A Good Reason for Not Blogging

I have been pretty slack about updating my blog recently but I have a good reason, really I do!  I am expecting my second child and this first trimester is kicking my butt with fatigue.  As soon as I put my son down for the night, I'm crawling into bed from utter exhaustion.  And I sleep like the dead until it's time to get up the next morning.  Typically, before I got pregnant, I would spend a couple of hours each night doing housework, pursuing my artistic endeavors and blogging.  Now, my house, art and my blog have been neglected. I am looking forward to my second trimester so I can get back some of the energy I have lost.  I have several posts planned and hope to post them soon.  Until next time, take care.  I hope you understand.


Collage Coterie

I've signed up for my first online class. I'm so excited about learning all there is to know about collage from Mary and my other classmates.  I can't wait to get started.

I've signed up for my first online class. I'm looking forward to exploring the world of collage with Mary and my other classmates. I can't wait to start creating.


Made ~ Pink & Brown Baby Shower

My friend Brandi is expecting her second child and first girl, Brooklynn.  Another friend of Brandi's, Jessi, and I threw Brandi a baby shower a couple of Saturdays ago.  Brandi had chosen brown, magenta and white for her baby girl-to-be's nursery so that was the color palette for the shower.  I created floral arrangements from supplies I found at Dollar Tree.  The pale pink foam roses were the focus of the arrangements.  They were accompanied by white berries in a low glass vase.  I wrapped each vase with wide chocolate brown velvet ribbon I found at Hobby Lobby.  I LOVE how they turned out!

I also created some tissue poms in brown, magenta and pale pink to hang in the living room and over the buffet.  They were easy, peasy to make.  Brandi plans to hang the poms in her baby girl's room. What a compliment!

For food, we had petit fours and cupcakes frosted to match the color palette.  We had a great chicken wing dip that Jessi made.  Yum-e!  For beverages, we had pink lemonade, Cherry 7-Up and bottled water (the bottles were wrapped with pink and brown paper to coordinate).

From the smile on Brandi's face, I would say the shower was a success!


Made ~ Lady Churchill Collage Challenge

I'm participating in the Lady Churchill Collage Challenge over at Green Paper.  The challenge required me to use three images provided by Green Paper into the design.  After reading up on Lady Churchill's biography, I chose to incorporate a painting by her famous son, Winston Churchill.  The painting is a landscape of Lake Como, Italy.  I used two of the images provided by Green Paper prominently on the bookmark:  the bird and the portrait of Lady Churchill.  The third image I used more subtly.  I used the stamp and the words "New York" from the old check image.  I used the words "New York" because Lady Churchill hailed from the New York area before moving to England.  Below is the bookmark I created for the Lady Churchill Collage Challenge.  What do you think?


Made ~ Marie Antoinette Bookmark

I'm participating in a bookmark swap over at Little Messy Missy.  After reading The Other Boleyn Girl, my passion for history was renewed so I was inspired.  I decided to create a bookmark in honor of Marie Antoinette.  I used some flocked paper that was made in India, some scrapbooking paper and images from Narry and The Graphics Fairy.  Here is the end result.  Tres chic, don't you think?




The Other Boleyn Girl (Movie Tie-In)

Since I met my husband I haven't read as much as I used to.  And after I had my son, I have read even less.  Unless it is a celebrity gossip magazine, the length of USA Today article, a blog post or work related document, I haven't read it.  That's sad because I used to read book after book after book.  At one time, I had even made a list of all the books I had read.  The list was 250+ books long.  (The exception to the rule of not reading much as of late has been the Twilight series.  I don't know of anyone that has resisted that series.)

Because I haven't been reading as much, I'm a little behind on reading best sellers and such.  On vacation last week I completed The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory.  The book was definitely a page turner.  I loved the opulence and the intrigue.  It reminded me of the books I used to read as a young tween/teen.  At that age, I enjoyed reading novels based on historical characters, mainly women like Catherine the Great, Cleopatra, Clara Barton, etc. I often wondered what life would be like during those times.  If you could be any famous woman in history, who would it be and why?

I'm hooked on Ms. Gregory's storytelling.  I picked up The Boleyn Inheritance yesterday at our local bookseller and have already read 100+ pages.  I can't wait to pick up where I left off. 




The winner of the CSN giveaway is Cheryl W. Congratulations to Cheryl on winning the $40 gift certificate.  (Cheryl, check your e-mail for details.)  Have fun shopping! 

Thanks so much to all of you that entered.  I would also like to extend a BIG thank you to CSN for sponsoring my very first giveaway here at Maid Marian Made.  Because this giveaway was so much fun, stay tuned for a new giveaway in the near future.



My First Petite Inspiration Box Swap

front view

side view

side view

back view

I participated in my first petite inspiration box swap at Speckled Egg.  The theme was "Paris" or anything vintage/Paris inspired.  I had so much fun creating the box with images from The Graphics Fairy, paper and ribbon from Hobby Lobby and some Mod Podge.  Now, I am hooked.  I've made three other boxes since then.  Mr. MMM probably thinks I've gone overboard.  Oh well!  The creative bug has been dormant for some time and is now awake.  Watch out!

Anyway, I was paired up with two lovely ladies who sent me some really great boxes in return.  Here are pics of their creations. 

From Cee Kay

You both did a fabulous job.  I can't wait to put your supplies to use.  Thanks, ladies!


A Maid Marian Made Migration ~ Target

Located in downtown Minneapolis is the flagship Target store.  This is a mecca for all you Target lovers like moi.  It is two stories tall and has an escalator that not only carries you between floors but also your shopping cart.  How cool!  I spent about two hours browsing.  Seriously.  I found an adorable dress and this beautiful Liberty of London reusable tote bag.

I love how the bag folds up neatly so that you can carry it in your purse.  The bag was only $1.99!  Tres cute!!! I bought several to use as gift bags for birthdays, baby showers, etc.  Thanks to The Pink Chick for the idea.


I've Run Away

I've run away to the beach with my family for the week.  I will be back with all new posts when I return.  In the meantime, I have a few posts that are scheduled to keep you occupied while I am gone.  Enjoy!

My First Giveaway: CSN Stores

I'm thrilled to announce that I am hosting my first giveaway here on Maid Marian Made.  I was approached by CSN Stores to give away a $40 gift certificate that can be used at any of their over 200 stores.  Warning:  Be prepared to spend HOURS perusing their online mall.  I can attest that I did!

CSN stores carries a variety of products anything and everything from lighting to toddler beds to shoes and so much more. The prize is a $40 promotional code to use at any of the CSN Stores.

To enter just comment on this post by midnight (EST) Monday, July 12th. Become a follower of Maid Marian Made for an additional entry.  For an extra entry, mention a product you can't live without that you found on one the CSN store websites. If that wasn't enough, tweet or blog about this giveaway and get another entry. Please make sure to let me know about your extra entries.  I won't know unless you tell me.

Legalese: CSN Stores is not compensating me in any way to host this giveaway. Only the winner of the giveaway will receive goods courtesy of CSN Stores.


A Maid Marian Made Migration ~ Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

The Sunday morning I was in Minneapolis I set out for a three-mile walk (round trip) to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in search of the city's iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry.  Located adjacent to the Walker Art Center, the Sculpture Garden is the largest urban sculpture garden in the United States.  A leisurely stroll through the gardens allow you an up close and personal look at nearly 40 permanent sculptures including some by Henry Moore.  The garden also has tons of robins, orioles and finches flying about. 

Henry Moore, Reclining Mother and Child, 1960-1961

The day I went was overcast and misty so the Spoonbridge and Cherry wasn't as vibrant as the photos I seen but it was still an impressive sculpture to see.

Claes Oldenburg & Coosje Van Bruggen, Spoonbridge and Cherry, 1985-1988



A Maid Marian Made Migration ~ Manny's Steakhouse

Sign up dinners are a tradition the first night of this conference.  It allows a group of attendees (or friends) to dine together at a local restaurant.  This also allows for the conference attendees to try some of the host city's local fare.  I signed up to go to Manny's based on a recommendation from a friend back home.

Manny's is reminiscent of a New York style steakhouse.  At Manny's, each diner orders their entree and sides are served family style (i.e., super large portions).  Our waiter presented the entree options from a butler's cart.  Besides the house specialty...STEAK...you can choose king crab legs the size of my son's arm, a 28 ounce Australian lobster tail or pork chops.  If I had had more money (in the amount of a small loan), I would have loved to have tried either seafood option.  Being as we were at a steakhouse, I ordered the filet.  I know, I know, but it's my favorite cut.  As my side which I planned on sharing with the rest of my party, I chose the creamed garlic spinach.  Yum-e! 

Other folks at our table ordered hash browns with and without onions, loaded mashed potatoes, asparagus, sauteed mushrooms, and truffle fries.  All of the side dishes were exceptional but my favorite was the truffle fries.  I've never had truffle oil before I came to Minneapolis.  These fries were the bomb!  The best pomme frites I have ever had. 
I adore the leafy greenness of spinach so the garlic creamed spinach was a close second when it came to the sides. 

There is no possibility of dessert with the amount of food you receive with an entree and a portion of a side at Manny's.  If you can stomach dessert after a meal here, you are a better woman than I.



Continuing my escapades in Minneapolis, I took the LRT to the Mall of America.  It's a 30 minute ride from downtown Minneapolis.  I was not prepared for this monolithic mall.  I spent approximately FIVE hours at the MOA and barely got through the first level.  And there are four levels.  Being from Middle Georgia, we have to travel to Atlanta to shop at certain stores.  So this was a real treat to shop (or at least window shop) at some of them at the MOA.  Arden B, Burberry, For Love 21, Lucky Brand Jeans, Betsey Johnson...I could go on and on and on. 

I found some incredible sales ($2 tank tops at Old Navy) and made some purchases.  I even splurged on this jean romper I found at the GAP.  I rarely buy anything at full retail price but this was an exception.  I couldn't leave Minneapolis without it!

The pure vastness of the space allows for a Nickelodeon Universe amusement park and larger than life Lego sculptures.  There's even a roller coaster inside the mall.  How insane is that?  My son would have loved that Diego was there as well as The Backyardigans.  This mall definitely has something for everybody.

I would love to go back but I would have to take out a loan or either win the lottery to fund my shopping spree.  Have you ever been to the MOA?  What was your favorite thing about it? 


Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, especially my husband, Mr. MMM!  You are the best as this photo can attest.  Our son thinks you are the greatest and so do I.