Lil Miss USA | A FREE Printable

Lil Miss USA a free printable by Stephanie Corfee via

Here’s a little bit of fun as you head into this long holiday weekend. It’s my Lil Miss USA illustration to download for FREE!

Use it for a Labor Day BBQ hostess gift tag, an iron-on for a cute holiday tee or, print out the B&W version and your kiddos have a fun little coloring sheet!

Click the tee graphic below to download the color image suitable for cards and tees. Don’t forget to click your printer’s MIRROR IMAGE option for iron-on transfers! [Read more…]

And then it tells me to call 9-1-1

Once you have cancer………..everything might. be. cancer. It’s just something I’ve noticed recently.  Before cancer, nothing was cancer. I never had a fear of ever having cancer. I’ll never get cancer. I don’t live near Chernobyl and there’s no cancer in my family….why would I get cancer?


A stomach ache? uh oh….I wonder if it’s cancer…..

A chronic cough? hmmm…..cancer?

Backpain? cancer.

It’s always the first thing to pop in my head. I went for an ultrasound last week to monitor a cyst in my ovaries.

Here’s what happened: The tech is looking at my right ovary and not saying much, then she moves to my left ovary and then tells me it’s not there. It’s hidden.  Then she says she has to go and talk to the radiologist to see if he wants to order another scan.  Then she returns and says she didn’t want me to think she lied to me but…..she DID see my left ovary.  But it was higher than normal and had a 2cm mass in it and she wanted to talk to the doctor to see what he wanted her to do.  Um, what? I don’t know why I don’t get fearful at moments like this but weirdly enough I kind of giggled. She must have thought I was partly insane. I giggled because I thought it was really cute how she was worried that I’d read the report and think she lied to me.  I told her it was okay because it was a white lie.  Maybe she was concerned because I gave her my usual spiel while she was doing the ultrasound:

So what do you see?  Did the cyst grow? What are the measurements?  You can tell me.  I’m dying right? Ha…..just kidding…..just wanted to see if you blinked.  And YOU DID! You blinked! I knew it! Anything? I won’t let the doctor know…that I know. I can act really surprised when he gives me the news so you won’t steal his thunder. Are you worried the room is bugged? Just write it on a sheet of paper and pass it to me….I’ll read it….and then EAT it. No trace.

So anyway, the point is I walked away from that ultrasound thinking: cancer. Mostly I was thinking: what are the effin odds that I have TWO types of cancer…..because my choriocarcinoma is registering at zero right now so if it’s cancer it’s a NEW kind.

And then I forgot about cancer on the drive home.  (a positive side effect of having ADHD……but it drives everyone crazy. I forget about my bi-weekly blood tests results….every. time.)

Err…..what was I talking about?

My father-in-law called me and said he talked to the radiologist and they weren’t that worried. Then I remembered that I had that ultrasound and that I might have two types of cancer. But he reassured me that it could be any number of things.  I’ll need to have a repeat ultrasound in 2 weeks to see any changes.

The funny thing is…..everyone around me always seems to be sick: colds, flu, indigestion (it’s not funny to them).  And I always say: I never seem to get sick….knock on wood. Oh, except for cancer.  That one little blip on my record.

Another thing I’ve noticed…..I Google things a lot more…..any random onset of symptoms.  Just because….I like to torture myself and see what new type of cancer it tells me I have. I’d like to diagnose myself before the doctor has a chance to (but I won’t tell him I already knew, so I don’t steal his thunder). The only problem is…..Google never tells me I have cancer…..99% of the time it tells me that I’m having……A HEART ATTACK.

And then it tells me to call 9-1-1.

Thank you Google.

Heart attack symptoms in women:

Unusual fatigue
Sleep disturbance
Uncomfortable pressure
Uncomfortable fullness
Pain in the center of your chest
Pain in your back
Pain in your neck
Pain in your jaw
Pain in your stomach
Shortness of breath
Cold sweats

That’s pretty much every symptom under the sun.  I feel like I’ve got a handle on cancer…..but I need more clarification on this heart attack thing.

Sorry, this post is long overdue…..but I forgot for a while that I had cancer.

The Cancer Chronicles via


Process: Making of a Choose Joy Necklace

When Erin of The Vintage Pearl decided to make the first Choose Joy Necklace…..I was ecstatic……she’s good people. I told Erin that I wanted to try my own design from start to finish with her blessing…..and I finally finished it.  I started with a sketch, had the master made, and then made the long trek up to Northern California to meet the team that would make it for me.  You see…..when something has this much meaning for me…’s important who has a hand in making it. (I want honest, positive, hardworking energy going into these pieces.) Robert Snell and his team at Snell Casting opened their doors wide open for me…..and I soon knew that they were good people too. I spent the day at Snell Casting as Robert walked me through each and every step in the process to make my Choose Joy design.  We made little changes as we went until it was just as I imagined.

Choose Joy via

So you can see my finished piece at the end of the video……perfectly imperfect. I wanted it to be a distressed and worn piece…..accepted flaws….just like life. Handmade by hardworking employees in the U.S.A.

And now you can watch the process from start to finish….because you know I had to film it so I could share it with you. I spent most of yesterday editing the video and adding the perfect music. Enjoy!



The finished piece measures is around 7/8″ and they are available in the shop. Thank you so much for supporting handmade.

P.S. If any of you are interested in having something cast, please consider Snell Casting.  Robert has an amazing team of artisans…..and he and his team are good people. When you call…tell Frankie I said hi.


Choose Joy via

DIY Suede Fringe Handbag

DIY Upcycled Suede Fringe Handbag Tutorial and Template via

I see so much suede at the thrift store….I have a few jackets, a skirt, a few pairs of pants….it’s all outdated and just waiting to be cut up and made into something amazing. Here’s my first suede remake project……an old pair of suede pants and a thrift store belt into a fringe handbag. It was actually a fairly easy project. The key is to not cut the fringe until the handbag is finished. If you can’t find suede at the store you can also check Etsy and Ebay for remnants. You can also use leather or microfiber. Here are the original pants:

Original Suede Pants via

And here is the finished bag: [Read more…]

Boo Bites: International House of Pancakes

Last night Boo wanted me to make pancakes for dinner.  I mentioned IHOP as a possible alternative and she had no idea what I was talking about (how is it that I’ve never taken my kid to IHOP?). Taking notes on her first experience at IHOP, I’ve written the review from her perspective. I thought about using a 30 point rating scale like Zagat, but since Boo can barely count that high….. let’s stick with stars. So here’s the first “review” from Boo:

Boo Bites: International House of Pancakes via

International House of Pancakes | 72363 Highway 111,  Palm Desert | (760) 674-3125 | | Sun – Thu 6am – 11pm; Fri & Sat 6am – 12am | Entrées $5-10 | Reservations not accepted | No valet parking

IHOP Palm Desert: A hidden gem. At first I couldn’t figure out what all the hype was about…..why had such a place gone international? (IHOP stands for International House of Pancakes ya’ll…sorry if I’m late to the party.) What does international even mean?!

I was nervous as I sat down. It was eerily quiet because we were the first customers of the night. The ambience reminded me of Daddy’s office but with comfy, cozy booths. I saw gum under the table top as I laid down to ignore the story Mommy kept trying to tell me about this breakfast buffet called Shoney’s from the olden days.

As soon as I opened the menu I KNEW that IHOP was going to be 4 or 5 stars. It’s definitely going to be a foodie destination for the 13-and-under-crowd once the word gets out.  Breakfast for dinner? Brilliant (said with a British accent.) I ordered the Rooty Jr. and Danny, our waiter, never once balked at all my usual substitutions.

My meal arrived….it looked Photoshopped…….finally a kitchen that understands the often under appreciated art of batter. The glazed strawberry-whipped-topping-smothered pancakes deserved a standing ovation.  And then there was the bacon…..perfectly crisp….one piece was folded into the shape of a 7, or maybe it was an L. It was the best bacon I’ve ever had. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the array of syrups line up. Four different kinds of syrup? For reals?

Plates such as “Create-A-Face-Pancake” feature artistic flair…..but man cannot live by pancake alone. IHOP is definitely more “diner” than “pancake house” in my opinion. For anyone that finds pancakes too pedestrian, there’s a wide variety of French cuisine: French toast, crepes, French fries……indeed adding international flair.

The reason for only 4 stars? Well, my fruit bowl was kind of a disappointment.  The photo on the menu had watermelon but I only got honeydew. That’s a half star deduction. Honeydew has to be the lamest fruit on the planet. I don’t even eat green vegetables… I’m definitely not eating green fruit. The other half star was because I only got 2 crayons with my menu: red and green……what new colors could I possibly make with those? What if I needed to draw a lake? Or a ray of sunshine? Or a blueberry?!

All in all… was a great meal. I left feeling full. There was no need for dessert. The only thing that could have made it better would have been Daddy…..but he was glued to the computer at home doing his draft picks.

Stay tuned for more restaurant reviews soon!

Southern Charm and Chilled Cucumbers

Every once in a while I get a uncontrollable craving for this cucumber salad my grandmother Brownie used to make.

Chilled Cucumber Salad via

I posted the original recipe she wrote out for me years and years ago at the bottom of the post.


I shared these on Facebook yesterday but in case you missed them…… good, clean humor with a lot of Southern charm. That charm must have triggered the cucumber salad craving……

(Warning: you may snort with laughter……and don’t watch if the kids are napping……you’ll wake them!)

[Read more…]

Making a T-Shirt Transfer Doll

Make a t-shirt transfer doll via

I recently asked Stephanie Corfee update my little matryoshka dolls in the shop……mostly because I wanted to make these little plushies!  I printed out one of the images onto t-shirt transfer paper and ironed it onto white fabric.  I cut out the image leaving a 1/2″ border and cut out the same size for the back: [Read more…]


Some weekend inspiration for you:

Moyo Online Publication via

MOYO is a free online quarterly publication dedicated to pattern design. My friend Jessica Swift designed many of the pages. She is also a contributor in the Digital Shop if you haven’t checked out her printables yet!

Read the full issue below!

[issuu showflipbtn=true documentid=120823025649-de5dbcae41e74d46b50ab666d7c70cc3 docname=moyo-magazine username=MoyoMagazine loadinginfotext=Moyo%20Magazine showhtmllink=true tag=color width=512 height=334 unit=px]

You can subscribe here so you don’t miss an issue.



The Grandmother Clock

When Boo and I were in Tahoe last week with my mother-in-law Gale, every night, the three of us would sit on the floor around the coffee table to eat dinner. Across from the table, on the wall is a clock frozen in time…..I never really noticed it until Boo pointed it out:

The Grandmother Clock via

Boo: Mimi, why do you have that grandfather clock?

Gale: Well, it’s more of a grandmother clock….it was my mother’s.  It’s very special because it reminds me of her.

Boo: Does it work?

Gale: No, it hasn’t worked for a very long time. The pendulum used to start up here and there but it hasn’t moved in a few years.

Boo: What time does it say?

Gale: It’s been at ten til five for as long as I can remember.


And that was that.

Now, I have to tell you part of the backstory here: Gale’s mother Cari passed away suddenly in 1993 from an aneurysm. It happened in Lake Tahoe, in the very house where Boo asked about that clock. When the aneurysm burst, Cari was flown by medivac back to the desert. Gale stayed in her mother’s bed for two days refusing to leave her side until she was talked into leaving for a few hours.  When she went home, all of the sudden, a huge rainstorm appeared…..a rarity in our dry desert. Gale phoned the hospital and asked them to open up her mother’s windows so that she could feel and smell the storm…..Cari loved storms.  Placing the phone back on the hook, Gale misplaced it slightly……and no calls were able to come back through.  When she arrived back at the hospital everyone said they’d been trying to call her over and over……..

…..the rainstorm took her away…..


Yesterday I got a text at 7:51am from Gale:

Gale: The pendulum started swinging this morning…..

Me: What???!

Gale: I know, right???? How about this…..last night was the 19th anniversary of my mom’s aneurysm rupturing in this house.  I woke up this morning and the clock was ticking?

Me: It was your mom…..


We talked on the phone about it tonight.  Gale told me how two nights ago she woke up around 2:30am to a huge rainstorm in Tahoe. She got out of bed and ran up to the porch to pull the outdoor cushions in from the rain and then she went back to bed. The next morning….the pendulum on Cari’s clock was swinging.  And then we talked about how in December 2004, Gale had some scans to check for aneurysms because sometimes they are hereditary……and the doctors found one.  They watched it for about a year because the risk of surgery was greater than the risk of the aneurysm…..but every six months after that…..the aneurysm grew…..and on August 22, 2006 the doctors said they would have to remove it.  Gale underwent brain surgery in September 2006 and the aneurysm was removed successfully……the discovery of that aneurysm was her mother’s parting gift to her.


I do think it was Gale’s mother swinging that pendulum…..just like my dad left me that “Choose Joy” message on his desk…..just like Boo saw my dad on the porch in the mountains…..and just like my grandfather called my sister’s cell phone after he passed away.


I believe in those “thin” places…..


……….the places where our loved ones can just reach through……with the very tips of their fingers…….and move a pendulum to say:

Everything’s okay.


What about you?