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The First Steps – A New Beginning


the first step quote

I am using this quote to kick off a new era of Maison Celeste. It has been so long since I have blogged regularly. I am learning that there have been so many improvements in the land of blogging and website building. I planned on getting started sooner, but life has intervened. The divorce took so much longer to finalize than I had anticipated, and it was a very expensive and soul crushing process. It was a move that was vital for my mental well being, but it cost me a lot.

Part of the reason I have not written is that I was having a hard time thinking of positive things to write about. I was told by my creativity coach, Kathy Cano-Murillo, to keep posts upbeat. I was not feeling upbeat. As usual, I began the school year thinking that I knew what I would be teaching. And, as happened every year since 2008, there has been a change to my teaching schedule. I am obviously over certified. So, school was not feeding my inspiration as it has in the past.

The big bright spot in all of this is that I have become reacquainted with the place where I consider my hometown. That would be Lafayette, Louisiana. I visited every month for the past few years, with trips to New Orleans interspersed between those trips. I have fallen in love again with the culture of Acadiana. Lafayette has changed so much since I lived there in 1997. Since then, it has been awarded The South’s Tastiest Town, The Best Food Town, and The Best Overall City in America… Business is booming and Cajun cuisine is getting the recognition it deserves. And it’s not too far from New Orleans!

I wanted to move back to Lafayette over the summer, but circumstances made that impossible. So, now I am announcing my intention to move there this summer. There is so much to do. I plan to put my townhouse on the market, but not until I have vacated it, save for some of the large furnishings. In order to do that, I need to pack up or use up or get rid of a LOT of stuff. I have been accumulating art and craft supplies for years, and many of those are unused and in my garage and studio.

The other challenge is that the townhouse I plan to share with my new guy is much smaller than the one I live in now. So that doubles the need to lighten up. The plan, as I proposed it to Kathy last summer, is to write about the items I have. I want to revisit the moment when I though it was a good idea to buy 200 paper mache bells (they were 8 cents apiece…) or 500 mini photo albums with NASCAR drivers on them (10 cents apiece…). I will then decide if the project I planned with those things can come to fruition in the present. If so, I will make things and sell them on my Etsy site. If not, I will get rid of them.

I know this was a bit choppy, but I just needed to write something. This is the first step.


I wish I could buy this house!



I was doing a little research on chilaquiles when I came upon a blog by a guy named Todd – he has a lovely picture of his breakfast chilaquiles.  He lives in Patzcuaro, Mexico – where I think I would love to have a house one day (boy, I hope my husband and I agree when the time comes… hee hee).  I am too tired to synthesize all of my chilaquile info, so that will have to wait until tomorrow.

In the meantime – you’ve got to see the pictures this guy has taken of Michoacan – they are inspiring.  The name of his blog is Life in El Corazon.

Also, he has this gorgeous house for sale – it’s just outside of Patzcuaro and it’s called Corazon de Durazno (Heart of the Peach).  It must be a sign – moving from a place filled with Peachtree Streets to a Peach HOUSE?  I wish!



Yay! I did it! I mean that I got the imbedded video thing to work – not just that I went to Ikea today.

I’ve been to Ikea before…

I haven’t been there in a while, though. This morning, I got there at around opening time: 10AM. As I wound my way around the store, I found all sorts of inspiration. I think I found a table that I would like to have in my future studio. It’s about 3 feet high and really large. I like it because I can either stand over it, or use a high stool to sit and work there. I found a lot of things that would make my work space happier – I even found a table with a built in light table on it!

I looked at the bed frames and mattresses, too. It’s about time we got a new mattress. And I have been considering the same for my bed frame. I have had the same bed since I was in grade school – it’s a standard double bed iron frame which has been painted blue, then white, then off white and now, gun metal gray. It’s a fine bed, but it is difficult to sit in bed an read – there are five thin rails at the head of the bed and they are spaced just far enough apart for my head to slip in between them. Time for a more solid headboard. And maybe a little bit more space…

Most of the styles at Ikea are incompatible with our home decor, which is basically a (tasteful) hodgepodge of inherited furniture. Both of my husband’s parents are deceased, so we got much furniture from them. The few pieces I brought with me were a dresser, an armoire, and the aforementioned bed. We actually did buy some things ourselves, including a lovely hand painted TV cabinet and a large china cabinet, and a sofa… Anyhoo… whenever I visit Ikea and see how one could live so comfortably in such a small space, I am inspired to sell everything and start all over again, living simply and being impeccably organized.

Yeah, well…

This time, I bought a lap desk for my laptop, some trial containers to see if I want to purchase more for my kitchen and office, cheap knives, a spatula, paint brushes, and some chocolate toffee candy. I left my cell phone in the car and was most of the way through the store before I realized it. I assumed it was around noon when I decided to check out. When I got to the car, it was almost 1:30! I had been there over THREE hours!

Enjoy the video – I love that Jonathan Coulton.