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The adventures of Mumsy and me

A tribute to my extraordinary mother

Sue and Sarah.  Sarah and Sue.  We go together like chocolate and peanut butter, like cats and boxes, like Sunday nights and Game of Thrones.  We’ve been more than mother and daughter my entire life – we’ve also been amazing friends!  She taught me the most important and powerful lessons about life, love, and not taking yourself too seriously.  I hope to honor her this Mother’s Day by paying homage to the woman who gave me life and filled it with laughter.

Sarah and Sue at the southern tip of Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, NY.Sue and Sarah on the harbor walk in Boston, MA.

The active Mumsy

She skis.  She gardens.  She sews.  She probably rescues kittens from trees when no one is watching, but I can’t be sure.  Really though, how else to explain the number of cats that our family has adopted over the years?

We Jordans have always led very active lives.  My mother is no exception.  Now retired from teaching, she keeps herself incredibly busy with hobbies and active pursuits alike.  She bicycles on the Erie Canalway Trail, watching out for tiny bunnies running along the path and trying not to squish any of the snakes sunbathing on it.  When I join her for a ride, we have to be careful to not pilot our bikes into any immovable objects or risk collapsing into uncontrollable laughter right there on the trail.  Although if I think about it, we run the risk of uncontrollable laughter at pretty much any moment when we’re together!

My mom spends most of her summer days gardening and letterboxing.  Several years ago, she and her friends created a series of letterboxes about lawyer and philanthropist Owen D. Young.  They planted the boxes in Van Hornesville, NY, the location of the small public school that bears his name.  The description they wrote for each box was, of course, very detailed and very educational.  Would you expect anything less from a trio of teachers?

Sewing and skiing occupy my mother’s time in the winter.  She enjoys the wide, flat, cruising trails at any ski area.  I can occasionally convince her to try (or, more accurately, I can goad her into trying!) the more challenging trails but only when the weather conditions are absolutely perfect and the stars are aligned and so forth :)

I love that my mom has a ton of interests and activities to keep her busy.  Hopefully, I will be just as active when I’m retired!

Sarah and Sue on the Trenton Falls Scenic Trail in Barneveld, NY.Sue, Nick, and Sarah at Royal Mountain Ski Area in Caroga Lake, NY.

The silly Mumsy

Anyone who knows my mother can attest to her goofiness.  It’s a kind of goofiness can’t be taught – you either have it or you don’t :)  It’s also the kind of goofiness that elicits a great deal of eye rolling from my father.  But I say, how monotonous would his life be if she were not her naturally silly self every day?

One of my favorite things about my mother is how she has to “get her feet right” when walking on rocks or trying to cross a stream.  That always makes us giggle!  When she’s not conversing with her own cats, she’s taming the stray ones that end up at her house (we call her the Cat Whisperer for good reason).  She wears crazy socks and invents ridiculous rhyming songs to sing with my niece.  She sews adorable frog and monkey pillows to sell at craft fairs and then takes photos of them drinking beers on the couch.

Sometimes, she laughs so hard that no sound comes out.  Which makes me laugh until I cry.  Which makes her laugh even harder.  And round and round we go – it’s a dangerous cycle!

Sarah and Sue at Ethel's 100th birthday party.Pretty pedicures.

The family Mumsy

My mother puts so much of herself into taking care of her loved ones.  Goodness knows how many things she sacrificed along the way so my brother and I could have safe and happy childhoods.  And to think of the countless lessons she taught us in the formative years!  From holding a spoon to reciting the alphabet to writing complete sentences, she created the foundation of who I am today.  I learned a ton of sewing tricks from her when we made two prom dresses for me in high school.  24 years later and red sequins are still mysteriously popping up around the house!

My favorite Christmas moment with my mother was many years ago when she and I were waiting for my father to put the lights on the tree so we could begin hanging the ornaments.  We found a long garland in a box of decorations, wound it around our arms and necks like a giant feather boa, and danced a two person conga line through the house while singing along with Paul Simon on the stereo.  Just another low key Jordan Christmas :)

My mom always puts in the long hours for the family.  I’ve lost track of how many times she’s helped me move.  She spent an entire summer tending a huge flower garden so my brother and his wife could have the perfect floral arrangements at their wedding.  Last year, she rode in a car for six hours with a horribly sprained back just to attend my cousin’s college graduation party.  She will do anything for her family, and her support is unwavering whenever it is needed.

Sarah and Sue atop Mount Jo in North Elba, NY.Sue and Sarah in Coxsackie, NY.

The best Mumsy

I get to know this amazing woman better every day.  She loves autumn, the color red, and proper grammar.  She prefers wide open spaces to concrete jungles and enjoys Thanksgiving far more than Christmas.  She is rarely idle, she takes care of everyone around her, and she believes that a little bit of goofiness makes life more interesting.  Though I don’t say it nearly enough, I hope she knows how much she means to me and how much I love being her daughter and her friend.

I could not ask for a better mother on Mother’s Day (or any day for that matter) because mine is already the best!  I adore her, and I admire her for all of the things she’s done in her life.  I cherish the memories of our shared moments, and I look forward to whatever adventure comes next.

There are a lot of great moms in this world, and I wish I could tell you each of their stories on this very special Mother’s Day.  My silly little tribute to my own mother pales in comparison to what’s in my heart for her, but I express my love, affection, and gratitude for her today as best I can.

She is the greatest of all great mothers.  She is the Mumsy, and I love her dearly.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Want to share your favorite mom story or photo?

Head over my Facebook page and comment on this post with a story or photo of you and a special mom in your life.  Let’s share the love today!

Colorblock : Cool

Colorblock : Cool

The centerpiece of this collection is the beautiful Gracie wrap dress from Diane von Furstenberg.  I absolutely adore it!  Its black, white, and blue colorblock design and simple shape make it easy to accessorize.  As you can see, I had a hard time choosing just one look, so I threw in many options!  Paired with low Cole Haan sandals and a white pebbled leather Proenza Schouler backpack, this dress is perfect for a day trip into the city or for exploring an outdoor market.  Navy blue Gianvito Rossi suede pumps and a Cerno crocodile leather bag amp up the style for a polished, professional look.  Even my very own sapphire crystal and sterling silver fitted bracelet is amazing with this dress!  I hope that you enjoy this collection just as much as I do!

Click here or on the image above to visit this set on Polyvore and learn more about each item.

Modern cowgirl

Modern cowgirl

This collection speaks to the modern cowgirl in each of us :)  It features leather, denim, turquoise, and silver items with a sexy, kick ass vibe.  I especially love the black boots and taupe jacket – they belong in my closet!  Click here or on the image above to visit this set on Polyvore and learn more about each item.

Raindrops are falling on my head

Raindrops are falling on my head

It may still feel like winter around here, but spring will arrive soon enough.  Until then, enjoy my colorful warm weather collection featuring an amazing hot pink clutch from Fine Accessories Boutique!  Click here or on the image above to visit this set on Polyvore and learn more about each featured item.

Artists for Alex online craft showcase

Two days only!

The Artists for Alex online craft showcase is in full swing!  This weekend’s showcase features ten artists whose beautiful creations include upcycled clothing, stamped jewelry, pet accessories and costumes, vintage hand embroidered linens, my very own beaded and woven jewelry, and much more.  A portion of the showcase proceeds will be donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand to help in the fight against childhood cancer.  This showcase only runs for two days, so hurry and visit the site now!!

Artists for Alex online craft showcase

Several door prizes are up for grabs at the showcase this weekend.  One of them is a lovely pair of crystal and silver earrings designed by yours truly!  Check out the earrings that I created by clicking here.  You can enter to win one of the door prizes simply by sharing the Facebook post below with your friends.  It really couldn’t be any simpler!  Winners will be drawn tomorrow night at the conclusion of the showcase, and prizes will be shipped this coming week.  Thank you for supporting handmade artists, and I hope to see you at the showcase!


Featured Friday – Handmade by Eva Rose

Handmade by Eva Rose

This week’s featured Etsy shop is Handmade by Eva Rose in Bristol, England.  Shop owner Eva creates novelty fabric items such as diaper caddies, burp cloths, bibs, glasses cases, camera cases, and storage baskets.  She works primarily with cotton, linen, and polyester fleece fabrics.  I particularly love her woodland animal designs – this orange polka dot fox pillow is just adorable!  Visit her shop to learn more.

Crafter Central weekend showcase

Great news!  My Etsy shop will be featured in an online showcase hosted by the friendly folks at Crafter Central from Saturday, March 14 to Sunday, March 15.  The showcase will highlight ten artists and their unique handmade products.  The best part about a virtual craft fair is that you don’t have to feel self conscious about shopping in your pajamas!

Crafter Central weekend showcase door prize

To thank customers for visiting the showcase and for spreading the word on social media, I will be offering this pair of earrings as a door prize to one lucky winner.  Watch for my blog post on Saturday to learn how to enter the door prize drawing.

Crafter Central weekend showcase door prize

In designing these earrings, I wanted to play with a fresh minty green and teal blue color palette rather than my typical purples, pinks, and reds.  This pair is made with 8 mm mint alabaster Swarovski crystal cubes, 6 mm blue zircon Swarovski crystal bicones, and silver plated spacers, headpins, and earwires.  Though not shown here, I will also include two flexible clear plastic ear nuts to keep the earrings securely in place.

Crafter Central weekend showcase door prize

After the showcase has ended, I will contact the winner for his or her mailing address and will ship out the earrings as quickly as possible.  Please visit the Crafter Central online showcase this weekend to see all of the featured artists and their amazing work!

Date night dressing

Date night dressing

I joined Polyvore back in February and have really enjoyed using the site over the past month.  Every day, I find the most amazing new collections curated by fashion enthusiasts from around the world.  If my bank account could support it, I would definitely scoop up some of these craveworthy designer pieces!

The first set I created is shown above.  I entered it into a Valentine’s Day contest sponsored by The Real Real.  Click here or on the image itself to visit this set on Polyvore and see more details about each featured item.  What do you think of my date night styling?

5 reasons to buy handmade beaded jewelry

Handmade beaded jewelry

Handmade beaded jewelry makes a fantastic gift for yourself or a loved one.  This guide provides five reasons to choose handmade beaded jewelry over commercially manufactured pieces.  I don’t know about you, but having more reasons to buy handmade jewelry never hurts!

My personal philosophy is that if I can’t make it myself, I will seek out a unique, one of a kind jewelry gift from another artist.  I enjoy working with the artist to develop a custom piece because I know that it will have special meaning for the recipient.  Perhaps it will become a favorite accessory that she will wear several times a week.  Or maybe she will love it enough to pass it along to a younger generation in the future.  Either way, she will appreciate the gift even more knowing that I had a hand in its design.

Featured Friday – Past Your Porchlight

Past Your Porchlight

This week’s featured Etsy shop is Past Your Porchlight in Ontario, Canada.  I found this shop by complete accident while creating my Snowy treasury last week!  Shop owner Jessie Cunningham creates handmade soft sculptures and plush toys in the most adorable animal shapes.  Her items are made with a variety of materials including heirloom quality wool blend felt, polyester felt, faux fur, and deer suede.  I can’t help it – I’m totally in love with the badger sculpture above!  Visit her shop to learn more.