Around The Mulberry Bush

Never Miss Another Chaotic Update!
Enter Your Email Address
And "POOF!" Just Like That!
I'll Notify You Each Time I Post!

Powered by FeedBlitz

Ho! Ho! Ho!

I've found another FUN site!

"Thank You!" to my friend Linda
for telling me about this website so I could share it with you.
(Sorry I didn't let you know sooner, though)

Even so, if the kids are stir-crazy and need some fun, quiet time.
Or if you're needing some last-minute recipe and gift ideas.
This is your place!

There are all kinds of interactive
activities for children AND us grown-up kids!
Yummy recipes in
In the children's section you can do things like...
Send Santa a letter and he'll write you back

Track Santa as he makes his way to your house
Print stories and color the pages
Personalize a story with YOU as the star
Find the hidden stories throughout Santa's Secret Village
Visit the Elf Clubhouse for fun games to play
Send holiday e-cards to your friends, family, and teachers
and on, and on, and on.

You'll have to go check it out for yourselves.
There's just too much to list.

The website is You're gonna love it!!

My Family Sends You Our VERY, VERY Best Holiday Wishes!
Please stay safe and warm!
Holiday Hugs!

Seems Like Yesterday...

Ever hear that phrase?

Me too! From my PARENTS!!
But I caught myself actually using it today.

Because today Billy and I have been married for 30 years.
(YIKES!!! Somebody must be getting old! And when did THAT happen?!?)

And as I look back I think of things like,
"I was just a baby! (Well okay 19) But awfully young to get married"
and most especially...
"Who? In their right mind? Would get married 2 days before Christmas?!?"

But I have to tell you my friends
What I've heard all these years really is true... you get older, time really DOES seem to go by faster.
I don't know how. But it does.
(I'm thinking it's some kind of Einstein theory yet to be explored)

And as I look back at all those yesterdays.
They are filled with some of the GREATEST memories.
I wouldn't trade any of them.
(Well, okay, maybe a couple) {{snicker}}

But truly, the Lord has blessed me
with a kind, spiritual, and loving husband
and a beautiful, caring, and devoted family.
I can't wait to see what the next 30 years brings!

Many Hugs My Friends!!

Operation Christmas Cheer!

Happy Holidays My Friends!!

I have a very special request of all my blogger friends.
Many of you I already know and
many of you are brand new friends that
I look forward to getting to know better.

So, here's my request.

My sister-in-law Sandy had a dream the other night
and we want to help her make it come true.
The only thing is we can't do it alone.
So we need your help!

My nephew (Sandy's son, Amy's brother) Jon is currently stationed
in Baghdad, Iraq and will spend the holidays there.
This is his 14th year in the Air Force and the first time he has had to spend
the holidays away from all his loved ones.
His work schedule keeps him from even having a day off!
Sandy dreamed that on Christmas morning Jon was greeted
with bags and bags of Christmas cards and letters just like the scene in Miracle on 34th Street.
We've been busily spreading the word by emailing all our contacts,
notifying all our friends, and Billy and I have even bought cards
to bring to work with us to have folks sign right then.

Isn't this the NEATEST IDEA!?!
For all of us that support our troops,
hate to think of someone spending the holidays alone,
or know someone who has had to serve during the holidays past,
we urge you to add an address to your Christmas card list.

And if any of you know of others who are serving...
Please Let Us Know!
We'd like to do this for others as well!

His address is:

SSGT Jon Bureman
JIDC Unit 42129
APO AE 09342-2129

(And don't worry if you can't get it out by Dec. 15th
--Send it anyway--
He'll love getting a card no matter what day he receives it!)

If you'd like...please let him know who you are
and feel free to pass this on to anyone you know
that might be interested in helping us out.

Thank you so much for joining us!

Sweet Dreams Sandy!!

Many Holiday Hugs!!


Fashionably Late...

Hi Ladies!!!
I am the "Guest Blogger".
 And I have to say I am ashamed of myself.

I usually am a guest that arrives on time--and sometimes early.
But being a "Guest Blogger" stressed me a little!

Allow me to introduce myself...
My name is Amy.
I am Cheryl's niece. Her husband Billy is my mother Sandy's brother.
You've probably read about me and my 3 kids in previous posts from Cheryl.

I became a "guest blogger" because I harass Cheryl about not blogging enough.
I will either call her and say "uh...I'm bored with your lack of blog" or leave little comments like "it's time...".
She told me next time I say something about her not blogging she was going to tag me to be a guest.

I didn't think much of it until the time came
and all I felt was fear and stress!
I never realized how hard it was to come up with something to talk about!
I even laid in bed at night thinking "what if nobody cares about what I write"...I hate rejection...LOL!

Well, I've put it off long enough.

But I have something AWESOME to blog about!

Last night I was doing the dishes and the phone rang.
It was my friend Christy.
She asked me what I was doing tomorrow, if I had any plans,
and if I had someone to watch my youngest Sadie.
She went on to say that she'd won a prize and wanted to share it with me.
I was thinking she won a free lunch or a free manicure or something.

 Well, she shocked the heck out of me
when she said she'd entered her name in a contest with a local TV channel and won...
are you ready????...

Yes, you read that right!!!
I danced with the Rockettes this afternoon!!
My friend won this for her and 9 of her friends
and I was so touched that she chose me as one of 'her 9'!

 Well, after she gave me all the details of the day
I got off the phone and went straight into panic mode!
What will I wear?
How should I do my hair?
I have no dance experience except ballet when I was 5...
I almost thought about not going just because all those thoughts were stressing me out.

I held it together and ran to Kohl's and spent an hour searching for that perfect outfit.
What I ended up with was actually cute {whew}...
a pair of grey workout pants...a black shirt with "bling bling" from Canton, TX. and a black fleece vest.
I put it all on this morning and was happy with my choices.
My hair was cute and I even put on a dab of eye shadow.

When I arrived at the convention center I had no idea what to expect...
But when we all met up and went to our room I was happy to see
the other girls that Christy invited were normal like me.
For some reason I had envisioned the other 8 girls showing up
in full-on dance gear with professional shoes and all.
 But nope, sweat pants and tee shirts {whew}

Then...the moment we'd been waiting for...
(drum roll please)...
the ROCKETTES arrived in FULL costume!!

They looked awesome!
They had on cute Christmas hats with fur trim!
Their outfits were cute little Santa dresses with sequins and fur all over!
...Sooooo cute!

There were 4 Rockettes to spend the hour with us.
(I have to say that I was surprised to see that some were shorter than I thought they would be).
I learned that the height requirement was 5 6' to 5 10' 1/2 MAX.
Their dance shoes are 3 inch heels so that makes them look taller.

They had us line up and they told us where they were from
and how long they have been Rockettes (mostly ranging from 3-7 years).
We learned they all lived in different States (you don't have to live in New York to be a Rockette).
They perform 4 to 5 months out of the year
and the rest of the time they have normal jobs (one was even a Yoga instructor).

I asked if there was an age limit and the answer is 18.
You must be 18 to audition. There is no max age so that brought me to my next question which was, "how old is the oldest Rockette now?"
Their answer was, "We don't know."
They said, "No one will give their ages because it becomes an 'occupational hazard'
and they are afraid they will not get picked the next year.
So everyone is 18!"{LOL}

It was time to learn dance moves.
We started off with the traditional kick line.  That was awesome to learn!
We were taught how to pose, how to stand, where to put our hands (every part of the body has a place it needs to be), even where to look...
It was crazy!
 Everything is so timed and on-point.
We were also taught the 360' circle
(this is where 1/2 the women face one way and the other 1/2 are facing opposite).
You are in a line and turn the line 360'. We actually accomplished this after 3 tries.
I was amazed that 10 women with no dance experience were able to do this.

The hour went by soooo fast!
I was sad that it was over but what a great memory!
We all took pictures with them and said our goodbyes.
Here is a group picture of us...take a close look at the costumes, they were so cute!
(I am the one in the middle up front...short hair, dark gray pants and a black vest.)

Well there you have it!
My first guest blog...that wasn't so bad.
Actually, kinda' fun!
And you know...I didn't realize it was so easy to upload pictures.
Now that I know this, I think I should upload some of my kids! 
This is my youngest Sadie, she is 4
This is Kaylie, she is my oldest..8 yrs.
Here is Brandon, he is 7 and he's my sweet boy!!!

I am blessed to have such wonderful kids!!

 I hope you enjoyed my post!
Please leave me a comment so I know that someone did read it
and I won't lay in bed at night wondering if anyone liked what I wrote...LOL.

Jingle Bells!!

I said it.

(Oh Look! I made a Christmas Tree!)
--Sorry. Easily Sidetracked.--

"What's to love?!!" you ask. "This time of year is CRAZY!"
"Everyone is rushing. Cooking. Planning.
Stressing. Fretting about money."
"Seriously! What's to love?!? Christmas is for kids!"
The fact is...
I love that we start the Holiday Season with Thanksgiving.
Being thankful for what we have and anticipating what we will give.

A couple of years ago, as we sat around the dinner table,
we each took a moment to say what we were thankful for.
And God bless little Sadie!

It was her turn. And in her innocent, then 2 year old voice she said...
"I'm thankful for air"
I promise to never forget that even our smallest blessings are big ones!

I love holiday music, and Christmas movies, and giving gifts,
and driving around looking at lights, and baking cookies with kids,
and I secretly think it's fun to sit in Santa's lap for a picture.
And I love getting Christmas Cards in the mail.
(I just wish I were better at mailing them) {sigh}.
(Hey, I've been known to send out Christmas cards in June.
It's actually brilliant! Then you don't know if I'm early or late. {grin})
And decorating. Oh how I love decorating!
It's all just so magical!
I love that we spend time thinking of others.
And what we can do to make them smile.
I love Santa Claus! and Nutcrackers! and Toy Soldiers! and Twinkling Lights!
and Handmade Gifts from the Heart! and Desserts! Lots of Holiday Desserts!

And you know, now that I look back I realize
that it's all my parents fault.
I grew up in a family filled with lots and lots of love but not much money.
And yet, Mom & Dad somehow found a way to make every Christmas special!
I remember sitting around the coffee table
pinning sequins onto styrofoam balls to make ornaments
that were so heavy that the branches of the tree couldn't hold them.
And the year I got an old Underwood typewriter and stand
because my parents knew how much I enjoyed my typing class.
Oh! And the year I got a BRAND NEW coat!
I screamed so loud I think the neighbors heard me!

And I'll never forget the couple of years that my mother
somehow found the means to take 3 young children
(my little brothers and I) to see "The Nutcracker" ballet where we lived in Austin.
Who knew there was such a glorious world of magic and fairy tale--right there before our eyes!?!
I loved that, even if just for an afternoon, dreams could seem so real.

So, I started thinking...
What is it that really makes Christmas so special?
And why can't we get back to that?

You know what I keep coming back to?
The Holidays really are about
Giving Something of Yourself.

We all talk about it.
So let's do something about it!
Let's give something of ourselves.

Let's give at least one gift either from
Our Heart
Our Hands

By that I mean that our gift could be a simple as
giving our time to someone else by
raking, cleaning, repairing, cooking,
doing laundry, or even babysitting for someone special.

And if you enjoy making things as much as I do
then I can't wait to see what you'll be making for gifts this year.

So please join me in our Handmade Holiday Challenge!!
To post pics where they can be shared with everyone
I've opened a Flickr Group so we can
share our photos there.
(Just praying I did it right! Please let me know!!)

And of course you can always comment here
to tell us your plans too.

Oooh!!! I Can't wait to see
all the ways we'll be giving of ourselves!

Hugs and Happy Christmas!!!!!

Hello My Friends!!

You know, life has been crazier than normal (is that possible?)
around The Mulberry Bush lately.

In the past couple of weeks I've had my fair share of craziness. 

First we had a robbery (or burglary, or theft, or break-in--what's the difference I wonder?)
at the store when one of my dealer's showcases was broken into DURING WORKING HOURS! Seriously!
I wasn't here at the time but the poor girl who was working for me
was just devastated--as was the dealer, of course.
So, we've been through the whole police reporting, picture taking,
pawn shop reporting, documenting thing.

And just when I thought things had calmed down...

As I sat at my computer this afternoon I heard a small 'tinkling' of glass.
"Hmmmm", I said to myself, "What was THAT?"
I stepped outside to find that one entire section of my plate glass
window was cracked and separated from top to bottom. {BIIIIG sigh}
So we've spent the afternoon taping and repairing, as best we could,
until we can get the glass replaced.

But, ACTUALLY, enough about ME!
What I REALLY wanted to post about was to let you all know
That I will be having a Guest Blogger!
Yep! You read it right!
My very next post will be written by...'ll see!
I've just called to tell her the good news and
I bet her armpits are sweating already {grin}.

Oooh! I'm SOOOO excited!!
This will be SO Much Fun!

Stay Tuned!!

And Have a Blessed, Blessed Thanksgiving!
Be Safe!



Apronality's LIVE and Online!


Apronality Aprons are now available online!

We had our first photo-shoot on Saturday with my
'Ever So Patient and DARLING' nieces and next door neighbor.
They are all three JUST THE CUTEST THINGS!
(You know, if you didn't know better you'd
think they were all related!)

Don't they make my aprons look GOOD!?!
(Gosh I'm blessed to have such good
friends and such a sweet, sweet family!)

And boy were we a whirlwind of activity!
Between Amy and I we filled the rolls of:
Wardrobe, Makeup, Photographer, Set Designer, Staging, and Hair Stylist!
All in a span of 4 Hours because we had a soccer game deadline!
Aaaaacckk! {pulling hair out!}

So now, my friends, I want to invite you to my
Etsy store ( to view my newest Apronality Aprons.
I hope you love 'em!

Be sure to bookmark the site as I'll be adding new fabrics and photos
as often as I can grab the girls for pics!


Oh. My. Goodness!!

There just aren't words to describe
how touched I am by all your beautiful comments!

Your 'Best Gifts Ever' really are SO VERY special!
Thank you for sharing them with us all!


...for the moment we've been building up to
for over a week now...
{Oh My Gosh!! My heart is beating so fast!}

I submitted all 176 Commenters, Subscribers,
Followers, and Linkers to
and here are the 3 winning numbers chosen!:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2008-11-6  19:01:10 CST

So 'High Five!' to...
Our Apronality Apron Winner #81:

Our Dessert Cheeseball Winner #151:

and Our Votive Candle Winner #148:

Hugs across cyberspace to everyone
of you who entered!

I am honored that you took the time to
visit, link, follow, comment, and subscribe
to my blog.

I feel like I've made new friends and can't wait to
visit with you again! This was JUST TOO MUCH FUN!!

Hurry Back!


Ever pick up a magazine and find an article/project inside
 that was so inspiring that you just couldn't WAIT to try it for yourself?

Well that's just what happened to me a week
or so ago when I got one of my favorite mags in the mail.

Here's the inspiration:

And here's what I made:

I had SO much fun!

Just using scraps of this and tidbits of that.
Old keys, sheet music, jacks, broken Christmas lights,
broken jewelry, and on, and on...

And what a great way to show off your favorite brooches, pins, and other jewelry!

Sorry my pictures weren't better.
I had to take them with my cell phone
because I sold both snowmen so quickly that I didn't
have time to take great pics.

But, no worries.
I will be making more snowmen later this week
and will post some good pictures and links to my website
where I'll be listing them for sale as soon as they're ready!

I have to tell you, though.
They were FUN! FUN! FUN to make!!!
Try it! But here's a warning: It's addicting!
Altered Art is THE BEST!

Hugs til later!


I guess some comment thingamajigger on my settings
 somehow exceeded something and some of you
haven't been able to comment.

The fact that many of you haven't been able to tell me
what your best gift ever was makes me REALLY SAD!!!
(But a SUPER BIG thank you goes out to those of you
who subscribed instead.)
And if you want to try again to comment 
for the Giveaway the problem has been fixed. still have ONE MORE DAY!!

So, stay tuned!

Tomorrow night, (Thursday Nov. 6th)
at the stroke of 7 I will be drawing from all the
 commenters, followers, subscribers, and blog-linkers.
Oh My Gosh!! I'm excited just thinking about it!)
And I will post the winners IMMEDIATELY after they're drawn.
(I know, the suspense will be killing me too!)

But, before I go, I have to tell you...
...Your comments have been AMAZING!

And Girls!...
What GREAT gifts you've gotten!!!

(I'm just thankful that I didn't
have to choose a winner based on 'The Best Gift Ever Received'!)

But I AM glad that we all got to take a minute
to remember our 'Best Gifts' and to share them with each other!

Thank you SO, SO much for taking the time
to introduce yourselves to me and please come back often!
I love new friends!

Happy Hugs!


To All My New TipJunkie Friends!

For any of you who don't know about TipJunkie.
You'll have to go check it out!
It is just FULL (and I mean FULL) of great ideas!

While You're There.
Be sure to check out the Mom-preneur Shop-a-Thon!

Your friends and family will LOVE all the amazing and thoughtful gifts you'll find there.
Plus, you'll be supporting other moms & bloggers.
Isn't that GREAT!!

And, seriously. Isn't it always more fun to buy from other women?
(Especially when they love the same things we do!)

So, a Big Fat Thank You! goes out to Laurie at TipJunkie
for listing my Blogoversary Giveaway on her website.

I am already meeting new friends and LOVE your comments!
(Isn't it fun to think back and remember your best gifts?)
(It's like getting them all over again!)

So Best of Luck Girlfriends!
My fingers are crossed for all of you!


It's My Blogoversary!

Happy Blogoversary to me!
Happy Blogoversary to Me!  Happy Blogoversary...
{All Together Now...}

To Me-e-e-ee!

Today's my First Blogoversary!
Can You Believe It?!?  Oh presents {giggle} shouldn't have. 
(Absolutely-- Horn-Blowing & Loud Clapping is TOTALLY allowed!)

Actually, you know I Love A Party!
So, to celebrate, I'm having a 'Blogoversary Party Giveaway' and
You are TOTALLY invited!
"Wait...Did she say Giveaway?"
Yep! I said Giveaway!
(Don'tcha just love presents?!?)

"Oooh! Where do I go?"
"What do I need to do?"
"Oh No! What should I wear?", you're asking.

Well...if you've been enjoying all the fascinating...informative...rivetting posts from the past year.
And have just been dying to comment!
But for whatever reason...just didn't.
Don't beat yourself up! You gotta start somewhere right?
(And you can't win if you don't play)
So, jump on the Bandwagon and let's hear from ya!

So curl up in your comfiest pj's and fuzzy bunny slippers
(or feel free to throw on that prom dress
you've been dying to see if you could still get into {envious grin})

Then Let's Play!
Just press the "Enjoyed This" at the bottom of this post
and tell me aout the BEST PRESENT you EVER Received!
That's It! You're Entered!
Of course your comment will enter you in the drawing.
But wait! gets better!

You can ALSO earn additional entries by doing any, or all, of the following:
1) subscribe to my Blog
    (located at the top right hand corner of this page)
2) add me to your blogroll
    (copy and paste the code located to the left of this post onto your blog sidebar)
3) announce my contest on your blog
4) become a Gal Pal Follower
    (located on the top left hand corner of this page)

(Just comment or email me to let me know that you are eligible for extra entries.)

WHEW! Glad that's all out of the way!
"So How Do I Win?" you ask.

On Thursday, November 6th, all the entries will be gathered up and winners will be drawn!

Oooooh! I just Can't WAIT!! {giddy}

Oh! And the prizes will be SO FUN!! 
Here They Are!...

Behind Door #1...'ll be the envy of every Holiday Hostess when you're wearing
your very own Christmas Apronality Apron.
Behind Door #2...
...will be a  To-Die-For White Chocolate Strawberry Dessert Cheeseball
an adorable silver serving tray with matching spreader
so you can serve your cheeseball with elegance!
And Behind Door #3!...
...will be THE MOST scrumptious-smelling
square votive candle (called Sleeping In Snow)
a matching glass holder
(I'm telling you, these candles smell so good
you won't even have to burn them! YUM!).

So there you go!
My party has officially started!
I Hope You Have a Great Time!

Oh! And Good Luck!

Hugs! Hugs! Hugs!

We've Been Bzzzzy Little Bees!

My Friend Nancy (that's what I call her...)
(My girls tease me because they know exactly who Nancy is.
Like they'd need any clarification.
And yet, I still refer to her as "My Friend Nancy") {giggle}

I'm rambling.
Let's try again.

So, My Friend Nancy and I worked on booths in the store yesterday.
Oh! It was SO MUCH FUN!!!
I just LOVE creating with Nancy!
(Doesn't that sound like a TV show? Creating With Nancy {snicker})
Cheryl! Stay focussed!
Anyway...we think so much alike that once we get rolling

We hinged doors together, moved merchandise,
waited on customers, freshened up spaces,
and emptied a HUGE, okay tiny, area of my storage room.

And here are some pics of the new Apronality display.

Did I mention it was SO MUCH FUN?!?!?
I just wish there were more hours in the day!
And that My Friend Nancy didn't already have
a full time job so she could come hang out with me every day.

Oh, the things we could do...


New Friends!

Well, another month has come and gone in Canton
and I have to tell ya'(again)...

...I just LOVE it there!

I get to meet the neatest people!
(It always amazes me when folks come into the store
and tell me they drove in from small towns just a few miles from Clinton--that's a 6 hr drive!)

I digress...

So, this month was busy, busy, busy! {YAY!!}
And the hours were long, long, LONG! {SIGH...}

But the highlight of my weekend
happened on Saturday night.

Just before we closed, the most ADORABLE young girl walked in the store
and was SO, SO, SO excited about buying one of my aprons!

She said she'd been thinking about it all day while she was working
in her booth in The Arbors on the Main Grounds.

So when her brother brought her up to The Mountain she just
couldn't wait to come pick out her favorite apron.
(Now how exciting is THAT?!?--For BOTH of us!)

I just cannot tell you how much I enjoyed visiting with my new friend Joni,
her brother Keith, and Keith's friend Trey.

They have such a fascinating story that I just HAD to share it with you.

It seems that Joni and Keith have been in business together for the past 7 years.

"Well", you say.
"That's not all that impressive", you say.

Oh Yeah! What if I told you that Joni is 20 and Keith is 21!?!
THAT IS impressive!

So, I'd like you to meet my new friends...


And here is their website.
(I linked you directly to their gallery so you can
take a look at their STUNNING work!)

And be sure to read their whole "About Me" section.
They're not only amazing; they're inspirational!

We talked about how to grow our businesses,
how I should introduce my aprons at Market.
And on, and on, and on...

Visiting with them just fired me up!
Joni's enthusiasm was CONTAGIOUS!

And I just can't wait to see them again!
HAPPY, HAPPY Birthday to my Niece Amy!
Though she's just a 'tad' {ahem} bit younger than me
I truly enjoy hanging out with her.
She inspires me to stay on task--(here's your blog MISSY),
and has bailed me out during cookie swaps and storage room cleanings; to name a few.
 And I'm especially thankful that she's shared her
children with me all these years.
I love them all.
Happy B-Day Amy Babetta!!

I'm On A Roll!

Have you ever been so caught up in your day-to-day activities
that you don't make time to do the things you love?

Me TOO!!

I've been so busy at the Antique Mall
that I haven't made time to craft and create.


And I've REALLY missed it!
(And so have my Canton customers {grin})

So I've been going in early and staying late
to work on some new projects to take with me to Canton next week.

And here's my newest creation...
(I'm so excited to show you that I just HAD to blog about it as soon as I got home tonight!)

I gathered up some supplies (old bathroom tiles and scrap papers)
I had laying around my studio
and put together the CUTEST little 'Note' Pads!
Just the right size for your favorite color of Sticky Notes.

And best of all...I've added ribbon
so you can hang it or set it on your desk.

This one has cork at the bottom.
I'll be making some cute little thumbtacks to use with it.


Hugs Y'all!
And Happy Crafting!

This is What A Girl Does...

...with about a hundred of those spool, bobbin, thing-a-ma-jiggers?
I'm thinking maybe I will turn them into wands.
But not just ANY wands...
They'll be Fabulous, Mystical, Magic Wands!  Fairy Wands! Princess Wands!
Nope! I've got it! They'll be Poof Wands!

Wands, wands, wands...
You get the idea, right?. 
Now, trying to make my vision into a reality has been a little more challenging.
So, this is my first attempt. 
And I'm looking for help. Your feedback, ideas, suggestions, ANYTHING would sure be appreciated.
I'll keep you posted as I do more.