• Good Things

    Balmy Addiction

    When I was at the Symposium in Mesa last week, my friend Natalia pulled an egg-shaped object out of her purse, pulled the top half off of it, and rubbed the bottom half on her lips. I watched her do this, unsure if I wanted to know the answer, but asked anyway: "What on earth did you just put on?"

    To the right of me sat my friend Tanya. Upon hearing my question, she reached with lightning-fast speed into her purse and pulled out an egg-shaped object of her own. "You mean this?" she asked.

    Then a few other friends at the table excitedly announced that they had their own as well. Was I the only one who hadn't heard of these crazy things? They turned out to be lip balms by EOS. (The "EOS" stands for Evolution of Smooth, btw.)

    When I returned to Omaha, the first thing I did (even before my suitcase was unpacked) was head straight to Walgreens and WalMart and Ulta, hunting for them. By golly, if all of my friends had them, then I was to have them as well.

    Sophie was with me when I found them, and she suddenly exclaimed, "Those are the things I was telling you about a long time ago! My friends use them, and I want them too!"

    Oh for Pete's sake.

    So myself and Sophie and Breanna and Sabrina and my mom are now the proud owners of these crazy, cute, wonderful EOS lip balms.

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    They come in Summer Fruit (my favorite), Honeydew, Strawberry Sorbet, Sweet Mint, Lemon, and who knows what else. Those are just the flavors I've found locally. But trust me, if there are others… they will be mine. (And Sophie's and Breanna's and Sabrina's and my mom's. We're all completely, hopelessly in love with them.)

    Oh, and they have lotion as well!

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    Look how cute! It puts me in the mood to baby-talk to it.

    Anyway, if you haven't tried these, you must! They're only $3.29 each, and as my mother put it, "they have staying power." I will warn you though, if you have chapped lips, the Sweet Mint may make them a bit tingly at first.

    Here's the website if you'd like to take a look: Evolution of Smooth

    Oh my goodness, I'm totally ordering that Vanilla Bean stick. Be still my heart! I love a good addiction. 🙂

  • Crazy Kids,  Family


    Sabrina's very special friend recently told her that he likes her a lot. However, he also told her that while he likes her a lot, he likes Kate Beckinsale a lot. As a matter of fact, Kate Beckinsale is to be his future wife, he's decided. No offense, Sabrina.

    None taken, she assured him. And to prove it, she got him this poster, which now hangs on the back of his bedroom door:


    I've never seen any of the Underworld movies, but Sabrina has, and likes them. As a matter of fact, Kate Beckinsale's character – Selene – has always been a favorite of Bean's, but probably for different reasons than her special friend's.

    And although Sabrina has no plans of usurping Kate's status as "future wife," I got to thinking that Halloween will be here before we know it…

    Bean Beckinsale

    Now, to find someone who specializes in leather skinsuits.

  • Good Things,  Stitching


    I thought I'd show whoever may read this some of the little things I didn't include in my first two Attic posts. 🙂

    Here are a couple of "smalls" I made from the upcoming Brother's Keeper chart (to be released at Nashville)…

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    I won't be putting instructions in the chart for these, as they're really very simple. The top small is simply a stitched portion of the chart, cut in a circle and stretched over the top of a pimento jar lid (with a small piece of thin batting underneath the stitched piece). Then I added some trim I found in a scrapbook store and put some of Kelmscott's mother-of-pearl hex buttons inside.

    This is another small I brought to The Attic. It's called A Symposium Keepsake, and I've got a packet of needles in the pocket…

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    Here are some of my purchases from the shop…

    I figured this would go in Bre's bedroom; it's the Token of Love kit by The Essamplaire, and I fell in love with the Colonial-looking couple on it.

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    I had to have these two charts: Elizabeth Savilles and Hannah Tingey…

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    And the odd birds on this sampler by Scarlet Letter charmed me into buying it… (Tanya Brockmeyer convinced me to give 45 ct. a try, so I chose Lakeside's Vintage Pearled Barley, which is some of the most beautiful fabric I've ever seen. The mottling is so beautiful, I could just swim in it! I'd tried 45 ct. one other time – on Jane Rees – but I wasn't using the correct needle, and it wasn't a pleasant experience. Jean told me that although I was using a beading needle, which is recommended, I needed a tapestry-point beading needle, which I didn't even know existed until I visited her shop. It truly has made all the difference!)

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    Each letter so far has been stitched by a different dear friend of mine. Jen came up with the idea, and I loved it. It makes the sampler so much more meaningful to me!

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    (Btw, I'm using my own conversion of Dinky Dyes, Belle Soie, and Gloriana silks.)

    And of course, after seeing Darlene's finished sampler in person, I had to have Scarlet Letter's Vierlande Sampler. The only parts of this gorgeous Adam & Eve sampler that aren't stitched in red are their hair-do's and the serpent…

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    I chose 40 ct. Fern Gully by Stitches & Spice for the linen, and Gloriana's Schoolhouse Red…

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    Lastly, I want to show you the gorgeous party-favors that Jean's husband, John, made for each of the attendees at the Symposium.

    Here is the coolest tape-measure I've ever seen! It's made of ebony wood, and John joked that it was his very first sampler, stitched over one on zero count. 😉

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    Each of the attendees also received one of these personalized wooden needlecases – filled with Bohin needles – that John made as well!

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    (If you like either or both of these, they can be ordered directly from The Attic for $40 each.)

    I suppose I should get off of here and go wallow in my new stash. I intend to set aside time for stitching as well, but for now I'm content to wallow. 🙂 See you soon!

  • Good Things,  Stitching,  Travel

    The Attic, Part II

    Yesterday I shared with you some shop photos of The Attic, and I have just a few left.. I also took some pictures during the actual Symposium, which was held at Hyatt Place (a fabulous hotel, with the nicest staff!)…

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    I loved this collection of beaded scissors fobs…

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    My mother's two loves: red and chocolate…

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    I'm sad I couldn't get a better angle of this red ornament; the reindeer at the bottom were so sweet!

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    Friday evening the Symposium began, with Vickie from Needlework Press presenting a history of Arizona samplers…

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    Then Darlene Andersen showed us some of her gorgeous Christmas ornaments…

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    And she even handed out 10 prizes to 10 lucky ladies. All 10 prizes were Adam & Eve smalls that Darlene had stitched!

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    After Darlene had spoken about her ornament collection, I presented my Lady's Trimkeep workshop. Earlier that day I had spent a couple of hours in my room kitting everything up and listening to Justin Bieber on my iPad (which made me work faster)…

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    The next day Darlene presented a powerpoint presentation on her Adam & Eve sampler collection…

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    And my dear friend Tracy Riffle brought the most beautiful Amish boxes to be painted, along with a tutorial on how to make a darling little teacup from cardboard and strips of paper, and a Symposium Snowdrop chart with the supplies for stitching…

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    Finally, Catherine Theron presented her stitcher's envelope project, which was accompanied by a stunning collection of other workshops…

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    Back at the shop that night, Jean had lots of delicious desserts for us…

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    And this is the room where we gathered after our shopping to pull our purchases out and start stitching (and eating). The sweet man in the foreground is Jean's husband, John, who made us the most amazing party favors (which I'll share soon, along with my stash acquisition)… I've met John before at a past needlework market, and he is a soft-spoken, charming man with a clever wit. When he first entered the Gathering Room, all of us looked up at him at the same time. He answered our stares with a calm, "If you look very very closely at the pattern on my shirt, you'll find an American flag."

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    And I wasn't going to post these next photos, but since Katrina did, then I will too. Each morning we made a Starbucks run (I believe I've met my caffeine soul sister in Miss Katrina, btw) and brought our goods back with us.

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    I found myself being spellbound by that iconic green mermaid being flashed at me on the paper cups, and could barely focus on the samplers in the room (think Death Star Tractor Beam, pulling me in)…

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    And here's Natalia (who made me wish I was a hot Spanish stitcher)…

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    Some of my favorite memories from the weekend will always be the time I spent with some very dear friends of mine. Each of them is like a sister to me, and I truly hope that I'm able to spend time with them again some day very soon. As I was telling sweet Jen and Tanya, needlework is a joy on its own, but so much more pleasurable when one is able to find a friend who enjoys it also.

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    Thank you again to Jean for inviting me to the Symposium, and also for her warm hospitality and desire to make sure everyone – designers and attendees alike – is more than satisfied and happy with their experience in the desert. 😉

  • Good Things,  Stitching,  Travel

    The Attic, Part I

    What a wonderfully perfect time I had at The Attic's 2012 Sampler Symposium! It has always been a dream of mine to visit this sampler oasis in the desert, so when Jean invited me to present a workshop there, I couldn't email my RSPV fast enough.

    For those of you who have never had the pleasure of being there in person, here is a glimpse of what the shop looks like…

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    Tracy Riffle  of Hands to Work fell in love with this one, by Midsummer Night's Designs…

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    Everywhere you look, you can find samplers with their Attic silk conversions next to them…

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    I love the details around the shop…

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    This is My Handworke, stitched by Jean on 45 count!

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    Half of The Scarlett House's Hannah Tingey, up close (one of my favorites)…

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    More samplers…

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    This one is by Threads of Gold…

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    This was the shop's gorgeous collection of sampler books, right behind a rack of Scarlet Letter charts…

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    And there was the most beautiful collection of fibers, everywhere one looked! To the east…

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    To the west…

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    The the south…

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    And to the north…

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    Another sweet design by The Scarlett House (this is Maddie Button)…

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    Here's another look at Sarah Munday, pictured above…

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    And still more samplers…

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    Here's a very small fraction of The Attic's gorgeous moulding selection…

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    I'll close with a photo of a sweet little bird, but I'll be back tomorrow with more photos from the shop and the Symposium. I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour so far!

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    I'm off to stitch my guts out now. 😉

  • Good Things

    Sunshine and Ice

    In just a few hours, I'll be heading off to Arizona to attend the Sampler Symposium at The Attic. I've been waiting all winter long for cold, snowy weather to arrive, and now that it's at our doorstep, I'm leaving Omaha! (I love winter weather.)

    Earlier in December, we did have one sunny, icy day, but since then, we've had only warmer, spring-like temperatures. I'm happy that I took the time to pull my boots on and head out back, bc it's one the most magical transformations to wake up to…

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    I should probably go find my flip-flops and put them in my suitcase. But I really look forward to the morning I can pull my boots back on again. 🙂

    See you all next week! And to my family – if you're reading – I love you all so much, and I'll miss you terribly!

  • Family,  Travel

    Lady Luck

    Mike has told Breanna for years that when she turns 21 he would take her to Vegas. So when they invited me to go along, I packed my stitching and went with them.

    Yes, my stitching. Moving on.

    We were there for 3 days, and although I dragged my camera everywhere, I didn't actually take very many photos. Here are a few I did take, though, along with a couple of highlights from our trip…

    We stayed at Caesar's Palace, and every time we walked the halls to and from our hotel room, Mike would say, "We should check out the pool," and "Look, I can see the pool from here, " and "Maybe one of these days while we're here we can go swimming in the pool."

    So Bre and I took him to see the pool, which was really very pretty. These fountains were in the middle of it…

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    Here's Bre in front of it, wearing her Vegas pants, as they came to be known…

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    This is the view of part of the hotel, towering over the pool (you can see the reflection of the opposing tower in the windows)…

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    And here are some of the beautiful statues that were around us…

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    While we were there taking photos, two security guards started chatting with us. They were there to make sure people didn't go inside certain restricted areas, but after a while, one of them said to the other, "Should I them to the place?" And the other said, "Yes, take them to the place."

    When in Vegas, one should not follow a perfect stranger blindly into a place called the place, but since we were in Vegas, we decided to follow.

    I realize that was an odd statement.

    So our security guard, named Seth, led us past the restricted area, around a corner, along the hidden length of the pool, and up a long flight of stairs. When we got to the top, he told us that this was the place: the place where celebrities go to enjoy outdoor parties like the one Celine Dion just had here to celebrate her baby's christening…

    (That's Bre and Seth, walking farther ahead)

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    Inside those archways are lounging areas with large flat-screen televisions…

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    Even though I personally wouldn't plunk down a million bucks to reserve the area, it was a lot of fun to see. It was like our own private tour, and Seth was as pleasant as could be. He took this photo of the three of us up there…

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    And then we passed the camera around and behaved like regular tourists…

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    We also visited the New York, New York casino, where Mike and Bre rode this crazy roller coaster that you can see tangled in the facade…

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    And somehow Mike managed to talk Bre into helping him fool all passers-by into thinking that they were actually going to consume the Statue-of-Liberty-made-entirely-out-of jelly-beans…

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    Nobody really paid much attention though, bc we were in Vegas, and people do that sort of thing there, I suppose.

    On our first night there, we decided to see David Copperfield's show. Breanna has always been a huge fan of magic, and loves to try to figure out how things are done. (I, on the other hand, become incensed when I can't figure out an illusion, and I always want to storm out, screaming something unpleasant.) So up to the ticket window we went, only to be told that there were no tickets left, but we could check back later to see if Mr. Copperfield had returned any to the theater. (He keeps some tickets back for friends or family, but if they don't get used, then he returns them for the theater to sell.)

    So back we went at 9 p.m. to see if luck was on our side. And yes, it was! We got front-and-center seats, and we were thrilled! (Even me, the magic-hater!) At the beginning of the show, David told everyone to find him on Twitter and send him a tweet, and one person would be chosen via direct-message on twitter to meet him after the show. So Bre took out her phone and sent him a text that said something like this: "It's my 21st birthday, and it would be an awesome gift to be able to meet you!"

    And this is how the story ended:

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    (Btw, when she got the DM in the middle of the show, we all just about squealed with excitement. We couldn't believe it! The guy who led us backstage to meet him told us that during the show, David takes a break and runs to read all of the tweets, and then he chooses one person.)

    And btw, his show was so amazing, I am now a convert. It was truly mind-boggling, and he has quite a sense of humor, which I didn't expect. 🙂

    The next night, we went to see Cirque du Soleil's Ka and then watched the fountain and lights show in front of the Paris casino, which was fascinating…

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    It was a fun trip, but since there were no quiet stitching corners to be found on the Strip, I'm very happy to be home. 🙂 Plus, these two clowns took the whole "what-happens-in-Vegas-stays-in-Vegas" thing a little too seriously…

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    Happy 21st, Bre!

  • Stitching

    Start Line

    I'm so excited for 2012 and all of the stitching projects I have planned! I've been going over my mental list of all of my 2011 starts and finishes, and with the help of Miss Katrina, I've got a guide to get me through a more productive year of finishes. (Upon my begging her, she set up a "Paulette's 2012 Stitching List" for me to follow, and it's been really fun seeing how someone else would structure my stitching plans.)

    Here's what I was able to finish this past year:

    Frances Eden (half-stitched by the ever-knitting, ever-quilting, ever-creative Kim)…


    A Dainty Housewren (started in 2010)…


    I stitched the 4 Christmas ornaments I showed you back in November:

    (For Breanna)

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    (For Sabrina)

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    (For Sophie)

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    (For Mom)

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    I also stitched 3 ornaments for Just Cross Stitch magazine, but I can only find 2 of the photos. I have no idea if I even photographed the 3rd one, but it's the "First Day" ornament, featuring a pear tree (and I can't remember if I put the partridge in it or not!)…



    Here's the M.A. Dutch Sampler I stitched for Mom for Christmas…

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    And I also stitched a bit on a new design I've got coming out this next year…and for those of you who have seen this screenshot before, I am well aware of how very behind I am with this release! 🙁


    Speaking of designs, these are the models I stitched this year (with the rest being hired out to the most wonderful model-stitchers in the world: Chris Laurion, Margaret Chess, and Nicole Neville!):

    1. Beans, Beans
    2. Buttons Black
    3. Christmas Is Coming
    4. Favorite Font Sampler
    5. Favorite Spot Sampler
    6. Hares' Autumn
    7. Poor Maidens
    8. Sergei
    9. The Flood (started in 2010)
    10. Turkey Love

    On Christmas Eve I decided that before the holiday season was over, I wanted to spend some quiet time enjoying the lights on the tree and some Bing Crosby on the cd player, so I took out a new pattern I had just purchased from Pineberry Lane and got to work. A couple of days later, I had my last finish for 2011, and I couldn't be happier with it. What a darling design!

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    I loved this little tree:

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    The original model called for DMC floss, but I converted mine to some overdyed threads. I do love DMC, and use it for many of my personal projects, but since I didn't have all of the ones on hand for this pattern, I just pulled what I thought would look okay from what I had in the overdyeds.

    Here is my conversion, in case anyone is interested:

    (Fabric – I can't recall the name, but I know it was by R&R and I know it was 40 ct… I'm absolutely terrible with fabric and sampler names.)

    DMC 355 – WDW Brick
    DMC 612 – GAST Roasted Marshmallow
    DMC 822 – GAST Oatmeal
    DMC 830 – GAST Forest Glade
    DMC 3021 – WDW Charcoal
    DMC 3781 – GAST Wood Trail
    DMC 3787 – GAST Wood Smoke

    I should also include here that the name of the pattern is Bringing Home the Tree! 😉 It was a sweet way to end a fun stitching year. Next year, however, I hope to get much more accomplished. I'll be referring to my list that Katrina made for me, but I would like to at least get finished 3 of the samplers I started in 2011:

    Elizabeth Sheffield
    James Wilson
    Lucretia Maus

    And it goes without saying that Dutch Beauty truly needs to be finished before I'm too old to see it any more. 🙁

    Okay, I've yakked long enough! I'm off to get some housework done and get back to work on the kits I'm assembling for The Attic's 2012 Sampler Symposium in Mesa, AZ later this week. I'm very excited to be going and presenting a mini workshop for A Lady's Trimkeep

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    For those of you who are attending, I'm excited to see you there!

    The laundry calls. Back to work!

  • Crazy Kids


    I may have mentioned a time or two that Sophie wants to be famous some day. In her mind, there's no need to wait tables in Hollywood while attending as many auditions as she possibly can. Heck, there's not even a need for an agent. Instead, there are two very powerful tools Sophie has discovered at her young age that may just propel her into the stardom she desires:

    1. The self-portrait (great for Facebook networking and Twitter profiles).

    2. Youtube/Vimeo (for those times that James Cameron or Steven Spielberg are bored and perusing the internet, looking for fresh talent).

    Let's look first at the self-portrait. Sophie has entire collections of these that I've stumbled across while picking up any given camera we have lying about the house (and there are several, for some reason). Some examples are:

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    Next, let's take a look at what a Youtube/Vimeo upload might look like for a celebrity hopeful:


    Untitled from Paulette Stewart on Vimeo.

    I suppose if her star never rises, she could always fall back on her food photography to pay the bills:

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    Sophie, I love you, whether you grow up to be famous or not!  But if you do, PLEASE don't let it be because you do a great Lady GaGa.

  • Family


    Over the Christmas season, my sister and niece came to visit and I insisted on taking some pictures of them together while Natalie was in the mood to pose for the camera (a very rare thing indeed!). 

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    And lest you think little Natalie is this sweet and cuddly all the time, the next photo is definitely more reflective of her independent nature:

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    (My apologies for cutting off your foot, Natalie, but you moved too fast for me that day.)

    I love you, Audrey and Natalie. I'm so happy I got to see you and spend a little time with just you two. 🙂