity. My grattitude began to grow. As I helped the lady load her groceries in her car, she commented to me how happy she was to live here - everyone was so nice and helpful. It was just the best place to live. She had been an army life and lived all over the world. As I loaded my groceries into the car, I began to wonder if everyone felt the same way - that where they lived was the best place as you could always find a helpful person.
My challenge to you this week is to make your neighborhood the best place - the place where people in need are not afraid to ask for help, and when they ask, they will recieve help without pause. I also challenge you to take a moment to be thankful for the things we so easily take for granted in our daily routine.  So the next time your toddler is dancing around while you are trying to tie her shoes as you are already running late, be thankful for the ability to do so. Before you know it she will be tying her own shoes.
This photograph a lovely reminder of the gratitude we should show throughout our daily routine. Get your own copy from StephanieMoors.  Stephanie just opened this Etsy shop and I'm sure she would love for you to stop by and give it some love.